Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet Escapes

I feel like most of the time the weekends just fly by and it's hard to recount what actually even happened. Luckily, that was entirely not the case this weekend. Friday night was lazy, which as any one who has read my past entries knows are my favorite :) This weekend though I was staying in because I had to be up at 6:30 AM on saturday for a super special event....
Snow Tubing and Beer Tasting!! 
Another fabulous find ... this site is amazing in case you haven't checked it out. This particular event was put on by Urban Escapes. They have trips in Boston, NY, DC and Philly and basically offer a chance for city-livers, such as myself, to get out of the concrete jungle for a day and do somethings that they love and miss about the country! Rock climbing, hiking, white-water rafting, snow mobiling; the list goes on and on. My roommate and I definitely enjoy getting out of the city and doing something a little different so we paid the discounted fee and got all of this:

My toes fell off somewhere between the 5th and 6th run, so after lunch I sat with my wet foot on the furnace until I could feel something resembling my pinkie toe. ouuuchhhh. 
In the afternoon we hopped back on the bus and drop to Captain Lawrence Brewery for a little beer tasting with the group! I am a big fan of microbrews and we got a short explanation of how they make the beer there. 
Interesting Fact: a major differentiating factor in beer is water. Soft water is what makes for good beer brewing which is how the major beer cities get started (Munich, NY, etc). I had no idea!
There were five types of beer that we tasted: Liquid Gold, Pale Ale, Imperial IPA, Brown Ale, Espresso Stout. My favorite type of beer in general is Guiness, so it was no surprise that the Brown Ale was so good!!!  My roomie and I ended up walking out with a growler (yeaa picture a 40 of good beer) of Brown Ale, and a little buzz ;)

Getting out of the city even for just one day was a really great way to relax, have a great time, and let loose! 

Tonight I'm doing a little laundry, which had to get done and trying out a new recipe to fulfill my sweet potato craving that has been taking ovaaa lately.

[Faux] Sweet Potato Pie 

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes 
2/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped 
1/2 cup organic skim milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 
6 to 8 tablespoons melted butter (just used about 1 pat) 
1/2 cup granulated sugar (used Stevia packets and just sprinkles) 
1/2 package of phyllo dough
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, toasted pecans, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Mix well, until fully combined.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Place one sheet of the phyllo dough down and brush on a thin layer of butter, sprinkle sugar on top. Add another sheet of phyllo dough on top and repeat. I did this with three layers all together, but you can do up to four. Then cut the sheets in half.    

4. Place a heaping spoonful of the sweet potato mixture at the bottom of the dough and roll the phyllo up diagonally to make a triangle (remember folding a flag a girlscout camp? exactly like that).  Fold the triangle of phyllo over straight, then diagonally, continuing the pattern until you reach the end of the sheet and the filling is completely enclosed.  I cut the "flags" in half so the dough eventually was exposed but this was just to make the pastries/pies smaller. 

5. Place them on a tray and throw 'em in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are browned. Finito!

Final Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of sweet potato but this wasn't my favorite dessert evaaa. I kind of just liked spooning out the insides. ;)

Happy sweet sunday folks

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