What are we going to do with you?
We might just have to forget you and move on.
I think everyone, regardless of creed, background, or political inclination, can agree that 2016 has been quite a year. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to determine.
Every year, as long as I’ve been blogging, I like to end with a look back on the previous twelve months, review big moments and firsts, reflect on my resolutions, and think about the next year.
I was rereading the last two end of year posts (“bye-bye 2015“, and “good year, and good night “), and I saw that in 2014, I wrote about how each year feels shorter than the last. Someone once told me that the years grow shorter as you get older because each year becomes a smaller fraction of your life. For a 10-year old, one year is 10%, but for a 50-year old, it’s only 2%. I commented on how “as I go through my 20s, it feels like someone’s shoving me from behind at a more and more aggressive rate every day,” specifically looking towards the year I would turn 25…
That was this year. I turned 25 this past April, so not only am I halfway through those roaring (meekly squeaking) 20s mentioned above, but I’m also a quarter of a century old.
This year definitely has felt like the shortest and fastest year of my life, and by far the most stressful. Part of me hopes that next year doesn’t go by so fast, but the other part of me knows it will, and can only hope that it’s less hair-loss-and-gray-hair inducing and at least as fulfilling as the last.
And with that, tonight, on the 31st of December, I bid farvel, godnatt, and arrivederci, to 2016, and godmorgen, hallo, and villkommen to 2017. But before we finish our champagne and our adieu’s, let’s look back at what happened this past year.
What Did I Do This Year?
My 2016 Resolution:
Did I do that? Doubtful. It is an established fact by now that I can gracefully carry a large ladder, but I cannot carry a 4-quart food processor.
I kept a note on my phone of all the exercise I did this year and all the exercise I wanted to do, organized by type, frequency, intensity, and month, with graduated increases from month to month. I did less than half. In fact, most of it is rolling over into 2017.
And by “rolling over,” I mean “being forgiven like I hope my student loans will be.”
I did get fit, a little bit. I did establish some habits (I walk a few miles a week), and I discovered some exercises that work for me and some that don’t (bootcamp nearly murdered me 51 weeks ago today, and spin class basically saved my life.)
In a sense, I did make progress, and it’s progress that I want to keep working on through the next year and the rest of my life. I want to keep lifting weights, practicing yoga, walking around my city, and exploring different fitness classes. Of course, I want my body to look better but knowing my eating habits, that’s unlikely to happen no matter what I do at the gym.
More importantly, though, I just want to keep exercising and learning.
I had also resolved to produce more savory recipes for the blog, and again, I made minimal progress. I did end up with a nice focaccia recipe and a recipe for onion soup, so not all is shame and failure. I also cooked a lot more this past year than I have any year before, and I learned heaps of great cooking techniques (I can braise! I can sear! I can make a roux! I can roast a chicken!)
My Resolution(s) for 2017:
I can be pretty obsessive about forming resolutions. Not only do I have a whole philosophy regarding the formation of New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve even gone through various iterations of said philosophy. I couldn’t think of anything pertinent for the new year, and chances are I’ll just keep changing habits throughout the rest of my life anyway, so rather than a general resolution or a massive 12-month goal, I think I’ll work on these 3 smaller goals:
Manageable, measurable, and attainable, and to top it all off, low-stress.
Now, let’s all take a collective deep breath, and say “good riddance, and good night” to 2016.
Categories: about me
previous non-vegan, non-GF monthly muffins
You know, I’m really getting into this whole chocolate thing. Immediately following last month’s vegan chocolate muffins, I decided to work on some (non-vegan) chocolate peppermint muffins.
Chocolate and peppermint is one of those combinations I will always relate to on a spiritual level. Peppermint schnapps are my jam.
Lately, I’ve had chocolate shortbread and chocolate peppermint tarts on my mind, though those may have to wait for another winter. Last weekend, I went to Guglhupf bakery to see if they had any of their namesake pastry: kugelhopf. They had one, a chocolate kugelhopf. I’m making progress in my chocolate pastry endeavors, but it’s all baby steps, and I’m not quite at the point yet where I want to buy a chocolate cake, even if it’s yeasted and German.
My search for German yeasted things in the Triangle continues, but for now, I have these un-yeasted (but leavened nonetheless) chocolate bad boys to keep me company.
At first, I tried baking them with whole peppermint York patties on top, and the patties ruptured all over the oven. Next, I cut the patties in half and stuffed them into the batter…they still ruptured, and this time, they made craters in the muffins, as well. Even without the chocolate-covered peppermint candy hockey pucks, though, these are still the bomb.
chocolate peppermint muffins
adapted from vegan chocolate muffins
makes 1 dozen
200 g all-purpose flour
50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt
150 g granulated sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 large eggs (50 g each)
100 g canola oil
150 g milk
70 g Andes mints, chopped
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 F/190 C, and line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, extract, canola oil, and milk, until uniform.
Quickly combine dry and wet ingredients and mix in the chopped Andes mints.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, fill each muffin cup with batter about 3/4 of the way.
Bake the muffins for 20 – 30 minutes, until springy and plump.
Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.
Hark, the herald peppermint beckons!