Recipes

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gorgeous Weather and Giveaways!!

If you live in New England, then I'm sure you will agree that we got a special treat today with the weather. I ran out of the office at lunch time for some errands and soaked up every second. It was sunny, breezy, and almost 60 degrees!!! (heat wave to what its been lately).

To start this SPRING day off right, I got something that always reminds me of warm weather...

Iced Coffee Beverages!A Treat: Iced Non Fat Caramel Macchiato with 1 pump vanilla (instead of the usual 3)...it's always such a mouthful but I'd rather get what I want :) This drink this morning brought me back to Miami! Don't know why, I've had this on many occasions, but Brian and I went to Miami a couple years ago and Starbucks was right across the street from the hotel and this one just brought me right back to that spot :)

Lunch was WF's salad bar...no pic of the lunch version, but I had leftovers for dinner!Veggies!! This was just 1 part of my dinner...I started with an app of mini roasted Gorgonzola crackers with melted sharp cheddar on top and 1 pickle
And a Mini Flat Out honey wheat wrap with BBQ sauce, red onion, and the extra sharp cheese...this was probably the sharpest cheddar I've ever had! I think it was 3 years aged Hard to tell from the pic but that's a mini wrap not the full size :)

Grapes!Little purple beauties
Ok ok ok...GIVEAWAY!!
So you know how I have been trying out the new Yoplait Yo-Plus yogurt...the Strawberry Flavor! I received a coupon for a free package of them as well as some other fun stuff...and now I can give THREE readers this fun package!!

This was definitely a transition for me. Before I found the wonderful world of Greek yogurt I used to eat the "Light" stuff...you know, no fat, fake sugar...etc... It tasted good! But then came Greek yogurt...Yogurt Heaven!! This really brought me away from "sweet" yogurts...even when I add sweet things to the Greek yogurt.

Now this Yo-Plus is Low Fat, and made with regular sugar (no fake crap). It was Great!! I think I treated it more like a dessert, but still, those little cups are perfect snack size! Like strawberry fro-yo but not frozen (obvi). Plus it contains 3 grams Fiber, 4 grams Protein, plus Probiotics AND Prebiotics!

Now onto the swag...
What could be inside??
A Cooler Tote Bag! Perfect for picnics since its insulated!Great Yoplait Water Bottle, plus a super cute little note book. This is like the perfect size to keep in your purse to jot down yummy food ideas, health goals, and eating habits. I carry one around because I come up with recipe/food ideas at the MOST random times :)
And of course a coupon to try out a free 4-pack of Yo-Plus yogurt in any flavor. This yogurt comes in 7 flavors: Strawberry, Vanilla, Cherry, Peach, Blackberry-Pomegranate, Cranberry-Raspberry, and their newest flavor Blueberry Acai!

Ok so I am new to the whole giveaway thing, so we'll just keep it simple:
  • Leave a comment
  • Link back if you have a blog
  • And I will randomly pick THREE lucky people at 9pm on Sunday Night (March 1).
Hope everyone has a great Saturday...Mom and I are off to the rental company to choose all the fun stuff: table linens, plates, place settings, flatware...etc. We get to set up mock tables and play with all the pieces!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eating Sunshine!!

As I was looking over my pictures of the food I've eaten recently there seems to be somewhat of a them...COLOR!!
Apparently I really like orange/yellow/redish foods :)...hence Sunshine!

It all started with breakfast on Wednesday
That plate would be:
  • 1 slice GH nine grain bread, toasted, with Barney Butter, banana, and raspberry fruit spread
  • extra banana
  • cantaloupe chunks
  • Delish! The melon was super juicy.
Lunch followed the theme thoroughlyHere we have:
  • the last piece (heel) of the nine grain bread, toasted with American cheese
  • TJ's Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (with spinach mixed in...hey its GREEN!)
  • pieces of a Joseph's low carb pita to go with...
...more orangeSabra Roasted Red Pepper hummus and carrots!! Orange Orange and more Orange!

Apparently I couldn't even escape the color scheme with dinnerI was feeling a little better so I hit the gym...did about 33 min on the step mill (sweaty!!) and a few strength training exercises.

For dinner I had a little over half of my salmon from my dinner salad at the Cheesecake Factory from the other night.

I broke it up and added:
  • light mayo
  • dijon mustard
  • capers
  • red onion
  • celery salt
Then formed a patty and cooked in a pan with a little canola oil spray. This was quite delicious!!Didn't stay together too well, but I ate it with a knife and fork on a half of a Sandwich Thin topped with sliced pickles!! Served with steamed summer squash and half of a sweet potato.

I guess it was Orange Wednesday because I finally broke the trend this morning!!A Classic:
  • 1 container of Chobani 0% Plain
  • Strawberries and BLUE berries!
  • about 1/4 of the Almond Country Square
  • 1 Kashi Heart to Heart waffle
  • REAL maple syrup drizzzzzzzle
I love how frozen waffles smell like the real thing...I mean they taste great but they really have that waffley smell...mmmm...makes me want a real Belgium waffle!!

I swear, Emergen-C is my SAVIOR!! I am kicking this cold A$$! I felt the sickness coming on and so far have kept it at bay (just a minor sore throat, which isn't even bothering me right now). Doesn't help that EVERYONE else is sick.

Do you have any personal remedies that you SWEAR works for cold and other ailments?? Once I feel a cold coming on I start pounding the Emergen-C and Echinacea tea!! Many of my aunts and cousins swear by this Mushroom extract stuff...but it was like $35 a bottle and I was not about to spend that on something that MIGHT work haha, but they think its a miracle drug!

Tomorrow is Giveaway Time!!! I am very excited for my first giveaway...AND I already have another one set up for second giveaway next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MIA!

So sorry I haven't been a good blogger the past couple days. Monday was super busy, didn't get home til late and just really wanted to go to bed. Then yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and feeling blah!! (NOOO!!!!)...plus only worked a half day because Brian and I had to head up to NH for a wedding of his friend from high school. Therefore no Internet for me once I left work :(

Ok, but I am back now with a mini re-cap.

A Few Things I've Tried Recently

FINALLY, saw these at WF's and had to pick up this flavor! I have been breaking little pieces off here and there (still have some left). WOW...I am LOVING this flavor. You can immediately taste the Almond flavor (extract!)...which just makes me think of delicious cookies and Almond macaroons. These are a new Favorite Fo Sho!!

I received a coupon for a free pack of these babies (plus some other fun stuff to give away...stay tuned!!).

I haven't had regular flavored yogurt in a LONG time (Greek all the way normally)...so this was a tad sweeter than I'm used to, but its sweetened with sugar not fake crap so that's good! I'd like these after lunch like a dessert! Or with a less sweet granola topping perhaps?? I don't really understand the added digestive properties...

Yo-Plus for Digestive Health
"With just one cup of Yo-Plus™ yogurt, you'll treat your body to our unique Optibalance™ blend of both probiotics and prebiotics — including three grams of fiber — to help your digestive system keep the balance nature intended."

Perhaps I eat a healthy enough diet with fiber already that this didn't make too much of a difference, but I want to give it a couple more tries first. The extra fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics can't hurt though!

Monday I used some leftover Steel Cut Oats that I had made on Saturday!
Reheated with a little extra water, and added:
  • strawberries and blueberries
  • coconut
  • Zoe's Honey Almond Granola
  • Little piece of Almond Country Square
  • small drop of German Chocolate PB Spread
  • small spoon of White Choc. PB!

As I said Monday was BUSY! After work, Brian and I went to meet with a Loan Officer and got Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage!!! Now we can start looking for houses!!! So scary and exciting at the same time!

Well that meeting went looooonger than expected, then we quickly picked up a wedding gift at Crate and Barrel and then it was 8pm!! I hate eating late but what are you gonna do?

Cheesecake Factory was right there.

I got a chopped veggies salad with a piece of salmon on top!And, while he is usually a very healthy eater...the boy needs a good burger once in a while and I had to take its pic!

The Tons of Fun Burger - Yes, It's True! Double Patties, Double Cheese, Triple Sesame-Seed Bun with Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Pickles and Secret Sauce. Served with FriesI SO had to take a bite :)

Left work early for a wedding...pretty low key but fun! One of Brian's high school friends. They are Mormon (not super strict though...so I've heard). I don't know much about that religion, but it was definitely different than any wedding reception I've been to, but it was really nice!
Brian, his high school friends...and me :) Leave it to me to wear the brightest outfit of the evening haha!

Well my throat is still not great...but I don't feel crappy so that's good! I really hope to get to the gym tonight!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Girl Time!

Well I've been lazily hanging out on the couch for the past couple hours...and it's been fantastic! I hardly EVER have a Sunday afternoon without anything to do. I almost didn't know what to do with myself, but its great.

This weekend started after Yoga yesterday when our friend Jenny arrived. We hung out, and then decided we were hungry for lunch so we hit up Snappy Sushi in Davis Sq (in Somerville).
Left: Rainbow Box Roll
Middle: Philadelphia Roll
Right (top): Spicy Tuna
Right (front) California

Now I am still not fully into the Raw fish, but I love the Cali roll and Philly roll (smoked salmon). I did try that closest bite of the Rainbow box with the tuna, avocado, and shrimp and it was quite delish! All the sushi is made with brown rice. They also have bottles of regular AND low sodium soy sauce on the tables. You can check out the cool decor from the last time I was here.

Later we headed out for some dinner then meeting up with friends for a bday. We are the type of girls who love trying out lots of different foods...so we went with Tapas! We hit up Bar Lola in Boston's Back Bay.

It was a really cool ambiance (sorry for the blurry pic...and yes it got a lot busier while we were there)To start: Sangria!
What to order??Maybe you could just read it better online

We shared 6 Tapas...here are a fewThis may not look amazing but it WAS! Grilled Beef Tenderloin with "Cabrales" goat-blue cheese sauce. Oh.My.God. that goat-blue cheese sauce was INCREDIBLE!! We used bread to get every last ounce of sauce off that plate :)
Maine crab meat, sofrito, and cheese crustini's with a piquillo-shrimp sauce. YUM, like delicious crab cakes!!Classic Manchego cheese and Serrano ham with toast points.
Chicken Croquettes with Lola's savory Tomato sauce...MMMmmm.

Everything was delicious!! Plus whats better than tasting 6 different foods in one meal.

We then hung out with friends at The Foundation Lounge. This was a pretty swanky bar, and was just great to see so many friends.









Sunday was more fun girl weekend activities. Me and all my 7 bridesmaids along with my mom and aunt were meeting to try on the dresses and get all the styles and colors finalized. We had brunch reservations at 1:30 afterwards, but I obviously needed some fuel before we left
Chobani 0% Plain, Strawberries, Blueberries and a drizzle of REAL maple syrup. I also had a banana :)Then is was Dress time. I decided I wanted my bridesmaids in dresses from Aria. They have a studio in Boston so it was great to just go there...you have an appointment in the boutique and you have the place all to yourself while your group is there.

(like my sweet red tights and rain boots!)

I really loved Aria because I have a vision in my head and their dresses would fit it well...I wanted different shades of pink and each girl to be able to pick their own style...all knee length.

These are NOT the dresses...but these ARE the colors!Raspberry, Amaranth, and Fuchsia

There were many dresses tried on...(someone is wearing this, but not here, and it will be in Amaranth)
She is wearing that dress in Fuchsia!She is wearing that style in Raspberry (looks a little weird because that was a full length clipped up to show as a knee length..and she's really short :)

So then I was fluctuating on colors...originally it was my Maid of Honor in Fuchsia with the other 6 splitting the other two colors. This didn't sit well with the image in my head...I wanted the colors more evenly distributed. So to see what it looks like everyone grabbed their color and held it up to them
So something like that...although I don't think thats the right picture. Its 2 Raspberry, 2 Fuschia, and 3 Amaranth...and I don't think any two girls are in the same style! I'm so excited to see how this all pans out.

We then hit up brunch at Stephanie's on Newbury. It was DELISH! No pics (not everyone knows about the blog)...but I had some kick ass grapefruit juice; it literally tasted like a fresh grapefruit in a wine glass. Then I went with the: crab cake Benedict - sautéed crab cakes with poached eggs topped with jalapeño hollandaise.

This kept me full all afternoon...we only just had a few snacks because we knew we'd wake up starving if not.

Ending with mini hot chocolates...That would be half of a choc. covered marshmallow floating in there :)

Well the weekend is over :( Work Tomorrow :( :( :( Boo!!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Relaxing Weekend Workouts

Good Morning Bloggers!

I am feeling great today...the sun is shining (though its still in the 30's...might reach 40!), but its still nice for February in New England. Plus I had a super sweat HOT Yoga class this morning. Hot Yoga has got to be the ONLY thing that can pry me out of a warm Saturday sleep at 7:00AM. I am always so happy I do though.

I love weekend workouts because I never feel rushed, I can take my time, no ones waiting for me and I don't need to be anywhere. Last night after work I treated my self to a little manicureA beautiful bright raspberry pink!! (matches my scarf). Then there was plenty of drying time in the car before I hit the gym.

I tried to get in some running, and managed to run a 5k distance in 30:54 (hey its good for me!...I am SO a beginner). Then I did some fast walking on inclines then some more relaxed walking and a little arm work. Don't remember all my stats but it was over an hour and around 550 calories burned (45% fat!).

I need more long workouts like that...need to push myself more.

Didn't get home til about 8, but that was ok. Then I made a quick salad with some leftover roasted veggies (reheated in the micro) over baby spinach with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Also the rest of my leftover Annie's! Annie's mac and cheese is one of those things I LOVE cold, just as much as I like it hot.
Mr. Pear
I'm sure there were a few pieces of chocolate after that but they didn't make the photos.

So up and at 'em early this morning for my 7:30AM Hot Yoga class. Then I came back excited to make steel cut oats because I haven't had them in a long time...plus I broke out the French press for some cafe!

I made a 4 serving batch of steel cut oats using:
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • banana added mid way
These take about 30min to cook, during the process I took a shower so I shut off the burner and just left the cover on. Then afterwards turned it back on to

Added:
  • Apricot preserves (to the whole pot)
  • Then to my serving I added
  • strawberries and blueberries (some mixed in, some on top)
  • coconut
  • Zoe's Honey Almond Granola
  • 3 choc. chips, 2 PB chips
  • 1 spoon of Blonde PB "Spread"
So delicious...I think I like the fruit better with steel cuts! The steel cut oats have more of a texture to go with the texture of the fruit.

Well I suppose I should finish getting dressed (I'm still in my super fluffy robe!).

Plans:
  • One of our college friends, Jenny, is coming to visit soon because...
  • Tomorrow all my bridesmaids have their dress appointment to choose and order the dresses
  • Tonight we are going to dinner then out for another friends Birthday!
  • Also fun Brunch with all the girls tomorrow after the dress appointment
FUN GIRLS WEEKEND!!!