Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cornmeal Heart Cookies

As I sit here and eat one of the delicious cookies that I made over the weekend (they are still just as good four days later!) I feel the need to share the recipe as a recipe Thursday since they are so good and also fun to make. 

The recipe is from Martha Stewart, and there is a video on the site but I didn't watch it so I don't know if it's helpful or not. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 drops red or pink food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and salt.  
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and half a cup of granulated sugar on medium-high until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add egg and one teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined. 
  3. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat to combine. 
  4. Place about 1/4 or more sugar in a bowl, roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll to coat with sugar.  Then put the balls on the baking sheet and using either your hand or a glass, flatten then to desired width.  Using a heart shaped small cookie cutter (or whatever shape you want) press the cookie cutter into the cookie to make an outline, but do not cut through. 
  5. Bake until the cookies are golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Then let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before decorating. 
  6. Mix confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 3/4 teaspoons cold water. Mix in food coloring (one drop will do at the start then you can add more if you want a bolder color). Spread the glaze over the heart in the middle and enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Track and Field Camp

Summer certainly seems very far away right now, but I know summer plans are already being made.  For those looking for a great one week camp in Newton, I will have my Garden City youth track and field camp again this summer at Newton North High School.  Below you will find a description of the camp and please email me with any questions at jessbarton1117@gmail.com.

Click here (familyid.com) to be brought to the Garden City registration page.


Track and Field Camp August 3-7 at Newton North

  • August 3 - 7
  • 9am - 3pm
  • Ages 8-14
  • At Newton North High School
Both Newton North and Newton South, as well as surrounding area high schools, have a great tradition of track and field success and this camp is an excellent way to get started in the sport! The Garden City track and field camp is a great way for youth athletes to get introduced to the great sport of track and field.  The camp is great for both newcomers to the sport and for athletes looking to improve and gain more experience.  The coaches at the camp are all high level experienced track and field athletes with experience coaching youth athletes.  Over the five days of camp, we will work on the hurdles, distance running, shot put, sprinting, long jump, high jump, relay running, triple jump, turbo javelin, and strength and conditioning.  Campers will get to be timed/measured and try to improve their best marks throughout the week.  Campers will also learn about the mental side of the sport and competition, ways to improve on their own, and how to be a better overall athlete.  The small camper to coach ratio is great for campers to get individualized instruction on the various events.  The top notch facilities at Newton North that we have access to include the mondo surface 400-meter outdoor track, the indoor track and accompanying SOA area, the weight/exercise room, and the 25-yard indoor pool with diving boards.

The basic structure of a typical day of camp will look something like this: 

Morning:  Campers arrive and get into warmup groups with their coach.  Go over and participate in the morning event (sprinting, distance running, hurdles...) Then end with the morning session activity of a game or competition.

Swim/Lunch: All Garden City camps have access to the indoor pool at Newton North and we will eat lunch in the high school cafeteria. (The cafeteria will not be serving food so campers need to bring their own lunch.)

Afternoon: Warmup session as a group. Break into groups for strength and conditioning session (we will have access to the fully equipped exercise facility) and track and field event.  We will end the day with a wrap-up of what we covered and popsicles.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

XC Skiiing


Tom and I took a break from school this weekend and went up to North Conway/Jackson, NH for some cross country skiing.  We had a great time skiing and just spending time up there.  It was also nice to make it back home safely in the snowstorm thanks to Tom's great driving!


Jackson Cross Country Skiing.  


They have 150k of groomed trails




Tom in the "warming cabin" drinking hot chocolate

Near where we turned around about 4 or 5 miles out

There was even a fire to sit by!

And last but not least... go Patriots!  (If you look closely that's a Patriots flag flying)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Juice

Recently I have started making juices, which are a great tasting way to get in some extra nutrition.  There are many different fruits and vegetables you can mix together to create various drinks, but I will start with a simple one and share some more in the weeks to come.  This drink serves two (or two glasses for one person).  The ginger may be a bit strong at first and a few weeks ago I could only put a little bit in the drink, but each day I increased the amount and now I can put about a half inch chunk in.

  •  2 green apples cut into pieces
  • 5-8 small/medium carrots cut into pieces (the more carrots the sweeter it will be)
  • 1 Meyer lemon cut in half
  • A chunk of ginger
  • Cut everything up and blend it in the juicer
  • Enjoy! 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back to School & Year in Review

Bye 2014!
I hope that everyone reading this is having a great start to 2015!

In 2014 I decided to attend law school.  This was something that I had been contemplating since graduating from college in 2011.  I had put off attending in order to give triathlon a whole hearted effort.  After training for a few years, with some interruptions from a concussion/post-concussion syndrome and then most recently hypothyroidism, I decided that the time was right to attend law school.  I applied to the two local schools offering evening programs -- New England Law and Suffolk Law -- and decided to go to Suffolk.  I picked an evening program since it is designed for students who want to attend school while working, so it is a little less strenuous and time consuming than going to a full time program, thus enabling me to continue training at a high level.  (The classes are spread out over four years for the evening program vs three years for the day program.)

The fall semester was quite different than my undergraduate experience.  Tom is the current student body president at the law school and so I too decided to take part in the student body government.  I ran for, and was elected as, section representative.  As section representative I represent my section's concerns, ideas, and anything else to the student body government and to the deans/administration.  Additionally, I have been in charge of putting together a weekly SBA (Student Bar Association) newsletter, which can be found here.  Tom and I are currently working on a semester review newsletter, which will be posted soon.  This is the first time that I have taken part in student body government and it has been enjoyable.  Additionally, law school requires a lot more time spent studying than undergrad did, since there is so much reading that needs to be done.

School started in September, and prior to that I raced a couple of triathlons over the summer.  I had missed a substantial amount of training over the spring and so I spent the first part of the summer getting back into shape and then I got into solid shape but kept the racing at the local level, racing the Cohasset Triathlon, the Duxbury Triathlon, the Boston Triathlon, and the Pumpkinman Triathlon.   I also did the Hollis Fast 5k road race for the second year in a row.

Additionally, I would like to thank my sponsors for the past year: GU Energy, SOAS Racing, and X-1 Audio.  And a special shout to Tom Davis for coaching me this year through my ever changing schedule.  Team Davis Training athletes have had another successful year with state titles and state records earned, Ironmans finished/drastically improved, marathons won, and many great personal bests achieved.

In addition to all of that, I also had a great garden again this year.  The two areas of improvement for next year's garden are: don't plant squash plants since they always get taken out by some sort of disease, and pick my beets before they get eaten! My sunflowers, flowers, corn, potatoes, lavender, and carrots all did great this year.

Lastly, I have enjoyed coaching again this year.  In the spring I coached running and cycling at the Cambridge School of Weston and in the fall I coached cycling there as well.  With law school I was unable to commit to coaching cross country since the meets interfered with my classes.  I also help Tom with coaching the youth TDT athletes and as I mentioned above, the athletes had another year of success, both in results and in enjoyment of training.  I also had my youth track and field camp this year (thankfully it wasn't as hot as the 100+ degree temperatures from 2013!) and I had a week of youth cross country camp.

My goals for 2015 are: continue doing well in school; get stronger/be more consistent with strength work; race more; and stay healthy.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who has been part of another great year!



Monday, January 12, 2015

Florida Trip

Tom and I recently got back from a trip down to Florida as part of our winter break from law school.  While there we were at a nice beach in Miami and had our car broken into.  The thieves got away with our backpacks, which had our laptops in them, so I don't have quite as many photos to share from the first part of the trip as I would like, but the morning before our bags were stolen I had started to write this post, so the photos below were saved.

For our trip, we drove from MA down to Florida in three days, first staying in the northern part of the state and then heading down to Miami where it was quite a lot warmer -- 60s vs. 80s!  The beaches in Miami were super nice and we had a great time relaxing on them and getting some hot sun which we are not used to living up in New England.

We spent about a week total down in Florida and it was nice to get in some warm weather training while there.  We have always found cycling to be a bit iffy there with the cycling routes being either on main roads or through the middle of nowhere, but we were able to find some nice places to ride this trip.  One spot was Tropical Trail in Indian Harbor and the other was Black Creek Trail in Miami.
Tom riding on Tropical Trail road in Indian Harbor, FL

A view from the ride on Tropical Trail

Buying some star fruit from a house on Tropical Trail.  It was much better than from the store!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Acadia National Park in November

Tom and I are currently on a weekend trip up in Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park.  We are having a great time, but it is surprisingly a ghost town here.  There are only a few shops and restaurants open, and many of them say they are closing at the end of the month.  I have never been to a town that closes for the winter and it is a bit strange.  The town is mostly closed, but the park is open and is fun to explore when few other people are around!  We started off going to Sand Beach and were planning on doing a hike from there that we had seen people do in the summer, but it turns out that during high tide the trial is inaccessible.  We then stopped at Thunder Hole, which was cool, but not too thunderous when we were there.  Then, a little ways down the road we stopped at a trailhead and did a short hike down to Seal Harbor.  For any cyclists, if you are planning on coming here in the off season, be sure to bring your bikes, because the park loop road has few cars on it, is newly paved, and would of course make for a beautiful (and challenging!) ride.  Below are some photos from my GoPro.
On some rocks near Thunder Hole 
Hiking down to Seal Harbor 
Tom crossing the street to Seal Harbor
At the start of the hike to Seal Harbor
Sand Beach.  It was a lot colder than last time we were here!

Sand Beach

Thunder Hole

Near Thunder Hole