snow day

Living in St. Louis definitely has it’s seasonal ups + downs.  White Christmas?  Yes.  Tornadoes on New Year’s Eve?  Sure.  Five inches of snow 2 weeks later?  You betcha.  And if you know St. Louis drivers, you know we freak out at the slightest talk of snow.  The Schnucks Panic Aisle was definitely opened last night…



Luckily, I was able to get a wonderful 3 mile run in outside before the weather turned too bad.  I might not like running in rain, but I LOVE running in snow!  And a little extra in the Vibrams made it even more glorious!


Both Matt + I had a snow day today.  [Well, technically I did, but I still had to go in, but left after lunch.]  And instead of doing the normal things people do in snow – build a snowman, go sledding, etc. – we took the suggestion of our local Fox station to make our own Snow Ice Cream!


Adapted from Fox 2 News St. Louis.  Makes 2 servings.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweeted vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 cups fresh fallen snow (you probably won’t use all of this)

Add sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to a large bowl.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved. 


Slowly stir in snow in batches, until it reaches the consistency of ice cream.


Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.


**If you don’t want to eat this right away, collect the snow and place in the freezer until ready to use.**

This is probably the easiest recipe in the world!  It took all of 10 minutes to make, including collecting the snow.  Now, our snow had already fallen and we just scraped off our patio table (I know, real sanitary, right).  Ideally, you should put a bowl outside while the snow is falling to get the freshest snow possible, but our way works too.

Seriously, this was probably some of the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever had!  Guaranteed, not creamy whatsoever, but when you think of homemade ice cream, it has the granulated, icy texture that I still really love.  If you are craving ice cream and have snow, MAKE THIS RECIPE!  Make it NOW!  Well, IF you have enough snow…


We are now debating on going back outside and making some more… I might make this every night until the snow is gone.  Just remember, don’t use the yellow snow…


major craving for custard

Last night, I had a major craving (Major Craving… ala How I Met Your Mother) for ice cream.  I mean, like I wouldn’t be satisfied until I got my taste buds on some creamy, cold ice cream.  Guaranteed, it was 15 degrees outside, but still… I needed some, and I needed some NOW.  I blame it on the massive amounts of sweets I ate during the holidays.

As I’m sure you all remember, our most convenient go-to place, Fritz’s, is closed until February.  Luckily, Matt remembered we had a gift certificate for Blue Sky Creamery located in Paul’s Donuts.  So, we hopped in the car and headed out that way.


[Sorry, Matt’s windshield is really dirty…]

We’ve only been to Paul’s once for ice cream – back when we were dating, and very close to the beginning of our relationship.  All I remember was that they had Twix to mix into your ice cream.  And although that sounded like a winner to me, I noticed the pumpkin ice cream in the freezer and knew I definitely couldn’t pass that up!

I decided on the pumpkin with M&M’s mixed in.  So, maybe that seems like a weird combination, but that was my other craving.  (Again, blaming it on the massive amounts of more specifically M&M’s I’ve eaten in the past 2 weeks.)

100_3619 100_3620

This was BY FAR the best pumpkin tasting ice cream/frozen custard/froyo I’ve had to date!  So cinnamon-y + spicy… DElish!  Of course, not nearly as creamy, given it is ice cream and not custard, but still dang good!

Matt got my second choice – white cake ice cream with Twix mixed in.  The cake flavor was strong + spot on, and with the Twix added, was stellar!  I almost wish I would’ve gotten that, but oh, the pumpkin!  (Mine’s much prettier too, doncha think?!)


Unfortunately, Blue Sky Creamery has gone bankrupt and Paul’s is slowly phasing out Blue Sky to Edy’s.  So glad we went when we did!  Now, if only I can figure out how to get that same pumpkin flavor at home…


diy: guinness frozen custard

So, it’s been awhile a week since I’ve written a post about frozen custard.  Seeing as though most frozen custard stands in St. Louis are closed for the season, it makes it a little difficult to keep up with visiting new ones + trying out new treats.  To make up for this, the Hubs + I decided we would try making some of our own frozen custard in our new handy, dandy ice cream maker!

So, what makes frozen custard different from ice cream?  Well, your typical run-of-the-mill ice cream is made of milk, cream + sugar.  What makes frozen custard different is that it has egg yolks in addition to the milk, cream, + sugar, giving it a richer flavor and creamier texture.  So, if you are ever making “ice cream” at home and need to use egg yolks, you are really making a frozen custard. [You can find all this on Wikipedia.]

And that’s your trivia for the day…

I must admit, though, I actually had no part in this recipe except for buying the ingredients to make it.  This was all the Hubs’ idea + development.  Plus, it has one of my new favorite beers as the main ingredient, making it even better.  What can I say, the man has good taste – he chose me, didn’t he?! ;o)


From The Boston Globe.  Makes approximately 1 quart.  The only change made was using a whole vanilla bean instead of just half of one.  I’m not sure if it really changed the flavor at all, but I like more vanilla than less!

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cups Guinness stout beer
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons molasses (we used blackstrap)
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, scrape the vanilla bean seeds.  Add the pod, milk, and cream.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Turn off the heat, cover, and let the flavors infuse for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together Guinness and molasses.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Slowly whisk in the milk + cream mixture.  You want to do this slowly, as you do not want to scramble the eggs in the process.  [That would be very bad, and very gross!]  Start by whisking in a few tablespoons at a time, and then slowly stream in the remaining milk + cream.  GO SLOW!  Pour the now egg + milk mixture back into the medium saucepan.

Stir the beer mixture into the cream mixture.  Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 6-8 minutes).

Strain the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap so that it is lightly touching the top of the custard, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

When ready, process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions.  Ours took about 5 minutes to freeze.  You will then want to freeze the custard until ready to serve, or serve immediately if you can’t wait!


This has a wonderful coffee like flavor to it and is not beer-y at all!  Don’t be scurred of the Guinness… it is not a beer-y beer to start with, and makes the custard extra creamy.  If only I had my own industrial frozen custard machine to REALLY get that wonderful creamy texture I love so much!

This is AWESOME with chocolate chips mixed in!  Your own homemade Concrete Runner concrete!  With that, I’m going to finish off the rest of the quart in our freezer!


…in with the new

So, remember when I said 2010 was a hard year?  Well, my wonderful mother had the amazing idea to have a Calendar Burning Party.  What better way to celebrate the new year than by burning away some of the bad memories from 2010.

100_3583100_3586100_3587 100_3588 100_3589 100_3590 100_3591 100_3592    100_3596  100_3598 100_3599 100_3600 

OK, so it still doesn’t change the fact that I still miss both my grandpa’s + dog terribly, but it definitely made me feel a little better and ready to tackle a new year!


Push myself in the weight room.  I am a very highly self-motivated person.  It doesn’t take much for me to keep to goals or challenge myself.  But, when it comes to weight training, I typically keep the weights lighter than I should.  I have dappled in A TON of different strength training routines since I tend to get bored easily – traditional strength training, body building workouts, CrossFit, Jillian Michaels’ Making the Cut, etc. etc.  But very few have given me the results I have been looking for.  And I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I stick to the same poundage of weights every time I go to lift.  So, my main goal with my strength training this year is to really start lifting more in terms of how heavy my weights are.  Actually increasing the weight enough to the point I burn out at the end of the last rep on the last set.  (A little tip from my CSCS background to you.)

Get back to running 7:30 miles consistently.  I’m not going to lie.  Marathoning makes me much, much slower than I prefer to be.  So, like I said before, I’m going to start training for speed again.  I just signed up for the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon in April so I have a specific goal to shoot for with that, but I am also setting time goals for the other races I hope to run this year.  (Note: my PRs are when I was probably in the best shape of my life… my goal is to get back there!)

5K - sub 21:00 (PR = 19:58)
5 Mile - sub 36:00 (PR = 35:48)
10K- sub 45:00 (PR = 44:53)
Half Marathon – sub 1:36 (PR = 1:37:43)

I don’t plan on running another marathon this year (I am more of an every-two-years marathoner), so I’m not even going to focus on that goal.  And these can easily change as things change throughout the year.  Who knows if an injury or other non-fitness related thing may come up to make these goals a little hard to reach.  I’m flexible… ;o)

Dabble in barefoot running.  After reading Born to Run before the Chicago marathon, I have been really wanting to try running barefoot.  One of the best things I read in the book was about why God (probably not his phrasing, but this is what I believe) make humans in perfect form except for their feet, the foundation of the entire structure?  Why are feet so imperfect that we need to put shoes and orthotics on them in order for them to be perfect?  That just totally clicked to me.  Are shoes the reason why so many runners get injured?  Maybe… maybe not.  But, I want to use my new Vibram FiveFingers as a tool to strengthen my feet.  I will never be a “full-time” barefoot runner, but I will definitely be doing a lot more barefoot running in order to make me a stronger runner.

The plan is to run 0.25 miles 1-2 times per week, building up by .25 miles every 2 weeks.  I eventually would like to be able to do 1 training run per week in my Vibrams – probably a short, easy 3 miler.  Hopefully by the end of the year I will be doing this consistently.

So, there are my fitness goals for 2011. 

Don’t worry, the blog will be benefitting from several other goals this year too!