WIAW – Another What I Ate Wednesday

Let me share with you a story that proves just how uptight I can be. Are you ready for this?

So, at my office we have a parking lot in front of the building, and a parking garage around the back of the building. Normally, the parking lot fills up first because, well, people are lazy and they like to part right in front of the building, closest to the entrance. I on the other hand like to park in the parking garage, on the same level, in the same place, every day. I park on a level that not many other people park on…it’s actually gotten so that I recognize the cars around me. I arrive at work fairly early, so the level is always empty (save for the regular handful of cars), so I can take my time backing in to my space, unloading all the unnecessary junk I insist on taking to work with me every day, and meandering into the building. Plus, my car isn’t baking in the sun all day if I park in the garage. It’s great.

Except that recently, the main gate to my office complex started undergoing construction. This construction is so major that it involves us using an alternate entrance to the complex; one that is in the back of the complex. This new entrance just happens to be right by the area of the parking garage where I park. So, the first day of construction I pull in to the garage and literally slammed on the breaks. What the –? Half of my parking level was full! FULL! Of random cars that aren’t normally there!! I was hoping that this was just a fluke, but sadly it was not. Every single day since then I’ve entered the garage to find it practically full.

And then I see that the parking lot in front of the building – the one that is usually packed by 0700? Is practically empty. This makes me grumpy. Literally, it threatens to ruin my whole day.

This is what The Man has to deal with on a regular basis. Frankly I can’t understand sometimes why he even puts up with me.

Ridiculous.

So now that I’ve proven that I’m ridiculously overdramatic, let’s talk about food. It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means!

 

Another What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

The day started off like any other – with eggs. This morning it was two hard boiled eggs (for some reason I am completely unable to peel hard boiled eggs. No idea why.) with an apple and some almonds. Pretty simple ,but lots of protein to get me through the day!

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I never used to be a big egg person, but now I find myself eating them for breakfast every morning. I can’t really imagine breakfast without eggs!

And of course, I had coffee. Peets Uzuri African Blend, which is my FAVORITE.

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For lunch I kept things simple – rotisserie chicken and a salad made with fresh leaf lettuce, baby carrots, red pepper, english cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts, and mozzarella cheese. I topped it wish some unpictured balsamic vinaigrette and had my usual seltzer water on the side.

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I needed a mid-afternoon pick me up, so I snacked on some fresh bing cherries. I found these beauties on sale for $1.99 a pound at the grocery store which is practically unheard of. Actually, it is unheard of – I’ve never found bing cherries so cheap. Needless to say, I had to indulge in a pound…or two.

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Dinner that night was also fairly ordinary – rotisserie chicken, roasted vegetables, and roasted sweet potato chunks. There is a serious lack of green on this plate, which is why I used that particular napkin for the picture. Normally I would have broccoli or green zucchini or asparagus or snap peas on hand, but since it was right before a trip I needed to use up what I had…hence the decidedly un-colorful meal. No worries though — it tasted great!

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And although I normally don’t do this, I indulged in an evening snack. My last two chocolate coconut macaroons (truth: these have been in my freezer since I don’t know when. I only found them because I was reorganizing.) and a cup of mint melange tea. I heart mint tea.

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And there you have it – another week of eats for eatwriterunrepeat! Ok, that was lame and rhyming. Ew.

I apologize.

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Blogger Book Club – July

Welcome back to the Blogger Book Club Book Review – July edition!

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Ok so I have a confession. I did not read the book for July. Deeper confession: I didn’t even buy the book for July. It’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s because I couldn’t find it in any bookstores and I wouldn’t allow myself to get it on Amazon because ultimately what happens when I get on Amazon is I suffer from temporary insanity and end up spending hundreds of dollars on books and clothes and workout DVDs and kitchen supplies and a whole other mess of stuff I didn’t need and can’t afford.

This has happened on more than one occasion. So, yeah, I wasn’t going to allow myself the Amazon Temptation.

The book for July was supposed to be “America the Beautiful”, by Ben Carson. From google books: “What is America becoming? Or, more importantly, what can she be if we reclaim a vision for the things that made her great in the first place? In the Zondervan ebook, America the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson helps us learn from our past in order to chart a better course for our future.”

It sounds like it might be something…interesting, although when I read non-fiction I tend to lean towards travel memoirs or humor. I want to like non-fiction, but I don’t really have the attention span.

But anyway. In lieu of writing a review on a book I didn’t read, I thought I’d share with you some other books I’ve read this month instead!

little bride (source)

The Little Bride, by Anna Solomon. This book is about Minna, a sixteen year old Russian mail order bride who travels to South Dakota to live with her new husband and two step-sons, one of whom is only a few years older than her. As she adjusts to a life far from what she expected, she finds herself becoming attracted to her older stepson. Although I found the book to be pretty slow in spots, it was an interesting read, and it’s based on the real history of the Jewish settlement of the Great Plains which I found fascinating.

 

pendergast (source)

The Pendergast Novels, namely Brimstone, Dance of Death and Book of the Dead, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This trilogy is part of a series which follows a very unconventional FBI Agent named Aloysius Pendergast. This particularly trilogy deals primarily with Pendergast and his brother Diogenes who is, in a word, a psychopath. They are fast paced, creepy thrillers that sometimes make it hard for me to sleep at night, yet I can’t put them down.

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Heaven’s Wager, by Ted Dekker. First off let me start by saying that I love Ted Dekker. LOVE. His books always have this completely unexpected twist that shakes me to my core, seriously. I own them all, have read them all multiple times, and I think I love them more each time I read them. According to Robert Liparulo (taken from the back of this book), “”Rarely does a novel grip a reader’s heart the way Heaven’s Wager does. Dekker is among a very small number of writers who have mastered the challenge of blending sound theology with knock-your-socks-off-storytelling.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

This particular book in first in the Martyr’s Song series and follows a man named Kent who thinks he has it all…until he loses everything. I don’t want to say too much except READ THIS. And once you’re finished, read the rest of the Martyr’s Song series, because you won’t regret it.

So, that’s just a taste of what I’ve been reading lately! Next up for the Blogger Book club is START, by John Acuff, and I promise this one I’ll read and review for August! Stay tuned!

Summer Gazpacho

Oh, look. Another no-cook meal. Are you surprised?

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Trust me, you’ll like this one. Not only is it like ten servings of vegetables in one…serving, but there’s no cooking involved and it’s full of flavor. True it does involve quite a bit of chopping vegetables, but once you do that it’s a matter of throwing it all into a bowl with some spices and letting it sit for a while for the flavors to meld. Yum.

Plus, I just like saying “gazpacho”. Gazpacho, according to the all-powerful wikipedia, is “a tomato based soup, usually served cold, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia.” I guess technically you’re supposed to puree more of the vegetables up so it has more of a soup-like texture, but I honestly prefer the vegetables diced for a crunchier. I did puree a little bit of the mixture and added it back to the bowl, but to be perfectly honest I didn’t like the way it looked and plus I think it tasted fine as is, so I left it. So there.

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For some reason this dish brings to mind a picture of me in a perfectly swishy 50’s era dress (it’s yellow) and pearls, hosting a dinner party in the middle of a gorgeous vineyard on a perfectly sunny summer day. Everyone is drinking perfectly chilled glasses of white wine and taking dainty bites of gazpacho while laughing uproariously at who-knows-what.

Yeah. This is the way my mind works. Although I do think this gazpacho would be fabulous paired with a crisp Chardonnay or maybe a Moscato if you like your wine on the sweeter side. I added a dash of Tapatio hot sauce at the last minute, which added a surprising kick of spice to an otherwise cool and refreshing dish. I kinda liked it.

I ended up eating a huge bowl of this as a meal due to the ridiculous heat we’ve had, but you could serve it as an appetizer or a side with a beautiful salmon filet (which is what I serve in my aforementioned daydream), or maybe a light chicken piccata. I also ate this with blue corn chips and called it “salsa”, I added a heaping spoonful on top of a plain omelet, I served it with a grilled chicken breast, and I added it to some lettuce wrap tacos. Just to give you a few other ideas.

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Although I guess I should warn you: if you follow my recipe, you have to like garlic. A lot. I love garlic, so it was fine for me, and with The Man living on the other side of the country I don’t have to worry about breathing on anyone living with me. I can’t really say the same for my co-workers. I took a little bowl of this to work as a snack the other day, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be receiving any Employee of the Month awards any time soon. Oh, well. I ate some altoids and called it a day.

…what’s wrong with that?

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: (makes a huge pot)

4 fresh on the vine tomatoes, diced

1 can diced tomatoes (my favorite is Hunt’s with basil and olive oil)

1/2 each red and green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

4 english cucumbers, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Tapatio hot sauce

WHAT TO DO

Dice all your vegetables. Take a break to rest your arms. In a bowl, combine vegetables, oil, vinegar and cumin and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a dash (or two) of Tapatio. Stir again and and refrigerate, covered for a few hours to let all the flavors combine. Serve with parsley garnish.

*Note: the longer this sits, the more the flavors combine into something AWESOME. No lie. Each time I tried it, it tasted better.

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