With no break between the 52 Donuts adventure ending and the 52 Sweets project’s start, I had to get moving quickly. I had to select a recipe, acquire the ingredients and choose a friend with whom to share the very first sweet…
Instead of doing these things as planned, I had oral surgery, hence my spiffy duds in the pic. One week into my new project and I needed help to stay on track.
Help arrived! A new issue of Taste of Home’s Healthy Living appeared in my mailbox, complete with a 2-page spread on gluten-free baking. Wow! Gluten-free cookies seem to be tricky to perfect but the peanut butter cookies looked pretty in the picture, so I chose those. Food photos never lie, right?
A few additional hurdles popped up. In my post-oral surgery Vicodin haze, I could not drive to get the Hershey’s kisses needed to complete the cookies. And I had no business using the oven. My hubby John volunteered to go to the store and came back with the biggest bag of chocolate kisses I have ever seen! He also measured all of the ingredients and whirled it together in the trusty mixer. While the dough chilled for an hour, I unwrapped 48 Hershey’s kisses. It took me most of that hour to accomplish this task. Wow. After an hour, I rolled the gooey dough into balls and John baked them. For someone so uneasy in the kitchen, he did an amazing job with cookies!
To my surprise, the cookies looked nearly identical to “regular” peanut butter kiss cookies. They did not have the unpleasant smell I associate with many gluten-free recipes and the recipe did not call for 10 exotic flours, only 3 pretty common ones. To top it off, they were tasty according to everyone that ate them. I tried to sample them, but they didn’t work so well on my soft-food diet.
The recipe can be found here.
And now for the second component of this year’s Sweet journey. Each week I’ll share a little or a lot about the person with whom I shared the sweet. This week it’s a lot.
I shared this week’s Sweet with my friend Mary. I met Mary a few years ago in a small group personal training class at the gym. Within a few minutes of meeting Mary, it was obvious she was a no-nonsense lady who did the work (exercise) with no complaining and always had fun. She made it fun for me. Add to the fun a fabulous mix of knowledge on a diverse range of topics and a healthy dose of wanderlust and you have a friend worthy of sharing many, many sweets with.
Within a few months of meeting Mary, our trainer Mandy said she was trying to put a team together for the Nike Women’s San Francisco Marathon. That sounded simply crazy to me. A month before Mandy suggested this craziness, I had completed my first 5k. By completed, I mean walked the 3 miles around an indoor track and thought I might die doing it. Mary and I talked about this crazy idea of Mandy’s and somehow we ended up signed up for the half marathon. Many races later, Mary still says she only signed up because I did. I don’t remember that being the case. She also says she didn’t think there was any chance we would “win” the lottery to enter the race, which gets twice as many entrants as space allows. The odds weren’t good for us to be chosen in the lottery on our first try. But we did and we spent the next eight months training together.
During those months of training, I learned a lot about Mary and a lot about myself. We would meet all over the city for really long training walk/runs in every kind of weather on every possible surface. Laughing and talking the entire way, the miles fell away and the goal seemed achievable. And it was–we came across the finish line together in San Francisco. I can’t begin to count how many races we have now done together. This fall we did another half marathon together in Las Vegas and spent many more days training together. She continues to amaze and inspire me. I am thankful she is my friend and my marathon buddy. And for that, I gave her cookies.
John drove me to Mary’s house where I planned to deliver the cookies and pick up goodies that she brought for me from Bittersweet Gluten-Free Bakery in Minnesota. Mary and her hubby planned to visit a gluten-free donut shop while they were there, but Winter happened and the roads were too bad to get there. So instead they found a gluten-free bakery. WOW! They brought back an amazing selection of goodies that I’ll blog about later. After perusing the beautiful goodies Mary had for me, I gave her the box of cookies and told her I had chosen her to share my sweet with on the first week of the 52 Sweets journey. She said, “How perfect! And on my birthday!”
I had no idea it was Mary’s birthday and she is not the kind of person who would have told me. She wouldn’t want anyone to make a big fuss about it. But I would have. Thanks, Mary, for being an amazing friend and constant source of inspiration!