Congratulations to myself!

Look at this big hulking camera! I LOVE IT!!! It’s a gift to myself. Just charged the battery last night and I’ll test it out today.

Graduation Gift

Oh, and after all that load of crockery on choosing healthy foods, I had Five Guys for lunch yesterday. It was delicious! I love their fries!

Core Competency: Eating

While we’re thinking about eating during this holiday season, I’m going to share some wisdom I’ve picked up from my years of experience as an eater.
1. Pace yourself. Slowing down helps you digest easier. It also gives your brain some time to register when you’re full. There are a few ways to help slow down eating. There’s the thinking method. Think about the food you consume, engage all your senses, thoroughly masticate, blah blah. That’s too much thinking when all I’m having is a PB&J. Really, whatever works to keep you from inhaling your food is fine. The entertainment method works great. Sometimes, watching TV or reading while eating distracts me and slows me down. Socializing works too. At a restaurant, conversation helps slow me down (unless I’m hungry, in which case, you talk, I eat). Be careful when you find yourself picking at the food towards the end though. I can’t help myself sometimes but that’s really the cue to stop.

2. Don’t overeat. Ha! Good luck with this one. This is the toughest one for me as a food lover and a member of the Clean Plate Club. Because kids in developing countries are starving, I’d better have that last strip of bacon.

3. Eat in smaller portions. Following this tip will help out with #2, especially if you are a CPC member too. I’m surprised sometimes by how quickly I feel full even when I’m Bring-Me-A-Cow-STARVING!! The trick is to fill your plate with less food and go back for round two, three, four, etc. I find that I think about what I really want to eat when I pause between helpings.

4. Walk. This helps me digest. Sit down when you eat, but walk afterwards. Or at the very least, stand up for a few seconds before collapsing on the couch.

5. Be picky about what you put in your body. Not saying don’t have anything “bad” for you. Just try to eat healthy. Plant matter – good. Processed foods – not-so-good (except for Cheez-its – gawd those are good, especially the BIG ones). Overall, I think it keeps you kicking longer so you have more opportunities to eat.

Eventide

Eventide is a relatively new restaurant located in Arlington, right outside the Clarendon metro station. It made it to this year’s WashPost Fall Dining Guide, which means it’s supposed to be pretty darned good – but, I’ll be the judge of that. Seitsema cares about ambiance and service and all the little perks of dining out beyond just the food. Me? I’m all about the food. Everything else is a nice-to-have. I’m the kinda person who’d kowtow to the Soup Nazi if it’s really that good.

We started with an amuse of this small ball of curry chickpea in a horseradish sauce. I’m probably mangling the description. It could’ve been bunny liver for all I know. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

Eventide Of the three dishes ordered, the octopus escabeche was the most memorable. It was grilled marinated octopus on a plate of pickled olives, cauliflower, peppers, and mashed chickpeas served part warm (chickpeas and octopus), part cold (the vegetables). I enjoyed the crunch of the pickled vegetables.

Eventide Expecting a generous enough portion size, we decided to share an entree: Arugula, Shiitake Mushroom and Lemon Risotto. They kindly brought it to us in two plates. The aftertaste of each mouthful was a lemony creamy nuttiness. Hmm, maybe this was my favorite dish. There were also roasted and pickled baby beets and root vegetables and pea tendrils. A great vegetarian option.

Even though I couldn’t finish my half of the risotto, somehow I managed to find room for dessert. Whaat?!? There’s always room for Pumpkin Bread Pudding!
Eventide Cinnamony goodness. It’s topped with a thin pumpkin seed brittle.

A very enjoyable meal. Besides the food, it has a romantic ambiance – beautiful fancy chandeliers paired with an industrial-feeling brick wall. Boring bathroom. Attentive and knowledgeable staff with no hovering. I would come back but there are too many other places to try. I would recommend this place if you’re in the area regularly. I don’t know if I’d tell someone to make a special trip out just for this. Tallula may be worthy of a special trip though. I wish I had taken pictures at (Tallula)EatBar. I will be going back there.

The Farm

These past couple of weeks, I’ve been engrossed in reading! Yeah, not really. Unless you count 10 pages of Freakonomics. It’s a great book; very easy to read because it’s written in a conversational tone. But no, I’ve been distracted lately – by the farm in FarmVille. It consumes more time than I’d like and yet I’m drawn to it night after night. Must hurry home to harvest the artichokes before they wither!! In my loserish manner, I even created a spreadsheet to track which plants yield the most ROI, experience points, considering the amount of time they take to mature. I’ve scheduled my life around the harvest.

Meatless Saturday

After my eye exam this morning, I wandered to the grocery store to get some chips and pretzals to satisfy my crunchy junk food craving.  Then I went home and stared at the walls, watched my fingernails grow, and waited for the minutes to pass.  Suddenly, I have all this free time.
Baby bella
Tonight, I made a vegetarian dinner which consisted of:

  • Baby bellas sauteed in a garlic pepper sauce
  • Cauliflower and tomatoes cooked with paprika and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Sesame seaweed salad

I need to plan my weekends better.

Yoga

On the phone with my sister a while back, she told me she was heading to yoga class with her pal. I scoffed. Yoga is for pansies. You won’t even break a sweat. The first time I ever did it, my arms buckled on downward dog. My legs could not bear my weight with all that lunging and holding in crazy contorted positions. Isometric exercising is no joke. Three months later, I’m still wobbly, but it’s so calming and challenging, I keep going back. I rescind my pooh-poohing of yoga. I break a sweat.

Seaweed salad

Seaweed Salad
This salad is very easy to make.

  1. Soak dried seaweed – be careful you don’t soak too much. It grows when rehydrated.
  2. Boil it for a minute, if that long.
  3. Strain it and put it over chopped scallions so the heat semi-cooks them and takes the edge off the onion.
  4. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seed oil and sesame seeds.
  5. Pour it over the seaweed and toss. And done!

Seaweed Salad

Milestone Tracking: Life After School

Last night was the first night of coming home from work and not having to think about any school work. Now that I have all this free time, let’s see how I fill it. I get the feeling it’ll be 95% putzing around the house (which I executed beautifully last night) and 5% reading. I ended up reading 5 pages of Freakonomics (very entertaining and amusing) and then falling asleep by 10. I now have three unfinished books by my bed.

Mild Winter?

According to the very accurate and scientific Old Farmer’s Almanac, the brown band on the woolly bear caterpillar can predict how severe and long the coming Winter will be. The longer the brown band, the shorter and milder the Winter.
My violent streak
This Winter better be nice and easy or the caterpillar gets it!