lunch

Playing Hooky & Celebrating

On Friday I took a vacation day at work and we played hooky! It was a planned hooky…It was our friend Shawna’s 40th Birthday and she planned a day of wine tasting to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were visiting from California.

So I took Logan to daycare, went to the gym, and then Michael and I drove out to the Gorge to meet up with everyone!

The first stop was at AniChe Cellars in Underwood, WA, just across the bridge from Hood River. Ironically, it was about a mile away from the little house we rented last 4th of July and we had no idea there was a cute winery nearby!

I really liked this winery. Shawna was a member so we all got complimentary tastings. Yay! And we got a tasting plate that paired with each wine tasting. It was different kinds of dried fruits, cheese and chocolate.

My cousin Anna, her husband, her sister Carrie and their parents came, too, plus some friends.

I ended up buying a bottle of the “Lizzy” (Southern Rhône styled blend of 62% Marsanne and 38% Roussanne). From their website: This dry wine elicits a more complex palate of chamomile, dried herbs, honeysuckle, beeswax and green tea. Enjoy with fresh fig, salty proscuitto, and baked chicken with Provencal herbs.

I liked how crisp and slightly sweet it was.

I also bought a bottle of “Be Holden” (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, from the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills).  Bold quince and blackberry followed by rich vanilla, tobacco and spice. YUM!

I loved that they named all their wines references literary greats. After the tasting we ended up buying a bottle of red and white to share with everyone outside. It was a drizzly, cold day in the Gorge but the firepit area was covered and the firepit was warm. So we all hung out and snacked on the pimento cheese, crackers and the sheeps cheese Michael and I brought.

Then it was time to hit the next place. Michael and I made a pit stop at a random taco truck. He got a small burrito and I got a street taco. It was really good! We will definitely stop there again in the future.

The next stop was Syncline. We used to be members there but suspended it last fall. I hope to start up again in the future. It’s a great place for the summer. It definitely looked different in the winter! No hammocks, corn hole, bistro tables…but there was a great fire pit!

It was raining a bit. But somehow it wasn’t miserable. It was just fun hanging out by the fire, doing our tastings, chatting, celebrating Shawna.

There weren’t a lot of people there, either, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Shawna brought a bunch of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit and Anna brought an amazing pasta salad. I did half a tasting but we were short on time and had to leave to get back to Portland in time to pick up the munchkin from daycare. Hugs and well wishes and then we went home. The rest of the group was going to head to another place and then out to dinner.

It was an excellent day. PLUS, Michael and I were kinda celebrating, too, because….HE GOT A JOB!!! As you can guess, we are SUPER excited and relieved. I might tell you guys in the future where, because it’s pretty awesome. 😉

It’s a contract-to-hire type of thing. So hopefully like at his last place, it was a 30 Day contract and then they hired him permanently. We’re crossing our fingers for this time.

We picked Logan up from daycare and the other big news: we converted his crib to a “big boy” bed by taking one side off. He’s been successfully climbing out his crib for a few weeks now. It was definitely time!

So that was our exciting weekend! How was yours?

A Run and a Recipe

This post is about a run and a recipe. First, the recipe.

I used my pressure cooker again over the weekend. First I made hard boiled eggs in it. Then I made this shredded chicken recipe:

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • ? c. La Choy Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ c. chicken broth
  • 2 lb chicken breasts
  • Green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Electric Pressure Cooker - Add the Teriyaki sauce and honey to the Instant Pot and whisk until well combined. Add the chicken broth and chicken. Cook thawed chicken on high pressure for 12 minutes. (Cook frozen chicken on high pressure for 20 minutes.) Turn the pressure valve to “Vent” to release all of the pressure.
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board. Shred the chicken using two forks.
  3. Remove ½ cup of liquid from the pot. (Reserve the liquid for cooking rice.) Return the shredded chicken to pot and stir until well combined. Top chicken with green onions.
  4. Crock Pot - Add the chicken breasts to a sprayed or lined Crock Pot. Top with the Teriyaki sauce, honey and chicken broth. Add an additional ½ c. chicken broth.
  5. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. With 30 minutes of cooking time left, shred the chicken using two forks.
  6. (If using frozen chicken in the Crock Pot, cook on low for 5-6 hours.)
  7. Serving Suggestions:
  8. Make egg rolls with Honey Teriyaki Chicken, shredded carrots and shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw.
  9. Serve on a bed of rice or pasta.
  10. Make a salad by topping a bed of lettuce with Honey Teriyaki Chicken, shredded carrots, green onions and slivered almonds. Whisk some of the reserved juices with some olive oil for a quick vinaigrette.

Notes

From: http://www.thecreativebite.com/10-healthy-chicken-recipes-in-a-pressure-cooker-or-crock-pot/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54390

While the chicken was cooking, I did food prep for the week for lunches. I sauteed up a bag of cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s and put them in individual containers for each lunch.

(Snacks, hard boiled egg and plain Greek yogurt with strawberries):

The chicken turned out great again! It shredded really easily. I put it back in the pressure cooker to soak up some of the teriyaki sauce and then put the chicken in containers with the rice. I topped it with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Now, the run!

It’s been YEARS since I ran on the waterfront during my lunch hour. Part of that was because my lunch hour was 30 minutes for many years. And the other part was that I wasn’t doing a lot of outdoors running. But after having Logan, I started taking him for walks when I was home. Then the walks got kind of slow and boring and I started jogging a bit. Then I started running. I got up to running a loop around our neighborhood, doing about 4-4.5 miles total.

My schedule changed a little while ago and I now have hour long lunches. So when I saw that Monday was going to be a sunny, warm day, I decided to give it a try! The idea of being stuck on the treadmill during my lunch hour sounded deflating.

I’m so glad I ran outside! It was SO NICE OUT! It just felt good to be outside with the sun on my skin, the fresh air, the waterfront…

Since it’s been a few months since I’ve been running outside (due to winter), I took it easy. Treadmill running and outdoor running is just way different. My body tends to get sore in weird places when I run outside. So I didn’t run too hard or too fast and I took some short walk breaks.

I ran down to the waterfront, crossed the Steel Bridge, and then decided to cross over the Morrison Bridge back to downtown. In the past, I usually ran the whole loop–Steel Bridge to the Hawthorne Bridge and then back to the office. It’s been a long time but I think I remember that loop being about 3.5 or 4 miles totals.

Since this was my first time out, I cut it short and didn’t push it. If the weather holds up later this week, I might try to go back out. I’m going to work my way up to running the whole loop again.

Here are my stats:

So when I run on the treadmill during lunch, I usually do between 3 and 3.25 miles in 48 minutes (so I have enough time to stretch, foam roll and then shower). I’m slightly disappointed I only made it 2.8 miles on the waterfront but I am reminded myself I was going to take it easy for the first time out!

I got back to work and ate my cauliflower rice with teriyaki chicken for lunch and felt SO amazing after my run!