October 30, 2007

Gifty Meme!

In continuing a tradition from Amelie, I have joined in the gifting circle. If you are in the first 5 to comment on this blog post I will send you a gift by the end of the year! And if you are one of the 5, you must offer the same to your readers.

October 28, 2007

Approaching the pre-pregnancy weight!

Finally, 16 months after Z was born, I am approaching my pre-pregnancy weight. Since July I've passed over into the "healthy weights" on the BMI charts. Basically for my height any weight under 155 is considered healthy. And, since August I've been fitting into ALL (or almost all) of my clothes! I'm still aiming to lose another 10 pounds, and I'm still exercising and trying to be fit, but I'm pleased with my success.

I have this neato chart I made after tracking my weight since January. In January both my husband and I kept meticulous track of our weight several times a day, to see the natural "error" in the measurement (1). The variation is up to 5 pounds in any given day. Then I started weighing myself only once or twice a day. There is a break of a couple of weeks during July (2) when we went on vacation, and (3) marks exactly 1 year after Z was born. I was just over 155 pounds - 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, which was 145. Since September I've plateaued around 150, but I think I'm still losing weight more slowly, although I haven't been keeping track as well the last few weeks.

October 20, 2007

Wine Tasting and Chocolate Truffles

We were invited to a wine tasting on Friday night. It was a trip through French and Californian Pinot Noir's - our host said he was serving the best in the world. They were very tasty. We started with a 1998 and finished with a 2005. My husband has a list but it's not here so I won't tell you the exact wines. It was a fun party. We even got to bring home a bit of wine.

Everyone was requested to bring an appetizer of sorts. Many people brought cheeses and that sort of thing. I was addicted to the Champagne Cheddar. We decided to make chocolate truffles! What an experience. Very messy. But lots of fun! We started on Wednesday evening by making the chocolate, and we rolled the truffle balls on Friday afternoon. Please enjoy the recipe and the pictures...

1/2 lb semisweet chocolate
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder

  • Coarsely chop both chocolates and set aside.
  • Heat the cream and instant coffee in a large saucepan, stirring to blend. When bubbles start to form along the edge of the pan, remove from heat. Scatter the chocolate over the cream, stirring gently until melted. Set aside for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the liqueur and vanilla. Stir gently, just until evenly blended. Scrape the chocolate into a shallow bowl. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
  • Take chocolate out of the refrigerator a few hours before you plan on making the truffle balls. (We didn't do this and had to figure out how to get the chocolate to room temperature quickly. A difficult task! But it is much easier to make balls with warmer chocolate).
  • Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop up enough chocolate to make balls approximately 1-inch in diameter. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
  • Roll the balls in cocoa, shaking off excess, and transfer to wax paper until ready. Best when served at room temperature.
We made some truffles in simply cocoa powder, some in a mixture of cinnamon and cocoa powder and some in a mixture of cayenne pepper and cocoa powder. All were very good but the spicy ones had quite a kick! My favorite were the cinnamon.

MMM, chocolate tastes yummy!

October 19, 2007

My legs hurt!

I appreciate flat shoes. I'm not a heels kind of girl. I hadn't worn shoes with a higher heel in months, until yesterday. I wore my Doc Martens with a 1.5-inch heel. I walked to and from work like I usually do. Now my calves hurt. Bummer.

October 18, 2007

Well, here I am

From June to October... Quite a hiatus. During my "time off" I thought about starting an entirely new blog, and maybe quitting blogging altogether. I got more involved in the "friends" sites, especially Facebook. I considered writing in my old blog a few times, when I was particularly moved by something. But I would always think, "Is blogging THAT important to me? Do I NEED it?"

So what now? I've decided to keep blogging as much as I can/want to. I am kept pretty busy by my family and all that of course. Blogging to me takes a secondary role to the rest of my life. I've tried to change things around so my blog is more "me" and also more indefinite. For example, we won't live in Montana forever. In fact, we won't be living in Montana at this time next year(hopefully)! My blog should easily move with me or I won't write in it. And the purpose is to write. I'm also not an academic anymore, at least at the moment. I'm a full-time mom with a job that pays the rent. I don't know if I will go back into academia. It all depends on a myriad of things that happen in the future.