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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Odds & Ends

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1. What's the Difference Between Dutch Process and Natural Cocoa Powder? I know there's a difference and even so, I never really paid attention to which was called for in a recipe, usually defaulting to what I had on hand. I've since bookmarked this article and will be referencing it in the future, especially after seeing the pictures of the chocolate cake and chocolate pudding that were made with each--it pays to use the right kind!

2. By far the worst part of my daily routine is packing my lunch. I grumble about the five minute task, which I realize is silly, but it's by far my least favorite chore each evening. Thanks to Babybel, it was a little easier this past week, since they sent me some cheeses and a handy little bento lunchbox to pack in. I loved assembling a "snack plate" of sorts, with Babybel cheese (the original is my favorite!) and crackers, some fruit, and some veggies. It's nice to have one container instead of several although, let's be honest, I eat WAY more than this during the day while at work! My little sister is reading over my shoulder as I write this and we're both laughing about how we love to play with the wax that the cheese comes wrapped in. Food that you can play with? Even better!
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3. I want to give a shoutout to the Nike Training Club App today! It's my go-to app when I'm traveling and want to stay consistent with a lifting workout (I use it at home too, but am more likely to use YouTube or lifting videos I own). I can usually find space in the fitness room at the hotel I'm staying at to plop down a mat, my iPhone, and a set of weights and get to work. Prior to this I would half-heartedly do a few moves I could remember off the top of my head and call it good; I like that there are a ton of workouts to choose from, depending on what I'm looking for, and that they keep me motivated!

4. Yesterday was my mom's actual birthday, but we actually celebrated last weekend while we were home visiting. I cooked a pretty awesome meal if I do say so myself, full of new recipes (some of which I plan to remake and share with you!). For dessert, however, I stuck to an old favorite--my go-to chocolate cake [Dark Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream]. I have yet to find a more perfect chocolate cake and I made it more special this time by spreading salted caramel sauce between the two cake layers instead of the buttercream. Definitely give this a try if you're a caramel fan!

One Year Ago: Marinated Summer Vegetables
Two Years Ago: Tomato, Arugula, Cheddar Egg Sandwiches
Three Years Ago: Green Salad with Spiced Walnuts
Four Years Ago: Basil Ice Cream
Five Years Ago: Greek Salad