Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

22 10 2012

Hello! Hope you all had a great weekend! Sorry I’ve been a lil MIA, work has got me pretty busy right now.
I wanted to pop in to say hi and tell you about these fabulous new tortilla chips by Garden of Eatin‘.

A little while ago, the company contacted me to see if I would like to review their newest tortilla chips, Sprouted Blues and Sweet Potato. I’m a huge sweet potato fan-I’ll swap sweet potato fries for regular fries any day- and I love tortilla chips, so I jumped at the chance.

I’m also a fan of the Garden of Eatin’ company. They pride themselves on using all natural, all organic ingredients.

Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips: Prepared with premium quality organic yellow corn and organic sweet potato that can be seen and savored in each chip, Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips provide 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving.  Like all Garden of Eatin’ products, Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips are made without any genetically modified ingredients, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. In addition, the new flavor is kosher and certified gluten-free.

That sounds pretty good to me!

I can’t shouldn’t eat an entire bag by myself, so I saved the chips for the night I hosted book club at my house. I made my favorite pork tacos, Courtney made some homemade salsa, Meghann cooked up some kale, and Jess brought the sangria.

The chips were a little crushed from traveling in the mail, but I managed to grab some of the bigger pieces to have with my meal. It was love at first bite! They were slightly sweet, with just the right balance of sweet potato and corn. I could definitely taste both! I dipped a few in the salsa, but I honestly preferred them plain; they didn’t need anything to add to the flavor. By the end of the night, all that was left of the chips were a few crumbs. I guess the chips were a hit 🙂 I’ve already purchased another bag; I think I might keep these all to myself! Thanks for the chips, Garden of Eatin’!

While on the topic of sweet potatoes, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite sweet potato recipes! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Doughnuts

Lime Lover’s Nachos

Caribbean Sweet Potato Gratin

How Sweet Eats Sweet Potato Cream Pasta

Mama Pea’s Spicy African Stew

Note: Garden of Eatin’ provided me with the chips, but the opinions are my own 🙂

Question of the day: What is your favorite sweet potato recipe? (Link below!)

Tampa Friends

10 09 2012

Howdy! Is it really Monday already? I’ve had a whirlwind of a weekend, but I got to spend it with my wonderful Tampa friends!

On Friday night, Courtney invited the Team XPers over for a Mexican dinner party! Despite showing up a lil’ late to the party, I  didn’t miss out on any of the spectacular food that Courtney had prepared!

(I was too hungry to snap photos, so I grabbed these from Meghann 🙂 )

She went all out, preparing chicken enchiladas, beef fajitas with all the fixins, homemade salsa, a yummy salad, fried plantains, and rice and beans. Court covered all the mains, Jess brought some sangria, I brought some margarita mix + tequila, and Meghann brought some churro cupcakes. YUM. It was quite the feast, and I left feeling very full!

Love this group so much!

I was a little worried on Friday night that someone was going to spill the beans about a little surprise that Mary had been planning for Meghann, but thankfully no one did! What’s the surprise you ask? Well, Mary had planned a super secret surprise bridal shower for Meghann!

I’d say we got her good!

Mary orchestrated the whole shabang (with Meghann’s fiancee Derek’s help of course), and opened up her home for the party. Check out Meghann’s post for the full recap. Man, was that fun!

I brought pumpkin cupcakes to the party, and while I was baking I was SO TEMPTED to tweet pictures. I mean, how cute is this?

I knew I couldn’t just in case Meghann saw one of my tweets. (I ended up tweeting it after the party:-) )

To make the cupcakes, I followed the Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe, and they were AWESOME. Man, I’m glad it is pumpkin season (even though it doesn’t really feel like it down here).

The cupcakes were topped with some cream cheese icing, homemade snowflakes and/or clear sugar crystals. Meghann’s wedding has a snowflake theme, hence my cupcake toppers:-)

Those snowflakes were TOUGH to make. I melted some candy melts in the double boiler a small saucepan on top of a lager saucepan, and filled a pastry bag with a small decorating tip. The melted chocolate kept solidifying in the tip, and I was constantly trying to unclog it with a paper clip. I tried dipping the metal tip in  some hot water to see if that would help, but it was a no go. So, I just had to take it one line at a time.

When it was all said and done, I was quite pleased with the final product.

Immediately following the shower, I headed home for a quick change before meeting up with my friend Jennica and heading over to St. Pete. Jennica had texted me on Friday asking if I wanted to go with she and her hubby to see the Marshall Tucker Band concert. I didn’t really know the band, but I was happy to hang out with them:-) So, on Saturday night, we headed over the bridge to a biker bar called Screwie Louie’s Porpoise Pub.

Yes, that’s a wicker Harley hanging from the ceiling.

And biker bar this was! I’m talking leather vests, guys with long pony tails and even longer beards, tight jeans, and lots of tattoos. This bar was definitely not my usual crowd, but y’know what, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It was definitely not the pretentious crowd that you get in South Tampa. It was a “come as you are” kinda place, which I appreciated.

They also had an assortment of crane games, including this one, where you could try to nab a live lobster. $2 a try! I didn’t see anyone playing 😉

Y’know what else I enjoyed? The people watching! Hoo boy! I think the funniest thing I spotted all night was a woman wearing jeans, and one of the back pockets was COMPLETELY ripped off. I’m talking like a 6 inch by 3 inch hole on her butt. We got a clear view of her lacy white underwear! The woman was either completely oblivious or had intentionally chosen these jeans to wear out to the bar. (I think it was the latter.)

Sunday was the first day of NFL football, so I had to find a place to watch my beloved Eagles. I did a quick Google search before the game and found out that there’s a large group of Philly fans in Tampa. The Tampadelphia group meets at the DoubleTree hotel on Westshore at their sports bar, the Player’s Club. The place was packed out, and I happily sang the Eagle’s fight song along with my fellow fans, as we cheered them on to victory! I will definitely be back.

And, one more friend related thing. Last weekend, I met up with a few other bloggers and Tampa area triathletes for an open water swim. The same group that organized that training meet up has also been emailing about the Miles For Hope event, happening in Clearwater on September 22nd. Miles for Hope is putting on a ‘Moving Towards a Cure’ Brain Tumor Awareness Event. The event includes walking, running, and cycling events. Pete, our fearless leader, sent out the link a few weeks ago, asking if anyone was interested. His mother has survived and fought the side effects of a brain tumor for over 22 years, and he is organizing a team in her honor. Recently, I have learned that a family member of one of my nearest and dearest childhood friends was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lisa is a mother of two, and the cousin of my best friend Gina. I’ve been wanting to do something, because I know how special Lisa is to Gina and her mom. So, I decided to join the fight and ride 100K (~60 miles) on September 22nd.

Although the event doesn’t require fundraising to participate, it is encouraged since the money goes towards research and finding a cure. Will you help me as I ride for Lisa? If you feel so inclined, please stop by my fundraising page and donate. I thank you, and so do the thousands of individuals suffering with brain tumors.

Have a great Monday everyone!


2 04 2012

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Congrats to all the folks who raced this weekend, especially those who did the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!

I was actually supposed to run in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but since it was no longer a convenient race for me, I gave my bib away. (Side note- I actually registered for the race in the fall, sitting at a coffee shop in Tampa before meeting up with Meghann for the first time. I was checking out Tampa after my interview; who would have thought I’d actually be here now!)

Instead, I spent the weekend in Orlando with Bill. I always have a great time hanging out with this goof ball.

We took this picture before our bike ride FAIL. On Saturday, we planned on going for a long ride on the Seminole Wekiva Trail,  a trail about 30 minutes from Bill’s house. When we left the house, there were a few clouds rolling in, but we packed up the bikes anyhow, thinking we might be able to beat the storm. When we were about 10 minutes away from the trail head, a steady rain started to fall. Bill smiled at me and said, “You live in Florida now, you need to learn to train in the rain.” Yes coach 🙂

We got to the trail head and it was still raining steadily, with no signs of letting up. Bill and I looked at each other and decided we didn’t drive all the way out here just to turn around. So, we threw on our gear, quickly grabbed our bikes and hit the trail.

We didn’t really look at the map in detail before we left, and two miles in we came to an intersection. We were soaking wet, and not sure that we were even headed in the right direction in the first place, so we opted to go back and see if the trail kept going in the other direction. We were headed in the direction of the car, and still the rain was beating down on us. After about a mile, we decided to call it quits when we got to the car. We weren’t getting a good workout in, and we were both pretty miserable. We rode a grand total of 4 miles. Wah. Wah.

At least I got some training in the rain in, right? 😉

One thing we did this weekend that wasn’t a fail was eating at Garabaldi’s. This place had authentic, delicious, and cheap Mexican food. We went at the suggestion of Courtney, and it did not disappoint!

I started with a tasty margarita, and munched on chips and salsa while we perused the menu. The salsa had a little bit of heat, but it was fresh and tasty!

We also ordered a guacamole appetizer, which was quite tasty! It was tough to make a decision, since everything sounded so good, and the pictures made your mouth water. When it was time to order, Bill went with the cheese enchilada and bean burrito.

I ordered a sope and a pork carnitas taco. My mouth dropped when I saw how big the sope was:

I was expecting something much smaller, which is why I ordered a taco too!

Both of my dishes were outstanding and incredibly filling. I was definitely happy with my choice, and so was Bill. This place was a winner in my book!

What really made the meal was our decision to order fried ice cream for dessert.

Best. decision. ever. Crispy on the outside, and cold, delicious vanilla ice cream on the inside. Mmmmmm yum!

If you’re ever in Orlando, check out Garibaldis! You will not be disappointed!