Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscar Party

We had an Oscar Night Party on Sunday.  Here are some pictures from before guests started to arrive.  We got a bunch of Hollywood-themed supplies from Party City and food and wine from Trader Joe's.

Red carpet leading to apartment door
Spread before hot hors d'oeuvres were added (mac & cheese bites & Tarte d'Alsace from freezer aisle of Trader Joe's)

Charcuterie Plate (salami, prosciutto, & cornichons)

Cheese Board: Grapes, Brie, Chèvre, and Comté
 Board = Ed Wohl Bird's Eye Oval Cutting Board
Knives = Laguiole

Popcorn in cute bags

Bar set up with soda, wine, water, lemon wedges, & ice bowl

Votives on our mantel to highlight the main attraction

It was a fun night, and I thought this was a really good Oscars.

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Vegetables and More Water, Please

This weekend I decided to make some eating habit changes.  To jump start this process, I bought a huge salad from Hale and Hearty and a massive bottle of Poland Springs for lunch.  The salad was really filling and included carrots, chicken, cucumber, croutons, and parmesan cheese.  I'm going to keep trying to incorporate veggies into my daily life.  Today it was avocado (technically a fruit, but still), artichoke, and spinach.
Massive salad and water

Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tonight, I made Trader Joe's Artichoke Ravioli with spinach, butter, lemon, and garlic sauce topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  It was really good and wasn't overwhelmingly cheesy or unhealthy feeling.  We had Grifone Chianti with dinner.  It's very cheap (Trader Joe's is the best) and goes down smooth.  After dinner, we decided to try Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches.  They are essentially chipwiches.

Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Wrapped Ice Cream Sandwiches
Unwrapped and ready to be devoured - so good

Now onto the Bachelor and another glass of Grifone...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I'm reading now...

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, because what young professional woman doesn't need some tips on how to be more effective and taken seriously?
The Big Sleep - I really want to watch the movie, but am reading the book first.
My dad recommended the Straight Man.  It's entertaining and funny so far.
My boss lent me Born to Run, but her copy was in pristine condition; so I downloaded it to my kindle.  I've been running a lot more lately, and so far this book is highly readable.
I am addicted to PD James.  I am currently reading The Lighthouse every morning on my subway ride to work.  My favorite so far of PD James was A Taste for Death.

Anatolia Mediterranean Restaurant Groupon

We have a bunch of Living Social, Groupon, and AmazonLocal vouchers right now.  My sister gave my husband a Groupon for Anatolia Mediterranean Restaurant for Christmas that expires in March; and so tonight, we used it.  The deal included two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts, and two glasses of wine.  We ordered two glasses of Malbec and were buzzed after a couple of sips.  I got the hummus to start and my husband got the zucchini pancakes.

Bread Basket - Don't threaten me with a good time.

My hummus and our bowl of olive oil with a few olives for the bread.  The hummus was very good.

My husband's zucchini pancakes.  They were tasty; had a good amount of flavor, which can be hard sometimes with fried food.

My chicken kebab.  My husband got the lamb kebab.  Both were fine, but not spectacular.
They were out of the baklava, so I got the custard and my husband got the rice pudding.  The rice pudding was pretty good.  We ended up paying $20 for taxes and tip.

I wouldn't come back here for dinner, but I could see coming here for wine and some hummus with a girlfriend.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trader Joe's Almond Croissants

We went to Trader Joe's last night.  As usual we had to divide and conquer.  I was thrilled with my husband when I discovered he had put a box of almond croissants or "pain aux amandes" in our cart.  We have been devotees of their pain au chocolat, and generally love almond croissants so this was perfect.

Trader Joe's Almond Croissants (box of 4 from the freezer aisle).

We put them out the night before; so that they can rise.  We put ours on a sheet of wax paper last night.  They do require some forethought, but it's good to be conscious of what you want to eat the next morning.
This morning, they were big and fat.

I popped them in the oven at 350° for a little under 20 minutes, so they would stay nice and soft (they recommend baking them for 20-25 minutes).
I added powdered sugar to make it a little fancier and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

My little breakfast next to the couch; so I can eat and watch my favorite Food Network shows: Paula Deen, Pioneer Woman, and Trisha Yearwood.  The almond paste on the inside was so warm and flavorful.  These are a new favorite!
The mug in the previous photo is one of the many Anthropologie Cadiz mugs that I own and love... I'm partial to the red and blue ones.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tonight, I went for a run after work and came home to a bouquet of roses and two bottles of wine.  We ordered tasty sushi and miso soup.  We got the "Mexican Roll," which is tuna with spicy mayo and tempura flakes, a salmon avocado roll with brown rice, and the shrimp tempura roll.  It was so good and perfectly romantic and low key.  Now we're going to watch a film noir (His Kind of Woman, 1951) and drink some red wine.  Happy Valentine's Day! 
xoxo Beany

Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner

Aerial Shot

His Kind of Woman 1951

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yoga at Home

After a weekend of eating those five layer bars, Annie's mac & cheese, Chinese food*, and drinking red wine, I needed a little bit of yoga today.  I bought this adorable ($13) workout top from Target this week and love it!

Champion Ribbed Tank in Fuchsia and Gray - it reminds me of workout wear in the 80s.

My husband's and my yoga mats snuggled together in my bag.  Mine's the pink one ;-)

After 18 minutes of yoga focused on the abs (ow), I skipped to my two favorite poses: Child's Pose

And: Final Resting Pose.  I like to light a candle (vanilla is my favorite scent) to create a more relaxing ambiance when I do yoga at home.
I'm not sure that 20 minutes of yoga can undo a weekend of bag eating and drinking, but at least it's something.

*We ordered from a Szechuan Chinese place (I grew up on Cantonese Chinese food) near us.  My hubby got shredded garlic chicken and veggie lo mein. I got veggie fried rice and sweet and sour chicken.  We both got crispy spring rolls.  It was really tasty and appropriate considering today is the Chinese New Year!

Five Layer Bars

At my college cafeteria, Magic Cookie Bars were a dangerous discovery (I can blame them partially for my freshman 15).  Paula Deen has a recipe for Five Layer Bars that I made this weekend.  The only difference that I can see between the Five Layer Bars and Magic Cookie Bars is the butterscotch chips.  With Magic Cookie Bars you only use chocolate chips (so you would use 2 cups of chocolate chips instead of 1 cup and eliminate the butterscotch chips).  My husband loves the butterscotch aspect, but next time I think I'll have one side of the bars be only chocolate chips and the other half include butterscotch chips.  I would also grease the pan first.

Graham cracker crumbs and melted butter
Crumb layer
Semi-sweet chocolate and butterscotch chip layer
Coconut and pecan layer
Sweetened condensed milk layer
Fresh out of the oven
Up close
Five Layer Bar

Paul Deen's Five Layer Bars
From Food Network Web site

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick salted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk


Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle pecans, chips and coconut on top. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bachelor and Booze

My evening has been spent watching last night's episode of the Bachelor, eating homemade pizza, and drinking red wine.  I'm going running tomorrow and have a fun 5k on the horizon, weather permitting.  I also have an Oscar Party to plan that I will keep you updated on.  I really need to clean the heck out of our apartment before the party.

Sean and Desiree discuss her living in a tent in a teepee, meta.  Is the Bachelor just a giant travel brochure full of  beautiful people with Stockholm syndrome?  Lake Louise looked gorgeous in this episode.  You win Bachelor, I want to go there now.

What's left of our homemade pizza.  I ate mine with Frank's hot sauce and spinach.  Today was not a red letter day for  my eating habits... I started with a diner breakfast sandwich (egg and cheese on a roll), moved on to a grilled cheese with tomato sandwich and a wild cherry pepsi, and finished with two slices of this beaut.

Here's what's left of the bottle of red I split with my husband.  It clearly went down smooth.

P.S. No offense Gina Carano from Haywire, but Tierra looks like you hardcore.  Exhibit A:

Scheming Tierra

Gina Carano in Haywire

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies

I saw this recipe for a single serving of chocolate chip cookies and wanted to try it.

Two blobs of cookie dough

Baked Cookies

Cookie and Milk
They tasted more like brownie; were really flaky and light.