Thursday, April 11, 2013

Speed Work Success!

I've mentioned that I've been following Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon program.  I have actually been doing really well following the plan.  The last couple of times I tried using this one, I reverted back to the Novice plan, because I really struggled with doing the speed work and the tempo runs.

I'm in week 7 and have done my 3rd speed workout (I missed week one).  The speed workout consists of running .25 miles so many times and walking/jogging comfortably for recovery between.  I always choose to walk, mostly because I'm lazy.  This week I had to sprint 8 times.  The workout says a 5k pace.  I really don't know how to determine that, so I use my goal pace which would be a 6.2.  It was hard, but I didn't feel like I was going to die like last time.  I can only conclude that I am getting faster!

It's blurry, because I was walking and trying to take a picture.
While writing down my workout, I noticed something else rather amazing. I am actually sticking to my workout plan that I laid out for myself at the beginning of the week.  There's a little spot to plan the workouts in my fitness journal and then you say whether or not you did it.  I have been able to say yes to all of it so far!

Now, hopefully I don't screw it up!

How is your week going?

Butterscotch Bars Recipe

My favorite books to read are quick mysteries, with a female leading character who solves cases on the side. Once I find a new series to read, I fly through them quickly until I'm done and then move on the the next.

Recently, I found books by Joanne Fluke.  The main character owns a cookie shop, is about my age, single, owns a cat, need I go on?  I think it's pretty obvious why I like her.   Another bonus, is that every book has about a dozen or more recipes.  They aren't just cookie recipes, but any recipe that someone in the book makes.  I've tried a couple of them out.

In the book, Devil's Food Cake Murder, there's a recipe called Butterscotch Bonanza Bars.  They sounded really good, because I love butterscotch, and the ingredients were really basic.  I actually had everything I needed.  So, I decided to try it out and oh my! They are so delicious!  They are crisp on the outside and chewy, gooey on the inside.  I made them plain, but as you can imagine, you can add all kinds of things to them.  Some of the suggestions are walnuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, fudge frosting, whatever else you can imagine.

When you go to the website, there's a place where you can submit pictures of the recipes you made.  I submitted mine to see if they would put up my delicious creation.  Mine isn't up yet, but hopefully I will see it soon.
Here's the recipe for the bars.  I must warn you that there is nothing healthy about this recipe, but they actually aren't too bad.  The nutrition info is included at the end.

Butterscotch Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups packed, light brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1 1/2 c. flour

The first time I made these I shaved chocolate on top.  I prefer them plain.

*It's easiest to work this when the butter is still warm.  Have everything ready to go so it will go quickly and the butter won't cool too much.
**I used an electric mixer to combine the ingredients.  It made it much easier.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter, either on the stove top or in the microwave.  Put in a medium sized bowl.  Add the 2 cups of brown sugar and mix until completely combined.  Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.  Stir until completely blended.  Add the eggs.  You'll see that I used Ener-G egg replacer.  If you do this, combine the "egg" mix and water first.  Let sit while you mix the other ingredients up.  Just give it a quick stir again before adding it in.  Stir until combined.  Now, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until each half cup is completely combined.  Pour into the 9x13 pan and smooth out evenly.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.  The first time I made these I had to make them for 25 minutes, the second time for 30, but the instructions in the book say 25-30.  Also, when they come out they should have a golden color on top, but you will notice that it will seem very liquidy.  It will harden as it cools.  The recipe says it serves 40, but my nutrition info is for 32, because that's how many servings I got out of it.

They only have 100 cals a piece which isn't too bad.  They are really, really sweet, so you really don't want more than one or two at a time anyway.  

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Happy Baking!