Tag Archives: food

NOLA

I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in New Orleans for two weeks for work and I am slowly coming up on my second trip to NOLA (New Orleans, LA). NOLA is what they refer to the city as if you are a local. I was actually staying just outside of the city in Convington. It’s a cute little town across the massive 27 mile long bridge.

IMG_1455

For the majority of the time, we were just heading to work, then grabbing some dinner and going back to the hotel to either study some more, or just have some wine and try to relax just to do it all over again. I did my best to wake up in the morning and get a quick workout in and I have to say…I loved it. I was waking up at 5 to 530 in the AM and heading downstairs for a 45 minute workout. And I was meeting everyone at 730 to get to the office. It didn’t hurt that NOLA is an hour behind Boston, meaning I was really waking up at 630 in my time πŸ™‚

We each had our own little apartment for the two weeks. It was so comfortable and some people were joking that it was bigger than their own apartments in NYC.

IMG_1443

 

Who can argue?! The rooms were cleaned daily and we even had a grocery service. All you had to do was leave a list at the desk in the morning and groceries would be sitting in your refrigerator when you got back in the evening. AMAZING. For those two reasons, we didn’t really want to leave.

We had gym memberships at Franco’s, which is honestly the most amazing gym that I have ever been to. It is several floors of just about everything you could possibly think of. If I lived in the area, I would ABSOLUTELY be a member. Everything was so clean and modern. You could spend the whole day there. I also worked out with one of my new coworkers, and she showed me a few new exercises that will definitely be making it’s way up here.

We were also lucky enough to be there for the first weekend of Mardi Gras! A few of us headed in town on Sunday afternoon just to walk around, see some parades and just get a sense of New Orleans. We saw what was described as a LITTLE parade. I strongly disagree, because this was a MASSIVE parade in my experience. And they had the craziest costumes!

DSC01124

 

DSC01128

 

So each parade is actually called a Clan, and each clan has a court, queen, etc. This was the queen.

DSC01130

 

DSC01134

 

DSC01135

 

DSC01139

 

Tons, and tons of floats and people dressed up in these crazy costumes. There were also tons of schools with their dance groups, bands and anything else you can think of that’s fun to watch. Our favorite by far were these guys:

DSC01142

 

A whole bunch of Napoleon Dynamites! They were hilarious!

 

This other little kid was cracking us up too. He was so little and was really rocking out. The little kid had some serious moves. I tried so hard to get a picture but this was the best I got:

DSC01153

 

Even in that you can see how cute he was!!

We did get TONS of beads too. They just chuck them off the floats and you really need to watch because I swear they try to hit you in the face with them. And they whip they at you HARD!

DSC01158

 

DSC01159

 

It was so much fun. They were starting to set up for the Superbowl too, so the streets even on a Sunday were madness.

We obviously walked down Bourbon Street as well. It’s definitely not was I was picturing. For a Sunday afternoon, it was NUTS. I couldn’t imagine being there on a weekend night, of even Mardi Gras itself.

DSC01110

 

DSC01115

 

For food, we stopped at Cafe Beignet. I was told by so many people that we needed to try an Beignet, so that’s what we did! The cafe is at the music legends park on Bourbon Street.

DSC01088

 

We all had beignets, and they were delicious!! They are light and fully pastries covered in sugar. I can’t say they were anything good for you, but you just have to try them.

DSC01102

 

YUMMY. Really sugary though.

DSC01093

 

DSC01095

 

The signature drink on Bourbon Street is called a grenade. I can’t say that I tried it but they are apparently really good, and kind of fun looking.

DSC01113

 

We ended up going to a ton of different restaurants and in the interest of not boring you guys and just getting to the point, I’ll give you a quick 1 sentence review of the favorites.

  • Chimes: It is a seafood restaurant that is delicious. The seafood lasagna was the biggest hit but you can grab some other local specialties while enjoying live music. They also have goats in back that you can feed. I went 4 or 5 times to this place and loved it.
  • Don’s Seafood: Also a seafood restaurant that was delicious. It is casual and low key. Although I didn’t enjoy my meal because I wasn’t expecting fried foods, everyone else had good things to say. It is definitely a New Orleans original seafood place. I would compare the atmosphere to a nicer chilis.
  • Osaka: It is a Hibachi grill that was a lot of fun. The chef really knew how to entertain and has some tricks up his sleeve. The majority of us had hibachi, but the seaweed salad as an appetizer was also amazing. It was the first time I had tried anything like that. The hibachi was a bit salty, but if you ask them to tone down the salt, it’s amazing.
  • Copeland’s: Delicious Buffalo Chicken Dippers. We had them as an appetizer and they were amazing. Of all of the places, we were happiest with Copeland’s. We went several times and I we all loved the food. They had a mix of seafood and red meat foods. It still has a New Orlean’s take on it.
  • Trey Yuen: The best chinese food I have ever had. Hands down. They don’t over load the food with salt and they really have a unique flavor. I loved ever single bite of my meal there. It was delicious and I highly recommend it.

Those are the guys that I can think of right now, but I am heading back in just about a week for some more fun! This time we will be in the city the majority of the time so I will report back with what it is like when Mardi Gras isn’t in full swing!

Happy Friday!!!

To You Snacks!

I have something really exciting to announce/share with you this lovely Friday afternoon. A few weeks ago I had been looking for a fun new snack to give a go when I came across To You Snacks. To You Snacks is a trail mix and snack bar company that uses all natural nuts, berries and ingredients to make a healthy snack that’s easily portable. Initially I was excited to just give them a try because as we all know, I LOVE trying new things. BUT, I was even more excited to find out that they were local πŸ™‚

So, naturally I shot them and email just to find out some more info. WHELP, I finally met with the owners, who are absolutely delightful. They are originally from Mexico and have been making snacks for just about 15 years. They are both avid water skiers and I just found out runners too! Ergo, To You Snack Bars are aimed to fuel the active lifestyle and cater to that high protein, low sugar need.

BUT! That’s not the best part. So, they have a whole bunch of different bars that you can choose from including:

Mango Yogurt

Apricot Coconut

Chocolate Cranberry

Goji Berry

Peanut Butter and Cranberry

Apple Pecan

And a whole bunch more. If for some crazy reason, these don’t catch your eye…you have the option to MAKE YOUR OWN. Yup. Email them and just provide a list of all the different ingredients you want in your bar. They will then shoot you back an email with the nutritional facts for your bar, just to get your approval. If you want more protein, or less carbs or anything else, you can adjust the ingredients. OR, just say okay. They will make the bars and ship them right to you. COOOL. Call it…the Sizzle Bar. I think it has a ring to it…

Anyways, if you couldn’t guess…that’s what my snack was today πŸ™‚ I had the Whitney McClintock Bar (bet you can’t guess who made it!) which is packed with Berries, Almonds, Mango and Yogurt.

It was delicious. Think trail mix packed into an easy to eat little bar and that’s the flavor. No added sugars. Not crazy sweet. Simple and delicious.

Anyways, To You Snacks has something else crazy fun to offer. The PRIZE FOR SIZZLE WARS! So the winner of Sizzle Wars is going to get a box of assorted To You Snacks to give a go.

A box contains 14 snack bars and trail mix. I’m really excited πŸ™‚ And just to mention, they are Gluten Free and Vegan friendly (if you omit the chocolate or yogurt chips).

So this is your 1 week mark reminder to get your Sizzle Wars Entry in by the 21st! All you need to do is shoot me an email with your Childhood Favorite Recipe along with a Picture to SizzleEats@gmail.com. Easy enough πŸ™‚ Have a fantastic rest of your Friday!

What’s your favorite snack bar?? What are the ingredients in it that make it so good?? What would you put in your personal bar and what would you call it??

Mine would have raspberries, almonds, pecans, dark chocolate bits and some chia seeds πŸ™‚ Let’s call it…The Tummy Rumble Cure

Haha I’m terrible at coming up with names…HELP.

Laziness to the Next Level

This morning I woke up and went for a 9 MILE RUN! WHOOOOOOOOOO. I’m actually really pumped about it because it was the second time that I have ever reached the 9 mile mark. On top of that, I ran my fastest 10K. Speed Demon! Not really, I am hoping to break the 2 hour mark at the half marathon and today I came in with a perfect 10 minute mile pace. Taking traffic stops and just gradual slowing down, I think I’m on the right track to beat that goal πŸ™‚

I was actually starting to cramp up a bit around mile 3, which made me a bit nervous…because there are 6 more miles to go. And when I start cramping, it’s usually my abs, back or calves. None are fun. Around mile 7 my knee started to voice it’s opinion on continuing, but it’s thoughts were squished. After about a mile of complaining my knee gave in and just stopped hurting. Strange.

As soon as I got back, I stretched for a good 15 minutes. I have noticed that it takes a decent amount of time for my legs to recover after my long runs and I have a feeling that it’s because I’m just skipping out on the stretching all together. Everyone has always told me about the importance of stretching but I usually faked it. I’m really not a fan for some reason.

For breakfast, I was staring at the mountain of bread that I bought last night and was debating between these two guys:

 

Originally, I wanted to get some cinnamon bread, but instead these two caught my eye. PUMPKIN BREAD AND CARAMEL APPLE SAY WHAT?! The cinnamon bread was a no go and these guys found their way into my cart. I popped two slices of the pumpkin spice bread into the toaster and then ultimate laziness hit.

You run 9 miles in the morning, and funny, making some scrambled eggs just seems like too much work. I really needed some protein in this meal and eggs is usually the easiest thing to go with. WHELP. My lazy brain came up with an INGENIOUS idea!Β Microwavable Eggs! Seriously.

I filled a mug up with water, dropped an egg in it and threw it in the microwave for 2 minutes and BOOM! An over Hard Egg with very little clean up!! I just used a spoon to pick the egg up and plop him on my plate.

Look at the little guy:

 

It was so good too! The texture is different from a dropped egg because it doesn’t have those thin areas that you find when you boil the water first. It’s much more solid and hearty tasting. I’m already thinking about all of the fin things that I can do with this new discovery.

Eggs…in 2 minutes! Amazing.

Has your laziness ever turned into a new or better way to accomplish something??

Yup. Microwavable Eggs!

 

 

Berry Overnight Oats and Wekiwa Springs

Yesterday morning, I took the pups for a 2 mile walk just to tire them out before I ventured off to work. By the time I got back, I was DYING for some breakfast. I had whipped up some overnight oats the previous night and pulled that out of the fridge. As a rule of thumb for making them quickly, sin recipe, I use:

  • 1/3 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Milk

For this one, I used Almond Milk and Silk Vanilla Yogurt. Vegan Friendly πŸ™‚

In the morning I topped it off with frozen strawberries that had been warmed in the microwave, 1/2 Banana and my Homemade GranolaΒ (I’m not kidding that it made a TON).

I added some cinnamon and Chia seeds to the mix the previous night. I LOVE adding the frozen berries that are heated up on the oats because it adds a natural sweetness and gives it a ton of flavor. I didn’t add any sweetener to this and it really doesn’t need it.

This is just a second example of a berry Overnight Oats. It has the same base as the previous one, but on top are previously frozen blueberries and fresh raspberries. Yum. Yum.

Work was cut short at the office today because it was the docs birthday, so I left a little early and got the chance to FINALLY go to Wekiwa Springs. I have never been but have been dying to give it a try.

Wekiwa Springs is a National Park located just north of Orlando. So if you are in the area, you are talking a 20 minute ride. It is absolutely beautiful. They have a whole bunch of things that you can do in the park, including Hiking, Swimming, Kayaking, Horse Back Riding, Mountain Biking, Camping and I’m sure I’m missing much more. It is $6.00 per car to enter the grounds but once you enter, there are no other fees.

They have tons of maps to grab on your way to prevent you from getting lost, THANK YOU. The trails range from under a mile to over 13 miles. We chose the Orange trail, which was 5.3 miles considering we only had a short amount of time before the park closed and it was dark.

To get on the trail, you pass one of the springs, which was so pretty.

I could definitely spend a dat here. They also have a lazy river that you can just float along all day. Rough life. Next time, the lazy river.

The trail was covered in sand the majority of the way. But the trees and grasses changed just about every half mile. Drastically.

Anyone feel like a movie??

At some points, I really felt like Jurassic park could have been filmed here…picture a dino peeping it’s head over this…

Right??! Maybe?!

On the hike, we saw TONS of deer. We saw a few doe, and 1 MASSIVE BUCK. He was so close to us too! I have never seen one that up close, with massive antlers. I’m from the north and saw deer all the time, but it was actually really cool to be standing 10 feet away from them. The only deer I caught a picture of was this little doe hiding in the bushes.

See it?? Haha, not really the greatest picture of a deer, but what can I say…

There were tons of grasshoppers, squirrels and the usual things you would expect. AND THEN THIS THING:

That…you couldn’t miss. It was MASSIVE. I had trouble getting a picture of it because my camera kept focusing on the trees behind it…but Brent said it was a Banana Spider. Normally, I don’t believe him right away because he has a habit of just saying things so matter of fact that he really sounds like he knows what he is talking about. I have found, that my friend, is not always the case.

In this case, he was completely correct. That is EXACTLY what it was. Apparently they aren’t poisonous but will bite you. Mer.

Overall, the hike was FANTASTIC. I was great cross training for the half marathon and was a great time. The pups were exhausted by the end of it, which is never a bad thing. Just be careful with the ticks. They are definitely out in full force.

Easy Baked Egg Breakfast

This weekend, the plan was to head to Daytona Beach for the Air Show. But, the weather wasn’t looking great yesterday and today, a friend is feeling under the weather. No air show this weekend.

Instead, yesterday we met a few people for breakfast at the BriarPatch, which is a local resturant in Winter Park. It is absolutely delicious. You can bring your pups and enjoy their menu of unique omelets, breakfast plates and pancakes. YUMMO. I ended up getting an Apple, Brie Omelet. Amazing.

That was actually the second time I had visited the restaurant. The first time I had stopped by with my sister on her trip of Orlando over Labor Day Weekend. I had gotten a Gorgonzola and Pear Omelet that time, which was equally yum.

After breakfast we spent the day shopping and watching a bit of football. Michigan, not such a great showing yesterday…

This morning, Brent and I went to a local school yard and played fetch with Bacon and Oreo. They are EXHAUSTED. There was another pup out there for them to play with so they definitely got their exercise in.

They had a blast if you couldn’t tell!

FOr Breakfast this morning, I wanted something on the lighter side. I’ve been feeling really…mer…the past couple days. A simple egg breakfast was a perfect fit. I ended up making a baked egg breakfast, which is amazing for a couple of reasons. The flavors really mix in well to the eggs but you still get the texture of a hard boiled egg. If you cook it perfectly, you will end up with a well cooked egg white and a softer, gooey yolk. The options are really endless as far as what you put in it. AND, you don’t need to be standing over the stove to make it. Throw it in the oven, go put your make up on, come back and BOOM! Breakfast! Got to love that.

Ingredients:

3 Eggs 1 Tablespoon Milk
1/4 Cup Red Pepper, Chopped 1 Tablespoon Mozzarella Cheese
Salt to Taste Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the ramekins with non-stick spray. Crack 3 Eggs, Β without breaking the yolks, into the ramekins. Add the milk, peppers, mozzarella, salt and pepper on top. DO NOT MIX IT.

2. Place the ramekin into the oven for 15 minutes. You want the whites of the egg to be cooked and the yolks to be soft. The eggs will continue to cook a bit after to take them out of the oven. Let it sit for 1 minute.

It was delicious. The perfect texture and FULL of flavor. Definitely give this a try and mix it up! Maybe add some garlic? Or Salsa? Cheddar cheese? Chives?? Bacon? Ham? Options are endless.

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?