BB Tip: Staying Sane on the Trail with Your Significant Other

30 09 2010

I’m the type of mountain biker that is completely satisfied in heading out once or twice a week for an hour-and-a-half’s ride. I do really enjoy being on my bike, being in the woods, and exercising outside, but I’m not in it to do epic rides for the most part.

I have a tiny problem. My husband only likes epic rides. Needless to say, I do not ride with him very often. When I do, here’s how I keep from going crazy:

  1. Tell myself that we’ll be riding for at least 4 hours. If I’m comfortable with that, I’m still golden at 2 1/2, when I tell him I’m winding down. It’s sneaky, but we’re all happier in the end.
  2. I don’t lie to myself anymore about being able to hold out or that I won’t bonk. Before I start feeling hunger pangs, I take a quick break and eat half a Clif bar.
  3. Take the second position. Downhill never works when I’m in front because I don’t bomb down. I’m cautious – unlike you know who. I’ve been over the handlebars one too many times. Perhaps you never saw the “rainbow in my pants” photo…There's a rainbow in my pants.
  4. Enjoy my time. While I’m riding, I remind myself how lucky I am to live where I live, that I’m able to take advantage of afternoons in the woods 10 minutes from home, and that I’m hanging with my best friend.
  5. Last but not least – don’t complain. About anything.

Fall = Time for Pumpkin-Flavored Carbs

26 09 2010

As soon as the first cool pre-Fall evening arrives, I am obsessed with all things pumpkin. It was 90 degrees here yesterday, but I couldn’t resist a pumpkin spice latte at the coffee shop after breakfast.

When Fall finally makes its way to this part of Maryland, I also obsess over all things carbohydrate. The inordinate amounts of hot tea and coffee I start consuming trigger my cravings for cookies, bread, scones, etc. It’s a vicious cycle that my ass punishes me for, believe me.

Ass-growing aside, I found a recipe courtesy of Cupcake Mafia that is going to help me usher in the new season properly. And, it combines two of my favorite ingredients: pumpkin and chai tea. I’m making it tonight, with some possible modifications, on which I’ll report back here in the body or comments.

Tali’s Pumpkin Chai Coffee Cake

2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
3/4 cup Chai Concentrate
2 teaspoons cinnamon plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 tablespoon of brown sugar for topping (more or less based on your own preference)
Non-stick Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray Baking 9 x 9 baking pan with Non-stick Cooking Spray and set aside.

Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly, making sure to remove all lumps. Pour batter into pan. Combine 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon brown sugar for topping. Lightly sift topping over batter.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Use the toothpick method to determine if thoroughly cooked. Can be served warm or cooled.

Okay, my first mistake was not following directions. Tali said to use “moist-style yellow cake mix”, and I used Gluten-Free Pantry’s Old Fashioned Cake and Cookie Mix. This made for a very dense texture, which was rubbery when warm from the oven. I’ve discovered that my belly can be sensitive to breads/cakes, which is why I tried the G-F product, but next time…

The flavor, however, was perfect. Not too pumpkin-y or spicy. It tasted great with a cup of English Breakfast Tea, of course!