Sunday, August 30, 2009

eating healthy on a budget

IMG_4547{Just a little weekend recap}  Once again the weekend just flew by and it was pretty packed!  Saturday I went with a friend to get pampered with a pedicure and lunch.  Then I went to a gardening class at my work (UNCE).  It was really interesting, and I hope to eventually start a little raised bed in our backyard, if not for the fall, hopefully next spring.  I’m just wondering when I would have the time to garden in addition to work, grad school and other life happenings.  Do any of you garden? 

Sunday we went for a nice bike ride to Boulder City.  It was only 21 miles but I tried to push myself pretty hard to see if I could keep up with the faster pack.  um, yeah.  I started a little behind and just couldn’t keep up!  At one point I almost gained some ground, but I was sucking air and figured I better take it easy since it was really hot outside.  I just have to keep at it!  I also got my first pair of bike shoes and clipless pedals.  Yep, I guess they are called clipless, not clip-in, like I thought.  I hope I can get out of them in time to stop or else I’ll be having a few crashes, oh dear.  I’m still trying to figure out how I can take pictures while I’m riding.  I can barely grab my water bottle without wobbling all over the place! 

For my adv sports nutrition class we have a project looking at a sports supplement/group of supplements and seeing if research supports its claims.  Anyone have a good idea for a supplement/ergogenic aid? There are just so many out there, I’m trying to decide.  {end weekend recap}   

I try to eat flexitarian most of the time, not only because it’s pretty darn healthy, but it’s also very budget-friendly.  I usually only eat meat 4-5 times per week or less and try to incorporate meat alternatives like tofu or beans to provide some variety.  I posted about this before here when I made yummy falafels, one of my favorite vegetarian meals.

Chris and I usually spend anywhere from $70-80/week for two people eating breakfast, lunch and dinner from home.  Sometimes I have to control myself because grocery shopping for me is like a kid in a candy store!  I swear I could spend hours in a place like Whole Foods just finding tons of things that I could buy and try, dangerous!  Having a recipe plan beforehand helps to keep me on track.  We eat out about 3-4x/month and try to keep this to a minimum.  I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s and Walmart and mostly buy basics, that is things that are unprocessed, because it is usually almost always cheaper if you make it and chop it yourself.  It may take a little bit longer, but in the long run it is worth it for health and saving money.     

Recently I found a blog that is great for active vegetarians called No Meat Athlete.  Recently he posted a recipe for corn-type pancakes for dinner.  I thought this was a great idea so I decided to try my hand at it because, well one, it looked pretty easy and fast for a weeknight meal, and two, it was cheap!  Yes please!


I made the batter for the pancakes and found it was a bit too runny for me.  I wanted some more structure and puff to them, so I adapted a recipe from CookingLight and they turned out pretty darn good.  They were just like pancakes and had a nice texture from the cornmeal.  I topped them with the black bean mixture and added a can of fire roasted maters and an oh so glorious poached egg and mozzarella cheese.  I just love egg yolk!  I completely believe that whole eggs can be a part of a healthy diet, because while it is high in cholesterol, saturated fat can be more detrimental to our lipid profiles.

 For the corny cakes:

  • 1/2 cup WW flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2  tsp  baking powder
  • 1/4-1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup  canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1  cup  1% low-fat milk
  • 2  tablespoons  canola oil, divided
  • 2  large eggs
  • Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder all purpose seasoning

Simply mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.  Add the wet to the dry and mix.  Cook them over medium heat in a large pan or griddle until golden.

For the black bean topping:

  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can fire roasted maters
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • cumin, oregano, chili powder

Mix ingredients in a pot and heat together.

For the poached egg:

Gently boil a pot of water with about 1 tbsp of white vinegar.  Gently pour egg into the water and simmer until desired degree of doneness (about 4-5 minutes).  I always have had a hard time making my poached eggs perfectly round, but it didn’t turn out too bad this time.  Do you have any secrets to the perfect poached egg?


Mid-bite yolky goodness . . . 


This was such a satisfying meal and very filling with the beans!  These pancakes are also great for breakfast or as a pancake sandwich, yum!

What are your best tips for eating healthy on a budget?  Any ergogenic aid ideas?

Have a great week!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

it’s really over

IMG_4521My first realization to the end of summer was the giant chunk of change that was gone from my pocket with just a mere click of the mouse, and now with the first week of classes, along with work, I’ve come to the final realization that it is definitely over *sigh*  Even though it’s only midweek I feel my free time is going to be very tight this semester and the weekends are just going to fly by even worse than before.  I want to let you guys all know that I may be lacking in the blogging and commenting department, but I will try as much as I can.  I myself like to personally respond back to each commenter on their own blog because I really enjoy getting your comments and I like to see and respond to your blogs too :)

Thanks for all your comments I really appreciate them!  I’m going to try to get another ride in this weekend, but it will probably be with the slow riders, so I’ll have to some how get in contact with him again.  Whatever my thesis may be I think I’m going to ask these guys if they want to come in the ex phys lab.  I wonder if they’ve tried coconut water?  hmmm . . .   

Happy Hump Day!  Even though it’s almost pretty well over.  I have to say that on Sunday and Monday I went to bed at 9 and wow, what a difference a few, well about 3 extra hours makes!  I wish I could go to bed at 9 every night!

For times sake, I will jump right in to one of my favorites. . .

IMG_4534Chris and I always usually make home-made pizza and calzones on a Friday because we can make the worst mess in the kitchen, have lots of red wine and just be happy that it’s the weekend :)  This time we made them Tuesday night.  Well, Chris made the dough and then we made the rest together that night.  Tuesday night was also Chris’ last day before he started his new job!!!!!!!!!  We are so excited and relieved that he got this one, it’s just going to be pretty tough juggling everything and dinner with both of us working full-time and doing grad school.  We’ll see how it goes!

image There is nothing like fresh, home-made dough!  It is just so yummy and pretty darn fun to make too.  I’ve made this ww dough recipe before and you can find it here, or you can just simply look at the pictures :)


Pizza stones give an awesome texture.  Oh my gosh the oven was so freakin’ hot and we were dying.  Chris also set off the fire alarm using the grill pan for stuffing ingredients, oops!  We had to bring down the box fan to get some air circulating since it was just as hot if not hotter outside.  I can’t wait till it cools down here!

Happy buns in the oven! 


This one recipe makes a whole lotta dough (wish it was the green kind), so be prepared to make a lot for leftovers!


Ok, best pizza topping invention!!!!  Have you ever tried fresh figs on your pizza?  Sounds kinda weird, but it works so well.  I like to use a balsamic reduction as the ‘sauce’, top it with some spinach, fresh figs, crispy prosciutto and fontina cheese, yum!


IMG_4521 Another great pizza topping is grilled peaches, I love the combination of salty sweet things and these also pair well with the salty prosciutto. 

I make thin crust pizzas most of the time, but every once in awhile I do like a Chicago deep dish from a place called BJ’s.  It’s to-die for!  And also their pizookies are a big weakness :)



Why not have a calzone or pizza making party for your next get-together?  I’ve done this a couple times with some friends and we’ve had an absolute blast (of course an addition of wine makes it fun too).  Just have all the ingredients and dough ready to go and get your guests working in the kitchen!  Nice!

What’s the worst mess you’ve made in the kitchen?



Monday, August 24, 2009

first day of school

IMG_4490 When I was just a wee whooper snapper, I used to get so terribly excited for school.  I planned for that first day weeks in advance, went shopping with mom to get some new outfits, supplies, a backpack, and organized my binders for each class with multiple color coded tabs.  Yes, I was even planning when I was a kid, probably even in the womb!

I started classes again today, like so many others, and the most planning I’ve done is purchasing my books.  I don’t know what it is but I don’t get that excited anymore.  I mean the classes I am taking seem really interesting so far (still have one more on Thursday), but it’s just not like when I was a kid.  Anyone else? 

I went to adv sports nutrition today and it seems like it will be a nice refresher and also very interesting!  I just wish the ex phys program had more classes like this with a specific track emphasis of sports nutrition.  Ah well.  Thursday I have research methods in physical activity.  I’m hoping this will be some great information to help me out with my thesis, because as of right now I’m in a rock and a hard place.  I need to get my butt in gear and decide what I’d like to do.

Did everyone have a good weekend?  I actually felt like I got everything I needed to get done this weekend, which is almost always not the case.  I’m always wishing for just one more day to finish the laundry, do this, make that, just relax.  I actually got to bed by 9pm, and it was awesome to actually get 8 full hours of sleep.  I haven’t had that in a long time.  How many hours of sleep do you need to feel chipper? 

Why did I go to bed so early?  Well, being that my body was screaming at me for not getting enough sleep most nights, combined with a 30 mile bike ride, I was pooped!  If you saw my post on Twitter, I had planned to ride 50 miles on Sunday with the green valley cyclists club.  I was nervous to begin with for this ride because the most I’ve ridden is about 31 miles.  Then, when we arrived to the starting point, I saw about 25 other cyclists many of whom rode professionally in Europe, and I thought . . . you know this probably isn’t a good idea for me right now.  And boy was I glad I went on the other group ride!  Chris told me it was just crazy.  My ride was good, a little too easy, but good.  I’m feeling a lot more comfortable on my bike, but I still need to master confidence with speed.  I’m always afraid I’m going to totally biff it!      

If you ever get the chance to speak to a professional cyclist, be prepared to be dumbfounded, intimidated and feel like a complete loser! (or just human) They are just on a completely different level that I cannot comprehend, aside from most athletes even.  We talked to this one cyclist who still rides competitively, but not like he used to since he blew out his shoulder racing 60 mph and also blew out his knee on another crash, both of which the doctor’s said he probably wouldn’t race again.  Since his major crash, he took 10 years off, gained weight, then started racing again 3 years ago and is already kicking everyone’s tail.  What?!  He also said that 50 mile ride was a ‘cool-down’ from his 75 mile ride just the day before.  What?!  I just don’t get it, someone explain this to me?!  crazy.  Props to Chris for going on that ride.  I’m going to have to have a little more than 5 rides under my belt I guess. 

I also talked to him about his diet, supplements, ergogenic aids and what he does to keep in the best shape.  He told me that he probably burns upwards of 5,000 kcals/day and there is no way he can replenish all of that realistically.  I thought this was interesting.  Do you think you could eat 5,000 + kcals/day without eating high calorie junk?  I was thinking I should do an interview for the blog!

I sure wish I would have had my little camera, I need to take pictures next time.  It looks so neat when there are 25+ people allIMG_4476 riding together.  It’s a very empowering feeling too, but then I lose it when I fall back in the slow-poke group hehe  

Dinner tonight was sure simple and filled with lots of veggies!  We slathered some portabella mushrooms with TJ’s BBQ sauce and grilled them along with some other random veggies we had in the fridge to use. 

I topped them with some cheese and placed them on TJ’s flat IMG_4492bread (love that bread!).  I also made a simple hummus dip with some more of that lemon basil I’m in love with, which was an awesome spread.  Simply swirl all the ingredients below in a food processor!

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp cumin (we like cumin, so 1 tsp would be sufficient)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2 bunches lemon basil (this is the best!)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil to make it smooth

simply. delish.


On the side we grilled some sweet potatoes and fingerling potatoes for fries.  I’m not much of a ketchup eater really and we don’t have any in our fridge.  The only time I do eat it is when we go out to eat and it’s there staring at me.  My ‘ketchup’ was greek yogurt and lemon basil hummus :)


Guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow?  I usually always take leftovers from dinner and transform it for lunch the next day.  That way it saves me time in the morning.  Tomorrow I’m not going to have too much time since I have to get blood work early, yuck! I just hate getting blood work, I always get woozy since I have to fast.  Hope your week is going well so far!  


Anyone start classes today, or drop off a kiddie to school?  Are you looking forward to the school term? 

Friday, August 21, 2009

a little bit of randomness

IMG_4446 I don’t really have a specific topic for this post, and it probably won’t be my most stellar, but I just wanted to post and say hello!

Whew, today is Friday and boy am I a happy camper in the non-tent, non-outdoor form, of course!  Fridays always make me happy even though the weekends always fly by way too fast. 

Since my last post I went to the Farmer’s Market here in Las Vegas started by Molto Vegas.  I actually found out about it from our Staff Meeting at work.  Every meeting they highlight a specific program at UNCE, and this time it was the ‘Producer to Chef’ program with Bob Morris.  Wow, this really got me excited!  Doug Taylor, the executive pastry chef for Molto Vegas was also there because he was the man who started the great producer-to-chef relationship with all the local farms near the Vegas area (150 mile radius).  When they told us about this farmer’s market, I literally wanted to jump out of my seat with delight!  I’ve been to a few farmer’s markets here and just haven’t been that impressed.  This one . . . oh my gosh, loss for words.  It is located in a warehouse that is pretty cramped and there were a lot of people (word got out), but the product was just gorgeous!  The chefs in town get first dibbs and then the public gets to look around.  Connecting with the chefs is what really makes this farmer’s market work and helps the farmer’s to actually make money.  Boy, I am so glad they opened it to the public too. 

IMG_4444 I got some really great things and oh let me tell you I could have bought it all!  I got some pumpkin blossoms, leeks, yellow summer squash, figs, peaches, plums, lemon basil and purple basil.  I cannot wait to try these out!  I already had a bite of the lemon basil and it about knocked my socks off it was so good.  It’s like basil with a refreshing lemon-y punch.  You have to try this!  I also had one of the plums which was juicy and so full of flavor.  Usually at the store they taste like flavorless hockey pucks. 


mmmm . . . I’m in heaven with this kind of stuff!  And you know what I’ve finally come to the realization that I have to go to culinary school no matter what that looks like or how I get there.  I’ve danced around the idea forever now.  This truly makes me excited and happy!  I’d like to go to Johnson and Wales because they actually have a culinary nutrition degree and I’ve taken a lot of the science-based classes already.  But, I may have to settle for the community college here because it’s way too expensive.  It is definitely on my must-do list :)  You have to hold me to it!!

This weekend we are planning on going to our friend’s double birthday/housewarming party which should be a lot of fun.  They plan on having beer pong, hehe!  Takes me back to the college days, although I wasn’t a big partier at all.  I didn’t even have a drink till I was 21 I swear.  But I do like to go dancing in da club!  I’d also like to get a good bike ride in on Saturday, but we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve been sorely sleep deprived this week and really just want to sleep in and catch up to be honest :)

Tonight for din din I went back on that chicken sausage broccoli pasta idea that I had in mind before my guy made us something special Wednesday :)  This is really a winner, and everyone I make it for really likes it.  My mom always requests it when I come to visit.  Oh and my mom is coming to visit me October 20th for a week!  I’m sooo excited!  Being that she is in North Carolina and I’m way over here in Vegas, it makes it really hard sometimes for me.  I do call my mom every day on the phone though!

Sorry for the terrible lighting, it was getting dark and the precious sunlight was dwindling!  Any camera pros know of a cheap light tent or some kind of light station to make great light?

I also added some of the farmer’s market leeks and TJ’s heirloom tomatoes.  This recipe is great because you can vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand :)


I also made stuffed squash blossoms because, well, I’ve always wanted to try and make them!  I stuffed them with a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, goat cheese, garlic, pine nuts and lemon basil.  This is sooo good and would also be great stuffed in calzones, added to scrambled eggs, or as a bruschetta topping.

Then I made a tempura batter to plop them in before frying them to a crisp.  Here’s the recipe I based mine off of and this one too.  Wow!  So good!  I didn’t know how easy tempura batter is.  The blossoms are very unique and I love the puffy tempura batter!  Once we started frying Chris got a little fry happy, so we decided to try anything we could find :)  Broccoli, sweet potatoes(these are my favorite), whole wheat tortillas  . . .


And even a string cheese!!!  


Oooey, gooey cheese in the middle!  Yum!  I love tempura batter, and I haven’t fried anything ever in my own kitchen.  Can you believe that?  Of course I’ve had it at restaurants though.  It was fun, a bit messy, but oh so good! 


Another big question for you  .  .  . I’ve been wanting to update my site for ages now, but it just hasn’t seemed to pan out mostly because I have no idea when it comes to website design.  I’d like to ask if you guys know of any one that is good with this kind of thing?  I’d be willing to pay, but I don’t have that big of a budget being that I just had to fork out my left kidney for grad school.  (Speaking of which, I’m going to be taking sports nutrition and research methods in physical activity).  I’d mostly just like to make it easier to navigate, with better graphics/background and add a few tabs, including a recipes tab with all my recipes I’ve posted.  Thanks for your thoughts!

Have you guys seen the FoodBuzz Blogger Festival itinerary yet??  Wow!  How freakin’ cool would that be?!  I am still in the process of being a featured publisher, but I would love to go! 

Well, if you’ve made it through this post and your head doesn’t hurt, I commend you!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Any fun plans??






Wednesday, August 19, 2009

lucky gal

IMG_4411 Yesterday I had a chicken sausage broccoli pasta dish in mind for dinner that’s always a winner, but when I got home Chris was a busy bee in the kitchen and backyard whipping something up for us.  I asked him what he was making and his replay was ‘nothing,’ with a little grin on his face.  I thought sweet!  I don’t have to make dinner tonight!  (although I really love cooking and he wouldn’t let me help)

Rewind for a little bit back in time when Chris and I first started dating in Reno at UNR. . . We always loved taking walks together along the Truckee or around local parks, but the first time we had a picnic on one of our walks along the river Chris made us a little surprise menu.  I was so impressed when he whipped out roasted veggie sandwiches with hummus!  He also roasted the red peppers himself!  For a guy, I thought this was just perfect.  This has always been a special meal in my mind and I will always remember it.  That was before my ‘take pictures like a made person’ days, so I don’t have a picture of it :( 

Here is a picture of the Truckee in winter and summer below.  So beautiful!  I’d love to live in Reno.



Roasted vegetables have such a wonderful flavor, and I would choose this sandwich over a burger any day.  I’ve actually been on a vegetarian streak this week so far, and I love it!  I would say that I am mostly a flexitarian, eating meat occasionally or at the most once a day or every other day.  It just doesn’t appeal to me as much, and I don’t mind if I have meat or not because there are so many interesting and healthy vegetarian recipes out there. 

This dish is also very economical and the grilling really brings out the robust flavors of the vegetables.  It was like a giant garden in my sandwich!  Carrots, zucchini, roasted bell peppers, sweet potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and gooey mozzarella cheese on roasted garlic ciabatta bread from TJ’s.  That bread is so good!  When you roast garlic it gets really sweet and toasty and you can practically eat it whole like candy!  Yum!  I’ve also made a roasted garlic vinaigrette for salads and marinades for meats.  It’s also great as a sandwich spread.  If you haven’t tried heirloom tomatoes, you should!  They have such a sweet, intense tomato flavor that really tastes like tomatoes, imagine that?  Other great additions are hummus, avocado, portabella mushrooms, any others I’m missing?


On the side he made a nice salad with a roasted tomato vinaigrette, home-made croutons, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted red peppers.  Roasted tomatoes make a wonderful dressing.  They are sweet and slightly acidic which is perfect!  Cook them on the grill in a cast-iron skillet until they get slightly charred.  He also added some balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Yum!


It was a great dinner and we enjoyed it at a park close to our new house.  While it wasn’t the Truckee River, it was so peaceful and I felt like such a lucky gal :)


Mid-bite!  Lots of colors, yum!!!


Any simple moments in your life that were truly special?  How do you best like to enjoy fresh veggies?


Friday, August 14, 2009

food experience of all time

I think Marrakech is one of those places that you don’t go just to eat, but enjoy the incredible experience and ambiance that goes along with it.

The first time we went to Marrakech was with a Christmas gift card we received from Chris’ dad and step mom.  Boy were we impressed!  We practically giggled in amazement as each course came out and the belly dancers jiggled all over the room.  The second time we came was last year for our 2nd anniversary.  And of course they wowed us again!  Last night we went back with Chris’ dad and step mom to celebrate their retirement and also their new cabin they will be retiring to in Colorado soon.  While we are so happy for them, Chris and I are going to miss them terribly.  They are so cool to hang out with for soon-to-be in-laws!  They like wine, food and having a good time.  They will be surely missed, but it will be fun to visit!  We’re hoping we can make it up there for Thanksgiving.

IMG_4359I just wanted to share with you some of the experience.  This place is terrible for pictures because the lighting is very dark, but it’s still pretty neat.  If you have one in your area or ever get a chance to go I would highly recommend it!

Here is the 6 course menu as you enter:

IMG_4360There is Moroccan style shrimp scampi, lentil soup, marinated vegetables with hummus, kebabs of filet mignon, cous cous platter with vegetables and game hens, and of course pastilla for dessert!

There were four of us and we even took home some leftovers.  This place is well worth the price tag because it is delicious!  I would also recommend bringing a few extra dollar bills to tip the dancers :)

Here is a view from the inside.  Everything is covered in gorgeous fabric with Moroccan flair, plates and antique type items adorn the walls, and you sit at short tables close to the ground.  As you step into the curtains, it’s like your going to another realm.  Wait, am I still in Vegas??

I love this picture, it looks like the light is enveloping the walls of fabric like fire. . .


Everything was lit by mostly candlelight . . . very romantic! but terrible for food pictures.


Tiny tables and chairs!


IMG_4364The waiter came and asked for our drinks, and then washed our hands in rosewater!  This smells so floral and fragrant and made my hands feel so soft.  It’s also a plus because most of the courses are eaten with your fingers.

IMG_4366We had a wonderful Moroccan wine with dinner called Amazigh.  It’s a very easy red, like a merlot and very fruity.  We can’t find this anywhere in Las Vegas!  It was $35/bottle, dang restaurant mark-up, but it’s still cheaper than getting it by the glass.  We ordered two bottles.  Let me remind you that Chris’ dad and step mom really can hold their liquor!  I had about 1.5 glasses throughout the two hour dinner :) Oh yes, and plan at least 2 hours because there is much food, conversation and belly-dancing to be had!

First course was shrimp scampi in the most wonderful garlic, butter and parsley sauce, along with some great bread to dip!  I had 4 shrimp and 1/2 slice of bread.  I was trying to pace myself!


Second course was lentil soup that you drink and hold the bowl in your hands.  This is so good, but I only had about 1/4 of it.  I get sooo full on soup very easily.


Third course is my favorite!!!!  Marinated vegetables with hummus!  Oh my gosh I love how they makes this.  The veggies are slightly crunchy, slightly blanched and enveloped in a wonderful sweet/ tangy vinaigrette.  Yum!  The marinated beets were so good.  There were also carrots, cucumber, onions, maters, and olives.  I had a good portion of this one :)


Fourth course was filet mignon kebobs in a giant pineapple!  What a presentation, eh?  It was weird I wasn’t feeling the meat at all.  I actually felt the veggies all tasted better than the meat.  Don’t get me wrong, all the big carnivores at the table were very happy :)


Fifth course was cornish game hens with veggies and cous cous.  Yum!  The meat was so tender, but I loved the carrots and butternut squash.  There were also raisins in the cous cous which I love.


IMG_4383Next came the mint tea!  They pour it from way up high and manage not to spill it everywhere.  I love mint tea after dinner because it really helps to aid digestion, but this one is a bit sweet for my taste.

For dessert we had a pastilla they call it.  It’s basically phyllo dough wrapped around warm apples, nuts and cinnamon and topped with a lot of powdered sugar and more cinnamon.  This is not my kind of dessert, unless of course it came a la mode :)  But it was really good and not too sweet. 


This was such a great experience and I’m sure Chris and I won’t be able to go back here for awhile.  So yummy!

Do you have a favorite restaurant ‘experience’ that just blew you away?  I’d love to hear!!   

Thursday, August 13, 2009

happy camper take 2

IMG_4195 After getting home from Bryce, Chris happily went to making the fire while I got things ready for breakfast the next morning. 

We bought some more fire wood on the way back, but it wouldn’t be enough for a night and a morning fire, so we decided to make breakfast that night and just have leftovers from the mondo chicken pot pie we made the night before.  Leftovers are the best!  IMG_4170

Chris loves making fires!  It’s like his manly duty or something.  Me man, me make fire haha  We also had some more s’mores of course!

The next morning we huddled in our tent until the sun started to peek out with its enveloping warmth since we didn’t have a fire.  I just wrapped the breakfast burritos in foil with some mozzarella cheese and placed them on the propane stove (I know this is cheating, but shhh!)  It was really great and easy since the eggs were already made!


After breakfast we packed up all our gear (not fun) and headed to Cedar Breaks National Monument.  Another breathtaking view!  Nature is just absolutely amazing to me, how something so beautiful can exist in this world. 


Doesn’t it look like a fake background almost??

 IMG_4195 IMG_4197 IMG_4200

There were beautiful wild flowers everywhere, although one of the camp hosts told us that the best season for them is the first 3 weeks in July when they’re really in bloom.  For lunch we went towards Brian Head and grabbed a quick turkey and avocado sandwich at a deli there, but the guy wasn’t very nice at all and the sandwich wasn’t anything special. 

We drove up to a point called Brian Head Peak.  Boy, this was amazing too!  You could see everything from up there.  It was really scary because there were sheer drop offs from all sides.  Crazy!



Our last 2-mi hike was called Spectra Point.  Again, more drop-offs!  No pets are allowed on this one, and I can see why, yikes!  Looking over heights like that makes my stomach drop.

IMG_4226 IMG_4233 IMG_4240 IMG_4247 

Then it was off to the B&B!  Woo-hoo!  I can’t tell you how I was looking forward to getting a nice shower and being able to actually sleep through the night on a cushy bed.

IMG_4310 It was just as we had remembered!  We got the Oceanside room this time, and it was really nice.  We had dinner reservations at a place right across the street called Garden House that we also went to last time.

They have a cute little gazebo in the back, and Chris and I were kind of thinking this would be great for a wedding?  I think they can fit 100 people in the back too.  On the right is the inside the dining room.  Everything is mission style, very rustic and cozy.


When we were just about to head over another couple who was going to eat there said the restaurant had lost their liquor license or something and we couldn’t have wine with dinner . . . what?!  Blasphemy!! 

So they offered some of their La Crema Chard to share  with us at the B&B before dinner.  Wow!  This is a good one, IMG_4285very balanced, buttery and not too oaky.  I don’t like heavy, oaky chards that hide the fruit.  I like the butta baby and this one was great!  I was so sad to not have wine with dinner, but the company and food definitely made up for it :)

IMG_4301For an appetizer we had the baked brie with fruit and cranberry compote.  Wow!  Cranberries and brie is such a great combo! 

We devoured this dish.  I am going to have to try to recreate this one!


I decided on the mustard-dill glazed salmon and Chris had the Chicken Marsala.  Oh I love salmon!  I always try to get this at restaurants if I can because I can’t really buy it that often.  It was absolute perfection!  It also came with a side salad.  The veggies on the side were good as well, but the salmon stole the show.  I also had a few bites of Chris’ dish, but it was very rich with just a little heavy cream.


We decided to hold off on dessert because our pants were about to explode and Nan, the innkeeper, had some chocolate cake waiting for us hehe We just walked across the street after dinner and sat out on the back porch and watched the sun go down.


The temperature was absolutely perfect, not to hot and not too cold.  IMG_4320 The chocolate cake was not the absolute best I’ve had, but yummy.  I could only eat about 3/4ths of mine, along with another small glass of chardonnay :) As the temperature got a little cooler we had some decaf mint green tea and went back to the room and watched Hairspray.  I just love that movie!  Although I did fall asleep halfway through it.  I can’t watch movies in bed because I just zonk out no matter what. 

IMG_4347The next morning breakfast was ready for us at 8:30am.  It was just like being at home, so quaint and cozy, although there are a bunch of people that you don’t know around :) But very nice I might add.   We started with yummy smoothies in a martini-type glass, along with fresh fruit (I had 1/2), a sausage patty (I had 1/2) and this amazing frittata type thing she called feather bed eggs.  The egg thingie was my favorite.  It was so moist with a thin layer of some kind of bread, eggs and sun-dried tomatoes mixed in with oregano on top.  Yum!  I also had a slice of a pumpkin cream cheese roll.  Chris was in love with this from the last time so he had about 3 slices!



We didn’t want to leave!  We just walked around Cedar City for a little while and perused the little shops.  After checking out we packed up and headed home to reality.  Such a wonderful trip all in all I must say :) Where did the summer go?

What’s your favorite trip on a budget?  Any frugal vacation ideas just to get away?