Slow cooking and getting settled

You know what? It’s been a while since I did a standard “here’s what’s going on in my life and what I’m stuffing in my face” kind of post.

Things have been crazy lately. I moved 3 weeks ago – which…in Boston…should be declared a holiday because everyone and their mom (…and dad…and siblings, friends, acquaintances…and occasionally complete strangers… willing to schlep a couch up narrow, rickety stairwells for a case or two of beer) moves on September 1…and if you’re one of the few with off-cycle lease agreements, I envy you soo, soo much. Teach me your ways.

Anyway, the day is filled with joyous things like parking bans, families getting on each other’s nerves, thousands of inexperienced UHaul drivers, at least one box truck getting stuck under a bridge on Storrow Drive…oh, and “Allston Christmas” (as it’s been dubbed). Can’t forget “Allston Christmas.”  Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 8.31.00 AM

I’m still getting settled – working full time makes it a little difficult to just get settled immediately. I’m still working on getting a dresser. My clothing situation is a little…disorganized….but you can be certain that after having a bed to sleep in…priorty numero uno was my (lil) kitchen. And yes, it’s the same little kitchen I baked and blogged out of more than 2 years ago!

At least the fridge is full!

At least the fridge is full!

After a couple months of relative chaos, it’s nice to start to feel more grounded and settled. Slowly getting back into the swing of things, and one of my to-do’s is get back in my kitchen more. I’ve eaten way too many microwavable or take-out meals since August…and I can feel it.

Last week, I saw a Moroccan-style slow-cooker recipe from Jenna @ Eat, Live, Run – and I knew it would be my project during the weekend. I was supposed to go to this yoga thing in the North End…but that got derailed when I pulled something in my shoulder and basically spent Saturday crying on the floor. Dramatics aside, it actually was pretty bad. Moving and breathing were not exactly easy. So when staying in and cooking became my only option…I slowly got myself (read: hobbled) to the grocery store for some missing ingredients and got to slow-cooking.

This is a really simply stew – chock full of veggies, lentils, chickpeas and great warm spices — a perfect fall dish. Plus, I’m a fan of anything I can slow-cook.

I’ll be honest; Jenna has this go on low for like 9 hours. While, I basically followed that timeline (I mean it is slow cooking after all), if you’re not headed to work or bed and or would just rather eat sooner rather than later – I don’t see the harm in cranking it to high and shortening the cook time. It is veggies after all so you won’t be annihilating any protein and ending up with hockey pucks floating in stock.

I mean, just look at all that veggie goodness — butternuts squash, zucchini, yellow and red peppers, onions, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas…it’s just a powerhouse dish. Plus, since I live solo – I love making anything that I can make a ton of and re-heat easily, aaaand stews have the added bonus of just getting better as they sit!

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I’ve been digging into this for a better part of a week now. I’ll definitely make again…maybe incorporated different, seasonal ingredients as fall pushes on.

What’s your go-to dish once the temps dip a little bit?

 

First Day

Evening everyone!! I hope you all are doing well! I am definitely tired, but I had a really great first day at work. My day was filled with learning the ins and outs of my department – though I can’t speak on much of it due to confidentiality … it’s not blog stuff anyway. haha

I was up bright and early (and before my alarm). I had precoffee-m-set my aker so coffee was waiting for me when I got my butt out of bed.

I packed up my lunch for the day – some of Mom’s soup, some cheese and some dried fruit. Deeelish. I had a very pleasant lunch on the 13th floor this afternoon.

I got dressed for the occasion – and not really knowing the strength of their AC (you never know some places can be freeezing) I opted for pants and a button up for the first day. Plus, it’s always nice to play it safe until you see what other people where and what is really deemed appropriate business attire.

My hip/waist blends with the comforter. hah.

Once out the door – I enjoyed a lovely walk to work and then a lovely day. I learned too many names for me to possibly remember – but I do remember a few. haha

I will admit – I needed some caffeine halfway through the day. Thank you, Starbucks. It also doesn’t hurt that there is a lovely park near my work to enjoy said Starbucks.


I got home and went out to get a few essentials and snacky items. My bro is visiting for a couple days before he goes on a little vacay.

Oh, by the way…Honey Sesame Almonds from Trader Joe’s? Amazing.

Dinner ended up being the brown rice, cranberry balsamic vinaigrette, and cranberrry/orange goat cheese combo that I had discovered last week. Mmm…I  love how the goat cheese just softens slightly with the warmth of the rice.

Ahh – so now I’m off! Lots to do tonight before I officially crash (and oh, I will).

A Little Bit'a This

Hello, hello loves! I’m glad to be back for a real post. haha I just got back into Boston after relishing my last sane weekend for probably at least a month. It was glorious (until about 1pm today when I may have had a minor freak-out..), but all things aside I am excited for what’s ahead of me.

I’ve got a great internship starting tomorrow. I am really lucky to be gaining professional experience and getting paid as well. Paychecks are always a wonderful thing. For the next month my full-time internship and my full-time summer course load will overlap, and undoubtedly be stressful…but I will, at the very least, try to navigate those waters with grace. haha Wish me luck! 🙂

Speaking of water … crazy storm here in Boston. You should see all of the trees down (and all of the cars crushed). It’s nuts. I do not have any pictures of my own but…seriously crazy damage.

Via @ncoolidge:

"West cedar street! @BostonTweet"

Via @MJRod2142:

"2 cars destroyed from a tree down in Coolidge Corner"

"Another view of the two cars destroyed in Coolidge Corner. Nobody was hurt.".

Craziness. Very glad no one was hurt!

Anyway – onto more joyous things! Food is always a good thing. 🙂

As always – with a weekend home – it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Iced tea deliciousness from the 99

Teeny buff chix sandwiches - cute and spicy!

Nutella makes the world go 'round - okay, my world at least.

Cheesy eggs

I've said it a million times - but my mom is the queen of soups

Now that my schedule is more permanent – my eating habits with hopefully improve a bit…I’m usually good during the week, but it’s the weekends that damn me! haha

I hope you all are absolutely wonderful and that your weekend was an amazing one!

Edited: Revelation (not so much)

Hello, hello!!

I knew today was going to be hot when I woke up… well, the weather forecast was helpful, too..but it was almost 80 degrees when I rolled out bed this morning. Okay, that’s a lie…I didn’t roll..more like SPRANG out of bed because some construction company decided it would be best to break out the circular saw during the weeee hours (and by wee hours I mean 8:30 – so I’m being a little overly dramatic here. haha).

Even though it was hot out I was feelin’ pretty B.A. Can you feel B.A. in a sundress? Okay, I’ve decided…yes.you.can.

Don't mind my recycling...

My morning starting off with great eats and with a surprising revelation. Let’s go with the eats first…chocolaty (VERY) POM overnight oats. Pretty much added a banana and some unsweetened cocoa to the mixture (minus the jam) I had yesterday (though obviously I overnighted them instead of stove-topped). These were seriously delectable and so easy.

*Spiel (and yes, I totally looked the spelling up because – personally I’ve always pronounced it “schpeel”…ahh yiddish, I love you) removed after the other revelation: that there was confusion between the website and my bottle on serving size :)*

Okay…now my realization has become confusion…because well – now my creamer and the website say two different things on the nutrition label. My creamer saying the serving is a tablespoon (apparently I was seeing things earlier)…and the site saying it’s a teaspoon. I’m assuming the site is the typo considering 15 mL is a lot more than a teaspoon. I tweeted them. haha

The rest of the day was splendid even though it was toasty out. I decided to venture out for a Starbucks iced tea. Plus, the people watching is always good on a day like today.

I also munched on some snow peas before heading out – class, class, class. Joys. haha

Oh, and a pudding… haha.

I also stopped and picked up snackies for class.

Just a few of my munchies

When dinner-time rolled around, I was ready. I paired brown rice with the soup I made last night. Deeelicious. I had 2 bowls. 😀

Tonight is a good night:

Gaga

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Gleeks

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I’m off! Hope you all are wonderful!!

So Random

Hello loves! My Goodness – two days feels like an eternity away from the blog, am I right? They weren’t a part of an intentional blog detox, but they were a couple of really great days. I stepped away from the blog, and for the most part, the camera.

I snapped some photos of breakfasts and whatnot – but overall – I just enjoyed a weekend with friends.

Friday was a lazy day – just relaxed, laughed at truly terrible television and just enjoyed life.

Saturday night was awesome – we (me, my bro, my neighbor and a friend) went and saw a band that my friend was familiar with because they usually play at his college in Maine- I honestly have no idea what the name of the band was – and that isn’t because of the drinks I had, haha. I just don’t know – they said it once, but it wasn’t very clear – Rustic … something. Anyway – they were awesome and I had a great night out with friends.

Plus – people watching at bars is pretty much the most amazing thing ever. There was a rugby team doing a pub crawl that was bull-fighting themed…there was a guy dressed up as a cow and then everyone else in all white. Also – a large percentage of men wearing parachute-esque cargo pants. Not a good look, guys. I didn’t bring my camera with me – so alas…no pics of the hilarity.

I did have some pretty great eats – though most of them went undocumented. My love for Nutella continues – as well as some awesome strawberry shortcake from my mom. She also made this taco soup that was bombbbb…so simple and I think I’m going to try to make a veggie version of it!

Now I’m back in Boston – and weather this week is supposed to be nice and summery…even hitting 90 on Tues. Luckily, I just got this little bad boy in:

I’m not a fan of skyrocketing electric bills – so this puppy will be used in extreme moderation, but more than anything it’ll make sleeping at night more comfortable as it gets hot and humid – like all New England summers do.

My sunflowers managed to survive their abandonment this weekend (though they are creeping towards their last days) – I brought back some flowers that our family friend grew so that they’d have someone to chill with. The Korean Lilac is aaaamazing – my apartment smells just so perfume-y (in the best way), and I cannot wait for the other flowers to open up.

This post was lacking in eats photos and full of the most random things – but I’ll make up for it this week – promise. 😛  Great eats!!

  • How was everyone’s weekend??? I hope fantastic!!

Mac n' Cheesy

Hey everyone!! Happy Saturday all you beautiful people! 🙂

First and foremost, the lovely Jocelyn at Peace.Love.Nutrition is doing an awesome giveaway!! Go check her blog out!!

Who is watching the Olympics? I watched the Opening Ceremony last night and then some of the events today.

I slept waaay in this morning. What a difference a neighborhood with no outdoor noise makes! haha

I had some peanut butter toast for breakfast…obviously Mighty Maple. haha 🙂 Yumm. Yummm. Yummmm.

I spent a lazy day with my mother — I’m not going to lie, I did not get out of my pj’s…haha.

I had some soup for lunch.  It was one of those Campbell’s Select Harvest soups...and I forget the exact name, but I was not too impressed. I didn’t finish it, but it made me feel nice and toasty — which is the whole point of soup, right? 🙂

My brother came home this weekend, too! Yay! So it’s just the 3 of us chillin’ and enjoying some time together.

My mom made us some mac and cheese — yummmm! And we accompanied it was a delicious salad with walnuts and dried cranberries. My stomach is verrrry happy right now!

I am just going to spend tonight in — relax, enjoy a fire and …relax some more. haha

It’s a little early, but Happy Valentine’s Day, bloggies!! I’ve decided you all are my Valentine’s this year! haha 🙂 Love.Love.Love!!

  • What’re your weekend plans??

EZ Bake Oven

Omgosh — HELLO! haha Hi! I’ve missed you guys!!

Yes, I’m still alive — I took an impromptu … “break” from the blog this weekend. It wasn’t planned, but it ended up being a good thing. I went home to spend some time with mi madre…it was odd being home, and my dog not being there wriggling all over the place like she never thought you’d ever come home. I cannot imagine how truly lonely my mom is now that Haley is gone — and I know another pup is necessary — not only to love, but to stay with my mom, allow her to feel safe and to make things less lonely.

I brought my mom home some flowers. And they just so happened to be yellow. My mom immediately called them “Bit-O-Honey” and it was just too cute. For explanation, my dogs middle name was “Bit-O-Honey” because her parents both had candy as their middle names, and it was so fitting. She really was a little ray of sunshine.

So I spent the weekend chillin’ with my momma, and I went out and caught up with a former co-worker on Saturday night over margaritas. It was a lovely weekend…and I so did not want to return to the grind today. haha

I did though…this morning was a toughie, in terms of waking up. Oy! But I did it. I had watched the Super Bowl (YAY SAINTS!) and just couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me.

I grabbed a coffee in the cafe on the way to my 1st class. Which…was locked. So I waited…and waited…and waited. Yeh, nobody from my class showed up until the last minute – including my professor. It was just one of those Mondays, I guess. haha

I had a French quiz — I dunno how that one went…oh well, if it went badly there’s the rest of the semester to make up for it! The perfectionist in me is really nervous though, and just wants to know my grade so I can get it over with.

I broke for lunch in between French and Journalism and got a glorrrrious salad from the salad bar in the cafe. I’ve found that…contrary to any other college I’ve stepped foot on…the cafe is actually pretty cheap (well, for the stuff I want to eat). So I had a salad with spinach, edamame, feta, tomatoes, arugula and spicy peppers…topped it off with some balsamic and oil.

Got home, and did a little grocery shoppin’. Just a few things, and totally NOT the essentials. haha I was hankerin’ for some chocolate so I made myself a little microwave mint brownie. Oh yes — it’s like the EZ Bake Oven…for adults. haha 🙂

4 Tablespoons of brownie mix, 2 Tablespoons of non-fat Chobani…50 seconds in the microwave. *cue angelic choir* Now, it’s anything but pretty, but it is so, so good!! 🙂

Step 1:

Step 2 (I could have eaten it like this…):

Step 3 (Sorry it’s a little blurry – I got excited):

Hot, gooey brownie goodness!!!!

Dinner was leftover soup again…nom.nom.nom. It keeps gettin’ a little spicier as it sits. I’m not complaining….I love me some heat.

How was everyone’s weekend?!? What’d you all do??? I feel so out of the loop (I haven’t had the chance to get to my overflowing Google Reader, either! Ahh!) Fill me in chicas!!