Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last week in bullets

  • Christmas night-picked parents, bro, and aunt up from airport at 11pm; ate dinner at Waffle House; opened Christmas presents; went to bed at 2:30am; couldn't sleep until 4am; got up for work at 5:30am
  • Weekend-had a great time with the family shopping, eating, drinking, laughing, playing with the dogs; it was super warm so we walked on the beach; saw Adam Sandler's movie Bedtime Stories which was decent
  • Sunday night-went to a raw bar for oysters on the half shell which were fabulous, another higlight of the evening was red velvet bread pudding, yum! went to bed around 10; at 11pm Rich literally crawls into the room and lays on the floor asking me to get him gatorade and a wet washcloth; i think he is drunk but turns out it was the beginning of the plague; he tosses and turns with fever all night
  • Rich manages to go to work; I go to work feeling fine; around 7am get a little nauseous and attribute it to the rich food from the night before; by 9am I have terrible body aches, am throwing up, and have that shivering feverish feeling; I call the fam to come pick me up from work; spend the day laying on the couch feeling like death; they have to drive themselves to the airport because I physically cannot get up; Rich comes home from work early because he feels awful but slightly better than me; finally around 6am Tuesday morning the fever breaks and I start to think I might survive
  • Tuesday-I still can't stomach the sight or thought of food; spend most of the day on the couch in PJs wondering what the heck we have and where we caught it; finally feel like getting up; go see Marley and Me; sob our eyes out because it is so sad..but great; attempt to eat dinner but can't; back to the couch; sleep through Burn After Reading; bed
  • Wednesday-feel like a million bucks, at least relative to the last 2 days; back to work and actually think I may be able to eat a real meal today
  • Haven't run or done any other form of exercise since the bloody Christmas morning run; looking forward to a short run this evening although I'm anticipating it to be really tough since we're both weak from the sickness and lack of running
  • The wounds are healing-the elbow is definitely the worst, it has a gnarly scab and I seem to bang it on something at least every 10 minutes or so
  • I am working on a "Goals/Hopes/Dreams for 2009" post, hopefully I'll get that one up later today; we are being big losers tonight and staying home, taking down Christmas decorations, resting and hopefully staying awake til midnight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blood Sweat and Tears on the Christmas Morning run-Graphic Pics

Merry Christmas everyone! We had a great time last night at a cocktail party hosted by some of our good friends here in Charleston. We ate lots of yummies, drank some wine and opened some hilarious gifts. We came home and watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. This morning we got up and opened our stockings from each other, then got decked out in some new running gear (one of my $12 skirts) and headed to the beach for 5 miles, along the road not actually on the sand. It was HOT, 77 degrees, so we were struggling a little. We had maybe a quarter of a mile left and I was feeling like I had a little gas left and could finish strong...until I tripped. There was no recovering from this stumble, I went down hard on my right side and skinned my elbow, knee and hand pretty good. It instantly brought tears to my eyes and Rich grabbed my arm to keep me from getting blood on my new gear:) I would like to say that I was diving out of the way of a speeding car, or stumbled over a palm frond that had fallen onto the sidewalk. But the truth is I just stumbled over my own big feet, an all too commen phenomenon in my world. I am known much more for my clumsiness than for my gracefulness. In fact, one of my nicknames growing up was Grace. Once at the doctor, they interrogated me because I had so many scrapes and bruises they actually thought I might have been hit or abused, and it even took a social worker interviewing my parents before they were oonvinced I was just THAT clumsy. Some things never change! After we got back to the car, I used a towel we had and some ocean water to clean it up as much as possible but it still looked pretty rough.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

8 Miles from Hell (at least part of it anyway)

Last night some friends of mine were having an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, but since I worked until 11pm and had an 8 miler scheduled for this morning, I put on my responsible hat and didn't go. They had a great time and there were jello shots involved, and I'm not sure I'll ever outgrow my love for those, so it was a wise decision to head home after work. I woke up this morning pretty pumped for our long run, which never bodes well. The runs I am feeling terrible about and don't want to do usually wind up being great, and vice versa. It is still unseasonably warm so I wore shorts and a tank top, and my fuel belt with 2 waters and 2 gatorades, and packed the blueberry pomegranate Gu Roctane (have never tried these before). We decide to incorporate the Cooper River Bridge into our run, which has at least a one mile steady incline one way.
I promise it is tougher than it appears it would be, and there was no sun to be had today!
On the drive there it starts to get darker, windier and cooler and I'm wishing I had brought a hat or rain jacket but at that point it was too late. We parked and it was just a little misty, did the first couple miles on some trails which was really nice, then headed back to the main road to the bridge. Usually the bridge is packed and today it was just us and maybe 2 or 3 other people walking/jogging/biking so that should have been a big red flag to STAY OFF THE BRIDGE, but nope, we forged on. On into driving rain and extremely strong (I wouldn't even come close to accurately guessing MPH, so I'll just use my technical term of "extrememly strong") headwinds. There were some steps that I swear I did not move forward. I felt like the Biggest Loser contestants when Jillian has them try to pull her across them gym floor, or like a sled dog, or horse in the horse-drawn get the picture. Not fun!! Rich has gone on ahead of me and waves to tell me that it is the 50minute mark, so time for the GU. It wasn't bad, but anything in my mouth when I'm struggling to breath and nauseaus is not pleasant. I started walking at this point, got the GU choked down and drank some water. I see Rich has slowed to a walk ahead of me too. I think this is only the first or second time we have ever walked in a long run. I just alterntated walking/jogging/praying to the Bridge Gods that I would make it to the top, and wondering how I would ever make it back up the hill once we got to the other side. At the top, Rich and I confer and agree that the bridge was a bad idea and decide to just turn around and head back down and finish the miles on the trails. Once we turned around and had the wind at our backs it was not so bad, and the trail running was pretty fun. The GU had kicked in and I felt great, except for some reason my right big toe had been numb since mile 1, but it wasn't bothering me that much. We don't have pedometers or a Garmin so I just guestimated that the absolute slowest we would run would be 12 minute miles, so we were shooting for somewhere between 90 and 96 minutes, and our total ended up being 96:40 so we probably went a little longer than 8 miles. Of course once it was over we felt great and super pumped that we made it, and after a quick change of clothes we went to our fav Mexican place for lunch. Now I am at work, and Rich is at home dealing with a pukey dog.

This is what we felt like trying to run the bridge today, only these guys look like they are enjoying themselves waaaaaaay more than we were!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today's Adventure

Here are a few pics, the first 3 are of Emmy, the foster dog, modeling her Mrs. Clause outfit.
Isn't she adorable? I can't believe someone took her to the pound :(
I can't get these to blow up any bigger, but this one is Fiona, Dickson and Emmy sitting politely for their fish oil capsules. This is a shot from my work Christmas party last night while we were playing Dirty Santa. That's Rich and I in the middle, with assorted coworkers and significant others.

This morning I went to the chiropractor to get some kinks worked on. As I'm pulling into the driveway I notice one of our neighbors out in the yard with a yellow lab, after the quick scan to make sure that it wasn't Dickson I went on into the house. The next thing I know, she is at the front door with this dog asking if it is one of mine (a very legitimate question). I told her no, and she said that she had wandered up into her yard and she didn't want to take her inside her house and she had to leave for work, would I take her? Umm, sure why the heck not? Richard is not home at the moment, he had gone to get my tires rotated, so I'm thinking he is gonna kill me if he comes home to a 5th >60lb dog in the house!! This girl is young, probably a year or less, with an indentation in her fur where a collar would go although she currently did not have a collar on, and a shaved spot on her back where a hot spot had been treated. And she is nice and chunky so I know she belongs to someone in the neighborhood. I couldn't just leave her roaming loose. There have been times when my dogs have gotten loose and some kind stranger has taken them in or stayed with the until we could get to them, so I felt like I had to pay it forward with this dog. I put her in the backyard and she and Dickson and Tanner ran and played. Then I took her to the vet at Petsmart to have her scanned for a microchip, but no luck there, she isn't chipped. By the time I get home from Petsmart, Richard is home and he handled it pretty well. Of course he did the requisite grumbling and grouching, but I know without a doubt had he been the one home and not me he would have done the same thing and taken her in. I know that "Daisy" is a super common name for female yellow labs, so I decide to call her that, altho she didn't seem to respond to it. I figure she must live close, and someone is probably looking for her so we put a collar on her and leash her up for a walk. We asked everyone we saw if they recognized her, but nobody did. We were going to have to leave for work soon, so I was just going to set up the extra crate and put her in that then make fliers to put up tomorrow. Finally when we were almost back home, a little girl about 6 years old on her pink bicycle turns the corner and yells "Daisy." Lo and behold, that is her name after all! She got really excited and ran to the little girl, pulling me behind her. Then comes a little boy about 8, and their twenty-something babysitter. Apparently the mom had put her in the yard, which has an electric fence, without her electric fence collar on this morning. The little kids were so cute hugging on her and telling her how much they had missed her (she couldn't have been gone much more than an hour or so). So all is well, Daisy is back home, and we are back down to 4 dogs. Thank Goodness!

Training has been a little lax this week. We each got a good 4-5 miler in on Monday,then I went to Body Pump on Tuesday, and we ran 2 miles together yesterday. This morning was supposed to be an easy 3, but with all the Daisy excitement I didn't get a chance to run, and now I'm working until 11pm so that one will be a wash. We have an 8 miler on the schedule for this weekend, and I think we're going to do it Sunday morning before I got to work.

Oh, and I forgot to mention it, but it is freaking HOT in Charleston, we're talking highs in the 80's. Crazy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Weekend

was great! Saturday morning Rich and I slept in til 9:30 then got ourselves up and around for our long run, which was 7 miles. I decided to start using my fuel belt again, and I did 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of gatorade. I forgot how heavy that thing feels when it is full. We did a 3.5 mile out and back, and I was pretty conservative with the energy output on the first half because I had in my mind that I wanted to really push it on the 2nd half, and we did! We did miles 6-7 at an average pace of 9:30 and it was tough, mile 6 was around 9:15 and I'm not sure I've ever run a mile that fast before. I felt great, but the last half mile or so was a struggle. I know I need to push out of that comfort zone more often so I know what it feels like to run when it is hard. Saturday night we went to some friends house for dinner and had a great time playing with their adorable 10month old baby boy. My friend Erin is due literally any minute now with her first baby, and she was grunting through contractions all night. That girl is a trooper! Yesterday we were very lazy and did a little more Christmas decorating, and watched movies on the couch most of the day. Today is 4.5 miles, and I think we'll do it on the bridge to get some hill work in. I hope everyone had a great weekend! Oh it is 70 degrees here today and supposed to be in the upper 70's by the middle of the week, that does NOT feel like Christmas, but it sure is nice!

Friday, December 12, 2008

TGIF Photo

First let me say that my Friday Fav 5 was a bit too adventurous of an undertaking...coming up with 5 of my fav products and finding the time and energy to detail them all weekly was too much. So I'm just keeping a little list in my head and when I get to 5 things I can't live without, I'll post a Friday Fav 5...just not every Friday....I'm sure you are giddy with anticipation now:)

Nikemom at Adventure Seeker started a TGIF Photo-share today, so check it out. I couldn't decide on just one so I picked a few of my favorites from last March's Little Rock Half Marathon. It was my 2nd half and Rich's first. We ran the whole thing together and finished in 2:28. Looking at these old pics is good motivation to train hard for the MB Half.

This is Rich and I before the race, we spent the entire 2 days prior staying on a houseboat with some of our friends and gambling/drinking (very...well ok, semi-moderately) at the horse races...not the best pre-race strategy but it sure was fun!

The answer to "Why do I run" on the front of his shirt.
We did it! It really wasn't cold enough for the space-blanket but I thought it was too neat looking to pass up. And despite mass quantities of BodyGlide, poor Richard still wound up with a bloody nip.

Post-race OJ (with just the tiniest splash of champagne:)) That's my brother and dad in the middle, they both did the 5K. We also managed to talk several of our friends into the 5K as well, but I can't find the pic of all of us. One day I hope to run a half with my girlfriends!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I need help with training plans

Rich and I are using Hal Higdon's novice half-marathon training plan to train for MB half and it is going great so far. We are on week 7/12. We are running Napa-to-Sonoma Half in July, so we have about 5 and a half months between them. All you fabulous runners out there, please give me some advice on how to train for the 2nd one, what your favorite half-marathon plans are, etc. I know it is quite a while in the future, but I want to go ahead and get my calendars marked and ready and start penciling in some 5 and 10ks as well. Maybe it's too early to start looking at training plans for July, I guess I should see how MB goes first, but I love to plan so I can't resist!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

HUGE Sale on Running Skirts I have a marathon skirt and the relaxed fit bike skirt so far and really like them. In fact, I prefer running in a skirt to shorts, so you can never have enough, right? The bike skirts are normally $80 and the running skirts normally $50, and they are on sale for $12!!! That's too good to pass up if you like the products, so I thought I'd share.

1 outta 2 ain't bad..oh wait, yes it is!

I am at 50% so far this week for workouts. I planned on running the Cooper River Bridge for my 4.5 miles on Monday. Since I HATE to go home, change then go running, I brought my clothes, ipod, and a snack with me. I get to my car after work and realize I forgot to bring a sports bra...ugh ugh ugh! There is no running without that piece of gear, and the bridge is on my way home, so going home and coming back wasn't gonna happen. There is only so much time in the day and I didn't want to waste any of it backtracking, so I ran thru my options...skip the run altogether because my "plan" was messed up, go home and change then drive back to the bridge-nope, stop at a running store somewhere between work and the bridge and buy new sports bra-luckily for the wallet there isn't a store close, or go home and change and just run in my neighborhood-the winning option. I find that I am really inflexible with my running, is that common with runners? If I get a set distance/pace/location/outfit in my mind for that particular run, I get extremely bent out of shape if something goes awry and changes. I mean come on, it's not that big a deal, but it really bugged me. Anyway, I got my miles in and it was a good run and I really enjoyed it, just wasn't what I had been planning on. That's my 50% success rate for the week.

Yesterday was my 50% failure rate...I was supposed to do an easy 3 miles or cross-train. Does eating enchiladas count as cross training? Oh, well in that case I guess I didn't work out yesterday. My name is Amanda, and I'm a "Mexic-olic." I have been clean now for 14 hours. Rich picked me up from work, we went to the chiropractor and to take care of the Petsmart bunny (I am in charge of feeding/cleaning/playing with the bunny for adoption at the Petsmart by our house every Tuesday...random, don't know why I signed up for this, but it's kinda fun), then we were both starving and since he too is Mexic-olic, we soon found ourselves in the red vinyl booth at Los Arcos, our favorite little neighborhood Mexican restaurant, chowing on chips and queso and nose diving into a margarita. Then we went and picked out our Christmas tree and went home to watch Biggest Loser, which made me feel like the Biggest Loser for not working out, but at that point the last thing I felt like doing was moving. So...moving on...I plan to redeem myself today and run the bridge after work today for another 4-5 miles this week. Then tomorrow is rest, Friday is 50min of cross-training, then 7 mile long run on Saturday. Oh, just a short BL rant...I vow to never watch another season if Vicky wins. I don't care that now she "get's it" to quote Bob, she is still terrible. Come on Heba and Michelle, kick some Vicky-butt in the finale!!!!

On a different note, has anyone else NOT started Christmas shopping yet? We aren't going home to see our families until mid-January so I was totally going to wait til after Christmas to shop....but my fam (mom, dad, bro and aunt) just decided a couple days ago that they are coming out to spend Christmas here in Charleston with us...guess I better get my rear in gear and shop shop shop!!

Oh, if anyone has had sucess with a 12 step MA program (that's Mexic-olics Anonymous for those of you not-the-sharpest-tools), please let me know...I need help!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My official time is....

29:39! Yay, I am thrilled and am already excited about beating it next time!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Reindeer Run Race Report

Rich and I before the race.

Rich, Kristen, Scott and Stephanie (my friends that I work with) before the race...unfortunately Scott "forgot" his antlers. Stephanie, Kristen, me

Posing in the kitchen before we left

The faces of some seriously elite athletes!

Rich and I both PR'd!!!! (for my non-running readers, that means we got our personal records, are best time yet). And I ran the whole time in my antlers, they didn't budge! We met Kristen, Scott and Stephanie downtown and took some pics then made our way to the starting line. There were tons of cute costumes, and lots of dogs (some of them in costume too!) so it was an entertaining run. Poor Steph dropped her inhaler right as the gun went off and we got separated from her. The boys ran with us for the first couple of minutes then they took off. I was seriously tempted by the volunteers handing out Krispy Kremes at each mile marker, but I resisted! Kristen is really fit, but she usually just runs on the treadmill and this was her first race. She did great!! I could tell we had a good pace going because it was tough. We both agreed after the first mile that we would focus on running and not talk until the end, and I was definitely huffing and puffing. The several beers I had Friday night probably weren't helping! The last half mile was a real struggle, and I was so thankful that I had Kristen with me to keep me going. I'm not sure exactly what our official time was but I know it is somewhere in the range of 29:40-29:55, more than a full minute faster than my goal, and about 2 minutes faster than my previous 5K PR. Woo hoo!! A HUGE shoutout to Kristen for such a fine showing in her first 5K! And Steph, you would have kicked our butts had you gotten off to a better start. Rich finished up in 26 and change, 2 minutes faster than his Turkey Trot PR last week. I never run under 10 minute miles, so that was an amazing time for me. I am really proud of us, the training is paying off. My lower obliques are oddly sore this morning, I guess I somehow used them more than I normally do when running. After the race, Southend Brewery in downtown Charleston provided free beer from 9:30-11am....just what we needed at 9:30am right? :) There's nothing like a bar full of sweaty Santas and elves drinking beer before 10am to put a smile on your face. There was much more fun to be had later in the day, but I'll save that for another post and keep this one as a race report post. Great job to everyone who raced yesterday, and I can't wait to see how everyone's races today go.

Rich and I at Southend after the race...still rocking the antlers!

Steph, me Kristen after the race

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas puppies

This time of year breeders (both reputable and not so reputable)/pet stores/puppymills are cranking up "production" and selling lots of adorable little puppies for Christmas. Also this time of year, the shelters are full of last year's adorable little puppies that are no longer little and cute, eat too much, shed too much, stink, take up too much time, yada yada yada bs bs bs. I will try not to get on my soap box too much about it but it is a huge problem, especially this year with so many people giving up their animals because of losing jobs and the economy (I would eat spam and ramen everyday before I would give up an animal, but some people don't feel that way, and some people do have legitimate reasons why they can't keep their dog/cat/whatever...but those are far and few between. Just take a peek at all these dogs, mostly purebred, that for whatever reason were abandonded by their families. There are 3 boxer rescues in the Carolinas, yet full blooded boxers die every week in shelters here because there are literally that many of them. People don't always realize that purebred rescues exist, or that shelters are full of purebred dogs, so they go out and buy them from breeders, myself included...before my eyes were opened to the rescue world I bought Dickson from a breeder. Anyway, just thought I'd share this...

A Shelter Dog's Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Every shelter is full-we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
We hope every minute that someone will care,
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparkie, come fetch your new ball!"

But now we sit here and think of the days...
We were treated so fondly when we had cute, baby ways
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew-
Now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
They reacted so quickly--why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children" or "don't come when they call"
We bark when they leave us "climb over the wall."

We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequences of errors they made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
We'd have done what they asked us and worshipped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse-let to roam.
Now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye.

"Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone...
In a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer.

We know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads....
Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears.
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry and fear.
If you can't adopt us and there's no room at your Inn--

Could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year--
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
And more of us will, if more people give.

--Author Unknown--

So get out there and donate! The next time you're out shopping, or buying food for your animals, grab an extra bag (it doesn't have to be the good stuff) and drop it by your local shelter, or contact a rescue group in your area and ask what specific needs they have. And the next time you're in the market for a new furry family members...remember to check shelters and rescues!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A little bit of everything

I work in a hospital, usually on the 8th floor, so I do a lot of riding in elevators and have noticed an interesting phenomenon...the compulsive button pushers. Here's what I'm talking about: you're standing by the elevators on the bottom floor, so therefore there is only 1 button..the up button..and it is obviously already pushed because it is lit and there are several people standing there. Then that guy (or gal) walks up, glances at the obviously already pushed button, can see the wheels turning, then reaches out and pushes it again. Why? Does he think that his finger can push that button better than whoever pushed it previously? Does he feel like the elevator won't really arrive until he pushes it himself? Is it just a habit? If you are that compulsive button pusher, enlighten me!

I have been on a bit of a cooking spree lately. I have made rum balls, the raspberry strippers, baked potato and bacon soup, cashew brittle, whole wheat snickerdoodles, apple cider glazed pork loin. The cashew brittle is dangerously is all butter and sugar, so I had a couple pieces then sent the rest of it with Richard to work. The snickerdoodles were my first attempt at baking with whole wheat flour and they turned out great, flatter and crisper than normal snickerdoodles which makes them perfect for dunking in coffee. And the pork loin is wonderful, we had it with some mashed sweet potatoes and it was a perfect winter supper.

Onto the training--Monday was supposed to be 4 miles but it was one of those days that I just couldn't get myself out the door, so instead it was a rest day but I'm ok with that. Tuesday was a phenomenal spin class, and I got to try out my new spin shoes. My instructor had to help me get clipped in but I think I got the hang of it for next time. The shoes really did make a difference and I could feel it in my hamstrings the next day. Wednesday Rich and I ran 4 miles with the dogs. They are huge pains if you take more than 1 at a time, so Dickson and Tanner each got a mile then Fiona went with us the last 2 miles. They loved it! Today is a rest day, then tomorrow is some light cross training. Then Saturday morning is the Reindeer Run 5k in downtown Charleston. It is more of a family/dog oriented fun run/walk than serious race, but it should be a good time. I am shooting for under 31 minutes, which would be extremely fast for me. There are a few people from work running it as well so I'm hoping they will encourage me to pick up the pace. There is free beer, food and massages afterwards so if that doesn't motivate me to run fast then nothing will!

Things in doggie-land have been good this week. Dickson and Tanner got to go to Petco for baths/nail trims/teeth brushing because they had gotten way stinky and it was too cold for me to wash them outside (for me, not them...although for supposed icy-water duck dogs they shiver and chatter their teeth when they get outside baths in the winter, they are weenies!). The girls are smaller and have shorter hair so I just put them in the shower with me and washed them down with my Twisted Peppermint body wash from Bath and Body Works. Then I dried them and finished up with some peppermint lotion on them, they did not enjoy the process but now they are super soft and smell great. Tonight we are going to see 4 Christmases, it looks funny and I LOVE Reece Witherspoon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My favorite recipe from last night...

is Raspberry Strippers (I did NOT come up with the name)
They are vanilla butter cookies filled with fruit preserves and drizzled with powdered sugar glaze. I used sugarfree raspberry preserves and they're tasty! Plus they are quick and super easy to make. Per my Cooking Light cookbook each cookie has 75cal, 1.5g sat fat, 0.7g protein, 12.4g carb, 0.2g fiber
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 5 Tbs softened butter
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup raspberry (or other flavor) preserves
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375. Beat sugar and butter with mixer until well blended. Add 1.5 tsp vanilla and egg white, beat well.

2) Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring until well blended. Dough will be thick. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, divide in half, and roll or shape each half into 12 inch log.

3) Place logs 3 inches apart on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Form a 1/2 inch indentation down the lengthh of each long using your finger or the end of a wooden spoon. Spoon preserves into indentation. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to cutting board.

4) Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and remaining extract, stir well with whisk. Drizzle mixture over warm logs. Immediately cut each log diagonally into 12 slices (do not separate slices). Cool 10 minutes, separate slices and transfer to wire racks to cool.

Recipe Origin: Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook, pg 110