Saturdays are my long run days. Yesterday’s long run was 9 miles. Nine miles, people. And the thought that I am eventually going to run almost 3 times that distance is mind-boggling. But I suppose that at some point in the future (hopefully within the next 3 months), that distance is going to seem attainable. Until then, I’ll just follow that little marathon training schedule and hope that my leg muscles don’t grow too large for my skinny jeans.
Apparently there was some race going on in Eugene yesterday morning as I jogged along the river path. I think I may have fooled some runners into thinking I had already lapped them as I ran in the opposite direction, which put a little pep in my step. However, all pep was lost when I encountered a group of geese blocking the entire path (a common occurrence near the river). I have an irrational fear of geese (well, it’s rational to me due to a goose chasing me on a run through my neighborhood back in high school) that causes the sight of a goose to conjure up imagines of geese flapping their wings and attempting to bite my face with their bills. So I had a minor panic and ended up running through the playground to avoid the geese. The same thing may have happened with a murder of crows (by the way, the fact that a group of crows is called a “murder of crows” should be an indication that these are terrifying birds) that flew toward my head and made me duck and yelp. Birds are always out to get me.
Running is so eventful.
Anywho, I tell you all of this to justify eating large quantities of nutella. Not that large quantities of nutella ever need justification.
While visiting my parents over Christmas break, we got to eat some homemade nutella that my mom received as a Christmas gift from one of her students. It was awesome. And we ate it on Biscoff cookies (those marvelous cookies that they ration out on Delta Airlines flights). I was thrilled to discover that you can buy these cookies at Walmart, which we obviously did as soon as we got back to Oregon.
Better than Nutella
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit (December 2012)
2 heaping cups hazelnuts, skinned
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
1 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely. (If nuts have skins, run them in a kitchen towel to remove.)
Grind hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.
Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water; stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth. (Or just melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat.) Remove bowl from over saucepan; add butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in milk and salt, then hazelnut paste.
Pour into jars, dividing equally. Let cool. (It will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools.) Screw on lids. Keep refrigerated.
A little note: This gets pretty difficult to spread after sitting in the fridge for a while, so I recommend letting it stand at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Go ahead and eat it on everything. And watch out for geese.