Friday, October 24, 2014

36 Hours in Seattle

I hopped on a plane bright and early this morning to high-tail it up to Seattle for an EdTech conference with work.  And while most of my limited time in the city will be spent working, there are a few things I really want to do while in the Pacific Northwest.  This is my fist time in the region and the city and I cannot wait.  I have heard so many amazing things about this area of the country and I want to make my time there count.

Call me cliche, but I wanna see people throw some damn fish.  Pike Place Market is #1 on my list:


Ok, I am as basic as they come. I want to have a coffee at the 1st Starbucks.  So sue me.


Judge away...take me to the Space Needle!


Now that we have that out of the way...what do "real" people in Seattle do?  Anything I need to see? Eat? Drink?  

HELP! Or I am doomed to the most touristy 36 hours the world has ever seen.


   
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thai Quinoa Bowl

I love a good quinoa bowl over in this neck of the woods. They are quick, simple, and always healthy.   On a weeknight, they are sometimes about all I can handle after a full day of work and a gym session.

I love thai flavors like peanuts and sweet chili sauce so when I saw this recipe I know I had to try it out.  I doubled the recipe because my man CAN EAT and I wanted to have even the smallest chance for leftovers.


Ingredients  (Remember, I doubled it)

Quinoa Bowl 
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup shelled edamame
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canned coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter (it mixes in easier if it's melted, FYI)
1 garlic clove
1/2 lime, juice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
(I also added Siracha for a little heat...but that's personal taste)
Directions
Prepare quinoa according to directions, which will most likely call for 1 cup of liquid. 
While quinoa is cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Once quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, stir in the sauce and toss well to coat. Add in chicken, carrots, edamame and green onions, stirring to combine. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if needed. Toss in half of the peanuts and cilantro, then serve in a large bowl, topped with remaining peanuts and cilantro. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Put a Cork in It...

Like any good wine drinker, I have been collecting quite the stash of corks.  When I stumbled upon this tutorial about how to make magnets out of wine corks I knew I had to jump on it.

The corks I chose where a mix of pretty and sentimental.  One of the corks was even from the champagne bottle we drank the night we got engaged...way better than having it sit in a jar on my counter.

The tools...


The original tutorial called for drill, but A) I don't have one and B) that seemed intense.  I used a corkscrew to start the circular hole and then a sharp knife to carve out a spot for the magnet.  I could have just glued the magnet on the back and called it a day, but making it flush gave it a nicer look on the fridge.


I think the engagement champagne cork looks great between my instagram magnets and the Halloween magnets from my aunt.  This might be the craft that gave me the most bang for my buck...simple, quick, and pretty.  What more could you want?






Monday, October 13, 2014

In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room

On Saturday, the boy and I decided we needed an adventure (we had had one earlier in the day that I documented fully on instagram).  Somehow we got in our head that we wanted to go to a Tiki Bar.  The man and I love tiki bars...they are very "old school Los Angeles" and just....fun.

Unfortunately, we have been to every single one in the general LA area so that left only two:

1. Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, CA
2. Tader Sam's at Disneyland

We decided the trek to Disney seemed like the most bang for our buck so we picked up our friend G and high-tailed it to Anaheim.

After some intense yelping we settled on a gastropub in Garden Grove for dinner (we wanted to stay clear of Downtown Disney) and then skirted over to Disneyland.  Needless to say the place did not disappoint.


We had to wait in line, but it was well worth it.  Once inside we were greeted by tropical decor, a tricked out bar with tiki totems whose eyes move, and bar stools that magically started to sink down out of no-where.

We decided to go for the drinks in the souvenir cups because when you drive an hour for a drink you gotta get your money's worth.  The drinks were adorable and no joke...no skimping on the rum in those babies!


G got on the Krakatoa, I got the hippopotami thai, and the boy got the drunken zombie head.  Little did we know that when you order the Krakatoa shit gets real.  The bar tended flipped a switch behind the bar and the lights got dim.  He started screaming "Mt. Krakatoa is about to erupt and it's all her fault" and pointed at G.  And then the volcano in the "window" began to erupt.



G looks pretty damn calm for a woman drinking "molten lava".  

Other drinks triggered chanting and sinking shops and other Disney magic.  

Worth the hour drive? Hell yes! Worth the souvenir cups? Absolutely!  Will we be back? OHMYGODYES
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Work It

We have all heard the term "sweating for the wedding".  And while I would like to think that I have alway led a healthy lifestyle, I would be lying if I didn't say that knowing my wedding is in 8 months isn't some amazing motivation to get my butt in gear.

Last week I signed up for Classpass and it's changing my life.  With Classpass I have access to all these unbelievable gyms in Los Angles for $99.  It is only available in NY, LA, Chicago, and DC right now, but hopefully it will be everywhere soon (ps. this sounds like an advertisement, but it's not...I'm just obsessed).

I can get bored with one workout, but I have been able to do everything from spinning to pilates to barre to boot camp.  And with classes in LA ranging from $15-$25 per class, once you go to 5 classes the membership pays for itself.

Here is what I have been up to workout wise for the past two weeks.

Last Week's Workout:

Monday: Cardio Barre

Tuesday: Spinning

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: Spinning

Friday: Eliptifit (guys...it's like a spinning class with ellipticals! Magic!)


This Week's Workouts:

Monday: Pure Barre

Tuesday: Cycling

Wednesday: Pilates (mat)

Thursday: Pilates (reformer)

Friday: Surfset (I cannot wait to try this surf inspired workout)


And that's not even all of the classes offered!  I cannot wait to try areal yoga or an indoor rowing class!


 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pizza-Pizza

I finally tried it, the infamous cauliflower crust pizza.  The verdict?  It was delicious and actually fairly easy.  I use the word fairly because for me, ricing the cauliflower in my tiny food processor is a little more of a process than it would be for someone with a full-sized food processor aka it makes kind of a mess out of my kitchen.  But it's worth it!

I actually made this recipe for the first time 2 weeks ago and the fiancĂ© and I were so excited to eat it we took not a picture until the entire thing was gone (worst blogger award goes to me).  I think the second time was even better...my sauce to cheese recipe was infinitely improved.


I got this recipe from The Lucky Penny Blog and it is by far the best recipe I have found!  The crust doesn't fall apart and it is nicely seasoned (and I am from New Haven, CT so I know my pizza).

And guys, see that basil?  I have kept that plant alive for almost a month!  A whole month!  Maybe I have a nurturing instinct after all...

Ingredients

1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crust it even more between you fingers)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional a few shakes of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg
optional 1 tablespoon almond meal

Directions
Desired amount of sauce, cheese for topping, and other toppings. 

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil. 

Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower. Don't get one the size of your head unless you are planning on making 2 pizzas. Cut off the florets, you don't need much stem. Just stick with the florets. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. See above photo. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower "snow". Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step.

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess. 

Dumped cauliflower into a bowl. Now add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want. I also added 1 tablespoon almond meal because my cauliflower yielded closer to 2 cups of cauli snow, this is optional and I would not add the almond meal if you have closer to 3 cups of cauli snow. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best. 

Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don't make it too thick or thin either.

Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 8 - 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. I'm not gonna give you measurements for this. You know how you like your pizza - so go for it! Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!

Linking up with Kate for Tuesday's Recipe Swap!
Monday, October 6, 2014

And if You Can't Be with the One you Love...

My weekend was spent listening to great music, having drinks with friends, experimenting with temporary tattoos, seeing Gone Girl (go see it...it was GREAT!).

Friday night, the boy and I took a ride over to the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park.  I love the Greek because it is basically a theatre in the trees.

We had tickets to see Crosby, Stills, and Nash because, well, they are amazing, and thank goodness my parents never let us change the radio station in the car  to 95.7 KISS FM  and "forced" me to listen to classic rock my entire childhood.  I like to think I am a better person purely for the fact that I  know the different discographies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash vs. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  The Alam Brothers, CCR, Fleetwood Mac...don't even get me going.

And while I may or may not have been so excited when they played "Southern Cross" that I got not a picture or a video...I was able to gather myself for a few other highlights...

video


video

Now I just gotta get to Fleetwood Mac and Bob Seger before...well...you know.

So much good music, so little time...

Linking up with Leeann for Monday Morning Gossip
 
 

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