Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So I've had butternut squash before, but I've never had butterCUP squash before. I saw it in the pile o squash at the Giant this weekend as I reached for some acorn squash. Figured, eh...why not try something different? Allow me to introduce you to my first buttercup squash:
Oh, hello there little buttercup.

I cut this baby up and roasted it with some olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 minutes before tossing it with some thinly sliced shallot:
And while that got going, I boiled some chicken broth and a couple teaspoons of the Hungarian paprika sauce for some Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend and marinated some butterflied chicken breasts in a mixture of Fage 0% Total Yogurt, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and garlic powder:
Yeah, a bit of a random combination, but we've got tons of pomegranate juice I want to experiment with and there wasn't quite enough yogurt for 1 serving and I didn't want it to go to waste :\

Once the grain blend was finished cooking, I mixed in the squash and shallot mixture:
I really do love the different textures in this dish - the baby garbanzos in the grain blend are a bit tender so it's a fun texture change from the squash and couscous. I also think that the paprika sauce is my new favorite condiment haha.

Cooked the chicken quickly in a super hot pan while I troasted some asparagus and ta daaaa! Dinner was ready in about 45 minutes!
I couldn't decide on a picture
so I'm putting all three up ;)
The chicken didn't have as much flavor as I wanted it to, but it was definitely tender. Next time around (translation: better planning), I'd marinate the chicken overnight.

I also snacked on one of these:
UM, hello! New favorite treat! I grabbed this bag because there was a buy one, get one free special and it looked interesting. It was a chewy and not too sweet surprise...plus it had these random chunks of dark chocolate...AMAZING. You should definitely track these down and give them a try!!

Speaking of trying new things...

I'm trying really hard to rest and not run...it's really hard since the weather is finally cooling down. This is my favorite time to run, but per the latest advice I've received from my athletic trainer friend, it's best that I ease up this week and get checked out by a doctor. *sigh* Back to the frozen soup...

After reading one of Paige's posts, I was tempted to try a Honeycrisp apple...YUUUHHHHMMMM! First of all, they looked a little shinier than the rest of the apples. Second of all, they are perfectly crisp and juicy! Sort of like my favorite Pink Lady apples, but not as tart. I'll be a repeat buyer! :)

Do you have a favorite type of apple? Did you realize there were so many different varieties?? I sure didn't (at least not beyond Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Jazz <-wtf is that, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious <-which I don't think are that delicious, and Red Delicious)...

Monday, September 28, 2009

I broke myself

Well, maybe I did. I'm taking an easy week as far as workouts are concerned since I'm super paranoid about the whole Achilles thing. I'm all about the ice and rest right now. See?
Why buy a fancy ice pack when you can use a container of frozen soup?? Hehe. I MAY be stubborn and still try to get my 20 mile run in on Saturday...and still run the Army 10-Miler on Sunday. We'll see how I feel. And no, I'm not crazy - there will be no 'racing' at the race for me.

Ok! Time for fun dinner experiments! Last night I played with some blue brie, polenta, steak, mushrooms, brandy and POM Wonderful pomegranate juice to make
Blue Brie Polenta with Brandied Mushrooms and Steak with Pomegranate Sauce. I envisioned a really pretty meal as I walked home, but the actual plate didn't turn out as planned...
So I cooked the polenta as I normally would using chicken broth, butter and some light cream. Instead of parmesan cheese, I dumped in some blue brie -
THE WHOLE WEDGE. :[ I kept tasting it and maybe blue brie was a bad idea. It just didn't have a strong enough flavor. Perhaps next time I'd go with a mixture of blue brie and gorgonzola? Also, the cornmeal we had wasn't as coarsely ground as I usually get and I think that might have made the polenta have a weird texture? Too smooshy?

For the mushrooms, I reached out to one of our many Tyler Florence cookbooks:
Tyler's Ultimate has a ton of fun recipes and we've tried a handful of them. Tyler Florence has never steered this household wrong! Well, maybe until now...sort of. I went with his Brandied Mushrooms, which called for cream (that I thought was a little weird), but I swear, his mushrooms in the picture looked the opposite of creamy!
Mine? Um, that is CREAM! I quartered my cremini mushrooms and threw in some greens for fun. I think I should have gone with like sherried mushrooms or something. Or maybe followed his WHOLE recipe for his New York Strip Steak with Brandied Mushrooms and Thyme.

We grabbed a package of sirloin steak from the Giant and they were just the right sizes for us. After a generous sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper on each side, they were pan seared for a couple minutes on each side and rested while I worked on the sauce.

I melted 1 tbsp butter to the steak pan and added 4 ounces of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and reduced the mixture. Spooned some on top of the steak and called it dinner.
The acidity and sweetness of the pomegranate juice actually worked well with all the creaminess of the polenta and mushrooms, but it still wasn't quite what I had pictured. Ah well.

While I was cooking last night's dinner, Chef Jamie started working on prepping tonight's dinner - Caesar Potato Salad with Sugar Snap Peas
This is what it looked like in the magazine - isn't it fun with the multicolored taters? Mine wasn't so colorful:
We stuck with the regular fingerling potatoes they had at the Giant and they were just as good. We did all the steaming and cutting last night and Jamie made the dressing this evening. It tasted pretty good this evening, but I'm sure it'll be even better tomorrow once the potatoes absorb the dressing! Instead of using just regular Dijon mustard, we used 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard (because I love it so much haha). Definitely a great, light and tangy potato salad :)

Time to think of things to do with a fun package I got in the mail today:
Thanks to Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program, I have two loaves of Nature's Pride bread to test out! That's a whole lotta bread! Sammiches? Eggs in Holes? What on earth am I going to do with all this bread? haha. I'm open to suggestions!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

burning rubber on two wheels

Welcome to my second installment about our trip to Budapest. Sorry for the delay, but this has been a crazy week for Karena and me. You can read about what occupied our week here.

Anyways, so back to the virtual trip for all of my loyal readers...Friday was our first full day in the beautiful city of Hungary. We started off with the free breakfast that was included in our hotel rate. I love free breakfasts b/c they give you a great chance to stock up on food so you can keep the adventure rolling. Most breakfasts are the same, but our hotel stocked some delicious Hungarian salamis laid out on the buffet table. I know Karena had some of the b-fast foods, but I really don't remember anything else being present. Every day I ate about three to four slices of each of the four varieties available. I tried to even the health factor out with a couple of slices of cantaloupe and some eggs. I might have even been guilty of creating a fabulous sandwich out of salami, cheese, and scrambled eggs. Ahh but enough about the salami...I will tell yall a funny yet heartbreaking story in my last entry about Hungary.

I shouldn't have eaten so much at b-fast. I am a good American though and I think it is a genetic trait that we know how to punish free breakfast. After all, I wasn't going to be doing much walking today; we were scheduled to take a Segway tour through the Pest portion of the city. Segways operate two ways. The first way is that a user shifts their weight forward to go forward and backward to go back. The more weight you shift, the faster you go in either direction. To turn, all you do is rotate a little handle clockwise or counter-clockwise and you can rotate, 360 degrees, on a dime. SWEET!

The Danube River divides Budapest into two parts: Buda is the west bank and contains the famous Buda Castle District and Pest is the east bank and contains the famous Hungarian Parliament Building. I will tell everyone about Buda in my next posting. We left the hotel and walked around the corner to Discover Budapest which was going to run our Segway tour. It happened that we were going to roll around the city with five other Americans. I was a little concerned about this due to my past experience with other American tourists (see my experiences in Costa Rica); however, this group turned out to be different. The ones that talked were very friendly. So we got a 30 minute demo on how to run the Segway. I must have impressed the tour guide with my natural ability to shift my weight because I was asked to bring up the rear. This was a task of some importance as it was my responsibility to keep everyone in line and to make sure there were no stragglers. Monica (I think that was her name) even asked if I was a good skier. Hahaha...the joke was on her, I don't like the snow! So after everyone could roll up and down curbs we took off down Andrássy Ave towards Deák Ferenc tér. Before we even reached the first stop Karena glances her Segway off a pole. Oh jeez...this is going to be a long morning, I thought. Luckily, she was able to pull it together at the last minute and miss wrecking her transportation. The Segways moved at about walking speed, but you don't get any consideration from pedestrians or bicyclists on the sidewalks. The looks are divided between amazement by those jealous they don't have such stylish transportation and disdain by those who don't want to move out of the way as I plow down the street.
We rolled to Deák Ferenc tér and Monica gave us some good information about the buildings in the area, which ones were originals, which ones were reproductions, and which ones were built by the Communists (the last one wasn't hard to figure out). She also told us that Deák tér was a hub of transportation, having all three subway lines converge below it as well as the intersection of four to five roadways. We left and cruised down a small street and ended up at Vörösmarty tér which was very crowded with people sipping coffees and eating pastries from delicious Gerbeaud Cafe...we did not eat here, but were told it was good. I visibly sampled the offerings and they were delicious. We also saw this wierd building that looked like it was wrapped in a glass skin. Monica did not like it. She also notified us that we were at the northern terminus of Váci utca, the famous pedestrian shopping street. More on that later...we screeched off towards the Danube water-front area and were allowed to get off of our Segways. We stood overlooking the Danube as Monica talked about bathhouses, Turkish pillagers, and why we shouldn't patronize the restaurants in the area we were standing in. Apparently these restaurants have a problem overcharging non-Hungarians. It was refreshing to hear advice like that from a tour leader b/c she didn't tell us what restaurants to go to, just which ones to avoid. In my past experiences, "useful advice" has also been followed by "suggestive coercing" on where one should dine. We gazed our first glimpse of the Buda Castle District. I was struck by the size of the castle. I definitely didn't expect it to be so large...and this was even from across the river. It was more like an opulent palace on top of a hill...very picturesque and European. Who would imagine that a European palace would be found in Europe???

We hopped back onto our Segways. Monica had a surprise for us though...she told us that we could use the yellow "speed" key! Now, instead of moving at a walking pace we were moving a little faster than a running pace. Wahooo it was nice to feel the wind rush through my helmet. We drove down some apartment blocks and soon found ourselves in Kossuth tér, home of three fabulous Hungarian buildings: the Hungarian Parliament, the Museum of Ethnography, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Monica told us that all three buildings were designed for a contest where the winner would become the Hungarian Parliament. The three buildings top scoring buildings were considered so beautiful that they were all built...obviously the parliament (below) was #1. The Museum was #2 and the Ministry was #3.
So, we rested here for a bit while Monica told us about he 1956 revolution and the memorial commemorating those events. There is a Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle where the hammer and sickle was cut out. I noticed a lot of people taking pictures of this monument. Monica also described the Ethnography Museum as her favorite museum in Budapest...Karena and I decided that maybe it was worth checking out. I'll talk about that later. We fired up our Segways and jumped back into traffic. Call me crazy, but I preferred to drive these things on the street. You never knew what you were going to get with pedestrians. Some of them would just stand and stare and made navigating hard. At least the cars understood that they were not to run us over...unless they wanted to have some trouble with the police. We rolled down some more small streets and I gazed up at all the decorations above street level. If you have time, click through this woman's blog for some pictures of the stunning details that I have been talking about. Sometimes I think that apartment buildings in DC should incorporate some of these features. Some do, and they look old and nice and regal. My current residence, however, just looks like a jumble of yellow bricks. I digress.

Our next stop was Szabadság tér, home to the Soviet Freedom monument AND the current American Embassy. There was some construction going on, so we didn't spend much time here. We were made aware of approximately 20+ security cameras (not even joking) that surrounded the US Embassy grounds. There were lots of elderly folks out walking their dogs in this park. It was very shaded and the grounds that were not under construction were covered with a nice carpet of grass. It was about this time that we started to have serious problems with one of our fellow tour members. This gentleman was about 6'4" and had to have the handles of his Segway extended to the maximum. I guess the Segway didn't like this because the locking mechanism went out, so he had to hold his handles steady. If he let go, they dropped to the lowermost position. Since this had nothing to do with stragglers rolling away I didn't pay much attention. We continued toward our second to last stop, Szent István tér home of Szent István-bazilika, or Saint Stephen's Basilica.
The square was huge...not Tien'anmen size, but still pretty large. There were tons of people milling around in the cafes and restaurants that surrounded the square. The Basilica was also huge...but maybe not since my only other experience is the basilica at Catholic University. Monica told us about the Holy Right...or the right hand of King Stephen. Apparently the King was buried and left alone for a while. For some reason that escapes me the Hungarians decided to open up his tomb and the only thing left of the King's body was his hand...magically mummified complete with fingernails and jewelry. The mummified hand is Hungary's holiest treasure and a religious relic. I vowed to see it. I was excited...my first relic! So I convinced Karena that we needed to see this child-size hand that I imagined looked like an over-sized raisin. I will touch on this later. Now it was time to speed off back down towards Andrássy Ave and the Discover Budapest office. It was almost 1230 and our stomachs were grumbling. Who knew that shifting weight and rotating the direction handle was such hard work. We sped up the sidewalk and thats when it happened. For some reason, two Hungarian electricians were pulling wires out of a box in the sidewalk. Not sure what was going on here, but it did not look safe. I think one guy was welding out on the street and we were going to have to navigate our little Segways past these two. Well, everyone made it up on the curb slowly and around the electricians...next thing I know one of our tour members turns at the last minute and crashes into a wall. It was hard not to laugh, especially when the man w/the broken handle followed into the wall after the first one. Then it was impossible not to laugh. I did slow down to make sure they were okay (they were) and then I continued on with the rest of the group. I know you all are thinking, "but Jamie, it was your responsibility to make sure that nobody got lost." And to that I will say that we were only two blocks from the street where the Discover Budapest office was. I yelled to Karena and Monica, but they were so far ahead of us that they couldn't hear me over the traffic. I figured they could make it back and they did. I even offered to take a picture of them with their Segways of Fire.

So to wrap this up I HIGHLY recommend using Segways. For the rest of the trip, Karena was commenting about how quick all of our walking would be on a Segway. They are a ton of fun and are easy to operate. That should wrap up this post on a city tour via two-wheeled transportation. In the next installment I will talk about the HOLY RIGHT HAND, the Hungarian Opera House, and Chinese food, Hungarian style. I hope yall enjoy!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

There's a party in my mouth

and all spicy foods are invited :)

Tonight's celebratory/we were craving Szechuan food dinner was at Great Wall Szechuan House in Logan Circle. It's a total
hole in the wall, no frills establishment that serves up some excellent Szechuan dishes. A friend of ours introduced us to the place and we keep coming back for more.
The key thing to remember about this place is you must head straight to the back page of the menu to the
"Ma-la" dishes, as the rest of the menu is okay with no real stand-outs. Be forewarned though, ma-la dishes are not for those with weak stomachs or those not into spicy foods!
Ma-la sauce
is an oily, spicy sauce from Sichuan province and is made with Sichuan peppercorns.
Sichuan pepper has a pretty
distinct and unique flavor - I find it to have a very floral taste, but it is described as having lemony overtones (flower, lemon...all the same in my book haha). They are also known for the numbing and tingling sensation they give your mouth after a few bites. More importantly (yes, more so than the fun feeling and spiciness), Sichuan peppercorns add another dimension of flavor to dishes - not just heat.

We went with our usual dishes and ate
family style (there were 3 of us splitting these with some leftovers for tomorrow) - Ma la Ma Po Tofu w/meat*
*forgot camera so here are some from Yelp

Ma Po Tofu is one of my
favorite dishes because it combines silky tofu with bits of ground meat (usually pork, but I use turkey at home) in a spicy, savory sauce. The ma la version at Great Wall is tough to beat - there's just no turning back after you've had it with the Sichuan pepper!

Double Cooked Pork
One of our trusty dishes - sliced, pan-fried pork belly (or you can call it slab bacon) sauteed with black bean sauce, scallions and ma la sauce. It's not as numbing as the other dishes, so it's a good 'chaser' to have on the table ;) Also good when eaten with the Ma Po Tofu.

And a new dish we decided to try - Boiled Beef with Vegetables
The beef was ok, I'm not into the soft texture that happens when you boil it and the vegetables were just baby corn, broccoli and snow peas. Nothing too exciting.

A couple other dishes we've had that are worth trying:
  • Ma La Eggplant in Szechuan Garlic Sauce (beware - eggplant is super hot in temperature and that makes it seem so much spicier!)
  • Ma La Cold Noodle/Ma La Wonton (can't go wrong with either of these appetizers)
  • String Bean Szechuan Style (one of the non-ma la dishes we enjoy)
Reasonably priced, fast and delicious - Great Wall is a must taste!

Dinner last night wasn't so much of a mouth party, but it was yummy. Chef Jamie experimented with a recipe from our How to Cook Everything calendar - Linguine with Slow-Cooked Onions
I walked into our building last night after work and within a minute (we live on the lobby level), I smelled the distinct odor of cooking onions. The smell grew stronger as I kept walking and I knew it was coming from our apartment. We flagged this recipe earlier in the week and Jamie decided to tackle the onions on his own while I was at work. The 2lb bag of onions. The whole thing. Yes, it still smells like onion today!

I liked the sweetness of the onion, but I thought it could use something else - anchovies (yes, again with the anchovies!) or mushrooms or something salty...basically something to cut the richness of the olive oil and sweetness of the onions.

On the side, some salad because sometimes you need green! Does anyone else feel like their meal is incomplete if there's nothing green in it??
And one or two of these - perhaps the reason why I was so sleepy this morning? ;)
Ahh, good food weekend so far! How have your eats been?

I'm off to crash...work AGAIN tomorrow. I've calculated that between both jobs, I've worked 55 hours this week. Plus, switching last Saturday's 19 mile run to Sunday, I've run 39 miles this week and 2 hours of bootcamp. Too much stuff? I'm beginning to think yes. I want to curl up and do NOTHING!! *big big sigh*

Buns and burnout

I think I'm suffering from running overload or just life overload. I was SO exhausted during this morning's run - not leg or lung tired...sleepy tired! Could be due to the busy week or it might just be that we woke up at 5am for today's run. Ha.

This morning's run was pleasantly
cool and dry...the best kind of running weather. We set out on a 12 mile out and back route on the W&OD trail around 6am and it felt good until about mile 5. That's when the sleepiness kicked in (I think that may have been when my Mocha Clif Shot Gel wore off too). All I wanted to do was stop, walk and curl up on the grass. Wow.
V and I kept going after Jamie hit his 10 mile turnaround point and I snacked on a Luna Moon since I heard my tummy growling. I figured eh, it's just one and the sugar will do me some good. Um, 10 minutes later, tummy wasn't so happy. Remember the two other times I tried solids during a run? This confirmed I should never have solids again. It was just one little Moon! ONE! Agh.

On the way back, I decided I needed to make a pit stop at the one 'rest area' we know of on the trail. I booked it there - I was feeling that bad. Tried to open the door - LOCKED! Men's Room - LOCKED! WTF? It was close to 8am at that point...why wouldn't they be open??? UGH! So we took it slow and easy the rest of the way since we only had a little over a mile left. Started to feel that pang in my Achilles again soon after so we walked a bit. It felt better after about 1/4 a mile so I figured, eh...let's take it to a jog. That lasted all of 5 minutes. Done. No f-ing around. We probably did 11 miles and that's fine.

I'm getting really concerned now. Can you bruise your Achilles?? I mean, it only hurts every so often and it's a bruisy feeling. Plus, it was pink when I took my sock off. Maybe this new pair of sneakers has a weird bump that's been poking me? So weird. It doesn't hurt any other time. Might also be the new cute work shoes. There is a little nubbin in the back that might have irritated me. *sigh*

Post-run we stopped at Best Buns Bread Company in Shirlington because, well, I was craving a chicken salad sandwich...AT 9am! I grabbed a
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Apples, Walnuts, Dijon Mustard Sauce and Watercress on Rustic Italian Bread and a small Americano - um, definitely needed caffeine.
You bet I wanted to tear into this as soon as I got into the car, but I waited the 15 minutes until we got home. :) DEVOURED half before jumping in the shower haha. I liked the flavor of the Dijon Mustard Sauce, but I thought it was a little too creamy. The watercress, walnuts and apples added some fun crunch and the flavors went well with the Dijon. The bread was perfectly squishy in the middle and crusty on the outside! I'm a big fan of chicken salad on crusty bread :)

Off to work and then celebratory dinner for Jamie...will post last night's and tonight's dinner soon!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ahhh Friday

I was pretty productive this morning...until about an hour ago when I turned The Hills on and sat here with my jaw dropped at the absolute ridiculousness that unfolded before my eyes. Holy crap. I stop watching for like 3 seasons and it's like the show grew beyond train wreck status. WHAT IS HEIDI's DRESS? SERIOUSLY?
Correction, my issue is not with the dress...it's with the freaking accessories. Do you want more jewelry, lady? Because I don't think you have enough on. No. Definitely not.

Yeah, I know I'm way late on the celebrity scoop, but I'm ok with that. Aaaanyway...my morning started bright and early with a super sweaty (we're talking two-towel sweaty) bootcamp class. We did a bunch of stairs, lunges and a few fun things with stability balls - including hamstring curls.

I then set off to do my 8 mile run - which felt surprisingly good on the legs after all those leg workouts! Totally got into zone out mode AND I even had headphones in (gasp!) - yes, sometimes I need music to get me moving in the mornings! It was one of those electronic-y, flashback sort of days that made me happy:
I wound my way downtown to the Lincoln and the Reflecting Pool before hitting the Mall. I was feeling good, but once I got around the Capitol Reflecting Pool, I started feeling this weird bruise-y pain in my left achilles and in my book, that means STOP. You don't f around with stuff like that.
I figured I had gotten a good sweat in so I wasn't about to push it through the pain, especially since I've got a 12-miler tomorrow morning. I think I'm set.

I was starving once I got home, so I made myself a bowl of Fage 0% Total,
honey, Craisins, and Kashi GOLEAN Crunch.
Not going to lie - I wish we had some eggs in the fridge. I totally could have used something salty for breakfast. Thankfully, I had this waiting in the wings for lunch!
I made a wrap with a slice of gouda, some turkey, Sabra Jalapeno Hummus and romaine...all tucked into a flour tortilla. On the side - sweet potato fries with a sprinkle of salt. I could eat sweet potato fries all day long. No. I take that back. I could eat sweet potato anything all day long. To me, sweet potatoes scream fall. What food item screams fall to you?

I'm off to get some social interaction at work now...and hopefully I'll gain back some of those brain cells I lost to The Hills earlier ;p Happy almost weekend!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pommy Pom Pom

Thanks for the encouraging words this afternoon! I think I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with the whole situation. Jamie, Sparky and I went on our run this evening and I think I was able to clear my head and start thinking about the positive things that will come of this big move!
  • I can eat all the broccoli, broccolini and broccoli rabe I want! In fact, Jamie has challenged me to see how many days in a row I can eat a broccoli related item.
  • It's only 3 months and we have potential to finally move out of DC.
  • I can watch TV.
  • Corn. Corn. All the time.
The run, oh the run...wasn't so good. We started off with the intent to run 8 miles and then at some point on the mall, I decided 5 was good enough for tonight. I totally guessed and we just barely made 5 miles in about 50 minutes. Ugh, it felt like we were going so much faster than that...damn you humidity! Where is my fall weather?!?!

Post run we paid a visit to Naan & Beyond for some dinner - Meat Platter
(Butter Chicken, Saag and rice) for me and a Shish Tikka Naan Sandwich for Jamie. We must have been early because it was the busiest we've ever seen! I also grabbed an Honest Ade Superfruit Punch since I wanted something fruity but not too sweet to drink:
I've never tried Honest Ade before (maybe I've tried Honest Tea? maybe.) and I must say this was mighty delicious! It's made with yumberries and goji berries - I have no idea what a yumberry is, but it's definitely yummy!! It's refreshing and just slightly sweet - not even as sweet as a Vitamin Water!

When I got home there were even more fun things to try! On top of our mail pile - this month's Republic of Tea Catalog...and in it? Dumdumdum...
Pomegranate Vanilla Red Tea! I've never tried red tea before, but I'm excited to try this!! Also in the mail:
Ta daa!
Janny from Pom Wonderful contacted me a few days ago asking if I would be interested in trying some 100% Pomegranate Juice. Of course I said yes! I love the teas, but have never really tried the plain juice before.

From the interesting fact sheets Janny included in the package:
  • There are dozens of different pomegranate varieties and their juices are not all created equally.
  • They grow their own fruit, pick it by hand, squeeze it with their own proprietary presses and even manufacture tier own bottles.
  • POM Juice is the only juice guaranteed to be made exclusively from "Wonderful" variety pomegranates.
The straight juice is yuuuummy - definitely tastes like a pomegranate (minus all the work and seedy parts :p). After taking a few sips, I remembered I had a bottle of Lemon Lime seltzer in the fridge! Ah HAAA!
POM + Lemon Lime seltzer +
ice in a POM Tea glass (how appropriate) = yummy in my tummy!! Thanks POM Wonderful!! Now what to do with the rest of the juice...any fun ideas??

Ok, it's getting late and I have a bootcamp class in the morning that I MUST wake up for! It's followed by an 8 mile run (which I MUST do to make up for tonight!) and work. Nitey :)

Someone is moving...

and it's not me :(

Jamie just got a kick-ass opportunity with another company (yaay!). Unfortunately, that opportunity means he has to move to Korea for 3 months...starting at the end of October (big sad face). Let me provide you with a little graphic:

This is how I chose to spend 5 minutes of my day. HA.

While I'm really excited and happy about his new adventure, I can't help but be a tad bit selfish and sad that he won't be around for a few big events - the Marine Corps Marathon (I know, it's not like it's my first, but still), a wedding, Turkey Day, Christmas, his birthday/New Years. Sad. But it's just three months right? It's not like a whole year of no Chef Jamie. :)

I know, I sound like a big baby, but it's really hard to imagine what it'll be like living without the person you've lived with for (holy crap) almost 4 years? And it's not like he's just moving to the opposite coast - this one mother of a time difference!

So, please excuse me if I have scattered posts over the next few weeks. We've got lots to take care of (including a possible move to a smaller place for me) on top of work and training. Yeesh!

To distract me a little bit and keep me in the positive zone, here are some fall things I've got planned/am planning :)

  • Selin in town = good eats (keep an eye out for a post-Proof and A&J report!)
  • Sister, bro-in-law and my two adorable nephews in town for a last visit w/Jamie (yay fun kids!)
  • Wedding weekend in NJ w/just us girls from college :)
  • Mini-vacay to visit Selin in SF (weekend of the FoodBuzz Festival, but still sitting on whether or not I'll partake in the festivities. HELP!)

Ok, that really only brings me to early November haha. More to come after tonight's 8-miler!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My taco-flavored kiiisses

taco taco.
You guessed it...tonight marked the return of the Brown Rice Taco Bowl. Comforting, filling and full-o-ruffage! This time around, I threw some feta in my bowl...um, not a good idea. Not that any of you would be crazy to throw some feta in a taco bowl, but I thought I'd give you a heads up anyway haha.

It's been quite a frustrating day that culminated in me sprinting (we're talking full out sprint for 2-3 blocks in work clothes) in my fairly new shoes only to miss an appointment by like half a minute. UGH. As cute as my shoes are
they are not exactly appropriate for running. Though, I guess I got a random taste of quasi-barefoot running. Hmph.

Passed on my run today since I could barely move my legs. Holy soreness, Batman! Totally a combination of my 19 miler/lack of stretching and bootcamp! I feel like I have buns of steel...unfortunately they hurt when I move! haha.

So, bootcamp...does not involve one of these guys
Nono. It's a fitness bootcamp taught by a personal trainer that I took for a few months earlier this year. From 7:05am - 8:00am Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I pay to get my butt kicked. Or at least that's what it feels like. Our instructor is actually pretty forgiving when it comes to workouts. I was a little scared before my very first class - thinking I'd get yelled at if if I had to stop in the middle of the stair workout I had heard so much about. Thankfully, he's not crazy and understands that everyone is at a different fitness level and is in the class to get into shape.

Class usually consists of jumping jacks, pushups, lunges, ab work, squats, lots of stairs, some running if it's nice out, lots of weight training and other workouts that reminded me of high school track. I enjoy it because it lets me get an early workout in (I am still amazed that I can get up for bootcamp and my long runs, but I fail the rest of the week), it's a different workout each class, AND I get my strength training in!

I complain about the soreness, but I know it's mostly due to the fact that these muscles have been napping since I last took the class in May. I also know that I can attribute all my PRs this year to this class. I noticed after awhile of taking the class, that I felt like a stronger runner - more upright as I ran and felt stronger, faster and super buff...well for me, at least.
Ok, not Madonna buff, but you get it :p

That being said, I'm going to snack on some of Jamie's favorite fall treat
What's your favorite fall candy?

Monday, September 21, 2009


Bootcamp started up again today and let me tell you, my legs and eyeballs wanted nothing to do with getting up at 6:15 this morning. Nothing. After a little coercing, I managed to get out of bed and out the door and down the metro escalator. O boy. Walking down stairs was not cool. Lesson number one - ALWAYS stretch after running. I tend to slack off on the stretching, especially when I'm in a rush and I'm always paying for it afterward. Ugh. Bad bad bean!

Luckily our bootcamp instructor was recovering from being sick so he 'took it easy' on us this first class. HA. A bunch of push ups, jumping jacks, 10 sets of stairs, walking lunges and squats, overhead presses, ab work and planks later and I'm a sweaty mess. Oh stairs, how I haven't missed you! I was reminded that my arms are the weakest part of my body ALL DAY haha. And you know what? I love the soreness and the sweat. I guess that's why I keep going back for more ;p
Do you secretly enjoy being sore after a good workout?

Had a busy day at the office and then off to the running store I went. Thankfully, the two hours I was there flew by - we were pretty busy for a Monday night (not that I've ever worked on a Monday :p)! Walked home in some gorgeous evening
weather and Jamie had dinner all ready! Yep, Chef Jamie went to work on some Breaded Pork Tenderloin with Italian Zucchini Saute.
This is sort of a big deal because Jamie made the whole meal on his own - he never cooks whole meals on his own! WOOO! The pork tenderloin was so tender and flavorful, though Jamie will say the breading was too mushy on the bottom, and the zucchini was tangy and oniony and delicious!

Close up of the pork:
And the veggies:
Yum yum!