Archive for the ‘Tea’ Category

It’s good to be back! My last full post was weeks ago, or so it seems. Not quite so much busy as lazy…..but I’m back in action, blogging away as I listened to a burned CD that I bought in Paraguay 9 years ago. Alejandro Sanz. Love, love, love his voice.

Mood (update):
Much better, thank you. (“What’s wrong Grumpy Pants?” texted my little sister, Jill)

Afternoon snack: Large apple. Crisp and delish.
Afternoon snack, Part Deux: tea and a slice of banana bread

(Green heart: reusing paper by writing on the other side of printed documents)

Tea in a teaspoon.

We bought this loose leaf tea at Central Market. It’s good! The tea, not Central Market. Central Market fails to impress me. It’s fancy and all, but lacks a good selection of organic products. For that reason, Whole Foods holds my heart.

It helps to place the tea leaves into measuring cups and to let them steep there. When ready to strain, it’s easy to pour into teacups or mugs because of the measuring cup’s spout.

Do you like the pretty mat? It currently sits atop the coffee table. I bought it in Spain for less than 2 euros. It doesn’t serve it’s purpose as a pillow case because none of our pillows fit, but it makes a great decoration and/or place mat. I’d bought three in different colors, only I wish I had bought more. Super cheap and great little pieces to brighten up a room.

As per usual, Lucas made the banana bread. Not his best (he concurs*)! But I blame it on our oven; it’s not that great and the temperature is difficult to regulate.

*Concur. That’s a word that I learned from that Leonardo DiCaprio movie where he plays a smooth con artist. I forget the name. It’s the scene where he plays a doctor, and he asks the nurse or someone if they concur with his diagnosis…I think that’s the way it went……I don’t know how old I was when that movie came out, but I suppose I was quite more than old enough to where I should have known what “concur” meant. Ah well.

And now to the fun stuff. Fun for me at least. You’re already here, so while not stay a bit longer?

Here are a few of my favorite things about our new digs!

Vintage door knobs…

Palm fronds…

Our little garden…

The natural light in Lucas’s art studio that lends a hand in inspiration….(Toy Story is also there to help)

The huge living room window…..

Kitchen nooks and crannies like this one….

Reading corner (on a mission for a more proper reading chair!)…

Charming archway….

The faux fireplace that serves as a bookcase…

..and it’s mosaic tile floor…

Just a few of my favorite things!

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-Ran 30 minutes in my neighborhood hills. Saw a gorgeous sunset and some cute deer.
-My Netflix workout (40 minutes boxing moves & abs)

Afternoon snack: 2 teensy-weensy pieces of dark chocolate…and…. 4 Medjool dates. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. They taste like PASTRIES!
Pre-dinner: A large apple
Dinner: I made chicken tacos; I had two. Ezekiel tortillas topped with lemon-pepper chicken, spinach leaves, and sauteed onions. Fabuloso!
Dessert: Peppermint tea and a thick slice of banana bread

Weekend Recap:
Where did we leave off?….Here’s a nice little summary for you.

Fitness: Day off
Afternoon snack: Lucas and I shared an oatmeal raisin cookie and large coffee with half & half at JP’s Java.
Dinner: Spaghetti with meat sauce
Dessert: Strawberry gelato sweetend with agave nectar—made in our juicer! That juicer can do anything. Ate my gelatto while watching “Amadeus.”  I forgot how long that movie was–but it’s so good! So is the song from the 80s. We were singing it all weekend thanks to the movie!

Fitness: 10k at Town Lake
Brunch: Whole Foods: A breakfast taco (spelt tortilla with vegan chorizo, black beans, cheese) and later Lucas and I split a humongous Carmelita bar. Ooooohhhh my goodness. The best. Hands down. Ammmmazing. I love WF Carmelita bars.
Pre-dinner: Salad greens with Happy Rice.
Dinner: I made oven-roasted vegetables (potatoes, Japanese yam, onions, carrots) and Kale Chips.

Kale Chips!! Don’t be fooled by their healthy, green appearance. Kale chips = potato chips without the guilt.

Kale Chips!! Finally I know what all of those food bloggers have been fussing about.

Kale Chips are nothing short of a miracle. Basically, it’s kale (a leafy green) tossed in salt and olive oil, topped with some Parmesan cheese, and baked in the oven. After baking, they become potato chips. Basically. If you blindfolded me, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two. Honestly. Try it. Do yourself a favor. You will be amazed. Really!

Before the oven….


Light, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth salty goodness. Unbelievably tasty.

This is a recipe I got from Kath’s blog:

  • Preheat oven to about 375*
  • Use about 1 OXO salad spinner’s worth of kale (which was a stuffed grocery store veggie bag). Tear the leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces. Spread out on cookie sheets.
  • Drizzle with about 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, Asiago or your seasonings of choice. Plus a sprinkle of kosher salt.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and kale is crispy when moved in pan.

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I have a great job, but like most people I think, I don’t exactly look forward to coming to work on a Monday morning after a pleasant weekend. But today I was excited because I was coming to a newly cleaned and reorganized workspace. What a nerd!

Look at this banana bread! It’s huge! Lucas made a double recipe in a springform pan, so it came out in a cake shape. Hmmmm. It’s funny. I originally taught Lucas this banana bread recipe four years ago, but now he is the one that makes it all the time now. I don’t even remember the recipe anymore, so now if I make it (um, which is when?) I have to ask him for the recipe!….and of course his version is better (and healthier), so what can I do but eat and enjoy?

Breakfast: I made a fresh juice for Lucas, then he made one for me. Awwww, isn’t that sweet? My juice had carrots, oranges, celery, and ginger…..Later, I had a thick slice of banana bread and a cup of Yogi Chai Green Tea. Spicy!

Yesterday was BEAUTIFUL! Warm, sunny, perfect. But as in typical Texas weather fashion, snow is predicted tomorrow….I hope it snows!

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Light Tonight

Day off, although I did take a leisurely 45 minute walk

Afternoon snack: Peppermint tea and a slice and a half of banana bread
Dinner: Light tonight. Fresh juice (oranges, apple, celery, carrots, ginger, lemon). Refreshing, delicious. I am soooo glad that we got the juicer. We’ve had it for several months now, but I tell you, it’s magic in a glass, everytime.
Post-dinner snack: A cup of Kashi GO LEAN Crunch! Honey Almond Flax. Reminds me of Honey Smacks!

I’m exhausted. Time to do some dishes then go to bed.

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Brrr! The weather outside is delicious, even if I did get a bit soaked waiting for the bus! I came home and a had a cozy little snack…..

Post-lunch: 6 dried Cali figs
Early evening snack: a banana, then later a cup of peppermint tea and two small florentines.

Moving on to dinner….

My grandfather’s family was from Italy. That makes me somewhat Italian.

That must explain why I love pasta, right?

Probably not. I’m guessing most Italians would turn there noses up at the packaged stuff we buy. But that’s cool.  If I could whip up some homemade ravioli, I’d probably be scoffing at the plastic-wrapped pasta, too.

The fact remains that I’m crazy about pasta, any kind, and I could eat it every day of the week and not get bored. But Lucas would get bored, which is why we have it about once a week. In fact, tonight I went solo on the pasta, because he wanted wild rice. Yawn.

You may have seen similar pasta dishes on here several times before. It’s just so easy and so tasty and at the same time looks kind of fancy. Who doesn’t want a meal like that?

1 bunch of broccoli
1 small bunch of fresh spinach
1/2 package whole wheat fettucini
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1) Boil chopped broccoli for 2 minutes. Immediately remove from boiling water and place into a bowl with ice water. Let cool.
2) Wash spinach well (if not pre-washed). Coarsley chop.
3) Pure spinach, broccoli, and parmesan in a food processor.
4) Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, heat the pesto in a small pan over low to medium heat. Add 1/3 cup of water, mix well.
5) After pasta has been cooked and drained, add pesto. Mix well. Ready! Makes two generous servings.

Swiss chocolate with nuts. Thanks, Flor!

Gym. 15 minutes stretching/abs/core, 30 minutes legs.

Green heart:
I always thoroughly check plastic packaging for a recycling symbol. Tonight’s pasta package unfortunately wasn’t recyclable, but I made sure to triple check.

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Breakfast: A cup of Celestial Seasonings Honey Lemon Gingseng Green Tea and a bowl of Bear Naked Oatmeal:
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-1 cup water
-1/4 cup soymilk
-1/2 cup of Bear Naked Fruit & Nut Granola
-1 tbs agave nectar
-sprinkling of cinnamon

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Tired. And I woke up feeling all icky. Cake and ice cream overload.

Breakfast: A fresh juice and later whole grain toast with peanut butter and agave. I rushed out of the house with no time to prep anything, so Lucas just grabbed the ingredients for me to take to work.

And now….some Celestial Seasonings tea.

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Where did the day go? I did some writing, I made dinner, ate dinner while watching a documentary (Austinites, this is a must see: The Unforseen). All of a sudden, it’s 10:30! What the cuss? I still have papers to file and an apartment to clean. Wah!! Will it be a long night, or an early morning? We shall see.

Dinner was tasty, but there were a lot of mixes of foods going on (hot, cold, protein, carb) and it’s not sitting so well with me now. Ouch. I’m going to have some peppermint tea.

Speaking of tea, let me just say, I can be such a space cadet. I put water on to boil. And then I forgot about it. I remembered just now. Where is the kettle? Oh, look, there are the tea cups with the tea already steeping. Lucas. Thank you, dear husband.

Yeah, well, Lucas isn’t perfect either. Tonight he got a fire going in the fireplace…and forgot to open the flue! Luckily that was  short-lived, but still. We had to open all of the windows and turn on the fans to get the smokiness out. We had to freeze to get warm. Ironic.

I’m quite the rambler this evening. Shall we?

Pre-dinner: Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon
Dinner: Salad greens with a chopped hard-boiled egg and a finely shredded carrot, tossed in a honey-mustard dressing. On the side, sweet potato “fries” and oven-roasted onions.

One of my new goals is to focus on portion-control. Most days, I eat the same amount as my husband. Which I suppose would be fine if I was actually hungry enough. But usually I give myself a big serving, when I should start out small, or I go back for seconds, when I should wait a while to see if I really want more. Kate gave me a good portion tip today: eat what you can find into the palms of your cupped hands. I need to actually give it a try!

I’m kind of thinking it’s going to be a late night rather than an early morning….I’m way too full to go to bed now.

Buenas noches!

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I was in bed at 10:00, awake at 6:15, and up at 6:30.

Breakfast: A cup of peppermint tea and 2 slices of whole grain toast with 2 tbs of crunch peanut butter drizzled w/ agave nectar

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Looks like everyone and their dog decided to join a gym for their New Year’s resolution! The gym was packed tonight. Granted, it was gym rush hour, but still. Lots of peeps. Good for them!

-40 minutes on the treadmill: 5 minute warm-up jog, 30 minutes at 7.5 to 8 mph, and 5 minute cool down jog/walk.
-5-10 minutes of ab/core work: 3 x 20 on the ball, 3 x 30 second face down planks

Afternoon snack: Slice of banana bread and a cup of green tea
Post-workout snack: 2 dates and 2 figs. I should have had an apple–didn’t get much fresh fruit today.
Dinner: Quibebe. I should have had a salad, too. Nothing green today.
Dessert: 3 assorted chocolates. I wasn’t really even craving sweets. But I knew the box of choco was there. So…

Quibebe recipe:

1) Cut a medium-sized butternut squash into large cubes (pumpkin is ok too). Place cubes into a large pot, fill with water until it covers the squash half-way. Heat on medium heat until tender.
2) Remove from heat. Scrape out the squash “meat”
3) In a large pot, sautee 1 chopped onion until tender and golden. Add a bit of salt.
4) Add squash to the sauteed onions. Optional: you can puree the squash before adding it to the onions for a creamier texture.
5) Heat over low fire. Stir occassionally until mixture is relatively smooth.
6) Optional: add 2 cups of corn. You can used canned corn kernels, frozen corn kernels (prepare first as directed), or fresh corn kernels. Stir, then season to taste with ground pepper and cayenne pepper
7) Add 1.5 cups of grated cheese. Mozarrella works well, but be sure it’s not “fresh” mozarella. It should be a low-moisture mozarella. 8) Mix well. Let cheese melt a bit, or a lot if you like it nice and creamy.
9) Continue to heat over low fire until mixture, mixing occassionally. Add a handful of chopped green onion. Salt to taste.
10) Heat over low fire 10-15 minutes more. Serve hot. (It’s good at any temp really!)

Lucas makes this dish. It’s one of my faves.

Green heart:
It was cold and dark by the time I got to the bus stop after my gym workout. Lucas offered to pick me up, but I turned his sweet offer down. The bus was going towards home, what’s a little wait? (Plus, why waste my hubby’s time?)

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