Date Night: Cooking Class

Y’all I survived my first week of grad school!! I was absolutely exhausted after the week but am so happy about my decision to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my supportive husband so I thought I would share a fun date idea!

My husband and I typically don’t do gifts for our anniversary, we would rather do something fun together. For our first anniversary we saw “Book of Mormon,” for our second anniversary we went and got massages, for our third anniversary we were just happy that we were able to leave our 2.5 month old baby with my sister to go out to dinner for the night and for our fourth anniversary we decided to take a cooking class at Central Market.

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Central Market (for those of you that aren’t familiar with it) is an AMAZING grocery store. It is definitely my favorite place to stock up on groceries for the family. They have an amazing produce section, butcher, bakery, cheese, coffee and wine/beer section. They also have an area with already prepared foods that you can purchase and heat up at home. They also do cooking classes throughout the month. The class we signed up for was titled Hatch Steakhouse since it was during the Hatch Chile festival at Central Market (best 2 weeks to shop at Central Market).

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When we arrived at the class, they had a little appetizer of chips, salsa and queso out for everyone to enjoy, as well as water and tea. Once we started cooking, they began pouring the wine. We then began to learn some cooking skills. Not only do they teach you how to make all the recipes but they give you random tidbits of information regarding knife skills and why you sometimes mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately from each other.

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Learning how to cook

This class was JAM PACKED with so much different food. Strangely, my favorite thing wasn’t the steak or the potatoes it was this zucchini side dish we made (Calabacitas). We actually have made it at home twice now – really easy and delicious. As a future RD I’m always trying to get in some more veggies!

Both my husband and I would highly recommend these classes to anyone interested in doing one. It is a great date night – you get both food and entertainment! The classes typically start around 6:30 and end around 9:30. The food is definitely high quality and who knows, you may actually learn a recipe that you want to recreate at home. Cooking classes are also really fun to do as a Girls Night. The only negative (in my opinion) to these classes, is that some of the recipes really are so complex that I personally wouldn’t recreate them at home but it is probably nice for the “more advanced” home chefs to learn some more challenging recipes.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Marathon training starts in about two weeks!

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San Francisco and Napa Vacation Part 1

EEEK! It’s been way too long since I last posted — summer school took up a lot more time than I had originally anticipated. It also didn’t help my marathon training progress but that is a post for another day! I want to get this post up about our SF and Napa vacation before I forget all the details! This trip is one of my favorite trips that my husband and I have been on – I highly recommend this trip to all people that enjoy eating and drinking wine 🙂

When I decided to quit my job and go back to school, my husband and I decided to take a vacation during my week and a half of downtime. We had tried to go to San Francisco/Napa back over New Year’s at the start of 2013 but it ended up being a little bit of a disaster of a trip. The moment we landed in San Francisco, my husband started feeling sick but “toughed it out” (his words, not mine) to go out that evening for NYE and then go exploring on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, after a dinner in China Town that evening, he got TERRIBLE food poisoning so we had to cancel our wine tour and hang out at the hotel all day. When we returned from the trip (after flight delays of course), we got to our car and the battery was dead, and then finally made it home and it was 42* in our house because our heat had went out! Needless to say, we needed to go back!

We left on Wednesday and landed in San Francisco that evening and headed straight to the Westin St. Francis — we absolutely loved this hotel! Great location, great service and our room was really nice w/a great view. Once we got checked in and changed, we headed over to Harris’ – The San Francisco SteakHouse. We were really excited for this dinner as my husband has really been wanting to take me to a nice steakhouse. Unfortunately, the food was horrible! We had a great time together but the only part of my meal I enjoyed was my salad. My steak (along with my husband’s) very poorly cooked and the quality of meat was not up to par. Overall it was a very disappointing experience food wise — the service was great but for the price we paid for our dinner, it definitely was NOT worth it. 

Thursday, we slept in and got in a quick workout and then walked to go get some breakfast. We had a really great breakfast and the most amazing lattes!

Beautiful, Delicious Latte

Beautiful, Delicious Latte


After breakfast, we walked over to the San Francisco Giants Stadium, we got so lucky that the Giants were playing a day game on Thursday! They were playing the Cardinals, we got really great seats using http://www.seatgeek.com — and really enjoyed ourselves. It was a gorgeous day and it is so crazy how the ballpark is right on the water!

Gorgeous Ballpark

Gorgeous Ballpark

The crowd was great and even though beers cost $10.25 each, we loved it ha. I really enjoy baseball games and checking out other ballparks but it definitely isn’t as fun as watching my Mariners. 

Jim and myself in front of AT&T park

Jim and myself in front of AT&T park

After the game, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before heading off to Bourbon and Branch which is a Speakeasy. We had to have a reservation and a password to get into the Speakeasy and they had a set of “rules” to follow which included no cameras so I couldn’t get any pictures of the DELICIOUS cocktails we had. Both of us really enjoyed this and then went and had a great Italian meal afterwards!

Waiting outside Bourbon and Branch

Waiting outside Bourbon and Branch

Friday was our last day in San Francisco, we woke up (late due to me) and went running over the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, it was incredibly foggy but it was still beautiful and a fun touristy thing to do while getting in a run!

Golden Gate Bridge Running

Golden Gate Bridge Running

After our run, we wanted to revisit this place where we had a really incredible breakfast on our last trip to San Francisco — the Taylor Street Coffee Shop. It was just as incredible as we remembered! The millionaire bacon is so delicious – sweet and savory all at the same time. I had swedish pancakes and fruit and my husband had the fisherman’s hash (we split the bacon) both were paired with freshly squeezed orange juice. It was the perfect meal before getting in the car and heading to Napa!

Millionaire bacon & fruit plate

Millionaire bacon & fruit plate


Jim's fisherman's hash

Jim’s fisherman’s hash


Posing with my pancakes

Posing with my pancakes

Next up a post about Napa — hopefully it won’t be a month before I post it!

What is one of your favorite vacations you have been on?
What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?

Date Night in Dallas: HG Sply Co and Steel City Pops

First — thank you to everyone for your sweet comments on my previous blog post! It was amazing to see that kind of support for my goal of becoming an RD! I’m definitely ready to get started on it! Today is my last day at work which is crazy! I’ll miss my co-workers but I definitely know I am making the right decision in going back to school. Now, on to the blog post for the day!

My husband and I try to go on date nights every so often. It is a fun way to make sure we have good conversations, have no distractions (tv, work, phones) and just get out and enjoy each other’s company! Lately my favorite place to go for either date night or a girls dinner is HG Sply Co for dinner and walk next door to Steel City Pops for dessert!

Strip on Greenville Ave with HG Sply Co and Steel City Pops

Strip on Greenville Ave with H&G Sply Co and Steel City Pops

HG Sply Co. is a restaurant based on the paleo diet. HG stands for Hunt and Gather, it was created to have simple clean food, classic drinks, and humble hospitality — which it does! Not everything on the menu is paleo but there are plenty of paleo options and everything is pretty much fresh, local and the best part — DELICIOUS.

A list of some of the local ingredients used at HG.

A list of some of the local ingredients used at HG.


We started with the ginger garlic hummus that came with cucumber, red bell pepper, granny smith apples, jicama, cauliflower and bacon chips (yes BACON). It was fabulous — it had a unique flavor to it and tasted extremely fresh with the fruit and veggies. The bacon was definitely a delicious touch. We are also fans of getting the nachos for an appetizer but decided to go a little healthier this time around.
Delicious hummus plate -- check out the bacon!

Delicious hummus plate — check out the bacon!


We both also started with a cocktail — we decided on the Moscow Mule (my personal favorite cocktail right now). They have a ton of different cocktail options and even have some infused liquors that they can make some specialty cocktails with. For you CrossFit lovers out there they even have a couple cocktails named after CrossFit moves like the Double Under!
Cheers! I love how Moscow Mules always come in copper cups.

Cheers! I love how Moscow Mules always come in copper cups.


Besides having great cocktails and appetizers, Monday-Friday at HG Sply Co they have a sunset toast. This is where they give out a free sample of a drink and thank everyone for coming while toasting to the day. When I went for a friend’s birthday they even announced it was her birthday and toasted in her honor! It is a nice touch to a restaurant that is always full.
Cheers!

Cheers!


We both really enjoyed our dinner, I had the Tex Mex Bowl, my husband had the ribs. Both of us were really satisfied without being overly full. Every dish I’ve had has been amazing but the Tex Mex Bowl is definitely my favorite — the egg just adds an extra touch!
Tex Mex Bowl

Tex Mex Bowl


Ribs with Fries

Ribs with Fries


My tips for HG Sply are — MAKE A RESERVATION, it is impossible to get a table inside without one without a long wait. You may be able to get a table at the bar but if you know you want to eat there, make a reservation. They do have the rooftop bar that does serve a limited menu as well if you don’t have a reservation. Cilantro is on almost EVERYTHING. If you don’t like cilantro make sure to request your dish without cilantro as it isn’t listed in the descriptions for most dishes. Have dinner around 6 or 6:30 so you can enjoy the sunset toast during the week. It is a fun little touch and a free drink! After dinner we headed up to the roof to check out the scene – it is a great place to enjoy a drink and they help combat the heat with numerous fans and shaded areas.
Great view of downtown

Great view of downtown


They normally have live music playing on the rooftop

They normally have live music playing on the rooftop

Herb garden growing on the roof

Herb garden growing on the roof


Finally it is time for dessert! We walked next-door to Steel City Pops. The entire shop is popsicles! They have fruit pops and creamy pops — both are equally delicious.
Lots of choices!

Lots of choices!


Both of us went with a fruit based popsicle — I had watermelon, Jim had pineapple jalepeno.
Delicious! Sitting outside on one of the many benches they have outside the shop.

Delicious! Sitting outside on one of the many benches they have outside the shop.


I’ve now had five different flavors at Steel City Pops and they have all been delicious. It is the perfect treat on a hot summer day! I highly recommend trying out the HG Sply Co and Steel City Pop combination — it really is the perfect date!

Do you and your significant other have regular date nights?
Any date night suggestions?
What is your favorite treat on a hot summer day?