new recipes, VSX, + faves

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Warning: this post is going to be all over the place. You have been warned.

So basically my weekend was spent like that ^. Coffee mug in hand, book in lap and crazy dog running around. My husband and I drove to Austin to spend the weekend with his family and it was so relaxing and nice. Most of the weekend was spent in pajamas or a swimsuit, so it was a win-win. Because Texas weather is crazy, one day it was in the 90s and the next day it was raining and in the 60s. The pool was heated, so it was such a treat to get to swim (with the pup too!) and spend time with R’s side of the family. I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and loved it. It was extremely motivating and inspirational. I recommend it to all you entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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I discovered Bark Thins. Dark chocolate with sea salt and pretzel. They call it “snacking chocolate” so somehow I justify eating my weight in dark chocolate as just a “snack”. That last piece was enjoyed al desko. <– see what I did there?

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I also reacquainted myself with chai tea lattes. Holy yum. The above iced chai was from Whole Foods with almond milk and I would’ve been happy to swim in it. Yep, that good. I followed it up with a hot chai tea latte this weekend (temps below 70 call for it!) and I am sipping a homemade one in bed as we speak (err….type).

photo 1I received these Victoria Secret Sport yoga pants and sports bra from Influenster. I was thrilled to find out I was included in this program as I generally go to 3 yoga classes per week and love to switch things up! 

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The sports bra is really cute, but I’m not sure I can get behind an underwired sports bra…it felt a little weird. I wasn’t a fan of it in yoga class this morning, but perhaps it would be better for a run? We shall see. The yoga pants are PERFECT. They wick away sweat, are a really nice material, fit perfectly and look really awesome on. I tried to snap a photo of me in them post-yoga, but nobody wants to see that…

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Last week I made my own marinara for the first time! I used this recipe and used fresh basil from our Tower Garden (more on that later). Oh and tonight I made this but subbed plain Greek yogurt for heavy cream. I believe it will be a new weekly favorite of ours.

photo 4A morning last week when we were waiting for our new couch to be delivered, so I decided to make banana bread pancakes. I think I’m a little obsessed with mornings.

photo 5And if you follow me on Instagram (@thatfoodiegirl) you’ve already seen this uber-bloggy scene. The little things. :)

And with that, I’m out. I’ve got some zzzzz’s to catch.

Banh Shop Dallas: A New Yum! Brands Concept

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I was lucky enough to get invited to the Banh Shop media preview/tasting and walked away extremely satisfied and excited to return…and let’s get real, a little jealous this wasn’t here when I went to SMU. Banh Shop is actually a Yum! Brands concept, first one to roll out right here in the Big D. This location (on SMU Blvd) opens this Friday, while the second location will open at DFW Airport later this month. The chefs behind the concept are husband-wife duo Braden & Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen (pictured above). 

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Banh Shop is a fun, inviting space (inside an old mechanics shop) perfect for a fast casual concept. You’re in, you get your fresh Asian fare (before you even sit your food will be ready), and on with your day…or stay for a ginger margarita.

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If you read my blog, you know I’m not much of a beef-eater, but wow. This is their #1 grilled steak banh mi with pate (which honestly grosses me out) but it was cooked to perfection in a honey-caramel glaze. So. Good.

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They offer all sorts of banh mis–even a tofu banh mi! It had a nice chili-coconut glaze, but it wasn’t as flavorful as the others. We also tried their American style banh mi that had cold cuts, but I’d much rather stick to the Asian flavors–and I really can’t wait to try the coconut chicken breast banh mi. Mmmm….

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On top of banh mi, they also offer wok bowls, drunken noodles, a soup and a few salads. This particular bowl is called the “Banh Fire” Bowl because of the jalapeño pesto on top. Super tasty with the chicken meatballs and just the right amount of kick.

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Dessert was this dangerous layered magic bar-type confection. Too good to pass up!

After the lunch spent tasting a million different mouth-watering dishes that were hard to take just one bite of, I was happy I began my day with greens:

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Kale smoothie to the rescue. All about that balance–and that was the underlying theme at Banh Shop too! Must be why I love Thai and Vietnamese food–gotta love the salty, sweet, savory balance in each dish!

Banh Shop opens Friday– go give it a try! I might just see you there :)

Hope you all have a great evening!

Fresh Sparkling Summer Sangria

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 Good morning! I made you all some sparkling sangria! 

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Don’t worry, it’s pretty healthy actually. No added sugar. Just prosecco and fruit! When Williams-Sonoma reached out and asked me to come up with a fresh fruit sangria, I was more than happy to oblige. If I had a nice juicer, I might have used it to get a bolder fruity flavor into the sangria,  but the juicer we have wasn’t going to cut it. Muddling was going to have to do–but if I were to use a juicer, I’d definitely shop some of their juicers here. (and I’d love one–Christmas maybe?)

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DSC04035It’s so easy to make and so delicious (and pretty), your guests will be going back for refills–if you decide to share! Slice up extra fruit and make a little sliver in each piece for easy garnishes–really makes the drinks feel more festive!

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 But don’t say I didn’t warn you–those bottles of prosecco have a way of hiding in all that fruit. The bottles seemed to disappear like magic. After a few (or 3 or 4) bottles, we were shocked at the rate of which the sangria was consumed. It’s that good!

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And just so you all know–summer is not over until September 21st, so don’t be fooled by all the Labor Day “end of summer” thing. You will find me by the pool with a summer sangria in hand. Oh, and these tasty beverages go perfectly with a burger and grilled corn. 

{disclaimer: Williams-Sonoma asked me to come up with an original sangria recipe utilizing fresh fruit. I was not compensated for this post.}

Sparkling Summer Sangria
Yields 1
The perfect refreshing sangria for summertime sipping.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bottle prosecco
  2. 2 peaches
  3. 3 limes
  4. 2 oranges
  5. 1 handful fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Cut peaches, limes and oranges into little slices (whatever shape you'd like).
  2. Separate a few pieces of each for garnishes.
  3. Place half the fruit into the bottom of a large pitcher.
  4. Rip 5-6 large basil leaves and add to pitcher.
  5. Muddle all the fruit (and basil) until juiced--leave fruit in tact, but ensure most juices are out.
  6. Add half the bottle of prosecco to the pitcher.
  7. Use a large spoon to stir.
  8. Add the remaining fruit to the pitcher (except for garnishes) and then add the rest of the prosecco.
  9. Allow pitcher to chill in the refrigerator (and fruit to soak) for 30-60 minutes before serving for optimum flavor.
  10. Add garnishes to side of glasses and serve!
  11. To serve more, simply add more prosecco to the pitcher of fruit to reuse and allow to soak.
That Foodie Girl http://www.thatfoodiegirl.com/

Fara Coffee

DSC03991Ok, so it’s not secret Fara Coffee is my absolute favorite. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it’s roasted in Austin, Texas (hometown shout out!) and shade grown in Matagalpa, Nicaragua on family-owned farms. But before I get any further, I will tell you they are my clients (but this happened after my love for Fara Coffee developed) and they sent me these samples at no charge. 

DSC03995My latest favorite has been their Special Blend. It’s the perfect blend of dark and light and the flavor is amazing–I drink it black. No need for sugar or cream. By the way, I am no coffee expert, but I know a good coffee when I taste one :)

The coffee is shade grown (for optimum taste), direct trade and Rainforest Alliance certified meaning they comply with standards including ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection, and fair treatment and good working conditions for workers.  

Other favorite thing about Fara? Each bag purchased helps fund the Fara Foundation– with healthcare, education, elder care and food assistance in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Coffee you can feel good about sipping every morning.

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Look for these bags at Whole Foods, Central Market, HEB, Sprouts, Fresh Plus…if you’re in Texas. Also in some Whole Foods in Oklahoma and elsewhere, but you can purchase it online here or on Amazon. They also have a cafe in Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

DSC03998We will be running a fun new contest on select Fridays on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram called #farafridays. Follow along to win free bags of the roast of your choice!

Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend! We’re headed to Austin!