HBG Restaurant Week Recap

Hello everyone! For the past two weeks it has been Restaurant Week in Harrisburg. A total of 18 restaurants around the area participated. The whole event was put together by the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District. It was two weeks full of delicious food and fine dining throughout the Harrisburg area, a foodie’s dream! It was a great way to support local restaurants and to try new foods. Many of the items on the restaurants’ menus are not normally on their regular menus, so it was a way for the chefs to try out new recipes as well.

At each restaurant you could either get 3 courses for $30 or 2 dine for $40. Each restaurant got to choose which of the deals they would offer. I made it to a total of 3 restaurants for Restaurant Week and all of my meals were excellent! They all also just happen to be 3 of my favorite restaurants in the Harrisburg area.

  1. Note. Bistro & wine bar:

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Here was the 3 courses for $30:

First course:  Watermelon & feta salad, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, tequila vinaigrette

Second course:  Shrimp & fresh basil pesto cavatelli, shaved grana padano

Third course:  Homemade shortbread cookies, lemon curd, fresh berries

All I have to say is absolutely delicious!! I think I am still full from all of the food, but everything that I ordered was fantastic! The lemon curd with homemade shortbread cookies was the perfect light and refreshing dessert after a big meal. You could also buy a wine flight pairing for each course, which is a great idea but I decided not to do it, because I don’t care for the Port dessert wines. Something unique about this restaurant is that on every table there is a different pair of salt and pepper shakers:

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Check it out and see which ones you find on your table!

 

2.  Pastorante:

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Here was the 2 Dine for $40:

Antipasti:  Bruschetta

Pasta:  Black Mac with Fig Jam (Squid Ink Mac baked with shitake mushrooms in mascarpone cream sauce. Served with caramelized onions and fig Jam).

Dolce:  Pana cotta with berries

Everything that I normally order at Pastorante is amazing, but they really stepped up their game for Restaurant Week! My Black Mac with Fig Jam was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. You may be thinking that squid ink mac and cheese with fig jam is a strange pairing, but it was actually amazing! I am not sure how the chef came up with this pairing, but it was perfect. Hard to describe, but the sweetness of the jam with the savory of the Black Mac was a taste sensation!

 

3. Bricco:

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Here was also the 3 courses for $30:

Antipasti:  Sputini Sampler (Roasted Mushrooms with cider vinegar pearls, golden beets and camelot valley goat cheese Olive tapenade).

Secondi:  Baked Ratatouille (toasted red quinoa & harissa sauce).

Dessert:  Bourbon Pecan Tart (maple cinnamon cream, bittersweet chocolate).

Here I ordered things that I probably would never order on a regular menu and was pleasantly surprised. The Baked Ratatouille was a bit spicy, but the pairing with the quinoa was great! By the time that I got to dessert I was so full that I couldn’t finish the whole thing!

 

All in all I would say that my first experience with Harrisburg Restaurant week was fantastic and I can’t wait for next year! [I think I am going to need a full year to be hungry again!]🙂

North Carolina

Happy Saturday everyone! I know that I am happy that it’s the weekend! Today, I am going to share with you more of my 50 by 50 challenge. [If you forget the rules, follow this link🙂]

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My next stop on my 50 by 50 challenge was North Carolina, however, technically this was the very first state I visited (but, oh well). For my North Carolina market I chose The Seaside Farm Market in Corolla, NC. I visited there earlier this summer with a few friends and had a blast. I ended up going towards the end of the week, so all I bought was a watermelon to take home (that’s all I had room for in my vehicle), but it was a pretty good watermelon! They also sell lots of other produce, wine, seafood, bakery items (that looked pretty darn good!), and many other things. I love the Outer Banks, so hopefully I will have a chance to go back soon and I will definitely do my shopping earlier in my trip (that way I’ll have more time to eat all of the yummy goodies)!

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If you are looking for an awesome watermelon recipe, check out mine for Watermelon Pizza. It is to die for!

Watermelon Pizza

Stay tuned for more adventures and recipes! And I am always taking suggestions on where I should visit next🙂

Game Day Salsa

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Happy Game Day everybody!!! Who’s excited?!?!?! I know I am! Today, for the first game of the season I turned a few of the many of tomatoes that we acquired from a farmer’s market (check out my Instagram for a photo…didn’t even make a dent in them)!

I used Home Again Creative’s Homemade Salsa Recipe. It turned out pretty delicious and was a big hit as an appetizer before our homemade nachos (I’ll post a picture of those later on Instagram for you all to see).

The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I only added one jalapeño instead of two because I tried it and it does have quite a kick to it already!!

Enjoy and hope you all are enjoying the start of football season. Go Blue!!! [Obviously I’m excited for the start of Michigan football!🙂 ]

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Petite Pesto Paninis

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Hello everyone! I am in love with these mini sandwiches, aren’t they just the cutest? I call them “Petite Pesto Paninis” or the 3 Ps. They were made by a happy accident, I ran out of regular sized bread, so I thought why not make mini sandwiches instead?

These are the ingredients that you need:

-Bread
-Pesto (I used my Kale Pesto recipe, delicious!)
-Tomatoes
-Mozzarella cheese
-Olive oil

Drizzle olive oil on slices of bread. Stack all ingredients in between two slices of bread. Cook on panini maker for about 5 minutes (they’re pretty quick because they are pretty tiny so watch them carefully).

Enjoy🙂

Broccoli Foil Packets

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Hello everyone! Today, WordPress let me know that the blog turned 3. I have loved sharing my nutrition journey with all of you and I hope to share more recipes and adventures with you for many more years🙂

Earlier this summer we attempted broccoli foil packets with broccoli from our garden. They ended up being pretty good and easy to make. They only take a few ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen. You also need a grill, but could make them in the oven too if you wanted.

Ingredients: (amounts depend on how much you want to make and personal taste)

Broccoli
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Rinse broccoli.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix broccoli, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Wrap seasoned broccoli in aluminum foil (make sure to leave room for steam).
  4. Grill on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese right before serving.
  6. Enjoy🙂

 

Hope that you enjoy the broccoli! Stay tuned for more from the Picky Girl.

New York, New York

I’m back!! I know, I know I haven’t written in awhile, but my life has been pretty busy lately. I made the smart decision to start a brand new job (my first big kid job, yay!) and start a grad school course all within the same week. And they both started the week after I passed my RD exam. Smart right?!?! But, I made it through! Got an A and love my new job, so I say it’s a win, win! Now lets get to the food…

Today, I am going to introduce a new Picky Girl series – 50 by 50. Have you ever heard of this challenge? If you haven’t, it basically is that you do 50 things by the time you turn 50. My 50 by 50 challenge to myself is to visit all 50 states (I have always wanted to do this)! However, of course I have to put a foodie twist into this challenge…in each of these states I plan to visit a farmer’s market (you all know how much I love my farmer’s markets!) or visit some famous food establishment in that state. I just turned 23, so I have about 27 more years to complete my goal. Hopefully, I can accomplish my goal within that time period! And along the way, I plan to share my journey on my blog with all of you. Not sure if when I’m 50 I’ll still have this blog (I hope so, but who knows where the world will take me?), but I’ll share all of my journeys for as long as I can🙂

So, without further ado my first state is…New York! A few weekends ago my mom, sister, aunt, some other friends, and I took the ultimate “Foodie” bus trip to NYC. It was an absolute blast!!! Definitely one of the highlights of the summer. And I think I may still be full from everything that I ate!

First stop was Carlo’s Bake Shop for cannolis, cupcakes, and lobster tails:

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Next stop Chelsea Market, which was the cutest indoor market I’ve ever seen. There was a spice store, bakeries, flowers, homemade pasta, tacos, seafood, wine, and a number of other things. We didn’t get to spend too much time here unfortunately, but I did get to try  bone broth and cactus tacos! Both were pretty good, however I think that the broth would definitely be better in colder weather and the tacos were a bit spicy! But, both were good and at least I tried them right? The homemade pasta that we brought home was AMAZING!!!

C Market

 

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Next stop the Pickle Guys, where they had the most pickled things that I have ever seen:

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Last stop of the day was Little Italy, which I think was by far my favorite! Delicious🙂

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We finished the day with a fantastically fun Italian dinner in Little Italy. We all ordered different foods and then passed them all around so that we could try everything. All of it was amazing!!!

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I enjoyed the day with these ladies! It was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.

Also, taking suggestions on where to go in each state🙂

 

Hope that you enjoyed the post, stay tuned for more foodie trips and recipes🙂

How I passed the RD Exam!

Hello everyone! So, last week something pretty exciting happened…I passed my RD exam!! Now, I am officially a Registered Dietitian and could not be happier! It took a long time and a lot of hard work, but it finally all paid off🙂

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I know that I had a lot of questions before taking my exam, so I thought that writing this post would help all of the future RDs out there hopefully be a little less stressed about the exam. I can’t talk about my exam specifically, but I thought that I would share some tips and tricks about what helped me pass on the first time! So here they are:

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1. RELAX!!:

This is a really hard thing to do (trust me I know!), but honestly it is the most important piece of advice that I have. I got myself so stressed out before this exam! I lost 7 lbs, I had a constant stomach ache the week leading up to my exam, I couldn’t sleep, my face broke out, I almost threw up my breakfast the morning of, and I may have shed a few tears here and there. I know, I know I sound like a crazy person, but I really let myself get inside my own head until the moment I started the exam. I clicked the start button and said to myself “I got this,” took a deep breath, and away I went. I didn’t think about what the test meant, I just took it question by question, and suddenly it was over and the screen was telling me that I was a Registered Dietitian🙂 So, just relax, you have been studying and preparing for this for about 5 years (for most people), so you’ve got this!!

2. Set up a study timeline:

You know the best way that you study. Set up a timeline for yourself and decide which information you want to cover on which day. Schedule some time for yourself too, or else your brain will start to hurt!  I work best in the morning and when I have a checklist, so that is exactly what I did. I made a list of everything I needed to cover that day and slowly checked it off, then I had “me time” and/or “family time” in the afternoons and evenings.

3. Study materials:

Jean Inman: She is amazing and totally worth the money! You receive a binder that goes over every domain in great detail and a packet of practice study questions. I highly recommend it!
http://www.inmanassoc.com/review.htm

Visual Veggies: It is a computer program with tons of sample RD questions. The best part about it is that it explains the thought process for each question and why the answer is the right answer. Which is nice because with other programs you may not always know why the right answer is the right one. It also keeps track of your progress as you go.
http://visualveggies.com

4. The Night Before:

Someone told me to go out to dinner and drink some wine (but not too much, you do have a test in the morning!) the night before my exam and that is exactly what I did. It helped me relax a little bit after a long month of studying.

5. Celebrate!!:

Celebrate, because trust me nothing is going to feel better than seeing congratulations on that screen🙂

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This advice may not work for everyone and I know that everyone studies differently, so just be true to yourself (you know you best!) and study the way that you know how too. Good luck and happy studying!!🙂

Sincerely,

Kristen Vander Woude, RDN

 

I did not receive any form of compensation for my thoughts and opinions of the study programs.