Easy Mornings and Crunchy Homemade Granola

One of the best parts of “fun-employment” is the fact that I can just easeeee on into my mornings. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am not a morning person, as much as I wish I was. Sure I can drag my butt out of bed for a morning workout when I’m in a rhythm, but I’m a total grouch, and it’s a struggle with the alarm clock. My old spin instructor used to laugh at me and tell me that I was still sleeping when I showed up for class at 6 a.m. Basically, I’m off limits until I’ve had coffee and complex carbs.

Crunchy Granola

So after I’ve taken a few sips of coffee (brewed pot all ready for me when I wake up courtesy of Zan) I excitedly tap my fingers together and wonder what in the world is for breakfast. So many options other than cereal now that I have time!

One morning last week, I woke up craving granola. I had never made my own before, so I did a quick inventory of the pantry and threw together what I thought should be in granola.. ha. And I must say, it turned out pretty good!

Crunchy Granola

Throughout the week, I topped it with mixed berries and a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and also had it as cereal a couple of days with almond milk.. nom. It’s perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack to hold you over until dinner.

Crunchy, Sugar-Free Homemade Granola
Sweet, crunchy, and sugar-free -- perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups rolled oats
  2. 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  3. 1 cup slivered almonds
  4. 1/2 cup whole roasted almonds
  5. 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  6. 1/3 cup honey
  7. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Combine oats, coconut and almonds in large bowl
  3. Combine melted coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a small bowl, whisk together, then pour over dry mixture and toss with hands until coated
  4. Create a thin layer of granola mixture on a baking sheet(s)
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until granola is light golden brown and crisp, flipping once or twice throughout
Notes
  1. * It's important that the granola is in a thin layer so it crisps up. I originally had in one baking dish, but had to divide into two dishes halfway through so mixture could crisp.
  2. * Cooking/baking at high altitude is definitely different! Keep an eye on your oven to make sure you don't burn mixture or give it some more time to crisp, if needed.
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
Questions:

1.) Are you a morning person? Were you always, or did you become that way later in life?

2.) Any granola recipes to share? I want to try making it more regularly to have on-hand!

Hello from my new home: Denver!

Remember that time I was pretty good about this blogging thing? Yeah, me neither.

Here’s the deal: it’s been 8 months since I’ve posted anything on this poor little blog, but a LOT has happened in the past 8 months. I won’t bore you with any sob stories but if I recall correctly, it went a little something like this: summer was crazy busy with weddings and travel, then I got promoted at work and was working crazy hours through Q4, then it was the holidays, then I quit my job, and then Zan and I drove across the country and moved to DENVER! God, it’s so awesome to finally say we’re here. It’s been a dream of ours for quite some time, and to think we’ve already been here a month and a half is wild!

rocky mountains

So for the past ~ 2 months, I’ve been without a job. The first 2 weeks were so busy with packing up our lives and moving that I thought nothing of it. Then after we started to get settled, I quickly started to get antsy. I always dreamed of how awesome it would be to take a bunch of time off work to like work out all day, run errands, clean my house, etc. But I must admit, it gets old fast! Plus, poor Zanimal is working from home, and he’s like so ready for me to get out of his hair.. haha. We have spent a lotttt of time together these past two months, and the fact that we haven’t strangled each other is nothing short of a miracle. J/K, but in all seriousness, so much time spent together can really be a test of a good relationship. I love that guy :)

I’m keeping my fingers crossed on one work opportunity. Hopefully I’ll have an update there soon and I’ll be a working woman again — horray!

sunset

But more importantly, DENVER IS AWESOME! We have had such a blast exploring the city and the mountains and everything in between. I’m going to update my tabs a bit here soon — I’ll add a “Denver” tab so I can archive all things Denver: dinners, hikes, runs, outdoor adventures, you name it. 

I have taken advantage of my down time to play in the kitchen, so I have some good stuff to share on the recipe front, too.

Yesterday, Zan and I went to what he likes to call “the beach” aka: Wash Park. It was 80* and sunny and it is today, too! I got sunburned on my back (wah) but it was so great to sit outside in the warm sun.

Washington Park, Denver

Wash Park is just completely filled with people playing volleyball and corn hole, on a run, playing with their dogs — ugh, someday that will be me.. hint, Zan ;) It’s a blast, and I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time there this summer.

Washington Park, Denver

Thanks for reading! So help me God, I will be better about blogging consistently and sharing all of the new, exciting things we’re doing out west. <3

 

July 4th Weekend, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad & A New Bike!

Hey, guys!

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July. Zan and I had a great weekend getaway in Ocean City – some sunburns, sand and R&R was just what the doctor ordered. Also, I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette and freakin loved it. Read it in less than a day. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, quick read!

orange crush

And of course with the holiday came pizza, beer, fries, cocktails, nachos, etc., etc. By Sunday afternoon, I felt like crap and was ready to “get back on track” with my eating and exercise (I know I’m not the only one who says that after a weekend of indulging.. ha). I’ve even been contemplating a juice cleanse. (whaaaaaa?) I guess the saying is true: never say never. I haven’t purchased anything yet, but am considering a one- or two-day cleanse one of these weeks. Lord knows I wouldn’t last any longer than that.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I’ve been kind of all over the place on the workout front. Lately, I’m more like “Foodie on a Spin Bike” or “Foodie Attempting Hot, Miserable Barely-5K Runs.” Blah, this summer heat and humidity is enough to do me in. I know I complained about marathon training in the Polar Vortex, but hand to God, I’d take that any day over this nonsense, which is why I’ve been loving my Tuesday spin classes lately. But I miss running! Thinking about signing up for a fall race (Baltimore Half Marathon, perhaps) to keep me honest. Stay tuned there!

Speaking of spin, I finally got a new bike! If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen a picture, but here she is:

new bike

I am so, so, so grateful for renter’s insurance! Without it, I’d be without a bike for presumably forever, which would have been terrible. Hope they catch the idiot who stole my bike, along with what appeared to be at least five others. Can’t wait to get some great rides in!

On the food front, I’ve also been all over the place. We’ve been traveling a bunch, so when I do grocery shop, I’m pretty much picking up the staples and not getting very creative in the kitchen. But I think I’ll be a little more inspired to cook up some new summer dishes and snap, snap, snap away on my camera after I take my first photography class this Sunday.. yay! It’s a four-hour beginner’s course, which is exactly what I need — I have no idea what I’m doing.

 chopped veggies

I’m craving some light, healthy foods during this heat, which made me think salads, which made me remember I had a recipe to share! So I pulled this Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe from the archives — I made it and photographed it months ago and totally forgot to post the recipe. It’s a great dish for summer picnics, or to even make a large batch of and have for lunches/dinners/side dishes. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Serves 2
Fresh and healthy salad -- great as a meal or side dish
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked quinoa
  2. 1 chopped red pepper
  3. 1 diced tomato
  4. 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  5. 1 chopped green onion
  6. 1/2 cup chick peas
  7. feta cheese to taste
  8. chopped parsley to taste
  9. 1 small garlic clove, minced
  10. 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  11. 1 tsp. olive oil
  12. salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings to taste
  2. Toss dressing into a bowl with quinoa and chopped veggies
  3. Garnish with parsley
  4. Enjoy!
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
 

Seed Saving with Terra and Seed Savers Exchange

Have you ever noticed that, with the exception of a few seasonal items, most grocery stores carry the same produce all year round with not much variety?

I know we tend to buy the same produce week over week — tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, etc. — essentials for making salads we enjoy. But when I see a seasonal item, I get really excited and feel the need to buy tons of it.

Zan and I hope one day to have a bunch of land where we can grow our own produce, have a chicken coop and live off of what we produce on our property. We don’t know much about gardening/planting crops now, but I would love to learn more in hopes to really make this happen one day — when/where? I have no idea! Only time will tell :)

When I became aware of the partnership between Terra and Seed Savers Exchange, I was really intrigued. You can read more below in the infographic, but basically, I’ve learned that over time, crop diversity has reduced from 7,000 to 150 plant species (it’s no wonder I’m always seeing the same things at the grocery store each week.)

So, attention all gardeners and those of us who enjoy many different kinds of produce: We can help preserve vegetable diversity by saving the seeds.

Check out more on the Terra Facebook Page and  Seed Savers Exchange website (The “Saving Our Seeds” video was really informative).

Terra-Seed Savers

Disclaimer: I was provided Terra product in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

San Francisco & Napa Vacation Recap

Um, where has this past month gone? After looking at today’s date and the date of my last post, I realized it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. I am the absolute worst.

It’s been one crazy month with travel and work, but I am making it a priority to carve out more time for blogging! Stay with me, friends. I promise to get better at this.

While I was on hiatus, however, my wonderful friend, Grace, designed a new header for my blog! I’m so happy with it. She’s such a talented designer and the good news is she does free-lance work if you’re looking to hire anyone!

Anyways! I wanted to share a quick recap of our SF and Napa vacation (which was almost a month ago.. ha). We had an absolute blast exploring both areas– the delicious food, wine, beer, and of course, the sights. Here are a few of my favorite things we did/food we ate. If you’re traveling there soon, I highly recommend the following:

SF

San Francisco:

  — Dinner at The Slanted Door

  — Breakfast at Buena Vista Cafe (The Irish coffees are a MUST)

  — Bay cruise around Alcatraz and under Golden Gate Bridge (full bar on board – we obviously took advantage of that)

Golden Gate Bridge–  Biking the full loop of Golden Gate Park. It’s absolutely gorgeous and a great way to see everything in less than two hours. 

  — Lunch at Nick’s Cripsy Tacos. It’s in a completely random location in Russian Hill, but hands down was the best tacos/guac I’ve ever tasted. So glad my coworker recommended a stop here!

  — A stop at Muir Woods. We loved seeing the Redwoods.

Redwoods

  — A stop (or longer) in Sausalito. It’s so adorable, a lot warmer and a totally different feel than SF. We had a fabulous brunch at Le Garage on our way up to Napa.

Le Garage Bruncg

Napa Valley:

  —  Highly recommend Napa River Inn in downtown Napa. They upgraded us to a large King bed and room with a patio upon arrival (no extra charge). Every morning you can select three breakfast items from the bakery next door, as well as the time you’d like them to arrive, and the staff delivers you breakfast in bed — all included in room price! We had some delicious breakfast sandwiches, pastries and fresh fruit parfaits every morning.

Vineyards  —  Wine tastings at: Duckhorn, V. Sattui (had an amazing deli and store on site with fresh sandwiches, salads, cheese and crackers, etc. Perfect if you’re starving for lunch — like we were!) and Castello di Amorosa — gorgeous castle that has several different types of tours and tastings to choose from. This was a favorite of ours — had to ship a case home to enjoy!

  —  A stop, day or stay in Yountville. It’s so adorable and one day when we can afford it, we’ll stay there and eat Bouchon Bakery goods and dine at The French Laundry every day :)

  —  Lunch at Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena

Castello di Amorosa  —  Dinner at any of the downtown Napa restaurants. We were so lucky they were steps away from our hotel. We absolutely loved Celadon– incredible Moscow mules, sweet coconut fried prawns salad, and maybe my favorite dessert everrrrr: chocolate and hazelnut mousse bars. Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant was also delicious. I just had sushi and miso soup since we had a large, late lunch, but the spicy tuna roll was the best I’ve ever had and the s’more dessert was amazingggg.

  —  A stop at downtown Napa’s new-ish Oxbow Public Market. Much like DC’s Union Market, it had tons of great little shops with spices, coffees, bath products, etc. And then obviously a great food presence — pizza, burgers, oysters, etc. Zan and I hit up Hog Island Oyster Bar for happy hour and split a bottle of wine. He ate a salad and I slurped down tons of oysters.. ha.

Hope this helps any of you planning a trip out west! We had the best time and we can’t wait to go back again one day. Helpful hint: you really can’t go wrong with food and wineries out there. All of it is amazing and the experience is one you’ll remember forever!

Muir Woods

Crispy Chicken & Spring Veggie Pasta With Pea Pesto + Upcoming Fun!

Happy Friday!

This week kinda flew by. I feel like that’s been rare the past few cold months, but we’re headed into the busy summer season here soon, so that always makes the weeks go by faster and faster. And we have so much going on this summer – starting off with a bang Memorial Day weekend!

crispy chicken and veggie pasta with pea pesto

A week from now, Zan and I will be in San Francisco, eating allllll the foods, drinking allllll the drinks, and going on allllll the adventures! We’re spending three days in SF and three in Napa!

You guys, this is my dream vacation. Back in college, I began to love wine, and with that, wine and food pairings. I took two wine classes in college. One was Geography of Wine where I learned the history of wine, how it’s made, which grapes grow in what regions, etc. The other was Wines of Northeast Ohio where two of my best college friends/roommates and I rode around in a bus with our classmates and went winery hopping in NE Ohio. I know what people are thinking: “Wine in Ohio? WTH?” But there are some truly lovely wineries out there, and the cold climate is great for growing white grapes.

I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction when I told him these wine classes had an additional fee on top of my tuition. He was like, “I’m paying for you to go around and get drunk?!” Haha. Dad, have I not paid you back by passing along all of my wine knowledge? :)

Also, fun fact: my dad grew up in Northeast, PA where the delicious and addictive concord grapes grow abundantly and where Welch’s has its largest manufacturing plant. People don’t really think of grapes growing in cold climates, but I’m tellin’ ya – it happens. My dad’s high school mascot was “The Grape Pickers,” which I think is awesome and hilarious.

Wow, I just really went off there about wine. Anywaysssss, you can see why I’m so excited to head up to sunny wine country with my love! I’ll be sure to post a recap of our trip when we get back.

crispy chicken and veggie pasta with pea pesto

I’ll leave you with a nice little chicken and veggie pasta dish that we enjoyed last night. The combination of the cripsy chicken and creamy pea pesto was delicious and satisfying. Shout out to my main squeeze who helped hold my new photography lamp while I snapped away and our dinner got cold.

Have a great weekend!

Crispy Chicken & Spring Veggie Pasta With Pea Pesto
Serves 2
A crispy, creamy and easy-to-make pasta packed with nutrients
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 organic chicken breasts
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  4. whole grain pasta ( I used rotini)
  5. Parmesan cheese
  6. 1 small zucchini, chopped
  7. 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  8. 1 small broccoli crown, chopped
  9. 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas
  10. 2-3 garlic cloves
  11. olive oil
  12. salt, pepper, garlic salt and red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Scramble one egg and coat chicken breasts on either side. Toss in dish of Panko, parm, salt, pepper and garlic salt until thoroughly coated.
  2. Pan sear the chicken in cast iron skillet until each side is golden brown and crispy. Move pan to oven pre-heated to 350* and cook for 25-30 minutes until chicken is 165*.
  3. Add chopped veggies to a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and saute until softened.
  4. In a food processor, combine thawed peas, garlic cloves, about 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper and parm cheese to taste. Process on high until smooth and creamy.
  5. Toss cooked pasta and veggies in the pesto.
  6. Top with crispy chicken and enjoy!
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
 

Poached Egg & Butternut Squash Breakfast Kale Salad

Poached eggs on toast may be one of my favorite meals. The combination of the crunchy toast and the creamy yolk is just divine. Add in avocado, roasted tomatoes or a garlic cheese spread to the mix and I’m legitimately in heaven. 

kale breakfast salad

If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures posted of this dish. I can’t believe in my year+ of blogging that I haven’t actually shared many breakfast recipes on the blog. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!

Well, I’m hoping to change that over time, starting today.

I think it’s important to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Most weekday mornings that’s a bowl of cereal or oatmeal with dried cherries and sliced almonds, but the weekends — that’s my time to play. Nothing beats a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning in the kitchen with some coffee (with Rum Chata – thank you to Zan’s sister, Lindsay, for introducing it to us in the islands!) and time to cook up a delicious breakfast.

breakfast kale salad

I love, love, love the combination of hearty sauteed kale with a roasted vegetable. So I figured I’d combine the two and throw a few poached eggs on top — why not?! I added in a some chopped walnuts for crunch and was left with a delicious breakfast salad to inhale enjoy. 

Hope you fellow egg lovers give it a try!

Questions

1. Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts?

2. What’s your favorite cereal?

Poached Egg & Butternut Squash Breakfast Kale Salad
Serves 1
A hearty and healthy spin on breakfast
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chopped kale
  2. 1.5 cups chopped butternut squash
  3. 2 tbsps. chopped walnuts
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 minced garlic clove
  6. olive oil
  7. salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Roast chopped butternut squash in oven at 400* for 25-30 minutes until soft
  2. Saute chopped kale in pan with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until wilted (about 4-5 minutes)
  3. Poach two eggs to your liking (I prefer runny yolks)
  4. Combine kale and butternut squash in a large bowl. Top with chopped walnuts and poached eggs and enjoy!
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/
 

 

 

Shrimp & Snap Pea Soba Noodles + Life Lately

Hey guys! It’s been a minute.

Last week was.. let’s just say.. busy. Work was crazy, I had to deal with a recall on my car, had a few after-work things planned, and oh yeah, my bike was stolen. Total freakin’ bummer. Just as I was gearing up to dust off the bike after the long, cold winter and take ‘er out for a spin.

DSC_0769

Some ass hat broke into my apartment bike locker and stole my it, along with two others. Zan’s was safe.. thank God. Good news is, it looks like my renter’s insurance is going to help me out. I am eagerly awaiting that outcome so I can re-order my new beautiful bike!

DSC_0757

The weather has been a little off and on around here — some days it’s super warm and sunny. Others, it’s rainy and cold. Hopefully spring will stick around for awhile starting this weekend. But during the nice warm days, I’ve gotten in a few good runs and workouts.

I ran five miles last Monday, in honor of the Boston Marathon — all of those running and those who were victims last year. I ran another (speedy for me) five miles Saturday, (average pace 9:41, even clocking in a 8:39 mile!) I’m excited to work on speed after working on slow and steady endurance for so long.

run for boston

Last Wednesday was my final session with my personal trainer, Liz, and she really went out with a bang. I was completely beat after and felt a good sore for the two days following. I will really miss working out with her, but am determined to save up some money for another personal training package later in the summer!

And yesterday, I got back in the pool after seven long months. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I swam 30 minutes, varying between freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. I am loving my new Speedo Vanquishers. They fit great on my face and they’re anti-fog (my older pair of goggles used to drive me nuts with the fog.)

Shrimp & Snap Pea Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce

And on the food front, I got a little creative last week and whipped up a few new recipes — one being this shrimp, snap pea and soba noodle dish with peanut sauce. I’ve been meaning to try dishes with soba noodles for quite some time. Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat. They’re gluten-free, high in vitamins B1 and B2, and a great source of fiber and protein.

I ate this dish at warm/room temperature, but most soba noodle dishes are served cold. I think this would taste great either way. I will definitely be making this again!

Questions:

1.) Has anyone ever had a bike or prized personal possession stolen? Did renter’s insurance help out? 2.) Have you cooked with soba noodles before? Have any good recipes?

Shrimp & Snap Pea Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Serves 2
A delicious, satisfying dish that's great served warm or cold
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. soba noodles
  2. 1/4 cup chopped red cabbage
  3. sugar snap peas
  4. shrimp (cooked and de-veined)
  5. 1 scallion
  6. 1 tsp. sesame oil
for the peanut sauce
  1. 2 tbsps. peanut butter
  2. 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  3. 1 tsp. fish sauce
  4. 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Cook soba noodles per package directions (usually 3-4 minutes)
  2. Saute shrimp and peas in sesame oil for 3-5 minutes until lightly warmed through
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy and fish sauce and lemon juice. Toss noodles, shrimp, chopped cabbage and scallions in the sauce until evenly coated
Notes
  1. If peanut sauce is too thick, add a splash of water and whisk again
  2. Dish is delicious served warm or cold
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/

Chocolate Banana Split Protein Smoothie

I don’t know about you guys, but smoothies are my jam, except lately, I haven’t been making them as much as I would like. I have a feeling that will change once Mother Nature gets her ish together and decides whether it’s going to finally get warm out.

banana split smoothie

Come spring and summer, I could have a smoothie for breakfast or a snack every day. And to be clear: I have a large bowl of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and THEN make a smoothie to take with me on my commute to work. I’d shrivel up and die if I just had a smoothie for breakfast. ha. Unless it had oats or something substantial to keep me full.

Anyways, it was a gross, rainy morning on Tuesday (hence the photos) but after my workout, I was craving a cold, delicious smoothie. And since I haven’t been grocery shopping in forever, I had to use up what I had on hand. 

banana split protein smoothie

Enter: Chocolate almond milk, frozen banana and dark cherries and chocolate protein powder. This turned out so good and honestly tasted like a milkshake or dessert in a cup.

Give it a try!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend and Easter Sunday!

Chocolate Banana Split Protein Smoothie
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. ½ cup frozen dark cherries
  3. 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk (I use Almond Breeze)
  4. ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup ice
  6. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Sun Warrior)
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth
Notes
  1. If it's too thick, add a little water or extra almond milk to help blend
foodie on the run http://foodieontherunblog.com/

Spring Sister Weekend!

I’m so sad that sister weekend has already come and gone! 

My sister, Shannon, came to visit this past weekend and we had the best time, as well as the best weather D.C. has seen yet this spring. It’s so hard having your best friend live so far away, so I treasure each and every moment we get to spend together.

We kicked the weekend off with dinner and drinks in Arlington on Friday night and had a blast catching up and being silly.

cherry blossom 2014

Saturday morning, Shan, Zan and I hit the Custis/East Trail for a gorgeous 5-mile run down to see the cherry blossoms. They officially hit their peak on Friday, so they were absolutely gorgeous when we got down there Saturday morning.

jefferson memorial cherry blossoms

It was paaaackkkeddd, so getting back to Arlington on the metro was miz, but needless to say, we made it out alive.

cherry blossoms 2014

Saturday night we went downtown for a nice dinner as Rosemary’s Thyme. We were too hungry to snap any food pics, but we split a hummus/baba ghanoush app, and then I got a salad and pasta. All pretty tasty.

But the real fun was on the most gorgeous Sunday I can remember in a long time: adventure to Barrel Oak Winery out in Delaplane, VA.

barrel oak winery

It’s about a 45-50-minute drive from D.C. and was really the perfect Sunday activity.

We started off with a tasting of about 12 wines — sweet and dry whites, robust reds and a delicious dessert wine to finish. I love tastings, especially when the folks pouring are knowledgable and give good recommendations for food and wine pairings.

After the tasting, we bought a couple of the bottles that we enjoyed most and set up a nice little picnic lunch. How cute are we?

barrel oak winery picnic

Post-lunch we hung out for about three hours, soaked up the sun and enjoyed the live music.

If you’re in the D.C. area and looking for a fun Saturday or Sunday activity away from the city, I definitely recommend Barrel Oak.

I managed to get a good picture with Zan — yay!

barrel oak winery

How cute are my two favorite people?

barrel oak winery

And how cute is my sister? I miss you already, Shan! Come back soon! 

barrel oak winery

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