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Archive for the ‘Sunday Funday.’ Category

 

 

Dear Facebook Participants: thank you! For the second week in a row I’ve won Anchor No. 5’s Christmas in July contest. Dear New Kitchen Table: finally! Since my move in February, I’ve been eating on the floor. Now, I can sit in my bay window nook and enjoy each home cooked meal. Dear Beau: I will reach my goal today. I promise, because, you’re worth it.

The weather is beautiful. I didn’t wake up hungover after an evening filled with homemade pizza, a Magic Hat variety pack, and Sons of Anarchy. And I don’t have a single place to be. It’s going to be a great day.

p.s… this upcoming week will be the last week to participate in the contest. Anyone can play. Good luck!

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Dear New Outlook: You are helping me get back on track. And I seem happier today. Dear Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: You seem to be my most recent food obsession. I just can’t get enough! Dear ErinCondren.com: Is it selfish of me to wish a speedier delivery? I have so much that I want to write down… but don’t want to have to transfer it all over once the new one arrives. I’ve got the organizational butterflies! Dear Coffee Maker: I never imagined having one of you in my apartment but I must admit, you look perfect on the counter. The beau gave me a lesson on how to use you and I think I’m almost pro.

Yesterday while I was home with my dad, I also got to visit with a few other special family members. My sister and her boyfriend drove up on Saturday and joined us for lunch. No, we didn’t visit a junkyard; there was a car show taking place at the lakeside restaurant we went to.

And I got to lay in the sun with my favorite pup, Trigger Man! He’s always so happy to have me come home but very sad each time I leave; he always chases and barks at my car as I pull out of the driveway. He got a special treat on Sunday too! A garage sale stuffed animal for him to shred into pieces!

I like to call him my very own alligator. He chomps at you when he lies on his back like this because he wants you to continue rubbing his belly; I sure do miss snuggling up to him each evening.

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Dear Body: Today you amazed me. Two weeks off and seven glorious miles later, I feel like a new person. Dear Beau: Sundays are truly the best day of the week. The “routine” we’ve found ourselves in couldn’t get any better. Until July that is. Dear Earth: Today I celebrated you during my run. Not only was I admiring the gorgeous scenery along the bike path after a night of rain, but I also noticed the robins, the new blooms and the wind that only made me push harder. Fresh air never felt so good.

What can I say, a girl loves surprises. Especially when they consist of flowers, a local olive, arugula and feta pizza and your favorite bottle of wine. That was the end of a whirlwind of a week and the beginning of a relaxing weekend. Just what I needed.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the upcoming rain liquid sunshine!

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Late Sunday evening after dinner at the beau’s parents’ house, we took a walk downtown so that I could settle down and prepare myself for rest. There’s something about wandering the quiet city after a rain shower, with perfect Spring-time temperatures.

At one point as we were walking the streets, hand in hand, in silence, I glanced over and caught myself thinking, “how could I be so happy?” Just six months ago I would have never pictured this scene or imagined sharing this moment with someone else. The catch is that I feel so comfortable about it. I had to quickly look away to hide the tears welling up in my blue eyes because I didn’t want to have to explain myself. And thinking about it now, I don’t think I have to… I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.

Side note: thank you thank you thank you! to everyone who sent me well wishes last week for a speedy recovery. I’m back; walking to work, boxing, and slowly easing myself into longer runs. All that encouragement and support really feels good to read. I really do have a great set of friends and fans.

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Cute title, huh? The kiddos came up with that one while I was visiting them this past weekend. And as promised, I’ll include the recipe for the delicious egg rolls that we all gobbled up faster than it took to roll ‘em up.

The stars of the show: EVOO, 2 pounds of fresh ground pork (we used it from a local farmer), about 3 cups of cabbage, 1 cup of  shredded carrots, tamari, fresh ginger, 1 cup of green onions and oh, egg roll wrappers. These really are just all estimates, I used what was in stock in the fridge.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the ground pork and fresh ginger (about 2 tbsp) over medium heat. While that’s cooking, chop up the cabbage into thin ribbons, shred the carrots and slice the onions.

ready to go.

Once the pork is almost all the way cooked through, add the veggies. Cook for another five minutes or so. Add the tamari (4 tbsp), mix, and cook for another minute or so and remove from heat.

food for five.

Now for the wrapping. Place the egg roll wrapper in front of you so that it looks like a diamond. Add the stuffing, probably like half of a cup or so. Fold up the bottom. Fold in the sides. Before rolling it up to the top, brush the remaining “flap” with water to help seal it closed. Wa-la! Place on the baking sheet with the crease on the bottom. Continue until all of the stuffing is gone; in this case, we used all 20 in the package.

Brush the tops of each egg roll with a little EVOO and pop them into the oven for about ten minutes, or until golden brown.

That was Beano's initial plate. He had three total.

Boom. It’s that easy and they are so darn good. No joke, it was nearly impossible to save two extra egg rolls for a guest that was stopping by later that weekend. Paired with steamed broccoli and basmati rice and we had yet another successful themed dinner.

I’m pretty sure three out of the four kids told me I cook better than mommy… I’m pretty sure she has taught me most of what I know! But I’ll take a compliment when I hear one.

What else may you ask did I whip up this weekend? One of my favorite staples… lentil soup! Just add the following ingredients to a pot and let simmer for hours: lentils, water, onion, carrots, celery, bok choy, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.

perfect comfort food.

Again, paired with basmati rice and some freshly grated parm cheese, this dish gets better and better each time you dip into the pot.

beat that, Campbell's.

A lot of green tea to keep me perky and positive.

boil. set. enjoy!

And some homemade ice pops/fudgesicles in a kick-ass maker that Santa had brought Ava. Details and recipes on this thing will surely follow because I MUST get my hand on one!

Speaking of Santa, the kids were still in Christmas mode showing off their generous gifts and decorations. Beano couldn’t contain himself at the dinner table last night while I was warming up the leftovers. I had to get it on video.

*Beano is short for Agostino. And yes, his voice is really that raspy and delicious. Oh, and yes, he has stolen my little heart.

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Dear Female Figure: I know, I know. Five to seven regular sized meals a day is not the best for you but I’m enjoying this holiday season, the happiness of having close friends in the area and the time spent learning about someone new over local meals. We’ll work that much harder with each workout, no biggie. Dear Voters on Facebook: Holy smokes! You all rock! I love the support, the comments, and the repeat posting of the link. I may have something special coming up to say thank-you. Dear Holiday Shopping: I will officially start and finish you tomorrow. I wish I didn’t wait so long because I would have loved to order more items off of Etsy, my daily email addiction.

I truly can’t complain about anything in my life at this very moment. I have two weeks of paid holiday time off from work. I have picked up a book to read, for pleasure; the first time in over a year. My runny nose is not-so runny anymore. I’m smiling a ton. And my belly is full. Take a look at some of the yummy eats I had within the past forty-eight hours (and gosh, do I wish I took a photograph at each meal).

Oh! Before I forget, my weekend kicked off Friday evening with the fights in downtown Albany. Awesome time with friends old and new.

blurry but a goody.

Saturday morning started at a hidden gem in Troy; one that I hadn’t found until that very decision was made. Correction, I had run by it multiple times but never thought to eat there because, well I suppose, out of sight (meaning downtown), out of mind. Carmen’s on First Street is this little Cuban influenced cafe with a small menu but big flavor. I should have written down the names of the dishes, but others on the menu were The Lucy, The Ricardo, and The Little Ricky; all after our favorite Cuban family.

2 eggs over medium, fresh salsa, rice, beans, avocado and fried plantains=so effing good.

2 eggs over easy, fresh salsa, roasted potatoes, chorizo hash and wheat toast.

Paired with a green tea and coffee respectively, the morning was the perfect preparation for the rest of the day. My friend and I loved it so much, we knew we had to go back for brunch (and mimosas). It was a good thing we asked about their hours because we learned their closing day was the following day until March. It was decided then and there, mimosas it was.

That delicious meal kept me full until dinner time… when my partner in crime and her sister (also my roommate freshmen year of college) came into town from Boston. We knew we were staying local to eat but made the impromptu decision to go to Bacchus partially because it was freezing and they had never been. I’d say it was a pretty good decision.

mozzarella, spinach and olives.

We started off the meal with a delicious artichoke, spinach and shrimp dip and there was so much leftover, Lauren and I dipped our crusts = most genius idea ever. Each time I return, I fall in love with the small, cozy and fresh restaurant.

Of course my partner in crime and I hit the town hardcore and couldn’t resist the food at The Ruck… two, yes two servings of hot fries! Dipped in ranch, duh. And I must add a mini shout out to the DJ that was greatly missed. Typically he’s there every Saturday helping work off calories (aka drop it low) until the wee hours of Sunday but this week he had a “prior” engagement. Okay, I get it. He has a life outside of The Ruck but seriously, I just got him to play my “ghetto” music last week. Shout out to Jared Kingsley!

After hours of catching up with random friends and family members, I headed to a second gem of Troy, a new gem of Troy. The Brown Bag. This late night food joint is open from 9pm until 6am with all of their menu items under $5. Perfect for those late night walks home from the bar, late nights up working on homework- oh wait, I won’t have to worry about that anymore- or late nights watching your favorite Netflix series. Nonetheless, it is fabulous.

I found some holiday cheer along the way.

simple and to the point.

I chose the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato, bacon and an egg over medium with a side of fresh-cut french fries. The bread could have been a little less well-done and the fries could have been a little crunchier for my liking but it was just what I needed at four in the morning.

good food takes time.

ketchup? yes, please.

As promised, I was up and ready for mimosas in no time… and back to Carmen’s we went. They were packed, most likely because it was Sunday and it was their last day until March 2nd. One mimosa and this item below, Huevos Flamenco, and I was satisfied for hours. Seriously, Sunday couldn’t have gotten any better.

yup, that was alllllllll mine.

This giant bowl of yummy was two eggs over medium on top of a chorizo hash spicy stew with fresh potatoes and peppers with a side of a toasted Portuguese roll. This will most likely be the first thing that I reorder in the Spring.

That was my weekend filled with fresh ingredients, tastes and good conversation. Did you try any new hot spots in your local town?

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One of my favorite things about the fall season is the cool crisp air and the opportunity to make big pots of soup to keep me warm (and full) all week-long. I stumbled upon this recipe on the oh-so-popular media site and immediately had to try it. And when I say immediately, I mean that evening. I switched up the ingredients just slightly as well as the proportions but I’m going to give credit where it is deserved because this soup was fantastic!

Rochelle’s Spicy Chicken Soup 

fresh color. and taste.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • onion
  • cilantro
  • scallions
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • water
  • seasonings: Goya all-purpose chicken seasoning, cumin
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 4-5 red potatoes, chopped chunky-like
  • 1-2 zucchini, chopped
  • 5-6 carrots, chopped

Directions:

Fill up your pot about 2/3 full (about 6-8 c) with water and add Goya seasoning, chopped garlic and cumin. Set to bring to boil.

While the water is heating up, you can mix up the other seasoning for the broth. In a food processor, mix the onion, two big handfuls of cilantro, chopped up scallions (I used three stems), 2 jalapeno peppers, and the chiles with the juice. Warning: this mixture is spicy, especially if you are using fresh peppers. If you want to cut back, maybe not include the juice and use only half a can. Personally, I like the kick. When the water is boiling, add this puree to the pot and stir in.

Add the veggies to the mix– and lower to medium-high so they can stew for about 20-25. Check the potatoes- once they are almost done, add the chicken to poach. Once the chicken is almost done, I removed them from the pot to sit for a few moments to cool down and then shredded it. Add it back into the pot to cook through- but not too long because you don’t want the chicken to be over cooked.

Ladle and serve. I topped my bowl of deliciousness with avocado slices and some crushed lime-flavored tortilla chips. If you are looking to skip the processed carbs (the chips), squirt some fresh lime juice on top and enjoy!

This recipe is definitely a keeper in my book.

because we're JETS fans.

Speaking of food, I had a lot of tasty treats Sunday while watching the Jets game with a girl friend. It was funny because as she was whipping it all up (and by whipping it up I mean emptying the frozen contents onto baking sheets) she joked, “this is my version of cooking.” I wasn’t judging; we all have those days where anything goes and makes us completely happy. I don’t “splurge” too frequently and can’t stress over the 600 calories in each mini cheddar hot dog; life is too damn short to count calories.

oh no, second quarter.

runnnnnnnnnnn!

I surely worked up an appetite that morning– I walked in a runway show! To say that I wasn’t a tad bit nervous would be a lie. As some of you have probably noticed or heard my stories, I’ve done a few little jobs in the Capital District recently, and was flattered that they asked me to participate at the Women’s Expo. I was walking for the Fashionably Chic Traveling Boutique– who are awesome to say the least! Their showroom is located in the Peter Harris Plaza in Latham inside the California Closets Store. The pieces that they have in the showroom are unique, super cute, and worth every penny.

Of course I was in great company: my favorite red-head and photographer were backstage looking pretty fabulous themselves.

love love love her!

blurry but a goodie.

You might recognize both of these ladies and the vest I wore yesterday from a few teaser images that have been floating around of a shoot we did for the boutique’s website:

ready to go to location.

group shoot to wrap up the day.

I had my mum laughing after this shoot because I was telling her about the short shorts that they had me squeezed into and the size 6 1/2 boots (remind you I’m a 9-9 1/2) I had to walk in, in a field, in front of the camera. It was quite hilarious but I was quite thankful that I can walk on my tippy toes, on cue, for hours on end thanks to the years I walked on my toes as a kiddo. Oh, the bugs were fierce.

group shot with hair/makeup artists.

I can’t wait to share the chosen photographs for the website once the owner narrows them down– and any that were taken during the Expo. Remember ladies, do one thing a day that scares you: my knees were definitely shaking at one point until I danced off the anticipation. I think one lovely lady called it swagger. Yeah, I think I’ve got that.

you're right, my car does fit me: exciting and beautiful.

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