Buzzard's Beat

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast

When I wasn't huddled around the heater trying to stay warm out here on the arctic plains this past weekend, I was catching up on my Pinterest recipe collection and cooking. I stumbled across what may be my FAVORITE beef roast recipe. Bonus: it called for ingredients I already had on hand and was super easy.

Buzzard's Crockpot Balsamic Beef Roast

2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
~ 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
~ 2 tbsp soy sauce
~ 2 tbsp honey
~ 1 tsp red pepper flakes
~ 4 cloves garlic, chopped

Assemble all of your ingredients, including a beef roast. The amount of marinade will work for a roast up to 3-4 pounds.
Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Gather your ingredients

Mix together all of your ingredients. Place beef roast in your Crockpot and pour mixture over the beef. Our roast was about 1.25-1.5 pounds and it was the perfect medium-rare doneness after about 2 hours on high. If you have a larger roast (3-4) pounds, you could do 4 hours on high or probably 6 hours on low.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Pour the ingredient mixture onto your roast. Look at all that garlic, yum!
When done, place beef roast in a serving dish and spoon gravy and beef bits over the meat to moisten and infuse with deliciousness.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Robust flavor and so very delicious!
Please, for the sake of all things holy, don't cook your beef to well-done! You only need to cook the roast to 145F!

If you try this one out, let me know how you liked it. We LOVED it - the flavor was robust and the roast stayed very moist. This will definitely be a repeat in our house.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm Not a Runner

Snowy road in Kansas
 Kansas is pretty even when it's freezing and snowy!
My running path on Monday - it has since snowed two more inches.
I read a lot of news and while skimming for beef related articles, I come across a lot of health related news as well. And as someone who has initiated a lifestyle change, it's hard not to be drawn to these kinds of articles:
- 7 Things Runners Do On Long Runs (But Probably Won't Admit)
- 10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015
- Do you give things up during #Lent? As #runners, here are some things we should never sacrifice
- 5 Core Workouts for Runners 

These pieces all have great tips for runners.

Keyword: runners.

Key note: I don't really consider myself a runner.

I feel very cocky when I utter the words "I'm a runner" and I feel super awkward when someone calls me one. This doesn't mean that I think those folks who say, "I'm a runner" are cocky, I'm just describing how I feel.

Cold? Run anyway.
The thing is that I feel like throwing the word "runner" around indicates that I do this for a living. Similar to people who say that they're writers, engineers or teachers. I feel like saying "I'm a runner" elevates me to a new level of professionalism and I definitely don't feel like a professional. Especially when I'm not breaking any speed barriers or winning half-marathons.

However, in the course of a week (2/15-2/21) I will have ran five times for a total of 20 miles and all of it in below-freezing weather. So maybe I am a runner after all, because a big part of running, training and racing is just getting out there and DOING IT. Nike is right, just doing it is a big accomplishment. There is no shortage of runners in the spring, summer and fall when the temperatures are warmer (although I despise hot weather more than freezing) but there are not near as many folks pounding the pavement/gravel when the ground is covered in snow and the wind is howling. So I guess Just Doing It is the qualifier for being a runner.

Just the thoughts of a "runner" who is FREEZING out here on the Kansas tundra prairie and really wishing for the temperature to get above 40°F for several days in a row.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

* If you are wanting to train for a half-marathon and are looking for a training schedule, check out the Hal Higdon's programs. This is the one I'm using for my next race.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm Pretty Good At This, But I Pretty Much Hate It

Running shoes on gravel road
I'm not one for selfies - I'd rather be in group photos so here are my lovely kicks.
I ran long distances in middle and high school and I was pretty good at it.

Let's not confuse the above statement for "I love running" because that is inaccurate.

Being good at something doesn't necessarily mean you love it, which is why after I graduated high school I stopped running long distances for an entire decade.

Fast-forward to 2014 and a lifestyle that no longer had me riding two horses a day, practicing for basketball/volleyball/track/cheerleading/roping, walking all over campus or working 20 hours a week doing manual labor at a nursery (that's a tree nursery, not a kid one) and Buzzard was looking kind of frumpy. Picture that - a frumpy Buzzard.

I have some really smart, beautiful and talented friends who run and one of them, Kylee, unintentionally motivated me to run a half marathon. I don't think that was her intent but, if so, bravo to her because it got me off the couch, out of my office and onto the [gravel] roads of Kansas. I signed up for my first half marathon, the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo on April 27, 2014, and the next step was to find a training program. I'm a big fan of Hal Higdon's programs - he'll whip you into shape and you won't even realize how hard you're working because it's gradual and planned. There's even an app for that!

Out into the wild I went, pounding the gravel in my Nike Free 5.0 runners.* I ran four times a week and finished well under my goal time of 2:11:00 (10 min/mile). After that emotional high of, "Holy crap I ran a half marathon" I signed up for another and ran the Sioux Falls Half Marathon with my close pal Becca and we both finished under 2:00 (new PR!). I started training for my third race that was to take place two days after Christmas but then I was an idiot and went skiing two weeks before the race. I played softball for 12 years and have bad knees - skiing is not such a great idea for me. My idiocy forced me not to run that race but since I am adamantly opposed to buying larger pants, I have recently started training for another race.

So I told you all of that nonsense to tell you this: I don't like running. What I do like is how I look when I'm in shape (bikini season is coming). Additionally, and probably most importantly, is my extreme love for food and equally as strong lack of moderation. I like ice cream. And donuts. And cookies. And Cheetos (crunchy, of course). And a whole lot of unhealthy fried things. Basically, I love carbs.

In short, I run to look good and eat whatever the hell I want. So if you see me chowing down on a chicken fried steak covered in gravy, it's probably because I ran 7+ miles that day and dammit, I earned it. Also, if I'm being honest, I'm very competitive and running allows me to set a goal and then exceed it. That gives me a "competitor's high."

Over the next ten weeks, I'll be posting my training schedule and, more than likely, food patterns for my next race in April, the Garmin Half Marathon in KC. I'm running it with my good friend Kelly and she too will be blogging about her training. Even though we are training for the same race, the posts will be different because we are different people with different food interests and goals.

The whole point of this post is that people run for different reasons -- their heart health, their body image, to eat what they want, to clear their head, to listen to their favorite tunes for hours on end, etc. Regardless of why people do it, the point is that we are all running the same race but for different reasons. And that's something to be celebrated.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

*Don't run long distances in Nikes. My chiropractor calls them sandals, so that should be your indication of how supportive Nikes are when running more than 10 miles on a regular basis. I was at the point where I could barely walk but for some reason, I kept running. Use your head, people. Invest in good running shoes. The cost of the shoes will be offset by the money you'll save from NOT going to the chiropractor twice a week.

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