Saturday, October 1, 2011
So I've moved to a self-hosted blog, which shifts focus to recipes, my travels and a few snapshots of my life. It's definitely a step towards a more clean and structured blog, and I'm loving it so far.
Please check out the new The Salty n' Sweet, and I'd love to hear from you!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
One of my absolute favorite things about Charlottesville is the food.
There are so many amazing restaurants and cafes that serve delicious food, all with their own unique flavor.
I also can’t wait until next year, when I can take advantage of Charlottesville’s flourishing wine scene.
But, for those days you’re not eating out, this town always has plenty of grocery stores, health food shops, a Whole Foods and the best Saturday Farmer’s Market.
I only wish that the market was available seven days a week, because the variety of local, organic and sustainable products are really great to see.
There’s everything from produce, baked goods, poultry and meats, to flowers, jewelry and stands selling empanadas and popsicles.
On this week’s trip, I left with two bell peppers, a red onion, a giant bunch of kale, two tomatoes (one heirloom), and a cucumber.
I also grabbed a jar of fig+lime jam from Charlottesville native, Jam According to Daniel. I loved this unique flavor combination and the generous chunks of fruit.
The best part, the whole trip only cost me $13!
With the produce, I created a snack plate of raw veggies.
And because everything was so fresh, I only needed to sprinkle some salt and black pepper for seasoning.
It was my first time tasting an heirloom tomato, after admiring how beautiful they looked in pictures, and wow were they delicious!
I was so glad that my first heirloom tomato was local and organic, because it was pretty much like juicy candy. No exaggeration.
I also made some pita sandwiches, using (non-local) boneless chicken thighs and market peppers cooked on the skillet, and fresh basil leaves, with pita and feta cheese from local producers.
So much flavor packed in a portable little pouch.
And with the kale, I made kale chips!
Torn into bite-sized pieces, baked at 350* and sprinkled with just a little salt and pepper, they’re crunchy and satisfying. For me, they’re even more addicting than chips!
I also grabbed my go-to spicy red pepper hummus with sliced cucumbers.
And with the fig+lime jam? Nothing better than as a topper for my cinnamon raisin bagel.
Now that I’ve had a great week of eats and exploration, I’m all packed and set for HLS.
I’m so excited to attend my first blogging conference, and I can’t wait to meet all the people whose blogs I’ve been following for years.
But, I’m also a little nervous since I have no idea what to expect! Overwhelming, to say the least.
The saddest part is saying goodbye to Wesley.
We’ve been able to see each other pretty much every day for the last nine months, and going back to long distance will be rough.
But what happens will happen, and I’m completely up for the ride.
And Charlottesville, I’ll be back before you know it!
It’s been a few days since my last post, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to share!
Most of my days have been relaxing, filled with hours of reading (getting back into Holocaust-related stories!), quiet walks and watching many episodes Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Seriously, that family is hilarious.
I’ve also picked up running, since my bike couldn’t make the trip down to Cville with me.
I realized that my aversion to running didn’t have to do as much with disliking running, but had more to do with putting too much pressure on myself to run many miles.
Instead of being happy with 3-4 four-mile runs a week, I was trying to do two six or seven-mile runs with one four-mile run a week.
Just anticipating those long runs would put me off entirely, but since I realized that I’m not training for a race, I haven’t been feeling that unnecessary pressure.
And for the last week, I’ve been really happy with my short but sweet jogs. But then again, with the insane amount of people at UVa who run, it’s no surprise that I have a different motivation.
This morning, my run led to discovering a new trail around Wesley’s apartment.
Trail running was difficult, with so many obstacles to jump over and duck under.
But it was a nice change of pace from the usual asphalt.
And my reward for a great workout? An iced coffee from Greenberry’s. It’s a local favorite, with customers lining up at all hours of the day.
I also picked up some groceries, including some travel packs of Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter and sardines in a cute little tin.
And let’s not forget yesterday’s adventures!
After almost a year of reading her blog, I finally met Allie from Live Laugh Eat at Cville Coffee.
It’s been the second time our paths have crossed, the first was when she visited Hong Kong while I was also there studying abroad.
We spent a great hour talking blogs, careers and the upcoming Healthy Living Summit, while sipping iced teas.
But our conversation ended when Allie had to start her shift at Great Harvest.
It was so strange seeing Great Harvest in person. It’s definitely different from seeing it on Allie and Kath’s blogs.
It smelled amazing in the store (obviously!) and there were plenty of excited customers.
I was excited just seeing the amazing cookies and breads.
Allie served me a sample of their Popeye bread, which was so good! Made with Spinach, Red Pepper, Garlic, and Parmesan cheese, the Popeye is seriously packed with flavor.
I also stole away with a giant loaf of cheddar garlic…
…And a carrot raisin muffin.
I can’t wait to munch on these for snacks during the day.
After I left the bakery, I walked the short distance to Downtown.
Somehow, even on a Wednesday afternoon, the cafes, restaurants, stores and sidewalks were still packed with people!
I walked around for a few hours, with the goal of shopping foremost on my mind.
I’m not someone who goes on shopping sprees and buys hundred of dollars of clothes for an entire season. Instead, I like to buy a couple pieces here and there that I love!
And with Charlottesville’s many boutiques and cute shops, there are plenty of things to look at.
As it got dark, I broke for dinner at the popular Revolutionary Soup.
But more than just a huge variety of soups, they also have plenty of sandwiches, wraps and salads.
I went with the curried chicken salad, which is pretty much the same as a regular chicken salad, but with added curry.
But unlike the regular, it was actually pretty light and not too weighed-down in creaminess.
So what did I walk away with after all that shopping?
Two new dresses! I could live in dresses all year if it didn’t get so freakin’ cold in the winter…
One was a long and simple printed dress from Bittersweet Boutique, and the other was a flirty little thing from Urban Outfitters.
I loved both because they’re definitely different from any other dresses I own. The colors on the shorter dress were awesome, and it fit perfectly. And I’ve always wanted to own a longer dress, and this version didn’t make me look even shorter.
And after Wesley came home, we headed to the local frozen yogurt shop, Arch’s.
It’s not a serve-your-own kind of place, but they have amazing flavors and toppings.
Even though I’ve always wanted to try the gooey brownie topping, I went with peanut butter fro-yo with pretzels and coconut instead.
Win for the salty n’ sweet combo
And wow, this was a long post, but since I had so much stuff to share, I’m not surprised.
Today’s my last day in Charlottesville () before heading to Philly for the Healthy Living Summit, so I’m going to make the most of it!
Tell Me About You!
Do you like to go on shopping sprees, or just buy a few things at a time?
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Yesterday, after more than nine months away, Wesley and I finally returned to President Jefferson’s territory: The University of Virginia.
This year is Wesley’s first as a resident assistant, and as one, he had to move into his new dorm a week earlier than other students.
So on Friday morning, we rose way too early, at 4AM, to make the 5 1/2-hour drive down to Charlottesville and avoid DC traffic.
It was the first time Wesley had ever driven to Charlottesville by himself, and I was more than happy to keep him company.
I couldn’t replace the comfort of his parents, but I’d like to think I did a good job of entertaining him on our long car ride
And at 10AM, Wesley and I, along with an entire car full of dorm essentials, arrived safe, though exhausted.
But since we couldn’t pick up the keys until noon, we spent two hours walking around Central Grounds, reminiscing and taking in the beautiful summer day.
And after just a few laborious hours, we finally finished rearranging his room, unpacking his car, and setting everything up.
We were pretty impressed with what we did to make the formerly barren white dorm room into a comfortable bedroom.
Lots of moving action required serious fuel.
Along with snacking on insane amounts of wheat thins and cocoa roasted almonds, we made a trip to Panera, where I ate a Fuji apple salad and the new lemon chicken orzo soup.
And after relaxation and a three-hour nap, we grabbed a quick dinner at Chipotle with my favorite chicken salad.
The best part of the day was the end.
We headed to downtown Charlottesville, which is the most idyllic downtown area.
There are endless stores and restaurants, and plenty of people gathered on a Friday night.
One of my favorite places in Charlottesville is The Flat, a creperie tucked away on a side street. You’d definitely miss it if you weren’t looking for it.
There are so many savory and sweet crepes to try, but our cashier recommended the lemon sugar crepe, perfect for a summer afternoon.
With our delicious dessert in hand, we headed to our final destination.
I’d wanted to see Crazy Stupid Love for a while, and I was so glad that I didn’t wait until it came out on DVD. Go see the movie for it’s hilarious lines, surprising plot, and hottie Ryan Gosling!
Tune in for more adventures from Charlottesville…
Tell Me About You!
Would you rather make a long drive at 4AM or 11PM?
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
As strange as it is to say, I’m officially twenty years young today!
Gone are the teenage years, and I can’t wait to make the most of my third decade
You can substitute any kind of protein powder and any kind of flour you’d like. And definitely join me in adding some festive sprinkles on top!
Today, I’m actually working all day, so I don’t really have a chance to celebrate.
But thankfully, I had an entire day off yesterday to enjoy my birthday.
Wesley, being the awesome boyfriend that he is, took me to The Gravity Vault, an amazing gym covered with rock climbing walls.
But, I definitely learned that as fun and easy as rock climbing looks, it’s hard work!
Not only did I have to conquer my fear of heights, I had to use all of my [lack of] upper body strength.
This morning, I’m completely sore, and let’s just say it’ll take some practice before I’m comfortable with the sport.
After all of that exercise, I was ready for something cool and sweet.
Who needs a birthday cake when there’s frozen yogurt?
We hit up Red Mango in Summit, N.J. and left with a full belly of mochi, fresh fruit and sweet fro-yo.
It’ll take a while for me to settle into my 20s, but I have a feeling that it’s going to be a blast!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Every morning, I get at least four emails from all kinds of deal-of-the-day companies.
Most of these deals don’t catch my eye, but once in a while, I find a coupon that I know is worth my money, and I know I’ll enjoy.
Last week, I bought a Groupon for Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano, an Italian restaurant in my town.
Although the restaurant is owned by an Indian businessman, it’s food aims for classic Italian.
I’d been to Pasquale’s before, and Wesley actually worked there last summer, but I’ve never been there with a budget of $40!
The deal was $19 for $40 of food, plus a slice of ricotta cheesecake, and you can bet we took advantage of it.
Every meal begins with a variety of breads, from this soft and fluffy bread topped with a tomato/onion sauce…
To this more ordinary bread basket.
But the best part was this garlic and herb infused olive oil.
I definitely didn’t miss the butter with this!
After stuffing our faces with delicious carbs, our appetizer of calamari fritti arrived.
Although the calamari was covered with delicious herbs and spices, it wasn’t crispy at all.
And even with the great flavor, the texture ruined the dish.
But thankfully, the main course more than made up for the calamari. We ordered a pasta dish, the barese with whole wheat black pepper fettuccini.
It came with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes in a garlic oil sauce.
I loved the fresh flavors and the hint of cheese.
Our second dish was the fra diavlo chicken dish.
Along with half a chicken, it was served with potatoes, mushrooms and cherry peppers in a white wine sauce.
I completely loved this! The sauce was amazing, and the chicken was well cooked and flavorful. It almost tasted like the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.
The only downside?
With so much rich and delicious food, it was impossible not to feel weighed-down and lethargic.
But, for a once-in-a-while meal, it was perfect.
Thankfully (or not), I always have room for dessert
The perfect ending to this meal was a tiny sliver of ricotta cheesecake. And although it wasn’t the creamy American version, this cheesecake was not-too-sweet and didn’t add to much extra to my too-full belly.
And the best part of the night was seeing the before ($52.50) price of the meal and the after ($9.70).
Thanks Groupon, for this awesome meal out
Tell Me About You!
Do you use Groupons? What was the best deal you’ve ever bought?