Sweet Coconut Nights

So sorry to have disappeared last night! I was so enraptured with Betty White in The Proposal that before I knew it, it was time for bed.   I don’t usually like doing massive, two-day catch-up posts, but if I don’t, I’ll be living in the past for a while and we can’t have that.


My new peanut butter was calling my name from the pantry.

Peanut Butter w/ Flax

How could I incorporate it into my breakfast?

PB w/ Flax

I decided to make eggs-in-a-basket (or “toad-in-the-hole”, as my grandmother calls it) which I’ve seen all over the blogs recently.  I used Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread and cut a hole in the middle with my water bottle.  The “hole” was the perfect size to to test the peanut butter out on.

PB w/ Flax on bread

I melted a slice of Jarlsberg cheese on another piece of bread, and put a little pumpkin butter on top of the flax hole.

Toad In The Hole

I love getting as many tastes as possible out of a meal!

After waiting a couple hours to digest, I laced up my sneakers, stretched, loaded my ipod with a new playlist (thanks to Maya for turning me on to this site) and hit the pavement.  This was my third run in a month, and I wanted to make it count.  I ran slowly but easily, and before I knew it I was bake at home with 4.5 miles under my belt.  I wasn’t even out of breath!  To be honest, I was worried I would have lost my stamina and wouldn’t even be able to make it half that far.  This is a good sign 🙂

I went into the city to meet my mom at Macy’s to go coat shopping.  It was exhausting.  Although I’d brought kale chips and an apple, we didn’t end up eating until 3:30.

Kale Chips


If there’s one thing I know about my mother’s side of the family, it’s that we get c-r-a-n-k-y when we get hungry.  Au Bon Pain was the only option for us at Macy’s (the rest of the fast food joints didn’t have any vegetarian options), and I quickly made a salad with spinach, artichoke hearts, green beans, roasted red peppers, tuna and Thai peanut dressing.

Au Bon Pain salad

The only memorable aspect of this salad was how quickly I ate it.  My mom got us a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies, and I had one somewhere in the lingerie department while searching for Hollywood Tape.

Au Bon Pain cookies

Three stores and one successful purchase later, we fond ourselves sitting at the old wood bar in DiFiore Marquet.  This was only my second time coming here, but it’s one of my favorite spots in the city.  It’s charming and quirky, quiet, inexpensive, and the staff is so knowledgeable about their wine list.

DiFiore Marquet wine list

Last time we went, I tried my first glass of Vouvray.  This time, I went for the Alsatian Pinot Gris (I get this whenever I see it on a menu), and my mom got the Torrontes, which is a fruity white similar to a Pinot Grigio.

The Pinot Gris is on the left, the Torrontes on the right.

DiFiore Marquet wine

On our way home, we made a pit stop at The Donut Pub.

The Donut Pub

My mom and George both think these are the best donuts in the city.

The Donut Pub

My mom and I did a taste-test with a glazed and a sugar ring (I had tiny bites of each); glazed won.  I got a marble cake donut hole for myself.

Donut Hole

I don’t even remember the last time I had a donut!  Oh wait… it was almost exactly a year ago!

We finally did get home, where we met my dad for a takeout pasta dinner from La Parmigiana in Southampton.  We started with salad… I thought all “Italian” dressings would taste like this when I was younger, and was sadly disappointed when I learned this was not the case.

Parmigiana Salad

Their pasta is hard to beat.  I had a plate with half linguine with clams, half linguine with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes.   I gobbled up all of the former, but had had my fill and didn’t quite finish the broccoli rabe pasta.

Parmigiana pasta

My mom and I split a Criterion apple that my parents picked last weekend…

Criterion Apple

… and, later, I had three chocolate snowballs.  They were even better the second day!

Chocolate Snowballs

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping recently… rather I normally have a hard time falling asleep, but have been enjoying a nice respite from that and have been nodding off quite easily.  No sleep aids required!  The last few nights, however, it’s been hard for me to fall and stay asleep, so that by the time morning comes around it just seems like a mean joke.  Needless to say, my breakfasts have had to be pretty darn good to make up for it.

These Berry Mango bran muffins from Trader Joe’s came recommended by both Lauryn and Caroline, and I knew I had to try them.  I’m not a huge muffin lover, but bran is a whole ‘nother story.  Love it!

TJ's Berry Bran Muffins

I popped half a muffin in the oven to warm it up, and while it was toasting got out the container of almond butter my parents had picked up for me at the Co-Op.

Co-Op Almond Butter

Beat that, Maranatha!

Co-Op Almond Butter 2

I slathered some on my muffin, and used the nut-buttery-spoon to scoop my banana/cinnamon/honey-filled Oikos.  How’s that for a complete breakfast?

Muffin & Yogurt breakfast

My physical therapy appointment was scheduled for 11, and although I left with plenty of time to spare, my subway line is all messed up and is skipping my stop due to track work.  So I had to ride all the way to the end of the line and back down again, and by the time I got off at the appropriate stop only had five minutes to spare.  I ran all the way there with a shoddy umbrella, dodging raindrops and praying my waterlogged Chucks wouldn’t trip me up.  I didn’t fall, but was still five minutes late.  Not a problem… I still got quite the workout in.

My left thigh was been really sore for the past few days… I don’t know if it’s because of the exercises I’ve been doing or just freak tightness, but my therapist worked it out for a good ten minutes.  I also did some calf, core and quad work on the Proform (which I am really feeling today!), then got iced down and strapped with electrodes.  Who knew therapy could be so fun?

I packed my lunch to take with me to eat in transit:

Lunch Salad

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • frozen pineapple
  • broccoli slaw
  • Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger (like other Dr. P. burgers, this is very mushy and doesn’t have a real “burger” texture. I really like the taste and chunks of veggies, though)
  • kale chip “dressing”/hummus

Because it was cold and rainy out, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch.  So I ate LVP-style: standing up and shoveling food into my mouth in the middle of the sidewalk.

Eating On The Go

Also had a Pink Lady apple… wonder if there is a T-Bird variety apple as well?

Pink Lady

After I finished my dignified lunch, I walked across town and went up to meet Greg at Starbucks.  I got the coupon in the mail for my free birthday drink (if you have a Starbucks card, register it!), which I used for a Grande Skim Dirty Hippie (Chai with two shots of espresso).

Dirty Hippie

Two sample trays came by while we were chatting: Peppermint Mocha and Crème Brulée.

Peppermint Mocha Crème Brulée

I remember when I used to get so excited for Peppermint Mocha-season… now I found this – and the crème brulée- way too sweet.  The only sweet coffee drinks I like are Chai lattes and the occasional Mocha or Frappuccino; I tend to stick to lightly sweetened cappuccinos and black coffee.

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands (found the perfect pair of jeans on sale).  I was in four different areas of the city in under four hours, and let me tell you: it gives you an appetite! It was the kind of day where I felt hungry all the time.   I dug into my bag and found this Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola bar that Bear Naked sent me as a sample and ate it on the subway.

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Nutrition

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Ingredients

Review: This was way too sweet for me, and the ingredients list (and 18g of sugars) explains it.  Why does the fruit need to be dried with sugar on top of the additional tapioca syrup, honey and maple syrup that gets thrown into the mix? It was also very, very greasy.

Would I buy this? Thanks, but no thanks.

When I got home, I started making this recipe for Coconut Barley Pilaf.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn

My dad had made it a few weeks ago and recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a go.  I substituted shrimp for chicken, light coconut milk for regular, and chili flakes for jalepeño.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 2

I didn’t know how many people would be around for dinner so I made the full recipe… we’ll just have a lot of leftovers!

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 3

I really liked this. The sweet barley, salty cashews, chewy shrimp and fresh mint were in such harmony!  I would definitely make this again (although I think I can get another 3 meals out of this batch).  Ari didn’t like it as much… he prefers chickpeas and mushrooms.

We also had some Sauvignon Blanc…

Sauvignon Blanc

… and I finished off the snowballs.  Nom.


We’re off to Connecticut for a wedding this weekend.  What are your plans?


22 responses to “Sweet Coconut Nights

  1. The coconut barley pilaf looks so good, especially with the shrimp!

  2. owww both the TJs nut butter and the co-op butter look amazing. The TJs almost looks like naturally more. Just seeing the holiday starbucks cups makes me want to go get some 🙂 Hope you’re having a good day and have fun at the wedding

  3. Mmm I’ve really been craving donuts lately and you’re not helping!! hehe. Looks yummy

  4. God, I love reading your blog. It makes me feel all healthy and happy eating delicious noms vicariously through you!

  5. Love that peanut butter! It is my fav kind and def one of my staples! 🙂

  6. So much awesomeness in this post! Muffins = love. Sorry about the Bear Naked fail- I have one of their bars to try and had high hopes- LOVE their granola!

    Something so satisfying about finding jeans- especially on sale.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. sounds like a fun weekend!

    I got the Upwelling CD that I won in that contest a few weeks ago – i was so excited when I opened the package because I didn’t even know I won! It’s great – we’ve been listening to it all day 🙂

    Tip about the peppermint mocha: I always ask for 1/2 the amount of syrup. They add SO much and it’s way too sweet with all of it in there.

  8. Work, friends, work, friends, date.

    Way to eat healthy in transit, cutie!

  9. Before I had them myself, Hangry Heather described the Dr. P burgers to me as stuffing patties and I love that about them! They’re definitely not burgers at all – yum!

    Thanks for the review of that bar! It’s been in my school bag for, oh I don’t know, a month because I’ve been putting off trying it! Your dinner looks fantastic – you’re such a great cook!!

  10. What a post!
    Couple things:
    and the crème brulée- way too sweet–ummm first there is NEVER a sample tray when I go to a starbux and dont brew at home (I’m frugal). And if there was, I woulda drank 17 creme brulees, nothing is too sweet!

    THat PB w/ flax from TJs. More info please, I have seen it and wondered, never purchased. If I eat nut butter, my hands down fave is sunbutter. Is it kinda like that?

    What a great post Katie!

  11. I hate the flagship Macy’s… it’s WAY too big, and I get a headache just thinking about going there!! I’m glad you managed to make a successful purchase, though. 🙂

    Have fun at the wedding!

    ❤ ❤

  12. Safe travels this weekend!! I’ll be swamped with homework, as usual…

  13. Thanks for the shout out!

    I like Dr. Praeger’s burgers, but I don’t think of them as meat substitute burgers…more like veggie patties. Have a good time at the wedding!

  14. oh you are too cute…healthy everythingtarian style eating also involves walking and eating! loving that coconut shrimp mint dinner thang.

    ummmm check my bloggy out…you may just have perhaps slightly been a winner 😉

  15. oh the doughnuts look awesome! sweeeet! have fun at the wedding.. i love weddings!

  16. Oh how I love donuts. And wine. Maybe together? Idk about all that.

    As usual, everything you ate looked delicious. Eggs in the hole are one of my go to standards. I saw eggs in the hole made with grilled cheese sandwiches the other day. Ha!

    Have fun this weekend : )

  17. Yummy! Love how you ate the muffin–complete breakfast, indeed!

  18. i love all the packed/eaten-in-transit/eaten-while-walking food in this post haha. oh, the woes of being frugal and not having a home base. i guess the perk is that we will be really, really prepared to pack lunches/snacks when we actually have offices to go to.

    that coconut barley dish looks delicious and simple. adding it to the to make list!

  19. Your spinach salad is to die for! I’m going to try that minus the artichoke hearts this week…I’m beginning to think I have an out of control love for salad and all things salad related….have a great weekend! 🙂

  20. I was wondering about those bear naked bars…they seemed too soft…and too expensive…

    MMMM! Free Starbucks samples?! Love those!

  21. I want:
    Donut Pub donuts

    Yous a lucky girl.

  22. im not a huge fan of dr. p’s because of the mush-factor you mentioned. i like em harder (twss)….other than that, i want every single thing in this post. now.

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