Friday, July 31, 2009

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

I love working from home. I was kind of lethargic today, still getting back into the swing after the debauchery of Wednesday night.

I ate a repeat of Wednesdays dinner for lunch:

This is 1 cup of Rice A Roni, 1 panko breaded chicken tender and about 2 tbsp of peas.

There were thunderstorms this afternoon and I debated staying in and just doing Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred but I sucked it up and went out and dragged myself to the gym. I ran for 15 then walked for 5 then ran for 10. Then I started dinner.

Earlier I ran to the grocery store and bought some boccaccini and some fresh whole wheat pasta. I added it to my roasted grape tomatoes. I heated up some of the roasted garlic with some olive oil, 1 ladle full of pasta water, a dash of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

The basil in the store looked awful so I must confess. I ripped a good bunch off and shoved it in the bag with the parsley. Please don't report me to the authorities.

Light and so delicious. It was a great dinner.

Dessert was a glass of skim milk with Hershey's Special Dark syrup and Newman's Chocolate Alphabet Cookies.

For anyone who is around - just wanted to say that posting will be sporadic over the weekend. My Grammar school friends are coming to town - I'm relocating to a hotel about 30 blocks away for tomorrow night. I am going to bring my Blackberry at least to try and get some decent pictures of my meals out tomorrow.

But I'll definitely be checking in tomorrow morning pre-Zumba.

Sleep well!

PB and B (?)

Remember my rose from the other day? I brought it home last night. Look how lovely!

It's become apparent that I can only take pictures in natural light!

Breakfast today had a special guest star. My grandmother used to make peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.

Really. Don't knock it till you try it.

Light multigrain English muffin with peanut butter and a slice of bacon

I'm also in the process of roasting some tomatoes.

Like Smitten Kitchen says: Just slice in half and arrange on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Put in oven at 200 for about 3 hours.


I'll use these in some way for dinner or maybe lunch. I'm just not hungry yet.

Strange but true.

I did not work out yesterday - but I walked a lot (to and from work - to and from the restaurant). I'm going to go to the gym later. Maybe to run...maybe to walk.

We'll see how I feel.


I feel so much better today.

First I want to say publicly that I have the best friends in the world. Truly. I have a group of friends from when I was in grammar school and then I have my city girls. These are the people I hang out with most often now.

We're like Sex and the City except we are all pretty much Charlottes. With maybe a Carrie and a Miranda mixed in.

No one is really Samantha though.

Anyway I was in a bit of a financial situation yesterday (of my own stupid doing) and once I mentioned I needed a sponsor for the evening (but would pay them back right away) and every single one of them offered to help me out. I'm so happy and kinda proud to be part of such an encouraging group of women.

Really. We rock.

I tried to take pics of my dinner last night but it was really dark.

I did manage to get this shot of the menu.

We went to Mancora in the East Village. It's a Peruvian restaurant. I'd never had Peruvian food before.

For an appetizer I had:

Papa Rellena

deep fried mashed potato ball stuffed with minced beef, cilantro and onion

And my entree was this:

Camaron Al Ajillo

sauteed shrimp in garlic sauce served with yellow rice

I had 2 glasses of wine too. Hair of the dog and all that. ;)

Obviously this was not my actual dinner but everything was so good and fresh and INEXPENSIVE. Really. It came to $35 apiece and the girls ordered 2 pitchers of sangria. I highly recommend.

I very rarely walk down to the East Village but it is so cute and there are so many great restaurants down there. Must remember that.

Hope you all had a lovely evening. I'll be back in a bit with tales of breakfast and plans for lunch.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I'm moving realllllllllly slowly today folks.

I didn't eat lunch till about 2 PM.

Boar's Head Honey Turkey with 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb w/lettuce on a sandwich thin

Because I don't have much to say today - let me show you my pretty organized cabinets.

I know. Exciting right? But I really am so happy I've done this.

This cabinet was a shambles - Gladware all over the place. I had much more food on the bottom shelf but it didn't make sense to keep it there. SO much better now.

Plates, bowls, glasses and mugs.

I love this mug - but my mom thinks it's creepy

Tea and spices

Aaand the food.

I'm meeting friends after work - taking the night off from Zumba (I'll go on Saturday instead).

Hopefully I'll be in better shape when I *see* you next.

Comfort Food


Let me give you a recap.

This is how my night was supposed to go.

I got home after a walk in the pouring rain. My dress was saturated. It was like a movie - a car drove past and splashed me with water so that the entire skirt of the dress was soaked. I got home and hung it up to dry.

Then I had a little snack.

Note: Sabra's Roasted Garlic Hummus has NOTHING on Cedar's Garlic Lovers. Seriously. I'm addicted to that stuff.

Then I decided to make dinner using these things:

Panko breaded chicken w/Rice A Roni and some peas.

Here's where it went downhill.

I had a glass of wine with dinner. Then another. I was relaxing when my friend/coworker called and asked if I wanted to go for a drink.

So...I went. For a few drinks.

I wasn't going to go. I was going to just have 2 glasses of wine at home and go to bed but I sort of felt that going out spur of the moment would be a good thing. It's the kind of thing I should be doing. I'm also finally at a place where going out in public isn't prefaced by a near meltdown trying to find something to wear that makes me look thin(ner).

And for the most part it was fun but this morning I have a headache, and I didn't work out and I just don't like the way I feel.

There's no problem with celebrating or indulging. I just sometimes have trouble striking a balance. I'm kind of either all or nothing lately. I need to find a middle ground.

I'm working on it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


OK - that was a horrible experience.

The longest 3 hours of my life. I was the last person called but I am safe and still gainfully employed.

Thank you for all the positive thoughts.

As soon as my stomach settled I ate a little lunch:

Sandwich thin w/honey turkey, cheddar cheese, lettuce and smear of hummus

My posts today are going to be a little weird. I apologize. My head is still spinning.

I IM'd my boss and asked her if it's OK that I spend the rest of the afternoon in a bar.

She thought it would be a great idea.

I don't think she realized I was not kidding.

Hope your day is going well! Be back for dinner.


It's been a shocking morning and I'm still not sure where I stand. I'm trying to distract myself so here's this morning's breakfast:

Cheerios with non sour skim milk

I tried to run this morning but it was really hard. I tried to push myself but it just didn't happen today. I ran for about 15 minutes then walked for 5 then ran the last 10. Then I speed walked the 2 miles to work. I got here in like 25 min.

I think it's enough.

Postive thoughts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Steak Frites

I got home tonight and went to the gym. I did my incline treadmill workout - 55 minutes (with a 5 min cooldown) at level 20. I start at a speed of 3.8 for 2 minutes then go to 4.0 for 12, 4.2 for 10, 4.4 for 15 and end up at 4.6 for the last bit.

Snacks today were a bunch of grapes at around 4 PM at the office and some pretzels and hummus when I got home from the gym.

I am going to go for a 30 min run tomorrow morning before work. It's my own personal D-Day (well - D-Day for my entire department. Yikes.)

On a personal note: Please think good thoughts for me and my friends/co-workers. The way they are giving us this news is not quite normal. We are going to the main office, sitting in a conference room working until we get an IM that tells us to go and meet someone face to face. Weird right?

I feel like starting the day with a run will clear my head a bit.

I should know my fate before noon. I was not that worried but tonight I'm wondering if that makes me incredibly self aware and well adjusted or completely delusional.

After the gym I ran to the supermarket for some staples - my spinach was on it's last legs this morning. I think this is because apparently for a few hours recently the door of my fridge did not close completely. Hence the sour milk and the broccoli that looked more yellow than green when I tried to use it tonight. Yuck.

Anyway...before I left for work this morning I took a small steak out of the freezer. I marinated it using this:

Balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, 1 clove garlic (minced), S&P

I just threw it in a Ziploc bag and let it sit all day in the fridge.

I sliced a medium red potato into fry like shapes. I tossed it in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper then put it on a foil lined baking sheet at 400 for about a half hour.

I cooked the steak (not my foot) on my George Foreman grill. (HEE! Coincidentally The Injury is playing on TBS right now. I swear. I cannot get away from this show!)

Then I grilled a slice of onion and some asparagus.

It wasn't restaurant quality - but it was pretty tasty.

I am still on a major ice cream kick. Out on Shelter Island the house we were at had these little tiny dishes that I first used to serve some ice cream to my nieces - then I used them myself. They are great for portion control I think. While I was doing all my sorting and organizing I came across a votive candle holder. I ran it through the dishwasher so tonight I decided it was the perfect ice cream dish.

HD Five Ingredient Vanilla Bean with Hershey's Special Dark Syrup

That ice cream is near perfection. Truly. Rich, creamy with a really potent vanilla flavor. I highly recommend.

I'm now going to watch the Yankees try and come back and beat the Rays or watch some mindless TV and try and shut of my brain.

And so...I bid you Bonne nuit, mes chers lecteurs.


Those in my real life are well aware of my obsession with The Office (US version).

My sister might actually have me committed. Suffice it to say you are lucky that it's summer hiatus because the fall is when my obsession is in full effect.

Beware. September 17th all bets are off.

What? You're not trying to figure out what Pam's due date might be? Really? Just me?

Alrighty then.

Anyway...because of my affliction there are days when I'm reminded of The Office everywhere I turn.

For example:

Today a homeless man threw garbage at me. And my first thought was Pam's line in the Basketball episode (Season 2).

Then I had tuna for lunch.

Half a can of tuna with mayo and spinach on a whole wheat sandwich thin.

Much like this guy...

Ahh. Jim Halpert. You hath ruined me for all men everywhere. And Gay Witch Hunt. in Season 3 just broke my heart.

I ate French Onion Sun Chips on the side, like Jim bought Pam in The Fight (Season 2).

I had 1 serving size or 15 chips. The rest of the bag is in my desk drawer.

I heard Lovefool by The Cardigans while listening to the radio on iTunes today - like Andy and Jim sang in The Initiation (Season 3).

And I'm using a George Foreman grill to cook my dinner tonight.

I know. It's fine. I absolutely realize I have a few issues.

After the Final Rose

The Bachelorette is responsible for me not going to the gym this morning.

Well that and sour milk in my Cheerios causing me to fix a different breakfast.

I DVR'd it because I fell asleep watching last night. And I know the show is super cheesy and super fake but it's fascinating and entertaining TV. My sister helped get a friend on the show a few seasons back so I have all sorts of details about how fake it all is but I don't care. I still have to watch.

But this is why I love NYC. As I walked to work this morning there was a guy on the corner of 41st and 6th handing out roses. I usually ignore all people handing out flyers (sorry but there's very little chance I'm going to actually end up going to wherever they are advertising) but I make an exception for flowers.

(Note to Scotts Flowers on E37th St. Very nicely done! I'm keeping the card)

And then when I crossed the street a homeless guy threw garbage at me.

Oh NYC. Please don't ever change.

After my failed Cheerios I made a hard boiled egg.

I forget how much I like hard boiled eggs.

Oh! Before I forget - just a note about the pics in this blog. Those I take at home are with my Canon EOS Rebel XS 18-55IS using the kit lens. I want to get some other lenses (specifically a macro lens for starters) but I am VERY new to photography and want to take a little course first. Those I take at work are via my Blackberry which is a Storm and has 3.2 MP. This might explain the difference in quality. :)

Be back at lunch!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I found a bug underneath my couch.

Let me explain something. If there were ever a time I found out I was sharing my apartment with a creature (or creatures) with more than two legs I'd have to move.

You think I'm kidding but there is no way I could still live here.

My apartment is a studio. It has high ceilings, lots of closet and cabinet space but there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

As I have mentioned ad nauseum, I am doing a deep clean of my humble abode. Tonight I rearranged my kitchen cabinets, found out I could live on the contents of my freezer for about a month (I really only need to by fresh produce) and had the bright idea to move my couch.

The other day I found one flip flop under my couch, covered in dust. I knew it's mate had to be under there too so tonight I did a sweep with the Swiffer and there he was - this big ass roachy like creature. A Palmetto bug for sure.

I'm choosing to believe this. A few times when I have traveled to Florida I've brought these guys back with me. I really have never seen nasty insects in my apartment in the 5 years I've lived here. No where in the kitchen or anywhere else. So I'm choosing to believe this guy was a stowaway from my trip to Miami or my trips to Naples and Orlando last year and met his demise under my couch.

And that is yet another reason I seriously need a guy around here. I was not built to deal with insects.

I am so close to the apartment of my dreams I can taste it. I need to drop stuff off at the thrift store, sort through my books, toss out the 15 cell phone charges I found that do not work with my current phone or blackberry and dust my furniture and then I'm done. I'll also have to keep my apartment clean. I'm good about the kitchen and bathroom but I slack on the vacuuming and cleaning the hardwood floors.

Dinner, as promised, was leftover chicken chili.

Yummy, yummy. I added the other half of the baked sweet potato I made the other night and topped it with some light sour cream and shredded extra sharp cheddar.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.

Let's Do Lunch

It's lunchtime and time for an update!!

I brought the last of my bag of Trader Joe's treats. Now they're gone and I'm sad.

Salad again...kinda

And some tuna (half a can) w/a little mayo (about 1 tbsp) over spinach. Not the tastiest version I know.

Have I mentioned I'm kind of picky about food? Tuna is one of those things I never mess with.

I'm debating what to do today exercise wise. I could go to the gym - but I really want to finish my apartment. Plus I don't want to run today - I wanted to do a longer workout of incline walking which would take longer and leave me very little time to get stuff done.

I think I'm going to take an off day. I'll burn calories with my walk to and from work and with the cleaning I plan to do and then go to the gym in the morning for the incline workout.

Whew. Glad that's settled.

Dinner tonight is most definitely leftover Chicken Chili. I'm still mad I didn't eat it for dinner last night but wverything happens for a reason. Because I didn't that'll mean I won't mess up any pots or pans tonight after my kitchen is spotless.

Mondays are just not fun. I'd love it if we could just fast forward to Thursdays. That would be a perfect scenario for me. Two days of work, two days off.

That's it. I'm going to campaign for a 2 day work week. Who's with me? :)

Monday Morning (and a dinner recipe!)

Despite my best efforts it was after midnight before I got to sleep. I was up around 6:30 and did a few things around the apartment (including dragging the garbage downstairs) and then made my way to work for a 9:30 am training.

Since this is supposed to be mostly a food blog and I'm talking more about shoes lately I thought I'd share my Shrimp Risotto recipe. Plus I had the same old same old breakfast this morning and you're probably sick of that!

This is basically Bon Appetit's recipe with a little Pastor Ryan from Pioneer Woman mixed in.

And then I did my own thing a little too.

Shrimp Risotto - adapted from 2 sources (links above):


My marinade for shrimp:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon of shallots
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper

Just toss the shrimp around in it and let sit.

For the risotto:

5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined

3/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used shallots)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

First I brought the broth and 1/4 cup wine to simmer in medium saucepan. I reduced heat and tried to keep it hot. The stove at the house we were at on vacation last week sucked nickels. I could only adjust the flame on one of the burners so I turned off the heat entirely and just covered it.

Then I melted 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and crushed red pepper, then shrimp. I sautéed until the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. I added remaining 1/2 cup wine. and simmered until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. I put them to the side IMMEDIATELY after they pinked up. I tend to overcook shrimp and am trying to nix that habit.

Make sure you reserve the cooking liquid from the shrimp. It's yummy stuff that you'll need later.

More butter. Get over it. :) This served 6 people with PLENTY leftover. It's not so bad when you think of it that way. I melted the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in big saucepan over medium heat. I added the shallots and remaining garlic. I sautéed until the shallots were translucent which according to Bon Appetit is about 4 minutes.

Then I added the rice and stirred to coat, about 2 minutes. Then it's a lot of stirring while adding 2 cups of broth mixture at a time. Once the liquid was absorbed I added more until all the broth was gone. It should take about 20 minutes. Then I stirred in the reserved shrimp cooking liquid. It took about 5 more minutes for that to absorb and look creamy. Then I took it off the heat, added the shrimp and parsley a bit of salt and pepper and voila.

With some grilled asparagus on the side:

I think it tastes fabulous and for my dad to want me to cook (I drive him insane - he's more classically trained and I use too many pots and make too much of a mess for him) it must really be.

Moral of the story: don't be afraid of risotto. It just takes time, and you just need to serve it right away.

As for all the butter? Completely and totally worth it.