>> Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Thing about that ratatouille recipe is that it doesn't fill us up on its own. That's why I made up these peppery polenta bites to accompany dinner. They were definitely an afterthought. We hadn't made polenta in a while, so I mixed up a batch because I thought it'd go well with all the veggies. Then Ada got fussy/tired/cranky right when I was about to pour it into a large baking dish and chill in the fridge. Her impending nap meant I had some more time to put it into our mini-muffin tin.
(My life is exciting, right?)
Anyway, if you haven't made polenta before, it's quite easy.
PEPPERY POLENTA BITES
What you'll need . . .
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Method . . .
- Just add the salt to the water and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to a simmer and whisk in the cornmeal 1/4 cup at a time. Stir vigorously to prevent lumps and bumps.
- Add in the olive oil and keep stirring for around 5 minutes.
- Then pour into a baking dish -- in this case, a mini muffin tin -- and chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
All you need to do to make them crispy and peppery is to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spritz a baking sheet with olive oil. Then place your chilled polenta bites on the sheet. Spritz each with a bit of olive oil and then generously top with pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes -- until crisp. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice. Or ratatouille goes great with them, too!
In other news, I finally bought a new pair of running shoes last night. For the first time in a year, in fact -- and I desperately needed them. I don't pay attention anymore to the specific mileage guidelines for when to get rid of shoes. Instead, I take each run as it comes and evaluate how my legs feel afterward.
These shoes felt dead these past couple weeks.
I tried on many different shoes, as a few of you wrote me to say the Nike Run + 2 and + 3 didn't feel the same as the type I'm used to. Stephen had me try on the Brooks Pure Connect (my heel felt so wobbly and lower than my toes -- didn't like it at ALL!), Saucony's Kinvara (eh...), and a few other more minimal types.
I tried on the Run + 2s and HATED them. Something about the decorative side plastic-y things didn't feel right on my feet. But when I slipped my foot into the +3s, I fell in love. Too bad the store only had the most obnoxious, neon color known to man. I edited to to mute it out. If you have sunglasses handy, here's the true color.
OK. Secretly -- and I guess now NOT-SO secretly -- I enjoy having a really bright, loud shoe. Makes me feel like I'll seem faster than I actually am when I lace up at races. I completed my first run in them yesterday (a blustery 5.5-miler) and they were glowing. But so was I. I get so anxious switching models of my favorite shoes. I've had bad experiences in the past, but I think I'm in the clear with this one. (PS: Thanks to the ladies who wrote me to help with making up my mind!)
Oh, yeah! And with several coupons and store credits (from using the store's loyalty card), I didn't spend the $100 retail price. Closer to $60. Nice.
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