Category Archives: Activities

I’ll be back!

Hey guys.  I am off to happy hour and then to the Timberwolves game.  I’ll be back tomorrow for regular blogging AND a surprise 🙂

Have a fabulous night.  What are you up to this hump day evening?

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Up and at em

I’m ready to rock and roll this morning. I got a whopping 10 hours of sleep last night. How sweet is that?

I wanted to thank all of my awesome readers for the great discussion on my question from yesterday. I love bringing up news stories and articles to share with you all and have a discussion around it.  I think I’ll do it more often.  Thoughts?

I think we all agree that it is a double-edged sword, with the pros not outweighing the cons, and vice versa, very much. It is a subject matter that I will definitely be continuing to check into because I find it very interesting and very controversial.

Sarah pointed out a major positive that I wasn’t aware of though.  I think we are all aware of the book/blog ‘Eat This, Not That’.  Apparently, most restaurants have pulled the ‘not that’ dishes from their menu’s. I think we can all agree that this is a positive action taken.  Some of those dishes are NASTY.  Not just the fat and calories, but the sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, the additives, etc.   So, thank you Sarah, for sharing that info with us!

If you haven’t had a chance to comment on the issue, please do.  I think we all would love to see more peoples opinions!

But let’s back up to last night quick…

Now, I don’t have any photographs, but I had a wonderful time at happy our with my buddies Jonathan, Brian and Angela. I enjoyed a few beers, but then my tiredness was really, really catching up with me. So home I went, absolutely starving.

Exhibit A of why I never let myself get too hungry- I eat everything in sight. Well, just a lot. 🙂

I had a bagel and cream cheese, some pita chips and hummus, some Dove chocolates, a white chocolate covered Oreo w/ pb smeared on top (I really wanted a few more, but everything in moderation, right?) and a banana. Yes folks, this is what happens to you when you haven’t eaten in about 6 hours. Well, at least for me!

And I admit, I also had some Cheetos when Mike got home, lol. Hey, I had to catch up on my calorie intake, I had a long run yesterday. 😉

But that was yesterday, and today is today.  Which is a new day with healthier eating habits.

As you know, I am off to the Gopher game with some box tickets that I got from my company.  No idea how I landed these, but hey, I’ll take them!

I’m not very hungry this morning.  I find that the mornings after I have even just two drinks, my body just isn’t craving food.  Does this happen to anybody else? This mornings probably has something to do with my back loading of calories last night too, but even when I don’t do that, this happens.  Very odd.

But since I am leaving here in a bit, I knew I needed to eat.  And I don’t want to rely on stadium food, although I may have to share something with Mike….

I made myself a PB + J on an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin.

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Love pb  + j, never lets me down.  And yes, the above photo was my attempt at an artistic photo this morning.  I totally failed, lol.  I think I am still half asleep.

Well we are off.  After the game we’ll be hittin’ up the grocery store, my favorite thing ever.

Also, Julie over at Savvy Eats has given me the spark once again to try to figure out my own domain.  My goal is to really try to have it figured out soon.  *Crossing my fingers*  Thanks for the kick in the booty Julie, I needed it!

Okay, peace out.  What are you doing today?

Eatz, West Hollywood

Hello, my fellow bloggies.

I just wanted to check in before we head out to our cooking class tonight. We are headed to Eatz up in West Hollywood.

How adorable it this place?

 

From the Eatz website:

EATZ offers extremely personal cooking classes in a fun dinner party environment. Our small class size enables us to teach in a totally hands-on fashion — which means you get to cook (and eat!) each and every item.

And, to prove to us all, it is never too late for a career change.  The owner’s bio… (also, courtesy of the Eatz website)

NIKI TEHRANCHI

After practicing law for a few years, Niki decided to follow her passion for cooking and went to culinary school. She received her culinary training at Kitchen Academy in West Hollywood (now called California School of Culinary Arts Hollywood), and loved every minute of it! She’s had a major love for cooking since she was a kid, and remembers cooking crepes for her family and reading cookbooks as a child. She loves to cook, entertain, and teach…and her mission was to combine all three with the opening of her business. She started EATZ with the goal of giving each student a truly 
hands-on cooking experience. Not only does she want everyone to cook as much as possible during class, she also wants to bring the joy of cooking to the classroom by encouraging her students to experiment and have fun with the cooking process. Come meet her at EATZ and awaken your inner chef!

 

How freakin cool does Niki seem?  I can’t wait to meet her . What an inspiration to us all!  And especially since she went TO cooking :).

Tonight, we are attending An Italian Affair with Mike, my brother and his friends.

Here is the menu we will be cooking up:

Join us for a fun night of cooking and feasting, Italian style! These dishes are not only classic and timeless, they’re absolutely delicious.  Buon appetito! 

– Rosemary Focaccia Bread from Scratch (drool!)
– Mussels in a Saffron and White Wine Broth 
– Stuffed Artichokes with Sweet Soppressata and Provolone
– Wild Mushroom and Red Wine Risotto 
– Strawberries and Cointreau Tiramisu
– Wine: Sangiovese (heck yes!)

I will do a full recap of our experience at Eatz, most likely Monday night when we are back in the tundra.  

After our class, we are headed out in West Hollywood.  SO EXCITED!!! :mrgreen:

Peace and love.

Have you ever been to a cooking class before?  I have been to the Cooks of Crocus Hill back in Minneapolis.  We went to a ‘simple sauces’ class that we quite delicious.  However, it wasn’t a hands on class which kind of stunk.  

 

Hello, Cali!

WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!!

If you follow me on Twitter, you are probably aware that I had quite the fiasco in getting to California.  

First, we got stuck in Denver overnight.  Our flight was delayed in Minneapolis, which lead to a delay going to California.  Since we were flying into John Wayne (which you can’t fly in past 11 p.m.) we got stuck :(.  We ended up at the Hilton hotel, which, score, has free cookies.  I definitely needed one after the long evening.

If that wasn’t enough… We woke up at 5:30 in order to get to the airport for our flight to Cali this morning.  Our flight was on time, we boarded the plane, pushed back from the gate, all to figure out that one of the engine’s generators wasn’t working.

So, maintenance fixed the issue in about 30 minutes while everybody stayed on the  plane.  We pushed back again finally, only to find out that now the de-icing contraption wasn’t working!  About another 30-40 minutes later, we FINALLY were on our way.  What a fiasco.  Made this girl tired/slight crabby.   Lol.

Our fabulous lunch when we landed completely made up for all of the troubles we went through.  Not to mention the fact that it is currently about 85 degrees and sunny.  Aka, shorts and a tank top weather in my book!

We went to a restaurant called Roscoe’s, which my brother completely adores.

Oh.my.goodness.  Why do we not have this type of restaurant in Minnesota?  

Roscoe’s is a cute little ‘deli’ type restaurant, but once in which has the feel of a sit down restaurant.  You go up and order your food from the counter; all of the sandwich options are written on chalk boards.  Very ‘beachy’ feel in my mind.  

I was craving veggies like no one’s business, so the Veggie Sandwich was a no brainer.  From the menu:

VEGGIE SANDWICH   

Avocado,Cheddar,Provolone,Lettuce,Tomato, Onion,Pepperoncini and Mayo on Squaw.

 

**We also got to choose a side.  I of course chose the fruit salad.

 

Potato Salad • Macaroni Salad • Coleslaw 

Pasta • Fruit • Chili • Soup 

 

Okay, you are going to have to pretend this is flipped in the right direction.  No idea why these are flipping the wrong direction when I import.

 

 

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First of all… these sammies are about the size of my head.  Mike could only finish half of his sandwich it was that big.  I managed to finish half of mine too.  I challenge anybody to an eating contest, haha.  When I am hungry, I can CHOW DOWN. :mrgreen:

Second of all… this sandwich was heaven.  You could tell all of the veggies were fresh and cut after I ordered my sandwich.  And you know how much of a bread lover I am.  This ‘squwa’ bread was so soft and delicious I had a big grin on my face the whole time I was eating.  The bread had a honey type flavor to it.

Mike also thoroughly enjoyed his sandwich.  He kept commenting the whole time about how much he loved his.  He got the Hornet:

HORNET  

Hot Turkey,Genoa Salami,Pepper Jack Cheese, 

Sweet Hot Mustard on Squaw 

Ok, I am off to shower and get clean.  We are going to a local tavern tonight to watch the baseball game and see my brothers college roommate who is in town.  Maybe most importantly to have an ice-cold beer.  Being it is vacation and all, not to mention our crazy journey to California, I need one!

 

Marathon morning

Good morning/afternoon!  How is your Sunday going so far?  Somebody wanted to say hi…

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I was up early this morning to cheer on one of my best friends who is running in the TC Marathon; Holly was running it too, awesome chica’s.   I am really sad because I couldn’t find my friend in the herds of runners.  I guess I didn’t expect as many people to be running a marathon as there were .

While standing there watching everybody run by I got a little choked up.  It was SO INSPIRING! I kept thinking to myself, ‘Well maybe I want to do this?’.   Hmmm, so you may, huge may, see me contemplate doing a marathon next year or the year after.  I feel like I would want a running buddy… anybody interested!?!?  Lol.

The cool thing to me was the range of people from all different backgrounds that were running.  And the wide range of ages too!  There were runners who had to have been in their teens, all the way up to a gentleman that had to have been a grandpa.  It was adorable :).

I wish I would have thought to bring my camera though.  Some of the ‘costumes’ the runners were wearing were hilarious.  There were quite a few pumpkins representin’.  And the crowds that came out to cheer on the runners were pretty amazing too.  All in all and long story short, these runners are amazing and inspirational.  So much so that I am *thinking* of thinking about running one, lol.

Eats…

Before we left to cheer on the runners I had a few bites of cold pizza (unphotographed).

We went right from the marathon to the grocery store.  Mike was starving and got a donut, which I had about 1/3 of.  I also had a cookie sample.  Nothing like loads of sugar early in the morning, huh? 😉

Once we got home, I was surprisingly not too hungry, but knew I needed to eat.  I incorporated a few of the new things we got at the store: challah bread and new jam.

Here is the new jam:

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Even before breakfast, I had to make a small sample.

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Verdict on the jam?  You must look for this in your grocery store!  It doesn’t taste ‘low-sugar’ at all and is extremely flavorful.  I was a bit disappointed that I could really taste the mango or the lemon flavor to the jam, but boy oh boy does this still hit it out of the park for a strawberry jam.

I then toasted up some challah and made a pb and banana toast. I also had a slab of bread with some butter and jam.

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Of course, got to get some calcium in with the yoggie.

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Oh, and a handful of candy corn and peanuts, aka a salted nut roll.

This afternoon the girls (Sunny and I, lol) are by ourselves.  Mike and a few buddies are headed to Mankato to watch a pre-season T’Wolves game.  Die hards 🙂

I am going to make some crack, puppy chow, watch some tv, read some blogs, work on my new blog web page and make some chili.  I ❤ lazy Sunday afternoons!

What are you doing this afternoon?  Have you had a good weekend?

Another winner

Heyyy, happy Monday evening! How was everybody’s day? Good? Mine was pretty good, nothing to complain about.

From the responses this morning, it sounds like all of us want to go to Greece! Maybe we should plan a bloggie get away there 🙂

This afternoon I partook in the beginning of the Halloween candy trap.  I had something I haven’t had in ages, a fun size Milkyway.  I felt like eating this many…

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But luckily I stuck to just one.

So today is the first day in Minnesota where you can really tell that winter is coming.  It was in the mid-40’s when I walked to the gym this morning and the wind was gusting all day long.  For this reason, it was definitely a soup night at our house.

We were going to just can it up with good old Campbell’s soup but Mike suggested we make our own from scratch.  This turned out to be a fabulous idea because, ladies and gentlmen, I have yet another winning recipe for you: Tortilla Soup.

I made a few minor tweaks to accommodate what we had on hand.

  • Instead of fajita seasoning, I used taco seasoning.
  • Instead of pinto beans, I used spicy chili beans.
  • Instead of chopped green chiles, we used fresh jalapeno (highly recommend doing this for people who love things spicy and hot).
  • Chopped up a red bell pepper to add in.
  • Omitted the lime juice.
  • Added chopped cilantro.
  • Added chicken.

During the cooking process…

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Dished up with crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and a large spoonful (ok two spoonfuls) of sour cream.

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All the goodies mixed together.

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With a roll I heated up in the oven. Dipped some in the soup and had some smeared with butter.

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The verdict?  Another recipe you need to make ASAP.  It was super flavorful, spicy, quick (under 30 minutes) and healthy (from Cooking Light).  It is also is very versatile, you can add in fun ingredients like we did.  Next time I think I would add some corn in as well as make some guac to dallop on top along with the sour cream.

I have a confession… so today I totally took the ‘Jenna wants to get a dog’ obsession to the next level… I emailed a breeder, eek!  While Mike and I would prefer to adopt a puppy or young dog (6-9 months old), we are also open to breeders.  The type of dog I emailed about today was a Miniature Schnauzer.

miniature-schnauzer-buying

Cute huh?  As much as Mike and I want a bulldog, not sure we are ready for the large expense.  They are extremely expensive, and through research, have high vet bills and take lots of grooming.

The three other dogs we are considering are the schnauz, maltese and pug.  The family I used to nanny for had a pug named Bernie and I grew semi-obsessed with him.  Plus, Tina’s pug Murphy is freakin’ adorable.

Sorry if you guys are getting sick of my dog talk, but it probably won’t stop for awhile ;).

Let’s take a poll…  Why not have a say huh?

Dessert is TBD.  I am thinking a lemon bar from Trader Joe’s.  Have a wonderful evening!

Guest Post: Low Key Date Night

Hi all. This is Mike, and I am finally writing a guest post for the blog! Needless to say, I have been waiting for this moment for weeks ;). Just a little bit about me first. I am 24 years old (though Jenna would say I sometimes act like I am about 7, I call it being ‘young at heart’), and originally came from the fine town of Bloomington, MN. For out-of-towners, this is where the Mall of America is. As Jenna has mentioned, I play the drums, and have done so for about 15 years. I am just starting up a band now, and we have about 12 songs written. I am pretty excited about it. An equal ‘passion’ of mine has to be basketball. Believe it or not, I am actually 1 of  only 20 or so fans left of our NBA team: the Minnesota Timberwolves aka “The Pride of Minneapolis.” They are going through some tough times, but there is nowhere to go but up:)! I contribute to a local blog on the Wolves and write an article about once or twice a month.

Anyhow, on to what you actually care about. Jenna and I have always been a  fan of Tex Mex restaurants, and to be honest, the options in Minneapolis aren’t the best. Along with a new development in a suburb came a restaurant called Laredo’s, which we have always kept our eye on. I had a chance to eat there for work last week, so I thought, why not make it twice in one week? I knew Jenna would love the place so the reservation was in by Saturday afternoon and we were there by 6:30 CST.

Of course, the obligatory tortilla chips and salsa that always come free in these restaurants:

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Jenna ordered a small pitcher of fresh Sangria with dinner. I went with a ‘Texas sized’ Dos Equis.

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Does anyone find it amusing that despite the free chips and salsa in Tex Mex Mex restaurants, there is often times a ‘Chip and Guac’ or Nacho’ appetizer available for purchase? It makes sense, but it just seems semi-redundant to me in a way. Anyhow, we went with a little something different: “Firecracker Poppers.” Here is the menu’s description, which is no doubt much more well-written then my Sunday A.M. pre-coffee jargon: six wonton wraps stuffed with roasted pineapple, strawberries, green chilies, diced jalapenos & cream cheese served with a sweet thai sauce. Photo:

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I have to say these things were out of this world. We wolfed them down quickly, and they may have been the highlight of dinner.

On to the main course, I went with a ‘Cowboy Stacker’ sandwich, which was a shaved beef brisket with cheese and whiskey barbeque sauce on a hoagie, fries, and a side of jalapeno infused ketchup. It was pretty good.

Jenna went with a veggie burger with a kick. Here is the menu description: veggie burger of black beans, brown rice, bulgar wheat, corn, tomatoes, onion & green chiles, topped with melted pepper jack cheese. Not my cup of tea but I have a feeling Jenna was in heaven:

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We were stuffed, so we took off and went over to Trader Joe’s next door for a few things, including some Pumpkin Butter which on a side note, makes excellent snack with Wheat Thins and cream cheese. Then, as if two grocery stores in one day wasn’t enough, we drove down to Whole Foods so Jenna could find her Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabars. Don’t worry, we only went there because there was a Ben and Jerry’s next door so we could get a quick dessert. I went with Chunky Monkey, and Jenna went with Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, which is a “Sweet Cream Cinnamon Ice Cream with Chunks of Oatmeal Cookies & Fudge.” Jenna put her’s in a bowl later with her trademark dollop of Cool Whip:

We had some options for post dinner activities last night. A few gatherings with friends, and some potential taverns in the area we could go to, but we collectively decided we weren’t in the ‘partying’ mood. So, we decided to stay in, enjoy a Magic Hat #9, and eat our ice cream. Magic Hat #9 is an excellent beer. I would describe it as a lighter pale ale with an apricot flavor. I have ordered in restaurants and have just recently seen it appearing in stores. Highly recommended!

If Jenna hasn’t mentioned it, we have a spiral staircase in the middle of our place which leads up to a big deck of our own on the roof of our building. It was a nice night so we sat up there and had some Magic Hats, enjoyed the outdoors for the night, and took in the view of the Minneapolis skyline! We won’t get to do that for much longer, since winter looms, so we felt it was needed!

My question is this: 1. What is your favorite beer? and/or 2. For those of you in colder climates, What do you do during the winter to keep yourself motivated?

I hope you enjoyed the guest post and I look forward to doing many more. Have a great lazy Sunday and a good week!