Tag Archives: Murphy

Hurricane Irene and Long Run

So I finally posted my Maine vacation recap, but I never even mentioned the Hurricane Irene and all the fun she brought into my life. So last weekend Hubby and I were both headed upstate, but separately. I went to a family party way up in Watertown, NY (up near Canada!) and he was in Utica. I took the train and he drove.

When I left on Friday afternoon, I was getting nervous. Hurricane Irene was on her way, Hubby and I were going separate ways, and our cat was staying home alone in our apartment. Worried momma is what I quickly became. As I headed upstate on Amtrak, I listened as the Amtrak ticket dude laughed hysterically when a woman asked about service back into NYC on Monday and he told her she’d be lucky to get back in by late Tuesday. My stomach churned.

I began making preparations to have our neighbor check on Mr. Murphy, and our apartment, and conjured images of our windows shattering and Murphy dashing down the fire escape. I am a worry-wart – without a doubt.

So my weekend upstate, while fun, was also riddled with anxiety. I wish I could have relaxed a little more, but it’s tough when newscasters a predicting terrible destruction right in your backyard.

To relieve some of my building stress, I went out for a long run on Saturday morning. I ran along a gorgeous road right down by the water, up to a small lighthouse, into the town of Cape Vincent, and then back to my grandparent’s farm (yes, I said farm. They owned a farm and we stay in the farm house). All in all, I covered about 14 miles. Here was my route and splits:

Yes, I was soo slow!! But it was my first long run in a while and I didn’t want to push it. Plus I wanted to enjoy the scenery. It felt good to log the mileage though.

We had a fun family part on Saturday and then on Sunday we woke up to crazy wind and knew it was time to make our way back south. My parents dropped me off in Utica and Hubby and I ran a few errands and then we attempted to make it to Albany. What would have taken an hour and half took 3 hours. It was not fun. Road closures, detours, detour road closures, flooding, etc. We finally got to Albany around 11 p.m.

At that time, we also knew the thurway down to NYC was partially closed. But we got ourselves up at 4:30 the next morning to begin the trek down to NYC. We got to about 50 miles away and then encountered road closures and from there it just got worse and worse. Every road we attempted to drive on was closed. We kept heading West and then South. The best moment was when we got to a closed road with a message on the sign. It said something like:

“This road is closed, but if you can get up enough speed to jump the 15 foot gorge ahead, then by all means continue on…”

It was hysterical and I was soo mad that I didn’t get a picture of that sign. I will never forget it though.

We finally reached home at about 10:30 – 5.5 hours of traveling that usually take 2.5 hours. ARGH! I worked from home for the rest of the day on Monday and then fell asleep at like 7 p.m. – exhausted from my stress.

The rest of my week got better. I squeezed in a 5-mile run on Tuesday and a 6-mile run on Thursday. And now we are headed upstate again this weekend. I’m hoping to get another nice long run in.

So that’s all for me. How about you guy – how did you “weather” the hurricane? And what fun plans do you have for Labor Day weekend?!


Looking Forward to the Weekend

Happy Thursday all – we are officially more than halfway through the week and I am pumped about it! I am looking forward to the weekend for a few reasons:

1. Hubby and I will likely go see Inception.
2. I think it will be a relaxing weekend.
3. I’ll probably finish my book “The Hour I First Believed” and get to start “Once a Runner.
4. I’m going to try to do a longish run (9-10 miles).

I’m hoping that maybe I will start “Once a Runner” before my run on Saturday morning, so it will inspire me a bit to get moving. This has been the longest and most difficult running slump I’ve had in a while. I’m also hoping that maybe the cooler weather forecasted for this weekend will also put me in the right spirit to run. I hate running in the heat.

What are your plans for the weekend ahead?

So I realized yesterday that someone (other than just me) has been particularly absent from my blog lately: Mr. Murphy! Here he is just about falling off his window perch. He’s really big.

He loves to lounge on his window perch and stalk the birdies outside. I woke him up when I took this picture and he proceeded to give me the stink eye…

In other cat news, Hubby tortured me last night by turning on a Hoarders show about animals! I started getting really upset. This one woman had 219 cats living in her house and a lot of them were very unhealthy. Her house was actually pretty much a shelter and she thought she was helping these poor animals, but they weren’t getting the medical attention they needed. At the end of the show, the Humane Society convinced her to give a lot of them up — they still allowed her to keep 85 cats in her home though.

While watching the sad hoarders show, I made these No-bake Protein Bars from this recipe.

My bars had:

1/2 Ripe Banana 
1.5 cup Oats
1/2 cup Shredded Sweetened (couldn’t find unsweetened) Coconut 
1/2 cup Raisins 
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Agave Nectar 
3/4 cup Peanut Butter  
2 scoops of Protein Powder

I then placed them in the freezer for 2 1/2 hours. I snacked on one before bed and brought one to work with me today. I’m also thinking about fueling with a bar before my weekend run.

Some interesting health news in the headlines lately:

Can Exercise Moderate Anger?

4 surprising reasons women can’t lose weight

Why Getting Old Means Drinking Less – this explains my pathetic tolerance level this past week. 🙂

Obesity linked to lower sperm count in young men

What do food allergy labels really mean?

Have a good day everyone – we’re soo close to Friday!!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Good morning all! I feel very refreshed today for two reasons: 1) I went to bed last night at 9:30, and 2) It’s my birthday today!!

To be honest, I haven’t really gotten very excited about my birthday in a while, but I am feigning the excitement for you all. I’m not sure what if any birthday plans I have for tonight – maybe go out to dinner or at the very least, convince Hubby to make me dinner. 

 As far as a recap of yesterday, breakfast was very good. Oatmeal with banana and peanut butter in my brand new bowl that my momma gave me for my birthday (thank you!). The old red ones were looking atrocious and she agreed it was time to retire them.

Lunch was a peanut butter and apricot jelly sammy (I am loving the apricot lately). I also had a side of carrots.

My afternoon snacks were a blueberry Chobani yogurt and an apple. Boring – no pics.

After work, Hubby and I set out for a nice WINDY run along the East River promenade. I swear, every time I run with my husband the weirdos come out: the man talking to himself and gesticulating, the strange girl dancing enthusiastically by herself and singing, the car that veered off the road unexpectedly and came to a screeching halt, etc. Seriously, every time we run together we encounter strange people.

My Garmin was acting up and didn’t start working until more than .5 miles into our run. Here are our stats from our 4+ mile run, of which only part was captured.

Mile 1 – 8:33
Mile 2 – 8:03
Mile 3 – 8:27
.86 – 6:54

Total mileage – 3.86 in 31:59. Average pace – 8:17 minute miles.

I think in total, we probably ran about 4.5 miles. I am taking tonight off as a rest day and a birthday treat.

After our run, I had planned to make chicken and rice and soon realized we had no rice. Second choice was chicken and pasta. I also threw some carrots into the mix as well.

After dinner, Bill proceeded to become engrossed in the Stanley Cup hockey game and I think Murphy wanted some attention. When Bill finally picked him up, he showed off a little bit.

Big kitty stretch!

Like I said, my night ended pretty quickly when I turned in at 9:30 p.m. I was exhausted from getting very little sleep on Sunday night. I am feeling a little more rested and awake today.

So what about you guys? What is the best birthday you can remember? And what do you like to do on your b-day?

Have a great day all!

Brooklyn and the Blogger Hubby

Good morning all – how was your weekend? Mine was busy and good, but I feel a bit exhausted at the moment. I was supposed to go for a run this morning, but my allergies were out of control and I felt not so hot. So I bailed and will have to add that run to the end of my week.

After my long run on Saturday (yay for 17 miles!), I headed downtown to meet my friends Rachael and Stephanie at the Brooklyn Bridge. From there we walked over the bridge into Brooklyn. I can’t believe it took me so long to finally walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It was very pretty, but also very busy. It was so crowded, I didn’t even want to stop to take some pics.

When we got into Brooklyn, we headed to Rachael’s new apartment in Carroll Gardens. It was super cute and in a fun area. We went to dinner right around the corner, but I can not for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant. Rachael and I got risotto, she got seafood and I got mushroom. It was amazing. Stephanie’s pesto pasta dish looked awesome as well. Here are the two risotto dishes:

Seafood Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

So yummy! Afterwards we hung out at Rachael’s apartment and watched a not-so-great movie: New York, I Love You. There were soo many big name actors in this movie and it was about New York, we thought for sure it would be good. It was not. I actually fell asleep about halfway through. Oops! I guess the 17 miles finally hit me.

On Sunday we woke up around 9:00, had some breakfast and then headed out. My allergies were going a bit haywire because of the doggie and they just continued to flare up all day Sunday and into the night. I told Hubby when I got home that his hopes of ever owning a dog are slim to none.  

Do you suffer from animal allergies or seasonal allergies?

My allergies to dogs are decidedly worse than to cats. Murphy is one lucky kitty cat.

While I was out exploring Brooklyn, it seems Hubby was spending some quality time in the kitchen. I came home to find these:

A huge plate of white chocolate chip cookies. And he also made some venison stew this weekend. He documented his progress – what a little secret blogger at heart! 🙂


Oops – he also snuck in a Murphy snuggling shot:

After – when the stew was complete:

After a Sunday full of laundry (3 loads), vacuuming and cleaning. I was happy to not have to cook and enjoyed some of Hubby’s venison stew:

And I know I gave up sweets for lent, but that giant plate of cookies is bound to get stale, so for the sake of not wasting food I also ate a few.

I try to be helpful, you know?

I’m excited for this evening. I’m attending the Village Voice Choice Eats (thanks Megan for sharing the event info on your blog!) with my friend Katie. Then tomorrow it’s back to the grind, marathon training and hopefully 100% health. 

And congrats to all those people who ran the NYC Half Marathon on Sunday! I saw a ton of runners on my way home on Sunday morning and I was just the tiniest bit jealous (ok really jealous).  What a perfect day for it. Have a good Monday all!

All Natural* With An Asterisk

Good morning – Happy Hump Day already! I really do love short weeks. Except sometimes you have to pack a lot of work into those four days. Anyway – still nice.

I’m pretty tired today because I spent another late night with my book, The Historian. I’m only about 15o pages in (600+) pages, but it’s one of those books that I think about when I’m doing other activities and look forward to picking it up again. And then when I do, it feels like an old friend. I’m such a nerd, I know.

Anyhow, my day went by very quickly yesterday. Breakfast was oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and a bit of agave with a side of light cranberry juice mixed with orange juice.

The day was busy and before I knew it, it was time for lunch. I hadn’t packed anything and was craving veggies, so I grabbed a salad with romaine lettuce, raisins, dried cranberries, cheddar cheese, carrots and chickpeas.

Afternoon snacks were a clementine (two shown, but I only ate one) and Chobani yogurt with granola.

I literally flew to the gym after work because my marathon training plan called for a 5-mile run and I wanted to get there before it got packed. I tried to run as fast as possible because I really hate being one of those people that ties up a machine, but I ended up running 5 miles in 42 minutes. Not awful, but there definitely was one guy waiting for a treadmill for about 3 minutes when I was on and the guilt was building.

Do you adhere to the 30-minute rule at your gym (if you have one)? Will you break it if no one is waiting?

If no one is waiting, I feel slightly better about bending the rule a bit. Anyway, I jumped off and did some quick ab work and got the heck out of there. I’m not sure if I was thinking maybe the guy would tell on me and then the gym managers would come yell at me or what, but I wanted to leave fast.

I came home and was ravenous after banging out a quick five miles, so I set to work on making dinner. Hubby had purchased more chicken, so I decided to give in and use some of it. I looked at the label and was rather confused:

Where was my confusion you ask? Well, what are all the asterisks about? And when you have an asterisk, aren’t you supposed to look for the footnote? There were no footnotes here, but there sure were asterisks all over the place. *No artificial ingredients, minimally processed; No Hormones Added** (that one got a double)!

I took the label out and checked the back, but found nothing. And I went on the store’s website today, but couldn’t find any info about their “All Natural* fresh young chicken.” I’m going to keep looking. That label really angers me.

Anyway, I moved on despite the ambiguous label and made a stir-fry dinner with brown rice, All Natural* chicken (ha), carrots, onion, green pepper, broccoli and a little corn. I topped it with organic soy sauce.

After dinner, Hubby and I watched The Biggest Loser. It’s sad to say, but I didn’t once flip over to American Idol. Spoiler Alert: So, what do you think – was the Red Team Wife throwing the weigh in? I can’t decide,  but I’m kind of leaning toward maybe.

After BL and before I read my book into all hours of the night, we had a little Murphy photo shoot. Here are some of Murph’s best shots:

Apparently, Murphy does not like feet. Doesn’t he look huge in the last shot – he looks so long!

I hope you have great* (asterisk with no footnote, so you’ll have to just guess what I mean) Wednesday everyone!

Reflections on 2009

Happy Wednesday morning. Thanks so much to everyone for supporting my 2010 resolutions! It means a lot to me. I think 2010 is going to be an exciting, challenging and fun year. I hope you’ll keep reading and join me for everything.  

As promised, today’s post will be a quick look back at some events from 2009. I started Eat, Read, Run in October 2009, so there’s a lot of stuff that happened earlier in the year that didn’t make it into the blog.  I have to thank Meg for inspiring this “looking back” post. I really loved her Revisit 2009 post and it made me start thinking about my past year. It went a little something like this:


  • We rang in the New Year with a party at our friend Chris’s house. It was such a blast and the night even led to a new romance among our friends! Here’s me, Steph and Kelly pre-midnight (so technically last year, I guess – whoops).

  • I also went skiing with my Hubby for the first time in January. Unfortunately, we went to Jiminy Peak during a holiday weekend and it was packed with kids. It was a bit trying at times, but we sure had fun in the lodge! Becky, Dan, Chrissie, Bill and me.


  • We put together a fun group bowling outing in upstate New York. Nothing says winter like musty-smelling bowling shoes and beer.


  • Our wedding season began in March this past year with Kate Carr’s (now Lee) wedding in Utica, N.Y. Here’s a bunch of us girls with the bride.

  • The wedding festivities continued later that month with Becky’s Bridal Shower at the Franklin Plaza (where Hubby and I got married) in Troy. And look at this, even pre-blogger days I was snapping pictures of my food! My fate was written.


  • In April a bunch of girls got together for Becky’s bachelorette party in NYC!!


  • And finally in May, Becky and Josh got married!! It was such a great wedding. And I LOVED the food, obviously (more food pictures – hint, hint of what’s to come).


  • In June, the wedding theme continued with Chrissie’s Bachelorette Party in Oneonta, N.Y.
  • Toward the end of the month, we also threw my Dad a Surprise Birthday party! This is some of my family digging into the clams. It was a feeding frenzy. I tried a clam for the first time – not bad, but I wasn’t in love like all the rest of them. Look at the crowd!


  • We threw a Surprise Graduation Party for Jenny in early July. She was totally surprised – here are some of the girls at the party.

  • Later that weekend, we drove up to Cape Vincent, N.Y. for my Godson Evan’s baptism. Here we are “on stage” – me, Schuyler (Godfather), Stan, Jr. , Kristen and Evan. He is the cutest and he was very good.

  • We also ran the Boilermaker in July. We had a very nice BBQ at Hubby’s parent’s house after the race. It was great. And I got my PR in that race.  

  • Finally, to round out July, we went island camping in Lake George and then stuck around for Log Bay Day! The first photo below is of my giant swollen ankle. I tripped and fell while camping and was nervous my marathon training would be over. Thankfully, it got better quickly (I rested for a while) and got back to training. For Log Bay Day, we essentially hang out all day in log bay in Lake George lounging in the sun…and err, some drinking may be involved. The second photo is our group shot.


  • In August we got back to wedding stuff with Chrissie’s Bridal Shower! It was a very hot day in upstate, N.Y., but it was a great time.


  • Chrissie and Dan’s Wedding reception followed soon after in September. Here’s a bunch of the girls with the bride!


  • Next up, Hubby and I celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary with a trip to a quaint B&B in Connecticut. It was a great weekend away!

  • Toward the end of October, I finally started my blog! I kind of just jumped right in.
  • And at the very end of October, Katie and I went to see John Irving at a Times Talk in New York. It was so much fun!!


And since you were around for these months, here’s just a quick recap of November and December.


December was busy and fun as well.

And there’s the year in a short review! There are so many other great things and events that happened throughout the year, but I only had so much room and people only deal with rambling for so long. 🙂

What are some of your best 2009 memories! Any special plans for 2010?

In 2010, we already have three weddings lined up. So my 2010 recap may look much like this one! 😉

So now on to the normal stuff – Tuesday’s eats:

Breakfast yesterday was a honey wheat double fiber English muffin. I am loving this flavor. It was covered with peanut butter (a special kind) and banana. Side of light cranberry juice.

This was the special peanut butter. Not exactly healthy, but in moderation I think it’s okay.

Lunch was cucumber and carrots with balsamic vinegar and reduced fat triscuits with Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss flavor cheese.

Snacks for the afternoon were Yoplait strawberry yogurt with granola and a KIND Almond and Coconut bar.

I really enjoyed this bar and will definitely be buying this brand again.

I hit the gym after work and took the Urban Rebounding class again. It’s been a while and my body felt it. The first time I took this class, it seemed much easier. Could the holidays have caught up with me… um yeah.

Hubby decided to take over dinner duties last night and made baked Haddock with spices and I added a side salad to the mix.

Dessert was a little of this:

And lastly, an embarrassing note. I commented on my friend Becky’s blog yesterday about her cat attacking her Christmas tree and claimed that Murphy had never done such a thing. His worst offense was pulling a few ornaments down. Well, Hubby came home to this last night.

What a bad Mr. Murphy!! Do your pets get into the holiday decorations?

Hopefully all the decorations will be put away by the end of this weekend anyway. Have a lovely Wednesday everyone – it’s almost 2010!!

P.S. – Sorry for the massive post.

Party, Pizza Dip and Peanut Butter Balls

Good morning blog world. It’s Monday again and I’m heading back to work [groan]. I know that a ton of people took off from Christmas through New Years and I’m very jealous. I’m headed back to work and dreading it.

So I was a bad blogger and was MIA on Sunday. The party on Saturday night was a ton of fun and Sunday was mostly spent lounging around, doing laundry and packing for the trip back to NYC. The Hubby convinced me to relax instead of going for a run and testing out my Garmin – darn him! But it was nice to just hang for a bit.

So here’s a quick recap of Saturday. I pretty much took no photos on Sunday – so it will be considered a lost day. But here goes Saturday.

Breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter and topped with a banana. Side of cranberry juice.

My mother and I got out during the day to run some errands and brave the shopping crowds. It was a quick trip, but on the way home I had a Gingerbread Latte craving. It was only my second of the season – they are so darn expensive.

I snacked on a few other things during the day, but this was the only thing I managed to capture: Greek yogurt with Kashi cereal.

We headed to the party around 7:00 p.m., so I didn’t really eat a “full dinner” beforehand. I had some cheese and crackers, leftover from our Christmas day appetizers. But the party had plenty of food! I also made my pizza dip to bring along.

The party was a blast – thanks go out to Jenny and Kevin for hosting. I love their house and they are such great hosts. Here are a few pics from the night.

A few apps on the pretty table.

All the girls gathering for a group photo. I thought the stairs would be a perfect spot, but turns out we had a lot of girls and things got a bit squished.

I still think it’s super cute, even though a little tight. There were also lots of yummy desserts. And you know I can’t say “no” to desserts.

My favorite were the peanut butter balls.

Sorry for the terrible pic! I mainly snacked on veggies, taco dip, and a few desserts. I had one scoop of my pizza dip and then went back for more and it was gone. I guess that is a good thing. I had two glasses of wine and one beer throughout the night as well.

Toward the end of the party some meatballs came out and I couldn’t resist them!

They were goood! Hubby and I had such a great time. Before we knew it, everyone had left and it was time to go. Here we are together at the very end of the night.

Wow – I need a haircut!

And now I will leave you with a photo of Mr. Murphy sporting a bow-tie that I bought him from Target after the sweater didn’t fit. Doesn’t he look regal?

Mr. Murph didn’t travel so well in the car on the way up (he got sick), so we had to give him half a Benadryl for the trip back. My mom got that tip from someone who works at Petsmart, but the Benadryl should only be 25 milligrams and then cut in half. Mr. Murphy seemed a bit groggy on the trip back, but we made it home with no sickness, so I consider it a success.

Does your pet(s) travel? Do they like it? Any traveling tips?

I’m planning to hit the gym today after work to burn off some of those holiday calories and get back into the swing of things. It’s time for me to start thinking about my 2010 goals. I’ve seen them posted all over the blogosphere, so I suppose I should give it a whirl.

What’s your biggest 2010 goal?

Have a great Monday everyone!

Ghost Town

Happy Christmas Eve!! I can’t believe it’s already here. Furthermore, I can’t believe I’m working today. It seems that everyone either has the day off or took it off. We get out at 3:00 p.m. and since all we have planned for tonight is an 8 p.m. Christmas Eve mass in Upstate NY and then relaxing with my parents, I didn’t see the point in taking a whole day off and using up my time.

Hence, I’m at work and the place is a ghost town. As was the bus and the subway down here. It’s an eery kind of quiet.

Do you have fun Christmas Eve plans?

I know people whose friends throw Christmas Eve parties, but my group has never really done that – Christmas Eve and Day are pretty much family-time for us. I am looking forward to a party on the 26th though! 🙂

So here’s a quick recap of yesterday’s eats:

Breakfast was a multi-grain English muffin with half peanut butter and banana and half cranberry relish I made the other night. And the remainder of the banana on the side, with a glass of light cranberry juice.

Lunch was leftover quinoa! It tasted even better the next day, I think because it was marinating in soy sauce all night.

My afternoon snacks were blueberry Greek yogurt with granola.

And a few chocolates. The first chocolate I chose had a cherry filling that I just didn’t like. I’m not a big chocolate and fruit person – are you? So I had to go back in for a different one…and then I may have had one more (unphotographed).

I had a bit of headache toward the end of the day, so I didn’t end up hitting the gym after work. Instead, I came home, made dinner and we watched a movie and then I sort of packed.

Dinner was grilled cheese with apple and a glass of wine. I was jealous that so many other people were already on vacay and I wanted to feel like I was too – hence the wine.

Close up:

Can ya see the apple? It was a wonderful addition to this traditional sammy.

What do you like to add to your grilled cheese (if you eat it)? I’m also a fan of adding tomatoes, not with apple though.

After dinner, Hubby and I watched Revolutionary Road and had mixed reactions. I didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it either. I thought it was an interesting view of suburban married life and I thought Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio gave wonderful performances. It was a little dark at times, but that didn’t bother me. Hubby thought it was very slow and boring. We agreed to disagree on it. 🙂

Then I read my book for a bit and went to bed. This book, Ahab’s Wife, really has me hooked. Every few chapters I keep being utterly surprised by what happens in the main character’s (Una) life and how she copes with it. There have been a few moments that have caught me off guard with the amount of crudeness discussed or displayed, but the way it’s written allows me to digest it, accept it and move on. In this respect, the book reminds me a bit of John Irving’s style of writing where the absurd is never shocking and the shocking is never absurd.

I also think it’s got to be hard for writers to convey the “shock factor” in a novel. In movies, the visual aspect is key in getting this across, but in books, less is sometimes almost more, as it allows the reader’s mind to fill in the gaps.

Anyway – enough book rambling.  I’m really excited to head upstate tonight after work and see my family. The Murph is coming with us in the car – that’s always interesting. When he was a kitten he loved the car, but as he’s gotten older he seems to have developed car/motion sickness. So we have to keep him in his little carrier and not let him look out the window.

Happy Christmas Eve all!! Safe travels and maybe I’ll post tomorrow – maybe not. We shall see.

Introducing Mr. Monkers

Good morning and happy Thursday. This post will be brief because I am feeling very tired again today and I have been running late with everything this morning. I even forgot to bring lunch and snacks with me to work today, so it should be interesting to see how I cope when hunger strikes.

BTW, before I forget – check out my most recent Examiner.com article: Give the Gift of Healthy Cooking .

Breakfast yesterday was oatmeal with banana and agave and a side of orange juice. Nothing crazy, but the banana and agave made this delish.

Lunch was lazy – I didn’t have any leftovers on hand, so I popped out to pick up a salad. Romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, walnuts, carrots, cranberries and chic peas.

Snacks for the afternoon were Greek yogurt (strawberry flavor) with granola and a small bags of walnuts and raisins.

I left work and headed home to finish up the cookies I started the night before. Here is the final result!

And here is the recipe:

Saucepan Fudge Cookies

1/4 cup butter
3 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar  –  plus 3 tablespoons, divided
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 chopped nuts
1 cup flour mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a 3 quart saucepan over low heat, stir butter and chocolate until melted and smooth (turn off burner but leave saucepan there to get a little of the residual heat) and stir in 1 cup sugar, the eggs, vanilla and nuts  til blended.  Stir in flour mixture til well blended.  Cover and chill 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. until dough is firm enough to shape.  Roll into 1″ balls, roll balls in remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar (add more sugar if needed).  Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 300 oven for 20 minutes.  Remove to rack to cool.  The cookies can be frozen.

They came out a little flatter than what I’m used to, but tasted good. I did discover, however, that the bottom rack of our oven is much much hotter than the top, so when I bake, I really need to use the top shelf rather than the bottom. The cookie sheet I placed on the bottom rack had some tougher cookies than what they should have been. I noticed this before, but this reconfirmed my suspicion. Annoying.

Does your kitchen have any quirks for you to contend with?

Bill decided to make us dinner last night. He is a HUGE fish fan. He loves it. I don’t really like am not such a huge fish fan. Last night he made haddock and that is one type I can tolerate. I do hate how it stinks up our apartment though – yuck.

Are you a fish eater? If yes, what’s your favorite kind?

Apparently, Bill also ordered a bunch of “holiday” movies from Netflix and they started rolling in yesterday. So we watched “Four Christmases” last night. Can you believe that I made him come see this with me in the movie theater when it came out last year? I really like Vince Vaughn, but I also kind of have a girl-crush on Reese Witherspoon (Natalie Portman is my other girl-crush). Reese been one of my favorites since I first saw her in: The Man in the Moon, way back in 1991.

Sorry to hear that she and Jake Gyllenhaal are dunzo. Oh well – I’m sure another gorgeous man will be falling at her heels in no time.

You probably think Hubby and I are movie-obsessed, but seriously these phases happen every now and then. It’ll probably fade out soon.

Final thought and photo from the night: Hubby did this to Murphy.

How unamused does he look? Actually he looks downright mad. That’s his buddy Mr. Monkers. He’s had that stuffed monkey since he was a few months old and it goes everywhere with us. He also bathes it like its his child and then attacks it and beats the heck out of it. Sometimes I think Murphy needs a little brother or sister…but our apartment is too small. So Mr. Monkers will have to be it for now.

Murphy seems to show up quite a bit on my blog – sorry about that! Sometimes I think he’s just too cute. I’ll try to control my Murphy picture-taking and posting from now on.

Happy Thursday!