Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yoga: Everyone has a first time

Before summer 2010 began, I made a few short-term goals for myself. I knew I’d have more time on my hands than I do during the school year, so I thought why not try to accomplish a few things. In no particular order, my goals are as follows:

• Save up $2,000
• Scrapbook my trip to Europe from last summer
• Learn a new language
• Try yoga and/or kickboxing

With the summer more than half way over (say it isn’t so!!!), I’ve started working toward almost all of my goals. I’ve been putting all my paychecks straight into my savings account, I’ve downloaded a few iPod applications on Spanish phrases and just recently bought the Berlitz software for learning Spanish, and I’ve made numerous trips to Michael’s for craft supplies. Then just last week, I attended my first ever yoga class.

I’ve always wanted to try yoga. I took a Pilates class last semester, which I very much liked, and was ready to try something new. I’m always hearing about celebrities who swear by yoga, and magazines that say it’s the next best thing. So last week I researched a bunch of yoga studios in my area, and finally decided that SunTao Yoga Studio would steal my yoga virginity.

With the large selection of yoga studios in North Jersey, the number one perk of SunTao is that it’s located literally seconds from my home. I pass by the studio every day on my way to work, and decided to visit their website and found a great deal: $40 for a month of unlimited yoga. Some places charge up to $20 per class! so $40 for a month was definitely a thumbs up. I checked out their class schedule and called to ask a few questions. Tao answered the phone and was very polite and answered all my questions accordingly. He put my name down for the beginner’s class that Friday.

So I was off to my very first yoga experience. With my stretchy yoga pants, a comfortable shirt, and purple mat, I arrived a few minutes early to fill out some papers, and made my way to the wooden floored room. There was only one other girl there, who made me feel a lot more relaxed knowing it was only her second time doing yoga. After only 3 more people arrived for the class, Tao started. I won’t waste your time telling you step-by-step what went on (you’ll figure that out during your first time :P) but I will tell you that yoga is definitely something you have to put your mind to. It was relaxing, and easier than I imaged. I got an excellent stretch out of it, and an hour to focus on nothing more than my body.

The class was nice, and I tried something new. I won’t lie though, I’m not sure if yoga is right for me just yet. If you’ve ever read anything about yoga, it is very much about letting your mind and body relax, and it definitely takes practice to get that inner peace. The next yoga studio I do plan to try out is Yoga Synthesis in Ramsey, NJ. The first class is free for new students, which is excellent for those who are not sure about yoga (ME!). And if you chose to continue, they offer the same deal as SunTao: $40 for a month.

I must admit, I was a bit intimidated by yoga. Some of the poses that people can tangle their bodies into are mind blowing. But if you’re ever in the same boat that I was in, remember, everyone has their first class.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fourth of July Buttermilk Pie

This morning, on my hunt for a recipe on how to poach eggs (a low-calorie, no fat added breakfast), I came across the blog “Simply Recipes” by Elise Bauer. While I found a delicious, simple, and illustrated recipe on how to poach the perfect egg, I also found that her blog is full of recipes for every meal, occasion, and taste bud. Voted “Best Food Blog Overall” in the 2006 Food Blog Awards , I think this woman knows what she’s taking about!

So as I was browsing her recent blogs and recipes, I came across the second recipe from Elise that I will be trying (the first being the poached eggs): Fourth of July Buttermilk Pie.

I automatically thought of the fresh blueberries I bought at a local farm market the other day. A perfect mixture of sweet buttermilk, whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a crunchy crust; how could you go wrong with this?!

I image it being paired perfectly with a nice, chilled glass of Champagne. Cool and refreshing after a hearty burger on a Sunday afternoon.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (half a stick)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 cup cold, heavy whipping cream
  • 20-30 raspberries (or half as many strawberries, halved)
  • A handful of blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in the flour and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla and buttermilk.

2. Pour filling batter into an uncooked pie shell (frozen is fine). Bake at 325°F for approximately 50 minutes, or until the center of the custard has just set (can still be a little wiggly). Remove from oven and let cool. The custard may puff up a bit in the oven; it will deflate as it cools.

3. Whip the chilled cream until it holds stiff peaks. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, spread the whipping cream over the top of the pie. Arrange the raspberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern on top of the whipping cream.

Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Makes 8 serving pieces.