Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Weekend...

Adam and I are gearing up for a weekend of work, fun, and relaxation. We've got a pretty good to do list for Saturday, followed by a fun Sunday! Here is a look at what we'll be up to!

  • Paint the kitchen walls (we're actually hoping to do this Friday night!)
  • Prime and paint the trim in the kitchen
  • Do paint touch ups in the kitchen and living room
  • Sand, stain, seal, and wax the kitchen island butcher block top
  • Rake and clean up the front yard
  • And as always...laundry...
On Sunday, we're planning to relax! We'll run our errands and then cook up a few appetizers to enjoy while we watch the Super Bowl!

What are your weekend plans? What is your favorite Super Bowl Sunday food?

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mushroom Ravioli with a Crab and Tomato Cream Sauce

As some of you might know, Adam and I traveled to Italy last May and ever since, we've been a little bit obsessed with Italian food (but who isn't?) That said, after Tapas Night, I had some lump crab meat left and so I decided to pair it with one of my favorites, mushroom ravioli.

This summer, after returning from our trip, Adam and I decided we wanted to learn to cook authentic Italian food. We thought we would start by learning how to make pasta. Homemade pasta is delicious. It is a lot of work, but it is well worth it.

This is a photo from when we made homemade fettuccine. 

If you are interested in making your own pasta, I highly recommend going with the hand crank pasta machine, like the one pictured above. The hand crank allows you to control the speed of your pasta making...and let me go ahead and tell you...that is a good thing! Making pasta is a great two-person activity. Adam and I LOVE to make homemade pasta and ravioli on the weekends.

A pan of fresh mushroom and goat cheese only took about two hours...

But, as the photo caption above states, making your own ravioli is a bit time consuming. For weeknight ravioli, I use the Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti. It is very good and has that homemade taste. 

Tonight, I sauteed roma tomatoes in olive oil and deglazed the pan with a splash of white wine, then tossed in mushrooms and my lump crab. Once the sauce was boiling, I sprinkled in Boursin cheese, a creamy garlic and herb cheese, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Once the ravioli was cooked, I tossed it with the sauce and it was ready to serve. 

Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Tomato Crab Cream Sauce

I always like to make sure that our meals have a salad or at least one green vegetable...and most of the time, I aim for both. Adam and I love zucchini. While I was working on the pasta, I sauteed some zucchini in olive oil with salt and pepper. I stirred the zucchini occasionally, but not too much. I like to brown the edges, it gives the zucchini a nice flavor.

Sauteed Zucchini

We sat down to dinner and everything was great...and very simple. I think the meal took me about 25 minutes to prepare! I love a good, easy week night meal! What did you cook for dinner tonight?

"And it was all yellow..."

I never thought, prior to buying our house, that Coldplay's Yellow would be the anthem for our kitchen...but, alas, when you have yellow counter tops, things change!

As promised, I've given you some photos of our kitchen, with one coat of primer, and yellow counter tops.

In the foreground of this picture is a shot of the butcher block counter top
we are using for our new breakfast area. This picture makes me
feel like I need to go home and organize our kitchen. Why is it that my kitchen always
looks cluttered?!

When we took out portions of our kitchen walls, and two cabinets, we were really taking away a fair amount of storage. One of the things I realized about our kitchen, only after moving into it, was that our house doesn't have a pantry. So, we use one set of cabinets as a pantry, chewing up a little more storage space.

Our kitchen has decent storage, but when we took out the cabinets, we knew we were going to need something else. Our family has a little Antiques business, McIntosh Cottage Antiques, so we have borrowed a dresser base to use for additional counter space and storage space.

This photo shows the other side of our kitchen with our new dresser base. 

The addition of the dresser base, meant that we had to lose our island (our former breakfast area). That's when we decided to create the little bar in the first picture (and bottom right corner of the photo above). It's been great! It's the perfect place to eat breakfast or sit and have a glass of wine while cooking dinner.

I'll leave you with this little snippet of our yellow counter tops. Though I'm eager to put in some nice new, perhaps granite, counter tops...the yellow has grown on least for the time being...

Check out the awesome metal retro!

Note: New goal for the blog...take better pictures with an actual camera. And next time I'm photographing my kitchen...I will make sure the towels on the oven are actually folded neatly...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project - With a Capital "P", Part II

This afternoon, after caulking and repairing some damage on one of the walls with a little spackle, Adam and I decided to kick off the next step in our big renovation project: Painting.

Because we have now opened up our kitchen, dining room, and living room, some of the paint colors have to change. As referenced in a previous post, when Adam moved into our house almost four years ago, we painted EVERYTHING. Now, almost four years later, we get to change some of those colors.

I'll be the first to admit that painting is not my favorite pastime; however, it is a cheap and easy way to redecorate (as long as you don't do anything too drastic). That said, our paint transformation is going to be a little on the drastic side. When Adam moved in, I painted (with the help of my amazing sister in-law) the kitchen and dining room red. You see, we have these awesome retro yellow laminate counter tops with the metal band. Oh yes, bright yellow...(post a picture soon)

Upon moving in, we decided we would have to embrace the yellow and paint the kitchen a color that would jive with the honey mustard shade, so for these first few years we've had a primary colors theme. Naturally, the red makes our space feel dark and the kitchen, especially, feels a little cave-like. When we decided to knock out the walls, we knew the red would have to go. We love our Bleeker Beige we have in our living room and hallway and wanted something that would work with it without being the same color. We chose Benjamin Moore's Aganthus Green.

We have used Aganthus Green before, in our sun room. It is a nice neutral green that reflects light well, without being electric! Our sun room is a very bright room with lots of windows, but even when it is dark outside and we're using our lamps, the room is cheerful.

Our sun room. This was our first renovation project!
You can see the green wall color just over the sofa and in the corner next to the chair. 
That said, we knew going into this painting project that it was going to take time, energy and lots of primer and paint. So, we decided this afternoon, to get one coat of primer on the walls of the kitchen. We buy only Benjamin Moore paint, and the one time I didn't was a big mistake. It's a little more expensive, but well worth the extra cost for a paint that goes on easily without drips.

The best part about the paint store we visit, is that they will mix your primer in a slightly lighter version of your paint color. So, when you prime, you are already headed in the right direction. Check out our progress!

As you can see, we've got a long way to go, from bright red to pale green!

Lots of red shining through the primer, but we're headed in the right direction!

We're not quite there, and there is a lot of red peaking through that primer. When you step out of the kitchen, you can begin to see the new look! Friday and Saturday we're planning to get the kitchen painted, paint the new trim and do all of the touch ups. We'll post more pictures soon! You're not going to believe the way this paint color works with our yellow counter tops!


In the midst of all of our renovations, I took a good hard look at our existing dining room light fixture, and decided it had to go...

The old light fixture...let's note that not only is it really not spectacular
(looks like it must have been on the clearance rack at Lowe's)...
but it's also seriously crooked...

So, after much research, I found a great chandelier (let's note the change of title here...). I found the chandelier below at Pottery Barn. They have some very nice (without being too expensive) lighting. When I ordered our chandelier, they were having a Lighting Event with 20% off all light fixtures! On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a midst the kitchen renovation chaos, Adam and I installed our new chandelier! It really dresses things up!

The new chandelier in place! Look at the way the glass reflects
the light and bounces beautiful designs all over the room!

It's hard to see the detail of the chandelier,
but I wanted to show you what it looks like  in the completed space!
It's amazing the change one little upgrade can make! Now, I can't wait to get the dining room painted, find the perfect new rug, and see the completed space!

Project - With A Capital "P", Part I

We have finally started what I like to think of as The Main Event in the ownership of our little house. Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote to announce that we would be starting our kitchen remodel. Now, two weeks later, I can officially say that we have checked off several items on the kitchen remodel to-do list.

As I stated in a previous post, our little 50s ranch-style house, is used to be very compartmentalized and closed off. Each little room was its own separate space. Now, there is nothing wrong with a little compartmentalization (in other words, bathrooms and bedrooms should all be separate and should have doors...), but your main living space, ie: kitchen, living room, dining room, should be a sociable space. Our main living area was definitely not that, so we decided to change it!

Here are a few before pictures:

This is a view from our hallway into the kitchen (red room on the right) and the living room.

A view of the wall (and hallway) in the living room that we decided to knock out. Don't worry, we got to keep the bookshelf, it just had to be moved to another wall!

This image is a little redundant, but it shows the dining room. So, basically on the opposite side of the khaki wall, are the kitchen and dining room.

This is a view of the two walls in the dining room that are shared by the kitchen and living room. This corner is the key to really opening up these three spaces!

Our cluttered kitchen (believe it or not, the remodel really helped us get more organized...). The cabinets and part of the red wall pictured here had to come out to open up the space.

So, now that you've got the lay out down, let's talk about the changes. We live in our kitchen. Every night, the two of us set up camp in the kitchen. We do this because, with the layout pictured above, if I'm in the kitchen and Adam is in the living room or dining room, we can't see or hear each other. Basically, we either end up walking back and forth or just yelling at each other from our separate rooms...sounds delightful, right?

We also love to entertain and a compartmentalized layout is not ideal for entertaining. I've found that our guests always gravitate to the kitchen. With this remodel, we wanted to give our guests more space to enjoy, while not making them feel cut off from the rest of the party. I think it's safe to say that we achieved our goal of opening things up...

The first step before knocking out any walls is to make sure that the wall you want to take out is not load bearing. Adam and I checked in the attic and we were pretty sure, but had my dad check as well (he knows a little more about this stuff than we do!). It turned out we were right! The walls were not load bearing, which meant we got to take out EVERYTHING we wanted to take out!

NOTE: we were also lucky because we didn't have any pipes or wires running through any of these walls. That is something else you need to check for before putting that hammer through the wall!

Take a look at the step by step process below:

The crew surveying the project. As you can see, demolition tools are already in hand...

First step was to take the cabinets out and mark the sections of walls to be removed. You can't see the lines, but there are lines drawn on each wall to show where to cut. I had the honor of being the first person to knock holes in the wall!

Adam and my dad cutting out the first section.

Chandler had the honor of knocking the hole in the other side of the wall...
she decided to take a peek in to see how things were coming along on the other side!

Seeing some progress! Look at the light streaming in the front windows...
can you imagine how it's going to brighten up our dark kitchen?!

Opening things up! (And looking very official with his face mask...)

The new view from the living room into the kitchen...

Starting to get everything opened up. The Shop-Vac really came in handy!

Now everything is open, but there is still a lot of work to do.
This view is from the dining room into the kitchen. You can now even see into the hallway!! 

This photo was taken hours later, when the openings were being trimmed out.
The Howe casing really cleaned things up! Eventually, all of the trim will of course be painted white,
which will also help to clean and brighten things!

This view is from the kitchen into the dining room. This is the section of wall where the cabinets used to be, hence the awesome mis-matched wall and ceiling paint colors. Still waiting for trim, but you can really see the difference!

We've reached the stopping point for my pictures. Believe me, I have TONS more...but I don't want to spend all my good pictures in one post!

Things to look for in the coming posts:

  • Our new breakfast area
  • New chandelier (not that the one pictured above isn't just dazzling...)
  • The new storage space (since we lost cabinet space)
  • The new wall color

We've only just begun on this kitchen remodel, but you wouldn't believe the change! I can't wait to show you the new look for our kitchen! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Two New Recipes

One of my New Years Resolutions for 2013 was to get out of my cooking rut and start trying some new things. I love to cook, but as I'm sure many of you understand, sometimes I get in a rut where I cook the same things over...and over...and over again.

This week I've been in Greenville for work helping out as our Greenville office moves into a new building. Needless to say, it's been kind of a crazy week and I haven't been to the grocery store! Last night I had to run some errands after work and Adam was working late. We didn't get home and settled in until around 7:15! So we needed a dinner that was easy. I had two bone-in chicken breasts, some quinoa (a new pantry staple!), and some veggies.

I called my mom (she is a cooking master) to get some ideas. Adam and I pretty much stock boneless skinless chicken breasts in our freezer, but I had two skinless bone-in chicken breasts that needed to be cooked. My mom gave me a great, and simple, recipe for authentic Italian baked chicken. The original recipe came from a member of my parents church who is actually from Italy (hence the authentic).

I baked the chicken breasts at 400°F for about one hour. Before baking, I sprinkled salt and pepper over the chicken and placed them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with Olive Oil Pam. While the chicken was roasting, I mixed together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and oregano. After an hour, I took the chicken out of the oven, poured the sauce over it and put it back in the oven for 15 minutes.

With about 20 minutes of cooking time left for the chicken, I started my mushroom and kale quinoa. I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth. In a skillet, I sauteed diced red onion and kale with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When the kale was almost completely wilted, I threw in my sliced mushrooms. When the quinoa was cooked, I folded in the vegetables and we were ready to eat!

The result, a great, easy and healthy meal.

The chicken was very tender and juicy and the quinoa was packed with flavor and tons of texture. All in all, it was a fantastic meal!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tapas Night

This weekend was a BIG working weekend. We started our kitchen remodel project (more posts on that later...) and made some major progress!

Adam and I typically see my family about once a month. When we do see them, it's always for a great weekend of work, play, good company and lots of wonderful food. Hey, it's takes foodies to raise foodies - and my parents definitely raised two foodies!

In preparation for two work filled days, I decided it would be fun to make Friday night a relaxed night where there would be plenty of time to chat. Because we were getting ready to tear our kitchen apart, I also thought it might be nice to be home, so we could slowly start taking things off the wall, moving furniture, etc. Basically, I decided that what we really needed...was a Tapas Night!

I know all of you are probably avid "Pinners" on Pinterest (you should follow my Eat board) and so you understand what I'm saying when I tell you that I have a pile of recipes pinned that I've been dying to try. Several of the recipes I've pinned are appetizer recipes and what better way to try a bunch of them than by having Tapas Night!

Roasted Red Peppers with Goat Cheese
Bacon Wrapped Caramelized Sesame Asparagus
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli
Cucumber Cups with Spicy Crab
Garlic Mushrooms and Crab Bruschetta
Mini Taco Cups
Nutella Marshmallow Pockets
I prepared all of the ingredients for each tapa prior to my family's arrival. I had the cucumber cups waiting for them when the arrived.

Cucumber Cups with Spicy Crab
I added a sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper on the top, it gave the crab a nice kick!
As you can see, the drinks of choice are Blue Mood, Guinness, and Vodka Tonics (not pictured)
We followed the Cucumber Crab Cups with the Roasted Red Peppers. This recipe is very easy! Just roast two red peppers in the oven, then peel off the skin, slice and top each pepper with a spoonful of goat cheese.

I also topped these with some dried oregano and
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
This is a simple, but delicious appetizer!

Then came the asparagus.I already had the glaze for the asparagus made and off to the side in a bowl. I also decided to go ahead and wrap the asparagus before everyone arrived. This recipe called for thick cut bacon, but I used regular bacon and I think it turned out really well!

The asparagus was topped with a brown sugar and garlic mixture (there were a few more ingredients)
and then placed in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy!

One of the favorites of the night was up next. The Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli were a very big hit!

The Brussel Sprouts were roasted with olive oil until crispy then dipped in the garlic aioli.
I was surprised by the fact that these were an excellent finger food. They were easy to pick up and dip!

The garlic aioli also came in handy with the Mini Taco Cups were served. Chandler, my sauce-loving sister, decided to try dipping her taco cup in the Garlic Aioli...she certainly made a delightful discovery!

The Mini Taco Cups were made using Wonton Wrappers! These were fun, and
I think they would be great for a child's birthday party or your upcoming Super Bowl Party!

The last course, before dessert was the Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta. I intended to add crab, but decided not to at the last minute. The bruschetta was great and had lots of flavor. I added a little heavy cream to the mushrooms and it made a great sauce that soaked into the crunchy bread!

Sorry about the blurry picture! The mushroom bruschetta was rich, garlicky, and full of texture!
I love mushrooms and these paired perfectly with crusty bread!

Finally, for dessert, I made Nutella Marshmallow Pockets. If you're not familiar with Nutella...then I encourage you to get to know each other. Nutella is a rich, creamy, hazelnut spread. It's wonderful on EVERYTHING. These little pockets were made using a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls, a dollop of Nutella and a few marshmallows.

You have to eat this one with a fork!

Tapas Night was a success. We had a great time chatting, telling stories, and just catching up! The food was great and the company was even better! I'm think I might have to roll out Tapas Night for the Super Bowl in just a few weeks!

*A big thanks to my family for taking photos for me!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Viva Italia!

As mentioned in an earlier post, Adam's New Years resolution for 2013, was to cook dinner one night a week. I typically do most of the cooking, and he is a great help, but he decided that this resolution would be 1. a HUGE help to me and 2. a good way to learn more about cooking. At the beginning of this year, he chose Wednesday nights to be his night to cook. This is week 2 of starting this resolution (he got started a little late, like me).

Tonight, he decided to prepare an Italian feast! Most of you already know that in 2012 we traveled to Italy for 10 days. It was absolutely fantastic...and just as I told him he would, Adam fell in love with Italian food! We both love Italian and even bought a pasta machine after our trip so that we could start making authentic pasta!

So, tonight he decided to prepare a Caprese Salad from Giada DeLaurentis' Everyday Italian cookbook (get it here) and Cacio e Pepe from La Cucina Italiana magazine. AND to top it all off, we opened a bottle of wine we purchased in Italy!

To start, Adam made the dressing for the Caprese Salad, with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. He set that aside and then sliced tomatoes and mozzarella. Once the tomatoes and mozzarella were plated, he tore leaves of fresh basil and sprinkled them over the tomatoes and cheese. Then topped it all off with the deliciously simple dressing.

After the caprese was complete, he started on the Cacio e Pepe. We learned about this dish prior to our trip to Italy when we watched an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was traveling in Italy and met with a friend to sample this wonderful and simple, but complex dish. After seeing that episode, Adam was on a mission to find Cacio e Pepe when we arrived in Italy! He was successful and it was delicious. With only pasta, pasta water, pecorino romano and freshly ground black pepper this dish is simple at the core. However, the flavors are so much more complex than the four ingredients would suggest.

To start, Adam ground black peppercorns in our mortar and pestle. He then grated the pecorino romano, while waiting for his pasta water to boil. He cooked the pasta, then reserved some of the cooking liquid. Then, from there it's quite simple, rotate adding pasta water and pecorino romano, while constantly tossing the pasta to let the cheese coat each strand. At the end, toss together the pasta and the black pepper and serve.

Our meal was delizioso! The caprese was perfect with the fresh taste of summer (which was nice considering this summer weather we're having in January!), the pasta was light, but still filling. It was the perfect saltiness, with a bite from the black pepper. And the wine! Oh the wine, if I closed my eyes, I was back in Italia! Adam did an incredible job! I'm really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with for next Wednesday night!

The evening was truly perfetto and I have to admit, I could really get used to this!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project - With A Capital "P"

As many of you probably already know, Adam and I like a good project. We love to relax, but what we really love is a  project with some good, hard work involved. We are a hands-on, do it yourself kind of couple. I think that's one of the qualities that makes us fit together so well. Our parents, both sets, are very much the same, so they've been helping us learn how to "do it ourselves" around our own little house.

Since we've moved into our little 50's ranch style house, we have:

  • painted all of the rooms (except two...)
  • put up wainscoting in one of the bathrooms
  • renovated (from top to bottom, literally) our sun room, making it a room we can actually stand to be in use
  • removed what must have been 5,000 over grown, unruly azaleas to clean up our back yard for a fence 
  • put out a pallet of sod
  • and the list goes on...
Much like the list above, there is a never-ending list of projects in any home...and ours is no exception. So, this weekend we are starting the mother of all projects -- we are KNOCKING OUT WALLS!

Oh yes, I said it...demolition, here we come. We have been looking forward to this since we first moved in the house.

Our house, much like many 50's ranch style houses, is very compartmentalized. Each room is very separate from the rest of the house and our kitchen is no exception. So, this weekend we will be removing the top half of two walls to open up the kitchen, living room, and dining room. Of course the project doesn't stop there, so here is a little list of what we plan to do over the next few probably years of our lives:

  • remove the top half of the walls between the kitchen, living room, and dining room
  • replace the old crown molding with new, heavier crown molding
  • paint the dining room and kitchen (taking them from bright red to a pale green)
  • replace the dining room chandelier

And WAY down at the very bottom of the list (for one day when we can afford it...)

  • new cabinet doors
  • new counter tops in the kitchen
  • pull up the linoleum tile and hope and pray to see pretty hardwood floors underneath
  • Hardhat photo from:
  • pending the above is true...refinish the hard wood floors in the kitchen...if that isn't the case, tile the floor in the kitchen, with real tile, not that plastic stuff

The Project starts this weekend and my goal is to document every step of the way! Look for more posts on our big renovation...and get excited...I'll be posting information about the new wall color, the new chandelier, hopefully a new rug for the dining room and lots of other exciting things! Grab your we go!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Date Night: Restaurant Review

To all my South Carolina friends, if you haven't heard, it's Restaurant Week in South Carolina. Restaurant week is one of my favorite things that the Palmetto State puts on each year. It's a week where restaurants around the state provide fixed menus or specials, with great prices. It's a great opportunity to try that restaurant you've been dying to try, but just hasn't fit in the budget!

Tonight, we decided to try Momo's Bistro. I didn't intend to write a review, so I apologize now that there are no photographs. I know, I know...a good restaurant reviewer would have taken photos. But, I'm new at cut me a little slack.

Before I get started reviewing, I feel like I need to give you a little background. I LOVE good food. And I don't discriminate...I love a good hamburger from Five Guys as much as I love foie gras from Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar. I am a self-proclaimed "foodie" and "wino". I have a secret (well, not that secret anymore) desire to one day be a food critic; I've just never put the pen to paper until now.

Tonight was not our first visit to Momo's. Adam and I went to Momo's with family friends, and then again with family for dinner a couple of years ago. Both visits were wonderful. We experienced great service, excellent food, and as always, wonderful company. I highly recommend dining out with your favorite people, be it that one special person or a table full of them. Dining with great people always make your experience that much better! A few months following those two A+ evenings at Momo's, we went back for brunch. This was the turning point in our Momo's dining history. Though the food was good, the portions (for the price) were bite sized. And now you're up to speed...

Our experience this evening at Momo's was somewhat baffling. Upon arriving, we were immediately seated, our water glasses filled, and menus distributed. I noticed right away that there was no mention of the Restaurant week specials, no insert in the menu, nothing...There was a slightly-longer-than-normal wait to place our order for our drinks, followed by more waiting to get the Restaurant Week menu (upon my request...) We after what seemed like a lifetime finally were given the Restaurant Week menu and told the specials. I opted to go with the fixed menu and elected to have the Bistro Salad, the Lobster Fettuccine  and the New York Cheesecake. The hubs decided to stray a bit and have the Bistro Fries and the Lamb Chop special.

The first course was very good. The Bistro Fries were seasoned with truffle oil ( of my favorite things in the entire world...) and asiago cheese. They were served in the little French-bistro-esque cone, a great presentation for a more pedestrian food. The Bistro salad was very good, if you're into three leaves of lettuce with an invisible dressing. Now, don't get me wrong, the flavor was wonderful. I would truly love to know how the invisible dressing provided so much flavor. It was action was just on the small side. But, needless to say, the hubs and I dove right into both dishes and enjoyed them immensely.

The second course was where things just got odd...not odd like Frankenstein sitting at the table next to you sharing a bowl of spaghetti with Bambi...just slightly off kilter...We'll start with my meal, the Lobster Fettuccine  The fettuccine was cooked well, just slightly al dente the tomato basil saffron cream was good, but needed a bit of salt, and the lobster was well, not quite non-existent. What little lobster was there was very good, but it was by no means starring in the show (most stars tend to have little more time on stage, if you get my drift). Adam and I both agreed that the dish was fine, but that we could probably duplicate it at home.

On to the Lamb Chops. The lamb chops were a special last night, and they were just that. The chops were packed with flavor, they were salty and smoky and wonderful. The sriracha roasted potatoes had a unique flavor with just a touch of spice that perfectly accompanied the lamb. Here is where it gets weird...the "side of asparagus" consisted of two spears(, two...), the lamb chops were more consistent with what I would call a lamb lollipop appetizer (four, and those wonderful potatoes resembled one small potato cut into smaller than bit-sized pieces. My husband who is a more recent foodie, still values quantity a bit over quality and suffice it to say, he was wondering upon the plate's arrival to the table, where he would be eating dinner after this appetizer...

This odd entree course was followed by my sliver of cheesecake, which I shared with my still-hungry husband. The cheesecake was everything you want in a cheesecake. It was light, airy, rich, and creamy all at the same time. The crust was flaky but didn't fall apart. And the dish was served with a wonderful drizzle of an un-identifiable fruit sauce (it was very good...just don't know what it was...). Aside from the minuscule portions, the food was wonderful.

Then came the meal was fixed at $20. This is a great deal for a three course dinner at Momo's...Adam's entree was nearly double the cost of my entire meal and that's not including the Bistro Fries. I'll be the first to admit, we made a couple of mistakes. We should have asked the price of his entree when the specials were being listed. However, we'd already felt so awkward by the fact that the hostess, nor the server, nor the second server who stopped by our table, never offered us the Restaurant Week menu. Then, when I finally asked for it, they wanted to take our regular menus away - a somewhat odd thing to do. When I dine, I like to see ALL of my options...

I realize now, that it's time to wrap this up...I have been rambling. Overall the food at Momo's was very good. The service was less than satisfactory and the portion to price ratio was bordering on absurd. I'm sad to say, I miss our two A+ nights at Momo's. Those first two experiences were wonderful. I'm not sure what has changed...but let's try to get that back!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Year: New Resolutions

Happy New Year! I'm a little late, but let's just say our New Year got off to a rocky start. The hubby and I rang in the new year in sweat pants, hooded sweatshirts and wool socks...with fevers...yeah, not ideal! So, I'm trying to regroup and get my life together a few weeks after the rest of the world!

The Hubs and I had an amazing 2012! We watched many of our friends tie the knot, we traveled to Italy for our anniversary (2 years!), and we did some MAJOR work on our yard. And the best sounds like 2013 might be even better.

We have got so much to look forward to this year! We're planning a trip to Ireland (we've already bought the plane tickets!!!)!!! We're about to start renovating our kitchen (the first step is knocking out a wall) and we're going to continue working on our landscaping in the front yard.

Adam has decided for his New Years Resolution this year, he is going to cook dinner one night a week, Wednesday night to be exact. He's been working on his cooking skills and thinks this is a great way to 1. help his wife and 2. work on his talent in the kitchen (he really is talented...). He started last week and prepared a wonderful meal. I was so proud!

I, on the other hand, am struggling to figure out what I want to resolve to do in 2013. I have a lot of thoughts and options...and I'm trying to decide whether or not to narrow my list or tackle them all! Here is the list:

1. Exercise more often. I do exercise regularly, but I tend to do what I want and not challenge myself. In 2013, I want to focus on doing the things I like, like running, while also incorporating some strength training to become more fit and toned. 
From via Pinterest. 
2. Be more "gourmet" in the kitchen. I LOVE to cook and I've grown up cooking. My mom did a great phenomenal job of teaching my sister and me how to cook. However, though I love to cook, I've let my creativity and courage in the kitchen slump. I chalk it up to "working full time", but let's be honest, I've just been lazy. So, this year I want to try the awesome recipes I've been pinning for two years!!! Thank you, Pinterest, for the inspiration!

From via Pinterest
3. I want to work smarter this year, both at work and at home. I have so many friends who seem to juggle so much more (like pets and children!) and yet I always feel like I never have enough time to get things done. So, this year, I want to be better at multitasking and working "smarter".

From via Pinterest

4. I want to get away more. The hubs and I get stuck in this rut of doing yard work every weekend (and don't get me wrong, I LOVE those weekends) and never just taking off. We have access to a beach house (FOR FREE!!!!) and yet we rarely seem to make it there. I want us to make a point to visit more often. It's the perfect place to relax, ride bikes, stroll on the beach, read a book, and eat some great food! And, we could go there and maintain a relatively low budget.
Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy
Not our beach house...
From via Pinterest

5. FINALLY, and by this point I've actually decided that I need to tackle all of these resolutions, I want to be better about appreciating the things I have. I think we are all guilty of this, but sometimes you have to step back and realize that your life is awesome. My life is awesome, and I need to be better about remembering that and thanking God for that every day!

So, after this, I guess I should thank all of you for listening...I think putting all of my resolutions to paper...or computer screen, made me realize that these are all good, healthy things to tackle (well maybe not the cooking...but maybe my gourmet needs to have a healthy focus!). So now, two weeks late, I'm diving in!

First things' first...Body Pump (weight lifting class at my gym...) 5:30 AM!!!!