Category Archives: Dinner out

Two Date Nights

Michael and I lucked out and got TWO date nights this weekend!! The first was Friday night. Daycare had a “parents night out” and they were open until 10pm. We took advantage of that and got dressed up (sort of) and went to Chart House for dinner.

A coworker has been talking about how this is their date night spot because happy hour lasts until 7pm. So we decided to take advantage of that. We got there and it was valet parking only (free) and the bar is downstairs of the restaurant. It’s perched on a hill in SW Portland with amazing views!

The picture above was the view from our table, right by the window. It was a nice view of the river and downtown Portland. We could also see Mount St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the distance.

We got drinks–I got a white wine and Michael got a beer.

We got the calamari with kim chee (and it had deep fried veggies in there, too). It was really good and flavorful! And who doesn’t like deep fried veggies?

We shared the mahi mahi fish tacos. They were pretty good but needed some spice or something. They were a little on the bland side.

We shared the lettuce wraps. It was chicken with cucumber and carrots and a soy sauce glaze. I thought they were pretty good. Very messy to eat!

Lastly, we got the prime rib sliders (they had cheese and caramelized onions in it). Michael wasn’t a fan of the sliders but I thought they were really good! I loved the caramelized onion flavors and gooey cheese (and let’s be honest, the bread!!!)

We split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. It had caramel, crushed macadamia nuts and a little bit of Heath Bar crumbles. It was REALLY good but very, very decadent. Thank goodness we split it!

It was a really nice experience. We hadn’t really been on a real date night and been to a nice restaurant since February when we went out to sushi. 😀 It was definitely time for us! And it was perfect timing because this week was our 9 year anniversary. Hard to believe 9 years ago we had our first official date. <3

Then Saturday it was time for date night #2: my cousin’s wedding. My parents drove down from Seattle and got to spend some time with Logan and then we left Logan with Michael’s mom and drove to Ridgefield for the wedding.

It was at Bethany Vineyards. I’ve never been there before but it was a really beautiful wedding venue! It was off the freeway in Washington near Vancouver, amongst countryside and farms and lots of trees. I guess there was a brewpub nearby, too.

Her flowers were gorgeous!

The wedding was outside. It was a sunny, bright day, but unfortunately it was also 100 degrees (not exaggerating!). Here are a few photos of the venue:

It was too bad they didn’t have some kind of tents set up for the tables because we were in direct sunshine, no shade, and it was very very very hot! Thankfully they had tons of ice water.

The ceremony was kind of off to the side near the vineyards and there was a bit of shade over there, so that was nice.

And we got to spend some time with another cousin and her husband, whom we don’t get to see very often but it was a really fun night hanging out and catching up.

Since it was at the vineyard, they had plenty of the wine for drinks or tastes. I tried the Pinot and it was really good so I ended up buying a bottle. 🙂 My other cousin and her husband and I snuck into the tasting room for about 15 minutes after the ceremony because it was air conditioned and SO NICE in there (LOL) so we did a small taste and their Cuvee was excellent!

almost bought that bottle, too, but decided to be an adult and just buy one.

The signature drink for the wedding was a white wine spritzer, which I had never had before but it was quite lovely! It was the Bethany Vineyard Riesling with tonic water and fruit. In 100 degree weather it was very easy to drink those!

Very refreshing! I drank a ton of water and tried to stay hydrated as much as possible.

My cousin looked gorgeous in her dress and guess what? Her aunt HANDMADE the entire thing for her! It was absolutely stunning! And what a cool heirloom to pass down to your daughter or granddaughter someday. The ceremony was lovely and the food was really excellent! It was heavy Hors d’oeuvres –fruit and veggies, pasta salad, green salad, meatballs and these really yummy cold sandwiches. It was actually the perfect food for a hot, outdoor wedding.

There were these little chicken salad sandwiches on croissant rolls that were to die for! So good! Then it was the speeches and cake cutting and they had cute cupcakes, too:

I had one of the cupcakes. They were really good. By then I was pretty stuffed. So the homemade macarons that my cousin made as favors came home for later…

I’d like to say it was starting to cool off by then, but it was still nearly 100 degrees when we left at 6:30. We had to get home for Logan. It was a really nice wedding and it was nice that it was an afternoon wedding. I remember when Michael and I were planning our wedding we considered a Sunday brunch wedding (we loved the idea!), a vineyard wedding, or an afternoon wedding. I’m very happy with what we did but it’s still fun to experience other weddings and think about what it would have been like if we’d done that.

Light Carb Update #5

Another week, another update.

Progress

I’ve been stuck for two weeks. I had gained a pound back and then sat there for two weeks. Part of that was hormonal. Part of it was probably carb-creep. I was doing ok on my calories most days but I was seeing several days a week with my carb count creeping higher and higher.

Weigh-in this morning was the same. Very disappointing.

Meals

Some snacks this week: plain Greek yogurt with raspberries; cottage cheese with pineapple; sugar snap peas; and smoked Gouda slices.

Some lunches this week: arugula salad with onions, cucumbers, carrots and leftover pork tenderloin slices; sauteed Brussels sprouts with a chili lime chicken burger; and meat and cheese rollups.

New favorite dessert: I saw a photo on a friend’s instagram and had to try it out. It was SO good! Some mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries) with 1/2 a serving of raw walnut pieces and some whipped cream. It’s low in carbs and not bad calories wise, it really satisfies my sugar cravings at night and is very filling, too!

New dinner recipe: spaghetti squash carbonara!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

From: http://annavocino.com/spaghetti-squash-carbonara/

Ingredients

  • •2 whole spaghetti squash
  • •Salt and pepper
  • •4 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half lengthwise, and then into ½” pieces
  • •1 tablespoon olive oil
  • •1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves, minced)
  • •1 egg and 3 egg yolks
  • •1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • •1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave each spaghetti squash for 2 minutes on high. Slice squash lengthwise in halves, then scrape out and discard seeds. Place squash halves face down on a roasting pan, and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until squash is soft. Remove from oven and use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strands out of the squash shell into a medium bowl, discard squash shells. Season spaghetti strands with salt and fresh pepper.
  2. 2.In a large, flat bottom sauté pan, heat olive oil, then fry up the bacon pieces until almost cooked through. Add minced garlic and cook additional 1-2 minutes. Add in spaghetti squash strands and toss with bacon and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together parmesan, egg, and egg yolks. When spaghetti squash mixture is nice and hot, turn off burner heat and immediately add in the parmesan egg mixture, tossing evenly. The heat from the spaghetti squash will cook the egg yolks into a smooth, creamy sauce as you mix in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52111

We made the spaghetti squash and opened a bottle of wine.

Michael halved the recipe (but added a little bit more bacon, of course!)

OH MY GOD! This dinner was SO good!!! We both LOVED it. We agreed that it was so good that we didn’t even notice that it wasn’t traditional pasta. It was creamy and garlicky and flavorful. I wanted to eat three more bowls of it.

This is a fabulous low carb option for dinner, especially when you are craving pasta. Definitely try this recipe!

Ok and moving on to the next topic: the endless saga of finding a low carb pizza option! This week? We tried almond flour pizza. I got a bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s and we gave it a try Saturday night. We tried this recipe:

The Ultimate “Fat Head” Pizza Crust
 
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (fresh is bestest)
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • For topping:
  • Homemade pizza sauce (or store bought without sugar)
  • Your choice of meat, veg, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Microwave the mozzarella and cream cheese in a large bowl until soft and pliable, about 30 seconds. Add egg, almond meal, oregano, and basil and blend well into a dough ball. Press into a circle or square shaped pizza on a parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with a thin coating of olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle garlic salt over surface of pizza crust. Pierce surface with fork to prevent rising of the crust while baking.
  2. Bake crust in oven for 8-10 mins. Pierce more holes with fork if bubbles form. Bake another 2-4 minutes if crust has not already browned. Do not over bake as it will dry out!
  3. Add your pizza sauce and toppings, pop back in oven for 4-5 more minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

It was pretty good! It was a little bit easier to get the parchment paper off this crust than the cauliflower crust. We both agreed it needed to be cooked a little bit longer, though.

Right before we put it in the oven:

We are going to cook it again and try and make it crispier next time. But it was pretty good! We agreed that this was better than the cauliflower pizza we tried, but mostly because we could never get it quite right! But… Michael and I are super happy that we can have two slices of “pizza” for less than 10 carbs!!!

This is definitely a win.

Cheat Meal

For this week’s cheat meal I had Mexican food! Damn it was good. 🙂 We went out to lunch at Iron Horse Mexican restaurant for Michael’s mom’s birthday. We’d both been craving Mexican food for awhile.

I got the lunch enchilada, shredded beef and cheese, with refried black beans and rice. Logan ate about half my beans and about 1/4 of the rice. 🙂

It was really, really good. I ended up having about 80 grams of carbs for lunch. Definitely a lot, but it was a cheat meal. The downside? After lunch I felt super sleepy. I just wanted to take a nap. Heavy food + carbs = sleepy time.