Well it’s been a while since I posted, things have been a little crazy. Let’s see if we can sum up what’s been going on. I’ve been continuing on my half marathon training and have upped my running schedule from 3 to 4 days a week. Amanda has been running too and also spent some time on her bike trainer.
It was really good and helped remind me that I like being a scientist. With my newly rediscovered inspiration and motivation I got back in the lab this week and made some good progress. More on that later.
On Sunday we went to a Superbowl party with some friends. We made sweet vanilla butter cookies (recipe below) and a delicious Thug Kitchen black bean and cilantro dip (after the turmoil of grocery shopping on Superbowl Sunday afternoon (which I will never recommend for anyone without a serious masochistic streak) in a store with NO FREAKIN CILANTRO! How does that even happen?
Anyway, this week I’ve been pretty productive in the lab. I took a bunch of measurements and made some nice pretty graphs and it’s a good thing too because today I was asked to present my recent work to a new industry partner for our Research Center. I got a good 90 minute notice that my adviser wouldn’t be attending and I would be presenting. Do you see why I sometimes hate grad school?
Anyway, race training! It’s going well so far. My long run this week is 5 miles and then I have an easy week before increasing again. Week after next when I do 6 miles it will have been my longest run ever! I still haven’t cried any (well, maybe a little on that damn foam roller) and my legs don’t feel like they’re going to fall off despite how much I might like them to. I’ve been making great use of my GPS watch Christmas gift (thank you baby!) and logging my runs on Garmin connect. Even though I was a little off this week and my short runs were a little tough (read: made me want to barf), it’s nice to see my progress 🙂
Are you training for anything??
Sweet Vanilla Butter Cookie
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed at 300K (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (get the real stuff, trust me)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped*
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Put flour and salt in small mixing bowl, whisk to combine
- In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar with a mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla, vanilla bean seeds (discard pod) and egg. Mix until combined. Add flour/salt mixture and mix on low until just combined.
- Make your cookies! We used a Cuisinart Electric Cookie Press to make nice shapes but you can do it however you like. They were pretty small, maybe the size of a half dollar and a quarter inch thick.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Keep a close eye on them since your cookie size may influence the cooking time.
- Cool before removing from pan (I didn’t do this, I just started eating them. I burnt my fingers a little)
* to get the seeds out of the pod, cut it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, flatten it out and scrape the seeds out with the knife edge/tip