Archive for July, 2012

Foodie Penpals: July

It’s the last day of July. That means it’s my friend/coworker Erica’s birthday, my uncle’s birthday, and, mostly importantly for our purposes, time to post about Foodie Penpals!


I was paired with Jessica, who doesn’t have a blog, but sent me a lovely email and it sounds like she has a great husband and 16-month-old son. She’s currently living in Kansas City and when she mentioned barbecue I knew that was what I wanted! I told Jessica that I’m fine with quality over quantity and I ended up with two great looking things. The Kansas City’s Cowtown Sweet Spot Barbeque Rub, looks delicious. And the packaging is great. I’ve never used a barbecue rub so I’m excited to see what I can do with it.


The sauce, World Famous Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que Sauce looks amazing. And after reading the great description on the side of the bottle I really want to go to the little barbecue joint in the gas station.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to use either the sauce or the rub since I’ve had such a crazy past few weeks. I’m excited for the chance though and I’ll make sure to post about what I make! Thank you so much Jessica!

I sent my package to Marie, who doesn’t have a blog, and who, in all honesty, I kept meaning to ask if she wanted to write a little thing for here, but I’ve just been too crazy. It happens, right?

Thanks to Lindsay for organzing Foodie Penpals! If you want to participate in August here are the details:

Foodie Penpals Terms & Conditions

“By signing up to participate in Foodie Penpals, you are hereby agreeing to the following terms and conditions:

Condition 1: You will contact the person you are matched with withing 72 hours of receiving your match to discuss dietary needs, allergies and food preferences.

Condition 2: You will make an effort to meet the dietary needs of your penpal- ie not sending animal products to vegans, dairy products if your match tries to avoid dairy or junk food if they ask for healthy snacks.

Condition 3: You will mail your box by the 15th of the month. It is HIGHLY recommended that you purchase delivery confirmation/get a tracking number for your package. It is very inexpensive and can be used to prove that you sent your package in the event that it gets lost.
If your match does not receive a package for the month, you will receive a warning. If it happens two months in a row, you will no longer be able to participate in the program

Condition 4: In the event that you do not receive a package, Lindsay and The Lean Green Bean blog cannot be held accountable. By agreeing to participate in FPP, we cannot 100% guarantee that you will receive a package. The mail gets lost occasionally and your partner may fail to deliver.

-Condition 5: Using the foodie penpals email list to send out personal or spam emails promoting your blog, giveaways, etc is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Doing so is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program as it is a violation of the other participants’ privacy.

Failure to comply with these terms and conditions is grounds for dismissal from the Foodie Penpals Program.”

You can sign up here.


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Monday Happies

1. Olympics. I mean, duh people. Literally the only things I did this weekend were go to kickboxing (an hour each day) and watch the Olympics. I’m setting myself up for major disappointment when they’re over, but for now I couldn’t be happier. I love going on Twitter and seeing everyone Tweeting about the different events, to me it’s a really great feeling of the world being interconnected.

2. My wrist feeling better. Friday, after I had a terrible time at kickboxing, I was pretty sure I was going to need to go back to the surgeon about my wrist. It was killing me all last week and I felt like I couldn’t do anything at kickboxing on Friday. But I did a lot of stretching and used the heating pad on my shoulder (where a lot of the pain originates from) and I’m feeling much better. I felt about 85% in kickboxing yesterday, which I’ll take (for now).

3. Red Gatorade. I don’t care if it’s bad for me, it’s absolutely the best thing after I work out. I have been sweating like a beast lately and if I don’t chug water or Gatorade or coconut water after I workout I feel terrible the rest of the day.

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Random Sunday

My Olympics watching has been going swimingly (that’s a pun). It’s pretty much all I’ve done this weekend. I’ve discovered a love of team archery and kayaking, remembered how much I hate basketball and beach volleyball, and have been religiously keeping up with the swimming.



Friday night, for the opening ceremony, my roommate Mary and I had her friend/my coworker and his boyfriend over to watch. We got burgers and drank dry grape ginger ale and vodka. Saturday night Mary and I had dry grape ginger ale and gin. I think I might have preferred the gin.


This past Thursday I was supposed to go watch Clueless in Brooklyn Bridge Park with my former officemate. Unfortunately the weather was awful and they cancelled it. So we watched Clueless in her apartment, with sandwiches, salt and vinegar potato salad, cupcakes, and Bud Light. A classy night was had by all. I highly recommend making the potato salad. I halved the recipe and had plenty for me and Amy and then leftovers the last few days.


We had 2.5 days of meetings at work this past week to talk about our spring 13 lineup. We’re doing a book on knots with Philippe Petit who came into the office to do a demonstration. It was very interesting and he was absolutely lovely.


I’ve been to kickboxing for three straight days. Friday’s class was terrible, my heart just wasn’t in it and I kept beating myself up (figuratively, not literally). Yesterday was better, but still not great. Today, with a new instructor, it was amazing. I guess everyone has their ups and downs. On my way to kickboxing I walk over the Gowanus Canal, which is a superfund site, and today there was a layer of oil floating on top of the water. Kind of pretty, but obviously really awful.


I bought this ice pop on my way home from kickboxing. I was not a fan. I think going for a “creamy” pop was the wrong choice. I ate a little and then put it in my freezer, we’ll see if I ever revisit it.


Finally, I bought these zinnias from the Greenmarket on Friday. They’re pretty, but very high maintenance. I swear the woman who sold them to me told me to add sugar and bleach to the water. I added some sugar (bleach just seemed ridiculous), but by Saturday morning they weren’t looking good. So I chucked the water, rinsed out of the vase, and trimmed the stems. Sunday afternoon they were again not looking good so I did it all over again. Here’s hoping they last another day or two.

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Year 3

Today is my 3-year blogging anniversary.

Here are my previous two anniversary posts: Year 2 and Year 1 and my first post ever.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to write about. I am extremely proud that I’ve been blogging for three years. I haven’t been consistent, I write about anything and everything under the sun, and I don’t have a big following; but I love doing this and I’m thankful to anyone who’s reading this and for blogging in general.

Last year I decided to make some 2-year resolutions. I don’t think that’s necessary this year. I just outlined some goals at the beginning of July and I’m happy with those. Two years ago I did a recap of my last year, but I don’t want to do that this time either.

So I thought I’d name a few things I’m thankful for and a few things I’m looking forward to.


1. Kickboxing. I know I talk about it all the time, but I’m so happy that I found a workout that’s both amazing exercise and something I enjoy so much.

2. My roommates. Since I started blogging I’ve lived with five different people. I’ve always genuinely liked the people I’ve lived with, but I think this group now is great. We hang out together in and out of the apartment, but we also respect each other’s privacy and space.

3. Happiness. Maybe I can’t really be thankful for happiness, but I am. Lately I’ve just had this incredible sense of zen. I am not where I want to be in life, but I have probably the best sense of where I want to be, and how to get there, that I’ve ever had.

Looking forward to:

1. Upcoming trips. This coming week I head to Austin for two days, just over two weeks from now I go to Cincinnati. I’m also going to Florida for work in January and I’m hoping to take advantage of the free flight to spend some time with my grandparents, who will be spending the month of January there.

2. Change. I’ve always hated change, I’m impatient and I just want to be where I’m going and not have to worry. But, hopefully, this next year will be filled with (good) change that I am very excited about.

3. Continuing on my fitness journey. Kickboxing has changed my body so much already, and I didn’t go for over three months this year. Even when I’m not flexing you can see outlines of muscles in my arms and muscle definition on my stomach. And I feel strong.

So that’s where I am now. Here’s to another great year!

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Little Jackie – “LOL”

Beyonce – “If I Were a Boy”

Duffy – “Delayed Devotion”

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Those of you who know my love of sports shouldn’t be surprised that I totally love the Olympics. I loved the winter Olympics two years ago, but the summer Olympics are so much more amazing. Swimming! Tennis! Track and field! Horses!

If you were in my brain for the last few weeks pretty much the only thought you’d see would be “OMG IT’S THE OLYMPICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Personally I’m excited to see the Phelps/Lochte rivalry plays out, how 17-year-old Missy Franklin does, if Lolo Jones can redeem knocking the hurdle in 2008, the archer who trained Jennifer Lawrence, women’s boxing being an Olympic sport for the first time, if Roger Federer can finally win a singles gold medal, and, most importantly, I’m super excited that EVERY event will be streamed live. Hello early mornings watching the equestrians!

To help you prepare I’ve put together a list of some of my most favorite articles I’ve read so far. Some are serious, some are silly, but they’re all, in my opinion, fascinating. Enjoy!

Does hosting the Olympics ever pay off?

How to Become Greek Ruins

This is what an Olympic Village bedroom looks like

Olympic Ring Tattoos

Phelps/Lochte Rivalry

Ryan Lochte looks like a Sharpei!

Is Michael Phelps a Jerk?

Brand Police

I am now less excited for women’s boxing

Lolo Jones vs. Dawn Harper

Great way to get to know the track and field athletes (and the most embarrassing reason to be banned in the final paragraph)

Banksy’s Olympic Art

Fascinating story about the US’s long-distance swimmer

Gymnasts use honey to stick to the bars

There are 100,000 condoms at the Olympic Village

Root for Bhutan!

Daily Show on some of the issues London has been battling

A great interview with 17-year-old swimmer Missy Franklin

And if you’re looking for a great Twitter account to follow I highly recommend the New York Times’@LondonLive.

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I’ve mentioned in a few other posts that one of the most challenging things about spending a week with my family was eating. We ranged in age from 11 to 85 and there are drastically different needs. My 16 year old cousin has a condition that only lets him eat a small handful of foods; my brother is a vegetarian; I prefer to eat whole foods and try interesting restaurants; my mother is a vegan; and my grandparents refuse to eat any fat, any ethnic food, any spicy food, and basically anything with flavor that they’re not familiar with. My 11 year old cousin, aunt and uncle, and other aunt basically eat a traditional American diet and are pretty wary of vegan food.

So that was fun!

If it were up to me we would eat out every meal at small, unique restaurants that serve whole foods. Unfortunately it wasn’t my choice so I made due with what I had.


Starting at the airport…I just did my whole speech about small restaurants with whole foods and the first food I have to show you is…Wendy’s? I had been craving French fries for days so I decided I would get them at the airport. The only place I could get them was Wendy’s and as I was in line I realized I was hungry. I had had lunch at work around noon, but it was a pretty small salad. I had wanted to buy something at Penn Station, but then I saw someone I worked with and missed my chance. So I decided I’d get the spicy chicken sandwich. And it was AMAZING. I don’t remember the last time I had fast food and I don’t plan on having it anytime soon, but damn, that was good.


My first full day in Oregon my grandparents took me to Whole Foods to stock up on food. I tried to get things I can’t get at home. Chonga’s salsa (a local Portland company), Kettle Tias! chips (these were amazing, best corn chips I’ve ever had), Lilly’s hummus (ok, not great), Oregon cherries, California blackberries, Washington blueberries, Tillamook extra sharp cheddar (best cheese EVER), Hot Lips black raspberry soda, three twins vanilla chip ice cream (ok, but not impressive).


On Monday we ate at Vita Cafe. I had the veggie burger with chili and grilled onions and fries. The veggie burger was really good, I just wish I hadn’t gotten the chili on top. It distracted from the taste of the veggie burger and was too much food. The fries were phenomenal. Some of the best fries I’ve ever had.


Tuesday we had lunch at the Ram’s Head in the Timberline Lodge. I had the brisket panini (with most of the meat picked off, that’s the bottom right picture), corn and onion soup (seriously amazing), a Timberline Lodge IPA (good), and a hot cocoa (to die for).


On Wednesday we ate at Fultano’s Pizza at the beach. I had the greek pasta salad with chicken (so many veggies, very good dressing, gross chicken) and then a northwest berry ice cream from Osburn’s Ice Creamery.


As I already wrote about we had dinner Thursday at Portobello. We split the sweet peps (so good!), fries (very good!), and bread with olive oil and sea salt (delicious). I had the spaghetti and beetballs for my entree (phenomenal!) and then my aunt and I split the chocolate mousse for dessert (good once we picked off the awful whiskey compote layer).

Some random food…


Biscoff on the plane, the Oreo doughnut and Portland Cream doughnut I got from Voodoo Doughnut, an example of the snack plate I had for dinner two nights, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I packed for the plane ride home which I ate on the LIRR in the morning.


Cereal (Kashi Go Lean Crunch or Kashi Almond and Flax) and Greek yogurt which was my breakfast every day, angel food cake (from Whole Foods) and strawberries for dessert at my grandparents’ one night, froyo from Yogurtland, Virgil’s Dr. Better soda (so good, like a healthy Dr. Pepper!).


I also had a few different beers. At Cafe Vita I had a 10 Barrel IPA, as I mentioned above at Timberline Lodge I had their Ice Axe IPA, and then at Portobello I had the Ninkasi Total Domination IPA.

That covers most of it. The only things that come to mind that I’m missing are the frozen meals I ate for lunch or dinner a few times and a veggie sandwich from Big Town Hero (my grandparents’ favorite sandwich place).

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