Monday, October 8, 2012

My first marathon!

So I did it! I ran 26.2 miles yesterday! There I am with a piece of bread in my mouth and chocolate milk in my hand and a medal around my neck.   I am so glad I finished!

But I HURT EVERYWHERE...around mile 16 something happened to my foot... it didn't feel good and got worse over the last 10 miles.  I made the first half in 1:59:42 - on track for my fuzzy goal of around 4 hours... but due to the foot injury, the second half was a very very painful 2:24:32... for a finish time of 4:24:14.  Still not bad, though, for a first marathon and with an injury.  Here are some pics!

Brandon made a sweatshirt.  he is the cutest husband alive.

How awesome is that??!?

Here I am pre-race in the long line for the restrooms.  It was in the low 40s!

But I was feeling positive:

There are the racers starting to gather at the start line...

There I am checking out my watch settings and trying to stay calm..

I'm lining up to go... Oh and by the way I realized about 2 minutes into the race that Lupa bit through the wire on one of my earphones... AGAIN... that little ****!! I had to run the race with music in one ear... nothing like a kitten...

There I am waving goodbye!

There I go! (Brandon met me at 4 points during the race.  He is amazing!)

Here I come!  (don't mind the creepy guy with his tongue out...)

There I go again!

My Mom and Eddie showed up with some awesome signs!


So the million dollar question: will I do another marathon?  we will have to wait and see... 

Pear Almond Tart

Wow!  This is by far one of the most beautiful and - being a sucker for any pastry that contains almond filling - one of the most delicious things I have ever made.  I could really die.  It is, I'm afraid also one of the most time consuming.  Between the pastry, the pears, and the filling, it takes a day to make.  (Although you can used canned pears, and many people do and I hear it is just as good).  Also you can make each part of the recipe (the pears, tart pastry and filling) 2 days ahead and just assemble and bake on the day of. 

I think I would say this tart is worth the time and effort for a special occasion.  Or if you really just want to bake some day and make something beautiful... probably not the best potluck food I must say... it gets a little lost in the assortment and is very rich.

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetite February 2005.


 4 cups water
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 T fresh lemon juice
3 medium firm but ripe Bosc pears

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
9 T. (1 stick plus 1 T) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour

Almond Filling:
2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 T all purpose flour
7 T sugar
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

For pears:

Peel them.

Combine 4 cups water, sugar and lemon juice to boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add pears.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are very tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Cool pears in syrup.  (Can be made two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate). 

For crust:

Add to food processor 1/4 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup powdered sugar

and 1/4 tsp salt

Blend until nuts are finely ground

Add 9 T. butter and blend until smooth:

Mix in 1 egg yoke:

Add 1-1/4 cup flour:

Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in clumps.

Gather dough into a ball, flatten into disk. 

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours (can be made 2 days ahead. keep refrigerated). 

For filling:

Add 2/3 cup slivered almonds to food processor

and 1 T. flour

Blend until almonds are finely ground.

Add 7 T sugar, then 6 T unsalted butter and blend until smooth

Mix in 1 large egg

Transfer filling to bowl and chill at least 3 hours (can be made 2 days ahead. keep chilled).

OK I could eat that with a spoon!


Position rack in center of oven and preheat it to 375.  Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free it from paper.  Using paper as aid, turn dough into a 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper.  Seal any cracks in dough.  Trim overhand to 1/2 inch.  Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides.  Pierce crust all over with fork.  Freeze crust 10 minutes.

 Line crust with buttered foil, buttered side down, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. 

Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and beans.  Bake crust until sides are golden and bottom is set, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 10 minutes longer.  Cool crust in pan on rack.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Spread almond filling evenly in crust. 

Stem pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores.  Cut each half crosswise into think slices.  Gently press each pear half to fan slices but keep slices tightly overlapped.  Slide spatula under pears and arrange atop filling like spokes of wheel with narrow ends in center. 

Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool tart in pan on rack.  Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan.

Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.