Monthly Archives: April 2011

Where I’ve been, Where I’m going

If you’re a loyal reader (then I love you!) then you know I’ve been missing from the blogosphere for a few days now. Fear not, I’m fine, but my beloved Mac is not. My Mac book is currently down and can be fixed for a fee, but I haven’t decided yet if its best to just replace the computer. It’s hard to let go of it – we made it through law school and the Bar exam together – but it may be time. So that’s where I’ve been – a gal with no computer.

But where am I go? On vacation! Tomorrow, Chris and I leave for our 9-night Caribbean cruise. I couldn’t be happier! My nails are mani-ed and my toes are pedi-ed, my body has been pilated, my sandals and bikinis have been bought, and my bags are thinking about being packed, so I’m all ready to go!

When we return, I will figure out the computer situation and return to the blogging world. Until then, I miss you all!

Playing Hostess

Passover begins tonight! Chris and I are hosting my family for sedar tomorrow night. This will be our 3rd sedar together, but the first one we host for my family. In fact, it will be the first sedar I am able have with my family since Junior year in college. Usually Passover falls both around finals and in the middle of the week, so I can’t make it home. Since I now live close to my family, my mom, dad, and brother are coming tomorrow night to celebrate with Chris, Hadley, and I.

I have made and remade my menu several times now. Originally I wanted to go with an entirely vegetarian menu, but my dad strongly vetoed that idea. We agreed that I’ll make all the veggie dishes and he will bring along the meat. In the end, I’ll be cooking up matzah ball soup, matzah veggie lasagna, mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, and a flourless chocolate cake. Just typing that all out makes me schvitz. Lots of work to do!

Thankfully, Chris is going to make it home tonight to help me start the cooking. I’m not much of a baker, so I’ll need his help in making the cake. The mashed potatoes are all his, too, because he makes the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. The rest I will spend all day tomorrow making, because I have the day off from work to master this entire menu. Obviously this is way too much food for our small sedar, but I figure it will keep me eating well most of Passover. Also, don’t under estimate the eating power of Jews. We tend to pack it in on the holidays. 🙂

What are your Passover plans? Or upcoming Easter plans? Do you plan on hosting any of the meals?

A Saturday In List Form

Here’s Saturday in list form:

– Sleep in late. Hooray!

– Finally, roll out of bed. Convince both boyfriend and dog that we should get bagels, go for a long walk, and scope out a new dog park.

– Boyfriend, dog, and I make it through the wind to bagel place. Order delicious bagels, but then decide that it’s too damn nasty out to stay outside. It begins to rain on the way back.

– Eat bagels inside while dog watches for leftovers.

– Proceed to wish rain will go away, but instead get paperwork ready for the cruise.

– Find coffee. Call mom. Mistakenly call Melissa instead. Squeal about her wedding plans for a while.

– Watch two hours worth of HBO’s John Adams miniseries. If you are a history buff – watch it.

– Realize it’s still pouring out and decide that there is no way I am running outside.

– Convince Chris to return to the gym to run inside. Hooray!

Well, that’s where we are at so far. I am happy to say that Chris is currently hunting for his running shorts. It’s hard to get back to the gym after a long work out break, so I’m pumped he is returning. I mean, we do have to burn calories, since we are heading out to a Beer Garden (indoors) tonight. I’m thinking about renting a boat to get there.

Foodie Friday: Tiffin Wallah

127 E 28th St
New York, NY 10079

One evening I meet Chris in the city when he was getting out of work late. He promised he found a restaurant I was going to love, but it was a surprise. We walked in the light rain for what seemed forever, until making our way to the Flatiron District.

Where are we going?

You’ll see. You’re going to love it.

We arrived at Tiffin Wallah, a vegetarian Indian restaurant. Good smart boyfriend. I love trying out new vegetarian restaurants. In fact, Chris and my first date was at Moosewood’s, a famous veggie restaurant in Ithaca, so trying out new veggie food together is always special. Chris isn’t a vegetarian, but he is always willing to try out a good veggie dish. Like I said, good smart boyfriend.

Indian food and me also have a special relationship. As of this time last year, I hated Indian food. I hated the spiciness, I hated the particular spices used, and I hated peas which are in too many of the dishes. Okay, I still hate peas. But, for so long I wanted to like Indian food. I know this sounds strange, but I can explain. All my friends at law school loved Indian food. They would go once a week to the Indian buffet, and I was always sad I couldn’t join because I couldn’t stomach the stuff. Also, I knew that Indian food had lots of veggie options, and my vow as a vegetarian is that since I’m already restricted in my diet, I want to be open to all non-meat types of food. Not eating Indian food seemed to contradict this vow.

So I worked on it. A new Indian restaurant opened up near campus and I decided to be brave and try it out with my friends. I knew I had a shot at liking the place, because there were no peas in the rice. I ordered the least spicy dish on the menu and begged them to make it even less spicy. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but it didn’t make me sick. High standards, right? So the next time I went back, I tried a different dish. Better. I did this again, until I found a dish I was in love with – a chickpea curry (oh gosh I love all things chickpea). Soon I was hooked. As my palate expanded, I was able to also up my spice tolerance (hooray) and enjoy other dishes.

Now, I am obsessed with Indian food and eat it almost weekly. As you can see, Chris and I enjoyed it just the other night. I’m happy to have opened myself to a new cuisine, especially one that focuses on vegetarian cooking.

So back to Tiffin Wallah. Tiffin Wallah is amazing. It’s a small space, but they take reservations so there’s no big problem there. The menu is all vegetarian and includes a lot of authentic Indian options in addition to popular American-Indian dishes. They also have a lot of dosa options. We started with a stuffed dosa that was so large it took up most our table. After enjoying our dosa, I managed to spill a Diet Coke all over myself, and the waiter was nice enough to move our table (I made that big of a mess). We split Chana Masala that was on the spicy side, but very good. The rice was also perfectly seasoned. I was mad I was too full to try some of their other veggie options. Basically, I need to go back soon.

If you are vegetarian or love Indian food or just want to try out something new, go ahead and try Tiffin Wallah. Let me know what you ordered, so I can add it to my foodie Wish List.

Lots of Squash

I have a love affair going on with Spaghetti Squash. It’s low in calories, crunchy, can be prepared lots of different ways, and is easy to cook. In my mind, that’s a big win. Tuesday, I made Spaghetti Squash, and have been reaping the profits since. I’ve enjoyed it both on its own and mixed with multigrain pasta for dinner Tuesday night and lunch yesterday and today.

Cutting the thing is the hardest part. Take that squash.

Now take out all the pulp ...

Ready to go into the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Take it out, let it cool, scope it out, and dress it up. Mine has marinara sauce, onions, peppers, chickpeas, mozz, and spices.

Enjoy it on its own or mixed with some pasta. Serve in whimiscal bowl.

Last night, Chris came home from work in time for dinner with lots of leftovers from a meeting. We put aside the Spaghetti Squash for the night and dug into some awesome Indian food:

We now have A LOT of Basmati rice.

We also got to spend an entire night together, which was awesome. You know what will be even more awesome? Spending 9 whole days together uninterrupted on our cruise! 15 days and counting …

Doh!

Well, my Passover Sedar plans may have just been ruined.

Me: So Dad, let me just go through my menu so I know you like what I making.

Dad: I’m not picky. I’ll eat anything.

Me: Okay, so you’d eat Vegetable Matzah lasagna?

Dad: No, I don’t eat vegetables.

Me: You don’t eat vegetables? Any? I thought you said you weren’t picky.

Dad: No, they hurt my stomach.

Me: Well, that’s a problem because I’m planning on making a vegetarian meal.

Dad: Wait, no meat?

Darnit.

How to fix this? Dad won’t eat vegetables, I don’t eat meat, Chris doesn’t eat most fish, and I am insisting upon making my lasagna because it is awesome and once my father tastes it, I think he’ll like it. Also, I have no clue or interest in how to cook meat, and would probably poison everyone at the table if I tried to make it.

Suggestions oh so welcomed.

Passover is Coming

Passover is coming up fast. So fast (aka next Monday) that I stocked up on matzah last night. During Passover, there are a lot of restrictions. I have a particularly hard time with Passover, because of my own self-imposed no meat restrictions. I have gone a little crazy from matzah-boredom in the past. The hardest Passover was my freshman year of college, where I had no clue what to eat and nothing to cook with but a microwave. I ended up leaving a chem lecture early because I was so dizzy. I’m pretty sure that was one of the very few Passover I didn’t make it through.

The past few Passovers during law school haven’t gone stellar either. Because there was so much I couldn’t eat and because Passover fell when I was studying for finals, I seemed to be skipping real meals in lieu of lots of junk food. Chocolate cover almonds and gummy fruit slices are popular Passover treats, and were a little too popular with me.

This year, I am going to be more prepared by thinking up dishes beforehand. I don’t keep Passover as strict as some Jews, and will eat foods not labeled Kosher for Passover so long as they don’t contain any of the restricted ingredients. Here’s what’s on my mind for Passover starting next Monday:

Breakfasts:

– Greek yogurt mixed with bananas and mixed berries. This is a breakfast I can happily eat all 9 days of Passover.

Lunches: This is the trickiest meal, because I have to be able to bring it in to work. It also is hard, because I pretty much hate matzah. If you have any suggestions for Passover portable lunches, let me know!

– Spaghetti squash with chopped veggies in marinara sauce

– Tuna fish salad with sliced tomato, lettuce, and onions

– Quinoa salad (though I’m not totally sold in quinoa)

– Matzah pizza (the only really yummy way to eat matzah)

– Hardboiled egg and salad

Dinners: These are easier, because I am home so I can be experimental and spur of the moment.

– Baked potato topped with mixed veggies, cheese, and sour cream.

– Salmon with baked potato and broccoli

– Mixed veggie and cheese omelet

Matzah brie

– Matzah ball soup

Also, I’ll be eating leftovers from the yummy two-nights of Sedars for as long as I can. Chris and I are hosting the second night of Sedar, and I have an exciting vegetarian twist planned. Look forward to reading about it next week!

I Want to be a Rugged Maniac!

Hi, yea, so I need to do a Rugged Maniac. I read about Tina’s experience with one yesterday on her blog, and now I want to participate in one so badly. Like I am going to up my running so I can do this badly. I did play rugby in college, so I guess this is my need to put myself in crazy physical situations coming out again.

The best part is that the closest one is July 9th in Englishtown, NJ. Englishtown happens to be relatively close to where my brother goes to college. My brother happens to be all-college-atheleticy and can do this piece of cake. So this may really happen!!!

The only possible snafu is that he may be on vacation then, so if so, who wants to roll in the mud with me? Oh man, that came out wrong. You know what I mean!

Pilates and Puppy Time

Yesterday’s weather was perfect. Maybe more than perfect. At 9PM it was still above 70 degrees. Today NYC is a rainy mess. But let’s focus on yesterday.

After work yesterday, I left in a wonderful, let’s-achieve-a-lot! mood. I mean, it was 70 degrees. I stopped by the library and picked out two new reads. Then Hadley and I traveled to the dog park. He had fun obsessing over a ball, so that was all good and cute.

Following the dog park, it was time to scoot over to Pilates. Since people who were just experimenting with Pilates from the Groupon have either left, or in my case, stuck around for the last two months, we are beginning to up our skill level. In the beginning, Pilates was really hard. My neck would hurt after class a lot. But then, classes became easier and I would wish I had a harder work out. Now I am getting what I wished for. Over the last two weeks, we have been upping both our intensity and skill level. My neck is a little sore today, and yesterday I learnt that I have pretty much no muscles in my middle back. On the up and up, I did learn that I can do a push-up easily enough – something I couldn’t even have faked two months ago. I’m excited to keep advancing with Pilates and learning new moves.

I came home from Pilates starving. Chris is still in the midst of trial (done hopefully this week!!!), so I’m still eating solo. I enjoying cooking for one, because then I can make whatever I want. Yesterday, I wanted a nice big salad. The problem was, I had a piece of salmon sitting in my fridge that needed to be eaten. So I compromised and grabbed a salad on my way home at the food store salad bar and cooked salmon to add to it. While the salmon cooked, I needed to munch on something, so I tried out a recent Whole Foods purchase:

Nutritional info

I’m really excited to have found these chips. Alone, I don’t think they would work, but used as a dipper they are excellent. They have an earthy taste with a little bit of a spicy kick. Lentil chips and hummus was the perfect app to curb my hunger as I waited for my salmon.

New go to snack.

When the salmon was ready, I threw it on top of the salad, and mixed it all together. It was a good compromise.

I ended the night taking Hadley to Rita’s for ices. I got a peanut butter ice and he got custard in a Pup Cup. This is Hadley’s favorite treat, but I only let him have it sometimes, since sugar isn’t good for dogs. He was thrilled to be included in my Rita’s run last night.

I couldn't snap a picture at Rita's (no hands), but doesn't this look like a smug and satisifed dog?

I ended the night reading one of my library picks in bed and tried to wait up for Chris to come home, but failed. I can’t wait to have that boy back in my life!

This Week’s Loves #10

This is a weekly post where I take time to be thankful for the small extras that made me happy this past week.

– Receiving coupons from Chobani in the mail. Thanks Chobani!

Can't wait to try some new flavors!

Source

– Getting Hadley groomed so he now looks dapper.

Handsome buddy.

– Lunching (and shopping) at Whole Foods with a good friend.

Nom nom nom.

– Celebrating a best friend’s engagement. Congrats Melissa and Aaron!

– Celebrating another best friend’s birthday with champagne and a night out.

– Getting an updated eye glass prescription (though I have yet to fill it).

– Wearing my favorite cozy knee socks to work (which I wore under boots, but took off at my desk).

They are just fun.

– Finding out the newest  Thursday Next book is out!!!

I love the quirky mind of Jasper Ffrode

What are your loves from this past week?