Burgers, Sushi, and Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Goobers

Today is a giddy, elated, tingly, weird-feeling-kind of day. After a lazy and out of sorts weekend (read, hungover), I am anxious and excited to start this week off fresh, on the right foot, healthy, motivated, detoxed, and ready to focus. The case of senioritis has plagued me deep, and refuses to be shook off. I cannot seem to find a cure. So, I am going to roll with it. Because, in all honesty, I should be feeling at the top of the world right now, elated, happy, fulfilled, relieved, and proud. I graduate college in 4 weeks. I get a month to relax and enjoy myself, and in June I get to move to Toronto for 4 months on a yet another new adventure and phase of my life. Am I nervous? Hell yes. But these are excited-nervous butterflies.

Why am I not waking up feeling like it is Christmas morning every morning? This weekend was great, and spent with my amazing friends who I do not get to see enough, but it left me with a sense of emptiness in my stomach, and a weird nagging feeling that there is something else that needs to be done, something I am missing out on or forgetting. But even as I sit here pondering it, I still cannot hit the nail on the head. What is this feeling? Is it the fact that my body is angry with me for running so much and my hip/foot are constantly reminding me of that, keeping me from participating in one of my most loved activities? Is is the fact that I keep procrastinating planning this speech that I have to make on Thursday in front of 150+ people (as I am blogging right now instead of planning it), or is it the fact that in less than 4 weeks, all this, my life as I have known it for the past 4 years, will abruptly come to an end, and a new phase will begin? No more classes, college schedules, meetings with professors, Thursday & Saturday night shenanigans, shots after shots to make the bars more enjoyable (although my body will appreciate me for this)?

But first lets recap this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast! But gave me an important life lesson: I fail at functioning at life when I am hungover. I must remember this. The next day will be shot and worthless.

Thursday night Steph and I made bunless roasted red pepper and feta stuffed turkey burgers on lettuce wraps for dinner, to go with our malibu bay breezes. Cleo came up and we went to Jaimies, and then went to the bar. It was your typical drunken Thursday night. Poor Cleo finished off a bottle of champagne and was struggling the next morning. I was feeling pretty useless as well after 8 too many shots.

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Friday night my dear Kara came to visit and Chelsea, Sarah, Kara, and I all ordered sushi. This was my plate —>

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The girls had their own platters unpictured. Only joking, sadly. Asian Bistro compiled all of our sushi rolls onto one platter, which we found quite amusing. Yummm hungry girls love their sushi. I had a spicy crabmeat roll, and shared the salmon avocado roll and Paradise roll with Kara. Paradise roll = heaven in your mouth. No other way to describe it. Shrimp and Banana (BANANA) tempura, drizzled with mango sauce. Hollyyyy goodness.

And what girls night would be complete without chocolate? At least none of my girls nights. As soon as dinner is over, the sweet tooth flares. And on this particular night, it flared for dark chocolate melted and layered around juicy strawberries. 20130413-141418.jpg

We also experimented with frozen banana bites, and my oh my these will definitely be becoming a new staple in my diet. They are so simple and easy to make, and I am already planning on the little banana and peanut butter frozen sandwiches covered in a layer of melted dark chocolate that I will be making tonight. Must buy more chocolate chips…..

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I had a great chest/back/leg strength training workout this morning and spinning class afterwards kicked my Monday blues.

Triathlon training starts now. 10 weeks until the Toronto Triathlon Festival, on June 21st. My first sprint distance tri. I am so pumped. I need this break from running, and I think the workout adjustment will do my body good. I am going to do a complete post soon about my training plan and equipment, but I plan to spin while still at school twice per week, then get out on my bike about 3 times per week when I get home. I am going to up my swimming sessions to twice per week, and incorporate more sprint workouts into them. I am going to run about 3-4 times per week, and still try and do one interval session and one long run on the weekends (if my nagging body will allow it, it isent too happy with my running at the moment). I also still want to get in 3 good strength training sessions, and keep incorporating leg weights. Phew. See what I mean? Who has time to worry about schoolwork anyway with all of this good stuff going on?

This is the picture of my girls from Saturday night, when we all finally got together to go out to the bar for Ladies Night. It has been so soo long since the 5 of us (Chelsea is unpictured) have gone out together, and that night may have been the last before graduation. But I truly hope not! These girls have been my core 4 friends since we all met and lived on the same dorm floor back in sophomore year. Times have changed and so have we, but we still know how to drink and have a great time together when it matters.

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Last night’s dinner is worth mentioning. I have been on a spaghetti squash kick lately, and found a roasted red pepper sauce recipe that I had to try. It really was so simple. You can cook up a spaghetti squash by poking holes in it with a fork and cooking it in the microwave for 15-20 min, depending on the size of your squash. Then toss it with whatever your heart desires and it will usually end up being delicious!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

I cooked the spaghetti squash like mentioned above. While it was cooking, I sautéed one onion and two garlic cloves in olive oil, added one can of diced tomatoes and half a jar of chopped fire roasted red peppers, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and add basil, oregano, and spinach. Once the squash is cooked, peel the spaghetti strands out and add it to the sauce mixture, stir to combine, sprinkle in some feta cheese so it gets nice and melty (goat cheese or parmesan would be delicious as well). Once stirred and all the strands are coated in the sauce, but in bowls, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy! I love walnuts on pasta so I served mine with chopped walnuts, kalamata olives, and some more feta cheese. Deeeeeelicious and nutritious.

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Finished off dinner with some more of those frozen banana bites and strawberries topped with melted peanut butter. 20130415-110055.jpg

One more picture —> I had to show you the gorgeous sunrise that greeted me before my 6am strength session at the gym this morning. It was great motivation, pays to be an early riser! I got rewarded for getting my butt out of my warm bed, where it was soo tempting to snooze my alarm this morning. Thank god I didn’t; I ended up getting in a great workout and enjoying this beautiful view and some perspective on my week. I hope that your Monday is just as rewarding and introspective! 🙂20130415-110101.jpg

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Danger: Slutty Brownie Recipe and Breckenridge, CO

Hi from Breckenridge, CO! We just arrived today, and the effect that the increase in elevation has on all of us already is crazy. We flew into Denver, and it was sunny and warm and we walked around the U of Denver without any problems. But then once we drove two hours out into the mountains, we were all so out of breath and lightheaded simply walking up the stairs! My run tomorrow morning should be interesting… hopefully there are no stories of me passing out on the side of the road. We are staying in a really nice condo right by the mountain, and there is a gorgeous and picturesque ski town that we will go explore tomorrow.

Lets go back to the events of this past week shall we? Cleo came over Tuesday and if course that meant wine, pizza, and copious amounts of chocolate in some sort of form.20130405-201533.jpg

When the two of us are together, we always crave something sweet and delicious. So, using inspiration from our favorite European blogger, we created these sweet babies:

Slutty Brownies. 

I give you, the heavenly, filthy, delectable, delicious, tantalizing, dangerous, slutty brownies. Oh boy are these filthy, in so many ways. So named because of the gooey, globby, fudgy, chocolately mess of a form that they are in when you eat them fresh out of the oven. Once you let these babies cool, they harden like a thick rock of sweet and rich chocolate tantalization. And they are literally 25 pounds each. They turn into chocolate sugar bricks. Your probably like ok… slutty brownies… what the heck are these? Let me explain. 20130405-201546.jpg

Take a box of cookie mix, or prepared dough (because life is too short to actually make cookie dough from scratch), patten it onto the bottom of the pan, layer with Double Stuffed Oreos (the more stuffing the better), and then cover with brownie mix. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. Take out of oven. Drool, salivate, dont burn yourself as you dig into the fudgy goodness because you simply cannot wait any longer. 20130405-201554.jpg

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Cleo and I were debating whether or not to make these, she even suggested that she bring some fresh fruit over for us to snack on instead because we had been over doing it in the chocolate department lately. But then I realized, and as cliche as it is, you only live once. When am I going to have another chance to make and eat a slutty brownie? We told ourselves we would enjoy and savor just one and then throw the rest away. Wellllll you can probably guess that didnt happen. I enjoyed a sliver the next morning, and again the next day. And then I gave some away and threw the rest out. Sad, sad times. But it had to be done. Just means that I need to make them again soon… and this time, with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the middle ….. 20130405-201615.jpg

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Random picture of my dinner the other night because it turned out so well and I was so proud: Greek Feta Cucumber Salmon Burger 20130405-201636.jpg

This morning I had a 3:30 am wake up call to meet my family at the airport for the plane ride to Denver! See the mountains when we landed? 20130405-201645.jpg

And I am now a proud owner of a new mug to add to my Starbucks collection. I now have Tampa, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C, and now Denver! And I am proud to say that I have actually been to all of these places to personally collect these mugs. 20130405-201655.jpg

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The view from the balcony of our condo. Pure gorgeousness. I cannot wait to get out on the mountains. Tomorrow we are taking it easy in order to get acclimated to the higher elevation, I think we are like 9,000+ feet above sea level! And it is even higher up on the mountains. I am going to attempt to go for a light jog tomorrow and see how my breathing is, and then hopefully do some lifting in the little gym here. 20130405-201720.jpg

20130405-201725.jpgHave a good weekend people! I will be back with what will hopefully be gorgeous pictures of skiing in the mountains 🙂

Sushi, Wine, and Chocolate – Make The World Go Round

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Wordless post because I am
On my phone and letting my computer take a snooze for the week because it is Spring Break!!!

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That’s what my last two days have consisted of…

Tomorrow morning bright and early plane to Washington D.C for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon! Lets pray my hip behaves and I can walk to the White House for a picture after…. Full recap of the race when I return!

Sunday Catch Up

Its Sunday again… that means time to reorganize my life, attempt a long run, and meal plan!

Whats For Dinner? Week of 2/17 

Sunday: Crockpot Pulled Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Monday: Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Turkey Burger, Eggplant Fries

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Wednesday: Coconut Tilapia, Spinach Walnut Goat Cheese Salad

Thursday: Hummus Chicken, Sweet Potato Wedges

Friday: Steph’s Garlic and Tomato Pasta

Saturday: Olive Garden at Hyannis!!

PUNTA CANA COUNTDOWN: 29 DAYSSSSS!  Need to find a bathing suit, shorts that fit, and exercises to keep my abs in place haha. I am sooo excited. I have been yearning for summer and sun and sand in a bad way. This trip cannot come soon enough!

More pics from skiing: IMG_2217

IMG_2218And I have to share with you the amazing sushi and sangria dinner that Cleo, Steph and I feasted on last night, followed by way too many chocolates from the box that Cleo brought us for Valentines day. Trouble. But I dont regret it, it was an in-the-moment kind of thing. It had been a long, but fun day!

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Workout:

My run today was supposed to be 14 easy miles, but it was tough. It kind of makes me nervous, since I have  the Hyannis Half Marathon next weekend. My legs were hurting today, especially my right hip flexor. I am icing it now, and just hope its not something serious. I ended up doing 13 miles. It was also about 20 degrees with occasional fierce wind gusts, so I am just proud for getting it done. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?

In other news, I just ordered the Jawbone UP fitness tracker, and I am really excited to share it with you guys. I cant wait for it to come and start tracking all my workout, food and sleep patterns!

Double Day in Honor of Nemo

I was trying not to do two posts in one day… because then I just get sucked in and when I am actually really busy and cant find time to blog I feel guilty because I havent posted. But this day is just so worthy of an extra blog post. I need to recap everything that just happened.

So. Where were we? Snow day. LOTS of snow today. At first I was bummed that meant I couldn’t go to the gym or get in my 20 mile run, but then I realized I needed to take a deep breath and chill and go with the flow. And flow it did.

Steph, Jaime, and I were sick of being cooped up in the apartment and decided to go for a walk. and then decided we wanted sangria. and then decided we should walk to the liquor store. It turned out to be a great plan, fresh air and alcohol.

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I bought Baileys. Well knock-off Baileys. Chaileys? And made a irish cream, caramel and cake martini. holy strong! Followed with a glass of Oyster Bay and I was warm and giddy.
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Snow Day Spread:

  • SWEET BABY CHEESUS (crescent roll, brie cheese, blackberry preserves)
  • apples, grapes, and strawberries for dipping purposes.

Holy moly. We must recreate this. Genius. Cheesy, sweet, melty goodness. We also each had our own bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and sampled all of them, my Oyster Bay still will always have my heart.

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And then burned it all off (hopefully) with a shoveling party. IMG_2139
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Fun day! Crockpot Turkey chili is waiting for me to eat tonight, complete with bumming it in front of the TV and resting up for our 20 mile run tomorrow. Yikes….

Just Call Me Cookie Monster

Yikes. Just call me the new Cookie Monster. Or cookie gorger. Maybe I have been depriving myself of a rich chocolate chip cookie or maybe hearing Becca talk about them on Skype the other day made me crave them, but whatever the cause that cannot happen again! Came home hammered and made a whole batch of Nestlé chocolate chip cookies and holy moly were they amazing but I think I gorged on three quarters of the batch. Complete with milk for dipping and chugging. Oof. I feel gross today.

My night in pictures since words are lost on me this morning.
I even have cookie finger remnants on my on my phone screen oh boy.

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Rewind to earlier that evening, storm preparing for storm NEMO! Baking up a storm:

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Morning Glory Muffins (made w/ mashed sweet potato!) and Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, both made with almond flour and no sugar!

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Girls night out.

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Then this happened.

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Detox starting right now: new rule for lent: no fake and processed sugars, especially those in baked goods!!
I already do a pretty good job with this, except when it comes to sweets in baked goods those are my weakness. Give me baked breads and muffins all day yum. I will allow dark chocolate because I need more anti oxidants in my life and that’s very low in sugar but than that I’m cutting myself off. I gave up white potatoes last year for lent and that worked out really well so hopefully that can carry over to this year. Now if only I could get out of bed and throw out the container with the remaining chocolate chip cookies…..

**Edited to Add: Steph and I were at the gym doing casual planks and chatting and the guy next to us was on the phone and told the person he was talking to that he wanted a Samurai roll. As soon as we heard those words “Samurai Roll” we stopped mid conversation and shot a look at each other which both said the exact same thing “omgsamurairollthatsoundsamazingiwantsushsobadlovesushiomgfood” and burst out laughing. Haha you kind of had to be there…. gah hah now prepping for the power outage by getting cozy with food blankets and magazines. Life is good.