must practice the high notes.

It has been a great morning: Brunch at Sara and Katie’s and then my voice lesson!

BBQ chicken and brie stuffed omelets with asparagus and thick-cut toast on the side. Decent, but not my best attempt at breakfast.

Photo by Sara:

Now to the gym…

Tomorrow’s post will include the recipe for Mandy’s Birthday dinner tonight: Amanda’s Eggplant Lasagna (with a twist!)

Breezy is better than food

No food pics today; nothing too exciting to report. Leftovers, granola bars, banana, apple, etc. Work and my workout were both fantastic, leaving me super tired in a super great way. Tomorrow I’ll post pics of the kitchen-mission I’m about to embark on for Mandy’s Bday gift. Woop!

And to feed the immediate need for pics, here’s my sis, Breezy, wearing the shirt I got her (and I) at the Reverend Peyton show (the washboardista in that band is also name Breezy):

Miss my sissy!

From St. Johns to E Burnside

After Sara locked her keys in the car at Safeway, leaving us at the mercy of a disgruntled AAA-endorsed locksmith, we got to cookin’ some taaaaaaasty family dinner. Her vision came together perfectly as we made burgers (veg and turk, grilled) and some insanely crunchy fennel/parsley salad that blew my mind. Other diners brought potato salad, guac, baked beans (in bacon!), veggie kabobs, and lots o’ beverages.

Sara’s roommate/my choir pal and voice coach, Katie, in her new apron:

Who needs a forehead when you have a sassy apron?

And then I ended up here (to see some comedy):

IHeartPortland.

Kelley Point

Took Lucy on an early morning river walk at Kelley Point (intersection of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers)… it was quite a peaceful time. I snapped on the wide-angle lens Sara lent me and took some pretty mediocre pictures. She also gave me a book on how to best use the F-50 to my advantage. Definitely gotta get with that… maybe one day I’ll have time to take a photo class.

Busy, busy day. The good news: Sara is cooking for me tonight! Good thing I have a blog to highlight how amazing my friends are…

Weight Watchers and pizza, a perfect match

Best day! So happy!

Exactly what I was hoping for: I maintained my weight loss from last week and stayed the same. The WW meeting was rowdy and full of laughter… such a great way to spend a half hour. One of my fellow meeting-goers hit his 80 pound goal tonight, leaving me totally inspired. I love that feeling!

And then….. PIZZA! I know the other night I said mushrooms are my favorite food, but that was a lie. My favorite food is really pizza. There is no type of pizza I do not like. Thick crust? Yes. Thin? Yes. Wood fired? Grilled? English muffin or pita style? YES. I like the Lean Cuisine pizzas as well as Hot Pocket pizzas. Roadhouse, Pizza Hut, Apizza Scholl’s, PRI, and Papa Mandy’s are all amazing. As for toppings? Anything goes. The best I’ve probably ever had was at Roberta’s in Brooklyn, around the corner from Jesse’s apartment, where they grow their veggies on the roof and put radishes on their pies. Wild flavor, just wild.

With that being said, I owe a huge thanks to Amanda for feeding me fabulous pizza tonight after a long day without much food. She used Jamie A’s focaccia recipe for the crust, which made enough for both concoctions: Feta/olives/artichoke hearts and tomato/cheddar/basil. Maybe I ate four squares, two of each. Irresistible.

Salad, topped with the same mustard vinaigrette I made the other night:

No pizza cutter in da house:

Get it, Mark:

Amanda’s beautiful besties (Lindsay, Dana, Kristen):



And here she is, foolishly calculating the calories of the pizza we just slammed:

And FINALLY, Jamie’s Focaccia Recipe! (I’m cutting and pasting it from the email… thanks ladies!)

1 package instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

In a bowl mix all this up with your hands until yeast is dissolved.

In another bowl measure out 4-5 cups flour
slowly add water/yeast mixture until well blended (your hands work best for this too). You’ll probably have to add more warm water. The dough should be wet and sticky, much more so than regular bread dough. If you don’t have a really big bowl, I would split it into two different ones to rise. Cover, place in a warm place and allow to rise for 4-5 hours.

Then, if you want to use it for pizza crust:
Spray or oil the pan you want to cook it on. Put some oil on your hands and a little on the dough too. Spread dough out onto cookie sheets. Drizzle more olive oil on top, and add black pepper, salt and oregano to your liking. This amount of dough made two crusts on cookie sheets.

If you want it for bread:
You may have to split it into three part. Still spread it onto a cookie sheet as above, but after adding spices, fold or roll up. Jill baked hers in a large oven-proof bowl, but I would imagine you could use a bread pan or something similar.

Bake either at 425, the crust for 25-30 minutes. And I really don’t remember for the bread, but probably 30-45 minutes?

Slow Mix

Best way to start your day? At the gym. This is something I rarely do, but I had to get it in early today because I’m on the road until late this afternoon for work. My mood has seriously never been better, which is saying a lot. I spent the hour on the spin bike slowly climbing (heavy resistance) to my own slow(ish) music. Does anyone else do this? Only recently have I been loving the slow songs at the gym, but now I think I’m addicted.

This playlist is good for either long endurance rides or a serious sob session, you choose.

“Soulshine” Allman Brothers Band
“It Makes No Difference” The Band
“I Know No Pardon” Vetiver
“Angel from Montgomery” John Prine
“Whiter Shade of Pale” Procol Harum
“Swept Away” Avett Brothers
“Bring it on Home” Sam Cooke
“Unknown Legend” Neil Young
“Calendar Girl” Stars
“Orphan Girl” Horse Feathers
“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” Bob Dylan (an early version, before his gargled marble voice)
“Washboard Lisa” Grayson Capps
“Fake Plastic Trees” Radiohead
“Going to Acapulco” Calexico

And BTW! Yesterday when I was cycling (alone in the cycle room), these three dudes came in and began to practice their sword fighting right in front of me. They actually had real swords… What?!

Stay tuned for a new recipe tonight; courtesy of Jamie A via Amanda!

Death by sushi

It’s Tuesday night so I had to stop eating before the “I’m going to die of sushi” feeling could settle in. Not the case for Missy and Kait… poor girls are flopping around on the couch in serious pain right now. Ah, to be skinny again. Oh, wait…

After:

Another brunch, with people this time

An impromptu Tuesday (early) morning brunch that nearly everyone was able to attend? Success. Cheers to Amanda for throwing this last minute potluck together for us… this girl gets it DONE.

The menu: Ricotta-stuffed french toast topped with berries, quinoa salad with balsamic, cheesy potatoes with broccoli, pineapple, mimosas. (I almost can’t believe it myself.)

Hostesses, Amanda and Sole:

I’m already back home and working. On deck: More work, practice songs for choir, gym, homework, homemade sushi for dinner.

For the next 30 hours I am going to keep my meals pretty light; hoping to weigh-in tomorrow within a pound of where I was last week.

Ezekial Wraps

Another current obsession: Ezekial Wraps. They’re made with lentils and barley and brown rice and all this crazy healthy stuff. They are pretty hearty, so fill ’em up with anything. I sauteed cherry tomatoes and zucchini in some olive oil with balsamic and wrapped it with greens and a little feta.

I predict an uneventful dinner, probably just broccoli and a sweet potato with some sour cream and hot sauce. This afternoon: Finish working, workout @ the gym, choir practice.