On My Mind: August Edition

1. OMG there’s only two super long runs left until the marathon! Where did August go? Granted, I have to run 12 miles today (because that’s not long at all… who am I?) and then 18 and 20 the next two weekends, but after that I begin tapering for the BIG DAY (Oct. 12). How can that be? I feel like I’m getting there physically, but I’m not sure I’m mentally ready for this!

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2. After the marathon, I’m hoping to take some time off and travel somewhere warm. I don’t want to sight see; I just want to lay on the beach, eat/drink whatever my heart desires and not set an alarm for an entire week! I’m lucky enough to have a job with a decent PTO allotment and a boss that encourages me to take it, but I feel like there’s been a lot of chatter lately about how Americans don’t use their vacation time, which is just plain stupid. I especially liked Gawker’s take:

That job don’t love you. That job is not your friend. That job is not looking out for you. That job is a machine in which you are a cog. That job has no human feelings. That job is interested only in sucking you for every last ounce of labor that you are physically capable of producing before you pass out. It is not the job’s fault; it is in the job’s nature. Therefore it is up to you to look out for yourself. You gotta love yourself in this world. Take that time off. Nobody else is going to take it for you. Take it. Take it all.

Touché, Gawker. Touché. Now where should I go? Suggestions?

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3. Um, so I woke up today and decided that I hate my bathroom. I hate the stupid black and white checkered floor, I REALLY hate the old-school mirror/light combo, I hate the cheap over-the-toliet storage cabinet, I hate the color of the green accents. OK, I can really only do something about that last one (maybe two), but I’ve decided it’s time to revisit this space. It’s pretty much been the same since I moved in two years ago so… Here. we. go.

Opening Ceremony And 'Birdman' - Premiere - 71st Venice Film Festival

4. I’m really excited to get my hair cut tonight. I have not had many good hair days lately. The truth is I was on a medication for awhile that started to make my hair fall out! It was awful. And it still kind of is because now I have all these new hairs sticking out like a baby bird. But I’m hoping my stylist can work some magic. I’m thinking I should cut a couple inches off to help the little hairs “catch up” to the longer ones faster, and I think I’m going to use Emma Stone’s new do as inspiration. I kind of have a girl crush on Emma. She was hilarious in the Lip Sync Battle with Jimmy Fallon.

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5. I’ve totally been slacking in the cooking department. I got the new stove/oven weeks ago, and I think I’ve only used it once—to warm up leftover pizza. That’s just sad. But now that my grad class is over (and I’m taking the fall off), I might be able to get back in the kitchen. First recipe I want to tackle? Spicy beer shrimp sounds pretty damn good. Or maybe jalapeño cheddar scones. Guess I’m all about the heat right now!

(Images: 1. National Geographic, 3. The Gloss, 4. Chocolate Moosey)

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Foodie Friday: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

photo 9“Where’d you buy these scones?”

I had about five people ask me that at the Countries of the World Party last weekend. And that’s of a group of only 15, so it was pretty significant. Now, they could have been asking because they have zero confidence in my cooking skills. That’s warranted. But I’m pretty sure we can all agree on one thing: coffee shop scones suck.

photo 7They’re normally stale and flavorless. At the least ones I’ve had, which granted, aren’t a ton because I don’t drink coffee and thus don’t hang out much in said coffee shops.

But what I’m trying to get at here is that scones are incredibly easy to make, so stop settling for those chalky pucks at Starbucks! I’ll walk you through it:

photo 3Ingredients:
(Makes 8 scones, adapted from Sandra Lee’s recipe)

2 1/2 cups Bisquick or baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 cup confectioners’/powdered sugar
1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together the baking mix and sugar in a large bowl. Slice up the butter, and mix it in with your hands until the butter is roughly the size of peas. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and combine just until blended. Do not over mix.

Then, gently fold in the blueberries. (Tip: Leave your blueberries in the freezer until right before you’re going to mix them in because otherwise your batter will turn blue!) Don’t like blueberries? Feel free to sub in the berry of your choice.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and pat into a 3/4-inch thick square. Cut into 4 squares, then cut each square into 2 triangles. Arrange the scones on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let the scones cool at least five minutes before glazing; otherwise, the glaze will melt off.

photo 5For the glaze, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a bowl (make sure to remove any seeds). Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and whisk together until smooth. If your glaze is still too thick, add a little more vanilla and lemon juice. Pour evenly (I put the glaze in a Ziplock bag and cut the tip off to create a poor man’s piping bag) over scones. Enjoy!photo 7