Tag Archives: pumpkin

No kale no sale

3 Oct

 Hi all!

One of my fest friends from college in on Friday afternoon. We met up at my place then walked over to East Blvd Bar and Grill before taking her to the airport. I love when I see friends who I haven’t seen in a while and it feels like just yesterday you saw them. It was great catching up with her and reminiscing about our crazy times in college and I miss that. Yeah, I’ve made friends here but not like the friends I made in college who know me so well,  feel like I confide in as much, who really get me and I can be myself around. I just miss that.

They have a pretty awesome appetizer special until 6p everday with a mini appetizer menu. I was milling over the selections but knew I wouldn’t be eating later that night. I decided on the classic of chicken tenders and fried potato chips with a dijon honey mustard sauce and it was great. Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with bar food.

She got the nachos. I love when friends are down with me taking pictures of their food. And wtf, that is the small portion. I need to go back there again just for that.

Saturday, I went to Great Grapes wine festival I’ve wanted to attend this for a while and seem to miss it every year so I was excited to finally try it out. It’s a wine festival featuring North Carolina wineries along with other vendors such as food, jewelry and more. It was gorgeous when we got there but soon it was almost unbearable with the sun beating down and barely any shade near the vendors. It would have been perfect on an overcast day when it was cooler out but if I would have known it was going to be that hot out, I wouldn’t have gone. I am such a diva when it comes to hot weather and was just miserable.

 With wine, I am more of a dry wine girl and alot of the vendors where more sweet so I only found a few that I liked but it was nice to try new stuff. I thought I could handle a few sips of the sweet wines they offered but it was too sweet for me then stuck with dry’s. Had I know it was going to be so hot and more sweet wines, I would’ve stayed home but it was a good time regardless.

Wine slushee? Yes please. This was refreshing and tasty and totally worth the $5 (free tastings but $5 if you wanted a full glass of a drink)

The pretzels and crackers we ate in between tastings didn’t keep us too full so we went looking for nourishment afterwards. We went to Paco’s Taco’s, a new Mexican inspired restaurant in the South Park area. So the name seems like a Mexican place but  I was confused by the theme of it. It had a menu full of Mexican food, the decor seemed more Western Route 66 -sh and the music was random as well. Being one that loves random stuff, I enjoyed it even if I was perplexed Service was great and the manager even stopped by after to see how everything was and how we thought everything tasted and if it needed any more flavor or seasoning. I thought that was really awesome that they asked our opinion (even if they really didn’t care). I got the ceviche which was served like a parfait in a dessert cup so I found that different but it tasted fresh as well did the chips and salsa.

I woke up this morning (no hangover thankfully) and you can tell fall is definitely her! That being said, I was in a soup making mood today. I was toying with the idea of making chili but I’ve made that tons of times and decided to try a new soup recipe that I saw in a Rachael Ray Everyday issue I had sitting around from last winter. I tried the Bacon and Kale Minestra because I love bacon and wanted to try kale since I’ve never cooked with it. I see raves all over the blog world regarding kale–in stews, kale chips, etc. so I have been anxious to try it and figured this would be a flavorful and seasonal recipe to try it in. Everytime I hear the word kale, I am taken back to waitressing at Applebee’s in college where they would never let a plate leave the expo line without kale. They always used to say “No kale, no sale” and now I have that running through my head.

I also wanted to try this recipe because I am a sucker for all kinda of stews and thicker soups. I really don’t make brothy soups that much so figured it would be nice to mix it up a bit and the fact that it’s a healthy recipe made it even better! I made a few modifications—I used turkey bacon instead of regular (I had a coupon that allowed me to buy it for $.41 yesterday so I am using that up), I only used six cups of chicken stock instead of the called for eight because I mentioned, not a huge fan of the brothy soups and added black pepper to taste.

I love that the finishing garnish was grated parmesan—funky? I was like parmesan on kale and bacon soup and didn’t think it could be good but it was the perfect finishing touch! I recommend this recipe–it was easy to make and it made about six servings as opposed to the recipe which said it makes four. As always, you lie Rachael Ray. I have a love/hate relationship with her. I love her ideas but hate the cutesy names she calls things—stoups, sammies, etc. I love her personality but hate the overexaggeration that comes with it. I have  a subscription to her magazine which I absolutely love but hate that it’s only her on the cover most of the time. It’s annoying and creepy in a Oprah kind of way (don’t get me started on Oprah-I think I’m the only white woman who doesn’t love her). Anyways,  someone (not me) wrote a letter saying how they would like to see some variety on the covers and not just Rachael Ray and they actually put kids on the cover with her the next month after that so cheers for variety.

After slurping one and a half bowls down, I went to Freedom Park and walked for 35 minutes. I am going to try to start running again when it gets a little cooler. I can’t believe it’s been since April since I’ve ran and I’m looking forward to starting up again.

I found some canned pumpkin this morning and got to cooking. I was going to make muffins but didn’t have all the ingredients so I went with the pumpkin bars I made last week. I make a few modifications with this as well–I used whole wheat flour, added chocolate chips (because chocolate makes everything better) and used 1/2 apple sauce and two tbsp butter instead of half a cup of butter.

After I made these I saw Brittney’s post with her recipe for pumpkin cookies. I will be making those next time around!

This afternoon consisted one one thing: Entourage marathon. I was so happy to see it on Spike since I haven’t had HBO for a couple of years and it’s one of the shows I miss.

Dinner was a quarter chicken leg that I got on sale at Harris Teeter last night ($2 for 2 legs) along with roasted potatoes and kale chips

I love this sauce and the fact that it’s only $.92 makes it even better.

So, why didn’t I try kale chips before?? These were fabulous and were crispy just like a potato chip. I added extra virgin olive oil and oregano to mine instead of the standard salt and pepper. I will definitely be making these again!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend-how is it over already? Anyone do anything fun? My weekend was kind of laid back again which I am starting to dig. I don’t need to be going out every weekend, spending tons of money and being hungover.


27 Sep

Yesterday was absolutely nasty. But I will put down that this was the first weekend in a loooooong time that I haven’t been hungover so that’s an accomplishment for me! Wow, writing that down it sounds kinda sad but whatev….non hungover weekends don’t happen too often during football season for me.

I woke up and made scrambled eggs with peppers and avocado with a sandwich thin topped with cranberry reservesthen had a killer kettlebell session.

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Squats (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Row (13 reps, 3 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 2 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Lateral Raise (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell -10 lbs

Tricep Extension (13 reps, 2 sets)

Tricep Kickback (13 reps, 2 sets)


Donkey Kicks (13 reps, 2 sets)

Pushups (15 reps, 2 sets)

And today I hurt.

After that, I was still feeling ambitious and decided to walk over to Festival in The Park. I forgot that they were calling for a 50% of rain that day and thought I could get there in time since it’s only a 15 minute walk from my place but overestimated myself. About ¾ of the way, it started drizzling so I headed back and when I was somewhat close to home, it started raining cats and dogs. Which, how amusing would it be if it actually did start raining cats and dogs one day? I wouldn’t want those cute babies to get hurt but for visual sake it would be amusing. On another note, I am still waiting for it to rain men.

Damn you Weather Girls for it most definitely does not rain men in Charlotte.

So, like I was saying. Raining cats and dogs but not literally. I had to hang out on the stoop of a vacant condo for it settle down a bit and even then, it was still coming down consistently.

 And I absolutely hate when I am wearing my flips and my feet get wet. I was sliding all over the place and I think it’s just a gross feeling in general. Kind of how I imagine it would be to get a tongue foot bath. Nasty.

And then it rained and rained and rained some more. I had lunch and  watched movies and napped the rest of the day.

 It was perfect. Little Lincoln was comfy as well and was happy to partake in cuddle time.

I had an eggplant to use so I made roasted eggplant, red pepper and artichoke penne for dinner. I am not a big fan of the red sauce so I tossed with butter, grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and oregano.

Yummy. Nothing beats butter and grates parm I tell you.

I brought back an oldie but goodie for breakfast but with a new twist—pumpkin oats. I’ve seen bloggers adding pumpkin to their oats and never tried it. Um, why did I wait so long? I cooked on the stovetop with almond milk and added a few dashes of apple pie spice then topped with brown sugar when done.


And apparently there’s been a shortage of pumpkin this past year but USA TODAY says it’s over. Go figure why I couldn’t find canned pumpkin the other night.

There was yet another bake sale going on this week but for American Heart Association instead of Breast Cancer like the other week. Goodies this time were a bit cheaper—only $1 for anything on the table. I went with a decorative rice krispie heart.

 Again, my rationale that since my money is going to charity, calories don’t count (not a good rationale to have by the way)

I didn’t make anything for lunch last night but brought a simple lunch of a sliced chicken breast sandwich with buffalo cheddar cheese and tomato on a sandwich thin with a side of apples and cucumber. Look at me being all healthy.

Then my co-worker bought over his leftover French fries from Bojangles. I can’t turn down French fries and especially can’t turn down Bojangles fries. They had a super salty Cajun seasoning on them that in turn, makes me eat them only once or twice a year. I contemplated throwing them away but there are starving kids out there so that would be wasteful, yes?

Also, it’s quarter end week which means they bring in ridiculous amounts of sugar ridden snacks in hopes that hopping us up on sugar and caffeine won’t leave us too bitter about being here.

Nice view eh?

I got to leave work a little early since I had a Doctors appointment. And not a fun doctor like the OB GYN or dentist—my laser tattoo removal session.

My tattoo is almost completely faded so this should be my last session to get rid of the color (tip—green is the hardest color to remove so if you are thinking about a tattoo with green in it —make sure you really want it)

My next session will hopefully be them scraping it down since the scar has risen a bit from all the sessions I’ve had. It’s a painless procedure for the most part but they give me seven to eight shots of Novocain to numb the area so that is the worst part. After that, I just have to wait for the area to numb up completely and then they get to work. The actual laser part only takes a few minutes and then they bandage me up and I am good to go. The longer in between sessions the better they say because of something with the pigments and the treatments being more effective.

I love their retro waiting room.

I got home pretty early despite the slow drivers on the road because people here can’t drive in the rain and hung out with Lincoln for awhile. For dinner, I made the biggest slice of pizza ever.

Ok, so it kinda looks like a scroll. Don’t judge.

I topped with leftover eggplant, red pepprs and artichokes from last night and mozzarella cheese

So big, I have to cut in half so it would fit on my plate

Served along side with some fresh strawberries

C’est Magnifique!

And with that, I’m out. It’s not even 7P and I feel like I could fall asleep. Hope everyone had a happy Monday!

PS—Check out Prevention RD to win a mandolin!!