Monday, May 10, 2010

New Blog - Moved!

I have a new blog! It is my whole combined blog:

This Whole Life

Come find me - follow me - be encouraged. All of these posts are over there - so come on!

Taste of Raleigh: Neomonde's Bakery and Deli

I left behind TWO great falafel places in Louisville. It was sad. Grape Leaf and Shiraz were delicious and relatively inexpensive, Shiraz being the cheaper of the two. Before 2007, when I lived in RDU - I didn't really care that much about Persian/Mediterranean food (not like I do now).

Friday I was introduced to a place out by NCSU and Meredith called Neomonde. For those of you in Louisville - a Mediterranean Lotsa Pasta. Market, deli, refillable drinks, samples. Neomonde's is cheaper than Lotsa Pasta. There are so many wonderful things to choose from.

On Friday when I went we shared the Large Kabaob platter. 1 chicken kabob, 1 beef kabob, 2 salads (veggie salad and hummus). They give you tons of pita when you check out. And we got 4 falafels - good (although green inside) and topped with sesame seeds (could have done without the sesame seeds. I personally like the pitas better in the ville, but these are good.

Saturday when I went I got a 1/2 falafel wrap and hummus/pita - 4 kalamata olives, evoo, hummus, 3 whole wheat pitas) = all for 6.50. I call that a pretty good deal.

So - this will definitely be a favorite. Anyone wanna go with? More pictures will come later.

Menu Week: May 10

This week will be slightly normal - I guess. We shall see.

My main meals at home will be: lentil chicken chard soup, salad, pbjs, yogurt, oats. Why - that's what I have right now.
My magazine recipe of the week: no clue. Have to look through them again. Running out of desserts to cook - so might have to start cooking main meals out of the stack too!
Places I'm eating out this week:
Champas Sushi Thai
Douglas house
Bux or Bou
Fosters in Chapel Hill
Hot Point Cafe
? for lunch on Friday (haven't decided yet)
Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Troupe house
Hickman house for birthday celebration

This weekend I'll be in DC so I can't wait. It will be busy but good.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Whole Month - Day 9

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. My mom is pretty special - so thank you Mom!

I'm going to do this a bit different from now on. Something I do at the end of my day is tell back (on facebook) what I am thankful for and how God has graciously blessed me that day. Something I want to do on here to finish out this challenge - is instead of focusing on whole foods - focus on the good things I did for my body. I hope this acts as a reminder to me and a challenge to you - in some way, shape, or form!

1. Took a nap. It was necessary on a comfy couch!
2. Walked to buy groceries instead of driving (almost 2 total RT).
3. Ate raw veggies: romaine, carrots, celery.
4. Had many sources of protein: all natural pb, hummus (chickpeas and tahini), ff yogurt, egg white.
5. Did weight training and cardio with Jillian.
6. Drank plenty of water - and will drink some more tonight.

What have you done good for your body today?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Whole Month - Day 8

Started off well. Really well. Then dinner on - it wasn't a good sight.

Breakfast: 1/3 orange, OIAJ (pb, agave nectar, 1 tsp frozen banana, cinnamon chips, ground flax), unsweet rooibos tea from Bux.

Lunch: Half Sonny's Lunch: 2 oz pulled chicken, 1 piece garlic bread, 1/2 sweet potato, 1 T baked beans on top, salad (spinach, tomatoes, red onion, cuks), grapes, melon

Snack: Ikea ff fro yo (so yummy since it was so hot)

Dinner: 1/2 falafel sandwich from Neomonde's, celery, carrots, pita and hummus

Snack during movie: Whole Foods Ice cream bar, TR Kettle Corn.

I wasn't going to write this out. This is what I wanted to write: When will I ever stop struggling with this? Will I have one day when it is not a struggle and I can live like this isn't a SIN area for me - a place and area of transition? I can't stop eating? I can't not live life with other people? Lord...
Rom 6-8 is my only hope. Rom 6 and 7 because it tells me of the hopelessness (mainly) of this indwelling sin in my life. Rom 8 because I know the answer. God is my HOPE. Not how perfectly I live this out.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Whole Month - Day 7

Well, today was not as good as some, but better than yesterday. Here we go:

Breakfast: oats, banana, agave nectar, flax. It was again - good and filling.

Snack: peanut butter caramel brownie Angie made. perfect for an after meeting treat!

Lunch: 1 mixed meat kabob (2 chicken, 2 beef chunks), tahani sauce, hummus, 1 whole wheat pita, 3 falafel. All very yummy!

Afternoon: 15 m&ms, 2 york peppermint patties, 15 york pieces later (ok, too much chocolate)

Dinner: cuban salad, 15 small sweet potato fries, 1 med piece of bread. Mango vinaigrette.

I was thinking the whole time that I was going to have a cuban sandwich, but I sat there and knew I would feel horrible after eating it. I knew I needed to make a better choice - so I did. And I felt great afterwards.
And I know I've gained weight and I feel horrible and think I look horrible in pictures - so it is back on it with a vengeance!
Did a whole segment 2 of Jillian tonight - it was tough and warm in the apt - but I did the whole thing and didn't stop at the second section. Here we go.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Whole Month - Day 6

Better today - much, and my tummy thanks me! There are mercies new every day! Just for all you food blog readers: it is Sarah's birthday today. She is such an inspiration to me. Go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!
Ok - on to today:

Breakfast: oats, maranatha pb, apple, agave nectar, ground flax

Snack: 2 crisps with bean dip on sample at TJ while I was shopping

Lunch: Greek salad from Hot Point Cafe. I also had two bites of the sun dried tomato focaccia - but that was for blog purposes. All whole foods on that!

Snack: celery and pb, 2 bites of cake I made (and about 6 chocolate chips)

Dinner: 1/2 cup lentil soup over small organic sweet potato, roasted asparagus with lemon zest

Much better. Water and unsweet tea to drink. Going for a run now.

Siggi's Yogurt Giveaway

I have always heard much about Siggi's Yogurt on food blogs and I wanted to try it. It is a little ore expensive than regular yogurts, so I emailed the good people at Siggi's and they listened and graciously sent me 8 coupons!
I used one of them to buy some regular plain yogurt to use in a recipe - as a dressing. It was thick and yogurt-y. The good thing about it is that it doesn't contain many sugars. Even the vanilla and fruit kinds, don't have many excess sugars in it.
So...I am passing the wealth on to you, my readers. I have 4 coupons and want to give the chance to try it, too. Two winners will get 2 coupons each!
So, in order to enter - tell me your favorite flavor or yogurt. I'll pick 2 winners on Sunday night.

Lentil, Swiss Chard, and Chicken Soup

Most people know that I love soup. It was probably in the 90s today and I made soup. I had my first bowl of this over a small organic sweet potato (Sarah Frankel bday girl style, just for you babe)! It was very yummy. Quality of pictures is poor because my batteries were going dear - and I think this directly effects the quality of zoom, lighting timing, and macro shooting.

Here you go: (and it is part of whole food month)
1 cup lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
4 cups homemade chicken broth (I cooked a whole chicken and used this)
pinch of sea salt
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch of swiss chard, stems removed, chopped
large pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon (juice)
3 cups chopped chicken (from a whole raw chicken)

Cook lentils in broth, water, and salt until done but not mushy.
Saute onion in evoo for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and red pepper flakes. Add chard and cook for about 3 minutes. Add to lentils and cook for about 10 minutes. Add chicken, lemon, and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (2010.18)

Semi-homemade dessert/brunch/breakfast. This is good - but to me it tastes just like a normal cake - in a different shape. It should be good with the amount of eggs in it. The chocolate isn't overwhelming (I didn't put the glaze on it - it probably would be too sweet). Even though it didn't come out the best, I'm still taking it to the office tomorrow because I can't see throwing money completely down the drain. I hope some of it gets eaten at least.
It does annoy me when magazines don't put their name on the top or bottom of pages. I don't know where this came from, but here you go:

1 butter cake mix
1 8oz container (light) sour cream
3/4 c canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix all but the last two. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan - half the batter. Combine brown sugar and chips - sprinkle in (see picture). Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until done. Let cool, remove, cut.
The sugar and the chocolate helps the chocolate chips from sinking. I would maybe even put a little more - but I doubt this will make it into a rotation. Although good for a quick yummy eating because most of the stuff will be handy or cheap.

Taste of Raleigh: Hot Point Cafe

If you want a nice change from Panera - go here. (Picture taken with my phone - sorry for the quality.)
I really wasn't planning on eating out today for lunch, but I wanted a quiet(er) place for lunch and didn't want to sit in my apt by myself. So, I had looked at this place online and went hunting in North Hills. Found it.
This is a trendier Panera. Same price (about) for what you get. I actually think you get more on the salads. The soups were smaller and not a wide variety. Sandwiches looked good, but Panera's are bigger. They also had meals for dinner - but they were definitely higher (to fit the North Hills market) and they also served a wknd brunch.
I enjoyed the quiet - slightly busy and I was there from 1130-145. Not bad at all. I just enjoyed the warmth and breeze as I sat outside.
I had the small Greek salad and a refillable unsweet tea for $7.22. As you can see from the picture, they don't skimp on the small. There was TONS of feta, black olives, artichokes, greens, roasted red peppers, cuks, and raw mashrooms. It also came with a triangle of their sun dried tomato focaccia bread (good flavor, but a little dry). I asked for the balsamic vinegar on the side - so good. It was sweeter than most.
So - if you are looking for a place that isn't as busy (maybe a place to meet with a girlfriend and sit for hours) - there you go...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Whole Month - Day 5

Ok - well, Cinco de Mayo was good till dinner...
1. Aftter not eating any white bread or processed foods for 4 days - don't go eat a bunch of white bread and pasta. I learned that that is not good for me and my blood sugar/vision. Lesson learned.

Breakfast - oats, pear, pb, ground flax, agave nectar

Lunch - romaine with onion and pear and cashews and mustard. Mango and vaniall yogurt with 1 T oats/ground flax. 1 mini york peppermint patty. Because I had onions and had no mints.

Snack - organic fuji and TJ PB

Dinner - Carino's - not as good as I remember, but it was good. Some foods, when not having eaten them in a while, loose their luster. Split a combo platter with a friend, bread, and a salad with the house vinaigrette on the side.

Snack - cool whip and Acai organic granola and organic graham crackers.

So - not a good day at all after 530pm. Lessons learned. I feel so much better when I eat right. I need to always do it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Whole Food Month - Day 4

Today was all meals out. Wow - that is hard. Well, I think I did fairly well in sticking to whole food eating - even when eating out. It is possible.

Breakfast - banana with pb, whole grain bagel with pb at Panera. I brought my own TJ pb which I love. (But I left it in fridge at work so now I gotta figure out breakfast in the morning). I went back and forth between yogurt parfait and bagel. I chose the bagel bc even though both were processed: the bagel had less sugar, more protein and fiber, less fat, and about the same amount of calories.

Snack during staff meeting: bowl of fruit (loved it - more please)

Lunch: Japan Express. I had hibatchi vegetables and brown rice. I loved it - ate 2/3 of the rice throughout the afternoon and all the veggies. No white sauce (which is yummy by the way). What I found out about this was that it didn't fill me up. I was so hungry!

Snack: peanuts and craisins. I am finding these to be the perfect afternoon snack - but no more.

Dinner: 5 piece of sushi at Champas, green salad with ginger dressing, and 3 bites of chicken pad thai (had to try it, and it was very yummy). Still think Chai's and Simply Thai is better - but good none the less.

All the water and unsweet tea (for breakfast) I could drink. 2.4 miles today. So, I think I did pretty well but tomorrow will be easier as only 1 meal will be out and Thursday (as of now) no meals are out!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Whole Month - Day 3

Today was better. Having these "restrictions" on me for the month of May - actually by choice, so it is all about self-discipline...
1. I love cashews on salads!
2. I good snack is a pinch of raw oats. Very filling and low calories.
3. I've already seen a drop on the scale since starting this. Very encouraging!

Breakfast: oats with banana, pb, flax, and agave nectar. This kept me full until 12 - so I was happy with that.

Lunch: romaine with tomato, onion, cashews. No dressing. FF Vanilla yogurt with pear.

Snack: peanuts and craisins

Dinner: Oats with PB, pear, agave, flax.

Snack: carrots with mustard.

I went down to the staff kitchen around lunch time and they had spaghetti and salad and garlic bread. I passed that up. Last week I would have kept my lunch in the bag and grabbed what they were having. Thanks Whole Month Challenge.
The only thing I am really craving is pretzels or crackers - something crunchy. Any suggestions?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Menu Week: May 3

I did a pre-lim menu last Thursday - but then I started a new whole month challenge (no processed foods). So, it will look a little different.

I think oats will be on the menu every day for breakfast - with milk and all-natural peanut butter

Lunches: lentil/chicken soup (all natural), chickpeas and salad with veggies, yogurt and mango, orange, celery, carrots and mustard.

Dinner: oats, salad, brown rice and tomatoes,

Wed night heading out with one of my girls. Thursday hitting up tea with some friends in Durham. Friday lunch is lunch with a friend. Saturday is traveling to Charlotte and will probably eat at IKEA (because a friend wants to eat there). May be Sonnys as well which will definitely be easier to do whole foods...

Whole Month Eating - Day 2

Day 2 has come, happened, and is almost gone (I'm going to bed early). Today was better than yesterday because I was able to eat my meals at home and skip (or alter) the meals i ate out. Here we go:

1. This will definitely help me make choices this month - although I don't think it is sustainable for me. Tonight - I passed up on Subway whole wheat 6 inch sandwiches (just eating the lettuce and 1 triangle of cheese). These were healthy - just processed. So...while I think it is good for 31 days - I think I'll be back to normal whole grain eating with limited processed foods.
2. I was hungry today. Gotta eat some more protein for lunch.

Breakfast: oats with milk and water (I will be drinking/eating most dairy during this month because I need the nutrients). TJ unsalted crunch pb (only peanuts), ground flax seeds, banana

Church: passed on hot chocolate and Daylight Doughnuts (I would have had both if this has been 3 days ago).

Lunch: romaine with carrots, celery, tom, onion, cashews, and mustard. I really wanted something salty (like pretzels), but the cashews and mustard did the trick! I also had a few pieces of mango with 1 T of cool whip free (I know, not whole, but I don't want it to go to waste)

Graduation Party I went to: 1 cube colby cheese, grapes, canteloupe, plain almonds (no petit fors, or crackers, or punch)

Dinner: lettuce and cheese (from Subway sandwich), nuts and craisins from trail mix, oats/pb/apple.

Tons of water today. It was hot. Jillian and then bed. I'm very tired today. May have been the lack of sleep catching up to me from friday night or the heat or being around people from 745-515 - but I'm ready for bed!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Whole Month Day 1

Alright - here we go. Sorry for people whom this might bore, but this is a good way for me to talk about whole eating and how I'm doing on this challenge for the month of May. Here we go:
1. Knowing I am doing this challenge (and trying the cash envelope system for my food budget) made me shop differently in the grocery stores today. I didn't pick up snacks which would be different if I weren't doing this challenge.

Here we go:
Breakfast - at Flying Biscuit Cafe in Cameron Village (Raleigh) - shared a meal with Rachael. Biscuit with their homemade cranberry butter. 1/2 piece of french toast with vanilla creme anglaise and raspberry sauce. 1 egg, 1 piece of their chicken sausage, 3/4 piece bacon, 1/2 bowl of their homemade creamy grits.

Shopped at Fresh Market: rainbow chard for some soup and asparagus bc it was on sale

Lunch - at Watts Grocery in Durham - small bowl of local granola, local yogurt with fresh fruit. Housemade english muffin with blueberry preserves.

Shopped at TJ, Whole Foods, and Target: bananas, apples, green lentils.

Snacked on 1/4 cup trail mix (goldfish, life cereal, craisins, peanuts, m&ms) - I was making them for our teacher training tomorrow at church.

Dinner: 1 red potato and 1/2 small onion - roasted with evoo and s/p. 1/2 beefsteak tomato with some sea salt. Looking forward to that dinner.

That will be it! So, halfway decent - but better than I've done the whole month - especially with sharing the meal at Flying Biscuit. Gotta do it again tomorrow.


Taste of Durham: Watts Grocery

I love LOCAL. I wish Raleigh had more eat local restaurants - but alas, will have to keep making the drive to Durham and Chapel Hill.
Watts Grocery is on Broad Street - near the 9th Street district and one of Duke's campuses. This wasn't here when I lived in Durham and worked near the spot of the restaurant. My friend Kristin recommended this place and it was a winner.
They are only open for brunch for a few hours on Saturday. We got there about 25 minutes after they opened and we had a 20 minute wait. But, the line kept building, so this place has earned quite a reputation.
All local farms provide the food for this restaurant.
I had Little Red Wagon Farms granola (from Chapel Hill) - but Louisville people - you can buy it too! Yogurt was delicious - a vanilla kind maybe from Chapel Hill Creamery, or another local farm. Topped with blueberries, raisins, and strawberries and pecans. Very good. House made english muffin with fresh butter and blueberry preserves. Good local eats.
Kristin had the huevos rancheros - made with red beans for a slight change. She said hers was great too!
Will be making another trip: the blood orange mimosa sounds good and the toasted pimiento cheese sandwich or the strawberry caramel filled french toast. How can you go wrong?

Friday, April 30, 2010

31 Whole Days Challenge

Praise God April is (almost) over. Its been a great month, but not for the eating/exercising/weight part of it. May will be different!
I love starting new things, having goals, etc.
Happy Herbivore is doing this and when I saw it - I thought I could do this. It is not RAW, but unprocessed - I think there is a difference.
My friend Sarah is doing it and she has made her own tweaks to make this be balanced and work for her.
So, this month:
1. Going to keep a food journal and really assess how easy or hard it is to eat whole, unprocessed foods (with receipts).
2. Going to apply this wholly while I am at home, but slack some while at restaurants. Try to eat as whole as possible out, but knowing I can't control everything on a menu.
3. Will keep up with my recipes from magazines and will try to just bake then I can give them away and not eat them. I don't have any whole, unprocessed magazine recipes.
4. Will post the highlights and lowlights each wknd for the month of May.

Looking forward to the challenge. Are you up for it?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars (2010.17)

Best thing I've cooked (new) all month. Great way to end April! We are having Joy Prom at Church tonight and these are for the hundreds of volunteers we will have:

Makes 16 - not healthy at all (but very yummy)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup creamy pb (I used skippy, not all natural) - the whole regular jar - then used the jar for Oats in a Jar this morning for breakfast
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 roll (16.5 oz) chocolate chip cookie dough

350. square ungreased pan.
Press about 3/5 of the dough on bottom of pan. Mix sugar, pb, and vanilla. Spread on top. Crumble rest of cookie dough on top and bake for about 30 minutes.
Let chill for about an hour. Cut into bars.
Serve chilled or room temp. Get them out of the house!

Couscous Chicken Salad with Vegetables (2010.16)

I really like couscous and I like chicken and I like vegetables. Thought this would be good. That's about it - it was good.

Here you go:
This is from Easy Summer Meals (Cooking Light)

1 1/2 cup water
1 T evoo
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup couscous (uncooked)
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 finely chopped zuk
1/2 cup chopped mushroom
1 1/2 cup chopped chicken (I cooked mine and saved the broth for some soup I am going to make this wknd)
1/2 cup diced carrots
3 green onions, chopped
3 T dried currants
1 T dried chopped mint (or fresh)

1 cup plain ff yogurt
3 T lemon juice
1 T honey (less because it was really sweet, or Agave nectar)
1 T apple cider vinegar (or what you have)

Chop all veggies. Chop chicken. Cook couscous according to directions. Mix up dressing. Combine all. Best served over mixed greens for a light lunch.
1 1/2 cups: 368 cal, 8 fat, 4 fiber

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taste of Raleigh: Bella Monica Flatbread Company

Italian food. Comfort food.

There is a small, local Italian place within a 1/2 mile of home and I finally had a chance to go tonight. Definitely had to make reservations and had great company.

I tried to be a little on the healthy side - so I didn't have any ooey gooey cheese - will have to go back and try something that has cheese!

1. The hospitality. Like an Italian family dinner table. They were excited we were there, people in white chef's coats brought out our food, and they were very welcoming even when we were leaving. They weren't shoving us out of there and couldn't care less about how long we stayed and talked.
2. The meatballs. Perfectly seasoned and not dry at all - that's what I like. Maybe I need to go back and get a huge meatball sub!
3. Option for whole wheat pasta. I went for the whole wheat penne - I could be a little healthy.
4. The tomato sauce. Not too spicy, not too chunky. Perfect for a pasta sauce. Right on!
5. My friends enjoyed their meal: chicken parm and stuffed shells. They both said they were great.

The Wish Was Better:
1, The bread. Definitely dig any other Italian place's bread better than here. Dry and not too flavorful.
2. The bruschetta. They were cheap (which was good for an appetizer) but neither were really that good: blue crab on one and chicken liver pate on the other. I could have passed on both.
3. The non-descript salad. Yes it was good. But there was nothing special about it.

Would I go again - yes, definitely trying something cheesy this next time.
Would I make it my go to Italian place? Not yet - and definitely the chains are better so far.
Have heard amazing things about their pizza - so may hit that up soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Taste of Mooresville: Lancaster's BBQ

What kind of BBQ fan are you? Is it a noun or a verb? Do you like Memphis, TX, Sonny's, Eastern, Western, TN, KY - so many people out there and everyone with an opinion on BBQ. Well...
Here is mine...
I had one of the best BBQ sandwiches ever to be put in my mouth today. Definitely worth the 2 hour and 20 minute drive and the 3.85 per sandwich. The chopped cole slaw and the mild sauce (not vinegar) made this sandwich dynamite!
It is definitely a fave of my sister-in-laws and a gas station in Mooresville has it for sale on Sundays.
The homemade chips are great and not too salty - fun to eat when dipped in ranch dressing. They also come seasoned if you want them - cajun style - that is how Alan chose to eat his - dipped in their vinegar sauce.
So good - go now.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Menu Week: April 26

This is a busy week - much eating out, hanging out with people. Looking forward to ALL of it! Gotta make wise decisions though about what I get!

Monday: oats and fruit for breakfast (good start to the week). Homemade chicken quinoa soup for lunch and veggies. Dinner is at Champas (the thai part of it) with bonnie over reading.

Tuesday: Breakfast at one of my fave places: Cafe Carolina (not that they have anything healthy there). Lunch with a new friend. Coffee at Bux later with a mission-minded college girl at State.

Wednesday: Publix bread, pb, and fruit. Lunch is with my co-workers at Crabtree Valley Mall (so many options). Dinner with some fave people at the Summit to meet their new(ish) little boy. Can't wait for that meal and hang out time!

Thursday: Publix bread. Salad. Dinner while babysitting for some wild and crazy kids who love Jesus!

Friday: Egg white omelette with veggies, soup and pbj, dinner is something random because we have Joy Prom that night!

Saturday: Flying Biscuit with Rach, then off to the Farmers Market. Can't wait to see what I find - and that will be lunch and dinner.

The recipe of the week this week will be something I can bake for the Joy Prom Volunteer room on Friday night - I'm thinking bars or brownies of some sort!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

I love cookies. Bad, bad cookies! :)
But, when you are making them for 8th grade girls to go along with pizza and get them full of sugar for a sleepover - they are perfect. These are so good - especially right out of the oven. Perfectly chewy!

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (room temp)
2 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 SCANT tsp salt
5 oz butterscotch chips
4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
4 oz milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream wet ingredients. Add in dry. Fold in chips and nuts.
Larger cookies - 11 minutes - slightly sprayed cookie sheets. 350 degrees.
Cool and eat!

Question: Do have a favorite cookie sheet that looks like this one? And what are your fave chips to use in cookies?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Menu Week: April 19

Ok - here is a week of no snacking! I gotta do it! Here we go: I'm actually writing this down on an actual piece of paper and putting it on the fridge so I can remember what I'm packing for lunch this week. Let's see if this works:
Monday: oats, couscous salad, dinner with some friends at their home
Tuesday: Publix bread and fruit for breakfast, soup and yogurt/fruit for lunch, salad with couscous chicken on top (note that the couscous salad is the recipe of the week
Wednesday: oats and fruit, soup, chipotle for dinner (salad with veggies, no chips)
Thursday: granola and milk for breakfast, sweet tomatoes with a sweet friend for lunch, salad with couscous for dinner then off to LocoLu's for roommate night
Friday: oats with fruit, soup and tomato sandwich for lunch, dinner with friends
Saturday: bfast before the 5k, lunch and dinner are up for grabs. Haven't gotten that far. Maybe whatever is for leftovers by that time in the week.

Durham Farmers' Market and Food Thoughts

Greetings for a Saturday night. Its been a good day.
The Durham Farmers' Market is great local find. All vendors have to be within 50 miles or so of Durham Cty. Which is very local!
I found french breakfast radishes. I have already used them all: in a stir-fry (w broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, zuks) and roasted - which they almost turn to mush. Raw - these have a peppery bite which I'm not used to with regular radishes you buy in the store. I even am going to use the green as a salad tomorrow for lunch.
I found a hybrid green: green leaf and romaine. Hearty lettuce that will stand up for the base of my couscous chicken salad this week.
I also found a winery in Graham that makes Scuppernong and Muscadine wines. So, I tasted all three and liked the Scuppernong the best. May go back and gte some more later - however I was nice and bought my brother some Muscadine wine. Let's see if he likes it as much as Dakota Winery's...

Here are my food thoughts:
1. I have been snacking WAY too much. Not even bad stuff - just eating too much. I don't like that feeling and I don't like that sin.
2. So, I think I will spend tomorrow journaling about it, getting back to God's heart on my eating and exercising, and see if we can get a game plan going here for more obedience.
3. I will (starting tomorrow) take my friend Sarah's advice and maybe try to eat bigger meals so I will not snack every 2 hours to so. I won't be tempted to open that snack drawer in my office. I won't be tempted to grab that handful of SweetTart jellybeans! And if I do snack, it has to ve veggies or fruit - plain. Or with mustard. None of these processed pretzels, or cool whip, or even granola which is higher in fat. I need healthy fruits and veggies.
4. I would rather be able to wear all my clothes than to eat more. But, that shouldn't be more sole reason. I should do it to please my God who sent His Son to die for me. Right now, for me, that doesn't seem to be a big enough reason.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taste of Raleigh: El Rodeo

Went to lunch with some co-workers today to really talk about children's ministry - and you can definitely talk for a while over chips and salsa.
We went to a place across the street from the church called El Rodeo (no www). Typical mexican place - nicer ambience than some other local places.
Liked our waiter - he was very nice. The food came out in about 6 minutes - really - we were surprised at how fast it was. We went a little after 11am and were the first ones there, but by the time we left about 1240 it was more full.
I got the sincronizada - a vegetarian tortilla sandwich: mushroom, onion, pepper, jalepenos, and cheese - with sliced avocado on top. My mouth was on fire but it was absolutely wonderful! I loved it. 6.75 got me that, a huge portion of rice (which wasn't anything to rave about and I only took a few bites), chips (again, blah chips) and salsa (I really liked their salsa).
So...good to know there is a good place close by - but I'll still be looking for good Mexican places in the area!

Strawberry Oat Bars - 2010.15

I thought this recipe was going to be better than what it turned out to be: oh, well. I liked the jam - although it made it sticky. And I liked the dough before it was baked. But, it turned out dry. Oh, well. Here you go (because I even put fails up here). Ok - my roommate said they weren't a fail - she ate it. I told her I threw the rest of them out.

This is called learning:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
Mix dry, add wet. Take one cup out and set aside.
Press the rest of the dough into the bottom of foil-lined 9x9 pan. Bake the dough for 20 minutes at 350. Remove from oven, spoon the jam over the hot crust. Top with remaining dough.
Bake an additional 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
This recipe is from my GoodNeighbor magazine from my insurance agency.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

California Waldorf Salad: from Moosewood

Well, here was my first recipe from the 100$ for 1.50 cookbook. I like it ok- just wouldn't serve it for dinner (which is what I'm doing).

3 large apples, chopped (I used 1 large golden delicious and 2 medium pink ladies, skin on)
juice of 2 lemons, divided
2 tangerines (I would use mandarin oranges next time - no seeding)
2 stalks celery (I used 2 instead of 1)
1/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup cashews (I didn't toast them)

Dressing: (sweeter than I thought, would use less honey next time)
1 cup plain ff yogurt
1 small avocado (maybe the world's perfect food)
zest of half lemon
3 T honey (I used orange blossom)

Toss apple mixture with juice of one of the lemons.
Mix dressing and other lemon juice in a blender till smooth.
Mix together gently.
Serve over mixed greens.

I would serve this for a brunch in the summer. Pretty and light and sweet. Would be good paired with muffins.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taste of Raleigh: Wildflour Boston Pizza

For 6 months I lived within walking distance of this place and never went. Today was the first day I ventured out with a co-worker to check out a little corner restaurant in Stonehenge (N. Raleigh) for lunch: Wildflour Boston Pizza.
Ok - I don't thnk I had even heard of Boston Pizza. Yeah, of course - Chicago, New York, CPK, homemade, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Little Caesar...we have our favorites...but Boston?
I wasn't even planning on getting pizza...
But, I saw the price (7 for a small - 6 slices - and 1.45 for each topping) and the fact that I could get it with whole wheat crust - that sold me on it!
Tall-sided crust, medium bottom crust, crunchy, not your typical mozzerella cheese, and fresh roma tomatoes! I even had a little avocado put on top from my friend's fiesta salad.
It was...good. The pizza and conversation was much better than the service. It wasn't that crowded, but it seemed to take a while for us to get our order and we had to wait for straws, etc. Our server wasn't overly friendly - just soft-spoken and matter of fact. I have to go again tomorrow because everything was fantabulous - no. But, would I go again - yes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Menu Week: April 12

This is going to be a great, but busy week! Here we go!
Monday: whole wheat bagel thin with pb and veggie cream cheese (on different halves) before a meeting, fruit at the meeting. Lunch is Moes. Dinner is roasted asparagus and an egg white.
Tuesday: leftovers for lunch and dinner: black beans for lunch and 2 bean soup for dinner
Wednesday: eating out with a cool new lady at work and dinner will be asparagus with an egg white (new low fat dinner)
Thursday: bagel thin, lunch will be maybe something at Caribou, dinner with be a new recipe from the moosewood cookbook: california waldorf salad over mixed greens. And I'm making a new healthy bar recipe - strawberry oat bars - for dessert (with cool whip).
Friday: El Rodeo for lunch and something crazy healthy for dinner
Saturday: pumpkin oatmeal muffins (haven't made those in a long time) before a bike ride (with dark chocolate pb) and then hopefully some fresh fruit and veggie from the Durham Farmers Market - or another great local place over there - after the bike ride. Saturday night - something uber healthy again.
Sunday: carbs for breakfast and lunch as I'll be running a 10k that afternoon
Recipe of the week: Strawberry Oat Bars
I've been snacking way too much. Need to stop! I need to brush my teeth or something after every meal so I don't keep snacking!
Anyway - there you have it! :)

Two Bean Italian Soup (2010.14)

Does a recipe ever surprise you? This was my question when I tasted this soup this afternoon - shortly after it perfumed my apartment with wonderful smelling-ness!

BHG's February 2008 magazine gave me this Tuscan Bean Soup. I only made 2 alterations to it. And, it is very yummy. I could drink the broth by the gallon!

So easy too. Don't be afraid of soups in the spring/summer...

1/2 bag baby carrots, chopped

1 smallish onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 T olive oil

2 cans reduced-sodium chicken broth (or make your own)

1 can great northern beans

1 can garbanzo beans (both beans, drained and rinsed)

3 tsp italian seasoning

1 pkg spinach

black pepper

Saute first two in olive oil till softened, add garlic. Then add the broth and the beans. Let simmer. Add the spinach and cook for about 30 seconds - then it is done. How easy and surprisingly healthy and good.

Taste of Morrisville: Smokey's BBQ Shack

Just off of the beaten path... (I'm singing an Alabama song as I write that) - in Morrisville is a little trailer type restaurant on the side of the ride, picnic table outside, gravel parking lots, red front door.
Smokey's BBQ Shack just started opening on the weekends and by the time we left it was definitely pretty full by the locals. It was NC bbq - smoked meat (I tried the pork and chicken, taking most of the chicken as leftovers) with a vinegar based sauce. The pork was good - wasn't dry and tasted good with the sauce. The sides I ordered: green beans and french fries - neither were as good as Sonny's. But...the pork and the little hushpuppies made up for it.
What was the two best things about this restaurant: the atmosphere (roll of paper towels on each table, laid back, unpretentious in every way) and the company. This is a place my friend would always go to when she lived there. Janel moved to the Windy City but got her sweet tea fix just minutes after the airport yesterday.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Peeps Smores

Mark this down as something I would never think to do.
I don't normally like Peeps - never have. I bought a pack this year for my friend Becca who mentioned she loves them. I have also bought them for my friend Michelle who also likes them - but that has been my experience with them. I even love marshmellows - especially homemade ones - I don't know what my deal is.
About a month ago I heard about this peep party among the ladies at Providence. I greatly anticipated this little shindig during my first week here.
graham crackers
dark chocolate bars
Peeps (buying them after Easter makes this very cheap)
aluminum foil

Line a pan with foil. Turn oven on broil. Place half a graham cracker down, top with chocolate, then a peep (no color specification needed). Broil for about 15-30 seconds - literally they don't take very long at all. You want them just browned on top of their cute little heads. Take them out - smush (technically cooking term) down the other half of the graham cracker. Enjoy.