Out on the Town

March 17, 2008

My mom and I were all over Charlotte this morning! First we went to Barnes and Noble, the to Karen’s for a visit at her boutique, then to another boutique shop, then to EarthFare for wheatberries for the husband, then to lunch, then to the mall! Whew!

I’m such a blend of young and old – I came home from the mall with 2 pairs of GAP jeans and an air freshener for my home!

Lunch was superb. We got “tastes” of wine – I had the Lake Sonoma Chardonnay. Mmmmm!


We also tried the Zucchini Chips with Lemon-Infused  Yogurt, which we didn’t realize were fried until they came. Well, duh, chips are fried, but we weren’t thinking.  They were still yummy though :)


My portion (plus a little more yogurt)


For lunch I ordered the Beet and Blue Salad – beets with Gorgonzola. I didn’t use any dressing because it was just oil in a cup on the side.  I like beets! I didn’t used to but I can definitely say I do now.


Plus a cup of the sweet potato bisque, which came drizzled with oil and tasted too rich for me. I ate about 1/3 of it.  I also had a piece of my mom’s portabello sandwich


From above –


I estimated the lunch to be about 700 kcal.

We were tempted by the pumpkin s’mores, but we decided to hold off!

We are headed out on a walk in my neighborhood for a while, then we’re settling in on the couch to read magazines and watch Food Network and daytime TV!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BC March 17, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Kath, what helped you to start liking beets? I really WANT to like them but I just can’t. :/


2 katherine March 17, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Can we see a picture of your jeans? :)

Looks like a delicious lunch – mother – daughter time is great. Enjoy your afternoon.


3 Beth March 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Coffee yogurts:

I know you mentioned you like coffee flavored yogurt. Besides the southern brand that you buy, which I my groceries don’t sell (or another reader) have any favorites? Enjoy the rest of your day!


4 Beth March 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm

half that sentence got deleted….sorry. It’s supposed to say

my groceries don’t sell that brand, do you (or other readers) have coffee flavor recommendations! opps.


5 Tracy March 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Tried a new dessert yesterday that I wanted to share- a lady that my fiance used to work with said you could mix a can of black beans with a box of brownie mix. So I made them for us yesterday by using 1 box of brownie mix + 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed + 1/2 cup water (guessed at how much to add). Such a great flavor!!! I was so surprised! They didn’t cut very well, sort of crumbly, but we didn’t care because they tasted so good!!!


6 mel March 17, 2008 at 3:53 pm

tracy, that sounds so weird together but I’m sure it was good..ive heard of people mixing spinach with their brownies…not so sure about that one! Kath, i love how you love wine so much! I used to hate it but lately I’ve grown to love it and drink it with dinner usually 4-5 nights out of the week! haha except yesterday I had 3 glasses in the middle of the afternoon to celebrate my bf and my 5th yr anniversary! I think 2 should be my limit! :)


7 mel March 17, 2008 at 3:54 pm

what is your favorite wine? I think my favorites tie: Pino Nior and Sangria!!


8 BethT March 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm

The black bean brownie thing is a Weight Watchers trick – and it is good. Weight watchers also love to take a boxed cake mix, a can of diet soda and 1 – 2 egg whites in lieu of eggs and oil…not bad for a low fat dessert.


9 Ryane March 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Ohhhh Kath, I was wondering –

When you make your pumpkin yogurt, do you mix a lot of it at once or just mix up single portions as you eat them? I just noticed that some weeks you would have it pretty frequently.
Also, you said you’ve started to eat it without splenda. Do you ever put some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in?


10 Elina March 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Do you bake the brownies with beans as per brownie box instructions? Are they supposed to be a dessert? Sounds weird but I kind of want to try that :)


11 Tracy March 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Elina- I baked the brownies at 325 like the box instructed, but the cooking time was longer than it said…I think they ended up baking for a little over 40 minutes. I just kept checking every few minutes or so until it passed the toothpick test. And, yes, it was a dessert. You should definitely try it! And a great thing about adding the beans was that they added more volume and I was able to get a few extra brownies out of it (I just put the extra batter in a small pan). And Beth T, I’ve heard of the cake mix and diet pop combo but I didn’t know that you had to add egg whites. Do you know if you can omit the egg whites?


12 Kiala March 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Oh my god…black beans and brownies. I AM DOING THAT. I will do anything to up my daily fiber requirement, honestly.


13 Heather K March 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I can’t stand beets either! I think they are the only food that I can honestly say I do not like. :-( There’s just something about the coldness and texture I think…

PS. I am starting a blog..we’ll see how it goes!


14 Romina March 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Zucchini chips! Yum!! I must try making that someday.


15 Elina March 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Thanks, Tracy. I loooove brownies, so I’ll definitely give these a try. What kind of mix did you use? I just bought the no pudge kind – that probably won’t work, huh? I think those are probably too mushy. Kath, you like that mix. What do you think, would that work?

Heather K, you should try roasted beets, maybe? I love them in a salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar… but then again I love beets.


16 KarenR March 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Beth, my favorite coffee yogurt is Dannon. I usually don’t buy flavored yogurt because of the sugar, but I haven’t been able to duplicate the coffee flavor at home. I’ve tried instant coffee mixed in, but it doesn’t dissolve, and I don’t want to add liquid to it. Anyone have any luck with making it at home?


17 sexywife17 March 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm

wow….beans in brownies. Sounds risky…but worth the risk if it turns out! fiber and protein in brownies sound great. Just one question though: isn’t it weird finding a bean in the middle of a brownie? Do you think it would work to mash the beans up first so there wouldn’t be whole beans in the pan?


18 Eliza March 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

whether or not you like beets is genetic. crazy huh?


19 Tracy March 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Sexywife- I was thinking the same thing about how weird it would be to see beans in with the brownies. I was going to mash them up but I was time-pressed and didn’t end up doing that. When they were finally done baking, I was surprised to see that the beans didn’t look like beans…they looked sort of looked like raisins or chocolate chips!


20 Jill March 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm

BC – What made me change my mind was cooking our own beets from the farmer’s market… SO MUCH MORE FLAVOR. Put some lemon on them and it’s fab!

Kath – I’m visiting my father for a week and do not have access to a gym and the thought is killing me! Do you have suggestions on what I should do/what you would do in the situation? I could run the whole time, but I don’t really know if my knees are up to it. Plus, it’s LA and I don’t want to get lost in LA. (There is Pincberry, though, which is my new love.)


21 Heather K March 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm

anybody here ever eat too much/binge and still had to work out for the day? Happens to me and it’s hard on such a full stomach sometimes..I guess I should push through? What do you think?


22 Melissa (from L.A.) March 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm

For you wine lovers I have a fabulous wine suggestion that is actually on sale at your local BevMo.

It’s the Blackstone 2002 Syrah…..simply
D-I-V-I-N-E! Like velvet….

Anyway, I’ve been in love with this one and I found it on sale at BevMo – buy one bottle get the second bottle for 5 cents!!


23 Kate March 17, 2008 at 6:12 pm

about the brownies, i do a box of mix and a can of pumpkin. no water, oil, eggs or anything. it makes DELICIOUS muffins!! and cake works too, though it doesnt rise very much. It’s still delicous!


24 melissa March 17, 2008 at 6:29 pm

So strange you mention the black bean brownies from the lady in your office. I just found this on Heidi Swanson’s site today– it looks like a really, yummy recipe for black bean brownies from scratch!



25 NCCarter March 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Kath, your mother-in-law owns a boutique in Charlotte? which one? where?


26 Ally March 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Pumpkin… smores? Oh my! Those sound really good.

I think I know the mall you are talking about, I used to work there! I also have a friend that works in the EarthFare you visited. I really can’t get over what a small world it is!

That soup looks wonderful, I’ve never actually seen Sweet Potato in soup form.


27 NCCarter March 17, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Also, those zucchini chips look SO good. And the lemon-infused yogurt?? Drool….
I bet you could make decent baked ones at home. Might have to give that a try.


28 Katie F March 17, 2008 at 6:49 pm

I’ve found that the older I get, the more foods I like. I read somewhere that you gradually lose your sense of taste over time, so you’re not as sensitive to strong-tasting foods. So maybe those of us who don’t like beets may start to like them as we get older…


29 kay March 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

That soup looks enormous! I like it when they come in cups at restaurants.

I found these recipes “Three Cheers for Oats” at myrecipes.com and thought you may be interested:


I NEED that recipe for oatmeal balls!! I have baked cooked oatmeal in ramekin cups in the over but never like little balls! Must try!


30 Kiala March 17, 2008 at 7:30 pm

That’s weird. I’ve always loved beets. Especially roasted beets. Maybe it’s a regional thing. Like, I’ve never had okra. Ever. I’m sure I’d like it though. I like all vegetables.


31 Lindsay March 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Kath ~ pumpkin s’mores??? Sounds like a good idea for a homemade recipe… I might have to try some variation of that!


32 VeggieGirl March 17, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I’m not too keen on beets. Oh man, the pumpkin s’mores sound so tantalizing! yum! maybe you’ll get them next time?? ;0)


33 Becky March 17, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Wow…I woulda passed up on the beets and ate the pumpkin s’mores! That sounds so.good.


34 Kath March 17, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I never really tried beets and disliked them – I had just never really tried them. I do think they have a strange taste, but I seem to like it :)

katherine ,
I got the Essential Jeans and a pair of Long and Lean. I have a SUCH a hard time fitting into jeans that I was shocked when so many at GAP fit. I have been there before and never had such luck. Do you really want to see me in them? I don’t think that would be very interesting!

Beth ,
That’s the problem – no other brands at my grocery store make them!! Well, Stonyfield makes a mocha version but I have to go to EarthFare for that. Dannon does too but I think it’s 170 calories and made with lots of sugar, which is more than I’d want as a lunch side dish. OK for a treat, but not a regular grocery staple for me. I’ve never thought of putting real coffee in yogurt…this might be a new recipe in the works!

mel ,
Don’t make me choose!! Pinot probably….or a good buttery chardonnay. I love blends of all kinds too.

Ryane ,
I made it one at a time the night before. I guess it depends on if I have an open can of pumpkin or not. I used to add splenda but have left it out the past few times and am getting used to it without. I always, always put pumpkin pie spice in!

Jill ,
If you can’t get creative with temp. memberships to gyms or access to a pool or anything of the like, there’s nothing like good walking to give your joints a break from running but stretch your legs and get some fresh air and exercise.

NCCarter ,
She doesn’t own it, but she works at The Buttercup a few days a week.

kay ,
I saw those 3 cheers for oats – and copied a few of the recipes (the steel cut risotto!)

Pumpkin s’mores on Saturday?!?!?



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