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The Kitchen Queue

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Does anyone else keep a wishlist of kitchen projects? You know what I mean, all those things you’d bake (or cook!) if you just had the time. I keep a huge ‘to be baked’ list on my Pinterest and here are a few recent additions…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction – Hellooooo pumpkin! No, it’s not fall yet. Yes, it’s okay to start baking fall-themed desserts. Rumor has it these are soft and chewy rather than dense and cakey like pumpkin cookies typically are. I bought a can of pumpkin at the store on Monday and you better believe these are the first thing I’ll be baking when I get the chance! (Also Sally’s blog is adorable and I’ve had wonderful success with her recipes so please do take a look.)

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Champage Marshmallows from BraveTart – Also on my list are marshmallows. Even better, marshmallows with champagne in them! I haven’t managed to pick up a candy thermometer yet, but once I do I’m pretty sure we’ll be up to our eyeballs in marshmallows. The serving size just for this recipe is “about 100″. Bring it on.

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Also on my list: How to Make Sprinkles featured on The Kitchn by BraveTart I mentioned this recipe/tutorial in yesterday’s post about my love of sprinkled sugar cookies and I can’t wait to give it a try. I’m thinking maybe some ombre sugar cookies? Or maybe ombre sprinkle cupcakes? Is ombre totally over? Hope not!

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P.S. Today would have been a C25K recap day (and my last run of Week 4) if I hadn’t gone and broken my pinky toe yesterday! Wish I had a crazy story to tell but really I just kicked our monster of a coffee table. Nice.

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The search for the perfect sprinkled cookie

When I set out to make my dream sugar cookie, I had a picture in my mind of exactly what I wanted.When I lived in Los Angeles, we lived just down the street from Factor’s Famous Deli. Factor’s is a landmark deli that has been open in West LA since 1948. They’re famous for their corned beef but what I really loved about that place was the sprinkle cookies. Other than being covered in sprinkles and the size of my face, they weren’t anything extraordinary. But they were my favorite.

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I haven’t quite gotten to the perfect sprinkled cookie yet, but these aren’t too bad! These cookies very soft and pillowy (They’re also pocket-sized rather than face-sized). Very much a cake-like cookie rather than a chewy, fudgy cookie. The un-sprinkeld cookies below (how’d that happen?) are from a different recipe. Still cake-like and fluffy, but with a touch of almond.

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Sidebar: Did you know you can make your own sprinkles? These cookies aren’t topped with homemade sprinkles but that is definitely on my ‘things I want to make a mess trying’ list. Have you ever heard of Sprinkle School? Is there such a thing as too many sprinkles? I think I have a problem.

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 I haven’t quite cracked the sprinkle cookie secret, but these disappeared pretty quickly so I’d say they were enjoyed. They also kicked off my summer of baking! I can’t wait to share more of what I made this summer — and hopefully I’ll have some completely original recipes to share with you soon. And of course, the moment I recreate those Factor’s sprinkled cookies you’ll be the first to know!

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Week 4 Day 2 — Finally!

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Today went so much better than I had anticipated! After an (accidental) week off, I hopped back on the treadmill this morning for W4D2 of Couch to 5K.

I ran 2.33 mi in just over 31 minutes (13:30 pace). This includes both the 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walks.

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Today was also the farthest I’ve gone as part of C25K as well as the second fastest! Not bad considering I skipped two runs last week. I’m just so excited that I made it through the entire workout without cutting my runs short, extra walk breaks, or giving up entirely. I’ve got one more day of Week 4 and then we move into Week 5 aka The Week of DOOM.

P.S. — Please excuse the complete MESS I’ve made of this blog! I previously blogged here on and then I tried Tumblr for a while, attempted to import those posts here, managed to turn all previously published posts here back into ‘drafts’ and just generally made a complete mess. Things will be fixed eventually!

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Week 4 Day 1

(Yes, I skipped Friday. No, I don’t feel bad about it.)

2.09 miles — longest C25K run so far! Uh, nope. Total lie. I checked my Daily Mile and my runs were longer in Week 2. LOL oops!

27:25 — I managed part of the cool-down walk. Runs were consistently the same speed.

13:20 vs. 13:07 pace — Treadmill vs Daily Mile. I’ll take the faster one!

I spent most of the run in an argument with myself, but luckily the best self won. I tried every trick in the book to talk myself out of finishing the jogging intervals (and I had some pretty valid arguments) to no avail. 

My calves were in a LOT of pain by the end of this, and I’m not sure if that’s from old shoes, bad form, speed, (de)hydration or what. I’ve had trouble in the past with painful arches, but I don’t remember calf pain being an issue. Next time I’ll stretch more before and after and cross my fingers it’s not a recurring problem! 

Okay, back to the kitchen! I’m making 250 cupcakes for an event this Thursday! We’ve entered uncharted waters…

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Week 3 Day 3

I ran faster today than I ever have before (at least during this C25K). And somehow I managed to run just .2 miles further. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s not entirely accurate. 

Typically I run at a leisurely (ha!) 5.5 mph pace for my jog intervals. Today, every interval was between 5.6 and 5.9 mph. I’d say the average was 5.7 mph. Yet somehow I didn’t make it any further down the road (treadmill belt). 

1.67 mi 00:23 13:51 pace (includes warm-up walk, but no cool-down)

Questionable.

In other news, Pandora’s 90s Pop Radio station is wonderful. I have a harder time running in the afternoon. I could go for a huge waffle cone from TCBY. There will be baking tonight. 

Oh yeah, I start week FOUR on Friday! 

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Week 3 Day NOPE

Thanks to some BIG TIME LIFE PROBLEMS*, today’s run will be delayed until this evening.

*actual size: miniscule

If I tell you, that means I have to do it, right?

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Week 3 Day 2

It felt good to run. 

I woke up feeling exhausted and already stressed out about the upcoming week and I wanted nothing more than to hide under the covers. Instead, I turned on auto-pilot and put on my sneakers. 

1.65 miles in 23:23. Again, this includes the 5 minute warm-up walk but I skipped the 5 minute cool-down in favor of a walk outside. (No, I will never be consistent about this!) 

Listened to Fun’s album Some Nights — seriously one of my favorite bands to run to.

The walking intervals flew by, but for once so did the running!

Here’s to a good week! 

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Week 3 Day 1

Happy Friday!

I keep wanting to call this Week 4. Ha, we’re not there yet!

So, 1.96 miles in about 28 minutes with a 14:24 pace. Yes, that may sound like a crazy slow pace to you (it definitely does to me when I compare it to friends of mine who run) but I keep reminding myself those totals include my warm-up and cool-down walks AND the walking intervals. Without those I’m closer to 10:45 miles, which isn’t fast but it’s much better.

I ran much later than I had originally planned thanks to a wonderfully fun happy hour last night and a few work tasks that I wanted to do ASAP. (Have you heard of Eating the Frog? Awesome habit to get into.)

Anyway, ran inside on the treadmill and other than a weird shoulder pain that popped up partway though, things went smoothly. It definitely wasn’t easy but that’s the whole point, right?

Totally got this!

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Summer Reading

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan —
I read this book while we were on vacation in Florida and it was quite a read! Honestly, I sped through so much of it because I was just fascinated by the characters lives (and the outlandishness of it all), but I was not a fan of the ending. THE TWIST! Thanks for setting it up perfectly for a sequel Kevin. 

The Shining GIrls by Lauren Beukes —

THE SHINING GIRLS is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.”

Definitely a mishmash, we’ve got time-travel, serial killers, romance, etc. I’ve heard it compared to Gone Girl, which I thought was 20x better. Even so, it’s full of twists and turns and I zipped right through it!

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister —

I didn’t realize this was book 2 of a series, so I may have appreciated this book more if I had read the first one. It’s a beautiful, lyrical book and a wonderful change of pace after all of the wicked books I’d been reading. The stories are woven together wonderfully and it is just plain sweet. 

Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston, Ph.D —

I read this book for work and it is extremely powerful. If you’re a woman who has ever struggled with body image or food (and really, who hasn’t?), you need to read this book ASAP. Her use of metaphors and storytelling is incredible, and if you ever have the chance to see her speak in person you must go!

The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales —

This was the most perfect beach read for Florida! You may have heard of the show Pretty Wild, which aired on E! a few years ago. You may also have seen this clip from The Soup, which highlights one of the more bizarre scenes from the show (which also happens to include the author of the book!) In this case Nancy Jo tells the ‘real story’ behind the group of teens accused of robbing celebrities in the Hollywood Hills. Honestly, it’s a sad story. These kids are a mess. It caught the attention of my younger self (who spent almost 5 years in Los Angeles), so I just had to read it. If you enjoyed (or hate-watched) Pretty Wild, you read the tabloids, or you’re a fan of a good tell-all, you’ll like this book.

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott —

Oh man, I don’t even know what to say about this book. It’s dark. It’s disturbing. It’s really really good.

That’s what I’ve been reading this summer! What about you guys?

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Week 2 Day 3

1.99 miles in 28:30 (with just a 2.5 min cool-down). You’d think my distance would be increasing and not DEcreasing, but I’ll take it! I was able to increase my speed for almost all of my running intervals, which is a definite sign of improvement. 

According to DailyMile, my fastest run was today(!) with that 14:19 pace, and my longest was on Monday (2.14 miles LOL). Slow and steady wins the race, baby!

I had all KINDS of technical difficulties this morning, which were probably a sign from the universe. So thanks, Universe. I’ll try to run outside on Friday. 

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