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Lovely Saturday

I’ve had a lovely Saturday so far. 🙂  I slept in a bit and then went downstairs and used my new French press to make two cups of seriously aromatic coffee, sipped while I checked my email, caught up on blogs, ran a load of laundry and dishes, and planned my day.  I made my usual breakfast topped with natural apple butter and Barney Butter almond butter.  From there it was into jeans and a sweatshirt (this is a college town), a whirr of the toothbrush, and out to the farmer’s market.

Because it was chilly and damp outside there weren’t many vendors set up at the market.  However, I did buy six beautiful naval oranges and a couple of heads of fresh broccoli.  Next, I drove to a local health foods store where I finally found farro!  I also bought a pound of French lentils, 1/2 lb. of fresh spinach, and some regular and decaf coarsely ground (did it myself!) fair trade organic coffee.  Then I stopped into a gourmet cooking shop to replace my old spatula with a pretty aqua spoonula and added an inexpensive bamboo spoon to my order for use with my French press (after pouring water over your coffee, you are supposed to gently stir with a plastic or wooden spoon to avoid breaking the glass).

After that it was off to the second health foods store for a red onion, a pound of  walnuts, and a pound of organic arborio rice.  I have a bunch of leftover butternut squash from Thursday night so I’ll either make the same dish again or perhaps a lighter version of this butternut risotto.  Each store was only a couple of miles away from the last but due to my lazy, indulgent browsing the whole trip took about two hours.

By the time I got home I was hungry again and feeling a little low on energy despite having had a banana while I was out.  I had four wholesome cookies and one of the juicy oranges I’d bought earlier.  I still didn’t feel as if I had enough energy for a good, strong run so instead I decided to break out my yoga mat, which I’ve been meaning to do for months!, and flow my way through a YouTube yoga class with Sarah:

It was just what I needed.  In fact, I encouraged D to join me for round two so I ended up doing it twice.  I feel relaxed and more thoughtful now.

I’m off to grab another snack, take a shower, and make cookies for game night.  M&M are bringing dough made from scratch for homemade pizzas and the rest of us are bringing toppings (mine is spinach and possibly some mushrooms 😀 ), drinks, and dessert (cookies!).  Have a relaxing Saturday night!


Eat Your Vegetables

Whew.  A relatively busy week combined with getting back into my work routine after almost two weeks off has left me tired and with a quiet blog this week.

I did work behind the scenes for a few minutes here and there.  I added a Recipes tab up at the top and changed my header as I’m still in all-out peppermint mode. 🙂 I bought light peppermint ice cream at the store last weekend and have eaten more ice cream this week than I have in the last year.  It’s all Tasha’s fault. 🙂  It’s certainly not nutritious but it is delicious and I think it’s important to enjoy junk food guilt-free sometimes.

I have a Hamburger ‘N’ Beans recipe to share as well as a meal plan tonight and a post later on how I was able to recover from months-long knee problem to run several races this fall.

(Image from Cooking Light)


D and I have decided to purchase a share in a local Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA).  It is actually the largest CSA program in this area.  I mentioned a couple of months ago that we were looking into joining a CSA but had yet to run the numbers.

Based on my calculations this week, participating in the CSA will not only save us a little bit of money each month, but we will also know that the produce was locally, organically, and lovingly grown.  We will know that while we are enjoying incredibly fresh, nutritious produce we are also supporting local agriculture.

In addition, it should reduce our need to grocery shop, which will reduce the liklihood of my buying unnecessary extras that add up over time.  Finally, it will challenge me to create meals with ingredients I’m not used to using – bok choy, beets, eggplant.  This should be interesting. 🙂

I plan to photograph my CSA box of produce each week to give you an idea of what I’m getting, how much, and the variety and condition of the fruits and vegetables.

We are actually splitting a half share of the veggie CSA with our friends to cut down on costs.  A half share normally produces about 197 pounds of 30+ types of vegetables over a 32-week growing season (mid-May to mid-December), depending on weather and other factors.  We receive deliveries for 29 of those weeks.  That’s an average of almost 7 pounds of veggies per week, so almost 3.5 pounds per couple.  That may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that this includes some very voluminous things like spinach and various lettuces.  Plus, we are adding a fruit CSA onto that!

This particular fruit CSA is sold in full shares only.  Each couple will receive a half share for 17-18 weeks (late-May to mid-September).  Each week’s bounty will be 4-8 lbs. of various combinations of 10+ fruits, not including varieties of each fruit (i.e., different types of apples).  That’s 2-4 lbs. per couple.

Therefore, we expect to receive 5-7 pounds of produce each week from late May to mid-September and 3-3.5 pounds of produce from mid-September to mid-December.

Broken down, the monthly cost of this is a little bit lower than what we pay now for produce at the grocery store, some of which is organic (who knows if it was locally grown) and some of which is not.

Stay tuned for details on our experiences with this CSA and Sam’s Adventures in Cooking Weird Vegetables!


As with the rest of the country, it has been extremely cold here lately.  On Friday it was 16*F and felt like 2*F.  As a result, I have not run outside in over a week.  The cold winds and icy ground with frozen-over snow that doesn’t melt make for miserable, unsafe running.  I have managed to maintain my strength-training indoors, however:

Monday – 30 minutes strength-training, 3 miles run on indoor track

Wednesday – 30 minutes strength-training…I didn’t stick around for cardio because we had a movie date with some friends to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  It was adorable and very entertaining.  I highly recommend it!

Friday – 30 minutes weights, 10 min. elliptical, level 7, 5-6 speed, 1 mile of treadmill intervals, 2 miles easy run on the indoor track

Sunday – I’m about to head out for what I hope to be a 5-6 mile run.  I just need the wind to cooperate and the ground to be relatively dry!

Cookie Monster

No exercise this weekend as I’ve been busy just trying to get through my To Do list before tomorrow.  It will be a day chock full of meetings followed by the delicious Cookie Swap!, plus a run in the morning if I can extract myself from my toasty bed.

Saturday I woke up and worked a bit to prepare for one of my meetings.  Early in the afternoon I headed over to the local Farmer’s Market before it shut down for the day.

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I picked up farm fresh eggs (you’ll notice one is missing; I accidentally switched cartons and put my store-bought eggs in this picture, one of which I had already used. 🙂  ), an acorn squash, two tiny onions for cooking, a gorgeous apple, organic Wholesome Cookies from Sweet Water Baking Co., and a loaf of bread also by SWBC.  I can’t remember what the guy called the bread but it is an Italian sourdough.  So soft on the inside (where the meat is).  D wasn’t a fan of the Wholesome Cookies but I think they are delicious.  The ingredients include almonds, flax seeds, arrowroot, honey, oats, barley, and millet.  The texture is phenomenal.

Afterward, I stopped by the local organic whole foods shop to listen to a very enthusiastic man recount his clubbing experiences and buy an organic butternut squash and nutty trail mix.  I like trail mixes that are heavy on the nuts and seeds, preferably un- or very lightly salted, and light on the fruits.  I picked out most of the 2,000 raisins today.

Later in the afternoon D and I watched Ghost Town, which was completely adorable.  It was not only funny, sweet, and interesting but also highly visually pleasing in terms of decor and wardrobe. I am determined to recreate the outfit Gwen wore at the end (not pictured: dark straight-leg jeans)!


After the movie I unexpectedly spent several hours glued to this and could. not. stay. away. from the Wholesome cookies.

For dinner, I made spinach fettuccine with organic pasta sauce reheated on the stove with fresh onion, garlic, and EVOO, slices of toasted, buttered Sweet Water bread, and grapes.  I spent the rest of the night finishing up work for Monday.  It was amazing.

I finally! caught up on sleep today and then D and I watched two more episodes of Flash Forward, which is getting scarily addictive.  Love Olivia.  Afterward, I hit the road to find a Christmas ornament for the Cookie Swap and collect last minute groceries.  Then it was back home to make cookies!

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Being the n00bish cook that I am, I made the common, but yummy, chocolate chip cookie. 🙂  I had hoped to try out a pumpkin cookie recipe before the swap but I ran out of time so I figured I’d follow my race advice (race the way you train with nothing new on race day) and bake what I knew.

Now I’m off to finish cleaning up the kitchen and prep for tomorrow. Gnight. 😀

PHD + Sweet Potato Risotto + Kale Chips

Yesterday I took a PHD (Personal Health Day).   The plan was to remove myself from the world for a day to recharge, catch up on sleep (I have sleep issues, another post for another day), and tidy up my life, which would in turn tidy up my brain.

It sorta kinda happened.  I did catch up on sleep.  I did do several loads of laundry and dishes.  However, I did not unplug myself from the world.  I ended up working for a few hours later in the day.  It had to be done but I won’t say I was thrilled about it.

One thing I did do that was fun was make Real Simple’s Sweet Potato Risotto.  So good and *much* less fattening than the butternut squash risotto.  It wasn’t quite as rich and creamy due to the lack of exorbitant amounts of butter and cheese but it was still darn good and a lot easier.  Btw, I added almonds for wonderful texture.  I also went easy on the wine for D’s sake and on the oregano (loved the added flavor, though).

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Garlic the lazy cook’s way.

That becomes this:

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Becomes this:

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Becomes a full stomach of yum.

So it was that + wine for dinner.  Later, when D got home, I heated up some left over chili for him and had a little bit myself in the process for protein and veggies (zucchini, mushrooms).

Because I temporarily didn’t exist yesterday, I also decided not to work out.  No worries!  It’s good to take a day off sometimes.

Today was spent on the road and at our branch farthest away.  We had a welcoming party for two new employees and I rarely get to go to that office so I packed up one of my coworkers and away we went!

Lunch was from a local cafe.  It was delicious and I regret not taking a picture.  It was a turkey, white cheddar, tart apple, dijon mustard on whole wheat sandwich.  On the side was homemade red potato salad and a healthy slice of carrot cake from scratch.  I also picked up a tall nonfat misto from Starbucks as I hadn’t had my morning coffee.  Everything was SO. GOOD.

After a conference call and a few things that had to go out the door, I stole a lamp and then headed over to the restaurant for the party.  I think fun was had by all.  Since I was DD I stuck with cranberry juice + selzer.  Tasty.

On the way home I went grocery shopping for a few things and used a few coupons:

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  • Listerine
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • spinach
  • black grapes
  • shampoo
  • kale
  • organic dark chocolate mint bar – can’t wait to try this!
  • lite Laughing Cow cheese for my breakfast english muffin with apple butter
  • spinach fettucini
  • one of my favorite cereals on sale
  • organic tomato sauces that are fairly low in sodium and sugar
  • not shown: toilet paper

After reading about Nate’s success with kale chips last night, I had to make my own, which were a little fluffier than his:

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Yum!  I oversalted them a tad so I could only tolerate three but the flavor was rich and the crunch was fun.  I had them with leftover sweet potato risotto, a glass of organic skim milk, and two mini Twix bars from H’ween.

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I had hoped to run today but it just didn’t work out.  Tomorrow then!  I am in the mood for a morning run so if I can get my tush to bed asap it might be a possibility.  Over and out and sweetest dreams. 🙂

Food For Thought:

If every American Family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials during the winter holidays, it would save enough paper to cover nearly 50,000 football fields.

– Standford University Recycling Center

Light & Fruity

After my trip to the gym tonight where I was still feeling the effects of the heavy Panera lunch (read: bloated, stomach gurgling, low energy), I was definitely in the mood for a light dinner.  Fruit, specifically.

To make up for the fact that my last post had no pictures, here is a picture of the fruits of my labor (ho ho, fruits, get it?):


  • multigrain Breton crackers
  • brie
  • my beloved sprouted grain english muffins…this is the first time Kroger has had them in at least two months!  Excitement!!!
  • black seedless grapes
  • light string cheese
  • mushrooms
  • strawberries
  • zucchini
  • bananas
  • broccoli
  • slivered almonds
  • pomegranate
  • avocado
  • greek yogurt
  • wild yellowfin tuna steaks
  • eggs
  • instant breakfast for D
  • spinach
  • unsalted butter
  • my 2 favorite LaraBar flavors – pb cookie & coconut cream pie
  • coffee-flavored yogurt…it’s new and, hello, coffee 🙂

Dinner ended up being a wedge of brie on toasted sprouted grain bread (need to use up the loaf) with grapes and strawberries.  Maybe also a slice of grapefruit or some sweet potato wedges if I’m still hungry later.

D came across flowers I had stored under the sink while he was fixing the dishwasher tonight and put them out for me *heart*.


Can you believe I’ve had those greens since the wedding in early June?!