Friday, June 10, 2011

Hey out there!

Just in case you didn't know or hadn't figured it out, my blog has moved over to or if you prefer, so update your favorites, your reader, your blogroll, etc.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lazy Girl Dinner

Good morning! Thanks for all your comments on yesterday's post, it's nice to know that I'm not alone in my thoughts on blogging.

Yesterday I had a lovely lunch with Ashleigh from Ashleigh's Slice. I'm not ashamed to admit that I lost the cookie battle yesterday because we had lunch at Sip and they have the most AMAZING Lindsor Heart cookies. The cookie part is buttery and delicious and the jelly is the perfect sweetness and consistency. If you go to Sip Cafe in Post Office Square, get one of these cookies.

Last night I decided to make my patented lazy girl's dinner. For all of you bloggies who ask what my go to easy weeknight meal is, this is it. It doesn't get easier than this friends. I already had some garlic that I had roasted ready to go. Looks amazing doesn't it?

Take two chicken breasts (or more depending on how many people you're cooking for) and place them on aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spread the garlic on the chicken breast with a knife.

Then take a can of diced tomatoes. You can use any variety you like, but the kind I use is the Fire Roasted Tomatoes by Hunts.

Cover the chicken breasts with the tomatoes.

Take a second piece of foil and cover the chicken, wrapping the edges tightly.

Cook at 350 for 25 minutes (don't cook it too long, it will get dry).

I paired mine with a side of broccoli, and made pasta for the boy (unpictured).

It really doesn't get easier than this folks. Prep time (if you have the garlic already roasted, or you can use minced) is less than 5 minutes.

Have you ever roasted your own garlic? What's your easiest weekday meal?

Thoughts on Blogging

Happy Wednesday readers! So today I'm doing something a little different with Ten Things Wednesday. A little serious. A lot real.

I read a LOT of blogs. 100+ a day. I read a lot of things that make me smile, make me want to be a better blogger, make me cringe. To the latter, I want to provide my thoughts on a bunch of blogging "hot topics." Bear in mind that these are only my personal philosophies on how I choose to blog. There is bound to be people that will disagree, but the beauty of blogging is that it is purely subjective. So, without further ado...

- Why I don't post pictures of every single thing I eat: First of all, I don't post pictures of everything I eat because frankly, you would get bored. I tend to eat a lot of the same things over and over again. Plus I have zero desire to open up my diet to scrutiny from others. Some days I eat too much (actually, most days). Some days I don't eat enough (like once a year).

- Why I don't post three times a day: Again, this would get boring. The bloggers that post three times a day frequently have NOTHING interesting to write about (hence why they post everything they eat because that's all they have time to do). I want to keep things new and interesting for my readers without overloading their Google Readers.

 - On Privacy: This is common sense in the blog world. Not that I think I'm hot or important enough to have someone be obsessed with me, but stranger things have happened. This is why I don't post my address, phone number, where I work, or last name. However, if you're job is social networking, etc. than obviously it's perfectly acceptable to list your job and last name...but for us regular Janes, there's no point.

 - On Responsibility: I never paint myself as an expert. I never even give advice. I tell you what I do and what has worked for me. That being said, a lot of "healthy living bloggers" encourage very unhealthy habits, whether they are meaning to or not is a different story, but I believe in reading your post after you've written it as an outsider would read it and consider if perhaps you are sending a bad message.

 - Why I don't post on the weekends: As much as I love this blog (and you guys!) I also love my "me" time. I don't blog on the weekends because I actually enjoy living my life, spending time with my friends and boyfriend, and don't want to have my life revolve around my blog.

 - Things you will never see me do on this blog:
  • Post pictures of my furniture - In all honesty, who really wants to see pictures of my furniture or go on a video tour of my apartment?
  • Post pictures of myself in a bathing suit - Nothing good can come of this. Good for you if you have a rocking body, but posting pictures of yourself in a bathing suit is nothing short of narcissistic and tacky. Don't fish for compliments from your readers. It's shameless and unnecessary.
  • Post multiple pictures of myself in one post - I don't like to add fluff to my posts, and posting multiple self portraits is exactly that...fluff to add bulk and length to a post. In conjunction with this, if I do happen to post pictures of myself, I promise to never be making weird faces to convey emotion. I'm a big girl and can use my words.
  • Outfit posts (unless in jest). If I wanted to post pictures of my outfits, I would start a fashion blog. Plus, I don't have the fashion sense that a fashion blogger is required to have. A few other bloggers should take note of this.
- On giving credit: If I use ANYTHING from someone else's blog, I link to it. Period. If I get an idea from a conversation I've had with someone, or something I read by them, I link to them. Period. Using someone else's idea (even if it's just your question of the day), is stealing.

- On censorship: To some degree I have to censor my blog (i.e. don't talk about X rated things, keep swearing to a minimum even though sometimes I just have to do it, don't tell stories about my friends, etc.) That being said, I try to be as real with you guys as I can and give you the inside track on my life as much as possible. I like my readers to know I'm a real person, not a robot, and my life is far from perfect. The portrayal of the perfect life in the blogosphere is not just irritating, but I also feel that as a blogger, portraying your life as perfect (or with fake, tiny little problems only) leads to a disconnect and lack of relatability to readers. Rest assured that if I was ever able to work from home on a daily basis, you bet your ass that I would never complain about it.

What are your thoughts on blogging?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Renewing my Vows

I am renewing my vows...

to Jackie and Jillian.

I've said it 1,000 times in the past (I am shocked you guys don't call me out on this stuff because I honestly only do about 50% of what I say I'm going to do when it comes to food and fitness) that I am going to commit to strength training. It's been even harder to commit to it since switching gyms and not having access to my beloved BodyPump classes anymore. Plus my new gym is smaller and cramped and I just don't enjoy working out there.

In comes Jackie Warner (Power Circuit) and Jillian Michaels (30 Day Shred), my two go-tos for strength.

Last Friday morning, I did Jillian Michaels Level 1 Shred. And as of last night, I could still feel the DOMs in my quads and hamstrings from the lunges and squats. I also couldn't even finish the push up set. Damn I am weak.

But last Friday was the start. Every Tuesday I will be doing Jackie's Power Circuit and every Thursday/Friday I will be doing Jillian's Shred, with another day of just ab work thrown in somewhere when I have the time.

As I've said in the past, cardio is my first fitness love. I have no problem motivating myself to break a sweat. But when it comes to lifting weights, I am lazy, unmotivated, whiny, and I just plain don't want to do it. But I know it is the key to boosting my metabolism (you know, so I can eat lots of cookies) and gaining the strength and definition I so desperately want.

I decided to alternate between Jackie and Jillian because I love them both for different reasons (as I stated here) and a little variety is good for your body.

I did Jackie's Power Circuit this morning and I expect to be sore for the next few days. I did miss that sore, got-run-over-by-a-bus feeling that lets me know that I worked hard. Pain like this is the sign of progress, right?

This morning also marked the return of the green smoothie.

It's hard for me to drink these in the cold winter months whilst I'm buried under 100 feet of snow here in Boston. But once the whether starts to warm up, I crave smoothies. In the mix after my Power Circuit with Jackie this morning: a ton of spinach, one frozen banana, a handful each of frozen pineapple and mango, a scoop of protein powder, one scoop of Amazing Grass.

Oh my yum!

Are you good about strength training? Or are you a cardio queen?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Fun

Friday night (date night) the boy and I opted to have dinner at home and then take in a movie we both wanted to see, Thor. We saw it in 3D (which really is not worth the money and I hated paying the extra money for it but it was the only convenient time for us).

The boy said it was just "meh" but I enjoyed it. It was cheesy of course, but action packed and interesting. It doesn't hurt that Chris Helmsworth is not hard on the eyes. Plus, the cheesier a movie is, the more likely it is that I will like it. Cheese = Quality Films.

Saturday for breakfast I met my friend Kristen at the Blue Moon Grill in Wakefield.

I hadn't been there since I moved from Melrose back in June of last year, so I was very much looking forward to going back. They had updated it a little bit since the last time I had been and I was impressed. We had to wait a little bit for a table, but that's to be expected for breakfast on the weekends pretty much anywhere. We naturally started with coffee, because as you know, I'm useless without it.

They had cute large coffee cups, but unfortunately the coffee was weak. But on the plus side, they now give complementary fruit bowls when you're seated. Genius.

I went with my usual breakfast out option of stuffed french toast with cinnamon and bananas.

It was delicious and I ate every last bite. If it were socially acceptable to do so, I may have picked it up and licked the cinnamon off the plate. In my defense though, it was later than I was used to eating so I was extra hungry. It actually took all of my will power not to ask Kristen if I could eat the rest of her meal that she didn't finish. Apparently I have learned some shame recently, who knew.

Saturday the boy had a First Communion to go to, but when he got home, a little of this may have happened:

I love me some blueberry beer.

Sunday morning the boy and I finally made it to Blue Hills to go hiking. Unfortunately, when I checked the weather, it was supposed to be partly cloudy yesterday, but it ended up being all cloudy and an all around crappy day. I brought my camera in anticipation of taking some pictures, but the weather was so overcast that we couldn't see Boston from the top as usual, so these pictures are actually from last year around this time:

While on the way down, I actually twisted my ankle. It hurt like a bitch at first, but funny enough, there was a couple waiting for us to pass as I twisted it, yet with all my dramatics and "ow ow ow ow" (seriously, I have a high pain tolerance, but sometimes I like to just put on a show for the masses) they simply kept on hiking up. Um...way to stop and ask if I was ok, I mean, what if I had to be carried down the mountain? You think the boy could accomplish that? How do you not stop and ask if someone is alright when you just see them get hurt in front of you?? Luckily, I didn't twist it bad enough that I had to be carried and it's mighty sore today, but still.

After the hike, we drove down to Maria's in Scituate for Italian subs. After that, I'm not going to lie, we came home, sat on the couch, and did absolutely nothing.

It was a glorious weekend :)

What was the last movie you saw in the theatre? What's your favorite beer (or wine for you weird non-beer drinkers)?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cherry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Hey y'all! Just another day of cookie love here on The Cookie Battle. As promised, here is the recipe for the Cherry White Chocolate Oatmeal cookies that I made for my book club on Monday. As I'm sure you can imagine, I made these cookies on Sunday, so today being Friday, these cookies are LONG gone, but I still have the pictures to look back on and remember them fondly...


1 stick + 6 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars together

Add vanilla and eggs, beat well.

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.

Fold in oats, cherries, and chocolate chips.

Drop dough from rounded tablespoonfuls.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Take the cookies out of the oven when they still look a little doughy on top if you like a softer, chewier cookie and allow them to cool on the pan for at least ten minutes (otherwise they fall apart). Makes 3 dozen cookies.

How do you like your oatmeal cookies? With raisins? With nuts? With chocolate chips?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bosphorus Mediterranean Restaurant

Hi friends!

As I mentioned Friday and Monday, Friday night date night with the boy last week, we decided to try out Bosphorus in Cambridge. I have been wanting to try this place out since I got back from DC last month because I love Turkish food. So in honor of Cinco de Mayo...oh wait, that's a Spanish holiday. Perhaps I should have reviewed a Mexican restaurant for you guys today! Whoops, my bad.

We made a reservation for 7, which we later changed to 6 when the boy got out of work early and had no problem doing so. We were offered our choice of booth or a seat by the window and the staff was very friendly.

The decor inside is maroon and gold with natural wood accents. Simple but lovely. There is a lengthy bar (that was empty) but with only 2 beers on tap, that was to be expected.

I started with a glass of Riesling, not really because I wanted it but more because it was date night and I felt the need to be fancy. My fanciness wore off as soon as the boy ordered a soda after I ordered my wine. So much for romance ;)

The waitstaff brought out complimentary hot pita bread and a roasted red pepper dipping sauce that was quite good, albeit a little spicy for me. The boy gave it two thumbs up though.

We decided to get two appetizers. We started with the Cacik (yogurt mixed with diced cucumber, dill, herbs, garlic, and drizzled olive oil). You may remember this as the dip I was drooling over from Agora.

It was not as good here, but still delicious. I must must must make this at home. And eat it three meals a day. For our second appetizer, we went with the Borek, which is phyllo dough stuffed with your choice of feta cheese, spinach, or beef. We decided to get two of the feta cheese and two of the spinach. The spinach was excellent (especially dipped in the you can see since only one of the spinach ones made it to the photo). The feta cheese one was good as well, but if I were ordering this for myself, I would have gone with all spinach.

For my entree I ordered the Mixed Kebab with lamb, beef, and chicken with a side of rice pilaf and sauteed vegetables. I thought the pilaf was amazing, as were the vegetables (except for the carrots, which I picked out). The kebabs were very juicy and tender, cooked to perfection.

For dessert I went with the safe choice of the baklava since the boy seemed a little bit afraid of the other more out-of-the-box choices they had on the menu. I figured I couldn't go wrong with the baklava. He didn't really like it, but I actually thought it was the best baklava I've ever had. Take my word, not his, he doesn't know good food.

To polish off the meal, I ordered a Turkish coffee. Don't be fooled by the picture, it actually comes in an espresso-sized cup. I loved the cup and matching spoon, but apparently these cannot be bought anywhere around me :( The coffee was strong like espresso and had a dark smoky flavor that I loved. A perfect end to the meal.

I really enjoyed Bosphorus. The boy was not crazy about it, but if you love Mediterranean/Turkish food, I highly recommend trying it.

Have you ever tried Turkish coffee? Do you like espresso after your meal like I do?

Bosphorus on Urbanspoon