Happy belated Valentine’s Day! We had a busy day yesterday, and today it was back to work for me after we did our final walk-through of the new house.  Everything looked beautiful. The only small snag is that the refrigerator we ordered Saturday (and were so excited about) is too BIG! We have to downsize to the 21 cubic foot model instead, which will be nice for the wallet, but a little disappointing nonetheless.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s V-Day eats…

We met the future in-laws for brunch in the morning.  We tried a couple places in town, but everywhere was mobbed (cabin fever, anyone?) so we ended up eating at Cheesecake Factory.  I had a simple scrambled egg breakfast with hash browns and english muffin.  They claimed this was two eggs, but it looked more like four! I ate about a third of the eggs, all of the muffin and most of the potatoes.

Spike got one of his favorites — the Monte Cristo.

After that we spent the afternoon at one of our favorite wineries in northern Virginia, Quattro Goomba’s.  It’s a really fun little place that has live music on the weekends and terrific ‘micro-brewed’ wines.  They don’t grow their own grapes (at least, not yet), but they import them from places like Italy and Chile and then do their magic.

We went to dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s, a place we used to visit a lot when we lived in the Boston suburbs.  There’s one location outside of Massachusetts, and it’s in Virginia.  We were both craving something casual and familiar instead of a fancy affair, and this fit the bill perfectly.

Their bread is amazing…

We split a cup of french onion soup, with croutons made from that same bread.

I had rosemary-skewered scallops with orange-chipotle glaze, served with an israeli couscous mixture with snap peas and bacon. 

I wasn’t that hungry after eating all the bread and soup, so I took about half of it home.

Spike had cranberry-teriyaki chicken with butternut squash cannellonis, served over spinach. Yum! The cannelloni was so rich and creamy.

No dessert after all that! We did buy something special at Wegmans that we’ll have later this week, though. 🙂


This is actually two dinners in one!  Two equally yummy and filling dinners, that is.  And relatively healthy, considering what they are and what they look like.


A couple nights ago we made an old favorite that we hadn’t made in a while–Rachael Ray’s Chicken Sausage Meatballs with Gnocchi.  I know some people get annoyed at her, but I’ve never had a problem with her.  The recipes we’ve tried have always turned out OK, though they always take longer than 30 minutes. No big deal.  Anyway, I LOVE these meatballs because they taste exactly like italian sausage–only I don’t have to wonder what’s in them.  I have mental issues with sausage…I love the flavor (fennel seeds, yum) but get grossed out thinking about what the little bits of stuff are.  With these, it’s just ground turkey (99% lean), some seasonings, fresh basil, sun-dried tomato (not my favorite on its own, but good in these) and olive oil.  And you bake them, which couldn’t be easier.

Anyway, they are delicious with a spicy (hello, splash of habenero hot sauce!) tomato sauce and pasta.  And, dare I say, even more delicious as sausage meatball subs.

A nice toasty baguette, a sprinkle part-skim mozzarella…delicious!