My weekend was a good mix of fun activities, relaxation, and yummy food. I was up early on Saturday morning for an appointment at Bliss Spa in Soho. I received a gift certificate a few weeks ago and was very excited for a morning at the spa. I had to leave my apartment around 8:30am, so after I drank my coffee, I grabbed a banana for the road.
Bliss Spa was super posh – the ladies locker room & lounge was stocked with fancy Bliss products (body cream, face wash, etc) and they gave me a pair of haivianas flip-flops and a fluffy bathrobe to wear. My first treatment was a 30-minute massage and I asked that the massage therapist focus on my tight hamstrings and lower back. It was great! Next, I was treated to a hot almond milk pedicure. The pedicurist was very interested in all of my blisters, calluses, and bruised toenails. Luckily, my feet were much prettier after some much-needed TLC :-) The hour-long pedicure was so relaxing! I sipped a peppermint hot tea and read SELF magazine.
Afterwards, I retreated to the relaxation lounge and had some snacks. The lounge was very cozy and peaceful – low lighting, muted colors, and quiet. There was a mini buffet set-up and I helped myself to some crackers and Swiss cheese, cucumbers, and olives.
I didn’t want my Blissful experience to end, but the rest of the day was calling, so I headed back uptown. En route to Columbus Circle, I snacked on a Clif mint chocolate chip bar. I met up with Alma and her sister for a brief walk in Central Park, ending at Chipotle. I really wanted to get a beer (!!), but I was planning on meeting Agnes for a yoga class, so I stuck to ½ lemonade, ½ iced tea.
Around 1:30pm, I hopped back on the subway and headed downtown for a 2pm class at Yoga to the People. The instructor for this class was great – very chill and laidback. After the class, we headed up to Union Square, ending at City Bakery. Back in November, I sampled the bakery’s molten hot chocolate and giant chocolate chip cookies.
Today, I was hungry for a real meal so I made a little salad from the prepared foods bar. The bowl contained mixed greens topped with roasted cauliflower and fennel, whole grain croutons, and some (delicious) baked tofu. I wish I knew how they prepared the tofu – it was very flavorful. I also sipped on a ginger unsweetened iced tea. I purchased a very seed-y whole grain roll and small peanut butter cookie to take with me!
As I munched on my roll, I popped into a used book store and was very excited to find the City of Light, a historical novel about Buffalo, NY at the turn of the 20th century. Once I got home, I snuck in a short nap before I started making dinner.
The May issue of Bon Appétit magazine contained tons of tasty recipes and I decided to use this recipe as inspiration. My version contained small pasta shells, caramelized onion, sweet peas, apple chicken sausage, and ricotta cheese. Yum! It was delicious and only took about 30 minutes to prepare.
For dessert, Nate brought over supplies for make-your-own-sundaes. I made myself a sundae with vanilla ice cream, Hershey’s syrup, tart cherry syrup, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and an ice cream cone.
On Sunday morning, I was happy to sleep in a little bit later. It’s funny how I consider 8:30am to be sleeping in…I started the day with coffee and then made this delicious bowl: Fage 2% greek yogurt, chopped apple, peanut butter, raspberry jam, and a sprinkle of apple pecan granola.
I was a bum for most of the morning and around 1:30pm it was time for lunch! I had two of the following: Dr. Kracker seed breads covered with (more!) peanut butter and raspberry jam and a sliced banana. This was very good! I loved the contrast between the crispy cracker, sweet jam, salty peanut butter, and soft banana.
I took a nice long walk down the upper west side and then met Nate at movie theater. Despite my initial reluctance, I actually really enjoyed the new Star Trek movie. Halfway through the movie, I nibbled on a key lime pie lara bar. I can’t believe that this bar contains only dates, almonds, unsweetened coconut, and lime juice. I think it’s my favorite flavor.
After the movie, I heated up some leftover pasta for dinner (along with some un-pictured olives from Fairway). I also had a yummy barely sweetened Inkos white-apricot tea. This pasta dish was just as good the second day!
For dessert, Nate and I split a giant slice of vanilla butter cream cake from the Buttercup Bakeshop. As Nate said “It’s a good thing to have this cake on a regular basis. It helps you remember how ‘for real’ it is.” Seriously people…this cake is no joke. I think sharing is mandatory. Last July, I tried to eat a whole slice by myself and it almost put me in a diabetic coma. Well, almost.
And being the cake fiends that we are, I decided to end the weekend by baking a vanilla bean cake that I read about in Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. This is perhaps my new favorite book – great writing and mouth watering recipes. If you like to cook (or even just eat…) I highly recommend it! I was very proud of the cake’s perfectly golden bottom – it didn’t stick to the spring form pan one bit! I haven’t frosted it yet, but will probably do so tonight. I’ll post a photo when it’s finished.