I Haven’t Told You Lately

First let’s look at today’s eating habits.

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Half Bagel with Peanut Butter, Banana, and some specs of coconut butter from a sample pack.

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Lunch was a leftover salad from Whole Foods with additional spring mix and Gorgonzola and an apple.  The salad had a couple different bean salads underneath the lettuce and veggie mixture.

I had a Cashew Cookie Larabar for my after-school tutoring snack, but no picture was taken.

For dinner, I attempted to defrost red beans from the freezer, but upon opening the container I realized, well Chris realized it was gumbo.  I was in the mood for some traditional Monday Red Beans so I ordered take-out from Come Back Inn instead.

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I gave Chris one of the sausage links and ate most of the beans and rice plus one piece of bread and a small serving of potato salad.  These hit the spot after a liberal dash or two or three of Crystal hot sauce was added.

Lately, I’ve been uninspired. I am uninspired to do my day job—teach with just one nine weeks left, but I’m doing it. I am uninspired to cook—lots more eating out has been happening with SOME cooking. I am uninspired to work out—I gained a few pounds and have been working out only 3 days a week. I am uninspired with blog writing—posts have been few and far between.

I am not quite sure where this lull has come from, but I am trying to get back on track. So, I figured I’d start by sharing a few things I haven’t told you lately.

1. Remember when I stopped biting my nails back in September, well I started biting them again. 

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I am trying to cut the habit again and may need to go get that gel polish put back on since it lasted for about three weeks.  Please pardon the dry skin shown above. 😉

2. I eat my apples like my dad eats his rib bones.  Oh wait, I eat my ribs like that too when I eat ‘em!

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I really gnaw on it ‘til all the flesh is gone. Now I don’t do that at work, but in the privacy of my own home that’s how I roll.

3. I have a serious addiction to chips (pita or tortilla) and hummus.DSC00797

This container is just after two days.  Whoops!  Maybe the husband helped a tad, but not by much.  I have always had a much larger love affair with salty foods than the sweet stuff.  Give me fries; give me chips.  Well, you can have the fries just don’t eat my chips!  Seriously, I need to work on self control with the chips and dips. 

4. I bought this book back in January and began to read it.  But…

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I have yet to get past Chapter 1.  I have picked it up about 5 times and just can’t get into it.  It references many German words and places and it just doesn’t capture my attention—so far.  I may still try to read it, but I picked up Water for Elephants at Target on Sunday and it looks a little more my speed.

5. The past several Fridays I have attempted to eat “Meat-Free on Friday.”  I do well with breakfast and lunch, but then dinner time comes and I eat meat.  Since I am Catholic and the Lenten season has arrived, I will be sure to make that sacrifice on Fridays up until Easter Sunday.  So, here is my eats of the first “Meat-Free Friday” in Lent.

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That’s a Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burger in case you were questioning my Meat-Free Friday.

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Gotta get going now because The Bachelor Finale is on.  My guess is for Chantell, but ya never know.

Little Miss Muffet Sat on Her Tuffet

Eating Her Curds…

Bean Curds That Is.

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Okay, okay, when my husband read the menu to Little Chinese Kitchen over the phone as I was sitting in 5:00 traffic trying to get home this evening, I honestly had no clue what I was ordering when I said I would take the Vegetable Bean Curd Soup.  So once I got home with our take-out, I popped open my quart of soup expecting to find some sort of bean soup and to my surprise there were no beans per se, but I found vegetables and tofu floating about the brothy liquid.  I proceeded to google bean curd on my iphone to ensure I had the right soup and found that bean curds are nothing more than tofu—curds separated and pressed from the whey in soy milk.  Subsequently, I realized I had in fact eaten bean curds before just never knowing it by any other name.  I ate half of the quart and plan on having the rest for lunch tomorrow.

Additionally, I wanted moo shu chicken, but when I picked up the food the lady said moo shu pork was ordered, not chicken.  Chris said he ordered the chicken, but the woman sounded busy while ordering so maybe she misunderstood.  Luckily, it was mainly stir fried cabbage with small amounts of pork.  I topped two of the thin pancake sheets with the stir fry mixture and a drizzle of hoisin sauce.

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Wrapped up like a burrito.

I have way too much moo shu pork leftover; hopefully Chris will eat it later in the week.

As for breakfast, I have yet to get a new jar of peanut butter, so have been using almond butter (which is about gone also) and Peanut Butter & Company Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter. 

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Really, this Dark Chocolate PB is not my favorite and I could do without, but it served the purpose topped with half a plum and cinnamon.  The other half of the plum was consumed on the spot.

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Lunch was thoroughly enjoyable today.  I ate a turkey wrap with reduced fat vegetable cream cheese and sliced celery pieces.  On the side, I enjoyed my fave Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey.

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Let’s see, I also snacked on a Trader Joe’s Nutty Chocolate Granola Bar after school and just finished up a mug of hot chocolate.  I shared my snack bars at the meeting I hosted after school today and they were a hit.  The Kind Bar seemed to be the one everyone preferred.

bars Until next time, good night!

Less Wordy Wednesday

Started with an everything bagel thin and a fried egg + a bananaDSC00159 DSC00154 DSC00161

Lunch included some leftover spinach and artichoke pasta from Monday night’s dinner and an apple. DSC00164 DSC00166

Dinner from the Cherry Blossom was shared with the husband—eastbank roll, philly roll, and snowcrab roll + lots of edamame!

No Chore Monday

Yesterday when my husband got home from work he found me sluggishly laying on the couch.  I think I am getting sick once again.  It never fails; each year I get sick three or four times per year working with children.  My throat started bothering me on Sunday night and I am not yet feeling better.  Due to my not feeling well, when Chris got home he said, “Since Monday is so tiring from the weekend, why don’t we just relax and have No Chore Monday,”  meaning no dishes, clothes, cooking, etc.  Though I fully appreciate that and think it may have also been due to the fact that he was feeling tired and did not care to do anything, I am not sure I can go with “No Chore Monday.”  I did last night because I was not feeling well, but hopefully normalcy will soon resume. 

On an added note, last week hub switched from the evening shift to the day shift so he now gets home around 3:30-4:00 p.m. as opposed to 10:00 p.m.  So last week he got to see what all I do once I get home from work, grocery shopping, and/or the gym.  I guess he realizes all that I do in the evening and felt bad since I was not feeling my best.

Yesterday morning I slept in so I opted for a quick breakfast of Kashi Island Vanilla Wheat Puffs, sliced banana, and lowfat milk with some hot chai tea on the side hoping to soothe my sore throat.

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Chris made my sandwich for Monday lunch on Sunday night.  He made turkey and laughing cow light mozzarella and sun dried tomato and basil cheese wedge on whole wheat bread.  On Monday morning I added some romaine and tomato slices.

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I had some Triple Berry Torte yogurt on the side for some added sweetness.  Initially I did not like that flavored laughing cow cheese, but my sandwich was cold and satisfying at lunch time.

After work I wasn’t feeling up to par as stated earlier, so I had a snack and then lounged on the sofa watching Oprah and Food Network. My snack included Bosc pear slices and Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter for Dipping~Yum!

For dinner, Chris suggested sushi from the Cherry Blossom at the corner.  All I wanted was some comfort for my throat so I chose the tempura udon soup.  It came with two tempura shrimp and tempura sweet potato, broccoli, and zucchini.

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I ate one of the shrimp, all of the veggies which I actually thought would be in the soup, and about 2/3 of the soup. 

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The Japanese noodles were so thick and chewy I really enjoyed the texture though they were a bit difficult to pick up with a spoon so I had to alternate between the spoon for the hot, salty broth and chopsticks for the onion and noodles mixture.  The soup/tempura combo was filling and soothed my throat for a short while.  Hub enjoyed the soup as well and said it would definitely be on his order if he felt like having soup at some point in the future.

After dinner and a bath I got in my pjs (t-shirt and shorts), took some meds, and climbed right back on the sofa to call it a night.

At the moment I am home from work today.  I requested a substitute yesterday because we are having all of our cable, phone, and Internet services switched to a new company and my husband scheduled them to set it up today.  Since he just started a new position, he did not want to miss work and have about 40 sick days accumulated so I told him I would miss.  As it turns out I am actually sick and not just playing hooky though I would likely have been at work today if I hadn’t needed to be home for the cable guy. 🙂

This morning I tidied up a bit since I went with “No Chore Monday” then had some pumpkin oats with pumpkin spice coffee.

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Old Fashioned Oats were cooked on the stovetop including the following in the mix:

~1/3 c oats

~1/3 c water

~1/3 c lowfat milk

~pinch of salt

~mashed banana

~generous sprinkling of cinnamon

~dash of ginger and nutmeg

~1/4 c pumpkin, canned (stirred in at end)

~cinnamon almonds for topping

Now I’m sitting at the table waiting for the two cable guys to be done.  It looks like this could take a while because so far my cables are bad and the cable guy said he has to do some rewiring, uuugghhh!  So I may do some dishes, clothes, read since my TVs and Internet are currently out of service, and drink coffee or tea for the throat of course!

Do you have any home remedies for healing sore throats? 

A Weekend of Frolic and Food

The weekend could not come soon enough.  I was so ready for it to arrive.  My Friday night began with babysitting my niece and nephew with the help of my mom; so my sister, Michelle, and her husband, Duke, could spend the night out with friends celebrating Duke’s birthday.  How could I not have a good time frolicking around with this little guy and girl and eating pizza?

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And because she is too cute not to  show, my niece!

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While I was babysitting my niece and nephew, my husband did a little babysitting of his own.  He babysat his twin nieces and even captured a little video of his endeavors.  He sent this video to me saying “Help!” 🙂

 

He had his hands full between the two twin girls.  And in  case you were wondering, Abby immediately got up without a tear in her eye, hugged her uncle, and then became angry with him for capturing it on video.  She quickly got over it though.

Aside from babysitting, I did not make the best decisions with my eating habits for the past couple of days.  Some of my meals (or lack thereof) consisted of pizza, tacos, french fries and more.  But, I know tomorrow I will be back to a more normal  schedule and making better choices.

On Saturday, I started my day off with coffee and homemade french toast and turkey sausage links.

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To make three slices of french toast (2 for hub and 1 for me) I whisked:

~2 eggs

~1/4 tsp vanilla

~1/2 tsp cinnamon

~1 stevia packet

~1/4 c lowfat milk

I then I soaked the slices and cooked them for 3-4 minutes per side in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray.  For topping the toast, I sliced a banana and browned it in a nonstick pan sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray, which allowed the sugars in the banana to come out and caramelize adding a nice flavor to the sweet breakfast.  All was sopped up with some  pure maple syrup drizzled over the top.

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Shortly after breakfast I met Mom for a workout, lunch, froyo, and yes, another craft fair selling mostly the same stuff as the one last week minus all the dips and jams.

I wasn’t too hungry for lunch so I chose an appetizer of baked pretzels with queso dip.

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I had two of the pretzels and brought the rest to Chris, but ended up eating some of a third pretzel with him later on in the day.

After the craft fair Mom suggested we get some Tutti Fruiti Frozen Yogurt.

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I had cake batter and s’mores flavored yogurt with mochi cakes, reese’s, cheesecake bites, pineapple and kiwi.  I just can’t get enough of this stuff and am always game if someone suggests we get it. 🙂

Dinner was some tacos from a fast food joint per hub’s request. So I scarfed two of them down with little hesitation.

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On Sunday Michelle scooped me up to go watch her nephew’s football game shortly after I ate breakfast.  I had some steel cut oats cooked on the stovetop with banana, vanilla,  and stevia.

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I added granola, peanut butter, and sweet potato pecan butter after cooking.

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Lunch was not the greatest combination—pumpkin spice latte plus french fries from my nephew’s snack, so an early dinner was eaten.  My sister’s family, Chris, and I all joined at Houston’s for dinner.

We HAD to start with the spinach and artichoke dip.  It is the one thing I must have if going there.  It is SO good.  People claim to have the “Houston’s recipe,” but no one has ever recreated that tasty, cheesy goodness.

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For my entree I tried the Veggie Burger with purple cabbage and goat cheese.

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Mmmmm! My two year old nephew, Jett, enjoyed eating this with me.  I ate the entire [burger] but only half the bun since Jett decided to take the top of my bun and the tomato off one half to enjoy for himself.  As for the rice and oat made burger, it was quite tasty with the added hickory sauce that was mixed in.  And the cabbage was just as good, though I am not a big fan of the goat cheese clumps that was put on top.

Now I need to get some rest for the long week ahead.  I am not looking forward to this week because I have to work late two nights this week.  Waaahhhh!  I hope it goes by fast, not that I am trying to wish my life away, just looking forward to my break! :) 

My Oh Mahi

Looking back on yesterday’s eats, they were much more interesting in my opinion so I’ll start with them.

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Chai Tea + Banana, Aril, Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Upon waking each morning this week, the temperatures have been in the 50s so oatmeal is the perfect warming breakfast.  My oatmeal was mad on the stovetop with:

~1/4 c old fashioned oats

~1/4 c water + a little more

~1/4 c lowfat milk

~1 mashed banana

~Hanful of pomegranate arils (added after cooking)

~Teaspoon? of peanut butter

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Lunch was thrown together fairly quickly.

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Turkey and Reduced Fat Swiss with Honey Mustard and Spring Mix on wheat bun + honey yogurt and more pomegranate arils

I finally made it back to the gym yesterday after my injury last Tuesday.  I started with 15 minutes of cycling, followed by 30 minutes of weights, and 20 minutes on the elliptical to finish up.  Exercise most definitely lifts my mood and makes me feel better.

For dinner, I planned on making some Baked Mahi Mahi, which I purchased the other day on sale from my neighborhood grocery.  So I got 2 nice sized filets for less than $7.00.  I took a cue from my sister’s meal and went with the individual packets.

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After rinsing the fish filets, I placed them on a large piece of parchment.  I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, mushrooms, black olives, olive oil and white cooking wine, and lemon slices.  I also added some chopped potatoes, but ended up taking those out and cooking on the stovetop because they were yet tender and the fish was done.  So I cooked them with Brummel & Brown and minced garlic.

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The Mahi Mahi was baked at 425* for about 15 minutes.  My, oh, my I forget how quick and EASY it is to cook fish.  In less than 20 minutes the protein of the meal can be cooked.

I also made some Caesar salad.

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My salad was made of romaine, light babybel shredded, homemade croutons from a leftover wheat bun sprinkled with salt, garlic powder, oregano, and basil that was baked at 425* for 10 minutes or until crunchy.  I drizzled fat free Caesar dressing over the top.

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Wednesday dinner just did not satisfy me so I had to have a slice of Sweet Potato Pie and a spoon of creamy coconut gelato on top.

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And for today:

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Granola, Flaxseed, Cinnamon Almonds, Half a Banana, Lowfat Milk

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Romaine, Grape Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Turkey slice, Light Babybel Crumbled, with Raspberry Vinaigrette + Plum + Cinnamon Almonds

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After school snack of chips and salsa.

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Wonton Soup + Eggroll

I stopped at Imperial Garden on my way home from sister’s house.  I wasn’t really in the mood for Chinese, but hub chose it.  My wonton soup was not good;  I ate it, but the flavor in the wonton tasted funny.

Thank goodness tomorrow is the weekend!  This week has been a busy one.  One more week then it’s Thanksgiving Break! :)  Woooohoooo!

A Taste of the Holidays

The cool weather this weekend has put me in the holiday spirit and reminded me that in two short weeks I’ll be off of work an entire week for the Thanksgiving holidays.  I.Can’t.Wait!  The winter holidays are my favorite time of year with the aromas of wood burning fireplaces and Christmas trees filling the air, festive decorations, comforting home-cooking, and spending time with loved ones.  On Saturday, Mom and I attended the Pontchartrain Holiday Arts and Craft Show.  We go just about every year to see mostly the same types of jellies, dip mixes, wooden yard signs, wreaths, jewelry, and much more. 

At the show I sampled way too much of these and did not buy one of them.

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All Kinds of Pepper Jellies including Crawfish Pepper Jelly and Mayhaw Pepper Jelly of The Ole Homestead out of Gilbert, LA.  Plus all sorts of mayonnaise/ sour cream based dips with pretzel sticks from spinach dip to garlic dip to Mardi Gras dip, which is a Cajun flavored spicy dip.  They were all tasty, but what I enjoyed the most and had to have (because I knew I would actually use it and not store it in the cabinet for years like some of the dip and soup mixes purchased two years ago) to top on my oatmeal was Sweet Potato Pecan Butter.

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I actually baked a homemade Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Pecan topping on Friday and topped my oatmeal this morning with it.

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Sunday breakfast—steel cut oats made with banana, cinnamon, milk, and water.  I guess sweet potatoes are on my brain since we still have a bunch to use up, so fittingly I purchased the sweet potato butter which tastes a lot like this pie.  More on the pie in another post.

The arts and craft show was not just about food, though it seemed many people just go for the sample tastings.  There was also tons of jewelry for sale at the show as well.

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Saints and Fleur de Lis paraphernalia out the Ying-Yang!

Handmade Wooden Yard Signage

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Christmas Decor, the Door Wreath I Purchased

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As always, Mom and I shared some freshly roasted New Orleans Praline Pecans.  They were sweet and hot right out the pan.

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To recap the rest of my Saturday eats:

Breakfast was a hunk of Sweet Potato Pie with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

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Lunch was sandwiches for two—one for Chris and one for me. 

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Whole Wheat Toast topped with Greek Olive Hummus, Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Grape Tomatoes, Spring Mix, Sliced Cucumbers, Sliced Bell Peppers, Salt & Pepper

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Chris said this very well could be his favorite sandwich of all times and he wants me to make it “everyday.”  I agree it was scrumptious though I am sure he and I would both tire of it if eaten every day.

Later in the day I tried my first pomegranate.  Julie was right when she warned her readers that there will be ruby red pomegranate juice all over the place when dissecting a pom to get to the beautiful, crunchy, juicy little arils.  I was worried, though, about the staining power, but the juice easily wiped up from my white countertops with water.

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Wish I had this hunk of jewels as a ring; the arils look like beautiful, glistening gemstones.

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My pomegranate provided me with hundreds of the juice bursting arils.  When you bite down on one of them a burst of juice explodes in your mouth.  They are a fun, little snack to chomp on.

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Shortly after dark, husband and I decided to head out to try Prime Time Seafood and Steak House down the street from our house.  It has been there for a while, but we were hesitant to try it since they hardly ever look packed.

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The outside looks a bit old-fashioned, but the inside has been freshly renovated to a modern sophistication with dim lights.  The hostess greeted us kindly and proceeded to seat us at a white linen covered table.  The dining tables were very close together, so Chris asked if we could sit in a booth where our request was welcomed.

To start, we had the stuffed mushrooms, which our waitress claimed she ate them everyday because they are that good.

IMG_0184  They were deep fried and served with ranch dressing, although the menu stated they came with hollandaise sauce.  When asked about the substitution, Angie, our waitress, stated most people do not eat the hollandaise and that they go better with the in-house made ranch dressing anyway.  I’m not a fan of hollandaise, so it was no problem for me.  And Chris couldn’t get enough of the ranch.  I had two of the fried mushroom stuffed balls with a couple slices of crusty, hot French bread as well.  The mushroom pieces seemed to be sliced on the inside of the fried breading, so being called stuffed mushrooms was somewhat deceptive, but the flavor was delicious.  I think it is difficult to mess up a “stuffed mushroom.”  I can’t recall ever having a bad one.

For my meal, I ordered the chopped salad and crabcake appetizer.

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Pile of chopped lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, cheese, egg, bacon, mushrooms, croutons topped with crispy, fried onion rings.  Initially, I requested Italian dressing for my salad, but it was certainly not needed or used because the salad had so many flavors already.  I ate all of this with two of my crabcakes mixed in.  Chris ate the third along with his T-bone steak.

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The crabcakes were chock full of lumps of meat.  Very little breading was used unlike most restaurants who serve more breading than crabmeat.  These were the perfect accompaniment to my chopped salad. 

As for Chris’s steak ordered from the steak house, we both agreed that it was way too over-seasoned.  For a $40 cut of meat, you should be able to actually taste the flavor of the meat and not the seasoning that it was dredged in.

We finished up our meal sharing a cup of coffee and New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with a Sweet Rum Sauce.

IMG_0194    Pudding for Two—Decadent and Delicious

Sip for Him & Sip for Her

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We both agreed that the steak was overpriced, but would perhaps come back for the other food offerings at another time.  Another couple actually came in, were seated, looked at the menu, and got up and left without ordering a thing.  I think it may have been due to the pricing.  The cheapest steak is 30 bucks, which maybe they are trying to become one of the better steak restaurants in the area; however, the place does not stand up to the top notch steak houses for two reasons. 1.) The location is next to a not so nice hotel, so the people staying there may not want to fork out that kind of money for the food.  2.) If the flavor of the steak needs to be hidden with that much extra seasoning, then perhaps they do not know how to cook a good steak.  Maybe they should stick to seafood.  Lastly, I think the name says something about a place.  Prime Time sounds more like the name of a sports bar rather than a fancy dining eatery.

Finally, the day ended with Chris lighting our fireplace for the first time this season.

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Just a taste of the holidays because it did not last too long, because we are short on firewood.  All we had were some twigs and branches that were gathered up a couple weeks ago from the yard.

As for now, this time change has made me feel like I need to go to sleep with it being so dark so early, but I need to get some laundry done instead and see if any good shows are on.  I may just have to pop a handful of pom arils in my mouth for a burst of energy even though I just had some froyo not long ago.  Have a good night!

Do you like the time change for the winter or do you dislike it?

I am not a fan of setting the clocks back for winter because once I get home from work between five or six, I feel like my whole day is lost/gone.  Not to mention it puts me to sleep when I have things to get done around my house.  And I thoroughly dislike driving in the dark (I’ve been in glasses since I was 2 years old and can’t see very well during the day much less at night) which I’m forced to do if I need to run any errands.