Monday, March 25, 2013

A few secrets to pass on...

Hey everyone!  Hope you guys had a great weekend.  We had a pretty great one from start to finish...even if, as usual, it went by in a FLASH.  I feel like 2 seconds ago it was Friday night.  

And what a delicious one we had!  After partying like rock stars (aka-getting our taxes done!), we headed over to Lambertville, NJ to take part in restaurant week.  Restaurant Week is when you get to sample Prix-Fixe menus of various restaurants in that area for a fraction of the normal cost.  And in the 11th hour, we were able to snag reservations at one of the best, Lambertville Station.  With it's dark wood interior & delicious menu, it makes for a great, cozy, 'fancier' night out.    

And for $19.95, I got to sample...(sorry for the bad pictures...it was VERY low lighting)

...LS's complimentary coconut bread.  Which, obviously, I LOVE!

...their light & delicious tropical salad made with slivered almonds, Mandarin oranges & their house honey mustard dressing... 

...a dinosaur bone.  I mean, braised short rib with spinach & garlic mashJ

...and the only 'drawback' in the restraint menu:  a very scaled back dessert menuJ  But the apricot-rosemary sorbet piqued my interest enough to end my meal.  VERY unique & refreshing!

The paltry dessert menu is why Scott decided to be WILD & CRAZY and order off the NORMAL menu for the night:So I also got to sample this awesome flatbread smothered with bacon, caramelized onions, craisins, arugula & smoked mozzarella... 

 ...the absolutely phenomenal Gorgonzola & caramelized onions covered pork chops & perfectly roasted potatoes...

...and the piece de resistance:  the purely decadent Dutch chocolate covered ice cream truffle enrobed in a THIN hidden layer of cookie crumbs.  Oh man, this thing was soooo good! 
As was our entire dinner, that we got to enjoy in a quiet corner with an extremely friendly & attentive waiter.  Really great dinner...especially for the restaurant week price!


And our Sunday was spent with 2 recipes I think I may have to keep secret to pass onto KatieJ  

One was for my 'infamous' (well, in our houseJ) banana bread with cinnamon-sugar crustJ  I'll pass this one onto Katie telling her it was one of the first things I made for her Dad...which may have helped me snag him...hahahahahahaha J


The other was one of my ALL-TIME favorite meals:  Stuffed cabbage!

My Grandmom used to make this quite often and it was always one of my FAVORITES!  I can remember the EXACT taste, but her recipe book leaves a 'less than desirable' recipe. 
It's literally a list like this:

Stuffed Cabbage
Boil cabbage
Meat
Rice
Tomato sauce
salt & pepper

Yeah...so I didn't have much to go on, but the memory of what they tasted likeJ hahahahhaha

I started by layering the rolls in my slow cooker... 

 ...which was going well until I realized I had started them too late and we wanted to eat ASAP.  So I had to bust out the BIG GUNS in the form of my Grandmom's ORIGINAL roasting pan to finish them off in the oven!
Tell me how 'loved' that thing looks???  Don't even get me started on the amaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg roast chicken with potatoes & peas that used to come out of that pan!  NO ONE has EVER been able to replicate it's absolute perfection!  Sigh.

ANYWAY, I think I did pretty damn good on my rolls!  Even Scott, while liking hummus & tabbouleh, was EXCESSIVELY reluctant to try stuffed cabbage...and LOVED THEM!  Yay!  That means I can make them wayyyyyyyyyyy more often!  Wohoooo! 


In other news, I had to share that I had challenged myself this weekend to an extra 'cardio' marathon this weekend & succeeded!

Thursday:  1 hour Body Jam class

Friday:  1/2 hr. dance/jog/weights & 1+ hour Power yoga class

Saturday:  1 hour Body Jam class

Sunday:  1 hour Zumba

Soooo many times I go into the weekend saying "I'm gonna do ALLLLLLLLLL these classes" and come Sunday night I'm still on the couch having done NADA.  So this weekend I was super proud I got it done AND felt awesome in the process.  The key to exercise is to DO. WHAT. YOU. ENJOY!  None of these felt like 'the dreaded workout' because I enjoyed every minute (OK, not EVERY minute...but you get what I meanJ)

And in MORE other news...how bout that snow out there, NJ??  Seesh...even I can't believe it on MARCH 25!  But it does look pretty though...


OK!  I'm OUT!  Have a great Monday, everyone!J
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