Weekend Eats

Seafood Celebrations!

Whoever said Pescatarianism was a challenge clearly has never been to Harry’s Savoy Grill.  After hopping off a late night (and sort of last minute) flight that landed in Philadelphia around 9:30, I hopped into my parents’ car to join my mom and dad for a little late night dinner and drinks at Harry’s. While my folks dined on mini versions of steak sandwiches and bratwurst bites, I got a salmon burger slider (the description of which I cannot seem to find online, but it was served with a curry mayo that was totally complimentary and delicious) and the “Tempura Key West Pink Shrimp tossed in a sriracha aïoli”.

Holy MOLY, that aïoli!!  I know that just about every restaurant that serves seafood lately has jumped on this “fried shrimp + sriracha + mayo” combination (Volcano Shrimp, Bang Bang Shrimp, Firecracker Shrimp…. you know the deal) BUT this version was probably the best I’ve ever tried. I convinced my parents to each take one to try it out and, after watching the glee on their faces as they realized the joy of the combo in their mouths, I could hardly keep their skewers out of my bowl!

I have fond memories of Harry’s, as I celebrated the “after party” of my first Communion there as a little girl.  Since I was wearing an insanely fancy and frilly white dress, my mother didn’t let me near anything that could stain (read: curry mayo + sriracha aïoli) BUT I get the feeling that even picky-eater baby Jordan would’ve appreciated these tasty shrimp bites.  If you’re ever at Harry’s (which I’d totally recommend), skip the fancy seats and head over to the bar for anexcellent beer selection, well-made cocktails, and some of the most well-crafted appetizers and tapas selection I’ve seen in my limited experience bopping around the Wilmington, DE area.

There were amazing meals tossed into the mix while I was at home (as per usual) including everything bagels, scrumptious egg scrambles, a veggie stromboli jam-packed with broccoli, olives, cheese, peppers, and rich marinara sauce, and a fantastic shrimp caesar salad, but all of it paled in comparison to the next treat…. The grand finale.

The Ultimate Chocolate Layered Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Birthday Cake!!

I know, is your mouth watering already?  Mine certainly was when my sister and I found the recipe over at Picky Palate.  I’ll admit though, I was thoroughly intimidated.  See, when it comes to baking, I’m more of a “throw everything into the mix and hope for the best” kind of gal.  This recipe involved chopping, homemade icing, refrigeration, layers, drizzles, the whole kitten caboodle.  I suggested we try to make some cookies instead.

Kiley: No.

Jordan: Oooh, how about like… some cupcakes.

Kiley: Definitely not.  Come on Jord, what are you, scared?


We got to work, slaving in the kitchen for hours.  And by slaving, I mostly mean listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe on repeat as we waited for the frosting and cakes to cool.  We discovered a rare finding, as well.

Once in a blue moon

This mini Reese’s cup had not one, not two, not even THREE but FOUR liners!!  That’s like cracking an egg with two yolks.  You get weirdly excited, and wanna share it with the world.  Or your blog.

Speaking of blogs, ever since seeing all the chaos on Get Off My Internets and the forums, I’m a little scared to post pictures where you can see my fingernails.  People apparently aren’t happy with long, short, painted, or otherwise.  But I braved it to share the rarity with all of you.  I’m brave like that.

We melted a ton of PB, for a gorgeous layer-by-layer drizzle.

Do the Drizzle, yeah.

Since we liked the peanut butter taste so much, we also tweaked the recipe a tiny bit by adding a HEAP of it into the icing.  And that made all the difference….

Ain't no party like a peanut butter party

Four layers, a bag of mini Reese’s cups, about 520 calories worth of frosting consumed pre-icing, and a full day in the fridge later, we had our finished product!!

Since we’d missed the birthdays of my mom and my brother’s girlfriend, we celebrated both with this cake (trust me, it was big and heavy enough to support two, or five, birthday wishes) and dove in.  It was rich, it was creamy, it was cold, and all that was missing was a big scoop of PB ice cream…. maybe next time.  That is, if I can ever build up the courage to bake another four-layered ANYTHING again.

What’s been your biggest baking undertaking? And how’d it go?

Because this was DEFINITELY mine.

Meatless Monday: Soy-WHATNOW?

We’re all lucky that my keyboard allows my wrists to rest on it because, after today’s workout, my arms weren’t feeling up to much action.  In fact, I think my brain was also a little wonky post-workout… Hence my ridiculous tweet upon my return to the house.

I promise, that made sense in my head. Translation: Sore arms are about to become jelly. Then, I’ll just have to be a jellyfish.


I don’t know.

The point is, it was a SOLID day at the gym!  I was having major workout ADD, and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.  Solution? DO IT ALL!

A Hodge Podge of working it!

I hit up the group fitness room at the gym for a 5pm CX Worx class. CX Worx is a “revolutionary core workout” by Les Mills that is choreographed to some cool jams and lasts about 25-30 minutes.  I’ll do a more serious post about this one day, but, to sum it up, it tears your core a new one.

At 5:30, the always-crowded Body Combat class was scheduled.  I fended off the dozens of newcomers in the room to secure myself a spot and, as always, after only a few minutes, I was drenched in sweat. It’s such a killer cardio workout but, I’ll be honest, sometimes I get a little bored just punching and kicking for a full hour.  Time to switch it up!

CIRCUIT TRAINING! The last 30 minutes of my 1.5 hour workout were spent with a new trainer, Jessica, doing circuit training with medicine balls, steps, mats, and ViPR tubes!

ViPR Tubes, racks on racks! (click image for source)

These hollow tubes of various weights and sizes do some SERIOUS damages on your shoulders as you’re flinging them around, lifting them, throwing them, rolling them, or jumping around them. Though I’ve only just tried ViPR training for the first time, I know that this is definitely a hardcore workout and, if there are any other free classes offering them (they’re normally $15 a session), I’ll definitely sign up.

With all the punching, planking, ViPR-ing, and pushups, my body was furious with me.  I decided to suck up to it with a special meatless treat.

Taco Pizza with Soy Chorizo!

(Hilarious bonus: Russ realized that the name of the product, Soy Chorizo, translates to “I am sausage.” His response?

No, you’re beans, not delectably ground up little piggies.


All the good stuff

With a base of (what else?) Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza crust, I layered on lots of salsa as the “sauce” and decided it was time to try this Soy-rizo out.  After reading the directions (which explicitly state to REMOVE the casing before cooking it) I removed the heck out of that casing.  The faux-meat bits crumbled out of the plastic(?) casing and into my frying pan. It smelled so good as it was cooking and I knew I was in for a treat (despite my initial fears that soy-whatever would be lame and nasty).

I also fried up some red onion, sauteed some spinach, and added some avocado bits (which should be a topping on anything/everything) and a lowfat mexican cheese blend.  Pre-heated?

Don't worry cheese, I'll melt you soon.

And then, about 14-18 minutes later (I just kept checking for a golden, crisp crust), I pulled out a molten pie of cheese and fake meat.

You're so money, and you don't even know it.

This “meat” MADE the pizza! It had a great amount of spice, the texture wasn’t off-putting at all, and while I didn’t bite into it and think MEAT I did bite into it and think “Man, I wanna take another bite.”

Soy chorizo, I wanna put you inside of all my dishes. Salad, maybe an omelet, enchiladas? Why not? And, for $1.99 a tube, that’s a bargain if I’ve ever seen one (and I have. They’re all I seek out.)

Have you ever tried a vegetarian/vegan replacement for something and found yourself pleasantly surprised?

I love this and I’m a huge fan of the Morningstar Hot & Spicy breakfast “sausage”. Mmm.

Six Pack Sunday: Pescatarian Pleasures and Clementine Cuties

Here we are again, Oscar Sunday’s rolling on the TV and I am wearing sweatpants by Schoolhouse and a crew neck sweatshirt that’s about 4 sizes too large for me.  I was going to wear my white cape, but Gwyneth was borrowing it this weekend.  Oh well.

You know what time it is…  Sixpack Sunday!

1. Bacon Snack Packs!

You know what I did today? I spent 4+ hours in Barnes & Noble reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and playing on my Nook.  Ah, to be young and lazy.  As the first available seat was near the children’s section, I nabbed it as fast as I could. There’s a lot going on in that kids section, but this was definitely the craziest spotting:

What in the world is in that BAG?!

If you look closely, you might be able to tell…. that is a snack bag filled with bacon.

Is this what the new moms are carrying around now instead of Cheerios and fruit roll ups?


2. Baked Coconut Shrimp

Joy in a dish

Jess from How Sweet Eats always has the best recipes.  Her recipe for Coconut Baked Shrimp was no exception.  We didn’t have time for the salsa, but we whipped up a side of garlicky kale, it was meant to be.  Make it.  Eat it. Be happy. That’s all.

3. Mustachio Bash(io)

Cute, yes?

This Tuesday, I learned that drinking beer would be a LOT tougher with a mustache. I don’t know how all those beardy brewers do it.

Though I think Sierra got the hang of it…


4. Cuties: MADE for Kids?

I’ve been seeing these commercials all over the place. And the end phrase is what gets to me. “Kids LOVE Cuties, ‘cuz Cuties are made for kids.”  Wait. I thought they were a fruit.  They’re MADE for kids? Does anyone else imagine these mad scientists genetically engineering fruits to convince more kids to eat them?

I mean… I guess whatever it takes, but still. [EDIT: I looked up some info on these Cuties, and it seems legit and not some lab-made fruit… but I’ll still be cautiously suspicious for a little while.]

5. A Tender Farewell

Goodbye, my lover... goodbye, my friend.

Yes, the coconut shrimp are great. But on Tuesday (the fattest Tuesday), I celebrated my last meat-eating day pre-Lent with a roast beef sammy at lunch and an unbelievably tasty dish at Tyler’s Taproom.

As described by Tyler’s:

Drunken Pork Belly: Fresh pork belly braised in beer, crisped to perfection then topped with house-made bourbon BBQ sauce, coleslaw, and pickles

Wow! This was outstanding! The pork belly was so tender (hence the tender farewell. HA GET IT?!) and I even enjoyed the pickles and slaw.  I basically licked the plate clean.

As for the pescatarian update, I’ve found that, for the most part, it’s not too tough. But when there are free samples around, or after a few drinks, the temptation goes up. I don’t THINK I’ve slipped yet, though there was one freebie that I wasn’t sure of after I’d tried it. I didn’t go back and check, but it’s a work in progress. I just have to keep reminding myself, and to stay faithful.

6. Boozy Snow Cones?!


Martha Stewart, you brilliant bitch, you strike again. Alcoholic Snow-Cone Syrups? YES! Anyone wanna have a snowcone party this summer? Or spring?

Or Thursday?

Better go do my first costume change of the night (translation: was my face.)

Vanity, Thy Name is Lulu(lemon)

I’m a fairly confident lady.  I have confidence in sunshine.  I have confidence that my adult acne will keep me getting carded well into my late 20s. But I also have confidence that, with the right attitude, you can look any which way and still turn heads whenever you walk into any room. Even at my lowest of lows, I still walked with my head held high, chest out, and rocking the good posture my mother taught me that us tall girls tend to forget when they’re in a crowd of tiny princesses, at least out in public.

We all have our private moments, the times when we don’t feel 100% about ourselves.  We can get down on our looks, and that’s never a good feeling.  Those moments can seem way bigger than the confident ones.  I remember the first time I spotted stretch marks on my stomach, and Ryan consoling me as I cried my eyes out, hating the mirror that revealed my flaws.  I remember the time that my best friend told one of our mutual buddies that I had big eyebrows, not knowing I was within hearing distance.  I still accidentally over-pluck with that memory in mind.

But I also remember the glorious moments that can always block out the bad ones.  I remember the time a fellow called me a blonde paradigm (WHAT a compliment!!) I remember the way Ryan looked at me when I walked out wearing the dress I wore tomy cousin’s wedding. I remember prancing around at the shore, tan and beach blonde, without a care in the world. And now, as vain as it sounds, I have a new memory to add to the list.

That one time that I felt like a fitness GODDESS in my new pants.

Fierce, yeah?

I want to save this on my computer forever. Who’d ever think that I’d be my OWN fitspiration?  Maybe it was just because it was a perfect Saturday morning, without a care in the world, and I was headed to BodyJam for a killer workout.  Maybe it was the delicious pescatarian week I’d had. Probably, it was the new Lululemon “Astro Wunder Under Crops” that my mom picked up for me when we were in DC this weekend.  But I just felt like a million bucks.

The workout class was fantastic, a solid BodyJam with lots of fun tracks and moves not unlike Jagger.

Brought to you by the letter A for AWESOME!

I decided to keep the party going in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods…  My haul was epic.

Boxes and Barramundi!

Walking out of Trader Joe’s with a box kind of makes me feel like a badass.

So many frozen fishies!

Indian Goodies!

I kept my headphones on through all the stores, dancing my way through the aisles, and though my lunch was a basic egg-salad salad with spinach, eggs, carrots, green peppers, I predict my next few meals are going to bright, festive, and fishy.  Just the way I like it.

Ok, I guess if I want to shower, I have to take these crops off…  drats.

Chime in! Let’s get vain… What’s making you feel gorgeous today?  

Lifestyle Changes and Family

The past week has been filled to the brim. Beer events, flights, Portlandia, work, Fat Tuesday, and that pesky sleep thing.  You know, one of those weeks where you sometimes forget to breathe.  The dust is starting to settle, though, and I figure it’s time for a post about something that’s been flitting about in my brain for a while.

It’s been almost 2 years since I made the biggest lifestyle change of my 24 (and a half! I’m officially 6 months from my birthday!) years of my life.  I decided I was going to lose the excess weight from my body, resume the exercise that used to be a central focus of my life, and stop eating crap.  My family couldn’t have been more supportive.  In fact, my mother’s Weight Watchers account was probably my most frequently visited website on a daily basis.  My brothers were huge inspirations to me, as they’d both sculpted their bodies through P90X, regular visits to the weights rooms, and diet changes. Every time I came home, I was greeted with hugs and compliments.  Of COURSE it felt great.  And it fueled my fire, and it made me hungry for more progress.  I don’t believe I ever visited the land of Eating Disorders, but I definitely regulated my food intake more than most people I know.  It just worked for me that way, so I stuck with it.

I’m not sure when it happened, but despite the fact that I’ve maintained my 40-45lb weight loss for the past year and a half, the people closest to me started to have different thoughts.  No longer were the comments your basic “Wow, you look great!” or “You’ve gotten so fit!” but sounded a little more like, “Oh, come on, just eat the pizza!” or “You don’t HAVE to go to the gym every day do you?” “Do you really write EVERYTHING you eat in that little book of yours?”

It may have stemmed from the weekly weigh-ins.

Maybe it was the decision to give up drinking soda this year.

Perhaps it was the choice to go Pescatarian for Lent this year.

Not that tough when you can still eat this.

But they started to worry about me.  Now, I’ll admit, my family is pretty basic when it comes to eating. I don’t think I even have a vegetarian cousin or uncle. The idea of pescatarianism strikes them as outrageous, as a huge difference from the norm.  After researching the lifestyle for a while, and looking back on my own regular eats, it isn’t that much of a stretch for me to attempt pescatarian eating for 40 days.  And I don’t want anyone to worry about me.  I’m still going to work out, but I take rest days.  I’m still going to blog about my food and exercise, but I’ll never post about everything I eat.  And yes, sometimes my methods may seem a little “out there” to the average Joe (or Josephine), but I know how my body works.  I know how my habits work.

My brother brought up a good point when we were talking about all of this, and that point is that you should be able to enjoy something if you really want it.

For me to make a serious life change, I need to go drastic first, and then temper it. When I first started Weight Watchers, I tracked every bite of food and drink that went into my body. And now, I know a more general idea of what eating healthy is about, so I don’t have to know the points value of those Cheez Its I just wolfed.  I won’t drink soda for the next year but, after that, if I want a soda, I’ll have one. And if I don’t, I’ll know it’s because I lost the taste.  I won’t eat beef, poultry, or pork for the next 37 days, but I’ll be with you if you want a steak dinner on Easter.  I like to challenge myself, it helps me learn what I can or cannot do, and what I need or do not need.  Two years ago I learned that  I don’t need an entire frozen pepperoni pizza for dinner.  Now, it’s time to learn something else.

It’s important to have family, friends, romantic partners, etc. to be there and act as the occasional check and balance when you’re starting something new in your life.  But it’s also important that you stick to your goals (your well-researched goals that will not endanger your life).  And if I ever make a decision where I can’t eat pizza, please, someone, slap me.

Totally pescatarian friendly 3-cheese pizza!

Asiago flatbread topped with herbed goat cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, sugar-free sauce, spinach, onions, and Morningstar spicy “sausage”.  Hell to the yeah.

Has your family or friends ever been worried about your health following decisions you’ve made?  How did you get past it?

(SIDENOTE: My family and I have spoken about this at length and they’re not worried anymore, as I explained myself, my decisions, etc to them and let them know I wasn’t just jumping into some trendy fish-eating fad diet!  All is well, don’t want anyone to worry about THAT!)