Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Recap

What a fab weekend!

We started off with a Indian-themed homemade dinner and a Navarro Riesling...paired really well with the spicy Tandoori chicken, curry & yogurt cauliflower and garlic naan from Trader Joe's. Navarro is my favorite winery in the Anderson Valley in Northern much as I love red wine, they make some of my favorite whites!

The chicken was marinated overnight in plain yogurt mixed with Indian spices (the bf did this...I'm not sure what blend of spices he used!) This cooked in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. It was falling off the bone by the time it was good!

The cauliflower recipe came from the New Roots Organics website. I sauteed sliced onion and florets in a couple tablespoons of EVOO until browned. I then added some of the leftover spice blend from the chicken plus a teaspoon of curry and continued to saute over medium-high heat for a minute. Then I turned the heat down to medium-low, added 1/3 cup of plain yogurt mixed with 1/3 cup water and 2 tbsp cilantro and let simmer until florets were soft.

This meal was bursting with amazing flavor...I will definitely be adding both dishes to my recipe book! After dinner we got ready for the party at the Space Needle. The party was sponsored by Boeing and was mainly young professionals...about 400 of us!The party was held on the middle and top viewing decks of the Needle. There were two DJs, multiple bars and tables full of mini deserts. We met up with a friend of mine and her boyfriend and his friends who are all Boeing employees. It was very fun. I had about 3 glasses of red wine (in addition to 2 white at dinner...oops!) Here is a pic of my cocktail attire for the evening;)
Saturday started with a Green Monster and 75 minutes of power yoga at my favorite studio, Mountain Flow Yoga. After a nice sweat-sesh, I picked up some brunch items from the market across the street and HAD to buy some girl scout cookies from the cute little girls selling them outside! I may have gotten 3 boxes!!! Samoas, thin mints and tagalongs...all my favs! These will hopefully last for awhile...they are currently in the freezer...they taste so much better to me from the freezer!

We made some local organic eggs, toast from a multigrain loaf from the Essential Baking Company with farm fresh butter and fresh sliced roast beef...yum! After letting our power brunch settle, we went to the gym for cardio and legs. I ran 2 miles at 6.0 (a personal best for me!) and did some weighted squats, lunges, calves and hamstrings (I am really feeling it today!!!)

We met some friends to see their new place and attend Empty Bowls, a benefit for the local food bank. We paid $10 each and got to pick out a bowl made by local artists and eat soup and bread donated by a local bakery. We ended up being the last people to attend so they sent us home with all this yummy leftover bread:) After the benefit, we dropped off our car and walked to a local German pub for some beers. It was a pretty fun night!

Today was a sleep-in day followed by a yummy breakfast of eggs, toast, grapefruit and OJ. I spent about 4 hours doing some spring cleaning...and that was my workout for the day! We are having my boyfriends family over tonight for some homemade potato leek soup with sausages and all that bread we scored yesterday! Here is a pic of today's breakfast...

What did you all do this weekend?? Do you usually cook bigger breakfasts on the weekend???

Friday, February 26, 2010

Afternoon Snacks

Lately, I've been really hungry when I get home and I don't like to eat right before my 6 pm workout. So I decided it was time to experiment with my afternoon snack. Usually I have a yogurt or string cheese and a pear, orange or apple. I saw some yummy looking Flax Granola at the store the other day and thought it would be a good addition to my afternoon snacks. Hawaiian pineapple, coconut and mango...YUM!
I diced up the pear, added some greek yogurt and a handful of granola. The granola was really tasty with all the dried fruit and the pear came from my CSA box! The yogurt, however, wasn't that great. I used a 0% fat variety and it was just not very good:( I think I either need to add a little honey next time or get the 2%. I was kind of watery and blah...
This snack was higher in calories than I usually have, but it really filled me up and kept me full for 4 more hours. I think I will be adding a more filling snack to my days (unless I'm not too hungry of coarse!)

Here is a close-up...that granola is not going to last too long! So good!

I also decided to give Kombucha a try because it was on sale this week. This stuff is a bit pricey so I figured I would take advantage! I was a bit nervous to try because of the stringy bacteria at the bottom, but it was surprisingly good! It had a little fizz to it and the gingerade flavor was refreshing. I drank most of the bottle throughout the afternoon (except the last bit!) I have to admit, I made me feel a little buzzed:)

I took a rest day yesterday because I was really headachey after work. We had left-overs for dinner, but I wanted to make something out of my CSA box, so we made Kale chips for the first time. They were so yummy...I may have had a heavy hand with the salt shaker;) The boyfriend described them like eating crispy, salty air...ha! I guess I expected them to be thicker...but they were yummy! My only complaint is that they really made our apartment stinky! We had to light some candles:)

My weekend plans include a homemade Indian-themed dinner with a bottle of white and a party at the Space Needle tonight...I'm pretty excited because I haven't been up it yet and it's cocktail attire! We made the marinade for tandoori chicken last night (holy crazy amount of spices!) and then we're making a curry yogurt cauliflower dish (cauliflower from the CSA box!) and I am going to pick up some garlic naan from Trader Joe's after work.

Saturday includes the usual yoga class, strength training with the bf and I'm hoping to get outside and run at least 2 miles...I am getting back into it slowly. We also have dinner plans with some friends. Sunday is Spring Cleaning...and maybe some restorative yoga and easy cardio.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Roots Organics

After watching Food, Inc. a week ago, I immediately went online to seek out a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I had been pondering the idea for about a year, but never acted on it because I enjoy picking out my produce at Farmer's Markets. However, I do not make it to the FM every week like I used to back in California.

I found New Roots Organics and the fresh display of tomatoes on their website caught my eye (I'm a sucker for marketing!) I emailed the owner Carolyn asking about delivery options and she responded within minutes (got to love that!) I am set up to get one box every other Wednesday delivered to my office. I like the every other week option because it allows me the opportunity (if I choose) to hit up the FM.

The box was filled with a variety of organic fruits and veggies from local farms and two wholesalers that have networks of local farms in WA and OR. I am looking forward to this spring and summer when more of the produce will be direct from local Washington farms. I am also looking forward to trying to grow some of my own stuff this spring...more on that later!
Last night we roasted half of the carrots with a honey/olive oil mix and boiled/mashed 3 of the purple potatoes with some of the parsley (and butter!) I've never had purple mashed potatoes before, but they were pretty amazing...the carrots too, I wish I had made the whole bunch! We paired this with pork chops and it was a very satisfying and tasty meal!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lululemon Loot!

I scored some new gear from the loot section on the Lululemon website (yay for free shipping on all their stuff!) I had been eyeing the top below for some time in the stores, but it disappeared from stores and online and I was bummed....then it showed up discounted on the loot page and I snatched it up!!! Glad I held out, although its not too often that the items I want most end up dicounted;) I plan to try out this top at a power yoga session tonight!

I am totally a pants or crops kind of girls when it comes to working out. But then lulu came out with these super cute running shorts and I procrastinated on trying them, but couldn't pass them up once the price was cut! I wore them on Sunday for some cardio at the gym (elliptical, incline walking) and they worked out pretty well. The waistband is super soft on the inside and I love that it is wide...meaning it doesn't cut into my sides and make me feel uncomfortable. The side split was great for my large thighs. The built in underware gave me a wedgie when I tried running, so I stuck to walking. They stayed in place once I got a bit more sweaty...but I didn't try running again as its kind of embarrasing fixing my shorts at the gym! Overall I was pretty happy with them for other cardio, but I think I will stick to my crops or pants for actual running.

I had a great day for workouts and eating. I ended up getting in another cardio workout in the evening - 40 min combination of running, intervals and incline walking - a total of 100 minutes of cardio. I haven't done that since I started losing weight 3 years felt great! My eats were on target as well:

Bfast - Green monster (banana, milk, spinach, flax, frozen berries)
Lunch - Leftover risotto, garden salad with black bean veggie burger and evoo/balsamic
snack - apple + Glo bar
pre-workout snack - handful of cinnamon toast crunch (tastiest cereal EVER)
Dinner - tuna sashimi appetizer, spaghetti with ground turkey and mushroom meat sauce
desert - 1 chocolate truffle

New Gym and New Yoga Studio

Yesterday was a day of left-overs and I enjoy using them and not just throwing them out! I started the day with the usual green monster (banana, flax, milk, 2 cup spinach, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and frozen mixed berries-which actually made it more of a purple monster!). Then for lunch I used some left-overs to make a meal of couscous with pine nuts and mushrooms topped with steamed asparagus.

I had an apple and a pair in the afternoon along with my chocolate present (which was everything I had hope it to be!) I was still hungry when I got home so I had half a banana with almond butter before my yoga class.

I took the level 2-3 power yoga class tonight. It was pretty hard, but I felt like I worked a little harder...I think I am ready to add this class to my routine! Jaime, my favorite instructor teaches this class and I find myself going to 3 of her classes per week...she's great!

Mountain Flow Yoga is moving to a new location and thankfully it's going to be even closer to where I live! They start classes in the new space next Monday. Supposedly it is on the ground level with 12 foot ceilings and big windows. They are going to hold a rooftop yoga class in the summer when it's nice...can't wait for that! It is also located near a Cupcake Royale (could be dangerous!) I signed up for a 2 hour workshop on March 7, followed by a party to celebrate the new space...champagne after yoga is probably not the best idea, but I'm pretty excited about the new space and the workshop...did I mention I love power yoga?!

After yoga last night, the boyfriend and I ate the left-over chicken and risotto for dinner and then went to the new gym to lift back. We did about 45 minutes of back and I was pooped! I had a light snack of yogurt and a bit of smoked salmon and went to bed early.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 for Spin! I love that the new gym (Denali Fitness) has morning Spin. I felt pretty great throughout the class until about 45 minutes in...the final two songs were a joke...I was done! I listened to my body and took it easy during the final 10 minutes of class and I feel great now. I may even go back tonight for more:)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Recap

I had a very enjoyable weekend! I used to overplan my weekends and try do do everything! Over the past couple of months, I've learned to at least leave one day free of obligation.

Friday night was interesting as we had plans to chaperon a sorority dance...I hope I never acted that ridiculous when I was in college...I'm trying not to remember! We had a glass of wine and a snack at the apartment before leaving for the dance. Then we had dinner and drinks during late night happy hour at the venue after the dance. I had cod served over a risotto. The risotto wasn't great and I didn't eat much of it...I was disappointed that I wasted a meal out there!

Saturday I woke up with a green monster and a 75 minute power yoga class. I went to the market across the street and got some bagels and breakfast items for later in the day. We had the bagels when I got home and proceeded to the gym for some light cardio and a chest workout. I feel like I am getting stronger already and it's only been a week of consistent lifting! After the gym we did some cleaning and made a yummy egg scramble with mushrooms, red onion, spinach, red pepper and feta. We had the scramble with a piece of oat bran toast and OJ.

At 4 pm I had my massage...and it was glorious! I requested more focus on my back and neck and that is exactly what she did! I felt amazing afterward. Every time I get a massage...I begin rationalizing how I can fit one into my budget once a week...but it never happens! I am trying to do them once per month as a reward for working out 6 days per week.

We stayed in to make dinner and watch the Olympics. Dinner was courtesy of Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals...however, it took us closer to 50-60 minutes! We made an orange balsamic glazed chicken with lemon risotto and steamed asparagus. IT was probably in the top 5 things we've ever made...I should have taken a photo! The risotto dish totally made up for my terrible risotto on Friday!

Sunday we went to the Farmer's Market and had lunch out. We picked up some farm fresh butter and cheese from Golden Glen Creamery (you can order their products online!), some ridiculously good smoked salmon and dinner items for the night including purple potatoes, leeks and a grass-fed rib-eye. The potatoes and leeks were awesome...the meat was really fatty and a bit tough (and we cooked it med-rare). I'm not totally writing the farm off, but maybe we will try a different cut next time. We had lunch at the local bar/restaurant where they serve organic chicken and burgers. I got a chicken teriyaki burger with sweet potato fires...yum!

We ended Sunday with 60 minutes cardio at the gym while watching the USA vs. Canada hockey game, made our dinner and watched more Olympic games. It was a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chocolate Presents!

One of my co-workers went on a week trip to NYC and brought me back a some candy from Jacques Torres. After my raving about the chocolate drinks, she couldn't resist and had to try it! I came in to quite a surprise today...I was so excited she brought me something...I had been regretting not bringing some home with me:) boyfriend got me those gorgeous tulips for my new office (no more cube!)

So let's talk about mornings....I think I finally am into the groove of getting up early. I was doing great before my trip, struggled a little when I got back, but now am back on track. I completed 3 morning workouts this week...Tuesday 6am spin, Thursday 6:30am yoga and Today 6 am spin. I feel pretty great and am hoping to add in a Monday and Wednesday morning jog after another week of my current morning steps!

I finally joined a gym so I am able to take spin and lift weights again. I am pretty excited and have gotten into a strength routine with the boyfriend. I can't wait to see results! We are still playing around with our schedule a bit...switching between 6 pm and later evening workouts...I have to get the timing down for meals. I am thinking about splitting dinner up into two small meals where I have one at 6, work out at 7:30-8:30 and another mini-meal or a shake when I get back. I'm not sure if I want to be eating that late, so I will have to be strategic about the food. We like working out later because we are able to use the big room where all the classes are held for abs and stability moves (main space is pretty small).

Does anyone workout later at you eat afterward? Who knows...maybe I won't even be very hungry and just have a glass of milk or something!

Any fun weekend plans out there? We are chaperoning a sorority dance tonight (I'm an advisor) at this fancy venue, kind of excited...I think it's going to be very entertaining! I'm going to yoga plus some additional strength training tomorrow. I also have a much needed massage scheduled tomorrow afternoon (Valentine's gift!) I don't have much planned beyond that...we may take a trip to the farmer's market and probably watch some Olympic action. There will also be a bottle on pinot noir in there somewhere:)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alice's Tea Cup

Alice's Tea Cup was by far the cutest tea cafe I have been to. This particular location was located on the Upper East Side and full of all different types of people from dates to friends, mom's with daughters and little girls having tea parties with little butterfly wings! The decor was themed Alice and Wonderland and had this really cool mural on the wall across from out table!

The menu was great, lots of salad, scones and sandwiches...even burgers with tea infused mushrooms! But the tea menu was the real highlight! So many varieties to choose from. I ended up with the house special which was a blend of black and green teas infused with vanilla...I could have drank another pot! Speaking of...check out their cute teapots below!

We ended up splurging on the Mad Hatter, which included 3 tiers of scones, sandwiches and goodies. Let's start with the scones...we got blueberry almond, pumpkin and ham & cheese. All equally amazing, but I would have to pick the pumpkin with fresh cream and raspberry preserves as my favorite!

The second tier included a chicken and apple sandwich and a BLT with a blue cheese dressing...yum!

And onto desserts...I could barely fit any more food in my belly, but I had to at least attempt some of that chocolate chip mocha cake. Heavenly. It was dense, yet light at the same time...not sure how that is possible! We took the cookies home and each was a different flavor and all were quite good!

Here is the whole meal...

And can't forget the tea...each setting had a different teacup and saucer...very cute!

The Mad Hatter was reasonably priced for all the food you get ($35 per person, if I remember correctly) The menu also offers a $10 deal where you get a pot of tea and two scones of your choice (which would be plenty!) This would be very dangerous if I lived in NYC...I would probably make an appearance once per week just for the scones and tea deal!

Jacques Torres Chocolate

I have many words to describe the drinks at Jacques Torres...this was the most amazing, thick, creamy, chocolaty, rich, delicious mocha I have ever had! The menu includes classic hot chocolate, mocha, and varieties of hot chocolate including peanut butter and a spicy chili mix. I was in need of warmth and caffeine, so I went with the mocha...and it did not disappoint! My friend also ordered a chocolate chip cookie and let me try a piece...I will say she only offered a small piece and I totally understood was heaven! I wouldn't want to part with anymore...wish I would have gone back up to order another:)

Thick chocolaty goodness...note the chocolate is forming a nice skin on top...a sign of true yuminess! I savored every sip!

I just love the little chocolatier sign outside the shop!

The inside was pretty tiny and all decorated for Valentines Day. We managed to score a little table by the window with these charming little painting of birds! I really loved the decor, it was very warm and inviting...we could have sat there for hours!!

If you ever have the chance to visit one of Jacques' shops, I highly recommend ordering a drink and taking home some truffles or baked goods for later!

New York Pizza

I've been busy and am just now catching up with blog posts! I planned on writing some reviews from here goes...get ready for some food envy!
Best pizza I've ever had - Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. We waited in line in the cold for an hour and it was worth every minute!

Pepperoni and favorite! The crust was thin but not cracker thin. The sauce was a nice tangy fresh tasting tomato sauce with fresh mozzerella (the real stuff, not the shredded.) We selected pepperoni and mushroom and they also threw on some fresh basil - perfection! The photo does not capture its true greatness!

Enjoying every bite!!! Yes, we ate the whole pie!