Leap Day!!


I heard this the other day, and thought it was HILARIOUS!! It was a prank phone call done by a local radio show here in Dublin.

Anyway, today I went and volunteered for a bit, then went and had a little snack with my friend at this restaurant called The Rustic Stone.

Rustic Stone’s philosophy is simple: tasty, nutritious, innovative cuisine that is accessible to all. Simple and scientific techniques are used to release the maximum flavour. Rustic Stone only uses the best of local produce, sourcing our ingredients from local producers (see supplier section). The exciting concept of stone cooking has been adopted by award winning chef Dylan McGrath. Dylan invites you to enjoy and experience his new concept in cooking, Rustic Stone.

The guy who owns the restaurant is Dylan McGrath who is an Irish Celebrity Chef. ALL their food is really healthy, and tasty, and surprisingly filling! I had 2 pieces of Sushimi Tuna stuffed with herb ginger cous-cous, tofu, and some lime with 3 polenta fries. Looking at it, you’d think, okay, that’s NOT enough food, but it surprising fills you up!

Also, Today is Leap Day!! You may have seen the recent movie, but here in Ireland it is actually a tradition that women propose to men on Leap Day. Apparently in Irish culture it’s the one time of year that it’s considered “okay” to propose. If the man says “no”, he’s supposed to buy her gloves so that no one can see that she’s not wearing the ring. There was a local radio contest today where women were going to propose, so the radio picked a certain number of them to be in this contest. The station “kidknapped” their boyfriends, blindfolded them, and dropped them off at the airport. Then, at the airport the women proposed. I didn’t hear all of it, but anyway… thought it was funny that it was an actual tradition here.

Later after lunch, my friend and I cashed in some groupons for massages at BB’s Treatment Room. It was so nice to have a nice relaxing day. For my birthday, Toby told me I could pick out a new purse to carry my laptop and files back and forth to my volunteer site (and eventually work – when I find a job). So on my way home, I picked up my birthday present 🙂

In addition to the awesome socks from my grandma, I also got a fun package in the mail the other day!

Woohoo new gym shoes!!!! Thanks mom and dad! 🙂

Then, I came home, and poor, poor Keeley had been home all day (by all day, I mean until like 3pm…) so we went to the park again. It was so nice today…. 60’s, not a cloud in the sky AND no wind (for once… sorry kansas/missouri, looks like you guys all got it yesterday with tornados!) So I took her the park, and sat down once I finally found a spot. It was sooo crowded because it was so nice. After a minute or so, all the sudden this like 7 year old little girl in a school uniform and a 5 month old puppy asked if her dog could play with keeley, so I said sure! They got along famously!! Then, her little sister came by and wanted to play with the dog. So, she sat there with me for like 30 to 45 minutes and we took turns throwing the ball for keeley to go catch while she told me all about her schooling and friends, and gymnastics and ballet… ha ha. She was quite the talker, but it was soo cute! At one point I was thinking, Where are your parents? In America, parents would never let their kids just go up to strangers and sit and talk with them unattended for that long. As I left, she walked with me to the edge of the park where her dad happened to be standing. So I stopped and got talking with him for a bit about adopting a dog. He said the pound he got their dog from made them spay her, which I thought of as normal. He mentioned he though it was horrible that the pound didn’t give the dog a chance to pass on her lineage and have at least 1 litter of pups. I thought that was an interesting way to look at it, and he was quite passionate about it! By the way, it was the super cutest dog ever! It was a jack russell terrier/chihuahua mix.

Later that day, Keeley’s food came in the mail with a brand new bed…

and a new place mat for her food bowls so they don’t slide everywhere…

**********************************************

Warning, everything below is more cooking… sorry!! 

As some of you know, Toby and I have gotten really into eating healthy and working out lately. So, as an after work out protein snack, I found a recipe for these “protein cookies” (because the shakes in my opinion are gross), plus you can carry them with you easily.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1¾ cups oatmeal
  • 2 tsp brown sugar replacement (I just used regular brown sugar – not pictured)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana
  • 4 scoops chocolate whey powder (I used vanilla because it’s all I had)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds (not pictured)

Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Combine all dry ingredients (whey powder, instant coffee, brown sugar replacement, and oatmeal) into a mixing bowl and set aside. Combine all wet ingredients (egg whites, banana, oil, and almond and vanilla extracts) into another mixing bowl. Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

When complete, stir in the slivered almonds. Using a tablespoon, scoop cookie batter onto a nonstick baking sheet. Leave approximately ½ inch between each cookie. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1 dozen cookies.

Calories per Cookie: 107
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 3 g

They were pretty good, They just tasted like vanilla-y oatmeal cookies. I really want to try it with chocolate though 🙂

Then, for dinner I made Lemon Chicken Pasta *from the food blog Iowa Girl Eats, see link for post*

Ingredients:

8oz dried pasta – I used whole wheat

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • pinch of dried thyme, salt & pepper

For the vegetables:

  • 1 head broccoli crowns
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (last time I made it, I used veg oil, and I think that tasted better, I think a 1/2 cup of olive oil was too strong)
  • pinch of dried thyme, salt & pepper

Directions:

1. For the chicken: Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness and marinate in EVOO, lemon juice and seasonings for no longer than one hour. Cook on the grill or in a skillet until chicken is no longer pink inside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & set aside.

3. For the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place broccoli crowns onto a foil-lined & non-stick sprayed baking sheet, drizzle on EVOO, salt & pepper, toss, then roast for 10 minutes. Add spinach on top of broccoli and cook for 4 more minutes.

4. For the Lemon Vinaigrette: whisk ingredients together. Taste & adjust seasonings as necessary.

5. Mix pasta, chicken & vegetables together. Pour on 1/4 cup of the Lemon Vinaigrette and toss again to coat. Enjoy!

It was sooo yummy and delicious! By the way, the roasted broccoli with spinach would be so good just as a side with grilled chicken. I could almost just eat it by itself.

Sorry for the super long post again – It’s been a fun day with lots of yummy food!! 🙂

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