Salmon salad

Good evening lads and ladies! I’ve had a quiet day filled mostly with reading, some for pleasure, some for homework.

I had my usual toast with Smart Balance and coconut oil for breakfast. (The oil mixes with the Smart Balance and creates this completely melt-in-your-mouth texture. I adore it, plus it provides lots of healthy fats!) After my toast I was craving something sweet so I made some peach black tea (loose-leaf, from the Dekalb Internationl Farmer’s Market) and drank it with some orange blossom honey. Yum!

Isn’t our teapot pretty?

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She’s not very big (single serving) but I love how delicate the glass is and the pretty blue handles. Hubs and I got her about a year and a half ago on clearance at Teavana (my one and only trip, sadly). There’s a spiral of metal that hooks into the spout to strain the leaves out. I need to use it more often! It’s just so easy to toss my leaves in the huge strainer from Hubs’ old teapot which fits in the mouth of a mug. I’m not big on dirtying multiple dishes if just one will do. I’m going to make a point of using this teapot more often though.

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Hubs went to Stone Mountain today to see his dad so the pups were left pretty bored. Luckily we still had a Busy Bone left, it kept Ollie (who tends to get into trouble if left un-entertained) occupied for over two hours. Awesome! Gypsy munches through hers in all of three minutes, of course. (Here he is with his last one)

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Since Hubs would be out of town for two meals today, I decided it would only be fair for me to get a meal out as well. After polishing off a box of Wheat Thins and the last of my red pepper hummus for lunch I decided that a balsamic grilled salmon salad from De Palmas Italian Cafe was just what I wanted for dinner: a 4 oz filet over field greens with red onion, sweet red peppers, capers & hard boiled egg. After thinking about it for awhile I realized that I could pretty much make it for myself at home for half the price (it’s a big salad, but still hard for me to justify paying $11 for). I looked up a balsamic marinade online and headed to Earthfare to buy my salmon. When I got there they had raspberry marinated filets ready for sale and that sound just as tasty! 

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I cooked the filet for about 12 minutes at 350* and it came out perfect! The one time I’ve gotten the salad at De Palmas the salmon was overcooked but this came out perfectly tender! I’m not a big fish eater (any time I would try it at the beach as a kid I’d wake up horribly nauseous later that night, but now I’m learning to like it) so I was very pleased that I got this right my first try.

I actually split the filet in half (which came out to about 2.5 oz each) and put the other half away to eat on tomorrow’s salad at lunch. My salmon was served on a bed of butter lettuce (tossed in the balsamic dressing I made last night) with fresh basil, craisins, and a sliced tomato.

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It was a very tasty meal and I’m looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow! I’m not feeling totally satisfied though, so I may go back for the last lonely apple in the fridge (since everything else in this house requires cooking). Or maybe some more toast 🙂 Back to my homework!

Farmer love

Happy Saturday! I finally have pictures for you!

I managed not to sleep till 10:30 today (actually woke up soon after 8) and after rousing Hubs and a shower, we headed out for many adventures.

First off, breakfast, was Dunkin Donuts. I know Tina loves their iced coffee, and it was only 99 cents, so I figured I’d try one, without milk (you know, being lactose intolerant and all). As you can see, I got some sugar though! It was pretty good! The first few sips definitely had some crunch to them… I haven’t consumed raw sugar in awhile, so it was a bit surprising, but I got over it 🙂

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(Athenians, hazard a guess as to which intersection this is?)

I also finally got to try their veggie egg white flat bread and definitely should have asked for no cheese (it all melted to the back end and I definitely didn’t miss it). It was actually pretty tasty, if a bit disconcerting to have this perfectly formed triangle with bits of color mixed in. I could still taste some of the vegetables though, I like me some veggies though.

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Yes, I drive a stick, and yes, the gear shift comes horizontally out of the center consol. I ❤ my car.

Next stop was the Farmer’s Market! We slept through it last weekend but made a point of going to day. It was busy!!! And there were some new farmers who weren’t there last fall. (I have no idea who any of these people are, but I bought from both of the vendors pictured, tomatoes and basil from the guy on the right edge and squash from the left most man (in the background). Both were very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. There’s one guy that I won’t buy from because he spoke to me like I was an idiot at some point last year…

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We came home with spring onions, baby potatoes, tomatoes, a bunch of basil, red butter lettuce (a huge head!), squash, and sugar snap peas for $19.

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Funny story about the sugar snap peas… Hubs and I were talking while still scouting out the selection, he about how last time he had some they didn’t sit well with him and I was just saying how I don’t like them when one of the farmers that we like a lot came around his table and offered us a sample of some. These are so sweet! I’ve only ever bought them from the grocery store before and they never have any flavor. Now I see where they get their name… We continued our walk and then went right back to him, he asked whether he sold me and I said yup! (also bought the lettuce from him). See kids? It pays to buy local and organic, the flavor is so much richer!

The green squash is called clarimore and I’ve forgotten what he called the yellow zucchini. I can’t seem to find the name online.

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Each tomato is a different variety, which to some extent is a shame because I won’t know what to look for next week.

Everything but the lettuce is smaller than you would find at the grocery store but the flavor is so much more intense because it hasn’t been dulled with super plant food or pesticides, it all has the chance to soak up the real flavor of the earth. And the smaller, the sweeter, as the tomato guy and various websites as I was trying to find the squash names. You want them young and sweet. Seriously guys, check out your local farmers market. The food probably won’t officially be labeled organic because the certification is often too expensive for small farmers to obtain, but just talk to them. The guy who sold me the sugar snap peas told me last year that everything is definitely organic at ours. Plus once something has come into season, the prices will be comparable to your big chain grocery store but the flavors will be twice as intense. You won’t be disappointed.

*steps down from soapbox*

Later, after Hubs cleaned the bathroom and I wrestled with trying to connect my computer to the cable modem (our wireless hub seems to have died), I bribed Hubs with lunch at Chickfila (not my best decision) because he had a coupon for a free sandwich (last time we went my wrap took forever to be made so the manager offered us two free sandwiches). The desire for better contact solution at the nearby CVS might have played a part in his willingness.

We’ve kind of been go-go-go all day. We came straight home and took the dogs on a walk! We kept it a lot shorter (still a good half hour probably) so other than getting tired, Gypsy stayed healthy (she’s the grey one). I never realize how small she is until I see her in photos or am around other dogs.

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Ignore my pointy hair, when I wear my bangs down I part it on the side it’s not used to (does that make sense?) to hide a cowlick on the right side of my forehead (my right). I guess I didn’t specifically smooth it down while I was blow drying it this morning.

Ollie! So excited! (Sorry about the camera string, blame Hubs!)

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(As a side note, the little bugger peed on me twice today. The first time I happened to be sitting on the floor when he was let out of the crate so it was an unfortunately typical I’ve-been-locked-up-and-I’m-so-excited-to-see-you sprinkle. We usually rush him straight out the door to avoid this. The second time he was quietly resting on my lap when he shifted and it suddenly got very warm. That one was unusual. Good news is, most of my jeans are now clean.)

A Gypsy glare (a nice change from her typical depressed though!)

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After the walk, I got in touch with my mom and she tried to help me with the internet, to no avail. We ended up driving up to Best Buy to buy a new router (which works sooooo much better than the old one, hello streaming video!) and stopped by Target to buy Ollie a new leash. His old one was once Rose’s (sigh) and technically pink. The clasp was also broken so he could wriggle away from me at times. Now he has a nice, manly blue.

I snacked on some hummus and Wheat Thins at some point (if you must know) and then Hubs and I made a farmers market dinner! Seriously, everything but the salad dressing, hummus, craisins, and the okra were bought this morning, meaning it was all picked within the last 48 hours. So, so fresh and flavorful!

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For the dressing I made Ange’s Better Than Bottled Balsamic vinaigrette but you know, I had to work with what we had, so I used red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and (I’m ashamed to say) Eggo syrup instead of real maple. It was still really good though! I doubled the recipe so I can have it on salads at lunch this week.

My salad had butter lettuce, a few pieces of onion, some sliced basil (this added so much!) a wonderfully fresh tomato, some red pepper hummus, and craisins. Basil is definitely my favorite herb. Please expect to see a vegan caprese salad sometime this week!

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Hubs also roasted up two of our potatoes, one yellow zucchini, one clarimore squash, two onions, and some frozen okra (what can I say, he’s obsessed). Seasoned with salt and oregano, I believe. The potatoes were softer and almost creamier than any I’ve had before (and free of pesticides! Very important as anyone who’s read In Defense of Food will agree). The texture was smoother… I don’t think of potatoes as being grainy, but they almost seem so in comparison with these.

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Look at that beautiful yellow ring of flesh in the zucchini! Hubs and I both agreed that the flavor reminded us of tea! It was interesting, in a good way!

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The squash was sweeter, and maybe just slightly nuttier? than regular squash. I couldn’t quite decide what was different. I absolutely love summer squash though and I’m so excited that the season is arriving!

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One disappointment was finding a much better option for breakfast when we arrived. There’s a restaurant called Farm 255 who’s mission statement begins with the lines:  Farm 255 is a restaurant that seeks to reconnect food to its roots & people to their food. We serve local, seasonal, & sustainable food for supper nightly. In addition to the Farm we manage Full Moon Farms, an organic/biodynamic animal and vegetable production farm in Athens.

Their menu changes daily, depending on what crops they are able to bring in from the farm. I love, love, love their food philosophy but they are quite out of our price range so I have yet to eat there. Maybe for my birthday! Hubs asked me what I wanted and I told him a nice dinner out…

But to get on with the story… at lunch time they have a small cart (called Farm Cart, of course) out of which they serve sandwiches (haven’t had one of those either). As we were walking up to the farmer’s market today I squealed with excitement “Farm Cart is here!”, which quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that we’d just eaten (as in, had to sit for an extra minute in the car for me to finish eating). They weren’t ever there last fall when we went, but I found them on Twitter and hopefully they will make it a regular thing. They had a good line today!

Okay, I know this has been a monster of a post, but I want to add one more thing. I can’t wait until we move! Currently our options for walking the dogs is a 3/4 mile loop around the block or having to walk them under the highway. Neither of which is very appealing for anyone involved so we walk them a lot less than we should. Jack Russells are known for being hyper dogs, but Ollie has been so much better behaved today. He never sleeps in the middle of the day anymore, but he sat with me for a good half hour while I read (before watering my lap) and now he’s lying on the couch beside me, hiding under a pillow (they’re also diggers):

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But once we move across town at the end of July we’ll have sidewalks galore and new neighborhoods to explore. Plus the apartment complex has a dog play area, which will hopefully be fenced in by the time we move!

Today has been a really good day and I just had to share it with you! I know this has been terribly long, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Long time no see

Sorry about the absence, my food hasn’t been very exciting anyway. Even less so the past two days.

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The bread is good, I was a sample I got months ago and have been keeping in the freezer for a rainy day. Very seedy like the sunflower seed bagel I like at Chickfila.

The Campbell’s tomato soup was fairly disgusting. Way too sweet and fake tasting.

The stir fry was food, I honestly just sort of threw it together, no measurements, just a ‘huh, that looks good’ I ended up adding more soy sauce later. Sauteed garlic, ground ginger and red onion in olive oil then added frozen stir fry veggies, honey, and soy sauce. Once those defrosted I added some rice that was cooked earlier in the week and some sesame seeds. Let that all warm up, put it in bowls, added the same seasonings back into the pan and panfried the tofu I cooked earlier in the week to warm it up.

Most of my food lately has been saltines, to be honest. My tummy has not been happy with me and the stir fry was my first real meal since Friday lunch. And now I’m back to saltines.

Needless to say, I haven’t run at all this week. Between lack of sleep leading up to what was supposed to be my first tempo run on Thursday and now the fact that I can’t keep anything substantial in my system, I think we’ll just call it a week off and figure out how I can catch up later.

By the way, meet Olivander:

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