Sunday, May 17, 2015

Berry Avocado Quinoa & Spinach Salad with Honey-Lime Poppy Seed Dressing


We had dinner at our friends Tony & Katie’s house the other night and I brought a salad.  This is now one of my favorite recipes – it’s really healthy and the homemade dressing was sweet & tangy.  It only took a minute to toss together. 

The next day I had leftover and added grilled salmon - it could easily serve as a meal instead of just a side! 

Berry Avocado Quinoa & Spinach Salad with Honey-Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
 (adapted from Cooking Classy)

·        ½ cup olive oil
·        Zest of 1 lime
·        Juice of 1 lime
·        2 T honey
·        1 T Dijon mustard
·        ¼ t salt
·        2 t poppy seeds
·        2 cups cooked quinoa (about 2/3 cup dry)
·        1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
·        9 oz. baby spinach
·        1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
·        1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
·        2 medium avocados, peeled, cored, and diced
·        5 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1.  Toast the almonds & cook the quinoa.  Mix all the dressing ingredients minus the poppy seeds in a bottle or jar until well combined.  Stir in the poppy seeds.  
2. Toss all the salad ingredients together.  Enjoy! 

Sweet Corn Guacamole

I just started a new job 2 weeks ago.  A few days ago, one of my new coworkers actually had her last day there, so we had a going away party for her with Mexican food.  I made this new guacamole recipe and it was great!  I’ll definitely use this recipe again.  I actually didn’t have enough time to grill the avocados like they recommended – I’m sure it would be even more delicious though. 

Sweet Corn Guacamole (adapted from Damn Delicious)

·        Juice of 1 lime
·        Pinch of garlic powder
·        Pinch of paprika
·        3 avocados, halved, seeded & peeled
·        1 ear of corn
·        ¼ cup minced red onion
·        ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
·        2 T chopped fresh cilantro
·        Salt and pepper, to taste
1.  Shuck the corn and boil in water for about 10 minutes.  Cut the corn from the cob. 
2. Add all ingredients to a bowl (reserve a bit of the lime juice to top the guac so it doesn’t brown).  Mash with a potato masher.  Top with the remaining lime juice. 
3. It’s that easy!  If you have time to follow the original recipe, you can grill the avocado until lightly browned for about 3-4 minutes. 

4. If you need it to keep overnight, you can press saran-wrap over the top (touching the guac to keep air from getting to it). 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria – Tampa, FL


Last night our friend Josh was in town, so Lance and I met him for dinner at Bavaro’s in downtown Tampa.  I helped design Josh’s condo in Longboat Key when I was working for BoConcept, but since then he’s moved to Dallas.

I’d never been to Bavaro’s before that – but it seemed to be a popular restaurant.  It was pretty crowded when we got there since a whole crowd of teenagers were dining there before prom.  The dining room is pretty small, but the atmosphere is nice – they have exposed brick walls and a large wood-fired oven.  The food is authentic Italian – and the ingredients are either imported from Italy or locally grown and organic. 

Lance and I split a salad and a pizza.  The Mediterranean salad had baby spinach, pine nuts, red onion, grape tomatoes, feta, and fig vinaigrette – it was very fresh.  Our pizza was the Carne – with San Marzano tomatoes, fior de latte (mozzarella), soppressata, Italian olives, and extra-virgin olive oil. 

I personally prefer crispier crusts – theirs was a soft-crust style pizza that they recommended you eat with a fork and knife.  But the ingredients again were very flavorful.  Josh had the Diavola pizza – which was similar to ours, but with peppers and homemade spicy sausage.  I think next time we’ll order that one. 

Bavaro’s is located at 514 N Franklin St #101, Tampa, FL 33602.  They are open 11am – 3pm and 5 – 10pm Monday – Friday, and 5pm – 10pm on Saturday & Sunday. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Oyster Bar – St. Pete, FL


Last Friday was our 4 year anniversary, and months ago we had booked tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld live at the Mahaffey Theatre.  For dinner before, we tried The Oyster Bar in downtown St. Pete.  We had bought a CL deal awhile ago, so we had a discount too. 


We made reservations since it was a weekend and thought it could be busy, but we didn’t realize it was First Friday, which meant the entire road that The Oyster Bar is located on was shut down for the event.

We were walking from the restaurant to the show, so we tried out some of their drink specials.  The Moscow Mules weren’t anything too special, but the Oyster Shooters were great (and the beer shooters were only $1 – the classic vodka shooters were a bit strong for me). 

I had the seared diver scallops with risotto, crispy pancetta, and arugula.  Lance had the bacon-parmesan crusted local red grouper with tomato butter sauce and mashed potatoes.  The grouper could have used a tiny bit of something green for presentation on the plate, but besides that both meals were amazing.    

We split a slice of chocolate peanut-butter pie for dessert.  I can’t believe we hadn’t eaten here before, but we really enjoyed it and will be back for sure!

Jerry Seinfeld had a hilarious set that night, so it was the perfect way to spend our anniversary.  


The Oyster Bar is located at 249 Central Ave, St Petersburg, FL 33701.  They are open 11am – 12am Monday – Thursday, 11am – 3am Friday – Saturday, and 10:30 – 12am on Sunday.