Monday, November 30, 2009

Beef's FAIL

Good storytellers make you wait til the end for the "moral". Well, luckily for you all I'm not a very good storyteller. So the moral of the story here is trust your gut, seriously.

It all started out so well.

I had on a cute cold weather outfit

(Don't you think?)

We attended a great mass at St. Pat's since it was the last Gator Home Game (vs FSU nonetheless!) so you know you can't get me within 5 miles of downtown and unfortunately my beloved St. Augustine's is right across from the Swamp (make that Jess-0 Swamp-2 now! Grrr)

One smooth trek across town to Millhopper Square and we arrived at Beef o'Brady's just in time to verify that the Gators had indeed tromped the Noles again this year.

I was very excited to see that they had Sam Adams Winter Ale on tap, so you know I had to get a pint.

Oh so good. One of Sam's more drinkable beers in my opinion, just goes right now! ahhh ;)

I usually get a wing basket with fries and broccoli, no fail, the 2-3 times a year that I darken a Beef's doorway. (I'm not not that into what I call "generic American" food). But for some reason the Fresco Patty melt kept catching my eye. This is extremely odd, because I don't eat many hamburgers and very rarely out at a chain restaurant. But I decided that if that was what I was craving I should get it. With a side of broccoli of course.

Mistake. In so many ways: I had asked for only Swiss cheese -it comes with both American and Swiss and I thought that was rather excessive- thinking they would give me only 1 slice...oh no, I got two slices of cheese, that weren't anywhere near the overcooked burger, so therefore weren't melted at all, and promptly picked off. I think I'll stop here, because I'm just going to keep ranting.

Oh and the broccoli? It wasn't really even steamed, it was mostly warm....the texture of raw broccoli, but warm. Luckily I like broccoli in all forms, so I at it and picked at one half of my blah burger. (Dad and the doggies enjoyed the other 1/2 later).

I usually wouldn't post such a poor meal; I just wanted to warn others that Beef's isn't the place to go for beef. And if you know what is good at an average restaurant, honey you'd best stick with it!

Love to all,
~a too nice to send it back, Jess

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Snackage

Hi all,

I was granted a day off the construction project today (yes, I still owe you abarnment updates...I am working on getting my external hard-drive to play nice with Harvey) to get my procrasting teacher rumpus into gear.

After a long morning and afternoon of lesson plan writing and project planning both my brain and my belly were ready for some snack time.

My parents wrapped up installing the 1st half of the underlament for my floor around the same time, so we gathered on the pool patio to finish shucking a few oysters we acquired over the holiday weekend. Gotta love this Florida Weather. 45 degrees last night and here we are sitting around the pool with fresh oysters!

Yum, and indeed they were, dished up on a cracker with some Pete action! Enjoyed with a "tall" mocktail of nearly flat club soda and lime. Refreshed.

Sadly the oysters only seemed to fuel my snack monster, so I hi-tailed it upstairs to raid the kitchen.

Throw together some garlic Naan, lemon hummus and a slighty singed sausage and I give thee

Naan pizza! What fun to eat, of course Naan bread is always fun to eat, so doughy and delicious!

Off to finish lecture notes and such.

Love to all,
~A jealous of all you "Sunday Slackers", Jess

Lovely Leftovers

Who doesn't love the leftovers that come with Thanksgiving? Well, me actually. I'm not a huge turkey fan and there is only so much green been casserole and mashed potatoes I can eat (love them as I do) before I need to be rolled into the food recovery wing of the nearest hospital.

But I've come up with some pretty good combos the last few days, if I say so myself! Check it out:

Scrambled egg/egg white (no surprise) but the gem of this meal was one of Mom's rolls with fried apples spread on top....oh so yummy. And while we are in the holiday season why not add some whipped cream to my coffee? Hello foam (which had sunk a bit in this shot, but it was lovely)

Why not have leftovers for lunch too? Ok.

Dreaded turkey sandwich pepped up a bit with cranberry sauce, Munster cheese and bread and butter pickles. Sided up with pickled okra (GRITS girl says get some, NOW! please?)

With hummus and pita chips. Mom finally found a flavor/brand of hummus that she enjoys too, so I've been buying the Party Size....wait, I lie, she does like the Athenos Red Pepper the best, but I've always bought it in the party size! haha.

And who doesn't love a little holiday dessert? Remember that I didn't get any of my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Well my Pop sent over 1/2 of his pecan pie as a peace treaty.

Topped with pumpkin pie ice cream and whipped cream. Oh hello, my little darling! Totally worth every tiny calorie!

Love to all,
~A dredging through the Thanksgiving hanging on, Jess

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuffed Like a Turkey

Is how I feel....let me show you why:

It is a tradition in our family to start off Thanksgiving with Bloody Marys....and the Macy's Day Parade of course!

After some walking in the beautiful weather, roasting of these lovely pecans and whipping up mashed potatoes and "fried" apples my parents and I trekked the whole 2 miles to my grandparents house (My mom's Dad and Step-Mom)

Then the real spread was put out on the table:

Roast Turkey, oyster dressing (sooo good!) and Creamed Corn

Squeaky Beans (green beans with almonds and Greek seasoning) that I mixed up at Gra's house, cranberry salad and some burned cornbread dressing (let's just say using the grill as an oven takes some practice and well, my step uncles need some more attempts)

My Mom's famous refrigerator rolls, Dad's Fried Apples (these are just reduced whole apples with cinnamon and brown good!), deviled eggsThe giant bowl of mashed potatoes I made, zucchini casserole, and ambrosia (my grandmother's bourbon laced fruit salad)

The whole spread as seen from above.

My plate, pretty much as taste of everything....light on the turkey, heavy on the taters! Enjoyed with a Yellow Tail Chardonnay.

Remember that pumpkin pie I had to make the other night? The one I was feeling lazy about after I finished and didn't take a picture of before taking over for Thanksgiving Dinner? yeah, it got devoured before I could a-take a picture or b-have a slice myself. I've been making this pie since I was 9 and everyone always raves over it, but it is a very simple recipe-off the back of the Libby's Pumpkin can, actually- the only thing I do "special" is make my own crust from scratch.

I had to get my pumpkin fix somehow:

Pumpkin Pie ice cream with whipped cream (love it!) and peppermint tea.

Oh and a second plate too

Tonight that is. My family didn't get to bring any leftovers home, but no worries, we did our own Thanksgiving on Black Friday. Turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, apples, deviled eggs, pickles and really yummy cran-raspberry sauce.

And now I'm lounging in my comfy leggings and hoodie, watching a movie with my mutts.

Love to all,
~a stuffed as a turkey, Jess

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I am Thankful....

....for so many things:

1-For my health and happiness

2-For my wonderful family

3-For my fabulous friends

4-For my silly furmutts

5-For a job that I truly love and can enjoy all the challenges associated with it

I could go on of course, but I try to find small things to give thanks for each day, and spread the spirit of Thanksgiving throughout the entire year.

What are you thankful for?

Love to all,
~A very thankful, Jess

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Reese's Cup....

.....for breakfast? Um, ok!

Whole Grain Bread spread with Dark Chocolate Dreams and White Chocolate Wonderful (my crack butter).

Have I mentioned I love breakfast? :)

Sorry this post is short....I have a pumpkin pie to bake!

Love to all,
A peanut butta, luva, Jess

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vegetarian Fiesta!

So, you may or may not have noticed by now, but I'm a little obsessed with Mexican/Cuban food. I use Latin American flavors in nearly all my favorite meals to cook and would probably eat only veggie quesadillas, black beans and quac for the rest of my life and be a very happy woman.

Needless to say I was more than happy to trot over to La Fiesta for Saturday Night Dinner Out.

Started the night off with a HRS...

That's a house margarita on the rocks with salt, if you aren't an old bartender like I may or may not have been flirting a smidgen with our awesome bartender, Gino!

Plus some chips with homemade hot and mild salsas.

So yummy to mix together in every bite.

The star of the night was my entree however! As much as I love Mexican food I'm not that crazy about the meat options. Dry chicken or greasy beef are the typical options, so I was really excited to see a whole vegetarian section on the menu.

I was torn between the chile rellenos and the veggie chimichanga, so I did what any crazy foodie girl would do...I put my dinner fate in the hands of the wonderful and oh so charming, Gino. Actually I do this a lot, I'll narrow my choices down to a few options and then ask the server to surprise me. Hasn't failed me yet, and it really seems to amuse all the waitstaff I've pulled this on. I know I used to enjoy ordering for my customers when I was a waitress.

Apparently the vegetarian chimichanga is Gino's favorite meal on the menu, so that is what he ordered for me and I couldn't have been happier with the results!

I should have taken a picture of the inside; this baby was filled with spinach, broccoli, green peppers, onions and mushrooms. Then topped with a light queso sauce plus lettuce and tomato. Oh good. Plus a side of beans ( a tad over smothered in cheese, but that didn't stop me from tackling them) and rice.

I will be ordering this again for sure. If you live in Gainesville go get this NOW! Seriously, what are you still sitting at your computer for? Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!

Love to all,
~I wish I was Latin American, Jess

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dancing with Dessert....

Hi all and Happy Monday,

I'm coming to you LIVE from my living room....and since it is Monday I'm watching Dancing with the Stars- it's the final night of competition and even though my girl Johanna is out now I'm still rooting for Mya and Kelly!

But what better to accompany an evening of dancing than with a delicious dessert.

Publix Premium Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream (it's a toughie, but I think I may enjoy seasonal ice cream even more than seasonal beer...that is a big maybe!) with a cup of peppermint tea.

So good, soooo good.

Hope you are all having a great Monday evening. I'm super pumped for tomorrow, because Tuesday is the New Friday at your local friendly high school, well on the Week of Thanksgiving it is anyways....oh and I'm going to see New Moon too! Team Jacob all the way, Baby!

Love to all,
~A ready for all things "new", Jess



Check out this plate:

Apple Strudel Pancakes (I LOVE this mix from Archer Farms...pick it up at your local Target), scrambled egg/egg white mix with ketchup (obviously), and 2 apple sausage links. Yum o!

Take that IHOP.

Love to all,
~A breakfast lovin' babe, Jess

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Snacks!

So, one perk of moving back home that I hadn't considered was having people to actually cook for again. While my parents don't always love what I whip up, for example the pumpkin pasta, it's nice to cook for more than one and not get sick of the leftovers...because I sure can't eat the same meal more than 2 or 3 times, tops.

In addition to cooking full meals I've always loved making "snack trays" and have been whipping up chips and dips and cheese and cracker plates since I was a little kid. Again, this doesn't work quite as well when you live alone...yes I can make a single serving of cheese and crackers, but what if I wanted a taste of salsa and say, hummus too? It's just TOO much for one person and TOO much work (in my opinion) to make little bites of each item for a single snack.

But now...I can proudly make a Sunday Snack Platter and get all my tastes satisfied, while feeding my family too!

A wedge of Brie with water crackers (seriously the best, simple combo ever...try it!)

A big batch of my famous guac ( I know you see this a lot on my blog, but MAN was this batch goood!)

Whole Grain tortilla chips (love these...the only way to eat tortilla chips, in my opinion) with some Publix Brand Spinach Dip....ok, I only got this out of the fridge, you caught me!

All together now!


Plus a "mocktail" of club soda with a squeeze of lime.

So refreshing!

Love to all,
~a snack happy, Jess


So, you may have been wondering, "Jess...I thought this was a food AND fitness blog. All you've been talking about lately is Food and Beer or Wine....what gives?"

Well, you are absolutely correct, I have been slacking on the fitness department as of late, both in reporting what little I've been doing in addition to actually getting my hiney in gear. I do some very basic yoga at home, mostly as muscle prevention these days than anything else. Also, even though I haven't been running much lately I do walk at least a mile everyday after dinner with the mutts.

I've really been missing my yoga classes though. I'm just not advanced in my practice to have a meaningful session in my own home yet and get bored with the DVD's very VERY quickly. So, I was pumped to find myself with an open Saturday morning, in which I would already be in Gville (after sleeping off a night at Stubbies at my home away from home- Love you Christine!) and could finally check out the yoga studio, The Sanctuary, I've been eying online since I decided to make the move back to NorCenFLA. I forgot one small (and by small I mean, HUGE) detail in my flawless plan....A Gator Home Game! (dun-duh-duh). I had already planned to give myself twice the time to get to the studio, (it would usually take me 15mins to get downtown from Christine's townhouse) but 1/2 an hour did nothing for the traffic of 70,000 people trying to get to the stadium and tailgate. A stadium that stood between me and 90mins of beautiful hatha flow. Needless to say the score stands, Jess-0, Ben Hill Griffith-1.

What's a girl to do when she can't make it to a yoga class? Well, go grocery shopping of course!

Check out the loot:

I know there is a lot going on in this let me break it down for you:
Pita Chips
Whole Grain Tortilla Chips
Lemon Hummus
Red Pepper Hummus
Yogurt Galore!
Annie's Cowgirl Ranch
Brie Cheese
Water Crackers
70% Chocolate Biscuits
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Whipped Cream (for the pie on Thanksgiving...oh and because I love the stuff!)
Annie's Shells and Cheese
Black Beans
Various Soups
White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter (my crack, seriously)
Coconut Tempeh (really excited to try this)
Apple Chicken Sausage
Purple Onion
2 Avocados

Plus the "Bread Basket"

Garlic Naan
Potato Bread (I love this stuff and haven't had it in a while)
Honey Wheat English Muffins
Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins (the white bread in the background is for the turkey stuffing on Thursday!)

And a few "green things" for school

Split Green Peas for DNA extraction
Mints (I walk around and hand these out to students that are on like a dream for classroom management!)

So, overall a rather successful day, even if it was yoga less. Hope you enjoyed seeing my shopping spree. :D

Love to all,
~a girl with a kitchen full of possibilities, Jess