Good Morning! I hope you all enjoyed my late night Vlog which gave any of you curious readers a chance to hear what I sound like. Now I’m up early ready for oats and coffee (which I hope the husband will be making soon, ahem) but first I thought I might take a minute before I jump into my busy day to blog about our yummy dinner last night.
The Hubz and I haven’t had Friday night Date Night in a really long time and we were itching to get out and have really good food, drinks and conversation. After a little thought we decided there is nothing wrong with doing the same ol’ thing- head to The Farmhouse Tap & Grill for delicious beer and food. We tend to go here most Date Nights because we love the atmosphere, the food and the beer; nothing wrong with enjoying a good thing.
Last night was incredibly busy and we waited over an hour for a table and then we had to wait awhile longer than usual for our food, however we were in no rush so we grabbed a beer at the bar and enjoyed each others company.
Once we finally were seated we had no problem ordering since there are generally only three things we ever get:
The tofu burger with no bun (not vegan), no cheese (obviously not vegan) and sub sauteed kale for the bun and we either have it with their amazing fries or greens
The nitty gritty corn cakes which come with sauteed greens and mushrooms with the cider or lemon vinaigrette instead of the buttermilk
The vegan plate- this is not officially on the menu but you can just ask and they will make you a great plate with fresh local veggies that have been sauteed and served with grilled local crusty bread
We also occasionally get the olive starter as well but it’s a huge bowl so we only get it when we go with others.
Tonight I went with the nitty gritty corn cakes
and the Hubz the burger with fries
and we both topped it them with their yummy ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauces.
Last night I broke our “no eating out” for the rest of the month rule and convinced the Hubz that we needed a night out on the town. He agreed that we have been cooped up in our apartment for the past week only leaving for work and groceries. It was time for a date night out. We started our date night at Drink in hopes that the special drink of the day would be something we wanted but it end up being raspberry vanilla infused vodka, um gross. So instead we decided to go with martinis, olives for me and a twist for him. We decided that we would take our time and draw the night out as long as possible so we sipped our martinis and played a round of scrabble. We had fun and let a few not so “legal” words pass. Once our glasses were empty and our game complete we headed just a few doors down to one of our favorite restaurants Pacific Rim. The first thing we saw though was a sad sign saying that they would not be renewing their lease and therefore would be closing at the end of the month. So with that being said we went in and made sure to order our favorite dish one last time. Unfortunately this is when the photos get a little less than clear, I realized after I had already left home that I had forgotten my camera on the counter, FAIL.
I decided that I would stick with another martini with dinner but unfortunately this one just wasn’t as good and the olives were teeny tiny; I really hate when you don’t get good olives in a martini.
After ordering our drinks we started with the vegetable dumplings which weren’t really that good, they were greasy and had little flavor. I was hungry though so I topped them with sriracha and dipped them in soy sauce.
For our entrees the Hubz and I both got our favorite dish the Grilled Spicy Tofu which is marinated tofu that is grilled and then topped with a spicy red sauce and served with brown rice, steamed veggies and kimchi. It was just as good as I remembered it and I ate the whole thing. I am sad to say this will probably be the last time I ever eat it….hmmm maybe I will try to recreate it.
I know these photos are awful! The Hubz said “those don’t even look like food”
This weekend was freezing in Vermont so the Hubz and I spent more of our weekend inside working on a number of projects. I am happy to say that I was able to organize the closets in our bedroom and purge a number of items that we had been holding on to for too long. I also attempted to work on organizing our office but I think I just made a bigger mess. We are in need of some major organizational materials and have visions of how we want things to look but until we head south and by south I mean to NYC and Connecticut where there is better shopping (Ikea and Target) we will just have to make do. Who knew we were such pack rats?
As for food this weekend I spent a lot of time working on recipes from Veganomicon for the Vegan Cookbook Club. On Friday night I made Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach; I was lazy and decided to just purchase pre-made seitan to save me time. Overall I thought the dish was really good but I’m not going to giveaway all my thoughts here you’ll just have to wait for my full review of Veganomicon. For the remainder of the night the Hubz and I just relaxed enjoyed an Ottercreek Black IPA and attempted to watch Dinner for Schmucks but we just couldn’t get into it; it really just wasn’t as funny as I hopped it was going to be.
Saturday was spent making a mess of the office while drinking coffee and watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Unfortunately for the Hubz my way of organizing is to make a huge mess and then clean it up so the state of our office is in disarray right now- however the closet in there is amazingly organized so WIN! We are heading to NYC and CT in a few weeks and will be hitting up Ikea and Target for some items to help in our organizational project but I should probably make one last effort to at least get that room orderly. The second half of Saturday was spent getting lattes, groceries and gas- exciting I know. I didn’t photograph dinner and I can’t remember what we had so it must not have been that exciting. I did make the Lower Fat Banana Bread (muffins) from Veganomicon though and they were tasty. I added chopped up dates to them and they were so good.
Sunday I was up early and ready to tackle the closets in our bedroom but first a mini french press of coffee and a two banana bread muffins. Then I was on to organize and purge items in our closets, as well as take over the walk-in closet which the Hubz ended up with some how when we moved in. I never realized how much I could get a workout just from cleaning and organizing our bedroom; by lunch I was sweaty (TMI) and had worked up an appetite. Lunch was a pasta dish per the Hubz request and included chickpeas and spinach in a creamy garlic sauce. I tried out my sample of Jovial Brown Rice Pasta, it was pretty good for gluten free pasta, but I prefer the Jovial Whole Wheat Penne.
After spending most of the weekend doing our own thing or sitting behind our computer screens the Hubz and I decided we needed a date night. Instead of spending money to go out we decided to stay in and enjoy a bottle of wine and a home cooked meal; we even showered and got dressed (I’d been in yoga pants all weekend). For dinner I made the Chickpea Cutlets with Mustard Sauce from Veganomicon with roasted butternut squash and cornbread stuffing on the side. I thought both the cutlets and the sauce were really tasty however I have a few criticisms regarding the wording of the recipes and the fact that in the directions for the sauce it left out a step that included major ingredients; again you’ll here more about this in my final review of Veganomicon.
Now it’s Monday morning and I am sitting back enjoying a mug of coffee and blogging. I started out my morning with a bowl of creamy oats with a spoonful of pumpkin butter and a little cranberry cinnamon granola on top for crunch. I picked up this Sticky Fingers Bakeries pumpkin butter from Marshall’s on sale and it is really amazingly good on oatmeal. Alright that is my weekend wrap up now it’s time to get ready for my work week. Enjoy your day!
At least once a week you can find me at New Moon Cafe blogging, working on school or enjoying a cup of coffee with the Hubz or friends. There are many coffee shops in Downtown Burlington but New Moon is by far the best for getting something healthy to eat, finding a table to work on and has the best free Wi-Fi.
New Moon Cafe
The menu at New Moon includes sandwiches, salads, breakfast items, soups, quiche and baked goods. I really love their roasted veggie paninis but lately my favorite has been the create your own salad. My favorite combination is greens, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, carrots, chickpeas, cucumber and lemon dressing. There are three sizes of salad; the small is massive and they don’t skimp on the artichokes which are my favorite.
Yummy Salad Beast
When it comes to beverages they have the best cold pressed iced coffee, wonderfully sweet and spicy chai lattes and their drip coffee is really delicious as well.
My only complaint about New Moon is that it isn’t open on Saturdays.
Over the last nine months I have finally found a method of eating that works for me. It is all about the 90/10 Rule (sometimes 80/20); what this means is that 90% of the time I try to eat really well and then 10% of the time I will indulge GUILT FREE. I think for too many years I have been overly concerned with that I am eating and making myself feel bad for indulging even just a little. Now that I have stopped being so hard on myself I find that it is so much easier to follow a 90/10 or 85/15 or some weeks 80/20 diet. I know that I have control over what I eat and that if I can do really well 90% of the time than for me that is great. I don’t need to be eating really well 100% of the time to feel healthy and happy.
Last night I let myself have that 10% GUILT FREE. After work Neil and I had 2.5 hours before our dinner plans so we decided to take advantage of the time and headed first to The Farmhouse for a beer, snack and round or three of darts. This is where our night of indulgence starts; we both enjoyed a nice beer but since I hadn’t had lunch we decided to get an order of their fries (they are to die for).
After beer, fries and darts we took a little walk around downtown Burlington before meeting Laura for dinner at A Single Pebble this really delicious family style Chinese Restaurant. We had a gift certificate and were excited to use it since that meant we could order all the yummy dishes we wanted without worrying about spending too much (this place is a little pricy). So for dinner we had (please note all dishes were requested vegan- there are some dishes that appear to be vegan on their menu however are not so ask your server before ordering):
Double Garlic Broccoli
Mock Eel- Fun Fact: This was Alton Brown's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate with Chopsticks" (Foodnetwork)
Tan Tan Noodles
Dry Fried Greens Beans (my favorite dish)
We ordered way too much food and ended up leaving with a bunch for leftovers. We really enjoyed everything but the favorite dishes of the night were the Dry Fried Green Beans, Double Garlic Broccoli and Tan Tan Noodles. The one thing that we really were not impressed with however was the service. We had arguably the worst table in the house and then our service was awful; our sever only came over to our table 4 times in the 1.5 hours that we were there. We also ended up sitting for nearly 30 minutes being completely done eating before anyone stopped by the talk to us, fill our water glasses or ask if we needed anything else. Normally we have a really good dining experience and come here frequently for special nights out but tonight was just an off night.
Do you indulge guilt free once in awhile? What are your favorite indulgences?
This past weekend the Hubz and I decided to have an afternoon date at Dunio! (Duende) in downtown Burlington, VT. This small restaurant is part of Radio Bean a local cafe known for it’s weekly musical performances and off beat atmosphere. Since Duino! (Duende) is off the main street in downtown Burlington we always forget about it but after our revisit this past weekend I think we will be frequenting it more often.
The theme behind the menu at Dunio! (Duende) is unique and different from other restaurants in the area since its focus is on international street food. The menu is small but provides enough inexpensive vegan friendly dishes that you won’t be disappointed. They also have an extensive drink menu with wines, beers and specialty drinks as well.
I started with a Manhattan
And the Hubz had a Five Dollar Shake: Stout, espresso, and maple syrup
For my meal the Hubz and I shared the soup of the day which was a creamy squash soup with thai spices it was really yummy and came with grilled bread.
And we shared the Mujadara: Lentils & rice cooked with onions served in a pita with tahini, hot sauce, lettuce & tomato & tabouleh salad- this was really tasty!
Overall we really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, delicious (inexpensive) food and we will be back again soon.
The Hubz and I spent Saturday morning doing a little last minute Christmas shopping and stopped in at Healthy Living to pick up a few groceries and for lunch. Healthy Living is one of my favorite places to eat because they have a great salad bar, hot bar and really great vegan sandwiches. We decided to get sandwiches for lunch I went with roasted tempeh, with all the veggies (too many to list), vegan mayo, roasted garlic jam all on a panini. The hubz went with the roasted tempeh, some veggies, garlic mayo also on a panini.
After lunch we did a little more holiday shopping at the mall.
Every year the Hubz and I head out to the mall and pick a child from the gift tree and head out to do a little shopping to pick up things on their card. This year we decided to pick 2 children a 1 year old boy who was in need of clothes and trucks or learning toys and a 10 month old girl who was in need of clothes. We picked up a few cute things for them.
Do you have a holiday tradition?
After Christmas shopping we went to visit some of the Humane Society Kittens which I just wanted to take home with me. I hope someone adopts these furry friends soon.
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