Meditate & Motivate

It’s the start of another wonderful week friends! Phil and I had a great trip to Tahoe this weekend and while I may be a bit tired from the late nights, I’ve got a busy week ahead of me so there’s no time to dawdle. Phil and I are flying back to the east coast Thursday night so we can spend time with family. I don’t know if it’s the fact I’m going home in a few days or that the last time I was in Tahoe I was with my family but I was majorly missing them this past weekend. IMG_3574

Our family trip to Northern CA 5yrs ago culminated in some time in Tahoe & Squaw Valley, exactly where we were this weekend…every time we passed a particular site, or I noticed something familiar, I was taken back to the amazing time we all had together! What’s more, I was reminded of where I was in my life & able to reflect on my journey. While I must admit I was very impressed with the kind of shape I was in, I was more impressed with how far I’ve come and how many positive changes I’ve made in the last 5yrs. tahoe

I give myself a hard time, as I have shared, about where I am in my career but times like these I am smacked in the face with how much I have actually accomplished and reminded where I am is a great place to be. So even though I love reminiscing about the past and pining for the future, I am going to work on being here, right now, and knowing it’s exactly where I should be.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Welcome to the weekend! I’ve been busy running errands in preparation for our Tahoe trip today BUT I had to get today’s delicious Foodie Friday post out before hitting the road. This week’s post is dedicated to our lenten Friday feast, Eggplant parmesan! I haven’t even made it before but I must admit, it turned out really well! photo-4

Eggplant Parmesan

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bunch basil
  • homemade sauce or jarred sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Oil for frying
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • salt/pepper

As long as you have time before cooking, slice the eggplant, salt both sides, & let them sit for an hour (this will remove the bitter taste). Next steps, bread the eggplant and fry them for a few minutes on each side and let them cool. As the eggplant is cooling, put a pot of water on the stove for the pasta & preheat the oven to 375. As everything is setting up, time to build the eggplant to bake – use a shallow dish or heavy tin foil – put a little sauce on the bottom, then the eggplant, then some more sauce and then top with mozzarella and most of the parmesan. Bake the eggplant for 20-30 minutes (until the cheese on top is all melty and starting to brown), cook the pasta, toss the pasta with sauce, add a few eggplant pieces to the plate, sprinkle basil and parmesan on top, and you’re all set! 

Phil and I devoured this dish in like five minutes and Phil took the leftovers to work all week – something we’ll definitely be making again soon!

’til  next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Thursday Thoughts

Hey Friends,photo I hope everyone is making this a wonderful week! I am particularly excited about today because Phil and I are celebrating the anniversary of our first date. Two years ago today we met at a local Philadelphia favorite, Pub & Kitchen, photo-2for dinner and drinks. If the fact that we’re now engaged to be married and living across the country isn’t evidence that things are always changing, I don’t know what is! I’m elated by the idea of spending the rest of my life with this amazing man and over the moon we’ve  decided to enjoy this crazy roller coaster of life together!photo-3 More importantly though, I’m so blessed to be with someone who recognizes that life is always changing. We have the choice to evolve and get on board with the opportunities we’re given, or let them pass us by. While change isn’t always the easiest or most comfortable thing in the world, it’s a part of life. photoI’ve found that in embracing  the inevitability of change, I don’t find it to be as scary anymore. I’ve never been someone to enjoy change all that much, nor has Phil, but being together we’ve changed each other, ironically enough. Today, we’re open to the possibility of what changes are ahead and celebrate the unknown. We’re both so excited to embrace this year of change & enjoy what life brings in the years to come!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Weekend fun & Vie Winery

Happy Hump Day Friends!

1896922_10100823851591789_2887689511873738422_nI know it’s a little late to be talking about my weekend but I hit the ground running this week and haven’t had a moment to write things down! This past weekend our adventures took us to Treasure Island, a first for both Phil and I. Just a few short minutes over the Oakland Bay Bridge, this artificial island in the San Francisco Bay feels like an oasis worlds away from the city, even though it’s less than a 10 minute drive.  We were invited by some friends to join for wine tasting and bocce – let me tell you, we had a blast! photo-16We enjoyed ourselves so much Phil and I joined the winery we visited. Vie has this quaint, tucked away tasting room and outdoor space where members and their friends can come and taste the latest releases, enjoy a picnic, play some bocce or whatever outdoor leisure activity your hearts’ desire – talk about a great way to enjoy the afternoon! As part of our membership we’ll receive 3 bottles of various Vie vintages and I am excited to let you guys know all about what we got this weekend and whats to come.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

TGIF!!!

I’m looking forward to another wonderful weekend in sunny San Francisco – Phil and I have dinner plans tonight, brunch tomorrow & Sunday we’re taking a trip to Treasure Island for a little bocce…can’t wait! But enough about this weekend, today’s Foodie Friday is a switch to something savory – a sensational salad that is sure to please any palate!photo-15Now, I know what you’re thinking…salad, seriously?!?!? BUT I swear it’s awesome and the kind of salad that you eat all on its own!

Roasted Vegetable & Warm Goat Cheese Salad

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 red ball pepper
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 bag mixed greens
  • 1 brick goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1 cup panic bread crumbs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • approx. 3 cups oil for frying
  • favorite balsamic dressing (balsamic, evoo, honey, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, salt & pepper)

Preheat the oven to 375 and prep veggies: trim asparagus, clean mushrooms, and remove stem from pepper. Season veggies with EVOO, salt & pepper, and roast @ 375 for 5 to 7 min. Pull asparagus & mushrooms from the oven & turn temp to 400 & roast the pepper for another 5 min. While the veggies roast, peel & thinly slice onions, place medium pot on stove with oil for frying, and put goat cheese in the freezer. Heat the oil to medium/high, prep egg/milk mix & flour dredge for the onions – dip a handful of onions in the egg, then flour dredge & place in the oil for 3-5 minutes until onions crisp. Once you’re finished, make the goat cheese balls: slice into generously thick rounds put panko in dish, dip cheese in egg,then flour, then egg, and then panko to completely crust the cheese. Once those are all set, pop back in the freezer for a few min. & prep the salad: chop the veggies, mix with greens and dressing, and top with crispy onions. Now that the salad is ready, fry the cheese for 2 min. on each side…tap on a paper towel before putting atop the salad – VOILA!

I know it seems like a lot of prep but it really doesn’t take more than 25-30 minutes and its amazing! I like to make a lot of the goat cheese balls at once and keep them in the freezer which cuts down on prep BUT trust me, it’s totally worth it – the flavor combinations are amazing and the differences in texture and temperature are tantalizing to the palate.

Enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling 🙂

Thursday Thoughts

Hey there friends! Can you believe it’s Thursday already? I feel like this week has flown by but you won’t hear any complaints from this girl, the sooner the weekend is here, the better! As I have shared, the cross country transition has been challenging – exciting but scary and overwhelming too! Phil and I will continue to face hurdles with our transition through the coming months but that is totally okay – we have each other, we’re in a beautiful city with lots to see and explore, we have a roof over our heads, clothing on our backs, food in the fridge, and we’re about to start our lives together…life is good. Now, I can’t say I feel like that all the time but I am working on it, and today, things feel possible!photo-13One area of study during my 200hr teacher training was Philosophy and we spent a fair amount of time looking into the Yamas and the Niyamas – these are basically the don’t and do’s of yoga and they comprise 2 of the 8 limbs of yoga. For me, focusing on one specific Niyama, Santosha or contentment/optimism of self, is helping keep things in perspective. Just like any virtue, Santosha isn’t necessarily something you achieve but rather something you’re constantly striving for/working on throughout your lifetime.photo-14Since it felt like I was in a rut, focusing on negative things for a little while, I wanted to find something that would help bring things back around, and for me it’s this idea of Santosha – this contentment in yourself & your surroundings, this acceptance of others and where you exist in the world is powerful. My goal, is to find Santosha each day, if only briefly, and remind myself that life is good & things are possible!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Fun

Happy Hump Day Friends!

It seems like Tuesday is our new date night because Phil and I hit the town again last night. When we first arrived in San Francisco Phil and I stayed at The Stanford in Nob Hill directly across the street The Fairmount. I had wanted to stay there and Phil had no idea so of course when he found out he felt terrible…in an attempt to ‘make up for it’ we went to dinner at Laurel Court, the restaurant in the hotel, and it was lovely! photo 1-5

We found the menu both approachable and adventurous. They offered classics like roasted brussels sprouts, truffle fries & New York strip and unique plates like warm yam puree with spiced beignets – we were delighted by our options.photo 3-3 Phil and I shared the yam puree, poured table side over spiced beignets with shaved pecorino and maple creme fraiche which was divine, probably the best thing I’ve had since we arrived in San Francisco (with the exception of my cooking). I had the day boat scallops with fennel and rock shrimp while Phil enjoy his New York Strip for entrees & we shared some roasted brussel sprouts and truffle fries along side – SOO good!!! Since we switched gears mid-lent and chose to give up cursing instead of sweets (truth be told I can sound like a bit of a sailor and THIS is much harder), we got dessert!!!!! Lemon panna cotta with macerated raspberries was refreshing and delightful – perfect way to finish the night. I have a feeling we may be coming back when family comes to town! photo 2-4

’til next time, keep smiling 🙂

Meditate and Motivate

Welcome to another wonderful week!

monday

As everyone is well aware I am working towards settling into life here in San Francisco and finding a job, preferably one I enjoy, in our new home. Being what my mother would refer to as ‘a kept woman’ has been fun and all but its been a solid month since I got here and it’s time to get shit done. And THAT my friends is my mantra of the week, haha 😉 just kidding, but seriously, I need to kick it into gear. Thankfully I get to see our new apartment today & with any luck, it’ll be where we stay until June. This week is all about looking for work and making sure everything is set for Phil and I in terms of our housing situation.

photo 3-2I always struggle when it comes to ‘getting shit done’ for myself because I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I put myself out there I open myself up to potential failures, and to fail would be unthinkable, right?!? If I allow my fear of failure to translate into a lack of action I’ll just be perpetuating bad habits; so in an effort to motivate myself, this week’s mantra is ‘I’ve got this!’ It’s true, and I know it, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember – I have everything I need to succeed already and there is nothing standing in the way but me – I’ve got this!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

San Francisco Eats

Holy Weekend Post!!!photo 1-4

I nearly never post on the weekend BUT we enjoyed our dinner on Tuesday SO much I had to share our meal before it gets too far from my mind. Phil and I met for an early reservation at this maybe 50 seat Italian hot spot. We picked Cotogna because Phil’s company gave us a gift certificate – we are DEFINITELY going to write a thank you card! NOW, back to the food…photo 2-3We started with chili flake foccacia bites & house made burrata with lemony asparagus. Both were amazing on their own but I of course mixed them together! Since both of us have been missing our favorite pasta spot back home, Porcini, we opted for pasta entrees. Mine was tagliolini with dungeness crab, lime & espelette and Phil of course had the garganelli lamb ragu and they were both delicious. Now, I wouldn’t say they were exactly up to Porcini standards or that we weren’t going to continue to look for a good pasta place, but we’ll most certainly be going back sometime soon!

photo-10

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Glorious Friday Gorgeous Friends!

I’m excited to share this weeks Foodie Friday but have to admit it still needs some tweaking, so play around with this base..I sure will be! Just as they are there these key lime cheesecake cups are delicious BUT like anything great, it takes more than one try! Phil has been begging me to make him something key lime so as a mini-celebration for taking/passing his CA brokers test, I whipped up these – mind you we gave up sugary/indulgent desserts for Lent, so I had to get a little creative. photo-9

Key Lime Cheesecake Cups

  • 6 tbsp marscapone cheese
  • 4 tbsp 0% greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4-6 honey graham sheets
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 pinch salt

Zest and juice limes into a medium mixing bowl – add cheese, yogurt, honey, 1 pinch of salt and whip until well combined. Once the base is mixed set aside in fridge. Take about 4-5 sheets of graham and put into bag to crush or pulse in food processor until they become crumbs. Mix graham crumbs with butter & 1 pinch of salt until well combined. Now that both parts are completed, its time to assemble. Place a generous amount of crumbs on bottom on cup and pack them down with the back of a spoon. Then layer in some key lime cheesecake, then more crumbs, then another layer of key lime, and lastly, a light dusting of crumbs – maybe sticking a few larger chunks in if you want to get fancy 😉 Once your cups are assembled, place them in the fridge for a few hours to set, which honestly is the longest, hardest part of this whole dessert making process, haha!

Enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂