Showing posts from February, 2016

February Updates

I can't even believe that we are just about 2 months into 2016 already.  Yikes!  Time flies!  I still have so many things I want to experience before winter is over, including snowshoeing to Nambe Lake, so I hope Santa Fe sees a few more inches of snow before spring arrives officially, but for now I am really enjoying the sunshine and unseasonably warm afternoons!  

Jaycob and I just returned from the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, which is the largest annual Physical Therapy conference of the year.  This year's conference was held in Anaheim and there were 12,000 PTs in attendance.  I attended 9 two-hour courses, plus a lecture and some section-specific meetings, and also visited the research posters.  Every time I go to a conference I come back inspired and energized about my profession and all the great work that my colleagues are doing!  I have a long list of professional development goals and projects to initiate after the classes I…

Recipes from Around the World: West African Peanut Stew

Welcome to Part 2 of my culinary journey for 2016: exploring ethnic flavors and recipes that represent the unique qualities of cultures around the world.  Last month I brought you Thai Green Chicken Curry, and now we move onto West Africa and this delicious, bright, and flavorful stew.  

There are many varieties of West African Peanut Stew (also called Maafe) depending on whether you're in Mali, Senegal, or Gambia, and it can be made with various types of meat.  Sweet potatoes are a very common ingredient, and there is usually some degree of spice.  It's very easy to make this a vegetarian dish as well, and you can add beans for extra protein.  Regardless of the specific recipe, this dish is sure to please.

West African Peanut Stew
Modified from


2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 pound chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cups chicke…

Mardi Gras Recipes

Since moving into our house (almost a year ago!), the hubby and I have been wanting to host more dinner parties.  (Actually, I have been wanting to host more dinner parties, and Jaycob tolerates the idea because it means a good meal and some booze without having to leave the comfort of his own sofa.)  This week we spontaneously hosted a Mardi Gras party.  It was a fun night all around, complete with beads, King Cake, a big band jazz Pandora station, cocktails, and good company.

Here is a list of the recipes I used for this year's Mardi Gras feast:
Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Cajun Corn Maque Choux(I made mine vegetarian)
Cream Cheese King Cake
Bourbon Bread Pudding

I made an extra King Cake to bring to work and I was surprised to learn that many people have never heard of this delectable tradition.  So what is a King Cake, you ask?  While they vary greatly in flavor and appearance depending on regional traditions, King Cakes are usually circular-shaped pastries…

Phoenix Women's Half Marathon

I have another Half Marathon under my belt, and a new PR to boot!  This past weekend I ran the first annual Phoenix Women's Half Marathon.  It was a much smaller event compared to my last few races, with only 182 overall female finishers, and I finished in 57th place.  The course was mostly flat, which is usually boring to me, but we ran through a city park and along a small creek, and the view of the mountains to the east was lovely as the sun was rising over the city.

Training for a January race was a great way to maintain fitness during the winter and stay motivated to run outside, even on cold and snowy days.  I ran in rain, snow, sleet, and wind, not to mention frequent evening runs after sunset.  I never once retreated to the treadmill or indoor track.  Proper attire was important and I fell in love with the down vest that the hubby bought me for Christmas, which kept my core warm on chilly mornings and has a soft lining and lots of pockets!

My number one goal for this race wa…