Category Archives: Dessert

A Short Thanksgiving Hiatus

I’m back! I was gone for a while there. Almost a week. And I’m not going to do a giant Thanksgiving recap because, frankly, I’m past that, I’m not motivated to and I didn’t even take many pictures. I just enjoyed my time with my in-laws fully, ate a lot, ran some and relaxed. I hope you all did the same!

Ok fine – here’s one dessert shot…

I made the white cake for Hubby’s b-day. It was a bit drier than I wanted. I guess I’ll just have to make another one soon! (Whenever I have my oven back that is).

Over the holiday, we also attended my 10 year high school reunion and Hubby’s 15 year high school reunion. Both were more fun than I expected, thankfully. Here’s a photo of me with a bunch of the girls from my elementary school. Oh yeah – we go way back.

It was fun to catch up a bit with everyone. I felt like most people looked the same.

Oh – and I totally forgot to brag about the fact that I got a Personal Record in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It’s a tradition for my friend Lauren and I to run it every year. And for so long, I’ve been wanting to break 24 minutes. I did it. I ran the 5k in 23:36!! Woohoo!

Other than that, not too much new. I did just want to end this post by sharing some information about Lung Cancer. A friend of mine sent me this email yesterday and it really touched me and made me want to get involved. Please read the article (link below) and sign the petition!!

“Friends & family,
As you probably know by now, life threw us a curve ball this year with a lung cancer diagnosis. I’m not one to send mass emails unless it’s for a worthy cause, and I feel this falls in that category.
 
Did you know that cancer incidence among women who’ve never smoked (i.e., yours truly) is one of the fastest growing of all cancers, and no one really knows why?
 
Did you know that more women die every year from lung cancer than from breast cancer?
 
Did you know that November is lung cancer awareness month? (I didn’t.) There are no ribbons or NFL teams wearing a color to raise awareness for this kind of cancer. It’s a quiet cancer. And one that isn’t going away.
 
Every year over the last decade, I’ve enthusiastically supported the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, raising thousands of dollars for this highly supported cause by asking for donations from friends and families like you.

This year, I am asking you for something different. Please take a few minutes to read the article linked below, and sign the petition. And then pass it on. We have to change the way lung cancer is talked about. By talking about it. More awareness = more dollars for research = more of a chance for a cure.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-densen/lung-cancer-kills-so-does_b_786081.html
 
Thanks for reading. (And I BEG you, if you smoke, get the help you need to stop.)
 
Dismounting my soapbox now!
Lots of love & gratitude,
R

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Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes – Yes please!

Good afternoon blog world! Happy Friday! I am super excited for the weekend, but it’s going to be a busy one.  What are my plans? Glad you asked!

Tonight will be low-key and I am enjoying that idea. Saturday I plan to run the Central Park loop in the a.m. and then meet up with some long-lost friends for dinner later. But it will be an early night since I have a race on Sunday morning. I’m running the Race to Deliver – 4 miler. Then I’ll be heading to a fun blogger brunch in the early afternoon! Somewhere in there I also need to clean the apartment. Less than fun.

What are your plans for the weekend?!

I had a few notable eats from yesterday that I thought I’d share. I haven’t been posting most of my meals lately. But here’s a few. Yesterday I had blueberry oatmeal. I simply cooked in some frozen blueberries and it was delicious!

 

Last night’s dinner was an easy one. We STILL do not have gas in our apartment building, but I hear whisperings of progress. I maintain my less than optimistic stance. So I made myself a fried egg sammy on the hot plate with a side of strawberries.

Then for dessert I finished up the last pumpkin cupcake that my mother forced on us when we were upstate last weekend. Cream cheese frosting – how divine!!

Here is my momma’s delicious recipe for the cupcakes and frosting.

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
 
 2 cups flour                                                                
1 cup butter softened
1  (3.4 oz) pckg. instant butterscotch pudding mix         
1 cup white sugar
2 tsps. baking soda                                                     
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls.  cinnamon                                                        
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. ground ginger                                                   
1  tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. allspice                                                           
1  (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp. ground cloves                                                   
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven  (ohh to have an oven!) 350    Grease or line 24 muffin cups.
 
Cream butter, white and brown sugar with mixer til light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla and pumpkin puree.  Mix all dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture.  Add walnuts.  Bake 350 about 20 minutes.   
 
Cream Cheese Frosting
 
1  8 oz. cream cheese- softened
2 tbls. butter – softened
1  lb. box confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
 
Mix til thoroughly combined and creamy.

Have a great weekend all!

November Wedding Fun!

Wow I’ve been busy. This weekend was crazy and hectic and I can’t believe Monday is already over. I’ve been a bad poster lately. I am postponing my Nobu review until tomorrow, when I will also have my recap for The Girl Who Played With Fire. Yup, I finished it already.

Instead, here are some highlights from this weekend and my friend Jess’s wedding!

All the girls! Aren’t we just gorgeous?! 🙂 Hehe

Isn’t Jess’s hair gorgeous?!! She always has fab hair, but it looked extra amazing.


Me and Hubby enjoying the wedding and looking dapper!


I had to use a flash to get this meal. It was yummy. Chicken with veggies and then there was a risotto mushroom type of bake.


I also partook in the Venetian dessert table. And totally forgot to snap a shot of the actual cake, which was chocolate and delicious. But I was in love with the other desserts as well.

Much dancing and silliness ensued with all our friends. The wedding went until 1:00 a.m. and then we headed out and I went right to bed.  Congratulations to Jess and Bob! It was a fantastic wedding and a great time was had by all, I would certainly say.

Despite the late night and partying, I felt pretty good the next morning and decided to get in a run since it was absolutely gorgeous outside. I ran a quick 4+ miles in the sun.

Mile 1 – 8:52
Mile 2 – 8:12
Mile 3 – 8:02
Mile 4 – 8:54
.32 – 2:27

Total – 4.32 in 36:28. Average pace – 8:27 minute miles.

The rest of my day was spent grocery shopping and doing laundry and then heading back to NYC fairly late at night. Hence my feeling a bit frazzled.

So it’s a quick post today, but I promise a more in-depth post tomorrow with two reviews. Brace yourself! Can everyone else believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I can’t. It totally came out of nowhere.

Lessen the Stress!

Happy Sunday afternoon! How is it Sunday already? Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few days, but the work stress reached a new level on Thursday and Friday. Both days are sort of a blur because I was going, going, going all day, and ended up working late both nights. This weekend has been me catching up on some much needed rest and house-work.

I don’t have any new runs to report. I plan to get back into the swing after this big meeting on Monday.

As far as eats, I made a different dinner on Wednesday night that I liked, but Hubby did not.

Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chicken sausage, and apple in a white wine, lemon and butter sauce. Like I said, I thought it was good, but Hubby did not.

On Thursday night, I finished Cutting for Stone and it was amazing! Seriously, it was so good. I was crying hysterically for the last 100 pages though – just a warning. The glass of red wine that I had in conjunction with finishing it probably increased the waterworks. I hope to have a review coming soon.

Friday was work and more work and then Saturday was some much-needed rest. I also whipped up a few cookies from my family’s “Bump Cookie” recipe. I halved the recipe below:

Bump  Cookies

1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of milk

Mix together in a saucepan over moderate heat.  Once it comes to a boil, boil for approx 2 1/2 minutes.  Take saucepan off the burner, add 3 cups of Quick Oats and 5 Tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Stir quickly until is combined and starts to come together.  Quickly drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool and set.

These cookies get their name from my childhood – whenever my aunt would make these, I’d call them “bump cookies” because they looked so bumpy. The name stuck. They aren’t the healthiest cookies, but they are really good.

My last noteworthy eat from the weekend was my breakfast this morning, which really hit the spot. I haven’t been craving oatmeal lately, but today I was and this banana and peanut butter bowl was delish.

Yummy and I loved the light.

The rest of today is cleaning up the apartment a bit, making some steak for dinner and then watching True Blood at 9 p.m.!! I’m soo excited.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy hectic, so I likely won’t be posting. But then Tuesday will be back to normalcy and hopefully back to me running a lot more. Also, my friend Lauren starts her marathon training tomorrow! I’m excited for her and am hoping that her training will inspire me to run more as well.

How was your weekend?!!

Oh Running How I Miss You

Happy Thursday – we are flying through this week! Well, at least my week is flying anyway. One thing that is inching along , rather than flying by – my recovery from all my spills and injuries this past weekend. I am itching to go for a run, but between my still swollen toe and the ache in my back from falling down the stairs, it just isn’t time yet and it’s killing me!

So I began another runless day yesterday with boring cereal for breakfast. I wasn’t feeling oatmeal at all or taking a picture of my breakfast.

For lunch I had a nice peanut butter and apricot jelly sandwich with a side of carrots.

Afternoon snacks were Chobani with granola (no pic) and then this juicy fella.

Good idea hubby! Sometimes I get so stuck on a routine I forget to try different fruits and veggies. Hubby picked up some peaches last week and I fully enjoyed this one. Yum!

I headed home after work feeling a bit bummed because I wouldn’t be enjoying a nice post-work run. Instead I focused on dinner.

I made baked haddock with lemon, butter, salt and pepper and topped with some parmesan cheese. It was pretty good, but I’ve decided I think tilapia is my favorite fish. I don’t like really fishy fish.

What is your favorite fish? Any suggestions I should try?

I also made a side of pan-fried veggies with a hint of soy sauce. So colorful!

And then, since I had some extra time because I didn’t go for a run. I made a quick dessert.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies! I first saw this recipe on Tina’s blog, but she took it from Julie’s blog.  These were delish. My oven always overcooks things a bit, so I took these cookies out about 1 minute early and they were so moist inside, just the way I like it!

I like quick and easy desserts like this. Even better, the no-bake desserts. I think I’ll go on a hunt for a few no-bake recipes to try. 🙂

I hope I can get back to running again soon, or else I’ll need to put some elastic bands on my pants. Have a great day all!

Marathon Photos and Angelica Kitchen

Good morning all – we made it past Hump Day! We are inching along toward Friday. Before I get into Wednesday’s recap, which includes a review of Angelica Kitchen, I’m going to reluctantly share with you some of my Pocono Marathon photos taken by the event sponsor. I think they pretty adequately depict my decline in strength and spirit. 

The start (look at how eager I am – see me there in the blue tank top and black shorts!) 

 

Next the photographer caught us at the halfway mark. Somehow I always manage to miss the photographer and have my eyes closed: 

 
And there’s proof that I was still motoring – my official halfway time was 1:45! 

Next up, we have some extremely flattering photos from mile 18. At this point I was most certainly feeling some pain. 

 

 
And man am I white!! I’m also kind of impressed with my ripped leg muscle in the last photo. I think it’s because I was going downhill, so my muscles were screaming and bulging a bit, but doesn’t my leg look totally ripped?! It’s nice to dream. 

And lastly, my finish shot is also less than stellar. 

 
Head down, struggling to pull it in, looking like I was barely moving. My clock finish time was 3:39:56 and my chip finish time was 3:39:35

Gorgeous I know, it’s okay to be jealous. Hey, I’ve never claimed to be a pretty or photogenic runner! Tomorrow I think I’m going to do a post about what exactly I changed in my training plan, eating and thinking from my first marathon to this marathon and how these changes helped me reach my BQ time. 

So now on to Wednesday’s recap. Breakfast was a multi-grain English muffin with peanut butter and banana on one side and apricot jelly on the other. 

 

For lunch a few of my co-workers decided we needed to go out and celebrate my latest my marathon completion. We went to Zigolini’s near Stone Street and I had the arugula salad with a side of fries (no pics). 

After work I met up with one of my best friends, Katie, for a belated birthday dinner/celebratory marathon dinner. I’ve been wanting to try Angelica Kitchen for a while now and I knew that Katie is usually up for trying new and potentially different/delicious restaurants. 

I stopped at Trader Joe’s along the way and picked up a bottle of 3 Buck Chuck Shiraz to share with our dinner.

We arrived at Angelica fairly early, which was good because it filled up quickly. We settled in and started to peruse the extensive menu. 

Angelica Kitchen Review 

We started with the Soba Sensation appetizer: rich, velvety sesame sauce ladled over soba noodles, topped with pickled red cabbage garnish. 

 

That photo was taken after we mixed it all up. We also tried their Southern Style Cornbread with the Onion Spread and it was delicious. 

Now my apologies, I forgot to take photos of our entrees. They looked so amazing, we just dove right in. We ordered the two specials of the day which were: 

Wyld Scallions: Savory Mexican style corn cakes featuring Yukon gold potatoes, roasted red & green peppers, sautéed scallions, carrots, corn meal & sweet corn kernels; topped with black bean-tomato salsa, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds & served with guacamole. Accompanied by green beans & roasted cauliflower; garnished with mixed lettuce. 

Dill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Delectable Greek style casserole layered with a mix of spinach, nettles, roasted zucchini, leeks, button mushrooms, & onions, balsamic marinated beets, lemon dill tofu cheese & a whole wheat couscous crust, baked with a flaky phyllo top; served over creamy carrot-sunflower seed coulis. Accompanied by asparagus & an arugula salad drizzled with orange balsamic vinaigrette. 

The prior was my favorite, but I really loved both! The specials change daily and are posted on the website. And then we had the special dessert of the day which was a rhubarb something. 

 

Totally yummy! 

All in all, I give Angelica Kitchen VERY high marks. For being a vegan eatery, I thought all the food was flavorful and delicious. Everything we ordered hit the mark and totally satisfied. Dare I say I liked it even better than Caravan of Dreams? I’d also read some negative reviews about the service, but we thought our waitress was great – a little quirky, but very pleasant and more than willing to help us with any questions we had. 

All in all, I highly recommend this restaurant! I hope you all have a great Thursday. Still no running for me…maybe this weekend. 🙂

Finding a Hidden Gem

Good morning all! Happy Hump Day – hope it goes by quick. Thank you ALL so much for the birthday wishes yesterday. I am admittedly not the biggest birthday fan, but I took your advice and feigned some excitement.

My day started out with a yummy breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and more blueberries. 🙂

I had a seriously crazy day at work. We are working with a videographer and he was at our office yesterday, so I was running around trying to coordinate and schedule different shots. I managed to squeeze in a late lunch of salad – no pictures. I also snacked on a granola bar and Chobani yogurt during various down-times throughout the day. It was hectic.

And then around 3:30 my co-workers scheduled a “meeting” where instead of a meeting they got together to wish me happy birthday with GIANT cupcakes. They were seriously huge. I didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures of them before they were devoured. Soo good. But also very filling.

After work I headed home to go out to dinner with Hubby. I had decided earlier in the day that I wanted sushi. I came home to find these lovely flowers waiting for me!

So gorgeous!! I love getting flowers. After I got my lovely flowers we headed out for dinner. I had been looking at Japanese places throughout the day and decided that I wanted to try this little hole-in-the-wall place practically across the street from us. I’d walked by it a million times and never noticed it, but I read some great reviews about it on menupages, yelp and Chowhound.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am not the fancy, overpriced restaurant kind of girl. I’d rather find a small hidden gem that has quality, delicious, yet affordable food and I will visit it frequently.  And guess what, that is exactly what we discovered last night. We went to Sushi Suki on York Avenue between 83rd and 84th, and had what I consider to be some very yummy sushi. Mind you, I may live in NYC, but I am by no means a sushi connoisseur. But my personal opinion was that it was delicious.

Hubby and I both started off with the miso soup and it was very good. Then we ordered 4 different rolls: Spicy Tuna Roll (Hubby’s favorite); the Boston Roll (shrimp, cucumber & lettuce); the King Crab Roll (with avocado, cucumber & tobiko); and the Lobster Tempura Roll (with avocado, cucumber, lettuce with spicy sweet sauce). I am pretty sure the Lobster Tempura was my favorite, but they were seriously ALL delicious.

I got the impression that many people from our neighborhood visit this place frequently. The owners said hello to many of the patrons and asked about kids, etc. They also knew what many of the patrons’ “usual” selections were. For its small space (only about 10 tables) and less than eye-catching facade, this place is absolutely the local eatery I had been looking for. I think Hubby and I will definitely go back.

Have you ever found a hidden gem like this in your neighborhood? I was seriously so excited!

After our delicious, yet inexpensive meal, Hubby took me for ice-cream at our favorite place in the neighborhood: Emack and Bolio’s. I was so full from dinner I could only manage a small scoop of the Cake Batter ice cream. Have you ever been to Emack and Bolio’s? It is certainly not a frozen-yogurt, low-fat place. But it is a treat to have it every now and then.

We headed home in the freezing cold (it felt like fall yesterday) and I finished my ice-cream in the warmth of our apartment. Then we settled in to finally watch Sherlock Holmes. We got the DVD probably three weeks ago, but haven’t had time to watch it.

I thought it was pretty good. I was very tired and found a few parts where I struggled to stay awake, but I think that says more about my busy schedule than it does the movie.

We finished the movie just in time to switch over to The Biggest Loser to find out the final four. I was happy with the way it turned out.

And that was my busy birthday yesterday! It was a very good day with lots of indulgences. But now I am back on the straight and narrow for the marathon on Sunday. No more sweet treats. It will be good food and carbs for the rest of the time.

Have a great day all!