Thursday, July 30, 2009

Indian Vegetable Korma

"Tender organic vegetables in a curry sauce with a rich, mild flavor that comes from coconut milk and organic raisins, cashews and slivered almonds, combined with organic tomatoes and authentic hand-roasted Indian spices. On the side are fragrant golden basmati rice and a dal consisting of a mixture of six delicately spiced lentils and beans."

So good!

Wassap, B?

I love this little thing, it's so cute.

So after much hunting around and trying to find a bargain (which I didn't), I finally settled on the Nike Varsity Girls Duffel. I saw the Sami bag in person and it's very nice, but it's a little big and unstructured. The only thing I liked about it was the bungee cord that secured a yoga mat to the top, but I sacrificed that in lieu of a more practical bag. I love the wasabi green of this bag too! I ordered it from the Nike website and I can't wait to get it. I've been taking a canvas tote to the gym, and while I loved using it to carry my books for school it was such a mess taking it to the gym.
OK, now Laura commented that new gear motivates me/all people, and it's so true. Hello, I know I'm a shopaholic, and shopping for a purpose always seems to justify the purchase. Like, I need this bag, because it keeps me organized for the gym, and the gym keeps me healthy. Therefore, a new gym bag is vital to my health :)

I still haven't purchased my fuel belt, but I will soon since I just signed up for a new race! I'll be doing the Toughest 10K in Houston in September which takes place right down the street from me in Kemah. It's 6 miles, but the toughest part of this race will be the humidity/heat and the HUGE bridge you have to loop twice--that means going over 4 times! It's a beast of a bridge, and a friend of mine recently ran over it and said it was killer. I'm excited though! I don't care if I have to walk up that bridge, I'll finish!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pilgrimage

On Friday afternoon we made the drive to Shiner, TX, the birthplace of deliciousness. We had been wanting to arrange a trip to Shiner for over a year, but their hours are very restricted (M-F, 9 am-5 pm) and they are closed on all holidays. It's summer though, and with half of the group being teachers, and the two others by chance having some time off, we knew we had to seize the opportunity. The last tour starts at 2:30, and google estimated it would take 2:20 hours to get there. Manuel, Celita and I left early, but Ryan worked until noon. Amber was there waiting for him to get out and then flew across I-10 to ensure they'd make it on time.
Shiner is a small town, and the brewery sits back a little way hidden behind some tall oak trees. Apparently we weren't the only ones trying to get a glimpse of where our fave beer is brewed. It was packed! The small gift shop is also where you get your samples, and it was shoulder to shoulder. Our tour group consisted of 107 people, and our guide was pushing her lungs to hoarsely yell out all the historic information.

Interesting facts:
  • The plant is run by 63 employees
  • They only bottle one beer at a time
  • Shiner Blond was the original brew
  • Shiner Bock was favored during the Lenten season; it kept people full while they were fasting during the day!
  • Shiner is certified kosher
  • Shiner survived the Prohibition Era
  • It's the oldest surviving brewery in Texas

Though it's a small brewery and a bit out of the way, clearly there is love for Shiner and people are making their way there. I asked if it was so busy because it was a Friday, but they woman doling out the samples said that it has been packed every day from the time they open until the time they close. She attributes this to the fact that this is the centennial anniversary and that they are being featured in many different publications. If you find you way traveling along I-10 and are up for a detour, head south and pay a visit to "the little brewery in Shiner."

***HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SHINER!***

"It's not just songs about getting drunk and leaving your girl." ~Kenny Chesney*

Sirena mentioned her love for listening to country music in the summer. I, too, loved me some country music back in 5th grade. I even had a country-themed birthday party that year, complete with homemade handkerchief goodie bags. I have a special place in my heart for old Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Alabama and Reba. Lori Morgan's song "Something in Blue" was one of my faves, as was "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia." So funny.

I don't keep up with mainstream country much these days, but I do enjoy alternative country and often come across musicians on eMusic. Here's my version of a country music playlist:

1. Wantin’ Her Again Ben Kweller
2. Old Love Letters Brothers and Sisters
3. Flame Buxton
4. She’ll Come Back to Me Cake
5. Came Into This Town Josh Huck
6. Epistemology M. Ward
7. I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt Mazes
8. You Belong to My Heart The Old ‘97s
9. Not Alone Patty Griffin
10. Sing to Me She Swings, She Sways
11. Travis Fights the Bear Stories from the Frontier
12. Honey Won’t You Let Me In The Tallest Man on Earth

*Is that not a hilarious quote?

High Quality H2O

My new running shoes were waiting for me when I got home from my weekend getaway. I love them! They really are incredibly comfortable. I took them out for a run this morning, and while I was dying from both the heat and the fact that I haven't ran consistently in a while, I felt zero pain in my legs or feet. I usually get shin splits along the sides of my legs starting from my ankles. I've ran with this pain for years, chalking it up to one of the downsides of running. But no longer! Zero pain! I'm so excited.

Also, nothing like some new gear to motivate you to workout, you know?

I decided to run around 9 am. I haven't ran outside in a while, opting to instead hit the treadmill in the AC. I enjoy running outdoors much more though, and know that I can run 2-3 miles in a short amount of time (why is it that it takes so much longer on a treadmill?)

However, it is hot. Too hot. And I've already tested a few of these out, but it's time to make a purchase.
The Fuel Belt. I really want the pink one :) Anyone run with a fuel belt? I've tested a few different models out and don't love any one in particular, but I need to just settle on one soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And I wonder when she will stay, my little runaway, a-run, run, run, run, a-runaway

Last Friday I signed up for the half marathon here in Houston. I’m very excited because a lot of my friends who ran the Astros 5K also signed up for this race or the marathon, so we’ll be training together. I had heard that the race filled up very quickly; they had predicted it would be full in less than two weeks. Well, the half was sold out in less than 24 hours and the full sold out in less than 36! So exciting! Luckily all of my friends were able to get in on time.

I have been needing to purchase new shoes for a VERY long time. Like, maybe my shoes are 4 years old. I know. I am full of shame. I’ve been researching running shoes and I went out and tested a few. I just purchased a pair of Nike Motos!

They really were hands down the most comfortable pair I tried on. Now, the color I tried on in the store was all white, and I hated it. I need something fun! I was able to score these through the Nike website and actually got the best price and free shipping for being a new member! Best deal online or in stores!

I ran tonight and decided to French braid my hair. Not a good look for me. The fly aways were crazy and I looked like a hot mess. Think Medus, but sweatier. I’m going back to the ponytail and bangs pulled back with a bobby pin.

I’m also looking for a new gym bag, one that I can secure my yoga mat to as well. I think the Nike Sami Club Bag may be for me. I’m going to go check it out at Foot Locker tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bottle-shaped body like Mrs. Butterworth's

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not a huge breakfast person. Cereal is just dandy for me. My family, on the other hand, loves breakfast. Loves cooking breakfast. In the morning. When I'm still asleep. I think what it comes down to is that I don't like to wake up to the smell of breakfast. Eggs, diced potatoes, pancakes, muffins, bacon or any other meat--kill me now.

The only smell I like waking up to is coffee.

Now I like to eat those things, but I need to have been awake for a good while. I think this is why I love brunch, because I can eat these things and not want to die.

I like pancakes enough, but they're pretty thick and make you full so fast...and I really don't like syrup. Or I thought I didn't. The best thing that came out of the low-carb craze 10 years ago was sugar-free syrup!


It's runny, not too sweet--perfect! If you have any fav. sugar-free syrup brands let me know, because I feel like there is one out there with a sort of pecan-nutty taste that I've had before.

It's Sunday morning and last night I told myself I was going to make blueberry pancakes. I brought some leftover wheat flour with me from Waco that I've been wanting to use. I found this recipe, cut it in half, and substituted my wheat flour for the regular stuff

(note: they were very good but very dense because of the wheat flour)

(note note: I always burn the first pancake...or two...and therefore since I halved the recipe I had just enough batter to make two small pancakes)

(note note note: I say I don't like really pancakes , but Cafe Cappuccino in Waco, TX has THE BEST pancakes ever and I will always/only order one there. Banana Nut or Chocolate Chips with Pecans? Yes please.)

Blueberry Pancakes
1½ cups flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1 large egg
1 Tbs vegetable oil
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
maple syrup

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients; make a well in center of mixture.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.

3. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn and cook other side. Serve with maple syrup.

Yield: 8 to 10 pancakes

Friday, July 10, 2009

Away We Go

Last night a few of us went to see Away We Go. It was supposed to be a girls night, but Adrian's movie--Bruno--didn't actually start until today and he was very sad. He reluctantly watched this "chick flick" with us. I heard him a laugh a few times during the movie so I think it's safe to say that guys can appreciate this indie film.

I will say this: Opening scene was OOC and I love that I saw this with Amber and Celita because we just squealed and laughed the whole time without reservation.

I felt like it was a little slow in the beginning, and I attribute this to myself because I just couldn't figure out if I liked Maya Rudolph's acting. Once I warmed up to her I was able to enjoy the movie. There are some really great one-liners, and Allison Janney and Maggie Gyllenhaal are really jewels to this film! I could not stop laughing when they were on screen. While it's pretty light-hearted, the movie does take a serious turn toward the end, and I really appreciated that both situations share with us the man's perspective. We forget that those little fellas have feelings too!

Overall, a sweet little summer film.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Heathy Food Awards

I received an email from Fitness mag today that included a list of their picks for 2009's healthiest foods in the grocery store. Now, Some of these I completely agree with:

Best Veggie Burger
MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger
(Absolutely delicious. I completely shun Boca Burgers. The Asian Veggie patties are good too. Pretty much everything MorningStar is good.)

Best Granola Bar
Kashi TLC Trail Mix
(While I love Fiber One Chocolate and Oats bars and their 9 grams of fiber, they do get a little sweet. These Kashi bars are so good and filling, and have lots of protein!)

Best Frozen Veggie Dinner
Amy's Vegetable Lasagna
(omg. You must try this. This is the absolute best lasagna.)


Now there were a few items that made the list that I have not tried, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for.
Best Muffin
Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Bun
(Hello! I love all things Fiber One! Why have I not seen these?)

Best Frozen Meal in a Bag
Bertolli Mediterranean Style Shrimp & Penne Primavera
(This looks like it would be a good quick-fix meal, maybe with some salad)

Best Sports Drink
Luna Sport Electrolyte Splash Lime-ade
(I'm about to start training for some runs and I feel as though I will be sampling many sports drinks. I'll try this one first)

Best 100-Calorie Pack
Mister Salty Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels
(Don't these look so good? Every once in a while I get a massive chocolate craving. I bet these would do the trick)


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fish Tacos

Ok, so I have claimed not the be able to cook fish (and all other meat) in the past, though I really want to be able to cook/eat it all the time if I could!

I tried to cook salmon (everyone told me the same way too cook it and how easy it was) and after asking the guy at the fish counter to help me out I left with 2 pieces that cost $14! And then it came out sooo dry and I was depressed. Straight up cat food.

So I've been trying to psych myself up to give it another go with the fish. I LOVE fish tacos, and after reading Sirena's blog about her delicious success I've been craving them. Well, I bought some frozen tilapia (um, the way to go apparently, the frozen fish is so much cheaper) and pretty much just needed to get some chipotle chiles and yogurt for the sauce. Now, I usually do not indulge in the cream sauce when I order these since they use mayo and/or full fat sour cream, but this healthy version used non-fat yogurt and was so good! Yay for full flavor! And those little chipotles were hot! I made it super spicy and my lips are big now. Loves it.

Another reason why I love this recipe is because it can be made in single servings. As a single lady I either make one thing and it eat every day for a week (what I call my "bird food") or try to find things that are individually portioned and can be made at random...usually frozen dinners, canned soup or sandwiches! But I can make these whenever I want since the fish is frozen and I can just grab one piece at time (however, I went ahead and cut extra salad toppings so I can make some more tomorrow!)


Look at them! So beautiful! And the fish was perfect! I can do it! I can cook fish!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"'Cause I'm coming home again. Maybe we can start again." ~Kanye West

Well I’m back in HOU. After studying all night and what seems like for three weeks straights for my summer class I went in and took my oral final (my question: compare and contrast the books of Esther and Ruth = MIRCALE!), the parents and Comet came and we went to Homestead Heritage for my last meal in Waco as a resident. I LOVE Homestead and my parents do too. They serve organic products and grass-fed proteins and pretty much make all of their breads and desserts. They use carob instead of chocolate and sweeten the lemonade with sorghum instead of refined sugar. And everything is DELICIOUS! Oh Homestead, I’ll see you in December when I go for my graduation.
Comet made the three-hour drive too

Glamour shot


My parents were so great and packed everything and loaded it up. They even cleaned the room after. I helped of course, but I feel as though the lack of sleep was already having an effect on me and was probably the beginning signs of this sickness I’m still dealing with.

We drove back to Houston the next day and unpacked everything and settled in. On Friday we made a trip to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Although it was extremely crowded because of the holiday weekend, the exhibit was fascinating. Now true, the emperor was a megalomaniac who was obsessed with beating death and placed high taxes on the people to help support his lifestyle and fund his afterlife mini-city (which is 22 sq miles, the size of Manhattan), but to be able to stand face to face with these ancient works of art is amazing. The details that the artisans bestowed on each warrior that makes each one unique is amazing.

Oh, and there was this man walking around the exhibit and he of course scared me and I, of course, screamed in the middle of the museum. Obviously I had to get a picture with him after.

Twins: We have the same hairstyle


It’s great to be back in Houston with the fam and with friends, and I’m happy to be able to spend this second half of summer here at the beach and hopefully on the river!

Oh, and I get to see Lucy Lui all the time now! Look at that mug! She’s all teeth.