Monthly Archives: August 2010

Hot Vanilla Chocolate

I’ve been MIA for a little bit, but I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.  I’ll give a quick review of the past week (which has been a bit of a blur), but first, Bailey wants to tell you something.

All day, Bailey has been trying to get between me and the computer.  She’s been typing with her nose and throwing her paws at the keyboard, trying to knock me out of the way.  I guess she wanted to say “hi” to everyone!

Last weekend started with a nice dinner with friends.  Dinner was so good I ate it before I even thought about taking a picture 🙂  There was a pasta bar with choices of veggies and meat or tofu.  I had tofu with bell pepper, onion, eggplant, tomato sauce and pesto.  It was delicious!  And served with some really good wine.

Layer Cake was an appropriate name for this wine.  You could actually smell cake in the wine – I’ll definitely have to look for this one again!  I did pause (briefly) to take a quick picture of dessert.  Brownies and vanilla ice cream.

The rest of the week was a blur.  It was a busy one at work and involved a lot of public speaking.  I was completely drained by the end of the week, so there wasn’t much cooking going on in our house.  One of my favorite take-out meals was El Rey.  It’s a local fast-food Mexican place, and a step up from Taco Bell.  I tried their veggie tacos, which came with grilled onion, zucchini, squash and guacamole.

Dinners this week have been repeats of old recipes, but my favorite dessert lately has been Hot Vanilla Chocolate.  I use:

  • 1 packet diet Hot Chocolate
  • a splash of Light Vanilla Soymilk
  • 1/2 tbsp calorie-free vanilla syrup
  • 1 packet Splenda

To be honest, I don’t really like the taste of the diet Hot Chocolate.  It’s just not the same as the real thing, and it’s not very sweet.  But when you mix in vanilla flavoring along with Splenda, it’s the perfect light dessert.

Served in one of my favorite mugs 🙂


One’s a Meal

I know I’m way behind, but our dinner Wednesday night was too good not to blog about it.  We went to One’s a Meal, a 24 hour Greek/American restaurant.  I’d read reviews about an over-bearing owner, Mr. John.  He was there, but he didn’t give anyone in our group a hard time – I was actually disappointed 🙂

Before the meal they brought out some kind of bread – it was kind of like pita bread, but with sesame seeds, and there was a yummy tomato sauce to dip it in.  I had a taste of the spanakopita (spinach and feta in a phyllo pastry), and it was very good, but I ordered a personal-sized spinach pizza for my entrée.  It was SO good –  I wouldn’t normally order pizza at a Greek restaurant, but the feta cheese on it was super tasty.

There were so many items on the menu I didn’t get to try, I definitely want to go back here!

I know I’m slacking on pictures, but dinner last night was good too.  We ordered delivery from Spaghetti Western, where my favorite pizza is called The Ugly.  It has chicken, tomato, red onion and tomatilla sauce.  I ordered a slice of The Ugly with no chicken and a house salad with no black olives.  The house salad was amazing – it came with feta vinaigrette dressing, something I’ve never heard of before, but it really tasted like a light feta dressing!  Unfortunately, they put black olives on my salad and chicken on my pizza.

It took an hour for the pizza to come, and by then it was 8:30 PM, so I have to admit, I just picked the chicken off the pizza.  I was so worried I would accidentally eat a bite, or get chicken juice on my pizza.  Am I a bad vegetarian for eating something that touched meat?  I have mixed feelings about it.

On another note, I had a real embarrassing moment yesterday.  I was leaving work, and actually tripped and fell – over nothing at all.  I think I might have stepped on my jeans funny or slipped out of my heel, but the next thing I knew I was heading face first toward the ground.  Of course my first thought was, “Maybe no one saw me fall.”  NOPE.  There was a whole crew of people working outside, and they were all lined up watching me, calling out to see if I was okay.  How embarrassing!

Batty for Blueberries

Not too long ago I was hugging my favorite fat, avocado.  Well it’s that time again, but I’ve moved on to blueberries for CCK’s Hug a Fruit month.  I was trying to come up with a cute title for this post, and Pat suggested Batty for Blueberries.  Because, as he put it, I look batty in my blueberry picture :-p

Picking a favorite fruit was really hard for me.  I love kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and pineapple.  It was a very tough race, but blueberries have been a recent favorite of mind.  It is a staple in my morning oatmeal, which I take to work with me, and is often packed as an afternoon snack.

I’ve enjoyed blueberries in many of my “green monster” smoothies – a favorite combination is blueberries, strawberries and banana with spinach, flaxseed, vanilla syrup and splenda.

There was the time I tried to make blueberry waffles… they didn’t turn out so well, but they still tasted just fine.

My blueberry-lemon coffe cake turned out much, much better.

Oh, how I love my blueberries.  What is your favorite fruit?


Friday night was date night.  We started out at the Memorial City Mall for some shopping.  We had heard there were some good deals at Dillard’s.  Pat had success, but I tend to get so overwhelmed at big department stores.  I did find some good deals on shoes, but they didn’t have any I liked in my size.  My find of the evening was a pair of $10 skinny jeans from Anne Taylor Loft (marked down from $60).  Not bad!

After shopping we didn’t have anything in mind for dinner, so we just drove around until we found something that looked good.  We ended up at Mayuri, an Indian restaurant in the Galleria area.  Neither of us had heard anything about it, but we figured we would try it.

It was a nice atmosphere and I was excited to see that their menu was divided by vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian options.  Pat ordered a lamb curry and I ordered a garbanzo bean curry.  I ordered mine with what they called Thali.  For an extra $5 you got a side of soup, yogurt, lentils, dessert and a few other items.

The soup came out first.  I’m not sure what it was called, but it was like wonton soup, only really spicy.

Then the garbanzo bean curry came out.  It didn’t have any chiles next to it in the menu, which meant it was not supposed to be spicy.  But my lips were numb after only a few bites.  Tasty, but too spicy for me to eat much.

I liked about half of the Thali – the lentils were really good, but even hotter than the garbanzo beans.

Dessert was small, but really good – a small biscuit coated in sugar and butter.  Does it get much better?  Good thing it was such a small serving!

Because the food was so hot, I only ate a little of it and mostly snacked on the naan.  I had a lot of leftovers.

Although the food was fine, the service was awful.  It took forever to get someone to take our order.  Then it took forever each time I wanted more water.  One server actually walked by my empty water cup several times without paying any attention to my attempt to flag him down.  When we finally managed to get our check, they charged us for a beer that Pat ordered, but was never brought out.

There is so much good Indian food in Houston, I don’t think we will be back to this location.  It’s a shame, but I really think that poor service can outweigh decent food.  And on the flip side, if the food is amazing, I might be willing to “put up” with poor service.  What are your thoughts on bad service at restaurants?