What I’ve Learned From 1 Year in California

Happy [waddle] day after Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and were able to spend time with your friends and family. I ate entirely too much [who doesn’t?] and I fully intend on doing the same thing tonight!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Trust me. There was WAY more food!

The Friday after Thanksgiving last year, Nathan and I packed up and shipped out to California. Thanksgiving was certainly an emotional day and I can’t believe 1 year has already passed. It’s pretty ironic that we’re back in Baltimore this week but it definitely feels good to be home. Over the past year we’ve had our ups and our downs. Nathan and I have had so many new experiences together that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve learned so much in that time.

  1. Nathan is my best friend.
    We couldn’t have done this without each other. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and strongest support systems. Moving away from all of your family and friends into an unknown world is scary and trying. Like I said, we’ve had our ups and downs, but ultimately, this experience has made us stronger and grow closer.
    Nathan Brittany Dolores Park
  2. Making friends is tough!
    For real, I don’t know how kids do it. There has been a lot of trial and error and I’ve had a few people stick. I’m not really sure why they put up with me, but they do!
  3. I’ve done a lot of growing up.
    I haven’t had much of a choice. Before Athleta and personal training, I spent a lot of time at home by myself. If there’s one thing that really makes you think about what you’re doing with your life, it’s spending hours of time alone. Sure, I may still question what I really want to do when I grow up, but hey, I’m only 27. I still have some time to figure that out.
  4. California is a pretty cool place to live.
    Nathan and I have gone on so many mini road trips and fun adventures that we couldn’t have done in Maryland. From wineries to beaches right around the corner to incredible hikes to eating our way through the city, we’re certainly not taking our surroundings for granted.
    Mt Tamalpais
  5. Home is where the heart is.
    After everything is said and done, I love just being home. Every time we come home, it feels like we never left. The time that I’ve been able to spend with my family and friends is unbeatable. I cherish every minute with my grandparents and it’s so fun watching Jilly grow. Staying with my parents has been fun too; any extra time I can get with them, I’ll take!
    Jilly Bean

It’s been a hell of a year and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us. I have a good feeling about 2015; it should definitely be another learning year but I think now that we have our feet set a bit more, things will fall into place.

Food for Thought

Does your family have a second night of Thanksgiving?
Have you moved far from your family before? What did you learn from the experience?

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Five Things Friday

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have any fun plans for tonight? We have done good stuff coming up in the next week.

  1. My parents will be here in less than a week! I realize I mentioned this yesterday, but can you tell I’m excited?!
  2. I stocked up on our Valentines Day dinner/dessert ingredients yesterday. On the menu:
    Appetizer: Truffle gouda with crackers and balsamic jam [from Italy!] .. Entree: Seared lamb with a cherry port sauce, Moroccan rice with pistachio and dried apricot, and roasted rainbow carrots .. Dessert: Cheesecake squares. But I can’t tell you the flavor because that’s a surprise for Nathan. There may or may not be pictures to share later 😉
  3. I miss the snow a little bit but I have to admit it was awfully nice to be able to take a walk this afternoon when it was 65 degrees.
    Snow DeckSnow Yard Stick
    My parents just got a little dusting.
  4. Nathan surprised me last night by picking me up after work to go out to a point near our place and watch the sunset.
    San Francisco Golden Gate BridgeSunset San Francisco
    It was a really crisp, clear night and such a nice way to end the day. Doesn’t hurt that he’s cute too!
  5. This weekend is Belgian Beer Fest at Max’s. It is, by far, our favorite bar in Baltimore and Belgian Beer Fest is the best. Definitely missing that this weekend. We’re going to try to make up for it this weekend and while my parents are here.. I’ll report back.

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Tiff at Love, Sweat, & Beers! You’ve won my Peanut Butter & Co. 31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams giveaway!

Food for Thought

What are your Valentines Day plans?
Are you being hit by the crazy weather?

What I Ate Wednesday #63: Going ALL Out!

This past weekend was one for the books. We crossed off a couple more places from the bucket list and then some! It was our second-to-last weekend in the city so we had to take advantage as much as possible and it was so much fun.

Of Love and Regret

Love this place. As I mentioned in my bucket list post, we had been here before but wanted to head back once more and I’m so glad we did. The food is always fabulous and the drinks didn’t disappoint either.

Old Mans Hatten Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

The Old Man’s “Hatten” – bourbon, cochi di torino vermouth, aperol, luxardo cherry garnish, rocks

Saison Darkly Stillwater Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Saison Darkly – Brewed with dark malts and burnt sugars then lightly spiced with rose hips, hibiscus, & schisandra berries

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Burrito – seared Asian Pâté (black beans, barley, scallions, & ginger), South Asian slaw, Sriracha sweet chili aioli, fresh basil & cilantro, wrapped in a grilled whole wheat tortilla + a baked sweet potato

Nathan surprised me and sprung for dessert. He usually doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and this one was delicious.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Pumpkin Cheesecake with chocolate sauce and goat cheese caramel

Bluegrass Tavern

Another place that we’ve been to a couple times that didn’t make it on the bucket list post, but I knew we had to go back for Nathan. They make a smoked fried chicken to die for! It’s the perfect combination of smoke and crunch, plus they topped it with crispy brussels!

I was worried my Apple Cobbler cocktail would be too sweet but the bourbon balanced it nicely. I’d highly recommend anything that comes with a bourbon-soaked apple 😉

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Cocktail

Charcuterie Sausage Rabbit Terrine Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Charcuterie & Cheese Plate – Homemade Garlicwurst, Rabbit Black Truffle Terrine, Sharp Cows Milk Cheese, Pickled Okra, & Chutney

Kale Salmon Lemon Shallot Salad Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with goat cheese, shallots, fennel, grilled salmon, & lemon vinaigrette

Smoked Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Smoked Fried Chicken with crispy brussels sprouts over garlic mashed potatoes

Lexington Market

FINALLY! Lexington Market is a Baltimore staple. Everyone I know that doesn’t even live in Baltimore has been to Lexington Market so I had to go and it was so worth it! On top of the crab cake, I also had a couple raw oysters [best I’ve ever had!] and a fresh Berger cookie. The chocolate literally melted in my mouth. You should really order some.. they’re worth every penny [and calorie].

Faidley Seafood Lexington Market Baltimore Maryland MD

Faidley Seafood – Lexington Market

This place is no frills. Just the way it should be.

Faidleys Lexington Market Crab Cake

The famous crab cake from Faidley Seafood with pickled beets and cucumber salad.

The Food Market

This wasn’t an official bucket list place either since I was lucky enough to have a catered work brunch, but when my family wanted to get together for brunch, I figured it would be a good choice. Plus, I need to get all the blue crab I can before we go.

Crab Benedict The Food Market Hampden Baltimore Maryland MD

Crab Benedict – Homemade whole wheat english muffin, crab cakes, poached eggs, & potatoes

I guess you could say I really ate my way through the weekend. Every bite was fabulous and so much fun.. though the best part was all of the time I got to spend with my family. It was the perfect way to break up all of the packing!

Food for Thought

What food is your hometown known for?

Five Things Friday

IT’S HERE!! IT’S FRIDAY! Can you tell I’m excited to sleep in and enjoy my rest day tomorrow? 😉

  1. Despite all of my excitement, the clouds were looking rather ominous this morning. I packed up my rain boots, threw on my rain coat, and ran out of the house to head to work. Without an umbrella. And then it started raining while I was on the bus. Luckily I only have about 5 1/2 blocks of walking to my office once I get off the bus and the rain wasn’t coming down too hard yet.

    Baltimore Maryland MD

    I’m going to miss this view..

  2. I also broke out a new top today.. Target with the win!

    Target

    Oh hey work bathroom! It’s a good thing I’m not awkward at all.

  3. Speaking of new finds, Marshalls came up big again the other day. I may have gone in looking for a bandana for my Halloween costume and a new coat, but I came away with these bad boys.
    Old South Pickled Hot Brussels Sprouts

    Is this considered strange but good?

    They’re seriously delicious and I could probably eat the whole container in one sitting.

  4. Another new find is Ceylon Cinnamon.
    Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon Powder

    Mmm this won’t take me long to get through!

    Typically you find Cassia Cinnamon at the grocery store which isn’t even really cinnamon! This Ceylon Cinnamon is from Sri Lanka and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron. As for the difference, you definitely get a slightly spicier scent, especially when you add it to something hot [like coffee or oats!]. That same spicier scent is also something that you taste; it’s almost like a cinnamony-er cinnamon which I love! I would definitely recommend trying it out if you’re a cinnamon-lover like I am. You can buy it here from Amazon.

  5. I can’t believe it’s November 1 already. That means it’s moving month already! And that means this weekend starts the packing. Anyone have boxes? Send em my way! Oh, and bring yourself to help pack too 😉

Food for Thought

Would you try pickled, hot brussels sprouts?

Have you ever tried Ceylon Cinnamon before? Did you notice a difference?

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

My Own Metabolism Experiment

Happy Halloween!

On Friday, I mentioned Alysia’s post about her metabolism experiment. After having considered doing the same thing for a while, I decided to give it a shot. Like Alysia, on rest days I find myself wondering if I’m eating too much so I thought this would be a great way to figure it out. I like knowing numbers and of course, I knew that no matter what, I would compare my number to her’s, but hey, that’s just the name of the game sometimes! Knowing that going into it helped me stay out of the comparison trap.

So how did it go..?

Calorie Burn Metabolism Test Polar FT40 HRM

Hmm..

Well, to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed. My day started out strong. I noticed for the first few hours in the morning, I was averaging about 100 calories per hour. I didn’t think that would hold up throughout the day, even though I had some errands to run, but I was definitely surprised by how much it slowed down as the day progressed.

My day looked a little something like this:
7:45 am – Wake up and strap on the heart rate monitor
8:30 am – Time for breakfast!

Sweet Pumpkin Breakfast Scramble Carrots N Cake

Carrots ‘N’ Cake sweet breakfast scramble with pumpkin, topped with nut butters and granola

9:30 am – Haircut
11:00 am – Nail appointment [and a little Target shopping..]
1:00 pm – Lunch and baking time!

Kale Tomato Black Beans Beets Pepper Avocado Cashews Broccoli

Awesome huge salad!

Snickerdoodle White Chocolate Biscotti

Snickerdoodle biscotti with white chocolate drizzle [recipe soon!]

3:00 pm – House stuff.. laundry, dishes, etc.
6:30 pm – Heading out to a fabulous dinner and drinks!

Verde Pizza Margherita Canton Baltimore Maryland MD

Verde Pizza

10:30 pm – Hit the hay! Yes, we’re old farts.
7:45 am – Wake up and take off heart rate monitor.

That is usually about the amount of activity I have an on rest day. So while Alysia found that an average 2000 calorie/day diet is about right for her, I’m wondering what I could do to help speed up my metabolism on rest days. I feel like 1700 calories is a decent amount, but I’m always looking to improve!

I also wonder if it had anything to do with having a harder week with my workouts. I felt like the quality of my workouts last week were not up to par and it makes me think that if I had a stronger week of workouts, that maybe the results would be different. I may try the experiment again in a few months to see if anything has changed, but in the mean time, I’ll continue to work on listening to my body and feeding it right!

Food for Thought

Have you ever considered trying this kind of metabolism experiment?

If you’ve done this before, was the calorie burn higher or lower than you expected?

Any tips on speeding up my metabolism on rest days?

Are you dressing up for Halloween?

What I Ate Wednesday #60: The. Best. Pizza.

This is not a joke. We found the best pizza in Baltimore. Saturday night Nathan and I decided to knock another restaurant off of our bucket list and headed over to Verde Pizza. This is another relatively new spot in town and we had pretty high hopes after seeing some amazing-looking pictures on their facebook page.

Margherita Pizza Verde Canton Baltimore Maryland MD

Margherita Pizza

Verdura Delizia Verde Pizza Canton Baltimore Maryland MD

Vedura Delizia – smoked bufala mozzarella, roasted butternut squash cream, zucchini, roasted red peppers, basil & evoo

Hard to argue with the looks of those pizzas, right? Right. So we made our way over.

The kitchen was pretty open and there were 2 chefs making the pizzas right up front. I always love watching the food being made!

Verde Pizza Kitchen

Open kitchen

I sipped on a glass of Nero D’Avola as we waited for our appetizers. It was a great choice; very easy drinking, light tannins, and a little bit fruity. I loved it!

Nero D'Avola Red Wine

In case you don’t know what a glass of red wine looks like..

Appetizers

Tre Porcellini Foccacia Roasted Red Pepper Eggplant Mushrooms Verde Pizza

Tre Porcellini – Roasted vegetable trio of red pepper, eggplant, and mushroom,
served with homemade foccacia

The Tre Porcellini consisted of three roasted vegetables—that night they offered mushrooms, red peppers, and eggplant—served with homemade foccacia. They were all great, but the slightly-sweet red pepper was my favorite. The eggplant, however, had a little extra olive oil on it that was perfect for dipping the bread in!

Insalata Mista Spring Mix Grape Tomato Balsamic Glaze Extra Virgin Olive Oil Verde Pizza

Insalata Mista – Spring mix with grape tomatoes, EVOO, and balsamic glaze

We also split the Insalata Mista. Such a simple salad but all of the ingredients were so fresh. The grape tomatoes were like candy and the balsamic glaze was just sweet enough. We also got a little parmesan on the side to sprinkle on top. I would highly recommend that!

Pizza

The best way to test a pizza place is to get their margherita pizza. That was our original plan, but when my pizza-loving husband set his eyes on the menu, it was quickly decided that we would be ordering 2 pizzas. Another night to take home leftovers! [It’s kind of our thing now.. ;)]

Margherita Tomato Sauce Homemade Mozzarella Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil Verde Pizza

Margherita – Tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, basil, EVOO

As soon as Nathan took his first bite he said he was immediately transported back to Gusta Pizza, our favorite pizza in Italy. The crust is so light and perfectly crisp. We loved the char on the outer edges from the brick oven, there was the perfect amount of the rich, flavorful tomato sauce, and the homemade mozzarella was so creamy.

Salsiccia e Funghi Tomato Sauce Homemade Mozzarella Sausage Wild Mushrooms Ricotta Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil Verde Pizza

Salsiccia e Funghi – Tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, sausage, wild mushrooms,
fresh ricotta, basil, EVOO

When I asked the waitress how the Salsiccia e Funghi pizza is, she replied “you know, standard awesome.” She was spot on. The sausage was just a little bit smokey which paired well with the meaty mushrooms. The dollop of homemade ricotta cheese in the middle might have been my favorite part. I don’t think I’ve ever had such creamy, melty ricotta before and I could have gone for more on top!

I know I said we made this bucket list so we could get to a bunch of restaurants before we head to California, but we are seriously considering heading back to Verde again. Can’t you see it in Nathan’s face? 😉

Pensive Nathan

So pensive.

Food for Thought

Have you ever tasted a dish that transported you back to another time in your life?

What’s the best pizza you’ve ever had?

Five Things Friday

Whoa, late post here but I just wanted to drop in, say hi, and give you all a quick update 🙂

  1. Yesterday I made yet another variation on the pancakes! Say hello to Apple Pie. It was a good call.
    Apple Pie Coconut Almond Flour Pancakes

    Apple Pie Pancakes

    Ingredients
    – 3 tbsp coconut flour
    – 2 tbsp almond flour
    – 1/4 tsp baking powder
    – 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    – 1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice
    – 16 drops of liquid stevia
    – Pinch of salt
    – 7 egg whites
    – 1/4 – 1/2 cup water

    For my layers/topping, I mixed 1 tbsp peanut flour with 2 tbsp applesauce, 4 drops stevia, and water. I also used 1/2 shredded apple in between and on top. And the ultimate was topping it with the best apple quinoa granola from Michele’s.

  2. This morning, my company had a little retreat and provided brunch. I wasn’t sure what to expect so, as always, I came prepared with some bars in my bag but I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the catering food truck from The Food Market. Nathan and I had been there once for dinner but I’ve been wanting to go for brunch since I saw their killer menu. It did not disappoint!

    The Food Market Brunch Baltimore Maryland MD

    I had to try a little bit of everything!

  3. Yesterday Alysia shared a metabolism experiment that she tested. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now but reading her thoughts on this convinced me! Tomorrow is the big day and I’ll be sure to report back.
  4. Speaking of which, that means tomorrow is my rest day and to say I’m pysched would be an understatement! My workouts definitely got the best of me this week and I’m looking forward to resting up and feeling refreshed for next week!

    Best Body Bootcamp Tina Reale

    I can’t move my arms today.. thanks Tina 😉

  5. I can’t believe it’s already October 25th! Where has the time gone?! Halloween is next week and I’m wrapping up my costume for work. It isn’t anything crazy but it’s a fun day at work every year!

Food for Thought

Have you ever tried a metabolism experiment like this?

Do you ever have weeks that your workouts seem extra tough?

Do you have a Halloween costume picked out yet?

What I Ate Wednesday #59: Ten Years Gone

I mentioned on Friday that Nathan and I were going out to Birroteca for dinner to celebrate 10 years together. We had heard so many fantastic things about this restaurant and decided this was the perfect time to cross it off of our bucket list [more on that later!] and I’m so glad we did. Every dish was absolutely wonderful! I think we might be experts on the menu now because we went all out!

Drinks

We got to the restaurant a little early so we took advantage of their happy hour drink specials. Wine for me, beer for him. The cocktail list looked awesome but we were waiting until we were seated for that.

His

Andrea Gail Ginger Beer Bitters Spiced Rum

Andrea Gail – Blackwell Spiced Rum, Ginger Beer, Boston Bittahs’

Hers

Grapefruit St Germain

St. Germain, Sparkling Wine, Grapefruit

Birroteca Baltimore Maryland MD

Cheers!

Appetizers

We couldn’t decide on one appetizer to split, so we had to get our own. They all sounded so good!

His

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I know, it doesn’t sound so exciting, but those tiny meatballs were packed with flavor! The broth had a little bit of a kick, the tomatoes were so fresh, and the barley had the perfect bite. I’d never had Italian wedding soup before, but this would have me coming back again!

Hers

Kale Salad Radish Pepitas Apple Beets

Chopped Tuscan Kale, Heirloom Beets, Pumpkin Seeds, Radishes, Gala Apples, Apple Vinaigrette

Again, it may not sound like the most exciting appetizer, but the flavors blended so well. And that vinaigrette was something special. I’m definitely going to be trying to recreate it at home!

Veggies

No more his and hers. From this point on, we shared everything!

Fried Brussels Sprouts Black Garlic Aioli

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Black Garlic Aioli

Whenever I heard anything about Birroteca, the crispy brussels were always mentioned. And how could I say no to brussels sprouts?! The aioli was so flavorful, you only needed a little on each bite and we were pleasantly surprised to find slices of salami throughout!

Eggplant Fries Red Pepper Caper Mayo

Eggplant Fries with Red Pepper-Caper Mayo

We hadn’t planned on getting the eggplant fries, but when we saw an order come out we knew we had to try them! Again, the aioli was packed with flavor and we were using it for everything! The eggplant was breaded and the crust stayed nice and crispy, even when we reheated them!

Entrees

Pasta

Pappardelle Wild Boar Bolognese

Homemade Pappardelle with Wild Boar Bolognese

If we’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that we must order homemade pasta whenever we see it on the menu. And with a wild boar bolognese? Like there was any doubt!

The dish was a bit saucier than I had expected from other meat sauces we’ve had in the past. The sauce was also thinner than I expected too, but we loved it nonetheless. The chunks of wild boar were tender and the homemade pasta was cooked perfectly.

Pizza

Duck Duck Goose Pizza

Duck Duck Goose – Duck Confit, Fig-Onion Jam, Balsamic, Fontina & Asiago, Duck Egg

Oooooh the pizza! The crust was soft but not too chewy. The fig-onion jam mixed with the balsamic gave the pizza a little barbeque flavor. The duck confit was meaty and rich, but didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors. The fontina and asiago mix was flavorful so the pizza didn’t need a lot of cheese. And what’s better than topping all of that with a nice, dippy egg?! It just made it feel extra special.

Dessert

Gluten Free Apple Pumpkin Cake Pistachio Ice Cream Seed Butter

Gluten-Free Apple and Pumpkin Cake, Pistachio Ice Cream, Toasted Pepitas, Pistachio Butter

I told Nathan that I was “comfortably full” before dessert came out knowing that would probably change! He said to me “it’s gluten-free so it’s good for you, right?” Luckily I knew he was joking. I took one bite, looked at him and said “yea. Tell me that’s healthy!”

It was so amazingly worth every single bite! The cake, topped with an apple ring, was so buttery and rich. The simple flavors were set off by the nuttiness of the pistachio ice cream and creamy pistachio butter.

Knowing that we were going all out, we planned ahead and got food boxed up as the next dishes were brought to the table. I’m sure people were laughing at our tower of boxes!

Birroteca Leftovers

HELLOOOOOOOO LEFTOVERS!

But I bet they wouldn’t be laughing when they realized we got to have an awesome lunch on Sunday 😉

Birroteca Duck Pizza Kale Salad Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Fries

Best. Lunch. Ever.

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate 10 years with Nathan. We gushed over all of the food the whole night, even after we left the restaurant. It was so fun experiencing something new with him again and it was almost like taking another little trip back to Italy. Any reminder of the honeymoon is a good time in our book!

Food for Thought

If you had to choose one dish from our menu, which would you choose?

Do you ever go out to dinner with big plans of trying wayyy more than you know you can eat, knowing you’ll take home leftovers?

What I Ate Wednesday #58: A New Restaurant

Even after growing up in Baltimore and living in the city for 2 years, there are still a ton of restaurants I haven’t tried. Last Friday we decided to knock another one off the list. It was a Bond Street Social double date night with Adam and Jessie.

Obviously I’d scoured the happy hour and dinner menus online and had picked out a few things for us to share during happy hour and planned on a lighter meal for dinner. Unfortunately not all plans workout; the happy hour menu online was an old one.. hate when that happens! Nathan and I ended up sharing a chicken tikka skewer appetizer that was pretty tasty but a touch dry. I do love the presentation though!

Chicken Tikka Skewers Bond Street Social

Chicken tikka skewers over grilled flat bread with tzatziki

The menu told me that it pairs well with The Show Cabernet and I couldn’t argue with that! However, the happy hour drinks carried over into dinner and Jessie and I were talking into sharing this bad boy..

The Show Cabernet Sauvignon

We put up a big fight too 😉

Since we didn’t go for all of the apps I had planned on, I was hungrier for dinner so I went for a full entree. The waiter explained that the menu is setup for sharing so all of the entrees came out in a similar style to the chicken skewers. Nathan went for the chicken and biscuits with citrus slaw and I ordered the miso glazed salmon.

Miso Glazed Salmon Bond Street Social

Miso glazed salmon, with sautéed spinach & shiitake mushrooms

Again, I loved the presentation and the sauce wasn’t too heavy or salty. I was also concerned about the spinach being greasy, as sauteed spinach often is in restaurants, but it was perfect. Nathan’s chicken and biscuits came out in a similar presentation as well, but of course I didn’t get a picture of that before he dove in!

The four of us rounded out the night at another new-to-us place; One Eyed Mike’s, a Grand Marnier bar. I ordered the smash—their twist on the mojito—and Nathan had the Perfect Storm. He’s a dark and stormy kinda guy so I knew it would be perfect for him. I didn’t get a picture of either of these drinks because, well.. when you hit up happy hour and are then coerced into sharing a bottle of wine, you forget about pictures for the night 😉

It was a fun night though and I’m glad we knocked a couple more places off of the list!

Food for Thought

Do you have a list of new restaurants you’ve been wanting to try?

Have you been to a bar that specializes in a particular kind of liquor?

A Baking Kinda Weekend

I really, strongly believe that the weekend should be 5 days and the week should be 2 days. Why hasn’t someone made this happen yet? Oh well.. here’s to another Marvelous Monday!

Marvelous is testing recipes! It might not have been my most successful weekend but it was fun nonetheless. I ended up with 1 success, 2 works-in-progress, and 1 total flop. The success? Mini chocolate cupcakes from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Monster Mint-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Chocolate Covered Katie CCK

Look how cute they are with the white chocolate chips!

I did, however, make a few adjustments to the recipe so I was very pleased when they turned out! I subbed pastry flour for all-purpose, xylitol for sugar, and pumpkin for applesauce. I also left out the peppermint extract since I was just looking for a good chocolate cupcake. The only thing left is to top it with frosting!

French bread in one hour is one of my works-in-progress. I wish I had a picture of the way mine came out.. it’s so dense Nathan described it as a bagel loaf. I think he was being nice about it too! I just bought some brand spankin’ new yeast and plan on another attempt soon in hopes that old yeast was the issue. [That doesn’t sound so nice.. ha!]

Marvelous is some tasty new treats from Lindsay. I was SO psyched when my Healthy Bites came in on Friday that I almost ate all of them as soon as I opened the box! I refrained and am trying to pace myself but holy moly they’re amazing!

Healthy Bites Cotter Crunch

Healthy Bites! Muddy Buddy Mocha, Chocolate Whey Good, & Reese’s!

My favorite flavor is the Reese’s because I just can’t say no to anything chocolate and peanut butter but I would highly recommend all of them! She even gave me a vegan version of the Reese’s and a paleo version of the Chocolate Whey Good. And I will be ordering more 🙂

Marvelous is going back to our favorite Thai restaurant for the first time in months. I’m absolutely in love with the Hot Pot!

Hot Pot Pork Thai Arroy Baltimore Maryland MD

Hot pot with pork, broccoli, onion, baby corn, carrots, bean thread noodles, and light bean sauce

And almost as marvelous is having leftovers with a little coconut curry hefeweizen to boot. Side note: the beer was interesting but not awesome.. I wouldn’t get it again but I couldn’t pass it up when I saw it!

Hot Pot Thai Arroy Baltimore Maryland MD New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefeweizen

Leftover hot pot with broccoli, cauliflower, cashews, and a coconut curry hefeweizen.

Marvelous is starting my morning with another awesome Best Body Bootcamp workout and refueling with these bad boys!

Peanut Butter ‘Cake’ Coconut Flour Pancakes - Dashing Dish

Peanut Butter ‘Cake’ Coconut Flour Pancakes – Dashing Dish

These pancakes may very well jump start another pancake kick! And when my parents asked how many people I made these pancakes for, I politely responded with this:

I ATE EM ALL!

I ATE EM ALL!

Happy Monday, friends!

Food for Thought

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

How are you kicking off your week?