A relaxing night & a blog award!

Don’t forget to enter the Pecan Pumpkin Butter Giveaway!  You have until Wednesday (12/17/08) at 9pm PST to leave a comment.

The lovely Julia @ Santa Barbara Dreaming passed me this sweet award:

Thank you so much Julia!  I love your blog too.  I’m going to pass it on to Andrea @ Bella Eats [And Runs] and Biz @ Biggest Diabetic Loser. These ladies both made some delicious baked goods this weekend (Peppermint Scones and a Panettone!) so go check them out.

For snacks today I had more cinnamon toast, grapes, a persimmon, more grapes, and possibly an apple.  I don’t remember about the apple.

We were going to get Vietnamese for dinner but at the last minute decided to stay in.  I made myself a whole acorn squash (cut into fries) and topped it with organic ketchup.  I also had steamed broccoli with s&p and smart balance.  And a few bites of Bobby’s mac and cheese (unpictured) with veggie ground meat.

After dinner I had 2 apples (this is just one) with lemon juice and cinnamon, microwaved.  We also split a vitabrownie.  These guys are too good.  I should go out and buy more.  Just FYI, I found mine in the frozen section of Safeway if you’re looking.

Okay, I’m off to watch TV and snuggle with my sweetie.  Good night!

Holidays, parties, desserts OH MY!

Don’t forget to enter the Pecan Pumpkin Butter Giveaway!  You have until Wednesday (12/17/08) at 9pm PST to leave a comment.

Yesterday we went to two holiday parties – Bobby’s (for Microsoft) and mine!  We went to mine first (they started at the same time), but things hadn’t picked up 1.5 hours into the party, so we decided to head over to Bobby’s.  We were planning on going back to mine after Bobby’s was over, but we didn’t really have the energy when the time came.  Here’s my outfit:

Bobby’s company rented out this huge building and had a themed event with lots of awesome multicultural food.  At this point I’d just been snacking on veggies and guac (at mine) so we decided to eat.  I got lots of veggie curry (mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, chickpeas) and this tropical fruit salad (pineapple, avocado (!), melons, mango, and some light creamy sauce).  I went back for lots of plates.

I wasn’t really planning on having desserts because they were all really sugary, but that plan went out the window after I had my first bite of chocolate cherry brownie.  I think I must have consumed at least a day’s worth of calories in desserts, but… it was worth it.  I usually eat so well that I think it’s okay to splurge once in a while.  I did wake up feeling sick and sweaty in the middle of the night, so I don’t think I’m going to overdose on sugar again in the near future.  Or at least I hope I don’t.

Backing up a bit…

Bobby and I headed into the city (San Francisco) in the early afternoon and ate lunch at our favorite Japanese deli – Delica RF-1 in the Ferry Building.  We got very similar meals.  I got:

  • hijiki&soybean salad – description from site – Hijiki (seaweed rich in calcium, iron, and fiber) mixed with dried soybeans, edamame, konnyaku (mountain potato), daikon, wild mizuna, fried tofu, and kuko (wolfberry).
  • burdock and lotus root salad – A spicy mix of braised burdock and konnyaku (mountain potato) tossed with thin slices of white onion, celery, julienne carrots, and wild mizuna.
  • wasabi garlic potato salad (so good – I’m scared of potatoes and don’t usually order them but this was delicious, and not too too heavy) – Garlic potato salad with wasabi mayonnaise, edamame, snap peas, and romaine hearts.

Bobby got:

  • wasabi garlic potato salad
  • burdock and lotus root salad
  • sweet&spicy chicken – Marinated chicken, lightly fried, served with sweet & spicy sauce.

Later on Bobby got a bread bowl of tomato soup (vegetarian) and I had some of that as well.  We got the bowl on the side so we could dip it instead.  I also got this great diet black cherry soda (sweetened with Splenda; this is the first diet soda for me in almost 3 weeks!).

This morning I woke up feeling better after the massive desserts and headed down to the gym for an hour of walking on the treadmill.  It was nice.  I actually enjoy walking on a treadmill (but can’t stand running on one – too boring) and I watched this documentary about a con artist who called himself Christopher Rockefeller.  He’s French.  I think con artists are usually brilliant, even though they are insane.

Before heading back to Mountain View (by train) we picked up breakfast.  I got the perfect oatmeal from Starbucks.  It was good!  I added a bunch of spices (nutmeg, chocolate, and vanilla) and enjoyed it a lot.  I didn’t add the brown sugar that’s pictured.  I also added some tea (Berryblossom White, my favorite flavour at Starbucks) to the oatmeal to make it creamier because I forgot to add milk while I was still in the shop!

Once back in Mountain View, we stopped at the farmers’ market (it’s held in the train station parking lot) and I got some loose green grapes for $1/pound.  I took them home and made lunch – raspberry lowfat yogurt (a little more than a cup), a cup of grapes, and a thick HEEL slice (the best) of cinnamon sugar toast!  I saw this on Hil’s blog the other day and I’ve been craving it ever since.

I’m hoping to do some yoga and maybe some more walking later today.  And tonight we have plans to get Vietnamese food.  I’m excited!  Oh, and there were apples today and yesterday, but you guys can just assume that I’m always having apples because I eat them so often that I forget to take pics or even mention them 🙂  Have a lovely Sunday!

Back to the grind!


This morning I woke up to do a quickie yoga routine.  I found this new site by an instructor named Eion Finn.  Cool name right?  That link has a bunch of free podcasts ranging from 25 minutes to 1.5 hours.  I have done one 25-minute and I liked it a lot.  It’s not as vigorous as some of the yogadownload.com sessions, but it is still a decent workout.  It’s perfect for gently waking up or a nighttime practice.


  • 1 cup of raspberry lowfat yogurt
  • 1 hot vitabrownie
  • (mashed together)
  • 1 apple

After breakfast I went for a walk (1 hour, first finishing my book – Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin – and then on the phone with momma then dada).


  • 2 large plates of Greek salad (with feta): sliced tomatoes, romaine, hot peppers, onions, and other typical Greek salad toppings.
  • No dressing (feta was enough)
  • Apple on the side


  • Another apple (3 for the day…)
  • Warmed Chocolate Brownie Zbar (I think I have Zbars every day.  They are too good.)


After work I did a 1.5 hour Ashtanga yoga class!  I took the same class on Wednesday after work as well.  The teacher is fantastic and I love it.  I might buy a membership to this studio.  For now I just bought 10 classes that expire in a year.  The studio is Yoga is Youthfulness in downtown Mountain View.  My teacher is Mojdeh.  Her main critique of my self-taught yoga was that I need to learn to tame my flexibility.


For dinner I had to cook up a squash that was starting to mold. I cut off the small part that had the mold and baked it up into squash fries.  I made a meal of it, topped with organic ketchup. Bobby had food that I brought home from work today – Greek stuff.


  • 2 apples (is this seriously 5 apples in a day)
  • A couple T of peanut butter.  I think peanut butter will always be my favorite nut butter.  I do enjoy almond butter and I have a gigantic jar in my fridge, but in the end – every time I have PB I reconfirm it as the best.

Like my spoon?  I got it at Crate&Barrel.  I also got a cute blue appetizer spoon.  The bowl is from there too.

Bobby and I are watching Amelie now.  It’s one of our favorites.  I adore French, Italian, and German movies because I speak those languages (at diff levels).

What’s your favorite movie?

Giveaway! (Pumpkin Pecan Butter)

This contest is closed.  See HERE for the announcement of the winner.

Do you remember this dessert from last week?

The star of this dessert was the Pecan Pumpkin Butter.  Because it is so delicious, and I am so kind, I decided to run out to Williams Sonoma and buy an extra jar of Pecan Pumpkin Butter to give away to one lucky reader.

Ingredients: pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, apple juice, pecans, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  The picture is from the Williams Sonoma website.

Contest ends Wednesday, December 17th @ 9pm Pacific Time.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment.  To earn additional entries you can…


  1. Add me to your blogroll (or let me know if I’m already on it).  Just send me an email letting me know!
  2. Post about the contest and link back to this entry (email me to make sure I see it).


My email is magpie707 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Hooray for pumpkin!

Lara… balls!

When I saw Angela make Banana Bread Larabars I knew I had to try them. Go check out her blog!  She is fantastic.

I changed the recipe a little – I used prunes instead of dates, and peanuts instead of almonds.  And my peanuts were roasted.  I also changed the shape just a little, as you can probably tell from my title 😀  I gave them a new name…

Banana Cookie Lara Balls


  • 1/2 cup dried banana (2 bananas worth)
  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 2/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (raw is fine too, I just didn’t have any)


  1. Slice the bananas and cook them in the oven at 200F for 3-4 hours.  They should get thin and chewy.
  2. Chop the prunes.
  3. Process bananas and prunes in a food processor for 20-30 seconds or until they form a big ball of mush.  Remove and set aside.
  4. Process the peanuts in the food processor until they’re crumbly.  Probably 20-30 seconds here.
  5. Mush together the prune/banana paste and the crushed peanuts with your hands until you get a big ball.
  6. Using a Tablespoon measurer, make balls out of the batter.  Roll them in your hands to make them more spherical.
  7. Place them between layers of saran wrap and smoosh with the bottom of your measuring cup.  Now they look like cookies!
  8. Refrigerate and EAT.

My recipe made 10 of these little guys.  The nutritionals are excellent.  Each cookie ball contains: 98 kcalories, 5 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 6.5 grams of sugar, and 2.8 grams of protein.

They are great (and almost gone)!  I was nervous about using prunes instead of dates, but I think I like them even better than Larabars.  Bobby completely agrees.  What do you think?

Up next – A GIVEAWAY!  Check back in tomorrow.  For now, you can check out ZestyCook’s blog for a $100 Amazon gift card giveaway.