I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday around 4pm and literally almost went insane. First of all, never go to Trader Joe’s between the hours of 3-5:30pm. Trust me guys, your car will most likely be hit by red shopping carts (happened to me), children will run into with mini shopping carts, you will be blinded by a sea of Hawaiian shirts and it will take you a good hour and a half to get a total of 10 things.
After that you may hear that bell they clink at the check out lane ringing in your ears for a good 5 hours after. You may even have dreams about it (also happened to me).
This month has been wonderful. I took some time off after quitting my job, searched for a new apartment in Chicago, went on a mini vacation with Tony, spent time with good friends I haven’t seen in a while and have really gotten back into running.
Last week I ran around 15 miles, which really isn’t that much but I have been only working out every other day (if that), so I felt pretty proud of myself. The MapMyRun app on my phone has me addicted to timing my runs and competing with myself. I’ve also gotten Tony to run with me a few times. Even though he’s a professional athlete, the man hates to run. I don’t get it.
I’m not the type of person who is afraid to hide their feelings. And while I certainly can’t hide them, sometimes I won’t say exactly what’s on my mind. Apparently this is extremely frustrating for others, but hey, sometimes I can’t help it! There are a lot of thoughts swirling around in my brain and expressing them all seems more complicated then simply analyzing them in my mind.
Tony is here (Minnesota) visiting me before we head out to Chicago for a few weeks. He is going to help me look for apartments so that I can potentially make a move to the windy city! I’m beyond excited, but I really need to find a great spot with a nice kitchen, so fingers crossed.
Since I know that I’ll be gone from my kitchen for a few weeks, I need to get caught up on recipe development. That means that piles of cookies, ALL THE THINGS pumpkin and of course, lots of muffins.
It’s getting cold outside you guys! And I’m kind of excited about it because it means I get to wear all of my comfy clothes, fall boots and of course, bake my heart out. I actually can’t wait to head to the apple orchard this year to pick fresh juicy apples. Tony just got done with baseball and will be staying with me for the next week or so. Hopefully we’ll have time to head to the orchard.
My favorite apples to snack on are usually Honeycrisp and Braeburn because of their sweet, crispy crunch. However nothing beats a granny smith when it comes to baking. They’re perfectly tart yet still offer some sweetness. I can’t wait to bake up famous apple crisp this year (make it!).
A few months ago I made giant cinnamon rolls the size of my face. From that moment on, I’ve basically fallen in love with the buttery cinnamon sugar little swirls that make them incredibly special. I didn’t post the recipe on the blog because quite frankly, I was a little embarrassed by how much butter I used. Hehe.
Of course, everyone I served them to were in love and agreed that were they the absolute best brunch treat and that of course, I should put them on the blog.
I’ve been getting back into vinyassa yoga lately. Most of the time I do yoga sculpt classes with weights, but recently I’ve needed some deep stretching and some major stress relief. The mind-body connection that yoga brings me is often times my favorite part of the class; I’m more self-aware, compassionate, and thoughtful with each class. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety diminishes.
The other day my instructor was talking about how you have to be brave in order to become your true self. How you have to go beyond what you think you’re capable of if you want to make something happen. Take a chance on something or someone.
Little conversations like those push me to be better. I’m happy to have the ability to to make choices, change my future and create opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Thus on my journey to having a clear mind with less stress, I’m also focusing on having a healthy body. Eating clean, preparing my meals, and taking care of myself is so important.
This past weekend I made a big batch of this summery salad (with fall flavors?) My mom came over to help taste test, and she absolutely loved it. We enjoyed it cold served with some greek yogurt.
This salad was inspired by my favorite little meal at Whole Foods made with couscous. Every time I’m there I search for it.
Homemade pecan nut butter sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, vanilla, and spiced with cinnamon. This sweet and salty combo will be your new favorite to spread on toast.
Do you love pecan pie? How about toasty, nutty pecans on top of coffee cake? Or those cinnamon-sugar pecans around Christmas time? Mmmm absolutely yes.
A few days ago, I was strolling around Trader Joe’s checking out all of the new products when I noticed that there really weren’t that many nut butters besides almond and peanut. And I hate to break it to you, but cookie butter doesn’t count.
Anyway now I feel like I’m on some sort of quest. I MUST MAKE ALL THE NUT BUTTERS. Or at least a few. Anything I can smear on toast or spread all over my pancakes is a must.
Pecans happen to be my new favorite nut, so I opted to create pecan butter that taste like the flavors of fall in a jar.
A healthy Moroccan-spiced Stew with butternut squash, chickpeas, and lentils! You’ll love this protein and fiber packed meal!
Let me just start off by saying that this winter has been one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Minnesota is an icicle and I’m about ready to pack my bags, abandon everything, and get on a plane to any place with good margaritas and warm weather (Cali?).
It’s gotten to the point where every time I venture outside, my toes automatically become numb, even with wool socks. To top it all off there was a blizzard last week, my car got stuck, and I didn’t leave my house for two days. THE WORST.
Enough complaining though! It’s time for a little soup for the soul. The comforting good kind that warms your heart. I like those kinds, don’t you?