I Wish I Could Quit You

35

Help! The channel’s stuck and I can’t get up!

Just kidding. The remote’s working fine, and so are my legs, but I’ve completely fallen victim to the network that gives BRAVO a serious run for their money as the most addicting channel on television – HGTV.

Ben and I dreamt of our own retirement while watching zillions of House Hunters International episodes last night, and all day today I’ve been popping in loads of laundry, writing bills and tidying up the house in between Get it Sold, The Unsellables, and Designed to Sell. I can’t turn away!

I’m such a sucker for those before & after shots, and am in complete awe of designers that have the ability to remake & decorate even the most dismal of spaces, in such creative ways. Plus, how can you not help but pretend it’s YOU that’s in the market for a Tuscan villa with a vineyard-view, a la House Hunters International? Ahhh…a girl can dream ;)

Would you ever live abroad?

I think it sounds a lot more romantic than it would actually be, at first anyways, but yes I’d totally do it. Living in Japan for a summer in college definitely gave me the bug, but I think if I ever did it again (well, aside from my Amalfi Coast retirement home!) it’d have to be when I’m older – like after my children have graduated college. Ok, so maybe that will just be retirement…but either way, yes, I would live abroad!

This morning, before I got sucked back in, Ben and I hit the grocery store to stock up on goodies for the short week ahead (yes, May-travel madness continues later this week!) Here’s our booty:

Fridge & Freezer Items

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  • Trader Joe’s Cannoli (Ben totally snuck these into the cart – although I couldn’t stay mad for too long – they are fantastic!)
  • Trader Joe’s Shells with Brie & Asparagus frozen meal
  • Trader Joe’s Salmon & Wild Rice frozen meal
  • Blue Bunny Champ Cones
  • Pops
  • Frozen edamame
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Nathan’s hot dogs
  • 3 Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Greek Yogurt
  • Dill pickle Slices

Pantry Items

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  • Hot dog buns
  • Aluminum foil
  • Altoids
  • Carrot Cake Larabar
  • 2 Honey Graham Clif Z Bars

Produce Items

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  • Granny Smith apple
  • Baby Spinach
  • Broccoli florets
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Cucumber
  • Mango
  • Green onions
  • 2 limes
  • Cilantro
  • 2 Pink Lady Apples

All for $50.

Ummm, can you tell Ben came with me to the grocery store today?! Bahahaha! Hotdogs, Ice Cream Cones and Altoids?! Oh, boy! ;) (Ok, I’ll clearly be digging into those Champ Cones later…)

I used some of my newly purchased fresh produce to whip up another winner-of-a-Pioneer-Woman-inspired-dinner this evening – Asian Noodle Salad!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time then you know that I am completely obsessed with Asian noodle dishes – Thai Peanut Noodles and Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles being two of my faves – so when reader Jane sent me the PW’s recipe via Facebook last week, I knew it’d be on the menu sooner rather than later.

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This cold noodle salad is full of big flavors and textures – and tons of veggies, to boot. You could use any combo you like, but I started mine with thinly sliced peeled & seeded cucumber, then added roughly chopped baby spinach on top.

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Here’s an easy way to de-seed a cucumber by the way – just slice it in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds with a spoon.

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On top of the cucumber & spinach, I added broccoli slaw, green onions,

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fresh cilantro and tons of chopped, salted peanuts.  

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On went cubed extra-firm tofu (it’s under there, I promise!) and cooked linguini & edamame (I just added frozen edamame into the boiling water with the pasta when it had ~3 minutes left.)

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Finally I whisked up a flavor-packed dressing which combined my favorite, fragrant oils – peanut & sesame oil – with lime juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic. I poured everything on top, then tossed. Hard, right? ;)

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Flavor explosion!

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Asian Noodle Salad

Serves 4. Based on a recipe by The Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

4oz linguini, dry

1 cup frozen edamame

1 large cucumber, seeded & chopped

1 cup chopped baby spinach

1 1/2 cups broccoli slaw

2 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped

2/3 block extra-firm tofu, pressed & cubed

For the dressing:

1 lime, juiced

4 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons peanut oil

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoons agave nectar

1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. When the pasta has three minutes left, add edamame into the boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water, then pour into a large bowl and add remaining salad ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and mix to combine.

I Looooved – with a capital L – the crunch from the cucumbers, peanuts & slaw with the chewy noodles and silky tofu.

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But the combo of those oils is KEY. The taste of peanut & sesame totally shined through, making this dish so satisfying to slurp.

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Sometimes I’m afraid to cook with more than a few Tablespoons of oil – I’d rather spend my calories on a brownie, for instance – but it was definitely worth it to get those deep, satisfying Asian flavors. Plus I stay fuller longer when I incorporate modest amounts of good-for-you oil into my cooking.

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Per Livestrong’s Recipe Calculator Tool, the recipe only came out to 515 calories per HUGE serving too – so I’d say it was a win all around! :D

In other news, I cannot believe it’s Sunday night already. I feel like this weekend went by in the blink of an eye! In the next couple of days, before I go out of town again, I am looking forward to getting back on a good workout schedule (my fitness routine has been in shambles since I got back from Minneapolis) and being very productive and proactive on packing, freelance projects and work. What are your goals for the upcoming week?

Have a great night!

~~~~~

What do you wish you could quit right now?

If those cinnamon rolls weren’t finally gone (Ben and I polished the last two off this morning) I’d definitely say those. MERCILESSLY ADDICTING!

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