Tag Archives: avocado

Housesitting

2 Aug

In honor of Matilda, Neyal sent me a link about a monkey rescued from a thrift store, just like Matilda! well except the whole sadistic monkey thing like Copernicus. I read the post while at the library and had to leave because I was crying from laughing and fear of peeing my pants at the library.

And I know, there’s been a lack of Matilda lately (which you may be happy about since some think she is creepy) Although South Florida is a mecca for retirees, she doesn’t like the humid, hot climate here. While I’m in the pool each day, she just sits yearning for a dirty martini.

Maybe her shenaningans will ensue again, who knows.

 

Not a lot going on here though, I housesat for one friend this weekend. It was great-I got to enjoy HBO, wireless and be by myself again. After living alone for so many years, I’m used to silence and doing my own thing. I can handle other people but sometimes a girl needs her own space you know? I’m housesitting/dogsitting today for another friend while she is away for the day. She is coming back tonight but I get to hang with her cute pups who I am wining over with string cheese.

And she even gave me a nice gift for doing this.

She really didn’t have to but I will never turn down a bottle of wine.

Also, it’s been avocado madness lately!

The avocados my friend gave me are finally good to go so I’m starting to use those bad boys up. I made a salad yesterday topped with Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken. It was on sale for $6.99 at Winn Dixie and I had a $1 off coupon so this was the perfect time to buy plus I haven’t had any since I used to make pasta salad.

Then at night I made a Mexican casserole with pork, black beans, onions, peppers, black olives, mushrooms, cheese and enchilada sauce. I was so excited to find El Pato since I haven’t been able to locate it at the grocery stores down here. I found this huge can of it at Big Lots so I used some in this recipe then froze the rest for future use.

I didn’t have enough tortillas to crisscross for the top layer but I made due. I then topped the vegetable, black bean and pork mixture with enchilada sauce and cheese and let bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees

Avocado was the perfect topping for this! I mean really, how can someone not love avocados? The flavor, the richness, the fat—oh yeah!

There were still avocados to be consumed so today I made a guacamole knock off. I didn’t have my recipe with me so I just mixed the avocado with salsa and sour cream.

I’ve seen this chips before but I must go to Target and find them stat! Maybe all this Mexican food will boost my memory?

I finally finished The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest today.

I felty like I’ve been reading it for awhile but it’s only been a week and a half, if that. If you haven’t read this serious, please go out and get the three books! This was the best series I’ve read in a long time and I can say each book was a true page turner.

I went to the library today to pick up some Italian cds I’ve been waiting on—holy crap-in just about a month I will be going to Italy! I need to learn the basics stat! I found this gem while perusing the titles in the new arrivals aisle:

Yet another reason why I love the library here. In Charlotte, it would have taken me months to get this book but here I can get it right away but only for two weeks. Perfect motivation for me to read it quickle! We’ll see how this book is. I wasn’t overly impressed with her last book but who knows, this is a different take so it may be worth reading.

I’m trying to limit my workouts at the YMCA since I can only go a limited number of times each year, instead of month but had a great workout yesterday

I’ve also been swimming which is going quite well. I’ve been doing anywhere from 50 to 60 laps on my swimming days along with some breaks to tread water for two to three minutes. I’ve also been doing lunges in the water and that has been kicking my butt. The best part is that I feel no pain in my knees which is a welcome relief since I always have pain in my knees after a workout.

And of course, hanging out with my pups

Linky is way dirty. I need to get him in the tub and give him a bath, especially since one of my parents dropped ketchup on his nose but they won’t tell me who did it.

Sigh, I love my dirty dog.

So yeah, that’s about it. Not a lot to write home about but just waiting for the days to pass until it’s time to fly off to Europe. One of my friends is a recruiter here so I’m hoping she can help find me some part time work……if not, maybe I will try some more housesitting?

Read any good books lately? Please share with the class!

Do you ever housesit for friends/family? I love how it seems like a mini vacation, even if I am just down the block!

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!

Justifications

27 Sep

Yesterday was absolutely nasty. But I will put down that this was the first weekend in a loooooong time that I haven’t been hungover so that’s an accomplishment for me! Wow, writing that down it sounds kinda sad but whatev….non hungover weekends don’t happen too often during football season for me.



I woke up and made scrambled eggs with peppers and avocado with a sandwich thin topped with cranberry reservesthen had a killer kettlebell session.

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Squats (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Row (13 reps, 3 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 2 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Lateral Raise (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell -10 lbs

Tricep Extension (13 reps, 2 sets)

Tricep Kickback (13 reps, 2 sets)

Misc.

Donkey Kicks (13 reps, 2 sets)

Pushups (15 reps, 2 sets)

And today I hurt.



After that, I was still feeling ambitious and decided to walk over to Festival in The Park. I forgot that they were calling for a 50% of rain that day and thought I could get there in time since it’s only a 15 minute walk from my place but overestimated myself. About ¾ of the way, it started drizzling so I headed back and when I was somewhat close to home, it started raining cats and dogs. Which, how amusing would it be if it actually did start raining cats and dogs one day? I wouldn’t want those cute babies to get hurt but for visual sake it would be amusing. On another note, I am still waiting for it to rain men.

Damn you Weather Girls for it most definitely does not rain men in Charlotte.

So, like I was saying. Raining cats and dogs but not literally. I had to hang out on the stoop of a vacant condo for it settle down a bit and even then, it was still coming down consistently.

 And I absolutely hate when I am wearing my flips and my feet get wet. I was sliding all over the place and I think it’s just a gross feeling in general. Kind of how I imagine it would be to get a tongue foot bath. Nasty.

And then it rained and rained and rained some more. I had lunch and  watched movies and napped the rest of the day.

 It was perfect. Little Lincoln was comfy as well and was happy to partake in cuddle time.

I had an eggplant to use so I made roasted eggplant, red pepper and artichoke penne for dinner. I am not a big fan of the red sauce so I tossed with butter, grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and oregano.

Yummy. Nothing beats butter and grates parm I tell you.

I brought back an oldie but goodie for breakfast but with a new twist—pumpkin oats. I’ve seen bloggers adding pumpkin to their oats and never tried it. Um, why did I wait so long? I cooked on the stovetop with almond milk and added a few dashes of apple pie spice then topped with brown sugar when done.

Hollar.

And apparently there’s been a shortage of pumpkin this past year but USA TODAY says it’s over. Go figure why I couldn’t find canned pumpkin the other night.

There was yet another bake sale going on this week but for American Heart Association instead of Breast Cancer like the other week. Goodies this time were a bit cheaper—only $1 for anything on the table. I went with a decorative rice krispie heart.

 Again, my rationale that since my money is going to charity, calories don’t count (not a good rationale to have by the way)

I didn’t make anything for lunch last night but brought a simple lunch of a sliced chicken breast sandwich with buffalo cheddar cheese and tomato on a sandwich thin with a side of apples and cucumber. Look at me being all healthy.

Then my co-worker bought over his leftover French fries from Bojangles. I can’t turn down French fries and especially can’t turn down Bojangles fries. They had a super salty Cajun seasoning on them that in turn, makes me eat them only once or twice a year. I contemplated throwing them away but there are starving kids out there so that would be wasteful, yes?

Also, it’s quarter end week which means they bring in ridiculous amounts of sugar ridden snacks in hopes that hopping us up on sugar and caffeine won’t leave us too bitter about being here.


Nice view eh?

I got to leave work a little early since I had a Doctors appointment. And not a fun doctor like the OB GYN or dentist—my laser tattoo removal session.

My tattoo is almost completely faded so this should be my last session to get rid of the color (tip—green is the hardest color to remove so if you are thinking about a tattoo with green in it —make sure you really want it)

My next session will hopefully be them scraping it down since the scar has risen a bit from all the sessions I’ve had. It’s a painless procedure for the most part but they give me seven to eight shots of Novocain to numb the area so that is the worst part. After that, I just have to wait for the area to numb up completely and then they get to work. The actual laser part only takes a few minutes and then they bandage me up and I am good to go. The longer in between sessions the better they say because of something with the pigments and the treatments being more effective.

I love their retro waiting room.

I got home pretty early despite the slow drivers on the road because people here can’t drive in the rain and hung out with Lincoln for awhile. For dinner, I made the biggest slice of pizza ever.

Ok, so it kinda looks like a scroll. Don’t judge.

I topped with leftover eggplant, red pepprs and artichokes from last night and mozzarella cheese


So big, I have to cut in half so it would fit on my plate

Served along side with some fresh strawberries

C’est Magnifique!

And with that, I’m out. It’s not even 7P and I feel like I could fall asleep. Hope everyone had a happy Monday!

PS—Check out Prevention RD to win a mandolin!!

Friday Eve

16 Sep

Happy Friday Eve! This week has moved so slow I cannot wait for tomorrow 430P to be here so I can enjoy the weekend and then, sadly, do it again.

I like to get creative with my meals but sometimes nothing beats a sandwich and chips for lunch.

So simple yet so good.

It’s still crazy business at work but I snuck out early yesterday. My friend had a Groupon for La Paz so I joined her and we got our Mexican on! They had $4 Mojitos and Margaritas which always welcome in my book.

Along with that, any place that offers chips and salsa is a friend in my book. I think more restaurants should give free carbs before a meal, I would definitely patronize more.

They had a wide selection of dishes and after flip flopping between items I settled on the chicken and spinach tamales

Holy tamales. These were huge and too much for me, I finished 1/3 of them with a little of the rice and beans and took the rest to go. The tamales were good but the tusks were a little thick for my taste and it could have used more flavor but regardless, I will nosh on them in the near future. Leftover Mexican food is just the best!

Afterwards, I finally hit up Trader Joe’s. I haven’t been in two months which is just sad. I love my new place but I miss the convenience of being able to walk five minutes to Trader Joe’s to pick up goodies on end. I was happy to go there and re-stock plus get some goodies for a blogger trade I have going on.

Breakfast was an egg white, ham, cheese and avocado sandwich on a sandwich thin

Along with that, I brought back an oldie but goodie this morning thanks to a bag of baby spinach I got at TJ’s……

Iced Coffee Green Monster! And loving the three layers of color. Which reminds me, I need to get some protein powder soon because the vanilla whey I have is just not cutting it for me.

There’s a new restaurant called Wok On Fire my co-worker and I have been wanting to try. Each time I see the sign, I start singing Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire” but “Yeaaaaaaaaaah, this WOK is on fiiiiiiire” I love any restaurant name that I can incorporate into a song. They had a pretty nice setup inside with a spacious seating area but my friend ordered at the same time and we both got the General Tso’s but only one came out. So we waited for mine. And waited…..and waited. I got up when I saw the waitress coming by (it’s one of those joints where you order in the front and theygive you a number and bring to you) and I said “Excuse me” and she looked at me and walked away. Ok??? I heard her speaking english before and I am not a quiet girl so that annoyed me so I went right to the front and found the manager who alleviated the situation right away and got me my General Tso’s.

It was good but nothing to write home about. I would go there if I wanted a quick (well hopefully next time it would be quick) fix for Chinese when I am work but don’t think I will be saying “Oh, I need some Wok on Fire stat” anytime soon.

I brought back another oldie but goodie for dinner —pizza! I picked up some whole wheat pizza dough from TJ’s last night and was so happy to have it sitting in my fridge again. They have the whole wheat dough at Harris Teeter but it’s $1.99 and for some reason, I just don’t want to spend the extra dollar on theirs.

Not being a big pizza sauce girl, I used TJ’s Marinara sauce since it is light, thin with bunches of flava

I sliced some eggplant and artichokes, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and baked for 15 minutes to tenderize them the loaded them up on the pizza along with a sprinkle of garlic and red pepper flakes

Magnificent! Yet another vegetarian meal that wasn’t planned at all to be one but turned out great. I really need to incorporate eggplant more into my world.

I served with a random salad topped with tomato, red pepper and avocado with a new dressing to try–Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard.

Really diggin this dressing! It’s no Chick Fil A Fat Free Honey Mustard but it was damn tasty and more of a dijon style honey mustard than anything. I hate buying new salad dressings since they can sound good but then when you try them they don’t live up to your expectation. That being said, when I find a dressing I like-I stick with it.

Aside from the fact that tomorrow is Friday, I have a fun reason to look forward to tomorrow. This girl is in town and we are hanging tomorrow night with another blogger from the area who I haven’t met! I’ve only met some Charlotte bloggers and my favorite NYC bloggers so this will be a treat to meet Diana since she is one of my favorites! She keeps telling me that’s she’s quiet in person and not to be shocked but I can talk for hours on end so I think I can bring her out of her shell. Operation Make Her Talk is so on! And I am taking her to one of my favorite places in Charlotte that I am sure they will enjoy.

Lincoln gives kisses and says Happy Friday Eve bitches!!

Time Flies….

29 Aug

Well, you know the rest of the old saying. Where did this wknd go? I feel like I was just scheming to get out of work early so I could make it to happy hour on Friday.

Yesterday morning was a bit rough for me but some friends called and asked if I wanted to go to lunch and see what the hangover wasn’t fully gone, I gladly accepted. We chose Village Tavern since they have a huge patio and it didn’t seem like it was going to excruciating, sweat falling down your butt crack kinda hot out. We pretty much had the patio to ourselves since it was kinda dead. We had an interesting server guardian angel….yeah…..that’s what our server introduced himself as. I found it weird but cute.  Kinda dead but with slow service, what’s up with that? I got a diet coke since I needed caffeine to jolt my system and I was sucking them down like there was no tomorrow. Shows them for charging $2,50 for a soda—when did that happen?

I got the Miami Burger with fries—burger topped with ham, swiss, Dijon mustard and pickles.

Look at the gooey cheese!

We sat around for a while and chatted but then remembered the new Pinkberry was right around the corner. I’ve never tried Pinkberry but love all things fro yo and if Pinkberry is good enough for Paris Hilton, it should be good enough for me right?

Wrong.

It was insanely packed which I can handle but was expecting more of a selection flavor wise. I got the pomegranate fro yo topped with blackberries, kiwi and fruity pebbles and it was good but I’ve had better. I would rather go elsewhere, mix and match and have it weighed. Also, I’m a pretty happy person however the happy happy joy joy act was a bit too sunshiney happiness up my butt for me personally. But then again, I was hungover so yeah…..

 

And then when we were waiting in line to pay, the power went out for a few seconds so that meant the computers took forever to reload with the cash registers. And then overcharged me by $2 but it was so ridiculously crazy and happy in there I didn’t even feel like going back in.

I felt so overly bloated the rest of the night I went for a 3 mile walk just to move. I felt so stuffed the whole time so seeing that I was wearing a heart rate monitor, was a bit uncomfortable.

I had a BIG salad for dinner with spring mix, tomato, avocado, mushrooms,cucumbers, ground turkey, onion, sweet peppers and cheese with some new dressing.

I loved this dressing, it would be awesome as a chicken or pork marinade as well. And what is it about avocado that makes everything better?

I would love to say I went out again or had an exciting but no dice. I was in bed with this beauty, I am enjoying it immensely but fell asleep a few times while reading since I was exhausted.

I would have loved to gone out but I have been spending way too much money on dining and drinking lately. I love my new little neighborhood but feel like I have been loving it a little too much since everything is so convenient. My wallet and my waistline are not diggin this. I had a resolution to drink less beer this month and that’s not going well at all. I have been working out a few times a wk but really need to get more exercise in more consistently.

I had a sweet potato that was needing to be used so this morning I cut into little rounds, brushed with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and let bake for about 20 minutes. Now looking back, the fact that I was handling a knife with no caffeine in my system was not a smart move on my behalf at all. Along with it with an egg and cheese sandwich thin topped with avocado, green onion and ketchup.

Fabulous way to start my morning.

Soon, I was off to go to my friends pool. I’ve been so spoiled with growing up in Florida, living in Arizona and living here and always had a pool. It’s just standard in my world and not having one kinda sucks. I figure this wknd would be the last of the summer I would get some pool time in so off I went. It was a great time until we were people watching and this woman had a panty liner  or some kind of toilet paper attached to her booty—eek! We just kept staring and ate one point I felt mortified for this lady and finally had to look away. It was a persistent pest as well  since it was on her, she went in the pool, got out and still stuck! Someone finally went up to her and told her but that bad boy stayed on for a while. And for the rest of the day, I was wiping my butt all paranoid and stuff.

 I feel like I am all booked for September already, look at how popular I am jk :)

Wknd of 4th-Parentals and some sorority sisters in plus going to a new stylist to get my hair done

Wknd of 11th-Greek Fest!

Wknd of 18th–Diana in town

Wknd of 25th-Oktoberfest and a possible guest in town. I can tell you now that wknd is going to be shot with the Oktoberfest b/c it will be the hangover from hell. WVU also plays LSU that night so it’s going to be a crazy one!

Starving by the time I got back, I picked up at a 6 inch meatball sub from Harris Teeter since it was the $2.99 special today. I mixed it up and got chipotle mayo and banana peppers on it and it was messy and tasty!

I lounged around, caught up on Real Housewives of DC and gave myself a manicure and pedicure since Sundays suck and those things make me happy. If I am going to dread going back to work, I may as well enjoy the night before right?

Dinner was random-fried green tomatoes and nachos

I sprinkled some tabasco on them for taste

So the nachos were kinda depressing. I am using to just throwing them in microwave for a minute to melt the cheese but now have to use my oven. I obviously didn’t know how long to do it for since they turned out a tad crispy but still edible. I need to work on that a bit. I miss having a microwave :(

Hope everyone had a fabulous wknd and let’s hope this one goes by quickly since we have a three day wknd to look forward to next wknd!

That’s What She Said

28 Aug

Thursday breakfast, I ate like a queen! I recently bought these Pops Mix It Strawberries flavored cereal. I am not much of a cereal person and if I do indulge, will have the healthy kind like Kashi Go Lean. Fruity Pebbles will forever be my favorite kind of sugary cereal —mostly because the milk gets a stained glass look afterwards and that’s just fun! But I never buy the Fruity Pebbles and only bought this kind since it was $1 for the bag.

 

It tasted good but didn’t keep me full at all.  When I got to work, I had plans to meet up with an old co-worker of mine for coffee. We went to Einsteins and when I got there I remembered that a coupon for free hash browns and free coffee when buying an order of Chicken Mini’s at Chick Fil A. If you don’t get their calendar and love the Chick Fil A, you need to get on that around Christmas time. It’s become tradition that my parents get me that every year and that’s fine with me b/c I am easy like that (that’s what she said). Tip—if you buy a $25 gift card, you get the calendar for free. The Chick Fil A near me takes expired coupons as well so I am still using some from last years calendar.

 

Chick Fil A was also the highlight of my lunch on Thursday with their fat free honey mustard dressing.

I love you Chick Fil A..

Has anyone out there heard about the Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt?

 source

I know this is a heart attack waiting to happen but I am going to try it. One of my sorority sisters will be in next wknd and she is crashing with me and we have made plans to make a late night trip to Denny’s (sober unfortunately) and have a go at it. We talked about splitting it but who knows if that will happen. All I know is I am so excited!!! And I am going to enjoy every last bite of it since I love all things cheese. The fact that it’s only $4 doesn’t hurt either.

Thursday night I made a Taco Casserole for dinner with macaroni, ground turkey, black beans, mushrooms, jalapenos, shredded cheddar, onions and sour cream. Wow, that’s a mouth full right there (that’s what she said). I’ve never made this before but it seemed like a really good recipe to try since I had all the items on hand and could mix everything all together and save for later.

I added some cayenne pepper, garlic and Tabasco to it for a little kick and kept me full for hours.

 

Pretty 

Dirty

 I made the mistake of watching Dexter Season 4 Thursday night. I was sleep deprived since the sugar from my adult drinks kept me the night before but needed to watch it.  I always tell myself I am going to only watch one or two episodes but five episodes later I was on the season finale and wow. That’s all I can say. Such an amazing show, I love the story lines, the dark humor and the character development.

I got up at 530A on Friday only to find I was out of coffee. No bueno. I need to jump on that asap b.c me in a house with no caffeine is just not right. At least was up with me…….well, kind of.

I made yet another egg and cheese sandwich topped with ketchup and green onions but got a little creative with the presentation

 

I am so happy I am a 30 yr old woman with the mentality of a 14 year old boy

I missed my bus but had Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang to keep me company. I just love her so, she is just so crass. My dream lunch (or happy hour) would be with her and Kathy Griffin, I just know we would be besties!!

Friday was unbearably slow. By 945A I was done with all my catch up work and had nothing to do. Thankfully, I remembered the hippies were outside and took a break to go read some more Chelsea and get some hippie loving.

 

All of this for $8. I love hippies long time. I got green tomatoes and of course am going to make fried green tomatoes. I’ve had them before and they were delish and can’t wait to make them this wknd! I asked how long they are going to be out this year because they usually go away in September but she said they are going to be there as long as they can with their winter produce available. That made me happy.

 

Lunch was leftover enchiladas, just as good the second time around!!

 

Then one of my co-workers brought me over a piece of her carrot cake she had from the night before. It was so yummy, I thought it was Cheesecake Factory quality but turns out it was Food Lion, go figure.

Does anyone remember the Pizzeria potato chips from the 90′s? They looked like Doritos and has different flavors like Pepperoni, Supreme, etc. These Wheat Thins taste so much like them its freaky!! I wish I could find Pizzeria’s on-line but don’t think they exists anyone, sadness.

I was itching to get out of work since I had happy hour plans after work and had a little overtime this week so I got to leave a little earlier than normal. I got out a little early and was waiting at the Charlotte Transportation Center (AKA Blvd of Broken Dreams) and I feel uneasy whenever I’m there. Someone is always smoking something, I get eyed like I’m a fried pork chop and I feel like a riot is about to break out. I was just sitting there with my ipod and big sunglasses not making eye contact with anyone and waiting for the bus to get there. The bus never showed up and I thought I was going crazy but turns out it was 15 minutes late which was cutting into my happy hour prep time. I don’t like that.

I started with some Abita Light. I never tried this beer before but love their Purple Haze so thought I would give it a go. It was a decent beer and kind of had a nutty flavor to it.

Then we went to Piccaso’s Sports Bar for drinks and grub. They claim to have the best wings in Charlotte so I had to give them a go. I got the Hot BBQ wings

Mmmmm, look how messy they look! I devoured these babies and they definitely lived up to the claim. I was still hungry afterwards and may have had some of my friends onion rings. Good times had by all.

Again, I woke up this morning with no coffee. But I did have food so I made a slammin cheese and green onion omelet topped with avocado and tomato

Hope everyones weekend is off to a great start!

Tofu Win. Egg Fail

10 Aug

 Monday was meh Monday. Blech. Another Monday where I just couldn’t wake up, it was too humid out and my stomach was cramping. Suffice to say, not a good way to start the week. Plus the new guy on our team started today and I am helping with training so trying to be patient, enthusiastic and oh yeah, nice was stretching it a bit for me.

I thought breakfast would be rocking—I made an egg scramble with egg whites and one brown egg with avocado and tabasco.

To be honest, the eggs kinda sucked. I am used to eggs with ketchup and for some reason, don’t have any on hand. In my old apartment, I would have bottles of ketchup in the cupboard for this kind of situation. But now? None. Maybe someone decided to do their own intervention o’ ketchup since they know I love it so much but I honestly have no clue who that would be. And it’s not like I don’t go to the supermarket twice a week and live within walking distance of one that I can’t buy it, I just haven’t. End of ketchup rant. The avocado looked like it was ready to go on the outside and was tender but when I sliced it open, it totally wasn’t. I hate when that happens.

I had leftover  Linguine Pescatore for lunch

Now looking back, I was totally that obnoxious person stinking up the break room with my seafood. Oh well, sucks for them—it was worth it!!

Snacks for the day

There was a surprise anniversary party for one of the managers on my floor. And we all know what that means—cake. Lots of it. But I was surprised they had stuff besides cake like cheese, crackers and nuts.

I was quite proud of myself for passing on the cake but I would be lying if I said this plate was my only plate of cheese. I can’t resist the siren calls of dairy!

I bought some tofu awhile ago and needed to use it soon. Most of the tofu dishes I’ve made have been stir fry and to be honest, that gets a tad boring after awhile. I thought it would be fun and something different to try tofu tacos.

I got creative with getting the liquid out from my tofu instead of just pressing with a plate or paper towel. Who needs a tofu press when you have this? Actually, a tofu press would be pretty sweet but still I can save some money in the meantime by doing this.

I seasoned the tofu with salt and pepper then cooked with these two

The tofu was great-I’ve only made it one other time without breading or not fried and it turned out horrendous (on another note, that was one of my favorite posts to write). But this meal was fabulous, tasty and fresh, what more could you ask for?

As always, my little guy was right near me waiting for something to drop. Something tells me he wouldn’t discriminate against the tofu

I got my free drink coupon from Starbucks in the mail–now to think of what I will get and when!

If you’re like me thinking a peach and pomegranate smoothie would be a fun RSVP party in your mouth, you’re wrong. I made this concoction last night with almond milk, ice, xanthan gum and it was horrid. So horrid I didn’t even take a picture of it so yeah, chew on that (or should I say sip on that?) for awhile. Sometimes pairings that seem magical to you don’t turn out to be so magical.

Kinda like Crystal Pepsi

I used to not care for Tuesdays just like Amy but ever since I started going to zumba on Tuesday nights I have something forward to and am diggin that. I convinced one of my co-workers ( who has started to eat healthier and lost a ton of weight already!) to go with me and she seemed interested but I didn’t think she would actually go. She mentioned to me the other day that she will see me there tonight and I can’t wait to see her at zumba.

I also found out a restaurant near my place that has $2.50 fish tacos on Tuesday nights which could totally get in the way of my zumba time. But then I guess it all comes down to priorities right? Happy Tuesday all!

Fresh

3 Aug

As much as I love the eggs, I really need to start buying egg-whites again. I think my heart will thank me after the fat fest I had for breakfast yesterday morning: Two Scrambled Eggs with Muenster Cheese, Avocado and Tomato

 

Lunch was a BIG salad with carrots, tomato, feta cheese, quinoa, green onions topped with pulled pork and pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Holy balls. I don’t like the idea of hot and cold together most times (with the exception of greek yogurt and oatmeal) but I nuked the pulled pork up for about a minute and the combination was terrific. I also liked how the pomegranate balsamic vinegar tasted with it. I didn’t want to ever end :(

One of my co-workers came over to my desk and told me she had a treat for me. I love treats. And I love treats in the name of fresh produce even more. I thought she was just being sweet but she had an ulterior motive but it worked out fine because I can be persuaded just to do about anything if you put some good food in front of me.

I want this dogs life

A girlfriend and I had plans to go to dinner so she came over to my place and we walked over to Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill, a semi-new place here. Can I say how happy I am that I moved? I love the convenience of being able to walk to restaurants, shops, bars, etc.  I know I keep talking about it but that right there is something I am willing to pay more money for. I can tell a difference in my energy level and attitude from not having to wake up at the butt crack of down and having a long commute.  Love it.

I got the Jerk style Gardenburger with garlic fries (I’ve heard people raving about them so had to see if they lived up to the hype)

There was jerk sauce and pineapples under the beautiful layer of melted cheese.

And the fries? They totally lived up to my expectations, it was a fair amount of garlic but nothing that would keep a vampire away. We had quick service, enjoyed the patio area and had reasonable prices, I would definitely go back.

Today was another day full of fruits and veggies. I needed to take a little break from the eggs for breakfast and had a green monster in a bowl instead. I made it with blueberries, spinach, almond milk, xanthan gum and half a packet of Spiru-Tein Blueberries and Cream Protein Powder topped with Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Yeah…..and there was about 1/3 still left in my magic bullet.  Again, if you haven’t tried xanthan gum, what are you waiting for?? It’s awesome!

Lunch was yet again a BIG Salad with romaine, tomato, quinoa, carrots, cucumber, onion, ham, hardboiled eggs, Laughing Cow french onion wedge and sunflower seeds topped with Ken’s Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette. Add another salad to the list that I didn’t want to end.

I was heading to zumba class after work and tried my Boomi Bar that’s been sitting around

I really liked this, it was a simple almond bar and it wasn’t too sweet or moist (I feel so dirty when I say that word)

Zumba was great but I didn’t rock it as much as last week since I am still a tad achey from Jackie Warner’s One on One Training DVD I did the other day. I didn’t jump around as much but I still got a good workout in with a nice calorie burn of 677 and average heart rate of 166—yes!

I was ready for a big dinner when I got home! I made turkey burgers (with parsley, green onions, Heinz 57, garlic and panko breadcrumb) 

Laughing  Cow makes everything better

I served with a cold quinoa salad with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper with carrots, cucumbers, tomato and red onion thrown in.

I loved the meals I’ve had the past two days and can honestly say that all this fresh produce is my favorite part of summer. I am going to miss having access to different farmers markets in the area once fall comes around but I think it’s a fair trade-off for football, sweaters and cold weather. There are so many veggies to look forward to as well which means new stuff-yay!

A Pom Kind Of Day

1 Aug

The friendly people at POM Wonderful contacted me a couple of weeks ago in regards to trying their pomegranate juice. I was so excited because I love all things pomegranate but have only tried the actual juice a couple of times before (I prefer to get my pomegranate from pom flavored beer thank you very much! :) )

A little about POM Wonderful from their site

  • contain no added sugars, preservatives or colors
  • are a good source of potassium
  • are gluten-free
  • are flash pasteurized to retain both flavor and nutrients
  • are certified kosher
  • Plus they have different flavors of Pom juice that I never knew about-such as mango, kiwi, blueberry, cherry and nectarine with a myriad of different products like tea, bars, iced coffee (say whaaaaa??!!?!), shots, pills and more.

    I got their package on Friday and have been brainstorming what I could make with it. Yes, I could make a cocktail or green monster but I wanted to try cooking with it.

    With that, I decided to make Feta, Walnut and Parsley stuffed pork chops with a creamy pomegranate sauce and a side salad with pomegranate balsamic dressing

    I finally bit the bullet and bought some xanthan gum. I’ve been wanting to get these to use in my green monsters since they turn out soupy a lot of the time and to use in sauced instead of corn starch. Most recipes only call for one to two tablespoons of cornstarch so this bag is going to last me awhile!

    For the stuffing, I threw in 1/3 cup walnuts, 3 tbsp of feta and a few tbsp of parsley in the food processor and pulsed on low for about 10 seconds.

    I butterflied two pork chips and stuffed with the filling then secured with toothpicks. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil and black pepper on them and then cooked at 350 for 25-30 minutes

    For the creamy sauce, I threw  1/4 cup half and half with 3/4 of a POM Wonderful bottle on the stovetop with one tbsp xanthan gum and let cook on a low setting for 10 minutes until thick and bubbly. I know it kinda looks like the River of Slime from Ghostbusters 2 but don’t fear, it was tasty!

    Side salad with carrots, tomato, extra stuffing mix, quinoa topped with homemade  pomegranate balsamic vinegar. I liked the dressing a lot and never knew how easy it was to make your own dressing!

     This was such a fabulous, filling meal. It was nice to experiment with the POM Wonderful for a different flavor for my meals and I cannot wait to try it with more stuff—thanks POM Wonderful for sending me and giving me the opportunity to try your juice, I am loving it!

    I also found the mythical Chobani Pomegrante Greek Yogurt I’ve been seeing all over the blogs lately. I’ve never seen this flavor in the store before so when I saw it this past week, I practically screamed and started doing my happy dance right in the middle of Harris Teeter!

    And I got to use the free Chobani coupons I won over at Nutrition Nut on The Run so free Chobani is always nice. It was terrific! I am a bit skeptical with new flavors ever since trying Chobani’s Pineapple flavor but this did not disappoint. Thus being said, I may just turn into a pomegranate by end of day.

     Fail to plan, plan to fail….yep that’s what I would say about my lunch today

    Microwave popcorn-yum! I love the stuff but it is not filling at all. Oh, I didn’t mention I had this at work did I? Yeah. Another so busy week that I went in for five hours today just to catch up on my emails so I could get some peace of mind. I was annoyed by having to go in to do that but I kept repeating to myself “time and a half-pay, time and a half-pay, time and a half-pay” to make it bearable.

    Oh and I know how I was singing praises to Jackie Warner and her workout dvd yesterday but today? I curse the day she was born. My everything hurts and each time I step up or sit down today, I whimper a bit. It’s sad. No pain no gain right??

    I made a yummy plate of eggs topped with avocado and tabasco for breakfast.

    Hey healthy fats!! Just wanted to say that I heart you.

    I got a Magic Bullet for my birthday this past December and finally opened the box today to try it out with a green monster with blueberries, almond milk, baby spinach, Spiru-Tein Blueberries & Cream protein powder (half a packet), one Splenda and 1/2 tbsp of xanthan gum

    Holy crap-why did I wait so long to use this? I absolutely loved how easy it was to use, quick it was and way more quiet than my blender. And xanthan gum, I just love it. It came out like sludge (which is a good thing!) this was more like an ice cream treat than a smoothie.

    Happy August to everyone as well, I completely forgot its first of the month!

    Things to work on for this month

    *Drink less beer. I was out of control the month of July. Ok, not alcoholic out of control but drinking way more beer than I normally do due to the ridiculously hot weather out.

    *Have a more consistent workout schedule each week. With moving and going on vacation twice in July, I didn’t get much workout time in. Again, add the nasty weather and it was a recipe for laziness on my part.

    *Cook more at home, eat out less. Now that my kitchen is all squared away and I am somewhat getting used to cooking in a smaller kitchen, I need to get back into the swing of things.

    All in all, today was a great day with work, new recipes, etc. Hope everyones August is off to an equally fabulous start!

    PS—Check out Eat, Move, Love for a fun giveaway!

    PPS-Anyone else have Blogger issues? I keep trying to comment on Blogger blogs and can’t, it’s a tad frustrating!

    Big on the Pig

    29 Jul

    So, I feel if I eat anymore pig at this point, I am going to explode. But it may just be work it with the good eats I’ve had the past couple of days! Work has been super stressful the last two days, we have had one person out for the past week and a half. On top of that, I rolled into work yesterday and another girl was sick and my manager came right over to my desk when I walked in and told me she was leaving because her mother in law passed away the night before. Oi Vey! It’s like one bad thing keeps happening to our team plus we have some of our highest volumes EVER so it’s a tad frustrating at this point.

    Good thing I can now sleep in later, have my morning cup of joe and make breakfast at home instead of scarfing it down at my desk. I present, pig eat #1

    Egg, cheese, ham and avocado sandwich on a whole wheat bagel thin. Talk about a filling and somewhat nutritious meal. This kept me full for a while and I am a fan of that

    Leftover pad thai from Monday for lunch from Thai Thai. It was actually good this time, much to my surprise. I think it had to do something with the sauce , when I got it on Monday it was super soupy and think it overrode every other flavor.

    A peach that did not come from a can…..that was put there by a man….in a factory downtown. Sheesh, I remember seeing Presidents of the USA in concert when I was 16 and now that I think of that, I feel old.

    Work dragged on and I felt like it would never end. However, I did get everything done and left in time to meet up with some other ladies at the Cajun Queen, a New Orleans themed restaurant here in Charlotte that I’ve been wanting to check out for a long time!

    Blackened Catfish with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. Go me for keeping it kinda healthy! I was proud of myself for not getting A) Pig or B) a dish with a cream sauce because I love me anything roux. This was good but nothing out of this world. I personally like stuff really spicy and it has a kick but no distinct flavors popped out. One of the other girls, got the Diane Chicken (Mushrooms, garlic, butter, green onions, parsley and Queen’s Magic spices) and it was fabulous, I would try that if I was to go there again.

    Pig eat # 2 was this morning

    Omelet with cheese, avocado and ham. Another satisfying breakfast……and Chris Cuomo was on GMA this morning!

    I don’t know what it is about this man but he just knocks my socks off, rawr

    I am not into spiders at all but am really diggin this spider web in front of my place

    Catfish with quinoa topped with mushrooms, peppers and zucchini. I am loving the quinoa (so much more than brown rice at least) and can’t wait to make more creations with it!

    I was supposed to meet up with one of my girlfriends to go walk our dogs after work but after the day I had, two words came to mind.

    DRINKS

    NOW!!

    I had a Groupon for $30 for Icehouse South End, a relatively new restaurant near home. I’ve heard mixed things about this place off of Yelp but already had $30 worth of food and drinks (yes you could use this Groupon for liquor—score!) so why not try it out?

    Carolina Strawberry for only $2? Sign me up. I’ve had the Carolina Blonde before but never this one and was pleasantly surprised. A subtle, refreshing strawberry flavor with it that went down nicely. I guess the fact that it was only $2 helped it go down easily as well.

    My friend already ate and as much as I wanted to, we didn’t think we would be able to drink $30 worth of beer because I am not 21 anymore and have this little thing called work in the morning.

    Chips and Salsa with queso dip. The queso was out-friggin-standing. I joked around that I wanted to just take my straw and slurp it up (I was joking but 75% serious!)

    Pig eat #3

    Large pulled pork plate with fries and cole slaw. It was like a little baby pig on a plate—-sorry to any vegetarians but look at the size of it! I got the large plate so we could get up to the $30 mark and so I could have leftovers. I had all of the fries because if I ever have a meal with fries, they are the first thing to go. I can’t start on anything else on my plate until they are gone since i am weird like that. The cole slaw was great—it wasn’t mayo based at all but a vinegar based one which I am a huge fan of. I had a few bites of the pork but boxed pretty much all of it up so I can enjoy this wknd.

     

    Saranac Pomegranate Wheat. I feel like I’ve had my vitamins for the day through my strawberry and pomegranate infused beer-go me! And who doesn’t love a beer that has a bear juggling pomegranates? That right there? Is just fun.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this place. The service was good, fairly priced food and I believe they had a beer selection of over 200 beers. Word on the street (ok or their website) is that they have some pretty good drink specials also like $4 Margaritas on Tuesdays, which I would totally check out. More so than $1 Margaritas at San Antonio’s, blech.

    I looooooove the view of the Duke building from South End!

    On that note, I am outta here—hope everyone had a fabulous thirsty Thursday like I did!

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