daily eats: 9/13/11

I’m officially in the midst of wedding-week madness. But besides a minor breakdown on Friday (it was just a very emotional day) I think I’ve been handling everything pretty well. Others may disagree. ;)

Yesterday was filled with last minute errands and I declared it a day for myself! :)

The day started with some coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. I’m definitely going to miss this view.

Then it was time to drop off the Taster at work (we are a one car family) and start my other errands:

  • body work appointment
  • drop off dress to be pressed
Breakfast: In between the commute and errands I had a Two Moms in the Raw Bar – Gojiberry Granola – much better than I had expected although the first ingredient was agave and I’m not really a fan of that. :(
10:30 Yoga Sculpt – I was at a different studio than normal and it was a great class – I felt wonderful and the class flew by. Love those. :)
Snack of mini Lemon Zest Luna Bar that they had at the studio. Yum and needed energy.
12:00 Real Ryder Spin – A spin class that is on bikes that turn – One of the studios has the Real Ryder Bikes and I’ve been meaning to take a class for the last few months. “Turning” was really hard – have you ever heard of Real Ryders? (Part of my me day was being able to take two classes, a treat!)
Lunch: Another part of what made the day special was lunch out at Ecopolitan, a Minneapolis raw restaurant. I’ve been there many times, but not recently and I thought some raw food would be good nourishment. I went with my standard Raw Notchos – lots of raw kale, marinated mushrooms, peppers, cucumber and spicy notcho sauce and cashew sour cream. Delicious, why didn’t I get on my raw food kick this last summer?!
More errands:
  • proofing the wedding programs (really happy with them!)
  • get ring cleaned and sparkling
Then I headed to Caribou to work on the computer and go through emails while I waited for the Taster to finish work. The weather really feels like fall today and a Chai Tea Latte sounded perfect.  (2% Milk, 1.5 pumps of Chai) I wish someone would invent a chai tea latte that doesn’t require a lot of sugar. I’ve used some almond milk + chai tea bag + stevia in the past, but it just isn’t the same.
At some point during the day I realized that I needed sushi. Well, ok, I think I just really wanted to go on a date. With all of the craziness going on with the wedding I feel like the only thing we talk about is what needs to be done, what hasn’t been done and yada, yada.
So we headed out for sushi happy hour – originally we were going to go to the spot in our neighborhood, but it ended up being closed so we went to one of our favorites, Fuji-Ya. We realized it would probably be our last time going! Ah!
Dinner: We sat at the sushi bar, which turned out to be a really good idea – complimentary cucumber salad (tasted a lot like mine!) with fried fish and then pineapple with raspberry sauce at the end of the meal. We ordered goyza (I HAVE to!), spicy salmon, spicy tuna and soft-shell crab rolls and the Taster had some sashimi as well.
It was great to take a break from the week and the wedding was only brought up once. Just what we both needed.
My Mom and Aunt arrive this afternoon and then the rest of our families will be here Thursday – let the festivities begin!!!

reasons to take a cooking class

There are many reasons why I don’t sign up for all of the cooking classes that always sound so intruiging.

Most of the time I don’t want to spend the money. $50 for a cooking class?! I’m on a budget! (Let’s pay no attention to the fact that I don’t bat an eyelash at spending double that at Whole Foods. Or out to eat.)

The other issue I have is that I kind of like low-key nights at home during the week because it feels like I’m always scrambling to keep the house in order, wash my dishes from lunch and breakfast at work, prepare the meals for the following day, make a decent meal and sneak in some trashy tv, all while washing my sweaty yoga clothes.

But it turns out that I should just suck it up sometimes. They are SO fun! Mercedes treated me to a Cooking Class for a shower gift (really good gift idea!) and we had a blast! Here are the reasons, why you should take that cooking class you’ve been putting off.

  • Inspiring! There are so many things I want to make now
  • Perfect way to spend time with a loved one, friend, etc.
  • You actually learn things!!! I learned SO much – did you know that you should sweat mushrooms in a dry pan before adding any oil? I didn’t!
  • Our chef didn’t really believe in recipes, so we really learned techniques, not just how to read a recipe which I loved
  • I’m no longer intimidated by a caramel sauce
  • It is just plain fun. It also happens to be a great way to take a break from non-stop wedding thoughts. ;)
Have you ever taken a cooking class? What did you think of it? 

spicy cucumber salad

 

I love pickles. Crunchy, cold, dill kosher spears are my favorite although I usually try to refrain from buying them as I can go through a jar in no time at all. And we can’t forget about Minnesota Sushi (ham & pickle roll-up) which is a favorite in our house and the midwest. :) This salad resembles pickles. It is crunchy and flavorful, spicy and healthy, easily making it my new favorite “pickle.” I’ve made it three times in the last few weeks and I’ve got three cucumbers in the fridge currently waiting to soak in the vinegar tub.

This salad is great not only because of the spicy, fresh flavor but also because it can be made ahead of time which makes it perfect for busy nights or an easy salad to bring to parties. The recipe was adapted from a Thai Cookbook my Mom has after she made this salad and I had something similar earlier this summer. I was instantly smitten.

I tried made it with agave instead of the sugar and it was just as delicious, so if you’re into it, make the swap!

Spicy Thai Cucumbers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 english cucumber (or 3 small cucumbers)
  • 2 small hot chiles (1 if you don't like spice)
  • 3 Tbsp minced onion

Instructions

  1. Combine water, sugar and vinegar in small pan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Pour mixture over cucumbers, chiles and onion.
  4. Stir to combine and chill overnight.
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daily eats: 9/8/11

Hi Friends!

9/8/11 was a little insane. I really should have started the day with yoga. :)

6:00am workout downstairs – 30 minute treadmill walk/run

8:00 get to work and get called into some last minute meetings – thankfully I had a few sips of coffee but breakfast was delayed until 11:00am. No bueno.

11:00 Breakfast: 1 egg cooked in ghee (butter) + part of whole grain bagel with cream cheese

11:04 Breakfast Two:  part of everything bagel with cream cheese – exactly why it is not good to wait so long to eat – I couldn’t stop! Although it happens rarely that I would put off a meal, even Nutritionists mess up sometimes!

1:30 Lunch: organic turkey burger + caramelized onions + ketchup + mustard with a side of kale and spicy cucumbers (recipe coming soon!) Incredibly ugly meal. Incredibly delicious meal. (Oh and last packed lunch for a while, which is SO exciting!)

3:00 With all the food that had been eaten in the last 5 hours, its amazing that I was hungry again, but such is life sometimes. Starbucks Double Shot (have you ever had one? love them) on the way to get our…

Marriage License! Whoowhoo!!! :) I love crossing things off the list!

 I was planning on attending a yoga class, but we got an invite to a new restaurant opening in our neighborhood and I decided it might be a little more fun to go on a date night.

Crooked Pint Ale House is a new restaurant opening this weekend – even though we are leaving in a few weeks, it is so nice to have something so close to home.

It’s located on Washington Avenue and the atmosphere is great – lots of wood, brick, a stage for live musical and they’ll be showing movies and games on a huge screen as well. I kind of want to go back and hang out asap. This weekend? ;)

I started with wine and the Taster had some beer- they have tons of craft beers on tap – his kind of place. Very reasonably priced as well.

We decided to try the chorizo corn dogs which were a fun twist on the standard corn dog. We liked them, but I’m not sure we would get them again, our server mentioned that the wings were amazing and they had some other fun appetizers to choose from.

I decided on the Rainbow Chopped Salad which was baby romaine, red cabbage, chopped pears and apples, blue cheese, walnuts and red wine vinaigrette. I loved it and it was just the kind of salad I was in the mood for.

I’m not sure if the Packer game or maybe the lack of a State Fair Trip this year that influenced the Tasters meal decision but he tried the Sconnie Cheese Curder – a burger with cheese curds on top. Totally over indulgent and really delicious. (I happily shared some bites and fries for salad.)

We had a great meal and service and can’t wait to go back before our move.

And just like that, the week was coming to an end. Today  I went to yoga first thing and now it is my last day at work so I’m a bit emotional with everything going on. I’ve got a cooking class with Mercedes tonight to look forward to thankfully and more wedding preparations this weekend! {Happy Birthday Mom!!}

Have an amazing weekend! Fun plans?