Weekend Recap

Posted on July 13, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Monday! I always feel really refreshed on Mondays for some reason 🙂 Sorry if you’re a Monday hater because it means the work week starts back up. don’t worry, I’m pretty down on Fridays; even though it’s the last day of the work week, it’s also 50% of the work week for me. It was such a nice weekend in New England. I would start with Saturday but I have one little thing from Friday night. These babies:

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Homemade pistachio, chocolate, hazlenut biscotti from Bina’s. what a great way to unwind from the work week day: with a cup of decaf and some biscotti. I ate 2 and shared the rest.

Saturday morning I kicked my butt out of bed at the crack of dawn(ps. 7am is the crack of dawn for me) and pumped out a good 5.6. I don’t think I would’ve been sane the rest of the day without getting a run in so that was welcomed. After a blueberry breakfast, we drove up to Maine. I read some more the Beak Of The Finch(bleh) and watched some Baby Blues(lolerific) on my ipod. I forgot how much I liked that show. We arrived just at lunch time, and the menu was burgers and hot dogs. Like I’ve mentioned, I’m not big on the back yard bbq food unless I pick it out and cook it, so I decided to be special and get some salmon burgers from Hannaford. They were pretty good and my 7 year old cousin even almost tried one, but alas lost the courage when it was put in front of him.

A momentary serious aside. I definitely had a serious breakthrough over this weekend. I eat the food I do because I love it. I’m never depriving myself and choosing an alternative because I’m restricting myself; I’m making the alternate choices because their what I actually want. And, yes, what I choose is usually for a “health” reason, but that is such a relative term. Anything can be healthy or not healthy, and there’s certainly a difference between healthy for the heart, healthy for the mind, and healthy for the soul. So sometimes I might choose a salmon burger for the healthy omega-3’s, and other times I might choose a soul-healthy slice of pound cake loaded with whip cream because that’s what I want. The only thing that really gets to me is when people think I’m depriving myself; that’s when I start to eat what others want me to eat, not what I want to eat. And that is the unhealthiest of anything in my opinion. So my newest goal is to always stay assertive and comfortable with my food choices, for health of mind, body, and soul.

Yikes, sorry to get so serious, lol. I’ll stick with tantalizing pictures and quick summaries for the rest of the post. Back to the salmon burger, it was pretty good, but no WF tuna burger, which we’re also out of so add that to the grocery list, please. The plan was to go to Funtown that night with the cousins, my aunt and uncle, and grandparents. Is it just me or does a place called Funtown sound more not-fun than if it had a different name? Well as with little kids, they can never get their butts out of the door to go any place. While they were having fun in the pool I dropped a not-so-subtle hint that I wanted ice cream. My gramps told us abotu a place that makes their own and that was all I needed to head out the door. Normally, I always get soft serve or frozen yogurt, but this place had a horrible selection of those. Once I decided I would get real ice cream, I had a tough time deciding on a flavor, but this one definitely hit the spot:

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Lemon Meringue Pie. It was cool, refreshing, and definitely something different. I also popped into the fresh bread store and picked up this for the next morning:

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Blueberry peach cobbler with amaretto jam. Umm, that’s like all of my favorites bundled into one so I knew I needed to get it(ok, I’ve never had straight amaretto, but I’ve had it in desserts and those little sugar cookies). The cousins were still in the pool, supposedly getting ready for Funtown. I hated to be the party crasher, but I was not feeling the Funtown. After I decided this was my vacation too, I suggested to my parents that we not go with them, and instead eat out sicne we haven’t been to a restaraunt in over a month. Of course, they were down with that and that became the plan for the night.

Did I mention my cousins are Spoiled with a capital S? This weekend was to celebrate my grandparent’s 50th anniversary, and my uncle and dad’s birthday. There was a chocolate cake for my 3 year old cousin, and a vanilla for my 7 year old, which basically were taken in and out of the fridge at any point for their desire. And every time we had to light candles and sing happy birthday to god-knows-who. Here’s a pic of the cakes. I never actually had a slice of either because my mom also made a buttermilk cake which was 10 times more delicious than any store cake could have been so I just munched on that one for the weekend(but somehow forgot to take a pic)

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Like I mentioned, we hadn’t been out to eat in over a month. Wtf? Between my mom’s operation and me trying to make sure I was eating enough to support 30 mile weeks AND gain weight, eating out took a back seat. My tastebuds were feeling asian and there was a new resteraunt with chinese, japanese, and thai so of course we needed to check that out. The menus had literally hundreds of choices AND there was a buffet. I was thinking I wanted sushi but nothing had brown rice. Then I noticed this entree called the Seafood Wor Bar on the chinese menu and my mind was set. Lobster, crab meat, scallops, shrimp, and veggies on a sizzling hot plate. Umm, yes please? Plus, I knew my mom would go for the sushi(she got the salmon platter) so I knew I’d be eating off of her plate and stealing her miso soup.

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That was all certainly delicious. Everyone was home waiting for us when we finished–turns out they couldn’t get their butts out the door to go to Funtown or the movies. We enjoyed a nice night at home where I introduced people to Apples To Apples while Harry Potter 5 played in the background.

The next day I was up and wide awake for a run at 7. Isn’t it fun to run somewhere you don’t know, for some length you don’t know? I went down Mile Road, ran along the beack street, up some random neighborhood where I thought I was getting lost but ended up along the main road right near the ice cream place and asian resteraunt. It ended up being a fairly fast 4.6 miler–definitely a mood booster for the day but I wish I had gone longer along the water’s edge.

My mom picked up a baker’s dozen of doughnuts from this homemade doughnut bakery for everyone, and a special cup of hazlenut coffee for me because she probably knew I wouldn’t be eating a doughnut–nice and thoguhtful 🙂 Lard’s just not my idea of a post-run meal. But do not fear, my breakfast was just what I wanted: So Delicious Cinnamon Bun yogurt, Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar Bar, TJ whole wheat cinnamon raisin english muffin with blueberry peach cobbler with amaretto jam.

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At first I made myself a cinnamon cardamom roll from the bread store nearby; I didn’t realize cardamom is a savory spice or something, because the flavor was just off and definitely not breakfasty. And this is definitely one of my most favorite yogurts, but they’re so expensive at Whole Foods. I figured that vacation is for splurging though so I picked this guy up at Hannafords when we got salmon burgers. A good yogurt is the best way to start the day 🙂 After breakfast their was some active time for my little cousins followed by a trip to the beach.

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Then afterwards it was time for lunch. I had my 2nd lobster of my lifetime. I also was somewhat of a hero for bringing a packet of TJ instant mac n’ cheese because that happened to be a favorite amongst my cousins(and my grandfather lol).

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Oops, I should’ve put out a naked cousin alert. The 3 year old(Avery)’s at a point where clothes aren’t so appealing as M&Ms and cookies. Again, we planned on going to Funtown but never actually went. What did end up happening was several temper tantrums over lighting candles and singing happy birthday, followed by melting cake. Again, I skipped on the cake and went for this which I picked up at Hannafords. I love it because it’s a Maine brand, and I really felt like I was seizing the moment; turns out they opened up a store where they sell all their flavors right here in my town–go figure. It was still super yummy.

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Can you tell I’m getting tired of typing? I’ll wrap it up quickly. We said our sad goodbyes and my 7 year old cousin already wants to have a “playdate” in Boston where we go on the duck tours. As we were driving out of town, we were all pretty full but spotted this sign and had to stop.

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Soft serve around here is chocolate, vanilla, or a twist, so 24 flavors was mouth-watering. I got the cheesecake, which wasn’t bad but also not very bold. It tasted very vanilla. But here’s a little secret: vanilla is actually one of my favorite flavors but I hate ordering it out at places because I feel boring and not taking advantage of all the other options. So this was actually pretty perfect for me 🙂 My dad’s irish cream was also damn good. Hopefully we’ll be going back to that place soon so I can try the other 22 flavors.

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Fluffernutter Cupcakes!

Posted on July 10, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening, all! This post is just going to have a really quick summary because I have been busy as a bee recently, and then it has a really super special recipe. So if you plan to skip anything skip this and go down until you find that lol. Ok, well, I didn’t get my but out of bed early like I had thought about; big kudos to Emily from Too Much Apple Pie though for getting herself up at 5:30 to run. I’ll definitely try to live up to that  my next work day, next Wednesday. Overall the day was rather dull. I did, however, discover my work has a fridge(it depresses me I didn’t realize this last summer). What does this mean? Basically free food and a place to store yogurt so I can eat it as a snack at work 🙂 Also, we went back to that little Italian place I talked about; I just love this place more and more. It’s not enough that a store like this is a unique find in Boston–the store is unique every day! They change the foreign groceries and menu daily, so it’s like walking into a new store each time. Today they had thin crust margharita pizza, my absolute favorite. Let me tell you, this was better than most of the pizza I had in Italy. Later on I went back and got one of their homemade chocolate cups; this one had a white chocolate shell with a raspberry puree filling, and it was only 80 cents! How I was a good son and managed to not chomp on my dad’s half I do not know.

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I’m also really excited because I can now upload photos from my phone!(^case in point) so expect a lot more photos in my blogging. Ok, well that was pretty much it for today. I won’t be blogging again until Monday. Right now my weekend plan is to wake up and run at 7 tomorrow, leave for Maine by 9:30, and not get back until lateee Sunday. Soo I wanted to make this post really special if I’m going to leave you that long.

The whole reason we’re going to Maine is for my grandparents 50th anniversary, so I needed to bake something to celebrate. Well what says celebration better than delicious, decorative cupcakes? So next time you want to whip up a treat for something special, give these childhood favorites a try.

Note: This recipe is my entry to http://www.peanutbutterboy.com/the-great-peanut-butter-exhibition-7-celebration

To make this recipe, I started by comparing a lot of different peanut butter cupcake recipes. After adjusting them to my taste, I came across the perfect base. It’s moist, full of healthy fats, low on added sugar, and packs a peanutty punch; in essence, it tastes like peanut butter slathered on bread. The cupcake then needed a companion, like so many peanut butter sandwiches have. While jam may be the number one add on, my most fond memories come from when sticky peanut butter met its sticky, vanilla cousin: fluff. I’ve always seen fluff as more of a frosting than a condiment, so this not-so-delicate spread didn’t need modification to fit my recipe. And any good cupcake has sprinkles, right? So to top my creation I added the third obvious member of the party: a banana chip. Add them whole or crushed, the slightly saltiness truly makes the vanilla of the fluff pop. And if banana chips aren’t your style, there is always the potato chip–yes, I admit to sticking these in my sandwiches on occassion.

Makes 12 small-medium cupcakes, or “tastecakes”

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup fluff

Banana Chips(optional)

Potato Chips(optional)

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the honey(I used maple-agave blend) and peanut butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla extract. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk(I used original Almond Breeze) to the peanut butter mixture and blend. Slowly incorporate the dry into the wet until the batter is only slightly lumpy. Line a 12-well muffin tin and use an ice cream scooper to transfer the batter into the tin.

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Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top springs back to a touch.

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Let the cupcakes cool completely. With a frosting knife, frost each cupcake with a tablespoon of fluff(I used an all-natural, vegan marshmallow spread). Garnish with potato chips or banana chips.

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I really hope you try this one; I’m sure you’ll love it.

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Help Me Help You(Poll)

Posted on June 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , |

Good morning(or afternoon depending on when/where you’re reading this). Well the sun finally came out in New England yesterday. Too bad for being stuck in Marlborough, but at least I was able to get some good running, walking, and grocery shopping in. But man do I need to go to a Whole Foods. I couldn’t get half the things on my shopping list at Hannafords and the other half was noticibly more expensive(is it bad I’ve practically memorized the prices of most foods at Whole Foods?). Sometimes I wish I could stop looking at the Nutrition Info and ingredients and just buy the store brand High Fructose Corn Syrup, I mean apricot preserves. I don’t know if oblivion is bliss, but it’s definitey cheaper. Oh well, I guess paying now will help me live longer so I can spend more money on groceries. Joy.

Anyway, I wanted to bring a product review because I haven’t done one of those in a while. But there’s so many new things I’ve tried since my last one I can’t possibly type them all up. And after all a product review is to benefit the people reading it, not the one writing it, right? So I’m asking you what you want to read a review of. Post with 1 or 2 responses and look for some product reviews over the weekend

  • Instant Entree
  • Snack/Chips
  • Cookies/Brownies
  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Bars

Post it up. I have plenty of ideas for any of those and I’d love to share. Hope you all have some good weekend plans. I’m going to a deck party today where I’m sure they’ll be plenty of munchies. Also, I kind of want to see My Sister’s Keeper. I’ve never read the book but I feel like I need to watch a movie that has some lesson to it. Or I could just see The Hangover and give my brain a break for 90 minutes which would also be welcomed. Choices, choices.

By the way, I saw this on a recent episode of Unwrapped: http://www.cereality.com/main.php Has anyone ever been to one of these? If there was one near me, I would not eat anything else.

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