A Day in My Life: Food

I love food.  Like, really love food.  I’m also passionate about nutrition (it’s my favorite area within my degree and I love talking about it) and I make a pretty good effort every day to have a good balance of all of the food groups & different macronutrients.  There are of course, meals that are a little more decadent or days when I eat popcorn for lunch (I really love popcorn!), but it all balances out.  I mean, popcorn is a whole grain…  I thought since I’m on vacation this week (in between work ending and my practicum starting) it might be fun to document a day of food in my life.

8:30 am – Breakfast!  I slept in today because a. I’m on vacation, b. have you ever tried to sleep with a 120 pound Newfoundland laying on top of you? and c. my husband got up at 4:30 to go to the gym and made more noise than a herd of baby elephants learning to walk.

Breakfast was three eggs from my chickens, 1/2  an avocado, salsa and jalapeno hot sauce (that stuff is marvelous).  I wanted to mix it up a little this morning, because I’ve had oatmeal the last two mornings and I’ve been starving less than 2 hours later.  I also had lemon water & tea (sipping this today) before settling in to write some lesson plans with my furry friends.

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I did a quick workout from Pinterest, because I decided it was way too cold to go outside.  This was in fact a 15 minute workout – I finished in 14:50.  I subbed crunches and static lunges for the jump lunges & squats because my knee is a little irritated.

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Then I had lunch at noon – delicious corn chowder leftovers with seltzer while watching Chicago P.D.  Today has been a super lazy day, so I decided to roll with it and have a nap too!  Glad to see my eggs held me over better this morning!

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Afternoon snack (4:30) was a delicious & decadent chocolate lava cake eaten cold from the fridge.  So rich, but so delicious.  I made three of them last night as a midweek treat for the man & I and while my intentions were to save this one for him, it was calling me in the fridge!  It’s not pretty, but it tasted divine!

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I was also doing some dinner prep (Jagerschnitzel & risotto) when my husband called to say his parents invited us over.  At least things are started for tomorrow night. 🙂  We had pulled pork sandwiches and homemade coleslaw at his parents, but I skipped the photo!

Lists of 5.

I always have the best intentions to blog more often, but they never come to fruition.  Rather than dwell on that, I’ll just say hello, happy 2015!  I’m a sucker for fun surveys and I liked this one a lot.

5 recipes I’ve tried lately

1. Puffles.  Life changing.  We made sweet (Nutella) and savory (Ham & cheese, and chipotle cheddar) and they were all fantastic. puffle

2. Rosemary Sea Salt Soft Pretzels (I made these for the super bowl and they were a hit)

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3. Braised Pork Belly (I added kale at the end, and used cider instead of beer.  I would cut the spice in half, but it was deeelicious)

4. Chicken Tikka Masala (subbed coconut milk for the heavy cream)

5. Moroccan Spiced Quinoa with Broccoli & Chickpeas (I like this better with cous cous, but it’s quick and hearty either way!)

5 things I am looking forward to

1. Our move to Norfolk, VA in April.  The temperature when I woke up this morning was –19, so I’m ready for some warmer temps.

2. Completing my practicum for my M.Ed during the month of March.  I will be working at a large medical center in the employee wellness department leading smoking cessation classes, shadowing for health coaching and assisting with focus groups.

3.  Eating dinner (ok, I look forward to this every night) tonight because I made corn chowder and it smells delicious.

4. My “food tour” of home before we move to Virginia.  On the list – Thai food, Indian food, brunch, and King Arthur Flour so far.

5. D’s command awards banquet at the end of March.

5 of my favorite exercises

1. Running!  #1 love

2. Body Pump.  This is my new “thing” and I am obsessed.

3. Yoga

4. Push-Ups

5. Spin Class

5 things on my wish list

1. A fully furnished house in Virginia (we had an arson incident 2 years ago and everything needed to be replaced).

2. A tortilla press (Darren got me one for Christmas, but it was only a 6” so we returned it.  We like to go big or go home with tortillas.)

3. A female black & white Newfoundland puppy!  Summit needs a girlfriend.

4. An air popper for popcorn to feed my popcorn addiction (and make me feel a little better when I pour melted butter over everything).

5. A day at the spa (complete with a massage, manicure, pedicure, waxing, hot tub, etc).

5 photos from my instagram feed

valentine Valentine’s from my school kiddos

 weather The really awesome weather we’ve had this week.

compass My newest Alex & Ani from work friends.

flashback Flashback – my brother and I in first and second grade.

summit The man and (one of) the dog.

Lately.

Lately…I’ve been busy.  I have this crazy urge to write and blog and share my life, but at the same time, I picture these wonderfully photographed recipes and life events for blog posts, and I have no time for that.  That being sad, I started this blog over a year ago and I have posted in it exactly 15 times.  Depressing.  I recently started using HabitList though, and one of my goals is to write one blog post a week!  So, what’s been going on since April…

  • Our “puppy” is huge.  Summit is 10 months old and weighs 110 pounds! 
  • I spent the summer working as a 1:1 aide for a little guy with autism, and then started at a new school in September.  I really like my new school so far, even though my commute and hours are longer.
  • When we weren’t working, we spent the summer jet skiing and playing out on the boat, having campfires, enjoying nights out at trivia and
  • I’ve been cooking a TON – I even rendered my own lard from pig fat!
  • I finished my spring classes (4), took summer classes (2) and am almost done with my fall classes (2).  Only 2 more classes & a practicum left – so exciting!
  • My husband got orders for April to his new aircraft carrier.

And probably countless other things.  There’s too much to document between then & now to bother using photos in this post, really, but I promise I’ll be back soon, with something more exciting to share or a delicious recipe!

A Day in my Life: 4/1/14.

I used to write a daily blog.  I wrote about seriously mundane things, especially considering I was a touched too concerned with how much I was eating and exercising.  I have to say though, I enjoyed writing “day in the life” posts, mostly because I enjoyed reading them.  So, last Tuesday, I decided that I wanted to document a current day in my life.

5:35 – Wake up.  I injured my neck the previous Friday and it kept me up most of the night.  I let our dogs out, feed them, and bring them upstairs to my husband to snuggle.  I put in my contacts, put on SPF face lotion & mascara and brush my teeth.  I get dressed and go downstairs, very jealous of the three boys in bed!  I pack our lunches and make breakfast smoothies and tea.  I pull the crockpot dinner I prepped the night before out of the fridge and plug it in.

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6:15 – I leave my house to go to a chiropractor appointment.  He does some adjustments, acupuncture, and manual release of my  neck and shoulder muscles.  As I leave my appointment, I run into my dad heading in, which makes me smile.  Small town life.

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7:18 – I quickly stop at Wal-Mart and raid the toiletry department.  I buy Q-Tips, ibuprofen, deodorant, contact solution, band aids, and gum.

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7:40 – I’m at work and finally drinking my smoothie.  Today’s smoothie was organic milk, microwaved-then-frozen banana (my husband is allergic to raw bananas), almond butter (and he’s allergic to peanuts, which is sad because almond butter sucks), and ice.

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8:00 – The kids arrive and I settle into work.  I work as a paraprofessional to a variety of kids, which is challenging, but rather enjoyable and a decent way to make money through graduate school.

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10:10 – I eat snack, sliced cucumbers with chipotle hummus from Trader Joe’s.  I drink my 900th cup of tea.

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11:30 – Lunch Break!  I eat apples, pretzel nuggets and peanut butter in the car while driving home to let the puppy out.  My friend and I decide to give up added sugar for two weeks, so my lunch is a result of poor planning on day one.  No added sugar, but pretty lame!

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12:00 – Back at work for recess duty for the young’uns.  So glad spring is finally appearing.

2:45 – My (work)day is over, but after school program is just beginning.  We go outside for afternoon recess after snack and I head to the kitchen to snack on a banana and prep ingredients for the kids to make mini turnovers with pie crust and pie filling.

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5:00-5:30 – I snuck out of work a few minutes early and went home.  I feed the dogs and let them out, feed and water our chickens, collect their eggs, start the dishwasher & a load of laundry, stir the crock pot, change and head back out the door with my yoga mat.  One of my very best friends wants to go to her first yoga class, so I take her to a gentle beginner class which was a glorious relaxing stretch.

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7:30 – Yoga is over and I head home.  Dogs go for a walk, laundry gets switched, dishwasher gets emptied, chipped nails get touched-up and I get to eat.  I made a chicken stew with chicken thighs, Guinness (leftover from St. Patrick’s Day), carrots, onion, mushrooms, and peas.  Leftovers are portioned into lunch containers for the fridge, and dishes get washed and put away.

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8:30 – I spend some time working on Summit’s training this week.  He goes to puppy class on Sundays and we get homework for the week.  He’s doing great with stay and leave it, which is this week’s work.

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9:15 – I am exhausted and head to bed after one last trip outside with the dogs.  My husband got home around 11:00, but I didn’t even wake up!

Like most people, I don’t have a “typical”day, but this is pretty representative.  Obviously, I don’t have a doctor’s appointment most mornings, and unfortunately, my husband working late is pretty common!

A Weekend in Providence, RI

Weeks ago, as I was planning my schedule, I realized I finally had a weekend (mostly) free of obligations and scheduled a weekend trip to Providence to visit one of my very best friends.  I was only there from Friday evening to Sunday morning, so we mostly just ate, along with trips to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Christmas Tree Shops.  Oh, and we saw Divergent, but if you liked the books, you probably won’t love the movie.  I basically disliked every character’s actor and I thought the movie was really long.  Anyways though, all I’m going to talk about is food.

Garden Grille Café

IMG_1874 My friend chose Garden Grille because it’s vegetarian and she’s a vegetarian and it had good reviews.  It did not disappoint!  We had Downeast Ciders to start.  I love hard cider.  We decide to split three entrees – the sweet potato and yucca latkes with creole aioli, korean tempeh tacos (which had tempeh, cabbage, guacamole, and chipotle mayo), and apple & cheddar pizza.  The latkes and tacos were vegan, and we chose to have normal cheddar cheese on the pizza.  The latkes and tacos were so good, my friend got takeout from Garden Grill two nights later for those items!  The pizza was good, but it was nothing special – something I could have whipped up at home.  Overall, we loved the atmosphere, and the funky menu, we would just skip that particular pizza and get the butternut squash enchilada next time!

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WildFlour

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WildFlour is a vegan bakery and juice bar that happens to conveniently be almost right next door to Garden Grille.  We decided to skip a dessert at Garden Grille and went over to Wildflour instead.  I had a chocolate peanut butter cupcake (with excellent peanut butter fudge filling), while my friend had a chocolate peanut butter brownie and peppermint tea.  The server was nice enough to let us smell a few of the teas before she decided and the Earl Grey smelled wonderful.  We had plans to get juices/smoothies and tea here on Sunday morning, but they didn’t open until 8, and I left a little earlier than that.  I was eyeing the “sillyantro” green juice though – spinach, kale, parsley, pineapple, orange juice and ginger.  Juice is definitely on the list for next time.

The Duck and Bunny

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First of all, the Duck & Bunny is SUCH an adorable place.  It’s an old house converted into a restaurant with fun chandeliers and marble tabletops.  We went there for brunch Saturday morning.  We had pots of tea (I got Earl Grey, which was a little lemony for my taste, but my friend got Coconut Truffle, which was AMAZING.) to start, which they called “wee pots”.  For our brunch we had truffle oil home fries, red velvet pancakes with cream cheese glaze, and the creperito which was burrito filling in a crepe!  Everything was delicious, though the fries and the creperito needed extra salt.  Yum, yum, yum in general though.  Plus, I got a dark chocolate salted caramel cupcake to go and it was delicious.

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The Grange

The Grange is another vegetarian restaurant in Providence that we ate at on Saturday night.  It’s much bigger than Garden Grille and the atmosphere is different – much louder and hipper, but I liked the intimacy of Garden Grille slightly more.  The food was yum though.  We got the pommes frites with new bay aioli, scallion pancake rolls (with sweet potato and black beans), the cheese plate with crusty bread, honey, house made mustard, apples and apple butter, and pickled shallot, and lastly, the Korean seitan tacos.  Everything was delicious, though we didn’t finish the scallion pancake rolls.

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Seven Stars Bakery

We stopped here for a quick bite literally minutes before I left to head home.  My iPhone was dead, but I had a cheddar scone and a very, very large Earl Grey tea.  Both yum.  I love the food here when I visit, but there’s not much of a cozy coffee shop atmosphere, I have to say,  There are no comfy armchairs and no wi-fi, which is sad, because the location is nearly right next to my friend’s apartment.

On the list for next time:  high tea at The Duck and Bunny, Indian food at Rasoi, smoothies at WildFlour, and more!

My St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Hey!  Happy Saturday!  I’m feeling pretty happy because I was supposed to babysit tonight (after graduate school most of the day) and they ended up rescheduling so I get my evening back.  Dinner is in the oven, I have no homework, and my husband isn’t home yet, so I thought I’d share about my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  (And then my husband came home and now it’s Sunday morning and I am finishing this post)

One of my 26 by 26 goals was to have a dinner party and the other was to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s day (because I do every year and I love it).  Two birds, one stone people.  We ended up only having my husband’s parents and grandparents over because other people canceled or couldn’t make it, but it was still fun.  Here’s what we had:

Bread:  I made Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread, which is one of my favorite easy quick breads, and I made it last year and Darren’s 82 year old grandfather was still talking about it in July.  In fact, there was nearly none left over, so I will probably make another batch soon – it’s so nice with breakfast too!

Main:  Obviously, corned beef and cabbage.  To make it, I put about 6 lbs of lean corned beef in a large stockpot covered with water.  I added peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and mustard powder (the corned beef I bought didn’t come with a spice packet, but if yours does, you can skip the additional seasoning).  Brought to a boil, then simmered about 2 1/2 hours.  I added about a pound of carrots, potatoes and onion and cooked for 30 minutes more.  Added chopped cabbage and cooked a few minutes more.  Scooped out veggies into a bowl, sliced the corned beef and feasted!

Dessert(s):  I made chocolate stout cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were a huge hit – my father in law ate 3.  Darren’s grandma brought this chocolate mint dessert (which I looooove), so that was exciting too,

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Overall, it was a successful endeavor, though sort of a copout as far as dinner parties go!  Smile

Do you like to have people over for dinner?

New Developments.

Ahhh, a moment to breathe.  Man, seriously, I promise I do love blogging, but life gets in the way!  Since I last posted, we’ve been adjusting to life with our new puppy (who was briefly featured in my last post), took our honeymoon to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and I jumped right back into spring quarter of graduate school when we got back!

So, Summit the puppy.  Summit is now 14 weeks old, eeek!  He’s a purebred Newfoundland and has gained 20 pounds since we got him.  He loves the water, playing in the snow, eating, playing and sleeping.  We just started puppy classes last week and he’s currently exhausted from today’s class.  We’re expecting Summit to be about 150 pounds when he’s fully grown and developed, so we’ve got 110 to go!  He’s just the sweetest thing though – so fluffy, obedient, smart and submissive.  He was a complete surprise to me though, I was beyond shocked (and completely excited and in love) when I walked in to find him in my living room.  My husband wins at gift giving.

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The same day we got Summit, we also got a pig.  His name is Bacon and that’s just what he’ll be, eventually.  I feel conflicted about this, but I also know that he is getting a much better life than pigs in factory farms.  He’s also huge now, and not very friendly, so I am more okay with it.  These are from the day we got him though.

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Two weeks after Summit & Bacon arrived, we went on our honeymoon.  Admittedly, my husband’s timing was terrible in these purchases, but after hiring a house sitter, we were all set.  (Other than missing our pup tremendously, of course!)  We spent ten days exploring Bavaria, and it was incredible.  I haven’t actually put our camera photos on my computer yet, so a few iPhone shots it is.  It really deserves it own post.

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And now, spring quarter is in full swing and I am busy.  I have 6 credits on my schedule for the spring quarter, but I will also be taking a basic anatomy and physiology course at night to fill a pre-requisite.  Wrote a 3 page paper on alcoholism and Irish Catholicism this morning, along with gathering scholarship materials, writing summer school cover letters, and preparing for a busy week!