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Archive for May, 2011

Good morning and happy weekend!

Since I’m no longer capable of sleeping past 8am, I’ve accomplished a lot more today than I thought I would and even have time to say hello :). And share our delicious Saturday morning breakfast! I’ve posted this one before but not for a long while. And since it turned out so nice today I thought it was high time to bring it back.

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Maple “Frosting”

(serves 2)

  • 1 apple
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of oats/milk/water
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)
  • 2 tsp. peanut butter

Start by chopping your apple into cubes, then add to a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp. of maple syrup, 1 tbsp. of water and a shake of cinnamon. Allow the apple to simmer for a few minutes until the syrup mixture starts to thicken. Add oats/milk/water and stir to combine. Add a splash of vanilla and the flax and continue to stir frequently until the ingredients have thickened into a nice oaty consistency.

Meanwhile, mix Greek yogurt with 1/2 tbsp. of maple syrup. Stir cherries into oats then transfer into two bowls. Top with maple yogurt frosting and a shake of cinnamon. Place a peanut butter spoon on top of each bowl to finish.

What a delightful breakfast it is. Although it is indeed getting a bit hot for oats! We had to sit under the fan with our coffees after eating :). How sad.

So I’ve just come back from a good sunshiney run and some weight lifting in the gym. What a beautiful day it is. Just cleaning the house, taking a shower and my mum and dad should be here! My Dad needs to watch his football match at 2, so my mum and I will have to find something girly to do like go shopping or get pedicures. Oh darn :).

See you again soon!

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Mothers/Fathers/Birth Days

Happy Friday! And yay for a three day weekend. This is the first week I’ve worked a full week in a while and it’s been rough :).

The best thing about living with your sister is you can eat all of her food. One of my most favorite instances of this is taco night! We combined efforts to put together this quick and very satisfying supper last night.

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Tacos are just the best. All your food groups, super delish and really easy to make.

And so now it’s the weekend! Who has fun plans?? I’m extra excited because my mum and dad are coming to stay.

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I don’t think they’ve been out here since last fall! We’ve got lots to celebrate since we’re not always together – including Mother’s Day, my Dad’s birthday (on Monday) and upcoming Father’s Day. I love celebration weekends and when you don’t get together that often there is almost always an occasion :).

We’ll be dining at one of my most favorite restaurants, Addie’s, on Saturday night so I’ll be sure to get lots of pics to share with you. Otherwise things are kind of up in the air! But I’ve got several ideas so I’m sure we’ll keep ourselves entertained somehow :).

So enjoy your long weekends! I’ll see you back here at the start of the week with all kinds of fun things.

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Thank you for all of your lovely suggestions yesterday! In the end my decision was based on the sweltering temperatures inside our home – whatever I made could not require heat in any form :).

Enter the Barefoot Contessa’s Chunky Blue Cheese and Yogurt Dip! From her latest cookbook, “How Easy is That?” Indeed, it was quite easy.

I think when potlucking, it’s nice to provide some fruit or veggie dish as most offerings tend to be meat/carb/dessert heavy. Then again, I don’t want to be the lamezo who brings carrot sticks while everyone else contributes something delicious. So a dish like this works nicely! Now you can have some veg if you like, some wheat crackers if you like (which taste more like a yummy English biscuit) and some creamy dip that combines Greek yogurt with just a touch of mayo for a less heavy accompaniment.

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This was meant to be topped with chives but our Safeway was all out. Our Safeway was also out of shallots. What happened to Safeway last night? Instead, I used what looked like the closest thing to a shallot and sprinkled some dill on top.

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As I was putting this dish together, I thought to myself how nice it was that Amelia was no where to be seen. She wasn’t bothering me at all! Usually she would have her face planted in my dip the second I turned my back. An hour or two later I began to worry – where was that little pest? I searched high and low but she was no where to be found.

And then Louisa arrived home. As soon as her car pulled into the driveway, I started to hear a faint meow (Amelia knows the sounds of her mum’s car). My first awful thought is that I had locked the cat in the fridge. Or maybe the freezer??

But don’t worry. After removing everything from on top of the fridge and giving Louisa a boost over and behind the fridge, we discovered many interesting things. Our wok! A few ice cube trays, a water bottle, some plastic cutlery… and Amelia Bedelia.

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I have no idea how long she was back there. Of course she refused to come out on her own so I had to hold Louisa’s ankles while she dangled behind the fridge and grabbed Amelia’s scruff. If you’d like to know how much gratitude the cat showed us for our heroic efforts, the answer is none.

But at least we found our wok! 🙂

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Summer Smoothie-in-a-Bowl

Good morning!

So we’ve been talking California, California, FitBloggin…and today you get…a smoothie :). Life is not always so exciting I’m afraid!

Yesterday was the first day I felt the air thick with dreaded DC summer humidity – YUCK. Which mostly makes me sad because my beloved bowl of morning oats no longer sounds appealing.

So instead, a smoothie-in-a-bowl!

Made like this:

  • 1 cup of vanilla soy milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. of chia seeds
  • a pinch of xanthan gum (thickens the smoothie so it’s more bowl-worthy)

blended then topped with:

  • 2 tbsp. Nature’s Path granola
  • tsp. of sunflower butter

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Cool and refreshing :). And a delish way to enjoy a healthy dose of fruity goodness in the AM. I think you’ll be seeing a lot of these as summer sets in!

Speaking of, tomorrow we’re having a BBQ potluck at work and I’ve got to decide on something to make tonight. Drop me some suggestions! I am the world’s most indecisive recipe browser and could use some help. And then tomorrow you may just see your fave summer recipe featured in my post :).

See you then!

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FitBloggin Imposter

Hi Friends! I’m back with lots to share :). This past weekend I was at FitBloggin in the beautiful city of Baltimore.

Dining and Dishing was originally intended to be a foodie/fitness blog as part of the Healthy Living Blog community. However as my little blog has grown up, I’ve discovered a real passion for cooking, exploring restaurants and photography and not so much passion for covering fitness-related topics. I do work-out, I really enjoy working out. But I think there are many bloggers who do a much better job talking about and spreading enthusiasm for exercise. So basically, I attended as a FitBloggin imposter :). Someone give me a slice of cake.

But the weekend was nice in many ways, most especially because I got to spend time with some lovely bloggers from my hometown of Cleveland.

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FitBloggin roomies at Friday’s cocktail party, Heather, me and Alicia.

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Heather, me, Brittany and Katie

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Heather, Monica, Alicia, me, Katie and Brittany

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The gorgeous Harbor

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A sneaky conference break lunch – Whole Foods salad bar enjoyed outside in the sunshine

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Roomies Part II

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An early morning walk on our last day in town

So there you have it! If you’d like to know more about the conference I’m sure you won’t have to look far… it’ll be popping up all over blogworld in the next few days. But I’ll stick to what I’m good at, leave you with that for now and return with some foodie fun next time :).

See you then!

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Some Final Thoughts

When I was in college I used to travel lots and lots. I went to Australia and Africa and all over Europe…I absolutely loved it. Then I graduated and got a job and moved to an insanely expensive city and all of a sudden there was much less room in my schedule and my budget for such opportunities. I’ve been on many fun little East Coast trips in the past couple of years but nothing totally out of the ordinary.

So I suppose part of the reason I loved California so much is that I got that awesome travel feeling back. I had forgotten how great it feels! While it’s not International, CA was such a departure from the norm. People seem to think so differently out there – and have totally mastered the art of savoring life’s little pleasures. We learned so much and did so many things we’d never normally do. We woke up when we wanted and did what we wanted and ate what we wanted and drank what we wanted…our suitcases were messy and we never made our beds (housekeeping!) and took a nap everyday just because.

I know a part of all of that is just being on vacation – you’re supposed to totally relax! But I’ve been reminded that a lot of the things I loved about my week away can absolutely be enjoyed now that I’m back home. We all have responsibilities but it’s okay to ignore them once in a while in favor of just enjoying the moment in front of you.

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I’m so glad I went to California when I did. And I have just got to promise myself that I won’t let it go so long without making time and saving money to get away again soon.

And so those are just some final thoughts :).

Speaking of little East Coast trips, I’m off to Baltimore this evening for FitBloggin! Very much looking forward to a weekend of fun with some like-minded blends :).

See you with the details shortly!

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Sonoma – See & Do

And for your final installment, (tired of California posts yet?? 🙂 ) the things we saw and did in Sonoma…other than drink wine!

As mentioned a big part of our time in Sonoma was spent on the Wine Country Bikes tour. Prior to this trip, I hadn’t been on a bike in several years – and neither had Jackie! We were a bit nervous. But would you believe…we didn’t have one single accident! Wine, inexperienced bikers and open roads seems like a recipe for disaster now doesn’t it? But drivers in Sonoma are SO respectful of people on their bikes. Plus, we only stopped at 3 wineries over the course of an entire day and often shared tastings. So although I’m sure it sounds like we were drunk the entire time, I promise that was not the case! It was just pure fun :).

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Aside from wine, we also did the most amazing olive oil tasting. In fact, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip!

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We tasted two oils from DaVero, their olive oil and meyer lemon olive oil. To taste, we sniffed the oil in a wine glass, then took a little straight shot of the oil from the white cup you see below. Our pourer told us we would get almond butter in the mouth, pepper in the throat and a hit of wasabi at the end. I’m not kidding you – it was the coolest thing ever!! We both got the exact tastes she described.

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Something fun and different and aside from the lovely oil my dad brings me from Italy, the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted!

Also, we visited an organic farm. We got to see lots of beautiful veggies and fruits growing as well as a million very happy chickens running around. After enjoying California’s amazing food all week long, it was nice to have an idea what type of methods are used to produce it :). 161

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And visited some local art!

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I just love him.

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And finally, we went hiking in the Redwoods. We never really adjusted to the time change and therefore were usually awake long before any wine tasting rooms were open. Our bike tour guide suggested we utilize an early morning to make the 30 minute drive out to the Redwoods. I am SO glad he did. Breathtaking!

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As you can tell by my pink skirt, the hike wasn’t exactly serious :). You can do all sorts of hikes from moderate to intense but we really just wanted a leisurely morning stroll. Oh how I wish these trails could come to DC! I think I could make that walk every morning and never get tired of those majestic trees.

And so there you go. Food, wine, San Fran and now Sonoma. One of the very happiest weeks I can remember in a while :).

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