Caramel peanut squares

Hey everyone!

I had a request for the recipe for the squares I made the other day, so here it is. It is based on a recipe from a book called “Greatest ever cookies”, by Parragon (no author or anything).

For the base:

100g butter/ marg

4tbs muscovado sugar

125g plain flour

40g rolled oats

Preheat oven to 180C and line a brownie pan/ other tray. Beat sugar and butter together, add flour and oats and bring together. Press into the tray (flatten it down well as it will be crumbly).

Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

For the caramel;

25g butter

25g muscovado sugar

200ml condensed milk

Place all ingredients in a large pan and gently bring to the boil. Keep stirring so it won’t burn on the bottom. Boil gently for 3-4 minutes, until it is light golden in colour and has thickened. To test you can put a blob on a cold spoon/ plate, leave for a few seconds and see if it holds together.

I spread the base with some smooth peanut butter before I poured the caramel over the top.

Then melt 100g dark chocolate and pour over the top. Optional- melt 25g white chocolate and make pretty patterns all over the top! If I am feeling fancy I do this! 🙂

So enjoy!

I had aerobics tonight, fun as always, and I was pleased to see my Women’s Running magazine on the doormat waiting for me. I am looking forward to reading it- it looks like it has some great articles on speed work, running in the dark, and some motivational reasons to love running (as if I need it!).

I liked reading people’s comments yesterday about the lucky items- I was under the impression that I was the odd one out not having any lucky racing items- glad to see I am not! Seems we are all creatures of habit and like our routines more than our things.

Now, thinking of running in the dark- girls especially- how do you stay safe?

I try to run near busy roads- near me there are loads of offices and bus stops so if I go in the evening-5/6pm then there are loads of people about. I also wear a rather fetching IKEA high-viz jacket (for a bargain £3 or something) over my running clothes as I am paranoid the cars won’t see me. There are some roads that Andy has told me I am not allowed to run along in the dark, which seems weird when in the summer those roads would feel safe even at 8pm at night. But something about the dark makes things seem less safe.

Night 🙂

I had a dream

Race report alert!

It was a 10K race- I turned up to the same race I did last year, so I was feeling pleased that I knew the course. I forgot my mp3 player, but I felt confident I could focus on my running and not listen to my breathing. We were off and I was feeling strong. I kept checking my Nike+ wristband (not for the pace but for the time) but after running for half an hour or so I realised that I had not seen any distance markers at all. I was hoping to get in under an hour, and my pace was feeling fast so I was optimistic. Then there was the hill. I remembered it from last year, but this time around it seemed so much steeper. In fact I ran at it, and could not get enough momentum to reach the top; I slid back down and had to try again. I realised with a panic that I had not long to go before my hour was up, and I could not see a way up the hill. In the end another runner pointed out a rope to me, which I held on to and managed to haul my way up the hill.

Did I finish? Well, I don’t know, because then I woke up.

Now in fact in a few weeks time I do have a 10k race, and I did the same race last year, and I am also hoping to get in on the hour mark (my fastest 10k race time is 63 mins and some seconds). It must be playing on my mind! I really enjoy races, I try not to put pressure on myself and do them for the fun and for the achievement, but I am always nervous before and never sleep well the night before. But this is a first! I have such a good pre-race routine now- I always get all my things ready the night before, down to the safety pins and number, put the timer chip on my laces etc (I use the list in the Zest runners book) so these things calm my nerves a little bit. I don’t have lucky pants/ racing vest or anything like that; I just worry about not finding parking or missing the start or forgetting my water or something silly. Or there being a long queue for the toilets. In fact in the last half marathon I did, I was talking to so many people that I didn’t have time to go to the toilets and spent the entire race needing the toilet- not good!

Anyway, today actually was a standard work day. I split a 9bar between my am and pm snack, and then once home went out on a run, in the lovely English drizzle. I suppose you could call it refreshing, but in fact my glasses fogged up and my hands got cold.

But anyway, I managed a 5.2 mile run, around the lakes and back, and despite really tight calves I kept a fairly even pace (except the one mile with a massive long horrible hill that gets progressivly steeper the more you run up it), finishing in 52 mins with a few minutes waiting at various traffic lights.

Then it was home for a hot shower (which is always so much better after a run in the rain) and some dinner (what else on a monday than a mexican bean wrap?).

I also indulged in some of this;

(That is actually an old pic but in fact I had the exact same cup today what are the chances? Slim as I have about a million cups- I hoard them like nobodies business).

So, any crazy pre-race nervy dreams? Any pre-pace superstitions or routines? Any lucky items that you have to have with you in a race?

Another blogging craze

Evening all

First of all, a picture of the peanut caramel squares I made yesterday;

They were lovely but the peanut flavour was rather faint- I think next time I would spread it a bit thicker on the base. I made them in a big tray so they were thin and spread out, instead of in a smaller tray where they would be thicker.

But that was yesterday.

Today started off with another blogging craze- oats in a jar! I have seen so many people having it, and this week finished a jar of smooth PB, so I saved the jar to try it!

I had a mixture of normal oats, rude health porridge and cinnamon, and it was really tasty. I have tried almond butter in bircher muesli which is nice, but I have never had PB in a porridge before. It was quite rich, but a nice treat!

Mmm, does not look appetising at all! Haha! But it was very nice.

I managed to have a walk in between the rain showers (well, my walk ended in the rain so I half avoided it) and then spent the afternoon doing jobs and watching the grand prix, then popped to see relatives.

What a nice sunday, even if the weather has been awful!

So, anyone else tried/ never tried oats (porridge) in a jar?

And any other blogging crazes that people have tried and liked/ not liked?

Yesterday

Morning all-

Yesterday I didn’t post (shock!)- went out straight from work to catch up with some old friends, and by the time I got home I was tired, it was late, so I had some tea and didn’t turn the computer on.

But normal service will be resumed today! 🙂

Am pottering about letting my breakfast go down before I go out on my run. I am actually wearing a long sleeved top as opposed to my running vest as it is so cold. I don’t think I can get away with it any longer!

I saw in the news that on average we all own 15 cookery books- well, a quick count and I have over double that! Lots of gifts, loads of baking books (what a surprise), some freebie books (like a rowse honey book , the Doves Farm book, some olive oil book), but loads of books! It also said that most people stick to 7 recipes- spag bol, pasta and sauce, stir fry, shepherds pie, sunday roast, stew and one other (I can’t remember what-EDIT- it was omlettes). We tend to stick to the same recipes most of the time, but we do swap things in and out, and try new recipes now and then. Our faves are chilli, spagetti (pesto for me/ meat for Andy), home made pasta sauce with pasta, home made pizza, home made calzone, sausage and bean bake, mexican bean wraps, fajitas, bean/meat burgers, veggie moussaka, lentil/beany bake things. But I have been trying new things too.

So- how many cookery books do you own?

 What are the main meals that you tend to cook and eat?

And any new recipes that you are going to try soon?

Back later for a run recap 🙂

Double shred

Evening all!

What a lot of rain we have had today, and even a random massive flash of lightning!

When I got home today I had a nice lemon and ginger snap type thing;

(It is raw and mostly made of flaxseeds along with agave and some other natural things)- pretty tasty.

Then it was on with the Shred . As there was no body pump tonight 🙁 I decided to do part 2, and then part 1 (get the harder part out the way first) to half make up for it. Those walk out push up things are really hard, and I am glad no-one can see me when I do the weird plank squat thrusts and jumping. But it was a great workout ad by the end my arms were really aching. I was considering a little run as a cool down, but it was tipping it down, so I stayed inside (cop out!).

I am pondering what shoes to wear while I do it. At the moment it is some old trainers that are not really for sports, but they have clean soles (!)- I don’t want to wear my running trainers in the living room as they are filthy, and the only other pair of sports trainers I have I use in the gym, but they still go outside to and from the building. I can’t workout in socks or slippers, so what do other people wear on their feet when doing a DVD/ home workout?

After that it was dinner (veggies + pesto+ spagetti = yum) and then had a dash to the shops.

Then I had some (half) of this stuff;

Conscious chocolate “Fruit Fantasty” with figs and dates. It is delicious- there are loads of pieces of figs in there- win!

Now I am off to put my feet up, and maybe have some teapigs caramel rooibos- yummy! On a food network advert there was a shelf with a whole load of teapigs tea on it, in the background. Random fact for anyone that is interested.