Farm Fresh Eggs

This week I wanted to try something new. After reading a bunch of books about food and where it comes from, I’m having a hard time eating food that comes from factory farms. I don’t really want to get into much detail about it, but I love animals, and I don’t like how they get treated cruelly for our benefit, and its hard for me to even want to eat meat anymore. I gave up beef and pork almost two years ago, and now I’m in the process of giving up chicken and turkey. Even the idea of eating eggs from factory farmed hens bothers me.

So, knowing that there is a farm 1.5 miles down the road from my house that sells fresh eggs, made me feel a little better. And I can’t believe in the 25 years I’ve lived in the country, I’ve never had fresh eggs from a local farm. Well, that changed a couple days ago.

Picture

My mother picked up a carton of eggs from the farm stand down the road, for only $2. And the money goes directly to the farmer. And I feel better knowing that these chickens are breathing the same fresh air that I do. And I like to believe that they live happy little chicken lives roaming around their farm, instead of being stuck inside cages without being able to see the sky or feel the ground under their feet.

So, with my eggs I made an omelet.

Picture

Picture

Picture

Since I was out of spinach, I just used some goat cheese in my omelet, and it was delicious. And I felt good about eating it.

In my omelet:

  • 2 eggs from a local farm stand
  • 2 tbs of crumbled goat cheese

On top of a whole wheat bagel thin. And some banana froyo topped with dark chocolate dreams pb for dessert.

Picture

Share

The Big Two-Five

Well, I am now 25 years old. I decided to celebrate this monumental event by throwing myself a birthday party! Why not? I’ve never had a birthday party for myself, as an adult, so I figured it would be super fun. And it was! I made some tasty treats for everyone…

cookie  stars

sugar cookie stars!

guac

guiltless white bean guacamole

so much  fooood

the whole spread

And my cousin Liz, who hosted the party, even ordered a cake from Crisan Bakery on Lark Street, and it was gorgeous (and delicious). It was chocolate mousse with a hint of coffee. I can’t remember the official name of the cake. And boy was it good!!! Crisan never fails me. The chocolate covered strawberries were the best part.

cakeeee

more cake

me cutting  the cake

I also drank some of my favorite wine. Leitz “Dragonstone” Riesling. Delicious. I drank almost the whole bottle. (Oops!) But it was my birthday, so I allowed myself that treat! Also, maybe one too many sugar cookies. But I had a great time at my party, and I want to thank  my amazing cousin Liz for letting me have it at her beautiful apartment in Albany. Love her!

The party was on Saturday night, but my birthday wasn’t until Sunday (May 2), so in the morning, I was craving pancakes, as always, so Chris & I went to Cafe 217, again, for the perfect raspberry swirl pancakes, with a side of fresh fruit.

After brunch, I headed home for dinner with my parents. I was actually pretty full from brunch, so I didn’t end up eating much. Although, my mom did bake a triple chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Of course, I had a piece. It was my birthday after all. (I justify this by running 4 miles the previous day.) What could be better than a birthday with two cakes? Nothing, I think. I didn’t get any photos of the cake, but it was heart shaped and wonderful. I got some new running gear from my parents, and most importantly…a Garmin Forefunner 205!! I’m super excited about using it! My sister also gave me some awesome perfume from Sephora, called Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture. It smells amazing, I love it.

Birthday festivities continued on Monday where I had dinner with Chris at Katrinella’s Bistro on Madison Avenue. I was looking foward to this dinner for awhile…it had been ages since I’ve had Italian food, and Katrinella’s is supposed to the best in Albany. They gave us bread to start, which was piping hot and homemade with olive oil and spices for dipping. I loved this bread! I also got the house salad, which surprised me, it had craisins in it! Love them. It was pretty tasty. For my meal I ordered the Eggplant Florentine: Battered eggplant layered with ricotta cheese and spinach topped with mozzarella cheese and baked in marinara sauce. It was pretty much to die for, and the serving was HUGE. Two people could have shared it. It was so delicious. And the pasta was great too, and the marinara sauce was incredible. I only ate half of my dish, there was no way I could have eaten that whole thing! But I was glad to have left overs.

eggplant

katrinellas heaping eggplant florentine

Well, I had an awesome birthday, spent it with some great people, and I’m lucky to have so many good things in my life right now. It turns out being 25 isn’t all that bad.

Share

Breaded Goat Cheese, Gelato and Toga

I need to start coming up with more interesting blog titles! Anyway, this weekend was pretty good! The weather was nice on Saturday, and that was a major plus! I started out Friday night with a delicious dinner with some lovely ladies. After work I headed to the Midtown Tap & Tea Room, one of my favorite places in albany for after work dinner and drinks. The girls and I shared a bottle of delicious Riesling! I started with the Breaded Goat Cheese with Honey and Carmelized Onions. The best. thing. ever. I am IN LOVE with anything goat cheese, and this was the most creamy, delicious goat cheees I’ve had. Yum. And the honey really added to it.

Picture

Picture

For my main meal I got a salad:  Pan-Fried Eggplant with Mixed Greens, Tomato, Red Onions, Cucumber, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, Feta, Homemade Croutons & Lemon Vinaigrette. It was perfect, since after the goat cheese app, I didn’t want to over do it with a bigger meal. I’ve never had eggplant on a salad before, so this was excited to try this. Since eggplant doesn’t have much of taste, it was pretty good fried, nice and crispy, but a little too greasy for my liking. Otherwise, it was a great salad.

Picture

I was actually pretty full by the end of dinner, but we decided that going down to Lark for some gelato at Crisan would be a must for dessert. I got two $2 scoops of gelato: chocolate and chocolate oreo. I swear, I could live off of this gelato. I ate it too fast and didn’t take a picture. My friend and I also shared some flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing. Baked goods are my downfall. I parked in Washington Park on my way to Crisan, and all the flowers were blooming, so I snapped this picture as I walked through:

Picture

The weather forcast for Saturday was looking great, so my sister and one of my friends decided to go to Saratoga for the day to get lunch and visit the 2010 Adirondack Summer Sports & Fitness Expo.  First, we had lunch at Bailey’s Cafe.  I started with some tea: coconut mango oolong.

Picture

And then ordered the soup and panini combo. A cup of Lobster Bisque Soup, and I probably ate about 3/4 of it. It was SO rich and creamy.

Picture

And then The Congress: Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Spouts, Lettuce& Tomato with Pesto Herb Mayo. A delicious toasted sandwich filled with so many great veggies! And the bread was super tasty and crisped just right. So good! It came with chips and I was pretty full so I didn’t eat them.

Picture

I really enjoyed eating at this little cafe, and we got to sit outside in the sunshine. For some reason, eating outside when the sun is shining makes everything better!

After lunch, we headed down to the Expo, which I was looking forward to. But after wandering around for about 30 minutes, and stopping at the booths, I realized it was kind of a let down. I was hoping to see more demos and workout gear. There was only 1 station with hiking supplies, a couple of stations with bikes, and a few for canoes/kayaks. The only running stations were the ones advertising running groups and upcoming races. Mostly people just wanted to sell you things, rather than inform you about the upcoming events. It was rather disappointing. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything. But we did attend a seminar! The coach of the Saratoga’s running club gave an hour presentation on “how to get faster” and it was pretty fascinating.

Some of his tips included:

  • Make sure you start with a basic mileage of 20 miles a week (I just got to this mileage this past week)
  • Include one long distance slow run into your workout routine, anywhere between 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minute long run.
  • Work in hill workouts and tempo runs into your routine
  • Speedwork (the most confusing of all to me), and the most important if you want to be a faster runner.
  • RUN FAST!

The weather was wonderful when we left Saratoga, so when I got home I headed straight for my bike! I biked my good old loop 8 miles around my house. AND I made up the monster hill without getting off! Yes!! The ride is so scenic. And there are lots of trees.

Picture

Overall, I’d say it was a good weekend! This Sunday is my birthday, so expect a birthday related post to come soon!

Share

Confessions of a Chocoholic

So, I have to admit something. I’m a chocolate addict!!! For the longest time I avoided all candy and chocolate (while I was in the process of losing weight) but once I hit my goal, I decided to splurge once in a while and have a piece a day. Eventually, one piece turned to two, and two to three, and on and on. Now I usually eat 3-4 pieces a day. I know, this is not good of me, I need to stop. I need to only eat chocolate when I’m seriously craving it, and need that chocolate  fix.  So this is my current short-term goal: cut back on chocolate!!!

Anyway, since we’re talking about chocolate, I had a small piece of chocolate cake yesterday, for a co-worker’s birthday. It was from Walmart, and it was really good! Nice job, Walmart! There were even sparkles on it!

Picture
As always, I felt a bit guilty of partaking in the cake-eating, even though I had a run planned for the evening. I had plans to run with my friend, Sarah, who is currently on Weight Watchers!! She’s lost 30 pounds already, so congrats to her!  Anyway, our plan was to go to our old high school and run at the track, but when we go there, there was a track meet going on! So, we decided to run around one of the soccer field’s behind the middle school. And being back there brought back memories of middle school recess! It was really random. But I ran for about 45 minutes, and I’m not sure how many miles that equals out to, but after searching on google, apparently 5.5 laps around a soccer field equals a mile. I have no many laps I ran around, but I figured I ran about four miles. So, I was starving when I came home, so I had a spinach salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and craisins. (to make up for my cake eating earlier in the day!)

So last weekend, I went to one of my new favorites places for dinner, Cafe 217. The first time I went there, I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes and they were under cooked, so I was a little weary of ordering them again. But the second time I went there I got the raspberry crepes, which turned out delicious! On Friday, I tried the pancakes again, instead of chocolate chip I got the raspberry /granola ones (with fruit instead of home fries).  The granola was nowhere to be found, but the pancakes were great otherwise. I’m pretty sure pancakes just might be my favorite food. Anyway, the thing I like about Cafe 217 is that its never crowded there, and they have a really cool ambiance, and you can order drinks! (I had a glass of Ravenswood Shiraz, Vinters Blend with my pancakes! It was so tasty!) And the glass of wine was huge! Also, I like they are open literally all weekend, 24 hours a day.

I was also in the mood for dessert (I’m actually always in the mood for dessert) and because I had been running a lot and ate pretty good during the week, I decided to order the Samoa Ice Cream Sandwich. Samoa you say? Like the girl scout cookie? YES! The ice cream sandwich was between two Samoa cookies (my favorite girl scout cookie) with ice cream rolled in graham cracker crumbs between them. The best. idea. ever. literally. The dish came with three little sandwiches, and I ate two! Yummy.

Picture

Cafe 217 on Urbanspoon

Needless to say, after eating like a fiend this weekend, I’ve been pretty good this week (minus the cake yestereday), and the afternoon sun is calling me. I’m off for a lunchtime run! Later!
Share

Pizza, Banana Bread Failure & Other Random Things

Happy Friday!! Can’t wait for the weekend, even though the weather is supposed to be crappy. Oh well, what can you do? Last night I had the best homemade pizza. My mom’s! I came home from work, starving, to this:
Picture
White pizza with broccoli, spinach and ricotta. Yum. The mozzarella and ricotta were both made with skim milk, but the crust wasn’t whole wheat. I got over that, fast! It was so good, and I was so hungry, I had four pieces.

After dinner I had planned on baking banana bread for dessert. I loved how it came out last time and had been craving it ever since.  I had the whole batch made and my mom found some sugar in an unlabeled container. So, I had the batter all ready in the bread pan, and licked my finger to taste it, and it tasted extremely salty…I thought I had gotten salt on my finger. So I tried, the batter again, and it tasted like SALT! Needless to say, my mom gave me SALT instead of SUGAR, in the unlabeled container. I had put 1/3 cup of salt in, instead of the sugar it called for. I had to throw the whole thing out! AND we were out of sugar, so I couldn’t even make another batch! It was SO depressing. All of my ingredients, down the drain! Oh well, what can you do?  Kitchen disasters happen. Major banana bread FAIL!

Anyway, Wednesday I had a 6 mile run outside planned with my friend Sue. I drove her house after work and went for a run around her neighborhood. The 6 miles did not get any easier than last time. In fact, it felt harder! We did the route backwards, which felt better at first, but by miles 4 and 5 my legs were so tired. There was a monster hill at what I’m guessing was around mile 5 but it was downhill this time! And the view at the top made it worth it. We could see to the mountains across the river. Gorgeous! And the weather was perfect running weather. I love running with Sue because she’s faster than me, so it forces me to keep pace with her.

So, I’ve been itching to run another race, since I haven’t ran one since the Troy Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving 2009, so I googled some upcoming races in Albany. I found some, along with some other cool fitness related events. So I made a wishlist of sorts of things I want to do this spring/summer:
April 24-45Adirondack Sports & Fitness Expo
May 23SPAC Rock & Run 5K Race
June 5Freihofer’s Run for Women (Already registered!)
September 18Warrior Dash of the Northeast (this is a month before a half-marathon I’m hoping to train for, and this dash looks CRAZY, so I’m not sure if I want to do it just yet! It looks SO fun though.
October 10Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon (OK, as of TODAY, I have never run more than 6 miles at once. The prospect of running a half marathon is daunting. I want to try to start training for it, so I know by July that I can do it. I think this is the biggest goal I have set for myself so far, which INCLUDING losing weight.)

I’ll update the blog on the status of these events as time goes by!

Share