“Are you a runner?”

This being the question the nurse asked me after taking my vitals today.

“Uhhm, no, I’m not. No one has ever, ever asked me that before!! THANK YOU!!!!”

Apparently all of this exercise is having quite a positive effect on my health… score.

The second highlight of my day was fro yo with Amanda (I had tart/chocolate swirl with strawberries). And the gym made me sweat like a maniac, so that makes the list too.

My food and the weather were both mediocre, so I’m hoping for better tomorrow. I need some serious photographic inspiration ASAP.

(Scared for Weigh-in Wednesday… I’m not anticipating good news. Stay tuned…)

birthday eats

We ate very well yesterday. The bike gang rode to Sara’s birthday brunch at John Street Cafe in St. Johns where the wait for a garden seat was totally worth it.

Egg white omelet with chicken, cilantro, beans, poblano peppers, goat cheese:

Birthday bouquet:

Red Dog was home, also patiently waiting:

And for dinner… my first stab at my recipe for the Sunset Magazine contest!

Mandatory ingredients: Broccoli, Red Pepper, Sausage (any type)

Broccoli Pesto Tortilla Pizzas

2 wheat/flour average size tortillas
2 cups broccoli crowns (blanched)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 T olive oil
1/8 cup walnuts
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 Italian chicken sausages
Mozzarella
1 t red pepper flakes
S + P

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Pesto (food process: broccoli, garlic, walnuts, 1/4 C Parmesan, olive oil, lemon, S+P):

Saute chopped red pepper, sausage (casing removed), red pepper flakes, S+P:

Spread pesto on two tortillas, top with sausage and peppers, finish with mozzarella and 1/4 C Parmesan

Bake (directly on the rack or on a pizza pan) until edges crisp (about 5 minutes)… broil for last 2 minutes until cheese is golden.

Garnish with basil.

It turned out pretty crispy, and everyone gave their thumbs up. For me the mark of a good pizza is the way it stays together. It shouldn’t fall apart or be soggy at all, so I’m happy this recipe lives up to that expectation. Is it worth a $500 prize? We’ll see!

Moral of the story: Writing my own recipe is more challenging than anticipated. I have some refining to do before I submit it (obviously).

If you make this and photograph it (and send me the pics, good or bad), I’ll send you something snazzy from Portland. Get cookin’!!

Happy Birthday, Sara Nylin!

I’m too preoccupied with Sara’s birthday to post the bazillion pics we took today. Bikes, brunch, broccoli pesto, pals, dogs, wine, pizza, pictures, Leisure, nurses, and a doctor……. happy times! Pics and recipe tomorrow.

I started the day with 20 minutes on the stair machine and a lifting class. And then a bike ride to brunch. Feeling fabulous. Cheers!

Recipe Contest

Well this should be fun! Sunset Magazine has an occasional recipe contest, requiring a few choice ingredients.

Let me introduce you to September’s challenge (not my photos):

How Iron Chef is this!? I’m thinking broccoli pesto, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’d love to hear what you come up with! Stay tuned… hopefully I’ll have my winning masterpiece ready to share by the end of the weekend.

As for today, I’m working and going to Spin class.

I’m getting pretty jazzed for the new school year! Wooohooooooo!!

twenty four hours with Harper G

I was greeted with the world’s largest pasta toss when I showed up at Ty’s last night for my babysitting marathon. Of course she made something delicious out of September’s Cooking Light:



Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta

* 8 ounces uncooked penne
* 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 cup vertically sliced onion
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
* 6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1.. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

It’s so good that I will have eaten it for three meals by the time I leave tonight. And anyone with a veggie garden right now probably has tomatoes and basil to spare, so get busy… If you don’t have pecorino, use parm and mozz (that’s what Ty did).

And for you lovers of small humans, check out one my faves at the park:

another round of corn, tomatoes and basil

Today has been all about settling in and preparing for another school year. I’m facing my end-of-summer anxiety with positive self-talk along with reflections and gratitude of a beautiful summer.

In addition to mass organizing, conference calls and email cleanup, I was also able to clear the head with a long walk up Mt. Tabor this morning. And of course I ate. There was a bag of Roma tomatoes burning a hole in my crisper, so those served as initial inspiration for a grilling masterpiece.

Grilled Marinated Tofu, Tomatoes, Corn

The best thing about marinating tofu rather than meat is the ability to turn the marinade into a post-grill dressing.

Extra firm tofu marinated (for an hour) in balsamic, 2 crushed garlic cloves, olive oil, S + P:

All on the grill! Halved tomatoes and corn sprayed with olive oil:

Seriously? Grill your tomatoes, you won’t regret it:

Corn from half a cob, tofu, and tomatoes on top of arugula, garnished with basil and the balsamic marinade. Favorite foods on one plate:

I’m still undecided about the gym today… after two classes yesterday, I may just chill. The body must recover in order to get stronger (I just read that in Women’s Health.)

lunch with Dr. Cler

Guess who becomes a doctor on Friday! Megan BECOMES A DOCTOR ON FRIDAY!!! And fortunately for the greater Portland/Vancouver area, she will be available for all of our psychological needs beginning Saturday when she relocates to the ‘Couve.

Sara and I scored some lunch time with the gal at Proper Eats this afternoon. The lighting isn’t the best in there, so I’ve stopped taking pictures of my Proper Salads, Tempeh Ruebens and BBQ Tempehs (three of my favorites… each of which we ordered). If you’ve never been, please dash yourselves up to St. Johns at once for some of the happiest hippy food you’ll eat in this town.

Megs and I and our pack made a post-lunch pit stop at Cathedral Park so the dogs could splash around. Mission accomplished; Lucy has been sleeping all day.

cheers!

What a wild weekend! I only spent 15 minutes of it at home, so tomorrow I will focus on trying to make it up to my pup. All of the aforementioned events went off without a hitch. Kent and I went on a 25 mile [memorable] bike ride through the city yesterday as he plead his case of turning me into a true cyclist. Honestly I don’t think bike jerseys and clip-in shoes are really my road-style, but I’m willing to entertain the thought by adding a few accessories to my Christmas list this year. Anyway, the ride was made more fun by a stop at Coalition for a pint of IPA and additional visits to both Vino for a wine tasting and Oregon Ice Works (my new favorite food cart) for local Italian ice (coconut/vanilla and pineapple/mango!!!). And this was all before 4pm!

Go here. Now. In Sellwood.

Dinner last night with Kent and Steph was pretty outrageous, beginning at Oba for an app (crab cakes and mojitos) and followed by Fratelli’s for exquisite wine, salad, pizzette, double cooked pork pasta and homemade ravioli. We had the baller-status table in the back, which Kent lived up to with his surprise round of celebratory bubbly. I.LOVE.EATING.WELL. (*and drinking well…….)





Sunday was spent with my other favorite married couple 🙂 Ty and Jay plus baby Harps!! More wine today while Jay chauffeured us around wine country. Nearly impossible to thank these people enough…

At Anne Amie, in hammock, loving life and wine. (Harps and Jay are sleeping in the car at our first stop!):


Second stop, Domaine Serene:



Finally, our favorite, Stoller Winery:




And yes, tomorrow will require double duty at the gym. The above events were totally worth it. I love my people!! THANK YOU!

Celebration weekend

I just got back from my second lifting class in two days and immediately checked the status of my last class for this Masters degree. Success!! I’m done!! FOREVER!!!!!

Take a cue from my weekend if you’re ever at a loss for celebration ideas: Live music, rodeo, city bike ride, fancy dinner, wine tasting, cooking. Thanks to the pals for joining me!

Pics tomorrow, hopefully.

Woop!

binge recovery

I’ve been so distracted recently that I’ve kind of forgotten how to act normal around food. Today, for example, I binge ate everything I could get my hands on. The only way I know to combat such erratic behavior is to spend some good time in the gym, so I obliged this positive self-talk and worked it out for about two hours this evening. How wonderful to leave there feeling stronger and more centered.

Today’s good food story…

Bui’s salad rolls, eaten creekside after a Gorge hike with Steph, Bear and Lucy:

Toby’s ‘Welcome to Portland’ cookout at Sara’s:

(my contribution)

Now I must get my beauty rest for tomorrow’s Canby Rodeo! Yeeeeeeehaaaaw!!!!!!!!