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Posts Tagged ‘Basil’

Happy Memorial Day!!

I hope everyone is taking advantage of this beautiful weather and enjoying the company of family and friends! I also hope that everyone takes a moment to pause and remember the meaning of this holiday. I want to send a big THANK YOU to our troops and all of those who have devoted their lives to our country. You are constantly in my thoughts, and I am so grateful for your commitment.

Today has been a patriotic day for my food. One of the reasons why I love coming home is to use my mom’s dinnerware. I swear she has plates, cups and place mats themed for every major holiday. The summer months are all about the stars and stripes!I woke up this morning around 7:30am, and geared up to go for on a “Memorial Day Run” with my dad. Before heading out the door I had a light breakfast that consisted of 1/2 of a large banana, strawberries, sunflower seed butter and coffee (in my themed mug!) while reading my horoscope and completing the easy Monday sudoku puzzle in our local paper. Fun fact: I’m obsessed with sudoku. Every time I am home I retrieve the newspaper from our mailbox as soon as I wake up so that I can do the puzzle while watching the news and having breakfast.

My dad and I ran a surprising 5.5 miles (it has been an EXTREMELY long time since I have done this distance, 3 is usually my max.). The sun was hot during our run and we were BEAT by the time we returned home. My dad, aka The Breakfast Man, whipped up some omelets for brunch. My omelet was made with  Swiss cheese, basil, mixed cherry tomato and broccoli with a glass of orange juice and a large carrot on the side (don’t ask, I was craving a crunchy vegetable haha). We had brunch outside on our patio and it was fantastic!  I don’t want to be repetitive, but I LOVE COMING HOME! There is something distinctly  special about family time and good food.The run took a lot out of me, and I decided that I needed a bit more protein. I extended this brunch with a 1/2 cup of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, strawberries, a handful of roasted almonds and cinnamon.The sun was out in full force today, thus the shadows in many of these pictures.

I’m off to do a few tasks before heading back to school my apartment later today. WHOA! I actually typed school and it took me a minute before I realized that I just completed college and now am in the working world. So the song goes, times are a changin’. I think we will have an early Memorial Day barbecue before I head back. I have to take advantage of our charcoal grill while I can because it’s back to a cast iron grill pan when I return to my mini apartment!

Always Remembering,

Nora

What are your plans for Memorial Day?

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Well, it finally happened. I graduated.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day for graduation. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was mild. Our main ceremony lasted nearly three hours and I left thinking, “That’s it?”. Four years and it is over in the blink of an eye? My parents and brother joined me in the celebration and presented me with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses after the ceremony (THANK YOU!!). We went to brunch at a local cafe (a few minutes from my new apartment!) and I ordered a breakfast sandwich with two eggs, goat cheese, portabello mushrooms, tomato, basil and ham on sunflower bread. I have more pictures but unfortunately I left my camera uploader at my apartment, so I’ll have to post them on Tuesday.

After brunch, I attended my department ceremony to receive my diploma. It was a small ceremony and only lasted an hour. As soon as it was over I sprinted back to my dorm-apartment and went into a packing frenzy. I didn’t even stop to take my high heels off, I just wanted to GET OUT! I ate my last Jonagold apple and started throwing things here and there until everything was in the car. I have been ready to leave for so long and did not want to spend MORE time than was necessary. My parents joined me in the packing craze and we were out of there in about two hours. I think we were all surprised by the amount of  ‘things’, especially kitchen gadgets, that I have collected over the year. It barely fit into two cars!

The insanity continued as we hulled garbage bags full of random items in to my new apartment. It was such a long day and I was so thankful to have my parent’s help. When we finished, we were extremely exhausted and still had a 1.5 hour drive home. It was nearly 8:30pm when we finally got back and dinner was Chinese food. My dad and I shared some Middle Ages Wailing Wench beer as we settled down and we feasted on wonton soup, mixed seafood and vegetables, rice and fortune cookies with a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling. (pictures will be  posted later!)

I fell asleep approximately one hour later and woke up this morning feeling refreshed. I’m glad that I was able to come home for a few days to spend time with my parents and organize myself before starting the next phase of my life. I know that if I stayed in my apartment last night  I would have been anxious about getting settled and entered into another sleepless night and unpacking furry. I’m the type of person that likes to be completely organized before I can relax and focus.

I was really hungry when I woke up and after searching the contents of my parent’s cupboards and fridge, decided to create a gigantic yogurt mess with Greek yogurt, sliced almonds, Cheerios, banana, strawberries and cinnamon for breakfast.

I spent much of this morning generating a to do list, doing laundry, and configuring my computer. My generous parents bought me a new computer for graduation (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I am organizing files on my old one before the transfer. This has NOT been an easy task. Much like my room at school, my computer is packed full of random files and pictures in an extremely unorganized fashion.

After a few hours of stressful computer sorting I made a peanut butter, banana, strawberry and cinnamon sandwich on two slices of whole grain bread with a side of baby carrots. Shortly after, I snacked on vanilla yogurt, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and cinnamon. I’m basically eating whatever I can scrounge up in my parents fridge. I’m hoping dinner has some sort of vegetable because today has been a fruit, nut and dairy filled day (good thing that those are my favorites!).

I’m off to do more computer work. I’m heading  into the real world tomorrow to face my apartment mess and work. I’ll be sure to post but I can already tell that insanity is in store.

Crazy,

Nora

Are you an organized person? What are your tips and tricks?

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On our last day in New York City, it rained, and rained, and rained some more. BUMMER! We had a free afternoon, and were lucky enough to be able to take a tour of NBC Studios, and see Mama Mia! Both were so much fun, and we were happy to be indoors and out of the rain. Our eats reflected those of our first day: Deli Sandwiches and Pizza.

For lunch, we ducked into a place near Broadway to get out of the rain. It was another “tourist” type eatery, and although the food was okay, it wasn’ t spectacular and the dining environment was less than pleasurable. The dishes were spectaculars: oversized and overpriced. My brother ordered a turkey club, which had  well over a pound of deli turkey, a ball of bacon wrapped in tomato and lettuce, and was about a foot tall. Needless to say, he had an interesting time attempting to eat it. All of the tables were placed so close together, that I felt involved in other conversations. The service was slow, and after sending me the wrong meal, took an additional 25 minutes to deliver the correct dish. By this time, my entire family had finished their lunches and I was starving.

Wrong Sandwich

Right Sandwich

I ordered the Caprese Chicken Sandwich on Rosemary Foccicia. When our order came, the sandwich they gave me was a plain toasted sub roll with dry chicken, lettuce and tomato. Normally, I wouldn’t complain about a mix up, but this sandwich did not look appetizing. When my correct lunch came out, I was less than impressed. The bread was okay but not fresh, the chicken was dry, the tomato flavorless, and topped with plain iceberg. The mozzarella was the best part of the sandwich, but was minimal. The bread was dressed with balsamic, which ended up making the bottom piece of foccicia soggy. I had to add ketchup to it so it wouldn’ t be so dry! I NEVER do that to rather complex sandwiches because I like to taste their flavor, but this was so bland and dry I had to!

Dinner was an improvement! THANK GOODNESS! I hate leaving a meal unsatisfied, unhappy or wishing I had ordered something else. Lunch was one of those “unhappy” food moments, and I needed something for dinner to boost my mood. Since it was raining, we decided to grab food to bring back to our room. My brother wanted pizza, so we set out in search of some GOOD slices, determined not to make the same mistake twice. After looking at a few places, we found a small pizza place that seemed to be very popular. From their slices, to impressive dessert selection, this place was the “Taste of New York” we were hoping for. When I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye was the dessert case. It also caught my dad’s eye, and we ended up getting our favorite Italian dessert: Cannoli. I ordered a slice of Margarita Pizza and had half of a Plain Cannoli and half of a Chocolate Covered Cannoli for dessert.

Still in the box!

YUMMY GOODNESS!...yes, the plate is on a hotel bed.

My dessert ...on paper towel.

PIZZA PERFECTION!!! It was huge and had a thin, crispy crust. There was still a “doughy” texture on the top of the crust, and was dressed with the perfect amount of homemade sauce (heavy on oregano!), fresh mozzarella and Parmesan melted with garlic, and finished with fresh pieces of tomato and whole basil leaves.

The cannolis…..just look at them. There are no words. They were generously filled and topped with chocolate chips—I savored every last bite. It was the perfect way to end our trip to the Big Apple.

Vacation Complete,

Nora

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

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