Archive for January, 2011
Hi friends! Phew! Are you glad we’re already 1/5 through the week? I surely am :)
I had a nice, albeit interesting weekend. I spent some time Friday night doing the whole pizza and PJs thing to keep the mood light with a sad friend. We had a blast sipping wine and watching terrible horror movies, although I made the mistake of starting my glass (or 10) of wine post-workout but pre-dinner. Needless to say, I was a hot mess by the end of the evening. Glad I was among friends when I made a fool out of myself… *blush*
Saturday night I went out to dinner at Francesca’s Pizzeria on Clark and, as always, it was uh-mazing. If you didn’t know, I have a crazy obsession with Neapolitan pizza. I strayed a bit from my usual Bufalina (Margherita with bufala mozzarella) and got a Parmigiano with eggplant and parmesan subbed my favorite bufala for the regular mozzarella! Yum! My dinner companions each took two (albeit smallish) pieces home, but I sinfully gobbled down the entire thing. And it was soooo worth it.
That’s right, you’re reading that correctly: I had pizza two nights in a row. And I loved every second of it :D
Sunday was spent sleeping in (and sleeping late in my dictionary means LATE), hitting the gym and running errands. After a quick shower, my parents came into the city and took my brother, sister-in-law and me out to dinner! It was so much fun and the food was delish. We went to Mia Francesca in Wrigleyville, and between the three of us, got the same two dishes! So funny. I had a penne pasta with sausage, broccoli (which was subbed in place of peas, ick!) and a creamy tomato cream sauce. Of course I topped it with a healthy dose of fresh shredded parm as well :D It was good, but it was a bit difficult on my tummy because I’m moderately *gasp!* lactose intolerant!
I can handle most yogurt and a little bit of cheese, but ice cream and milkshakes, etc. are my enemies. It’s a good thing I don’t really like sweets! But this pasta from dinner Sunday night was heeeavy on the cream, and my tummy was not happy. I had leftovers for lunch today (along with a salad), but made sure to take a lactose pill beforehand :)
Chicago is on the brink of a blizzard, so everyone at work spent the day discussing how we were going to handle it. The news kept telling people to get their errands done today, because one the heavy snow starts tomorrow evening, they’re expecting white-out conditions! I should have hit the gym after work today since it’s unlikely I will get there tomorrow, but I have been dealing with some nasty knee pain that told me it’s time to give my knees a little rest. I think I am having IT band issues (a previous physical therapist had guessed this was the problem), so I made an appointment to see a chiropractor on Wednesday. Hopefully the impending blizzard won’t keep me from getting there!
For lunch last week as an attempt at redemption after my salty (semi) disaster, I made a modified version with no added salt, more veggies and shrimp! It turned out perfect. I mixed about 1/4 cup dry quinoa (whatever that translates to cooked!), two cut up kumatos, about 3 oz. cooked, peeled, de-veined shrimp (from TJ’s, eyeballed the portion), some sauteed leeks from cooking the shrimp and some fresh spinach to cook when reheated. I also topped it off with some Garlic Gold.
I just love quinoa. I can’t get over how easy it is to cook! A little after my lunch today, I cut up a blood orange for a snack.
Isn’t the color lovely? I learned today that blood oranges get their color from anthocyanins, which are heavy duty antioxidants! They prevent cancer and do all sorts of other fabulous things for your health.
I couldn’t help myself, they were so pretty!
For dinner, I switched up my recipe plans a bit since the chicken I had on hand smelled a bit funky. I’m nervous about chicken + salmonella, so I stuck it in the freezer to be inspected later… (this sounds even sillier when I type it out). I did make some shrimp though!
Spaghetti squash is surprisingly easy to make! All you do is roast it on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then it’s time to shred, baby.
The flesh just sort of strings along as you scoop it out with the fork. It was fun!
It has a sort of crunchy texture, and a subtle, but buttery squash flavor. I popped the finished strands in the microwave to cook them a little more since it was still a bit crunchy, and that seemed to help. While that was happening, I was doing this:
Shrimpies, zukes + leeks! Can you tell that I love leeks? They are easier to slice than onions, have a sweeter flavor, and add a nice crunch to just about anything! The final product had a splash of veggie broth and a handful of spinach, some cut up red and yellow bell peppers and was topped with some Garlic Gold and an almost decadent amount of freshly grated parmesan.
How AMAZING does that look?? And see my lovely new microplane in the background? :)
It tasted even better than it looked. I think I would eat every single meal with garlic + parmesan cheese if I could. Well, maybe not my chocolate oatmeal!
It was a long day because I didn’t get very much sleep last night. I felt exhausted and sluggish at work, and had more on my plate than my brain could handle. I was very happy to head home, put on some pajamas, and pour myself a glass of wine.
It has already started snowing, so it will be quite an adventure waking up tomorrow. Although I can’t imagine we’ll get more than Tina over at Carrots ‘n’ Cake has been getting in Boston!
Bedtime for this girl. Goodnight!
Bought a spaghetti squash on sale at Whole Paycheck and have been daydreaming about what I’ll do with it. (Food porn?)
Decided I’m making this tonight:
…I am making the Fitnessista’s socca!
I’ll let ya know how it turns out!
Resisting the urge…
…to hit “Buy Now with 1-click.”
I really want a Kindle :(
That’s how I would describe my lunch today. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but I definitely think I could have cut down on the sodium content somewhere. In addition to having a TJ’s chicken sausage (which, in the scheme of things, really isn’t too bad), I made my quinoa with veggie broth, which I didn’t realize has 24% of your daily sodium intake in one serving! Sheesh! On top of that, I added some sea salt at the end, not realizing how salty this already was. It was still very tasty though :)
See the roasted leek I snuck in there? The fennel didn’t make it, but the leek was mighty tasty!
Quinoa looks so neat close-up! I had a big, tasty salad on the side.
After work, I stopped at Macy’s to look for a few things I needed. Of course I ended up with a few things I didn’t need. I got a neato silicone spoon since my wooden one had a rather unfortunate, err, fire incident. I also picked up some great tall, thin cocktail glasses (I’m not sure what they’re called) that were on sale for 6 bucks! What a steal. I then had to stop by the makeup counter and, despite needing some new foundation, spent FAR too much money. Bad bad bad!! I really can’t resist expensive makeup….
By the time I got home, I was tired and had seriously considered picking up some Qdoba for a burrito bowl. Thankfully I stuck to my guns and made something healthier and considerably cheaper at home. I went for a quesadilla made with two whole wheat tortillas, a TJ’s goat cheese medallion, some shredded cheddar, some grated parmesan, grilled asparagus, sliced leeks and spinach. On the side, I had some FF Greek yog + Cholula hot sauce (aka spicy sour cream), vegetarian refried beans and some sparkling mineral water + pomegranate juice. It was AWESOME.
I am SO glad that I made dinner at home, it was very, very good. You can also see my new glass here :)
Have you ever had fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? I always thought it sounded stupid (and wimpy), and I’m crazy about sour cream. But since I only like the full fat stuff, sometimes I have to make concessions…and this is a surprisingly good one! Without any sugar, most of the taste you associate with yogurt is gone, and the little splash of hot sauce makes it so you almost can’t tell the difference!
Yeah, this was one tasty dinner, and I am one happy girl :) I’m also exhausted, so I’m going to turn on a movie and hopefully fall asleep. Have a lovely night!
You know how I said I made my lunch with an heirloom tomato?
While I loooove tomatoes, I am by no means an expert on the ruby hued fruit. When I bought these guys on my trip to TJ’s the other day, I saw, I drooled, I bought. They looked like heirlooms, so I assumed they were heirlooms!
Alas, they were not. Check out this YumSugar post for the lowdown on what these lovely ‘maters are really called.
If you leave a glass of water on the nightstand unattended, the cat will drink from the glass of water.
If you roast anything in your shitty oven that needs a cleaning badly, the smoke alarm (which now has batteries) will go off.
If you do attempt to run the self-clean cycle on said oven, the smoke alarm will also go off.
Ahhh, life’s little lessons…
I grabbed dinner tonight from a tiny (and I mean tiny – we’re talking room for 4 stools kind of tiny) taco hole-in-the-wall joint with a few friends before heading to Sam’s reading in the S Halsted art district-y area. They were GOOD. The cook/hostess/waitress didn’t even speak enough English to tell us our bill’s total (a point did just fine though!), and the steak tacos were di-vine. Oh, and did I mention they cost about a buck each?
I got home around 10:30, and considered just flopping into bed, but I threw together a quick lunch for tomorrow instead. I made some quinoa in my rice cooker (win!) with veggie broth, baked a sliced up TJ’s sundried tomato chicken sausage, mixed them together with two chopped heirloom tomatoes, a handful of baby spinach, a Dorot cube each of basil and garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. It smelled delicious, so I’m hoping it tastes just as good tomorrow!
After making a quickie salad, I had some leftover fennel and leek that were too small of pieces to save, but too much to throw out, so I tossed them in the still-hot oven with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and roasted them. This is when the smoke alarm went off…grr! I would have kept them in longer, but it was late and my roommates were going to bed, so a screaming smoke alarm was not an option at this point. I threw them on top of the quinoa mix, but I have a feeling they weren’t roasted long enough to soften and sweeten up. We’ll see tomorrow, but I certainly want to try it again.
And without further ado, some pictures!
It may not look like much, but it sure was good!
Did you know that just about everywhere else in the world, eggplants are called aubergines?
Isn’t that pepper pretty?
Nope, that’s snickerdoodle dessert hummus!
I got the McDreamy, a chocolate cupcake, with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate/cream cheese filling. Tasty! A little too sweet for me though.
That concludes the pictures for now…it’s this girl’s bedtime!
This morning was a rough one. I completely slept in, and the worst part? I didn’t even hear my alarm clock! What is going on with me…?
To be (somewhat) fair, I was quite busy last night and crossed a lot off on my productivity to-do list. And while bed by 1 is late, it’s not too unusual, and certainly not grounds for waking up late for work. Had to take a cab instead of my usual bus…and that’s $15 down the drain. Gulp. Lesson learned…I hope.
Tina at Carrot’s ‘n’ Cake had another great post today in her Grocery Shopping: 101 series. It’s on unit price — be sure to check it out!
I finally got my pictures together and ready to go, so look for a post tonight with some fun pictures of meals the last few days. Lunch today was just as I had predicted — delicious! I had the rest of my leftover eggplant and celery stew, a side of brown basmati that I whipped up last night in my rice cooker, and a side of cut-up veggies to munch on. I am QUITE full — all with no meat! I love meatless meals :)
I forgot to mention yesterday that I made one more modification to my stew recipe — I added a pinch each of cumin and chili pepper! It made the whole dish taste a bit more Indian, but since I only used a little, the cumin wasn’t overpowering as it can be sometimes. Added just enough depth and flavor to an already fantastic dish, and the chili pepper kept me interested with each bite.
Sadly, I ate alone at my desk today because my lunch companion/work buddy is out of the office for some not-so-fun doctor appointments. I’m missing her terribly! Work isn’t the same without ya, Kara! Sending good wishes your way today.
I have a busy afternoon at work ahead, and then I’m meeting some friends afterward for tacos in Pilsen. Then we’ll be heading to a reading to see one of my favorite bloggers of all time, Sam from Bitches Gotta Eat. Can’t wait!
I love, love, LOVE this idea!