Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I love this unofficial start to the summer! Plus, it's going to be 90 degrees here this weekend--perfect to start swimming!

Last weekend was great at Knoebels amusement park. The weather was great and the rides and food were good too. My favorite thing to do while camping is roasting marshmallows! Yum!

Not much happened this week for me, just subbing!
This weekend I'll be going to the Devon horse show with a friend. It's her birthday this weekend, so I'm making her a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. It's not all the way done yet, so pictures will come later! Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Excitement

Guys, I'm not going to lie, summer in the city is by far my favorite time. NYC offers a boatload of free events including concerts (classical, indie, jazz, rap), opera, dance, Shakespeare, musicals, and movies.

NYCGO created a great page highlighting venues throughout the 5 boroughs and major events.

Summer concerts will kick off for me on June 5th at Governor's island with Yeasayer. I fell in love with the band's vocals when I first saw them with Amanda last summer. This will be my first concert at The Beach @ Governor's Island. Their cite claims it to be the best place to see rock'n'roll outdoors and I hope they live up to their hype, outdoor venues can be hit or miss depending on the acoustics.

Have a great night!

Pizza Pizza

Sunday afternoon I met several of my lab-mates to see a co-worker's gymnastics competition:

There were several age groups performing starting out with tots (ages 5-6) and ended with the adults and juniors.
We had plans to grab lunch as a group following the performance, however, this was not going to be until well past 3 so I snacked on Quaker Granola Bites that I found in the clearance section of Target a few weeks back. I'm hoping they were not on clearance because the product was discontinued, they were so delicious and filling. I'm going to have to look into recreating the product myself. Granola bites-yeah that's definitely a DIY project!

For lunch we went to Patsy's, which has some incredible thin slice pizza. We ordered 2 for sharing and a family size salad.

The food didn't come until around 4 so this ended up being more of an early dinner. I had 2.5 slices of pizza and 2 helpings of salad.

I definitely had my fill of pizza last week and it was oh so good; however, it made me feel like I was in undergrad again going to several free pizza events. I think I could use a pizza break.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Thanks for everyone's comments and support over the last couple of weeks. It has been a roller coaster of emotions with the height, quite possibly occurring as my foot passed over the finish line yesterday.

Pre-race carbo loading actually occurred 2 nights prior to the race. 2 slices of pizza from Slice, an all organic pizzeria that I've wanted to try for ages. We had to pick up our race bibs and shirts from the New York Road Runners headquarters and Slice was on the way home, so it seemed as perfect time as any for some extremely filling and delicious pizza.

Friday meals were kept simple, I didn't want to introduce anything that needed too much digestion and wouldn't be out of my system by Saturday morning.

Race morning the alarm clock went off at 4:30 am. Surprisingly it was an easy wake and I had a pretty solid 6 hours of sleep. Usually I get super anxious the night before my long runs and as a result have a pretty restless night of sleep. I immediately went into the kitchen, made a cup of coffee (natural laxative and energy boost) and two pieces of toast with pb and half a banana. After eating I jumped into the shower, threw on my clothing, and went to the bathroom.

At 5:50 am I met 3 other friends and classmates to take a cab to Prospect Park (the start of the race). Taking a cab was the best decision, we got straight there in about 20 minutes, anxiety free, leaving time to check in bags, and get into our corrals. About 15 minutes before the race started I ate about 1/4 of a chocolate goo pack, it wasn't the best tasting thing, but it could have been worse and gave me some quick energy so I could save the glycogen stores.

At 7 am prompt the race began. I started off with my friend Elin, the others were placed ahead or further back depending on pace. With the crowds it took about 3 minutes to get to the starting line and another 12:32 min to finish mile 1. At this point I came across the first liquid station took a sip of gatorade and was right back into the crowd, though I realized I lost Elin. At this point the hills of the park crept up and the crowds thinned. By mile 2 I was back on pace and made up time between mile 2-3, given a long downhill stretch.

At this point I began the second loop of the park where I again was able to keep on pace, but began to really feel the hills in the park. I kept reminding myself that this would be the hardest part and once out of the park it was all a slight downhill stretch.

Mile 7 was the exit out of the park, halfway through and I was feeling great! At this point my eyes got a little watery, I couldn't believe I was doing this, last year I never would have thought that I would be a half marathon runner.

Well this excitement came a little too soon and I completely slowed between miles 8-9 and felt like everyone was passing me. At the next fuel station I drank nearly the entire cup of gatorade and a few sips of water (I think in the future I would also make use of some goo at this point) and felt so much better and was able to maintain my pace from here to the end.

At mile 11 I knew I would make it under 2 hours, my goal, but it would be close. At mile 12 I began to pick up a bit. I could hear the crowds and music and began making my way up the boardwalk. With 3/10 or so left I gave it all I could, not a full out sprint, not enough energy left, but fast. And that was it, I was at the finish line! Tears in my eyes, I completed my first half in under 2 hours. Officially 1:57:04. Average pace/mile-8:56, I don't have my splits.

At this moment Elin spotted me, she finished about 4 minutes ahead.

We grabbed chocolate bagels (yes chocolate, it was amazing), bananas, and more water/gatorade and walked to pick up our baggage. At this moment I immediately felt my legs tighten and stretched out. We walked around for a bit taking in Coney Island and in doing so I ran into a handful of people I knew, some from undergrad, some friends of friends. It's definitely at moments like that (running into people) that make me realize the city isn't so large after all!

After a 1 hr subway ride I was home, icing my knees, eating again-this time protein, I had my fill of carbs and then it was nap time!

Upon waking up I went for a walk crosstown to grab groceries and to keep moving. Then it was dinner time! A few friends came over for Tapas and Sangria, perfect way to cap the night.

Homemade hummus with pita and veg for dipping, 3 bean salad, spanish potato salad:



Dessert-mangos, strawberries, and chocolate dipping sauce:


Hope you had a great weekend!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

End of a Crazy Week

Thesis proposal and half marathon=Crazy week. Off to take a nap but wanted to drop into say hello, I will be back later this afternoon with the race recap!

For now I will leave you with this amazing chocolate peanut butter cookie from Levain bakery. My roommate picked it up for me last weekend and it made for the perfect means of refueling after a 12 mi run!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Things I Love

I've been busy this week! Work has been... exhausting! The kids in every class I've subbed in this week were very chatty and just all over the place.

I also had a screening interview for the Council Rock School District in PA. I felt pretty good about it, and I'll find out in a couple of weeks if I get on the approved list. They have a lot of openings for the next school year.

I celebrated having a good interview with 2 of my favorite foods. I went to Whole Foods and got some yummy olives from their olive bar. They have the best olives there! Don't ask me why, but I LOVE olives. I eat them every day! I believe they are actually good for you, too, because they have those monounsaturated fats. I don't know anyone else that likes them more than me. My favorite ways to eat them are right out of the jar, or in a salad. Green are my favorite.

One of my other favorite foods in sushi. I find myself craving it all the time, but not many people I know share my love, so I don't have it that often. I got a brown rice spicy tuna roll from Whole Foods, and it was delicious! I like most kinds of sushi and rolls, except mackerel which is just to fishy.

This weekend is my family's annual trip to Knoebel's, a PA amusement park and campground. It is a fantastic family park with the best roller coaster on the planet. I love amusement parks, and this one is great. The rides are more like carnival rides, with a couple of roller coasters, a haunted house, and a mini golf course. The food is actually great for being an amusement park, and very reasonably priced too. I'll tell you a bit more about it when I get back. Have a nice weekend!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunshine and wine

This weekend's weather was fantastic! The perfect temp of 73 degrees made my weekend just great! Saturday, I lazed about most of the day. I sat outside for a while and read Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Kids' books are easy reads, so that's what I stick to mostly. Plus, I like to know what students are reading.

I also made oatmeal scotchies, the best cookies ever! And I have to say, using parchment paper while baking makes it so much easier! And I found that you can reuse one piece of parchment paper many times over.

On Sunday, a friend and I headed over to the New Hope winery for some tasting. $8 Included a little wine glass and 5 samples. I acutally got 6 samples because the sommelier (or whatever they're called) gave me the wrong sample! So I tried 2 white wines, a Niagra and a white sangria. Both were great! I usually don't like red wines, but I tried their Nouveau, which is like a beaujolais. It doesn't have the woody flavor most red wines do. And they had many fruit wines, so I tried raspberry, peach, and strawberry. They were all pretty good. I ended up buying a bottle of Nouveau and a bottle of peach.

My parents were in Florida for the weekend, and I decided to plant some flowers for my mom as a surprise when she got back.

My dogs loved the weather too, they got to stay out all weekend long!

Have a nice week!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Time for a break

I just sent my thesis proposal to my committee members and before I begin to work on my presentation I thought I would catch up on my blogging.

Where did I leave off...

On Mother's Day after church I came home and made some of the best french toast using the Apple Bread from Great Harvest. My mom said these pictures make the french toast look burnt, but whatever, it was amazing!

Monday, and back in NYC, my birthday celebration continued as the coworkers took me out to lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant. I had the lunch special-appetizer and entree.

Papaya (Som Tom) salad:
Pad Kra Prow:

For dessert I ordered their pumpkin custard (with 8 spoons in order to share), not knowing what to expect, but the coworkers said I had to order something. Despite it's look it was so yummy, a hint of coconut I think?

Group sad, all but two of the photographed will be gone by the end of the month, my lab will be so small!

To celebrate so many leaving the lab we had a goodbye party on Tuesday. Foodwise I only photographed the dessert table. Mostly because I was impressed by the lemon meringue cake!

But lots of people photos...

My boss, postdoc, and former lab tech:

Swedish medical students Sara and Elin both leaving at the end of the month, and tech Sarah-not leaving me!:

Postdoc, Zach and 2 techs, Jo Ling and Sarah, all leaving:

Med students and yet another tech leaving, Johnny:

Finally, cute daughter of lab postdoc:

On a different note, I just spoke with the organizer of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and I agreed to volunteer weekly for the season (June-November). What is a CSA? Well here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. A share consist of a box of seasonal vegetables and in the case my my CSA fruit (but at an added cost). Neighbors purchase a share at the beginning of each season and in return receive a box of produce each week. By purchasing the share neighbors reap the benefits and the losses of the farmer (if it's a bad season produce amounts and variety will be low).

As a volunteer I will be setting up each week and as a bonus I will receive a share of my own! I'm pretty excited to see what this year's crop has in store!!

Back to work,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Magazines!

I don't know about you, but I get very excited to get my new food magazines every month! Yesterday, I got Rachael Ray and Cooking Light. I also get Taste of Home and Food & Wine monthly. I love food magazines! There's always something new I want to try in every issue!

So breakfast today was very simple, yet very good! I tried Blueberry Muffin Shredded Mini Wheats for the first time today. Luckily, I also had some blueberries, so I threw those in too. Topped off with vanilla almond milk, this was the best breakfast of the week!

I subbed in a 6th grade class today. It's definitely not my favorite grade. They have major attitude problems that I don't care to deal with. So when I got home, I opened up some raspberry sparkling wine. So very good, and just what I needed to get my mind off those kids!

I don't have many plans for the weekend, but I probably will bake some cookies. Butterscotch oatmeal sound good! And I might make some dog treats too.

Happy (almost) weekend!


Will resurface soon

Thank you Dunkin Donuts for the free iced coffee on Tuesday. You made me stay awake although the pillow was calling my name.

Will resurface soon.


PS-those are not my kegs in the background!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ethiopian Food

This is from an old event, but worth going back to because the food was so good! A little less than a month ago my friend John celebrated his birthday and as a bit of a surprise several of my classmates took him to an Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem. Getting to Zoma was a bit of a mess. Despite giving ourselves 1.5 hours to get there we ended up missing our reservation by 15 minutes thanks to subway issues (traveling uptown, especially on the westside is nearly impossible on the weekends because there is always some subway construction going on).

After making the commute we didn't want to go anywhere else so waited another 20 minutes for a table to open up. It wasn't so bad though, and we had a blast in the nearby Dunkin Donuts while we waited for our table ;).

It was worth the wait, the food was delicious. I shared the Vegetarian Combo with Amanda, which include Gomen (collard greens), Atakilt (a carrot, potato, and cabbage dish), and two bean dishes one with chickpeas and the other with lentils, but I can't recall the names. Ethiopian food is served on top of a type of flatbread called injera. You also use injera to pick up bites, no utensils are used.

After hearing it was John's birthday the waitress brought him out a piece of baklava, not exactly Ethiopian, but what would be an Ethiopian dessert?

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! And Happy Birthday Nicole!

This weekend has been great! I ran into Nicole at Rice's flea market, like she said, and made and ate some tasty foods!

I went to get all the ingredients for a cake my mom wanted for Mother's Day, and I decided to get her (and me) some organic iced tea. The Honest Tea brand is my favorite organic brand by far and it was only $1 a bottle on Saturday! My favorite flavor is Black Forest Berry. It has a great berry flavor with just a little sugar. And the caps of the tea have quotes! Like Snapple, only better.

Yesterday, we had sloppy joes for dinner. They were a Rachael Ray recipe and they were Buffalo-style. Topped with pickles and blue cheese, they were delicious!

I made my mom a Texas sheet cake. She said she remembers eating this type of cake growing up in Illinois. It's a chocolate cake with a bit of cinnamon. The icing is warm and is poured on the cake while still hot, and is topped with pecans. We ate it today after dinner with my brother's homemade Philadelphia-style vanilla bean ice cream. It was so good!

And finally, another song that's caught my interest lately-- Passion Pit's "The Reeling" Have a nice week!