April 15, 2012

Schodack Island State Park & Summer Plans

This weekend I headed down to Schodack Island State Park which is about 20 minutes south of Albany.  It is an 'island' right on the Hudson River where you can boat, picnic and trail walk.  After a nice picnic (prepared by yours truly) and some quality time on the quilt reading a book on my iPad we set out to walk some trails.  I didn't take my phone on the walk but I did get a couple shots of the river.  All these hikes and trail walks are preparing me for a four day camping/hiking trip to Mount Washington, New Hampshire in June!

This weekend I also found a recipe for a vegan brown rice and bean casserole which looked delicious!  However, not being completely on the vegan train these days - I did decided to add a little cheese to the dish so it was 'nearly vegan'.

Brown Rice & Bean Casserole

1 onion
1 can on diced tomatoes
1 large pepper
2 cups of brown rice (cooked)
1 can refried beans
Salt, Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)
3 tablespoons EVOO
Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees - cook the brown rice - sautee the peppers and onions in the EVOO in a frying pan - once sauteed add the can of tomatoes and heat thoroughly - mix the rice and tomato mixture together and place 2/3 of the mixture in a baking dish - heat the refried beans and place the beans over top of the rice mixture - add cheese on top of the beans (optional) - then place the remaining rice on top of the cheese - bake at 400 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

Summer is coming fast and furious!  It is supposed to be 91 degrees in Albany tomorrow!  I have a lot planned in the next couple of months that is going to keep me quite busy!  In May I take my final exam to complete my Master's Degree (finally - after 3 years!), I also take the week long test to become a credentialed benefits counselor through Cornell University; after that it is the CDPHP Workforce Challenge run and I am the team captain of the Albany Damien Center's team!  Literally the next day I leave for Pennsylvania and then back to Virginia for my sister's college graduation.  Oddly enough I am slated to graduate that very same day from UAlbany.  June 1st is moving day!  I am moving into my new apartment and I cannot wait!  The next day is the Friehofer's Run for Women race and the following week I head up to Mount Washington, New Hampshire for the camping trip!  Later in the month of June there is a family reunion of sorts in Pennsylvania and then who knows what the rest of the summer hold.  Oh and I also cannot wait for the summer Olympics!  I am a BIG Olympics nerd and will watch practically any event and will probably be glued to the TV for the duration of the games.

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