Tag Archives: brunch

Intimidated

Hi friends,

Let’s have a truthful moment, shall we? I am scared out of my mind about this half marathon in September. I mean, I am excited, but I feel woefully unprepared.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not good at not being good at something. Got that? I struggle with running, or really getting back into running, because building up to three miles is hard. I huff, I puff, I turn red, I get tired, I sweat prolifically. And, a lot of times I just quit. This is not a good way to train for a half marathon.

Husband and I met up with our racing buddies: Thea (who has run countless full and half marathons) and Nick (one of our groomsmen who has agreed to take on this challenge as well). Over a nice brunch, Thea mapped out (via crayons on a paper table “cloth”) a training plan for us newbies. It’s very gradual and builds a great base. Each month we increase our weekly mileage and we have a long run of 12 miles three weeks prior to the race. It is a wonderful training plan and I am excited to complete it.

Starting on the other hand, that scares the bejesus out of me. After hurting my back (and re-hurting it on Friday) and not running for two weeks, I am petrified. I am going to suck. I need to accept that. It’s gonna be hard. But, I need to get myself into a good head space. I need to harness some positive thinking and bolster myself up to keep pushing when it’s hard and not just stop to walk. Training isn’t supposed to be easy so I need to accept that challenge. I don’t want to keep coming back here week after week and blogging about how I’m going to start training next week, the week after, on Saturday, next Sunday, whatever. The race is less than four months away. I could probably run a mile straight right now. Maybe a mile and a half if I were chased.

Training starts now – no matter how hard it is!

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Ready for it!

Good Morning Folks!

The pollen has abated marginally so I’m feeling much better. Also making me feel better, the reintroduction of CHEESE into my life! That’s right folks, Lent is over and cheese is back on!

Hubs and I celebrated Easter with a yummy brunch at Alexandria’s Evening Star Cafe, lots of baking/cooking on my part for the week, and a Mac and Cheese dinner I’ve wait a month and a half for!

Source: http://www.wisconsinmommy.com
Truffle Mac and Cheese from Noodles and Company!

I could have handled more cheese, but really, it hit the spot! Yesterday I also had: quiche made with grueyre (among other things), grits with cheese, and numerous cheese samples at Whole Foods. I fully intend to continue my cheese domination today as well.

Yesterday’s kitchen creations were another round of Rachel’s Spring Chicken Cups (I’m eating one right now on a toated english muffin) and Emily’s Surprise Muffins. Both were excellent successes! Last time I made the spring chicken cups, I overcooked them and didn’t add enough veggies/flavor. This time they are bursting with onion, garlic, chives, spinach, and some cheese (of course). Love! The Surprise Muffins have been declared by the Husband his FAVORITE muffins ever! I drifted from Emily’s vegan take and used cow’s milk, an egg, etc. For my “filling” I tried out Crofter’s Superfruit North American Spread. I’ve wanted an excuse to give this a try for a while and found the muffins to be the perfect venue for them. I’ll be making another two batches of these muffins tomorrow for my work’s bake off! I also can’t wait to try them with other fillings. Yum!

Training runs are going fairly well. I’m still having some trouble motivating myself but I keep telling myself I really have no choice now! That seems to be working pretty well. What’s not going well, is my attempts at reading a classic this month. I picked Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park as it is the last full Jane Austen novel I have to read. I am not really enjoying it and find it very slow. I’m at the halfway point and just now starting to see a glimmer of an actual plot. Come on Jane Austen, don’t let me down now!

My coffee and muffin/egg breakfast has come to an end, so it’s back to work with me. How was your Easter? And, what have you been cooking up lately?

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Snacky McSnackerson

Thanks y’all for your kind comments on my previous post. Things are a little better/I’m trying not to let stuff bother me too much right now. Working out last night definitely helped!

I am ravenous today. I feel like my body realized it worked out last night and is now demanding payment. I’m trying not to snack as I have a lovely lady date this evening (happy hour and the Smithsonian Craft Exhibition) but it has been hard to keep my snacky hands to myself. This morning we had a staff meeting which led me to confront my arch nemeses:

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Sigh. I resisted their siren song. I even kept my fingers out of my boss’ candy bowl (even though he has twix AND rolos right now). I’m pretty pleased with my will power. 🙂

I had plans for a workout tonight, but my lady date takes precedence. I will, however, be lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a run tomorrow. I’m kinda looking forward to it.

What else is on deck? A lot actually! Tomorrow is a delightful day of telework followed up by a happy hour/hockey watching with Husband’s former coworkers (all of whom I adore). (Bonus fact: Tonight’s lady date is the wife of one of those coworkers. You should probably check out her blog!) Saturday I’ll be going to a baby shower for a friend from school and his wife. It promises to be laden with delicious homemade fingerfoods and handcrafted cocktails. (The girls throwing this thing are serious about it!) Finally, Sunday will contain another training run and a brunch date in Old Town with a few friends. Dear Weekend, I like how you’re shaping up!

Are you snacky today? More importantly, what are you up to this weekend?

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Hot Saturday Night In

That’s right folks, coming to you live from my HOT Saturday night in! Actually, it’s nice not to have anything to do. I’ve got Pandora queued up and a little dog for company.

I worked on a new recipe this evening. It’s another from the Test Kitchen Slowcooker Revolution book — I love that thing! This is a breakfast recipe – a sausage and potato Spanish Tortilla. I was super excited to find an egg recipe that didn’t call for copious amounts of cheese. The apartment smells awesome right now, but I have come to the conclusion that I would never make it as a prep cook. I’m absolutely slow as molasses when it comes to chopping and dicing, etc. I always forget how slow I am because Husband is usually around to help. Ha ha ha! Oh well, as long as the end result is good…

I finished up curious incident of the dog in night time  this evening also. It was an interesting reading experience. If you haven’t  read it, the story is told by an autistic teenager. You get some intriguing insight into all his quirks and compulsions. I enjoyed that the chapter numbers are all prime numbers. It was kind of like reading Room since the narrator isn’t “fully developed” like in most books.

I’m beat this evening! Today had lots of errands, a minor stint of helping a friend move, and making muffins in addition to the Spanish tortilla. (I certainly hope this is as good as it smells!) Husband is over at a friend’s tonight for guys’ night so I’m going to take advantage of having the apartment to myself and watch a little trashy tv. Y’all have a good night!

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The Way I Like It!

Happy Saturday! My Georgia Bulldawgs started off the season with an amazing game against Louisiana-Lafayette. We ran away with the win (55-7) and I’m super excited to see what our season looks like!

Last night Hubs and I took advantage of a great sale at Whole Foods. Grass fed ground beef was only $3.99 a pound! We scored just under a pound and used the foreman to grill up some burgers. I topped mine with a slice and cheddar cheese and ate it bunless with a fork. On the side I had some yummy sauteed mushrooms and onions, and sauteed cabbage/raddichio. What a delicious dinner!

We also got a little carton of Ciao Bella Sorbet in Blackberry Cabernet. I really think Ciao Bella is one of my new favorite things. I’ve had raspberry, blood orange, etc and ALL are delicious. The flavors are so sharp and rich. It definitely satisfies my sweet tooth and I never end up eating a whole serving. The nutritional facts are pretty awesome and the ingredient list is always  short and doesn’t contain a single ingredient I struggle to pronounce. That is always a plus with me. Y’all seriously need to check this out. They also make little baby servings that come with their own plastic spoon. Love, love, love!

We slept in a little but still got a good start on our day. We were at Whole Foods (again, yes) by 9:30 stocking up for Game Day Breakfast. I love cooking up brunch and watching football. Hubs opted for two links of breakfast turkey sausage, an egg, a HUGE helping of sauteed kale, and an iced coffee. I went the chicken sausage (basil, garlic, sundried tomato), bagel, and (new) Naked Juice: Fruit & Veggie Machine. The nutritionals weren’t bad (260 cals and 1 g fat in the whole bottle) and that baby gave me two servings of veggies and a serving of fruit while tasting delish!

After the game, I had a little bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and headed to the gym. I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical and made it 2.66 miles and burned 250 calories while watching Texas play Rice. I swear, football makes everything better! I was ready to stay on the elliptical all day! I tried a few new stretches and iced my knees afterwards. I’m trying to alleviate some knee popping and marginal pain I’ve had since stepping up my workouts. We’ll see how this works.

The rest of the night: football! I’ll also be packing up for a week of work travel. I don’t leave until Monday afternoon, but we’re going to Richmond for a friend’s wedding tomorrow. Then, on Monday we’re driving from Richmond back to the DC airport so I need to be ready to go. Our work schedule this week looks pretty heavy, but I know I’ll be eating a lot so I need to make an effort to get work outs in. Work travel is always such a hard balance for me. We eat out every meal and in new cities where I really want to try the food. I want to find time to work out but I also don’t want to sacrifice sleep. Sitting in an mid-afternoon meeting (we’re talking me and three other people), fighting to stay awake is wretched. I’m crossing my fingers for efficient meetings so I can get some work outs in without cutting out too much sleep.

I probably won’t be around much for the next week since I won’t be taking a computer with me. Hopefully when I return, I’ll be able to report that I was successful in working out while on work travel. (If all else fails, maybe I’ll get a co-worker to watch my bag and I’ll walk some laps around airport terminals? :D)

Do you travel for work? Does it make it hard to fit in work outs?

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Take Your Headache To Work Day?

This week has not started off on the right foot for me. The headache I’ve had since mid-day Friday stuck around all weekend long. In fact, it decided that it wanted to play this morning too. I woke up quite uncomfortably. Slept in a little bit and came into work a little late. The diet coke I sipped at lunch has helped moderately, but I still feel seriously off. I can’t figure out if I feel achy or if that’s just being sore from helping friends move on Saturday.

Let’s work backwards for a minute. Thursday was a great Lobster success! Coworkers, Hubs and I were toward the front of the line, so we had our traditional lobster rolls and accoutrements in about fifteen minutes. Hubs and I split the sandwich, chips and soda and while we were satisfied, it wasn’t really enough food to properly share. I think we both got about five bites of Lobster Roll — all five bites were scrumptious though. There were some SERIOUS chunks of lobster meat — including a massive piece of claw meat. The bun they use is amazing and I would love to see it featuring grilled cheese. Wow, that would be delish. When we finished chowing down and walked back to work, the line stretched down the block and halfway onto the next. My verdict: definitely yummy, but a lunch splurge. If you want lobster, make sure you’re in line early!

Friday was my day off. I filled it with errands and a haircut. So long hobo hair! I now have neat layers and my split ends are a thing of the past. I love my hairdresser and she’s super sweet. (She also gives an excellent shampoo massage while your head is draped into the sink.) If anyone in the DC area ever needs an awesome stylist, Rae at Pentagon City can definitely help you out. After saying goodbye to my hobo hair, I went to a grad school professor’s house for a little focus group. His place has a killer view and he’s a sweetheart so a group of us were more than happy to meet up and help out.

Saturday, Hubs and I fought the rally crowds to help Kristen and Daniel move. They have a really cute new place and I’m excited for them. Moving in together is always fun and having a nice apartment to boot is even better. One of my favorite aspects of their new place is that a UGA Fan lives down the hall from them. So, now I know they live in a good place!

That evening, Hubs and I cleaned up and went to dinner at Vermilion for my (very belated) birthday dinner.

We sat in the lounge area and ordered off their wonderful lounge/bar menu. It’s a really cozy set up against exposed brick walls (love!) with throw pillows everywhere. It was romatic and nice to sit on a little couch together and share some eats. The lounge is done half small plates/appetizers and half regular eats (but still cheaper than their traditional dinner menu). We grabbed some beers (Allagash White for me and Southern Tier 2x Double IPA for him) and split two appetizers: spinach and artichoke dip & fried pickles (called frickles). Both were phenomenal! For dinner, I got mini sliders and Hubs got a flank steak. We split a basket of fries between us. Yum, yum, yum! We tottered out fat and happy.

Sunday morning we continued our good eats at Jackson 20.

We were supposed to go for dinner last Saturday, but thanks to Friday night’s shenanigans we canceled our dinner reservations. I’m almost glad we did because brunch was to die for! We opted for their restaurant week menu: each person gets an appetizer, main dish and dessert for $20.10 (not including tip and tax). We split a crabcake & fried green tomato and a platter of shrimp fritters to start. Both were delicious, but the fritters won me over. Too often fritters turn into hushpuppies basically — all batter. If I wanted hushpuppies, I would ask for those! Instead, these fritters had a light coating of batter and all the attention was on the hunks of shrimp inside. Yum! Both Hubs and I got their Chesapeake benedict (eggs over crab cakes with an old bay hollandaise). Again, delicious. For dessert, we rounded out our meal with the Pot de Creme Chocolate (hubs) and Banana Pudding (me). Holy yum! There was even a carmelized banana half waiting on my plate. I would LOVE to try Jackson 20 again for dinner. I bet their BBQ is spot on. Oh, and I love piggies so I adored the huge pig sculptures in the restraunt. The napkin “rings” were little pigs too!

So, I suppose that brings us to the here and now. I’m glad I didn’t use up anymore sick leave than I did, but I would really rather not be here. Hopefully I can get some good rest tonight and feel like new in the morning?

What’s your favorite thing to eat for Brunch? Brunch is one of my fav meals so I’ll eat almost anything! I do love french toast though and a good omelet makes me weak in the knees! Also, biscuits and grits rank in at the top of my list!

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In which I discover amazing Gelato

The only thing that could make this Saturday better is a run. (And we’ll see about adding that later…)

I slept in a little and then headed in to town to meet up with two of my favorites (Kristen and Aidan) for brunch at The Commissary. This has been on Kristen’s “to try” list for a while and I was glad to oblige. Not only is the menu delish (separate brunch and breakfast menus, great looking cocktails and a section devoted to smoothies among other things) but the restaurant is green! According to their web site: “We are “Super Green”; wind energy credits, recycled materials as furnishings, and use only recyclable or biodegradable materials throughout. We are in the process of certifying all our restaurants with the “Green Restaurants Association”.” How awesome? Aidan’s take away box was made out of recycled cardboard.

I had their spinach, mushroom and cheese omelet with home fries. The home fries included a delicious helping of grilled onion and peppers. They were delicious. The omelet was light on cheese and very mild in flavor. It left me wishing for a little more oomph. I’d definitely go back though. The atmosphere was cozy and their menu is large so I’m sure I could find another dish to try.

After brunch, Kristen and I bid Aidan adieu and headed two stores down to Pitango Gelato. Pitango is another conscious eatery and, while pricier than I prefer, the taste, quality and values are something I would gladly pay for again. Their products are all fresh (eggs are used the day they are laid!) and from properly raised animals. (No corn fed cow milk here!) The servers are also incredibly, incredibly knowledgeable about their product.

Don’t be overwhelmed when you arrive by the 20 or so flavors on the wall. Pitango is more than happy to let you try any flavor you’d like and they’ll tell you all about them. I ended up with two flavors in my small cup: concord grape and dark chocolate orange (both sorbets). The sweet girl that dished up my treat informed me that the dark chocolate orange is made with 70% cacao and orange zest. My concord grape is made from Pennsylvania grapes — only the smallest, darkest purple grapes according to my server. I devoured my small. Luckily Pitango is close to my work so I cannot wait to go back — especially when the weather gets warm.

The weather is gorgeous today! (I would love it to be ten degrees warmer, but I’ll make do…) I plan to laze around, read my book(s), and perhaps lace up my shoes for a run later.  Anyone else having a lazy Saturday?

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