Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Recent Eats and Haps

Hump day is upon us, peeps. You might even say it's currently humping us. I can say "humping" because I work at a dog shelter, and thus I'm desensitized to socially-awkward words like "humping." How many more times do you think I'd have to say "humping" before you all imagined humping? Done, right? On most days that little feat might be my biggest accomplishment, but I've been working on another freelance project recently and thus I'm pretty productive everyday.

Being a freelance editor means that I am justified in buying fun office supplies. Although, let me just tell you that buying office supplies at the Target in a university town around the time that school starts isn't as fun. All the college kids took the most fun supplies!!! :-(

Luckily I've had some good eats recently to distract myself from my sub par Post-it flags and red pens. Yesterday I did up another round of tomato and mozz:

Which I ate along with some peanut eggplant from Whole Foods:

Today's lunch was some kale + another tomato and mozzarella sando:

Though I realized later that the little blobs of cheese actually tasted better when eaten alone. The tomato was just so flavorful that the sandwich tasted better without!*

*Words I have never spoken before.**
**Actually, words I have never spoken, since I'm typing, not speaking.

Finally, I've been on a real dinner cooking kick lately. Who knows why, but I've actually had the energy to cook, even if it's something really simple like kale and tofu, which is what we had for dinner last night.

Tonight I'm making a pasta with...yup, you guessed it: tomatoes. I'm also going to throw in some zucchini and parsley. Wish me luck on improv-ing a pasta dinner when I know basically nothing about pasta recipes. Maybe I should hit up my Pinterest board for inspiration. Usually that just devolves into obsessive food porn-ing. In any case, I'll give you the full update on said pasta dinner when I post next. Cross your fingers.

And lastly, just a few random things about being pregnant:

1) When your baby is encroaching on your rib cage space it actually does sometimes feel like you can't breath and you're going to die.

2) Don't tell the pregnant lady at the gym that you were really depressed when, during a group fitness class, you "couldn't even keep up" with said pregnant lady.

*Are you in a food rut or a good cooking spree?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Hey friends! Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope you slept well last night. We had a splotchy night of sleep because it was storming something fierce for a big part of the night. Recently we've been having storms that are straight out of The Wizard of Oz they're so strong. I put ear plugs in last night because the wind and rain was so loud, but poor Haruki doesn't got no ear plugs:-( She doesn't totally freak out and bark and cry when it's storming, but she definitely gets scared and nervous. Oh, Ruki, if only I could speak English to you and explain things.

Speaking of explaining, I've been doing some thinking about tomatoes, since my mother-in-law brought us a big yellow heirloom from her garden recently. Now, I like tomatoes. I like tomatoes in stuff. But until recently I didn't really like tomatoes enough to put them on a slice of bread and eat them. That is, however, until I discovered a few types of tomatoes that are just dee-licious! For instance, those Early Girl tomatoes that I ate on pesto sandwiches a few weeks ago. And now, the heirloom tomato that I ate on toast last night for part of dinner.

Yes, I swear that that is a tomato on toast. With balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some parmesan cheese too. It was good.

Anyhow, my point here is that I don't think I liked tomatoes for the longest time because the tomatoes that we bought while growing up were just terrible! Sorry Mom and Dad, but it's true! We would buy the cheapest conventional tomatoes that they had at the store, and then we would store them in the refrigerator. I mean, yuck, right? Most of the time they weren't even ripe and I realize now that they didn't taste remotely like real tomatoes do.

Weird, right? Are there any foods or veggies like tomatoes that were perhaps not shown to their best advantage in your childhood home, and which you're now less likely to enjoy?

I also ate broccoli last night:

And enjoyed it all in front of the TV while I watched the US Open.

This isn't exactly the prettiest dinner blogger set-up, but I was starving and it worked for me:-)

*Where do you eat most of your meals?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cutesy Sunday

But first, did I mention that I made strawberry banana bread last week? Yah, that's because it turned out like $%&*. It sure did look good in the process, though.

The flavors were definitely good, but the batter was just too wet and I felt like I was eating bread pudding instead of banana bread. Womp womp.

In other news, David and I did have a really cutesy Sunday yesterday. First we went on a hike with Haruki. It was soooo hot, which was very unfortunate. It's actually going to be hot all week here. Boo. Luckily it keeps raining in the afternoon/evenings, but I'd still like to get temps in the eighties instead of the nineties.

After our hike we showered and went to get lunch stuff for a picnic in the park. David had a hummus sandwich and I had a kale salad along with hummus and some seedy bread.

Ruki sure was entranced with the squirrels in the tree above us. As you can see from the picture we did bring Haruki's travel water bowl, though we forgot regular water. And, just in case you're wondering, dogs don't really like flavored sparkling water:-) Oh well. We had a really nice time just sitting under a tree in the park and eating our food.

After that really nice time we took it down a notch and went to Home Depot. My general feeling towards Home Depot is one of exhaustion and disinterest, since when I was a kid and now that I shop there with David it feels like you go in there for stuff that isn't really fun or "for you," end up walking around the enormous space for-ev-er, and then still have to go home and use or implement what you bought. I'm thinking about getting myself pumped to do a back splash in our guest bathroom, however, so maybe I'm starting to come around.

After Home Depot we stopped at a mattress store to get a dog bed for Haruki. More on that once we get it. Then we went to get a few things from the grocery store. Then we came home, watched the end of the USA ProCycling Challenge, and then, my friends, I fell asleep. That was a lot of action for a pregnant chic! Whew!

I suspect a similar respite will be happening as soon as I hit "publish" here. Wish me luck, and have a good start to your week!

*Do you love/hate Home Depot?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Worn Out on Wednesday

Yah. Like, I'm going to fall asleep on this keyboard. I think it's the late summer heatwave, but this pregnant B$%^* has been tiiiiii-erddd this week. I've also had some kind of social engagement everyday or 2xs per day, so that might have something to do with it as well.

Yesterday was a pretty long day, too, since David and I drove up to Breckenridge, CO to see the finish of the USA ProCycling Challenge stage there. We got there in perfect time--just enough minutes to get a snack and a drink before getting a spot and seeing all the racers come in. I realize that approximately 0% of you are cycling fans, but even still, a professional bike race is pretty exciting. They Here's a shot of our spot yesterday near the finish line:

And even though I don't love this picture of me, I thought I'd post it anyhow since when I'm reading blogs I like seeing pictures of the people too.

And finally, a shot from the drive home:

Colorado is so pretty in the summer, peeps. I don't know why everyone moves here for the skiing. The summer is where it's at.

Speaking of summer, look what I bought at the grocery store today:

That's a freaking boatload of strawberries:-) Fruit, fruit, fruit: I swear I've never eaten as much fruit in my life as I have done since being pregnant. I liked fruit just fine before pregnancy, but this baby sure has taken it to a new level for me. Let's hope that means that baby has been snuggled up in a cocoon of strawberry-flavored amniotic fluid these past eight and a half months:-) Sounds yummy to me! Uh, slash kind of TMI and gross. Sorry about that amniotic fluid comment...hehe.

On another baby note, look what my mother-in-law gave us:

A baby quilt! Isn't it pretty? It has a yellow border, which for me lessens the sting of the uber-girly purple. (Though I do actually like purple.) Anyway, it's just a quilt, but it did kind of make me excited for baby time...only five weeks and six days to go...

*What are you looking forward to this fall?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chef Friend

Unfortunately I do not have a friend that is a chef. Unless you count Emily from Daily Garnish, that is. And I don't. It would be kind of creepy if I thought some blogger whom I'd never ever met, spoken to, or corresponded with was my friend. Mostly I just read her blog and wish that someone would cook her food for me in my kitchen.

Luckily, however, I do have one friend who is a good cook. And last night we had dinner at his house to celebrate the arrival of his good friend from Wales. Our friend Adam is fairly worldly, having lived in Wales and England and also having traveled extensively. Thus he knows "ethnic" foods beyond just your basic vegetable curry or your standard Pad Thai. He is actually part Trinidadian, which also bodes well for his cooking props. I guess I should add the disclaimer that I like spicy food with lots of veggies, and thus Adam's cooking background is good news for me. If I were more of a meatloaf and mashed potatoes person I suspect I'd be quite turned off by his fare.

Anyway...last night Adam made us a Thai dish that was similar to a Pad Thai but quite different in a number of respects. For instance, there were no peanuts in it:-)

This was some kind of rice noodle--though it felt more hearty than that--with tomatoes, zucchini, and onions, along with tofu and a really tasty sauce that you can see on top of all the tofu. Adam also made us a sprout salad, but since I'm knocked up I decided to pass on the risk of E. coli. Anyway, the sauce on the tofu and the noodles had sunflower seeds, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, carrot juice and other stuff that I can't remember.

It was really tasty. My point here is that this dish had a lot of flavors but it seems so overwhelming to create a sauce with like eight ingredients. But man, the sauce really makes it. Just throwing some garlic and ginger on tofu really doesn't result in the same tastiness, unfortunately. This is where meat eaters have an advantage, since as long as you cook the meat properly, a steak without any sauce is still relatively tasty.

Perhaps I should buy a book of just sauces, marinades, and dressings so I can sufficiently dress up my tofu, my brown rice, my veggies, etc. Any recommendations? How complicated is the stuff that you cook?

In other news, I'm about to hop in the shower to get ready to leave because David, my Dad, and I are driving up to Breckenridge, CO today to see the end of a stage of the USA ProCycling Challenge. I'm pretty pumped, though long-ish car rides (it's only an hour and a half) aren't fantastic for peeps who have babies resting on their bladders. Fun pictures to come tomorrow! (Of the race, not of the results of a long car ride + baby on my bladder.)

*What are you, some kind of overachiever? Answer one of the questions above! :-)

Monday, August 19, 2013


Um, whoops. I just opened my iPhoto and realized that I didn't take many exciting pictures this weekend.

For example, exhibit A:

This was part of one of my breakfasts. Woo hoo, right? Actually, I decided to photograph it because it did seem so pretty and nutritious.

As far as other breakfasts go, yesterday David and I had pancakes. It's becoming a Sunday ritual, only recently I've started making them instead of waiting for David to do it. He usually sleeps later, so sometimes I'll make pancakes and leave them warming for him. Yesterday, however, he woke up just as they were finishing cooking, so we ate together.

Side-by-side Apple computers, reading the daily news, and eating our multigrain pancakes. Can you say "yuppie?"

And yes, that is Nikki's Coconut Butter. I am, obviously, _not_ that Nikki, but I did recently decide to try this coconut butter that all the famous bloggers talk about. My review? It's good. It's not going to change my life though. There's a tiny part of me that is still skeptical about a product that contains like 50% of my daily saturated fat, and I don't care what you say about "long chain" / "short chain" fatty acids or any of that.

Despite these rather mundane photos and events, I did take a picture of something interesting that happened at work. See, when people adopt cats we put their cats in a cardboard carrier to take home. Unfortunately I ran into a cat that really, really doesn't like being cooped up, and this happened:

Yah. A cat really did claw and bite and tear its way out of that box. And it took less than thirty seconds to do it too!! I was honestly scared about what that cat would do once it got out, since it was pretty terrifying watching it tear out of there. If you've ever seen Jurassic Park, then just imagine those velociraptors tearing out of a cage. It was like that. And that is why I have a dog and not a cat. (Among other reasons.)

In other news, it's hot here today. And it will be hot for a number of days this week. Sigh. I'm off to possibly nap before we run some errands and go to a friend's house for dinner. Will produce pictures of said dinner tomorrow, I swear:-)

*Isn't it funny that the box says "Cats are angels with whiskers" and a vicious f-ing feline tore through it?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some Eats

My eats as of late have been pretty tasty. I can't say why for sure, but I think it has something to do with me having gotten my ass into the kitchen recently. It's strange, really, how I go through phases with cooking. Sometimes I really enjoy being in the kitchen, following (or not following) recipes, coordinating all the different phases of a meal, etc. And other times I really feel like the last thing I want to do is even bother putting rice into the rice cooker.

But, anyway:-)

This was lunch yesterday, leftover from our anniversary dinner on Sunday evening.

That's spicy seitan burritos, in case you're new to the blog. They are David's specialty.

I also made another pesto/mozz/tomato sandwich for lunch today.

Heaven on a plate. I have to make more pesto, asap. The only downside, of course, is the garlic. I can't imagine having pesto without garlic, but man, I really don't enjoy feeling garlic-y all day after eating pesto. Granted I ate about a half a cup of pesto between this sandwich and the spoon I took to the pesto bowl. But still, it sure would be nice if the pesto could taste just as delicious but retain less of the garlic aftereffects.

I suppose it's only a problem during the day, though. We ate pesto pasta for dinner last night and the garlic effects were pretty minimal since we went to bed just a few hours after eating.

I threw in some roasted zucchini as well as some fresh "Early Girl" tomatoes. These are small tomatoes but so good and sweet. David said this was the best pasta dish I've ever made, and I think I'd agree. Of course, it's all because of the pesto. Like I said, I need more basil to make more pesto!

After dinner last night we took a walk with Haruki and ran into our neighbor Barb. She gave us some homemade banana bread. David scarfed his slice on our walk, but I save mine until today:

It was good, though a bit too nutty for my tastes. It got me excited to make pumpkin bread for fall though...

And with that I'm off. We're having friends over for dinner tonight so there are a few things I need to prepare. David is currently in the future baby room using some kind of drill. #Makesmenervous

*What is your policy regarding garlic? Do you just eat it and deal with the breath, or do you avoid it in certain circumstances?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pesto Madness

So all you peeps with gardens are probably on to this already, but a garden = basil, which = all the pesto you could ever want! I'm a pretty lucky girl because my friend Liz has a garden and recently she bestowed upon me some of the basil that she's been reaping from her garden. In other words, I get to reap the benefits while someone else does all the work! It's a real win-win in my book. I Googled a really simple pesto recipe and this was the result:

OMG it smelled so fresh and delicious after I made it. It still does too, but it was particularly good on a chip out of the food processor. The last time I made arugula pesto it turned out a bit "off," so I was especially glad that this batch turned out.

In addition to giving me the basil, my friend Liz also regaled me with tips about what to do with pesto, including an idea for a margherita sandwich with uber-fresh tomatoes, lots of pesto, and fresh mozzarella. Since my friend Shannon was coming over for lunch yesterday I decided to give it a whirl. This was the result:

Seriously. This was good. I put it on Pepita bread from Whole Foods, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil on it. It's true what they say about fresh simple foods being the best, isn't it? It's hard to imagine that three years ago I wouldn't have touched this plate with a ten-foot pole because it had olive oil and cheese on it.

After hanging out with Shannon yesterday I went to get my teeth cleaned. If you know anything about pregnancy and dental health then you know that dentist = ouch. Apparently bacteria in your mouth just thrive when your body is being pumped full of estrogen and progesterone. Great for me. At least it will get better and go back to normal after baby.

For dinner David and I met our friends Adam and Michaela at Native Foods, where we haven't dined in quite some time. I had the Bangkok Curry bowl, which was pretty good but not exceptional.

What can I say, though? I'm a sucker for anything with tofu too.

*Is there an ingredient that you can't resist on a menu--even if it's accompanied by other ingredients that aren't your favorite?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

Guess who came to visit at the shelter this weekend! A little baby Samoyed. Isn't he cute? Every time he walked his little ears flopped up and down. It was pretty much the pinnacle of cuteness.

Hmm. I probably should've ended the post with that picture, since it's definitely also the pinnacle of the post's cuteness.

My next tidbit from the weekend is definitely less cute.

This is a bunch of free stuff that I got for volunteering this weekend at the BStrong Bike Ride for Cancer. Not including the kale from Alfalfa's, of course. That I got just to make sure that I had some greens in me for part of lunch. (Since the second part of lunch was mostly margherita pizza.) I even got a free t-shirt for volunteering, which is pretty great since I got it in my current size and I now have a workout t-shirt that isn't awkwardly snug around my belly:-)

After volunteering I went home to pick up David so we could meet my family for dinner. It's been awhile since we were all together, so it was pretty nice to catch up. I ordered a tilapia dish that I neglected to photograph. BUT! I did photograph the second half of it when I ate it for lunch on Sunday:

With leftover kale, naturally.

Also of note food-wise this weekend? These pancakes:

Which don't actually look very good, do they? Oh well. Put enough almond butter on anything and I'd find it tasty.

And finally, these guys:

Those are carrot cake cupcakes from Tee and Cakes. I picked them up on Saturday afternoon since Sunday was our first wedding anniversary!! Seriously. If you live anywhere near Boulder you really have to order yourself a small carrot cake. Just like a 4" cake. It's so worth it.

We didn't do much on our anniversary, but because we just spent the day together, alone, it was pretty nice. We took Haruki on a long hike, gave her a bath, made and ate dinner together, and took care of a few pre-baby things. We talked about our first year of marriage, including things that we had learned during it. I'm just glad that the pregnancy hormones dealt us a good day so I didn't have to punch David in the face or hate his guts _at all_ yesterday:-)

*What do you do on your anniversary, if you have one?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday, err, Sunday

Yah, it's my Sunday. That means I'm soaking up all the laziness before going to work tomorrow. I was supposed to have a play date with a friend who just had a baby, but because her son is sick we canceled. So, after Bootcamp and a doctor appointment I promptly came home to relax, take a quick (like twenty minute) nap, and maybe watch a few episodes of Orange is the New Black. Even though I realize that I'll be exhausted and crazy busy with baby for most of it, I'm still excited that Fall TV shows will be starting soon. This includes football! I haven't had TV and cable during football season since, like, 2007, so I'm pretty pumped that this year I can watch as many games as I want. Scratch that. I just realized that I did have cable for most of last year's football season. Liar.

Anyhow, given that I've done basically nothing today, I don't have much to share aside from the snack plate that I made after eating lunch.

That would be half a piece of the mediocre banana bread I made yesterday, along with grapes and a small piece of white and milk chocolate. Yes, I said white and milk chocolate, i.e. so full of sugar and fat that they practically don't have room for the freaking cacao. For some reason I got a hankering for it recently and have since been having a square or two a day. It's only fair since I can't fully bend over and tie my shoes anymore, right?

And...that's about all I have to write about. And...I guess that answers my question about why I only have four blog readers:-)

*What do you do on those days when you've got nada to write about?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I'm not sure why, but Tuesday seems to be the day that I write about pregnancy-related stuff. Today's topic, my friends, is nesting.

I think I'm doing it. It all started last week when I realized how close we are to actually having a baby. Once that realization hit I started to think about all the little spots or nooks around the house that are filled with crap that we don't use, don't want, etc. Our house is really nice, but it's not exactly chock full of storage space, either. So starting a new baby off--especially since babies have so much crap associated with their care--in a house that is filled with crap that David and I should've tossed a long time ago seemed unwise. The problem is that I let myself feel too overwhelmed by the number of places in the house that I need to go through and reorganize. So last week, when this realization hit, I decided that I'd try to clean out and organize one or two small areas a week. Last week, I picked up all the donated maternity clothes I'd been given (which were on the floor of my closet), sorted them, and took the rest to a donation site. Whew!

This morning I started in on the kitchen. First I organized our drawer full of bars, teas, and chocolates. Then I moved on to the larger food cabinets, where I found things that I really shouldn't have purchased in the first place. Really, cleaning out the cabinets was a wake-up call that I need to lessen the frequency with which I decide to try a new food or new item.

Anyhow, cleaning out the food cabinets led to a lot of crumbs on the floor, which led to wiping out the refrigerator, which led to wiping the counter tops, which led to sweeping the stairs, which led to vacuuming the downstairs and entryway. All before ten-thirty, when I had to leave for my BodyPump class.

And, before I forget to mention it, last night I made dinner! Tofu and broccoli, to be exact:

And I even started pinning dinner recipes on Pinterest!

And this morning I also made banana bread!!!

Unfortunately it's only okay. It's whole wheat, with applesauce instead of butter, and maple syrup instead of brown sugar. I guess I should've been expecting something less delicious than the banana bread my grandmother made, which we could've just as accurately called butter bread.

So, peeps, the moral of the story is that I'm nesting the shit out of this week! I'm also getting kicked in the ribs by this baby. So, I guess you can't have everything. The end.

*Do you have a good, semi-healthy banana bread recipe you use? (Ummm, share?)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Eats and Sights

Hey friends. It's Monday. Again.

Either I'm tired or I'm losing the ability to speak and think, since I can't really think of much to write about. The weekend was pretty good, though uneventful. I kicked it off with some oatmeal, which I've been enjoying a few times a week lately.

This was a berry/banana oatmeal, and I have to say that I think straight up banana is the best. It was lucky that I ate a good breakfast before my shift on Thursday, since I felt like crap for most of the day. My left contact was causing me a lot of pain, and even though one of the veterinary technicians gave me this syringe of saline

I just couldn't get my eye to stop hurting. (Until I got home and threw that contact lens away.) I took a picture just because it was cool that working in an animal shelter/kind of medical facility had a perk that I never would've expected.

In other news, we got a lot of puppies last week, and thus the entire weekend was pretty busy. Lots of these guys went home with new families:

After a long day at work on Friday I came home to eat dinner on the deck with David. Sigh. Not too shabby a view.

And, since I know of at least one reader who wants to see more baby bump, here's how my belly is looking these days:

And yes, I pretty much live all day waiting for the moment when I can get home and put on a tank top and boxer short pajama bottoms. Don't you? Only eight more weeks until I can finally stop thinking about what shirts this belly will fit into!

As for recent pregnant eats, I'm eating a lot of fruit these days. I mean, I've always liked fruit, but for some reason the heat + pregnancy has made me a fruit eating monster. And then sometimes I just eat super random stuff, like cottage cheese, beans, and brown rice tortilla chips.

All while reading blogs, of course:-)

*Is anyone else getting excited for Pinterest holiday season food porn? Heh. No?