autumn

Lately

Well, I’ve gotten the first daycare cold of the season! Logan gave me his head cold last week. So far it’s pretty mild but lingering and now turning into a cough. ๐Ÿ™ I took it easy over the weekend and tried to get some extra rest. Michael picked up pho for dinner, which is magical when you’re sick!

My gym membership expired recently and I re-joined. There is a new gym in my neighborhood that is REALLY nice. The pool is gorgeous and overlooks the river. Everything is brand new.

I tried half of a spin class in the new gym (I was late). It’s been about three years, at least, since I’ve been to a spin class!

It was fun and hard work! I was drenched in sweat by the finish. I used to go to spin class once a week religiously in the winter time, mostly to stay in cycling shape for summer biking. But since having Logan, I am spending less time in classes at the gym simply because I just can never count on making the schedule.

My workouts have been fairly consistent. I’m still working out 5 days a week, but during the week with my new work schedule, I am working out at lunch time in my office gym. It’s not quite the same and it’s a fast, rushed workout, but it’s better than not doing anything. On my lunch time workouts I usually use the elliptical and do some quick free weights, or I run on the treadmill.

It’s not ideal. But I just don’t have time to go to the gym after work anymore–especially if I want to see Logan after work. Once he starts going to bed at a later hour, I think it will be easier to fit in a gym session once or twice a week. But for now, this is what I’m doing to make it work.

I still have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. Sigh.

In other news…it’s been over a month since Yggdrasil passed away. It’s been a hard time for me. It’s getting better, but I’m still sad and I still miss him. I don’t think about him 24/7 anymore, which in a way is kind of sad in itself, but when I do think about him I get teary-eyed and miss my cuddle buddy. It’s so hard having someone who was with you for 15 years suddenly not be there.

Maya is having a hard time, too. She cries a lot. I know she’s lonely and misses Yggdrasil. It makes me wonder if I should think about getting another cat so she’s not lonely. ๐Ÿ™ I don’t know that I’m ready. But one thing that has been kinda nice, Maya is now coming out more and wants me to pet her. This is something that hasn’t happened since she was a kitten!

Lately she’s even started jumping up on the bed to get pets! She’s still super skittish and it doesn’t last long, but it’s progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

It feels like summer is officially over here in Portland. The mornings are dark and cold. We still have some nice weather in the foreseeable future, but I’m kinda looking forward to fall!

I think it’s going to be a fun autumn with Logan. He’s older now and going to the pumpkin patch will be really fun this year! It’s so cool seeing everything through his eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got his Halloween costume and I’m super excited to see him walking up and down our street trick or treating!!! It’s going to be too adorable!

This is the costume I WANTED to get, but…not for almost $50! LOL

Haha! Michael made a good point in that Logan wouldn’t have kept the ears/beard/hat on anyways, so…probably for the best.

Alright, time to wrap up this wrap up. Happy Fall!

P.S. It’s already snowing up on Mount Hood! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

Goodbye Summer Soup

Goodbye summer!

Fall is here. We were soaking up the sun in Hawaii when Fall officially arrived to the NW. We got back to cooler temperatures, leaves turning colors and pumpkin everything. It seemed too soon and out of place. But after a week or so of being home, I started to settle in and welcome the coming autumn weather. Cozy sweaters, fires in the fireplace, hot tea, and soup.

from http://livinginportlandor.blogspot.com/
from http://livinginportlandor.blogspot.com/

I found this recipe somewhere…it’s not a blog I’ve ever read and I honestly don’t know what search I did that brought me to it but once I found it I thought, I need to make this! I knew Michael would love it. He’s a huge fan of spinach and wants to eat more of it. I have not-so-fond memories of cooked spinach from my childhood. In fact, they were so horrible that I never ate spinach again until I met Michael. I remember we were first dating and he made me this Greek scrambled egg breakfastย with spinach in it and I wrinkled my nose and said “I hate spinach.”

Lo and behold, I didn’t hate spinach. I just hated the frozen spinach slop defrosted in a microwave and used as a side dish at dinner. Ever since then I’ve found that I actually quite like it and it went GREAT in this recipe. It was one of the highlights I think.

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I cooked the veggies in a skillet and heat the tomatoes and broth in a separate stockpot. It’s actually a wedding gift! Le Creuset stock pot from Michael’s coworkers. Very generous gift that we will use often. This was the maiden voyage of said pot.

photo 2

photo 3

So I cooked the onions, carrots and celery separately and then added that to the stockpot of broth. The recipe was vegetarian but had options to make it not vegetarian. I didn’t have vegetable broth so I used about 1 cup of leftover beef broth and the rest was chicken broth. I had some leftover hamburger meat I needed to cook up so we browned that in the skillet with the garlic and then added that to the pot, too. I’d say it was roughly about the amount you’d use for one hamburger. It wasn’t much and I wish it had been a little more.

Here is the recipe:

ITALIAN ORZO SPINACH SOUP

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Calories per serving: 300-400 calories depending on servings

From: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/italian-orzo-spinach-soup-recipe/

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) DeLallo whole wheat orzo pasta, or other whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, orzo (pasta), thyme, oregano, rosemary and stir to combine.
  2. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Serve warm.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=44645

I’ve never had orzo before (shocking) and I liked it a lot! Kind of a cross between brown rice and tiny pasta…I got roughly 7 servings out of this recipe. I topped the soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Michael said it was okay; I liked the recipe a lot but I’d make one change: I’d use spicy ground pork in it. I think the spice would go great with the rest of the flavors.

So while the evening darkened outside and we settled in to watch The Walking Dead, we ate our soup and felt it warm us from the inside. I love soup weather! We shared a few glasses of a sweet, smooth Malbec wine and it went perfectly with the soup.

I had some leftovers that I ate for lunch during the week. It was less soupy then because the orzo soaked up most of the broth. Despite that, it was still really tasty and it might even have been better the next day. I liked this dinner and would make it again. I’d probably also make some biscuits to go with it. Perfect fall meal for not many calories!