Better Than Pasta Salad Side Dish

It seems like a staple at most summer cookouts and/or potlucks is pasta salad.

Carbohydrate-filled pasta is not what I want to spend my carb budget on for cool, refreshing summer foods.

For your next summer side dish, consider nixing the rotini and bringing this low-carb option instead.

Ingredients: Continue reading

Friday Five: Grilling

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer! Although I’ve already spent a fair amount of time enjoying summer activities, soaking up the sun and cursing my awkwardly sunburned knees.

Yesterday, my office took a field trip and attended the Cleveland Indians v. Los Angeles Angels game at Progressive Field, that ended with an exciting 2-out grand slam in the 10th inning. (I sound like I know something about sports!) I came out of the game with some really red knees though… Oh well! Live and learn and slather more sunscreen on next time.

This weekend though, we’re ringing in summer with one of our favorite activities… grilling.

You’ve got to really like grilling to get a monster like this!

You may not know that grills are good for more than cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs, here’s out weekend grill line up: Continue reading

3rd Anniversary: Waterfalls

For our third wedding anniversary over Memorial Day weekend, Brad and I wanted to take a little trip. We started looking for destinations that weren’t terribly far or expensive but would still be fun.

Like magic, a Groupon Getaways email landed in my inbox.

“How about Niagara Falls?’ I asked Brad.

“That could be fun,” he said. “I haven’t been there since I was a kid.”

“Me either.”

So off to Niagara Falls we went. Continue reading

Friday Five: Short Week

Because of taking a long weekend, both last week and this week have been short weeks for me. Couple that with the fact that this is the last workday for the month, that means I’ve been very busy at work.

Because I work in an environment built around client relationships and billable hours, the end of the month is frequently the deadline for projects as well as a rush to make sure that time sheets are completed. I try to be organized with my time sheets, rarely accumulating more than two days to record at once. If you don’t work in an industry that uses time to track projects, the best I can explain it is to account for what you’re doing for every 15 minute increment of your day and report it to your boss. Anyway, enough about time sheets!

Today’s Friday so let me catch you up on my short week and the things going through my head…

1. This week I’ve been thinking about my marriage a lot, seeing as how we had an anniversary and all that makes sense! Three years really did go quickly. Brad and I both appreciated all of the well wishes and congratulations on Wednesday.

2. Pillow Fights Theft. Does anyone else ever catch their partner trying to steal their pillow in the middle of the night? Brad and I value our pillows a lot, honestly I think that the right pillow is more crucial for a good night’s sleep than the mattress. Last night on not one, but three occasions, I woke up to tugging on my pillow. The first two times, I sleepily pulled my pillow away but on the third time, I was more awake and yanked my pillow away saying, “Get your own pillow!’

This morning when we were getting ready for work, I said to Brad,“I have to tell you how bad you were last night.”

He hung his head and said, “I tried to steal your pillow.”

“Three times!” I exclaimed. He only remembered the one time when I told him to get his own pillow because it prompted him to retrieve his pillow from the floor. I just shook my head. What’s mine, is mine in this situation.

3. We’ve been researching bicycles recently and are going to look at some in person this weekend. We both like riding bikes but haven’t been able to for awhile.

4. We’re loving that better quality fruits and vegetables are becoming available again. Right now our fridge is filled with so many vibrant colors from the green spinach and asparagus to the pink raspberries and the darker red of cherries along with the blues and purples of blueberries and grapes and orange carrots. We also regularly have tomatoes, avocados and bananas on hand and I made coleslaw for the first time to yesterday. Fresh is always our favorite, but frozen will do when fresh quality isn’t available. What are your favorite fruits/vegetables?

5. I have pictures from vacation to download off of the DSLR. I haven’t even really looked at them yet, just the ones from our phones. One thing that Brad and I are not really great at are getting pictures off the camera. Our phone pictures back up automatically over wifi so they’re really easy to pull up on the computer and place here.

What are you up to this weekend?

87th West {Restaurant Review}

Awhile ago, I decided to start writing about the various restaurants in the area that I visit and I’m very behind on it!

Brad had been travel for work just before my birthday and the day he came home, he took me out to 87th West, a wine bar at Crocker Park. It was cozy and inviting on a cold day.

We arrived and found that we could seat ourselves. Although there were several people there, they were not short on seating and it didn’t feel crowded. We selected a 2-person table near the fireplace. A server greeted us promptly with menus and asked if we had any questions. She was a great server and I wish that I remembered her name to give her a shout out! Instead of constantly checking on us, she let us know to just stand the drink menu on the table and she’d be back to take our order.

We both ordered a glass of wine (I ordered the Shoo Fly Chardonnay, highly recommend!) and perused the menu… finally landing on flatbreads for our dinner. Brad ordered the Margherita flatbread and I decided to get the Chorizo flatbread. We of course ended up sharing and both were delicious. The chorizo flatbread had sriracha aioli, roasted garlic aioli, smoked gouda, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, asiago cheese and avocado creme fraiche. Yum!

The Chorizo Flatbread

I’d love to go back and share the cheese fondue sometime. It looked good, but didn’t seem like it could qualify as dinner. Maybe we’ll enjoy it on the patio when warmer weather makes its way to Cleveland.

The only problem I had with 87th West was the ladies’ room. It seemed clean but it felt like nothing in there actually worked. The faucet handle was broken and the water was extremely cold, I also felt like I had to fight both dispensers to get toilet paper and paper towels. I asked Brad how the men’s room was and he said that it was clean and everything worked… hopefully they fix that!