Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Healthy Apple Crisp

Happy Leap Day!!!

In honor of the rareness that is this day, I'm going to do something a little a recipe that I, myself, have not made. But I do have my reasons.

A.) This is by far the most delicious thing I have ever eaten (at least in the past month) and I do not want to make you all wait until I am home with my own kitchen and can finally try it for myself before gracing you with this amazing recipe!

B.) I trust that the recipe is accurate and will turn out just as delicious as the one (or three) servings that I had!

So as you can probably imagine I (mostly my mother) pay a pretty steep price to come to BU, but I have encountered several things over the past 2 years that completely justify this to myself (and I'm working on my mom). And one of these things is BU's Dining Services. They are incredible!! I look forward to eating college food! For serious...they have something for everyone! And another thing I love is their Sargent Choice program.

At every dining hall and at every meal there are always a few "Sargent Choice options" which is keyword for amazing, delicious food THAT IS ALSO GOOD FOR YOU! They cook with whole grains, add more veggies, and eliminate really bad foods from their dishes. And you know what...IT STILL TASTES GOOD! It is rare that I won't get a Sargent Choice option because I personally think they are better than regular options.

Some of my favorites are their Sweet and Sour Chicken, their whole wheat pizzas, their Mustard Maple Pork Tenderloin, and THEIR APPLE CRISP!

It may not look like much, but trust is. My camera phone is just really bad!

Now, I usually avoid the dessert table because I'm a good little girl, but this caught my eye when I was going to get a bowl of fruit. And the sign said it was Sargent Choice Apple I thought "Hey...I like apple crisp...I just got back from the gym...I know Sargent Choice is healthy...So therefore, I can guiltlessly eat a bowl of this apple crisp." (And then I guiltily ate 2 more bowls..but that's besides the point).

I fell in love at first bite! It's everything you need in an Apple Crisp without all the unnecessary fat and calories. So I immediately found the recipe and now I will share it with you so you can all enjoy this (almost) guilt-free dessert AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Sargent Choice Apple Crisp Recipe:
            3 lbs apples (approx. 9 medium apples), sliced
            1 TB Lemon Juice
            1/4 cup white sugar
            1 TB cornstarch
            1/4 cup whole wheat flour
            2/3 cup rolled oats
            1/2 cup brown sugar
            1 tsp cinnamon
            1/8 tsp salt
            1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. For the topping: Combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and canola oil in a medium bowl and work them together with a fork or your fingertips until uniformly moistened.
2. To make the filling:  Combine the apples peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices), lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.
3. To assemble:  Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the apple mixture to the dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.  Bake until the apples are fork-tender and the topping is golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
Serves 12


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Descendants and Panera Bread

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a great week.  I don't know what is wrong with the world but I actually had no homework almost all week. Crazy! Which is good, because I have a HUGE conference coming up tomorrow called PR Advanced. Me and my fellow committee members have been planning this all year and public relations professionals from all over are coming to BU to speak and do speed networking, a career fair, and different breakout sessions. It's going to be awesome! And hopefully I make a good impression and get an internship for the summer. So that's what my entire week has been spent doing...preparing for tomorrow. So wish me luck!

With all my free time, however, I FINALLY got to see The Descendants! I'm pretty sure this had to be the last week it was in theaters because it came out forever ago. And you wouldn't believe how many people were there! I was stunned.

So anyway, the movie was not at all what I was expecting. But I guess the only thing I did know was that George Clooney played a dad in some messed up family. Well..that was definitely true! I'll start off by saying that I loved Clooney and Shailene Woodley in this movie. They had awesome chemistry and it was very real. Same goes for his younger daughter, played by Amara Miller, and of course the punk best friend, played by Nick Krause. The characters were by far my favorite part of this movie. The acting was amazing.

(This is just a picture from's Sexiest Men Alive album for your viewing pleasure. Damn, he's good-looking! I mean he wears a Hawaiian shirt through this entire movie and still looks damn sexy! Only George Clooney could pull that off...)

As far as the story line goes, it was definitely different. At times it felt pretty long and drawn out. I found myself getting a little bored at some parts and looking at my watch like 'how long is this movie??' Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't say it's a boring movie, it just drags on in parts. It has a lot of really dark and subtle humor that I loved.

So overall, I liked was just very...I guess "different" is the only word I can think of to describe it.

And then after the movie me and my friend Nick went to the Panera Bread next door because I still have a gift card from my birthday to use. I ordered the You Pick Two (naturally) with the Steak Balsamico and the Classic Salad with an apple (you have no idea how much it killed me not to get the whole grain baguette, but I'm trying to cut back on bread...key word: trying).

I had gotten the Steak Balsamico once before when it first came out and immediately fell in love!! It is everything you could possible want in a panini! Steak, tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and a balsamic basil spread on ciabatta. Heaven! Seriously, you need to try this, it is so good!

And for some reason, which remains unknown to me, I didn't take a picture of it. What is wrong with me?? So instead I'm just google imaging it so you can see it's photoshopped amazingness. Here's a pic I stole from

One thing I don't understand is why there are no black grill marks, or even darkened ones. It looks like they just left this in a turned off panini machine overnight so it left indents without actually cooking it. But the cheese is melting so I guess it is warm. Anyway, this is actually what my sandwich looked like. I was impressed.

Another thing I was impressed with was the new table locators!! (Are they new? Or is this just a Massachusettes thing?) So instead of getting a buzzer that goes off and scares the crap out of you when your food is ready, you get a similar-looking device that you set on your table and the "waiting staff" comes and brings your food to you! How awesome is that?? Genius Panera Bread..genius.

Now that I think about it, I know why I forgot to take a picture...I was too amazed by the table locator! I mean, really, how do they know? I checked the waiter out and he did not have a GPS tracker in his hand or anything. And this is a big Panera Bread, like there are 3 different sections and the tables are all close together and it was packed! I was amazed.

And one last thing that I love about Panera Bread...the nutrition calculator on their website. It's so helpful! Especially if you're like me and like to research the nutrition facts of a restaurant before you visit it. (But you don't even really have to with Panera because it's all right on their menu..everyone should do that!) On their calculator though, you can even sub out different ingredients, like different bread and such, and see what the new nutritional info would be. Genius!

According to this, my entire meal came to 660 calories. 440 of which came from one of the most delicious sandwiches I've ever had. Ever.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and here's one more for the road...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

IHOP Simple and Fit Menu

Happy Tuesday! (technically Monday) Tuesday technically just disappears, which is pretty awesome because my Tuesdays are nonstop from 10am to 8pm. So yay to no Tuesdays!

So this weekend, along with being able to cook again, my aunt and uncle also treated me to some IHOP for brunch! Score! And I was very pleased to see that even they had jumped on the healthy menu options bandwagon with their new Simple and Fit Menu. The only difference is that the items on the Simple and Fit menu use egg substitute, turkey bacon, and whole wheat/all grain products (for french toast and pancakes).  Everything on the menu is under 600 calories.

I was very pleased with the number of options. There were 3 different omelette options, a breakfast combo, a french toast combo, a crepe combo, and of course PANCAKES! I was very torn between the French Toast combo for 490 calories (2 pieces of whole wheat french toast with sliced bananas on top with a side of scrambled egg substitute and 2 slices of turkey bacon) and the Blueberry Pancake combo for 560 calories (2 blueberry harvest grain and nut pancakes [which contained blueberries, grains, oats, almonds AND walnuts!] topped with banana slices with a side of egg substitute).

In the end I decided that I couldn't come to IHOP without getting pancakes, especially ones with blueberries AND walnuts in them! And I believe I made the right decision.

Yum! I want to go back in time and eat it again! They had sugar-free syrup available upon request. That stuff only has 30 calories in 1/4 cup!!??!! How is that possible? Maybe I don't want to know, but it still tasted just as good as regular syrup! And I loveeeee syrup! So to save 700% of the calories that are in regular maple syrup (210 per 1/4 cup) I was in heaven! So my full meal came to just around 600 calories. The perfect brunch! (And I also had coffee...lots and lots of coffee...I mean it was free refills, come on!)

I'm very glad I don't have one anywhere near me or I probably would have returned already to try the french toast, but I suppose that's for another time.

By the way, here's a picture of my pre-brunch snack.

My uncle makes an AMAZING fruit salad that he always has on-hand in the fridge. It's chopped apples, pears, oranges, peaches and grapes! All soaked in orange juice! Right?! So good. I probably had 5 bowls in the less than 24 hours that I was there.

Also, sorry to make you even more jealous, but here's a beautiful shot of the mouth of the harbor near their house.

If you couldn't tell, it was a really nice visit. Too bad every weekend isn't three days long!

I hope everyone has a fabulous short week!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

French Onion Soup

Three day weekend! Three day weekend!

I never quite understood President's Day. What are we celebrating? George Washington's Birthday? Abe Lincoln's? Barack Obama in general? I don't get it.

Well I just typed "President's Day" into Wikipedia and "Washington's Birthday" popped up so I guess that settles that. But new question...why are we still celebrating his birthday hundreds of years later? Was he even that good of a president? No. Not good enough for everyone to get his birthday off! What is this world coming to? There are a few people I could see deserving a holiday. Abraham Lincoln's birthday?...okay. FDR's...sure. Hillary Clinton's...most definitely! Okay, I digress.

Since it was a three day weekend I got to go hang out with some family last night where I got to use a KITCHEN again!!! Yay! I think they really enjoyed it too because I made French Onion Soup!

Jealous? Thought so.

But don't fear because this is a very easy recipe and it tastes just as good as any soup you'll get in a restaurant and it's probably even healthier!

I adopted this recipe from Real Simple magazine and you probably have most, if not all, of these ingredients already in your kitchen. Super easy! Give it a shot!

French Onion Soup
Serves 4


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 large onions (any kind will do)
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2-3/4 cups of Sherry
  • 14 oz (1 3/4 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 slices of baguette (I like to use multigrain for extra healthiness)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

1.  Slice up all three onions into thick ribbons. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan and add the onions. Stir to coat in olive oil and add your thyme and a little salt. Stir it all together and partially cover the pot, stirring occasionally, and let them caramelize for about 15 minutes until they have a golden brown color.

2. Once caramelized, add the sherry and allow it to cook down for about 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock, water, and soy sauce. Stir everything together and bring it up to a boil. Then reduce to low to simmer for about 20 minutes partially covered.

4. Meanwhile, slice your baguette and toast the slices (either in a toaster or under the broiler in the oven). Once toasted, cut the toast into bite-sized pieces.

(You can use one slice of bread or however much you want, I just used up the whole loaf. And for the cheese, I would buy pre-sliced swiss just to make your life easier, but we got a block of it because it was on sale and it worked just fine. I'm just not a very good cheese-cutter)

5. After 20 minutes, taste test the soup. Add some more thyme, salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch with a ladle full of soup and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved then stir mixture back into the soup. Let it cook a few more minutes.

6. Preheat broiler to high. Place soup bowls on a sturdy cookie sheet or any oven-safe pan. Divide the soup evenly among the 4 bowls. Add the cubed bread into each bowl and top with the shredded mozzarella (if using) then layer the swiss cheese on top.

7. Place bowls under the broil and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly and French Onion Soupy.

Make sure you use oven mitts to touch the bowls because they will obviously be hot. And I would put them on plates. You could also make the soup part ahead of time and put it in the fridge and then just bring it back up to a boil and start with Step 6 when you're ready to eat. It's a little time consuming but so worth it! Classic comfort food!

CLICK HERE for the printable version.

Everyone enjoy! And have a Happy Washington's Birthday? ...I still don't get it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day!

Happy Wednesday everybody! I hope you had a fantastic Valentine's Day! Of course my Tuesday's are the busiest days of my week, but that didn't stop me! I got out of class at and my roomie ordered some sushi delivery from Kayuga down the street on Comm Ave from We mostly just did this because we had $5 coupons but even still it was a really good deal! We got the spicy tuna roll and a shrimp tempura roll and they were each about $7 plus $3 delivery charge and tip. It did take a little longer for them to deliver because it was Valentine's Day but overall I was pretty pleased. Check out's an interesting site for us lazy people. Or us people who feel we deserve to treat ourselves like princesses on Valentine's Day!

As far as the food goes, the shrimp tempura roll (on the right) was probably the most delicious roll of sushi I've ever had. (Which really isn't saying much because I've only been living in the city for a year and a half now so I really haven't had that much sushi. And I definitely haven't had high-quality (read:expensive) sushi before. But it was still delicious!)

The spicy tuna was pretty bland. It wasn't spicy at all so it was just kind of needed a good dousing in soy sauce first but I won't complain.

We also picked up some chocolate-covered strawberries and NEON YELLOW sweetheart-shaped cheesecake from our food court.

The cheesecake looked prettier before it fell all over the place in our bag but still. It was very good (despite being neon yellow).

And of course...what would Valentine's Day have been without seeing Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams practically naked? Not Valentine's Day at all..that's what. So me and my girlfriends went to the movies and I convinced (read:threatened) them to let us stay until 10:15 to see The Vow (because the 9:30 one we wanted to see was sold out..shocker) and as much as I want to see both The Descendants and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I was not going to not see the Vow on Valentine's Day and that's final!

This is us waiting the 45 extra minutes for the movie to start.

I never get the stupid face memo..I just innocently smile in every picture.

And then of course when they both behave I'm laughing like an idiot at something..sigh..

I think this represents our personalities much better anyway!

So anywho, the movie was pretty good. Not as good as I was expecting, but typical, predictable romantic movie. The plot was interesting I just wasn't drawn in enough I guess. A successful romance film requires me crying, me laughing, me staring at the screen shouting WHY DOESN'T THIS HAPPEN TO MEEEE??? I don't think my standards are that high, but still.

Which brings me to my final thought...I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THE LUCKY ONE!! Another Nicholas Sparks movie! (Side note: When the heck did Zac Efron get hot??? And can all men take his advice and do the same? Damn) Check out the trailer if you have not already done so and join me in waiting with baited breath for it to come out!

Well, ta-ta for now!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Roast Beast life has been pretty anti-climactic lately. I guess after you watch the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl in Boston, you can really only go down from there. Oh well, it's a price I will willingly play. Although I still have no idea what I'm going to do with myself all day tomorrow. When does football season start again??

I finally watched The Silence of the Lambs. Now, I like scary movies. I am OBSESSED with the Paranormal Activity movies! (Well, mostly just the second one, but they're all fun to go to and just stare at the people you're watching the movie with...I'm telling you..THAT is entertainment!) But my point is, this is one movie that I was absolutely petrified to see! And I have my mother to thank for that. She had me convinced that I would not be able to sleep for years and when I did fall asleep all I would dream about was killer cannibals (not that regular non-killer cannibals are any fact, they are probably worse).

But I am here to ease your minds, readers who have not yet seen it. It is not that scary. Creepy as hell? Yes. Clever as hell? Yup. One of the better storylines I've ever seen/read? Definitely. But not super scary. Even my roommate who gets scared during the trailers for scary movies admitted that in hindsight, it wasn't that bad. (Even though she was half-crying throughout the entire exaggeration).  So case and point, definitely see this movie. It's brilliant! And Anthony Hopkins is a God. That is all.

The second interesting thing to happen to me A.S. (After Superbowl) was going to Roast Beast. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall/ground restaurant on the Eastern edge of Allston. I've head people rave about it since I came to school here and finally tried it out for myself! Their menu is very simple. You get roast beef (duh), on your choice of bun (onion, whole wheat or classic deli) with your choice of a million different sauces (including their famous Thermonuclear Sauce) and then your choice of toppings (lettuce, tomato, onions, and a million cheeses). And that's it. Simple.

I went with the onion roll after hearing wonderful things about it on Yelp. (Oh and you also choose regular, large or mega) I went with regular and it was perfect to fill me up, even after a long workout at the gym. And I got the sweet hot chipotle sauce with lettuce, tomatoes, and caramelized onions. So good!

My friend ordered the same only she got the Thermonuclear Sauce because she clearly has no taste buds. (There's a challenge to eat a mega-sized sandwich with the Thermonuclear Sauce in 5 minutes in order to get a free T-shirt. Now, I don't know about you but I don't think I could even eat a plain mega-sized sandwich in 5 minutes, but that's besides the point). Anyway, she said the sauce was really good and "not that hot." Yeah, okay. I'll take her word.

There's the blurry insides of my sandwich. (I forgot to bring my camera and I have THE crappiest cell phone on the face of the don't even). Mmmm I love caramelized onions!!

My friend also got the spicy pickles that are also raved about. For 50 cents you get a tiny little sauce container without about 5 pickle slices in it. But man, were they good! They definitely had a spicy kick at the end, but definitely the best pickles I've ever had.

So overall, I recommend it. The regular-sized sandwich is $6. My total came to $7.22 because they charge extra for tomatoes and onions (really?) and even more if you want cheese, so be prepared. But I think it was worth my money and I'll definitely be returning there in the summer when I'm no longer on BU's dining plan.

Have a great rest of your weekend! And all my football fans out there...hang in there's only like 8 more months... =\

Monday, February 6, 2012

We Did It!


You can only imagine how happy I am this morning. Seriously. I couldn't sleep last night. And then woke up at 7:30. And now I'm waiting until I get to go to work!! You heard correctly! Haha this is the wonderful thing about living in Boston.....allllll the disappointed Patriots fans! Mwa-ha-ha! And I have a $10 bet to collect on. Andddd this is two years in a row now that I have won the football pool at my mom's work because I am amazing at picking the winning team and how many points they will score. This year, I of course picked the Giants with 37 total final points. The score was 21-17. I was closest. I won. Yay me! Happy happy day!

Okay...I've calmed down a little. A little.

Let me tell you about this awesome Superbowl party BU threw last night to try to keep people off the streets (you know, because of all those happy riots that broke out after the Pats won...oh wait). Anywho, they threw a party at our giant hockey arena. The game was displayed on the Jumbo Tron, there was free ice skating, free food and drinks, and a crap ton of disappointed Patriots fans by the end of the night. Okay, sorry..I can't stop. Andddd...a REALLY BIG CAKE!

A really big, DELICIOUS cake that I now need to go spend 3 hours in gym because I ate too much! But hey...calories don't count when your team wins right? Right? Well regardless...I definitely burned off a few slices of cake from how much my body was shaking for the last 15 minutes of the game. But maybe not the 3 slices of pizza, chicken wings, and hot dog I had. Oh...and the M & M's my aunt sent me.

Love her!

So much fun! Going to a $50,000 school actually pays off every once in awhile!

And good thing the Patriots vacated the premises as quickly as they did or they would have had this to just rub salt in their wounds. Ohhh happy day!

Have a great week everyone! I know I will!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beautiful Boston and an Encounter with the Bruins


Okay, now that that's out of my system...

I love Boston. It's such a great city. Absolutely beautiful. My favorite part of Boston has to be the Esplanade. It's a very long trail that encircles the entire Charles River through Boston and Cambridge. It's awesome! I go running here, ride my book, even rollerblade! And it doesn't even feel like exercise because there's so much to look at. I also like just taking walks and chilling with friends. That's what I did yesterday. My friend Nick told me he found this awesome playground by the Boston Pops' Hatch Shell so of course we had to go!

Here's what our walk there looked like..

That's the Citgo sign from allll the way across the river. And the three tower building to the right is part of BU's campus.

I thought the reflection of that one building in the Hancock Tower was pretty awesome!

So now let's discuss this playground. A: It had a "Jungle Gym" aka: a random assortment of thick black rope crisscrossing in every random direction that the kids had to climb their way through just to get to the slide! Now that's cruel! But I'll tell probably builds a LOT of character! And if they fall..they would hit about 20 ropes on the way down to break their fall. No biggie.

B: It had a zip line! A ZIP LINE!!!???!!!

Legit spent a good half hour on this baby! Good thing all the little brats were in school...I would've knocked people out to get to play on that thing!

From here we decided to grab some coffee and head to the Frog Pond to watch people fall down on the ice. So we grabbed some coffee (I finally tried the new Blonde Roast from Starbucks and I actually really like it! It wasn't ridiculously overpowering like normal Starbucks coffee) and then headed over to the Commons.

Buttttttt...guess who was there?? Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand!! I die! Did I mention I love living in the city?? You don't run into NHL players in rural Northern New York. A bunch of little kids were playing in some charity game for the Bruins Foundation and they were there taking pictures and signing autographs for the kids. (Unfortunately Timmy Thomas wasn't there =[ ) But still awesome! So naturally, I got some stalker photos of them!

Oh man, Seguin is cute!! Unfortunately he didn't propose, but that's okay. I'm holding out for Victor Cruz anyway! Well, I hope my discussion of Boston sports teams didn't jinx anything for tomorrow. Although they aren't the Boston Patriots...they cheat and call themselves the New England Patriots so they can have 5 states rooting for them instead of just 1/3 of one state. Pathetic.

So anywho....GO GIANTS!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Antico Forno

Hello all and Happy Friday!! (aka 2 days until the most important day of my life thus far....i'm not exaggerating)

But anywho...luckily an old friend from high school is going to college in downtown Boston so I finally had an excuse this semester to go downtown and walk around and eat delicious food! After some online research, I decided we should try out Antico Forno in the North End on Salem St. Aside from getting yelled at seconds after walking in the door for wearing a Giants hat, I would have to say it was overall a great experience! And this mostly stems from the price! For two of us, the total came to $24!!! And the food was delicious! And it was perfect portions. My friend...a male...finished it all of course. But I have enough leftover to enjoy for dinner as well. Not bad for $11! I really don't think you could possibly find cheaper Italian food in the North End that tastes that good!

I got the Gnocchi di Patate.

It was very good! The sauce in our dishes was still bubbling when it got to our table and it stayed hot throughout the entire meal. (A plus when it's 25 degrees outside). The gnocchi was perfect friend didn't believe me that gnocchi was made from potatoes. The tomato basil sauce was was great and you can never go wrong with mozzarella cheese melted on top.

My friend got the Rigatoni with Sausage (only it had some Italian word for sausage that I can't remember).

He claimed it was the best sausage he'd ever had in his life, however, I would disagree. It did have a lot of flavor but it did not have any heat to it. Maybe it's just me..but I think sausage should be at least a little spicy. Also, I thought it was weird that it was topped with ricotta instead of mozzarella, but again that's probably just a preference of mine. His sauce however, was probably the most delicious tomato-based sauce I have ever had in my life. For rizzle.

After we left there, all fat and happy, we decided it was time that we both lost our gelato virginity. I had passed places selling it in the North End all the time but had never tried it. So alas, we went into the first place that we found that sold it and ordered a cup of tiramisu gelato. It was very very good! (And it better be for $5 for this tiny cup).

And I apologize for the lack of picture, but once I took the first bite this was the next moment that I was not shoveling gelato in mouth long enough to take a picture. And look at how adorable those spoons are!!!! Like little mini shovels. I died. But then again, it doesn't take much.

Overall, a very good day! I did get accosted in the street quite a bit for the Giants hat I was wearing. (And I'm pretty sure someone through a bottle cap at me, but when I looked around they had disappeared). But the one person who looked and said "GO GIANTS!" made it all worth it. So to quote my new best friend from downtown Boston...GO GIANTS!!!!