Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mix of highs & lows...

 ...CALORIES, that isJ

Morning, everyone!  Hope you guys had a great Memorial day weekendJ  If MONTHS can fly by in a blink and it surprises me how fast it goes, it REALLY shouldn't surprise me that three day weekends go by even quicker....and yet it SHOCKS me every timeJ hahahahahah

On the food front, we kept this weekend with a great mix of "keepin it healthy" & "keepin it fun"J

On Friday, we kicked off the weekend with (PORTIONED!) plates of spaghetti (or as Katie said: "bisghetti"J) and these little yummy mini pudding pies...
Mini phyllo cups filled with low-fat pudding and topped with light whipped cream.  These take 2 minutes to make and make for a total sweet tooth fix.  We love them....except that the phyllo dough sticks to your teeth like CRAZY.  You've been warnedJ

Saturday night brought us some homemade PF Chang's Lettuce wraps...
...I followed this exact recipe, except I added a 1/2 bag of cole slaw mix.  It managed to REALLY stretch out the 1/2 pound of ground turkey into 7 lettuce wraps (2 for me, 4 for Scott & 1 for Katie).  Katie, meanwhile, honed her 'wrap skills' quite wellJ 

I tried to make a 'salad & turkey' plate for her, but OH NO!  She saw Mommy & Daddy 'wrapping,' so she was gonna join in the funJ

The filling only took a tumble out of the back twiceJ  We'll chalk that up to a victoryJ

We also finished off Saturday night with a little treat:  COOKIE BUTTER POPCORN to be exact! 
All I did was pop some corn, microwave 2 tablespoons of cookie butter along with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil for 30 seconds (or until it was thinned out) and then give the cookie butter & a shake of sea salt a toss with the popcorn... 
I'm just gonna go out on a limb & say that the whole grain goodness of the popcorn totally canceled out the calories from the cookie butter....(I mean, RIGHT??J )  Either way, we kept our portions low enough so COOKIE BUTTER POPCORN can fit into any day of the weekJ

And then things descended into maddnessJ  Kid.  I kidJ  But Sunday brought our 'Memorial weekend foodie road trip' as we headed up to Rahway, NJ and took in this little gem known as "Kim's in the Mix."
To say this place was BEYOND charming, sweet & adorable is an understatement.  Add to that is the family atmosphere where we were served with a SMILE from Kim's Mom, Andre.  She was so sweet that we were sharing pictures of Katie with her by meals endJ

And on top of THAT, the food was OUTSTANDING.  We started with the unnecessary, but TOTALLY worth itJ, cheesy hush puppies...
Neither of us could pass these up after not being able to remember the last time either of us HAD hush puppiesJ  But these put all memories to rest with their SUPER CRISP exterior and savory with a hint of sweet interior.  DIVINE.

I had been talking up CHICKEN & WAFFLES ever since the first time I had them at Roscoe's in LA (almost 10 years ago...EEE!) and I was SO GLAD to FINALLY make Scott a believer in the magicJ  Sweet waffles topped with savory chicken....and that chicken, by the way, was some of the best I've ever had.  It tasted pan fried, rather than deep fried, and was moist and not greasy in the slightest.

I wish I had gotten a better picture of my sides of some of the best mac & cheese I've EVER eaten and one of the most amazing sides:  APPLES.  YES, THE APPLES!  I let Miss Andre pick out my '2nd side' and when she suggested apples, I was only slightly disappointing since FRIED CORN sounded REALLLLLY goodJ  But I am SO GLAD I took her advice since I don't know WHAT kinda magic they put in those simple apples that made them taste like a little cup of APPLE PIE.  And when you mix THOSE with the chicken & waffles...well, that definitely ranks up there with a bite worthy of your lastJ 

And I didn't even get a picture of Scott's dinner of pulled pork, collards, potato salad & cornbread...since we literally ate like wolves...
I DID eat mindfully and kept checking whether I was full after each bite, but after sharing & splitting our plates, I have no honest track of how much I chowed downJ

Oh, that's right.  And there was still dessert to be hadJ  Kim's cake menu ALONE was enough to get you in the door.  After Miss Andre explained the varieties she had available, she helped us pick out 2 good onesJ  Scott originally ordered the vanilla cake with chocolate layers and her response was something along the lines of "is that what you like?"  hahahahahahaha  She said it was good, but that this German Chocolate cake was "nice."  And given that her expertise was nailed with those aforementioned apples, we were definitely NOT afraid to take her recommendation...
I had 2 bites of the German chocolate (which Scott LOVED), but I can't honestly say I remembered it too much as I was in my oblivion from my dessert:  BANANA PUDDING CAKE!
Miss Andre told us how this was the restaurant's signature dessert & had many article write ups and awards.  How the hell am I gonna pass THAT up???  And even in the face of PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE, I knew I had to order this one up...
And much like apples, again Miss Andre's suggestion was one of the best things I've ever tasted.  Holy hell, just looking at that picture is making my mouth waterJ  Sweet vanilla cake SHROUDED in creamy, dreamy banana pudding topped with sliced bananas.  It was TOUGH to stop at HALF, but my FULLNESS had DEFINITELY reached its peak by this pointJ  I was thankful this thing was served in a to-go container, as the leftovers certainly made the trek home with meJ  

We can't say enough sweet things about "Kim's in the Mix" and it's SUPERB service and crazy, wonderful food.  DEFINITELY a place where you can 'taste the love' in the food and leave feeling like you just sat down for dinner with a kind & sweet family.  Love, love, love!  If you're ever in the Rahway area...DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE!

Anndddddd after our big lunch/dinner (linnerJ) on Sunday, we tried to start off our day Monday on a little bit of a lighter note, with RED, WHITE & BLUE berry parfaits...(the white is courtesy of the brown sugar yogurt a la Pioneer Woman, sans the heavy cream, FYIJ)...
...followed quickly by a double gym session of advanced Pilates & Body Flow.  It was my first workout all weekend (wasn't feeling it Saturday and boxing class was canceled on Sunday), but it felt OH SO GOOD to get my body back in 'exercise motion' yesterday morning.  I was OK with my 'break' and then just READY to get up and get started again.  THAT'S how ya gotta do it.  NO GUILT!  Just movin forwardJ

OH yeah...and it did help me feel A LITTLE bit better about our 'traditional meal' of all the picnic goods...
I didn't plan on it, but went back for seconds (or thirds) of my friend's 'famous' baked beans and INCREDIBLE avocado-studded orzo salad.  I could have eaten the ENTIRE bowl of that salad had I been left to my own devices and 'scale ignoranceJ hahahahaha

Oh yeah...and we also had corn on the cob with my traditional "Katie eating corn" picture...because I can't get enough of the cuteness levelJ

And we finished off the weekend with a group-decided new favorite dessert:  Heavenly Blueberry & Cream Angel Dessert...(which I made in mini mason jars for portion control for the ladiesJ)  No worries- the guys got to devour out of a bowlJ)
Layers of (low-fat) cream cheese laced angel food cake, fresh whipped cream & sweet blueberries made this a definite winner.  The angel food cake layer actually tasted like CHEESECAKE...with a fraction of the calories & fat.  I have a feeling this is going to be a summer staple around these parts.  It was as divine as it was easy to make.

ALRIGHT...THAT was a lotJ  And in full disclosure, I weighed myself, as usual, on Monday morning (post-Kim's, but pre-picnic) and was VERY pleased with the results.  Made me happy that despite our SPLURGE meal at Kim's, our healthy choices for every other meal the REST of the weekend kept it all in check.  It's what I always say:  BALANCE IS KEY!  Although today's order of the day is CHUGGING WATER!  Definitely didn't do enough of that over the weekendJ


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