Monthly Archives: October 2010

Lucky…

…that I have time to enjoy coffee and a bagel on a lazy Saturday morning.

…that it was so sunny and warm on the patio that I got to take my sweatshirt off.

…to live in a city that’s bike friendly.

…to live in Denver period.

…that hummus was on sale for $1 at the grocery store.

..that the new beer I bought is super tasty

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Footie & Food

I went to the first ever Playoff game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last night to see the Colorado Rapids play the Columbus Crew.  I brought three soccer loving ladies with me and we had a great time! 

The stadium is so pretty and I wasn’t totally freezing which was a plus.  I had to wear mittens to hold my beer, but that’s no biggie!

Soccer is by far my favorite sport.  In thinking of ideas for an upcoming trip to Toronto, I checked the Premier League schedule for the weekend we will be there to see if there are any can’t miss games.  Turns out there are (Aston Villa-Arsenal on Saturday and Tottenham-Liverpool on Sunday) so naturally I looked for a place to go watch the games. 

I’m thinking The Queen and Beaver will do.  I’ve already read their very British menu and plan on having a Guinness and Salmon Toast for Brunch.  Does that sound fun BG?

As you can see, I get very excited about travel and end up running the risk of becoming a Type-A nightmare.  Check out my work in progress page for Toronto…I’ve got two coffee shops, 5 restaurants and 2 soccer games on the list but am seriously lacking in places to see.  All I have so far is Leslieville, which looks very much like the neighborhood I already live in.  I was sold on that destination by the mention of local cafes.  The way to my heart is obviously through my tummy.

In other news, I have absolutely no plans for the weekend which is really exciting!  There is definitely some sleeping in, coffee, bagels and crafts in my future.   

Leaves of Change

Steps on the sidewalk are now accompanied by the sound of crunching leaves.  I went for a run in 28 degree weather yesterday morning.  This weekend I will pull out my winter clothes and pack away my dresses and sandals.  Already looking forward to Summer 2011!

New England Eats

Boy was my tummy happy on this last trip to the Northeast.  There were new places to explore, as always, and also some old favorites.

Penny Cluse was by far the biggest surprise and best meal of the trip.  Sadly, this lovely breakfast spot is in Burlington, Vermont so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to eat there again.

I was thrilled to find biscuits and gravy without sausage.  So that was a must, plus two over easy eggs and some crispy savory home fries.  I hadn’t had an egg in about a month, so I was scared to dive in fully but the few bites I had were delightful!

The Big Guy had a beautiful, colorful and healthy meal: Blueberry Smoothie, Gorgeous Fruit Plate & Tofu Scramble with Spicy Salsa

Another exciting find was Boston’s Pho Pasteur, which is a Vietnamese restaurant in the Theatre district.  We liked this place so much we went twice during my  5 day stay.  They bring you tea when you sit down, and I just love those little ceramic cups.

We started with Fresh Tofu rolls with Peanut Hoisin Sauce


Then it was on to noodlerama with some amazing Shrimp Pad Thai

And the biggest bowl of Seafood Pho I’ve ever seen

Here’s the big guy’s big paw for size reference.  It was pretty much a mixing bowl full of Pho!

On my last day in town, we stopped by a previously visited spot Diesel Cafe, and was reminded of how much we digged both the vibe and the food.  The restaurant is very Capitol Hill-ish in decor and clientele, and has tons of Vegetarian options.

We chose to start with soups: Spicy Tomato with Orzo & Black Bean

I had a Brie Melt with Apples, Sprouts, Tomatoes and Greens, and Preston had a Veggie & Hummus wrap, which was not photographed because I was busy chowing down on all that crunchy bread and melted cheese!

That wraps up my three favorite meals.  Other eats included a late night sushi feast –

Some tasty Vermont road trip snacks courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Lots of Coffee

And of course, on my last night there I got to visit my beloved Regina

Boston in Hipstamatics

Wednesday’s Song


Balmorhea – Truth

Don’t wait for the lyrics – they’ll never come.  Just enjoy.

Crunching my way into Fall

If you haven’t treated yourself to a Honeycrisp apple this fall, get thineself to the grocery store immediately.  I’ve had them from two different stores, and my friend Carissa even did some sampling in Texas, and we’re in agreement – they are the best apples we’ve ever had.  Oversized, juicy, slightly sweet and super crunchy.  I couldn’t ask for more

I was crunching on this when I noticed the trees outside my office window are changing.  Quite pretty.

I knew I needed to do a body good after yesterday’s food shenanigans, so I headed over to pick up one of my favorites, the salad roll, from Whole Foods.  I also picked up some raw cashews, because according to the documentary Food Matters, a few handfuls of cashews have the same effect on the brain as a dose of Prozac.  Sounds like a pretty good solution for my 3pm slump!

I needed to grab a quick bite after work to avoid eating bar food with my pals before a concert.   After hearing about the big guy’s multiple sushi excursions in the past few weeks, and seeing an episode of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown about Sushi, it was on my brain.  I got to a local place, Sonodas, just in time for happy hour which meant $2 Nigiri and $4-5 Rolls.  Yes please! 

Maguro x2

Hamachi

Spicy Tuna Roll

Shrimp Tempura Roll

At first I was worried I over did it, but it went down like buttah.

Then it was off to see The National.  They put on an amazing show and ended with a really personal encore.  They stood in a line on the stage and sang a capella and encouraged the crowd to sing along.  It was beautiful!

In other lovely news, I’m off to Boston tomorrow night to see my BG!  I’m so excited to be reunited with my numero uno partner in crime. 

 We’ve got a weekend of pho, foliage, soccer, beers and wicked awesome fun planned.  Catch you on the flip side!

 

Not Really Vegan Out: Day 21

The final day of this vegan experiment was really yesterday – I dove off the big green wagon on Day 21. How cliche!  I told my pal Meg that I would make some “sausage” biscuits for marathon-watching breakfast, and when I made that promise I knew it was all over.  While I think I actually found some vegan biscuits (Kroger saver brand) the Morningstar Sausages are not listed in the vegan category on their website.  I’m all about honesty, and that’s the truth – sorry if it disappoints anyone that I didn’t make it through the last day.  So, that’s it – moving on….

While I brought breakfast to the table, Megs brought homemade bloody marys.  We took our small picnic outside and watched the marathoners for about 40 minutes before seeing our friends, Genevieve and Carie run by, just a mile from completing their first half marathon!  It was really exciting.

The Rock n’ Roll marathon means there was a band at every mile, and we were lucky enough to be near The School of Rock, which was a band of kids playing classic rock on an bridge over 13th street.

I loved seeing all these people running through my  neighborhood!  I really caught the running bug watching everyone go by – I wanted to be out there instead of a spectator!

We caught up with the gals at the finish line for some hugs and congratulations

They were super hungry and wanted some greasy food so we headed to Uptown Brothers for a little brunch.  The runners had some breakfast, and macaroni and cheese, fries and mashed potatoes.  Oh, and some hot wings – they really got after it….and it was much deserved!  The average runner burns about 100 calories per mile, which means they were starting the day with a 1300 calorie defecit.  Way to go girls!

I had a Fried Green Tomato BLT, with Avocado instead of the “B”

It tasted good but was a major mistake…I felt like total crap the rest of the day.

On the way home, I checked out some of the unique things about my neighborhood.  It’s a mix of beautiful old architecture

And Street Art

After all that Sunday Funday (bloody mary, plus drinks at lunch) it was n-a-p t-i-m-e

I was pretty worthless the rest of the day.  I watched 60 Minutes and a Food Documentary, and ate some honeycrisp apples and vegetable soup.  I was feeling pretty puny, likely from the double whammy of bad food after eating so well for three weeks.  I’m pretty disappointed with myself on how this whole thing ended.   I’m planning on making it up tomorrow.  Monday will really be my Day 21.  Is that allowed?

Vegan Out: Day 20

Saturday began with two cups of Coffee and then a Yoga Sculpt class.  Not too smart – let’s dehydrate before sweating our asses off!

When I got home I was feeling rather ambitious and craving Mexican food.  So, I decided to make some breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas. I began with Vegan Dad’s Tofu Scramble, and added some sauteed onions, spinach, Daiya and Spicy Salsa.

You can check out the Tortilla Recipe at Homesick Texan.  I subbed Almond Milk for Cow Milk.  The key to this recipe is patience – it involves about 30 minutes of wait time.  I haven’t gotten the hang of the tortilla yet – they still came out pretty dense.

The tofu scramble is an easy breakfast go to, as you can make it in 10 minutes and  add anything you like to it depending on mood.  I think my next foray will be a version of Migas, black beans, jalapenos, cheese and salsa – served with tortillas.

For my tacos today, I added Spinach, Carmelized Onions and Daiya “Cheese”


The finished product looked good and tasted AMAZING

I don’t have much to report between brunch and dinner…I relaxed, watched a little history channel and a little college football.  Pretty lazy Saturday.  I had a fun night ahead, as a friend was having a party at a local dive bar.

I knew I needed to carbo load before going for beers, as I was planning on riding my bike and didn’t want to get too tipsy!  Perfect solution – sauteed zucchinis and asparagus with brown rice and soy sauce.  I ate two bowls and felt totally ready to go.


After eating my greens, I decided to put on some green.  Green Eyeshadow that is!  My friend Lauren had made us all New Kids on the Block shirts, so with my teal tights and jorts (jean shorts) I was so ready to go to the Rock Stars & Groupies Party.  I tried to get my 1991 Bang Flip down, but just lack the necessary teasing and hairspray skills these days.

Looked sort of mom-ish instead of 80’s.  Oh well – I had to ride my bike, and thus wear a helmet so the effort was sort of pointless anyways.  I arrived at the Candelight Tavern at 9pm and immediately saw very drunk people stumbling out of the bar.  The party must be in full effect, and boy was it.


Check out my 80’s outfit, complete with teal tights & brightly colored accessories.

There were all sorts of amazing outfits, including Jana’s original Jeggings from the 80’s – a glorious hand-me-down from her obviously stylish aunt.  Seriously – they were spandex.

I had a really good time hanging out with my elves friends.  Really, could I be any taller? I feel like Andre the Giant in the Princess Bride.

I finished off 3 beers and decided to pedal myself home at about 11pm.  I stopped by the grocery store to get some food for breakfast Sunday morning, and found myself standing in front of all the frozen displays of pizza & macaroni and cheese.  I did what any rational, half-tipsy person would do.  I bought myself some ripe avocados and went home and made guacamole.  Mmmm delicioso!

I fell asleep watching a documentary, Food Matters, that I’ll probably finish today.  Happy Sunday, loves!

Vegan Out: Day 19

Friday was the day of noodles.  My friend Lauren is in town from New York, where she lives a sassy urban life as a West Sider.  I can’t wait to go visit her!  Plus, my other friend Lauren is moving to NYC in the coming months, so I’ll have two of my most favorite people to visit in one exciting place.  I might start making my sightseeing and restaurant list now…

But moving on, for breakfast I stopped at Starbucks (TGIF to me!) for a Soy Vanilla Latte.  It was sort of a puny effort – I drank my coffee and had some Sahale Almonds.  That was it!

I made up for it at lunch with the gals – Veggie Lo Mein.  I ate the ENTIRE bowl.  Pretty impressive, I must say.

I made it through the rest of the day without a food coma which is so exciting! I high tailed it out of work just a few minutes early to make a 5:30 yoga class.  While I love the postures, the heat and the intense stretches and muscle work of yoga, I really haven’t grasped the whole breathing and mental aspect of the practice.  I do think that a lot of people are able to ooze gratitude and love and thankfulness while in class…I’m just not sure how to do that  yet.  Hopefully it will come with time as it would be nice to get a mental workout as well!

Leaving class, I spotted something very exciting in the clearance bin in the clothing shop of my studio…a tank top I saw and wanted three months ago but passed on because it was $55!  I bent down, checked the size and was super stoked – it was mine! With a 75% discount the  grand total was just $14.  It’s really exciting to resist shopping urges only to be rewarded for your thriftiness later.

Once again during class, I was daydreaming about food.  The idea that came to me was “Cheesy” Pasta with Asparagus.

After class, I went home and got after it! Started with a little olive oil and Asparagus in a pan.

Then I added my leftover noodles from the other night right into the pan with some more olive oil, Nooch, Vegan “Parmesan” and Garlic Salt.  Nooch = Nutritional Yeast, available in the bulk section of your Whole Foods, and an amazing topping for popcorn and just about everything else.  It’s a staple in all vegan recipes that look to mimic cheesiness.

I added some slow roasted tomatoes, and let all that goodness sautee up for a few minutes.  Then, it was time to eat!

This pasta was tasty but definitely needed a shake of salt to dial it up a bit.  I ate everything you saw in that pan and was super happy about it.  Pasta count for the day – about 2 pounds.  Believe it or not, a bit later I was pretty hangry again, so I decided on some dessert.

Strawberries with Hersheys and a cup of chocolate almond milk.  Done and Done.

I stayed up till a rowdy 10:17 pm. Booya!