Tag Archives: banana

Day Two

Good evening! How are you all this beautiful Friday evening? I for one could not be happier about being in bed and under the covers at 11:30 on a Friday night, away from the blustery cold and a long day.  I’m a little too comfortable… I’ll be very proud of myself if I make it through this whole post without nodding off!

We ended up making rich mugs of hot chocolate last night before we went to sleep (I’m not sure there’s a more perfect nightcap on the market) using Jacques Torres’ hot chocolate.

Ari was in charge of the preparation….

He did a pretty good job.

The chocolate was very thick and filling, almost like a pudding.  I topped mine with marshmallows and cinnamon.

It knocked me right out, and I fell asleep almost immediately.   Although I’ve been getting less rest than usual this past week, I bounded out of bed as soon as my alarm went off.  Must be the pre-work jitters!

I made another rich breakfast, hoping it would hold me well into the morning: 5 grain cereal with ground flax, cinnamon, 1 small banana, warmed frozen berries, almond butter and agave.

I got to the office right on time, ready to start Day 2 of training.  Did I mention I have my own office? 😀   Around 11:30 my stomach was growling pretty loudly, so I dug around in my purse for a snack.  Unfortunately I was a little distracted last night and didn’t have time to pack a lunch or snacks, but luckily I found a Date Heart Thrive hidden away!

We broke for lunch around 1:30 and I dashed out to grab a salad.  Hopefully I’ll be able to plan better in the future… I can’t spend $11 every day for a mediocre meal!  I had a mixed green salad with marinated mushrooms, tofu, avocado, asparagus, and chili lime vinaigrette.  It was pretty blah.

I needed a little pick-me-up, so I visited the fancy coffee machine in the communal pantry.

We’re running low, but there are so many flavors to choose from! Each cup is brewed “to order”, with the push of a button.  Pretty cool, hmm?

I spent the rest of the day trying to learn as much as possible from my trainer… I’m on my own starting Monday!

After work, I met my Little Redheaded Friend for dinner.  We went to Friend House 2 (I was very sad to discover that the original Friendhouse, one block over, had closed within the last month 😦 ) for Japanese.

We started with miso soup:

For my entrée, I strayed from my usual order (sashimi) and ordered a roll combination instead.  I must have been craving carbs!  By the time I finished my Sweet Potato, California, and Spicy Tuna rolls, I was thoroughly stuffed.

Kalle and I sat and chatted for a little while and let our tums settle before making our way to Whole Foods for dessert.  We’d originally wanted to go to a proper coffee or dessert shop, but it was so cold and windy out that we just decided to take refuge in the supermarket.  I got a “Caramelita bar”, which tastes like a cross between a Hello Dolly/Magic/7 Layer bar and Pecan Pie.

This was as big as it looks, and then some.  I’d broken it in half and had fully planned on saving the rest for later, but we were in the store for almost an hour and I ended up nibbling the whole thing. It was a little too rich for me, but it was still very tasty.

Well, I made it through the post without falling asleep!  I’m watching A Christmas Tale while I wait for Ari to get home, but it’s a pretty long movie my chances of finishing it are slim.  What are your favorite holiday movies?

Have a great weekend!

Back In Time

As of 3 minutes ago, it’s officially Thanksgiving! I’m cozy at home in my bed, surrounded by my stuffed animals, Polaroids from high school, and hundreds of books, among other things. What was your childhood bedroom like?

Speaking of childhood, I got a fun e-mail from my friend Jenny at 8 this morning while I was sipping on my coffee. Jenny is hands-down my oldest friend; our mothers grew up together, and although Jenny and I have been separate by half a country for our entire lives and only get to see each other once a year, we’ve always been close. When my grandfather was still living, my parents and I visited him in Indianapolis every winter between Christmas and New Year’s; this photo is from the winter of 1988. (That’s me on the right, with the bowl cut.)

Here we are this past summer, in Lake Michigan.

I miss her so much during the year. We look forward to our week on the lake so much!

After my trip down memory lane, I made a quick breakfast: Ezekiel English muffin with almond butter and a banana, raspberry jam on one side and pumpkin butter on the other.

I went to the post office to mail something; it didn’t open until 10 (which seems a little later) but there was a machine that got the job done. Then to physical therapy I went! It as a particularly good appointment. I learned some new exercises to stretch my hips; I can easily do them from the hotel room in Russia. After PT I raced back home to eat lunch before I had to turn right back around and go to an interview. I made a quick salad:

In the mix:

It was one of the rare occasions where I could not finish my meal. Usually, once I’ve dished a certain amount of food out, I will eat every last scrap even if I’ve long since reached capacity. (Last night’s pasta plate was an example of this.) However, today I started getting a stomachache about partway through, and just picked out what I wanted (roast vegetables, tofu, hummus), leaving a fair amount of spinach.

I felt guilty about throwing the rest out (I won’t be back at the house for two weeks), but it was better than making myself sick. As it was, my tum hurt for the next two hours. My eyes are bigger than my head sometimes, and I think the most important thing I need to remember to do is slow down while I’m eating. I’ve been so rushed these past few weeks that although I’ve been eating foods I love, I’ve barely tasted them as I’ve had to practically inhale them to get from appointment to appointment on time. It’ll be nice to have a little break 🙂

There’s always room for sweets, though! I had a couple of these strawberry gummy candies from the Japanese grocery store in our neighborhood. Not bad!

I was starving after my interview. Luckily I had about four different snacks in my bag, so I ate one of the apple-flavored Heart Thrive bars that I was sent to review. I’ll do a formal review once I’ve sampled all of the products, but I liked this a lot!

When I got home I folded laundry and did some preparatory packing for my trip to Russia. I am one of the worst packers ever. I always take too much and forget crucial items, like spare contact lenses or pajama pants. Do you have any fool-proof (or LVP proof!) packing tips?

I snacked on some Concord grapes that were about to go bad while I waited for my dad to help me pack some things up. These grapes are really addicting. There are seeds, which I thought I wouldn’t like, but are actually kind of fun to work through and take longer to eat. Plus, these are the kind of grapes used to make grape juice, so they’re the perfect combination of sweet + tart.

While my dad was at a holiday party, my mom and I had dinner at watched Hannah And Her Sisters. Not only is this a really good Woody Allen film, but it’s told between two years’ worth of Thanksgivings! I ordered a bento box for dinner, which came with a spicy tuna roll, tempura, sashimi & shrimp shumai. (It came with rice, salad & miso soup as well, but I’m saving those for tomorrow.)

I also had a glass of Black Box Wine’s Sauvignon Blanc.

My mom brought home dessert from Billy’s Bakery, the same shop she ordered my birthday cupcakes from.

She bought one pumpkin cupcake and one pumpkin bar; we split them three ways. De-lish.

I’m off to bed. There’s a lot on the agenda tomorrow! Have a great night, a happy holiday, and safe travels wherever your day takes you.

LVP Takes On The Deli Sandwich!

Hey hey-yo! How are you? How was your Wednesday? I can’t believe that one week from tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  I usually try to wake up early enough to catch some of the parade, then my mom and I make our famous sticky bunsDo you have traditions you keep up every year?

I seem to have unleashed the oatmeal beast within me yesterday, because that was just what I wanted this morning.

In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • frozen berries
  • frozen pineapple
  • flaxy peanut butter
  • cinnamon
  • agave

The rest of the morning was spent preparing for an interview.  I went into the city an hour and a half early so, subway problems or not, there’d be no chance of being late.  I had so much spare time that I went into a deli to go over my notes and read some Canadian snail mail.  To secure a seat, I bought some fruit salad.

The interview went well, I think; I was given an assignment to complete for Friday, so I went straight home to get started.  I needed some brain fuel, so I made a quick salad:

Our house guest came into the kitchen while I was assembling it, took one look at the bowl, and said, “Are you really going to eat all of that salad?! You must have a really fast metabolism!”  It was a salad of great girth, I’ll give him that. But of course I ate every scrap 😉

In the mix:

  • spinach
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 avocado
  • leftover salmon
  • dressing made with rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds & chili flakes

The Lindt store on 5th  was handing out holiday truffles on the street today, so I snatched one up and had it for dessert.

My body must have needed sleep because I nodded right off after lunch! Today is the fourth consecutive day I’ve gotten up significantly earlier than I’m used to, and the rest of the week will be no different.  Hopefully in the next few weeks there will be more early mornings and regular hours, if you catch my drift! When I woke up, I made some coffee and snacked on these Jalepeño Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks from Kay’s Naturals.

These are my favorite of the Kay’s products I’ve tried; they’re satisfying, and didn’t leave me with horrible garlic breath the way the protein chips did.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent working.  When it was getting close to dinner time, I simmered and marinated some tempeh using the recipe for Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh from Veganomicon.

After about an hour, I plopped the tempeh onto the George Foreman, the apartment-dweller’s best friend.  Aren’t grill marks satisfying?

I proceded to make one of the best sandwiches on earth: The LVP Reuben.

A reuben sandwich is traditionally made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, saurkraut, and creamy salad dressing.  I don’t remember eating one even when I did eat meat, but my version is much more appealing to me.  It’s based on one of my all-time favorite sandwiches: grilled cheddar with Granny Smith apple slices on Peppridge Farm Cinnamon Raisin Swirl bread.  Tonight, I went a step further…

Grilled cheddar with Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh, Gala apple slices and baby spinach on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread.  My tum is grumbling at the memory.  I also had a bowl of Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Leek Soup, garnished with cinnamon, nutmeg, shredded coconut and parsley.

Dinner for 1, at home, does not have to be boring.

Luckily I had the foresight to plan my dessert early in the day; I had two bananas sitting in the freezer and  waiting  to be processed into Chocolate Banana Soft Serve.  Three words: Move over, Stögo! I topped mine with roasted almonds and walnuts.

It was rich, creamy, and far better than anything packaged I’ve bought recently.  You better believe I licked up every last trace of “batter.”

I can’t wait to play around with this! There are so many options based on what’s in the pantry alone.

After dinner I finished my reading, and just as I was about to e-mail my notes to myself (I type everything out on my Blackberry… it’s an odd habit), the memo deleted itself.  I searched IT message boards, asked people I knew with Blackberries if there was any way to retrieve data that wasn’t backed up on a computer… nothing.  Seven hours of work has been LOST.   So… tomorrow will be another early morning.  It’s not the end of the world.

Bonne nuit 🙂

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

Apple

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.

snowballs

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

Back to the Microwave

Evening, chickadees!  How was the rest of your weekend?  I can’t believe it’s over already… the days are just flying by, and I can’t seem to do a thing about it!

Yesterday, my last day in Minnesota, was quite relaxing.  I slept in a little, then woke up, had some fruit…

Scary Clementine

I did quite a number on those grapes!  Produces isn’t safe when I’m around.

Grapes

We had a 12:30 reservation for brunch at the club, so I didn’t want to fill up too much… but I did caffeinate.

Morning Coffee

I loaded my plate to the brim on round one at the buffet…

Brunch Buffet

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • artichokes
  • hearts of palm
  • peppers
  • cottage cheese
  • cherry tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds
  • cauliflower
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • seafood salad
  • citrus- marinated mushroom
  • strawberries, cantaloupe & pineapple

The halibut cake (about the size of an orange slice)  called to me on round 2.

Halibut Cake

I took a little bit of everything for dessert: mini magic & fudge bars, the bottom of a piece of pumpkin cake, and fresh berries.

Dessert Plate

I sipped on a cup of Darjeeling tea throughout the meal…

Darjeeling Tea

Don’t silk tea sachets feel so fancy? I love it!

Tea Sachet

With good reason, brunch held me over for hours.  We went straight to the airport from the club, with just enough time to check in and board.  I snacked on Pink Lady apple on the plane, more out of boredom than hunger.  (Hopefully I’ll finish this book before the year is out… it’s been long enough!)

Apple

When I got home, I made something quick and easy (although perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as one might hope): Annie’s Mac & Cheese with a Morningstar Farms Pizza Burger, one small sweet potato, chili flakes and a scoop of nutritional yeast.  The entire thing was made in the microwave! Unfortunately, not all of my meals can be like the ones I ate over the weekend.  If only!

Annie's Mac & Cheese

As per Sunday tradition, I ate my dinner while catching up on Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Dinner w/ Grey's

I wanted something sweet (because I hadn’t quite had my fill already 😉 ) so I microwaved a banana for 90 seconds and topped it with Pure Dark cardamom chocolate, cinnamon, and agave nectar.

Banana Dessert

The first thing I ever cooked by myself on the stove was a version of this… I used to eat it while watching Wishbone after school.  Pretty cool.

Banana Dessert 2

Well, I’m off to get dinner started.  Please excuse my foreseeable absent-mindedness over the next few days… I have a lot to do to organize myself, and a wedding to go to at the end of the week.  I’ll do my best!

Have a great night 🙂

Wynken, Blynken & Nod return

Honesty is the best policy, and I’ve got to admit that there’s about a 70% chance that my eyes will close and this post will go up tomorrow morning instead.  Daylight Savings + changing time zones must be catching up with me!

Today was an absolutely lovely day.  I woke up earlyish and met my grandparents downstairs in the breakfast nook.

Breakfast Nook

I had an English muffin with peanut butter, cinnamon and 1/2 banana and a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh raspberries and blueberriesBreakfast

As I was assembling my breakfast, my grandfather remarked that there were no redeeming qualities to peanut butter.  Of course, I loved having the opportunity to launch into my spiel about protein, healthy fats, folic, and plain ole great taste!

After breakfast, I gave myself a little time to digest before hopping on the treadmill and pounding out 2 miles.  Luckily, Saved By The Bell was on and I didn’t get bored…

zack_morris4 Source

Nothing like a little Zach Morris to keep your heart rate up!  (Although, he’s clearly underage in this photo, and that makes me feel a little weird.  A little.)

On our way out the door to run some errands, my Granny fed me a carrot and told me about her new method for fast-cooking veggies: steam them in the microwave! Make a pouch out of waxed paper, moisten with a few drops of water, fill with veggies, and nuke for 3 minutes or until cooked.

Microwaved Carrots

Is this the end of rebel carrots?  Maybe, as long as the wax doesn’t break down and seep into the vegetables.

Everyone seemed to still be full from last night’s dinner,  so lunch was kind of informal.  I grabbed a Pink Lady apple on the way out the door…

Pink lady

… and got a Grande Skim Mocha at Starbucks.  Mocha?! Who am I and what have I done with LVP?

Mocha

I must have been really thrown off my my choice, because I immediately spilled it all over my purse.  I’m a bit of a klutz!

Spilled Mocha

An hour or so later, I had my first Nature’s Path product.  I’ve seen these Optimum bars all over the blogs, so I grabbed this when I spotted it on sale.

Optimum Rebound Energy Bar

It was good… the taste and texture reminded me a little of a Luna Cookie.

Optimum Rebound Energy Bar

This is my second lunch in a row that’s been supplemented by energy bars.  I’m not proud of this, but it happens when you travel.

Granny and I took a special trip to the grocery store to look for Celestial Seasonings’ Sugar Cookie Sleighride tea that y’all seem to love… we searched in vein, but I did find this Sweet Coconut Thai Chai tea that will hopefully taste like the coconut chai tea I love.

Tea & Clementine

I also convinced my grandmother that she needs some POM in her life.

I Heart POM

We had an early dinner at Spoonriver, one of my favorite restaurants in Minneapolis.  I was really happy when our waitress asked for my ID when I ordered a Moroccan Mojito (mint, lime, rum, cardamom and rose water).  I haven’t been carded in a few months, but this must mean my wrinkle is getting smaller!  It’s funny… two years ago I would not have enjoyed being IDed at all.

Moroccan Mojito

I had a slice of whole wheat potato bread

Spoonriver Bread

… and my grandmother and I both ordered the Broiled Salmon Okisuki in a savory Japanese Ginger Broth with Fresh Udon Noodles. I think Grandpa was jealous… I am definitely going to recreate this at home.

Spoonriver Salmon

For dessert, we all split a slice of butternut squash-carrot cake with pumpkin-cream cheese frosting.  Oh, mama!

Butternut squash-Carrot cake

After dinner, we went next door to the Guthrie theater to see an evening showing of Faith Healer.  It was a really, really powerful play told entirely in monologues.  I loved it.

When we got home, I took a deep breath of fresh air for Averie on the way up to bed.

Minnesota Air

If it weren’t so late, I’d ask Granny to tuck me into bed.  I used to visit them every summer when I was younger, and until I was 11 or 12 or so, my grandmother would put me to bed with this nursery rhyme.  I have such nice memories of sleeping in this room (when I first started visiting on my own, the floor was covered in a thick pink shag carpet) and being here.  Although I went to college in Minnesota as well and visited a lot, my memories from that time are sort of separated from the time I spent here as a kid.  Do you have any memories of nighttime rituals? If you‘re a parent, how do you put your kids to bed?

Around the blogs: Starting Monday, I am going to do my best to follow Angharad and Holly‘s lead and practice yoga thrice a week.  I am also going to take meal-prepping more seriously, so I don’t stand in front of the fridge with the door open for minutes on end, willing the empty produce drawer to magically refill itself.

Wish Jungwha a happy blogiversary and win big!

Have a great night!

Gym Class Heroes

Good evening and happy Monday! I hope the start to your week- and your November- is going swimmingly.   It’s strange to think that another year is almost over already, and I feel like I only just graduated!  I have two bits of news… one I’ll share now, and one that’s going to wait until the end of the post.

As you know, I’ve been devoting most of my time recently to researching and applying for jobs.  I recently applied to an entry level job at Wine Spectator, and the editor who looked over my application noted, after browsing through the blog and reading my cover letter, noted that while I have a clear and definite passion for food, my interest has not been directed towards wine.  While I may not get this particular job, I’ve decided that I do want to take a more active pursuit towards learning about wine.  Wine has always been important to my family, but with the exception of knowing that Malbec is from Argentina, Vouvray is from the Loire Valley and 2007 was a good year for white, I know next to nothing.  So I’ve decided to take a proactive approach! I’m going to take advantage of the free tastings that go on every day around the city, and  I’ll do my best to have some inkling about the wine I pluck off the $10-and-under shelf at the liquor store.  In the next few days, I’ll add a special tab on the blog devoted purely to vino in order to chronicle my progress.  I don’t know where this will take me, but since I have a little more time on my hands due to unemployment, I’m excited to learn a useful skill and pursue a new hobby!

Anyway… let’s jump back a bit.

Yesterday I was awakened quite early as Ari left for a morning meeting.  Musicians keep very strange hours, I tell ya!  Since I was already up, I decided to make a breakfast cookie to plop in the fridge while I went back to sleep for a few hours.

YouShake Vanilla Dream Protein Powder Breakfast Cookie

Jim was made of:

I also broke into my new McNulty’s Sumatra coffee to get my buzz on. And on and on.

McNulty's Sumatra

Finally found a real solution to the Ester-C problem… POM Wonderful‘s Pomegranate Nectarine juice (which the company sent to me a few weeks ago) is sweet enough to completely mask the taste! I simply dissolved 1/3 teaspoon of Ester-C into 1/4 cup of juice and gulped it down as fast as possible. All I was left with was a pleasant fruity taste!

Ester-C & POM

After I finished up breakfast, I looked at the time, packed my gym bag and hustled out the door to make a 12:15 60 minute Pilates class in the city.  I got there five minutes early and went into the studio with my jacket, bag and shoes still on so that I could reserve a spot on the floor.  Class had already started!  I was a little annoyed- I didn’t want to disrupt the class, but it was early!  It was also pretty warm and really stuffy, and I thought about asking the instructor to turn off the heat.  After ten minutes, we still hadn’t moved to the mat to work on our cores and instead seemed to be moving through a Vinyasa flow.  I turned to the girl next to me and whispered, “This isn’t Pilates, is it?” She shook her head and whispered, “Nope, it’s hot yoga!”  Oops.  I really love Bikram, but had I known I would be taking the class I would have hydrated, brought water with me, and not just had half a pot of coffee!  Still, I’m glad I stayed for the full 90 minutes, and even more glad that I didn’t pass out from dehydration!

When class was over, I went home to have lunch and get some work done.  I was surprised with festive snail mail from my girlies, which brightened up my day.

Halloween Snail Mail

I hadn’t brought any food with me, so I rooted around in the freezer to check out the pickings.  Not bad!  I found bulgur pilaf with mixed vegetables, to which I added raisins and  cilantro:

Quinoa Pilaf

I also found sweet potato soup with navy beans from the Moosewood Cookbook, which I also added cilantro, peanuts and raisins to.

Sweet Potato Soup w/ Navy Beans

I washed it all down with Natural-flavored Zevia:

Natural Zevia

Not bad for an improvised lunch!

Improvised Lunch

A little later, I snacked on a Jonagold apple while I did some work.

Apple

I’m pretty sure Ari had dinner while it was still light out, so I made a big orange salad with cilantro-chili vinaigrette for myself.

Orange Salad

In the mix:

  • two handfuls of spinach
  • 1 sweet potato, microwaved and diced
  • 1 orange
  • 1 Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger
  • shredded carrots

Salad Dressing

I made the cilantro-chili vinaigrette with:

  • 1/2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 Trice vinegar
  • 1/2 t Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 T raw blue agave nectar
  • 1 slice red onion
  • handful cilantro
  • 1/2 t chili flakes

It was enjoyed with a bowl of leftover miso soup and Christina Yang.

TV Dinner

For dessert, I had 1/2 each of a brownie and blondie Edgie.

Edgies

We watched half of Good Bye Lenin! before tuckering out for the night.  It’s been on my Netflix queue for years, but I’m really glad we finally saw it! Or, half of it at least 😉

Onto the second bit of news! My dad called today with a proposition.  He’ll be traveling to Russia in December for work and offered to take me with him.  Let me think… yes!!! We’ll be in Moscow for four days, then we go to St. Petersburg for two. Not only do I get to spend some much-needed quality time with Daddy-O, but I’ll also get to see my Sarah!!!   I can’t wait.  Life is good!