A Marvelous Countdown + a Giveaway!

Monday again, huh? Well, the countdown is on; I officially have 15 days of work left. I’m taking the week of Thanksgiving off completely to finish packing, get my life in order, and spend time with my family. I can’t believe we’re moving this month! In the meantime, I’ve been taking time to relax and get some quality time in with some of my favorite people.

Friday night, Nathan had plans after work so I took some much needed me-time. And I also spent it with my friend Jim..

Jim Beam Bourbon Orange Juice Seltzer

Jim Beam with a little OJ and seltzer water. Making Caitlin proud 😉

I also whipped up a little roasted goodness topped with a fried egg. Because what goes better with OJ than eggs?!

Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Egg Yolk

Spinach, roasted brussels, sweet potato, and an egg. Nothing better.

Saturday we had lunch at Duclaw, a local brew pub. They recently revamped their menu and I couldn’t pass up their new Wilted Kale Quinoa Salad with grilled chicken.. even after asking the waitress’s opinion of it. She feels strongly that kale is best used as a garnish and not to be eaten.. cracked me up!

Duclaw Quinoa Kale Salad

I like to eat garnishes.

Saturday night we went out to World of Beer with my cousin, Nicole, and her boyfriend, Kirk. They recently moved here from Pittsburgh and I’m so sad we haven’t had more time together before Nathan and I head out!

World of Beer

Just the beginning of the shenanigans that night!

This location just opened up a few weeks ago so we had to give it a shot. Word to the wise – stick to the beer and appetizers. The rest of the food is a BIG miss! Not to worry though, the party continued back at our place and we had so much fun [read: the boys went to Royal Farms for fried chicken and western fries at midnight.]

Sunday was for lunch, a little cousin’s birthday party, and baking prep. We went to Seasons 52 for lunch as a treat on our way to the birthday party. Nathan and I had only been there once before and really enjoyed it. Their presentations are beautiful, but I have to admit, I left a little hungry. I am known for making ridiculously huge salads though..

Seasons 52 Ahi Tuna Salad

Maui Tuna Crunch Salad – sushi-grade seared tuna, organic greens, pineapple,
toasted almonds, miso vinaigrette

Onto the birthday party.. Nathan really knows how to get down to a 6-year-old’s gymnastics party! 😉

Gymnastics Balance Beam

I’m so proud!

After we got home, I had to do some prep work which involved chocolate chip cookies. I referred back to my throwdown experience and made a batch of the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies. I rolled them into mini cookie balls and popped them into the freezer to save for my future baking. However, I should have made a half batch because this ended up making over 100 mini cookie balls!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FOR DAYS!!

Good thing chocolate chip cookies are easy to get rid of. I think I might have some lucky coworkers next week! 🙂

And now what you’ve been waiting for.. the giveaway! I was contacted by thinkThin [one of my most favorite protein bar companies] about doing a giveaway and since I love these bars so much, I had to share them with all of you! Pretty marvelous, huh? 😉

Click here to enter the giveaway and win some tasty treats!

Food for Thought

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t make a resolution to blog more! So sorry to leave you hanging for the better part of 2 weeks. (Life, right?) So let’s catch up, shall we?

I was really looking forward to New Years Eve; my family always has a big dinner to celebrate with lobster and other wonderfully delicious treats. The peanut butter pie and peanut butter cups always call my name! I could never have too much chocolate and peanut butter. This year, however, was a bit different. My brother had to work on NYE, so we got together for lobster and mounds of peanut butter and chocolate on the 29th.

I made Gina’s Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip which, like all of her other recipes, was a big hit! We also stopped at Lebanese Taverna to pick up a shawarma dinner for my non-seafood-eating fiance. The nerve of him! But since we were there, we decided we’d also get some baba ghanoush. They have one of the best around!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Skinnytaste Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip Lebanese Taverna Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush Maine Lobster

We followed up the delicious appetizers with even more delicious LOBSTA! Sorry for the awful picture.. I was too excited to dig in to go grab my real camera 😉 I loaded up on my veggies and after devouring everything on my plate, went in for 2 lobster claws and some extra shawarma that we got for everyone to share.

And I must have been really excited to dig into dessert because I don’t even have a bad picture of that! But imagine.. creamy peanut butter pie with oreo crust.. and homemade melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cups.. oh yea, and fresh fruit. YUM!

After indulging on Saturday, Nathan and I had plans to indulge, yet again, for the real deal New Years Eve on Monday. We went back to an old favorite, Annabel Lee Tavern. We started with cocktails and a chicken quesadilla. Their cocktails are on point, but I’d skipped the quesadilla next time. It wasn’t bad, just not anything special.

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD Cucumber Gin Ginger Rum Cocktails Chicken Quesadilla

I had the Morella (my fave!)– Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup. Nathan sipped on the Descent into the Maelstrom – Goslings Rum, Bacardi 151 and Ginger Beer. Goslings Rum and ginger beer are his jam. It’s a new-found love for him but he orders it whenever he finds it!

Dinner and dessert were phenominal, as expected!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus SweetBJ Crabcake Blackened Asparagus Roasted Duck Salted Caramel Crunch Cake

Before our food arrived, we finished up our first round of drinks and decided to split a Sweet Baby Jesus, or Sweet BJ, as Nathan called it. Hey, it’s the hashtag😉 This beer is a chocolate peanut butter porter, and like I said before, never too much chocolate and peanut butter!

I ordered the crab cake platter with blackened asparagus. Look familiar? That may just be because it’s my favorite crab cake ever. And coming from a Maryland-er, that means they’re doing it right! Nathan had the roasted duck, cooked to absolute perfection!

Finally, we treated ourselves to a slice of salted caramel crunch cake. Oh my gracious! I would get this time and time again if they continue to have it on their menu! A perfect meal to end a wonderful year.

We partied the night away right into 2013, which just so happens to be our wedding year! With it being just over 4 months away now, planning has started to pick up again. We’re both so excited for everything to come! So from our craziness to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Barr & Table Happy New Year

Food for Thought

What did you do for New Years Eve? Did you go out to celebrate or stay in the comfort of your home?