Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let me preface by saying a dear and beautiful friend of mine recently got engaged and I am beyond excited to stand up with her on her wedding day as she marries the man of her dreams...but after hearing the names of the bridesmaids...mama has to get serious about slimming it down!

So, say hello to my last "fatty meal"! Burger King is one of the few fast food restaurants that we can drop by when time constraints...ok, laziness... get the best of me. Their veggie burger isn't a key item on the menu, but if you search...you'll find it. I pair that bad boy with a monster size coke and some onion rings with zesty sauce and the fat kid inside me is a happy camper. The responsible, food loving, caring parent however...is ashamed.

Alright, in all honestly, this probably isn't my "last" fatty meal before the spring...but I am going to make a conscious effort to steer clear! Wish me luck!

Friday, June 1, 2012

One of my favorite things about being a mommy to a toddler (wow...where did the time go!) ...is watching Lily discover new foods. My biggest fear is that we are going to have a picky eater. So, to push her to being a lover of food like her parents, we are having fun introducing new colors, textures and tastes. Her reactions are the BEST! The only heart breaking experience we have had so far...she hates avocados! No matter how we dice it or spruce it up...she isn't fooled!

She loves to eat but hates being fed...she wants to do it all herself. Miss Independent already. So, finger foods it is! Since we are having so much fun stuffing her little sweet cheeks, I'll start sharing our experiences...the good, the bad, and the adorable!

This week......success!

I got the recipe from one of my go-to sources of baby food fun.... They have such creative ways to spice up the everyday lunch box...which I'm all about! This salad was a no-brainer to try because it is completely vegetarian, so no need to tweak too much, and it's so much fun! Not too messy, very colorful and healthy...win, win, win! Here ya go...

2 ears of corn, husked, cleaned and ready to go!
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed1 red bell pepper, dice it up...remember, small fingers need to grab it!
2 tbsp cilantro, same thing, dice it up!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

We had every intention of grilling the corn to spice it up...but there was a hungry little girl running around my feet, so off the grill the ears of corn came and into the pot! It was just as tasty...and Lily didn't seem to mind too much!

So, bring about an inch of water to boil and add your corn. Cover and steam for 5 minutes and then remove and let cool. While your corn is getting ready, go ahead and mix all of your other ingredients in a bowl.

Once your corn is cooled, add it to your party...stir and serve! So easy!

Doesn't that look so tasty? Trust me...it is! Lily LOVED it! Black beans are one of her favorite things right now so she ate all the black beans first...and then dove head first into the bell peppers and corn. 

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! There is so much going on around town so have fun!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I complained on Facebook several months ago that I couldn't find a chest of drawers that would be a perfect fit for a "catch all" I wanted to create for our entry way. I had scoured thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist...with no luck. Minutes after my status was updated, a friend of mine came to the rescue! They were just about to trash this chest so we ran over, picked it up...and I started planning!

After a couple coats of paint, some sanding, a little glaze and some vinyl letters from the Cricut... BAM step one complete!

Next step, making it an organization tool! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What a fabulous night we had! Chris and I celebrated our two-year anniversary with a fun lunch at MJ's Cafe (review ), happy hour at and then topped it off with a movie night. Yep, we are kinda lame...but whatever, we had a blast!

We had not been to the movies since the last Harry Potter (cue the gasps!) so this was a huge feat for us. I'm a bit of a comic book nerd, so my movie choice was ...and a good one it was! We loved it! My favorite scene was the schwarma scene after the credits...hilarious!

I haven't been to a happy hour in quite some time so we really enjoyed it. Hats off to on establishing a pretty fantastic happy hour scene. The limited menu was actually impressive with more than one vegetarian option...kudos! I sipped on a margarita and we chowed down on the margherita flatbread...outstanding. It was garlic, parmesan, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and a balsamic reduction...tasty, tasty, tasty.

The weather was pretty perfect so we enjoyed the patio and then walked over to the theatre. That's one of the reasons I love so much...you can park once and leisurely walk around to enjoy food, shopping and a movie. Ok, commerical over!

Anyway, it was a fabulous night celebrating two really memorable years...can't wait to see what year three has in store!

Oh and sorry the pictures are so horrible! I was just so excited to be out in public...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today is our anniversary...cue the "aws"! So, Chris and I have "big" plans for today...starting with a little lunch. He wouldn't tell me where we were headed as we drove through Mid City, but when we pulled up to ...I was pleasantly surprised!

is a mainly vegetarian lunch spot featuring local and seasonal ingredients. Yep, right up our alley! We walked in and took two seats at the bar...a fabulous choice. We had a front row view of our meal being made and we were able to chat with the owner a bit. Maureen Joyce is energetic and obviously passionate about what she is doing. I enjoyed watching her delicately create each meal with a smile on her face....it was quite refreshing!

The daily lunch special includes a small soup or salad with one of their sandwiches. I decided to start with the Summer Squash and Salsa Verde soup, while Chris went with the Pinto Bean and Guacamole...both were fantastic! For our sandwiches, Chris decided on The Southwestern, which featured pepper jack cheese, guacamole, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. I went with The French, which was grilled and featured goat cheese, arugula, apples and a pepper jelly. Both were delicious...but I won this round! The French sandwich was seriously tasty and very filling.

The decor is quite simple with a little nod to vintage. The cafe actually shares space with a vintage furniture store, so that was uniquely quirky...I loved it! There is local art on the walls and the tables and chairs aren't too matchy-matchy. Honestly, I felt like I had pulled up a bar stool in a dear friend's kitchen...especially when Maureen started chatting with us as she chopped apples. The casual and comfortable vibe of the cafe made me feel right at home.

To put it plainly...the food was delicious, the service was outstanding and the general atmosphere was just trendy enough to be noticed but not too hipster to scare off the close-minded. Normally, when we go out to eat, ordering can be such a challenge. The meticulous studying of the menu followed by the endless questions for the server...it's exhausting. But today we knew that everything on the menu was fair game...and that was such a welcomed shift. With that being said, I'm confident that even our most carnivorous friend would enjoy lunch here.

In terms of price, $10 for lunch is not bad. Will we eat here weekly? Probably not.. However, we are definetely going back for more!

Fabulously served local and seasonal food...two big thumbs up from me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Sauteed Kale with Toasted Pine Nuts

I am seriously having a love affair with kale...

Beyond being just scrumptious and delicious...it is so very good for you! After a bit of research, I discovered that this beautiful, dark, leafy green has some power to it! From cholesterol-lowering abilities to detoxing to even cancer-fighting, this is a must-try veggie! Seriously, this "queen of greens" is one of the healthiest vegetables around and a nutritional powerhouse...I'm obsessed!

Here is a tasty and easy way to incorporate kale into your diet...ENJOY!

4 bunches kale (about 2 pounds-seems like a lot, but remember, it  will wilt!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

First things first, fold each kale leaf lengthwise and cut stem away along the crease. Then, tear the leaves coarsely. If you want to do this ahead of time, it can be prepared one day in advance, just pack the kale into resealable plastic bags and chill.

Now, heat your oil in heavy large pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic then saute until the onion is soft and your house smells amazing!

While your "onion party" is going, pour your pine nuts into a smaller skillet over  medium-low heat. Just don't forget to give them stir every now and then!

Now, add half of the kale to your "onion party", packing slightly.

Cook until kale wilts, tossing often, which is about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add remaining kale and half of the toasted pine nuts.

Toss until kale is just tender and still bright green, which is about 3 minutes longer. Then, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lastly, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with remaining toasted pine nuts.

Get ready for some yumminess!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Strawberry Spinach Salad...whew, say that five times fast!

We have been trying to eat more salads and I fell upon this . This salad isn't necessarily healthy but yum, tasty! If you are in the mood for a sweet treat that you won't entirely regret, I highly recommend this dish! Enjoy!

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 bunches fresh spinach - chopped, washed and dried
1 pint strawberries, halved

Whisk together the sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, poppy seeds, paprika, oil and vinegar. Then, refrigerate until chilled.    
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In a salad bowl, combine the spinach and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing, toss lightly and serve.               

I topped with a little feta cheese when serving...and that really made me a happy camper!