What I’ve been loving lately

It has been awhile since I did a Friday Faves post so I figured I’d play a little bit of catch up on what I’ve been loving as of late. I’m finally getting the hang of my new work schedule so more recipes posts should be coming soon (I hope).

Once I got an office job, I knew I wanted to get a bento box-type lunch box. I’ve wanted one for awhile and couldn’t justify it when I was working from home. So I took to Amazon and settled on the Bentgo one.

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It’s has been great so far. The top compartment is divided in to two sections so I can store two different things and the bottom is nice and big so it fits leftovers or even a sandwich quite well. Here’s a pic of the Bentgo in action.

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It just makes it really easy to pack healthy stuff to eat while I am at work. Not that I haven’t been tempted by the free cake that has been in the office the past few days…

One of the things I love so far about my work is the proximity to great food options. So far the favorite has to be Sausalito West Coast Grill. It is in Midtown Atlanta and makes THE BEST TACOS. That is not an understatement. If you are in Midtown Atlanta around lunchtime, go check it out. The owner is awesome and the food is great.

I have never been a big fan of protein bars. Something about the taste and consistency has always kinda made them bleh to me. But since I now go straight to work out after work sometimes, I need something to eat that will hold me over through a workout. Enter Quest Bars. You can get them online or at GNC and they come in all sorts of flavors. They are the best tasting protein bars I’ve ever had and they are low in carbs and added sugar but full of fiber and protein. So far my favorite is the vanilla almond but the cookies and cream one is a close second.

So even though my birthday has come and gone, we celebrated with my parents over the weekend. My mom asked me what I wanted and the first thing that popped in to my mind was her corn casserole. I didn’t really care what else we had with it. I just wanted that corn casserole. It is like crack. So delicious. We had it along with steaks and a salad and it was the perfect birthday meal with my family. And to top it off, my mom made this delicious s’mores cake.

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Mmmmm, it was everything that is delicious about a s’more in cake form. I brought the leftovers to my office and they were quickly devoured.

So that’s what I’ve been loving as of late. I am slowly finding my groove and should be back to posting regularly again. Eric has even mentioned wanting to do a guest post so maybe you’ll see that coming soon too!

And I will leave you with quite possibly the best gift I have ever received — a Kate Middleton mask.

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Have a great weekend!

 

 

Adventures in eating

I have survived my first two days at the new job! Hooray! And now that I have some time to blog, I can finally share my weekend eating extravaganza with you.

Some friends — Lauren and Jason — were visiting us this weekend so we had planned on a good deal of eating out. After I fetched them at the airport on Saturday morning, we headed over to the Westside of Atlanta where we spent most of the day. We started off with lunch at Star Provisions. This was my second time eating there and it has been delicious both times. I had this amazing chicken sandwich — the bread was incredible. Bread is very important to me as you know.

After we finished lunched, we walked across the way to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.  As I mentioned on Friday, Lauren and I had been jonesing to go to Jeni’s for awhile. And it did not disappoint. Don’t go in expecting your typical mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. These are gourmet ice creams. I tried a goat cheese ice cream with cherries, and while it might sound weird, it was quite delicious. I ended up getting ndali estate vanilla bean and black coffee.

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For dinner that night, we hit up Fox Bros. The hour-long Saturday wait didn’t deter us, and our patience was rewarded with amazing bar-b-que. My love of their Frito Pie now knows no bounds. Eric got their beef rib special and it wasn’t just tasty — it was massive.

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He did manage to eat most of it, which I found to be quite impressive.

The main event of the weekend was my birthday dinner at Canoe. It was hands down one of the best dining experiences of my life. The service, the ambiance, the food. All amazing. I can’t wait to go back. I ordered one of their signature dishes — the rabbit.

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The rabbit is slow cooked and served alongside these chard and bacon ravioli — WHICH ARE INCREDIBLE.  I didn’t think my main course could be topped, but that all changed when dessert arrived.

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Behold the popcorn ice cream sundae. Canoe’s homemade Cracker Jack with ice cream and caramel sauce. Shut. Up. I mean really. The texture combination of the ice cream and the popcorn is addictive. Eric and I were battling for the final bite (which I of course got since it was my birthday).

All in all, it was a great weekend filled with great food — but more importantly great people.

Friday Faves

It is now time for me to share the news I alluded to last week. No, it’s not a baby…it’s a new job!

Today is my last day at my current job and I start my new one on Monday. I’m going to miss my old co-workers, but I’m super excited about this new opportunity. I’m going from working from home to commuting and being back in an office, so it’s going to be a bit of a transition. I’m going to have to be a better planner when it comes to blogging so I don’t leave y’all hanging!

The reason I’ve been so absent the past few weeks is because I was in and out of phone interviews and in person interviews and then doing my current work on top of it. Blogging sort of fell by the wayside. But I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay on top of things because I love this blog and want to keep it going. But hang with me through the next few weeks of transition. I’ll figure things out eventually.

1) One of my faves this week — and going forward — is Eric’s new goal to start cooking for me more. With the new job, him taking over cooking duties a few nights a week is going to be awesome. He’s already started to show some skills. The past two weeks he has made a couple of super tasty dinners.

UntitledOn the left, grilled ratatouille pasta. On the right, Mediterranean flat bread. Both delicious — an nutritious! He knows I have been trying to eat better so he has been cooking a lot of vegetables. And he is very good at it.

2) My birthday is this weekend! I enter the final years of my 20s on Sunday. Eric is taking me to Canoe in Atlanta for my birthday dinner and I’m super excited. It has been on my must-try list since we moved back. We also have some friends coming to stay with us on Saturday. We plan on heading to Fox Bros  on Saturday night, and I’m already dreaming about the Frito Pie. We are also going to hit up Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams tomorrow afternoon. My friend Lauren and I have been talking about it pretty much every day since they booked their trip. I will be sure to report on all of our weekend eating adventures next week.

3) Anyone have any good recs for places to eat in Charleston? We’re heading there in a few weeks for a friend’s wedding and are looking for a good place for dinner and brunch. We’ve never been. so we are relying on other people to tell us what’s good so let me know in the comments!

 

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

After a weekend filled with tacos and Cracker Barrel, I knew Sunday night was going to need a lightened up dinner. I had some tilapia already and knew I wanted to do some sort of pecan crusted tilapia. I took to the trust interwebs to find a recipe and they all seemed rather involved to me. Flour, breadcrumbs, eggs, frying. I just wanted a simple baked pecan crusted tilapia with a few ingredients. And this is what I came up with.

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The picture isn’t the best, but this was seriously delicious, I sauteed up some squash with herbs and served it along side some wild rice and it was a tasty, light meal.

PS Have you been to Penzey Spices? I used their Sunny Paris blend on the squash and it was so good. I think it is going to be super delicious on grilled veggies this summer.

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

3 tilapia filets (this recipe could work with any white fish)
3/4 cup pecans
1 tsp rosemary
1 clove garlic
2 tbls spicy or whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If possible, put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to use for baking. This helps keep the pecan crust from getting soggy.

2) In a food processor or blender, mix together the pecans, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. The consistency should be a little coarser than bread crumbs, but not super chunky. The finer it is, the better it will adhere to the fish.

3) Brush each fish filet with the mustard on both sides and coat with the pecan mixture. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Friday Fave: Follow me!

I know I have been a bit absent from blogging these past few weeks, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I’m going to be sharing some more news on that front next weeks so watch this space.

Just because life has been busy doesn’t mean I have been cooking and eating and the like. I still post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram quite a lot, so be sure to follow me there if you want to stay up to date on all the tasty happenings!

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Hosting an at-home wine festival

I think I’ve mentioned here before that Eric and I very much enjoy all things wine. We got engaged while on a trip to California wine country. We like trying and tasting new wines. We also love to attend an occasional wine festival every once in awhile.

After one such trip to an poorly organized wine festival last year, we thought “hey, we could put on a pretty good wine event at home.” And so we did. We’ve hosted two little at-home wine festivals so far and they’ve both been a ton of fun.

Here’s how it works. Everyone brings one bottle of wine for sharing (some people end up bringing more, which of course isn’t an issue in the slightest). Eric and I provide the venue along with some light snacks. We also usually contribute a few bottles of wine to the mix. Everyone comes over, we open the bottles, everyone samples what they want, drinks more of what they like. It’s a very fun time.

Now these at-home wine parties aren’t very structured — at least the way we do it. You could ask certain friends to bring white and others to bring red if you want. We just leave it open to what they like.

IMG_20140301_200835For snacks, I like to do a cheese plate. Cheese and wine are just the natural pairing.  I like to do a brie and some hard cheeses (above are druken goat, iberico and manchego), then I add some slices of apples and grapes, nuts and honey and boom — cheese plate done.

We also usually do some sort of small appetizer (the first time we did pigs in a blanket it. This last time we did Bagel Bites). We throw in something sweet too, like chocolate or a baked good. It isn’t a full meal or anything — just something to snack on while you are all drinking.

You don’t need to be a wine aficionado to host one of these gatherings. This is a great opportunity for people who might not know that much about wine to try a bunch of different kinds without having to take the plunge and buy a whole bottle. And it is just a good time overall. I highly recommend doing it.