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Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

The last post was actually written on Friday but I was unable to post it because my internet connection was failing and my battery died. I had work all day at the bakery on Saturday, so I’m trying to play catchup with my post.

Friday Post:

I’m not sure how, but I woke up this morning at 6:30am. I felt completely awake at this ungodly hour, and parted the blinds to reveal the radiant sun. I decided to go for a run. I haven’t exercised in weeks and it was the perfect morning to start-up again. I grabbed half of a petrified Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar and strapped on my running shoes.

It felt so great to run again. I saw many other people out and about running, dog walking and biking, taking advantage of the beautiful morning before it was consumed by the sweltering heat of the afternoon sun. I’m not sure how far I ran, but it was a leisurely 40 minute adventure through my new neighborhood. It made me realize how much I miss running. In the past I have run many races, including a half-marathon in the Fall of 2008. I’m not in any sort of shape to compete, however; it is something I desperately want to get back in to.

When I got back to my quaint apartment, I made the most refreshing green monster smoothie. My smoothie was composed of: 1 large frozen banana, 5 ice cubes, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 scoop GREEN Superfood, cinnamon, 1 TBS crunchy natural peanut butter, 2 handfuls of spinach and 1 cup vanilla soy milk.

For some reason it was thicker than usual, and completely rejuvenated me after my run. Shortly after I enjoyed a crisp Jonagold Apple as I read through old food magazines on my floor while waiting for the delivery truck to arrive with my futon. They told me they would arrive sometime between 10:30am and 1:30pm. Good thing I had a bunch of paper sorting to do and didn’t mind being home-bound for the time.

The delivery men came around 11:30am and finished assembling my futon just in time for lunch. I got a bit creative with the contents of my fridge and made a wrap with lots of Cedar’s Original Hummus, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, spinach, cucumber, carrots, button mushrooms and hot sauce. I also had the other half of my navel orange from the previous night’s dinner. My sweet tooth was calling me and I had a piece of dark chocolate almond bark for dessert.

After lunch I headed to the mall. I had ANOTHER appointment at the Apple store to “Meet My Mac” and learn some of the basics of using my new computer. I went a bit early with hopes of using the mall Wi-Fi to post my blog, but the slow connection failed me. I snacked on a PB&J Larabar and Grande Ice Coffee with Soy Milk while feeling completely defeated.

After my appointment I came home to make a semi-real dinner. Using my resources, I marinated some shrimp in BBQ sauce and grilled them on my panini maker. I also assembled a broccoli slaw using 2 cups of pre-made broccoli slaw blend mixed with a sauce composed of 2 TBS Plain Greek Yogurt, juice of 1/4 a lemon, 1 TBS Dijon mustard, cracked black pepper, a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce and topped with ~1/4 cup garbanzo beans. This was such a refreshing meal for a hot evening and I enjoyed it with a glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve 2008 Chardonnay.

Dessert was exceptional. I have been loving the juicy and sweet strawberries this season and wanted to incorporate them into dessert. I ran out of vanilla ice cream but I found a Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt in my freezer. I let it defrost a bit and topped it with fresh strawberries and MaraNtha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread.

I’m realizing with all of these new changes in my life that there are some great expenses. During college, I never had to worry about paying rent, a gas bill, internet/cable bill and a food bill. I have always paid for grocery store items, however; I did have a meal plan so it wasn’t a burdensome bill. I’ve always had car and cell phone expenses, but after factoring in all of these additional expenses I starred at my bank account and financial spreadsheet dumbfounded by the reality that I am broke. I know everyone struggles at some point to “make ends meet” so to speak, but it has forced me to reconsider my spending. I’m not a big shopper when it comes to clothes, shoes and accessories but when it comes to food and food related products I tend to throw my money at it. Honestly, there is no real reason that I spend $2 on a snack bar or $9 on a nut butter jar other than curiosity and a love of food. I’m not going to stop eating the things I enjoy, I just need to make sure that I am being a bit more economical.

My internship position is full-time, requiring me to be in the office from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.  I want to have time after work to do things I enjoy such as exercising, reading and socializing, therefore; in order to avoid eating dinner at 9pm every night or spending unnecessary money on take out, I need to start meal planning, making things ahead of time and getting creative with leftovers.

My blog writings this summer are going to revolve around the mentality of planning healthy, sensible and easy to prepare meals.

Economically Minded,

Nora

What are ways that you save money at the grocery store? Do you create “make-ahead” meals?

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Lack of internet + no time= my demise. Although I have been completely disconnected for the past few days, I did not forget about my dear blog. My internet is not going to be installed until Wednesday, so I am EXTREMELY grateful right now for free Wi-Fi at coffee shops….I’m also extremely grateful for my parents. They have been my “knights in shining armor” through the insanity of the past week. I can’t believe how much has happened in such a short period of time. To recap:

  1. I graduated college on Sunday May 16.
  2. Immediately after my diploma ceremony I went on a packing rampage and shoved the contents of my college apartment into trash bags and boxes as quickly as possible.
  3. My parents helped me move all of my crazily packed belongings into my apartment and I headed home for a few days.
  4. Early Tuesday morning I left home to get started on apartment unpacking.
  5. Wednesday-Thursday my parents returned to help me clean/unpack/organize my apartment. All day Wednesday was spent cleaning. I had work at the bakery on Thursday and my parents stayed to complete the apartment transformation without me! I came back after work to a beautiful, organized and clean home. I’m not sure what I would have done without them because they completely transformed my hole-in-the-wall into a cozy abode.

When I got back from the bakery Thursday night my body was screaming “GIVE ME VEGGIES! GIVE ME VEGGIES!” The past few days haven’t exactly been produce heavy, and I was dying for some clean eats! It was nearly 8:30pm when I got back to my apartment, so I complied a salad in my new PERFECT SALAD BOWL (This bowl is is deep and has high sides so the contents of my typically gigantic salads mix well and do not fly all over. I’ve always used plates for my salad constructions and they can be messy. I’m very excited about this purchase. Thanks Mom and Dad!) with about 2 cups of mixed greens, 1/2 head of romaine, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans, handful of alfalfa sprouts, 1 stalk of celery, 1/3 of a large cucumber, 3 big and beautiful strawberries, 1/2 of a navel orange, 1/3 block of 5 grain tempeh and feta cheese topped with balsamic. This beautiful large salad was enjoyed on the floor of my new living room while watching Julie and Julia on my tiny TV. After dinner I enjoyed an ice cream sandwich for something sweet and cool.

Previous Eats:

On Monday I ate the contents of my parents fridge which includes but is not limited to the following:

Later that night I shared crackers, cheese and a martini with my dad before dinner. My mom prepared a fantastic grilled chicken breast, blue cheese wedge salad with a tarragon vinaigrette and herbed basmati rice. We enjoyed this meal with a cool and crisp Simi Chardonnay.

With a little help from my friends Betty Crocker and butter, I assembled Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (extra chocolate chips added) for dessert. I had four of these while watching TV with my parents. It was the perfect way to relax before returning to my cluttered apartment.

Running out the door on Tuesday morning I grabbed a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Luna Protein Bar (as if I didn’t get my cookie fix the night before) and headed back. When I got to my apartment I snacked on almonds and dried apricots before assembling my first apartment meal. For lunch I made a simple salad with a slice of leftover pizza. I had an apple and dark chocolate shortly after.

Dinner was a complete disgrace so pictures were not taken. I had a meeting from 5-9 so I decided to fill up with granola, cereal, museli, a frozen banana, vanilla soy milk, and Greek Yogurt. A few bowls later and I was  extraordinarily stuffed. When I got to the meeting the smell of pizza filled the air. The temptation was too much and I had a slice of cheese and a slice of pepperoni. After the meeting I had a dark chocolate almond and a dark chocolate cashew cluster before calling it a night.

Wednesday morning I had an 8am class to learn how to use my new MacBook. I wanted oatmeal for breakfast, but it was out of the question. The gas for my oven was not turned on and my microwave aka the number one cooking device used during my freshman-junior years of college remained in storage at my house. I made a portable breakfast for the drive:

This monster was composed of 1 large frozen banana, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop GREEN Superfood, cinnamon, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 TBS crunchy PB and 5 ice cubes.

After the appointment I went to Starbucks for a Grande Soy Misto and a KIND Cashew and Almond Bar.

I had a late lunch and my parents finally arrived, ready to get down to apartment furnishing business. I have the world’s greatest parents, I can’t believe how much they have helped me with over the past two days. I’m pretty sure that if I did not have their assistance I would have just lived in a dirty, half-unpacked apartment for the next three months. It was a long day of cleaning that ended in Dinosaur BBQ for dinner. I started with a Middle Ages IPA beer and for my meal I had a chicken platter with BBQ chicken breast and wing, baked beans (so tasty and cooked with pulled pork!), corn bread, and a marinated cucumber and tomato salad. You better believe I demolished the entire plate!

This overdue entry is a bit lengthy, so I’m going to stop here. I have been reflecting over the past few days and have some thoughts for my blog that I want to share. I’m also exceptionally excited about my internship that starts MONDAY! I’ll be back later today (if I have the opportunity to obtain internet!) so stay tuned for more trials and tribulations.

Growing Up,

Nora

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Could it be nicer outside? It is currently a sunny 74 degrees and I am on top of the world! I was able to go for my favorite river-side run (~4 miles) a few hours after my pancake digested (so filling but delicious!). I went a bit slower today just so I could soak up all of the beauty that surrounded me. After my run I happily skipped to our campus Starbucks and picked up a post run recovery drink: Odwalla Superfood blended with protein. This was a monster drink in a Venti sized cup that took me a while to finish. It was delicious, cool and refreshing; exactly what I needed after my run. I’m really sad that my blender exploded, because this weather has me craving smoothies galore :(.

The nice weather also has me craving fresh produce for lunch so off to the dining hall I went for a big ‘ole salad and an apple. This was fresh and delicious, but I thought I needed some form of carbohydrates and peanut butter so I ran to the campus store to purchase a Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bar.I haven’t had one of the these in a while, and usually prefer other types of fruit/nut bars for snacks, but the crunch and flavor really hit the spot.

I have a bunch of school work to do this afternoon but hopefully the nice weather will be motivation to complete it so I can get outside! Tonight my room mate and I are going to a Japanese Kimono exhibit at a local museum and sushi for dinner. I can not wait, I love when culture meets food!

Living Life,

Nora

What are your favorite “nice weather” meals? Do you change your dining to outside venues and enjoy grilling when the weather calls for it?

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I woke up this morning with absolutely NO appetite; very strange for me. I’m never starving when I wake up but almost always want a big bowl of oatmeal or granola to start my day. Today, the very thought of oatmeal, or anything sweet for that matter made me cringe. I had a slight headache and stomach ache, and could only imagine that something sweet would add to my yucky feeling.

Why was I feeling like this? Well, last night after dinner I was full and content but the sweet-tooth fairy told me that it was time for dessert. I wasn’t craving anything but went for an old stand by: Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Chunky Apple Sauce, Peanut Butter and Kopali Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs. I was watching TV as I ate this and before I knew it, it was gone. I decided I wanted a bit more and fixed myself a second bowl, this time using Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and Galaxy Vanilla Almond instead of Peanut Butter and Cacao Nibs. About half way through the second bowl I was feeling uncomfortably full but refuse to waste, so finished it. I did not leave myself enough time between eating and bed to digest and it resulted in a “yucky” feeling morning.

I had to get to class, and never go breakfast-free, so I made myself a bit of a light and savory breakfast, aka a Green Monster. Into my blender went 1 cup vanilla soy milk (I like using almond milk better, but had to finish this carton off), 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Meal, 2 huge handfuls of baby spinach. I used the apple sauce jar (ELR style) that I conveniently polished off last night as my “to-go” cup and headed out. I think I was a bit dehydrated (maybe last night too…should have had WATER instead of extra dessert, oy!) and I drank a few glasses when I woke up. Thankfully my headache and stomach ache were gone a few hours later, and my appetite returned.

For lunch I had a normal campus-dining hall large tuna salad complete with artichokes, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, snap peas, carrots, spinach, balsamic vinaigrette and a few dashes of hot sauce. I love the combination of artichokes, cauliflower and tuna, it has such an Italian feel. If I was able to get a few olives and peppers in there it would have sealed the deal.  I also had a big and crisp Empire Apple on the side. I can’t wait for apple picking season, I have to say I am pretty obsessed with all varieties of this fruit.

Later in the afternoon I reclaimed my sweet tooth with a new favorite combination at Starbucks: Grande Decaf Cappuccino with Sugar Free Hazelnut. Yes, I know the sugar-free flavors aren’t particularly good for you, but they just so delicious every once and a while :). I was actually craving an Awake Tea Soy Latte, but I have kept up during Lent with the “no caffeinated beverages” ordeal. I had a few slip-ups here and there, but I feel AMAZING being caffeine free. I swear I am a whole new person. I love coffee so I still drink decaf but I feel more refreshed and energetic all the time!

Speaking of Lent, IT’S ALMOST OVER, which means Easter is coming up! I’m heading home for a big family get together on Sunday, and hopefully will be cooking up something fantastic to share with my family! I have been thinking of some type of sweet bread, rosemary bread, an asparagus dish, a root vegetable dish, and something lemon/blueberry for dessert. Decisions, decisions.

For dinner I was supposed to go to Sedar with my friend but she wasn’t feeling well, so AGAIN I did not go. She has promised to cook a traditional Kosher meal with me later in the week, so at least I can look forward to that (hopefully!). I wanted to keep dinner light and simple tonight, and decided to make use of the second half of my celeriac and leek. It is still a bit cold out (but won’t be for long!!!) so I decided to make a Leek and Celery Soup topped with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms and Lemon-Thyme Cream. Well…this was a bit more of an “experience” than I had hoped for. When I went to remove the blender from it’s base, my soup came out of the bottom! All of my pretty visions  died. All I wanted for dinner was a nice soup and here it was all over my counter, and BURNING my hand. I managed to save 3/4 of it, garnish it how I wanted and try it’s deliciousness, but it was a sad, sad cooking experience. Maybe my blender just wasn’t meant to be used twice in one day? No more green monsters for a while :(. On the side I had some a simple salad with spinach, red peppers, olive oil-herb roasted carrots, cucumber, sprouts, goat cheese and apple-cranberry chutney.

I can’t decided if dessert is in my future this evening but I have learned a very important lesson: listen to your body not your habits. I get so in the habit of having dessert every night that I often don’t realize if I’m actually in the mood for it. Usually if I am full, I can have a piece of chocolate and be done. Last night was a combination of wrong choices:  not hydrating properly and the decision to mindlessly eat dessert even though I was not craving it. I felt so off today, and it goes to show that the foods you eat really do influence the way you feel. Oh well, live and learn. Hopefully tomorrow my breakfast concoctions will be back on track :).

Savory NOT Sweet Dreams,

Nora

Any ideas for “spring” side dishes and desserts that I could make for my family for Easter?

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Today has been one of those days where my food cravings have really gotten me through. You know, the type of day that nothing goes well and you cant wait to get home and make something to lift your spirits? I spent a little too long indulging in my carrot cake oats, and was barely ready to catch the 9:10am bus. I was really proud that I remembered my student-ID card, and had all of my books since I haven’t had to carry them around in a week, but the second I stepped out the door I realized I had forgotten my most important item…my glasses. I took them off to put make-up on and since I am accustomed to wearing contacts, it slipped my mind to put them back on. It was 9:09am, so I did not have time to turn around and get them. UGH. I was blind all day.

I have been taking a ballet class this semester from 9:40-10:55 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and today I could feel how out of shape I was. I haven’t done yoga or any form of stretching in a while and can already tell that I am going to be so sore tomorrow…super. After class I had a minor “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY FUTURE?!” Moment, because a group of girls were discussing post graduation plans. No one really know’s what they are doing but it is a topic that has been on my mind for a while. I am majoring in Political Science and Health and Society with a Marketing Certificate, but I know that I want a career that I can be passionate about and makes me feel alive, aka something in the Food/Wine industry. I love this industry and promoting healthy lifestyles. Right now, I am thinking something along the lines of Food Marketing. But eventually have dreams of owning an organic juice bar and cafe. One can dream. I have been looking for jobs but am getting nervous as graduation draws near. (If anyone has ideas or people I could contact please let me know!!)

Even though I forgot my glasses, I managed to remember snacks. I decided to try my new Ruth’s Hemppower Cranberry Trail  Bar to get me through my 11:05-12:20 class (necessary to have a snack to keep focused… it’s a Political Philosophy class.). It was okay. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. It was a bit too seedy for me (I felt like I was eating bird seed). It was crunchy/airy and had a nutty flavor. My personal preference for snacking are fruit/nut bars or something a bit more dense.

After class, I went to they gym to PUMP IRON (just kidding…but I’m trying to regain my upper body strength, so I try to do weight exercises twice a week). It was interesting not being able to see anyone at the gym. I kept squinting to see if anyone I knew was there, and probably waved at a few strangers. After my body-building session, I went to a campus “grab-and-go” eatery to pick up lunch (indulging in carrot cake oats also prevented me from packing lunch). I had a veggie hummus wrap, with what I really hope was American Cheese, along with a pint of overdressed mixed veggie salad (baby carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower sopping in wayyyyyyy too much honey mustard vinaigrette…so oily, but I was hungry). It was okay, but this reminded why I pack a lunch when I don’t have time to sit down with friends.

For an afternoon snack I brought a big, juicy, wonderful Jonagold apple. It was dripping with juice and the tart flavor lifted my mood. I had to work from 3-6 so decided a trip to Starbucks was in order. I got…are you ready for my order: Grande, non-fat, decaf, cappuccino with cinnamon dolce flavor. YUM, sweet comfort! Usually my drinks are not that complicated, it was good thing the line wasn’t long because it took me 8 years to say all of that.

The weather was GORGEOUS when I got home, blue skies and sunshine just how I like it. The nice weather put me in the mood for fresh flavors and grilled chicken…well it was makeshift grilled chicken on my cast iron skillet. My mom makes this amazing recipe from Ina Garten called Tequilla Chicken and serves it with Ina’s Guacamole Salad. This is my version of it: Spicy Citrus Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa.

I didn’t measure, but I whisked together a combination of: Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, Cayanne Pepper and Honey. I made a large quantity to marinade the chicken in, and reserved some for the salsa. The Salsa: 1/2 small avocado, ~1/4 mango, ~1/4 red pepper, 1/2 Roma tomato and 1/2 tomitillo pepper tossed in the marinade and removed with a slotted spoon. I let the chicken rest and sliced it into strips, topping it with the salsa. I always mix big salads together, but wanted to show the entire plate in picture form before mixing. The remained of the plate is: a handful of mixed greens and spinach, sliced baby bella mushrooms (~5), 1/2 large carrot grated on the large side, 1/4 english cucumber sliced into paper-thin ribbons and roasted  sweet potato rounds. It took me forever to eat, but well worth it and just what I was craving!

Up next, dessert was another daily craving: Peanut Butter Cups and Frozen Banana Greek Yogurt with CinnamonI had one of the peanut butter cups, and realized that I needed something cold, tart and sweet. Peanut butter + chocolate + banana= YES PLEASE. I mashed 1/2 frozen banana and added ~1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt and a dash of cinnamon. Perfection! I love Newmann’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and the tart banana mash was the  perfect accompaniment! Note: these photos were  taken on my Media and Culture book…dont worry, I have actually OPENED it since then.

To Nice Weather and Fresh Food,

Nora

What are you St.Patrick’s day plans? Anyone making Irish eats or GREEN food?

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Since it was my last day before giving  up caffeine for 40 days and 40 nights, I decided to have a final soy black tea latte from home-sweet-Starbucks. I wanted something sweet after lunch (as if my lunch wasn’t sweet enough!) and it truly hit the spot. When I was there, I spotted the “Happy is a Flavor” sign and decided to be sneaky with my iPhone and document:

This held me over until dinner time…and what was for dinner? Well, during work I was thinking about the contents of my fridge (yea I was bored…and you know you’re a foodie when you have nothing better to do than day dream about food) and my recent buttercup squash purchase. I  had a bunch of veggies left over, rice and a big bag of kale that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it soon. The snowy conditions outside told me that I needed to make something warm and comforting for dinner so I devised: White Wine Chicken and Mushrooms with Kale, Brown Rice and Roasted Vegetables. It was exactly what I needed; a hearty, fresh and delicately flavored dish. Dessert was an unpictured frozen York Peppermint Patty. I was too full for my usual ice cream (?!), but ALWAYS need a sweet treat at the end of a meal.

I’m debating another 5:45 yoga class tomorrow…For the second week in a row, I couldn’t find another Vinyasa class time that I could make, but I am dedicated to my once a week commitment (seriously wish I could find time to do more I love this style of yoga!). It was really peaceful last time, but 5am seems like such an ungodly hour to be waking up at.  Regardless, you can expect another Amazing Grass review tomorrow!!

Sweet Dreams,

Nora

What is your favorite meal creation?

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