Crockpot Productivity.

Yesterday, I was actually productive. And it was all thanks to a crockpot. Okay, not really, but there was something about starting dinner before noon that really allowed me to be more productive throughout the day. More on my crockpot efforts in a minute. In fact so productive in the morning that it was 11am and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet!!

I get somewhat confused when I don’t eat breakfast. I love breakfast. But for some reason yesterday I poured my coffee, sat down on my computer to catch up on emails and peruse job boards, and all of a sudden it was 11am! I finished up what I was doing and was eating lunch by 11:45. A lunch fit for a queen! Or just a big salad, you decided.

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Romaine, red onion, carrots, cucumber + TJ Roasted Chicken Patty, with a little TJ Light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing drizzled on top. So delicious. If you haven’t tried the Roasted Chicken Patties you are seriously missing out. I love them.

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They are perfect for lunch, and beat cold cuts anytime in my humble opinion. I also had a peach on the side after my salad. It was okay, but I am afraid peach season has left the building.

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After lunch, I got back to the computer to get back to work. They say finding a new job is a full time job and they are correct! There are so many different job boards to go through. Any suggestions out there on good places to look in the Bay Area? I’d love to know!

Since I didn’t eat breakfast my salad held me over until around 3pm when my stomach told me I was in need of a little snack. I decided to boil some eggs so that I’d have some snacks for the rest of the week as well.

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They turned out perfect. No green around the shell. Perfect. And delicious. I loved that it was still a little warm while I was eating it. The perfect snack. Okay, I am done saying perfect. Smile

After my snack it was time for a walk in the rain. I was planning on going for a run, but it was raining and I just received my new running shoes yesterday (Asic Gels!) so I didn’t want to try them out for the first time in the rain. I threw on my Hunters, grabbed an umbrella and took Oliver out for a brisk 30 minute walk. I would have gone longer, but it was all I can take. The rain was just so, well, wet! I was thinking about joining a gym, but I really think I should wait until I have a reliable income. You know, do the responsible thing. (I hate doing the responsible thing!) So I will hit the pavement today and begin working out, outside. Some people hate the treadmill, but it was always just so convenient for me. Maybe that was the problem? Maybe I need more of a challenge. I’ll keep you updated.

After the cold, rainy walk, a hot dinner sounded great. A hot dinner that was conveniently waiting in the crockpot for me. After dinner at The Slanted Door on Friday, I decided I should try to make my own Asian Pork. I looked around for crock pot recipes and found one that looked great to adapt.

Crock Pot Asian Pork Roast
Adapted from Food.Com

Yield: 9-12 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (2-3 lb) boneless whole pork loin roast
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup agave sweetener
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Directions:

  • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and pepper. Cut roast in half; rub with garlic mixture. Put roast in the slow cooker and add bay leaves.

  • In a small bowl, combine hot water and honey; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and cloves. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

  • Remove meat and onions from slow cooker; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring twice.

  • Slice pork; top with onions, sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with mixed sautéed vegetables such as bok choy, mushrooms + zucchini (I mixed the onions into this.)

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    I think this really turned out quite nice. There was a little heat, it was a little sweet, and the veggies on the bottom really worked well with the pork. I’d definitely make this dish again.

    I am off to go for a run. Well, let’s be honest, probable a walk/run combo. Need to start out slow with all these hills!

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    Tuna-rific.

    Yesterday was gorgeous, today the normal overcast returned to the City. C’est la vie. It was lovely while it lasted. I really don’t mind the cool weather, just as long as I can smell the Pacific in the morning, this girl will be a-okay.

    I woke up this morning and decided to to go for a big bowl of fruit cereal. I did half Maple + Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats and half Kashi Oat Flakes + Blueberry Clusters (a new box I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday.) Oh an about a gallon of fruit on top.

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    Yes, I promise there is cereal and milk down there. I started with some banana and then decided to dump the rest of my fruit salad on top of it. Well, there was clearly more than I thought. I still didn’t finish all the fruit! But it was delicious. And fresh! Winking smile

    I didn’t do much the rest of the morning. Walked Oliver a few miles. (I see improvement!) Watched some TV that I’d DVR’ed. And tried to think of what I would make for lunch and dinner. Yes, food is usually on my mind.

    For lunch I decided to make a tuna sandwich. Something about it sounded so good to me for some reason. I mixed the tuna with a little low-fat mayo (something I rarely have when at home. I don’t keep it in my fridge normally, but since it was in my mom’s I figured why not,) dill, lemon pepper and garlic salt. I toasted a multi-grain sandwich thin, cut up some cucumber slices, red onion, washed some lettuce and grabbed some pickles and threw it all together with some carrots on the side.

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    I don’t know why, but it was sooo good. Seriously, the best tuna sandwich I have ever made for myself. And I have made many a tuna sandwiches in my day.

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    The saddest part? I’ll never duplicate it. It was a fluke! I didn’t measure the spices, I have no idea the amount of mayo I used. It was the first and last of its kind. And yes, I am still talking about my tuna sandwich. It was that good.

    Okay I’m off to start dinner. My sister is coming over and I’m making something Mediterranean-esque and, well, of course fresh! See ya later!

    A Gorgeous Day.

    Yesterday was hands down such a gorgeous day. I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, so, so gorgeous. So gorgeous I spent the majority of the day outside. Just around lunchtime, I put on some shorts and a tank top, and headed out on a mile and a half walk to Whole Foods for lunch. I had purchased the Living Social deal a few weeks ago and deemed yesterday the perfect day to use it.

    I headed out the door and into the beautiful California sun and eventually ended up at Whole Foods.

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    Now as this is the only Whole Foods I have been to so far in the city, I am crossing my fingers that this is the worst one in the city because I was craving there amazing salad bar and this one disappointed to the max. Maybe I am a snob, and just need to get used to city living, but I am used to the big, luxurious Whole Foods in the DC area. I picked up a few things and then decided on Salmon Avocado Brown Rice Sushi with a Sesame Seaweed Salad on the side. Fear not, I will try another one, and obviously still heart Whole Foods, this one just was conveniently located next to Golden Gate Park where I was planning on picnicking.

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    I sat down in a nice shady area and dug in to my lunch.

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    The sushi had great flavor and I loved the seaweed salad (I seriously love seaweed!) but the only downer was the sushi had wayyy too much rice on it. I ended up taken off the majority of the rice on the outside of the roll. It was not needed.

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    I didn’t let the brown rice ruin my lunch or the bad day. I mean how can you ruin this?

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    I finished my lunch and headed the mile and a half back, quite happy I had bought a bottled water at Whole Foods for the walk back! It was hot! Not that I am complaining one bit.

    I got home, took out Oliver for about a mile, and headed to meet my sister, Katie, and some friends for a beach date with their dogs. (Oliver doesn’t play too well with others, he is more of a person dog, than a dog’s dog.)

    The beach was gorgeous and I so wish I had taken my camera and not just my iPhone because the shots I got does not give the day or the beach justice. It felt so good to be at the beach, it had been far too long!

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    We drank some wine, played with the this little guy, Cooper, and just had fun in the sun.

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    All these dogs are just leaving me dog crazy! I need one, immediately!! Okay, well soon at least. Smile

    After the beach I headed to Benefit with my friend Merry for a much needed session at the Brow Bar. My brows look so much better. They were NOT looking good, and with my birthday TOMORROW, I had to have them look parfait. Non?!

    After our brows were looking good, we headed to dinner at Dragon Well just up the road on Chestnut. We were both hungry, especially after the glass of wine on the beach! The lighting was horrible, but we ended up ordering three dishes to split.

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    The Beef and Chicken dishes were my favorite, both very flavorful and very fresh tasting. There’s that word again, fresh. My new food word. The noodles weren’t my favorite, a little bland, but overall a good meal. I hate when Chinese is too greasy, and this wasn’t in the slightest.

    After dinner we walked back to where my car was parked and I spent the night googling puppies. Yes, I am that girl right now. What can I say? I have puppy fever.

    Do you have puppy fever? Or do you have a dog? If so, what kind?!

    Dog Walk Fail.

    I woke up this morning a little sore (thanks Jillian) and a little lazy. I poured myself a cup of coffee and let it slowly hit my bloodstream hoping the caffeine would give me a pick me up and some motivation to make something substantial for breakfast. The laziness won and a bowl of cereal was all I could muster up for breakfast. At least I added some fancy toppings?

    Milk overload.

    Maple + Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats, banana, blueberries plus a sprinkle of chia seeds on top. Easy peasy. Good thing since I was still feeling lazy as I chomped away at my cereal.

    I finally found motivation to get up and go on a walk. I’m taking it easy this week and just focusing on walking + stretching out my arch, so another 4 mile walk was on the agenda. When I told my mom yesterday I had gone on a walk without Oliver (the dog) she had assured me that he could keep up and walk that far. “For sure.”

    Well, she was for wrong! We headed out the door and had barely hit a mile when this guy was huffing and puffing.

    He wouldn't even look at me 😉

    I decided to make a loop back (in attempt not to hurt the guy) and we ended up back where we start 2 miles short of 4. C’est la vie le chien. I got him a big bowl of water and gave him a treat. Guess I’ll have to do it a bit slower and steadier before entering him in any doggy 5Ks.

    I sat down for a moment to drink some water myself and contemplated going back out myself for the rest of the 4 miles, but decided 2 was not shameful and popped in the 30 Day Shred DVD for day 2 with Jillian. I’ll take the dog out once more later for a little walk (if he manages to wake up!)

    What I like about 30 Day Shred is that you are constantly moving and constantly switching it up. I get bored so easy, so with the different intervals, you don’t have time to want to stop. Hopefully I notice a different after 30 days doing it. We (my butt and myself) shall see.

    Lunch was another easy peasy dish. The second Roasted Chicken Patty from TJs on a Whole Wheat Bagel Thin with jalapenos hummus, cucumber and spinach.

    Strawberries + carrots on the side for good measure (and a little color.)

    These TJ’s Roasted Chicken Patties are awesome. I recommend them if you want a quick lunch packed with lean protein! Great on both a salad or a bagel thin.

    I spent the afternoon looking for more jobs being lazy and reading blogs while snacking on another Mojo Bar eventually. (It is my birthday week, so that makes the laziness somewhat okay, right?!)

     These Mojo bars are pretty tasty. And since I can’t seem to locate the stash of Laras + Lunas I packed, they will have to do for now.

    I am off to shower (yes, I haven’t done that yet, blame the laziness!) and then get ready to go to the Giant’s game tonight!!! I am so excited because they are my team and I was bummed because I didn’t think I’d get to go until next season. But my mom’s coworker was nice enough to give her tickets so I am reaping the benefits. I guess there are some perks to living at home. 😉

    Even though they won’t be heading to the playoffs this year, it will still be fun to see them and enjoy a game in my new city. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!

    Who’s your baseball team?

    Monday’s Eats + Sore Feet.

    Okay, I know, the title probably doesn’t make you want to eat, after reading feet, but I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

    Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in the city. Sunny, sunny with more sunny. Waking up on a sunny day just makes you want to spend it outside. I had a cup of coffee, leftover Kodiak Blueberry Pancakes with a little Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, some banana, Agave Syrup + some Chia Seeds on top.

    Perfect fuel for a long walk around the city to get a little exploring in/ figure out where everything is. 🙂

    I ended up trekking over 4 miles around the city. It felt good to move my legs, take in the Pacific Ocean air, and to see the amazing new city I am living in!

    The walk was also a good idea since my foot has had some serious arch cramping since driving across the country. I have extremely flat feet and really need to do something about finding some running shoes that have better arch support. I  mean, my foot cramping from using the gas pedal for 5 days (even if it was all day) clearly indicates I need something to help me out!

    The walk definitely help. As did the random arch stretching I did while on the walk.

    Any arch supporting shoe recommendations out there? Overall, it was a nice long walk that really help me get a little more familiar with my city. And I only had to look at my iPhone map once or twice.

    After my walk, and since I do not have a gym to use currently, I came back home and threw in Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred into the DVD player and did Level 1.

    I’ve started this DVD a few times, and never get past doing it a few times in a row. Since I have no gym, I think Jillian might have to be my trainer for the next few weeks. So I am hoping to actually do this thing at least 5 times a week. Have you ever tried it? Thoughts?

    After my walk + Jillian I had worked up quite the appetite, and whipped together a big salad.

    In the mix: romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, carrots, Trader Joe’s Roasted Chicken Patty, a sprinkle of cheddar + a little Light Champagne Vinaigrette from TJ’s as well. It hit the stop. I have missed homemade salads. Homemade everything for that matter, after all those Subway sandwiches last week! (Just writing Subway makes me go blah!)

    After lunch I got to work getting things organized. While I have a very, very good lead on a job with an in person interview for it next week, I do not want to place all my eggs in one basket, so I spent the afternoon looking for jobs which I will apply for today! I also did a few other tasks that I needed to get done, and while typing away, eventually snacked on a Mojo Bar my mother bought a Costco pack of on Sunday.

    This one was pretty tasty. Definitely good for someone with a sweet tooth, which for me is some days true, some days not.

    Oh and I might have been doing all this work while watching the first season (not in its entirety…yet) of Sex and the City. The entire series is in this apartment. This could be a good or a bad thing, but as long as I am productive, then it can stay on… right?!

    For dinner, I had a chicken that needed to be roasted, so I did a little research, and decided to make a Roast Chicken with Lemon + Thyme. I also decided to take a few more pictures while making it, in case you guys were interested. What I love about this recipe is its simple ingredients that create a delicious, fresh flavor. I have been all about fresh tasting food lately, haven’t I?

    Roast Chicken with Lemon + Thyme
    Adapted from Epicurious.com 

    Ingredients:

    • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    • 1 7-pound roasting chicken
    • 1 lemon, quartered

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl.

    Rinse chicken; pat dry.

    Place chicken in roasting pan. Rub all but 1 tablespoon garlic-thyme oil over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lemon in cavity of chicken.

    Roast chicken 20 minutes at 450°F. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Roast chicken until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Let chicken sit for several minutes + enjoy.

    I served the chicken with a little brown rice + roasted asparagus on the side. It was a perfectly fresh, delicious and simple meal. The only downside is the length of time it takes to cook the chicken, but it is well worth it. Trust me.

    This was actually way too much chicken for me to eat, so I only ended up eating about half, but I am terrible at cutting chicken off a whole bird… this girl needs lessons stat! Overall, it was a great first Monday in San Francisco!

    Have you ever roasted a chicken? What are some of your favorite recipes? And don’t forget, if you have any suggestions for running shoes with good arch support please let me know!