Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

moscow-mule

^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

tempeh-onion-goop

^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh) but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

kale-mustard-green-salad-seaweed-avocado-goop

^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

dinner-veggies-kabocha-rice-beans-cucumber-mushrooms

^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.

Lastly…

natto

^^Natto^^

This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

maggie-and-eden

She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo ;)

bo-weirdo

I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Spritzers & Language

Food & Wine seems to be the quintessential foodie combo. My husband likes to unwind at night with a nice glass of wine, or by sipping slowly on a cup of whiskey on the rocks. I am not a drinker; I haven’t been since the middle of college. But I’m starting to enjoy wine again. (Apparently you can even get your wine online.) I like making connections with people, and wine is something that many people are passionate about, so it makes for good conversation.

My favorite wine from Trader Joe’s

The main reason that I did not drink for so long was that alcohol is very high in calories, and in general I prefer to chew my calories. In general, I would rather have a piece of pie than a regular soda – but I’m not that picky anymore. (Aside: The calories in wine are not protein, carbs, or fat. Some people think that alcohol calories are sugar – they are not. Alcohol is its own food group and it has 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs like sugar have just 4 per gram; protein also has 4 per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So alcohol, if we are judging solely on caloric content, by the gram, is more like a fat than a sugar.)

Anyway, my point is that I wanted to learn how to enjoy wine so that I could enjoy it with my husband, my family, or my friends. So I started drinking wine with seltzer. I know, horror of horrors! Wine + seltzer! To a wine fanatic that is probably a sacrilege. But to a seltzer fanatic it is not.

My sodastream seltzer machine, which I am missing much – it is in New Jersey.

But it is not a sacrilege to me. My mom and I discussed it on Tuesday night as I was walking home from my first choir practice and I think I got her on my side (she loves wine).

And now I love wine (with seltzer). I call it wine spritzer but I’m not sure if that’s the right term, because I think there is an actual product called wine spritzer. I like it much more than wine alone, which is sometimes too pungent and flavorful. And it goes by so quickly.

Maggie’s Wine Spritzer Tips

  • 3 parts seltzer to 1 part wine is my favorite mix (I eyeball it – it might be more parts seltzer to 1 part wine)
  • Dessert wine is especially good with seltzer
  • My wine spritzer has just 25% of the calories that regular wine has
  • Wine spritzer is really good for when you can’t figure out what you want to eat – once you have a few sips, your appetite perks right up
  • Try different kinds of wine with different foods
  • Drink wine spritzer while you’re cooking – it makes cooking that much more fun ;)

I googled the word “spritz” for fun, and found its etymology. (Etymology = word meaning and history.) You might remember my linguistics blog from last year (I keep meaning to start that up again) – I love words. I love languages. So I am going to tell you about spritz.

Spritz comes from German and it means splash, or sparkling. (Aren’t those beautiful words? Some of my favorites.) Spritz is basically a variation on the wine spritzer that I make and it’s served in Italy (which is one of my favorite places) – it’s made of white wine or Prosecco, a dash of a bitter liqueur, and sparkling mineral water. And garnished with an orange. You can also do it with champagne. Spritz was first made in Venice when it was under Austrian rule. (Because the Austrians drank Spritzer, which was half wine and half seltzer.)

Gespritzter (German) is the past form of the verb spritzen (to squirt). German is so cool. Spritz first appeared in English in 1917, and spritzer in 1961.

Okay I have to stop going on about languages ;) This is why I started that other blog that I need to update! If you want more word origins, check out one of my favorite website, The Online Etymology Dictionary.

Do you drink wine? Wine spritzer? Other alcohol? What is your favorite?

For now I am stuck on wine spritzer. I hate beer, and I’m not really a fan of most hard liquor. So I’m going to keep drinking what I enjoy.

Also – don’t forget to enter my book giveaway!

3 Steps to Intuitive Eating – Marriage and Food Intuition

Intuitive Eating and Marriage. That sounds like a rather odd combination? Surprisingly, it’s not. I just got back from my 2-week long honeymoon (it was absolutely amazing) and I am pretty sure I have discovered what might just be the ticket (or at least my ticket) to being an intuitive eater for good.

How I Got Married and Became an Intuitive Eater

I married an intuitive eater.

When we first started going out, I mostly ate just like Bobby (my husband) – but it can be hard to keep up with a 19-year-old boy, not to mention the fact that it’s not that good for your waistline.

For the next few years I tried to eat intuitively, and eventually something stuck. Creating good new habits takes work. But sometimes you can get a kick in the pants, or find motivation that will get your butt in gear. Here are the three steps that helped me (finally!) truly embrace eating intuitively:

  1. Name your flaw: I have an odd relationship with food. I knew that I did not eat intuitively. Lots of oatmeal does not a dinner make. For years I berated myself for not being able to “just snap out of it”, which many people seemed to think was good advice.
  2. Reframe the flaw: I have two glorious weeks to be completely free around food. Before I left for my honeymoon, I decided that it didn’t matter how much weight I gained while I was gone; I wanted to enjoy myself and I wanted to have fun on my honeymoon! (It turns out that I didn’t gain a pound – in fact, I lost 1-2.) Maybe your reframe could be, “I have a chance to completely change the way I eat,” or “I love eating locally and organically,” or “I am a great role model for my children,” and so on. This should be a positive statement about YOU that has at least a remote connection to that initial flaw you named above.
  3. Own it! I am an intuitive eater. This one is all about the power of positive thinking. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Focus on your successes. Keep going. Push through. Pretend. If you can’t be an intuitive eater just yet, pretend you are anyway. Just don’t give up.

Why did it work for me this time? Because I keep trying. And because I followed all three steps, not just the first one. I’d named the flaw before (over and over again) but I never turned it into something positive. I think (hope) that everyone who tries to quit something fails the first few times (if they don’t fail, they are either lying or superhuman). If you quit smoking successfully, you probably “quit” several times before you succeeded. (Note: I do not smoke, but this is a good common example.) It’s the same with food – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

An Intuitive Eating Dinner

Open-faced tuna melts. Mine (2 slices of whole wheat bread, tuna salad, tomatoes, and melted cheese):

Bobby’s (sesame seed bagel, tuna salad, cheddar cheese):

My easy tuna salad recipe. Dessert was tart frozen yogurt (shared) from Trader Joe’s. Then wine – a mix of Trader Joe’s wine (Dr. Beckermann Auslese Rheinhessen – it’s a white wine and it’s fantastic – sweet and refreshing) mixed with seltzer:

Are you an intuitive eater? Why or why not?

Brittany: How to Avoid the Love Layer

It is currently 2:30am Maui time so I am asleep. But today is the last day of our honeymoon – we head to the airport for our flight tonight at 8pm (overnighter – yuck). We hope to spend the morning on the beach and the rest of the day exploring and hitting up a few food joints that we haven’t gone to yet.

Today’s guest blogger was the first food blogger I ever met up withBrittany has an awesome blog and is awesome in person. I hope you enjoy her post!

***

Hi, I’m Brittany from Eating Bird Food and I am thrilled to be guest posting for Maggie while she enjoys her wedding and honeymoon. She holds a special place in my heart, as she was first food blogger I met in person, way back when. I actually met Bobby, her fiancé, as well and know that they are and will continue to be very happy together. Congrats again on getting married you two – I can’t wait to see the pictures.

So, we’ve all heard that moving in with a significant other (before or after getting married) can lead to weight gain, right? Well it’s not just an urban legend, according to a study published in 2009, getting married (or cohabiting) doubles the odds of weight gain!

I’ve even seen it with myself. I’ve been living with my boyfriend, Isaac, for over 2 years now and whether it’s the living situation, my desk job or a combination of the two, I’ve definitely noticed a few pounds trying to creep on since my college days. The good news is that I realize it and try to make an effort not to let the layer of love build on. :)

So why does this happen and why does it seem more prevalent with women? Who knows- but some speculate that it may be due to a decrease in activity (snuggling on the couch anyone), indulging in rich, flavorful meals together, eating the same amount as your man even though men naturally require more calories, eating “guy foods” like beer, nachos, frozen pizza and hot dogs; skipping the gym to hang out with your honey, or even paying less attention to your weight because you’re no longer on the prowl.

Whatever the reason is, it happens. I know for me there are a couple things that have me eating late at night or indulging. For one, Isaac buys cereals and snack foods that I would never dream of buying but once they’re in the house they tempt me and I end up indulging. Then there’s peer-pressure where he’ll want me to try a bite of this or have another beer/glass of wine. (sound familiar?)

Here’s the culprit in action:

With all that said, here are a few tips on how to avoid the extra “layer of love”:

  • Get physical. Make time to workout. If you all can find something you both enjoy, than do it together (like hiking), and if not go your separate ways, just make sure to stay active. For us, Isaac hates the gym and I love it so, I workout at the gym and he plays ultimate Frisbee, runs outside, or works in the yard.
  • Cook at home more often, choose healthy foods, and watch your portion sizes at mealtime. Your portion probably shouldn’t be as big as his – unless you are working out like a mad-woman or need the extra calories.
  • Communicate! If your man is like mine and often tries to convince you to indulge or brings home lots of sweet treats, tell him up front your goals and that you’re trying to be more conscious about what you eat. He’ll respect you for telling him and will most likely be more thoughtful about it.
  • Have separate meals occasionally. Isaac and I do this often because he eats meat and I don’t. We cook together and eat together, just eat different things.
  • Lighten up on the alcohol. One glass of wine is fine, but alcohol is empty calories and can really add up. Get out of the habit of unwinding with a drink everyday and do yoga or go on a walk together instead.

What do you do to make sure both you and your love stay healthy?

***

Thanks so much Brittany! Have you all ever noticed that love layer sneaking up on you?

Elise: Vegas for Vegans

Today’s guest poster is my very favorite hungry hippie! Elise is getting married soon as well, and she kindly wrote her guest post for me about her crazy fun bachelorette party in Las Vegas (I have never been – and now I want to go!). Enjoy!

***

Hello! Elise here from Hungry Hungry Hippie. I don’t always introduce myself with such enthusiasm, but this post is not of the ordinary.

…ever since I returned from Vegas, I’ve been meaning to post about how to eat, drink, and be merry in the City of Sin. However, if there is one thing that I struggled with throughout my bachelorette weekend, it was capturing sober food pictures on film.

Thankfully, my friends were kind enough to hook me up with photos from the weekend, and so when Maggie asked me to do a guest post relating to my bridal experience, I figured why not showcase Las Vegas in all its glory. A bachelorette party counts as bridal prep right? Right. Plus, it’s been a great help in filling in the gaps in my memory of the whole affair.

And so, may I present to you, the healthy(ish)-girl-on-a-budget guide to getting through Vegas.

For the record, Smirnoff Ice is neither vegan nor tasty. That said, getting “iced” before you even leave for the airport certainly gets you in the mood to P-A-R-T-Y!

The above pic is only one of the reasons you should fly on Virgin.  Another reason?  They have a 70 pound weight limit on luggage…

Do you know how much 10 bottles of champagne1 handle of Vodka, and a double air mattress weigh?  Only 59 lbs.

Do you know how much money BYOB saves you?  Mucho.

And staying in a penthouse suite, with a kitchen bigger than my previous NYC apartment, doesn’t hurt either.

Let the EtOH flow!

Now that we’ve covered how to minimize the liquor bill, let’s move onto food.

Allow me to open with a little disclaimer.  My pre-trip research was minimal and my knowledge on the gourmet dining options is far from extensive.  Our goal was to keep things cheap, within walking distance, and vegan-friendly, so, if nothing else, this post will be economical.

Caesar’s Palace has restaurants up the yin yang.  There’s Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, and Las Vegas’ only James Beard award winner, Bradley Ogden, as well as Michelin two star recipient Restaurant Guy Savoy.  But there’s also a nice little area called the Cypress Street Marketplace, that has several casual cafe-style dining options.  It’s perfect for large groups that want different cuisines.  Mediterranean, Chinese, Mexican, BBQ, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza…you name it, it’s there…and in the center of it all is a common dining area.

I went with a hummus and veggie wrap (minus the tzatziki and feta cheese)

…and 4 beers.

What!?  It was 2-for-the-price-of-1 :)  I’m no econ major, but I know a deal when I see one.

Who wouldn’t get on board?

Skipping straight ahead to the next morning…

Bringing snacks is a cheap way to tide you over between real meals, and it’s a nice way to nurse a hangover. May I suggest:

  • Kirkland trail mix
  • Water bottles (x 50)
  • Clif bars
  • Champagne
  • Dried fruit
  • More water

Classy?  Debatable.

Other key items in hangover prevention survival: Mrs. May’s Trio bars, water, and Whole Foods’ catering.

I really wish I had taken more photos of the platters, but I wasn’t in the best shape.  You understand, right?

Being the crafty planners we are, we arranged for a delivery in advance.  We got the assorted bagel platter and a fruit platter.  Maybe we were a bit bold in having the delivery arrive at 9 am, but at least it got us up!

We even got our dinner platters then (see below photos), which allowed us flexibility in planning around the rest of the day/night’s activities.

We stored the platters in the fridge all day and as difficult as it was to not dig in throughout the afternoon, come dinner time, it was SUCH a relief.  Cheap and simple with no thought required (you have to remember, we were operating on very few brain cells at this point, so the more pre-planning, the better).

Whole wheat/white pitas, sushi, grilled veggies, spinach salad, and the Mediterranean Dipping Platter.

VN = vegan
VT = vegetarian

Veggies anyone?

Oh baby!  Hummus and pitas galore.

In total, we had a feast big enough for our party…and then some.  Seriously, so much food. Whole Foods’ catering platters are far bigger than they lead on.

As for lunches, we went to the exact same place both days (creature of habit?).  We were staying at the Vdara in the new CityCenter, which was absolutely amazing (no smoking + no gaming = spa like vacation).  However, they didn’t have the best dining options.  The poolside eats were super pricey and the portions were TINY.  Fortunately, the CityCenter’s sister hotel, the Aria, has several casual restaurants.

Cafe Vettro is open 24 hours on the Casino level of the Aria – and it serves good food with reasonable prices.  I ordered the Asian Chicken Salad (without the chicken) for lunch BOTH days we were in Vegas.  It was so good!  If it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it – right?

I only wish I had taken pics of my meal [blogger fail].  My plate was piled high with tons and tons of veggies (edamame, bell peppers, celery, the works…).  Plus, the dressing was great and it was a very generous portion (they even gave me extra veggies since I cut the chicken).  I am rarely so pleased with salads that I don’t make myself, and I didn’t have the highest expectations with this one (I mean, it’s Vegas, not New York).  But I’m happy to report that this salad was 100% awesome.  The rest of my girls loved their dishes too, so it’s a crowd pleaser if you are in a big group.

Just remember, Las Vegas is not cheap, but there are tons of good options that don’t feature award-winning chefs.  Finding the middle ground between fine dining and buffets requires minimal work, but I suggest you do it while sober.  Hopefully this post was a tiny bit helpful…and don’t forget to have fun!

Happy wedding and honeymoon Maggie!!

***

Thanks, Elise :) I want to visit Las Vegas now! (But Maui has been awesome so far.)

If you’ve been to Las Vegas, what’s your favorite thing to do/eat? If you haven’t, do you want to go?

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.