Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Week and Year!

Hey friends!  I’m in a great mood today :)  It’s Friday AND I made the executive decision to not work today.  It was kind of a slow week, lots of people on vacation, and I thought it would just be wonderful to have a day to get stuff done around here.

Now in true Bridget fashion, I’ll never finish my to-do list but that’s ok!  I slept until 7:30am, which felt awesome (side note: it’s kind of sad that 7:30am is considered sleeping in…on a weekday anyways). 

Took the pup out and made a nice bowl of oatmeal.  I’m a very weather-influenced eater and I’ve only made stove-top oats a handful of times since the weather has gotten colder around here.


Also used my new “b” mug from Anthropologie for my cappuccino!


Oats: oatmeal, water, milk, strawberries, brown sugar, coconut, PB, a few pecans, and a little berry preserves.  I forgot how good oatmeal with lots of toppings is! 


I went to Crossfit Tuesday night.  The Workout of the Day (WOD) was:

10 to 1: Deadlifts, Burpees, and Abmat sit-ups.  So, 10 of each, 9 of each, 8 of each…etc.  I did 75lb for deadlifts and my time was 8:28 (I think…around there).

Before the WOD we worked up to our heaviest set of 2 deadlifts.  I PR’d at 120lb. 

I still feel very new to Crossfit, and I’m so so nervous about pushing myself too hard.  I probably could have gone further than 120lb but right now it’s just not that important to me…I know I’m getting stronger and don’t care how long it takes :)  I just know I love these workouts!! 

I had planned to go last night, but ended up working a little later after I decided to take today off.  I’ve been doing Crossfit for almost a full month now, averaging 2-3 times a week.  I started with a 10-class pack which will be used up after tomorrow, so I think I’ll sign up for 3 months unlimited and see how that goes :)

I’m also nervous about tomorrow’s workout!  My Crossfit gym (or box I should say) just moved to a bigger location today and tomorrow is the first workout in the new location!  They never post the workouts ahead of time so people can’t pick and choose, but the new address number is 300 and there was a hint that the workout would be related to that!!

I googled “Crossfit 300” and this is what I found:

Pull-ups – 25 reps
Deadlifts with 135 lbs – 50 reps
Pushups – 50 reps
24-inch Box jumps – 50 reps
Floor wipers – 50 reps
Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36-lbs Kettlebell – 50 reps
Pull-ups – 25 reps

My weight for the deadlifts and kettlebells will be lighters but STILL!  I think I like NOT knowing what the workout is ahead of time!!  Happy NYE to me…I’ll let you know how it goes.

The other reason I was OK with missing Crossfit last night was dinner!  Seriously, every time I DO use the Crockpot I wonder why I don’t use it more often!!


I prepped this
Cooking Light recipe for Slow Cooker Char Sui Pork Roast

on Wednesday night, let it marinated in the bowl of the crock pot overnight, then turned it on Low before leaving for work yesterday.


My favorite slow cooker recipes are the ones where you just add in all the ingredients…no pre-cooking anything!


Shred the pork with 2 forks.

Cook down the sauce


Serve with rice, broccoli and spinach!


I added extra hoisin sauce to my bowl


LOVED the flavors here!!  I’ve actually never cooked with Chinese 5 Spice powder before, but it’s delicious!

The only change I’d make next time is to leave out the chicken broth.  It diluted the sauce a bit too much and didn’t really thicken up.  That’s why I had to transfer it to a sauce pan and cook down for a while.

I think this would also be delicious with chicken, beef, or use a leaner cut of pork like a tenderloin.  We trimmed as much fat off as possible but it was hard to get enough of it. 

Well it’s time to take the pooch for a walk, get some more done around here and then get ready for a fun night out!!  Well not too much fun…Crossfit tomorrow morning AND then it’s New Years Eve!! 

What are you doing for NYE??  I wish I was going OUT out…like dancing out, but just wasn’t happening this year I guess.  Still really excited for a dinner out with a group of friends and then back to party at a friend’s condo!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011: The Recap

I’m basking in my last few hours of “Christmas Vacation”, although really I only had half a day off Friday and then today as my vacation.  I’m sure some of you have this whole week off…please don’t tell me ;)


I’ve figured out why I’m one of those people who likes listening to Christmas music on Nov 1.  Because usually by Dec 20 (give or take), I become a big ball of stress and can’t enjoy it and just want all my shopping and all my wrapping to be DONE!  On Nov 1, it’s the exciting anticipation of the impending holiday cheer…I’m much more “happy” about Christmas then ;)

Don’t worry, by the 24th I’m back to my excited and happy self!  And this year was no exception…stress leading to a FANTASTIC Christmas weekend with all my family!!

(my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, we had to take a picture since everyone was there!  I’m down in front/right in case you’re looking) 

Let’s back track.  Friday (the 23), I had a half day at work, and as soon as I got home we headed up to NH to have Christmas with Brian’s family. 

I made some Oreo truffles (actually used TJ’s Joe Joe’s)




And some peppermint bark for good measure.


Up in NH we had the big family Yankee Swap, and exchanged presents with Brian’s family.  His mom was finally finished with our wedding scrap book and it came out AMAZING! 

IMG_2555 IMG_2554

She put in so much work, and it’s so incredible to have this book! (esp since we were slackers and are just now working on our album from the photographer hehe)   

On Christmas Eve, I dragged my butt out of my warm bed and headed to an 8AM Crossfit workout!

The 12 Days of Crossfit……pretty sure this is the closest I’ve come to puking from working out haha.  I say that in a good way ;)

Let’s see if I can remember this…

1 Ground to Overhead
2 Sumo deadlift high-pulls
3 Burpees
4 Pull- ups (I used a green band)
5 Abmat sit-ups
6 push-ups
7 air squats
8 jumping lunges
9 Box jumps
10 Wall Balls
11 kettlebell swings
12 thrusters

So basically it went like the song: 1 ground to overhead; 2 sumo dead lift high-pulls and 1 ground to over head,; 3 burpees, 2 sumo dead lift high-pulls and 1 ground to over head…until the end where we did 12 Thrusters…all the way down to the 1 ground to overhead.  This was intense…my time was 23:07 I think. 

I’m still fairly new to Crossfit, but so far LOVING it!! 

After Crossfit, and finishing wrapping my presents, we packed up and headed out for Christmas Eve at my aunts!  My family is hilarious and I love our big get-togethers. 

Brian and I stayed at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve and woke up to a delicious smelling breakfast.

Home fries

and Eggs Benedict!



My cousin even texted me pictures of his the eggs Benedict my aunt made because she wanted to know if it was “blog worthy” :)

What can I say? My family looooves their Eggs Benny!


Blogworthy?? I’d say so!!  Look at that nice table setting!!  Good Job Aunty Joan!  Looks delicious!

Oh almost forgot we also had sticky buns!IMG_2151

This was one filling, yet delectable, Christmas breakfast!  Thanks mom :)

Present time!

(Brian’s stellar wrapping job…he cut those green stars out of wrapping paper for decoration)

But you know what was under that wrapping….


Boo-ya!  Bridget’s new iPad!!!   He TOTALLY surprised me with this!!!  I mean I’ve been talking about wanting one for a while but never thought I’d get it for Christmas!!!! 

I made out quite well this year :)  Other notable items:  new Lululemon top, a new All-Clad sauce pan from mom, a coat, a bag…yeah I am one lucky girl! 

Bromley loved his new cow squeaky toy.

The feasting continued at my other aunts house on Christmas day…








Everything was amazing.

After dinner was dessert, then some intense rounds of Just Dance on my cousin’s Xbox Kinect!  FINALLY a video game I’m good at!!  Seriously…so fun, and you break a sweat. 

I didn’t stick around for the after party though, had to get home…mom and I were at the mall with one of my aunts and cousin at 7am :)  I know you think we’re crazy but we also got some crazy good deals! 

Well that about sums it up!  I hope your weekend was as good as mine!! 

I’m about to head to bed and forget that I have to work tomorrow.

What was the favorite part of your weekend??

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Freezing 5K & Glazed Gingerbread

‘Tis the season for a busy schedule and when I had my first chance to rest all week yesterday afternoon the last thing I wanted to do was blog…no really, 4 hours at the mall yesterday afternoon = exhausted.

Anyways, at least the 4 hours were productive!  I’m 93% done shopping, but still need a few things.  I also realized I wish I had more kids to buy for!!  Kids stuff is WAY more fun.  Like this thing I saw at the Learning Express…almost just bought it for myself ;)


How cool is that!?  Ok that’s my geeky side coming out, but I’m an engineer I can’t help it.

I’m grateful I had yesterday afternoon to basically just rest because we had to get up for a CHILLY 5k this morning!! 

All December people around here have been amazed at the mild weather, and I get the urge to punch someone when they “complain” that it “doesn't feel like December”…seriously?  Enjoy it!  Because it will come back to bite you, like today!  Easily the coldest day we’ve had this season, and me and hundreds of my closest friends had to fun a 5k! 

(like my elf tights??  I LOVE them!)

Actually there were two 5K’s this morning.  The jingle bell run in Davis Square, and the Yulefest 5K in Harvard Sq!

I ran the Yulefest!  They were the ones who hosted that really fun Oktoberfest 5k earlier this fall!


Once again this one was 21+ with a block party following the race with beer sponsors: Pretty Things, Notch Session, and Peak Organic, and also Clover Food Lab.


It was just hovering over 20 degrees at 10AM when the race began, and this very well might have been my coldest run ever!  Brrr.  You know it’s bad when the water at the water station was frozen!

Regardless, we ran slow had fun and saw some great costumes…like the guy dressed at Santa riding an ostrich!!  Hahaa.

(took that from the Cambridge5k facebook page)

How do you run in that?!

Anyways, after have a beer, thawing our tight and frozen muscles in the car, grocery shopping (yes I wore the tights…got lots of weird looks…and think little kids thought I was really an elf), we made it home to relax all afternoon…heaven!

Even had time to make a nice dinner AND bake!!


For some reason I was in the mood for gingerbread, but also a healthy version I could enjoy for breakfast this week.


Whole Wheat Gingerbread with Yogurt Glaze

  • 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unrefined sugar of choice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 350, and spray a loaf pan with canola oil spray

In a medium/large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients (flours through to all spice).  Whisk to combine.

Beat egg and egg white in a small mixing bowl.  Add in applesauce, yogurt, molasses, canola oil, and skim milk. (TIP: spray your measuring cup with canola oil spray before measuring out molasses.  It will easily slide into the bowl instead of sticking to the measuring cup).IMG_2356

Add wet ingredients to dry, and gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. 

Fill pan about 2/3 to the top.  Bake for 45-50 minutes. 

Let cool for 10min, then remove from pan and continue to cool for another 30min or so.  Then glaze the bread!  The glaze is definitely optional…it’s great without it too.

Yogurt Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp skim milk
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Keep refrigerated until bread has cooled slightly (it can still be a little warm).  Drizzle over loaf!

Lemon option: replace milk and vanilla with 2-3T fresh lemon juice. 



It’s also REALLY good with the Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter (aka their version of Biscoff spread).     

Trader Joe's


I love love love having a delicious yet healthy baked good with my morning coffee.  Much less sweet and heavy than anything you pick up at a bakery. 

Last week before Christmas!!  What do you need to get done this week??  I’m going to see the Nutcracker one night, getting to Crossfit at least 2x this week, and finishing my shopping somewhere in between all that and work. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookie Swap time: Butterscotch Brownies

Oh yes it’s that time of year again!  I’m almost overwhelmed by the shear quantity of cookies I have in my house right now.  And it’s not like their just so-so and I want to give them away…no…they are all painfully delicious. 


This past weekend my mom hosted the family cookie swap for her, her sisters, sisters-in-law, and my grandmother.  I only get to attend because I help my mom prepare, but I don’t actually participate in the swap (even though I end up with my fair share of cookies…I think I have a sweet deal going here). 

(I spy an engagement photo) 

By the time I arrived, she had already set the table and prepared most of the food.



My grandmother used to host the swap and each of the women could pick a tea cup (my grandmother has quite the collection).  So now she just brings a sampling of the cups over to my moms for everyone to choose.


I chose before everyone arrived :)


I LOVE all her tea cups, and hope to have a nice collection for myself someday!

Somehow I missed photo’s of the food but there were little tenderloin sandwiches, chicken salad, crab salad on endive leaves, egg salad, and a big garden salad.  Delicious.  Dessert is obvious: cookies!  Although we also had a little carrot cake my aunt made as it was my mom’s birthday on Saturday too!! 

Now I have this pile on my counter:



Mmmm cookies.

The day wasn’t over.  As soon as I got home it was time to get gussied up to go out for the annual holiday cocktail party my friends from college always have each year!    

No good outfit pic, but I grabbed this one in the bathroom ;)


Light mauve/pink sequin dress I got last year at Kohls!  It’s from the Lauren Conrad line…she makes cute clothes!! 


Needless to say I was exhausted and a little “dehydrated” the next morning.  I woke up with a craving and immediately set out to fulfill it:


Oh Bagel World…I love you.  Whole wheat bagel with light scallion cc, cucumber, tomato, and sprouts!


Delish with a cappuccino I made back at the house.   

Then the cookie-craziness continued: Blogger Cookie Swap!  Shannon has hosted this swap for the past 2 years, and this time we finally were able to have it before Christmas :) 

I wanted something easy and delicious…after some thought I called my mom and asked for the recipe for her Butterscotch Brownies (basically blondies).  I should of guessed…Betty Crocker.  We don’t have the same version, but luckily my old book had it!


Seriously OLD

Second edition!  Copyright 1956


Fairly certain you can’t buy this book anymore, so I’m not sure how that works with giving out recipes.  But I figure a picture of the recipe can’t hurt. 


If you can’t read it or want the recipe email me! 

It’s basically lots of brown sugar and butter


I made a double batch, and added half walnuts


and half chocolate chips



All done in one pan!  Easy.





Time to swap.

Ranjani’s cranberry caramel bars

Kerstin’s Spiced Caramel Pecan Bars 

Melissa’s Chocolate Mint Cookies

Lauren’s “Better than Crack” Brownies 

Cara’s Cinnamon Coffee Pecan Cookies and Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Elizabeth’s Nutella Oatmeal Cream Pies!  

Lizzy’s Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies and Hot Cocoa Cookies

(Cara’s photo, my shot of these didn’t come out well)
Joanne’s Rainbow Cookies (mmmm almond paste!!)

(photo from Cara) 
Shannon’s Pumpkin Blondies and she also made these other little pumpkin oatmeal cookies that I love…somehow missed the name!

Shannon also made us some delectable snacks


Her version of bruscetta above was phenomenal!  Cranberry bread toasted, topped with ricotta, roasted butternut squash and apples, crispy sage, and balsamic reduction.  AMAZING.  I need to make this.

As you can see it was a jam packed weekend and now I am the proud owner of an abundance of cookies!  No complaints here, but thank goodness for Crossfit!