Currently: August

Holy crap, it’s the end of August already.  Seriously, that makes me want to cry.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE summers in Colorado.  While I love Fall, it does mean that the nasty white powdery stuff is coming… {shudder}… I seriously am not even close to being ready for that.

Let’s talk about what’s going on Currently!

Current Book(s):

Sadly, I’m not reading a thing.  Not one thing.  I did start The Vacationers last month… and I’m hoping to dig back into it over the holiday weekend.  We shall see…

Vacationers Emma Staub | No Thanks to Cake

Current Music:

I’m totally and completely in love with the new(ish) Meghan Trainor song “All About That Bass.”  It’s catchy, and encourages women to love their curves.  Of course, it’s my ringback tone on my phone to incoming callers… and has been a huge hit for all.  If you haven’t yet to hear the song… you can watch it here.

Meghan and I have a lot in common… with “all the right junk, in all the right places.”  And, I’m pretty sure “I’m bringing booty back” too, girl…

Current Beauty Find:

When I was in California recently, I met some fabulous ladies and their navy men at the Train concert.  One of which sells the amazing Younique fiber lash products.  I have only recently tried them, and they’re SERIOUSLY amazing!  Check out the naked lashes v. the fiber-fabulous lashes!

Younique | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve tried the glue-on style lashes, and have even considered doing the extensions.  I’ve hesitated due to price… but I feel like I get the same results by using this product!  And, I can spice things up when I want… for special occasions without a lot of time in the chair!

Click here to find out more about the product and to buy some of your own!  Tell Maggie No Thanks to Cake sent ya!

Current Nail Color:

I’m back to the Brazilian colors by OPI… rockin’ Taupeless Beach (middle) this week on my nails and I Sao Paulo Over There (far right) on my toes.

OPI Brazilian Collection | No Thanks to Cake

Current Drink: 

I’m still stuck on good ol’ H20 this month… however, with the leftover mint from the grilled watermelon recipe I shared this week, I made some fruity water that’s been an extra special treat!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

I’ve been outfitting my tech tools… totally guilty.  I’ve bought 2 new cases for my iPhone 5s that I’m carrying right now, and a new hard case for my laptop.

Gold MacBook Case | No Thanks to Cake

I am slightly obsessed with this new gold case… Don’t you love it??

Current Food:

I have a new snack that I can’t get enough of… Have you guys tried Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars?

I was skeptical before I tried them, not being a fan of Greek yogurt… but WOW, I am so glad to have tried these!

Yasso Giveaway | No Thanks to Cake

These bars have become my new favorite night time snack… they are creamy, rich, flavorful… and they come in a Peanut Butter Cup flavor!!!  O-M-G!  To date, I’ve tried the Peanut Butter Cup (amazing!), the Salted Caramel (yum-o!), and the Mint Chocolate (delish!)

Yasso Giveaway | No Thanks to Cake

I’m also running an Instagram giveaway for one lucky follower/participant to win two coupons for a free box of Yasso bars!!  I wish I could win these!  So good!  Follow NTTC on Instagram to learn more about how to participate!

Current Outfit(s):

I’ve been working my way through my summer dresses.  Wearing all of them one more time before they have to be put away for the season.  Sniff… I can’t stand when the cool weather rolls in.  Thank goodness, I’ve got a few months left!

Current Kitchen Obsession:

I’ve done it.  I’ve become a SPIRALIZER!!!  With my winnings from the avocado contest from Fitbloggin, I invested in a Paderno spiralizer!

Paderno Spiralizer | No Thanks to Cake

Since then, I’ve made curly beets, potatoes, and some REALLY AMAZING cucumber salads.  Watch out for more of these recipes to be popping up on NTTC soon!  Like this one…

Spiralized Cucumbers | No Thanks to Cake Current Words of Inspiration:

It is so incredibly easy to be kind, and it costs nothing.  I love the idea of throwing it around a little extra moving into the next month…

Throw Kindness | No Thanks to Cake

Current Mood:

Refreshed!  After an exhausting month full of projects, intensity, and tons of plans, I spent last weekend feeding my soul and resting.  I feel so human again and like I can face anything going into the weekend!

And… it’s a long weekend!  Yay!!!

Labor Day | No Thanks to Cake

Divider

View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently:  July

Currently:  June

Currently: May

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

Related posts:

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Oh, friends… this dish tingled my tastebuds.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

I spotted a picture of grilled watermelon on Pinterest, as featured by my friends over at PopSugar Fitness. Since making the decision to grill avocados a few months back, I’ve become a little more curious about grilling the unexpected.

This dish blew me away…  Who knew that so much flavor could develop in just 8 minutes on the grill??  It also gave me an opportunity to use my fresh basil that I’ve been growing and to use fresh mint for the first time.  The end product is one that I will definitely be making again before the season ends…

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

1/2 thick slice of watermelon, quartered

3/4 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade-style

3/4 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

1/2 – 1 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

about 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat your grill to medium heat.

2.  Brush your watermelon on both sides with your favorite olive oil.  Note:  I used Kristos.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place watermelon on the grill and turn after 3-4 minutes, or once grill marks have been created.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Remove from the grill to a cool plate.  Slice your herbs into ribbons.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Sprinkle herbs onto the watermelon, and using a microplane grater, grate the parmesan lightly onto the fruit.

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, optional.  And, get ready to be wow’ed….

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Grilled Watermelon with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan | No Thanks to Cake

Per 2 triangles of watermelon serving:

CAL 113; CARB 12g; FAT 7g; PROT 1g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce

When my friend Laurel came into town last month, we went to Zengo to meet up.  A new-to-me recommendation made by her friend Zach, I fell in love with this hotspot pretty quickly… especially after Zach insisted we try the Shishito Peppers on the Happy Hour menu.

Zengo Denver | No Thanks to Cake

These tasty, sometimes spicy peppers are popping up all over menus all over town.  And, they’re delicious!!  To prepare them, chefs simply pan-fry or wok-fry them until they begin to blister, and then serve them with their choice of dipping sauces.  Easy peasy!!!

Now… here’s the catch with these peppers.  9 out of 10 of them are mild and tasty… and then that 1, 1 of 10 is fiery hot to the point of making me ask for milk in the restaurant.  WOW.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

It creates almost a fun challenge with the peppers… and makes them a great dish for entertaining.  You’ll not understand the HEAT associated with these guys… until you get lucky enough to pick the hot one…

After trying them at Zengo, I’ve wanted to have them again… they were THAT good; however, it wasn’t until I saw them at the local Farmers Market that I had a chance to make them at home!

This weekend after snagging the last basket, one of my fellow shoppers told me that they’ve bought them at Whole Foods.  Another option if you’re looking for these tasty Shishitos.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

I’m sharing today how I prepared them at home.  Cook time was roughly 7 minutes, but that included rinsing the peppers and whipping up the sauce and cooking them. Try these bad boys… and watch out for the hot one!

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

10 fresh shishito peppers

cooking spray

1 1/2 Tbsp. lowfat plain yogurt

1 – 1 ½ tsp. sriracha sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Mix your yogurt and sriracha in a small bowl.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Heat your pan to medium hot, coated with cooking spray.  Add your peppers, and cook about 5 minutes, turning about halfway through and when they start to “sing” from the heat.  Note:  You’ll want them to have bubbly blisters on them on both sides.  Turn accordingly, and cook until done.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Serve with the dipping sauce, and roll the dice to see how HOT yours will be.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

4.  To eat, pick the pepper up by the stem, and eat the entire pepper minus the stem.

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Pan-Seared Shishito Peppers with Yogurt-Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

 Note:  In my first batch of peppers, all of them were mild.  I’m fully expecting to be fired up in the next round.

Per entire recipe serving:

CAL 61; CARB 53g; FAT 1g; PROT 3g; FIB 40g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Seasons 52: My Kind of Restaurant

It’s been almost a year that Denver has been anticipating the arrival of our very first Seasons 52 restaurant.

I first met Seasons 52 at their Costa Mesa location with Janelle and Natalie, and fell in love with their location on the Kansas City Plaza during Natalie’s wedding weekend.  The fact that Denver was getting their very own franchise made me VERY happy!!!

I’ve been keeping my eye on the construction as the building was finished down in the Park Meadows/Lone Tree area of the city.  When the signage started popping up, I reached out to Seasons 52 to see if they would be having a pre-view event and offered to join to cover the event via NTTC.

I was THRILLED when I heard back that I had been formally invited to attend with a guest.

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cak

We made a reservation and planned to visit the location on Monday.  I invited my gal pal Tiffany to dine with me, as she too is always a fan of healthy dining options. Arriving to see a sign like this always makes me feel a little bit VIP…

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

What is Seasons 52?  Their website describes the restaurant as a fresh grill and wine bar, and I think that’s a great description.    They have a gorgeous dining room that definitely reminds me of some of my favorite wine bars.  Mostly, to me, Seasons 52 is a fantastic choice for healthy, guilt-free dining.  The perfect dining destination for anyone working to stay on track with their healthy eating, yet not willing to sacrifice an evening out with friends!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

What that tagline lacks is the revealing that everything on their menu is under 475 calories per dish and their seasonal menu is inspired by the delicious flavors of the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables.  They also offer a new menu each season and weekly chef’s specials… thus the name Seasons 52.

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

We arrived just in time for the Autumn menu to be presented.  It was loaded with the season’s favorites:  brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and pomegranate.  I also learned that they carry 52 different wines by the glass!  I indulged in a tasty glass of Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc… delish!  And, check out their super cute glasses!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to CakeTiffany and I had a heck of a time deciding what to eat… mostly because everything sounded so good and (as always) because we were chatting it up too much to focus on the menu.  We decided to get started with the Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread.  I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a more perfect flatbread.  The crust was thin, crispy, and flaky… topped with warm pesto, chicken, and cheese, finished with arugula and a garlicky sauce.  Yum!!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

I was also very impressed that the restaurant not only cared for calorie counts and provides nutritional information, but they also have a considerable amount of menu options for just about any special dietary needs.  Click here for more details.  Our server Christy was also incredibly willing to accommodate any dietary needs (for me:  picky eating habits) that we needed.

For our main courses, we went for traditional entrees.  I picked the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon, served over mashed potatoes with mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and broccolini.  All topped with a red wine reduction.  Yum-O!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

Tiffany opted for the Oak Grilled Rack of Lamb… served with caramelized root vegetables, mashed potatoes, with a pomegranate sauce.  Check out the presentation on this dish… it also was the first time I’d ever tried lamb.  Thanks for the bite, Tiff!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

As if that weren’t enough, the wait staff also came by with a flight of desserts for us to choose from. OMG….

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

I am a huge fan of these little mini desserts.  Just a few bites of deliciousness is all you really need when it comes to desserts.  I chose the Carrot Cake, while Tiffany enjoyed the Mocha Macchiato.  Both were incredible!!!  Note the candied carrot on mine.  Amazing!

Dessert Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

After dinner we got a quick pic in the bar and agreed that we have a new favorite spot in Park Meadows.  Thanks for a lovely evening, Seasons 52.  We can’t wait to come back!

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

To find a Seasons 52 near you, click here.

Seasons 52 Lone Tree | No Thanks to Cake

Disclaimer:  My meal at Seasons 52 was complimentary; however, all of the opinions expressed above are my own.

Have you ever dined at a Seasons 52?

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