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So the other day Will and I registered for a couple races. The first is a virtual race benefiting the National Parks in honor of National Park week. We just have to run a quick little 5K, submit our times and voila! We’ll get our super-fly National Parks week virtual race medal in the mail next month. Despite having totally fallen off the running train, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal to accomplish. Otis and I have been running recently and while we’re working on pacing, he’s at least getting me up and moving. Will plays soccer weekly, so while that’s not designated running, it’s enough running to make a 5K no big deal.

But the OTHER race we’ve registered for is aLemon Asparagus Pasta half-marathon. And more specifically, it’s the Beat the Blerch half-marathon, hosted by The Oatmeal. For those of you who are not familiar with either The Oatmeal or the Blerch, I encourage you to click on the hyperlinks and educate yourselves. The Oatmeal is hands-down one of our favorite social commentaries on day-to-day life, expanding everyone’s secret inner thoughts into hilariously-poor drawings with exaggerated commentary. The Blerch is very much a real part of any runner (and if they don’t admit it, they’re lying to you because everyone has known the Blerch at some point in their running life). I am very aware of the Blerch. And it’s the Blerch that I will rely on to help motivate me through training for this half-marathon! Granted, if you actually visit the website, this is not a traditional half; there will be cake at each water station, couches for napping, Nutella, and you’re encouraged to run for your personal worst. But having this be half-marathon #3, there are some expectations I will and won’t put on myself. I know I’ll finish (never a concern) and I know I’ll run most of it. I won’t hold myself to running all of it and mostly I’m just running it for the fun of it, because this will be nothing short of laughs when running with people in costumes and having Blerches on the course to chase you. I’m not taking the race itself super seriously, but I will take the training more seriously.

Lemon Asparagus PastaWill and I are using this half-marathon to jump-start our running again (we have no excuses – it’s beautiful in Tacoma right now, with long, sunny, warm days) because we find we actually miss it. Don’t ask us when we’re running if we miss it or enjoy it – that’s a no. But the feeling of being a runner, the accomplishments you can make and just generally the energy and stamina you build, are all HUGE benefits that carry over into all areas of life. It improves your other fitness activities (lookin’ at you, boot camp), your physical physique (to some extent) and can be a great stress reliever, like any other workout. You also can rest assured you’d be able to escape a zombie attack. I’m just sayin’. These things are important. So I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for likely going on and on about running/training/Blerches in the coming months. But I’m really really excited because the event is going to be super fun and I hope that I will be successful in my preparation for it.

Now this recipe – talk about a great springtime dish! I made this last week and it turned out just delightful. We ate the leftovers the next day a little chilled and it was still great. I adored how easy this was to pull together, the fact that it was done in less than 30 minutes and that the ingredient list was short and fresh. This recipe is from Simply In Season, a cookbook we heavily relied on when we first started blogging long ago, when we lived in Tallahassee and were poor grad students. We haven’t cracked it open in awhile and I’m so glad we did. I forgot how satisfying the recipes can be because they demand high-quality fresh ingredients and are always straightforward. I can’t say enough good things about that cookbook and this recipe! I think my favorite aspect of this dinner was the sauted green onions, which were done in butter and lemon juice. You have not lived until you have sauted a green onion in butter and lemon. Trust me. Go forth and add this to your weekly menu – I promise it will not disappoint!

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Cooking Notes: We used cappellini pasta instead of angel hair. I also forgot nutmeg and accidentally used pepper instead – I’ve included nutmeg in the recipe because that sounds better!

Lemon Pasta with Asparagus (adapted from Simply in SeasonLemon Asparagus Pastaserves 4)
8 oz. cappellini pasta
2 1/2 cups (1 large bunch) asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp lemon peel, grated
3 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1 large lemon)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp fresh dill
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt, to taste

Cook pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes, then add asparagus, cooking for another 2 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drain.

While the pasta and asparagus cook, melt the butter in a large frypan over medium heat. Add green onions and lemon peel, sauteing for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together, then once lemon juice is mostly evaporated, add egg/milk mixture and the pasta/asparagus mixture to the pan with the green onions. Cook over low heat until the milk mixture is slightly thick, about 4 minutes. Be careful not to boil. Stir in the fresh dill, salt and nutmeg, then serve and enjoy!

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