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Welcome to Freckles & Spice! If you happened to stumble upon my blog before the change, I was going by A Healthy Attitude for the first 4-5 months of blog life. To those of you have been following – last change! I promise. I am finally satisfied! Before I kept looking at the blog and I liked it, but it just did not scream me. This feels right. So, now that is out of the let’s get on to the good stuff.

This heat wave is everywhere. Everyone is talking about it and it is inescapable. But for good reason – I still can’t even comprehend looking up the weather and seeing the actual temperature is in the triple digits! Thank god there seems to be a break tomorrow. So what do you do during a heat wave? I take my workouts indoors, eat out because who wants to cook when its 100 degrees, and eat ice cream, lots of ice cream. Not that I need a heat wave for ice cream – it is my one true weakness. I remember one time, back in Syracuse, it was chilly and rainy but it didn’t matter. I told my mom I was literally going to die if I did not have gelato. I was alone in this…

The picture from above is from my homemade dessert Friday night – Strawberry Banana Soft Serve. Sorry personal Hamilton Beach Blender, I know it is hot out but you must get to work! Into the blender went: ~3/4 medium frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, a bit of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a touch of vanilla extract. Blend away and then I added a couple bits of dark chocolate and Bare Naked granola. No sweetener necessary. This treat is the perfect sweetness just from the fruit!

Saturday after lifting/spinning at NYSC, cleaning, and some laundry, Bryan and I decided to venture out into the heat. Our plan was to walk to down to Union Square to go to the movies. The square is about a mile and is usually a quick walk. It was so hot we had to keep stopping in stores along the way. We stopped into Beecher’s Cheese and sampled some curds. They are super salty, but good.

Bryan loves cheese. I surprised him with it during the grand opening a few weeks ago. You can see them making the cheese.

Stopped for more frozen fruit soft serve before the movie! This one is not homemade, but from Soft Serve Fruit Company. This is the new location in Union Square which is closer to me. Good or bad thing – def. good! We we went to the UES one on my birthday earlier this year. I ordered blueberry soft serve topped with coconut and pomegranate. Really hit the spot and cooled me down.

At Regal, the theaters were packed! Should have known because of the heat. Both Super 8 and Captain America were sold out. So we settled for Horrible Bosses. After 30 minutes of waiting in the theater the movie reel was broken! Ahhh! But now what are we going to do indoors! The good news – they gave everyone each 2 free tickets for the inconvenience. Bought 2 tickets, left with 4!

We spend the rest of the evening browsing strand (got a new cookbook for $8), coffee shop/french patisserie, and astor place wines. We had about another mile walk down to NoLita for our dinner plans.

Dinner! Finally! This was the highlight of the day for sure. Rice in Nolita.

We were watching a documentary on the History Channel about the history of rice. Did you know there are over 80,000 different types of rice?! Insane, right? I can think of like 10…maybe. The featured this restaurant, which I have actually heard a lot about. Bryan and I were really itching to go and it was definitely worth the walk! The decor inside is unique. It is definitely kind of antique-ish with wooden tables and chairs, big old bolts in the walks,low lighting, and cream colored fabric lights. There are giant rice bags lining the rafters. It is really cozy and cute, even though my description does not sound like it.

The menu is ridiculous. It took me 20 minutes to decide, at least. Everything looks good. You get a dish like lentil stew, black beans, curry, and everything comes with your choice of fun rice dish. I finally decided on the Tofu Meatballs (with both sweet and spicy sauces) with the Thai Black Rice with Edamame peas. I loved the rice dish. When I was just cooking for one, I used to eat steamed brown rice with edamame for dinner all the time.

Vegetarian Meatballs: tofu balls with miso, soy, scallions and red peppers, with sweet or spicy chili sauce.

Bryan got the Thai Coconut Curry with shrimp and the Bhutanese Red Rice (grown at high altitudes, high in mineral content, light nutty flavor)
Thai Coconut Curry: chicken, shrimp, or tofu stir fried with vegetables in a mild red coconut curry sauce

Both dishes were $7. They have small and large sizes and we both ordered the small, which ended up being the perfect size. The large would be good to share. Rice also has a bunch of appetizers and sides that all sound good. We will without a doubt be going back! We want to bring our friends. Bryan said it was the best meal he has had in a long time. He already has plans to get what I ordered when we go back, which I have a feeling will be sometime soon.

Both the black and red rice we got are very nutritious, being rich in the the powerful antioxidants, anthocyanin, and high in fiber. Like brown rice, they both still have the hull on the grains, but they quicker and have more bran than brown rice.

Well, I think that is about all I can fit into this post. Bryan is on call all day today, so I have plans to treat myself to a brunch/lunch I’ve been dying to try and trip to Trader Joe’s. Enjoy the last day of the heat!

What is your favorite type of rice? Tried any exotic kinds?