Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pump up the veggies

Look at the colors of summer!

There was so much at this week's CSA. Eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes (the first of the season), cabbage, swiss chard, red onions, fennel, summer squash, and parsley:

I was so excited to get home and dig in! The swiss chard was calling my name, but I didn't want to simply saute.

I decided to make a sauce/pesto of sorts. I sauteed the swiss chard a bit and blended it with olive oil and parmesan cheese. The photo is a bit blurry because the sauce was still hot and it kept fogging up my lens.

I used the sauce to give a little kick to Italian bread sticks.

They were pretty good, but could have used a bit more spice, maybe some hot pepper next time?

I ended up sautéing more swiss chard along with radicchio, and egg whites.

So so so easy to eat well during the summer!

2 more days until Friday! This weekend can't get here fast enough!!


Monday, July 25, 2011

The 27 Club

Happy Monday!

This Monday it was particularly hard to get out of bed and get going. I didn't get back to the city until a little after midnight so a 6 am wake up call was out of the question. The weekend itself was laid back but such a blast, oh well, 4 more days until the next!

I didn't have a chance to address Amy Winehouse's death, but what sad news. Though it was no surprise that she was a heavy drug and alcohol user, she was still an amazing talent.

And as brought to my attention by Amanda's dad yesterday, Winehouse, is yet another to join the 27 club, which began in the 1970s with the deaths of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison who all died within a few months of each other and at the age of 27. Leaving them in the "27" or "Forever 27 club." The list later included Kurt Cobain who died in 1994 along with many many others.

Janis Joplin:
Kurt Cobain:
Jimi Hendrix:
Jean Michel Basquiat(New York artist and musician):

Again such great talent gone to waste.

Sorry to start the week with such a somber post, will be back later.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another weekend in Philly

Well, that title is a little misleading, it wasn't just another weekend in Philadelphia, I actually met my mother's (who was adopted) biological sister. She came up for the weekend with her boyfriend.

It was too hot to stick with our original plan so we decided to keep it easy, grab an early dinner and walk around a bit. We went to one of the many Marathon restaurants. I was going to go with a simple vegetable salad but at the very last minute decided to add on calamari.

My mom and sister went with club sandwiches, they looked amazing so I had to snap a photo.

I've been craving yogorino since my first visit during the July 4th week. Since we were only a few blocks away we went!

It was a winner! I went with the pistachio and sprinkles once again.

Me, my mom, sister, and my mom's sister Margo:

After saying goodbye I met up with my friends Amanda and Sarah for a girls night! Which meant facials:

Drying as you can see I can't really smile:

Girls night also meant brownies, yum!

And kitty play! Well watching the kitties play...well, maybe sleep!!

This morning we went over to Little Pete's for brunch. I got a huge spinach omelette, which I was able to eat about 3/4 of, it was huge!


Red Currant Sorbet

Currently blogging this post from Philadelphia's 30th street station while waiting to meet up with my mom, love free wifi!

This week I got an early start on the food part of my month challenge. This week's first, red currants.

I quickly looked around the food world for a tasty currant recipe but ended up going with my original idea-sorbet, mostly because it was easy and quick!

Simply removed currants from the stem (about 3/4 of a cup), washed them of course, and brought the currants to a boil along with a 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of sugar (if you aren't a fan or tart or sour increase the amount of sugar you add).

I allowed the mix to come to a boil and simmered for 10 minutes. I then allowed the mixture to cool, mashed the currants and mixture through a strainer and added to my ice cream maker for about 30 minutes.

Love the neon pink color, and that's all natural, no dyes or anything!

Makes 2 servings. Enjoy!!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

This week in review

Wednesday afternoon I message my friend Ryan to see if he wanted to meet up for a movie in the park. He said yes and as luck would have it Wednesday was the only cool day of the week, yay for us!

I opted to walk to the park since I've been keeping high impact activities minimal, and again so glad I did-I was met with the most beautiful sunset.

The movie this week was "The Kids Are Alright." The movie was pretty good, I don't know if it was deserving of the oscar nomination for best picture, but not a bad way to spend the evening.

Thursday I made it to the Neely's new restaurant in the city, Neely's Barbecue Parlor. Now while I hate to give a bad review, I was not won over. Granted my options were limited (side note for my long time readers but I am now eating poultry once again, see bottom of post for details) since I wasn't interested in pulled pork or ribs.

I made reservations early in the week knowing the place would be busy, they have only been open for a week. After giving my name we waited a few minutes and were taken to our seats. At first I was very impressed with the decor. The interior was made up of several different rooms that were made up to appear like different houses. Very creative and I felt very much at home, actually I felt like I was at my grandmother's house, minus the shaky table we had, she wouldn't stand for a shaky table. The service was great as well, very hospitable, and pretty fast.

I had already looked over the menu before coming so I was able to quickly order a glass of wine, the catfish appetizer, and a collard greens side. A few moments later we were brought cheese straws, water served in a mason jar (love that!), and our drinks.

Dinner quickly followed.

The collard greens were pretty good, not great, but good, as was the catfish, but I could have left without the macaroni and cheese which I was able to grab a bit of to sample. It didn't do anything for me. As for the ribs, according to Ryan the rub was decent but a bit salty and he didn't feel like the meat was tender enough.

We eyed over the dessert menu but decided to call it a night. After seeing a few raving reviews for the red velvet cake I wish I had shared a slice but the thought isn't enough to drive me back. I think NYC has enough other BBQ/southern spots that yield my attention.


***I made the decision to do so 2 weeks prior to my trip to Peru. I had 3 weeks were food options were going to be limited, in part because I was hiking 5 of the days and then again because I knew it was preferred that we ate with the children at the school I was volunteering and again I wasn't sure what would be served. Further my reason for cutting chicken out of my diet in the first place was due to farming practices in the United States. In Peru and particularly while at the school I knew where my meat was coming from (they raised the chickens at the school) and knew what they were and were not being fed (ie antibiotics).

Since returning to New York I've continued to occasionally incorporate poultry into my diet, but it's always from a local source and organic. At restaurants I have kept to my pescetarian diet.

Since I brought up Peru, what better time then now to show cute pictures of the boys from a recent school play.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Good, the bad, and the ugly

I made it to the knee doctor today, and the verdict, I have PF syndrome. Caused for me because my left patella is positioned slightly higher than a normal knee. The cure for my knee pain-rest and physical therapy to straighten hip and quad muscles.

At first I thought this was a sentence worse than death! How am I to go an unknown amount of time without cardio? But instead of rushing out of lab for a 6 pm spin class, I took my time cleaning up, came home, and cooked a decent dinner. I then went cooking/baking crazy followed by a self guided bout of pilates. I haven't done a routine on my own in sometime which required me to really think about each movement and which exercise I would move to next. I was more focused and centered during my 30 minute session than I have been in sometime. Maybe the knee pain came at a good time, really forcing me to focus on clean eating and other aspects of life. Get some more reading done, play around in the kitchen a bit more, and become centered once more. And yes this is how I spent my Friday night. That and talking to a boy. I completely forgot until talking to said boy that I was actually suppose to attend a happy hour tonight, oops...all the same I don't think I was missed.

Anyhow, time for bed. I'm off to Philly once more tomorrow.



My mind's tired
I've worked so hard all week
Cashed my check
I'm ready to go
I promise you
I'll show you such a good time

Come on baby let's get away
Let's save our troubles for another day
Come go with me we've got it made
Let me take you on an escapade (Let's go!)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Look at them now

Look who has new music!

The Kooks! I fell in love with this band about the same time I fell in love with the Arctic Monkeys. Their new album doesn't hit the UK until September 4th, but for now I'm thoroughly enjoying the single "Is It Me:"

Okay onto the personal news. Challenge update!

New physical activity-jumping rope. I decided to jump rope for 20 minutes Monday and Wednesday morning and worked up quite the sweat, my legs were actually pretty tired the next day.

New recipe/food-cucumber soup. Not going to lie, wasn't a huge fan of this recipe so I won't share the recipe, maybe I'll give it one more go but will add a banana to sweeten it and treat it as a smoothie?

Plans for tonight:
1. Dinner at new restaurant, can't wait to review tomorrow
2. Some form of low intensity workout, likely pilates and a walk. I'm so bummed to miss my Thursday urban rebounding class but my knee is acting up something terrible, to the point where I've actually made an appointment for the doctor tomorrow-something I probably should have done a long time ago :(
3. Baking-I have so much zucchini so I think I'll make a bread or cookies? And roast some for a salad tomorrow.
4. Reading
5. Pass out :)

One more day til Friday!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boy Bands

Hey all!

How did Monday treat you? Mine was pretty much the norm minus crazy insomnia that had me up at 2:40 am unable to fall asleep :( Hopefully 2 hours working the CSA, a killer workout, and a late night in lab will lead to a face plant on the pillow tonight.

Dinner last night was AMAZING! I've been eyeing Mama Pea's french fry creations for the last week and decided to give the coconut curry variety a try. I followed the recipe exactly except I used fresh ginger.

They were absolutely heavenly, didn't end up using the BBQ sauce for dip-page, it would have ruined the flavor profile. Maybe I'll try her dip next time? I'm also getting dill this week from the CSA so I might give another version a go.

I threw together a simple salad to have with the fries along with a dijon mustard based salad dressing.

A bit later to satisfy my sweet tooth I threw a bagel thin with cashew butter and chocolate chips under the broil to get everything warm...mmm.

New Music Tuesday-The Wanted "Glad You Came"...British/Irish boy band. The song is kinda catchy right, what do you think?

At the same time they kinda want to make me laugh...very typical boy band no?

What's your favorite boy band of all time?


Monday, July 18, 2011

To the movies

Hey Bloggies,

Didn't make it back into the city until 9:30 pm so I skipped a workout, ate some cereal instead and went to bed. I did accomplish my other goals for the day...can't win em all.

On to a more interesting update. You may recall that during my volunteer time in Lima, Peru I found out that the children attending the boys home/school in which I worked, had never been to a movie theatre. Not so surprising given their economic state, but a 10 year boy should be able to experience the simple joys of action on a big screen. My volunteer coordinator made it her mission to get the boys to a showing. Last week I found out that she was able to secure a bus, the missing piece in her mission, and they went!

The smiles say it all!!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the road again

Hey bloggies-

Left New York once again this weekend to pop over to Philly...haven't been in NYC for a weekend since the the weekend of June 17th!

Before catching my train to Philadelphia I met up with a friend at the Shake Shack for a drink. I opted for a glass of rose.

How cute are these glasses? Spot for your finger too! Almost wish I had saved mine (it was plastic).

Once in Philly I met Matt who is working at University of Pennsylvania for the month of July. We caught a late night showing of Happy Potter, which was fantastic!!

I slept in until 9:45 Saturday morning, which felt amazing, and then met back up with Matt for brunch at The Continental. When asked if we wanted to try the basket seats I pretty much jumped for the chance. I love unique decors and why not swing in between bites of food?

To start off they gave us pink lemonade water ice to sample:

I went with savory, Crab and Leek omelette with a coffee:

Matt went with sweet, the tiramisu waffles...I think that face says it all:

and a spicy bloody mary made with bacon infused vodka:

After brunch we walked around a bit, stopped by the Franklin Institute and down to Penn's Landing.

Before biding Matt farewell we stopped by Eulogy Belgian Tavern for an afternoon beer. I had to show off their extensive selection of brews.

I went with the Delirium that was on tap:

and had a few of Matt's mussels. The beer was delicious, the mussels were okay, the beer sauce was a bit too rich for me...I guess I prefer wine sauces?

I spent the rest of Saturday with my mom and sister, playing tennis, running and walking through the park.

Today is still somewhat up in the air, think I'll work on a photo book at the moment and have a workout planned tonight once I get back to NYC, but as for the rest of the day...well only time will tell :)

Catch ya later,