Today’s Notes to Self…

1. I really want T. Swift’s new album. Lyrical Genius. Should I be embarrassed by this?

2. Where was this album in 2009 when I really needed it?!

3. I love apples. And apple cider donuts. And apple cake. And pie … and… apples.

4. I had forgotten how much I enjoy eating toast with cream cheese and strawberry jam. Yum!

5. Does it make me a bad person if I change the radio station every time a song that features a gospel choir or kids singing comes on? It’s one thing if it’s, you know, a gospel concert or a kids’ chorus… but otherwise… such a gimmick! Come up with better material!

6. This happened on my way to work this morning…sigh.

7. Dear Old Navy, why is it that I’m down three sizes in every other brand of pants I try on, but I am only down one/still the same size in your pants? How does this make sense?!

8. Dear Size 8 (Except at Old Navy), it’s been a long time. I think we’ll stay friends for a while.

9. I need to make these soon.

10. Our fridge/freezer are currently stocked with butter and cream cheese. Life is as it should be and it’s time to do some baking. (Hello Pies!)

11. Speaking of pie, it’s time to make some of these little beauties.

12. Farmer Ben, I love that we’ve been getting in some runs together. You don’t know how happy this makes me…even if I did almost fall on my face last night.

14. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Sam’s Cherry Wheat. Phew!

15. Judging by most of these notes, it’s a good thing that I’ve been running lately!

16. How is Thanksgiving only a week and two days away?!

17. I cannot wait to try a spin class this week.

18. Habanero Hot Sauce made by Farmer Ben makes me happy…but it also makes my lips burn and my brow sweat. I guess it’s true that love hurts.

19. Cottage Cheese + Habanero Hot Sauce=True Love Forever.

20. I clearly haven’t had enough coffee today.

21. I can’t wait to run tonight. It’s going to be a late one, but worth it.

22. Anyone have any challenges/new adventures for me? See this post for more info.

23. Happy Tuesday!

13. Did anyone else notice that I skipped number 13? Oops!


What Did I Eat?

I’ve been eating a lot of delicious food lately. Seriously.

I would call it major (over) indulgence on my part…but then I would feel guilty…

Anyway, I’ve been holding out on you… The hubby and I have done some cooking. Like this delicious macaroni and cheese, complete with jalapenos and caramelized onions.

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Melted cheese gets me every time….

While I was in DC, I ate some seriously good food. Like the Pesto Burger from Silver Diner.

Silver Diner is a 50’s style diner, jukeboxes on every table and really great staff. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever been into one and had an unhappy server. One thing that I love is that in the last few years they have gone local. They also try to do organic/minimally processed foods, making everything super delicious.

My first night in DC, I knew we had to go. So we went. And I ordered this burger.  Pesto. Goat Cheese. Roasted Red Peppers. Grass-fed beef. I couldn’t resist.

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Pesto Burger. Life is good.

I also had to have lunch at Potbelly… we don’t have any in Plattsburgh, so I HAD to go…and eat a lot of processed meat. Yum! If you’ve never been to one, please go. Now.

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A Wreck on Wheat. Loaded.

There were a couple of other places that I revisited/had delicious meals at …but I didn’t get photos.

That’s one thing I really miss about living in DC, so many wonderful places to eat for whatever your mood.

But then I remember that I am married to a chef, who makes me things like Birthday Paella (complete with chicken, shrimp and cod) in a flash…

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This is love.

And takes me out for an apple cider margarita at one of our favorite restaurants (and they use our favorite local cider)….

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Magic in a glass. Local cider makes everything better!

And allows himself to be dragged apple picking on the last day of apple picking season…and then goes a little apple crazy, resulting in this….

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A bushel of apples…Empires, Cameos and Macs, NBD.

But it’s fine because I know we’ll use them…

And lastly, he makes homemade ravioli. With local flour, squash, butter, cider, shallots…you get the picture.

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Acorn Squash Ravioli, apple cider reduction and caramelized shallots…just a typical Sunday lunch.

I guess I don’t need to live in a big city to eat well. I just need to run…everywhere… and then run some more.

So yeah, that’s what’s been happening on the road/in the kitchen. Any recipe requests?

What’s going on in your kitchen? Or at your favorite restaurant?

Happy Friday!


October Foodie Penpals

I’m a day late, but I am so pumped to tell you about this month’s foodie penpals!

I sent a package to Susie in Indiana…she recently moved there from Chicago and couldn’t be happier!  I have to say that this was the first time I received an email from a foodie penpal that made me laugh out loud. Major props. I sent her some of my favorite (and local) items from our co-op.

To see what other Foodie Penpals received, check out the Lean Green Bean’s Post.

This month I was paired with Mary from Wisconsin. She describes herself as a “food enthusiast” and teaches chocolate making classes in her spare time. How awesome is that?!

I received her package when I arrived home from my trip to DC (for the ATM!) And it was AMAZING. Seriously…I think this was my favorite package ever. Thank you, Mary!!!

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Penzeys and coffee and chocolate! Oh MY!

Not only did I get a small note for every item in the package, I also got a copy of Penzeys Spices latest catalog (which has some great recipes in it, btw!), a variety of recipe cards, little post cards (also from Penzeys) and some new knowledge about the company-Did you know that they are out of Wisconsin?! Mary wrote in one of her notes that she has watched them grow from a small shop into an awesome company. I love stories like this!!!

Along with some great Penzeys recipes, I also got some of Mary’s favorite spice blend, Northwoods (Ben and I tried some the other night. Very tasty) and some natural high fat cocoa, which I put this in some pumpkin cupcakes and it gave it that extra little something.  Mary also sent her recipe for cappuccino thins, which I will definitely be making soon!

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I’m all about new cookie recipes!!!

Other items in the package included:

– Mary’s favorite coffee blend (a chocolate roast mixed with an orange roast and tossed in cocoa-heavenly!)

-Wisconsin Truffles filled with beer. Also delicious.

-Her family’s favorite Fall snack-a trail mix which includes dried cherries, nuts and other wonderful goodies. This is really good. I’m trying to make it last a long time…but I don’t think that will happen.

Like I said, AMAZING!!!

Mary, you went above and beyond. Thanks again!!!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes! Most of the time it takes 2 days to go anywhere in the country!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating in November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!


Pumpkin Coffee. Need I say more?

Yesterday, I talked about a homemade and healthy version of the quintessential fall caffeinated beverage: the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I used this recipe from Eating Bird Food. I made a few small tweaks, but the main parts are the same. I love that she shared this and that it doesn’t contain any artificial colors or …other ingredients.  Mad props!

This is not nearly as sweet as your Starbucks go-to. But it’s tasty. Try it!

Here is what I did.

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Goodness

adapted from the above link

What you’ll need:

Brewed Coffee of your choice (French Roast, anyone?)

About 1/2 cup milk. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk as the post suggested, but I’ll use half and half or whole milk next time for a creamier taste/texture…because I’m naughty like that. 

A few spoonfuls of pumpkin puree–I usually try to do my own, but if you don’t have time for that, this stuff is organic and contains only pumpkin. Just my style.

Cinnamon-a couple of good pinches or grates on the microplane.

Nutmeg--go the fresh route. You’ll thank me later! Again, just a few good grates-the fresh stuff is strong!

Allspice--just a pinch or two.

A good splash of vanilla

Creamed Honey or Maple Syrup-a small spoonful. This would also be amazing with maple cream or brown sugar.

What to do:

Combine pumpkin and milk in a small saucepan, heat over medium-low heat. Using a spoon, break up the pumpkin and stir.

Once mixture gets to a simmer, add in your other ingredients to taste, I just did a pinch or a few good grates of each. Stir.

Pour coffee into a mug.

Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until milk is frothy and foamy. You can also use a regular blender-anything that will fluff up your milk.

Pour mixture over coffee.

Top with ground cinnamon and whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy.

Drink with your hubby or friends over a good book.

Happy Tuesday!


September Foodie Penpals

This month was pretty stellar in the FPP department. Not gonna lie, I am feeling pretty lucky.

I sent a package to Lindsey over at Kalefornication. She currently lives in San Francisco, but lived in NYC and Eastern Mass before that. Because she was seriously missing the changing of the seasons, I tried to send her a little taste of Upstate NY in Autumn…and had so much fun doing so!  You can check out her site by clicking here.

To see what other Foodie Penpals received, check out The Lean Green Bean’s post.

As for me, I was lucky enough to be paired with Catherine from San Francisco. She sent me a wonderful package, chock full of delicious-ness!

As you know, the Ragnar Relay was this weekend, so I wasn’t able to try anything yet, but I cannot wait to dive into this package! It was so wonderful to come home after a crazy weekend to find this waiting at my door. Perfect timing.

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Catherine sent me this beautiful card. Doesn’t she have great handwriting?!

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She also sent me some of her famous (award-winning!) jam; plum-strawberry and orange-crenshaw melon. So exciting!

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Along with a loaf of San Francisco Sourdough from Boudin Bakery and a recipe for a San Fran PB & J. Cannot wait. to try this… and the can of San Francisco Clam Chowder she also sent!

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I also received two varieties of Blue Diamond almonds (Honey Roasted and Roasted Salted). They are out of San Francisco and happen to be something I adore. Score!
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Catherine, thanks so much for this amazing package! I love that you tried to capture a taste of San Francisco! I’m so looking forward to absolutely everything in this package! Thanks again!!!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes! Most of the time it takes 2 days to go anywhere in the country!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by October 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!


More Notes to Self…and you!

1. How the heck is it already September 12? My brain cannot process how quickly the summer flew by.

2. The hubs is back on My Fitness Pal. Yesssss! Mission accomplished.

3. Making jalapeno peach jam tonight. So excited!

4. Planks really hurt. Hurts so good.

5. My whole body is still sore and achey today. Come on Baby, make it hurt so good!

6. Sometimes love don’t feel like it should… Hurts so good!

7. Just kidding, it’s from all the running. And planks.

8.  Speaking of running, I cannot wait to get out for a nice little jog tonight. And listen to some 80’s music…

9. This article really spoke to me. It’s so true, runners (and athletes in general) cheer each other on, even if you don’t realize it at the time. I have friends who are just starting out on their running journeys and worry about how they look or how fast they can go. This is for them. I am so inspired by you all.

10. This was a fun little article and I can definitely relate to a lot of these. Great motivation!

11. Slow Food September. Love this. Hubby Time and Lunch? Yes, please!

12. Shout-out to Rachel at Rachel’s Table (Awesome localvore blog!) for this great idea! Even after marinara, salsa, two kinds of ketchup and barbecue sauce, we still have tomatoes to use up…so trying this!

13. I heart corny jokes. Score.

14.  These are becoming a habit. So many good things, all in one little patty!

12. A sweet old barn from our run on Monday. Such a gorgeous spot!!!

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13. Days like today make me love Autumn in the Adirondacks.

14. Speaking of autumn, I have so much planned for the next couple of months. Loving life!

15. Jeremiah 29:11.

16. Farmer Ben, you’re pretty cute.

17. Happy Wednesday!