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Posts Tagged ‘Dinner’

Baraonda in Midtown

Another weekend comes to an end… congrats to Pen and Lee for finishing the ING Marathon and Half Marathon today! The weather in Atlanta was beautiful on Friday and Saturday, but what was with it being dark & rainy ALL day today?!

My grandparents are in town from Lancaster, PA (Yes, I grew up in Amish country… but no, I’m not Amish. :)), so we met up on Friday night and had dinner at Baraonda in Midtown. Traffic was awful on Friday – part of Peachtree was closed for some reason – so it took me forever to get from Buckhead to Midtown.

Oh, but the weather was glorious and everyone was out enjoying it!

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We got there around 7:30, and it was nice to still have some daylight!

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I have only been to Baraonda once before, and it was on a date right after I moved to Atlanta in ’07. Needless to say, I was long overdue for another visit! I chose Baraonda because we needed a place that would have several meatless options (Fridays during Lent= no meat), and something for everyone (since there were 7 of us). Really, it has been on my mind since I read that Angie booked it for her reception!

Dad, Mom, Grandma (dad’s mom):

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My mom & I split the gorgonzola + pear salad, which was served with the most delicious lemon honey dressing on the side.

We all ended up ordering pizzas, which worked out perfectly. I had the Quattro Formaggi, which had gorgonzola, mozzarella, fontina, and provolone cheeses on it. Total heaven! I brought 1/2 of it home and heated it up for lunch yesterday.

What’s your favorite kind of pizza? I really don’t discriminate- I like 4 cheese, white pizza, and veggie (no olives) the best!

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Meet the grandparents!

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Andrew (my 14 year old brother) and I:

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Since my grandparents live in PA, I only see them a couple of times a year, so I always look forward to seeing them. I even told them about my blog. Hi grandma and grandpa! 🙂 Baraonda worked out well for us- we could all hear each other, and everyone loved what they ordered. As my dad ate, he proclaimed that he’s going to be back. 😉

So, how did I do on my goals last week?

  • Go to hot yoga once: Fail (I planned on going on Friday, but I didn’t have time to before I met my family for dinner. I plan on going earlier in the week this week- that way, I won’t have any excuses!)
  • Try one new recipe: Success (Chocolate mint pie! )
  • Study for 1-2 hours each day: Success
  • Turn the computer/tv off by 10:00 pm: Success (And as a result, I felt much more well-rested last week. I think that goal is a keeper!)

Night!

-Laura

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Hey guys! I just watched Jessica Simpson’s new show, called The Price of Beauty. I read that it debuted (on Monday night) to really low numbers, but I ended up really liking it. She travels all over the world with Ken Paves and Cacee Cobb, and they look at different cultures and their beauty treatments/practices. It’s really interesting, and I’ll definitely watch it again. Have you seen The Price of Beauty?

Last night, I met my goal of trying one new recipe this week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lofty goal, but I rarely follow recipes, so this goal works for me.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I made Kristin’s chocolate mint pie.  

Chocolate Mint Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 package sugar-free, fat-free instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free whip cream, divided
  • green food coloring
  • 12 mint Oreo cookies
  • 1 pre-made Oreo cookie pie crust

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Directions:

1. Place Oreos in a plastic bag and crush until the cookie pieces are the size of marbles.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes, or until it is soft set. Fold in 3/4 cup cool whip and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Gently fold in 1 cup of crushed Oreos.

3. Pour filling into pre-made pie crust and spread until even.

4. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup cool whip, 1/4 tsp peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Pour on top of the pudding and spread until even.

5. Top with remaining Oreo cookie pieces and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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You’re going to laugh, but look what happened when I cut myself a piece tonight. You guys, I even chilled this overnight. Definitely not as pretty as Kristin’s pie turned out! I guess I could have put it in the freezer, but my refrigerator is set at normal temps, so I’m not sure why THIS happened…

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Just because it didn’t look pretty doesn’t mean that it didn’t taste pretty! It’s really tasty, and it was very easy to throw together. Now if only I could keep my hand out of the cookie jar (The leftover mint Oreo cookies are better than I imagined!), then we’d be in business. 😉

If you like chocolate, and you like peppermint, then you should definitely make this!

Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year? Not only did I forget to wear green (Who does that?) but I fell asleep on the couch around 9:00! What can I say- I was tired. 🙂

-Laura

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Frittata Cupcakes

Who wants the truth? I didn’t think that anyone was going to guess it, but lowandbhold got it right! Truth: I have really neat handwriting.

It was really fun to read the guesses, and even though I made up the lies (each one had an element of truth to it), it was funny to see you guys guess them!

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I made Caitlin’s frittata cupcakes for dinner tonight. I combined 4 eggs, 1/4 cup 2% milk, 1/2 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of a sauteed red pepper & 1/2 of a green pepper, and salt + pepper. I poured the mixture into 6 greased cupcake tins and baked it at 350* for 40 minutes.

The frittata cupcakes are really cute and would be perfect for a brunch. I’ll probably reheat a couple for breakfast tomorrow, too. 🙂

On the side, I had Trader Joe’s roasted potatoes with onions and peppers. I heated the potatoes and the other 1/2 of the red and green peppers in a pan for about 10 minutes.

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What are three truths about you?  I love learning random facts about you guys!

-Laura

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Return of Hot Yoga

Happy Friday!

I decided to do something different today- go to hot yoga! Hot yoga was my main form of exercise for two years (minus the summers- too hot!), so it was weird that I hadn’t been there since December.

Here’s the thing about hot yoga- it’s expensive, time-consuming, and each class is always the same 26 poses. When I ran out of classes in December, I just decided to let it go and give my budget some breathing room.

I really like the yoga classes at my gym, but my love for hot yoga may have been re-ignited after tonight’s class! Maybe I’ll get a 10 class pack for some variation in my workouts. What do you think? Do you belong to a gym or yoga studio? Are you happy with what you get for what you pay?

By the time I got home, it was 7:30 and I knew that I wanted something easy and meatless (since I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent). Dr. Praeger’s to the rescue!

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What’s your favorite brand of veggie burgers?

I had the veggie burger on bagel thins, with spicy chipotle sweet potato fries on the side.

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And you know that dessert comes next!

I put ~1/2 a bag of frozen raspberries into a saucepan, simmered them for about 10 minutes, and added 2 tbs of sugar. I didn’t strain the seeds out, but you definitely could if they bother you.

There was a lot of raspberry sauce leftover, so I’ll definitely be putting it on oatmeal and everything else that I eat for the next two days! 😉

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I put the raspberry sauce on top of a scoop of Trader Joe’s nonfat plain (tart) frozen yogurt. On the side, I had a TJ’s lemon bar.

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I loved this combo- raspberry and lemon go so well together!

I just watched the premiere of Real Housewives of New York. It seems like it’s going to be an intense season and I “need” a show to replace The Bachelor. Maybe The Bachelor is refusing to replace his turtleneck with something else, but I won’t refuse a drama-filled TV show!

Night!

-Laura

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It snowed again today! I looked out my window at work, saw the flurries, and thought for sure that the office was going to close early. But no! The snow never stuck to the ground. The fact that it has snowed in Atlanta twice in the last month is just weird!

Who wasted three hours watched The Bachelor finale last night? I did, I did! I had the theme song – On the Wings of Love – stuck in my head all day… awful! Were you surprised that Jake chose Vienna? I will be shocked if they end up getting married… it just seems like he spends so much time defending her and explaining her immaturity. My favorite part of the episode was when Neil Lane showed up… Jake did pick a gorgeous (free?) engagement ring! Oh, and lets not even get into the fact that Jake is going to be on DANCING WITH THE STARS?! Thoughts?

Onto tonight’s dinner…

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Leftovers! (I made this on Sunday.)

I put the leftover Trader Joe’s masala simmer sauce into a pan with a little water (the jar said to do this but it diluted the sauce too much, in my opinion), along with boneless chicken pieces, and simmered it for ~15 minutes. Easy enough!

I had the chicken with brown rice, and roasted chickpeas on the side. I had chickpeas in the fridge, so I just tossed them with olive oil, s + p, and roasted them at 400* for 25 minutes. I love picking up little “recipes” from the blog world- they’re always tried & true!

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Dessert?

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Snyder’s pretzel sticks, dipped in Nutella! This jar doesn’t stand a chance with me. 😉

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What’s your favorite way to eat Nutella?

I like it in gelato, or on pretzels or toasted bread!

-Laura

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Girls Dinner at Agave

Last night, we had a girls dinner at Agave in Cabbagetown. It’s a southwestern restaurant that has been on my list of restaurants to try for over two years now (I know, what was I waiting for?!), so I was really looking forward to it!

I love where I live because it’s close to work, shopping malls, a park, grocery stores, etc. BUT, when it comes to dining out, most of the restaurants in my neighborhood are fairly predictable. As in, you know what the experience is going to be like before you go there. That’s why I don’t mind driving around/across town to dine out- the experiences are more interesting and the atmospheres are more varied.

Lauren and Liz came over to our apartment for a glass of wine before dinner… the four of us managed to take care of a bottle of pinot grigio. 😉

We gave ourselves enough time to get across town without any traffic (I mean, who plans for traffic on a Saturday night?), but then this happened…

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And then we remembered… there was a Jay Z concert! It was all Jay Z’s fault that we were late!

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The place was packed, and since we were late, we headed to the bar while we waited for a table. I ordered a Skinnygirl margarita– tequila, lime juice, and agave. It’s like a regular margarita, but without the sour mix so it’s not as sweet. If you like margaritas, then you should definitely try one of these!

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Picture time. Take one- I’m a giant!

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Take two… better:

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Once we were seated, we started with chips and guacamole. The server told us that it’s the best guacamole he’s ever had, and well, that wasn’t enough for me so I asked him why.

His response? Crema! As in, they add a bit of heavy whipping cream to it. Insane. It was really good, but I’ve never met guacamole that I didn’t like.

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I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas.

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As always, the picture doesn’t do the plate justice. My camera isn’t very good at picking up light, so I used the flash (which is pretty ridiculous when you’re sitting in the middle of a restaurant)…

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The enchiladas were full of flavor… I loved the smoked chicken. This dish wasn’t as traditional as I expected it to be, and while I can’t quite pinpoint why, that didn’t stop me from joining the clean plate club! At one point, we all looked up and agreed that we were all heading to clean plate city. Everything was great!

I had 1-2 glasses of wine at home (I didn’t drive) and the margarita with dinner, and that margarita left me pretty tipsy! Margaritas get me every time… I felt fine by the time I went to bed, but I woke up with a headache and have been tired all day. I seriously can’t drink a thing without being hungover the next day! I guess my college days are long gone…

Do you like to have a drink (or two or three) with dinner? I love having a glass of wine at home and then a fancy cocktail (or glass of wine) with dinner, but the combination of expensive drinks and the aftermath often leaves me wondering why I still enjoy it!

The Bachelor finale is tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! (Did I really just type that?) Will you be watching or do you actually have a life? 😉

-Laura

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Just an Ordinary Day

Just a day, just an ordinary day… remember that song?

So, I thought that I’d give you a peek into a typical day for me. I’m always curious about other people’s schedules/routines, so I’m operating under the assumption that you’re curious about mine. Ha 😉

Here goes nothing!

6:45 Alarm goes off… roll out of bed, put contacts in, shower

7:10 Make bed, breakfast (to go) and iced coffee

7:20 Hair, makeup, get dressed

7:50 Drive to work

7:58 Arrive in parking garage

8:03-2:00 Work

2:00 Eat lunch

3:30 (This isn’t typical, but…) Hear fire trucks, look out the window and see smoke… AHH!

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We seriously watched this for probably 20 minutes before the top floor erupted into flames. It was scary to watch- it was hard to tell if they were going to contain it before it got to the next house.

Sad 😦

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4:35 Leave work

4:45 Stop at CVS for floss… yes, floss… thisclose to buying other random stuff, but tell myself no

5:00 Stuck behind an elderly man who can’t remember his ATM pin. After trying 3x, he gets out another card. The line is 7 deep at this point. Success.

5:05 Leave CVS. Not surprised to see that said elderly man is making a left onto Peachtree, and instead of waiting until traffic is clear on both sides, he pulls out and blocks 3 lanes of traffic until the other side is clear. Scary!

5:10 Early to yoga… happy because this never happens

5:30-6:45 Yoga

6:50 Walk over to Trader Joe’s to get the ingredients for Ameena’s Mango Tandoori Chicken Pizza.

7:10 Arrive home

7:20 Realize that I don’t have time to marinate the chicken for an hour, because you know, I’m busy doing things like not reading the book for book club and watching TMZ…

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8:45 Pizza is ready!

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I didn’t see any tandoori masala at Trader Joe’s, so I used the masala simmer sauce in its place. I also ended up baking the pizza for an extra 5 minutes- Trader Joe’s pizza dough is always unpredictable when it comes to baking time.

I cut myself two pieces, but went back for another one not long after this picture…

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I loved this recipe. It was unique, easy to follow and DELICIOUS. Thanks, Ameena!

Off to watch the Olympics and get a good night’s sleep… I have been staying up way too late lately!

-Laura

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