Baking and rash race decisions: week in review

Since I didn’t post last week, let me start off by backing this review up to the week before last. Specifically, to showing off my Valentine’s Day baking. Because Valentine’s is really just an excuse to make a fancy dinner and dessert (my husband’s in charge of the dinner part).

The baking part

I wanted to make a vanilla matcha cake, but I wanted it to stay matcha green…not turn ’70s green like most of the recipes I was finding appeared to do. After scanning way too many matcha cake recipes, I started to suspect that buttermilk was the secret to keeping the color. But the buttermilk-containing recipes were mostly for pound cakes and I wanted layer cake, so I went in search of a vanilla buttermilk cake recipe I could modify….

…Short story long, I ended up combining this recipe with a vanilla buttermilk cake recipe from a cookbook by the same author, and scaling down to make a 6-inch cake. And subbing some flour for matcha powder, of course. Finished off with a white chocolate cardamom cream cheese frosting. And look – it stayed green! More importantly, it was really good cake, if I do say so myself. I might post the recipe…but then I might need to make it again to get some decent pictures. Rough life.

In other baking news, I went to the library booksale yesterday, and see that book in the top left? It contains an entire chapter of cornbreads and an entire chapter of biscuits. Not the kind of chapters that only have a few pages – we’re talking dozens of recipes for each. How many cornbread and biscuit recipes does one person need? All of them.

The running part

So I signed up for a 12K trail race that’s on April 15. The race location gets much less snow than we do here, despite being only about an hour away, so the trails are usually clear by mid-April. The rash thing about it is….the last time I ran farther than 10K was last April. And that wasn’t on trails. This month I stuck with my plan of running 4x per week – but I didn’t meet my goal of increasing the distance. I also included a short treadmill hill run weekly. In order for this race to not feel miserable, though, over the next 6 weeks I need to 1) increase distance, obviously, and 2) run outdoor hills for longer distances. Fortunately plenty of nearby trails have packed snow that makes 2) manageable. I just need to get myself there.

On the gym side of things, I’ve done 3 workouts each of the past 2 weeks and I think that’s the right amount for now. I’ve started replacing the 4th workout with a couple minutes per day of injury prevention exercises, which are less taxing and hopefully more beneficial. I’ve also kept up with yoga once a week – I might even make it twice this week if I can fit it in tonight.



Cornbread or biscuits? (I know, it’s a cruel question.)

Have you ever trained for a trail race during winter?

Linking up with Meghan for week in review and Holly and Wendy for Weekly Wrap

16 Comment

  1. Wendy says: Reply

    Great training! I’ve never done a trail race–not too many trails around here–but I’d love to.

    Your cake looks delish! I used to love buying books at the library book sale but now that Kindle has daily deals, I haven’t gone to the library much anymore.
    Wendy recently posted…Calming the Beast In MeMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      My Kindle is convenient, but I will always love paper books more.

  2. I need to get onto the matcha thing. I’ve actually never had it!
    Deborah Brooks recently posted…Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese Bake Meatless MondayMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I can take or leave the drink, but I love it in baked goods

  3. Cora says: Reply

    Mmmm ok how badly do I want a slice of that ridiculously amazing sounding cake you came up with. Badly. That’s some heck of kitchen creativity right there lady. Combining recipes and… white chocolate cardamom cream cheese!? Oie vey.

    Biscuits or cornbread is a very cruel decision. So cruel I am going to refuse to choose. I would agree to a day where I could just try making all those recipes in that book though. How fun would that be.

    You’ve got yourself quite the goal ahead of you! But how else do these things happen right? Usually with some spontaneous “yes” just thrown out to the ethers. Based on everything else you’ve been sticking too, I know you can do it. Cheering you on!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Ok ok…I should be able to post the recipe by the end of next week? Since it’s green I should probably post before St. Patrick’s Day, huh.

  4. I trained for my first trail half during early spring last year — I had a half the end of March, and the trail half was the end of April. I use the term train loosely here. I mean, I did train for it, but I didn’t run only on trails (I tried to run 2 x week on trails & did my long run on the trail). So not really during winter. Because most trails are really impassable here during winter (although now that I have screw shoes . . . ).

    Anyway, good luck! If you really want it to not suck, you’ll do the work. But either way I’m sure you can do it.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      The hill part is probably at least as important as the trail part here!

  5. oh gosh…cornbread or biscuits…do I really have to choose? I’m a total bread-lover. The longest trail race distance I have done has been a 10K, but all felt longer LOL I enjoy trail running, though I don’t get the opportunity very often.
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Gloomy, Not Doomy My Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Trail races always take longer! Worth it though.

  6. Anytime you want to make me a cake or some corn bread, I’m totally game.

    Great job on the exercise!

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: Are You Gonna Eat That (#121)My Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I’m afraid shipping cake would be a disaster. Maybe we can get one of those Star Trek food materializer things happening?

  7. You did a great job of sticking to your goal of running 4x a week. I think that your trail race will be excellent motivation for increasing your run distance. My Mother was a great biscuit maker. I could never make pretty ones, but they tasted OK. I’m very impressed by the creativity of your cake recipe! Thanks for linking.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I think biscuits are pretty by virtue of being biscuits 🙂

  8. Woohoo for a green cake! My Aunty is of Asian heritage and her family make the most incredible pandan chiffon cake that is green as green as can be! I was so confused as a child because I’d never seen anything like it!

    I definitely prefer cornbread to biscuits. Hands down!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…The Ultimate Bookworm Gift GuideMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I had to look up what pandan is! That sounds good too.

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