Mac Off and Menchie’s

On Saturday afternoon, we got together with a group of friends for a good cause. A cause near and dear to my heart. 
This is very serious.
But not really.
The annual Charleston Mac Off! Mac and cheese, that is. 

photo 1

Did you catch that? There, on that sign…White chocolate s’mores mac and cheese?! You know my eyes went big and my sweet tooth went crazy when I read that. It sure sounded strange, but I HAD to try it. Well, turns out it was just as weird as you would think. I love Graze and give them all the credit for taking a chance with that one, but it simply was not good. Sorry, Graze 😦
Once I got that out of my system, I tried all kinds of more traditional mac and cheese. You may have also noticed Crave listed on that chalkboard sign. And yes, they had won the competition for three consecutive years prior to this year. Wouldn’t you know it, but Crave won again! 
photo 2

Here I am with a sample of the mac from Poogan’s Porch, complete with scallions, country ham and smoked gouda. This was one of my faves. 
photo 3

Of all of the delicious mac and cheese I ate (way too much, but that was to be expected I suppose), this butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce was the best part of my day. Rio Bertolini’s makes fresh pasta, which I’ve bought from local farmer’s markets before. They know how it’s done. I bought some lobster ravioli, butternut squash ravioli and whole wheat pizza dough to bring home for dinners this week. 
photo 4
I needed something cool and refreshing as the heavy cheesy pastas quickly got the best of me. I’m not much of a beer drinker, or a day drinker for that matter, so this sparkling lemonade was perfect. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch watching football with friends, taking a nap and recovering from the mac overload. Somehow I managed to be hungry by dinnertime. I ate a salad at Moe’s then loaded up on a heavenly bowl of Menchie’s – Pure Chocolate, Cake Batter, Praline Pecan, and Peanut Butter yogurt topped with peanut butter cups, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 
What a day!

July Blog-A-Day #25: A Day in the Life

I love a good schedule and routine in my daily life. Like everyone else, each day slightly varies day to day, but it usually looks something very similar to this…
Alarm goes off. I think, “Nooooo.” And hit snooze once, sometimes twice. I roll out of bed, get dressed for a workout, and head downstairs. By this time Zoey has heard me moving about and is ready to get out of her crate. We go outside to ‘go potty’ then come back inside to feed her breakfast. I take Zoey upstairs to take a nap with Greg while I go get my workout on. Sometimes this done in our condo’s fitness center, sometimes outside. 
Back home, I shower and get ready for work. Greg and I take a few minutes to give Zoey some attention before we have to leave. Sometimes I eat breakfast before I leave, sometimes I bring it with me to eat at my desk. 
Time to work away! With a hot mug of coffee nearby, the first hour or so of work flies by. 

I leave the office to go home for my lunch break. I go home every day to take care of Zoey. Between letting her outside, walking around for a few minutes, making and feeding myself lunch, this break goes way too quickly. 
Back to work for the rest of the day. 
Leave work and head home to my little family. 
Greg and I walk Zoey to the park. Unfortunately, this has been eliminated from my routine this past week while Zoey recovers from her surgery. 
Home and hungry! Sometimes we cook a real meal, sometimes we throw together an assortment of random things. Occasionally we go out to eat, but it’s rare for a weekday. Thankfully, Friday evening counts as the weekend where eating out is much more common. Chipotle here we come!
The thing I have been thinking about all day has arrived. Dessert. Publix frozen yogurt to be exact. Duh. Tonight I came up with a fantastic combination. One scoop of the Roadrunner Raspberry and one scoop of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie, topped with whipped cream. And red wine 😉 I usually enjoy my dessert in front of the TV with Greg. This is where we hang for the rest of the night. 
I love a (relatively) early bedtime. Staying up too much later than this on a weeknight is not my thing. I can be a big girl on the weekends and stay up later, but even then midnight is typically my limit. I’m an old married woman now. Ha. 

What’s the highlight of your daily routine?

July Blog-A-Day #21: DI Yogurt and Blueberry Cheesecake

Oh no! I’ve gotten behind on this blog-a-day thing. Whoops! It’s only one day though, so hopefully I can make up for it before this month is said and done. 
I’m just popping in tonight to highlight two delicious parts of my weekend.
1. DI Yogurt.
FINALLY! A frozen yogurt place opened on Daniel Island last week and I could hardly wait to get there. It did not disappoint. Better than Menchie’s?? Better than Di’lishi?? 
…You didn’t hear it from me.
I first went on Saturday night and filled my cup with some cake batter, dark chocolate and plain old vanilla. Then topped it with walnuts, peanut butter cups, whipped cream and sprinkles. While out for a bike ride on Sunday evening, I talked Greg into stopping for a cold treat. I am thrilled to have the fro yo right next to home, but I can see it becoming dangerous as well.
The yogurt was soooooooo creamy. Many of the toppings were comparable to the other fro yo joints around, but I noticed some of the fruit may have been sitting out a bit too long and they didn’t have chunky Oreo pieces that I usually like. Instead, the cookies were finely ground. The yogurt itself made up for it though. I will definitely be a regular.
2. Blueberry Cheesecake Pie
Since the fro yo stop on our bike ride was technically only a “snack,” I needed something for dessert later that night after dinner. I baked Bridget’s Blueberry Cheesecake Pie, which became the perfect ending to my weekend. 
It was my co-worker’s birthday today so I knew I wanted to bring the cheesecake into the office to share with her. It was a good thing I had that excuse, otherwise Greg and I easily would have eaten the entire thing this week. 
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

July Blog-A-Day #13: Issue a Public Apology

Day 13: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or serious as you want it to be. 

I apologize to you for spending yet another blog post raving about my (and it will be yours too) next new favorite Publix frozen yogurt flavor. Chocolate Cookie Quarry. Brooke told me I had to try it and boyyyy am I thanking her now. This stuff is amazing. 
I also must apologize to my future doctors who will first tell me I have eaten too much frozen yogurt in my lifetime. Whoops. And they will probably give me hard time for my somewhatttt excessive salt intake. Like a shake of salt on top of my chocolate fro yo is excessive or something???

Yes, you read that correctly. Call me weird, but I promise it’s delicious. Just a small sprinkle though, not even a full shake of the salt shaker. Chocolate fro yo with a hint of saltiness…oh my goodness. My life is complete.

Work-Night Surprise Fro Yo

I officially have the best fiancé e-ver. While working the late shift last night, I had just finished eating dinner at my desk and thinking about how nice it would be if I had some froyo. I stuck a Hershey’s kiss in my mouth, realizing all hope was lost and that would have to suffice. Not even five minutes later Greg called me to ask if I wanted Menchie’s. Ummmm?!?!?! Yes pah-leeeze! 
Before I knew it, he was at my office with a bowl of half cake batter, half brownie batter, topped with cherries, frosted animal crackers and sprinkles. 

And before I knew it, it was gone 😦

Just a Glimpse of Yesterday

Vegetable wrap.

From the Whole Foods Cafe, this wrap is stuffed with lettuce, tomato, spring mix, spinach, onion, roasted red peppers, black olives, carrots, hummus, avocado and cucumber. It’s named: The Johnny Mack. You can always create your own sandwich/wrap, but why mess with this one? 
Frozen yogurt.
I am officially obsessed with Publix brand frozen yogurt. I know I’ve said it before, but I really just can’t get enough. I am always pleasantly surprised by not only their flavor choices, but also by the creaminess of their yogurt. They make a wide variety of ice cream flavors too. I haven’t tried any of those yet, mostly because I love that their frozen yogurt only has 100-130 calories per serving.
This week I tried a new-for-me flavor, Peanut Butter Cup. I topped my bowl off with caramel sauce and chocolate sprinkles. I died at first bite. But don’t worry. I came back to life and finished off the bowl. Cereals? Delicious. 
Today I am continuing my streak of deliciousness and going downtown to grab a doughnut to eat while I stroll through the Farmers Market. It’s supposed to be crazy hot here today so I’m hoping an early start will help. I’m sure I’ll be ready to hit the pool by 10:30!
Have a good one everyone. And, before I go, I have to give a special shout out to Christina. Happy birthday!!!!!

A Week of New Foods

Let’s talk about this past week, shall we?

It. Was. LONG! But guess what? It’s over! Even though I felt exhausted waking up just about every day this week, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of the sunrise on my morning runs. I have the best views from the paths behind my condo. I usually hate having to stop at any point during a run, but I just had to take a picture of this.

I also have fallen in love with these dark chocolate caramels from Trader Joe’s that I first saw via Jenny’s twitter feed last week. 
The bag was small and I thought it might leave me wanting more, but I have actually made it last a couple of days. Eating just three or four chocolates at a time went a long way. And that’s saying a lot coming from me. But, to be completely honest, popping a few of these for dessert mostly came alongside a cookie or ice cream too 🙂
Another newfound Trader Joe’s item for me are their veggie burgers. 

The first burger I made this week I ate on a bun with a slice of cheese and lettuce. I had another one the following night and decided to pretend like I’m watching my carbs by skipping the bun. I topped it with some shredded cheese and had a salad with boiled egg on the side. 

I don’t love these, but they aren’t bad by any means. If you have never had a veggie burger (which I hadn’t) the first bite is a bit of a surprise. I think I just had in my mind that it was supposed to at least somewhat be similar to a beef burger. Not only do these taste completely different, but the texture was different too. These are much softer and weaker (for lack of a better word) than beef or turkey burgers. It sort of fell apart if I tried to lift it up with the fork. 

Greg and I were both more than ready to wind down last night with some quality couch and tv time. But before that, we had ourselves a date at Umi Japanese Restaurant. We have been once before, as seen here, and I was excited to try a new sushi roll. 

Greg has never cared to try sushi much before, but wanted to give it a go for his appetizer. He ordered the Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Roll, but did not like it one bit. That was fine with me, because I thought it was delicious. I ordered the Salmon Avocado Roll and a side of vegetables for my dinner. The salmon was okay, but a little too much for me. The texture creeped me out a little. The Spicy Shrimp on the other hand is probably my favorite sushi. Now that I have sushi more than just a couple of times, I think it’s perfectly okay to proclaim a favorite. 
Side note-Wanna hear a funny story? I just went back to look at my blog post about our first trip to Umi and realized I had the Spicy Shrimp Cucumber roll then too! I feel really stupid now, because I did not remember what I had before. I also had said I thought I could handle something with a stronger sushi flavor, but I guess I was wrong! 
After dinner it was time for none other than Menchie’s! It was too convenient on our way home not to go. And with a BOGO coupon in my wallet, I was ready to fill up. 
I usually stick with just one or two flavors and go with fruit toppings, but after trying a sample of the peanut butter, my decision became more difficult. I hope my flavors didn’t feel too segregated in the bowl, but I couldn’t decide on just one theme.  An imaginary line divided the peanut butter and chocolate yogurt topped with peanut butter cups from the cheesecake and vanilla topped with strawberries on the other side. 
It was a great end to a busy week and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the weekend with Greg’s parents who are visiting us!
Hope you all have a good day!