Foodie Pen Pals: March 2014

The Lean Green Bean

This month’s foodie pen pal was great. If you are unfamiliar with what the program a quick overview of the program entails signing up from a month to month basis, you get set up with someone else (can be another blogger or a reader), you exchange shipping information and any dietary restrictions and then you give and receive a nice box full of goodies! Click on the image above if you want more info. This month my foodie pen pal was Yvette from San Antonio, Texas. My main request for my foodie pen pals is to send me any of their favorite foods or something that is unique or local to where they live… Yvette did not fail to deliver #punintended.MarchFoodiePenpalWhite Corn Tortilla Chips – tortilla chips are my favorite… with salsa, cheese, guacamole and with chili of course!

Clint’s Texas Salsa – what’s better than salsa with your tortilla chips and these are straight from Texas. Haven’t had them yet but I’m excited to try it.

Big Red – Yvette mentioned that you can’t get these outside of Texas so I felt extra special :)

Mexican Wedding Cookies – I seriously couldn’t get enough of these, they were so yummy. They reminded me of snicker doodle cookies, Dave said they reminded him of cinnamon toast crunch… either way they were delicious!

If you want to see last month’s post, click here.

we can’t control the wind, but we can direct the sail

Week7Results seven down, five to go
I feel pretty good about my progress so far. This post will be relatively short; I’m trying to stick with the plan as much as possible but dealing with a few personal matters is making it a bit tough but I’ve been consistently running 4-5 times a week so I feel good about that… so I guess you can say it’s been smooth sailing. This week will bring additional challenges as I’ll be traveling for work but I packed my running shoes so I have no excuse.

test your limits
Week 7 is designed as the “test your limits” week. I ran a total of 22.8 miles and my average pace was 9:50. My longest run this week was 7.68 miles. I intentionally deviated from the plan this week; I skipped Wednesday’s run because my knees were hurting from Tuesday’s 7 mile run. I also decided to run a 10K with Kenne on Saturday so it cut my long run short. We ran a local race, the starting line was a little bit over a mile away from my house so we decided to run there which added to my total mileage for the day. We could have run back but we walked instead because well, I was exhausted! This run provided a new accomplishment for me. I ran the entire thing non-stop so although I didn’t run the 10 miles it did “test my limits” in a different way. It was very challenging but I did it and I was so proud. I finished at 59:14 giving me a 9:32 pace, ranking 19 in the 20-29 female age group. Kenne wasn’t too far behind me and according to her it was a good run for her as well. The course had a few rolling hills but I was able to keep a decent pace. The best part was being able to run with Kenne and although she has a pile of bibs from different races this is the first one we do together.

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Belgian Waffles for Starbucks Lovers

macchiato       chai tea

This recipes was inspired by (created for) all the late night party-goers, the hungry all-nighters students and the workaholics that need a delicious and fulfilling pick me up to help them recover for a long day ahead. Also, this is a concept that Starbucks would be able to capitalize from it if they were to use my idea in creating Belgian waffles based off of their already popular coffee and tea drinks.
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cupake tasting recap: the best things in life are sweet

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a cupcake tasting with Boston Bloggers. This was actually my first time taking part in one of their activities and couldn’t think of a better event to go to. The cupcake tasting was at Sweet Cupcakes in their back bay location. I’ve been there once before a couple of years ago and I remembered it being super yummy so I was excited to go. The event started with an introduction from the owner who gave us a little run down on the history of the company, these were some of the things that stood out to me:

– they prefer to use natural flavoring and colors which is why many of their cupcakes look very monotone (with a few exceptions, one being the red velvet)
– all of their cupcakes are hand-made
– they use a signature double dollop swirl for the frosting
– they have responded to trends in the industry by incorporating cupcakes are gluten-free and even have treats for dogs!
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Irish coffee was being served by the two girls that worked there that evening and they also had full-sized cupcakes that were cut into piece (like a cappuccino cupcake and a Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting) in addition to mini cupcakes with a variety of flavors. They were all delicious but my favorite was the red velvet.
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The best part was being told I could try anything from the case {anything?! O_O}. I thought the ones in the case were off limit but with a huge decision upon me I decided to use a lifeline. The girl behind the case helped me narrow it down and suggested the hot chocolate cupcake is the best option for chocolate lovers so I went with that… it didn’t disappoint! This one had chocolate cake with a ganache center and an airy frosting that came with a red straw, adding to the cute factor. They provided me with a box so I took this one home with me.
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At Sweet they don’t make the cupcakes on location but instead get them delivered from their Hyde Park bakery. They order enough cupcakes so that they have around 50 cupcakes at the end of the day so even the last customer would have options and anything else left over the staff gets to keep. Considering this was the case I’m surprised that they didn’t allow us to take the cupcakes home… just a few minutes after I got a box another girl wasn’t allowed to take one with her (I’m guessing the one I got was an oversight from their end). Since it was a “tasting” we had to eat it on location but since it was already the end of the day and assuming that every night they have 30+ cupcakes left over what’s one day without the staff being able to take the cupcakes home? Oh well… we did also got a nice bag with treats that included a hand written note from them which was a nice touch. I can confirm that they were all delicious ;)
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keep calm and stay positive

Week 6 Results six down, six to go
We are at the half way mark! This week was so much better. After feeling completely deflated and losing hope last week things started to turn around! I made an appointment with a podiatrist who told me it’s either tendonitis or small tear which makes sense since it’s it’s very isolated to a specific spot on my foot. It’s only painful when my foot is enclosed (i.e.wearing shoes) as oppose to wearing flats or being barefoot. He gave me adhesive felt padding to put on either side of the tendon to alleviate the pressure from the shoes. This was my saving grace! That same day after having just left my appointment I went on a run. That was on Tuesday and per plan I was supposed to do 7 miles but ran 4.5 miles instead and I would’ve done more if it wasn’t because it was getting dark :). My doctor said that it seems minor so if the padding works (which it does) then it shouldn’t stop me from training… so it’s game on!
speed sharpening
Week 6 is designed as the “speed sharpening” week. I ran a total of 20.61 miles and my average pace was 9:40. My longest run this week was 9.04 miles. After my long run this week my left calves and knee was hurting a bit so I’ll have to make sure to stretch and keep an eye on it. I’m just glad to know that I’ll be able to finish what I started so I’m trying to keep a comfortable, steady pace to keep up on my endurance. So let’s just say there was no “speed sharpening” this week but I’m just glad to be back on track.
life savers   late night run

happy pi day! chilled mixed berry pie

mixed berry pie it’s pi day!
The nerd in me insisted I make a pie on no other day than pi day! I knew I wanted to make something but didn’t know what to make; ultimately decided on this mixed berry pie that came out delish! It’s chilled so it’s more of a frozen treat. I made it on a small pie dish so you will need to increase the ingredients if you’re making it on a regular sized pie dish. I really like how it came out but the crust actually crumbled and didn’t stick together like I wanted it to :( I made it with nuts and dates, perhaps I needed to add more dates? Let me know if you have any suggestions!
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cheesecake pudding stuffed french toast

stuffed french toastyou are the french to my toast
French toast is seriously one of my favorite breakfast foods. Speaking of which, have you had a chance to check out D.A.T. Chef’s layered french toast post?  His post reminded me that its been a while since I’ve had it so I decided to make some! This came out so delicious; I love it when I make something and immediately I’m like “why go to a restaurant when I can make something this good at home?”. After eating this, those were my thoughts exactly… and I also get the satisfaction of knowing exactly what went into it.
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