Fitness

The Top of the Hill

When in doubt, hike

trail-cowsThe boys were away on a camping trip this weekend, and instead of running, I slept in until 8:00. That’s the equivalent of college me sleeping until noon. Needless to say, I didn’t get up in time to meet my running buddy at 7:30. (Sorry, Michelle!)

I had about umpteen thousand things to do this weekend, from laundry to work to household projects. Know what I did? I spent an evening with friends. I read a book. I crocheted. And I went on two hikes for a total of 9.9 miles and 2,300 feet of elevation gain.

I’m still ambivalent about running, but hiking? I could hike all day. There’s no time pressure, no expectations. If I want to stop and take pictures, I can. If I want to sit and watch the clouds, I can. No rush, no worry. I like that.

wildflowersThe second day was harder than the first (no surprise there), longer distance and more hills. Probably not the best order in which to do things. My legs were already tired when I started up the hill. Even so, I was still motoring along at a better pace than most of the other hikers.

But I hikedĀ and thought and wrote several really great blog posts in my head that vanished as soon as I got to the car. Apparently I need some sort of recording app so I can talk to myself and transcribe it later. Because I totally wouldn’t look like a crazy person if I did that, right?

*ahem*

I’ve been cooking every weeknight, as usual, though nothing terribly inspiring. There’s nothing photogenic about beans and rice, or any form of soup. But I did make two very nice desserts:

Sticky rice with ripe mango and the non-traditional but pretty addition of whipped cream.

Sticky rice with ripe mango and the non-traditional but pretty addition of whipped cream.

It’s mango season, so what better to make for dessert than sticky rice? I use a little less sugar when the mango is sweet — closer to 2/3 cup than a full cup. It’s so good that The Assistant already declared that he wants this for his birthday dessert. In September.

My first-ever attempt at caramel sauce was almost a complete failure, but I saved it in the end!

My first-ever attempt at caramel sauce was almost a complete failure, but I saved it in the end!

And of course, the salted caramel bundt cake! There is a longstanding tradition of bundt cakes when eating with my former neighbors from San Jose. My first cake — a pound cake — burned to a crisp, even though I’d cooked it less than half of the time called for. I don’t know if there was a typo in the recipe or not, but it was inedible.

So I tried the other recipe, seen above. It was good, but honestly, the cake is just a vehicle for the caramel. We would have been just as happy with a bundt pan full of caramel sauce.

What have you been up to?

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