Friday, February 19, 2010

Fabulous Friends

Last night was really fun!  T and I met up with my best friend Jess and her boyfriend Jeff at a local sports bar/restaurant to cheer on the SU basketball team.  They won (again!) but it was a little close for comfort at the end.  Anyways we all had a tasty dinner with sandwiches, appetizers and drinks and then headed to the bar for the second half.  I miss hanging out with J & J more often but Jess is an RN and works every other weekend as well 12 hour shifts during the week.  She's also going back to become school because her work pays for it.  (Pretty sweet deal!)

Here are some photos:

And TGIF! For having Monday off, this week has dragged on and I feel mentally exhausted from work.  Hope everyone has a fun weekend.

P.S. I'm still going to post the recipes for the red velvet cupcakes and chicken marsala because they are so delicious.

Dining Diva

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

V-Day Weekend 2010: Full of Food & Love

Back to work after a wonderful weekend that filled my heart with happiness. (A little sappy, I know.) But seriously, I am just so in love with T and every day is perfect when we're together. This weekend was wonderful and not having to work yesterday (Presidents' Day) made it even better.

So let's review Valentine's Day weekend 2010:
(I must warn you that this is kind of a long post and there are quite a few pictures; so if you're not up to reading about how I engulfed myself with food this weekend, you might want to move along.)

Friday night: T made a delicious dinner for us with his grill. He's been talking about grilling pizzas for awhile and Friday night we had them. Have you tried doing that before? If not, it's easy and healthy and delicious! It's just Boboli pizza dough with sauce of your choice, cheese, fresh veggies.  Then you put them on the grill and after they have grilled for a little bit, you stick them in the oven to broil.  Delicious!

Yummo! Then we drank a bottle of my favorite wine from a local vineyard and watched Couples Retreat.  It was a decent movie but nothing to write home about.  It did make me want to go on a tropical vacation, though.

Saturday: T made a delicious breakfast of fresh omelets with the leftover veggies and toast with my favorite, red raspberry jam.  We went to Target and I picked up a fabulous deal:  A king size comforter with bed skirt and shams for just $22!!  It was 75% off and if you need any bedding, I suggest you hit up your local Target because all of the Targets around me are having the same clearance sale on bedding. I also got sheets for $15 that were originally $80.  I love a good deal!

After shopping and exercising it was time for Valentine's Day dinner at T's favorite restaurant about 40 minutes away.  It's an authentic Scottish restaurant and the wait staff wears the kilts and knee socks and the whole get-up.  There is a fireplace and it's warm and cozy and you can see the chefs in the kitchen working away.  We had an amazing dinner. 

Here's a glance at our menu:
To drink: Champagne with Three Olives Grape Vodka.  Yum. 
Warm homemade bread and scones.  (The bread came with amazing garlic butter spread.)
T had the "Lazy Man Surf and Turf" which was out of this world.  I had quite a bit of his lobster and really treated myself to that delicious butter the meat was soaking in.  I had sea bass with a dill sauce that was presented in some kind of parchment paper and SO good!  The white flaky fish just melted in my mouth.  Both of our meals came with a delicious salad, asparagus, and red skinned garlic mashed potatoes.
We chose some kind of chocolate/peanut butter heaven for dessert.  It was quite delicious.  I'm actually wishing I had some of that bread right now.  (I was bummed I didn't bring my camera to dinner so here are some photos after we got back.)

T also gave me some beautiful flowers and chocolate.  I gave him a photo on canvas and framed that I purchased from but I actually was really disappointed because the picture is totally blurry. 

(BTW, I feel like a total fatty as I type this post and think about all of the food I consumed this weekend.  And there's still more to come!)

So Sunday I felt my inner-Julia Child come out to play. I made Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese/marshmallow frosting (yummy!) and then made Chicken Marsala for T that was AMAZING! I'll be posting the recipes for both soon. If I can do it, so can you

Monday: I had the day off and spent it babysitting my sister's doggy, Bella.  She's such a good girl.  We spent the day together and went over to my grandparents' house for dinner.  Now Bella is staying with my grandparents until my sister and parents come home from Florida (which btw, they said it's freezing down south!)

~Dining Diva

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Food Hangover

Yep.  I'm dealing with one today.  Ever experienced a food hangover of your own?  The Dining Diva had no self-control what-so-ever last night and that is the reason for my disgustingly bloating stomach and heart burn. (I sound like an old lady.)  T and I went to one of my favorite local restaurants to cheer on my Alma Mater that is very bad ass right now; the Syracuse Orange basketball team.  So we cheered them on with the help of a few friends: beer, spinach and artichoke dip with chips, sweet and sour chicken wings, chicken quesadillas, m&m cookie sundae.  Yep, the gang was all there last night.

I've been doing pretty good exercising about 5x a week and last night all I did was exercise my mouth.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed each and every bite, but today I feel disgusting. 

If I didn't love food and binge eating so much, I think I would be slightly slender.  It's a good thing I exercise or else I would really look like a beached whale.

That is all.

Treadmill, I'll see you later tonight.

~Dining Diva

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple Things Make Me Happy

Who Dat?! I was so happy to see that the Saints won the Super Bowl.  The Thursday before Super Bowl Sunday I met a man (at work) who was born and raised New Orleans, LA style and he had some amazing and heart-breaking stories to tell regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  He kept yelling, "Who Dat?!" throughout our slightly reserved office.  I thought it was hilarious.  He is an Iron Man race organizer and a very inspiring person to be around.  {This year Iron Girl and Man are both coming to town and I think I'm going to attempt to tackle the former.  It's just a sprint triathlon; not the full blown thing.}
But back to the Super Bowl . . . T and I went home to my parents' house to watch the game.

This is the view from inside my parents' dining room.What a view, huh?  The white stuff on the ground is snow on top of the iced-over lake.  All day long snowmobiles and ice fisherman played on the ice. 

An exciting development during our time at my parents' house was a visit by my sister and her boyfriend.  That was the first time her BF has been to my parents house in a long time; also the first time he's seen my dad in a LONG time.  I was slightly nervous for both my dad and my sister's BF; but actually, everything went smoothly and hopefully we can all get together in the near future for some fun and relaxation.

P.S. I just stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a lunchtime coffee break and I also purchased a brand-new Triple Choc. Muffin that was simply delicious.  I know it was not a good healthy chose, but I loved it.

~Dining Diva

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Would You Be?

What Would You Be?
 - Taken From That's Sassy! 

If I were a month, I’d be July

If I were a day of the week, I’d be Saturday.

If I were a time of day, I’d be 1 p.m.

If I were a planet, I’d be Pluto.

If I were a sea animal, I’d be a whale - Free Willy-style.

If I were a direction, I’d be South.

If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a Lazy Boy!

If I were a liquid, I’d be water!

If I were a gemstone, I’d be Turquoise

If I were a tree, I’d be a Palm Tree.

If I were a tool, I’d be a Radio.

If I were a flower, I’d be a gerbera daisy.

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be sunny, warm, ocean breeze.

If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a piano!

If I were a color, I’d be hot blue!

If I were an emotion, I’d be happy!

If I were a fruit, I’d be a Pineapple

If I were a sound, I’d be Ocean Waves!- Agree with That's Sassy!

If I were an element, I’d be water.

If I were a car, I’d be convertable luxury vehicle.

If I were a food, I’d be chips and dip!

If I were a material, I’d be silk.

If I were a taste, I’d be salty (from the beach).

If I were a scent, I’d be Heavenly.

If I were an object, I’d be a pair of sunglasses.

If I were a body part, I’d be the mouth.

If I were a facial expression, I’d be a smile.

If I were a song, I’d be "Like A Prayer" by Madonna.

If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be a sassy pair of colorful heels.

What would you be?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dining Diva Goes Coupon Crazy

I could almost guarantee you that T would think this is an appropriate title for this post.  So maybe cutting and printing coupons has slightly consumed me over the past three weeks and maybe I did miss an hour of the Bachelor last night to go to Target and the grocery store to use my coupons.  What can I say?  When the Today Show featured the Coupon Mom a month or so ago; I was totally inspired.  Then I stumbled upon these blogs: Maven of Savin' and Frugal Living and Having Fun - and they lit my coupon cutting fire.  (Side note:  I find that I am now buying items that I don't really need at the moment such as three jars of peanut butter and two jars of Hellman's Mayo; but I will be prepared when I do need them . . .)

Interesting, huh?

So last night I got these deals at Target, thanks to Frugal Living and Having Fun.  I also saved over $40 at my local grocery store!  (Let's just say I'm stocked up on Yoplait yogurts and Smart Ones.)

I'm sure my passion of coupons may slightly fade, but in a time where I'm trying to grow my savings account, I'm up for the challenge.

Also - just wanted to let you all know the musical Wicked was so amazing!  If you have the chance to see it, I highly recommend it!  It happened to be a blizzard the night of the show and my mom and sister had to drive close to an hour to make it downtown.  I was really anxious knowing they were venturing through the blizzard, but thank goodness everyone made it safely.  We met at a really tasty restaurant/pub that was within walking distance of the show.  I had an amazing buffalo chicken wrap and fries.  The boys had burgers and mom and sister had a rueben. Then we made it to the show right in time and we loved it! I continue to find myself randomly bursting out with the lyrics, "Because I knew you!"  . . . (my apologies to all ears within listening range.)

My best friend and her boyfriend and T and I at the show.  (Mom and sister were there, too.)

On that note - I hope you all have a great day!

~Dining Diva