Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIAW #17

Hey, I hope that everyone had a great long Memorial Day weekend! The weather here in Massachusetts was absolutely perfect! :) 

I went to my first Red Sox game on Friday, thanks to my babe and the company he works for. We had fabulous suite seats and witnessed a bench-clearing brawl!

Saturday was mostly spent at the Reebok HQ, watching the Crossfit Regionals. Some of the workouts were WOD was something like, 900 reps of work. I was glad that I was just watching that day! ;)

Sunday and Monday were both spent by the grill, eating way too much and spending time with friends. #perfect

One of the best sights in the world ;)

Not trying to brag, but my pasta salad is pretty slammin'!

Long weekends are awesome - the work week is now already half over! And that means it's WIAW time! (AKA the one post a week that is a guarantee on this site, though I swear I'm trying to get better!) Anyway, without further ado...

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, & ground flax

I finally got tired of eating the same oatmeal practically every morning. I can't bear to retire the oats just yet, so I've been mixing up new combos.

Snack: Fresh raspberries

My favorite berry...I can legit plow through an entire container in one sitting, though I try to show some restraint.

Lunch: Leftover steak tips on a salad

Nothing fancy here but gotta use up those leftovers somehow, right?

This is seriously one of the BEST salads I have ever had! Everything was so flavorful, yet worked perfectly together. And it was super colorful to boot. Romaine, grilled chicken, red peppers, Mandarin oranges, green onions, cilantro, dried cranberries, and sesame seeds, all drizzled with an orange-y dressing...heavenly. You must make this salad this summer! :)

Snack: Watermelon 

I can't tell you enough about how amped I am that all the amazing summer produce is back!!! :D

Have a lovely day, all!

Anything fun to share from your holiday weekend?

What's your favorite summer produce?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIAW #16

Before we jump into the food porn, I saw this yesterday and it made me crack up! This is definitely something I do...

...well, not the throwing away of the food part! That would be blasphemy. ;)

Anyways, I had fun showcasing my weekend eats a couple weeks ago, so I thought that I'd do it again for this week's WIAW! Thanks to everyone that stops by each week and a big thank you to Jenn for hosting each and every week. I'm so glad that I started participating!

Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites w/ cayenne; ham steak; whole wheat toast; strawberries

Deeeelish way to start a Saturday! 

Lunch: A grilled vegetable pizza and Ithaca Beer Company's Flower Power IPA

We sat out on the roof deck at CBS Scene and enjoyed the gorgeous sun and blue skies after a week of mostly cloudy, rainy weather! The veggies on the pizza were great - soft but still a bit crisp - and the beer was oh so refreshing. 

Lunch Dessert: Heath Bar Crunch ice cream (from Crescent Ridge Dairy)

Lunch dessert is a thing, right?! ;)

Dinner: Grilled flank steak; corn on the cob; salad; one of our raspberry wheat home brews

Boy, do I love summertime cookouts for dinner - grillin' n chillin'! :) Random asides: I always sprinkle my corn with chili powder - you totally hafta give it a try sometime. And our raspberry beer is coming along nicely....great taste but it needs a bit more time in the bottle to carbonate. 

Dinner Dessert: Cookies N Cream Popcorn

After seeing this around the Internet and on Pinterest a zillion times, I finally made it! And it was the absolute best snack while my babes and I watched Breaking Bad and relaxed. Well, I say we relaxed but really, some of the episodes make you feel anything but! Lol anyway, click HERE for the recipe. :)

On Sunday, we went to a friend's barbecue and I made these:

Caprese bites! They are so freakin' adorable and oh so tasty...and simple to boot! It doesn't hurt that I am a complete sucker for Caprese anything. 

I absolutely cannot believe that it is going to be Memorial Day this weekend. I'm praying for a sunny weekend and lots of grilling. ;) Thanks again for stopping by and Happy Memorial Day!

Do you have any fun holiday weekend plans?
What is your favorite thing to toss on the grill?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Make It: Cookies N Cream Popcorn

Cookies n cream popcorn was something I'd seen on a couple of blogs before but hadn't yet indulged my cookies n cream addiction. But yesterday, photos of this recipe were all over Pinterest, teasing and taunting me. I decided it was finally time to head into the kitchen to whip up a batch!

I think it should really be called cookies n crack popcorn, it is THAT addicting!

Aside from hardly any prep time, the recipe calls for just three ingredients. Yep, that's it. While I used an air popper to pop mine, you could also use a bag of microwaved popcorn (or even a bag of store-bought) if you were really short on time. Check out our funny old 80s-style popper... :)

Ooh, also I used these cool black kernels called Black Jewel - they pop up pure white and smaller than typical kernels!

Cookies N Cream Popcorn
Seen on multiple blogs/Pinterest

1/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (or 1 bag of microwaved/store-bought plain popcorn)
1 sleeve (about 15) Oreos, coarsely crushed
6 ounces vanilla (or maybe even try white chocolate!) Candy Melts

1. Pop your popcorn and toss into a big bowl with the crushed Oreos.

2. Melt the candy melts according to bag directions. (I stuck mine in the microwave for about 1:30, stirring every 30 seconds.)

3. Pour the melted candy melts over the popcorn and Oreos. Stir until completely combined. I had to use my hands to do this!

4. Spread into an even layer on a wax paper lined baking sheet to cool.

5. Once cool, break any big pieces apart and nom away!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WIAW #15 & Make It: Spicy Quinoa Salad

Hey guys - welcome back for another week of eats! 

While not everything was a success this week, everything was tasty nonetheless. 

What was supposed to look like this...

...ended up looking like this:

Bahaha epic fail. I followed the directions exactly so I have no idea what the heck happened. Oh well, I'll just hafta give it a try another time. It still tasted okay, so at least it wasn't a waste of ingredients. :)

Breakfast: The mess detailed above; an English muffin, egg white, and cheese sandwich; nectarine

Yeah, it was sort of a big breakfast but I was hungry with a capital H - that morning's Crossfit WOD had kicked my butt.

Lunch: Spicy quinoa salad; balsamic marinated chicken

This salad was SO simple to whip together but very good. One suggestion: double the "dressing" recipe or it might be a tad too dry. It is from the new cookbook The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi. I rarely buy cookbooks anymore but I'm going to have to make an exception for this one! Color photos of every for everything from breakfast to apps to mains to desserts (!)...nutritional info for each meal...and tips for making each recipe cleaner, vegan, or gluten-free. Anyways, the recipe is below, for anyone hungry!

Dinner: Tomato & cuke salad w/ balsamic; Quinoa Black Bean Soup

Yes, the soup is from the same cookbook. And yes, it looks pretty similar to the above salad. But it was different enough for me to want to make it for dinner! ;) 

Dessert: Graham crackers w/ peanut butter

Enjoy your Wednesday, fellow WIAWers! <3

If you're interested in reading more, check out my latest two posts:

Spicy Quinoa Salad
The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi

3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
2 cups corn
1 red pepper, chopped
2 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped [I used more, about 1/4 cup]
2 Tb fresh lime juice
1/2 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, red pepper, and cilantro.
2. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. [As I mentioned above, I doubled the dressing.]
3. Toss dressing with quinoa mixture and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 4
Per serving: 243 calories, 5.2g fat, 43.4g carbohydrates, 5.7g dietary fiber, 8.6g protein

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Restaurant Roundup: LOCO Tapas & Wine Bar

(It has been an extraordinarily long time since I wrote a damn restaurant review. I have a boatload of different places to write about - and pictures ready to go - but I keep putting them off.  Well, no longer!)

LOCO Tapas & Wine Bar in South Easton is a fairly new find of mine. Someone had recommended the place to my best friend and then, practically the next day, there was a Groupon deal for it! Needless to say, we swooped in on the deal and headed on over.

On our first visit we sat in the dining room, which was nice, but we opted for the comfy lounge couches the second time around! After settling in, I immediately started perusing the wine & drinks lists. There are lots of different options, so you are sure to find something that'll spark up your taste buds. Both times, I sipped a wicked Caipirinha. The red sangria was good too, especially glorious in it's giant goblet. ;)

Left to right: Red sangria; regular Caipirinha; berry Caipirinha

Okay, so onto the best part - the food, of course! Seriously, there hasn't been one thing at LOCO that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed eating. Snag a piece of bread from the swirly wire bread basket and dip it into some olive oil while digging into the menu. I totally want one of these baskets for my house...too cute!

Two of my favorites have been the Patatas Bravas and the Smoked Chicken & Ham Croquettes. The Patatas Bravas are a tapas menu staple - crispy on the outside and tender within, the mini skillet of potatoes boasts a spicy tomato sauce beneath and a cooling aioli drizzled atop. And while the croquettes might sound rather plain, they are not to be missed. Trust me on this one!

Ooh, and the Pincho Platter was served on a gorgeous wooden board and topped with all kinds of goodies. Spiced almonds, figs wrapped in Serrano ham, mini peppers stuffed with a deliciously strong cheese [aka "love bites"] and small toasts topped with quince jam and Manchego cheese. What I wouldn't do for one of those figs right now - mmmmm!

Top: Pincho platter
 Bottom: Patatas Bravas; croquettes

The empanadas were smaller than others I've had, but I'm a sucker for pulled pork so onto my plate they went. The LOCO "mac n" Manchego was rich and creamy beneath the buttery crumb sprinkling. And the super thin-crusted flatbread of the evening was a masterpiece of veggies and meat.

Left to right: empanadas; mac n cheese, flatbread

Of course, most of the menu is comprised of tapas but there are a few main course dishes available, as well as evening specials. My bestie and I split the Rioja Braised Short Ribs, which were mouthwateringly tender and served with creamy mashed potatoes and fabulous roasted summer veggies. A bit of everything in one forkful was seriously too good for words.

Well, we've eaten this much already...might as well get dessert, right? Truthfully, I've been far too stuffed to eat dessert but I'm not one to pass up churros! The tall sticks of deep-fried goodness come out, beautifully presented in a tall glass vase and dusted generously with powdered sugar. A side of melted chocolate for dipping is just the icing on the cake...uhh, churro.

Even just thinking about the meals I've eaten at LOCO is enough to fill me up. Obviously, I totally recommend this place! It is the perfect place for an evening out with friends or a date night...or if you are completely craving churros. :)

LOCO Tapas & Wine Bar is located at 520 Foundry Street (Route 106), South Easton MA. 
(Note: I found it easy to pass by the restaurant, as it is set back a bit from the road, so look for the Subway shop on the left and LOCO is right across the street.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Fried-Day! (May edition)

I eat pretty healthfully most of the time (and like it) but, let's face it - eating junky foods is fun. And eating junky foods that have been deep fried? Well, I think it goes without saying that that is WAY more fun!

But what would you say if I told you about deep fried butter?

No, I'm not pulling your leg. It exists.

See??? I wasn't kidding.

These little gems were found at the Big E (previously mentioned for their Oreos). Of course, we had to try them just for the bragging rights.

The outer layer was basically just regular fried dough (though the "crust" was softer than the Blink's fry doe.) But, see inside there? A big chunk o' buttah! Some of the butter had started to melt from the warm dough, while the rest stayed a bit more solid. I'm not going to lie to you: it was a bit strange biting into a hunk of butter but...not totally unpleasant either. 

Just make sure that you have a stack of napkins because you WILL get messy. :)

Would you EVER eat deep fried butter?
How many calories do you think this has? ;)

Visit the Fried-Days tab at the top of the page for more goodies!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WIAW #14

Happy Wednesday...which, by now, is synonymous with Happy WIAW!

But first things first, I promised last WIAW that I would share details on the Run For Your Lives 5K that I ran on Saturday. was way fun and I can't wait to do it again! :)

As we got off of the bus to pick up our race packets, this is the sight that greeted us:

Going up the right side of the hill was the start of the race. The left side (with the tarp) was the slide down!

Going up that big hill to start the race totally sucked but I made it. The fun started once we hit the top...zombies everywhere were trying to rip the flags (our "lives") off our belts. Some of the zombies were SO creepy looking.

Yikes! Aside from outrunning zombies, we had a bunch of obstacles to tackle - a maze house, a muddy pit of water, an electric fence, etc. Oh, and did I mention the mud? Holy sheeeeet, it was muddy! Obviously the race organizers plan on mud but the entire week of rain really helped things along. We had to walk in some areas because the mud was so deep (as in, over my ankles) and slippery.

Regardless, the end of the race was the most fun. We slid - actually, we f*#&%^! FLEW - down the huge hill on a big tarp slide and landed in a deep pit of muddy water! A couple of zaps from the electric fence aside, I made it outta the a zombie.


Okay, all that running has worked up an appetite so onto WIAW! Advance warning: most of my pictures this week suuuuck. I'm going to blame it on my crappy camera but really, its most likely because I was impatient yesterday.

Breakfast: Banana-Cocoa Overnight Oats & kiwi

I'm so glad that I finally jumped on the overnight oats bandwagon! They have totally made those busy mornings SO much easier. Grab n go!

Snack: Apple and a spoonful of peanut butter

Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich w/ homemade sun-dried tomato aioli, lettuce, & tomato on an English muffin; steamed summer squash w/ black pepper

I'm telling ya, the aioli made this! Makes me wonder why I don't make these kinds of spreads more often. This one was just some light mayo, diced sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, and salt & pepper. 

Dinner: Chicken & black bean burrito; salad (unpictured)

This burrito was awesome! I loosely used a Cook This, Not That recipe to make it. Sauteed onions and green pepper, lime and cumin-ed up black beans, shredded chicken, lotsa cilantro, and cheddar cheese all wrapped in a Flatout Harvest Wheat flatbread. And let's not forget some sour cream on the side. #perfecto

Dessert: Edy's Pomegranate fruit bar!

One more picture to share from the weekend. Only because it was totally awesome.

Filet mignon wrapped in bacon.

Oh yes. Perfect mix of high-brow and low-brow, eh? ;)

Off to check out everyone's eats.......enjoy your day!