recovery morning

I had every intention of spending this Monday morning like every other Monday morning: getting up with the dog around 6 a.m., having coffee while making our breakfasts and Andrew’s lunch, then heading to the gym for pilates/yoga and swimming.

Until we didn’t go to bed after our day at the “beach” until well after 11.  And Hadrian woke me up at 3:50 to go to the bathroom.  (To which I replied, “It’s not time to get up yet, go lie down” and he promptly crawled back onto his bed.)  And then he woke me up again, this time at 5:30, and I relented and took him out.  When I ended up sleeping-in until 7, I still thought I might just fit in a quick run, but my body was telling me I needed a rest day.  Between 13 miles on Saturday and an easy elliptical workout and long day yesterday, I was tired!

That, and I needed to get organized for the week before picking Andrew up to see houses with our realtor over his lunch break.  It’s my routine; I hate being super busy on Sunday night or Monday morning and not feeling prepared for the week.

So, I’m calling this my recovery morning, filled with:

-a big steaming cup of coffee, sweetened with creamer and coconut milk

-two loads of laundry

-downloading yesterday’s photos

-catching up on blogs and email

-making the bed

-adding “to-do” items to the planner

And, of course, my “recovery” breakfast:

One banana, cut-up strawberries, 1/2 C plain yogurt, 1/4 Wegmans granola with raisins, flax seeds and flaxseed meal.  YUM!  Today will be filled with lots of water and nutritious foods to make up for yesterday’s steak sandwich and mindless munching.  Overall, I think I did very well for someone watching what they’re eating while being surrounded by chips (I took it easy), beer (I refrained, mostly because I just wasn’t interested) and burgers (I ate what I packed–leftover quinoa and an orange).

On the docket for the afternoon:

-beach-photo post

-blog work–new page and updated “About Me” page coming soon!

-emptying the dishwasher

-writing contest entries

-“clips” portfolio work

– Ellie Krieger’s Sloppy Joes  for dinner!

pancakes, bacon and a new camera technique

In my continuing efforts (a.k.a. obsession) to empty our freezer of the food we brought with us, I decided this weekend would be a great time for pancakes and bacon (the freezer item), and BLT sandwiches, since I had everything on-hand.

We ended up sleeping in on the 4th, obviously much-needed since all three of us made it to 9:30 with just one potty break for the puppy at 6:30, so our breakfast became our lunch.

Of course, just as I was finishing up cooking I realized I should be documenting, so I hurriedly grabbed the camera and started shooting away while flipping the last of the pancakes.  While I was multitasking in the kitchenette, Andrew started eating and offered a tip he’d gleaned from my new photography book, Plate to Pixel.  (I haven’t really even opened it…it’s on my to-do list for this week, I think.)

Anyway, apparently if you hold a napkin (or other lightweight, lightly colored fabric) over the flash it keeps the subject from looking washed-out.  I handed the camera over so I could start eating and he could take some photos.

Here’s the kitchenette, with flash:

Here’s the same shot while holding a napkin over the flash:

It seems to soften it up a bit.

Here’s the rum (yes, RUM) before:

And here it is after:

Much better, although I don’t know if I like how dark/orangey the photo is.  It may also just be our lighting here in the hotel.

(If anyone is wondering why in the world I had rum out for pancakes, it’s because the recipe from The Foster’s Market cookbook calls for it.  They’re called Panama Pancakes and they are, hands down, the best pancakes you’ll ever eat.  Of course, you can sub vanilla extract for the rum if you had to, but the tablespoon it calls for really makes these babies.)

Here’s the rest of the feast:

Some of the bacon got a little crispy since I used my grill pan, but they should be perfect for BLT’s tomorrow night!

SO SO SO glad I brought my skillet.  I really only use it to make pancakes, but it’s perfect for the job.

A not-so-great shot of the infamous Foster’s Market cookbook.  Susy introduced me to the recipe awhile back and after flipping through it I knew I had to have it.  It’s full of fresh food and delicious baked goods.  I made the coconut cake for Easter a couple years ago at Andrew’s grandmother’s house and it was amazing.

And me 🙂  About to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  (I wore the hat to keep the yucky bacon smell from getting into my freshly washed hair.  The whole how-do-I-keep-the-hotel-room-and-myself-from-smelling-like-bacon dilemma had been bothering me for the last couple days and it wasn’t until I was ALREADY IN the shower this morning that I realized I should have made the bacon BEFORE showering…)  No problem:  I had Andrew prop the door open and I had the hood vent going full-blast while I cooked them up.  Only a slight hint of smoke remains…

And, the grand finale…

…a sink full of dirty dishes!

magnificent dinner and Amazon rocks

This is what I made for dinner last night:

I roasted farmer’s market asparagus in the toaster oven (something I did at home a ton), made barley and added my own frozen herbs from last years’ garden and grilled steak on my grill pan.  I see the grill pan getting A LOT of use this summer in the kitchenette.  I drizzled my all-in-Italian balsamic syrup over the steaks.  Served them up with the last of the Fingerlakes Riesling our friends JD and Sara gave us a bit ago.  Again, not bad for a kitchenette.

A moment on photography:  I suck.  Seriously.  I do not know how to use Andrew’s camera to save my life.  The above photo was taken in the kitchenette on the “no flash” setting.

This one was taken by the window:

I don’t really like either of them.  I realize natural light is better, I just don’t think I used it properly.

Amazon to the rescue!

I found Anna Pump’s newest cookbook, Summer on a Plate, on Amazon for $9 yesterday, and because she is Ina’s (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) best friend and partial inspiration, I knew this was one I had to have in my collection the moment I first saw it a month or so ago.  (Thank you Susy, for showing me it’s OK to have a gazillion cookbooks–they are both beautiful AND functional!)

ANYWAY, in order to get free shipping we all know you have to spend $25…so I called Andrew to see if there was anything he had been eyeing on Amazon.  No luck.  I put it in my cart and logged off.  And then I remembered…

…Pioneer Woman’s macaron and photography weekend at the Lodge!  No, of course I didn’t win.  I never win anything from her…might be because 60 THOUSAND other people want to win, too.  Helene, from Tartlette, just came out with a food styling and photography book, Plate to Pixel, and PW was raving about it (and was included in her weekend prize package), so I decided to take a peek on Amazon to see how much her book was.

Wouldn’t you know it was only $16???

Needless to say, both of those goodies will be arriving on my in-laws’ doorstep in just a few days.