April Update: 360 miles down, 640 to go to my 1000 mile goal

Can you believe it’s already April? I can’t. From the colder than usual temps, occasional snow flurries, and general disbelief that April means B and I will soon be approaching my second wedding anniversary, it’s hard to believe that we’re already on Q2 of 2013. That being said, I’m still on pace to meet my goal of 1,000 miles this year!  March was good to me. Despite the cooler temps, I managed to make 113 miles for March, which included quite a few treadmill runs, a few longer outdoor runs, and even a half marathon in South Bend, Indiana.

Photo stolen from the Holy Half

Month by month, here’s where I stand:

January: 136 miles

February: 111 miles

March: 113 miles

Year to date: 360 miles

Here’s how the weeks have gone:

First week in March

Highlights: got in an 11 miler on Friday after work! It made for a VERY enjoyable and relaxing Saturday:)
march running recap - 1000 miles
Second week in March 

march running recap - 1000 miles
Third week in March

Highlights: Notre Dame Holy Half!
march running recap - 1000 miles
Last week in March

march running recap - 1000 miles
This month, I’m looking forward to so many things! In particular:

  • Warmer weather! I can’t wait to run in a t-shirt and shorts
  • New spring running clothes! I’m due for a new tank top or two
  • The Cleveland 10 Miler – B will be unavailable but I’m thinking of running this 10 mile race on my own! (You may recall last year we did the race as part of our 20 mile training run)
  • Reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – my brother got me this as a birthday gift and I can’t wait to break it open! Thanks Greg 🙂

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Some questions to ponder:

  • What’s your favorite spring running gear? Where is your favorite place to shop for running clothes?
  • Have you read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? What did you think?
  • What’s your favorite running book?
So this has actually happened before, including this week - B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.

So this has actually happened before, including this week – B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.

Birthday Cake Batter Cookies

My brother’s birthday is in about a week and he’s turning 21! I can’t believe my baby brother is finally turning the big 2-1. So, to help him celebrate from afar (sorry Greg, I won’t be in NY with you for another month or so), I made some birthday cake cookies in his honor!

I’ve made “cake batter cookies” before – but the recipes I’ve found tended to be mostly just cake batter and came out thin and tasting a little too much like raw cake batter for my liking. This recipe is definitely a keeper- it’s a mashup between a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and cake batter cookie recipe. The result is a delicious, chewy, perfect cookie.

Have a birthday cake coming up? Or just want an excuse to make delicious cookies that taste like cake batter? Here you go!

birthday cake batter cookies

Birthday Cake Batter Cookies

Recipe modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ c boxed yellow cake mix (I had leftovers from the birthday cake truffles)  
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ sticks butter (3/4 c), room temperature – I used 1 stick of low fat butter and ½ stick regular unsalted
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ½ c light brown sugar
  • 1 egg (I used ¼ c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ c chocolate chips
  • ½ c white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c rainbow sprinkles (I had Christmas sprinkles that I used, plus added some stand alone blue sugar crystals) 

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cake mix and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer (like your KitchenAid), cream together butter and sugars on medium speed. Combine until well mixed.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla until creamed.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, approximately ½ c at a time. Mix until evenly combined, careful not to overmix.
  5. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate and white chocolate chips and sprinkles.
  6. Refrigerate dough overnight, if possible. If you’re short on time, cover dough and place in a freezer for about 30-45 minutes.   
  7. After dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto a baking sheet, prepared with Pam.
  9.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly brown but centers are still soft.
  10. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. My batter made approximately 36 cookies. 

birthday cake batter cookies

birthday cake cookies 3

Meatless Monday: Mashed Cauliflower

B and I have been eating about a head of cauliflower a week. Whether it’s raw or roasted, cauliflower has seemed to become a staple in our household, to my excitement. Why do I love cauliflower? It’s so versatile, healthy, super easy to make, and it can take on so many different flavors depending on what you do with it. A few weeks ago I made some mashed cauliflower for the first time and have been making it about monthly since. It’s another healthy side dish that tastes like it should be unhealthy – but it’s not!

mashed cauliflower

Simple Mashed Cauliflower

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 medium cauliflower or 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Optional – something to add more creamy goodness to the mixture: I’ve used cream cheese, Greek yogurt, butter, cream and milk

Here’s what you do:

  1. Chop cauliflower into large chunks, around 1-2 inches in length.
  2. Cook cauliflower. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add to boiling water and cook 10-12 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the cauliflower.
  3. Drain cauliflower and throw into your food processor.
  4. Use food processor to completely mash cauliflower. Throw in garlic, and the salt and pepper to taste. Mash the cauliflower completely, it may take 5 minutes to get it to a nice consistency like that of mashed potatoes.
  5. Taste the blended cauliflower mash. Add more garlic or salt/pepper as needed.
  6. Optional: Add some Greek yogurt, cream cheese or sour cream to make the cauliflower even creamier. I’ve made it with heavy cream (leftover from making the Murphy’s Irish Stout Cupcakes), Greek yogurt, and even Parmesan cheese. This most recent time I followed the recipe, above, without any added cream or anything (just garlic, salt and pepper) and it was delicious!

Pat yourself on the back and enjoy how delicious and healthy your mashed cauliflower is. If you somehow managed to eat half of the recipe (made as is without any of the optional add-ons) you’ve only downed about 105 or so calories. AND you’ll be stuffed! B and I manage to make 3-4 servings out of the above recipe when served as a side dish.