Category Archives: Dinner


My parents arrived last night to spend the long weekend with Andy and I.  I had not seen them since July while on vacation so I was more than excited to spend some time with them.

Boo and Sophia were also quite excited, as they know Grandma and Grandpa come with gifts 🙂

To kick the weekend off, we headed to a restaurant that none of us had ever been to: Mallorca.  I wanted to try something different and something new for all of us, so I searched Google for a recommended restaurant in Cleveland.

Mallorca is a restaurant that serves Portugal and Spanish dishes.  Since my parents and Andy and I enjoy seafood and meat dishes, it sounded like a restaurant we’d all enjoy.  Plus, the prices on the online menu were not outrageous, and seemed fair for they type of food you get along with the upscale vibe of the restaurant.

I had made reservations online and we arrived about 5 minutes early.  Our table was not ready yet, so we headed to the bar (obviously) and ordered a round of drinks while we waited.

I ordered the homemade Sangria, which was fantastic and not overly sweet.  Andy and my dad ordered a Spanish beer while my mom kept it simple with a glass of red wine.

Before we knew it, our tables were ready.  I was glad too, because I was starving! Good thing they immediately gave us fresh bread with olive oil.  We all dug in!

Appetizers and More

For appetizers we shared a plate of calamari and mussels in green sauce.  I detest mussels, so I didn’t eat them, but everyone else said they were really good.  The calamari was pretty standard. It was just OK to me and the dipping sauce was not very flavorful.

I also ordered the garlic soup to have as an appetizer and I really enjoyed it.  It was a very light soup made with chicken broth and had just the right garlic flavor.  If you love garlic, I’d recommend this soup.

Salads came out next (which I had no idea were served – it was not stated on the menu).  They were light and fresh and I enjoyed it.  However, if I would have known you get a salad with your entree I would have not ate so many appetizers! I was really full by the time my dinner came.

Entrees and Sides

For my entree I ordered the Tilapia Rellena, which was a tilapia fillet stuffed with crab, scallops and shrimp.  It was good, but I could only manage to eat a few bites since I was so full from the appetizers!

My dad and Andy ordered a veal dish that was served in a mozzarella cream sauce.  Andy said it was just OK and that he’d order something different next time.  My dad ate his right up though and said it was great.  Different strokes for different folks I guess! My mom got a shrimp dish that look amazing.  The shrimp were stuffed with moscapone cheese…yum!

All of the entrees came with family style side dishes including rice, steamed veggies, and “spanish potatoes” (which were basically glorified potato chips).  I was not impressed with the sides at all, and would much prefer to have a variety of options to choose from.  I’m not a big rice person and I can get potato chips anywhere.

Dessert and a Shot 

Although I was stuffed, I still ordered dessert to go.  I ordered the caramel cheesecake but unfortunately I didn’t look in the box until I got home and they gave me the wrong kind.  They gave me a raspberry cheesecake.  Although I still ate it, I much would have preferred the caramel one that I ordered.

At the end of the meal, we were each served a complimentary round of almond liquor shots.  I thought this was a fun and unique way to end the meal!

Our dining experience was nice and we did have a good time, but it certainly wasn’t exceptional for how upscale the restaurant is.  I think I expected more from the service (it was slow) and more from the food (I would say it was pretty average – nothing blew me away).

In the car yesterday Andy and I were discussing what we thought about Mallorca and agreed that while it was not a bad meal by any means, it’s jut not somewhere we’d go back to.  There are way too many restaurants in the area that we want to try and this one just wont be a repeat visit.

Greek Festival

For the rest of the weekend we spent time looking at houses online (and went to one Open House) since Andy and I would like to buy a home in the next year or so.

We also hit up a local Greek Festival to get our grub on yet again.

We had a nice time and enjoyed all of the Greek food available (I had two slices of baklava!) The rest of our night was spent watching a movie at home.  The weather was very stormy so we all just curled up on the couch and relaxed.

I had a great weekend with my parents and I already can’t wait to see them again.  Luckily I’ll be seeing them in mid October when I take a visit to Cincy. And though I will certainly miss them dearly, I think Boo and Sophia will miss them a little more, especially tackling my dad in the guest room:

I hope you all had a great weekend!


What’s something fun you did this weekend?

Pizza and a Movie

After doing some cleaning around the house Saturday morning, Andy and I headed out to grab some lunch and get some groceries at Whole Foods.

We’ve been shopping at Whole Foods rather than our regular grocery store, Giant Eagle, because we eat more organic foods.  We noticed that Giant Eagle’s organic selection is actually more expensive than at Whole Foods and they don’t even have a great selection.

Although organic is still more expensive than non-organic, I definitely prefer spending the extra money for better quality on the food Andy and I eat.


We decided to stop at First Watch for lunch.

First Watch is one of my favorite restaurants.  They seem to really care about the quality of their food, which is a pleasant surprise for a chain restaurant.  I’ve found that some chains really lack in quality.  First Watch has never dissapointed me! Plus they have a pretty awesome menu selection and you can’t go wrong with any of their meals.

For lunch I decided on the open face chicken salad sandwich with the tomato basil soup on the side.  Andy went with a roast beef sandwich that came with a side of potatoes (home fry style) and a small salad.

I loved this meal, especially the chicken salad.  It had just the right amount of sweetness from the fruit and just the right creaminess from the dressing.  A definite winner! The soup was good, but not my favorite.  Andy seemed to enjoy his sandwich since he cleaned  his plate!


After our bellies were full it was on to Whole Foods.

It was Saturday afternoon, so Whole Foods was rockin’ with shoppers.  But the good thing about Whole Foods is that they are usually spacious so I don’t feel too confined or uncomfortable shopping.

Plus, I’ve never had to wait in line to check out.  They always seem to have a lot of employees working and they even have someone that loads up your groceries into bags and into your cart. That seems like it should be typical for all grocery stores, but I’ve really seen such a decline in that type of service.

Whole Foods definitely steps up their customer service and I think they’re top notch.

We spent about $95, which is more than usual since we stocked up on some beer and wine for Labor Day weekend coming up.  Typically we spend around $75/week on groceries.

I picked up a new flavor of hummus that I have not had before: Caramelized Onion Hummus.  Wow, it’s super tasty! If you like the flavor of caramelized onions, you should try this.

Saturday Night 

Andy and I decided to stay in for the night and munch on some left over pizza from Pizza Friday.

I had some Greek Pizza which had chicken, feta, tomatoes, spinach, and olives.

Andy had a Hawaiian Pizza with pineapple, ham, onion, and bacon. We had ordered the pizzas from a local place called Revolution Pizza.  It’s become a favorite of ours!

While eating, we decided to watch a movie on Netflix.  Andy had wanted to see a documentary called Dear Zachary that his friend had recommended a couple of months ago.

I love documentaries, so I was all for it, but this one was extremely sad.  Although there were parts that were heartfelt and hopeful, it was still a very tragic story about loss. If you like documentaries, you will like this as it’s very well made, especially with the subject it’s about: death and tragedy.

Hurricane Irene

Thoughts and prayers to those on the East Coast and anyone who is being affected by this storm.

My parent’s home is in Emerald Isle, NC and was in the direct path of the storm.  I have not talked to them to see if they heard anything on their house, but luckily they had left town and headed back to Ohio last week.

I found this picture of Atlantic Beach which is only miles from my parents house and a town I spend a lot of time in when I am in North Carolina on vacation:


The storm has moved out and is moving on up the coast, so be safe everyone!

His and Her Dinners

My lack of sleep from the bad storm and my 5AM wake up call yesterday finally caught up with me by the time I got home from work.  I was exhausted! I grabbed my pillow and blanket and headed straight for the couch to relax.

Andy had the same idea when he got home a couple of hours later and soon he was fast asleep on the couch while I watched the finale of the Real World Challenge (And yes, I realize I watch the same shows as high school age kids) 

I didn’t want to wake Andy up from his nap, so I headed in the kitchen to make myself breakfast for dinner.  I knew that Andy had wanted to use up some ground beef, so I figured we’d just have our own “His and Her” dinners tonight.

On my menu for the night: Waffles n’ Eggs!

I chopped up a tomato to fill in my omelet, which consisted of 1 whole egg and two whites plus a splash of milk.  Shredded cheese was also added to complete my omelet.

Dinner came together in a flash and it was oh-so-good! I love this combination!  Plus I love waffles topped with real maple syrup.

There was a time in my life when I tried to eat everything sugar free and get as few calories as possible from foods like syrup or creamer.  Long gone are those crazy days!  Bring on the real food! And what’s funny is that I used to eat enormous servings of the sugar free stuff and now that I eat the real thing, I only need a little bit to get all of that wonderful flavor.

Man Food 

Andy finally woke up after 2 hours of napping and was ready for some dinner. So he headed out to make some serious man food on the grill: Burgers!

Boo and Sophia were doing some serious begging for his burger (even after I gave them egg yolks…I guess a burger is more enticing!)

Let's make a deal...You can have some of my dry, I mean delicious, dog food and I'll have one of your juicy burgers...

For God's sake, drop something!

The rest of the evening was spent reading in bed. I’m currently reading The Help, which is such a great read so far! I wanted to read it before I saw the movie that is out.

Morning Run

I awoke today feeling well rested (finally!) and decided to take Boo and Sophia on a quick 2-mile run.  It was a great way to start the morning!

When we got back I attempted to take a picture with the dogs…

The pictures didn’t turn out so well…(although the overgrown weeds sure look pretty!)

This one was as good as it was going to get…

These two  were just more interested in cooling off on the patio instead…

Life is so hard

The rest of the morning was spent eating breakfast (Shredded Wheat and Peanut Butter Puffins cereal with strawberries and soy milk) and catching some of the Today Show before packing my lunch and heading off to work.

Almond Butter and Tomato Sandwich

I was inspired by Kelly when I made my lunch for work this morning.  The other day she talked about one of her favorite sandwiches: Peanut Butter and Tomato! This intrigued me, so I decided to try it.

I sliced up the tomato and seasoned it with salt and pepper:

I then topped two slices of bread with Almond Butter before packing it up in my lunch bag.

I packed the tomato and almond butter sandwich separately and then assembled it at work while on my lunch break.

I loved this sandwich and I think the salt and pepper on the tomato really adds such great flavor.  I’ll be making this combination again!

Gossip Friday

While sitting outside for my lunch break, I caught up with the latest US Weekly.

Fridays have become “Gossip Friday” for me since that is when the new magazine comes out.  I’ll admit, I enjoy reading celebrity gossip and just mindlessly flipping through the pages looking at the pictures.  It makes for a very relaxing lunch break too!

Have a great Friday everyone!


What are some of your favorite magazines to read?

Eating just to Eat

Last night of course was Taco Tuesday…and surprisingly we are still not sick of it! I think we’ve been on our Taco Tuesday kick every week without fail for well over a month, if not more.  Bring on the Mexican food! 🙂

For our tacos we had:

  • Re-fried Vegetarian Beans
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce
  • Chips

I made a taco pile and enjoyed a glass of Skinny Girl Margarita.  I just can’t seem to eat tacos without it!

It was a delicious dinner but I was completely stuffed.  Two taco piles will do that to ya I guess!

Family Walk

After dinner Andy and I decided to take the dogs for a walk.  We have not done that in so long so it was nice to get out and spend some quality time with our lil’ family.

Plus, these two crazy monsters needed to do something with their never-ending energy:

Who, Me?

This is just our warm up

We walked around the neighborhood for about a half hour and enjoyed the nice, warm evening.

When we got back everyone was looking a bit tired

I'm not ready for bed, I just need to rest my eyes

Andy and Sophia even shared a special moment relaxing on the couch:

She is quite the Diva in the household

Eating just to Eat

Once I sat back down on the couch and caught up on the latest episode of Millionaire Matchmaker (holy first date in the hot tub!), I felt hungry. Well, to be honest I wasn’t all that hungry but I really wanted something sweet to munch on.  A small bowl of cereal did the trick!  Sometimes I eat just to eat.  There, I said it 😉

I don’t care that I do this sometimes and in fact, I enjoy it.  I enjoy food so much and sometimes I do just eat simply because I want to.

I also sometimes eat because I am bored, tired, happy or upset.  I admit that I do use food for comfort from time to time.  But I am OK with it. I don’t do it often, but I do think it’s completely normal to want something to comfort you, and for me it’s sometimes just a warm, filling meal.

My focus on food and exercise has changed dramatically over the last few years.  I’ve gone from meticulously counting grams of protein, carbs, and fat (especially during Figure Competition prep) to counting scoops of ice cream at Dairy Queen (and making sure I get plenty!)

I’m not saying I don’t care about what I eat (because I do!), but I certainly don’t go crazy.  I’ve found a balance that works for me.  To some, my diet may be unhealthy.  I mean I ate tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream at dinner (which is just fine by me).  But by others’ healthy living standards it may be junk.  It’s all just food to me and I like it all.  The good, the bad, and the extra greasy.


Do you ever eat just to eat?

5 Years: And it Started with a Bike Ride

Today marks 5 years for Andy and I! We’ve been through a lot and I’m blessed to have such a wonderful person in my life.

The Beginning

Andy and I met the summer before our senior year in college.  We were neighbors and my house of roommates and his house of roommates soon became friends.

We started neighbor traditions like going to a bar a certain night (like Monday for 80’s night at a bar called Uptown) and we even had our own holidays like Neighbsgiving.  We all just had a great time together and I was lucky enough to become more than friends with Andy.

Love at First Sight

I actually think I experienced “Love at First Sight” with Andy.  I was riding my bike home from my class one summer day and spotted this guy walking a puppy (seriously, he was walking a puppy…can’t get cuter than that!) All of a sudden it felt as if I was being smacked upside the head and if I could put the feeling into words, it was as if someone said to me “Pay Attention!”

I looked up and made eye contact with Andy, mumbled a ‘hello’ and went on my way.  But I had this gut feeling that I would see him again and that he was special.  I would go as far to say that I felt that I would marry him one day.  I felt that strongly about it!  It was really the strangest feeling.

Just a couple of days later when I came home from class, I walked into the door of the house my roommates and I shared and guess who was standing in my kitchen? Andy! I was floored! Here was this random guy I mumbled hello to on the street and creepily felt a connection with.  I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by! Turns out he was friends with one of my roommates.

It was then that I also found out we were neighbors and soon enough we all became friends and Andy and I started our relationship.  And here we are 5 years later. I guess I was in the right place at the right time.  To think this all started with a simple bike ride! 🙂

Our relationship is not perfect and never has been, but it’s been one that I treasure deeply.  It’s one of the most wonderful feelings to have someone you can trust and love completely and know they have your back no matter what can happen in life. I really love Andy unconditionally and I know he feels the same way towards me.  I can’t ask for a better person to be sharing my life with!  Happy 5 Years!!

(This picture is from my friend Lindsay’s blog)

When are you getting married?! 

When are you getting married is a question I’ve been asked quite a few times, especially since we have been dating 5 years now. My family and his family are definitely dropping hints!  We do not have any plans to get married right now and the simple answer for when I want to get married is when he asks! I honestly want to be completely surprised and I don’t want to know when it will happen. I’m perfectly content not married right now and things will happen when they’re supposed to.  I do want kids in the future and so does Andy so we’ll cross that bridge in the next few years 😉

For now these goobers are enough to handle:


To celebrate our 5 years Andy and I are going to one of our favorite spots, Noosa Bistro (OK, I’m lying, it’s totally my favorite but that’s the kind of guy Andy is…but he is a big fan of their tomato basil soup!)

We’ll be having a late dinner since I work until 7:30pm.  And I’m definitely getting a martini!

Have a great night everyone!

Question of the Day:

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Blizzards for a Cause

Apparently I can’t get enough of interval workouts because yesterday on my lunch break I tackled yet another one.   This one was brutal and I wanted to yell obscenities much like I wanted to while completing this interval workout last week.

I used this deadly interval combination to come up with another rendition. I call this one: Intervals of Death Part II.

To be honest, I originally planned to do another incline running interval at minute 25  (5.5mph at 10%) and complete a full two minute interval for minute 19, but I completely ran out of steam! So the above  workout is what I actually did, not planned.  Regardless, it was a tough cardio workout!

Waffles n’ Eggs

Since coming back from San Diego our refrigerator and pantry is pretty empty. Luckily I can always count on enjoying breakfast for dinner on nights like these!

For dinner last night I made Waffles n’ Eggs.  It’s such a delicious combination.  I love the savory (eggs) with the sweet (waffles and syrup) mixed together in one meal.

I topped two waffles with real maple syrup:

On the side I made an omelet with one whole egg + two egg whites and a splash of soy milk. I filled the omelet with chopped onion and tomato and topped with a shredded Mexican blend cheese.

I love breakfast for dinner!

Whenever I am cooking eggs (or anything really) I can always count on these two for company:

I hope this woman drops something

Don't you ever share?

Lucky for them I do in fact share and gave them each an egg yolk.  Andy often asks if he can have the extra yolks but I always give them to Boo and Sophia. Sorry! 😉

Blizzards for a Cause

While I was driving home from work yesterday I heard a radio commercial mention that the local Cleveland Dairy Queens were giving the proceeds from blizzards sold on Thursday to the Children’s Miracle Network.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a charitable contribution (and not to mention give me a reason to eat my second blizzard of the week.  Moderation is not my thing apparently)

Andy was feeling extra charitable and bought us both medium blizzards.  And they were beyond delicious as usual.

In my mix: Reese cups and Oreo.  Try it, it’s a winning combination! Andy gets a Turtle Pecan Cluster which is a close second to mine 😉

Now I just need the local pizza restaurants to start giving some of their proceeds to charity.  It’s Pizza Friday after all!

Weekend Plans

Tomorrow I am planning to attend an early Yoga class that’s being offered for free. I love taking Yoga classes and I don’t get to take them that often so I’m excited to go.

We also have another wedding Saturday night for one of Andy’s family friends.  Another excuse to drink way too much and act a fool on the dance floor.  Can’t wait 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!


What’s your favorite Blizzard, ice cream or frozen yogurt combination?

I Love Interval Workouts

Since coming back from San Diego I’ve had to jump right back into my workout schedule since I teach Group Exercise regularly at work.  I find that getting right back on track with my workouts after a vacation is the best way to get back on a normal schedule.

I go through a slight post vacation depression (typically Monday morning!) but as soon as I get back on a schedule I feel much better. And as much as I miss vacation, and partying with my friends, I certainly don’t miss the hangovers!

Interval Workouts

Tuesday during my 30-minute lunch break I tackled an interval workout on the treadmill that I came up with.  Here’s what I did:

This workout was pretty challenging and just what I needed to get my workout mojo back post vacation!  It was not as hard as this interval workout (which makes me want to say some really bad things while running on a 15% incline!) but it was still a great, sweaty cardio workout (especially the minute at 6mph and 10%!)

I love interval workouts and typically do them when I am pressed for time.  Since I only have 30 minutes for lunch I like to make the most of it by working hard.  I simply don’t have time to slack.  I put my head phones on and I go!

Taco Tuesday

I’m not sure if there is a correlation between interval workouts and increased cravings for Mexican food, but I seriously have been craving it like crazy! Luckily Andy and I share the same passion for cheese, salsa, and sour cream so our Taco Tuesday tradition has not gotten old!

I made my usual taco pile with the following ingredients:

  • Spanish rice
  • Vegetarian re-fried beans
  • Organic sour cream (organic tastes so much better! It’s worth the extra dollar or two!)
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Salsa

I went back for a second pile:

I love Mexican food so much that I’ve had it 4 days in a row!! And I could probably keep it going, but I think tonight I’ll mix it up and make something else….we’ll see 😉

Work Picnic

On Wednesday my work had a picnic and awards ceremony for our directorate group.  We enjoyed a nice spread of cook out foods, like hamburgers, BBQ chicken, veggie burgers and an array of side dishes and dessert.  I love having a party on the clock! 🙂

I filled my plate with a sampling of all sorts of goodies including a veggie burger, potato salad, pineapple casserole (which is awesome!), hummus, and salad.  For dessert I had two small brownies.  It was all delish!

We spent the afternoon eating, mingling, and playing games.  All in a days work 😉

Have a great day everyone!


What meal could you have multiple days in a row and not get sick of? Along with Mexican food I could also eat seafood bisque and crab cakes day after day…oh how I miss the beach!