Living Local

How was everyone’s weekend! Mine was fun and busy, just the way I like it 🙂


Potluck Day at work! Unfortunately potluck days are loosing steam. hardly anyone brings anything in anymore 😦

There was still some goodies though!

It was a LONG work week so when it came to dinner we took the Chinese takeout route.

General Tso with the last of my woodchuck cider.


Saturday was my first day “on the job” for a freelance project I’m working on. I got to go around interviewing local business owners, which was both fun and interesting. Definitely learned more about what it’s like to own your own business and also the history behind some popular St. Pete places.

The morning started off with Cafe con Leche at Pipo’s.

I normally stay away from coffee and espresso because I get heart palpitations (I’m fine with tea), but I needed some caffeine and cafe con Leche sounded so good.

I slurped it down like it was my job. De-lish.

Lunch was at Ferg’s. Never actually eatten here and it was pretty good!

Meatball sliders with a side of apple. I love how they cut it into slices…I like it so much better then having to bite into one. Weird I know!

Later I attended St. Pete’s first ever Cash Mob. A cash mob is basically where a group of people all gather and then hit up a local store all “flash mob” style and buy something to support that business. We ended up at Haslam’s. I love bookstores. There’s something so peaceful about them. I had 3 different books in my hand at one point, but finally settled on one. Which I’m embarrassed to say…I can’t remember the title! Eek I’ll let you know later.

I was ready to keep the busy-ness going and Jon and I had dinner and a party on the schedule, but only ended up with dinner. We were half tired and half too full to do anything but lounge on the couch.

Dinner was at a favorite, Cafe Vienna.

Jon insisted we try something different this time (I’m such a creature of habit) so I got the Pork Alfredo. It was really good and exactly what I was in the mood for. Pork stuffed with goat cheese and spinach. Some kind of gravy on top? Veggies and potatoes on the side.

We both got a hankering for something sweet later in the night.

So I whipped up some 5 minute chocolate chip cake. Love this stuff! So easy and it kicks the chocolate craving. However, this batch didn’t get mixed too well (oops) and I used a different recipe which wasn’t as good as the first one I tried.


After such a busy Saturday and a long time since we had a weekend by ourselves at home, we totally just sat on our butts Sunday.

That is, after we made a trip to Halong Bay for dim sum, another favorite place of ours 🙂

BBQ pork steam buns, dumplings, lotus leaf rice and custard buns just to name a few.

About a year ago Jon had gotten the flu…he thought he was feeling better so we went to get dim sum and ordered one of our favs, salt and pepper calamari. Needless to say he was not better and all that food made him worse. Ever since then we haven’t ordered the calamari because it brings up some not so nice memories. Well…we ordered it Sunday cause Jon wanted to give it a whirl.

Unfortunately, it still made him think of that dreaded day 😦 This stuff is so good though. It’s rich and crispy, and with all the cracklings on top it’s very addictive.

After a whole day of lounging Jon pulled together a last minute dinner of curry lentil soup.

Lentils with pureed chic peas and spinach, curry and probably some other fun things I missed 🙂 So good and so healthy!

Monday was nothing special, but I did try out my new heart monitor watch! Separate post on that to come.

How to Be Lame on Halloween

Hey all! Happy Halloween!

I’ve always liked Halloween. I mean, who doesn’t love dressing up, eating candy and watching their favorite horror movies? However, the past few years Halloween has seemed to loose it’s luster. Going to a party is fun and you get to laugh and ooh and ahh at people’s costumes…but at the end of the night it’s just another party. Maybe I’m just being a party pooper?

Either way this year The Chef and I decided to forgo Halloween festivities. We’ve been doing so much work lately to prep my mom’s condo for her move in a week that we’ve been pretty pooped by nightfall. So this weekend we opted to stay in, nosh on some fun size candy and watch some scary movies. The Shining was on TV on Saturday…what a great movie. It never gets old, but I’m sorry that Shelley Duval kind of gets on my nerves.


Last night we watched The Dead Zone with Christopher Walken. Honestly, if he wasn’t in the movies, I think it would have sucked. It wasn’t a scary movie, but definitely very Stephan King. Kind of blah, but a good story line.


We had a Halloween potluck at work. I used to love potlucks at work, but now they’re not as exciting. Maybe because of so much turnover?

My plate.

I tried to keep healthy, but I can’t help trying a little bit of everything. Also, there wasn’t much healthy stuff to choose from 😦 Ended up with a BBQ pulled pork slider, a few meatballs, orange mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, orzo salad, salad and a few pieces of cheese.

I was also disapointed that more people didn’t try to put a Halloween spin on their dishes. The only Halloweenish dish was the “orange” mashed potatoes.

Dessert plate.

I had a cookie later on as well 🙂 And someone bought apple cider! I had been craving cider since I hadn’t had it in forever. The cider and doughnuts were fall perfection.

The Chef is working tonight so I was left to my own devices. I had to run around picking up a few donations for an upcoming fundraiser and putting up fliers. So I needed a no fuss meal. Publix was having great sales on everything this week so I decided to just stop by there and figure dinner out in the store. I knew I had some Morningstar Farm crumbles that needed to get used up, as well as frozen peas. And we had pasta in the pantry. So all I really bought for dinner was tomato sauce.

New to me Barilla sauce.

I mixed in the crumbles and peas first. Then added the sauce. Last was some garlic and some squirts of siracha to add a bit of a kick 🙂

It was good! The crumbles were a bit tough…think they had been in the freezer too long. But I really liked the sauce. It had a lot of flavor by itself and was nice and thick. And not too salty…sometimes we have trouble with bottled sauce being too sodium-rific.

Accompanied by some yummy Sauvignon Blanc.

This was really good! Received this as a thank you gift for watching a friend’s pups.

Needless, to say it’s a quiet night here…just me and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 🙂

Conversation Starter: How did you celebrate Halloween?