Eat Like an Egyptian

Hello? Anyone still out there?! Sorry I’ve been MIA. Been super busy and hope to fill you in soon with deets. For now, I’ve been dying to share our recent food excursion…Egyptian cuisine!

It’s no secret that Pete and I love trying new-to-us cuisines. We’re lucky to live in an area where there are plenty of options for Thai, Greek, Indian, Mexican, and Italian. One of my students recently brought up a local restaurant called King Tut which serves Egyptian food. I asked around and one of my teacher friends had been there. She gave Pete and I some recommendations and off we went!

To start, our waitress brought us pita bread with a sun dried tomato dip.

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I could not get enough of this dip. Later when our appetizer and entree came, I kept dipping them into it as well! The pita was soft and warm. Really tasty.

For an appetizer, we chose the falafel. Neither of us had ever had falafel and I’ve always wanted to try it.

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Can’t believe I waited so long. This was probably my favorite item of the night, if I was forced to choose. It had a crunch texture to the outside and warm, soft inside. It came alongside a tahini dip. Pete was as obsessed with the tahini dip as I wa with the sun dried tomato dip!

For my entree, the choice was simple. Their menu literally had an item called “The Most Popular Vegetarian Dish in the Middle East.” Well, how can I say no to that? Plus my coworker and one of Pete’s coworkers (who is from Egypt) recommended it. The dish is actually called Koshari.

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The way that I describe it is layers and layers of vegetarian deliciousness. Chickpeas, lentils, elbows, rice, and very crispy onions. Quite spicy and so flavorful. I ate about half and wrapped up the rest, which was just as good heated up the next day.

Pete’s main course was called Chicken Tawook.

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The chicken was what you would imagine would be on a skewer. Served alongside cous cous that had a delicious butter flavor.

At this point, with everything tasting so amazing, we simply couldn’t pass up on dessert.

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Toasted almond cake. Basically, it was like a tiramisu as far as the texture and consistency, but without the espresso flavor. This tasted like cream and almonds. See that orange sauce? That little dash of sauce might well have been the best part. It was a mango sauce and paired with the cake was just divine. This dish was completely cleared, chocolate sauce and all.

Every single morsel that we tasted at King Tut was out of this world. We could not stop obsessing to our waitresses how much we were enjoying the meal. We will definitely be repeat attenders at this and other Egyptian restaurants!

Have you ever tried Egyptian food? If so, what was your favorite dish?

Do you enjoy sampling new cuisines? Which ones?

 

Burning Legs Workout

It’s no secret I have a love/hate relationship with my legs. In particular, my thighs are my “trouble zone” so I work legs every other day to combat this. I’m always interested in new leg moves and often scour Pinterest, blogs, magazines, and books for new exercises to incorporate. Below is my latest leg workout that I put together- be prepared to stumble out of the gym!

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Below are pictures and descriptions for each exercise.

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01: Place right leg behind you to rest on a bench/chair/plyo box, etc. Put left leg forward into lunge position. Lower down into a lunge. Upon raising, explode up into a hop. *Make it more challenging by holding dumbbells or a weighted medicine ball.*

02: Repeat with left leg behind you, right leg in front.

03: Get down onto all fours with your forearms in plank position. Place a dumbbell behind your right knee. Raise your right leg off of the ground 90 degrees (shown in picture).

04: Repeat with dumbbell behind left leg.

05: Stand with feet wider than shoulders with feet pointed outward. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands in the center of your body (not shown). Slowly squat backwards. Upon standing, raise your right knee and crunch towards right side. On next rep, squat and switch sides by lifting left leg and crunching towards left.

06: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet hip width apart. Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left. Lower into a lunge so knees are in a 90 degree angle. Return to start. Repeat by stepping back with your left leg and lowering into a lunge.

07: Standing directly against a wall, or against a stability ball, lower down into a seated position. Watch the clock for 45 seconds and feel the burn!

Be careful walking out of the gym- your legs will be quite wobbly!

Let me know if you try this workout! Please feel free to share your favorite leg wobblers!

February Date Afternoon

February was my month to plan a date for Pete and I (see links at bottom of post for more “date night” information). I decided to switch things up a bit and do a “date afternoon.” Pretty much all of our dates have involved some type of event and then a dinner. Being we had just eaten out Friday night, I wanted to do a brunch & event instead while keeping up with a Valentine’s type theme.

To start the date, we went to a restaurant called Mom’s located in Ringoes, NJ. Mom’s is a small breakfast joint…

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…that has tons of charm and absolutely amazing food!

Every time we go there (which is not as often as we should, last time was 2 years ago) I order the apple crisp pancakes.

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Warm, soft apples atop pancakes that literally have the streusel of apple crisp right inside. Here’s a closer look:

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Drool fest.

I wish I’d taken a pic of Pete’s breakfast, as it was equally delicious. He had a bacon and cheese omelette with toast and home fries. Perfect breakfast.

After digesting a bit, we drove over the a winery in the same town called Old York Cellars. Our friends Colleen and Dave bought us an awesome Groupon deal for Christmas- wine and chocolate tasting for 2! Wine and chocolate seemed fabulous for a Valentine’s Day weekend and thus a perfect addition to my afternoon date!

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We arrived at the snowy Old York vineyards within minutes. Our server started us off right away by the providing us with menus to select the wines we’d like to taste.

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We got to select our own 6 wines and each received 4 pieces of chocolate to pair with the wines. The menu specified which chocolate paired best with each wine, so no guessing was needed. I got to work on the sweet wines, Pete got to work on the reds.

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We even got to each select a 7th wine each for tweeting about the cellar!

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My favorite was the Blush and Pete’s was the Cabernet Sauvignon. We ended up buying a bottle of each. As for the chocolate, they were all great! I’m especially partial to milk chocolate, while Pete enjoyed the extra dark.

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Cheers to a fun afternoon date! You just can’t go wrong with wine and chocolate :)

Check out our prior date night posts:

 

 

Four Course Fondue

Happy Monday! Pete and I had a great weekend celebrating Valentine’s Day and our February date. Today I’ll be sharing our V-Day dinner, which was the best meal I’ve had in a loooong time! On Friday night, we ventured out despite the icy weather to The Melting Pot. If you’ve never been or heard of it, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant where you essentially cook your own food! Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

We were lucky to get seated in the way back of the restaurant. It was very private and quite romantic if I may say so myself! While looking over the menu and making our selections, Pete and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails.

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Sam Adams for him, white sangria for me. The sangria was very refreshing and had a nice cherry aftertaste. Next up was our first course, salads.

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I went with a Caesar and Pete had the house. The house dressing was a honey mustard variation and was really tasty!

Anyhow, while we were eating our salads, our waitress prepared the second course in our fondue pot…CHEESE!

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To go along with our creamy tomato cheddar cheese, we had bread, vegetables, and apples for dipping. Bread and cheese? Talk about one happy couple!

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After savoring literally every last piece and bread and apple, we were ready for our next course…the meats. Basically you get a platter of uncooked meats…

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Talk about Pete’s heaven! Chicken for me…everything else for Pete LOL! The “everything else” included lobster tail, sirloin, salmon, and dumplings. You also receive potatoes and broccoli along with 5 dipping sauces. The server tells you which sauces to prepare with which meats and the cooking time for your meats.

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We skewered up some meats, set a timer, and let our food cook away in a pot of coq au vin. The first couple of minutes are tortuous because you want to try everything so bad! But once you get going, you eat while the next set cooks. It actually really fills you up this way! All of the sauces were really delicious too, especially the teriyaki.

The star of the show, however, was the dessert. Chocolate fondue, ya’ll!

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In the fondue pot was milk chocolate with crunchy peanut butter. So divine. We ate every single morsel on the plate, I kid you not. Here’s a closer shot for you to drool over.

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Cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, red velvet pound cake, rice krispies, brownies, marshmallows…ridiculous right?! Pete had to stop me from eating the chocolate with a spoon once all our little treats were gone!

Mmm just such a decadent and enjoyable meal/experience. While I’d love to go there more often, The Melting Pot is quite expensive. We’re thinking of maybe making it a Valentine’s Day tradition though. That gives me 362 days to dream about that dessert…

What did you do for Valentine’s Day? 

Have you ever been to a fondue restaurant?

Just Another Snow Day

Today has marked the 6th snow day for my school district. It’s even looking like we’ll be off again tomorrow, so there’s likely to be #7. There goes spring break! Well, being that I am off, it gives me the opportunity to do one of my favorite type of posts, “a day in the life.”

When I woke up this morning, I did my usual out of bed routine: brush my teeth, mouthwash, take vitamins.

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Love me some gummy vitamins! Call me crazy, but I won’t take them unless there’s something in it for me. I actually enjoy eating these everyday, thus I’ve stuck with them!

On snow days, I like to watch morning shows that I otherwise miss such as Live with Kelly and Michael, Rachael Ray, and/or The View. Today though, the shows were interrupted by live news broadcasts about the snow. Oh well, off to grading papers instead.

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Notebooks really. Took a while to get through that stack! I stopped after the first group to have some breakfast.

Yesterday I got a gorgeous Valentine’s Day basket from one of my students. It had two muffins, hot chocolate, and coffee in a cute VDay tin all wrapped up with cellophane.

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How cute is that tin! Pete had the blueberry muffin and I went with a raspberry muffin alongside some blackberries.

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Then, back to grading notebooks. Around noon, Pete and I went outside to do our first round of shoveling. Looking out the window at this…

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…I knew it was going to be a daunting task! Let me tell you, shoveling is no joke! I’m in no need of a workout today, that’s for sure!

After that, I needed to refuel with some lunch. A classic yogurt bowl just never fails.

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Today’s bowl consisted of Raspberry Chobani, Banana Nut Bare Naked granola, fresh blackberries, and some natural peanut butter. So yummy and filling!

Snow days are actually quite boring! With a foot of snow, you’re pretty much trapped in the house. Plus, with all the snow we’ve been having, our house is spic and span from the cleaning I’ve been doing to keep busy. So, I’ll likely be catching up on some reading for a while until dinner.

Have a great rest of the day, be safe in this crazy weather!

Guacamole Live

aka, in my opinion, “the only guacamole recipe you’ll ever need!”

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So, we go to this Mexican restaurant near our house named Sol. They make something called “Guacamole Live” which is when they come to your tableside with their molcajete and make the guac right in front of you, to your liking. I’ve been watching them for years (literally) and finally decided to try it myself for the Super Bowl. So glad I did, I loved it and don’t know why I waited so long to try. Plus, I finally put my own molcajete to use for the first time, which I received for my bridal shower two years ago! Since guacamole is one of my favorite foods, you can bet this molcajete will be making many appearances at future events.

Cast of Characters

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt

Start by slicing your avocados in half and removing the pits.

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With a spoon, remove the avocado from the brown flesh. Place in the molcajete (or a bowl).

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Chop and dice your remaining ingredients.

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Add to the molcajete.

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Use the grinder to mash together all of the ingredients.

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Serve alongside tortilla chips.

The cool thing about the molcajete is that you don’t really wash it, just rinse with warm water. Overtime all of the flavors seep into the volcanic stone which makes each recipe you create pretty unique! I know I’ll be enjoying this over and over again!

Do you enjoy a classic guacamole, or add other flavors/ingredients? Share your recipe!