Monday through Thursday morning Adam and I part ways. He rides his bike to the SDSU trolley stop while I drive to work. We drive together on Fridays and affectionately refer to it as our weekly date. Lately we’ve been stepping it up a notch and stopping around the corner for smoothies. Blame the new addiction on the baby. Our local shop San Diego Blenders specializes in smoothies and Brazilian Acai bowls. My all-time favorite smoothie to order is the papaya blend however I’ve yet to meet a flavor I don’t like. The staff is always friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. (There’s a small tiki style patio outside…if only I had more time to chill in the mornings.) What I really love – besides the the deliciousness of my smoothie, are the fresh ingredients lined up in the cooler and on the counters. I once pulled up at the same time as a pick-up truck loaded with oranges – now that’s freshness! The smoothies are a little pricey ($3.85 for a small) but the portions are generous. I once made the mistake of ordering a large and it was too big to finish. The again, it’s all how you look at it. How may dates do you go on that cost less than $8? San Diego Blenders 6663 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
I’ve had it in my mind all summer to make pesto. When I noticed that my basil was beginning to wilt in the August heat, I knew that I had to act fast. Pesto is typically made with pine nuts or walnuts, however, I followed the advice of a friend and used raw almonds instead. (“First, I buy my own raw almonds because they are cheaper than pine nuts, healthier, and when I dry roast them in a saute pan on the stove, they are sweeter, have no salt, and the leftovers can be eaten for snacks. The texture is also great.”)
Making pesto is not an exact science. Google pesto, and you’ll discover hundreds of variations. If you want to create your own, but you’re not sure of ratios, then follow the Cuisinart recipe below – don’t be afraid to improvise according to your personal tastes!
1.5 ounces reggiano parmigiano
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (I used almonds; dry roasted on my stovetop)
2 garlic cloves (I used more)
3/4 tsp kosher salt (I also added a pinch of cayenne)
1.5 cup packed fresh basil leaves (I sneaked in Thai Basil too because it is plentiful in my garden)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
After dry roasting the almonds, I chopped them and the garlic together in my food processor. I then added the remainder of the ingredients which I processed until they reached the desired consistency (again, a matter of personal taste). For dinner I mixed pesto with cooked pasta and added yellow tomatoes (also from my garden) as well as chicken. I then refrigerated the mixture and served the dish as a cold pasta salad. I’m already dreaming of ways to use up the cup of pesto that is left over. Some ideas are – pesto pizza, bruschetta, as a topping for baked fish or as a dressing for grilled veggies. The possibilities are endless.
One of the first questions people ask when they find out I’m pregnant is, “Do you have any strange cravings?” The thing I’ve discovered is that sometimes it takes the careful eye of a close observer (i.e. my husband) to recognize cravings. When I was pregnant with Megan, I craved bacon 24-7. A typical day began with stopping at McDonalds on my way to work for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. For lunch I’d walk to the greasy diner near my office and order a BLT sandwich. In the evening I’d dream of bacon. I couldn’t stomach walking through the meat department at the grocery store so unless I could convince Adam to go to the store, we did not eat bacon for dinner. It took a week or so of repeating this pattern for the lightbulb to come on and for me to acknowledge my want need for bacon.
Unlike the great bacon incident, I can’t recall food cravings during my pregnancy with Paul. (I just liked to eat.) Recently I’ve been craving eggs. I’ve always liked eggs but this pregnancy takes it to a new level. I’m sure that it’s not normal to wake up with such egg-anticipation. Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs. Yum. Last Saturday Adam went to the Little Italy Mercato farmer’s market and brought back a dozen fresh eggs for me to eat to my heart’s contentment. Thanks Adam for the sweet gift!
In August 2009 I dropped away from my blog. Summer was in full swing and although I originally intended to make a quick return to my keyboard, I found that my absence did not cause any heartbreak. 2010 has been a “blog-worthy” year. But maybe, just maybe I’ve enjoyed it more fully because I’ve had fewer distractions of the bloggy kind. My hope is that I can keep my life in balance while continuing to occupy this space.
Recapping an entire year would be difficult. Here are my “what I did this summer” highlights:
- I ran my second half-marathon in May. Not quite a summer highlight but a kick-off event for many more great adventures. I couldn’t have done it without my friend and faithful running partner Erin who was running her 1st half-marathon. Making it more special was that my dad, an avid marathon runner, flew out from Michigan to participate too…not that I ever caught up to him!
- Adam and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary in June with a house-full of friends and family. Why celebrate 13 years? Why not!
- In February Adam traveled to Haiti. He returned a week later but his heart was still there. Plans were made and we returned together in July. I’m not sure that I have the words to describe Haiti. My friend Erin who also went to Haiti has responded beautifully on her blog, Life, Ablaze. (My highlight in Haiti was visiting the Son of God Orphanage. Adam expressed it well here.)
- I had thought that life would settle down following our return from Haiti. However, two weeks before leaving for Haiti my world was turned upside down after learning that I was pregnant! That’s right, baby #3 is due to arrive in February 2011. More to come on this new development.