Fall Eating Fun

Well what do you know?  It’s October 1st.  Let the foodie partay commence.

BREAKFASTS

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When I’m not throwing together a hodge-podge of oats + nut butter + banana, it’s off to smoothie bowls and yogurt cups, all topped with any granola I can get my hands on.

IMG_6478Coffee all day every day.  I’ve tried to be better about brewing my own cold brew at home or sticking with the cheap basic sort in the office.  But, every now and then a little treat is necessary, especially when it’s so-called National Coffee Day.  If you insist 🙂

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My first time trying Dannon Greek and I have to say, I was quite a fan.  Plus the chocolate + cherry was a little bit like dessert (or so I like to tell myself…it will work eventually)

LUNCH TIME

Probably my least favorite meal of the day, mostly because I hate feeling sluggish or tired at work in the afternoon.  I try to bring lunches from home, packing in the veggies or grilled chicken breasts.  Let’s just say it’s less than exciting here.

IMG_6396Oktoberfest in Madison, Connecticut

IMG_6458The one and only special sauce made by a friend’s mom.  Apparently it’s a Sunday tradition and boy was it tasty.  The sauce was packed with veggies and turkey meat and I practically dumped it all over my salad.

SUPPER TIME

IMG_6505Eating out at Eataly
~ Spaghetti Squash Bruschetta ~ Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad ~ Cabbage/Greens Salad ~ Gnocchi ~

IMG_6232We’ve been cooking up a storm most weekends and I have to say, this mac and cheese is HIGH on my favorites list.  Packed with cheese and cheese and cheese, you really cannot go wrong.  Although, I let Lindsay take the lead on this one as I’m bound to cut corners and butcher the recipe.

IMG_6350Making dinner with friends every Wednesday night makes the week go that much faster and oh so enjoyable.  Lately we have been on a pizza kick but I think we’ll be implementing some good ‘ol Tex-Mex tonight with enchiladas and chips+guac.  I mean, 95% of the group is from California anyways…

Sweet Treats

Let’s see if you notice a trend here

IMG_6408Fall flavors at Oktoberfest – Pumpkin + Chunky Apple Crisp

IMG_6473Baskin + Robbins Pumpkin Cheesecake (this store is a bit too close to our apartment, which could be dangerous)

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The grand finale.  Why go out when you can enjoy the season’s most popular flavor at home?  Who knows, maybe I’ll turn orange by the end of the season.

Have you jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon?  Have you ever been to Oktoberfest?

September Life of Late

Day in, day out and here we are with another work week complete.  I’m currently off to explore Washington D.C. with my grandma and possibly run into some of my buddies along the way.  Sure, there’s way too much to accomplish in only three days, so I already have hopes of traveling out a couple more times.  Between friends studying abroad and friends out of town and oh this little thing called November Project – D.C. chapter.

So, while I’m exploring, here’s some more recaps of late summer and early fall in the beautiful New York City.

IMG_5861Waking up for a sunrise and a bit of teamwork with the local November Project chapter. Possibly one of my favorite photos taken by the DC chapter’s CanofSpaghetti.  Check out his epic snapshots of their tribe members working out across the city.

IMG_5868More work perks.  One of the campaigns that I run is the advertising for Redd’s Apple Ale on Funny Or Die.  Their mega campaign is currently surrounding the Oddball Comedy Festival and we had the opportunity to attend the kickoff show out in New Jersey.  Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K. were definitely a couple of my favorites!

Eataly with AshfordsWho can pass up Italian food?  I usually am not one to gravitate towards pasta and pizza but oh yes please.  Their dough and cheese combination is to die for.

IMG_5936Yoga in Bryant Park

IMG_5888Brunching at the Bluebell Cafe ~ Noteworthy Brioche French Toast with Berry Compote and Lemon Curd ($10)

Bluebell Cafe
293 Third Avenue (between 22nd and 23rd Streets)  •  New York, NY 10010
*Like any popular brunch spot, it’s best to arrive early and with all your party members 🙂

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Checking out the Yankees and watching Jeter play in his last season.  Although the people-watching was almost as good (if not better) than the game itself. Yankees were tanking…

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My boss happened to be giving away a pair of tickets for a random weeknight game.  Who could pass up free field-level tickets??

IMG_5802Back to my running days around Central Park.  It’s one of my favorite places in the city and I sure am at my happiest when I’m all healthy and running around with that view.  For the time, New York has stolen my heart.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Marvelous with Meghan in Manhattan

Don’t you just love Mondays?  No, well did you know about 78% of Americans get Sunday night blues in anticipation of Monday?  Thank you Fitness magazine for that enlightening information.  Anyways, since I don’t exactly gravitate towards Mondays, I turn to alliteration?  This week I decided link up to the “Marvelous Monday” partay and photodump my weekend with y’all and share the marvelous adventures with my sister and her friend Rae.  

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Meghan and Rae arrived on Thursday night and off into NYC we went.  There was plenty of eating and running and even a musical on Broadway.  Sure, I could do a whole bunch of restaurant review posts, but I think it will be more fun to bundle it all together 🙂

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Dinner #1 at Eataly – La Pizza – Flatiron district – arugula salad with raddicchio, endive, radish, and picked vegetables – QUADRATI con Ricotta e Spinaci – divine chocolate gelato

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Friday was a day of exploration for Meghan and Rae (Union Square & Strand Bookstore) while I was working.  Meghan then met me for dinner #2 at the Ellens Stardust Diner, where we both selected the quiche + salad combination.  It was located along Broadway near the theatre and had quite a fun looking menu. Most of the staff was made up of aspiring actors and actresses and so they would break into song as the patrons were eating, serenading us all with popular Broadway hits.

Dinner was followed up by a MARVELOUS cup of frozen yogurt (self serve can never go wrong) and “The Book of Mormon”!  Oh goodness it was absolutely HILARIOUS – and I don’t think i have laughed that hard in awhile.  Have you seen “The Book of Mormon”?

Marvelous is running along the east river trail in 60F (got to love humidity) and dragging Meghan to my favorite workout class, which KICKED OUR BUTTS.  Yes, thi week I even fell off the aerobics bench.  Thank goodness only the back half of the class was privy to this sight.  After breaking a sweat we cruised over to Le Pain Quotidien for brunch.

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Marvelous is visiting the 9/11 Memorial.  The engineering of such a space is breathtaking and inspiring.  We will never forget.

IMG_2144Besides the occasional rain shower, the weather turned out to be quite lovely this weekend.  Later on Saturday we picked up Rae and tried our luck at S’MAC.  I’ve been dying to try this restaurant (read…ALL MACARONI AND CHEESE) and it was well worth it.  We tried three different combinations and I have to say my favorite was the 4 Cheese.

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FOUR CHEESE – Our four cheese delight! Cheddar, Muenster, Gruyere and a touch of Pecorino.

GARDEN LITE – Lite Cheddar, Parmesan, roasted cauliflower and portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, broccoli and scallions.

CAJUN – Cheddar & Pepper Jack cheeses, andouille sausage, green pepper, onions, celery, garlic and, of course, some genuine Cajun seasoning.

IMG_2160 Still reading?  OK, thank goodness pictures are worth 1,000 words because I could go on and on and on.  Well, post-dinner, Meghan and I raged with pajamas, tea, and a movie.  #success

Marvelous is our Sunday Funday, which consisted of a long run in Central Park, breakfast at a local coffee shop, a walk through The Highline/Chelsea Market, and dinner at Vanessa’s Dumpling House.

Breakfast was at Gene’s, an old style coffee shop run by a few older New Yorkers (who I plan to make my friends), with classic diner food (not out of this world but tasty), and an air of familiarity.  I mean, how much better could my Sundays get with a long run in the most beautiful place in Manhattan + breakfast out? Also, what is it about diner coffee?  It’s so drinkable.

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Dinner was divine.  I guess I haven’t been exposed to decent Chinese food in ages and oh.my.goodness, I’m once again hooked.  I’m so happy Meghan suggested trying something new – inexpensive, huge portions, and I’ve expanded my palate 🙂 We finished the weekend with a classic Black/White cookie and the Golden Globes.

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Meghan and Rae both head back to California today and it’s been more than marvelous to have them in town.  I’m never really that good at goodbyes, so until next time…

Festival of Lights Half-Marathon Run & Recover

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I finished my seventh half marathon (NY Runs Festival of Lights) this past Sunday.  It was a bit of a doozy, mostly because the weather dropped from 50F (Friday) to 20F (Sunday) and was accompanied by 20-40 mph winds.  I’ve been waiting to see what the whole winter thing is about, so I guess there’s no better way to get introduced than to go running in it.

I’m sure you are familiar with race-preparation and so of course I’d have to start off my eats with Saturday night’s dinner. When I ran in high school, we would have team pasta dinners before every race.  We’d rotate to different houses throughout the season and would gorge ourselves on lasagna, garlic bread, and fruit salad.  Needless to say I was not interested in any sort of Italian food for the next few years.  These days I don’t have a “pre-race” routine or specific meal.  So, when my roommate Hope whipped up this homemade meal of pork chops and mashed potatoes with apple pie, how could I resist?

IMG_1406Dinner was followed by tea and television (or Hulu).  What can I say?  I’m a social butterfly. 😉 Fast-forward to the next morning and even though my race wasn’t until 10:30 (practically unheard of), I was still wide awake around 7:30.  So, I decided to force down some oatmeal, sunflower seed butter, 1/2 a banana and cup of coffee.

Oatmeal was actually a pre-race (or everyday) routine during my senior year of high school/xc/track, so that was a no-brainer.

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Why good morning New York.  Doesn’t this look inviting?  What’s funny is that I ran on Saturday in a t-shirt and shorts and was just fine.  That would NOT be happening today.

IMG_1410It took me about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the actual race start.  When I signed up for the race, I thought “Brooklyn” meant just across the Hudson.  False.  Anyways, I set out into the cold air bundled up in layers upon layers of clothing.  Oh, I definitely had a few moments where I thought about turning around and going back to the apartment, especially when I arrived at the race site and everyone was freezing, uttering some choice words 😉 and the wind was whipping around us.  However, I know myself and I would have felt extremely guilty and probably would have regretted quitting.  I knew I wanted to prove a point to myself, that I could do it, and I had already told a bunch of people I would run anyways.

Gear: Nike pants (sans thermal layer…might need to invest in those), normal socks, Under Armour running turtleneck, Nike 3/4 zip thermal shirt, Nike windbreaker, hat, running ear warmers by Target, and knitted ear warmer by my grandma Nance.

I think my toes were the most cold right before we started.  I honestly couldn’t feel the bottom of my foot and was worried I might roll my ankle because there was no stability.

Waiting for the race to start was THE WORST.  Water was jumping the wall and you could see it spraying the path that we were supposed to run on.  My hands were numb, despite the gloves and three layers I had wrapped around them.  I plugged in my iPod and just treated it as a nice long run.

To be honest, I was drop-dead nervous all of Saturday.  I would usually get some race-anxiety in high school, just because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  Sometimes I get these bad dreams of falling, quitting, or just finishing last.  My sister reminded me to “run relaxed” and showed me how she writes that phrase on her hand when she races.  Funny thing is that I wrote it on my hand on Saturday night, it ended up on my face Sunday morning, and I never even saw my hands during the run, but I guess it helped.

The wind certainly helped push us along as we headed south along the water, but retracing our steps was something else.  Each person I saw was leaning into the wind, afraid that one mis-step would send you into the fence.  During the last mile, I got caught by a bad angle and almost crashed into the photographer, but luckily caught myself. 🙂

Overall I managed to push through most of the race with my calves cramping only a few times.  I was extremely thankful my iPod didn’t die and that I had a decent playlist because focusing on the music and only the music took my mind off every negative thought I might have had.

I’ve learned that I may not be the fastest runner, but I am usually good at running hills and finishing races on a strong foot. This course didn’t really have any hills, but I did manage to finish strong, encourage a few people to push through the pain with me, and ultimately pass 6 or so people.

IMG_1420 Post-Race: My fingers were once again frozen, so I chugged a cup of hot chocolate/coffee, which did the trick.  Picked up some coconut water before getting on the metro (hopefully to loosen up my cramping muscles) and purchased a Skinny Peppermint Mocha before crashing at my apartment.

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Originally I thought I would have a big ‘ol brunch.  Well, by the time I made it back I was in no mood to go out or even cook an elaborate meal.  So, I settled down to one of the bagels I snagged from the race finish and smothered it in Neufchâtel cheese, blueberries, sunflower seed buter, and 1/2 banana.

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Netflix (started season 2 of Revenge!!) + hot bath + cozy apartment = happy Kaitlin

Originally I thought I had finished around 2:04.  Not really sure where this time came from since I ran sans watch.  Three layers over my wrist + my gloves prevented me from using any type of watch.  I actually liked racing without a watch because I focused less on the time and more on how my body was feeling and the pace of my music.  I tried to do the math a few times but that didn’t work out.

Well, according to the quick follow-up email by NY Runs, I finished in 1:51:12 for an overall finish of 44th and age group finish (20-29) of 4th!  I was beyond stoked when I read that email because for the type of training program I came up with (or lacked…whatever), this past week’s activities, and that brutal wind, it was quite a personal accomplishment.

To finish off the night, I met up with a good college friend who happened to be in the city on business.  She happened to be staying in the Flatiron area so of course I had to take her to Eataly. Confession – I’d actually never eaten at Eataly but wandered the aisles countless times.  Turns out there are a number of small sections where you can choose to eat – fish, veggie, pasta, meat based, etc.  We sat down and dove into conversation as if no time had passed.  I loved how our conversations have always been straight-up honest and cover pretty much each and every topic you could imagine.

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The spread included probably the BEST bruschetta I’ve ever had (had to do with the cheese spread on top 😉 ), a new take on gnocchi w/ broccoli rabe, and completed with gelato (mint chocolate chip/salted caramel).  Honest to goodness, flavorful and filling – everything I would expect to be “Italian”.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, enjoy your time with friends and family, and for more delicious and unique eats, head over to Peas and Crayons. 🙂

What do you eat for pre-race or post-race fuel?