Sometimes, life gets in the way

I know it’s a lame excuse, but when I get busy or stressed because of school the first thing I cut out of my life is writing. Why? It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing and it makes me happy, so I’m gonna try to keep up again.

When I got back to Florida from Tennessee I went back to work and started summer school the very next week. So far I love all my classes (International Management, International Marketing, Buyer Behavior, and Human Resource Management) and I should get all A’s again! Hooray! This is also one of the only semesters where I didn’t have to take a class involving math. YES. Next semester (also my LAST semester!) will be all about surviving Stats II, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Breakfasts for me have been the same thing EVERY SINGLE MORNING. Except for this morning when I realized we were out of eggs.

IMG_1886 IMG_1837

I really like the “Country Hen” eggs and I can even buy them at Publix! I remember I used to go to Whole Foods for EVERYTHING and now I just don’t see the point. It’s not exactly convenient to drive 30 minutes for groceries. WF does have the only coffee I really get excited about though, so there’s that.

Gavin is back in the States for a few weeks. His friend Jack came with him for a week and just left yesterday. I picked them up last Monday in Orlando and we went to the Hard Rock in Tampa for the evening. We went to my fave restaurant “Rock N’ Raw” (Get it?) and then I won $300 playing BlackJack. Win!

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.15.43 AM

We got home around 1am and all just went to bed. The week that followed involved pretty much daily trips to the pool, a couple trips to the beach, lots of sunscreen, lots of yummy food, and lots of laughs with friends 🙂

Gavin and Jack grilled out one night and it was fun. Mostly because of the new patio furniture we got to relax in!

IMG_2157 IMG_2163

Before & After. I gave the lanai a makeover before Gavin got back in town. The patio furniture is from Publix (of all places!) and the cushions are from Marshall’s. Discount shopping FTW! <<<That means “for the win” Mom 😉

Also before Gavin got back, I made myself a yummy dinner and sat outside with a glass of wine to enjoy my evening.

Salmon, Shrimp skewer, and Asparagus….

IMG_2185 IMG_2177

It was lovely.

I baked the Salmon in the oven at 350 for ~15 minutes, and then added the skewer to the baking sheet and switched to Broil. This is the best way I’ve found to cook shrimp without drying them out, and also the Broil adds some crispy-ness to the Salmon.

IMG_2181 IMG_2182

The Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning is delicious, and Salt-free! It’s not Organic, but neither was the Seafood. Sometimes, you just have to pick your battles and go with the more wallet-friendly options.

Salmon and I have become good friends lately. Smoked Salmon is my favorite sandwich component, Raw Salmon is my favorite sushi, and Grilled Salmon is my favorite salad topper:

IMG_2186

I don’t order from Outback very often. In fact, I can count on 1 hand the number of entree’s on the menu I’ve consumed. I’m a fantastic liar however, so I can sell the crap out of a filet, no problem! My job is safe. But when I do get the urge to eat there, I always order fish, which is weird because its a Steakhouse, but we are affiliated with Bonefish Grill so we get our seafood from the same vendors. The above is my version of the Sesame Salad.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.39.01 AM

I know all the salad guys so they always let me go behind the line and make my own plate. I add tomatoes, onion and double the cilantro and almond portion. The dressing is on the side because it’s basically just sesame oil, but it’s absolutely phenomenal so I always get a little bit to dip my Salmon in 🙂 Anyways, that’s what I eat at Outback 95% of the time.

I’m actually applying to work at Bonefish today! Fingers crossed!

One year old

On April 30th of last year I decided to start a food blog! It’s lasted a whole year! Wooohoooo!!!!

I missed my “blogaversary”!!!1 year blog anniversary

 

To be fair, I was a bit pre-occupied with final exams and an impromptu trip to Lexington. But whatevs, it’s never too late to celebrate!

Looking back at my early posts, I realize I am now WAY less experimental in the kitchen! WTF happened? This shall be remedied ASAP. But first, let’s recap.

My Uncle Chris passed away last week after years of failing health. He was truly a great guy and I miss him. The last time I saw him was when I visited Lexington last summer and he drove up from Tennessee to see me and Dad. He had arrived to my Dad’s house early, and no one else was home, so we sat outside for a while and talked. The subjects ranged from the mundane to the nostalgic, and we shared many laughs. Later after dad came home we had dinner at Ramsey’s and Uncle Chris took us out for frozen yogurt. I remember sitting outside, munching on my yogurt with various toppings, and thinking… just… wow. How many times in my life have I sat with my dad and his brother and listened to them talk to each other? Chris had once lived with us out in Estill County when I was really young and I had heard many stories about them together when they were kids, but I rarely got to see them, now, when I was an adult. I knew… it was special. I knew… It was a day to remember. And I always will.

Anyway, I had final exams that week and told my Dad I might be able to go up on Wednesday. I went to my Business Law exam at 6pm on Tuesday and got out at 7. Good timing! (I made a 98.7% btw, just sayin’) I had packed the day before and just left from there, since I was about 45 mins North anyway. I stopped at Whole Foods in Tampa for a sandwich for din din.

IMG_1926 IMG_1927

It can be REALLY hard to eat healthy on long road trips, but I knew exactly what I wanted and thankfully there was a Whole Foods on the way. This was a sandwich made of turkey, avo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and veganaise (vegan mayonnaise, get it?). Hit. the. spot. Although, I have to say I could have done without the veganaise. Not that it was bad, it was just a bit too much with the avo. Also, that’s gluten free bread (I was curious) and it just tasted blaaaahhh on it’s own (I tore off a corner to try it solo). I’ll just stick to whole-grain next time.

I stopped at Cracker Barrel a little later for a book on tape to pass the MANY hours ahead. Holy Moly. Overwhelmed by my (limited) options, I decided to call in the big guns. Who do I know who travels as much as I do, and also listens to audio books? Only one name came to mind. I called my friend CF and asked the impossible question…..

IMG_1929 IMG_1928

Dolly Parton or Stephen King????

It was a close call. I spent a lot of time debating, but in the end I went with Stephen King. Phew!

The book is really good! It’s the sequel to “The Shining” and kept me well entertained (if not scared out of my mind, in the middle of the night, alone, on the interstate).

I arrived at my mom’s house in Ooltewah at 4am. My mom and my little sister were asleep on the couch waiting for me. It was really nice to be home. Angie and I left the next afternoon. She drove and I tried to sleep some more. We arrived in time to get ready and go to Uncle Chris’s memorial service.

There was lots of food, but most importantly there was coffee!!! And family, of course. After the service, Dad, Angie, my Aunt Aileen and her husband Frank went to Dad’s house and visited for a few hours. More stories were shared. It was great to be around family.

On Thursday night, Angie and I went to Campus Pub to meet up with some friends.

IMG_2040 IMG_1998

Brian, Lola, and Lauren! Scotty had to work late so he showed up after Brian and Lauren had left.

IMG_1979 IMG_1947

Lola (aka my fiery red-head) and Lauren! Love those girls!

On Friday, Angie and I said our goodbyes and drove back to Tennessee where I got to surprise my munchkins!

IMG_2054

Nice Ella! As this is a food blog, I feel compelled to tell you that the food in her mouth is a chik’n nugget (morning star farm)

I stayed in Tennessee for the weekend. Mom woke me up early on Saturday to go to garage sales and I found little stuff for my kitchen from “The Pampered Chef” (apparently it’s like designer kitchenware).

I made 2 cans of spicy black beans at Amanda’s house which lasted for days. It was nice to have something prepared in her fridge for quickie meal ideas. I spent the majority of the time at her house because it’s big and I love being around my little minions.

IMG_2042 IMG_1888

Breakfast: I’m so obsessed with this oatmeal and egg combo. Mmmmmm

These two pictures were from different days, but are the exact same meal. I’m glad I cleared that up for you 😉

Natures-Path-Organic-Instant-Hot-Oatmeal-Maple-Nut-058449450030  IMG_1449

Lunch: Freshly made Tabbouli & Hummus (from the Village Market) with Crackers.

IMG_2048

The Village Market is a health food store near Southern that I love! The tabbouli is amazing and I’m going to try and recreate it this week. The hummus is equally as good. I love hummus, but many brands add so much oil I hate it. This one was creamy and deliciously oil-free! I’m going to try to recreate these two things this week. Stay tuned!

Dinner: Usually something left-over from lunch, something with spicy black beans, or whatever Amanda was making. One night I made Smoked Salmon lettuce wraps at Mom’s house.

IMG_2071 IMG_2070

Smoked Salmon, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Avo, Cracked Pepper, and steamed Asparagus 🙂

Ava plays on a little league softball team, and one evening we all went to watch her play. She was so good! She hit the ball every time she was at bat and her team won!!!

IMG_2069

The whole team got snacks after the game, and little Ella was a scavenger and got some too 🙂

IMG_2030

IMG_2016

I already miss these little girls 🙂

BBQ Veggie Scallops

This past week has been pretty crazy because it’s the end of the semester (I almost wrote end of the school year, like in grade school!)

I had a few projects due last week that we had months to work on, which I of course put off until the last minute. No worries though. I’m a pro.

Assignment 4 – Final Project – 100%

I’ll take it. My professor sent out an email after he posted all the grades.

IMG_1868

If it sounds like I’m bragging, its because I totally am 😉

Anyways…. food.

IMG_1828

I made another batch of Mango Salsa. Yuuuummy.

I love it because it’s really simple to make and it practically goes with everything I have in my fridge/pantry.

IMG_1852

Mahi burger with Quinoa.

IMG_1860

Spicy Black Beans, Broccoli, & Quinoa (This was taken to work).

IMG_1866

Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Black Beans, Quinoa, & Tomatoes.

IMG_1884

Quinoa, Black Beans, & Grilled Shrimp.

All of these meal would not have been the same without my Mango Salsa 🙂 But now I’m out 😦

So instead of making more (I will, eventually though!) I decided to get more creative. What have I not had in a while?

I looked in the fridge for some inspiration and found a bottle of Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce. I thought, “YES! I love BBQ! I can work with this!” but then I looked at the ingredients list and recoiled in disgust. High Fructose Corn Syrup? Artificial Flavors? Artificial Colors? Artificial thickening agents? Ummm.. thanks, but no thanks.

I was off to the grocery store instead in search of organic BBQ sauce. I went to a new store I totally forgot about!!!! It’s close to my house!!!! One that sells only healthy food!!!! Im excited, can’t you tell!!!!!? It’s been open for a while but I’m JUST NOW checking it out. Fail. Major fail because I discovered that it is AWESOME!!! They have 90% of the products I love that I make the 20 minute drive to Whole Foods for. This place has been right under my nose for MONTHS.

It’s called Healthy Living Organic and Natural Market.  << Long name much?

I was like a little kid in a candy store running up and down every aisle. But, I was on a budget and only spent $20. That in and of itself should say something about my self control because I. wanted. everything.

IMG_1896

Annie’s Organic Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce was deeeelish. I also LOVE the Mayan Cocoa Spice tea. The oatmeal hasn’t been consumed yet, but I don’t think it’ll last in the pantry very long!

I had some veggie scallops in my fridge in desperate need of some attention so I marinated them for a couple hours in the BBQ sauce.

IMG_1897 IMG_1903

In case you’re wondering just wtf veggie scallops are….

026 Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.39.11 PM

They are sooooo good. I used to just broil them in the oven until they were crispy and then use them as a vehicle for hummus. Mmmmmm.

Anyways….

IMG_1902 IMG_1904

These pictures ARE NOT an accurate portrayal of how this meal actually went down. I decided the scallops weren’t getting crispy enough in the skillet and the kale (that’s kale, by the way) wasn’t steaming fast enough. The scallops went on a baking sheet lined with foil and were stuck in the oven. I cranked it up to high broil (watch it though, they burn fast) and then stuck the kale in a saucepan with more water and covered it.

The meal ended up amazing and looked like this….

IMG_1905

Yep, that’s more Quinoa. When in doubt, add Quinoa! I made another bulk batch last week at the same time I made the Mango Salsa. That should explain why one or the other (or both) ended up in 99% of my meals.

So, yeah, that’s pretty much it for now!

The little meal that could

Quick meals are so clutch sometimes. I swear I can go from not hungry at all to HAAAANNGRY (That’s hungry + angry to normal people) in about 0.8 seconds.

Sometimes I’m impulsive and my haaaaaangry-ness leads me to eat whatever I can throw together in <5 minutes. If that means eating beans out of a can before heating them up, so be it.

Lately though, I’ve been trying to put some REAL thought into cooking. I. can. do. this…… maybe.

I already posted about my trip to The Fresh Market and how excited I was to find Okra! (I mean, I’m sure it had there all along but I just discovered it there so I’m a little excited). So while I was sitting through my stimulating 3-hour finance class last night, I was thinking about making a meal with Okra as the base ingredient. But what to add? The only other experience I’ve had with Okra involved it being battered and deep fried. Yep…. not happening this time!

I got home and raided my fridge and pantry. This is what I came up with….

IMG_1782

20 minutes, 1 skillet, and 1 chopping board = all that is required

Also these ingredients:

  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans (AKA chickpeas)
  • Okra (mine was frozen)
  • Kale (also frozen)
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • chopped White Onion
  • 1 container Seeds of Change Madras Simmer Sauce (NOM NOM NOM)
  • Spices (Cumin, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper)

This is basically just an Indian stir-fry but damn was it delicious.

IMG_1783 IMG_1784

Step 1. Heat a dash of olive oil

Step 2. Add Okra, Cumin seeds, and Garlic. Sauté over medium heat~2mins

Step 3. Add 1 can Garbanzo Beans and Chopped Onion. Sauté ~5mins

I realize at this point I do not have any specific measurements for some ingredients, and thats because I just eyeball it. Feel free to do the same. If you like a lot of Garlic (like me) add a lot of Garlic!

IMG_1785 IMG_1787

I’m not a professional food photographer, but at least I try 😉

Step 4. Add Kale

Step 5. Add Tomatoes. Continue to Sauté until everything is tender.

Step 6. Add Madras Sauce and a dash of Cayenne Pepper.

IMG_1791 IMG_1792

Six easy steps. I guess if you wanted to serve it over rice you would have to do just a BIT more work, but I ate it just like this and it was great. All the flavors went together really well. I have to give first billing to the Chickpeas, however, because they really stole the show! This dish started out with lovely thoughts of Okra but had me dreaming of Chickpeas all night. Ohhh, Chickpeas, how I love thee 🙂

IMG_1800

 

The Fresh Market

I love grocery shopping. There is just something so inherently calming about it and I find comfort in the routine. Especially at places like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market. I love looking for new things and seeking out new healthy food products. Lately though, my bank account has been telling me to calm the eff down on my spending habits. So I’ve been picking over my pantry instead of shopping, and luckily I’ve found products to make I even forgot were in there!

But yesterday, I broke down and decided to buy some fresh produce at The Fresh Market.

I love the atmosphere there. When you first walk in, you find yourself surrounded by flowers and the music is pleasant. The coffee section is right next to the flower department so as soon as you leave the sweet smell of roses you are greeted by the intoxicating aroma of roasted coffee beans. Mmmm… coffee.

fresh-coffee IMG_0069

Keep walking and you find yourself amongst colorful (and mostly organic) produce.

store4

I just stuck to the staples: carrots, onion, cilantro, romaine lettuce, etc. I was gonna buy fresh broccoli because I’m starting to get sick of the frozen variety (it doesn’t taste the same!) but damn is it expensive! It’s priced by lbs, and you know what? You’re paying for like 75% stem, which goes straight in the garbage anyway. I’m literally throwing my money away. I wish I could just pay for the florets. I decided to seek out more frozen broccoli and save myself the $$$

broc1

The fish department is usually next on the agenda, but damn is smoked salmon pricey, too! So, like the broccoli, it also got skipped this time. On through the bakery, past the weird olive bar (gross!), and into the aisles.

IMG_3898 IMG_3897

I never buy wine (because it’s too expensive there), but I like to walk through the section.

I picked up some canned beans and headed toward the impressive dairy section for some greek yogurt.

Where to next? I’ve been friends with the frozen section at Whole Foods for years now but I had yet to make the acquaintance of the one at The Fresh Market so I decided it was time. I was impressed! I found broccoli , kale, and something I haven’t had in a really long time… Okra! And I was excited to find Dr. Praeger’s burgers which I usually buy at Whole Foods. Things are looking good!

In the end, I made it out spending < $50. Win!

IMG_1718 IMG_1723

I put everything away and got started on lunch. I almost named this post “how to make beans into a meal” because that’s exactly what I did next.

Black beans or Pinto beans? One of life’s greatest questions.

IMG_1726 IMG_1733

I went with Pinto beans and decided to make lettuce wraps. Hooray for fresh produce!!!

It was kinda messy, but delicious! I always make beans the same way… Cumin, garlic powder, roasted red pepper flakes, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add all the spices with the beans in a small saucepan with a half a can of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then let simmer until it thickens up (Usually about 20-3o minutes). It’s really up to you how long you want to wait, but I will say the longer you let them simmer the better. The flavors need time to get cozy with each other!

Other meals this week have included portions of that large batch of Quinoa I posted about last time.

IMG_1735 IMG_1742

It’s almost all gone! That bowl was filled to the brim last week.

I’ve been putting various Dr. Praeger’s burgers on top of Quinoa and broccoli.

Today I nixed the broccoli and made a salad…

IMG_1738 IMG_1743

Chopped up Romaine lettuce and Quinoa.

IMG_1744 IMG_1745

Add tomatoes, onion, and cilantro (The holy trinity) and a curry veggie burger.

GetImage2.ashx

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.03.27 PM

Quick meal in less than 10 minutes! It was Soooo good.

If veggie burger’s aren’t your thing, you can always go the seafood route.

IMG_1673 IMG_1676

I really like these Mahi Mahi burgers. The ingredients list is just as impressive as the veggie burgers.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.15.34 PM

Nothing crazy or hard to pronounce. Yay!

I’m almost out of Quinoa so I’ll have to come up with something else in which to create my meals around. Time to get creative!

 

 

 

“Keen-wah”

Quinoa is awesome. This is why…

  • It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Who needs meat??
  • It contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains
  • It contains iron which keeps our red blood cells healthy and happy!
  • It’s gluten-free, wheat-free, and nutrient-packed/li>
  • Quinoa is rich in manganese, iron, potassium, B vitamins and powerful antioxidants

The list could go on and on but these are the highlights for me.

When I was completely vegan Quinoa was a staple in my diet but I haven’t really been eating it lately.

After my trip to Lexington, I came back to Sarasota completely broke. Why do I do this to myself?! Ahh such a good trip so worth it, yes?

Because of my broke-ness I’m officially declaring this no-frills April. Absolutely nothing but buying the essentials. It’s gonna be rough, but I have to get myself out of this financial slump! So I was looking in my pantry the other day for food to make and I found a bag of Quinoa.

IMG_1647 IMG_1650 IMG_1651

The weird seal thing was NOT cooperating so I just cut it off. Bam. I kept the rest in an air-tight container.

I also spotted some frozen Broccoli and Salmon in my freezer. That can totally be turned into a meal.

IMG_1654 IMG_1658

And yes, I had a lemon, too!

I love salmon. I don’t understand people who don’t like it. Weirdos.

After this meal I decided to make a large batch of Quinoa to have readily available for whatever meal I came up with next. I don’t normally cook in batches (because it’s just too convenient and tempting to have cooked food around) but I thought about it and, I mean, I just don’t want to spend 20 minutes cooking Quinoa every time I want it for a meal. Pre-prepard Quinoa lasts a long time in the fridge so, yes, I’ll just go ahead and make the entire bag.

IMG_1649 IMG_1669 IMG_1670

Always, always, always remember to rinse your Quinoa. Rinsing removes Quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although boxed is often pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.

So now I have a batch of Quinoa that continuously calls my name 🙂

I made a salad today which was phenomenal and will definitely be repeated soon.

IMG_1684 IMG_1685 IMG_1687

Pinto Beans, Quinoa, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. YUMMMMM.

To make the Pinto Beans I added cumin, garlic powder, and roasted red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. I let it boil for a few minutes, then simmer on low for ~20 minutes. Since I have ZERO fresh produce I added the tomatoes, onion and cilantro at work. Free baby! Fo’ free.

There is still a large container of Quinoa in my fridge so I have ample opportunity to come up with other meal ideas.

That’s all for now!

No-frills April is gonna suck 😦

Home Sweet Home

It never ceases to amaze me just how fast my trips home fly by. I feel like I was JUST up here…

IMG_1503

Last Tuesday I traveled up to St. Petersburg to stay with my friend Julie. She used to live in Sarasota and worked with me at Outback. I asked her if I could stay at her apt. because my flight to Lexington was at 6:40am!!! I was fully planning on driving myself to the airport and shelling out the $$$ to keep my car in the airport’s parking garage but she is such a nice person and offered to just drive me! I was like… Um you know we have to leave at 5am, right?? She was totally ok with it. Bless her.

We decided to have a girls night out in downtown St. Pete which is absolutely the most gorgeous place I’ve ever been to!

I suggested we have Sushi for dinner (because I always want Sushi) and we went to Sushi, Inc.

They had incredible Sushi and happy hour ($3 house wines!)

sashimi-assortment

Mmmmmm… Sashimi 🙂

Next, we went to Red Mesa Cantina for some Margaritas!

IMG_1496 IMG_1497

This was some kind of passion fruit flavored marg and it was deeeeelicious.

Red Mesa Cantina is awesome. Right in the middle of downtown and the patio has such a cool vibe.

l 22

After a couple margs we went back to her apartment to crash. 5am came WAY too early. We were running late and I was one of the last people on the airplane. Yikes! To be fair though, I would’ve made it through security a whole lot faster if the jerk at ticketing didn’t give me so much grief about my bag being 8 lbs overweight. I have flown Allegiant many, many times and they have NEVER weighed my bag. Now there is a 40 lb limit? WTF. He was just about to charge the card on file a $50 fee before I was like, “Hold up there buddy! Let me move some stuff around!”

Yeah… I was that girl off to the side, suitcase wide open, looking for the heaviest items to remove. I’m sure I could be heard mumbling, “It’s 5am, I’m cranky, and I’ll be damned if I have to pay $50 for a measly 8 lbs!!”

The first items out of my suitcase were my heavy rain boots. Again, WTF. I cursed myself for packing them (especially since I didn’t even end up needing them). I put those on and put the (much lighter) flip-flops I was wearing in my backpack. Ok… what’s next? Coats. I put on a hoodie and then a jacket. Great. Now I’m cranky AND hot. That’s gotta be enough, right?

That jerk behind the counter was staring me down the whole time but I didn’t care. I was getting on that airplane with all my stuff and with my $50.

I went back up to the counter, determined, and my suitcase went on the stupid scale and was still overweight. The guy suggested start throwing stuff away. Are you effing kidding me? I just looked at him in disbelief and said, very calmly, “I’M NOT THROWING MY STUFF AWAY.” GRRRRRR. Off to the side again I go.

I filled my pockets with make-up bags and stuffed my backpack with 2 pairs of jeans and sweaters. Ok, let’s try this again.

42.3 lbs. OMG this is a nightmare. I just shook my head. He FINALLY relented and let me go. BUT, not before he made sure my backpack fit in the one of these sizers…

allegiant-sizers-grouped

You could probably guess that it did not. But I had made it this far so I was not going back! So I shoved it half-way in one of the slots, declared “it fits!” and I went off to security without looking back. Going through security is a whole other story. I’m sure you can imagine. BUT I finally made it onto the plane and had 2 seats to myself! Score!!

The flight was largely uneventful. Since I had been running so behind I didn’t get a chance to grab coffee before boarding which kinda annoyed me, but I guess in the end it was ok because I just sprawled out and went to sleep.

IMG_1514After we landed, I rented a car, drove to my dad’s house, and went back to sleep. Or at least tried to sleep. I tossed and turned so I got up, showered, then went downstairs and ate lunch with my dad and Grenda. She made pinto beans & cornbread. Such a great southern meal. To be honest, my mom makes it way better, but Grenda’s was still pretty good.

I chopped up onion and jalapeños and went to town! This is some serious comfort food. So filling, yummy, and delicious.

After lunch I hung around the house for a little bit and then I went to meet up with my friend Ed in Hamburg. We planned on dinner at Malone’s/Harry’s/Aqua (basically a three-in-one type restaurant where we both used to work) then drinks after at Bd’s.

I really wanted Aqua Sushi. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. The annoying thing is though… for all the years I worked there I never took advantage of my sushi connection. One of the sushi guys (ironically named Harry) always asked me what I wanted to eat.. FOR FREE!! I always got something totally generic and boring like crab rangoon or the California roll (which is just basically rice, avo, and imitation crab meat). So many missed Sashimi opportunities! I digress.

We started out with seaweed salad and edamame…

23

And I, of course, ordered my usual salmon, tuna, yellowtail sashimi combo. YUMMMM.

The best part is… Ed and I ended up seeing a guy we used to work with named Walt. He is super nice and actually manages there now. It just happened to be his night off and he was eating there with a friend so we all sat together. At the end of the meal, Walt put all of our sushi on his manager card. I ended up owing like $7 for my wine. SCORE! Thanks Walt!

Then, Walt orders this mountain of deliciousness…

lsIs it sad that I’m famous at Malone’s for my love of this cookie?

When I used to work there I, no lie, averaged about 4 cookies a week. It is seriously the most delicious thing EVER. But, I mustered all the will power in my entire body and didn’t take a single bite.

Everyone was amazed!

I was like, did I really eat a lot of these???

Ed looked at me with, “C’mon now!” eyes which told me… yes. yes I did.

We went to Bd’s after dinner for a couple dollar drafts and then I went to meet my friend Alex at The Village Idiot, where he works. He wasn’t quite off yet so I just chilled at the bar and had a glass of wine. We went to Silks/Rosebuds after but I ended up leaving early because I was so tired.

I woke up Thursday morning around 11 and went to have lunch at Bd’s with Ed. We like to eat a lot together apparently. Bd’s is a Mongolian grill where you pick out what you want from a huge buffet bar and then they sauté it for you on a huge circular grill.

bdsdayton4 lss

I made a bowl full of shrimp, scallops, veggies, cilantro, and teriyaki sauce. I’m a big fan of lettuce wraps 🙂

IMG_1525 IMG_1526

I left to go hang out with my dad. We watched TV and made an early light dinner. I really wasn’t hungry because of my big lunch, but I nibbled on some chips. My dad left to go run an errand and Alex texted me and said I should meet him at Drake’s with Brian. OK!

16LDZn.AuSt.79

Drake’s wasn’t very busy which was really nice because that place can be a nightmare sometimes. We sat at the bar and talked. I drank white wine (seriously don’t know why I’ve been on such a white wine kick lately) and because I was now hungry again I ordered some Sushi. Yup, sure did. After I ate, we ordered more drinks and went to sit in large leather couches by the fireplace next to the bar and talked about old stories and laughed a lot. I love those kind of moments with my friends 🙂

After Drake’s, we went over to Brian’s house and met up with our friend Chris! We went to Campus Pub and then downtown to a bar called Trust for $1 fireball shots. Such a crazy fun night with everyone back together again! Eventually, Scott, Chris, and I ended up at Tolly-Ho. Chili-cheese fries… my kryptonite! Why do I love them so much?! I always feel like crap after I eat them. Le sigh.

The next day (Friday) I met up with Ed and his sister Becca at Keeneland!

IMG_1532 IMG_1531

We didn’t make a million dollars, but had a great time! It was Becca’s first time so we showed her the ropes.

IMG_1538

Can I just take a second to address my serious double-chin?! I blame the chili cheese fries.

We went to Bonefish after the last race, ate a bunch of yummy food including calamari, crab cakes, and bang bang shrimp tacos, and then I went home to take an EPIC nap and didn’t wake up until 11pm. DOH! It took every ounce of energy I had to get out of bed and get ready to go out. My friends were at McCarthys and once I got there I was immediately glad I rallied. So much fun! We all planned on going to Keeneland early so when I got home I immediately crawled back in bed.

Scott was ADAMANT about leaving at 10am, so I woke up at 8:30am to get ready.

Breakfast of Champions!!!

IMG_1539

Organic toasted oat cereal, organic blueberries, and almond milk. FTW.

Scotty texted me at 9:30am and the conversation went as follows….

IMG_1641

So, clearly leaving at 10am was out. It’s cool though because it gave me time to pick up some champagne and OJ. Nothing says good morning like a mimosa (or 3!). I went over to Scott’s house, left my car there, and rode with him. We met up with Brian, Lauren, and Vanessa later and went to pick up a guy named Gavin. It took a while, but we finally made it to Keeneland!

IMG_1540 IMG_1543

We got the last few spots in the Louisville lot. Hooray!!!!! It was almost a disaster though because Brian got the last spot on the corner and the Keeneland guy said Scott and I had to go around to the other end of the lot to park Scott’s truck. Scott was about to do it too! I, of course, piped in and said NO! We’re with them! And pointed to Brian’s car. The guy was super nice and let us park in a small space next to Brian’s car. YES!!

We sat in the back of Scott’s truck soaking up the sun for a while trying to warm up.

Brian and I switched sunglasses for a photo op, which for some reason brought out my “duck face?”

A little later in the afternoon, Chris, Meredith, and Ashley met up with us.

IMG_1547 IMG_1549

After a few more drinks in the parking lot we made our way inside….

IMG_1566

Once inside we established a home base for everyone to meet up if we got lost. Good call because it came in handy after Brian, Lauren, and I went off to find food (hot dogs!) Mmmmmm.

We placed bets and I lost more money 😦 Ahhh well.

We left to go take a nap (or so I thought!) Scott drove us to eat a Josie’s with Chris and Meredith. I was exhausted so I really only remember stealing some of Scott’s fries and drinking multiple glasses of water trying my hardest not to fall asleep.

We finally left and went to Scott’s house to nap. Well, Scott napped and I played with his adorable niece and nephew!

We went to Brian’s house later to watch the game! I wish I had pictures! It was awesome!!! We decided to go downtown to celebrate the win!!!!!

IMG_1577

We went to Wildcat Saloon and had a great time 🙂 I went home, still with a huge smile on my face. Love my Cats 🙂

I woke up the next day to this…

IMG_1561

My dad knows me so well 🙂 I just noticed how he spelled fridge haha.

Scott and I decided to go to brunch/lunch at Doodles. I opted for my usual Huevos Rancheros. Delish!

blog-huevos-rancheros-before

Scott went home and I went over to 3rd street stuff for a coffee. My dad wasn’t free until dinner so I walked around Lexington a little before going home. I started packing because my flight was Monday morning.

I went to eat with dad later at the Good Foods Coop. They have a great hot bar and little cafe. I ordered the falafel pita. Nom nom nom… Again no pictures. Blogger fail.

I met up with Alex and Scott at Campus pub later that night which is were I came up with a brilliant idea. I really, really, really wanted to stay to watch the game. I looked on Allegiant.com and found a flight on Wednesday morning for $85! Say what!? I was off work anyway and had school under control. So I called my dad, talked with him about it, and he was just like go for it! Alex and Scott we like go for it! So…. I went for it!

We went to Molly Brooke’s later and I went home around midnight.

(I’ve just realized how lengthy this post is so I’m gonna try to wrap it up. Especially since it does not end well).

The next day I got ready to watch my Cats play in the Championship!!!!

IMG_1582 IMG_1588

Shameless selfies. I was bored all afternoon so I curled my hair!

I went to visit Alex at work around 6pm and hung out with him until around 8. I talked to Brian and he said everyone was going over to Fielding’s house. I went over there and realized I really just wanted to go out for the game. So I left. But I came back for the second half!

I watched the first half of the game at Malibu pub with my friend’s Alex P, Hannah, Lynsey, and saw Hampie and Joe Malone!

IMG_1596 IMG_1592

Alex P and her BF ordered blue LIT’s but they looked weird to me so I didn’t try them.

Like I said, I went back over the Fielding’s for the second half, and watched in horror as we lost to UCONN 😦

You could feel the entire city of Lexington just deflate. There was talk of going to Campus Pub, but I honestly just wanted to go home. So I did.

The next day I went to lunch with Alex P, Lynsey, and Hannah at Sidebar grill. I ordered the black bean burger with sweet potato fries which was just simply amazing.

thumb_600

The burger was made in house (not the frozen processed kind) and the fries were actual sweet potatoes cut into long slices and fried (again, not the frozen processed kind). I left feeling full and happy!!

I went back to my dads, but he was at work for most of the day. I finished up some homework then went to meet up with Ed at Bd’s for a couple last beers.

Later, I met up with Alex at his work (that guy is always working!) and we went to Rosebuds (an he always wants to go there!) I was tired from the crazy weekend so I went home early.

I flew out early Wednesday and made it back home around 1pm yesterday. I cleaned my house, did some laundry, and went to work.

IMG_1632 IMG_1639

What a trip!!!