Aug 222016
 

What a week! Last week was busy. First, we were having a new roof put on our house. So working from home and listening to the banging, clanging, pounding all day and all week was not what I’d call fun. Plus Portland got another heat wave. This time, 100 degrees several days in a row! Ouch. Too hot for me. But at least a few weeks ago we got a new AC, furnace and water heater installed!

Michael’s dad came to visit from Texas and he did not mind the weather. 😉

Thursday after work we went to the Happy Valley food carts for dinner. It was 100 degrees out but we remembered they had an indoor beer garden and we kind of wondered if it would have AC…spoiler alert, it did not have AC. 🙁 It was so so hot! A little too hot for my little guy so we didn’t stay long.

The last (and first) time we were at the Happy Valley food cart station was the weekend before Logan arrived! I was bummed when we arrived this time and the food cart I tried last time was gone. It was SO GOOD and I was planning on getting it again.

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Michael and I both got dinner from the E-San Thai cart. I got the Pad Prik Khing with tofu. It was good and spicy but nothing amazing. I’ve had better dishes at the E-San food cart that is downtown.

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I usually don’t choose tofu but I enjoyed it with the veggies. And of course, my beloved Boneyard IPA:

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I ate about half of my dinner and saved the rest for leftovers. Then we headed home to our air conditioned home! The beer garden was cool and they had a TON of really good beers and ciders on tap. I would have liked to hang around longer and check it out but it was not the day to do that. We’ll go back another time when the weather is a little more pleasant.

Saturday we had planned on going to Hood River for the day but since it was going to be 102 degrees we decided against it. It was just too hot for the baby. So we went out to breakfast to Sckavone’s instead. At 9:30am it was 80 degrees but really pleasant in the shade so we sat outside to enjoy the summer morning.

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I got a DELICIOUS iced coffee that really hit the spot (although I could have used a second one honestly). The three of us ended up getting the same thing for breakfast — the chorizo breakfast bowl. It was black beans, chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

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It was really tasty and filling. We enjoyed our breakfast outside and then headed home where I went to the gym and the guys watched the Olympics in our air conditioned house.

Saturday we went to an early dinner at Jake’s. It’s a favorite of Michael’s and his dad’s. We went early to avoid the crowds since we were taking Logan with us. First time going to a “real” restaurant (as in, not a kid-friendly restaurant). We figured he’d be ok because most of the time when we take him to restaurants he either sleeps through the whole thing or there’s so much going on around that he’s quiet and just looks around. And he did really well this time, although he was a little more vocal and active this time (of course, right?) but at least he didn’t cry or make noise.

We shared the calamari appetizer (sorry the photo was blurry, I was feeding Logan a bottle while we ate it). And I got a glass of the Malbec. For dinner Michael got the salmon with green beans and potatoes; his dad got the blackened rockfish with zucchini; and here was mine:

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I went “light” and got the house salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts and a cup of the Dungeness Crab bisque (with crab sprinkled on top). It was all very delicious! I’m glad I got the small cup of the bisque, though, because it was VERY rich. I don’t know that I could have eaten more of it.

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Someone was getting a little antsy so I scarfed down the rest of my salad and then took him out of the carseat while the guys finished their dinners.

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He was super fascinated by the paper on the table. We skipped dessert and headed home after that. It was definitely time to get out of there. Overall he did great and didn’t make much noise but it was kind of stressful being at a restaurant that wasn’t fast food with a baby!

Sep 082015
 

The original plan for Labor Day weekend was for us to go to Seattle and spend time with friends and see Faith No More at Bumbershoot. In the end I ended up staying home and Michael went to Seattle. I was torn and wanted to see our friends, but I knew that sitting in a car in holiday traffic for 4+ hours was not a good idea for my back. While my back is much better, sitting for long periods of time is not good. I was bummed to be missing out on the fun, but it gave me a chance to get some stuff done at home.

Saturday

I started my day with the gym:

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Then Bella and I hit the road to meet my friend Erika at Laurelhurst Park (where I recently ran my 5k!) for lunch and a walk. Bella sniffing me as we sit at a very long light (she gets antsy when we just sit):

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It was a slightly chilly day but we found a picnic bench and ate lunch and talked. While we ate lunch it drizzled on us a teeny bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The park was full of people playing, having BBQ’s and birthday parties and there was even a wedding about to take place!

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I’d been craving pasta salad lately so that’s what I made for my lunch. Bowtie high-fiber pasta with chopped carrots, black olives, red peppers, tomatoes from my garden and Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing. I had a string cheese and a plum with the salad. After lunch we walked around the park for a bit, saw this guy practicing tight rope walking:

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And then walked around the neighborhood. I found my new house:

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I bet that house has a library in it! 😀 We finished up our neighborhood walk and said our goodbyes and it was just in time, too, because it started to downpour! When I got home I got set baking chocolate zucchini bread.

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

From: http://www.asweetpeachef.com/bread/healthy-chocolate-zucchini-bread/

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, plus more for greasing loaf pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups finely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well-blended.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine, taking care not to over-stir.
  5. Add the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips and fold into the mixture until well-blended.
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest in for 10 minutes. If desired, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=47937

I liked healthier options for baking things like this. I would have liked to find one that used less sugar, but 3/4 cup of sugar was the least amount of sugar I was able to find in a recipe. I also love using applesauce in baking recipes! It makes the bread moist and fluffy in my opinion. I actually made 4 mini loaves of bread in my mini loaf pan.

The house smelled amazing as the bread baked! Yum yum. I gave one mini loaf to a friend and I froze two of the loaves for later. I carved into the last one for dessert!

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It was SO good. Spongy and moist, slightly sweet but not overly so and just plain delicious. I loved this recipe. It’s a keeper!

Sunday

Sunday was elliptical and yoga time. Then I came home and got lunch ready for Bella’s foster mom who was coming over for a visit. Lunch was cheese and crackers (smoked gouda and pepper jack), cantaloupe, pasta salad, salami and tomatoes. Then some zucchini bread for dessert.

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She brought her dog, Kona, so the two pups could race around the yard and play. It was so cute to watch them! Bella LOVES her mama Jen. She gets so excited and spazzy when she sees her. It’s amazing to watch.

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Bella was in HEAVEN. The dogs raced in the yard, Bella had zoomies for hours, she was so freakin’ happy! The dogs played for a few hours, we had lunch and chatted and Jen had some ideas for Bella’s latest issue. Jen has done some dog training courses and she’s seriously like the dog whisperer. We’ll see how things go. We have some good ideas on things to try for Bella.

After they left, Bella sat in the window kind of bummed–missing her buddies. Then I got to making tomato soup from the tomatoes from my garden. First I roasted the tomatoes with onions and garlic. Then I cooked it all down for a few hours. I used this recipe.

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I used the recipe as a base. I let the roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. It thickened up and I used my immersion blender (I LOVE that thing!) to mix everything up until it was smooth and creamy (and didn’t have to remove the skins because it all blended up nicely. I added salt, pepper, seasonings, some vegetable broth, tomato paste and mixed it again. Then added a few pinches of sugar.

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Let it simmer a little longer and then put the tomato soup into freezer containers for this winter. I can’t wait to have this soup! When I defrost it I will probably experiment with adding some cream to it and it may need more tomato paste once I reheat it. We’ll see. It tastes good though!

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Got two 42 ounce plastic tubs of tomato soup (for freezing) and a small tupperware full for my lunch one day this week. How was your holiday?