July 24, 2014

Product Review: Quest Bars

I admit I haven't been staying strong on the Keto diet, but I'm going to try to do it again. It's just that sometimes those parmesan rosemary truffle oil fries speak to me! EAT ME! they say and I listen... I've found this great tasting low carb product that I think will help me stay true to the diet.

My husband has tried to get me to drink these awful tasting protein drinks and try so many different types of protein bars. I think my palate is really sensitive to sweeteners because most of them taste absolutely gross except for Quest Bars! They are the best tasting protein bars I've ever had and to make them even better, most bars have 4g net carbs or less. In addition to being low carb, they are high fiber, high protein, low sugar, and gluten free! There are so many different flavors to choose from. We bought a variety pack from Amazon.com (12 for $27.98) so we could try out all the flavors and decide which ones we liked best before committing to ordering a whole box of one flavor.

The only other places I've seen Quest Bars are at Smoothie King and my gym, Lifetime Fitness. I have read that some people buy them at Whole Foods, but I did not see them at the Harbor East location when I was there last. Leave me a comment if you've been able to find these any where else!

The variety pack has 1 bar in each of the following flavors:
Banana Nut Muffin
Peanut Butter&Jelly
Peanut Butter Supreme
Lemon Cream Pie
Mixed Berry Bliss
Coconut Cashew
Strawberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie
Cinnamon Roll
Apple Pie
Vanilla Almond Crunch
Chocolate Peanut Butter

So far, I've tried banana nut muffin, peanut butter & jelly, and coconut cashew. My husband has had cinnamon roll, cookies & creme, and chocolate chip cookie dough (the latter two are not part of the variety pack). Out of the three I've tried, the coconut cashew has been my favorite.

Unlike other protein bars, I did not notice any funny aftertaste. The texture of the bars are a little like taffy. A little chewy and slightly gritty. Some of the bars actually have bits of almonds, cashew, coconut, etc. which I think helps with that. I've seen on Instagram that some people have been warming the bars up and topping them with things like whipped cream and low carb ice cream. Yum!


July 18, 2014

Days Like This

I typically don't make plans to do anything during the week because I'm an old lady who gets grumpy if I'm not in bed by a certain time (nurse problems), but since I took today off last night my husband and our friends, Cat & Joe went to another delicious dinner at The Food Market (if you don't already know it's my favorite) then saw Ben Folds perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra last night. Rock this bitch!

I'm also taking off Monday so I have a list of things I would like to do. One of those things is, crafting.

I really love crafting and I've been thinking up this idea for a succulent wreath for awhile now. Michael's has 25% off your purchase including sale items coupon that expires tomorrow so I took that opportunity to buy my supplies. The succulent picks ended up being 70% off anyway, score!

This was super easy to make and it cost less than $15! I did use a coupon and I already I really love how it turned out.

I took the succulents off of the stem which made it easier to place them exactly where I wanted. 

It is amazing what taking a day or two off of work can do for a person! I really enjoy low stress days like this where there aren't any "have to" things.


July 11, 2014

Craving Now: New Orleans


Lisbeth Eats' blog post on beignets is to blame for what I'm craving now! Reading her post on beignets reminded me of some of the delicious food I had in New Orleans. I went a little over a year ago for a family wedding. Obviously, Cafe Du Monde was a must and it is good to know that I can just drive to Fed Hill to satisfy my craving for beignets. It also reminded me that I had a box of beignet mix I brought back in my cupboard. I've been trying to eat low carb, but...
The most delicious thing I ate while in New Orleans was the chargrilled oysters from ACME Oyster House. The wait to get a table at this place was easily over an hour, but to me it was totally worth it and I am seriously contemplating buying a ticket to fly down there to eat it ASAP! I have had chargrilled oysters at places locally, but they didn't even come close to stacking up to the oysters I had at ACME.


July 4, 2014

Korshi Sushi & Korean Buffet

**Update 4/27/15 Korshi has closed and has been closed for some time now**

For what seems like many months there was a Coming Soon sign where Nichi Bei Kai used to be. There was speculation that it was going to become a sushi/Korean buffet. The same day I read Melodi's comment on HowChow my husband had also driven past Wegmans and saw signs that said Korshi was Now Open.

Melodi mentioned that it had received mixed reviews (only 3 reviews so far) on Yelp. No where on the signs did it mention Korean BBQ. I think that might be why some people have been disappointed.  The signs say, Sushi and Korean Buffet.

We walked in and were seated right away. Our waitress said that their soda machine was broken so they only had water or hot tea. No big deal there.

We went right up to the buffet and was surprised by how many different buffet items they had. There were at least 15 different sushi rolls to choose from and the same amount of Korean offerings. At the end of the sushi buffet table were lots of banchan like kimchi, bean sprouts, and pickled radish. I'm sure the food will vary from day to day but some of the Korean offerings last night included fried rice, miso soup, spicy rice noodles, japchae, fried mackerel, stir fry tofu, fish katsu, chicken teriyaki, bbq ribs, sweet/spicy fried chicken wings, baked salmon, stuffed mussels, and chicken alfredo. One of these things is not like the other....

Like one of the Yelp reviewers said, there was no dessert just fresh fruit which was fine with me since I never save room for dessert anyway. I suggested to my husband that they should get their desserts from Shilla Bakery. I love that place.

For dinner it was $18.95. The place gets points for variety and taste. Also, the service was good. Our glasses were never left empty and our finished plates never sat on our table for longer than a few seconds. If I had to rate it on 4 stars, I'd give it a 2.5. For me, it was lacking a bit on those authentic Korean dishes that I'm used to at Kimco Seafood's sushi/Korean buffet.


July 1, 2014

My Favorite Baltimore Restaurant + A Dachshund Find

My girlfriends from high school and I usually try to get together for dinner when Baltimore Restaurant Week is going on. The timing didn't work out for the Winter Restaurant Week so a few months ago we planned on meeting up for dinner & drinks. I was tasked with choosing where we'd go. I'd been reading and hearing a lot about The Food Market so I went online and made a reservation (highly suggested). A few weeks before going to dinner with my friends my husband and I had gone to Woodberry Kitchen for my birthday dinner and yes, the food is as delicious as everyone says it is. But The Food Market though... there's just something about it.

After dinner & drinks with the girls I knew I had to bring my husband here. I couldn't wait to get home to tell him about the best meal I've had in a long time in a Baltimore restaurant. I told him that I liked it better than Woodberry and you should have seen the look on his face. Pure shock and skepticism. I told him that the food would speak for itself. My husband and I went to The Food Market this past weekend and I know he hated to admit it, but he said that "this is hands down the best single dish I've ever had."

Just like their website says, "The Food Market focuses on approachable, serious comfort food, in a smartly designed industrial-modern space." Maybe comfort food is just the food that I prefer? Or maybe it is how effortless the dishes seem to be executed/prepared and are so freaking delicious? I dunno... I really can't put my finger on it.

What we ordered:

Amish pretzels with beer cheese fondue appetizer, not pictured are the buffalo fried pickles with scrambled Gorgonzola and hot sauce.
My husband wanted to stick a straw in the cheese and drink it haha.
I ordered the Roseda steak frites with onion butter, Parmesan truffle fries, and fresh zucchini
I ordered this when I came with my girlfriends and had to get it again it was that good. I usually like my steak well done (don't judge) but this is the only place that I will order it medium.

Not pictured is my husband's scallops with english pea risotto, cherry tomatoes, and according to my him the best sauce ever. I don't like scallops, but I tried a bite and I have to say they were delicious. They were smokey, perfectly seasoned, and cooked just right.

My husband called them "the steak of the sea" lol.

Also not pictured is our dessert which was coconut creme brulee with fresh pineapple and strawberry. You know the sugary crust on top is done right when you need to use your spoon to break through. It tasted like a pina colada and took me back to our honeymoon in Maui.
After dinner, we both decided that we need to do some walking. The last time I walked around the main street in Hampden was many years ago when I was a kid. A few stores past The Food Market was this charming store called Trohv. They have really cool things for the home, it kinda reminded me of Sweet Elizabeth Jane in downtown Ellicott City. Love those type of stores! While browsing, I came across this Dachshund Find that I and the husband knew I needed to have.
It's a 1/1 piece of mixed media Dachshund art. I'll have to check it and update with the artists' name.