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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Labels

I mentioned before that we've been working on losing weight lately. My husband and I both started using the MyFitnessPal app on our phones to record our calories and exercise. It was quite the eye opener at first to see how many calories we were really consuming. There are so many hidden calories in things! I also started checking ingredients and was pretty appalled by that too! I can't believe how processed some things are. The other day at the store, I picked up a box of generic Nutri-Grain bars, and I couldn't believe the ingredients list! They don't seem like that complex of a snack, but looking at the ingredients makes you think differently.

I've been reading up a lot lately on processed foods and such and I really want to eliminate those in our diets. I don't think it's bad to eat out or order a pizza every once in a while, but as soon as I'm in control of what's for dinner(we're still living at my in-laws) I plan on eating mostly foods that are not loaded with chemicals, and that are more organic. Right now, we haven't been eating too badly, but I want to be even more aware of what we put into our bodies.

I've also been reading a lot of vegan/vegetarian blogs and some books from the library, as well as some sugar/gluten free ones. I'm not planning on going vegan, but I would like to incorporate more plant based meals into our diets. I'm also going to a workshop at Whole Foods in March to learn more about plant based diets.

Things like this video make me want to never not know what I'm eating again!



I've been pinning a lot of recipes/posts from blogs about how to eliminate processed foods and things that can help with that. You can see those on my "A Life Less Processed" board on Pinterest.

As I said, we've been trying(and succeeding :) ) to lose weight, and I think that eating more natural and organic foods will help a lot, but that's not the main reason why I'm so interested in this. I think that we will feel better overall and have better results in the long run if we are eating real foods.

Unrelated, how cute is my dog??? My mom sent me this the other night and I wanted to cry. Miss her! And Bronx too!


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Mango Oranges

One of the biggest things I will miss about California when we leave is the abundance of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables! There are many more options here, and they taste better than what we were eating in Idaho.
I've been able to try some new fruits and veggies as well, some that I had never heard of before.

My favorite was definitely the mango orange! You can see that the flesh is sort of two toned, with a pinker color on the outside, and the traditional orange on the inside. These oranges are incredibly sweet and juicy.  They are low in acid which makes them have a more mild taste. I just ate them plain, but I think they would taste so great in sorbet or a smoothie. These are available between November and May. If you have the chance to hunt one down, I suggest you try it. You won't regret it!



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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Soup Bar, El Segundo, CA

I'm a sucker for soup, so when I heard about The Soup Bar, I knew I had to make a trip here before we left El Segundo! Luckily, it is right near where I work, so one day after work last week, I stopped over there for lunch.
(Tomato Basil Bisque, Turkey Chili, Baked Potato-each was an incredible combination of flavors)

The Soup Bar has 8 different soups offered daily. 4 of them are available everyday, and then the other 4 switch out every week. Every day you can find delicious steamy pots of Tomato Basil Bisque, Turkey Chili, Chicken Noodle, and Tuscan Vegetable Bean. You can find out what soups they are offering on their website.

The soups come in 3 sizes, Good(12oz), Better(16oz), and Souper(20oz). You can also purchase a quart to take home.

Besides soup, they also offer Classic Caesar, Simple Green, Spinach, and Spring Mix salads, a kids meal option, and a couple choices of cookies :)

If you're feeling indecisive and will be dining in, they offer a sampler platter "The Soup Tasting Flight," where you can choose three soups in smaller bowls.
(My Soup Tasting Flight-Turkey Chili, Tomato Basil Bisque, Baked Potato. All were SO good!)

Each bowl of soup comes with bread-sourdough, multigrain, malted brown, and rosemary sage. I tried both the sourdough and multigrain and they were superb!

(Sourdough)

Another great thing about The Soup Bar is that they offer many gluten free/vegetarian/vegan options, and they are clearly labeled on their menu.

All of the soups  I tried tasted incredibly fresh and delicious! The staff was great too-they let me sample some different flavors before ordering! And the decor is very urban and cute, especially the giant spoons hanging on the wall.


If you're every visiting Los Angeles, you need to make a trip to El Segundo(which is literally right next to LAX and only 25 minutes from downtown LA) and visit The Soup Bar!

The Soup Bar is located on 310 East Grand Avenue #112 in El Segundo, CA.
Soup Bar on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

Last Valentine's Day, I was going to school in Idaho, and Woody was doing an internship in California. Luckily enough, we got to see each other over President's Day weekend, but we weren't actually together on Valentine's Day.

This year, he worked all day and got back at 7pm. He had told me what we were doing was a surprise, but also hinted that he didn't know exactly what yet.

Before he got back, I got 3 text messages:

"Grab your camera and a jacket, we gonna be outside."

"Oh and grab 2 red solo cups with ice and straws please."

"I love you. Do you mind recording the Lakers game upstairs? I think it's on ESPN."

The last one is my favorite. :)

But I recorded the game, grabbed my camera and a jacket, and then he got home and got the cups before I could.

We got in the car and he said he still didn't know where we were going, but that I wasn't allowed to look in the back seat. Then, he reached back and pulled out a beautiful bouquet of roses. This is the first time he's ever gotten me flowers. He told me before that he didn't want to buy me flowers because he felt like he had to, but because he wanted to. He also wanted it to be a surprise to me, and it totally was! I'm glad after 10 months of marriage that the time was right!



We started driving and talking about places to go to eat, and then he turned up a hill and parked. I was sort of confused, until he pulled a bottle of Dr Pepper and a bag of styrofoam containers out of the backseat. I should have known he was lying about not having anything planned!



Dr Pepper aka "The finest wine money can buy."--Woody

The town we currently live in is literally right next to LAX, so we were sitting up on a hill that overlooks LAX and watching the planes while we ate dinner. He picked up some sushi, which is one of our favorite things to eat together. We ate to the distant roar of the planes and enjoyed our yummy sushi!


These aren't the greatest photos, but regardless, it was delicious!

Then, he told me to close my eyes. While I did, I could hear him rummaging around with things. After a couple minutes, I heard him set something down, and I opened my eyes and gasped. He told me to close them again because he wasn't ready yet! So I did, then he said I could reopen them, but to make the same face I did before. I opened my eyes to see (again) a tripod with my camera on top! I've wanted one for a while, but we didn't have the funds. It was a great surprise!




We finished the night with some Coldstone ice cream-mint ice cream with fudge, caramel, chocolate chips, and Oreos!

This is the first Valentine's Day in my life that has actually been special and meant something to me, and that I've had someone to share with. Love that husband of mine!

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Monday, February 13, 2012


<3 the beach at sunset. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

2nd Breakfast

I ate breakfast twice today. 

I made eggs in a basket(toad in a hole, eggs in a hole, etc) for the first time in...as long as I can remember. 

It was so good, I had to have two. 


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Easiest Fruit Dip in the World

This is a perfect post for today because I don't have too much time to write, and this recipe doesn't take too much time to make!

This fruit dip is incredibly easy to whip up, it's pretty, and it tastes pretty darn good! It would also be a fun treat for Valentine's Day!

                                                                                      Easiest Fruit Dip 
1 (8 oz) packaged of strawberry cream cheese
1 container of Cool Whip(any size will do)


Combine both ingredients in a bowl. Whip until combined. Serve with different types of fruit, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweets for Your Sweetie!

Here's some of my favorite desserts from this blog to whip up for your Valentine!













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Friday, February 3, 2012

Benihana

Have you ever eaten at Benihana or any other teppanyaki/hibachi style restaurant?

If you haven't, you need to go! They are so fun, and the food is delicious!

At Benihana, you sit around a grill, and once you've ordered your food, a chef comes at cooks it right in front of you. They put on quite a show with their knife skills, drawing pictures with your food, juggling, throwing things then catching them, making onion volcano's...there's never a dull moment!

Benihana has many choices including sushi, steak, beef, chicken, seafood, noodle dishes, tofu, and a friendly kids menu. They also have some top notch desserts like Banana Tempura. If you get the chance, you need to try this with strawberry ice cream. It's so delicious!

Benihanas is found nationwide, and even internationally. To find a location, you can visit their website here.


Most of the meals start off with a salad and they are superb!


If you can't tell, this is a chicken draw with eggs! So cool!


Here is my chicken fried rice. I attempted to eat it with chop sticks but it was taking for.ev.er. 


Our chef! 



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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mini Cakes for your Valentine!

Happy first day of February! I'm celebrating by sharing these cute mini Valentine cakes with you!


This will be the first year I get to celebrate Valentine's day with my Valentine, so I'm pretty excited! Last year, we were living in different states, and the year before that we didn't know each other.

These are perfect for your kiddos, your lover, or for you and your girlfriends (if you're having one of those Valentine's days :) )


They're easy to whip up and even easier to assemble!

Valentine's Day Mini Cakes
adapted from All Recipes
makes 2 mini cakes



1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 pint sized canning jars with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the milk until batter is smooth.
3. Separate the batter into separate dishes(depending on how many different shades you want to do). Color each section as desired. I used the Pink(Rose) Wilton color. I did 5 different shades of pink, but the lighter ones showed up more yellow-ish than pink, so I would suggest using darker colors.
4. Once you've colored all the sections of batter, pour into the jars. Use as much or as little as each, but don't fill more than 3/4 of the jar.
5. Fill a medium baking dish with 1/4 cup of water and place the jars in the water.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top springs back when you push on it.
7. Once you've removed them from the oven, allow to cool, then frost and decorate.

For the frosting: Combine 1 softened stick of butter with 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until blended. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.




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