The Different Types of Flour & How to Use Them

If you’re a baker, you’ve likely been in this position. You’re gathering ingredients, or worse, you are halfway through a recipe, and realize you don’t have enough of the type of flour needed. What do you do? Can you swap in another kind and still expect the same results? How will the texture and finished product be affected?

A quick understanding of the different types of flour and their protein levels can go a long way toward rescuing your dessert. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Trails & Trials

It was a tough week all around. Stock market. Work. Corona. Politics. Kids. It was a maelstrom of bad news and trouble. By Wednesday, I was twitchy with stress before the second cup of coffee. By Friday, I was something of a mess and working from home most of the day only amplifies these types of feelings. In today’s always on, hot take world, how do you get your head clear? How do you wash away the stress? A bottle of wine is only effective for so long. Holding on for that week vacation isn’t going to be enough. You need a plan. 

The biggest unexpected benefit to joining a running group is not the increased fitness or increased speed, it’s the weekly practice of wringing out that built up stress. And I don’t just mean the camaraderie of the Saturday long run or Thursday track sessions. It’s new friends, trivia nights, plogging, meandering text threads, or pot luck breakfasts. It’s about the process of regaining your sanity in this mixed up, stressful world we live in.

(Of course winning trivia for the third month in a row is also chicken soup for the soul :))

How are you staying sane?

 

Continue Reading

A Few Simple Reminders About Recovery

It’s time for the occasional reminder to myself that races aren’t won in the middle of winter and that recovery is a key element of a successful training cycle. Even more so as you grow older. Those niggling injuries or aches don’t fade quite so quickly.

This all sounds so basic and cliche but it’s the thing I often find myself wrestling with the most. I like to workout. I like to go hard. I like to sweat. I like to feel tired. I don’t like to take a day off. Even if I know it’s probably what’s best and that I’m not going to lose fitness with an extra day or even two a week. In fact, it might end up improving it instead.

So shut up and listen, Mike, these are the important bits. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Sleepovers & Samples Sales

Nothing quite highlights just how much there is to do as a parent as being home all day with your kids during winter vacation week. Even if they are getting older and more mature….so much to do….and they are still so bad at just about all of it. I believe a big part of my job as a parent is to help my kids but not make them helpless. I want to teach them how to do things, not necessarily do them for them.

So, this week I spent a lot of time thinking about where that line is (I also spent a lot of time thinking about the medicinal qualities of wine.) Where do I draw the line? How do I know when to help (anything involving boiling water or the risk of glitter on the floor), what to still do for them (anything involving knives), and what to tell them doesn’t really matter (fractions).

I believe a great parent will do anything for their family. But they also know they can’t do everything. It’s not good for them (or for the Dad’s liver). Continue Reading

Race Recap: Old Fashioned 10 Miler 2020

This year’s Old Fashioned 10 Miler was going to be about redemption. At least, that was the plan. Last year’s race went off the rails almost immediately. Despite not really training more for the distance (I’ve been on the bike a lot more this winter), I was determined that this year would be better than last. I did everything I could to make sure this year left me with better memories. I managed my taper, my fatigue, and my meds carefully in the lead up to Sunday. But you still never know. You gotta toe the line and find out. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Chores & Candlepins

After spoiling the kids in NYC last weekend, I had survivor’s guilt and started worrying that they have no idea how to be grateful. Not to me or Michelle. We are legally required to keep them alive so whether they are grateful or not toward us doesn’t hold much water. But just grateful in general, for pretty much everything. It might not always feel like it minute-to-minute or day-to-day but it is a great time to be alive. And scientifically speaking (we did go to the Natural History Museum last week) it is incredible we are here at all. The odds are so small. So why not rejoice? Well, it can be tough when the day is long and there are fractions to divide, piano to practice, and dishwashers to empty.

But how do you actual teach kids to be grateful? Force feeding it seems like it would backfire. If I made the kids start a gratitude journal I’m sure one of the first things they would write in it (after being thankful for the gloriousness of sparkle slime) is they would be grateful if I stopped making them write in it. Do you just model the behavior and hope it soaks in (my typical approach)? Do you make it a once a week dinner conversation? Do you seek out opportunities?

Anyone have any good routines for instilling gratitude in the tiny consumable monsters we call (per legal mandate) our children? Continue Reading

5 Psychological Thrillers Worth Trying in Kindle Unlimited

Are you taking full advantage of your Prime Membership? Do you use Prime Reading? Or do you really love to read on your Kindle? Have your tried Kindle Unlimited?

Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited are very similar in terms of how you use and enjoy books. But there are a couple key differences. Prime Reading is a benefit of a Prime membership ($119 a year) and gives you access to one free book from the Kindle Unlimited library each month. The available books rotate in and out. Kindle Unlimited is a separate service for $10 a month (currently with a two-month free trial) where you can borrow as many as you like (ebooks, audios, magazines) with no due dates and can hold up to 10 at a time.

Both are great deals for bibliophiles but if you are balking at subscribing to yet one more service and already have Prime (like over 65% of Americans!) than 12 free books a year is still a good deal and can further help you recoup the cost of that 2-day shipping membership.

Continue Reading