Tuesday two-fer

Today has been full of excitement. I celebrated the first day of school!


New first day outfit: Max Studio jersey dress – LOVE their dresses!

A student brought me an apple. Cute, eh?

And, the hubs and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.

And by celebrated, I mean we picked up the 7th season of The Office,

and swung by Downriver Grill to grab dinner.

Portobello sandwich

Garden salad with creamy lemon vinagarette (I need to recreate this soon!).

In a bit I’ll be diving into a little tiramisu action.

It’s all mine, the hubs hates tiramisu – psssh, he doesn’t know what he’s missing.

I’m exhausted, but in a good way! Hopefully I’ll get back on a regular posting schedule soon.

What is your favorite take-out?

I usually grab a Papa Murphy’s Delite if I’m in a hurry and don’t feel like cooking. But it was 90+ degrees today (with no a/c in my school, or at home, ick!), and the whole anniversary thing meant we needed to be at least a little bit fancy 😉

Hoppin’ down the bunny trail

Happy Easter!

This weekend the sun finally decided to come out and play – yay! I didn’t realize how desperate I was for some Vitamin-D until I was soaking it up. After all the snow last week I was doubtful the weather report would be accurate, but it was!

And just in time for my long run on Saturday. I busted out the shorts and my new water bottle and hit the pavement.

I am still slow, (average pace: 12 min/mile), but I am really starting to build up my endurance. I was very happy to discover my water bottle pocket held a chapstick, some magic beans (aka sport jelly beans) and my inhaler.

I find I need my inhaler when I get overheated. And even though it was only 52 degrees, my body was a total furnace!

I took all of your advice and ate a much better pre-run breakfast: Dave’s Killer Bread w/Adam’s chunky peanut butter, creamy honey and a banana. All washed down with coffee, an hour before my run.

Post-run fuel included some pickle spears, bagel thin with cream cheese, and the BEST green monster to date: 2~ cups spinach, 1.5 cups frozen fruit (dole tropical blend), 1 scoop GNC vanilla whey protein, 1 cup vanilla almond milk and a splash of water.

It was like Orange Julius, but nutritious!

After some required reading in the sun for a few hours,

(I’m reading both of these for a book trailer movie making professional development course – have you read either?)

I took a much needed Epsom salt bath, and iced my calf. I can’t decide if I strained a muscle or if I am just sore, but when I woke up today it was still bugging me.

Thus I declared today a rest day. It is Easter afterall.

After not so graciously dicing some mangos for the freezer,

and quickly whipping up two batches of scones,

the hubs and I headed downtown to the Cathedral to attend mass with his family.

Afterward we soaked up more sun on The Elk patio.

FIL* Rob, the hubs & BIL* Josh

Niece Adelia

Niece Adelia, SIL #2* Alison, SIL #5* Theresa, me, SIL #4* Kim and   MIL Gayle

* FIL = Father-in-law, BIL = Brother-in-law, SIL (and number after) = Sister-in-law + birth order (the hubs has 5 sisters), & MIL = Mother-in-law

Ahhh, The Elk patio. Many fond memories have taken residence in my heart because of this patio. Many more to come.

Our food took quite a while to arrive. But it was worth the wait. I had meat! And not just any meat, my friends. I enjoyed a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives certified Reuben. And it was so delicious.

On the side I nibbled on some roasted corn pasta salad (recipe here).

I fully expected to have a major stomach ache after eating corned beef. But I am happy to report my stomach was very content. I intend to write a follow-up on going vegetarian for Lent (40 days) in the coming week.

I hope you had a relaxing Easter Sunday. I’m looking forward to resting my leg a little more and getting into Incareron.

And don’t forget, I am still looking for some guest posts for this coming weekend and May 13-15. I have a few lined up, but would love a few more!

running advice, please

Today I ran, (well, I jogged), 5 miles.

The last time I ran 5 miles solid was 2003. I ran with my buddy, Reese, nearly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during our Sophomore year of college.

She kept up with the running routine, I did not.

Reese is visiting in less than two weeks to run Bloomsday with me, a rather large and somewhat famous 12K here in Spokane. I’ve never participated, and in January, when I initially decided to run this race, I figured I would be in tip top shape for it. Unfortunately, I haven’t stuck to any real running regimen, and I am fearful that I may pass out and die in two weeks.

So a week ago I got serious. Better late than never, right?

Monday I ran 2 miles, Wednesday I ran 4 miles and today I ran 5. The difference? Today I ran outside, and it was glorious! I remembered why I ran 3 days a week in college. It was actually enjoyable, as opposed to running on the treadmill, which is utterly atrocious.

So I mapped out my route on Geodistance, wrote it all on a post it note, and set out on my way. I created quite the awesome iPod shuffle list too. Reese and I decided to coordinate playlists (fun!), so I wanted to test out my songs. My playlist included the following:

I really need to pare it down, but I don’t know where to start. And I feel like I need to add more too! Ahhh, decisions, decisions.

I learned a few things about my run outside:

1. I wore way too much clothing. I wore some Nike dry fit running pants, (which were fine because of the ridiculous amount of wind), a Danskin short sleeve top and a tuff athletics running jacket. The running jacket was my problem. It is awesome for cold running, (I assume), because it has extra pockets to hold tissues, keys, chapstick, etc.  However, about two-thirds through my run I was dying of heat. I had to wrap the jacket around my waist, which resulted in a flapping effect that drove me nuts for the last third of my trip.

2. I reallllllllly need water during my runs. When on the treadmill I can easily tote a water bottle. Not so much with the outdoor run. I’m off to REI tomorrow to pick up a very small hydropack with my dividend check.

3. Puffs on the inhaler before I run are good, puffs during my run are better. I feel like I need a fanny pack to carry my keys, phone, water and inhaler.

4. I need to eat a better pre-run meal before I hit the road. I ate tomato soup and a bagel thin w/cream cheese before hand. Not the best idea. The soup sloshed around for the first two miles, which resulted in a major side-ache. Pre-run on the treadmill is usually some iced coffee and half a banana.

Post-run I re-fueled my body with a very enjoyable green monster,

in my Gonzaga cup.

I spent some time admiring the hubs gardening work in the back yard.

(The hubs built the garden beds himself – so proud!)

(Tulips are coming, tulips are coming!)

Further re-fueling was necessary, and we piled in the truck with friends N & E to hit up the new Gonzaga eatery, The Dawg House. I purchased a Daily Planet coupon a few months back, and was excited to try out their portabella burger. Unfortunately, they were closed! I’m really hoping it isn’t for good, (I mean, really, what burger joint is closed on a Saturday evening?), otherwise I am out a few bucks. We opted for eats at The Elk instead.

(fun fact: The Elk is housed in a building that used to be a Pharmacy, hence the Drugs sign)

The hubs enjoyed a traditional reuben, which I eyed with envy,

and I dove into the sweet spinach and sesame salad (this was a half!),

and the quesadilla w/smoked onion dip.

I’m still sad about the lack of couponing for dinner, but The Elk never disappoints.

What songs should I add or delete from my running list?

What brand of running short should I purchase? I want a zipper pocket and do not want built in undies.

The best laid plans…

…often go awry.

I had every intention of trying out new recipes this weekend, cleaning my house, and getting my read on.

Instead this happened.

The hubs finally got his truck. He’s been not-so-subtly hinting at wanting a truck for about 2 1/2 years…about 1 day after we sold his old truck to go down to a one-car family. But more recently his pleas have been louder, as every time we he purchases something to improve our new abode we have to ask his parents to drive a half hour into town, meet us at Home Depot, and drive the load back to our house. It’s been quite the ordeal. (Thanks Rob & Gayle!)

I finally obliged. And I am really jealous at all the fun features (AC seats!) it has.

So instead of fun new recipes I’ve got a photo update of Spring Break (woo!*) 2011 thus far.

*if you haven’t watched Arrested Development yet, you really need to.

Friday night we had dinner at Downriver Grill, still no website available, and I attempted to not eat meat.

The Downriver Grill is veryclose to another fine establishment…

The Flying Goat…seriously, how have we not eaten at Downriver since we moved into this neighborhood? It’s even owned by the same people as the Goat!

After being seated we ordered an app of calamari while I dissected the menu.

Unfortunately, there were hardly any vegetarian options available. I could have a portabella sammie, (which, oddly, I wasn’t in the mood for), a salad, or a tofu curry entree. I mentioned to our server that I was having a difficult time finding a vegetarian option that was appealing because I had given up meat for Lent and he mentioned he gave up booze and Facebook for Lent. I don’t think I could give up Facebook! Could you?

Not impressed with the veggie-friendly options, I opted to have the halibut with mushroom risotto.

In case you were wondering, my “no meat for Lent” only includes red meat, pork and poultry. I attempted no seafood too, but my body is already grumpy enough with me for giving up meat, so  I decided since almost every vegetarian I know eats fish, I am going to as well.

The halibut was pretty delicious, as was the mushroom risotto. But I was most excited about the tender-crisp asparagus.

The hubs only made it 2.5 weeks without meat. He thoroughly enjoyed his bacon-wrapped steak. I don’t really care for bacon or steak, but I was eying both with envy.

I did, however, make him suggest he order the polenta as his side-dish so I could steal nibble on a few bites. OMG polenta, I love you.

The Downriver Grill’s Washington wine list was quite impressive, a was their meat entree options. I am looking forward to going back after Easter when I can enjoy the restaurant to its potential.

The following morning the hubs surprised me with pancakes,

and truck shopping 😉

Saturday night we enjoyed some Flying Goat action with his sister, Kimberly, and her husband, Ryan.

Sunday was more truck shopping. And after 4 1/2 hours at the dealership, we had our F-150.  I mean, the hubs, had his F-150. I’m afraid to drive it. It is ridiculously huge. HUGE.

Sunday evening we drove up to his parents house to show off the new truck visit them, see our cutie-patootie niece,  and have dinner.

Adorbs. Totally adorbs.

My plan tomorrow includes reading for my third book club, (yes, I really belong to three. I have a problem, I know), and to actually COOK or BAKE something new. I’m off to tastespotting to get a little inspiration.

Did you give up anything for Lent? How is it going so far?

For the love of the goat

The Flying Goat that is.

Which, coincidentally, is where I am right now. The option to schedule a post during a time I know I will be neck deep in March Madness is a wonderful thing.

If you’ve been reading my blog for oh, a day or two, you may have noticed I kind of enjoy The Flying Goat. A quick glance at my tag cloud will reveal my slight obsession with this neighborhood eatery.

And if you’ve just stumbled upon my blog, welcome.

You may have found this post via Foodbeat NW. If not, have you heard of Foodbeat NW?

Foodbeat NW

Foodbeat NW is new to the Northwest foodie scene and it’s mission is to:

SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD. Committed to showcasing independent restaurants and food artisans around the Pacific NW. Keep coming back for fresh, releveant info about local dining in & dining out experiences.


(source)

The Flying Goat is one of the few locally owned, non-chain restaurants in Northwest Spokane, and features menu items named after streets in their neighborhood. After opening in late Spring 2010, The Flying Goat quickly grew in popularity. One look at their thin crust pies, fire pit patio seating, and mounted goat head can tell you why, The Flying Goat has personality. From their out of the ordinary pizza toppings to their fabulous bar and wait staff, The Flying Goat never fails to impress.

Meet Nate, your bartender.

Nate knows his brews, and if he doesn’t know if a certain beer will please your palate he will kindly offer a tasting.

The Flying Goat rotates its beers quite regularly, however, one will always be available: The Horned Aviator. The Flying Goat paired up with local brewery, Northern Lights, to create a truly local house beer. If beer doesn’t strike your fancy you can enjoy a glass of Goat Head Red, a mild red blend created by Townshend Winery.

Moving over to their food menu you will be pleased to discover the crust and sauce is made in house. Nothing beats fresh dough and sauce. The Flying Goat likes to support local Northwest businesses as well, purchasing their meat pizza toppings from Zoe’s of Seattle.

Speaking of homemade sauce, their pesto is out of this world delicious. This isn’t your average pesto. Instead of sweet basil, The Flying Goat uses spicy and bitter arugula as their green base. The arugula is complemented by the saltiness of the Parmesan, smoothness of olive oil and the nutty and earthy finish from the pine nuts. Although the Centennial Trail cheese bread appetizer does not come with arugula pesto, I always request a side of dipping goodness.

If you prefer to start your meal with a salad, don’t worry, they have a few options. My favorite is the Audubon Caesar. I’ve proclaimed my love of their Caesar before, and I will praise its name again. The Flying Goat really knows how to do a Caesar salad correctly. Sure, it has all your normal ingredients: bed of romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing. But it has so much more. The croutons are made on sight and are amazing. You may not believe me, as amazing is thrown around as an adjective all the time when describing food. However, I am someone who detests croutons. There is something about dried bread on my greens that I cannot stomach. But the freshly made croutons The Flying Goat has whipped up? There are no words. Also impressive is their ability to make a balanced house-made dressing and not drown their greens in the goodness. Spritz with a roasted lemon and your taste buds will tingle.

I’ve never eaten a Goat sandwich, as their pizza is what I’m really after. Pizza is the perfect food in my mind. If I could only have one food for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. The Flying Goat does not disappoint.

You can get some traditional pies: Kerry Lynn Margherita (mozzarella, basil, red sauce, and the option to add ham or heirloom tomatoes), Northwest Blvd. (Zoe’s pepperoni, caramelized onion, house cheese blend and red sauce), and the Gordon (Zoe’s pepperoni, Italian sausage, kalamata olives, oven roasted mushrooms, house cheese blend and red sauce), there are many more options available.

I’ve enjoyed many a pie at The Flying Goat, including my absolute favorite: the Cleveland, (roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, rosemary, garlic, caramelized onion, Fontina cheese and extra virgin olive oil). When you think pizza you normally don’t think potato. But trust me, this pie is to die for. The blend of the thinly sliced Yukon Golds with the buttery goodness of the roasted garlic is melt in your mouth magic.

You just can’t go wrong at The Flying Goat. The dining area caters to families, hipsters, nervous first-daters and young professionals alike. The bar features a laid back area, full of conversation and local breweries and wineries. So walk, ride your bike, catch a bus or drive over to The Flying Goat. You’ll probably see me there.

Go zags!

Oh Thursday, I detest you.

Seven forty-five a.m. meetings really cramp my style. You would think needing to arrive at work a whopping fifteen minutes earlier than normal wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But for some reason my body just doesn’t want to cooperate.

No, scratch that, not my body, my mind. Every Wednesday night I pack my gym bag, and every Thursday morning I skip the gym. Last night I was determined to go. This morning I awoke to my alarm at the normal 5:04 a.m. harp tune, hit snooze twice, and tried to talk myself into going to the gym. I decided a mental pro-con list might help.

Pros:

  • Probably won’t get any more sleep between now and 6:15 a.m.
  • The hubs is snoring.
  • I already have my gym bag packed.
  • I won’t have to take turns in front of the bathroom mirror.
  • Thirty minutes of exercise is better than none.
  • Coffee is already brewed, and ready for my contigo. If I wait it will taste burnt from sitting on the burner too long.
  • I get ready much more efficiently at the gym than I do at home.
  • I will feel better afteward.

Cons

  • My bed is sooooo warm and comfy!

Ummm that is all I had for a con. And, sadly, that con would usually trump all my pros. But today I pushed my con aside, and forced myself to get out of my oh-so-comfortable bed and hit the gym for a little jogging action.

I knocked out 2.36 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill. Not too shabby, (for me, I am suuuuuuuper slow, so for me, that is awesome). However, I realized that I only have 6 weeks and 3 days until Bloomsday. The furthest I’ve run in my “training” is 3 miles. Three miles. And it is a 12K. I am in no way ready to be a participant!

Crap. (Not to be confused with runners trots.)

So I’m determined to find a six week 12K program to get my bootay in gear. No more of this laissez faire, run when I feel like it, I’m totally fine attitude.

Post gym I ate a packet of oatfit and a chobani, with coffee on the side, of course.

Then I had the most fabulous salad: spinach, roasted red bell pepper, craisins, goat cheese, sweet onion, and homemade dressing,

and look what I found inside, a 3-leaf clover!

It isn’t 4 leaves, but that has to be good luck, right?!

I also gobbled up the excess of my quinoa stuffed bell pepper mixture.

Later on I snacked on a nanner,

and some macadamia nut hershey’s kisses from my co-worker, who just returned from Hawaii, (lucky duck!).

And I also rocked a green halo all day.

After leaving work on time(!!!), I took off through the woods,

and to Grandmother’s house The Flying Goat I went.

I enjoyed quite a few treats,

tried to take in-focus pictures,

(oh wait, there we go),

and cheered on my zags.

(source)

Oh, and by the way, we won. Thankyouverymuch. Saturday, I am anxiously awaiting your presence.

Do you watch college basketball? Which team are you rooting for in the NCAA tournament?