click on these

making candy bars

Making nutty candy bars

  • I hadn’t particularly enjoyed any green smoothie until I tried this one. Note: next time, I’ll try with half a banana (or maybe a pear or apple), as I found the banana flavor a tad overpowering.
  • Skip the store-bought lowfat peanut butter and try this instead.
  • For the dog lovers who don’t or can’t own dogs: Walkzee is an amazing start-up (launching this summer!) that allows you to take shelter dogs on walks. Completely FREE. I’ve already signed up!
  • Are you a 90’s music fan? Watch this. Also, be prepared to feel really old.

Happy weekend!

the adjustment period

new kitchen

The new kitchen (as seen on Instagram)

While I don’t necessarily subscribe to the belief in zodiac signs, I have to say the personality traits of my sign are completely accurate. I’m a Taurus and I’m down-to-earth and extremely patient, but I’m also stubborn and very uncomfortable with change.

We moved in to the new apartment this weekend. It went well, for the most part. I say “for the most part” because, while the actual moving was quick,  the day was exhausting. We had a goal of unpacking pretty much everything that night, but unfortunately that just wasn’t possible. It was late and I was hungry, tired and cranky and our bedroom was cluttered with bags, boxes and loose shelves on the floor. What is that they say about your home reflecting your state of mind? It’s true because I went to bed that night feeling like the apartment looked—messy, frazzled and generally not in the right space.

old living room2

Our old living room, almost all packed.

But the next day I was feeling more energetic as was Bob, so we knocked out some more boxes and the place was starting to look less like a warehouse and more like a home. Even with that said, I was feeling very homesick, which was completely unexpected, especially since I’d been so ready to be done with our Astoria apartment just a few days prior. I was missing the old place and my routines. I missed knowing where everything was and feeling familiar with my surroundings.

And I can’t seem to find my hair brush anywhere. This bugs me.

But I know I’m just getting used to all of it. It’s an adjustment and it takes time. I know this. But I just need that time to sulk a bit. I need to get it out of my system. A stage of grief to go through, if you will.

old living room3

Next is the part where I break out of my Taurus bull-headed ways and make the best with what we do have: a bright and sunny kitchen to cook in, a normal-size refrigerator (for once!), a new car (thanks to a very very very generous family member on Bob’s side) among a dozen other things I’m grateful for (See? Maybe my stage of acceptance isn’t too far off. Progress).  I’ll have to take after the Aquarians out there and learn to be a little more flexible. Although my dad is an Aquarius and he is probably one of the least flexible people I know, so…there’s that. I probably take after him. After all, we do have a baby on the way and that will be another huge change that I’ll have to adjust to. Maybe this is all just preparing for me a different kind of life. After years of routine and order, it’s time for a little chaos.

But if I could only find that hair brush, maybe, just maybe, life would feel a little less unsettled right now.

old living room

the one when we learn how to swaddle and change a diaper on a doll

baby-doll

Bob and I signed up for a How To Care for Your Newborn class at the hospital. I think I may have held a newborn once or twice in my life but never for very long. I was always too nervous to handle my nephews when they were tiny, so I preferred to wait to hold them until they got a little sturdier. And I’ve never changed a diaper or swaddled a baby before. Ditto for Bob.

As I’ve been reading books and blogs, I’ve been discovering a whole new world of babies. Honey? Off-limits to any child under 1 year of age. Crib bumpers? Death traps! Drop-side cribs? Outlawed! I was so curious…how many more things do I need to be aware of?

So you see, this class was very necessary for the both of us.

We learned a lot. But the interactive portion of the class was most fun.

Bob is going to make an excellent swaddler, let me tell you.

swaddle3

But he might need more help with diaper changes. He slid the baby to the side on the changing table, to which I reminded him that our real baby will not be made of plastic, so he won’t be able to just slide Bebop. I mean.

diaper change2

I was better at the diaper changes, but I got the hang of the swaddle on our last try. Let’s be honest though, plastic babies are hard to swaddle so…

diaper change

swaddle2

swaddle

Next up, I’m going read The Happiest Baby on the Block. Not only did our instructor (who is also a certified doula) recommend it, but I hear it’s the best book out there for advice on calming your baby. And if the frantic, consistent jabs to my ribs are any indication, this baby will need some calm in her life.

click on these

dk theater

Lincoln Center

  • I read this interesting article, “What You Need to Know about Organic Foods” a couple of years ago and it actually further inspired me to shop for food more mindfully. It’s short, but informative and eye-opening.
  • The lip-sync craze isn’t over yet: this sassy lady trio couldn’t be any cuter.
  • You will melt when you see this (hint: the video includes a puppy and a baby). No sound needed.

Happy weekend!

how i eat: what’s for dinner this week?


dried pasta

I am so in the mood for some new cookbooks. Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food gets great reviews. One day, my friend and I planned on eating at the restaurant for brunch, but the wait time was long and we were so hungry. The tiny tables sidled up so close to other patrons weren’t looking too appealing to a very hangry me either, so we ended up at a place around the corner instead. It was mediocre and I regretted not waiting just a little while more for the acclaimed brunch. I always make a mental note to go back, but just never get around to it. I’ll make it there one of these days. But once we we’re all moved in, I’m going straight to Amazon and ordering this book. It’s the next best thing. I can’t wait to try out some new recipes and I love simple Italian/French cuisines and techniques so I’m confident I’ll love this one. But for these next few weeks of moving madness, I’m sticking with what works.

Sunday: Chicken BLT Avocado salad with my lemon dijon vinaigrette. This is on regular rotation. As in, every week for weeks now. I like it that much. Bob doesn’t mind it either. I think it’s the homemade croutons that make it for him.

Monday: Skinny pasta alfredo with spicy roasted broccoli. I’d been craving a comforting alfredo sauce for a while now and since I need to use up the ditalini rigati, I figured ditalini rigati alfredo (that’s a mouthful!), why not?  I wanted only a slightly lighter option than the usual stick of butter and loads of cheese and cream version and found this one. It was perfect because, while it was a touch lighter, it was still  rich and creamy like the original. I didn’t have Neufchatel cheese, but I did have cream cheese which comes pretty close, so I used that. I didn’t have heavy cream, so I completely omitted it from the dish, but I did use whole milk (as opposed to 2%) so I think that made up for it.  I ran out of white flour so I used using whole-grain instead, but that flavor came across in the pasta a little bit. You’ll definitely want to use white flour for this.

Tuesday: I’m excited for this one: Thai chicken wraps and a small side salad. I’ll grill thin chicken breasts, cover it in this peanut sauce, add a little extra cilantro and sliced seedless cucumbers, wrap it in some of those fajita wraps I have in my fridge and call it a night. Greens on the side are a must. I’ll toss in a few roasted Brussels sprouts on the side for Bob (he loves ‘em) and a romaine salad for myself.

Wednesday: Bob is going to cook! He’s been adamant about using up all the ingredients we have in the fridge/freezer/cabinets so he’s going to do an “everything but the kitchen sink” Crockpot dish. All I know is that it will include sausage and bbq sauce. Not going to lie—I’m a little worried that he might go overboard, but I’m crossing my fingers for a hit. I’m still learning to relinquish control in the kitchen.

Thursday: A Spanish omelette. Thinly-sliced potatoes, crispy bits of bacon bacon and caramelized onions all tossed into a batter of eggs seasoned with milk, smoked paprika, vinegar, salt, pepper and then cooked. This recipe comes close to what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve been finding myself more exhausted than usual when I come home on Thursdays (end of the week fatigue!), so I’ll  probably cook the onions and bacon ahead of time. I like saving the easiest or quickest meal for Thursdays since all I want to do is lay out, watch Sex & the City reruns and nod off at around 9pm. That’s the ideal Thursday night right there, guys.

click on these

Happy weekend!

the dressing i put on everything

lemon

Almost everything. As in, salads, avocados, sandwiches, raw and cooked veggies. I haven’t yet tried it as a marinade for meat, but that’s coming up. I could imagine it ‘ll taste excellent on some grilled chicken breasts. Ooooh! I just pictured this and now I want to try it with the chicken I’m making this Thursday. Okay, done. It’s happening.

It’s such a simple vinaigrette and it’s something I just decided to make after not having all the ingredients to make another dressing. I haven’t looked back since.

See these here?

lemon dijon vinaigrette

That’s it. That’s all you need. You might have them in your kitchen already. Easy peasy.

Let’s not even call this a recipe. Let’s call it…a blend of simple ingredients. You don’t even need to follow the same measurements. These happen to be the measurements that I prefer, but if you lean towards a certain taste, then add more of that. Adjust, taste as you go…do you.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
serves 2-4 (depending on how large your salad is)

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder or garlic paste (when I have it, I prefer the paste.)
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar.
Shake vigorously until fully emulsified.
Serve.
Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

Quick, versatile, almost effortless and 10x better than the store-bought stuff!

Next Page »
%d bloggers like this: