about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Discovery Park Adventures.

This weekend we checked the last thing off our list to become official Seattle-ites.  Nope, not a new drivers license or plates for the car.  We went to REI.  Not sure how we’ve been here 1.5 years and not gone yet, but here in Seattle, the REI store is more talked about than the Space Needle. 

It’s the flagship store and it is GIGANTIC.  Just entering feels like a hike itself – passing waterfalls, giant trees, and trail markers pointing you toward the store entrance.  Once you get inside, you find yourself at the bottom of a 65 foot indoor climbing wall – pretty impressive!

We’ve been enjoying a lot of time outdoors this summer, and most recently we’ve started exploring the local hiking scene.  There are endless hiking opportunities beyond Seattle and in other parts of Washington, but there are also some smaller, day hikes you can do right inside the city.

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One of our goals each weekend is to get out and be as active as possible.  These days, Cullen is just NOT feeling the jogging stroller, which is making running quite difficult.  We did a six mile run together on Saturday which was a miracle, and he still screamed for half of it. 

So we’ve been looking for other ways to get out and be active that don’t involve a screaming baby.  For whatever reason, he seems to love hanging out in the hiking backpack.  And so, we hike!

Before we hit the trail, we headed to REI for some new shoes.  We’ve both been hiking in running shoes, and slipping and sliding all over the place.  We needed a much safer option – particularly for Casey, who is usually wearing the hiking backpack.  We both picked up some cross-training all-terrain Merrels on clearance.  I’m excited to wear mine for my daily walks with Cullen – I’ve needed new walking shoes for way too long.

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We also finally got a hiking backpack of our own!  We’ve been borrowing one from a friend, but I knew we’d need to get one eventually.  It has a million pockets and some extra storage, and Cullen loves his cushy seat. 

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It’s a pretty hardcore backpack – definitely not necessary for simple city hikes, but it’s really comfortable and Cullen lasts in it for hours – priceless.  And since he hates the Ergo (on the back), it’s the best option even for short hikes right now!  Next year he’ll be running along side us with his own little backpack – too cute.

We slipped into new shoes, loaded up the new backpack, and headed over to Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood.  I had only been there once last summer, and we didn’t explore too far because I was pregnant and tired.  This time we did quite a bit more!

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We did the full loop trail plus the two beach trails – bringing us to about 5 miles total round-trip.  It’s not a particularly challenging hike – no major inclines or declines – but it’s still amazing at how different it feels to my muscles.  The beach trails ran right along the Puget sound, with gorgeous views of the Olympic mountains in the distance.

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I cherish our weekends together as a family so much.  They are what get me through the long weeks of early wakeups and long work days.  It’s so nice having a husband who likes to get outside and be active as much as I do!

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The trail wound through the trees with the water below in the distance – so beautiful.

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It was a little bit breezy and cool yesterday – I can tell that fall is definitely around the corner.  And while I’ll miss shorts and sandals, I’m also ready for jeans and – my favorite – puffy vests. 

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We were thinking that Cullen would probably take a snooze in the backpack since we were out during his typical naptime, but he was having too much fun to sleep.  I think his favorite feature is the long straps that he can chew on.

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We made our way down the beach trail until we hit the sand.  It was cool and breezy and smelled like stinky ocean.  I loved it.

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I sat on a large log of driftwood and fed Cullen.  I thought about how lucky I am to live here, and how happy I am that he gets to grow up doing things like this on Sunday afternoons.

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After a short break, we made our way back up the hill – passing this awesome staircase that descends straight into the water on our way.

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We passed the lighthouse and made our way back up to the parking lot – a solid five mile hike.  My legs definitely felt like they got a good workout, but I didn’t feel totally wiped like I did last weekend either. 

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It’s interesting to think about how my fitness level and activities have changed over the last few years.  I used to log high mileage and run almost every day.  These days, that just isn’t practical or possible while taking care of Cullen full time.  I’ve considered quite a few different fitness goals, and what I’ve realized each time is that right now, I’m just enjoying watching my little guy grow up WAY too quickly.

I do love having my own goals, and absolutely want to continue to make fitness a high priority in my life.  But at this point, I don’t want to spend long hours in the gym or do runs that take up half the day.  I want to find ways to stay healthy and active that can involve my whole family.  And during the week – I have to find ways to keep moving with my sidekick in tow.  I love that we can walk, jog, and hike together, still stay in good shape, and get to take advantage of the beautiful scenery around us. 

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Casey’s parents will be here next weekend, and we’re planning to head back up into the mountains.  I’m looking into challenging baby-safe hikes so that we can show them how beautiful it is up here.  I’m also looking forward to having two extra sets of hands in the house, so perhaps I can even go for a few runs on my own!  I’d still love to get one more race in this season.  Hopefully I still have time!

Quick Dinners: Sprucing Up Pasta.

I know I’m not the only one that doesn’t always feel like doing a big elaborate dinner night after night.  We don’t have too much ready-to-eat food in our house, but one thing I always make sure I have a few boxes of pasta in our pantry.

Earlier this week, Casey and I were both working late one night when I looked up and realized it was 8:30 and we hadn’t eaten.  I didn’t really feel like jumping into a big kitchen project, but plain pasta and marinara didn’t really sound too exciting either.

Here’s a simple and easy way to spruce up a quick pasta dish!

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1.  Pick a pasta that’s a fun shape or a different flavor.  Don’t get me wrong – I love traditional spaghetti, but there are so many other great flavors and styles of pasta – don’t be afraid to try something different.

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A tip for the the moms:  Once the pasta has cooked, grab and handful and throw into a baggie to save for baby’s lunch/dinner the next day.  Cullen thought the long noodles were HILARIOUS!

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2.  Add some greens or veggies.  In a separate sauté pan, I cooked a bunch of beautiful swiss chard in 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Once the pasta was cooked and drained, I added it to the dish with swiss chard and stirred to combine.  I chose greens but you could add whatever you prefer – broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms – whatever feels easy.

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3.  Mix up the sauce.  There is nothing more rustic and homey than a big spoonful of marinara, but on a hot summer day it just didn’t sound right.  One of my favorite ways to eat pasta is with a light olive oil sauce.  I added about 1.5 tablespoons to the pan with swiss chard and fettuccine, and gave it a good stir.  I also added some brightness with about 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar – acidic and salty!  Play around with vinegars, lemon juice, white wine – all of these things will add some punch.

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4.  Add your garnish.  For this dish, I decided to add some roasted sunflower seeds.  They added a great textural crunch and good roasted flavor.  Other good options?  Pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, olives, cheese crumbles, capers, mmmmmmm.

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5.  Season and serve.  Finish with any additional salt, pepper, and spices needed.  Give one final stir and portion in to your favorite pasta bowl.  It all comes together in about 15 minutes, and while it’s by no means complicated, it feels a lot more exciting than something with a jar of sauce dumped on top.

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When we were little, my mom used to always tell us we had to have something green on our plates, and it has stuck with me into my thirties.  Some quick-cooking greens or veggies can bulk up a pasta dish and add some color and variety to your meal.  Next time you’re in a pinch for dinner, think beyond spaghetti and don’t overlook the produce drawer. 

I’m eagerly awaiting our CSA delivery this afternoon so I can restock on greens and veggies myself.  I’ll take some pictures and show you what we’re cooking with this week. 

And because so many of you asked for it… FRIDAY DANCE!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

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