What’s in Season Now: August

I realize that I always say one of the best ways to save money at the farmers market is to buy what is in season but I never blog about what is in season or what I’m buying. I thought I would take you WITH me to the beautiful, epic Santa Monica Farmers Market for a little peek at what is in season now.

Peaches

Eggplant – When I saw eggplant a few weeks ago I let out a squeal of delight. I LOVE eggplant and please note that there are about 5 varieties at this booth alone.

Heirloom Tomatoes – Both minis and full size perfect for Grilled Heirloom Tomatoes

Peppers

Bunches of herbs – Actually these are pretty much available year round, $1 for a bunch!

Summer Squash – Again, squeals of glee when I spotted these a few weeks ago! I’ve been using them in this risotto recipe to make summer risotto.

Papaya Melon – Like honeydew but 100% better! Sweet and mild, this is what I use in my Prosciutto Melon Salad.

Carrots – Normally I associate these with Fall, they are so good when honey roasted.

Ginormous ArtichokesGrilled artichokes are good but I need to find other recipes.

BerriesSo summer.

What are you loving at the farmers market right now?

Advertisements

In it to win it

Hey blog peeps! Sorry it’s been a while since I posted but as you can imagine it has been a bit of a whirlwind around here since Tuesday. Thanks for the predictions on my coffee consumption. LCCMOM has the highest guess, which I suppose is telling since I can pretty much give her credit for my addiction habit. I owe you a post about the She Run’s LA after party and I was going to do it yesterday. Let’s just say I went into yoga with a plan for the night, as I was getting into my meditation there was chanting of “USA” outside the window of the studio on the Promenade and when I emerged from yoga the world was a different place. I had intended to post but I went home and was glued to the news. She Runs LA after party post will be happening, eventually.

Saturday I took a final (I kinda rocked it, no biggie) and I’ve been spending most of my time since then studying, tempered with some nice breaks. Like today! I spent 6 hours in the library so I took a study break for a walk on the beach. This probably the best study break I’ve taken in the past 2 years. In all I covered 2.5 miles in the sand which counted as my workout today.


Another achievement? I ran 24 miles last week which is a high for me and also the first time I’ve run more miles than my age! I capped the week off with a 10 miler on Saturday and boy did my legs feel it yesterday. I also went pretty hard in yoga last night. I kinda rocked my back bend which was awesome! My body was tired today so I let myself rest up a little bit. I’ve also done a good job of not rewarding myself at Susie Cakes and/or Tavern and/or Huckleberry every day for being focused while studying. This is good for me. I can reward myself with healthy things like time on the beach, rather than the intoxicating smell of Susie Cakes.

However, the trifecta of winning really happened when I came home and made an EPIC dinner totally on the fly: Seared Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, Dill Aioli, sautéed Summer Squash, and Wheat Bulger with Scallions. Oh yes, it was epic! I promise, it was ridiculously quick and easy to make too!

I started with 1 tbsp. of EVO in a pot with ¾ cup wheat Bulger (which is like a cousin of couscous and quinoa). I put the heat on low and made sure the Bulger was coated in the oil. Then I added 1 and 1/8 cup of water, raised the heat to a boil and then reduced the heat and let it cook for 15 mins.

Next, I heated 1 tbsp of EVO in a pan with med/high heat. While it heated up I patted the salmon dry and salted and peppered each side. Then I placed the salmon in the hot pan and seared it on each side for about 3 mins, or until the inside of the salmon was light and flakey.

Once the salmon is done keep everything in the pan and sauté the summer squash for about 5 mins, until cooked through. I used two mini summer squashes which made their first appearance at the FM this week!

Check on the bulger. Once it is done cooking (it will be like couscous or quinoa) fluff and add one sliced scallion.

Finally, make the aioli. For the aioli I used a spoonful of veganaise (because I like it better than mayo, true story), squeezed lemon, chopped fresh dill and a little bit of garlic spread. I didn’t measure it out; I just eyeballed it because that’s how I roll.

For something I made totally on the fly, this was pretty tasty. I got the seared salmon and bulger idea from a random back issue of Everyday Food but I came up with the aioli on my own! This meal was very filling and I am glad I added the baby squash. It was their first week at the farmers market and they were so tiny and adorable I knew I had to buy some! The best part of this dish was that, besides being filling and healthy, it only took about 20 mins to throw together. If you start with the bulger and then do the salmon while the bulger cooks you can do it in 20 mins. Also, minimal chopping was involved with the meal.

Let’s just say that between my first final, my running mileage and this insane meal, I’m in it to win it 🙂

What are you winning right now? It’s important to recognize our achievements, right!?

Santa Monica to Venice Christmas Run

Today I learned a couple of lessons about preparing for races and I set a new 5k PR.

Backing up. I woke up this morning at 7 am which was a nice wake up call for a race! Normally I’m up at 5 or 6 am on race morning. I was thankful for the extra 2 hours. I was thirsty when I woke up. I went out last night and had a drink. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem (I mean, I had wine the night before my half!)  but I woke up so thirsty. I downed a glass of water and felt full so I stopped drinking water, had peanut butter toast and a enough coffee to wake myself up (muhahahaha, I’m not telling you how much that is).

Lesson #1: Make sure you are properly hydrated. Instead of that fantastic St. Germain cocktail, order a water. Or chase it with several glasses of water. Normally for every glass of booze I order I get at least one glass of water. This didn’t happen last night.

go number 3289!

I got in the car and drove to Santa Monica with plenty of time. I wanted to save parking money and warm up my legs so I parked at Santa Monica Place and walked the mile and a half. I had plenty of time and felt totally relaxed. I brought a bottle of water and I meant to drink it but I forgot that it was in my bag. I got to the start line and started to look for the bag drop.

Lesson #2: Check to make sure there is a bag drop.

Yep. There wasn’t one. This lead to panic. The race organizer just looked at me blankly when I asked what I should do. Not helpful. I was also trying to find Kaitlin and Amanda and I just wasn’t seeing them which frazzled me. Then I figured out that I could stash my bag with the Primetime Timing people. Thank god. Remember that if you’re ever in a race day bind.

I finally caught up with Kaitlin. I felt all thrown off by the bag drama. I didn’t have a second snack and I didn’t have the water I brought. Yep. I only had one glass of water before the race. Poor choice.

Because I really wanted to PR I went towards the front of the line. I was next to a 60 year old man in swimming shorts, no top, and he had an Ironman tattoo. He looked hardcore. It was a lot for my mind to process in the accelerated state it was in.

The gun went off and the race started. The course went into Venice and back to Santa Monica on the board walk. The marine layer was pretty thick today but the sun peaked through. I cruised for the first mile and a half. My feet and legs felt awesome on the mostly flat course (after Malibu its going to take some serious hills to throw me). Since I wanted to PR I pushed myself for the first mile and a half. Around mile 2 the course turned back towards Santa Monica and we ran back along the boardwalk.

If you know anything about Venice, you know its a great place for people watching, which kept me entertained along the boardwalk. I needed it! After mile two I started to feel tired. I was super thirsty and hungry (probably because I was thirsty) and I felt winded. I was kicking myself for freaking out before and forgetting to hydrate. I walked through a water station.

Lesson #3: A 5k is really hard

During the last mile, while watching the surfers, people pumping iron at muscle beach, randoms eating breakfast, and smelling the smoke pouring out of the “medical dispensary” (for real, you can just tell you’re in Venice by the smell) I thought about how hard a 5k is. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone can train for and run a 5k but it is much different than the distance running I’ve been doing. During a 5k I’m compelled to run as fast as possible unlike the half where the goal was just to finish. I have major respect for anyone who runs a 5k.

Before I knew I saw the blessed mile 3 sign and my reflective moment ended. I sprinted to the finish. I finished the 5k in 25:25, with an average pace of 8:10 setting a new PR!

Part of me really wanted to break 25 min. but, overall, I am very happy with my time. After grabbing water I went back and watched Kaitlin and Amanda finish their races strong! It was Kaitlin’s birthday and she wrote “its my birthday” on her shirt. Someone even sang to her while she was running. Best idea ever, kicking off your birthday with a race. There were some adorable dogs running including a dog wearing antlers, a golden, and another probably 60 lb dog being carried that last .1 mile by their owner!

After the race we headed back to Santa Monica for breakfast. I had steel cut oats.

There might have been some hash browns and an iced coffee too. And by might, I mean there were.

After breakfast I said goodbye to everyone and headed home. My foot felt a little twinge so I iced it on a bottle of gin and took it easy.

Here is the playlist that I listened to (I finished during the Peas).

Overall my 5th race was great! It felt great to run and to PR. I am definitely hooked on racing and cannot wait to run the next one.

The Godmother

Today and Yesterday have been busy days.

Yesterday I tried to go to yoga. Twice. It just wasn’t my day.

The first time I tried to go to yoga I drove around a parking lot that insisted it had 15 available spots. Yeah. It didn’t. So I went to Panera and studied until the next class.

I got to the second class but the teacher didn’t. At that point I surrendered and went home.

Today was much better though! Not only did I feel good about the studying I had a good day.

I meet up with Kelly for a study break lunch at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. Bay Cities has 1300 reviews on Yelp and 4.5 stars, does it get any more stellar?

Bay Cities is an Italian deli and shop. They have great sandwiches, bread, pastas, cheese, and olive oil selection. You place your order at the deli counter and then eat outside on the patio.

Check out the garlic in the bottom right corner! We wandered the aisles.. there were so many truffle oils, I will need to go back. The cheese selection was good (holy giant mozzarella) and not too pricey. Next time I need specialty items I know where I’m headed!

We both ordered the signature sandwich, the Godmother, with the works. I mean, the name of the sandwich is etched in the window of the store (see below). How could I not order it?

The counter was pretty busy but we got through pretty fast. We picked out sodas (diet A&W!) and headed outside to enjoy.

I’m not sure what all was on “the works” version of the Godmother, but I can tell you that the bread is freshly baked. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are tons of meats in this sandwich and provolone cheese.

Yep, it really was “the works”. I only ate half the sandwich for lunch and I ate the other half for dinner tonight. This was a good sandwich. I think it was the bread that really made it special. Also the meat to cheese to topping ratio was perfect. Sometimes you get a sandwich and there is too much meat but this was just right!

After dropping Kelly off I found a metered parking spot with 40 mins left two blocks from Huckleberry. It would be wrong not to drop in! Right? Right? I grabbed a lemon bar which I ate after dinner.

I love lemon bars and this one did not let me down. It was a little tart but more sweet. There was lemon zest in the bar which was actually pretty good.

The lemon part was light and sugary. So delicious. Huckleberry is always a win.

After lunch I studied more and got my hair cut! I really, really needed it. I am totally that girl who walks into the salon and says “do whatever you want”. I’ve had super long hair, to a pixie cut and tons of styles in between. However, I made an executive decision: time to grow out my bangs.  I have had bangs in one iteration or another since 2007. It was time for a change.

If kinda reminded me of someone I idolize hair…

Source

Yep, I’m a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Its true.

Day 3 of Finals

Cookies consumed: 1

YouTube Video’s watched: 5 (here, here, here, here)

Bagels consumed: 2

Finals taken: 0

Day One

Today was the first day of reading period. I have a love hate relationship with the first day of finals. Last year Izzy almost choked to death on her food. Last Spring I was worried about getting all my work done on time. I am happy to report that today was nothing but productive! This is the first time I’ve had a car during finals and I have to say, it feels really good to get out of Westwood when studying.

First I went to Panera for a bagel breakfast. Note, the reading you see is maybe half of my Critical Race Theory reading. No kidding.

Oy. Discovery of the day: Panera started listing calories! I felt good about this everything bagel at 300 calories (I also ate an apple). I was horrified by the counts though. I used to, well, binge at Panera. Is binge the right word for consuming 1500 calories? I think so.

Oh well, that’s over now. Moving on.

I was super productive at Panera. I worked diligently and didn’t even listen to music. I took minimal facebook, email, twitter breaks and didn’t watch any Youtube videos. Who am I?! I worked from 9:30 until noon.

Around noon I realized that I needed a break. I drove and parked at the Santa Monica Library and walked to Real Food Daily. The last time I went to RFD was for a blogger meet up and I knew I wanted to go back. Today was the perfect chance! I got a small plate because I had other snacks packed (like a Z Bar). I choose the BLT Tartine.

Look at that avocado! Love!

The sandwich has vegannaise which is totally better than mayonnaise, at least in my opinion. This was an excellent lunch pick me up. Next time I go to RFD I’ll make sure to say hey to Katie who gets to work there! Can you even imagine all the amazing food? Must be the best job ever.

After I ate I ambled back to the Santa Monica Library for more work. I was very, very productive. On the way home I picked this little guy up from Susie Cakes…

He was yummy. Then I went on a 4 mile run which was good but kind of cold. I need to work out a system for when its under 60 degrees and I go running.

Dinner was grilled salmon with salt, pepper, EVO, thyme and cumin (random I know). But it turned out pretty fantastic! I also had roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potato fries.

Side dishes!

The sweet potatoes were left in a little too long but you know, it happens.The Salmon was DELISH and took a short amount of time to cook. I have leftovers and I cannot wait to dig into them tomorrow!

Now I am watching Glee and Biggest Loser. If Ada doesn’t make it to the final 4 I am going to go insane! Hope everyone had a productive day!

Finals: Day 1

Cookies Consumed: 1

YouTube Videos watched: 1 (thanks to vivi. It can be viewed here)