Archive | March, 2013

Eat: Award-Winning Coconut Mango “Nice” Cream

25 Mar

OK, it hasn’t won any awards yet, but it could.

Yesterday as Hardtack devoured this homemade treat, HE was the one to say this recipe deserved a blog post.  Sometimes, my concoctions turn out average, or “edible”. On rare occasions, I really hit a home run. I think this is one of them, especially if you are in search of a treat that is:

dairy free & vegan • low glycemic index • fresh & unprocessed • seriously delish

Before I jump into the recipe…I have been experimenting a lot lately with a very particular list of ingredients that are part of the Recipes for Repair anti-inflammatory diet. A big part of the diet is keeping your food intake gluten free and low, low sugar (low glycemic if at all), unprocessed and fresh. So needless to say, we have been lacking good treats. This recipe was a Race Day experiment (HT watches NASCAR—I cook) that ultimately earned a culinary victory lap.

Coconut Mango “Nice” Cream

Makes 2 generous servings (3-4 smaller portions)


1 1/2 small cans light organic coconut milk, separated
1 Tbsp. organic vanilla extract
1 Tbsp organic agave nectar
1 Tbsp organic maple syrup
8 oz. frozen organic mango
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus a pinch (trust me.)
I’m a big fan of the VitaMix so I use it for just about everything…if you have an ice cream maker this whole thing could become EVEN easier.


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Ithaca is _____. A Townie’s Top 10

21 Mar

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We headed to my beloved hometown last weekend for a break from that so-called “reality” and to show HT the sights. He’s come there with me before, but he’s never really had a chance to see the I-town I know and love. As a townie, I have a pretty solid go-to list of must-dos, must-sees and must-eats. Thought I’d share!

Yes. Ithaca, NY is Gorges. But it’s much more.

1. Ithaca is Delicious.

Ask me where to go to get a bite to eat any time of day and never, ever  be disappointed?


Ithaca Bakery, an Ithaca institution. There are branches all over town, but downtown is the best (and closest to home). We grew up eating dozens of IB bagels per week, stopping after church most Sundays and I never leave town without a locally sourced, fresh, bagel sandwich when I visit these days.

FAVES: Melissa and Mexican bagel sandwiches, Sherwood Forest panini, sticky buns & carrot cake

400 N. Meadow Street
Ithaca, New York 14850
Open Monday-Sunday 6am-8pm

2. Ithaca is Active.

I give Ithacans credit. Bad weather does NOT keep them inside. It’s almost always cold and or gray (or will be in a couple hours) in Ithaca, but it doesn’t stop people from getting out and enjoying the gorges, trails and fresh air. I love hiking Taughannock’s Rim Trail when I’m home, just a mile or so from my Mom’s house and pretty spectacular for a local mini hike on a well-maintained trail. She’s lucky to live so close to something so naturally stunning. Look for another post on this hike in particular, soon!

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There are also great mountain biking trails like Shindagin Hollow (dad’s favorite), bike paths throughout the city (and a “share the road” mentality) and a general appreciation for being outdoors among locals. Ithacans are good at dressing for all weather. Growing up, the radio weather guy’s favorite sayings were “wintry mix” (9 months of the year) and “The three Hs, hazy, hot and humid” (the other 3). C’est la vie! My Ithaca upbringing made Burlington winters in college and Boston winters post-college seem like NBD.

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HIKE & EAT: Sleeping Giant & (GF) Quiche Fit For a King

11 Mar

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We just had the most beautiful weekend weather, so we set out in search of a sunny day hike, less likely to be snow-covered at this point in the season. HT suggested Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT (literally across the street from Quinnipiac). This hike is a little different than our usual trails because it’s a lot closer to civilization and therefore more populated, but the trails are unique, views are great (even if you’re looking out over suburbia) and the biggest draw for me—the terrain is interesting and varied. image-4

The trails start out at well marked trail heads with plenty of parking, maps and all-season composting toilets (bonus!). We wandered our way into the woods with much less of a plan than we usually do, but it didn’t concern me, considering the “contained” nature of this set of trails. Continue reading

I Hate New Year’s Resolutions

7 Mar

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To me, March is becoming a month of goal setting.

I am NOT a New Year’s Resolution maker.  It seems to me that the pressure of naming a resolution just because January 1 is creeping up on you always feels forced and rarely holds meaning. I like to think about what I want out of life on a more rolling basis. Did I get what I wanted out of life last month? Will I get what I want out of next month? The next year?


Yes! Albert,  you genius, you. The interesting part about this quote is that to me, it’s a bit backward. My biggest goal is to live a happy life, but recently I’ve been feeling like that is a bit vague and a little too indecisive.

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HIKE & EAT: Bear Mt. & Birthday Treats

4 Mar


Hikes taken with HT are a little hardcore, always fast-paced and embody our “Hike the Hard Way” mentality. I like that, usually.

This weekend was different.

To my delight, my sis and some close girlfriends ventured ALL THE WAY out to the country from Manhattan and Brooklyn to celebrate my birthday with a girls-only hike on Saturday. For their lack of trail names, let’s call them (in order) Brooklyn, Blondie and Bells (Blue Bin Barbie fits right in!). No one made me the cake, above, but it does embody our day. Sweet and outdoorsy.

Brooklyn, Blondie, Bells, BBB

So they took the train to Peekskill (easy!), we awkwardly stopped at a really enthusiastic tea room in Peekskill for a pit stop and herbal tea (I had a bad cold) and headed toward a favorite hike HT had suggested up Storm King Mountain.  The city girls wore sneakers and even outfitted in my trusty Merrells, we quickly deemed the trail too icy to be safe or fun.


We re-routed and decided to go for a sure-thing hike up Bear Mountain, just over the Bear Mountain Bridge in Bear Mountain State Park. The girls were impressed by the pretty buildings in the park and we all loved the smell of wood stove in the air as we passed the outdoor skating rink full of happy, chilly kids. I’d say the one drawback of this hike is that ANY time of year, they charge $8 per car for parking. As we were forking over the cash I remembered why HT and I usually park across the bridge along the road and walk to the park. C’est la vie, this time. At least there were public bathrooms.

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