Kitchen design is on its way

Did I mention on the blog that we are remodeling our kitchen? I’m sure I have since this is a project we’ve been thinking about since buying our condo back in August and have been trying to get it under way for months now. After interviewing half a dozen kitchen designers and contractors, and accepting that it will cost nearly double what we originally budgeted for it (can you say ouch?) we finally signed the papers last night and put our deposit down. The very same night, the kitchen designer came over, discussed all the details with us and promised to have the sketches done by the end of the week. It’s actually happening!!! I am beyond excited!! In fact, I had a hard time falling asleep last night, because I kept on thinking about it. Weee :mrgreen: Do you guys want to see the kitchen before it is gutted? I’m thinking of doing a little video tour of our condo…

BREAKFAST

Power bran muffin with a sliced persimmon and nonfat yogurt

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Lots of textures and tastes!

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LUNCH

Thai food leftovers. The papaya salad was still crazy spicy but so yummy :)

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SNACKS

3 things I’m obsessed with – TJ’s ww Tuscan bread, avocado + baba ganoush

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I actually had some more bread with baba ganoush after dinner as a snack. The stuff is my new crack – my Barney Butter de jour if you will. ;)

A little piece of fudge with walnuts at the office…

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DINNER

Dinner was one creamy concoction – risotto with cauliflower and walnuts (based on this recipe, which I found through Tri to Cook). I used only 1 cup of dry arborio rice but added some cooked wheat berries, inspired by this recipe. I also only used 1t of EVOO (for toasting the rice), 3 oz of brie and walnuts instead of almonds (we ran out of sliced almonds). This was SO indulgent tasting!

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It was actually overwhelmingly creamy (Adam thinks that’s crazy talk ;) ), so mid-eating I decided to add some fresh cherry tomatoes to the bowl. What a great addition! The tomatoes added such freshness to the dish. I still managed to eat only 1/2 of this bowl.

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Soon after dinner, I found room for dessert!

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I ate 3 out of the 4 cookies in the package. These guys are so much yummier (and junk ingredient free!) than oreos. The cookie is actually chocolaty.

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After the kitchen designer left, Adam and I watched 5 episodes of season 3 of Entourage. We just couldn’t stop. Have you seen the show? We’re addicts here! :lol:

All right kids, I’m off to work! Happy Tuesday :)

Run like the wind (in the sun)

I’ve had really great food lately. It’s funny because honestly I go through stages where I just go through the motions, cook, try to be healthy (and not always succeed), try to blog (and not be too boring) but this week’s food really made me extra happy and gave me extra motivation to stay healthy. Having a weekend of many indulgences last weekend and another one coming up (we’re going to NY tomorrow!), also made it easier.  But in any case, the highlight of today was really my run. It was 60* here in Boston!!! I don’t remember the last time it was this warm here and I definitely can’t wait until this becomes a more frequent occasion and not just a random Thursday (when I’m mostly stuck at work). I think tomorrow it’s going to rain and by Monday we’ll be down to low 40′s again, so I took advantage of today’s glorious weather and went for a run… outsideLast run outside went pretty well. I also have been running about 5 times a week for the last few weeks and that has been going well. So I wasn’t as scared to hit the road today.  I walked for 3 minutes on the treadmill (to warm up), then stretched, and then went outside. It was gorgeous and I seriously had a perma smile for the first 5 minutes… until I remembered that running is hard! Haha. In any case, I persevered… and completed my 40 minute planned run. I ran all the way to Cambridge and back.

Running for time instead of distance was liberating at first, but I also learned that I can’t run too fast, because I wouldn’t complete my run any faster if I did… just get more tired :) All in all, I was proud when I was done. This was the longest run I’ve done outside to date, without stopping to walk. A 10K will be even longer, so I really hope I get to do this more often (treadmill running does not compare, although it definitely helped me get to the point where I am today).  Workout stats:

  • Duration: 0:53 (that’s 40 minutes of running + 13 minutes of walking) + stretching
  • Calories: 514 (40% fat)
  • Ave HR:157 (81%); Max HR: 177 (91%)

Oh and I guess since we started with workout-talk today, I should mention that I also Shredded (level 3) this morning. I missed it, believe it or not… so I really enjoyed this morning’s workout. I also really liked that when I was done with work, I could have a glass of wine with some co-workers and not worry that I still had to exercise :) Shredding stats:

  • Duration: 0:25 + stretching
  • Calories: 178 (50% fat)
  • Ave HR: 132 (68%); Max HR: 161 (81%)

EATS

pre-workout morning snack: 2 dates

[42 calories]

3 mini ww bagel halves with whipped cream cheese and lox + 1 sliced pear

[400 calories]

3 ak maks with 2T sun dried tomato hummus + 2 boiled egg

[202 calories]

The snack above was kick-ass! Seriously I could not believe how amazing it was… and it was SUPER filling. 2.5 hours after I had it, I was still a little full, but I had to go on my run or I knew it wouldn’t happen.  I’ll be sure to keep this combo in mind!  Awesome awesome awesome!

The stars of lunch were cakes I made from leftover butternut squash risotto. I made 2 patties out of 1/4 of the recipe, dipped them in 1 egg white and about 2.5T of ww bread crumbs. I then pan fried them (in pan covered in EVOO spray) for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

2 risotto cakes with mixed greens/carrots with Annie's woodstock dressing on the side

You know you want one ;)

risotto cake closeup

[452 calories]

For dinner, I was planning on making some crab cakes, but time totally escaped from me and at the last minute I decided to just bake the TJ’s wild mushroom and black truffle flatbread pizza we had in the freezer (for emergencies just like today). This is 1/2 of the pizza… and I’m going to say again that it’s the best (frozen) pizza ever! I’d choose this over take-out any day…. ok, unless I’m craving some veggies on it or something :) But yeah, this was decadent and indulgent and I want some more right now (I’m half-way kidding about that one… mmm truffled pizza).

TJ's mushroom truffle oil pizza

[350 calories]

And then I had one of the chocolate-pecan macaroons I made earlier in the night (and that’s why I had no time left to make “real” dinner). I made them for my parents for passover – they use matzo meal and I thought they’d like them. They did! I made them extra decadent by adding chocolate chips to the batter. I’d say the chips were key! Oh and mine were much flatter than the ones in the Cooking Light picture, but they were also a bit bigger… I made 23 (instead of 26). Whatever, they were yummy (but honestly not amazing… pretty good for flourless cookies though).

chocolate pecan choc chip macaroon cookie

[113 calories] + I later had another 1/2… another 56 calories

After finishing dinner, my husband and I went to my parents’ house to deliver the cookies. I had another 1.25 glasses of red wine there (+ as mentioned above 1 glass with co-workers after work)… that’s 2.25 glasses (~225 calories]

Total calories consumed today:1922 (eek!)

I’m leaving for NY tomorrow afternoon. I probably won’t be able to blog during the weekend, but I’ll definitely be back with a full recap. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that we have no plans but eat and drink for 2.5 days straight! :)

My form of meditation

Yeah, let’s just say dinner tonight was beyond fantastic. I roasted some butternut squash last night (at 400* for about 35 minutes) in preparation for the butternut squash risotto I’ve been planning on making for ages. I got home pretty late and it took a lot (!) of willpower not to snack on it while cooking (I did however snack on roasted parsnips I also roasted last night and some fresh melon I cut up for occasions just like this – not pictured). I was hungry, but I was also determined to make this dish tonight. What I forgot is that I actually really like making risotto! Yes, it takes a while and yes, you have to constantly stir it and give it 100% of your attention but seriously, it’s kind of soothing. My husband wasn’t home yet, so I stirred the rice while reflecting on my day. It was nice to unwind and concentrate on just one thing. I like to multitask at all times, but tonight, while making the risotto I just let everything else be. I’m sure things will get done so no need to stress over it! :)

Now let’s talk about the final product. I omitted the butter, the onions, the shallots and tarragon, and used about 1.5 ounces of pecorino and 2.5 oz of gouda. My risotto also always takes way more broth than the recipe calls for. I don’t know if my pan is too hot (so the broth evaporates instead of getting absorbed into the rice) but in any case, this was no exception and it took about 5 cups of broth to get it to the creamy consistency I wanted. I don’t like my risotto al dente ;)

My labor of love paid off! This was so creamy and cheesy – comfort food at its best. I could have eaten the whole pot of it, but I shared it with Adam instead and we’ll be eating the leftovers tomorrow. I think I may pan fry it like Alicia did :) Adam gave this recipe 3 smiley faces (basically the highest rating we have!). Yum!!

Butternut squash risotto

After dinner my sweet tooth kicked in so I had these straight out of their containers :oops:

Berryline coconut froyo + chocolate covered edamame

[dinner, including estimated dessert: 568]

OTHER EATS

pre-morning workout snack: 4 dates

[85 calories]

1/2c oikos, 1/3c TJ's european style yogurt, 1 apple, 1/2 oz mixmygranola low fat granola base, almonds + choc chips

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[398 calories]

chickpea + carrots in goddess dressing over ezekiel bread + raw sugar snap peas on side

+

part II of lunch: bosc pear

[419 calories]

1/2 banana/1T Barney Butter in TJ's low carb wrap

+

country-choice-organic-double-fudge-brownie-cookies

[360 calories] – Yeah, the cookies were unplanned – my sweet tooth kicked in after the banana/BB wrap :(

Total calories consumed: 1830 + a little bit of melon and roasted parsnips

I think I need to establish a max 1 post-dinner snack rule! There were 3 unplanned snacks today (cookies, froyo + choc covered edamame). None of them individually were too bad, but 3 things I didn’t really need is a bit much. I’ll try to work on that :D

WORKOUTS

I’ve been trying to get up early to work out lately, since work has been kind of busy. I planned on doing a 3 mile run + shredding at 6 am today, but since I’m super slow in the morning I only got to do the run before I needed to get ready. I am NOT a morning person – it took a lot out of me this morning to get into it. I did it, though… let’s see if I can do my 4.5 miles tomorrow morning! Hmm. Workout stats (includes a 6 minute warm-up walk + 0.15 mile cooldown walk):

  • Duration: 0:36 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 302 (40% fat)
  • Ave HR: 145 (75%); Max HR: 194 (100%)

During lunch I also took a pilates class (I had a 2:15 meeting so I needed a workout that wouldn’t make me sweat too much). I decided that I really love pilates. It was super challenging but therapeutic at the same time. I’m going to try to take this class more often! I wore my HRM, just for fun… I burnt 113 calories but that’s probably how much I’d burn just sitting at my desk (although I certainly was working much harder!). I’m not going to wear the HRM next time. These types of workouts are not for calorie burning and I certainly don’t need to monitor my heart rate, so there is no need for a HRM (I was just curious this one time).

No shredding today. After coming home late, all I wanted to do was eat and get to the rest of my errands. I think I’ve done enough exercise today… I don’t want to burnt out for no reason!

Tomorrow is Wednesday… a.k.a hump day… and then it’s only 2 more days until the weekend. We’re going to NY! I can’t wait!!!

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