Where. Did. May. Go?
But seriously, how is it practically June?
May flew by and included lots of running, but it looked a little different than usual. No Cleveland Marathon. No local 5Ks. No races at all.
But still plenty of miles! Here’s what it looked like:
My baby girl is two.
Born on her due date, coming into the world just a few minutes after we got to the hospital and before we even had a chance to officially check in, she has somehow grown into a sassy, opinionated, moody 2-year-old.
I won’t do a sappy post right now – there are too many emotions going on in my head right now anyway (#thankscovid), but instead, a simple post about how we celebrated the birthday.
Another week of some early morning running with nothing to train for is under my belt. And, while some days I feel like I’m getting faster (but not nearly as fast as I was earlier in the year), some mornings my legs are like lead and my feet hurt, and I can barely run at all. So, even though each day doesn’t feel great, I’m happy to have gotten to another mileage high for the year – 38 miles total for the week.
Under normal circumstances, this post would’ve included a recap of my 2020 Cleveland Marathon experience. The taperingish the week of, followed by running the Challenge Series on Saturday and Sunday.
But as we all know, things aren’t really normal right now. Races are cancelled. So this week, instead of running Cleveland, I had an ordinary running-by-myself week. Here’s what it looked like:
I’ve been doing a lot more baking (and running) during this time. It’s not that I have more free time – like many others working from home with kids, my free time seems to be less than ever … but on the weekends, I take a break from work and enjoy baking. I don’t feel guilty if my kids don’t want to join me (though sometimes they do), because I’m with them all week. So instead, I enjoy baking something and we all enjoy it Sunday evening for dinner.
A few weeks ago, a coworker of mine shared that she had some extra masks from a friend who had made them. We have yet to get any cloth masks, and she offered to share some with me. She loves anything chocolate, so to thank her, I baked some of these cookies to share with her. If you like chocolate, and slightly salted chocolate, I highly recommend you try these out. They’re easy, don’t require and dough sitting, and require one bowl to make. And, if you make them the size I do, they’re small and you can easily enjoy more than one at a time.
Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Here’s what you need:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt + pinch of sea salt for topping
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
- In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (you can also melt the butter over the stove top, being careful to not let it burn).
- Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
- Gradually add the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix until just combined and the dough has formed — do not overmix.
- Scoop out the dough, and make rounded tablespoon-full size balls (for larger than bite-size, you may want to do about 2 TBs of dough) Press them down slightly (they don’t really spread, so this will be how they look), and add 3-5 chocolate chips on each dough ball. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be soft and may look undercooked when they come out of the oven, but you don’t want to overcook them. Cool on a cooling rack and then enjoy.
- Makes about 2 dozen bite-size cookies.
Put them in a tupperware and share them with a friend! Or just eat them yourself.
Some questions for you:
- Are you a salted chocolate fan?
- Do you have masks? What kind?
Well, it’s only taken 8 weeks, but I’m finally in a groove and feeling good about running. After taking a week off and having the flu, I had a rough time getting back at it, with having a hard time breathing and catching my breath. But I’ve been running with no chest pain for several weeks now. And, this week, I got in my first few runs with an under 10-minute/mile pace, which normally is a piece of cake, but since March has been impossible. I know I’ve said this before, but while the whole world is turning upside down, and I have no control over what happens, I am so so so grateful to have running. Especially right now.
After several weeks of not feeling that great running, I finally had a good, pain-free, feeling good week. I’m still about a minute/mile slower than I was last year around this time, but it has been great to be able to go out and get in miles without any chest pain or much pain anywhere else. Even after finishing the Cleveland Marathon virtual challenges series (virtual half marathon and 5k) last week, I felt good enough to get in 37 miles total this week, which is one of my highest weekly mileages is 2020.
It was NOT an ordinary week in running. Why? I decided to get in my virtual Cleveland Half Marathon miles done and ended my week with a half marathon and 5k! That’s right, I’ve completed my first virtual race and was able to get in a half marathon by myself Friday morning while my house was still asleep.
Here’s a look at the week:
During this social isolation time, we’ve been having Sunday dinner at our house instead of with B’s family. With this new routine, I’ve been trying to bake something new each Sunday for us to try. And a few weeks ago when I asked B what he wanted, he replied fruit tart.” Fruit tart? I had no idea what he meant by that, but after scouring a few different places for recipes, got this one, and I have to tell you – it’s a winner. B, FW and LM all loved it. Even a week after eating it, FW asked for more and B told me it was one of the best things I’ve ever baked.
So, now I’m documenting the recipe for posterity – and sharing it with you! If you like fruit desserts, you must make this.
Fresh Berry Tart
Here’s what you need:
For the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
- 1 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
For the berry filling
- About 3-4 cups of berries — I used 1 cup fresh blueberries, 2 cup fresh sliced strawberries and 1 cup raspberries
- 1 lime (fruit and zest)
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose four
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1 TB water
Here’s what you do:
Make the dough:
- Combine butter and sugar into the food processor. Cream until they are light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the food processor and continue to blend.
- Combine flour and salt, and add to the food processor. Pulse a few times, or until the mixture comes together and appears to make a ball. Don’t overmix!
- Remove dough from food processor and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight.
Make the tart:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch tart or pie pan with non-stick cook spray. When chilled, remove the tart dough from refrigerator. Place the dough in the pie pan, and using your fingers, lightly press the dough and spread out onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides. The dough should be uniform in thickness (about 1/4-inch thick).
- In a large bowl, toss the berries with sugar, zest and juice of the lime, and the 2 tablespoons of flour.
- Spoon the berries into the tart shell. Drop pieces of butter over the top.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the dough is light golden brown on the edges. Cool about 1 hour.
- In a saucepan, heat the apricot jam and water until combined.
- Use a pastry brush or small spatula to brush the warmed jam over the top of the tart.
I also made fresh a whipped cream to top the tart. It was great!
Some questions for you:
- What do you prefer — fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?
- What’s the last thing you’ve baked?
Another week of social isolation down, and another week of still recovering and getting back into running. I’m finding I’m slower than ever before and have to take walking breaks even during short runs because I’m out of breath. BUT, I did another longish run this weekend and that gives me reason to hope that I’m getting better!
Here’s a look at this week’s runs — all done outside, but solo. For my weekday runs, I didn’t see anyone outside at all pretty much. On the weekends, I’ve had to dodge some people but I generally cross the street or run at least 6 feet away so I’m keeping my distance. Continue reading