Tag Archives: Japanese

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!

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A Chocolove Letter

In my rush to get home and relieve Charley’s straining bladder last night, I left my camera in Brooklyn at my little red-headed friend’s apartment! Horrible, I know.  It will be returned tomorrow, so to mix things up a little bit I’ll be posting about today instead of yesterday.  We don’t have to live in the past tonight! Crazy.

The alarm went off at the usual time this morning.  I’d smartly left my alarm clock (i.e. cell phone) across the room so I’d have to get up and turn it off.  Genius, no?  Not if it means I’m just going to get back into bed again.  Two hours later I woke up, completely disoriented, and with only forty minutes until a coffee date.  Oops.  Luckily, my date was understanding and we pushed the time back a bit, but I hate rearranging plans at the last minute! It’s my own fault.  I’ll just have to find a better system for waking up… or go to bed before 2 AM.

Breakfast was quick and easy: whole wheat toast with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and 1/2 banana and a strawberry Chobani (eaten using the “plunge” method) with the rest of the banana.   I used my laptop to take the next few photos… the quality is pretty good for what it is, I think, with the exception of the mirror effect.

Breakfast

Took the pooch out for a quick (yet efficient) romp, then headed out to coffee and got my standard skim au lait with a shot of espresso.  Boy, did I need that!  My parents are running very low on coffee, and the problem needs to be remedied as soon as possible.  When I got home, I made a huge salad and thought about how much I need to trim my bangs.

Lunch

This was another salad winner.  I think I burned out on the beet/sprouts/hummus mixture (never thought that would happen!) and this was a welcome change.  I tossed in:

  • spinach
  • red chard
  • 6 oz (dolphin safe) canned tuna in water
  • 1 heirloom tomato (last one 😦 )
  • pomegranate seeds
  • baby carrots
  • 1 kiwi
  • dressing: olive oil, vinegar, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Horseradish mustard

The rest of the afternoon was spent scouring job boards and sending out cover letters and resumés.  It’s exhausting, let me tell you!  I broke for my second Chobani of the day… the pineapple is definitely my favorite, although after learning the right way to eat the fruit-flavored ones (from the bottom, up) I really love them all.  Too bad this was my last one 😦   See that little wrinkle under my left eye? It keeps getting bigger and bigger! I don’t really care that much, but if anyone has a tip to slow it on down, I’d appreciate it!

Snack

My parents got home from the airport (they’ve been in France since Tuesday) around 6 and were starving for dinner.  We went to our regular Japanese spot.  The place was packed and they were understaffed, so the meal was a little slow coming out.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted sashimi or a bento box, and ended up going with the bento.  It came with green salad, mixed tempura (I peeled off a lot of the batter), salmon teriyaki, one California roll, and rice.  They forgot our miso soups, so we got them to go instead.  I didn’t eat any of the rice, so I packed that up too.  (My mom has the same camera, so I borrowed hers for the evening.)

Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box

When we got home from the restaurant, we had a chocolate tasting.

Chocolate Tasting

Chocolove– one of my favorite chocolate companies- was kind enough to send two bars of chocolate to review for the blog.   I’d tried their 77%, 70%, and 55% dark chocolate varieties before, and their Crystallized Ginger in 65% dark chocolate is one of my favorite chocolate bars ever. (Really. Try it.)  I first stumbled upon Chocolove at Whole Foods when I was in college; I’m a sucker for packaging and loved their wrappers.  They make really interesting flavors such as Chilies & Cherries, Cherries & Almonds, etc., that come in dark varieties.  I love flavored chocolates, but I’m not a huge fan of milk chocolate and that’s often the only option for exotic flavors. And best of all? Each bar comes complete with a love poem! It’s the perfect special date/baby-I-done-you-wrong/you’re-my-best-friend chocolate.

Here’s a little page the Chocolove story from their website:

Timothy Moley is the founder, owner and chocolatier at Chocolove. A tall and slightly eccentric man, he reminds you a little of Willy Wonka. His laid-back attitude, wry grin, and lanky physique would never lead you to believe he is a man who lives and breathes chocolate, and has been consuming two chocolate bars, every day, for the past ten years. Seriously.

It all began in a cocoa field in Indonesia… Timothy was chewing on some cocoa beans doing volunteer work for USAID, a government program that promotes agricultural and technical education in developing countries. He had been living abroad on and off for two years, visiting over 28 countries, developing his palate with spices, teas and wines. And, like most of us, he had always dreamed of being his own boss, dedicated to something he loved. The idea of a career in chocolate inspired him and an idea began to form –  to create a premium chocolate bar, paired with the romance of love.

When he returned to the States, he began his chocolate education and quickly discovered a few key facts about the U.S. chocolate market: the average consumer could tell the difference between cheap chocolate and premium chocolate and they preferred premium chocolate; the available premium chocolate bar choices were limited, expensive and intimidating; no U.S. company was indicating the cocoa content on their wrappers; and flavors were boring.

I was excited to try two new flavors: Peppermint in 55% Dark Chocolate and  Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate.

Peppermint:

Chocolove Peppermint

Peppermint Chocolove Ingredients

Peppermint Chocolove 2

This bar came with a poem by Robert Browning called “Meeting At Night.”

Peppermint Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: There’s something odd about the mint flavor. The chocolate has a good texture, but I would like it more without the mint.  I don’t like the aftertaste.

Papa LVP: I don’t think the mint is odd! Just “minty.”  It’s refreshing, even though I don’t normally eat peppermint-flavored things.

LVP: Tastes like a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie! I love Thin Mints. The mint flavor is pretty strong, but it’s blended nicely and, as Papa LVP noted, very refreshing.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? If the mood for mint struck me, most definitely.  I don’t often find myself hankering for mint, but the next time it happens, this is my fix!

Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate

Coffee Crunch Chocolove

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Ingredients

Coffee Crunch Chocolove 2

This bar came with an excerpt from “The Dream” by Theodore Roethke.

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: I like the texture. It has a nice crunch to it.

Papa LVP: The chocolate has a smooth, deep, and dark flavor. I like the crunchiness of the grains.  I’m not normally a fan of filled chocolates, but I like this.

LVP: It tastes the way a good coffee shop smells: a rich aroma you can get lost in.  It’s crunchy, but the coffee grounds don’t distract from the good quality of the chocolate itself.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? Yes!  This is like a better version of a chocolate-covered espresso bean: it satisfies both my desire for chocolate and my need for coffee.  What’s better than a treat with a buzz?

Thanks again, Chocolove! And don’t forget to check out that Crystallized Ginger in 65% Dark Chocolate Bar.  If I had any money to bet, I’d reimburse each person who claims dissatisfaction with that flavor.  It’s that good.

Our tasting also included Côte d’Or with dark chocolate and hazelnuts that my parents brought back from France (and apparently can be bought at Dean & Deluca!) and dark chocolate “twigs” infused with orange.  So pretty! Wouldn’t it be fun to make a chocolate forest out of these?

dark chocolate twigs

I’m in a bit of a chocolate coma, so I’m going straight to bed.  I need to get up early (for real, this time!)  and do some work for my internship.  How was your weekend? What was the best part?

Bonne nuit 🙂

The Big 6

I’ve always thought that the day I ran 6 miles would be the day I finally became a “real” runner.

When my alarm went off at 8, my mind was filled with that excited dread that often comes with the first day of school and first dates.  Since my day is already jam-packed today, I’d written out a list of everything I would do, from waking up to going to work, with corresponding times.  This type of thing doesn’t usually work for me, but I really wasn’t even able to include a margin of error.

Still, I puttered around, wasting time… I checked on the laundry (three times), I did the dishes, I checked the weather (chance of rain)… I was nervous, and I wanted to prolong the run for as long as possible.  But, I was also excited, and had a good feeling.  I knew I could do it!

I quickly put together a no-fail playlist.  These are all songs I’ve run to over and over again, and I know they keep my legs running.

6 Mile Playlist

Before I left, I had half a cup of coffee, half a Luna Bar, and a lot of water.

Pre-run fuel

I debated whether or not to run with a water bottle, but I didn’t want the extra awkward weight to sabotage my run. Instead I kept running back to the kitchen for more water, just to be safe.  I should probably invest in a CamelBak sometime soon…

This was my first time running with snacks.I stuffed my baggie of gummies (who needs Shot Bloks?) into the waistband of my running pants.  I’m sure there was a better option… I tried to put it in the side of my sports bra, as I’ve heard other runners do, but it was really uncomfortable.    Where do you stash your mid-exercise snacks?

Mid-run snack baggie

Finally I set off, with a not-so-brave face.

Not so brave face

I’d promised myself I was going to run at a slow, easy pace… it was more important for me to log miles than go for speed. I’m not racing against anyone! To achieve the 6 mile run, I’d planned on fusing together my go to 4.5 mile and 2.0 mile runs.  It started to rain as I passed the 2-mile point, but I powered through it.  At almost the same time as the first raindrop hit my face, I got a stitch in my right side… the same spot I’ve been getting them for the past week or so. I tried some breathing techniques, but mostly just told myself to ignore it… and it worked!

After I finished my 4.5 mile loop, I stopped and ate half of my gummies.  Then I picked the pace right back up again.  I felt as though my legs were carrying me through, and the only thing I had to do was stay awake for it.  I expected to be sore, but I didn’t think that I’d be so mentally tired! But I powered on.  I stopped and ate the last of the gummies during the final mile.

I got home, stretched and calculated my total distance: 6.4 miles!!!

6.4 miles of victory!

Total distance: 6.4 miles

Total time: 1:10:27

Maximum heart rate: 177 (89%)

Average heart rate: 166 (83%)

Calories burned: 739

For a few minutes, I felt a little nauseous and not very hungry.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, and puttered around for a little.  Then all of a sudden… WHAMO! I made the quickest bowl of oatmeal you’ve ever seen, just so I wouldn’t eat my own arm.

Post-Run Oatmeal

This was made with:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • splash of skim milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • brown sugar
  • scoop of peanut butter

After showering, I slathered on a generous helping of Bengay and promptly burned the bejeezus out of my glutes.  I also got so cold that I had to pile on Ari’s sweats (shh!) and climb under the covers.  I guess “everything in moderation” doesn’t only apply to food…

I took a bottle of POMx Pomegrante Wildberry Light White Tea to keep me hydrated on my subway ride across the boroughs.

POMx Wildberry Iced Tea

FYI: I will be posting a POMx review once I’ve tasted all of the flavors.

POMx Wildberry Nutrition

I needed to pick some things up chez maman et papa, so I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up lunch to eat at home.  It was, sadly, my quickest in-and-out trip to the store.

When I got home, there were two exciting packages waiting for me! First… my RoadID came! I wish I could show it to you, but my Photoshop program isn’t working and I can’t edit out my personal information.  It’s very cool, though!

I also received the Kay’s Naturals package I won from Jenny‘s giveaway.

Kay's Naturals

With lunch, I snacked on some Crispy Parmesan Protein Chips.

Kay's Naturals Parmesan Protein Chips

They look like baby Sun Chips!

Kay's Natural Parmesan #2

And, unlike other brands, this one was filled with chips! Don’t you hate when you buy something and realize you’ve paid for mostly air? They were pretty good… they had the consistency of Soy Crisps.

Kay's Natural Parmesan #3

My Whole Foods lunch was filled with greens, Israeli salad, grape leaves, vegan chicken salad (LOVE THIS), lemon tempeh, glazed tofu, crunch sprout salad, and a farro/wheatberry pilaf.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

While I was home, Charley and I played dress-up…

Charley's tongue

He’s joined the ranks and is now an Upwelling Dog.

Upwelling Dog

I was still snacky, so I ate a raisin walnut roll on the subway on the way to work.

Raisin Pecan Roll

Business at the restaurant was non-existent, so I went home at 7. Wahoo!  I took a salad to go, but decided to save that for lunch the next day and stopped instead at the Japanese mart on my walk to the subway.  I’ve always been curious about these seasoned “wildweeds”:

Hmm..

Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for them at all.  Something about the taste, and the brown weeds (which reminded me of Distric 9… sorry for that gross tidbit!) really turned my stomach and I only ate half.  This looks deceptively small… but as the above photo shows, it weighed 18 ounces!

Japanese vegetable sampler

The brown rice tuna and avocado sushi, however, was just right.  I should have just gotten more sushi!

Tuna avocado roll

The weeds left a taste in my mouth that wouldn’t go away, so I had a glass of Pinot Grigio to usher it out.

Pinot Grigio

I hadn’t had a dessert plate in a while, so I helped myself to dried fruit, Israeli pop-rocks chocolate, and almond butter.  MMM!

Dessert plate

Daddy Date

Good morning, friends! How are you this fine Thursday morning? I’m not going to lie… I’m a little sleepy and would love to go back to bed! However, I think it’ll be better for my body and soul if I get my tuchus into the city for yoga. I haven’t been to a class in so long!

Speaking of body and soul, yesterday I made an awesome breakfast that was inspired by Body + Soul magazine.  I was craving an interesting eggy breakfast, so I steamed up some kale.  Then I poached a whole egg in the same water I cooked the cake in, to lock in some nutrients.

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On an Ezekiel English muffin, I layered cottage cheese, the kale, egg, and tomatoes, and sprinkled it with a generous helping of chili flakes.

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I also had an apple.

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Delicious breakfast! Egg whites are good too, but it’s nice to have some yolk every once in a while.

After digesting a little, I went on a quick run, showered, and went to Brooklyn to meet my dad for lunch.  He took me straight to Perelandra, a health food store by his office.

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We both got carrot/apple/beet/ginger juices. Like father, like daughter!

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My dad just got back from an intense bike trip in the Alpes that basically mimics the Tour de France, going over 100 km/ day. Is he a rockstar or what?!

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At Perelandra, there was a sample station set up for Counter Culture Coffee.

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I had a shot glass-size serving of their Finca Nueva Armenia, a Guatemalan direct trade variety with chocolate notes. Mmm! Might have to get off the Folgers.

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After leaving Perelandra, my dad and I went to Iron Chef House, a restaurant with one of the best sushi deals I have ever seen. It’s also mighty good! My entrée came with miso soup (ate all) and salad (ate half)…

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I ordered the sashimi plate.  It has been so long since I’ve had sushi, and this really hit the spot! My dad and I exchanged pieces… I kept the white tuna for myself, though 😀

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After lunch, my dad had to get back to work, so I went to the bookstore to lust kill some time before work.

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On the way to the restaurant, I got my hands all sticky by eating this juicy black plum that my dad wanted me to try. It was worth it!

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At work, I snacked on a pack of cashews from Oh Nuts and Amazing Grass blended with 1/2 banana and a little coffee.  These were the best snacks! The Oh Nuts guys put these cashews in a perfectly portioned bag, and the Amazing Grass really kept me going through work.

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For dinner, I had a mixed green salad with walnuts, beets, tomatoes, and oranges.  Mario, who makes the pizza, also saved me some Bufala mozzarella (my favorite!!!) so I plopped it on top. Mmm!

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I went out for drinks after work, and to be honest, my head has felt better! Hopefully yoga will do the trick.  I really have to hustle, though… my goal was to already be out the door by now, and I’m not even dressed! Have a great day.

Seventeen Again

band-01

Whew, talk about a bum day.  It felt like a weekend in college: stumble out of bed, scarf down breakfast, and go back to sleep for a few hours.  Yep, insomnia has returned.  Neither Sleepytime nor Sweet Dreams teas has been working, so I’ve had to turn to more medicinal remedies… those aren’t working so well either.  Ari’s teeth are still really bothering him, so we watched Band of Outsiders and waited for sleep to come.  Hopefully tonight, since I got a run in, it’ll be a little easier.

Breakfast was a cookie I made a couple days ago, but it still tasted good!

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  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 T chocolate PB2
  • 2 T almond milk
  • toppings: cinnamon, 1/2 peach

I woke up around 12:30 or 1, disoriented and a little miffed I’d let myself sleep so long because today is my only day off until next Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure I have to work that night.  Anyway, I didn’t know what I was in the mood for (we’re in a bit of a grocery slump), so I made the exact same thing I had for dinner last night: a heated wrap with a Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lovers Burger, spinach, hummus, pepper jack and salsa. If it ain’t broke…

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I also had an apple while watching some more True Blood:

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After lounging around in my gym clothes for several hours, I pushed my booty out the door for a run. The mapping is a little confusing for the route I take, but I think it’s about 2 miles or so.  Elise mentioned that Jillian Michaels has free weekly podcasts, so I downloaded one and listened to it on my run.  Having never watched The Biggest Loser, “Shred”-ed, or asked myself, “WWJD?” , this was my first JM experience.

I think I liked it! I didn’t get through the whole podcast, but so far I have learned one important thing: Do not consume caffeine after 3 PM. Period. Even though I just had an iced tea yesterday at 5, I was so wired and had a terrible time falling asleep last night.  In high school, I would literally drink four thermoses full of black coffee throughout the school day (don’t ask me why), but I guess my tolerance for caffeine has been severely broken down.  By keeping you awake at night, you not only miss out on sleep (obviously) but your cells don’t have time to rejuvenate.

After my run, I did 8-minute abs, level 2.  After almost 6 months, I still pant through the bicycle crunches.  I hate them! Is there an exercise move that you dread every time?

Total time: 31:49 minutes

Maximum heart rate: 198 (100%)

Average heart rate: 170 (85%)

Calories burned: 357

For some reason, I was absolutely ravenous for the rest of the day.  I snacked on a banana with almond butter around 4:30, but by 6 I was starving again.

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I was starting to get some serious cabin fever from being in the house all day, so I went into the city to meet my mom for dinner. Unfortunately, she’s had a pretty bad migraine all day and had to leave to go home.  My meal was too hot to be put in a take-out container, so I quickly ate and brought my mom her food.

I ordered tofu nabe and a piece of salmon sashimi:

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I forgot to put use “udon” (big, thick Japanese noodles) into my order, but the brothy soup was still good on its own.  The dish was huge, and the bottom was covered with about a pound of cabbage.  I probably ate half.

When I went home, I grabbed some dried fruit and nuts from the pantry that my parents got at the Co-Op for me for home #2:

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Charley also needed a walk (and a haircut… that makes two of us), so we strolled around the park for a little.

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On the way back over the bridge, I met up with Greg for some Tasti D.  I got a small cup with half peanut butter, half dutch chocolate, and peanut butter chips.  Artificial or not, I missed this stuff.

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On our walk, we happened upon this gem of sidewalk art.  Pretty snazzy, hmm?

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Now I’m back home, cozy in bed, watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the 754th time and hoping my mind will be wiped clear for just one night so I can get some sleep.  I’m working a lot the next few days, so this rest would be greatly appreciated!

In unrelated news…

Check out Ari! The Upwelling is featured on Seventeen.com’s Band Spotlight.

Have a great night. Bonne nuit 🙂

A fair in the street and a fight in the sky

star-trek

Good evening! I hope everyone enjoyed their day off to the fullest.  I don’t have a full-time job (yet, cross your fingers!) but this was my first Monday back home, which is certainly something to celebrate.

I started the “morning” (read: noon) with a bowl of oatmeal:

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  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 banana
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • 1 T Hell’s Kitchen peanut butter

(Ari had his own, man-sized bowl.  Sadly, he has not been convinced that oatmeal is best when at least 4 toppings are added.)

We met up with Ilana, Ari’s sister.  She pointed us in the direction of a street fair that was very close to our house.  Street fairs are ubiquitous in New York when the weather is warm and the sky is clear.  And with street fairs come street fair food; Ilana and I made a bee-line for the grilled corn-on-the-cob.

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We got ours with lime juice, salt, and spices.  The corn was pretty hot (in all senses of the word).

corn

I hadn’t had lunch and the salad place I wanted to go to was closed for Memorial Day.  Somehow, I found myself over at a crêpe stand, and in honor of the many 2 AM trips I made to the one crêperie that was opened in Paris near the Centre Pompidou, I ordered one with cheese, mushroom and spinach.

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Talk about a crack wrap: this bad boy had a HANDFUL of cheese (which had already been plopped onto the griddle before I could protest).  So bad, but so good. (My tummy was a little angry with me for a few hours afterwards.)

It was really hot out, so we decided to cool off at the movies.  We wanted to see Star Trek; we had a couple hours to kill so we sat outside at a shady table and had drinks.

I had an unsweetened iced tea… I recently re-discovered it as something I never knew I liked!

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The movie was great. I hadn’t seen too many of the old episodes, but the story was really fun and I was excited to see Sylar.

I snacked on a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar before the movie started:

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After the movie, we did a major grocery shop (there are four people living in the house) which should provide enough meals for a little while.

We did, however, have one last dinner out.  I know.

We went to Linn; I had one glass of cold sake.

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I ordered a small salad with mixed greens, dried fruit, nuts, and tuna sashimi.

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I also got a California roll.

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I came home and had an apple while I made breakfast for tomorrow… it’s going to be a pretty early morning so I figured I’d save some time.

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This weekend was extravagant, to say the least.  On our walk home, we decided that we’re going to eat in from now on, unless we’re meeting someone else for dinner or it’s a special occasion.  We’re going to cook, economize, and be smart about money.  This weekend was exceptional; it was both of our first weekends back after a long time away, and it’s always nice to have a treat. But we’ll find ways to make eating at home fun; I love to cook and try out new recipes.  When I was at school, I almost always had all three meals at home and cooked every night.  Totally doable.  It’s hard in New York, as Brooke pointed out, but it’s doable.

Anyway, time to watch a little telly and get to bed.  Have a great night!

Whaddya think, you’re on vacation or something?

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Hi lovepies! I’m so sorry for slacking on my duties yesterday, but Ari and I were having such a nice time enjoying the sunshine (and admiring Mr. Jackman) that there just wasn’t an extra minute! So, without further ado, I’ll backtrack to Saturday night.

We celebrated with a little Robert Mondavi Cabernet before heading out to dinner.

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We wanted to have a nice dinner, so we headed over to Basta Pasta.  The restaurant is Japanese Italian fusion, and the best meal you’ll get for under $20 in New York. This is, honestly, some of the best pasta I’ve ever had. Every time I go there I get the same thing, but each bite is pure heaven. The pasta is handmade, and the kitchens (one for savory, one for dessert) are exposed so you can watch the magic happen (and salivate).

I ordered the handkerchief pasta with mushrooms and ricotta.

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It’s light, fluffy, and even after finishing every scrap, I didn’t feel stuffed or bloated.

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After dinner, we headed home so I could raid the freezer.  I found some Breyer’s Vanilla Carb Smart ice cream, which I topped with a nice hunk of peanut butter.

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We were both so tired from not having slept very well the night before (and I’m sure the vino helped) that we went to bed really early and slept in late.  For some reason, when I’ve gone more than 12 hours without eating, I either get really hungry, or I feel like I don’t need to eat anything for a while.  We didn’t end up eating until 3, but I felt fine!

We got some iced coffee to kill time while we waited for our table to be ready at Alice’s Tea Cup.  This was Ari’s first time having it… he put his qualms with drinking coffee cold aside, but refused to use a straw.

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We were in that weird limbo between “brunch” and “lunch,” and because I always have to get the same thing, we waited an additional 20 minutes after we sat down so that I could get my usual “Light Fare.” It’s a little pathetic that I always order the same thing here, but why mess with a good thing?

The Light Fare comes with 1/2 sandwich or salad and a bowl of soup (chickpea artichoke) and a light and fluffy hunk of herbed bread.

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I ordered the warm pear and endive salad; the pears and onions are carmelized and topped with a soft, crumbly stilton.  I dream about this salad.

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We went to see Wolverine (thumbs up!) then home to pick up some of my things (like my laptop) and have dinner.  We’ve been so naughty about eating out, but it’s only been two days and obviously this can’t continue forever.  I’m really craving a home-cooked meal, though… I haven’t had one in almost two weeks!

I snacked on some radishes while waiting for our delivery.

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We ordered from a new local Thai restaurant: “Virgin” Summer Rolls with tofu, mint, carrots, rice noodles, lettuce, and a peanut plum dipping sauce:

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We split two entrées: black pepper grilled whirmp with water chestnuts and romaine:

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And three mushroom stir-fry with silken tofu.

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I had it with a little brown rice (and a lot of Sriracha):

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A few hours later I had a bowl of heaven: Haagen Dazs low-fat Vanilla Raspberry frozen yogurt with hot fudge and one of Anna‘s PB&C cookies.

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Well, now it’s morning and I’m thinking about either going back to sleep or getting some breakfast.  Touch choice.  Have a great Memorial Day!