i'm in week 6 of my half marathon training program. it's getting tougher - on sunday, i ran 5 miles, and i just finished the first of two midweek runs at 4 miles apiece. and this weekend i'm looking at a 6-mile run. yikes. and yet that's not even half of my final goal! oy. but i am pretty proud of myself for maintaining a <11-minute pace. not too bad for a novice, right? but still - send lots of happy thoughts and running vibes, please.
i've also continued to do the dreaded 30-day shred DVD in between runs. as a result, i'm pretty excited to report that i'm seeing ab muscles that i've NEVER seen [on my own body]
before. it's kind of the only thing that's keeping me going right
now. i kinda wish i'd taken a "before" picture, but that's okay. i'm
still rather...jiggly. ick. but yay for toning up!
and to celebrate, i decided to tackle a recipe i've been eyeing for a few weeks now - salted caramel shortbread bites. haha - two steps forward, one step back, huh?
i was a little leery of the slight tinge of orange flavor that was in the shortbread and
the caramel, but i figured i'd give it a try. who knows - maybe it's
super delicious and just waiting for me to discover it. so i got
started on the cookie layer.
why yes, that is
indeed a pool of melted butter surrounding a pile of sugar and fresh
orange zest. heh. and to make it all extra tasty, i busted out the
good sea salt. you know, the one that cost me $9.
chilling for a bit in the fridge and then about 25 minutes in the oven,
i pulled out a beautifully golden brown, fragrant pan of shortbread.
candy thermometer, which i hadn't used in quite a while, is busted.
well, it still works, but i have to test it every time i use it with a
pot of boiling water. it's about 12 degrees off. oh, well. but it
worked just fine with a little arithmetic, and in just a few minutes i
had some lovely, ooey-gooey homemade caramel to pour on top.
sprinkle of the precious fleur de sel, a few hours in the fridge, and a
verrrrrry sharp knife later, i had these little morsels:
sad to admit that my first instinct was right - for my personal taste, i
could happily have left out the citrus zest and replaced the orange
extract with vanilla. boo. but these are pretty tasty. a little
time-consuming (with all the work done by the fridge, heh), but worth
now, who wants some? i've got about 60 pieces of this thing just kickin' it in my kitchen.