Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Wow, has it really been almost a week since I’ve posted?? Oops. Sorry folks, lots of fun has been happening over here!

Thursday

When I last left you it was a day where I actually got to go into work late. With no food in the house I asked my friend Lora if she wanted to meet up for lunch. Off to Meze 119 we go!

This was my second visit and Meze didn’t disappoint. They’re proved their consistency. (At least with the food…our waitress didn’t know how to smile.)

Cyprus BLT with house salad.

Last time I was here, Lora got this and it looked so good I vowed to try it next visit. Tempeh bacon, panko encrusted tomato, olive tapenade, caramelized onions and syrian cheese on a whole wheat pita makes this sammie filling yet healthy tasting. Never had syrian cheese…loved it! It kind of tastes like mozzarella. The house salad was also bigger than expected and overflowed with my beloved sundried tomatoes. Love the vinaigrette they use also.

Friday

After work and a long Saturday ahead of me all I wanted to do Friday was drink wine, eat pizza and watch a movie. Only part of that happened. Pizza was nixed and we ended up getting Taco Bus. Aka the food I could eat every day for the rest of my life and be fat and happy.

The chochinita pibil burrito never gets old. But the butternut squash centro did. Don’t think we’ll get it again. We’ve gotten it a few times and finally realized we’re not big fans.

Weekend

Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in awhile.

I started off hugging strangers at Keep St. Pete Local’s Free Hug Fest. Sounds strange I know, but it was really a great thing. The idea formed from it being National Hugging Day and also KSPL’s goal to bring together the community and support local businesses. Basically residents could sign up for hugging shifts that were located throughout downtown St. Pete. You hold a sign that says “Free Hugs” and wait for people to ignore you, give you a nervous look or actually come up to you and ask for a hug. The mayor even gave out free hugs! I was a lone hugger on my block and while I felt a bit strange it was nice to start off the day with hugs!

Then it was off to Edible Peach Patch, where I joined fellow Eckerd alums and St. Pete residents in building a garden for a local elementary school. I helped dig 3 feet into the ground. My arms were sore for 2 days.

Later that night Jon, my mom and I went out for dinner at Moscato’s Bella Cucina. I had been here once with my mom before and was so thrilled to have finally found an authentic Italian place. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good this time 😦 I had the Linguine Pesto and substituted angel hair and added grilled chicken. It was ok, but not as good as the Chicken Saltimbocca I had last time. Jon got a shrimp pasta dish, which was served in a small bowl and looked like a child’s portion. There was also very few shrimp and he said the pasta, although fresh, was undercooked. I was so excited to show off this place to him so this was definitely dissapointing. He also noted that the majority of the wines they had were not Italian. I wrote a review on Yelp though, and got a nice response from the manager. She said they’d take my comments into consideration and to also note that they would be having grand re-opening soon and were trying to get rid of all their current wines to make room for more Italian wines. I still have hope for this place! Plus my mom likes it so I know I’ll be back 🙂

Besides the food, I love the live music they have. There was a guy who knew the band playing and actually randomly sang a few opera songs. He was so good and it was so cool! The whole restaurant literally fell quiet while he was singing.

After dinner and after we dropped my mom off, Jon and I decided to go back out to The Ale and the Witch, which is by far our fav bar in St. Pete.

Hot cider with more awesome live music.

Sunday was uneventful unless you think furniture shopping is exciting. It’s not.

But Lamb Provencal is.

So. Delicious. I’m so spoiled.

Monday

Jon’s sister and a friend came to stay the night with us Monday since they were in town for a conference. This week is also his sister’s birthday so Jon made her a special dinner of homemade spinach pasta and lamb ragu.

I really should have turned on the light for this pic.

For dessert I picked up some goodies at Sweet Divas, which I’d been dying to try. I asked the woman there (who happened to be one of the owners) to just give me some of her favorites. I ended up with 4 different kinds of chocolates and 3 cupcakes. The chocolates did not disappoint. The only one I wasn’t a fan of was the dark chocolate grand mariner. Not sure why, just wasn’t my fav. But the dark chocolate salted caramel was definitely the table favorite. Also on the plate is a milk chocolate champagne (in the shape of a cork!) and a white chocolate key lime.

The cupcakes weren’t as good. I loved the frosting, but we all agreed the cake part was a bit dry.

Overall a fun and gluttonous night!

More fun things coming up this week!

How has your week been so far?

 

Spice It Up

I got some exciting and fun stuff to share today!

After work yesterday I headed straight to the post office to pick up a package I had been eagerly awaiting. (Why can’t they just leave it outside my door? The note said it required a signature and then they didn’t even ask for one…)

My new toy…

Polar FT7 ba-bay

Via Amazon I’m happy with the deal I got and it got here 2 days early!

 

I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet so I’ll let you all know my thoughts once I do. I’ve never had a heart rate monitor watch before so should be interesting. I’ve really wanted one though, thinking that it will encourage me to keep up with a regular workout routine. I already monitor my calorie intake every now and then, but would really like to have an accurate count of how many calories I’m burning during workouts.

So far, I love the look and feel of it. Especially love all of the slits in it, so you know you can definitely find the perfect fit!

After a quick stop at home to change I headed out again to use my Groupon for the Savory Spice Shop downtown. It expired yesterday so I HAD to use it (what’s up procrastination?)

I’d only been there once before after they first opened and I was really impressed. Tons of regular spices and even more interesting spice mixes, exotic spices and spices you’ve never heard of. It was hard to pick what I wanted…I wanted to get something that we could use everyday, but also get some interesting ones.

I got a bix of both.

The salt and seasoning I think will be good for everyday. And the honey powder I think would be interesting to used for my beloved baked goods. The Mexican Mole will probably be around for awhile, but I just couldn’t resist. Chicken Mole is in the top 5 favorite food list and I’d love to try making it at home.

P.S. It also smells INCREDIBLE in this shop. Obviously.

After my stop at Savory I headed over to my friend, Lora’s place, where we walked to Meze 119 for dinner. My first time trying Meze! I love trying new places and have heard many good things about Meze.

Meze 119 has a small, but well used space. It’s a bit too modern for my taste, but I enjoyed the wall stencils and colorful pillows and thought they were a nice, playful touch.

The menu was extensive, interesting, fun and healthy! The prices were great as well. You can get a few tapas type dishes to share or you can get main entrees. They have salads, sandwiches and actual entrees. Everything sounded wonderful and I couldn’t really decide what to get. I eventually went with the Meze Original, which is their falafel sandwich. Also, got a bowl of their Black Bean Soup that was a special yesterday.

 

Paired with a Pinot Grigio that was more dry than sweet…perfect!

The soup came out fast and hot. It was full of beans and veggies and nice and hearty just how I like it. It had a nice heat to it as well with some Moroccan tasting spices.

Our sandwiches came out pretty quickly as well.

My falafel sandwich is under here somewhere.

The falafel itself was very good, but I do wish it had come with tzatziki. All sandwiches also come with these potato wedges that they call ti”iips. I only ended up having one. It was good, but not great. Could have been crisper.

I also shared the Bourekas app with Lora. These were perfect. The pastry was light and flakey with just enough filling. I actually forget what the filling was (artichoke and feta?) but it was dang good.

Lora got the Cyprus BLT, which also looked very good. No complaints on her end…she even enjoyed the olive tapenade that it came with and she’s not an olive fan.

Overall a very yummy meal! Can’t wait to go back and try more interesting things on the menu.

Got sent home with some chocolate chip cookies!

Once I got home I realized that I still had apples in the fridge waiting to be made into applesauce. After Jon threatened to start eating them I pulled out the pan and knife and got to work.

The stars of the show.

I used two granny smith and two macintosh. I didn’t want it to be TOO sweet.

Chopped up the apples and added them to sprayed saute pan on medium heat.

Added:

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon of my new honey powder

Everyone in the pool!

Covered for 20 minutes, every once and awhile lifting to mash up the apples.

And viola! SO easy…I never want to buy applesauce from the store again.

Had some for a mid-morning snack. 🙂

Next time I’d like to use less sugar, and brown instead of white. Plus more spices.

For breakfast this morning I wanted to try the all purpose seasoning in my eggs, but my half awake hand grabbed the seasoning salt instead and went to town. I cursed myself but then thought it’d probably be ok. Wrong! I spit out the first bite and had to remake it. Much better with the right seasoning 😉

For lunch I had a lunch meeting. Had a very well made and flavorful chicken pasta with mushrooms, spinach and parmesan.

It was a looong day at work and Jon was meeting up with friends after work. So my mom and I went out and got dinner at Tijuana Flats. I hadn’t been there since college until recently and I realized it’s not half bad. Not authentic like I normally like, but it is good and I love how you can customize everything. I got a burrito (tijuana size) on a wheat wrap with chicken, black beans, red sauce and low fat cheese and sour cream. Plus all the goodies they add in. Also sipped on some sangria, which was surprisingly tasty and refreshing.

That’s all for now! I’m pooped.

Have you ever tried to make something at home rather than buy it in the store?

I really want to try making hummus and yogurt!