Love this place and these people

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Food Glorious Food!

There have been several occasions over the last few months where delicious food has been a main focus. I feel that these delicious foods deserve some sort of recognition.

First, my friend Dianna introduced me to a delicious recipe for Veggie Pizza. It's easy, healthy and so very yummy. Whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's, Pesto sauce, a base of spinach, lots of chopped veggies of your choice, and a light sprinkling of mozarella cheese. No better way to get all your servings of vegetables.
Second discovery, also courtesy of Dianna, the Pear'wich. This is another healthy meal that I have eaten a lot over the past few months. All it takes is 2 pieces of bread (I like to use OatNut though the recipe says to use whole wheat), a smear of Almond Butter, half a pear-sliced, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. You assemble these as you would any sandwich and you have the most delightful treat of a sandwich you've ever had.

Third, the delicious banana cake I talked about before. I have pictures this time that show just how lovely and scrumptious it was. We changed up the recipe from the one on SmittenKitchen and did a cream cheese frosting with pecans sprinkled on top. Wonderful.

Last of all, we put together a rather impressive Easter dinner. We were lucky to have some visitors, my friends Jess and Megan were in town as was Daniel (as of that weekend, Ani's fiance!!). Dianna had a recipe for Island Pork Tenderloin that she shared (she is a wealth of good recipes!) and ask anyone who ate it, it is DIVINE!! It consists of seasoned, baked tenderloin served on a bed of coconut rice, sprinkled with mangos and topped a brown sugar glaze. My mouth is watering just thinking about the deliciousness of it all!
Ani made lemon cake for dessert and Christina and I had put together a little Easter basket with special prizes for everyone. They had to follow the trail of M&Ms to find it. heeheehee. It was great fun.

I love good food!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stomp the Yard??

First of all, this happened quite a long time ago, in February to be exact, but I never got around to blogging about it because there were too many other things going on and because I was waiting for my mom to see if she could find a video of me from high school when I did a step routine for half time at a basketball game. The video could not be found, but I just went back and watched all of these videos and remembered why I wanted to write about it so much.
My friend Amanda had some co-workers who were participating in George Washington University's Annual Step competition and when she mentioned it I immediately asked when and where. We gathered quite a group for what turned out to be an incredible show. These two videos are a sampling of what we watched for many hours that night. Most of the groups were from fraternities or sororities, but these two are high school groups that performed as "opening acts". They were actually better than most of the college groups. (seeing these girls dance reminded me of Amber, Anna and Syd doing their step routine)

I have never been to a step competition before, but ever since seeing "Stomp the Yard" I have wanted to desperately. This was a dream come true! I became friends with the girl sitting next to me and I asked her all sorts of ridiculous questions through out the night. She was great and explained everything to me. One of my favorite tidbits was that the mean looks they have on their faces while stepping is called "grit". This photo is of us practicing our grit during intermission. Which brings me to my other favorite part of the night. During intermission, the entire auditorium got on their feet and it turned into a huge dance party!!! Not kidding, the emcee was calling out songs to the DJ and there were people up on stage dancing. Wow, I loved every second of it!!! Did I mention that we were pretty much the only white people there as well? Loved that too. The whole auditorium felt like one big party with people chanting and cheering on their favorites. It was definitely an audience participation performance. This is something they apparently do quite frequently, and I can't wait to go to another one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My other new love

There are so many things I need to post about but I don't have time to write anything too long so I decided to just do something quick about one of my new loves. That love is Golds Gym. It's true. Up until about 2 months ago I had never belonged to any sort of gym. Didn't really believe in paying money to work out. But I have been converted. It started because I was looking into taking some sort of dance class out here, but with my work schedule, etc. it's hard to commit to the same time every week. After a lot of research, I decided that Golds was the best fit for my lifestyle/schedule. There are 6 gyms in the area that have different class schedules every day. With all those options, I can always find a class I want to go/can make it to. And the classes are AWESOME!! For those who have never been to Golds, they have this program that has "Body" classes that include the following:

Body Flow - A combination of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates

Body Jam - Basically you just dance your heart out for an hour

Body Pump - Weights

Body Attack - High Level Aerobics, super intense

Body Step - Step class

Body Combat - Mixture of different martial arts/kickboxing

I have done all of these classes at least once, except for Pump. My favorites are Flow and Jam. Jam perfectly fulfills my craving for dance. The music is some of my favorite dance tunes and the moves help you get a work out and yet are completely funky/fun at the same time. I LOVE it! And with flow you get stretching, strength building, balance and relaxation. My friend Dianna who is my workout buddy has an equal obsession (more so than me actually) with Flow and she teaches a Body Step class. I actually spent 2 hours at the gym on Wednesday doing Attack and then Flow. I'm more than a little bit sore, but it's the good kind of sore. The point is, I have become one of those people, the gym people, and I can't believe it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cake Decorating Course 1 - Check!

I am an official graduate of the Wilton Course 1 Cake Decorating class. We learned many things, like how to frost a cake and not show the crumbs, how to smooth it with parchment paper, some borders, flowers, and of course the rose. Which I never thought I would be able to do when our teacher, Ashraf, showed us. But all the roses on my last cake were made by yours truly! I spent almost 5 hours baking, making frosting and decorating that cake. Holy smokes! Good thing I truly love it.

The first class where we decorated a cake, I had signed up to feed the missionaries the next day and I thought, "Perfect. I don't want this cake sitting around my house, and Elders always want more food (at least in my experience)." Which is why the cake has a CTR on it. So great.

The rest of the cupcakes and cake I brought to work the next day and my co-workers love me. It's amazing what free food does for the work place. I have already started Wilton Course 2 and I LOVE it! I made cupcakes last night just so I could practice decorating them. Yes, I have an obsession. I also keep finding all these great cake/baking blogs and last weekend I made a yummy banana cake with cream cheese icing and pecans from a recipe on Smitten Kitchen.

I have decided my dream job is to own my own little bakery/cake decorating shop. But it has to be in a small town, not DC. So if anyone knows of any cute, small towns that need a cake decorator, please let me know and I will consider moving there to open a shop.

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