Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soooo this is probably gonna be odd....

Soooo HELLO.... its been ohhh let's see.... almost 3 years since I've posted ANYTHING on here and I'm pretty sure none of you are still reading at this point. (And if you are.... sorry for the no doubt slightly boring time) I just came back across my blog from oh so long ago the other day and missed it.

Obviously its been way too long to even bother catching you up to speed (once again... that's IF there is anyone still out there in blog land concerned with my ramblings) however... to make a long story short I'm working full time at an organic pizza restaurant that I love. Yes, some people will frown upon this and say "Hey you're 26, you have a Bachelors degree... maybe its time for something more challenging aka socially acceptable" blah blah... sure, you're probably right but at least I'm one of few people who get to wake up in the morning happy to go to work. I love it. I serve food that I would actually eat and would encourage others to eat because it's local, fresh, organic and tastes bomb. I work with awesome people. My bosses are very flexible with my schedule each week. I make good money that gets the bills paid. So for now... it works.

I'm also going on a little over a year with the man of my dreams. Jimmy makes me feel the luckiest girl in the world everyday. I moved in with him in April (BIG step for the queen of anxiety) and I love love love it. Waking up next to him every morning and going to bed with him every night is a little slice of heaven. Barf, I know. I could go on and on but he is the most caring, sweet person with the biggest heart in the entire world. My apple red commercial size KitchenAid standing mixer that does all the hard work for me and has always been in my dreams became a reality because of this man's strong belief in my baking. When I unwrapped it I couldnt believe my eyes and I'll always remember what he said.... "Babe, I'm giving this to you in hopes that you will look at this as the first step to making your bakery dream come true" Yeah... I'm pretty gd lucky.

SO... the main reason I happened to feel a little pang of sadness about my long lost blog when I realized that I've been doing so much baking and running lately and have no where to keep all of that useless information organized.

Yes, I have a recipe box chock full of my scribbles and most of them are covered in flour, cookie dough, and probably wine from the actual act of baking with the recipe card being just a tad too close to the baker... but I miss having a reason to capture the beauty of a perfectly piped buttercream frosting on camera and put it somewhere where I can look back and remember not just the recipe, but how it appeared.

I don't remember how HTML works and I haven't thought about font colors, web page backgrounds, and yada yada since the last time I was on here but ya know what??? Its whatever. Time to wing it. With that being said... whether you're out there or not.... today was a pretty phenom day. Day off of work.. started it off with a sub par 3 mile run because my legs were aching from a 5.5 mile run and a whole lotta barbell lunges at the gym the day before. Woof. Got home and played with the dog, debating what to make for lunch which ended up being Artichoke Gratinata.. a recipe from the Italian queen herself Giada DeLaurentiis. Make it. NOW. So easy and if you like a giant bowl of vegetables as your meal this won't let you down. Inhaled my lunch, ran a few errands (important things you know... Starbucks for my wake up call aka blonde roast, bank, grocery store yada yada) Then I got home and I created a beautiful work of cupcake art for a coworker's belated birthday and right about now its time to share it...

Butterscotch has always been a favorite of mine ever since I started eating my Grandma's amazing butterscotch chip cookies. They're beyond fantastical. With big butterscotch chips and a soft chewy cookie dough... Totally droolworthy.

The only thing better than butterscotch has got to be anything that involves sea salt and caramel together. Trader Joe's dark chocolate caramel with black sea salt??? I'd eat one of those bars PER DAY if it was socially acceptable. Hence why these were the perfect idea for worksi tomorrow... my friend Taylor is gonna feel like he died and went to heaven. I mean... just sayin. And I, of course, had wine nearby to aid in my cupcake baking. And too much wine usually results in this:

Two glasses in... that SkinnyGirl wine got the girl feelin fiiiiine.

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Sea Salt Caramel Frosting:
2-1/3 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup almond milk
3/4 cup butterscotch chips, roughly chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups in approximately 24 muffin cups (I say approx because my batter NEVER makes enough for the normal 24 cupcakes... usually more like 18-20)
2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In large bowl... or standing mixer... beat butter on medium speed about 30 seconds or so. Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl down occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time then beat in vanilla.
4. On low speed, alternate adding flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Add flour 1/3 of the mixture at a time and milk 1/2 at a time until blended. Stir in butterscotch chips.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups filling about 2/3 of the way.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took about 21 minutes exactly) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Caramel Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
3 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Stir in the brown sugar with a whisk and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
3. Add the milk and return to boiling. Once boiling, remove from heat.
4. Allow to sit and cool for 30 minutes then gradually add the powdered sugar and stir. Frost cupcakes as much as desired and sprinkle with course sea salt.
5. Restrain your inner cupcake monster and try not to demolish all at once. Key word: try.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movie Marathon....with a side of Velour

So I'm currently on movie #3 of the night... started with Sweet Home Alabama, moved onto The Family Stone (such a good Christmas movie! and Dermot Mulroney is pretty easy on the eyes, ladies.. if you didn't already know) and I'm ending it with The Devil Wears Prada. Oh yeah... a night chock full of chick flicks, which I can rarely stand watching. But tonight consisted of nothing but guilty pleasure movies, comfy velour pants, all while sitting smack dab next to the Christmas tree. Is there anything better?

My morning was pretty productive though... I woke up and had Sunday breakfast with the family. On the menu, thanks to my bright idea.... pumpkin pancakes. Holyyyy yum. I had 1-1/2 and was wayyy too full to finish but they were amazing... my whole family loved them.

Then it was time to crack down on gift wrapping. Our tree is perfection but it's missing some presents underneath so my little brother and I got all of our goodies wrapped and ready to go. Can't believe Christmas is practically here!!! I wish time would slowww down just a tad. I always feel like the Christmas season comes and goes in the blink of an eye. *sigh*

After doing some laundry and getting changed into workout clothes I was ready to hit the gym... not before making myself a much needed snack because my stomach was literally yelling at me.

Mulitgrain Arnolds Thin with Teddie PB & cinnamon

I got to the gym and ran a so-so 2 miles... my shins were really tight even after lots of stretching and walking breaks so I decided once I hit the two miles that it was time to stop. So I did a good 20 minutes of strength training and finished up on the elliptical while watching the Pats game... not a bad Sunday ;)

Next was a very necessary grocery store trip... I reallyy needed to restock my bar collection. Usually I have a wide variety at my house to choose from in the morning but lately I've just been stopping whenever I have an extra second before work to grab one just in case I need it.

I wanted to go for a few Balance bars because the flavors sounded out of this world good (Mocha Chip? Cookie Dough???? Ummm, yes please) but wasn't too happy with the ingredients list.

Do any of you eat these bars?

I want to give them a try anyway and see how I like them but would like an opinion or two on these puppies beforehand... Which flavors are best? Which aren't so great??

Anyway.... picked up a few other essentials since I was already there:
Nature's Promise Oat Bran pretzels, Red Pepper Hummus, Honeycrisps, Bananas, MorningStar grilled chicken patties, Kashi Warm Cinnamon cereal, and Chobanis galore

I wanted to dig right into the pretzels and hummus in a whirlwind of hungry-ness but instead opted to take a shower because I was staaaankin with sweat (I'm wicked attractive, obviously) hahahaaa... and then made myself a cup of what was left from my vegetarian chili I made earlier this week with a side of a Hodgson Mill corn muffin & my beloved cranberry juice...

I couldn't kick my craving for pretzels and hummus so I busted them out when my belly started growling in the middle of my movie marathon and enjoyed them thoroughly... Some carrots found their way into my little hummus snack session too. Absolutelyyy delish.

And this was the gorgeous sight outside my kitchen window that I caught while munching on my snack today. Connecticut, I love you :)

By the time dinner rolled around I had no idea what to make until I spotted a lonely sweet potato in my kitchen just begging to be chopped into rounds and put in the oven. Ask and you shall receive my little orange friend ;)

AND I tried out my new MorningStar chicken patties on an Arnolds Thin with baby spinach, lots of organic ketchup and Annie's Lite Honey Mustard for dipping purposes, of course... sooo ridiculously good as always. I could live off of sweet potatoes I'm pretty sure.

Anddd right now, because I have the worst sweet tooth known to man, I'm enjoying two little delectables beside the tree...

Time to finish watching Meryl Streep wreck havoc on Anne Hathaway's sanity....lovely. And then off to bed so I can be 100% for the double I'm working tomorrow. ohhhh boy.... Sweet Dreams Dolls

What's your favorite Christmas movie???

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the Season :)

Hello, hello lovebugs! How is your weekend so far? I got to enjoy my first day off all week today.. I've been going nonstop at work with minimal extra time left over for anything besides sleeping so I can get up and do it alll over again. It's physically exhausting and my body has been feeling the effects.

I've been lacking on my gym trips because of it which I absolutely hate with a passion. Unlike those who despise going to the gym & working out, I have to in order to feel well physically. I start to feel soooo just....EW if I don't haha. Not sure if that makes sense??? But I'll feel more exhausted if I go a few days without getting my blood pumping at the gym. I finally had a chance to get a good 3 mile run in today but boy, was it difficult! My feet felt heavy, my shins were wicked tight, and I was much more tired than usual...

OH not to mention I got in a tiny, tiny fender bender on the way home from lunch with my girlfriend today following the gym... YAY. Thankfully, the cop was a doll and let me off easy even as I said "Ohhh I was SO stupid for not looking!" he was quick to assure me "Noooo, no! It happens all the time at this spot. People make mistakes." I flashed a smile and bam!... verbal warning. I love being a girl ;) HA!

Anywayyyy... I think the lack of posting and capturing my daily eats with my camera has affected my habits in that area too. I've been more lenient that I usually am. A little more pizza at work... mucho glasses of wine after hours with my coworkers & beer drinking with my girlfriends... it all adds up to where I'm at now. Ugh.. haha. Luckily I think it was just a little phase but I'm definitely going to be making the extra effort to keep on top of my eating & working out regardless of how crazy my work schedule is.. (Hey, there's always time for a 20 minute yoga session, right? I miss Dawnelle anyway...)

Just to sum up what's been happening besides working my little life away day after day... I've been baking like a crazy person:

Blueberry Buckle with Streusel Topping for Work

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Ganache Topping for a dinner party I went to

Getting in the holiday spirit with Iced Sugar Christmas cookies :)

My eats have mostly consisted of the regular (minus a cookie or two here and there... uhhhh what?) Hey, whatever. Oatmeal on the reg are still occuring for most breakfasts and I love love love it :) I've been drinking absurd amounts of holiday tea, snacking on Clif & Luna bars especially at work when I don't have time for a real meal, eating my weight in sushi... NO lie I'm totally serious about this... I think I have an addiction, roasted veggies, cereal, and organic salads at work...

Multigrain Arnolds Thin with Teddie PB, Honeycrisp slices, & cinnamon

My new fav flavor for the Christmas season

Salmon Avocado Roll

Miso soup from the store...not half bad, actually! And definitely a quick & easy go-to lunch

Godiva Hot Chocolate has been a God send this past week

Holyyyy yum :) so festive in my special Xmas mug

Kashi Go Lean & Smart Start = phenom combo in the A.M. let me tell ya

Vanilla Chobani with cinnamon, a little PB, and Kashi

Hope you darlings are all really excited for the holidays coming up! I can't believe Christmas is basically here. I attempted to finish up my shopping at the mall after work yesterday and it was a bad choice... after driving around and around to search for a sub par parking space I waited in endless lines to buy presents, dealt with rude employees & even worse shoppers... Thankfully I'm just about done minus a few last minute purchases!

My brother was smart and did ALL of his Christmas shopping online, never having to step foot in a crowded store or wait in a single line. I'm starting to wish I had done the same!

What are your family traditions for the holiday season??

In my family we celebrate Xmas morning opening presents around our tree & always make cinnamon buns for breakfast then head to my Gramma's for MORE presents & Christmas dinner. I'm really excited because this year we're doing a big Christmas Eve dinner at my house with my whole family which I'm sure will be absolutelyyyy delicious :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jiggity-jig Hee-haw Hee-haw

Thursday already?? This week is flying by per usual... I feel like it was just summer last week and there's already snow on the ground and Christmas is 2 weeks away! I'm soo excited that it's the holiday season once again. I'm definitely putting "baking Christmas cookies" on my to-do list for today... along with blaring Dominic the Donkey while doing so...

Today's been a much needed day of relaxation since it's my day off. Yesterday was pretty lame at work due to the first snowstorm of the season. It was easily one of the most boring days ever ugh and it just seemed to drag on and on and on until I finally got cut at 530 and was released into the bar (yay!)

After having a Cabin Fevah with my friend from work we were both reallyy hungry and so, per usual, we headed over across the plaza to Feng for sushi... I got the most amazing Panko Tuna ever. I swear.. I will dream about this for days and days.
I had two Mich Ultras and was ready for BED and woke up this morning with tons of energy, ready for the gym where I ran a quick 3 miles, did a 20 minute workout on the elliptical, and did 15 or 20 mins of strength training... Followed by one of these bad boys:
I couldn't figure out what I wanted for lunch and knowing we had ZERO yummy lunch food in the fridge at home I made a stop at Stop & Shop and loaded up on the salad bar... Minus dressing because all they had was the fake gross stuff. Instead I waited til I got home and drizzled a little Annie's Lite Honey Mustard on top (of course)

Baby spinach, lettuce mix, mushrooms, black olives, shredded carrots, chicken, chick peas, & a sprinkle of feta... along with a hefty scoop of melon & strawberries

The rest of the day is looking pretty nice and consisting of laundry, baking, cleaning ....and/or skipping out on ALL those things and spending some high quality time in my sweatpants and watching Wife Swap ummmm, what??? We'll see where the day takes me...

Hope you darlings are having a lovely week so far and especially hope you're getting all of your holiday shopping done! I've only been able to cross ONE person off my list so far so I've got some work to do still.

Are you a last minute shopper for the holidays or do you plan ahead and get everything done before the crazies come out on Xmas Eve??

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's December Already!?

Hello strangers! :) I'm very sorry I ducked out on you lovelies for a while there... my life has just been a whirlwind of craziness. I literally haven't had a moment to gather my thoughts (and especially zero thoughts about snapping pictures of my foodage) for the past ohhh, month?? But I think I'm finally getting everything together...

My stress level has been through the roof and I just recently have made some very big changes that have required even MORE time from me than I have.....

I'm going to keep most of the facts to myself because they're personal but I can assure you it's nothing too serious. I'm getting myself back on track as best I can and keeping my head up because there's zero time in my life for anything else. But I'm wicked excited to get back into the groove of things (as long as everything else can be maintained!) and I know I've missed sooo much that has been going on with everybody but I hope you're all getting in the Christmas spirit!!!! :)

Christmas is my absolute favorite... the music, decorating the tree, SNOW (which we got plenty of this weekend), family time, the smells... baking, evergreen, the fire... ahhh I could go on forever. I wish Christmastime never had to end... and I'm pretty sure we're getting our tree picked out today which I'm super happy about!

What's your favorite thing about Christmas??

What are you putting on your wish-list this year??

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over the Hump...day

As you can see, I'm still trying to find a balance between work & play & fitting in some writing here and there! I'm still reading all of yours though, of course... so I can stay caught up at least... And thank you lovelies for all the comments on the last post... it was so sweet to see that you missed my ramblings :) haha... Oh and, of course, I have next to nothing to show for the few days I went absent but there was plenty of eats to be had...

This past weekend was fun.. I worked alot = made alot = spent....some. Not alot but definitely some. (Hey, it was hard earned!) And I've been keeping my word from last time and making sure my increased hours at work aren't affecting my gym time. I'm not using "have to work a double" as an excuse anymore because usually, although I'm up and out the door early in the a.m., I'm still out of work around 8 or 9ish which leaves me enough time to at least get a run in afterwards...

And that's what happened last night. I worked my looong double, and headed out to the gym around 9 and got a quick 2.6 mile run/warm-up walk in... only requiring my overtired legs to work for 30 mins. I felt much better after going and was able to sleep easy last night because of it.... My muscles allll the way up the back of my legs and to my butt are hating me for it this morning though.

Too much work. Not enough stretch-time! Ugh... yoga will be in my schedule today, for sure.

The rest of the past events have been pretty uneventful actually. Just the usual workdays, followed by fun with the co-workers and some of my lovely home girlfriends, a glass of wine here & there, and attempting to get enough sleep each night! I slept a full 12 hours (from 830pm-830am) Monday night!!!!!

I drove down to work (nearly falling asleep at the wheel mind you...and it was 4pm) and even a Venti Americano couldn't keep me going. Luckily the restaurant was dead that night and I practically begged to be able to go home ...seeing as how there was obviously NO need for four people to handle the work that could be done by two (or even one at this point) Soooo I raced home, fell into bed and didnt wake up until the next morning when my alarm was screaming at me to get up and get my lazybones to work a double.... Fortunately the 12 hour rest period made me feel like a million bucks and I was practically buzzzing the entire day :) LOVE how a good night's sleep makes you feel completely rejuvenated....

Eat wise.... there was much, but not much of it was documented...ooooops. I did go out a fair share with friends and such to eat. Yesterdays lunch was with two of my lovelyy friends from work on my hour long break during a double... we went to a local bar/restaurant near work for French Onion & Wild Mushroom soup (uhhh-mazing) & Sauteed Maine crabcakes with a Red Pepper remoulade ahhhh....

Hibachi consisting of chicken & salmon for me was also devoured over the weekend gahhh, I forgot how good (& entertaining) a hibachi dinner is...

On the homecooked side... I discovered this while at Stop & Shop and was feeling a little frigid that day so it was the perfect remedy. Just heat and serve.

Celebrated Cookie Friday like any good bloggie would do with a little oatmeal raisin purchase... These were slightly disappointing... I only say slightly because I thought they would be BIG cookies and they were little bitty bebes. The taste however is awesome!
Oats of course were had as much as possible... I've been switching between oats & cereal with yogurt for most morning depending what I'm craving. Eating because so much better when I actually know what my body wants and I'm not just grabbing the nearest thing for breakfast. Some mornings I want eggs, some times I only want coffee first thing, sometimes my body says NAY to breakfast... whatever it says, I like the fact I can hear it and listen to it.

Granola bars, per usual... I had two Odwallas over the weekend. I'm obsessed with the Strawb-Pom flavor!!! I don't know what it is but it's delish! I tried the Banana Nut before leaving work when I was falling asleep whilest standing and talking to tables.... seriously, I was that useless... I couldn't even remember the specials 2 seconds after hearing them. Gooddd God....

More soup! In the form of MamaBear's homemade tarragon-turkey soup.... soooo yummy and ALSO consumed the day I came home early. Amazing the only thing my exhausted self could do that day was take pictures of food. Oyy!

Long overdue yogurt messes yum yummmm... in the morning light :) It's always nice to switch it up once in a while... I love me some oats but I need some new varieties.... What are some of your best breakfast oat flavors/combos??? I want to try out some new ones to spice it up a bit!
The rest of the day will be filled with errands seeing as how it's my day off.... I love the feeling when you first wake up in bed and realize you don't have work that day. Is there anything better? Although I always seem to jolt out of sleep thinking "I'm late!!!!" almost every morning which puts a bit of a damper on it... So the plan is:

~Gym time + yoga session with Dawnelle....the girl gives my abs a run for their money
~Bake Thanksgiving inspired cookies for work! Any ideas???
~Shopping - just a tad, for something I've already picked out online :)
~Sushi tonight!

Did you know theres...ONE WEEK TIL THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

Speaking of which... what's your favorite Turkey Day fixing on the dinner table???

I think mine would be my Mom's twice baked potatoes... they're so creamy and melt in your mouth amazing. I cant wait to reunite with them...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back on Track

Ummmm I definitely went M.I.A. alll week this week... but don't worry, I have been slacking horribly with the picture taking sooo, you haven't missed much! I've been working like a crazy person (doubles galore at the restaurant), I went out to eat alot this week so because I was surrounded by friends, good convos, & of course, good drinks... it slipped my mind to whip out my camera and snap pictures but I can assure you, I ate some wicked good foodage... and I can safely say my running this week has been....eh.

I definitely don't agree with it. It's lame. BUT....I enjoyed myself alll week with lovely people and (besides drinks) I never went anywhere close to overboard with my choices. I ate good, balanced meals but unfortunately, at times, was soo busy I didn't even have time to eat what I would consider full meals... ENTER: Clif bars, an orchard size amount of apples, Chobani w. cereal, and several salads from work...

OH...and the rest of the week was spent remaining obsessed with Lady GaGa.... and am now in the process of buying tickets to see her in January (well worth the $200+ right??) Ohhh boy...

I won't even try to recap each day since the last time I posted was Monday and my mind can't even handle attempting to remember every little detail but I worked everyday minus Wednesday which I originally wasn't even scheduled for but they needed help so when Lauren at work asked if she could cover it I of course said YES... which at first seemed awesome, until I used the idea of no work the next day as a reason to drink a 6-pack of Shocktops to my dome at a bonfire with my coworkers. Ummmmm, pooor form.....

Holy Hangover Batman! Blahhh... and also enjoyed a glass of organic Bonterra wine (or tres!) at a birthday dinner at this amazing Hibachi & Sushi restaurant that just opened in the same plaza as work. Feng is phenom. End of story.

I had the Glazed Chilean Sea Bass entree with orzo and had the Tomyum Clam Soup as an appetizer... both were out of this woooorld good! The soup was a tad spicy (lots of ginger in there) but it was a party of goodies in the bowl: peas, cilantro, oyster mushrooms, peapods, big meaty pieces of clam, and a veryyy yummy broth. My sea bass was amazing and the orzo was cooked perfectly... moist and perfect! Ew..moist.. that word is so weird.

I also joined my brother and nephew for Thursday night musica & staffer pizza at work last night which was fun and as always, delicious. But it may be time by the end of this week to do a little more grocery shopping and get back to cooking at home... my oats this morning were long overdue since I haven't had a good relaxing breakfast more than once this week... I'm usually grabbing coffee & a Clif bar on the way to work (Poor form once again)

I'm also going to be getting back on track with running. The road race is coming up soon and my ankle has had plenty of rest time since my gym trips have been short and sweet (and/or nonexistent...yikes) sooo minus the epic sized heels I've been sporting to dinners out, they should be feeling pretty good for my long run planned for today!

Okay..soo foodage... there was a lot of it, most went unpictured, but here's some of the eats from the week:

MorningStar Mushrooms Lovers burger in WW wrap with avocado, lettuce, & tomato
Amy's Organic Cream of Tomato Soup

All together for lunchtime

My Mom's Tarragon Turkey and Barley soup

Ohhh Hello empty Teddie, I have a brill idea!

Delectable per usual

Hated every minute of it...

1 egg, 1 egg white scrambled with All Natural cheddar on 9-grain...
with lots of organic ketchup...

Typical picture of my work/gym bag before leaving in the a.m....
Honeycrisp, Clif bar, and a wrap...
With a side of really cute & warm yellow scarf & running shoes :)
Long overdue oats with 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oats, 1 naner, 1 tbsp PB, crushed grahams, lots of cinnamon...

Today is my day off *Thank youuuu Lord!* and it will be spent doing the things I couldnt do most of the week because I had zero energy or extra time... including GYM first and foremost, tons of laundry, maybe a little clothes shopping & definitely some food shopping (we're out of coffee in this house and it's about to cause a tantrum... for some of us), picking up my paycheck!, and some much needed yoga & good eats will be had!

Hope you're all as happy as me that this week is coming to an end...phew! Happy Friday lovepies!!!!! :)