Food

I have a bunch of food pics collected on my phone that I need to share. So here we are.

Peanut butter topped waffles with a drizzle of honey and fruit.

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A bowl of oats mixed with peanut butter and blueberries.

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Crockpot cherry oats with walnuts and fresh banana.

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Shrimp, cheesy orzo, spinach, and a salad.

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Cod with some greens and rice.

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I was very much into the cheesy orzo for a bit. This time around served with chicken tenders and broccoli.

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Alfredo pasta with sausage, red pepper, zucchini, and spinach.14B535B1-911F-4E75-A8E4-3923F11A331A

BBQ steak nachos with a spinach salad.

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Cooking With Amy Poehler (Okay, I’m Lying)

I’ve made a series of excellent life choices today and they either pertain to food or Amy Poehler.

Let’s start with food.

Breakfast was one egg scrambled and cheesed, with peanut butter toast and fruit. Remember those strawberries I thought I lost? They were as sweet as ever.

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Lunch was a delicious sandwich with carrots and hummus on the side, which I didn’t photograph.

For dinner, I made my first meatballs!

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These bad hombres include ground beef, mozzarella, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning.

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And the final touches to a delicious meal.

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Along with a glass of wine and Ron Swanson time.

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(I mean, is this a perfectly timed picture- yes, I think so).

Also a perfect segue way into my other excellent choices inspired by Amy Poehler. I’ve restarted watching Parks and Recreation because, excellent show.

Such a concept was inspired by my decision to listen to Amy Poehler’s audiobook of her book, Yes Please. I read the amazing memoir when it first came out, but it has been a great addition to my daily commute, both to make me feel happy and inspired in the morning and get a solid laugh in the evening. Listening to her speak her written words hits me in a positive way, both as a woman and a young professional seeking a career in writing, comedy, and television.

I want to be Amy Poehler when I grow up- she is one nasty woman!

At the gym, I knocked out some chest, back, and core exercises before spinning it out for a dose of cardio. My dinner was earned.

It’s Friday, friends! Let those feel-good Friday vibes wash over.

Hello, Have You Seen My Pool?

The snow banks are officially taller than I am. This is startling in how fast and furious it came. People were actually complaining about the lack of snow mid-January and then BOOM a snow cloud exploded. I’m just about 5’3 and though that isn’t a lot of a person, it’s a lot of snow. This particular bank is way over my head, like three of me, but look at that gorgeous sunset! photoMac was intimidated by the huge snow banks and stayed out of the picture.

As I glance outside sipping on my cup of tea and enjoying a homemade chocolate chip cookie, I’m reminded of the days of summer where the sun was shining, the ground was clear, and I had a pool. It’s still there, kind of, but it’s been eaten by snow. If cold, slushy water is your thing, then good for you, but personally, I find it difficult to jump in when the temperature is 80 degrees. Don’t judge me! I’m sensitive.photo

In other news, I’m not too thrilled with my new WordPress app. It’s not posting when I schedule it and all of the text is showing segmented together instead of the paragraphs I write them in! I guess I’ll just have to play around with it a bit more. Is it too much to ask for things to be intuitive?!

Some of you may be wondering where yesterday’s Rave Review Tuesday was and for that, I apologize, because you didn’t miss it. I just didn’t write one. In my”free” time, I’ve been devoting my energies to writing. It’s a positive thing that I’ve been so consistent with my writing, but I need to learn how to balance. I’m in the middle of two different books right now, so hopefully I can finish those up soon. I also haven’t seen a movie in a long time. For me, watching a new television show is a commitment, especially on Netflix, so I’m staying away from the for awhile. I already miss Veep and can’t wait until April! Long story short, I’ll resume Rave Reviews once I consume something to write about!

Though I’m trying to complain less about the snow, it can’t be ignored because it affects so much of daily life. This morning, thanks to my neighbor, I was able to fit in a quality at-home workout. After a body strength routine with the usual squats/lunges/push ups/etc, I jumped on the treadmill and got through a 45-minute run/walk type thing. My legs are sore, even after the rest day yesterday, due to the increase in running. It felt good to work up a sweat and to start my day with a workout!

Breakfast today was pumpkin French toast, topped of course with peanut butter, jelly, and shredded coconut. The pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon work together to make this breakfast delectable, but it still borders on healthy with whole wheat bread, eggy batter, and peanut butter for protein! Such a combination keeps me full throughout the morning.

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Lunch came together quickly thanks to an assortment of leftovers. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to find any Brussels sprouts in the fridge, but the roasted cauliflower and butternut squash combination sufficed. Along with my veggie fix, I ate a piece of blackened salmon and dove into the rest of the macaroni and cheese. Seriously, it’s so good.

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With the roads finally clearing, my sister Lauren and her fiancee Nick came over for a Chinese food dinner. To go along with this indulgent dinner, I chopped and steamed a variety of vegetables- spinach, peppers, zucchini, and carrots- and enjoyed some brown rice. The good thing about me and Chinese food is that when I overeat it, I feel shaky, so I am apt to pay more attention to my body’s signals.

If you would allow me one last note on the snow, I must say, it’s amazing that I haven’t fallen yet. That being said, I totally just jinxed myself. The walking is terrible out! I went from my house to my neighbor’s house and I was walking so slow. Not just because it’s slippery but because it’s hard to walk in snow and slop. I’ve seen a few brave runners trekking it in the snow, but I do not have the coordination for that. I would definitely slip, fall, and get run over by a car.

To end on a positive note, we are already a good chunk into February, which means once we are halfway into March, the weather should improve, BASEBALL will be on its way back- I know for a fact that the Red Sox are looking to make up for last year’s dismal season to me personally in the form of the handsome new pitcher Rick Porcello–Lester who?- and I have a couple of exciting things coming that we’ll have to talk about when they happen.

Keep the good mood grooving!

What I’ve Been Eating This Week

I started my week off with delicious pancakes and berries. I had run out of my white chocolate peanut butter, so it was extra dark chocolate peanut butter in and on top of these pancakes. Still good!

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This was a warm baked bowl of pumpkin oatmeal filled with apple chunks, raisins, dates, banana, and cinnamon.

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I had more scrambled eggs mixed with cottage cheese and though they were good, they weren’t as good as I remembered from the week before. I’m still learning how long to cook them to perfection.

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Using some leftover pumpkin, I grilled up some French toast and topped it with peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut. I know, I’m so predictable.

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Here are some more pancakes, this time topped with white chocolate peanut butter- equally delicious!

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I needed a fast breakfast on Saturday morning, so I went with toast topped with regular peanut butter and jelly. I enjoyed this with half a banana and some berries.

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Sunday morning, I was gifted with the pumpkin pancakes. I couldn’t even tell they were gluten free! My sister and her fiancée made them and I smeared some peanut butter on top.

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This lunch was an assortment of colors and flavors. It included both black beans and chickpeas, corn, avocado, peppers, carrots, and spinach served with shredded cheese, brown rice, and barbecue sauce. So good!

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This sandwich was very fancy. Here you see it from above served with veggie sticks on the side.

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Here is a close up view of the chicken, cheese, tomato, and spinach in which it was stuffed.

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I had lunch out with my friend Molly and got this delicious blackened salmon salad and some tortilla chips and salsa on the side.

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This was another delectable stir fry, this time with chicken, black beans, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, peppers, and whole wheat bow tie pasta.

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I made this salad as a sort of surf and turf combination, topped with a piece of salmon and leftover short rib. It was delicious and filling.

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After Yoga with my sister on Saturday, we went out for a very late brunch/dinner kind of thing. I chose an omelet stuffed with smoked bacon, peppers, and muenster cheese. The toast and potatoes were also amazing.

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Sunday, I was still stuffed from breakfast, so I went with a cup of Greek yogurt mixed with pomegranate seeds. This is a juicy and tasty combination.

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This dinner was a chicken, zucchini, parsnip, spinach, and pepper stir fry served with the most amazing baked sweet potato fries. They were spicy and sweet and incredible.

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This dinner was some steak and salad with a roasted vegetable medley, including cauliflower, carrots, and parsnips.

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Short ribs in the slow cooker with barbecue sauce is amazing. I had mine with brown rice and broccoli.

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This was a spinach salad with chicken, celery, carrots, pepper, and mixed with poppyseed dressing.

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Brunch was so filling that we didn’t end up eating dinner. On Sunday, I came home to some chicken Parmesan, spaghetti, brushetta, zucchini, pepper, and mushrooms.

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Food Made Delicious

This week’s meals kick off with a bowl of stove top oats. It has been quite cold inside now, though outside it may still be warm. I’m definitely ready for the chilly weather and my warm meals and affinity for wearing sweatshirts and sweaters proves this. This bowl of oats included a tablespoon of maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, and blueberries among the usual ingredients. Not too sweet and very satisfying.

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I was craving eggs of the scrambled variety, so I whipped up two with a dollop of milk and then topped it with cheese. This was enjoyed with a dark picture of assorted fruits and a grilled slice of my homemade zucchini bread! Instead of oil, I used apple sauce and subbed whole wheat flour for the white kind. It was so moist and yummy.

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Up next came my favorite, go-to pancake recipe. These are topped with peanut butter (of course), jelly, and toasted coconut and served with fresh, beautiful berries.

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Another oatmeal day included chocolate peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries, and banana. Again topped with a swirl of jelly and toasted coconut. I can’t get enough!

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Peanut butter toast was on the menu one day, the usual served with a healing bowl of fresh fruit. Simple, yet delightful.

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When my college roommate came to visit this weekend, I knew what I needed to serve, pumpkin anything. I decided on the French toast recipe I developed last week. For my bread, I chose one piece of whole wheat sour dough and another cinnamon raisin. Unpictured are the strawberries, raspberries, and grapes I devoured on the side. Obviously these were enjoyed with my usual topping.

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I ended my breakfasts for the week with two eggs over easy, with a little cheese, buttered toast with jam, and a side of fruit.

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My first lunch was a bit of a stir fry fail. I get too over enthusiastic about vegetables so I couldn’t finish it all, and the salmon and chickpeas I used were past their freshness and I had tone at around them! The whole wheat bow tie pasta was the best part!

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Since I had eaten eggs for breakfast, I was missing my peanut butter fix, so for lunch I decided on a peanut buttered English muffin and veggie sticks with hummus. Light, filling, and so good!

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Leftovers always make for am easy, great lunch. This includes whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and a variety of veggies mixed with homemade marinara sauced and topped with cheese.

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Leftover pizza in general is the best gift. I quickly chopped up a healthy salad to accompany my slices and loved my meal.

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Oh, this is awkward. Another day, another pizza lunch. Again served with salad and again enjoyed with immense fervor.

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Okay, this is getting embarrassing. At the very least, this version is homemade and much healthier. And I served it with carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes so that’s not quite a salad. Don’t judge me.

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Phew, my last lunch was a chicken kebab salad enjoyed out with my siblings. I saved face there. For now at least.

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My first dinner this week was some steak tossed with peppers and mushrooms and topped with cheese. I opted for some tortilla chips instead of a flour tortilla, threw on some sour cream, and enjoyed a side of spinach and cabbage.

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Whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and veggies came next with a Caesar salad, which I had been craving for some reason. I love this colorful, delicious dish!

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The next night, my sister and her fiancé came over for dinner so we ordered pizza and I made a huge salad. This week we got suckered into the Roosevelt special on PBS, which was excellent, but it’s hard to watch something on a weeknight that’s two hours long with no commercial breaks! Conversation was limited that night.

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To offset all that pizza floating about, we had grilled chicken over a salad the next night. I had to eat this quickly in order to get to kickball, but it was light and yummy fuel for the game. Of course it was enjoyed with a side of toast.

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I went out on Friday with my friends Stephanie and Katie to a Greek place. The service was not great, but the food was fantastic! This was a beef kebab with peppers, rice, and a big Greek salad. Hummus and pita enjoyed on the side.

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Another big salad for dinner before the ghost tour I mentioned in my last post. This included grilled chicken over mixed greens, veggies, peanuts, and a few tortilla strips which I handed off the majority to Stephanie. Very flavorful. For some reason, the peanuts were my favorite part…

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My meals were topped off this week with a perfectly grilled cheeseburger on an English muffin, broccoli, and the sweetest, freshest corn picked up from a farm. I also had a couple of chips for the salt factor.

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Another great week of eating!

Mindful Eating, Good Food Takes Time

The big thing about food and eating that I think we do bring a lot of times is we cut quality options in favor of convenience. I get that there are simply never enough hours in the day, but eating and cooking should be enjoyable processes. I would say most of my meals don’t take up more than twenty minutes at a time and there are always ways in which to plan ahead of time! This is one facet of my life where mindfulness and care has really worked.

Here’s what I ate this week!

I started my week off with some delicious pancakes topped with toasted coconut because I can and it appears more indulgent that way.

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Since I worked the polls and had to be up bright and early, I prepared a batch of baked oats for both my mom and myself. This recipe includes pumpkin purée, maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, pumpkin spice, dates, and mashed banana. It was rich, gooey, filling, and energizing the next day heated up!

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To add to the pumpkin festivities, I threw some pumpkin purée into a mixture of egg whites, milk, and pumpkin spice, drenched two pieces of my favorite whole wheat sour dough bread and grilled them up for some fancy French toast. On their own they were divine.

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But with some chocolate peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut on top, they were another level.

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More oatmeal, this time of the stove top variety with my regular peanut butter and jelly and more toasted coconut. It’s kind of a thing now. I love hot oatmeal on a cool morning.

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Here we have more pancakes, but not my usual recipe. I researched online and found a great whole wheat and oat pancake concoction and of course topped them with more peanut butter, jelly, and coconut. I’m still learning the quirks of the new stove top, but the browning didn’t affect the taste!

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Toast topped with peanut butter never goes wrong, especially if you need a quick, portable breakfast as I did on Saturday. Filling, healthy, and energizing, especially when accompanied with fruit.

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I ended my week with two over easy eggs with some toast topped with butter and jelly and a big bowl of fruit. Divine.

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Lunches this week included many fancy salads. This one includes chickpeas, tons of fresh produce, cinnamon pecans, and a side of leftover zucchini fries and a piece of toast. I’m loving the new salad bowls!

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I had to create something fast, healthy, and delicious on Tuesday and thanks to leftovers, I was up for the challenge. Chickpeas, mushrooms, and peppers over brown rice and a side of more zucchini fries and asparagus.

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Another salad quickly, though lovingly tossed together with fresh vegetables and feta cheese and a cup of Chobani coconut yogurt and some chopped up pecans.

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Unknowing that pizza was also going to be dinner, I thought I would try something other than a salad and grilled myself an English muffin pizza with sauce and cheese, broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini on the side as well as some cheezits.

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A leftover piece of pizza and a big salad was in order for Friday. I’m not sure there is a better food combination than pizza and salad. Oh wait, peanut butter and jelly…. Peanut butter and chocolate….

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On Saturday, I met up with some of my family for a lunch outing. Fried seafood is not my thing, but I did enjoy a nice burger and a couple of fries. The buttered, grilled roll makes the difference! An amazing peanut butter Oreo ice cream cone pretty much completed my eating for the day, but I forgot to snap a picture!

Lunch was a bit strange on Sunday because I ate it in different parts. First was a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with chopped banana and blueberries as well as a cup of yogurt. After my workout I had a big salad and a bowl of popcorn.

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For dinners, I had lemon chicken smothered in mushrooms, brown spinach rice, and asparagus.

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Whole wheat vegetable lasagna with some marinara and chicken sausage on top and sautéed spinach on the side was perfect after a long day.

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Next came a piece of steak covered in peppers with a baked potato with a dollop of butter and sour cream, and some grilled broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini.

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Girls night included take out pizza, a toasted ravioli, and a chicken wing. I also had some leftover broccoli, which I forced myself to eat before enjoying another slice of pizza.

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Chipotle honey BBQ salmon with a piece of Mexican street corn and grilled zucchini and summer squash was enjoyed at a restaurant with my parents. It was hard to opt for the veggies instead of rice or beans, but since I enjoy chips and salsa more, I knew it was the right choice.

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After that sizable lunch on Saturday, I wasn’t feeling a full fledged dinner. Instead I had some popcorn with my cousin Mikey who tried to teach me how to play this video game thing that I’m still confused by.

On Sunday, since my eating had been so spaced out, I was craving peanut butter and jelly on toast for dinner and went for it. Sometimes you gotta have what’s calling to you!

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Though I missed one this week, we have to admit that I’m getting way better at remembering to snap pictures before I dig into my meals!

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