Sunday, March 28, 2010


Tonight, I met Food Network's host of Sugar Rush and owner of CakeLove bakery, Warren Brown. He was presenting at McLean Community Center for the release of his new book "United Cakes of America." He is a really down-to-earth type guy with an expansive knowledge on not only cakes, but business, law, and getting what you want out of life. I felt like such a nerd asking for a photo with him but he was very nice about it. Ummmm... you worked on Food Network and you bake for a living-- you're my idol...

Anyway, I bought his book, and Amie and I are going to attempt to do it. So, look out for "Fifty Cakes from Fifty States... Our Trip Through America in a Year." It'll be phenomenal.

Two of his recipes-- red velvet and vanilla with chocolate buttercream... yum!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chuck's First Fluffernutter

So, at the fitness center, we've been having a debate: Do "fluffernutters"/peanut butter and fluff sandwiches exist? Yes. Clearly they do, and I am indeed a huge fan. Melinda, a woman who works out, was the one who brought this argument into existence. She too enjoys a fluffernutter sandwich from time to time. My boss, Chuck, and a few others have never heard of them let alone taste one, so Melinda and I were determined to show them the truth, so she brought in the ingredients and I made one for Chuck.

We came to the conclusion it's a northern thing. I had never had one until I went to Penn State, and she has lived in Pa and Jersey before so we're going to bring this delicacy to the dirty south we call northern Virginia.

This is Chuck carving out the middle because he won't eat food that's been touched unless he is home. Don't be mad I told the world, boss!

He looks very skeptical. Chuck's diet is very clean, and fluff isn't exactly a nutritional heavyweight. In fact, it's just sugar. Mmm mmm mmm...

Not too pleased. "Honey would be better." Yes, touche, but sometimes nothing hits the spot better.

Fair enough. You tried it. Now he's like "what is in this?!?" I'm thoroughly amused if you cannot tell.

The remains. RIP to a completely fine sandwich, tossed into the wind, and easily forgotten.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Today I spoke at a wellness workshop called Stressbusters in Falls Church, with about 60 Fairfax County employees. I also won a raffle. Here is the prize:

Girl Scout Cookies... and cupcakes and candy are all great-- but maybe not at a wellness workshop :)

On a side note...

This country has an obesity epidemic. It's called an epidemic because it is sweeping our country like any disease would. Check out some of these obesity charts, and see where we've come in

So, you can see. This is horrible. HORRIBLE!!!I'm on a mission to change it. God Speed. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nifty Fifties!

I love this place. Tucked away in Ridley, Pennsylvania, this thing is like a gold mine. Not only is it bright lights, but it's goooood food. Okay let me rephrase that: decent food-- INCREDIBLE MILKSHAKES! Yes, calorie and fat laden huge cups of goodness. Not for the faint at heart. Over spring break, I had two. No, not a few sips here and there. Two. Not half of one and three fourths of the other. Two, huge I-think-I'm-going-to-burst-but-these-are-so-good-I-can't-stop milkshakes.
This is Alex, preparing the "Taste the Memories."

Just some of the lovely decor in the restaurant. When you walk in, it's totally fifties. Jukebox, waiters and waitresses in cliche outfits, red vinal chairs, the whole bit. The smell of greasy but tasty food, and a ton of people waiting to eat it. I've been probably five times in my life, and all of them, it's been packed. No matter the occasion, this place is the perfect choice for a first date, the end of a long day (in my cases) or just any mega milkshake craving.
Over spring break I got two different milkshakes. This first on is the "Reese Milkshake." Okay, here is the one bone I have to pick. There were most certainly no reeses in here. None-the-less, it was still good. I would have preferred it sans peanuts but that's only because for some reason I don't like mixing nuts and ice cream. You can imagine I still drank the whole thing.
This one, however, was absolutely perfect. Mint Oreo Milkshake. Creamy, sweet, minty, chocolatey, heaven. Or, what I imagine heaven to be. The oreos crumbled on the bottom were the perfect gold medal for finishing. I become like a little kid here-- I can't imagine how I finish these but they are good to the last drop. Seriously, they are HUGE. And I can eat.

Anyway, this is a really great place. If for some reason, you're ever in Ridley (and except for the Garrity's, Tish, and maybe Dan, you won't be), you should GO HERE IMMEDIATELY!!!!

Present Cuisine

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I was eating Vietnamese food, I would have either laughed at your or thought you were lying. Turns out, the more I expand my food horizons, the more pleased I am. I would probably never have picked this restaurant on my own but after a much needed "girls reunion," my close group of friends (still strong from high school!) met up on a Thursday night to catch up.

The restaurant was tucked away in a mini shopping center, surrounded by busy Arlington Boulevard and traffic everywhere. It's hard to spot if you don't know what you're looking for. I was running late straight from a soccer game, and by the time I got there, my friends already were sharing some wine, so I followed the trend and got a glass too (Pinot, I think).

We got the Green Paradise Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon), which were shrimp, pork (which I didn't taste), mint and basil all rolled up in a rice wrapper, served with peanut sauce. These were pretty good but I don't think they would by my first choice. It is, however, a very light tasting dish, so if you're down for something fresh and not too filling-- go for it! I prefer a warmer appetizer, this was served cold. The peanut sauce is great, but we all know I love peanut (butter).

For my entree, I was tempted to order a roasted chicken dish. Two of my other friends ordered it so I figured it was a safe bet. They ordered, the waiter accepted, no problem. When it got to me however, and I tried my order, he recommended something else. Maybe he knew I was a food adventurer. Maybe he was sick of telling the chef "another roasted chicken, please," but whatever the case, he spewed off some rambling about Bo Luc Lac, or Cow on the Open Field, and I obliged. I had no idea what was in it-- other than cow. Turns out, he knew his stuff. This dish was delicious marinated tenderized beef "shaken" in high flames and sautéed with onions. Soo good. The beef was tender, juicy and very flavorful. I didn't even use the dipping sauce that came with it. The presentation was beautiful-- look at that flower! We couldn't tell what it was. It tasted like nothing, smelled like nothing. Maybe it was nothing. Anyway, this is a good lesson. If you're at all adventurous, go with a recommended dish.

Anyway, this is everyone's choice. From bottom center clockwise was my dish, a Ca Tim Nuong Mo Hanh translated to Sunning in the Tropics (my vegetarian/Caribbean friend picked this one...very fitting Liz, always sunning in the tropics!), two of the Com ga Hoang Gia or Imperial Medallion Chicken, which was a half Cornish hen rotisserie style served with fried rice, some shrimp dish I forget the name of (could be Shrimp in the Fresh Ocean), and a fried Shrimp Dish (very tasty) that I'm unsure the name of. Maybe the Red Tamarind Path? Not sure.

Anyway, good choice Amie! It was a great dinner and nothing beats good friends and good food-- seriously! Happy dining!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Binge and Purge

I came to a conclusion today. I came to the ultimate solution: binge and purge.

Yes, you read that right. Binge and purge. 

Binge on the things and the people that make you happy. Take the time to enjoy them in your life. Take it all in until you're stuffed... until you can't fill yourself anymore. This will satiate you more than anything else.

Purge yourself of the things that make you sad. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Get rid of those things you hate, and don't feel guilty about letting them go. Purge the things that make you feel worse about yourself, or that bring you down. You won't miss them.

Binge and purge, my friends. It's all there is to it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sorry for all the delays, I have good excuses! I've been in Philly with Alex on a whirlwind experience which I'll fill you in on because it dramatically changes what I eat and how I eat and I think it's pretty interesting. But before that, I have to tell you about the pre-Philly stuff.
These are just two breakfasts-- one is mine, the others is Alex's... take a guess!
Friday was another training session with a client and my own work out. I had to cancel meetings because life got in the way and I had a lot to do before my little visitor arrived. I don't even remember what I ate Friday until dinner, but I do remember going to the team dinner of the soccer team I coach. High school girls. No concept of what is good for them and if there is, they throw it to the wind in favor or flavor. Plates full of brownies, cupcakes and cookies were devoured in a matter of minutes and it's so nice to see young girls eating normally, without obsessing on every calorie, like I probably do! Well, not so much anymore... but I have in the past. It's so funny to be around young girls again... all they do is gab about boys, gossip, and whisper. I'm glad that part of my life is over, not because I didn't love high school (because I did) but because I can see now that parents are right, and so many of those seemingly important things matter not at all anymore. And all of those girls who seemed so cool, and guys who seemed so mature were really something that no one truly missed out on. So I'm glad I'll be there for them as someone who survived high school.

Okay back to food-- that night I made pizza for the two of us and it's so simple and so good that I think everyone should try it. I've mentioned it before but all you need is Pillsbury pizza crust dough, pizza sauce and any cheese/toppings you want. It always turns out yummy.  

Saturday morning, after a tumultuous trip up the beltway, we met my parents at Bruegger's and I got the Egg White Ham and Cheese breakfast sandwich on an onion bagel... yum!! Here's Alex and Bruegger the Bagel Mouse. Looks like he is beating him?

This is a crappy old wrap from Wawa. I had high hopes for the buffalo chicken flatbread.Let this be the proof it's not all that exciting. In fact, it is extremely lack luster. But, we had to grab lunch after a long day at USTC, a huge soccer complex in Philly... more about that to come...

The reason we went to USTC is because I had a brief experience with the women's professional soccer team, the Philadelphia Independence. I spent just one day with the team over preseason, but like I've been complaining about my ankle, it failed me again... just like last year and the Freedom. This year however, I was much more confident, and the coaches were really supportive and knew I hadn't played in a year.
Even though it was only a day, I thought it was funny to see how my eating changed: bagel & cream cheese for breakfast, banana for a snack, bagel and peanut butter for lunch, a yogurt and a granola bar after a double header of two hour practices. I was pooped. It was awesome training but exhausting...especially considering I've basically just done the elliptical for a year... um, big difference. So that night...we got milkshakes from Nifty Fifties because I was so upset my foot failed again. That's after a yummy spaghetti meatball dinner from my Alex's mama.

So, here I am, a washed out pro (yeah, okay, I'm milking the title... because it's not totally true, but who cares!) The owner and general manager both invited me to come back if I ever change my mind. Until then, it's more personal training, group exercise, high school coaching, club coaching and now being on the support staff for L&T Fitness (hopefully!) So, I'm a busy gal.

So, more pics. We drink a lot of coffee--especially because Alex has endless giftcards. Here is a coconut with ginger snaps... so hit the spot!

Can you tell who's lunch is whose?
Mmm... Pat's King of Steaks Cheesesteaks: American/wit (aka, American cheese with onions).Don't mess it up. Don't say please. Don't dawdle. Get in, get out, move on. I love this place, but it was definitely intimidating the first time. Now, I've got it down...but I've heard now I can never try Geno's because I started at Pat's. One nibble couldn't hurt.I need to settle this great debate!

We got treats from Starbucks. I got the Java Chip Light Frappuccino with whip and drizzle. May seem weird but the light version saves you about 100 calories, and with the whip and drizzle, it tastes just as good. It's a nice little tip!

We also split a donut one day (I swear all these sweet goodies were spread over like  a week and a half!) Not just any donut, but Boston Creme. I only had a bite or two though. It wasn't worth all the calories (280 in this one). Okay, so I have my moments of diet blunder, too. So be it. I'd rather enjoy my life/food.

This is a picture of the UNC tailgate food after the lax game. Loved the guacamole, shrimp and the little mozzarella skewers!

One night back in VA we had tacos and I wanted to give you a more vivid spread of what goes in...ground beef, onion, cheese, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream.

That's all I can bear to post tonight... Hope you feel a little caught up!