Sunday, August 31, 2014

145.0…Labor Day Weekend Eats….So Far...

Thursday night, my mom and I decided to grab some ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I really wanted vanilla but they were out (they forgot to order ice cream) ?? so I settled on chocolate chip ice cream with lots of hot fudge. 

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Breakfast on Friday was toast with peanut butter. 

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I packed up, said goodbye to my mom and drove back to San Diego. Before picking up the kids from school, I had a Greek Salad with a chicken kabob at Luna Grill. 

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We took the kids Friday night to the Padres vs. Dodgers baseball game. We had a buffet dinner then watched the exciting game!

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Padres won in extra innings…it was a late night but we all had a great time!

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Breakfast yesterday morning was Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk. 

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I can't say I was very productive Saturday morning. I got the laundry done…that was about it. Lunch was tuna salad, veggies and ranch dressing. 

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We all went over to visit some friends who were staying at La Costa Resort. The kids swam for awhile and then we headed to the lobby for some snacks. We shared some nachos before heading to Firenze for dinner. 

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At Firenze, my husband and I split the Chopped Caesar Salad:

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I ordered the Chicken Piccata. So delicious!!!

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Breakfast today was scrambled egg beaters with LOTS of hot sauce, onions, salsa and cheese.

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I did some grocery shopping…we are having people over for a barbecue tonight. Lunch was the same as yesterday:

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I hope everyone is having a relaxing Labor Day weekend! My dog Arnold is for sure!

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Any Labor Day Weekend Plans?

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

142.2…Small Lunch, Big Dinner

My husband and I had a date night of sorts last night. We went to Back to School Night for a few hours and decided to grab some dinner afterwards at The Pony Room at Rancho Valencia.  I ordered The Chop Chop Salad with Grilled Chicken (iceberg, spinach, mushrooms, hard boiled egg, tomato, blue cheese crumbles, croutons, lemon herb dressing):

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This morning's breakfast was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Almond Coconut Granola, strawberries and blackberries. 

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After I took the kids to school, I drove to Palm Desert to visit my mom. We went to a newer restaurant there, Il Corso, for lunch. We both ordered the Salmon salad. It was small.

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Very small. It's hard to tell in the picture but there was basically no food on the plate. A tiny bit of salad and these very small strips of salmon. They funny thing was that my mom had that same salad there earlier in the week with a friend and it was at least twice the size. Basically we were still hungry when we left. 

We ran errands and stopped for a very early dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Agave. 

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I cannot express my love for this place. Their margaritas are as strong as heck.

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The table-side guacamole is the best:

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I ordered their carne asada plate for dinner:

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It was a giant plate of food but after my lack of food at lunch, I was able to polish most of it off. Happily. 

When was the last time you left a restaurant hungry?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

142.8…Almond Coconut Granola

There is no mistake: I love granola. But it is amazing how much fat, calories and extra junk some granolas have. This is why I like to make my own. You control your own junk. :) My friend Melanie sent me this recipe and I love it!

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Almond Coconut Granola 


3 cups rolled oats

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut (I prefer unsweetened)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (or 6 Tbsp.) dark brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 tsp. salt

1 cup dried cranberries or fruit of choice, optional


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut and brown sugar.

3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a baking sheet.

4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

5. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Add dried fruit, if using. 

Printable Recipe

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For dinner last night, I defrosted and reheated Chicken Ragu sauce leftovers and made some fresh pasta to go with it.

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I also made a Caesar salad to go with it. Easy.

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Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Almond Coconut Granola and mixed berries. 

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After I took the kids to school, I went to the gym for some cardio and weights. Afterwards, I met a couple of friends at the mall and we ran errands, stopping for lunch at True Foods Kitchen. I had never been was excited to try it.  I ordered the Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken (cucumbers, olives, cherry tomatoes, quinoa, feta, sprouted almond and lemon oregano vinaigrette):

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Healthy and delicious. Winner. There were SO many things on the menu that I wanted to try. Looks like I will have to go back!

I just got out of a meeting and am waiting to pick up the kids from school. Tonight we are going to our school's "Back to School Night" and will grab some dinner afterwards. It's one of those "run run run!" days!

What do you like in your granola? Do you make your own?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

144.0…Burger Sauce Burgers

For the last two weekends in a row, I've grilled some delicious burgers. The burgers themselves are good but what makes them even better is the sauce that goes on it. It reminds me of In N Out Burger sauce and I feel that In N Out Burger makes the best burgers ever. Hands down.

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Burger Sauce Burgers (Serves 6)


4 hamburger buns, toasted

4 slices cheddar cheese

Burger toppings: lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles


2 pounds ground beef

1/3 cup chopped scallions 

1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Burger Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. ketchup

3 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

1 1/2 Tbsp. minced onion

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

Salt to taste


1. Combine all burger ingredients and form into six even burger patties.

2. Mix all sauce ingredients, then refrigerate until time to use.

3. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Brush with oil. Cook the burgers 4-5 minutes per side.

4. When 1 minute of cooking time remains, add a slice of cheese on top of each burger. 

5. Serve burgers on toasted buns. Add toppings and generous amounts of sauce.

Printable Recipe

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Awhile back I purchased Coconut Curry Indian Simmer Sauce from Costco. I only used half of it at the time so I froze the other half. Last night I defrosted it, along with defrosting some basmati rice and some frozen peas for dinner. I also enjoyed some Trader Joe's naan bread with it. 

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The sauce froze and reheated like a dream! Love when things work out like that!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with green onions, salsa and cheddar cheese. 

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I dropped the kids off at school, then met my friends at Rancho Valencia to celebrate all our kids being back in school. We sat by the pool and enjoyed a few hours of catching up. For lunch, I had the Cobb salad. 

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Cobb salads are one of my favorite types of salads. I know they aren't the healthiest but I love salads with lots of stuff in it….just not the Wahoo's salad apparently….

Who do you think makes the best burger?

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Monday, August 25, 2014

145.4…Butterscotch Pudding with Cream and Toffee

Here is the last Bunco recipe and I may have saved the best for last: Butterscotch Pudding with Cream and Toffee. It is fabulous beyond words.

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Butterscotch Pudding with Cream and Toffee (Serves 6)

Recipe from Phillis Carey


1/2 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp. water

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp Myers Rum or single malt scotch whiskey, optional

Sweetened whipped cream for topping

Heath Bar bits for topping


1. Put the brown sugar and water in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan; put the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stirring constantly and lowering the heat if necessary, boil for 2 minutes. Add milk and cream and bring to a boil - don't worry if the mixture curdles. 

2. While the milk is heating, put the sugar and egg yolks into the food processor and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and pulse just to mix, then add the cornstarch and salt and pulse a few times to blend.

3. With the machine running, very slowly, pour in the hot liquid. Process for a few seconds, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Cook pudding, whisking constantly until pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles come to the surface and pop, about 2 minutes. You don't want the pudding to boil, but you do want it to thicken, so lower the heat, if necessary.

4. Add the butter, vanilla and optional rum or scotch and whisk until everything is evenly blended.

5. Pour the pudding into six ramekins. If you don't want a skin to form, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding to create an airtight seal. Refrigerate the puddings for at least 4 hours. Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream and toffee bits.

Printable Recipe

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Last night we went to our club for Burger Night. I ordered a turkey burger with arugula, tomato, red onion, pesto aioli and sweet potato fries. Basically a plate of heaven.

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Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Almond Coconut Granola (recipe coming) and mixed berries. 

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My husband dropped the kids off at school and I went to Cardio Muscle class. Afterwards I ran errands stopping at Wahoo's for lunch. It has been a long time since I had been there! I decided to try a new salad: Power Chopped Salad with fish.

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It was a pretty crappy salad. I had it with the cilantro dressing I like but it still was dry and bland. It tasted like something I threw together from a bunch of random leftovers from my fridge. Won't be ordering it again.

Well, the kids have started homework again so my evenings will be less pleasant. When's the next vacation??

Are you a pudding fan? I'm not normally but this pudding recipe makes me one!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

145.4…Double Lemon Curd Cheesecake Pie with Sugared Blueberries

Finally, I bring you the first of the two dessert recipes I made for Bunco. The Double Lemon Curd Cheesecake Pie with Sugared Blueberries is the perfect summer dessert. 

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Double Lemon Curd Cheesecake Pie with Sugared Blueberries (Serves 8)

Recipe from Phillis Carey 



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbsp. sugar

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted


12 oz. package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla


1 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla 

1/2 cup prepared or homemade (recipe below) lemon curd

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries tossed with 3 Tbsp. sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For crust, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. For filling, blend cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, zest and vanilla in food processor until smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Bake until cake is just set, about 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

3. For topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread mixture over warm cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes to set topping. Cool completely on a rack. Spread top with lemon curd, cover and refrigerate for several hours and up to 2 days.

4. Cut cheesecake into wedges to serve with sugared blueberries on top or to the side. 

Lemon Curd 


1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Pinch of salt


1. Whisk sugar, eggs, yolk, butter, lemon juice, zest and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. 

2. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to the consistency of lightly whipped cream, about 5 minutes. Mixture should reach 160 degrees on an instant thermometer at this point. 

3. Strain. Pour into a bowl; cover with plastic wrap set right on the surface of the curd and chill for several hours until cold. 

Printable Recipe 

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We decided to barbecue burgers and corn Friday night. Epic. I made up a batch of Creamy Cole Slaw to go along with the burgers. 

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Saturday's breakfast was pancakes! It's been awhile since I've had a pancake breakfast!

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We went over to a friends house with the kids for the day. We picked up Islands for lunch and I had the Mahi Mahi Tacos. They were fabulous fish tacos!

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Last night we met some friends for dinner at Maurizio Trattoria in Encinitas.  We all shared a few appetizers.

Caprese Salad:

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For my entree, I ordered the Veal Piccata. 

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It was delicious. 

Dessert was pretty fabulous too:

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Warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice of my favorite desserts ever!  I really like Maurizio Trattoria. The service was great…the restaurant is a small family owned place that was packed last night. We had a great time!

Breakfast this morning was Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk. 

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I've spent most of the day cleaning out the garage. It feels good to get stuff organized.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich, Creamy Coleslaw and watermelon. 

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

What was the best thing you ate all weekend?

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Friday, August 22, 2014

142.4…Curried Rice Salad

Here comes yet another delicious Bunco recipe! This one is for Curried Rice Salad. Super easy to make and you can make it the night before…my favorite kind of recipe!

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Curried Rice Salad (Serves 6)

Recipe from: Phillis Carey 


4 cups cold cooked white rice

2 (6 oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts, marinade reserved from 1 jar, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup sliced pimento green olives

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 tsp. curry powder

1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 

Salt and pepper to taste


Toss cold rice with chopped artichokes, green onion, olives, bell pepper, celery and parsley. Stir together the reserved marinade, curry powder and 1 cup mayonnaise; toss with rice and mix thoroughly adding more mayonnaise if needed. Refrigerate until serving time and up to 24 hours. 

Printable Recipe

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Wednesday was the first day of school and it went really well!! We went to a pizza party after school. The kids ate pizza and I picked up Luna Grill for my husband and I on the way home for dinner. 

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Greek salad with a chicken kabob. Insanely good.

Breakfast yesterday morning was toast with peanut butter and half a grapefruit. 

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After I dropped the kids off at school, I went to spin class. Feels good getting back onto a regular workout schedule!

I got my nails done, then grabbed a quick lunch at Marketplace Grill before heading to a meeting at the school.

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Another Greek salad with a chicken kabob. 

We went to my son's final summer basketball game last night. He made it into the finals but unfortunately, their team lost so they came in second place. Still nothing to be sad about! It was such an exciting game…neck and neck the whole way through.

We decided to try the Thursday Taco Night at our club in our neighborhood. I ordered the carnitas which came with tortillas, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo.

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They were just ok. The tortillas were pretty stellar though!

Breakfast this morning was the same as yesterday.

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After drop off, I had a PTO meeting, then it was off to Cardio Muscle class. Lunch was tuna salad, veggies and ranch.

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Tonight we are staying in and barbecuing. Taking advantage of every last minute of summer.

What are your weekend plans?

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