Monday, January 31, 2011

Things are Looking Up

This evening when I was about to walk my dogs, I found the sapphire pendant from the necklace I lost! It was in my stairwell but there was no sign of the chain, oddly enough.
I'm taking this to be a good sign!

The Longest Week Ever

Last week felt longer than the entire month of January for me. So while I'm absolutely shocked that February starts tomorrow, I'm looking back on things that happened last weekend and genuinely feeling like they were 3 or 4 weeks ago. Does anyone else ever feel like that?
Last weekend was actually fairly lousy. I ran 20 miles last Saturday (the longest run in my marathon training plan) but hurt my foot in the process. That Sunday, I somehow lost the sapphire necklace that my darling fiance gave me for our anniversary this year. At the beginning of the week, I found out about a bunch of significant changes that are taking place at my work as well. Without getting into a ton of detail- these changes are likely good ones, but it's going to be an adjustment. (And we all know how I feel about change in general! It keeps me up at night, to say the least.) The rest of the week was better, but I had to fly to Houston for work, which is always pretty tiring, and I spent the week feeling really frustrated by my foot, which definitely didn't love all the walking through airports I did!
I thought that the foot situation was looking up and I ran 9 miles yesterday without too much pain and I felt pretty positive that I'll be able to do 26 miles by Feb. 13. Then, of course, my house attacked me. Somehow in the process of me closing the door to my porch, the big glass doorknob fell off the door and landed right on the joint of my big toe. I've got a lovely bruise and my foot hurts quite a bit when I walk on it too much (3 cheers for my desk job!)- I'm guessing the run and the doorknob are equal partners in that pain. I'm curious to see how painful it will be tomorrow.
For the record, I still think that I'll be able to run the marathon, but I'm also thinking that my foot isn't going to feel very good afterward.
Of course, there's been plenty of things to enjoy about the past week or so as well. I've had a lot of fun with my friends, my darling fiance is finally done traveling for med school, and we've gotten a ton of work done on the honeymoon planning front. I only have 2 hotels left to book! (I still have to figure out bus tickets and decide about things to see and places to eat, but I feel better having an itinerary and places to stay lined up!) We're also close to finalizing our wedding food, and have selected the attire for the groomsmen and our wedding rings!
I've also started brushing up on my Spanish using the Rosetta Stone. I did the first lesson of level 1 last night and while it's a little easy for me, I think it's a good idea to start from the beginning. I'll try to do a review of the program after I've worked my way through it. My thoughts for now are that it's pretty engaging and very visual (I matched individual words and phrases that were printed on the screen and read aloud to pictures), but I'm confused about why the Rosetta Stone thinks that I need to learn the work for "elephant." (It's elefante.)

How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flight Safety

Is it just me, or is this Delta Flight Safety Video oddly dystopian?

It just seems like she moonlights as a lottery announcer on The Island or something....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Veggies are beautiful

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I was able to go to the Farmer's Market again on Saturday! I think that the fresh vegetables there are always so beautiful and appetizing! I bought more than I really needed because everything looked so delicious.

Delicious Carrots

I forgot to take a picture of my green onions until after I chopped them up

Beautiful Kale- my favorite!
Red Potatoes

This Cabbage is about twice the size of my head- and it was only $1.50!!I've managed to work my way through two of these big tupperwares full of cabbage so far this week
I've also been snacking on Satsumas

Is there a Farmer's Market where you live?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Looking Forward

I've found that obsessing over what I'm going to pack for my honeymoon is way more fun than actually planning my honeymoon. Unsurprisingly, my obsession is mainly about what shoes I'll bring. Obviously my comfortable Naturalizers will be coming with me, but I also want a pair of sandals that are magically cute, dressy, and comfortable when walking long distances (oh and cheap too). I'm also harboring a mild longing for a pair of Sanuk's but I think they would look too sloppy and "American" to take to Europe.
I think my darling fiance is doing something similar. Despite not knowing where we'll be living next year, he's sending me links to apartments in a couple of our favorite cities. Fantasy apartment shopping is way more fun than residency interviews!
I wanted to blog about this because I felt weird having three posts in a row about king cake. Of course, I promptly realized that I blogged about my Naturalizers last week. I may have to change the name of my blog to Sugar and Shoes.
As far as other stuff that's going on- I still need to enter the race, but I'm pretty much officially running the Mardi Gras Marathon in February, I finally chose my hairpiece for my wedding (a bejeweled ribbon headband thingy), and I'm supposed to be trying Ethiopian food tonight.

How do you procrastinate?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dispatches from Candyland

Today's King Cake was cream cheese (and ridiculously moist and delicious). It was sitting on the table in the breakroom alongside some blessedly small and thin cocoa cookies (which I also tried), several Ferrero Rocher truffles (which I ignored, though I love them), a couple of cookies bars (cranberry chocolate chip, I'm guessing, since I left them alone too), and a fruitcake (no thanks).

I think they're on to me....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

King Cake Update

Today's King Cake was a donut king cake from a donut shop in Laplace (I think). It didn't taste like a King Cake so much as a giant cake donut topped with a delicious fluffy white icing and green, yellow, and purple sprinkles. Since it was a "weird cake" I tried it. I especially loved the icing which is saying a lot for me because I often dislike cake icing (yes, I'm weird). Of course, I spent the rest of the day craving sugar. It's so addictive!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tis the Season

It is officially King Cake season in New Orleans! I make no secret of the fact that I LOVE King Cake. I love it so much I'm having King Cake instead of Wedding Cake at my wedding. However, my office tends to have 3-5 King Cakes a week in the breakroom and I really don't need to eat a slice of cake every day from now until Mardi Gras (March 8, this year).
Over the years, I've learned that the best way to curb my King Cake consumption without feeling deprived is to make a few rules for myself.

1. I can have a slice of the first King Cake of the season if I want to, regardless of what flavor it is. (If the first king cake that comes into my office is from some place like Winn Dixie, I tend to pass and hold out for a nicer first taste).
2. After my first slice of King Cake, I will only eat filled cakes in flavors that I really like- apple, praline, and cream cheese. Since the filled cakes are more expensive, people usually buy plain, which means I'm eating cake maybe once a week or once every other week by instituting this rule.
3. I'll also try specialty cakes (goat cheese and apple my friend Sarah got at Cake Cafe was the highlight of last year's cake season for me) and plain cakes from the really good bakeries (Haydel's, Randazzo's, and Gambino's) the first time they show up at the office.

It's much easier to pass up a mediocre slice of cake when I know I'm holding out for the good stuff. I will add that I'm still debating whether or not I want to try a Hubig's Pies King Cake...

Who makes your favorite King Cake?

Friday, January 7, 2011

A bit of a rant

I watched this video on the Today Show website this morning. I clicked on the article (entitles "Is it your clothes that are making you look fat?") because I do sometimes feel like the cut of my clothes aren't the most flattering (not "fattening" necessarily, but just unflattering, if that makes sense.) I thought "Hey, maybe I'll pick up some tips for a more flattering silhouette."
No such luck.
I'll save you the time of watching the video (although I'll admit that watching Hoda and Kathy Lee huffing away on a treadmill during the segment was kind of amusing) and say that all they did was tell you to wear a good bra, spanx, tights, and a jersey dress that cinches in at the rib cage.
Rocket science? No.
Something I've never heard of before? Also No.
Comfortable? Heck No.
Worth taking time to write a whole damn book on the wearing of layers and layers of spandex under ones clothes? NO.

(They also dressed a lady in a leaopard print dress and a gold chain necklace and called it "work appropriate" which I find a little baffling.)

Does anyone else hate fashion advice that basically boils down to "Suffer or you're not doing it right?"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Old Lady Shoes

I ran 16 miles yesterday! It was actually a pretty painful run because my right hip and knee were really hurting during the run for some reason, but after the run and today, I'm just having some run of the mill soreness. I'm crossing my fingers that I'm not injured (I don't think that I am) and in the meantime, wearing a pair of Naturalizers that my mom gave me because they didn't fit her. It's seriously like walking on air! Three cheers for old lady shoes! (Not that my mom is an old lady- I'm just saying Naturalizers seem to have a certain cachet among those who are pushing 70. Mom has resorted to such shoes because she has arthritis in her feet.)
In other news, I am cooking a ton of Mark Bittman recipes lately. Partly because I got the Food Matters Cookbook for Christmas (Thanks, Tyler!) and partly because he's been putting some really good recipes online lately. Last night I made a version of the chicken, broccoli, and mushroom stir fry in the article I just linked. I used carrots instead of mushrooms (darling fiance does not share my passionate love of mushrooms), added some shredded cabbage when everything else was almost done cooking, and used some sesame oil to finish the dish. I was really glad I added carrots to the stir fry because they were perfect with the ginger and garlic that the recipe calls for. I'm also pretty thrilled to get back on the veggie band wagon.
As for the cookbook, I can't say enough good things about it. I've poured through the book and dog eared the pages for a TON of recipes I want to try. I really like the approach of using meat as a seasoning rather than the focus of a dish, and I think he's done a good job of making sure that his recipes, despite being low-meat are veggie focused rather than just giant servings of carbs (and the carbs in the recipes are also exclusively whole grain). I think that his recipes are very straightforward and there is a nice balance of ingredients that appeal to me and flavor combinations that I wouldn't have thought of on my own but am excited to try (like navy beans and butternut squash). I also love that he provides tons of recipes for beans!
As for the recipes I've tried out- I made Jook (asian rice porridge, basically- it's creamy, comforting, and full of veggies), red bean and collard green soup (southern, yet healthy!), and pasta with tuna, capers, and tomato sauce (I was surprised by how much I liked this one. Tuna in olive oil is amazing.)

What's your favorite cookbook?