September 2009


Shameless promotion, I know, but I just can’t resist! Tune in tonight to watch my sweet Minnesota girl JULIA guest star on Modern Family! ABC, 9 PM. Loves it!!!

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I bought two small heads of broccoli last week with the intention of making some soup but wasn’t really craving it until today, when the weather finally dipped below 100 degrees.  This soup is super quick and easy and it tastes amazing!

First I diced 1/2 yellow onion.  I LOVE onion but if you aren’t a fan, you can just easily omit this step.

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Next I added some garlic and basil. These are two ingredients that I usually don’t have fresh on-hand, but Trader Joe’s has the perfect solution – Dorot frozen herbs & spices!

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One cube equals 1 clove of garlic and 1 tsp. of basil, respectively.  I added two of each to a little cooking spray in a pan, then tossed in the onions and cooked for a few minutes until everything was heated through.  Next came the broccoli! 

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I added all the broccoli to the pot with a cup of water and a cup of Emeril’s All Natural Chicken Stock.  I would have added all chicken stock but I forgot I had this sample from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program!

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I turned down heat a little, covered the pot and cooked for 7 minutes. Then I just dumped all of it, steaming, into the blender. Looks v. appetizing, no?

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Alright, maybe not, but the end result certainly is pretty!

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The only thing I would have done differently is add some arugula and cilantro to the blender.  Unfortunately I didn’t have either of these ingredients but I’ve used them in the past to add a little kick! Served with a nice crusty hunk of bread, this soup makes a light, refreshing meal or delicious addition to any dinner. You can even eat it cold :)

Not a broccoli fan? Try peas instead!

Yesterday I had to head over to the Valley for work.  Normally running around all day instead of getting things done at the office is pretty stressful, but instead I decided to take a cue from my last post where I gushed about my sun-lovin’ attitude and enjoyed the ride through the palm trees, green lawns, and 100 degree heat. I was one happy camper!

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By the way, has anyone else noticed that bloggers are shameless self-photographers??

Going over the hill ALSO meant I got to stop off somewhere to grab lunch.  I deliberated over Panera (maybe for once K would have been jealous of my soup/baguette combo!) but I simply couldn’t pass up the Sushi Dan lunch special. I used to go here ALL the time when I worked at my old company but now I am a little too far away to make it there and back in my lunch hour.  So now I just have to save it for dinners out, but I try to get the Dan anytime I have a random open afternoon.  There are SO many options to choose from, but one of my favorites is spicy tuna, cucumber roll, California roll, and miso soup for $9. Amazing! I had half for lunch, with lots of ginger.

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Plus a great cup of miso soup. Normally I would just eat this with chopsticks but I got the cutest soup spoons from Cost Plus/World Market ages ago that I haven’t had a chance to use! So pretty, no??

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For dessert I had these two strawberry candies. My great aunt always had these on hand when we were growing up and they remind me of childhood!  I think all hard candies should have an ooey, gooey center.

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I also squeezed in an impromptu little run before Marissa’s birthday dinner that felt great.  I didn’t have time to make it to the gym and back before I had to shower and get ready to go out.  I’m not usually in the mood to run but the thought of doing a 30 minute workout in just 30 minutes, with no driving and parking time tacked on, sounded fabulous! Afterward I refueled with a big glass of water and a translucent piece of yellow bell pepper.

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Dinner was great, and I got to unload a whole bunch of magazines on Kate and Courtney.  No complaints when I pulled out the October issues of Vogue, InStyle, Harper’s, and about 10 different weeklies!

Speaking of weeklies (and by that I mean that the week is almost over, whew!), I’m so glad it’s Thursday night. Today I made it to the Farmer’s Market and snagged my first brussel sprouts of the season. Yay! Definitely one good thing about fall.

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They baked up perfectly next to my leftover sushi!

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Another NEW fall favorite – pumpkin ice cream! Rachel and I couldn’t resist buying the Dreyer’s Double Churned variety at the grocery store tonight and it was awesome. It went perfectly with the Office :)

Speaking of TV, I missed the premiere of Grey’s!! Anyone know if this posts online somewhere?!

I can’t believe today is the first day of Fall. Literally, can’t believe it…it’s still hot and summery here in SoCal!

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There’s seriously only one way to tell Fall has arrived, and that’s billboards for the latest TV lineup…EVERYWHERE!

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Honestly, I think most people disagree, but I am seriously so much happier with my one week of snow and winter when I head back East and faux seasons the rest of the year (think, fake snow at The Grove on weekends).  I definitely get seasonal depression even when the sky is just gloomy, so I am 100% all about the California sunshine. If I have to give up raking leaves for palms, so be it! I know, y’all think I’m nuts. But really?!

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Love.

I had a raging appetite today and enjoyed lots of quick, simple comfort foods!

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Lean Cuisine Pizza

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Broccoli

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Veggies with balsamic and basil

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Whole wheat elbow pasta and TJ eggplant

Don’t get me wrong, I am super psyched for pumpkin, squash, Christmas shopping, holiday parties, cookie baking, warm blankets and socks, and all that jazz. But I want to hold onto summer as long as I can!!

Do you love your city’s weather??

Typical insane Monday! Luckily every work day finally finishes and now I am relaxing with my sister. I stopped by the gym for a quick 30 minutes that I pushed to 40. Forty is better than zero, yes??  Since Rachel and I grabbed froyo on the way home, I kept dinner simple and easy with a big bowl of Progresso Light Italian Style Meatball.  I had never had this kind before, but I LOVE Progresso soups so I figured I’d give it a try.  Pretty good! And super low cal! This soup would be perfect with lots of warm, crusty bread :)

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Dinner TV is One Tree Hill…another new thing for me, but my friend INDIA has a role this season as Miranda, the b*tchy music exec!!!!! She’s utterly fabulous!!!!  It’s especially entertaining since she’s sweet as peach pie in real life. 

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Dessert TV will be Gossip Girl of course, with a side of Yogurtland.  I got the usual peanut butter and chocolate with the all-new coffee! It’s a million times more delicious than it looks, believe it or not.

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Got to go get my dose of drama!!! Anyone else dying over how many times they are playing Cobra Starship as Blair struts around the joint??

xoxo.

I’m lame, I know :)

This weekend has been so relaxing!! Man, I needed it!  After two weeks of busy, busy, busy, sick, busy, I decided to spend the whole weekend doing a lot of nothing.  Friday night was dedicated to Arrested Development.  If you like comedy TV in any way, shape, or form, you MUST watch. It’s beyond funny!! I got really into this show a few years back and just discovered that I never finished the whole series. Sweet!!! I see many moments of rolling on the floor in laughter in my near future :)

Saturday, Rachel and I ended up at the beach after I ran some boring shopping errands.  It got cloudy and chilly but it was perfect weather for wearing a warm sweater and curling up with a good book.  I stopped off at the library for the latest Madeleine Wickham AKA Sophie Kinsella book, The Wedding Girl.  I love reading girly lit at the beach!

We made an early dinner so we could walk to The Grove to catch a movie.  I filled a bowl with tomatoes & basil, spinach, eggplant/red onion/cucumbers topped with TJ Corn & Chile salsa.  I just bought this tomato-less salsa for the first time and I love the spicy kick!

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Normally I would eat way more than this, but I wanted to save belly room for movie candy, like Junior Mints! My all-time favorite movie treat…

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…and new Cranberry Raisinets. Or Craisinets as I call them. Yum!

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Plus some goodies for Rachel. All together now!

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We didn’t finish all this candy but the variety was fabulous!! We walked over to the theater, deciding between 500 Days of Summer and Love Happens.  The two movies started within 5 minutes of each other so we kept flipping back and forth between the two. We got on line thinking 500 Days and changed our mind at the very last second!

So sad. Rachel and I were both crying like babies. Still, I liked it! Love Aaron Eckhart and the part with him and Jennifer Anniston at the hookah bar is SO early relationship/cutesy honeymoon stage. After the movie, we wandered around and even caught a few minutes of shopping before walking back home.

Movies + candy = the perfect recipe for a relaxing night!

Today’s been all about the fruits & veggies (with a few pieces of last night’s candy snuck in for good measure!).

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I made a great mix of avocado, tomatoes, red onion and Corn & Chile salsa to top my veggie burger. It was creamy and spicy and so good!

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I even hit the gym today for an hour, whoo! I’ve been too busy to squeeze in an official workout recently, so it was nice to break a sports-related sweat, opposed to sweating in my hot apartment :)

I’m continuing my relaxing streak with a marathon of Law & Order SVU and lots of DVR.  I STILL need to watch the season premiere of GG!!!!  And I have a new episode of Toddlers & Tiaras taped…definitely the most embarrassing show I watch.  Anyone else have some guilty TV favorites??

Hey boos! It’s been way too long! In the last two weeks, I’ve been apartment searching, celebrating Katie Jo & Julia’s birthdays, entertaining my college roommate who was visiting LA, and working my butt off at work. Oh yeah, and I’ve been sick on top of that! Combined with a broken camera and broken computer mouse…it’s no wonder I’ve been missing from cyber world!

I’ve been eating many delicious meals out but have finally been able to get back to the kitchen this week. I missed my homemade dinners! My sister and I filled our empty cabinets and fridge with goodies from Trader Joe’s and Ralphs. I love peanut sauce but usually skip over it because I will either eat the whole container or just use it for one meal and the rest will go to waste.  This time, I couldn’t resist the peanut-y goodness!

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The final result contained udon noodles, shrimp, broccoli, satay peanut sauce, lemon and cilantro.  It was delicious!  I could seriously eat this sauce with a spoon.

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I’ve also been consuming my fair share of sweet treats! Including Julia’s birthday *cakes*

She selected her favorite (and future wedding cake apparently), the Berry Blossom: three layers of vanilla sponge cake brushed with orange blossom liquor, filled with white chocolate mousse and fresh berries, and decorated with crumbled meringue.

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I got the second pick, and of course went with chocolate.  Actually, try CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE!  Oh yeah, I went there…three layers of dark chocolate cake and spread with a creamy dark chocolate truffle filling, covered in dark chocolate ganache and swirls of more chocolate ganache, finished with a splash of white chocolate drizzle.

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I wish I were eating another piece right now. Think of the most decadently chocolate thing you’ve ever eaten and multiply by a thousand. AH-mazing!

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Happy Birthday Jules! I wish I had more photos to share but it’s nice to be back!

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