Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sweat and Stew

Being sick last week really put a damper on my exercise schedule, but there’s really no sense in pushing yourself only to make yourself feel worse…I’ve learned over the years. 

Finally, after more than a week, I had my energy back on full blast and I wanted to break a sweat!  What better than hot yoga?  Tuesday night I hit up my nearby Prana Power Yoga for a nice sweaty 90 minutes and I felt stronger than usual!  Must of been all that rest ;)

Then tonight I was able to do a nice 2mile run outside before getting back to Body Pump.  Oh how I missed Pump :)  Once again the run felt great, I really needed that…although I was a bit shaky at Pump, esp. on the squats!

This weekend goals:

  • Longer run (5-6mi)
  • Body Pump on Sunday

Love being back on schedule :)

I received a lot of great soup and stew recipes last week (thank you!), and I can’t wait to dive into them as the temperature drops here in New England. 

Here is another one that is sure to make a re-appearance, this comes from the lovely Giada!

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew


I remember flagging this one in my cookbook a long time ago, and it came to me as I was staring at the beef in Trader Joes!

I already had a butternut squash at home and I love the flavor of fresh thyme in wintery dishes. 

This one had fresh thyme and rosemary…both of which are still thriving in our garden!

IMG_5948  IMG_5949


Giada’s Italian element comes through with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes.


This dish comes together quite simply, and leaves a lot of room for your own additions.  I followed the recipe this time, but in the future I’d like to add more veggies…maybe some carrots, and other root vegetables! 

I also read some of the comments others made on the recipe and a few people used a crock pot, another great idea.


The sauce wasn’t very thick, but a big chunk of fresh bread would take care of that.


I completed my Autumn dinner with a pumpkin beer in a glass with a cinnamon sugar rim :)



Anyone have a great costume for this weekend?  This is actually the FIRST time I am not dressing up or doing anything!  I’m actually kind of happy about it :)  I do love to get dressed up, but I hate thinking of and then buying a costume.  I swear no matter how cheap I try to make it, there goes $40-$50 for a one-night ensemble. 

I am looking forward to trick-or-treaters though!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Almost Baking Fail

It’s that time of year…cold season, and doesn’t it always seem like one crappy thing leads to another and all of a sudden your crying because your stupid cinnamon rolls aren’t rising?!?!  No?  Just me I guess.

As I’m getting over an annoying cold still, I had to miss what I’m sure was a fabulous time with the girls from We are not Martha for a Stella and Dot jewelry party that I was really looking forward to. 

As to not completely waste the day, I decided to bake and later make dinner. 

I had some canned pumpkin in a Tupperware that needed to be used, and I was in the mood to make a yeast dough!  Then I saw this:

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

After scanning the recipe it seemed the only thing I was missing was the dry milk, however I remembered I had dried buttermilk so I went with that!

Everything was going smoothly…


Mix the dough


Used the Kitchen Aid to kneed



Had a nice soft sticky dough, and into a greased bowl it went!


After the allotted 1.5 hours, I checked the dough…it seemed to have risen slightly but not too much.  I knew it wasn't supposed to double but wasn’t sure if this was enough. 

However I moved on.


Rolled it out (using some flour because it was VERY sticky).


I also did not have the special King Arthur’s “Bakers Cinnamon Filling”, so I opted to use the filling recipe from a cinnamon bun recipe in my King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking cookbook!

This filling had brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 egg white.  I was really happy that it resembled the King Arthur’s Baker’s Cinnamon Filling from the King Arthur blog!


IMG_5917  Mmm cinnamon sugar gooiness.


IMG_5925 Well here’s where there was a turn for the worse. (and apparently I was too annoyed to take pictures!)

I rolled and cut up my buns, however the filling was just oozing out of the rolls and I really didn’t know what to do about that!

I placed the cut rolls into the pan and just stared at them.  It was a MESS!!!  Cinnamon sugar filling oozing everywhere, creating a lake at the bottom of the pan…These aren’t supposed to be sticky buns!!!

So I left them alone.  I needed to just get out of the house, so Brian and I ran some errands and went grocery shopping. 

IMG_5928To my shock, when I returned…THEY ROSE!!


I was all set to toss my entire morning into the trash earlier, but I’m glad I didn’t. 

There was still a puddle of filling on the bottom, but I just threw them in the oven and hoped for the best…


Baked!  Actually slightly over baked I think (I need a thermometer in my oven, I think it’s too hot sometimes). 


I tried a piece right away.  Most of the filling had caramelized to the bottom…not in a good way, not bad, but not as good as it sounds.  Plus it took some of the sweet away from the rolls themselves. 

They needed the glaze.


Of COURSE I didn't have enough confectioners sugar…of course.  So I changed directions and went for a cream cheese glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 4 oz softened Neufchatel cheese
  • 2T Maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1-3T milk (Start with 1T, add more as needed till you reach desired consistency)
  • Mix with a hand mixer until smooth

I spread the glaze on top to cover up the not-so-pretty caramelization on the rolls.  However I would of loved a pretty looking drizzle if they were looking a little better :)


The verdict…not bad!  Actually these will be quite good for breakfast because they are not too sweet!  Brian really liked them with the cream cheese glaze.   I bet they’ll taste even better when I have full taste and smell back ;)


Not my best work, but it was definitely a learning experience.  Reminds me of an expression used at work sometimes:

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”….so true. (not sure of the origin of that quote)  

Hope your weekend was a little better than mine!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Real Simple to the Rescue

Such a blog-slacker lately!?  Sorry! 

Not that he’s to blame, but this guy is taking up a bit of the already-sparse free time around here…


But seriously, who could resist that face?!  Esp after being freshly groomed :) 

Bromley and auntie Jocy


And while I feel like I never have enough time to do all the baking and cooking that I would like, at least there are still some great recipes out there that don’t take much time at all!

I have to thank Tina for this one.  I’ve seen it on her blog many times and have been wanting to make it for ages…FINALLY I did.


Real Simple’s Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

This is delicious.  Not your typical super melty-gooey cheesy pasta dish, but there is some serious flavor going on between the sharp cheddar, sour cream, onion, and Dijon mustard.  They all blend together beautifully and it tastes much more decadent that it really is :)


Brian LOVED this as well…luckily he is a big fan of cauliflower as well.


Make it.

Another dinner that came from my latest Real Simple, was a soup!


Parsnip and Fennel Soup with Dill


I love soup, and am always trying to find new ones to cook aside from the usual chowders or chilies (not that there’s anything wrong with those…CLEARLY)

I’m a big fan of leeks, and potatoes, and dill, and parsnips and fennel and pretty tasty too…so why not!?

Once everything is chopped, this soup comes together pretty quick.


IMG_5840  IMG_5850

I opted to use my stick blender instead of pouring some into a regular blender…the stick blended is so much easier.  I just blend until it’s the desired consistency…thickened up, but still some chunks of veggies inside.

IMG_5852    (please PLEASE ignore the disaster that is my kitchen in this one, I was trying to cook around the aftermath of Brian’s latest beer brewing adventure)


For an accompaniment, the recipe called for sliced baguette with gruyere cheese broiled on top.


Warm Bread + Melted Cheese = ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA!



The soup was good…not amazing, but good.  It definitely had a nice fresh taste from the veggies.  I think it needs a little somethin’ to kick up the flavor, and a bit more salt. 

I added a dollop of sour cream to the leftovers and that was a nice pairing as well.  Maybe some more herbs next time.


Regardless, it made a nice quick warm dinner.

On a cuter note.  I just have to share the cake from my friend’s Baby Shower this past Sunday…


How adorable is that!!!?


Look at the little bunnies!  All made from marzipan!  The cake was made by our other friend’s bakery…The Danish Pastry House.  Hence the marzipan.  The cake is covered in marzipan as opposed to fondant, which I think is just genius :)  I mean I’ll take deliciously almond marzipan over fondant any day!

Mommy-to-be and Me!  Doesn’t she look amazing!


I need some more soups to make…suggestions???

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coming Home

Well this isn’t about my actual home, where I live with my husband and pup…this is my 2nd, well no make that 3rd home (of course my 2nd home is where I grew up, previously my #1 home :) 

My 3rd home is UNH!  My alma mater, where I spent 4 AWESOME years of my life!  Seriously, I just love it there, I still miss college so much and it makes me so happy when I get to return.

Luckily that’s what Homecoming is for!

I graduated in 2004 (eww that makes me sound so old now), and since then have attended 3 or 4 homecomings.  Up until last weekend I hadn’t been to homecoming since 2007 and I’ve missed it so.

Usually this involves a hotel room for Friday and Saturday night.  You want to stay over Friday because people line up to get into the tailgating area EARLY!!!  And Saturday because you’re going to want a nap between tailgating and whatever you do Saturday night :)

However, now that we have a new member of the family….

…homecoming was now a day trip.  Totally fine by me as the tailgating portion is the best part anyways…unfortunately this means getting to UNH by 7:30/8AM.

Luckily early weekend mornings deserve delicious bagels…French Toast bagel from Bagel World!  Warm and delicious.  I also had an iced pumpkin spice coffee to get me going.


We arrived around 8AM and the line was RIDICULOUS!!  Luckily we made it in but we were at the end of the people who did. 


Oh college, how I’ve missed you and your ridiculousness!

Another thing I found quite hilarious is how we’ve, um, matured.  Check out the spread..


complete with table cloth!

I decided to use the Almond Cream filled scone mix that was in my King Arthur goodie bag to contribute to the group!


Funny that we all got different mixes from King Arthur that day and I ended up with the Almond item…it was fate I tell you. 


These scones had an almondy filling and even an almond glaze!  They looked and tasted so good!


We may have improved on our food selection over the years but other than that we all just wish we were still in college!


Nothing quite like a mimosa at 9AM

And maybe a jello shot or two… what? When in Rome… IMG_5523

And as fast as the food spread was set up, it was easily shoved to the side so we could play flip cup!




“you’re a tiger…Grrrr baby grrr!”


Joc and I


So SO happy I wore my rain boots, the rain the few days before made for a MUDDY tailgating field.

Brian and I


The crowd (actually I believe this was a picture of ‘the girl with the way too short skirt on’ haha)

IMG_5466IMG_5478     The boysIMG_5441    IMG_5461


Fun FUN day!!  Can’t wait for next year!