Posts Tagged 'chocolate'

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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Now that Mike is vegan and not eating sugar, I have been baking a lot less than I used to. But when my parents come over, my dad runs 14 miles with me, and there are brown bananas on the counter, I bake.

We had Open House at school last week and now there are just four weeks left in the school year.  I can’t believe I’m wrapping up my third year of teaching.  This was my toughest year yet and I almost bailed to go back to school to study public health…but after lots of contemplation and reflection, I realized the classroom really is where I belong for at least a few more years.

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There are now four more weeks left in the school year, which feels simultaneously way too long and unbelievably short.  There are also four more weeks until the San Francisco marathon, and yesterday I bought matching shirts for my sister and me to wear.  Now we’re just trying to find a similar men’s top for our dad. Matching may be cheesy and ridiculous, but we’re doing it.

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Chocolate Cream Pie

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Welcome to Taper Town. Have some pie.

Somehow there are now fewer than two weeks between me and Wildflower.  As of right now, I feel confident in my training and ready to embrace taper.  I’m sure that within a week, however, I will begin completely freaking out.

On Saturday I decided to go for a ride up Mt. Diablo, which involves climbing about 3800 feet. I’ve never done this ride before, but I loved it.  I rode up the North Side, and it was amazingly beautiful. I used to think there was nothing better than the Douglas Fir forests of the Pacific Northwest, but California’s oak-covered hills might be starting to edge them out.

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Obviously had to take the awkward selfie at the top, and a picture of the gate, and a picture of the view.  In between the picture on the left and the pictures on the right were about an hour and a half of alternating between gawking over the scenery and cursing the wind.  But I made it to the top and it was glorious.  That picture on the lower right is 17 miles from my front door.

Coming down was really unpleasant.  I’m still kind of terrified of going more than 25 miles an hour, so I basically rode the brakes as dozens of cyclists flew by.  I went down the South side (definitely the more popular option for riding up), and followed up the ride with a 7 mile run.

Someday I will learn to drink enough fluids after a hard ride + run in 80+ degree heat.  My headache on Saturday afternoon was reeeeal nice.  I also hope to some day learn how to make pretty slices of pie.

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What this pie lacks in beauty, it makes up for in flavor.  Chocolate cream filling, chocolate crust, and lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Dorie Greenspan knows what she’s doing.

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from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Lets talk goals.  A few months ago when running was going incredibly well, I made a goal to run the the San Francisco Half Marathon (2nd half) in 1:35. I did a bunch of goal pace (7:15/mile) runs and felt really strong.  Two weeks ago I did my longest training run ever while training for a half (16 miles).  I figured my goal was tough, but possibly attainable.

Then we moved and I realized four days had gone by with no running.  This week, every run felt a lot harder than it should have given my slow paces.  I’m not  sure 1:35 is attainable, and I’m not even sure a PR (1:39:48) is either.  I know my training is solid, though.  I had a pretty good base, and it’s really only been the last 2 weeks that things kind of went to crap.  So my plan is to go out at about 7:30 pace and see what happens from there.

I went to the expo yesterday and ran into two of my favorite runner friends.

I’m really looking forward to hanging out with all the Bay Area runners after the race. I’m also really looking forward to eating these brownies.  I used Joy the Baker’s brownie recipe but left out the extra egg yolk (mainly out of laziness) and added a bag of peanut butter chips.  Delicious!

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(barely adapted from the Joy the Baker cookbook)

Chocolate Malt Cake

My parents just got back from 5 weeks in Bhutan (my dad was doing doctor stuff and my mom was teaching 5th grade English), it was their 33rd wedding anniversary, AND Ellie turned 9 months old.

Cake was definitely in order.

My parents both love chocolate and malt, so it was a natural choice.  My sister baked the cake, I made the frosting, and we all ate big slices (except Ellie).   The cake itself is incredibly chocolatey and moist, and the frosting is very rich.  No matter what you’re celebrating, this is a great cake for it.

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(cake from My Baking Addiction, frosting inspired by Martha Stewart)

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins


A couple good things happened recently.

Most importantly, I ran 4 miles with some of my favorite people last night and had NO hip pain! I think the obsessive foam rolling, one-legged squats, and stretching every chance I get really have been helping.

We followed it up with grilled cheese, making that the best Thursday night I’ve had in a really long time.

I went a little crazy buying produce last weekend, which means I’ve been eating even more vegetables than usual (never a bad thing). This week I tried something new and kind of different with some daikon.

I have a raw food cookbook that suggested pulsing daikon or turnip in a food processor with raw cashews and a pinch or two of salt to make a raw substitute for rice. Other than looking a tiny bit like it, it wasn’t much like rice at all, but it was fun to try.

Last weekend we went to the bookstore (like we do many weekends) and got Ellie a new book. She is starting to LOVE books!

I absolutely adore pictures like this. I love seeing Ellie and Mike together, and I can’t wait to see their relationship as she gets older. My dad and I have always been incredibly close, and I’m hoping Ellie will experience a similar father-daughter bond.

I made these muffins because of a killer chocolate craving and a bag of mini white chocolate chips that had been sitting in the cupboard for a week. They’re perfect when you want something more dessert-like for breakfast (my sister knows all about this) or a mid-morning coffee break. This makes 48 mini muffins, so you’ll have plenty to share.

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(adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours)

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day


I guess no news is good news when it comes to hip x-rays. Technically, the no news was that the x-ray looked normal, which means the bone and the hardware are fine. I spent a very painful half hour with my foam roller this evening and everything’s feeling a lot better.

So much better, in fact, that I’m going to attempt a VERY short, very easy run before work tomorrow (on the treadmill, so I can stop immediately if anything hurts). Fingers are crossed that it goes okay and I can still run that half marathon next weekend. Yep, not holding my breath.

Ellie has been showing off her new trick of sitting up, which she can do successfully most of the time (the rest of the time she folds in half with her face on her feet, which weirdly doesn’t seem to bother her. Strange kid.) Sophie helps her out.

But what’s better than playing with Sophie? Playing with Dad! The hour between 6:30 and 7:30, when he’s home and she’s still awake, is definitely her favorite hour of the day.

I was a little sad when I realized St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t falling on a school day, but that was not about to stop me from baking for my co-workers. These are just simple chocolate cupcakes frosted with a basic mint buttercream. I colored half of it green and left the other half white, and put them together in the piping bag to get a swirl.

By the way, if you still need St. Patrick’s Day recipes, I have some for you here!
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(adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Pecan Praline-Topped Brownies


I’m not going to say these make you run faster, but I made them last night and then had pretty much the best tempo run ever today.

I guess it could have been the weather (50 and raining…just like home!). Or it could have been my new shoes.

Sorry, they’re a little dirty. I always hated Brooks, but when we were running shoe shopping a couple weeks ago I decided to try them. Going in I was pretty sure I wanted Newtons, but I liked these SO much more (and in the interest of full disclosure, I bought them with my own money and Brooks has no idea I’m writing about them). They’re light and feel just cushioned enough. I normally run in Asics 2170s, but these have become my shoe of choice.

Anyway, the run. I started out with a mile warm-up, then picked it up for three miles, which I ran in 6:53, 6:43, and 6:34 (whaaat?). I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast in a tempo run, and since my 5K PR is 6:51 minutes/mile I think there’s a good chance I’m in PR shape. We’ll see…I may be making an attempt this Sunday.

Lately I feel like I haven’t been baking as often as I want to, so in addition to planning my weekly dinners, I’ve been planning for a couple baked goods every week too. First up was Black Bread (um, Heidi’s pictures are about a million times better than mine).

Rye bread with carrots in it is actually pretty good, who knew?

My sister gave me The Pastry Queen cookbook for Christmas and these brownies looked completely amazing. As my mom would say, they’re so sweet they’ll make your teeth curl, but to me that’s kind of a good thing.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Cake with Coconut Topping

Weekends are so much better now that I’m back at work.  I appreciate them about a million times more than I did when every day was pretty much the same.  Obviously it was great having Mike home all day on the weekends, but now there’s even more of a focus for both of us on spending quality time with Ellie.

There’s more time for enjoying tea, which has become my new Friday night beverage of choice.

I did end up having a beer after this, but I couldn’t even finish it because I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30.  Oh parenthood, you do crazy things to people.

There’s more time to savor the view out of Ellie’s window as the sun is coming up.  I was never really big on sleeping in, so this getting up before the sun comes up thing actually isn’t too much of a life change.

And more time for BAKING!  When I was driving home from work yesterday I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  But then I realized I’ve done that too many times, and I had plenty of time to bake something new.  Oatmeal snack cake seemed like a good idea, but adding chocolate chips was essential.  For some people, this is probably too indulgent for breakfast or snack, but it makes a great casual dessert!

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(adapted from The Bitten Word)

Grasshopper Brownie Bites


This is a new twist on a recipe I posted before. We normally make these as squares, but this year I wanted to try something new, so I baked the brownies in a mini cupcake pan, piped the mint frosting, and drizzled the chocolate over the top. My family may disown me, but I think I like this version even more than the original.
This was one of two desserts I made to take to Mike’s family Christmas in San Luis Obispo. The other was funfetti cookies.

We opened our Christmas presents before we left for SLO, and my aunt and uncle gave me the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook!

I want to try almost everything in the book, but the first recipe I attempted was the confetti cookies, which involved making cake crumbs.

These are definitely not instant gratification cookies, but they are totally worth the time investment. Christina Tosi is a GENIUS and I can’t wait to try more of her recipes.

We got up early this morning and were on the road by 6:15 for the drive from the Bay Area to San Luis Obispo. We didn’t hit any traffic, and Ellie did great in the car (until the last 20 minutes). We immediately went for a walk around town.

SOooo many memories from this place! I can’t believe I lived here for 7 years.

Mike was really excited to see a bear that blows bubbles. Apparently it was a big deal when he was little.

We only moved away less than 18 months ago, but a lot has changed. A lot of the buildings look different because of earthquake retrofits, and there are a bunch of new restaurants and other businesses.

It was a great afternoon with my two favorite people.

After our walk, I went to the track at Cal Poly and did 8 x 400, and was SUPER happy with my times. I ran the first one on 91 seconds and thought that there was no way I could do it 7 more times, but I ended up doing them all between 87 and 91! I am reeeeally hoping for a new 5K PR in 2012, and am prepared to work really hard for it!

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Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles

Having my parents around has been really nice. I’m off again for Winter Break for two weeks starting this afternoon, and then reality hits in January. For right now, I’m just enjoying knowing Ellie is having a great time all day with her grandparents, getting to run with my dad in the afternoons, and not having to worry about getting all her stuff ready to go to daycare.

My sister flew down from Portland for a couple days this week, so we did Christmas a little early. She gave me The Pastry Queen Cookbook, which was what I almost gave her (at the last minute I switched to running tights and espresso flavored Gu). I’m SO excited about the recipes in that book.

My parents were insanely generous and got me a macro lens! Now I can get you a super up-close and personal view of everything I make!

These were inspired by a cookie I had at Bi-Rite creamery. I just found a basic chocolate crinkle recipe online and added some peppermint extract and crushed candy canes. I highly recommend adding them to your Christmas Cookie repertoire! They also make great gifts… I gave a few to my principal, vice principal, and department chair.

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(adapted from Williams Sonoma)



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