Carrot Pear Muffins

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

I don’t know about you, but all of the sweets hanging around the office are really starting to catch up with me. That being said, Farmer Ben and I had a day off together yesterday and decided to do… a lot of baking.  Typical

After making some boozey cookies, I wanted to make something quasi-healthy. We had some yogurt and a pear in the fridge that we had forgotten about, so I perused the internet to find a recipe that I wouldn’t feel guilty while baking eating.

I ended up using this recipe… kind of (I am really bad at following directions). I am also super lazy and put all of the ingredients into one bowl. Yes, ONE bowl.  

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Note: These are NOT sweet muffins. They have some sweetness, but I would classify them as more of a breakfast on the run OR a snack, especially if you add a dollop of nut butter.

 If you’d like them sweet, I would up the amount of maple syrup to 1/2 or 3/4 of a cup.

The siggi’s website has a lot of really great recipes, if you’re looking for something different, check them out!

Carrot-Pear Muffins with Skyr

What you’ll need:

About 2 Cups grated carrots (I threw mine in the ninja)

1/3 cup maple syrup (the REAL stuff, please!)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 splash vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ cup plain yogurt (I love siggis plain skyr)

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

2 Tbs Flax seed meal

2 Tbs Hemp Seeds

1 tsp. cinnamon

¾ tsp. ground ginger

1 pinch sea salt

1 pear, chopped (an apple would also work well)

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease really well.

In a large bowl, mix all of your wet ingredients (including carrots, excluding pear).  Fold in your dry ingredients until well combined.  

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One bowl mixing

Mix in chopped pear (Note: the batter is going to be pretty thick, don’t worry).

Pour into prepared muffin tin.

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Bake for about 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean).
Let cool and enjoy!

What are you baking these days?

Disclaimer: I am a siggi’s Culture Club Ambassador, but all opinions, per usual, are my own.

Interested in being a siggi’s ambassador? Send me an email for some info.


Scenes from a weekend: Breakfast, Beer & Cigar Box Guitars

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did!

I snuck away to visit the family in Horseheads, NY and let me say, it was so fun (even though Farmer Ben was missing)!

Anyway, here is a brief peek inside my trip… I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
I did manage to remember to take pictures at the Horseheads Brewing Co., great beers, great staff. If you are in the area, try the ” hot chocolate,” a mix of their jalapeño ale and chocolate porter!

That’s all for today! Enjoy!

Photos:
Dinner and dessert, my brother-in-law’s latest craft-cigar box guitars!, Horseheads brewing company randoms and more eats.

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A Day Off in Vermont: Run to Chocolate

Happy Monday Friends!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty spectacular. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with the hubby, but we also knocked off two races this weekend!

Friday night was spent hanging out with the teens in our youth group. P.S.: I’m starting to feel really old when I make movie/music references and they have zero idea what I am talking about….sigh… but other than that, we had a good time.

Run to Chocolate (2 Miles):

On Saturday, Farmer Ben and I got up early, layered up, packed a bag with extra clothes and headed across the lake.

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It was frozen

After we got off the ferry, we stopped at Wally’s Bagels for breakfast and coffee. If you’ve never been, check them out. Best. Bagels. Ever. I went with egg and spicy cheddar on a rosemary olive oil bagel.

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Farmer Ben is not impressed

Once we had our bagels, we jumped on the highway and headed north to Fairfax, Vermont. It actually wasn’t too long of a trip. Even better, I can finally say that I have driven on a covered bridge…unfortunately, I forgot to document this with a photo.

The hubby and I got to the school where the race was held about 40 minutes before starting time. Luckily, it was a pretty low-key event, so we had plenty of time to register, stretch and stay in the warm gym.

We lucked out with the weather, it was a beautiful, sunny day… but the course was snow-covered and slippery. It was an out and back on a dead end road, complete with a nice uphill toward the end… coming back through the school parking lot for the finish was a little tricky, so I didn’t have my usual kick.  Farmer Ben ran the race in 17:34 and I finished at 18:44, not too shabby for the conditions.

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Finish photo

After the race, we walked back into the gym to find tables of chocolate. There were chocolate bars, truffles, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, hot chocolate and a chocolate fountain. The chocolate bars, truffles and fountain were all local. Heck yes! We even scored a few Fleet Feet $10 certificates… not too shabby for a $10 registration fee!

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Terrible photo of the chocolate fountain

Farmer Ben and I got some hot chocolate and brownies and grabbed some of the other chocolate goodness for later. We ended up chatting with two women from Hardwick, VT and even talked them in to coming across the lake for Strides for James!

After the race, we headed to Fleet Feet so I could pick up a new pair of running shoes. The staff sized me, did a gait analysis and then had me try on a few pairs of shoes and watched me run on the treadmill. I ended up getting the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10….with $35 off.

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Cannot wait to break these in

Then, we went to Chipotle. And we had a gift card.

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Happy Hubs

After Chipotle we headed to downtown Burlington and meandered around Church Street.

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Ice sculptures in Church Street

We ended up going to the Saratoga Olive Oil Company and came out with 4 bottles…1 was free!

I guess you could say Saturday was the day of the discount!

Overall it was a great day off and it was so fun to race with the hubby!

How was your weekend? Did you race? Would you run for chocolate?!


Scenes from a Mini-Getaway: Burlington!

First, sorry if you follow me by email… I prematurely hit the publish button… I don’t know why I have so many problems with this lately! Haha!

Anyway, I mentioned that Farmer Ben whisked me off to Burlington last weekend. We haven’t ventured across the lake in a few months, so we were long overdue…

Even though we were only there for a few hours, it was AMAZING! Sometimes that’s all you need to feel ready to take on the new week!

We headed out mid-morning and decided to hop on the ferry….

He's actually thrilled to have his photo taken.

He’s actually thrilled to have his photo taken.

It was a beautiful day!!!

Again...thrilled...

Again…thrilled…

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

Once we got to Burlington, we knew that there was one place we had to go.

Our favorite place, obviously.

Our favorite place, obviously.

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill–Shocker… I know…

My favorite brunch date

My favorite brunch date

Here’s where the food came from:

Love this

Love this

Here’s what we ate:

Cider and Spicy Blood Mary with assorted pickled veggies (have I mentioned how much I love a good Bloody Mary?!)

His & Hers

His & Hers

House Eggs Benedict with local ham and braised kale, served with a side of greens and a hash brown.

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House Made Hash and Eggs with dressed greens (OHMIGAWD THIS WAS GOOD!)

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Per usual, brunch was amazing. We left feeling good and full…but not grossly full.

After brunch, we roamed around Church Street and did some window shopping… And got some hot chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolate….

I got mint chocolate and Ben got a spicy Aztec cocoa… his was REALLY good… not that mine wasn’t…but I liked his better! haha!

So good.

So good.

After meandering around, we headed to Healthy Living to pick up more delicious things…and then headed home.

We had a really great Sunday…

Let’s chat: How was your weekend? Favorite brunch item? Hot chocolate, yes or no?


Confessions: Daylight Savings Edition

Hi Friends!

Can we talk about how foolish I was when I believed that life would slow down after the marathon? Yeah, call me crazy. Regardless, life’s been pretty good lately. Also, confession: I started writing this post last week…and am just now publishing…fail.

Prepare yourselves, this is going to be RANDOM!

As you know, I am officially 26 as of a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t feel much different than 25, other than I didn’t have a birthday meltdown. I’ll call it a win! How did I celebrate? A margarita and nachos with girlfriends, of course! On my actual birthday, I woke up to a delicious breakfast of filet mignon, homemade hash browns and a fried egg. Perfection.

My excuse for being absent? I’ve been insanely busy at work and in spite of some major technology/communication issues, extremely productive. I’ve managed to finish some special projects that have been hanging over my head and am able to focus on other things, at least for now. As a result of this busy-ness, I haven’t even wanted to look at a computer outside of work/on my lunch break. My bad.

Also, does anyone else get completely weird with daylight savings? I just can’t get a handle on it. Hence my writing this post more days after Daylight Savings than I care to admit….

In other news, I’m super excited because my friend Tina is not only doing the Turkey Trot this year (AND, Vanessa, too–I think!), but she asked me to run the loop with her a couple of weeks ago. She may have thought it was a mistake when I made her run up the hills, but she was glad when it was all said and done. I’m still waiting for her invite to run the loop again…

Post-forcing Tina to run up the last hill!

Post-forcing Tina to run up the last hill!

Other than that, I did a race three weekends ago. My friend Kristy and I even went in costume…kind of. She did an awesome job of painting our faces. Read about it here.

Big news! Farmer Ben and I finally bought a new bed. Not only did we upgrade from a full to a queen, but we also went with memory foam, and let me tell you, I have not slept so well in a LONG time. We also got a ridiculously good deal.

In fact, between daylight savings and our new bed, getting up in the morning is damn near impossible!

Moving on, Farmer Ben made bagels. While cooking dinner. I know I’ve said this before, but how amazing is he?!

My Mad Scientist

My Mad Scientist

I love Farmer Ben.

I love Farmer Ben.

Breakfast was epic last week…

And dinner? Even better.  What he made while making bagels:

Pan-fried (garden) potatoes, grass-fed bison steak and homemade sweet-and-sour (local) cabbage.

Pan-fried (garden) potatoes, grass-fed bison steak and homemade sweet-and-sour (local) cabbage.

In other food news, I’ve been craving greens lately. Greens and anything kind of related to tacos/nachos.

On the running front, I’ve been bad about getting out and running (shocker, I know), but I have a run planned after work (Hi Kristy!) and as soon as I finish this post, I’ll be updating my schedule to include workouts this week. I am still deciding if I want to a December half marathon for giggles… and I have it narrowed down to two races! One of them will be free if I can find a volunteer…any takers? It’s in Gloucester, MA…. The other is in New Hampshire…apparently I like torturing myself by running in freezing weather….

This weekend was marvelous. I slept in on Saturday, drove the hubby to work, came home, vegged out with a movie, took a nap, caught up on some reading and discovered an awesome new workout app. I’ll fill you in a little more on my next post, but I am still sore today.

Big shoutout to my friend Chelsea on her most recent 5k. She ran a kick-ass race and improved her time by about 9 minutes. 9 minutes!!!! Amazing!

Happy Monday!

Tell me, what’s your favorite breakfast? What foods are you craving lately? Any winter races on the docket? Give me a random update!


Scenes from a Full Weekend and a Confession

Hi Friends!!!

Life has been moving pretty fast around these parts lately…I’m looking forward to some much-needed time off and a road trip with Farmer Ben, later this week (Georgia and South Carolina, here we come!).

This weekend, I went to a women’s conference with some ladies from my church in Worcester, MA…this was a completely new experience for me and one that I needed.

I actually hemmed and hawed about going because, well… I just felt like I wouldn’t have time…but I made time and it was so worth it!

Not only did Natalie Grant lead worship (so powerful!), but we got to see some great speakers. I learned a lot and came back feeling refreshed and empowered.

Please excuse my blurry fan-girl photo...

Please excuse my blurry fan-girl photo…

My favorite speaker was definitely Valorie Burton.

Valorie Burton...I wish you could see the shoes she had on!

Valorie Burton…I wish you could see the shoes she had on!

I mentioned that this conference was something I needed and I found Valorie’s workshop especially relevant to some things I am dealing with right now.

I got home from the conference really late and Farmer Ben and I were up bright and early on Sunday Morning to volunteer with our church for our Faith in Action Sunday… basically, the congregation divides up into groups and does various service projects around town…

Our group went to a local park and raked leaves…for three hours. By the time we left the park, we had 97 giant bags of leaves and a ton of piles that we just didn’t have the man-power to bag. Needless to say, I am sore today and have some really attractive blisters on my hands.

After volunteering we went to my mother’s house and took a quick shopping trip… I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I absolutely despise shopping at Wal-Mart…This shopping trip reminded me why. I think I’ve had my fill of misbehaving, screaming children and rude people for the next three years.

We dropped my mom off and then headed to our friends’ house to make a quick dinner.

I made this mac & cheese from Pinch of Yum and fooled their son into eating butternut squash. Not only was it delicious, but it only had 1 cup of cheese in a double recipe!

Delicious.

Delicious.

After dinner, I whipped up these cookies…they were also a hit.

Farmer Ben and I finally made it home at about 9pm and I immediately went to bed.

Other than that, life has been good…

We’ve been going to the market.

$1 for this entire bag of "imperfect produce"

$1 for this entire bag of “imperfect produce”

This was $38...$20 for local meat and cheese.

This was $38…$20 for local meat and cheese.

Hubby bought me some beautiful flowers from a local farm….

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And we’ve been enjoying the weather. I finally got to break in my sweet orange wind-breaker from the race.

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And now for a confession… 

My biggest frustration at the moment is that I haven’t run since my marathon. I took a few days off for recovery and, much to my dismay, ended up having to work both jobs for the entire week following the race.

Running a marathon and then working 12-15 hour days for five days is not conducive to recovery.

That Saturday, I was going to go for a short run but I started having a weird pain behind my knee. It hasn’t gone away. It’s more annoying that downright painful and almost feels like a snap or a pinch…does that make any sense?

It’s not my knee… but I don’t know how else to describe it. I did some google-ing and am guessing that it’s either a baker’s cyst or a meniscus but doesn’t feel painful enough to be either.

I did notice that the pain was a little more annoying this past week, depending on what I am doing. Yesterday, it was pretty uncomfortable and by the end of raking it was burning.

Any ides as to what this is?

I broke down and went to a walk-in doctor but honestly, he was no help. He felt around and played with my knee, stood back and said, “Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with you…I have no idea what to tell you!”

Super helpful, right? I did, however, finally get a full physical, for the first time in at least five years.

I don’t think I’ll be returning to that doctor as, honestly, I found him a bit kooky (and that is saying a lot, coming from me), but it’s nice to know that as far as he could tell, I am perfectly healthy.

Anyway, I have a friend who works for a knee specialist and she offered to get me an appointment… it sounds silly, but I am putting it off because I am convinced it’s actually nothing and will feel silly if I turn out to be right.

These are the things that go through my head… sigh.

Well…that’s all for now… It’s going to be a short work week and a lot of driving. I cannot wait!

What have you been up to? What are your weird aches and pains? Cooky doctors-discuss. Butternut Squash, yes or no?


Real Talk: Smoke Signals, Lake Placid-Review

After our trip up Whiteface Mountain, Ben and I decided to head into Lake Placid to wander around. After meandering for an hour or so, we ducked into a restaurant.

The restaurant was called Smoke Signals and is relatively new.  We were enticed by the re-purposed décor, the fun bar crowd and tasty looking menu, which used local meats, cheeses and veggies. What could go wrong?!

So, we put our names in for a table…. supposedly it would be a fifteen minute wait. There were two hostesses working…one disappeared to help bus/re-set tables.

Now, we should have realized when there were a number of open tables in the bar area, this may have been a bad idea…but we waited, thinking, “let’s give this place a shot.”

After 40 minutes, I was starting to get antsy and was about to ask Ben if we could go somewhere else. I noticed the hostess made a table for a large group that came in and then a couple that came in five minutes after us went up and complained… they were seated a few minutes later. Then we saw people sitting at the previously mentioned, empty tables.

At that point, having been passed over, I gave the hostess the stink eye. Not just an irritated scowl, but THE stink eye. She noticed….and realized that she forgot about us (even though she wrote our name down).

The girl hurried over to us and, without apologizing, asked if we preferred to wait a few more minutes for a table on the patio… I, still giving the stink eye, said “at this point it really doesn’t matter.”

So, she stomped led us over to a table and we were seated, inside. This was fine…but then, moments later, we watched her take another couple out to the patio. I almost hit the roof.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having worked in a restaurant for quite some time, I understand that stuff happens. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer…but to tell us it would be a “bit longer for an outdoor table (after having been passed over twice)” and then watching someone else get seated at said table, moments later? COME ON. And in all honesty, the hostess is the first person you see when you enter a restaurant. Maybe having a less indifferent teenager welcoming customers would be a good idea.

Luckily, our server, Christina, was awesome. She was very attentive and answered any questions we had. This was the restaurant’s saving grace.

A few minutes after ordering, we received corn bread… awesome, yes? No. It was cold and sticky. Being a bread lover, I was disappointed. But, I loved the mason jar water glasses and the condiment basket.

What seemed like an eternity later, we received our food. Again, normally, I don’t mind waiting as I understand, when things get busy, the kitchen slows down…but… I ordered a salad and macaroni and cheese…and Ben ordered a sandwich with French fries and baked beans.

I would venture a guess that we waited about 45-60 minutes for a salad and a sandwich. Honestly, the French fries were probably the most labor intensive item to prepare… but 45 minutes?

So how was the food?

Ben's pulled chicken and French fries

Ben’s pulled chicken and French fries

My chipotle Caesar and macaroni and cheese

My chipotle Caesar and macaroni and cheese

It wasn’t bad…

I didn’t taste any chipotle in my chipotle Caesar salad…instead I got a really strong horseradish taste… not that I mind horseradish, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The macaroni and cheese was really good, not too heavy, but it’s a food that’s difficult to mess up.

Ben’s chicken sandwich wasn’t bad either.., however, there was a heavy cheese sauce that just overpowered the chicken and Ben ended up scraping a lot of it off. The French fries were hand cut and tasty. He also ordered a side of baked beans, which were not bad, but a bit too sweet.

Overall, I’d say our experience was mediocre…again, the food wasn’t bad, but it was nothing to write home about–though we were both really glad they made an effort to use of local growers/producers–and the prices were reasonable, our total bill came out to $37 for two microbrews and our meals and we left full..

Now, I really wanted to like this place. I really did! Ben and I both hope that our experience was just part of the growing pains associated with a new restaurant and I hope they work everything out. Not including our time waiting for a table, we were at the restaurant for over an hour and a half–Not that I like to be rushed while eating, but holy moly, that long for a sandwich and a salad?!

I will say, get rid of that hostess….and not just because she forgot about us.

On a more positive note, the bartender looked like he was having a good time and all of the bar crowd looked happy, there were also some really good happy hour specials..the other food we saw coming out of the kitchen looked tasty, but I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to Smoke Signals anytime soon.

Have you tried any new restaurants lately? Where did you go and how was it? Ever had a bad experience? Discuss.