Greek Cooking Class

Another successful date night!

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September’s date night took us to Whole Foods, but not for grocery shopping… 

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We were there for a Greek cooking class that featured a three-course dinner with appetizers to boot!

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The class was only $10 a person. Who says a fun and delicious date night has to cost mucho dinero?

Ryan and I arrived and took our seats at a long table with the other class participants and were immediately served a glass of wine.

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I love a good glass of white wine! I much prefer white wine to red because I like my wine to taste like juice and  that’s harder to come by when enjoying red wines.

Once everyone was happily sipping on their glasses of wine, the class began.

It started out on an interactive note with some hummus-making!

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The homemade hummus contained chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini (sesame seed paste).

Guess who was our table’s designated chickpea crusher?

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That is Ryan’s “I’m really into this chickpea crushing business” face. 

As he crushed away, I couldn’t help but quip “a food processor would be pretty great right about now.” The instructor said that a food processor would take all of the fun out of the hummus making process.

False.

It would take all of the lumps out of the hummus-making process. 😉

Once Ryan was done making the hummus, we enjoyed it spread on fresh pita bread.

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Ryan and I thought the hummus was okay… but in some serious need of seasonings. Sue recommended adding roasted red peppers if we recreate the hummus at home which I think we would really enjoy. I think this less flavorful hummus would be delicious on a sandwich, but when enjoyed on a pita alone, it was a bit bland.

Luckily the other appetizer was very flavorful.

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Grape leaves stuffed with rice and seasonings. So good! I had three while Sue prepared our salads with another Whole Foods team member.

It’s rare that I will say a salad is the best part of any meal, but in this particular situation it really was!

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The salads were comprised of a very unusual combination of foods:

  • Watermelon
  • Olive
  • Endive
  • Feta cheese
  • Mint
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

We were all a little skeptical about how the flavors would taste together, but they were unbelievably delicious! My favorite bites were the ones with the watermelon, feta and mint. YUM.

We basically licked our salad plates clean.

Then it was time for the main course.

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Chicken gyros were served with pita bread, cucumbers, tomato, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a yogurt-based sauce known as raita sauce.

My favorite part of this dish was definitely the raita sauce. It was cool and creamy and I cannot wait to try to recreate it at home.

Dessert was also delicious.

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We were served plates of stracciatella gelato, which is essentially an Italian sweet cream flavor of gelato with chocolate shavings. It was topped with mint leaves and orange blossom honey (so good!) and served with watermelon, cantaloupe and sliced, frozen grapes.

Ryan and I finished our respective desserts very quickly and were able to share a second scoop of the stracciatella.

Clearly the gelato sparked our sweet tooth, because once the class was over we headed to Whole Foods’ bakery and nabbed some chocolatey goodies.

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I am seriously in love with Whole Foods’ bakery. Their oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is unreal. I could eat those bad boys all day every day. Ryan shares my love of these cookies and we spilt a big one between the two of us (it looks small in that bag, but it was the size of my hand).

I also nabbed a chocolate twist from the bakery which I planned to save for tomorrow.

It didn’t make it out of the parking lot. 😉

Good food + Good company = Great date night

The rest of our evening will be spent cuddled up on the couch with the dawg. My kinda night!

See ya in the mornin’, friends!

Our Date Night Tradition

Lunch was a simple one!

Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich

I made myself a BBQ chicken sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin with baby greens and gobs of mustard.

The Old Standby

For some added veggies, I also enjoyed a side of broccoli slaw with Italian dressing.

Broccoli Slaw

Friday Spread

Minimal effort was required to assemble this lunch, but it was still super satisfying and delicious.

My kinda meal! 😀

Date Night

As long-time PBF followers already know, Ryan and I take turns planning date nights for each other every other month. This is something we’ve been doing for years and is something we both look forward to every single time.

All Dressed Up

It’s fun to be the “date planner” and brainstorm creative date ideas you think the other person will enjoy and it’s obviously fun to be the one wined, dined and entertained!

Smile!

Our date nights don’t have any restrictions, limitations, budgets or minimums. A date night can be a simple picnic at a park or a fancy-schmancy four-course dinner.

Past date nights have included:

Cheeseballs

When blog reader Lindsey e-mailed me asking how I come up with date ideas, I started to think about the steps I take when planning a fun date night.  When it’s my turn to plan a date, I typically do a number of things:

  • Think about local restaurants we’re dying to try
  • Hop on Ticketmaster.com to see if any comedians or good concerts are coming to the area
  • Check out Groupon.com for local deals and promotions
  • Talk to friends and coworkers about fun things they’ve done recently
  • Look at the city of Orlando’s calendar of events for fun festivals

As you may have guessed, tonight is DATE NIGHT!

It was my turn to plan a date this month and I’m excited for the activity we have planned.

It’s gonna be a fun (& yummy!) one! 😀

Question of the Afternoon

What is your ideal date?

Sadie Loves Animals, Animals Don’t Love Sadie

Good morning!

Wake Up, Orlando!

Isn’t downtown Orlando pretty before 7 a.m.?

Workout

This morning Ryan and I headed to the gym and split up do do our respective workouts. We workout together, but not together. 😉 While I took a BodyPump class, Ryan hit the stair-stepper, bike and treadmill for a cardio workout. Ryan almost always does weights only at the gym. He gets his cardio during weekly soccer games and soccer practices, but is on a mission to integrate more cardio into his daily workouts.

Just like many women seem to struggle with integrating weights into their exercise regimen, I think many men may struggle with incorporating more cardio into their routines. It’s kinda funny how each gender seems to have a different “go to” exercise.

After our respective workouts, we came home and gathered up the pup for a 2.5 mile walk.

Walk, Walk, Walk

No Standing??? Psssh. Such a Rebel.

It was nice to enjoy some calm with Ryan and Sadie before the workday madness sets in.

Sadie seemed to enjoy the walk as well… though she seemed to prefer stalking the birds and squirrels to actually walking.

"Oh Swanyyyy. Come Out and Plaaaay..."

Much to her chagrin, the animals didn’t seem to reciprocate her interest and all made a beeline for treetops or the lake at the sight of her gangly body and the sound of her overly-excited wheezes.

Maybe next time, Sadie. 😉

Breakfast

Breakfast once again paid hommage to Tuesday’s delicious pumpkin peanut butter French toast.

I made myself a pumpkin peanut butter sandwich that included banana slices since I had a banana that basically had one foot in the grave and needed to be used.

PB & P & B

Before inhaling this breakfast, I dusted the sandwich with pumpkin pie spice because it make it look so perdy and taste that much better.

Open Faced

Eat Me!

I wonder when I’ll get sick of this pumpkin and peanut butter combo? If it’s anything like my love of peanut butter, I don’t see it fading any time soon.

Healthy Eating in College Follow Up

Before signing off, I want to take a minute to thank you guys for sharing some amazing tips for eating healthy while away from home at college. If you’re looking for more quality tips and advice, definitely check out the comments section of yesterday’s post. You readers are so wise. 🙂

I also received some additional requests for posts about the following topics:

  • How to maintain an exercise regimen in college
  • How to eat healthy on the cheap

Stay tuned! 😀

Of Possible Interest