End of Summer

Where oh where did the summer go?? We experienced low 70 degree weather with clouds and rain the day after Labor day.  It was like the switch was flipped to coincide with the last official weekend of the summer which announced that Fall was upon us, ready or not!

I've been a little M.I.A around here the past month or so but I have enjoyed the long days of summer. I've done a lot of reading.

I read this, this, this, this and this.

I told you I've been doing a lot of reading.  But to be fair this was over the entire summer, not just August.

I've also been playing tennis.  I was on two teams this summer and both of them went to the playoffs.  Even better than that, my woman's team won the city championship game.  We are CHAMPS!!!  We get to go to state playoffs next but for whatever reason that is not scheduled until May 2012.  Oh well.  That just gives us that much more time to practice and advance even further.

That's me on the left in the blue holding our metal bag tag. Those bag tags are coveted :)
Mr. Foodie and I went to Chicago for a quick visit (for me 36 hours to be exact) for my MIL's bday.  I really do enjoy Chicago in the summertime when the weather is nice, everyone is outdoors and the people are super friendly.  It is such a great city with delicious restaurants.  I feel obligated to show you a few pics of some tasty dishes we had.

Fried Bacon at Wiener and Still Champion
No pic of the chicken because it was devoured but a must have neighborhood staple for delicious fried chicken
Where we took my MIL for her birthday brunch. The best brunch I've ever had
Shrimp, Avocado & Feta cheese eggs benedict with an AMAZING sauce
Red Velvet Pancake...TO.DIE.FOR
great family times with the niece and MIL
And even though I should maybe be ashamed for sharing this as a 34 y/o woman, I indulged in 4 slurpees from 7Eleven during my 36 hour visit.  I know, crazy. But I love them!  A die hard fan since elementary school and we don't have 7Eleven's in Atlanta so I get them whenever I can.

Of course, some things have stayed the same.  Still browsed the blogs for inspiration and created meals for the husband.  Amongst all that I have discovered my new favorite cocktail to make at home (post coming tomorrow).  Bought some fresh corn and made this (thanks jiggy) and this.  Both fantastic. Fresh corn has been so sweet this summer that I just bought a few more ears to shuck and freeze for some winter soups and chowder.

Confetti Corn

Funny story to go along with my incessant blog browsing.  I saw these cute salt and pepper dishes on Heather's blog.

They looked kind of familiar. I did a quick search on Etsy and found them here.  Ordered them and they were in my kitchen a week later.

Mr. Foodie: So where did you get these?
Me: I ordered them
Mr. Foodie: Why?
Me: Because they're cute.  See! It says salt and pepper
Mr. Foodie: I can look at it and see that one is salt and one is pepper. I don't need to read it.  You could have put these in one of those little white dishes you have so many of (he's referring to my mini ramekins).  You probably just saw these on some blog and felt like you needed to have them.

It's so great that my husband knows me so well and that I can just laugh at his sarcasm.

It's also a good thing that I am in charge of home decor!



If I was thinking properly, I would have played the lottery last Thursday since I had such winning luck.  But honestly, I was perfectly content with scoring two reservations for last weekends Staplehouse dinner.  If you recall, I wrote a post here about my first visit to Staplehouse and how achieving a reservation is literally about who can respond to their invitations the fastest.

Well last Thursday I responded pretty quickly.  So fast in fact, Jen (the chef's wife), was shocked when I replied asking for a reservation since she hadn't even sent out the invitation yet.  I can't reveal my secrets of how I knew so quickly 1.) so then maybe it will work for me again 2.) because there really was no method. Just the right place, right time and extreme luck!

When I added Staplehouse dinner to our weekend agenda, the husband was impressed and looking forward to it, but after first eagerly reminding me that I am obsessed.  He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Once you get a look at the photos below (cellphone quality but still mouthwatering) you will get an idea of why.
First Course

The fruit salad was delightful.  Cantaloupe, prosciutto, figs, blueberries, Parmesan cheese and purple basil. I've never seen purple basil and I would have never thought of this combo.  But a forkful of the basil, blueberry and prosciutto was so flavorful, I helped myself to the remnants of the husbands plate since he doesn't eat pork.
Second Course
Next up was the Staplehouse version of a grilled cheese...with peaches!! Whole grain mustard and Peaches! The lightly buttered bread, creamy soft cheese and fresh peaches was an excellent balance of the different flavors.

Third Course
After 1/2 a sandwich, I could feel my little tummy expanding but my taste buds were alive with anticipation.  Carbonara with housemade pasta and big, meaty chantrelle mushrooms.  I love homemade pasta although I have never attempted it in my kitchen.  It needs to be my next mission because I can definitely taste the difference. Although there were many bites of flavors I enjoyed throughout the meal, this was my favorite course.  You can't blame a girl for loving good pasta.
Fourth Course
Technically, the fourth course was the "main" course. Duck meatballs served on a bed of lentils with housemade tomato marmalade. They served this dish during a previous dinner so I had seen a picture of this dish on the website and thought it looked appetizing.  Looks didn't disappoint.  The marmalade was spectacular.  Spicy and sweet and beautifully paired with the meatballs.  An extremely close runner up to my favorite course of the evening.
Fifth Course
And last but certainly not least, Mr. Foodie's favorite course, the dessert.  Shortbread cookies with chocolate ganache drizzled with salted caramel sauce, pecans and sea salt. The chocolate was a little much for me but the cookie and the caramel were divine.  We were served such a huge portions that we were able to take the leftovers home.  The husband devoured some that night and the remaining cookies Monday morning.  He has declared this the best dessert he has ever had.  And has assigned me the task of learning how to make it.
But I think I will leave that up to Staplehouse.  Ryan and Jen are doing such a fantastic job as is.

Follow them here to try and get in on one of these dinners. They also have some better pics of the food
Oh and stay tuned for the opening of their restaurant!


Miller Union

Two years.  This restaurant has been open for two years.  And the first time I went was last Thursday night.  I am very disappointed in myself for continually putting this place on the back burner because it has been on my list since the first time I read about it.  TWO years ago. 

So judging from my self-imposed angst, can you tell that the food was not just good, but excellent? I really should not have waited so long.  But it is worth all the hype and rave reviews.  I went with my dinner club but now I can't wait to go back with the Husband.

Miller Union is again located in the Westside neighborhood of Atlanta but on an street that still feels industrial and with minimal life.  You kind of feel like you're in the meat packing district of NY. Although my reference to that is only based on episodes of Sex in the City.  The restaurant evokes warm feelings drawing on clean lines and wood details.  The food is known for the chef's use of fresh and locally grown veggies which are evident in every bite you take. 

While waiting for my girlfriends to arrive, I ordered a cocktail and struck up a conversation with co-owner, Neal.  Being very fond of Neal's English accent, I asked him a ton of questions (I can sometimes be known for that but I get it from my Mommy so little hope of that trait changing) and not surprisingly asked him which dish he recommended.  He said the chicken and the duck.  Generally not a fan of ordering chicken while at restaurants, I told him I'd think about it.  

So then I inquired about this appetizer dish that is listed on the 100 things to eat in Atlanta before you die (trying to kill two birds with one stone) and I had read so much about on local blogs; Baked Egg in Celery Cream.  A little doubtful, but of course Neal said it was a must and since it was an appetizer I was open to it.  Now trying to convince my girlfriends to share the appetizer was another thing.  A few of them had their doubts about the restaurant but I begged them to trust me so I didn't want to push them too far.
I convinced them and when the waiter put the dish on the table, he suggested it is best served if you break the yoke up and mix it together.  Then spoon the cream onto the toast.
I really wish I had taken some "after" photos because the bowl was clean. CLEAN I tell you. We asked for more toast and a couple of my girlfriend literally sopped up the rest of the egg cream with the bread. That is how good this dish was.

After being delightfully surprised with this dish, I followed Neal's recommendation and ordered the chicken.  Three of us ordered the chicken.  And we all LOVED it. Although I didn't get some more pics of the food, this was the general consensus of the rest of the meal (got to get better with taking pics using the camera phone if I am going to document the journey more appropriately. Or charge the battery in my camera).  The skin on the chicken was pan seared giving it a nice crunchy exterior but the breast and the thigh were so moist and succulent.  A winner indeed.  A couple of my friends ordered the veggie plate and fell in complete adoration, proclaiming it to be one of the best veggie plates they had had (and one is a vegetarian so that's big).

The food at Miller Union is Excellent.  The staff (waiters and Neal included) were friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.  The alcoholic drinks were delicious (Neal made a few concoctions for us that weren't on the menu and I've read that their flavored soda combos are also great).

Bottom line, Mr. & Mrs. Foodie will be back really soon.


Caprese Salad Appetizer

This dish literally screams Summertime to me.
Firm bite sized tomatoes with the perfect juicy pop when you bite into them, paired with smooth and cool mozzarella cheese and a torn pieces of basil to add that little something extra to the flavor combo. 

With a 5 minute prep time, this is perfect for entertaining or just dining alfresco. 

What more can you ask for after getting home from work to help you unwind. 

A glass of white wine of course!  
Sorry this is so short but I'm off to sit on my deck and do just that!


100 things in Atlanta + West Egg Cafe

A few weeks ago, I read about this list published in the local paper, Creative Loafing, about the 100 dishes to eat in Atlanta before you die.  Obviously intrigued, I immediately perused the list and was shocked to realize I had only eaten about 5 of the items.  I am a self proclaimed foodie for goodness sakes.  And as much as I like cooking at home, I equally love going out to eat.

So I have made my most recent mission to tackle that list. A journey that I will document and share with you. I have persuaded two of my friends from college to join me (OGDC).  They like food also so it wasn't that hard to get them on board. Plus it's a way for us to get together on a consistent basis despite our busy schedules.  We initially thought we would be able to get through the list during the summer but seeing as to how it took us a few weeks to get to our first stop, I think this will be a slower, ongoing challenge.

Our first stop was West Egg Cafe in Westside Atlanta for brunch.  The restaurant has been around for a few years but recently expanded and remodeled to stay in line with the growing neighborhood.  The item on the list was their Fried Egg Sandwich which sounded Yummy! But once we read the menu, there were so many other dishes that caught our eye.

So new rule (in your best Bill Maher voice) to our challenge.  We decided that we don't necessarily have to eat the item on the list but just go to the restaurant. If the item does fancy us, then we will get it. If not, no biggie.  We're doing this for us anyway so we can make up our own rules.

There was a definite battle in deciding between a savory or a sweet brunch.  Savory won for me and I ordered the black bean cakes with eggs, grits and a side of turkey sausage (I'll do better with the pictures next time but I was super hungry). Very tasty and the grits were the perfection of creamy. Carlita ordered the huevos tejanos, a nice take on huevos rancheros. But Yokes went for the sweet and we were happy she did.  Very Happy. Banana Bread French Toast!!!

courtesy of photoyoke iphone because I was too busy digging in
Oh.My.Goodness!!! I'm going to try but it was really beyond words. Original, decadent, delicious, melt in your mouth, not too sweet and a generous serving.  Perfect to share with your friends and still have some leftover to take home.

Even though their fried egg sandwich might be good, this should have been on the list. Everyone should experience this before they die.

As Yokes proclaimed, I will most likely try to recreate this at home since I do make a mean banana bread which I will share here in the future.  But for now, if Sunday's brunch was any indication of what's to come, I have high hopes and happy feelings about our challenge.  Stay tuned!


Easy Summer Stir-Fry

I bookmarked this recipe from Ree a while back because it sounded simple and perfect for the season.  I've been a long time fan of her & her recipes but if you guys could see my google reader list of starred recipes I plan to test in my kitchen you would be baffled.  It is soooo lonngg!!

I know I'm not alone out there.

Well at least I hope I'm not alone out there.

All the blogs I follow or subscribe to and all those mouth watering pictures with the "you can do it too" commentary, get me every time.  I add at least four new items to my list daily.  I dread the day google reader will inform me that I have reached my capacity.  I mean a girl can only go through them so fast because of course I like to go out to eat and will also crave a repeat or two. Sometimes sooner than later.  But until then, I will carry on per my usual. 

I had the best intentions of making this weeks ago and was quickly getting to it since I had shrimp in my freezer.  But when my girlfriend told me she tried this (because really, who doesn't follow her?) and shared how simple and yummy it was, I moved it to the top of my list.  Thanks Court!
Since I had half of the ingredients at home, all that was required was a quick trip to my favorite place (the grocery store) for some fresh corn and zucchini, defrosting of the shrimp and dinner was made in no time.

It really doesn't get more simple than this.  A light and healthy meal, that is incredibly easy to make. Not a lot of prep involved and it's always a bonus when you only have to use one pan.

I highly suggest you don't put off making this like I did and make it soon.
Like tonight.
You can thank me tomorrow.
I'll be here.


The Cali Donut

My name is Dyan.
And I LOOVVVE donuts.
If you know me, this is not new news.
But if you know me, you also know I am a donut snob. And a very proud one at that.

What does that mean?  I grew up in LA where there is a donut shop on EVREY corner. And not your popular Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme chains, like there are here in Atlanta. But the little bakeries with people's names like Miss Donuts, Maggee's Donuts, Kay's Donuts and the ever so popular Randy's Donuts.  Don't get me wrong, we had a few chains, Winchells and Yum Yum, to be exact.  But they had absolutely nothing on places like Randy's or Maggee's. Aaahh, before I moved to Atlanta I worked right around the corner from Miss Donuts.  I am not ashamed to say I had a chocolate raised donut...every morning!

Since I have been in Atlanta for 10 years, I've grown to like Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme was not hard to like but you can only have so many hot & now's before your teeth hurt, and I don't want to have to go to the dentist more than twice a year. Then there is a new place I learned of last year which has garnered a lot of buzz, Sublime Donuts.  They actually have the right idea and fulfilled my cravings but their focus is on unique flavors like strawberries & creme, red velvet & oreo cookie.  I'm a fan of the simpler variety, a good old fashioned glazed donut, chocolate raised, maple raised, cake with sprinkles, etc.  So every time I visit home, I still get a donut upon my arrival and before my departure.

It has been hard to explain my love of the Cali donut and why it is just so different and so much better until I read this over on the Blissful Glutton's blog.  She hit the nail on the head. So when she named this donut shop for its comparison, I knew it was critical that I make my way over there.

Jumping on the Instagram craze but since I have an Android it's actually RetroCamera. Not a bad substitute
I almost passed this place while I was driving.  Very nondescript on a somewhat desolate but main street.  Even though the place looks like a hole in the wall, once I was inside and saw the donuts, I had a feeling this was going to be the start of a good day.

These donuts were Fantastic!!!  Light, airy, not too sweet and oh so very reminiscent of the California donut. I am VERY excited.  I took a dozen to my co-workers and they all said the same thing.  I had to hide them in my office to make sure my boss got one before they were all gone.  

Now I will still get my donuts when I go to LA and since I am now in my 30's, I don't think I can afford to eat a donut everyday, but I am happy that I don't have to travel 3000 miles to get my hand on a good, quality donut.

If you live in Atlanta, you have to try Dough in a Box.  You'll see what I mean.  You will not be disappointed.


Shaved Asparagus Pizza

I realized that my promise of seasonal goodies from the last post may have had you in the mind frame of something sweet.  If that's what you were looking forward to, I am sorry. The seasonal ingredient (asparagus) is not in the form of dessert.  But it has cheese. Which is something I often crave more than desserts. 

I never really turn down pizza and I get extra brownie bites because this is somewhat of a healthy pizza.  Well as far as pizza goes, this one is healthy since I used trader joes whole wheat pizza dough and the topping is shaved asparagus.  

That's right. Shaved asparagus.  It's new to me too.  But apparently very popular these days.  I have seen so many recent posts on my blog roll with the ingredient of shaved asparagus.  Here (inspiration for this recipe), here, here and finally here (with a pictorial how-to).  All of which led me to jump on the bandwagon and want to explore this unique way of preparing this veggie.

I've always liked asparagus.  Usually steaming it, sauteing it and most recently grilling it.  Always trimming the tough ends to make the stalks more edible and enjoyable.  But with the discovery of shaving it, I don't even have to break out a pot or a pan to cook it because it is absolutely delicious RAW!  I never thought about eating asparagus raw because...well...it just never appealed to me.  Didn't really think it was possible.  But using my handy dandy veggie peeler to create beautiful thin ribbons of asparagus, tossing it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper...Yummy.
Now the husband and I have something new to nosh on the next time we do a raw foods diet.
Then add it on top of dough with  fresh mozzarella cheese and a bit of cream sauce. It was pure delight.

Oh and what's the yellow looking sauce in the bottom of the photo you ask.

An egg! Because sometimes an egg just makes it better.

The husband was doubtful of the egg at first, so I only added eggs to half of the pizza. Honestly, he was doubtful of the entire shaved asparagus pizza idea.  So being the good new wife that I am learning to be, I gently *wink wink* reminded him who runs this kitchen.

Needless to say it was music to my ears when he said, You're Right! Win, Win!!!


Avocado Toast with Egg

In case you have some leftover avocado from that salad you made recently

Toast + Avocado + Egg = quick, easy and healthy breakfast

Drizzle a little olive oil on your bread of choice (I've used whole wheat bread & English muffins), toast bread to desired doneness, mash half an avocado onto toast, top with fried egg, eat, savor, go forth and concur the work week.

Fyi, it's just as scrumptious without the egg.  I don't know why you would do such a thing but you could forgo the egg if eggs just aren't your thing.

With only a 5 minute prep time, it just doesn't get much simpler than that.

I'll be back this week with some seasonal goodies!!


Mango, Avocado & Chicken Cobb Salad

Summer has officially begun. 
I hope you all enjoyed your three day weekend. I'm sure it was full of parties, festivals, grilling out and hopefully some rest somewhere in between.

The husband and I stayed close to home and did none of the above, lol.  We went to the movies and saw The Hangover 2 (hilarious, just as good as the first one so we were pleasantly surprised), ate at Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand (cute concept, very tasty and extremely filling) and then did some home improvement stuff.  Well to be honest, he did the home improvement stuff and I read (finished this and started this).  I'm not really one for manual labor around the house but luckily, he knew that before we got married. Plus he does such a great job on his own (our deck now looks like a mini forest/summer oasis) I don't want to interrupt his flow.  Just like he loves to leave the kitchen to me.  Hey, we know what works for us.

Plus when he gets salads like this for lunch, any inkling of a desire to ask me to pick up a paintbrush diminishes. 

Let me tell you, that salad is just as tasty as it looks.  When I made this for our lunch last week, I asked him if his co-workers get lunch envy.  I know I would.

Since the weather is on full HOT mode and I'm sure you might be on meat and cook-out food overload, I thought this would be a good time to share this salad with you.  It is such a refreshing combination (similar to this) with the addition of diced mango and the creaminess of the avocado that your tastebuds will not get enough of it.  I made this for lunch two days in a row but then I had some leftover toppings so I made it with shrimp and Wow!...this salad is definitely a keeper. 

Mango, Avocado & Chicken Cobb Salad

1 head of sliced/chopped romaine lettuce
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 avocado, seeded, peeled and diced
1 granny smith apple, sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned, oven baked or grilled and diced
dried cranberries
Simply vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing

Arrange lettuce in a bowl or on a plate.  Arrange the remaining ingredients in sections on top of the salad.  Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing.  Enjoy

adapted from Simply Recipes


I'zzz Married Now!

The wait is finally over. Three weeks ago today, Mr. Foodie made me an honest woman and I can now proudly call myself Mrs. Foodie!!! YAY!!

We tied the knot two weeks ago and it was absolutely the most beautiful wedding (I'm sure every bride says that) and the happiest day of my life (I'm sure every bride says that too, but now its my turn).  I could not have asked for the day to go any better. We are both so grateful to all our friends and family that came from far and wide to celebrate with us.  The whole occasion was definitely one filled with love.

We are even more grateful that the incomparable Shawna Herring was able to come along and photograph the entire thing.  I really could go on and on about how much we loved our photographer. You can check out her work here and what she did for us here.  If you ever want an occasion captured on film, she is the person to call.  And she travels too, so no destination is too far.

After our nuptials and all that partying in Las Vegas, we went for complete R&R for our honeymoon and traveled to Belize.  We flew into Belize City and took a small, very small, charter plane to San Pedro, on a small island off of the coast.  After taking the first couple of days to catch up on our rest (much needed), we did a lot of eating and laying out by the pool.  So of course with this being a food blog and all, I can't go without sharing pics of the delicious food we had.  A mixture of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine with fresh seafood, we were in food heaven.
(top row: curried shrimp with rice and peas, chicken enchilada with black beans, pan seared salmon topped with shrimp served with rice and roasted Parmesan vegetables;  middle row: seafood papusas, rum punch, fish (grouper) fritters; bottom row: curried chicken with roasted potatos, shrimp tacos, margarita & belikin, locally brewed beer)

We are now back. Getting back into our routine and enjoying being husband and wife.  I'll admit that we are in newlywed bliss and I am loving it. 

But that also means that I am getting back into my kitchen to cook some fabulous meals for my husband. And the plus side to that is you get to reap the benefits because I will share them with you.  So make sure you follow the blog (look to the right hand side to subscribe), get signed up to receive them via email and share with your friends.  Mrs. Foodie is getting ready to burn!!


Showered with Love

Last weekend started my unofficial countdown to the Big Day.  I traveled to Los Angeles, my hometown, where some of my oldest and dearest friends threw my first Bridal Shower.  To say the sentiments felt at the shower were overwhelming would be a gross understatement. I'm not really an emotional person and my personality doesn't lend itself to being the center of attention; so this whole showering you and honoring you thing can really get to a person if you are not prepared.  And nothing could have prepared me for the thoughtfulness and creativity of my childhood friends.

The shower was held at Hipcooks, where we had a private cooking class.  Now tell me how perfect is that for a self-proclaimed foodie that loves to cook and landed her fiance' through her surprising cooking skills.

Needless to say, when I received the invitation a few weeks back I was very excited about it.  When I walked into the kitchen studio, I was even more blown away by the set-up.
the beautifully decorated dining table (the middle of the table is glass, simply gorgeous!) to feast on our freshly prepared meal
and the instruction area where we did food prep
But tears came to my eyes and I completely succumb to my emotions when my dear friends insisted I open this one gift before we got started.
please excuse the "ugly" cry
a little blurry but you get the idea
Mrs. Foodie!!!! How could I not cry at this.  Not only am I about to become the Mrs. Foodie to my Mr. Foodie but I was just so touched at my friends attention to detail and getting me...knowing me.  I'm getting all emotional just coming up with the words to write about this so I'll stop and get on to the class and the food.

The class was so much fun.  There were only a handful of us and our mothers.  We have all known each other for a very, very long time so it was definitely like family getting together.  Our instructor and her sous chef were very patient because we were a pretty difficult group to maintain some sort of control over.  The mothers and myself were probably the only ones who were into the class and trying to learn something. 

Everyone else, not so much.  God bless them, they were all so busy taking pictures, drinking wine and washing their hands. A requirement of the class was that you need to wash your hands every time you touched something that was not food related so needless to say, they spent a lot of time at the kitchen sink.

On the menu: New Potato, Green Bean, Basil and Pine Nut Salad (not pictured), Moroccan Chicken with Pearl Barley and Warm Chocolate Tartlets with Raspberry Cream for dessert.

After the cooking, it was time to eat and the fun continued at the dining table.  We were such a talkative bunch, going through multiple bottles of wine.  And when everyone began sharing memories of when we met, those pesky emotions started up again. They have all warned me that I need to get all the crying out now, before the wedding, so I can actually make it through the day.

But on this day, I just felt so much love and such gratitude for the people in my life.

All in all, it was a wonderful shower.  Good times were had, memories were made, great food was consumed and we all got a few recipes out of it.  Although I am a little curious to see how many of my friends will actually use them...heehee.

Oh! Of course I didn't forget my readers.  I've shared one of them with you guys too ;)


Mango & Avocado Salad

This was the perfect weekend to make this delightful salad for Pretty Mommy's lighter and brighter recipe exchange.  The weather in Atlanta was absolutely gorgeous, low 70's. Perfect for this California transplant.  I  could not wait to sit outside and soak up all the vitamin D I could get. Can you tell that I am just a little anxious for Spring and so over old man Winter :)

I first tried this salad almost one year ago when Mr. Foodie and I went on a raw foods diet for 1 week.  Mr. Foodie had just purchased the breville juicer and we were very excited to juice that we pushed ourselves one step further and said we would try a raw foods diet.  Being that I am what some would describe as skinny (I prefer the term thin) and very conscious about not losing weight, I was intrigued by the challenge but fearful that I might lose a few pounds too many.  

Then there was the little problem of what we would actually eat. I didn't just want to have apples, oranges and bananas, although there was plenty of each throughout the week.  I knew I needed to keep the meals fun and fresh everyday if we weren't going to succumb to the desires of having a typical, cooked meal.  I scoured the internet and found a ton of recipes using raw fruits and vegetables to create various salad combination's. And this was by far our favorite.

An unlikely pair at first glance, the creamy avocado pairs wonderfully with the sweet mango. Then the fresh pop of citrus from the lime juice plays well with the cilantro, all leading up to one A-maz-ing salad. So, even though this is not much of a recipe, I'm sure it's a dish you might not have come up with on your own.

Try it. Enjoy it. I promise that you will.  I'm going to sit over here and hope I can enjoy more of these Spring like weekends before Spring actually starts.


Welcome Back + Baked Mushroom Linguine

Hello there blogosphere! Are you there? It's me Passion Foodie.

It has been way too long since my last post.  And I absolutely have no good reason except pure lack of motivation.  Yea, I've been somewhat busy.  But that's not even an excuse and something I'm sure you don't want to hear.  Because we are all busy.  And this is supposed to be my outlet.  A chance for me, to share with you, what's been going on in my kitchen. 

So since we have established a friendship, albeit I have not done my part in the past couple of months, I feel comfortable in being completely honest with you.  There hasn't been a whole lot going on in my kitchen.  I have tried a few new dishes, cooked Thanksgiving dinner again and also participated in a few Bobby Flay style Throwdowns at work (I've currently won 1 out of 3 and I'm not settling for this record at all). But the one thing I haven't been doing is taking pictures.  And you know pictures are such an integral part of any food blog.  Well at least this blog.

But this is a new year, another fresh start (lest I remind you I've had a "break" before) and I'm ready to get back to it, if you guys will have me.  I don't want to make too many lofty promises since I still have a wedding to finish planning in the next few months (April will be here before we know it). But I can promise no more 3 month breaks. As one of my besties likes to tell me, "those cupcakes are very stale by now".  Gotta love friends.

So I'm going to get back in the groove with this Baked Mushroom Linguine.

If you love mushrooms, as Mr. Foodie does, this is the perfect dish for you.  I will warn you, this is not a quick, weeknight meal.  Think of it more like a Sunday dinner where you may have a little more time to spend preparing the dish.  It is a generous serving so you will have plenty leftovers for lunch and dinner and it is oh so tasty