Taking Back My Twenties

Cooking

Dirty 30

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 | 5 comments

Hello and happy Monday! We had a big weekend over here because we celebrated Matt’s 30th with all of our Dallas friends.

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I made a big spread of food including both new and old recipes. I made salami chips which were a hit – dipped in spicy hummus, they were amazing!

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Of course, after our trip to Turkey, I had to have feta and olives – the best combo ever.

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I also tried a new recipe for caribbean shrimp – the marinade was delicious and it would have been even better with fresh shrimp (i used frozen).

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And a kale, quinoa, and apricot salad. I think I’m done making healthy salads for parties because no one eats them. This was a good recipe and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers, but next to party foods, kale just can’t compete!

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The rest of the food included caprese skewers with pretty summer tomatoes, and the un-pictured, never-fail party foods: Mexican bean dip and pigs-in-a-blanket (I used spicy chicken sausage for these this time and people loved them).

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So many friends came to celebrate Matt!

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Cake, duh!!

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We consumed beverages like 20-year-olds and then headed out to a fun bar for some dancing.

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Oh my goodness, it was a blast. Happy birthday one last time, Matt!

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Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on May 29, 2014 | 7 comments

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-Saturday is my one year anniversary! It’s been a wonderful year of marriage:) I just keep thinking about all the things that were happening at this time last year and I wish I could relive it all. At least some of this is still in the freezer!!!!!

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-To celebrate, we’re combining our wedding anniversary with Matt’s 30th and taking a big trip!

-I have enough yoga classes under my belt now that I’m starting to relax and really enjoy it. I get giddy on Thursdays just thinking about going. I never thought I’d say that!!

-I finally got around to starting a new book! I go through periods of tv and novels and I know reading is a better activity before bedtime.

-Currently, my favorite lunch entree: corn tortillas slathered in avocado with scrambled eggs topped with cilantro and hot sauce. Gosh I love eating.

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Can someone tell me how it’s the weekend again? I never remember time moving this fast.

Night!

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A Bit of Everything

Posted on May 12, 2014 | 5 comments

My weekend was full of a bit of everything – friends, exercise, walking in the sunshine, beers, lovely food, and a movie. I love it when we can fit in a variety of relaxing activities!

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We stayed in Friday night and enjoyed a bottle of Chianti gifted to us by friends. I picked up this awesome piece of pork at Central Market – it was tenderloin stuffed with spinach, red peppers, and spicy sausage. I served it with mashed potatoes and mushrooms cooked in red wine! We had perfect patio weather.

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Saturday I was up early and did a new class at Equinox – Major Black Dress Workout was so.hard! I loved it, but I’m sooo sore.

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I showered at the gym to save time, so that we could meet friends at Lakewood Brewing Company for their weekly open house! We packed sandwiches and enjoyed conversation, live music, and four tastes of awesome Lakewood beers. It was such a fun Saturday!

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For dinner, we headed down to the Oak Cliff neighborhood and tried a restaurant off the beaten path – Mesa is focused on coastal cuisine from Veracruz, Mexico.

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I had a spicy marg with dinner, obviously.

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We had some chips and guac and tried their famous mole sauce as an app. And then we split a seafood dish with clams, mussels, octopus, scallops, and shrimp all cooked with jalapenos, Dos XX and white wine. This was fabulous!

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We also shared the lobster enchiladas served with a blue crab and mango avocado.

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Mesa was fantastic, and the dishes were really unique – def. not your typical Tex-Mex.

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Since we were in the neighborhood, I couldn’t resist trying the famous Emporium Pies! We ordered a bourbon pecan and an apple strudel to go, and enjoyed them on the couch with Don Draper.

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Sunday, we strolled to the coffee shop to get some work done and then caught an afternoon showing of The Budapest Hotel, which I highly recommend as a quirky and entertaining movie.

I’m off to work for the rest of the day – have a great Monday.

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Scenes from the Weekend

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 | 24 comments

I’ll leave you with snaps from my wonderful, low-key weekend because I’m too tired from work and being sick to write a full recap. I have a cold/cough and found out I also have an infection – the antibiotics are already destroying my stomach:( Plus, I’m too excited to focus on writing a post right now because….

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I GOT A JOB. I GOT A JOB. I GOT A JOB! Wooohoooooooo. I just found out a few hours ago and am beyond excited!

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Friday Night Kirin Pairing

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 | 10 comments

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It was a beautiful spring weekend in Dallas! I did some cooking and cleaning, and we celebrated a friend’s birthday on Saturday. It was great to take it easy. And I drank Kirin! I was excited to have the opportunity to prepare an Asian-inspired dish to pair with the Japanese-style beer. I’d had Kirin before and always loved how the crisp taste balanced out spicy or bold Asian dishes, so I was happy to drink it again. Plus, I like the challenge of preparing a new-to-me recipe, since I tend to stick with my favorites. If you’re looking for new recipe ideas, celebrity chef Candice Kumai will be sharing new ideas and pairing tips on Kirin’s Facebook page. Kirin has partnered with chef Kumai to help bring its beer to the growing Asian food scene.

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If you aren’t familiar with the beer, it’s 100-percent malt with subtle flavor upfront and a smooth, clean finish. I’d actually never had the Kirin Light before – It’s very similar, but without as much full flavor upfront. I’m not a huge light beer person, but I’d definitely pick this over American light beers:) The brewery is one of Japan’s oldest, dating back to 1888!

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I decided on a Japanese chicken and noodle dish, and I bought some shrimp to add as well. Both of the above ingredients were new to me! To compliment the noodle dish, I found a recipe for shiitake slaw.

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I chopped all my veggies ahead of time, so Matt and I could enjoy beers on the porch when he got home from work. The weather was fantastic!

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Once all the ingredients were prepped, this meal came together quickly on the stove top.

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How cute is this little bowl that arrived along with the Kirin? It was the perfect size for my side of shiitake slaw, which was delicious. I love mushrooms now, which is funny, because I used to be so afraid of them!

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To be honest, I actually didn’t love the noodle dish. The black bean paste was a prominent flavor, and I wasn’t a fan. But the Kirin washed it down nicely and paired beautifully with the heat from the hot sesame oil:) And Matt really liked the Kirin Light (I drank the regular with dinner).

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As much as I enjoy eating out, I’ve started to really love when we stay in and cook on Friday evenings. Thanks to Kirin for sending beer to my door step!

Hope you guys had great weekends too!

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Rustic Beer Saturday & Sundown on Sunday

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 | 1 comment

Pizza and wine is becoming a Friday favorite! We opened a local bottle that we received from a friend. It was light and spicy.

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I threw together a pizza with leftovers from our pineapple crockpot chicken along with sheep’s manchego, spicy bbq sauce, and cilantro. Pizza is always good. And we watched Rent because I had never seen it! I was impressed Matt knew many of the songs:)

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Saturday we hit up bootcamp and made a hearty lunch in preparation for some beer drinkin. We were supposed to attend a crawfish boil, but because of the weather, the gathering turned into a visit to Community Brewing. We had been once before, and this time they had a new bar area and many more choices. I accidentally drank all three pints, and after hours of conversation, we decided to go in search of dinner. It was a lovely afternoon and I made new friends in addition to catching up with newish old ones.

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We wanted something low-key, so we walked to the Rustic for Texas homestyle cookin.

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They had a great beer list, but I decided on a pricky pear margarita in honor of our trip to AZ (but really because I was tired of beer!).

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We shared two apps and a burger. Above, the cactus fritters (soo good), and below, the smoked catfish and crackers.

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The burger was a bit dry, but I loved the bun and the green chilies that were served with it. The mashed sweet potatoes were amazing!

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We rarely get dessert in restaurants, and were def. not planning to order one on Saturday, but then I saw this go by….

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A giant peanut butter pie – who can resist?

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I usually get to the grocery store on Friday or Saturday, but didn’t make it this week, so we decided brunch was in order on Sunday. We went to Sundown on Granada, which is officially my new favorite brunch spot! It’s on the hippy side and has incredible vegetarian and vegan options. We had been once before, but only sat at the bar for apps. I started with the vegan green drink made with kale, bananas, berries, cucumbers, mint, agave, and it really hit the spot.

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We definitely only needed one brunch entree, but I had no idea they were gonna be so big! I had their version of a vegan benedict, which was swiss chard, sweet potato hash, chipotle-avocado sauce, and fire roasted salsa, over a housemade quinoa burger. I’ve been a bit disappointed in quinoa burgers lately, but this one was full of flavor (and giant).

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Matt’s benedict was ridiculously good too, and consisted of Shiner brisket and bbq hollandaise over whole wheat molasses toast. I was in a definite food coma after this brunch, but it was good for grocery shopping afterwards because I stuck to my list exactly. And good fuel for the week! I’m working three days and have yet another interview. Hope yall had a good Monday! Adios.

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