Brought to you by Pepto Bismol….because it’s PINK!

None of my posts are sponsored at this point, but this one should be as my passion for food has met it’s match….and it’s October which is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I’ve blogged exactly nothing about that so far. So, here it is:  


That may seem a little harsh, but I do think that it’s VERY important to do those regularly because you just never know.

So, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting at UMass Lowell waiting for the participants of this weekend’s workshop to finish up taking their PT Cert Exam. I had a great group of all guys this weekend who put up with my crazy antics and loud teaching style. I believe they will all pass and make great trainers! If you’re one of those guys and have found your way here….welcome….I don’t say that about every group I work with.

Here’s my adventure for the weekend; food included. Friday night I arrived in Boston and began my drive out to Lowell only to have my GPS not work because of all of the tunnels and a drive that should have taken me about 30 minutes took more like an hour and twenty. I was involved in 7 almost accidents and eventually arrived at the Raddison in Chelmsford. This has been one of my least favorite hotels to stay at. There just wasn’t anything about it that would make me want to pay $109/night to stay there. Maybe I’m cheap and inflation hasn’t caught up to my brain or vice versa….

I grabbed a little Panera to play it safe Friday night and got settled into my room, showered, set my alarm, and fell asleep while watching Modern Family on USA. I have a hard time sleeping when I’m alone…it’s too quiet and the bed seems too big for just me. So, I piled the pillows up next to me and set the sleep timer on the tv so that I could hear noise as I drifted off. Saturday I treated myself before the workshop to Dunkin Donuts. I’m pretty sure that Lowell has a DD every mile….it’s one of the many reasons I love that town more and more each time I go there. This was a particularly wonderful morning in Lowell because the fall colors were everywhere (I can’t wait to upload one of the photos I took) and the air was crisp, but not too cool. My workshop was phenomenal in the morning and then I called in my lunch order to Moe’s. This is where everything starts to fall apart.

I ordered a black bean and rice junior burrito on the wheat tortilla with corn salsa, guac, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and cilantro. I would order more veggies, but I’m particular about the way they should be cooked and Moe’s serves mushrooms. I’m allergic so I have to be cautious. I ate my lunch on the drive back to campus and saw the most beautiful house sitting next to the water near Pawtucket Falls. Doesn’t that sound so New England?

It was a nice drive with the windows open, but my burrito was awful. Too spicy and hardly any beans. I’m not sure what happened, but by the end of the workshop my stomach was doing flips.

I took it easy back in my hotel room and worked hard on grading and writing since I was ALONE for the night. I usually eat at one of my favorite Greek restaurants while in Lowell. It’s kind of become my Saturday night tradition, but I was so distracted in working that I no longer felt like driving across town for the sampler when I finally decided to eat. So, I ventured downstairs to the bar and grill which was touted as a favorite hang out of the locals. It was empty and I ordered some food to take back to my room and eat alone while I watched Hocus Pocus. Big mistake…I MEAN HUGE!

My stomach just couldn’t hold it together enough for me to insult anyone like Julia Roberts did. I spent the rest of the night running to my little hotel bathroom and even had to jump out of the shower at one point. It wasn’t fun to say the least.

This morning I just skipped breakfast all together because I was too tired to eat and I didn’t want to press my luck. But, by lunch time my physical hunger got the best of my mind and I went and picked up the Greek Sampler that was now less than half a mile away. Another poor choice on my part, but not for the reason you would assume. The sampler is really meant for two people to share and I never eat the WHOLE thing, but a good portion of it because I rarely get to indulge in Greek fare. It has spanakopita, dolmades, moussaka, meatballs, and pastitsio. Yum! Except this time the meat in the moussaka, dolmades, and pastitsio were not cooked all the way. YUCK!

I have this big aversion to undercooked meat. Just the look of it served on a plate makes me want to vomit. So, I did what I could to down the cooked portion of my meal and discarded the rest. It was really the icing on the cake…

And now all I can think about are the cupcakes that Charlotte over at Commitness to Fitness was talking about and wishing I were home with the cookies I baked on Thursday! Which brings me to my baking fiascoes for the week on this Simple Simon Sunday: Why cookies can’t always be baked on Stoneware.

Click here to see how beautiful Soft Batch Apple Cider Gingersnap Cookies should look. Kristin Porter my hat is off to you! I usually make great cookies, but these turned out to be flat, runny messes on my stoneware and that is why I am not a food blogger. However, my children and I still like the flat runny messes as they did bake all the way through and so we’ve been enjoying them (me before I left; them while I am gone). I think things went wrong because I made a substitution…or three.

First, I don’t keep molasses in my house, so I used real maple syrup. I think that’s where the runny came in. Second, I don’t use cloves unless they’re in already mixed pumpkin pie spice, so I added some nutmeg that wasn’t in this recipe because a fall spice is a fall spice. This just made them more delicious in my eyes. And third I used my stoneware because I don’t ever have parchment paper around and only own one cookie sheet. I’m going to gives these cookies another go in the future, but will have to invest in some appropriate staples to make it work out better. Give them a try and tell me how yours do.

Do you eat at chain places or local places when you travel? How does your stomach do in strange places? Do you want some cupcakes? Have you ever baked on a stone?