A Day in Sonoma

After our weekend in NY, we were headed to California to visit my brother! We flew out early Sunday, and got to San Fran early enough so that we had nearly a whole day to spend. Our first day? A trip to Sonoma. We had a tour and tastings, visiting two wineries in the area.

winery #1

winery #1

Family at winery #2

Family at winery #2

Followed by dinner in downtown Sonoma. We were staying right near downtown and were able to walk to dinner at LaSalette, a great Portuguese place with outdoor dining. If you’re ever in Sonoma, I highly recommend staying near their downtown. There was a cute little square with a lot of shops and restaurants, as well as a biking/walking/running path not to far away.

downtown Mendocino

downtown Mendocino

Greg and me at dinner

Greg and me at dinner

Feijoada!

Feijoada!

The next morning, thanks to the time difference, I was able to wake up early enough to enjoy a run around town, even among wineries. A 5 mile run through fields of lavender and vines of grapes? My idea of pretty pretty perfect!

20150727_074652

After the run and hotel breakfast, we headed to our last winery, Matanza, which is known for its field of lavender. Oh my goodness- as we pulled up, we couldn’t help but smell the gorgeous aroma of lavender and see the purples everywhere! We were lucky enough to have an informal impromptu tour (we had missed the one formal tour of the day) and share a wine tasting as well. It was pretty perfect – it was my mom’s birthday AND she loves lavender, so it was a great way to start the day.

IMG_20150727_120851

Then, we were off. Onto our next destination – Mendocino! (more to come)

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Sonoma before?
  • What’s your favorite kind of wine? Reds or whites?

WIAW #25: Vacation Eats in Mendocino

A very happy What I Ate Wednesday to you! I’m excited to share with you a great day of eats- different than my typical everyday eats – in fact, I’m vacationing with my family in California and we had a great day in Mendocino. A great day with a nice walk around the town, and wonderful eats.

Gorgeous Mendocino!

Gorgeous Mendocino!

The Inn that we were staying at delivered a great breakfast to us in the morning in a cute basket. The Inn boasts 100+ chickens, so of course there were some fresh eggs included with breakfast:

breakfast menu

breakfast menu

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

the amazing meal

the amazing meal

We took a great walk after breakfast around downtown Mendocino, all around the Headlands along the ocean. We got hungry along the way and snacked on some Malley’s Dark Chocolate Almonds.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.53.52 AM

After our walk, we stopped for lunch at a cafe downtown. My mom and I split a lunch – we got a salad trio, with quinoa, kale and brussels sprouts salad. It was really good and tasted so fresh.

20150728_152224

Dinner was so good. We ended up eating at MacCallum House, an inn in town, and had an amazing meal. We enjoyed a bottle of local Pinot Noir, some fresh baked sour dough, and shared a cheese platter.

20150728_192552 20150728_194401

My mom and I split the arugula, proscuitto and chèvre salad and ratatouille. I love splitting meals, and it was the perfect way to try a bunch of food without getting too stuffed.

20150728_195928 20150728_195924

Dessert was so so so good. We had a fresh blackberry soufflé and split it four ways. Since it had been my mom’s birthday, they put a candle in a side of cream for her to blow out.

20150728_203332

 

 

That concluded our day in Mendocino. It was such a good day of eats – I really can’t complain! As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?
  2. Have you ever been to Mendocino?
  3. Splitting meals – yay or nay?

A Weekend In NY

For those of you that know me, you probably know that I’m a native New Yorker. I was born around New York City and lived in Staten Island for the first several years of my life before moving upstate. The majority of my mom’s family still lives in and around Staten Island and New Jersey, but B and I haven’t made the trip back in more than a year.

It’s funny because it’s almost true …

So a few months ago, when we got the invite to my cousin’s surprise birthday for this, I knew we had to go – I’d get to see my family, introduce B to Staten Island AND get to see my mom for her birthday, too.

It was a great weekend – not only did we get to see family, but I got to show B some of our old favorite Staten Island spots.

The weekend actually started off early – Friday morning with a 10 mile run with B and Mary. Getting up at 5:30 to run on a vacation day isn’t what I usually like to do – I love my sleep! – but it had to be done.

This photo sums up how I felt.

20150724_081127

At least we ended with a treat from Restore!

1437743564142

Then we got on the road to New York. We stopped first to visit my Aunt Glad. She just got moved into hospice, so I’m glad we got to see her in her new space.

Then, we headed to Staten Island to meet up with my parents. We enjoyed pizza at one of our old favorite spots, Deninos. The pizza was sooooo good.

veggie slice and salad.

veggie slice and salad.

Saturday morning, after an easy 5k shakeout run in the hotel,  it was time for the party. It was so great seeing my family and celebrating.

20150725_164755

The party was at a restaurant on the shore, so we took a nice walk after the party along the beach. There were so many people out – it was the picture perfect day!

20150725_162159

We were too stuffed for a real dinner after the party, but of course there is always room for dessert. We enjoyed Ralph’s Italian Ice for dessert – another SI tradition. The cannoli ice was delicious!

20150725_203102

Sunday morning started early – I said good bye to B and then my parents and I were off to the airport. We had a trip planned to see my brother in California! Another early morning, but waking up early to travel is something I can do every so often.

And now we’re off to California! I’ll share another update after the trip. But until then – have a great week!

20150726_101315

Some questions for you:

  • Do you live near or far from your family?
  • Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore?

PS – Linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today again!

WIAW #24: TGIF!

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post is a FRIDAY. Alas, it wasn’t an overly exciting Friday-  just your standard workday Friday.

 

Breakfast was egg whites and veggies. I know – shocker. I’m a creature of habit :)

20150717_091503

Lunch was mishmash – leftover spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce and basil (yummmm!) as well as a pre packed salad with a store-bought veggie burger.

20150717_135837

Snacks that day included some super salty almonds (Yum!) and more spaghetti squash. This time with honey and cinnamon. I forgot to take a picture (thus a photo of the empty container).

20150717_145422 20150717_172156

B and I had a long run planned for Saturday, so we opted for a low key Friday night. I love vegan food before long runs, so we tried out a new restaurant. The food was pretty good – I had a sweet potato veggie burger wrapped in collard greens.

20150717_183332

 

And of course, I had to have dessert. I made myself a mini bowl with a bunch of random treats – white chocolate chips, banana bread, chex and chocolate.

20150717_203106

That concluded my Friday. As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What do like to eat the night before a long run? Anything vegan, typically. Wraps, sandwiches, salads etc. YUM!
  2. What’s your typical Friday night? This wasn’t typical but it was nice to stay in for a change!
  3. Have you ever had spaghetti squash in a sweeter manner, like I did?

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken For 2

I’m not a seasonal eater. What do I mean by that? I love soups year round. Chili? In July? Why not?! Ice cream in the winter? Of course! B, on the other hand, is very seasonal. We can’t eat soup in the summer. Crockpot? Stash that away from May-Aug (and sometimes September). BUT sometimes I can sneak in a slow cooker recipe in the summer and convince B it’s still seasonal. I didn’t quite do that with this one (there was no sneaking) BUT he did enjoy it. And would eat it again:) At last! A  crock pot meal that even B enjoys in the summer.

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken For 2 (with leftover for lunch)

Makes 2 large dinner servings, with a leftover lunch portion

Slightly modified from Family Food on the Table

Ingredients

  • 2 large, skinless chicken breasts (mine weighed a little more than 1/2 lb)
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, mostly drained and chopped a bit
  • 1 14-oz. cans artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp red curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Instructions

  1. Combine everything BUT the fresh basil and quinoa in your slow cooker (chicken breasts through dried Italian seasoning).
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Once finished, use two forks to shred the chicken into large chunks.
  4. Serve warm, with fresh basil and over quinoa. NOTE: There will be a decent amount of liquid left – I liked mine almost soupy and used much of it. If you don’t, use a slotted spoon for removing the meal from the crockpot.
Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Sittin in the slow cooker …

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Ready to eat!

Alright, your turn. A few questions for you:

  • Any favorite summery slow cooker recipes? Let me know!
  • What’s the best slow cooker meal or snack you’ve ever had?
  • Are you a seasonal eater?

Weekend In Photos

I’m going to attempt to not write a lengthy blog post, and instead share my weekend update with you in mostly photos. My challenge – two sentences per photo. Okay … go!

Friday night we tried out a new vegan restaurant in Cleveland. Vegan is maybe my favorite food to eat before  a long run.

20150717_183803

Saturday morning=waking up at 5:35 a.m. to find that it’s already 76 degrees and 70% humidity.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.39.05 AM

And you need to get in a 9 mile run.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 8.32.01 AM

So you take a sweaty selfie when you’re done. 9 miles by 8 a.m.

IMG_20150718_080827

And because you’re already up early, you hit up the West Side Market for breakfast and shopping.

20150718_101508

AND Hingetown for coffee and scones.

20150718_104840

And kombucha.

20150718_105202

80 degrees means a perfect beach day. And yes, I actually went in the water.

IMG_20150718_121021

And evening walks.

20150718_175912

Which lead to patio drinks on the water.

20150718_184510

And dinner outdoors. You can see B and my shadow.

20150718_184910

And after dinner craft brews.

20150718_204703

And more photos of the city on the water. Because why not.

20150718_210845

Sunday morning Muppet movie marathon. I love the Muppets so so so much!

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 9.33.09 PM

Ladies Craft Beer Society. This month was beers in cans and bracelets.

20150719_153414

Another nice day means a walk around some lakes before dinner.

20150719_170639

Mexican with B’s family for dinner! Chips and some of my favorite salsa.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 9.40.26 PM

And a gorgeous sunset. Which meant another walk to round about a perfect evening!

20150719_203838

That was it! Sums up my weekend. Hope yours was as fabulous!

Some questions for you:

  • Any new favorite summer beers I should try? Two days in a row i’ve had grapefruit beers and loved them!
  • Are you an early riser? Or do you prefer to sleep in on weekends? Definitely prefer to sleep in but waking up at 5:30 on Saturday ended up working out great!

PS – I’ll be linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today :)

 

WIAW #23: Jury Duty.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! It’s my 23rd WIAW post and for those of you that know me know that 23 is my lucky number. So of course this WIAW includes some of my favorite foods – cheese and froyo and candy :)

I had jury duty this week so my eats were a little more controlled. Meaning I had to pack my own snacks unless I wanted to see what they had at the courthouse (note: Apparently the food at the courthouse was actually good. Oh well!)

Breakfast, instead of my usual egg whites (I didn’t think bringing those would be a good idea) or smoothie (I usually make this with the office Vitamix), I grabbed a big bag of frozen grapes. Only some of the grapes are pictured, below. Because let’s face it, I already ate half the grapes before I took a photo.

frozen grapes are SO GOOD!

frozen grapes are SO GOOD!

I had done some meal prep over the weekend and managed to make a few salads for B and me to take for lunches this week. You can’t see all the goodness in here, but it’s baby lettuce (my favorite!), arugula, tomato, roasted sweet potato and chicken.

20150713_125315

For snacks, I had made some peanut butter granola. Again, that’s about half of the granola I packed. I also packed some carrots.

20150713_140327 20150713_151635

For dinner, I made some spicy Italian chicken burgers (these were bought at the West Side Market, I just cooked them) with some peppers and onions and a caprese quinoa salad (with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil). The meal tasted so summery to me – it was perfect!

20150713_182309

It was a beautiful evening, so B and I took a walk and got some froyo at a place not to far from our apartment. I LOVE frozen yogurt places – mainly for the toppings bar as you can see – and it is the first time we’ve gone all summer!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.22 PM

That concluded my Monday. How did I do? Would you eat all of that too?

As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What do you get on your frozen yogurt? Anything and everything. I like a basic flavor and then toppings galore! I mixed few pieces of cheesecake bites, cookie dough bites, butterfingers, snickers and even boba and mochi. Oh, and of course one sour worm. Just because.
  2. What’s something great you ate this week?
  3. Have you ever had jury duty?