Updates from June, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Paula 11:05 pm on June 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Hungry Thing 

    Does anyone want to try those new pretzel M&Ms, or is it just me? Something tells me that I’d be disappointed if I did manage to get my hand on some because they’re just M&Ms after all, but a) I have never met a sweet and salty combination that I didn’t love and 2) the commercials always make me chortle (“…Listen buddy, I’m not too thrilled about this either”). Hah!

    I’ve been a very bad food blogger (if that’s even what I am) lately, because work has been “shitting on my head,” as my cute, mid-forties and sadly ex-cubemate used to say. Incidentally, he was also the only person that motivated me to ever go running after work. He quit and moved back to China, and I literally have not run since. Did I mention he quit 3 weeks ago? Yikes.

    Today, I pretty much ate everything in sight. One of the these things was an extra large piece of that delicious almond cake I made over the weekend. The fact that it is still as moist and fresh tasting as the first day may say something about the amount of butta in the recipe. I’m going to feign ignorance on this one.

    It would have been impossible to take pictures of everything I inhaled today, so random splattering it is! Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten used to the idea of pulling out the camera in the middle of restaurants among coworkers, so there is no evidence of the delicious Italian ham, anchovies, mushroom and artichoke pizza I had at lunch.

    I eat almost every @ work breakfast in the cup below. I picked it up on clearance at Starbucks the day after Valentine’s Day when I was still in school. It comes with a cute matching saucer, and it has the added benefit of reminding me of one of my best friends in college, who bought one too. Today’s breakfast: Trader Joe’s pomegranate Greek yogurt topped with fresh bluebs and Quaker 100% Natural Granola. The hungry thing may have eaten several helpings of these toppings after the fact.

    A new yogurt find at TJ’s! This was super delicious – sweet and tangy at the same time. I would definitely recommend it as a non-breakfast yogurt fix.

    Dinner, Part I. The bready looking triangle in the corner is a Spinach Bolani from WFs. The pumpkin ones are still my favorite, but spinach is a close second. Dinner, Part II disappeared before it could be captured. Very mysterious.

    The beets on my plate are also a new find at TJ’s.

    Because I missed out on a photo pizza-tunity earlier, I’ll compensate with this lovely memory of my delicious seafood udon from yesterday’s pre-Eclipse girl’s dinner out!

    ‘Twas as delicious as it looks.

    Hopefully tomorrow the hungry thing will be somewhat satiated. Waddle waddle.

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  • Paula 8:20 am on June 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Total ECLIPSE of the Heart 

    Guess what I did last night?

    2 Hints:

    a) The above post title

    b) The below iPhone-in-the-dark-low-res pic

    That’s right – I saw the 12:01 showing of the newest Twilight installment, Eclipse. The photo is of the line that I waited in with my gal pal/fellow Twilight lover starting at 10. At this point, the line was already about 500 yards long packed with people! The movie was by FAR the best one in the series so far. And, no, I was not the oldest one in the theater, thank you very much.

    Got home at around 3am, did a little work and passed out. Let’s just say that today may be a little rough.

    Happy hump day (also known as free bagel day at my job)!

    P.S. I may have named my car after Edward when I bought it a couple years ago. But, I swear, I am NOT *that* girl!

     
  • Paula 10:39 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Case of the Mondays 

    12 hour days make me grumpy. As does eating all my meals hunched over my computer. I could go for a good printer smashing right now if my name were Peter Gibbons and I routinely listened to “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster” during my commute.

    Sad, but nonetheless yummy desk lunch:

    Between all the craziness, I also experienced a mystery. I got to work today to discover these bluebs hanging out on my keyboard!

    I cracked the bag open sometime after the 3pm-crisis-Toblerone, and they had an interesting texture (kind of a mix between fresh, dried and freeze dried, which I didn’t know was possible). My Nancy Drew skills didn’t kick in today, but thank you whomever you are!

    Off to unwind with an episode of Real World/Road Rules Challenge – my ultimate guilty pleasure – before doing it all over again tomorrow plus some (stay tuned in the next couple days to find out what the “plus some” is!).

    Goodnight!

     
  • Paula 3:03 pm on June 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Muffin Tops > Muffins 

    Such a beautiful day to eat outside. It was my first time having brunch at California Cafe – I would go back without hesitation but I also don’t NEED to go back… if that makes any sense.

    “Bread” basket consisted of blueberry muffins (and muffin tops!), some kind of sweet focaccia and a cute shortbread cookie.

    My entree: Dungenous crab & spinach omelet with tomatoes, cheddar cheese and potatoes.

    My dad got the belgian waffles with applewood bacon, fresh strawberries and chantilly cream. I may have “helped” out with a whole waffle piece.

    Eggs benedict with red onion scones for my mom. She was not a fan of the savory scones, but I have never been one to judge a baked good.

    We stopped by the Farmer’s Market afterwards. They even had golden raspberries!

    Off to figure out how to savor my last hours of weekend freedom. I’ll leave you with my favorite PostSecret from today.

     
  • Paula 9:41 am on June 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Sunday Delight 

    Tried one of these this morning:

    It was definitely tasty, but something about it was unfulfilling. I think it lacked a certain amount of heartiness and maybe was just a touch too sweet (a very rare reaction from my tastebuds). Methinks I’ll be sticking to Fiber One or my other staple energy bars after I polish off this box.

    Then went to an 8 am (!!) spin class with Denis and my dad. Something about sweating between the two most important men in my life is worth the early morning wake up call (most of the time).

    Now I’m off to get some breakfast/brunch with my parents in Los Gatos for a belated birthday celebration for my daddy-o.

    Have a good Sunday!

     
  • Paula 8:22 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Epic Baked Fries 

    Disappointment of the day: US: 1, Ghana: 2. At least I knew the outcome (despite my best effort not to) before sitting down to watch, which saved me a lot of heartache and elevated blood pressure.

    Rewind.

    FINALLY got to the gym this morning, but, let me tell you, it was a struggle. The roommate came home with some folks at 3:30 am. And as we don’t live in a mansion or a hyper-insulated bomb shelter, I had to toss and turn through the after party festivities for a good hour plus (but a more desired outcome than them driving home post-imbibe). Cranky me had to hit snooze a good 5 times before finally dragging myself out of bed.

    The gym was packed, and I nabbed the last elliptical and went at a slowish pace on level 9 (not sure if these levels are consistent across elliptical machines??) withTwenties Girl. The book is decently entertaining, but not really page turning (I’ve had to renew it twice from the library, and I’m still not that close to finishing). Fifty minutes in, a voice on the intercom announced that there was a 30 minute maximum on thecardio machines when people were waiting. I was torn between giving dirty looks to the people next to me that had taken permanent residence on their machines long before I arrived + feeling bad for one guy that looked like he was waiting (or somehow just lost). My feeling bad sentiment is strong. Always.

    Got back home and was STARVING. But as soon as I got out of the shower, Denis dragged me out looking like a drowned rat to pick up a laundry machine from aCraigslist seller.

    An hour and a half later, food at last!!

    PB Oats & Yogurt Parfait

    1/2 cup oatmeal

    1/2 cup non-fat FAGE Greek yogurt

    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

    Pinch of salt

    2 tbsp peanut butter

    Cook oatmeal as usual with H20, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Layer in typical parfait fashion with yogurt, and finish with a heaping spoon of peanut butter (the one food I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of). Yum.

    The rest of the day zoomed by. (I accidentally captured the spirit of this “zoominess” in some of the blurry pics below. I NEED to get better with my camera.) Summary: went to a BEAUTIFUL open house (but we’re just not ready to bid on anything yet) where the real estate agent unintentionally ruined the game for me –> did a much needed load (+ a couple more!) of laundry in our new-to-us machine after our old one broke three weeks ago –> watched the US game anyway (and confirmed my college roommie’s text that Donovan is indeed a looker) –> back to the grill for dinner!

    World Cup Snacks = Guac (with a new find at WFs – Guacamole Ole! Dip herb pack) + Chip Love

    Hubba hubba.

    Regulation + 2 15 minute OT halves. US is out (*sob*). Dinner Time.

    Two potatoes, cut into wedges…

    mixed with these bad boys + some EVOO…

    and baked at 500, then broiled on a sheet pan.

    Voila! These were SO good and pretty darn healthy! The trick is getting them nice and crispy in the oven with the right amount of EVOO and some good broiler action at the end. If I owned a restaurant, these would for sure make it on the menu!

    The full spread! Note the random tasting cup next to the dijonnaise. The butcher atWFs that helped with the Denis’ burger meat suggested that I request a side of garlic aioli from the sandwich section to slather on the burger. He didn’t have to tell me twice. I carried that dixi cup all around the store and transported it safely home. Brilliant!!

    Ground buffalo meat burger on a white bun with garlic aioli, habanero cheddar, tomatoes and onions for him.

    Amy’s veggie burger on whole wheat bread with guacamole, dijionnaise, ketchup, onions and tomatoes for her.

    The guts.

    Rewind one more time…

    … to (as promised) last night’s baking and dessert adventures!

    Solo Almond Cake with Apricot Jam

    I got the recipe for this cake from Denis’ mom, who in turn got the recipe from the back of an Almond Solo wrapper. She adds a layer of apricot jam in the middle, which I happily copy every time I make this. Don’t let the lack of fancy aesthetics or the fact that the recipe is attached to a metal, mass produced can fool you – this cake is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It’s not overly sweet, so it’s great for dessert, as a tea accompaniment or for breakfast.

    Recipe here. I was too lazy to make the glaze, but I don’t think you miss it.

    Some KitchenAid Stand mixing action.

    The secret ingredient.

    The last layer. Note to self: that scarf does not look as good as you think it does.

    Out of the oven and cooling in the spring form.

    Glamour shot: A couple slices packed up for sharing.

    I also had my mind set on trying banana soft serve for the first time EVER last night after having read about drooled over it several times on a couple of my favorite blogs. I took two large frozen bananas out of the freezer and gave them a whirl in the food processor. The food processor literally LEPT from the counter. I had to wrangle it down rodeo-style for half a minute while it fought against the rock solid nanner slices. Nobody warned me about that step of the process!!

    Beginning to get ice cream-like.

    Aha! It really does turn into soft serve! This is where my eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning.

    The texture was great – really creamy and just like froyo. Denis thought it was a little too sweet, but I was in heaven. As promised by many a blogger, I think this stuff may have changed my life!!

    The length of this post is becoming as epic as those fries were good, so I’ll leave you with the following moment of zen: The promise of clean undies!

     
  • Paula 9:26 am on June 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    A Very Pitalicious Kick-off 

    I sprinted (in my car) away from work today to enjoy a quiet Friday at home. On the menu?

    Loaded Yogurt-Marinated Aleppo Pepper Chicken Pitas!

    If your reaction is anywhere close to what mine was, you’re probably thinking, Aleppo pepper – say whaaat? The recipe Denis (no, the one “n” is not a typo) followed from epicurious describes them as a “slightly sweet Syrian pepper with a moderate heat level.” That doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, but he did manage to find them at my beloved Whole Foods so we forged ahead.

    The recipe is actually for kabobs but I’m a girl that needs her carbs, so we BBQ-ed them on skewers along with onions, red bell peppers and whole wheat pitas.

    While they were on the grill, I whipped up a little greek yogurt sauce using non-fat FAGE greek yogurt (yum!), red wine vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, and kosher salt and pepper. It was pretty good, but nothing mind blowing. The finished creation – topped with tomatoes and feta – on the other hand… deeelicious!!

    Denis and I always fight when cooking. All these fights revolve around some variation of the same two topics: 1) my lack of aptitude in the kitchen, and 2) his lack of consideration that not everyone can eat like an elephant and still remain a lanky white boy.

    Tonight was no exception. Skirmish one involved him calling me out on squeezing the tomato paste tube like I squeeze the toothpaste (from near the nozzle, and not from the back). Round two was when I discovered he used full fat greek yogurt (also FAGE) in the chicken marinade. Just 1 serving contains 300 calories, more than 2/3 from fat. Blegh! I am all for rich, creamy, dreamy things, but for stuff like this (where it’s literally impossible to tell the difference between non/low-fat and I-might-as-well-be-eating-a-cheesecake-fat), my panties admittedly wind up in a bunch. Anyway, I fixed the tube and decided it was nice of him to have bought whole wheat pitas for me, so relationship crisis averted and dinner served.

    (I think I took this picture while walking. Fuzziness ensued.)

    So good! There is still some chicken left, so I have a feeling this will be re-entering my life again very soon. I also made this baby…

    … but more details on that tomorrow. I think I’ll whip up my very first batch of banana soft serve now, and hopefully I’ll be motivated to go to the gym tomorrow morning before the US vs. Ghana World Cup game (!!) for the very first time in a very long time (dun Dun DUN).

    Happy weekend (and happy first blog post) from the frog-dog mitts!

     
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