Friday, September 21, 2012

Enjoyin the FALL!

Hey everyone!  So not only am I a long time coming at trying to post a new update for you...but I'm even late in my 'weekend wrap-up.'  Butttt I figured since we have another weekend staring straight at us, I thought I'd post this today to give you some ideas for this beautiful weekend headed your way!

So we started last Saturday as usual:  At the Farmer's Market.  But since we had gotten a late start (usually there by 8:10AM SHARP!), and it was JUST. TOO. GORGEOUS of a FALL day, we thought we'd hang out and have some lunch while we were in Collingswood.  And since I just COULD. NOT. BEAR the though of being stuck inside a restaurant, we headed over to one I had spied on one of our drives awhile back... 

Casona caught my eye not only because is it one of the few Cuban restaurants in the immediate area...but HOW GORGEOUS is that wrap-around porch???  Just PERFECT for enjoying the GLORIOUS FALL WEATHER!
Needless to say, we LOVEEED it!

And that's before even getting to the meal!  I had been eyeing Casona's menu for SO long, and still had a hard time narrowing down the 82 things I wanted to tryJ  But one entree ended up nearly SCREAMING out to me:  the Habanao Maduro (aka. stuffed sauteed plantain  sounded nearly identical to my beloved Mufungo (aka. MASHED fried plantain  from San Juan!  I knew it was a MUST TRY!
O.M.G and I was soooooooooooooooo glad I did!  Stuffed with pulled flank steak (aka-ropa vjeia)  and topped with chihuahua cheese, avocado sauce and chayote salad, this thing was PHENOMENAL!
Not only did the slightly spiced steak pair wonderfully with the slightly sweet plaintain, but the marinated & shredded chayote salad brought just the perfect amout on tang and sweet to pull everything together.  It was absolutly outstanding.  It took every ounce of effort I had to save a few bites for Scott to try.  But he just NEEDED toJ  It was awesomeJ

Speaking of Scott, he decided on one of his favorites:  the pork, ham & swiss Cuban sandwich sided with some plaintain chips...
Speaking of plaintain chips, I forgot that we had started with an appetizer of guacamole that was served with tortilla chips & plaintain chips.  We thought that the sweet plaintains were going to taste weird with the guac, but we ended up leaving the tortilla chips by the wayside in favor of them!  So good!

And while we're on the subject of sweet, we just HAD to finish our fabulous lunch with 2 of our favorites.  For him:  Dark chocolate mousse topped with vanilla ice cream...

Let's just say EVERYONE was excited to have a biteJ

Although Katie wasn't too impressed...
...Scott REALLY loved it!  It was SUPER creamy, rich & lucious .

But my heart will always belong to Tre Leche cake if it's on the menuJ
This took me RIGHT back to Costa Rica, sweet & perfect.  But truth be told, the ENTIRE meal reminded me of Costa Rica...or San Juan...or Key WestJ.  It was just SOOOOO nice on that outdoor patio.  And you're surrounded by trees and greens, so it even blocks out almost ALL of the traffic & noise whisking you blissfully away to somewhere else...even if it's just for an hour or soJ.  It was awesome.  If you're looking for a great meal & a REALLY great atmosphere, short of booking a plane ticket, check out'll love it!  (I already can't wait to go back for Sunday BRUNCH...AVOCADO AREPAS anyone??)

And speaking of Sunday, it's been a HOT MINUTE since I've made a fresh, baked breakfast for our Sunday morning.  So I was soooo excited when I got in the kitchen on Saturday and made us a FALL breakfast treatJ
Chocolate Chai Loaf to be exact!

 Chocolate, spice and chia could you go wrong??
Well that about wraps up LAST weekend...about 2 minutes before we're about to head into THIS oneJ  Hopefully I'll be able to post again sooner, as ALL I can think about lately is PUMPKIN and all of the things I want to cook & bake with itJ  Tis the season for cozy and ORANGE recipesJ hehehehehe...

Hope you have some great plans...have a great one!!

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