quarantine calories

i feel like most folks are doing a handful of things with their time these days:  working (if lucky enough to do so), cleaning, hobby-ing, childcaring, and eating.  among all those things, the last one might be the most fun.

over the past two weeks, we’ve been hosting phillip’s sister natalie and her doggie wyatt, and as a household of individuals who love food, we have been fortunate to support some local businesses and adventure into some new recipes together.  today’s post includes mouthwatering photos of all our eats.  get ready to drool!

nat and wyatt.

our first stop after picking up natalie and wyatt from the airport was zaxby’s.  natalie doesn’t have zaxby’s up in nyc, so it was definitely a homecoming meal.  oh, and in case you want a pro tip, check out this recipe to make your own zax sauce.  it’s super easy and worth the minimal effort, i promise.

hhhnnnggg, homemade zax sauce.

the next night, phillip and natalie were together to celebrate their 32nd birthday!  aw, it made my heart so happy.  we started with a specially delivered dinner from alessio’s restaurant & pizzeria in norcross.  from the lasagna and garlic knots to the tortellini cardinal and the chicken francese, it was quite a feast, and i don’t doubt we’ll go dine in once we can.  and, no birthday is complete without a cake!  thank you, publix, for the fudge and strawberry filled chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.  🙂

the mornings were definitely prime opportunities for some tasty treats over the past several days.  from whipped coffee (i promise this trend is worth the work)…

to avocado toast…

to simply done donuts

to dirty horchata

to mimosas…

cheers!

and finally chrissy teigen’s banana bread.  it was some good eatin’.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

we didn’t leave dinner out at all.  we became kroger recipe experts, first with their arugula, goat cheese, and olive pasta salad.  i couldn’t keep natalie away from it, lol!  on Easter sunday we also tried out and really enjoyed their pork & peach tacos with ginger brown rice.

alongside the tacos we chowed down on my favorite corn dip.  i don’t know where on earth i got this recipe, but i’m glad i have it.

our tex-mex dinner that day had been preceded by a monkey bread breakfast and a deviled egg snack.  om nom nom.

in addition to trying out several kroger recipes, we also busted out the blue apron cards and loved the pork burgers with potato wedges and beef and rice bowls.

beef rice bowl and those pickled radishes. yum.

at some point over the past several days, i also whipped up this spicy pasta salad by ree drummond.  anything with gouda in it just makes my heart sing.

the evening was, of course, always an opportunity to nosh and also spend some of our hard-earned dollars at the nearby establishments.  we had mcdonald’s on our anniversary, freddy’s on thursday just because it was thursday, noodles from lon u on friday because we were craving pad thai, and marco’s pizza on saturday because who doesn’t love some ‘za.

and of all the sweet treats we had for dessert, i think phillip’s homemade ice cream sundaes were my favorite.  ❤

so, have you discovered any tasty recipes you’d like to share?  or have a local restaurant you think we just must try?  let us know and, above all else, stay safe.

p.s. i realize that many people out there are not currently in a position to splurge on food and groceries or even acquire the essentials.  if anyone out there needs a helping hand, i hope we can either assist or that you are able to find what you need right when you need it.  let’s keep everyone in mind these days, especially those severely impacted by everything that surrounds us.

february 13th – nyc

after a raucous night out on the town, we let ourselves sleep in deeply saturday morning.  wyatt was curled up under the warm flannel sheets while natalie, phillip, and i chatted about the latest and greatest in each of our lives.  soon enough our stomachs started to rumble and our thirsts began to quench, so some breakfast (rather brunch) was needed.

“i’ll just order us something in.  what does everyone want?  i’m ordering from a place around the corner called hot & crusty.”  so, you might be reacting to two things about natalie’s comments here.  first, why would we eat from a place called hot & crusty?  off the bat it doesn’t have the most appealing ring to it.  well, that’s because they’re a great local shop with divine eats and who doesn’t like supporting that kind of place?  second, you may want to ask, “if it’s just ‘around the corner’, why not go get it yourself?”  oh, that’s because it was a whopping six degrees outside and when you can get everything delivered to your doorstep in new york, it just made plain sense to have it brought to us.  i’m sure those delivery fellas were bundled up!

twenty minutes later we had nine bottled waters, one large coffee with cream, and three breakfast bagels in our hungry hands.  there’s something so pleasing about eating breakfast in a warm bed as you gaze out the window at the winter weather.  mm, cozy!  my sesame seed bagel with american cheese and bacon was savory and delicious, the perfect choice after an enjoyable evening/early morning.

Continue reading

join the club!

i don’t like to call myself a fast food lover, but i think that would be a bit of a lie.  sometimes all i crave is some processed meats and salty potatoes to satisfy my hunger.  is there something so wrong with that?  if you say yes, then i bet you are only denying your own desire to find the nearest drive-thru for some temporary and unhealthy satisfaction.  i’m not sure there are many fast food establishments i’d pass up, but i’d almost drive any number of miles to find a mcdonald’s because, let’s face it, mcdonald’s is practically an international icon in its own right.  those golden arches are recognizable almost all over the world, and there’s always a small tug on my steering wheel whenever i pass by one on the road.

phillip and i were recently talking about eating (something we do often now that i think about it) and somehow mcdonald’s came up in the conversation.  i asked him what his favorite meal there was, and he said that he always gets the quarter pounder burger.  he asked the same question to me, and without much hesitation, i said the big mac.  now, chicken mcnuggets are in a close second, i promise, but the big mac is just so classic!  “you know,” he said, “I’ve never had a big mac myself.”

“WAT.”  i swear the world stopped for a second when he told me he’d never had the privilege of enjoying what is, quite possibly, the most well-known burger in all the land.  how can he never have had a taste of those two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun?  i know!  it’s almost blasphemous!

well, i have good news for you all.  last night phillip joined the big mac club, and it was some of the most fun i’ve had eating a meal.

first, the bag of heavenly goodness.

next, the box.  oh, how the anticipation built!

IMG_1758

oooh, and there it is in all its glory!

IMG_1759

glamour shot!

IMG_1760

and by glamour shot i mean grease shot…

have you ever seen someone so excited about a big mac?

my first big mac, captured in history!

his first big mac, captured in history!

staring it down…

IMG_1762

…and taking the plunge!

IMG_1763

phillip took his time to savor each bite and really review the flavor profile of this classic burger.  he loved the big mac sauce (basically thousand island) slathered on each beef patty.  the pickles and cheese were great toppings as well, and even though the big mac is big, it wasn’t too large for this hungry fellow.  he had brought me one also, and i scarfed mine down between breaths of air.  big macs are a guilty pleasure for me, and considering it had been months since i’d had one myself, i wasted no time in enjoying it.

although the quarter pounder may always be his favorite go-to, i suspect i’ve converted phillip with a new favorite.  thank you, mcdonald’s, for bringing a close couple even closer!

IMG_1764

so, phillip is now a member of the big mac club.  congratulations, dear!  however, another club that he had missed out on for a while but is now a proud member of is the michael kors club.  yes, i have corrupted him and am afraid there may be no turning back.  last weekend phillip did a little spring shopping for himself at macy’s, and you shouldn’t be surprised that i was happy to tag along.

after dressing him up in new shirts and pants in the fitting room, we headed down to the michael kors watch counter.  phillip had taken a look at their selection right when we walked in the mall but decided he wanted to do clothes first and then see how he was feeling.  fair enough.  when we got back to the jewelry case, he kindly asked colleen to let him try on the everest silver-tone watch again.  with his new outfit and puma sneakers on, the watch looked better than ever.  funny how that works, right?  this watch is modern and sleek while also being a beefy, eye-catching piece.  the two-tone blue and black dial is unique like the rubber wristband.  oh, and you want to know what made it an even better buy?  it was on sale, and he didn’t know it until he went to the checkout counter.  sometimes you find everything when you aren’t even looking for it.

IMG_1798