Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Happy Halloweekend!

I decided to start getting in the holiday spirit earlier this week and did so by tackling some Pumpkin Scones. Amidst studying for a logic midterm and getting ahead on work for next week, I set aside a good few hours to make these babies.

Sadly, I have to add a disclaimer that while I'm certain the recipe is delicious, I was not giving it my full attention.  I unknowingly baked them without one very important ingredient, baking powder!

In any case, I thought that I would still go ahead and post them anyways since they look pretty decent and everyone else who has used the recipe seems to be raving about it!

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup all-purpose flower
1 cup whole wheat flower
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold butter, in cubes
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tbsp milk
1 lg egg

Powered Sugar Glaze
1 cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

Spiced Glaze
1 cup plus 3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground  nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch gloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this works well for clean up!)

Combine all dry ingredients from scone recipe (flour, spices, baking powder, sugar). Slowly cut in butter cubes making sure no large pieces are left. This should resemble corn meal.

In a separate bowl mix egg, pumpkin and milk. Fold these into the dry mixture and form into a ball.

Pat dough onto the parchment paper and cut desired shape with knife.  Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove promptly and place on cooling rack.

While the scones are cooling, whisk together ingredients for both the glaze and spiced glaze (in separate bowls).  Once cool, use pastry brush or spoon to coat scones with glaze.

When glaze has hardened, drizzle the spiced glaze on top.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain.

Whenever its raining I think back to when I was younger and watched/read Winnie the Pooh.  The cheery old bear was always so happy whenever there was a drizzle or even a downpour. While the passive Eeyore found a number of reasons to hate every day, especially rainy ones, Pooh seemed to embrace them.

I remember one specific line Pooh always used, "Tut tut, looks like rain." It still makes me laugh to this day.  This seemed like a perfectly fitting topic since the forecast has been so dreary and cold lately.  I mean seriously, I know it's upstate NY but can't we at least get a little sunshine?

There we go. Thats today's forecast along with tonight and tomorrow. "A brief shower or two" is a bit of an understatement since it has drizzled since I was up at 7 this morning. In any case, I pondered the idea of skipping my run and instead catch up on my favorite shows but no, there are no quitters here.  I busted out a nice long run and even went an extra block!

Here I am being obnoxious and overly excited that I actually finished despite soaking my left foot in a puddle and being sprayed with road goo throughout the whole thing.  This should definitely keep me motivated the next time I hop the struggle bus to go running!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pushing Weights.

Remember when I said I had joined a gym? Okay, well in case you don't, I recently joined the RAC for Women, Rochester's premier athletic club with multiple locations and numerous options for training.  How exciting!  Today I ventured over to Pittsford for my first training session; the sessions come free with the purchase of a membership. My appointment was set up after an initial measurement appointment that I went to yesterday.

I was a bit nervous going in today, just wondering what my trainer would be like and what types of weight exercises I would be asked to do.  I guess going to a new gym can be stressful at times, and I definitely felt that. 

I was briefly introduced to Jill, my trainer, and we instantly hit the floor.  Luckily, this time period was rather slow and there wasn't much hustle to distract my half hour session.  Of course today had to be Abs, Chest and Shoulder day, just my luck.  My arms and chest muscles are ridiculously weak and I guess in a way it was a good place to start.  Should I mention I already "feel the burn"? 

We did two sets of 12 for each exercise including Chest Press, Seated Row, and some others that I cannot remember the name of.  I am definitely out of shape when it comes to weights, however, I look forward to seeing how far I can push my strength and improve it throughout the coming months.

Coming Up:
East Ave Grocery Run: November 5th w/ Rachel!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Vanilla Cake (Bars)

Tis the season for pumpkin, yes it still is and will be for a very, very long time.  Last night I was planning on having a low key night catching up on Grey's Anatomy and baking up a storm by myself, but really, what fun is that? I also pondered the idea of going home and snuggling up with my favorite beast but I was interrupted by a call from the one and only Maureen Dever. 

I met Maureen through my best friend Carolyn who knows her through college.  What a twisted up mess but I am so glad that we have become friends.  She is an amazing person with lots of talents (including her skills on a cricket machine) and has such a kind soul.  If you can't tell, I love her to pieces!

She had me over to her house, which is only twenty minutes from both of my houses, and we decided to have a baking party.  Yes, a party with the two of us, and it was so much fun!  We used Picky Palate as our recipe resources mainly because her recipes are quick, easy and oh so tasty.

Cinnamon Roll Vanilla Cake (Bars)
Adapted from Picky Palate.

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
15 ounce can pumpkin
3.4 ounce box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 box yellow cake mix

1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (start w 1/4 cup and add a little more cream if needed)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin in mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
3. Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.

4. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.

These were a bit too sweet for my taste so I would probably cut back on the pudding packet though it definitely gave a moist spongey texture to the cake.  I just can't get myself to like super sweet things, must be the health nut in me.

Also, the amount of butter and cream was a bit unsettling to my stomach so I would substitute in Fat-Free Milk with a bit more sugar and Greek Yogurt!

Review: parlo francese a italiano

Parlo francese a italiano? I speak French in Italian? If you're wondering the purpose of this title, get excited. It basically explains the variety of foods I had from breakfast to lunch yesterday, starting with crepes and finishing with pasta and then a little Americano dessert. What an amazing saturday with both my family and Maureen.

The morning began with a delightful breakfast at Simply Crepes in Pittsford.
I was especially hungry and craving something sweet so it was the right place to be.  Of course I ordered my usual Simply Strawberry Crepe but also decided to try some of their Creme Brulee Oatmeal.

This is my amazing oatmeal yesterday morning:
Simply Crepes really did it this time with the amazing flavor explosion I experienced. I HIGHLY suggest this little cup for a cold winters morning.

My mom had the "Crepes Benedict" but I can't for the life of me remember what she said about it nor did I indulge in testing it out.  I am not much of a fan for eggs benedict and steer clear of the cream sauces, most of the time.

Afterwards we did some shopping at Eastview mall for fall clothes, computer accessories and she even surprised me with Hunter boots (I'll post later!)

We met my Dad for dinner in East Rochester at Lemoncello, an Italian Bistro type cafe & lounge.  The building itself was an old main street building completely redone to a "old italy" style.  My Dad, a very critical restaurant goer, oo-ed and ahh-ed his way through the lounge area until we made it to a glass enclosed outdoor area which was heated. Quaint and friendly.

The menu ranged from basic pasta dishes to veal and seafood along with an assortment of pizzas. The Lemoncello Artichoke caught my eye and I was hooked.  They serve bread with olive oil and pepper along with a great side salad (included with entree). 

The portion was a bit larger than I'm used to but this is expected with pasta dishes.  There was a lemocello deglaze atop a pairing of egg battered artichokes, sundried tomatoes and pancetta. I had never tried pancetta before but it complimented everything with a hint of salt  which was necessary.

Simply Crepes is always a must and I have been a returning customer for quite some time.
Lemocello is a new favorite because of both its atmosphere and great food, an overall great dining experience.

Simply Crepes
                                                                    7 Schoen Place
                                                                Pittsford, NY 14534
                                                                    (585) 383-8310

Lemoncello Cafe & Lounge

137 West Commercial Street
East Rochester, New York 14445
T: (585) 385-8565

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: The Distillery

Tonights dinner was themed "orphan night" for BPG.  Luckily none of us are actually orphans but its nice for a few girls to get together during parents weekend when they're feeling lonely.  After transferring to UR I realized how big a deal parents/ alumni weekend is.  To make it more clear to you, Bill Clinton is the keynote speaker. Talk about amazing..  However, I was unable to get tickets along with half the rest of the UR population.

This weekend for me consists of catching up with mom and dad, going shopping and a dinner at a new restaurant that we used a Groupon for! I will also be meeting up with a few friends from home/ other schools to catch up and have a good time.

As for tonight, we went to The Distillery on Mt. Hope Avenue.  The wait was a bit long but granted we did have a party of nine.  We crammed ourselves into a booth built for 4-6 to make sure we didn't starve and had a great time!  I ordered the "Chicken Speidie" atop a greek salad which I gobbled right up.  I have to say it was really good.  Usually sports bar food is sub par and mostly fried or somehow bad for you but I think I found a winner in the somewhat healthy category--of course ordering the dressing on the side.  I finished my meal with a dessert of an onion ring that I stole of another girls plate (I am a huge mooch). 

I decided to dress up for the event by adding some pearls to a rather dreary dark outfit.  It was necessary today since the weather has been so rainy and sad.  I rocked the whole tight skirt with tights, black riding boots, a quilted vest & plum sweater along with my infamous J.Crew Pearls.  I really think that pearls can totally change the look of an outfit and make even the most casual, dressy. I have even gone as far as to pair them with a vintage Sabres shirt.

Review: JonJohns Bakery

I have found it quite difficult in living off campus to have dinners with friends, unless of course I am eating dining hall food.  Not to say that all of the dining services at UR are detrimental to my health but, for the most part, I have noticed a pattern of bad eating habits surrounding both school food and dining out more often.  How I decided to fix this problem was by inviting friends to my house for dinner.  Last night I had Rachel over and we cooked up some bowtie pasta with garlic, tomatoes, spinach and fresh basil with a side of sweet potato. It was a great way to unwind from a busy day.

Afterwards we had some time to kill before returning to campus so I dragged her to the South Wedge Market.  Not to say that I actually dragged her, she was quite willing to tag along.  My mission was to find JonJohns Bakery since I had recently bought a groupon for their desserts. I believe it was spend $10 and get $20 desserts--who can go wrong?

Well, by the time we arrived there it was getting very dark and most of the booths were beginning to pack up for the night (and season since it was the last day of the season). JonJohns was easily located on the corner and after quickly getting oriented to the dark marketplace we were ready to dive in.  Jon, co-owner of JonJohns Bakery, kindly greeted us with a welcoming greeting and proceeded to explain they were out of many desserts but there were of course a few left for us.  We chose to get all three types of cookies available, chocolate chip, double chocolate and oatmeal raisin. Rachel and I also kept eying the infamous peanut butter balls so we of course asked for a few of those.

As Jon stuffed our paper bag full of desserts I talked away at how much I love farmers markets and his business.  I love love love local businesses. When all was said and done I believe we were given way more than our $20 worth of baked goods and I promised to visit at the Brighton Farmers Market in the coming weeks (I need to try the sweet potato pastries and carrot cake!).

The peanut butter balls were to die for. Literally. I split one with Rachel on the car ride home and we kept raving about them all night long.  Nothing compares to a good peanut butter treat! The chocolate chips in the filling definitely gave them a thumbs up in my book and stood out from other variations I have had in the past. 

I tried a bit of the double chocolate cookie which surprisingly did not turn out to be my favorite due to a bit of dryness, however, the chocolate chip and oatmeal far surpassed any expectations I previously had. First of all they were HUGE portions and they had great 'home baking' flavor!

JonJohns Bakery
WestSide Market
Brighton Farmers Market

or place orders by phone and email:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Yep, you heard right, it's pumpkin season.  If you weren't already aware of this (since late september, I believe) advertisers and businesses have been boasting their "best pumpkin latte" or "pumpkin muffins" for quite some time. Really though, who would blame them? Pumpkin flavored things are the best as the days get shorter and the temperature drops to freezing.

This morning I thought I'd start the day off with a bowl of oatmeal since I have so many things to do (and such little time).  I am getting my hair done in Fairport @ Pharoah's Salon & Spa and then making my way to the infamous Steve's diner to meet Marissa for lunch.  After that we are on to class, Ballet Performance Group (BPG) meetings and then eventually getting to some term paper stuff.

The best way to start off today? Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Now, I typically eat a really bland & boring oatmeal that most of you would probably turn your noses to at the first smell.  Today I was adventurous and added some pumpkin puree to my usual mix along with some brown sugar (you definitely need this!).

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
(one serving)
Adapted from: Carrots 'n' Cake

1/2 cup Steel Cut Oats (or regular)
1 cup water
1/4 cup pumpkin puree

and then all to taste:
Brown Sugar
Soy Milk

**If you don't have all these spices, simply purchase "Pumpkin Spice" at your local Wegmans. 

What's next? I think i'm going to try Tina's Pumpkin Scone recipe.  I have been craving scones since early yesterday afternoon but dislike the store bought kind since they are so "bad" for you! Her recipe includes yogurt as a substitute which I am a huge fan of!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Procrastination posts are the best.  Here is a photo from Fall Break 2011 on Rose Mountain on First Bisby Lake (Old Forge, NY)

Brendan was kind enough to take me and six of his close friends from Colgate to his house in the Adirondacks for their last fall break. Being my third trip up there I of course had an amazing time and still cannot wait to return--it has to be one of, if not my number one, favorite places to visit.  The weather was great for outdoor adventures and the house we stayed in was perfect for our rowdy group.  Check my facebook page for more images.

 Bisby Lodge, October 2011

 Brendan and I on Rose Mountain

 Moose River

Bisby Lake


As the stress of school has slowly creeped up on me and I find myself continually overwhelmed, as I'm sure most of you do, I wanted to bring a few inspirational messages/ motivation to our day.  While we all have busy lives that consist of way too many activities and not enough sleep and we begin to need that extra hit of the snooze button or that third venti coffee, there still needs to be a moment in the day to reflect.  To sit back, relax and enjoy the great things we have been given.

For me, this is my running.  Running is my relaxation.  I never ever thought I would say this since I naturally loathed running for most of my adolescent years (not to say I am old now). Speaking with one of my research participants got me thinking today about my addiction to running and exercise and that not having it for even one day throws me off.  I can't concentrate or focus on anything until I have that run, bike, or weight training in.  Some days I simply am too busy but then I think that saying, "I can't make time" is ridiculous because I make time for many other things such as my blog.

Goals. Goals are an important aspect of anyones life and I have been setting them for as far back as I can remember. Make a goal each day to do something you love, even if its only closing your eyes and relaxing.

Work on a bucket list of sorts. I am just starting this and here you go folks, here are the two newest additions to my bucket list:

(1) Flower City Half Marathon (April 2012)!
(2)Marathon in the coming YEAR

Granted I have to survive the half first and I understand what a lofty goal it is but I thought I should share it with you because it leads me to my next point.

Support. Not only supporting yourself but also everyone around you and the endeavors they embark on.

Think: "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves"-Thomas Edison
What a great quote? I recently stumbled across it and have fallen in love.

Thats all I have for now and yes I understand a bit of a sentimental post coming from me but it is well needed.  As far as the blogging world goes, I plan to start logging workouts on here and getting more into the whole exercise/ health aspect of life that I am so interested in (more to come!!!)

Happy Tuesday, and remember, Halloween is a little over a week away :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

100 Years?

The image above is of Fauja Singa, a 100 year old marathoner. Yes you read correctly, 100 years old.  Singa is originally from India but now lives in London, England.  He completed is first marathon at age 89 and completed 8 since. He was the last to finish at around 8 hours but the accomplishment is more than a time.

What really got me though was that since he took so long to finish, the finish line was already being demolished and workers had begun to clean up sponsor banners and signs.  He was greeted at the finish line by family and friends. I understand protocol but this man is 100 years old completing a marathon, show some courtesy.

In terms of inspiration I am now kicking myself for having to withdraw from the half-marathon last spring and am whole heartedly hoping I am able to participate this year. If someone this old can cross the finish line of a full 26.2, why can't I do 13.1?  This shouldn't be a problem.  So while I do my usual procrastination of the night, I am researching running groups and programs offered in Rochester so that I have a support group to get me through this time.

Lets go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life on the Run: Leaf & Bean

3240 Chili Avenue
Rochester, NY 14624

Leaf & Bean was suggested to me as a great place to get away and study by a new friend, Danielle. While it is a bit out of the way, all the way in Chili, it has a great "cafe" vibe to it that I love.  If you're from Canandaigua or know the area, think "The Muar House Cafe." 

Originally I thought Leaf & Bean was a chain due to its very corporate website but I believe I was mistaken and that this is the only location.

I arrived around 1:30 today, a busy Sunday, and was unable to find a seat.  However, within a few minutes of ordering an Earl Grey tea, a few groups were leaving.  I would have to say their turn around time is pretty snappy but if you want to sit and relax or do work you're fine to do so.

Their menu ranges from teas, coffees and non-caffinated beverages like your typical blended drink to sandwiches and salads.  Today I indulged in some Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup with a Side Market Salad. Delish. To drink I ordered a tea and was kindly asked to pick from their 20 flavors--earl grey cream. I had never heard of earl grey with cream prior to this but it was most definitely the right choice.

The soup was not homemade but still very tasty and was paired nicely with a heaping side salad topped with all the usual amenities.  The tea began with an initial earl grey taste and as I neared the typical tea aftertaste, I was greeted with a sweet creamy flavor. How surprising? I will most definitely be returning for another cup!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

100th Post Celebration!

Hey Folks! For those of you who spend a minute or two out of your busy lives to read my blog, thank you! While I know that most readers are my friends far and near, I have also had readers spanning the globe from China to Alaska, Copenhagen, Italy and Australia. Thank you friends who are currently abroad and still find time to read.

We're currently at 100 postings, as of now. And while I would love to spend time writing a lengthy post about how much life has changed since I started or something wonderful like that, I am studying for my epidemiology midterm and enjoying a pretty darn good dinner.

So first of all I went to the gym for the first time today.  Not like I haven't been to any gym before but I simply mean the U of R gym.  Boy was I disappointed.  I have clearly been spoiled by my YMCA membership and their amazing upkeep/ renovations over the past few years.  The equipment was extremely outdated and the gym lacked some serious motivation.  Not only is it two levels and rather hard to quickly identify machines but it is also shared by sports teams.  Not a winning combination.  This leads me to beg my parents for a gym membership over at the RAC for Women.  More on this later (i.e. once they get back to me with their response).

Dinner tonight was Baked Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Broccoli!

So simple but so yummy! Really though. All you need is this:

1 Chicken Breast
Grape Tomatos
Mustard Seed
Balsamic Vinegar

Random combination but absolutely delish!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Round Two: Coffee Connection

Another South Wedge coffee shop: Coffee Connection.
Now this is definitely more my taste and I knew it from the moment I walked it.  

The shop lists daily specials on a vintage chalk board on the sidewalk outside.  This morning, around 11, the hustle and bustle of rush hour had died and coffee time was calling my name.  Immediately after walking in, the Barista (who I believe is also the owner) greeted me with a friendly hello and how are you.  The shop is splashed with color and unique furniture, a perfect location to cozy up to coffee and friends.  Though quite small, it has that "lets be friends" atmosphere about it.  To the left of the register is a case of pastries including cakes, rugelas, tapas and other varieties that would compliment your cup of coffee.  Most of these are homemade!

I ordered a small mocha, 3.00 + tax. A bit higher than expected but Coffee Connection supports a few great causes so it is understandable.  The shop receives all its coffee beans from fairtrade and organic coffee bean farmers in Peru.  It also helps reach out to farmers who switched their main crop to coffee beans instead of coca (the main plant in cocaine). In addition, Coffee Connection helps women in the Rochester area get back on their feet and learn the value of hard work and a job. What a winning combination!

Coffee Connection
681 South Avenue

Right down the corner from Gregory street!

I will most definitely be stopping back and will hopefully bring friends next time.  New bucket list goal that I thought of while enjoying the first sips of my Mocha, Become a "regular" at a local store/shoppe! I still have to finish my coffee adventures before I pick which one to call home though.

Next: Java's!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Last weekend I finished my second 5k, ever. It was a great experience and went much better than the last.  Not to say the last was awful but I wasn't in as great of shape as I thought seeming I had to stop and walk multiple times.  However, this race went a bit differently.

My mom and I arrived early, I mean 7:30am, early. There were already so many people warming up and getting ready to race.  I want to say there were over 850 people that showed up to the event.  It was extremely cold out for October 1st and with a chance of sleet and snow I bundled right up.  Luckily, the misty rain stopped right before the race and it stayed relatively dry for the half hour I was on the course.  

The course took us up past the Memorial Art Gallery and back down East Avenue past the gorgeous homes surrounding the George Eastman House. My one major mistake was not plotting out the route prior to the race because I was unaware of when to release. I'm not sure how exactly running works but I created my own type of plan for 5k's and plan to perfect it a bit as I continue to test them out.

1. start at a moderate pace, don't jump the gun too early
2. Mile 1 should mean you start to increase that speed
3. Mile 2 increase a bit more but make sure you wont burn out through 3
4. Halfway through 2m reach your optimal "fast" pace--at this point you should not be able to have a conversation with passerbys
5. last leg, SPRINT!

The problems that I encountered with this were not knowing when the "last leg" was coming up.  By the time I saw the finish arc I had less than a tenth of a mile to sprint.  Maybe this is the right way? I have no idea.

In any case, the race was a success in my book.  I ran the whole thing and still had energy to spare since I messed up the whole releasing thing. Get em next time.  I should really work on some speed for these shorter races as I embark on the half marathon (if I end up fully committing).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...