Tag Archives: new york city

Jelly Beans and Peeps

6 Apr
This is a picture i took for the Candy article.

This is a picture i took for the Candy article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isn’t it funny how food can bring comfort?  I’ve been having a rough week.  Running and I are still having issues and without running I feel like I’m on the brink of losing my sanity.  I was picking up a prescription medicine at the pharmacy earlier this week and I saw some Easter peeps and old fashion jelly beans (not jelly belly or starburst) on the shelf.  I picked them up and took a walk through midtown munching on them – trying to escape the office and my thoughts for just a few minutes.

As soon as I took a bite into the yellow peep, I had a rush of happiness.  My memories of Easter Sundays searching for eggs in my childhood home with my sister became so vivid – a rush of happiness ran through me. 

Spring is on the horizon and with its reminders of new beginnings, new life and hopefully better running days.

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An Inspired Breakfast by Haagen-Daz

4 Apr

I have been totally inspired by this exquisite bowl of ice cream. 

  Mid-Western Boy keeps bringing me a pint of this Haagen Daz ice cream. It is white chocolate raspberry truffle.  There is something so delicious about the sweetness of the raspberrys against the richness of the truffles with a sweet taste of the white chocolate ice cream.  I’m addicted to it and I”ve been eating it almost every night after dinner. 

I didn’t think much about this new indulgence until Sunday evening as I watched one of my favorite television programs, Mad Men.  Betty Draper (Francis) has been depressed and it appears that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  One of the last scenese of the show is of Betty eating ice cream with her daughter after dinner.  Her daughter didn’t finish her bowl of ice cream and so Betty pulled it to her and finished it as well as her own.  At that moment, I stopped breathing – hadn’t I just done the same thing with my son’s bowl of my new indulgence?    I knew I had to stop eating the ice cream every night but I can’t stop thinking of about the raspberry and chocolate combination. 

And so, this morning, I figured out how to satisfy the craving with a much healthier version for BREAKFAST!  On the weekend, I usually prepare some steel cut oatmeal and leave in our refrigerator and then warm it up during the week to vary our breakfast.  I usually simply toss in some almond milk, chopped almonds and some honey or cocunut to sweeten it for us.  Other times I toss in blueberries and brown sugar.   This morning – – I created my newest addiction — I warmed up the steel cut oatmeal with some almond milk, mixed in a a teaspoon of local raw honey and tossed in some frozen raspberries and dark chocolate chips and ……I’m back in heaven – with a lot less calories and guilt and my four year old can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

A Date with My Four Year Old

1 Apr

My little man and I spend at least one day a week (usually a saturday afternoon) on a date!  One of my very favorite things we have done together recently is enjoy New York City’s generous music/art scene designed specifically for children.  

We attended a performance by the Little Orchestra Society of Cinderella and the Prince who Slayed the Magic Dragon at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.  A few weeks later, we attended the performance of Lucky Duck at the New Victory Theater.   For both events, I spent last then $25 on our tickets combined!   I usually choose the cheaper seats in the house and then politely request to move to better seats if the show is not sold out  (this has been successful on almost every single occasion – except one so far – event was sold out).   I also almost always look for discount codes before I purchase tickets.  Every performance I have taken my son to was purchased at a discount – including these two performances.

Finally, one of the keys to saving money on this type of event – we always take public transportation (in our case the subway or bus) and pack our food.  I usually pack my son’s favorite meal – peanut butter and jelly sandwich – cut into fours apple slices, a squeezable yogurt and a thermos of ice-cold water.  We always arrive to the performance early so we can find a place to sit and eat our “picnic” lunch and use the restroom!

I hope that exposing my son to music and theater at a young age will help him to appreciate the arts as he grows into a young man.  I hope you have a chance to enjoy a performance with your little person in a city near you soon and see how it impacts their imagination and view of the world! 

My Wise Four Year Old

1 Apr

I was enjoying a little Saturday Morning Dance Party in our living room with my four year old son.  When we were done grooving to LMFAO‘s “I’m Sexy and I Know it” and Rock Party Anthem – I told him I loved spending time with him and that he really is a blessing in my life.  Then I impulsively asked him – “are we best friends, goose – goose?” 

He replied in his sweet little voice (I wish I can record it forever) – “Mommyyyyy, we can’t be best friends – You’re my mommy and I’m your son!”

My wise four year old.  He reminded me of my place in his life  – I am his parent and I don’t want to be his friend – I need to be his parent so he can grow into a well adjusted gentleman.

A Quick Basic Meal For A Hurried Lifetstyle

31 Mar

I’ve been cooking this healthy basic meal almost every week for months now and I thought it might be something nice to share.  The reason I love cooking it – is that it is healthy, quick and has so many variations – even with the use of the same veggies over and over again – there is a sense of variety so I always have something to look forward to.

1.  I always begin with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan.

2.  I then add a few cloves of garlic pressed through and saute for about 2-3 minutes.

3.  I almost always add Mushrooms (all different varieties).  I find mushrooms are really filling. 

4.  Next, I check my refrigerator and I look for any colorful veggies that I have on hand.  Most of the time I have carrots and celery.  I quickly and coarsely chop them in the food processer and drop them in the saute pan and continue to saute. 

5.  I then check my refrigerator and freezer to add some more color to my basic veggie dish.  I almost always have frozen organic veggies.  I love to add broccoli and peas.

6.  Finally, I love tomatoes and I find that they thicken up the  sauteed veggies as well.  So, I usually add grape tomatoes (halved).

7.  Finally I throw in cut up Kale and lower the heat and put on the pan cover so they steam down. 

While sauteeing the veggies, I usually sprinkle the veggies with california sea salt and black pepper.

While I’m preparing the veggies, I usually have a pot of boiling water on the side to add some type of carb.  The carbs have been varying as follows: whole wheat pasta, buckwheat soba noodles, short grain brown rice (my new favorite), and quinoa pasta.

When the carbohydrate or base is complete, I usually drain it and toss into the saute pan so that the juices of the sauce can cover the pasta, rice, noodles, etc.

VARIATIONS

I sometimes like to make different sauces in the sautee pan so it gives me a variety of flavors and tastes and I can keep repeating the dish but feel like I’m eating something different every night.

1. If I”m only feeling like I want something light, I usually just add lemon zest, pine nuts and feta cheese to the sautee pan at the end of the cooking process.

2.  If I’m feeling like Asian food, I add Tamari Sauce and Gomasio while satueeing the veggies.  At the end of the process, I add chopped avocado.  I LOVE this combination with short grain brown rice.  It also goes well with soba noodles.

3.  If I’m feeling like I want a mexican flavor, I toast whole wheat tortillas and mix in some mild salsa at the end of the veggie sautee and fold brown rice and the veggies into a burrito.

The variations are endless! This healthy meal can be made in less than 30 minutes and will work well for busy, hurried lifestyles.  It also stays well for leftovers later in the week. (I usually bring it as my lunch and send it to lunch in thermos with my son for school)!

Buon Appetito!

– City Mama

My Best Friend

31 Mar

My boyfriend, Running, and I have been having some difficulties in our relationship again lately.   While we’ve still been spending at least 3 days a week together and we are training for a half marathon in late spring, my right leg and foot have again been giving me issues on my runs.  My hamstring feels tight and my legs feel heavy during my runs.  My right foot even cramped several times.  I am now convinced that it is a result of a prescription medication that I am taking – – some of the side effects state that it impacts the electrolyte levels in your body.  I’m a bit disappointed but I know that I will need to take the medication for several weeks so that my health issue improves.  It’s hard because for me to have a bad run because spending time with Running has benefits to me in more ways than just enjoying time alone.   Running makes me feel empowered, strong, attractive and, of course, helps to relieve stress.  Not only does Running support me in so many ways but I also love looking forward to preparing myself to spend time with Running for a long race – like a half marathon distance.

While I’ve been a little frustrated because of this setback, I’ve consulted my new best friend, Foam Roller.  Foam Roller has helped release some of the tightness in my right leg before a run and has limited the right foot cramping.  I met Foam Roller during my break up with Running last year and Foam Roller hasn’t let me down since.  I’m hoping to do a long run today and I’m expecting to have Foam Roller address some of my problems with Running so that before I go out to spend time with Running again today – I feel a little less stressed.

2008 NYC Half Marathon

2008 NYC Half Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Request for Some Digits

4 Feb
PHONE

Image via Wikipedia

I have a secret stress weapon that lives in my building.  Her name is M.  She is 14 years old and charges $8 an hour to babysit.  She is the  best deal I found in Manhattan.  My son adores her.  She is almost always available when I ask her to babysit.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably would not have been able to develop my relationship with Mid-Western Boy.  She stayed with my son on almost all of our dates in the early part of our relationship and she even watched him last weekend so we can go out on a Friday night. 

I responded to her advertisement  in the laundry room of our building and we have been developing a nice relationship.  I learned recently that her parents are divorced and that her dad lives 4 blocks away.  She understands my need for help.  She is the oldest child and her mom has three girls. 

There is a very friendly neighbor in my building who always offers to help me (although I haven’t asked her to).  She has two sons and one of them is my son’s age.  She and her husband have been incredibly kind and even invited my son to their son’s birthday party.   We went “trick or treating” together on Halloween.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her when my son joins her son at the local elementary school.  I’m sure the boys will get along well.  It will be great as the boys get older and can spend time together.  It will be nice for me to have a friend in the building – if a relationship develops between us.

Earlier this week she asked me if I had babysitter. I said “yes”.  She asked me who? I said she is 14 and lives in the building.  She said I can’t believe “”you” already have a babysitter in the building!  You have to give me her number!”

I paused.  It was as if she asked for my boyfriend’s number.  I don’t want to share it.  I became really quiet.  My friendly neighbor is a psychiatric nurse practioner, she sensed my closing up.  She said “I’ll run my dates that I need her by you first if you give me her number.”

I didn’t respond.  I just don’t want to share this secret weapon with anyone.  She is the only outside help I have.

My friendly neighbor has a lovely full time Nanny that even comes on Saturdays.  Her parents and her husband’s parents live within walking distance of the building and fill in gaps when her Nanny isn’t available.  She has ALOT of help.   She makes her own hours for her business.  She works 4 days a week (my other fantasy),

She asked me how the heck I found a babysitter in the building – “I told her I do my own laundry.”  It was her turn to be quiet.  It proved my point, I need the help and I can’t share this little help that I engage.   I know my friendly neighbor’s Nanny better than I actually know her because we spend time together in the laundry room with the kids.

This is the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I need to fend for myself.

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