Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rainy Weekend Festivities: What to Do?

It can be a harsh slap in the face waking up to rain on Saturday morning, the day you've been eagerly awaiting through a long week of classes. Unfortunately, I've just painted you a picture of my morning yesterday.
Fortunately, however, I've learned (after several rainy Saturdays thus far) not to let the dampness put a damper on my day. But before I get to that, here are a couple shots from my week:

Sunsets and red leaves! As you can probably tell from my previous blogs, I'm taking as much advantage of this beautiful weather as I can before it's blanketed in white! 
For more photos like these highlighting our beautiful campus, areas around it, as well as fun things to do in and around campus, follow my Instagram @claire_cavanaugh
Also keep an eye out for some of my shots with #smcvt!

Now for the weekend! 
Friday was beautiful: sunny and warm, with just enough of a Fall crisp to the air. After classes came to an end for the week, we took advantage of the perfect weather to go for a run in Gilbrook Forest. The full loop of the trail is about a mile, so it was just enough for me (not an avid runner by any stretch of the imagination). 

Above: excuses for  walking breaks, which I did not take many of, despite how it may look. (Stop laughing.)

After the run, we rewarded ourselves with a jaunt into Burlington for some dinner at American Flatbread (if you don't know by now, it's the best restaurant in the universe). First, however, we had to make a stop at Lake Champlain Chocolates for our Burlington-trip-tradition: Chipotle-Cinnamon truffle squares. If you're a fan of the spicy, these are definitely for you. Even if you aren't a fan of the spicy, they're a deliciously surprising flavor combo. You can always trust a chocolate shop that makes their fudge right before your very eyes.
Finally, we were seated at Flatbread. 

I always start with their "Evolution" house salad, with goat cheese as my topping of choice. Easily the best salad you'll ever have. No kidding. I don't care if you don't even like salad. This stuff is the Matthew McConaughey of salads. 

Next, we indulged in a large pizza: half pepperoni, green pepper, and onion, half meat special. The meat special on this particular evening was definitely one of my favorites yet: ground beef, corn, poblano peppers, tomato, smoked cheddar, and lime aioli sauce. Perfection.

After finishing the entire pizza without much difficulty at all, we made our way to Ben & Jerry's, greeted by a line out the door (typical), but not deterred for a second. 
I decided to go all out (hey, I ran a mile, which you'd know is pretty serious if you knew me personally). So, I indulged in a chocolate dipped waffle cone (which they make homemade, right then and there), filled with a hefty helping of Banana Peanut Butter Greek frozen yogurt. Zero regrets, just for the record. 

The next morning, I woke to the dismal gray light peaking through the shades, which can only be indicative of one thing. But, I decided right then and there that I would have a blog-worthy Saturday, if it was the last thing I did.
First, I started the day like I do any other Saturday: brunch at Alliot. I toasted up a bagel and piled on some ham, salami, cheddar, tomatoes, spinach, onions, mustard and mayo. Next, I made my way back to the dorm and brewed my favorite Coffee-Shop K-cup in my Keurig, complete with some hazelnut creamer.
At that point, I was ready to take care of some business. We stopped at Walmart and Hannfard's for a few late-afternoon-recipe-experimentation ingredients, as well as at Home Depot for a new power strip. (Earlier this week, mine died tragically mid-blow dry.) 
After that, we made our way to a newly discovered Chipotle restaurant in Shelburne for a late lunch.

This was only my second Chipotle experience ever, but both times I've gotten a Burrito Bowl, no questions asked. Chicken, green peppers and onions, fresh salsa, black beans, brown rice, guacamole and lettuce...I mean, why wouldn't you go for it. Plus, everything's so fresh that you don't even feel those classic Mexican food after effects. Just pure amazement.

Finally, we made it back to the dorm with a mission in mind. Earlier that day, I'd found a recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Cake with cream cheese icing, and I made it my goal to have it in my belly by the end of the day.
So, I laid out my ingredients and got to work.

In not long at all (like, we're talking a few minutes), this would become...

...SOOOOO worth it.
Definitely not as pretty as it was on the blog I found it on, but it tasted amazing. The frosting was a nice compliment to the crumbly cake, and its smooth creaminess accented the cake's rich cinnamon flavor perfectly. I'm a HUGE fan of cream cheese frosting, but I'd never heard of it being combined with anything apple-oriented, so I just had to give it a shot. It was inexpensive, quick, easy, and the small portion was just enough- it was quite filling. 
**NOTE: Instead of buying apple sauce, I mashed up about half of an apple leftover from our Shelburne Orchards adventure: it came out perfect!
This was without a doubt my most successful mug-recipe experiment yet! I can't wait to keep trying more to share with you all. 

After our busy Saturday, it was nice to have a relaxing night with a movie as the rain roared on. All in all, I'd like to think we made the best of a dreary day! 
The moral of the story is, never let a little rain make a lazy slob-fest of your Saturday! It doesn't have to be that way. Relax, of course, but I always try to make it a point to have at least a little adventure. Never waste these precious Saturdays! 

On that note, stay tuned next Sunday the 12th for more!

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