The week following a vacation is generally just a melancholic blur of work and laundry and grocery shopping and laundry and healthier eating and memories of warmth and sunshine. This goes for vacations lasting the usual 7 days or those extending towards two weeks and/or particularly those cut short at 3 or 4 days, the so-called long weekends.
This week was that week. Where nothing truly gets done, but one in which I feel exhausted and sleep deprived and a tad bloated and all sorts of hungry…hungry for butter and sugar and ice cream. Not carrot sticks and tuna salad. Ugh…so easy to fall out of a good habit and quite the struggle to jump back in.
Disney was great. The race was great. The weather was great. The food was great. The company was great. And the ears…I became slightly obsessed.
I look good as Mickey.
The one good thing about this past long weekend, I snuck in some exercise. And by snuck, I mean I ran a half-marathon … which was the purpose of the mini-vacation in the first place. But now that the race is complete – woohoo! … I am in a post vacation post race funk. Double whammy. Months, weeks, and hours of hard work, training, and planning. Boat loads of sweat and tears…So much thought and attention focused on one goal….complete 13.1 miles without dying. Not only is it an immense physical journey, one where you push yourself to your limit and then beyond…but it is an unexpected emotional one as well. A journey that leaves you exhausted and sore, but wanting more.
When the goal is reached – no matter the milage…I always feel a bit lost. There is a moment, a few hours, perhaps days where I am excited and relieved and I want to high five the world and tell anyone I pass that I just completed a marathon or that I PR’d a 5K…but then it sinks in that what I have been working towards for months is over. Completed, finished, done. It is like the day after Christmas…so much build up and in a blink of an eye, it is over. 4 months of build up and it is over in 2 hours. Ugh.
So this week has been a bit funky. I am enjoying the rest and relaxation, but not having a goal and a plan is kind of driving me a tad bonkers…Thankfully, I found a distraction on Netflix…Friday Night Lights, anyone? Seriously, where was I 5 years ago? Or two weeks ago. This show is addicting and full of underdogs and high school drama (none of which I went through, but then again I didn’t attend high school in football crazed Texas) and ever since I saw Coach Taylor blow up on Grey’s Anatomy, I have been smitten. He wasn’t Coach Taylor on Grey’s Anatomy but was part of a bomb squad or something or other. I don’t know.
And besides Netflix…I always have the kitchen to distract me. Endless amounts of butter, sugar, and chocolate can make me forget almost anything…And these Carmelitas did just the trick. Roasted pecans, chocolate chips, melted creamy caramel…sandwiched between an oatmeal crust. These will get ya out of any funk…mainly because after just one, the treadmill is necessary
And hey, don’t ya know that a little bit of time in the kitchen had me thinking and planning … Cleveland Half in May? Perhaps.
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1+3/4 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1+1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, tightly packed
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 2+1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1+1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup Roasted Pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 - 10 oz. Package of Caramels (about 52), unwrapped
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13inch pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter or baking spray
- Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
- Beat together melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Pat ½ of mixture into prepared baking dish. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Prepare filling.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine unwrapped caramels and heavy cream and cook over medium-low heat. Stir until caramels are melted and smooth.
- Pour caramel filling over crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips and roasted pecans over caramel filling. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over filling and place in preheated oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool before cutting.