I don’t know why but drinking a large cup of hot cocoa before bed makes me incredibly happy. Just one of my newfound obsessions. Other things I’m into lately consist of cinnamon roasted almonds, smiling at everyone I see, working out to this song, and avoiding traffic at all times. At one point this week I was contemplating buying a bus so I could ride the shoulder. It was the only solution I could think of until I discovered the DC Metro. Good news: since I won’t be purchasing a bus, you are still safe on the road.
Besides that I’ve been mega busy! Meeting fabulous new friends, working out at 5am (it has to be done), and working on my 23 things list. I’ve got a couple checked off.
It’s restaurant week in DC as well, which means I finally got to experience lobster for the first time. Baklava too! Finally the world makes sense to me.
…I went on a date too. But that’s a different story for a different time.
We’re here to focus on Burgers people. Simply good and totally dreamy! I’m just looking out for you.
Lettuce wraps in December? What’s up with that?
They happen to be really incredible and despite my efforts to use Turkey Day leftovers, it didn’t happen. After my battle with the flu, I didn’t want anything heavy. I know your body needs a break from that comfort food too! Lettuce wraps with sassy sauce and delicious toppings might do the trick.
I made these lettuce wraps once before for some guys. There were not any leftovers. Why do guys love buffalo sauce so much? It’s a little mind boggling.
Was it you who ate all the leftover candy from Halloween? Did you rummage through your child’s bucket to find your favorite kind? Did you promise to eat just one piece, but indulged in about 17? No willpower?
I’ve totally been there.
We need to pull it together. How about a cure for that Halloween candy hangover?
This Asian Edamame Salad should do the trick. It’s full of good nutrients your body will love. This salad is ultra healthy and amazing over a bed of lettuce or even some black beans. It includes a soy sauce, garlic and ginger dressing that you’ll devour.
Do you ever have those days where you want to do absolutely nothing, yet you have a to-do list that you can’t wrap your brain around?
That’s me right now. Stuck in a moment of laziness slash relaxation.
It feels good to stop the noise for a moment and let my brain actually think. Happy thoughts of soup.
Tomorrow seems like a better day to get things done anyways, right?
Today is a good day for movie watching or a fall bike ride. Even better for carving ridiculous things into pumpkins. Seriously, who started carving pumpkins anyway?
Sticking a knife in a vegetable and carving faces in it is totally random.
What would you do if I asked you to carve an apple? Not normal.
I must stop eating cupcakes.
Yes, I can.
Yes, I will.
Do you have this problem too? If so, let’s practice the art of resistance together. It’ll be fun! Sort of like a club.
Except I’m not giving out fancy membership cards. Sorry to let you down like that.
Seriously though! Not baking is hard when you are an addict.
Social network support groups for baking addicts would be totally acceptable.
Healthy things would happen more often in the kitchen.
Sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile, I just got done visiting my grandparents. It was an amazing trip. I’ve picked a few highlights to share with all of you!
Yoga at 10,000 feet on top of the Sandia mountains
This was the perfect day. My grandpa drove my Mom and I to the Sandia mountains. I packed my Grandpa a Ham & Swiss sandwich, which he loved of course. Afterwards we went to a small thrift store, where I found some old cookbooks and random treasures.
Visiting a french pastry shop. Yum.
I found this place in Santa Fe. It was absolutely fantastic! I think the best part of it were the amazing crepes. Blueberry, raspberry, and nutella too. Highly recommended.
The best part of the southwest is the amazing Mexican food. I love spicy food, so of course I didn’t mind eating it everynight. Mmmm Sopapillas, tamales, and green chile! My grandma gave me some of her recipes. Look for them soon!
riding the train to Santa Fe
This might have been my favorite day. We took the train to Santa Fe and shopped in the plaza and in old town. It was full of unique street vendors selling food, jewelry, and art. It’s easy to fall in love with the culture.
Look at these cuties! We got to spend the day at the zoo. My grandpa even found a wild snake wandering around. He’s such a sly guy. I’ll miss them.
I wish vacations didn’t end… What would you do if they didn’t?
I’d eat waffles every morning. Maybe even for dinner.
My Grandma told my Grandpa when she was in 6th grade that she was going to marry him. Now they’ve been married for almost 60 years. How incredible is that?
I’m visiting them in New Mexico right now. The tumbleweeds are just as common as the Walmarts here. Definitely not tropical.
I have been laughing non-stop since I got here though. For instance, my 76 year old Grandma does Zumba. I witnessed it today. Certainly was a sight.
Whatever she is doing though, it works. She woke up at 7am, did Zumba, and made me authentic Spanish rice. Not many Grandmas pump it out to hip hop these days. She puts spice into each day with her active lifestyle.
Thanks Grandma for being so sassy. You inspire me to keep grooving.
But now, back to you.
Let’s get YOU groovy. Like healthy delicious groovy.
The Food Netowork is teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.
It’s easy and the Food Network has some great resources to help you stay on track including recipes, nutrition advice and a lot more!
I’ve thought 3 reasons why you should do this:
1. You can lose weight before all of the holidays and be really ridiculously good looking while you pile turkey in your mouth at Thanksgiving. People will wonder how you do it.
2. If you’re single, you can attract a potential boy/girl with really delicious food that you will learn how to cook. If you’re attached, you can cook these meals together and both save money for a lovely evening of champagne poppin.
3. You can save about five dollars a day. That’s 100 a month. That’s a massage. Or clothes. Or some really expensive bubbly. Cha Ching.
Please excuse all the alcohol references, clearly I’m craving wine right now.
Don’t you love a good challenge?
I knew you would.
Alright, time to get your dancing shoes on and play that salsa music, because I made a healthy little Mexican dish to knock your socks off!
Maybe even some pounds too…
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about the title of this post. But before I can explain it, I have to tell you something.
I’m completely jealous right now. Like green eyed full of envy jealousy.
The blogger that inspired me to create my own blog, Emily from SugarPlum, is doing something that food bloggers only dream about… She’s cooking with Giada De Laurentiis! Big congrats Emily, you deserve it!
I love Giada. She’s authentic, adorable and she puts Italian words into English conversation. Plus she’s an amazing chef. I’ve been watching her religiously on the Food Network. Ridiculously addicting.
The Food Network is taking over.
Sandwich King, Giada, Bobby Flay, Paula… oh and Cupcake Wars! What a great show. I even emailed the people from Cupcake Wars to see if I could compete on the show, but they said you need to have your own business. Well guess what, my ‘business’ is baking ridiculously amazing cupcakes. Just ask my mom, friends, or my dog.
What? Animals have rights. And Lucky loves cupcakes. Point is, the Food Network is missing out on my lovely cupcakes.
But this isn’t about cupcakes or Giada.
This is about potatoes. Sweet ones. With a little bit of spice. Okay, okay and everything nice. Just cause I made them for you. ha.
Spicy sweet potato fries.
Super easy, super healthy. And they are super super yummy. Wait, what? Super is a weird word.
But listen, if you want to eat healthy and you crave fries, these babies will welcome you with open arms. Sweet potatoes have lower carbs and they are complex, meaning your body takes longer to digest them. That equates to you feeling fuller, longer.
That also means you won’t be going back for that second piece of pie… or third. And I’m sure you like making healthy choices.
Or maybe you don’t?
If that’s case, we should become friends. Because you’ll choose these over Mickey D’s fries any day.
Alright… I’m getting to the blueberry part.
No silly it’s not tomato ketchup, it’s blueberry ketchup. It’s sweet, but salty… and it’s good.
Spicy sweet potato fries and blueberry ketchup: A match made in heaven.
Where are your favorite french fries from? Do you make your own? Buy them? Are they from a restaurant/fastfood place?
For Blueberry Ketchup, see recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie
How many times will you drive in your car, laugh at a joke, or hold someone’s hand?
How many sunsets will you watch, thank you notes will you write, or hot chocolates will you drink?
How many times will you fall in love, kiss a stranger, or dance in front of the mirror?
How many lattes will you order, glasses of wine will you drink, or pizza will you eat?
How many nights will you live to remember?
AND How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? Does anyone have the answer?
Truthfully, I always wondered as a kid how long it would take to get to the center. I think I tried it once but gave up after 100 licks and ate the pop in one bite. What delicious little tootsie roll pops they were though.
But really, do you ever wonder what life will be like in the future for you? What you’ll be doing? If you’ll have the same people in your life? The same opinions? The same choices? Who you’ll meet? Where you’ll live? What you’ll be known and remembered for?
Sometimes I think I should have gone to culinary school. Yet sometimes I don’t want to cook at all. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices; choosing the right path for myself. Sometimes I like going to movies and other times I like reading magazines. Sometimes I feel like oatmeal instead of pie or red velvet cupcakes instead of broccoli. Sometimes I want to run, sometimes I prefer yoga.
But sometimes I really want ice cream. Like big time cravings. It’s as though pints of ice cream dancing around my head. It was like that for a weeks, so I ran to Target and bought an ice cream maker. Now I’m content. No more wondering.
In fact, I’ve learned that giving up something isn’t as hard as it seems. Little changes create big results. That goes for anything, really.
….that’s exactly why they make frozen yogurt, right?
Tastes just like ice cream, except you can have more and it’s healthy for you! Simple swap.
Ooo lala, I know you just fell head over heels in love. Or you will after you try this.
I made this using raspberries, fat free greek yogurt, honey, and dark chocolate chips. It was creamy irresistible love at first bite. I can’t get enough. I’ll be making this again and again.
What’s your favorite ice cream/frozen yogurt flavor or brand? Please share in the comments and like me on Facebook here.