New York, New York Part 1

I really love New York. Partly because my sister is there but also because of the energy. That city really is like no other.

We had an amazing visit and were really sad to see it end yesterday. I wish we could have birthdays all the time!

I’ll do my best to swiftly recap the weekend without boring you all but we crammed a lot in the two days so this may seem like a photo bomb.

We drove down on Saturday morning. I’m so used to the long state of California where you drive for 4 hours and are still in CA that it always surprises me when we cross state lines so quickly. It’s like you blink and you’re in Connecticut.

We quickly headed to brunch after dropping our stuff and Eli off at my sister’s place. I would show you brunch photos but to be honest that food was sub par and the service was even worse. We left the meal hungry and disappointed, not a good start.

We were on the Upper West Side so we explored that area for a bit and then stumbled on the Empire Hotel. Considering we’re all huge Chuck Bass fans and we were right there, we stopped in for a drink.

I loved this bar, classy, ornate and relatively quiet. Maybe that’s because it was 3 in the afternoon ūüôā

Empire Hotel

Here’s the birthday girl showing off the new watch her beau gave her.

birthday girl

Couple shot.

Michael and me

And a pic of the good company I was in! The conversation was just so exciting. Can’t you tell?

Phone Obsessed

After a drink we decided to go bowling down at the Port Authority. I thought it would be ghetto but it was super swanky! The lanes were really nice and they played top 40 hits with coordinated neon lights and huge screens playing music videos at the end of the lanes.

bowling sisters bowling

I managed to lose best out of two against Michael and am now washing a weeks worth of dishes. ūüė¶

I wish I had taken a picture of the snacks we had. The menu was great for being a bowling alley. We had a huge bowl of hummus with carrots and pitas and some edamame fritters.

We headed back to my sister’s after bowling to get gussied up for dinner. We had dinner at Monument Lane in the West Village. The restaurant was adorable. Loved the decor and the vibe. The food was hit and miss. The brussel sprout appetizer was amazing (you can kind of see it in the background), I hope to recreate it somehow. Michael’s fish was apparently very good and my veggie hash was fine but very expensive for some parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes. It also reminded me of something very familiar…this!

vegetable hash

The company was lovely, of course.

Sarah and Me at dinnerMichael

This post is getting a little long so I’ll recap Sunday tomorrow which includes a delicious veggie burger and Jenga. That’s right you read correctly, Jenga!

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Happy Birthday Sista!

We are currently on our way to NYC for a very special weekend.

My little sister, Sarah, is turning the big 3-0 today! Welcome to your thirties sister dear.

May there be many, many, many more years of ‘making memories’.

Thank you for being my first best friend.

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For dancing on the bed to Rod Stewart with me.

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For teaching me humbleness while showing me up on the soccer field, even though you were two years younger.

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Thank you for being the co-conspirator and co-host to all of our high school parties.

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For picking on Teddy so much that I am and always will be the favorite sister!

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For missing me when I went away to college.

Sarah

Then coming to see me all the time! (However, shame on you for not telling me that my hair and shirt were so AWFUL.)

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Yet amazingly, never missing the chance to call me out on my ugly photo face.

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Thank you for the inside jokes.

Spain

For making me laugh so hard it hurts.

sisters

For loving food as much as I do.

Falafel Eating Spain

And lastly, thank you for being so wonderfully, unapologetically you!

Bay to Breakers 2010

How lucky I am to have my best friend, greatest confidant and biggest fan all wrapped up in one person.

I love you, yo my sista!

Sisters

Enjoy and Exhale!

Love: In All Its Forms

hearts

I’m not one for the forced gift giving or expensive dinners of Valentine’s Day but I do like the sentiment behind it.

Love.

I looked up love in the dictionary today and this was the definition that resonated most strongly with me.

Love: (noun) an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Because at the end of the day isn’t that what it’s all about?

When we strip away the roses and the cards and the candles and the huge heart-shaped mylar balloon I saw a college student walking out of the grocery store with yesterday, we can see love for what it really is: selfless concern for others. The hope that good happens to those around us, whether we know them or not, that their load isn’t too heavy to bear, that their hearts feel surrounded by warmth, that no one has to walk alone.

It isn’t about a singular day on the calendar and it isn’t just about romantic love.

May we know love in all its forms.

Be it a phone call from a good friend. The taste of a thoughtfully prepared meal. The enthusiast greeting of a dog after a long day at work. The unconditional support of family. The hand of a small child’s in yours. The sound of an old favorite song. The kindness of a stranger. The forgiveness of a long-held grudge. The legacy left by those no longer with us. The softness in the eyes of your beloved. The allowance of some tenderness toward yourself.

Today we are reminded to open our hearts more fully, appreciate love in its non-traditional sense and know that in the end, it is indeed all around us (thank you Love Actually), if we care enough to see it.

Continuing to spread the love this afternoon. 12:15 and 7 at Sangha Yoga Boston, 4:30 at All One Yoga.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

Christmas in Pictures

We had a great holiday. Hope you did too.

My mom is still here so I won’t spend my short time with her writing a long post but here are a few highlights in pictures.

Eli and Michael

Eli waiting patiently for a little scrap of daddy’s sandwich.

Eli

Eli’s holiday necklace.

Me

Cooking in my father’s daughter apron. A gift from my mom last Christmas.

Sarah and Me

Pearls in the kitchen.

Holiday veggies

Root veggie hash, roasted brussel sprouts with grapes and chocolate soufflè cake in the back.

Christmas Eve Dinner

The Christmas Eve spread.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Close up of my plate.

Mom

My mom by the tree.

Christmas Day Lunch

Christmas day lunch: leftover salad with Field Roast loaf.

Holiday Presents

His and hers gifts. Can you guess which is mine?

Christmas Cards

Our mantle with my sister’s holiday card for Michael.

Christmas Day Dinner

Christmas day meal. Pumpkin mashed potatoes with spinach, brussel sprout and kale salad and a lentil loaf peeking out from the back. I changed up the lentil loaf recipe a little which made it much easier and faster to make. I’ll update the recipe in the next few days.

Sarah and Teddy

Sarah and my brother Teddy.

Sibs

Horvath kids.

Michael and Teddy

Michael and Teddy.

Sarah

My sister’s boyfriend made a custom puzzle from a picture he took during their last visit to Boston. Nice work Will!

Family

Dinner shot.

Now time to get back to work. Teaching at Crossfit at 12:15 and 7, All One Yoga at 4:30. If you’re in Boston come by.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Little Bits of Random 3

If you missed past posts from this series see Little Bits of Random 1 and 2. These are a hodge podge of pictures that don’t fit into a specific blog post. It’s also a chance for me to share 100s of photos of my pets without feeling guilty because I warned you first!

Most of these pics are mine but some are courtesy of Will Pine. If you haven’t had a chance to¬†check out¬†his work¬†he’s the wonderful photographer that shot my yoga pictures.

Starting with a Will photo. Michael and me in the Commons.

Me and Michael

Sarah walking in Copley Square. Love this shot.

Sarah in Copley

I’m not sure what’s happening here. We had been waiting for a table at the Buttery for a long time and were getting delirious.

Goofing around before breakfast

Two best friends lounging together.

Brothers lounging

Our living room all spruced up for the holidays.

Christmas 2012

This was a recipe from the sweet potato challenge that never made it but the fruit looks delectable.

Juicy Cutie

I love this grainy photo of our little family. We were trying to take a Christmas card picture but Eli and Guy weren’t having it.

Fuzzy Christmas Photo

A fountain in the Commons, can someone please tell me what these two children are doing?

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This was the first photo we took back in September for my yoga photo shoot. I love that everyone in the background is completely unfazed. Gotta love New Yorkers.

Lisa Horvath Yoga - original 3

A great pic of Will and Sarah.

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Your kitty doesn’t read the Bhagavad Gita? Mine does!

Studious Kitty

While Will and Sarah were visiting Will insisted on a Duck Tour. This pretty much sums up the 90 minutes we spent on the tour.

Sarah Duck Tour

Michael and Eli hard at work.

Eli and Michael

Love this face.

Guy

Hope you enjoyed a mostly non-food related glimpse of the past few months.

Happy Wednesday!

A Colorado Thanksgiving

This was my first official Thanksgiving away from California. It was a little sad not to be going home but Michael’s family welcomed me with open arms and lots of love.

We got in on Wednesday and were greeted by bright blue Colorado skies and 70 degree weather (why do we live in Boston again?)

We made the drive from Denver to Colorado Springs and spent the day visiting with Michael’s family.

Michael’s brother David and the family dog Charlie with their matching hair dos!

Michael’s cousin JP’s daughter Liv (pretty much the world’s cutest little girl)

Thanksgiving morning we were up early, thank you time difference, so we decided to run a Turkey Trot put on by the Briargate YMCA. It was such a fun morning. Everyone had great energy and the YMCA did an amazing job with the race. It was really well-organized and all the volunteers were so friendly and helpful.

The race went really well considering we were 6500 feet above sea level. Our race results are below. There were 2800 people in the race so we were really happy with where we both placed!

Sweaty, tired post race pic.

After the race we headed back to the house where we played and watched some football.

Charlie found a nice comfortable spot between Jim and me on the couch.

There was also lots of food prep and socializing going on.

Michael and Jim making mashed potatoes.

Liv and Candy discussing something very serious.

The ladies before dinner. (I tried to fix the red-eye but for some reason iphoto wasn’t having it.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get even one picture of Linda working in the kitchen, fail!

Soon enough, dinner was ready.

Beautiful table.

Even more beautiful table.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving plate.

Winning sweet potato dish…Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Dressing.

David after “housing” his dinner.

Michael giving someone the stink eye.

Unfortunately I didn’t do a great job with documenting the day, sorry to Andy, Henley, JP and Linda for not having better pictures of you all.

This post is getting rather long so I’ll recap Friday and Saturday tomorrow.¬†I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and long weekend. Off to run, watch some football and teach. 5:30 at CrossFit Back Bay, come join me!

An Evening with a Cooking Idol

We had a really lovely weekend. Michael’s birthday was on Saturday so we celebrated with good food, wine, movies and football. I’ll update you on all of that in the coming days once I can upload all the photos to my computer. But at the moment I’m on an Amtrak making my way back down to NYC.

The reason for my visit is that my sister scored tickets to an event called Three French Chefs in NYC. Scored is probably not the right word as I don’t know that this event is massively popular, especially considering that they’re discounting ticket prices for those under 35! But to us this is a once in a lifetime event.

One of the French chefs speaking tonight will be Jacques Pepin. Growing up, Jacques Pepin was an idol in our house. Long before the Food Network became popular and we were inundated with celebrity chefs, there were the PBS chefs: Julia, Lidia, Jacques. And because my father was a chef, these were the programs we watched every Saturday morning.

To him, Jacques could do no wrong. He was classically trained and cooked the way my father cooked. I think he went as far as saying that besides using two hands to flip an omelet, to my Papa’s one, he couldn’t criticize a thing. My father was the most opinionated person on earth so this was a very big deal. We came to trust in Jacques’ techniques, his way with wine and his easy manner in the kitchen. As they both got older, they also started to look alike, haha, donning their bright blue aprons, polo shirts and gray hair.

My father passed away 2 and a half years ago and when the hollowness of losing him starts to weigh on me, I go looking for Jacques. Just tuning in for a few minutes makes me feel like a little piece of him is back here with me. Teaching me to chop a carrot, make an artichoke sauce or swirl a sip of wine (always looking for the hint of blackberry, the finish of chocolate). It’s, of course, no substitute for the real thing, but because he was my father’s favorite, he has become mine and I can’t help but feel joyful when he makes roses out of radishes and flowers out of tomato skins just like my Papa did. If you want a glimpse of life growing up check out the Smooth Food episode where he cooks with his daughter Claudine, our real life scarily resembled this.

So you see, tonight we meet a legend to our family and he holds a special place in my heart as another person who’s had a hand in teaching me how to cook, how to love food, how to find joy in the kitchen.

Today I’ll end the most appropriate way I know how…happy cooking!

My Papa in 2009.

[Photo Source]

Little Bits of Random 3

In celebration of the weekend, I present Little Bits of Random 3.

We’ve been getting outside as much as possible lately to soak up the last of the warm temps and the stunning colors.

Fall colors are in bloom all over the city now.

Dusk on the river.

One very happy puppy after a long ball throwing session.

Guy loving up on Michael.

Family meeting.

Eli on his third run of the week in Jamaica Plains.

Sunset looking west off the Mass Ave bridge.

Skyline at dusk.

Have a lovely weekend.

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Chicago, Family and Breakfast Pumpkin Quinoa

Hi Blogging Friends,

I’m back. It feels like a very long time since I last posted even though it has only been a few days. I got back from Chicago last night after hanging out with my family. We spent some to with my Apu who just moved into nursing home, made sure my Anyu was settled at home and celebrated my mom’s birthday. It was a busy weekend of visits and errands but we managed to squeeze in a little fun and food.

Just a few highlights:

Happy Birthday chocolates for my mom!

A run, coffee and the Mt. Prospect farmers market with my sister. We laughed after we took this picture because no matter where we go we end up doing the same thing. Running, walking, coffee and farmers markets. Morning workouts with my sister are one of my favorite things ever. It’s always so fun to laugh and talk and get a sweat on at the same time. Plus the soy latte reward at the end of course.

We ran lots of errands as well. Nothing at Costco is small. I couldn’t resist this bag of Popchips but it’s about as big as my upper body.

I also got a cooking lesson from my Anyu. She doesn’t even use a cutting board; she just chops the onion into perfectly thin slices right into the pot! Much to learn still.

Visiting with my grandparents and my Aunt Mary.

And, by far, my favorite picture from the weekend. US Weekly knows no bounds. It’s trash captivates women of all ages, ha.

This morning I woke up feeling sort of blah. I’m not sure if it was the king size bag of Popchips or the travel but there was only one remedy…get moving. Eli and I went out for an early morning run along the river.

The sun coming up over the skyline. So pretty.

Then something healthy for breakfast.

First and foremost I apologize for the photos. I was really hungry after my run so I didn’t try to make the photos pretty, I just snapped as quickly as possible and ate. I suppose that’s the great thing about these breakfast quinoa recipes, they are so fast, especially if your quinoa is pre-made although mine wasn’t and it was still ready in less than 20 mins.

Breakfast Pumpkin Quinoa

3/4 cup of cooked quinoa

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

dash of allspice

dash of powdered ginger

1-2 tablespoon sugar, to taste

handful of cashews

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Cook quinoa according to package directions or use my perfect quinoa recipe.

In the meantime, mix pumpkin puree and spices together.

Add quinoa to pumpkin puree. Add in cashews and sugar. Mix.

One note about the sugar: many people are very against white sugar. Feel free to use agave or maple syrup in its place. I’m of the camp that moderation is key to all ingredients so I don’t shy away from using a few tablespoons in my recipes but feel free to substitute whatever works best for you.

This picture obviously sucks of the quinoa but it gives a nice view of the trees changing outside our living room window.

Such a filling and tasty breakfast. Chases the blahs straight away.

Have a great Tuesday.