Category Archives: Eating out

Wine, Food and More Wine


On Friday after the hike, we took our guests into downtown Hood River to do some wine tasting. We were running short on time so we went to my favorite: Quenett and then to Naked Winery. I wrote about both wineries last month when we went there for our anniversary. Michael’s family had a great time! They loved wine tasting and both places have some good wine.

Michael and I love Quenett Winery and we ALWAYS go there when we visit Hood River. Not only that, we always leave with at least 1 bottle of wine, if not two. So we decided to sign up for their “Platinum Club”. It gets us into the twice annual parties, free tastings, and a big discount on wine. It feels so “grown up” to be part of a wine club! And we did it together. Awwww…..

We took them to the Naked Winery because it’s a fun tasting room and lots of wines to taste. They had a great time! We were short on time so we didn’t spend a lot of time in Hood River. We had dinner reservations at Jake’s Grill in Portland. We drove home to change and head downtown. The pictures from Jake’s didn’t turn out great because it’s pretty dark in there. It’s a classy restaurant with mood lighting.

Even though I had over-indulged in Hood River wine tasting, I order one glass of Pinot Noir to go with my steak dinner.

Michael ordered their calamari because it’s the best in town. Again, since there were so many of us, I wasn’t worried about overeating. I had a few bites of the calamari and waited for dinner.

I ordered the Top Sirloin Bordelaise. It came with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Asparagus and Dungeness Crab. My steak was a little overdone but the meal was delicious!

Michael talked me into splitting dessert. We ordered the cheesecake that came with a raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries and bluesberries. It was amazing! The best part: the cheesecake had a creme brulee topping! It was fantastic.

I sort of regret splitting the cheesecake with Michael because I wanted it all to myself. 😉

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Eating Out Landmines


Last night marked Eating Out #1 for this week. Michael and I met his dad and step-mom at Henry’s 12th Street Tavern for dinner.

Michael’s dad is a Beer Expert (seriously, that’s his job). He recommended I try the Bridgeport IPA, so that’s what I ordered. It was a nice, light IPA and I liked it a lot.

Bridgeport IPA

Landmine #1: Appetizers

Michael’s dad ordered Henry’s famous onion rings as the appetizer. Check this temptation out:

I was famished and the onion rings ARE pretty tasty….I ate two only. And I made sure that I ate two from the top because they were smaller!

Could you resist those?

Landmine #2 – Entree

The next dilemma was what to order as an entree. After weighing the pros and cons of the two entrees I wanted, I decided on the Halibut. It was a sea salt and pepper crusted halibut with a balsamic vinaigrette glaze.

It came with an arugula and tomato salad and a fried potato cake. The potato cake was exceptional. For some reason in my brain I thought the potato cake would be less calories than their amazing mashed potatoes…Not sure now. 🙂

My entree was okay. I think I’ve discovered that halibut is not my favorite fish. It’s a bit on the dry side. I’d rather eat a trout or salmon. I ate half of my halibut and saved the other half for lunch.

We chatted about Reach the Beach and I told them about Hood to Coast coming up. Michael’s dad said “God gave me a certain number of heart beats in my lifetime and I’m not going to waste them running!” He said it was a quote from an astronaut and it made me chuckle. 🙂

Landmine #3 – Dessert

After dinner at Henry’s we all walked a few blocks in the Pearl District to Cupcake Jones. I’ve walked by Cupcake Jones a million times and never gone in. Last night I finally did.

There were many choices: chocolate, vanilla, marionberry cobbler, German chocolate cake and other options for cupcakes. There were also the large cupcakes or the mini cupcakes. Michael’s dad got the German chocolate:

There was also an option for a “Frosting Shot”? Seriously! A cup of just the frosting!!! I was floored.

Dessert is always the hard part for me. I have zero willpower when faced with something like this:

At first I was going to get the 1 bite mini cupcake but Michael talked me into splitting a big sized cupcake with him. We got the chocolate.

It was gooooood. I loved the frosting. I think it was a cream cheese frosting.

We left Cupcake Jones and strolled passed the Ben and Jerry’s (Michael wanted to stop for ice cream but I held strong :)).

We took them to Powell’s City of Books and then called it a night. It was a really nice evening and I enjoy spending time with Michael’s family. The weather was perfect too.

Conclusion

I have no idea if I was smart with my food last night. I feel like I made some good choices and a few bad choices (2 beers + a cupcake!).

Not a Lean Cuisine


I was so tempted to just heat up a Lean Cuisine for dinner last night…..

I was on my own for the night. The boys took off to do boy things. Since it was a Rest Day, I decided to use my time wisely and run errands. Library, grocery store, dyed my hair, cleaned the bathroom, did laundry, and got sucked into hours of Netflix TV.

It would have been super easy to just heat up a frozen meal and call it good. I was very tempted. And I was feeling very lazy. I decided to suck it up and make something. Oy.

First, I cooked some plain whole wheat Couscous. Opened a can of chickpeas:

Then I steamed broccoli and tossed both on top of the couscous.

Then I drizzled some Goddess Dressing on top of everything. Fairly low in calories for the whole thing and I was filled up.

I also munched on some green grapes after dinner. Something else that saved a lot of calories? Not drinking wine with dinner. It’s amazing how many calories I save by NOT drinking. Which sucks because I love wine, I love trying new wines, I love wine-tasting. But really, who can just stop with one glass of wine? Those calories add up fast!

Today (Wednesday) Michael’s father and step-mom arrive from Texas. They will be visiting until Sunday. The step-sister and boyfriend arrive on Thursday and will be visiting until Sunday as well. Jeremy is still here with us too. So I think the plan for the next few days is a lot of EATING OUT! Gasp. Michael told me our dinner plans for the next 5 days and I think we are hitting every good restaurant in Portland. Which is understandable because they are also the favorite restaurants of the family visiting! It’s all good……

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will…..be…..oooh is that cheesecake?

Oh.

I will BE strong!!!

5 Reasons to Pack Your Lunch


There are a lot of tips I could list for losing weight. I’ve detailed a lot of those things in my page on How I lost 100 Pounds. This post is specifically about LUNCH.

Working downtown, there are temptations at every block. From the trendy Food Carts, good restaurants, and delis on every corner–there’s food everywhere.

There’s a new sushi joint near my office too–and that’s definitely a weakness of mine.

It takes A LOT of willpower to pack my lunch every day. Especially on days when I’m tired of the food I eat and pressed for time. I think, “I could just get sushi…..”

But I stop myself. The reason? There are actually 5 good reasons. 🙂

1. Control: Packing my own lunch gives me control over exactly how many calories I eat during the day. I pack myself a morning snack (fruit or cottage cheese or Greek yogurt) and on days I run, I pack an afternoon snack to curb my munchies. Having specific food gives me control over the nutrition, the calories, the portion sizes.

2. Cash: How much money do I save by not eating out for lunch? Quite a lot! If a quickie to-go lunch is about $5, that’s $25 a week, $100 a month. If I pack lunch at home, it’s probably half of that cost depending on what I pack.

3. Calories: Portion sizes are humongous at restaurants–usually 2 servings. And who can just eat half a serving of freshly made, hot, greasy Chinese food? I probably can’t! Say I pick up a lunch of fried rice, spring rolls and chicken…that’s looking like about 900 calories in my estimation. My usual packed lunch is around 350 calories–tops.

4. Exercise: As many readers probably already know, I run at lunchtime whenever I can. This was a switch I made over a year ago and I love it! It has freed up so many of my evenings to do fun things I missed out on. When I run at lunch, I have just enough time to run and shower and then grab my pre-made lunch from the fridge. I definitely don’t have time to run, shower AND eat out!

5. Time: Some employers let their employees leave work early if they don’t take take a full hour lunch. Think how much time is saved eating a sandwich at your desk and then leaving work early!

I vary my lunches. Sometimes they are Lean Cuisines with some veggies, sometimes they are salads, sometimes sandwiches, or leftovers. I try to mix it up so I don’t get bored.

QUESTION: Do you eat out for lunch every day or do you pack your lunch? What is a typical lunch for you?