WIAW #18 – A Nautical Holiday

Happy Wednesday and a very happy holiday season to all!  Muchisimas gracias to Jenn for hosting this lovely event.  She really has a wonderful layout and always has useful and hilarious posts!

Well, I am actually in New York for the next couple of days (shocking for a Cali girl…details to follow), I’m going to share my adventures and eats from this past weekend.  Realistically, my eats won’t be that intriguing today or tomorrow since I am practically running all over town to have informational interviews. But I will be doing a recap of EVERYTHING I encounter.  I’m dying to replay the part in Elf when Buddy walks into the coffee shop and congratulates them on the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee.” I’m not sure I could do this solo and my sister is begging me not to, but maybe this is the time to throw the YOLO card. 🙂

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Don’t you love how the dogs made themselves at home?  Yes, that would be the COUCH.

What a better way to start a holiday break than with a trip to Newport Beach/Laguna and a 6k trail run?  I made the semi-long journey down from Santa Clara to Pasadena (only 5 hours this time, not 8 like at Thanksgiving), took a quick break at home to unload all my gear (I must have packed for 2-months worth of break, not 1), and then headed down to my cousin’s house in Newport. 

So I actually started my trip with some baking and dessert sampling 🙂 My cousin, Katherine, was geared and ready to make sugar cookies and this saltine bark that her tutor had given them a few years ago. I was skeptical with the inclusion of saltine crackers, but the end result was a caramel/chocolatey goodness with just the right amount of crunch.

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Pseudo Beach Brittle
Serves: A Lot (no joke, that’s what my cousin wrote)
Ingredients:
1 box of saltines
2 bags of chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks of butter

Directions:
1. Line large cookie sheet with foil.  Preheat oven to 400F
2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a small sauce pan on the stove.  Line the baking sheet with saltines (line up edge to edge)
3.  Once the butter/sugar mixture is melted, drizzle it over all of the crackers.

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4. Place in oven for about 4 min
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the base (pour evenly and spread around)
6. Place back in oven for about 1-2 minutes so the chocolate chips have melted.  Remove and use a spatula to spread chocolate chips around.

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7. Put the brittle/pan in the fridge for at least one hour (could be more).  Remove from fridge, break apart using your hands and replace in fridge so the chocolate does not melt. Feel free to freeze until you are ready to serve 🙂

As for the sugar cookies, they came from a TJ’s box and I have to say, the decoration looks like Christmas vomited over our creations.
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Dinner was a mix of Trader Joe’s orange chicken (which I had never sampled before and was slightly intrigued by), roasted cauliflower/broccoli, leftover spinach salad, and brown rice.  I supplemented the meal with some of TJ’s dark chocolate cookie stars and my new favorite…Peppermint Green Tea (decaffeinated of course, since I have terrible problems sleeping).  Boy, quite delectable.
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Sunday morning, we were up around 6, grabbed a little breakfast and were on the road by 7.  Since I am now into the coffee trend, I got to play around with the Keurig machine.  So much fun and I didn’t make a mess 🙂 A little pumpkin spice coffee for the morning, which was tasty, but not tasty enough to go back for seconds.  I don’t normally like eating before I run (at least not legit breakfasts) but a little granola (made by Aunt Katie), banana, raspberries, and milk couldn’t hurt.

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Not exactly an original PowerBar fan, but hey, anything free is fine by me! The shirts were awesome, a nice dry-fit with a pretty legit design thanks to Xterra.

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It was a part of the Xterra SoCal series and located in beautiful Crystal Cove.  My grandparents live out there, so I have made countless trips to the beach, but never to the back bay area.  I was able to weave around a good number of people but boy was that massive hill deadly.  I think it went directly 40-50 degrees for a solid 10-13 minutes.

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Here we are pre and post race.  First in my age group and my aunt got 5th in hers.  Not too shabby for a Sunday morning!  Plus, I had dramatically reduced my training at school (thank you finals) and there are no such things as “hills” in San Jose.

IMG_5132 For a post-race breakfast/lunch, we headed over to one of the best coffee shops on the coast – Zinc’s.  This was off PCH and we were lucky enough to snag a table right outside.  Katie ordered the frittata with a wheat scone and cappuccino and I had a power breakfast smoothie (fruit and tofu…surprisingly delish!) with two side selections of fruit and roasted veggies.

I was so lucky to get to spend this time with my aunt 🙂 We had a blast and it is always fun to catch up! 
IMG_5140For dinner, I was back at home and requested salmon, eggplant, and asparagus.  Normally we make the trek to Bristol Farms for the fish, but recently we have been shopping at Sprouts and not only is it cheaper, but it has SO much more flavor! (Sorry for the terrible picture. Fish is not really photogenic and the iPhone sort of failed me on this one)

And that would be my holiday round of eats.  Enjoy your Wednesday!
“Keep Calm and Carry On”

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4 thoughts on “WIAW #18 – A Nautical Holiday

  1. You have no idea how excited I was to read the album title lol I’m the nautical queen, over here! Those cookies look delishhhh 🙂 Congrats on the race!!

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