Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baked Grapefruit

I had full intentions of working today.  Then, I woke up and saw just the slightest dusting of snow on the ground, heard the wind and gave myself a snow day.  (One of the perks of subbing!)  I've been quite productive so far...I'm just a few clicks away from having my taxes filed!  As I was working on them this morning I decided I needed a break (Let's be honest-taxes are a snooze fest) and I wanted something warm to eat.  I've been wanting to bake grapefruit for many months, but never got around to it.  When I opened the fridge this morning and saw several grapefruits I decided to go for it.  I loved it!  I will definitely do this again.  It's so easy and it was great for a cold, Winter day.
Simply cut your grapefruit in half, place it on a sheet pan and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and you're done!
Many recipes tell you to separate the grapefruit a little bit and drizzle some maple syrup or honey in it and then bake it.  While I'm sure this will add to the flavor and I will try this sometime I decided not to today.  Between my no bake energy bites that are a constant in my fridge and my newest love for yogurt with peanut butter and syrup I reminded myself I am not Winnie the Pooh, nor a bee and chose to lay off the syrup or honey.  For today at least.  I simply sprinkled it with cinnamon and then when it came out of the oven I sprinkled a very small amount of Stevia on it and was good to go.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I have a love hate relationship with yogurt. 

A few years ago I was in love with it.  I read all about how healthy it is for you and how you should eat it everyday.  I started making homemade granola and would sprinkle it in my yogurt for my daily afternoon snack.  I couldn't bring myself to buy the "regular" kind with all it's calories, fat and sugar so I went with Dannon Light and Fit.  Vanilla was my favorite and I bought it by the quart.

I knew it had sucralose in it, which I discuss in detail here.  However, this was before I really read about sucralose so I ate it anyway.  Then, a couple years later when I read more and my guilt overtook me I parted ways with my beloved afternoon snack.  I know, so sad.

Enter phase 1 of the hate relationship with yogurt.

Fast forward to a year or so ago and I was excited to learn about Greek yogurt.  As you have all probably heard it's supposed to be much healthier and extremely good for you.  I was sold, but it took me awhile to find some that I liked.  Let's be real here, something that looks like sour cream when you're eating it can be interesting.  Well, I finally found some at Aldi that I liked.  Score!  Delicious and cheap.  

This went on for several months, but I always ate it sparingly because of all the sugar.  One of these containers has 19 grams of sugar.  Yikes!  (I try to eat no more than 24 g in a day see the problem)  But, still, I was excited it tasted so yummy and tried to convince myself it was okay it had that much sugar because of all the other benefits of eating yogurt.  

I was back in love...albeit, cautiously.

Then, this bad boy showed up in my inbox from sugar free mom.  (It's about 7 minutes long, but if you have time it explains Greek yogurt nutrition labels better than I ever could.  Very much worth your time)

You guessed it: flavored Greek yogurt and I were over.

I was motivated and I tried so hard to enjoy the plain yogurt she talks about.  I knew she was right, I knew it all along, but I just couldn't do it. I am a FIRM believer that eating healthy does not mean eating food that doesn't taste good.  Everything I eat I make sure I enjoy.  Since I didn't like plain Greek yogurt I would keep it in the fridge and add it to fruit smoothies whenever I made those so I couldn't taste it.

Don't worry, this story has a happy ending.  The other day on Pinterest I saw an intriguing recipe where you add peanut butter, vanilla, and honey or maple syrup to plain Greek yogurt.  I had tried adding honey and fruit myself, and I think I even added peanut butter once, but it still was sour to me.  I never tried this combo though and I had some Fage in my refrigerator.  (I buy this at Aldi also)

I'm back in LOVE with yogurt.  I have eaten this for an afternoon snack twice this week and it's fabulous.  Yogurt is one of those foods that keeps me full for a long time and I'm always looking for those kind of snacks.  Now, yes, there is some sugar in it from either the honey or the syrup (make sure you use 100% pure maple), but that's all natural, God made and I'm absolutely an advocate for it-sparingly.

I'm going to type the recipe on here because I think it's easier than having to click on a bunch of stuff, but I want to give credit to the one who posted it.  It came from


1 small container of plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp nut butter (I used all natural peanut butter)
1 tbsp sweetener (like maple syrup or honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I didn't use this much, I just sprinkled a few on top)

Combine the Greek Yogurt with the nut butter, sweetener, vanilla and sea salt. Mix until smooth.
Top with Mini Chocolate chips. Enjoy!

*I made this the first time with honey and the second time with pure maple syrup and I prefer it with syrup. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Exciting Kansas City Eatery News

Tyler D, Travis, Morgan, my mom, me, Tyler T, my dad, Kristen and Dave enjoying lunch at Oregano's pizza

We had a fabulous trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl.  *Minus the outcome of the game.  Regardless, we got in some great family time and met some amazing people on the trip.  This picture is from a lunch we shared with an awesome family and it was one of the highlights of my trip.  One reason being, the food (pizza) was delicious, but that's for another blog post.  The purpose of this is to tell all you Kansas City readers about a new place opening in Kansas City!  

If you read my blog post about Local you will remember how much I enjoyed the food and the concept of the restaurant.  I also mentioned the owner of Local was the owner of GTM sportswear.

{Side note: GTM is where my mom purchased these t-shirts that were a huge hit at the pep rally}

Anyway, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch with delicious food and ever better company the day after the game. Allow me to introduce you (via blog) to the Dreiling family, owners of GTM and also involved with Local, Coco Bolo's, Cox Brothers BBQ and others.  This family was nothing but a joy to get to know.  Although I already was in favor of supporting their locally owned restaurants, after meeting them I will continue even more to tell anyone who will listen that this is a great local family to support! 

Now, to the juicy part.  I feel I allowed ample time to pass before I took a risk at embarrassing Travis (who already knew the family) and expressed my admiration for Local as well as my frequent visits to Coco Bolo's while in Manhattan.  Which, then led to two things. 

1) A wonderful discussion with Kristen about their huge garden (the one that supplies the produce for Local) as well as their chickens.  That's right, I found another contact who offered to give me some fresh eggs.  I realize none of you care about reason number one.  Keep reading, you're going to care about reason number two.

2)  Dave told us he's opening a quick-casual version of Coco Bolo's in Kansas City.  YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Here's where I started firing questions, getting very enthusiastic, I was lost in my own world and quick glance at Travis and I toned it down a notch.  I mean, nobody wants to be the embarrassing older sister.

I should have been taking notes, but that would have been way weird. So, instead, here's what I remember: the menu is still getting finalized, it will be located at 119th & Metcalf (by IHOP and the new Famous Daves), it's called Traqueros and it opens sometime in February!  Oh, and the cheese dip is improved.  I will keep you posted as I learn more.  Who's excited?!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This Christmas season I did a Bible study on advent and focused on the hope, love, joy, and peace Jesus brings us.  One of the days was about how all these things should not only be talked about at Christmas time, but through the entire year.  In other words, we should not be sad when Christmas is over because the hope, love, joy and peace that Jesus brought and brings to us is not seasonal, but everlasting.  Great point, I took notes, I got it.  But, I might slightly disagree.  This girl, regardless of how many Bible studies I do, will probably always be sad for a bit when Christmas is over.  Here's how I see it:

December 26th is the worst day of the year. 

I am allowed one day to be sad.

There.  I said it.  I know it has to end in order for it to all begin again the next year.  I know it's inevitable.  I always try to focus on all the positives, the great memories, and the reason for the season.  However, I still wake up on the 26th a little bummed.  I really need to start a tradition on the 26th to give me something to look forward to.  I guess I have a whole year to decide what it should be...would it be acceptable to leave for Mexico every December 26th?  That would totally cure me!

This year, we drove home to Wichita from Kansas City on the 26th.  We loaded up the car, said our goodbye's and I cried the whole way home.  Totally kidding, just seeing if you're paying attention.  No tears were shed.

Disappointment about Christmas ending aside, Josh and I had an evening at home with an open calendar.  We decided to spend our free evening at home watching a documentary that had been on my "to do" list for months.  I wanted to watch it with Josh because it's about sushi and he loves eating sushi.  I think all along he was willing to watch it with me, but I made sure to point out a few weeks ago it was on GQ's "must see" movies of 2012.  I knew that would really get him interested!

I don't even remember which e-mail it was from, but months ago I read about a new documentary coming out called Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  I read the summary and could not wait to see it!  It's about a sushi restaurant owner named Jiro.  His sushi place is underground at the Tokyo train station and it seats 9-10 people.  Yes, you read that right.  Furthermore, he is 85.  That's all I needed to know and I was excited to see the documentary.

I was really disappointed when it was only going to be shown in Wichita for two days and I was out of town.  I had to wait many months to finally sit down and watch it, but Josh and I both agree with all the reviews.  This documentary is unbelievable!

Jiro is a perfectionist, he accepts only the best, and he serves only the highest quality food.  He's considered the best sushi chef in the world.  What more could you want from a restaurant owner?  I'd love to visit his place and eat his sushi.  Just in case you have a trip to Tokyo planned, be warned:  the freshest ingredients and the hours of preparation are going to cost you.  A meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro costs 30,000 yens.  We looked it up and that equals approximately $330.  And that's if you dine alone.  Add a date and you're looking at almost $700 before tip.  I love food, but I'll admit, I don't think I could fork over that kind of money!  However, after watching the process from ocean to plate you get a little insight into the high price. 

Every single morning, one of Jiro's workers (it used to be Jiro himself, until recently he gave it up due to his age) goes to the fresh fish market to find only the finest of fish.  He inspects it, he studies it, and if it doesn't meet his expectations he moves on.  I loved this part of the story.  There is no menu at Jiro's restaurant; he serves different sushi every night.  He serves whatever was the highest quality from the market that morning.  So, yes, for $330 you are arriving to sit at a bar in a train station and you will be served 9 different sushi courses that you don't know until you are served.  Seems crazy, right?  Jiro clearly has something figured out in terms of running a successful restaurant/business-you need to call a year in advance to get a reservation.  And, that was before this documentary came out...I wonder what the wait time is now?

I think even those out there who aren't as "into" food as I am will still enjoy this documentary.  Even if you don't like sushi you need to watch it.  It isn't just a documentary about food.  Through interviews you see how his family life suffered because his kids were little when he owned a restaurant and he missed a lot.  You see his son, who works at the restaurant with him, struggle a little bit to live under his father's shadow, but he's all set to take Jiro's place whenever needed.  The relationships are strong, but according to Jiro there's only room for one expert in his place and that will go to his oldest.  Therefore, his other son opened his own sushi place.

Jiro also has a wonderful attitude about his job and about work.  He loves sushi and he loves preparing it.  Therefore, he doesn't consider it work.  In fact, he loves going to the restaurant everyday.  He has some wonderful words of advice throughout this movie. 

I loved every detail of this documentary.  As I mentioned, Jiro loves his job and what he does, but he realizes that owning a restaurant while his children were young meant time away from them that he missed out on.  He's honest, open, and well, quite frankly an adorable old man who I enjoyed listening to!  I could go on and on, but I'd rather not tell you ALL about it, but rather, you should go watch this!  (If you don't want to buy it, it's on Netflix.)  It's all is subtitles so make sure you're in the mood to read along.

Josh and I had a fun day after Christmas evening watching Jiro do his magic making sushi.  I suppose if Mexico every year doesn't fly with him (which it won't), perhaps I can pick a new documentary to watch every day after Christmas.  Although I see some problems: 1) I doubt a new documentary is going to be enough to make me look forward to the 26th and 2) Can you imaging when we have kids?  They will really dislike the 26th if I make them watch a documentary. 

I'm taking any and all ideas for day after Christmas traditions. 

*If you're looking for other documentaries, two on my list to watch are Hungry for Change and Vegucated.  Both of those, obviously, have to do with food.  On a side note, an awesome non-food related one is called Teenage Paparazzo.   It's produced by Adrian Grenier and he's in it.  A lot.  That's all I need to say.  I mean, Entourage is over and who isn't looking for an opportunity to stare at Adrian's beautiful locks of hair he was blessed with?  Okay, okay, if that didn't convince you, it's about a kid in California who is a paparazzo and Adrian Grenier interviews him and follows him to see his life.  It's crazy and very interesting.