Monday, January 26, 2009

Melt in Your Mouth Brownie Pudding

One of Tom's favorite desserts from his childhood is now one of our favorites. I haven't made it for a while and forgot how good it was. We definitely need to make it more often.

It is a miracle of baking. Decadent, moist brownie baked in a pool of chocolatey heaven. One step, but miraculously two divine desserts.

It is very easy to make and just bakes as you eat your supper.

This is Tom's mom's recipe, I have taken a few tiny liberties and altered the recipe ever so slightly, hopefully to no one's offense.

Brownie Pudding
1 c. flour, minus 2 T
4 T unsweetened cocoa
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 t vanilla
2 T melted butter

Combine all ingredients and spread in a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan.

3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 t salt

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.

Mix 3/4 c hot milk and 3/4 c hot water. Pour over entire mixture. This is what makes the pudding while it bakes. The original is only water, but the milk makes it a little richer, but it is great with just water, too.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or even just straight cream.

Bon Appetit!

Delicious Cornbread Recipe

Tom made a great cornbread recipe last night for dinner. It came from a fun book my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday.

"The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life" by Jennifer Worick has 50 fun pioneer projects for the modern girl. It is divided into the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the parlor, and the barn and beyond.

The cornbread was the first thing we have tried and it was a winner. Basic, but delicious. To be honest, I don't think I have ever made cornbread from scratch before. But this one wasn't too crumbly, nor too sweet, it was just right.

Skillet Corn Bread
2 T bacon grease
1 c yellow cornmeal
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/3 c boiling water
3/4 c buttermilk
1/8 - 1/4 c honey
1 egg, beaten
1 jalapeno, optional

Preheat oven to 450. Place grease in 12-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven until very hot. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c cornmeal with the sugar, salt, powder and soda. set aside. Place remaining cornmeal in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir together until blended and stiff. Slowly whisk buttermilk (I used milk and vinegar) and honey into the cornmeal/water mixture, whisking until smooth. whisk in egg and fold in jalapeno. (We omitted jalapeno because we have wimpy kids, but next time we want to try it).
Fold dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Remove skillet from oven pour batter in while tilting skillet away from you. Bake about 20 minutes, or until golden on the edges and firm to the touch in center. Flip immediately onto cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes.

What makes this cornbread so divine are the edges, all crispy from the bacon grease. Next time we want to add some cream corn as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Running Blog

Since Tom and I have become pretty obsessed with running and training for the Boston Marathon, we decided to start a new blog devoted to our training. That way, those who really don't care how our last race, won't have to suffer through the boring details. But for those who are interested in what we are doing in preparation for the Boston Marathon, visit our new blog. is a blog devoted to our training and races. We are doing it mostly for our own benefit, but if anyone has interest, they are welcome to visit anytime. We plan to update it weekly with our training for the week. And the new blog will be where we post our race reports from now on. And Tom ahs even committed to posting on it.

We are super excited to be going to Boston and really need to pick up our training a bit. Hopefully the blog will help motivate us a little more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

St. George Half-Marathon Report

Tom and I ran the St. George Marathon On Saturday. We hadn't trained a whole lot, but both of us need to get back in shape. Boston is only 3 months away. So this was a great wake-up call for both of us and we are not in as bad as shape as we thought. We both made it through and we both beat our goals. Albeit, my goal wasn't super ambitious considering the running shape I am in, but hey I still beat my goal.

And it was tons of fun to run with friends. I love these local races because there are so many friends. We all talk after about our race, what race is next etc. Great times.

Here is my report. I always ask Tom to write one, too but he never does. Oh well.

The St. George Half is in January in St. George. You never quite know what the weather is going to be like. It might bitter cold and raining or it might be 60 degrees and sunny. If you sign up for this race, you watch the weather and just hope for the best. And this year, that is what we got. The weather was spectacular. The forcast called for sunny skies and highs in the low 60s. Heaven I tell you.

The race began at 9 am. It was a chilly at the start. I wore running tights, short sleeves, my awesome argyle Garmin-Chipotle arm warmers a fleece, gloves and ear warmers as we waited for 9 to roll around. I shed the fleece just before the start. This year they chip-timed the race because there were over 1000 runners. But the timers weren't the greatest. They started the race ten minutes late and made 1000 runners funnel through an opening of about 15 feet where the timing mats started our chips. But chip timers are better than not, so I won't complain too much.

I started out way too fast. The crowds of runners got to me. I ran my first mile in 7:40. I usually like to make my first mile my slowest, instead it was my fastest. The first couple of miles wind flat through neighborhood streets. I tried to ignore the hoards of people passing me and just run my own race.

After a while we get on a bike path that follows the river. It is beautiful and nice to not be on the streets with cars. I passed a few, got passed by a few, but had found a good groove. I passed a girl who always kicks my butt at the local triathlons. She usually wins them, so it felt nice to pass her. (but she ran 8 minutes slower than last year so I bet she was pregnant or injured or something, but still.)

The 5th mile is uphill and is one of my slowest. I struggled up the hill but felt okay. The next mile is pretty downhill so it was pretty fast. At about mile 7, I am tired and have doubts about my finish. But carry on.

Just before 8 miles into my race, the leaders are coming back on the path at their 11 miles. They give me some new energy, watching them fly by me. I don't even think I could run 1 mile with them at the pace they were running. There were three who passed me on their way back and one was only 17 years old.

The next part of the course is a bit hilly and circles a golf course on the road. My IT band began to hurt but I decided against stopping and stretching it. (not sure if that was wise or not). The
loop is three miles and I just pushed through it. By this point, there are people around me I recognize. I tried to not let any women pass me, but of course some do. When they passed me, I tried to keep my eye on them.

Sometime around mile 10 I took off my arm warmers. I was so glad i wore them and not long sleeves. The last 2.1 miles are back on the path. Now, I got to see some who are behind me still on the path. I was definitely tired and my IT band ached.

Tom greeted me on the path about 1/2 mile from the finish. He ran with me for couple hundred yards and encouraged me. Then came the worst part of the whole course. We had to pass the finish line and run .15-mile further on the path and make the tight turn around (which means you had to practically stop to make the turn-around) and come back to the finish line. The geniuses who mapped the course, mapped it .3 of a mile too short and decided to add it at the end. Don't ask me why they didn't just add .3 of a mile to the start on the straight road that had plenty of room to add, but I was mad, I was hurting and I pushed as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line in 1:44:54 (6 seconds ahead of my optimistic goal).

Someone mentioned to Tom at church that I looked like I was hurting and having a bad race at the end. It's a little embarrassing to think about how I looked at the end of 13.1 miles, but I was hurting and struggling but I made it!

Click here for all the results.