Crazy Carrot

Those butterscotch brownies were g-o-o-d, but don’t you worry, my day wasn’t completed dominated by indulgent sweets.

I did manage to eat a serving or two of vegetables. 😉

I picked up lots of fresh goodies at the farmer’s market today… Most notably, this freak carrot!

Crazy Carrot

Crazy, huh?

The carrot was among a plethora of produce that I picked up today while on a long walk with Ryan and Sadie late this morning.

Farmer's Market

Sadie

The Goods

I put the veggies to use in a big bowl of roasted vegetables for dinner this evening.

I topped the broccoli, carrots and Brussels sprouts with a MorningStar Farms Italian herb chik patty

Roasted Veggies + Chik Patty

Farmer's Market Freshness

Gotta love the freshness of farmer’s market veggies!

Dessert

Tonight’s dessert was an easy decision because I had a free coupon for cefiore, a frozen yogurt shop in College Park.

We headed out for our sweet treat at dusk and enjoyed it outside on the patio.

Dark Chocolate + Strawberry

We split a cup of dark chocolate and strawberry swirl frozen yogurt which was refreshingly cool and creamy.

I think we should get a frozen yogurt machine for our apartment. Is that something we can register for? 😉

Butterscotch Brownie Bars

Cooking is something I’ve grown to really love, but baking is something I’ve always adored.

I wonder if my love for baking stems from my love for sweets?

Today I baked a totally new treat!

Last week I was loving the combination of butterscotch chips with roasted peanuts and enjoyed it as an afternoon snack throughout the week.

Butterscotch + Peanut Butter

Toady I figured I could take this tasty creation to a new level by combining the two in a brownie-like bar.

I started by melting butterscotch chips and butter in a small saucepan.

Butterscotch + Butter

I stirred the warm mixture into a bowl with sugar, brown sugar, an egg and vanilla extract. After adding flour, a pinch of salt and peanuts, the batter was ready for bakin’.

Batter

After about 25 minutes, the butterscotch brownies were done.

Butterscotch Brownies

Butterscotch + Peanuts

Yummy!

They were moist, delicious, and a fantastic combination of sweet and salty.

Butterscotch Brownie Bars

(Makes 18 bars)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips (6 oz.)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt butterscotch chips and butter in a saucepan on low heat. Stir constantly until no lumps remain.
  • Combine sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Pour butterscotch mixture into the bowl with the sugar mixture.
  • Stir in flour, peanuts and salt until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Pour batter in to a pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes.

Straight No Chaser

Last night’s date night was SO much fun!!!

The concert was amazing and so was dinner… two for two! 😀

Dinner

Ryan and I kicked off date night by heading out to City Walk, an area of lots of restaurants, bars and clubs near Universal Studios.

City Walk

Orlando is huge (Disney World is about 25 – 30 minutes from our apartment downtown), and Ryan and I rarely do the “touristy” things.

Last night, however, we felt like we were on a mini-vacation, since we were surrounded by so many out-of-towners.

After parking in the King Kong lot (and paying $14 just to park! 😦 ), we walked around City Walk for a bit before crossing our fingers and venturing into Emeril’s restaurant to see if we could get a seat without reservations.

Emeril's Orlando

Luckily, the hostess said we could sit up at the bar which overlooked the kitchen.

Ryan and I have been to Emeril’s a couple of times before and we love sitting at the bar because you can watch all the behind-the-scenes action.

Within seconds of sitting, our drink orders were taken and we were provided with several fresh rolls to munch on before dinner.

Me + Cornbread

Cornbread

Ryan thought the sweet potato roll was tops, but I was a sucker for the cornbread (I had 2, plus 3/4 of a sweet potato roll).

We saved some of our rolls for dipping into the bowl of gumbo that Ryan ordered as an appetizer.

Gumbo

One of the cooks behind the bar said that when Emeril himself came to visit the restaurant in December, he complimented the gumbo, saying it was the best he’s ever had.

Ryan liked it a lot, but it was a bit spicy for me.

For our entrees, I ordered the sea bass while Ryan selected the duck.

Sea Bass

According to the menu, the sea bass was a “Seared Chilean sea bass bouillabaisse sofrito served with mussels, clams, toasted French bread with Florida orange-red pepper rouille.”

It was phenomenal. The broth was so flavorful, garlicy and delicious. I also loved the meatiness of the sea bass and the good amount of shellfish they included in the dish. Two thumbs up!

Ryan’s duck was also a great choice. He ordered the duck with caramelized sweet potatoes instead of the dirty rice it came with, which was a great decision.

Duck

We were both very happy with our selections.

Dessert

All through dinner we knew exactly what we’d be ordering for dessert.

Every time we’ve come to Emeril’s in the past, we’ve ordered the banana cream pie and been thoroughly impressed.

Last night was no different.

Emeril's Banana Cream Pie

The chef behind the bar told us that this dessert is the only one offered at all of Emeril’s restaurants.

It is so creamy and rich. Ryan and I finished all but two tiny bites.

Straight No Chaser

After a wonderful meal at Emeril’s, it was time to head over to the concert.

Date Night

Outside Hard Rock Live

We got there a little early but enjoyed people watching as the crowds entered the venue. There were quite a mix of people out to see Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group that originated at Indiana University.

The concert kicked off slightly past 8 p.m. and was full of energy!

We had great seats (4th row, dead center) and I got some awesome pictures and videos of the guys on my camera.

Straight No Chaser

These guys are so, so talented. It’s amazing what all they can do with only their voices.

Sing it Boys!

The show was energetic, fun and really funny!

Ryan and I both agreed that it was one of the best concerts we’ve ever seen.

Dessert x2

As we were walking out to our car, we walked past TCBY. I’m not one to just walk past a frozen yogurt store, so we popped in and split a small peanut butter and white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt.

TCBY

I love date night!

Today

Today I plan to tackle household chores (cleaning, laundry), get some sun, workout, run some errands, go to Ryan’s soccer game and possibly try a new recipe for dinner.

Catch ya lata! 😀