Rum Balls and Marathon Training Updates

I’m glad the holidays are not over yet – there’s still New Year’s Eve – and I can still indulge in some festive treats.

I’ve had a lot of traditional holiday food here in the Philippines but today I want to share a recipe that reminded me of one of my favorite desserts, plus share some marathon training updates.

When I was younger, my mom would often treat us out to Dulcinea, a dessert shop here in the Philippines. I would gorge on churros con chocolate – warm, fried, knotted strips of dough, dipped in thick, hot chocolate – and also take bites of my mom’s borrachos – little sponge cakes soaked in syrup and rum, drizzled with dark chocolate. Eventually I ended up liking borrachos more than churros. Recently I made some rum balls and I remembered all the borrachos I used to eat (borrachos mean “drunk” in Spanish, by the way).

These little rum balls are perfect for your last holiday party for 2011 (or first holiday party for 2012)! They are very easy to make and look very festive. They won’t get you drunk, but you’ll taste the sweet, heady flavor of rum.

who can resist a rum ball during the holidays?

Or: who can resist rum? Not me…

Of course, when it comes to delicious, crowd-pleasing desserts, I turn to Martha Stewart.

and when it comes to pretty things I use for baking, I turn to William Sonoma

Rum Balls

(recipe from Martha Stewart)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture, then fold in flour. Pour batter into baking sheet. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Break up brownie into small pieces. Slowly pour in rum, and mix until crumbs start to come together to form a balls.

Shape into 1-inch balls, and roll in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

these tasted really fudgy – one ball was enough to satisfy my chocolate (and rum) cravings!

I rolled some in white sanding sugar too but the red looks more festive

I also rolled some in espresso salt but those turned out too salty so I rolled them again in muscovado sugar…

these rum balls are perfect for your next party (by yourself or with other people)

And now, for some marathon training updates! I’ve mentioned that I am following Hal Higdon’s novice training guide, but I am modifying it and being a little more flexible with my schedule – especially these last couple of week while I am in the Philippines.  Running in hot, humid, 80-degree weather is pretty horrible so I’ve done almost all of my runs on the treadmill. I tacked on an additional two weeks to the beginning of the 18 week plan, so I’ve actually been training for about a month now since I started the week right after Thanksgiving. My cross-training sessions are either elliptical workouts or the stationary bike, and I also throw in a bikram yoga session and/or Core Fusion when I can.

Month 1 Marathon Training

Week 1
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 3 miles
Thursday – 3 miles
Friday – bikram yoga
Saturday – 5 miles
Sunday – core fusion
Weekly miles: 14

Week 2
Monday – 3 miles
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 3 miles
Thursday – rest
Friday – rest
Saturday – 4 miles
Sunday – cross
weekly miles: 10

Week 3
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – cross
Thursday – bikram yoga
Friday – Plana Forma (a workout here in the Philippines which is like a cross between Physique 57 and Core Fusion)
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – cross
weekly miles: 9 miles

Week 4
Monday – ashtanga yoga
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 2 miles
Thursday – 4 miles
Friday – rest
Saturday – 7 miles
Sunday – rest
weekly miles: 13 miles

Week 5
Monday – Plana Forma
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 4 miles
for the rest of the week, I am planning:
Thursday – 3 miles
Friday – yoga
Sasturday – 8 miles
Sunday – rest (I’ll be on a plane back to Boston!)
weekly miles: 15

So far, everything’s been going pretty well overall. I haven’t been plagued with plantar fasciitis too much and I’ve been relishing my running sessions – and my vacation.

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few remaining days of the year, whether you are running or rumming!


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