Tag Archives: food


Long time no post.  I keep telling myself I will make blogging a regular habit and it never happens.  I used to blog all the time on my previous blog, but not so much with this one.  Life is busy!  Let’s chunk this up into some sections to update!


On Friday, I will be 25 weeks pregnant.  Time sure is flying by, which I did not think was going to happen.  When I first found out I was pregnant in March, November seemed SO FAR AWAY, but no, it’s not.  It’s less than 4 months away, which is a little scary.  We still have SO much to do to get ready for our little nugget.  We are having our baby shower next month back home and I am so, so, so excited for that!  Until then, I will be enjoying the great parts of pregnancy (baby wiggles!) and trying to enjoy the uncomfortable parts.


I’ve had a friend staying with me most of the summer and she’s my eating partner.  I’ve been using her sourdough starter to make all sorts of tasty treats including waffles, bread, and pretzels.  We’ve also been eating out at really great restaurants.  We went to the No Frill Bar & Grill last night and got the largest order of nachos I’ve ever seen.  They were fairly epic, and certainly the best nachos I’ve had in Norfolk, top 3 overall anywhere.

                                                   IMG_5122 IMG_5166

Military Life!

So Norfolk is still an adjustment.  Yesterday, the “feels like” temperature was 104 degrees.  No thank you.  I’m still adapting to the aspect of military life that my husband doesn’t come home every night.  Our last duty station was recruiting, so it was a Monday-Friday sort of job, but my husband’s “normal” job is not like that and requires deployments (both long and short) and duty every few days so he isn’t home.  It’s very weird for me, but I’m figuring it all out!


Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

My husband is an eater.  He prefers things featuring high spice levels, meat, cheese and basically anything wrapped in a tortilla, but I’m pretty lucky in that my husband will eat basically anything put in front of him.  Last night we compromised by having sausage burgers on homemade cheese buns, grilled potatoes (oh my goodness, so good!), and this delicious quinoa salad.  I thought it was delicious, and apparently so did he because he also had it for breakfast and a post-run snack today.  Which is all well and good, except for the fact that there’s no more left for me!  So I’ll be making this again, and you should try it too!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette 

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water or broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (equivalent to 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed (optional)

1. Bring water/broth to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover.  Quinoa usually takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook.  It should be soft and water should be absorbed.  Let quinoa cool slightly.
2.  Add beans and corn to medium sized bowl.  Mix together.
3. Add slightly cooled quinoa and vinaigrette (see below for recipe), mix together.
4. Fold in tomatoes and pepper, if using.
5. Eat!  Can be served cold or room temperature.

Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would be fine)
1- 1.5 tbsp lime juice, to taste (I used 1.5 because I like the zing!)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper, to taste
hot sauce, to taste (optional, I used chipotle Tabasco)

1. Whisk/shake together all ingredients.  Taste and season accordingly to your preference. 
(I like to make my dressings in mason jars, so they can be quickly shaken together)




I moved to Virginia.  We moved for my husband’s job and even though I knew the move was coming, and I was excited before we left, I don’t love it (yet).  I’m sure I will eventually, but right now, I just want to be home.  As I tell my husband – I don’t have a job (yet), I don’t have any friends (yet), I have no life other than grocery shopping and hanging with our dogs, and I miss my “New England life”.  I love where I’m from and usually, I love moving around, but this time I find myself in a funk, bummed out, and with no real inclination to change that.  I know it will work out and sometime our in our 4-5 tenure here, I will find my niche and I will love it.  We’re going home next weekend for Memorial Day and I’m really excited about that, and my best friend is coming down for most of the summer so that’s good too!

In the meantime, I have been buying a lot of groceries (it’s sort of my happy place), cooking a lot (and eating out a lot), and exercising a little.  Right when I start to feel in my exercise groove here, something shifts and I take 4 days off.  It’s all good though!  So, what I have been cooking?

Yesterday, I made Gruyere Rolls & Raspberry Chia Squares.  They were both delicious.  I ate a roll for lunch and a roll for dinner with a homemade veggie burger.  And, I had a toasted roll for breakfast.  I like to make the rolls much smaller than the recipe suggests, so they are more like sandwich buns or dinner rolls.  The raspberry squares are nice because they’re a little lighter than the average dessert bar (and slightly less sweet), but they do taste delicious with a little ice cream on top!

unnamed (1) unnamed

Other things I made since we arrived (a month ago, oh goodness!) were cinnamon rolls (for my husband’s 30th birthday), a Bavarian feast, an impossible amount of salads (to combat the heat), vegan stuffed shells, empanadas, foccacia and so many meals on the grills (kabobs, burgers, veggies, shrimp, pork tenderloin).

IMG_4612 IMG_4627 IMG_4641 IMG_4571 

We’ve also been making a fence a.k.a doggy prison for the pups.  My skills at using a level are basically unmatched.

unnamed (2) Anyway, I’m hoping now with my incredible amount of free time that I can use this space as a place to unwind and share all of the recipes and food that I always meant to.  I’ll try to keep my whining to a minimum. xo

A Day in My Life: Food

I love food.  Like, really love food.  I’m also passionate about nutrition (it’s my favorite area within my degree and I love talking about it) and I make a pretty good effort every day to have a good balance of all of the food groups & different macronutrients.  There are of course, meals that are a little more decadent or days when I eat popcorn for lunch (I really love popcorn!), but it all balances out.  I mean, popcorn is a whole grain…  I thought since I’m on vacation this week (in between work ending and my practicum starting) it might be fun to document a day of food in my life.

8:30 am – Breakfast!  I slept in today because a. I’m on vacation, b. have you ever tried to sleep with a 120 pound Newfoundland laying on top of you? and c. my husband got up at 4:30 to go to the gym and made more noise than a herd of baby elephants learning to walk.

Breakfast was three eggs from my chickens, 1/2  an avocado, salsa and jalapeno hot sauce (that stuff is marvelous).  I wanted to mix it up a little this morning, because I’ve had oatmeal the last two mornings and I’ve been starving less than 2 hours later.  I also had lemon water & tea (sipping this today) before settling in to write some lesson plans with my furry friends.

                      breakfast  puppies

I did a quick workout from Pinterest, because I decided it was way too cold to go outside.  This was in fact a 15 minute workout – I finished in 14:50.  I subbed crunches and static lunges for the jump lunges & squats because my knee is a little irritated.


Then I had lunch at noon – delicious corn chowder leftovers with seltzer while watching Chicago P.D.  Today has been a super lazy day, so I decided to roll with it and have a nap too!  Glad to see my eggs held me over better this morning!


Afternoon snack (4:30) was a delicious & decadent chocolate lava cake eaten cold from the fridge.  So rich, but so delicious.  I made three of them last night as a midweek treat for the man & I and while my intentions were to save this one for him, it was calling me in the fridge!  It’s not pretty, but it tasted divine!


I was also doing some dinner prep (Jagerschnitzel & risotto) when my husband called to say his parents invited us over.  At least things are started for tomorrow night. 🙂  We had pulled pork sandwiches and homemade coleslaw at his parents, but I skipped the photo!

A Weekend in Providence, RI

Weeks ago, as I was planning my schedule, I realized I finally had a weekend (mostly) free of obligations and scheduled a weekend trip to Providence to visit one of my very best friends.  I was only there from Friday evening to Sunday morning, so we mostly just ate, along with trips to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Christmas Tree Shops.  Oh, and we saw Divergent, but if you liked the books, you probably won’t love the movie.  I basically disliked every character’s actor and I thought the movie was really long.  Anyways though, all I’m going to talk about is food.

Garden Grille Café

IMG_1874 My friend chose Garden Grille because it’s vegetarian and she’s a vegetarian and it had good reviews.  It did not disappoint!  We had Downeast Ciders to start.  I love hard cider.  We decide to split three entrees – the sweet potato and yucca latkes with creole aioli, korean tempeh tacos (which had tempeh, cabbage, guacamole, and chipotle mayo), and apple & cheddar pizza.  The latkes and tacos were vegan, and we chose to have normal cheddar cheese on the pizza.  The latkes and tacos were so good, my friend got takeout from Garden Grill two nights later for those items!  The pizza was good, but it was nothing special – something I could have whipped up at home.  Overall, we loved the atmosphere, and the funky menu, we would just skip that particular pizza and get the butternut squash enchilada next time!

IMG_1876 IMG_1875 IMG_1878 



WildFlour is a vegan bakery and juice bar that happens to conveniently be almost right next door to Garden Grille.  We decided to skip a dessert at Garden Grille and went over to Wildflour instead.  I had a chocolate peanut butter cupcake (with excellent peanut butter fudge filling), while my friend had a chocolate peanut butter brownie and peppermint tea.  The server was nice enough to let us smell a few of the teas before she decided and the Earl Grey smelled wonderful.  We had plans to get juices/smoothies and tea here on Sunday morning, but they didn’t open until 8, and I left a little earlier than that.  I was eyeing the “sillyantro” green juice though – spinach, kale, parsley, pineapple, orange juice and ginger.  Juice is definitely on the list for next time.

The Duck and Bunny


First of all, the Duck & Bunny is SUCH an adorable place.  It’s an old house converted into a restaurant with fun chandeliers and marble tabletops.  We went there for brunch Saturday morning.  We had pots of tea (I got Earl Grey, which was a little lemony for my taste, but my friend got Coconut Truffle, which was AMAZING.) to start, which they called “wee pots”.  For our brunch we had truffle oil home fries, red velvet pancakes with cream cheese glaze, and the creperito which was burrito filling in a crepe!  Everything was delicious, though the fries and the creperito needed extra salt.  Yum, yum, yum in general though.  Plus, I got a dark chocolate salted caramel cupcake to go and it was delicious.

IMG_1884 IMG_1883 IMG_1882IMG_1889

The Grange

The Grange is another vegetarian restaurant in Providence that we ate at on Saturday night.  It’s much bigger than Garden Grille and the atmosphere is different – much louder and hipper, but I liked the intimacy of Garden Grille slightly more.  The food was yum though.  We got the pommes frites with new bay aioli, scallion pancake rolls (with sweet potato and black beans), the cheese plate with crusty bread, honey, house made mustard, apples and apple butter, and pickled shallot, and lastly, the Korean seitan tacos.  Everything was delicious, though we didn’t finish the scallion pancake rolls.

IMG_1887 IMG_1886 IMG_1885

Seven Stars Bakery

We stopped here for a quick bite literally minutes before I left to head home.  My iPhone was dead, but I had a cheddar scone and a very, very large Earl Grey tea.  Both yum.  I love the food here when I visit, but there’s not much of a cozy coffee shop atmosphere, I have to say,  There are no comfy armchairs and no wi-fi, which is sad, because the location is nearly right next to my friend’s apartment.

On the list for next time:  high tea at The Duck and Bunny, Indian food at Rasoi, smoothies at WildFlour, and more!

My St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Hey!  Happy Saturday!  I’m feeling pretty happy because I was supposed to babysit tonight (after graduate school most of the day) and they ended up rescheduling so I get my evening back.  Dinner is in the oven, I have no homework, and my husband isn’t home yet, so I thought I’d share about my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  (And then my husband came home and now it’s Sunday morning and I am finishing this post)

One of my 26 by 26 goals was to have a dinner party and the other was to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s day (because I do every year and I love it).  Two birds, one stone people.  We ended up only having my husband’s parents and grandparents over because other people canceled or couldn’t make it, but it was still fun.  Here’s what we had:

Bread:  I made Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread, which is one of my favorite easy quick breads, and I made it last year and Darren’s 82 year old grandfather was still talking about it in July.  In fact, there was nearly none left over, so I will probably make another batch soon – it’s so nice with breakfast too!

Main:  Obviously, corned beef and cabbage.  To make it, I put about 6 lbs of lean corned beef in a large stockpot covered with water.  I added peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and mustard powder (the corned beef I bought didn’t come with a spice packet, but if yours does, you can skip the additional seasoning).  Brought to a boil, then simmered about 2 1/2 hours.  I added about a pound of carrots, potatoes and onion and cooked for 30 minutes more.  Added chopped cabbage and cooked a few minutes more.  Scooped out veggies into a bowl, sliced the corned beef and feasted!

Dessert(s):  I made chocolate stout cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were a huge hit – my father in law ate 3.  Darren’s grandma brought this chocolate mint dessert (which I looooove), so that was exciting too,

image image (1)

Overall, it was a successful endeavor, though sort of a copout as far as dinner parties go!  Smile

Do you like to have people over for dinner?