>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well, that's quite the title, huh? I don't think it could get any more random than that...
It's too bad it's Wednesday, or else I could have linked to Carissa's Miscellany Monday...
1. Labor Day - Before the South Bay Staff Cookout, Archie and I went to do a little exploring of a nearby town that we hadn't been to yet. I had seen a store that sold frozen custard, and I wanted to give it a try!
In Charleston, there was an old store that has since gone out of business called "Grammie's Frozen Custard" (which is what my sister and I have always called our grandmothers), and it was AWESOME! So rich, creamy, smooth. Much creamier than ice cream.
This one only had chocolate and vanilla- vanilla was definitely the favorite!
The cookout was a huge success. Except that it was 92 degrees - inside my house! ;) Northern California is NOT known for it's really hot weather, in fact this has been an unseasonably cool summer, but Labor Day was definitely the exception. We just crashed the backyard (which was the plan anyway), and relaxed out there. Nobody wanted to be inside!! Of course, today, the high was only 67 degrees.
Beating the heat outside
Archie introduced David to a new iphone game! :) He liked it!
Capo representing South Bay - just don't tell anyone he was eating it! He doesn't quite get the catching part of Frisbee.
The guys got a "friendly" game of Bocci ball on.... there may or may not have been a measuring tape out to determine the winner of the game.
2. Zumba- So, tonight, I tried Zumba for the first time. Some girlfriends of mine all got together and tried the free trial class to see if it was something we wanted to do. WOW!
I think that's the best I got! WOW! It was a blast, but WOW! I couldn't stop smiling the whole time. I was laughing too, and all of us girls were cracking up at ourselves throughout the whole thing. If you've known me for more than a week, you know I have no rhythm.
In fact, I was a cheerleader in high school (yes, I know, you don't have to tell me), and as a joke, one of the other girls on the squad said something like this, "Okay, the next 8 count is freestyle, Rebekah, you lead". Yeah, that's how it is for me. So, with that being said, Zumba is Latin American dancing and aerobics mixed together! hahahahaha.
I will say, it was so much fun, and once you get past the first couple minutes of feeling a little silly, and you close your eyes and ignore the skinny little blond girl in front of you who can shake her hips well making you look like cookie monster, it's an awesome workout! Ha. Our instructor was great and fun, and smiled a lot... I couldn't tell if she was laughing at us because we didn't know what we were doing and looked so funny! HA! I will definitely be going back. I've been looking for a "cross-training" day during my half-marathon training, and it's a great option. I burned ~ 1000 calories in the one hour session, and had a complete blast!
Brownies - it's one of those days! I needed brownies. And what do you do when you don't have a box mix on hand, and you need chocolate? You make brownies from scratch!
I'm very sorry, I don't have step by step pictures - mostly because I needed brownies NOW, and I couldn't have brownies NOW if I had to take pictures. You know you've all been there.
The batter tastes AMAZING!! I almost didn't cook the brownies because the batter kicked my craving for brownies. The batter beats eggs and sugar together till it's whipped, and then incorporates the browned butter, making the most yummy, scrumptious, caramelized tasting batter! You will definitely enjoy these!
Classic Cocoa Walnut Brownies: (adapted from Sugar Plum)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper or foil, and coat with cooking spray.
2. Melt butter in small saucepan or skillet over medium heat, and continue to cook until butter is golden brown with small specks in it. Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 3 minutes on high speed or until fluffy and creamy.
5. Continue on high for 1 more minute as you pour browned butter and vanilla in. Mix until incorporated (approximately 1 minute).
6. Reduce mixer to low speed and beat in dry ingredients until combined - about 1 minute. Stir in walnuts until combined.
7. Scrape and press batter evenly into baking dish. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until set and toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
8. Eat brownies because you needed them!