summer

What I Ate Wednesday #126

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Long weekends always make it seem like Wednesday comes even sooner than normal, even when I work the Monday holiday! Here’s another weekend What I Ate Wednesday. Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

Here’s a look at Saturday with “the cousins”—3 generations at one table! We can all agree on a few things, though…

As my aunt puts it, "We're that kind of family."
As my aunt puts it, “We’re that kind of family.”

There was food too, of course!

  • Breakfast: After a morning working, I enjoyed an egg-white veggie scramble and toast with tahini and roasted eggplant.
  • Appetizers: I was still full from breakfast so only had a few nibbles of crudite and a slice of kielbasa, but there were a lot of pretty cheeses and dips
  • Lunch/Linner: I had some of the salmon, red cabbage slaw (with ginger carrot dressing—delicious), salad, and some watermelon & goat cheese.
  • Dessert Part I: I wasn’t ready for real dessert yet, so I had a sliced nectarine with whipped cream and took a slice of stone fruit pie for the road.
  • Snack/Mini-dinner: Basically the second I got back to the city, I got hungry, so I made a salad with some last-legs greens and veggies
  • Dessert Part II: The pie got smushed in transit, but I was still able to enjoy it warmed up with some vanilla Greek frozen yogurt.

What was the best thing you ate last weekend? 

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What I Ate Wednesday #125: Unironic Snuggies and Sunday Eats

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This week has been one of those busy ones. Do I say that every week? I might. Before we get into the What I Ate Wednesday-ness of this post, I just wanted to share with you all just how I’ve been dealing with the now-frigid office temps: snugglette

Yep. That’s exactly what it looks like. And it is awesome. And by awesome I also mean hilarious. I would much rather be amused than freeze my ass off. I like my ass the way it is, thanks. So yes. I now am the owner of an unironic Snuggie—an unironic Work Snuggie at that. Oh, life.

Anyhow…Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

I’ve been packing my lunches this week because I need a little TLC, and food made with (self) love is one of the best sources. Here’s an example from Monday:

Mixed greens with heirloom tomatoes, chickpeas, roasted eggplant & pepper, and feta; topped with some grilled veggies from the cafeteria
Mixed greens with heirloom tomatoes, chickpeas, roasted eggplant & pepper, and feta; topped with some grilled veggies from the cafeteria

Even though it’s cold in my windowless office, my tastebuds knows it’s salad weather, so this is what I’ve been craving come lunchtime. To give you something more colorful to look at, here’s what I ate on Sunday.

  • Breakfast: Chocolate egg white oats with pumpkin, eaten in an almost-empty PB jar
  • Lunch: Giant salad (same as the one above)—I ate one and packed up the other for Monday—I ate it with an oven-toasted piece of fantastic bread my mom gave me from Whole Foods that has quinoa, millet, and other assorted tree nut-free awesomeness in it. I was out of hummus, so I spread on some tahini and a few slices of roasted eggplant
  • Snack: Cottage cheese with raspberries and homemade dark chocolate granola
  • Dinner: Leftover chicken meatballs with baby spinach in a mushroom tomato sauce over…cauliflower rice, of all things. I was making some for the next day and was too lazy to make pasta; more of that awesome bread for dipping.
  • Snack: Roasted plumcot with Greek fro-yo. Still not over how good this is.

Be honest: Do you have a Snuggie or secretly want one if you don’t? What do you like to eat or make when you need a little TLC? 

Sunny Sunday

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This weekend has been the perfect remedy to a rough, emotional week. Saturday, I had to go get my spots checked at the derm in NJ, and then my mom and I had lunch (thank you, Karen for the great recommendation!) and indulged in a little retail therapy. I got some great deals on a few work things that will be perfect for the transition into fall.

When I got home, I took a disco nap and then joined some friends for BYOB karaoke. We hadn’t been since my birthday, and it was so much fun! Our vague theme was breakup songs, and we toasted to my cat allergy—at least if/when I die alone, I will most likely not be covered in cat piss. Medicine is great and all, but never underestimate the healing power of singing and dancing like a complete fool with your nearest & dearest. I had many favorite moments (my friends are hilarious), but especially  getting the whole room dancing to the Supreme’s “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

Though I always act my age responsibly and stay well hydrated, I was a bit surprised to wake up bright-eyed and energetic, having enjoyed a good dose of whiskey. And bourbon. And champagne (see toast, above). Yes, champagne at karaoke. Anyway, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and my good mood, I took a long rambling walk through the park. I also cleaned the eff out of my apartment and prepped some food for the week. Burned some incense to clean out any lingering bad vibes. Yes, I have a Masters of Science, and I still believe in that stuff.

If nothing else, I can tell I’m well into the “moving on” mindset, as I was craving pumpkin at breakfast—and chocolate, but nothing unusual there. Chocolate pumpkin oats in an almost-empty peanut butter jar totally happened. Perfect timing, like, culinary destiny or some sh*t like that. September is next week! This is both exciting and terrifying.

Do you like karaoke? What are your favorite songs to dance and sing to? 

Thursday Thoughts: Habits

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Good week to be a gin-drinker. Am I right or am I right? What the eff, universe?

For the record, when I talk about needing a drink, I’m kind of kidding. Don’t get me wrong—I like a good glass of wine or a well-crafted cocktail same as the next person, but when I’m stressed, it does absolutely nothing for me in terms of problem-solving. My real go-to’s are actually exercise and sleep (if I can get it). A phone call or a coffee with a friend helps a lot too, not to mention time-outs in the park to read a good book from the library on a beautiful afternoon or taking a notebook and sitting near the reflecting pool at Lincoln Center at dusk.

The impulse I wrestle with is the intense need to get to the bottom of a situation ASAP and be in intense communication with the person or persons it concerns. Sometimes that accomplishes something, sometimes not—I’ve had to learn how to ask myself when it’s a good idea to follow that impulse. Oh, the life of a Sagittarius…

Even if I didn’t know exactly why, I’d still be able to tell I was stressed, given my difficulty sleeping and my inability to take a freaking rest day lately. When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to deal with that, so I’d end up wearing myself the f*** out. Luckily, I’ve learned to recognize when I’m “in it,” and do things to balance it out. For example, when I woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday morning mentally eager to hit the gym, I acknowledged that my body was tired and did some gentle yoga while listening to music that made me feel ready to take on the day, wound rounds and all. I also take melatonin sometimes to help myself get into a better sleep cycle, Benadryl for the occasional sleep emergency. I breathe deeply, watch movies—years of trial and error and tips from trusted sources.

I think that as women, we’re conditioned to think first of food/things we consume when it comes to vices/coping mechanisms, but in truth, it is so much more complex than that. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we lament our chocolate cravings or the way we gravitate towards certain kinds of unhealthy food when we’re needing some comfort and leave the rest in the dark—what about the more insidious, emotionally destructive impulses? Like, um, texting toxic influences or beating ourselves up over things we wish we had or hadn’t said? Over-apologizing when we shouldn’t apologize at all?

I know that I work with food, but if there’s one thing I continue to see it’s that it is rarely about food—that’s just a socially acceptable way of talking about difficult things. It’s so much easier to be, like, “Omfg, I just ate [   ] !!!” than it is to be like, “So, I just did that thing I know I shouldn’t do but feel like I can’t help doing because…”

Anyway, on the positive end of the spectrum, I found a ring that had been missing for a year–it was in a plastic bag hanging from a hook in a closet where I’d been storing other plastic bags. IMG_3093I also enjoyed a lovely dinner with a girlfriend the other night. It doesn’t get much better than thinly-sliced steak with arugula and grilled tomatoes & zucchini. If nothing else, at least my iron stores are happy. IMG_3101

What are some of your “vices?” What are some of your go-to good habits for tough times? 

Mercer Kitchen

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Despite being sick all weekend, I did manage to pull myself together to go have lunch with my mom and sister downtown on Saturday. We’d been planning it for weeks, and fortunately, by the time Saturday morning rolled around, my immune system was amenable to my leaving the house.

I’m going to be totally honest and admit that it takes a lot to get me down to Soho on a Saturday (or anytime, really), when  it’s teeming with a maddening combination of tourists and well-dressed hangover monsters who will walk right the f*** into you.

Mercer Kitchen SalmonThat said, there are some damn-good restaurants in Soho, so when my mom suggested Mercer Kitchen, I was totally game. Though I wouldn’t put it on my list of all-time favorites, I’ve enjoyed it every time I’ve been. The highlights this time was the yellow watermelon salad (with goat cheese instead of feta—nice!) and perfectly cooked salmon, which came in a cherry tomato vinaigrette over corn pudding. Oh, and a glass of prosecco, which seems to be my drink of the summer. The three of us had a really nice time. It’s so rare that the three of us can get our schedules to coordinate, so it was great to catch up a little.

What was the last restaurant meal you had? New Yorkers—do you know any places in Soho I should check out? 

Another great summer dessert

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I didn’t know what my favorite fruit was until last year. Even now, I don’t even have a one specific favorite, but more a favorite…genre. Genus? Whatever the agricultural equivalent to “genre” is, that’s what I’m talking about.

Anyway, maybe it was all the wine tasting-and-writing or moving to a neighborhood with better markets, but I finally realized sometime in 2012 that I freaking love stone fruit: plums, peaches, nectarines (especially white nectarines), apricots, and especially plumcots.

roasted plumcotBecause roasting things is easy and almost always yields delicious results, I enjoyed a celebratory “my sense of taste and smell are back!” dessert last night of a roasted plumcot served with Greek frozen yogurt and the most gorgeous blackberries I’ve seen in a while. I’m glad it’s only August—I’m so not ready to move on to apples, pears, and pumpkin things yet. Give me a few weeks, and I’ll be ready. Haha now I’m thinking of this song…I’m afraid to count the many David Byrne/Talking Head nods on this blog. Then you’d all really know what a nerd I am.

What are your favorite fruits? Are you ready to move on to fall fruit or are you enjoying a summer sweet-spot? Pun totally intended : )

August Ailments

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I have the craziest dreams when I’m sick. The other night, I dreamt the family pets tried to intimidate/kill (?) us by hurling cans of Ensure Plus (chocolate) through the windows of the house I grew up in. We evacuated to some weird-ass farmhouse where people raced old planes they converted into buses, and I blew off my journalistic duties covering one of these aforementioned races  to go play mini-golf in a filly prom dress.

For most of my adult life (aka since I was old enough to drink), August has been the month in which sh*t falls apart, at least in terms of my health—and by fall apart, I really just mean that I get my annual summer ailment, but it’s still always an unpleasant half-surprise.

Part of it is that August is when my schedule is more conducive to things like getting foot deformities diagnosed, cutting out potential skin cancers,  and undergoing super-fun things like LEEP procedures (2007 was just not my year). It’s also that I tend to push my immune system to its limits because there is so much more fun stuff going on in the summer, and by the time I realize I should prioritize rest more, that sore throat has already morphed into a legit common cold.

IMG_3058So yeah, I’m not surprised working 3 jobs and maintaining a busy social calendar has caught up with me. I even went home early from work Friday. My patients and co-workers really did not need my germs. The rest of the afternoon involved the usual remedies and some of the ravioli soup I made the other day. In the spirit of healing, I also did a Facebook friend-cleanse.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling 100% really soon. So far so good : )

Do you have crazy sick-dreams? What are your go-to cold remedies?