New Food, New Places

There have been quite a few restaurants or foods we’ve wanted to try but the timing never seemed to work out or our tastebuds changed last minute and it seemed like something that would never happen until recently.

This first one may seem kinda silly, but since coming to California I have wanted to try California Pizza Kitchen. I know it’s not just in California, but it seemed fitting to try it in the place it’s named after. We took a leap of faith and ordered a margherita and a California veggie (subbing the corn for olives).

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The margherita came on their thin and crispy crust while the California veggie was on their regular crust (I think). I definitely enjoyed the regular crust more than the thin crust. This is mostly because I feel like the thin crust here is like a cracker crust and I am not a fan of that! In terms of flavor I did not enjoy the eggplant in the veggie. I may be crazy, but I felt like it had a fishy flavor from it.

Overall, I don’t think we’ll be revisiting CPK, but maybe we didn’t get the right things? Let us know if that’s true and we may have to go back and check it out at some point 🙂

This next item isn’t something that was on my list to try until I spotted it and got it for B’s birthday. This guy LOVES Reese’s PB cups and he LOVES PB and LOVES PB/chocolate anything. His eyes light up anytime he sees that combination anywhere (ice-cream store, donut shop, etc). When I saw Jessie’s Nutty Cups online-it felt like a hallelujah moment. I got an assorted 8 pack.

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I was excited about these, but not as excited as B was and they sadly fell a little flat. They didn’t hold together when you bit into it and although it was fun to try out all the flavors it’s not something I would recommend to a true PB cup enthusiast.

The Nutty Cups were a total win compared to this next little bakery spot: Paris Pastries. The display case of little cakes and meringues totally did me in and we had to pick up a few things, but you guys, these were SO BAD. Out of the 4 items we purchased NONE of them were good. I was super sad, but got over it pretty quickly. We will not be revisiting!

Now that we’ve gone through some fails, let’s perk this post up and talk about some wins!

I’ve never had a caramel/candy apple. I’ve also never had a burning desire to have one until recently when walking by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and seeing their apple monstrosities. Have you guys seen these? They have the basic apples, but then they have the super pimped out apples that are larger than my face! I needed one and of course we had to go for the Reeses coated version.

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We had the lady slice it in store and when we got home and opened the bag we had quite the surprise. There was so much coating still on the apples, but a large amount had fallen off and was sitting in the paper basket. I could not believe that all this peanut butter cup goodness had been layered onto one apple!

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Needless to say this was absolutely amazing. It totally makes my apple dipped in PB look like child’s play!

The Hat is apparently a San Bernardino County institution and they serve pastrami dip sandwiches. The spot has old school diner vibes and serves food in large portions. We knew this coming in and ordered their famous pastrami dip and a “small fry.” The “small fry” was placed in a fry container, but it was almost like the carton was an after thought because the fries filled the bag almost a quarter of the way up.

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The pastrami was served in a super soft bread spread with mustard and a hefty amount of pastrami topped with pickles. I really enjoyed this sandwich in all it’s savoriness. I can see why people love this place so much. When we went it was filled with families and older couples-it was definitely a jump back in time.

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After the Hat we walked around thinking about having something sweet. We thought through a few places and couldn’t decide until we remembered Baked. It’s been a spot that we had gone into, but never tried anything from. Since we were in that “try something new” mood we figured it would be the perfect day. We ordered for mini cupcakes-a s’mores, nutella, ube flan, and a dulce de leche.

We enjoyed the ube flan and dulce de leche the most, but they were all super yummy! This bakery has some Filipino flavors embedded into their baked goods and I am here for it. I will definitely be back when I am in that cupcake mood to get some of their larger cupcakes…or maybe I’ll get a bunch of the minis again. You guys know how I love trying little bits of everything 😀

Even though some of these spots/items ended up being a fail I really enjoyed trying them out. I find it super easy to get into a routine and stay there whether it’s with a workout, food, or just life so it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while. Stepping out of my comfort zone (even if that’s just with CPK) gets me a little more comfortable with trying other things when those opportunities open up.

What is something new you have tried whether it’s a food, workout, event, anything? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I was super serious about your CPK suggestions if you are a CPK lover. Let me know what you love!

Happy Monday-ing you guys!

A Century City Adventure

When we lived in the Valley we loved heading into LA and walking around Century City. To this day it is my favorite mall and since moving out of the Valley and LA we hadn’t really visited in a while.

We changed all that and made a little date night adventure out of it. After the somewhat long drive into the city we needed a little snack to power us through so we stopped by Shake Shack and tried their Chicken Shack and got some fries. I loved the dilly flavor and the green pickles in this chicken sandwich-I would get it again! The fries are always a win because they remind me of childhood. I love how crispy they are!

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While walking around we spotted Randy’s and got donuts to share because what is an adventure without donuts? These donuts were so good and had some substance to them while being so soft and pillowy and melt in your mouth!

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We had meant to do some shopping, but totally got side tracked by some of the new spots that had opened up. There was toffee shop that opened up and were sampling their goods. We tried a sample of the almond toffee and their toffee popcorn-both sweet and yummy!

While passing by we saw another place sampling cheese tarts and after having a sample we had to get a couple to have. We decided on the almond and strawberry and both were so GOOD!

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We actually had the tarts with some coffee (I had an espresso and hubs had iced coffee) from La Colombe. It’s our favorite coffee place-they literally have some of the smoothest tasting coffee I have ever had!

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After Century City we went to the Grove and walked around until we were ready to visit our last two spots and head back home! It’s kind of a tradition for us to go to Vito’s Pizza and SK Donuts, but recently Alcove (for cake) has been added to that list so that is what we did and how we ended our night!

Vito’s is hands down the best NY style pizza place we’ve found in Southern California and I will always encourage anyone that is craving a NY slice and living in LA to try it out.

That’s where I’ll leave this post! Until next time friends!!

Have a great weekend!

What we ate on Thanksgiving

The past few years we have made burgers for Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to switch it up and go a bit more traditional. I won’t lie we didn’t really make anything from scratch (other than the Brussels we roasted and ate for breakfast 😀 ), but the meal ended up being pretty delicious!

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We had both sweet and regular mashed potato. The mashed potato ended up being our favorite out of these two-although I will say that the mashed potatoes weren’t as garlicky as I thought they would be?

A corn casserole dish…or as Trader Joe’s calls it Corn Pudding. This was interesting in that the top was the texture of flan.

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We obviously had to have gravy and were super pleased to find that Good & Gather had made a turkey gravy. This was super umami in flavor and really brought the meal together.

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Plus turkey and rolls 🙂 I won’t lie the turkey was turkey to me because I am usually in it for the sides, but who isn’t?

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The only thing I felt like we were missing was cranberry sauce. There’s something interesting about cranberry sauce-I didn’t think I would miss it, but while eating this all I could think was “this NEEDS cranberry sauce.”

Later on we made sandwiches with the rolls and leftovers and again I felt like the slight tart/sweetness from cranberry sauce would have taken it up a few notches. I guess we know for next time!

For dessert we had decided on pies and went for a slice of apple and a slice of chocolate mousse-both of which were really good!

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That concludes our Thanksgiving meal, but I can’t conclude without giving hubby a big shoutout for these pictures! Thank you babe for taking these ❤️

How was your Thanksgiving and what did you guys end up eating? Let me know in the comments!

Salmon, salmon everywhere

I’ve been craving a good bagel and lox and since I couldn’t get that to happen I compromised and decided to buy some lox and use my Everything but the Bagel seasoning and sourdough to create a bagel feel.

I toasted my sourdough, shmeared some whipped cream cheese, sprinkled on the everything seasoning and layered on the lox. Let me tell you, it was not the same as a bagel (duh) but it was a filling and yummy lunch!

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I tried it with avocado (we had some ripening and in need of use) and loved it, but to be completely honest I did not enjoy this lox. I will probably be sticking with the TJ’s version. I’m super picky about flavors of fish, chicken…any meat. This was really fishy!

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I love having salmon once a week (hopefully we’ll work up to the twice a week), but in our small apartment it can really smoke it up when I pan cook it. I wanted an easier way to make it and decided to bake it and then put it on broil to create a little bit of a crisp on top. This salmon was so delicious!

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If you’re intimidated by making salmon in a pan I would highly recommend just throwing it in a 350 degree oven. For these two pieces it took about 12 minutes or so to cook and then I broiled it for a bit. I am already looking forward to next week’s salmon!

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What’s your favorite fish to eat? How do you cook it?

Cookies and Closings

The week of October 13th was an exciting one to say the least! It was a busy and odd week that kinda ran together and felt super long at the same time. To sum it up there were cookies and we (finally!) closed on selling our house!!

We tried a new make your own pizza place on Wednesday called Pizza Press. It was delicious, but I would pick Blaze any day of the week!

On Thursday came some cookies we ordered! We had to try out some of Bang Cookies new flavors (and some oldies, but goodies). We waited till the weekend to try them, but they were delicious none the less. We wanted to try all the flavors so we only ate half each and froze the other half.

Thursday is also the day we got the text confirming that we had finished the process of selling our house! It was a very bittersweet moment. We obviously had loved our little home in the Valley and put a lot of effort into making it go from house to home, but we were very happy and relieved to have finished the selling process.

This was the first home we bought together and boy did we learn so much! It was quite the journey ❤️

I was also working Thursday and Friday so it was a bit of a blur!

Our weekend was kicked off on Saturday with a workout and breakfast at Denny’s. We both ordered the same veggie sizzlin’ skillets. and shared half of a pumpkin crackle cookie.

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We walked around and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and walked into a Barnes and Noble. I headed into my favorite section which happened to have some really interesting and funny finds.

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I also noted this book that I want to buy at some point!

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We also did some grocery shopping so our Sunday selves would thank us 🙂

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After dropping off groceries and dropping in some laundry we headed out for a nice walk and some caffeine.

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When we came back we went to TJ Maxx and got this gorgeous, fluffy blanket from TJ Maxx and some fun wrapping paper from Target!

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By the time we came back we were in much need of a snack so I had some TJ’s Harvest Chili and sourdough toast. We may or may not have had half of this cinnamon whiskey crackle…by “we may” I mean we definitely did.

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I finished up laundry while hubs wrapped up a present and we enjoyed some In n’ Out and more cookies for dinner!

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I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty productive week for us! I hope you guys are having a great start to your weeks and I would love to know what you’ve been up to-let’s talk in the comments!

A couple of week of eats

These eats are from the past couple of weeks or so when my schedule was a bit odd and I was on one day/off the next/on again at work and then I was in reset mode. We had a good combination of eating in and out. Mind you, this is not all the food I ate, but it is all the food I took pictures of 🙂

After Yard House I was craving lettuce wraps and so lettuce wraps I made! These were so good and satisfying!!

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We ended up trying a new Mediterranean spot called Zait Bistro and got some wraps. I really enjoyed these wraps and found them to be flavorful and filling. We ate some leftover peppers, carrots, and tomatoes with this to amp up the micronutrients!

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I’ve been enjoying the Benevolent Bacon and have been making quite few BLTA’s. If you’re looking for some added heartiness and crunch in your sandwich…would recommend! Also, those pink things are pickled turnips and boy are they so good…they add such a good zing to anything.

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After moving to San Bernardino and having a Blaze so close by I’ve reconnected with my love for it. Their crust is so good and it’s so fun to personalize your own pizza. They have so many spots that do this now, but Blaze is still my favorite!

I still love these Denny’s sizzling skillets-this one is the egg white version, but I opted for the whole scrambled egg. It’s filled with broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach. Give some Cholula to throw on top and I am one happy gal 🙂

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We are still (trying) going strong with having salmon once a week and this dish was fantastic! I cut up some Brussels and pan sauteed them, roasted up some carrots and called it a meal! It was so warm and satisfying.

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Speaking of Brussels, (I don’t know why, but I crave Brussels once the cold weather hits) I took some toasted sourdough, slathered on some vegan pesto, sauteed some Brussels and scramble an egg for this delicious looking toast! It really hit the spot especially after the addition of chili flakes 😀

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Those are my eats from a couple of weeks, but I’m curious what’s on your menu?

Comfort food and cozy vibes

I don’t know if it’s because the temps got slightly cooler here or what, but we’ve been eating some serious comfort foods and so I have some fun random pictures to share with you guys.

After looking high and low for a bagel place here we have finally maybe found one! I really wanted a bagel one Saturday and after a nice long hike we found one at 42nd Street Bagel Cafe. I got the super onion bagel with lox (they were out of the everything bagel 😦 ). This bagel reminded me so much of a NY bagel-it was chewy with a dense crumb and I would definitely come back and get some Sunday morning bagels!

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This was a big comfort food night at Yard House. We ordered what felt like everything-the chicken lettuce wraps, buffalo cauliflower, roasted Brussel sprouts and potatoes, cheeseburger, and the truffle fries.

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My favorite thing here had to be the lettuce wraps and they were so delicious that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them-so much so that I am making shrimp lettuce wraps tonight!

We grabbed some sweet treats from Sprout’s and some of these were good and others not so much. The glazed lemon cookie was a not favorite. The glaze was so sweet and didn’t pair well with the lemon cookie. The rest were actually pretty yummy!

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In order to balance out all the comfort food I went to Panera and ordered a Mediterranean grain bowl. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. The rice, chicken, hummus, and all the fresh ingredients were really delicious! I would get this again without the dollop of yogurt on the side.

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I ordered this fish dish from Luna Modern Mexican Grill when I went out to lunch with the girls. It was pretty, but not the best thing I’ve ever had…

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Of course, we love sweets a lot in this house and whether that’s cookies or ice-cream we’ve been eating it all!

Have you guys been feeling the need for comfort food recently? How are the temps where you’re living?

Used up…

Hmm I just realized that the title could have negative connotations, but I do mean it in the most positive way. I was so proud of myself for using up some food purchases that I wasn’t super excited about.

I realized the solution to my dry Kodiak Cake waffles was mashing/placing some berries on top of the peanut butter for extra moisture. It also added a nice tart, juicy kick! I got through all 8 waffles 😀 and was super happy to be done and recycle the box!

The egg frittatas from Trader Joe’s I didn’t enjoy so much on their own, but wrapped up in a tortilla with veggies and cheese OR in a rice bowl (with more vegetables) gets a thumbs up from me! Also, box recycled and happy to be finished!

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Remember the Brussels Sprout Puffs? Hubby ended up feeling very snacky and finished them in a couple of nights and he actually enjoyed them! I love it when that happens 🙂

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I think I’ve mentioned on the blog that I use Coffee Mate creamer. I get the big momma version usually in hazelnut or vanilla (soo basic), but I really enjoy it! Over the years I’ve branched out and tried different creamers (Coffee Mate Naturals, plant based creamers, plain almond milk) and I have never enjoyed them as much as Coffee Mate.

I recently bought a Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce creamer and I was so excited, but upon first sip was so disappointed. It left my mouth oddly dry and it’s not a feeling that went away. I drank water, lemon water, had breakfast, had lunch, sparkling water and you guys the dry mouth stuck around.

This was one product I was unable to do much more with so I donated it to the work peeps and I am so curious to what they thought and if it had the same effect on them or if it was just me?!

Let me know if you guys have any “cleaner” creamers that you use and love. I love having more whole food items in my fridge and since this is something I use on the daily I would like it to have a “cleaner” ingredient list.

Thanks for sticking around for another post! I hope you lovelies enjoyed it! Till next time!!

Our weekend in San Diego

San Diego is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. It’s just such a beautiful city with incredible weather and delicious food! There’s been a lot of craziness and mis-matched schedule situations for B and I so we decided we were in need of a mini-getaway. This past weekend we drove ourselves to SD for an overnight trip.

We normally pick AirBnB for our stays because it’s cheaper and we are rarely ever there other than to sleep, but sweet hubs booked us a lovely little hotel close to Little Italy (our favorite little nook in SD).

We arrived around lunch time and went straight to Herb & Eatery after drooling over the Yelp pics. The restaurant is also a little mini store that sells drinks and kitchen goods. We both loved the fun decor and all the light that came in from the windows despite the grayish day.

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We ordered the curry chicken salad and the SD turkey. The curry chicken salad had just a hint of curry-enough to flavor, but nothing strong. The SD turkey was a solid turkey sandwich with the sprouts and the hearty bread! If we lived here I have a feeling we’d be coming here more often then not…

Afterwards we walked around a bit and then headed to our hotel. Hubby had also booked us massages so we dropped off our things, explored the hotel a bit, and headed out. I look so tired here!

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Post massage we were both so relaxed and exhausted so we tried taking a nap. I was on and off mostly because the same weekend we were here there was an EDM concert AND twitchcon. It was a bit noisy from outside the hotel, but lots of excitement and lots of people!

Post nap we left on HGTV and got ready to head out to dinner. We had decided ahead of time to just walk there. It was a 40 minute walk, but it was a lovely day and figured it would fuel our appetite. The walk was a little sketch for a few minutes, but we made it to Cucina Urbana with some time to kill.

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Our reservations were for 6:45pm, but we got seated probably closer to 7pm so we had some time to sit and look at the menu. It was restaurant week in SD too so the larger crowd may have been due to that. We were fine with it because it gave us time to ooo and ahh over the inside of the restaurant and people watch.

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By the time we got our table we knew exactly what we wanted and ordered the chicken liver pate, roasted cauliflower, and for our main got the pappardelle with short rib.

The chicken liver pate had barolo soaked fig on it and came with different kinds of bread. I am super happy about the fig situation because I am not much of a liver person and this pate definitely had an iron-y flavor. Even though this was not my favorite dish of the night it was one of those things you could tell was done really well and was good quality.

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Then they brought out the cauliflower which was dressed with fennel, pine nuts, golden raisins, mint and yogurt. My first bite was a bit sweet, but after that I got some salty goodness from the pine nuts possibly? It was a really incredible dish that gave you all the mouth feels.

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When the pappardelle came out with the short rib, mushroom, carrots, and topped with parm it looked like comfort in a bowl. It tasted like a Sunday roast but made better with the house made pasta.

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We both left full and happy and walked back 40 minutes to let the food settle and ponder our dessert options.

After perusing through some spots we went back to a classic and a favorite-Salt & Straw. I got the child’s scoop of cookie dough in a cup and B got a split scoop with the cookie dough and another flavor in a cone.

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We walked around with our ice-cream and then headed back to the hotel so I could change into comfier walking shoes. We were going to walk to Gaslamp, but after getting into the coziness of our hotel we both decided we’d rather just stay in and relax so instead we went and checked out the firepit/bar/outside balcony area of our hotel and sat around talking until we were both a little chilly and ready for some tele and bed!

On Sunday we woke up to sunnier skies and decided to do a quick workout and enjoy the free breakfast before heading back home. We literally had the quickest workout ever and headed to breakfast which was conveniently right next to the gym.

I had some eggs, spinach, and this biscuit which made the whole meal! I also have this thing for hotel waffles so I had to try this one. I will say it wasn’t the best, but it was okay. I think I may just enjoy the waffles where they give you the batter and you make it in the waffle maker yourself?

We showered and headed out to the Donut Bar before leaving SD. We had visited Donut Bar a few years ago and I remember loving it. We got the pumpkin with cream cheese icing, birthday cake, Boston cream (it was the favorite of the girl who was helping us), a nutella, and the creme brulee.

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Instead of just grabbing and going like we normally would we decided to try out a couple…we went for the pumpkin which was SO good. It was pumpkin spice flavored and the icing mellowed it all out with a good dose of sweetness. The creme brulee that we tried afterwards seemed underwhelming in comparison.

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The donuts here remind me a lot of the brioche type donuts we had in Maui when we went. They aren’t light, but dense and chewy for a yeasty donut.

We kept the rest for later that night and drove home. We had some errands to run in the form of grocery shopping so we did that, some laundry, and then prepped for our week ahead.

When we were ready to grab dinner we decided on Burger IM and ordered what ended up being a lot of food. We got their duo burgers, chili garlic wings, and their half and half side option of sweet potato fries and their special Burger IM fries which we had seasoned with Cajun seasoning.

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We got basic cheese burgers for our duos and they were like mini burgers (bigger than sliders, but smaller than a regular burger). These were just tasty cheeseburgers. We had no complaints!

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The wings were saucy, garlicky, and kinda sweet. They had great flavor! The fries were my biggest surprise. I didn’t think I would like the disc shaped potatoes as much as I did, bu they did a great job at keeping the outside crispy and inside fluffy. They were also a good thickness.

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We went for a really long 2 hour walk after dinner and when we came back we were ready for something sweet. Lucky for us we had some donuts left! The Boston cream had the same vanilla cream as the creme brulee and was again a bit underwhelming. The birthday cake was sweet and pretty close up there with the pumpkin for me. The nutella was also delicious, but I do wish there was more nutella on the donut.

We spend the rest of the night watching football and HGTV on Hulu until we got too tired and headed to bed!

We had a really great weekend of hanging out and eats! Have you been to SD? What’s your favorite place to go when you’re there? Let me know in the comments!

Potatoes Many Ways

Many ways might be a bit of a stretch, but I was on Pinterest and daydreaming about different lunch options and it hit me that a baked potato is the perfect vessel for ANYTHING. It’s also filling, counts as a starchy vegetable, and tastes delicious!

Before I jump into my potatoes I did learn that with a savory potato it is most important to oil and season the outside of your potato before throwing it in the oven. This creates that incredibly crispy skin. When you’re ready to open it up and dive in-salt and pepper go a LONG way in preventing a bland potato. Now that we got the technical stuff outta the way let’s jump into the “many” potatoes…

I started off pretty basic with a cheesy baked potato. I could only manage half the potato with each of these meals, but this meal was so simple even though I was full I didn’t feel very satisfied.

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The next time I got a little more creative with my potato. I got some beefless grounds, mini sweet peppers, and cheese and this potato was pretty spectacular. I loved that the beefless grounds got a little crispy, the peppers were a little charred and the cheese added some nice gooeyness. This was much more satisfying!

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I also enjoyed this version with some broccoli and cheese for extra veggie goodness and fiber. Even though the broccoli was just basic steamed broccoli I think the different texture goes a long way into breaking up the monotony.

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Out of all the potatoes though my absolute FAVORITE was this breakfast sweet potato. I baked it ahead of time and when it was time to prep it I would just throw it in the microwave for a bit, smash it up with cinnamon, microwave it some more and then shmear the heck out of it with PB.

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Hubby had talked about sweet potatoes and peanut butter and it always seemed like an incredibly delicious combo, but I never got around to it. After workouts I am ravenous so waiting an hour for a potato to bake was a no go. Having it prepped really helped and made it into a super fast, nutritious, and tasty meal!

Fried potatoes (as much as I enjoy them) don’t always leave me feeling my best, but I really loved having this root vegetable be the base for my dinner. I would love to know how you like to make your potato? What are your favorite toppings/mix-ins?

Thanks for reading! See you loves on Thursday!