Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On kickboxing, inventing holidays, and showing failure who's boss.

My life has been delightfully filled with non-bookish things lately:

Kickboxing

I'm totally fickle about exercising. Yes, I enjoy a four-mile walk on a gorgeous, 75-degree, sunny day, but during the other approximately 348 days/year, I feel ZERO inclination to work out. Then I discovered kickboxing a few weeks ago. I'm still very, very new, but something about putting on boxing gloves and pummeling my (protected) opponent or whaling on a bag just clicked. What does that say about me? I have no idea, but I love it!

Action shot of me kickboxing.
(Thank goodness for blurry faces, because my expression
doesn't seem so attractive. I'm also totally not protecting
my face with my right hand, which is a big no-no.
Hey, I'm learning!)

Friendsgiving
 
Three years ago, my husband and I found ourselves the owners of a frozen 21-pound turkey that, if we were to tackle it ourselves, would put us in an episode of Man vs Food. We decided that the spring didn't have enough food-related holidays, so we were going to invent one — a potluck homage to Thanksgiving with all of our friends.
Friendsgiving was born. 
We hosted about 15 people that year, and everyone brought a side dish, drink, or dessert. It was mildly chaotic (our house isn't that big), but a definite success. Fast forward three years: Friendsgiving is now up to 25 people, and it's never been more fun.

Conquering baking

Baking has always been a bit of a mystery to me. And by mystery, I mean that I manage to screw up box mixes. I was the self-proclaimed queen of the no-bake dessert ... and I hated it. I'm not the type to accept failure for long, and eventually, I became determined to conquer baking. I've attempted a pumpkin monkey bread (didn't rise properly, but delicious), a red velvet two-layer cake with cream cheese frosting (so moist, but I wasn't crazy about the flavor). Then last Friday, the night before the aforementioned Friendsgiving 3.0, I made a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust ... from scratch. And it was fabulous, no parentheses needed. Baking, I own you!

Not my pumpkin cheesecake, but that's
pretty much what it looked like!
(If you're curious: I used this recipe from Paula Deen, but cut the butter in half, pre-baked the crust for 8 minutes, did a water bath for baking (which added to the cooking time), doubled the spices, and decorated with pecans. And the key to the top not cracking? Mix batter on a slow speed and don't over-beat, stir in the eggs last, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar. Voila!)

So far, spring has been an adventure! But not to worry, I've also been reading, so keep an eye out for more book recommendations to come!

6 comments:

  1. I love making up food holidays. My senior year of college we may or may not have had a fully functional kitchen in our dorm suite. We also had a roommate with a membership to CostCo.

    Needless to say, we bought massive bags of baking ingredients. Oh you know, 50 pound bags of flour, 20 pounds of sugar, the usual...

    Needless to say, at the end of the year, we still had a good 10 pounds of sugar left, so about a week before everyone left we decided to host Sugar Fest. We baked all day. Cakes, cookies, candies, caramels. It was delicious. And everyone got a stomach ache.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sugar Fest sounds insane! And delicious!

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