MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 24, 2011

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:33

Or rather, half covered but that would have ruined the alliteration.  I made these cookies forever and a day ago at the request of a friend.  Well the request was for the chocolate chip cookies to be completely covered in chocolate.  But I wanted some.  And I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate. Don’t hate. It just means more for you.

YAY Willy Wonka. The old school one.

Although, tangent: I ate the most delicious chocolate pudding/fudge cake the other day at a bbq I went to this weekend. Seriously heavenly.  I asked for the recipe to the guy who brought it and his response? “I don’t know. Ask Costco”

And I promised this recipe to you guys forever and a day ago too.  But life happened. And since my run this morning was absolute crud (very heavy legs with no spark) it makes sense to post this now.

I don’t have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe so I googled “chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe” and this one  had the yummiest picture. I went with it. As for the chocolate dip, I found these directions but it left me in a bind because I don’t have a microwave. So I used it as jumping off point and improvised.

Half Covered in Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie Base:

Ingredients: (cut and pasted from the link with any changes I did added after)

  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature (yes real butter, my roomie was around who refused to let me use margarine!)
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz.) (I really wanted to use 1/2 pb chips, 1/2 chocolate chips but my friend vetoed it. LAME)

Directions: (the “real” directions are on the website link but I tend to use recipes for the ingredients only. Then make the cookies how I see fit)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375*. I know the directions say 400* but I have a gas stove/oven so I always lower the suggested temp.
  2. In the “wet ingredients” bowl, beat the butter and sugar.  This sucks because I don’t have a mixer.  Luckily my cracked ribs are on the right side and I’m a lefty.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat this stuff all together.
  4. In the “dry ingredients bowl” mix the flour baking soda and salt.  I love this part because it requires very little physical effort.  Then mix in the “wet ingredients” bowl and add as many chocolate chips as your heart desires.
  5. Place the batter/dough onto a baking sheet.  Since I like my cookies really big I had to do this in multiple batches and each cookie sheet only had about 6 cookies on it.  Oops?
  6. Place in the oven for anywhere between 6-12 minutes.  Quite the range I know.  But I use a gas oven and it always varies. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a meal the same way twice!
  7. When they’re done (and for me that means a little gooey in the middle still. Hopefully I’m cooking them enough. Don’t want to get salmonella or something) place the cookies on a cookie rack.  The directions online give you tips if they start to break during the transfer but a cookie is a cookie.  And that means that the cookie maker just gets to eat them because you can’t give a broken cookie as a gift, right?

Then comes the DIPPING fun.

To do this you need a bag (or two) of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  As the link above says you can combine them with 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl to be placed in a microwave until it’s melted.  I chose to use a makeshift double boiler because I do not have one of those either.  I took a saucepan/pot and placed a glass bowl onto that was filled with the chocolate chips (bar of chocolate that are chopped up work too but chips were on sale at the store).  The pot had hot water in it and the stovetop was placed on a low setting.  As the chocolate started to melt I mixed/crushed/stirred the mixture.  By the time the cookies were cooled the chocolate was ready for dipping.

The result?

Just ignore the chips ahoy in the background. Or look but don’t judge.

Well if you’re making these for yourself then I say eat a non-broken cookie with a big glass of milk.  If you’re making them for a gift then you can eat a broken one with a big glass of milk.

Win-win

May 4, 2011

Previously on MM…April 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:23

I totally meant to post this, well, when the month ended but life stuff got in the way and I haven’t been able to get onto my computer regularly. Bleh.  Well not bleh because I’ve been feeling good, productive and happy.  But bleh because I like blogging-life (reading, writing, etc).

Anyway…

Some numbers as of April 30th.

  • 328.9 miles
  • 51 hours 59 minutes 17 seconds
  • 9:29 pace
  • YTD: 1431.3 miles.

Compare that to April 2010:

  • 152.4 miles
  • 23 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds
  • 9:20 pace

And, well, color me impressed with the increase in miles. I guess I really ran lots this month of this year. I’m actually speechless, although I know it’s because I didn’t run for at least 2 full weeks in April 2010. Mostly because I had access to a gym and could go to XT there.

Injury played a huge role in the pace as I wasn’t able to do any speed work this past month. At all.  Plus there were 2 weeks where I could not run faster than 10:00 pace. But I made it through.

One not-so-running related number, but still pretty damn important.

  • Sunburn tally — 3 burns in 2 weeks. I’m getting cancer tomorrow.

I got that one at Boston but I got even more sun after Easter weekend (with the 74* weather!) and now am sporting a red face from this past weekend. At least red brings out my green eyes right? And, while we’re on numbers, $8.94 spent on sunscreen after I got burn #3. Ouch.

And other highlights

  • Boston Marathon (and this report is a picture one). Worst marathon to date but one that I ran 100% injured. I don’t know whether to be proud of the fact that I did it or ashamed that I tried! But since I’m recovering nicely (thank goodness for finding a athlete-friendly PT!) now I’ll go with the former. And who can argue with a smile like this?

  • ONE RECIPE because, well, I tried my hand at cooking/baking and decided that I don’t really enjoy it enough to create extravagant meals. But when my roomie wants to rope me into it it can be fun. And tasty.

And of course the most important thing: warm weather…finally. I’m pretty sure that it snowed at least once in April…on the first if I’m not mistaken…but the average temperature for the fourth month of 2011 was

Wait for it….

58* for the high. 38* for the low. Extremes were 74* and 30*. I like where this is going.

May better listen up. How’d your April go? Anyone else glad that it’s done and over with?

April 11, 2011

I Waited All Winter For This.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:44

And, no, I’m not talking about this little thing that I’m doing next Monday.

Or the ice cream brownie sundae I got to eat on my porch last night with the brownie recipe below. I have to carb sugar load for Boston, right?

I’m talking about SPRING. Like, real spring. Not some date on the calendar (although I think that mother nature and the calendar should get on the same page) but warm weather. The kind where my roomie and I could actually sit on the balcony and not be all bundled up! Hallelujah (and yes I’m acutely aware that I just jinxed myself. And all of you. I apologize in advance. Especially since we all know this jinxing will occur on the 18th)

thanks google

The overnight lows were in the 40s and the highs were damn near 60* the past 5 day.  We didn’t actually hit 60, which is my typical benchmark for spring.  But I think that, given how rough winter was for the large majority of the country, I’ll let it slide.

With the rising temps I’m always tempted to raise my miles as well.  Which I probs disregarded the first week of my taper. BUT I have shown some restraint and there have been no fartlek runs or anything resembling speed work.  While I may be in the mindset of going with the flow I’m too scared to risk anything with speed work! Especially since the runs keep going back and forth between pain and pain free. Which some of you (smart minds 🙂 ) told me in my last post. I just need to relax and ride out the next week-ish until the race. Eeep. Easy running has been my bread and butter for the past 5(!!) weeks, no need to mess with it.

And it’s taper time, right?

Easy running, therefore was the story of the weekend.  Thursday and Friday were easy mid-distance days, Saturday was my last “long run” and Sunday was somewhere between short and mid.  All in bright shining sunlight.  Some wind but that felt great and “cooled things off”. (Can you tell how excited I am about the weather. Every paragraph refers to it. And in a glowing way!) <– Happiness.

All the runs were pretty darn fast too.  Relatively speaking, which even with that disclaimer is still confidence boosting.  Definitely no sub-9 miles (gosh I haven’t seen those since pre-injury!) but fast enough to tell me that I’m recovering.  Hopefully in a week, those 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boston don’t throw a monkey wrench in it.

Aside from working on my tan (which I really need to be diligent about the sunscreen this year. Hello another 3 moles removed! And hello sun-freckle-spot thingy machine that was at clinic last week and showed me the damage on my skin.  Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought but the sunscreen needs to be a daily thing) I’ve been baking a bit. Or rather my roomie told me “we are making brownies to bring to pub trivia”. So really a bit = once and because I was told to.

So I did. We used this recipe from All Recipes and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  And the fact that there were none left by the end of the night is a good sign too (do not disillusion me by saying that we were drinking at trivia night. Irrelevant!) If I were to make them in the future I’d try and tweak the recipe to make them more fudgey. Maybe less flour and an extra egg?  I know that with all my box mixes I get to add an extra egg to fudgify it.

Hope everyone is enjoying your Monday! I knew when I left work on Friday that today was going to be a rough one but, hey, the weather is nice and I’m sitting on a really good (well relatively speaking anyway) 8.5 miler already done.  There was IT pain and my legs felt dead. But that could be taper related.  The humidity was definitely a factor as well, 53* and 91% humidity! And YES to spring again because the sun actually rose in the first half of my run.

So I say: Monday? Bring it on!

February 10, 2011

Wednesday Was Not My Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:43

At least in terms of rockclimbing.  I went last night post-work and man, it was HARD! Maybe stress got to me or maybe it was that I went at 2200 after working 9.5 hours.  But in either case it was one of those nights where it was a struggle: even though climbing isn’t really about the upper body strength, my arms were really exhausted. But I’m glad I went.  Every once in awhile you need those days that kick your ass and remind you that you can improve.

Wednesday was the day, however, for me to kick my tempo workout’s ass:

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 mile Tempo @ 7:24 (2.2 @ 7:29, 2.2 @ 7:24, 1.2 @ 7:15)
  • 1.2 miles easy
  • 1.2 miles HARD @ 7:23
  • Warm down

It was HARD to do this workout.  I was originally going to do it Tuesday but woke up feeling really run down.  After doing the warm up that morning I nixed it and postponed it to the next day.  My run Tuesday was really tough by the way, even though it was an easy “just-go” run. By the time Wednesday rolled around I still didn’t want to do it but after checking my watch after the warm I decided to at least give it a go.

And boy am I glad I did.

I was so surprised when I saw my time (because I knew that it was ~7:30 pace).  Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have been because I was running hard and the effort was great, but not over the top.  I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto the pace but I did.  I kept having to tell myself that “I can do it” and to stay focused because it felt great in the moment! Obviously I would like my “tempo” pace to be faster (like where I was pre-WR) but this is a significant improvement from weeks past.

I got that really exhausted but energetic feeling in my legs for the rest of the day.  I was on a TOTAL cloud 9.  There’s something so amazing about pushing yourself hard and being able to handle it.  This run may or may not have gotten an air fist pump at the end…just saying.

Totally worth the struggle of a rock climb later that day!

Also: a couple people have asked how I come up with my odd distances for tempo runs. I map out areas that I know will be not-so-traffic ridden and such and that just happens to be how they fall.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get a garmin but for now I’ll be sticking to my 5.6 mile loop where I know that, for example, my house to the end of the path is 2.2 miles, and a loop around my house is 1.2.

Rather than tell you about all the mediocre runs, other than my tempo, or go on about the stress in my life (still ongoing but I’m managing. Apologies again to the sporadic commenting. I promise I’m still reading! It actually de-stresses me a bit reading y’alls blogs.) I’ll leave you with this dessert, described as “crack” by one of my friends.  With a tall glass of milk it’s perfect after a long day…which after the way my Thursday night is going might just be my post-work activity!

Chocolate Caramel Saltine Crackers

(taken from a friend but I’m pretty sure you can find the recipe on AllRecipes or something)

Ingredients:

  • ~40 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sheets of caramel coating

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet (with sides) with foil for easy clean-up. Place caramel down on foil and arrange saltines on top in a single layer and touching.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over crackers, spread to coat evenly and bake 6 – 8 minutes.
  3. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over and let them melt.  Spread with a spatula / knife to cover the crackers. Place in a fridge to cool and then
  4. ENJOY!

January 31, 2011

Previously on MM…January 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:43

Oops. Guess I fell off the grid this weekend.  I stayed with a friend Friday afternoon post-work until…well technically since I haven’t been back to my apartment, I’m still staying.  And since I didn’t bring my computer with me blogging fell by the wayside.  And my commenting. And my replying to comments. Which sucks because I love y’all but I was having fun so I can’t *really* apologize 😉

Story of my month of January I guess.  I’d guesstimate that I spent about half the days not at my place.  But story of January running wise was good, and even though I typically post these posts on the first of every month, I got a really good run in before the sun came up. So my month of running is done.  And I really didn’t want to give a play-by-play of my weekend.

I will say that this weekend (and lots of January too) reaffirmed my whole “I seem to run well on: no sleep, lots of alcohol the night before and greasy foods” as my friend and I were jonesing for a “Philly” cheese steak (with fries) on Sunday.  Very weird because I never crave cheese, or steak.  But we walked downtown for a couple hours trying to find a place that served it and succeeded and it was the best idea we’ve had yet.  Given that I yet again had a good run post-bad-life-habits-that-affect-running, I think it makes it an even better idea.

Anyway, onto January. I wasn’t recovering from WR anymore but I wasn’t yet in training.  I started re-introducing tempo and LR before last week (which was T-12 weeks, so I’m at T-11 today. Eeeeep) and I also actually introduced XT in the form of winter activities such as skiing and snowtubing

and then there was ROCKCLIMBING.  Yes: rockclimbing. I went with a friend on Saturday night because he joined a climbing gym at the beginning on January and had only been doing the solo climbs, which aren’t as fun.  So I tagged along to be a belaying buddy. And I’m definitely going back.  Hopefully tonight.

thanks google.

And I had a blast. As a bonus, because I’m a runner and have really strong legs, I was not sore on Sunday.  Surprisingly there’s actually very little arm strength involved.  It’s all in the legs to propel you up, the arms just hold on.  So you can bet your booty that I’m going to keep this trend going on beyond January.  In January I also took a couple *complete* rest days which I rarely (if ever do).

I also did lots of baking this month. Like I’m hoping-my-pants-still-fit-tmrw kinds of baking 😉 My favorite recipe that was made was the apple crisp, although I did make afair amount of cookies. Like 3 different kinds.  And brownies. That may not be a lot to you but to me that’s a ton.  In all fairness I have been actually cooking dinners, like real dinner too (this one has been made at least for or five times!).

Let’s talk training and January.  Like I mentioned above training for Boston started this month.  More like last week but I’d been slowly reintroducing a training set up to my week: aka tempo Tuesdays, LR Thursdays. I have yet to do a speed work session so far.  I was going to do one this weekend but my motivation has been lacking. I want to mail out this letter:

Dear Motivation,

Anytime now.

Love, MM

Maybe the snow and cold was a factor. We have been hit with three separate and big storms this month (with another coming Tuesday night. And supposedly this one is supposed to be the worst of them all. Ugh!) Who knows. That said, January was a decent month mileage wise:

January 2011:

  • 355.4 miles
  • 51 hours 28 minutes 10 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

Compare that to January 2010

  • 397.1 miles
  • 58 hours 58 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:54 avg pace

Less miles this time around (-13%) but roughly the same pace.  Considering that my Boston training was going on during the whole of January 2010 I’m still going to say: all in all a GREAT month.

And above were just a few of the highlights.  The running wasn’t spectacular (nor was my sleeping patterns) but I feel happy with how the year is starting. I did fun activities that I’d never done before and baked lots of goodies. And that’s a great thing. I also got a hair cut.  Which is a big deal because I go forever between cuts.

So YAY January. Even if it’s going to look like this. Again.

thanks google.

January 25, 2011

About This Embracing Weather Thing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:26

Well I’m still all for winter at the moment. Despite yet another nor’easter supposedly bearing down on us sometime in the next few days I’m sort of digging the snow.  Maybe it’s because I know that this will be my last real winter?

While the snow may be really REALLY pretty to run in or look at while sipping hot cocoa or snowshoeing (I think I’m going this weekend!) or building snowmen, I am not such a big fan of this

SALT

Don’t get me wrong: I am a salt-a-holic and douse my food in it.  I think I’ve said before that I have the ability to go through a salt shaker every 10 days or so. I do NOT, however, enjoy road salt. As you can see in the picture above my legs get covered in it.  The sign of a salt truck now sends shivers down my spine. Because it dries out my skin and stings like a….

I didn’t let it stop my workout though:

  • Warm up
  • 5.6 miles “tempo” @ 7:39 average (2.2 @ 7:46, 2.2 @ 7:43, 1.2 @ 7:21)
  • 1.2 miles easy/recovery @ 8:49
  • 1.2 miles hard / re-tempo @ 7:25
  • Warm down

Totals:

  • 16 miles
  • 138 minutes, 29 seconds
  • 8:40 pace

I guess for whatever reason I really turned it on the last bit of the hard stuff.  I’m slowly getting back into the training mode although holding this pace was TOUGH.  I really cannot believe that I ran 26.2 miles a little over 7 weeks ago at a *faster* pace.  Sometimes I feel like WR was a fluke. I guess I have a ways to go before the training mode muscles get back into full swing.

I’m really proud that I was able to bang out some really great last hard miles. It felt good to see the results of an effort that felt really taxing.  After seeing a not-what-I-wanted first two loops I must have dug real deep.  I’m not so proud of how long it took me to mentally get my body into it.  Hence those first few miles at the not-what-I-wanted pace.  But overall this “tempo” (and I still want to keep calling it tempo!) was the fastest out of the weeks I’ve been doing them post-WR.

Progress.

In the not-so-progress view, as I probably should be eating better night-before-quality-workout snacks: this run was  fueled, not by cookies, but by brownies.  Work was really rough yesterday so I went over to my friend’s house and while he was rockclimbing, my other friend and I made the brownies (she’s such a better baker than me. So she’s my baking buddy) and we all had brownie sundaes (warm from the oven) at midnight. I’m normally not a brownie person and when I do get a craving I like gooey ones.  My baking friend said she had success with this recipe:

Nestle Chewy Cocoa Brownies

(from the box of cocoa powder from Nestle)

Yeah so we dug in quickly...deal with it

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • powdered sugar
  • ADDITION FROM US: 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips.  We didn’t think the mix looked Chocolaty enough. I suppose you don’t have to melt the chips but we did.

Directions:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13×9-inch baking pan.
  2. (Additional added by us) MELT 1/2 cup chocolate chips in microwave until melted
  3. COMBINE sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture and add Chocolate Chips). Spread into prepared baking pan (the mixture was REALLY thick and hard to spread).
  4. BAKE for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky (it took us about 26 actually). Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Cut into bars.
  5. ENJOY (we sure did. And with ice cream too)

They turned out really well and we dug in immediately.  I’m sorry for making your pants expand by proxy but hey, mine are expanding in real life I’m sure 😉

And I promise that the next recipe I post won’t be dessert.  Tomorrow night (the night the nor’easter is supposed to hit) my friends and I are likely going to make something special for dinner.  Just so you don’t think I’m on my way to a diabetic coma or something…

And check out the giveaways from Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical) and The Hotlegs Runner

January 19, 2011

Life is Good.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:02

Too corny for you? I’ve got snow, fast running and apple crisp.  Not to mention heat coming back on and great friends I’ve been hanging out with.  I’ve been spending so much time there that they’re jokingly talking about getting me my own key.  Oops? Hahah.

That said, this whole not complaining about the weather thing is *really hard* but I feel like my attitude towards life in general is improving the less I say “I am sooooooo over winter.  This sucks. I want to migrate south”.  Really. I’ve literally been biting my tongue every time I see cold, wet, gross weather.  Partly because I’m really trying to not complain but partly because every time it snows I think that this could be my last.  And no that’s not morbid but I’m trying to actually migrate south at some point real soon.

Of course the mention of the weather does come into play with my “tempo” on Tuesday.   I woke up to actual snow that morning, which had turned into nice freezing rain/sleet by the time I got out my door to run. This precipitation left my shirt a layer of sheer ice by the end. It felt like I was wearing a bullet proof vest!  I didn’t let the slushy roads, nor the cars that decided to slush me, really affect the workout and it went a little something like this:

  • Warm up
  • Tempo 5.6 miles @ 7:41 average (2.2 @ 7:47, 2.2 @ 7:39, 1.2 @ 735)
  • Easy 5.8 miles @ 9:19 – lots of snow!
  • Hard 1.2 miles @ 7:42
  • Warm down @ 9:00

Total: 16 miles in 137.59 minutes which is an average of 8:37

Funny how the warm down pace is faster than the easy pace.  Oops?  The run was actually pretty fun I guess.  Mostly in hindsight.   I was in a FOUL mood during most of the darn thing.  Maybe because I had no traction and was slipping over the roads. That said, at some point during the run I just gave into the weather and then, isurprisa!, my attitude turned around and running was fun again.  And the “tempo” part (question: what do you call what I did? Tempo isn’t accurate but it feels like the only word I know!) was actually really good. Sure the pace wasn’t where I’d like it but the EFFORT was there.  Silly snow making running harder than it has to be.

Anyway. This morning I ran 8 miles as recovery.  Mostly because the sleet from Tuesday had turned to sheets of ice overnight.  Slipping and sliding. And slushing because it was shorts weather at 36* (ahhhh relativity!) But nothing special overall.

Apple Crisp

BUT I mentioned in my last post that I made an apple crisp over the weekend with my friend.  And that it turned out delicious.  So I’ll share it with you.  I was actually a little skeptical when I read the original recipe because, contrary to all other apple crisps I have ever made, there are NO OATS in this.  My friend even acknowledged that in all other crisps in the “family recipe book” oats are a key ingredient.

I probably shouldn’t have been worried because this girl knows her stuff.  It was delicious.  I had some Friday night after making it, Saturday morning post- run and then me and her roomie finished it off Saturday before going out and then skiing Sunday (which I’m glad that lots of you haven’t done it yet. I felt so weird for being a ski virgin! Especially as a native New Englander) Essentially this apple crisp fueled my past weekend.

Ingredients:

  • Apples, sliced, enough to cover bottom of cooking pan (We used Gala)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (Yes real butter because I was at my friend’s house and that’s what they had)
  1. Peel apples and slice into a buttered pan (we didn’t butter the pan, nor did we peel the apples) and fill to about 1/2 full of apples slices
  2. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples
  3. Mix the last 3 ingredients (which we actually doubled and used 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups flour and 1 cup butter.  More yummy topping!) and put on top of the apples.
  4. Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes. And remember to check that the oven is on bake.  Apparently my friend’s roomie (whom I went skiing with on Sunday) likes to broil his bagels in the oven.  And we didn’t realize it until 5 minutes into cooking.  Luckily no damage done!)
  5. Serve with ice cream of whipped cream and enjoy!

Leftovers....yum.

And  now I’m at work dreaming of apple crisp.  Better than what I’m really doing.  Which isn’t working but rather fire drills all day because there was a fire earlier today in the clinic and the fire department keeps setting off the detectors. Fun.

January 9, 2011

Oh Snap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:28

Gingersnap that is.

This weekend (and my weekend, despite still having to work Thursday and Friday, started on Wednesday. I like pretending my liver is 21 still) was kind of crazy.  Like last weekend I didn’t spend much (or any) real time in my apartment so I couldn’t update you on how awesome my running has been.

It included a 14.1 miler at 8:35 pace on Thursday in the bright sunshine and a really good 10 mile follow up the very next day at 8:11 pace.  I think that they were “emotional runs” and that I was channeling the awesomeness that was the previous few days. These two runs just felt like nothing.  Unlike Saturday’s 6 miler that…well the lack of sleep probably made this cold and snowy run more difficult than need be.  As far as today goes I think the only running will be of the errand variety.  C’est la vie sometimes.  But coupled with my tempo Tuesday, LR Thursday and great fast run on Friday it was a great “pre-training” week for Boston.

Anyway, since I’m basically living with a girl that I work with at the moment (ahem ran out of oil AGAIN and her and her roomies were kind enough to let me crash on their couch…and then because they had a guest we all had to drink. Because that’s how the world works. Duh) I decided to bake something to show my appreciation.  Of course my friend is a true baker so I felt a bit awkward giving her baked goods but her other roomie is a guy and will eat anything.  I figure this is a good compromise…

And before you think all I do is work and drink we did all take a trip to go snowtubing on Saturday. Before going out and drinking of course

I made two batches of cookies.  The first one is the following gingersnap recipe.  It’s an old family recipe and I love it because it makes really soft gingersnaps and soft baked cookies are always a hit in my book.  So I guess they’re more of a ginger cookie because there is a lack of a snap.

Ingwer (Gingersnaps)


Ingredients:

  • 3.75 cups sifted flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • .5 tsp cinnamon
  • .25 tsp cloves
  • .75 cups butter (oooooooooor well you know what I used)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • .5 cups molasses
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Sift flour once, measure then add the baking soda, salt and spices. Sift again. (most flour nowadays comes sifted so don’t worry and you can just add and mix them all. Can you tell that this is an old recipe? hah!)
  2. Cream the butter (or margarine) with sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  4. Add flour mixture gradually, mixing until smooth
  5. Form into balls about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter and roll in granulated sugar
  6. Bake in a 325*F oven about 10-12 minutes or until done.
  7. Voila! And enjoy.  They’re really good with tea and/or coffee.  Or as the “bread” in an ice cream sandwich.

I also made this Mint Chocolate Cookie recipe from AllRecipes.  Mostly for me because, while I really do like the above gingersnaps, chocolate + mint is awesome.  Hands down.  I followed the recipe in the link pretty much exactly as is.  Except I always use margarine.  Because that’s just how I roll.

After several days of making those really easy (aka “cheating” hahah!) pies, for Christmas as well as making them for the doctors at the clinic, it was really nice to make something from scratch. And it was nice to have two batches of cookies to dig into after imbibing a bit…

C’mon now: how can that NOT be screaming eat me?

Check out the giveaway from Marcia

December 29, 2010

So Not Martha This Weekend.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:02

There were tons of things that I wanted to get done on my day off Monday and, in the end, only two of them got done.  I guess that’s better than zero, right? Regardless it was a wash in terms of really exciting stuff.  I did end up making that snow angel and also ended up going sledding with some hooligan friends.  Running up and down the sledding hill counts as hill training right? And shoveling out my car counts as weights right? Doubly so because I’m ambidextrous and can could work out BOTH arms without having to slow down the rate of shoveling and time spent in the cold!

Tuesday brought about a snowy 9.3 miler.  Quick despite the snow.  And despite my eyes just not wanted to open either. A little achy but nothing that was painful.  I think I was a little overzealous with the hometown routes this weekend (all my favs are so long!) and the sledding/shoveling on Monday that used new muscles! Of course there were pushups ( 45, 55, 35 30, 56 ) and situps (70, 80, 54, 45, 90 ) although I will say that I would have thought shoveling out on Monday would have been easier with all the pushups I’ve been doing.  I guess I shudder to think of how I could really be feeling if I wasn’t doing them.

Wednesday (today) is so far a rest day due to my overall sleepiness and waking up at 0403 and thinking that an hour and fifteen minutes of extra sleep would be nice. And then doing it. But I’m hoping to get a quick 6 miler done after work. We’re painting and scrubbing the walls and other fun handyman stuff today so I’m showing up to work in old running gear. No excuses for not being prepared when I get home. Fingers crossed.

And now for some excitement.

Peppermint Chocolate Cream Pie

I make no bones that I was born and raised a box cake-brownie-cookie gal.  I’m slowly getting into the from-scratch stuff (mostly because when I do want to bake I have the time to go all out) but this dessert made for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner was not. Overall I’m not sure if you save any time by going the box/mix route here but I totally saved myself stress. And the holidays shouldn’t be about that.  I guess that’s why I’m posting this.  To show that not everything has to be done on your own if it makes life easier.  I mean, Betty Crocker has made an empire on that idea, right?

I’m sure that there are multiple real recipes that you can find out there and variations on it, but here’s how I made this baby for the fam (For those of you who are so inclined to make it from scratch I’ve included what I’ve done in the past at the very end of the post).

  • 1 Keebler Graham Cracker pie crust
  • 2 boxes Jello Chocolate pudding
  • 1 tub Cool-Whip
  • Peppermint Extract

I took out the crust, made the pudding (with 1% milk according to the directions on the box and added in 5 drops of the peppermint) then spread the Cool-Whip on top.  It needed to be refrigerated for a few hours (like 6ish) before serving but it’s a very easy dessert to make.  Very delicious too.  Just ask my brother.

Oh man my brother is getting so big! And me so old!

The great thing about this type of pie (especially if you go the easy route like I did) is that there are many variations on it. Like vanilla or banana pudding as well as other types of extracts and other types of graham crackers (I used the honey flavored here).  Adding banana chunks is great too(for the banana pudding duh).

See opportunities are ENDLESS here people. Another subset of this recipe is the actual J-E-L-L-O route.

Okay so not the J-E-L-L-O it's alive picture I was searching for but this was good for a laugh. Thanks google.

This one is a little trickier just because you need to fold in the Cool-Whip while the Jello is still hot. I’ve never tried making my own jello before but I’m sure you could if you really wanted to? Who knows, Jello is a mysterious food.

  • 1 box jello (any flavor your heart desires or the occasion calls for although I prefer key lime)
  • 1 tub Cool- Whip
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust (either homemade or store bought)
  • Fruit of the same flavor as jello (optional)
  1. Make one package of jello as directed on the box using ~2 cups of hot (boiling) water and stir until dissolved. Then add 1.5 cups of ice water and let chill for 5 ish minutes in the freezer or until thick but still pourable.
  2. Take the Cool-Whip  and fold it into the jello until one consistency.  Add the fruit in if you choose to (I usually don’t) and pour into the pie crust
  3. Let sit in the fridge for 6ish hours and then enjoy

In the end it’ll look something like this:

Thanks google images. No pic of my own because I haven't made this one recently.

And here are the from scratch ingredients and directions.  I’m thinking I’ll make one of the varieties from scratch when I go to a NYE party in Boston on Friday (anyone got any super duper plans to ring in 2011?!). I have the day off so I have time to not stress about turn-on-the-oven baking.

Graham Cracker Crust (from allrecipes.com):

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( optional and very good if you use cinnamon cracker crumbs! )
  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Cream Filling (also from allrecipes.com)

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate (or alternatively I’ve used 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup cornstarch)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine sugar, flour, milk, and chopped up chocolate in 2 quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  2. Mix a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture, and cook for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in butter or margarine and vanilla.

Whipped Cream (sigh.  I’ve only done this one once.  I prefer the Cool-Whip methodology even though it’s not hard per se. I just hate to do it. But I used an allrecipes.com recipe for this too)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

December 24, 2010

A Little Bit of Green and Pumpkin.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:51

First: I LOVED your answers to the questions I posed on Wednesday. Hilarity.  You guys are the best

Second: Sadly I’m not talking about green money.  I wish. Nor am I talking about green pumpkins which is likely a good thing!  And I could be talking about the Celtics but, for once, I’m not (although WOOOOT to another win!)

I wasn’t planning on blogging today as I’ve been busy (but duh who isn’t this time of year with work and the holidays and everything) and every time I sit down to type about my runs it’s all the same really. Buttttt I had a kick ass run on Thursday.  So I’m sharing 😉

I got up on Thursday morning and saw…SNOW. Again.  It really stormed on Wednesday and I was hoping that it would have dissipated by Thursday. Nope. It was the big light fluffy stuff, not a blizzard or anything icky, and I am so glad that I ran.  Well duh I ran.  I did an elliptical session the day before.  No way I could make myself do two in a row.  But I’m actually happy that I ran because it was a really stellar one.

I’ve been shying away from posting my paces as I recover for a bunch of reasons, first and foremost being that my pace shouldn’t matter in the days and weeks post-marathon.  That and partly because I’ve been doing lots of slow running and I felt really jealous when seeing others doing fast stuff and I’m not.  Because I’m really competitive. Green eyed monster anyone?!

Only not so warm and fuzzy. Thanks google.

Granted slow is all relative but suffice it to say that in the weeks post-marathon my runs have ranged from the slowest run at just over 10:00 pace to the more recent 8:57 that I did on Tuesday.  I saw lots of 9:30ish paces in there and I did get some LMPs in but overall these runs have been much slower than what I’m used to. The trend is slowly getting faster with the same effort but still, I want to jump right back in!

I’m not going to lie and say that mentally I was okay with it the slower paces.  I went back and forth between being cool and not cool with it. Going from “yes this is what my body needs” to “ugh another slow splits?!”.  Don’t get me wrong: at the end of the day my life isn’t ruined by not running speedy during these runs. But it sometimes felt that way right after a run.  Which makes me feel awkward typing out this post. Especially since I’m saying this in order to set up how awesome my run on Thursday was and how sweet it felt.  It makes me feel a bit bratty.

After running the first loop well I decided to sneak a peak at my splits at each check point  (I did a 2.2 loop, my pathway (essentially 2 @ 2.2 for timing purposes), 1.1 loop)

  • 2.2 miles (19:13, 8:44 pace) Okay this could be a good run
  • 2.2 miles (18:47 minutes, 8:32 pace) Well there you go. Hope I don’t break something
  • 2.2 miles (18:05, 8:18 pace) Jeez think I can hold onto this for one more mile?
  • 1.1 miles (9:00, 8:10 pace) Holy S$#%, this is like PRE-MARATHON RUNNING

So 7.7 miles total in 65:05 which is a 8:27 pace.  If that isn’t beautiful I do not know what is.  I’ve been waiting for my legs to come around and give me those mid-8s that just felt like I wasn’t doing anything except having fun.  The only sad thing is that I ran out of time to capitalize on the fast pace and great feeling!  Of course the preventative stuff happened post-run (don’t want to jinx myself here) and I did W5D2 of pushups ( 19, 19, 22, 22, 18, 18, 22, 47 ) and situps ( 30, 30, 36, 27, 27, 33, 100 ) as well as the PT exercises, rolling, stretching.  The works.

I’m not going to consider myself fully recovered from the marathon — I think it’s good for me to still be on a break because I’ve *never* given myself an off season — but man, did this run feel good.  No aches, no pains, no nagging anything to suggest I ran a 3:09 marathon just 2.5 weeks ago. Not too much more to say on it because I feel the data just speaks for itself.  For once the numbers are in line with how I feel while running

Elite Boston Marathoners. Maybe not as good as this though 😉 Thanks google.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and / or weekend if you don’t celebrate! I’m going to try and blog but hey, it’s the holidays so I may not. Unless I have another stellar run like I did on Thursday! I’m hoping that some hometown runs do the trick. If fact, I’m off for one now. Happy Christmas Eve y’all!

But in case you’re feeling ambitious today I’ve decided to also share a recipe. Since it’s the holidays (and YAY for going home for the holiday. Aka no work — and more importantly no early bird wakeup Friday) I’ll share a recipe.  This one was probably more appropriate for Thanksgiving as it has pumpkin in it but I’m pretty sure that pumpkin is good for year round stuff. I mean I’m not a die-hard like some people but I’m not going to discriminate based on something as silly as month.  Case in point: I made it for the Celtics game last night.  I received no complaints.

And if not, well then, simply don’t make it. Like most of my recipes, this one came from a friend but when she gave it to me the recipe card said it was from “The Baking Pan” so I guess that’s where she got it. I didn’t actually look to see if it was still on their site but I’ve written down the directions per her. And I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that if you do find it, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is word for word the recipe on the site as I just copied and pasted her email hahah!

And yes I know there are lots of words that follow. So feel free to just look at the pictures.  Unless you try to make it.  Then I’d suggest reading the ingredients and directions 😉

Pumpkin Walnut Cake


Ingredients:

  • Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan

Cake:

  • 1 cup dark or golden raisins, plumped (or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup quartered red candied cherries
  • 3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or, one 15-ounce can of pumpkin.
  • 1¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, 2 tablespoons reserved for the top

Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about ½ orange)
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

This is so totally the bread that I mention below. Same recipe. But I felt I didn't a good picture to break up the text 😉

 

Directions:

Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch cake pan and lightly grease it with shortening and dust with flour
  • Plump the raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry. (in the interest of time we did not do this.  I’d imagine that the cake would have come out even tastier if we had)
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the drained raisins, ginger and cherries. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour to keep the fruit from sticking together. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whisk together to mix.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer still on medium-high speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the eggs, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking 3 to 4 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated, and the mixture looks light in color and thickened.
  • Add the brown sugar one tablespoon at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes, and beating until the sugar is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium, add the pumpkin puree, and beat for 1 minute. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly pour the oil into the batter in a slow steady stream, and then beat for 1 minute longer.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and blend in the flour mixture all at once, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the walnuts, along with the raisins, ginger, and cherry mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons reserved walnuts over the top. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Orange Glaze:

  • In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and orange zest. Add 4 teaspoons orange juice and stir until smooth. Add additional teaspoon of orange juice if needed to make a good drizzling consistency. The glaze should be like a soft icing, but thin enough that it will run down over the sides of the cake
  • Drizzle glaze over the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides.  Let the glaze set before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Close Up. Yum

And since this cake was such a big hit to the party I brought it too I decided to use the recipe and make it into a bread.  Minus the glaze because I wanted to take it into work for the doctors that volunteered Thursday night at the clinic. Kind of as a thank you for both being a volunteer as well as coming in the day before Christmas Eve. It was a bit tricky getting it made before work post-run but soooo totally worth it!

Everyone loved it as a bread too.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.