Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's good to try new things. (like a blog with a recipe!)

I must be getting older. I get super excited over things that once upon a time I would have scoffed at. Take, for example, my new rice cooker.

This thing was $35 at Target! Game Changer!

Holy #@%^ this thing rocks. It is completely possible I may die of rice poison before I get tired of it. Of course, it may have something to do with these tasty "energy bars" I read about on the interwebs.

There are a million ways you could vary it, but here's the tentative "perfect" energy bar so far.

What you need:
- Sticky rice (sushi rice worked for me too, and my local grocery store stocked it.)
- Powdered Peanut Butter (PB2 makes it. Works a lot better than *real* peanut butter.)
- Craisins
- Sugar
- Salt
- Cashews (or nuts of your choice)
- Bacon (it makes everything better...duh)
* Cooking spray
* Muffin tray / whatever you are going to shape it in.

Fill the rice cooker with water and rice. Let it sit for a while (an hour or so, makes it stickier) then cook to the directions of your machine. Once the rice is done spoon it out onto a board or baking sheet or whatever. Let it cook a bit (you'll regret it if you don't... burns are bad.) Next cook some bacon (I used that pre-cooked 10" microwave stuff.) let it get crunchy and break it up. Now dump all the other stuff (or whatever you came up with) onto your rice mound. It should look similar to this.

A gooey plate full of awesomeness.

Ok, Now get it all mixed up (coat hands with non-stick spray and mix. Make sure you don't burn the crap out of yourself.) and start scooping it into your muffin tray. (that's what I used. I assume any bread tray would work too if you don't mind chopping it into smaller pieces later.)

This is important... SMASH the crap out of it. You need to pack that delicious rice concoction TIGHT in there... otherwise it'll crumble later. use something to compress it more...put some weight into it for Christ sake. Now, shove it in the fridge and let it cool some more... you should end up with something like this.

Couldn't even resist long enough to take a picture!

And there you have it. Of course I'm certainly not done experimenting, but it's nice to have something other than the same old energy bars to take along on a long ride. You will need some of that sandwich foil (paper on one side, foil on the other) to wrap and take them with you, but other than that these things are quick, simple and CHEAP to make, and you can customize them to your specifications.

Ok, end of the Iron Chef talk... how about trying some new shoes out...

My butt is going to be so shaped.

Runningwarehouse had these guys on sale, and my curiosity got the better of me. I had been looking for a shoe to run in on my *easy* days (and to swap out from my Mizuno's every now and then) and these Hoka's seemed like the perfect thing. I've only ran in them a couple of times so far, but some takeaways I've had.
- They didn't revolutionize running for me or anything. I still prefer my Wave Riders for an everyday shoe and certainly my Zoot's or Adidas for race day.
- They are a legit running shoe. Much more responsive than I had given them credit for and plush without being spongy.
- They have a fairly nice (if cheapish looking) upper and tongue.
- They are EXPENSIVE (msrp was like $160 I think...) - although I suppose you would very likely get a LOT of miles out of them, so it might balance out.
- They are funny looking (but that's ok)

More about the Hoka's in the future after I get more miles in on them. I think that while they probably won't ever be my personal go to shoe, they are a real option for people looking for a bit more cushion without delving into marshmallow land.

Finally... this weekend is Rev3 Knoxville. Historically I've never had the best luck here on the home turf, but I'm hoping to change that come Sunday. It's going to be an important stepping stone towards Nationals... as I'll know just how close to hitting some of the bigger goals I really am. I am feeling pretty good about it overall, my swimming and running are both improved from last year, and I suspect my bike power is close to where it was at the end of last season. (finally...whew) With a good day and semi-good weather I am hoping for a nice PR.

Ahh and the Cervelo gets to come out and play! Maiden Voyage in a race!

Sadly I can't take the C5 ;)
So hopefully I'll have a positive race report for you guys next week!

Thanks so much for reading! Hopefully you'll try the rice cakes!

- Christopher Morelock

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