What a weekend! I don't have all my photos uploaded, but here's a quick recap of what went down.
Friday, I started the day with some oatmeal, and then for lunch, I packed a turkey and cheese sandwich with carrots and lots of fruit.
Those are honey tangerine segments and they are awesome! I love that fruit. It's a nice change from the super citrus we've enjoyed this winter. I was also excited to incorporate some berries and pineapple.
Friday night, we had to dash around to take Kendall's suit to the cleaners and to the store to get some items for the baby shower on Saturday. I picked up a frozen pizza. I know it' not the best option and I had pizza this week already, but we needed something in a pinch, and Friday IS traditionally pizza night!
Saturday morning, I had a scrambled egg, because I knew I'd be munching all morning. For the shower, I put out banana nut muffins, fruit salad, carrot cake, and Orange-Pineapple punch. And coffee, of course.
The shower went great! I think everyone had a good time.
For lunch, my Mom and I tossed together a "chef's salad" of spinach, tomatoes, avocado, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, cheese, turkey deli meat and hard-boiled eggs. We served wheat crackers with it, as well as fruit salad and muffins. It hit the spot, and made up for some missing veggie servings on Friday...
We went to a wedding Saturday night, and had a great time! We carpooled with some friends. After the ceremony, we settled in at the reception with some red wine, fruit, cheese and crackers. For dinner, they served fried chicken with gravy, baby potatoes in a butter sauce, steamed veggies, a wheat roll and salad. I had raspberry vinaigrette, which was thick (I think they added cornstarch?) and REALLY sweet. The other option was ranch, so I think no matter what, you were getting unneccesary calories. I tried to pick off some of the breading on the chicken, and I needed to salt the veggies. I didn't eat all of the roll. Overall the meal was alright, and I appreciated that they tried something different (other than BBQ or baked chicken, etc.). The cake was delicious! There were three types of cake, and Kendall and I got the brides' cake. It was white with raspberry filling and white icing. There was also chocolate and chocolate marble, which our friends had. There was much dancing! We got home, invited our friends in, and chatted over a beer.
Sunday, I had some fruit salad and a muffin with a glass of milk. We ran errands, and then we grabbed lunch at our favorite Mexican taqueria. We had two shredded chicken tostadas, piled high with salad, sour cream, cheese and avocado!
For dinner, I made some chicken teriyaki with broccoli and asparagus, some steamed rice, and baked teriyaki tofu. I bought medium hard tofu, and it wasn't firm enough. It also didn't absorb a lot of flavor from the sauce, even though I marinaded it for an hour. The rest was boxed up for lefovers at lunch!
This morning, I had a blueberry bagel with peanut butter, a light yogurt and some fruit salad with a glass of water.
It's been crazy! Class and lab on Monday, I had to run home to the dog before class on Tuesday, on Wednesday, I had class and had to run errands. Whew! So glad the week is almost over.
Here's a quick recap:
Breakfasts have been oatmeal, but I ran out of yogurt, so I've been using milk instead of water. We ran out of fruit on Wednesday, so I used dried cranberries Wednesday morning, and after going to the store Wednesday night, I used fresh blackberries this morning.
I've been packing bento-style lunches. Wednesday, I sent one with Kendall and work bought pizza, so I didn't eat mine until today. Mine wasn't as crisply separated after spending some major time in the fridge, but tasted great! Kendall loved his Wednesday, and I hope he likes Thursday's lunch as well...
Kendall and I had cold Asian noodle salad with scrambled eggs and lots of veggies. I used more bell peppers and broccoli as fillers. There was also 1/2 C of steamed edamame. I have a piece of cheese folded into triangles and Kendall had an extra sandwich. We both took apples.
I ate my apple with pizza and someone in the office gave me half an avocado.
Today, I brought a side dish of extra veggies (asparagus and bell pepper) along with some pineapple and blackberry and kiwi skewers. I added a few sour gummy bears for something special.
Kendall took turkey, provolone and spinach roll-ups or "sandwich sushi rolls" with asparagus and bell pepper, pineapple, berry and fruit skewers and gummy bears.
Bentos are a Japanese lunch- fun, artfully displayed boxed lunches that usually feature a diverse and nutritious lunch. I have fun when I make them, but have to make them the night before as they are more time-consuming.
This morning, I was jostled from my peaceful slumber by Maple. She was up at 5 am. I took her outside, then brought her up again, took off her collar and let her chew on her toy until we got up closer to 6 am. Then I was really working! I quickly got dressed, and made lunches and breakfast.
I used the rest of the cantaloupe today, and made some simply sweet oatmeal. I also had a glass of water because I was so thirsty!
1/4 C dry quick-cooking oats
1/2 C water
*Microwave for 1 min*
about 1 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
*Warmed up a bit in the microwave again*
Yesterday afternoon got kinda crazy! For lunch, I had some leftover while chili with crackers, some carrots, and an apple. The apple was a bit mealy... I tried a new variety this week, Jazzy. So far, not my favorite apple! I have another one today, so perhaps it was that one particular apple and not the entire family
Super filling! After work, I jetted to class, and had a sandwich of turkey, smoked provolone cheese and spinach on whole-wheat with some mayo and more carrots on the side. It was quick, tasty and fueled me for class and lab.
Class went well... we got our tests back and even though my raw score was HORRID, my grade after the curve was so much better. I almost died of shock. I e-mailed Kendall pronto, something I never do from class.
Lab was LONG and tedious. We all had to put some samples through a gas chromotography machine, and so most of lab was spent in line. It took 2.25 hrs of waiting before I was finally done. By the time I got home, I was getting hungry again. I had a glass of red wine and about 1/2 C of leftover panang chicken curry with rice.
This morning was especially busy, filled with getting lunches ready, getting dressed, getting stuff together for school again, and eating breakfast. We got to bed a little later than usual after watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC last night. Loved it! The real deal comes on Friday night, so tune in. I have a feeling you won't be disappointed.
This morning, I had some oatmeal topped with deliciousness.
Here's how I made it:
1/4 C dry plain quick-cooking oats
1/2 C water
*Microwave on High for 1 min.*
1/4 C plain non-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp brown sugar
Then top with:
1/8 C or so of granola
handful of choclate chips
1 heaping tsp of peanut butter
Then I usually stir it all together. It was great!
What's missing? Fruit! You can stir in some applesauce or thinly sliced banana with the yogurt, vanilla and sugar (decrease sugar, probably) or you can top with other fruit slices or berries, or you can have fruit on the side. I'm a slacker today, I guess. Other yummy options: nuts, dried fruit, syrup, jelly.
Tonight, I got home to a wonderful birthday surprise... two hibiscus topiaries from my in-laws!
Aren't those blooms beautiful? Great color!
I just love them! So excited to see these out my window. Thanks!
Then I locked myself out of the house. I took Maple for a walk, and Kendall came home and let me in. I got to work on dinner... Thai fried rice with shrimp!
I got the recipe from this neat website, and I had to sub a lot of ingredients! It still tasted great, but lacked a sweetness that I wonder if the oyster sauce would give? Anyway, I didn't have chiles, so I used 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, used shrimp instead of chicken, soy sauce instead of oyster sauce, and I had no cilantro or basil.
I'll definitely make this again, but will try to follow their recipe!
Hope you had a good Thursday and have a great Friday.
It's been a while since I've posted some recommendations for some of the simple joys that life has tossed my way...
Cleaning Out Closets:
Do this! I spent a few minutes purging my clothes on my birthday and it was time well-spent. I flicked through my hangers, deciding what to keep and what to donate. Often, I think we know what doesn't fit right, what makes us feel frumpy or nasty, what's too short or too long, what's totally out of style, but we keep it anyway! I tell myself that it's still good, that it's not that bad, but ultimately, I need to thow it out. Also, this doesn't take that much time! It might feel daunting, but I was able to go through my stuff in about 15 minutes.
What's left is a closet of clothes that you like, you feel good in and that look good on you! You also have a stream-lined wardrobe. Oh, and a closet bar that isn't buckling under pressure. I highly recommend.
Vaseline Aloe Fresh, or the store-brand:
I discovered this little gem a few weeks back, but have been waiting until temperatures rise around the nation to talk about it. It's lightweight and refreshing. It soaks in immediately. Did I mention that it's lightweight? Also, let me note that it smells amazing when applied after using that apricot exfoliating bath wash. Also, it's lightweight. Here's why that is important: In Texas, in the dead of summer, you last thing you want is some thick, greasy lotion that takes FOREVER to soak in while you dance around before pulling on your clothes. In July, you really just want one moment in your day when your clothes don't stick to you and cling to your skin for dear life. It's gross, it's nasty. So this lotion is heavenly, because it smells light, feels light, soaks in quickly and doesn't leave your skin tacky for clothes. Ahh...
This morning was all about getting out the door early! I carpooled and my ride showed up a bit earlier than I usually leave, which meant I had to scramble a bit. I got dressed, was pleased to find that my wet hair last night did night bend and go crazy during my slumber and that I could just brush it and go (I threw a hair tie on my wrist just in case). Then I made lunches and got to work on my breakfast.... oats!
PB & J Oats with a side of cantaloupe cubes.
A Note about Oats: I recently switched from flavored instant oatmeal packets to a can of quick-cooking plain oats. I did this in order to control the sugar, additives and other stuff that goes into oatmeal. I make these in the microwave with water, then stir in some plain non-fat yogurt. Then I flavor with about 1 tsp vanilla and about 1-2 tsp brown sugar. Then I add toppings! I've found that this doesn't add a lot of time to my morning routine and I feel better about what I'm eating.
I was making oatmeal with 1/2 C dried oats, but that was a lot of food, so this morning I decreased it to 1/4 C dried oats. I was pretty happy with how much I ate and still felt full! I sprinkled on some granola and some peanut butter and some rasperry preserves. So great! Classic flavors.
It's going to be a PB&J day, because that's what I packed for lunch, along with some fruit and baby carrots. Tonight, I'm planning a new meal, so stay tuned.
It was a nice day back at work. Things were slow and quiet and I'm getting to try my hand at some technical writing! I forgot to snap a photo of lunch, but I had leftover teriyaki chicken noodles, which were loaded with veggies (about 1 C of a mix of broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots). I also had an apple and 3 strawberries.
Then I went to my dentist and got my nightguard! I am weirdly excited about it because it means I will have relief in my jaw for the first time in forever. I'm going to try it out in just a bit.
Today, I was surfing my blogs, and I saw this recipe over at Pioneer Woman. I realized I had everything ready for it! The differences between hers and mine are that I used a frozen homemade crust, so it wasn't very thin, and I put a layer of baby spinach leaves below the chicken, onion and cheese for an extra nutrient boost!
The result: AMAZING! I loved the flavor combo, and Kendall even noted that the cilantro was an unexpected but great twist that really worked with the BBQ sauce, cheese and chicken. I highly recommend this puppy! If you aren't a chicken eater, I'm fairly certain you can search online and find a fun way of BBQ some tofu cubes and get a yummy result.
This pizza was stacked high with toppings! The chicken cubes gave it height, which was sort of fun to eat. We also had some guac and a dark beer.
Now we're off to snuggle in bed and watch some Hulu, because there's nothing interesting on TV tonight.
After a nice night's sleep, I was up and at 'em to get back to the grind. I had to be into work early today becuase I'm leaving early for an appointment at the dentist's office. I am getting my nightguard today! Even though it's a bummer to have to wear one, I'm happy that I'll have some help to stop clenching so hard!
I started the day with a bowl of non-fat plain yogurt (about 3/4 C) with some granola (1/2 C or so) and some fresh fruit.
See that? I just discovered the extra-large photo option on Blogger. I took this with my iPhone, so it's not the best picture ever. I'm going to try to edit some previous posts that were taken with my better camera.
I spent the day hanging out, doing little things here and there around the house, and chilling with Maple. I cleaned out my closet, selecting a bag of clothes to give away. Feels so good to give stuff to those who will actually WEAR it and ENJOY it, and get a little extra space in my closet.
Then I took Maple for a run. It was her first run ever. She was so excited! So was I; I haven't been out for a run in MONTHS, especially since school started. But then... Maple stopped for a bathroom break, I tied my shoe and we started again. And then she crossed in front of me, and I stepped on her leg. Ouch! She let out a yelp. Normally, I try to shake it off and keep going, and she usually does too. Then she stopped and tried to run on three legs. Her little leg was all curled up under her. So I said, "Okay, let's walk it home." And she tried that too, poor thing, but still, three legs only. So I carried her home, feeling guilty as sin. When home, she was able to walk on it, and throughout the afternoon, she was back to her usual self. Trust me, biscuits and cuddling were given!
After a shower, and groveling, I got to work on my lunch.
I made a Mediterranean-inspired salad of spinach, tomato and cucumber tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. Then I plopped some plain yogurt on top and sprinkled with lentils. I had a fruit salad on the side with some watered-down limeade. It was scrumptious.
Kendall got off from work early, and he gave me my gift...
Like a dutch oven! I've wanted one for months (years?) now, and he got me one! I can't wait to use it. And look at that color! It's truly beautiful. He also got me a vegetable peeler and I ended up returning it for a zester, which I didn't have. Score!
I should probably mention that I love my husband. Because he is my best friend. And sometimes, I might say things on my birthday because I'm grouchy about things in life, and he takes it. And he still loves me. And then he makes me dinner. Heroic, no?
Speaking of dinner, how about this?
Chicken cacciatore with green bell peppers and asparagus and some alfredo noodles with asparagus. Delish! Thanks hubs!
Today, I slept in a bit because I have the day off! We get our birthdays off and we are paid and we don't use vacation time. Amazing!
I made coffee, chilled on the couch with my dog while reading a magazine, and then got to work on some breakfast.
How about some amazing oatmeal?! Along with half a kiwi, some juice and coffee.
Just look at those oats. Plain oats made with water, mixed with yogurt, vanilla and brown sugar. Then added some granola on top, with some chopped stawberries, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Sort of an amazing combo.
Here it is all stirred up! It was lovely! My brother called when I was almost finished, and after our coversation, I wasn't hungry anymore. I ended up picking out the stawberries and throwing out the last heaping tablespoon of them.
Now off to a nice day! The sun is just peaking out, and I plan to walk/jog Maple, clean out my closet and donate some clothes that haven't seen the light of day in a while. Then I'll make something lovely for lunch.
Sorry I haven't had any posts lately. I was sick last week. I went to work for half a day and then came right back home. By Friday, I was starting to feel a bit better. On Saturday, I was as good as new! Here are a few posts from my sick week:
Roast Red Peppers and Cheese Omelet with Potatoes and Toast
Indonesian Noodles with Veggies and Stawberries
I also had English Muffins with butter and jam, some soups, some wraps, etc. Easy stuff.
On Saturday morning, I had some raisin bran with milk and berries.
The good news is that Spring has Sprung! The weather has been beautiful!
One Pear Tree in Bloom
Some Nice Buds
Full on Bloom
Pomegranate starting to bud
Hope you all had a great week!
For the weekend, we spent time celebrating my birthday! For lunch on Saturday, we picked up some pizzas and made some salad when my parents and in-laws came over for lunch. My in-laws brought a cake! For dinner, we had leftover pizza and some caprese salad and guac. Yum!
On Sunday, we cleaned out the fridge and had Italian tuna salad, some teriyaki noodles, and berries. It was nice to get that stuff out of there. Sunday night... we might have hit up sushi happy hour at Sushi Niichi. We started out with a set of Red Devil rolls and some Blue Moonlight rolls. They are happy fish explosions in the mouth. They definitely feature tempura shrimp, other fish (crab, or tuna or salmon) and this spicy mayo sauce. They are amazing. We also had some salmon rolls and one more round of the Blue Moonlight. Happy Early Birthday to me!
I was home sick today, and after a full day of rest... I still feel exhausted! I spent the day on the couch with Maple, playing around on the internet, reading and sleeping. Now the day is done, and I still feel weak and tired. I hope another good night's sleep will help put me back right.
Kendall came downstairs for lunch and I was just waking up from a nap. He ate and we had a nice chat. Then I got to business with my own lunch. Luckily, we had some things on hand to make a nice, homemade broth-based soup with lentils. I opened a can of tomatoes with hatch chiles, combined half of it with some lentils and chicken stock. The results were good, but very salty and quite spicy! Due to the salt, I ended up adding a bit of water. Then it was just right! I wanted the chiles for heat, because I've heard it helps you feel better (vitamin C and boosts your endorphines).
On the side, some crackers, a salad and a bowl of berries. I also had more juice. I normally don't drink this much juice, but I'm trying to get in vitamin C and antioxidants where possible.
On the salad, I tried out one of those spritzer spray salad dressings, because they were on clearance for $0.99! I bought two flavors and tried out the raspberry vinaigrette today. I must say, I liked the concept and didn't feel like my salad was drowning in dressing, but the flavor was not there. It was flat, had a faint berry taste, and was not very sweet, considering it had high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient. Perhaps if I had berries in the salad, it would have been better? I still have an Asian dressing to try, so I'm hoping that flavor is better.
After lunch, I made some hot pomegranate-cranberry green tea with a squeeze of lime and 2 tsp honey. It was so good and soothing! Then, I fell into a deep and peaceful slumber. I woke up feeling really tired still, and after walking around and getting some water, I still felt icky. I decided I couldn't make it to class tonight, as the thought of driving made me tired just thinking about it.
For dinner, I got out a box of sesame teriyaki noodles and got to work on some chicken and veggies. I sliced the chicken thinly, and sauteed it in a pan with some sesame oil. Then I steamed up some frozen sugar snap peas. Then I cleaned out the pan and sauteed broccoli and carrots in sesame oil.
Now, please do yourself a favor and saute your broccoli in sesame oil. It is SO good. By not boiling it, you keep those nutrients in the vegetable and don't lose them in the water. And the oil adds a great nutty flavor that compliments the broccoli so well. And truly, a dap will do ya. It makes me want to try other fun oils, like walnut or hazelnut or grapeseed.
Anywhoo...I threw it all together and voila!
It was very tasty and tangy. A pretty good teriyaki kit! I also garnished with cilantro and sliced green onions.
There was plenty for two and another serving left over! I kept about a cup of the plain, sauteed veggies on the side before adding to the sauce. I'm going to take those to lunch tomorrow to try that new Asian dressing and to help round out some of those Indonesian-style noodles I made this weekend.
In a few minutes, I think I'm going to take a shower, then make more hot tea. My chest congestion is coming on again (wasn't too bad today, but I noticed it got worse at night yesterday), so I'm hoping some steam and then lemon and honey will soothe it.