Archive for December, 2009

Baked Mac & Cheese

As I had mentioned earlier, I made Alton Brown’s Macaroni and Cheese last night for dinner. This was my first real time actually making baked macaroni and cheese. It was quite eventful, in my opinion. I had a lot of pressure from Derek also because he typically doesn’t like mac and cheese (I know, who doesn’t LIKE macaroni and cheese!?). I was really hoping he would like this one, especially because it is Alton Brown’s recipe.

Anyway, it was delicious! It had a ton of flavor and the consistency was perfect. The did not have onions in my version though, that was the only ingredient I was missing. It still tasted great without it. I am going to eat some leftovers tonight, that is certain! Here is the recipe, if you are interested. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

We paired it with a Southern Tier ‘Cherry Saison’ which we have had for probably almost 6 months.

The beer was delicious. Not at all what I had expected. I thought it would be a lot sweeter than it was. It’s actually 8% alcohol and has a very strong bitter, hoppiness to it. It went well with our meal.

For dessert, I ate a yummy peanut butter ball! These things are amazing and I must have the recipe. They are made by a friend of Derek’s family and I look forward to them every Christmas.

I gotta run, I am working on making Roquefort Cheese Balls for the New Year’s Eve Party tonight!


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Fillet O’Fu

I gave Derek this Alton Brown cookbook for Christmas and I was the first to crack into it.

We had some tofu in the fridge so we decided to have Fillet O’Fu.

It was a very simple recipe and we already had all of the ingredients. We actually did have to make one substitution, we used Red Wine Vinegar instead of Sherry Vinegar.

It takes a lot of prep time, like hours and hours, so we knew we would be eating pretty late. I think I started it around 5 and we ate around 9. The tofu has to be drained out for 2 hours and then it has to be marinated. We marinated it for an hour, but I would definitely suggest you do it longer, possibly even over night.

The result was good, I think Derek enjoyed it more than I did. It was a little too vinegary for me, but I still enjoyed it. I suppose I was expecting a little more since it took so long to prepare.

This was last night’s dinner. Tonight I am making Baked Macaroni and Cheese, also from the Good Eat’s cookbook! I was craving mac & cheese and figured I would give the recipe a look over to see if we had all the ingredients. The only thing we are missing is the onion. Hopefully it will still be good without it. I think so!

The marinated pieces were then dipped in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. I thought they looked delicious even before being cooked.

Served with a side of Spicy Saffron Rice.

Here is the recipe:

Fillet O’Fu

Stay tuned for Alton Brown Macaroni and Cheese!

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Date Filled Cookies

This recipe was sent to me by my Aunt Paula. I am going to write it exactly as how she sent it to me. There is a paragraph of tips/comments at the bottom that is very helpful. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


Thoroughly cream shortening and sugars; add eggs and beat well.  Add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly.   Chill.
Roll 1/8 inch thick on lightly fhoured surface.  Cut with floured cookie cutter.  Place a tsp of filing on each half of cookies; top with remaining cookies.  Press edges together with fork.  Pierce fork in the middle of cookie.  Bake on greased sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.


Combine one cup of chopped dates, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup of water.  Cook over low heat until thickened.  About 5 minutes should do it.  Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired.


The dates come in an 8 oz. package which is what you need.   Make sure you are buying CHOPPED dates.  I do not have a cookie cutter so I use what I have in the kitchen.  You can use the bottom of a round glass.  The size I used this past time was about 2 3/8 in diameter.  I think I make larger cookies than Nana did.  The amount of cookies I made with this recipe last time made 30 cookies, with some of the dough left over.

Regarding chilling the dough, the last time I made the dough late afternoon & kept it in the refrigerator until the next morning.  I wrap it up in wax paper, (flour the paper so it doesn’t stick to the paper when you try to use it.  It doesn’t take long to make the dough but it is the cutting out 30 circles with 30 tops & filling them in, etc. that takes time but they are SO GOOD.

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I had a 30 minute Tempo Run planned for this morning and man was it cold! I knew what to expect though by looking at this!

I guess it wasn’t so much the cold, but the wind was absolutely terrible. I could barely control myself. I bundled up real well, I was wearing two pairs of pants, a sports bar, a tank top, a long sleeved shirt, a short sleeved shirt and then over that I had 2 zip up coats. I also had a pair of gloves and a hat! It was completely necessary. Okay maybe I could’ve done without one of the coats, but it was brutal out there. At one point my left leg kept hitting my right leg and causing me to trip in the middle of my stride, it was crazy. That was the coldest temperature I’ve ever run through.

  • Distance: 2.9 Miles
  • Duration: 26:47
  • Pace: 9:14

So, it wasn’t exactly a tempo run and I didn’t exactly hit the 30 minute mark, but seriously I was glad that I even got out there and ran because that is what really counts. I was ready to stop, I was tired and my lungs were hurtin’ for some warm air.

I got the book ‘Run Less, Run Faster’ for Christmas and I started reading it last night and I already love it. I’ve heard so many good things about it in the past that I knew it wouldn’t let me down. I am going to revamp my training schedule for the HM and base it on the book so that I can follow along with it. It basically is a training plan that involves running 3 days a week with 2 days of cross training. That is exactly what I am looking for in these winter months. It focuses on quality, not quantity.

Please don’t forget to donate! I have until January 9th to reach my 25% mark!

My Fundraising Page

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2009 – A Year In Review

This year has flown by! It has been quite the year for me and I am excited for what 2010 will bring. Here are some of my favorite and most eventful posts of the year.

A 5K PR!

Completed My First Triathlon!

Family Vacation

Found an Apartment in NYC

10.8 Miles! Distance Record

The Big Move

Celebrated 6 Years with my Boyfriend

Ate the Best Cupcake of my life!

My First Movie Premiere

I saw Giada!

I finally had Falafel

I got Engaged!

And I ate at these delicious restaurants:


The Heartland Brewery


At the beginning of the year last year I made some New Year’s Resolutions and Goals. Here is what I was hoping to accomplish within this past year.


1. Complete a 10K race
2. Complete a Sprint Triathlon
3. Complete a Half Marathon
4. Run 750 Miles in 2009

While I may not have completed all four I did come pretty close and I am still very happy with my progress. As you know, I am signed up for my first half marathon this March. It was in September when I felt prepared to run a HM, but unfortunately that coincided with my big move to NYC, so I was therefore busy focusing on that. It sure was a hectic month and there was no way I could’ve fit a big race like that in there.

As for the 750 miles, I don’t have any excuses really, but I did come close to completing them. By the end of the month I will have around 715 Miles completed for the year! Not bad if I do say so myself.


1. Complete my claymation short film
2. Get a film oriented job

I did not complete a claymation short film and unfortunately that goal is set aside for now. I am however working on getting myself a film oriented job. Moving to NYC was a huge step in the right direction, I think I will need to give myself a little more time on this one.



Now onto Resolutions for 2010!


  1. Run 750+ Miles
  2. Run 2 Half Marathons
  3. Do 30 push ups


  1. Have a job that I love
  2. Start Planning My Wedding : )
  3. Make 12 recipes from ‘Mastering the art of French Cooking’
  4. Be Happy and Stress Free

These are goals that I find extremely manageable with just a little dedication and work. Notice, I don’t have many specific goals in my career/life list and that is because I have no idea what this year will bring. I haven’t had a year like in a long time! I’m currently looking into 2010 with an open mind. Currently I do not have a full time/permanent job and new things are happening to me every day.

PS. I got everything on my Holiday Wish List for Christmas : )   And yes that means I FINALLY have a Garmin Forerunner!!!! I used it for the first time today and it was amazing. I couldn’t stop looking at it while I was running, I probably looked like an idiot, but I didn’t care. I’m so glad to finally have one!

What are your 2010 Resolutions?

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Here it is!

The recipe for my mom’s famous stuffed mushrooms. Everyone in my family loves these and I’m sure they will be around for several generations.

Okay so the picture may not look so appetizing, but trust me, they are exquisite!


  • 1 or 2 containers of whole mushrooms
  • 4 to 6 Stalks of Celery
  • 3 Sleeves of Ritz Crackers
  • 3 Sticks of Butter


Rub down all mushrooms with a moist paper towel to remove all dirt residue. Remove all stems from the mushrooms and put into a food processor along with the stalks of celery. Make sure there are no leafy parts left on the stalks. Once the celery and mushrooms are finely diced, place into a large frying pan with 2 and a half sticks of butter and saute until they are soft and you are able to smell them.

While they are sauteing place 3 sleeves of Ritz crackers into the food processor, one stack at a time, or however many will fit into your food processor. After the mushrooms mixture is done sauteing, shut off the heat and blend the cracker crumbs into the mushroom mixture with a wooden spoon.

Place the Mushroom/Cracker filling into a large bowl or container and set aside. Place all of the mushroom caps from earlier into a baking dish (I use a 9×13 glass dish). Fill the mushrooms caps with 1 teaspoon of the filling and once they are all stuffed, use the remaining filling to cover all the gaps in the baking dish, leaving no spaces. The last half stick of butter will be used for the top of the stuffing. Cut small pats of butter and place them sporadically through out the top of the dish.

If making a day in advance, cover with foil and store in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake, place onto middle rack in oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until you can see them bubbling in dish.


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Orange Mango Smoothie

Went for a run this morning and it felt warm out! A nice 46° which is very motivating when compared to 29°. It was a decent run, I felt a little tired, but still managed a good pace.

  • Distance: 3.56 Miles
  • Duration: 33:37
  • Pace: 9:26
  • Calories Burned: 360

I had a delicious bowl of Corn Chex this morning with some banana. I don’t know what it is about Chex, but they are so good, they are plain, but I love them. I had a massive bowl.

I didn’t have a very productive day today. I’m going to make a schedule for tomorrow so I can get some things done and be able to cross things off a list because I love doing that. Tomorrow will be better and then I have an interview for a writing gig on Wednesday that I just know I am going to get. I’m excited for it!

For lunch I made a grilled cheese with lettuce and tomato and I made an amazing orange mango smoothie. I also had half of an orange on the side.

In my smoothie:

  • Half an orange
  • Half a mango
  • 1 cup of  guava mango Ssips juice drink
  • a splash of Snapple Peach Mangosteen
  • 4 ice cubes

It came out really good, nice and tart and refreshing. Off to make a TO DO LIST!

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