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food

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

By food, recipes 5 Comments

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One of my goals for the week is to eat out less, so I whipped up my favorite quiche on Sunday morning to enjoy throughout the week for lunch. Something about eating quiche on a weekday makes me feel more like I’m indulging in a leisurely brunch instead of squeezing in a quick bite between work hours.

The secret ingredient in this particular quiche is simply a package of leek soup mix. Here’s the recipe, compliments of my friend Lauren.

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach – thawed and well drained
4 large eggs – lightly beaten
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 8 oz package leek soup mix
¼ tsp pepper
10 bacon slices – cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 9-inch deep dish pastry shell

Whisk together eggs, cream, soup mix and pepper. Stir in spinach, bacon, and cheeses. Pour mixture into frozen shell and place on baking sheet. Bake at 375˚ for 40-45 minutes.

Words of Wisdom for a Long Weekend

By food, holiday fun, life's a beach, lists, ruling at life 4 Comments

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I plan on making the most of the next 72 hours…starting with the fact that I’m already lounging on the beach. =)

As far as I’m concerned, the next three days are a mini-vacation. No work, no stress…just fun, sun, and more fun.

That being said, here are just a few ways you can celebrate the start of summer this weekend.

1. Wear sunblock. And keep wearing it all summer long.

2. Don’t drink and drive. There are cops everywhere, and I hear getting arrested sucks.

3. Drink a piña colada. It’s summer, and you’re on vacation.

4. Relax. Spend at least a few hours reading, snoozing or sipping champagne outside, whether it’s on a porch, near a pool or at the beach.

5. Listen to some fun music. My soundtrack for the next three days is shaping up to be Reel Big Fish Radio on Pandora. Nothing like soaking up some sunshine to the tune of some upbeat ska.

6. Don’t show up to cookouts empty-handed. If you’re too lazy (or hungover) to cook, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. Spread one package of cream cheese over the bottom of a medium-sized microwaveable casserole dish. Top that with one can of Hormel chili (no beans), and top that with one package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Voila! Taco dip! Pop it in the microwave for seven minutes when you get where you’re going. Serve it up with some tortilla chips and beer, and you’re golden.

7. Take at least a few minutes to remember what Memorial Day is all about.

8. Cram in as many other fun activities as possible. You only ring in summer once a year. =)

And that’s about it. Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. I posted this from my iPhone, so please pardon any typos or formatting issues. First attempt. =)

Let’s Do Lunch: Surf Club Ocean Grille

By food, life's a beach, restaurants, virginia beach One Comment

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Virginia Beach is full of so many amazing restaurants, but it’s easy to limit myself by eating at my favorites over and over again. Fortunately, my friend/favorite bartender Tara recently started working at the Surf Club Ocean Grille, so I had the perfect excuse to venture up to the North End to try something new. A storm rolling in kept us off our bikes, but parking was plentiful, and J, Vince and I enjoyed a delicious Saturday afternoon lunch at the bar.

The atmosphere was serene — the Surf Club engulfs visitors in sea-inspired hues and wavy textures with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean through wall-to-wall windows on the east-facing side of the restaurant. Even the bar is a smooth, sea foam green, reminiscent of tumbled sea glass washed up on the beach.

Lunch on a Saturday means indulging in at least one (if not two) drinks, so I chose to start off with a crisp glass of champagne garnished with an orange slice (a personal favorite). The lunch menu was far from fussy with just enough choices to leave me wanting to visit again before I even ordered. I’m glad I opted for the Roasted Lobster and Crab Chowder, which came out in a larger-than-life bowl, accompanied by oyster crackers and topped with a White Truffle Sea Foam. It was a light, creamy soup, chock full of crab and lobster meat, potatoes and corn — delicious right down to the last spoonful. J also enjoyed a bowl of the chowder, while Vince ordered a Grilled Turkey Panini on flatbread with a side of cucumber salad.

The Surf Club is the first place that’s ever offered me a taste of Tommy Bahama rum, so for my second drink, Tara concocted a White Sand Pina Colada topped with a Golden Sun floater — best frozen drink I’ve ever had. =) The Surf Club also has Peroni on tap — another rarity at the beach, for sure.

What was missing? In a place that gorgeous, I would have liked to have seen some signature cocktails and perhaps some more fitting music…especially if I was on vacation. But, overall, I can’t complain. It was a perfect weekend lunch — tasty food, friendly service and a sublime setting.

The Surf Club is located at the Wyndham on 57th and Atlantic in Virginia Beach. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Surf Club also hosts a monthly wine tasting event on the third Thursday of every month (details here). For reservations, call 757-425-5699, and if you go to the bar, tell Tara I said hi. =)

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Time Out

By books, employment, food, music, pineapples and palm trees, take me away, weather No Comments

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I always used to say, “If I’m not working, I’m on vacation.” On a 29-degree workday, the closest I could come to a tropical getaway on my lunch break was to munch on a Cuban guava pastry (pastelito de guyaba compliments of a co-worker who just returned from Key West), bundle up in a winter coat, and trudge out to my car, where I enjoyed the sounds of Caribbean music while catching some rays through the sunroof and immersing myself in Treasure Island on my Kindle for an hour. That counts, right?

Sopa Criolla

By fall, food, recipes One Comment

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Moving into my new place has perks — one of which is having much more space in my kitchen. Over the last few weeks, I’ve vastly improved my collection of mixing bowls, measuring utensils and glassware. And since cooler nights are upon us, I’ve been experimenting with a few new soup recipes.

Sopa Criolla is a Peruvian soup that I fell in love with last winter when J’s stepmother hosted us for dinner. It’s a substantial soup featuring all five food groups with a little bit of a kick that can easily be served as a side dish or a meal.

I based mine off of this recipe, but made a few little tweaks. First, I substituted a pound of ground beef for the flank steak — that’s how it was made when I had it last year, and I simply loved it. Second, I used a heaping tablespoon of canned diced jalepenos (because I couldn’t find fresh ones at the store here). Third, I served it up with cheddar Goldfish outside by candlelight. It was perfection.

It only lasts two or three days in the fridge, though, so be sure to freeze the rest for a later date!

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