Yo Necesito S’more

After spending way too much time researching (read: in-depth Google-ing) the dubious existence of a Spanish translation for the term “foodie,” I’m sad to report that no such palabra exists en español.

I try not to talk politics on here, but this issue must be addressed. There is currently an entire nation of foodies being inhumanely deprived of a concise, incomparably descriptive, fun-to-say word for those who love food. Think of the liberation and pride that would sweep España if food-loving Spaniards could stand up and proclaim: Yo soy un foodie. Think of how many sentences could be shortened if there existed a single word for una persona que le encanta comida (one who loves food).

That said, I hereby request that the Spanish Ministry of Diccionarios instate an español version of the word “foodie.”

End scene. Let’s get to Monday’s eats.

I received the following right-to-the-point e-mail from my lovely cousin Christina last week:

You should try chocolate chips, and marshmallows in your oats, and put gram crackers on top.

Not one to disregard delicious-sounding breakfast suggestions, I heeded Christina’s advice. Except, in an attempt to infuse this decadent bowl of oats with a little protein, I subbed her chocolate chips with chocolate nut butter.

Specifically, Nature’s Promise chocolate soynut butter.

IMG_2897I dipped into this last week and really did not enjoy it—but I figured I’d give it another shot.

Realizing that my chocolate substitute had the power make or break my breakfast, I had a spoonful straight-up to test its oat worthiness.

It failed. No me gusta. This nut butter wasn’t bad in the “this really isn’t what I was expecting” way, as was the case with cashew butter. It was bad in the “I need to spit this out right now” way. It tasted like a chalky, oily, unsweetened Nutella knock-off.

Definitely not oat-worthy.

And so I turned to the tried-and-true chocolate Better N’ PB.

S’mores Oats (a.k.a. S’moats)

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In the oat bowl: 1/2 cup oats cooked in 1 cup water and 1/2 thinly sliced banana. Topped with crushed graham crackers, marshmallows and spoonful of chocolate BNPB.

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This was fantastic. It was difficult to delegate marshmallow distribution throughout the bowl—but this just made for some incredible marshmallow madness bites.

While this was certainly a decadent way to start the day, it definitely wasn’t as filling as my standard oat bowls. I think I usually bulk up my oats with more nut butter and fruit.

When I realized I needed s’more comida, I turned to an old favorite for breakfast part dos.

Greek yourt + raspberry preserves.

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So sweet and simple and satisfying.

Lunch delivered something else I’ve desperately needed s’more of.

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Vegetables! Ever since Thanksgiving (and discovering my taste for chocolate), I have been lagging with my fruit and veggie consumption. So, I got in my greens with some split pea sopa.

I tried Dr. McDougall’s split pea soup for the first time last week, and I wasn’t crazy about it. However, I had another box, and, as was the case with the chocolate soynut butter, I was willing to give it another chance.

I’m going to have to stop doing that.

Like the nut butter, this was no better the second time around. Unlike the nut butter, it was edible.

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Especially with the edition of these.

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Love soggy croutons in soup!

I’m probably being a little harsh with the sopa trash-talking, but split pea is my favorite soup. And the thing I love most about it is its thick texture. Dr. McDougall’s version was sort of watery—with an occasion clump of pea/lentil thickness.

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I did think the flavor was great, and I managed to clean the bowl. But, if you’re looking for canned split pea soup, Amy’s is so much better.

On the side, I had a toasted sandwich thin, garlic bread-ified with a smear of butter and minced garlic.

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(The creepy yellow hue on the distant half comes from margarine. Gross, but I finished my butter stick on the first half, and was up against the dreadful nasty-butter-substitute-or-no-butter-at-all wall.)

Snack time featured un plato of mixed nuts, dark chocolate chips and a hermit. That lone hermit is a little misleading. Several más were had because I don’t think it’s humanly possible to just eat one. If you’ve done this, you deserve a prize.

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Enjoyed atop mi laptop as I weekend recapped.

I got s’more veggies in during dinner.

Toaster green cheetahs.

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Again, I cannot wait for the return of oven green cheetahs.

I found myself in a muy Mediterranean mood, so I ran with it.

Ensalada Mediterránea

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In the mix: baby spinach, feta, olives, cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, balls and hummus; dressed in celery salt and the usual honey-balsamic blend.

Meatless meatballs aren’t so Meditteranean, but they were amazing, as always. And I pretended they were falafel balls.

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Needless to say, that dollop of Sabra only left me wanting más.

So más was had.

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Con warmed whole wheat pita and queso americano.

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This pita was so good! I get my pita from the local produce store because they bake it in-house, and when you get a fresh batch, you get a fresh batch. So soft and doughy.

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Still, as with the meatless balls, I used my imagination and pretended it was the best pita bread ever.

I guess breakfast left me wanting s’more (I promise, I’m done after that one) because dessert was desayuno-inspired.

Baked S’mores!

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You don’t see any chocolate—because there wasn’t any.

I eat my s’mores chocolate-less.

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And, though I’ve realized my developing fondness for the dark stuff, there are certain chocolate-less creations I’ve no desire to change.

Amor,

Sarah

Weekend Discoveries v.5

Happy lunes, mi gente!

(I always want to call you my foodies, but I’m not sure the term exists en español. When I lived in España, I once tried to explain the concept of a foodie to my host-mom—but my lack of español eloquence/proper pronunciation got us nowhere. I’m pretty sure that confusing conversación left my señora thinking that I was both loca and obsessed with food (neither entirely untrue); it left me still-uninformed of the español translation of la palabrafoodie.Any native español speakers who’d be kind enough to enlighten me?)

I have an abnormally manic Mondayso I’m going to attempt a short and sweet recap in weekend discovery-form. Let us begin on a healthy note before digressing into the wonderful world of weekend indulgence.

During this fin de semana, I discovered…

-Kev Thug really is a thug.

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Source.

¿Por qué?

Well, I found myself in a minor conundrum. I found the sneakers I’ve wanted online for much less than the what my local running store charges. El problemo? I really love the neighborhood running store, and I prefer to give my dinero to local businesses when I can.

Kev Thug to the rescue. As soon as I told father dearest of my consumer’s conundrum, he called the running store and explained that he’d rather buy the shoe from them if they’d meet him halfway on the price difference.

They did better and matched the online price. Success!

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I realize this makes Kev more a savvy barterer than a thug—seeing as his solution wasn’t to rob/vandalize/hold up the running store—but the word thug carries so much more street cred.

Onto actual food discoveries

-Applesauce and Greek yogurt are quite palatable partners in crime.

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-Persimmon hype validated. Pretty, photogenic and delicious? Formulaic foundation for food blogger obsession.

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This was my first persimmon, and I loved it. Its texture was sort of like a firm tomato, and it had a wonderfully subdued sweetness. Did I mention it was muy bonita? I can’t wait to play around with pretty persimmon photography.

The next two discoveries came on Saturday, which—as I’m sure you’ve heard—welcomed NYC’s first snowfall of the season!

-It feels unnatural to eat fresh, very out-of-season fruit when it’s snowing outside.

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Unnatural, pero delicioso.

-Less unnatural? Eating Chinese take-out in a winter wonderland.

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Chinese eggplant y pollo in garlic sauce. Favorito.

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Vegetable egg fu yung. This was another weekend first. Increíblebut a little too greasy to be more than a one-bite encounter.

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And obligatory brown arroz.

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I thought I’d be done with Chinese for a while after having mucho last week—but I suppose I discovered that this was not so.

Back to unnatural eats, the following concoction epitomizes the word.

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Graham cracker dipped hummus? I sort of tried this expecting to be disgusted (which is, in itself, pretty unnatural), but much like that watermelon, this combo was unnatural, pero delicioso.

I want to advise you to try this—but I’m not sure if it’s one of those weird flavor combinations that only my freaky taste buds enjoy.

The following is a confirmation of a discovery I made long ago:

I detest 100-calorie packs.

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¿Por qué?

Take a look.

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10 “cookies” sized similarly to the cereal pieces in Cookie Crisp.

A.K.A. cookie comedy.

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Amigas, if you find yourself in the mood for a cookie, eat a cookie. Ten baby cookie imposters do not bear the same satisfaction.

And now a monumentous (you know, monumental + momentous) discovery…

I LIKE CHOCOLATE.

(I think.)

After carrying my “I’m not a chocolate person”-card for all 22 years of mi vida, I am beginning to suspect that my taste buds have evolved and now enjoy chocolate.

Some evidencia.

Exhibit A: You love a certain brand of kettle corn popcorn so much you’ve declared that it’s best sans any addition. You feel uncharacteristically compelled to add cocoa powder to said kettle corn. You love this.

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Exhibit B: You love your Fage simply sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. Again, you feel uncharacteristically compelled to add cocoa powder. Again, you love this.

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Exhibit C: You love lemon pound cake—straight up. You feel compelled to add dark chocolate chips. At this point, chocolate additions are no longer uncharacteristic, and it need not be stated that you love this.

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Exhibit D: Despite having a freezer full of bran VitaTops at your fingertips, you reach for the Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip variety. You deem this the best VitaTop flavor you’ve tried thus far.

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I believe exhibits A through D are sufficient proof of my blossoming chocolate love affair, so I’ll move on to a few final not-entirely-chocolate-related discoveries.

-When your VitaTop is missing a peanut butter chip, it is not only acceptable—but encouraged—to compensate with a spoonful of nut butter.

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-Especially if it comes in the form of the highly-coveted Barney Butter.

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Best. Almond Butter. Ever. I only wish my newest nut butter discovery came in a bigger jar—mostly because the little jar reflects my over-consumption so harshly.

Another chocolate-featured discovery:

Neopolitan ice cream sandwich.

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Just do it.

And, before I bid you adieu, I’ll leave you with a conflicting piece of chocolate-loving evidence.

-While it is apparent that I have developed a newfound appreciation for chocolate…

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…it seems I still favor my beloved non-chocolate options.

Good to know I’ve not lost myself entirely.

Amor,

Sarah

A Snackie State of Mind

Jueves is almost over, and we all know what that means… casi viernes!

NYC got a little loco today and busted out the 65° and sunny weather. In Decemeber.

I warmly welcomed the winter sol because this city’s weather gods have been sort of schizo lately.

As in, there’s a chance of snow this weekend.

And there was a monsoon yesterday. But we’ll get to that later.

I awoke on Wednesday morning in a snackie state of mind. I sort of sprung out of bed (and by sprung, I mean slowly rolled) and immediately commenced grazing. Pre-breakfast and—gasp—pre-coffee, my taste buds were exclusively interested in snacks.

I did a little work in the way of pretzels, peanut butter chips and raisins before making the executive decision to channel my snackage into a legitimate breakfast.

I figured the pretzels might kill the breakfast vibe—and be kind of awkward in milk—but I threw a handful of PB chips and a handful of raisins over a bowl of Kashi Honey Sunshine and almond milk.

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I know the raisin addition doesn’t change the fact that I’m a breakfast repeaterbut I’m mildly addicted to Honey Sunshine right now. Con PB chips? I’m not sure this is ever going to get old.

As I’ve said, I’ve never really been a cereal person. I think this, in part, is due to the fact that cereal never keeps me full for long. Enter vida-changing Honey Sunshine, which has done an oat-worthy job of keeping me full horas after breakfast.

I’m not sure if this is because (a) Honey Sunshine has mysterious fullness-achieving superpowers, (b) the raisins, PB chips and/or nut butter spoons are doing the heavy hunger lifting or (c)  I’ve only recently started eating my cereal out of the grande bowls and am likely eating double/triple servings.

It’s likely all of the above—though I’m fond of theory A.

When cereal fullness subsided and snackiness resumed, I had one of the least attractive honeycrisps I’ve ever consumed.

(I realize that rhymed. For once, it was not intentional.)

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I judged it for its dull pigmentation—but its honeyness and crispiness ultimately made me forget its ugly ducklingness.

Lunch, too, was snackie in its own right.

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In a whole wheat wrap: thick layer of chive cream cheese, spinach, balls, mustard and hot sauce.

Its snackiness? Despite its legitimate mealness (I hope I never have a writing job that necessitates the use of real words), it is inherently snackie due to its origin.

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Sí, you’ve likely seen this jalapeño popper wrap before. I followed mi chica’s instructions to a T to ensure amazing jalapeño popperness, and all I have to say to is OHMYGAH and gracias.

I can’t wait to embrace what is sure to become a full-fledged addiction.

On the side, I had some zucchini.

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Bueno, but I can’t wait to have a kitchen so I can reunite with my beloved grilled green cheetahs. The toaster oven’s really not cutting it.

Snackiness continued by way of Newman’s Cinnamon Sugar Soy Crisps.

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I saw the beginning and end of that bag in a single sitting. This was allowed since it was a SnackFace day.

No, really. Yesterday was actually a SnackFace day because that hot date I mentioned was with NYC’s newest resident-snacker.

I’d intended to meet her after work for a nice long stroll over to the Tribeca restaurant, Mocca Lounge, where we were heading for dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, weather.com warned me that it was going to monsoon during our planned walk, so Plan A was a no-go. (Actually, weather.com just said it was going to rain. I told Kailey it was going to monsoon because I prefer more descriptive words. Karma, being the B that she is, actually presented us with monsoon conditions later that evening. Lo siento, chica.)

Plan B had Kailey brave the treacherous NYC transit and meet me in Tribeca. We embraced and then got to business.

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That’d be the amazing happy hour vino, which went down easier than agua. For this reason, cuatro rounds were had.

Sips were broken up by non-stop intellectual stimulation. In fact, we were so busy sipping and soulmateing that we didn’t even look at the menu until our waiter’s umpteenth attempt to take our order.

We decided to be the snackie foodies that we are and share our comida.

This obviously involved a Mediterranean platter.

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Grape leaves, ensalada, hard-boiled egg,

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Amazing mystery dip, hummus and the best falafel balls ever.

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Seriously, look at that green monster.

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Oh, and we may have discovered the world’s fattest, fluffiest, most incredible pita bread.

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We got a round dos because when you discover perfection, you embrace it.

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And then I peer-pressured Kailey into splitting the non-vegan Mediterranean Quesadilla—which featured goat & mozzarella cheeses, roasted eggplant and hummus.

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This was AMAZING. And I’m so happy that mi SnackCara (SnackFace en Spanglish, duh) is being a lenient vegan when need be so that she can fully experience all NYC comida has to offer.

After, uh, seis horas of eating, drinking and being the merriest foodies in all of NYC—we looked outside to realize that it was actually monsooning. Being the chica inteligente that I am, I did not bring an umbrella. I made it down one block of my five-minute walk to the train before begrudgingly hopping in a cab.

Monsoon aside, it was a wonderfully snackie noche, and I can’t wait to see more of my new-to-New York amiga! Expect mas Snack Diaries over the next few weeks. (True story: Somebody regularly Googles “snack diaries” and ends up at my blog. I hope that, whoever you may be, you enjoy your Google search coming to fruition.)

Amor,

Sarah

Just Because December’s Begun…

…does not mean Thanksgivings over.

I think my first-day-of-December eats sanction this statement.

I woke up with the always-gratifying feeling of knowing exactly what I wanted for breakfast.

“Pumpkin pie” addiction.IMG_2736

Delicioso as this may be, 1 egg white + 1/2 cup pumpkin + a dollop of greek yogurt does not equate to breakfast.

So I threw together a grande bowl of cereal. This, admittedly, does not fit the Thanksgiving eats theme—but the colors are quite autumnal, aren’t they?

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Kashi Honey Sunshine, almond milk, PB chips and a spoonful of cashew butter.

I’m still not feeling the cashew butter. I figured I’d give it another shot, but it’s really too understated a taste for my liking. Very triste.

Luckily, I’d anticipated that it wasn’t going to be any better this time around and included the PB chips for a nut butter boost. Sometimes I’m inteligente.

This desayuno was still wondrous due to my cereal superstar, Honey Sunshine. I’m really not a cereal person, but this better-than-Cap’n Crunch Kashi creation hits the spot every time. The addition of the PB chips took it to a Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch level.

But back to Thanksgiving-esque eats.

Lunch featured my favorite new jelly.

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Cranberry pomegranate pepper jelly. Sweet, spicy, pepper seedy seduction. It really needn’t be said, but I’m in love.

Mi amor nuevo played the role of cranberry sauce in this Thanksgiving leftovers-that-didn’t-actually-utilize-any-Thanksgiving-leftovers wrap.IMG_2691

In the whole wheat wrap: thick layer of cream cheese, thicker layer of cranberry pomegranate pepper jelly, honey maple turkey and pumpkin.

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This flavor medley was ridiculous. I don’t want Thanksgiving eating to end. Ever.

Afternoon snackage stayed the TG route.IMG_2817   

1 cup applesauce, 1 cup pumpkin, 2 tbsp. maple syrup warmed in the microwave.

AMAZING. Please try this ahora.

What’s that in the center? Oh, just a Food Should Taste Good CINNAMON chip.

Another cosa that your taste buds need to become acquainted with A.S.A.P. These chips seriously taste like churros. I’d intended to eat my pumpkin applesauce with that spoon—but cinnamony churro chips ended up serving that function ;) .

Dinner appears to have nothing to do with Thanksgiving. However, it was an assortment of TG weekend leftovers… so I’m ruling that it fits the theme.

First up: Pearl Room leftovers.

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Mucho leftover vegetable risotto.

A tiny bit of hummus salmon.

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And to keep things interesante, leftover Chinese.

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Peanut chicken and string beans over brown rice from Lai Yuen.

IMG_2879  Sorry for not plating la comida—but I think leftovers taste mucho mejor when eaten straight from the container :) .

December 1st ended on a similar Thanksgiving note as it began.

What’s under that marshmallow layer?

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Mas pumpkin pie, of course.

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Except dessert didn’t end there porque…

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…when leftover banana strawberry nutella french toast is delivered to your doorstep, you embrace this season of delectable eating and oblige.

And there you have my first-day-of-December, I’m-still-in-a-Thanksgiving-state-of-mind eats.

Lo siento for such a rushed post, but I was busy all day and now I’m rushing off to a hot date with a stunning, snack-loving amiga. I’m sure you’ve got an idea who I’m dining with esta noche ;) .

Amor,

Sarah

The F Word

To which F word am I referring?

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No, not THE F word.

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No, not that F word either.

Though I suppose now would be as good a time as any to address my flat-out failure as a blogger. , I am referring to the fact that I set a new personal record by abandoning blogland for 10 días. Lo siento.

(If it wins me any bonus points, I ate my way through approximately half the bag of Newman’s Alphabet Cookies to dig out the letters in the picture above. FML?)

The F word I’m addressing in this post is actually the reason behind my impromptu hiatus.

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FAMILIA.

Of the many Fs in my life—food, fitness, fashion, Fagefamily is numero uno. So when some unexpected family matters arose—and were followed by longer-than-usual visits from la hermana y los abuelosfoodie biz took a backseat.

However, this does not mean that food was not had. In fact, when mi familia is involved, there is an influx in both quality and quantity of food consumed. This would be one of the primary reasons they are numero uno in my book.

During my diez-día hiatus, I managed to photograph nearly all of the fabulous food with which my face became acquainted. This has left me with 367 fotos. Let’s do some math. 367 pictures bestowed upon 1 failure of a food blogger who just took a 10-day vacation=OVERLOAD.

Instead of trying to fit 10 days of eating—and I should emphasize that these were 10 days of my eatingon ‘roids—into one post, I will share the DOS best food y familia-filled meals that were had during my absence.

The first is, of course, Thanksgiving!

Better tarde than never…

Tofurkey Day kicked off, as it usually does, with mucho traffic.

More than average mucho traffic + thirsty hermanas + approx. 293829228438433 “Are we there yet?”s from la boca de Dora=very necessary Thanksgiving day pre-game at…

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Large sweet teas and small french fries were a great idea because (a) la hermana, Dora y yo were all in much better moods post-fueling and (b) this detour prompted the GPS to re-route us on some obscure non-trafficky highway. Success!

After too much tiempo on the road, we finally arrived to our familia’s Thanksgiving destination, Aunt Lauren’s.

Within five minutes of stepping foot in la casa, I had a glass of vino in hand and was ready to multitask.

TG multitasking=simultaneously schmoozing and cheese and cracker consuming.

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I am well-versed in the way of this sort of multitasking. And I was all about that apricot cheese. AMAZING.

By the time I was through schmoozing and snacking, the cheese stood alone.

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With some remnants of Kashi crackers…

In true Thanksgiving style, the pre-meal vino y queso left me full before dinner was served.

Not too full for pumpkin sopa.

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Increible.

Gigi had a less enthusiastic response.

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I believe her words were, “why does it taste like this?”

Onto the main event:

Traditional comida like turkey.

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And traditional-comida-if-you’re-Jewish (or Chewish), like brisket.

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Mashed taters.

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Cranberry.

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Y cranberry relish.

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And wild rice with dried cranberries and raisins and some other magical ingredients that made this TG-newbie one of my favorites.

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On the veggie front, roasted butternut squash, peppers and onions.

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Roasted zucchini.

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Roasted shrooms.

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And now for the tres Thanksgiving staples that I look forward to all year:

Sweet potato casserole.

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This year la fam made it with chunks of pineapple—which took it to a new level of deliciousness.

String bean casserole.

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And CORNBREAD.

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Cornbread is among my top five favorite foods. Addiction.

Mi plato.

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I cannot tell a lie. I was so full from wining, cheesing and souping that I had to stop after eating 1/4 of the way into this plate.

Fear not. I took a half-hour power nap and, in true foodie fashion, awoke with a renewed appetite. I cleaned the plate and then some. (The then some came mostly in the form of the cranberry wild rice because it was ridiculo!)

After another power nap, I got my third wind and began to ponder my dessert strategy.

The following piqued my interest.

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Banana creme pudding, apple pie, chocolate cream cheese pudding pie and strawberry cupcakes.

I decided on a pudding duo.

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Chocolate cream cheese pudding pie con whipped cream.

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And banana creme pudding.

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A new Nilla wafer-infused Thanksgiving favorite courtesy of my newest aunt, Jenn.

And with that banana creme wonder—there may have been un pequeño second helping—Thanksgiving concluded.

I know I said I was only going to share dos meals—but here’s a quickie that exemplifies why la hermana is my E.P.I.C.

On the morning after Thanksgiving, despite unfaltering fullness, la hermana y yo would be in the mood for Chinese food.

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Yet another reason why familia comes first.

The next familia meal I’ve deemed noteworthy was Nanny’s 75th birthday dinner!

We went to my absolute favorite neighborhood restaurant, The Pearl Room.

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The Pearl Room is an incredible Brooklyn seafood restaurant, and it has a special place in my heart because I hated seafood prior to my first Pearl Room dining experience.

Almost exactly two years ago, on the night before I left for my five-month stay in Spain, my dad took me to The Pearl Room in an attempt to “diversify my eating portfolio.” Both mi padre y yo were concerned that I was about to live—and eat—with a Spanish chorizo-loving familia when I—at the time—only ate chicken on occasion. In attempt to convert my “I only eat chicken”-card to an “I eat chicken and fish”-card, padre took me to The Pearl Room and we ordered several different pescado dishes to see if there was something seafood-esque that I liked.

I can’t even remember what we ordered, but I remember that we finished all of the dishes—our bites broken up by a whole lot of “This is SOOOO GOOD!” exclamation—and I set off to Spain a seafood-lovin’ señorita.

So gracias a The Pearl Room for changing my close-minded, chicken-only ways.

Anyway, back to Nanny’s cumpleaños.

The Pearl Room serves the best bread basket. I’m usually one of those bread-before-dinner skippers because bread y butter really does nada for me.

But at The Pearl Room, incredible olive rolls take the place of bread.

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And a mysterious, I-don’t-know-what’s-in-it-but-it-must-be-crack-infused dipping sauce takes the place of butter.

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I never know how to describe the flavor of this sauce–I, uh, talk about it a lot–but I’m always tempted to compare it to vodka sauce. I think this is mostly because it looks like vodka sauce; its taste is incomparable. I’ve been doing a lot of Pearl Room-ing recently, so, during my next visit, I’m going to grill the manager for the ingredients. Or at least some hints.

Immediately after I took those dos photos, Gigi queried, “Ummm, why are you taking pictures of your food?”

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All the cool kids are doing it, Dora.

Before ordering, hermana and I snagged a picture with the birthday chica.IMG_28351Triplets? Ok, not so much.

Then the Shiraz came, and Sexy Shirl (a.k.a. Nanny) went to work.

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Gigi—a little tipsy off her Shirley Temple—did a lot of jumping on Poppy.

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Wherein Poppy taught her a new word: encroach.

As in, “Gigi, you can’t encroach on Poppy while he’s eating.”

So Gigi began encroaching on me.

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I pretended to mind.

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But ultimately showed some amor.

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And even participated in a “who has a longer tongue?” contest.

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Silliness concluded as soon as cena was served.

Both Nanny and I were enticed by, but couldn’t decide between, the two fish specials—so we decided to share.

Nanny went with the hummus salmon atop grilled veggies and lentils.

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AMAZING. The salmon was seared and then coated with hummus and broiled—so it had a perfect crisp layer topped with a creamy hummus layer. And the LENTILS… perfection.

I went with the sea bass, infused with wild herbs and lemon and served in a white wine sauce.

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It was served as a whole fish and filleted at the table.

So simple and FRESH and increible.

On the side, I had grilled asparagus and shrimp risotto.

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SOOOOOO GOOD.

We had some very interesante, Shiraz-induced conversation.

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For example, we discussed the importance of being adventurous eaters and all agreed that it’s a shame when people stick to standard, it’s-been-done-before items when there are unchartered, creative flavor combos to be had.

At which point Poppy drew the following comparison: “It’s like sticking to missionary.”

Luckily, this flew over Gigi’s head because my little chica only had one thing on her mind. IMG_2855

Nanny’s birthday cake!

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(We may have forgotten the 7 candle, so Nanny was 5 for the night…)

Mucho chocolate.

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Can you guess who finished first?IMG_2861

Dora, la ganadora!

Speaking of ganadoras (winners), I suppose I should announce the winner of my Nutridel giveaway.

Random.org generated #40. So la ganadora es

Sophia from Burp and Slurp!

Congrats, chica! E-mail me at thefoodiediaries@gmail.com with your address so I can get you tus galletas!

Bueno, I hope you all enjoyed as food y familia-filled a holiday weekend as I. And, as much as I enjoyed my downtime con la familia, I am muy feliz to be back!

Vegan Por Un Día

I figure you’ve all seen a whole lot of Vegan For a Day, so I switched my title up with a little español.

Shocker, I know.

Before I get to jueves, tengo una pregunta:

Have you entered my Nutridel giveaway?

No? Probablemente you should do that today.

Porque those galletas are DELISH.

And also FREE! For what more could you wish?

Now that I’ve gotten that hankering for un poco self-promotion and poetry out of my system, let’s discuss ayer.

I rolled out my yoga mat, fixed a cup of coffee and plopped down to tackle my Google Reader.

(You’ll notice I didn’t mention any yoga acción. This is because none occurred. You see, I’m a little obsessed with the yoga mat I won from Erica. So, sometimes, on mornings like yesterday when I have no intention of actually doing yoga, I bust it out just to lay/read because it makes me feel relaxed and productive. Yo sé, I’m weird.)

Within seconds of opening my Reader, I learned of Vegan For a Day and was immediately intrigued.

Intrigued, but not sold.

So I sipped some (coincidentally) vegan-friendly coffee as I looked to some of my favorite vegan bloggers for affirmation.

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You can spy a little OhSheGlows action behind coffee cup numero dos.

And it was actually Angela’s A.M. post—specifically the fact that she’d be posting her meals and me encanta the way that chica eats—that convinced me to go Vegan Por Un Día.

Veganism has always seemed entirely doable for me; but it’s never seemed desirable. It’s seemed doable in the sense that I have very strong will-power, and I’m a very competitive person. So, if I commit to something, I commit. However, it’s never seemed desirable because I love food. And a lot of the foods I love fall into non-vegan terrain. I so admire all of the vegans and vegetarians that commit to these dietary lifestyles for their ethical and social importance—but I’m not sure I could ever make the commitment.

That said, I figured one day of veganism—even if I hated it—was nada in the long run. Plus, like I said, I love a little competición.

I partook in a several ridiculous Google searches in an effort to come up with vegan breakfast.

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I got lost in that for about 30 minutes—but still had no idea what I wanted.

Actually, I knew exactly what I wanted.

Greek yogurt with melted banana and granola.

But since Greek yogurt is, you know, dairy—that was a no-no.

While I waited to be struck by vegan brilliance, I decided to go for the melted “banana nuggets”—as Allie’s dubbed them.

I’ve been wanting to try them since first drooling over stumbling upon them on her blog—and I figured they’d be a good hold-me-over-til-I-think-of-something-divine nosh.

 

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1 banana, nuggified—then microwaved in a tbsp. maple syrup for 22 seconds (I always pick random numbers because I’m a loca like that) and topped with cinnamon

SO GOOD. So good that I knew I had to integrate them into whatever fabuloso breakfast was to come.

When I realized that I’d officially pondered breakfast for 1.5 HORAS—to the point that I needed a pregame—I decided to keep cosas simple and just throw my new banana amor into a trusty bowl of oats.

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1/2 cup old-fashioned oats cooked in 1 cup water, 1 tbsp. maple syrup and 1/2 a thinly sliced banana. Topped with the other 1/2 of the banana, nuggified in another tbsp. maple syrup (microwaved for 16 seconds since it was only half) and cinnamon. Devoured with a peanut butter spoon.

Banana nugget center. Maple syrupy magic.

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Drowning in syrup, sinking banana nuggets.

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Drowning in syrup, sinking PB spoon.

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I usually leave my PB on la cuchara [spoon] to ensure a little with every bite—but since it was melting/sinking, I decided to get crazy and mix it in.

Which was una buena idea because there were PB pools like the one below covertly dispersed throughout the bowl.

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So, this breakfast kept me full for close to five hours. When I eventually broke for lunch, I wasn’t even actually hungry.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that breakfast included two grande bananas, or if this was just a very powerful oat combo, but if you ever need some trusty staying power—hit this desayuno up.

Throughout the morning, I sipped some sugar cookie sleigh ride.

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Which I knew was vegan porque esta chica downs it like it’s her trabajo.

As did I. I had tres copas—one with Truvia, which was divine. Sugar cookie sleigh ride sweetened takes it to a whole new level.

Oh, and then I almost blew Vegan For a Day on a VITAMIN.

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Juuuuuuust before unwrapping that little chocolate chew, I thought to myself, “Chocolate? Dairy?”

So I checked the ingredient list.

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Correcto. Nonfat milk. Along with lots of terrible ingredients that I now know I consume on a daily basis.

Lucky for this vegan temp, I had these little guys.

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Which after a little label reading…

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..and a lot of Googleing, I learned were vegan.

Vegan bears? How ethical.

When it was getting into the almost-too-late-for-lunch realm, I turned to my favorite soup.

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Which I quickly learned was vegan!

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BUENO.

 

 

 

 

 

This Amy’s Alphabet soup is hands-down my favorite canned soup—and it literally kept me alive during college.

You’d think that after four years of overdosing on a canned good, I’d never want to touch it again.

But you’d be mistaken.

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It’s a tomato-based veggie soup filled with alphabet pasta.

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What more could a 22-year-old who wishes she were still 10 ask for?

My lack of comida throughout the first half of the day caught up with me during the second half.

Vegan snacks included:

My new favorite nut mix.

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And a massive bowl of grapes and fresas.

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After spending so much time coming up with a vegan breakfast that I was in the mood for, I did not want the same to happen con cena.

So throughout the day I conjured up a delectable dinner of cheetahs, green cheetahs and carrot friesa fry trifecta, if you will.

Except when I checked out my sweet potato stash, I found this.

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MOLD.

Mucho, mucho mold.

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Malo.

Dreaming a perfecto meal—and mentally tasting cheetahs all day long—only to have mold snatch them away from you is triste.

However, sweet potato sob story was upsetting but not tragic, as I still had my green cheetahs and carrot fries.

Wrong.

Whichever power circuit supports my toaster oven went out—and me attempting to fix that on my own just wasn’t in the cards.

Apparently the fry gods were pissed that I was trying to create so many faux fry versions and decided to run a little interference.

I forfeited and went on to think up a no-kitchen, no-toaster oven dinner.

Ensalada was the obvious solution—but I’d gotten myself so in the mood for cooked/baked veggies that a raw veggie salad sounded entirely unappealing.

So I decided to take my standard veggie ensalada down a path I’d not ventured since the seems-like-forever-ago summer.

Una fruity ensalada.

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Baby spinach, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, red grapes and strawberries.

I threw some hot salsa en el centro for an interesante sweet and spicy flavor contrast.

And I switched up my normal honey-balsamic dressing mix for a vegan-friendly maple syrup-balsamic concoction.

This ensalada was excelente. The spicy salsa went so well with the fruit—especially the strawberries.IMG_2651

And I looooooved the maple syrup substitution in my standard honey & balsamic mix.

Again, the strawberries worked so well with this flavor. I love marinating strawberries in balsamic vinegar—and the maple addition complemented this sabor [flavor] interaction so wonderfully.

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La ensalada obviously wasn’t going to cut it for dinner.

So I made something I’ve been thinking about making for quite some time.

I introduce to you…

H2Oats (Hummus & Hot Sauce Oats)

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I cooked 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats in 1 cup of water. When it was finished, I stirred in 2 tbsp. hummus and steamed baby spinach. Then I topped with mas baby spinach and, obviamente, mas hummus. Sriracha hot sauce atop.

Ok. HUMMUS + OATS = BRILLIANTE.

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With a Sriracha cherry on top.

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I’d initially planned on adding mucho mas Sriracha post-photography, but a little bit went a long way for this bowl. Having just a hint of hot sauce allowed the Sabra to be the star that it is.

The creaminess and flavor of our beloved hummus blended into our beloved oats is something I wish I’d discovered long ago.

If nothing else, THANK YOU Vegan For a Day (and the sweet potato and toaster woes) for leading me to finally try this.

Anyhow, you know what I wanted for dessert.

But after mucho tiempo Googleing, I learned that neither Jolly Time’s nor Orville Redenbacher’s Kettle Corn popcorn is vegan-friendly.

So, I had fresas y azucar.

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Which I usually love.

But when you want popcorn, and you eat strawberries… strawberries and sugar are suddenly very disappointing.

So, pensamientos on Vegan Por Un Dia…

I loved the idea of trying something new food-wise—especially something that has such important ethical and environmental causes attached to it. However, I can’t shake the fact that eating a vegan diet felt like a diet the entire time.

You guys know how I feel about diets. And yesterday brought me right back to my South Beach-in’ sixteen-year-old self, going loca over carbs and what was and was not allowed.

At so many points throughout the day, I knew what I wanted but ended up thinking way too much about something else to eat—simply because I “couldn’t” have it. I really honor the whole “follow your body’s cues” approach to eating—and I didn’t like the feeling of denying myself what I was craving.

That said, I can’t stress how much I support and respect those who commit to making these sacrifices—be it for their personal well-being, or the well-being of animals, the environment or our society.

It was divertido—not to mention discovery-provoking (HEEELLLOOO, banana nuggets & H2Oats)—to experiment with veganism. And though I know—as I knew before yesterday—that right now, it’s a dietary style that’s not for me, I’d definitely be interested in further experimentation. I think I’d do better with it and be less frustrated by the dietary limitations if I tried it out for a bit longer—and was doing it with the goal of finding out if a dairy-free diet did anything to benefit my health.

One more gracias to all the vegan bloggers on whom I relied for foodie inspiration yesterday. And to todas who participated in Vegan For a Day!

Bueno, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

-Sarah

¿Quieres Galletas? Un Giveaway

¿Galletas?

Perhaps you know what that word means.

Perhaps you’ll find your way over to SpanishDict.com to find out. (FYI: SpanishDict.com is mi favorito online Spanish-English diccionario—and not just because it’s fun to say aloud.)

Either or, I’m giving away some highly-coveted galletas at the end of this post.

First, vamos a hablar about some h-day happenings.

Twas another “this is not November in NYC” day of warm and sunny weather.

Except this beautiful día kicked off with ‘lates…

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instead of lattes.

lattes

(I cannot resist bad puns…)

It’s not very me to take on physical activity pre-cup o’ joe—but yesterday morning, I rolled out of bed and headed straight to pilates.

I’m so glad I did because it was quite possibly the best, most entertaining pilates class I’ve ever taken.

Best? Yes. This class was amazing. It was so well-structured and challenging. And it flew by. Always a plus. Also, I currently only go to pilates twice a week because I’ve only found two classes that I really enjoy. They’re both during the weekend—which means that sometimes they just don’t happen—so I’ve been looking for a good weekday class.

Entertaining? What could possibly make planks, hundreds and scissors divertido? Only the most hilarious instructor. No, unfortunately it wasn’t the Brooklyn Bikram yogi—though that would’ve been hysterical. But this pilates chica was just as cómica.

She was a tiny blonde with a thick Russian accent, and she began class with a story.

She’d taught her first class at a new studio in Manhattan this past weekend. After complaining that it was too small “because everyone was packed into the classroom like sardines”—she told us how she was unusually hard on one male student. “He couldn’t breathe,” she told us. “He couldn’t stretch. He looked like he was about to have a heart attack, but he was young. So I kicked him. And I yelled at him. He got a little better, but he was still pathetic.”

(She wasn’t one for sugar-coating, apparently.)

Anyhow, after class was over, she discovered that this man and the woman he attended class with were Mr. and Mrs. Ivanka Trump. Yes, she was kicking Ivanka Trump’s new husband.

Her response? “How would I know that? I’m just a silly immigrant girl… Do you think I read People? Oh well, he was still pathetic. But I don’t know if I’ll have that job next weekend.”

I wish I’d written down all of the hysterical things she said. Like: “Call me the Hundreds Hitler today. Because next week is Thanksgiving. And it’s against national law in this country to not gain 5 lbs. on Thanksgiving, right?”

I really liked her. I’ll be attending regularly on Wednesdays. And perhaps bringing a pen and pad.

On my walk home, I made another nice weather-necessitated iced coffee purchase.

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I stepped outside my cafe box with this venti iced con soy milk, sugar and cinnamon.

I’ve pretty much got my coffee preferences down to a science. Hot coffee: milk/creamer + sweetener. Iced coffee: negro con sweetener. The sweetener is negotiable; the milk addition/absence (usually) is not.

For some reason, I decided to order my iced coffee with soy milk yesterday. No me gusta. I immediately remembered why I drink my iced coffee black. I find that iced coffee con leche tastes watered down, especially as the ice melts. No bueno.

Ah, well. We vivir. And we aprendar.

Breakfast was big bowl of greek yogurt.

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Plain Oikos sweetened with honey and cinnamon; topped with lots ‘o layers of bananas and strawberries… and grahams.

The superstar center.

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Messy is not bonita, but it is deliciosa.

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I feel like I haven’t had fresh fruit—aside from apples—in a while, so I loved this breakfast bowl.

Snackage also came in the form of fresh fruit that I’ve not had in quite some time.

Grande grapes.

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In an overflowing mug.

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There may have been an encore in the form of handfuls out of the bag. But I’m not apologizing for extra grapeage.

Come lunch, I knew what I wanted.’

But it wasn’t really a complete lunch—so I threw together a standard ensalada.

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Baby spinach, diced chicken, onion, yellow pepper, broccoli, roasted red peppers, cucumbers and tortilla chips. Dressed in celery salt and italiano dressing.

Italiano dressing=blech in my book. But I’ve been out of balsamica. Muy devastating.

What I really wanted was this.

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In celebration of Waffle Wednesday, I busted out the Kashi Honey oat waffles and slathered on my dearly beloved cream cheese and raspberry preserves.

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I’ve never done this before, but you can bet I’m going to do it again. BUENISIMA.

Almuerzo only held me over for dos horas, so more snackage went down.

I embraced this since it was National SnackFace Day.

Clearly the cream cheese & jelly waffle left me wanting más.

I tried to switch it up un poco.

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Whole wheat english muffin: 1/2 with Laughing Cow & preserves. 1/2 with Laughing Cow and Sriracha.

You know how one side of an english muffin is inevitably bigger than the other? Well—and I think this habit comes from the same part of the brain as my OCD save the best for last tendency—when making a half-and-half english muffin, I always deliberate which 1/2 I’m going to like better and make sure those toppings go on the bigger half.

This 1/2 and 1/2 english muffin’s ganador: LC & raspberry preserves.

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Except not! I got it incorrecto.

I ended up liking the LC & sriracha combo mejor.

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Look at how little that half is. Que triste!

Another display of my OCD foodisms (and my unstoppable appetite):

Remember when I ate all the chocolate bunnies out of my box of new amigos?

When I tapped into the box yesterday, I noticed some brown bunnies at the bottom!

This problemo had to be fixed.

La solución:

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A bowl of bunnie cereal.

So fantastically soggy that the chocolate action didn’t even matter.

Cena was Greek.

Ensalada was necesario because I finally got balsamic!

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Normal-sized (as in, not my usual salad monster) greek-ish salad.

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Baby spinach, onion, feta, roasted red pepper and olives. Topped with a dollop of salsa and tzatziki dip. Oh yea, and balsamic!

For the main event, I put this Sabra duo to work.

IMG_2583 Greek pizza

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In the toaster oven: Brushed with EVOO, baked at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on each side. Topped with a layer of Greek Olive Sabra and a layer of Sabra tzatziki dip—and micowaved onion, broccoli, spinach, roasted red peppers and feta. Then broiled for 3-5 minutes.

Which did nothing to melt the feta.

But everything to meld the incredible hummus and tzatziki Sabra flavors.

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Aaaaamazing. I can’t wait to make more creations featuring this duo.

Dessert is what you’d expect.

Except minus the sriracha.

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The only popcorn I don’t add anything to is Jolly Time Kettle Corn.

Because it is the BEST popcorn ever—and needs nada but what’s in the bag.

I’m pretty sure all the deliciousness comes from this sketchy sauce/seasoning on the side of the bag.

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Actually, I know it. Because I rub individual popcorn pieces on that wondrous mystery ‘til it’s no more.

Ok, onto la galleta giveaway.

If you’ve not figured it out, galleta means cookie.

Remember when I reviewed and loved Nutridel cookies?

Well, the generous Marisela over at Nutridel has offered to send one lucky reader the “sampler pack” option they’ve just began offering.

If you recall, when I reviewed the cookies, only a 28 package box (2 cookies per package) was available for $42. Obviously, that’s a hefty dinero and galleta commitment to make if you’ve never tried Nutridel cookies. The new sampler pack offers a box of 8 (2 cookies per package)—two of each of the almond, flaxseed, oatmeal and pecan flavors—for $16.

Or, if you win this giveaway, FOR FREE.

There are five ways to enter this giveaway. Each counts as one entry, and be sure to leave a separate comment for each way you enter.

  • Leave a comment telling me which Nutridel cookie flavor you most want to try.
  • Tweet about this giveaway: “Quieres 60 calorie cookies? Check out @FoodieDiaries Nutridel giveaway! http://bit.ly/2IrJCM/
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Add me to your blogroll and/or Google Reader.
  • Link back to this giveaway on your blog.

The giveaway is open until Wednesday, November 25 at 12 p.m. EST, and I will use random.org to choose the winner. Only open to residents of U.S. and Canada.

So… ¿Quien quieres Nutridel galletas?

-Sarah

Make New Friends…

Happy youknowwhatdía!

La mañana de martes began as every morning does.

Only a little mejor.

Because, while coffee gets the day off to a good start, Godiva Chocolate Truffle Cafe gets the day off to a delectable start.

IMG_2524For una chica who always pulls the “I’m not a chocolate person”-card, I am loving this stuff. 

Breakfast was a double.

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No, not that kind of double. I wish.

Rather, I refer to a double bowl breakfast (D.B.B.).

I turn to D.B.B.s when I’m either super hungry, or super indecisive.

Ayer, I was both.

Bowl Numero Uno

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Kashi 7 Grain Puffs, vanilla almond milk, Truvia, ground flax, cinnamon and a PB spoon.

And since I’m a sog-loving freak, I put bowl #1 in the fridge to marinate while I concocted and consumed bowl #2.

Bowl Numero Dos

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Plain Oikos, honey drizzle and pomegranate arils.

Each delicious in its own right. I’m sort of addicted to the popping sensation of biting down on pom arils; so that yogurt bowl was wondrous. However, the super sogginess of 10-minute marinated cereal, helped along by an almond milk-marinated PB spoon: indescribable.

Soon after desayuno, the dainty aroma of polyurethane began to fill la casa.

At which point, I decided I’d like to continue breathing and made the executive decision to pack snacks and haul culo to my local Starbucks.

Los snacks:

Manzana y Honey Graham Z-Bar

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La manzana was freakishly GRANDE.

That, or my hands are freakishly small because they couldn’t really wrap around this large and in charge piece o’ produce.

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(When I ate it in Starbucks, I felt like everyone around me was staring at my big apple. Or maybe I’m just a loud chewer…)

Moving along, I took a stroll to Starbucks in the GORGEOUS 55° and sunny weather; I’m thinking I stole some sunshine from Florida.

I’d intended to get my first red cup of the season (which is actually a lie since I got one while on vacation—so my first documented, NYC red cup of the season)—but I can’t not get iced coffee when it’s warm out. Sacrilegious.

So I opted for a venti (normal venti—not 36 oz. slushie cup “venti” :( ) iced coffee con sugar and cinnamon. Pat on the back for not going for the yellow packets.

I also opted for a sneaky webcam shot because I’m too awkward for crowded cafe coffee photography. Snapshot_20091117_4

(Note how serious I look. I was trying so hard to not look like I was doing a creepy MySpace photoshoot.)

Being the productive chica that I am, I then decided to have a silent Starbucks video chat session con la hermana.

Wherein I lost my I’m-too-awkward-for-camera-action-in-cafes inhibitions.

Hermana was being too cómica to not photograph.

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This is Melissa stripping down to share with me two of her latest discoveries. Interested? Claro que si.

First, she wanted to show me that the tinted Jergens moisturizer she’s been using is working—and indeed, tinting her bod. (I think she’s a little celosa [jealous] that somebody just got some sol in Florida…)

Next, she wanted to show me that another recent discovery also, uh, works. This nuevo purchase would be the Victoria’s Secret Miraculous push-up bra. It claims to add two cup sizes—and yesterday I, and several other Starbucks patrons, learned that, indeed, it does.

I was laughing hysterically—and everyone who passed me scoped out my computadora screen, likely in an attempt to understand why some chica loca was giggling and taking pictures of her computer screen.

It was pretty awkward. But the damage was done, so I continued on with my public vid chat and even snapped a non-webcam iced coffee shot for you all.

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(Spotted: a special snacky birthday girl in the background.)

I spent about tres horas blogging, blog reading, Z-Bar and apple eating, coffee sipping chugging and eavesdropping—hoping for some good Overheard in Starbucks material. Unfortunately, I think I was the most eccentric character in Starbucks yesterday because the cafe convo was sparse y aburrido.

When I came home, I took a few deep breaths to test toxicity levels, lived and whipped up a late real lunch. Because, in my book, a bar and an apple do not a lunch make.

Ensalada ENORME

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In the mix: spinach + romaine, hummus-coated baked chicken, 1/2 avocado, feta, onions, roasted red peppers, oil-cured black olives, yellow pepper, cucumber and balsamic vinaigrette.

Oh, and I might have throw a little Sabra in the center.

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In case the hummus-coated pollo didn’t do the trick.

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I hadn’t had one of my mix-in-everything-I’ve-got grande salads in over a week—so this was increíble.

And this brings us to the title of this post—which, by the way, is meant to be sung to this tune.

(In the process of searching YouTube for that song, I came across this really creepy children’s video. If you’re bored…)

Anyhow, I’d like to introduce you to my newest friends:

IMG_2494 Annie’s Bunny Graham Friends! I received these a couple of weeks ago when Annie’s sent me a ridiculous goodie bag for winning a contest, and I was most excited to try these amigos since I love all things graham.

I was a little disappointed upon realizing that the bunny friends weren’t straight-up grahams—but rather a blend of honey, chocolate and chocolate chip bunnies. But I quickly came up with a strategic remedy.

Because I have a weird I-need-to-save-the-best-for-last OCD thing, I decided I would eat all of the chocolate bunny friends first so that I’d have a box of honey and chocolate chip (which are basically just honey with little chocolate specs) amigos left.

Needless to say, this was a malo idea. Mostly because it got competitive, and I literally ate all of the chocolate bunnies in the entire box.

Bunny overload.

Despite my chocolate trash-talking, these amigos nuevos are AMAZING. And I can’t wait to dig into my chocolate-less box. (Which is now 1/2 empty because there were a disproportional amount of chocolate bunnies. Oops.)

Dinner was lazy.

Red Snapper & Shrimp

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How did I make crispy Cajun fish and shrimp sans kitchen?

I didn’t.

I simply had the foresight to order it to-go Monday night so that I’d have Tuesday’s dinner. Un idea muy inteligente because I was muy perezosa last night.

I think I’m still in vacation-mode because I’ve had no desire to experiment with microwave magic; that or I’m just getting antsy for the kitchen to be done.

This fish was incredible, and massive. And I think it automatically tasted better because it required cero effort.

I put un poco microwaveable effort into dessert.

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Popcorn + sriracha, how I’ve missed thee.

Ok, I hope you all have gleeful Wednesday night plans!

Adios,

Sarah

The Recap That Wasn’t

It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you.

One week completely removed from el mundo de los blogs has felt like an eternity. I know that sounds a bit dramatic—but I feel SO out of the loop. Needless to say, estoy muy feliz to be back. I kid you not; opening Windows Live Writer—despite our precarious past—just gave me the butterflies.

(Edit: Those quickly dissipated when WLW decided to pull the ‘error’ card for the past nueve horas.)

So, here’s where we catch up, right?

Incorrecto. Despite spending seis días doused in deliciousness, I documented close to nada. No, really. I returned to NYC with six pictures—of two meals—on mi cámara. When I get into vacation mode, I have a tendency to abandon el Blackberry y la Canon. The only reason why I have my fotos of those dos meals is because my friend suggested that they were extraordinarily blogworthy. They are—so I figure I’ll give you a quick recap of Monday’s munchies, and then share those two gems.

Monday mañana kicked off with an early flight from Orlando to NYC.

YO ODIO airport food, so I made sure that I was well stocked on the breakfast/I’m-bored-in-the-airport-so-I-guess-I’ll-just-eat front.

I packed a nut mix, a Mountain Mix Mojo bar and an undocumented (because, you know, that’s my new thing?) bag of Publix pretzel rods. (I firmly believe that Publix’s generic pretzel rods taste better than any other brand I’ve ever tried. Much to my dismay, no hay Publix anywhere near NYC.)

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But my star breakfast component was this amazing trail mix.

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Cinnamon toast crunch, dried cherries, dark chocolate espresso beans and Flipsides.

FLIPSIDES. Half pretzel. Half cracker. FULL ADDICTION.

I enjoyed that Ziploc o’ goodness alongside a monster Starbucks iced coffee. I always go for the venti with iced coffee because I’d kill a tall in .5 seconds—but this iced coffee monster was a venti on ‘roids. The airport Starbucks ran out of venti cups, so—until they got more in—they borrowed 36 oz. slushie cups from the neighboring smoothie stand. I had no problemo with this.

Terminado in approximately cinco minutos. Two random chicos came up to me and told me they bet $20 on whether or not I’d finish the giant coffee before my flight; winning chico was grateful for and impressed by my tank-like talent for chugging.

I flew Delta—which is a big deal because I’d say I fly JetBlue (EL MEJOR!) 99.9% of the time. I booked my flight with Delta for this trip because it was so last minute, and JetBlue was uncharacteristically pricey.

JetBlue SO MUCH > Delta.

HOWEVER, Delta has a leg-up on one cosa…

BISCOFF.

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I’m obsessed. I ate one straight-up, and the other dunked in coffee (for soggifying pleasure).

I returned home to the blissful lingering scent of, uh, polyurethane. I guess we’re at the floor-finishing point of kitchen/dining room renovation. Bueno because this means kitchen-access is nearing. Malo because this means several days of a very chemical-scented casa.

I was starving, which was slightly problematic since I couldn’t breathe downstairs long enough to even throw together a sandwich. I quickly scoped out the fridge situation to see if there was anything ready-made that I could eat.

Leftover sesame chicken to the rescue.

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There’s really no way to make that look pretty; but it was delicious.

When the “if I breathe this in for more than 30 seconds, I’m going to die” smell grew fainter, I microwaved a bowl of Banana Nut Bear Naked granola in almond milk and then topped it with dried raisins, cranberries and cherries, banana slices and cinnamon.

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Bueno pero it occurred to me that a nut buttah spoon would take bueno to buenismo—always a good thing.

I opened the jar of cashew butter that la hermana so graciously bestowed upon me last weekend.

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I’ve been fantasizing about my first spoonful of cashew butter since I found out such a wonder existed, as el cashew is my numero uno nut.IMG_2482

I believe any taste test should commence with a straight-up sampling (in this case, spoonful) to ensure an uninfluenced-by-other-flavors verdict.

I was underwhelmed. It was good, but not great. I’d enthusiastically opt for almond or peanut butter over cashew any day—which is loco because I’d attack a bag of cashews over almonds or peanuts, no deliberation necessary.

I’ll definitely try a different brand because I want to love cashew butter. What are your thoughts if you’ve tried it? Any brand recommendations?

Nevertheless, it delivered in the way of making my already delicious granola bowl even more so.

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Gracias a mi amiga, Little J, for giving me the idea to warm granola in milk. SO splendidly soggy; I’m not sure I’m interested in dry/cold granola any longer.

Dinner was delayed by some muy importante kitchen appliance shopping. I am so excited for la cocina nueva! It should be finished just before Thanksgiving, and NO PUEDO ESPERAR.

Kitchen shopping made me hambre; or maybe it was just the fact that it was dinner time. Either or, I wanted cena, and I wanted it quickly.

UNA ENSALADA MONSTRUO from an amazing salad bar.

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I really can’t recount everything that was in there, but I know it involved wheatberry raisin salad, couscous, garbanzos, black beans, banana peppers, olives, hummus, wasabi peas, egg, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, Asian crunchies and lots of uninteresting raw veggies beneath it all.

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This was amazing, and such a salad monstruo that I almost couldn’t finish it.

Almost doesn’t count.

I may have made room for some cinnamon raisin bread—and a second baby plate of pasta ensalada.

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And maybe some dessert.

I can’t be blamed for this one; I opened my fridge to find a mysterious bakery box of tarta de queso.

Naturally, I went for it.

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What’s that hiding behind the cheesecake?

Oh, just a monster pile of chocolate whipped cream.

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Since cheesecake clearly isn’t indulgent enough on its own.

Now, I suppose I’ll share those two coveted Floridian meals.

But not before I mentally scold myself once more for neglecting to document some of the amazing things I ate. It’s possible that I attended a Food & Wine festival—and essentially did a dessert crawl involving gingerbread strawberry ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter fudge honey cinnamon ice cream, red velvet cupcakes and delicacies of the like. A.K.A. un grande LO SIENTO for flaking on what would’ve been some X-rated food porn.

I hope these dos comidas gain me some bonus points.

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Stuffed with what, you may wonder?

Well…

Cheesy Veggie Oat Bran & Hummus Stuffed Bnut

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Butternut squash halved, scooped and baked at 350 for 1 hour.

While that was in the oven, I cooked 1/2 cup oat bran in 1 cup water. As it was almost at its desired consistency, I added 2 Laughing Cow wedges, garlic, spinach, sauteed onion and olives.

Once the squash was almost done, I split the oat bran mixture (which was really hard not to polish off while waiting for the baked bnut) into the two scooped out areas and added a big dollop of hummus on top. I broiled the halves for an additional 5-8 minutes.

OOOOOOOOOHMYGAH.

El pollo was stuffed with LC, garlic, sauteed onions, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes.

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Otro más OOOOHMYGAH.

Stuffed Bnut + Stuffed Pollo = STUFFED Sarah.

Next up…

Pretzel Sandwich

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My friend was inspired by a pretzel sandwich that Bennigan’s used to offer—and suggested we recreate it after taking note of my newfound obsession with Publix pretzel rods.

If you could only grasp my amor of pretzels, you’d understand how I fell in love with this masterpiece.

This is quite possibly the only eating premise under which I equally enjoyed the outards and innards. I never want to eat a sandwich on regular bread again.

Since I know you want to see the innards…

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One soft baked pretzel was baked with salt, pepper, seasoned salt and garlic. The other was baked with a layer of cream cheese and the same seasonings. After four minutes, layers of honey maple turkey, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapeno havarti cheese were added to each side and baked for another two minutes. Final addition was stone dijon mustard.

I really don’t have any words.

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Just a final plea: If you love pretzels and sandwiches, por favor make this!

Again, lo siento for the lack of a recap. And otro lo siento for this abnormally late post; delay brought to you by the hot ‘n cold WLW.

I’m off to make a dent in my Publix pretzel stash.

Hasta mañana,

Sarah

The Girl Who Couldn’t Get Full

¡Feliz martes! ¡Sólo tres días más hasta el fin de semana!

(Lección de español: The above sentence means “Only three more days ‘til the weekend!” Pretty boring en ingles, if you ask me…)

I know we’re not halfway through the week yet—but I’m trying to be positiva :) .

Lunes began on a positive, pumpkin note.

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Mama Pea’s pumpkin spice latte, con extra pumpkin spice.

For breakfast, I re-created an oat bowl that a pretty, pretty peanut butter princesa concocted months ago: Flipz Oat Bran.

Fun fact: I used to be head over heels for yogurt-covered pretzels—so much so that, on my 19th birthday, a friend decided to buy me a 5-lb bag of them. What seemed like a never-ending yogurt pretzel stash dwindled embarrassingly quickly. And I’m pretty sure I ODed because I just haven’t loved them the same way since. For the past few years, I’ve replaced my yogurt pretzel addiction with an equally delicious chocolate pretzel addiction. I secretly suspect that yogurt pretzels are still my numero uno; my taste buds just need to miss them long enough to crave a comeback. In the meantime, I’m all about the chocolate-covered goods.

And so, I flipped when I first read of this oat bran brilliance, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make it.

PB&Jenny-Plagiarized Flipz Oat Bran

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1/3 cup oat bran cooked in 1 cup water and 1/2 banana; topped with a trifecta of Truvia, Chocolate Better ‘N PB and honey wheat pretzels.

You can go two routes when consuming this prodigious pretzely oat bowl: (1) Keep it neat, and enjoy perfectly concocted sugary/chocolatey/pretzely bites or (2) throw aesthetic concern to the wind, make a mess and let the magic forces meld.

I chose door numero dos.

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This was amazing. The pretzels got wonderfully soggy—which is always a good thing if you’re weird like me and love soggy textures. Seriously, I let my cereal “marinate” for a few minutes because I either like it dry—with no milk—or super leche-soaked. Soggy = mejor in my libro.

Speaking of letting cereal marinate… when I got snacky pre-lunchtime, I chopped up a manzana monster…

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…and made fruit cereal.

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Giant honeycrisp + almond milk + pom arils + Truvia + flax + cinnamon = AMOR.

It went in the fridge to marinate in the almond glory for about 10 minutes, and then, like every time I taste this simple wonder, I oooooh and aaaaaaaah and try to remember what life was like before fruit cereal…

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I can’t recall, but I bet my days were comparatively tragic.

When lunch rolled around, I made the executive decision to go Greek.

I’ve been wanting to re-create the Greek wonder I made for la hermana on Sunday ever since I sent her off with it (read: seriously considered “forgetting” to bring it out to her car…)

So I busted out my newest Sabra goodie and got to work on a giant Greek wrap.

Giant is a key word here because—despite a double breakfast, of sorts, I was starving. Just one of those days, I suppose.

As usual, here’s an innards shot since my wraps are always too stuffed to stay closed.

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Don’t believe me?

Here’s an action shot of my possessed wrap opening on its own…

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This tzatziki sauce is incredible; I’ve been dipping everything in it.

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Along with tzatziki, into the whole wheat wrap also went: laughing cow, hummus, spinach, hummus-coated baked chicken, roasted red peppers, oil-cured black olives, onions and cucumbers.

And I wonder why my wraps don’t close…

I prepped a little too mucho Greek stuffing for even an un-closeable wrap, so I threw the extra innards onto a bed of spinach for a side Greek ensalada.

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It wasn’t so much a side as it was a legitimate salad that I’d usually eat for dinner. But greens are bueno, so I let it slide.

So, funny story… Despite a double breakfast and a double lunch, I was ravenous come dinner. And since all this double action wasn’t cutting it for my ridiculous appetite yesterday, I decided to make dinner a triple.

First up were some cheetahs.

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About 1/4 of which went into course numero dos:

C-Cubed (Cream Cheese Cheetah) Wrap

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Whole wheat wrap with Laughing Cow wedge, 1/4 medium sweet potato (cheetahfied) and honey mustard.

Ohmygod. Best. Combo. Ever. I’ve got a feeling; this is going to become a staple.

Third and final dinner component: Sopa

I dug into the generous soup stash Dr. McDougall’s sent me last week.

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They also sent some instant soups—which I’m saving for those inevitable just add hot water crunches—along with an amazing Crate and Barrel place setting.

Here’s the bowl; unpictured is a place mat and napkin/napkin ring. I adore it all, but I’m really obsessed with this bowl.IMG_2445

BIG BOWLS ARE THE BEST.

This one is so perfect because it can fit the entire carton of soup (a double serving); and when I eat canned/carton soup—especially on B.P.D.s like yesterday—I almost always eat the whole thing.

This is a habit I fostered in college when canned soups were often meals. I lived on Amy’s Alphabet.

Last night, I opted for the Vegetable Soup. Not because I wanted it the most; the soups that look the most appealing of the bunch are definitely the split pea, lentil and black bean. But, because I have this weird save-the-best-for-last O.C.D. tendency, I went for the veggie soup. I had three cartons of those, and only one of all the other varieties. I know, I’m weird.

Anyway, this tactic backfired (not actually, since I still have two more boxes) because I LOVED the vegetable soup!

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It was so packed with veggies, potatoes, lentils and rice. I feel like vegetable soups usually lag in the starch department—particularly the lighter versions—but this had all of the good stuff in excess. Me gusta.

Another example of my save-the-best-for-last tendency: When eating brothy soups, I always eat all of the broth first and save the solids to eat at the end. Great tactic for this sopa because it was like eating an amazing veggie stew toward the end.

I was SO FULL after.

For about an hour.

Again, it was one of those days.

Nothing a bag of Kettle Corn + cinnamon couldn’t fix.

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I am SO FELIZ to have this back in my life.

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Gracias, gracias, gracias for this gift, hermana.

Before I go, I want to let you all know that I’ll be M.I.A. from blogland ‘til Monday. I booked a very last minute trip to Florida, y mañana I’m off! I won’t have my computer conmigo so lo siento for my absence. My Reader is going to be fuuuuuuuun to open on Monday…

Mucho amor,

Sarah

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