Tasty Tuesday: Charcuterie and Cheese

Short and sweet, because Wednesday won’t be wordless.

This was dinner on Sunday night. I had to brag because OMG. YUM! What’s your favorite meal?

image

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Have I Mentioned That I’m a Hypochondriac?

OK, so y’all are PROBABLY going to think I’m crazy (if you don’t already…and if you really don’t, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?) after reading this…but it needs to be said.

In addition to the unhealthy fear that I will have MS (ever since watching the Annette Funicello Story when I was a kid) and the irrational fear of botulism…I’ve recently begun having new thoughts when it comes to my health and well-being.

Perhaps. Maybe. I might possibly. Have a gluten intolerance. Or full blown Celiac’s Disease.

You see, I’ve had some…let’s say digestive issues…for a while now.

And recently, I discovered that headaches can be a direct effect of a gluten intolerance. And have I told you about the crazy headaches I sometimes get? In which I have to wrap my head in a heating pad after popping a whole handful of over-the-counter pills in order to fall asleep?

And then yesterday I GOOGLED the canker sore in my upper lip, you know because maybe they’ve come up with a new way to kill canker sores, amiright? And you know what I found, BLOG FRIENDS?

Celiac’s Disease. Causes. Canker sores.

And Google doesn’t lie. Especially when Google is advised by WebMD.

For the past month or so, I’ve been reading labels, learning what I may have to give up, savoring every piece of bread, noodle, cupcake, cookie, muffin, bagel like it might be my last…deciding “I can do it.” and “Oh God no! Not the cookies! Not the breakfast sandwiches!”

And so Blog Friends, I think I’m going to go find out for real about this one. What would you do?

If I think that I'm a hypochondriac, does that mean that I am one?

Do you ever feel like a hypochondriac?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tastefully Simple Recipe Ideas – Dips and Desserts!

Good morning, Blog Friends!

Tastefully Simple Products

I spent a brief period selling Tastefully Simple products (and was terrible at it, mostly because I only wanted the discount and didn’t really focus on the selling part), so I’m quite familiar with them. And they rock.

The perks of Tastefully Simple

  • Tastefully Simple products are great for people who love good food and don’t have a lot of time to spend cooking. All of the products can be easily made using 1-2 ingredients within an hour.
  • The possibilities are endless. I’ve included some of the recipes that I created with TS products on my own, but the website also offers a HUGE recipe bank of ideas.
  • They offer standard and seasonal products, so the product list is always changing, but they always offer fan favorites.
  • The products will ship to your door quickly and easily by purchasing items through their online shop.

Here are 3 recipes of my own creation that I absolutely LOVE:

Light Spinach and Bacon Dip

Bacon Bacon

  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 2 Tbs Tastefully Simple Bacon Bacon™
  • 1 Tbs Tastefully Simple Spinach & Herb Dip Mix

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with raw veggies, pretzels, or reduced guilt potato chips (I like Trader Joe’s the best). Brian and I may or may not have consumed an entire bag of chips and the whole damn dip during one weekend Dr. Who marathon…

Absolutely Almond Pound Cake™ French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

Absolutely Almond Pound Cake

This is NOT a light recipe. But it’s certainly a delicious one.

Pound Cake recipe:

  • 1 box Tastefully Simple Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix™
  • 3/4 cup butter (I use whipped butter)
  • 1 cup water

Mix ingredients, pour into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

French toast  and syrup recipe:

  • 4 slices of Tastefully Simple Absolutely Almond Pound Cake™
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs Tastefully Simple Rhubarb Strawberry Fruit Spread

Combine egg and milk-stir well. Coat each slice of pound cake lightly in the egg mixture. Heat a greased pan to medium heat, and place the coated slices in the pan. Cook each side until golden brown. Combine maple syrup and fruit spread, stirring well. (Optional: warm syrup in the microwave). Serve.

Key Lime Coconut Yogurt Fruit Dip

Tastefully Simple Key Lime Cheese Ball

  • 1 box Tastefully Simple Key Lime Cheese Ball Mix
  • 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs Tropical Coconut Balsamic de Modena (or any coconut flavored white balsamic vinegar)
  • Tropical fruit (I used mango, papaya, and pineapple) cut in cubes

Combine the first 3 ingredients (discard the graham cracker crumbs from the cheese ball mix or save for another recipe). Serve chilled with tropical fruit.

 

What do you think? Have you ever used Tastefully Simple products? Did you create any of your own recipes? Tell me in the comments below.

*I was not compensated for the nice things that I have said about Tastefully Simple, nor was I contacted by anyone affiliated with the company to write this post. I just enjoy the products and decided to share them with you.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Turkey Chili

If you remember the story of Death Bug, you’ll remember how I almost died…and how Death Bug tried to poison my homemade chili. I take a lot of pride in my homemade chili, so I thought that I would share with you my secret recipe to greatness.

Brian loves it when I make “comfort foods.” He prefers roasts and stews and chilies to anything fancy and delicious that I can make. Sometimes, when I’m feeling super nice, I will make them for him. This week, I made my chili again. Thankfully, there were no Death Bugs hanging around post-frost to try and poison us.

My mom taught me how to make chili, and if I didn’t tell you this, she might get upset. My culinary talents come from both of my parents, and the amazing chefs that I’ve had the opportunities to work with. This one’s a Mom creation that I’ve made my own.

As you may remember, I am doing the Weight Watchers thing, chili is an excellent way to get in your daily dose of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) crazy amounts of veggies, based on preferences, and oodles of protein. This recipe is just 5 points per 1 cup. Although I usually add 1-3 points worth of cheese…and then another 3-5 points worth of tortilla chips to use in place of a spoon…but I digress.

Weight Watchers 5 Points Plus Turkey Chili

Simmering joyful goodness

Weight Watchers 5 Points Plus Turkey Chili

(I use Trader Joe’s for almost everything, but it’s super easy to sub these out for your own favorite or generic brand…it also usually depends on what is in my cabinets at the time)
 

The Ingredients

  • 1 can of Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili with Beans
  • 1 can of Trader Joe’s Black Beans
  • 1 can Bush’s Best Mild Chili Beans
  • 1 can of Sweet Corn (low sodium)
  • 1 can of Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 lb Empire Kosher Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced jalapenos
  • 1 cup sliced or diced zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • Smoked Paprika to taste
  • Ground Cumin to taste
  • Onion Powder to taste
  • Garlic Powder to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste (I use a 3-pepper grinder and white pepper powder)
  • Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce to taste

The Steps

  1. Brown turkey with the spices, salt, and pepper. I use the same pot that I’m going to cook the chili in to save dishes.
  2. Once the turkey is cooked, add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cover and simmer on LOW heat for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are soft.
  5. Serve with chopped raw onions, shredded cheese (I’ve used smoked gouda and Kerry Gold Dubliner-both are delicious), and Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt tortilla chips.

1 serving = 1 cup = 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus

Make it Vegetarian Chili for Lower Points Plus

  • Substitute an extra can of mild chili beans for the turkey chili with beans
  • Substitute 2 cups of sliced baby bella mushrooms for the ground turkey

Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite comfort food recipes, friends?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus Chicago Style Hot Dog

So one of my plans/goals for this year is to lose some weight and get back to looking like the Chrissy in this karaoke picture. As Weight Watchers has always been my go-to weight loss plan, I’m back at it. Back in the days of college I lost 40 lbs when Katie at Words for Worms and I did WW together. I was way skinnier back then to start though! It’s amazing how you think you’re big until you get older and look back thinking, SHIT…I was so skinny!

My biggest reason for always going back to Weight Watchers is the flexibility. I can eat the foods I love. I can eat cheese (and the good stuff, not that nasty plastic fake cheese you people call American Singles) as long as I account for it. The trick is in the tracking.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a new site for my foodie-ventures (which has, of course, encountered some snafus)…and I think that it’s all going to be Points Plus calculated when it is officially up and running. I may end up having to start it as a WordPress.com blog if I can’t get what I want working soon. But that’s beside the point. /end internal dialogue>

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

So last week, I was jonesin’ for a hot dog like nobody’s business. And quite frankly, the thought of a diet dog makes me cringe. I’m from Chicago (ish) for God’s sake. So I’m willing to sacrifice the poppy seed bun for a whole wheat bun, but in no way on Earth am I sacrificing the meaty goodness of a Vienna Beef Hot Dog. Lucky for me, and you, on Weight Watchers, a small Vienna Beef Hot Dog is just 3 Points Plus.

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

A true Chicago-style dog includes the following ingredients:

  • Poppy Seed Bun (Steamed)
  • Vienna Beef Hot Dog (Boiled)
  • Mustard
  • Bright Green Pickle Relish
  • Chopped Onion
  • Sliced Pickle
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sport Peppers
  • Celery Salt

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

You’ll note that most of those ingredients are 0 Points Plus! The poppy seed bun is 4 points (S. Rosens brand, if you will), but the whole wheat bun (Healthy Life) is only 2 points. (For the record, if I’m only having one dog, I’ll suck it up and use the extra 2 points…but I had 2 dogs because they were delicious and I’m a glutton.) Green relish can be full of points, but 1 tablespoon is 0 points…so measure wisely.  (I didn’t have any relish, which is sad, but you know…I survived. I also subbed pickled hot peppers for sport peppers because I was missing a few ingredients…so adjustments can definitely be made…)

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

One last thing: if you put Ketchup on your hot dog, I will forever judge you. That is all!

What are your favorite local “delicacies?”

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

5 Things I Learned From Yelp

In honor of my third year as Yelp Elite, I’d like to take a few moments to recognize Yelp for its utter awesomeness…And share with you a little poem I wrote.

After a conversation with Heather from The B(itch)log, I felt the need to share with you some really bad poetry. And by bad, I mean truly and most inspiredly awesome. (Yes, I made up inspiredly. Just think of me like the next Shakespeare. Trust me…it will make sense in about 5 paragraphs or so–depending on how long I ramble this morning.)

Heather believes that there is no such thing as bad poetry. I informed her that I once wrote a sonnet about Chicklets (yes, the gum) and asked if she wanted to take her comment back. She said no, which made me hunt for my sonnet about Chicklets…and I couldn’t find it in my vault of bad writing. One day…I promise. One day. But I did write another sonnet in my life. One to the people of Yelp. But first…

5 Things I Learned from Rockin’ with Yelp Across the Country

  1. You see, Yelp is not just a website. It’s a way of life. Whenever we’re looking for somewhere to eat, something to do, somewhere to go…we ask Yelp. We make friends around the country and they help us by writing honest reviews. Yelp is a community of good folks working together to make the positives and negatives known. Yelp is what you make of it.
  2. Not all reviews are created equally. You need to learn to read what’s not being said. That very very very sickly positive review? Might just have been written by the owner or an employee. That very very very angry review? Give everyone a break and read other reviews of that business as well as other reviews from the person writing. You’ll get a feel for whether you trust their judgement or not. I know that I never trust someone who wrote a positive review about the local dive club where everyone shares STDs and drugs. Ew.
  3. You can make new friends just about anywhere. When Brian and I arrived in Orlando for our trip to Disney World, I received a “Welcome to Orlando” compliment from one of the wonderful Yelpers in Orlando. How freakin’ cool is that?!
  4. Business owners who don’t like your review can be ass hats or rock stars. After I reviewed a certain cheese “mecca” poorly, I got a NASTY message from the manager. It was spiteful. And mean. And written with really bad grammar. And then I did some research, and discovered that he had written his very own review of his business. And I called him on it. And was nice. Because that’s how I roll. I’ve had other owners contact me and invite me back for a second chance. I almost always go. Because that’s how Yelpers roll.
  5. It’s OKAY to act like a kid. When Yelp gave me a giant bouncy ball with the Yelp symbol, I knew that I had found my place in this world. S’mores bars and dance floors and so much more…Yelp is fun!
S'mores bar

S’mores Bar-and you thought I was joking.

Things I learned from Yelp drinks

This was a “Jack Frost Martini,” but it was deadly and tasted like college (fruity with the taste of potent alcohol).

A Sonnet to the Big Wigs at Yelp

In order to maintain my elite status for the year 2013, I was asked to write to the big guys with an application and a good reason why I should be elite. I figured the best way to secure my status would be to write a poem. But not just any poem. I wanted it to be a motherfuckin’ Shakespearean poem. And so…I wrote a sonnet.

Quirky Chrissy: Sonnet 2

And now, a sonnet:

To the dear higher ups at the great Yelp,
The holidays and time to choose are here
My Yelp status is floating like a kelp
To be elite Twenty-Thirteen, it’s clear

My application for this honor, bright
with Yelp reviews, comments and stats so fair
includes a poem for your heart’s delight
to show you just how much I really care

And if I am worthy of this status
You can count on me to keep reviewing
Unless I get a sweet pet platypus
Because then I would be busy playing

Do not fret, dear Yelp elite deciders
I love Yelp, please keep me with insiders

Yelp Photo Shoots (Photos Taken by Andres D. and Swiped from Facebook)

Yelp Elite Event

Gettin’ my locks conditioned at the Yelp Fab Femme Fete

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Yelp SWAG panties

Yelp SWAG! Panties anyone? Too bad they were a size small. Too tiny for my bootie!

Yelp Hair Salon Pictures

Just a funny picture of my faux ginger flying high

Yelp events

A Yelp Event at the Wilder Mansion with my pal, Cletus (remind me to tell you the story of this event sometime)

Yelp events with elite yelpers

The Rick Moranis look with the Yelp Crew at Glen Prairie

Thing I Learned from Yelp Elite Events

Making new friends at the Ylep Elite Events

Yelp Egg Nog Rumchata Martini

Sipping on a Rumchata Egg Nog Martini at the Glen Prairie

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: Asparagus and Brussels Sprout Salad

While I’m still in the process of getting my foodie section up and running, I figure that now is as good a time as any to give you a teaser post! My friend Valerie started a Tasty Tuesday weekly, so I thought I’d join her today.

Last year, I discovered Brussels sprouts. I know what you’re thinking… Seriously, Chrissy? Last year? How old are you? 10?

Until last year, I had only ever had frozen Green Giant Brussels sprouts (OK, maybe that should be sprout-singular) and I thought it was gross. Cue Brian’s mom, the best roast-maker ever, who would cook lamb roast with all sorts of delicious veggies. And the Brussels sprouts from her garden were delightful. And I wanted Brussels sprouts all the time.

Similarly with asparagus (as I had only ever had nasty overcooked stringy foul-smelling beasts of asparagus), I tasted a fresh al dente asparagus a few years ago when a chef friend of mine made me try it. Also delightful.

So I was hungry for some veggies one night and Googled (as I tend to do) to see if other people combine asparagus and Brussels sprouts into one dish. As it turns out, yes…they do.

I stumbled upon a Warm Asparagus and Brussels Sprout Salad recipe at Lauren’s Latest and modified it to suit what I had in my cabinet.

I subbed out the pomegranate seeds with dried Craisins, the bacon with ham, the white onion with a red onion, and added a little olive oil because there was no bacon grease. I also added crumbled goat cheese, because everything tastes better with cheese.

I’ve made this salad several times since, and I actually think that I prefer it served chilled. Here’s what I did the last time I made it. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 lb  Brussels sprouts (shredded)
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus (cut)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb turkey bacon (OK if you’re missing 2 slices)
  • 8 oz Craisins
  • 8 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Start with a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds.

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Toast the almonds in a skillet (I didn’t use any oil here).

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

After removing the almonds, fry the turkey bacon with a little cooking spray. (Also okay if you accidentally tear the bacon in half when you’re pulling it out of the container.) I’m not a big turkey bacon fan, but Trader Joe’s makes a pretty good one. And my mom doesn’t eat red meat or pork, so I had to be accommodating.

Microwaved turkey bacon

It’s not okay to microwave turkey bacon when you realize you want to cook all of it instead of just half a package… This is the result. These two lonely slices made their way into the mouth of the garbage bag (because we still didn’t have a garbage can yet…)

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

I wasted a lot of little containers taking pictures for you. I hope you’re impressed.

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

After removing the turkey bacon to let it cool, saute the onions in the oil until they are translucent.

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Chopped asparagus (no icky bottoms, thankyouverymuch).

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Add the asparagus to the onions

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

I could lie and say that I shredded the Brussels sprouts myself…but really… would I do that to you?

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Bagged Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joe’s. Making my life easier one plastic bag at a time.

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Add the chopped Brussels sprouts to the asparagus/onions

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

After you chop the turkey bacon, add to the pan

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Add the almonds back into the pan

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Craisins are super pretty 🙂 Mix them into a slightly cooled salad

Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Almonds, Turkey Bacon, Craisins, Goat Cheese

Finish the whole thing with the goat cheese. *Drool*

There you have it. One of my favorite side dishes. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. Except for the goat cheese with my sister. Apparently, she hates goat cheese. Apparently she didn’t know that until Thanksgiving. It was actually hilarious watching her expression.

What’s your favorite veggie side dish?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sunday Morning News: 24/7 Cupcake ATM, Naked Yoga, Skydiving Cats, & Twinkies

 Cupcake Machine

When I found this first news video, I wished I lived in Beverly Hills (Ohh! Is Luke Perry there? Is it 1995 again?) so that I could get a cupcake from an all night machine. The cupcake ATM is a novelty…Like when we were in London and came across a liquor vending machine. It’s like requisite take-photos-in-front-of-this-thing thing.

alcohol vending machine

Seriously. How cool is that?

Naked Yoga

In a follow up news video to last week’s Ban on Public Nudity, I found this gem, a naked yoga class open to both men and women. Not to be all obnoxious and embarrassing, but sign me up. The yogi said it perfectly when he told the camera, “If you’ve ever been skinny dipping, you’ll never want to wear a bathing suit again. It feels so comfortable; so natural.” I have to agree. It’s not about showing off or looking at naked-ness…it’s just about being comfortable. So I think I’d dig naked yoga. Once I lose about 50 pounds.

 Skydiving Cats…Or Not?

In Sweden, an insurance company has created a commercial with skydiving cats who, gasp are high-fiving mid-air! Check this out.

OK, maybe it’s movie magic…but still high-fiving skydiving cats?! It’s a no-brainer.

Twinkies in the News

As many of you may know, Twinkies, and the other treats created by Hostess Bakery, may be on their way out the door. With Hostess claiming bankruptcy for the 2nd time in less than a decade…things aren’t looking too good for the spongy cakes.

I have a strong connection to Twinkies, as my buddy Cletus and I were often voted as “Twinkies” in our fraternity, considering we were always together-two in a pack. So it was no surprise that on graduation day, Cletus walked up to me with a pack of Twinkies. These were individually packaged, which was good, because the only place I had to put it was in my bra. We sat next to each other, cracking jokes and eating Twinkies as some random speaker asked us to donate money to Bradley. Cletus and I wrote a post-dated check for $1.00 signed from the both of us. Bradley cashed the check.

Back to Twinkies: These are not your typical videos. These are not boring old news. Watch them. Watch them and laugh. Twinkie hot dogs with cheese whiz? A delicious log of joy? Cockroaches and Twinkies? Yes. Yes. and Yes.

That’s the news for this week. Did you see something funny in the news? I’d love to include it in a future Sunday Morning News post. Send the link to QuirkyChrissy@gmail.com.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayChic: Where Chrissy Becomes a Nerd Fashionista (and Gets Cool Stuff)

So last night was a big night for me. My first big event as a blogger. I was invited to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair Inaugural Fashion Show: PlayChic, as part of the media/blogging world (so yes, I did attend this event at no cost to me). What a spectacular affair.

Gamer's Paradise

Happiness is…toys and games!

More Toys and Games

More Happiness

Glasses of red and white wine were waiting as guests arrived in the private room at City Winery in Chicago. Passed hors d’ oeuvres were available (and let me tell you, I’ve never had a better polenta cake in my entire life….oh. mah. God.)

Chicago Toy & Game Fair PlayChic

I met some really neat people, including the captain and commander of The Urbaness (check this shit out–it’s a new neat Chicago Guide Site), the hubs of fashion designer Elda de la Rosa (who designed the Annie gown and the Brenda Starr gown), Elliot from The Gaming Gang (a sweet review site with some majorly detailed game reviews. Seriously, I could sit on there all day…), Nancy from The Radio Review, and game inventor, Graeme Thomson of HL Games (who took a picture of me with the Word Winder tie model and made absolute sure that I didn’t leave the event without a Word Winder game!)

The concept behind the Inaugural PlayChic is pairing fashion designers with toy and game inventors to create toy and game-inspired fashion. I had to fight pretty hard to get a decent photo spot, and in the end wound up under some super tall guy’s armpit, snapping shots. It’s an armpit eat dog world out there, kids. Of course, it was worth it… and I’m bringing you a real photo shoot, to boot!

Moshi Monsters

Moshi Monsters and Be Fore team up to create this fantastic monster dress and adorbs kids clothes. (You’ll note the blue light in the corner—that’s armpit guy’s arm in my way.)

Word Winder

Word Winder inspired designer Gibeon Tolbert to create this stunning dress and tie combo. “Love. Heart. Love,” says the Word Ninja.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan and Miriam Cecilia bring you this gorgeous and shimmering dress.

Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan Man, also designed by Miriam Cecilia

Brenda Starr

The famous comic reporter, Brenda Starr brought out the inspiration for this Elda de la Rosa gown. This may be my second favorite.

Pony Royale Dress

One of Chicago’s newest fashion designers, Nade Baer designed this Pony Royale inspired dress. This model was the smiliest of the bunch, therefore I liked her best. And she was princessy with sparkles.

Annie the Musical

Annie the Musical was the inspiration behind this Elda de la Rosa design.

So the gamer in me had a great time. The foodie in me had a great time. The wish-I-was-a-fashionista in me had a great time. It was the coolest thing I’ve done this year… (OK, maybe not as cool as Disney World…but come on…Disney Magic? How do you trump that?)

By the way: I think that Brian NEEDS this tie. Don’t you?

Word Winder Tie

Word Winder Tie. Yes. Please.

Look, Ma! I’m famous!

Chrissy at the Fashion Show

Note: I was not paid to say nice things about PlayChic. I was offered an invitation to join in the festivities at no cost, and really really really enjoyed myself. These opinions and thoughts are my own and should not reflect upon the companies and entities mentioned in this post. I also received a goodie bag with some freebies.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Most Amazing Meal I Have Ever Consumed

Just when you thought the Disney posts were over…

While in Disney, Brian and I decided to take a day off from the hustle and bustle of park-hopping. I had discovered that there was a dance club (yes, ladies and gentleman, my boyfriend likes to dance!) and so I suggested taking a trip to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort to go dancing.

After a lovely rainy afternoon at Port Orleans with Penny and her hubs, we made our way back to the Caribbean Beach Resort with a plan. Talk to concierge about making us dinner reservations, and then go dancing. I had previously Yelped to find restaurants in the general area, and discovered a cool looking Greek restaurant. Our resort concierge also recommended it, so we went with it. She booked us reservations, and we went back to the room to relax and get ready.

Our plan was to allot about an hour for transit, as we needed to jump on a bus to MGM erm Hollywood Studios and then grab another bus to the Boardwalk (I can’t help but think about Monopoly every time I see, hear, or say this). So we headed out dressed to the vacay 9’s.

Dressed for an amazing dinner

Dressed up for dinner

We got on the bus, and made sure that we would be able to connect to our final destination. The driver assured us that all would be well. Upon departure from the resort, Brian and I were the only guests on the bus…and I noticed that our driver seemed to going in the wrong direction…

We landed on the Boardwalk a whole hour earlier than our reservations thanks to the rockstar bus driver who gets mad props from me! He informs us that to get back, we won’t have a direct route, but we weren’t worried. Our plan was to cab it back for a few bucks and no hassle.

So we watched the sun set over Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club…and it was as Disney is known for…magical.

Sunset at the Boardwalk

Sunset

After touring the Boardwalk, we arrived at our destination. Celebrity chef, Cat Cora’s restaurant, Kouzzina.

Cat Cora Celebrity Chef

Cat Cora!

Kouzzina Restaurant

YUM!

So, in addition to a fun, blunt, awesome sauce sort of server, I was fed the most amazing meal of my entire life. Think I’m joking? Check this shit out.

Goat Cheese Sto Fourno

The Appetizer: Goat Cheese Sto Fourno -Greek Olive Oil drizzled over Baked Goat Cheese, topped with fresh Pequillo Peppers, pitted Kalamata Olives, & Artichoke Hearts (served with bread and arugula) God I love arugula.

Then, when we thought, oh God, we’re out of bread…how will we ever eat the rest of this goat cheese? (I know, you’re probably thinking what  I was actually thinking– Duh, Chrissy, with a spoon).

This was delivered to the table:

Olive Oil Tasting

Yep, an olive oil tasting. With two types of olive oil and marinated olives. And a whole basket of delicious warm bread! YUM.

Then it was dinner time. Like I wasn’t alright full on apps and olives and bread…Oh GAWD.

Pork Tenderloin

Oak-fired Pork Tenderloin (with a molasses and brown sugar crust) with Feta Gremolata, Zucchini Cornbread, and Fresh Broccolini. I think I may have had several foodgasms during this event.

Ribeye

Brian’s Dinner: Wood-grilled Rib-Eye Steak with fresh Herb Salsa, Broccolini, and Kouzzina Potatoes (garlic and rosemary anyone?) This was also delightful.

Brussels Sprouts

Around here, we like our veggies, so we ordered a side of these babies: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts cooked in a Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Capers, and Parmesan Cheese

By this point, I was stuffed. Like Crazy. Freaking. Stuffed. I had had so many foodgasms, I couldn’t even count. To top it all off, Brian almost insisted that we have dessert. I mean, I guess the most amazing meal of ones’ life should have dessert, right? I thought so, too.

So did our server. She came up with this little pose for my gratuitous photo shoot…

Mouse Ears

Browsing the Dessert Menu–like a Boss! Like the Boss. The Disney Boss. 😉

Dessert
Baklava– A Pastry rolled with Pistachios, Honey, and Cinnamon served with Vanilla Praline Gelato. Oh yeah. That was it right there.

So there you have it folks. The most amazing meal in the history of ever. The meats were cooked to perfection. The flavors were outstanding. The service was top-notch. The experience? Magical. That is what Disney is know for, you know…

I could just leave you with that…but then the following pictures would have been for naught. And I just couldn’t have that…

IGPS (Insert Gratuitous Photo Shoot): If I ever do food reviews, I’m giving pictures instead of stars.

Empty Plate

1 Picture: Empty Plate = I Was Satisfied

Empty Table

2 Pictures: Empty Table = This Was Pretty Good. I’d Eat Here Again

Empty Plate 1

3 pictures Happy Chrissy = tasty meal. I’d do it again.

Happy Chrissy

4 Pictures Really Happy Chrissy = Oh Man, That Was Really Freakin’ Delicious.

Foodgasm

5 Pictures: Multiple Foodgasms = Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Inappropriate? Maybe…But you’re laughing aren’t you? You dirty devil, you.

 

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