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Posted on Sep 18, 2012 in Food | 13 comments

Frederick

Alas, the title of this post is not an homage to any of the great literary or historical Fredericks that have existed (Douglass, the Great, etc, etc), but rather a descriptor of where I spent a large portion of my Sunday!

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I headed up to Frederick, MD to spend time with the wonderful Lauren (who blogs at Oatmeal After Spinning if you’ve never checked it out. You should!). Frederick is a little less than an hour NW of where I live. Lauren was having a couple of friends over for a cookout and generously allowed me to crash their good times with my awkwardness, hehe. I dragged Sean and Daxter along for good measure.


Picture pilfered from Lauren

In order to prove that I’m not a total mooch, I brought over a couple of dishes for people to share. First up was my regular party contribution: Mango Guacamole. This time around it was more guac than mango, as there was exactly ONE mango in all of Safeway that seemed ripe enough to even consider eating, but it was still proclaimed “the best guac I’ve ever had” by Lauren’s friend Ken, so I think it worked out okay.

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And the second thing I brought was more of an experiment. It was a blue cheese cabbage slaw recipe by the grillmaster himself, Bobby Flay.

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I thought it was good because I love blue cheese, but the flavor is strong so a little goes a long way. I still have a big tub of it leftover in my fridge!

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Lauren’s friends Terri & Ken made a delicious quinoa salad and this awesome spicy roasted eggplant that I failed to photograph (was too busy inhaling it, I suppose). All of these were sides set to accompany the main event, of course, which was made up of grass-fed burgers that were AWESOME.

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Also, there was salad. Because we’re like, healthy living bloggers or something, I guess. 😉

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But more importantly, there was beer.

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Delicious pumpkin-y beer that we all got to share (and then I also had a Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale in addition). I’m really coming around to beer! I think that makes Sean happy. Of course, my idea of beer and his idea of beer is still slightly different…

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While we ate, we made sure to keep the canine fiends off our plates. Lauren’s golden retrievers, Jackson and Lance, are beaaaautiful dogs but they are HUGE in comparison to little Daxter!

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Jackson and Daxter got along pretty well, and it was really cute to see them playing, but I think Lance might have preferred to eat Daxter instead of the burgers, hehehe. 😉


Pic from Lauren, because evidently I can’t even be bothered to take a picture of my own dog.

For dessert, Lauren had made up a crockpot dish of apples, cinnamon, and squash! The squash was a surprisingly delicious addition. It gave the concoction some body without changing up the flavors too much, which was really nice.

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It was served over vanilla ice cream, OBVI. (Sean and I shared this bowl.) In between courses, we also played corn hole, which I remain TERRIBLE at. Luckily, Lauren is kind of incredible at it, so the game I participated in was nice and short. The worst thing about corn hole is how when all four players are really bad, the games can last FOREVER. Of course, when you have SOMEONE scoring 3-pointers every round, it goes by pretty quick. Seriously, if you ever end up tailgating with Lauren, make sure she is on YOUR team.


Pic from Lauren

Lauren’s dogs really lived up to their name as “retriever” as they kept trying to catch/steal the bean bags too. It was super adorable. Daxter, however, gave the game a wide berth since at a BBQ earlier this summer, he was beaned (literally) in the face with one. I don’t think he’s such a fan anymore, hahaha.

Clearly, it was an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon (the weather was glorious!), and definitely worth the drive into no-man’s-land, hehe. I can’t wait until next time we get to meet up! I really want to/need to plan another DC bloggers meetup. It’s been way too long since we’ve had the opportunity to prove to each other that we exist in real life, and I’ve halfheartedly talked about planning one with a few people but have been bad at following through. If there’s interest with any of you local folks, be sure to let me know!

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Posted on Jul 5, 2011 in Food, Recipes, Weigh Ins | 28 comments

Mango Guacamole

Catching up from the weekend, friends? Read up on my fun-filled Fourth weekend, complete with homemade cupcakes & pizza, a trip tothe farmer’s market and a show at Wolf Trap, and plenty of good, old-fashioned family fun at the dog park.

As I mentioned in last night’s very late post, I went to a cookout yesterday at Amanda’s. It was really fun, and a good mix of people that I already knew (hi friends!) and people that I know now (hi friends!)

I made my mango guacamole and it was a big hit! The bowl was totally scraped clean by the end of the night, which to me is the true mark of success, hehe. Throughout the course of the evening I got talking about the blog, and several people asked if the recipe was posted anywhere here. Well, ask and you shall receive.

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Mango Guacamole
Print this recipe!

This sweet, savory, sassy dip is a sure-to-please party favorite. Let the tropical flavors of mango and lime transport you back to summer!

Ingredients:

4 ripe avocados
2 ripe mangoes
2 limes
1/2 small red or yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Chop, dice, cube, etc. your avocados and mangoes. Juice your limes.
2. Combine ingredients.
3. Eat.

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This is pretty much the easiest thing to make ever.

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Chop, slice, dice, and juice your ingredients.

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Do a little dance.

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Make a little love.

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Get down tonight.

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I only ended up using the juice from one and a half limes, so I used the last half for garnish. Since I was making this for a party, I made enough to feed a small army. You can obviously easily halve this recipe (2 avocados, 1 mango) to make a more reasonable amount for regular consumption. Or, you know, you can still make the full amount and then just secretly eat half of it yourself. Nobody would blame you, and I promise I won’t tell. 🙂

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Posted on Apr 20, 2011 in Food, Working Out | 18 comments

Om.

You should all be very, very proud of me.

Yesterday, I signed up for an introductory yoga pass at Dancing Mind Yoga in Falls Church. It’s a 30-day, unlimited class pass that I am DETERMINED to get my money out of. So, yesterday afternoon, I went!

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The “1” in the photo above is because it’s my first class out of the hopefully bajillion I’ll be going to, hehe.

Dancing Mind isn’t a Bikram studio like the last time I went to yoga, but it is still a HOT yoga studio. A mere 95-degrees rather than the 105-degree torture chamber that Bikram takes place in, hahaha. They practice Baptiste Power Yoga (you can read more about it on their website) which incorporated mostly standard poses in very rapid succession, which made it into a pretty intense work out! So it wasn’t exactly relaxing as I still kind of think of yoga (they didn’t play any music during the actual class, just before & after) but it was a great workout (it included ab work! Schwaaa!?)

It was a really great workout, and I know this because I have some soreness in my arms and shoulders today! Huzzah! I know that this probably sounds like crazy-person-talk, but I also felt like my stomach was flatter and firmer when I woke up this morning. Probably just wishful thinking, or maybe delusion due to dehydration but I’m just telling you how I feel, hahaha.

Because the room wasn’t QUITE as hot as Yoga Reston‘s, I found I was able to do more poses and try a little harder. However, because of that exact same reason, I was SO much more exhausted afterward! Plus whole part about how I was a sweaty beast driving home:

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Well, you might not be able to tell that well in those photos, but believe me. Just… believe me. I’ll also add that the studio was really clean, and the instructor and all the regulars (and there were clearly a lot of them!) were really nice and welcoming. It had a good “vibe” to it (and the place is very highly recommended on Yelp, too — I checked. :P) I’m trying to embrace that whole “27 days to form a habit” thing when it comes to me being active (or whatever the actual number of days is) so I really want to go as much as possible. When I bought my pass I preemptively signed up for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and then Monday – Thursday of next week. This is serious, folks! So if any of you in the area want to catch a class with me to encourage me working out and getting my “om” on, you just let me know. 🙂

Hokay, so. Moving on to dins last night! As I mentioned, I was really wiped out after the class yesterday, so I took it easy when I got home and just hydrated. Around 7:30 PM I finally peeled myself away from streaming “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on Netflix (don’t judge!) to make myself some dinnah.

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I whipped up some homemade guac, a vegan quesadilla (made with Daiya), and served up some Pretzel Crisps on the side to scoop up the guac that didn’t make it onto my quesadilla slices. So… is it bad to eat an entire avocado for dinner? Because that’s totally what I did. Oops. 🙂

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For the quesadilla, I just did up two tortillas with some Daiya cheddar-style shreds in the middle, heated up in a pan with some melted Earth Balance. And then, of course, the real star is my simple yet muy delicioso guacamole. Holy schlamoly, I love avocado.

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If you’re not 100% sure about the best way to cut an avocado, this is what I do:

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, working around the pit in the middle. When you pull the sides apart, one will be pit-free and the other should have it sticking up out of it. Give it a whack with your knife so that it gets stuck in the pit, and just twist the pit outta there.

A Beautiful Fruit.

Then, make a checkerboard pattern in the avocado flesh with your knife, and scoop out with a spoon!

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Easy as pie. 🙂

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For the rest of the guac, you just chop up the red onion (I used a little less than a quarter of an onion for 1 avocado), juice your lime, throw some salt & peppah into the mix and mash away!

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Glorious, isn’t it?

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Yum. 🙂

What are some good habits you’re trying to form? Or, conversely, any bad habits you’re trying to break? Do you think there is validity to the whole “27 days” until a new habit is formed thing? And if so, do you think I can actually form a habit of exercising more days than not? Haha, I remain skeptical myself, but I figure I’ll at least capitalize on the momentum while I have it!

Until tomorrow, loves.

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