Saturday, July 25, 2009


The pool has been calling my name all week and I've been listing to that instead of listing to my computer telling me to blog! Instead of updating you on everything I will tell you a few exciting things from the week and then blog about today!

Most importantly- Tropical Smoothie is now open! That is right Gainesville, VA now has a Tropical Smoothie- it is about time! I saw the Now Open sign on my way to babysitting Thursday morning and of course stopped there to get lunch on the way home. I got my go-to favorite smoothie- a Blimey Limey and a Hummus Veggie sandwich. It was even more amazing than normal because I hadn't had Tropical Smoothie in such a long time. My only complaint is that this one doesn't have the combos. I really wanted the half sandwich and smoothie combo but it all worked out because I just ate the other half of my sandwich for dinner that

Another exciting thing was a find at Giant. PINEAPPLE CHOBINI!?!?! If you know me at all you know I love all things pineapple. I saw this and literally was like Oh My God! Of course I bought some!
Dinner last night was this ginormous salmon. My mom bought it at Costco, thus the ginormousness of it. It didn't look this big in the package but when I pulled it out almost a quarter of it had been folded underneath because it was so big it didn't fit in the package. I saw someone else make Martha Stewarts Salmon with an Herbed Yogurt on their blog last week and so of course I tried it with my salmon. It was delicious. It was also super easy, I highly recommend this, especially if you are trying to impress people and have no time! It is literally greek yogurt, dijon mustard, dill, and parsley smeared on top of the salmon before you pop it in the oven. I loved the yogurt mixture with or without the salmon and found myself picking little pieces that flaked off when I put the leftovers away. Try this immediately!
On the side I had some eggplant that I marinated in balsamic vinegar and herbs. It was delicious too!
For breakfast this morning I busted out the pineapple chobini! It exceeded my expectations and I was very satisfied with it. My only complaint is they don't sell it in the big tubs and only in the single serving containers!
I mixed it with some Bear Naked Mango Almond Agave granola. It was pretty amazing, too bad I showed it to my dad and he sat down and ate half the bag. He loves mango and I knew he would love this granola too. The big chunks of dried mango were perfect with the pineapple yogurt!
Then for lunch I made the most delicious sandwich out of the leftover marinated eggplant, some tomatoes marinated in the leftover balsamic marinade for the eggplant, some fresh basil, vermont cheddar cheese, and a "mayo" that I made of greek yogurt, dijon mustard, and dill (essentially the same as the topping on the salmon only I was out of parsley). It was delicious!
Dinner was not as exciting as lunch was. My parents decided to grill hot dogs and I decided to try a veggie dog. I'm not going to lie I was a little disappointed. I love veggie burgers so I thought I might love veggie dogs, but that was not the case. It wasn't horrible it just wasn't that great. I wouldn't buy them again but I suppose I'll eat the rest of the ones I have in the pack. I much prefer my veggie burgers! To go with that I had some Annie's Mac and Cheese and some cherries.
My family is staycationing this week! We are going to go hiking at a couple places nearby, go to a dinner theater, and do other fun things! I was going to tell you I might not be blogging as usual, but I haven't been blogging as usual so it won't be much of a change! I think once summer is over I'll probably get back into a more regular schedule but right now I choose laying out by the pool and reading over sitting inside in blogging! Until next time I will leave you a picture of Charlotte looking ridiculous. I came in from being out by the pool and found her like this.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

VA Beach and Richmond

Alright so as promised here is my post about the beach and Richmond! We left for the beach around 8 Monday morning and after many pit stops (I drank coffee and have the world's smallest bladder), a lunch stop (a quick chicken salad sandwich from 7-11), and getting lost from our google directions we finally made it there around 1ish! It had been raining off and on during the drive down but had been bright and sunny when we started getting closer to the beach. Of course as soon as we changed into our bathing suites, got sunscreen on, and went out to the beach the clouds rolled in. We were out for maybe an hour and half in the cloudy weather before it started raining. It started drizzling and we endured it but then it started raining harder so my mom and I went up and sat under the covered part of the deck. Eventually it stopped raining but it got cold! I sat outside longer debating about going back down to the beach or changing out of my bathing suite. Eventually I gave into the coldness and went in and changed. I was so glad I had packed a pair of jeans to take to Richmond with me because I definitely did not want to put the shorts and a tank top on that I had been wearing earlier. I went out to my car and dug around in my vera until I found jeans and a non tanktop shirt! Then I wrapped my towel around me and went back out onto the deck so I could at least still see the ocean while I was reading!

Once Emily got off work I headed over to her house and then we went out to get Mexican Food at a Mexican restaurant that I can't remember the name of. I ordered Seafood Chimichangas which were absolutely delicious!
We spent a long time talking over dinner, then went back to her house and hung out more, we even ended up talking in the driveway for a while as I was about to leave. Even though we had seen each other a couple weekends ago at Stephen and Mandy's wedding we really didn't get a chance to catch up as much as we needed to, so we had a lot of stuff to talk about! I hate living so far away from my friends and I feel like I never get to talk to them or see them anymore!

Anyways as soon as I got to Richmond I went with Maggie and some of her friends to Sonic where I got an unpictured limeaid chiller. Other than that it was a pretty laid back night!

This morning we hung out around the house for a while and then took Corbin to the River. We decided to have a picnic lunch there so we stopped at Noodle and Company for food to take to the river with us.

It was pretty good. My noodles had pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan. My only thing was this was something I could have so easily made at home and made it better. So even though it was good I'm not sure how I feel about paying for something that I could make better (but I guess I really couldn't have made it at Maggie's because she doesn't have a working stove). They have three different sections of their menu- Asian, Mediterranean, and American. I think if I were to go back again I would definitely try some of their Asian noodles instead because even though all the Mediterranean ones sound good I think they would all be similar to this and would be something I would rather make at home. Oh and the American noodles really didn't sound very good, except for maybe the macaroni and cheese.

After eating we played with Corbin in the river.
Then we stopped at Baskin Robbins on the way home for ice cream. I got a lemon custard with pineapple toppings- yum!!!!! It has inspired me to make lemon pineapple raspberry ice cream sometime soon (the raspberry because Maggie had ice cream that had raspberry and we both thought it would be good with mine.)
Corbin was so exhausted from all the excitement he immediately slept when we got home.
Later we met up with Sara for sushi at Mai Sushi (they don't have a website). This is probably the best sushi place in Richmond (it is in the Village shopping center by Ukrops for any Richmonders). We use to always go to Akida (which is also really good if you want sushi closer to VCU its on Robinson between Grace and Broad) but one time decided to try Mai because it was so close to Maggie's house and we have been hooked ever since. I started out with some miso soup.
Then I tried something new, a tiger roll.

It had shrimp, cream cheese, and asparagus inside and salmon and avocado on top. It was delicious. Shrimp tempura and philly rolls are usually my go to sushi but this kind of combines both of them together and its healthier because it doesn't have the fried shrimp in it!

After dinner Maggie and I played High School Musical Sing It for quite a while and now I am about to head off to bed! Goodnight everyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunbutter Review and Aldie Mill

I've had a very busy last couple of days! We drove down to Virginia Beach yesterday to spend the day at the beach with my cousins who have rented a house for the week. I got to hang out with one of my best friends from VCU who lives down there and then I drove up to Richmond where I currently am at Maggie's house. However I also did fun things on Sunday so I think I'm going to just update on that for now and maybe later tonight I'll do a today and yesterday post!

Sunday started off with some apple, beet, carrot, and ginger juice on the way to church.
I also tried a new product, Sunbutter! I got a free sample in the mail and have been meaning to try it but I always think of it after I've slathered almond butter on something. So I put it on a kashi waffle that I ate in the car on the way to church. My feelings on it? Its not my favorite. It definitely has a sunflower seed taste to it, which I like sunflower seeds and all but I just don't think its a great alternative to peanut/ almond butter. It is a little too salty for my tastes, but its not awful. I think I'll stick to my almond butter and PB&Co Mighty Maple Peanut Butter. What can I say, I like to eat my nut butter on waffles, fruit, and other sweeter things.
For lunch I warmed up some leftover Mac and Cheese. Of course it was dried out because thats what happens to leftover pasta, but I sprinkled some goat cheese on top, zapped it in the microwave, and stirred it up so the goat cheese made it all creamy again. It was pretty delicious!
And I couldn't resist a couple cookies for dessert.
After lunch my family headed over to the Aldie Mill, which is a working old historical mill. They still grind up corn and make cornmeal to feed the animals!

I could have told you what all those things were and exactly what they did if I had updated on Sunday but I can't remember now! After the mill we drove a couple miles up to Middleburg and walked around some of the shops up there. I can't believe we live so close to Middleburg and have never been there before. It is adorable. They have lots of cute little restaurants and shops, it reminds me of Carytown in Richmond. We got ice cream cones at an ice cream shop that was owned by the Middleburg Humane Society and the proceeds go to help all the homeless animals. I love it- whats better than ice cream and helping animals!

We got home and I ran off all that ice cream on the treadmill! Dinner somehow escaped my camera because I ate fast in the middle of packing for the beach/ Richmond. I believe I had a tiny half of a pork chop, half a baked potato, and maybe some zucchini? I'm not entirely sure about that!

For dessert later I made something that has been all over the food blog world. Gena's Raw Banana Soft Serve. Let me tell you right now that you should go ahead and put a couple bananas in your freezer because you are going to want to make this. Are you ready for this secret recipe?
Okay go put 2 bananas in your freezer.
Let them freeze.
Take them out and peel them
Put them in the food processor until they get smoothy and creamy and look like soft serve ice cream
Yes it really is that easy. I had about half, which is one banana. Who wouldn't rather eat banana ice cream instead of just a plain old banana. Throw in some chocolate chips and walnuts and you have your own healthy Chunky Monkey ice cream! Okay so go try that and later I'll update about the beach and Richmond!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mac and Cheese and Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

Look 2 posts in one day! Well don't expect this every day but I had things to update about tonight!

First lunch was pretty awesome! I made a pizza on a rosemary and olive oil wrap. I popped the wrap into the oven to get it toasty and then loaded it up with garlic, tomatoes, leftover veggies from the veggie melts last night, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese! I popped it in the oven then went to do something else and took it out a couple minutes too late. It was a little extra crispy around the edges but other than that it was still good!
After lunch my dad and I went to The Farm at Broad Run- this nearby organic farm that has a farmers market to sell all their produce. It was definitely picked over, you could tell they had lots more this morning, including chicken eggs. I definitely want to go back and get some of their eggs. But for today we got some donut peaches, yellow and red little plum tomatoes, beets, squash, and an eggplant! The peaches were so good, we had never had donut peaches before and the people working at the farm told us to go ahead and try one and they were delicious so of course we got some!

For dinner everyone in my family was doing different things. I was in kind of a bad mood so I decided to make some ultimate comfort food- mac and cheese!
yummm it had cheddar and gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms of course!
Cheddar Gorgonzola Mac and Cheese
2 teaspoons evoo
2 cups mushrooms sliced
2 bunches green onions
1 cup diced tomatoes (whatever kind you have on hand)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup pinot grigio
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup cheddar
1 to 1 1/2 cups gorgonzola
2 1/2 cups macaroni cooked and drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Sautee the mushrooms in the olive oil until they are tender
3. Add the green onions, tomatoes, garlic and wine and cook about 5 minutes until the wine reduces some
4. Combine the milk and cornstarch and slowly add it to the sauce stirring so its completely incorporated
5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted and smooth
6. Add the macaroni to the sauce mix well and pour into a casserole dish.
7. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and cook for about 30 minutes until its warm and bubbly!

After eating dinner I made some cookies, because baking always puts me in a better mood! I've been wanting to make cookies with chocolate covered cranberries ever since my dad got some chocolate covered cranberries at the chocolate store up near my grandparents house. However I've been looking for chocolate covered cranberries and haven't been able to find any around here (well I'm pretty sure they have them at Wegmans I just haven't made it to Wegmans recently). So I decided to make some oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries and chocolate chips instead!
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. Combine the butter and sugars until fluffy
3. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange extract and beat until well incorporated
4. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until everything is well mixed.
5. Stir in the oats, cranberries and chocolate chips
6. Drop onto the cookie sheet and cook for about 10 minutes

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Veggie Melts

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope everyone is gearing up for an exciting weekend. Yesterday was pretty much a waste of a day, as I did absolutely nothing. The one and only thing I did yesterday was drag my mom out of the house (yes I literally had to drag her) to DSW to get some running shoes. My mom said I exhaust her because I suggested we go to a nearby farmers market on our way back from DSW (like I said I had to drag her out of the house in the first place). Oh well, hopefully today I convince someone to go with me and if not I might just go by myself.

Anyways Thursday night my mom made probably one of the only vegetarian meals she has or will ever willingly make- veggie melts! These are super easy to make and so delicious- even my family who scoff at any meal without meat in it eat them (well my parents do, my brother added chicken to his and my sister doesn't eat veggies).
Veggie Melts
(I'm not putting any amounts down because you can use more of veggies you like, less of things you don't like as much, or just switch the veggies up completely.
bean sprouts
mushrooms (whatever kind you like the best)
green peppers
butter or evoo (whatever you like to sautee in
some kind of bun or hoagie to build the sandwich on
monzerella cheese
parmasean, romano, and/or asiago cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Sautee the onion, sprouts, mushrooms, and green pepper with your butter or evoo until all the veggies are slightly tender.
3. Sprinkle the desired amount of cheese on your bun then top with however many veggies you want.
4. Pop in the oven for about 5 minutes or until your bread is toasted and the cheese is melty.

Anyways, yesterday for breakfast I made a Kashi waffle topped with almond butter and bananas. Yummmm it was delicious! I'm all out of greek yogurt so I see more almond butter centered breakfasts until I get some more yogurt!
Then for lunch my mom heated up some taquitos and miny chimichangas in the oven. I don't know what brand they were or where they came from but they were not that great. It was like a paste inside with meat and cheese all blended together. I prefer the Friday's quesadilla rolls because you can actually see each separate ingredient and they taste so much better!
In between lunch and dinner was when I dragged my mom out to DSW and of course when we got home I had to test out my new running shoes. As you may know our treadmill was broken and my dad recently kind of fixed it. It works but after like 20 minutes it starts to smell like its burning. Oh well I kept going, hopefully I won't kill it. I think once I get my security deposit back for my house in Richmond (which should be any day now) that I'm going to make my dad use that to buy a new treadmill.

Dinner was taco salad and I made a little taco to go alongside. My taco salad had taco meat, an assortment of greens, tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, a few crushed up tortilla chips, and a little ranch dressing. Taco salad is the only salad I like ranch dressing on because it is creamy like sour cream which I can't live without on my mexican food.
This morning I woke up and made juice for breakfast! It was an apple, ginger, 3 carrots, and a beet. It was pretty delicious!
I just finished drinking that while I was writing this and now I have no idea what I'm going to do for the rest of the day but I'm hoping it is more productive then yesterday was!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beautiful South Restaurant- Hamilton, VA

Wow its been a busy and fun last couple of days! We drove out to Harpers Ferry on Tuesday morning and spent the day tubing down the Potomac River. Some of it was flat water that involved lots of paddling with your arms, which was very difficult to do in the tubes we were in, there was no comfortable way to sit and paddle at the same time. When you hit the rapids there was no paddling just hanging on and trying to sit up high enough in the tube that you didn't hit the rocks underneath! All in all it was really fun and if you have any river near you that you can go tubing in I highly recommend it. Its also a great workout because I can feel the burn in my abs (and my neck) and some of my family that came also said their arms were sore from all the paddling.

Anyways on our way back we decided to stop at a restaurant that we saw on the way up called The Beautiful South in Hamilton, VA. I'm not going to lie I did not have high expectations for this restaurant, I was expecting fried chicken and grits. What none of us knew was that they weren't talking about the US South but Southern Europe, their website says "Whether it is the southern region of Italy, France, Germany, or Greece, from where our family originates, the flavor and beauty of those places are captured in our food and atmosphere." Well I was happily surprised by that and their menu that had lots of yummy looking food. I started out with a salad that had their own house made Greek dressing that was really good!
And we ordered some calamari as an appetizer. It was also really good, even though I will forever compare it to 3 Monkey's in Richmond and I don't think I'll ever get any calamari as awesome as theirs!
My main meal was crabcakes. They were delicious, filled with lots of chunks of crab and not a lot of other fillers. They also came with their awesome homemade tarter sauce that was amazing! I ate one of my crab cakes and used the entire thing of tarter sauce with it and then stole my sister's tarter sauce that she didn't eat with her fish and chips to bring home with me to use on the other one!
I also had some of my dad's dish which was a pasta in a seafood cream sauce. It had scallops, shrimp, lobster, and crab. It was really good, and I almost got that for my meal too but I really wasn't feeling the pasta in it. But I'm glad my dad got it so I could steal a few bites!
When we got home I showered and took a quick nap before Harry Potter! Maggie and I got there around 10 and they were already letting us into the theater, which was awesome because we didn't have to sit on the floor in a line outside. Harry Potter was pretty good, there wasn't a lot that really happened in this movie- just a lot of build up for the next one. I haven't read the books but I love the movies, so maybe I should read the book because apparently they left a ton out of this movie. Also I was way more disappointed in the fact that they didn't show a New Moon preview before hand. Maggie and I kept hoping for the next preview to be for New Moon and then the movie started. During Twilight they showed a Harry Potter preview so I think it would only have made sense to show a New Moon one during Harry Potter!

Anyways I got in after 3 am from Harry Potter and passed out until 12:30 Wednesday. For lunch I had my leftover crab cake and then spent most of the day laying out by the pool with my cousins. For dinner my mom made chicken so I made an Amy's bowl! This was my first Amy's bowl and it was really good! I usually am not a big fan of rice but I figured I would try this anyways. I added some green onions and ginger and it was pretty amazing!
Oh and on the side I had some zucchini and squash. It was a very filling meal.
After dinner we waited for my sister to get off work then headed to Manassas to get ice cream at Milwaukee Frozen Custard. Milwaukee is the best ice cream place ever (even though its frozen custard not ice cream). It has become a tradition to go when Stephanie visits. I'm not sure when the first time we took her was but every time since then when she has come down she has asked to go, so of course we always do! They have vanilla, chocolate, and a flavor of the day. Over the years they've gotten other things like italian ice and such but nothing compares to their vanilla frozen custard. The chocolate is good too, but the vanilla has such a unique flavor you just can't resist it. The flavor of the day was cookie and cream so it was just the vanilla and oreo which I got in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. Delicious!!!
After that we wandered around McKay's Used Bookstore which is in the same shopping center. Then we came home and me Alicia, and Stephanie watched the Twilight commentary, I know I've said it before but it is hilarious and every Twilight fan should watch it!

This morning I said goodbye to all the relatives as they headed down to Williamsburg and VA Beach. After they left I made some orange, carrot, cucumber, and ginger juice which was delicious.
And some Vanilla Chobini with cranberry coconut granola.
Then I laid out by the pool for a while before lunch time! For lunch I ate my dad's pasta leftovers (he told me I could eat them I did not steal them!!) I added some garlic and asiago cheese which made them even better!
Then I read for a while before taking a blog break! I think later this evening there will be a grocery store trip and hopefully a DSW trip with my mom! Hope everyone has a great evening!
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