Furloughed: Adventures in Homemaking (Part 1)

I don't talk about my job a lot on the blog because it doesn't usually overlap with my running life. However, as a federal government employee deemed as "non-essential", I've spent the last 8 days at home, not working nor receiving a paycheck. As a result of the shenanigans implemented by our esteemed members of Congress, I've been furloughed and have had more time on my hands than I know what to do with.

Turns out, the shutdown was a blessing in disguise last week. The sore throat I had during the Vermont 50K ended up rendering me pretty useless last week, and I did not feel 100% better until today. I had planned on resting my legs a lot last week anyway, which coincided well with being sick and furloughed. I ended up running a total of 22 miles and biking 17 miles total last week. I know my body well enough at this point to realize that after a tough race, it is better for me to rest than push myself hard. 
Not working and barely running left me with a whole lot of free time. I've spent most of my days off sleeping, cleaning the house, and bingeing on Vermont cheddar and episodes of Orange is the New Black (if you don't have Netflix, it is worth getting just to watch this show and House of Cards. Seriously.)
Lagunita's Little Sumpin' Sumpin' paired with aged cheddar - a delicious combo!
But one can only watch so much television and eat so much cheese before becoming bored to death. As a result, I've had a few out-of-character moments that included both baking and crafting.  While I do regularly clean the house, do the laundry, and the dishes, I am definitely not the chef nor the crafty one in this family.

Furlough Day 3: Peanut Butter Cookies

Since we are trying not to spend money right now (this whole no paycheck business is really just as fun as it sounds) I decided to bake cookies last week with ingredients I had in the pantry. After a quick internet search, I found a recipe for "Joey's Peanut Butter Cookies" which had great reviews and seemed pretty easy to make.

Recipe: Makes 3 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla one at a time. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press each ball once with fork tines.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned.

Creaming the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. 

The final product

I loved the flavor of these cookies, though they came out a bit more "cakey" than I like. They also took about 11-12 minutes to cook instead of the recommended 8-10 minutes. I will definitely use this recipe again (chunky peanut butter all the way),  but I will probably cut down on the flour or stir the batter a bit less next time.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my furlough adventures!

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