Sweat Sunday- Yogaleena 

After a year and a half in Houston I think I have finally found my studio soulmate: Yogaleena. I’ve been searching for my favorite yoga spot for a while now, but hadn’t found my go-to studio. We are lucky that there are a ton of great yoga options inside the loop, but they all seem to have their flaws which has kept me from becoming a regular. Whether it’s parking issues, overcrowded classes, or boring music during class, I hadn’t felt truly at home at any studio until trying Yogaleena on a whim last week.


I signed up through ClassPass and had no clue what to expect when I went with a coworker during a lunch break for a 45 minute “flow on the go” class. Parking was a breeze and when I walked in, it felt like I had entered another world – a sort of Zen, retreat oasis right off of Shepherd! The studio is charming and filled with whimsical touches everywhere.


We were warmly greeted by Carolina Vennie, the owner and instructor for the class. She is such a sweetheart and inspirational teacher – the yoga scene here needs more like her! Carolina was born in Chile, but has lived all over. She practices Yoga to unwind from the corporate world. She recently  decided to quit her job in big oil to follow her yogi dreams and open a hidden gem of a studio.


Carolina’s teaching style is upbeat, supportive, and inspirational.  She also has a killer soundtrack which makes class fly by and helps keep you motivated through the challenging moments.  I was impressed at how much we accomplished in just 45 minutes. Carolina’s class was a perfect combination of flow,stretch, sweat, and zen moments. It’s a great way to refresh during your lunch break. We were amazed at the personalized attention and the brief shoulder massage at the end was heavenly.
 I came back later in the week to check out the popular “Yoga Sculpt” class. This was my favorite class so far as it incorporates flow, strength training, pilates, and barefoot boot camp. It’s really a 3-in-one type workout and I definitely felt the burn the next day.   After class you can unwind with complimentary tea and cookies…need I say more? Check out their new first time member deals including 30 days for $30. I just hope it doesn’t become too popular of a spot! See you on the mat and may you retain your inner Om as you leave the parking lot and return to the madness of Shepherd…Namaste.

Easy Cheesy Empanadas 

Hello from the other side! 2016 has been off to a crazy busy start so I’ve been behind on blogging but excited to share some new recipes and restaurant reviews with you all!  With the Super Bowl happening this afternoon I figured it was a perfect time to share a recipe to make to spice up your game day snack spread.

I’m not going to lie, I could really care less about the game and pretty much show up to a super bowl party purely for the guacamole and commercials. Anyone else with me on that? If you are looking for something new to add to the table, these four cheese empanadas hit the spot! My dear friend Zoe has become quite the empanada expert and taught me her empanada secrets over a girls cooking and wine date last night. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
To start preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Here are the ingredients you will need:

2/3 cup ricotta (the full fat kind is worth it for this recipe)

1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

2/3 cup feta cheese crumbled

1 cup Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

2 boxes refrigerated Empanada tapas- Goya is the best. Can be found in speciality markets or Mexican grocery stores. Fiesta in Houston sells them if you’re nearby.


Directions:

In a large bowl combine all four cheeses and 3 eggs and mix thoroughly. At this point you should probably be sipping on wine too…


Remove the empanadas one by one and keep each on the circular saran wrap to help assemble.


Next scoop a dollop of the cheese mix into the center of each tapas. This was a generous scoop, you just want to make sure it doesn’t explode!


Next lightly dab water around the edge of half of the tapa to help it stick as you carefully fold over in half.

Once folded pinch the corner to create a point. Fold over the point and pinch again creating another point . Repeat the process until the empanada is fully closed and looks like these beauties.


It’s all about tightly pinching and folding one point after the next, sounds confusing but after your first few you will be a pro! Zoe’s are the ones that look prettier than mine but she says I’ve improved since our first lesson 🙂

  Next brush each empanada with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar to add a touch of sweetness (optional but YOLO).

Put the empanadas on a lined tray with waxed paper and bake for around 20-25 minutes. You want them to be lightly golden. Let cool until you can’t wait any longer and enjoy!

Flash back to our first empanada date with the real empanada expert, Cynthia! She’s been making empanadas for over 25 years. We made delicious meat ones that time and of course enjoyed over mate.

Happy cooking and super bowl snacking!