Fresh Out Of Dough

It’s not just running that has me occupied with a new curiosity. I’ve also been baking, which of course is the perfect counterpoint to exercise! I have been cooking since I was just a wee little one. Proof:

Beyond a killer banana bread (you know you want that recipe!), baking has never captured my imagination, like cooking, but I suppose it runs in my blood. My maternal grandfather made his living as a successful bakery owner in Queens.  You know you want some of those recipes too! Note to self…

It all started with an abundance of blueberries…I made chocolate blueberry oatmeal cookies, blueberry banana bread, peach coffee cake and then my attention turned to bread.

Thanks to Pinterest (follow me here), I got to cooking up some sourdough starter. I was following this recipe and using this container. Here is what it looked like at the beginning:

Even though the container I got looks identical to the one from the website, I accidentally knocked the lid and it broke, so then I covered the starter with plastic wrap and it actually really took off from there, so I am thinking it kept too much air out of the mix.

Once the starter was ready, I followed this recipe (sorry if you do not subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated, totally worth the money, but I am sure you can Google another). It’s an intense and time-consuming process and the recipe actually needs some tweaking. I will post the final recipe after I get it right. But this is a teaser photo, following the recipe exactly:

I also made a non-sourdough following this recipe. I took the basic instructions and added some olive oil, rosemary from a friend’s garden and a bunch of cloves of roasted garlic. It was a bit dense (might’ve been the yeast I used) and needed a touch more salt, but also delish. Here’s a pic:

Have I made you hungry yet? What’s your favorite thing to bake?


Catch Me If You Can

I am not an athletic sort of person, but I do try to stay active. Then back in the spring, out of nowhere, my ankle hurt so badly taking my dear pup, Quincy, for his last for the night walk around the block was tear inducing.

Cue obligatory cute Q pic here:

Does it get any cuter than that folks?!

After a diagnosis of tendonitis and months of physical therapy, I am finally back to normal…albeit with a new funky snap, crackle, pop noise when I am on my toes without support. There goes my dream to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy…

Not doing any physical activity for several months left me unprepared to spend all day on my feet and do some hiking on the upcoming trip. I started getting back on the elliptical, but felt like I needed to push further – so what to do? The Couch to 5K (C25K) training program! If you haven’t done it yourself, I am sure you know someone who has…it works. (If you’ve been following me on twitter, you know all my progress so far, #hikemasada.)

I start week 4 of 9 today and not gonna lie, I am little scared about the jump from running 9 minutes to 16?!

Calm his nerves or get the last french fry?!

Running does not come naturally, but I have to say, the feeling of accomplishment when finished with a run is amazing. So any running readers out there have advice for a novice?

Hold My Machine Gun

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a BIG trip on the horizon…Israel!

Credit: Pnina E. Flickr account – click photo to link

As a member of the tribe, my first visit to the holy land is an occasion to celebrate. I mean, I would celebrate any vacation right about now…but this is special.

(BTW – If anyone is arriving to this here blog by searching “Israel” – this is not a forum to talk foreign policy, so don’t waste your time. Thanks!)

BUT…this is a forum on what to pack!

So, let’s see…long plane ride? (check), city sight-seeing? (check), hiking? (check), desert hot and cold weather? (check)…and of course I want to do this comfortably, stylishly and efficiently…so, what’s on my list?

My go to summer dress:

2. A comfortable and secure bag to carry my DSLR, water bottle and the rest of my gear:

3. Sunblock!

4. A fun read:

5. And of course, comfortable shoes…but more on that to come.

Now it’s your turn, what would be on your list?

P.S. If you’re wondering about the subject line, it is from a Jon Stewart bit:

“They’re not the ‘Oh, let me help you with your taxes’ Jews. They’re the ‘Can you hold my machine gun while I take a leak’ Jews. It’s a different culture.”

There are so many possible titles for this post…Return of the Jedi, Welcome Back Kotter…yeah, I am not so good at this, but apparently, I am good at falling off the face of the blogosphere.

I am sorry I was gone and if you’re interested, perhaps we can talk about it at some point (ala A CUP OF JO). I can’t say it’s all behind me, but I appreciate the support I have gotten from all of you and the requests to return to blogging.

Some things to look forward to in the posts to come? Let’s see…I have a “new” job, an upcoming BIG trip, a jump on the C25K bandwagon, an out of nowhere interest in baking and much, much more. So stay tuned!

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping up with me on Twitter and Pinterest and if not, follow me!

And to go along with the social media plug, I’ll kick things off with a little something my husband shared with me that made me smile: The Fall of Pinterest


I am not sure this counts as a guilty pleasure, since it’s the top show on TV, but I sort of think so anyway…I love American Idol.

*Warning* Spoiler Alert Below:

My faith in the American public was tested this week. Perhaps, I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean the American public has of late elected Michele Bachmann, John Boehner and Rand Paul, so maybe they’re voting skills leave something to be desired, but really, they sent Paul McDonald home! Say what?! If you don’t watch the show, but take the time to read my blog, then spare less than two minutes to watch this…he’s good:

Let The Sunshine In

Spring in DC this year can only be described as erratic…one day it’s warm and beautiful, the next cold and rainy.

I could really use a week in the Dominican Republic, but that is not in my future. Luckily, five days in Phoenix is just a week away!

On the agenda – a trip to Frank Llod Wright’s Taliesin West, a visit to the University of Arizona’s Biospere 2, a round of golf, delicious Mexican food and some relaxation in the sun!

My packing list:

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in Candide Tangerine


Michael Stars’ Calypso Tote

Garnet Hill’s Cotton Gauze Long Dress

Restricted Wood Wedge

Top things off with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, summer scarf, denim jacket, brown leather belt and a mani/pedi! Done!

Houseware Heaven

I think I need to stop apologizing for disappearing, since it’s just becoming redundant. Hopefully, you will just enjoy when I am around. The only problem is, there is so much I like to share!

My latest favorite website? Fishs Eddy

Cute kitchenware at good prices. My three top favorites:

The Artist Palette Cheese Tray

The polka dot cereal bowls (my eggplant cereal bowls are seriously chipped and I’ve already posted on my latest obsession with polka dots)

And the vintage inspired glass storage bowl set

Anything catch your fancy?