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Cranberry Cookie Balls & Runner's High

Happy Hour on the Deck
After work, we met my cousin and his family at a place called Cajun's Wharf to listen to a band that he used to jam with. Cajun's is notorious for their awesome deck overlooking the Arkansas River. Even though it was incredibly hot out, there was a nice breeze that kept us cool.

We had such a nice time catching up with my cousin and his wife (and 2 kiddos). My cousin and I are only 7 months apart in age and are really more like brother and sister. We actually lived together for a while in the early college years. I am really rallying for them to move here ;-)
 
 
 
 
 
Pizza Friday & Pool Party Prep
We got home around 7:30 and got to work on pizza for Pizza Friday. In other words, a pretty typical Friday evening for the most part. However, we did spend some extra time in the kitchen prepping for today (friends over for pool time). We put together my Black Bean & Corn Salsa for starters.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Ingredients:
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted (or canned rinsed and drained)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or fresh cooked)
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2-3 jalapenos, finely diced
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes (or fresh, we didn't have enough), well drained
To taste: sea salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, chili powder, lime juice, cilantro


Directions
Mix all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Then I knew I wanted to make a dessert treat. I saw a post from Kristina at Spabettie for Garbonzo Cookie Balls and knew I wanted to try them. Since we were having friends over today, I thought a nice little treat would be good to have on hand (aka perfect excuse to make these). Rather than using chocolate, I went with cranberries for a Peanut Butter & Cranberry Cookie Ball. These are both gluten-free and vegan.

This has to be one of the easiest and most versatile cookie recipes. Honestly, you could add other dried fruit, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or even just chopped nuts. I will most definitely be making these again (and again).

Hot Runner's High Run
This morning I knew I had to get out as early as I could for a run because of the heat. But, it is the weekend and I wasn't going to go for a 5:30 am run. Sorry, just not happening. I got up a little after 7 and ate half of a banana. I hit the river trail at 8 am and it was already upper 70's. Thankfully, the trail was mostly shaded at that time though.

I made myself slow down more than I would normally have done. Because I am not really used to the heat just yet, I thought it was best to play it smart. I also had a chat with myself about it being ok to walk if I needed to. I have it in my head that if I am going to run x miles, that means "run" not walk x miles. I know that's so stupid, there's nothing wrong with walking breaks.

Anyway, I also told myself to listen to my body and not push myself farther than I should go. My mileage has been dropping lately and I'm starting to get worried I can't run farther than 6 miles. Over the past few weeks, my long runs have only been 5 miles, they used to be 9 and 10.

I ended up having a really great run, despite the heat. I made it 6.2 miles, and on the drive home was actually wishing I had gone farther because I felt so good. Runner's high much?

So, the rest of the morning was spent trying to finish straightening up the house and the yard for our friends coming over this afternoon to enjoy the pool. It's just a few people, not a big bash by any means. I also made some Kalamata Hummus to snack on. I believe my friends are going to be bringing fruit and other summery type snacks. Should be a good time. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and recap tomorrow.

Daily To-Enjoy List
  • A run, no matter what distance or what speed. 
  • Pool time with friends.
  • A little disconnecting from computer land.
  • A relaxing evening with Jason and our 2 furbabies.

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