Let the Games Begin

I realize I’m a little late to the party, but last night I finally sat down and picked up The Hunger Games. I really want to finish the book before I see the movie.

I usually can’t sit and read longer than 20 minutes at a time; two hours later I was still glued to my Kindle, fighting to keep my eyes open. I woke up this morning excited to pick up where I left off; I don’t even recognize myself!

Even though The Hunger Games kept me up well past midnight, my body still woke up at the regular hour of 5:30 and was ready for breakfast.

I’ve been on an eggs kick recently, but switched things up this morning with an old favorite, the TC Special. I added pumpkin, flax seed and cinnamon to the yogurt (pumpkin is a year-round food for me) along with a jumbo size Braeburn apple and a slice of Ezekiel toast with coconut oil.

This trio never disappoints.

Have you read The Hunger Games or seen the movie? Without spoiling it does the movie do the book justice?

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Foodie Penpals: March

Another month, another wonderful Foodie Penpals package!

This month, my penpal was Mattie @ Comfy and Confident. Not only does the Foodie Penpals program introduce me to yummy snacks, but I’ve added some great blogs to my Reader – you should definitely check out Mattie’s blog!

Mattie’s packaged included a ton of healthy on-the-go snacks from a Natural Food Expo she had attended. I always have quick and convenient snacks in my office drawer and these were all perfect, nutritious grab and go options.

In addition to a variety of bars, she also included a couple bags of Bob’s Red Mills granola (cannot go wrong with Bobs!) and hemp seeds – which she recommended spinkling on yogurt. I have yet to try the hemp seeds, but I’m a big fan of flax seeds and look forward to trying them.

In case you’re a new reader, here’s a quick reminder of what the Foodie Penpals program is all about:

  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.
  • Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

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It’s Never Too Late to Talk About Food

I can do a weekend recap on Thursday, right? Sure, why not, it’s my blog and these eats and definitely worth sharing.

Jarod was in Austin last week for work so I took Friday off from work and drove down to spend the weekend with him, enjoying all the SXSW festivities.

In addition to the awesome music, beautiful weather and multiple beers; we also fit in some delicious meals.

As soon as I found out I’d be in Austin for the weekend, I asked Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen for some of her top recommendations (thank you, thank you!)

Our first stop was one of Sarah’s picks, Austin Java. I unfortunately didn’t take any photos. The food was great, but I loved the atmosphere even more! It was a very cozy, welcoming little place that definitely put me in the Austin spirit right away.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early, starving – what else is now. I immediately referred to my trusty friend, Yelp, to find a nearby (open at 8am) breakfast joint.

Kerbey Lane Cafe had received raved reviews for their fresh food, expansive menu, friendly staff and best of all, they were open 24/7!

I ordered the ‘sprouty usual’ along with multiple cups of coffee. Their coffee was from Third Roast Coffee, located in South Austin. This roast is definitely included in the top 5 cups I’ve ever had … and I’ve had a lot of coffee in my day.

You know you found a keeper when you eat at the same restaurant, on vacation, two days in a row! Breakfast on Sunday looked identical to Saturday – same photo, different eggs (maybe the same chicken? That would be neat.) 🙂

seeing double

Lunch was another one of Sarah’s picks, Foodheads. Again, Sarah did not disappoint. I ordered a hummus sandwich, loaded with veggies and a side of to die for homemade pickles. Again, half of the sandwich and the pickles fell victim to a hungry tummy and didn’t make the photo shoot. But trust me, if you’re ever in Austin, go to Foodheads and order an entrée portion of these pickles.

While all the places we visited were incredible, the star of the trip was Dolce Vita. I semi fell in love with this place during my two days in Austin. So much so, this little establishment deserves a post of its own – I can’t wait to share!

Do you refer to blogs or blogger friends for restaurant recommendations? What is your favorite restaurant that’s been recommended to you – either in your hometown or while traveling?

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3 Before 8

Happy Saturday! We’re in for a rainy day ahead which means a lot time spent cozy on the cough, catching up on the DVR. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday if you ask me.

This morning started off with a veggie filled omelet; 1 egg, 2 egg whites, chopped asparagus, chopped kale and tomatoes – in the form of most incredible salsa, Drew’s Organic Thick and Chunky.

I also had a cut up pink lady and slice of Ezekiel toast with coconut oil and jam. 3 servings of fruits and veggies before 8 am, not bad … not bad at all!

I might need to make an emergency run to the store today to pick up some more Artisan Coconut Oil – my resources are dangerously low.

Last night a girlfriend invited me to the Titas Command Performance at the Winspear Opera House. I can’t even put the experience into words. The performances were incredible and each piece was better than the next. I left the Winspear beaming and filled with awe – dance is a powerful art!

Talk to me!

As I mentioned before, I’ve always wished I took ballet as a child and went on to be a professional ballerina. If you could go back in time, what would you want to try as a child?

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Like Bread and Butter

I hope some of you signed up for the Foodie Penpals program!! As much as I love picking out goodies to send to my match  … I must say, receiving a box full of yummy treats at your doorstep each month never gets old 🙂

Things are work lately have been nuts, not sure how else to describe it. My department was throw a few curveballs last week, which resulted in stressful days and long hours. Needless to say any energy I have left at the end of the day is put toward throwing something together for dinner and crashing on the couch.

Unfortunately, we were greeted with even more insanity at the office on Monday so it doesn’t look like the stress load or workload is going to lighten up anytime soon.

Moving on to more positive things … before the week took a turn, I was able to meet up with a good girlfriend at one of our favorite wine bars, Cru. I had my girls birthday dinner here last year and have been craving to go back.

We both were in need of a glass of wine after work so we each ordered a flight. My flight included three varieties of malbec, which were all from Mendoza, Argentina. All had very distinct flavors (notes?) and smells, my palate liked them all. 🙂

Once our stomaches (and the wine) told us it was time to eat, it didn’t take me long to decide on the seared ahi tuna. I have a slight obsession with ahi tuna and if it’s on the menu, I find it extremely difficult to say no. Me and ahi go together like bread and butter.

The sun went down before our food arrived – this sad iPhone photo does not do the dish justice. The tuna was perfectly seasoned and served over a bed of romaine, onion, beefsteak tomatoes, roasted peppers and asparagus with a balsamic dressing.

I hope your week is off to a good start!

Is there a dish that you just can’t say no to?

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Foodie Penpals: February

Foodie Penpals

I took a month off from foodie penpals, but I’m so happy to be back! The (once) little swap is growing so quickly and I loved seeing all the new bloggers that have joined in!

This month my penpal was from Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook. As soon as I opened the package, I knew I would love everything inside.

Kimberly wrote an adorable Valentine’s card explaining what she included in her package and a recipe for “Aime Family Walnuts.” I haven’t made them yet, but I know from the looks of the recipe they’re going to be addicting.

Keeping with the nut theme Kimberly also included Cocoa Roast Almonds – dark chocolate & almonds?! She spoke straight to my heart.

Not to be out shined by the coco almonds, Craisins ( I cannot even tell you how many of these I ate growing up!) I have some big plans in store for these little dried cranberries – stay tuned for a cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe.

Darrell Lea black liquorice. Darrell Lea makes the best soft & thick liquorice. I think black liquorice is something you either love or hate … I love it! Takes me back to the days of getting a stomach ache from eating way too many Good n’ Plenty’s. 🙂

I have a feeling Kimberly’s refrigerator looks a lot like mine. She sent me two of her kitchen ‘must-haves’ Sriracha and Beer’n Brat Mustard. I love (have I said that word enough yet) Sriracha and put it on anything and everything! I’ve never had Beer’n Brat mustard, but I’ve never met a mustard a didn’t like.

Thank you, thank you to Kimberly for sending such a wonderful package! If this post hasn’t convinced you to sign up for the foodie penpals program, I think we need to have a chat! 🙂

If you’re interested in participating in March, please send  an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com by March 4th and include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your blog name/address
  • Your twitter handle (if applicable)
  • Whether you are a US or Canada resident

Don’t forget to send Lindsay an email by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

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Noodle Arms

My two biggest accomplishments were (in no particular order):

  1. Workout
  2. Grocery shop

I think that’s pretty good for a Saturday! I spent the morning catching up on my Google Reader and came across this full body superset workout from Courtney. Usually, if I don’t get my workout in first thing in the morning, it’s a loss cause. After seeing this workout I managed to get myself motivated for an early afternoon workout.

I warmed up with 20 minutes of incline walking intervals then tackled Courtney’s superset workout. I’ll definitely be turning to this one again, a great full body workout and my arms felt like noodles by the end!

When dinner time rolled around we decided to head over to one of the few Indian restaurants in the area, Roti Grill. We split the house salad to start.

Your typical greens with a couple tomatoes and cucumbers thrown on top (already consumed). Nothing amazing, but it quelled our hunger while we waited for the main event.

I ordered the chicken tandoori and basmati rice, with a side of vindaloo sauce and whole wheat roti. The vindaloo sauce is the perfect amount of flavor and heat, perfect dipping sauce for the chicken and roti.

My roti is on the left, Jarod’s spinach naan on the right. One of my favorite things about Roti Grill is their wide selection of sauces and breads. They have 8 different sauces that can be customized for spiciness and 8 varieties of bread, from standard naan to whole wheat filled with potatoes and peas.

Even though our bellies were full, we couldn’t call it a night without stopping for frozen yogurt.

I filled my cup with french custard, peppermint and latte – reminded me of Starbucks’ peppermint latte.

We played a round of Farkle when we got home … I lost … for the third time in a row! One day I shall be the champion! 🙂

Your turn!

What is your favorite board/dice/card game?

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