This is the way it goes sometimes: A beautiful day but no chance for an outdoor run. That was my Thursday. The weather was perfect (mid 60s) and I so wanted to get out for a run. But, Owen had a meeting and then volleyball after work so I was without someone to watch Conal. I made the most of the day and took Conal for a 2-mile walk around the neighborhood and then we played in the yard for what seemed like hours but was probably only one.
I hit the treadmill for my run after putting Conal to bed for the night. These days, I'm having trouble with the 'mill. I can manage 'mill running only if I play with my speed. So even though I didn't plan for a speedy run, that's what I did: An easy 1.5 miles, then 4 quarter miles at 6:48 pace, 2 at 7:30 pace and a half mile cool-down.
Yesterday evening, I went out for an easy 4-miler at 9:05 pace to wrap up the week.
In between runs, I turned my kitchen into a test kitchen, baking up oatmeal cookies and toasting bagels.
I received a pound of the new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Baking and Cooking Sticks earlier this week to try out and review. Although this product has been around for a while, the spread has been recently reformulated and re-introduced. According to the web site:
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Cooking & Baking sticks have been reformulated to contain a blend of nutritious oils, including soybean and canola oil, so they have 50% less saturated fat than butter and provide an excellent source of omega-3 ALA per serving, while baking and tasting like butter.Now, I'm a butter gal. I love it. Love to bake with it, love to spread it on my toast and bagels. Love it. So, a product with less saturated fat and the addition of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid sounded good to me. You can check out the nutrition information here.
I first tried the spread on its own and it takes just like butter, which, I guess, is the point. It's creamier than butter, though. The other difference that I noticed is that it softened quicker than butter when I took it out of the fridge, and stayed softer.
My next test was to try a toasted bagel with both butter and the spread. I really couldn't tell the difference. Both tasted buttery and yummy!
The final test was to bake something with the spread. I decided to try out my favorite cookie recipe: Oatmeal cookies with pecans, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. The only change that I made to my original recipe was to use the spread instead of butter. Overall, the cookies were good: they tasted just like the original. But there were two consistency differences that I noticed. First, the cookies didn't puff up the way they normally do. Instead, they spread out on the baking sheet and were fairly flat. Second, the cookies stayed soft. Normally, I bake these cookies and they are all soft and chewy the first day, but they start to get a little harder by the second day. Not so with the cookies baked with the I Can't...spread.
Here's what the cookies looked like:
It was tough to show the flatness, so take my word for it!
OK, last thing. The spread came packed on ice in this cute little cooler:
All in all, I liked how the spread tasted and how it worked in the cookies. Will I buy it? I'm going to continue to look into the whole butter vs. soybean/canola oil spread. I'd like to read a little more about the pros and cons of each and then decide. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, what do you think? Are you a butter person or a spread person? Or do you take your toast dry? (I've heard that some people do that type of thing . . . )
I'm off to a 2-year old birthday party this afternoon. Hope you're all enjoying the weekend!