What I Ate Wednesday #124: Valentine’s Feasting

Valentine’s Day might be one of my favorite holidays. We don’t do the bouquet of roses, sappy cards, get dressed up for dinner kind of thing. We learned that wasn’t necessary many years ago. Not to mention, who wants to pay $200 for a dinner that takes HOURS to come out after ordering while 100 other people wait around you? Personally, I’m a fan of a quiet night at home, cooking together and drinking some good wine.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

We cheated a little bit this year and bought our main dish. Last year, we went all out and made a pistachio-crusted lamb which turned out wonderfully. This year, however, we went to the farmers’ market the week before Valentine’s Day and saw that Roli Roti has a new rotisserie duck l’orange. We already love their rotisserie chicken, brussels, and potatoes, so how could we say no? We woke up on Valentine’s Day and got to the market as soon as they opened to get our duck.

It was so nice to relax rather than having to work on the main dish. So we broke out a bottle of Black Zeppelin, a 2009 Syrah blend, that we got in 2012. We bought 2 bottles and had the first right away. This bottle was even better than we remembered!

Black Zeppelin Syrah Blend 2009

It was also gone pretty quickly!

Cabot Cheddar Cheese Dried Apricots Blue Diamond Almonds

I also made a cheesy [ha.. in both senses of the word] plate to snack on while the side dish was in the oven. Thank you very much, Cabot!

Kirkland Prosecco

And what goes better with cheese than prosecco? Only the finest bottle in our house..

Duck L'Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts Potatoes Egg Yolk Porn

The main event.. it was better than I could have imagined! Did I mention that this was my first time eating meat in 2 weeks? Nathan’s idea for the dippy egg over top of the rosemary garlic roasted potatoes and brussels was killer. I was absolutely in heaven!

Blueberry Squares Smitten Kitchen Lush Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

And if that wasn’t enough, I made a “single serving” [which really turned out to be a double. So we nicely shared.] of Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry crumb bars. I’d only made them once before, a couple years ago, and Nathan has been talking about them ever since. I decided Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to break it out again. We also bought some Tahitian Vanilla gelato from our favorite place, Lush, right down the street. It was the perfect topping.

Dinner was fabulous, as always, and we were more than full. Or as we like to say, fat and happy.

Food for Thought

Did you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

Will Run for Beer

Have you entered my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway yet?

Well this was another relaxing and fun weekend! Friday night I met up with Kara for a drink at Prizefighter. I hadn’t been yet but heard that they were known for their cocktails. Since it was rainy, I was feeling something nice and warming and opted for the Nuevo Viejo.

Prizefighter Summer Summer Tone It Up TIU

I could use some help on my cropping skills.

We met up with Nathan at Summer Summer for some delicious Thai food for dinner. And lucky for us, they had a good amount of options on the happy hour menu.. cheap date ๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday was pretty laid back. It’s been raining constantly since Thursday so that doesn’t really make for fun times outside. We went out again for dinner to get out of the house and revisited The Bureau 510. I got the Mother Nature sandwich that I was eying the first time and it was great.

Mother Nature Tofu Vegetarian Wrap Bureau 510

Grilled tofu, avocado, alfalfa, onion, red pepper spread, butter lettuce, lavash whole grain

I also got an awesome package from Caitlin and immediately had to dig into my goodies!

Cait Plus Ate Quest GoMacro Bar

She’s the best!

GoMacro Bar Trader Joes Peanut Butter M&Ms

Greek yogurt mixed with TJ’s chocolate coconut milk ice cream, topped with a sunbutter GoMacro bar and a few PB M&Ms. Perfect night time treat!

Yesterday I braved the rain and met up with Melissa, another Tone It Up-per, for the Park Chalet Beer 5K. Being sick all week, I considered skipping out because running in the rain may not be the best idea, but I was feeling much better so I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad I did!

Buffalo Golden Gate Park San Francisco

We met some friends along the way

I’m usually not one for enjoying the rain, but there was actually something nice about it. Maybe because I was actually treating this as the fun-run that it was so I was just taking it all in. But that definitely deserved a brewskiย [or 2] afterward!

Park Chalet City Beer 5K Run

Cheers to finishing the run!

Those beers really did me in and I was happy to get home and into warm, dry clothes. Nathan took the reigns on dinner and roasted a beautiful bird! I added some roasted asparagus and naan on the side and heated up some korma sauce. Indian in a snap ๐Ÿ˜‰

Roast Chicken

He knows his way around a bird!

Weekly Meal Plan

Saturday – Went out
Sunday – Roast chicken, asparagus, & naan with korma sauce
MondayChipotle black bean burgers, roasted potatoes, & side salad
TuesdayHealthier Cincinnati chili over zucchini noodles
Wednesday – Leftover roast chicken with panzanella salad
ThursdayBlack rice salad bowl with chipotle orange chicken, cashews, & feta [a repeat from last week!]
Friday – Valentines Day! We always work together on dinner and dessert and we’re still discussing our options.

We also have a new addition to the kitchen.. now we just have to hang it!

Chalkboard Weekly Menu

I could use some help with my chalkboard handwriting!

But now we won’t have to check the blog for reminders on the menu ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food for Thought

Have you ever done a race or fun run in the rain?
What’s on the menu at your house?

Meet Up Success & Link Love

As I mentioned yesterday, last night I went to a Charm City Healthy Living Bloggers meet up. There really are a lot of us and it was so nice to finally put a [real life] face to a name! Only about half of us could make it out, but everyone I met was so sweet and it was great to talk to new people with similar interests. Not to mention, I felt like I already knew some of them from reading their blogs! Many thanks to Caitlyn for setting all of this up!

Healthy Living Bloggers Charm City Baltimore Maryland MD

Back: Kerry, Jess, Megan, Dani, Kait
Front: Me, Kate, Caitlyn, Lauren

Sorority girl pose, anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’re already talking about our next meet upย [maybe a little SUP?] and I can’t wait! These are definitely some blogs you should have on your list..

Caitlyn – City and the Cubicle
Coco – Hot Coco
Colleen – Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill
Danielle – Da Hart Attack
Jami – Fit Jams
Jenny – Love, Eat, Run
Jess – Just Call Me Janks
Kait – Kait Makes A Run For It
Kaitlyn – Simply Complicated
Katie – Skinny Minnie Moves
Kat – The Road Iโ€™m Running
Kate – Sunshine and the Bear
Kerry – Adventures of Z and K
Laura – Hell On Heels
Lauren – Breathe Deeply and Smile
Mary – Aznstarlette
Megan – Outlaw on the Run

*Thanks to Kate for this wonderful picture!

And while I’m in a link-sharing mood, I wanted to share a few posts that especially caught my eye over the past week.

Health

When did you stop thinking you are beautiful?

When Did You Stop Thinking You Are Beautiful? – Kludgy Mom
Maintainence Isn’t Sexy. – MizFitOnline
20 Apps for Health – Purely Elizabeth

Fitness

Shape Which workout burns more calories?

25 Reasons Why You Should Run (Especially If You Think Youโ€™re Not A Runner) – Frugal Beautiful
3 Foods to Eat Before Your Summer Workout – Health
Which Workout Burns More Calories? – Shape
How to Become a Runner (Who Actually Likes to Run!) – FitSugar

Food

Edible Perspective Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Burger

35 National Peanut Day Recipes – Averie Cooks
One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes – Smitten Kitchen
Your Go-To Guide for Choosing Healthier Grains – The Greatist
From Soups to Smoothies: 15 Recipes For Kale – FitSugar
Breakfast Friday >> Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Burgers – Edible Perspective
Foods That Work Better Together – Fox News

Food for Thought

Have you ever gone to a blogger meet up?
Are there any posts you’ve seen over the last week that really caught your eye?

What I Ate Wednesday #24 – Thanksgiving Feast

This year might have been my most successful Thanksgiving ever. For the first time, probably ever in my life, I didn’t overeat and it was amazing! It also left me wanting more. Usually I’m all Thanksgiving-food’ed out after we have our 2 dinners, but this year I feel like I could eat Thanksgiving dinner a few more times.

One of the biggest tips I’ve always heard on not overeating is to eat all of your meals as you would normally. So that’s what I attempted to do.

Thanksgiving Dinner Deep Fried Turkey Cranberry Relish Sausage Stuffing Sweet Potato Scramble Peanut Butter Butternut Squash Brussel Sprouts Asparagus Barr & Table Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake said it perfectly..

“…a good breakfast sets the tone for my day.”

Since I’ve tried her Sweet Breakfast Scramble, I haven’t turned back. It’s amazing.. my favorites are with spaghetti squash and pumpkin, topped with 1 tbsp peanut butter. Usually two different kinds of peanut butter to mix it up ๐Ÿ™‚

[Lunch]
Peanut butter cup protein shake.

[Snacks]
Carrots and an apple.

[Dinner]
Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! I loved the menu this year; of course we had our staples, but some new side dishes popped up too.

  • Deep fried turkey
  • Sausage stuffing (secret recipe!)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Winter panzanella salad
  • Cranberry relish

Check out my plate above.. I definitely had a little extra of a few things, but I couldn’t believe I walked away with white space on my plate!

This year I jumped at the opportunity to make a few items for the night, partially in an attempt to have a few healthier items on the table.

Smitten Kitchen Michael Chiarello Panzanella Salad Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Jif KIND Snacks Granola Apple Crisp

I brought one of my favorite winter salads; winter panzanella from smitten kitchen. I also wanted to bring a healthy dessert so I made my Kind Apple Crisp. And then the healthy options ended. My homemade peanut butter cups are an absolute must ever year. I’ve been making them since I was a kid and have perfected them in the last few years. Nathan said they were the best this year, but I think he tells me that every year! I’ll keep him around.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanksgiving Dinner Deep Fried Turkey Slicing

Mom slicing the turkey!

My brother deep fries the turkeys outside and as soon as they come in, everyone starts swarming the kitchen.

“Oh, this piece is going to fall off. I should grab it before it falls..”

And as soon as my mom starts slicing, you’d think we were a bunch of vultures that hadn’t eaten in days! Who knows, maybe some of us haven’t eaten in days in preparation? It’s well worth the wait!

[Dessert]

Thanksgiving Dessert Pumpkin Roll Pie Whipped Cream Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Along with my peanut butter cups and apple crisp, there was also a deconstructed pumpkin pie in the cutest little cups, chocolate chip banana bread courtesy of my brother’s girlfriend, and a pumpkin roll. My aunt makes this roll special for Nathan every year, so you can imagine our panic when we saw her facebook status in the early afternoon..

“First attempt at pumpkin roll a failure and dumped in trash. Helper off to the Giant for more sugar. I know Nathan is counting on me!”

I’m pleased to report that her second attempt was a success! Luckily, I convinced Nathan ahead of time to split the desserts with me so I was able to try a little bit of everything. And boy can my family bake! Seriously. We’re good!

What a great holiday! I’m so thankful for my wonderful family, especially since they’re such great cooks and bakers ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food for Thought

What are you thankful for this year?