Tag Archives: pasta

Keeping It Classy

Back again from a very short but lovely visit with Ari’s family in Maryland.   Of course I wish Ari could have been there himself, but his parents are warm, welcoming, and put me completely at ease.

As soon as I was picked up from the bus stop we drove to one of their favorite Italian restaurants for dinner.  We split an order of fresh bruschetta (crusty bread topped withtomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and what Ilana claims to be the best tomato sauce on earth).

I ordered freshly-caught Rock Fish from the Chesapeake Bay (with lemon and olive oil sauce on the side)…

… and a side order of linguine marinara.

This was the same restaurant we came to two years ago, when I was meeting Ari’s family for the first time.  Time flies!  After dinner, the girls went to see New Moon (the movie wasn’t quite Ari’s dad’s style).  I’ve only read the first two Twilight books, saw the first movie, and did not have high hopes for this one.  But… I really liked it!  My friends who have read all four books say that Book 2 is the weakest, but I really think Stephanie Meyer nailed Bella’s heartbreak in both the book and the movie.

This morning we all got up early, had breakfast, and got ready for a bridal shower.  The food spread was pretty grand.  We had Beth’s Famous Zucchini-Wrapped Salmon (I helped with the zucchini and dill garnish):

Three different kinds of quiche (spinach, mushroom & cheese), croissants, salad, pasta salad, cheese, crackers, hummus

I ate my fill and then some more.

We had a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, and pretzels for dipping…

And did I metnion there were Jello shots?

To keep things classy, we also had hot apple cider (warmed in a crock pot) spiked with Goldschlager.

This was my first bridal shower, and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure there will be many more to come.

I ate leftovers on the bus ride back to New York, and feel like I haven’t stopped eating since before the holidays!  It’s kind of nice, since these were all meals I spent with people I love and are thankful for even when it’s not a holiday.  The trip home was very productive… thanks to my good friend Mr. Dramamine, I read Elements of Style in its entirety and moved on to The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. Nothing really signals that the holidays have arrived like having the time to curl up with a good book.  What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?

As some of you know, I’m headed off to Russia on Monday to spend 10 days with my dad and Sarah.  While I’m gone, are there any burning questions you have about Russian culture, history or food that you’d like me to try to investigate? I’m at your service! Sarah’s informed me that while there will probably be fish available at every restaurant, strictly vegetarian options will be harder to come by.  I’ll let you know how I fare.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

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Belly Full ‘O Pasta

Evening! How was your day?  Mine was just fine, but I’m ready to crawl into bed and call it a night!

This morning when I woke up at 8:30, I panicked for a few minutes before remembering that my boss (at my internship) had canceled work for the day. I was up and ready to go, though, which things to do and people to see!

I was excited to try these goji berries with my breakfast.  I’ve only ever tasted these chopped up and mixed into other things, but when I snatched them right up when I spotted this bag on sale for $2.19 at the food co-op this weekend (they’re usually almost triple that price).  Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, and among their many benefits they are touted to improve eyesight (they’re rich in beta carotene), boost immunity, and spice up your sex life 😉

I tossed them in with Greek yogurt, 1/2 toasted Trader Joe’s Berry Mango muffin, warmed frozen berries and flaxy peanut butter. The goji berries are firm but chewy; the texture really complemented the rest of the mess.

This held me over for a really long time.  The rest of the morning was spent reading, researching, and waiting until I was digested enough to go for a run.  I warmed up with a 20 minute hip opening flow, then set out for an easy 2 mile run.

Total distance: 2 miles

Total time: 20:09

Most of my runs are going to have to be in the morning now that it’s getting dark earlier; I’ll have to crank out some long runs on the treadmill when I’m in Russia, however.  I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able (psychologically) to run 7 miles on a treadmill…. What are you tips for making it through a long treadmill session?

Lunch was pretty basic (and very green): the last of the spinach and rice soup and a crunchy salad (spinach, broccoli slaw, celery, roasted almonds; sesame oil/rice vinegar/sesame seed dressing).

My interview was at 3:30; when it was over I hopped right back onto the subway and headed home.  I had 1/3 of a Key Lime Pie Larabar on the ride back:

I found myself in one of the rare instances when I didn’t have anything to read on the subway… it was completely disorienting.  I always have a book with me (sometimes two!); I would have brought one to prom if it had fit in my clutch!  Ari calls me his word nerd.

When I got home, I went straight to the kitchen to unwind and get dinner started.  I’ve had my eye on Martha Stewart‘s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest (in the November 2009 issue) for quite some time… a little too much time, because the head of cauliflower I’d bought in anticipation a couple weeks ago had started to mold.  But have no fear! I just sliced off the offending areas. I’m frugal, what can I say?

While slicing onion, I remembered what one of my cooking teachers always said: always cut out the middle greenish part of an onion.  I can’t quite remember why that is; I think it has something to do with it not being fully developed yet and causing stomachaches.

I was eager to try out this pasta… Nature’s Place is Hannaford grocery store’s natural, minimally processed brand.  Fresh (not dried) pasta always tastes so much better to me.

Plus, they look like little nests! Two “nests” make one serving.

When the veggies finished roasting (perfectly crispy!), it was all I could do to keep myself from eating them all right off the baking sheet.  I’d already made quite a dent in the cauliflower while I was chopping it… if I wasn’t careful, I wouldn’t have any ingredients left for dinner!

I tossed the roasted cauliflower with the pasta and added lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil.

When it comes to parsley and other fresh herbs, I’m of the “more is more” mindset.

Lest you think this was a dainty, “ladylike” portion…

I had enough fuel to run a marathon with this baby.  Come November 6, you just might find me eating it!

There wasn’t too much room in my tum for dessert, but in the words of Tim Gunn, I made it work.  Dried figs and prunes stuffed with dark chocolate chips are so good… and they just keep me going back for more.  They kind of look like frogs, right?  I seem to have successfully eaten nuts in some form or other for every meal and snack today.

I’m off to seal my day with a lunar flow practice and hope to be in bed by 10.  I’ll make it work.

Bonne nuit 🙂

Edited to add: Kristina from Stonyfield Farm wants me to let you all know about a fun “Greek” opportunity!

“When consumers buy our quarts instead of single-serving cups, they pay less for their yogurt, but we know that a quart is not as convenient as single-serving cups for on the go consumption,” says our President and CE-Yo Gary HIrshberg. “The reusable yogurt cup gives our quart buyers the convenience of the Stonyfield 6 oz cups by providing a way to create easily transportable single servings for anywhere, anytime.”

Yogurt lovers just have to buy four Stonyfield yogurt quarts through December, and mail in the foil lids (describing this offer), and they’ll receive the reusable, eight-ounce yogurt cup made by Preserve®. Made from 100% recycled plastic, the cup is perfect for yogurt-lovers on the go, the ideal size for breakfast or a snack, with room to stir in fruit or granola. It’s dishwasher safe, BPA-free with a screw-on lid – and it’s made in the US.

Consumers will also get  $4.50 worth of Stonyfield and Preserve coupons along with the cup.

Our recycling partner since 2000, Preserve uses innovative methods to turn used materials (including used Stonyfield yogurt cups) into stylish, useful household products like toothbrushes, colanders, cutting boards and tableware. Preserve products are 100% recycled and recyclable too.

Consumers can mail clean foil lids, with name, address and phone number on an index card or 4” x 6” sheet of paper by February 28, 2010 to:

Stonyfield Farm
Reusable Cup Offer
PO Box 4840
Manchester, NH 03108-4840

Cups will be shipped starting in January, 2010 with delivery in 10 to 12 weeks. This offer is good only in the US, while cup supplies last, and is limited to one cup per household (to better spread the love around).

So save those lids!

Dos and Don’ts

Hey there, strangers! How was your weekend? Mine was lovely… I spent the last few days relaxing in upstate New York with my parents.  Time seems to move slower there; I never felt like I was rushing to catch my breath or finish five things at once.  It was a nice change.  What did you do?

Here’s a quick re-cap of the weekend chez with Mom & Pop LVP, Do/Don’t style!

DO make Eggs In A Basket out of an open-face grilled cheese sandwich.  Thanks for the idea, Kaytee!

DO enjoy pumpkin whole wheat pancakes on a frosty fall morning.  The secret to their fluffiness? A little bit of vinegar.

DO support your local farmers and buy apples at the orchard…

…and while there, DO pick up an apple cider donut for your mama.

It will make her happy.

DO top your salads with Red Ants On A Log (celery with Sunbutter and dried cherries).

DON’T feel silly when you squeal with delight after finding holiday teas at your local food co-op, after searching every chain grocery store with no luck.

DON’T gloat about winning some fancy protein powder from your neighborhood Everythingtarian.

DO share Holly‘s pumpkin molasses cookies with those who gave you life… albeit grudgingly.

DO cozy up to a mug of Spiced POM Cider

DO have a nice dinner at Church and Main, a sustainable restaurant that supports local farmers and uses only the freshest ingredients (and DO go home and watch Food, Inc. afterward).

DO drink local Riesling

…eat wedges of bread

DO share two appetizers with Daddy-O to maximize tastings, like these bay scallops with parsley pesto over cappelllini...

… and this spinach and arugula salad with candied almonds, parmesan and goat cheese.

DO have the pan-roasted Atlantic monk fish with creamy white beans, celery root, warm baby winter greens & roasted beets for yourslef.

DO share three desserts (warm chocolate cake with caramel sauce, gingerbread crème brulée, semolina cake with roasted apples).

And, in case you were wondering, this is a salsify root:

…this is a celery root:

… and this is a turnipDON’T worry, these aren’t sea creatures!

Do warm up for your first 6 mile run since your injury with Yoga For Runners.

DO give your knees a break and run on a track.

DO utilize the Lap function on your heart rate monitor; DON’T feel bad for taking a year to notice it.

Total distance: 6 miles
Total time: 59:54

Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 10:07
Mile 4: 10:14
Mile 5: 10:03
Mile 6: 9:41

Average Pace: 9:58

DO refuel with a bowl of apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal.  Microwave a diced apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, for 90 seconds. Insta-baked apple.

DO enjoy an end-of weekend bowl of Marcella Hazan’s Spinach and Rice Soup.

DO buy packaged falafel based on the brand name alone.

And most importantly, DO take advantage of your boyfriend’s absence to load up on things like Garlic Lovers Hummus and raw onion.

For an added bonus for body and soul, DO a free Lunar Flow practice before bed, with your eyes closed and the lights off.  You’ll thank yourself.

What are your most recent DOs and DON’Ts?

Wacky Wavy Crazy Day

Evening! How are you doing on this fine Thursday? Today has been a strange day and I’ve felt a little out of sorts for most of it! Not in a bad way, just… different.

This morning I woke up bright and early, eyes-a-burnin’, ready to work.  I made a pot of coffee (and drank it black, which is unusual for home-brew… I usually only drink it straight when I’m out) and got breakfast ready.  It was nutty,fruity, and choco-coconutty.

In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • frozen berries
  • leftover un-balled chocolate snowball dust
  • flaxy PB

I worked all morning, got ‘er done, and before I knew it, it was almost time to go to physical therapy.  But what about lunch?! I made a very quick salad, and ate it even faster.

In the mix:

  • baby spinach
  • escarole
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 Gala apple
  • celery
  • Morningstar Farms Pizza Lovers Burger
  • sesame vinaigrette

When I left the house it had started raining, and kept on for the rest of the day.  I got to the subway and they were doing track work on my line again, so I had to call my PT and push the appointment back. Again.  They must hate me! But I was able to get an appointment at 3:30 instead of 2, even though I probably would have made it on time.  I was scheduled to run five miles today; it would have been too dark by the time my appointment was over and I got back home, but I didn’t have enough time to go to the gym first.  Quite a conundrum! So I decided to push the run back until tomorrow, but it’s supposed to rain again so I might just have to tough it out and get wet.  I’m going to have to figure this out soon, though, because it’s getting darker earlier and earlier now (4:30) and I don’t think it’s a good idea to run in the park at night by myself.

While I was weighing each option, I took shelter from the rain in the subway and snacked on a cup of Strawberry Oikos.

My appointment went well; I did a lot of leg work on the pilates machine which I have a feeling I’ll feel tomorrow!  Even though I had recently eaten, my stomach was grumbling the whole time and as soon as I walked out of the office I dug into my purse and found an Apple Pie Larabar.  Never underestimate the importance of the “emergency snack.”

The bar held me over for a while, but when I got home at 5:30, I was already thinking about dinner again.  I think it must be the darkness outside that’s throwing off my internal clock.  I looked in the pantry, the fridge, and the hanging produce basket to see what I could see.

Brandi‘s pasta-stuffed squash inspired me, so I decided to combine two of my favorites: roasted veggies and loaded macaroni and cheese.  I cut an acorn squash in half and rubbed each with olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne; then I roasted them at 450˚ for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I sipped on a glass of Rosemount Sauvignon Blanc.  Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white wines, and from my experience, unless the wine is really cheap (and you remember buying it at the liquor store near your college’s campus), it’s a pretty safe bet.

Rosemount is an Australian-based vineyard. In traditional French Sauvignon Blanc,  Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes are often blended together; Sémillon come from Bordeaux and Southwest France, whereas Sauvignon Blanc can come from Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, southwestern France and Languedoc.(FWFD 19).  “Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant grape variety (60 to 100 percent) in most of Bordeaux’s dry white wines, whereas Sémillon dominates the sweeter white wines…. The Sauvignon Blanc part of the wine offers immediate charm; it’s crisp, lively, herbaceous, light0bodied, and develops early” (FWFD 70). Rosemount’s version is also a Sémillon blend.

When the squash was just about done, I made a bowl of macaroni and cheese mixed with tuna, nutritional yeast and chili flakes.

I packed the mixture into the squash halves and baked them for 2 minutes longer.

These were so good! I loved the sweetness of the squash, the saltiness of the tuna and the cheesiness of the pasta noodles.  I know I’ve been getting a little crazy with my mac ‘n cheese lately, but it’s so much better that way 🙂

I was craving ice cream for dessert, so I started with a Pure Dark Chipotle/ semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate sauce.  A few drops of water, 30 seconds in the microwave, and a quick stir gives you melty freshness that’s far better than Hershey’s.

I added a little Brown Sugar ice cream, and had a nice lil sundae for myself.

I needed to take the night off from thinking about (un)employment, so I climbed in bed with my dessert and popped Wristcutters: A Love Story into the DVD player.  It was pretty cute, in a twisted sort of way.  I’m going to try to get a quick yoga sesh in and hit the sack.  Bed before 10? You betcha!

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 🙂

Early to bed, early to rise…

Is it wrong that it’s only 9:15 and I’m considering going to sleep as soon as I Love You, Beth Cooper (one of the silliest movies I’ve seen) is over?  When sleep calls, I’m not one to ignore it!

Yesterday I got up early, packed up, had a quick breakfast and headed out.  I toasted an Ezekiel English muffin and topped one half with a light Babybell cheese and egg whites and the other with peanut butter and raspberry jam. Fun fact: I lost my first tooth in a Babybel cheese!

Breakfast Sandwiches

I met my mom at our voting station to do my duty, then took care of some paperwork so my visa will be in order for Russia.  I still can’t believe I’ll be there in less than a month! I also can’t believe the high will be 9˚ Fahrenheit.  Brr!

Mama brought me a Jonagold to help me sign and date papers for the embassy.  It was hard work!

Apple

When that was all taken care of, we set off in search of a great coat for an even better price.  We found a good one at The North Face, but are going to keep checking around some more.  Who makes your warmest coat?

We broke for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien.  Because it’s a chain restaurant, they’re required to post the calories in all of their dishes.  Their meals are really healthy, but it’s nice to be reminded of what’s inside your food!

Le Pain Quotidien

My mom and I split the seasonal appetizer special: red quinoa with roasted beets and butternut squash.

Red Quinoa with Roasted Beets & Butternut Squash

I only had a couple bites because my entrée was huge!  I ordered the shrimp salad with avocado, mango, and salsa.   It was mighty fine… I ate every scrap.

Shrimp Salad

We were full, but not too full for dessert 😀  We set off in search of frozen yogurt, and bumped into Ada on the way! To celebrate her 19th birthday, she’d just gone on a 13 mile run!
Ada had also just come from The Lite Choice, and told us the flavors were worth the trip.   I got a small cup with Oreos ‘N Cream and Espresso Truffle.

TLC

After our treat, I left my mom and went across town for physical therapy.  I have another appointment tomorrow to see how my therapist thinks I’m doing after my fifteen minutes on the treadmill… I’m very optimistic! In the past month, I have been to four different branches of my gym.  The one I went to yesterday was by far the biggest, but it was also the most confusing! I literally got lost in the locker room. Twice.  What do you like most about your gym?

When I got home Ari had some errands to run so I tagged along.  I brought an apple with cinnamon for the ride, and for the second time in a row, Ari ate half of it! I think I’m rubbing off on him 😀

Cinnamon Apple

Since The Upwelling is going to be on the road for the next month, Ari and I decided to go out to dinner to spend a little time together to get away the craziness of packing.  He had a few things to do before we could go, and my stomach couldn’t wait.  I ripped into Josh’s bag of barbecue-flavored pretzel thins… I’m not a huge fan of bbq-flavored chips, but I could have eaten the whole bag.  I don’t know what it is about flat pretzels, but they really get me going!

BBQ Wing Pretzel Crisps

Ari was craving chicken parm so we went to the diner for dinner.   Now, while I love going there for eggs, something feels a little off about eating there for a meal other than breakfast.  It turns into a more upscale restaurant, but I’m just not a fan of their post-brunch fare.  We still had a very nice time.

All dinner entrées come with soup or salad, and I went with salad.  Hello, onions! (Sorry, boyfriend.)

Side Salad

Nibble at the dinner roll… starting to feel those pretzels!

Dinner Roll

For my main, I ordered the pecan-crusted ahi tuna in a balsamic-fig reduction with Mediterranean orzo and cherry tomatoes.   It was good, but very filling.  Orzo is such a confusing (but delicious!) grain… it looks just like rice but I always forget it’s actually pasta! I also forget how much I like it.  I’m going to see if I can find a whole wheat variety at the grocery store.

I ate about 2/3 of this and boxed the rest up.

Seared Tuna w/ Orzo

For dessert I had a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Everything But The… ice cream with a warmed up Edgie brownie.  No one will ever accuse me of not knowing how to indulge!

Brownies & Ice Cream

Now that Ari’s gone for a little while, I’m going to be cooking a lot more and eating out a lot less.  We like to eat home-cooked meals when he’s home, too, but we’re on such different schedules that it’s often hard to coordinate dinner.  It’s a goal of mine to cook more frequently when we’re both around… I’m pretty sure that any dish with mushrooms in it is a safe bet 😉

Hope you had a fabulous day. Bonne nuit 🙂