Thursday, May 28, 2009

Even in Paradise you need a Larabar!

There are some food items you need even when you are staying at an all inclusive resort, and for me, that is Larabars. For my weekend in Jamaica not only did I bring some Larabars to snack on (some Peanut Butter Cookie and Coconut Cream Pie, which are my favorites) but I also sported a Larabar t-shirt!

I wore my Larabar shirt on a jeep safari that lasted over 6 hours.

It included a trip to Dunn River Falls.

High a top a mountain in Jamaica.

While on the subject of Larabars, has anyone tried the three new flavors that were announced in March : German Chocolate Cake, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Tropical Fruit Tart. These flavors were introduced, but I don't know when they will be sold!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breakfast in Jamaica

This is the first day I had Internet access because it is $16 per day and we decided to wait until mid-week to get the Internet.

When we arrived on Saturday our room included Welcome Back gifts including cookies and a bottle of Rum. We are returning guests to Sandals. We went to a Sandals resort in St. Lucia for our Honeymoon two years ago.
All Sandals Resorts are all inclusive, with the Sandals we are staying as having 11 restaurants or snack bars and 12 bars. Luckily there is a gym that I used mostly every day so far. We eat dinner at sit down restaurants and order from a menu, but lunch and breakfast is mainly served buffet style. For breakfast, my favorite features are the oatmeal bar and the fresh fruit bar. Although I tried the omelet bar one morning and enjoyed a peanut butter and banana sandwich another!
Not only is there tasty oatmeal in a crock pot, there are so many great toppings (raisins, nuts, coconut, brown sugar...
Next to the oatmeal is the most amazing fruit ever. I can't get enough pineapple and mango.
Well I'm all dressed up and ready to find some dinner!!

I'll be back again soon!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane . . .

Well actually I leave at 7:30 tomorrow morning. I am spending one week in Jamaica at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios and then one week in Belgium. The Jamaica trip we planned and paid for back in December and the Belgium trip is for a conference my husband is attending, and all we had to pay for was my plane ticket (and my food). I am taking a computer with me, but I'm not sure how my Internet will be. But hopefully I can get some posts up because I would love to share my experience with you!

I used and number 18 was the winner of the Stonyfield contest. Which was Anne. I tried to send you an email Anne, but if you didn't get it, please email me your mailing address.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stoneyfield Giveaway!

I love Greek Yogurt and I have always been a fan of Stonyfield Farm's products, so I was so excited when Kristina contacted me about having a giveaway. I recently collected enough Stonyfield Farm yogurt lids to earn a free year subscription to Prevention Magazine, if that tells you anything about my love.

However, when it comes to greek yogurt, I have been buying Chobani greek yogurt, because I can buy it in bulk at Sam's Club for a great price. I think that if I could purchase Oikos for the same price I can buy Chobani, it would be my first choice. Now I have never tried the plain or vanilla Chobani, so my only comparison of the two brands are by trying the blueberry flavors. I have tried the vanilla and plain Oikos though and love its taste and texture.
I love plain oatmeal with Oikos and berries mixed in. I also just like eating Oikos plain or in smoothies.
If you haven't watched Heather's Oikos and Chobani blind taste test video yet, go check it out here. I would like to try and do a blind taste test of the two blueberry flavors of both.

Here is the awesome loot that Stonyfield sent me and they want to send one of my readers 1 free 16oz oikos coupon, 2 free 5.3 oz coupons, and a reusable bag. I love this bag, and who can pass up a chance at free greek yogurt??

If you want a chance to win, leave a comment on this post. For an extra entry link back from your blog (but leave an extra comment with the link from your blog). If you don't have a blog, earn an extra entry by telling someone you know to come to my site and enter. I will pick a winner this Friday May 22 at 10am!
I have my Girls on the Run banquet tonight and have a million things to do to be ready for it. So I have to run! I will take a lot of pictures of the food I'm serving and the decorations and awards.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Girls on the Run is so much fun...woooo"

The Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday was fabulous!!! The weather was perfect and the girls shined. They don't have chips in this race, all the girls wear the number 1, and there isn't a record of the places each girl came in. But one of the girls from my group came in 3rd!!! I think she ran it in 23 minutes or so. I ran with the same girl the entire time, because I felt that she needed the running partner most. The other girls in my team were running either with their dads or with another friend. All of the girls in my team finished and had a great time!

The girls started out with a warm up with some hip-hop dancer. They did a dance to N'Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" and I nearly cried when I asked my team if 1) they knew this song and 2) they had heard of N'Sync, and to both questions they replied "no". If I didn't dread my 27th Birthday in July, I do now!!

My husband followed the race course and took pictures of me and my team. I laughed each time I saw him, because he was at every 1/2 mile of the race. I guess he ran his own 5k around the spectators trying to find me.

Here was the race starting off.

If there is a Girls on the Run in your city, I highly encourage you to get involved.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bulgur Stuffed Peppers

Thanks for all your nice comments/wished about our Anniversary!

The first time I ever bought and made bulgur was after reading Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less by Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett. At the end of that book, there are several recipes developed by Mollie and one of those recipes is Baked Stuffed Peppers Filled with Bulgur-Pine Nut Pilaf.

I began by making the Pilaf.

This recipe is online here, but for your convenience, here is the recipe:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup bulgur
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon freshly lemon juice
Pinch of salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1 to 2 tablespoons finely minced chives or scallion

Heat the oil in a medium-small skillet with a tight-fitting lid.
Add the uncooked bulgur and the pine nuts, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until it gives off a toasty smell. Keep stirring during this process to be sure it doesn’t burn.
Pour in the water and place the lid on the pan. Let stand 30 minutes
Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice, and add little salt to taste.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, and serve warm or at room temperature.

I did not use dill or lemon juice in mine, and I sauteed the scallions with the bulgur and pine nuts. I also doubled the recipe because I had 5 peppers.

Next, I preheated the oven at 375 degrees and prepared the peppers for stuffing.

Once you stuff the peppers with the pilaf, brush the outside surface of each pepper with a little additional olive oil, and place them standing upright, if possible, on a greased tray.

Bake for 35 minutes in the center of the oven.

I enjoyed my pepper with a piece of toast and some salted tomato.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Tomorrow is the Girls on the Run 5k. I can't wait to see how the 3rd and 4th graders that I coached all season do! I'm not worried about how fast they run, I just hope they have fun and finish proud!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Anniversary Dinner

On Tuesday Steve and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Steve made reservations over a month ago for a window seat at Le Mont, which claims to be Pittsburgh's only 5 star restaurant.

We started the night with a bottle of German Reisling. Reisling is my favorite wine. I much prefer white wines, mostly maybe because I like my drinks to be cold and I tend to like sweeter wines over dry wines.

While we drank our wine, we enjoyed the views of the city. These pictures look just like post cards.

This is the point, and shows why Pittsburgh is called the City of Bridges and Three Rivers. The Allegheny river and the Monongahela river meet at the Point to form the Ohio River.

I started with the house salad and asked for the dressing on the side. The dressing was the house Balsamic Vinaigrette.

I had the Portobello Terrine, which is portobello mushrooms with a medley of seasonal vegetables marinated and grilled with Tofu, gently layered and baked with an aged Balsamic and red pepper coulis. On the side was some roasted potatoes and steamed carrots and green beans.

My husband had the Providence Crabcakes, which is described as twin jumbo lump crab cakes breaded in crispy panko breadcrumbs, sauteed and drizzled with red onion marmalade. Steve said these were really good. I try to get him to rank the crab cakes he has had places, but he doesn't like that game much :)

We were going to pass on dessert, but they brought it to us "on the house". It was a great end to a wonderful meal.

Here we are after our dinner. You can see the Steelers stadium in the background.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's All Good!

I recently came across this vegetarian food line at a new natural foods market in Pittsburgh called Right by Nature. I picked up the Veggie Chick'n Good Stuff Santa Fe Style, Black Bean and Corn.

There are two servings, each in an individual pouch. Each serving has 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein.

Once cooked and cut in half, the tasty entree looks like this:

I decided to dice mine up and have it on a bed of lettuce with some more salsa and a little Annie's Dressing.

This certainly was "all good" and can't wait to try other products from It's All Good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CSA Tuesday - Featuring Bok Choy

First thanks for all of your kind words about my half marathon and Steve's marathon!! I love being part of such a supportive community.

We picked up our weekly CSA box today. It included three bags of greens (including spring mix, arugula, and spinach), green onions, thyme, potatoes, radishes, cheese, and bok choy.

We stir fried the bok choy and some of the green onions with some other vegetables we already had in our fridge. I added baked tofu to the vegetables. We had it over some brown rice. I also used organic carrots and cauliflower and some frozen peas and asparagus. I love stir fry, especially with fresh vegetables.

I have been enjoying our weekly CSA box and look forward to sharing with you the items we receive weekly and how we use them.
I couldn't get over Sophie hugging her turtle while she was napping. Sorry that this isn't the best picture (I see a new camera sometime in the future), but you can get the idea. She is so much like a human!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pittsburgh Marathon Recap

Yesterday's run was fantastic!! There was some light rain for the last few miles, but it actually felt great.

We woke up at 5am and I had 3 pieces of this bread. We just bought this a few days ago for the first time. I think it may be one of the best Cinnamon Raisin breads I have ever had. This also may be the first Rudi's Organic Bakery product I have ever tried. 3 pieces of this may have been a little too much for my stomach, but I new starting time wasn't until 7:30!

Here is what it looks like toasted.

Inside the convention center was a wall with a list of every runner (half marathon, marathon, relay).

Here are people looking for names on the wall.
Here is a close up of the names, so you believe me that it was a wall of name!

This is me smiling after running my 1/2 marathon in 2 hours 12 minutes. This is 5 minutes faster than my PR. I didn't wear that jacked to run it, I was cold after the race and pulled it from my bag.

As soon as I finished and picked up my bag I went to the finish line to wait for my husband to finish the Marathon.
I am so proud of my husband. He finished his first marathon in 3 hours 18 minutes, which unfortunately is 8 minutes too slow for Boston, but was a pace of 7 minutes 37 seconds!!!! He was a little disappointed, but I couldn't be prouder. He is speedy and doesn't even ache after that run. He is going to look for a fall marathon to try and qualify for Boston. Can anyone suggest a good fall marathon that Steve can try? They even had him seeded up at front because of how fast he has run half marathons in the past! Overall he was 228 out of 3439.

Oh and am I so glad that I had Clif Bloks in my pocket, because there was no fuel for the 1/2 marathon runners besides a few stations with powerade. They did have water stations every mile.
I'm already planning my next race (I may sign up for the Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon during Labor Day weekend).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Food and drink permitted in this Library

Friday night Steve and I went to pick up our race packets at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo and then went to a restaurant called The Library in Pittsburgh's South Side.

To start we were handed menus that are made out of real books.

When you open the books the menu is within the pages of the book. There are also book shelves and books all around.

We ate on the outside patio. I enjoyed a glass of Riesling. It was a small glass of wine for $10.

I ordered the hummus plate which had cajun black bean & chic pea hummus with grilled pitas points. This was called "Arabian Nights," because each item on the menu is named after a story book. It was very good and the best part was appetizers were 1/2 off during Happy Hour (and there were $3 drafts). Steve and I split this plate. I may have been really hungry, but this was some of the best hummus I have had.

My entree was the Jack and the Beanstalk salad with an added portobello mushroom.

Steve ordered "the Fisherman and His Wife" which was Pretzel crusted grilled salmon served with potatoes and vegetables then finished with a mustard cream sauce, and I thought his plate looked blog worthy.

Time to sleep and get ready for an early morning for the Pittsburgh Marathon. I will be running the half marathon and my husband will be running the full Marathon.

(The "Steel" refers to Pittsburgh which is known as the Steel City).
Good Night!