Wednesday, August 29, 2012

La Villa Roma in Leesburg

I am finally getting over my slump and am back to blogging (hopefully)! Anyways the other day I took my niece to her first dance class because parents/siblings were going to see the Fresh Beat Band at Wolf Trap. 

Before I get into the review, I just have to comment on the audacity/rudeness/stuckupness of people. I was sitting in the waiting room at her class and minding my own business playing on my phone/reading a book. Keep in mind its a small room so you can hear peoples conversations-pretty impossible not to eavesdrop. These two ladies were talking, and while they were both conservative-it was clear one was more conservative then the other and I guess one of the ladies was getting annoyed. Fast forward 30 minutes the more conservative lady gets up to go to the bathroom and the other lady turns to the woman next to her and starts badmouthing this lady. In a small room where other people can hear...made me scared to leave the room because I was different from the other ladies in the waiting area-who knows what kind of negative things would be said about me because of those differences. 

This is a place with young children around-I just don't understand people sometimes.

Anyways I had Addison (my niece) pick where she wanted to go and she picked the Italian Restaurant right next door, La Villa Roma. She fell asleep on the way home (had to throw in a cute pic!)
When you enter you order at the counter, pay, take a number and sit wherever  you want. Kinda confusing but the employees were nice so it all worked out.

For an appetizer we split an order of Curly Fries $5.79...delicious! Humongous-way to much for two people (and I enjoy myself some fries)-you definitely get your moneys worth with these fries.
I ordered a small Garden Salad $3.79 with House Dressing and a Slice of Cheese Pizza $2.19. The dressing was a little bland but passable and the slice of pizza was good.
 
Addison ordered the kid's portion Ziti $5.99. She loved her meal and I thought it wasn't bad-good for kids, another big portion. I don't know if the adult portion is different, but the sauce didn't stick to the noodles and there wasn't a lot of it in general.
The prices were good, food was good and employees were nice. I would recommend this if you are looking for a quick and reasonable bite to eat. My only complaint is that the food came out randomly-would have been nice to get the appetizer first and our meals together but it all worked out in the end. 

305 E Market Street 
#G
Leesburg, VA 
703-777-6223
La Villa Roma on Urbanspoon
 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sparkling Mint Limeade

It has been a long time since my last post. The reason being that I have had an absolutely horrible week. Tuesday my purse was stolen off the back of my chair while I was eating lunch with my family. Yesterday (Saturday) I got attacked by a dog and ended up going to the emergency room. Luckily it's nothing serious, just have a bandaged arm and it's extra sore from a tetanus shot I had to have as a precaution. Pretty much the only good thing about my week was a family trip to the Baltimore Aquarium. Having my nieces and nephew there helped me not get super upset from the loss of my purse. Of course they did keep asking me when I would get it back-those young minds will never forget the excitement of that day. 
I suppose two things did happen to me this week, the second being the creation of a yummy low calorie drink! Sparkling Mint Limeade. 
When I got an email from Dailybuzz to try Sweet' N Low packets and create a yummy drink I was sold. I decided I wanted to do something light, simple and refreshing without being overly sweet and I think I came up with the perfect combination. Too bad I didn't discover the drink earlier in the summer as it would have been my drink of choice (in all honesty I will probably drink this year round).
Sparkling Mint Limeade
Ingredients (serves 2)
3-4 packets of Sweet' N Low
1/2 cup lime juice (~3 limes depending on how juicy they are)
7-10 mint leaves
1 and 1/2 cup Lime Seltzer (I used lemon/lime)
Cup of ice
Directions
1. In the bottom of 2 glasses, divide and muddle together packets of Sweet' N Low and mint leaves.
2. Add lime juice and seltzer and mix together. Add ice cubes and enjoy!
Comments/Tips
-I personally only need 1 to 1/2 packets of Sweet' N Low. I like just a hint of sweetness so one packet is perfect for me. 
-The mint leaves can be a little awkward when you are drinking so you may want to consider drinking out of a straw. 
and of course who doesn't love a good cocktail? 
Spiked Sparkling Mint Limeade
Ingredients 
same as above + 2 shots lemon/lime (preferably lime) vodka
Directions
1. Using a cocktail shaker (or just 2 cups if you dont have a shaker) muddle together leaves and packets of Sweet and Low. Add  vodka and lime juice and shake (or stir). 
2. Pour into 2 glasses filled with ice and seltzer. 
This post is part of the Dailybuzz Tastemakers program (I was provided samples of Sweet' N Low samples). All opinions are my own. 
Check out Sweet' N Low's website for other cool recipes, I will def be looking there for future inspiration. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Momofuku Noodle Bar

The other weekend when I was in NYC visiting one of my bf's we decided to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar for lunch. I had heard a ton of things about this trendy place and I had to try it.
D got a glass of vino $9 and I tried one of their frozen alcoholic slushies, a Small Sangria $6. The wine was decent, typical red but the sangria was pretty bad. It didn't taste anything like sangria to me and it just had a weird taste overall. 
Based on popularity and many reviews from multiple outlets, we decided to try the Pork Buns $10 hoisin, scallion, cucumber for an appetizer. This was really good, I have never had anything like it and I went outside of my box trying this.
D ordered the special Ramen of the day, a Vegetable Ramen $14. She really enjoyed it and I thought it was pretty good too. 
I ordered the Chilled Spicy Noodles $14 sichuan spiced sausage, spinach, cashews. This was delicious, I loved it. It was really spicy, the kind of spicy were you get a little sniffly but not to spicy where you can't taste anything. 
So did Momofuku live up to its hype? I thought it was a good restaurant, not the kind of restaurant where I would wait outside in line for awhile kind of good. The portions were hearty, I took my noodles home and actually ended up eating them for dinner and they tasted almost as good as before. It seemed a little pretentious to us but maybe that is just NYC?


171 1st Avenue
New York, New York
East Village
212-777-7773
Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon 
 
 
some other eats from this trip
Parm
3 Forty Grill
Johnny Pepperoni
 
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New York Pizzeria in Trumansburg

After hearing that New York Pizzeria was the best pizza in the area, I had been dying to try this place for about a year as pizza is one of my favorite foods. 

The past couple of times I tried to go here they were closed. Note to self - they are closed on Sundays and Mondays. They are in a small town and they don't have a website - here is what their menu looks like! *update 7/6/15 - their menu is still the same, but the prices have gone up a little*
We got one large pizza with ricotta and ham. This combination was delicious, the creamy ricotta and ham were a nice addition to this pie.

The other large pizza was 1/2 cheese 1/2 spinach and onions. Another good pizza and combination.

I was really impressed with New York Pizzeria. Great quality pizza and toppings. Both pizzas totaled $40. Not bad to feed a family of 6 and have leftovers the next day. On average each person at 2 slices. Wish I had this kind of place near my house.


2 W Main

Trumansburg, NY 
607-387-3700
New York Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Waffle Frolic

Based off the recommendation of some locals that we know, we decided to stop by Waffle Frolic for some lunch.
You order at the counter and then wait until your name is called to collect your food. They have outdoor seating or indoor seating upstairs. Upstairs has a cute little area that reminds me of a coffee shop/place to hang out (I guess this place is technically part coffee shop so it makes sense)
Zoe ordered a single waffle with nutella and butter. The nutella was delicious, perfect topping for the waffle.
 Izak ordered his waffle with chocolate chips and syrup. He loved it.
 Mom got hers with Belgian Chocolate and butter. She enjoyed hers as well.
I wasn't feeling waffles so I ordered a grilled Havarti cheese with apple butter, caramelized onions and bacon. Very interesting but tasty combination. I forgot how heavy grilled cheeses are but I enjoyed it-something I will try to recreate at home.
Overall this place was pretty good. Not the best waffles I have had, but they get the job done. This place is perfect for kids (or adults with different tastes) because of the ability to customize your own toppings.  All of the waffles shown above are single servings, but they offer a double as well. They also offer vegan/glutenfree/dietary restriction friendly options.

146 East Street
Ithaca, NY
in the Ithaca Commons
607-319-0999
Waffle Frolic on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rainbow Birthday Party!

A couple of weeks ago I helped out my stepsister with her daughters birthday party. She had decided on the theme Rainbows so I was super excited to help out (LOVE colors)-and to get some extra time with the fam in.

I took my older niece Addison out for a birthday lunch and some shopping for her birthday present. After that we drove back to her house and hung around, ate dinner at Lovetsville Pizza, started the cake and decorations.

Here are some basic good decorations for a rainbow party, including my personal favorite on the ceiling. You can not look and it and not be happy at the colorful happiness. This is a great decoration idea in general, switching the color up to suit your needs for whatever theme you may have.We start out with determining where the middle of the room was and the started slowly safety pinning everything up.
 
Then these adorable cloud decorations that Megan thought up. Basically all you need to do is take 2 pieces of sturdy white paper and cut out a cloud pattern. Cut your ribbon and tape to the inside (we used double sided tape...wonderful invention) and then punch a hole in the top and string a ribbon though. 
She ordered some rainbow designs from etsy where she made a happy birthday banner and cut out each of the girls names in fun rainbow printed paper.
Megan planned out an assortment of food so bright and early Saturday morning we got right to work. We made lots of things. One of the rainbow foods-rainbow kabobs. Delicious fun way to go along with the theme. Fun idea for the tops of pineapples-clean them off and then spray them with pam/crisco spray, it gives them a nice shine! This is also a good project for the kids to help with, Addison and her brother both loved helping us skewer the fruit!
Then the rainbow cake. This cake was a pain in the butt to make. It ended up looking good and everyone loved it so it was worth it. Here's the link to the tutorial because it's done beautifully. I can offer one recomendation, if you do not have the type of biscuit cutter the blogger has with the long handle, you might want to consider cutting it into squares. We used biscuit cutters but the handles were short so after cutting 2 cakes out we decided to just cut the last one into squares.
Then we made BaNilla Wafers and coated the sides in rainbow sprinkles. Take 2 vanilla wafers, spread the bottom of each with peanut butter, then take a slice of banana and make a sandwich out it. Roll in sprinkles and set on plate!
There was also a lot of delicious non-rainbow foods at the party. Deviled Eggs...
Antipasto Kabobs. Delicious! Take whatever anitpasto-like toppings you prefer and skewer them. Megan bought marinated mozzarella balls which added a nice flavor. 
Pepperoni Dip. So delicious-I will be featuring a recipe on this later. You will def be surprised by some of the ingredients!
Some of the set up...after this I pretty much forgot to take photos of the food-just some cute baby shots!
All the bday girls waiting for the yummy cake!
Megan made the twins this adorable rainbow tutus and Addison a rainbow barret.
My niece "helping" me out (trying all the dif veggies I cut) while I made the veggie platter!

Other cool rainbow ideas...
http://www.raspberricupcakes.com/2011/04/rainbow-rice-krispies-treats.html
http://justfergie.com/index.php/2011/05/kids-party-themes-taste-the-rainbow/
http://pinterest.com/pin/266838346641289496/ - use lots of colors of M&M's
http://pinterest.com/pin/266838346641300693/
http://cosmocookie.blogspot.com/2012/05/unicorn-rainbow-cupcakes.html?showComment=1336500238400#c2889940118897087959

Hope this helps anyone throwing a rainbow party or gives you fun food ideas!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nando's Peri Peri @ National Harbor

The other weekend when I went to my mom and Jeff's, being the super smart person that I am I left my purse with my wallet at their house. They live an hour away from me, and I noticed right when I pulled into my driveway. Horrified at the aspect of having to drive an hour and back to get my purse, my mom and Jeff graciously said they would meet me half way at National Harbor and we would get lunch. 

We ended up at Nando's Peri Peri which I was ecstatic about because I went to one of their chains in London and I have meaning to get around to trying it in the US.

I ordered the Flame Grilled Butterflied Chicken Hot style ($8.95 by itself) + 1 side $10.95. This chicken was pretty good, the hot defiantly had a kick to it and the fries were good. 
Mom ordered the same thing but she got it Mango and Lime and a side Caesar Salad. The seasoning was good on the chicken, and she really enjoyed it. The Caesar salad was also good.
Jeff ordered the 1/2 chicken in medium ($9.45 by itself) + 2 sides $13.35. He enjoyed his, and I took the leftovers home and really liked it. I don't like to cut meat off bones so I usually just get chicken breast, but I could tell the difference between the two meats, his was better. He got a side of garlic bread and coleslaw, both really good. 
Overall this was a good meal, it totaled about $45 which is a decent price for 3 people. The food was enjoyable, I would recommend any of the sides that you see above and all of the employees were ridiculously nice and accommodating. 

191 American Way
National Harbor
Fort Washington, MD
301-686-8388
Nando's Peri Peri on Urbanspoon
Before this trip I had never been to National Harbor. I have
seriously been missing out. Its an adorable place with lots to do, great for an afternoon/night out-perfect for a date night!

Mom and I <3