Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Birthday Dinner

This is evidently the week of sleeping in!  With the cool air and the windows open, I couldn't resist snuggling under my covers for an extra hour.  Once I finally got up, I had to get outside.  A 6-mile run was absolutely gorgeous.  Two banana pancakes (batter from yesterday) were made and eaten with plenty of maple syrup.

I'm not sure if it was the pancakes or the run, but my stomach started to feel queasy after about an hour, so I rested on the couch and watched tv for most of the afternoon.  Destination Truth, then What Not to Wear, then Food Network (I love watching other people cook).  Hooray for mindless television.  Mid-afternoon I was feeling much better and hungry again, so I ate the rest of the roast beef hoagie I had for dinner last night.

For dinner my family had plans to go to The Capital Grille in King of Prussia to celebrate my birthday (June 27), my sister's birthday (June 19), and my dad's birthday (June 17).  

my sister and me!

When my parents made the reservations, the restaurant apparently asked if we would be celebrating anything, and my parents told them about the birthdays, so our table was decorated!

As soon as we ordered, I made sure to sample the bread.  Yum!  But, proudly, I limited myself to only one piece.

You know I love my carbs!  Wine was also drunk.

We ordered lobster macaroni and asparagus to share.

sorry about the pictures, it was pretty dark in the restaurant

I ordered the bone-in Kona crusted dry aged sirloin with caramelized shallot butter (that was on the menu, I didn't make it up!).  Rare, of course.  So tasty!  I saved about half to eat for lunch tomorrow.

look at that red!

Of course, as my dad finished the bottle of wine, he planted it right on the butter plate, officially making us the classiest people in the entire restaurant.  The manager of the whole restaurant was standing right there as he did it....he had a very odd look on his face but didn't say anything!  We really made fun of my dad for that!

Our desserts came out with candles, since we were celebrating our birthdays!  Fortunately, no embarrassing singing or chanting was involved.  I was grateful.

My dessert was the cheesecake.  It was not your typical New York-style cheesecake.  It barely even tasted like cheesecake, it was so sweet - with a brulee-esque crust of caramelized sugar on top.  It was so yummy!  We knew one of the cooks, so on the way out we snuck close to the kitchen to say a quick hello.
Meanwhile, the weather is still beautiful.  I have the windows open again, and am watching Tuesday night Big Bang Theory.  I'll turn 29 while I'm asleep tonight!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's a Monday...

I decided to sleep in again, after my loooong drive home last night.  Before my run, I quickly ate 2 graham crackers to keep my stomach from growling.  The temperature had cooled off, but it was still pretty humid.  I did 5 miles, with 3x800 faster intervals spaced in there.  By the time I made it back home and showered, it was almost lunchtime, so I decided to combine breakfast and lunch, and made banana pancake batter.  This was inspired by a recipe from the Peanut Butter Fingers blog, one of my favorite blogs (I read Julie's blog every day!).  I used 1 1/2c oats, 1/2c plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 banana, 1/4c skim milk, 1/4tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg.  I tried to blend everything in my blender (it took awhile.  I might try something different next time...or at least not put the dry oats on the bottom).  Once it finally blended, I cooked 2 pancakes to eat, and put the rest of the batter in the fridge for another meal.
For some reason, my pancakes get really done (almost crispy) on the outside, but still kind of batter-y on the inside (almost not done).  I don't know what I'm doing wrong!
Later in the afternoon I got snackish, so I air popped 1/4c popcorn kernels in the microwave inside a paper bag.  Easy crunchy snack!
I had an early playreading committee meeting up at dcp theatre, and I had to run to the library and bank on the way, so I grabbed a roast beef hoagie from Acme on the way.  It wasn't too terrible...  I added a kiwi for sweetness and fruit.  After the 2+ hour meeting (I can't release any details about the meeting as it had to do with the slate for next year), I felt hungry again.  I snacked on a string cheese, and had another piece of birthday cake (from last year....there are still 4 pieces left and only 1 more day before my birthday this year!).
Right now the temperature is in the mid-60s.  I have my air conditioner turned off and my windows open.  I could definitely deal with this all summer!

So What Happened to Mack?

Perfect weather for a beach day!

I slept in, and got another Wawa turkey sausage bagelwich for breakfast (they are so good!)
It was indeed perfect beach weather.  The sun was warm but not too warm, there was a slight cool breeze but not so much that sand got everywhere.  The water temperature was wonderful!  I hadn't been swimming in the ocean in a long while.  Lunch, of course, was pizza from Mack and Manco's.  Wait.  Sorry.  Manco and Manco's.  What happened to Mack?!?!
I brought a Nature's Promise sweet and salty peanut butter bar for a snack.  I wouldn't recommend it for a beach snack - the peanut butter "frosting" on the bottom (the sweet part) melted and made a mess when I opened the bar to eat it!  It still tasted good, though.  I also swung by Java Jane's for my favorite - frozen hot chocolate!  It's so chocolately and refreshing, I almost always get one when I go to Ocean City.
The chocolate drips down the side really make the drink.

I spent my towel time sleeping and reading "My Life on the Run" by Bart Yasso.  It really inspires me to want to run more (and more importantly, more consistently), not just for a time but because I love to run.  At about 7, some light clouds rolled in and covered up the sun, so I decided it was time to head home.  I stopped for dinner at Obadiah's, right outside OC.

I was craving fresh produce, so I got the fruit and chicken salad with mango vinaigrette.
Doesn't that salad look great?
I ate the thin cracker with goat cheese first :)  I also ordered an Eastern Shore Lemonade (citron vodka, triple sec, sour mix, and 7up).
cold and sour.  yum!

It was an absolutely perfect day.  And that is how I am going to remember it.  So I am not going to talk about the 3+ hour traffic jam that was my drive home.   ;)

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Saturday I got up early to perform in a parade.  Breakfast was a simple and quick bowl of Nature's Promise organic Raisin Bran with skim milk (although of course I got hungry right before the parade, so we stopped at Wawa for a turkey sausage/egg white/cheese bagelwich.  Everyone loves Wawa sandwiches!)  Souderton was having their 125 anniversary parade, and dcp theatre (a community theatre I perform with) was asked to reprise our Memorial Day Parade float - a 1940's USO/Support the Troops theme.  I was one of the Andrews Sisters with my friends Nicolette and Camille, and we sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy in 3-part harmony (no lip-synching here!  we are actual singers!).
(Huh, my hair still looks blonde here!)

Apparently we were such a hit at the Memorial Day Parade that they wanted us to sing at this parade as well!  Too bad you couldn't hear us with the mile of wailing fire engines right behind us.  Oh well!
We also had Rosie the Riveter, Captain America, swing dancers, and other volunteers in 1940's costumes handing out candy.  My favorite parts of the parade were when we'd drive past older folks who would smile in recognition at hearing the song (at the Memorial Day Parade we even went past a very old man with a WWII vet baseball cap on - I got shivers thinking that he may have actually heard the ORIGINAL Andrews Sisters performing this song!)
Camille, me, and Nicolette.  Squinty!

I may or may not have snacked on copious amounts of candy during the parade.

I rushed to the gym after the parade to try to squeeze in a quick swim.  WU 500, 2x400, CD 100.  I wanted to do 4x400, but simply didn't have time if I wanted to get to a picnic in time for dinner!

My friends Mark and Marian (and their kids Tori, Kate, and David) were hosting their annual Solstice picnic.  I brought cinnamon brownies to share (yum!).  I filled 2 plates - one with dinner food and one with dessert food.
I totally ditched the hamburger bun after about 2 bites!

It was absolutely beautiful weather, and my friend Emma got proposed to (!!), but I had to save some room and time for the beer tasting at Cliff and Audrey's.
I had a plate of chips and cherry pie with a scoop of ice cream to soak up all the beer I drank.

There was so much beer to try!  Obviously I only had a sip or two of each, but we tried 27 beers in less than 3 hours!  My definite favorites/winners of the night:
The Magic Hat Elder Betty actually tasted a bit like fruit soda.  Very refreshing (also an interesting design on the label....).  The Rince Cochon was also very good - but I'm thinking it might be kind of difficult to find around here!

3 for 1

Yes, I am about to post 3 days of blogs.....all in one day!  Hold on to your seats...

Friday started with another 4 mile run.  It may have been even hotter and muggier than yesterday's run! At least it wasn't very sunny...so that was something...  1/2 of a Gatorade was definitely needed after this sweaty run.

After a much-needed shower, I fixed myself a smoothie with a frozen banana, frozen raspberries, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and coconut milk.  Tea rounded out my breakfast.

A few hours later, I went to lunch with my friends Jude and Cliff.  We ate at Craft Ale House, which is a tiny restaurant but has a HUGE beer selection.  Cliff and I tried a sour cherry beer, but it was a bit too sour (tasted almost bready, like sourdough), so instead I got Stoudts Golden Ale (can't go to an ale house without having a beer!).  I started with the soup of the day, cream of mushroom.  It wasn't too creamy, which I appreciated on such a hot day, and tasted very mushroomy, another plus for me.  I also ordered the buttermilk tenders (basically chicken tenders).  The breading was very crunchy and hefty and a bit spicy, very unlike your generic chicken tender, but very good.  I picked a lot of it off though, because it was so heavy.  There were 3 sauces to dip - Bourbon BBQ, Honey Chipotle, and blue cheese.  The honey chipotle was a bit too spicy for me (especially with the breading), but the other 2 sauces were quite good.
(I may have eaten some of the chicken fingers before I snapped the picture!)

We each picked out 6 beers for our beer tasting tomorrow night before all heading home.  I spent the afternoon reading "The Shack".  If religion doesn't scare you off or make you bristle, you'll probably like this book.  I teared up more times than I'd like to admit while reading this book.

Dinner was simply a leftover personal pizza from last night.  I needed dessert, however, so I made a microwave brownie (inspired by Pinterest).  Combine 4 TBSP flour, 4 TBSP sugar, 2 TBSP cocoa powder, a pinch of salt in a bowl.  Mix this all together BEFORE putting in the wet ingredients (makes it much easier to combine).  Then add 2 TBSP canola oil and 2 TBSP water.  Stir again.  Microwave for about 1:30.  And that's it!  Brownie in a bowl!
It's probably not good that this is so easy to make!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Second Try

I suppose it takes awhile for something to become a habit.  So I'm going to try this blog thing again!  Maybe now that it's summer I'll be more likely to keep it up.

I wanted to get my run in first thing this morning, considering it was already almost 80 degrees at 7:00am.  I managed to get four miles in, very slowly.  Whatever, I was burning calories!  I drank an orange Gatorade afterwards to replace all those fluids and electrolytes (normally I wouldn't after only 4 miles, but it was so hot!)

Breakfast was some Greek yogurt mixed with honey and blueberries (and tea...chocolate chai).
Later in the morning, I had 2 graham crackers before heading to the gym for a swim.  (WU 500m, 4x200, 4x150, CD 200)
Afterwards, it was time for lunch!  Whole-wheat pasta with shrimp and goat cheese!  Yum!
I also sliced up a banana and drizzled some dark chocolate balsamic vinegar over it.
I got pretty hungry mid-afternoon, so I air-popped some popcorn kernels in a paper bag in the microwave.
Dinner was homemade pizza with spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sausage.
And for dessert, some birthday cake (mine, from last year.....I guess I should finish that before my birthday....next week....) and a handful of jelly beans.
I hope this humidity and heat break soon; working out outside is really uncomfortable!