Random December List.

Random thoughts and things.

1) I got back from my trip to India on Sunday morning. Amazing trip. I was in Hyderabad for work for ~8 days (it’s a city in the south of India – in the state of Andhra Pradesh). JFK–>DEL the previous Saturday (after a 5 hour delay at JFK due to plane malfunctions – thanks Air India – a 14 hour flight total), did sightseeing on Sunday in Delhi, and then took a short 2 hour flight DEL–>HYD. Worked with an incredible team all week long, and then began the journey back to JFK this past Saturday. Two unexpected things about this trip to India: 1) I didn’t get to do any yoga aside from sun salutations in my hotel room and 2) there are way fewer vegetarians than I expected. I was just about full VEG for the whole trip. (I think I had a chicken sandwich in the airport on the first day.)

ACTION

(A sign at Golconda Fort, in Hyderabad – ha! I thought it was funny.)

2) Home renovations are still in progress. I am still very excited about them, but at this point I am getting very anxious to get my kitchen and bathroom back. Showering at the gym is getting old, fast. It’s been over a month now! I think we started on 11/14.

3) More travel plans this week. Bobby and I are going to visit his family in Miami and we leave on Thursday. Construction will continue while we are gone – and hopefully be nearing completion by the time we return. ::Fingers crossed:: Cats are headed to New Jersey.

4) I have only gotten to 4 yoga classes this month so far. But then again, I have only been home for ~8 days of the month so far, so this is actually a good record: one class every other day. Hoping to get to one more before we go to Miami (Wednesday morning?), and 2 more after we return. Bobby has been going with me because he joined my same yoga studio. ::Happy dance::

5) After Miami, we are going to NJ the following weekend to visit my family. Hectic hectic month!

6) I am obsessed with candles. I recently bought this avocado mint candle and this frosted maple candle from Anthropologie (not only do they have beautiful clothes, but they have wonderfully aromatic candles). I also have 3 from this line (also at Anthro).

alexei-frosted-maple-candle-anthropologie

(^^frosted maple^^)

avocado-mint-candle-anthropologie

(^^avocado & mint^^)

whipped-cream-pear-candle-anthropologie

(^^whipped cream & pear^^)

7) My favorite breakfast as of late has been a sugarless berry scone from Butterfield Bakery (unsweetened – not with fake sugar). These things are gigantic but somehow I manage to finish them. On the days I don’t get a scone I get either a fresh croissant (also from Butterfield) or a whole wheat bagel with butter from the deli around the corner.

butterfield-sugarless-scone

8) My heart goes out to the families affected by the terrible school shooting in Connecticut.

I think that is all I have for now. I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season so far. Wish I could spend more of it in New York – NYC at Christmastime is one of my favorite things.

{Fun} Birthday Quiz & Perfect Weekend

I saw this survey on debbie’s blog a few days ago and I couldn’t resist.

The Birthday Quiz

A. Age: 26 as of yesterday.
B. Bed size: Queen.
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the litter box. (Thanks hon, for relieving me of this duty 9 times out of 10! Love you much.)
D. Dogs: None. (2 cats!)
E. Essential start to your day: Stumptown coffee with milk and stevia; toast with butter; alone time.
F. Favorite color: Purple.
G. Gold or Silver: Platinum.
H. Height: 5’10”
I. Instruments you play: Piano (but not lately) and I sing soprano in 2 choirs (sop 1 in one choir, sop 2 in the other).
J. Job title: Software engineer. (I’m a web developer at a marketing company.)
K. Kids: Someday… soon?
L. Live: NYC – UES.
M. Mother’s name: Same as mine! Different nickname though.
N. Nicknames: Maggie, Meg, Magpie, Mags.
O. Overnight hospital stays: None that I know of. When I was born I guess.
P. Pet peeves: chewing with your mouth open. Having to repeat myself because you weren’t listening. These are the general yous, not you the reader specifically 😉
Q. Quote from a movie: “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” — Dumbledore (in the HP movie)
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: 2 – a younger brother (3 years younger) and a younger sister (6.5 years younger).
T. Time you wake up: Generally sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 am. Later if I had a late night.
U. Underwear: Uniqlo.
V. Vegetable you hate: Hrm… none? I used to hate baby corn but I love it now. I don’t really like mushy peas, does that count?
W. What makes you run late: Sometimes I start cleaning and I get distracted and I end up looking at the time and I should have left for work 30 minutes ago. Or getting back in bed in the morning to snuggle with Bobby before I go.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: At the dentist (many times – a little less than yearly I think) and at the chiropractor once.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Everything? Hehe – I kid, I kid. I made a pretty good broccoli soup last week, and I have been making some yummy gazpacho this summer. I make good eggs with goat cheese and I also make killer roasted veggies.
Z. Zoo animal: I don’t believe in zoos.

I had a great birthday weekend. Friday night I took Friday Night Flow at Pure with my Ashtanga teacher (I haven’t been to ashtanga in a while). Then I met up with Bobby and we grabbed a quick dinner at Kobeyaki – think Chipotle but for Japanese food. I got the shrimp teriyaki on brown rice and a seaweed salad on the side. (B got the chicken teriyaki and a beer.)

We later hit up Rockwood (a live music place with a bar) and saw the Delta Saints – I’d never heard of them but they were awesome. They are from Nashville, TN. I listened to their stuff online when we got back but they were much better live, so if you ever have a chance to see them definitely go. They are incredibly talented. The singer’s voice is great, the guitarist is great, the bassist too, the drummer, and there is another guy who plays a bunch of random instruments including harmonica – he was awesome too.

Saturday I went to hot yoga in the morning, sat at a bank doing stuff for my co-op (I’m on the board), and my mom came into town for the day. We got a delicious lunch at Pret a Manger – love this place. My mom told them it was my birthday (embarrassing! kind of) and they gave me a cookie. I got the turkey-basil-hummus wrap and a decaf.

We went out to Brooklyn where we met up with Bobby’s cousins (from Japan). Walked around a bit, then came back to the city. That evening was pretty chill.

Then this morning we went to Le Pain Quotidien with my mom (I got a soft-boiled egg and bread) before she headed back to NJ. B and I went to central park and tossed a frisbee around and I did some yoga in the park. We walked around before coming home. It’s a gorgeous day in NYC today. Crisp and cool (not too cool), not humid, sunny – the perfect weather. We stopped at Williams Sonoma and got a few kitchen items, and grabbed dogs at Grey’s Papaya before heading back to our apartment.

Now that I’m home, honestly I want to take a nap! But I think I will do some food prep for the week and maybe do some reading.

All in all a lovely weekend. It is SO nice to have almost nothing planned for once. I have got to stop booking up my free time. I am very content to meander with my husband and just enjoy not having anything specific to do.

What did you do this weekend? Do you overbook yourself? What are your answers to the quiz?

Apple Squash Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Whole Wheat, No Sugar) Recipe

Apple Squash Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Whole Wheat, No Sugar) Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups squash puree (homemade steamed + mashed kabocha squash)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate extract (or other extract of choice)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (or: 1 cup oat bran + 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 cup white flour)
  • 1.5 cups finely chopped apple
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon (apple pie spice)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or other nut)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375F, grease or butter a large flat baking pan.
  • In large bowl, combine oil, squash puree, eggs, and extract – mix well.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, apple, salt, cinnamon, and sunflower seeds.
  • Add dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients; you can mix it with your (clean) hands if that is easier than with a spoon.
  • Spread dough (it’s thick) onto the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Makes 24 bars.

Prep time: 15 minutes.

Cook time: 45 minutes.

113 calories per bar.

Cook’s note: try serving it spread with butter or whipped cream cheese.

Spinach & Potato Frittata Recipe

Recipe based on a recipe from Delilah’s Farm via the Fruit Guys.

 

Spinach & Potato Frittata Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced potato (yellow fingerling)
  • heaping 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions + 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • fresh salt  & pepper

Directions

  • preheat oven to 375F
  • heat ghee over medium heat in an oven-proof skillet (if you don’t have one, just transfer to a baking dish before the last step)
  • saute scallions + garlic for 2 minutes
  • add potatoes, large pinch of salt, small pinch of pepper, and cook until potatoes are cooked through, stirring frequently (~8 minutes)
  • add spinach, cook and stir for 1 minute
  • add eggs, mix together, turn off heat
  • sprinkle cheese then remaining 1T scallions on top
  • bake in the oven until eggs are set and top is slightly browned (~30 minutes)

Serves 3-4. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 45 minutes.

Cook’s note: you can serve this with ketchup, salsa, guacamole, hummus, or any other sauce you like. You can also make these into individual frittatas using muffin tins (cook for just ~20 minutes instead); serve on a muffin or bagel as a breakfast sandwich. For an appetizer use mini muffin tins (~15 minutes).

Simple Lunch Stirfry Recipe and Siggi’s Probiotic Breakfast Review

i made this stir-fry for lunch yesterday (Tuesday, 1/24):

I decided to bring my lunch to work this week. We do have a cafeteria at the office, but it’s not that healthy. This stirfry is made up of:

  • broccoli + broccoli stalk (you don’t have to throw that part out – it’s great sauteed)
  • red pepper
  • can of tuna
  • frozen corn
  • fresh cilantro
  • garlic + chili powder
  • cooked in bacon fat (I save this each time I make bacon)

I had a sesame bagel alongside the stirfry.

I also vowed to bring breakfast. I normally shy away from drinking my calories, but I have found several drinks to be quite delicious as of late, in particular:

This is Siggi’s probiotic drinkable non-fat yogurt in plain (it also comes in strawberry). I don’t like siggi’s greek yogurt (too thick) but I did find this drinkable yogurt to have a good consistency (not too thick, not too thin — just right!) and flavor. I added some cinnamon to mine before drinking up. Only 45 calories in this small bottle which leaves plenty of room for other breakfast goodies like no-sugar scones.

What do you put in stirfrys? Do you drink your calories or save them for chewing?