Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Busy Bee

I always seem to be apologizing for NEVER writing on here anymore.  The rest of thanksgiving weekend went by so fast and its already wednesday of the week after.  I haven't posted in almost a week?

Maybe I should warn you that we are approaching finals week and I have 203948029834 things to do and little time to blog.  I am still starting half marathon training VERY soon but my training book has yet to arrive.  

For my birthday my mom bought me a GPS watch so that should be some great incentive to just get up and run!  I think I'm going to try it out this afternoon since I didn't go to any classes.  Birthday problems. 

However, stick with me. I'll be back soon enough with something worthwhile to read.  Even if its just describing the strange weather we have been experiencing lately or some photos taken with my new lens Brendan got me for my birthday :)

Keep Calm & Merry On Folks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Post Pt.2

The fun post! If you are just tuning in, please refer to the previous post for the recipes of my contributions for Thanksgiving.

I figured I would keep this short and sweet and post a few pictures from my Thanksgiving day adventures. Sound okay? Good.

I absolutely love my babe, without a doubt, addicted to this ball of fluff.

I started using my tripod for my camera and it has made a HUGE difference.  If you have an SLR, get one. It makes all the difference. 

My mom has thing obsessive problem with thanksgiving day leftovers so she roasted a turkey of her own.  Thank god since the turkey for our thanksgiving really didn't taste up to par this year. It was actually quite dry.

Check this out. My Mom over zapped the jelly for my tart and created some hardened sugary sweet nasty mess.  Not funny Mom!

Bellis Family 2011

Brendan and Me!

Great Thanksgiving with my cousin Rachel, her boyfriend Charlie, Brendan and me.

We really tried to keep our portions small so we had room for two thanksgivings but it was way more difficult than we ever anticipated. Fullest day of my life.

Never Ending Thanksgiving Post Pt. 1

Thanksgiving posts, or holiday posts in general can be long and obnoxious.  I apologize in advance if mine is one of these. Not knowing how exactly to tackle a recipe thriving, picture happy holiday is one of my downfalls as a blogger but I will give it my best shot.

Yesterday began with waking up from a rather interesting pre-thanksgiving party the night before.  I had a few friends over at my "college" house and we had ourselves a great time, until we fell asleep of course.  I woke up with a blistering headache but managed to rally after a cup of great home brewed coffee and plenty of water.

My contributions to thanksgiving dinner were to include a vegetable appetizer and a dessert for Brendan's dad.

I will gladly share these recipes with you and HIGHLY encourage you to try them out, they were perfect!

Cheesey and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms
adapted from: My Life as a Mrs

16 ounces button (baby bello) mushrooms (about 20)
2 medium sized cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used a few drops of hot sauce)
5 teaspoons Panko Bread Crumbs
Chopped Parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 f. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and wipe mushrooms clean with a damp towel, remove steps. Place mushroom caps upside down on baking sheet.

Add mushroom steps, onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined, hand chopping works as well.  Add 2 tsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add in mushroom mixture and cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.

remove from skillet and stir in cream cheese, parmesan and seasoning.  Stir until well combined.

Spoon filling into each mushroom cap and dip each into panko bread crumbs until top is coated.

place in oven at 350f for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

And the post continues....I also made this amazing Apple Tart from Ina Garten on the Food Network.  Thank you quick recipe finder app for iPhone, you are a lifesaver!

French Apple Tart
adapted from Ina Garten


pastry dough
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

4 apples ( I used honey crisp, granny and empire)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp (1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup apple jelly warmed
2 tbsp cinnamon


For the pastry, place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor with steel blade.  pulse until combined.  Add butter and pulse 10-12 times, until butter is in bits the size of peas.  pour ice water down feed tube while running motor and pulse until dough comes together.

Dump dough onto floured board and knead into ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400f and line sheet pan with parchment paper **This reduces sticking and helps with clean up!

roll dough slightly larger than 10x14 and fold edges over. Place dough on baking sheet and regridgerate.

peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch think slices.  Place overlapping slices of apples on the tart.  I weaved these back and forth for display.  Cover the entire pastry with apple slices.  Sprinkle with full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with butter.

Bake for 45min-1hour, unit pastry and edges of apples start to brown.  Rotate pan once during cooking.

When done, brush with warmed jelly and add pecans if desired.

I will promise you, this tart is amazing and EASY. Try it try it try it, please.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home Sweet Daigs

I am so happy to be writing you from the comfort of my living room couch.  No, not my living room in rochester, but my actual home! Staying at school last night was so different since in past years I tried to go home as early as possible.  In some cases I would even leave for home the weekend before giving me a whole week of Thanksgiving break.  Now, I stay until the day before (not only because I had classes either).  I am finally home and snuggling with my beast.

I swear I take this same pose every time I am home...If my internet actually worked I would totally find one to show you from a long time ago.

Ahhh my room. How things have changed.  The sight of this hot pink actually frightens me. TOO PINK.  I still love pink, don't get me wrong, but this is taking it a step too far.

and babe. She looks so creepy on my comfy bed but I cannot get enough of her!

Wishing you all a great thanksgiving tomorrow :) I will be sure to take lots of pictures and remember recipes!  Wear your stretchy pants!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Crafternight.

I am not usually a crafty person. Maybe back when my mom introduced me to Girl Scouts and 4-H I dabbled in sewing, cooking, scrapbooking etc but as I grew older and other more "important" things began to take precedence, I somehow lost my crafty side. Craftless Kylie is no more.

Tonight I made it my mission to bring crafts back into my life.  I sound like a housewife or mother but trust me, crafts can be quick, easy and inexpensive if done right.

Tomorrow night I am having people over for a thanksgiving eve party, since Thanksgiving eve is the biggest party night of the year (or so I am told) and I am one week shy of 21.

I was browsing through Thanksgiving recipes during class today, yes I know how awful but I am ready for the break, and I came across this:

Reminds me of, Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake and all those sayings but this one was better...Holiday themed!

I did some searching and found a FREE printable of it over at Craftily Ever After (Click the "free" link to get there!)

I printed this baby out along with a few others and came up with these:

How cute, right? I am pretty proud of myself for whipping these up in five minutes and a total of $9 for the frames.  I should mention they aren't actually frames but "matting" frame papers. The black is velvety and looks nice and it was within my weekly budget!

College girl crafts on a budget:
1. Glue Stick, preferably a craft glue but all I had was Elmer's
2. Tape
3. Command picture hanging strips
4. Computer/ Printer with color ink
5. Frames with mattes or matting paper

1. Go to Craftily Ever After and get your printables, or search "Keep Calm Christmas Printables, or Keep Calm Thanksgiving Printables" and find an 8x 10, download and print
2. Glue the matting papers together if they're separate
3. position the printable on the matting paper and tape to the back
4. attach command picture strips to the back corners and stick!

Simple as pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 21, 2011

So Little Time: Chicken French & Reading

Hello again! Hope your monday has treated you well. I wanted to quickly share my amazing dinner that I made myself tonight, Chicken French!

Savory and probably not too great for you, but still hit the spot on a cold monday night.

I added a bit of caprese salad on the side but it really isn't too appetizing to my stomach right now. At least I tried.  
Chicken French
quick and easy
**I did not use measurements so these are estimates**

1-2 thinly sliced chicken breast
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 eggs
oil for pan

1. Crack two eggs in a dish large enough to fit chicken breast. Add lemon.  Let breast soak in egg for 1-2 minutes.
2. Combine flour and spices in separate bowl and place chicken in dry mixture. Allow for chicken to become fully dusted with flour
3. Place in pan on medium heat. Make sure pan is coated with oil.  Once chicken is placed in pan, add desired amt. of white wine. 
4. Thoroughly cook on both sides until chicken is cooked through. Time will vary on thickness of breast.

Last Friday night I made something else worth sharing:

Sweet Potato Fries (Healthy-ish)!
These babies are oven baked to perfection

What you'll need:
1 large sweet potato/ yam
salt to taste
pepper to taste
olive oil to coat

Aluminum foil
Cookie Sheet

Just chop, mix and pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

Miscellanea: Scarf

A scarf my mom made me! So great for the chilly weather today

Early Christmas Loving

Happy Monday and welcome to Thanksgiving week! The semester has absolutely flown by and I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday.  As I sit her procrastinating getting ready for my 9am class I am realizing how happy I actually am in Rochester.  The move was the best decision I could have made and a much better fit both academically and socially.

So how am I celebrating this semester? Going all out for Christmas!  I raided my parents basement Saturaday night and returned to Rochester with many goodies.  In my possesion includes a small tree, many santas, a wreath, LIGHTS, garland, Rugs, Tablecloths and candles.

The candles may not have been the best idea since they caused the smoke alarm to go off last night but we will work on it.  I figured I would start our Monday off as a festive one and I do not care that I am skipping over the importance of Thanksgiving and all the wonderful turkey I am going to be eating.  What are you doing for the holidays? Do you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Trotting: 5m

I did it! Today I ran my first ever 5 mile race! No, not a 5k, but 5 miles.  I believe that this is actually the first time I ever completed five miles on my own too which is a huge accomplishment in and of itself.

I am thinking back to when I first started running, the Summer of 2010, I hated it. I had never liked running and as I believe I have mentioned before, I was NOT a runner.  Well, low and behold (however that saying goes), I am a runner. 

The 5m race was something I decided to run in both to motivate myself and get me pumped for the half marathon training...What a great accomplishment, I am so ready for the next big challenge.

Okay so here is a recap of the race:

I was woken up at 7am by mom and my lovely dog. She is currently wearing a cone on her head so she doesn't bite her foot off and looks ridiculous.  I scarfed down some peanut butter toast and a few bites of apple and drove to Pittsford.

The weather on the ride there, a mere 25 minutes, was warm muggy and rainy.  Not the best running weather.  Luckily it cleared just in time for the race to begin, great luck.  I took my usual position, not too far forward not too far back and began..

Mile 1: I started out extremely fast, at least for me. I made it to one mile just passing the 8 minute marker, 8:02. Half of this was uphill and I knew that I was going to burn out.

Mile 2: Slow and steady, I reached her around 16:30 something...Not bad, legs starting to get a bit tired

Mile 3:Successful, and glad I made it there! That was about a 5k now only 2 more to go.  I kept trying to push myself further and harder but the course was very hilly and difficult to speed up. I think I reached here around 24 or 26 minutes? It was by far my slowest mile.

Mile 4: wow, writing this is so exhilarating, mile 4.1 and up was all new territory for me! I finished strong to mile 4 at 32 something, again I have no idea.  The rest was pretty much down hill to five.

Mile 5: Everything was sore and hurting and the thought of walking kept running through my mind.  By this point I had stripped down to my long sleeve shirt and tucked it under my bra, lets just say it was steamy out there!

Crossing the finish was amazing and I am so glad I pushed myself further to do 5 miles.
9th in 20-24, 42:30 minutes and an average 8:30/m, beast!

**side note. I always wanted a cute turkey trot shirt and I was stuck with this: Not Cute. Not Festive. I was very upset...

Dinner tonight really needed some protein and carbs. I am exhausted and sore from the race. My mom had taken me to simply crepes for breakfast and by the time we finished shopping at the mall I thought I was going to faint.  The mall was a really bad idea since I was so tired and worn down from the run but I just HAD to go. My 21st birthday is coming up soo soon and I NEEDED something cute to wear.  Also, if you notice anything different about my photos, they were taken from my new iPhone! Happy early birthday present from my mom! yay!

Omelete gone wrong. Ham, onions, tomatoes, and toast. I may have burned it and the omelet fell apart but trust me, it tastes the same.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Last weekend my mom and her girlfriends took a trip to NYC...without me. Selfish, yes I know, of me I mean. I have a problem with jealousy.  To lessen the pain and sting of her amazing weekend she returned promptly with cupcakes from Crumbs Bakeshop!

I have always had some fascination with Crumbs and Georgetown Cupcakes since the "cupcake" business exploded a few years back.  An entire business dedicated to cupcakes? Pure genius.

She brought back a dairy free vanilla with chocolate frosting cupcake which was sadly a bit dry. I'm not sure if this was due to the day or so it took to get it or if I am able to blame the baking... At least the frosting was yummy!

Ah German Chocolate. This could have potential but somehow decided to go very mushy and way took moist. Two extremes, not my favorite. I think I could make a better cupcake myself.

At least it was a nice thought! And they look nice! I would have to go and actually try them in the city next to the gorgeous christmas tree or something to really write a thorough review. As for now, I don't actually think they're worth it...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

S'more Brownies & An Apology

Late nighters are not my thing. Procrastination typically is not either. However, after an amazing weekend with BPG, Brendan and friends I am faced with the dilemma of completing tons of work so I can enjoy my Thanksgiving break, work and stress free.  I understand that many folks choose to catch up over Thanksgiving break as they prepare for the final weeks of school but I prefer to relax, eat turkey, be merry and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. 

That being said, I may not be around as much as usual but I do hope you tune into reading whenever I am able to post. Don't lose faith in me just yet folks, I'm still here.

To keep up with a little posting I am taking a break, aka procrastinating, from reading about Managed Care and HMOs. Fun reading? No.  At least I was able to push through 6 out of the 10 pages for my paper that is due Friday!

If you're missing summer at all, try these:
S'more Fudge Bomb Brownies
Once you try one you'll want Some-more. haha, yeah I really am that pathetic. Seriously though, these babies

1 Brownie Mix (I chose Ghireadelli Double Chocolate!)
1 Package of Graham Crackers
Large Marshmallows
3 Hershey's Bars (Dark Chocolate)

1. Bake Brownies in a 8x8 pan, use the instructions on mix to do this.  If you prefer taking the time for homemade brownies all the more power to you

2a. After brownies are fully cooked, remove from oven and place hershey's bars on top. Top these with Marshmallow so that entire surface is covered. Place in oven on top shelf & broil on high until browned! **This method causes chocolate bars to melt into brownie while browning the marshmallow, creates a very oozy gooey "fudgey" brownie.  May require refrigeration!!


2b. Remove brownies from oven and place marshmallow on top so that the entire surface is covered.  Place in oven on top shelf & broil on high until browned (2-3 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled remove from pan, add chocolate and graham cracker!

I went with the first plan and the result was an ooey gooey Fudge Bomb of a S'more Brownie!

They look like perfectly cooked marshmallows from your bonfire!

Cut and enjoy! For added yumminess I added a graham cracker to the bottom of each so that you could eat it as a real s'more. I am addicted.

I cannot give full credit to these since I tried my first S'more brownie in the Adirondacks with Brendan this summer. Jo Jo of course great a great meal for the weekly Saturday picnic and included these as dessert!

Caramel Corn

I never really took much liking to Caramel Corn until I came across this recipe by How Sweet It Is which incorporated any and all favorite halloween candy.  I immediately fell in love.  What a triumph to make my own caramel and turn it into an ooey gooey popcorn treat?

I made this last week but am just posting now since it was a secret santa sort of gift for my Baller-ina.  (Baller-ina's are secret gift givers to get all of BPG pumped for the big semester show.)

Check out the recipe over at How Sweet It Is and give it a try.

For the candy I chose Crunch Bars, Kit Kat, Snickers and Milkyway. The different chocolatey textures really added to the whole mix.

I also figured I should throw in some of my nutrition interest when I recognized this new "easy read" label. It breaks down the main nutritional values for you in big bold print. Makes me not want to eat this candy anymore!

Light Corn Syrup. An evil enemy. This stuff is ridiculously sticky and thick. yuck! Sure does make a good caramel when mixed with butter and brown sugar though!

Finally, mix everything in together and volia! Caramel corn :)

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