Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Angel

Kid at heart that I am, after I finished shoveling my walk, I made a snow angel. :) I tried to take a photo of it, but it didn't turn out through the screened window. I felt endless satisfaction in doing it though. Especially after my shoveling job. It's a straight sidewalk but my path looks more like the board of chutes and ladders.

It Worked!

OSU closed today! I still kind of can't believe it. I kept having dreams in the middle of the night that the roads were horrific and they still wouldn't close. So I was extra shocked when I checked at 6 am and they had closed. We ended up getting tons of freezing rain and ice so it was really slick. By the time I got back up at 8, it was snowing again, those giant, heavy flakes that look so beautiful. I had a blast taking the girls out because they were so funny. It was icy with a layer of snow over the ice, so they were walking with their paws all spread out, punching through the ice with every step. And Abbey loves to lick the snow while she walks, when it's fresh like that, so she kept her face to the ground. I'm just thankful that the ice wasn't so much as to cause a lot of power outages with falling trees.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with my bonus day! Definitely some cleaning and organizing in my office. I've been putting that off forever, and I finally started last night. I'll probably tackle that and also do some cooking. I made a big vat of turkey chili over the weekend and I might make a big pot of chicken tortilla soup now. I have also been meaning to make truffles for a long time, as I have some chocolate I need to use, so I might mess around with those. We shall see.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cross Your Fingers...

Since I technically work for a university, I always dare to dream that I could some day get a snow day. Well, if my dream is ever going to come true, it's tonight. We're supposed to get up to 6 inches of snow and ice. Of course we all know the forecasts are frequently wrong, but it has been snowing for a few hours already. And the school actually sent out a notice about where to find closure information, which they almost never do. Granted, they were quick to say that nothing was cancelled yet, but still. :) Plus our HR person sent out something with information about if we close as well. I feel like a dorky little kid, but I am SO hoping for a snow day!!!! So, cross your fingers for me! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No More Books. Baking Instead!

I finished reading "Something Blue" this morning. No more reading for a while. I've got other things to do. :) It surprisingly snowed quite a bit today so I just wanted to hunker down. So I read and then made several batches of biscotti. One of the guards at work had asked me to make him some (and paid me, even though I tried to refuse), and I finally got around to it. I also thought I'd make some for my mom, who is pretty much homebound after having her hip replaced last Monday. I was planning to head out to visit her today but the roads seem crappy enough that it's not a good idea. So I'll go out tomorrow after work instead.

Several people have asked me for my biscotti recipe, so I'm going to post it on here. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but these are pretty tasty. I get quite a few compliments on them, so I have to recommend them. The recipe is from Cooking Light.

Gingered White-Chocolate Biscotti

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (4-ounce) bar premium white chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • Vegetable cooking spray


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the vanilla and next 2 ingredients, and add to the flour mixture, stirring until well-blended (dough will be dry).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Shape dough into a 16-inch-long roll. Place roll on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and flatten roll to 1-inch thickness.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove roll from baking sheet to a wire rack, and let cool 10 minutes.

Cut roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices, and place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325°, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes (the cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Now I'm going to be like my Grammy Lucy and go into all of the things that I've learned from making this a gazillion times.

-This is better if you use bar white chocolate (I use Lindt which is sometimes on sale at World Market. I've got to find a cheaper source online). If you must use white chocolate chips (which I did today), chop them up a bit first. The chips are too big and will make big holes or burn after you slice the biscotti.

-I always add more white chocolate and ginger than what they say. I add "very heaping" in front of those two measurements. :) I heap the vanilla a bit too.

-I mix everything in my Kitchenaid. You don't have to do much kneading if you do that, which I like. It can be a pretty sticky dough so it gets stuck to your counter or Roll-pat. Don't be afraid to use flour though - it doesn't hurt the consistency.

-I actually never do the diagonal cutting because I want to get as many same-sized biscotti out of the recipe. I'm sure this looks less authentic. :)

-If you're like me and don't have a fancy stove, use an over thermometer. I burned the first several batches I made in this apartment because I later realized my oven is almost 50 degrees too hot. Gross.

-I get my ginger at Williams-Sonoma. I've used both the Ginger People ginger chips and the WS brand slices. Both are less than $10 and have tons, if you're making more than a batch. I once bought a little bottle in the spice section at the grocery store and it was so much more expensive than buying these. I mince both of them, even though the ginger chips might be small enough to use as is.

-I read somewhere that you can stand the biscotti on their flat bottoms and cook them that way so you don't have to flip them midway through, but I've never tried it. I'm too afraid the bottoms would burn too much.

Happy baking!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Sunny!!

What a beautiful day! It's brisk out but the sun is shining. I had a great run this morning, just shy of 9 miles. I could have done more but I had to run to get to my Hip Hop Dance class! This was week 2. Week 1 was pretty hard. I didn't feel like it was much of a workout, the class was too big, I had no idea what I was doing, and well, I'm white with no rhythm. This week was much better. I still have no rhythm but I managed to stay with the teacher much better. We know have about 24 whole beats of a song. :) I'm still working on my "attitude" as our adorable instructor keeps calling it. It's tons of fun.

I've been lying in bed reading (AGAIN! Now I'm re-reading Something Blue for the umpteenth time.) and am trying to make myself do some housework. Ick. But I really need to put some laundry away, vacuum, and clean up the kitchen. The dogs thought it would be super fun (AGAIN, second time in a week!) to pull out all of my spatulas and spoons and chew up a few of them. Luckily, after losing seven last time, I think I only lost two this time. But now there are shards of wooden spoon all over the living room. Good thing my days at Williams-Sonoma left me stocked with a plethora of cooking utensils. However someone (Abbey!) also laid into one of my Silpats (grrr....) so I'm probably going to have to replace it. I trimmed the ripped parts off, but now it's smaller and the edges are exposed. For those who don't know what a Silpat is, they are amazing. They're made of silicone and are basically reusable parchment paper sized to fit your cookie sheets (or half sheet pans, as mine are technically called). No need to grease or spray, just throw one of these bad boys on there and wipe it off when you're done. Love them. Apparently Martha does too. :)

Ok, that's probably enough procastinating for now. Off to domesticate myself!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I've been slacking

Even though we had Monday off of work this week, this week has been kind of long and dragging. I have had zero motivation to do anything. Including blog, obviously. :) I did read a few good books though. First off, I read Emily Giffin's latest book, "Love the One You're With." Not as good as her first two, which Sarah got me hooked on, but still worth reading. Then I read "Chasing Harry Winston," by the same woman who wrote "The Devil Wears Prada." Also entertaining. It was funny because one of the characters in "Chasing" is actually reading a book by Emily Giffin at one point and mentions how much she likes it. And now, because I forgot how much I like to read, I'm re-reading Emily Giffin's first book, "Something Borrowed." Only a few pages left. I swear I've read it 5 times, but it's so good. I think I have to stop reading so much though - I keep getting completely sucked in and keep reading, to the detriment of other things going on in my life. I mean, I've read 3 books in less than a week. And not vacuumed or done the dishes. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary!

Today is Mary's birthday, so Happy Birthday Mar-Bear! Mary is my longest-running friend ever. (I was going to say oldest friend, but that might imply that she is oldest by age, which she is not.) We went to pre-school together. I still keep in touch with other people we've known since then, but Mary is my closest friend from that era.

And while typing this, I wanted to give a quick belated birthday to Kim! I didn't end up posting on her birthday (December 24) and I felt bad because I posted a birthday shoutout to AJ, whose birthday was the day before. Kim, you know I didn't forget about ya. :) (I doubt you're even reading this anyway, LOL!)

Anyway, happy day!

Why Yes, it can get colder

When I took the ladies out this morning, it was -12, wind chill of -28. YOWZA! Those poor dogs did NOT want to go out. Last night Abbey even cried for a second when we were out. They both tried to do the paw-in-the-air hopping thing. Sad but cute.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

F-ing Cold

When I took the ladies out this morning before heading to the gym (that's 3 days in a row running before work, thankyouverymuch!), it was -1. Without a wind chill. That is what I call "f-ing cold." Seriously, could it get any colder? Oh wait, yes, apparently it can, because it's supposed to be even colder tonight. BRRRRRRRRRR. I dressed up like the michelin man to come into work today - ski gloves and the whole 9 yards. :) Oh, and I even had to scrape the INSIDE of my windshield after being at the gym. But the snow is gorgeous. :)

Stay warm out there!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding Coordinating and Biggest Loser

Well, I went! :) I did about 40 minutes of weight lifting. I was going to walk on the treadmill and watch Biggest Loser, but none of the tv's had it on. Oh well, I ran this morning, so no biggie. So now I'm half watching it at home. I wish the show were only an hour though. I don't like to watch a ton of tv, or rather, I never seem to have the time, so 2 hours is too much commitment. So I watch it here and there. It's good motivation.

Now I'm off to brainstorm. Some of you probably know I coordinate weddings on the side. I never really came up with a good name for my "business" because I didn't want to make it seem purely wedding-y, and all of the good websites were taken. I have two weddings coming up and I need to make some business cards, so I need to pick a name, get a site and make some cards. I let my old website lapse (it was so I have a clean slate. I need something easier to remember, and I'm ok now with making it more wedding-centric. I'm thinking maybe something with the word "celebrations" in it. "Cavanaugh Celebrations" seems too cheesy and also too long. We'll see... Feel free to give me suggestions!!!

Motivation is waning

I am trying so hard to get motivated to go to the gym and lift weights. My apartment is warm and snuggly. Why would I want to go out in the bitter cold and to the gym? Hmmm, probably because I want to lose 15 pounds, that's why! Yep, I thought posting on here would drag my a$$ off of this chair. Off to the gym I go!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I wanted to post this last night, but I was tired and went straight to bed. It snowed while I was out last night, maybe an inch or so. But because it was a Sunday evening, there wasn't a lot of traffic, and the snow was just beautiful. It sparkled like glitter as I drove along, and if I hadn't felt it myself, I might have thought it was fake department store prop snow. It was that kind of pretty snow. And the lack of cars meant that even the streets were still white. I just love the purity of fresh, untouched, glittering snow. It always makes me feel like a kid again, and happy. And no one else was outside, so it was like my own private world. Even the sounds were muted because of the thin layer covering everything. I hate the cold because I'm always freezing but snow like that puts a smile on my face. We're due to get more of it over the next few days, so I hope it's as pretty as this was!

You're it!

Tammy tagged me...
here is how it goes: go to your 4th folder (where your pictures are stored) and find the 4th picture….and post it. then explain it.

This was actually a picture I took for you, my dear blog readers. All 3 of you. :) These are the Christmas cookies I made and decorated, and I had planned to post the results. As per the usual, I got bored of doing it several cookies in, so the later cookies aren't very exciting. I sent a handful to my sister Laura in Korea, and then ended up sending some more to one of Todd's friends at this request, and he and I probably ate the rest. :) I love me a frosted sugar cookie!!

I'm not sure I have 4 people reading this who will see it, but just in case, I tag Sarah, Liz, Melissa and Suzanne. I picked all of you because I know you've read my blog at least once. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Storm 2009?

I love how the forecasters always make a much bigger deal out of everything than it really is. And I fall for it EVERY time!!! They were forecasting this winter storm today - rain, snow, freezing rain, the works. I was so worried about it - I thought running on the trail in ice would be awful, and what if the gym even closed? So I actually went to the gym last night and ran on the dreadmill, even though running at the end of the day makes my stomach upset. I could only make it 6 miles, I felt so nauseous. So it really wasn't that bad this morning. I ended up driving to the gym and running another 6, to try to make up for the crappy run last night. It was freezing raining right when I would have been running outside, but I think it would have been preferable running in that with my friends than slogging away on the tready. Oh well, it's done, and I got 12 miles in.

On that note, our coaches tell us that if you run a distance over 24 hours, it's pretty much the same as running it at once. I don't believe it. While the end of my 6 today did feel a bit more like being at the end of 12 than at the end of 6, it was not nearly the same as running 12 nonstop. I'm no expert, but I'm unconvinced. That said, I think sometimes it's ok to do and it's definitely better than not running.

I need to try to be productive today. I kind of just want to laze around, so it's going to be rough. I think I'll start by washing some dishes and putting away some laundry, and go from there. And shower at some point. I still have 6 miles of gym sweat on me. :) I need to make a few lists and phone calls for the wedding I'm coordinating next month, and maybe cook a little or something. If the crap ever stops falling outside, I'll take the ladies out too. They hate the rain though.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A random day

Not much to report but I don't want to slack too much on the blog. :)

I pat myself on the back a bit because I managed to get my lazy butt out of bed and hit the gym before work. I used to do it almost every day but I've gotten out of the habit. I only ran 4 miles, but I'll take it.

I had a funny dog moment this morning. I walked into my bedroom while I was getting ready this morning, and the dogs were both on my bed. I looked at Jelly, and she was tucked under the covers with her head out, right near the pillow. It made me laugh out loud. She loves burrowing under the blankets, but usually she goes all the way under, so this was especially funny looking. Sadly, I didn't get a picture because I thought my camera was downstairs (and they usually follow me downstairs, hence defeating the purpose).

I'm going out hang out with a couple of girlfriends I haven't seen much of in a while tonight, so I'm super excited for that. I love girls nights!

In other news, I met with a potential bride last night. I'm really excited about the wedding. I used to coordinate a lot of weddings, and I'd like to focus some efforts on getting back into that. I have 2-3 on the horizon this year already, which is great. I can't really do too many or I can't focus enough on any one. But I need to get a new website up and all of that.

I also got to catch up with one of my bestest friends, Sarah, on the phone. I love talking to her! :)

Back to my real job now. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cold, crappy run but exciting news too!

What a change from last week! Last Saturday it was in the 60s, and I ran 12 great miles in shorts! Today it was 23, and I could barely pound my way through 10 miles all bundled up. I'm lying in bed now, trying to pretend like my stomach isn't super upset with me. This is the one thing I hate about running - my stomach is so mean to me after my long runs! It sucks. At least I've got the beagles in bed with me and the sun is shining. :)

Oh, and congratulations to my friend S! She and her boyfriend M just got engaged last night!!!! Yay! In honor of that, I was going to post a picture of them from last year's ugly sweater party (S won, although she was not wearing a sweater), but I'm not sure how she would feel about that. Suffice it to say, she and he both had GREAT costumes!!

So now there are two exciting weddings coming up, A and A's, and S and M's! Yay, I'm so excited for them!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's and Soup

I know I haven't officially posted my new year goals yet (probably because I haven't made them yet - I have a desire to be sitting in my living room with a glass of wine while doing it, is that so wrong?) but one thing I want to do is fine something I like doing. One might consider this finding a focus for my blog. :) I run a lot but I don't know that I can count it as a hobby and I don't think it's really interesting to anyone else. We shall see....

I like cooking a lot but I'm kind of intimidated by all the good food blogs out there already. Where are these people taking these photos??? They look so professional.

So, no photo to go along with it, but I made this delicious soup the other night and had it for lunch today. Highly recommend - it's easy, pretty healthy, and tasty. It's from Cooking Light.

North Woods Bean Soup
Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Cooking spray
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes.

Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

Nutritional Information
Calories:227 (15% from fat)
Fat:3.9g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.3g,poly 1.2g) Protein:18.1g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002

They provided the calorie breakdown. I think it's kind of low though. Todd got me an iPod Touch for Christmas (so cool!!!) and I downloaded this awesome app called "Lose It" where you enter what you eat and do for exercise and it tracks your calories for you. My favorite feature is where you can enter a recipe and it automatically caluclates the nutrition info per serving. When I put this bad boy in, it was a bit over 300 cal per serving (although I do up the kielbasa by a smidge). Still not bad, but not what they got.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy 2009!!! May the new year bring you much love, laughter, happiness, and good health!

I can't believe 2008 is already over. That year went by SO quickly! Wow.

Like a woman I know said in her blog, it may not be fashionable to make New Year's Resolutions, but I kind of love the tradition. While I don't know that might are outright resolutions, I like to think about the year that just passed and the one about to start and make some goals. I'll post them once I finish. :)