Monday, August 29, 2011

Sneak off to San Diego

Husband and I had to drive to San Diego to drop off my car since we're taking it to Italy. Turns out San Diego is gorgeous... in case you didn't know. I wish we stayed longer since the weather was a perfect 76 degrees in the dead of summer. Unfortunately it was just a "turn and burn" trip but I was able to snap a few photos for you guys.

Sand dunes on the way to San Diego. It just came out of no where.

The start of downtown SD.

Gaslamp District; sure wish we had the chance to check it out.

Awesome pretend pirate ship docked next to the restaurant we ate at. 

I know this post wasn't as informative or interesting as I would have liked 
but it was a very hectic trip and I didn't get a chance
to gather enough information about this place.

Like I said, we didn't get to stay long (I think a total of six hours)
so if you've been to SD I'd like to hear about it!

Comment below and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cheat Meal: Dutch Baby

Alright, so we're getting ready to leave Az and Husband and I decided that it would be a great time to indulge ourselves with foods that we've been craving or that are local culinary staples.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, we are foodies but we're also very health conscious. So that means no trans fats (butter, shortening, etc.), limited sugar intake (usually all sugar substitutes like Splenda, Sweet n Low, etc.) and absolutely no white carbohydrates.

We've been eating this way for close to three years (only about two for me) so it's hard, believe it or not, to order something off the menu without any kind of modifications. Especially when that particular food item is cooked in, drizzled, and accompanied with BUTTER, SYRUP, and POWDERED SUGAR.

Enter the DUTCH BABY.

If you don't know what a Dutch Baby is you can read about it here.

I had no idea what to expect when ordering one of these
but Husband and I both had different expectations so I ended up ordering
an Apple pancake just in case he didn't
want to share his Dutch Baby.

This is what my pancake looked like.

All those darkened edges are actually caramelized apples.
To me, my 'pancake' was a Dutch Baby filled with
really sweet baked apples and brown sugar caramel.

Now- trust me when I say this... I LOVE sweets. I do. I'm addicted
to cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, sweet breads,
pastries, pies, etc.

But I haven't eaten anything so decadent in years and this was serious
sugar OVERLOAD to the point where it
was almost not enjoyable.

Sad to say but Husband is not a sweets lover so he
took maybe two bites of his Dutch Baby and tapped out.
He didn't like how sweet it was, he was not a fan of the texture
(although many people describe this pancake as being
light and airy, they forgot to mention that
the air escapes the minute it is pulled out of the oven
and it ends up having a very dense eggy texture).

Imagine a plate of sweetened scrambled eggs
topped with whipped butter, powdered sugar, and lemon...
with a side of syrup.

I gave a sliver of mine to Husband and I swear he almost
threw up right at the table. Poor guy.

So I guess the lesson here is that
too much of a sweet thing can turn sour.

We're not regretful of the experience however.
At least we tried something new and interesting
at a really awesome place.

The service was fantastic and the history of the restaurant
was impressive. You can read about
the Original Pancake House by checking out
their website.

Tell me about an experience that you've had that didn't turn out as awesome as you'd hope
by commenting below.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arizona Wines

A few years ago Husband and I got to hang out with several of our closest friends at Paige Springs Cellars in Cornville, Az. My computer decided to dump all my pictures so I'm upset that I can't show you what the place looks like. It was so serene and calming which is the polar opposite of living in the metropolis that is Phoenix. While we were there they leisurely sipped on wines from Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars.

We realized that having wine from Arizona is a very unique thing and we really try to support our local businesses as much as possible. So our wine collection began.

Until recently the only way for us to get wines from these particular vineyards is to travel up north to physically purchase it ourselves right from their respective tasting rooms. This wasn't a problem to us as we very much enjoy getting to leave the valley for a day or two.

Imagine my surprise when we finally start to see our restuarants closer to home serve these wines that we've come to love. Even more so, how awesome it is to see bigger establishments (not necessarily chains but simliar) carry and proudly sell these local home grown wines.

I think the most interesting aspect of these wines (besides the flavor of course) is the passion that is driving these wines into success. The flavor profiles are so complex because of the soil, climate and location of these grapes that Husband can't get enough of them. They are pricey wines (the most expensive bottle that I've seen with my own eyes is $600) but in this instance you definitely get what you pay for. =)

I urge you to check out these wines if you're in Arizona.
Some of them do ship to nearby states mostly in the west coast region.
Here is a list of Husband's favorite wines:

Other Az wines:

I want to hear about your favorite wines from your local area. What are the keywords you look for when buying a wine that you can't taste on the spot?? Comment below!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Head in the Clouds

We've been doing a lot of travelling lately.
The plane rides are long and boring
and the view remains the same for 95% of the flight.

I usually hop on a red eye so I don't have to deal with
super hot Az daytime temps, crowded airports, or
fussing with ways to keep myself entertained during the flight. 

However, when a red eye isn't available I've
only ever cared to look out the window
for about 30 seconds so I can snap
a couple pictures of awesome looking clouds.

Unfortunately, my almost impressive collection of cloud pictures
was dumped by my computer a few months back.
So.. I'm starting fresh with these shots over Detroit.

Also, on a side note Husband and I thought this was really funny.
As I'm sure you know during take off and landing the
flight attendants are insane about
"seat backs and tray tables being up right and in the locked position"

The sign says to fold up before take off and landing...
Because apparently the 3 square inches will cause serious damage if
we run into turbulent weather. =)