Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Crafter's Nightmare (but a Happy Runner)

After being up late into the night untangling this mess, I was still anxious to get a start on the project those bobbins had been set up for prior to being tossed into a bag for a week for 2 while I went ahead and made something else. Now that that's finished I wanted to go back and finish what I'd started. I didn't know that would be so complicated!

This definition of patient: " Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness"  describes how I handled this yesterday evening. I was very proud when it was finally all untangled!

I have good news too. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hot Cross Cookies?

At home we always have Hot Cross Buns  around Easter and I definitely haven't seen any here anywhere. Apparently there's 'Easter Bread' but I haven't seen that either. Now, I know Easter's over, but I really missed having these and we ran out of time to try making them over the Easter weekend itself, so here it is now.

My friends and roommates I shared with had never seen/had a hot cross bun before and immediately referred to them as cookies, which is just as well since I deflated them just before putting them in the oven and they never recovered from it. I'm gradually improving my ability to work with yeast and the lesson I've learnt this time is: even if you read the word 'slash' in a recipe, they probably don't mean for you to take a knife to your nicely risen buns - the air goes out of them like a balloon that's been stabbed! 

Like I said, it's for the best no one knew hot cross buns so they couldn't know that they were supposed to be a bit lighter... Even so, they were still very tasty.

This recipe is adapted from The little loaf. She's hosting April's Fresh From the Oven Challenge. The challenge is to make Hot Cross Buns this month and that's what I did. Fresh From the Oven is a monthly baking challenge that I wanted to join earlier when I saw they were making bagels and croissants, but finally got around to it this time! Those goodies will have to be a project on my own some other day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Running Plan: Monday, April 23 - Sunday, April 29

Only 1 week left until race day! I'm pretty excited, it's been a long time since I've been in a race and this one is supposed to be a beautiful run down the Elbe River into Dresden.

This Week:
Monday        30 minute run
Tuesday       35-45 minute run: 7.3 km in 48 min!
Wednesday  Running Group - Week 4: Pyramid Sprints and a few laps around the track barefoot; then Climbing!
Thursday     35-45 minute run

Sunday         10 km Race: Oberelbe-Marathon, Dresden

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring is in the Air

Finally, it seems like spring is actually here! I've been so excited seeing blossoms around town. Especially on the magnolia trees! There are at least 4 of them with in a few blocks of campus and I think it's the combination of the pastel-pink colour and the sheer size of the flowers that makes me feel so giddy.

I always enjoy seeing a little bit more open each time I go out for a run or in the case of this tree, when heading to the gym. Unfortunately this is something I don't do often enough to make it worth it these days. As soon as it was nice enough outside, I completely lost my motivation to go there to workout and I switched to running outside. As could be expected, I'm enjoying that a lot more than running on the spot in a sweaty room and have been exploring the area around the outside of the city a lot more lately. My routes keep changing and sometimes I just take a trip down the small streets heading out into the countryside, through the little villages and other days I'll head into the forest where things are just starting to turn green. I've been falling in love with running again and have been feeling a lot better lately because of it, both physically and mentally!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Monkey Bread Minis

Alright, these are already polished off so it's about time I finally got my post finished.

I've never had Monkey Bread in it's original form and correct me if I'm wrong, but these are just smaller - since they're baked in muffin tins instead of a bundt pan.

I think I've been missing out. I mean, it's like cinnamon rolls, but a bit more fun because you've got all these separate ball bits to pull off and nibble on. And the individual balls are like Tim Bits! Plus, while they're baking it's at least as enjoyable as when you get to eat them - the smell of the cinnamon sugar + pastry + a hint of maple syrup is to die for. 

This recipe was part of last week's challenge with the Gutsy Cooks Club and I was anticipating something good again. The tricky part was that I was already set on the suggested recipe before I realized that a food processor was the main tool used. Alright, I have an immersion blender and a hand mixer but my little student kitchen isn't equipped with a food processor (no idea where we'd put it if it was 1) in the budget and 2) something we thought we'd get enough use out of). Of course it's still possible to make these little guys, what did people do before all of these gadgets entered the kitchen. In my case, I went with the 2 knife pastry cutting method until I got a bit tired of it, then switched over to my hand mixer at a low speed. It seemed to work just fine.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Running Plan: Monday, April 16 - Sunday, April 22

This Week:

Monday        Gym Workout: 15 min. on the bike + strength training on the machines
Tuesday        35-45 minute run
Wednesday  Running Group: Sprinting Game + 30 min. run in the forest
Thursday     35-45 minute run 30 minute run 
Friday           7.5 km in 49.5 min - I really didn't plan to go that long or far but it felt so good!
Sunday         6.5 km run in 40 min! - That's even faster than last week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Rainbow on My Plate

If Cordon Bleu were actually blue, this would have made for an even more colourful meal than it already was.

Although I am late in posting this, I made it as my first challenge as part of the Gutsy Cooks Club put together by Monica of SweetBites. I joined  because I think it is awesome to be pushed to create dishes I might not have even thought to make otherwise. Every week there are a few suggestions and it looks like variety is also considered.

I would have been too intimidated to make chicken cordon bleu completely on my own, but it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I would definitely recommend it, if you haven't made it before! Although I would recommend making more than one at a time... However, I had one piece of chicken in the freezer and was cooking for one, so that's how I did it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is it Really so Dangerous Out There?

Not too long ago I ordered new running shoes for myself. Since the new season's shoes were coming out and they had so many shoes on sale on Amazon it took me quite a while to research and decide not only which shoes would be a good fit for me (pun intended), but then to determine if there was even a size and colour I wanted... In the end I ordered 2 pairs for almost exactly 100€ (=131.19 CAD at today's exchange rate) and felt like I got a pretty good deal. Although I did have to set the colour factor aside - not to say I don't think my shoes are pretty but they're a bit more white than I had hoped for and I know that won't last long!

The first pair to arrive was the cheaper of the 2. Also, lighter weight, less supportive and lower to the ground, but I won't get into that right now. All I will say is that I like them and although I started off using them for my shorter runs, I've already put 108.3km on them since I got them at the end of February.

As for the second pair, they came a few days later and since they were a smaller fit than expected they got sent back. So it was almost 2 weeks later that I had them in my hands and could start looking out for an appropriate run to take them on. Ideally, it couldn't be too long the first time and I wanted it to be fairly dry outside, especially since they're so white - I didn't want them to be wet and muddy after the first few kilometers!

After a pretty tough running workout yesterday, followed by a bit of climbing (combined with today's cooperative weather, of course), it seemed to be as good a day as any to take these shoes out for a spin.

Check out my shiny, spotlessly white new shoes!
Now I would have loved to be showing you this picture of my shoes while saying, "check it out, I finally took my new runners out on the road and it was awesome!"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Running Plan: Monday, April 9 - Sunday, April 15

This Week: 

Monday         25 minute morning run - 4 km
Tuesday        35-45 minute run
Wednesday   Running Group Workout: Sprinting game and a jog in the forest
Thursday      35-45 minute run Still sore from yesterday - ran just over 4km, nice and easy
Friday           4.8 km jog into the forest with Johanna
Saturday      3.4 km in 22 min. - not bad
Sunday         6.5 km run in 40:26! For this distance, this is the fastest I've gone outside this year!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Word on Wednesday: Lauf(-) und Leckerei

As an addition to my blog, which so far receives posts at fairly irregular intervals, I'm starting a regular feature of a Word on Wednesday. The intent through this is to create educational posts based on a relevant word (or at least one with personal relevance). In the future, these will be English words and may come from anything I've found interesting. Although today's post is mostly for my readers who do not understand German, it will also serve as a light introduction to the Word on Wednesday posts by explaining all 3 words that make up the title of this blog: Lauf(-) und Leckerei.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Running Plan: Monday, April 2 - Sunday, April 8

Late again because I was away for the weekend, but here's the plan

This Week: 

Tuesday       35-45 minute run 
Wednesday  Running Group Workout: Timed 800m sprint + a few km in the woods
Thursday     35-45 minute run
Friday          4.8 km run in Eslarn - 33 min.
Sunday         11.3 km run  11.5 km run with Johannes - longest run this year!