Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Sausage and Peppers Mockery

Hello my blog friends. I'm so happy to check my stats and see that visitors are viewing my site everyday. I even received a comment or two, this is huge! I'm excited to get more viewers and feedback. :) Thank you friends.

This afternoon, I was starving and wanted something with substance. All I could think about was yummy, fattening sausage and peppers. I don't usually keep fatty foods in my house, so I was outta luck. What's a girl to do?...Improvise!

And improvise I did! I created a Sausage and Peppers Mockery. It was more delicious than I imagined. Here's how to make it:

Sausage and Peppers Mockery:
(Serves 4)

-EVOO (thanks Rachel Ray)
- 2lbs. Ground Turkey
-2 Bell Peppers (chopped)
-1/3 Onion (chopped)
-1 t. Crushed Garlic
-Baby Spinach (optional)
-2-3 Cups of Cooked Brown Rice

1. Set skillet to medium heat. Begin by sautéing chopped peppers and onion with the oil (2-3T.) and garlic.

2. When peppers and onions start to get soft, drain out water and add turkey (be sure the turkey is broken up into bite size pieces).

3. Allow the turkey to brown. Add a few pinches of salt and lots of pepper to get that sausagey taste.
4. Flip turkey to be sure it is cooking evenly.
5. If your heart desires, add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach for a lil extra flavor.

6. Keep sautéing until turkey is browned on all sides, spinach is wilted and ingredients are thoroughly combined.
7. Once your sausage and pepper mixture is complete, you can be healthy and lay it over a bed of brown rice.

Other options include: using the mixture to make a sandwich, or add some tomato sauce and pasta to make a fancier meal.

Happy Eating!!!

How do you like my old school/hippie-chic plate?
How did you make your blog more popular?
Do you make any mock-meals? Or healthful alternatives?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rainy Day- Simple Date Idea

Rain, rain...go away!!!!

Southern New England- Radar

As you can see, Rhode Island is getting it's fair share of rain today. Booo!---just when I thought spring had finally sprung :(

Well, have no fear. There are many indoor activities to embark upon. I think I will use this rainy day to clear my head, rest up, and spend some Q.T. with my cutie.

Today we will rent (or scout our tv-guide for) a bunch of movies. Lucky for me, Mr. D-Dates doesn't have a problem with a good ol' chic flick, and lucky for him, I don't mind adventure/manly movies. Hmmm...what movies will we find/rent today?

Here are some of our all-time favorites, and common rainy day picks:

Sleepless in Seattle

Romeo and Juliet

Brew a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and curl up with a loved one today. Don't forget the popcorn or a plate of nachos! Yum!

Stay tuned/visit Dinners&Dates frequently to get some new and more adventurous rainy day date ideas. Spoiler alert: museums, bowling, cooking classes, pottery/art classes, a day with friends/family, and more!

Happy Rainy Date Day!!!!!
Happy Weekend!!!
Happy Easter and belated Passover!

What are your go-to rainy day movies?
Foodies: what is your favorite movie snack creation?
How do you enjoy a rainy day with your lover?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Springtime Salad with a Healthy "Piña Colada" Dessert

Hello friends! If you couldn't tell by now, my favorite (and most frequently consumed) meal is salad. Whenever I need to whip up something quick, it is usually a salad. Salads are so tasty, healthy, and simple. How could you go wrong?

The weather in Rhode Island is finally warming up!

Thank goodness spring has finally sprung, let's celebrate by making and eating this yummy Springtime Salad and Piña Colada dessert!


Springtime Salad:
(Serves 1, repeat recipe to make multiple salads)

-1 Handful of Baby Spinach
-1 Handful of Ice-burg/Radicchio Salad Mix
-1 Handful of Walnuts (crushed)
-1 Handful of Dried Cranberries
-1/2 Avacado (sliced n' diced)
-1/2 Cheese Stick (sliced into slivers)
-3 Large Chunks of Feta Cheese (crumbled)
-2 T. Sweet Blush Wine Vinaigrette

1. Combine all ingredients on a plate (except dressing).
2. Top with dressing.
3. Indulge and enjoy!

Ok, this dessert is one that I have adapted from Dr. Oz. Check out his recipe site. He has tons of healthful and yummy food ideas! This one is one of my faves, I frequently pack it as a snack with my lunch. Try it out:

Piña Colada Dessert:
(Serves 1-repeat to make more servings)


- 1/2 Cup of Pineapple Cubes
- 1 Handful of Raw Almonds
- 1 Pinch of Coconut Flakes

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Now you have a super tasty and super healthy meal!!

Happy eating!!!

Do you have a go-to simple meal?
What are your favorite springtime foods?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No-Bake Casserole with Roasted Garlic/Herb Chicken

Greetings bloggity blogging bloggers and friends! :)

Today's recipes sound complex, but they're actually super simple! I know many people are scared of whole chickens. No need, all you have to do is rinse, top, set, and bake. Check these out and let me know what you think.


No-Bake Mediterranean Casserole
(serves 4)

-2 Cups of Fresh Spinach
-3/4 Cup of Black Olives
-1T. Crushed Garlic
-2.5T. EVOO (olive oil)
-1 Cup of your Favorite Tomato Sauce
-2 Cups of Cooked White Rice
-1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan
-S&P to taste


1. Begin by sautéing EVOO, garlic, spinach, and olives in a skillet over medium heat---until spinach shrinks (5-10mins).

2. Add in sauce and cheese. Set temperature to low and let simmer (10 mins. is more than enough time).

3. Mix in rice.

Roasted Garlic/Herb Chicken

-1 Whole Chicken
-Italian Seasonings
-3 T. Crushed Garlic
-1 Cup of Water

1. (Set oven to 350) Rinse chicken and remove innards.
2. Rub chicken with salt, pepper, seasonings, and garlic.
3. Place chicken in roasting pan with 1 cup of water.
4. Bake for 20mins/lb plus 20 additional minutes.
5. Chicken is done when it's crispy on the outside and has no pink tones within the chicken when you slice it.

Do you have something that you believed to be scary, but once you've tackled it it turned out to be super simple or easy? ---in cooking, in your everyday life?

Do you prefer white or dark meat chicken?

Happy Eating!!!

Chicken Roast on FoodistaChicken Roast

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Impromptu NYC Trip?

Happy weekend blogging friends! I hope that you're enjoying the weekend.

I have a great date idea, but could be a date where the $$$ adds up quickly. Bare with me, I guarantee it will be a great time!

Why not take a day trip to the greatest city on earth?---New York City!!!! Better yet, why not make it a romantic get-a-way weekend? The springtime is a perfect time for a pedi-cab ride through Central Park, or a stroll through the city. There are also an infinite amount of awesome restaurants to chose from, shopping, spas, and salons. In NYC, there is obviously something for everyone!

Union Square is always entertaining with its eclectic musical and artsy gatherings. Sometimes you can catch a farmers market which is great if you'd like to indulge in a fresh lunch.

I loved this crew! You have the bassist, tapper, and xylophoning cookie monster... Haha! Great!

Here are some shots of Central Park:
(It looks beautiful in full bloom)

Beautiful fountains!

You can rent a canoe (awesome!). This is a landmark from Sex In The City, the girls would always go to the restaurant adjacent to this pond. (The pedi-cab drivers will give you all of the history/celeb info on all of the landmarks).

Beautiful bridges and landscapes!

You may even witness a real-life photo-shoot! The models were tall and beautiful.

Good-Bye NYC! I will miss you.
Here is a shot of NYC from Hoboken, NJ.
I'm sure I will be back for a visit soon. Can't Wait!

Do you have a go-to day-trip place you love?
How do we feel about a trip to Boston?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Super Simple (Healthy) Buffet

Ever have one of those days where cooking seems more like a chore than a mind-clarifying task? You're hungry and you just want to EAT! Here is a quick and simple meal idea that is also healthy. It also does not involve much cooking. My dinner idea for today is mini-buffet of pickies, leftovers, and healthful snacks.

O.K. Here it is...

(All together- Serves 2-3)

-1/2 Bag Spinach
-1/2 Bag of Ice Burg Lettuce Mix
-4 T. Green Olives
-4 T. Tabuleh Salad
-1 Bell Pepper (chopped)
-1/2 Cucumber (sliced)
-1/4 Cup of your favorite dressing (I used Northern Italian)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and top with your favorite dressing! Enjoy!

Berry Plate:
Chop up 8-10 large strawberries, lay them out to be gobbled up-Yum!

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
-4 Slices of 12 Grain Bread
-6 Slices of American Cheese
-8 Thin Slivers of Butter

1. Set frying pan to medium heat, add 2 slivers of butter.
2. Put 3 slices of cheese in-between 2 slices of bread.
3. Cook until golden brown on bottom side.
4. Add 2 more butter slivers to the pan and flip the 'wich'.
5. The cheesy is done once both sides are golden brown.
6. Repeat these steps to create 'which #2'.
7. Be sure to turn off the stove and enjoy your sandwiches.

Leftover Ritz Encrusted Sole:
-4 Thin Sole Filets
-1 Sleeve of Ritz Crackers
-4 Slivers of butter
-A Few Squeezes of Lemon

1. Set oven to 400 F.
2. Crush ritz into teeny tiny crumbs
3. Lay sole into a pan and cover with cracker crumbs.
4. Lay a sliver of butter on each filet.
5. Squeeze lemon over filets.
6. Cover pan with foil; cook 20-35 mins- until fish is flaky.
7. If needed, broil fish 2 mins uncovered to make the fish crusty and crispy.

Happy Eating!!!!

What would you include in a super simple mini-buffet?
Do you enjoy a melody of snacks as a meal?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakfast...it's what's for dinner!

Happy Sunday Bloggies! I am not looking forward to tomorrow (Monday), but I did have an enjoyable weekend and spent the day today relaxing and refreshing myself for the week ahead. Sighhhh---it was so nice! Tonight I wanted something quick and simple, so why not have breakfast for dinner?

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite switch-a-roos! Tonight I prepared a fun Omelette with some Bacon (my favorite part of the meat group).


(serves 2)

-4 Natural Large Eggs
-1/4 Cup of 2% Milk
-1 (cooked) Piece of Bacon- crumbled
-1 Small Tomato- chopped
-1/2 Bell Pepper- chopped
-2 Slices of American Cheese
-Salt n' Pepper (to taste)
-A Few Butter Slivers

1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk with bacon bits, salt, and pepper.
2. Set frying pan to medium heat, melt 2 butter slivers and add 1/2 of the egg mixture to the pan.
3. When egg mix begins to cook, throw in 1/2 the chopped tomatoes, peppers, and 1slice of cheese.
4. Use a spatula to fold omelette over and cook until it is slightly golden brown on each side (the egg should not be runny in the middle).
5. Repeat steps 1-4 to create second tasty omelette.

Serves 2-4

-1lb. of Plumrose Bacon

1. Follow microwave cooking instructions on the back of the package.

I love cooking my bacon in the microwave, because it comes out nice and crispy. It is also less greasy due to the paper towel absorption. Yum! Who doesn't love bacon?

Happy Eating!!!

What is your favorite breakfast for dinner dish?
Do you like bacon microwaved or do you believe the traditional stovetop method is the best?
Do you eat both parts of the egg, or do you prefer just the whites?

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Warm-Weather Meal.

Hello my blogging friends! I cannot believe it is already the weekend again, but I will not complain. Here is a dinner idea, that's perfect for some of these first warmer days. What better way to celebrate a nice day than turning on the grill?

Today's meal idea is Grilled Pork chops and Pasta Salad!


Pork chops:
(serves 2-4)

-4 Thinly sliced pork chops

I put A-1 steak sauce all over mine and Mr. D-Dates ate his smothered in BBQ.

1. Rub the pork chops with a small bit of salt and pepper.
2. Heat grill and set p. chops on grill (read grilling manual for heat settings and cook times).
3. Smoother the pork chop with your favorite sauce (steak sauce, BBQ, or you could use fajita, Dijon mustard, etc...).

Pasta Salad:
(serves an army of people, or 2 people for a week)


-24 oz. Tri-colored pasta
-1/2 Can of black olives
-2 Large Carrots (chopped)
-1/2 Cucumber (chopped)
-1 Can White Beans
-1/2 Can of Mushrooms
-1 Bell Pepper (chopped)
-1/2 Can Artichoke Hearts (chopped)
- Cubes of Colby Jack Cheese (to taste)
- 1/2 bottle of Italian or Red Wine dressing


1. Boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to the package.
2. While the pasta is cooking; chop and mix all other ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Strain pasta and rinse with cold water (to cool it off).
4. Mix pasta into bowl with all of the other ingredients.

Taaa-daaahh!! Yummy pasta salad to enjoy, and enough to pack in your lunches all week!

I hope that you enjoy this meal along with your weekend---I hope we have some really warm weather!!!! Bring it on Mother Nature!

Happy Eating!

Do you have any warm weather recipes?
What is your favorite grilled food?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Minor league hockey game???-------->Good times!

Oh how I wish this weekend didn't have to end. I am happy to report I had an amazing weekend embedded with a bunch of great date ideas!

Saturday was laid back (oh, relaxing days how I love thee) with a fun family party at night. We were celebrating a 10th wedding anniversary. Friends became the band and played 90's rock songs, which are some of my faves (does that make me a super lame-o?- I hope not!). Kids and families were dancing and enjoying themselves. These family-fun moments are what life is all about. Spending time with family helps us to stay grounded! Why not plan a get-together with your loved one and family? It will help you to grow closer and see your loved one in a new light. How does he/she treat their family, will he/she treat you the same in the future?...is this date idea/time with a loved one too lame for you?...not close with your family?---keep reading, they get better/more creative!

Sunday. Man, I wish everyday was like Sunday! The day began with weight training with my loved one and some pals (yes, they kicked my butt). It was intense but felt so good. I even pushed and pulled a sled of weights, MUCH heavier than my body weight, thank you! One more thing, I never thought I could lift 20lb dumbbells never mind doing reps with them. Yes, I am proud of myself (feel free to laugh at me)! Post this intense/amazing workout, Mr. D-Dates and I decided to take our pup for a walk at a local lake (the weather was too nice not too).

Here is a winter picture of my favorite walking spot. Luckily, it was nice out this weekend- no snow, buds were on all of the trees...all was good!

Believe it or not, we were ready to go after our walk. We decided to head down-city and head to a minor league hockey game. Go Providence Bruins! You have to head to downtown Providence on a nice-weathered Sunday. There were loads of people sitting outdoors enjoying food and day-drinks, and tons of adorable eclectic shops to peek in. It is also a great place to sight see and people watch. In our short journey we saw tripped out banana-seat bikes, a cross-dresser, and some fun artsy intellectual folk.

Ok, so the game was totally fun (even though they lost-I swear I'm bad luck). These minor league games are always cheap but yet a good time. Certain companies will give tickets to these games away for free. We were lucky enough to get tix for free from our generous friends. Hockey season is almost over, but maybe you could make it to a baseball game. The Paw-Sox games are always fun and often have fireworks following the game.

Check out these sites for tickets, events and deals:



Here are a couple of photos from our fun time:

Here is a cute pic. In-between periods, local youth hockey teams will play a mini-game. They are so adorable, it is so entertaining! One kid scored a goal and I could feel his excitement all the way up in the nose bleeds section.

What did you do this weekend?
How do you feel about minor league games and local sports?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Date- This Weekend, Do as the Romans do...Mangia!

Are you and your loved one total foodies? Do you obsessed about food, new restaurants, and new food trends? Well, for you food-loving folk I have a simple date idea that doubles as a recipe as well. Cha-Ching!

What is better than cooking a fun meal with a loved one? It clears the noggin and brings up new conversations which could make you grow to be even closer. So why don't the two of you un-wind and catch up this weekend by making some pizza!?!

You could also turn this date idea into a theme night with friends, where everything must be Italian. Everyone brings an Italian dish to your house and---Mangia! I'm pretty sure Mangia means eat in Italian as they say it often before indulging, or telling you to indulge. You could call your theme night Mangia n' Mingling. If you want to go all out you could dress up, hang Italian flags, and decorate everything in red, green, and white. Oh yes, and don't forget spumoni for dessert... Yum!

The pizza I made this week was a natural Very Veggie Pizza. It got me thinking about Italian drinks as well so I had to pair it with a delicious Aranciata. Aranciata is the Italian take on orange soda. It is orange juice combined with San Pellegrino (seltzer water) to create a tasty sparkling orange beverage (FYI- it contains less sugar and ingredients in comparison to traditional orange soda).

O.k. So, let me show you my Very Veggie Pizza along with a couple other fun pizza ideas!

Very Veggie Pizza


-1 Wood Grilled Pre-made Pizza Crust
-1 Jar of Organic Tomato Sauce
-1 Scallion
-1 Broccoli Crown
-1/2 Can of Black Olives
-1/2 Can of Quartered Artichoke Hearts
-1/2 Small Can of Mushrooms
-1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
-Seasonings for Flavor: pinch of---garlic powder, Italian herbs, salt and pepper

We all know how to prep and cook a pizza, right?
Hmmm... Well, I will include steps for the rookie foodies out there.


1. Top pizza crust with a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
2. Add the rest of the toppings, be sure the scallion is chopped up along with the broccoli. Also be sure cheese is the final topping to be added.
3. Heat oven to 425. Place prepped pizza on a cookie sheet and cook 6-8 minutes.

Once pizza is done pair it with an Aranciata and some all natural veggie stix/chips for a pretty healthy and delicious meal.

Now, chat about your delicious creation with your loved one and don't forget to give 'em a bacio (that's Italian for kiss)---Muah! That's amorè!

If you were going to throw a theme night, what would your theme be and what would you call it?

Here are some other pizzas I've made in the past:

This pizza is half veggie, half tomato-garlic. I love to substitute fresh tomatoes for sauce!

This day, I created a mini pizza buffet. The two on the right were created by using a naan bread for the crust. The top one is a simple broccoli and the bottom was a garlic-white cheese pizza. The one on the left is a balsamic reduction eggplant olive pizza. I first breaded and fried the eggplant, then I chopped it up to use it for a topping.

One of my favorite pizzas is the Hawaiian (hey, that could be your next theme night theme!). I make my Hawaiian with prosciutto ham and diced pineapple. I substitute red sauce for BBQ sauce and of course keep the cheese as a topping! Yum! It is so delicious!

All of this pizza talk got me thinking about my favorite pizza place, Antonio's on Thayer Street in Providence, RI. If you and your lovey dovey aren't up for making pizza why not head down to Antonio's? They have every kind of pizza you can imagine: nacho/taco, ravioli, white pizza, meat lovers, pesto, potato, and so much more!

What is your favorite type of pizza? What toppings do you enjoy the best? Got any secret recipes we'd enjoy?