Friday, March 28, 2014

Random Stuff

I have a folder of random stuff that I have saved in a folder to share but none of it is really interesting enough for a whole post so I thought I would share some of them:

This soup. Delicious. I even had to take a picture to remember to buy it again. Now I just need to do some experimenting to re-create it.

One day we were doing this:

And the next day this:

I am SO OVER this weather. BRING ON SPRING!

Speaking of spring, we are preparing to the best of our abilities with swim lessons!!
I might have to do a swimming lesson post soon, since we've been enjoying it so much!

We made these meatless burgers the other day and they were tasty! Homemade meatless burgers sometimes skeeve me out because of their texture.....mostly their lack of texture. These crisped up so nice and were packed with healthy things like quinoa, chickpeas, red peppers, etc. I made them the night before and kept them in the fridge so we could just fry them up for a weeknight dinner. The peanut sauce was good, but honestly the next night we just had them on a bun with some mayo and they were just as good :)


Ok, that's all for now, Fish Fry #4 of the season tonight!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lenten Fish Fry Series: All Saints in Kenwood

Last week in our fish fry tour, we visited All Saints in Kenwood. I had heard a rumor that they offered fish tacos...which was something we have yet to see on this fish fry tour, so we were very interested in giving it a try!

But before we get to the food, let's talk about the efficiency. Good Golly Miss Molly these people are efficient with a capital E. Absolutely no lines at all.... The menu is printed giant in the hallway...... so you pick out what you want....

Then walk up to the ordering station where they take your order:
The back of the ordering station
Then you take your slip of paper all totaled up to the paying station and pay:

After he marks you paid, you hand your slip to the food station where they hand you your food:

Their organization was very impressive.

Ok, now onto the food. I ordered the fish tacos...because it's the reason I was here!

Huge tacos with crispy fish, lots of cheese, some cilantro, two sides of salsa, cole slaw and some tortilla chips. Such a fun spin on the traditional church fish fry! The tacos were good and it was fun to have something different!

Rob ordered the 2 piece fish dinner with two sides and got sweet potato fries and mac and cheese:

The sweet potato fries were very very cold (this is the price you pay for efficiency sometimes I suppose) and sprinkled in like a cinnamon sugar mixture? I was not a big fan of that. I didn't taste this mac and cheese but Rob said it was nice and creamy and he was a fan...but again, not very warm.

Here is a shot of Hannah's dinner.

She gave it one big sign for "more"

As usual they had cute kids selling lots of cute treats. We had some cookies and chocolate covered pretzels for dessert.
cute kids not pictured

Last but certainly not least, they had Mt. Carmel beer on tap for $4 a glass... mmm

Overall here are my thoughts on All Saints.
They score very high for efficiency and creativity...The fish scores a little lower because of the temperature it was served at and the amount of batter on the was very thick. Overall though, a great fish fry! I mean come on, FISH TACOS!

To see where else we've been this year you can read here for St. Cecilia in Oakley and here for Nativity in Pleasant Ridge (our favorite so far!)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bento Box - Laptop Lunches

I have had such an issue in the past with bringing lunches to work. Like most people, in my past I went through the lean cuisine every day phase (barf), the turkey sandwich phase and the going out to eat every day phase. None of these were particularly enjoyable whether it was to my taste buds, my waistline or my pocketbook....but it wasn't until I really started reading about and paying attention to the ingredients I'm putting in my body that I finally said enough is enough. I place such care into choosing what my family eats at home...but at work I was wasn't making the best choices....when I'm hungry, homemade chips warm out of the fryer in our work cafeteria are almost too tempting! I started really thinking about what I wanted to eat for lunch every day and decided that I needed something to motivate me to keep it up every day.

That's what I started researching  bento lunch boxes. Some of my favorite bloggers were constantly posting pictures of their kids' lunches everyday filled with neat and tidy little containers of fruits and vegetables and creative main dishes.I decided to google bento box lunch ideas for adults was almost overwhelmed by the amount of creative things people were packing for lunch!

I sent my husband a picture of this PlanetBox and told him I was going to order two. He told me I was insane to spend $150 for two lunchboxes and that I should find something after a little more searching around I settled on a Laptop Lunch Box.

Basically it's a bento box with an insulated bag

And inside a bunch of small containers to pack up with whatever your little heart desires.

It's fun because it really makes you think about the food groups when you're packing. For me at least it encourages me to get a good variety of food packed. The lunch above is chicken salad. We bought a rotisserie chicken and froze half of the meat and cut up the other half along with some celery, mayo, mustard, onions and relish to make a quick easy chicken salad. Carrots with a small amount of dip (hummus or ranch) and some butternut squash soup were added and a clementine on the side for some fruit action rounded out lunch! So much more fun to see and eat than a sandwich and chips!

Last week I made a double batch of quinoa with roasted veggies in peanut sauce for the "main course"
I added in a little cheese and crackers and grapes, but kept the carrots....(i love carrots)

You can find some really creative mamas out there making some crazy creative lunches, but for now these more boring bentos are working out just great!
Anyone else bento'ing these days? Have any great ideas for me? 
I think next week will be a "lunchables" theme :) 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lenten Fish Fry Series: Nativity in Pleasant Ridge

This past Friday we visited Nativity in Pleasant Ridge for our weekly fish fry tour. Some notes about this fish fry. -
  • It starts at 5:30....
  • you need to get there at 5:30 or before unless - you want to wait in a very very very long line 
  •  if you can't get there at 5:30 and have to wait in the's still worth it. There is a reason the line is long... the food is great!

Hand Breaded Haddock with coleslaw and your choice of two sides for $8. 

Even though the lines were long there were still plenty of places to sit and our giant party of parents and kids could all mostly sit together

The fish was the real star here....none was the same shape or size and it fell apart when they scooped it out of the containers because it was that flaky.

I chose french fries and mac and cheese...which was good. They also had sweet potato fries which was a fun change! Their coleslaw had a good ratio of mayo to cabbage and wasn't too runny like it unfortunately was last week.

The drinks were also a big step up and craft beer was available for only $3! Unfortunately they didn't replenish their craft beer selection from the week before so it ran out pretty fast, but at the beginning of the night they had choices from Mad Tree, Jackie O's & Dogfish Head... along with various draft and bottled domestic beers.

This one might be getting her own meal next time since I would say she ate about half of what was on my plate...

ummmm....more fish please!
So far Nativity is the clear front runner for their quality of food, temperature of food and selection of beer.
If I wasn't dedicated to sampling all that this city has to offer this year, I would probably just come back here for the rest of lent...but alas, someone has to taste that fish! Where should we go this week??

See the rest of our fish fry reviews here!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lenten Fish Fry Series: St. Cecilia in Oakley

Welcome to the Lenten Fish Fry Series! We are going to try to visit a different church's fish fry every Friday of Lent and give you an idea of what to expect. I am not going to "critique" them too harshly obviously ....because come on, it's a church fish fry and all of them are worth a visit and your support! But I always find myself wondering how they differ from each other in menu options, etc so I am here to help you with that! This week I have unfortunately been very sick all week and so even though our plan was to start somewhere different, we decided to hang close to home and start with St. Cecilia in Oakley.

Last year during lent we had an infant, so Rob drove down to St. Cecilia every Friday and brought us home food, but this year we decided we are going to go for the full experience and eat in the cafeteria.....

So basically for $6.50, you get fried tilapia on a bun with your choice of applesauce or coleslaw, plus a choice of the following: fries, baked potato, mac & cheese, green beans or green salad..
Then there are lots of extras you can add on like mozzarella cheese sticks, fried mushrooms, cheese fries, etc. At this fry they also have the choice of baked fish or shrimp...but to me that is not fish fry food....Fridays during lent are pretty much the only times of the year that I eat fried fried fish is what I want. Also, Rob ordered the baked cod the first time he ever went to a fish fry (he is not a native Cincinnatian) and basically jealously eyed my dinner until I finally offered to share it with I don't think he'll make that mistake again either :) There was also a kids meal that was your choice of fish or cheese pizza.

Anyway, Rob and I both went for the fried tilapia dinner with french fries. We got one cole slaw and one applesauce..and I added a little side salad for $1.

It was a nice big piece of talapia served open face on a white or wheat bun with a nice big side of salty fries. It was all pretty cold, especially the french fries, even though we ate in.

And here is a little picture of my side salad...nothing impressive but I wanted to get some kind of veggies in my sick body....iceburg would have to do haha

The coleslaw was peppery and very runny..inedible to me....but Hannah enjoyed the applesauce :)

Dinners are served with sweet iced tea and lemonade

Or you could add a bud or bud light for $3

I believe they also had a table of desserts available for 50 cents each or you could make one of the 15 girl scouts' day that were running around by buying a box of cookies from them. (ps um when did a box of girl scout cookies get to $4....  back in my day I think a box was $2! and it was bigger! and we had to sell it walking uphill both ways in the snow!! but anyway.....)

St. Cecilia....a solid place for a good fish sandwich and some fries. Reasonable prices. Friendly patrons.
Check it out.

See the rest of our fish fry reviews here!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Rhinegeist Brewery

Last Saturday was the kind of day that gives you the nudge to just hold on a little longer until spring because awesome. It was warm enough for jeans and a long sleeve shirt in the sun and maybe a light jacket in the shade. It was a day begging to go down to Findlay Market..

Oh Findlay Market I have missed you. We chatted with some farmers, got some lunch and sat on a stoop and enjoyed it in the sunshine.

favorite people at my favorite place

After lunch we decided it was the perfect time to (finally) check out Rhinegeist Brewery

We are big fans of their beer and had heard that the space was really neat. It was WAY bigger than I had imagined in my head and was full of fun things to do!

They have a giant bar area with a TV and tables

 Rob's personal favorite Rhinegeist beer is "Truth" which is a west coast style IPA
I got the "Cougar" which was also delicious and a good daytime drinking beer

Love their food "menu" Pretzels $3 or the phone number for a local pizza place.
It would be fun to bring in a picnic from Findlay too!

They have a huuuge open space that they've filled with tables,

Ping Pong Tables,

and cornhole boards

Such a fun place to gather with friends on a Saturday afternoon. No matter what you're drinking :)