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,Ā  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!

Going local

Before I left for the party last night, I engaged my mom and John in a little bit of product reviewing. I had brought my packages of Newman’s Own Organics Champion Chip cookies in orange chocolate chip and double chocolate mint chip to my last class celebration on Thursday. Due to the high quantity of fresh Italian cookies, my little Newman’s Owns got lost in the shuffle. I felt confident, however, that they would not survive two nights in my mom’s house, and I was right!

Here’s a little slide show of mom in action.

Contemplation:

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Meditating on the deliciousness:

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The cookies were totally demolished within 10 minutes — and I’m pretty sure both bags were at least halfway full when I brought them out! John loved the crunch, and both preferred the orange chocolate chip cookies (the chocolate mint were the first to disappear, though). Success! (And thank goodness I’m off the hook from eating them. They were just too too too good to have lying around.)

This morning, Steph and Dan picked me up again on their way out of town so that we could go for a quick breakfast. We went to the hot spot of all hot spots in downtown NA: the Town Restaurant. I used to go there for breakfast with my dad when I was little for their amaaaaaazing grilled muffins. Today, I went wild and ordered the special omelet — spinach, tomato, and mushroom — with egg whites.

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It came with sweet potato fries and toast, but I skipped the toast and got extra fries instead. (Actually, I asked for fruit instead of toast, but the waitress told me that there was no fruit on the premises.) I don’t like regular potatoes, so the chance for sweet potato fries is rare, and I had to take advantage!

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Steph got the cinnamon bun French Toast. It was literally an iced cinnamon bun sliced into thirds and French Toasted. Yummmmmm:

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While there, the town Memorial Day Parade went by outside. All the brownies and cub scouts and high school bands and policemen with antique rifles went marching by. It was verrrry exciting because some family members of parade participants happened to be in the restaurant at the same time. We felt like we got in on some prime behind-the-scenes action. (Sort of.) Too bad I did not get a picture! We did, however, get free baby American flags that someone from the downtown association came around to hand out. I think I lost mine in the excitement? Hmmmm …

Back to breakfast, Steph tried to save her frosted bites for last, but she got too full. I had to finish them. It’s important to take one for the team.

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I’ve done cinnamon bun oatmeal, but now I think I may need to start including cinnamon bun french toast in the rotation!

Is there a breakfast hot spot in your hometown?

Freeee (for 10 days)

We all know I love free things! Now that my last class is over and I’m flying up 95 NĀ  on the Peter Pan, I feel freer than ever šŸ™‚

In class, we did in fact have a little celebration. My professor is retiring, as of today, so she brought in coffee and lots of bagel-y goodness. Here’s napkin #1 with a “mini” everything bagel spread with whipped butter and two Italian cookies, including a slice of rainbow cookie perfection, in the background:

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If you look very very closely in the background, you can see the bottom of the cup that holds my contribution to the event: Golden Star Sparkling White Jasmine Tea. I’ve zoomed in a bit in the picture on the right. I first sampled this tea at Whole Foods and got super excited about it. I don’t like champagne or wine, and I always feel like I should be at the kids’ table when I ask for sparkling cider at events. Sparkling tea has a much classier ring to it (not to mention that I love jasmine tea anyway). This tea is mostly non-alcholic (something like 0.5%), but it definitely has a more grown-up taste to it because it still goes through a fermentation process. And my class worked through the bottle I brought to share quite rapidly!

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Napkin #2 had another half of an everything bagel with “1/3 less fat” cream cheese, plus some more Italian cookie crumbs.

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And finally, napkin #3 had just a couple more cookies!

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A few more cookies may or may not have found their way into my mouth after that, too. Whenever I see a platter of pretty colorful cookies (or pretty colorful anything, for that matter), I absolutely have to one of each. And fast — before they disappear! It’s a problem.

Anyway, like I said, I’m blogging from the bus and expect to make it to Providence just in time to join my mom and stepdad for a PawSox game! Can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer šŸ™‚

Does the “prettiness” of foods, especially of desserts, affect your interest in eating them?

Splitsville

As I was contemplating what to make for breakfast that would best use the extra things in my fridge before I leave for the weekend, I read Broccoli Hut‘s comment about healthy banana splits! Just like that, breakfast was born šŸ™‚

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IMG_0152My current batch of yogurt isn’t strained, so I needed something to thicken it up: chia pudding! Two packages from Oh!Nuts and Navitas Naturals came in quite handy. These have to be the jumbo-est Medjool dates I’ve ever seen:

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I followed Kristen’s holiday chia pudding recipe, but I took out the “holiday” (cloves, ginger, lucuma) because I just wanted vanilla. Also, I halved everything except the chia seeds and added 1/2 cup of yogurt. I probably should have taken out the water completely and only used yogurt because it didn’t get as thick as I wanted, but oh well! For today, I just popped it all in the freezer for a bit to get some firmness.

I split the 1/2 banana I had left and decorated it with my three flavors and some extras:

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The vanilla scoop (plain chia pudding-yogurt):

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The chocolate scoop (1/4 mashed avocado, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp chia pudding-yogurt):

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The berry scoop (chia pudding-yogurt mixed with chopped blackberries):

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Topped with flax seeds, hemp seeds (some seem to have sprouted, hence the green), and cereal (and sided with yerba mate):

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Right after breakfast, I’m off to my last class (where I think a last class celebration will be taking place) and, from there, on a bus to Providence. I wonder if Peter Pan will have Internet on the bus again?

What are your three ideal split scoop flavors?

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Mark!!!!! Yay for May birthdays šŸ˜€


Restaurant Review: Barrio

My week of good food continued last night at Barrio with my stepdad, John. As I mentioned, John was in the ‘hood for business and very generously offered to take me out for dinner. I picked a spot right here in the Slope that I’ve walked by many times but have never experienced first-hand.

Barrio is sort of a Latin-fusion restaurant with festive music, bright colors, and exciting wall murals:

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We sat at a table by the window, and if it had been a bit warmer, we could have opened the window right out to the sidewalk. Perfect for people-watching. The chips came immediately with two salsas. I was hungry, so this was a very exciting development.

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The red salsa was my favorite because it was sweet. Maybe they used peppadew? Or maybe I just like to say/write peppadew

Anyway, we housed those chips and got a second basket (of which we ate a significant portion as well, minus the leftovers that I took home). The second basket came along with some freshly mashed, chunky guacamole, on the house. It’s hard to beat free and fresh guacamole.

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I also ordered one of the specialty cocktails — a “perfecto nestorindo” — because it had agave, fresh mango, and pineapple, and I’m a sucker for drinks with fresh fruit!

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It was good, but it kind of tasted just like a regular old margarita. I should have gotten the strawberry mojito. Next time!

John and I split the sweet plantain and black bean empanadas (lightly fried with Oaxaca cheese and tomatillo salsa) for an appetizer. Obviously, any dish that contains sweet plantains and black beans is a given!

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They were delicious, but I don’t think I need to tell you that.

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I threw a little guac on top for fun. As I remarked to John, any time I can get sweet plantains, black beans, and avocado in the same bite, I’m a happy camper.

For his main dish, John ordered el plato del dia: sauteed shrimp enchilada with cilantro jalapeno pickled onion salad and achiote salsa, queso fresco, and crema nata.

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I had a bite and it was delicious — that red salsa again!! Check out the beautiful ribbons of salsa and crema:

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I went for the Yucatan shrimp with cilantro and jalapeno marinade, calamari coconut rice, and pickled onions:

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A little spicy, very cilantro-y, and very fresh! The shrimp was perfectly charred:

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And that coconut calamari rice! I tend to avoid white rice since it’s so nutritionally useless (it’s actually one thing that I feel ok letting go in the trash can, gasp!), but this rice was amaaaaaazing with the hint of coconut and the rings of calamari. I ate every single bite.

John and I decided we had room for dessert (because dessert goes to a different stomach, obviously). The waitress recommended the chocolate-crusted coconut cheesecake. Doesn’t that sound brilliant? But, cheesecake struck me as a little bit too heavy after the loaded meal, plus we were in the mood for something more “authentic.” Being that I’m on vacation and all, we chose the Borracho Tres Leches cake (fyi, borracho = drunk) with anejo tequila salsa and whipped “crema.” (I love how they just threw random Spanish words all over the menu.) The whipped crema turned out to be the leaning tower of crema. We watched it topple, and now you can, too:

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Once the crema had settled on the side of the plate, I smushed it all back on top of the cake and cut it in half. John got me a spoon at the end so I could Olympic all the extra milk out of its misery. Finding a home for every last crumb applies to drips, too, you see.

So, it was a lovely meal that involved all of my favorite Latin food components and excellent company. I left stuffed, but not painfully so … which is a big accomplishment for me šŸ˜€ Thank you, John! (And mom, we were thinking of you the whole meal and ate extra in your honor. Wish you could have been there!)

What is your favorite Spanish/Mexican/Latin food item?

P.S. I completely forgot to add, look what came with the bill!

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Mexican “gelt”! It was good chocolate, too šŸ™‚