Tacos, Tomatoes & the Twitter Train

After a long day at work, I was in need of a tough workout, but wasn't motivated enough to go to the gym. I decided on Jillian Michaels "Quick" No Trouble Zones which is still 40 mins. In my mind, "quick" is 5 mins, but 5 mins probably wont make my trouble zones go away.

While I was working up a ridiculous sweat in the living room, Kevin was concocting a delicious dinner.
Steamed corn tortillas filled with:

  • Chipotle Black Beans (can of black beans with chipotle hot sauce)
  • Seasoned Ground Turkey (ground turkey, garlic, can of diced tomatoes, adobo seasoning, cumin, & chalula hot sauce)
  • Cheese (medium sharp cheddar cheese, to be exact)

They were absolutely delicious and I was OK without any green for dinner since I had a big salad with veggies for lunch.

Wait - we did have a little green in the form of basil. Some of my CSA goods were ready to be eaten: One very ripe tomato + fresh basil + drizzle of ITALIAN extra virgin olive oil + Balsamic Vinegar + Sea Salt to taste. Yes, I said Italian EVOO - the real stuff - delivered to me from Italy - via my friend, Mara's suitcase.
It tastes waaaay better than the stuff I had, so I have been using it very sparingly to make it last as long as possible.

So, I have a problem that has resurfaced since I started working again - I am STARVING when I get home from work. Like, I cant talk to anyone or I might bite their head off - literally. I feel like I may have asked this question before, but I want to hear your answers again.

What is your GO-TO after work/school snack?

Mine has been Stacy's Naked Pita Chips...

dipped in original tahini hommus. (which is it? hUmmus or hOmmus?)
It does the trick for me, but I have been known to eat too much and then feel it during my workout. A spoonful of almond butter is my other post-work, pre-run snack.

For all of you on the twitter train - I am ON, but just started tweeting more regularly as of late. Is that the right way to say it? Tweeting? I am not up on the lingo. My sister actually got me on awhile back when she was going on a trip - and was posting status along the way. I also followed my cousin whose wife just had a baby and we got updates throughout the labor. Pretty cool.

Have a great night all!



Artscape, PB2 & *New* Larabar Flavors

Last weekend, before heading up to Artscape, we grilled out with some friends. Kevin whipped up cheeseburgers and italian sausage, while I put together grilled veggie & pineapple kabobs and corn-on-the-cob. We also had some fresh salsa, courtesy of Mara, which was leftover from the Friday night crab feast.

What is a great summer cookout drink/dessert? White Sangria with strawberries, nectarines, raspberries and blackberries thank you very much. Our friend Susan brought this and I made sure to ask what was in this deliciously refreshing drink. Pinot Grigio, club soda, lime juice, and fresh fruit. Simple and SO good.
I had never been to Artscape before, but was excited to hear some free music. As you can see, it was packed, but we managed to hear the end of CAKE and then find a seat for Robert Randolph & The Family Band.Fun times. It was a perfect Saturday night because we got home pretty early and managed to get up and go for a mountain bike ride at Loch Raven Reservoir Sunday morning.

Moving on to some fun product stuff! Last week...Jasmine sent me some Chocolate PB2 to try out. Please notice that it is sitting next to the Nakano Rice Vinegar that Foodbuzz Tastemaker program generously sent me to try. (More on that in a later post - I promise.)
So, this PB2 stuff is 85% less fat than regular peanut butter, but you have to do some work. It is powder - and you have to mix it with water to make the peanut butter. It felt a little weird and I was definitely skeptical about how it would taste.Well, it looks like peanut butter and guess what - it tastes like it too. ;) A little thinner than the regular stuff, but I thought it had great flavor. I tried it on a piece of whole wheat toast and voila - dessert!

Since I have stopped listing out everything I eat all day, everyday - I don't mention Larabars as often, but believe me - they are still very much a part of my life. Coconut Creme Pie and Key Lime Pie are my all-time favorites. They recently sent me some of their *NEW* flavors to try and I was so excited.
Tropical Fruit Tart is by far - my new FAVORITE larabar. I love it. I am thinking I may need to purchase an entire box because they are that good. Pineapple, Orange, and Coconut combined with Almond and Cashew make this bar incredible.
Next up - Peanut Butter & Jelly. Umm - why didn't I think of that? Who doesn't love PB&J? You may be wondering what flavor jelly - Cherry. There were big pieces of unsweetened cherries and I definitely enjoyed this flavor as well. Not going to break my top three, but I would totally buy this flavor again.
Last but certainly not least - German Chocolate Cake. I tend not to like the chocolate flavor larabars as much for some reason, so I still haven't tried this one. I am saving it for a rainy day when I am craving chocolate. Maybe I will smear some almond butter on top or something.
Thanks to larabar for sending me these flavors to try out - I love this kind of stuff.



I Can NOT Be Trusted with Blondies

Well helllooo there! So last week, I tried another one of Trader Joe's frozen dinners. Me eat something from Trader Joes? unheard of! Anyways, this was the Tilapia Citronette - marinated tilapia fillets topped with grilled asparagus and sliced carrots.
Wanted to give the frozen view...there was two large fillets in there. Plenty for Kevin and I.
After following the directions for baking in the oven...the fish came out perfectly flaky and the sauce was flavorful. I would definitely buy this meal again.
Last week was a busy week with lots of fun stuff. A friend of mine was in town from Missouri, so we played trivia on Tuesday night at Rams Head Tavern, went out Thursday night to Looneys and saw a good band, Friday was a crab feast at a friends house, Saturday was another cookout, then America's largest free arts festival. SO fun, but I regret not taking more pictures!

(Camey, Ashley and I at Looneys)

Even with all the festivities going on, Saturday morning, I managed to get up and make it to my dad's training run. My friend Mara was in town and came along for the 6 mile run on the B&A (Baltimore & Annapolis) Trail. The weather was great - not too hot and the path was mostly shaded.

The run was extremely difficult for me and as we got farther along, I felt myself needing to go slower and slower. Wake Up Call! The weekend long runs are KEY and have been few and far between over the past month or so.

After the painful run, I took Oscar for a slow walk and then came home to an exciting surprise.A package from Jasmine @ SweetandFit!! Awhile back I donated to a great cause - the Lupus Walk in DC - and ended up winning a batch of Jasmine's Banana Butterscotch Blondies!I had to dig in IMMEDIATELY.oh. my. goodness. These are the most incredible things - they basically melt in your mouth. I am embarrassed to admit this but they got here on Saturday and are ALL GONE. It is Monday. oh man. I did have a little help, but still! I ate so many and am now dreaming of them. They were seriously THAT good.

Just because - she threw in a jar of chocolate PB2 and I cant wait to try it out. yessss.Thanks Jasmine - you rock!

Be back tomorrow with more about Artscape, a mountain bike workout, and a planned off-road brick workout tomorrow night.

Hope everyone is doing well...



DNS #2

Here comes my little confession - I had my second DNS this weekend. (DNS stands for "Did Not Start".) This weekend was the EX2 Off-Road Duathlon out in Rocky Gap and I didn't even attempt to make it to the race. I canceled my hotel while on vacation at the beach a week or so back knowing I wasn't going to do it.

Why didn't I make it? Well, I have a list of excuses a mile long, but when it comes down to it - I just wasn't motivated to train properly. It didn't help that I had 3 weddings 3 weekends in June and then a 10 day vacation to the beach. But, if I had really wanted to train - I could have made time, especially since I wasn't working during the month of June. Looking back, I am wondering what I did with all my time.

I have always had structure in the form of school, sports, work, etc. So, when I didn't have anything to do - I just couldn't get much accomplished. Interesting, I guess.

Oh and I had my first DNS last year for the exact same venue, except I was signed up for the Off-Road Triathlon. Hmmm. I guess this race and I are not meant to be.

Anyone else have a DNS (or two) under their belt?

Instead of competing in the duathlon, Kevin and I took Oscar for a walk/hike/swim in Patapsco State Park.Oscar followed Kevin around as they explored the river.
Once Kevin got too far out, Oscar would swim back to me.
The water was cool and refreshing.
Kevin found a live snail that was pretty cool to see. I took some pictures of the scenery.This was a neat pathway leading to another trail.
Overall, it was a great way to spend a Sunday...since I couldn't make the duathlon. ;)

Tonight (Monday) after work, Kevin and I started out on a 40 min run. It was hot and humid and the sun was beating down on us. We both felt like it wasn't in the cards for the night. Instead of giving up completely - we ran a little under a mile down to the soccer field near our house - all down hill.

I led us through the following workout, trying to stay in the shade:

  • 5 sets of 20 yard sprints, jogging back to start, so there was no rest.
  • 10 squat jumps to touch the top of the goal
  • 10 burpees
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 sit-ups
  • lap around the soccer field, sprint the end lines, jog the sidelines
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 10 squat jumps to touch the top of the goal
  • lap around the soccer field, sprint the end lines, jog the sidelines
  • 10 burpees
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 sit-ups
Then, we ran up the hill, back home. It was a tough workout that was SO much more fun than just running.

Dinner was sauteed shrimp w/ onions and Adobo seasoning (the BEST), corn on the cob w/ butter salt & pepper, and roasted brussels. It hit the spot.
Good night everyone!



Shrimp-Lentil Curry

I wasn't even back a full day from the beach before I was roaming the aisles of Trader Joes - I missed that place. I have finally found an almond butter that I like from there.I had gotten the RAW stuff before and just cant hack that stuff. This kind is great though. I mixed a little sea salt in while I was stirring it which made it taste even better. :)

TJs had these new "Reduced-Guilt"meals that I decided to try since I was having some feelings of guilt from all my great eats on vacation. I only highlighted a few in my last blog post, but there were some late night pizza and ice cream runs that didn't make the camera. I am still trying to figure the best way for me to eat healthier and exercise regularly on vacation.Here it is right before going into the oven. It didn't look that bad, but I was scared because it smelled weird.All done with a side of sauteed spinach and carrots that I had whipped up while I was waiting. Very saucy and not horribly bad. Just sort of bad - I give it a 6 out of 10 for TJ products. It tasted healthy and the flavor wasn't disgusting or anything, but I didn't have that good, satisfied feeling after eating it.
Moving on...anyone else have one of these things? They are perfect for brewing up some iced tea. This was a mixture of 3 tea bags: Ginger Peach, Green Tea, and Yerba Mate. Incredibly refreshing.

Moving on again...I am waaay behind on some restaurant reviews. Especially on one of my new favorite restaurants in Baltimore. A co-worker of Kevin's tipped us off on this place and we have been at least 4 times this year - Samos in Greektown. I have a ton of pictures, so a review is definitely coming. But, the other night, we didn't feel like waiting 20-40 mins for a table(which is TOTALLY worth it by the way), so we got carry out and it was just as good.Huge Greek Salad topped with Grilled Shrimp and their homemade dressing that is finger-licking good. The salad wouldn't be complete with out warm pita on the side.If you live in or near Baltimore - this is a MUST-TRY type of place. Reasonable prices too.

I know this post is already long, but I feel like I have so much to say tonight. So anyways...I made lentils for the first time tonight!

Basically, I had a bunch of ingredients that I wanted to go together and wasn't sure if they would work. I searched for a recipe, but after finding nothing, I decided to just wing it.

I didn't measure a thing, so I apologize for that, but here were the main players:

  • Shrimp (frozen, jumbo, cleaned)
  • lentils
  • Hunts diced tomatoes in sauce (must be hunts - it is the best)
  • zucchini
  • onion
  • garlic
  • Salt, Pepper
  • TJs Thai Red Curry Sauce (this stuff is spic-AY)
  • green onions
  • Fage Greek Yogurt
  • Canola Oil (just enough to saute the onions and zucchini)
Can I just say that lentils are scary to work with...like really scary to me for some reason. So I researched for awhile before getting started. I took the time to rinse them very well. Then, I measured out the water, brought it to a boil before adding my lentils. The water got really murky.It was taking forever for the lentils to soak up all the water - I must have measured incorrectly, so I decided to just drain them. I was hungry! It made a very messy sink and looked like mush.I was ready to throw them out until Kevin tried them with a spoonful of the sauce I had been cooking up. He said it tasted pretty good, so in they went.Topped with green onions and a spoonful of Fage 0% greek yogurt - it added just the right amount of cool creaminess to the spicy curry.
Overall, I think it turned out really tasty! Kevin loved it too, so I know it was a winner if he was enjoying lentils.

In other non-food news, my new job is going great so far and I really like everyone I am working with....but, I am exhausted...so off to bed for me. Good night!



10 Days of Vacation

Man! I cant believe how fast time flew on vacation. We spent the last 10 days down in in Ocean City, MD and had perfect weather just about every day. Just like the 12 days of Christmas, I am going to do a 10 days of vacation recap...except I don't have any creative songs that rhyme.

Day 1 was really Night 1 since we arrived down at the beach just in time to meet some friends out at Fager's Island - a great restaurant/bar/deck on the bay side. I made sure to start out with a Bud Light Lime, my favorite summer beer, before heading out.
Lots of good music led to lots of dancing and me trying to sing. I even got a food picture - free popcorn all night. :)Is it bad that on day two, the only food/drink related picture I took was of a Natural Light on a bud light lime coaster? Great beach day as well.
Day 3 included more beach time and then a dinner at Macky's Bayside. I ordered the BBQ shrimp skewers with a mango salsa, rice and veggies. It really didn't have much flavor, the veggies were mushy and was overpriced. I would not get this again.
Day 4 was the only cloudy day, so we spent the afternoon at M.R. Ducks watching the fishing boats come in.
Day 5 we headed back to Fager's Island for a little dinner and to watch the sunset.They play Tchaikovsky's dramatic "1812 Overture" every night as the sun goes down.
Kevin and I split a few things, but the french onion soup was our clear favorite. Case and point - they top it with Gruyere cheese.Day 6 we spent more time jumping waves in the ocean and lounging on the beach before our 2nd annual visit to Fenwick Crab House for the all-u-can-eat crabs. A little tip - they are known for their crabcakes, which looked unbelievable, so we plan to get those the next time we go!This is a GREAT deal and I highly recommend this place for anyone in the MD/DE Shore areas. The special includes all-u-can-eat horseradish cheese dip w/ crackers, hushpuppies (not pictured)jambalaya,fried chicken,corn on the cob, and of course, the CRABS. We definitely got our money's worth - it was an incredible meal. We took a looooong walk and planned out a bike ride for the next day to burn off our meal. Day 7 was spent on our beach cruiser bikes for almost 3 hours. We rode up to Bethany Beach, DE and back - about 17 miles! That called a sweet treat from Candy Kitchen where I picked up my favorite - swedish fish.Day 8 we headed out on the bay for a few hours of kayaking before watching the sunset with Oscar.I got the Christmas card shot...
while Kevin had fun searching for horseshoe crabs.He grabbed one so we could take a look before sending it back on its way. Oscar was scared to death at first, but then tried to grab it from the water. ha!Oh yeah - we also celebrated our 2 year anniversary! Yay us. :) Day 9 - Sunset Island had a cute parade where the kids and dogs dressed up to celebrate the 4th of July. We enjoyed the festive scene with our morning coffee... before heading to the beach.Day 10...driving home...it was a great trip.
Tomorrow is the first day of my new job and I am excited and nervous - all the normal stuff, I guess. Back to the real world I go...hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend!


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