Archive | October, 2010

Sweet Tooth

31 Oct

Hi all–hope everyone had a terrific weekend! I can’t believe it’s over already ūüė¶ I’m not even going to talk about the WVU-UConn game on Friday night because WVU didn’t even show up. We so need to get rid of Coach Stew and start over because after two Big East losses in a row, this is embarssing.

Oh–Happy Halloween! And I’ve only¬†gotten two sets of trick or treaters-wtf? I didn’t buy any candy because it escaped my mind but scrounged some random pieces of candy that I collected from my office and had a bag of¬†raspberry filled Hershey’s Kisses sitting in my cupboard so that was going to be it. The first trick or treated I got, I¬†let¬†them reach into the bowl and forgot what a big mistake that was. One of the boys grabbed two big handful—greedy anklebiter! So when the next ones came, I was prepared to hand it out. I had to lock Lincoln in the bedroom since he was going batsh** crazy each time they knocked and since I’ve put him away, no knocking. I want to let him out but I think if I do, they will come a knocking again. What time do trick or treaters stay out until anyways?¬†¬†So I wait. But I’m in good company

¬†A new cupcake/froyo place opened in my neighborhood–Divine Cupcakes and Yogurt.¬†I read a review of it on Yelp and had to go there right away.¬† I looked at the menu and they had a number of cupcakes that fit various dietary needs-diabetic, gluten free and vegan which I found very cool. I got the Chocolate Espresso cupcake and either a Vegan or Gluten Free Blueberry cupcake (can’t remember!)

The Chocolate Espresso was a bit too dry for me and it was hard on the outside. The chocolate covered espresso bean was the best part but besides that it was lackluster. The Blueberry tasted healthy but was still yummy. I don’t know why it looks all mangled though. They were decent but I don’t think I will be heading back there for the cupcakes. Very rarely will I admit that a baked good that I paid for and didn’t make were a disappointment but they were. They were around $3 each and a box of Duncan Hines costs $2 so yeah, you do the math.

But Tiffany you’re not a baker you say?

Au contraire

I gave the cookies one last shot at redemption. Thanks for everyones tips about letting the batter settle some more. I mixed it yesterday and let cook overnight and this afternoon, it was rock hard

They turned out fabulous! Yes, they were still giant cookies but with more substance and not crumbly

So my co-workers will be getting these tomorrow and then I will be the most popular girl on my floor!

I had a pretty awesome strength training workout this afternoon:

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Upright Deltoid Rows (13 reps, 3 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Halos (13 reps, 3 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 3 sets)

Lateral Bench Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Benchpress (13 reps, 2 sets)

Front Lateral Raise (13 reps, 3 sets)

Shoulder press (13 reps, 3 sets)

Curls (13 reps, 3 sets)

Tricep Extensions (13 reps, 1 set)

For dinner tonight, I tried Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas from Giada. My co-worker who isn’t a huge cook passed this recipe onto me and I’ve been wanting to try it for a few months. I halfed the recipe and added more peas.

After

I halved the recipe since it makes six to eight servings and added more peas. I forgot to pick up some marsala sauce and didn’t have how to make it but I imagine it would have been¬†tasty with it. Between the mozzarella, fontina, salt, pepper and thyme it was very flavorful though. I never cooked with fontina before so I was psyched for it and now have a surplus. Anyone know of anything I can do with the extra? I hate to see things go to waste…..especially cheese. All in all, it was a good meal. Some protein would’ve been nice with it, maybe some chicken or tuna next time?

I Licked The Bowl and I Liked It

28 Oct

Ok, so today has been a long one. With training, getting last-minute Halloween stuff, baking cookies (many of you know I am NOT a baker) and of yeah, living, it’s been busy. Let’s do some highlights of the past couple of days

*Mexican Pizza

*Giant Chocolate Toffee Cookies

I saw Shelby’s post where she made Giant Chocolate Toffee Cookies and knew automatically that I had to make them. I am a chocolate person but not so much a chocolate cookie or cake girl, it’s just too rich for me. But I am going to a party tomorrow night and wanted to bring something different and nothing goes better with beer and football than chocolate cookies right? Also, I wanted to make some tonight so I could taste test on co-workers. Ok, that’s a lie. I was only bringing them in so they like me more.

So I went to the store and got all the goodies and was ready to bake tonight since I didn’t want to rush myself after work tomorrow. With a frantic text to Mo¬†regarding the shelf life of the batter (thanks again for replying so quick!!), I was ready to go.

Funkadelic, looks promising

Nothing but chocolate, again promising.

I had to take a taste or five ….don’t worry, I used five different spoons and now have to wash all my spoons. And I licked the bowl and I liked it. Then I started singing that to Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, kill me for that song is really annoying. That paired with having the Bieber in my head all today, I just want silence.

Back to the cookies……

I was watching Community and I could smell them baking. I started to get all kinds of happy since good aroma means they are going to be beautiful and tasty, right?

Negatron.

I don’t know what I did wrong and that made me sad. A) They were burnt B) They weren’t as fluffy and pretty as Shelby’s. But I manage to salvage one and it was damn tasty.

The rest had a new home

 Having extra batter on hand, I gave it another go

Better but why are they so flat?

Thinking that I am not a quitter, I decided to try one more then I was throwing in my apron

Big, flat babies-wtf? Someone help.

These were tasty with the combination of chocolate, walnuts and toffee but don’t know where I went wrong. I urge someone (Amy?¬†I’m looking at you since I’ve tasted your cookies. Hmm, that kinda sounds dirty hehe) to try these and let me know what’s up. Anyways, thanks Shelby for posting—they tasted good but am just not the baker I thought I was.

*Tropical Chewy Lemonheads

When did this happen? I am so tempted to try a box.

*Purple Monsters

*Pepperoni Rolls from West Virginia

*The company I work for

Supposedly, we get a debit card each year with $600 to spend on health care related expenses. I’ve been with the company for five years but was never made aware about this. Ok, I probably was but ignored it but was talking with one of my teammates about it today and she said they are doing away with it next year but I can still get a card and the balance will carry over. I called our benefits team about this today and I have $1900 available to me!!! WTF?! I can get LASIK with this or use it to pay for my tattoo removal and more. The possibilities are a plenty of things I can spend this on and I am stoked I finally found out about it. Maybe I don’t work for such an evil empire after all

*Not a highlight but for some reason Taylor Swift really bothers me. She reminds me of the bunny in Donnie Darko and I think she is an evil bunny rabit. The fact her and I share the same birthday is not kosher in my book.

*Companies that take your opinion into consideration

I wrote Hain¬†Celestial who makes Terra Chips regarding a bad bag of chips I had a few weeks ago. It was the Mediterranean flavor but the chips were completely stale when I had just bought them a month before. Seeing they¬†are $4 a bag, I was not happy so I went to their website and let them know and they sent me some coupons for sharing with them—thanks¬†Hain!!

This is going to be a busy weekend-I don’t even feel like I have a weekend!

I leave you with some Lincoln love

Why does it look like he’s saying “Bitch, please”??

Another Day

26 Oct

Another dollar. We are still going through the training process which means sitting in a conference room, learning things that I will probably forget when I get my portfolio and realizing my company uses way too many acronyms. I seriously cannot keep up with all of them! I think I am going to make a cheat sheet soon so I can remember all of them because it’s just not sticking with me.

On a brighter note, we got a two-hour¬†lunch today-holla! Of course, this was the day I brought my lunch so I thought “Why not go home?” I drove home and was out walking Lincoln 15 minutes later with lunch in the microwave

Looks can be deceiving huh? I would really like to know where this “colorful medley” they speak of is located because it wasn’t in my white glop¬†in a tray. Hmmm, that kinda sounds like a sperm on a petri dish? Gross. Anyways, it was good, just not “colorful” I watched some VH-1¬†for awhile, ran errands and was back with an hour to spare. I received an email earlier in the day saying there was a little something something for me to pick up at the library…..

Yay! SATC The Movie Soundtrack is one of my favorite movie soundtracks out there so I was excited for this. I still haven’t seen the movie but I’m in no rush since I heard it was kinda meh. I listened to the soundtrack tonight and there are a few good tracks but don’t think it will be a favorite. Liza Minnelli does a cover of “Single Ladies” which is just fabulous and I love Alicia Keys remake of Blondie’s “Rapture”.

I was looking for something easy and filling for dinner. I made a salad with cucumbers, zucchini and tomato and home-made pizza using Harris Teeter Whole Wheat pizza dough topped with mushrooms, Morningstar Veggie Crumbles, fresh parsley and mozzarella and parmesan cheese

I liked this whole wheat pizza day alot¬†more than the standard Trader Joe’s I normally buy. It’s about $1 more but I feel like I got more and had more substance. It’s not very often that Trader Joe’s fails me. Sadness.

I did three workouts in one tonight. I started out with Jari Love’s Get Ripped 1000 DVD that I got through Netflix. I’ve heard good things about her dvd’s¬†and was into it at first but then she started using a stepper¬†and I don’t have one. I was doing the motions by stepping side by side and doing jumping jacks but that got boring very quickly. The squats and lunges kicked by butt though and I did about 12 minutes of that. With my heart rate up, I decided to go for a walk which soon turned into a run. I’m running again with little pain-score! I’m nowhere near I was before but I am excited to start running again and feel confident that I can get back into it, we shall see…..

That’s what I like to see!

With that, a green monster was calling my name with a new protein powder–SpiruTein Chai Latte

I used half a packet so I wouldn’t be in overload

The color reminds me of pistachio pudding my mom used to make when I was younger-yum! I liked the flavor but like the S’mores flavor, not sure if I would buy an entire tub of it but it did taste like Chai which was great!

Thanks for the comments on yesterday’s post. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who has some issues with making female friends and such. Not nice to see b/c it kinda sucks but you know what I mean! Right? Maybe? Hopefully!

And that’s it. Yeah, kind of a boring day but oh well, such is life. Hope you all are having a good one!

***Win a Lululemon gift card and other goodies at Run Eat Repeat!

Hey y’all!

25 Oct

Ugh, could not sleep last night. I kept flip-flopping and would fall asleep, wake up, look at the clock, get frustrated, move Lincoln (he likes to sleep right next to me and sometimes gets hot with his fur), toss and turn, finally get to bed, then repeat. Everytime¬†that happens, I get frustrated and it only happens on Sunday nights–wtf?

Harris Teeter had avocados on sale yesterday-2 for $.99 and they were ready to eat. Last time I got some, I had to wait over two weeks. I’ll have to keep these specials on my radar! I made egg whites topped with avocado for breakfast. I was going to make a wrap but found out last week that a¬†spinach wrap is not good with eggs in case you were curious. But with this combo, I was saying gimme more! I was practically licking the plate.

Work went today—we¬†are still in training so it’s not a circus like my last job but more like sitting in a room looking at slide shows¬†and playing get to know you games to break the ice with our team. Last week we were in training the first part of the day then doing hands on work in the afternoon so it went by quick. But today? Ugh. We were all nodding off around 3P¬†and I was getting antsy just sitting. I know I’ll be using this information soon but it takes alot for me to sit in one place for hours on end learning a process I’m not familiar with. What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger right?

I had a surplus of feta, spinach and phyllo dough in my kitchen. And to me, that spells one thing: Spanakopita!

I losely followed this recipe. I made a smaller portion, cooked some shallots to add to the mix and instead of making a pie of it, I made the traditional triangles I’ve had in the past. I got lucky—they turned out fabulous!

If you look in the left hand corner of the picture, you will see a four-legged furry friend waiting for something to drop. It drives me ¬†crazy. He doesn’t beg or anything but he will just sit there and stare. I do have to give him an A for effort though, he doesn’t break his schedule and is¬†persistent with it.¬†Boys.

I was reading an interesting article about the book “Twisted Sisterhood” and female friendships. The interview is with the author in which she speaks about a horrific event that happened in college with her sorority sisters that then. I have the opposite story: I was in a sorority in college and developed many strong friendships that still hold true to this day. However, once I got into the real world and started to make new friends have dealt with 2 scenarios alot of the time 1) Either friends who turn into toxic friends or 2) I haven’t¬†made friends with people who get me. Nothing is more horrible than not being able to be yourself around friends. Most of my best friends are still my friends from college which kinda stinks because we are all spread out throughout the country.¬†I’m a believer in the whole notion that you aren’t going to be friends with everyone you meet in life but¬†I have found it harder to make friends the older I get.¬†I’ve had to break up with a friend since one got psycho-stalker on me which again, stinks since I want to be able to develop strong friendships but not when I have the memory of that in my head. I am reluctant to open up to new people because¬† I’ve gotten burned by doing that so now, like a romantic relationship with the men, I ease into it. I just hate that I can’t trust people, even women when it comes to friendship from instances in the past. Anyways, it’s an interesting article so I encourage you to read it. And if you, what are your thoughts?

Something fun regarding the title and this post—count the Britney references y’all!

Winner Winner And Yes, Chicken Dinner

24 Oct

¬†Meh, Sunday. I stayed up until 3A last night watching tv and once again, it felt so good to sleep in. I don’t know what it is about Tyler Perry movies that get me but once it starts, I can’t look away. After three of them in a row, I was ready to hit the hay. Having no plans today, I wasn’t sure how today was going to turn out.

This morning was nothing unordinary–breakfast, errands, park, football, yay. When I went to the park. I walked a bit but also got a few sets of running in! I haven’t run since April so it will be nice to attempt to hit the pavement again running but I’m sure my legs won’t be thanking me come tomorrow. After having lunch, I was feeling blah and wanted to move so I fit in a strength training session.

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Side Bends (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Rows (13 reps, 2 sets)

Step Ups (25 reps, 1 set)

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Reverse Fly (13 reps, 2 sets)

Front Lateral Raise (13 reps, 3 sets)

Shoulder press (13 reps, 3 sets)

Curls (13 reps, 3 sets)

Tricep Extensions (13 reps, 2 sets)

Misc.

Crunches

Planks

Random yoga poses

This took about 35 minutes with misc. jumping and bopping¬†around in between sets. I didn’t wear my heart rate monitor because I feel like I haven’t been getting a good workout lately when I wear mine. If it doesn’t work, I get fixated on that and lose focus¬†on my movements which could eventually hurt me in the long run. I feel like I had an awesome workout this time and my heart rate was was consistently up there. I made a green monster with half a packet of SpiruTein¬†Smore flavored protein powdered

I forgot a fabulous recipe that I made this past week! I saw a recipe for Stuffed Poblanos in Martha Stewart Food that I just had to try. They were super tasty and spicy but I think they needed some more substance in them.

For dinner tonight, I had Chicken and Spinach Casserole that I froze

With a baby spinach salad topped with cucumbers, zucchini, avocado, tomato and feta

And now for the dinners of the Fresh Express Coupon Giveaway!

Jessica from Truly Simply Happy

Amy from Second City Randomness

Lily from Lily’s Health Pad

Amanda from Two Boos Who Eat

Ladies-please email me your addresses so I can get those puppies over to you! Thanks to all who participated and told me your favorite salads!

So yeah, that’s that. Nothing too exciting going on over here today but the day just dragged on. I took a nap and am anxious to see what work is going to be like tomorrow. We are in training for the next couple of weeks so I really don’t know what to expect but we shall see. I am just waiting to find out who my manager is so I can’t set up my vacation time. Out of ten people on my team, three of us were bank associates before this job so I am hoping I have some seniority with picking my vacation time.

Loving the Q

23 Oct

My friend was in town last night flying out of Charlotte so we got together for dinner before I took her to the airport. She was in the mood for a salad and I couldn’t name off a good salad place right off the bat so we checked out The Liberty, a newer gastropub¬†in Dilworth.

I got the BBQ pork belly sliders and a side of fries

Beautiful babies! These succulent and delicious.

When I got home from the airport, I did absolutely nothing and enjoyed every second of it. There was a SVU¬†marathon on so I put on my comfy clothes, parked myself on the couch and zoned out. I hate going out on Friday nights since I am usually exhausted from the work day. Soon I was in bed and I ended up sleeping a beautiful, soothing nine hours—that¬†never happens! Most weekends, I wake up around 7A, have my coffee, breakfast and decide what I’m going to do with my day. I had plans to go with friends to the North Carolina BBQ Festival¬†so I had to get ready then get on the road.

America runs on Dunkin-you got that right.

I picked everyone up then we hit the road. Lexington is supposedly the BBQ Capital of the World¬†and only an hour away from Charlotte so it was a perfect day trip. I don’t know what I was more excited about—the¬†bbq or the people watching

We went in not knowing to expect. I was expecting different restaurants from all over the state having their own tents with their style of bbq but there were only a few tents with the same general bbq, so it was a bit of a let down. In addition to that, they have every kind of fair food imaginable.

Fried butter? Um, no.

When we got to the food tent, there was a selection of hot dogs, pork sandwich, pork platter and fries. To get the full bbq experience, I went with the platter.

Oink oink!

It came with pork, red slaw and two buns. Lexington is known for their red slaw which has ketchup instead of mayonnaise and it was damn tasty.

The food was good and so was the people watching. We saw many mullets, men without shirts (Why??? It’s October in North Carolina-put your damn shirt back on!) and teenage moms. I don’t know if they aren’t doing sex ed anymore but it was really sad seeing these young kids who I think are babies having their own babies. Use condoms, they work.

At the north end of the festival, we found a location soda shoppe¬†kind of place called Char’s so we stopped in for some ice crea, One of their specials was birthday cake ice cream which one of my friends raves about so I had to give it a try

Holy balls. Why did I try this? It was absolutely amazing—I don’t need to know¬†that this¬†yummy goodness exists!

Soon we found the beer garden. We were walking around and found it quite odd that there wasn’t any beer vendors. We walked right by it and got in line to get in. While we were in line, I saw the Sweetwater van. Sweetwater Blue is one of my top three favorite beers ever so I was happy that they were offering it. Not only did I see the van…..a guy was painting it a funkalicious tie dye color while we were waiting

Yay for hippies, double yay for beer.

We got in and sadly, they were out of Sweetwater and out of most beers there. I went with Bud Light Lime since it’s refreshing when it’s hot out. I can drink a few but after three, it tastes a bit nasty to me.

Dinner was lazy—-Totinos Pizza. This frozen pizza takes me back to my high school days and I know it’s totally bad for me but sometimes when I see frozen pizza for $1, I buy it. And when the hell did they change their pepperoni? I used to love their little pepperoni bites but no mas.

All in all, a great, foodielicious day. It was nice to get out-of-town for a bit, partake in some interesting people watching and eat some Q.

If you haven’t entered my Fresh Express coupon giveaway—there’s a few hours left so jump on it!

Also, I’ve added another tab to the top of my page featuring restaurants I’ve visited recently here in Charlotte but in other cities as well so feel free to check it out–The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Fresh Express Yourself with Some Giveaway Action

20 Oct

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, Foodbuzz sent me some free coupons for Fresh Express¬†salad mix to use in a recipe. I love making new recipes and trying new things but the driving force behind this is the big prize—a coveted chance to attend the Foodbuzz Festival next month.¬† Coveted by me at least since I am on the East Coast, absolutely love San Francisco, would love to meet other bloggers I follow, have a sister who lives 45 north of San Fran and have two extra vacation days to kill. So yeah, Foodbuzz? Choose me please.

I love salads, I like to think I’m creative and I like to eat. Seeing that I a trying to save money, I wanted to make something with ingredients that I already had at home. And what do I have at home? A whole bunch of random stuff. I could make a chicken caesar salad, candied pecan salad or something new and spicy.

Yeah, I said it.

Spicy.

Thinking spicy, this naturally  led to something Mexican themed. And what better to make after a long and rainy hump day then Taco Salad?

The ingredients: Black beans, jalapenos, onion, tomatoes, avocado, Morningstar Veggie Crumbles  with shredded Monterrey Jack under the crumbles mixture served on a bed of baby spinach with a creamy salsa dressing (plain greek yogurt mixed with salsa)

Delicious and had me reaching for my water–I couldn’t ask for me.

And you know what? I have extra coupons (thanks Foodbuzz for sending so many!) and I’m feeling generous so that means there’s a giveaway!¬†

 4 lucky readers will win a set of 2 coupons for a free bag of Fresh Express salad mix.

You have 3 chances to enter:

1) Leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favorite salad is

2) Link this contest back to your blogroll

3) If you link this back, let me know you’ve done so (on this post)

Easy, right? The deadline for this contest is Saturday October 23rd at 11:59PM. I will announce the randomly picked winners on Sunday.