28 September 2012

Sleepless in Sacramento

Well, not exactly Sacramento, but I'm staying close, and I have been sleepless on occasion. I've been in Elk Grove for a week long class. I didn't get a car so I'm limited in my foraging for food. Luckily for me, there's a BJ's Brewhouse across the parking lot of my hotel.

I finally got to try watermelon and feta in a salad together! Friends, I've had this salad 3 days in a row!! Not too bad for $2.95. It's under the Snacks and Small Bites section of the menu.

Fresh Watermelon and Feta Salad
 It is sooo refreshing and yummy with the cool watermelon, arugula, mixed greens, pickled red onions, mint, parsley, honey vinaigrette and FETA! I will definitely be concocting this at home even though it's so cheap to have at BJ's.

This has also been a repeat offender in my meals this week.

Crispy Fried Artichokes with lemon and Garlic Aioli (only $3.95)

The first time I got the 2 above featured snacks, I also ordered another item from the snack menu...

Gourmet Mac and Cheese

This was truly comforting to me - rotini pasta with three cheeses, chipotle and garlic and topped with seasoned bread crumbs and Applewood smoked bacon. I had a few alpha state-inducing bites before I packed up the rest of it and the fried artichokes for later and moved on to something else that was very comforting...

Oktoberfest Nirvana

Dessert was not even part of the plan, but I was there with my friend (and co-worker) Christina, talking, laughing and being away from work and kids and It. Just. Happened! I make no apologies but I enjoyed every last mother grabbing bite of that cinnamon beignet, smothered in apples and caramel and ice cream, etc. Thank goodness they left off the candied almonds or I'd be searching for bigger pants right now!

Speaking of nirvana, I attained it again after we ventured over to a nearby Asian Mart that specializes in Filipino food. Note: I feel bad that I did not get any of the hot food from their cafe (it just didn't call to me like my family's food does), but I did pick up some Ube bread (so good!).

Ube is a purple yam and I first became aware of it when my mom brought some Ube ice cream to my home and Emi and her cousins couldn't get enough of the bright purple treat. I even had some Ube vines growing in my back yard a couple of years ago. (Will have to get back on that horse again someday!)

While the Ube bread was really good (still is!), this bottle is what helped me reach another level of coconut heaven.

I am an easy sell when it comes to coconut items and anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows this. I like coconut everything and this stuff just blew my mind. There were roasted coconut slices in this yummy bottle of roasted young coconut juice. I think there was definitely truth in this advertising...

 And last night a kind Singaporean classmate took pity on me in my wheels-less state and chauffeured me and Christina up to Sprouts and we entered yet another level of heaven. Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but my body has been craving apples and healthier foods so I was glad to be somewhere where healthy food is abundantly available. BJ's has been nice but ...

That first glass of red wine is for the health benefits, the rest are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves*
* ganked from one of those hilarious cards circulating around FaceBook. ;.)

I got some produce and some wonderful chipotle salsa, bleu cheese and bacon potato salad and sundried tomato orzo salad. I had a healthy smorgasbord all to my self. Speaking of smorgasbord, does anyone remember a place called Duff's Smorgasbord? I recall eating at this buffet place as a child when I lived in Florida and I was disappointed to learn that there was no Duff's in OK. I guess I got over that because I haven't thought of Duff's in years!

Today I'm cleaning out my hotel fridge for lunch and missing my man. We have been married for 16 years today and this trip is the longest we have been apart. It. Has. Been. A. Long. Week. And I am ready to get back to my home and my family.

Home Away From Home

I have learned a lot while being here (which is good because that was the goal!) and I've made new friends and connections. I've enjoyed the weather and the food - which, thankfully I've had to walk to retrieve - and I've had some much needed solitude to take care of work things and some reading (I plan to finish Hunger Games by the time my plane touches down in OKC tomorrow)...but I am so ready to come home.

Happy Anniversary, Baby! I love you and I will see you soon!

P.S. Yes, I've probably "put some weight" as my mom would say... oh well!


  1. Happy Anniversary! It's hard being apart on those special days -- hope the homecoming is worth the wait! Thanks, too, for a great food review... nirvana, did you say? :)

    1. Thanks, Kim. The homecoming was very nice (as evidenced by our mustache lazy Sunday.) Nirvana it was! Toasted coconut water! I will have to see if they have any at the Asian Supermarket tomorrow on my way home from work. I loved hitting the Asian Mart because I left with quite a bit of food and only spent $8.99! That Ube bread was nice to nosh on and I actually toasted the rest on Sunday at breakfast and served it with some fresh fried eggs. Big hit with the family. Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather!


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