Early Bird Special

Are you an “all or nothing” type of person? My body seems to be.  My internal clock is so out of whack right now!  For the past week, I’ve alternated between going to bed early and getting more than a full night’s sleep (10+ hours) and getting less than 6 and feeling completely wiped.  This morning was the latter.  Last night, even though I was exhausted,  I could not get myself to drift off.  I knew I had to get up early to get ready for an interview, and the pressure of knowing I needed to sleep only made it worse.  I dragged myself out of bed, bleary and blurry eyed (I’m blind as a bat), not even stopping to put on my glasses.  I had one mission, and one mission only.

Our house guest left this as a parting gift when he left.  I’m sure it’s delicious, but I really didn’t pause to smell or taste it before throwing it back.  I’ll let you know about that tomorrow 🙂

I replenished my supply of POMx to dissolve my Ester-C into.  I’m still so proud of myself for discovering this works!  (For new readers: I drink a little bit every day with breakfast to dissolve Ester-C, which aids the absorption of an iron supplement I take for low energy, but don’t photograph it every morning.)

I was excited to try out a new product with breakfast: Stonewall Kitchen’s Lemon Curd.  I’ve been curious about this for years, and my mom was nice enough to buy it for me this weekend.

Breakfast was a double portion of Sarah‘s pumpkin “cakes”, topped with a heaping cloud of 0% Fage, cinnamon, walnuts, and a scoop of lemon curdLemon Meringue Pumpkin Pie before 7 AM? Yes, please!

I had two back-to-back interviews starting at 9 (which I think went well); afterward I needed to unwind a little with some teasing retail therapy (AKA touch everything, buy nothing) at J.Crew and Anthropologie.  How is it that a store (or two) can be filled with only perfect things?  But my bank balance remained stable, and I left satisfied with the clothes on my back.

The tree is going up in Rockefeller Center…

I sat in the plaza and ate my Criterion apple.  Sometimes it’s okay to be a tourist in your own city.

After making sure there were no more stores I needed to browse through, I came home to get some done and eat lunch.  I heated up a bowl of Spinach & Rice soup and added lots of fresh parsley, and served it alongside a small sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Perfect mid-Monday comfort food, if you ask me.

I thought I deserved a treat, so I had some 55% Dark Chocolate Peppermint Chococolove.

The rest of the afternoon was spent writing. Welcome to my “office”!  You may recognize it as the kitchen table, but during the day I spread out and use it for reading, writing, researching, and tea-drinking.  I tried the Sugar Plum Spice holiday teaso good.  I think this might have been the first flavor they came up with, because I remember having it a long, long time ago before they changed their packaging.

After successfully moving to decaffeinated tea, I didn’t want to go back to drinking coffee so late in the day.  Instead, I moved on to a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.  I don’t know how they do it, but this smells so much like a cookie! It’s very vanilla-y, but it has a very soft taste without a hint of bitterness.

I finished up my work, then went into the city to meet my friend Ilena at 5:30 for an early dinner at FreeFoods NYC.

Tonight was another example of how many secrets this city has to offer, both food-wise and other.  I never would have suspected that a restaurant like this could exist (and thrive!) in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of corporate offices and tourist attractions.  Was I wrong!  It goes to show that people do want to eat locally and sustainably, the options just have to be made available.

FreeFoods serves fresh soups, sandwiches and salads; they have raw, vegan and gluten-free options.

I built my own salad with arugula, avocado, spiced mango, shittake mushrooms, spicy shrimp and Manchego cheese with Thai basil dressing.

One of the staff members had made an extra Vitality Berry smoothie (sweet cherry, açai, blueberry- pomegranate juice, ginger-agave), so Ilena and I split it with our dinners.  It was really good, and helped ease the heat in my mouth leftover from my spicy salad dressing!

Ilena and I sat for a while catching up…

…and were treated to another smoothie sample! This time we tried the “orange creamsicle” (it’s new, and the ingredients aren’t listed).  As Ilena said, it really did taste like a creamsicle, “but not in the bad way”!

Since we dined early, I was back home by 7:30 to get some things done before Gossip Girl.  Sadly, it seems like most TV shows have already had their holiday finales, so I did some more work instead.  I did, however, make a fabulous dessert to fill my Chuck Bass-sized void…

My dad found a great deal on takeout containers of Tasti D-Lite, so he picked me up some peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I added frozen berries and Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

Another sweet end to a good day.

What was the best part of your Monday? What are you looking forward to about Tuesday?

P.S.  Please vote for Lyle!  She is a talented, beautiful actress who deserves to realize her dreams.  Register, vote, and help here get there!


21 responses to “Early Bird Special

  1. What a fun day! I am envious of your curd, coffee, tea, peanut butter and tree views, not in that order. 🙂

  2. If I ever do move to NYC, which I would never rule out, you will be first on my list to call for a Saturday morning run followed immediately by cocktails at 10am. It’s the only way to run.
    Your spinach and rice soup looks so good. I must have missed that post!
    I’m going to go look into that now, so I hope you have a great night and I’ll talk to you soon!!!

  3. Lady, if there’s one thing I hope I taught you, it’s not to drink Starbucks, even if it’s the “Holiday Roast.” Second, if you would come to Colorado, we could tour the Celestial Seasonings factory, and you could have all the herbal-infusion bliss you wanted. Third, hope your interviews produce fruit. Fourthly, to get a coffee shop to make you a “dreamsicle,” request an orange italian soda with either half-n-half and some vanilla syrup, or a dash of whatever creamy substance they use in their smoothies (ice cream base or frappaccino mix, for instance), and blend it up. If they protest over blending, insist–it usually works. Lastly, GG-really disappointing. Serena’s Thanksgiving three sheets were to be the highlight of my week.

  4. Holy Crap what a post.
    Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. Have it, need to brew it.

    Raw, Vegan, GF…nothing like that here. Nothing. I wish I was your lunch date.

    Your Dark Dreams PB action. Have never had it, covet it.

    Orange creamsicle. Mouthgasmic no doubt.

    Love the post, K 🙂

  5. Okay my dark chocolate-loving queen. Have I ever told you about my latest obsession!? If not-try Trader Joe’s dark chocolate WITH ALMONDS, next time you get the chance!! My mom sent a bar of it for my bday and i’m seriously in love 🙂

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya and those interviews!!

    And that lunch sounds sooo comforting. And that breakfast does too! I cannot wait to try Sarah’s microwavable pumpkin thangs later this week!!!!!! So excited.

  6. I love lemon curd! Takes me back to my visit in Ireland…so beautiful.

    What iron supplement do you take? Last time I gave blood I had good iron levels, but it is something I wonder about sometimes as a vegetarian.

  7. I love lemon curd! Raspberry curd is also AMAZING- I’ve only seen it in one store though.

    Freefoods was bookmarked in my “NY trip 09” folder! Looks great- next time…ah, so much cool stuff to do in NYC.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the interviews!

  8. I visited FreeFoods NY once, I loved it! I wish I had known about it longer!

  9. Before I went vegan, lemon meringue pie was my absolute favorite kind of pie. Your oats look like an amazing substitute!

    I was equally disappointed by last night’s lack of new GG episodes, but I made up for it by watching the first 3 episodes of season 1. It was so good and they all looked so young!

  10. I am definitely an “all or nothing” type… very aggravating!!

    I wish I could have that Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea… and I don’t even like tea! 😉

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you re: the interviews!

    ❤ ❤

  11. i am SUCH a tourist when i go to NYC haha…I always have maps out and my subway ticket and i can tend to look like a deshevieled tourist 🙂 but thast ok, because i am!

    taht restaurant looks fabulous. Local food tastes so much better, more flavor, color, rich in nutrients mmmm

    celestial seasonings has the best holiday teas! i have gingerbread right now yum yumm

  12. it doesn’t make any sense becuase gossip girl’s next episode is the thanksgiving episode but they’re showing it after thanksgiving! silly.

  13. i still haven’t tried the sugar plum tea! I should buy it if I see it.

  14. Seeing your great eats are so inspiring!! You make eating veg (and eating veg OUT and about!) look so easy!! Thanks for being an inspiration and for capturing all your meals to share. Your spinach and rice soup reminds me so much of Chinese porridge I eat in Hong Kong all the time, except Chinese people like adding cilantro (uckkk)! hahaah

    Hope you have a fabulous day hun!!

  15. nom nom on that dessert!

  16. Love your photos and eats. I’m sad that restaurant wasn’t in midtown when I lived there. Although at that point in my life I probably would’ve bypassed it anyway for a brownie and a slice of pizza!
    BODA weight loss

  17. am i the only one that is not a fan of the sugar cookie sleigh ride? it makes me gag.

    however, i ADORE lemon curd. that is such a good idea for oatmeal. i am crossing my fingers on your interviews, in full support of you being a tourist, want the sugar plum tea and am drooling over all your food as usual.

    love ya!

  18. Lemon curd! Isn’t it such an amazing product? My daddy loves it and we always had it around growing up. He loved it on toast with a layer of cottage cheese on top 🙂
    I’m very all or nothing/black and white minded too. It has its perks and downfalls!
    That picture of you is so cute. And may I say the resemblance between you and mom (referring to the donut picture in your last post) is uncanny. I love it so much!

  19. looks like a really fun day. Good luck on your interviews! Ive never had lemon curd before! Is it really sweet or more tart tasting?
    I love finding little restaurants like that. Everything looks great!

  20. -I definitely have to check that place out. I am just so happy to be home in Cleveland so thats what I’m happy about right now.
    -Oh and when you said you never cut your tofu like that I thought oh gosh am I doing it wrong! Lol. I need to have more confidence in the kitchen.
    -plus I LOVE Anthropologie. I wish I was rich only because I would be able to buy everything in that store.
    -I love taking touristy pics of New York.

  21. yesssss! i have been all about the double portion pumpkin pies with lots of fage. i may have melted marshmallows on my last batch…

    oh also. heard you were alllllllmost at the WF meetup tonight… almost doesn’t count. we need to make that happen.

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