Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Little Littles: Spicy Spring Noodles

I have a whole separate post dedicated to this, but for the past few weeks we've had houseguests.  Of the hummingbird variety.  We watched a mama hummingbird build her nest, warm her eggs, and raise her young.  We took to calling the babies "little littles" because I described them as "little little birds" and Thatbaby quickly picked up on the first part, and asked to see the "little littles" multiple times of day.

But teeny tiny hummingbirds aren't the topic of today's post.  Today I'm writing about the other little littles - of the human variety.  Premature babies.  L&O and I were talking about all the anxieties that come along with motherhood (which I'll probably touch on in another post also) and one of them is that the entire pregnancy, there's a worry that things won't turn out as planned.  Something will happen to the baby.  Along the spectrum of losing the baby and bringing home a healthy bundle of joy is the premature baby - a little little who comes a bit too early.

One of L&O's besties is going through this right now.  Panda's water broke 2 weeks ago.  She was 27 weeks pregnant.  I received a text from L&O shortly after Panda had headed in to the hospital.  We all expected imminent labor, and sent positive thoughts for Panda's son, who was not quite ready to be born.  The first goal was to stall labor for 48 hours, giving the steroid injection time to mature Baby Panda's lungs more.  And Baby Panda surpassed that goal, and the subsequent ones.  It's been over 2 weeks, and Baby Panda is still an "inside baby."  Panda herself is still in the hospital, receiving frequent visits from L&O, who is a kickass friend to have at times of crisis.

As an example, shortly after Panda headed to the hospital, L&O organized a team to walk in support of Baby Panda at this year's March of Dimes walk.

When she asked if I wanted to join in, I couldn't help but say yes.  As a friend of a friend, I've gotten to here about Detective's struggles, and I'll do anything I can do to support her in her journey to motherhood.  On top of that, I know several others who have faced the journey of having a premature baby.  It's not an easy road.  Leaving your child in the NICU while you head home must be one of the hardest things to bear as a parent.  And I recognize how lucky I am to have brought a healthy, full term, child into the world.

I'd say we woke early to head to the walk on Saturday, but in truth, we wake early because of a certain toddler who doesn't understand the concept of sleeping in on the weekend. But we did leave the house early and head to Balboa Park to meet up with the group and get our t-shirts before getting our walk on.

There were a ton of people there, warming up.  Eventually our group filed into line to start the race.  I'm not going to lie.  I completely missed the start.  There were so many people, and since we were all walking, there was no movement at the start line for a while.  I thought we were just smooshing forward, when actually we had started the walk.

Thatboy hates "races" in Balboa Park because it means getting up extra early to make the drive down and find parking.  But it is a great venue for them.  The beautiful architecture, fountains, and wide paths. 

After 3.5 miles, we waited in line to cross the finish.

Looks closely and you'll see that even though he was being pushed, the walk really tired out one member of  the team.

He awoke in time to check out the amazing kid's tent - with lots of bubbles to play with.  And share some of Little LO's snacks.

On Friday night, when Thatboy was complaining about having to head down to Balboa Park, I tried to sweeten the deal with the offer of breakfast out.  Which he was more than happy to take me up on.  So after the walk, we headed to grab a bite to eat.

This picture cracks me up.  I couldn't figure out what Thatbaby was doing, until Thatboy informed me that he was copying me.  I was leaning back trying to get them in the picture, and our little Monkey-see had to get into the action.

The morning of the walk started off nice and cool, but by the time it finished, we were all peeling off layers.  It got hot!  It was such sunny, summery weather that I'm compelled to share this summery noodle dish.  Not the typical heavy pasta dish, this one is filled with spring vegetables and, yup, fresh herbs!

Spicy Spring Noodles
4 ounces Pad Thai noodles
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp  soy sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp crushed ginger
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
1 pound snow peas, trimmed
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. Add radishes,onions, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice and soy sauce.  Toss.
  3. Combine the canola oil, ginger, garlic, and chiles in a skillet.  Cook over low heat for until fragrant.
  4. Add snow peas and salt and cook until the peas are tender, but still crisp.
  5. Combine the snow peas and noodles and toss.
  6. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Mondays: Mommy Wars

Long before I even thought about having a child, I read Kim's post about "mommy wars."  At the time, it didn't phase me.  I wasn't one of those who offered unsolicited advice about other people's children.  I admittedly knew nothing about babies, children, or raising them. 

And then, of course, I got pregnant.  And became the target of some of this unsolicited advice.  Some of the "just you waits" on my thoughts on how I would raise my child.    (Which, funnily enough have never come to pass.  Maybe I'm still supposed to be waiting?  Although at this point, a lot of those "just you waits" wouldn't be applicable.) 

Everyone has an opinion on what's okay during pregnancy.  But my philosophy involves those who are living in glass houses.  I didn't drink during pregnancy, and I veered away from deli meat.  But I didn't think it was appropriate to chastise others who did, because I ate raw eggs and unpasteurized cheese. 

Once you have a kid, the mommy wars escalate even further.  Because everything you're doing - it's wrong.  And I've mentioned before, that I've been the target of numerous criticisms.  From our lack of sleep training to my extended breastfeeding.  And I admittedly take part in behaviors that tend to lead to attacks on others.  I'm sure those of you who did sleep train have likewise been attacked by non-sleep trainers, and many breastfeeders are notorious for their aggressive stance.  And I certainly have a preference for the way I did it.  Because let's face it - I took the easy way out and I'm a lazy mom!

And though I've been attacked, I tend not to be one of the attackers.  I don't like to feed into the mommy wars.  Thatbaby and Little L&O are a little over 2 months apart in age.  We didn't sleep train, L&O did.  We started with BLW, they started with purees.  And now, both kids are the same troubling toddlers with respect to food.  And they both sleep through the night.  I was breastfed, Thatbrother was on formula.  And we're both geniuses. 

As long as the safety of your child isn't at stake, your parenting styles are really personal.  Which is why I tend to save my vitriol for safety issues like putting carseats in shopping carts, carseats, and vaccinations.    And at the same time, I like to provide my support for those making similar choices to me - recognizing that someone, somewhere will probably tell you about how you're harming your child.   How rocking your child to sleep will cause them to never be able to fall asleep on their own.  How by not using a leash you're being unrealistic of your child's ability to follow directions.   But really, someone is always going to tell you you're doing it wrong.  Whether it's related to child rearing, work, or pretty much anything else you do.  So be confident in your decisions, because chances are - they're going to work out fine.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Herbalicious: Barley with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Walnut Pesto

One of my favorite things about spring is that it's the beginning of herb season!  I am definitely one of those that believe fresh herbs taste so much better than the dried varieties.  But I can't always get my hands on good fresh herbs.

This time of year they start appearing again, beautiful and green.

One of my favorite ways to use fresh herbs is pesto.  This pesto uses basil, but you can really use whatever herb you want.  Adding mint or parsley into a pesto is a great fresh change.

I really love this recipe because it uses barley with the pesto.  I've never had barley with pesto but it was an excellent change.  I love the chewy nature of barley, and the simplicity of the dish.

This was another meal that was a huge hit with my family.  Elly notes that it makes 4 side-dish portions.  I didn't double it, but next time I definitely will.  We used it as a main course, and everyone wanted seconds.

Barley with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Walnut Pesto (From Elly Says Opa)
1 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil
2 oz. goat cheese
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, drained 
  1. Cook the barley according to the package directions.
  2. Combine walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse.
  3. Add the basil and pulse to combine.
  4. Add the goat cheese and pulse to combine.
  5. Slowly stream in the olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Combine the pesto, sundried tomato, and barley, stirring to combine.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Real Men Love Quiche: Greens Quiche

Breakfast for dinner isn't really a new concept.

I remember, when I was growing up, we ate breakfast for dinner for one of two reasons.  The first, was if you were sick.  Sick kids got scrambled eggs and toast for dinner.  But we also got scrambled eggs and toast when dad was out of town sometimes.  Because it was quick and easy.  (When mom was out of town we got sloppy joes)

I like the idea of breakfast for dinner, but usually I want something a little more substantial than scrambled eggs and toast.  Like a quiche.  Which is like a pizza, but without the sauce....

This quiche is filled with dark leafy greens, which I adore.  The rest of the family doesn't love them as much, but in this quiche, everyone was happy.  Thatboy had seconds and mentioned again and again how good it was.  Thatbaby started with the crust, but it wasn't long before he was as interested in the eggy filling.

And the best part about quiche for dinner?  Leftovers for breakfast!

Greens Quiche
1 recipe for pie dough
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups cream
 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

  1. Preheat oven 350. Place dough in pie pan and prick crust. Bake for 5 minutes & remove from oven.
  2.  Heat oil in skillet and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the kale, spinach, and mushrooms and cook until the greens are wilted.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and cream.
  5. Add the vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on the bottom of the par-baked crust.
  7. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Week in a Weekend

WHEW.  I'm still recovering from my "easy-no-plans-weekend."  Isn't that always the case?  We have nothing planned this weekend!  We can just hang out and relax!  And get done the million and one errands that need to get done.  So what did I do this weekend?


- Went for a 3 mile run.
- Got my oil changed.
- Picked up a trash can for recycling.  It's amazing that 6 years with a dog we never had to worry about covering our garbage can. 1 1/2 years with a toddler means everything needs a cover or your empty beer bottles and chicken broth boxes will find their way into his hands.
- Went to 3 grocery stores! (Trader Joes, Supermarket, Asian Market)

 -  When I got home from the errands, it was time to kick it into high gear in the kitchen.  M just had her second boy!  He's adorable and the mirror image of his older brother.  Meaning the exact opposite.  A dark mop of hair instead of hair so blonde it's invisible.  I think he looks more like M.  I used the weekend to make a boatload of food for them to drop off this week.

A roast chicken, so they can use it for whatever they want - salads, tacos, pasta, so versatile!

 A pasta dish, because it freezes so well.  I made chicken tetrazzini.

And chili, which also freezes well.  I love packing in a soup, stew or chili.

- Of course, I couldn't make all that food for someone else and leave us hungry.  So I made crabs with marinara for dinner.


- I finished up my care package with some peanut butter banana muffins, so they have a quick easy breakfast.  Especially since M is breastfeeding, so one-handed food is key.

- I pulled the muffins from the oven and we headed out to the beach.  I went on a 4.5 mile run, with a great view.  I haven't done a good beach run since I was training for a half. So this was nice.

While I ran, my boys kept themselves occupied.

When I met up with them, they were playing a little ball.

Thatboy said it was difficult keeping Thatbaby out of the water.

He wasn't kidding.  Thatbaby LOVES swimming.  He didn't care that he wasn't in his swim suit.

- We came home, and while Thatbaby napped, I headed back in the kitchen.  Thatboy asked me to make some cookies for Administration Assistant Appreciation day at his work.  So I baked some oatmeal raisin walnut pecan cookies.

I also packed our lunches for Monday, and roasted a duck with potatoes for Monday night's dinner.

- When Thatbaby woke up from his nap, we brought him to the other new playground.  The one that's closer to our place.  He had a fantastic time even though he looks miserable in all these pictures.

My biggest complaint about this playground is that they took out the baby swings with the renovation and only put in big kid swings.   But Thatbaby made it work.

And Thatbaby got a grandma surprise!  Thatmom came down to join us and head to dinner.

- We headed to a new restaurant we've been dying to try from my favorite San Diego chef.

They had live music, so our little dance master was anxious to bust a move.

- And then Thatmom headed home, while we headed to try out a new ice cream place.  It's like Coldstone, where you can mix and match flavors and toppings.  But unlike Coldstone, all the mixing is done in a liquid state, and then the ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen!

- We came home and put Thatbaby to bed.  Then I headed back into the kitchen once more, for more cookies, this time applesauce cookies!

- And after I pulled them from the oven - I went to bed.  Almost.  Thatboy and I folded laundry and THEN I went to bed.  Because I deserved it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For Boston: Boston Cookies

On Wednesday night, Thatboy had a nightmare.  It involved the three of us in a plane crash in the streets of LA where there were in hiding because of the street warfare/rioting.  When we awoke on Friday, Thatboy told me it was like his dream had come true.  There was a war going on in the streets of Boston, he told me.  While we waited for Thatbaby to wake up, we updated ourselves on the news.  A deadly manhunt for the Marathon bombers. 

Friday, like most of the country, I spent the workday alternating between work and live feeds of the manhunt progress.  When we were both home, I updated Thatboy with the lack of success.  We ate and I headed out for my run, thinking about the people of Boston, the community trying to heal, lacking closure, and still in fear.

I ran into my neighbor as I returned from my run.  "They caught him" she informed me, and filled me in on the details.  No preface was needed.  That simple sentence - she knew I would know what she was referring to.  We all, as a nation, were of one mind.

And on Friday, we joined as a nation - not in celebration, because there is nothing to celebrate.  The catching of a terrorist isn't laudable, because there is still so much sadness connected with the act.  But we joined as a nation in a sigh of relief.  That at least we could sleep a little easier that night.  That there would be no more gunfire or explosions on the streets of Boston.  No more innocent lives lost in relation to this incident.

It's a feeling of comfort, knowing that we as a nation can come together and fight an injustice.  A feeling of safety, knowing the men and women in law enforcement risk their lives so we may be protected.  And so I made cookies.  Not just any cookies.  Boston cookies.  You know my love for the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Fannie Farmer, the author of the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, includes in her book a recipe for Boston cookies.  There's no explanation as to the name, but the description is : "Chewy, wholesome, full of good tastes and textures."  And the idea of a wholesome cookie, filled with good taste seems to be just what we need right about now.

Boston Cookies (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1/ tsp baking soda
few grains of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter some cookie sheets.  Cream the butter.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, mixing well.
  3. Beat in the egg.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and add to the first mixture, blending thoroughly.
  5. Add the nuts and raisins and mix well.  Arrange by spoonfuls, 1 inch apart o the cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes, or until delicately brown.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mommy Mondays: Toddler Terrors

On Friday, I picked up Thatbaby from daycare at the same time another mom was picking up her daughter.  As the two kids ran towards the playground laughing and screaming, the other mother turned to me.  "I love Thatbaby.  He's always so happy."

I laughed.  I laughed because I would never describe Thatbaby as "always happy."  As if to emphasize my point, Thatboy asked me at dinner that night "How many years do you think it will be where we can have a whole evening without crying?"

Thatbaby is going through the terrible toddlerhood.  It starts around 1 and from what I hear continues until.......the terrible teens?

We're in a difficult position to, because discipline isn't entirely effective at this age.  And I walk a narrow line between what is normal toddler behavior and not letting my child turn into a spoiled brat who gets whatever he wants.

Two weeks ago we had another parent/teacher conference for Thatbaby.  I love these meetings because they reinforce that Thatbaby's behaviors are not only normal, but good.  GOOD?  Yup.  You read that right.  The tantrums are listed as positive developmental steps according to the DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile).  I joke with his educators that the evaluation makes it sound good that our child is a brat.  I thought I'd share with you some of the behaviors we typically characterize as negative, and how they're actually positive.

Measure 3: Self Expression
  • Pushing away something the teacher offers is a sign of responding to people or things in the environment through action and or sounds.
  • Dropping something repeatedly to be picked up, and trying to take a toy from another child is a sign of expressing self by repeating actions that have an effect.
  • Holding onto a toy when someone tries to take it and crying and rolling on the floor when very frustrated are signs of asserting self by expressing needs, feelings, or desires through simple actions.
Measure 8: Impulse Control
  • Reaching and grabbing food on another person's plate is a sign of taking action to get needs or wants met without considering impact on others or self. 
Measure 10: Relationship with Familiar Adults
  • Repeating negative behavior that earlier brought attention is a sign of initiating interactions regularly based on past experiences.
Measure 16: Communication of Needs, Feelings, and Interests
  • Playing with the meaning of the word "no" is a sign of using a variety of simple words or gestures to communicate needs, feelings, and interests.
Measure 20: Cause and Effect
  • Pushing things off a table and watching or listening to them fall is trying out behaviors to cause things to happen.
Measure 25: Curiosity
  • Trying to paint on self and other surfaces instead of paper is exploring new ways to use familiar materials.
Measure 28: Numbers
  • Putting toys in a basket and then dumping the basket is recognizing that there are different amounts of things.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Salad Season: Chicken and Couscous Salad

I am SO excited for spring.  Even though it doesn't feel especially spring-y right now.  It's wet and cold.  Definitely still winter.

Nonetheless, I am ready for bright, crisp, produce.  Salads that crunch.  That watery goodness of spring vegetable flavors. 

And the only thing better than a spring salad that is full of those veggies, is one that comes together quickly.  Which I guess, could be said to be true of all salads.  They make fabulous weeknight meals because they are easy to throw together.  

And they're incredibly versatile.  This is definitely the season for lettuces and greens, but for a little versatility, you can throw a grain in there in its place.  Bulgar, wheatberries, quinoa, or couscous.  This chicken and couscous salad is a great way to combine spring vegetables, leftover chicken, and couscous (one of my favorite grains).  It is fresh and springy with bite!  Like our Southern California springs.

Chicken and Couscous Salad

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 box couscous
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
5 radishes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  1. Whisk together first  6 ingredients.  Set aside.
  2. Bring broth to a boil.  Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to coucous, toss to combine.
  4. Pour dressing over salad, tossing to combine.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birthday-palooza: Cauliflower Curry

Sunday was a very exciting day for us.  Thatbaby attended not one, but three birthday parties.  April 14 is apparently a very popular day to be born!

All dressed and ready to go.

The first party was a Dr. Seuss party for Thatbaby's classmate who I will henceforth refer to as "Seuss."  Seuss is one of our favorite kids, and has been since they were both in the infant room together.  He was the youngest of the "big kids" so he was left behind with Thatbaby and the rest of the li'l 'uns when the older kids moved on.  Obviously he eventually joined them, and we were sad not to see his smiling face every day.  In fact, when Thatbaby moved up to the Wobbler room, I comforted myself in knowing that Seuss would be there.  But Seuss moved into the Toddler room at the same time, so they didn't get to rejoin each other's company till this past month when Thatbaby moved up to the Toddler room.

Seuss's party was at a park, which means - yup!  SWINGS!  And a lot of Thatbaby's daycare friends.  It gave us a chance to get to know some parents a bit better, but before too long we had to wave "buh-bye" and head to:


Party #2!  It's hard to believe that Baby K is one year old already!  Thatbaby didn't know anyone at this party other than Baby K, who had his hands full as a gracious host, being passed from adoring fan to adoring fan.  But there was plenty to keep him occupied with tunnels and balls.  And then Thatbaby found the gummy bears, and he decided this was his favorite party he had ever been to.  Nevertheless, his social obligations required him to move on to:

Party #3! Little Pirate lives right around the corner from us, so this party was at a playground we were really familiar with - right at our neighborhood beach!  More playground = more swinging.  Although Thatbaby also enjoyed munching on fruit and kicking a soccer ball around.  And eating sand, which is another favorite pastime of his.  Since we turned up at the tail end of this party, there was a lot of letting Thatbaby do his own thing while we hung out with the Pirates.  Thatboy even got in a game of toss with Mr. Pirate (is that what you call it when you throw a football back and forth?)  And then, after everything had been packed up and put away, we headed home.  Exhausted.  Well, Thatboy and I were exhausted.  Thatbaby was in high spirits.

I'm always trying to find new ways to use cauliflower.  It's a vegetable I really want to like, but I don't.  Neither does Thatboy.  But we don't want to pass this aversion on to Thatbaby.  So I try to incorporate it every so often into our mealplan.  I've seen several recipes that treat cauliflower like steak, slicing it and the grilling it.  Listen friends-  cauliflower is no steak substitute.  However, the idea of using it in place of meat isn't a terrible idea.  So a stew that makes heavy of use cauliflower, cooked until nice and tender is something I can get behind.  Especially when full of chickpeas, which is something the whole family enjoys.

Chickpea Stew

1 cup couscous 
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 can whole tomato
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup raisins

  1. Prepare couscous according to box. 
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.   
  3. Add the cumin, ginger, salt and pepper to taste and cook just until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and their juice, chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and half a cup of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Serve over couscous.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For Boston: Chicken Meat Sauce

It's amazing how something that makes you feel so good, can also make you so vulnerable.  It's not the first time I've had that thought.

On February 25, 2010, 17 year old Chelsea King was raped and murdered while on a popular jogging trail in a suburban San Diego community.  Runners from around the county continue to run in her memory.

As a morning runner for years, the idea of my vulnerability always played on the edges of my consciousness as I ran in those early, pre-sunrise hours.  It's the reason I run with Thatdog, always carrying my phone.  Now, running in the evenings, I ensure my route does not keep me on the unlit trail after the sun goes down.

Yesterday, Thatboy texted me with news of Boston, asking if I knew anyone running this year.  I didn't, but at the same time - as a I runner, I do.  I will probably never qualify for the Boston Marathon - it's not one of my life goals.  But I know the feeling of those runners.  I know the work and dedication they went through to get there.  I know the feeling of accomplishment, the adrenaline rush.  And when something happens to those runners, it happens to us all.  Whether you were there or not, we all suffered on Monday.  Runners don't wear padding.  We expect our bodies to be sore, and certain injuries are just about inevitable, but there are something things you don't expect. 

Tonight on my run I passed several other runners.  More than I usually do on my evening run.  We did the typical runner's nod as we passed each other - but tonight there was something more there.  A moment for those who lost their lives, for those who were injured.  I've always said that I run because I can.  I know how lucky I am to be able to go out and run, even for a short distance when so many can't.  My thoughts go to those in Boston.  The runners, their families and friends, the community in general.  And I hope we are able to heal.

As I said, I went on a run tonight, as did many others.  Running in support of those in Boston.  Because we will not stop running.  We will not stay inside and give up.  And in honor of that, I'm sharing a great carb-loading recipe with you.  For all the runners, wanna-be runners, and supporters of runners.

Chicken Meat Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, sliced 
1/3 cup white wine
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
3 springs parsley, chopped
1 cup basil, chiffonade
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Brown chicken, and remove from heat.
  2. Add onion, sundried tomato and garlic to pan and cook until onion is transluscent.
  3. Add wine, scraping pan to remove browned pieces of chicken.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken and continue to cook for 15 more minutes.  Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in the parsley and basil.  Serve over your favorite pasta.