Healthy and Sane

Running, flour and gorka

February 16th, 2010 · 23 Comments · dessert, restaurant reviews, Russian, sandwich

This is the last post of the Valentine’s day weekend “installments.” It was a wonderful weekend during which I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it, and I enjoyed every bite. This morning, however, both my scale and my pants are reminding me that its time to get back on track with a little less indulgent eats and lots of exercise. Let’s reminisce one more time about the good times, though… I’m going back to Saturday. 😀

The morning started with a pre-run snack. I always eat toast with nut butter + 1/2 banana before long runs. This time I had a little extra time so I made 1.5 toasts to last me through 8+ miles. It was the perfect amount of fuel!


So in case you missed it, I ran EIGHT miles on Saturday. My sister was the special guest on our weekly run with Molly. It was really fun to catch up with my girls! We don’t care about speed on those runs – it’s all about chatting and having a good time. Somehow this always translates into a 10 minute/mile. Fine by me. I’ll work on the speed during my shorter runs. This time I was just happy to finish this distance. It’s been months!




I stretched and showered as quickly as I could because I decided that Flour was the perfect place for my recovery lunch. Flour bakery is one of my favorite bakeries in Boston, and they are not only famous for their pastries (the owner Joanne Chang won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay with her sticky buns!) but also for their super fresh sandwiches.


Apparently I was not the only one who had this brilliant idea on a Saturday afternoon. The place was packed!!

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Oh yeah, my kind of place 😉


I really wanted the tofu, olive-red pepper tapenade and grilled veggie sandwich but it had onions pre-mixed in the veggie medley. I thought I was being safe with my choice of the roast chicken, avocado and jicama sandwich but after waiting for nearly half hour for my sandwich I found out the hard way that the avocado was actually guac with pre-mixed red onions. Eek. Thankfully I took the sandwich out of the bag to take a picture and discovered this right away. The nice people at Flour offered to make me any other sandwich and I chose the (onion free) smoked turkey, cheddar and cranberry chutney


The bread was so fresh – it was definitely the best part. I liked the rest of the sandwich as well but it was nothing too special. I guess it was all about the simplicity of the ingredients. I’d still order it again. :)


I also couldn’t go to Flour without ordering the “granola bar” pastry – oats, honey, walnuts, cranberry-apricot-apple jam


I love absolutely everything about this pastry – the jam, the strudel topping, the fact that it’s gigantic so I can enjoy it for hours. Love it!!


After a lovely lunch (I ate the sandwich and the pastry btw throughout the day – it was in my purse and I was taking little bites here and there while running errands) we went to Ikea to buy door handles for our kitchen. Oh our life is just so exciting, isn’t it? 😆 At some point, it was dinner time and we headed to my parents’ house to enjoy a meal with them, my sister and her boyfriend.


Lovely berries were the perfect appetizer


I had a few organic strawberries – so flavorful! I can’t wait for strawberry season in Boston!!!

Then I got to picture taking. There was a lot of yummy food, all requested by my sister.


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I didn’t eat the above 2 dishes, so here are the highlights for me… plov – rice pilaf with organic chicken, cranberries and carrots


Sinii – roasted eggplant + tomato puree


Pickles – sour and half-sour


Korean spicy carrots (we get them at the Russian store)


Fresh Russian bread


Everyone had something different to drink – there were fancy beers and red and white wine. I had 2 glasses from this bottle:

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My plate…




Then it was time for dessert. GORKA!!


My sister was on slicing duty. We were both giddy with excitement. It is my sister’s favorite dessert and definitely one of my favorites as well!


Sour cherries, pastry tubes in sour cream frosting – what’s not to love?!!


This was a giant piece and I had no problem polishing it off. In fact after an hour or so I picked at another little slice. SO good!!

Now that you are all back on regular schedule (and catching up on blogs, right?) – how was your Valentine’s day weekend? Was it as full of indulgences as mine? Any highlights?

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Maria

    I want to reach in and grab those berries. They look so good! And what a feast! Glad you had fun!

  • #2 - Sophie @ yumventures

    That dessert looks amazing! Did you make it from scratch, or buy it in the area? I’m glad you had such a nice Valentine’s weekend =)

  • #3 - Rose

    Everything in this post looks amazing, but I am particularly swooning over that bowl of berries!

  • #4 - Coco

    YUM! Your eats are making me drool and I just ate breakfast!!!
    Banana and PB toast is the best fuel in the morning. I eat it even when I’m not working out because it has that perfect ratio of carbs/fat/protein and it holds me over perfectly till lunch.
    FLOUR bakery is the best!!!!! I always walk by it on Fridays on my way to work so I’m gonna have to swing by and grab that sandwich, cranberry chutney is my fav! Flour Bakery and South End Buttery are the best cafes in town I think.
    Love your dinner too….that dessert looks extraordinary!
    Workout soon???Lunch?

  • #5 - Cara

    Sounds like a wonderful Valentine weekend! Ours was pretty good too. That dessert intrigues me – I’ve never heard of nor seen it!

  • #6 - Elina

    Sophie – my mom made the gorka. It’s one of her specialties. :)

    Coco – I plan on taking the yoga class during lunch on Thursday. Are you around?

  • #7 - sister inna

    omg i have been eating gorka like it’s my job for the past 3 days. it’s sooooo good. i’m even allowing D to have some here and there 😉
    i don’t remember you snapping photos while i was cutting the cake. i was stressed out — that thing was huuuge. hehe i don’t look too giddy in the photo 😉

  • #8 - Elina

    Innz – I see internal giddiness 😉

  • #9 - Evan Thomas

    I didn’t know there was a throwdown-winner’s restaurant in Boston! I’ll need to check it out

  • #10 - Leena

    oh. my. goodness. that desset looks heavenly! i love cherries so much, gosh i’m drooling! hahaha!

  • #11 - Chou

    What a great Saturday morning! :)

  • #12 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I had a weekend much like yours in the indulgence department (actually I am sure it was far worse with foods like Chinese take-out and pizza!), but unlike you, I didn’t have the courage to get on the scale today, and unlike you, I did not run 8 miles this weekend! Sigh.

    Gorka looks delicious! I have never even heard of it before, but I don’t see how it could be bad!

  • #13 - Lauren

    Would you believe I STILL haven’t been to Flour?! Unacceptable. Must. Go.

  • #14 - Rachel

    I am so jealous that you went to flour this weekend! I used to go to school in Boston and that was one of my favorite places to get lunch/dinner/dessert! The turkey and cranberry chutney is my favorite sandwich there, but I’ve never tried the granola bar pastry before. It looks delicious!

  • #15 - Elina

    Lara – I don’t know what possessed me to step on that scale. I actually felt thin in the morning and told myself that if the scale has a really low number than it must be dehydration from the wine at dinner. Um, the scale showed a number I haven’t seen in probably 2.5 years (BAD!!) and then I started trying on clothes and my stomach was hanging out of all them. Yeah, not the best motivation to eat intuitively. I’m back on track today!!

    Lauren – Go. Today! 😉

    Rachel – If you’re back in Boston, definitely give the granola bar pastry a try. I crave it all the time. So good!

  • #16 - Carly

    What an awesome food weekend :) That bakery looks amazing (I saw more pics in Tina’s blog). It was inspiring because I want to open my own bakery more than anything!!!! Glad you got some good family time in. My weekend was pretty much me alone. My husband is a chef, so naturally he worked all weekend!
    P.S. did you ever post the recipe for the poodle cake? Seeing the gorka made me think of it :) I never jotted down the recipe!

  • #17 - Sues

    I can’t believe I’ve lived in Boston forever and still haven’t been to Flour! I have tentative plans to visit on Friday, so hopefully nothing falls through!!

    All that food looks SO good :)

  • #18 - Jenna

    Oh Gosh I treated V-day like it was Christmas and ate anything and everything! I hate when I splurge how the scale is like 3 -5 pounds off and my clothes feel tight but I reassure myself that it’s usually just gas, water weight, bloating from salt, etc etc and that it will go away in the next few days and it usually does!

  • #19 - Elina

    Carly – I actually decided to make it myself after the kitchen remodel is over (soon!!) so I’ll take step by step photos and of course share the recipe then. Good memory! :)

    Sues – that IS a crime. lol. Go, go on Friday. Make it happen, girl. 😉

    Jenna – I think you’re right. A few days of overindulging cannot do that much damage. I always do that on vacations and the weight comes off in a week.

  • #20 - Michal

    What a lovely meal!

    And that granola bar looks so delicious =) I wanna try one myself.

  • #21 - Alisha N

    Is there a recipe for gorka? It looks really good, but I can’t find one anywhere!

    Maybe it’s just one of those secret family recipes? haha :)

  • #22 - Elina

    Alisha – haha, it is a family recipe but it’s not a secret. It’s quite time consuming so please let me know if you still want it. I’ll need to translate it from my mom’s Russian archives.

  • #23 - Shannon

    that gorka?? want to try it :)