Today, it occurred to me that this blog is now in its third year. Actually, its official birthday was Sunday.
Two years old. Wow. Um…I guess it’s time to potty train?
One of the best things about having a blog is that your inane thoughts are recorded on the internet forever. So I can look back two years ago today and see that I penned a detailed description of my cat…for my, like, three readers. (Good lord, those old posts are embarrassing.)
A year ago was a little better. I was still pretty fresh off of the Chicago Marathon Shitshow 2010 and was trying to do mile repeats and was frustrated that my legs were still all manky. (Also, I made something that looks delicious with shrimp and wonton wrappers.)
I guess some things never change. A year later I’m still complaining about my workouts and going out too fast in races.
As illustrated by the lovely photographs from last Saturday’s American Tobacco Trail Ten Miler.
That first girl in all black? That’s my friend Erin, who won the race and finished approximately fifteen minutes before me. She is probably running an appropriate pace here. The second girl in black is me. Going out way too fast.
And about an hour later, we have a picture of pain.
It’s entirely possible that the guy behind me was actually walking. I’m a dumbass.
(And thank you, Carolina Snapshot, for taking these and I’m sorry for stealing them. Truly. When, one of these days, I have a race that I actually want to remember in all of its glory, I promise I’ll fork over for the rights.)
Anyway. Since it was MY BLOG BIRTHDAY (ish) and all, I decided to make some cupcakes.
Oh okay…no, I didn’t. I had planned to make cupcakes anyway. I’ve been helping to coach a walk-to-run program for the last few weeks and tonight was their last practice of the session. They have improved so much and I am ridiculously proud of them. So naturally, we celebrated with a giant potluck of junk food.
Potlucks are always such a funny thing. Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I tend to be a bit of a competitive person, but…you’ve gotta bring your A game to a potluck. Because who wants to be the dish that no one eats? No, you wanna be the dish that everyone is whispering about: Who brought these? They’re delicious!
It worked, because these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Brown Butter Buttercream (via Food Network) were a big hit.
Somehow I came across these while poking around on the ‘nets and I figured that they had to be good if it had the word “butter” twice in the recipe title.
I pretty much love anything made with brown butter. The cake part came out well (light and airy; well-spiced but not cloying) but it was definitely the buttercream that was the star here. Although very sweet, it added a slightly savory element to the cupcakes that was unusual and fun.
Also, can I just say that the cheapo pastry bag + tips set that I picked up at Target a few weeks ago has been a fantastic investment? Frosting is so much more fun when it’s all pretty and swirly.
And cupcakes are more fun when consumed with beer.
I also picked up a sixpack of Magic Hat’s winter seasonal – Howl Black (as Night) Lager – to bring to the feast. A new one to me.
And, yes, I realize that it is not winter. In fact, it was 75* here today. But you know what? If I am going to deal with hearing CHRISTMAS MUSIC on the radio (seriously!) in October, then I surely am going to enjoy the benefits of my favorite beer season a couple of months early, too.
Anyway. I’ll admit that I know next to nothing about the so-called “Schwarzbier” genre. Beer Advocate says this:
Schwarzbier (“shvahrts-beer”), is simply German for black beer. It doesnt mean that its necessarily heavy or light in body, although they tend to lean towards light. Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt characteristics that the others tend to depend on. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Very refreshing and soul lifting beers, they also make a great alternative for the Winter. Especially when you are looking for a lighter beer, but one with depth of colour and taste.
I don’t know about “soul lifting,” but I enjoyed this beer. It poured a dark, but slightly translucent, mahogany. Flavor-wise, it brought many of the elements that I enjoy in stouts and porters (coffee, chocolate, a kint of smoke) but, like, toned down a little. There were some light but noticeable hops, too, and a pleasant thirst-quenching quality that the heavier winter beers tend to lack. Overall, a fun and easy beer to drink. 4.6% ABV.
Bottom line: I’d definitely buy it again. Although the BA folks seem to think that there are better representations of this style out there, and I’m excited to try those, too. (Purchased at Fresh Market, $9/six)
So if you’re one of the six people that have been with eating, drinking and running with me since the beginning (hi, mom…and dad…) let’s raise a glass and celebrate two full years of these shenanigans. And, I hope, many more to come.