wine

Halfway

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Anyone else relieved we’re halfway through February—and thus, another month of winter?

V-Day red wineDespite the snow, I can’t complain so far about this winter. I also actually had the first enjoyable (aka conflict-free) Valentines Day I can recall since, well, ever. After an amazing, headache-clearing massage, I spent the afternoon working in my favorite coffee shop before meeting up with a girlfriend for a glass of wine.

There was a lady at the bar teaching her clueless man-friend how to eat oysters. It kind of made my night.

I’ve been working a lot of Saturdays at the hospital, so a mellow Friday evening with an early  bedtime suited me just fine. Besides, full moons make me tired.

Speaking of full moons, have you heard about the lunar/werewolf diet yet? Or excuse me, Moon Diet. Though I can get on board with the idea that our bodies might be more inclined to retain—or get rid of—water during a particular phase of the moon, I don’t really see why fasting is necessary. You could do just as well being mindful of sodium intake and filling your plate with bloat-fighting foods that are rich in potassium. Also, losing 6 pounds (of water weight that you’ll probably just gain back) in 24 hours isn’t exactly healthy. Just my professional opinion, of course…

Anyway, happy weekend.

How did you spend Valentines Day? What’s the craziest diet you’ve ever heard of? 

 

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A Few Good Things for Valentines Day

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Rather than post a chocolate recipe for two with witty little comments about having better things to do than the dishes, I thought I’d just share a few random good things on this Valentines Day.

Like this virtual Valentine from Women’s Health:

(I don’t want to admit that yesterday’s monster headache was likely related to inadequate caffeination in the setting of intense weather, but what can I say? #addicted)

10 Creative Ways to Eat More Beets.

The Getty Images “Lean In” Collection. As one of my Facebook friends put it, “Surprisingly awesome.”

This hilarious Serious Eats post debunking aphrodisiac food myths.

What it sounds like when a foodie and a non-foodie have a meal together. I think my favorite part is the description of the Sangiovese. I want to sip an adulterous wine, dammit.

In the spirit of my post on 10 Ways to Love Yourself this February, I’m cashing in a Christmas gift card for a massage. This is basically all I want ever.

What are you up to this Valentines Day? 

What I Ate Wednesday #144: Snow day

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Welcome to the first What I Ate Wednesday post of 2014. Or okay, the first one about food actually consumed in 2014. Ironically, this week I’m giving you a look at last Friday, on which I took my last vacation day of 2013.  Whatever works, I guess. It was “use it or lose it,” which is why I took so many random days off in November and December. I am and am not looking forward to working full weeks at my clinical job now that the new year has started. On the one hand, it was nice to have the extra time to do other things, but on the other, it was really stressful to squeeze in as much as I could on the days I was there. So this was a nice way to spend a snow day, and I got to eat a lot of delicious things. As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—hop on over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

  • Breakfast: Quinoa with kale, roasted veggies, egg whites, and goat cheese
  • Lunch: Leftover red lentil chili; salad; a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin with hummus and roasted eggplant
  • Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, cereal, and fig & ginger jam
  • Dinner: Shakshuka at Hummus Place in the West Village, along with some mezze I shared with my friend Anna. We had falafel, roasted eggplant in tahini, and roasted cauliflower. And about a gallon of mint tea, which our server kept bringing. She even sent us each home with a cup to go, on the house. So nice! The restaurant also serves wine and beer, but as I’d had a glass of red wine at a nearby bar before dinner, I was more than happy to sit hot tea. It was the coldest night in 20 years, according to the chitchat on WNYC.
  • Dessert: One of these chocolate-covered cherries my aunt and her husband brought back from Seattle. So delicious!

Man, I could eat shakshuka pretty much every day and not get sick of it. Naturally, Saturday morning, I had to buy eggs and canned tomatoes so I could make my own. Traditionally, you poach the eggs in the spicy tomato sauce, but I usually make a short-cut version in which I just top a mix tomato sauce and veggies with a poached egg. Not exactly authentic, but super-satisfying.

What food could you eat every day and not get sick of? 

Making Strides

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People sometimes ask me why I decided to become a dietitian, and my answer is always, “Family history of cancer.” Unfortunately, I was one of those kids who grew up around medical jargon. Starting from the time I was 8 or 9, one or more of my grandparents on both sides of the family were in treatment for one form of health ailment or another. 3 out of 4 have battled cancer, with both grandmother’s eventually succumbing to the illness. They were both extraordinary women—in such different ways—and sometimes I wonder what life would be like if they were still around. I wonder what I would be like! Long story short: from an early age, I was very well aware of the fact that some f***ed up sh!t happens in the human body, and I was curious to know how it all works. As a practitioner, my main goal is to help improve people’s quality of life, and though in my current job I work mainly with people who are already battling an illness, I hope to eventually work more on the preventive side.

I’ve wanted to participate in one of the American Cancer Society‘s events for a long time, so this year, I emailed my family and asked who wanted to get involved with me. So, yesterday, my mom, sister, aunt, cousin, and I all walked in this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Central Park in memory of my grandmother, Jeanne. Because we are all freakish early-to-rise peeps, we were all bright-eyed and ready to get going on those 5 miles at 8 a.m. Making Strides 1

(Yes, I know one of my eyes is bigger than the other and I always squint the left one in photos—thanks, genetics!). The walk itself was gorgeous! Even though it was a tiny bit chilly, the sun was shining, and we got to enjoy the beauty of the park amidst a sea of good vibes and silly pink wigs and outfits. Since I don’t own a single pink item of clothing, I painted my nails fuchsia. My sister was rocking some pretty sweet pink sneaks! With such lovely ladies to talk to in such gorgeous scenery, the miles flew by!

After some tourist shots in Strawberry Fields…Imagine

we headed to a local cafe for brunch. It was lovely.

My mom, sis, and I headed to a wine tasting in the afternoon which was on roses. It was part of New York City Food & Wine Festival, which benefitted the Food Bank for New York City.  We had a great time! As usual, we may have had a bit too much fun describing the wines to each other. Here are a few examples of what happens when you take me to a wine-tasting:

All in all, it was a great day!

Have you ever participated in an event like a charity walk or festival? Do you like rose wine? What was the best part of your weekend? 

Pics & Links

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First things first:

Owls > Gargoyles

owl

cappuccinoYesterday I went to a few interesting seminars. When the first one turned out to be canceled, I was directed to a social media primer that turned out to be really helpful. I spent my coffee break brainstorming over a cappuccino at a cafe I would totally work at all the time if I lived nearby.

The second seminar actually turned out to be a wine-tasting class without the class part. It was just a bunch of tables with wines from different regions of the world. It was fun to try some new things and talk to the people pouring about the wines and where they came from. There was even a Riesling from Australia that I didn’t hate-most are too sweet for me the way that certain astrological signs are too overbearing sweet for me. My favorites were a Spanish red and this French red I actually finished almost the whole pour of (I’m one of those people who pours my wine into the bucket after a couple sips at tastings). wine tasting

Lately, I’ve been loving Sad Desk Lunch. You thought your lunch was bad? Check out this tumblr.

I want an excuse to make this cake. Vegan, fuss-free, and beautiful to look at. It also looks somewhat idiot proof. Maybe I’ll serve it at my hypothetical cocktail for my hypothetical new drinking friends.

Mark Bittman articulately addresses the question, “Should you eat chicken?” 

I kind of wish I was at FNCE this year, but maybe next year. Had to save my conference $$$/days for something I want to go to this winter. Besides, it’s been a nice week in NYC. No complaints.

What’s been the best part of your weekend? What’s your favorite cake recipe? Do you eat chicken? 

Blueberry Red Wine Sauce

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Once in a while I do something stupid like forget I hate sweet wine then go right ahead and purchase something like Cupcake Vineyard’s Red Velvet  wine. I was having one of those days where the girly cliche fit my mood/desire for a good story more than my actual palate. Live and learn. The wine wasn’t bad, just sweeter than my taste.

Since I hate wasting food, I started brainstorming some recipes said sweet-ish wine would be perfect for. It was too cold for sorbet, and the idea of baking a whole freaking cake seemed stupid, as I had no flour, butter or eggs. Besides, not even I would really want to eat a cake I made—baking is not one of my strengths. Sauce, however…sauce, I can do. I just used what I had on hand and was very pleased with the results. Blueberry wine sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp honey (you could use more or skip it)
  • pinch of salt
  • ~1/4 c red wine (maybe a little less—probably should have measured)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In an oven-safe dish like a ramekin, mix all ingredients except for xanthan gum
  3. Bake around 20 minutes. Mash the berries down with a fork. Stir in xanthan gum if using to help it thicken.
  4. Allow to cool before handling. Serve with whatever you damn well please.

I went with steak. And I have to admit, I drank a glass of the wine with my meal and—dare I say—enjoyed it. It’s all about using flavors that complement each other, I suppose…

A few Labor Day things

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I went with the bright pink
I went with the bright pink

Even though I had to work on Labor Day, I still enjoyed some time with my family over the weekend. Saturday a bunch of “the cousins” came over to my parents’ house for a BBQ, which was a lot of fun. Sunday was a low-key day that involved lunch with my mom, and mani-pedis. I literally hadn’t gotten my nails done since it was still cold out. Much-needed. My parents were nice enough to drive me back into the city, where we all shared some drinks and appetizers before they went to see a movie.

The past few weeks, I’ve been packing my lunch a little more often than normal—having something colorful to look forward to, especially working a humid, gray holiday, is really nice. Yesterday I enjoyed what I’m just going to call an antipasti salad: a few slices of leftover prosciutto (from the wine bar I went to with the ‘rents) over greens along with roasted eggplant and sliced mini heirloom tomatoes—plenty of balsamic and some grated pecorino. antipasti salad

It wasn’t quite a Labor  Day BBQ, but it was certainly enjoyable.

What was the best thing you ate over Labor Day weekend?