A few weeks ago (in May actually) I had the opportunity to attend the Blend Retreat and it was sooooo much fun! I think I mentioned that at the closing raffle, I had won the entire Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread line from The Laughing Cow :
I'm not gonna I was pretty stoked! Within days, this arrived at my house:
All the flavors are great, but so far my faves are the Garden Vegetable and the Cinnamon Cream! Sooo good! Love them on toast! But, there are so many other ways you can use them! Here are some links to some great recipes, using The Laughing Cow products:
We stopped by a new spot in Salt Lake called Granary Row, on Saturday night. Pretty cool place! I will blog about it later on this week. Yesterday, we spent some time laying by the pool, which is always GOOD!
I want to tell you about a restaurant we discoverd last weekend. I've driven by Bistro on Main a dozen times, and I always make a mental note to try it out, but for whatever reason we haven't until now.
On Saturday morning, my husband and I took our little Mal-Shih for a walk up high on Bountiful Boulevard (fabulous views). After a nice hour long walk were starving! I remembered Bistro on Main, and knew they had outdoor seating so I suggested we give it a try, even though we had our dog with us.
I went inside when we got there and asked if it was okay if we dine outside with our dog….they happily said YES! We found a great shaded table on the front porch and checked out the menu.
The menu isn't too large, but does have a nice selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. One of the specials of the day was the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and fries (waffle or sweet potato). My husband chose this! I decided on the Citrus Grilled Chicken Sandwich, with cheese, bacon and avocado, also served with fries. I am not eating white bread at the moment, so I asked if I could get the sandwich sans bread. They were more than willing to comply!
While the Pulled Pork Sandwich was messy (as it should be!), my husband said it was fabulous! He loved it! We even snuck a few bites to our Mal-Shih under the table!
My sandwich arrived without the bread (as I requested) and it was delicious! So tender and great flavor! I liked the sweet potato fries as well, and the service was great!
There was a sort of boutique happening on the front lawn, and one of the vendors happened to be selling healthy doggie treats. How lucky for us! He brought our dog a nice sample up on the porch, and she loved it!
We really did have a great experience at Bistro on Main! I noticed they had an alcoholic drink menu as well, which is always a plus in Bountiful!
We will be back!
Have you tried any new restaurants lately?
Do you have a favorite restaurant that is pet friendly?
A few weeks ago, I was asked to be a Yelp Elite Squad Member, which I thought was pretty cool! I have been using Yelp for quite some time, looking for new restaurants/hotels/services to try in my city and when I am traveling, as well as posting my own reviews of places I have visited.
Last week, I was invite to my first Yelp Elite Squad Event. I had the opportunity to try out a new East India Restaurant, Saffron Valley.
I've tried Indian Food before (basically curry and naan), but had never eaten at an Indian Restaurant, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say I was very impressed!
Saffron Valley is located in the Avenues area of Salt Lake City, in a location that used to house the Pagoda Restaurant. I took my friend Kristyn with me to sample Saffron Valley, since it was my first Yelp Event and I was a bit nervous! When we arrived we were able to mingle with other "Yelpers" and grab a drink from the bar. The event was held in the lower "banquet room" of the restaurant. It was nice to be able to chat with everyone and get to know people before the food was served.
The menu that night consisted of two appetizers to sample, three Entrees, two side dishes and dessert.
We started with a Chicken Tikki Wrap and Dahi Puri. Both were delicious! The portion size of the wrap was very generous! It was a full meal portion, rather than an appetizer portion! The chicken was so tender, and once again I loved the taste of the added cilantro!
I was also surprised by the light taste of the Dahi Puri. The dish had a light cilantro flavor and the chick peas and yogurt sauce were delicious! For some reason, when the Dahi Puri came out, I thought it would be a hot dish! Not at all! It was like a cold soup.
Saffron Valley has a variety of Kebabs, and I was please with both the lamb and chicken! The chicken was very tender, as was the lamb. So good!! I didn't get to try the paneer, but I learned that it is very easy to make!
The Naan (leavened flatbread) was served warm and was delicious as well. I am not a huge fan of dessert (I know, I'm weird), but the portion of Gulab Jamun (similar to a donut hole soaked in sugare syrup) was perfect. Just a small portion, that was served warm! It is very sweet (to me), so the small portion was perfect. For some reason I didn't get a photo of dessert. My bad!
We also had a belly dancer and henna tattoo artist to entertain us, and a nice raffle of prizes as well. I will definitely be eating at Saffron Valley again in the very near future. If you like East Indian Cuisine, please give them a try! You won't be disappointed! They also have a location in South Jordan.
I'm excited to attend more Yelp Events in the future! It was a lot of fun, and I met some great people!
Do you Yelp?
Have you ever tried a restaurant based on a Yelp review?
Hmmmmm…..Cooking, Crafting and Getting Fit. During my 5 month blog hiatus, did I do any of those things?
Well, let's see. I posted about my Valentine's Day Cooking Exchange HERE, and that definitely involved some cooking and a little bit of crafting! In, January I crafted some centerpieces for a church luncheon we had and made some chocolate covered fortune cookies (crafting or cooking?):
I also decorated my small white Christmas Tree for Valentine's Day:
I even decorated it for Easter, but didn't take any photos!
As far as Cooking goes, let's see? I've made some of my favorite meals:
I've got an injury that I am dealing with (more on that below), so I have also been trying to be much healthier in my cooking by eating more of a clean diet. We've also been trying to drink Green Smoothies every morning. So delicious and good for you. I've found most of my recipes HERE
Other clean eating recipes and cooking:
Clockwise from top left: Citrus Grilled Chicken (you must try this!), Clean Rice Saute (veggies and TJ's Organic Brown Rice), Salad with Salsa Chicken, and more Salsa Chicken with a salad made with chick peas, avocado, tomatoes, kidney beans and cilantro and lime. So good!
Now on to the Getting Fit: Well, about 2 years ago I set out to get fit and healthy. You can read about it HERE or HERE. I was doing my favorite Zumba and GPP classes faithfully. I was happy and healthy. I've always had some random back problems which were manageable, but a bit frustrating nontheless. Well back track to last November and I woke up one morning with my left hand numb. It was the weirdest thing. It progressivly got worse, and moved up my arm. I had no idea what was wrong. Then the upper back/neck pain started. I went to my Chiropractor for treatment and ended up seeing him 3-4 times a week for a few months. Finally, when I really wasn't improving, he ordered an MRI. After getting the results, he suggested I see a neurosurgeon. I had to wait two months for my appointment with the neurosurgeon (what?, I know crazy). Anyway, the neurosurgeon confirmed what everyone thought, and what my MRI results suggested: 4 bulging discs in my neck (two moderate, two severe), with one pinching a nerve (the cause of the numbness and pain in my arm/hand), bone spurs, and degenerative disc disease.
So…..next week, May 22nd to be exact, I am going in for surgery. I believe the surgery is called: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. More informtion found HERE.
So, the Getting Fit part of my life has been seriously lacking the last 5-6 months. Cue sad music!
I'm not really a quitter….but I sure feel like it in the getting fit department! I should be back to regular activity soon, right?
I do get to have one last Getting Fit adventure before surgery next week! I'm heading to the BLEND Retreat this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! Who knows how much I will get to participate, but just being there will be awesome!
I can't wait!
Okay, well this post has been long enough. Just wanted to update on the Cooking, Crafting and Getting Fit party of my life! Happy Thursday y'all!
Back in February (yes, I'm still playing catch up!), my cute friend Traci and I hosted a Valentine's Day Cookie Exchange for all or our Zumba Friends!
We asked everyone to bring 2 dozen of their favorite Valentine's Day cookies, treats, candy or whatever! We made sure to specify that the items did NOT need to be homemade! We were absolutely fine with store bought treats! We didn't want anyone to feel overwhelmed to bake something!
Traci and I had so much fun planning the menu items and decorating for the night! She is one of the most creative people I know! Check out the flowers in the candy filled vase below. She had three different ones! So cute!
Some of the food items: Cheese with pretzel sticks, veggie cups, soft/warm pretzel bites, baked ravioli with marinara sauce and fruit salad! We also had meatballs and a few more yummy items.
We set up a large table in my family room for all of the treats:
Oh my goodness! Can you even believe all the deliciousness on that table? And this was just the beginning! By the end of the night the table was overflowing and we were out of room!
We had wedding cookies, mini cheesecake, mini cupcakes, several GIANT Mrs. Field's cookies, rootbeer cookies, YUMMY desserts from Kneaders, eclaires and so much more!
I picked up some plain white cake boxes at JoAnn's and lined them with tissue paper, giving everyone a box to fill with goodies to take home with them!
Are you drooling, yet?
It was really one of the funnest parties I have ever hosted! And hosting with Traci, was even better!
Traci and I.
Seriously, some of the most fabulous people I know! We work out hard, so we can eat yummy treats!
The whole group! (minus me, the photographer!)
I think it would be fun to make this an annual tradition!
And look what Traci even left for me after the party:
Happy Hump Day, friends! Almost half way through the work week!
I mentioned in Monday's Weekend Wrap Up post, that I hosted a "Favorite Things" Party on Friday night. I've heard about "Favorite Things Parties" all over blogland over the years, and I thought it would be so fun to host one.
My brother was gracious enough to let me host the party on his beautiful patio. He recently got married and is selling his house. His backyard has been the site of many family parties, graduation parties, outdoor movie nights, etc. Perfect backyard/patio for entertaining!
I invited a bunch of friends (30+) knowing that not everyone would be able to attend, but I wanted to have a big fun group! I asked everyone to pick one "favorite thing" (nail polish, lotion, kitchen gadget, wine, book, household product, etc), and bring 5 of them. The idea was to share with everyone else, something they can't live with out, or something they just love. The maximum was $10 per item, but I stressed that $5-$6 was plenty. It wasn't about the cost of the item. I also asked everyone to bring their favorite dessert or appetizer.
I had a table set up for the guests to write their name on 6 slips of paper (in addition to the 5 items, I had a special drawing for some of my special favorite items) to place in to a large vase. Each guest would have a chance to talk about their "favorite thing" and then draw 5 names out. Those 5 guests would get the "favorite thing"
I put together "Swag Bags" for everyone, for the favorites they got to go home with:
The food spread was fabulous! Oh, and I also made Peach Sangria! So delish! Recipe to come soon!
The "Favorite Things" were so creative! I loved it!
We had wine, easter beauty items, quinoa, visors, body spray, gel insulated wine bags, hand sanitizer, almond butter, candied pecans, diet coke, coasters, sugar cookies, etc. So many fun things!
After our favorite things, I held a special drawing for some of my additional "favorite things"! I had some super fabulous peeps donate items to the party and I can't thank them enough! In fact, I will have a whole separate post thanking them!
It's time for another Weekend Wrap Up post! Although, I was lame this weekend and didn't take any pictures! Duh!
As usual, my weekend begins at 4:31 pm on Friday! The minute I am off work! :) I wasn't able to make it to GPP on Friday night, but I did get to Zumba with Teresa! Great class! Teresa is incorporating weights in to her Zumba classes, which you can read about HERE. Pretty awesome!
After Zumba, I raced home to meet up with Carl and Tyson to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Oh, and I can't forget….we got take out from Cafe Rio. Have you tried Cafe Rio? So good! Love, love, love it!
Anyway, back to the Opening Ceremonies. I didn't love them (like Beijing), but I did enjoy them. Danny Boyle did a great job, and I love everything about the Olympics, so I wasn't disappointed! My favorite part was probably David Beckham. You just can't go wrong with him, right?
Saturday, I made another trip to the farmers market with two friends and Madison. It was fun! A little crowded and hot, but we still had a great time. We grabbed lunch at Tony Caputo's, which was pretty good, but a little pricey for what we got.
Saturday night, I had a fun dinner with some of my zumba friends at The Dodo in Sugarhouse. This is my absolute favorite restaurant, hands down. I've been eating here for years and years, and I've never had a bad experience. The food is fabulous, service is great and the desserts are out of this world (even though I don't like dessert!) If you haven't tried this restaurant, put it on your "must try" list! You won't be disappointed!
Such a fun group! We laughed and laughed for hours!
Sunday was a Bonco/Pool Party with my bonco group. The gal hosting bonco for the month, has a pool and invited us to stay and swim. It was so nice. One of my favorite things to do, is to just lay on a floatie in the pool. Heaven!
The rest of Sunday was spent watching more coverage of the Olympics. Loved watching the FAB FIVE!
Yesterday was Pioneer Day (our official state holiday) or Pie and Beer Day! Depending on how you choose to celebrate the day! Luckily, I had the day off! Poor Carl had to work. Madi and Tyson, both had the day off too, and Madi even came over Monday night to stay the night. Love when she does that!
My day began with Madison and I going to a super fun Zumba class, and then heading over to Keva Juice for some post workout smoothies!
I ran home to relax for about 20 minutes, then headed out with Tyson for workout #2 of the day at our favorite gym GPP Fitness for this THIS crazy workout. I didn't do very many double-unders, but I am making progress! My max for front squats was 75lbs, but Tyson busted out 5 reps at 255 lbs. That boy is crazy strong!
I spent the rest of the afternoon putting together a picnic dinner to take to the park, when Carl finally got off work!
I had a large zucchini left over from my Bountiful Basket a few weeks ago, that needed to be dealt with. I thought making zucchini bread might be the perfect way to use it. I searched the internet for a low fat recipe and came up with this ONE. I actually had all the ingredients on hand, which NEVER happens!
The only change I made was to double the amount of yogurt I used, as the dough seemed a little dry. It came out perfectl! So good and really moist! I especially loved the hint of lemon from the zest! Delish!
Question for you: Have you every made Zucchini Bread? Do you have a fave bread recipe? Feel free to share in the comments!
I hope you all had a FABULOUS weekend! My weekend started out on Friday night at a church social with some awesome women, that went way too late and involved too much wine! It was a great time!
What a great group of women we have in our parish!
Saturday, Madison and I spent a good part of the afternoon shopping for dresses to wear to my brother's wedding this Saturday. We were lucky and both found dresses pretty quickly. LOVE when that happens! We grabbed a quick bite at the Nordstrom Cafe Bistro before heading out to the 2News Health Expo for a Zumba class with Teresa!
Dinner: Madi's Margharita Pizza, and my Shirmp Salad
The class was AWESOME! We had such a great time, and I love my BZC (Bountiful Zumba Crew) friends! Great way to finish off the night on Saturday! Hot and sweaty!
Sunday, I spend the day relaxing, cooking and hanging out with Carl and the kids. Both Tyson and Madi were home for dinner, which I loved.
I also made a super yummy low-fat lemon zucchini bread, which I will share with you tomorrow. It was really good, and pretty healthy!
All in all, a great weekend. The weather was a bit sketchy, but we need the rain here in Utah!