The happy memory for this year will be moving into our new home AND the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. Training for this marathon was a shorter shorter time period than last year. I had more going on, which meant I missed training on 4 different weekend. I also went into the race with a different mindset. This year, I just wanted to run. I didn't care about the time, I just need to show myself that I could do it again.
I was lucky that I got to do this race with very special people (all of them half marathon virgins!). We finished with a time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, which I was really pleased with. It was a really great course and if you're thinking of running a half marathon next year, I highly recommend this one. I'll be doing it again (and hopefully with my lovely husband who PINKY SWORE he would do it with me).
The night before the race we had a HUGE pasta dinner (gotta get them carbs!) and for dessert, fruit & these yummy brownies. Although they were a little gooey (I didn't use the right type of chocolate) they were still very tasty. These are a fabulous fall treat & will be a hit anywhere you take them!
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet (NOT milk) chocolate
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup pureed plain pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
chopped nuts (optional, I didn't use)
Preheat oven to 350F & butter a 9 inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. This allows for easier cleaning & for easier removal.
Melt the chocolate and butter together using a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot with water. Make sure to use bittersweet. I used milk chocolate and it was tooooooo gooey! Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Don't be nervous about the cayenne pepper. I know it sounds weird, but it adds a really unique flavour to the batter.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) whip together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture until everything is combined.
Put half the batter in a separate bowl (so you have 2 bowls of batter). Add the melted chocolate to one and the pumpkin, oil and pumpkin pie spice to the other.
Working quickly, pour half of the chocolate batter in your prepared pan & smooth with a spatula. Do the same with half the pumpkin batter. Repeat with the remaining batter. Using a knife, swirl the two batters together. Sprinkle with nuts (if desired).
Bake for 40-45 minutes. I had to bake mine for longer as I used a smaller pan. The brownies will be a little gooey and that's totally OK! That's what makes these amazingly delish.
Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or a glass of milk!