A Birthday Dinner

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. My Sunday was pretty great. I had volleyball practice with my girls, which was super fun, and then we went to help raise money for the maccabi organization at a wing bar in Austin. Only a few of the girls went after practice, but it was fun to spend time outside volleyball with them. Anyways for today I have a restaurant review of a trendy place in Austin known as Paggi House. We ended up going for my grandfather’s birthday this year, and in years past. My uncle deals wine to the restaurant, so it is always extremely great service when we go.

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This looks interesting. It was cast iron wild mushrooms topped with panko crusted cheese and garden fresh herbs. The cheese melted in your mouth and provided a nice crunch from the panko breading. It went along great with the mushrooms. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and sauteed in the cast iron pan. I wish we would have had more of this dish because it was that delicious. I really enjoyed the appetizers throughout the night. The mushrooms tasted like butter and when paired with the cheese it was like tasty explosions in your mouth.

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Sorry about the dark images, the restaurant was dark and only lit with candles at our table and the light from outside. This was a sweet potato soup topped panko crusted chevre, red curry and fennel. Paggi house must really love fried cheese balls. Not that I’m complaining because they are the most amazing thing to ever exist. Cheese is definitely one of the greatest foods in the world, so a fried ball of it is great. This soup was creamy and rich. The sweet potato flavor was not overwhelming, and the cheese melted in the soup so it made it sweeter and creamier. The herbs provided a certain flavor to the dish, which was very enjoyable.

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If my entree wasn’t so mind blowing, I would say this was the best dish of the night. It was the special small plate of the evening. It was pork belly topped with apples, foam, and a sweet aoili sauce. It was the amazing. The pork belly was so tender and packed with a ton of flavor. While the apples provided a nice crunch to the soft meat. The sauce was creamy and rich, which just added to the variety of flavors that was packed into this small plate. We ended up ordering three of these for the table, and I totally kept snatching bites of it.

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This picture is the worst, but the dish was so delicious. It was grilled tuna tataki. It had pickled ginger, avocado, basil, and orange gastrique. The tuna was extremely fresh. It was a light appetizer that provided a ton of flavor in such as small dish. My grandma loves raw tuna appetizers, so we of course ordered two of these. In my opinion, I’ve had better tuna tataki. However if you don’t consume a lot of raw tuna then you will probably think this dish is amazing.

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Hello to the star of the night. This may have been one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had. This was the special of the night. It was gulf red snapper with crab meat and avocado. The fish was extremely fresh. The crab meat was such a great addition to the dish. I can’t remember the sauce on it, but it was extremely light and had a hint of lemon in it. The meat just flaked off the snapper with every single bite.

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It was perfectly pan-fried. The fish was crispy in just the right amount. This may have been the best dinner I have had at Paggi House. We have been there three times for my grandpa’s birthday, but this definitely was the shining moment of the restaurant. In my opinion, they should make this special a regular on the menu since it is so delicious. I think that it would sell a lot. My mom and I both ordered the dish, so obviously it will be popular. Who doesn’t like crab meat on top of a perfectly cooked fish? A sick person that is who.

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For dessert, they had made an Italian cream cake. I am definitely not a fan of this cake. It tasted more like a weird version of banana bread. I’m a simple girl when it comes to birthday cake. I like buttercream icing and white cake. To be honest, someone could just buy me a container of delicious buttercream icing and I would just eat that with a candle in it. I love it that much.

 

I hope you have a fantastic Monday!
What is your favorite type of birthday cake?
Where do you like to go eat on your birthday?

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WIAW (Life Without Plastic Bags)

Hey ya’ll! It is that time of the week again when bloggers around the world share what they are eating. It is one of my favorite link-ups, known as What I ate Wednesday. I bet there are other goods ones out there, but I just love to see what everyone is eating to get inspiration for recipes and blog posts. Thanks to Jenn for hosting this fantastic day! Seriously pure genius for coming up with it!

photo(3)Since school is pretty much over for me, I ended up going to my mom’s to study for finals and what not. Well I decided that I was going to cook up a storm in the house and make a ton of new recipes to share with ya’ll. So I drove over to the local HEB in my neighborhood to load up on groceries, but little did I know that there are NO more plastic bags (disclaimer: Yes, I actually knew, but I forget because this is sort of ridiculous). I’m all for helping the environment, but they should have plastic bags on hand just in case people forget. I have a million reusable bags, so I’m not going to spend money to buy another one just so I can carry my groceries like a normal person. Nope, I totally put everything back into my cart and rocked the no bag look. I got some stares.

photo(6)I was not going to let the plastic bag problem stop me. Although once I got to my house, I got reusable bags to help get everything out of the car. Now to the yummy part of the story. For breakfast I had chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake oats. Umm yes. I have an obsession with cheesecake oats (fat free cottage cheese + oatmeal). It seriously makes the oatmeal have a creamier and richer flavor to it.

photo(5)Close up, in yo face. You can’t go wrong with chocolate chips and strawberries. I have so many oatmeal recipes to share with ya’ll, it is ridiculous. I need to step up my oatmeal sharing game. Heck, I have so much to share with ya’ll. Maybe I’ll start posting two-a-day. That is a lot of effort for me, so probably not. Senioritis problems. You would think that maybe my second senior year I wouldn’t be so lazy, but no I think I’ve just gotten lazier as time goes on. At least graduate school will whip me into shape.

photo(4)So my family calls me snacky or snack monster, which is actually pretty nice I think since it could definitely be a lot worse. Hello, my name is Lindsay and I am addicted to snacks. I actually have an awesome post planned for the near future about healthy snacking. Since I love to snack, I decided that I need to come up with more healthy choices for snacks. Therefore apple nachos have come into the picture. You can do a ton of varieties with these bad boys. I decided to go the chocolate and caramel route, but you could definitely do granola, chocolate chips, etc. Pretty much anything goes good with these bad boys.

photo(2)Yes, I am one of those weird people that love salads. I could eat a salad for lunch and dinner if I could. The key to having a good salad is building it up with tons of healthy toppings. This is my healthy version of a Waldorf salad. It has grapes, apples, walnuts, celery, and chicken in it. Such a winning combination. Usually there is a type of gross cheese in it (yes, there are some gross cheeses out there), so I went sans cheese on this one.

photo(1)Three cheers for another healthy snack. I saw this on Pinterest a while ago, but it was for camping. Who needs to go camping to make a delicious treat like this? Not me. I made my version of a banana s’mores with marshmallows and chocolate chips. It was delicious. I will share how to actually make this when I post about healthy snacks, but just looking at it is making me drool and want another one. Like the apple nachos, you can do tons of combinations with this one.

photoYou know just staring at this picture you want the recipe. Too bad you are going to have to wait a few days. I’m trying this whole thing were I am organized about my blog posts, and so far it is going pretty well. It just means that I won’t be posting up this recipe yet. However it is spaghetti squash pad Thai with tofu. Yes, it is as amazing as it looks. I’m seriously getting excited just looking at it because it is a beautiful dish. Plus I remembered I have leftovers in the fridge! Go me.

photo(7)MWAHAHA the snack monster has arrived. This is a not-so healthy, but not-so fattening snack. I have a passion for snowcones. Maybe a deep love too. I love going around to try all the snowcone stands in Austin. I have discovered a few more to try out and review, but this is from one of my favorite stands: Casey’s New Orleans Snowcones. You know I have to represent the city I was born in, so I’m a loyal customer. Plus these are just so darn good. This one is a strawberry cheesecake snowcone. The flavors are so rich in it and the ice is soft. I really despise when there is hard ice that doesn’t soak up the flavor. Lame.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday! I’m currently studying for my Medical Nutrition Therapy final and make up exam. Yes, I have two exams tomorrow in the time period for one final. I think I can pretty much rock it. Although my make-up exam is on enteral and parenteral feedings + some other lovely junk about the GI system, so it is not the most pleasant topic. Hope ya’lls day is less gross than mine!

WIAW Passover Edition

Hey ya’ll! It is that glorious time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday. Even though Passover ended last night when the sun set, I’m going to share with you some of the wonderful passover goodies that I had during my week without chametz. Thanks to Jenn for hosting this fun day where all us bloggers get to upload a bunch of delicious looking pictures to drool over and secretly be jealous of what everyone else is. I know that no one will be jealous of what I ate since Passover sort of sucks. I mean who really wants to eat a piece of cardboard for a week? Me, but only just a little bit because I discovered matzah s’mores.

photo(7)This is the second day of passover. The first day I didn’t go to a seder because I had just gotten back to school from my week long of death and I wasn’t in feeling the greatest to go sit through a five hour meal with some Jews. Trust me, seders can be a lot to handle. So for breakfast I had scrambled eggs with deli chicken and mexican blended cheese. To be honest I’m not into eggs right not, but since I couldn’t have my beloved oatmeal (damn you for being chametz), I had to settle for eggs. They actually went a long nicely with the matzah. I pretended I was eating a Jewish breakfast taco. It worked wonders on my mind in order to get through the grossness of eating eggs.

photoOh look a stack of matzah, delicious….oh wait, that was sarcasm. I’m not sure anyone wants to eat a pile of plain matzah. That night I went to seder at my aunts house. Apparently my dad told everyone that I wasn’t coming because when I showed up people were shocked and excited. Cool. Don’t worry we ate the matzah with delicious toppings and not plain because that is just gross.

photo(6)The egg. Probably my favorite part of the seder besides matzah ball soup. Jews love food, so why not use food to symbolize our struggles in life. The egg in this instance is a symbol to mourn the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. I don’t really mourn when I eat the egg. Instead I sort of rejoice and then I snatch everyone elses egg to eat too. My family knows to bring me extra eggs during this part of the seder. The green tree looking thing is called karpas (also known as parsley, but you know we Jews like to make things fancy). You dip it in salt water to reflect on the pain that the Jews felt in Israel. The salt is supposed to be the tears. It tasted like a wilty plant, but thankfully we also had celery as an option. Good choice!

photo(1)Look at this trio of…things that look like mushed baby food. No, the thing on the left is actually quite delicious. It is called Charoset and it represents the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the pyramids of Egypt (I told you that Jews like to use food for everything). This is a sweet mixture of apples, nuts, and white wine along with a bunch of other things. I love putting this on matzah or just eating it straight out of the bowl. The other stuff is horseradish, but in Hebrew it is called Maror. It represents the bitterness that the Jews experienced during their time as slaves in Egypt. Let me tell you something, if you want to clear your sinuses then this is the stuff for you. I had too much and man I could smell a whole new world after that. You put the maror and charoset together on matzah to make a Hillel sandwich, delicioso.

photo(5)Gefilte fish is not only scary to non-Jews, but to Jews too. When I see those creepy jars filled with the fish lining up the shelves in the kosher section I freak out a bit. I refuse to eat that junk, but when my grandmother’s old neighbor makes it from scratch you best believe that I will be eating it. It is the best I’ve ever had and the only Gefilte fish I will ever eat in my entire life. It will be a sad day when I move away and don’t get to enjoy it during my seder anymore.

photo(4)Everyone’s favorite part of the meal is of course the matzah ball soup. People do mess this up, luckily it is never with my family. The balls are soft and soak up the chicken soup. I could really just go for a million matzah balls and little to no chicken soup. You always have to remind yourself that you are getting a good meal after the soup because otherwise you might just fill up on the soup and not be able to enjoy my family’s fine cooking.

photo(3)The dinner that night was delicious. There were roasted brussel sprouts. Potato kugel. I cannot get enough kugel in my life (I feel like that is a typical Jewish quote or something). I just really love kugel. Ya’ll need to go get on it, but try noodle kugel first (you won’t regret it). Then for the main part of the meal was BEEF. God I love meat. Well good cooked meat. The dinner was fantastic and we had tons of wine to go along with it. Fun fact is that my uncle is a wine dealer, so he gets all these fantastic wines from all over and we get to enjoy them at our family functions. Winning. I forgot to take a picture of dessert because I gobbled it up.

photo(2)The next morning I woke up at my mom’s house with a slight headache (oh you sneaky wine, I see you got me there). I decided to make some passover french toast out of this chocolate chip passover cakebread thing. It was delicious. It fueled me up and I went back to school (boo for the whole going to school thing- I have senioritis really bad right now and it is quite a problem)

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my little passover post! Have an awesome WIAW!

Another two-fer

Hey ya’ll! It is Thursday. So excited that it is almost the weekend. I am literally exhausted from doing crafts and finally unpacking my apartment – I know, I moved like two weeks ago. I’m just really lazy. I have a doctors appointment today (hopefully I’m not slowly dying), and I have volleyball practice tonight.

Aren’t these girls sooo cute? They are my JCC Maccabi Team Austin volleyball team – it is a Jewish thing. It is sort of like the Olympics for Jewish teens from 13-16. Every year, a city hosts it and hundreds of Jewish teens come in to compete in different sports. This year Houston is hosting, so it will be huge. I’m excited. Especially because when I played I was a gold medalist.

Anyways, I’ve been doing slave labor and hand painting t-shirts for them. The girls gave me the money, told me to get hot pink, and I came up with the design. This is the front, and the back will have their last names and a cute volleyball quote. Everyone is going to be jealous, and I won’t be able to stand up from hunching over to paint them. I’ve only been able to do 5 so far because painting the fire is time consuming. Hopefully I’ll finish soon.

Baked Apple Oats
1/2 c Oats
1 1/2 c water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 packet truvia
1 melted banana
1 sliced apple
1 tsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp brown sugar

1. Add oats and water into a microwavable safe container, and heat for 2 min and 55 seconds.
2. In a second container, add the slice apple, sprinkle with a pinch of brown sugar, and cover with plastic.
3. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
4. While apples are cooking, add vanilla, truvia, and brown sugar into oatmeal.
5. Then add melted banana (previously done in microwave for 1 min and 25 seconds).
6. Then add in apple mixture (make sure to slice down to even smaller pieces).
7. Add in raisins and walnuts.

Enjoy. This recipe reminds me of fall because of the sweetness of the apples. I could probably eat more than one apple a day because I love them so much. However, this definitely doesn’t keep the doctor away.

Black Forest Oatmeal Parfait (I know I promised this recipe a while ago)

1/2 c of Oatmeal
1 1/2 c of water
1/4 c of fat free cottage cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 packet of truvia
1 packet of 20 calorie hot cocoa
chocolate chips
1 c of sliced cherries

1. Microwave oatmeal and water in a safe container for about 2 min and 55 seconds.
2. Mix in vanilla, truvia, chocolate, and cherries.
3. Spoon one layer of oatmeal mixture in a cup.
4. Top with a layer of cottage cheese.
5. Then another layer of oatmeal followed by cottage cheese until you run out of oatmeal or get to the top of the cup.
5. Top with a few chocolate chips and some more cherries.

This is definitely an amazing breakfast. I love parfaits – mainly because of TCBY, but this one is pretty good.

These girls are seriously too cute. There was a big storm at the last practice, so they wanted to go out and play in the rain for a little bit. Being the cool coach that I am, I decided sure. They are so funny. I don’t know what I would do without these girls!

Have you ever coached a sport before?
Have you ever participated in a competitive event like this?

A Two for One Special

Hey ya’ll! I’m so thankful that the week is almost over because that means that I’ll be moving and I only have one week of summer school left. So happy that I’ve survived. Anyways for today I thought I would give you a two-for-one special, which means that I’ll be posting two recipes on one post. I thought I would share the love today plus I just “love two-fers”. Both of these recipes are on Your Healing Diet plan because they are grain only recipes with fruits added in!

Black Forest Pancakes
1/2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 c. Unsweetened Almond Milk
3 tbsp of egg white substitutes
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet of stevia
handful of chopped cherries
1 packet of 20 calorie hot chocolate
handful of chocolate chips (go crazy if you want)

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl (this includes the cocoa mix).
2. Add in all the wet ingredients, the handful of chopped cherries, and the chocolate chips.
3. Using a 1/3 c. pour out batter onto pre-heated pan.
4. Wait until bubbles arise in the batter and the edges puff up, then flip pancakes to other side.
5. Remove from pan once lightly browned.
6. Stack pancakes then top with more chopped cherries and a drizzle of dark chocolate.

These are ridiculously good. I’m not even kidding. I love all things cherry related because cherries are my favorite fruit, but combined with chocolate it is like one awesome sweet kick to the mouth. I was pretty depressed after I devoured this entire plate in like 30 minutes – that is something I need to work on, eating slower. Oh well, I just enjoy food in my mouth.

So for my next recipe, I’ve been telling ya’ll that I would post it, so finally I’m posting an oat recipe. I know ya’ll are probably shocked I haven’t posted one since all I used to talk about what oatmeal and all I eat mainly is oatmeal. Well here it goes:

Apple Pie Cheesecake Oats
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. water
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 packet of stevia
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon
1/4 c. fat free cottage cheese
1 microwaved banana
1/3 c. sugar free apple pie filling

1. Place oats, water, and milk into a microwavable safe container, and heat for 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
2. Pour cooked outs into a bowl, add stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, cottage cheese.
3. While doing step 2, place sliced banana into microwave and heat for 1 min and 30 seconds.
4. Mix in “melted” banana into oatmeal.
5. Heat up the apple pie filling for about 2 minutes.
6. Add hot apple pie filling to oats.

One lesson I learned about this bowl of oatmeal is that you should cut up the apples after you cooked them that way there are more chunks in the bowl. Plus eating scalding hot apple slices is not so pleasant on the mouth at like 7 am. This bowl of oats will definitely help you get through a long time of the day because the grains are very filling and the cottage cheese provides a small amount of protein!

I’m preparing for a crazy week. In about an hour and a half I have an accounting exam on taxes that I have to take online. The good thing is I only need 30 more points to get an A in the class, which will be easy because I have this exam and an assignment left to do! Three cheers for not having to take a final. Also I’m super pumped about moving, but it will be some work. My apartment is sort of a disaster right now. Meh. Nothing I can really do about it until I move. I hope everyone has a great day, and just thinkĀ  tomorrow is FRIDAAAAAY!!!

I’m also entering a giveaway at Healthy Helper’s blog for a conscious box! I know conscious cravings definitely needs a conscious box. I think it would be a perfect fit. Wish me luck!

Do you have problems eating to fast?
What have you done about dealing with that?

WIAW on Your Healing Diet

Hey ya’ll! One of my favorite parts of being a part of the healthy living community is the greatest day of the week: What I ate Wednesday. Thank you to the lovely Jenn for hosting such a fun day where everyone shares what they have been eating. I especially love the recent themes of sensible snacking because what can I say, but I love to snack. My brothers call me snacky or snack monster. It is all out of love or at least I hope it is. Anyways lets get to the fun of what I ate while following Your Healing Diet!

Thank god on Your Healing Diet you can consume whole grains because I might die if I was not able to get my weekly bowl of oats (more like 3 times a week oats). For this week I had a typical creative Lindsay bowl of oats that was super delicious. They are Apple Pie Cheesecake Oats. The recipe will definitely be coming soon to an audience near year, but everything in the bowl fit in with the diet since it was just oats, almond milk, water, cooked apples with cinnamon, and some other delicious things. Oatmeal is definitely something great to eat if you need to be full for a long period of time because the fiber in it provides that satiety to keep you going.

Here is my snacking. Since I have class from 8 am to 2 pm every single day of the week, I have to pack a bunch of snacks to eat throughout the day. The taffy isn’t on Your Healing Diet, but I thought I deserved a little treat of an apple and cinnamon flavored candy. My other snacks are a granny smith apple, a pear, a bag of cherry tomatoes, a bag of cherries and blueberries, and a chocolate covered cherry granola bar. The granola bar is a little processed, not on the plan, but it has a lot of fiber and I think kashi is one of the better options out there if you are going to consume any processed foods.

This is my favorite sandwich ever. I love making peanut butter and jellys with fruit in the middle. I used 100% whole wheat bread, PB2, bananas, strawberries, and an organic all natural raspberry jam from central market. Totally on the plan and totally delicious. I eat this as a snack sometimes, but I also have it as a lunch like I did this day. I served it with carrots and celery, which are not in the picture. I guess I like to eat rabbit food.

To be honest, this is not really on any plan. Whatsoever. Do I care? Not really since I was given a box of truffles by a really nice guy. They are lava cake truffles and they are mind-blowing. Seriously. Go out and get one. Godiva offers a free membership, where they give you a card and you can go each month and get a free truffle. Umm helloooo. Best deal. My mom and I go every month together. It is one of our fun mother daughter traditions.

How can you say no to that? When you bite into the decadent chocolate truffle there is a thick creamy chocolate and a liquidy chocolate that oozes out into your mouth when you bite into it. The truffle is also dusted in light powdered sugar. I only eat one every few days, and I justify it on Your Healing Diet by saying that chocolate is good for you. Ha ha ha.

For dinner, I’ve been enjoying a nice tofu stir-fry. This is definitely on Your Healing Diet. Since it is a mainly plant-based diet, if you want something that is meat like then tofu is your way to go. I personally love tofu, so following this plant based diet is not a problem. I just chop up my tofu into small squares, throw it in the pan, dump in the broccoli, and add some type of sauce to mix it up in. I usually serve it over a bed of brown rice or I just eat it all by itself.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday and What I ate Wednesday. If you want to go drool over food, I would definitely head over to Peas and Crayons for the weekly food event.

What have you been snacking on lately?
What is your favorite flavor of truffle?