Archive | July, 2015

body image

29 Jul

I just read this article (blog?) by professional female runners who have body image issues. (Side note: There are also some interesting articles by them about the serious lack of women participating in ultras.) Wait…women who are crushing ultras, who are 5 feet tall and barely 100 pounds, women who are solid muscle, some of the strongest PEOPLE in the world…they have body image issues, too????

 

I’ve always had some pretty deep seated body image issues.  From hearing as a kid that I should stop running around so much because my legs were too muscular and not “feminine” enough.  From overhearing the popular girls at school saying that I was cute but my legs were too thick.  From forever being the “skinny Minnie” because I wasn’t really skinny (and then subsequently having my body compared to other girls’ bodies).  From growing up and watching the beautiful women in college diet and point out their flaws.  From watching TV and flipping through magazines and seeing what “beauty” was and realizing it wasn’t me and never would be (no matter what, I’ll never be 5′ 10″ with long legs…)

 

Infertility has compounded that in a thousand ways.  There are a bunch of different meds and they can be combined in a bunch of different ways.  They can make you gain weight.  They can bloat you.  They can make you break out.  Basically anything that can make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, like you’re a teenager in high school again…  Every night that Eric has had to pinch my belly fat to give me my shot, I thought, “OMG my husband is pinching my stomach fat right now. This is humiliation at its finest. Why is he even with my disgusting self anymore?”  It’s easy to get caught up in those thoughts–my body is a flawed, unlovable mess–especially in those moments injecting drugs on the couch, especially when things aren’t going well and the only results of all the stomach-fat-pinching are more stomach fat/bloat to pinch.

 

I hate seeing myself in running pictures.  I always look terrible–I forever have bitch face (because I’m concentrating, I suppose), my legs look short and squat (especially if the picture captures that moment when your foot is touching down on the ground–NO ONE looks good right then) and my stomach is always fat.  I. Hate. Them.    Every now and then I see one that is not the worst picture ever and am all “maybe the tide is finally turning and I’m going to start looking good in running pictures.” Then another one comes out, and I’m like, “welp, there it is…back to square one.” I’m working on getting over it.  I mean…not many people look good running an ultra, right?????

 

But as much as I hate seeing how I look in pictures, the truth is, I can’t hate my body when I’m actually in the moment, actually running.   I can’t hate the body that has carried me up, down, all around some pretty beautiful places and accomplished some pretty awesome things.  I’ve seen amazing things because my “thick” legs have brought me to them.  We’ve done an awful lot, me and this “flawed” body of mine.

 

It’s just one more reason that I love running.  Because running has taught me that I’m not just “thick.”  I’m strong.  Super strong.  I can hike a 46er (fast), I can run 50 miles all at once, I can hike with a 20-30 pound pack on my back all day long, I can swim, canoe for miles, ride a mountain bike, lug around a sobbing kindergartener until she knows that she is loved and going to be ok and can stop crying for her mommy…

body image

This quote was in my head a bunch on Saturday.

I’ve been trying really hard to be better about body image.  I’ve toyed recently with throwing out the bathroom scale–it’s been bothering me too much lately.  I’m trying to care more about how I feel, who I am inside, how my clothes fit, getting faster, going farther, climbing more, rather than the number on the scale.  For some reason, Mendon made me really think a lot about this, and the quote about Mother Theresa went through my head about a million times…it’s one of my favorites all-time.  Power hiking up some of those hills last Saturday, hands on my thighs, I realized how solid they have become–I could feel the muscles with every step, pushing my body forward.  And instead of feeling sad that I didn’t have “girly legs” (whatever that means) or ashamed that I was “too muscular,” I was proud of the hard work and adventure that has built my body (and mind) into what it is–and excited to see what new adventures are waiting for us.  Because the truth is that every body is flawed, even the beautiful superstars in the magazines.  And if I had to choose between having my flawed-but-strong body or being the girl in the magazines, I would pick me.  Every single time.

Why I Run: 2 Kinds of Pain

25 Jul

In the HOURS of running I’ve been doing, I’ve had an awful lot of time to contemplate why I run and have come to a conclusion: There are 2 major types of pain.

First, there’s the pain that you don’t have any say in…the pain caused by forces so far outside of your control that all you can do is hang on and muddle through as best as you can.  This is the pain of being helpless and out of control, which has been probably the hardest part of infertility for me–knowing that I can want something, I can work incredibly hard for something, but that might just not be enough.  I mean, who knew there were things that you couldn’t “work hard enough and get”?  So there’s nothing to do but keep doing stinging shots every night, admiring belly bruises, watching my tummy bloat up, going to the doctor as much (more than?) a geriatric patient, and crying…lots and lots of crying (so much that you start looking up trivia facts about tears).  You cry in bed at night, you cry in the shower, you cry in the middle of a run, randomly, for no real reason–you’re just out running and realize there are tears streaming down your face because the pain is apparently that insidious that you didn’t even notice you’d started crying.

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And this kind of pain…it sucks.  Of course, for a control-freak planner like me, this kind of pain is the worst kind.  There is nothing you can do about it.  Give up trying?  I’ll still be upset about not being a mom (although not having to worry about needles and catheters-through-the-cervix and doctor appointments would be pretty awesome).

But then there’s the second type of pain–the one that you CAN control.  The pain that you can CHOOSE to put your body through.  Because while you’re out in the woods, running 20+ miles (or sometimes even less than that), you are bound to feel pain or at least discomfort.  But it’s completely within your control.  You can manage that pain a thousand different ways–stop and stretch, take a walk break, crack a joke about it, count your footsteps to take your mind off the pain, eat some skittles…or just straight up quit.  Stopping the run will cease your pain.

z2

And as a control freak, being able to control some pain, when there is so SO much pain right now that is out of my control, is a wonderful, empowering thing.  Last night, I met up with Mike to check out his loop for MM99.  We ran 5.5ish miles, and I felt like crap for a good chunk of it. I decided to do only one loop with the group we were meeting at 7 for nighttime, in-the-dark miles.  But we met up with that group, and suddenly, time started flying by.  We were all shifting positions in the group, so there was always someone new to talk to, and the conversations ranged from silly to serious.  The first loop finished, and I was tired…but not done.  So I went back out again.  By the end of this loop, I was suffering.  We’d already done 2 miles of foot golf, and I had been running for almost 5 hours by then…a smallish group decided to go out for another short loop to make it to 11 PM.  My back was locked up…It hurt.  BAD.  I thought about staying at the car…I’d put in 18 solid miles of trail running…and then I decided to run through the pain.  Maybe my back would loosen up a bit and once I was out, then I’d just have to stay with the group (because no way in hell I was going to run alone in the woods at night!).  Every step was torture–the pain would just jolt through my back.  But we did another 2 and a quarterish miles.

water stop and selfie during loop 1, about 10 miles into my run last night...

water stop and selfie during loop 1, about 10 miles into my run last night…

I realized then that I was supposed to be meeting Mike and Ron again at 7:30 AM (so about 8 hours) to run some MM99 loops again and finalize some stuff…I promptly sent a message that I might not make it.  It’s a little over 30 minutes to get from our house to Mendon, and we still had to do shots and I had to eat something.  I set my alarm and decided to decide in the morning…We went to bed at 1, I woke up around 6:30 and decided…I was going back to Mendon to at least finalize my loop of the relay course.  We slowly finished my loop and the guys decided to go back out for a little more…I started with them, but the first major climb took all the wind out of my sails.  I left them to go run fast and went to do my own (slow) thing.  I added an additional 5k to my morning miles. It was a 5k of absolute pain cave, compounded by a phone call from the doctor’s office right smack in the middle.  I could’ve stopped.  I could’ve cut back to the car.  I could’ve called it.  But I didn’t.  I was in control of this pain, and it felt good to feel bad.  On my way back to the car, I realized how absolutely gorgeous a morning it had been.

started to feel sorry for myself, then I took a good look around and realized that THIS is beauty.

Just when I started to feel sorry for myself this morning, I took a good look around and realized that THIS is a beautiful world, even with the uncontrollable pain.

So I run.  As a lesson in controllable pain.  I run: long, short, alone, with people, laughing, having serious conversations, with the dog, with Eric, easy trails, hard trails, in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the sunshine…I run because it’s pain that I can control, and being in control of SOMETHING feels really amazing, EVEN if it’s something that doesn’t always feel good in the moment.  Because afterwards, when I look back on all the friendships forged, the conversations had, the sweat and even sometimes tears, the controlled pain somehow becomes worth it.  Maybe the uncontrollable pain will someday be worth it, too…

Potato Zucchini Patties–another new recipe hooray!

15 Jul

Before we left for camp, I noticed that our zucchini plants had a number of small zucc’s already there…they were kind of tiny to pick, but I didn’t want them to rot and I wanted the plant to keep making more squash.  So I picked some of the little guys, took them to camp, proceeded not to use them at all, brought them home with us AND had some MASSIVE zucchini growing on the plants when we got home.

The top ones are the ones from before we left (smallish sized ones you could buy at the grocery store).  The bottom guys are the ones from when we got home!

The top ones are the ones from before we left (smallish sized ones you could buy at the grocery store). The bottom guys are the ones from when we got home!

I started researching what to do with all this squash (there are more growing already!) and someone (Elyse I think?) sent me this recipe for zucchini potato fritters.  I decided to give them a try.

It seemed to take a very long time to prep this recipe, and neither Eric nor I was particularly excited about the end results.  Eric said all he could taste was the carrot.  All I could taste was the thyme.  And I made a mess of them trying to pan fry them.

I was annoyed and frustrated that the experiment had “failed” (Eric: “Why do you always say ‘failed’ when things always taste fine?”), but then I decided to see if I could tweak the recipe to make it a. something we liked better by using more ingredients we love (and leaving out carrots and thyme, which we aren’t huge fans of) and b. something with at least a little protein in it.  I came up with a concoction that I think worked well…although I do want to tweak it some more.  In any event, these were pretty good, so here’s what I did.  Please note: I rarely use measuring cups/spoons, so my measurements are approximate. The beauty of cooking (and not baking)!

1.  Peel and cut up about 1 cup worth of potato.  Boil until you can stick a fork in easily.  Drain and let cool.

2.  While the potato is boiling, grate about 1 cup worth of zucchini into a small bowl.  When I make this next, I will probably use more zucc, but at least 1 cup is good.  Add a little salt and leave the zucchini to sit and “sweat out” some of the liquid.  Try not to be grossed out by the fact that your food is “sweating out” anything.

3.  Also while the potato is boiling, dice 1/4 cup onion.  [Side note: I. LOVE. ONION.  I rarely think anything is too onion-y.  If you aren’t an onion fan/if this seems like too much onion, you should use less onion…]

4.  In a larger bowl, mash your potato.  Don’t add milk or butter or anything–just smoosh that sucker up real good.

5. Then add in the onion.

6. Squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini–apparently you can use a cheesecloth for this, but who has one of those??? I picked up the zucc in my hands and just squeezed over the sink.  When most of the extra liquid’s out, add the zucchini to your potato mixture.

7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.  [Additional side note: I. ALSO. LOVE. GARLIC.  I know. Onion AND garlic.  Eric is so lucky, right?  Again, if this seems extreme to you, don’t add as much.  It’s cool.]

8.  In the bowl you had your zucchini in (because why dirty another bowl?), beat one large egg.  Add to the potato mixture and stir well.

hahaha there are dish towels with funny sayings like this on them...I think I need them...

hahaha there are dish towels with funny sayings like this on them…I think I need them…

9.  Add 1/4 cup flour to the mixture.  You may need to add a little more.  This will form a mooshy paste-y conglomeration.  You will, like me, think “Shme, there is no way this is going to work.”  It will.  Trust me.  Put the bowl in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.  Allegedly this will help hold the patties together AND they’ll absorb less oil.  IDK if this is actually a fact…  I put the potato mix in the fridge and cleaned up the kitchen from the prepping.

10.  Put enough oil into a skillet to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat it on low-medium heat.  Make sure it’s hot…give it a few minutes so it really is hot enough.  Be patient, young grasshopper (I am SO not patient with anything other than kids…)

11.  Now drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan.  Flatten slightly as you drop them to make little patties.  Leave them to sit for 5 minutes before trying to flip.  IMPORTANT: Do not try to flip them early–not that I tried to do that or anything…I am a very patient person…I would never get anxious and try to flip food too early…  So yeah, leave them for 5ish minutes to cook.  If, when you start to flip them, they are not goldeny brown on the bottoms, leave them for another minute or two.  When they are golden, flip and cook on the other side for another 5ish minutes.  Then take out, drain on a paper-towel-covered plate.  Serve with ketchup (because I love ketchup, too)!

When I plugged this recipe into my My Fitness Pal App, here’s what it says:

zucc

That makes them really high in fat (granted I didn’t measure how much canola oil I used, so I just put in 3 tablespoons in the app, which I think is probably really high and also the oil isn’t actually mixed into the recipe, but I don’t think there’s any way to account for it otherwise, so I just put it all into the recipe).  At least it’s mostly unsaturated fat…  In any event, next time I will try doing this with half a cup potato and half a cup of tofu and try to mess around with My Fitness Pal because I’m really curious how nutritious (or not) these things actually are…I mean, it’s just potato, zucchini and a little egg and flour…should be relatively healthy I think…

So to recap:

1.  We are going to use up all the zucchini if it kills me.  Stay tuned for other recipes I try…

2.  I love potatoes, onions, garlic and ketchup.

zucc

bringin it…or trying anyway…

Lemonade and fake abs

14 Jul

They say that you should always try to find the positive in every situation.  Ya know…when life hands ya lemons and all that.

My favorite quote is actually "when life hands you lemons, stick 'em in your bra--can't hurt, might help."  Sound advice.

My favorite quote is actually “when life hands you lemons, stick ’em in your bra–can’t hurt, might help.” Sound advice.

So without further ado, my lemonade moment of the day.  Eric is giving me my nightly shot.  Brilliant idea after the stinging subsides and I check out the small bruise starting to form on my tummy:

So the injection sites bruise (which is infrequent, but can still happen).  If we are strategic about where he gives the shots, maybe we can make fake abs for me…like sometimes people use makeup/airbrushing to make a six pack??? Same concept.   This actually made both of us laugh when I first expressed it aloud tonight, so hopefully for those of you going through the same crap, you will also get a kick out of it. 🙂

abs

love and adventure

12 Jul

The inaugural year of our Adirondack adventure (back in 2010!), I was beyond nervous–nervous to canoe our stuff out to an island, nervous to be out of cell service, nervous to be someplace we’d never been doing things we’d really never done, nervous to have to forego showers and flush toilets for an entire week (on our anniversary no less!)…

And every year since then I CRAVE all of these things (well…I’d love it if our island had a shower, but you can’t have it all or so I’ve been told)…

This year has been the year of changing up traditions that we’ve had since we started dating/first got married 6 years ago.  This trip was no different.  No one came with us for the first time in 5 years.  Just our little family, adventuring together.  We often adventure together alone, but not usually in Indian Lake.  As we sat at our campfire on night #4, Eric and I found ourselves talking about how lucky we are to be able to spend an entire week together, just us, much of the time together alone on an island.  There’s no Internet to lose yourself in.  No TV to drown out the silence or pass the time.  No one to call to spend time with.  No where to go if you’re pissed at each other.  And I am fortunate to be with someone who will not only put up with me on an island for an entire week, but have the absolute time of our lives exploring and adventuring and living it up.

on a family adventure!

on a family adventure!

Contributing to our tradition change-up, Eric’s hip is still healing.  My legs have been hurting, particularly my calf (because I am an idiot and my solution to depression is either run away to the mountains for a getaway or run a gajillion miles, even though I can hardly walk without pain some days).  My heart is hurting from another failed cycle and from staring down the barrel of another cycle of painful, nightly injections.  I’m tired–not necessarily physically, but mentally and emotionally.  I was going to push myself to run a lot of miles, but realized that the smarter idea would be to take it easy this week (and hang with Eric and Dog-Dog!), do some nice family hikes and give myself some time to relax and heal up (physically AND emotionally if I’m being 100% honest with myself).

looking forward to washing my soul clean

So I planned some new hikes for this year–a bunch of “easy” hikes (although some of them are longer, they are flat by ADK standards) to ponds and waterfalls.  Things we’ve never seen because we’re too busy cramming in as many mountains as we possibly can.  It’s actually surprisingly difficult to find information about many hikes in the area if they’re not the “popular” ones, so I’ll be posting some recaps later about what we did/how to get there/whether they were “worth it” or not so much.  In my head, as I planned I kept thinking that maybe this would be a good recon trip for when we finally have babies/kids to bring with us (before they are old enough to climb mountains with their crazy parents).  We did a fair amount of discussing how this trip would change if we had kids, and I’m happy to report not much will (except maybe no Snowy Mountain until our kids were 8ish–we think that might be a good age to try to summit the mountain, but agreed that we could easily do the first couple of miles of the hike with younger kids without problems…)

We arrived on Monday to find Indian Lake sunny and hot.  We paddled our stuff out to the site without incident, set up camp, and spent the entire day swimming and relaxing in the water.  This year, we managed to book site 8 (I set an alarm reminder this year because the sites at Indian Lake Islands Park fill up FAST), which was the site we first stayed on.  It’s got great rocky ledges on the end, where you can sit partially in the water and just soak up the sun.  Picasso was in all his glory, running and jumping and swimming.

he's got mad hops

he’s got mad hops

<3 him, <3 beautiful summer weather, <3 clean and cold mountain water

The next day, we got up, paddled back to the mainland and drove out to the trailhead for Ross Pond/Whortleberry Pond and OK Slip Falls.  We had decided that Tuesday would be the “pond day.” We ended up hiking about 8 miles, mostly flat.  It was very buggy, very swampy, and overall not that exciting, but it WAS fun to be out with Eric and Picasso and see NO ONE else…the trails in the ADK in the summer can get VERY crowded, so you learn to appreciate the times when you can be alone in nature.  I was hoping for a moose sighting, due to the seclusion of this trail (and the ponds…moose like water, right?!?!).  Sadly, no moose.  But we stopped in Indian Lake, grabbed some beers, and headed back to the island for the night.

we thought we heard moose hitting antlers...so Eric tried to lure them in by banging sticks together.  It was unsuccessful.

we thought we heard moose hitting antlers…so Eric tried to lure them in by banging sticks together. It was unsuccessful.

Wednesday morning, we paddled in and drove back to the same trail head for OK Slip Falls.  Our friend, Dave, had told us it was a cool waterfall, and everything I’d read online in my research said it would be well worth the hike. Sure enough, it was!  The trail was BEAUTIFUL (we are excited to go back and run it next year), the falls were AMAZING (some say they’re the highest in the ADK, others claim TFalls are).  About a tenth of a mile from the falls, the trail splits to go down to the Hudson.  I had never seen the Hudson, so we took that trail, too, which added 1.6 miles of hike, much of which was down and then back up a very steep trail.  It ended up being a 9ish mile hike, and it was LOOOOONG.  But well worth it.  We were both glad that this trail had been better than the previous day’s.

the falls are behind us

the falls are behind us

Thursday, it was kind of overcast and crummy out.  We waited out the bad weather, but finally gave up and paddled in anyway, despite strong winds and therefore some decent waves.  We had dubbed Thursday “waterfall day.”  We started out in Speculator, where I checked out the brochures in the visitor center (and used the grossest bathroom EVER–I mean…I was actually MISSING our pit privy, which is really saying something).  I already had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to hike this day, but we found an additional trail in a pamphlet I picked up.  We hit up some shorter, easier hikes, starting with Griffin Gorge.  It was disappointing and buggy.  I was nervous to try to hit up Auger Falls, since Griffin had been the opposite side of Auger Falls, and it was kind of lame.  But the Auger Falls trail was WELL worth the hike in.  After Auger, we took a very old, very bumpy side road to find Austin Falls…it was a bumpy trip, but the falls were pretty awesome.  We were going to check out a cave next, but by this point, it was starting to look REALLY overcast…so we headed back and as we pulled into the marina, it started to drizzle.  It rained the rest of the afternoon, evening and night.  We spent a lot of time chilling in the screen tent, playing cards (Eric hates cards but he was a champ).  We played higher/lower first (yes a drinking game), but then we realized the rain was not stopping and the drinking games were not sustainable.  We played WAR (and YES you CAN win!!! Eric did!!!).  Then I taught Eric to play rummy.  We had a pretty decent fire in the mist that night and went to bed early.

Griffin Gorge

Griffin Gorge

Auger Falls

Auger Falls

Austin Falls

Austin Falls

He won WAR! Did you even know you COULD win WAR???

He won WAR! Did you even know you COULD win WAR???

But then he lost rummy...and wasn't happy about it.

But then he lost rummy…and wasn’t happy about it.

Friday morning, we woke up for our traditional anniversary hike/pizza fest.  We hiked Snowy Mountain, and I did it the fastest I ever have!  I didn’t stop once, I felt great the whole time.  We hit the top, talked with the guy who had sprinted by us at the trail head for a bit (hooray for friendly hikers!), then we climbed back down.  Rather than go to Speculator for pizza, which is a 20ish minute drive, we decided to go 5 minutes to Indian Lake to find a pizza place.  IL is a SUPER small town, so it was kind of tricky, but the pizza we found was EXCELLENT and the people who owned the place were super friendly and cool.  If you’re ever there, Puterko’s Family Pizza is kind of the shit.  And Eric and I know our pizza.

the climb is tough but the views are totally worth it!

just a leisure f#&$ing nature hike

We had decided halfway through the week to rent a boat for Friday/Saturday this year–it’s always nerve wrecking to canoe your stuff back and forth because if you tip, everything’s lost.  Plus paddling all week (on top of hiking and swimming) is EXHAUSTING.  I joked about how we were showing our old age by renting a boat, how we were being super lazy, but this was truly the best idea ever.  We picked up a small rented boat and played around, checking out some new sites (next year’s trip will be AMAZING) and then coming back to our island to swim and play in the water.  We had a massive campfire (per tradition–the last night of camp you burn EVERYTHING!!!).

on our little boat. Picasso was not too sure about it, so we snuggled.

on our little boat. Picasso was not too sure about it, so we snuggled.

This morning, we got up early.  I had wanted to do some hill repeats on Baldface Mountain, but by the time we got there (it’s a boat access only trail about 2 miles from our site), we hiked up together and realized we didn’t really have time for a run if we were going to be off the site by 11.  We took in some views (Baldface is a pretty easy hike with some pretty incredible views of the entire lake), enjoyed being the only ones on the trail (or awake??), and then drove back to pack up camp.  We loaded the boat and then drove over to the nearby beach.  We spent a half hour or so there, playing fetch with Picasso and having a little lunch, before driving back to the marina to get on the road.

view from Baldface's summit

view from Baldface’s summit

hanging out on the beach!

hanging out on the beach!

While this trip was VERY different from the usual busy climbing trips we take in the ADK, it was also one of the best ones.  Year 5 of our annual camping trip was amazing.  It felt much lazier than ever before (renting a boat, no major mountains except Snowy, sleeping in til 7 most days).  But we still managed (between Tuesday and Saturday), to do 6 hikes, paddle almost 12 miles, hike about 30 miles, swim and play around on the island, and have some amazing adventures.  Tonight, as we ate some delicious Jammers (some things just can’t be replicated…), I said that now I felt ready to go back.  Then realized I’m looking forward to a night in our bed.  But with a shower, yummy food and a night in our bed, I’d be ready to head back.  Any time.  Indian Lake is an amazing place to spend time exploring.  And I am so lucky that I get to adventure with my love.

photo 2

And the best picture of the trip...never get tired of these ADK sunrises on the lake!

And the best picture of the trip…never get tired of these ADK sunrises on the lake!

new recipe #4: Panko Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 Jul

This is going to be short and sweet.  Because I have just found one of the most amazing recipes I have ever tried…I am not exaggerating, guys.  This. Was. Amazing.

So here’s the recipe.

DSC_4663

Stole the picture from the site I got the recipe from: fortheloveofcooking.net

I don’t have any pictures of my finished product because we were starving and devoured all of it as soon as it came out of the oven!!!

My changes to the recipe: I left the tomatoes out, because tomatoes make me want to vomit.  I added extra garlic (because I LOVE garlic) and used dried basil…I know dried basil is more potent than fresh, but I still used almost a full tablespoon of it in my version, because if there’s another herb I love (aside from garlic), it’s basil.  I added the dash of oregano to the ricotta–didn’t see where to put it, but I’m assuming that’s right.  It worked…

My challenges:  I had a hard time cutting my chicken breasts–they were too thin, I think.  I managed to cut them most of the way, though.  Even though I didn’t stuff the entire chicken breast, it still was plenty of the stuffing mixture for the chicken.  The panko crumbs didn’t stay on the chicken that well for me, so I just added them to the skillet after the chicken was done and ready to go in the oven, then sprinkled the browned panko on top of the chicken.  I had a lot of leftover stuffing, so I will probably use 3/4 cup of ricotta next time (or just save the extra to make this another night because it was that amazing!).

Overall, it was a pretty quick recipe to put together.  It tasted amazing.  It’s been added to the rotation for sure!

**P.S. I am lame and forgot to do a post for May…and I am behind by one day for the June post.  I’m still counting this as June’s recipe, even though it’s a day late.  And luckily I have a ton of free time now (hahaha yeah right…camping, 2 big races to put on, seeing family, some house projects, and a crap load more doctor’s appointments…), so I will get caught up on my “new recipes” challenge for the year this summer!