Today I did something crazy. I got in a pool and swam laps. I am sure to most of you that sounds like no big deal – but it was to me.
I have been contemplating signing up for a triathlon that takes place in March. It’s been on my mind since a friend posted something about it on Facebook back in December. The distances aren’t crazy, which makes it a perfect first time race, so what the heck am I waiting for?! Oh wait…I don’t know how to swim (well at least not in a competitive way and certainly not doing freestyle) and I haven’t been on a bike in years (I’m talking like 10). It’s not really the bike portion that freaks me out, it’s really just the swimming – for some reason it terrifies me. After talking to Ari about the triathlon on Monday over fro-yo, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head! Finally yesterday I did some research on lap pools nearby my house and found a couple city pools that will work perfectly.
So this morning I woke up with intentions of going swimming after work. I knew that if I got up the courage to actually get in the pool, that I would realize it isn’t as scary as I make it out to be. So I did it, I got in the pool and swam 10 laps – and I know that if I work hard and keep training, that I really can do a triathlon. I have a long way (a really long way) to go in terms of my form and distance, but I made the first step!
I made a pretty insane little 7 week triathlon training schedule for myself (here, if you want to see it) – taking into account that I have a 10k next weekend and the Rock N’ Roll New Orleans half marathon in 3 weeks – so I’ve got to squeeze those in as well. I have a hard time sticking to training schedules but I made this mostly to keep it balanced with the 3 different sports (it’s based off of Hal Higdons Triathlon 2 Training Plan). I figure I’ll give this a go next week and sign up next Friday if I feel like I can really train and be ready in 6 short weeks. And in the mean time I’ll be watching oodles of YouTube videos on how to swim ;)
I am a huge brownie fan. It is by far my dessert of choice (but cheesecake is a close second). One of my favorite things to do is to stuff brownies with a few other much loved treats (like Oreo’s and S’mores – recipe to come!).
When I saw that I still had a few of my homemade salted caramels to use up, I knew baking them into a brownie was the perfect way to use them up :) I melted down the caramels so that they could be spread evenly over the brownie batter, then topped it with the remaining batter. When it comes out of the oven you’ve got some ooey-gooey caramel filled brownies to devour. If you’ve got the caramels on hand, then you have yourself an easy to throw together treat. This just might make someone’s day (or week even!)
Caramel Filled Brownies
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 oz caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 F°. Grease an 8 inch square pan.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, eggs and sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
In a separate saucepan, over medium-high heat melt caramels with heavy cream, stirring frequently, until caramels are combined and completely melted.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Gently pour melted caramel mixture over the brownie batter, spreading carefully with a spatula. Pour remaining batter over the caramel, spreading with a spatula if necessary.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool before slicing and serving.
Recipe by me