Tag Archives: trader joe’s whole wheat pizza dough

Creative or weird

21 Mar

 I’m going out-of-town this week which means one thing-I’m cleaning out my cupboards and fridge since I don’t want to spend money on any food that may go bad.

Times like these call for some creativity so my meals for the next few days will either be one of two things-creative or weird.

Case and point-breakfast on Sunday.

Yes, those are Annie Chun’s Mini Wontons. Don’t hate, they are quite tasty at 10A.

The other night I made Mexican pizza topped with refried black beans, cheese, salsa and Wholly Guacamole

My two favorite foods combined? Nothing wrong with that.

Dinner on Sunday was something different. I really had no specific plan in mind but have a  surplus of tuna fish in the cupboard so I took one can of tuna, shredded cheese, two mayo packets and black pepper and mixed together.

That still seemed kind of bland so I turned to my man Chef Paul for assistance.

I completely forgot about this seasoning but wanted to try something different. I won’t lie, I thought it was Dom Delouise at first since I haven’t seen Chef Paul in ages.

The tuna fish mix still looked quite mushy and wanted to add some crunch to it but unfortunately had no onion or celery on hand. I remembered a lone carrot in the fridge so I chopped half a carrot up and added to the mix.

I took a few sheets of defrosted phyllo dough, spread the mixture in the middle then formed a pocket. I sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray and sprinkled with garlic so it wouldn’t be too garlic but would have some more flavor.

I let those cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and had broccoli boiling as well.

And there you have it-a quick and different kind of meal.

On an unrelated note, this guy and commercial is really growing on me

Now I want some Arby’s, sigh. I don’t even know when the last time I had Arby’s was!

I also wanted to address some random searches that brought people to my blog in the past 30 days:

“how to shaka in a text message”–I don’t know how too, I’m sorry I failed you.

“chobani complaints”-No complaints here, Team CHO all the way!

“x-rated liquor, pomegranate schnapps, mango vodka, sour mix, pfx” –I have no clue what this is but I want it, like, now.

“shaka malta food”–I don’t know what this but I am curious…..

“leonardo dicaprio good in bed”–Um, I WISH I could help you wish this. I think he would be a tiger in the sack though. Rawr.

“shaka pace – ricky martin”—Must download!

“what is the name of the tuna the wonderfish commercial girl”

Her name is Elizabeth Bond, I finally looked it up since I got a lot of people who came to my blog hoping to find out who she was

(source)

Oh yeah, happy spring by the way!!

What’s a creative or weird meal you make with staple items in your kitchen?

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Dude……sweet.

14 Feb

(source)

Sigh, I want to go bowling.

What’s a single girl to do on Valentine’s Day weekend?

Eat a ridiculous amount of sweets of course.

The madness started on Friday night.

I made mushroom pizza for dinner

It wasn’t huge or anything (that’s what she said) but it was enough to put me to sleep soon after. I woke up at 9pm and wanted to do something but wasn’t in the mood to drink or spend a lot of cash. Enter Amelie’s French Bakery. Amelie’s is a wonderful yep-you guessed it- french bakery and coffee-house here in Charlotte. Not only is that concept itself fabulous but it’s also open 24 hours so that itself makes it one of my favorite spots to go to. Seeing something open 24 hours in this city that isn’t named Waffle House is quite rare. I went there and ordered a Chai Latte and a salted caramel brownie.

I’ve never had one before and it was good but I think it would’ve been better if it was warmed up a bit. The Chai was one of the best I’ve ever had and it was nice to relax with some sweet stuff and a hot beverage while catching up on blogs. I felt like such a hipster but hipster sans fedora.

On Saturday, I was driving through downtown Fort Mill. When I heard Fort Mill had a downtown, I was surprised to hear since I’ve never heard anything going on there. I stumbled upon Krystal’s Eat’s & Sweets

When I saw the name Eats & Sweets, I was instantly intrigued since I like eats and I like sweets. I was in the mood for a drink so I went in and found a cozy, local establishment. Krystal’s has breakfast and lunch items that are the eats and then delectable goodies such as truffles, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, etc that complete the sweets end of the name.

When I walked in I saw Oreo and peanut butter truffles, rice krispie treats and chocolate covered strawberries along with trays of cookies and cupcakes behind the counter. I grabbed a hot tea (various Celestial Seasonings bags) for only $1.25 and decided I should try some truffles since I like to support local establishments and didn’t want to be cheap and only buy a drink. And then I grabbed a rice krispie treat because you know…..supporting local business! The truffles were absolutely amazing and pretty cheap—3 for $2. My bill came to just over three bones, can’t beat that!

The rice krispie treat sucked–it was hard as a rock (that’s what she said again–cmon too good to pass up) but the truffles were out of this world! I even liked the peanut butter ones and if you know, you know am not a huge pb fan.

Another thing adding to the sweet factor? A cute Valentine’s Day package from my sister.

Fannie May’s—my favorite!!!

Some Nutella–since I’ve never owned a jar I’m looking forward to experimenting with it. I love the note on the container…..

Seriously, how sweet of a package is that?

I made some cupcakes for my assistant and a thank you for all the hard work she does.

The frosting ended up in here

Frosting is my kryptonite so it was absolutely necessary that it went in the trash instead of lurking in my fridge because one of these days I will come home stressed from work, grab a spoon and go to town on that can.

 I had other things to do after that, like fixing my bed…again.

This bed is really starting to get on my last nerve. Even Lincoln doesn’t want to jump on the bed, he knows something is up and that it’s faulty.

And since it’s Valentine’s Day and all, I serenaded my bed with a little Al Green

Seriously, can you please stay together shitty Ikea bed??

So I think it’s sturdy for now but I guess we will see how long that lasts. I am not wanting to fix this on a weekly basis.

Afterwards, I went to Panera to get some lunch and free wi-fi. I always order the same thing at Panera but switched it up today–I got the french onion soup and mediterranean veggie sandwich since it’s meatless Monday and all.

I really enjoyed this combo! The sandwich was fresh and fantastic with a good amount of basil and feta. If you have both of those, you win my heart. I really enjoyed the french onion soup as well, instead of having the entire cup covered with a piece of bread and cheese, it was covered with bits of cheese and croutons.

I went to the gym afterwards and a very productive workout. I did 45 minutes on the Precor AMT then did lower body sets (leg press, seated leg curls, hip adduction/abduction, leg extension)

Then I came home and hung out with my Valentine

It was such a gorgeous day out—65 and sunny, just like spring! It was nice to have the windows open and get some fresh air in the house, it reminded me that spring is near. I don’t mind spring at all–if it was 65 and sunny year round I would be happy girl but when it gets into the 80’s and 90’s is when I get irritable.

I made baked spaghetti for dinner.

I started off cooking spinach and leftover mushrooms from yesterday in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes

I cooked four servings os thin spaghetti earlier today and microwaved that with vodka sauce for a few minutes in the microwave

Added half a can of tomatoes and chopped parsleyand 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella to the spinach and mushrooms

The only measuring cup I had, was not trying to be cute with the hearts...

Why hello colors of the Italian flag!

Added the spaghetti to the spinach mix

Then transfer into a casserole dish

Top with more mozzarella cheese (about 1/3 cup) and   bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees

This was enough for dinner tonight plus three other meals this week and it freezes well-holla.

Great Harvest Rosemary Garlic bread

And apparently, I need to get my booty up to Boston–it’s the top city for single women-go Boston, it’s your birthday! Pittsburgh is also on the list which is positive since that’s one of the front-runners for cities I am going to next.

What’s your kryptonite?
Any creative ideas of what to do with Nutella? Recipe wise, not kinky wise…..

Sake, pillaging, pizza and signs.

5 Feb

I can breathe

I can smell

I have no tickle in my throat

And snot?? What’s snot?

It’s a miracle!

I took some Mucinex and Zyrtec Thursday morning and once I did, a complete 180 happened. I wasn’t sneezing, sniffling or feeling like all around crap.

I even found enough energy to whip out my camera while at a stop light because I had to take a picture of the mini van with its reindeer ears still on in February!

I think they saw me take a picture because they proceeded to drive terribly slow, not use their indicator, swerve within the lane (possibly drunk at 8A?) and all things annoying when I’m trying to get to work on time.

I was most excited about eating foods they weren’t scorching hot or liquid, since that’s all I’ve been craving since Monday.

Hooray for salad!

 Anytime I’m sick, all I want is super hot soup preferably hot and sour- or ice cream. I dodged temptation from buying a gallon of ice cream this time around, go me!

The real reason I wanted to get better was so I could enjoy Cowfish. My friend and I have been trying to make plans to go but fate keeps telling us it’s not in the stars. We had reservations, which I never would have though we needed reservations for a restaurant in Charlotte on a Thursday night, but apparently the wait without a reservation was two hours. Some of you may remember Cowfish from when I went to their soft opening. This was my first time back since then so I was interested to see if it would live up to the soft opening.

All sake is half off on Thursday night. Hello lover!

I really want to get a sake bomb but didn’t want to get sloshed so we got the sake sampler which includes (from left to right)

*warm sake (the only time I like it warm is when it’s dropped in a beer

*sparkling sake (mmmmm)

*regular sake (again, would be good in a beer)

*unfiltered sake (it looked like a shot of jizz)

Seriously

*plum sake (my favorite!)

A great deal for $6, especially if you want to try different sake’s!

I wanted a burger but I also wanted sushi. I tried their burgushi last time I went but wasn’t blown away by it but soon saw a perfect solution to what I was looking for–a bento box!

 More places should offer bento boxes–I love that I could get a burger (topped with roasted red pepper and goat cheese), sushi, edamame, sweet potato fries and cucumber salad living together in harmony all on one platter in front of me!

We were sitting near the bar and one of the managers swung by telling us that they had an extra spiked milkshake leftover and if we wanted it. Answer-hell to the yeah! It was spiked with dark and light rums plus banana, ice cream and strawberry. A few sips floored me and I could not stop sucking down on it. Yay for booze but double yay with a cherry on top for free booze. I had a great experience again but don’t think Cowfish will be a regular spot for me. The sushi rolls range from $12 to $18 which is a lot of money in my book for one roll. I need to find a man to take me here soon!

I had a fabulous breakfast of quick oats this morning that left me warm and fuzzy!

with walnuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon and flax

I needed a bunch of energy to go pilaging

Ok, maybe not pillaging exactly but I was being sketchy and on a mission to check out all the empty cubes on our floor to dee if I could find any goodies

File organizer, markers and a sweet and sour sauce? Aw yeah bitches!  Sadly, I’m most excited about the sauce.

Maybe I should check if the sauce has an expiration date? God knows how long it’s been sitting in a dreary, sad, gray cubicle. But then again, a happy meal lasted four years so I should be ok if I dip some chicken into this sauce.

Speaking of sauce, I tried something new for lunch……Indian food! I’ve been very adamant in the past about not diggin the Indian food because I cannot stomach the smell or taste of curry. But I want to try new things and give it a second chance so Indian it was. One of my co-workers suggested an Indian place in our work building and we were on it like tiki on masala! I haven’t taken an actual lunch in ages so it was nice to get out of the cubicle, chow and chat with a co-workers.

I got some chicken and veggie combo but still have no clue what it was

I love that my co-worker let me take a picture of his food as well……and he didn’t even question why I was taking pictures of food.

The portions are sick–so much food for so cheap! And you know what? I loved it! I ate all of it up and it kept me full for a loooooong time. So long that I came home from work, hung out and  went to the gym without having dinner first. If I go to the gym at night I always have dinner first.

I had a decent workout including 35 minutes on the Crossramp doing intervals and then some upper body strength training action but I need to figure out how to change my weight on my Polar since I think it’s underestimating my calorie burn-if anyone knows how to let me know!

When I got home from the gym, I was finally ready for some food yet had no idea what I wanted. So, I went towards old faithful-homemade pizza using Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. This was a different pizza from what I’ve tried in the past. Why you ask?

*Sweet peppers and tomatoes as the toppings. I’ve never used fresh tomatoes as a topping on my own pizza so I just hoped it would turn out well. I drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and oregano to give it a little pizzaz.

 * Newman’s Own Vodka Sauce-I was out of marinara and had this sitting all the way in the back of the cupboard. I haven’t had vodka sauce in a long time and welcomed it back into my life with open arms.

 

Such a delicious, fresh pizza to make and a perfect end to the week!

Day 7-Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality

I’m a Sagittarius (from Astrology Online):

Sagittarians have a positive outlook on life, are full of enterprise, energy, versatility, adventurousness and eagerness to extend experience beyond the physically familiar. They enjoy travelling and exploration, the more so because their minds are constantly open to new dimensions of thought. They are basically ambitious and optimistic, and continue to be so even when their hopes are dashed. Their strongly idealistic natures can also suffer many disappointments without being affected. They are honorable, honest, trustworthy, truthful, generous and sincere, with a passion for justice. They are usually on the side of the underdog in society they will fight for any cause they believe to be just, and are prepared to be rebellious. They balance loyalty with independence.

They have both profound and widely ranging minds, equipped with foresight and good judgement, and they can be witty conversationalists. They love to initiate new projects (they make excellent researchers) and have an urge to understand conceptions that are new to them. they think rapidly, are intuitive and often original, but are better at adapting than inventing and are at their best when working with colleagues of other types of character that compliment their own. They are strong-willed and good at organizing, a combination that gives them the ability to bring any project they undertake to a successful conclusion. Their generosity can be balanced by their extreme care at handling their resources.In other personal relationships they are reliable, seldom betraying any trust given to them. They can, however, be impulsively angry and both male and female Sagittarians know how to be outspoken and exactly what expressions will hurt their adversaries most

 

Yep, from reading that I’m a Sagittarius—that describes me perfectly.

But then all this drama with the 13th sign happened and supposedly now I’m a Ophiuchus. When I started to read the traits of the O, I didn’t think I could fit the bill but then I continued reading and turns out I could very well be an O. I keep saying O b/c I have no clue how to pronounce my new sign.  Provided by Buzzle (the ones in bold are ones I agree with about myself, the ones in bold and italicized are ones I 150% agree with about myself):

  • People who fall under this sign are knowledge and wisdom seekers and try to do the same throughout their lives.
  • These people are favored by authority figures.
  • They have a flamboyant dressing sense and are seen to prefer bright colors.
  • These people are seen to progress well throughout their lives. Steadily and surely.
  • It is their success that earns them many jealous onlookers as well as enemies with the evil eye.
  • It is a sign that attracts a lot of good luck and blessings.
  • They have varied astrological talents.
  • They are very intuitive and have a lot of foresight.
  • These people look to heal and attain a higher position in life.
  • They are bored of monotony and seek change in their routine.
  • They think with their hearts.
  • They are straightforward and honest.
  • They have a high sex appeal and are known to be charismatic. This is what makes them very popular among others.
  • They hate overbearing rules and restrictions and love their space and freedom to explore new avenues and satisfy their curiosity.
  • They have a special love for arts and language and are highly passionate about pursuing the same.
  • They have less patience and do not like to indulge in meaningless or senseless banter.
  • They do not like to be treated or talked to as a subordinate or an inferior person.
  • They have a lot of pride and that is what makes them arrogant at times.
  • They can be secretive and mysterious and hide things.
  • These people are easily affected by jealously and therefore may develop trust issues.
  • They are always looking for adventure and new avenues and therefore are easily bored. This quality can spill into their relationships as well and they might not be the ideal candidates for a monogamous relationship.
  • They can have temper tantrums and a poison tongue, such that what they say can be very hurtful.
  • They have a sarcastic sense of humor and therefore tend to make very few friends who can understand this streak in them and can take it in their own stride.

So I guess I’m a little bit Sag and a little but O? Does that make me a Sago?

Some emo Lincoln loving for you

Hope everyone’s weekend is off to a fabulous start!

Taking food pics in front of co-workers: Yay or Nay?

I’m looking forward to the future

12 Jan

But I hope my eyesight isn’t going bad (because, really, it’s bad enough) Whatever happened to Fall Out Boy by the way? I don’t think I’ve heard much of them since pretty Pete Wentz became a daddy. It’s a rhetorical question. Kinda. If you know, spill it! If not, no worries, there is a little thing called Google I can check out.

Today was lame. It was my first day back at work and it felt more like a Monday than a Wednesday. Not that I am hating on having two days off, it just felt weird to be back and I really had to ease into it. But now that I think about it-I was there for eight hours and maybe did actual work for two hours.

Ever unhappy, I started to ponder more on what I want from my future. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to sit in a cold, gray cube for the rest of my life and get a gold watch when I retire?

Actually, nix the gold watch part-I don’t think they do that anymore. But how depressing is my cube? With the exception of my Chick Fil A calendar of course.

Do I want something stable that doesn’t stimulate my brain? What exactly do I want?? So I started to think of things that I enjoy/love since you should do what you love, yes?

*Laugh

*Travel

*Bargain Hunt

*Cook

Let’s delve a little deeper……..

 *Laugh-Is there such thing as professional laugher? If so, do I have good enough of a laugh to be one? I quickly crossed this one off the list

*Travel-Damn you Samantha Brown, you have my dream job. Whenever you want to retire, holla atcha girl! Something that makes me love her even more—she has Pet Friendly Travel Tips on her Travel Channel page.

*Bargain Hunt-I could possible do the whole ebay thing again but that would be a lot of dedication to finding cheap things to resell as my main source of income. Too risky.

*Cook-hold on, this is actually a good thought. They do have schools for this and all. Hmmmm…..maybe I am on  to something.

 So thoughts of culinary schools came to my head and I started to research. There are a number of schools out there, all of the country not to mention the world! I love to cook, don’t want to be in a cube for the rest of my life, want to use some of my creative gene and need something different in my life.  Soon I bbmed my best friend Leila (which you should check out her blog, she is running her first half marathon this wknd—PF Chang’s Rock N Roll ½ in Phoenix!) and when I told her I was thinking about it she replied “IT’S ABOUT TIIIIIIMMMMMMME” and we had a mini conversation of that and of course, why she thinks I should move back to Phoenix. It was fun and soon I was consulting with my sister who was my support through my breakdown over Christmas and she concurred-she thinks it’s a great idea and that it is a good fit for me. I think this is a solid option for me and I will be looking into further as soon as possible. Ok I lie, I was on like white on rice as soon as I starting thinking of the idea and got results for a bunch of different schools and sites. I like how most of them have programs for not only culinary arts but for hospitality management as well….again, so many options and things to think about.

 Yet where to go? How does Le Cordon Bleu compare to Johnson & Wales and various Art Institutes? What city should I look into? How much research should I do into jobs and career placement? So many questions that I am hoping to get answers to. Maybe my future isn’t looking so bleak after all and I will find some direction in this little life of mine.

 Lunch was leftover white and bean enchiladas. I think this is the last of them-thank God. I have no problem eating leftovers but after eating it three times, I am over it and read to move onto something new.

 Dinner was simple: Homemade pizza topped with peppers, shroomies and tempeh  with a side of corn.

Sounds exciting, I know.

But pizza is perfect when I don’t feel like making anything, when I have no clue what to make or when I want to make something quick and single portioned. I can’t quit you pizza.

As always, I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. Only $.99! I like to portion it out and freeze for later use.

I cooked the shrooms and peppers in extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and oregano

Then added  tempeh (I just crumbled with my hands instead of slicing-broke right up!) I wasn’t sure what to marinate the tempeh in so I just added some more extra virgin olive oil.

13 minutes later-done!

Then I did something I have done in a while—I went to the gym! The YMCA is free from January 11-14th here in Charlotte to celebrate their Brand Opening.

From the Y:

 “For the first time in 43 years, the YMCA of the USA unveiled a refreshed brand to reinforce our cause and impact as one of the leading nonprofits in the nation. We will call ourselves by the name that most people already use: the Y. Individual locations will continue to refer to themselves as “the Y,” “the YMCA” or their branch name.”

Allison also gave me the 411 on what’s going on since she works at the branch that is closest to me so I was stoked to have the inside info (so to speak, well not really since she is telling me stuff everyone else probably knows already but still, it felt special coming from someone who works there). This particular branch seems to always be busy so I waited for awhile after dinner was digested to go. I was super comfy on my couch with Lincoln by my side but it’s been forever since I went and I was excited. What I didn’t miss about going to the gym was the feeling of not wanting to go because it’s so cold out. Oh well, no pain no gain right?

I hate going to gyms that are unknown to me. Too proud to take a tour, I acted like I knew the place but ended up getting all kinds of confused. I didn’t know where anything was, felt like I was walking against the crowd of people, didn’t know what the towel and wipe down situation was, etc. Madness. I played it cool and  finally found an open Precor AMT, my long-lost love.

(source)

I did a little over 30 minutes on it with resistance ranging from 7 to 15.  I wanted to go longer but made the rookie mistake of forgetting my water (D’oh) and didn’t want to overdo it or pull a DJ Tanner

Do you all remember that episode? I remember how dramatic they made her workout scene but now that I watch it, she is on each machine for seven to eight seconds and then gets light-headed. Huh? Also, check out the dude in the tight spandex daisy dukes when she gets on the stepper. I miss the early 90’s.

Turns out, I had a great workout!

 Something else I did today? I bit the bullet and confirmed my root canal appointment. Scared shitless doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this since I’ve never had one but I gotta do what I gotta do. Since you know, I am want my insurance to cover it while I still have insurance.

Anyone been or know anything about culinary school?
Ever had a root canal?

Inspired by Boyz II Men

5 Jan

Motownphilly’s back again
Doin’ a little east coast song
Boyz II Men going off
Not too hard, not too soft

Um, yeah, I’ve had Motown Philly in my head all day. All frickin day.

 At first, it was awesome having an old school tune running through my head and I was surprised I remembered most of the words. But after a few hours, it got straight up annoying. No matter what annoying song I tried to think of, nothing would replace the Motown Philly. I even tried singing annoying songs like “Mony Mony”, “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” and “California Girls” (Katie Perry version of course) but nothing would stick. So I decided to go with the song and let it inspire my dinner—cheesesteak pizza!

I took about 4 oz of sandwich steak, sprinkled with Spike seasoning and cooked those suckers up on the stovetop while I had some Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough in the oven (I let it cook for three to four minutes before adding sauce and toppings).

And of course, couldn’t leave out the shroomies

Instead of sauce, I used two wedges of Laughing Cow cheese to spread on the pizza dough then topped with steak, shroomies and mozzarella cheese

Added slices of habanero peppers on top to let the flavor cook in (I don’t eat them since they are insanely hot!)

Delicious, cheesy pizza. I love the homemade stuff. Plus you can freeze pizza dough when you buy it so you don’t have to use the entire amount when you buy it!

And did you know that Boyz II Men have a love cruise?? One of my friends sent this to me last year when I was planning my birthday cruise but thankfully, I chose a normal cruise line. I wonder what the love cruise entails though? I think it’s interesting how they advertise it as Whether you’re in love or looking for love, Join the Boyz II Men “Love Cruise”

I don’t think I would like single ladies looking for potential suitors if I was on a love cruise with my man. Do they separate people, are certain decks for singles or couples? Do they have all the couples staying on the same floor so the sound of them boning doesn’t bother the single people? Or that could be vice versa I guess maybe it’s a boatful of boning. Are all the dishes lovey themed? Has a break up or  divorce ever been stemmed from a Boyz II Men cruise? What if your significant other had a traumatic Boyz II Men experience and you knew nothing about it and took them on the cruise? Do they only play Boyz II Men songs? Do other acts have their own cruise? And last, there are only three Boyz II Men in the pictures on the website,  weren’t there four Boyz II Men–what happened to the last one? So many questions I tell you.

I think this is the most I’ve talked about Boyz II Men in my entire life.

Mama Say Have You Seen My Moccasin?

1 Dec

Hellllloooooooo December! My most favorite month of the year is here and I am totally stoked. Maybe because it’s my birthday month and Christmas is right around the corner. Maybe because now I will start hearing “Feliz Navidad” and “Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart”, no matter what it is, I love it……even if I do only have 12 more days of being a 30 year old.

Today was a better day. I finally finished all of my initial calls for my first set of customers I’ve been assigned to and it went well. Basically, I just introduced myself and told them what the situation was and what we can do further to assist. All seemed pretty receptive and some even called me back. Washington state people seem to be the only people out there who will return my calls so Washington is currently one of my favorite states. There is a long road ahead of me on these accounts but some reason the initial call is the one that scares me the most. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so nervous about today. I woke up in a bad mood and I forgot to prep my coffee last night just to add to that. And then my hair wasn’t looking good. I hate when I get my hair done then I wash it and it never looks the same as when my stylist did it. Sigh. Hopefully I’m not complaining like a spoiled white girl.

Let’s backtrack though. Last night, I went to Vivace, a new Italian restaurant near uptown Charlotte. I really wasn’t in a hey-lets-be-social mood plus it was a dreary, wet evening but I needed to get out of the house. Hope of good food will get me out of the house 95% of the time.

While waiting for our table, I got a glass of the red sangria.

This was tarter than I expected  but I loved it. I am a sangria fan but not when it is overly sweet and this has a perfect balance of sweet and tart. That one went down pretty quick so I enjoyed another glass during dinner.

They first brought us out bread to nibble on while we were waiting for our food. Instead of olive oil or butter, they brought out a cannellini bean dip that reminded me of a lighter, thinner hummus. It didn’t have alot of pop to it though, it could have used some garlic, pepper or something! The menu has a decent sized selection where you can scan then have one thing catch your eye but then you keep looking and find another scrumptious sounding dish. I absolutely love that they offer smaller portions on their pasta dishes (pasta is made in house) since there is no such thing as portion control in many restaurants these days. I ordered the small portion of Short Braised Ribs with fettuccine, apples, swiss chard and a few other goodies that I can’t remember.

When they brought it out, I kinda pointed out they brought me out the wrong dish and our server told me that was the dish I ordered (I blame it on the sangria). The apples resembled mini scallops at first and there wasn’t much braised rib to be seen. Am I crazy or am I right? It was tasty but just not what I was expecting and would’ve liked more meat (that’s what she said). All in all, it was a good experience and I would like to check it out again but when I am in the mood for modern Italian food as opposed to traditional Italian food.

So like I mentioned earlier, today wasn’t a bad day. I knocked some calls out-of-the-way earlier in the day but didn’t have too much to do before lunch. Most of my customers are on the west coast so I like to wait until after lunch to make those calls instead of trying them at 6A their time. But then again, if I start calling that early, maybe that will get their attention and not dodge my calls? Hmmmmm…

I went to lunch with one of my former co-workers as a late birthday celebration. I had a BOGO coupon for Molly MacPherson’s Uptown which is also a newer establishment. I normally don’t like to go to a Scottish or Irish bar if I can’t drink but heard great things about this place so was curious as to if it would live up to the hype or not.

I got the Molly’s Favorite—grilled turkey, cheddar cheese, green apples and maple butter with a side of their potato chips (which are oddly enough wedges)

The sandwich was good, I think. It was different. The cheddar, green apple and maple butter was the trio that sold me on getting the sandwich but the flavor didn’t jive as well as I thought it would. I think it would be good without the maple butter since I found it to be too savory for my taste. However, the potato chips? I could have had a plate of those and been happy. They had an amazing seasoning on them (which I am now on a mission to find out what it is!) and very fresh. A good experience but think I will check it out to drink next time.

I haven’t been to the grocery store to pick up anything new for meals to make in bulk and really had no clue what I was going to make. My trusted container of refried black beans was still sitting in the fridge so I opted for an easy meal of Mexican Pizza topped with the refried black beans, jalapenos, onion and shredded cheese.

Fantabulicious but I really need to start eating something other than Mexican soon.

I took some walks today when I had some time to spare and did a lower body workout with:

 Kettlebell (20 lbs)

Swings (13 reps, 4 sets)

Squats (13 reps, 4 sets)

One Legged Deadlifts (13 reps, 2 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 2 sets)

Dead Lifts (20 reps, 2 sets)

Body Weight

Donkey Kicks (13 reps, 2 sets)

Leg Lifts (13 reps, 2 sets)

In the middle of the set Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something” came on and I broke out some dance party moves. I had my blinds drawn but desperately hope that my neighbors or passer by’s couldn’t see me bopping all around my living room. When I worked for my company in Phoenix, we would always sing “Momma Say Have You Seen My Moccasin?” in place of the “Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa”  and that always brings a smile to my face. We would dance up and down the aisles with a tambourine and live it up. Why we had a tambourine? No clue but it was damn fun. Anyways, I always knew it wasn’t Momma say have you seen my moccasin but I finally had to google it to see what exactly what they were saying, if anything. Good to know!

Also, any other Wednesday night ABC lovers out there? I am trying to like this Better With You show but just can’t get into it. The canned laughter is killing me.

Happy hump day everyone–two more days to go!! And Happy Hanukkah to those who began celebrating today!

Check out Fashion Meets Food for the first day of 12 Days of Giveaways!

Cheese is My Crack

23 Nov

If last week was sushi fest, this week is cheese fest. I have a love/hate relationship with cheese. Some weeks I will eat cheese like there is no tomorrow, other weeks I am kinda meh towards it. It started last night with dinner–homemade pizza made with Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough and topped with baby bellas.

So much cheese, so little time.

Then there was dinner tonight. I love quick meals. And I love quick meals which I can prepare in advance. Inspired by Janetha’s Chicken Puff recipe, I made Chicken Puffs but with phyllo dough.  I made the chicken last night on the stovetop with a new seasoning-Spike. I get so tired of my stand by’s I usually use like garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes this was a welcomed alternative. And the fact that I got it for free doesn’t hurt either.

 I used Trader Joe’s Chive and Onion cream cheese, red onions and mixed together with the chicken.

I then spread on a few thin pieces of phyllo dough, and rolled it into pieces….in no particular style mind you then brushed with extra virgin olive oil and topped with Spike seasoning. I let bake for 15 minutes or until brown.

Such a pretty puff

Not to be confused with Such a Pretty Fat, one of my fave Jen Lancaster books that I am re-reading for the umpteenth time.

 

I digress…..

I paired up with a baked potato topped with cheese since I can’t control myself

These were absolutely amazing! I didn’t want it this meal to ever end and will be making these again when I am looking for a quick, comforting meal. The cream cheese was obviously the star but I liked the extra red onions that I mixed it. I wonder how it would be with tuna and shredded cheese like a tuna melt?

Next on the cheese list was dessert. Many of you know I am not a huge baker but I am trying to expand my horizons. We have a Thanksgiving potluck at work tomorrow and I wasn’t going to participate. But then I was assigned dessert duty for Thanksgiving day and wanted to try out a recipe before I brought something rancid over for Thanksgiving. So, why not try it on people who I see 40+ hours or week? I had to make something good, yummy and something that would make them adore me. I went with my girl Paula Deen on this one because who doesn’t love Paula? I went to Food Network and looked up her Thanksgiving dessert recipes and finally settled on Pumpkin Cheesecake. Being a lover of pumpkin and cheesecake, it can’t be bad right? Bad for you maybe but taste bad? No ma’am. One problem though–I’ve never made cheesecake. And when I went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients, I forgot the cream cheese…..for CHEESECAKE! Argh, this was going to be an interested experience. Surely if I followed the directions, it would turn out ok though. With a text and call to Miss Mo, I was on my way! Seriously, I need to start paying her for baking advice.

First thought- “That’s a lot of effin cheese

Pretty orange. I was a bit worried it was going to turn out the color of Oompa Loompas but all was well on the home front.

Soon enough, it was ready to go into the oven for an hour. Two hours of Family Guy was calling my name so this was a perfect way to occupy my time.

So I waited…..and waited….and waited and then the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon worked its way over to the living room and the buzzer went off shortly after.

I went to the kitchen to take it out. Half of me was nervous, another part was excited and the other part of me was hungry and bummed I wouldn’t get to try a piece since I’ve never met a cheesecake I didn’t like and I guess it would be a bit tacky for me to take into work with one hunk of it missing.

But then I noticed something….it was cracked, wtf? Another text to Miss Mo and she assured me it was ok and that hers does that sometimes. Phew! I was in my comfy clothes and not in the mood to go to the supermarket and buy a pie.

So I let cool and popped it in the fridge. Let’s hope the troops are happy with it. And yes, I will be say saying y’all all day tomorrow. Hopefully people will get it since I made a Paula Deen recipe…..or they will think I’m Britney.

I got a nice surprise in the mail today:

Should be as cheesy as the rest of my day, yes?

Anyone else working tomorrow and Wednesday? I feel like I’m the only one out there. Word on the street is after the luncheon we will be able to skedaddle (yes I just used that word) out of there and go home to enjoy the rest of my day. Since I have to go in at my normal time on Friday I am not going to even venture out for Black Friday which used to be one of my favorite days of the year. I have half of my Christmas shopping done already and the other half should be easy to find.