Bar One

This new year has been off to a great start – I got hit with a nasty cold on the first day of 2012. Hooray for getting it out-of-the-way before my birthday in a week and a bit and hopefully for most of the year, too!! 😀 I’m feeling optimistic and part of the reason why I am otherwise in a good mood is that I’ve started my very own workout-and-be-more-active-every-day streak on December 27th. I wanted to finish off the last year strong and in motion. So far, I’ve done fairly well, except for today – so my reason excuse goes as follows 😉 : I was working late last night and it took me until close to 3 am to wind down (even though I was wrecked after an early start yesterday), woke up around 6.30am this morning when my boyfriend had to get up for work and as I’m waiting for a parcel to be delivered – and am not certain at what time and if it’s even gonna come today- I was drifting in and out of sleep for another 3 hours, until I finally dragged myself outta bed. As my eyes are hanging out of my weary, cold-infused head, I’ve given my more-active self a day off any sort of structured workout. Knowing me I’d trip or drop a dumbbell on my foot or something.

Here’s part of what I’ve been up to until yesterday:

  • 30 – 40 minute Walk/Run Intervals
  • 10 – 20 minute strength workouts consisting of:
  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Squats
  3. Curtsey Lunges
  4. Single Leg Bridges
  5. Sumo Squats
  6. Hamstring Curls

and

  1. Bicep Curls
  2. Tricep Extensions
  3. Overhead Dumbbell Press Ups and Chest Flys
  4. Front Shoulder Raises
  5. Tricep Dips
  6. Girly Modified Push-Ups

and

  1. Crunches
  2. Planks
  3. ToneItUp Tummy Tucks
  4. Side Planks
  5. Standing Side Crunches
  6. Back Extensions
  7. Straight Leg Raises
  8. Bicycle and Reverse Crunches

Tomorrow I’ll expect to be back in the saddle..well, on the mat and the treadmill, but for now I have an evening at work to look forward to. Whoop whoop! 😛

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Baked

So on my last day off work before Christmas, after running around trying to remember a few bits and bobs I’d forgotten about again and again, like gift tags, wrapping paper and a Living Social coupon (which had been resting in my account for about 6 months), I made it to my Chiropractor appointment just in time and home to continue the task at hand..baking!

Whoop! 😀

Here, slightly super late, are the goodies- “Chocolate covered Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies” and “Austrian Vanilla Crescents

Chocolate-Covered-Hazelnut / Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Servings: A lot of cookies about 40 cookies, depending on size

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 60 minutes for the dough to chill

Time spent in oven at 170°C/340°F: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F
  2. Weigh flour or spoon into measuring cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 tsp of salt and baking powder with a wisk or wooden spoon. Then, measure butter and sugar into a seperate bowl and beat with a handmixer until well combined. Add the egg and combine until well blended. Next you can mix in vanilla extract. Finally, add the flour mixture to the butter mix and beat until combined.
  3. Shape the dough (slightly dampening your hands will prevent the dough from sticking to much) into a round ball, cover in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Unwrap dough, and roll small bits of dough into balls (which should fit anything between a teaspoon and tablespoon). Place balls an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper
    • For the Cherry Cookie – lightly press a glacé cherry into the middle of each ball.
    •  For the Hazelnut Cookie – lightly press a hazelnut into the middle of each dough ball.

    .

  5. Bake at 170°C/ 340°F for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Keep checking – you definitely don’t wanna overcook these. 🙂
  6. Cool on wire rack before melting dark and milk chocolate over a simmering pan of water. Drizzle chocolate over Hazelnuts and leave to cool. My choice of covering for the cherry thumbprints is white chocolate, but you can use whatever you like 🙂

 

Austrian Vanilla Crescents

Servings: 30 cookies

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes + 30 minutes in fridge to chill

Time spent in oven baking at 200°C/400°F: 10 – 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 265g Plain Flour
  • 1g Salt
  • 200g Butter
  • 60g Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 15g Vanilla Sugar
  • 180g Ground Almonds

Preparation:

  1. Combine the flour with the salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and mix into flour with your hands.
  2. Then, add icing sugar, egg, vanilla sugar and ground almonds to the flour-butter mix. Combine well, shape dough into ball and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Seperate dough into about 3 parts and make rolls that are about 1 inch thick. Cut these into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Shape the 1 inch pieces into the shape of a crescent and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 200°C/400°F for 10 t 15 minutes or until slightly golden underneath. Remove them carefully from tray. Dip the crecents carefully into a mix of icing and vanilla sugar while they are still warm and leave to cool. Alternatively, you can dip half the cookie in melted chocolate.

 

Laters 😀