Easter weekend recap

Monday, April 01, 2013

Good morning and happy Monday!

I woke up this morning and the sun was shining, the birds were singing and ...

April Fool's!

It was totally snowing this morning.

Good one, Mother Nature.

How was your Easter weekend? Mine can only be summarized with one word: food.

There was SO. MUCH. FOOD.

You can always rely on Americans to celebrate holidays with calories.

 
What we ate:

Our celebratory Easter cuisine started with an amazing collaborative meal between Clayton and I that consisted of ranch-baked chicken and roasted red potatoes on Friday night, Popeye's Chicken on Saturday afternoon with my mom and sister, and then culminated with not one, but TWO ham meals with my various in-laws on Sunday.

Not too shabby!

Butterfly shrimp with Cajun french fries. HEAVEN in a cardboard box.

And I made not one, but TWO different batches of chocolate cupcakes. Both batches of cupcakes were made with my top-secret, fool-proof chocolate cake recipe, but one set was iced with chocolate almond icing and when we realized that Clayton hates chocolate almond icing, I used mocha frosting for second group.

Don't be fooled. The chocolate almond icing was the result the of a can of ready-made vanilla frosting and a chocolate almond stir-in flavoring packet. I didn't come up with that on my own.

But if you want to make easy and delicious mocha icing, use this recipe right here.

Chocolate cupcakes with mocha icing.

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate almond icing that kind of looks like coils of dog doo.

The reason I ended up making a plethora of cupcakes is because I stupidly trusted Pinterest to give me an awesome recipe for Cadbury Creme Egg Chocolate Cupcakes, but Pinterest has proven herself to be a dirty, dirty liar.

Some blogger out in the blog-o-sphere came up with a recipe for putting Cadbury Creme Eggs into chocolate cupcake batter. She swore up and down that putting a chocolate egg in cake batter was an awesome idea and there was absolutely no way your cupcakes wouldn't turn out perfectly if you tried it, too!

Well, I don't know what kind of voodoo magic she used on her cupcakes, but mine were a Class A disaster. First of all, my Cadbury eggs didn't sit upright neatly in the center of the cake papers like hers did. Nope. My chocolate eggs bobbed and floundered in my cake batter until they eventually succumbed to gravity and sunk to the bottom like a bunch of mini chocolate Titanic ships.



Oh, and they totally exploded in the oven.

When I pulled the pan out of the oven and removed the cupcakes, I noticed that the bottoms were saggy and heavy. Why? Because the Cadbury Eggs exploded and there was a pile of molten liquid cream settled into the bottom of each cupcake paper.

Not exactly the perfectly intact candy pictured on the blog's recipe.

But I guess the good news about making mistakes in baking is that 9 out of 10 times they're delicious mistakes ... the little disasters did not go uneaten.


What we did:

Since our Friday night plans fell through, Clay and I picked up the movie Lincoln from Redbox and settled in to watch the 3-hour biopic. We'd been talking about how excited we were to see this movie for MONTHS, so you can imagine the crushing disappointment when we realized that movie was boring

Like, SO boring.

We made it through the entire first hour, but then we gave up and fast-forwarded to the end when he was assassinated.

The movie itself was an assassination ... of FUN.

And I couldn't even appreciate Joseph Gordon Levitt with that ridiculous mustache. 

Over the past few years, I've taken an extreme interest in U.S. History and was really looking forward to learning more details of Lincoln's presidency. But it was just too boring. Clayton and I ended up playing with Joey's feet and lost track of what was happening, but it didn't take us long to figure out what was happening because they same thing was still happening that was happening 20 minutes ago.

"Are we stupid because we can't sit through this movie?" I asked, suddenly feeling very insecure about my intolerance for intellectual entertainment.

"Nah," Clayton said, turning off the DVD player. "Wanna watch South Park?"

On Saturday, after trying Popeye's Chicken for the first time (I wanted nothing more than to try Popeye's while we were on vacation down South, but there wasn't a single location near us. After returning from Florida, my mom realized she had one 20 minutes from her house.), we colored Easter eggs and played cards with my mom and sister.

No matter how old Ashley and I get, we ALWAYS color Easter eggs.

All of the ugly eggs are the ones I did.

I finished my final long run before the Hoosier Half on Saturday morning (8 miles, which felt like a vacation after all of the 10-12 mile runs I've done recently) and it was a great run! The temperature was already close to 60°F by the time I got outside at 11:00 a.m. and I was able to run in a tank top and shorts (I had a tan line!). My pace wasn't unbelievable fast (it was pretty average) but I felt strong and ready for the race.

My brother-in-law helps set up the race and this weekend he assured me that the course was just as hilly and just as hard as I feared it would be. 

My recovery run was indoors on Sunday morning because it was rainy and chilly. My treadmill recovery runs are generally really uneventful—I watched an old episode of Two Broke Girls and sweat like a piggy.

Now it's time to hydrate, rest and relax for the next week. I have 2 small runs scheduled over the next 3 days, but by Thursday I will be taking it easy and getting mentally prepared for Saturday's race. For those of you who lost count, the Hoosier Half will be my sixth half marathon and just like the previous five half marathons, I'm feeling super anxious and nervous. I had my traditional "half marathon stress dream" last night and this time I had to run while trying to avoid getting hit by dodge balls or I would have to start to the entire race over.

So how about you? How was your Easter weekend?

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