Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orange You Glad

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- with all the snow we have been having lately! :)

This morning, I was with Joe and we ate a nice breakfast together at Panera before we had to depart. I had a whole wheat bagel with butter and yogurt with strawberries. He had a sesame seed bagel with plain cream cheese and tea. We said our goodbye's and I headed back to school.

Right when I got back, I bundled and set out for a run. I ran about 25 minutes. I wanted to go longer, but my shoulder was starting to hurt. I decided it would be best to stop. I think I have been carrying to much weight on my left shoulder (luggage and purses) and it is starting to irritate it. I am going to have to do some cardio that doesn't involve moving my shoulders (biking! yay!).

After my run, I headed to Whole Foods (I have never been and was had some time to explore). I picked up some sharp cheddar cheese and lentil soup.

By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry for lunch. My lunch turned out to be monochromatic! Check it out:

an orange, sharp cheddar with crackers, carrots, and blueberry yogurt with granola from Panera. I also had some homemade sweet potato chips. Orange, Indeed!

Between lunch and dinner I studied for my anthropology test and worked out. I would study, workout, study, workout. I did a little yoga and a ballet inspired workout. I love ballet workouts. I danced for a long time and I like to reminisce with these workouts.

By 7, I had a made a quick dinner. My lentil soup from Whole Foods with a couple of Saltines. It was just OK, don't think I will buy it again. It did the job. For dessert, I had a Choco-peppermint cookie! MMMMM - those things are so good!

Time to get in a little more studying. Then, it's bed time. I have a busy day tomorrow filled with tutoring, testing, and driving (four hours) home!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Another relaxing day for me! I woke up at 9 am and had a simple bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast.

Then I did ~50 minutes of Yoga - Dave Farmer style ( I really enjoyed his class. It was relaxing, and yet I was still working hard.

After Yoga, I took a bubble bath. In a Jacuzzi bath tub. With Candles. It was so incredibly relaxing.

Before I knew it, my stomach was growling for lunch. I heated up some leftover Turkey Soup. It's delicious! It has tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Yummmm! Oh, and a piece of pumpernickle swirl bread on the side.

It was hard to make this soup look visually appealing!

Then, I had a craving for baking! I decided to make Chocolate Peppermint Cookies in the spirit of Christmas! I had my Christmas music in the background and started baking.

I adapted the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. My favorite food network star.

What you'll need:
1 tube refrigerated cookie dough (makes things very easy!)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1/4 cup heavy cream
crushed peppermint candies

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake cookies according to package.
3. Combine 1 cup of chocolate chips and the cream in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Once the chocolate mixture is set. Spread it on top of each cookie. Then top with crushed peppermint candies.
5. Enjoy!

The cookies turned out lighter than I thought they would be, which I was very pleased about. The peppermint candies add just enough mint flavor, without it being overpowering. You gotta try them!

Joe came over in the afternoon. We were having trouble decided on what to do since it was rainy and cold outside. We decided to do a little shopping. We went to Frugal Backpacker, Diamond Brand, World Market, and Earthfare. I didn't buy anything but I found a lot of things I loved in World Market. I adore that store. I plan on going back within the next few days and picking up a few things.

For dinner, we met my mom and Joe's mom at Marco's Pizza. Joe and I split a caesar salad and pineapple and ham pizza. Deee-licious.

Time for more relaxing! ;)


Time to relax

Wow, this past week I have been so busy with school work that I had to put my blog on the back burner for a few days. I had a presentation, took an exam, and turned in three papers. Whew! I am so glad to be back home now for a few days. I still have to go back to school for just a couple of days to take more exams. BOO!

I never got around to do a Thanksgiving post, either. (That's pretty bad for a food blogger...) I have pictures to share, though!

The Thanksgiving Table

There I am, running the Turkey Trot! I ran ~23:30.

Now to yesterday.

I woke up at 9 am and ate breakfast. It was yogurt, pumpkin, and the last of the organic cascadian farms granola. I am excited to try a new kind of organic granola, any suggestions?

I asked Joe if he wanted to go on a run around 11 am and he did! I changed into running clothes and did a quick martial arts workout before I left. I only had time to do the circuit once and my arms are really sore today! I am so weak! I usually don't do martial arts either, so it was fun to try something new. Afterward, Joe and I went on a forty minute run at the arboretum. I felt so tired during it, but I was glad to be running. I haven't had a chance to run in a week!

We took showers and then had leftover Makaronilaatiko for lunch. What's that you ask? It's a Finnish casserole with macaroni and beef. You eat it with ketchup and it is wonderful! It was the first thing I ever made for Joe, and that was when I fell in love with cooking! I will make it again soon and post the recipe!

We took showers and then just relaxed around the house for a bit. Eventually I had an afternoon snack of blueberry yogurt. Then Joe and I decided to walk to Barnes and Noble and read (it's not far from his house).

I read Blood Done Sign My Name. The last book I have to read for school (yay!). Joe read a Rock and Ice magazine. We shared a cup of hot chocolate. :)

The evening ended with lots of food, friends, and family. :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm still here!

The week before exams is getting the best of me! By Friday (at the latest) I will be able to start posting again!

love and best dishes.
(remind you of anyone?)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day of Fun

Yesterday was my day to plan a "day of fun" for Joe and I. (Even though, everyday is a fun day for us.) I planned a day of rock climbing with a picnic. Then, a nice dinner at Bier Garden.

Before I picked up Joe I ate Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds for breakfast. I love me some cereal.

Once I arrived at Joe's house I asked him where he preferred to climb - Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest or Rumbling Bald at Lake Lure. He picked Lake Lure (the place we went two days ago!). And so we went!

After two climbs for Joe and one for me, we ate lunch. I packed a lunch of apples, raspberry yogurts, granola, blue tortilla chips, and a Turkey BLT wrap from Earthfare. It was very satisfying!

After lunch, Joe got in one more climb and we decided to head home and take a nap! There are two kinds of naps. One is the kind where you wake up feeling refreshed. The other kind is where you wake up feeling groggy and worse than before you fell asleep. Unfortunately, we both felt really groggy when we woke up. After a shower, I felt a lot better. Then we headed downtown to Bier Garden for dinner.

We shared nachos as an appetizer. For dinner, Joe had a salmon, brie, panini. I had a burger with pepper jack cheese and sweet potato fries on the side. Joe seemed to really like his. My burger was a little over cooked (and I like mine medium-well!) but the sweet potato fries were really good.

As we walked out of the restaurant we saw a hit and run! Joe happened to get the guys plate number before he drove away. We wrote it down and put it on the victim's car. I can't believe how inconsiderate some people are. It was our good deed for the day! :)

The rest of the night we just relaxed and watched Mad Men.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hard Times

Today I was VERY excited for breakfast because Joe and I were going to have it at Terrace Cafe. It did not disappoint!

I had a spinach, mushroom, and Gruyere cheese omelet with fresh fruit on the side. I loved the fresh fruit, because it wasn't just the standard honey dew, canteloupe, and grapes. BORING. It had raspberries, blackberries, kiwis, strawberries, pineapple and the boring stuff mixed in with it! So good!

Joe had a "Full Breakfast" with hash browns, sunny side up eggs, pancakes, and bacon. I tried some of his pancakes - they were delicious!

I definitely want to visit again for lunch and dinner!

After breakfast, we headed home. I am a huge homebody and love being home. I am very happy I get to be here a whole week before I have to go back to school.

The moment we got home we decided to go on a 6.5 mile run at the arboretum. It's a loop we do frequently together. The loop is called "Hard Times." There is a 1.5 mile hill within the loop and it is HARD. Hence, hard times. ;) After the hill though is a nice VERY long downhill, which we decided to race down to make it worthwhile. It was a very good run. Only four more days until the Turkey Trot 5k!

The rest of the evening I relaxed at home. My mom made me stuffed shells for dinner. One of my favorites! :) I caught up on school work and now I am off to bed.



Bouldering and Ben Folds

Yesterday was a JAM PACKED day for Joe and I.

We woke up at 6 AM to get ready for our bouldering trip with a Venture group. If you are unfamiliar with Venture, it is a program associated with many different colleges to promote outdoor learning. Students go on different outdoor trips, such as kayaking, hiking, camping, rocking climbing etc. Our bouldering trip was at Lake Lure. Joe was one of the trip leaders yesterday!

Joe with a bouldering pad on his back!

The group left by 7 am and made a quick stop at Bruegger's Bagels for breakfast. I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with plain cream cheese and a fruit cup. It kept me full for a very long time!

I had SO MUCH FUN bouldering. I "topped out" (climbers lingo for making it to the top) of 5 different boulders and 3 others were a bit too challenging. I definitely want to go back and try the hard ones again!

Me bouldering!

Lunch consisted of whole wheat tortillas, Trader Joe's organic creamy peanut butter, jelly, nutella, marshmallow fluff (let's just say I went all out!) hummus, carrots, and granola (or GORP - at least, that is what everyone is calling it.) It wasn't the healthiest lunch but it was definitely tasty!

Joe bouldering!

It was a beautiful day!


We bouldered until 4 and then headed out for dinner and then the drive home. Dinner was not that great, either. It was a mediocre BBQ place and I didn't have much of an appetite to eat it.

We made it back to campus by 7:30 and rushed to get ready for the Ben Fold's concert (which started at 8)!! We made it there just in time. The opening singer announced, "Up next is Ben Fold's" right when we walked into the door. The concert was great. He played a lot of my favorite songs.

Made it just in time! I didn't even have time to blow dry my hair.

Can you find Ben Folds? :)

One of my favorite songs of his! :)

By the end of the concert we were exhausted and went straight to sleep!

Friday, November 19, 2010


This morning, I attempted the pumpkin oats again. They turned out a lot better this time. I only used 1/4 cup pumpkin, almost a whole banana, and less spice! Check it out:

Afterward, I tutored for an hour and counted down the minutes until I could finally leave to go meet up with Joe! I arrived at noon and we went to go get lunch at Einstein Brothers Bagels on campus. It was my first time going there. I had a wheat bagel thin with turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, and cream cheese. It was OK. Joe bought us a chocolate chip coffee cake as a treat. It was just OK, too.

By 1 o'clock we went to the movies to go see Harry Potter #7. I am not a huge Harry Potter fan. (I know, what's wrong with me?) It's not that I don't like it, I just never got into it. I read the first book and that's it. I have seen a few of the movies, and thought they weren't anything special to me. However, I did enjoy watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Maybe I should read the books? :)

It was too nice outside not to go on a walk after the movie, so that's what we did! We walked until it was time to meet up with our friend Ben at Brixx Pizza for dinner. Ben has been a close friend of Joe's and mine for a long time (I've known him since 3rd grade!). I am always happy to meet up with him. :)

Brixx was yummy as always! We shared the hummus plate as an appetizer and for dinner I had a smoked turkey sandwich with arugula, tomatoes, bacon, and Fontina cheese on Focaccia bread. It was very good, but I was kind of wished I had some pizza.

I loved the fresh fruit on the side, too!

Ben, Me, and Joe (Sadly, we did not go to TCBY)

Tomorrow, Joe and I are waking up at 5:30 to go on a bouldering trip with a Venture group. Joe is going to be one of the trip leaders! I can't wait to see him in action!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good Start

This morning I woke up and made myself a pumpkin yogurt parfait. It was very good, but I wasn't satisfied for very long before I was hungry again.

I am quite pleased by my breakfast pics lately. :)

I was counting down the minutes until 2:45 because that is when my Thanksgiving break started! Yep, that's right, I have a full 10 days off (including weekends) for my break. (However, I still have three papers due the week after Thanksgiving. Grrr.)

Lunch was not that great today. I didn't have much in my pantry so I had an apple, half a banana, and half a bagel with peanut butter.

After class, I went on a 4.5 mile run. It felt good, but I am sick of running at the same place and am ready for some new scenery. I am running the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning - I am starting to get pumped up about it!

I was hungry after my run so I had a snack. One orange and a small bowl of granola with milk. It hit the spot nicely.

I showered, did some packing, cleaned my room, and started making dinner, which was SO GOOD! I had tilapia (with tons of lemon, lemon zest, and EVOO), broccoli, and homemade sweet potato chips (with a little ketchup). I was going to put fresh basil on the tilapia but I totally forgot! I was hungry! The sweet potato chip idea came from Kath's delicious looking lunch.

I REALLY wish I was better at taking food pictures. Practice makes perfect, right? I hope...

And FINALLY for dessert I made a PUMPKIN MILKSHAKE. I had been wanting to make this for two weeks now, but wanted to save it for the right occasion. It was the perfect start to my Thanksgiving break! Here is the recipe from Nutrition to Kitchen:

2 cups light vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1 thin ginger cookie, crushed, for crumbling on top


1. Blend all ingredients, except for the cookie, together. Divide milkshake evenly among two glasses and sprinkle with ginger cookie crumbs. Serve.

I sp1it into thirds to share with my roommates!

PS - I couldn't post the pictures, because they were just too awful. I am sure I will make it again though, and I will post pictures!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Official...#2

I joined the sushi club! I tried Sushi for the first time today and I loved it! I Wish I had my camera to take pictures of the giant BOAT filled with sushi my friends and I had, but I didn't have it with me. :( I will try to remember all the names:

Bagel roll - salmon, cream cheese, and rice in a FRIED bagel! YUM!
Philly roll

Okay, sadly, I can't remember any of the other names, and we ordered six different kinds! They were all so good!

I have been enjoying a lot of first's lately. :) I love trying new things!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Official...

...I joined the Glee Club! Tonight I watched Glee for the first time with my roomies and I loved it! I am going to have to add "Watch Season One of Glee" on my Thanksgiving To Do list. ;)

Earlier today I went on a 3.5 mile run. My first run in a week! It felt pretty good for the most part. I was a little tired, but that's expected.

I brought along my new watch and heart monitor! It was a pre-half marathon race gift from my mom. It calculates my heart rate and calories burned!

I didn't even burn 200 calories for a thirty minute run (191 to be exact)! Whaaa?! I was hoping for a solid 300. I guess I'll take what I can get. :)

I got some homework and laundry done. I already started packing for my Thanksgiving vacation! (I get excited.)

For dinner, I decided on a spinach, tomato, and italian cheese omelet on a tortilla! It hit the spot!

It was easy to roll up and eat. The picture doesn't give it's delicious taste justice.

+ one piece of chocolate and 2 small cookies for dessert.

Time to get ready for bed! I have a long day tomorrow.



Bad Oatmeal, Good Picture

This morning, I woke up very excited for my pumpkin oatmeal. I followed Kath's recipe for her pumpkin oatmeal with a few adjustments:

I had high hopes for this oatmeal. I mean, look how beautiful it was!

So far this is my favorite picture I have taken of food! I am so proud! The leaves in the background, the colors and details in the oatmeal. It just screams fall! (The rest of the pictures do not look like this!)

Pumpkin oats with 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 of a thinly sliced banana, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin spice. Topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar, cinnamon raisin granola, and coconut. Well, the problem came about when I realized I used WAY too much pumpkin spice! It tasted really spicy, not the nice sweet taste pumpkin spice usually has. I thought I could negate it by adding more sugar. Nope. It made it worse! I still ate about half of it. I was dissappointed, because I had to eat cereal instead with the rest of my banana.

On the plus side, I stayed full until noon! Two of my classes were canceled today, so I went home early and made myself lunch.

A bagel with herbed brie cheese and ham, broccoli, and my fist Persimmon EVER. I found it to taste very similar to a melon. I'm sorry to say that I wasn't a huge fan. I didn't finish it. It was very ripe. I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I do have another one, so I am going to give it another chance tomorrow. Since, I threw the persimmon away I decided to enjoy an apple with vanilla yogurt and granola.

+ a small cookie for dessert!

I am going running today! YEY!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy Weekend

Whew! This weekend was so fast, but so fun!

On Saturday: Joe and I went for a bike ride with our friend Matt. Matt is the pro-biker of the group and has been road biking for years.

My awesome bike!

We went for 20 miles, with a few rolling hills with one tough hill! At least, it was tough for me. My bike muscles have not matured! I need more practice.

Afterward, Joe and I went to Papa's and Beer for lunch! :)

Two Enchilada's with chicken and beans and rice. Ate only one Enchilada, most of the rice, and about half of the beans. It was sooooooo good!

Unfortunately, that night we had to head back to school. We said our goodbyes to our families. It was so sad because our visit went so quickly, but we will see them again next week for Thanksgiving!

On Sunday, my mom met up with me at Joe's apartment. I was going to be alone for the day, because he had a climbing event to lead with his school. My mom decided to come hang out with me for the day, so I wouldn't be alone. So nice of her. :)

We went to IKEA, ate lunch at Carraba's (we shared the chicken trio!) and the mall. We bought lots of stuff including a new helmet, biking pants, a blazer from Banana Republic, and a new top from the loft.

Joe eventually met up with us and we got frozen yogurt at Yogurt Mountain! The yogurt is self serve. There is a huge bar of toppings with different fruits, candies, cookies, and granola. The cost is 45 cents/ounce. It was fun making my own concoction.

Mine was Pumpkin Yogurt with graham cracker crumbs, oatmeal cookie chunks, and coconut.

This is Joe's...not even sure what is in it!


Back to the old grind! I have lots of reading to get through tonight! I am already thinking about breakfast in the morning!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time Flies

So far this weekend has been really fun, but it's going by way too fast!

On Thursday night, Joe and I arrived back home at 7 o'clock and picked up his sister and brother and headed straight for Mellow Mushroom! It has a really unique atmosphere, the waiters and waitresses are really friendly, and, of course, the food rocks! We split between the four of us a Caesar Salad and a large Hawaiian pizza. Afterward, we met up with some of our old friends.

On Friday, Joe and I ate at 12 Bones Smokehouse for lunch! 12 Bones has the best BBQ you will ever have. They have chicken, turkey, and pork. They have specialty sandwiches (Joe's favorite is the Smoked Turkey with sugar bacon, brie cheese, and pesto mayo!) and salad's. You can pick two sides, such as mac n cheese, buttered green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, baked beans, corn pudding etc. etc. It's delicious!

Pork plate topped with sweet tomato bbq sauce with green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, and corn bread. YUM!

Afterward we went on a short hike. The mountains look absolutely beautiful in the fall with colors of red, orange, and yellow. The mountains have a golden glow when the sun hits them just right.

After the hike, I showered and got ready for our friend's father's surprise birthday party.

It was at a new Italian restaurant called Trivinia. Free food and drinks all around!

Appetizer plate!

Pumpkin cheesecake! I had to nibble before I took the picture!

A belly dancer!

They threw a great party!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


...are always a long day for me. I have class from 9 in the morning to 6 at night. I woke up a few minutes early today to make myself some oatmeal. I felt good and was energized and sore from a workout I did yesterday! (I love that feeling!)

Strawberry Banana oatmeal. Check it out:

It was nice and warm and filling for a chilly morning.

I worked with 7th grade students today. We are making a music video based on the book The Outsiders. After a lot of planning, today we finally recorded the music video. It was really fun to see middle school students let go of their inhibitions and have fun dancing to the music video. Every week I have really enjoyed working with them.

I had a quick break in between classes to make some lunch at home. It was tuna with a little mayo on spinach leaves and multi-grain bread and an apple and sharp cheddar cheese. I would have photographed it, but it was not the most visually appealing lunch (and I am not the best food stylist, either). I also enjoyed a piece of my strawberry yogurt cake for dessert. I love that cake! It's so dense and moist. You have to try it!

When I headed back to school for my final class of the day I tried an Odwalla granola bar for a snack. It was pretty good, but I still think I like Cliff or Luna bars the best.
During class, I received a text from my friend Nicole asking if I would want to join her and Ida for a pilates/yoga class tonight. I did not want to pass that up! I agreed, but I had to rush home and eat dinner very fast to make it to the class on time. My only choice was to pick up a healthy choice dinner because I have NOTHING in my kitchen. It was OK and I didn't have time to relax and eat. I grabbed an apple on the go and made it to the class. The class was a bit of a challenge, but the instructor was BORING. She was not engaging at all and didn't even act happy to be there! I don't plan on going to her class again, but exercising in the company of my two friends was very nice.

I think not eating a fulfilling dinner definitely caused me to indulge in the goodies when I got home. I made some chocolate banana smoothies to share with my roomies.

With this packet of chocolate you add one large, ripe banana, ice, and skim milk. They are so good, and not a lot of calories. A guilt free treat, if you will. Then, I had ANOTHER piece of my delicious cake. I probably shouldn't have eaten the piece of cake, but, oh well, I'll live.

I need to start packing! I am heading home tomorrow! :)