Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February Fun

We went live with our new charting system at work and it went pretty well considering all the things that could have gone wrong. Yesterday was one week in and I think we're starting to get into the swing of things.
My parents left to visit my sister for the week which meant that I broke out my panini press, and my mobile pinterest app for operation Kitchen Takeover!

I combined elements of several different recipes for my first experiment...
I don't know what to call this one. It has no name as yet but I made sure that I wrote down all the ingredients because it was a very successful experiment.

Into this large bowl I added the following goodies:
-baby spinach
-black beans
-garbanzo beans
-1 chopped roma tomato
-green and orange bell peppers
-cooked quinoa
-toasted almonds
-basalmic vinegar
-juice from 1 lime

To be honest I was a bit iffy. It was very colorful and pretty but I wasn't sure if the flavors were going to compliment each other. Of course, I sat down with a bowl and some toasted rosemary/garlic bread on top to try it out anyway. It turned out to be really great. I also topped it with a dollop of hummus and crumbled feta cheese.

Obviously there was way too much in that bowl for one meal for one person so I took it to work for lunch the next day and share with my lovely friends and coworkers, Ashley and Zaúl. 

Next follows a string of paninis. I like paninis but I just don't like the ones I make as much as the ones I've ordered at restaurants. I can't figure it out. Ashley and I decided that maybe I should get a job at Panera, infiltrate their panini making process and steal their grilling secrets. Don't laugh, I haven't completely ruled it out as an option. :)

I love being able to throw together leftover stuff from the fridge to make something new. I'm not a leftover fan but that's only if you've reheated exactly what you had 2 nights ago to make the same meal. When you make it into something new, it doesn't really feel like leftovers anymore.

 So, I made this salad with the leftover quinoa, and the last of the garbanzo beans and fried an egg to top it off. Then, I realized that I had no good salad dressings to top it off. What to do?! Oh I know... put some hummus on it. Hummus solves everything! ;)

I don't remember what night of my kitchen rule this panini came to fruition. When you make this many in one week's time, they all start getting a little blurred together. Oh well, more "leftovers" A quick baby green salad and the last of the quinoa. Simple, and fast. 

On Friday Ashley and I finally did what we had been threatening to do for about 3 weeks now. We got together to be productive. Since she's a super overachiever, all of her applications are mailed and submitted. Mine on the other hand... well suffice it to say that she studied and I poured over pages of internship stuff.
The best part was that it was raining outside so we had this study/application date at my house in our cozy clothes. Then we made lunch... paninis. =D One of the excellent oranges from Mom and Dad's tree and a bowl of soup topped it off nicely.

After my "date" with Ashley, I got ready for dinner with the lovely and talented Tianne. She's back in the area for the month which is so great! We had made plans to go to a Tapas Bar that featured flamenco dancers but when we arrived, the wait was close to an hour and I had to be up at 3 for work. So we walked around and found "Louise's Trattoria" in old town Pasadena.
You will have to forgive these horribly grainy pictures. My phone can take excellent pictures but it isn't exactly the best option for low light in a restaurant. =/

I ordered this the Montecito Green salad: Baby field greens, roasted tomatoes, beets, goat cheese, caramelized walnuts, with balsamic vinaigrette.

Tianne ordered Eggplant parmigiana. Then we split our two meals and tasted both. For the first time in my life, we had to send a meal back to the kitchen. The eggplant had just been set on the table and it was warm at best. More cold than anything. =/
Once it was heated up it was pretty good. The salad was excellent!

Then we treated ourselves to Creme Brulee which I believe is a first for me also. There wasn't much top to crack and they didn't caramelize it at the table like some restaurants do but it was very delectable. It's definitely something I'll order as dessert if given the option again.

I've been meaning to get new running shoes for a while and this week I finally did it!

After I got them home I was a little iffy on the color and the shape but.. I decided to keep them. Then I had to break them in so I got the crazy idea to run bleachers... ugh! I use to do those all the time in High School! What happened? Oh right! 7-8 years is plenty of time to get out of shape. 

Then, like a crazy person, that same night Ashley and I planned to take a hike the following morning. We were both not so thrilled with our idea at 7 the next morning. But... we did it anyway. Go us! Another friend and coworker, Kim, joined us as well.

Here we are at the finish. Don't let that flat ground fool you. This is a good 5 mile loop that is uphill most of the way.

Shame on me but I didn't have breakfast. Thankfully, Ashley had enough forethought to bring us cuties. This one was particularly excellent! :)

And now... we are officially caught up to present day. Woohoo!

Also, I'm super late getting ready for work so I better hit the road. See you soon!

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