Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thursday Shopping and Eating Out, What a good Day!

Dan took Thursday off since his office was going to close mid-day. We decided it would be fun to do a little shopping, try out a new restaurant for lunch and meet our buddy Louis for dinner at our usual place.

We started our morning with oatmeal. Dan had his usual oatmeal with mixed berries, ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, a little stevia and walnuts. When I make this oatmeal for him I always add at least a cup of frozen berries to up the nutrition of the meal.

Since Dan was having oatmeal I decided to make savory oats for myself. I don’t like sweets as much as Dan does so savory oatmeal works very well for me. This time I used the following to top my oats: baby spinach, black bean chili, artichokes hearts, grape tomatoes, ground flaxseeds, and nutritional yeast. I added so many veggies that it was a huge bowl of food and kept me full for 5 hours while we shopped.

We went to Tuesday Morning, Marshall’s, Daedelus (a discount bookstore), Baltimore Coffee and Tea and stopped by the pharmacy. We found a few interesting things while shopping including a double walled Bodum Tea Mug with a strainer and lid. I will show you that in a future post it will get a lot of use at our house. The discount bookstore was also dangerous given how much I love to read. I only picked up 5 books for myself which wasn’t too bad for me. ;-) While at the tea place we picked up Christmas tea that has cloves, cinnamon and citrus peel. While I am not normally a black tea drinker the smell of this blend is intoxicating.

While we were shopping we stopped in Towson to have lunch at Zia’s. Michael (from “our restaurant”) who I affectionately refer to as “Shorty” because he is 6’5” recommended Zia’s so we wanted to check it out. They sell sandwiches and a nice variety of fresh juice. Since neither of us were very hungry so we ordered the vegan tofu wrap to split. This sandwich contained: marinated baked tofu, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, red onion, cucumber, and hummus in a whole wheat wrap.

To wash down the sandwich I thought we should get a veggie juice. This juice was very light and refreshing and contained: tomato, cucumber, celery, parsley, lemon and garlic. I really enjoyed it and will be making something like it soon at home.

One of the most adorable items I found while shopping came from Marshalls’s. Don’t you love the saying on this? In case you can’t read it well in the photo is says: “Life is measured by the moments that take our breath away.” I just thought that was a wonderful sentiment and it reminded me of Dan which is why I bought it. I am going to turn it into a wall hanging even though it was designed to go directly on the wall. It is far too cute to paint over in the future.

Since our friend Louis was in town for the day we had to meet him for dinner. I also picked up one of the Bodum tea cups for Louis. Who knows maybe he will drink more green tea. ;-) Yes, that is my “evil” plan in case you were wondering. Anytime I can encourage the people I care about to do something that is healthy I am thrilled.

As I have mentioned before Ian likes as much notice as possible that we are coming in so he can think of something to make us for dinner. He is sweet to worry about that but we always tell him that we love anything he makes. Ian and Will came up with dinner for us tonight and we had no idea what was coming. I love having dinner like that, LOL.

We hadn’t bugged Stephanie in a while so we sat at one of her tables this evening. Steph is always a lot of fun and knows how to deal with Dan’s nonsense if you know what I mean which is good. ;-) When we asked for a pot of green or white tea with dinner Steph made us a blend by combining different green and white teas and since one was Jasmine the overall pat had a nice floral backnote.

Our first course was a light miso soup with fresh shitakes, broccoli and small cubes of tofu.

The next course was a potato napoleon. This was layers of potato alternated with layers of caramelized onion (with a little red wine and sherry vinegar) and morel mushrooms.

The last course was artichokes topped with a Moroccan sauce and drizzled with pomegranate molasses with grilled radicchio on the side.  I would have not thought of this sauce on artichokes but it was a fantastic combination.

After dinner Ian came out and sat with us for probably 30 minutes which is extremely rare. Usually he is too busy to sit down that long. The restaurant was busy but the guys had everything under control so that Ian could sit down and relax. We chatted about Christmas and basically took time to get caught up. It is always nice when Ian has to time sit with us and chill for a few minutes since we both enjoy spending time with him.

Happy thoughts:

We had a great Thursday even though it was busy. Here are my happy thoughts today:

• It was wonderful to have all day Thursday and Friday to spend with Dan. Like always we had a wonderful time together.

• Friday evening (New Years Eve) we had dinner with two of our favorite people, Aimee and Michael. We went to Great Sage and it had a lovely dinner and spent the evening chatting and catching up. It was their first trip to the restaurant and they both enjoyed it. I love it when we can share vegan food with our non-vegan friends. On a very happy note Michael is going to make himself a green smoothie with kale this weekend for breakfast. *happy dance* I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of it.  See I really do like to spread the healthy food love. ;-)

• Aimee and Michael gave us beautiful and very thoughtful gifts for Christmas as always. I will be sharing those with you soon.

• Our trip to the Asian market was very productive today. I found some great stuff that I can’t wait to try. I don’t know if it is just our local Asian market but they are carrying a lot more organic stuff lately. That is a trend I want to see continue.

Signing out:

It is getting late and time for us to kick back and relax. Today, like yesterday, has been busy and a lot of running around. I don’t feel like I have been home long enough to do anything other than sleep the last couple of days. It will be good tomorrow to stay home for a change.

Speaking of tomorrow are you making any good luck dishes tomorrow? On the Southern side of my family black eyed peas are traditional for good luck. However on the Italian side lentils are required. I have the black eyed peas soaking but may have to get some lentils going too just to make sure no one gets left out tomorrow.

I hope you all had a great evening and that you have a very happy and healthy new year. Talk to you again tomorrow or should I say later on Saturday. Happy New Year!  ;-)


  1. Sounds like a great way to spend the day if you ask me. Shopping, good food, even better company! Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year!

    Shopping and eating out does sound like fun - I had a chance to do a little of that yesterday. I'm also bookmarking your recent Asian green beans and mushrooms - looks good!

    I do like my good luck foods - I had black eyed peas and collard greens last night and again for breakfast today. I like the tradition of it; I'm not terribly superstitious.

  3. Sometimes I regret that I don't eat out more often because I miss great stuff like this! Grilled raddichio? And do you have any idea what was in that Moroccan sauce on the artichokes? It looks interesting.
    I've wanted to make a sort of stacked sweet potato dish like the one you had...
    and the breakfast "oats" if you can even call them that rather than a salad look wonderful.
    I'm glad you had what sounds like a nice day. Happy, healthy new year, Ali.

  4. Yum....everything looks and sounds divine!
    I love anything with pomegranate molasses and always have a bottle on hand.
    I am making the traditional black eyes peas for luck (a smoky, New Orleans vegan version) with a huge pot of greens for the symbolic $$$ bills!
    Happy and Healthy New Year!!

  5. I love fresh juice! I like how you can choice that many things to put in your juice. The place I get juice at here only lets you choice three things to put in it.

    I also love going to asian stores. In Hawaii all that type of stuff is available at any grocery store.

    I have no idea what I am having for lunch/dinner today. My husband and brother are having meat. He asked me what he could buy me to eat and I didn't know what I wanted yet. I made a huge batch of hummus this morning so it may just be hummus sandwiches. hm...or, I might make sushi. That might be the plan. As long as my nori is still good :) Happy New Year!

  6. Happy New Year Ali! I don't know of any good luck recipes, to be honest. Lentils sounds good though :-)

  7. I think that is the best looking meal that I've seen from Ian yet! Everything sounds so wonderful. Sounds like you had a really nice NYE too.

    I made a really tasty black-eyed pea based stew. We really enjoyed that. I didn't know about the Italian tradition of eating lentils. I'll have to do that next year if I can resist the tasty black-eyed peas ;)

    Happy New Year to you and Dan!!


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