WIAW #94

Good Morning! I’m linking up with the WIAW friends for a weekly catchup once again. I made a quick overnight trip down to New York City on Friday…I wanted to get back to Boston before the storm came on Sunday. I heard about a bus company with cheap fares and ended up booking a ticket for a good deal. The bus worked out pretty well…the only minor issue was on the arriving bus the driver seemed to feel that driving a huge bus downtown through the Upper West Side…specifically Columbus Ave!!! Sheesh! Overall though it  was an efficient way to make the trip down I was able to accomplish most of what I had hoped to on this short trip.

I wish I could say this getaway was 100% purely for vacation purposes but it was not. I haven’t mentioned but my current job contract ends in June and I’m starting soon to look for my next one. I’m hoping to stay on the East Coast at least and avoid a huge geographical move. I’m not looking at New York exclusively but just starting with some locations close by first. I spent some time looking at prospective neighborhoods and apartments based on some possible hospitals. Once a contract is posted there is often a small window to decide and I like to have a grasp on some logistical things before hand. I took a break though and enjoyed the gorgeous weather on Friday afternoon
IMG_3508The forecast called for rain storms both days so I dressed warm and while it did rain and was cooler on Saturday it was breezy and 75 on Friday. Please excuse my terrible wind blown hair. I’m experimenting with growing my hair out and somedays it is hard to manage!
IMG_3509The flowers were delightful to see in the neighborhoods and looked so bright and cheery!
IMG_3506I even made a quick stop at Macy’s and saw their annual flower displays depicting regions of the US. The entire first level had huge displays of real flowers. I didn’t stay long as I needed only stopped by to try on a pair of jeans that had been out of stock in other stores. Unfortunately I wasn’t thrilled with the fit so left empty-handed.
IMG_3504Dinner on Friday night was at Bareburger. I had it on my list of a place to come back to. I tried Elk for the first time and really liked it. I ended up being there while their happy hour drinks were on special and this Brooklyn brewed beer was just $5.
IMG_3519On Friday night I went and saw Bright Star. It just opened and has gotten rave reviews. Steve Martin created the North Carolina bluegrass musical and I thought it was fantastic. I would highly recommend it. The story of the musical had me hooked and the musical and signing was superb. As soon as I arrived on Friday afternoon I headed to the theatre in hopes of getting a $30 rush ticket to the show. I lucked out with nabbing one to the Friday night show.
IMG_3524Saturday morning I got a relaxing slow start at the hotel. I was actually able to sleep in a little bit longer than usual which was nice. I snacked on the this blood orange I picked up the day before as I got ready to leave
IMG_3526I took the short subway ride downtown to Oatmeals for breakfast. I’d been looking forward to a bowl of their deliciousness and it did not disappoint. It was rainy so I had some mint tea to warm up
IMG_0189I headed over to Brooklyn to briefly get an idea of a neighborhood over there that I was looking at. I made a detour and checked out Haymaker’s Corner Store which is a vegan store that I’d read about. I didn’t buy anything but they had an interesting assortment of products. There was a mixture of small and name brand companies. Not much really caught my eye but it was interesting to see.

I headed back to Manhattan and after a couple stops in the SoHo area I headed uptown for lunch. I made my way to Peacefood and enjoyed this tahini sprout sandwich which I had last time I was there. It was just as I remembered and made for a great quick lunch. I also got a chocolate chip cookie as I was leaving and ate it as I walked though some more areas.
IMG_3530I ended up walking from near 85th to around Columbus Circle and covered a lot of ground. I ended up running short on time of getting back to my hotel and checking out and heading to the bus. I stopped by Whole Foods to grab some baby carrots to eat on the bus. After checking out I headed to the Midtown location of Beyond Sushi which was near my hotel to grab some takeout to eat on the bus. I’d seen others mention this vegan sushi restaurant and wanted to check it out. I got a little assortment and it was very good. Not heavy on the rice as some rolls and sushi can be and was made fresh to order. It was quick and they were great with omitting some ingredients. I was starving after all the walking and I’ll defiantly check them out the next time I’m back.
IMG_3536Well that’s all from my quick trip to New York. I hope you all had a great weekend and didn’t any storms or rain and snow that we got here in the North East. It was snowing and freezing cold here but hopefully it looks like milder temperatures are on the horizon. Fingers Crossed!

Have you ever been to NYC?
If you’ve lived in the New York area and have any neighborhood or town recommendations I’m all ears!
Anyone else dislike jean shopping? I really need some new jeans and finding a new brand and style is so draining!
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in Travel, WIAW | 7 Comments

WIAW #93

Happy WIAW once again friends! Can’t believe it is March 30th today. I was out walking around Back Bay in Boston on Saturday and ended up walking past the finish line of the Marathon where this sign was posted
IMG_3492It was quite cool and windy and the area was packed as there was a huge Anime convention happening with people in costumes everywhere. I hurried to the train station and then home to warm up and escape the madness and crowds!

I picked up this package of Blackberries again at Costco the other day and they were really good. No duds or rotten ones in the bunch.
IMG_3497 2Had some for breakfast when my standby walnut and flax oatmeal. I over judged the water amount the ground flax always thickens it up nicely when that happens. I’ve been seeing hemp seeds everywhere and have wondered about them. Have you tried them? Do they thicken like ground flax? I tried chia seeds but wasn’t a fan as I couldn’t get them to thicken quickly and they always seemed to get stuck in my teeth 🙂

I headed out for a walk and to do some shopping. I am really liking the older style to Boston and the brownstone style buildings. So much character in this city….even the street lamps in the photo. I wanted to find some jeans but gave up after trying a couple stores with unfriendly and not helpful staff. I did get a pair of pants at Lululemon. I had tried them on a while ago but just couldn’t justify the regular price. I noticed they went on sale online drastically so I stopped in to try them on again. The store ended up having the style and color I wanted so I took it as a sign and picked them up!
IMG_3487Lunch was this meal basically but 2x the berries and  instead of the orange I had a mug of hot lemon tea. I forgot to snap a photo as I was trying to quickly warm up 🙂
IMG_3473I mentioned last week about picking up a jar of nutritional yeast. I have tried it and am definitely a fan. I am convinced that the other jar I had may have been old or spoiled as this one tastes much better. I stored the last jar in the refrigerator as the jar said but have been keeping this one in the cupboard. Any tips on storage would be great! I have been adding it to most dinners and especially liking it mixed with tomato sauce. After getting home late the other day from work I threw a potato in the oven and after showering and changing it was ready. I browned a turkey sausage and mixed the yeast and sauce together. It was really good despite looking not very appealing!
IMG_3477I wanted something warm tonight so I thawed a pack of Shrimp from Sizzlefish that I recently ordered when they had a sale. While the pasta cooked I warmed the sauce and cooked the shrimp simply with some pepper. They cooked so quickly which is a huge plus for rushed nights.
IMG_3484I then topped the pasta with tomato sauce and a spoonful of nutritional yeast and topped it with the diced shrimp. It was fantastic!
IMG_3485Some popcorn to end the day along with a fig bar. I was browsing on Pinterest and noticed people raving about amish popcorn kernels from Indiana. Wondering if they are really worth trying. I see Amazon sells them but just unsure whether they are that unique. Have you tried them?
IMG_3498

Well that’s a wrap on my week. I am considering taking a quick getaway out of town this weekend if I can find a deal!

Hope you had a great Easter weekend. Do you have any plans for this weekend?

Have a great week!
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in WIAW | 2 Comments

WIAW #92

Happy WIAW Friends! Hope you all had a great weekend with wonderful spring weather. In the Northeast however we were prepping for the big storm on Sunday. It ended up snowing a lot less than the 10-12” that were predicted. I still took advantage of the cold and snow and stay bundled up inside and relaxed on the couch with Netflix and a blanket. Didn’t feel like venturing out 🙂 Conveniently it was a scheduled day off work so I was able to be at home. I ended up having a super busy Saturday doing a lot of the errands I had planed to do today.
IMG_3471Since mentioning last week my find of the almond based ‘cream cheese’ I have been eating it daily. It is so good. I’m hooked! I’ll have some by the spoonful with a dab of jam. So good. This morning I decided to toast some bread and have it for breakfast. Costco had these great looking blackberries that I picked up on Saturday. They have been delicious and taste like they are summer picked. I had a small bowl of them with an orange.
IMG_3473I spent the morning browsing Pinterest and watching The Barkley Marathon on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. It was really interesting to see runners and athletes from all different backgrounds with neat stories. Plus Tennessee is now a place I want to visit! It looks beautiful!
Lunch was a repeat of lunch with the last of the blackberries instead of the orange. So good. On work days I have no refrigerator access so I end up eating peanut butter sandwiches due to the portability factor. Having toast or hot lunch seems like a treat!
IMG_3467I finished the last two episodes of the latest season of House of Cards in the afternoon and then after my tiring day took an afternoon nap! Sometimes we all need these low key relaxing days.

On Saturday I stopped by a small local liquor store and picked up a six pack of assorted local beer. I tried one with dinner which was surprising good.
IMG_3466I went to restock on purple sweet spuds on the weekend but the Whole Foods I went to didn’t have any. I called a couple other stores and found one that had some in stock. I headed over and picked a bunch up. I’ll need to stock up now when I see them as they seem rare here in Boston. I baked a chicken breast and added some ketchup on top of the potato. A lazy and simple supper but it hit the spot and tasted good. I had some grape tomatoes and baby carrots on the side.
IMG_3468I picked up these Surf Sweet jelly beans and have been snacking on a few nightly lately.
IMG_3456I ended the day with a few handfuls of jelly beans and some popcorn
IMG_3455I hope you all have a great Easter weekend. Is it me or does Easter seem really early this year? Any plans or special dinner or meals you are making for the weekend?
I picked up some Tahini at Whole Foods that I think I will experiment with after seeing some interesting dishes and recipes. Any tips or suggestions?
I also got another jar of nutritional yeast to try again since my other jar didn’t make the move from San Diego.
Any good Netflix or Amazon Prime shows you have been watching?

Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in WIAW | 4 Comments

WIAW #91

Good WIAW morning from rainy Boston. It was cool but sunny on the weekend here but has been cool, damp, and rainy here the past few days. I had a good but very busy weekend. On Saturday afternoon I took the train downtown and checked out Boston Public Market for the first time. It is an indoor complex with a combo of farmer’s market type stalls and some larger vendors. There was a large variety of food vendors from the NE. I didn’t buy anything but will definitely head back and will head back another day and pick up some of the fish. It was interesting to see what seems popular here…cheese of course but also honey seems big here as a lot of vendors were offering their own honey.
IMG_3439Last week I got an email saying I was chosen to be a Medical Volunteer at the Boston Marathon next month. I had applied but kinda new it was a long shot. I spent Sunday at a workshop learning more about what my duties consist of and learning a lot more about the marathon. I actually live on the marathon route around mile 25 and while watching it will be amazing I am proud to be able to provide assistance in any way I can to runners and the public.
IMG_3444I had to get up really early as it was held just outside of the city. I microwaved some oatmeal and ended up throwing these oranges in a bag and eating them on the road
IMG_3437I thankfully threw this fig bar in my bag before leaving. It went longer than anticipated and I ate them later in the morning
IMG_3446

I picked up the Kite Hill Almond milk cream cheese at Whole Foods while stopping for groceries after. I decided to take a chance and try it out. It tastes great! I came home and have been having a spoonful of it with strawberry jam for a snack and whenever the mood strikes! I’m hoping to track down an egg free bagel perhaps as well. I definitely recommend checking it out. It has a great list of ingredients.
IMG_3450I had a bit of drive and picked up these $4 raspberries to snack on during the drive.
IMG_3448I have been trying to make a point to thaw out and plan dinners. I have been taking something out of the freezer most mornings to make dinners quicker. I had taken a chicken breast out and cooked it when I got home. I baked it in the oven while unpacking groceries.

I picked up a few more bottles of this sauce from Walnut Acres. It is made in New York and is really good. I don’t purposely watch my salt but don’t care for overly salty foods and sauces. This one is chuncky like and has great flavor. 
IMG_3453I added some to some brown rice pasta and the chicken….super quick dinner!
IMG_3452With some veggies along side while watching Top Chef. Love that show!
IMG_3451I ended my long post day light savings day not soon after with some partially frozen strawberries
IMG_3454And some popcorn. I got these kernels from TJ and they seemed to pop and shoot out the popper wildly compared to other brands I’ve had…strange I thought.
IMG_3455Anyways that’s a wrap on my day. Hoping the rain stops here and the weather dries up this weekend. Hope you aren’t having too wet of a spring where you are. Any foods you are loving lately or new food finds?
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Cheers!

Kate


Posted in WIAW | 12 Comments

WIAW #90

Good Morning Friends! I am linking up with Jenn and the WIAW group once again. I’ve had a busy past few days dealing with job and car stuff which has been quite time consuming. In the process of registering my car I was surprised to hear it failed the mandatory inspection due to having tinted windows. After waiting for 3 hours at the repair shop and having it removed it passed the repeat inspection the next day. Phew! On Saturday I did end up making it out of Boston on the weekend and drove out to Hingham. I stopped by The Fresh Market which I discovered when I was living in Dallas last year. They seem to carry a neat selection of items from throughout the country. I’m taking a few days off coffee as it seemed to not make my stomach happy. They always have a good coffee selection I’ve found.
IMG_3420I ended up remembering that I had forgotten to pick up oats at the store. Although there is a tiny Whole Foods 1/2 block from my apartment I didn’t really want to venture out on the cool morning. I stayed in my warm apartment and had peanut butter toast and some mandarin oranges in the sunlight. Laziness won this morning!
IMG_3424I had some errands to take care of in the morning and came home just before lunch. I was deciding on what to have and had a bit of a hankering for salmon. I tossed a frozen fillet in the oven and snacked on some oranges while it baked. Odd mid day lunch but it tasted great.
IMG_3425I headed out to Whole Foods in the afternoon. I spotted this but didn’t pick it up. I did try their vanilla yogurt and didn’t love it. Have you tried this? Hoping they may be sampling it one day soon when I am there 😉
IMG_3426I’ve been recreating this pasta dish for dinner a couple times this week. This night though I just browned a chicken sausage while the pasta cooked. Some veggies on the side and it is my new go to dinner on nights when I’m late getting home. I picked up a jar of sauce by Walnut Acres at a Whole Foods but haven’t been able to find it anywhere else. I may resort to driving back to the store to get more this weekend. It is really good. I did pick up a different brand to have on hand until then. The stock and selection seems to vary widely here.
IMG_3419Still completely stuck on the popcorn and fig bar combo after dinner lately. I’m not complaining!
IMG_3340The weather finally seems to be warming up and spring seems to be on the horizon here. Hopefully the same is true for where you are at. I’m sure we are all ready for winter to be done till next year!

Have a great rest of the week and hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in WIAW | 12 Comments

WIAW #89

Hi Friends! It is hard to believe it is March already. I’m joining up for the WIAW linkup again for this week. The weather has been cooler here but did warm up on Sunday. Even on the cooler days the bright blue skies have been gorgeous. I am starting to feel a bit more moved in and settled in my new place. I spent some time exploring and snapped this photo of the iconic Boston Citgo sign. I can see it down the road from my apartment.
IMG_3395I am living close enough to work and walk to the hospital each morning. I started to notice this flock of turkeys wandering around each morning. On Monday there were only these three but yesterday there were half a dozen. Odd sight to see in the middle of a major city.
IMG_3394I’ve been sticking to my usual breakfast oatmeal in the mornings. This is a recycled photo but I finally found some Halo oranges at Costco here. They seem to be the best quality mandarins and easiest to peel that I’ve found.
IMG_3241I came home from getting groceries and was starving for lunch. I’ve found shopping here challenging as Costco seems to have few organic options and less product selection compared to elsewhere in the country. Odd. I made these muffins in the morning and when I was putting them in the oven realized that I totally forgot to put sugar in them. They look kinda odd but surprisingly don’t taste bitter or bad. Always nice when you can save a recipe failure. I tend to toss the tiny end of the loaf but this small piece held up enough in the toaster and didn’t burn too much. I piled on the avocado and enjoyed lunch in sunlight!
IMG_3405I picked up some organic ground turkey at Costco as I couldn’t find any Bison. It was really good. I cooked it in the pot at a lower temp and it didn’t seem to dry out at all. I was very impressed. I’ve been in a bit of a meal rut due to my food allergies. Avoiding the dairy, egg, beans, and other allergy foods of mine has been challenging to create meals and get enough nutrition….especially protein. I’ve found a lot of options for one or two of the main allergens but am struggling with options and solutions for meals that work.
IMG_3410Last night though for dinner I tried some gluten free rice pasta that I found at Whole Foods. It is actually made nearby in Connecticut. I diced up a Trade Joe’s chicken and tomato sausage and added some FODMAP friendly sauce. I had not tried the sausage before and am not a huge sausage fan but it seemed like an easy addition to the pasta. I really liked it and can seen adding this to my dinner rotation and giving me some options to create a quick dinner. Baby carrots make the best food to snack on while waiting for dinner to cook FYI 🙂
IMG_3414I have been having popcorn and a couple Nature’s Bakery raspberry fig bars in the evening while relaxing on the couch. I’m addicted to the snacking combo to end the day!

Hope you are all enjoying warmer spring temps and that the frigid winter weather weather has hopefully left. Fingers crossed! Hope you all have a great first week of March.

Have you dealt with a combo of food allergies?
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in WIAW | 5 Comments

WIAW #88

Happy Wednesday and Happy WIAW from the east coast! I spent the weekend getting moved into my apartment and started my new job on Monday. It has been a quick jammed packed few days and I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend and starting to enjoy and explore Boston. I took the red eye flight from San Diego and although the TSA left my 2 suitcases alone there were obviously curious about and wanted to check out my TV.
IMG_3349My TV is a basic Costco TV but due to all my moving I have always kept the original box and packaging. I was debating about selling the TV or what to do with it as I assumed it would be super pricy to ship. I then discovered that Jet Blue charged $100 for an oversized box/bag. I decided to take the chance that it would survive the handling and 6 hour flight. It arrived without damage and is just fine. I did end up stuffing my hiking backpack with random kitchen appliance…a crock pot, toaster, popcorn popper, etc. Tried to minimize  the things I needed to repurchase. Everything arrived undamaged except the crock pot with a dent on the outside of the unit. The inside is undamaged. Not sure if it will still work…any thoughts.

Breakfast while waiting to go and pick up my car (and dishes). A UPS box I had shipped arrived the day before with my Bodum and I was so looking forward to a cup of coffee but it was shattered! Everything else in the box was undamaged and it was the only item in all my shipped goods that broke which I suppose is a success. I had managed to fit the Keurig in the car and ended up walking over the Dunkin Donuts a few doors away and picked up a green tea instead on the chilly morning.
IMG_3361I was working on some prep stuff for work when the car company called and wanted to meet me in 30 minutes to deliver my car instead of later that day. I quickly ran out the door and ordered an Uber to drive me to the shopping center where they were meeting me.  It arrived just as I left it. I immediately started running around getting chores done. I hit up Ikea, Costco, Target, and Walmart. Impulse Costco purchase while driving over to Walmart
IMG_3372Since I had no time to gran anything for lunch before I left I needed to keep doing errands and then get home to unpack. I picked up a box of these bars in raspberry and strawberry at Walmart and had one for lunch.
IMG_3373A couple of unpictured oranges after countless trips moving all my stuff into my walk up apartment.

I picked these beets up at Costco which looked interesting and actually tasted really good with no messy cooking.
IMG_3390Dinner was some chicken tenders with a baked purple potato with some cherry tomatoes that were way cheaper than in California…odd but I’m not complaining 🙂
IMG_3391Popcorn has become my new evening go to snack lately. I had a craving a few weeks ago and have been enjoying it since.
IMG_3393I’ve been really surprised at how nice and friendly people in Boston have been. Quite the change from the west coast. I’ve been impressed with the city and area so far. I saw tons of people out walking and running on the weekend. Seems like a really neat vibe here.

Hope you have a great last weekend in Feb. Fingers crossed that spring weather is around the corner where you are!
WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSCheers!

Kate

Posted in WIAW | 7 Comments