Weekly Wrap-Up; Greek Week

“Greek Week” because half of the eats in this post are Greek yogurt and the other half are dinners infused with Greek flavors.  It was a repetitious, but quite tasty, week.

No weekend post because I did all of my birthday excitement a week ahead of schedule.  Adam had a giant, two-day test this week so we’ve been keeping things low-key.  Unfortunately, I’ve also been feeling a bit under the weather.  I actually stayed home from work on Monday with a migraine.

This week I kept my meals a bit smaller and planned in more snacks.  This schedule worked well for me and is one I will probably continue next week too.  The random snacks mostly came from my UrthBox {UB}, another new thing that I’m a fan of.

Minus many, many unpictured troughs of coffee or popcorn, here are most of my bites for the past week…

breakfasts/lunches

Coffee and cherries.

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Coffee, Strawberry/Blueberry/Banana SMOOCH {UB}, and a Don’t Go Nuts Gorilla Power Bar.

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The bar was insane, it tasted like freaking coffee cake!

Chobani 4% plain with maple syrup and chopped red plum and dapple plucot.

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I tried the yogurt because it was a limited edition but I think I’m definitely a 0 – 2% girl; fuller fat dairy always tastes a little sour to me.

Fairway soursop yogurt with blueberries and roasted coconut and a Jax soursop coconut water.

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Another new item, Chobani Banana Maple with Steel Cut Oats plus blueberries.

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Not a fan.  I was expecting everything to be blended into a homogenous product but this was (strangely thin) yogurt with random clumps of soggy oats.

At least pink grapefruit – with more plum and plucot – is always delicious.

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On the only non-yogurt day, I made myself a “taco salad” from the cafeteria.  Romaine with black olives, red peppers, cheddar and pepperjack cheese cubes, avocado, and tons of salsa.

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Yeah, no.  The avocado was frozen (why on earth would you ever freeze avocado??!) and what I assumed to be salsa was actually roasted red pepper.  Yuck city.

snacks

Chameleon Cold Brew is (briefly) back in our life!  We carted a bottle home from Whole Foods in Philadelphia.

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Served iced with chocolate and skim milk.

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CCB is my favorite cold brew ever.  <– I looked up the website to link  toin this post and saw that they now make mocha and vanilla varieties and I’m basically dying

Thai coconut curry popcorn {UB}.

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Crème Brulee hard candies from Chinatown.

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So good.  They have a roasty, coffee-like flavor that is wonderful.

TJ’s turkey jerky with Mary’s Gone Crackers Everything Pretzels.

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Those pretzels are downright addictive, perfectly salty with great crunch.

dinners

Easy, vegan pasta bowls.

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Whole-wheat rotini with broccoli, roasted zucchini, and tons of marinara sauce.

Greek nachos!  I baked pita chips topped with three-cheese blend, crumbled fat-free feta, tomato, red, onion, and chickpeas that I tossed with lemon juice, evoo, and oregano.

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This meal was easy but super fun.

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And we took the leftovers on a picnic to Corona Park the next day.

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We tossed together the leftover red onion, tomato, chickpeas, and cheese with TJ’s Greek dressing, capers, cucumber, and spinach to make a tasty Greek salad.

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Everything was yummy and we had a wonderful time on our picnic, but we did totally end up going to Panera for food later that evening!

Spicy shrimp pasta bowls.

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This recipe was one of my favorites growing up, but I don’t think mine tasted as good as my mom’s does.

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***Whoops! If anyone decides to try this recipe – I meant to write 4 SERVINGS not cups of pasta.

You just toss everything together in a baking dish, cook, and serve on top of noodles with a little parmesan.  I also tossed a bunch of chopped spinach in with our bowls.

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Adam loved it, thanks, Mom!

When was the last time you went on a picnic?

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Weekly Wrap-Up; Birthday Weather

It was a big week here, we had a birthday and a serendipitous, surprise visit!  I turned 29 yesterday; that sounds old, old, old.  I may not have a house or a baby, but I have a husband and a dog who I love beyond words so that feels pretty good for almost-30.

We didn’t have time for a real grocery trip after our Philadelphia weekend and we relied a ton on packaged and purchased food.  Here are some highlights…

breakfast

Coffee (I’m still doing the 1/2&1/2!) and a Blackberry Bliss Mama Chia.

DSC01401I probably wouldn’t have bought the chia on my own – it came in my UrthBox – but I ended up really liking it.

KIND Bar.

DSC01433Madagascar Vanilla Almond.

Birthday freebie coffee!  I love that Starbucks does that.  You’ll notice that I stuck with my birthday tradition of doing tacky, glittery nails.

DSC01447Venti iced skim latte with an extra shot of espresso, 2 shots of white mocha, and caramel drizzle.  I was buzzing.

And this doesn’t go here but speaking of sugar, I’m not sure I ate enough candy this week…

DSC01422DSC01407lunch

Oatmeal (with Cacao Bliss) and freeze-dried apples.

DSC01398That fruit is so flipping good.

Cereal and yogurt.

DSC01404Total on Chobani 2% Pink Grapefruit.  I was equally impressed with the yogurt the 2nd time around.

Lots of packed snacks during a 4 hour afternoon meeting.  I ate a salad beforehand, and also required lots of coffee.

DSC01426Chocolate-covered gummy bears, applesauce, and Everything Pretzels from Mary’s Gone Crackers.  The pretzels were from a bag that the company sent me to try.

DSC01423Delicious!  I thought these were much better than the sea salt flavor I tried before, which wasn’t bad either.  These were just like eating a very crunchy everything bagel.  And still made with whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet, and seeds including flax, sesame and chia, just like the original flavor.

My dietetics co-workers brought in lunch for my birthday!  They are pretty much the sweetest.

IMG_20140722_113456IMG_20140722_114820Salad with a great, thick balsamic glaze, homemade spinach and feta pastries, and chocolate zucchini cake for dessert.  Everything was delicious; I tried to bring leftovers home for Adam and I ended up eating them all on the train!

dinner

Half salad and sandwich deal from Panera.

DSC01408I did the Thai chicken salad and the Thai chicken flatbread and was impressed with neither.

DSC01413DSC01418The sauce was too sour and the apple on the side was sadly the best part of the meal.

DSC01416Thankfully, things get much more festive from here.

On Wednesday, my parents were traveling to Ohio to visit my grandmother.  They were flying on miles so they had a long day with lots of connections, including a 3-hour layover at LaGuardia.  When the got off the plane in NY, they learned that inclement weather had grounded their final flight, and then would be stuck until the next morning.  Silver lining – they stayed at my house for the night and we got to visit and go out to birthday dinner!!!!

It ended up being the best “bad news” ever.  We teased them that they jinxed themselves by complaining about not making it out for Indian food during their June visit, so of course we had to take them for Indian food.

DSC01440It was too dark for pictures, but we shared several appetizers and a bunch of dishes and all left full and happy.  Everything was amazing and our waiter was the sweetest man.  Namaste is great.  We even found froyo nearby with birthday cake flavor.

DSC01445I topped my “cake” with marshmallow, strawberry pie filling, and a million sprinkles.

And I actually ended up having froyo last night on my real birthday was well.

DSC01450Frozen yogurt > cake!

For my birthday dinner we did takeout from Bare Burger.

DSC01455Turkey with ketchup mustard, spinach, tomato, a fried egg, and tons of pickles.

DSC01458We ate burgers and giant diet cokes while we watched Longmire and it was a great way to celebrate :)

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Weekend Wrap-Up, Fun In Philly

My 29th birthday is tomorrow and the husband and I celebrated a weekend early with a trip to Philadelphia.

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It was a quick visit, we drove in on Saturday and out on Sunday, but it ended up being one of the best weekends we’ve had in years!  It was great to have two full days to moon at each other.  We spent pretty much every second walking and/or eating <– our two favorite things!

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I didn’t take many site-seeing photos, but I had to snap some pictures of the beautiful mosaics at the Magic Gardens.

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We loved our last visit to Philly, so we repeated a lot of the same stops.  We even stayed at the same (perfectly located) hotel.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best luck with orders at our restaurant meals.  I actually had to make a second stop to eat after both dinner and lunch.  Thankfully, our fabulous bites in between meals more than made up for the less good dishes.  I’ll write this post from worst to best.

Supper was near the Magic Gardens and the menu looked good, so we went there for {Sunday brunch}.  I had a glass of sangria and was a little bit tipsy for the drive home!

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Sangria Blanca – seasonal sangria made with sauvignon blanc, cantaloupe, honey dew, cucumber, lemon, limoncello, and honey mint simple syrup over ice topped with club soda.

We shared a deviled egg flight that was only so-so.

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And my chicken salad sandwich sounded good in theory, but was totally flavorless.  “Pastrami” Chicken Salad Sandwich – toasted grain bread, 1000 island dressing, caraway slaw, pickles / served with duck fat fries.

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Those were so not duck fat fries!  I ate a few bites, then got Whole Foods hot bar for the road.  Adam loved his red velvet pancakes though.

I was so excited to get the vegetarian cheese steak from Carmen’s in Reading Terminal for {lunch on Saturday}.

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I’ve been dreaming about this sandwich ever since I had it back in 2011.

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It was ok, but sadly not as good as I remembered.  The last time they charred the seitan more.

{Dinner} at FARMiCia has become a Philadelphia tradition for me.

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I get the croquettes every time, but I just wasn’t a fan of this version.

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Why would you serve corn and rice balls on top of more corn?!  Carb City.  The best thing about the fall version of dish is the buttery spinach bed.

The rest of the meal was wonderful though.  Adam and I split a cheese plate to start.

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The salty sheep’s milk cheese went perfectly with the sweet apple chutney.

I had a very refreshing watermelon mojito.

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And we finished with cream cheese ice cream that was mind-blowing.

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Gah!  I could not stop swooning over that ice cream.  This restaurant would have been worth the stop for dessert alone.

We stopped in at an adorable bar near our hotel on the way to dinner to split a flight of beer.

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And then stopped back afterwards for nightcaps.

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Then I iced my knees and ate bar food in bed and all was right with the world.

Our yummiest tastes were the things we ate while we walked around.  Like the watermelon, spinach, and kale juice from Sip N Glo.

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This was 80% fruit and normally I would be mad that it wasn’t more greens-based but you can’t complain about fresh watermelon juice.

A great iced cup from Old City Coffee.

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And a Vietnamese coffee from The Last Drop.

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Ending on a sweet note, a S’mores Bar from Flying Monkey Bakery.

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S’mores with sprinkles!  This tasted like honey and was ridiculous good.  Adam and I both thought it was the best thing we ate all weekend.

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Last Week’s Late Wrap-Up

I’ve been pretty busy and I’m running a bit behind, but I ate some really yummy things last week so I didn’t want to skip the post.  Here are some faves from last Monday through Friday…

break the fast

A purple smoothie.

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Frozen blueberries and strawberries with maple syrup and vanilla almond milk.

Bar/fruit/coffee day 1.

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Dark Chocolate Coconut Balance Bar, a Pink Lady apple, and iced coffee from Starbucks.  I poured a splash of half and half into my coffee by accident last week and it ended up tasting so yummy that now it’s turned into a bad habit!

Day 2.

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Caramel Almond & Sea Salt KIND Bar {former freebie}, a very juicy nectarine, and cafeteria coffee with skim milk and a splash of half and half.

ladies who lunch

Cafeteria meal.

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Salad with broccoli, black-eyed peas, cheddar, balsamic, and a scoop of egg salad.  Plus fries dipped in honey mustard on the side.

Sandwich.

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Leftover bbq chicken on a Bagel Thin.  With bread and butter pickles, chips, and cherries.

Yogurt.

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Chobani 2% Pink Grapefruit Greek Yogurt with KIND Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seeds {former freebie} and cherries on the side.  The yogurt was a limited edition that needs to become part of the permanent line-up.  It was freaking incredible, sweet and tangy with little pieces of citrus spread throughout.  I must find the watermelon variety.

snack attack

Chocolate-covered pretzels from Wegman’s.

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I brought Adam some back from my Buffalo trip and made the mistake of tasting “just one.”  Those things are addictive!  It’s a good thing I didn’t do a taste-test in the store or I would have brought home pounds of them.

Trader Joe’s makes the best turkey jerky I’ve ever tasted.

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I don’t know how the keep the texture sooooo soft.

Chocolate covered strawberry floats!  Chocolate frozen yogurt in strawberry Crush.

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We thought we were so clever with these.

Campfire milkshake from Ralph’s Ice.

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It was insane how much this tasted like a toasted marshmallow.  It was pretty intense though, there is no way I could have finished more than half of this.

Baby spinach salad.

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With sweet and spicy pecans, dried blueberries, shredded carrot, evoo, honey, and lavender salt.  My best salad combo to date.

dining on dinner

Salad atop salad.

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The base was baby spinach with dried blueberries, sweet and spicy pecans, evoo, honey, and truffle salt.

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Topped with pulled bbq chicken (and a pile of salt and vinegar chips in the back).  Just boneless, skinless breasts cooked in the crockpot, shredded, and tossed with TJ’s Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce.

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The sauce was wonderful, very sweet and a little spicy.

Pasta that was simple but good.

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Whole-wheat rotini with browned mushrooms, ground turkey (sautéed with tons of garlic and dried oregano), frozen spinach, low-fat sour cream, and a can of tomato sauce.

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This was one of those meals that seemed like it would need more flavor but then you kept eating until you were furiously scraping the bottom of the bowl.

National Thai with a girlfriend.  I got spicy noodles with veggies.  They were super chewy, had a good variety of vegetables, and were actually spicy; I’m pretty sure National has become my favorite Thai spot in the city.

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Afterwards we went out in search of mojitos.

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We ended up finding passable mango mojitos at a tiny Mexican spot in Park Slope.  Their menu also mentioned watermelon daiquiris, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be going back again this Friday.

what’s happening

I was getting into such a great groove with my workouts, but then I got excited and upped the length of my runs too quickly.  My right knee was horrifically swollen and the husband told me to stay out of the gym until the inflammation went down.  Boo!!!  I took a week completely off from exercise (minus a few long walks this weekend) and popped anti-inflammatories and iced like crazy.  I’m going to start back in with short, easy workouts this week and continue to ice regularly.  I’m going a little stir-crazy so please cross your fingers for me!

On a more positive note, I just finished reading Fault Lines by Nancy Huston and I’m recommending it to pretty much everyone.

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It’s a story about a family and each section of the book is told from the perspective of a different generation.  Huston did a great job of building the story in layers.  The parts of the story that were told through the lens of childhood were wonderfully done.

It is my 29th birthday this Thursday.  We can’t fit in any celebrating this week so Adam and I took a quick trip to Philadelphia this past weekend.  I gave that its own post because this one was getting too long, but we had a wonderful time.

Have you spotted the new Chobani varieties in your area yet?  Has anyone tasted watermelon??

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Weekend Wrap-Up; Driving Me Crazy

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind; I had a orthodontic emergency that sent me back to Buffalo at the last-minute.  That trip ate up a fair amount of time – I spent more hours in the car roundtrip than I actually did in Buffalo! – so I don’t have a ton to share.  My time in Long Island was pretty low-key.

Here are some of the highlights…

I am a big fan of Lindt’s “Hello My Name Is” line and Adam and I both loved this salted caramel bar.

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We got Chinese take-out for dinner that was only so-so.  My steamed broccoli with brown garlic sauce (and white rice) was delicious,

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but the soup that was supposed to turn that into a full meal was basically dirty water with raw veggies floating in it.  You win some, you lose some.

A much more amazing meal came out of our own kitchen.

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Sautéed cabbage and turnip greens.  I just cooked the veggies in some evoo and salt and they were delicious!

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Plus onion-packed eggs.

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Eggs scrambled with tons sautéed sweet onion and spring onions, sliced turkey, and cheese.

On Saturday we went into Brooklyn for Coney Island on Tap.

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There weren’t a ton of beers I cared about (minus two watermelon brews!) so I mostly stuck with ciders.

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Though I managed to drink just enough to later get into a hilariously intense fight with the husband over who would get to pee first!  Afterwards we had frozen yogurt,

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and Bareburger for dinner.

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I couldn’t get a very good picture but I had a turkey burger (no bun) with pepperjack, turkey bacon, sweet apple grilled onions, red piquante peppers, avocado, and smoked paprika mayo.  It’s my birthday next Thursday and I’ve already decided that I’m going to celebrate with Bareburger.

My road trip was a little ridiculous, like I said, I spent more time in the car than I did in Buffalo.  I basically mainlined candy and coffee for two days.

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But my orthodontist hooked me up, and even with gas and tolls I saved more than $1,000 by making the trip.  And I got to stay with newlywed friends and see their gorgeous new house.

And we went to Thai Orchid, which I had been severely missing.  My girlfriend and I both started with the soup special, broth with noodles, bok choy, tons of crabmeat, and great shrimp wontons.

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I went with my old favorite for dinner, Pad See Ew with extra veggies.

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It was fantastic, totally worth the whirlwind visit! ;)

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Weekly Wrap-Up; Play It Again, Sam!

This week’s meals were so good that I went ahead and had most of them a 2nd time.  Always nice when you can make leftovers work in your favor.  And I even have a recipe to share.

breakfast

Breakfasts came from this sweet package courtesy of Nonni’sBiscotti Bites.

DSC01115Please note – I was sent these products free of charge to sample.  I was not provided with additional compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

They recently introduced two new flavors: Double Chocolate Salted Caramel (salty and sweet, with the occasional extra-exciting pocket of caramel) and Very Berry Almond (sweet in an understated way; nice for breakfast).  All three flavors have ~40 calories per cookie.

I packaged them up for breakfasts at work.  With coffee, of course.

DSC01143DSC01166DSC01191These were not quite as good as the amazing Almond Thins, but I was still a fan.  Want to try some for yourself?  Nonni’s is hosting a giveaway -

To encourage fans to experience the fresh-baked greatness for themselves, Nonni’s Biscotti is hosting a series of giveaways on their social pages.  The “Who’s on top?” giveaway will begin July 14, where fans can help Nonni’s decide which of Nonni’s three Biscotti Bites flavors is the most favored, for a chance to win free products!

Nonni'sOn Tuesday, I mixed things up with a smoothie instead.

DSC01149Frozen blueberries and banana with vanilla almond milk, maple syrup, and lavender.  YUM!

lunch

Lunches were all about the (chicken)salad.  I made another Asian-inspired take on the classic.  This time, I borrowed the flavors from our favorite Vietnamese sandwich – the Bahn Mi.

DSC01105Bahn Mi Chicken Salad, Yields: 6 servings; Hands-on Time: 15 minutes

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  1. In a large bowl, combine carrots, cucumber, sugar, vinegar, and salt.  Let sit, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Drain all of the liquid off of the vegetables.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss until well-combined.

On Monday, I brought a bigggg bowl of chicken salad, with a piece of baguette, and fresh cherries.

DSC01125Wednesday was chicken salad on a bagel thin with butter lettuce, plus cherries, and McClure’s Bloody Mary Chips.  <– the chips were spicy, but not as flavorful as I was hoping they would be

DSC01157I don’t have access to a fridge on Tuesdays, so I did regular green salad from the cafeteria.  With black-eyed peas, pickled jalopeños, shredded mozzarella, and Italian dressing on top.

20140708_115949For Thursday, I packed leftover salad and the last of the cherries.

DSC01174But then after a very quiet morning we were slammed all afternoon and I didn’t have time for lunch.  I ended up eating coffee and a KIND bar at my desk while I worked.

DSC01193At least I have a nice lunch waiting for me today!

snack

Several slices of leftover pizza, which grew on me once it was cold.

DSC01171The leftover ice cream sandwiches were not bad either.

DSC01150Jelly Belly.

DSC01168This yogurt bowl was the best thing of the week.  Fage 2% Greek yogurt with a layer melted Cacao Bliss underneath!

DSC01187Coconut water to rehydrate after a trip to the gym.  This TJ’s kind was delicious.

DSC01146Speaking of the gym, I’ve been keeping up with it!  I realized that yesterday had been 20 days since I started getting activity back into my life; another ten days or so and hopefully a month of being consistent will help the habit stick!

dinner

I was tooting my own horn pretty loudly every evening this week; these dinners were all fantastic.  That said, I apparently don’t have pictures from Monday night and I cannot for the life of me remember what we ate!  Probably more chicken salad.

These bowls seem like a mishmosh of ingredients, but everything went together well.  Kath’s low and slow sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli, and canned baked beans, topped with shredded cheese, pickled jalopeños, and plain Greek yogurt.

DSC01163Apparently Adam does not want baked beans with his sweet potato again any time soon, but I thought they was good.

Salad night.

DSC01183Butter lettuce and shredded cabbage topped with Hemp Hearts and Mahi Mahi – I baked the fish with lemon juice, coconut oil, and smoked paprika.  For our dressing, I mashed together tons of ripe avocado with lime juice, hot sauce, salt, fresh cilantro, and evoo.  Everything tossed together was ah-mazing.

We morphed our salad leftovers into tacos the next night.

DSC01196Soft tortilla with shredded carrots and cabbage, mahi mahi, avocado sauce, green Tabasco, and cheese.

DSC01200Plus pineapple hard cider from ACE.

DSC01202ACE’s website informs me that they sell a honey apple cider.  I’m going to need to find that immediately.

Does your family rely on leftovers or do you crave something new each night?

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Insta-Wrap-Up; VII

Some of what I’ve been up to on the internet when I’m not blogging your ear off here…

When my parents were here we had drinks with two of my friends from high school (my mom was our librarian) and had a fabulous time reminiscing.

reunion

My red, white, and blue for July 3rd.  The 4th got even more ridiculous.

red, white, and blue

The gorgeous view at the Mets game last Saturday.

ny metsny mets2

I did not like this Ingrid Michaelson CD anywhere near as much as I did Everybody.  “Snowfall,” from another album, is actually my favorite song of hers.  I embedded the video at the end of this post.

ingrid michaelson

This rather eclectic mix of music my father sent me is perfection though.  “Changing” by Airborne Toxic Event is currently my favorite song.

music mix

This Whisper confession is currently my favorite thing on the internet.

who doesn't want buffy

Jelly beans are currently my favorite work snack.  Arranged from least to most exciting, obviously.

jelly belly

I’m reading “Hungry,” Darlene Barnes’ memoir about her experience cooking for a frat house.  It’s wonderful, a good mix of funny and touching.  This excerpt – a letter her father sent her during her time at college – made me cry on the train.

an excerpt from Hungry

I always have to end these posts with my man men.

webster2webster

It’s a little off-season, but please do listen to “Snowfall.”  It is gorgeous.

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