Park Slope Tourists

June 28, 2009

My parents came into town today for a visit, they will be here until Wednesday and we are very excited!  We spent the day exploring my ‘hood and everyone had a great time.  I will say in advance that there were a lot of indulgences!  It is way too late, once again, so this is a pretty cursory review.

I started my morning off right with this fellow –

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A small green juice from a spot on Flatbrush.  I had them add carrot to this and it was very, very tasty.

My parents, being islanders and all, were very excited to hit up Target so that was our first stop.  While we were there we got “brunch” at Buffalo Wild Wings (no, this was obviously not a spot we needed to show off, but my mom and dad couldn’t eat on the plane and food was a necessity).  I got the naked tenders.

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They came with blue cheese, honey bbq, and potato wedges.

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I ate 3 out of 4 pieces of chicken and gobbled up the fries.  I love that NY menus post calories, there is no way I would have guessed that what I ate had only about 350calories.

From there we hit up the farmers market at Prospect Park.

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 My parents loved it here!  We bought macaroons to munch while we walked around,

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and the four of us split a strawberry cider.

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Next up, we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

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We had a great time walking around.  The coolest exhibit was called “Wicked Plants,” and it showcased plants that are psychotropic, deadly, or illegal.  It was a lot of fun.

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After that we headed to my apartment so my parents could check the place out (they are staying in a hotel, it works for my girlfriends to stay in one room with us, but my mom and dad wanted space!).  I was very happy to share a big sampling of Newman’s Own Organics with them – they were very excited about it 🙂

For dinner we wanted to stay local so we went to Perch, a fun spot on 5th.

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We did a lot of sharing so my portions are not very clear, but you can assume I had more than my fair share!  They brought homemade bagel chips to the table as soon as we sat down.

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I ordered a Bloody Mary to drink.

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I’ve only had this at brunch but I feel like they can rock it at dinner, I love the spiciness.

We split the beer and cheese fondue wolaver’s organic brown ale, sharp cheddar

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It came with bread chunks and apple slices and was absolute perfection!

We also split the most amazing salad I’ve ever had.

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It was Waldorf inspired and had apples, buttermilk dressing, candied nuts and grapes.

I felt the need to extend the cheesiness to my entree (not a good idea) and I ordered the mac and cheese blend of grueyere, cheddar, blue cheese, and green onions.

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It was good but cheese followed by cheese was just too much for me, I only ate about 1/3.  I shared some big bites of everyone’s sandwiches too.

I ralied in time for dessert and ordered the maple ginger bread pudding.

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It wasn’t all that good, it was much more like a loaf of bread then a pudding, but I was pretty buzzed and self-control flew out the window.  I ate about 1/2 and gave myself a tummy ache.

A and I walked my parents back to their hotel and then made a treck (1.5miles) to the movie theatres.  I don’t know what was worse, the fact that Transformers sucked so badly or that I polished off this medium popcorn without any help from A.

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Yuck, all around.

And, once again, it is time for a late late bedtime.  Hasta!

What bad movies have you seen lately?


False Starts and Street Fairs

June 22, 2009

I took such a long weekend it’s hard to believe I have to go back to school tomorrow!  Today was a great day to end the fun though.  Somehow this morning I managed to convince A to go to a 9:30am spin class with me at Crunch.  I wanted to be well energized so I ate a spoon of TJ’s Sun Butter,

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and a Sugar Free Red Bull before I left the house.

Things seemed good, we signed up for seats at the front desk and I went to the locker room while A went to claim our bikes.  When a woman told him she had my bike # he (politely) made her go back downstairs to check.  At this point I came in, along with 20 other people.  To make a long story short – we signed up on the wrong sheet.  Not only did we make the woman recheck, there were no bikes at all and we had to slink out of the full room feeling like assholes.  We felt so silly we didn’t even do a secondary workout, just went home!  I felt bad about missing the work out but as I write this post my legs are still on fire from Physique57 so I guess it’s actually a good thing 🙂

After the comedy club yesterday and the gym todayI thought I was doomed but somehow I did manage to make it to brunch today on time and intact!  I met up with a small group of blogger at Jane in Soho.

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The restaurant was adorable and it was great getting to catch up.  I ate a tiny chunk of bread with fruit butter.

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And since a cocktail came with brunch I tried the Bloody Mary.  [for which I have no picture]  It was spicy!  You could see the chunks of horseradish in it, possibly the best one of these I’ve had.

The menu looked fantastic and I had a hard time choosing.  There were several Benedict variations that all looked good.  I ended up with the Benedict Johnny.

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Poached eggs, maple chicken sausage, corn pancakes, roasted tomato hollandaise.  It came with hash browns and I ordered the sauce on the side.

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Delish!  Poached eggs are my favorite and these were very well done.  When I quit eating red meat, sausage was one of the few things I missed and this chicken sausage tasted exactly like what I remember from my childhood!  I left half of the bread and the potatoes but demolished the rest.

Once I split with the girls I headed to the next fun activity – a Park Slope Street Fair!  I’ve been excited about this for weeks and the experience did not disapoint.  A and I bought some foodie mini magnets.

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And we each got a fun t-shirt.

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We saw some live performances.

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And I got a coconut bubble tea.

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I abandoned the tea halfway through in favor of splitting a Brooklyn Summer Ale with A.

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So fun!  There was so much food that I was glad I had already eaten, it would have been impossible to choose!  The fair ran from 14th – Flatbrush so it was a nice long stroll.

Afterwards A and I extended the walk and explored the outer edges of our ‘hood a bit.  At some point we split a Cappachino Cooler from Baskin Robbins.

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We only bought this because we had to buy something (A had to use the bathroom) and this had the least amount of calories (210) but it was actually pretty tasty.

After some errands and blog tasks (I have a surprise later this week!) we made a quick dinner.  We made a grown up kiddie meal spin with this stuff.

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We added 1C of collard greens to the mac during the last few minutes of cooking.  My bowl.

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Looking back on the day I consumed way too many liquid calories (especailly for not drinking much booze), which is why I was still hungry after dinner.  Which is also why I got suckered in by a small (unphotographed) bag of popcorn when I went to the movies with A. 

It is an interesting school day tomorrow, I will see you all then!


Best Ever

June 10, 2009

I know I said I would be doing full recaps while my friends were in town but I got a little overwhelmed the last two days.  As I predicted I’ve been a little bit under the weather (not that it slowed my eating any!).  All in all my friends had a fabulous visit.  In addition to the fun you all saw, we also went to lunch at Serendipity, watched Up, had dinner with K’s family, and went to Museum Mile.

This morning K and C me up bright and early at 5am since their cab was coming for a 5:30 pick up.  I had plans of enjoying an early morning and eating breakfast and home but the minute they were out the door I was back in bed!  I found my train breakfast just as pleasing 🙂

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Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bars are just as good as leisurely breakfasts at home.

Lunch had a fruity, summery theme.  A baggie of seedless green grapes,

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a Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar,

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and a new seasonal Dannon Light and Fit flavor – Watermelon!

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I almost always prefer plain Greek but this flavor was too fun to pass up!

Lunch was a nice “end” to the day!  I taught the first four periods straight and then on Wednesdays I have lunch 5th period because we have a common prep period 6th.  Well today we had a Lunch and Learn (i.e. nothing) so I was excused from common prep.  And 7th and 8th period we did graduation activities so there were no classes.  A few fun facts –

  1. We are spending 10 full 45minute periods on graduation practice over the next 2 weeks.
  2. My students graduate Monday, June 22.  School does not end until Friday, June 26.
  3. In my mixed class of 30 6 students are graduating.  The other 24 are attending summer school (and 3 of those students will actually be repeating 8th grade next year).

Is that not all ridiculous?  Their science teacher and I are throwing a lunch party for those 6 this week.

I stayed after school to change my hallway bulletin board and headed home around 5 to run some errands.  I met up with A and we weren’t in the mood to end our visitors=vacation feeling so we went out to dinner!  We went back to one of our favorite spots, Stone Park Cafe.

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We were in a fun mood, we ordered drinks and appetizers.  I got a passionfruit champagne cocktail.

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I’m not going to lie, I was a wee bit tipsy after just this one drink.  It was delicious, passionfruit is such a nice tropical flavor.  We sat outside for a little bit but finally got chilled indoors, what has been with this weather lately?!

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For our appetizer A and I split the Knuckle Sandwich tempura lobster “knuckles,” house made potato roll, yuza chipotle dressing.

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The picture shows half.  I actually ate mine with a knife and fork since I skipped the bun in lieu of this.

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The bread at this restaurant is so wonderful, this mini baguette tasted like sourdough,  my favorite.  I ate this x2 (I told you the drink was kicking in!) with real butter.

My entree choice was the Pan Seared Diver Scallops with rock shrimp, fava beans, asparagus risotto, and lobster beurre.

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This was amazing.  The risotto and nice and creamy, and I didn’t actually get any fava beans, but the scallops were the best I’ve ever had.  They were cooked to perfection, crispy outside with a nice amount of give, and the sauce was the perfect accompaniment. 

I shared 3/4 of a scallop with A and we decided this was one of the best meals we’ve ever eaten.  I would say it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten, except that if I’m honest about my tastes I would have to choose one of the Pad See Eiw dishes I’ve eaten as my favorite meal ever.  A thought this was second only to the roast beef served at our wedding (when asked what the best thing about our wedding was his answer, with zero hesitation, is the roast beef). 

If you ever are in Park Slope I highly recommend making a visit to Stone Park Cafe.  We even got mini meringues with the bill.

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After dinner we came home and relaxed.  I spent a little time catching up on food blogs and I finally wrote my plans for the rest of the week.  Now it’s time for bed so maybe I will actually get my cereal tomorrow!

What was the best meal you’ve ever eaten?  Give details!


BAM!

May 17, 2009

This morning I woke up early to cash in my reward.  Why a reward, you ask?  Doing two years at this job has turned me into a barely function being (see exhibit 1million, my new phone) and I am celebrating of full week of being human.  1. I worked every day and have a work-free Sunday, plus I did extra.  2. I made it to the goshdarn gym!  I realize that 3times per week would make most bloggers panic but for me this year that is a frickin’ record!  I’ve had in my head all week that if I stuck to my plans I could do what I’ve been dreaming of for 1.5years – go to Blue Apron and buy everything I want.  Blue Apron is a foodie-tastic store in our ‘hood stocked with local stuff and fun goods from across the pond.

I shopped with Nate in mind, check out my spread:

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As soon as we left the store I had one of A’s goodies,

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maple candy.  And then A and I split one of my buys.

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We still don’t know what this was, but it had pistachios in it and A thought it tasted like a Cow Tail.

Then we headed to fun activity # 2 – brunch at Dizzy’s!  There was a longish wait so they brought us scones outside, A and I split this one.

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Once we got inside there were more goodies on the table –

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I ate enough half a scone and half a muffin slathered with strawberry butter.

My meal also came with apple juice and peppermint tea; A drank most of them though.

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I ordered the Eggs Ben a Diz, Florentine Style poached eggs on a toasted jumbo English muffin with spinach and topped with ancho lime holandaizz sauce, served with home fries.

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So tasty.  I ordered the sauce on the side and ate it deconstructed style – spinach first with a bit of sauce and then the eggs broken onto bread.

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The portions were huge!  I ate all the spinach and eggs but left 90% of the potatoes and bread.

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Full, we walked through Prospect Park and to the Brooklyn Art Museum, BAM.

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We were pretty thirsty from the long walk so A and I stopped into the cafeteria and split a GUS – Grown Up Soda – Cola.

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We had a great time, the museum had 5 floors so there was more to see than I expected.  On the way home we stopped in at Tea Lounge and saw that their seasonal flavor was Pina Colada Green Tea,

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who could pass that up?

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And from there we’ve enjoyed some trashy fun – bad tv and crappy food 🙂  I ate a salted French caramel,

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and made an open-faced sandwich out of turkey pepperoni, reduced fat mozzarella, and oregano.

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Served with Dirty Salt and Vinegar Chips.

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I ate 4 of A’s whole grain chicken nuggets,

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and then A and I split this bag of Walkers Roast Chicken Chips.

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Yum, yum.

On the agenda for the evening?  More of the same – we have a comedy from Netflix and there is a big bowl of popcorn calling my name, night!


Booze and Birds

May 11, 2009

Gosh I love Spring!  It was a beyond fabulous day, but it is after midnight so I’m going to try to make this quick.  A and I got up around 9:30 this morning and weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves – it was way too pretty for schoolwork yet!  We ended up deciding to head down to 5th Avenue for brunch.

I was naughty and drank my new favorite beer – Abita Strawberry – on the walk down.

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 So perfect on a spring day.

For brunch we decided on Apertivo, a small Italian spot.  We went in on a whim and we are so glad, it was great!  They brought Panatone to the table as soon as we sat down.

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I had a piece with apple jelly,

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and a piece with butter.

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For less than $13 a plate, brunch included booze and caffeine!  Coffee –

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I added 1sugar and a splash of cream to mine but ended up only drinking a few sips because it was too rich.

I also had a Bloody Mary.

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This was so tasty, it was spicy spicy spicy!  I had never tasted a Bloody Mary before my trip to Boston this year but I think I am going to be hooked 🙂  I only let myself drink half because I knew I had work to do.

For food I ordered the Eggs Florentina- Two poached eggs with Hollandaisesauce on top of steamed spinach and an English muffin.  All the meals came with a potato latke.

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Yum!  I only ate half of the latke but I practically licked the rest of the plate clean!  There was a great citrusytang that made this just perfect.  I will say, though, I think I prefer plain sunny side up eggs or poached egg with bread, you just do not need the rich sauce.

The food was so great we knew we wanted to try dessert so A and I split the Chocolate Pyramid.

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This was chocolate mousse with a caramel mousse center- tasty!

After brunch we took a long walk around our neighborhood, I say this every time but I love Park Slope!  When we got home I randomly took an intense 2hour nap.  I was o-u-t, if I I didn’t have a deadline to get to Staples I wouldn’t have gotten up.  I lured myself to my desk with candy.

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Smarties are basically prettier, yummier M&M’s.  I love the way European candies bubble the calorie count in on the front of the package.  And instead of pretending people will eat small servings they just list the nutrition stats for the whole package, these had 174calories.

As I worked I also snacked on some Danielle Pumpkin Chips.

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I had 1serving.

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We had to hurry-scurry out the door to make it to Staples in time to do my copies.  We are doing a month on fairy tales and since I’m not allowed to use the text-book I have a ton of copies to make.  On the way home A bought a slice of pizza and he dropped his crust outside our house.  We ended up spending a ridiculously long time sitting on our stoop watching the birds have a feast!  I even went down and broke it up into little pieces to discourage the fights that were breaking out.

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Once our bird-watching was over we came back in and got back to work.  Much later, it was time to start dinner.  The recipe was inspired by three things – 1. I am super busy this week and this meal needs to last us through Weds, 2. I finally made my prize-won wheatberries,

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3. I need to use this adorable can of tomatos I bought at Whole Foods.

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I ended up making Berry Better Than Spaghetti.  Recipe, serves 5

  • 2.5C cooked wheatberries
  • 1T evoo
  • 3/4C chopped onion
  • 20 oz extra-lean ground turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1C frozen kale
  • 3C canned diced tomatoes, rinsed
  1. Pre-make the wheatberries; we did this yesterday since they take an hour to cook.
  2. Heat evoo in a saucepan.
  3. Add in onions and turkey, season with s&p, cover and cook through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat kale in a medium pot.
  5. When kale is ready, stir in wheatberries and tomatoes.
  6. When meat is cooked, stir into pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Cover pot and heat over very low heat for 5minutes.

You could obviously use fresh kale or sub in another type of green, use tomato sauce, use pasta, etc.  We thought the combo was pretty great.  Here is my serving –

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Look at those chewy wheatberries.

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After dinner I had tons more to do, hence my much too late post/bed time.  A delivered a doomed Peeps couple my way.

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I am pretty thrilled to say that my plans, materials, copies, computer presentations, and posters are all done for this week!  I hope you were in bed before me!


Ice-Cream Man

May 8, 2009

After my last post I realized I wasn’t starving, but that I should probably eat before I was.  I had 1.5T of this fabulousness.

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A little later I ate the champagne mango I found at Whole Foods the other day.

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I was so impressed at A’s mad slicing skills – usually we get 1bite of flesh per mango!

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This was delish, but tasted just like a regular mango to me.  Has anyone else tried this? Thoughts?

Then A and I skilled more than 20minutes wrestling (no, I’m not being cute trying not to be dirty, I actually mean wrestle – A and I have a long history of beating the crap out of each other).  He totally won, our longstanding date-breaking with the gym means that he’s fatter and I’m weaker!

After my “workout” I headed out to do some grocery shopping.  We needed almost nothing for next week but A was going to the movies and I was going alone so I made an event of it.  I stopped in all the “hippie” stores to peruse before I went to Key Foods for $17 in staples!

On the way home I spotted an ice-cream truck!

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This was so Park Slope!  Van Leeuwen is all-natural and stocks grown-up flavors.

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I got a small espresso and giandujia (chocolate hazelnut) – yum!

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Just as I paid A swooped in from out of nowhere to steal a few bites!  Kicking my butt made him so late his movie was sold out so he walked home with me while he waited for the next show.  After I said goodbye to A and put away my groceries I got started on dinner.

First I sliced up these guys, put them on a sprayed, foiled baking sheet, sprinkled with a little salt, and put in the oven at 450* for 25minutes.

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I ended up eating all of the green and yellow squash and 1/2 of the tempeh.  While I was baking I cracked open our new beer – Abita Strawberry Beer.

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Tasty, tasty!  I didn’t necessarily get strawberry, but it tasted like summer and went down easy.  I’m someone who usually only drinks half a beer but this I finished and almost went back for a 2nd of!

When the roasting was done I put my veggies on a plate and got started on my open faced sandwich (inspired by this kerf’wich).  I toasted 1 slice of rye bread, spread it with pumpkin butter, laid down 1/2 a package of the sliced baked tempeh, topped with 1oz sharp cheddar, and baked for 5minutes.

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Yum!  All together now.

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Roasted squash is one of my favorite veggies and this sandwich was frickin amazing – I could never go raw!  If you are a fan of the salty/sweet combo you must try this!

I am all packed and excited for tomorrow (SELF Workout in the Park) so once I get a shower it is time to laze in bed with my book.  Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Have you tried tempeh yet?


Big Foods, Big News

April 26, 2009

It was another great day of touristing with my aunt and cousin!  We did lots more walking, sightseeing, and eating – all my favorite activities!  I did not get any school work done but it’s ok because I actually decided to play hooky tomorrow 🙂

We started our day by doing a walking tour of Park Slope.  We did more than 3miles in our neighborhood alone!  We saw lots of neat things but my favorite is always the Super Hero Supply Store.

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This store provides the funding for 826NYCa program that provides writing programs for children in New York.

We went to a Mexican spot so A and my cousin could use the bathroom and a bought a rice milk drink.

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Everyone else did some noshing but I decided not to eat anything because I knew we were headed up into the city for a 2o’clock reservation at –

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Serendipity3is one of my favorite nyc restaurants, so good!  It is known for it’s desserts but the food is equally amazing.  I ordered the Summer Bries.

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An open faced turkey sandwich on raisin pumpernickel with apple, brie, alfalfa sprouts, and russian dressing.  I demolished it, but left the greens because I wanted to save room for –

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I talked a big game about finishing my dessert but I only managed to eat about 2/3 of it.  Delicious, but it left me pretty stuffed for the rest of the day.

A and I took my family back to the train and then headed back home to do zero work.  I am so glad I decided to stay home tomorrow!  I was feeling really, really conflicted but this will be my 5th day off (out of ten) for the year so I really shouldn’t feel bad.  We usually eat dinner late, but by the time 10rolled around and we were still feeling full we decided to skip it entirely.  A ate something small and I had a medium bowl of popcorn with SmartBalance while we watched the most recent House episode online.

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During House I did the einsiest bit of exercise ever with the gift my aunt brought me – Yoga Toes.

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Does anyone use these?

I hope everyone had a great weekend and I will see you for a leisurely breakfast tomorrow!

The Big News

My big news is only exciting to me, but to me it’s pretty damn exciting!  I have officially decided that I am not going to teach next year.  I’m taking the year off to begin the prereqs for an rd program.  I am not positive that I won’t go back to teaching, but if that’s the case it will only be a year off and I will feel good that I explored all of the possibilities.  I still don’t know what state I’ll be living in (it depends on where A does his grad program), but at least know I know something!  Wish me luck!