Posts Tagged ‘brunch’

{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?

How to Maintain Good Health (Cafe) Habits

Good health is important.

For me good health includes:

It also includes frequenting Good Health Cafe. Here are some of the things that we have gotten on recent treks to the ever popular restaurant. (Thank you so much Gaby for introducing it to me! And now I have taken Coco there too. Links: Gaby’s meetup; Coco’s visit.)

When Coco visited, we went for brunch (this was this past Saturday). I got an omelette (whole eggs please) with seasonal vegetables. The vegetables included kabocha squash (!) which made my day. There were also zucchini and carrots; I cannot remember anything else though. It came with a side salad and that amazing carrot-ginger dressing. I need to recreate it; Coco did so I will use her recipe. In addition to the dressing, I also used ketchup. (My ketchup recipe here.)

Note: Technically neither eggs nor tomatoes are macrobiotic, but for me being macrobiotic means being balanced. I do consider this a macrobiotic meal because it is dairy-free and organic and I ate it mindfully.

The weekend before last, Bobby and I also went there for brunch. We are creatures of habit; we like what we like and sometimes trying new places can be disappointing. I opted for the roasted vegetable salad (again, starring my favorite ingredient: kabocha squash) with grilled tofu and again that amazing carrot-ginger dressing. They brought the dressing on the side in a bowl and I ate so much of it. I think I actually had too much because my stomach did not feel so great after that. Eating 1/2 cup+ of an oil-based dressing will do that to you! Lesson learned. I think that I actually eat more dressing when I get it on the side, which sort of defeats the purpose. What are your thoughts on this?

Bobby got the vegetarian sausage link breakfast which came with a choice of scrambled tofu or scrambled eggs – he chose tofu. It also came with roasted potatoes, grilled mushrooms and onions, and a small salad.

And here is a closeup of a dinner side salad. I forget what night this was from but I know I haven’t posted it yet. I really like their appetizer salads; they are big enough, topped with delicious shredded carrots and cabbage, and come with the ubiquitous carrot-ginger dressing.

If I ever start cooking again I would love to cook like this.

When eating out ends up costing about the same as cooking in, I tend to eat out. In New York it can be expensive to cook for yourself, and there are so many healthy restaurant options here for me. And speaking of healthy options, I will give you a teaser about a new restaurant I tried during my birthday week that I will post about soon…

It’s Japanese, macrobiotic, and on the upper west side. Any guesses? I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the name.

Quick Yoga Update

Wednesday was the last day of my 30 Days of Yoga challenge. I noticed significant improvements in my practice, my body (arms), and in my life. Going forward I will not be doing yoga every day (and I did miss a few days during the challenge) but I will make sure to go to a few classes weekly.

What do you do to maintain good health?

Brunch at Sacred Chow (Again)

This morning I met up with 2 of my fellow New York bloggers – Marina and Missy. We get together for brunch every once in a while and we like to go to yummy vegetarian/vegan places. Today we headed down to Sacred Chow (I’ve been there with Bobby and my brother – sacred chow salad number 1, sacred chow salad number 2!).

Instead of salad I opted for a brunch special – I got the tofu scramble with fruit (instead of home fries) and salad with lemon-miso dressing (I think) ($13.75). Poor Marina ordered a glass of orange juice that came out to be $8 – ridiculous! The scramble was delicious though. I almost finished it (and of course finished the fruit and salad) and brought a few bites home for Bobby (he just ate it with toast). We actually all got the scramble. Last time we got together we all ordered the same thing too.

On my way home from brunch I picked up a decaf coffee at Whole Foods – no matter how much coffee I try, Whole Foods’ coffee is always my favorite. I like it with soy milk (just a splash) and Z-Sweet (a natural zero-calorie sweetener).

(Source.)

The coffee was hot, and it is *hot* again today (90s), so I poured it over ice when I got home and enjoyed a cooling fresh iced coffee.

Exercise of the day: the first part of Crunch: Burn & Firm Pilates (the cardio segment; ~35 minutes). The instructor is Ellen Barrett (again! yes she is my favorite!). This workout is a short warmup (<5 minutes), cardio (~30 minutes), and mat work (~10 minutes; I didn’t do this part). The cardio is with weights but I didn’t use weights (I don’t have them) and it was still a sweaty workout. This is yet another free Netflix exercise video. I also walked about 20 blocks or so (1 mile) to get to brunch from Union Square. Yesterday’s EotD was Ellen Barrett’s Self: Slim & Sleek, Fast! (again).

What do you do for exercise on the weekends? Do you stick to the same things you do during the week or do you play it by ear? I tend to do more walking on the weekends so I don’t always do a video/podcast.

Ketchup Versus Catsup

I made my ketchup recipe again this morning. I can’t get enough of these egg white omelettes I have been making.

This one did not come out as pretty as last week’s egg white omelette did. This is probably because I added in shredded zucchini to the egg whites and then started washing dishes instead of paying attention to the pan!

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg whites (organic, free range! I’m being strict about this)
  • shredded zucchini (too much – maybe a whole cup or so)
  • fresh basil from my dad’s garden (thanks Dad!)
  • 1 small chopped tomato (my favorite part about any omelette)
  • peanut oil for the pan (maybe 1/2 tablespoon; this is from Bell Plantation and it is awesome)
  • homemade ketchup (the best part!)

I mixed together the egg whites, zucchini, and basil. Then I heated up my wok (high heat), added peanut oil, and dumped in the egg white mix. I let that cook for a minute and dumped on the tomato, then attempted to fold it… And failed. It still tasted good, especially with the addition of my homemade ketchup. I have been adding sweetener to the ketchup (today it was honey) and so far my favorite way to sweeten it is with plain old white sugar. I think brown might be even better but unfortunately I am all out of it so I haven’t been able to try!

Ketchup versus Catsup (Cats):

I love my kitty-cats. Kabocha “Bo” is above; Couscous “Koos” is below.

Sometimes when I upload my pictures to blog I discover that Bobby has been photographing while I sleep! He tends to go to bed later than I do (I’m a midnight person and he’s a 3am person – but I would really prefer to be in bed by 10-11!).

What is your “bedtime”? I recently went to a workshop that emphasized the importance of getting to sleep before midnight, stopping eating around 8pm (so your body has time to digest before it sleeps), and stopping drinking around 9pm (so you don’t wake up because you have to pee!). The second two (eating, drinking) are both really hard for me to do. I tend to eat after dinner and I always have a big drink right before I sleep. I’d like to try this though and see if I feel any different.

Exercise of the day: Today Bobby and I walked together that same route I did the other day – up 5th Avenue next to Central Park. It was rather humid, but it was a nice walk. We just chatted and enjoyed this beautiful Fourth of July. Hope you are enjoying it too!

Saturday Secrets: Best Vegetarian Restaurants in New York

My first Saturday Secret is not a secret – it’s my fiance Bobby’s birthday. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) We had so much fun last night, first going to Kenka and following it up at Falucka Lounge (that’s really what it’s called!). We were with a few of our good friends and it was really fun. We ate things like this (both pics from Yelp):

The first thing is okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake-frittata-egg-thing-with-lots-of-mayo. See my healthier okonomiyaki recipe from April of last year (2009).

The second thing is omu-rice, which is fried rice hiding underneath an omelette (with lots of mayo). Kenka is one of Bobby’s favorite Japanese places – it’s essentially Japanese bar food. And it’s absolutely delicious, I might add. Not the healthiest place I have been to, but certainly delicious.

My second Saturday Secret is that you have until Monday to enter this contest. (Now closed.)

My third Saturday Secret is actually many Saturday Secrets. Here is a list of vegetarian/vegan/veg-friendly places that I either have been to or want to go to in New York:

Now I am off to take Bobby to brunch at this place. He doesn’t know where we are going yet.

What’s your favorite vegetarian restaurant? (In any city!)

Review: Sacred Chow Vegan Brunch (New York)

We’re back in New York (from our Miami trip)! More on that later though. The other day Bobby and I ended up going Sacred Chow, a vegan restaurant downtown.

Sacred Chow is organic, fair trade, sustainable, kosher, and vegan. And relatively inexpensive for what it offers. I cannot wait to go back. It’s located near NYU on Sullivan Street (between West 3rd and Bleecker). It’s right near Quantum Leap, Peanut Butter & Co., and probably a bunch of other cool places.

I was a salad girl and got the Tapa Salad ($12), which is their standard humongous salad (seasonal greens, shredded beets, shredded carrots, cucumbers) and a choice of any tapas dish. I got the honey mustard dressing, but it was just okay. I didn’t use much and instead used the dip that came with my side dish.

For my tapas side I chose the sauteed shiitake mushrooms, which were tender, juicy, and meaty. They came with a wonderful gluten-free South Indian Dip. I used all of it (for dipping and for my salad). So good.

Bobby got the Breakfast Sandwich ($12.75), which is a soy biscuit filled with tofu scramble (which spills out – there is so much) and tempeh bacon (actually yummy, even though I normally hate tempeh). It came with the largest side salad I have ever seen. The salad was a smaller version of mine.

Sure enough, after finishing (!) this, Bobby says, “Wow, I’m full.” Yes sweetie, that is what happens when you eat a salad. They honestly are filling. And not in that unpleasant too-many-carbs-filling way; salads fill you up in a comforting veggie-full way.

The scramble was the best scramble either of us had ever had, so we will definitely be going back. We also couldn’t get enough of my mushrooms. Next time I think we’ll get a few tapas (grilled western tofu, bbq seitan, root vegetable latkes, marinated raw kale) or maybe go for some of the other brunch selections (biscuits and gravy, omega-3 waffle).

Useful links:

Unfortunately we are currently laid up with the flu, so we are missing my coworker’s wedding. I’m getting better, but Bobby is now hitting the worst of it and is probably contagious. I’m sure it’ll be a beautiful wedding and they are so sweet. They’re honeymooning in Hawaii (just like us).

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Brunch at The Mudspot: Perfection

A few weeks (months?) ago (here) we went to The Mudspot with friends for brunch. It was delicious! This weekend Bobby and I took my mom there for brunch on Mothers Day. She absolutely loved it. I think she said it was the best meal she’s ever had.

Brunch ($12.95) comes with coffee (“mud”) and your choice of a mimosa, champagne, or orange juice.

We all got coffee; I got a mimosa, Bobby got orange juice, and my mom got champagne. The cups for water are small jars, which I love. I always drink out of jars (even smoothies).

My mom got the special, which was an omelette with tomato, basil, mozzarella, and prosciutto. Home fries on the side and the most amazing 5-grain bread I’ve ever had.

Bobby got the bagel and gravlax, which is a bagel with cream cheese, salmon, tomato, and onion. He got this last time too.

I got the big love salad, which is mixed greens, fresh goat cheese, guacamole, roasted peppers, pico de gallo, and roasted corn. I got the vinaigrette and the 5-grain toasted bread with butter. I want this bread! I asked and they said it is from Amy’s. Must go.

I’ve been mostly vegetarian lately, but haven’t been able to shake the cheese or butter. Not that I’m trying! Just something I noticed. I do like my cheese, especially goat cheese. And I adore butter on anything and everything. (The other thing that keeps me from being a full-on veg-head is shrimpies. I love my shrimpies.)

What’s your favorite brunch food? I like pancakes, but only if my dad makes them. I also like French toast, but… only if my dad makes it. So when we go out I tend to stick with oatmeal, eggs & bacon, omelettes, or yummy salads with extras like goat cheese and guacamole.

3 Wishes That Will Never Come True, and 4 That Already Are…

Here are 3 wishes of mine that will never come true no matter how much I want them to:
  1. Uncomfortable but insanely cute shoes make you burn infinitely more calories. (Nope, not true yet. I’ve tried.)
  2. Avoiding wedding planning will make everything magically fall into place on its own. (So far this hasn’t worked…)
  3. Staying up late adds hours to the day and you can still get 7-8 hours of sleep a night when you go to bed at 3am. (I cannot get this to come true no matter how many times I try.)

But here are 4 facts that I don’t even have to wish for, because they are magically true already. These are almost too good to be true.

  1. Avocado tastes sinfully delicious, but instead of being sinful it gives me boundless energy and good skin. This is the avocado shrimp sandwich from Souen in Soho (where I saw Dr. Cuddy). My mom got this on Saturday when she came in for brunch (which was almost too late to be brunch – it was close to 3pm).
  2. Macrobiotic meals are happiness. Like this macro plate with extra kabocha minus the rice. (Kale, kabocha, hijiki, beans, broccoli, carrot.)
  3. Smoothies with coconut milk kefir are good for your skin. Coconut fat is my very favorite fat for improved skin. It gets rid of my acne (my skin is *clear*), makes my tummy happy, and tastes delicious. Eating them in a jar makes them even better for you. (Okay, that’s not true, but it is a cool presentation. I drink everything from jars.)
  4. Healthy eating will make you and your spouse both live very long happy lives together. It makes me so happy to see Bobby eating food like Souen‘s Broccoli Tofu with brown rice, which is basically a macrobiotic vegan tofu scramble. I am so looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

What are your 3 wishes? My real wish is that I could have infinite wishes and then I’d wish for whatever I wanted all the time.

P.S. Operation Wedding is updated!

The Top 5 Mothers Day Activities

These are my best 5 ideas to treat your mom on Mothers Day.

  1. Take her shopping and get her something nice, like a cool necklace.
  2. Treat her to brunch at The Mudspot. (They make the best “mud” – coffee – ever, which is always important to a mom… or at least my mom.)
  3. Love her a lot.
  4. Don’t drag her around buying yourself shoes… (sorry Mom! I’m addicted to Aldo).
  5. Let her chill out, and make sure she knows she’s appreciated for all she does.

Thanks for being the best mom ever, Mom! I love you very much. I had a wonderful weekend with you. Come again soon!

My recent favorites.

Restaurants/meals I have recently had and enjoyed.

  • Brunch pancakes at Souen Union Square. Topped with “cooked fruit” sauce. Came with Mu Tea (odd taste; will get the other tea next time). ($8)
  • California Plate at Eat Here Now. Fruit and cottage cheese over some lettuce. Supposed to come with jello but I traded it in for more fruit. ($8 something)
  • 3 vegetarian dishes at Spice Market. (I was with vegetarians.)
    1. Stir fried asparagus, lotus root, and lily bulb ($9)
    2. Vegetables in green curry ($9)
    3. Ginger fried rice with an egg on top ($7)
  • Dessert at Spice MarketThai jewels and fruits with crushed coconut ice.
  • Grilled Vegetable Salad at Burger Heaven. Biggest and best salad I’ve had in a very very long time. With fries.
  • Ice cream at McDonald’s.

Source.

Walks I have recently had and enjoyed.

  • 3 miles on Park alone (1.5 up; 1.5 back)
  • 2.5 miles from Souen to home
  • Wandering around with friends after dinner
  • Wandering around with Bobby while chatting

Other things I have recently had and enjoyed.

  • Time to chill out.
  • A nap.
  • Snuggle time with my cats and my fiance.

What have you recently had and enjoyed?

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