Posts filed under ‘restaurants’

Our House Guest

This morning I broke out some more Healthy Living Summit swag.  This time it was this Vega mix:
I used it in a Green Monster, with ice, skim milk, some frozen banana chunks, and spinach. 
Verdict?  Ehhhh, not great. Maybe it was the banana and spinach combined? I’m not sure if it would just be better tasting on it’s own? Anyone else have any good ideas on what to do with this flavor?  I’m more of a vanilla or chocolate smoothie mix person. 
I don’t know about you guys, but I get really stressed out about having house guests.  Which is probably why I so rarely entertain.  I’ll admit it, I’m not the neatest person on the planet.  During the week I tend to pile stuff on my kitchen island and I detest folding and putting away laundry, so I’ve been known to leave my laundry sitting in a laundry basket far longer than it should.  That said, one of the good things about having people over is that it forces me to clean my house.  So that’s what I’ve spent a lot of time doing this week. 
My husband’s friend Dave is here from St. Louis. He is a fellow pilot and they don’t see each other a lot because Dave flies for a different airline and is married with kids. Two pilots + different home bases +conflictings schedules = rare visits, and therefore it’s probably been about a year since we last saw Dave. He and my husband go way back though. They went to college together and worked together flight instructing to kick off their aviation careers.
 My husband doesn’t have the opportunity to meet a lot of people and keep them as friends with his career being so transient in nature.  Almost everyone he knows in Charlotte is through me.  So, it’s kind of special to have a friend like this that he’s known a while.
Dave was in our wedding party.
(Dave on left, Greg, and other groomsman Austin)
So anyway, this was a week of much cleaning and prep for the visit.
I mopped, vaccummed, windexed, put away junk, etc… 
Our house is now pretty clean, and I’m liking it.
When I got home from work, Greg and I took Dave to dinner.  We decided to try something new so we went to The Tilted Kilt.  I’ve heard the low-down on this place from a couple people and pretty much knew what to expect.  The waitresses are dressed in skimpy little plaid kilts with bare middreff showing.  Kinda like a slightly classier Hooters with an Irish/Scottish twist.  The bonus is that the food is actually pretty good and they have a nice beer list.  I was willing to go for the two latter reasons.
The boys with their beers!
And Greg and I
I had some kind of cream ale and it rocked 🙂
For dinner I had a grilled chicken club with garlic fries.
I kind of wanted a salad, but none of them sounded that good to me.  The chicken was yummy.
Greg had shephard’s pie.  One of his favs.  I make a mean vegetarian version, but he actually did the meat variety tonight.
How cute is the little pot it came in??
I had a taste and it was good 🙂
I had a couple invites out tonight, but didn’t know how late we’d be at dinner.  It was about 8pm by the time we got home AND it was raining.  Plus, I had to get home to do something kind of important…  I made a BLUEBERRY PIE again!  I have a brunch tomorrow and I promised I would bring one. 
Here’s me in pie making action.  The pie is done!
I’m exhausted…  Off to bed!

August 28, 2010 at 2:18 am 1 comment

Fun With My Husband

Greg got home Thursday and I was excited to finally have a little time with him since I was away in Chicago last weekend and it had eaten into our time off together. He got in Thursday and I got him at the airport. We would have been fine with staying in, but my friends called and wanted us to come to South Park for this Frank Sinatra piano tribute thing they were having at some restaurant and drinks. We figured we’d go since it was a “couple” type event. Tim and Sarah and Gibson and Chloe were going and this was the first time the six of us have done anything all together as couples.   Greg and I ate a quick dinner before since we figured it was just drinks.  I made us some veggie burgers topped with spinach and cheese with a couple carrot sticks and a little cottage cheese.
The weather was kind of iffy on the drive over and Gibson called me to let me know the event was cancelled, since it was scheduled to be outside on a patio. We quickly regrouped and made a new plan to go to Bricktops down the road.  There was a wait for a table but we decided to get one because Tim, Gibson, and Chloe wanted to order dinner.  While waiting we sat at the bar and I got a glass of Malbec.  Everyone else had martini’s which was the special, but I didn’t notice this til after I got my wine- doh!  Oh well, it was a good Malbec 😉
Once at our table, Greg and I assessed how hungry we were since we’d kind of already eaten.  He was still kind of hungry and ordered a flatbread, and I just had a house side salad (I didn’t take pictures!). 
We actually got dessert, which was this chocolate chip cookie in a little iron skillet with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.  It got passed around the table and I had a couple bites.  MMMMM.  I love the idea of a cookie cooked in a skillet 🙂
Friday after work, I headed home and Greg and finally made a trip to the grocery store for some essentials.  I used a lot of coupons from The Healthy Living Summit on this trip, getting some sandwich thins, yogurt, feta, etc…  🙂  I also stocked up on veggies and fruit since our drawer was kind of empty. 
I made us greek salad and sort of a pizza bread for dinner.
Green leaf lettuce
roasted red pepper
black olives
diced up artichoke heart
sliced mushrooms
black pepper
drizzled with red wine vinegrette, EVOO, and lemon juice.
Pizza bread:
whole grain bread (bakery) sliced
melted butter and garlic
cooked green pepper
tomato (I used can since I have some open)
topped with mozzarella
Baked in toaster oven on about 400 for about 10 min.
All together
We ate in a rush so we could get out and KAYAK for the first time in a long time!  By the time we got to the Catawba it was already like 7:30pm! 
Greg prepping the kayaks.
Pretty gorgeous night…
We actually took Clyde out with us, and this was his first time on in the kayaks.  He was funny!  Very curious about what the heck was going on!
It was a little hard to paddle with Clyde in the kayak, but tolerable.  We put our kayaks next to each other so Clyde could hop in and ride with Greg for half the trip.
Kayaking was followed up by an impromtu trip to the nearest DQ.  My mom and I like the vanilla cones with cherry dip once in a blue moon.  It’s very artificial and waxy.  I do realize I’m probably totally polluting my body with red dye number 9 or something, but once a year or so, it has to be done…
Greg had a turtle sundae.
Clyde had a bite.
Then we called it a night!

August 22, 2010 at 12:52 am 3 comments

Healthy Living Summit – Food Tour of Chicago!

Before the Healthy Living Summit, emails were flying around left and right with activities to partake in throughout the weekend.  One that popped up was a Food Tour of Chicago, and I couldn’t pass that up.  Luckily I got in, because they only accepted 30 people!

(Arnold photographer)
Arnold and Oroweat sponsored our tour, so thank you to them!  Here was our Oroweat rep introducing us to our tour guides.
First up was The Berghoff.  German food.  We had a bread basket at the table.  I just had a tiny bit of a flaky cracker.

                       Also featured was a homemade root beer.  AWESOME!  I love root beer 🙂

Then on to the main taste, which was a brat with sauerkraut and potatoes. 

I am not usually a fan of stuff like that (I’m notorious for hating sausage), but admit it was pretty delicious.

I loved the inside of the restaurant too.
Next stop on the tour was The Palmer House.
(Arnold photographer)
Check out the view we had coming up the escalator into the main lobby:
Really gorgeous ceiling!
We actually saw two wedding parties come through while inside.
We were there because we had brownies with a story behind them that involved the hotel.
(you’ll have to take the tour yourself to hear that story!)
Next we tried Chicago style popcorn, which is cheese corn and caramel corn mixed. 
Not bad, but I prefer classic popcorn with a little butter and salt.
We passed by some famous Chicago sites.
Then went to The Halsted Street Deli to try an authentic Chicago Dog.
The funny thing is that I work right near Matt’s Chicago Dog in Charlotte, and have never tried the actual Chicago Dog!  What can I say, I love his grilled chicken sandwich…
I digress.  So the Chicago Dog was actually pretty awesome!
Guess I should order one at Matt’s sometime…
We passed over the river.  So pretty!

Then went to our last stop.
This place is tied in with the Chicago Cubs curse.  Something about them not letting a goat on the field, and ever since the Cubs have been cursed?!  See here
Anyway, they are famous for cheeseburgers.  Cuz I needed a cheeseburger after consuming a brat, hotdog, and brownie…lol.
I rolled with it and ate mostly the bottom bun and burger. 
We liked the hats we got.
Katie and Jen
How cute is Kendall??
Jen and I called it a night after the food crawl.  
I got some upsetting news that my puppy was chewing cordings (and shorting power in doing so!) and peeing at his puppy sitter’s and had kind of a melt down worrying about him!
The food tour was cool, but it was not a healthy food tour of Chicago by any means.  I was glad I’d gone heavy on veggies at lunch, because there were none to be found on this tour unless you count the toppings on the hot dog at Halsted!

August 16, 2010 at 9:56 am 6 comments

Healthy Living Summit – Friday Fun

Whew!  It was a whirlwind first day in Chicago!  I was up about the same time I usually get up for work.  I gobbled down a bowl of puffins with strawberries and milk.

 Greg and Clyde brought me to the airport. 
I got there early enough to get a Skinny Vanilla Latte (my fav!)
and read more of Eat Pray Love…
I arrived in Chicago right on time and Jen landed RIGHT after me (she was flying in from NJ since she was up there this week) and was literally 3 gates down, so that worked out perfectly!
We caught the “L” train into the city.  It kind of took a while, but it’s cheap 😉
We arrived at the Congress Plaza Hotel around noonish.
We checked in to our room and took a second to decompress…
Then met up with Katie to have some fun in Chicago!!
First up was lunch, as we were absolutely STARVING!  We hit up Fox and Obel, after Katie raved about how good it was 🙂
The place was really cool!   They have a neat gourmet market with all sorts of specialty food and then an area where you can order food and sit and eat.  I got a spinach salad that had green beans, apricots, goat cheese, and pecans.  Really yummy!
After lunch we decided to walk around.  We were right near Navy Pier and Jen hadn’t been before, so that was our first stop.
We even got our picture taken with a huge piece of macaroni!
Us at the end of Navy Pier!
Great view of Chicago Skyline from the pier.
Next up was a bee-line to some FRO-YO.  Cuz what would a blogger meet-up be without it 😉
On the way we passed a building that has stones/bricks from every state.  I paid homage to my home state and had a picture taken with New Hampshire!
On The Magnificent Mile we saw some pretty insane street dancers:
One guy jumped over all those people bent over!
Finally we made it to Berry Chill.
I had Pina Colada flavored fro-yo with raspberries, strawberry, and pinapple. It was SO FRIGGIN GOOD after walking around on a hot Chicago day!!
Ugh, see how hot I was??
We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the first HLS event- the Open Sky Cocktail Party!
All ready to go!
Here’s our little crew ready to head over in the hotel lobby.  L to R: Rachel, Me, Jen, Katie, Kendall, and Sana.  They are awesome and I hung out with these ladies a lot throughout the weekend 🙂
Crazy cab ride over…hehe.
Ready to go in!
We had the third floor of this place.
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, we might have been the first people there.  Fashionably early, I say 😉
Shot of our table while we consumed some delicious food!
It soon filled with bloggers though!
Tina, Kath, Heather, Caitlin, and Meghann kicked off the weekend (worst picture ever, sorry!)
I dove into the food and had some chips and spinach artichoke dip, hummus and a pita, a veggie quesadilla, mozzarella and tomato skewer and some salad.  I also got a mini turkey burger:
I met soooooooooooooo many bloggers that it was a little overwhelming!  But awesome!
(Arnold picture)
Me, Jen, and Anne P!  First time meeting Anne!  Love her 🙂
Kendall and I.
Also saw a bunch of familiar faces…
Emily, Me, Jen.  Charlotte people represent!
It was a total blast! 

August 16, 2010 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

I Compost

Sunday morning I set out for my second run of the weekend.  I think the knee actually felt better the second time than the first.  I did my neighborhood loop (1-2 miles) again, so nothing major, but it felt pretty good.  I stretched a lot before and after and also did my foam roller post run.  I’m hoping that I’m on my way to full recovery.

I got back to the house and had some fruit salad (same as I made for Kelly’s wedding the day before).

Then I blogged, played on the internet, and got ready to meet some friends for a late brunch.  We went to Foskoskies in Plaza Midwood.
It’s this little unassuming place kind of off the beaten path.  I met Gibson, Chloe, and Sarah there.  Chloe and Gibson were all about having their chicken and waffles (not really my thing).  I’m kind of weird about chicken for breakfast.  I feel like it doesn’t go…  But I totally respect other peeps wanting to eat it.
I actually had the spinach artichoke eggs Florentine.  And forgot to get a picture!  But it was totally delicious.  It was poached eggs on english muffins with the spinach artichoke sauce on it, plus home fries and fruit.  I also had about 3 small cups of coffee over the course of about 2 hours.  We were there for a while talking.
Foskoskies was pretty much the big event of my Sunday.
I debated going to a yoga class, but since I’d already ran and showered, it didn’t sound that appealing to get all drenched sweaty again and I figured some downtime at home would be good, since I’m going to be away next weekend for the Healthy Living Summit!
I caught up on TIVO (Next Food Network Star, Project Runway, etc), walked Clyde, and did things around the house.  
One thing I took care of was our compost.  Greg and I got a compost bin from my parents back in March, and have been composting for a while now.  My mom has been doing it for probably 10+ years now, and got us into it.  The biggest source of debate between Greg and I over composting was where to keep the scraps in the house before dumping them in the bin outside.  He suggested a pail or something on the counter, but I didn’t like the idea of stuff not being cold and possibly smelling/attracting bugs, that sort of thing.  I thought a big Ziplock bag kept in the fridge would be fine, but he didn’t like that idea.  We finally settled on a plastic container that we keep in the fridge.  We empty it about every other day or so depending on the amount of stuff in there.  Some of the things we put in our compost bin are:
strawberry tops
cherry pits
avocado pits/peels
coffee grounds
tea bags
vegetable peels
onion peels
any produce past its prime that needs to be thrown out.
Once the plastic fridge bin is full and ready to go out, I walk it down the deck steps…
and over to the edge of the tree line in our back yard.  Greg placed it here so it’s kind of hidden.
Then you just lift the lid and dump!
that’s it!  
A few things you can’t put in are citrus peels and anything with oil on it.  I take that to mean you couldn’t make stir-fry and throw the left-overs in or that sort of thing.  We also worried that the bin would attract animals or smell, but it really doesn’t!
We actually have built in com posters as well, which are our rabbits.  Cinnamon and Baxter eat carrot peels/tops, celery, broccoli, lettuce, parsley, etc…  So they help as well.

Do you Compost?
For dinner I had some ripe avocado to use.  Guacamole again.  I know, I’m a creature of habit… I had mine with carrot sticks and some tortilla strips.

I’m not too excited about work this week, but at least it’s only a 4-day week and then I’m off to Chicago for blogger fun!

August 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Carpe Diem

I was up and at em yesterday morning after a pre-wedding bar crawl for Kelly Thursday night.   I remembered about halfway to uptown that I forgot my camera!!  Tragic.  Some people are supposed to send me pictures.  We went to Dandelion Market and Molly McPhearson’s.  I kept it low key and only had two beers because I had to drive home. 
I didn’t get to bed til about 2am, partly because I got home late from the bar crawl and partly because Greg drove home from Charleston, WV last night and got home around 1:45am and it took a little while to calm Clyde down and get all settled in bed. 
Anyway, I woke up and got ready for a busy day. 
Breakfast was a simple bowl of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal with banana and skim milk:

First up was an appointment with Greenapple for my knee.  Treatment seems to be going well and I was told to try running on my knee this weekend.  Yay!
Next up was a Versa Spa spray tan.  I’ve had Mystic Tan’s done before, and also got an airbrush tan before my brother’s wedding in the fall.  I am just REALLY REALLY pale and like a little color when I’m in a big event such as a wedding with all eyes on me.  Plus, I’m surrounded by very tan friends and relatives of Kelly in this wedding and I didn’t want to look like a ghost!  This was my first time trying Versa Spa.  I liked it.  It’s a little more complex than Mystic in terms of moving around in the booth while you get sprayed, but nothing major.  It doesn’t smell as strong as Mystic and the results seem good.  No streaks or weird spots like I’ve occasionally had with Mystic.  I also seem tan enough, but not so much that people were like, “Wow, you are SO TAN” (I’m not going for that).  And I don’t look like an Oompa Loompa.

Well, I don’t think I do…
I got home and got my stuff ready for Kelly’s rehearsal and dinner. 
I made lunch for Greg and I and we decided on panini sandwiches.  I made provolone and tomato with a sprinkle of italian seasoning on whole wheat Harris Teeter loaf.
Greg had two sandwiches and I had one, with some carrots and cottage cheese:
Then it was off to get my nails done with Kelly and bridesmaids:
The beautiful bride!
After the nail salon we were whisked off the the church for the rehearsal.  After a quick half hour of practice it was over to Carpe Diem for dinner.
Dinner began with platters of three different appetizers:
Shrimp Cocktail:
Cheese, crackers, and fruit.
Also an unpictured hummus and pita plate.
Then we had a salad with spinach, blue cheese, onion, pistacio, and grapes.
For the main course we had a choice of 4 entrees.  I chose Mahi Mahi:
Greg had Filet Mignon, and I fulled intended on switching halfway with him, but ended up just having a couple bites of steak and wanting to finish my Mahi, because it was so good!  It was served with rice, asparagus, and tomato.  Awesome!
Greg’s steak:
Then for dessert I chose berry cobbler, and Greg had some kind of chocolate deliciousness:
After dinner we took a couple shots outside…
So excited for the happy couple!!

August 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm 2 comments

Hanging at The Counter

I bet you can’t guess what I did last night? If you guessed another blogger meet-up then you would be right! Really, I don’t know that I even really consider these to be blogger meet-ups anymore. These girls have become my friends and I really just like hanging out with them. We do discuss blogging some when we get together but we also get a lot of normal “girl talk” when we hang out.
Last night Katie, Jen, Jessie, Jen, and I did hot yoga (and yes, the sweat poured off me like rain again) together.  After yoga we went to The Counter for dinner and further socializing. 

There are a lot of really good burger places in Charlotte: Big Daddy’s (the scene of one of my first blogger meet-ups), Nix, and The Counter.  Big Daddy’s has a pretty amazing black bean burger.  I’d say Nix has my favorite beef burger if I’m eating meat.  This was my first time at The Counter.  I liked their custom menu, which was kind of similar to a sushi menu, where you check boxes to make your selections.
I chose a veggie burger (small) on lettuce instead of bun, with cheddar, guac, tomatoes, grilled onion, black bean and corn salsa, and roasted red peppers.
We ordered a pile of sweet potato fries to share.  They rocked.
Here is my masterpiece burger…  Nom Nom Nom… 🙂  It was totally yummy and I should bring Greg here as he’s quite the veggie burger connoisseur these days.  I think he’ll approve.  Although, we were told upon leaving that they are going to be making it into a sushi/burger place soon.  Not sure what I think of this concept even though I love sushi and burger.  Together this sounds like an odd concept though…

August 5, 2010 at 1:17 pm 4 comments

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