Thoughts on Boston.

12 days.

In 12 days I’ll be running the Boston Marathon.

I’m a distance runner. I get lost in the miles. I thrive on the burning ache in my calves and glutes. I actually enjoy the tight constriction of every muscle in my respiratory system. It’s all hot breaths and sweat and endurance. I am more focused on my “self” while running than I am at any other point in my day. It’s as essential to me as sugar or books.

Still. Still, I never thought I’d actually run Boston. It’s one of those things that you tell people “yeah, maybe. I’d like to, but…” and you stop considering it because it seems like such an impossibility.

Logically, I realize that about 36k people run it every year. That’s not huge, but it’s not tiny, either.

Still, still.

Boston.

Just saying it out loud sounds foreign in my ears. Like I’m speaking in the tongues of the religion of running.

Boston Boston Boston.

It’s euphoric and terrifying.

Boston Boston Boston.

Just typing it, reading it, it no longer looks like a real word, a real name. It’s elevated above that somehow.

Boston Boston Boston.

I never considered myself a racing person. I don’t like to put on clothes that early. I don’t like worrying about chips, or if someone will make a sign for me, or if I’ll puke in public at mile 24. I don’t want to worry about my time for a distance that is better measured in train stops than minutes per mile.

24 miles on the Long Island Rail Road–45 minutes, 15-16 stops, Bethpage. Not far enough. Not far enough to let me read more than a few chapters in my book. Not far enough to let me recite all the monarchs of England and their dates of birth, death, and wives/husbands. (That task requires the time it takes from going from the Coney Island area to Yankee Stadium. Fewer miles with more stops.)

26.2 miles on my feet, propelled by my own power, aided by only the immensity of the task, the energy of my surroundings, the training I’ve completed, and the waves of sound I choose to project into my ears.

26.2 miles through one of America’s oldest cities. Lobster rolls and Red Sox, probably more than one letter written to John Adams telling him what an asshole he is, Marky Mark. The impossible dream of runners.

It feels like the first day of college and graduation all at once. Is it the end? The beginning? Is this like being accepted by MIT, or graduating Summa Cum Laude? Where do I even go from here? Stockholm? London? KONA?!

Do I completely stop caring and just run the most ridiculous races I can find? Ugly sweater Christmas 10k?(fantastic, will the sweater wick moisture? I’ll start learning to knit now.) Naked 5k in Rio? (no.) Geisha run in Kyoto? (this is a thing, however, I’d need to first be a geisha–I think that takes a while, and I think I exceed the height standards.)

I know I don’t stop running. The day I stop running is the day I can no longer run. But, what?

Boston Boston Boston.

For now, I’ll focus on my goals. In 13 days? I’ll think about more in 13 days.

My goals for Boston.

Boston Boston Boston.

  1. I want to complete it. Just start at mile 0 and finish at 26.2.
  2. Ideally, I would do that in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. ENJOY the race. It’s BOSTON.
  4. Get my Blue Steel on EVERYWHERE NEEDED, otherwise, the race will be very un-fun. 
  5. Find the BEST sushi in Boston for post-race noshing.
  6. Spend time with friends and family in an electric atmosphere.

Unofficial #7? Carbo-load with cake. Specifically, this one.

Red Wine Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Red Wine Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Thoughts on running the #BostonMarathon and carb loading on Red Wine Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Cream… Click To Tweet

Red Wine Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Wine Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert breakfast

Ingredients (1 cake)

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup red wine. (like Cab or Shiraz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark, not dutched)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder

for the frosting

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F

cream butter and sugar

add egg, vanilla, and wine

slowly sift in dry ingredients

pour into greased and floured bundt cake pan

bake 30-35 minutes, or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean

let cool completely

for the frosting

melt chocolate chips in microwave on high for 45 seconds, repeat after stirring in 15 second intervals (about 1 minute 15 seconds total)

whip together room temperature cream cheese and powdered sugar

slowly add in melted chocolate, scraping FROM THE BOTTOM frequently

add vanilla

AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE

scoop frosting onto bundt and tap the top of the bundt to have it fall over sides of cake

top with more chips or chocolate shavings, or nothing!

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Winging it.

Marathon training is kicking my ass. Not because I can’t do the running (I can), or that the Yassos make me want to puke on some days (they do), or even because running sixty miles a week takes approximately forever (it does); It’s kicking my ass because the weather in NYC has been ten levels of dreck for five months. More than once, I’ve been running 10 or more miles on the treadmill wanting to be almost anywhere else. The stress of that, combined with the stress of school, and add on top of that–my agent JUST text me not ten minutes ago:

“Um hey, can you record a commercial for me tomorrow? Oh yeah, BTW…it’s in French.”

Sure. needtorunneedtorunneedtorunborntorunborntorunbrucespringsteenjerseywhat?

I’ve been running 6x/week, and on average, only 3 of those days each week have been outdoors. I’ve done LONG runs indoors because of ice, snow, cold, wind, or just plain weather-related crapsicles. When I’m outdoors, I can pump to my music, or to my audiobooks, and just feel my run. Indoors? Well, indoors I need all of the distractions. I’ve been running mostly at my Crossfit box once it’s closed for the day. Luckily, my zen Navajo spirit running guide and the Viking own the box, so I can pretty much go in whenever. Also? Zen Navajo had a giant tv installed just for me and the Highlander. Our ADHD DEMANDS IT. We marathon Netflix shows while we train for the Boston Marathon (because we loves, and because cable is a giant ripoff!).

Sure, sometimes we fight like children over what we should watch, “NO, Highlander, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH FISHTANK KINGS!! Jeez, why is that even a show?”

I will absolutely watch this fish tank…as it is shoveled into my face.

Because I have an exceptional ability to whine, and I know too many secrets, I usually end up getting my way. Usually.

So for this month’s Netflix recommendations I have decided to present them in .gifs and memes. Because I can.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I feel this way about life…and Sweet Valley High. 

 

And now I’ll just post this to remind us all why Peaky Blinders is such a good idea.

Oh, that was shallow of me. To be fair, I DO watch this at a Crossfit Box surrounded by half-naked man gods. CUT ME SOME SLACK. (it’s not like I’ve lost my love of the Fassbender)

*from Centurion

And now some food.

Perfect to eat while “marathoning.”

Spicy Satay Chicken Wings

spicy satay chicken wings spicy satay chicken wings spicy satay chicken wings

Spicy Satay Chicken Wings (Baked)

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: overnight marinate

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer entree side snack

Ingredients (2 dozen wings)

  • 2 dozen wings

for the marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • the juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

for the sauce

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha

Instructions

add marinade ingredients and wings to a bag,

marinate in the refrigerator, in a dish, overnight

preheat oven to 450F

mix together sauce ingredients

place wings on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet

bake 15-20 minutes, or until the center of the wing reaches 165F

toss in sauce

serve with scallions and cilantro

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Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.
Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

Slate Beats Grey

Quick marathon training update!

I ran all of my miles last week in spite of feeling like the wrong side of a wrecked cab. YAY! I did not, however, make it to Crossfit more than once. I also completed only 45 minutes of yoga. This week will be better! My stride feels good, my motivation is high, and I have nothing precluding me from kicking ass and taking names. Sometimes, lacing up is the hardest part. Sometimes, it’s the complete lack of desire to wake up and put on a bra. The struggle is real.

Another small point of business before the book review. I GOT A PUPPY!!!! Ok, I adopted a seven month old shih tzu/havanese puppy–but, still–PUPPY!!! Her name is Montana Wildhack, (yes, I re-named her, yes after a character in Slaughterhouse Five. Yes, the porn star) and she’s all that’s lovey-dovey and playful. She’s a bit like a cat in that she prefers to be justthiscloserightontop of me when I’m writing, but we’re working on an agreement.

IMG_1338Right now, she looks all kinds of silly because I had to trim her face down to nearly the skin because of mats, but it’ll grow back soon enough.

OK!

Book Post!

In the last few days, I needed a “cleanse” from truly shitty novels (pun intended.) I’m working on a project that requires me to read an obscene amount of PNR, Contemporary romance, and historical romance. This is normally GREAT. However, when you’re mostly concerned with an even sampling, that means RANDOM, and random means, “omg wtf did I just read?!”

Truly, I have read some really terrible books lately.

Typically, when I need a palate cleanser, I turn to an old standby–Vonnegut, Austen, Alexie, Fitzgerald, or Bronte. I fill my mind with the quirky cadence of Cat’s Cradle, or the loving embrace of Northanger Abbey. The exquisitely-written prose is like a balm on my wounded psyche, providing curative energy that allows me to keep going.

This time, I went out on a limb with an author that I’d only read once before. However, I LOVED what I did read. So I figured that if I hated it, it still counted as research! (it fits into the parameters, but just barely.) However, I loved it like I love sugar and new socks.

Radiance by Grace Draven.

radiance

 

Yes, the MC is sort of muddy in color. Slate-ish. Unpolished chrome, even. Ok, fuck it, homeboy is gray. Not 50 Shades, though. Because homeboy isn’t a creepy stalker, either.

The Blurb:

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over.  A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty.  Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage.  Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat, but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human.  Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

Why I loved it:

So many reasons. Let me try to flesh this out for you. 

First, holy fuck the language. Grace Draven must be either A: a total word nerd, or B: a medievalist. How do I know this? She used one of my FAVORITE archaic words in Radiance: swive. Which was a PRECURSOR TO FUCK. It predates my favorite word. I adore using it, but I am really limited in my use of the old word, because, essentially, eight people know what it means.

The world building and sense of “place” in the text are insanely detailed, but not so overly detailed that the reader has no blanks in which to fill with their own imagination. She created an entirely different humanoid race, but it’s not like, say, a klingon, where they’re just…strange. These “kai” are just different enough as to be worrisome, but not different enough as to send you screaming.

Also, this was not a “let’s get naked and make babies at first sight” type of story. The relationship in this book built organically, and out of the bonds of trust and friendship. The attraction came with knowing the other person inside, as well as the skin they wear.

radiance

The action didn’t feel out of left-field like it sometimes does in fantasy. It wasn’t “and they were walking along, and a six-headed dragon lord decided to poop rainbows in their direction.” There was an even, slow build to the action that built the tension gradually, and served to fuel the romance in a manner I’ve not seen previously.

Radiance by Grace Draven is an epic fantasy romance that will convert even the most deeply-rooted detractors of the genre. The story may be the work of unbridled imagination, but the best traditions of classical storytelling shine through like a candle in the night. Much in the way an Elizabeth Hunter novel spans more than the alterity of the tomes, this book isn’t merely romance or merely fantasy, it elevates each aspect to make the whole something altogether more. 

If Le Guin decided to start penning romance novels, Radiance would be the novel she’d read to prepare.

Five Stars.

The food NOT inspired by the book.

Why is it not inspired by the book? Because the two dishes most prominently discussed in the book are A: plain potatoes, and B: a venomous and viperine insect that is baked(?) in a pot pie, and fights back. No fucking thank you. Four and Twenty Blackbirds was my previous pie nightmare, now? It’s killer bug pie. 

SO?

I made cake.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Mug Cake.

and it’s good.

Whole Wheat, no refined sugar, choc chip mug cake and a 5 STAR BOOK REVIEW! #fitfluential #books #cake Click To Tweet

whole wheat chocolate chip mug cake whole wheat chocolate chip mug cake
whole wheat chocolate chip mug cake

whole wheat chocolate chip mug cake (MICROWAVE!)

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 90 seconds

Keywords: microwave breakfast dessert side snack

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 2tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp butter (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch baking powder
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • cooking spray

Instructions

spray the inside of a mug with cooking spray

in another bowl combine all ingredients

pour into prepared mug

microwave on high 90 seconds

eat immediately.

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*Scrum*tious.

Ok, I know this is out of order, but today is a book review post, and Friday will be Get Series(ous). Why? I need better pictures of the food made for the post. Which means I’ll have to make it again. le sigh. (snicker)

Before I get to the meat of the post…RUNNING UPDATE!

Ok, I just finished (we’re in a blog time machine) my extra-super-long-run. Like, just this side of a marathon, long. It’s actually the longest distance I run pre-mary. 20 miles. It was a bitch, and I struggled. I felt good, and strong, but my headspace was all effed up. It was like one of those times when one is having sex, and enjoying everything, but they can’t help but remember that they missed that one spot while shaving on the back of their thigh, and DON’T TOUCH THERE. (here…I have boobs…you like boobs! DAMMIT, MEN WHO MARRY 6′ TALL WOMEN ARE LEG MEN! SHIT!) That was how my running headspace was going.

I wanted to just focus on the run and talking to my run partner, but NO. I couldn’t. I kept looking at my Garmin, and could not stop watching my speed. GAH! Here I was, running a score of miles with one of my very best good pals who has run a few sub-3 marathons, and I kept looking at my freaking GPS as though he wasn’t pacing me. He flat out TOLD ME he’d pace me. That we’d set up our splits in 5 sets of 4 miles, and I only had to worry about running.

I was tripping over my own brain.

However, with his excellent pacing, I set out (mostly) what I’d wanted to accomplish. Our average was no greater than 8 min/mi, with some miles significantly faster, including 3 sub 7s. Oddly, our fastest miles were the miles I felt best. Let’s face it, the shin-crushing, side-stitching, mucus-running miles are only the best miles when my head is shoveling out darkness. Thankfully, the pain and endorphins are a pretty good plow.

This.

book cover is link.

Now, you scamps know I love me some LH Cosway and Penny Reid. I was over the moon when I received an ARC of this book. I received it with no expectation of a review, and I already pre-ordered it. Therefore, it was like a pretty little gift in my inbox with a pink bow.

The Blurb:

THE HERMIT

Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER

Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN

When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

This book reminds me a lot of the confections featured throughout its pages, light, sweet, and too quickly gone.

When the book opens, it is immediately apparent that the tone of it is the quick-witted snarky humor that readers have come to expect from both LH Cosway and Penny Reid. Told in first-person, the story begins fast and that pace is held for the duration of the majority of the text.

What I loved. 

The dialogue, both spoken and internal, was by far my favorite part of the book. Here’s a snippet.

Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m using my hand, but thinking of you. 

How could I not love that, right? The banter between Annie and Ronan, or Annie writing as Socialmedialite, was spot-on hilarious. LH Cosway didn’t shy away from using UK sayings in her parts of the text to water it down for American audiences, and Penny Reid spouted ‘Merica fearlessly. Ok, I don’t know if she was writing this book while flying an American flag behind her head and drinking Coca Cola while humming “The Star Spangled Banner,” but that’s how I picture it happening.

Strike that, I picture her humming this:

I love that the characters were each strong and extremely well-suited to their occupations. In their professional lives, they take no prisoners. They are educated, intelligent, leaders in their field.

I love that two authors who depend quite a bit of the good word of bloggers did not pull any punches when it comes to the sort of banal trivialities that afflict social media and blogging. Because, let’s face it, the internet provides a great deal of anonymity for people hide behind. This, in turn, allows a great many a person to switch off their “good person” button, and become epic steaming shitpiles of douchebaggery.

I love that the “mean girl” trope was used, but not in the completely typical manner. Usually, I sort of hate the “mean girl” trope. It’s overdone, and to be honest, even though those women truly exist in real life, I feel like writing about them over and over again just perpetuates it. I’m way too feminist not to say “Hey, why must it always be the girl who is the asscandle?” This book featured an asshole *couple.* For some reason, that made the manipulative bitch pill easier to swallow.

I 100% realize that hating this specific trope is completely my own feminist hangup.

 

I loved the HEA. Of COURSE I did. *SPOILER ALERT* I won’t call a book a “romance” if there’s no HEA. It’s a romaybenot, or a bummermance, or you know, fiction.

The Hooker and the Hermit has plenty of chest–and other area–tingly bits throughout the text. I dare say this book is a bit more “in the sack” than Penny Reid’s other novels, but about on-par from what I’ve read of LH Cosway. (I’ve read four, and I think I’ll binge this weekend.)

I adored the chemistry between the two MCs. I thought the verbal tug of war was believable without being overly realistic. Because, duh. It’s a fucking romance. No one writes about how that one time your boyfriend once admitted to the fact he touched himself to images of his fourth grade gym teacher.

*that was a thing that happened.

I love that there’s enough rugby players on Ronan’s team from which to choose for sequels.

I love that the entire time I was reading, this is who I had in my head as Ronan:

Stuart Reardon…a real, live, just-look-at-that, rugby player.

This is him again…for comparison. Obviously.

I would not kick him out of my house for wearing boots indoors. I hear they’re good for knocking.

What I maybe didn’t love as much. 

I really hate saying anything remotely negative about this book, because I truly believe you should read it. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and sessssy as hay-ell.

However, just a few, tiny things. GAH! I feel like dreck.

I thought the first 1/3 of the book was unevenly paced. It goes right into the action, great, hook us! Yes! But the romance felt less-genuine, a teeny bit rushed. The chemistry was there, all the fizzle and spark, but I had trouble connecting the two MCs and the reasons for their deeper attraction.

I felt as though the MC, Annie’s excuses and behavior in the final quarter of the book were in opposition to her inner dialogue, especially given how she purported to feel about Ronan. But! It does come to a satisfactory conclusion.

This last bit is again, 100% my own hangup…

The book was set in NYC. I happen to know a bit about NYC. I feel like the setting was very inconsequential, which saddens me, because NYC in and of itself can add so much to a story.

Again, that’s my New Yorker’s bias.

The Hooker and The Hermit 4, ball-kicking stars.

And guess what???

This book has a theme near and dear to my heart. If fact, I would argue it’s actually a bit of a motif–symbolism if you will. Annie loves herself some tea and desserts. The first thing we see of Annie, she’s having a bit at Tom’s Southern Kitchen. Then, we see her eating an eclair in the office, Ronan feeds her dessert, and even has one himself later in the book. Here’s the thing, only when she is dealing with inner turmoil does she turn to the sugary support beam. I don’t get the sense she’s eating her feelings as much as I do she’s using it as a substitute for stability. These things are always the same, even when I’m in upheaval. In the end, when she’s settled, there is no mention of cookies or donuts or eclairs or wine–anything. Just she and Ronan.

The Hooker and the Hermit by LH Cosway and Penny Reid

Obviously, I had to make eclairs for today’s post. It was that, or treacle tart, and eclairs won.

I also could not possibly be expected to make typical eclairs. Yes, I use the same Alton Brown pate a choux recipe everyone else does for the shell. Yes, I use the same epicurious recipe for pastry cream everyone else does. I make ganache exactly the same way everyone else does. HOWEVER, I folded peanut butter into the pastry cream. Because I could.

Peanut Butter Eclairs Peanut Butter Eclairs Peanut Butter Eclairs

This is a process, not a recipe. Use THIS recipe for the eclairs, and pipe them into logs instead of dots. Same cooking time. Make THIS pastry cream and fold in 1/2 cup of Jif Natural PB. NOT the all-natural whole foods pb. This is not the time for that. Ganache is just 1:1 chocolate to heavy cream. I suggest dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Melt them together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between, and stir until smooth. Cut open the sides of the FRESH eclair and pipe in the peanut butter pastry cream. Dip in ganache. Either eat immediately or freeze immediately.

The Top 5 Things All Runners Know

The Top 5 Most Important Things I’ve Learned From Training For a Marathon.

  1. There is nothing quite so hideous as a marathoner’s feet. I mean, I’ve seen a LOT of gross stuff. Not only am I the mother of small children, I live in New York City, and I’m a working actor. Gross is sort of my bread and butter. However, after running 18 miles through NYC–we’ll call it dust,–my feet resemble nothing so much as things with which to walk, as they do Hobbit-like appendages that have been waxed and stripped of at least three nails. Note to new runners: This seriously fucks with your pedicurist. They.Are.Horrified.

    Just call me Bilbo.
  2. Sweating is sexy for the first 5 miles. You’re glistening. You have a healthy glow, and you’re turning more than a few heads. Catch yourself in a reflection? Wink! Because honey, you’re looking hot. Sweating at mile 8? The glow I had now resembles the face I made when I had that lovely stomach flu last year. It’s a really red face with a sort of yellowish haze around the edges. Mile 16 and on? I think I was cuter when everyone was watching a human escape my ladyflower, and I was leaking fluids no person should ever leak.
  3. Everybody poops. Especially distance runners. Personally, I’ve never had runner’s runs, but what I can tell you, and what will already be OMG SO MUCH TMI, is that my complete failure in my resolution to drink more water has not affected my ability to digest at all. In fact, I think I could live on a diet of processed cheddar cheese and fiber supplements while drinking only whole milk and diet soda, and I would still be A-Ok.
  4. Every marathoner/triathlete (present company included) believes themselves to be a super special snowflake. Even if we’re together in a giant arena filled with other people who have essentially the exact same schedule and problems that we have, they will never understand the struggle. We also realize we’re mostly a group of kinetic assholes.
  5. Rungry is not just a word runners made up. It’s a state of being. Let me tell you, after the initial “Oh dear, I feel like puking is a good idea” part of the post-run process, you quickly begin to feel as though you’ve possibly never eaten in your entire life. But here’s the thing–you can’t eat like a maniac. Sure, you get a pass with an extra 4-500 kcals a day, but more than that? And you’re going to gain weight–unless you’re pushing long more than 1/wk.  Runners can kill those 500 calories with beer.  Another thing, ever since a doc set upon my intestines like balls of yarn, I don’t actually produce ghrelin. What happens is that when I start eating, I feel as though I cannot possibly eat enough. I may not produce the hunger hormone, but I do produce the happy I’ve eaten hormone. In spades.

Which brings me to today’s recipe! Tonight, I am running 20 miles in 15°(F)-9°(C) with an expected wind chill of -5°(F)-23°(C) That temperature falls somewhere between “witch’s tit” and “Queen Elsa’s bathwater.” Running 20 miles is going to feel like 300 miles, and I’m going to want something hot and boozy when I get inside.

Well, we all know that the first beverage most runners go for at the race table is chocolate milk, right? Of course right. We’re special snowflakes. There’s no way we all race for the same drink like the last beer at a frat party. So I combined all the yumminess of the aforementioned bevvie of choice and booze, and I made it warm and soothing.

The Hot Cocoa Nutellatini

Hot Cocoa Nutellatini Hot Cocoa Nutellatini

Hot Cocoa Nutellatini

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 25 minutes *includes making la

Cook Time: included in prep time

Keywords: beverage cocktail

Ingredients (2 cocktails and Much Cocoa to)

    to make the very best rich hot cocoa

    • 12 oz whole milk
    • 4 oz heavy cream
    • 4 oz shaved 70% dark chocolate (I like Valrhona)
    • 3 heaping tablespoons dark cocoa powder (Ghiradelli or Valrhona is best)
    • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • pinch of sea salt

    to make the cocktails

    • 4 oz of above hot cocoa
    • 2 oz Frangelico liqueur
    • 1 oz amaretto liqueur
    • 1 oz dark chocolate Godiva liqueur

    Boozy Whipped Cream

    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tbsp white chocolate creme de cacao
    • 2 heaping tbsp confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    additional toppings

    • more shaved chocolate
    • mini effing marshmallows, duh
    • grated coconut

    Instructions

    to make the cocoa

    bring the milk and heavy cream to a low simmer on low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan

    whisk in cocoa powder and sugar and continue whisking until combined and velvety.

    add in shaved chocolate slowly while whisking, continue whisking on low heat until smooth and creamy

    whisk in vanilla and salt, remove from heat

    to make the cocktails

    pour the cocoa and liqueurs into a pyrex measuring cup

    stir to combine

    keep on a hot water pad or heating pad until ready to use, no hotter than 110F

    to make the whipped cream

    keep all the ingredients SUPER COLD and whisk them with a mixer, sifting in the confectioner’s sugar until medium peaks form

    assembly

    pour the drinks into two mugs/glasses

    top with whipped cream and marshmallows

    drink and repeat until happy.

    DRINK RESPONSIBLY. TURN OFF TEXT MESSAGES ON YOUR PHONE NOW.

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