Archive | March, 2014

Spa Weekend in Bedford Springs

30 Mar

This past weekend one of my good friends, Sara, from my Philly days and I got together for a spa weekend in Bedford Springs.  We did this same trip last year, I have to say, we’ve got this relaxing thing down.

We met on Friday at the resort and after lunch headed to the tasting room of a local winery, Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery.  We had gone here last year and had a nice time so decided to go again.  We did the full menu wine tasting, which is super reasonable at only $5, and they have a very generous tasting pour.  I ended up getting three bottles to take home, two reds (Cab Fran and Lemberger) and a Chardonnay because it was rather tasty.  All of their wines lean toward the dry side.  I would totally recommend stopping in this store if you are heading to Bedford for the spa, it’s a fun stop before the Omni.

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At the resort, there are only three restaurants, two of them are what I’d call more formal while the third, the Frontier Tavern is very casual.  For lunch and dinner the first day we opted for the Frontier Tavern.  We grabbed lunch there before we went to the winery.  I think it was a good call to eat a little before drinking at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Sara loves to share food, which makes me happy because I’m the same way.  You get to try more if you share!!  So we split a chicken sandwich and this awesome lobster cobb salad with green goddess dressing.  It was fantastic.

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For dinner, we weren’t especially hungry so we opted for a cheese plate…

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Some fried crab fritters (which honestly were more like hush puppies).  I was expecting more crab I suppose.

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And of course we got a bottle of wine 🙂

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Because drinking at the winery and then again in the room before dinner wasn’t enough!  There was a drinking trend this weekend.

We then headed to bed… partly because we were tired and also because we had our spa day ahead of us on Saturday!  In the morning we had a late breakfast at the buffet in the Crystal Dining Room before our appointments at 1.  It was such a great morning, I slept til 8:30 got my workout in early and had a great breakfast all before my spa appointments!

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Ok, on to the good part, the spa…  I had a massage and a facial.  Both of which I loved.  First we get to relax in the spa pool, which I almost fell asleep in because it was so warm and comfy with the jets going.  Then my favorite part, the massage, it was so lovely.  I think next time I do something like this, I’d skip the facial (even though it was very nice) and just do a longer massage.  When my masseuse told me that my hour long session was done I was so sad, I could have stayed for another hour.  One of my friends asked me how I was doing on Saturday night and I told him that I felt like jello, because that was the only word I could come up with to describe how relaxed I was.  It was so nice.

We had dinner reservations in the 1796 room that night for dinner.  So after our spa day, we went back to the room and had a few glasses of wine that we had brought while we got ready for dinner.  The last time we were there I really enjoyed my meal there and was so looking forward to it again.  Sara and I started with this Seafood Tower for 2, it was hysterical (and very good).  There were a few crab legs, one lobster tail, a few shrimp and some tuna ceviche.  I loved that tuna, I seriously could have had that for my meal.

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Since we got such a large starter, I opted to stick with the Seafood theme and got the fish special which was tuna (and I made that decision before I had the ceviche).  It was prepared simply and was done rare.  I loved it, it was very good and light enough for me since I was still feeling jello-ish from my massage!

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Sara went with the beef tenderloin which I got a bite of.  It was a very nice piece of beef and was served with their house-made steak sauce and a grilled artichoke heart.

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We were pretty full after all of that, but our server mentioned a nutella cupcake, and there was no way we were turning that down, so we decided to share one and took it to-go.  First we went back to our room to get some more wine (because a bottle with dinner and some drinks while getting ready was clearly not enough).  It’s fun to drink wine out of to-go coffee cups with the sippy lids on.

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So we got our drinks and took our cupcake down to the lobby area to relax by the fireplace. So this cupcake had nutella and banana chips, two of my favorite things that I never buy.  Sara was super sweet and gave me the banana chip on top.

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This was so good.  Words honestly can’t do it justice.

After the massage and that cupcake and the wine, this was a lovely end to the day…

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Sadly, good things like this must come to an end.  So after a workout in the morning while Sara got a manicure in preparation for her upcoming wedding (3 weeks!!!) and a quick breakfast, we hit the road.  And it was snowing.  Mother Nature and I are going to have some serious words after this winter, she’s going to drive me south again with this nonsense.

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Happy Fat Tuesday – Jambalaya Recipe

4 Mar

I found this Jambalaya recipe two or three years ago and have been making it ever since.  I figured since it was the end of Mardi Gras I should do a little something since I’m not out drinking my face off like I would have been when I was in college… and in my early twenties.

It’s a cooking light recipe.  I’ve modified it a little, but not much.  So, the recipe and steps provided by Cooking Light, the pictures provided by me…

Cooking Light Recipe

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (I only used chicken breast)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped smoked turkey sausage (about 4 ounces) (I used leftover kielbasa)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (I used a whole green pepper and half a red pepper because I like the flavor)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (I used brown rice)
  • 2 3/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (skipped all three of these – paprika, thyme and red pepper – and subbed with a cajun seasoning that I have)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped $
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm. Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove from pan.
  2. Add 1 cup onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. IMG_1116Stir in rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. IMG_1118Add broth, paprika, thyme, and red pepper; bring to a boil.
  5. IMG_1123Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken, sausage and tomatoes; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  6. IMG_1126IMG_1128Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with green onions.

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So hope you all have a good week!  I’m still trying to decide what to give up for Lent… one friend is talking about giving up Facebook… I’m not sure I have the willpower.  Any suggestions?

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