Saturday, May 30, 2009

Boot Camp Blast!

Roomie and I decided the other day that we were going to try out this local "Ultimate Bootcamp". They have a few different bootcamp programs, but we were going for the Ultimate Bootcamp Blast, which is a 90 minute class designed to challenge the intermediate/advanced bootcamper.

We definitely are not advanced bootcampers but the beginners class sounded way too easy, so we went for it. Plus it was a perfect time at 9:30AM on a beautiful Saturday morning.

WOW. That was probably the most intense workout I can remember...but in a good way, but also a-little-more-and-I-may-have-wanted-to-throw-up-way as well haha.

It started with:
  • jogging 4 laps around the park to warm up (I'd estimate that was total of maybe 1/3-1/2mile?
Let the sweat fest begin, we did drills up and down the field of:
  • butt kicks
  • side shuffles
  • front leg kicks/toe touch things
  • grape vines
  • high knees
Then along an approx. 1.5' high stone wall we did:
  • 45 sec. step up, step down
  • 45 sec. tricep dips
  • 30 sec. step ups
  • 30 sec tricep dips
  • repeat 30sec set
  • 20 sec set
  • 20 sec set
Then over at a railing along the water we used resistance, and with the band going around a rail for resistance we did:
  • 2 sets rows, hands in to each other, then hands facing down
  • turn around for chest flies
  • put band down, push ups
  • fast high knees
  • Repeat entire thing
Next "fun" thing...hard to explain where it was set up but I'll try
  • start with walking lunges up to a certain point, I'd guess about 15 lunges?
  • jog over to the bottom of this hill
  • sprint up hill
  • go down the stairs to the beginning
  • 10 push ups
  • Repeat 2 more times
I was dying by the last sprint.

This was all at a park in Charlestown (if your familiar), then we headed over (i.e. jogged) to the ship yard/docks area (where they keep the U.S.S. Constitution).

Ok so this "light jog" was NOT easy for was a pretty good distance and especially when its in between intense exercise only to go to an area to do more intense exercise, made it that much tougher...I was afraid of wearing out in the jog over. The jog was only a little over 1/2 mile but it felt so much longer at that point.

Once out at the ship yard, we did drills back and forth at the end of this pier.
  • suicide sprints back and forth 5 times
  • 10 jumping squats
  • side shuffles back and forth 5 times
  • 10 diamond push ups
  • run backwards, sprint forwards 5 times
  • 10 tricep dips
  • Repeat whole thing, but only 3 times back and forth of each set
  • Repeat again, but only 1 of each (no push up, squats, triceps)
OMG. This was legs were jelly so my form for the jumping squats was awful, and by the end I was joining those doing push ups against the railing. guessed it..jog back. A bunch of people did more walking this time and I totally joined in. I really wasn't trying to be a slacker but MAN this was ROUGH!

Once back we did some abs and stretching...ahhh relief!

90 minutes and 800 calories later (just under 800 according to my Polar HRM), we were sweaty, salty, and dirty...with jelly legs.

It was one of those laughing so hard because you thought your legs might give out any moment haha.

I will say it was a GORGEOUS morning out...sunny, about 70 degrees AND we got to witness the Esmeralda (tall ship of the Chilean Navy) leaving port at the Naval Yard!! SO COOL!! The WHOLE crew was out on deck, in uniform, with their band playing and they were all singing what I'm guessing was a patriotic song. That was really a sight to see...I LOVE big ships!

I had big smoothie plans for when we got back to the apt.
I made the roomie and I a GREEN smoothie!
  • 1.5c Almond Milk
  • 3 big leaves of kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5-6 frozen strawberries
  • 1 spoon of Almond Butter
  • ground flax (about 1 T)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
SO FREAKING GOOD!I think the extra milk was key...sometimes they are so thick its almost too thick to drink from a straw!! I look like a fish trying to suck it out haha.

Well I'm officially SUPER sore today as expected and can't wait to see how it is tomorrow haha. But I am totally doing this again...that's the kind of kick ass work out I need all the time.

And to add a little yumminess to this post...a little quick dinner item from the other day:

  • spray pan with cooking spray (canola oil spray)
  • place 1 Joseph's whole wheat organic tortilla
  • sprinkle a little cheddar
  • place a couple strips of grilled zucchini leftovers
  • and some leftover grilled onion
  • 2 slices deli BBQ chicken
  • sliced avocado
  • BBQ sauce
  • til tortilla is crisp...
Perfect little BBQ quesadillaI'm thinking a Hot Yoga class may be in order tomorrow if my muscles are still uber sore. That actually sounds SO good right now!

I hope you all had a great weekend! I had ANOTHER shower today haha...its getting funny at this point.

Wedding Stuff:
My invites came in!! I LOVE THEM!! Can't wait to share a pic. Now I REALLY need to finalize the guest list because I am sending my envelopes off to be hand written by a calligrapher! I am not getting traditional calligraphy but this woman has the most AMAZING writing! I know it's just the envelope that people throw out, but I just think it adds that little something extra that people wouldn't notice if it wasn't done, but WOULD notice if it is done.

Back to work tomorrow :(

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Showers of Fun

This was a shower-full weekend! Brides and babies galore! Well OK, only 1 friend is preggers but 1 is definitely enough right now haha.

Ok we'll start with Saturday...The Baby Shower!
How cute is that cake!? She's having a girl...Riley Paige.

The favors were custom chocolate bars!They match the invitations.

Her mom also sealed up the left over candy from her wedding...Baby presents are the best!!
The GINORMOUS pile of clothes on her lap are JUST from her mom haha...she started buying clothes from the moment she found out Jen was pregnant.

Cute diaper tower:More food!
I ended up having a nice sampling of fruits, veggies, shrimp cocktail, and a piece of a wrap. Obviously had some cake later too :) Mmmm cake.

One shower down for the to go.

Sunday was my friend Erin's bridal shower!

If you remember from my last post I was a busy baker making sugar cookies for the shower favor.

Friday night was decoratingThis was my first go at Royal Icing using meringue powder. Man that stuff dries fast!! Unfortunately the food coloring I bought was for candy...not icing. This meant it was oil based, but I figure since buttercream has fat in it, the smidgen of oil wouldn't ruin the icing. I was right!

I started off with the hearts on top and the outlines in the darker purple, then went back to "flood" the middle with lighter purple.It was getting late and this was taking a that meant:

Half would get polka dots!!
The next night these bad boys were bagged and tied together with their corresponding cookie cutter.
Perfect little homemade favor. I was really happy with how they came out!
They looked awesome with the purple centerpiecesWe also ordered this fun platter for all the guests to sign! You sign it, then I took it home where I will bake it for the newlyweds so they can then use it!

Of course another delicious cake!!!I just can't say no to cake!!!!
The Bride and bridesmaids (the bride is the second from the left). I am SO not used to pictures of me in glasses!!!!

Which brings me to a side note: Thursday night I got a little scratch on my cornea :( So annoying. So I am all glasses this week, no contacts for a little while.

Busy but fun weekend. Thank GOODNESS for the holiday yesterday!!! That extra day was MUCH needed.

I have ANOTHER bridal shower this coming Sunday, but I am just a guest this time...phew! Its much less stressful to just show up :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Busy Baker Bee

But first, this is my 200th post!! Go blog, wooooo!

I feel like I've been baking up a storm recently. I had some fresh rhubarb I wanted to use, so I made muffins, and I've been dying for some homemade granola lately so I finally did that as well. And that's just the start.

We begin with Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • zest of 1/2 orange (although next time I'd use less, the orange flavor almost overpowered the other fruit)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Combine the above in a bowl and let sit for 30min-1hr
  • 1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. quick oats
  • 1/4 c. APF
  • 1 T Sucanant
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine wet to dry then add in fruit mixture. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray (I use canola oil spray), divide batter into the 12 cups. Sprinkle raw sugar on top.Bake at 375 for 16-18min
Beautiful! I found that these needed a little longer (maybe 20min) because of the wet fruit added to the batter. However it does make for one moist muffin!!

These are AWESOME, I am obsessed. I'll admit they remind me of cranberry orange bread because of the orange zest, so I'd probably do only a couple grates from the orange next time.

Then it was onto the granola.

A Classic Granola:

In a bowl combine
  • 2 cups thick cut oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
In a small sauce pan combine:
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Once heated and thinned out, pour on top of dry ingredients, stir, and spread on a sheet pan (sprayed with canola oil). Bake at 290 for 30-45min...just until golden. Let sit before moving around in the pan to give it a chance to clump.
I've been enjoying this on oatmeal and yogurt all week :)

This week I am also baking cookies for the favor at my friends Bridal Shower this Sunday.

Monday I made the (amazing) dough using this recipe. OMG the dough is insanely good!!!!!
I let the dough chill until tonight when I rolled it out, cut, and baked.
The cookies are going to be frosted with royal icing, and given along with the corresponding cookie cutter!
This will actually be my first go at Royal Icing, but I am pretty patient with decorating so I am optimistic that they will come out alright :) Friday is the big decorating evening.
MMm the apartment smelled like freshly baked sugar cookies!!! Sooooo good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Food Focused Weekend

This weekend, my roomie and I took had our friend, Erin, for the weekend! It was sort of her bachelorette weekend :) She's not a big partyer since it's only the 2 of us (plus her 17yr old sister) in the wedding party, we thought it would be fun to just do something with the 3 of us!

Now it definitely took some thinking to come up with some activities that don't involve tiaras, mini veils, and many shots of booze that would make for a weekend with us in Boston that would be extra special for our bachelorette!

Luckily we all love food so that made it a little easier, and god knows I have a difficult time NOT planning a weekend around food.

The highlight of the weekend was BY FAR the private cheese tasting I arranged for the 3 of us at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. I am going to need a whole post devoted to this, but it was incredibly informative, amazingly delicious, and SO AWESOME!! Yay for cheese:)

One of our other food adventures was a trip up to Rockport and Gloucester for some ocean side shopping and all of our favorite food...Lobster.

There was some dog thing going on and I saw the biggest Newfoundland ever!!!! I just wanted to give him a huge hug!!!!! He was so freeking cute!!After some shopping we hit up a Gloucester restaurant and all had enormous Lobster rolls!!!
Mmmmmmmm...I'm drooling.

Luckily lobster isn't filling because as soon as we got home, we headed to the cheese tasting.

After the cheese tasting, I figured we wouldn't be looking for a full dinner. However, I did know something sweet would be the perfect finale.

We headed to downtown Boston to Troquet. This French restaurant has recently opened an area downstairs devoted to dessert: Le Patissier. They also offer a bar-type menu if you wanted a savory bite.

The 3 of us split the Strawberry-Rhubarb Souffle (with Marscapone ice cream and vanilla sauce), and the Chef's Chocolate Tasting (since we couldn't decide on a chocolate item).

The souffle was incredible! Strawberry and rhubarb are one of my favorite seasonal combinations. It was light and fluffy, and bursting with flavorful strawberry and rhubarb compote inside.The chocolate tasting consisted of (from left to right): the flourless chocolate cake, espresso ice cream, roasted banana crepe, and a mini chocolate souffle!
I'm sure you can imagine that it was all amazing. The flourless chocolate cake was So dense and rich and chocolaty!! The roasted banana crepe was soft and flavorful (anything involving crepes and bananas are awesome in my book).

Perfect ending. We headed to a bar after for a drink, but at this point not even worth mentioning :)

It was a fast, fun, delicious weekend! I have much more to share (especially about cheese), and also about the strawberry-rhubarb muffins I made tonight.

I'm picking Brian up at the airport tomorrow morning, Yay:) I missed him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If it's not one thing...'s another.

My "fun" news items of the week are as such:

1. My hairdresser calls me Monday to tell me she messed up her schedule and actually will not be in town the day of my wedding!!!!!!!!!! I know this isn't like life or death here but I think wedding day hair deserves some urgency, no? So I know I can find another salon do to my hair (plus most of my bridesmaids) but it was one of the things I didn't have to worry about. Urg.

2. Found out this week that the mortgage loan we were pre-approved for is going to require us to pay down Brian's student loan by $6000 before could of used that cash for other things, you know furniture! No but really most first time home buyers are swimming in cash and the house does need a couple things done so it was just frustrating but not much that can be done about it, any other type of loan will end up costing us much more in the long run.

3. Ooo almost forgot, Brian is leaving for Vegas tonight with a group of 20 guys for his friends Bachelor party!!! At least he's as stressed about the money thing as I am, but obviously it's not going to be a cheap weekend. I'm not gonna lie, I'm slightly nervous...and it's got nothing to do with the girls there haha, I'm more worried about the money and possible injuries...his buddy broke his foot last year in Vegas (shimmying down a drain pipe to get where you need to be at 4am when hammered apparently sounded like a great idea to him haha).

At least I can usually count on my food to brighten my week!

This week was all about the Caprese salads! I bought some beautiful little red ripe tomatoes, they were actually called "Tasty Toms", and fresh basil. After the gym on Monday I knew I had to buy some fresh mozzarella to really make a delicious meal.
I cut up 3 tomatoes, 3 balls-o-mozzarella, and a few basil leaves. This was topped on a bed of green leaf lettuce and drizzled with my special Olive Oil, salt and pepper.
My special olive oil is just this bottle I splurged on one day at a specialty shop...I think it was like $30 but it's really good and I only use it in instances like this where you want to taste the olive oil.
I had this for dinner Monday AND Tuesday...Monday's with corn on the cob and Tuesdays with a sweet potato!
A little POM spritzer on the side (POM, seltzer, lime).
Last night was a "scrounge" dinner at Brian's (the boy who never has food). Luckily I brought some Kale with me I wanted to use up as well as 2 summer squashes.

He had 2 ears of corn and an old box of Annie's (no milk though haha). We made the Annie's with just a splash of pasta water and it was fine. This went great with Kale chips, and steamed corn and squash.

The highlight of the evening, however, was dessert. We picked these up at Whole Foods. I almost didn't believe my cream stuffed rice crispie treats?!?!
Oh yes.
That's exactly what it was. GENIUS idea! There was more crispie treat than ice cream but that was fine by me, I LOVE rice crispie treats!!!! Each square is 180 calories which is about the same as a small serving of ice cream, so not too shabby for something that's not deliberately low-fat!
Tonight I get to go see my wedding dress!!!! I haven't seen it since August when we ordered it and it came in last month! I'm just going with mom to check it out and try it on, no fittings yet.

Then it's off to look at invitations...will we EVER decide on one!?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tea with Mom

For the past few years I've taken my mom to tea at various beautiful tea spots around the city. We've had tea at L'espalier (before it went all modern and moved into the new Mandarin Orient Hotel), and the Park Plaza Hotel last year! This year we did "Tea at the Taj". The Taj is the former Ritz Carlton...the classic "Tea at the Ritz". My mom took my cousin and I there when I was about 6, but back then I didn't drink tea and was served the most amazing hot chocolate ever...I still remember it.
Thankfully, when the Taj bought the Ritz the only thing that really changed was the name. The inside was still as beautiful and regal as ever. We were sat, and then I had to choose my tea.
I chose the Jasmine Green Tea, and was served my own personal pot on a candle warmerI definitely get this from my grandmother, but I am obsessed with tea cups now...hopefully I'll have a collection like hers someday.
First was savory tea sandwiches
  • Egg Salad
  • smoked salmon with chives, cream cheese, and caviar
  • lobster profiteroles
  • cucumber sandwiches
  • prosciutto and cantaloupe sandwiches
I give my mom my egg salad(gross) and I get her smoked salmon!

My favorite was OBVIOUSLY the lobster...mmmm, I think it had a little hint of tarragon or fennel or something! I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was delicious.

Look how gorgeous the cucumber sandwich was!Then the tower of sweetsLets see if I can remember it all...
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • mini vanilla cream puffs (YUM!)
  • currant scones and lemon scones served with clotted cream and lemon curd!!
  • little chocolate/mocha opera cake
  • mini lemon meringue tart
  • mini Madeleine
  • mini french pistachio macaroon (SO good)
  • and I still can't figure out what that little thing with the raspberry was cakey and dense and rich.
The chocolate strawberries had the Taj sealBest mom ever!!Our view of Newbury Street I had to snap a picture of these flowers on the way out...Gorgeous!Peonies, orchids, hydrangeas, and roses! Peonies are my FAVORITE flower ever.

It was a great weekend with mom :)

How about a big YAY for Monday being over! and I'm not gonna lie I can't believe the season finale of Gossip Girl is already here next week!