Posts made in February 9th, 2012

sweet ‘n’ sticky chicken drumsticks


Posted on Feb 9, 2012 in Food

I don’t understand the concept of chicken wings.

I mean, you go out, get a basket of wings and get like, what? 0.009 ounces of meat total? It’s a total rip-off. And the work involved to get to the tiny morsel of meat is so not worth it.

I, for one, am a chicken leg kinda gal. Why don’t people go out for chicken legs? Now that’s where it’s really at! Perfectly portable, lots of flavorful meat. It’s messy finger food just like wings, but with a much better (and meatier) payoff. Gimme a leg or two and cold beer and I’m a happy girl.

So, I hereby nominate going out for legs as a “thing.” Let’s have 99 cent leg nights. Let’s serve legs at next year’s Super Bowl party. C’mon friends, support the legvolution! And you can get started with this sticky, sweet and incredibly delicious drumstick recipe. It totes puts your average bar wings to shame.


One thing that makes or breaks these legs is the quality of the chicken. Not only is local, responsibly-raised meat better for you and environment, but I also personally believe it tastes a heck of a lot better than the value packs you find on store shelves. Part of what made these drumsticks so amazing was that the meat under the sweet and sticky skin was so flavorful and juicy. Yum!

Sweet ‘n’ Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 drumsticks


  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


  1. In a large zip-top bag, combine vinegars, honey, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, soy sauce, marmalade, salt and pepper. Add in drumsticks, seal bag and toss to coat. Stash bag in fridge for 2-3 hours (or overnight) to marinate. Rotating bag occasionally.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375°. Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Remove drumsticks from bag and lay on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear.
  3. Meanwhile, pour remaining marinade into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until marinade is thick.
  4. When drumsticks are finished cooking, preheat broiler. Using a pastry brush, coat drumsticks in reduced marinade. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until browned and sticky. Flip and repeat with other side.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle drumsticks with sesame seeds and cilantro.
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Are you a wing or a leg person?

my fitness bucket list


Posted on Feb 9, 2012 in Fitness

All this talk about my need to find my marathon has got me thinking about my fitness bucket list—a list of physical activities I really want to accomplish before I kick the proverbial bucket. Before I got healthy, it never even occurred to me that fitness goals could be part of a bucket list. I thought fitness was just about slogging away for 30 minutes on the treadmill a few times a week just to keep your girlish figure. It wasn’t until after I ran my first 5K that I began to realize that hitting fitness milestones could be exciting, liberating, empowering and make you beam with pride. I began to realize that it’s totally possible to want to do activity just for the sake of seeing what your body could do and where your body could take you instead of doing activity just to lose weight or stay healthy.

So here are a few of the top items on my fitness bucket list. Items that, four or five years ago, would have been totally preposterous and are now, completely achievable. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of.

Do the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.


You guys already know that I’m doing the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk this year, and I’m really excited for both the fundraising and physical challenge of it. That being said, I’d eventually LOVE to do the 3-Day. We didn’t do it this year because of schedule conflicts, but I’m hoping in the future I’ll be able to cover 60 miles in three days. What an amazing feat that would be! Although, the 39.3 I’m doing in June is going be an adventure of it’s very own. I figure this is a good warm up for the fundraising and physical challenge of the 3-Day.

Hike the Grand Canyon from rim-to-rim.


I come from a family of outdoorsy people and I grew up hiking, but once I hit adolescence, I stopped joining the family hikes. Once I started on my health journey, I picked up the hobby again and fell in love. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, and honestly, can think of no better way to see it that to spend four or five days hiking from one side to the other. Obviously, hiking those steep inclines, declines and rocky terrain is not easy and requires a lot of training and physical fitness. I can only begin to imagine how proud and strong you feel after completing a hike up to the top of the Canyon. My eyes well up a little bit just thinking about it.

Try surfing.


Okay, so this is some far-fetched romantic dream of a life-long resident of a landlocked state, but I’d love to try my hand at surfing. I’m not naive enough to believe that I can really master it considering I live quite a ways from the closest surfable body of water, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try it when I go on some awesome beach vacation in the future. I LOVE being in the water and I think the feeling of getting up on the board for the first time would be incredible.

Do a set of 10 regular pushups.


I’ve never been able to do a regular push-up. I very clearly remember being in 4th grade gym class and doing the President’s Challenge (*cough* what a beautifully designed website! I wonder who could have done it? *cough*) and not being able to do a push-up. My P.E. teacher tried every which way of positioning my arms and still, nothing. And it’s been that way ever since. That’s not acceptable. A year ago, I couldn’t even do a single modified push-up, and now I can do a set of 10, so I’m getting there.

Hike the Knobstone Trail.


The Knobstone Trail is a 58 mile trail that runs through the area of Southern Indiana where I grew up. I’ve done parts of the trail before on day hikes, but I’d love to do the whole 58 miles on a backpacking trip. The trail is strenuous enough that a lot of folks use it to train to hike the Appalachian Trail, which if the Knobstone hike goes well, will probably end up on my bucket list, too. Not only is Southern Indiana absolutely gorgeous, but I also think there is something really nice about being “at one” with this area I live in. I spend so much time racing around in my car and rushing down the sidewalk that it’d be really nice to spend a few days just really enjoying this state that I love so much.

I’m sure there are a million other fitness-y things I’d love to accomplish, but those are the ones that really stick out to me. It’ll be interesting to come back to this list in a year or two and see how far I’ve come.

What’s on your fitness bucket list?