Test Your Foodie Limits

Happy Monday! Hope everyone’s weekend was fantastic.

I never got around to this week’s Foodie Friday post…sorry, life got in the way :/ Will be up this Friday. Who’s excited to learn about cider? <–this girl

On Saturday, my friend Lora and I wanted to hit up Gallery Walk. She had never been and I had such a good time last time I did it. Unfortunately we were a little late in the game and some of the galleries seemed to have closed early 😦

We did make it to the wonderful Duncan McClellan studio and the Mindy Solomon Gallery, where they were having an opening reception for their Organic Inhabitants exhibit. Both of the artists exhibited “work with earthen material as a means to convey a relationship to the organic and historical world through hand-worked sculptural forms.”

After gallery exploring we met up with our friend, Sara and enjoyed a beverage at The Ale and the Witch. We actually got a champagne from Wine Madonna next door and enjoyed the music in the courtyard.

We didn’t stay out too late since I had an early am 8 miler on the schedule. I’m still amazed at my ability to jump out of bed at the sound of my 6 a.m. alarm. Sixteen year old me, who could sleep until 2 p.m. no problem, is looking at me with crazy eyes.

This 8 miler was a lot more attainable than the last one. I made a deal with myself from the start. Every mile I would stop and walk for .1 – .2 miles while sipping some water, then start up again. As the miles added up it was harder to start and I ended up being able to “get in the zone” for the last few miles and not stop. I’m confident I’m going to dominate my long run by the end of my training.

Instead of a not-so-healthy bagel I high tailed it home for a nutritious protein shake. My first time making one 🙂

In the mix:

1/2 cup Fage 2% plain greek yogurt (the best greek yogurt in my opinion)

1/2 skim milk

The rest of the strawberries we had on hand (6)

A few handfuls of blueberries

1 tbsp chia seed

1 scoop vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder

Blend and enjoy 🙂

I’m not a protein powder connoisseur, but I’ve heard that Sun Warrior is the best. I love that it’s all natural…no way I’d buy the ones with all the scary names on the ingredient list. But it still has that chalky taste to me. The berries help and I don’t mind it that much because I definitely need it to replenish after a long run. Just something I noted.

I did some quick cleaning as Jon was waking up and then we headed out for lunch.

Banh mi!

We shared a grilled pork, a speciality and a headloaf (don’t ask). I ended up giving my half of the headloaf one to Jon and felt just fine with one sandwich.

Accompanied by a jackfruit boba tea. Thuy Cafe makes the best by far. Can’t wait until they open their location downtown!

Afterwards we decided to hit up Dong A Market, an Asian market that we like that we hadn’t been to in a while.

Some people would drive by places like this, turn up their nose and swear never to go in. Most of these off the beaten path markets are run down looking, yes, but they are most certainly worth a look.

Jon and I are adventurous eaters and we love exploring different cuisines. Asian definitely seems to be one of our favorites and we love walking the aisles of asian markets to see what we Jon can create.

To me, you need to be a little daring with food. I grew up with a vegetarian mother and a diabetic father who had a limited diet. I would eat whatever was put in front of me, but it was usually a form of chicken or fish, veggies and a starch or pasta. Nothing too out of the ordinary. I was lucky enough to have friends from a  variety of backgrounds so I got my tastes of greek, indian and italian…all of which I loved. But it wasn’t until I met Jon that I really learned to let loose with my taste buds. When I met him, I had a long list of foods I “didn’t like” and wouldn’t eat. And what’s the first thing he did? He made them for me. And I loved them. After that I lived by the phrase “don’t knock it ’til you try it”. I became much more open at trying new foods. If you truly love food like I do, why hold yourself back to so many wonderful tastes?

So back to the Asian market. This is a great example of not knowing what you missed. If you had passed up a place such as this you would have passed up things such as this.

Fresh, beautiful and cheap produce. The thai basil we got smelled amazing.

Fresh meat and fish. The meat looks 100x better than Publix and the fish were clean and beautiful. They were whole, but they will clean them for you for free!

And a variety of premade goodies and yummy packaged snacks.

Our goods. Jon had a plan.

A delicious plan.

Udon noodles in a chicken stock broth with pork belly. That there on the top? Crispy skin bits. Sound gross? Don’t knock it ’til you try it 😉

What is the craziest food you’ve ever tried?

James Bond, Sports and Vietnamese

Howdy folks!

What a grand weekend…a whirlwind as usual.

Kicked off the weekend Friday with a James Bond themed birthday party at my good friend Lora’s. Best theme ever! Everyone dressed to the T and it was so nice seeing everyone fancied up.

 

My contributions to the party were the Pioneer Woman’s Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea dip and Iowa Girl Eat’s Spinach and Sausage Pinwheels. Both were modified slightly.

 

For the dip I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and I used fresh salsa instead of jarred. I also doubled the recipe. I felt like it was missing something but it turned out pretty well. I blame the fresh salsa since jarred would have been more tomatoey and I think that would have given it that extra flavor it needed.

For the pinwheels I made these puppies with Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles since Lora is vegetarian. I had some troubles with these. I accidentally bought the crescent rolls instead of the plain dough. I tried to smooth out the perforated lines but it wasn’t working and the dough tore while I tried to roll it up with the filling. Then when I tried to cut them into pieces it crumbled apart and was a big mess. I ended up making the others crescent roll style and that worked better. The dough itself is pretty sticky and hard to work with (I blame the FL humidity).

The good things is they both seemed to be a hit. 🙂

The full spread.

Saturday I spent my day at Rays Fan Fest for work. Getting excited for baseball season!

After Fan Fest I headed home to shower, change and eat dinner cause myself and my friend Ashley (who also works with me and lives down the hall from me, ha) got free tickets from work for the Tampa Bay Lightning game.

My first hockey game ever!

Of course Jon and her bf Matt got to come along 🙂 It was a great night. I definitely am a hockey fan now…I really liked how fast paced and exciting the game was. It held my attention, which says a lot 😉 And they won!

After the game we headed back to St. Pete where we stopped at Five Bucks Drinkery for a drink. I’ve been wanting to go here solely because of all the “gross” food they have to offer here. It’s their niche. And by gross food I mean a bbq pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese on top kind of gross. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to try something!

Bacon and cheese tater tots with a side of ranch.

Let’s just say I won’t be eating here again. Don’t think my tummy is used to handling such junk!

I totally regretted it too when our next stop was Vue, where Ashley and Jon got sushi. I had a few bites and it was oh so good. Also, really fresh tasting…something I wish I had waited for!

The next morning after sleeping in until almost noon (glorious) Jon and I headed out to Thuy Cafe, our go-to spot for Banh Mi. We were hungry hungry hippos when we got there…Jon ended up with one grilled pork and one speciality. I got the grilled pork and also a batch of these tapioca dumplings with shrimp and pork in them.

I looked them up later and their actual name is Banh Bot Loc. They were really interesting and good…just very chewy!

My partly devoured Banh Mi. The meat is SO flavorful and they use great French bread too. I usually pick off the jalapenos but I left them on this time. Hi spicy!

Luckily I had a Thai Tea Boba to help with the heat 🙂

I also recently found out that they’re opening a second location in downtown St. Pete, which we are ecstatic about since it will be much closer!

The rest of the day was spent taking a visit to our favorite European market, Marko’s Meat and Deli, Total Wine and a grocery store stop. We’re trying to get better at meal planning and were able to get what we needed for our next few meals.

For dinner Jon used up the rest of the butternut squash filling and made manicotti with a bechamel sauce. So, so, so good.

This week I actually have hardly anything planned so I’m going to try and get back on a hardcore workout schedule and try and get some other productive things done.

How’s your week looking? Are you super busy or is nothing planned? Any fun things coming up? 

 

 

 

Feed Me Seymour

Happy Saturday! Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend 🙂

Wednesday was a pretty typical day…had an awesome Open Gym session at Fit for Fashion. The guy and I were going to go hang out with some friends but decided on a night in instead with wine and chinese food. I did try something new though! Our fave go to chinese dish is chow mei fun with chicken, but I wanted some spice so I tried the Chicken Schzeuan Style. It was good! No too spicey and not too covered in sauce…it came with green peppers, carrots, mushrooms and water chestnuts.

Thursday I got my hairs trimmed at Number 9 salon. When I first graduated school and started living in St. Pete full time it took me forever to find a decent salon.  I had been going to a great place in Tampa, but it was just too much for me to keep crossing the bridge. I finally stumbled across Number 9’s website. It looked like a cool place with very talented stylists. I booked an appointment and have been going there for the past 3 years. I’ve pretty much been to every stylist there and have never had a bad haircut. Frank, the owner, is the best of course.

After my head had a weight of hair taken off of it I changed quickly at home and headed to the beach to meet up with the guy and some friends. We had a drink at Jimmy B’s, which as far as beach bars go, really isn’t a bad place.

Then we grabbed a bocce ball set and played until the sun went down.

I had never played before, but I was actually kinda good 🙂 Apparently you’re supposed to play up to 21 points!? We got bored at 7 and stopped there 😉

At this point it took everyone about an hour to figure out what they were doing the rest of the night. All I knew was that it was 8 o’clock and I was hungry. The guy and I decided to go get a bite on our own and then head home. We were jonesin’ for some Taco Bus so headed there. By the time we got our food (lengua torta for him and cochinita pibil tacos for me) it was 9 o’clock and ready to chew someone’s arm off. Hence my title since that seemed to be the trend for the week. And hence no photos since I immediately scarfed down our food when we got it.

Yesterday I came home from work, did a quick 30 minute treadmill workout (I like to alternate 5 min. running and 5 min. speed walking super uphill) and was ready for dinner. The guy wasn’t too hungry yet and I’m patient so we waited until about 8 to head out…I was again at the point of chewing on someone’s arm. We went to Cafe Vienna for the second time. It was just as good! I got the Jaeger Schnitzel, which was covered in that amazing red wine mushroom sauce that I fell in love with last time. The guy tried the Sauerbraten, but had to send it back because he thought it didn’t taste right. The menu says “beef loin” so he was expecting a tenderloin, but instead it’s marinated middle round. It’s marinated for at least 5 days, but the guy knows his food and his meat and he says it’s not a great cut. No one was at fault…just turns out there’s some dishes that are not for everyone! We also shared a bratwurst plate as an app, which was SO good. We wanted to sit at the intimate looking bar this time, but the place was packed!

This morning I had to get up while it was still dark to do a volunteer shift for Junior League. So by the time I got home I was ready to head out for lunch. Of course the guy is not hungry. And of course once I laid on the couch for 5 minutes I was headed for an hour nap. We ended up at Thuy Cafe for bahn mi at 2 p.m.! Again…chewing arm…

After lunch we headed to one of our fave places…Marko’s Meat and Deli.

Look at all that meat!

And yummy European desserty treats!

Including Happy Hippos!

If you have never had a Happy Hippo you need to hunt them down now. We both fell in love with these on trips to Italy and Sicily (he went with fam and I went on a college trip). Crispy wafer goodness with todiefor creamy filling.

Well, we’re at home now and if you’ll excuse me I have a cocktail being made for me with Pinnacle Whipped vodka. I know…I thought it sounded kind of gross to, but have been itching to try it ever since I heard mixing it with orange juice makes it taste like a creamsicle 🙂 I’ll let you know how it is!

Conversation Starter: What’s your limit on how long you can wait to eat? I start getting ansy/cranky at 3 or 4 hours past my last meal/snack.

I’ve leave you with some yummy salads I had this week:

Fresh Market chicken breast with sundried tomatoes and that smoked mozzarella I was so excited to try. Turns out it sounds better than it tastes 😦 The sundried tomatoes helped balance it out but it was just too smokey.

Fresh market chicken breast with Publix crumbled bleu cheese and dried cranberries…def a keeper!

Both topped with this new dressing I tried…

I love Brianna’s!

The Trifecta

Last weekend we had a long weekend of family and fun in the Cape. So we were more than ready for a nice quiet, relaxing weekend at home.

We had a friend move to Georgia about a year ago and she finally came down for a visit! We only got to see her for a few hours over brunch, but it was so good to catch up. Brunch was at Red Mesa Cantina. We’ve never had a bad meal there…one of the few restaurants in St. Pete that is consistently good.

I had the chorizo and egg breakfast burrito. Very yummy, but I had orderers remorse in that I wish I had gotten something more exciting, like the steak and eggs I had also been eyeing.

I also enjoyed a very yummy and refreshing hibiscus mimosa:

The boy had the Vuelve a la Vida (ceviche), which he “mmm”ed about the entire time 🙂

The rest of the day was spent on the couch until dinner time. We both had been very healthy all week…just the night before we had salad galore with quinoa topped with salmon. So we thought we’d be a little “bad” and make macaroni and cheese. Topped with breadcrumbs and bacon of course 🙂

Oh baby…

Since we were lazy bums yesterday, today was donned the adventure day. I don’t mind lazing about one day out of the weekend, but at least one day has to feel productive/fun.

We’ve had an abundance of fresh fruit in our fridge so the boy has been making these uber delicious smoothies for us:

After one of these I’m ready to tackle the day. So we decided to head out and do our “trifecta”, which consists of Pho Quyen Vietnamese, Marko’s Meat and Deli and Total Wine. It’s the “trifecta” since all three of these stops are along the way to the next 🙂

First stop was actually Target, where we’ve been trying to find pillows for our “new” couch (actually a hand me up from the boy’s brother and sis-in-law) and a few other household items. We searched to no avail 😦

By the time we got out of there our tummies were starting to rumble. Pho Quyen it is! One of our traditions has been to go out for Vietnamese on the weekend. It used to be Ha Long Bay for dim sum, but we recently stumbled across this place and pretty much fell in love. Although today was not as good as the past two times we’ve been there…we’re hoping it’s just an off day.

Our feast…

I got my favorite BBQ Beef on vermicelli.

Very, very good, but not as good as last time I got it :/ Their meat is always perfect though…the flavors are just to die for. The boy usually gets Pho, but decided to try the shrimp and sugar cane on vermicelli. The shrimp was a bit off (he thinks too much shrimp paste), but knawing on the sugar cane was pretty awesome.

We also split a grilled pork bahn mi…the pork was excellent and the bread tasted fresh, but we both agreed that Thuy Cafe is our go-to place for bahn mi.

I was also craving a thai tea, but there’s was way too sweet…the boy had to finish it for me along with his Vietnamese iced coffee.

After our bellies were full it was off to Marko’s…a pretty awesome little European market and deli. They have the BEST meats including sausage and cured meats that they make in house. Alas, we drove up to the entrance only to find a sign on their door that says they’re on vacation and won’t be open again until July 29. Boo!

So we moved on to Total Wine…love the wine tastings they do on the weekends! That’s usually our first stop since we always seem to like one or two of the wines they offer. Plus they give $1 discount if you decide to buy one. We more than stocked up today…don’t think we have to go back for about a month.

I wanted to stop by Border’s on the way home to check out the sale (such a shame they’re all closing), but the parking lot was looking all sorts of crowded so we just booked it home.

Conversation Starter: Do you have any weekend traditions that you follow?