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Filtering by Tag: yoga

florida, family, friends, fun!


Aaahhh....I had such a FABULOUS weekend!  It was perfect.  I was able to see so many people that I love, including cousins that I hadn't seen in 10+ years!  I helped my best friend to pick out her BEAUTIFUL wedding dress after staying up way too late the night before with her sharing a bottle of wine and catching up.  I shopped 'till I dropped with my Momma and found some great new workout clothes and fantastic deals at the outlets.  I talked about photography with my daddy and picked up some new tips for the blog (along with a new lens for my birthday coming up!!!).  All-in-all it was a lovely, busy, emotionally fulfilling weekend in Florida...and the weather was perfect too!  :) A few foodie highlights from the weekend (or, the only food pictures I managed to take...). A cappuccino made by my daddy... 090222-b1 Along with waffles made by my daddy... 090222-b2 Served with fresh Florida berries... 090222-b3 Vietnamese Pho with my Momma... 090222-l1 090222-l3 I LOVE Pho.  Love it.  We have no Pho in Charlottesville, a fact that I have never understood.  We have such fabulous restaurants and so much ethnic diversity in those restaurants that I just can't understand why Pho has been overlooked.  Its so fresh, healthy and fabulous...I was in heaven. A few other restaurant highlights: For lunch on Friday, before my Momma and I shopped like crazy (we needed fuel!!!) we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes.  I loaded up with a big salad, a bowl of golden yam soup (delicious!!!) and a bowl of frozen yogurt.  So tasty...I wish we had them in Virginia! I had a great meal at Milliken's Reef in Cape Canaveral with my best friend and her fiance, where I tried conch for the first time and decided I'm not a huge fan.  Its just a little too chewy for me.  I also had lobster bisque, which was fabulous, and a lemon drop martini...! For all you Orlando bloggers and readers out there, we had breakfast before dress shopping on Saturday at a restaurant called First Watch.  Apparently there are several of them around the city.  They had a great healthy section on the menu, and I chose the Tri-Athlete Omelet which was fabulous.  Egg whites with lots of veggies inside, no cheese, fresh fruit and an english muffin on the side.  I highly recommend this restaurant to all of you Central Floridians. We had Moe's after dress shopping, always a delicious option!  I miss Moe's so much, we don't have one near us.  :( Look at the great loot I got while shopping with my momma! shopping-1 shopping-2 LOTS of new workout clothes...I'm pretty excited about them.  I found a brand of yoga clothes at TJ Maxx that I hadn't heard of before, Kyodan. Ladies...this is some seriously comfortable, flattering and CUTE yoga gear!  I'm not typically the matchy-matchy workout gear girl, but I think that this stuff is subtle enough to not be obnoxious.  I'm really excited to try some of it out tonight at my class!  I also picked up a couple of my favorite Champion sports bras and a cute new pair of running shorts.  Exciting! Alrighty, I'll be back with a regular post tonight.  I've missed you guys!!!
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mexican meatball soup + kashi coupons!


I've had such a wonderful, relaxing weekend!  It was just what I needed after a week of traveling and holidays.  I hope that you all feel refreshed and ready to get back to work / school! We had a fantastic time with our friends last night.  Dinner was amazing, roasted chicken breast with onions, garlic and carrots, a side of steamed broccoli and savory grits.  All accompanied by two glasses of cabernet and finished with a medley of cheesecakes that we all sampled.  I was so disappointed that in my rush to get out of our house yesterday I forgot to grab my camera, so I have no evidence of our fabulous eats.  After dinner we just hung out and chatted for a few hours, but had a little break in the middle to play Rockband!!!  So so so fun!  :)  I'm REALLY disappointed that I don't have pictures of that! I was awakened early this morning by one of our pups, and after dealing with her was unable to get back to sleep.  So I got up and made myself a pre-breakfast snack (the hubb had big plans for an egg breakfast and I didn't want to ruin it for him). Snack:  1 cornmeal muffin spread with cranberry "ketchup", 1 clementine and a cup of green tea. 090104-b3 After being up for a couple of hours it became clear that the hubb still wasn't ready to roll out of bed so I decided to go ahead and have breakfast without him. Breakfast:  A 6oz cup of 0% Fage topped with 1/4 cup TJ's pumpkin spice granola and a sliced banana. 090104-b2 Ahhhhhh...Greek Yogurt, how I missed thee.  I still prefer Oikos because it is organic, but until they work out their manufacturing problem and get it back on my Whole Food's shelves the Fage will suit me just fine.  Plus...its cheaper!  :) Sadly, my hubb emerged from the bedroom just after I finished my breakfast.  I snagged a cup of coffee and a piece of his bacon while sitting with him through his meal. 090104-b1 At lunchtime I went to my favorite 75-minute Vinyasa Yoga class at Studio 206.  It had been three weeks since I'd been and it felt great to be back.  Man oh man, Hilary kicked my bootie!  It was a wonderful, intense class that had me drenched by the end.  I was worried that I would be too sore from my run yesterday but the yoga really helped to loosen me up.  I love the combination of running and yoga and what it does for me both mentally and physically. My hubb picked me up at 2pm and I was ravenous so I helped him finish the french fries he'd picked up while running errands.  Once home I made myself a quick, late lunch before heading out into the yard to plant some bulbs. Lunch:  1/2 an almond butter and sour cherry preserves sandwich on whole wheat bread and a sliced pear. 090104-l1 I planted 150 spring bulbs in hard Virginia clay for 2+ hours this afternoon.  I really hope that they come up, they should have gone in the ground a month ago but I just never got around to planting them. The bulbs I planted two years ago are already peaking up above the mulch, so we'll see what happens with my newbies.  The yard work was another workout in itself...2+ hours digging in hard Virginia clay will leave you t.i.r.e.d. Snack:  I was starving again when I came in just before dark (its been such a snack-filled day!) so I grabbed this Kashi Cereal Bar sample I got in the mail the other day. 090104-s1 I've seen these on the my grocery store's shelves but they are kinda pricey so I haven't picked any up yet. It was pretty good...reminded me of a Fig Newton or Nutrigrain bar.  The blackberry filling was quite tasty, and the texture of the bar was nice and soft. 090104-s2 090104-s3 It only contains 110 calories, but just 2g of protein so I know it wouldn't stick with me long for breakfast.  But as an afternoon snack I think it could be very satisfying.   Along with the sample I received a stack of coupons that I'm supposed to share with friends... Would anybody like a couple of Kashi Cereal Bar $2.00 off coupons?  I can send two coupons to two separate people. Leave me a comment if you're interested by 8pm tomorrrow (Monday) and I'll have my magic number generator (a.k.a. my hubb) pick a random number.  I'll announce the winners on tomorrow night's post. For dinner tonight the hubb and I made Mexican Meatball Soup.  I first saw this recipe on Kristin's blog, The Kitchen Sink.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet you really should.  She makes beautiful meals and baked goods and has absolutely gorgeous photography. 090104-d7 The recipe is originally from Bon Appetit.  Kristin made a few changes, and I made a few more.  This soup is delicious and hearty.  The hubb and I enjoyed it VERY much.  There is just one change that I will make the next time this meal meets our table and I've indicated it below.  Warning:  This soup requires a LARGE pot.  I started it in my standard soup pot and had to transfer everything to a large stock pot when the meatballs went in to prevent it from overflowing.   Mexican Meatball Soup inspired by The Kitchen Sink, originally from Bon Appetit Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1-1/2 medium onions, chopped, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 small bay leaves 
  • 2 quarts beef broth 
  • 1 quart chicken broth 
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 
  • 1/2 cup chunky tomato salsa (medium-hot) [next time we will omit the salsa and instead spice the soup up with some ancho chili powder, to taste]
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 8 tablespoons yellow cornmeal 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
  1. Start the brown rice on the stovetop.  Follow directions on package and let cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat oil on medium heat in LARGE pot.  Add one of the chopped onions, 2 garlic cloves and bay leaves; sauté 5 minutes.
  3. Add broths, tomatoes with juices, salsa [or ancho chili powder] and 1/4 cup cilantro; bring to boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, combine ground beef, ground sausage, cornmeal, buttermilk, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, then remaining 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 cup cilantro in medium bowl. Mix well.
  5. Shape meat mixture by generous tablespoonfuls into 1 to 1-1/4 inch balls. 
  6. Add rice and meatballs to soup and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and meatballs are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
broth simmering broth simmering meatballs forming meatballs forming 090104-d2 We used more meat than the original recipe called for so we of course had a few extra meatballs.  The hubb took care of these by pan-frying them in a little olive oil. 090104-d4 Dinner:  A bowl of Mexican Meatball Soup with 7 meatballs, a side of roasted veggies (carrot, brussels and broccoli), two additional pan-fried meatballs and a cornmeal muffin. 090104-d5 The soup is soooooooo filling.  I am still completely stuffed and oh so happy.  :) 090104-d6 Whew!  That was a long post.  I was planning to bake tonight but don't know if I have it in me.  The bathtub and a book may be calling my name instead... Have a great night!  :)
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trader joe's request!!


I hope everybody is having a fabulous Sunday!!!  I've been having fun in my kitchen whipping up a few of the BSI entries submitted to me this week!  Don't forget to send me your recipe by 8pm tonight, and even if I didn't get a chance to actually make it you are of course still in the running to win!!! Before I forget, last night I had a little snack while watching Sex + The City reruns... 081206-s1 An unsweetened apple sauce cup with Annie's Honey Bunny Grahams on top.  Not pictured are the two additional handfuls of bunnies I had after this...I had such a sweet tooth yesterday!!! Breakfast:  Bowl of cereal, boring I know but it was just what I wanted. I combined 1/2 cup Kashi H2H, 1/2 cup Nature's Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, 1 cup Silk plain soymilk and 1 sliced banana. 081207-b12 Workout:  Vinyasa Yoga at Studio 206.  Mmmmmmmm.  :) Lunch:  Leftover Healthified Enchi-rito and a HUGE pear...yum! 081207-l1 I'll be back later to post the BSI:GINGER results!!! (probably after 10pm est...) IMPORTANT ::: Trader Joe's Request On Tuesday I have to drive to Raleigh for a project meeting.  Because we don't have Trader Joe's in Charlottesville, I am planning on stopping at TJ's in either Raleigh or Richmond on the way home.  This will be my FIRST TJ'S EXPERIENCE EVER!!!  I would love some advice from all of you lucky readers who get to shop at TJ's weekly...What should I get?!?  I want to try out some of your favorite TJ's items, so please tell me the items you buy at TJ's that you can't live without!  Thank you!!!  :)
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exciting stuff in the blog world...


Hi Everybody!  Thank you all for the great comments today!  I loved hearing about all of your favorite definitely seems like nut butters and bananas are the winners (and two of my daily faves as well!) I thought I'd share a couple of exciting events happening in the blog world this week/month... Rhodeygirl Tests is having a Cookie Contest!!!  Submit your recipe by this Friday, December 5th.  She's going to pick 6 finalists and make each of them over the following 10 days to decide on a winner! Heather and Mark at HangryPants have announced their quest for the month of December, to help raise awareness and money for those less fortunate.  Every comment made on the blog until December 22nd will earn 5 cents and will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, along with all financed with their earnings from Food Buzz!  What a fabulous idea...those two are so clever! Katie over at Good Things Catered started 25 Days of Treats yesterday.  Each day until December 25th she will be sharing a recipe for a treat that is easy to make, package and ship to be used as gifts this holiday season!  She's already got a couple of good ones posted...go check them out! BSI: Ginger!!!  Don't forget to submit your recipe to me by 8pm this Sunday, December 7th. On to the food diary... I ate and enjoyed everything I listed earlier, except for a couple of veggies and with the addition of 1/2 a Cinnamon Bun Larabar.  I was planning to go to my 90 minute yoga class but decided I just didn't want to get home after 9pm.  So instead I did a Power Yoga dvd at home for 50 minutes.  It was good, but definitely not as satisfying as just going to class.  I'll try and remember that next week... Dinner:  Baked sweet potato with 1/3 cup edamame and 1/3 cup corn, sprinkled with sea salt.  Some mashed chickpeas and Kashi crackers on the side.  I was in the mood for something simple and satisfying...this did the trick! 081202-d1 081202-d2 Alright, sorry this was short and sweet.  I'm thinking of trying one food diary post a day, what do you think? Its a little stressful trying to get a post up in the mornings before work or during my lunch break, and I was thinking it might be better to consolidate all the day's eats into one posting.  Any thoughts?  Suggestions? Does it even matter?  :)  What is your favorite time of day to catch up on your blog reading?
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oh the weather outside is frightful...


What a dreary, rainy day we had. Yuck. I made the best of it with a fabulous Vinyasa Yoga class, a little baking, some Christmas decorating and an awesome turkey noodle soup made by my dear hubby. All in all, it was a great way to end a lovely four day weekend. Breakfast: A cookie! (I know, slap my hand!!!) along with a banana and almond butter. 081130-b1 I had a quick snack before yoga because I was STARVING. Apparently cookies for breakfast aren't the most filling of choices. Lesson learned. Snack: Blueberry Clif ZBar. 081130-s1 Yoga was amazing as always, my muscles and joints felt all squishy afterwards.  Love it! Lunch:  Leftover roasted veggies, a handful of Kashi crackers and about 1 oz of aged gouda. 081130-l1 I caught up on some blogs, then decided it was time to finally make the maple banana cornbread recipe from Sweet and Natural.  I've been dying to try this!!! 081130-bread-3 081130-bread-4 081130-bread-2 Soooooooo good!  I had two slices for my afternoon "snack" while decorating our Christmas tree.  Both hubby and I were very impressed.  I think I overcooked it a bit, it didn't seem done at 30 minutes so I left it in for an extra 5 and it turned out a bit drier than I expected.  Totally my fault for not trusting the recipe.  :( But still so yummy...I can't wait to share it with the co-workers! Dinner:  Brian made turkey noodle soup with fresh stock made from our smoked Thanksgiving turkey carcass.  I can't even describe how good it was.  The stock was perfectly smokey, and he added the leftover turkey meat, celery, onion, carrot, potato, fresh sage and my favorite brown rice curly-cue pasta.  YUMMMMMM!!!!!!  I had this bowl, plus another about 1/2 its size.  And a small glass of wine. 081130-d1 081130-d2 After dinner we finished decorating the Christmas tree.  I <3 <3 <3 our tree.  A few years ago we decided to stop cutting down live trees 'cause we felt bad, and thought it was time to find ourselves a good artificial tree.  We thought "hey, if its fake...lets make it REALLY fake" and decided on a fabulous silver tree.  Very retro, and I adore it.  :) We have mostly white and silver ornaments (which we had long before the silver tree...just coincidence). 081130-xmas-1 081130-xmas-2 But we also have the obligatory ornaments that you collect from childhood.  You can learn a lot about young Andrea from these ornaments... 081130-xmas-3 Like...I played soccer.  I loved Winnie the Pooh.  I wanted to be a magician.  I played the saxophone.  I liked penguins.  I am a Florida Gator.  You get the idea... All Finished! 081130-xmas-4 And look, my hubby sneaked something under the tree!  Presents for moi!!!  :) 081130-xmas-5 Anyway, sorry for getting a bit off-subject.  But it does help to explain my current mood and why I am now craving an after-dinner snack of eggnog... What is your holiday must-have treat??? 
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saffron tomato soup and gourmet "grilled cheese"


First of all, congrats to all of the BSI "winners"!!!!  And of course, the big winner, my cousin Meghann with her Pumpkin Pecan Crusted Chicken!!!  WooHoo!  Thank you Lindsay for a great BSI week, what a tough decision you had to make!  All of the recipes looked amazing! So a quick note, in the name of accountability (the whole reason I started this blog in the first place!).  I forgot to mention this morning that I had a piece of bacon with my breakfast.  Eek!  Gasp!  I know, naughty. But soooooooo good.  Who could resist when Brian brought this plate to our breakfast table for his own morning meal?!?!? 081123-b4 Anyway, after posting my BSI recipe this morning I dashed off to a 75 minute vinyasa yoga class.  It was amazing.  One of the best classes I've been to in the last month, taught of course by my favorite instructor Hilary.  She is fantastic.  I got such a great total-body strength workout...I could feel my abs screaming at me an hour afterwards and know I'm going to be sore tomorrow...whippee!!!  :)  BTW, does anybody know of any good yoga reads?  I really want to learn more about the philosophies so that I can take more from my practice...any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Lunch was leftovers from dinner last night, Dal Saag and Vegetable Masala on some white rice.  Yummy! 081123-l1 I had lots of cleaning and errand running to do this afternoon in prep for Thanksgiving.  There is still so much to do!!!  Poor Brian, he's been working his booty off to finish projects around the house... For dinner I made one of our favorite recipes, Saffron Tomato Fennel Soup.  I found it in my Self Magazine 3-1/2 years ago and we've made it many times since, it is SO GOOD!   ingredients ingredients saffron threads saffron threads saffron tomato fennel soup saffron tomato fennel soup The best partner for tomato soup is of course grilled cheese, so I decided to try a very slightly healthier version.  Instead of pan-frying the sandwiches in butter on the stove top, I decided to bake them at 400* on our pizza stone in the oven.   Brian picked up this beautiful loaf of rustic white whole wheat bread. 081123-d3 I sliced it thin and put the slices in the oven for about 8 minutes (on a low oven rack), flipping the slices after 4 minutes.  Once the bread was slightly crispy, I rubbed a garlic clove across both sides of each slice. This gives the bread a wonderful garlicky flavor. 081123-d5 I roasted some red bell pepper slices for about 20 minutes at 400*. 081123-d4 Then assembled my little sandwiches with some Taleggio ca d'Ambros cheese...basically a nutty brie.  Yes ladies, this is real, full-fat cheese.  I'm sorry, but I can't compromise with my cheese.  I. love. my. cheese. Luckily the sandwiches were small and I only had one.  And, I added veggies.  That counts for something, right? 081123-d6 081123-d81 081123-d9 And a glass of white wine (because I had to open it for the recipe!), plus about 1/2 this while cooking... 081123-d10 And now.... Turkey Day Peek!!! I haven't had any time to elaborate on what we're doing this year because we have been so busy getting ready for guests (and I've been BSI-ing...).  Brian and I are hosting Thanksgiving for a group of our friends who live far from family (like us!) and weren't able to get home this year (like us!).  We love to cook, and have the experience of hosting one Thanksgiving last year for all of our parents.  This year, we are providing the turkey, stuffing, mashed 'taters, roasted veggies and homemade dinner rolls.  We've asked our friends to each bring a side dish or two, along with a bottle of wine.  Which means LOTS of food and LOTS of wine...!!!  I'm super-excited, and have so many things that I want to share but I still have such a long list of chores to accomplish tonight and its already after 10:30!!!  :(  I'll give one little hint though...we smoke our turkey for most of the day, after brining it in a special Alton Brown brine all night, on our Big Green Egg.  Ever heard of a Big Green Egg before?  You can read more about it here, but basically it is "Derived from an ancient clay cooker called a "kamado"...The EGG is the most unique barbecue product on the market, with unmatched flexibility and capabilities that surpass all other conventional cookers combined. It is a smoker, a grill and an oven and you can cook literally any food on it year around, from appetizers to entrees to desserts."  In laymen's terms...its freakin' awesome.  Here are pictures from last year, when Bri and his dad cooked our Thanksgiving 2007 turkey on it: img_0477 img_0480 Sooooo good...I'm drooling right now in anticipation.  That's it for T-Day peeks for now, I hope to add something each day until Thursday! Alright, on to chores.  Have a great night!!!
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black bean soup and yoga


Aaaahhhhh.....I am in post-yoga bliss right now.  Another wonderful class at Studio 206, taught by Hilary.  I must say though that I am more of a 60-minute class kinda girl.  The 90-hour class is nice, you get extra time to work on balance positions, extra meditation time etc., but I really hate to get home after 9pm.  And, I honestly feel that I get as good of a workout in 60 minutes as I do in 90, its just stretched out more in 90. Anyway, the studio only offers one 60-minute class that works with my schedule each week so it looks like I'll have to make do... :) Knowing that it was going to be a late night, I thought ahead this morning and revved up the crock pot for some black bean soup.  I love this simple, wholesome, filling recipe...I could eat it every single week. 081118-d3 Black Bean Soup Ingredients:
  • about 1 pound dry black beans
  • one onion, diced
  • one red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 big garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 8 cups beef or veggie broth
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
081118-d1 Steps:
  1. Put all ingredients in crock pot EXCEPT for salt, pepper and cayenne.  
  2. Set crock pot to low.  I do this in the morning before work and when I get home 10 hours later the beans are perfect.  You could cook them on high, but they would probably only take 5-6 hours total. 
  3. When beans are done, stir in salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  I don't put these spices in at first because they intensify with slow cooking, and I don't want my soup too salty or spicy.
081118-d21 That's it!  So easy and sooooooooo good.  I make brown rice to pour my soup on top of, and Brian likes saffron rice.  We sometimes chop up sausage or ham in the soup which also makes it really, really good. Cheese, sour cream and scallions are all good toppers.  You could add many other types of veggies to make it your own...its so versatile. Instead of sausage in the soup this time we pan-fried it and had it on the side.  I knew Brian would want lots and I just wanted a little taste, so this was the best compromise.  This sausage is from Babes in the Wood, a local company that breeds a certain type of pig that they allow to forage in the woods.  Its a highly sustainable practice and the pigs lead happy lives eating the things they are meant to eat.  And, it is DELICIOUS.  I am not a big fan of sausage, but this stuff makes me pretty happy. my dinner bowl my dinner bowl
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups black bean soup
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 sausage link
brian's dinner bowl brian's dinner bowl
  • saffron rice
  • lots of bean soup
  • lots of cheese
  • 1-1/2 sausage links
For dessert I had a Kozy Shack rice pudding cup with berries on top. 081118-d8 A little backtrack, tonight before yoga I tried the Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel bar. 081118-s11 Product Review: Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Ok, I know I've been saying this a lot lately and you're probably going to stop believing me if I don't give something a bad review soon, but this bar was AMAZING.  Seriously.  I felt like I was eating a candy bar. The only negative thing I have to say is that it has 200 calories...I usually like to stay in the 120-150 calorie range for my afternoon snacks.  But, every single extra calorie was worth it.  I thought about only eating 3/4s of it but once I bit into the peanut-y, pretzel-y goodness there was no turning back.  I polished it off. Plus, I burned 350+ calories at yoga tonight.  So there.  :) Now I am off to enjoy my post-yoga bliss before crashing in bed.  Have a great night!
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pink ladies


Happy Sunday evening! Sorry I haven't posted all was a busy one! :) This morning I woke up craving cereal, as is usual lately. I mixed 1/2 cup Kashi Heart to Heart with 1/2 cup Back to Nature Maple Nut Medley. I topped it off with the golden raspberries I got from my garden yesterday, pom seeds that I slaved over this morning and Silk plain soymilk. These were my first pom seeds of the yum!!! (and pretty!) 081109-b1 081109-b3 Brian and I decided to go apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, about 10 minutes from our house.  Its so beautiful at the top of the mountain, the perfect place to go in the fall for an overlook of Charlottesville. 081109-apples-1 081109-apples-2 I love fall in Virginia!!! [but am angry at the black speck on my lense :( ] The best part.......we picked Pink Ladies!!!!!!!!  My FAVORITES! 081109-apples-3 081109-apples-4 13 pounds of beautiful Pinks.....I am a happy happy girl.  :) And of course I had to eat one while we were picking...who could resist? 081109-apples-51 We also gathered 5 pounds of granny smith apples from the bin so that I can make Brian's Nana's famous apple crisp. 081109-apples-6 After a lovely morning apple picking trip I had a vinyasa yoga class at Studio 206.  Hilary is my favorite instructor and the class was WONDERFUL.  I felt so loose and gushy and fabulous afterwards.  :)  I snacked on a chocolate chip Clif Z-Bar immediately after class because I was starving!  This was my first Z-Bar and I LOVED IT!  It tasted just like a chocolate chip cookie.  Now, it could have been my ultra-serene, after-yoga state of mind, but I'm pretty sure I will love these bars no matter the situation! 081109-s1 081109-s2 Unfortunately I had to work for a few hours this afternoon, so I packed my lunch this morning before our apple picking trip.  A veggie wrap with  
  • whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic hummus
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • cucumber slices
  • red bell pepper slices
  • banana peppers
  081109-l1 And a side of leftover quinoa. 081109-l2 It was yummy and filling and got me through my afternoon of work. For dinner I wanted to try a Mushroom Barley Risotto recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop.  I love that he substitutes barley for arborio rice in the risotto because barley has much greater nutritional value and was a wonderful, earthy compliment to the mushrooms.  FYI, the barley takes a bit longer than arborio to cook. 081109-d1 Brian made lacinato kale as a side dish...another of my favorites! 081109-d3 081109-d4 081109-d5 081109-d6 I also had 2 small glasses of wine... 081109-d7 The meal was great, but risotto is very time-consuming and not something that I cook very often.   Whew!  I'm beat!!! I was tagged by Amy at CoffeeTalk!  Which means that I have some interesting facts to come up with about myself....I will post tomorrow on that. Goodnight!  :)
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