Batter up

If only I were talking about cake batter!

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The bus ride took forEVER yesterday! 95 was littered with crashes and accidents the whole way (Mariposa, did you notice this?!). I had exhausted my entire supply of emergency snacks — hard-boiled egg, apple, cashews, and a banana nut odwalla bar — by the time the bus finally pulled into Providence, so that was dinner. John and I swung back to the house to pick up my mom (and grab a couple handfuls of baby carrots!), and then it was off to the PawSox who, incidentally, happened to be playing the Yankees (I’m talking minor leagues here, if anyone is confused) last night. Poor PawSox got totally clobbered, though. We left in the 9th inning, and it was 10-1!

Also, coincidence of all coincidences, about halfway through the game, this really familiar-looking man came and sat in front of us and was talking to the guys sitting beside me. It took me a minute, but then I realized: it was Wife‘s dad!! Wife and I met at NYU of course, but we actually grew up only 30 minutes away from each other. Apparently, last night was the night of her dad’s annual trip to the baseball game with some of the guys from the high school where he works. What are the chances??

So back to the food. I had already eaten my dinner, but somehow, food kept arriving in front of me. Hand modeling credit in the following photos goes to my mom.

I had a small bite of this hot dog, even though I don’t like hot dogs. I was at a baseball game — it was the thing to do.

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A couple handfuls of this popcorn:

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The popcorn was so salty that it made us really need ice cream. So I had three bites of this bar:

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But I guess that was only an appetizer, because this ice cream in a helmet appeared a few moments later:

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Mom (and she’s supposed to be a good influence!) and I shared that one as well as this baggie of grapes from home (to cancel out the ice cream):

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Now that I have all that out of my system, I am fully ready to go produce-crazy on my mama’s fridge, starting this morning!

Cake batter or baseball batter? And who has the best fridge in your family?

P.S. Diana is giving away LOTS of VitaTops. If you live under a rock and don’t know about VitaTops, they are only the best non-homemade snack/dessert ever created. Go enter the giveaway!

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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?

Blame it on the men

I went for a run this afternoon. Oops! It wasn’t my fault, though. The firemen made me do it.

Post-run, I was inspired by Abbie to make a modified (aka quick) raw Snickers bar.

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But before I get into the raw Snickers details, back to the run. I was lazing on my couch this afternoon (very busy doing nothing, mind you) when my buzzer buzzed. I found five firemen on the other side needing to come in and do some sort of fire escape inspection.

I did not mind inviting five firemen into my home, as I do not encounter manly men often (or ever) for two reasons: (1) I live in NYC, where men tend to be, err, more “cultured” than most and (2) I am a social worker specializing in infant and parent development. For these reasons, I enjoy the FDNY. They’re good at keeping me safe and, hmmm, putting out fires. Of course, when the men arrived, I was still in my pajamas and surrounded by used tissues since I’ve been plagued by either allergies or a nasty cold (not sure which) since the moment I finished my last paper.

Anyway, one of the men came in and checked my balcony and roof while the others waited outside. After the inspection, all the firemen and their truck were still hanging around outside (I think they were trying to get into the basement apartment) for a long long time. And the urge to go for a run so I could run by them (in running clothes and not schlumpy pjs) and soak up some man energy came over me! Crazy, right? But I’m telling you, it is so rare that I get this chance! I did a rapid-fire costume change and flew out the door like I had somewhere to go, exchanging a few pleasantries with the men on my way before I took off. Seriously, I felt like I was running on clouds. It was amazing. I need to start hanging out by the firehouse.

I had planned to just run off down the block and then re-route to the gym so that I could stick to my no-running plan, but it was so nice out that I kept going for a full 4-mile loop around the park. I left my apartment so fast that I didn’t have time to bother with the HRM, but I felt like I was actually running an 11- or 12-minute mile, as opposed to the 15 that has been standard for me lately. The run wasn’t pain-free, but the pain was very consistent and dull and of the sort that I could imagine handling for, say, 13.1 miles on May 30th, assuming it doesn’t escalate. We’ll see! Anyway, now I’m really not going to run again before the half.

OK, if you’ve made it this far, your reward is that you get to see my raw Snickers again:

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My short-cut candy involved a plump Medjool date stuffed with Artisana cacao bliss and some peanut pieces. Oh man, it was so good! Really. Try this.

IMG_0072I’m also pretty sure that there was an Oh!Nuts whole strawberry in dark chocolate involved in the post-run desserting, but who really knows since they’re not all that photogenic (yet delicious enough that you NEED to try them as well).

OK, another day has flown by so fast! I’ve actually felt really busy all day, but I’m not quite sure what I’ve accomplished. Vacation is so strange. Anyway, my stepdad is in town for work, so we’re off to dinner in a bit. I’ll be back with the report later!

Have you done any accidental exercise today? And how do you feel about firemen? And the combination of fruit + chocolate?

Something new

I woke up super late today (10:00!!) for the third morning in a row — I think my mind is finally recovering from racing all semester long! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, though, since it is going to need to resume racing faster than ever in June.

Because it was so late, I put together a different and very simple breakfast:

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I sliced an apple in half, cored it, and baked it covered in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes:

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The apple got transferred to a plate, and I filled its core with a tsp or so of Artisana almond butter (which, strangely, tasted sort of chemically to me, even though almonds are the only ingredient. Maybe it’s the rawness?) and then sprinkled unsweetened coconut and cinnamon over the top:

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It was sooo yummy and did the trick to hold me over for the hour or so I needed until lunch.

Sadly, I’m out of greens (I ate them all yesterday!) and don’t want to buy more since I’m tentatively planning to go visit my parents in MA this Thursday night through Tuesday. I put together a fun snacky plate on a cutting board so I could transfer it to the couch with me for TV time (oh, this is the life!) post-photo.

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The spread included carrot sticks with humbecuemole (2 tbsp my hummus, 1 tsp Country Bob’s BBQ, and 1/8 mashed avocado):

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An Eggland’s Best peeled and hard-boiled egg, heated and topped with spray butter andΒ  freshly ground black pepper:

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And a contribution from these new finds:

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Last week, my roommate Tara alerted me to this new fruit called Peppadew that she had discovered in the course of researching catering options for a work event. I found it a little strange that this fruit is actually owned, but I still had to test it out regardless. For now, I think Peppadew is only available from the online store, though the Chop’t restaurants in NY have a salad with it.

Spicy and sweet (just like me, haaaaaaa):

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They were both pretty tasty — kind of a pickle-y sweet pepper taste with more of an apricot texture. The spicy one had a yummy zing to it, but I wouldn’t call it hot-spicy. I got adventurous with a sweet peppadew and added it to my yogurt:

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But it looked lonely with that hole, so I stuffed it with some Artisana cacao bliss πŸ™‚

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The yogurt also had lucuma powder, goji berries, 1/3 sliced banana, blackberries and BRM hulled hemp seeds:

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Before this, I had never tried hemp seeds. I was pleasantly surprised. They had a toasty (probably because I toasted them in a dry pan first!) and nutty flavor that I loved. I hope I can get around to some baking experiments with them soon.

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What is the latest produce item you’ve tried for the first time?

Missy’s got free bread on her hands! Go check it out πŸ™‚

And Coconutgal has free Coconut Bliss ice cream, YUMMMMMM!

Too much

Ohhhh my goodness, the food at the party last night was completely expansion-worthy! (The party was fun, too.) Here’s the birthday girl, Olivia, modeling one of her creations:

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Olivia made everything herself, using her own recipes! And it was phenomenal.

This pizza was the star of the evening:

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It had ricotta, honeyed goat cheese, caramelized onions, and truffle oil. I lost count after a while, but I might have had 12 (or more) pieces.

Olivia also made baby pulled pork sandwiches:

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I had one sandwich … and then kept picking more pork off the tray every time I walked by and saw that a piece had fallen off of its bread.

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She also made ridiculous macaroni and cheese and an amazing baked french onion cream cheese dip. Here’s my first of many bowls:

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I also had a couple of these savory elephant ears:

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They were herby and also had some delicious crispy meat — maybe proscuitto? — inside.

Here’s another bowl. Was it the second? Was it the seventh? No one knows.

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On top of all of this, Olivia made cupcakes! Super chocolatey and moist with mascarpone-kahlua frosting.

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I had one full cupcake, but by the end of the night, things had devolved to the point where I was dipping pretzels into the icing on others. My camera had been relegated to the purse by then.

Some other things I encountered included a piece of Entenmann’s chocolate-covered donut:

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And 1.5 of Kate’s perfectly chewy secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies:

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And an, errrr, unpictured cup or so of skittles that went down wayyyyyy too easily.

The party itself was a blast, and I wish I had remembered to take some pictures of the apartment because it was gorgeous and had way more space than I’m used to seeing in NYC. I also got to catch up with some old NYU friends (hi Jenniy!) that I hadn’t seen in ages. Thanks, Olivia!

I slept till 10 this morning (apparently, the trick to being able to sleep in is to go to bed at 3 am) and then went right to the gym because I had so much energy from all that extra food last night! I did 30 minutes steps, legs on the machines, and 30 minutes elliptical. The whole thing took about an hour and 45 minutes and I burned just under 800 calories, but honestly, I’m looking forward to when the half marathon is over and behind me and I can put an end to this cardio-loading (and the inadvertent yet not unrelated carb-loading). It’s taking a toll! With that in mind, I also spent some time this morning perusing YogaDork (an amazingly witty, sarcastic, and informative yoga blog, even for someone like me who has a somtimeslike-hate relationship with yoga) because I need to find more body-friendly ways to exercise!

What is too much for you right now?