Archive | March, 2011

march’s mushroom risotto

31 Mar

I have to say – I stink at sharing recipes because I do everything from mah noggin. I rarely use a measuring cup/spoon – I’m more of a “eh, this looks right…” kinda girl.  However, I was kind of in love with the mushroom risotto with caramelized onions I made inspired by Oh She Glow’s recipe. Plus, I promised. 😉 (So don’t be surprised if I don’t *always* tell you my measurements :))

My Ingredients:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package baby bella mushrooms*
  • thyme/other spices
  • chives
  • 1 cup pearled barely
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups white wine
  • ground pepper

*(I’d recommend 2 packages, instead!!)

1. Chop one of the onions, and add to a large skillet (one with a lid would work best!) with olive oil. (~1 tbsp!) Sautee for approximately five minutes, and then add the minced garlic.

2. While that’s cookin’, chop some more!! This time it’s your baby bellas. After about 10 minutes, add the mushrooms to the skillet.

3. Once the mushrooms are cooking for about 5 minutes, add the chives + other seasonings, then cook for another five minutes. (I just used whatever I had on hand, but Oh She Glow’s used a sprig of rosemary. Also, I don’t use salt when I cook, but if you do you should add it now!!)

4. Then, add the pearled barely (or whatever grain you choose!) and gradually add the vegetable broth and wine through out the cooking process so the grain can soak up the liquid at the right pace. Once it boils, cover it with a lid and STIR, STIR, STIR!!!

The vegetable broth I used:

The wine I drank while I was stirring added to the dish:

two buck chuck!!!! (also trader joe's)

5. In between constant stirring and wine drinking, make the caramelized onions using your other onion. (This was my first attempt and I’ll be honest – I’m not quite sure I got the hang of it.)

6. EAT!!! Top your risotto with black pepper and the caramelized onions!

On another note, I cannot believe tomorrow is April 1st!!! (Don’t forget to say your rabbit, rabbit’s.) Thank goodness, though – because April showers will bring May flowers..

from my sister's wedding last June

…and more importantly, baseball! 😉

Jamie & I with high school friends

And of course, baseball gives me a legitimate excuse to make Phillies themed cakes again. 😀


gymnastics mania !!!!!

30 Mar

I finally decided to go through with it and plan out my work outs for the week via my chalkboard as inspired by Colleen’s Monday post!

(okay, it looks messy – but it’s fun and helpful!!)

I rarely post my runs (that’s Jamie’s forte!) because I’m just getting started and I’m no where CLOSE to being a marathoner. I honestly don’t feel confident with my times yet, but I’m trying to work up my speed so I can complete a 5k/4 miler soon and feel really, really fantastic about my time! (I just can’t settle in my life.) Therefore, I’m not really trying to run long distances right now.

Yesterday, my plan was just to shoot for 30 minutes, but when I got to the gym all the treadmills were taken. I started with a 10 minute “warm up” on the elliptical until I was like a hawk on an empty treadmill. (Didn’t even get a good one with the tv!!)

good for now 😉

My afternoon snack called for a green juice so of course these little guys snuck their way back into my life.

I asked for the white chocolate and he added in a strawberry white chocolate for me to taste. He knows what he’s doing, because the one’s he throws in for free keep me coming back for more! sooooo good.

Now let me get to the more exciting part of my workout yesterday. You’re probably wondering – GYMNASTICS?!?!! Yep, that’s right – last night I went to gymnastics and my mom did NOT drop me off. 😉

My roommate and I headed to a beginner/intermediate adult gymnastics class. We were both so nervous, she hasn’t done tumbling in 6 years and I hadn’t done it in 7 or 8. (Plus, I was never very advanced, I didn’t do it competitively!)

We had NO idea what to expect. We started off with warm ups of jogging, walking, skipping, jogging backwards, and other various strange things – skipping, duck walk.

Then, onto the stretches. That’s where I started getting lost and giggly. We did all kinds of easy stretches along with more difficult splits, frogs, 3 sets of 10 sits ups, push ups, and candle sticks, etc. I got so excited when we did downward dog (SOMETHING I KNOW – except it had a different name!!) All these stretches made me realize how un-flexible I really am nowadays despite my best yoga efforts.

After stretching, we split into groups of beginner and intermediate. Let’s just say – I was quick to jump into the beginner bucket. We did headstands, handstands, forward/backward rolls, all kinds of cart wheels, round offs, etc. (We got so dizzy!!) After all of the “easy stuff” we moved into front hand springs and back hand springs, starting by using big roller mats.

Oopsie – I told the teachers I had ADD or something because everytime I got up to do something I had to say “wait… what do I do…?!?” They joked I was exactly like their little kid students. I really was!!

I think I was extra nervous because this is the first time I did any kind of gymnastics after getting spinal fusion surgery when I was 17 years old – metal screws in my back… what, what!

You could go to the tumble track if you felt comfortable, which my roommate did. Look at her go!!

I chose to keep practicing with the mat and then had my own fun jumping on the trampoline doing “splits.” All in all, it was a great new way to work out, and today I’m totally feeling all the normally untouched muscles I worked. I crossed out my morning run today because my body cannot move!! It feels awesome. I definitely want to go back and hopefully I’m one class closer to a round off back hand spring on the tumble track!!

Something I noticed – I have incredibly weak wrists, I always felt it in yoga, but it was something I could deal with; however, they were SO bad last night – I definitely need to strengthen them if I want to keep going back. My roommate suggested “soup can” exercises that she used to do… anyone else have suggestions?!

“10 mile tuesday!”- thanks, alyssa!

29 Mar

I feel like a machine. After roughly week off from running due to an unfortunate run-in with bronchitis,  I set out on my first run since last Monday!

Part of the reason I know this piece of info is because I’ve been keeping a workout schedule that dates back to March 2010. Honestly, typing those words makes it sound a bit nuts, but keeping track of my workouts helps me out for two reasons:

1. I can see what I need to work on! For example, I noticed last week that I’ve been slacking in the strength training department… so I was sure to get in two weight lifting sessions. Right now I’m also noticing a lack of yoga in my life.. maybe that’ll be tomorrows workout 😉

2. It keeps me motivated. I can see that I’ve been exercising regularly for a whole year now! (You can read about my relationship with fitness here, if you’re interested.) Having all my past workouts mapped out for me only makes me want to continue a fit, healthy, happy life.

sample of my i-cal fitness tracking

Okay- enough on that tangent, and back to the run! I originally had plans to try out a new gym tonight. My membership is just about up at my current gym, and I’m looking to go elsewhere. When Alyssa texted me asking if I was up for a run, I decided the gym could wait. I haven’t seen Alyssa in a few weeks and was excited to run and catch up!

me, alyssa, & her running twin post 14k!

The result of chatting while running: 10 miles accomplished in a breeze! I dub this day 10 Mile Tuesday- hopefully it can happen next week as well. 😉 Running felt SO good after a week off- I can already tell my legs are going to be sore tomorrow so I’m off to foam roll a bit before bed!


little italy + sunday funday

28 Mar

Little Italy might be a tourist trap, but I have to say it’s fun and adorable. Almost every restaurant has someone standing outside the restaurant enticing you in by telling you about the food. Delicious! Homemade! Your money back if you don’t like! I have a fur coat – believe me! (I’m not making that last one up, I swear.)

So, Saturday we chose a restaurant with an early bird special – novella.

The highlights:

mmmm, carbs.


shared an appetizer with mah date, danny!

salad with my meal!

(I know, I know – my highlights to LITTLE ITALY didn’t even include any pasta, but I wasn’t thrilled with my choice and only ate a few bites. Little Italy is definitely a place of trial and error. 😉 Danny said the sauce on his spaghetti was awesome, though!)

Sunday Funday looked a little something like this:

Got to wear one of my [many] new finds from a really cute, CHEAP new boutique in Soho. (!!!!)

Made a pit stop at cupcake Land in Williamsburg (didn’t even have to go through peppermint forest ;))

(Red velvet so I could compare to Crumbs!!)

nothing comes close - as of yet!!

And believe it or not, with all of this, I still managed to get a good weight training/cardio work out in… 😉

a real nature walk

28 Mar

Personally, I’ve always considered Sundays to be a day of rest. I hardly ever workout, and I instead take the time to wait tables at brunch (ugh) and hang with Danny (yay).

Yesterday our friend Taylor called us to tell us there was a whale washed up on the shores of Sandbridge, a local beach. We jumped at the chance to take a long walk (points for sneaking in fitness!) to search for the poor whale.

after a good amount of walking- our discovery!

So wild. I’ve never seen an animal so large in all my life. The whale made Crusier look like a chihuahua.

sad.. but peaceful

getting way too close for meeee

Tons of locals were on the beach to check out the scene. According to the news, the mammal is (or was..) a Sei whale, about 40 ft in length. While it is obviously sad to see any sea animal washed up on shore, it was such an experience to view the whale up close. Poor guy!

Tonight I’m heading back to the gym for a more traditional workout (ie no whale searches..) but I just had to share these pictures. Wild!

all you can eat sushi

27 Mar

Friday night I headed to New Ashiya in the East Village with a college friend who also lives in the city. It’s all you can eat sushi and all you can drink beer, wine, and sake for $33 for two hours. (I never know if anything actually sounds like a good deal anymore to non-NYers; I’m officially tainted.)

I’m pretty sure the staff assumes everyone is doing sake bombs because the first thing they bring over is a glass, a shot glass, chop sticks, and a pitcher of beer.

Unlimited sake bombs induces a lot of shouting, so don’t come here if you don’t want to feel like you’re back in a college fraternity house.

With that being said, I may have partaken in just a few 😉 The way a sake bomb works is you bang the table so the sake falls into the beer. Every time I tried to bang the table my cup went untouched. I think I need to bump up my weight lifting…

I got the sweet potato roll, as well as the avocado & cucumber roll. At this place, you actually get charged extra if you order a ton of extra sushi, but don’t finish it. (Seriously, we saw people with like 5 plates at the end that they didn’t even touch.)

I’m not sure how I felt about the sweet potato roll – I almost felt as if the flavors didn’t mix well. I actually wound up ordering another cucumber & avocado roll. My friend’s roll had the coolest looking avocado slices on the outside! I was jealous.

Mmmmm, not the absolute best sushi I’ve had, but it was a fun time. It seems like a fantastic place for big groups! Everyone was having a blast and it’s really not a bad deal for NYC, especially if you’re someone who takes full advantage!!

out of the box

25 Mar

Today’s lunch was not packed and in front of a computer screen, but was had outside the office. Phewwww. Sometimes its so nice to get away from my desk for sanity’s sake. I actually had leftover mushroom risotto I could have brought, but in the end it’s worth it sometimes. (BTW, recipe coming soon, so check back :D!!!)

Schinpper’s made an appearance again with my co-worker slash high school friend. I got the Santa Fe salad – which is SO hard to do at Schnipper’s. You watch the mac and cheese, fries, and grilled cheese go by just staring at you saying eat me.

fresh ta death

It was really, really good, though!! I didn’t even miss the mac & cheese once I was eating. *GASP* And as a little treat, Krista & I split a chocolate peanut butter milkshake.

Side Note: Schnipper’s has the best light. I think I’m in love. It’s ALL windows. So dreamy when it’s sunny.

Short post tonight because happy friday ya’ll! (As the Jamie/Taylor Swift in me would say.) This girl is off to all you can eat sushi!! (Of course I’ll share that later, too ;))