A Perfect Little Sunday

This past Sunday, still high from my bridesmaid dress shopping win, the fiancé and I set out to make our guestbook for the wedding. I had seen on The Broke Ass Bride, the idea to use a picture calendar (made on Shutterfly) as a guestbook instead of the traditional plain page books. That got my creative juices flowing, and after receiving a coupon code from David’s Bridal for a free 8×8 20 page hard covered picture book, I knew exactly what we were going to do! So after combing through a bunch of pictures we put everything together and ordered it! I’m so excited to see the final product.

We then only spent $50 at the grocery store for the week (win #2), and decided to celebrate with a trip to Chipotle. Well, the trip had already been planned, but we felt a lot less guilty about spending the money on dinner, especially since we had a coupon for buy one get one free thanks to the new show America’s Next Great Restaurant! As you can see, this whole wedding planning and saving money idea has really been rubbing off on me – I’m hell-bent on finding the best deals for everything. I’m pretty sure the fiancé and my wallet are thanking me! And the burrito I devoured could barely be rolled and wrapped shut… YUM!

Baking was done, as well. I made a batch of Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cookie Clusters. They were SO good! I added 2 Tbsp of coconut oil to give it some extra flavor, and they were really great. They’re so easy, and you probably have all of the ingredients already. Go make them!

I came home to an e-mail to find out I had won RunAddict’s Zensah giveway was a sweet addition to the already positive weekend, too! It ended peacefully watching The Oscars, with dreamboats James Franco and Anne Hathaway (yes, they are BOTH dreamboats).


I hope everyone else had a successful and enjoyable weekend – I know I needed it! Now on to tackle the week… at least it’s above 35 degrees!

Veggie burgers and Mexican BBQ

Yesterday was seriously delicious.

My parents and I decided to go to lunch in New Brunswick to catch up and talk wedding business. My dad works at Rutgers, so everyone is pretty familiar with the food options in the area. After much debate on what we wanted, we settled on Old Man Rafferty’s. Though I hadn’t been there in easily 10 years, I remember it being pretty good.

I started off with a coconut flavored iced latte. It was topped with
real whipped cream and absolutely delicious. For my entree, I went
with the veggie burger paired with sweet potato fries. My mom got the shrimp salad “boat” and my dad the chicken salad “boat.” My parent’s meals were paired with a Greek salad and pita chips, and looked awesome. My veggie burger was really good. It had a nice char-grilled flavor, but wasn’t over-done. At one point I really questioned if it was veggie – it was impressive! The fries were sliced thin and had the perfect crisp. It was served with a cucumber ranch dip that I used both for my burger and my fries.

Later that evening we decided to head to The Grub Hut in Manville with the usual foodie suspects. BBQ and Mexican in one place?! Not only does it sound amazing, it is amazing. I don’t even know where to start with this place. It’s nothing special on the outside, and even when you walk in; there are a few table and chairs on either side of the doors, and then the kitchen area is wide open with metal everywhere – they don’t hide anything, and they don’t go for looks either. But when the food is that good, does it really matter what the place itself looks like? If you are ever in the mood for smoky, excellently seasoned and perfectly cooked food, and A LOT of it, then I would absolutely suggest The Grub Hut. They actually used to be called The Rub Hut, but added a G in front, probably for the best.

In terms of their menu, it’s pretty impressive; they offer brisket, chicken, pork, Texas link, and ribs all done either in a traditional BBQ way, or Mexican style and served up either in a burrito, flauta, taco, enchilada, or chimichanga. You can even order the mother of all combos and have some BBQ and Mexican heaven together. They offer individual sized meals as well as those you can share with a table, such as a THREE POUND burrito!

The meal started off great with nicely seasoned tortilla chips and an awesome salsa. It is super chunky, and spicy and tangy in a way that most salsa’s seem to miss. I went for the chicken chimichanga, while my fiancé got the ground beef jumbo burrito. They were both HUGE! I was really pleased with my choice of chicken; it was smoky and definitely had a BBQ flavor, but also had a serious kick of Mexican spices. Shoved into a huge tortilla that was fried with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato paired with some sour cream and guacamole = heaven. I only ate about half, and am saving the rest for tomorrow night’s dinner! Everyone else at the table went for the BBQ side; a BBQ chicken sandwich, a platter called “Hog Heaven” that had chorizo, ribs, brisket and pulled pork, and a Pit Master platter that was similar. Most of their entrées come with two sides; they have everything from fried plantains and rice and beans to “loco” fries doused in jalapeños and cheese.

Jefe Grande Chimi

Needless to say we all waddled out of the restaurant, and headed not home, but to Rita’s. Yes, we’re gluttons for punishment and decided to stretch our stomachs just a little more. While everyone else went for ice, I got myself some vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles – my own personal heaven. I only finished about a quarter of it, but it was well worth every bite.

Thankfully, I went for a four mile run today and watched myself in terms of eating, since yesterday was a serious glutton fest. But what can I say? You need one of those every once in awhile!! And I’m definitely planning on going back to The Grub Hut to enjoy some more Mexican BBQ in the future!


burritoI once had a friend ask me if I was Mexican. Confused, since I look as Irish as they come, I asked why she was inquiring. She proceeded to explain it was due to my eating habits. When given the chance, I’ll always choose something spicy, and in most cases of the Spanish persuasion.

That brings me to burritos. They have easily and increasingly become a staple in my diet. I can have one for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I’ve sampled authentic, as well as generic, and I really don’t think I’ve found dissapointment yet.

I have important qualifiers that make a burrito note worthy; it needs to be stuffed to the gills with deliciousness, while still managing to stay fully intact. I’ve come to learn the key to that phenomenon is steaming of the tortilla prior to stuffing it. I learned that the hard way while in college; every time the I got a burrito from the “Mexican Station,” it crumbled right in front of me. I’m glad, however, the proprietors of places such as Qdoba, Moe’s, and Chipotle learned it early on.

Burritos seem to be the one thing that can be filled with anything. I’ve had with eggs and potatoes, your typical chicken, beef, or pork, or if you’re feeling daring, even tofu. That’s right, it sounds weird, but it is delicious. Moe’s happens to offer the option for the meat weary – and let me tell you, even if you’re the biggest carnivore out there, you should give it a shot. It’s perfectly seasoned and picks up all the right flavors once combined with the rice and beans. It truly is surprising at how delicious it is.

I can honestly say I’ve only ever met one person in my life that hasn’t shared my love for burritos. I currently work in an office where everyone LOVES them. If one person mentions it for lunch, it’s a guarantee that 80% of the office will be on-board for one as well. I guess that’s what happens when you work around the corner from a Moe’s Southwest Grill.

I’m a lover of all types of food – Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German, Italian, French, American, and fusions of all of the aforementioned types. I’m sure I’m even leaving some out (not on purpose, of course). There’s just something special about Spanish food, though. I really can’t put my finger on what it is, aside from deliciousness.

I think I’ve successfully recreated the burrito many times in all it’s glory. I know I’ll never get sick of it, and I’ll probably continue to have it at least once a week, preferably more if at all possible.

As I write this, I’m being bombarded with inter-office Skype messages about Moe’s for lunch. Clearly we are all going to give in. There really is no way to say “no” to a burrito.