Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lemon Almond Loaf --also known as crack

You guys, last night I made the most incredibly scrumptious thing I've ever tasted in my life. Lemon Almond Loaf (click here for recipe). Not only did I basically have every ingredient in my baking cabinet already (which honestly says a lot since I mostly just cook--not bake), it was incredibly easy to throw together. The only thing I would advise on, is be VERY careful when zesting your lemons, like very careful, more careful than I was at least....because that ended in a band aid....anyhow, moving on....MAKE THIS. Your taste buds will not regret it at all. I feel like I'm YELLING in this post...but that's how delicious this stuff is....

The hardest part...letting this baby cool....

Make your easy icing while waiting...


Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Recap

Good morning, Monday! I'm not exactly thrilled to be back in the work-grind, but my Dad gets to Denver on Wednesday night, and on Thursday after work we will begin our 2nd cross country road trip in two months, this time with my old car--which is going to "retire" at the beach house in New Jersey! hah. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my Daddio and to stopping in for some great BBQ along the way.  We will get to New Jersey by Saturday, where my best friend and Mom will greet us for a beach weekend. So lucky to have such an awesome fam!

This weekend was fun, busy, and productive. I also had a majorly lazy & unproductive Sunday.

On Friday after work, I got in a great workout at the new gym they just put into my office building. I was the only one there, so I really took advantage of the space.  I ran a few errands, ate dinner at the Whole Foods Salad Bar (p.s. I hate arugula!), then headed over to Matthew's house.  We were exhausted from  a busy week (and from getting over a cold), so we threw together an overnight breakfast casserole. It smelled like heaven when we woke up, and tasted pretty awesome--I would probably add less milk to the eggs though next time as the hash browns were a little soggy...


....Then we actually got to eating around 10!

On Saturday, I got in a good run, and ran a lot of errands. I needed some new makeup, but didn't feel like spending Sephora prices, so I checked out a few of my favorite blogs and picked up some of their drugstore recommendations. I went with the Revlon Photo Ready Concealer in Light for under eye circles/any blemishes, and so far love it. The consistency is really quite nice and it reminds me of Tarte concealer but at a cheaper price (and more of it for your buck).

I also picked up Mabelline Dream Lumi Touche Concealer in Radiant. I put a little of this over the Revlon under eye circle, and it highlights with it's pink-salmon undertones. It's a great dupe for other high-end brightening concealers like YSL Touche Éclat. I also picked up Rimmell bronzer (instead of my usual Nars) and again, it really is a great dupe for Nars Laguna--but for about $25 LESS than Nars.

Anyways, enough about makeup! On Saturday night, Matt and I met up with some friends for dinner at Rio--a great Mexican restaurant in Denver that has Margaritas so strong they will only serve even the most massive of men 3 drinks. Thankfully I didn't hit maximum :-). Afterwards we crossed the street and hit up Blake Street Vault for a few cocktails. We all got a little more after it than we should have, but it was a really fun night!

On Sunday, we watched episode 6 of season 1 of Lost. I am getting pretty obsessed with this show...albeit a decade later than most people!! All of the seasons are out on Hulu now... I can't wait to watch more episodes tomorrow night after dinner.

A lot of Sunday was spent like this :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's Cookin Good Lookin'

So, I am definitely in need of trying out some new recipes! While I cooked a delicious and VERY easy dinner of bbq chicken and caesar salad the other night (along with some homemade chocolate chip cookies) I'm chompin' at the bit to cook these delicious dishes up:

1) This Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Pasta looks amazing...I really need to get a spiralizer for veggies to make veggie "noodles" first though. 

low carb shrimp scampi- with paleo friendly zucchini pasta! This is a delicious, healthy dish you can make in minutes!

2) This Avocado & Bacon Grilled Cheese. Bacon...Need I say more?

Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese (Make it healthy by using whole grain bread, vegetarian bacon & swiss instead)
3) This blueberry breakfast casserole looks delicious. I would love to whip this up on a Friday evening, then pop it in the oven on a Saturday morning for brunch! link

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE:   2 C fresh blueberries,   8 large eggs,   1/4 C maple syrup,   1 loaf bread,   1 1/2 C low fat milk,   4 oz low fat cream,   1/4 C butter,   cooking spray,   45 min @ 350

4) Salmon is one of my very favorite foods...and this Honey Salmon in Foil is perfect for a late summer meal  Link

Honey Salmon in Foil - A no-fuss, super easy salmon dish that's baked in foil for the most tender, most flavorful salmon ever!
5) I don't generally eat pasta...but this one looks good enough that I wouldn't mind spending a little extra time in the gym that day!  Tomato Cream Sauce over Sausage Tortellini

"My husband calls this THE sauce. Anytime pasta is being made, he eagerly asks, “will it have the sauce??” It gets put in so many dishes. It's the best tomato cream sauce ever!"
6) I love the idea of making just the Asian Meatball Skewers w/Peanut Sriracha Sauce as an appetizer to bring to a party! It's simple yet packs a punch, and is very different than the appetizers I generally make. Link
Asian Meatball Satay with Peanut Sriracha Sauce
What are the late Summer/early Fall meals you are most looking forward to enjoying?!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Empire State of Mind & Shore Life

I just returned from an awesome week in NYC and New Jersey with Matthew and friends & family! We met up with a few of his friends and a few of my friends each night for dinner and drinks, and saw a lot of NYC. We both have been to NYC a bunch, so we decided to break away from the traditional tourist attractions, and go to places we weren't too familiar with. Exploring Brooklyn, a borough I had never been to, was probably the highlight of my NYC trip. Matt's friends from college live there, so we got the "locals tour". It is such a beautiful and interesting area, with amazing views of Manhattan. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial Fountain was also incredibly moving, and I'm so glad we made the time to go see it. What an aesthetically spectacular and unique monument.

We stayed at The Gotham hotel in Midtown, and I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and nice the building was. The bed was so comfortable, and the blackout shades in the room allowed for a few really good nights of rest. The waterfall showerhead was also very impressive/relaxing!

On Friday afternoon, after brunch at a hidden (and very delicious) lunch spot called Crepes du Nord in the financial district, we took the Ferry down to New Jersey and were picked up by Matthew's old roommate from his early twenties. The guys were really excited to see each other! We made our way to my family's beach house, and soon after Brian's fiancé Cathy came to meet us, as well as my best friends Tory & her boyfriend Andrew, and Cara and her boyfriend Sean. We had a wild Friday night out on the boardwalk and a really great rest of the weekend beaching it up!

My parents came up on Sunday as our friends were leaving, and took Matthew and I out to dinner at my favorite waterfront restaurant.  We flew home on Monday, which was much too soon in my opinion....I could use another week at the beach!! What a great trip it was :-).

First night out in NYC...walking to the Bar Downstairs at the Andaz Hotel

Matthew and I at the Bar Downstairs at the Andaz Hotel

My sorority (THETA!) sister, Jess, met up with us at the bars on Wednesday night. She is a doll!

Dave & Matt at the bars. Old college buddies

On Thursday morning we walked to Central Park and went to brunch at Sarabeth's. The brunch was awesome! Matt got the Salmon Benedict. I got a frittata.

Walked down to the financial district and took in the sites of 1 World Trade Center & the monuments.

Amazing monument!

On Thursday night, we headed to Brooklyn to meet up with Dave & Micki for dinner and drinks. This is one of the gorgeous views we took in!

The pier area in Brooklyn is in a hugely developmental stage...and once finished, will be amazing! I loved this view of Manhattan from Brooklyn. The guy is pretty awesome too ;-).

the boys

waiting for the Friday Ferry to NJ!

Cathy, Me, and Cara ready for a beach weekend!!

Cara & Sean!

Brian & Cathy

Saturday night out w/my best friend Tory & her boyfriend Andrew!

us in the Uber en route to the bars
On Saturday we hit up my parent's beach/pool club, then on Sunday we went to another beach! I really needed the sunshine!

Thanks for such a great vaca NYC/NJ! I can't wait to be back again.