Date Week

By some stroke of luck, Barry and I actually had like 9 days off… Together! For the past week or so, we had been working opposite schedules so we wanted to take advantage of the vacation.

The Philadelphia Zoo

Monday, July 15, we began the week with some monkeying around. Seriously, I love the primates at the zoo! We arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo around 11am or so to begin our wickedly humid day. I felt like I was 5 again! The entire drive to zoo, I was singing, “We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo!”

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Barry was starting to get a bit hungry, so we made a pit stop to the nearest kiosk and he ordered chicken finger n fries. I love this picture, mid-chew!

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Yeah, Barry, it is hot! Right out of the fryer! Barry and I both have little things that get us oddly enthused, especially when it comes to food. So when he saw the blend-your-own-ICEE wall, he needed to get one!

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Seaside

Tuesday began around 9am, with the Dunkin Donut breakfast sandwich for Barry. We spent the next 2 hours driving until we reached my favorite place in the world: Seaside Heights. I love being able to share this place with others. Although the hurricane wiped out all the rides, just being there and walking the boardwalk was a nice time!

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I introduced him to Kohrs Bros. Orange Cream, with jimmies, or course.

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Last week, I mentioned that place that fries everything so Barry got deep fried Reeses, and a deep fried cannoli to appease me. Not impressed….

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WP_003086He was reunited with Sawmill Pizza! MMMMM Buffalo chicken pizza and a beer! And I took him to few of my favorite games, like Shoot the Geek (its a paintball game that dad and I are obsessed with), the old carousel, and a few super ancient games, like Bimbo. And lastly, delving into his sweet tooth a bit more, I introduced him to Berkeley’s fudge!

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Valanni?

Thursday, begin in my house with one of my favorite shakes: White Chocolate Pear, inspired by Harry and David’s Chocolate covered pear collection. I made dad and Frank shakes, too.

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Rather than going back to Valanni as planned, I suggested we stay home, to save money (and calories), and cook. To stick with the Valanni theme, I tried my hands at those delicious Brussels sprouts! I found a recipe for Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprout and Toasted Walnuts and used that as my base.

WP_003112After buying a pound of fresh brussel sprouts and cutting them into quarters, I sprinkled black pepper, a touch of salt and granulated garlic, and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over them, shook them up, and let them sit. Meanwhile, I chopped 2 Tbsp of slivered almonds, and finely diced half a large granny smith apple. (The other half found its way into my tummy.)

I sprayed a baking sheet with non stick spray, emptied the sprouts on it and baked them uncovered for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, at 375 F. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over top and bake for another 5 minutes. Removed from the oven and toss with the apple.

While these were baking, I marinated some chicken breast in Annie’s Hot Chipotle BBQ Sauce and threw them on the grill.

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Although the sprouts weren’t like the ones at the restaurant, I still enjoyed them. I, did, however, learn a few things in the process of making these:

  • fresh brussel sprouts take much longer to roast than frozen ones
  • Valanni must dowse the sprouts in balsamic vinegar, because the sprouts that were well coated tasted the closest to the originals
  • try and try again… Since I know I’m on the right track, it only gives me more incentive to try to get this down!

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Harry Potter

Every night for the past week, Barry and I have watched a Harry Potter movie. Needless to say, when Barry found this shirt at the zoo, I just couldn’t stop laughing!

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I also truly love this glass! It took everything in me not to buy it! If you have to, click on the picture to enlarge it. Its hilarious!

To finish off Date Week, we watch Deathly Hollows Part 2, and each enjoyed a bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Praline Crunch Yogurt Blend, topped with jimmies! We’ve been having a debate, since Seaside, as to call them sprinkles or jimmies…. Its okay, I know the truth… Jimmies (wink).

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I know…

While the guys BBQ’d burgers and dogs and made mac n cheese for dinner last night, I steamed a big bag of California blend frozen veggies, seasoned with garlic, basil, and a drizzle of light Italian dressing. “Is that good?” Barry asks. “Try it.” “Wow, that is good!” “I know….”   🙂

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We fell asleep watching Part 1 of the Half Blood Prince, last night, and awoke with a serious coffee craving. The coffee really hit the spot today. Barry and I split a Cinnamon Raisin English muffin, dipped in sugar free syrup.

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The heat has been pretty intense lately and it really got to me today. I had every intention of going to Zumba, but every time I stood, I got light headed. I tried to drink a lot of water today, but still had to blow off class.

Mid-morning, I got a crazy hankering for grilled zucchini. Dad and I headed to the farmers market. My belly was growling something fierce and I opted for some seaweed salt. Dad ans I are addicted to the stuff! I may have tapped into this container while still shopping.

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Also making an appearance this afternoon was a new KIND bar: Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.

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Dad described it really well as, “nondescript.” After having Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate  by Chocolove and really catching that bite, I expected more from this bar… more of a spice or a kick.

When we got home, I lit up the grill and grilled hot dogs for the guys and zucchini for me.

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zucchini boats

Slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, deseed the vegetable to create a boat.

Spray the exposed zucchini with nonstick cooking spray and place down on the grill, so the green is facing up. Grill over medium-high heat until grill lines are evident and water has clearly been drawn out of the vegetable, approximately 15 minutes. (This may take longer depending on how well you want the zucchini cooked.) Flip the zucchini over and lightly brush with pesto, or red sauce, and sprinkle with black pepper.

Top with desired toppings.I topped mine with sliced tomatoes, turkey pepperoni, and fat free shredded mozzarella, granulated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes!

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Grill for another 10 minutes or so, or until the desired wellness of the vegetable.

“Is that good? Dad asked. “Try it.” “Wow! That’s better than I thought!” “I know…”   🙂

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Later this evening dad called me to tell me how he was still impressed with how tasty the grilled zucchini was!

I picked up a peach at the market, earlier, in honor of National Peach Ice Cream Day. Taking a cue from Hungry-girl, I sliced the peach in half, sprayed the exposed fruit, and grilled it skin side up. Still warm, with well defined grill marks, about 13 minutes on medium high heat, I served it with a scoop of Breyers Vanilla Carb Smart Ice Cream!

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Since I wasn’t going to Zumba, I sat on the porch with some fresh brewed iced tea and studied for the boards.

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I was very content, hunger-wise, for the majority of the day.Right until around 9pm… I did some snacking to figure out jut what I was looking for… the winner? Pineapple!

My accomplishment of the day: single handedly eating a whole pineapple!

I sliced up a pineapple after dinner, and throughout the night, I kept stealing slices of it. It was the best pineapple I’ve had all season! Is it bad to eat a whole pineapple in 1 day? I’m not sure, but I’d rather eat that than ice cream or cookies. (I did eat a few cookies, today, though…)   :/

And now? Well, I can’t sleep. I think all that pineapple gave me a sugar high! So until I start fading, its blog fun and Rugrats reruns on late night TV.