The Celebration Continues…

I love how birthdays always seem to last a week. 😀

 

I still do NOT have internet in my apartment, and it looks like I won’t until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. It’s starting to really annoy me!

 

Thursday

After work, I met Meghann at her apartment for a fun girls’ night out. I was celebrating turning 23…

 

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… and Meghann is celebrating her 25th on Monday!

 

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Twenty three is going to be a good year. I can feel it.

 

 

The birthday girls headed out to Eden Bar for dinner.

 

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The Eden Bar is attached to the Enzian Theater, a local independent theater. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and great weather.

 

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We had our heart set on the Enzian Herbivore Burger (Organic brown rice and mushroom burger, roasted tomatoes, provolone, toasted kaiser) that we saw Ashley review on her blog. However, once we got there and looked over the menu, we decided to go for the real meat burger. It’s our birthday, we wanted to live a little.

 

The Eden Burger (American 100% wagyu beef, 3 year aged cheddar, arugula, truffle mustard, Texas toast) came with a side of tomato soup with a balsamic vinegar. It was one of the tastiest burgers I have ever eaten!

 

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Meghann was super excited about ordering the Purple Tostones (Double-fried purple Okinawa sweet potatoes, spicy roasted garlic ketchup). We split the order, and debated ordering more. I could have easily eaten more, but we were saving room for dessert.

 

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Since it was my birthday, the waiter offered us a free dessert! We decided on the raspberry beignets which basically tasted like fried dough with raspberry sauce. Yum!

 

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I was really impressed with the food at the Eden Bar. While the portions were a bit small, it was very flavorful. I can’t wait to go again!

 

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Jeremiah’s Italian Ice e-mails out coupons for a free small ice on your birthday. We decided to go ahead and get dessert round two. Why not!?

 

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I typically go for a non-fruit flavor, but tonight I chose Strawberry-Lemon with vanilla gelati. It was a nice change! I could only fit half of it in my stomach, I was getting so full.

 

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Friday

 

On Friday night, my birthday celebration continued!

 

I made a delicious taco salad for dinner. I was craving chipotle, and decided to try to make something healthier (and cheaper) at home.

 

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I used:

  • spinach
  • turkey breast
  • tomato
  • onion
  • pepper
  • cheese
  • guacamole
  • blue chips

 

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Yum!

 

After dinner, I set to work on baking myself a giant birthday cupcake. It’s just not a birthday without cake!

 

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I used two boxes of funfetti cake mix, and homemade icing that I dyed pink. Funfetti is my favorite!

 

 

I ate the whole cupcake!!

 

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Just kidding.  I had a few bites and called it a night. It was mainly just fun to make and decorate it!

 

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It was a fun Friday night. 😀

 

My family is coming up to visit me this morning. I still haven’t decided what we are going to do today. We’re going to play it by ear.

 

Have a great Saturday!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Sorry Doc, that’s Just NOT Gonna Work for Me.

I had to make lunch in a rush this afternoon.

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It was quick and easy…

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Ham, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mustard on a sandwich thin.

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With a side of strawberries.

I was in such a hurry, because I had to go to my post toe surgery follow-up appointment. It was actually scheduled for December, but I was getting antsy about not running, so I asked to come in early.

Once I arrived, the nurse took a look at my toes and said they were healing up and looked great! She told me what I needed to do to continue to keep them free from infection, etc.

The doctor then came in and said, “looks good! Only about 10 days before you can run again!”

 

STOP RIGHT THERE.

What did he just say? I thought I could run in 2 more days?!!?!?!!?

My response: “I’m sorry, that’s just not going to work for me. It’s been 12 days already!! I am TRAINING FOR A MARATHON”

 

He stared at me like I was a crazy person. After talking for a few minutes, he said it was OK to run… but ONLY if I followed these careful steps:

 

  1. Shoes: Only wear closed toed shoes for the time I am running. Take them off immediately after running. Wear flip flops with bandaids on toes all the other times
  2. Epsom Salt: after running, I have to soak my toes in warm water and epsom salt.
  3. Clean: I have to scrub the area with a baby-sized toothbrush… sounds weird, and it is.
  4. Dry Thoroughly: Moisture will invite infection into the wounds
  5. Re-Bandage
  6. Call: At any sign of infection or pain, obviously stop, and call him.

It’s going to be a process… but it’s worth it!

 

I’m BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!! 😉

 

I came home and skipped happily through the apartment. I also munched on some cereal Quaker Crack straight outta the box.

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I packed a granny smith apple with peanut butter to bring to school:

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Once I got home, it was already 10:00pm. I was craving mac n’ cheese for some reason… so that’s what I made!

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Spiderman style of course…

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…with a side of veggies.

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Chomp.

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I also made brownies for the boyfriend. He’s not home yet, so they are a surprise! 😀

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I’m sure I’ll be having a brownie soon, and probably a glass of milk.  The apartment smells amazing!

 

Do you follow the doctors’ orders, or do you rebel? I think it’s best to tell them the truth, so they can work with you, otherwise you are just hurting yourself!

❤ MegaNerd

Cookie Cravings

I have been thoroughly enjoying my day off. 😀

While getting a TINY amount of school work done [read: google chatting] I ate a Honey Roasted Peanut MOJO bar.

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I really like these bars, and this one reminds me of my pretzel dipped in peanut butter combination! I love the salty aspect of it, since so many bars taste so sweet to me.

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For some reason nothing seemed particularly appealing for dinner tonight. I think I’ve been getting into a “meat, veggie, starch” routine, and it’s getting a little old. Part of the problem is that I don’t really plan ahead, and never start thinking about what to eat until I’m starving. Hmm… something to work on!

I completely forgot about the Trader Joe’s Israeli couscous blend I picked up at the Healthy Living Summit in Boston a while back. It got dug out from the depths of my pantry tonight!

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Mmmm… so good! I will have to remember to pick some more of this stuff up next time I’m at a Trader Joe’s! (We don’t have them in Florida)

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Along with it, I made green beans, and baked lemon pepper chicken.

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I have been in a baking mood all day!

Something had to be done about that. I decided to make the standard Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, but with a new addition!

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I used up the rest of the reese cups from our Halloween stash in place of some of the chocolate chips!

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It was genius.

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Is it ever possible to eat just ONE freshly baked cookie? I think not. I ate about one cookie worth of dough plus two more cookies.

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Out of ALL sweets and junk food, I have a weakness for cookies. It’s true, we’re in love.

I think I might turn into a cookie someday.

 

What is your weakness? Is it cookies, candy, or ice cream? Or is it something salty, like pizza or french fries?

❤ MegaNerd

Mini Pumpkin Scones

Tis the season to bake with pumpkin!

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Every since Caitlin and I split the Whole Foods Pumpkin scone , I have been wanting to try them out myself.

(Here’s the one we had a few weeks ago:)

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Last night, I decided to give it a shot! After researching a few recipes, I ended up combining a few, based on the ingredients I had at home.

Scone Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 15 oz. can of organic pumpkin

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

  • Pumpkin seeds

First, I combined the dry scone ingredients in a large bowl. I then mixed in the butter (which was room temperature), vanilla, and pumpkin. I put a little flour on my hands and began to knead the dough. I split the dough into two equal blobs and placed them on the greased cookie sheet. Next, I cut them into 8 triangle pieces.

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I separated the pieces a bit so that they wouldn’t just close up again. I then baked them for 17 minutes on 425 degrees F.

While the mini scones were in the oven, I worked on the spiced icing! I ran out of pumpkin pie spice, so I used only cinnamon. I think it would taste better with half cinnamon, half pumpkin pie spice.

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I combined all of the icing ingredients in a coffee mug. Then, I used a fork to drizzle the icing onto the semi-cooled scones. Before the icing had time to harden, I pressed the pumpkin seeds onto the scones.

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I couldn’t resist tasting one while they were still hot! They were perfect! Not too soft, not to dry.

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I was also dreaming about these babies for BREAKFAST! I had two mini pumpkin scones…

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…and a sliced honeycrisp apple.

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Surprisingly, this breakfast was REALLY filing!

Of course, I still had room for my coffee… which I’m currently enjoying from the patio!

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It’s only 68 degrees out, which is beautiful for Florida! Since I can’t run to enjoy this weather, I’m stuck reading the paper. 😀

I was really nervous to try baking scones! They seem like such an easy thing to mess up, but this recipe was fairly simple. I want to try blueberry scones next!

What is the best scone you have ever had? Have you ever tried to bake them yourself?

❤ MegaNerd

Halloween Eve

Today was all about prepping for Halloween!

We are hosting a party tomorrow night, so I recruited the siblings (My sister, and JasoNerd’s brother) to help get things ready!

I made us a lovely lunch (only 2 hours after breakfast) of Halloween Shapes Macaroni and cheese.

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I think the shapes tasted better because they were cute! We have a bat, a ghost, and a pumpkin:

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I made two boxes, and split them equally between our three bowls… so I guess I ate 2/3 of a box!

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Not too much later, I was starving yet again.

I munched on some grapes:

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A CLIF Mojo bar:

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And some chips with homemade guacamole (made for the party):

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We then got to work baking cupcakes!

Brielle iced, Zach sprinkled…

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…and I pretty much just licked the bowl! 😀

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The finished product:

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After all the work in the kitchen and cleaning the apartment, we were pooped. The four of us plopped onto the couch and watched The Orphan. Have you seen it? That movie was disturbing…

Dinner

The group was begging for Chinese take-out and it sounded like a good idea not get up off the couch.

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My plate:

  • Fried Rice
  • Veggie spring roll
  • piece of Jason’s chicken
  • Chicken with snowpeas

Obviously, I saved room for a chocolate cupcake. Zach did a great job with the sprinkles! So precisely placed…

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Off to finish our Halloween costumes!! Jason’s makes me laugh. I can’t wait to show it to you!

What are you going to be for Halloween?

❤ MegaNerd

Pumpkin Swirl Bread

I am proud to say that I treated today as my weekend. 😀

 

I got NO school work done, but I think I deserved  a break. I’ve busted my butt the past week! Tomorrow is back to Saturday class, then studying for two tests that I have on Monday.

Since I don’t want to risk further injuring my shin, I skipped the run and headed to the gym for some upper body strength training. It sort of frustrating not to be able to run, but I know that resting (meaning no impact on the bone) is the best thing for now.

Once I got back, I made a quick lunch of stir-fried tofu with honey and soy sauce mixture, and some sugar snap peas, carrot, and red bell pepper.

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Veggies always taste better stir fried in my opinion!

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I contemplated making brown rice, but I decided I would rather save room for pumpkin swirl bread.  I made it last year from a recipe that Jason’s mom gave me, and I have been waiting for October to make it again!!

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Pumpkin Swirl Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups WW flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Filling:

  • 2 TBL butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

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Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the ap flour, ww flour, oats, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, sugar, and yeast. Beat in the warm water, pumpkin, applesauce until moistened. Add egg, beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1 cup flour until the dough is firm. Add raisins.
  2. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes or more). Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour on the counter.
  3. Lightly flour surface (I used the counter) and roll the dough into about an 18×9 inch rectangle.
  4. Melt butter in dish and spread onto the dough.
  5. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle on top of the butter.
  6. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Pinch ends to seal. 
  7. Place seam side down in loaf pan, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, until golden. Cool for 10 minutes.

Makes 12 big fat slices. 😀

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This bread… rocks. It’s not too sweet, but just enough.

Try it for yourself folks!

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I made two loaves so I could share with my pals.

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Off to clean the kitchen, and then it’s date night!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Chick-Fil-A on Labor Day!

When I woke up this morning, I had absolutely NO plans. It’s labor day, which means no school!

I decided to make some homemade bread yesterday since I never seem to be able to find bread at Publix without preservatives. I was fed up searching, and decided to try making my own.

It turned out super!

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I had a slice of the homemade bread with Almond butter

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…along with a berry smoothie!

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My smoothie had:

  • small container of Stonyfield plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ice
  • strawberries
  • blackberries

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I needed some berries in my life!

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Caitlin and I were g-chatting while I was eating, and she asked if wanted to go for a trail run at Moss Park! I agreed to go, as long as we took it easy!

Once we got there, we ended up changing our minds and hiking about 4.5 miles on the nature trail.

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I really love Moss Park! It was fun to be back! The last time I was there, I was biking in a triathlon relay!

 

Once I got back, Jason and I decided to go to Chick-fil-a for lunch. They were giving away free sandwiches, just for wearing your team’s shirt!

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Normally, I wouldn’t go for a fried chicken sandwich, but I will not turn down free food. I’m a poor college kid!

I did ask for my sandwich without butter on the bun and no pickle (they disgust me!)

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I also ordered a fruit cup

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…and stole a couple of Jason’s fries. Chick-fil-a’s are the BEST!

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I feel like I did pretty good for fast food!

 

I wasn’t really hungry this afternoon, but I had a headache, which signals time to eat (for me!) I had hummus and carrots, and 2 large handfuls of pita chips straight out of the bag. Had to use up the last of that hummus I scooped out!

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Dinner was pretty simple. I am working on cooking ahead of time for the week so our fridge is pretty packed right now! I really didn’t want leftovers, so we made a simple Mexican themed salad.

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My salad included:

  • spinach (must use the Sam’s club huge tub up!)
  • black beans
  • pepperjack and cheddar cheeses
  • avocado
  • salsa
  • garlic salt

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The avocado MADE this salad.

It was delicious, even by Jason’s standards! (He is soooo picky!)

In case you were wondering, the drink in the picture is a Sweet Leaf organic  Lemonade Tea. I picked it up at Publix for $1.00 and thought I would try it. Umm… amazing! I’m a huge fan of lemonade, but rarely drink it.

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I don’t mind drinking my calories, but it better be worth it! This was! (Although I split it with Jason).

 

Hope you’re having a Happy Labor Day!

 

❤ MegaNerd