Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Day Off

The stars and planets must be aligned just right because I have the day off from work today! It would have been nice if it was yesterday so I could have a 3-day weekend but hey, a day off is a day off. Right now me and the dogs are basking in our sunroom (aka kitchen) and I'm enjoying a post-workout smoothie and watching our little garden plants grow. Look!

This is one of our window troughs with a few different herbs planted only 2 weeks ago.
They grow up so fast!
Farmer Carl and his sidekick, Melman. 
A few weekends ago Carl did a fantastic job of cleaning up and rearranging our patio and we got the itch to go ahead and plant something. Last summer was so hot that most of the plants in our garden didn't fare too well. Since we live in a condo we don't have a true yard to ourselves and we have to put all of our plants in pots on our concrete patio, meaning that they bake in the sun alllll day long. We could drown them in water in the morning and they would always be wilty (wilty: not a word, but it should be) by the time we made it home from work. Poor plants. So this year we're going to do a few herbs right now while the weather is mild and then switch to peppers, which didn't seem to mind the heat last year. I'm a die-hard pepper fan so I'm really looking forward to our harvest.

So what else am I going to do with my day off? Well, in my never-ending quest to find my long-lost abs I did Jackie's floor abs workout and one of the Firm Express videos this morning. Floor abs was a lot harder than the standing abs workout I did last week- I'm a little nervous to see what kind of pain I'm in tomorrow... and the next day and the next day. I'm determined to win our ab competition, though. Carl has already lost 6 pounds so I've really got my work cut out for me. We decided to set a date and whoever has the best abs on that day will be the winner- May 20th to be exact, just in time for swimsuit season!

I'm also going to (finally) start on our wedding thank-you notes today, something I've been continually putting off. I found out that wedding etiquette says that you have a year to get your thank-you's out and that totally quashed any motivation I had immediately after the wedding to tackle them. Nevertheless, all of our guests made the day truly amazing and they deserve to be thanked in a timely manner, so I need to bite the bullet. Carl even offered to help with them and I plan on taking full advantage of that offer.

Well, I'm off to make myself some lunch and whip up a batch of snack balls. As predicted, the cocoa balls were not long for this world. I think I ate about 9 of them on Friday. Before I go I wanted to share a quick and easy salad dressing recipe. Yesterday morning I had some serious issues getting out of bed, leaving very little time for lunch prep. I had my salad but hadn't prepared any dressings. What to do!? I had been toying with the idea of concocting some sort of Asian vinaigrette but hadn't gotten around to it. One of my all-time favorite vinaigrettes is made up of equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and agave nectar.* Simple and delicious. Using that same template as my inspiration I subbed Nama Shoyu** for the balsamic vinegar and it turned out to be super good. All I do is put each of the ingredients into a little Tupperware container and then shake it up at lunch before pouring it on my salad. Perfect for those days when you're in a rush, or if you don't have a blender but want to try your hand at making your own salad dressing.  

*You can also use honey, but agave nectar is much lower on the glycemic index and isn't acid forming like honey, so I use it whenever I can.
**It's pretty much the same thing as soy sauce except it's raw and unpasteurized. If you only have soy sauce, use it!

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