Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegas or Bust

Sorry for rushing out so abruptly on Friday...I was sitting at my computer, blogging about the delicious smoothie I'd made, when Pat said "you're blogging!? we're an hour late to leave for the airport!" I jumped up and ran out of the house without even brushing my hair (not a good look for me).

After sitting in a lot of traffic while my anxiety climbed sky-high, we finally reached the airport and Pat dropped me off. Luckily I made it with enough time to meet my friends Kait and Elizabeth at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant and wolf (haha) down a dirty martini and barbecue chicken pizza (sans cilantro) before we hopped on the plane for Vegas.

We landed in Vegas at about 10:30pm (PST), met up with Shannon and Chrissy at the airport, and hailed a cab to the MGM Grand. And thus our weekend began, full of dancing, gambling, unhealthy food, and SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS (as LMFAO would say). 

A few tourist pictures:

Pool at the MGM

Water Show at The Bellagio
No pictures of my friends and me...after all, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS. Actually, I didn't bring a camera and haven't gotten my hands on my friends' pictures yet!

It was a great weekend, but after 4 days I was ready to be home, sleep in my own bed, eat healthful food, and not have to walk through clouds of smoke in every casino and bar. We took the red eye home and landed in Boston at 8am on Tuesday morning. I went home for a much-needed nap, then went out to lunch with Pat. After lunch we registered to become bone marrow donors. This has been on my To Do List for quite some time, and I was finally able to do it because there was a stand set up at the mall. All you  need to do is fill out some paperwork and have your mouth swabbed (this is needed for HLA Typing to see if you're a match - just 4 Q-tips swabbed inside your mouth and you're done!). Only approximately 1 in 30,000 people are a match, but just think how amazing it would be if you were someones match and could help save their life! If you're interested in registering to become a donor, please visit this website.

Today I'm finally feeling like I'm back in the swing of things. I went for a 4.5 mile run this afternoon, as the half marathon training called for. Though there was lots of walking and dancing in Vegas, there certainly wasn't any running! It felt good to get out there today.

I also tried a new snack. This is a banana-flavored SOYJOY bar, which I received in the mail as part of their promotion (new flavor and enhanced texture). 

I thought it was pretty good...nice flavor and crunch! Quick and convenient to pack when you're on the road, and I like that its made of all natural ingredients, unlike several other popular bars.

For dinner I was in the mood for pasta (as usual) and veggies, so I decided to make vegetable pasta with vegetables!

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Vegetables

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 tomato
  • Artichoke hearts (I used frozen)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Black olives
  • Feta Cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Here's my spaghetti squash:

You'll need to cut the squash down the center. This is easier if you bake it for 5-10 minutes or cook it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. After cutting, scrape out the seeds and the fleshy part that is attached to the seeds.

The end of my squash was a little bit soft, so I cut it off...still plenty left to make dinner!  I drizzled some olive oil on both halves and ground some fresh pepper on top, then put in the oven.

When the squash has been in the oven for about 20 minutes you can prepare the other vegetables. Finely slice 1 garlic clove and cook with 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet on medium heat until translucent.

Add artichoke hearts to the oil and garlic (I bought mine frozen, so I rinsed the hearts with water, then cooked in microwave for 2 minutes before adding to skillet). Turn heat down to medium-low and cook for a couple more minutes.

Chop half of a tomato and add to the skillet and cook until tomatoes are warm (about 2 minutes). Turn off heat.

Check the squash. It is done when a knife or fork inserts into flesh without much resistance.

Let cook for a couple minutes, then make it into spaghetti (use a fork to pull out strands of squash):

Put squash in bowl and top with sauteed vegetables, then add feta cheese and black olives.

Dinner is served! This was delicious!! Even better than I expected it to be, so I helped myself to seconds. I strongly recommend this dish for anyone who likes pasta and/or squash!

I enjoyed my dinner(s) while watching Modern Family, one of my favorite shows! So glad the new season has started!


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