"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." Roald Dahl

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Update!

I have not really had the energy or motivation to blog lately.  Lo siento.  But here is what I have been up to.

* I hung out with some of the other teachers at my school.  They are great and I already have some new friends.  It has been very fun.



* I did  a lot of grading in front of the TV.  That's right, it is officially Christmas movie season on Hallmark and Lifetime and I can't resist.  I did, however, hold off the urge to decorate for Christmas, but I am slowly giving in...maybe tomorrow :)



* I still get adorable pictures like this daily.  Seriously...Is he not the cutest little kid you've ever seen? And I get to hang with him in just a few short days.  Along with the rest of my family - I cannot wait!




* I went to see the new Twilight movie.  Yes, I really did it and no, I am not a teenager.  I do have to say, of all the movies in the series, it was the best!  A great way to end them.

* I got my hair did!!  I love it.  What do you think?



* I have been running again.  Slowly, but surely.  If anyone has any tips for finding motivation to run in cold, dark weather, please share them with me.  I am feeling pretty good when I get out there though.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!  I've been keeping a gratitude journal and it has been pretty amazing.  Remember all of the great things in your life, this week especially, because there are a lot of wonderful things in the world!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gingerbread Mini-Muffins

Don't let the title fool you - these have no nutritional value.  They are probably more correctly titled "gingerbread mini-cheesecakes", but I like calling them muffins, so I will.

I was asked to bring a dessert to a dinner last week, and while I really just wanted to grab some cookies and  pretend they were homemade, I also kinda wanted to try out this pinterest recipe I had found.  Luckily, my laziness did not win out.



Ingredients:
*a roll of gingerbread cookie dough (or homemade dough)
*powdered sugar
*cream cheese
*vanilla

I actually made these twice...yep.  The first time I made them I got a little overzelous and they were huge!  They overflowed out of the mini-muffin cups and looked like a mess.  So, I made a second batch with more reasonable sized cookie dough balls and they came out perfectly.  I also tweaked the recipe a bit for my liking.

First, put a small dallop of cookie dough into the mini-muffin places on the pan.  You can use mini-cupcake wrappers, but I just greased the pan first and it worked fine.

Then use a spoon dipped in flour to hollow out a hole or cavity in the middle of each ball of dough.  This is important! - make sure your dough balls are small or they will overflow and cause a mess.  Cook the gingerbread according to cookie instructions.

Warning - add less dough than I did :)


In a bowl, use a mixer to create the frosting.  Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 4 oz of softened cream cheese, and one teaspoon of vanilla.  Mix.  It's delicious!!



When the cookies are cooked and cooled, add the frosting to the center of each cookie so that it fills the hole.  If you are fancy, you probably have baking tools for this.  I did not, so I used a ziplock bag with the corner cut out of it.  It worked just fine.  The girls at small group ate them up and begged for the recipe.

Unfortunately, they were eaten  so quickly that I didn't even have time for a picture.

**The first time I made them I followed the complete recipe on pinterest which says to put the frosting in before cooking the dough.  It resulted in everything bubbling over and going everywhere.  It did caramelize the frosting a tad, but not enough for me to warrant trying the mess.   Here is the picture of the first batch...


And even though they don't look like much, I took them to school and the teachers raved about how good they were.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Spectator

This past weekend was the City of the Oaks half marathon.  
I didn't run it, but I did get to see it!

After the marathon, something was up with my foot.  It swelled up a bit and was pretty painful for a few weeks, so I did not run for three whole weeks.  I was planning on running the half this weekend, but after only a handful of runs in a month, I didn't think that it was the best idea.  I did, however, want to go cheer!

During the Chicago marathon, it was so inspiring to see all of the spectators cheering, yelling, and showing their support.  I figured if I couldn't run, at least I would be able to give back and show some support for the other runners.

It was a gorgeous day and I got to see two spots the 8 mile spot and the finish.  There were so many familiar faces!!







 It was pretty inspiring to watch, too.  It made me really wish that I had run it.  Maybe next year ;)  
Congrats to all the runners!