Ruuuuuude

This morning’s breakfast was a powerful breakfast cookie full of all sorts of things to make me healthy and alert.

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In the overnight mix: 1/4 cup BRM extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, the last tbsp (sad) of pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter, 1 tbsp goji berries, and 1/3 mashed banana.

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In the frosting: 2 tbsp plain yogurt, 1 tsp lucuma power, and 1 tsp Artisana Cacao Bliss.

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And on top: small handful blackerries, 1 chopped plummy gummy from my sister’s birthday package, a few more goji berries, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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This cookie reminded me of the beach — I think it was the goji starfish, the icing sand, and the plate ocean.

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IMG_9847And on the side, I had a tall glass of yerba mate.

Breakfast was delicious, and I really needed the power boost since I slept horrendously last night. From about 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, there were dogs howling sooooo loud outside my bedroom window. I live in Brooklyn (not the wilderness), and this is ridiculous! My bedroom window faces a backyard area that houses the yards of a whole block of apartment buildings, so it’s impossible to know where the noise was coming from, especially in the dark. I almost called the police to make a noise complaint! Not only was it keeping me awake, but it was painful to listen to because one dog was howling/screaming in this hyperventilating, panicked, scared-out-of-its-mind way — it kind of sounded human!

I can’t believe that the owners would just leave him outside and ignore that sad sad pleading … especially in the middle of the night when there are at least 100 people trying to sleep within a 10-foot radius! Again, this is Brooklyn and not a mountain town where no one has neighbors. I closed my window, and it didn’t help at all. The dog moaning eventually stopped, but it kept coming back here and there throughout the rest of the night. And the birds woke me up at 7am! Where the heck am I? Arkansas? I need to get new ear plugs!

Anyway, I think I’m about to go take a nap!

What wakes you in the middle of the night?

One of each, please

I just ate 42 foods.

Actually, I ate more than that because I just uploaded 42 pictures, and many of them contained more than one food. I’m also sort of speechless because every single food was out-of-this-world phenomenal.

All of this deliciousness came my way tonight at the David Burke Townhouse, courtesy of a Foodbuzz event to celebrate one million posts.

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Before I arrived at the restaurant, I had taken “townhouse” literally to mean that the party would be taking place in someone’s swanky uptown apartment. In fact, the party took place at this swanky uptown restaurant. With an egg theme (much like my life lately):

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I ran into Ashley immediately upon arriving, and we contented ourselves at the bar with wasabi cracker sticks and thyme lychee martinis:

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Those lychee martinis were teeny, so I had four of them. (Whoops.) I just get so excited about drinks that have real fruit! Plus, my first three did not contain any actual lychees. I had to go back for the fourth when I started to see the whole lychees floating around in other people’s drinks.

As soon as we got the go ahead, Emily and I beelined to the back of the restaurant where food was waiting. Remember, I’m still speechless, so I will let the photos do the talking.

Shellfish (including lobster, crab, mussels, oysters, and jumbo shrimp):

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My plate:

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I had more than you see in that picture, of course. I couldn’t let the chance for fresh lobster and fresh crab to pass me by!

There were tons of sauces for the seafood, along the lines of wasabi crème fraîche, lavender crème fraîche, pineapple-truffle sauce, mango something, and more. I tried all the sauces on the side because I wanted to experience the flavors but I did not want them to mess with the perfection of straight lobster and crab 😛

Sushi:

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Scallops in their shells with a ginger-scallion sauce:

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My plate with two sushi rolls, a scallop, and a pile of picked ginger:

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The carving station had salmon with horseradish sauce, turkey with gravy (I’m making that up because I can’t remember what sauce it really was), and short (?) ribs with red wine sauce. (I’m not a rib expert. Feel free to correct me if I have mis-identified.)

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My plate with a little of everything:

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I actually didn’t finish that plate. It was too meaty for me, and I like my salmon more done.

There were dumplings like this. Some had lobster, some had chicken, some had beef, and several had foie gras in addition to the other meats. I had at least one of each.

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Lobster scramble with caviar:

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Enjoying eating straight out of the mini frying pan:

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Mini raw-ish crackers with beef tartare, smoked salmon-cream cheese, and more foie gras:

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Pineapple shrimp skewers (yes, actually IN the pineapple!):

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Chicken satay with peanut sauce:

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Pretzel-crusted crabcake with poppyseed honey and kumquat-jalapeno jam (YES, it was THAT amazing):

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Lobster flan (served in an EGGSHELL):

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Hamachi with watermelon:

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And then the desserts began to come around. I kept myself to “one of each,” but one of each became far more than I had anticipated as more and more desserts rolled out of the kitchen!

A mini red velvet cake bite with cream cheese frosting:

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Pecan-cinnamon buns arranged on a mini-stove. There was actually a fire flickering inside the stove, but you can’t tell from this picture:

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Apple fritters on a bed of brown sugar:

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Mine:

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Cheesecake lollipop tree!!!!!!

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One of each (clearly the theme of the night): triple chocolate nut, strawberry pistachio, and chocolate with chocolate crunchies:

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Dark chocolate cherry cupcake (literally the size of my thumb — I had two) and butterscotch pannacotta:

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Chocolate-nutella milkshake!

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At around this time, I started to get overwhelmed by too many desserts and not enough hands. I found a narrow ledge and got a collection going:

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(On the right is a chocolate rice crispy-cereal treat.)

A coconut cream puff and a warm custard-filled doughnut ball (the doughnut ball actually had a fancy Italian-ish name that I cannot remember):

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Malted milk and a grapefruit bar with crème fraîche:

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The malted milk had a very familiar flavor. Missy hit the nail on the head when she said it tasted like the milk leftover from a bowl of Fruit Loops. I only had a couple of sips because I can make that myself. I left the milk on the ledge and promptly knocked it over with my big bag about five seconds later. David Burke himself swooped in to clean up the mess.

The grapefruit bar, on the other hand, was insanely good (though Emily wasn’t a fan. I guess you really have to love grapefruit.) It had gold leaf on top:

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And rather than a bowl of mints on the way out, the Townhouse had peanut brittle, of all things! The grab-in-action and my pieces:

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So, this was a scrumptious event that I got to share with several fun ladies who love food almost as much as I do! I hijacked this photo from Missy’s recap (which you should check because she has many more facts about the event and the restaurant): Me, Emily from Super Caloric Chalk Dust, Melanie from MelonCauliflower, Ashley from Healthy Happier Bear, Missy from Missy Maintains, and Diana from Soap and Chocolate.

I’m so glad that Foodbuzz decided to celebrate one million posts and invite me. I just wish they could have invited the starving population of NYC as well since there was more food than anyone there actually needed. I always feel torn at events like this — awed and thrilled that I got to attend, yet overwhelmed and distressed at the excess! The thought of trying to comandeer all these leftovers was too much to handle at this particular stress-pinnacle of the semester, but I hope they went somewhere useful. And I hope thinking about it doesn’t keep me up tonight!

What makes you feel torn?

One down …

I’m almost there! Just one more paper due Thursday, and I will be temporarily free. Plus, since I got tomorrow’s paper done already, I will be free to spend my birthday lazing around and feeling sorry for my elderly status before I have to go to class 😛

Today, however, is NOT my birthday (although one premature facebook “happy birthday” seems to have started a chain of people unintentionally wishing me happy birthday a day early). Today is Mother’s Day and my sister Allison’s birthday! Soooooo …

Here I am with my mama in December:

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you.

And here I am with my Allie, meeting our first niece, Ella, in 2005:

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Happy happy birthday, Allie! I love you, too 🙂

Unfortunately, I could not spend the day with either of these two ladies, as one is in Massachusetts, one is in San Francisco, and I am in New York! Instead, I spent the day writing a paper and fueling my way through the drudgery in the following manner. (Once again, this is an incomplete representation of all I ate, so don’t start to panic that I’ve stopped expanding or anything. Expansion is still
quite in progress.
Excellent.)

IMG_9425Today’s overnight breakfast cookie actually involved the last 2/3 cup cooked couscous-lentil mix from dinner at Quercy. Because the couscous was already cookied and quite moist, I needed to add dry things! Into the cookie went a package of freeze-dried strawberries and bananas from Just Tomatoes (it was sooooo hard to keep from eating all of these straight out of the package — they were delicious and crunchy and perfect), 2 tbsp dry milk, and 1 tbsp homemade pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter. My plan worked, and the cookie had firmed up successfully by this morning.

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I frosted my cookie with a mix of plain yogurt and Artisana cacao bliss, and I topped it with fruit salad:

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Later, I had the rest of my spicy spicy Indian food mixed with lots of yogurt and arugula. I sopped up the sauce and yogurt left in the bowl with some pieces of cornbread liberated from the freezer:

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In the afternoon, I had some pumpkin pie flax pudding with a dollop of the two butters of the day:

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I also did some serious baking in honor of the three special occasions going on, but more details will be arriving tomorrow. Just know that I ate a lot of batter.

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“Dinner” at this point ended up being more pumpkin pie flax pudding with oat bran immersion-blended in, chopped strawberries, and the two famous butters once again:

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Are you celebrating special days this month?

Dirrrty

Well. I just ran my first and last trail race.

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(Those were my brand-new shoes. They’re broken in now.)

Erin Gunn, Sarah Whiting, and I spent the morning up at Bear Mountain for The North Face Endurance Challenge. Erin and I ran the 10k; Ting (short for Sarah Whiting) ran the half. To be more specific, while Ting was enjoying a little 13+ mile jog (just kidding — Ting, you’re amaaaaaaazing and I think maybe superhuman!!), Erin and I painstakingly tried to run 6.3 miles of hiking trail through muddy rivers, slimy rocks, and steep inclines.

I’m actually pretty pleased with how I did. I was expecting to end up walking the whole thing because I haven’t really been able to run since pulling all my leg muscles at the end of March. For this race, I focused on keeping my pace verrrrrrry slow, and the treacherous nature of the course forced me to walk for quite a bit of the race to pick my way “over the river and through the woods” while remaining upright!

** Edited 5/12 to add these pictures from the race website.

Feeling energetic early in the race:

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Finish line in sight, yet still so far away (all of 50 feet I think):

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Happy (?) finish line dance:

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I finished the race in something like an hour and 35 minutes (I was second to last!!! I was kind of disappointed when I heard someone else finished after me. If I was going to be last, I wanted to be last), but I finished running! Surviving this race actually gave me a lot of hope for the Brooklyn half at the end of May. Ting finished about 10 minutes after I did (but to be fair, the half did begin an hour before the 10k). Here we are at the end:

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There was a tent with cut fruit and peanut butter. I had many pieces:

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Erin and I were cold and tired and sore and wondering how the heck Ting had roped us into over 90 minutes of voluntary torture. We agreed we don’t have to do this again next year. Ting stuck around with some of her other friends to watch the 50k runners start to come in; Erin and I busted out of there to head to her apartment for showers and lunch. Which leads us to the food …

Featured Contributions: Thursday through Saturday

Thursday’s linner: homemade tortillas with homemade chicken mole and beans left from the Parent & Me cinco de mayo event at work on Wednesday:

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Ginger chew from Beryl on Friday:

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A chopped apple, an orange, cool whip, and peanut butter left from Myrna and Mildred’s afternoon group:

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(I had another orange and seconds of cool whip and pb later, too!)

I headed straight up to Yonkers after work, and Erin Gunn picked me up for some bridesmaid dress reconn at David’s Bridal, followed by Indian food, her treat 🙂

Papadum and chutneys:

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Baingan Bhartha (eggplant):

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Channa Saagwala (chickpeas and spinach):

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We ordered spicy. We needn’t have. The spiciness necessitated lots of tissues and lots of rice:

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Anise crunchies on the way out:

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This morning, I made us pre-race breakfast cookies with the contents of Erin’s cupboards.

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Each cookie included 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chocolate chips, 1 tbsp sweetened coconut, 1 tbsp mixed chopped nuts, and cinnamon.

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The frosting involved plain yogurt and half of this baby jar of heaven:IMG_9396

Our post-run lunch was Indian leftovers with tons and tons of yogurt to cut the heat:

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And a very very exciting treat from work yesterday:

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Rosey’s mom (who I think is Puerto Rican) made pasteles — kind of like tamales but with plantain on the outside and meat on the inside — this past week, and Rosey brought them in to share on Thursday. I missed this first delivery because I don’t work on Thursdays, but Nydia gave me a couple of hers yesterday since it was my last day until June, and they all wanted me to be able to try them! I brought my tied-up package to Erin’s with me, boiled it for an hour in salted water per Rosey’s instructions, and set to unwrapping it.

In paper:

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In banana leaf:

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Finally ready:

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Mmmm, it was yummy. I loved the texture of the plantain on the outside. Here’s the filling:

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I dozed off a bit after lunch, and then Erin deposited me at the subway. Two hours later (grrr, construction), I was finally home.

Now, “vacation” is over, and it’s time to rededicate myself to the finals: one paper due Monday and one due Thursday. Then, I will be free!! (Errr, for two weeks until it all starts again …)

To conclude, here are Ting’s battle-scarred legs:

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Would you ever in a million years choose to spend your day off participating in a trail race?

The bakery

… aka my apartment.

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It’s been a busy couple of days around here since I can’t sit still for more than 3.7 seconds. I have too much on my mind with the end of the semester, the last week of my internship (which will be followed by a three week break before my full-time job there starts), my imminent 27th birthday (doom), oh, and the 10k trail walk run up at Bear Mountain this weekend. Never mind that my hamstrings, glutes, and groin are still shot and I haven’t run more than three miles (at a 15-minute mile pace, mind you) in six weeks …

So, back to the bakery.

Featured Bakery Item #1: Raw Macaroons

On Wednesday, I brought home a hunk of fresh coconut that Jessica gave me at work. Remember this?

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Between having raw coconut in my hands and all the raw talk that’s been going around lately, I had only one thing on my mind: raw coconut macaroons!

IMG_9325I’ve been drooling over Gina‘s Fitnessista macaroons for nearly a decade (ok, maybe only six months), so I was thrilled when Elisabeth at Jogger’s Life posted a similar recipe last week. I followed Elisabeth’s recipe with a few modifications: (1) after shredding my coconut, I only had 1/3 cup … so I halved the recipe and used (2) 1/2 cup almond flour (almonds ground in my coffee bean grinder) and (3) 1 Medjool date, chopped/mashed (I am processor-less) and (4) 1 tsp vanilla extract (I’m out of almond) and (5) nothing else, as the date was plenty sweetener for my minimized batch. (Oh, except I made half of the batch chocolate and mixed in unsweetened cocoa powder there).

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I formed my batter into eight little balls.

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And then, it was time to put them in the dehydrator.

Oh wait, I do not have a dehydrator! And, just as the folks at Turtle Mountain ignored my request for coconut ice cream, the folks at Excalibur ignored my request for a dehydrator. I guess I’m not worth a $300 top-of-the-line kitchen appliance. However, those of you blessed with dehydrators have nothing on me because I have an oven with a pilot light. Jealous?

Here are the little balls of delight after an overnight (nine hours!) in my off oven:

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They don’t look any different, do they? To tell the truth, while the texture was actually different (they were no longer sticky in the morning), the batter tasted just as yummy as (if not better than) the finished product.

Featured Bakery Item #2: Jam-Filled Berry Mini Muffins

Today at work (aka my last day as an intern!), my department was planning to have a potluck staff breakfast. It got rescheduled, but I kept to my original baking plan anyway!

I loosely used this recipe for Jam-Filled Almond Muffins from Eating Well. Changes included: (1) halving the recipe to make 12 mini-muffins instead of 12 regular muffins, (2) using only whole wheat flour, (3) replacing the sugar, buttermilk, juice, and oil with the cup of frozen fruit-on-the-bottom from the four fruit-on-the-bottom hotel yogurts I collected a couple weeks ago, (4) using the homemade black raspberry jam from Wife, and (5) eliminating the almond extract because I didn’t have it.

Here’s the jam-filling in progress:

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Topped off:

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And baked:

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Cross-section:

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Some of them got a little too jammy, but that’s actually a benefit in my opinion.

Featured Bakery Item #3: Carrot-Berry Mini Muffins

I was (probably unrealistically) afraid that I wouldn’t have enough muffins, so I decided to bake a second batch using this recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins, also from Eating Well. Changes included: (1) eliminating the upside-down topping so the muffins became carrot muffins, (2) halving the recipe to make 12 minis instead of 12 regulars, (3) using only whole wheat flour, (4) replacing the sugar, oil, juice, and crushed pineapple with a 4 oz. Dole tropical fruit cup and 1/4 cup of the homemade black raspberry jam, and (5) putting nuts only on top instead of mixing them into the batter.

They looked a little green after baking:

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But they still tasted yummy!

What’s your stance on baking substitutions?

P.S. First, I was famous for my balls. Now, it’s my eggs. What’s next?