Big Kids in the Big City

I just finished one of the best smoothie bowls I’ve ever made!

DSC_3074

How I made it: Last night I mixed together 1/3 c. milk, 1/4 c. Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. [dry] quick cooking steel cut oats, 1 tbsp. chia seeds in a bowl. I also sliced and froze a whole ripe banana and half a mango. This morning I added to a blender another 1/2 c. milk, the oat mixture, a lot of mixed greens, a pinch of salt, a drizzle of honey, and the frozen fruit. Then I blended ’til the cows came home (probably also ’til I woke up Madre, sorry :/ ).

This was the thickest and coldest smoothie ever, thanks to the overnight chia mixture + the frozen fruit. Topped with sunflower seeds, Honey Bunches of Oats, and sweetened shredded coconut.

All I need is a tropical beach.

Other fun eats from this week at home:

DSC_3064

quick cook steel cut oats (that 1/4 c. serving size is diddly squat) with butter-caramelized banana slices + Greek yogurt with the rest of the caramelized banana, chia seeds, cheerios, and sunflower seeds

DSC_3065

half of one of my lunches: salmon and hummus on top of the last of the spinach in the container (fewer dishes FTW)

DSC_3069

crockpot split soup – one of my all time faves

DSC_3071

overnight oats (made with the quick cook steel cut oats again, because that’s all we have at home), topped with sunflower seeds + Honey Bunches of Oats

DSC_3072

leftover split pea soup + salad with homemade honey dijon vinaigrette

I’ve also been eating copious amounts of Boom Chicka Pop’s kettle corn, because once you start you can’t stop.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of hanging out with some of my beautiful friends from Boston University in NYC! Casey, Connor, Louis, Adrienne, and Fiona ♥︎

IMG_7457

We met up in Times Square and walked almost 4 miles down to The World Trade Center from there. We lucked out with some gorgeous weather!

IMG_7460

I also lucked out when this famous bagel place was on the way.

IMG_7439

It’s called Best Bagel and Coffee, which is the most gimmicky name ever, but over 1,000 people on Yelp loved it, so I went. In Yelp I trust.

I went for bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel.

IMG_7440

Indeed, this was whole and everything.

Confession: This was my first NY bagel in my entire life. Like, I’ve eaten bagels in the state of New York, but I’ve never had a quality NY bagel until this day. I’ve only lived here for 12 years. I’m a slow person in many regards.

My bagel sandwich was absolutely delicious and great walking fuel while the rest of my friends built up a “hangry” appetite for lunch by the time we arrived at the World Trade Center. It’s so interesting being the only nourished one in the group. You just watch everyone else get angry and/or delirious.

After they were all fed at a gastropub called Suspenders, we walked around to the 9/11 Memorial.

IMG_7445IMG_7449IMG_7451

Connor is from Maine, so the big city was a bit too overwhelming for him.

IMG_7455

sees grass. lays down.

And since I’m queen of navigation when it comes to food places, I brought my pals to Rice to Riches (the most vulgar but amazing rice pudding place you will ever enter)…

IMG_7462

…and then Eileen’s Special Cheesecake (it was featured on Food Network, so you know it’s legit).

IMG_7463

Holla for International Women’s Day!

IMG_7465

A delightful amount of food, a crap ton of walking, and countless laughs with some of my favorite people (I kind of hate myself for the cheesiness of that last one…but it’s true).

When I got home, my body wasn’t sore and had a lot of energy for the first time this whole week, so I did a quick 16 minute workout in the basement (30 seconds work/10 seconds rest/4 rounds):

Yesterday started with that smoothie up there + a manicure and pedicure with Madre early in the morning, because I had to take a train right back into the city for lunch with Pop, my brother, and Christine from Boutiquefull (also my good friend from BU)! Christine met my brother and dad in NYC, since they all work down there, so Pop asked to take us out to lunch one day.

I wouldn’t usually take a 40 minute train + 20 minute subway ride just to eat lunch in NYC, but I’d do it for these folks 🙂

IMG_7475

We went to Harry’s Italian, and let me just say, thank God for complimentary focaccia bread.

IMG_7471

Also for giant meatball subs, one of my favorite meals on the planet.

IMG_7472

It was so fun catching up with Christine and hanging out with Pop and bro Ben!

IMG_7473

After lunch, I headed uptown to meet with a couple of the Sisters of Life. I signed up to be a co-worker for them, which is essentially a volunteer to help women in crisis pregnancies (with resources, babysitting, material donations, praying, just being a friend, etc.), so we just chatted about that and all about life (duh).

All the Sisters of Life are just pure JOY. Ugh. Love ’em.

IMG_7481

stopped into this church as I was speed walking to catch my train back home

Last night we went to flavor town (as Guy Fieri would say) for dinner. In other words, I roasted/grilled a bunch of veggies, Madre made salmon and rice, and we dug in.

DSC_3075

grilled eggplant with s+p

DSC_3077

Moroccan roasted carrots (olive oil, salt, pepper, Moroccan spice, brown sugar)

DSC_3079

honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts!!!

DSC_3080

the crispy leaves are the best, and I pretty much ate all of them straight out of the oven

DSC_3081

homemade roasted bell peppers for the first time ever

DSC_3082

Madre’s perfectly cooked teriyaki salmon

DSC_3087

altogether now

DSC_3088

Madre bought apple strudels, so I ate one a la mode of course

DSC_3089

Fancy, eh? The occasion was our friend Brother Sam visiting for the night!

DSC_3090

‘Twas a lovely evening of food, fellowship, and watching embarrassing home videos with the guest.

I’ll catch ya back in Boston! I need to buckle down and study, because I spent 75% of this spring break reading blogs (#noragrets).

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

So tell me:

Do you like to sip or eat your smoothies? Eating them out of a bowl with a spoon is the superior way, but your opinion is still welcome.

Have you ever eaten a real New York bagel?

One fun thing you did this week!

Back in Boston + Five Minute Friday #7

Dinner last night was leftover salad with hummus, Popcorners, a frozen banana, and two spoonfuls of cashew butter. Why did I come back to Boston when the dining halls aren’t open yet???

Well, despite the fact that dining halls aren’t open, I am both nourished and having a great time with friends.

Rewinding back to New York: On Tuesday night, my parents kindly took me out to dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for the best sushi ever.

IMG_0643

I came home and made myself some peanut butter banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended in a food processor with a splash of milk and peanut butter)— an old time fave. I ate it with a little Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granola. Fabulous.

DSC_2169

And then this beautiful person came to visit me after her class ended (at 10 pm!)!

DSC_2171

Daliza! ♥︎ I fed her a pancake with half peanut butter and half nutella + glass o’ milk. Her visit would be incomplete without me giving her something with peanut butter or nutella on it.

Wednesday morning involved overnight oats, packing, and some moves and grooves (handstand walks, pushups, and a 16 minute interval workout) before preparing brunch for my friends Joe and Louis.

DSC_2173

DSC_2175 DSC_2176

French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon

IMG_0003

“The bacon was very good, Alison. The whole brunch was very good, but the bacon was VERY good.” — Louis

It was my first time cooking bacon, so I’m glad it turned out well. I also blended up a green peanut butter banana smoothie (milk, greek yogurt, frozen banana, peanut butter, and spinach) and forced it down their throats convinced them to try it, since I knew for a fact that they would not be able to taste the spinach.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 11.34.58 PM

They didn’t taste the spinach. #VICTORIOUS. (“There’s like a little bit of an aftertaste.” ← yeah, sure, believe what you want.)

I made myself an avocado, bacon, and egg toast + another egg + sriracha. I also ate my weight in leftover roasted brussels sprouts while I was cooking.

DSC_2177

This was amazing.

Joe, Louis and I hit the road for Boston and made it back in time to enjoy the FREAKING GORGEOUS weather. It hit 70 F — shorts and t-shirt weather! As soon as we arrived on campus, we joined more friends for Can-Jam until it got dark.

IMG_0006

Then we ate dinner at the food court on campus, chilled out on the dock, and played the Ellen Degeneres iPhone game, “Psych”, until we were all falling asleep. Good people, good times.

Yesterday’s activities included some quick moves and grooves (this ab workout), Mass, lunch at Tasty Burger, the Museum of Fine Art, and a special pre-screening of the new movie, The Young Messiah. It’s hard to pick out the best part of the day!

IMG_0021 IMG_0020 IMG_0024

This was a “dine-in” theater with the most luxurious seats I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

And today I’m going to Mass and lunch with a friend, maybe working out at the gym, and definitely doing lots of studying.

Now that we’re all caught up, how about some Five Minute Friday action? (This post probably took you five minutes to read already…sorry.) This week I’m talking about something very random: where I would want to live after I graduate!

link to the video!

Taking a video of myself on a tire swing in a park that I’d never visited before. Sounds about right for me.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried convincing someone that a smoothie with spinach does NOT taste gross?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

If you love where you live, why is that?

Home Is Where the Food Is

So much food, so little time!!!

That seems to be the theme whenever I come home. Not the worst situation.

I’ve been home for a little over two days, and I have definitely been soaking up some R&R, spending time with the ‘rents, eating mom’s home cooking, and utilizing the kitchen.

DSC_2150

Friday

My friends Joe and Louis let me hitch a ride with them back home since we all live fairly close to one another. We left Boston on Friday afternoon, bumpin’ some tunes, chatting about our lives, and criticizing Joe for his love of country music for the 4 hour drive.

IMG_0578

Madre prepared a fabulous dinner that was waiting for us when we got to my house. What a wonderful woman.

DSC_2148

She sent Joe and Louis home with fried rice and egg rolls, because you don’t leave her establishment without food.

The rest of my night involved laundry, reading blogs, and watching YouTube videos until 2 AM because I’m dumb.

Saturday

I woke up naturally at 8:30 on Saturday (weird, considering I went to sleep so late), so I took my time getting downstairs and deciding what to eat for breakfast. I get very pensive about breakfast when I’m home, especially if I’m only home for a few days, because I know that I have limited time to utilize the kitchen/time to make some of my favorite breakfast recipes.

I was in the mood for either pancakes or oatmeal. But I can do regular oatmeal in my dorm any day… homemade pancakes though? Girl.

DSC_2153

I used The Baker Mama’s recipe for whole wheat banana pancakes, which were fluffy and delicious. I had three (+ another baby one) with blueberry Chobani, peanut butter, and fresh blueberries. Served with a glass o’ milk.

DSC_2151

WOW. I keep staring at this picture and reminiscing on the amazingness of this breakfast.

I think I caught up on some more blogs and took a nap before interviewing my mom for my Behavioral Biology of Women term paper. It was fun to hear all her stories! Lunch happened sometime in there.

DSC_2154

sautéed spinach, avocado, egg, and sriracha in a Flatout wrap + too many snacks to count

I got to move and groove in the basement for a bit as well! I worked on pull-up/chin-up negatives, pushups, and wall walks before doing a 20 minute circuit (and then stretching! #PTtobe).

IMG_0586

We went to Mass at night and then came home for dinner to make our way through some of the leftovers from Friday night.

DSC_2155

hodgepodge of noodles, spaghetti squash, tofu, fish, and vegetables topped with sriracha (the condiment of the gods) + a bunch of unpictured crackers with eggplant dip

Dad and I decided to watch Eddie the Eagle later that night at the theater, which was a good choice! An entertaining, feel-good kinda movie (with British accents, so +100).

Upon coming home, I ate another pancake with peanut butter, dried figs, and a glass o’ milk. 😀

Sunday

Smoothie Sunday (#smoothiesunday?)! This was an overnight oat smoothie (same recipe as this one) topped with granola that my dear friend Emma gifted me! (Catholic friend giving granola made by Catholic monks to fellow Catholic friend. How Catholic.)

DSC_2156

Fast forward through some relaxing reading, school reading, and blog reading… My parents and I went out to lunch at a seafood restaurant thanks to— the one and only— Groupon.

IMG_0593

Their warm sourdough with a sprinkle heavy dose of pepper to start.

IMG_0591

I went with the prix fixe option since it was the best deal. For appetizer I got the salad of the day, which was arugula with bell peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, candied pistachios (!!!), and a lemon vinaigrette. It didn’t look like all that much at first, but it tasted great!

IMG_0597

For my entree I ordered the scallops with mushroom risotto. I also helped my mom with some of her lobster ravioli and had a bite of my dad’s parmesan-crusted cod. It was all pretty darn tasty!

IMG_0598

We took most of my risotto to go, along with the dessert that came with my prix fixe (pistachio cheesecake!) because a) I was full, b) we were in a rush to go to a concert, and c) we knew there would be cookies at the concert reception.

IMG_0605

It was a benefit concert to help support the Maryknoll Sisters’ global outreach mission. A local orchestra performed some awesome classical and cinematic pieces. My fave was the Jurassic Park piece at the end (mostly because it was the only one I could recognize, but also because it was spectacular).

During intermission, these happened.

IMG_0603

Beautiful mini desserts!!! I got a plate for myself and then had a bite of, like, five different cookies from my mom’s plate.

IMG_0607

Ugh, so good. The sisters baked all of them!

IMG_0609

Back at home, I changed into comfy clothes and went on a 3 mile walk around the ‘hood while listening to the latest Girls Gone WOD podcast. I ate a light dinner at around 8 since I was still kind of full from our big, late lunch.

And here I am typing up this blog post. It’s taken me two hours to type up this little recap. I’m queen of getting sidetracked (aka dancing to music and texting my friend about exploding stars).

The funny thing is that I had several different plans for spring break including a possible mission trip to Ireland or Guyana. Then I planned for a weeklong retreat after the mission trips didn’t work out, but the weeklong retreat was canceled, so then I was left with little to work with. Home has been a nice treat though ♥︎

Hope you all have a mighty fine Monday!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend? 

Oatmeal or pancakes?

Are you a fan of country music? 

Are you a fan of orchestra concerts? They’re not my number one activity of choice, but I can definitely enjoy and appreciate the music!

Sick Day Eats

In the past four days, I have only left the house to go to church, the grocery store, and the train station.

I wish I could say I’ve gone on some fun hometown excursions with friends, but alas, I have come down with something. I’ve had flu-like symptoms, but nothing too serious. Just enough to make me want nothing but sleep, soup, and bread. (I just looked back at a post at this exact time last year, and I was sick, haha.)

It’s weird that I don’t have a million things to do, people to see, and places to walk. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this change of pace. I think that’s why I’m sick. Thanks to human physiology, I now understand that my immune system is repressed in times of stress, so when I am no longer stressed, my immune system starts to fight whatever pathogen has been lurking in my body.

I proudly told that to Pop, and he was like, “I know that.”

WELL.

Cooking in the kitchen has also been making me happy. Today I’m sharing my day of eats from Monday. It’s been a mighty long time since I participated in What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW aka wheeee-awwww)!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

630 am: Hot honey lemon water

DSC_2023

After I dropped off Pop at the train station, I went to the grocery store to get some lemons. All my throat wanted was some hot honey lemon water, and boy was it soothing.

9 am: Green overnight oat smoothie

DSC_2024

Festive, yeah? The night before, I put into a blender:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 HUGE tbsp. peanut butter (so like, 2 tbsp. probably)
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Stirred it together straight in the blender and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added another splash of milk, a frozen banana, and lots of spinach. Blend, pour into a bowl, top with granola, eat with a spoon.

1 pm: Avocado, cheddar, egg, mustard sandwich

DSC_2025 DSC_2029

I went on a 20 minute run jog around the neighborhood before I decided that I was very done. I had worked out the night before, so I was sore and also achy from being sick. Thus, I came home and made this beautiful thing. I even got fancy and broiled the cheese on the toast. DREAMY.

I also ate some colorful pomegranate seeds and carrots with hummus.

DSC_2030 DSC_2031

A package came in the mail during lunchtime that included no-bake balls from Arman, so I obviously had to try one. I think this was a cinnamon bun no-bake bite. Basically everything good all rolled into a convenient ball. Thank you so much, Arman!

DSC_2032

5 pm: Nuts

DSC_2038

Balls and nuts, good. (12 year-old boy.)

630 pm: Theraflu

DSC_2039

I appreciate that Theraflu makes tasty medicine.

730 pm: Split pea soup, leftover pesto chicken, peppers and hummus

DSC_2040

I made a big batch of slow cooker split pea soup during the day, and it totally hit the spot for dinner. Also, the thought of raw peppers kinda makes me queasy while I’m sick, but I ate them anyway.

DSC_2035

Split pea soup is my FAVORITE soup!

10 pm: More hot honey lemon water

IMG_9533

(I washed my mug between uses :)) I think I might even have hot honey lemon water even when I’m not sick. It’s so comforting yet refreshing from the zing of lemon. At the same time though, I might want to keep it as a sick day “treat”. Kind of like mom’s chicken noodle soup, ya know? Maybe. I dunno.

Two more days until Christmas!!! It’s 60 degrees outside right now. It’s like a Florida Christmas or something!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Go broil some cheese toast.

So tell me:

What do you like to eat or drink when you’re sick?

What is your favorite kind of soup?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? It’s a tie between that sandwich and the split pea soup!

The Best Things I Did This Weekend

I am currently staring at all the food I need to put away in the fridge and procrastinating doing so by blogging.

What is all this food I’m staring at? See below. 🙂

The Best Things I Did This Weekend:

1. Celebrating Fathers’ Day!

There are no words that can justly describe how much Pop means to me. Such a humble, hard working, charitable man. Thank you for everything, Pop!

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

We BBQ’d to celebrate and followed typical protocol— I chop, marinate, and skewer; Dad grills. We make a good team.

DSC_1500

breakfast for Pop: egg white omelet with cheese, greens, red bell peppers, and avocado + turkey bacon + cinnamon apple FlapJacked pancakes

DSC_1501

breakfast for me (unpictured: two or three more spoonfuls of almond butter)

DSC_1510

THE BEST ROASTED SWEET POTATOES EVER

DSC_1514

pork souvlaki

DSC_1516

Moroccan chicken kebabs

DSC_1515

grilled vegetables

DSC_1517

pita with chicken, tomatoes, and homemade cucumber mint yogurt sauce

DSC_1518

When Dad and I grill, we eat super casually. We’ll just graze and try whatever is ready out of the oven or off the grill, as a BBQ should be IMO. It’s like an all night buffet.

2. Logging off of Facebook and Instagram for a majority of the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least).

I dare you to try this. Logging off of social media and not worrying about notifications or checking news feeds did wonders for my focus and breathing. Yes, I was still on Instagram and FB, especially yesterday, but even taking a couple days off helped me realize how much time and energy I spent on social media. I’m going to make this a regular thing.

3. This breakfast.

I rarely have the same breakfast two mornings in a row, but this was a repeat on Friday and Saturday because it was basically 90% prepared and tasted 100% delicious.

DSC_1489

a hefty piece of this banana bread oatmeal bake (that I baked earlier this week) with sunflower seed butter + Greek yogurt with chia, cinnamon, nutmeg, banana, and pb

4. One handed handstand against the wall!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I’ve tried this in the past and failed, but on Friday night I just went for it again and surprised myself! I did it a few times and called it a day, don’t worry 😉

5. Amanda’s banana muffins.

These babies made their way to the top of some ice cream…

DSC_1488

…and some chia pudding…

DSC_1498

…and into my belly.

6. Surprising mom at the airport during her layover.

It’s a long story as to why she was traveling, but long story short: We got to see her for the first time in about a month at the airport! She was so happy to see us, and we were so happy to see her!

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

airport Qdoba doing me good

7. Listening to Tori Kelly’s new album on iTunes radio.

I need to white-girl-fan-girl here, because I CANNOT EVEN handle how amazing it is. I advise you to go listen (on iTunes Radio First Play, but the album drops tomorrow!).

IMG_6557

no one sings or does curly hair quite like her

8. Bareburger with Pop.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The “SoCal”: turkey burger with sprouts, guacamole, pickled red onions, and a beauteous amount of aged cheddar on a multigrain bun

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

vegan carrot cake which rocked our worlds

 9. Eating more than Pop on Saturday.

This is real life. I ate quite a bit more than my dad on Saturday, and I didn’t even try! Granted, we have two opposite goals for our bodies (and…different bodies), but I’m pretty darn impressed with myself!

10. Going to church.

Always the highlight.

___________________________

Woo that’s a lot of happenings! Wait, more than half of these are about food. I act surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be…

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

The top three best things you did this weekend!

Do you like repeating breakfast or changing it up?

Did you cook/bake anything amazing this weekend?