Weekend Highlights

A completely made up and absolutely delicious sandwich made by the Chef.

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Incudes provlorone, sliced pork, bacon and yummy marinated vegetables.

Dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and El Taqueria Azteca…most beloved chicken mole burrito and pastor tacos. Heaven.

Root beer floats with vegan ice cream at a friend’s poetry reading at Cool Hand Luc’s. P.S. If you live in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral you def need to stop by this place. Awesome ice cream and other goodies. Plus great art, live music, etc. Plus a few friends own it and they’re awesome πŸ™‚

Sunday dinner…

New York Strip, baked potato with sour cream and chives/green onion and green beans.

For dessert, angel food cake with fresh strawberries that blew me away as soon as we walked into Pubix, and Cool Whip. Or ‘ool Whip for you fellow Family Guy fans.

I was just going to cut the cake and plop strawberries and whip on top. The Chef = Mr. Fancy Pants

And sleepy pug faces.

How was your weekend?

Starting A New

Happy New Year!

The start to the new year has already been a good one. This weekend was filled with food, family, friends and fun!

New Year’s Eve

We sent new Years in Cape Coral. New Year’s Eve day started with The Chef’s homemade pancakes and bacon. I must say now (if I haven’t said it before) that I only eat Jon’s pancakes. I can’t have them out at a restaurant…they make my tummy feel funny. But I can’t get enough of his pancakes. They are always perfectly fluffy and very tasty πŸ™‚

Traces of Christmas at Jon’s sisters πŸ™‚

Kind of sad decorations have to go down soon. We didn’t decorate ourselves this year (too busy!), but I love seeing decorations in other people’s homes. Makes you feel so festive!

Most of the day was spent deciding on what to do. It was a gorgeous day out and a perfect temperature so we wanted to spend it outside. By the time we finally decided to go canoeing we only had an hour left of sunlight. But it was a fun hour! And a great way to get in a semi-workout πŸ˜‰ We had fun waving at everyone sitting outside on their porches and wishing them a Happy New Year.

Then the night festivities…

Each year Jon’s family does a buffet of hors d’oeuvres in leu of dinner on New Years Eve. We got fancied up and headed to his folk’s house for quite the feast…

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On the table: Cheese, Dill Dip in a Pumpernickel Bread Bowl, Kielbasa, Gelottis, Marinated Grilled Shrimp, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Artichoke Dip, Rumaki, Crudite, Spinach Dip and Chili Cheese Dip.

A feast indeed.

After our bellies were full we headed out to a friend’s party. As soon as midnight struck about six houses surrounding us lit off fireworks. Very cool to see! We departed soon after the ball dropped. The next few hours were spent playing a most hilarious game of Pictionary.

New Years Day

This was the laziest day of my life. No joke. We literally woke up. Had a wonderfully filling breakfast of french toast, bacon and fresh fruit.

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Then laid around all day watching movies and napping. Lazy to the max.

We arose when dinner needed to be made πŸ™‚

Pork roast with homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and black eyed peas (for luck!).

And a champagne toast to the year ahead.

Pineapple turnovers…

…and some pug shenanigans before we hit the road back to St. Pete.

Today

I had today off from work so I promptly slept in until about 9:30 a.m., which was glorious.

My signature breakfast lately has been a toasted english muffin with Smart butter with egg whites. To my eggs I like to sprinkle low fat cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of salt, pepper, paprika and herbs de provence. Glass of OJ to top it off.

After getting sucked into the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous I finally got ready to head to the mall. The only thing on my agenda was to get new work pants. Temps are going down to the 50s this week and I need more than two pairs of pants!

After the mall I headed to local coffee shop, Kahwa for a meeting.

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Green tea and vegan banana nut bread. The crust had cinnamon laced in it and it was delicious!

After my meeting I headed to the store to get some things for dinner. Since The Chef had to work today I said I’d handle dinner πŸ™‚

We’ve had a block of tempeh sitting in our fridge and we really wanted a healthy dinner after all the feasting from the weekend. So I turned to Mama Pea and decided to follow her Orange Sesame Tempeh Stir Fry. Instead of broccoli slaw I used actual broccoli. I also added baby portabella mushrooms (they were on sale at Publix). I used maple syrup as our sweetner since we buy the good stuff πŸ™‚ And white rice instead of brown since we have a huge bag in our pantry that needs to get used up. Also added some Five Star spice. I forgot to add salt to the rice (a.k.a. I didn’t know you added salt when cooking rice until Jon told me you do). Hey, I’m still learning here people! The Chef also stepped in at the end to taste test and some more soy sauce since it seemed to need more liquid.

(Sorry for the tilted photo but WordPress wasn’t saving my edit!)

The citrus and ginger flavor came through but I wish it was more pungent. Overall it was a great recipe, but I think I’d add in some things next time for more flavor. After a few bites we ended up going back to the kitchen to add siracha and hoisin sauce. Maybe we’re just used to those add ins since we eat so much Vietnamese πŸ™‚

Hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year!

Have you tried any new recipes lately?Β 

Are you a meat eater, but like to cook vegetarian dishes every now and then? The Chef and I are love our meat but I pick tempeh and other veg goodies every now and then to change things up.

Cape Coral Highlights

Cape Coral is…well…it’s Cape Coral. Residential and filled with shopping plazas it’s really not the most exciting place for twenty-somethings. When The Chef and I visit we struggle to find places to hang out. We usually end up at someone’s house or at a semi-decent bar in Ft. Myers…you really can’t be too picky in this area. But that being said there are a few select places that we do really enjoy.

Spirits of Bacchus

This is the only bar in Ft. Myers that I will step into willingly. They have an extensive cocktail and wine list, which instantly makes this wino happy. The atmosphere is intimate and the decor is classic without being pretencious. The only thing that could be a bit better are the bartenders. Last time I was there I ordered a cote du rhone. He said they might not have, but that he suggested the rose if they were out. Um, champagne?? The Chef and our friends all had confused looks on our face and instead of nicely explaining his reasoning he got a bit snippy. Still don’t understand how a rose and a cote du rhone are similiar.

Azucar

3326 Del Prado, Cape Coral, FL

The Chef and I have yet to explore and find a good cuban place in Tampa Bay…I’m sure there’s one, espicially in/near Ybor City. But until that day comes Azucar has the BEST cuban food. We go there a lot of Sunday mornings after a long night with friends for their super cheap (under $5) breakfast. Why bother looking at the menu? The usual is the Cuban Sunrise, which consists of eggs, hash browns, ham or bacon, toasted cuban bread with a side of guava jelly and cafe con leche. I can’t drink coffee/espresso (heart palpitations), so The Chef gets two, but I usualy sneak a sip or two because it’s so sweet and creamy! They used to make their guava jelly, but for some reason don’t anymore. Still good, but not as foodgasmic as it used to be. Last time we were there I was in the rare mood for a sandwich instead, so I ended up with the media noche. Pretty much a cuban sandwich, but with sweet bread. A-mazing and truly satisfying.

El Taqueria AztecaΒ 

1918 Del Prado, Cape Coral, FL

Hands down the best mexican food I have ever put in my mouth, and easily the best I will ever eat short of going to Mexico. After first eating here The Chef and I have searched high and low for anything that compares. Taco Bus is the closest, but this is the type of food you dream of and crave for weeks. I always order the chicken mole burrito. And we always get about 6 tacos pastor. These ain’t no hard shell Taco Bell tacos…this is the real deal. Corn tortillas with meat, cilantro, onion and radish. That and a drizzle of your hot sauce of choice and you’re good to go.

Siam Hut

There are an abundance of thai places in St. Pete, but this place beats out all of them. You think to yourself, it’s just Thai…but once you’ve been here you’ll see how good Thai food can really be. It’s not just an alternative to Chinese take out. The decor in here is also impressive. I normally find thai restaurants oddly tacky with misplaced decorations. But this place is orderly and nicely decorated with intimate lighting. Best thing ever? Kanom Bieng, which are thai crepes stuffed with minced shrimp, fresh shredded coconut, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. SO good. I’m literally going to bring their menu to our Thai go-to place here in St. Pete and demand they add these to the menu. Our entrees were Bamee Hank, which are egg noodles with bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and either roasted pork or shrimp. We went with roasted pork and it was de-lic-ious. It’s like gourmet lo mein πŸ™‚

Then of course there’s the absolute best part of Cape Coral…

These faces…

And family/friend dinners…