March 14, 2009

Well, obviously I lied. There was no cooking before I left for the conference. Why do I set myself up for these failures?

At any rate, I’m in Seattle for the conference, enjoying all kinds of wonderful food.

See you in a few days!


I did it!

November 16, 2008

No food to be seen from our trip, although we did eat at Wa and Lidia’s and Whole Foods over the course of the weekend. Wa was good, as always, and I had tempura udon and an unagi eel roll. Then I exploded. At Lidia’s, I had the pasta tasting prix fixe meal, which included a salad, limitless supplies of three pastas of the day, and a dessert. I didn’t even make it through a full plate of pasta, for which Matt made fun of me mercilessly. The waitress assured me that only high school boys ever get a second plate. Anyway, I had plenty of pasta, so I really carbed up for my 5k.

This morning, I ran my first 5k and I’m so proud of myself. I took walk breaks, and the course was pretty hilly, but I still finished under my goal time of 35 minutes. I know that’s not actually very fast, but it is for me! I’m still waiting for my results to be posted, so I can see what my actual time is.

Matt did an excellent job of documenting the whole process. Here I am excited to register:


Here’s an action shot of me yelling “take this jacket!” as I approached the finish line. I did a really bad job of layering. It was really cold and windy when I got started but it took about .07 seconds for me to start burning up. Next time I’ll know.


See, there are people behind me!

After the race, there was free food like Smoothie King samples and fruit. And doughnuts. And brownies. I skipped the sweet stuff, as I wasn’t really in the mood to pound a brownie at 9:40am and with a body heat of 800 degrees. The smoothie samples were good, though. We ate at Whole Foods for lunch, and it was pretty great because I haven’t had the Whole Foods salad bar in years. You can say all you want about Whole Foods being corporate and weird for an organic grocery store (they are), but their salad bars are awesome. And they taste even better when the closest one is two hours away from your home. And, they have tempeh! Also, they had Z-Bars in blueberry AND apple cinnamon. It was like Christmas. I bought so many bars.

We came home to supportive messages left for me about the 5k. I would have taken a picture, but there’s no light in the hallway. Thanks, anonymous message leavers!

Okay, I think I’ll stop refreshing the empty race results page and go to sleep.

There’s a lot of exposition in this one.

September 20, 2008

I ended up throwing my meal plan for the week completely out of the window when Matt called me at work on Thursday afternoon and told me our water had been shut off. It came back on just before 5:00, but I was commuting on foot that day and, even if he had started cooking right when our rightful water was returned to us, I wouldn’t have had time to eat because I had somewhere to be at 6, and by the time I got home from work, it would be time to leave again. Poor planning on my part. Also, the water came out brown for the first few minutes. So, probably a good thing we didn’t cook. We had dinner at Bluestem, a restaurant I usually like, but found kind of lacking on this visit. I hope we caught them on an off day. Even the oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookie I got was bland. And that should have been the greatest food on earth.

Last night, one of my bosses hosted a bonfire and weenie roast at her house and we had dinner there. I had two Smart Dogs, which I used to eat all the time my first year in grad school when Matt worked a lot of nights. They taste much better in a bonfire situation, I have to say. Hence the two. I was really hungry. I also had some Terra Chips, some other chips, some Greek pasta salad that was really good, grapes, some of Matt’s baked beans, some Franzia, and a s’more. It was my first real s’more since girl scouts. When we buy a house, I am totally getting a gas range so that we can make them at home. Every. Single. Day.

Anyway, I wish I had taken some pictures of that, because the spread was awesome.

This morning, we decided to go to Topeka for a big Topeka Shawnee County Friends of the Library Booksale. It was seriously huge. I scored a handful of cookbooks and some magazines. It was kill or be killed at the cookbooks table, so I don’t know exactly what I ended up with; I’m just glad I came away relatively unscathed.

We had a massive sushi lunch at KiKu, did some shopping, and came back home. I went to get fall clothes, but had almost no luck. Against my better judgment, I bought a sweater at Old Navy, which should last a solid two wearings before it starts to fall apart. But it’s a pretty color. At some point during the drive up, my hips started hurting, so that was kind of a bummer. I hate trying on clothes anyway, but it’s even worse when you have to contort yourself into strange positions to take the pressure off your joints.

When we finally made it home, I felt like someone had drilled holes into my hip bones and left the drill bits there, so I took a little pain nap and then woke up and made dinner. We didn’t really have a lot of vegetables or fiber or whole grains in our raw fish gluttony at lunch, so I made Herbed Bulgur-Lentil Pilaf and an experimental side dish of zucchini/tomato gratin.

That pilaf was a 10. Green lentils are so much better than the brown ones I usually get in a big bag at the grocery store. For one thing, they taste good. For another, they do not turn to mush.

The vegetables were okay, but I should’ve done something to cut down the moisture, especially since I just used a stale slice of Ezekiel bread that I gave a quick spin in the food processor for my breadcrumbs. I toasted them a little, but they were still really absorbent. Anyway, here’s what I did:

Tear one slice of whole wheat bread into four pieces and put in the food processor for about 20 seconds, until fine crumbs form. Toast those in a dry skillet for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat, shaking frequently. Slice up a zucchini and a tomato. Blot them [which I didn’t do] and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumb on top, and maybe some Parmesan cheese if you’re feeling crazy. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until brown and crispy. Enjoy.

I am clumsy.

July 7, 2008

Okay, so we had a nice little mini-honeymoon/celebration of Matt’s birth in Lawrence, which involved more food than it probably should have. Good food. But a lot. But a mini-honeymoon comes around, what, once every… month or so?

Anyway, after all the wedding/conference/birthday/Matt’s birthday/mini-honeymoon eating, I was all prepared to come back home and get back into my exercise and healthy(ish) eating routine and then I tripped while putting on some shorts yesterday afternoon and stubbed my toe so hard that I couldn’t walk for a few hours. So, being the smart and healthy person that I am, I skipped the gym and ate cake instead!

This morning I happened to notice that my toe was gray. Oops. I hobbled to work and called the doctor, who did some x-rays and things. Turns out it’s not broken! Just badly bruised! Sweet! But I can’t bend it and it looks really gross. Seriously. My doctor actually said “eww.” Needless to say, I was advised against kickboxing. I can’t exercise for 48-72 hours, and even then, I’m supposed to do the stationary bike until it fully heals. I loathe the stationary bike. I guess this is why you shouldn’t walk and put on shorts at the same time. This morning while I was getting ready for work, Matt yelled “STAND STILL,” just as a reminder.

But enough about me!

Just kidding. This whole blog is about me.

It was really hot today and we had almost no groceries, so we threw together this Mexican Pasta Salad, from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites, which I picked up for 8 bucks in Lawrence. I love all things Moosewood, and this was no exception. Light but filling and if I’d only been able to resist the cookies I had afterwards, it would have been a really healthy end to my day.


I need to go ice my gimp toe now.

I survived Anaheim.

July 2, 2008

But just barely.

No, not really, it’s nothing that dramatic. I’m just recovering from four and a half packed days of librarianliness. And a month or so of very little sleep.

Southern California is just like on TV. Palm trees everywhere, really terrible traffic, sunshine all the time. I took my running shoes and workout clothes like I do to every single conference I attend, but this time I actually used them, which was novel. It was so nice outside that it was hard not to go running (not my usual problem). That, coupled with the fact that I pretty much lived on energy bars, trail mix, Kashi crackers, and instant oatmeal, meant that I came home feeling normal instead of bloated and gross. Though, I was ready to kill someone for a vegetable. Or some peanut butter. I didn’t have to, but I was ready.

I am now 25, by the way, and that means that I am more insightful and responsible. That came in handy when I almost had to rent a car since I booked my return flight from San Diego. Which, in case you’re as unfamiliar with Southern California geography as I was, is not that close to Anaheim. I was too worried about the honking drivers and the carpool lanes and the no space between cars, though, so I signed my soul away to take a shuttle. And when I finally got home, after that shuttle, a flight, and a two hour drive back from the airport here, I was exhausted. Luckily, I was greeted by this when I opened the front door:

Presents! Matt got me three of my favorite cookbooks to own (Eat, Drink, and be Vegan; The Food You Crave; and Veganomicon). And his mom got me many things, several of which were food-related, including dried cherries and fancy granola. Thanks, Matt and Debbie! I also opened cards from my family. Thanks, family!

Matt took me out to dinner last night, so no pictures of that. We are leaving again on Friday morning, so I didn’t want to buy food. I had a Greek salad with no olives (because they’re gross) and a few of Matt’s french fries. And maybe a beer? I can’t remember. Like I said, exhausted.

Today I had a surprise birthday cake at work. Here’s an artistic representation of it, captured with my MacBook.

It turned my mouth blue. Also, my nose, but that was unintended.

Tonight I made a quick dinner before Matt left with a few random things I knew we had in the house.

Whole wheat pasta with roasted red peppers, spinach, feta, and a light lemon vinaigrette. Delicious. Looks just like what we ate last Wednesday, but tasted different.

When Matt left for work, I immediately fell asleep and I just woke up a few minutes ago. I was planning to go to the gym, because I’ve broken my no cardio = no dessert rule two days in a row, but I think I have too many things to do around here. Read: I am going to attempt to unpack my suitcase and then fall asleep again soon. Also, I’m planning to milk this birthday thing for all it’s worth.

I may have some more cake first. Yoga was pretty tough today.

I am losing my mind.

June 25, 2008

In the five hours between now and bedtime, I need to: go to the gym and do cardio AND weights, hit the ATM, go to the drugstore to get a travel bottle of contact solution, sort through the piles of clothing I’ve been avoiding for weeks, decide which ones I’m wearing for my conference, iron them, try them on to make sure they look okay, iron them again because they’ll be wrinkled, decide whether or not I’ll feel comfortable taking a bathing suit, pack everything, run around frantically to gather handouts for my presentation, and also eat some cake.

And did I mention that I woke up at 2 this morning? This is why I hate to travel.

I’m blogging to keep from crying.

On the bright side, Matt made a delicious dinner for me so that I would have one less thing to worry about. It’s pasta with white beans and chard, from a book called Vegan Express. I added my signature vegan ingredient – cheese:

That’s one of our marriage bowls. And a plastic fork because the real ones are all dirty. Oops.

This was a really good dinner. Thanks, Matt!

I’m not taking the camera to Anaheim because 1) I’d probably lose it and 2) it’s not actually mine. Also, I don’t know that I’ll be eating anything interesting because I understand that food is so expensive there that you really can’t. So I’m packing a lot of Larabars, basically. And some Kashi bars thrown in for good measure. And instant oatmeal. So, I may actually come back part grain.

Sadly, I will have to celebrate my 25th birthday at the conference. Oh well, at least I’ll get to spend it with friends I don’t usually see. I’m sure they’ll be ready to throw down. You know how librarians are.

Or maybe you don’t. But rest assured, they really do like to throw down.

Anniversary adventure

February 23, 2008

We had plans to go to Lawrence, our favorite day trip destination, for our anniversary this weekend. But, with the weather weirdness lately, we decided to play it safe and wait until things warm up a bit. So, we stayed closer to home and took a quick trip to Wamego and Alma. It was a really pretty morning, and we started the day with banana oatmeal and coffee. Sorry, no pictures, the batteries went dead in the camera this morning. I’ll take a shot next time, though, because the banana actually made the oatmeal look much prettier. After breakfast, we ran a few errands here in Manhattan and then headed down highway 24 to Wamego. We got a nice walk in while we were there – I’ve been wearing a pedometer for a walk challenge we’re doing at work, and our exploration of Wamego clocked in at over 2 miles.

For a teeny tiny town, Wamego is pretty cool. They have an Oz Museum, which I avoided at all cost due to Wizard of Oz-related fears, but it was impossible to completely avoid Dorothy and her little dog, because that’s pretty much the extended metaphor of Wamego. They randomly have a really fancy specialty food store, with chocolates, sauces, pasta, coffee, tea, and some cookware. Right next door is Ozland Winery, with locally produced wine.

We had lunch at the Friendship House, a bakery and cafe that are in an actual house. Seriously, the customer restroom had a bathtub. And Clorox wipes, which I thought was pretty smart. Here’s a picture of the house:


The lunch menu was just soup and sandwiches, two of my favorites, but my meal actually wasn’t that great. The sandwich was tiny and the soup had some unidentified meat in it:


They did have homemade chocolate pie, which really got me excited, as I love pie above all things, but that came up short, too.


It basically tasted like Jell-o chocolate pudding with some Cool Whip, a few chocolate chips (that were actually sweaty, so I think this was sitting in the refrigerator for a while), and a standard crust. I had about two bites and some of the crust (the best part of pie) and Matt finished the rest.

We also bought a dozen of their cookies, and I’m happy to report that the sugar cookie I just split with Matt was delicious. Next time we’ll know to go to Toto’s Tacoz for lunch and Friendship House strictly for baked goods.

Then it was on to Alma for cheese. Whenever we drive back from the airport, we always pass a billboard for “Famous Alma Cheese,” and, since I love cheese almost as much as I love pie, we had to go. The creamery was pretty great, and they had cheap local cheese along with other snacks made in Kansas. How could anyone resist this?


It’s nibblin’ good!

After a quick walk in downtown Alma, where it started to get really dark and cooler out, we came back home. All in all, a fun trip, and check out this haul:


I can’t believe how much money I spent today, but, hey, how often do you go to Wamego? Sorry for the weird flash effect, but hopefully you can see the Swiss chocolate and then the local stuff: pear honey, strawberry rhubarb jam, Surrender wine (dedicated to Judy Garland, apparently), some little cookies, peanut butter snack mix and Famous Alma Cheese!

Last, but definitely not least – cookies!


And now, instead of going to the gym to work off the cookies I’m sure to eat later, I’m going to listen to my exhaustion and take a nap before tonight’s K-State game and the big, exciting no. 1/no. 2 match-up between Memphis and Tennessee.