Tag Archives: wine

When salads grow in bags

When I lived in Pittsburgh I had a 10 minute drive to work.  That meant on a good day I spent 20 minutes in the car. And on top of that the grocery store AND gym were only 2 minutes from work, and a quick stop on the way home only cost me an extra 20 minutes. I didn’t realize just how incredible that was until now.

Fast forward to today, and I’m driving 30 to 40 minutes each way and the grocery store is another 10 to 15 minutes from my house.

I normally do my shopping on Mondays because the weekends are busy, and when you factor in that every time I go food shopping lately there happens to be a downpour…

…well, you get the picture.

downpour buffalo

For the first month after we moved to Buffalo I could not figure out how my days were disappearing so quickly and I really struggled to manage my time.

That’s when I decided that something had to change… and that something was dinner.  Luck for me, one of the closest stores is Wegman’s, and they do not disappoint!  They offer so many different options that are both healthy and quick!

This week on grocery night, I picked up a delicious sushi appetizer for us to split:

wegman's sushi

Spicy tuna with a side of merlot, yummy.  While we snacked on the sushi and caught up about our days, I got to work cooking some chicken and sautéing some mushrooms for our salads.

roasted chicken sauteed mushroom

I have seen a variety of these ‘salad in a bag’ ideas before, but I never really explored their full potential until now.  Let me tell you, they are a game changer.  I am always discouraged by salads because it feels like it takes decades to chop up lettuce, dry it off, chop up the veggies, cook the meat, etc.   But this is so easy!  It comes with a little pre-portioned packet of toppings and dressing.  It works great as a side salad, or the main course.

ginger almond salad in a bag

All you have to do is toss it on 2 plates, top with protein and any extra toppings you prefer, and voila!

ginger chicken salad

Dinner is served!  (And most of all… prep and clean-up is easy!)


A Few Things That are Making me Smile

Happy hump day, my friends!

Today was an odd day.  Nothing was exactly bad about it, but it felt long and exhausting and I was grateful for the little things that made me smile.  So I thought I would share them with you 🙂

1. Tomorrow is ‘Friday’

Thank goodness for the 3 day weekend, family time, and a chance to recoup.

2. This adorable new purchase that I found at TJ Maxx for $10


The colors and the saying spoke to me just perfectly.

3. This super healthy dinner


Kris knew I was having a rough day so he graciously poured me a glass of wine when I got home.  Then he cut up all of our Easter eggs for egg salad which I ate straight out of the bowl with a side of tortilla chips and french onion dip.  I’m not proud.  Although last night I had chips, french onion dip, and jelly beans for dinner.  So I think it’s safe to say that I’ve used up all of my “new job and life, stress eating” free passes.

4. Leftover chili and cornbread for lunch with the juiciest blackberries EVER


5. Wegman’s chocolate cherry trail mix


Caution: you will want to eat the whole bag in one sitting.

6. B snuggles


B always knows when I’ve had a rough day or when I’m feeling sad.  She sure knows how to press my buttons sometimes, but she always knows when I need some extra loving.  She also knows when I’m taking her picture and likes to attack the camera.  Luckily I snuck one in before the attack.  AND she ate both breakfast and dinner today!

7. Emails & texts from old coworkers/friends

I received some texts and emails this week from my old coworkers that made me smile.

8. This SNL Serial skit

If you have not listened to the Serial podcast, you need to stop what you’re doing and start listening.  And then you should probably plan to accomplish nothing for the next 8-10 hrs.  I have listened to the podcast series almost twice now, and I still can’t get enough.  It’s the best thing to happen to road trips since satellite radio  Yesterday Kris sent me the SNL skit based on the podcast and it was too good.  If you’ve listened, you have to see this:

I hope some of these things will make you smile today as well!

Life’s Short, Drink the Wine

About a month ago I came to the realization that I was not going to earn any free flights with my airline rewards points by the time they expired, but as a consolation prize the airline allowed me to choose from a variety of magazine subscriptions with my points. (I’d much rather be planning a trip to the beach, but what can you do.)  As I was reading through my brand new Health magazine this weekend I stumbled onto an article call “Steep This to Skip Cancer”.

As an avid tea drinker, I was immediately interested in this article.  It was based on a study of women who drank black tea daily vs. women who did not, and the correlation between the tea drinkers and ovarian cancer risk.  According to the article, studies showed a 31% decrease in risk for the tea drinkers.  I’ve heard all about flavonoids and antioxidants, but this just further validates my tea and possibly more importantly – wine drinking (also a major source of flavonoids).

So naturally, I had a large glass of the good stuff with dinner last night.  We made an awesome salmon marinate (sesame oil, garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar, sesame seeds) with a side of roasted asparagus.  Not too bad for a Monday.


Today, on the menu:

Breakfast – English muffin with PB and mixed berries


Lunch –  Leftover chicken burger on English muffin with swiss cheese, baby spinach, cucumber, 2 clementines


Snack – Chobani yogurt


Dinner – leftover salmon

Have a great day!

Valentine’s Day + Cupid’s Chase 5k

Good morning!  I can’t believe how fast the weekend is going.  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!

Friday evening started with a nice big glass bottle of wine.  This was the first time I tried this Mountain Merlot (I am totally guilty of buying based solely on the bottle design and name) and it was delicious.  Even though I only had a 4 day work week, it seemed like the longest week ever.


As evidenced by the fact that I tried my hardest to “uncork” this screw-off wine top.  (oopsie) But hey, I was on a mission – I was getting in there one way or another.


I’m not usually one to brag, but I feel like I would be doing the flowers an injustice if I didn’t show the beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet Kris sent me at work on Friday.  It was a very unique mix of flowers and I really liked the arrangement (communityflower.com coming through clutch).  I used to get really embarrassed about the attention that usually comes with receiving flowers at work, but I seem to have gotten over it real fast. 🙂


Saturday morning we bundled up and headed into downtown Pittsburgh to run the Cupid’s Chase 5k (check that one off the races to complete in 2015 checklist).  I actually didn’t even check the temperature but I would guess it was in the low 20’s (the warmest it will be here for a couple days) and it was snowing.  To be honest it was a little dangerous… the snow was coming down and the trail was covered so it was a little slick in some places.  But we finished in around 31 minutes and we didn’t even stop to walk once (our best yet)!


For dinner we decided to try a new-to-us Italian restaurant Sarafino’s.  The restaurant isn’t very big, but we arrived just in time to get a table for two.  The atmosphere was very warm and inviting and it was the first time either of us have gone to a restaurant that is BYOB.  We brought a bottle of pinot noir and started with some warm bread with dipping oil and the goat cheese bruschetta appetizer:


For my main course I got the “Pasquale’s” – a yummy mix of penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, mushrooms, feta cheese, and spinach. (Kris got the “Sarafino’s” and it was delicious as well).


If you’re looking for a small Italian restaurant that is off the beaten path, I would highly recommend it!

On the agenda today – probably a lot of hibernating and chocolate chip cookies.  It is cold out!!


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