Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown

Saturday (after running 14 miles) I had the pleasure to judge The Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown – Saratoga vs. Albany. Daniel B & the Saratoga Idiots had put together this amazing tour of ice cream sandwiches in the Capital Region, and we had to find out who had the best– Saratoga or Albany. I, of course, was Team Albany! Chris tagged along to be a provisional judge, also so I had someone to split the ice cream sandwiches with. I did burn a lot of calories previously, but four ice cream sandwiches is a bit much!

We first made our way to Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga, whose ice cream sandwich was a recreation of the classic drumstick ice cream cone.

Their ice cream sandwich was vanilla ice cream between two pizelles, dipped in chocolate ganache topped with crunchy salted peanuts.

The cheapest of the bunch, their ice cream sandwich was on the small side, but still a great deal at $3.50 per sandwich. The sandwich held together great, although I would have liked a bit more ice cream since I got a bit lost among the chocolate and toppings.  I did really enjoy this sandwich.

Next up was Wheatfields’ ice cream sandwich, which was two HUGE coconut macaroon cookies with amaretto gelato. This one fell short. The gelato didn’t taste like gelato to me, mostly because it was really icy instead of creamy. The cookies themselves were tasty alone, but when eating like a sandwich, they squeezed the ice cream right out, so they were very hard to chew and eat like an ice cream sandwich was supposed to be eaten.

Next up was ALBANY! We headed to Creo to see what they had in store. Their ice cream sandwich was a pistachio cookie topped with chocolate drizzle, and inside was blood orange ice cream. I LOVED the ice cream (someone said it tasted like creamcicle..truth!) but like Wheatfields, the cookies were so big and dense they squeezed the ice cream right out of the sandwich. There was also supposed to be fennel in here somewhere, but nobody tasted it. Overall, the cookie and ice cream tasted great separately, but it lacked as a complete sandwich.

It did look very pretty!

The chef brought out a special concoction for us to try after we had our sandwiches—strawberry cheesecake gnocci. It was meant do be done like a shooter–and the flavors together tasted just like strawberry cheesecake. The chef said it was bit of molecular gastronomy.

Last but not least, it was time for the City Beer Hall…the one I’d been waiting for. I had had this ice cream sandwich a few times before and I knew it was a winner. This time was no different! It was apple cider donut ice cream between two giant oatmeal raisin cookies. This cookie just screams fall–both the ice cream and cookies are made locally, the cookies from All Good Bakers and the ice cream from Bowman Orchards.

A dream, no? The bits of cider donuts in the cream really made it for me. The sandwich doesn’t fall apart and the ice cream stays put!

This sandwich just screams FALL in the capital region, and with fall fast approaching with the summer still holding on, it was a perfect preview for what’s to come.  It was my favorite of the day, with the sandwich from Comfort Kitchen a close second. Albany never failed to disappoint. Unfortunately, Comfort Kitchen won overall, giving Saratoga the win. But it was close!

Chris, on the other hand, voted for Comfort Kitchen, but I don’t blame him, it was a good sandwich. 🙂

 

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2012 Shamrock Run

Yesterday was the 2012 Shamrock Run in Kingston! After having fun at this race last year, Heather and I decided we would run it again! This time, a few others joined us! Heather, Emily, Alicia, my sister and I joined us and we drove down to Kingston for the festivities.

I even ran into my friend Krista! You might remember that she ran the Diva Half Marathon with me back in October.

There were over 6,000 people running the Shamrock Run. It was way more crowded than I remember from last year. We waited for a half hour just to get our bibs and shirts, and that was a little bit annoying.

Anyway, the race was fun as usual.

I even saw a guy running with a giant glass of Guinness.

My sister’s goal was to run the two miles in 20 minutes. She wanted to keep up with me and Krista.

Before I knew it we were racing down the hill to the finish!

We finished just under 20 minutes, which was Julie’s goal! Yes!!

After we walked up to the community center to get our green bagels and Keegan Ales beer!

I had some Mother’s Milk…a delicious dark beer. Yum!

This picture makes me realize I should never smile without an open mouth, it just looks weird!

I also ended up running into my friend Laura who ran with us last year, too! It was so fun.

Anyway, after finishing our beer and bagels, we headed back the two mile walk back to the car and got to see the St. Patty’s Day Parade go by as we walked. It was nice. And the weather was so warm, it was perfect.

It was another fun Shamrock Run in Kingston!

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The Tour de Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Saturday Chris and I got up bright and early to meet Daniel B and the rest of the “tourists” at Jack’s Diner, the first stop on the Tour de Egg and Cheese Sandwich! Chris didn’t eat any sandwiches but he just came along for moral support.

Last April, Heather & I took part in one of Daniel’s famous tours, the Tour de Soft Serve, and it was amazing…so I knew I couldn’t pass up the Tour de Egg and Cheese Sandwich! (Check out Daniel’s post to see the real winner!)

Did you know that egg and cheese on a hardroll is something unique to this region? I did not–living here all my life I just thought it was the norm.

Steph and I partnered up so we wouldn’t have to eat five egg and cheddar sandwiches a piece (although sadly I probably could!)

I’m not going to dissect each and every sandwich but I will say four out of the five places we went to were great! The only one I didn’t care for was the pre-made, microwaved egg on a roll from Stewart’s.

My favorite was the sandwich from McCarroll’s in Delmar.

The Cheese and toasty bun was what made it for me–the white cheddar tasted so good and I think the egg was cooked just right..and greasy, yum! It had been a long time since I had a good, greasy egg sandwich. And it was cheap!

Its hard for me to pick a best because remaining four sandwiches (from Jack’s Diner, Famous Lunch, and Bella Napoli) were all great! I’m surprised I’m not sick of eggs after that, I had one for dinner the other night…

Of course I left Bella Napoli with a baked good, one of my favorite goodies, the black & white cookie…with a chocolate bottom…a first for me. Usually the bottom is white.

And it was amazing, of course.

I can’t wait to see the next tour that Daniel has in store!

 

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HMRRC Winter Series #4 – 3M

It was a chilly 10 degrees when the Winter Series #4 started this morning. I had been planning on running it all week, but hadn’t made up my mind until the last minute to run the 3 mile race instead of the 15K. I’m glad I did because I felt slow, cold and tired the whole 3 miles and just wanted to get it done with. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t drink enough water beforehand either. Bad preparation on my part. The 15K would have gone terrible. I ran the three miles in 28:08, 9:22/mile average.

I was glad to have Alicia and Melissa to run with for a portion of it though!

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Afterward the three of us headed to brunch at Justin’s on Lark Street. I went with the Norwegian frittata with cheese, spinach and salmon. I thought it sounded great but it turns out I don’t care for fish in my eggs.

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I can’t help but feel a tad disappointed in myself for not running the race I set out to do..the 15K. I had planned on it originally but then last minute couldn’t decide because of the cold. This puts my weekly mileage at 13, which is low for me. There’s always next week.

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Sunday Brunch

Sunday I hosted a brunch at my apartment with some lovely other bloggers: Melissa, Emily & Alicia. My sister also joined, too. It was tons of fun and we had a lot of delicious food!

I made mini yogurt cups with filo dough crust that I received in my swag bag at Healthy Living Summit ages ago. I finally got around to making something with them and they came out great and they were SUPER easy to make.

Mini Berries & Cream Yogurt Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 container of organic low-fat yogurt (I used Wallaby berries & cream)
  • 12 mini filo shells
  • fresh fruit for topping

Instructions

1. Mix yogurt so the fruit from the bottom gets mixed throughout the yogurt.

2. Place about 1 teaspoonful of yogurt into each filo shell and evenly distribute.

3. Top with your choice of fresh berries.

4. Enjoy!

Here are the rest of the delicious treats! Melissa made a spinach quiche with hash-brown crust.

Alicia made AMAZING apple cake.

And Emily made incredible orange & dark chocolate chip scones. They were perfect!

It was fun catching up with the girls over brunch. Can’t wait until next time.

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