Friday, November 4, 2011

Concoctions, More Running, and More Excellent Dublin Food

Firstly, i would like to say i am proud of myself for running yesterday. I had to get up earlier than usual, and - as has become the usual pattern - once i lay down to sleep the night before my mind wandered and my head ached. Even taking anti-anxiety supplements doesn't help much. And having a drunk roommate stumble in waking you up as sleep is just about to creep in...haha well lets just say it was a painful morning.

So i am proud i even got up this morning. It was an average gray day, and sprinkling just a bit, but i have become accustomed to running in that. I enjoy the sprinkle actually, because it cools me off a bit while i am running. But just as i had walked past the gate to Trinity Hall, the clouds open fired on anything not secured indoors. This downpour continued for a minute or two, during which i am VERY proud i did not decide to simply high-tail it back to the apartment. Fortunately, the downpour stopped after a minute or two, however the rain started up again after about three minutes, only to stop again, and then cycle through this behavior the rest of my run.

Naturally, when i got home i was drenched.

But after today, i have completed my promise to run Monday through Friday.
phew. now to New York to relax a bit...

just kidding. i am going to try my best to run at least 3 times during my stay.

anyway as thrilling as my running must be, i have an announcement:

I am going to create a recipe for the perfect peanut butter cookie.

as of now, my only real baking recipes have been cupcakes. don't get me wrong, i am very proud of my concoctions, but if i'm going to drop out and open a bakery, i sure as hell better increase my inventory.
currently it only consists of:
Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling, Caramel Frosting, and a Caramel Drizzle
not the greatest picture...
Strawberry Cupcakes with Rosemary Frosting (i am not satisfied with these, i will post a better picture when it is perfected)

Coconut Donuts
only the ones topped are coconut
Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Donuts with Maple Frosting

Coconut Curry Cupcakes with Garam Masala Frosting (this batch wasn't perfect, but i know how to make it fantastically better)
not a very good photo...

Okay, so maybe i have a few more than cupcake originals, i promise once i get home and perfect some of these i'll post recipes!

In other news, do you know Good Earth Tea? If not, go try it, the stuff is fantastic. But beyond the wonderful cinnamon Big Red gum flavor, they have quotes on each of their tea-bag-tags. I am starting to save some and tape them above my desk, along with a sticky note that says: 

Remember: Just because life sucks, doesn't mean you have to EAT

i'm working on that one. 
but right now the two quotes i have are:

Don't let it end like this. Tell them i said something.
Pancho Villa, last words, (1877-1923)

Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
Paul Valery (1871-1945)  <= i wonder what year he said this quote...

i just like those two :) another thing i like was my aunt's email to me that she is praying for me. i read that, and her prayer, and it really hit me. i do not care if you are nonreligious, anyone could appreciate the sweet words she sent me. 

On another note, walking home yesterday, i encountered a beautiful fall day. It is amazing how fast the weather turns here! My dad asked if i knew if the weather would be good for walking home today from Dublin, my response: You can NEVER know what the weather will be like.

oh so true...

so for those of you who don't know, my dad came today and we went on quite a feast-trip! We checked out two awesome restaurants, and in addition to my list of productivity, i baked cookies. crazy cookies made by combining two batches of failed cookie-dough and dipping some in sugar. and it's amazing how much better they were! i will now just try to get them to New York without eating the majority of them...

today was an excellent day weather-wise for my last of 5 runs. i don't even feel bad about not running tomorrow! i know i have been working my legs very hard this week, and today i did about 3.75 miles running in about 35 minutes. not that fast for most people...but i was relatively proud, more of a run than a relaxed jog. below is a picture from my window of the beautiful day, i thoroughly enjoyed it by walking in and out of college today too :)

my dad and i had lunch at Cafe Fresh today, and i was so hungry by 2 o'clock i left Neuroscience early and scarfed my food down so quickly when i got it i forgot to take pictures! but i did get one of my dad, and the cool indoor shopping mall, Powerscourt, where the cafe is. 

view from the open Cafe Fresh window, it's all indoors!

then we ventured back and baked, did laundry, and packed. then dinner at The Cedar Tree! so delicious! 
falafel, fried phillo dough with spinach, and hummous with a bunch of good stuff in it. we also had grape leaves

all the yummy food!

an accidental picture my dad's pretty cool!

a very fun night!

lastly, i just want to lay out my baking goals for when i get home. i listed them in great detail to my dad today, but this is just for all of you to hold me to it.

when i get home i am going to...
  1. create my own frosting recipe that can be a template for many different flavors. I plan to combine 3 different healthier alternatives to the usual earth balance margarine, powdered sugar, vanilla, and dairy-free milk recipe that dominates the internet and cookbooks. 
  2. create the perfect peanut butter cookieas mentioned above. 
  3. create the perfect blue berry muffin
  4. fix up my strawberry cupcakes and the rosemary frosting, i am thinking about layering strawberries IN the actual cupcake, so that the consistency is more cupcake-y and less muffin like, but still with loads of oozing strawberry chunks
  5. perfect my coconut curry cupcakeswhich is perhaps the easiest of these tasks
  6. create a healthy "cupcake" for my sister that has tons of nutrients and whole grains and even vegetables, yet tastes like a dessert to her. this is by far the hardest task, not because making a healthy cupcake/muffin is that hard, my sister is just the pickiest eater i know
  7. create an apple-pecan-caramel cupcake, any frosting suggestions? :) i am thinking a simple "cream cheese" frosting, but making the "cream cheese" myself (i hate how processed the store stuff is), with cashew butter and coconut cream as a base. we'll see
  8. make this
yes, that's about it for this post. off to London tomorrow to watch an Arsenal game with my dad and go to another vegan restaurant! don't worry, i'll take pictures for you Arsenal fans ;)


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