Good evening and happy Tuesday! I hope you’ve had a fabulous, fabulous day. Mine’s been alright… no complaints here!
Yesterday I had an early-morning appointment with a new physical therapist (mine is in Orlando competing in a Half Ironman!), so, after flirting with snooze for as long as possible, I dragged myself out of bed. This was a little harder than usual, as I got less than five hours of sleep the night before. Ari was at the All-American Rejects show in Atlantic City the night before, and while I knew he’d be home late, was startled when I woke up at 3:30 and he wasn’t there. I couldn’t get him on the phone, and because I was still half-asleep, got myself so worked up thinking that something really awful had happened. He came home at 4 and all was fine, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been so worried. I can be a little silly sometimes 🙂
Anyway, breakfast was quick but delicious: Sarah‘s microwave pumpkin cake topped with raspberry yogurt and walnuts.
Speaking of pumpkins, our little fella has aged quite a bit since Halloween!
My PT session went well. My temporary therapist told me my muscles are still really tight… I need to be more aggressive with my foam roller and concentrate on the IT band. It hurts, but it’ll ease up as the muscle loosens. He also put me on a pilates machine for some quad work. I’ve only done mat pilates before, but this was fun! I definitely feel its work today.
I raced home to watch Heroes and get lunch with Ari. I suggested we go to a bagel place that also makes salads, but when we got there and I saw that their ingredients were no better than the ones I had at home (my rule when eating out is only to get something I can’t make at home) I changed my mind and ordered a toasted low-carb bagel with light cream cheese smoked salmon and tomato.
This was good, but so filling. I’ve never had a meal hold me over for 7+ hours before… note even Thanksgiving!
The rest of the afternoon was meant to be spent reading, but our room was so hot that I fell right asleep! It’s been unseasonably warm here for the past few days, and it was the same in Minnesota. Hmm…
While I was snoozing, Ari was out running errands, one of which was a trip to the bookstore. He got us both copies of The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for us to do on our own and talk about while he’s on tour. How do you keep up with friends and loved ones when you’re separated geographically?
He also got me a surprise…
French Wine for Dummies (FWfD)! Just what I need to kick-start my wine education. What a nice boyfriend!
We decided to go on a quick run together before dinner; I didn’t want to run at night by myself, and to be honest I’ve been a bit apprehensive about running outside again. I haven’t had any pain at all in either of my legs for at least three weeks and have run on the treadmill twice since I was given the OK, but I just wanted some company! While we ran, Ari taught me the rules of blackjack. I was so engrossed in his casino tales that before I knew it, I was falling… and falling… and falling… it seemed to take a really long time for me to hit the ground, and Ari acted so quickly and caught me so that I only scraped my palms. I have never fallen while running before, and I shudder to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t been there… I don’t think I’d be able to handle another injury!
We both had more work to do before we were ready to relax, so I made us a quick and easy dinner: Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas (which I’ve made before), brown rice and Japanese Cucumber Salad with Vinegar.
This chickpea recipe stood the test of time… Ari really liked it, and he’s a pretty tough judge. We both agreed the seaweed wasn’t quite right on the cukes; next time I think I’ll cut the pieces a bit smaller. A miso would probably taste good as well.
We had some De Loach Merlot, a 2006 Californian from the Russian River Valley that my friend Howard gave to me.
Although this isn’t a French wine, I consulted FWfD to learn a little about Merlot. I scanned the table of contents… nothing. I flipped to the back to search through the index… nothing again! No Merlot?! It’s a French word!…. Isn’t it? I flipped to the “Cheat Sheet” at the front of the book to see if anything even starting with “M” made an appearance, and lo and behold! Next to Bordeaux (red) (Wine Type) was an a list: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc (Principle Grape(s)). Merlot is a type of grape, and just one of several that falls under the category “Bordeaux.” It grows in the Haut-Médoc in Gironde, a region in the southwest of France that is located in the city of Bordeaux. The Merlot grape is the most commonly planted variety in Bordeaux (FWfD p. 36-38).
So what does this mean for California Merlots? According to the Wine Institute, Merlot grapes were brought to the United States in the mid-19th century, and are mainly used to blend and “soften” a more robust wine.
I’m typically more of a white wine drinker, but I want to broaden my horizons. This didn’t taste too strong to me, and it did feel sort of “soft” in my mouth, if that makes sense.
Ari’s take: Deliciousness in a sleek and spunky package. I was impressed by both the amount of flavornoids and antioxidants. And I was ready to party.
I was also ready to party… with the freezer. Häagen-Dazs sent me a coupon for a free pint to make up for their almond-less ice cream, so I picked up a container of their five-ingredient Brown Sugar ice cream.
It tasted so much like brown sugar! Which, I guess, is an acquired taste… straight sugar isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Ari wasn’t a fan, but I filled a bowl and topped it with Pure Dark chipotle chocolate.
We did a little more work, and spent the rest of the evening watching Heartburn. Has anyone seen this? It was made the year before I was born, and there were so many things I recognized (specific toys, accessories, my mother’s perm…). The film itself made me a little sad (Mike Nichols directed it), but I liked it a lot. What movie should I order from Netflix?
P.S. Holly’s giving away some supa-fancy protein powda!