Balcony Living

The beginning of warm temperatures means the start of balcony season! My balcony is my favorite part about my apartment and I love that I can start using it again. It has looked so sad and desolate for the past couple of months. It seems like ages ago that Will and I were eating all our meals on the balcony and hanging out there in the summer time on the reg. Thank GOD D.C. is finally getting with the program and letting us enjoy spring. Although, with temps soaring to the mid-eighties this week I’m nervous D.C. will just skip spring and go to summer mode. Mild temps. That’s all I want.

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This weekend I also finally flipped my calendar page over to April. Better late than never.

Anyway, so on Saturday I shook the dust of ye old balcony, put the furniture back in its appropriate place, and broke it in for the spring.

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After a full day of walking around the city, Will and I enjoyed a pre-dinner snack out in the sunshine with some coffee. It was a very tropical treat: greek yogurt, mango chunks, avocado, coconut chips, and agave nectar. YUM.

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Trader Joes mango chunks have been killin’ it lately.

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So much sunshine-y goodness!

Then yesterday for lunch after a lovely run in the warm weather, it was great to enjoy a massive salad out there. I love making mega salads on the weekend when I have more to time to cut and chop lots of veggies. During the week I hurriedly throw things together in a tupperware container, shake it up, and eat. This method is great for a girl on the go. BUT again, it’s nice to take out a big mixing bowl, examine all my veggies, pick which ones I want to use, cut them with care, measure out some dressing, think about adding some spices, throw in some love, mix it all together with a big spoon, and then pour it all onto a plate.

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In the mix of this salad was: brown rice, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, avocado, feta, tomatoes, cucumber, and peppers- all drizzled with some balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with basil and red pepper flakes. DEE-licious. I prepared two similar salads while I had all the ingredients out to take to work for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Multi-tasking… it’s a must.

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A lovely lunch salad that I will be enjoying today.

After lunch I was all about the Red Sox. They lost their last two games to the Blue Jays and yesterday’s game was the last one before their home opener today (!) against the Orioles. WELL the Red Sox kicked some major bird butt yesterday and ended the game 13-0. Hell yeah. And my boy Will Middlebrooks hit THREE homeruns! AND Jon Lester pitched seven innings and earned his second win of the season. SO awesome. Every day it’s a good day to be a Sox fan, but yesterday was super sweet. I could not have been more proud to rock my Middlebrooks jersey. I have high hopes for the home opener today. I’m sending all my positive vibes to starter Clay Buchholz and the crew.

Post-baseball game, Will and I took a stroll around the neighborhood which included a stop into Pleasant Pops. The spring weather practically was screaming, EAT A POPSICLE. Well maybe that’s a little extreme but you know what I mean.

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I was immediately intrigued by this little guy. Avocado and lime… in a popsicle?! I asked the guy in front of me who ordered one how it was and he suggested I get one so I hopped on the guac pop train. So interesting! It was really refreshing and creamy. Nomalicious for sure.

Will and I planned to have dinner out on the balcony and were weirdly excited about it. So excited that we refused to bring out dinner plans inside when we realized it wasn’t THAT warm and was kind of chilly out around 7pm. We were committed to being able to eat outside. Both of us tend to be pretty stubborn. My nails might have turned a lovely shade of purple during our meal, but it was worth it to eat on the balcony.

What did we nosh on you may ask? A seriously AWESOME dinner if I do say so myself! I followed a recipe for Greek Bison Burgers and was a big fan.

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I decided to branch out and buy bison meat this week. I’ve had bison out at restaurants before, but I have never made it myself. It’s leaner than regular ground beef and it tastes really good. For some reason when I saw it at the grocery store- I just grabbed it without even really thinking about it. I googled some burger recipes and decided on this one. There was just something about the idea of eating burgers on the balcony inspired by the Greeks that sounded quite appealing yesterday.

Lately I’ve been on a Mediterranean flavor kick. Maybe it’s the warmer weather? Or maybe it’s just because I recently discovered how much I like feta cheese. Both. Probably both.

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Ground bison, dill, feta, spinach, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.

The burger recipe also comes with a recipe for a yogurt, dill, lemon, mint topping for the burgers. We decided against buns as we thought they would just take away from all the awesome flavor combinations going on with the burger and the yogurt sauce.

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I should have taken a picture of the burger before I covered it all its toppings but alas… blogger fail. At least you have some pretty, bright colors to look at!

To make up for the lost carbs he he, I roasted some red new potatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Anddd every meal of mine wouldn’t be complete without greenery. Broccoli on the side was a must 🙂

 

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I remember thinking that cooking potatoes used to be hard… I used to wonder if some day I’d be able to grow up and cook delicious potatoes like my Mom made at home. Little did I know… it’s really not THAT challenging. Toss some potatoes in olive oil and your choice of seasoning and roast at 425 degrees for thirty minutes (then broil for five minutes for extra crisp).

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P1000806With our first balcony dinner on the record, it feels even more like springtime. It’s crazy how much of a difference there is in my overall mood now that it’s sunny and warm all the time. I never really used to be a spring/summer girl but let me tell you about this year, man. I think what it comes down to is, I’m a “seasons girl.” I like them all for certain periods of time but I also like change. And winter DEFINITELY has had its time. We’re all set with you cold shenanigans.

Speaking of seasons… the new season of Mad Men started last night. It was two hours long and went till 11pm last night so I’m a weeeee bit sleepy today. Totally worth it. My main thoughts on last night’s episode are as follows:

  • Why is Betty Draper such a huge creep? Really not a fan of her.
  • Everyone was looking SO late 60s / early 70s! The new haircuts and outfits were hilarious. Hellllllo side burns.
  • Not enough Joan.
  • Pete Campbell… there are no words for his toolbag-ishness.
  • Sally’s voice is so grownup I can’t even stand it.
  • The newest Bobby is so weird looking.
  • Peggy is a boss.
  • I really don’t want Roger to be so sad. Mona was right- no matter what he does everyone loves him. I love him now and forever.
  • I JUST WANT TO BE IN DON’S HEAD. What are you thinking about all the time. bro? TELL ME. SAY SOMETHING. What a silent brooder.
  • Totally over Megan. Just like Don. (BOOM. roasted)

Alright, I think it’s time to kick this morning into high gear. I hope you all have great days and don’t let a case of the Mondays bring you down.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

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9 thoughts on “Balcony Living

  1. Ok, I lost my phone so I don’t have your number anymore (dang it!) and I also don’t remember WHERE this is, but I heard on the radio about a Russian art exhibit thats going on right now… dagnabit. I will have to think about it, but I got the impression it was in like a house-museum or something. I need to follow your example, any tips for exercising when you live in an apartment, can’t walk anywhere, don’t want to run by myself and can’t afford a gym?

  2. I’m jealous! When is balcony season coming to Toronto? Bison burgers. That’s really cooking outside the box. Your food always looks so good and healthy.

  3. Aahh the balcony looks good and so does that bison burger! I don’t think I’ve ever tried bison, but I did try a bear burger at a cookout last summer. It was very lean and had a stronger “beefy” flavor than hamburger and it didn’t look as appetizing as your bison burger. So jealous of your warm weather but also happy for you! Weather definitely affects my mood too. Today is supposed to hit 70 though back to the 40s come Thursday and Friday(with rain) blah! Good luck today my thoughts as always will be with you. Talk to you soon Love you!

    • You’ve tried bear?! That’s crazy! So interesting. Today it’s 80 degrees in the city! CRAZY. We don’t have air conditioning on in the building so I’m hoping the weather doesn’t get TOO carried away haha otherwise it will not be enjoyable for long. And of course I will keep you updated on everything. I love you too.

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