Friday, November 26, 2010

Vosges Chocolate

A trip to NY is never complete without a visit to Vosges.  After an unexpectedly long day waiting to see the Statue of Liberty  we headed north to SOHO. 

I bought some Bacon Caramel Toffee, a Day of the Dead Tequila Caramel Skull, and a box of Mini Dark Exotic Candy Bars.  I was a bit disappointed because I wanted the regular complete exotic candy bars, not just dark chocolate, and grabbed these by accident. Oh well.  I'm happy to finally try the Creole bar (dark choc + chicory)

I also bought an individual Naga and Black Pearl truffle for immediate consumption.  Sadly the flavors weren't as strong as I've had in the past.

The highlight has definitely been the toffee, and I think up next for me to try are the Caramel Marshmallows.  Yum!

Be sure to check out Vosges owner Katrina's blog, Peace Love & Chocolate.  She's always posting the most delicious chocolate pairings.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

7 Miles of Thanks

I now know why they have Turkey Trots before you eat. I thought I ate really well today but clearly I didn’t wait long enough to digest it all before I ran. I was in some serious stomach pain for most of my run today.

My family was in a healthful mood this Thanksgiving and we did a great job of bring lots of veggies to eat. The menu: Turkey & dressing (obvs), cranberry salsa, roasted root veggies, chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, wheat rolls, fruit salad, garlic broccoli, and cheese broccoli casserole. Gots to have the casserole.

Pumpkin pie always tastes better to me the next day :)

Again, I’m thankful for my Brooks shoes. I thought it was going to rain so I put my old Motos on and was immediately in pain from the heaviness and how restrictive they now feel. I was forced to run the first 3.5 mi loop in them. When I switched I felt like I was running on clouds.

I’m also thankful for my family who love me unconditionally and daily exhibit generosity. They straight up passed a pumpkin pie over the fence to the neighbors.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

My friend S sent me this holiday salsa recipe this afternoon, which she got from her mother-in-law (who makes tasty dishes!)  I love knowing that S is sharing this dish with her friends across the sea in Bahrain and I'm serving it up stateside in Houston.  I'm thankful for college roommates who are still your besties 10 years later.

As per her mother-in-law's instructions:

1 pkg fresh Cranberries - rinsed and chopped
1 cup Cilantro
1/2 cup Sugar (don't reduce - you need it to counter the tartness of the berries)***
1 bunch (4 or 5) Green Onions
1 or 2 fresh Jalapenos
Juice from 1 Lime (about 2 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
Chop all ingredients, mix and chill for at least 2 hours to blend flavors.

I put everything in my tiny food processor, except the onions which had to be sliced (green onions in the food processor = slimy mess = kitchen fail)

It made enough to be divided into two Tupperware containers, which is perfect for the two Thanksgiving dinners I'll be attending.  I'll serve it with tortilla chips.

***I thought this salsa was tasty but super sweet!  I ended up using it as cranberry sauce.  I suggest starting with 1 tbsp of sugar and adding to your likeness.

OPI Texas Collection!

It's too good to be true!  You know I screamed when I saw this announcement via Facebook (Thank you, Houston Press!)

The Texas Collection will be coming Spring of 2011.  

Here's what we have to look forward to:

Too Hot Pink to Hold 'Em
Do You Think I'm Tex-y
Houston We Have a Purple
Suzi Loves Cowboys
I Vant to Be A-Lone Star
It's Totally Fort Worth It
Austin-tatious Turquoise
Don't Mess With OPI
Y'all Come back Ya Hear?
Guy Meets Gal-veston
Big Hair...Big Nails
San Tan-tonio 

Best idea ever from OPI!  I can't wait to try them.

A Photo Shoot in Central Park

Left to right: My travel/running buddy, me, and my Southern-NYC friends Katie & Robert
Apparently the weather changed from brrr to perfect the weekend I went to New York.  A sweater and light jacket was all that you needed and we spent most of the weekend outside walking, dining, site seeing or shopping.

On Saturday after a delicious brunch, which included rosemary grits (stop it, you know I'm on a grits kick right now), we headed down to Central Park where my friend's friend Ari snapped a few photos of us.  I am so thankful to have some amazing photos of some of my most precious friends. 

Ari takes incredible pictures which you can see here on her blog or here at her website.  Thank you, Ari!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Runner's Wish List

We are a wish list family.  Make a list, check it twice, and give plenty of options.  My mother and aunt are amazing hunter/gathers when it comes to shopping.

Here are a few running items I'm wanting.  I'm also looking for colored capri tights.  Anyone know where I can find some?? 

And yes I did put down my sizes and include hyperlinks so I can just forward this to them :) 

Brooks LSD Lite Jacket in a Medium

ATHLETA Reflective WorkitOUT Tight in Medium PETITE

Garmin Forerunner® 305

Nike Free Run+ Women's Running Shoe in sz 8

Vibram Bikala's in this pink or grey, I'm not sure what size

What running gear are you wishing for?

coffee + biscotti

I don't think I drink that much coffee, but when I traveled to Turkey and realized they only served fake Nescafe and went through jet + a caffeine withdrawal I realized I need my cup of joe every day.  Worst detox ever.

I have a stash of instant coffees at work and I make my cup every morning.  I sip it as I teach my first two classes and my students know to help me keep tabs on my travel mug since I have a tendency to set things down around the room (like my coffee, or my keys, or the the remote, or pretty much anything else) and am a hot mess without my coffee.  I am thankful for sweet kiddos who keep me in line.

While having a week off of work is a luxury I do have to say I miss a few aspects of my routine.  I went out and bought some coffee packs today and found a low cal version of my favorite sweet treat:
Stabucks VIA Ready Brew & Nonni's Decadence Biscotti
Only 100 calories! And chocolate biscotti to boot! Where have you been all of my life Nonni?  New favorite!

I enjoyed my midday coffee break, and the daschund enjoyed his midday nap.

Thanksgiving Break is hard work!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Break Book Club

I am thankful for...

A whole week off :)  I have very little on my to do list for the week.  I want to get a little planning for work done, get in all of my runs and a round or so of yoga, and tackle my latest read:

And I mean, I couldn't resist these...

What are you reading these days?

Footsies Love

I recently had to break down and go get a pedicure.  I know, I know, tough life.  I had been trying to hold off until after all of my races because my feet are rough.  Between running and wearing my fair share of heels to work my feet have taken a beating.  But I decided pretty holiday toes were in order and that if they could work a miracle on my soles then I could manage the up keep for the next couple of months.

Let's just say she had to go to work on my patitas and at one point I swear she doused them in some sort of acidic gel.  Shame!

On the bright side, I got to check out the entire OPI Designer Series line--love them all!  I went with DS Extravagance:

I also have been slathering my soles with this fantastic creme from BeautiControl.  It smells super minty.  I slip on some socks and then drift off to sleep.

Detoxifying Foot Creme

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shoe Review: Brooks Launch

Brooks Launch, $90

So confession: I'm training for a race right now.  A big race.  I've been hesitate to talk much about it because quite frankly I've been terrified since receiving confirmation that I made the lottery, but I am training.  The goal is to finish.  Ner-vous.

That being said, I bought some new shoes a month or so ago and love them.  I went to Luke's Locker and tested a bunch of shoes one Sunday, while wearing a dress.  The shoes specialist assured me he's seen stranger.  My requirements were something lightweight since my Nike Motos were starting to feel very heavy.  I decided on the Brooks despite the bright blue color (You know it was hard for me to buy these knowing there were no other color choices).

I have loved the Launches.  The have made long runs so much easier and my knees and ankles have not bothered me nearly as much during my long runs.

Just stick with the turkey

Student: Miss, did you know that there's such thing as a duck inside of a chicken...
Me: Yes--
Student: ...inside of a turkey...
Me: Yes--
Student: ...inside of a cow...
Me: No.

I often share a lot of student quotes on FB.  I thought I would take time to share them here as well.  They are ridiculous and make every day memorable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mesa Grill New York

My buddy that I went to New York is a major foodie.  We both obsessively watch shows like Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef and really any show that comes on Food Network.  He had never been to New York and the only thing that was on his must-do list was visit a Bobby Flay restaurant.

We were going to go to Bar Americain, but the menu = lots of meaty proteins and that didn't seem very appealing to me.  He said he was fine going to Mesa Grill instead even though he had been to the Vegas one.  EVERYTHING on the Mesa Grill menu looked amazing.

We made reservations for Friday and the earliest they could take us was 9:45 PM. How New York.  We arrived 5 mins early but had to wait 45 mins to be seated.  How New York.

We took our seats upstairs and were ready.  Clearly we had been looking at the menu all day.

We were parched, so we started with a Cactus Pear Margarita and a Coney Island Albino Python
The Cactus Pear Margarita was refreshing, smooth, and had a kick!
Up next, appetizers:

with Barbecued Duck
+ Habanero Chile-Star Anise Sauce
Not my favorite because I'm not a fan of duck and it was a very small portion (three bites).  I let him devour this.

with Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce
+ Avocado Crema
AMAZING!  If you go to Mesa Grill you must order the Tuna Nachos!  Probably the best tuna I've ever had, it melted in my mouth.  The sauces were also delicious and soooo Bobby Flay.
Located at the top of the photo is what I ordered for dinner:
filled with Roasted Eggplant, Manchego Cheese
with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce + Balsamic Vinegar and a Pumpkin Tamale
with Allspice Butter
At the bottom of the photo:
with Cranberries
+ Pumpkin Tamale with Allspice Butter

Stop it.  I was the winner.  The Chile Relleno was spicy but it was oozing with delicious cheese and the cornmeal crust was perfect.  However, the real highlight was the pumpkin tamale.  I will be looking for the recipe to make for Thanksgiving. 

Yes, You had to roll us out.  It was fantastic, and I was so happy to finally have a good experience at a Celebrity Chef's restaurant.  I recommend the margarita, tuna nachos, and pumpkin tamale.

Mesa Grill
102 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 807-7400

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She Checkins

Yes, I use Four Square.  Mostly just for fun or as an alternative to updating Facebook (yes, I update Facebook).

I realized a bit into my trip that Four Square would be a great way to share with my friends all of the places I visited.  We did a few touristy things, hit up some mandatory stores for me, and dined and danced at lots places recommended by my friends that I went to visit in NYC.  I thought this would be a fun way to recap my trip.  Photo recap to come soon.

Checkin History

Sunday November 14, 2010
5:24 PM Amy's Bread
4:45 PM H&M
3:03 PM Central Park
1:15 PM Calle Ocho
10:24 PM Riverside Park
Saturday November 13, 2010
1:57 AM Katz's Delicatessen
11:00 PM Alphabet Lounge
7:57 PM Hummus Kitchen
7:56 PM McCoy’s
2:06 PM Central Park
Friday November 12, 2010
9:45 PM Mesa Grill
5:16 PM Vosges Haut Chocolat
1:52 PM SOHO Shopping Spree
10:17 AM Statue of Liberty
Thursday November 11, 2010
10:00 PM West Village
6:54 PM Gray’s Papaya
4:39 PM 30 Rockefeller Plaza
2:33 PM Room Service

She Packs for Getaways

I recently went away for a long weekend.
The location: a city up north.
The essentials:

Stylish and walking-friendly flats
Michelle D "Caroline" Flat
 Denim Jacket

 Amazingly comfy walking shoes
Nike Women's Eclipse
 A cute mini dress

And yes, I'm back. It's been a very long while. Thanks for sticking around <3