Tag Archives: wine

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.

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?

My Knight In Blue Adidas

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.

Pumpkin Cake w/ Yogurt

Speaking of pumpkins, our little fella has aged quite a bit since Halloween!

Grandpa Jack

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.

Bagel Lunch

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 tourHow do you keep up with friends and loved ones when you’re separated geographically?

Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain

He also got me a surprise…

French Wine for Dummies

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.

Sweet & Spicy Dinner

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.

De Loach Merlot

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.

Häagen-Dazs Five Brown Sugar

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.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream w/ 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!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Proctologist

Happy Halloween!  I hope you are all having a wonderful night, whether you’re at a party, parade, or staying at home watching movies.  Ari and I decided to do the latter, although we’ve been sitting in our costumes all day waiting for Trick-or-Treaters!

Yesterday I started the day with my first (ever!) batch of Oats in a Jar.

Oats in a Jar 1

I added 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of water to the almond butter jar and microwaved it for one minute.

Oats in a Jar 2

I topped it with 1/2 banana, 2 chopped prunes, 3 walnuts, a little skim milk and brown sugar. It was delicious! I may or may not have rescued an empty jar of peanut butter from the trash so I can make this again…

My mom gave me an idea about how to solve the Ester-C powder problem… try mixing it in something else! I put a scoop into a little bit of plain yogurt.

Ester C in Yogurt

It’s still really disgusting, and I had to down a cup of coffee right away after I ate it.  But… it did the trick, and it went down a lot faster than if I’d had to drink it.  I’m out of yogurt, though, so I’ll have to find some more creative ways to eat this.

I wanted to get an early start to my day, so I said goodbye to the hair this guy and headed to the gym.

Ari's hair

Time was limited, so I just did some arms, abs, PT stretches (which I will post at the end for Melissa) and 18 minutes on the elliptical.  Short and sweet.   Afterward, I met George for lunch at Pizza Gruppo.  Always one for deals, I ordered the salad + 1/2 sandwich special.  The salad was bigger than I’d expected, and came with mushrooms!

Side Salad

My panini came with goat cheese, pesto, and roasted vegetables. It was really good! I haven’t had a sandwich I didn’t make myself in a looong time.

Gruppo Panini

After lunch I stopped by Paragon to pick up a foam roller.  There was so much pre-marathon mania going on… very exciting to be around!  When I got home, I sprinkled 1/4 packet of YouBar‘s YouShake Blended Bliss into the last of my yogurt.

Yogurt w/ YouShake

I also split an apple with cinnamon with Ari (who proudly told me he had green juice for lunch!) while we ran some Halloweenie-errands.

Apple w/ Cinnamon

For some reason I was snackier than usual, so I had some chunks of energy while getting ready to meet my little redheaded friend for dinner.

Chunks of Energy

Kalle and I found a Japanese restaurant with a great dinner special.  It’s so easy to spend a lot of money when ordering sushi, so the specials are imperative.  I ordered the Sashimi+Roll combination, which came with miso soup and salad.

Miso & Salad

The sweet potato roll was delicious… and my second in one week!

Sweet Potato Roll

The sashimi was beautifully presented.

Sashimi

It came with two pieces of cucumber-wrapped fish… what a great alternative to rice!

Cucumber-wrapped sushi

The special also came with shrimp shumai and edamame.

Shumai & Edamame

Kalle’s rolls were also creatively presented and looked delicious.

Roll Presentation

After dinner, we went back to her apartment to talk and drink Malbec out of black goblets.  I broke the cork in half, but managed to get it out of the bottle! Looks like my waitressing skills are falling by the wayside…

Malbec in Black Goblets

I got home pretty late and didn’t end up going to bed until almost 3… the night was definitely worth it, though.

And now, onto the physical therapy!

One exercise that I’ve been working on with my PT is called the clamshell, which strengthens quads.  Lying on my side in bed or on the floor, I stack my knees at a 90 degree angle.  Clenching my glutes and quads, I slowly raise one knee while keeping my feet together.  I repeat this twenty times, then switch to my other side.  Repeat series.

Another exercise that strengthens quads and calves is done by sitting on a chair or on the edge of the bed.  Extend one leg straight out and flex glutes, quads, calves and toes.  Twist leg to the side, then back to center.  Repeat until leg is fatigued, and switch legs.

Around the blogs: Jungwha is giving away a Sodastream!

Happy Halloween from the Upwelling and LVP… have a great night!

Two Apples A Day? If you Insist.

Good morning, sunshines! It feels just like monsoon season over here… when I woke up yesterday it was raining, and it still is now!  At least I’ve been getting better about bringing my umbrella (or parapluie, en français) so it’s actually been kind of nice.  There’s something so pleasant about being indoors and cozy with the rain outside, don’t you think?  When I was in fifth grade our teacher had us make a list of things that helped us write… “rain” was on there!

Yesterday I made another batch of Sarah‘s Microwave Pumpkin Pie… so, so good.  I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to snack until lunch since I had to go to my internship, so I made it a little heartier with a container of Trader Joe’s Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt, one whole Gala apple, and cinnamon.

Microwave Pumpkin Pie w/ Apple

I read some interesting things at work until lunchtime, when I met my mom at Pinto, a Thai restaurant that has a great prix-fixe. For $8, you get a salad, appetizer, and entrée.  Pretty good price, especially for New York City!

Tuesday Mom

We both warmed up with jasmine tea.  It was served in a coffee press, which neither of us had ever seen used for tea before.

Thé pressé

In addition to my salad (which came with a fabulous lemon dressing), I started with the tofu seaweed soup.  I was surprised to find glass noodles at the bottom of the bowl!

Pinto Lunch 1

My mom and I both selected the Thai Basil for our entrée.

Thai Basil

Mine came with shrimp, hers with beef.

Thai Basil w/ Shrimp

I had a couple bites of rice, but focused on the main event.  I did a pretty good job on it!

Thai Basil Sauce

After lunch my mom took me to buy some vitamins, then she went back to work and I walked across town to the gym.  It wasn’t raining, but was very damp.  The city is beautiful, but needs a little wringing out.

Wet New York Fall

At the gym I biked for 30 minutes and did some ab work.  I didn’t do the “cool down” today; I know I should, but it usually depends on how anxious I am to get off the machine.  On Monday I was reading an interesting magazine, so I stayed on for 50 minutes.  Do you stay for a cool down?

On the way out, I tore into the Jonagold apple my mom brought me from upstate.  It was huge! I had to violate the “absolutely no photography” rule to show you how big it was.

Apple at the gym

When I got home I researched and applied to some temping agencies; hopefully I’ll hear something soon.  Ari was working in the kitchen, so, friendly girlfriend that I am, I went out quite a bit to visit.  That may have been more about the bag of pretzels that he had next to him, though…

I was on my own for dinner, which I made while catching up with some friends and enjoying some pinot noir.  Recently, I’ve really been enjoying drinking cold red wine.  Do you chill your red or keep it at room temperature?

Pinot Noir

I made a quick batch of roasted Brussels sprouts:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Basic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1/2 pint Brussels sprouts, washed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450.  Chop stems off Brussels sprouts, and cut in half, top-to-bottom.  Combine olive oil, salt and pepper in the bottom of a glass baking dish.  Add sprouts, and toss to coat evenly.

Put dish in oven and bake 20 minutes.  The outer leaves should have begun to brown, but the rest should be bright green.

Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the sprouts.  Less is more, so start with about 1 tablespoon and add additional balsamic if desired.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I combined the sprouts with spinach, steamed green beans, grape tomatoes, julienned carrots and TJ’s Meatless Meatballs, and made a simple EVOO/balsamic/mustard vinaigrette.

Salad with Brussels Sprouts

FYI: I eat my salads out of a 3 quart Pyrex baking dish!  No ordinary bowl can handle these beasts 🙂

For dessert, I finished up the Light Phish Food and mixed in a teaspoon of Nutella.  Mmm.

Ice Cream & Nutella

When Ari came home, we watched It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which I hadn’t seen in years. I haven’t laughed so hard at a non-Hangover-style in a while.  Thank you, Charlie Brown.