Exaggeration vs. no exaggeration

The funny thing about this blog is that even though I am sending my thoughts out into the depths of the Internet, sometimes I forget that not all my readers actually know me.

When this first started out, my audience was primarily, well, me. Then, it grew to some family and friends. Now, I’m at that interesting crossroads where my readers are part friends, part “strangers.”

In adjusting to this, occasionally I forget to explain a few things.

First of all, I am sarcastic. The way I write reflects the way I speak, but the way I write doesn’t always reflect the way I truly feel. For example, it may seem like I do a lot of groaning about my time in the newsroom. In reality, I love journalism. I love the people I work with. I love the experiences The Kansan gives me. Sure, I also love breaks every now and then, but I wouldn’t trade the opportunities I have for anything.

Another thing, I tend to exaggerate. For example, by reading my posts, it would seem as though I never sleep. Not true. I get a good bit of shut-eye every night. When I’m feeling crazy, I might even get 8 hours in. I know, I know…

Recently, I realized that I exaggerate my love for KU football. Sure, I like cheering on the Jayhawks and being surrounded by 50,071 of my closest friends.

I also like getting to spend more time with my favorite Jayhawk…

But, I don’t like standing through four soaking, wet quarters of melodrama.

Then again, there are a few other things that I don’t exaggerate. Such as, my love for pumpkin.

On Saturday, I thought I had the best breakfast ever with a pumpkin-loaded bowl of oats.

Consumed: 1/3 C oats cooked with 2/3 C water. Stirred with cottage cheese and pumpkin. Topped with maple syrup, crasin granola, Justin’s dark chocolate hazelnut butter and a few dark chocolate chips.

Notice that I said, “I thought I had the best breakfast ever.” I know this was false, because only a day later, I outdid myself with pumpkin overnight oats.

Consumed: 1 vanilla Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 C uncooked oats, 1/4 C pumpkin and topped with maple syrup. Left in fridge overnight. Topped in morning with granola and a drizzle of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.

Then, just when I thought the jar of pumpkin had run its course, I managed to salvage a little bit more for the sake of…

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 C uncooked oats
  • 3/4 C chopped almonds
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T pumpkin
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  • In small bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, pumpkin and extract.
  • Pour sugar mixture into oat mixture. Stir, evenly covering.
  • Spread it all out on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in 250 degree oven for 60 minutes, stirring a few times for even cooking.
  • Allow to cool almost entirely, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Use this granola for some texture with yogurt, for some crunch with oatmeal or for some sweetness with… well, anything.

Thanks to the pumpkin, not only is this lower on calories and fat than regular granola, but it’s higher on the taste. Hello, win-win!

As for a few other weekend highlights, I went out on my longest run to-date with nine miles.

The weather was cool, my legs felt good and Dan was along to keep me company. I even had a little extra motivation from my shirt…

Runs on plants? You betcha’!

After banging out the run first thing on Saturday morning, I got non-smelly to meet Dan and his family for lunch.

Dan’s mom and sister, Claire, came into town to shop for a dress for Claire’s upcoming homecoming. As a senior, she is nominated for homecoming queen. Totally deserving, in my opinion… (Vote Claire!)

Post-lunch, the sky had already begun spitting raindrops, but we decided to bear the storm for the sake of some 3 Spoons frozen yogurt.

If that’s not the face of frozen yogurt-inspired determination, then I don’t know what is!

That night was the aforementioned game. On the “bright side,” Kansas won.

On the even brighter side, after the game I checked soft-pretzels off my “baking wish list.”

In Germany this summer, I probably averaged a good pretzel or two a day. I just couldn’t get over how deliciously doughy they were, especially compared to the traditionally hard American variety.

When I got home, the pretzels just weren’t cutting it. But, for a while, I had been too intimidated to make any.

With Dan’s encouragement, I put that hesitation aside and turned to Alton Brown’s help for a take at homemade pretzels.

Mr. Brown certainly didn’t disappoint. Although the pretzels weren’t exactly “easy” and not exactly “pretty,” they were delicious. It was as though I was in Germany all over again! Wissen Sie?

Other than all that, my weekend was delightfully low-key. I even went “crazy” and got 8 hours of sleep on Saturday night…

Questions: What foods are you intimidated by? What former food fears have you overcome?

I’m still a little hesitant to make meringues. It’s something about getting stiff enough peaks that freaks me out. Other than the pretzels, it was also a big step for me to overcome my fear of tofu. Now, I realize how easy tofu really is!

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10 responses to “Exaggeration vs. no exaggeration

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