Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Upper Crust.

As mentioned earlier, G promised that he would buy me lunch today (he needs to stop making deals with me about walking the dog).  I decided that we should go back to Upper Crust again because I really wanted to try their salads and sweet potato fries.

G got the same sub that I got last time; the Charm City Cheesesteak.  That thing is seriously good.  There were times during lunch that I wished that I had been a little more "bad".  Don't worry, I picked at it :)

I had the Strawberry Brie salad, which had spinach, strawberries, apples, walnuts, and a champagne and brie dressing.  I thought there was going to be some brie on the salad, but I guess it's just in the dressing.  Yummy, but I could make it at home.  The dressing was phenomenal, though.

And there are my sweet potato fries.  Yummy.  Too much food.  And G also had a slice of pepperoni pizza (he only ate 1/2 the sub).

Such a good restaurant!  I also had a Cadbury egg :)  One of my all time favorite candies.  Alright, now I need to start prepping dinner!  And finish that school work that's constantly looming over me.

Snowed in.

Did anyone else get a big snow yesterday?  Funny enough, my parents on the Eastern Shore got 10-12", which NEVER happens.  I'm sure the shore is in a state of shock.  We got a few inches; just enough to be annoying in my opinion.  Can you tell I'm a summer girl?

Yesterday for lunch I tried out one of the soups that Amy's recently sent me.  I haven't tried many of Amy's products besides soups, but I really need to.  I love that their ingredients are all REAL and the taste is fresh.  I always hear good things about their frozen entrees.  Yesterday I had the Hearty Spanish Rice and Red Beans.

It was really good.  Thick and spicy like a nice chili.  I did add some hot sauce to it because I like food to have a little more kick than the average person, but it really didn't need it.  Yum I can't wait to try the others.  Thanks Amy's!

I also had a pomegranate Chobani with granola.

I've had this flavor before and I love it.  All of their yogurt tastes like you added the fruit to it yourself.  You can't beat that.

Followed by a Vitabrownie.

I think I like the chocolate Vitatops more than the brownies.

For dinner, I made some chicken noodle soup with matzo balls and salad with bread.  It was a serious soup day!

I also shared a bag of popcorn with G while we watched The Hangover.  I thought that movie would be funnier.  Don't get me wrong, it was funny, but the way people were talking about it I thought it was going to be pee-your-pants hilarious.

For breakfast I made some French toast and tried to keep it pretty light.


Wow that's a lot of syrup.
I also tried a new Chobani: pineapple.

I think I really like the 2% ones more than the 0%.  And pineapple yogurt?  I thought it might be weird, but it was awesome!  I really hope they have these at Wegmans :)

Speaking of Wegmans, today is grocery day!  Can't wait to get through all of my chores for the weekend!  Plus, I've been promised lunch so we'll see where it ends up.

I read this post about Snow Treats yesterday and I'm wondering, do any of you guys do this?  I really want to try it, but I think I'd be afraid of acid snow or something. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some goodies and Pasta Plus, Laurel.

When I get behind on posting, sometimes I just want to trash the old pictures and start over again.  But I really want to show off a couple of the dinners that I missed over the past week that I am proud of :)  They were awesome.  Not neccessarily healthy, but awesome.

I made Ina's fish and baked chips.  I am not great with frying food and I don't tend to make fried food very often for health reasons, but I will DEFINITELY make this again.

G said it was "restaurant quality".  One of the best compliments that I've ever gotten :)

On Thursday, I made cheese fondue from a little kit that I got from TJ's a long while back.  We dipped veggies, apple, bread, and potatoes.

I also tried making a chocolate one, but it just didn't work out...

Yesterday I was going to pamper myself and get a manicure.  I haven't had one in forever.  I had forgotten that President Obama was in Baltimore yesterday.  They blocked off so many streets!  I ended up being in the car for an hour, and all I ended up doing was going around the block and back into m garage.  I'll get my mani soon, hopefully.  But luckily when I got home there was something waiting for me:

CHOBANI!  The nice people there sent me some samples to try out.  I am really excited about them.  There are a few flavors that I've never seen before.  I decided to try the strawberry banana one first.

I love strawberry-banana anything, and this is exactly what you want in a yogurt.  It tasted like real fruit and not like flavoring and the texture is awesome.  I haven't had Greek yogurt for a while so it's going to take a little bit of getting used to again.  I hope I can find this flavor in stores!

Last night I made dinner plans for myself and 7 of my friends to meet in Laurel at Pasta Plus. 
 I had gone there last May after my graduation with my parents and I liked it a lot.  I had originally suggested that we go to a different restaurant (mainly because I just want to try every restaurant that I can), but my other friends suggested that we go here.

The line was pretty long.  We were waiting for quite a long time before we were seated, but it didn't really bother me too much.  It was Friday night, after all, and we were a large group.  It gave me a chance to look at the menu.  I finally settled on one of the specials:

Ravioli di Zucca

homemade pumpkin ravioli sauteed in butter with sage, prosciutto, peas, and sund-dried tomatoes 
It was pretty good.  My friend Becca and I were discussing it and both had mixed feelings on the cream sauce.  Since the filling was so creamy and sweet, the sauce could have done something a little bit different to contrast that.  Some acidity maybe?  It was still yummy.  It came with a house salad and bread.  G and I also split a glass of the house merlot, which we liked a lot.  His Margarita pizza was good, too, but he said he liked the one that he got from Upper Crust better.
All in all, it's definitely one of the best restaurants in the Laurel area (trust me after living in College Park for 4 years, you try to look outside of the Rt 1 corrider).  I don't think that it's the best Italian ever, though.
Pasta Plus on Urbanspoon

The leftovers were good, too.  Plus the photo is better.


Wow, snow is really starting to come down outside.  So I really have no excuse for working on homework.  Stay warm!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The day that wasn't... and Rosina Gourmet

I was going to talk a lot in the post about my frustrations with myself over the past couple of days.  I have been snacking a little too much and a little too freely.  I do not feel like much has changed in terms of my weight loss or overall lifestyle.  In fact, I just feel sort of blah.  But I want to just leave it at that mini-vent session and just move on.  I'll leave yesterday undocumented, since I didn't take a lot of pics anyway and all I can do is just keep trying, right?

Now that that's out of my system ;)

I had some oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  I think my favorite instant oatmeal is Wegmans brand.  This is 365 and it's still pretty good.

I had a chocolate Vitatop during class (well, when I left class during break. oops.).  I got a lot of little errands done this morning and that always feels good!

I decided that I wanted to use the Groupon that I got for Rosina Gourmet today.  I had never even heard of it before I got the deal, but there's one Downtown and one in Canton.  We went to the one Downtown.  It was sort of in an office building off of Lombard Street.  There were a lot of people in suits eating in there.  They had a lot of different types of drinks and chips.  They even had a chardonnay soda!?  Rosina seemed pretty popular.  So popular that they had run out of soup!  I was planning on getting some, so I changed my order to a grilled vegetable sandwich and we took it to go.  G got a mozzarella sandwich.

This was a really yummy sandwich.  Both sandwiches were cold so we heated them up.  This had some great veggies and seasonings and wasn't too oily like some grilled veggies can be.  The bread was pretty good, too.  G really liked the mozzarella sandwich.  They weren't huge, but I couldn't have eaten a bigger one.  We split a bag of Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips that we bought there.  I think I would go back, but I would want to try something different.

Rosina Gourmet on Urbanspoon

I also had a kiwi.

Have I mentioned that my puppy has been a little bit of a troublemaker lately?  This morning, I left him alone for a minute and came back to this:

He had completely torn apart his toy "Moosie" and ripped his head off.  You can even see some stuffing in his mouth there.  Oh boy.  As you can see, he still has a lot of other toys.

Thanks again to all of my readers and blog buddies.  I love your feedback and support!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One down.. and 7 things!

First day of my first full week back?  Done!  I'm not exactly sure how busy I'm going to be this semester, but I think I'm doing a good job of organizing everything.  I have my assignments written out through the end of the year!  Speaking of that, I need to catch up on reading... but I'll go over food first!

I had a Blue Bran Vitatop before my workout this morning.  I've had that flavor a few times before, but it's a classic!  Breakfast was 1 packet of apple cinnamon oatmeal (usually I eat 2) and an apple.

Lunch was leftover broccoli and pasta with some parmesan cheese.

Some fruit salad.

 Then my new obsession: an Otterbein cookie.  Baltimore has some good cookies!

G must think so, too because the cookies are all gone!  And I only had 2 between today and yesterday!  Hmmm.... ;)

Before my second class, I had some fruit snacks and a trail mix bar that I took with me.

I had some applesauce bread (which I'm now regretting) while I was cooking dinner.  I made 2 personal lasagnas with roasted brussels sprouts and bread.

I got the recipe from Weight Watchers magazine.  It was really good!  No mozzarella cheese and fat-free ricotta, plus a lot of veggies.  I didn't think something so low-fat would be so good!

Last, but not least, I am really honored to have been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by Katharine at From A to Pink.  It's been great talking to bloggers in the Baltimore area since we moved here and has definitely made my transition easier.  For this, I'm supposed to list 7 things that you might not know about me.  Here it goes:

1.  I have acted and done theater since I was 7.  I did a lot of shows in high school and then almost majored in theater, but finally settled on psychology instead.
2.  I have 7 ear piercings.  I used to have those and an industrial piercing.  Right now, I only put in 4 earrings (first 2 holes).
3.  I got a job the day after I turned 14 (the legal age to work in Maryland).  I have worked as a hostess, a waitress, an ice cream scooper, an employee at a ceramics studio/bead bar, a telecounselor, and currently a family crisis worker.
4.  Two of my front teeth are fake.  I was born with a genetic trait that made them not grow in to full-size and I got crowns when I was 17.
5.  I am from Ocean City, MD.  When I moved away for college it took me a long time to get used to living in a real place and not a resort town (what? restaurants here are open in the winter?).
6.  We have trained our five-month old puppy to high 5, shake, sit, lie down, crawl, roll over, play dead, and go to his crate.  I am most happy with high 5.
7.  When I was little, I had long, curly ringlets.  Then when I got older they sort of just straightened out.  Now it's wavy, but I'm definitely no Shirley Temple!

I also need to nominate 7 more bloggers!  I wish I could nominate everyone, but I'm calling on:
1. Jill
2. Michelle
3. Ashley
4. Lara
5. Lauren
6. Erica
7. Sonia

I love the blogging community, and these ladies have been especially supportive and helpful since I've been back after my summer hiatus.  I can't wait to learn your 7 things :)

And now, enough with the procrastinating!  I need to read!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meh-food weekend.

Hey blog world.  It's the end of the weekend and I am not too happy about it.  I'm excited to watch Worst Chefs in America tonight (anyone else watching it), but not excited about my first full week back to classes.  Yuck.  I haven't been eating the most healthy foods and I've been pretty snacky over the weekend, so hopefully getting back into my routine will help with that.

Yesterday I had a tangerine and a soup (Savory Morrocan Stew that I got the recipe from Women's Health), lite Caesar salad, and bread (x2).

Later on I had a chocolate peanut butter chip Vitatop.

I liked it because it wasn't overly rich, but it has enough chocolate to satisfy the craving.  Yumm.  I just wish they were a little less expensive :(

For dinner, I tried my Crock Pot again.  We weren't too impressed.  I made apricot chicken with egg noodles and broccoli.

Everything that I make in there ends up tasting the same.  I have a couple more recipes that I want to try out, but that might be the end of the Crock Pot after that.

Ollie has been giving us a really hard time over the past couple of days.  A lot of barking and jumping.  People must think we're horrible pet-owners because I don't think they realize he's still a puppy.

This morning I made apple pancakes with this recipe.

This is the second time that I have made them and I really love them!

We went out to Wegmans for lunch/grocery shopping.  I tried the corn and crab chowder and the salad bar this time.

I really don't know if I'm crazy about their bars.  The salad was good, but nothing really special.  Maybe this was just meant to be a sub-par food weekend.

Dinner was buffalo sloppy joes with Old Bay waffle fries.

Plus I just ate a "creme brulee" that I made from a kit that I got from Whole Foods, but my camera's battery died.  Only about 1/2 of the sugar caramelized before I got too scared that they would catch on fire under the broiler.  A little too eggy for me.  Wonder what G will think of them...

Have a lovely week!  And everyone going back to school tomorrow, I feel for you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aquarium and Diablita!

Happy weekend!  I am so glad that it's finally here and I don't have many things that I need to do.  I mean, there are a lot of things I should do, but I'll get to them :)

Yesterday I needed to pick up a few things from the store.  I planned on going to TJ's, but once I started driving I decided that was too far and I went to Whole Foods instead.  On the way I crunched on apple crunchers.

There have been times that I have not been happy with the WF in Harbor East, but I was loving it yesterday!  Maybe because it was the morning and a weekday?  I hate peak-grocery-shopping hours.

When I got back, I made a panini out of turkey, artichoke hearts, mayo, and mozzarella cheese.  I love my Griddler.  And I think this was the best panini I've made on it yet!

My afternoon snack before my class orientation was applesauce bread.

Then I stole Kat's idea and we headed out to the Aquarium!  We haven't been in about a year, and it was awesome that it was only $8!  Not even as crowded as I thought it would be.  I ate another vitamuffin on the way so I wouldn't be dieing to eat dinner.

Here are some of the photos that actually turned out:

It was fun!  The jellyfish exhibit was especially cool and we hadn't gotten to see it last time we were there.

For dinner, I wanted to try a restaurant that I had been reading a lot about online and was pretty close by: Diablita in Little Italy.  We hadn't been to a Mexican restaurant in Baltimore since we moved here and I really wanted to find one that we could like.  That is not what we found.

The restaurant itself was really cute.  Great exposed brick walls and nice lighting.  The staff was super friendly and helpful.  But the food.  Not so much.

We started off with drinks and appetizers.  I got a pomegranate margarita, which was easily the best part of the meal.  G got a classic margarita and it was also really good.  We settled on trying to trio of salsas, which came with Smokey chipotle, red chile diablo, tomatillo verde, and assorted house-made chips (sorry about the horrible photos).

For dinner, I had the Chipotle Chicken Salad tacos, which were described as having traditional guacamole, red skin potatoes, romaine, chile-honey vinaigrette and served on grilled white corn tortillas with rice & beans, pico de gallo and cilantro sour cream.


I wasn't impressed with these either.  They were served at room temperature (which I figured because of the "salad") and they just weren't anything special.  I couldn't identify any unique flavors or textures.  Basically, I could have made these.  The rice was dry and not hot.  G got a burrito and he wasn't crazy about it either.  We were a little puzzled over why there wasn't any hot sauce on the tables (again, Mexican restaurant?) and the food runner even seemed perplexed about us asking for it.  Maybe they don't want us to compromise the food's "integrity".  The hot sauce helped, but not enough.   We had thought about trying their churros, but decided to throw in the towel.  For everything we got, the bill was a little much, but that was probably because of the drinks.  I would say, try them for brunch because that menu looks nice.  Go to the bar for drinks.  Maybe try their desserts.  But their dinners are nothing special.  So now we need to find another Mexican restaurant...

Diablita on Urbanspoon

So instead, we stumbled to the nearby Whole Foods (again) and got cookies.  I got a snickerdoodle, which is pretty much an American churro, right?

Oh well.  I'm still glad we went because I love trying new restaurants!  We also passed by Milan, which is getting a lot of hype because they just opened.  I wonder how that is...

Breakfast was more cinnamon with cinnamon-sugar toast with Earth Balance.

I feel like I'm on the edge of a flood with my school work, so maybe I'll get cracking on that.  Have a good weekend!

And of course my question today is: Do you know of a really good Mexican restaurant in the Baltimore area?

Friday, January 22, 2010


I think I found it!  The perfect pre-workout snack!  I started getting worried about canceling out the calorie burn by eating too much, but I think I solved the problem.

But first, last night I had another No-pudge brownie with frozen yogurt.

You must be tired of seeing these.  Don't worry, they're almost gone ;)

So this morning (after my alarm decided to stop going off for an hour) I got up and treated myself to my new favorite pre-workout snack: the Vitamuffin.

I have bought these several times before, but I just got a bunch of samples from the awesome people at Vitalicious and my first thought was that these were going to be perfect!  They're only 100 calories, they have a lot of fiber and protein (plus a million other things) and they don't weigh you down.  Hooray!  I probably sound like a Vitamuffin salesman, but they really are an awesome snack!

This one was an Apple Berry Vitatop.  I hadn't tried this flavor before, but it was really great!  Nice chunks of fruit and a nice bran texture.  You'll be seeing these around a lot!  Thanks, Vitalicious!

(A side note, G ate a chocolate one this morning and left it frozen.  He said it was really good like that, but I'm going to keep putting them in the toaster.)

When I got back, my breakfast was the old standard maple brown sugar oats with peanut butter and granola.  Nothing wrong with that.

Alright, I have an orientation for the online psychopathology class that I'm taking at 3 so I need to do all of my other chores before then.  And then the weekend!  Yay!

What's your favorite "standard" recipe that you turn to again and again?

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