All Warmed Up

A big Thank You to everyone who stopped by our house-warming party on Saturday night – it was a success!

My legs were feeling a little sore post-run, so I decided it would be a good time to make use of my compression socks. I wore them all afternoon as I cleaned and prepped for the party. Extremely attractive, yes?

compression socks

Mid-afternoon break: apple & peanut butter

apple & peanut butter

Next on the agenda: vegan molasses pumpkin cookies inspired by the lovely Holly!

pumpkin molasses cookies

Megan’s Slightly Modified Version

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, reserving 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a large cookie sheet
  • Sift together dry ingredients (flour through wheat germ), set aside
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, molasses, canola oil, and sugar
  • Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients, add 2 Tbs water near the end to help dough come together
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and a dash each of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • Roll Tbs of dough into a ball (use your hands) and then roll lightly in the sugar mixture
  • Place dough ball on cookie sheet and flatten slightly using tines of fork
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool for 1 minute on baking sheet, and then finish cooling on a wire rack
  • EAT! (preferably along with pumpkin ale)

Most of our party snacks were catered by my close friend, Trader Joe, but I did prepare another bit of home-made goodness: Spanish Spiced Almonds inspired by one of my favorite bloggers – Angharad, the lady behind Eating for England!

My version ended up being a little different (I increased the yield 3 fold and used chili powder instead of thyme), but I think they were still a hit! The almonds did get a bit too brown in the oven, so the following recipe is adjusted accordingly.

Megan’s Version of Spiced Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of raw almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder (use more if you like it extra spicy!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees, spray large baking sheet with oil
  • Mix the brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg white and water until foamy
  • Add almonds to egg mixture and coat thoroughly, strain almonds through a sieve to remove  excess egg white
  • Add almonds to bowl of spices, coat evenly
  • Spread almonds evenly on cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Reduce oven temp to 200 degrees, stir, and bake for another 15 minutes
  • Allow to cool and then serve! Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container for a few days.

Spicy Almonds

Party eats!

House warming party food

I started off the night with a Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale. Hooray for Autumn!

Pumpkin Ale

And a plate of party food (refilled this about 3-4 times throughout the night). Baby carrots, olives, crackers, brie, and iberico cheese.  The night involved  A LOT of brie, love that cheese so much :-)

party food

Agnes & Bill

Agnes & Bill

Megan & Alma

Megan and Alma

Darien & Megan

Darien & Megan

Alma & Alex

Alma and Alex

Megan & Diana

Megan & Diana

Kristen & Alma

Kristen & Alma

CPTC teammates!

CPTC

Mini-NESCAC reunion

NESCAC

And a few more of these were consumed throughout the evening….

wine

The night was fun –  I think I finally got to bed around 2am which is much laterrrr than this Grandma usually hits the sheets!

The next morning I was feeling umm…a little less than stellar. But it’s nothing a lot of water and some sunshine couldn’t help!

I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts and then H&H bagels and had a little impromptu pic-nic in Central Park: skim latte, OJ, and a whole wheat bagel

Breakfast in the Park

The weather was awesome yesterday – sunny and 70 degrees – so I ended up walking for quite awhile after breakfast. Before I knew it, I had to hustle home or else I wouldn’t make it to yoga on time.

I dashed back to my apartment and a had a little pre-yoga snack: banana and peanut butter

Banana & PB

And then I met Agnes & Katie for what is becoming a Sunday tradition: 2pm power yoga at Yoga to the People in the East Village. I was a little worried about doing the lunge sequences (my legs are still feelin’ tired), but I took it easy and felt like tons better after class. Relaxed and all stretched out!

As I was walking through Union Square, I happened upon the Pilates for Pink festival and scored this free bag of cocoa roasted almonds. They were the perfect mini-snack!

cocoa roasted almonds

After a shower at my gym, I headed uptown for an early dinner. I met my friends Joe and Chrissy at the Chelsea Grill (which is actually in Hell’s Kitchen). I’ve been here before and the menu has a pretty reliable vegetarian selection.

Chelsea Grill

After seeing photos of Jesse’s delicious grilled portabella burgers last week, I knew I had to have one for myself!

I ordered the grilled balsamic-marinated mushroom cap topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato, onion, and lettuce. I also ate every single one of my waffle fries – ahh, I love french fries! I saved room for the fries by skipping most of the hamburger bun. I’m not crazy about white bread products and I’d rather save room for crispy, crunchy waffle-y potatoes. Mmm…

Portobella Burger

And then when I returned home, I made myself a cup of tea and finished off what was left of this monster:

Levain Bakery

Are you still with me? Before I go, I want to give a BIG congratulations to Holly who just finished her FIRST marathon and Matt who just qualified for Boston by running a crazy-fast sub-3:10 marathon. Yahoo!

In the News:

Calling All New Yorkers: 10 FREE Ways to have healthy fun this October

Have you read about the new contraption that allows you to grow your own meat? I, for one, am really creeped out by this…

Has anyone tried the new Starbucks VIA? I’m interested in knowing whether it’s any good.

Question: What was the best part of your weekend? What are you most looking forward to this week?