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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

orange you glad i didn't say banana?

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.

after 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.

my 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.

another sprinkle of the precious fleur de sel, a few hours in the fridge, and a verrrrrry sharp knife later, i had these little morsels:

i'm 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 it. 

now, who wants some?  i've got about 60 pieces of this thing just kickin' it in my kitchen.


  1. Umm helllooooo, I like your cooking! :)

  2. (raises hand and shouts) ME ME ME!!
    I have some great salty caramel ice cream at the store to go with it!


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