Ten Gallon Hat Winery

I finally went to my first winery! After attending multiple wine festivals and tastings, I finally went to a winery. My friend got me a gift certificate to Ten Gallon Hat Winery, and before I knew it, its expiration date was quickly approaching. Unfortunately, she was not able to go with me, but dad was happy, and more than willing, to substitute.

So, February 10th, after work and running some errands, we drove about 15 minutes over the DE/PA line to Ten Gallon Hat Winery. Its pretty well hidden. Despite how small the building looks on the outside, its a spacious beauty on the inside. Dad and I walked down the steps to a room with a bar and a bunch of high top tables. Each table and corner bar supplied with mini saltine and chocolate chip morsels, to compliment the wine.

WP_007669 WP_007670

We were given a list, with a descriptions of each wine, and a pencil to check off our choices. We were able to each choose six wines to sample, so between the two of us, we covered the 13 options. While dad was more set on the reds, I was counting down to the fruit wines.

                      V__1360        V__A458

First came the reds:V__DAE2

  • Merlot- This was so-so. Its pretty hard to mess up a merlot.
  • Zinfandel- I’ve had white merlot, but never a red zin. It was sort of dry like a zin, but with a deep flavor typical of a red.
  • Barbera- This, in my opinion, was the best red. Cedar was the scent that stood out to me. I don’t mean it was like sipping on bark. It was mellow and there was something calming about drinking this wine.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon- Dad’s a cab guy, so he was looking forward to this one, and wasn’t disappointed. He rated this as his highest ranking of the red and whites.

Followed by the whites: Admittedly, neither dad nor myself are much fans of white wines.V__55CE

  • Chardonnay- It just sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? But, unfortunately, it was much too dry for my liking.
  • Pinot Grigio, AKA “The Sheriff’s Daughter”- Based on the description, I expected a citrus and fruity wine with a bit of a dry bite. But, alas, still not my fancy…
  • Riesling, AKA “The Preacher’s Daughter”- We had finally hit a white wine that tickled my fancy with its mild sweetness.
  • Moscato, AKA “The Farmer’s Daughter”- I’m not a moscato chick, typically. But this and Riesling were the best whites, in my opinion.

And, lastly, the fruits:

  • Blackberry- This was a dark wine, deep with flavor, but no incredibly sweet. I feel like this would be a good wine for someone who is a Cabernet drinker…
  • Red Raspberry- This was the one I was looking forward to the most. After my girlfriend’s wedding two years ago, I fell in love V__08E7with raspberry wine. The bartender spooned some chocolate semi sweets on a napkin and poured us our wine. The first thing I noticed was the pieces of actual raspberries in the wine! Well, that’s a good sign… real fruit… I thought to myself. Dad thought this was the best of the fruit wines. Although, this was an enjoyable wine… what was up next, blew me away.
  • Cranberry- Although I enjoy cranberries and cranberry juice, I did not have high expectations for this wine. Its cranberries… I mentally prepared myself for a tart wine. Boy, was I wrong! After our first few sips, the bartender brought out a wedge of lime to squeeze into the glass. In a nutshell, I bought a whole bottle, and dad and I finished off 2/3 of the bottle that night. Wow, just wow! I can’t even explain how delicious this one is! It’s been months since we’ve had this wine, and I still rave about it!

The fruit wines stole the show for me!

As I talked with Sheryl, one of the bar tenders, I had mentioned I was curious about what was done with all the corks. She filled a whole bag with corks for me to take with me. (I have one of those iron cork holders to hang on my wall and in need of more corks.) Dad and I headed back up the steps to the entertainment room, where were heard music playing. With our wine glasses and an uncorked bottle in hand, dad found us a seat, and I ordered a bowl of Lobster Bisque and a cheesecake.

I had just gotten my first pay check from my new job and was too excited to celebrate with dad. With all the endorphin flowing, I introduced myself to the musician playing, Matt Santry, and offered to get him a glass of wine, while dad and waited for out order.

Matt sat down with dad and I, and the three of us, sipping our wines, discussed music, life, performing, wine, and more. It was pretty cool. My dad must have liked the guy because suddenly dad became my wing man, trying to find out all sorts of information about Matt’s relationship status, past, and so on! I have to say it was pretty cool and quite the bonding moment for pops and I. (But, sorry ladies, Matt’s engaged.)

As Matt  took the stage, our food arrived. The bisque was served with a few homemade croutons. The cheesecake elegantly served with a pool of raspberry syrup and a white chocolate swizzle.

WP_007671 WP_007672

We left the winery in a great mood and a bit of cranberry wine left. Guess who’s got limes in the fridge, now? This chick!!!

V__29DC

Salud!

Half Moon

I awoke this afternoon to more temptation. I feel like if you have support people, they won’t surround you with your trigger foods. My mom, although I know she cares, is not what I would call the most helpful in this aspect of my life. I woke to a bag of Taco Bell filled with Caramel Apple Empanadas. Every time I confront her about bringing these home, she always says she got me one. I hate that because she knows its a trigger food! Nonetheless, my lunch, which started as a Red Berries Special K bar dipped in Be Well Nutella, ended up in half an empanada down and a heavy chest full of anxiety.

Barry called me at work last night and asked for a lunch date, today, and I gladly accepted since its was to a place I’ve been wanting to go to: Half Moon in Kennett. Barry offered to postpone the date since I had a rough time at work, but I refuse to let these disorders disrupt my life all the time!

WP_003218Half Moon Restaurant and Saloon is a small place in the town of Kennett, about 20 minutes from my house. Barry and I drove past it! Whats nifty about this place is that it specializes in wild game meats. Each day is a different special.

I lucked out when I called the restaurant to find out the specials for today. Kangaroo burgers and Buffalo chili! I’ve had buffalo in the past, but I was most excited about the Kangaroo! Barry has been trying to get me to eat burgers (I’ve really wanted one since I haven’t eaten one in over a year). Kangaroo is the leanest cut of beef Half Moon offers (93 calories, 0.5g fat per 100g). All of the burgers are 6 oz portions, of which Barry and I split. We opted to split the Kangaroo burger, substitute the house made kettle chips for a salad, and split a bowl of the buffalo chili…

When in Rome!

WP_003214We strolled up West State Street and entered and narrow saloon. Greeted by a perky hostess, we were asked if we would like to be seated upstairs in the atrium-like setting or in the main dinning saloon. Since it was a temperate day with a nice breeze, we walked up the stairs to be greeted by another friendly face, Emily, who seated us and attentively served us. She was very patient with us, as I was so indecisive after viewing all of the specials! After questioning the waitress, there was no doubt about it… Chili and Burger special!

First up was Barry’s beer. This place is no joke when it comes to their alcohol. Theres a whole book full if specialty and imported beers and the wines are broken down into white and red, and then by place of origin. Barry tried Hop Devil. I’m not a beer drinker, but this was rather bitter in my opinion. We awaited a delicious salad on spring mix, with cucumbers, shredded carrots, and baby heirloom tomatoes, and side of Greek Goddess dressing. I love that they used heirlooms, since they are in season!

WP_003215

My girlfriends told me how dry kangaroo meat was and suggested the elk. I’ve had elk and it reminds me a lot of roast beef. I had my heart set on the roo. They don’t cook the burger past medium rare, which is fine for us. I was surprised how moist the burger was, despite being so lean. It wasn’t sweet but it had a more mild flavor than a beef burger, and it was definitely a lot less dense. The burger is served on a kaiser-type bun with lettuce, tomato, purple onion, and a pickle spear. I ate mine topless, while Barry used my spare bun half for chili dipping.

WP_003216

The Buffalo Chili was topped topped with jack cheese, It was a hearty chili with lots of meat and beans. I could not imagine eating this whole bowl by myself! I would have been stuffed! The tomato base was a mildly sweet and nutty, with a faint heat.

We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the atrium setting. We sat at rustic tables, surrounded by fresh air and potted plants. After chatting with out waitress, we decided we will most definitely be back for the Gator Gumbo! Apparently, its got a nice kick to it!

WP_003213

We drove out of Kennett and into Hockessin to grab a bit of froyo from Berriyummi. Barry went to chocolate peanut butter heaven. I think it wound up being more like a hell for him in the long run. His chocolate and raspberry froyo was topped with cheesecake pieces, cookie dough, brownie bites, jimmies, peanut butter sauce, blueberries, hot fudge and loads of mashed peanut butter cups. By the end of it all, the peanut butter cups had formed rock sold balls of sweet and salty indulgence. From the little bite I took, I had my fill. I am honestly impressed by Barry’s sweet tooth! I had never seen so much reese in one bowl! I guess this was pretty fitting since its National Fudge Sundae Day.

WP_003219

Mine was the typical sugar free vanilla with mango, raspberries and sliced almonds, with smidge of cheesecake crust.

After the creamy froyo, I had a hankering for coffee. When Barry and I arrived home, I made a mug of decaf with sugar free chocolate DaVinci syrup. With my sweet tooth in full swing, I remembered my Philly Swirl Sweet Delites. These are perfect size creamsicle bars that are sugar free and only 14 calories a piece! Talk about guilt free desserts!

I am spending the rest of the  night bonding with mom over “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and should be hitting the hay soon.

Happy Almost Friday!

Valanni

After waking with a much better mind set, it was time for date night!

I did the girlie things such as nail polish, makeup, and jewelry and awaited the arrival of my date.

WP_002775

Right before Barry drove up to the house, the storm hit and it started pouring!

My date arrived in uniform (he likes to show it off). I lucked out with a dress I found at Kmart for $15!! Score!

WP_002776

The other day, Barry suggested we make reservations at a nice restaurant and go out for dinner. After some googling, we came across Valanni. And after seeing the Brussels sprouts on the menu, I was sold!

After being picked up, we battled the rain to arrive at our destination. (FYI: Valanni does not have a parking lot, so street or lot is the best bet). We almost missed the place! It looks like small cafe from the outside, but upon entering we were greeted by a smiling hostess and a rather chic looking room.

WP_002783

Funny fact: Barry said it was nicest bathroom he ever used. “I think that bathroom costs more than my house!” is actually how he described it!

We began our meal with Lobster & Crab Mac & Cheese and the Crispy Brussel Sprouts. The mac was “too die for,” says Barry! I must admit, I am always paranoid about getting mac and cheese from a restaurant, but I needed to try this, and oh my gosh, it was delicious! The three cheese blend made it creamy and thick, and there were chunks of crab  and lobster evenly and heavy distributed within. The sprouts were not what I had expected. When I roast them, I typically cut them in half and roast, but you can tell time went into this dish. The brussel sprout leaves were individually separated, coated with balsamic, and roasted. The leave are served in a bowl, sprinkled with chopped almonds and cubes of granny smith apples! The flavor combination of tart and savory was a definite winner! I can’t wait to try my hand at this!

WP_002780 WP_002781

We decided, since everything sounded amazing, to opt for a tapas- style meal. We then ordered the Seared Pork Tenderloin and the “Fiery” Potatoes. The pork was the epitome of the word “tender!” It was cooked to juice perfection and topped with a delicious mango relish, that complimented the savory seasoning on the meat. The potatoes were not as impressive as we had hoped, though still tasty. The potatoes, I believe, were coated in paprika and deep fried. I looked forward to the chipotle-horseradish aioli, the most in this dish. We wished it was hotter, spice wise.

WP_002782

Deciding on the dishes to try was difficult. After Barry’s  first bite of our second course, he suggested coming back once a month for a date night until we tried everything on the menu! HAHA Deal!

Cool part of the night: Barry had ordered a Yuengling. The waiter told us that the gentleman in the pink shirt at the bar had bought it for him. (This restaurant is located in the an area of South Philly known as the Gayborhood. After commenting on how Barry was lucky hes cute and can get free drinks, the gentleman left the bar section, shook Barry’s hand and thanked him for serving in the military! What an awesome story!)

Yay! Date Night! Stay tuned for our next adventure at Valanni!WP_002790

Check out the dessert menu! Oh my gosh, someone hide that bread pudding because it sounds so heavenly, I might not share it with Barry!

Newark Deli and Bagel

Yesterday breakfast was oh so simple and oh so yummy: Toasted Blueberry Crumble bread, by Sara Lee, topped with Bar Harbor Blueberry Jam, my favorite! It was compliment with a navel orange and my new coffee I got when I had a layover in Denver.

WP_002112 WP_002116

I was expecting, I guess, a syrup flavor, in the coffee, as if I would receive it from a coffee shop. Instead, it was a mild mocha flavor (I love mocha). I really enjoyed its subtle flavors.

After trying to cram in some studying, I headed off for an interesting  and semi-frustrating night at work. I can’t share much, due to HIPPA, but I can say it involved an aggressive patient. I love my job, but some days are rough.

I was thankful for my dinner break, not only because I needed a breather, but also because dinner was delicious! I was pretty darn impressed by this Lean Cuisine meal: Ranchero Braise Beef with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes! I brought some frozen corn to have with it. It was sweet, with just a bit of spice! The corn was the perfect pair for this meal! I called dad and insisted he try this meal for lunch one day at work, just like I totally insist you, give this one a try!

WP_002119

This morning, mom and I woke up early to go food shopping . While in the area, I took mom to one of my favorite breakfast spots: Newark Deli and Bagel (lovingly called “NDB”)! They make all the bagels in house, and they are delicious! They are also known for their chicken salad. Dad loves this stuff! One of his favorite things is chicken salad on a toasted asiago bagel. Their breakfast are phenomenal! Crispy bacon! Juicy sausage! They even have egg whites! This morning, I split a sandwich with mom, one they I never had before. I ordered a rye bagel with egg whites, tomato, roasted turkey, and pepperjack cheese! MMMM I’m definitely getting this one again! That half a sandwich, paired with a small caramel nut coffee, was perfect and it held me over for most of the day!

WP_002121

Work tonight was consistent. Dinner was another Lean Cuisine, one, for which, I had high expectations: Roasted Garlic Chicken with creamy Parmesan spinach. I added steamed broccoli  I really expected a better flavor. There was not as much garlic as I had hoped, in fact, there was not as much flavor as I had hoped.

WP_002123

I start my new clinical rotation, tomorrow, at a long term care facility for the elderly. Wish me luck!

Geoff Colvin, Billie Jean King, and Tandoori Oven

This morning began with being woken up by a Telemarketer at 545am pacific time… I guess since my number is from the east coast it was 845 there. I laid in bed trying to fall back asleep with no luck.

My roommate and I decided to get up and get breakfast. When deciding what to wear today, I popped on my yoga pants, these particular pants, don’t like to stay up when I run. And they are at a super awkward length, so they’re nit quite pants, but not quite campris. I hiked up my pant legs, liked the look and whipped out my travel sewing kit. Using the tiny travel scissors, I cut off the pant legs and voila!

WP_001876

Who needs pants when you can have Bermuda shorts?

With today’s events beginning so early, I took advantage of the free breakfast buffet. I wound up going back multiple times grabbing small played of things for a well rounded and very filling breakfast. I made a mini parfait using oatmeal, strawberry yogurt, mixed dried fruit with a bit of granola. They had one skillet with half a croissant topped with an egg, mushroom, spinach, and muenster cheese. Julie would have loved this! I grabbed this for the veggies and muenster, one if my favorite cheeses, but I wish it had more vegetables. I went back for fruit a bunch! You know I can’t resist a fruit salad!

WP_001881 WP_001883

The buffet ranged from fresh fruit to yogurt and cottage cheese, to oatmeal and fix-ins, a variety of pastries and breads, eggs, potatoes, waffles and French toast. They also provided a ton of refreshments like juices, milks, water, teas, coffees, and to my surprise, tomato juice.

After giving a holla at the parents on the east coast, I headed to my first forum of the day. I decided on “Building an Officer Team.” Working in a magnet hospitals, there are many organizations to belong to and I figured this would be useful in leading a team, using appropriate delegation,and finding each members strengths. I took alot if notes and I was happy to realize that we, on my unit, are utilizing some of these team building exercises discussed in this forum.

Following this forum, I went to the 2nd General Session to hear Geoff Colvin speak on great performance. I began to connect his speech not just to the global economy and sports but to myself, my goals. For instance, running is something, despite playing basketball for years, has never been a strength it something I even enjoyed. As I set off on my initial weight loss plan, a began walking, then incline walking, then interval running… Now I,m training for a 5K. He says this is due to deliberate practice.

17891_515874408459213_715285340_n

The 3rd General Session’s speaker was Billie Jean King! She was so engaging and full of life! She was motivating, inspiring, made me proud to have the courage to speak my mind, and thankful for innovators and motivators like her! At the end of her speech, she brought out a crate full of tennis balls that she had signed. The music cued, Philadelphia Freedom by Sir Elton John, and she began hitting the balls out into the audience! (Fun Fact: Elton John wrote that song for her).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My friends finally flew into San Jose and I met up with them for dinner around 7pm. We headed towards Tandoori Oven, and Indian restaurant.

WP_001938

We kicked it buffet style, each of us picking a meal and then sharing it with the table. We also decided to try some Indian beer. I’m not a big fan of beer, but it was something to try (plus, Kristin and I really like spicy food, and the beer helped to cut it down a bit).

WP_001939

The table shared the following:

  • Angry Tandoori Chicken

WP_001941

  • Chicken Tikka Masala

WP_001945

  • Saag Lamb

WP_001944

  • Curry Fish

WP_001946

  • Chicken Korma and Matter Paneer

WP_001943

The Angry Tandoori Chicken breast was so perfectly seasoned! The Lamb Saag was so tender, with a great flavor! What I was super impressed with, however was the Matter Paneer.

Good Karma

My alarm sounded at 545 pacific time. I hit the snooze alarm, and closed my eyes thinking about how long I had to before I needed to be ready to leave.

After hitting the second snooze alarm, I decided to take advantage of the early morning and took it as a sign to get motivated. I had just enough time to complete a 30 minute treadmill work out that looked like this:

WP_001898

And I had ten minutes to spare to clean up and change in time for Church, grab a coffee and banana for the walk and be on my way.WP_001790

I like attending new Churches. I find that no Church, no mass is the same. Each priest, choir, altar presents differently. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph was a large and beautiful Church. Rather than pews, the seats were circled around the altar. It was decorated with Lilly’s from the Easter season, and the priest gave a great homily!

WP_001791 WP_001792 WP_001800

Afterwards, we wondered around downtown in an attempt to find something entertaining. I wanted to check out a vegan cafe, but it turns out they don’t open until 11. We wound up walking to Bijan Bakery. I ordered a mushroom and spinach quiche. The crust was flakey and buttery! I paired this with a raspberry pomegranate green tea that so unique. My taste buds went wild at the first sip!

WP_001820

WP_001816

And look at all the beautiful treats!

WP_001807 WP_001809 WP_001812 WP_001813 WP_001814 WP_001815

We continued to wander around the city. We had all woke up so early that it seemed so much later to us. Nothing was really open yet so we walked back towards the hotel. We split up, me heading to my room to work on some homework, and them going to the art museum.

It was time to head to the educational forums at the convention. I chose to attend “Leading with Ethics.” I’ve chosen my forums based on what I think will be useful in my career as a nurse. Nursing requires delegation and leadership, and ethics is always a controversy on the medical field. My overall summary of this session is : All ethics begin with self ethics. In order to be an ethical leader, I must first understand my own values and how to value others, and this will allow me to recognize how others would like to be treated. What is the intent of my actions? Am I bettering my community?

WP_001827

After a busy afternoon of flag bearer practice, I ran to grab a quick bite. While planning for this trip, I found a restaurant called Good Karma Vegan Cafe. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I ran over to grab dinner. The place was very small, but had a very eclectic feel with great music playing! They served different types of beer, some organic. Their menu consisted of a rice or quinoa platters, burritos, desserts, and more. To get the experience I opted for a 3-dish platter. Rather that eating it with rice or quinoa, I asked for steamed vegetables. You create your dish by choosing one, two, or three items from their cold box, and they heat it up. I wanted to try things that I never had before so I chose the following:

  • Spicy Basil Tofu
  • Jamaican Tofu
  • PraRam

As she brought over my meal, I could not imagine finishing the whole thing. They are NOT sparing on the helpings. From the minute the first carrot touched my lips, I was sunk! I devoured every bit of this meal! The Spicy Basil Tofu contained was in mildly spicy sauce, while the Jamaican Tofu kicked it up just a bit, both dishes containing vegetables. I think the dish I was most surprised by was Pra Ram. I asked about this dish since I’ve never seen it before. Its a noodle dish with vegetables in a peanut coconut sauce. I typically stay away from all things containing coconut milk, but this seemed like an exception. Oh! My! Goodness! This was the first thing I finished off my plate! This a recipe I must make when I get home!

WP_001844

After my meal, I went up to the girl behind the counter and raved about the meal. We don’t have anything like this at home and the food was spectacular! I raved about it all day. “Do you like baklava?” was her reply. “Yes.” “Here you go… on the house!” The baklava was how it should be: not drenched in honey, just sticky and sweet enough to feel like a treat!

WP_001846

???????!After changing for the opening ceremonies, a representative from every state, or nation, went on stage and waved their flag. I was honored to represent Delaware, the third one called. By the time all the others were called, my arms were wearing out from waving the flag. (No need to work on my upper body today, haha).  At the ceremonies, our region won the the Distinguished Regional Officer Team Hallmark, and Regional Milestone Award!

WP_001870

Johnny Garlics

3:30am- hit the snooze alarm and roll overWP_001746

3:35am- dad calls, “Are you up?” “5 more minutes”

This sleep deprived lady woke up, threw he last minute items in her bag, made some coffee, and was out the door to catch a 6:30am flight. Whenever I catch a flight, dad and I always swing by Dunkin Donuts for their latest breakfast. This morning, we split the new Steak, Egg, and Cheese wake-up wrap. I was surprised how tasty it was.

After a big hug, I boarded the plane. A little over 5 hours later, we landed in Las Vegas. I was definitely bummed that I was in Vegas and didn’t even get to get off the plane. I was able to sleep for about an hour or so on the first flight, but as soon as we took off from Vegas, I was out! As for on board snacking, I had brought some bars to hold me over. Can you guess what flavor my taste buds were wanting?

WP_001751

I went with the South Beach bar. It tastes like a cookie! I wound up making friend with the gentleman next to me ans we worked on sudoku and crossword puzzles. I was surprised that the airline actually had 100 calorie packs… bring on the Lorna Doones!

WP_001752 WP_001753 WP_001754 WP_001755 WP_001756 WP_001757

Once my grogginess wore off and I entered the San Jose terminal, we grabbed the rental car and headed for a late lunch, which was really our dinner. I was stoked to head to Johnny Garlics. This restaurant was a must on my trip. Its Guy Fieri’s restaraunt.

????????

 

 

WP_001775 WP_001765

We were greeted with a basket of the best focaccia I’ve ever eaten. It was much softer and airier than any focaccia I’ve ever tried and it was seasoned with tons of garlic and herbs. I saw Guy talk about some dishes on Diners, Drive- Ins, and Drives, and ever since I saw it, I knew I needed to try it. The dish that I chose is actually an appetizer, and I rounded it out with some grilled asparagus. Sashimi Won Tacos! Marinaded Sashimi Ahi Tuna, in a fried shell, topped with mango jicama salsa, and drizzled with a wasabi soy mayo. They were all served over a bed of shredded cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper. Wow! The tuna had almost a teriyaki flavor, and the sweet fruits of the salsa paired with the heat of the wasabi perfectly!

WP_001771

 

My chapter advisor and her husband, who joined me for lunch, got the Roasted Garlic soup. I love garlic soup, so I tried some of hers and it was fabulous and topped with grated cheese! My advisor got the Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf, served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, and her husband opted for the lunch special of half a Sonoma salad and half a Cajun Chicken Fetttucine.

WP_001768 WP_001772 - Copy WP_001773

We finally checked into our hotel and I dove into my bed. But I needed to go register for the convention. Afterwards, I headed back to the room to unpack and call the parentals (theres a 3 hour time difference). We found out that there is nothing but restaurants in Downtown San Jose, so we had to drive to a SafeWay to grab some water. While I was there, I also grabbed some fruit to keep in my room along with two bottles of wine to bring home…

WP_001783        WP_001784

Yeah… they sell liquor next to the rolls!

After a shower, I was ready for bed!

WP_001780

Bakeri Bake-Off

Yesterday, I mentioned I made one of my favorite breakfast/dessert recipes. I can’t wait to share it with you.

WP_000455          WP_000458

WP_000463         WP_000459

When I visited Meaghen, back in December, she took me to this quaint coffee shop called Bakeri. It was small, everyone was incredibly friendly and you can watch the food being made right in front of you. They had scones, muffins, cookies, quiche, brownies, focaccia, sandwiches, and so much more! My first morning in Brooklyn I enjoyed some sort of caffeine that I let the expert order for me, a snicker doodle and lavender bar, and a delicious coffee cake!

WP_000461 (1)

The back yard

WP_000462

such a tiny shop

WP_000457

the inspiring breakfast

This recipe is a great way to use up that fruit thats turning a little quicker than you want it to. I’m pretty proud of this recipe, too! Baking is not for everyone, its a real science and this is the first baked dish that I measured out and created solely on my own.

Apple-Cranberry-Pear Walnut Coffee CakeWP_001250

serves 12

2 very ripe pears

2 medium very ripe apples

1 1/4 cup fat free sour cream

1/2 cup finely diced walnuts

1 Tbsp Brummel and Brown Yogurt spread, or butter

1 cup granulated Splenda

1/2 liquid egg whites

2 cups Presto self-rising cake flour, measure after sifting

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup whole frozen cranberries

Streusel:

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1/4 cup whole wheat flourWP_001252

1/3 cup Fiber One bran cereal, measure then pulse in processor until fine

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1/2 Tbsp ground flax (optional)

1 Tbsp granulated Splenda

Combine sour cream through baking soda. Dough will be thick. Stir in the cranberries. Spoon a little less than half in a 9 x 9 baking dish that has been sprayed with some non stick spray. Spread the thick mixture evenly over the bottom with a spoon and ensure it reaches the corners. Let this layer settle, while roughly peeling, coring, and thinly slicing the apples and pears. Spread two-thirds of the sliced fruit over the settled layer of dough. Pour the remaining dough over top and spread evenly. Top with the remained fruit and pat fruit into dough with fingers.

Combine the ingredients for the streusel (brown sugar through flax) in a bowl and mix well. Using you hand, sprinkle to sticky mixture over the cake. Sprinkle the white Splenda evenly over top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 min at 350 F. Uncover and lightly pat down the streusel and bake for another 20-25 min.

Cut into 12 squares while still warm and enjoy!

WP_001257Facts:   1 serving (1/12 recipe)

Calories: 225

Fat: 3.3g

Sat. Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 368 mg

Carbs: 40.8g

Fiber: 3.9g

Sugar: 9.4g

I love how the tartness of the cranberries pairs with the sweetness and earthiness of the apples and pears! Its the perfect amount of sweet! This can be eaten room temp or warmed up. (I like slicing a piece in half, warming it in the microwave,  and adding a side of vanilla ice cream to make it a dessert!)

If you are ever in Brooklyn, I suggest Bakeri! Its quaint and cozy, friendly, and all their food is made with love! I can’t wait to go back!

Today, I was supposed to meet up with Katie, my sponsor to work out… but tell that to my car…

WP_001261So I wound up making breakfast with some leftover hot Italian turkey sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, and   peppers. I topped the eggwhites with a bit of fat free shredded mozzarella. Mom really enjoyed it, and so did I!

WP_001263

After some more procrastination, I finally got myself to sit down and watch a bit of a  lecture.

PS. Bakeri’s cookies are to die for! Salted chocolate and cherries!

WP_000460

WP_000600

Enjoy your Saturday!

DDDD

Yesterday was a Vitalicious- sort of day. On night shift, we had pizza, and all day I was craving more pizza. I never crave pizza… ever! Glad I keep this baby in the freezer:

Tomato and Cheese

Tomato and Cheese

What I like about this VitaPizza is that there is a very thin crust, so it crisps nicely in the toaster oven, theres a thin layer of sauce and tons of diced tomato and garlic!

Today is, what we in the Bundo house call, “Daddy-Daughter Date Day!”

WP_000951

I had to wake up early this morning to drive to the hospital where my clinics rotation is to gather information for my patients this week. After that, I picked up the father and we headed to Philly. A few months ago, on my way to visit some family in Philly, I saw a billboard for the Titanic exhibit t the Franklin Institute. Dad and I have always had a fascination with the Titanic. We used to watch documentaries every Sunday morning on the Discovery channel. Luckily, through my recycling rewards points, I had a “buy one get one free” ticket for the museum.
We had a great time! At the beginning of the tour, you get a boarding pass with the name of a passenger. At the end of the tour, you find out if you survived the event.
Dad was 44 yr old, Mr. William Harbeck of Paris, traveling 2nd class to NY. He was a filmmaker, hired by White Star, to film Titanic’s maiden voyage. He did not survive.

I was Ms. Marie Grice Young, a 36 yr music instructor, to Teddy Rossevelt’s daughter, from NY, in first class, on my way to DC. I made it.
Some of the artifacts were amazing. They had light bulb! Yes, a light bulb, they pieced back together! It was neat to read little bios on some of the passengers and see some of their recovered belongings, including clothing, letters, business cards, and stationary. There was also a live “iceberg” for you to touch to understand how cold the water was. They recreated main rooms of the ship, like the stair case, bedrooms, and hallways. It really sucked you into the period. The only bummer, was that we could not take pictures. I did manage to snag a few though. Shhhhh… it’s a secret.

beautifully recreated doorway

beautifully recreated doorway

the coolest picture of the day!

the coolest picture of the day!

entering the boiler room

entering the boiler room

After the exhibit, we explored the remainder of the museum. One of my favorite parts ever since I was a kid is the Giant Heart! Its a huge heart that you can walk through. It takes you through all the parts of the heart through a maze of stairs, meanwhile you hear a heart beat to enhance the effect.

getting ready to head inside the heart

getting ready to head inside the heart

playing in the kids area

playing in the kids area

cheezeing it up inside an artery

cheezeing it up inside an artery

My absolute favorite area, besides the observatory, is the planetarium. Astronomy has always been a passion of mine. (Guess who owns the seasons of “The Universe?” This chick.) In fact, up until sophomore year of high school, my plan was to attend Cornell for Astronomy or the AFROTC Aeronautical Nursing program. Any way, we saw a film about black holes. Black holes give me the chills. I’ve always been fascinated by them and have written several papers on them throughout my schooling.

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

a fancy old music box

a fancy old music box

The museum has rooms focused on different areas of science: trains, planes, space, electricity (duh, Ben Franklin… Franklin Institute), engineering, and IMAX, and 3D theatre, a giant pendulum, any much more! So many of the staple exhibits have been there since I was a kid. It was so nice to revisit them. Plus, your inner child pokes out its head in all of the interactive “Please Touch” exhibits and games!

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

who needs travelocity?

who needs travelocity?

old school

old school

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

I'd kill for this telescope!

I’d kill for this telescope!

After a few hours in the museum, dad and I walked through the atrium to find the most adorable little girl getting her face painted! This is probably one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen! Her mom let me snap a shot of her.

the most beautiful tiger i've ever seen

the most beautiful tiger i’ve ever seen

We said, “peace out,” to Big Ben (the guy, not the clock) and headed for one of my favorite Wholefoods. Its on Pennsylvania Ave. in Philly. Dad and I wondered around in there, grabbed a few cookies and bagels for the week, and of course, picked up this beautiful fruit salad:

Goodbye, Ben!

Goodbye, Ben!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

After seeing all that food, we drove  around downtown Philly until we headed for South St. We couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for, but my dad said we should go to Maoz. (I was giggling like a little school girl, inside, because I wanted to go there all along but didn’t want to force vegetarian food on him). I explained how the ordering worked and he was willing to give it a try. Dad and I usually love anything with a topping bar. We split the #1. This is a falafel pita with hummus and eggplant, served with Belgian fries and drink. We upgraded to the sweet potato fries, then stuffed our falafel stuffed whole wheat pita with vegetable salad (tomato, zucchini and cucumbers), reed cabbage salad, cilantro sauce, sweet peppers (a must), grilled cauliflower, and later some garlic sauce. Maoz is the only place I will ever eat beets so I grabbed a little cup of that. Dad was so funny! “This is really good! I wish I had one around work. I’d get this for lunch at least once a week! Do they sell this in stores? Let’s get some.” Luckily, I can make it at home! Dad told me we are going to the grocery store to pick up falafel ingredients tomorrow after class! lol This was a really delicious meal. What made it even better, was seeing how much my dad enjoyed it! Perfect size for the two of us to split!

MMMMM... Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite!

MMMMM… Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite and sweet potato fries!

When I got home, I snacked on a Gnu Brownie, smeared with some Low Sodium Better n’ Peanut Butter. Then I completed some paperwork for clinical for Monday, and put on some jams and danced around the living room to do a little cardio.

Wow! What a fantastic day!

RIP to a Philly favorite: Sally Star!

Immediato’s Bistro

Last night, we celebrated my Uncle’s birthday at his favorite restaurant, Immediato’s Bistro.

                        

Jen and Tony used to be my neighbors and I babysat their two boys! It amazes me every time I see the boys how much they have grown! They moved down to Middletown a few years back and opened the bistro and hoagie shop! (great turkey sandwiches, by the way)

Image

Jen and Uncle Eddie

Image

Jen and Me

To celebrate, about 12 close family members joined us for dinner. Each table is welcomed with a basket of fresh ciabatta-like rolls and olive oil. Vinnie, Tony’s brother prepared bruschetta, broccoli rabe topped with freshly grated Locatelli, and chopped antipasto salad! One of my favorite thing about Immediato’s is that they are not cheap with the fresh garlic! I’m not typically impressed with bruschetta, but wow! I literally could have eaten a whole bowl by itself. In fact, the bruschetta went so fast, this half eaten plate was the only picture I could snag!

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Antipasto

Antipasto

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe

During dinner, the loud Italians were silent! Everyone was completely focused on theirs meals.

 

 

Among the entrees chosen were:
Farfelle Immediato

Chicken ala Tony (top) and Farfelle Immediato (bottom)

Chicken alla Tony (top) and Farfelle Immediato (bottom)

Chicken Marsala

Penne with Pesto and Meatballs

Linguini with Meat Sauce

Ravioli in Meat Sauce
Marsala Braised Short Ribs
and the birthday boy and one of my cousins got the

Chicken alla Tony.

Marsala Braised Short Rib

Marsala Braised Short Rib

My dad got the Farfelle, which I’ve gotten before, and loved it. Its not quite an alfredo, but the cream sauce is perfectly complimented by the peas and prosciutto. The braised short rib was something I would have never thought of getting, but our family-friend said that she had it earlier in the week and has been craving it ever since! Naturally, I had to try it. I had never seen gnocchi in anything other than your typical Italian gravies, but this was a like a Marsala-BBQ-y goodness! The beef was pull-apart, fall-apart amazing, and smothered with mushrooms and gnocchi. I believe we will be going back for my cousins birthday in a few weeks. This may be a contender for dinner that night.

The birthday boy isn’t a huge fan of asparagus, but who isn’t a fan of pasta, chicken, and crab meat… He graciously shared the asparagus , of the Chicken alla Tony,with my aunt and me. Perfectly steamed, perfectly crisp.
My meal of choice was actually an appetizer: Mussels White. You can make it a meal by adding a side of pasta. Like I said, they do not skimp on the garlic! My dad, whos not the biggest fan of mussels, couldn’t stop raving about how perfectly cooked this bowl full of  yummy was! And my godfather sweetly asked, “Hey Sammy, could… could I try one?” He was sold! The white wine sauce was fantastic! Once I finished the mussels, I kept scooping my fork in the broth and pulling up chunks of chopped garlic! Yum! To compliment the shellfish, I saved some of the broccoli rabe and ate them together.

Mangia

Mangia

My cousin, Kyle, apparently enjoyed his meal as well…
Yeah, its just THAT good!

Yeah, its just THAT good!

To add to the celebration, Immediato’s had a performer playing guitar and harmonica and singing beautiful Italian songs. My Uncle and dad really enjoyed themselves as they began some vino-induced singing of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York!”
The Birthday Serenade

The Birthday Serenade

And now for the desserts! I think I may have gone up a pant size last night. I could not get enough of the desserts! Vinnie prepared a special birthday dessert for my Uncle, and I have to say, I was shocked, impressed, and in it for the long hull: Fried Gnocchi drizzled with cinnamon, sugar, and chocolate, with a center piece of cannoli filling and homemade pizzelles!They also brought out a cake with a candle, while the guitar player sang and played “Happy Birthday.” Kyle and I had no trouble tapping into that baby while Uncle Eddie enjoyed the Chocolate Truffle Cake!
Blowing out the candles!

Blowing out the candles!

There is a whole case of cookies, cannolis, eclairs, giant cream puffs and truffle cakes, and multi-layer cakes! My cousin, Kyle, and I went to town on the cookies!

MMMMMMM!

MMMMMMM! Birthday Surprise!

They have the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted; and being the chocolate lover that I am, I opted for the chocolate covered ones. Have you ever known me to turn down PB? I got an array of cookies from the case… Raspberry filled shortbread, PB, macaroons, and cheesecake filled.

Some cookies I HAD to bite into!

Some cookies I HAD to bite into!

To top off the night, we cheersed with a shot of my Uncle’s homemade lemon cello.

Salud!

Salud!

I also got my mom a slice of the tallest strawberry shortcake I’ve ever seen! Sorry mom, but I had to tap into that on the ride home.

Decorated with a wafer roll cookie...

Decorated with a wafer roll cookie and stuffed with strawberries and smooth creme!

Once I got home, it hit me light a lightening bolt! PB cookie+Raspberry shortbread= PBnJ! Genius! With my first bite of the PB cookie, I was hooked! It was not just a PB cookie, but a PB STUFFED cookie!

Now thats how a cookie should be!

Now thats how a cookie should be!

As always, it was a wonderful night at Immediato’s Bistro! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend swinging by Main Street for lunch or dinner, just don’t forget the dessert!
Thanks for a great night Jen, Tony, Vinnie, and the crew and Happy Birthday, Uncle Eddie, and many more!!