Celebrating My Birthday Weekend

Oh what a lovely, long birthday weekend. Firstly, thank you for all the texts and comments and phone calls and Facebook posts. You all made this girl feel very, very loved.

This was probably the busiest weekend I’ve had in a really long time so I’ll just start at the beginning.

On Friday night my friend Kristy and her sister Kim hosted a ladies Bunco night. If you don’t know what Bunco is it’s a dice game that requires very little skill besides keeping score but is still super fun. I think there were 16 girls at Kim’s apartment and what started out timid and shy ended up rowdy and loud. It was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures of the ladies but I did take one of my losing score card which earned me a pile of loser gifts including some Mitt Romney toilet paper, a charm necklace from the 90210 era and a pear shaped candle!

Bunco Score Card

Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of the juicer. Michael woke up early to make me breakfast in bed before my classes. He made me a kale, cucumber, apple, carrot, ginger, lemon juice that was SO good. He may be my new official juice maker from here on out. He also made me a bagel with smashed avocado and tea accompanied by red roses. He’s a keeper.

Birthday Breakfast

I also opened one of my gifts that morning. These guys!

Patriots Tickets

I had to rush off to classes soon after presents and right after class I headed over to Back Bay Yoga for a teacher training. The training was a 12-hour workshop on how to teach Hip Hop Yoga. Although I don’t think I’ll be teaching Hip Hop Yoga specifically I learned a lot from the training. We did a lot of teaching with the wireless mic over loud music. It really helped me work on projecting my voice and how to teach with more energy which will be beneficial in my own classes. It’d been a while since I’d taken a training and it got the creative juices flowing again. Reminds me that I can’t get stagnant or complacent in my career, regardless of what that career is.

After training Michael took me out for a birthday dinner at the Top of the Hub. The restaurant is on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building and overlooks all of Boston. We got a great window seat looking south. We ate in the lounge as they have a different, more veg friendly menu that catered better to me.

We started with cocktails. Wine for Michael and a vodka martini for me. I don’t drink a ton of martinis. I sort of burned myself out when living in Sacramento after college. My coworkers at the time were obsessed with them and got me hooked. But, it was a special occasion and I was starving so I wanted to eat the olives as an appetizer while we waited on the food. ūüôā

Vodka Martini

My lovely date all dressed up.

Michael

City views.

Top of the Hub

Olives are great and all but our real appetizer was way better. Beet salad!

beet salad

I had the veggie burger with sweet potato fries, so predictable. Michael had a steak of some sort.

After dinner we decided to walk home but there was one more surprise stop. We had dessert at the Wine Cellar this adorable fondue place on Mass Ave. We had three different types of fondue with fruit and brownies and cake pieces for dipping. The perfect dessert.

chocolate fondue

Once home I opened my second gift which will benefit us all. Hello beautiful!

Nikon

Sunday was more training and then we headed to Foxborough for the Pats game. I was so excited that I didn’t even feel the cold until the second half when the Pats decided to stop playing football and let the Ravens run all over them. So depressing. I guess I’ll be a 49ers fan for the Superbowl now.

Pats game

The rest of the weekend isn’t really worth writing about especially since this post is getting wordy as it is.

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Yoga. Cook. Run. Football.

As the title suggests, the weekend went something like this. Yoga. Cook. Run. Football. Repeat. Not very different from the rest of our weekends except for the menu. I hope I’m not boring you yet.

Saturday’s run was a short one. I’ve decided to try running this 3.1 mile route around the river once a week for time to see if I can improve my pace. Here’s Saturday’s stats.

Saturday 01.12 5k

My legs were feeling pretty good and it was warm out, although I was still a little congested from last week’s cold. I’m pretty happy with this time.

Saturday night was the Broncos Ravens game. For those who don’t know, Michael is from Colorado, hence a huge Broncos fan. I, being the good girlfriend I am, helped cheer them on hoping for a Broncos Patriots rematch next weekend.

We watched the game from the comfort of our PJs with a bottle of red wine.

wine and football

Michael in his gear, looking fierce.

Broncos Game

Unfortunately they couldn’t pull it together and lost in overtime. ūüė¶

Eli was so depressed he couldn’t even look at the camera.

Broncos Eli

Sunday started with a walk to the Apple Store. I’ve been struggling with my old phone for the past few months and Michael finally convinced me I needed an upgrade. Either that or he was just sick of me talking about how the buttons weren’t working. I am now the proud owner of an Iphone 5!

With the warm weather holding Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t resist another run. Eli and I headed out for a loop around Cambridge.

If you’re interested in times, here it is. A little slower, a little longer. I tried to kick it at the end over the Mass Ave Bridge to Tim McGraw’s ‘How Bad Do You Want It’ but Eli was pooped and I pretty much dragged him the last 250 yards.

Run 01.13

After our run it was time for the Pats game.

My turn for gear!

IMG_3482

The Pats looked good and won their game, woohoo!

Eli is a fair weather Broncos fan. With the Pats win he decided to switch teams.IMG_3491

Here’s hoping for a 49ers Patriots Superbowl.

My cooking over the weekend included these guys. Recipe tomorrow.

Leeks

Hope your weekend was great.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Weekend Update

I know today wasn’t a holiday for many people but they take Columbus pretty seriously in New England so we had a nice 3 day weekend here in these parts.

The weather was a sort of mixed bag. It was 80 and beautiful on Saturday and by Sunday it was 60 and rainy. We made the most of it regardless.

Friday night looked a lot like this.

Wii bowling!

And Michael looking shocked that I’d won 2 in a row. In his defense I’m not usually this lucky.

Saturday we explored Boston by foot. We had brunch in the South End at a place called El Centro. The service was pretty sub par but the food more than made up for it. I had a veggie quesadilla and Michael had the huevos. We shared a side of guac.

After lunch we walked.

North End

Old men playing bocce.

Cute street in Beacon Hill.

Some PDA.

Beautiful fall colors.

On Sunday we went to the Patriots Broncos game! I’ve been a Patriots fan since even before moving to Boston (don’t ask) and Michael is from Colorado so this game was extra special for us. We scored some really great seats. I’m pretty sure it’s the closest to Brady I’m ever going to get ūüôā

 

Patriots win! Too bad Manning.

Tomorrow a recipe and a recap of today’s race.

Happy Monday.

 

Weekend and Kale Salad with Miso Dressing

Happy Monday.

Hope you had a great weekend.  Ours was filled with more house stuff, some restaurant exploration and a lot of football.  Plus a little bit of cooking of course.

We spent most of Saturday furniture shopping, picture hanging and picking up the last odds and ends for the house. ¬†Our furniture is being delivered on Wednesday at which point I promise apartment pictures. ¬†We’re almost there!

We also tried out one of the many vegetarian restaurants in the city. ¬†We had an early dinner at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge on Saturday. ¬†It has a diner atmosphere but the entire menu is vegetarian. ¬†Although everything looked wonderful, both Michael and I decided on veggie burgers. ¬†I’m on a burger kick apparently. ¬†We had their Chipotle Black Bean and Mushroom Chickpea patties, both were very tasty. ¬†I meant to take a picture but by the time I remembered I was half way through my meal.

Regardless, we did remember to snap a picture outside.  Of Michael!!  See, he does exist.

michael

On Sunday we went on an early morning run and then grabbed coffee at Thinking Cup, which ended up being this adorable coffee shop.  They had great coffee and a yummy chai latte.  Then we had breakfast at Globe.  Although it was nice sitting outside the food was just okay.

The rest of the weekend looked a lot like this.

Couch time, work and football.

What happened to the Pats?  I move here and they lose to Arizona?

Although the 49ers are looking good!

Anyway, none of the above has anything to do with kale salad except for the fact that it’s super easy to make so you won’t miss even a little of the game to make it.

Kale Salad with Miso Dressing

For the salad:

1 bunch of kale, torn and steamed

1 carrot, peeled into ribbons

1/4 cup pepitas

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons white miso

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos (you can substitute soy sauce or tamari)

1/4 teaspoon garlic

Juice of half a lemon

2 1/2 tablespoon water

pinch of sugar

Wash, tear and steam kale.  If you prefer raw kale just wash and tear into a big bowl.

kale

Peel carrot into ribbons, add to bowl.

Mix all dressing ingredients in a separate bowl with a fork.  Add water last.  Depending on how much juice your lemon has you may not need the full 2 1/2 tablespoons.

Toss dressing with salad.  If you are using raw kale be sure to massage the dressing into your kale.  You should use your hands to work it in well.

Add pepitas.

Serves 2.

Enjoy!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Happy Friday all. ¬†I was watching the news this morning and noticed that the meteorologist puts a Pats logo on the Sundays when the Patriots play at home on the 7-day forecast. In California they limit the use of ‘weather icons’ to things like St. Patrick’s Day and 4th of July. ¬†I guess I have some things to learn about Patriots mania. ¬†Amazing.

Speaking of amazing check out the kale I got at the farmers market this morning.  Along with other goods.

I also spent some time at the Boston Public Library getting my new library card.

For those of you with kindles or ipads, you must, must get a library card and check it out. ¬†You can download e-books for free in seconds. ¬†I’ve never read so much in my life. ¬†San Francisco and Boston both have the service so I imagine it’s fairly common.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re not here to listen to me ramble about weather and library cards. (Or maybe you are, hi mom!).

So as promised, a recipe.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I took yesterday’s quinoa and made a delicious salad today. ¬†Which is another beautiful thing about quinoa, it stays for a few days in the fridge. ¬†Just make sure to put it in a covered dish so it doesn’t dry out, and fluff with a fork when you’re ready to use it again. ¬†When Michael and I were both working full-time I would make a big batch on Sundays and we’d keep it the fridge for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week.

For the salad:

3 cups of perfect quinoa

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ear of corn, you can also substitute a cup of frozen corn if it isn’t in season

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

Optional: hot sauce, avocado, cilantro and green onions (we’re divided on cilantro in this house so I usually add it at the end just to mine)

For the dressing:

Juice of one lime

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar would also work but add a few pinches of sugar if you substitute

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon water

Add quinoa and drained black beans to a big bowl.

Boil corn if using fresh.  Once cool, cut kernels from the cob and add to bowl.

Halve cherry tomatoes.  Add hot sauce, avocado, cilantro and onions if using.

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Add dressing to quinoa mixture.  Toss.

You can serve right away but the salad will also be good once the dressing has had a chance to merry with the quinoa so leftovers may be even tastier.

Hope you all have a great weekend.