restaurant month recap

It’s December already! time is sure going fast. In my very first post I noted that I unofficially named November my restaurant month. The plan was to go to a different restaurant for my date nights with Dave. Since a lot of our dinners prior to this included a lot of homemade dinners I thought it would be a good idea to switch it up and use this as an excuse to indulge in all the things I’ve been craving (while still being a good girl during the week! {although, that’s debatable}). Five weekends… five restaurants!
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learning from the pros

For a while now I’ve been wanting to go to a cooking class and one day I randomly decided to look into the course offerings from Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE). This place is pretty awesome and they have all sorts of fun classes. I had previously taken a photography class there and I definitely see more BCAE classes in my future. Aside from satisfying my own interests, it also made for a fun date night.

coupon gf
If there’s one thing you get out of reading this is to always google for promotional codes when buying online. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to get 10-30% off my purchase or even free shipping {I’ll take it!}. This particular savings adventure came in multiple layers. It started when I found a Gilt deal for $100 for a $200 voucher for BCAE classes {oh snap!}. this. is. perfect. I jumped on that like white on rice. Now that I’m at the Gilt checkout ready to buy my voucher, it asked me for a promotional code … hmmm, I don’t have one but I’m sure my friend google does. Guess what? I found a code for 20% off on a Gilt purchase. Did I just get a savings on top of my savings? At this point I’m cheesing so hard I’m sure you can see all of my wisdom teeth. My $100 purchase has just gone down to $86 (including some fees). The $174 class only cost me $86, a 51% discount and I still have a $26 left in my voucher. They {namely, Dave} don’t call me coupon gf for nothing!

Savings

i fiend. that’s what I do…
I may have kinda-sorta bought a few things with my tastearoo kangaroo, specifically an apron {and a mug!}. Aren’t you fiending just a little bit Bermary? nope. I’m having fun with this and it makes me happy [#thatswhatido #ifiend #blogobsessed]. The course description said to bring an apron and that’s what I did.

Represent

not your typical bootcamp
The Basic Cooking Bootcamp was a three hour long class on a Saturday afternoon where we cooked four recipes (that even included a glass of wine!). Our instructors were Katie and Richard from The Skinny Beet. They were pretty awesome and explained that the class would emphasize more on cooking techniques than a step by step of the recipes. Some of the major take-aways from the class included the proper way to hold a chef’s knife, how to dice an onion and cube a carrot, why it’s good  to use kosher salt and a searing and baking technique in cooking meat.

let’s eat.
The four recipes we made were:
1. roasted tomato, herb, and goat cheese frittata
Frittata

2. mediterranean eggplant and carrot salad {my favorite!}
MediterraneanSalad

3. spice-crusted chicken
SpicedChicken

4. mango fool
MangoFool

the beginning of the end

well well well… look at what we have here, my very first post! this is kinda fun, I get to share my life with you {and you shall listen!…err read? ok, just kidding} so yeah let’s get started!

It’s only fitting that the beginning of this blog overlaps with the final stages of my bikini comp prep, one more week to be exact! {but who’s counting?} I’m working on getting all the things I need organized including a photo shoot, bod pod testing, and of course the actual competition day (all things I intend to write about – don’t you worry). I just got some instructions to increase my cardio and begin a water depletion plan. I won’t get into specifics but I’ll just note that there’s nothing “healthy” (or better yet sustainable) about the final weeks of a prep but since it’s for a limited time frame it’s doable with no harm done. Dave (the bf) asked me if I’m excited and at the moment, I don’t really have any emotions in regards to it; I have a set of things I have to get done and I’m just kinda doing it. Ironically enough I’ve been more excited about setting up this blog.

chicken and greens
Doesn’t sound so good, does it? My food options these past couple of weeks have been extra restrictive so needless to say I’m not a very happy girl. Oh and this came just as I got a stomach ulcer {greaaat}. I think I’m all better now though, symptoms have subsided {yaaaaay}. It’s actually not so bad, for protein I get to eat chicken or tilapia and two of my meals include carbs which can be either oatmeal, brown rice, or quinoa. hmmm… now that I think about it maybe it is that bad. eh, just one more week, then I can start implementing a more balanced diet {I can’t wait!}. Oh, and I’ve also unofficially named November my restaurant month where I’ll will plan to go to different restaurants for my Saturday dinners {aka date nights with Dave – he’s a big fan of the idea}.

chicken and greens

water buffalo
Prior to starting the water depletion plan I had to water load; I need to make sure I’m consuming at least a gallon of water a day. This is a lot harder than you think, it’s almost a little painful. Having to drink water when you are not thirsty is depressing and going to the bathroom every 30 minutes is annoying. I have a gallon I keep with me that I use to refill my water bottle, this is my gallon next to a small {and cute} bottle I bought months ago [#howcute #whydidievenbuythat #atleastitsrecyclable]. Right now I’m on-point – I have finished the gallon every day for the last several days.

gallon

cravings
I’ve seriously had the worst cravings lately. I decided to make a peanut butter chocolate brownie trifle (in addition to another baked good which will remain a secret!) for my post-comp treat. The only problem is that, that has turned into hours looking up recipes and guess what? the recipes are all the same but for some reason I keep doing it {and torturing myself!}. The other day I went to Target to literally *look* at the different ingredients I would need. I went to the baking aisle and omg they have so many options for the brownie mix, like seriously why so many options!? {you’re killing me here!}

brownie mix

It was torturous and completely self-inflicted… ugh {pull yourself together Bermary!}, soon enough.