First day of work!

Yesterday was my first day of work!  It was a lot of orientation-type activities, so it wasn’t very intellectually stimulating or anything.  I met some new friends and got comfortable riding the T (subway in Boston).  My first day of work outfit was this red-orange top from J.Crew that my brother helped me pick out and a black pencil skirt from Banana Republic. Not pictured: black pumps.

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My hair ended up in a loose low messy bun, but I kept it down for most of the day! 

For dinner we made a pizza on our new pizza stone that Brendan got us at Target!  We used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough, some jarred spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella, chicken sausage, and caramelized onions!  It came together pretty quickly!  I also chopped up another Italian chopped salad.

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We couldn’t get the crust on the bottom as crispy as we would have liked it.  Any suggestions?  Should we heat the pizza stone first?  How do you put the pizza on a hot pizza stone?


A working woman!

Today is my first day of work!  I still feel like I am just starting another round of school; I even caught myself calling it my freshman year!! Call it whatever you want, but I sure hope it pays better than the other schools I’ve gone to!  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Last night we had another go-to weeknight favorite of ours: peanut sauce noodles.

I don’t really have a recipe for you because we make it differently every time, but I can give some good pointers…

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The sauce that I use is just natural peanut butter, Trader Joe’s teriyaki sauce, and some water in the ratio of 2:2:1.  For example, I would use 1/3 cup PB, 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce, and 1/6 cup water (eyeball it).  I originally got a recipe for the sauce from my All things Trader Joe’s cookbook, and it calls for some oil in the sauce, as well.

All you need for the dish is some spaghetti (we use whole wheat) and your favorite veggies and protein.  Last night, we used broccoli slaw (from Trader Joe’s), a yellow bell pepper, a tomato, and some chicken breast meat.  Broccoli slaw is better when it is blanched, but it is SO much easier to just put it in the strainer before you strain your noodles.  Just pour the boiling pot of noodles over the broccoli slaw and let sit for a minute or so.  Then toss with your other veggies, meat, and peanut sauce.  It is great warm or cold.  And it is SUPER good the next day.  Brendan already has it packed up for lunch tomorrow!

Let me know what you think if you try it! OR if you have a similar recipe, I’d love to hear about it!


Exploring Boston

Brendan and I set out this afternoon to tour the Back Bay in Boston, since that is where my office is, and I wanted to know how to get there on the T(subway).  I loved the Back Bay so much when I visited for interviews; it probably had a lot to do with why I chose the firm I chose. 

Our trip started out at… the Finish!! Yep, that’s the finish line of the Boston Marathon… drool. 

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You have to risk your life for a pic with the finish line.  I ran out there while the light was red, and Brendan took a quick picture of me!

There is only one thing that Brendan and I like as much as new ice cream shops…new CANDY shops

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Brendan was VERY excited about these peachy penguin gummies.  They were just OK.

We walked through the gorgeous brick buildings on Newbury Street, along the Charles River, and over to the Boston Common.

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I just realized that we meant to do the Freedom Trail today, but we forgot… another day.

It was such a beautiful day, and there were literally TONS of runners all along the river.  It was more crowded than some races I’ve been in!  Not kidding.   Needless to say, I was pretty excited to go running when we got home.  I have runner’s envy real bad.  I thought I knew where I was going, but then I wasn’t sure about my loop route plan, so I ended up doing an out-and-back 7 miler.  It was SO beautiful out.  There was a crazy cloud formation and a beautiful sunset over the city.  Sorry, but I took my water bottle instead of my camera.  You’ll just have to come visit me! 

Dinner tonight was turkey chili from the “Cooking with all things Trader Joe’s” cookbook.  It’s super simple and healthy, making it one of my go-to dinners. 

Turkey Chili – serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (we use white meat)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s Chipotle salsa (or your fav salsa)
  • 2 Tbs. BBQ sauce
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Toppings: cheese, nonfat greek yogurt or sour cream, avocado

Directions

  • Sauté the onion with the olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat
  • Add the ground turkey and break it up as it cooks
  • Once the turkey is cooked through, add the cumin.  Stir
  • Add the refried beans.  Smash them so that they mix with the other ingredients.
  • Add all other ingredients through black beans (not the toppings!)
  • Stir!
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy with toppings of your choice, cornbread, chips, sourdough bread?  Yum.

Moving update and “Yumm”y new product

Brendan and I have decided to go camping in Yellowstone for two nights during our road trip, so we need to buy a tent!  We are looking into buying a TINY small light tent from one of Brendan’s coworkers, and she let us try it out last night before committing to the big purchase! 

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Things got a little crazy in the kitchen last night when we were trying to get the poles to go in the right places without seriously damaging our apartment.  Once we got in we knew that it was just barely big enough.  Brendan said his only concern was how often I was planning to shower because it was a small space that would get stinky quickly. 

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How can someone SO CUTE be soooooo rude!!?  Of course I will shower… once a week.  I’m actually not sure if we decided to buy it.  We obviously have really good communication. 

In other news…

Trader Joe’s has a new AWESOME product!!  Is that news?  Oh well, let me tell you about it anyways…

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Hummus salad dressing!  We had it the other night as our dressing on our caesar salad and it was a little odd, but good.  Brendan liked it which is a miracle because he hates most salad dressings.  It really does taste a lot like hummus, but thinner and a tiny bit tangy.  SO… I know you are wondering… and YES, it does taste a LOT like YUMM sauce!  Woohoo…  Now I don’t have to go buy nutritional yeast and almonds to make the Yumm sauce.  It doesn’t have all of the same ingredients, but it does do the trick.  I had it today for lunch over a big veggie, white bean, salsa, rice medley. 

I apologize in advance if your TJ’s isn’t carrying the hummus dressing yet.

So then I HAD to use it for dinner:

Hummus dressing “Yumm”-y bowls

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In the mix: brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, fresh corn, diced red pepper, butter lettuce, salsa AND TJ’s hummus salad dressing! 

Try it.  Now.  Please note that these fabulous ingredients would have even been good without the hummus dressing.  I know… treason. 


Water stops

When I go out for a long run I usually bring my water bottle.

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It only holds 12 oz. which keeps it light, but also means I need to plan stops along my route to fill it up.  Not too hard.  I also love that it holds my keys, money, chapstick, etc.  I don’t really want to bring it out on runs longer than 12 miles because my arm will get tired and I will want to throw my expensive water bottle into the Bay.  Bad on so many levels.

So… when I go out for a longer run I plan stops along the route (usually every 4-5 miles) where I can buy a drink, water, or candy.  My favorite stop is Trader Joe’s because it is cheaper than convenience stores, has clean bathrooms, and has delicious gummy tummy candy!

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This all goes really well when I am out for an afternoon run, but what about during a race!?  I would really like to say that it is easy during races because you can depend on the race organizers to provide an electrolyte drink and water, so you just have to bring your own Gu, candy, chomps, or whatever. But I tried that at the Eugene marathon.  I brought my own Sharkies and then had a plan to stop every 4 miles for Gatorade and water.  The problem is that I suck at drinking from those cups, I have to walk to get any fluids, it slows me down, they are always mixed differently AND I ended up super dehydrated by mile 20 anyway!

In my book that I am reading…

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The author talks about her technique for drinking water at water stops.  She folds the paper cup right when she grabs it so that it is like drinking out of a milk carton, and then it is easier to drink while running.  WOAH!! I thought everyone either stopped and walked or choked and drooled like me.  Apparently not because when I Googled it, I found this Runner’s World forum about folding the cup OR carrying a big bendy straw (like the ones you would get as a kid at Red Robin or TGI Friday’s) and using it at each water station.  So intense!

I’m running the SF Marathon on July 31st, and I was planning to carry my water bottle, refill around mile 6, and then hand it off to Brendan at the half.  Then I was hoping I would go into the second half in better shape than before.  Now I am considering my options.

The book also recommends practicing grabbing cups of water in front of your house.  LOLOLOL!!! I’m pretty sure I would fit in perfectly in Berkeley if people saw me doing that.


Lessons to be learned

Today I ran 12 miles, which I was supposed to do yesterday, but eew running the day after a long catering event!  I had a weird run filled with many lessons about how not to plan your long-ish run…

1. You don’t drink real coffee.  Don’t drink real coffee right before your run!  The coffee did solve my usual bathroom issues, so I am very grateful, but some weak Starbucks latte would have done that too.  About 2 miles into my run I stopped because my legs felt like jello AND I thought I was having an anxiety attack.  It was so weird, and I was kinda freaking out.  I stopped and looked down to see my whole body shaking.  That was when I started to curse my decision to go to Local 123 for a super strong mocha with Aje. 

2.  You ate breakfast in the morning.  Just because you haven’t done anything but read blogs since then does not mean it isn’t lunch time before the run.  Eating lunch probably would have helped with the caffeine overload, too.  I just didn’t even realize it was so late (1pm) when I headed out the door.  Well, let me tell you… I for sure realized it at mile 8 when my stomach was calling.

3. Holidays suck for getting things done, and I am a cranky girl after a 12 mile run.  I went to get the lunch I had been thinking about since mile 8, but no, SF soup company was CLOSED!  I quickly redirected for Chipotle and got a burrito bowl to inhale while I sat outside in the sun… bliss.  I left soon though because I needed to get to the pharmacy.  FAIL! WTF… why do they need to close all day?  Then I went to TJ’s which was not closed so everyone and their mom was there… Fail #2 because I hate crowded TJ’s.  There were no mini carts left when I got there, so I grabbed a basket, but then I wanted to just sit on the ground in the aisle.  I NEEDED a cart to lean on.  So I waited for a cart. LOLOL… then walked through the aisles five times each to decide what to buy.  On my way out I slowly dropped/chucked my paper towels at somebody and then slowly went to pick them up.  Lesson learned: I need a nap.  I am not in marathon shape.  12 mile runs eat me for dinner.

As you might imagine, I am now going to take a nap!  Happy Memorial Day!