Yuck

I did not like that Ecto experiment at all. I’m not sure I can continue with the trial! I am reposting the regular way because it is prettier …

Breakfast this morning was another slice of french toasted kitchen sink muffin. It was also the last slice, sadly, since my first attempt today resulted in the toast falling in that scary space between the oven and the counter. I almost cried.

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(I topped the toast with Artisana cacao bliss (I will be very sad when this jar ends), unsweetened coconut, and cinnamon.)

After that, I popped two more ibuprofen for dessert (gotta keep the swelling down!) along with my vitamins and headed to the gym for some leg strength and cardio. Oh wait, I was moving so slowly to get ready for the gym that I got hungry again. Pineapple and watermelon (from MA) topped with hulled hemp seed:

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Then I went to the gym, came back, and made this random lunch:

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Key players included a heated Eggland’s Best hard-boiled and peeled egg (getting down to the wire on these, so I need to use them fast!) sprayed with Smart Balance and sprinkled with fresh black pepper:

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A Peppadew salad with strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, and feta from home:

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The TJ’s rice and bean chips that Elisabeth sent:

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With fresh Union Market salsa (thanks, Tara!):

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And Peppadew Mango Salsa:

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Speaking of this mango salsa … I love it! Probably because it tastes like dessert. It would be delicious over yogurt.

Now,ย  I’m off to get more memory (birthday present from my parents!) installed in my little old computer and to pick up my official race packet on the Upper East Side (aka the other end of the earth) for Saturday’s half!

Have you ever used Ecto or another blog-editing software for Macs before? What do you think? I would love a time-saver, but not if it means I have to deal with ugliness!

Toasted

I’m back in New York today, but I definitely fixed myself a Massachusetts-inspired breakfast this morning! I just can’t let go ๐Ÿ˜›

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Mom sent me home on the bus yesterday with a bunch of her famous kitchen sink muffins (among several other food items). Most of the muffins were minis, but she also sent one jumbo:

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Inspired by the cinnamon bun french toast I tasted out at breakfast on Saturday, I decided to french toast the jumbo muffin! I sliced it into thirds to soak in a batter of 1 egg, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of unsweetened soymilk. I had one of the slices for breakfast topped with a schmear of Artisana cacao bliss.

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Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

On the side, I had the rest of the chia pudding I made last week (and left in my freezer while I was gone) topped with sauteed cinnamon and cardamom apples:

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The perfect warm and cozy breakfast (at 1:00!) for such a dreary day.

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Pre-breakfast, I hit the gym for some vigorous and intense cardio, as I want to make sure that my heart can handle 13 miles on Saturday even if my legs can’t! (I also went to the Y gym with mom yesterday morning in MA for more cardio and lots of leg muscle machines, and I’ve got more leg strength planned for tomorrow. Between that and the steady-stream-of-ibuprofen regimen I started yesterday, I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Brooklyn Half!)

I’m not really going to get into yesterday’s food because yesterday is all done now, but Alison did ask me for my mom’s recipe for the pumpkin-grapenut pudding that we made for my dad and stepmom … some of which I conveniently did snack on yesterday, heated and topped with warm chopped apples, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t ever really follow a recipe. The general idea for the grapenut pudding is a custard base (eggs, milk, sweetener, vanilla, spices … and, in this case, pumpkin) that gets sprinkled liberally with grapenuts pre-baking so that they absorb the moisture and spread their flavor as they sink to the bottom during the cooking to form a “crust.” Comfort food at its best ๐Ÿ™‚ More info about my mom’s grapenut pudding can be found in this post.

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(Also, some of you asked if I was serious about my mom’s body-building days, and it’s true! She did used to be a competitive bodybuilder (a side hobby to her full-time psychotherapizing) when I was really young. Maybe someday she will let me post some of her competition pics, haha!)

And because it’s too pretty, here’s breakfast yesterday morning:

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Can you identify the components?

And lastly, check out what just arrived from Elisabeth at Jogger’s Life!

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She sent me a beautiful care package, thanking me for showing her ways to stop wasting food (sigh, I have now achieved life satisfaction :-D). The highlight of the box? Another package of UliMana raw chocolates!

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Thank you Elisabeth — this made my day!!!

If you could french toast anything (and you can!), what would you choose?

Raw! (sort of)

Before my mom and I headed out for our walk this afternoon, I had the rest of this morning’s fruit salad as an inter-meal snack:

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Along with this carrot “core” dipped in fresh WF almond butter:

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Mom and I set off on a lovely walk for an hour or so, winding our way through the arboretum that leads to a nieghborhood park, chatting with each other, and chatting with neighbors.

Back home, we finally ate “lunch” around 7pm! I’d been working on preparing the various components of Gena’s raw zucchini alfredo over the course of the afternoon, with just a few adjustments.

To make the “noodles,” I used a vegetable peeler on carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash:

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I made a smaller portion of the sauce — 3/4 cup cashews instead of 1.25 cups — than the recipe because this house does not need any more leftovers! We also added some toasted sesame oil (I know that un-raws it, but it tasted good!) and soy sauce:

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My mom was a little bit hesitant about the highly caloric nature of this nut-based sauce, but I reminded her that the nuts were serving as the protein/fat part of the meal. The calories were definitely warranted and necessary!

For the final (and again un-raw) addition, I lightly steamed some broccoli and mixed in a few crushed dried garlic flakes, and that got mixed with the “pasta”:

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Here it is all mixed together with the sauce (and twilight porch-seating — you can see the grass in the background!):

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I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this raw “pasta” — I was thinking it would just be like a refreshing summer salad, but it was delicious! I LOVED the sauce. It tasted like cold sesame noodles. Mom and John cleaned their plates, too. You must try this!

For dessert, I had a couple slices of sweet potato that I found in the fridge (they got treated to some cinnamon post-photo):

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Oh, right, I had more dessert after that, too ๐Ÿ˜› My friend Steph (we’ve known each other since we were probably six months old!) and her husband Dan (who also went to high school with us) picked me up, and we headed over to a law school graduation party for Liz, also from high school, at her parents’ house (Congrats, Liz!). I got to chat with a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years — so fun! I had loads of chips and guac, and then the cake came out:

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I had a small piece of each and then stopped there. I was too busy socializing ๐Ÿ™‚

And now it’s time for bed! I’m getting myself psyched for the bird chorus to wake me up at 4:45 am again. I know I complain about morning birds all the time in Brooklyn, but I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s exponentially louder here in MA! I think I will go home next week with a greater appreciation for Brooklyn’s more moderate tweeting. Does leaving town make you appreciate things more at home?

Tres leches, tres veces

I’m speaking in Spanish again, so clearly I spent the day at a work event. And if I spent the day at a work event, you know that also means there was no shortage of food. The first order of business on the “mission retreat” agenda was lunch!

Here’s my plate:

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I had half of a grilled chicken and avocado wrap:

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Green salad:

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And some pasta salad:

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All delicious, obv. On the side, I had a cup (probably equal to about two cups) of tropical fruit salad (papaya, mango, pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, oranges, and grapes):

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I had seconds of the green salad and seconds and thirds of the fruit salad ๐Ÿ˜›

After lunch, we did a lot of ice breakers (fun ones, believe it or not!), reviewed the history of the agency, listened to a panel discussion by clients we’ve helped, broke into small discussion and reflection groups … and then it was time for cake!!! (Of course.)

Here’s my first slice of the beautiful tres leches (not as milky as the one I had last night, though!) along with two of Dorothy’s homemade oatmeal cookies:

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I supplemented with two jammy Pepperidge Farm cookies:

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And then proceeded to have two more slices of cake, one of which was mostly frosting:

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Since it was mostly frosting, it was ideal for dipping tortilla chips. I dipped quite a few, like so:

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We ended the retreat with a conga line and a daisy exchange. When I got home, I carefully arranged my daisies in the spread-eagle bunny bowl:

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Food aside, this “retreat” managed to get me even more excited about working where I do (as if I needed it). That’s usually the goal of most company retreats, but I think they rarely accomplish it so successfully!

On the way home, I stopped into Union Market for a sample handful of peanut butter-filled pretzels:

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After all of this indulgence, I was thrilled when Vani invited me to join her and Arthur (her dog) for a walk in the park. We ended up walking for nearly two hours! She also gave me a pack of stale Fig Newman’s that she didn’t want to throw away because she realized after opening them that they weren’t vegan and thought they would make a good “expansion challenge.” I liked her suggestion of grinding them up to make a pie crust. Keep your eyes peeled because this may be coming soon to a blog near you ๐Ÿ™‚

For “dinner,” I just threw together a quick yet wildly delicious snack of chips and salsas left from the restaurant last night with the rest of my humbecuemole and a string cheese stick that my mom donated a while back. I got it melty in the oven and then topped it with some plain yogurt:

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I’m off to get some packing done now because I’m planning to head straight up to MA tomorrow after my class (the last of the semester, finally!). I’m looking forward to a few days of true summer relaxation because I always feel like I should be doing stuff when I’m here in NY. Do you need to leave town to relax?

Breaksert

Inspired by Hangry Heather, I decided to try my hand at a breakfast sundae this morning.

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For the “cone” I put together an overnight breakfast cookie mix of 1/4 cup extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1/4 mashed banana, and 1 tbsp Artisana cacao bliss. Rather than flattening the cookie on a plate, I pressed it into a ramekin to make a bowl shape and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning, I popped the cone, ramekin and all, into the freezer because I wanted to be able to extract the cone from the ramekin intact.

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For the “ice cream,” I mixed 1/2 cup yogurt with 1 tbsp lucuma powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 mashed banana, dash vanilla, and a few peanut pieces. That went into the freezer for the 20-stir-20-stir method.

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After extracting the cone from its ramekin, I filled it with the ice cream and decorated with berries, cinnamon, more peanuts, coconut, and a plummy gummy ๐Ÿ™‚

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This was so so fun to eat and a lovely post-gym treat (with my yerba mate on the side, mmm)!

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This afternoon, I’m off to a work event. We’re having a “mission retreat” from 12-5, and even though I’m on vacation, it seems like an important thing to attend!

How do you feel about dessert for breakfast?