Flock of Spoonbills at Mosquito Lagoon

Check out this amazing flock of Roseate Spoonbills (along with Ibises, Great White Egrets, and Blue Herons) feeding at Mosquito Lagoon in Titusville, Fl.  We were leaving the preserve after a bike ride and passed this commotion just at the right moment.

To see ONE is amazing. To see a whole flock of hot pink feathers gathered in one place is, in a word, SPECTACULAR.

Going… Going… Gone!

I LOVE Vietnamese food.  I always leave feeling satisfied and know that what I ate was relatively low in fat and healthy.  Proteins are cooked in savory broth, with fresh mint, crunchy veggies, and spicy peppers.  What could be yummier than that?! Plus, pho noodles = carbs.  And you know I LOVE my carbs.  😉

Delish!

April 17th: Running Violations!

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This is amazing, lol. My favorite is #9!

I would like to add:

11) wearing a CamelBak in ANY setting other than an ultra marathon or the middle of the fricken’ desert – $150.00

12) running in full make-up, perfume, cologne and/ or jewelry – $50.00

13) use of tutu during a legit half or full marathon (in any location other than Disney World, where that is not only ok but expected, lol)- $25.00

Easter Carrot Cup-Cakes

peeps eggs

Here’s a recipe for some amazingly delicious carrot cup-cakes that were a SERIOUS hit at my Easter BBQ!  I drew inspiration from the following recipe from the Food Network web site.  I was originally drawn to the recipe because of the pineapple.  The carrot cake recipe my mother has made since I was a little girl also includes pineapple and this recipe is reminiscent of that.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/spring-celebration-carrot-cake-recipe.html

Just as a note, however, the pineapple can’t really be detected in the taste of the cupcakes.  It simply adds a certain sweetness and moistness to the cake.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh carrots
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree

Icing

  • 2, 8oz packages of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks of room temperature butter (unsalted, of course)
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tsps of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tins with 24 cupcake papers.
  2. Toss the carrots, walnuts and 1/2 cup pineapple with 3/4 cup of the flour in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients:  1 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients: beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and light, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the oil and canned pumpkin puree.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 2-3 batches and mix using electric mixer.  When combined, add carrot and pineapple mixture into the batter.
  6. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes.  At 10 minute mark, move cupcakes on bottom rack to top rack and those on the top rack to the bottom rack for even baking.  
  7. Let cool before icing or freeze until you’re ready to eat.  

For Icing and decorations:

  1. Combine ingredients for Icing mix with electric mixer until smoother.
  2. Place in a piping bag with largest tip.
  3. Decorate as desired.  I used Peeps and malted “easter eggs.”  I also made mini cupcakes and decorated with some Easter picks.

 

 

Spring Break Dreaming

kite surfing

Another random pic I took during a cold and windy day over Spring Break… It was a gorgeous day today and I spent most of it indoors wishing I were at the beach even if it were cold and windy again, lol.

Good thing I got a bike ride in before it got dark!  Although I don’t want the heat to come on, I’m getting excited about summer time when I can spend most of my days outdoors.  I’m just Spring Break (and Summer Vacation) dreaming today…

March 19th: Secret Single Behavior

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So, do you remember that episode of Sex in the City where Carrie talks about “secret single behaviors”? Basically, it was about the odd things singles do when they’re enjoying some time alone and no one else is looking… Her’s was eating saltine crackers with grape jelly and reading fashion magazines while standing up in her kitchen.  I think Charlotte’s involved staring at her pores in a magnifying mirror and Miranda’s was slathering on hand lotion and wearing weird gloves while watching the shopping channel.

It struck me today as I was cooking myself some dinner that I too have some secret single behaviors that others might consider odd:

  • For one, I have been known to put coconut oil in my hair and dead sea mud on my face then go around the house doing chores like unloading the dishwasher or folding a load of laundry while I wait for it to dry.
  • I have entire conversations with my dogs about how their days went (don’t judge me!)…. (P.S. I can’t believe I just admitted to that.)
  • And, I have weird eating habits…

Today as I was cooking myself some chicken soup for dinner,  I decided to have the last bit of wine left over from my dinner with my friend Caitlin last night.  I then went through my pantry and decided to accompany this wine with a can of hearts of palm.  I munched and drank as I cooked and listened to Pandora.  It was tasty and held me over until 8pm when the soup was finally ready to eat.

Weird?  Maybe.  Secret?  Not so much anymore. 😉