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Tag Archives: chocolate

Starting Out Hard!

Today is one of those days where I don’t work until the afternoon.  I was able to wake up when my body was ready, around 7am.  Not only was I ready to wakeup but I was ready to workout hardcore!

Since my 14 day free trial is over at the gym I was using with Body Pump, I thought that a run would be in my best interest…especially since I am running a 6 mile race on Saturday morning.

I didn’t map my run before I headed out because I went on a route that I am pretty familiar with.  Based on previous run times I think I went between 5 and 6 miles.  I then came back and did some ab exercises superset with push-ups.

source

For some reason, push-ups are always so hard for me!  I ended up doing a total of 20 push-ups non girly style, which was hard work for me!  Doing them as a superset made it much easier for me to approach 20 real push-ups.  A superset is when two different exercises are performed right in a row without a break in between.  This is great when you are on a time schedule or are just impatient like me and you don’t want to wait between sets to complete the next.  It’s kind of like exercise multi-tasking. And I LOVE multitasking 😉

Yoga Pose of the Day

Today’s yoga pose is:  Standing Forward Bend

This move is actually hard for me because I have and have always had very tight hamstrings.  A variation on this move is to use a block under your hands in order to keep legs straight.  I did not have a block so I tried to keep my legs as straight as possible!

Benefits of Standing Forward Bend:  Strengthens the feet, knees, and thighs, stretches the hamstrings and calves, improves the function of digestive and reproductive systems, opens the hips and groins, stimulates the liver, kidneys, and digestive system, relieves menopausal discomfort, headache, insomnia, and fatigue, alleviates discomfort from sinusitis.

Breakfast

Ok, so I took a little break from my smoothies this week, but today it’s back!  I couldn’t part from them long, so today a coffeerific mocha peanut butter spinach banana smoothie was the way to go.

Blogging Issues

Ok, so I made a little mistake and didn’t realize that if I began deleting pictures from my media library that they would delete from every page and post that they were on, so if you go to my About Me page or many earlier posts they are photoless…but don’t worry!  I am trying to fix it 🙂

Other Interesting News:

Happy Thursday!

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Baking Fail No. 5364:

Ok, so you in my evening post last night that I was going to make my first cheesecake using my mom’s amazing recipe.  Well, instead of making one large cheesecake I thought it would be a great idea to make smaller cupcake size cheesecakes.  I knew that I would need to adjust the time, but for some reason just decided to cut the times in half without doing any research…what a bad decision.

The result was burned cheese cakes that stuck to the cupcake liners and had the graham cracker crusts separating from the cheesecake part…not good!

The cheesecakes should not be yellow like that…trust me.

 

Because of this failed attempt, I called my mom frantically to make a plan of action:

  1. Research mini cheesecake recipes focusing on time and oven temperature.
  2. Decide not to use cupcake liners.
  3. Purchase  more cheesecake ingredients.
  4. Don’t freak out!
After work, I headed immediately to the store to purchase the new ingredients and got to work in the kitchen.  The mini cheesecakes are actually chilling in the refrigerator right now, so I am still not 100% sure if they have turned out.  The last thing I have to do is probably going to be the hardest…get them out of the pan!  I know that this recipe works as a large cheesecake because my mom has made it several times…it is her signature cheesecake dish!
Marble Cheesecake
Ingredients or graham cracker crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Preparation for graham cracker crust:
The best way to make graham cracker crumbs is to smash them with a rolling pin.
Combine crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press mixture onto bottom and half inch up the side of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Ingredients for cheesecake:
  • Graham cracker crust
  • 3 packages of 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp four
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preparation for cheesecake:
Prepare crust and set aside.
Combine chream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, sour cream and 2 tsp vanilla in large mixer bowl.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Add flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, blending well.  Add eggs; beat well.  Combine cocoa and 1/4 cup of sugar in a smaller bowl.  Add oil, the rest of the vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture, mix until well blended.
Spoon plain and chocolate mixtures alternately into crust, end with dollops of chocolate on top.  Gently swirl with knife for marble effect.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Without opening the oven door decrease the temperature to 250 degrees and bake 30 minutes.  Turn off oven and let the cheesecake remain another 30 minutes without opening the door.  Remove from the oven.  Loosen cake from sides of pan, cool and chill before serving.
I’ll let you know how the second batch turns out…I have to go get them ready for our little party now…wish me luck!!!
What have you baked and failed at?? 

It’s Finally Here!

Good Morning!

I have exciting news!!  The Winter 2011 Vera Bradley Catalog is available online.  You are probably wondering why this is such great news.

Well, about 5 months ago, a sorority sister sent an e-mail over our list serv that Vera Bradley was accepting applications for models for the winter catalog.  I always apply for random performance opportunities and things of that nature, and me being from Fort Wayne (where Vera Bradley was founded and is located) got me really excited about this possibility.  I applied stating my relationship with the company as being a friend of one of the marketing copy-writers.  We were in Beauty and the Beast a few years ago in Fort Wayne’s community theater, so I sent him a brief e-mail to let him know that I was using him as my reference.

I hadn’t heard anything for a while so I just assumed that they had millions of applications and wasn’t surprised that I didn’t get picked until….I got an e-mail saying they were very excited to use me in the catalog!

Brian and I headed up to Chicago for the day to shoot on Navy Pier.  We arrived early so we were able to watch other girls have their photos taken, talk with the girls in charge of the shoot, and really soak up this amazing experience.  Everyone was just wonderful to work with, and I hope that I am able to stay connected 🙂

Here's my photo!

That pose was harder than you think, they literally would count to three and I would flale (is that a word?) my legs up and out while smiling, holding the bag in a good viewing position, without spreading my legs too far.  Honestly, it was a lot more tiring than I expected!  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

Breakfast

Moving on to the usual.

I started off with a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie.

Later this morning I am off to Body Pump…again (I think I’m addicted!) and I will show you a yoga pose!

 

Have a great start to the week!

Work, Dinner, Get Ready

Work today went by pretty reasonably, not too fast and not too slow.  I think that my favorite thing that a co-worker brought in were pumpkin brownies with a cream cheese icing…I’m going to have to get the recipe!

Work Fashion

I wore the pants that fit so well today!

 

Dinner

I then came home and made a simple easy dinner of a chocolate strawberry smoothie bowl:

And a salad with cannellini beans, pepperoncini, red onion, tomato, celery, carrots, romaine, and salsa.

Now, I have to go get ready for one of my good friend’s (who lives in the same apartment complex) housewarming parties!! AHH…speed hair, makeup and picking out of clothes (the hardest part)…ready, go!

 

Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies

Today at work, we were instructed to all bring in one of our favorite treats.  I decided to make Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies, not because I love them but because I love making them for other people because they love them.  Brian seriously raves about these cookies whenever I make them.

This past school year, one of my good friends had many food allergies (all nuts, cinnamon…enough said!).  So when I made desserts and baked goods (which was quite frequent), I had to be careful about what the ingredients were.  I assure you that there are no nuts or cinnamon in these cookies, and she loved them!

Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies (originally from How Sweet Eats)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup margarine or butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed oreos
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Then, add in the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt until thoroughly combined.
Crush the oreos.  My method of choice:  rolling pin over a large plastic bag

Then fold in the oreos and the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and cook for 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 30 cookies.

I would say the worst part about making cookies is cleaning the cookie sheet.  Luckily, my mom made me a handy little scrubber out of tool from an old halloween costume.  She crocheted it!  Now, that’s what I call recycling.  The little scrubber works amazingly, and it won’t scratch non-stick pans.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

MIA…but Now I’m Back!

Good Morning!

Sorry I went MIA yesterday, I was called into work early and didn’t get home until after 11pm….long story short I was dog tired.

So tired in fact, that I did not wake up early to go to a workout class today, so I plan on running 3 miles and doing some ab exercises later this morning.

I do have to say though that Body Pump was amazing yesterday, and I can’t wait for the next class!

Let’s do a little recap of yesterday…

Yesterday Lunch

Lunch was a little random yesterday because I was preparing the salad I was making for dinner so the flavors could meld I was called into work.

I ate some steamed green beans (leftover from the salad I was making), apple slices, and cauliflower with hummus. Random, but tasty.

Yesterday’s Work Fashion

Yesterday’s Dinner

Sorry the picture really doesn’t do it justice, but this salad is delicious.  Unfortunately, because I was in a rush it was more of an experiment where I was just throwing things together and tasting as I go, so I can’t share a recipe with exact measurements with you 😦  Here is what was in my delicious dinner salad.

  • Blanched green beans
  • Tomato
  • Red pepper
  • Red onion
  • Cannellini beans
  • Canned salmon
  • White wine vinegar
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried basil
It was so tasty!  I then had a side of cereal….random I know.
When I was standing in the massage line after the half marathon last Saturday, a woman wearing a Wheaties shirt that I had seen running the race was passing out samples of Wheaties Fuel cereal because she was actually sponsored by them.  I’ve told you before how I react when someone offers free items…somehow my Mom and I ended up with three boxes.
This cereal is seriously delicious!  I just ate it plain as like a trail mix, and I think that it would make a great snack or munchy anytime of the day.  It was crisp, sweet, and didn’t have very much of the traditional “wheatie” taste.  The woman giving out the samples said that she actually ate them before the race for breakfast and felt like it kept her full and gave her energy for the race.  Sounds like a good deal to me!
Breakfast Today
I started off the day with a peanut butter banana smoothie (with spinach in it of course).
Now, I’m off for my morning run…don’t worry the Yoga Pose for today will be on the blog soon 🙂

Labor Day

Good morning and happy Labor Day!

Today, it actually feels particularly fall-like with 59 degrees outside and high in the 70s all week.  That sure happened fast considering Saturday it was a high of 98!

I took another day off of intense exercise today so that I can make sure that my body is fully recuperated after the half marathon this past weekend.  My knee is feeling better and my muscles a lot less sore.

Yesterday, I couldn’t get over how sore my quads were because they never get sore after running…then my mom solved the problem.  She said that I was probably sore from the massage!  I totally agree with her, that man did a great job, but he was WORKING my muscles.

Breakfast

I started the day off with a chocolate strawberry smoothie topped with granola

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberry
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup almond breeze
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 packets of splenda
  • a pinch of xanthum gum
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 3 ice cubes and a little water for volume
Since it is chilly outside this morning, I almost wish that I had something warm for breakfast!  It seems like the Labor Day weather in Indiana is always like this.
Last year, my family and Brian went  to a little lake to spend the “last day of summer” just playing games and hanging out.  It ended up being cloudy and extremely chilly so we ate lunch all bundled together under sweatshirts and blankets and then went to the outlet mall.  As soon as we were shopping the sun came out and it was a hot beautiful day…go figure!  There is no predicting the weather here in Indiana.
What are your Labor Day plans???