mind your p’s and Q BARBEQUE & TEQUILA!

Margaritas are the bomb.  Plain and simple.  They’re refreshing, delicious and fun to drink.  So clearly any place with the word  tequila in their name is going to have amazing margaritas.
Q is no exception!
I visited with a great group of friends who all had margaritas on their brain!
They make my all time favorite margarita!
A cucumber margarita! It sound unusual but it is so tasty.
We also started off with some appetizers.  The flatbread of the night was pulled pork and apple chutney!
And  homemade tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa!
There are a ton of great choices that you can make when it comes time to ordering your meal!  They have everything from barbeque to mexican food!
Since I had been here before and liked what I ordered I got the same thing.
I had the combo platter which included barbeque chicken,  barbeque brisket and green beans.  The meats normally comes on slices of white bread but I knew that would be way too much so I asked to get the meat without the bread.  And thank goodness I did because I wasn’t even able to put much of a dent into what I was given!
And you can’t forget to put some special Q sauce on your food!
We had a great time eating, sipping and laughing.  The food was great and I was able to share my favorite margarita with my friends!
You just need to remember one thing if you visit here!
It’s BBQ the way their Pop-Pop used to do it, not yours :)!

Triumph Philadelphia.

I don’t want to brag, but I live in a pretty cool place.  Now I’m not going to say that New Jersey is the best all around ( we are known as the armpit of the country) but in terms of foodie-ness…
We’re sandwiched between Philadelphia and NYC!  So if you’re willing to travel a short distance for good food, you’re in a great location.
Awhile back Jay and I decided we were going to try not to return to a restaurant twice without trying several new places.  There are just too many to visit and our list is getting too long.
But, Triumph Brewing Company is worth visiting twice in a short amount of time :)
Triumph is a brewery so naturally we had to try some beer!
I’m not a beer drinker by any means but I gave one a whirl and slugged it down.
We each started off with an appetizer.
Jay had soft pretzels.
And I tried fried pickles for the first time!! I think Snookie would be proud :)  I will say that I was slightly disappointed.  I thought they would have been slices of pickles instead of spears.  But they were delicious nonetheless.
I had delicious fish tacos that came with a great mixed green salad!  I can never say no when there are fish tacos on the menu!
Jay had a chicken sandwich that unknowingly came with fries.
So he ordered a big bowl of Parmesan truffle fries.  I don’t think anyone was complaining :)
We love Triumph because of the food and atmosphere!  It is a gastropub so beer drinkers can get their fix and foodies can try something new.  I highly recommend you check it out if you’re ever in Philadelphia or one of their other locations in Princeton, NJ or New Hope, NJ!

My pre run meal.

In September I completed my first half marathon.  And I had been running since then, just not with very high intensity.  I think I was kind of burnt out and needed a break.
But in January I began training again.  We had plans of completing another half next weekend but plans changed and we no longer are.  Looks like I’m just going to be extra prepared when one does come my way!
As most runners know, it is important to properly fuel your body before a long run.  There are tons of different theories and ideas out there but really it is all about figuring out what works best for you.
I’ve come to realize that this pre-run meal is not only amazingly delicious, but is a perfect combo for fueling my runs!
I call it… GBT melts, or gooey bacon tomato melts.
This was actually a breakfast we ate growing up.  I recently asked my Mom if it was actually something she made because I had faint (and fond) memories  of eating it and wanted to make sure it wasn’t a dream.  Yes, food is dreamy to me.
Normally I make the GBT melt on a plain ole english muffin. But I was sent a loaf of Hearty Wheat with Flax bread from Nature’s Pride + Foodbuzz and thought it would be even better to fuel my run!
1 slice of bread contains:
100 calories
1.5 g of fat
0g saturated fat
0g trans fat
0 mg cholesterol
130 mg sodium
17g carbs
3g fiber
4g sugar
5g protein
You will need:
•1 slice of Nature’s Pride Hearty Wheat with Flax
•1 medium tomato
•4 slices of microwave bacon
•1 oz. cheddar cheese
•1 tsp butter
•1 tsp flour
•1 TBS skim milk
1.) Slice tomato and microwave bacon for 1 minute on a paper towel.
2.) Now here comes the fun part! Ok, so I understand that when you make a roux (a thickening agent for sauces and such) you melt the butter, then slowly add flour, then milk.  But for this recipe I found it works best if you add the butter, flour, milk and cheese all at the same time.  Once you add the ingredients and the pot is heated at a medium heat, continually stir until everything is well mixed and the cheese melts.  It will become a cheesy sauce within a matter of 3-4 minutes.

3.) Next, it is time to plate!  Begin with the bread, sliced in half.  You can toast the bread but I actually prefer it untoasted.  I feel like I can taste the bread more and it has a better texture this way.  Then, add sliced tomato.
Then add the bacon followed by the cheese sauce.
I also recently received a french press from Jay for my birthday!  I love it because it makes a really great, strong cup of coffee in about 3 minutes.  And the amount it makes is just perfect and the right amount of caffeine I need to fuel my run.

So satisfying and energizing I promise you’ll be able to run and run and run!  And with all this fueling and running but nowhere to run…I might just be ready for a marathon in no time!
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value*
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • 0 %
  • Protein 5g

Hop on over to…The Pop Shop!

Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong  era?  I know I’m not alone here because I know a lot of people feel as though they can relate to different time periods.  If I had to choose a time to live in, it would be the 50s!  I just love the way everything looked from the clothing to the kitchen appliances.
So I may be a little biased when I tell you The Pop Shop,  located in Collingswood, NJ is one of the most fun places to dine!
I will forewarn you that it is a very busy place.  Especially on the weekends!  So expect to wait a little bit before being seated.  And there are tons of kids because it is a family friendly restaurant, so if you don’t like kids then don’t even bother.  But, Collingswood is a really cute town with a bunch of shops to check out so if you don’t mind waiting there is entertainment nearby.

The menus are newspapers so not only is it fun to read but also looks really funny when you glance around the room and everyone is reading a newspaper.
Jay and I visited with his sister Tory and her friend Hunter while they were on spring break.

I started off with an unsweetened iced tea.
Tory and Hunter had milkshakes!
As if I didn’t love The Pop Shop enough, Bobby Flay also did a Throwdown there!  They are known for their grilled cheese sandwiches, which is what the Throwdown was all about and Bobby won. His sandwich was 5 B’s which  included brie, goat cheese, bacon and tomato!  You can still order the sandwich anytime you please :)
I had a small caesar side salad.  It was pretty basic but tasty.

I had the Newtown, which is cheddar cheese, grainy mustard and caramelized onions.
Jay had Maryland fries: french fries with Old Bay seasoning.
And a create your own chicken sandwich.  He chose chicken, cheddar cheese and bacon.
Tory had some sliders.
And mozzarella fries.
Hunter had the Eldridge which was mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and house dressing.
As always we had a great experience at The Pop  Shop and my craving for a great grilled cheese was satisfied.  While my love for the 50s may never fully be filled, next time I need my fix I know exactly where I’ll go ;)



Spring Mix

There’s a popular dessert recipe in my family with an inappropriate name.  Sure there are other names for this dessert, but the real name is politically incorrect.  Though I decided that it must be shared because everyone, and I mean everyone, loves this recipe.
For the sake of being polite, we’ll call it…
Spring Mix
You will need:
•3 cups Cheerios
•3 cups Rice Chex
•3 cups Corn Chex
•3 cups pretzel sticks
•3 cups dry roasted peanuts
•1 bag M&Ms
•3 bags white chocolate chips

1.) Combine all ingredients except M&Ms and white chocolate in a large bowl.
2.) Put white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every 30-45 seconds until melted.  Continue to stir once chocolate is melted so it starts to cool.

3.) Pour melted chocolate over cereal and stir together.

4.) Then stir, stir, stir!  Make sure everything is very well coated.  Once coated, add the M&Ms  and continue to stir.

5.) Let cool for about an hour and allow mix to harden.  Then break into chunks and store in a dry airtight container.

Still wondering the real name of this delicious concoction?  Well,  here’s a hint.  The first word is the color of egg shells and the second word is what you put out to the curb once a week.  Got it ;)?
Does this politically incorrect  name stop me from eating it?  Not a chance.  It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolatey. Just make it and give it a try, I bet you’ll be too busy munching to even care.

Got my fill at The Capital Grill.

Working as a server has its perks.  Sure, making fast cash is nice and convenient.  But sometimes it can be a drag when it is a slow night or you wait on too many cheap people.  I could go on forever but that is for another time.
One of the best perks about working for a restaurant is the great discounts they usually offer.  Because I work for Darden, I can dine at any of their restaurants and get 25% off of the bill for up to 8 guests, not including alcohol.
The Capital Grill was recently added to the Darden family so we now have the privledge of using our discount there!  In case you aren’t familiar with The Capital Grill, it is a upscale restaurant that specializes in steak and seafood.  I wouldn’t normally be able to dine here because it is pretty expensive, but with  my discount my family was able to enjoy a great night out!
Mom & Dad
My sister Carrie & brother in law Ryan.

Jay & I
Dinner started off with a fantastic bread basket.  I actually skipped this part because  I knew I’d fill up too quickly to enjoy my meal.  But everyone said it was delicious.
I also had a Stoli Doli, which is The Capital Grill’s signature drink.  It’s pineapple infused vodka!  They make it on the premises and it is so refreshing and light.  I was expecting it to be a little strong but the flavors were so delicate and I wanted to drink buckets of this drink!
We tried two appetizers and this one was my favorite.  Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella with fresh tomato and basil.  The mozzarella was perfectly melted and the prosciutto was crispy so the textures were a perfect match.  The tomatoes were deliciously ripe and together everything just melted in your mouth.
We also tried calamari that was mixed with cherry peppers.  For whatever reason I didn’t catch a picture of it but I did get  a photo of my plate with the calamari so I figured it was the next best thing.  I like calamari but don’t love it.  So while  I enjoyed this dish it wouldn’t be something that I could finish on my own.  I did like the peppers with the calamari because it added another texture and flavor component that made it more interesting.
Right before dinner I ordered a glass of wine.  Their wine menu is so extensive and is actually longer than the actual food menu.  I talked with the server who recommended this pinot grigio with my main course.
Crab legs!  I’m not a huge steak fan so I stuck with my favorite seafood.  I really liked that they did all the dirty work and all you had to do was  pop the meat out of the half cut shells.  The crab meat was sweet and while I was worried this wouldn’t fill me, I was feeling great by the end.
All sides come a la carte, so if you order an entree it just comes as is, without any sides.  The sides are served family style so we tried the creamed spinach and lobster mac and cheese!  I also had a small piece of my Dad’s steak.
Jay had roasted chicken.  The literally give you a roasted chicken!
For dessert we had this massive tray of treats. I mentioned that it was my Mom’s birthday and was expecting them to bring a small treat or not even acknowledge the celebration.  And when the server brought out the tray I thought she was going to show us what we could possibly have but instead she offered us the whole tray!  So note to everyone, if you want a great birthday treat, The Capital Grill will treat you to dessert ;)
I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to dine at The Capital Grill and had such a great experience.  I’d recommend dining here if you have the opportunity for the food of course and also to enjoy the way the staff makes you feel like you are fancy.  Would I go back?  Most definitely!  Even if I didn’t have my discount :)

Newman’s Own Video + Recipe.

I recently participated in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s program where I was given the opportunity to come up with a tasty recipe using a Newman’s Own product.
Several weeks after I entered I received a package that included these products:
3 jars of sauce: Tomato & Basil Bombolina Pasta Sauce, Cabernet Marinara Pasta Sauce and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce.  3 bottles of salad dressing: Lighten Up Caesar Salad Dressing, Family Recipe Italian Salad Dressing ad Lighten up Raspberry & Walnut Salad Dressing. And last but not least, 2 coupons for 2 of Newman’s Own pizzas!
I have yet to make anything delicious with these products but I definitely plan on it and Jay and I have big plans to use the pizza coupons for a pizza night :)
Umm and I was also given a Flip camera!  The only catch was that I had to make a video that included a recipe and me making it.
So while I reluctantly show you  this…here is my video debut as a blogger.
I’m planning on making more videos now that I actually have a video camera!  Thank you again Foodbuzz and Newman’s Own!  Hope everyone has a great weekend :)