Date Night – McCormicks & Schmick

*The following post is sponsored all opinions are my own*

When is the last time you dated your spouse? Thankfully I can answer that question with the following answer… last month! As many of you know, last month we celebrated our 6 year anniversary.

My personal goal is to a have a monthly date with my husband because as parents we are naturally in Mommy & Daddy mode 24/7. This month with the help of our friends at McCormick & Schmick’s we are able to have a nice relaxing HOT dinner alone.

Often times I’m so busy getting the kids settled, hands washed, food on plates, and drinks in cups that by the time I sit down my food is lukewarm.

On top of having a wonderful HOT meal, I learned that it was National Wine Day! We were able to try a 2012 Jordan Cabernet. It was dry but tasty. Next up appetizers!

JoColby enjoyed the Shrimp Kisses/ Pepper Jack Cheese/ Bacon Wrapped/ Fire Roasted Corn Salsa/ Onion Strings.

Being the Maryland girl that I am, I normally would not go for a crab cake, BUT our waiter Keith insisted that it was delicious and it was! The Fire Corn Salsa topping was a delicious bonus. Next up the main course.

JoColby had the Dry Rubbed Black Angus Bone In Rib Eye 20oz cooked MEDIUM and in his exact words ” It was cooked to perfection, melted in my mouth, no A1 needed, one of the best steaks I’ve ever had!”

I opted for the McCormick’s Trio ( Crab Cake, Grilled Shrimp and Grilled Salmon with red pepper white cheddar potatoes and broccoli) and added a side of Crab Legs! It was soooo delicious and to top it off, I added the Lobster Mashed potatoes!

I’m not sure how to explain the deliciousness of this meal but can we go back to the fact that they cut my crab legs open for me!

Everything was so delicious and then we had dessert, talk about stuffed.

We wanted to try the Strawberry Ice Cream Pie and it was superb and the granola crust was on point.

Last night we just wanted to focus on each other and enjoy a delicious meal and that mission was accomplished. Shout out to our amazing village! My SIL held us down for a few hours, I am always so grateful for our support system because being a parent is HARD.

My goal is to continue our monthly date night series. When should be go next? Thanks again to our friends at McCormick and Schmick at Crab Tree Valley Mall for the delicious meal. I want to hold each of you accountable to plan a date night with your spouse and tag me with #HWTHDate I’m looking forward to the movement. Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Sips Tea…. literally

Many of you know I’m NOT a coffee drinker, but I sure do love a good tea blend! Recently I’ve been indulging in Adagio Tea and not only have I been loving it but so have the kids!

I love that they offer a caffeine free blend so I got the Three Little Pigs blend and honestly, I’ve been really loving that blend as much as the kids.

I also tried the Gemini .. bc HELLO June 17th over here. It has a nice blend of white tea, rose hips with a peach flavor to top it off. So delicious!

In addition to these awesome flavors I got a Harry Potter blend which is so good, it’s a chocolate blend.

One of my favorite purchases has been my tea thermostat because it literally keeps my tea hot ALL DAY! It has an infuser attached so you can enjoy loose tea as well.

You can snag one here and it’s only $29! A totally win when you want to have a good cup of tea throughout the work day or while you’re on the go!

Be sure to check out Adaigo Teas they have so many blends you won’t be disappointed and they currently have an Easter special going as well!

Until next time…..

Happy Blending!

Meka

Family Friendly Eats: Harvest 18

Family nights are so important, most of our family nights include food or a movie. This time we chose food. The crew and I were invited to checkout Harvest 18, a family style restaurant located in Durham and boy were we in for a treat!

Often times parents dread going to restaurants with kids because of the lack of kid friendly food options in addition to GOOD food for parents. Or in my case you have that ONE child that likes to embarrass you every time you decided to eat out. I won’t call out any names but sometimes you have to just let your child stand up while they eat and not feel judged!

Once everyone was settled we were able to order our meals. There were so many awesome options and I was to happy too see the kids absolute FAVORITE item on the menu…. Mac and Cheese!

Before our meals came out we were able to sample a few items not on the menu!

Fried Mac and Cheese balls

Sautéed Fish with beets, Elle actually really loved this she has a sophisticated pallet to be 8 years old.

I started off with the Kale Caesar salad and of course I had the Wood fire grilled Atlantic Salmon which I LOVED!

JoColby opted for the wood fire grilled Mahi Mahi he absolutely enjoyed it and got the most inquiries via our Instastory .

And of course the kids wanted their fave…. Mac and Cheese and it was so delicious! They were able to choose from sides or fries for a side option.

For dessert we had the Rise Glazed Donut Bread Pudding with a cherry glaze!

Wow we truly enjoyed dinner everything was absolutely amazing and the atmosphere was so welcoming to our large family. So here’s why we LOVE Harvest 18 and why we will be back!

  1. The atmosphere is inviting, and the service is great! As I said earlier everyone was so welcoming and inviting to our family!
  2. The food!!! We enjoyed everything and having a place that accommodates parents as well as kids is always a plus.
  3. Location! With Harvest 18 conveniently located minutes from South Point Mall it makes for the perfect location to get shopping and dinning done.
  4. 80% of the food served is harvested from local N.C. farmers!

We officially stamp this restaurant #HWTHapproved when you go be sure to let us know how you enjoyed it! I personally can’t wait to visit when the weather is nice so we can dine outside. Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: American Girl in a Caribbean world

1. How would you define Momtourage?

My Momtourage is my family and close friends. My mom plays a major role in my Momtourage. The boys know her as “Honey”. She spends the night Monday-Friday to help with getting the boys ready for school as well so drop off at school. My family (aunts, grandmother, sister) helps with date night or just relief time. Our friends help with support and encouragement.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

How do I balance Motherhood…umm I don’t. I’m still learning how to take time for me. Motherhood have taken over my life completely. Although, being a wife and mother is rewarding, it can also be stressful. If we are not careful, we can easily lose ourselves in the process of trying to build our families. Often, I tend to take care of my household and neglect myself. After, self evaluation … I’ve realized that, I  cannot give what I  don’t have. So now, when I need time to myself, I take time. Having boys,  I’m always busy, whether it’s straightening up after them, doing homework, or having to be at baseball, basketball practice or a school event. One of my goals this year is to get “me” back. I have a membership at Massage Envy and I try to go at least once a month as my “me day”. I’ve had my membership for about 4 years, but don’t go as much as I should.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

Sorry…I had to make it plural…My phone and Jared’s epi pen is most important, both boys are asthmatic and Jared has severe allergies along with my planner is second- to make sure I have all their doctors appointments scheduled.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My husband and I started our family the “non transitional” way as some may call it. We had Joshua, then got married,  when Joshua was 3, and had another child 3 years later. I was a “nontraditional” college graduate. I attended college at 25 years old. I finished up my degree while I was pregnant with Joshua.

I am a wife. My husband is from a small island in the Caribbean named Saint Kitts. Having a mixed cultural family makes us unique.  We have traveled to St. Kitts as a family 5 times. We usually travel to visit my husband family every other year during Christmas time. This new culture has made me open minded and taught me so many things. I have learned how to cook Caribbean foods. (Which I love, because I love cooking). I have also, sampled different Caribbean dishes that I never would have sampled prior to meeting my husband. I have also dressed up in a mascarade costume, during their carnival time. Having a mixed cultural family and living in the U.S. has it’s challenges.  The boys do not get to see their extended family often. We usually communicate with my in laws through social media. Visiting St. Kitts has taught the boys and I about small island Caribbean culture. Traveling has taught us how to be open minded to any culture that we may come across in life.

Thank you so much Shaketa for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Fresh, Fresh and FRESH!

Friday, I was invited to Sassool to try some delicious Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine.

When I arrived I was greeted with delightful smells. The spices and fresh aromas are present as soon as you walk into the restaurant.

I was able to learn about the newly renovated space and all of the upcoming features that will be present within the store. As I looked around the restaurant was PACKED! That to me was a great sign, a sign of loyalty and for obvious I reasons, a sign that this food must be delicious.

Before eating I had a quick tour of the market area. Here you can purchase anything from fresh spices to delicious desserts.

Fresh batches of almonds, packaged chic peas, dates, falafel, you name it, they have it!

Recently Sassool, hosted a recipe share contest and revealed their winner. The winner was able to have their meal displayed in the restaurant and featured on the menu. How cool is that!

After touring I was ready for a delicious meal, and since I’m eating mostly veggies I was not disappointed. They feature a hot and cold menu as well as made to order meals. They have so many options you can easily become overwhelmed in a positive way.

And of course they have my favorite meal….. Desserts!!!!

They literally have something for everyone, even VEGAN Baklava. Which was quit tasty might I add.

Since I was eating lunch I decided to roll with the following:

1. Fatoush Salad Chopped Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green bell pepper, onions, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and spices.

2. Corn Salad A delicious blend of corn, diced red and green bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

3. Cabbage Delight Sautéed cabbage, spinach, cilantro, bell peppers, onions, bulgur wheat, and spices. Served hot

4. Tzatiki and fresh Pita bread

I highly recommend that you check the menu before visiting, and also try the 3 or 4 sampler plate. You won’t be disappointed everything was so flavorful and delicious I will most definitely be back. And conveniently they have 2 locations, one in Raleigh and the other in Cary!

Be sure to take home some fresh bread. Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Easy Maryland Style Crab Cakes

As most of you know I am from Baltimore and even though I️ recently attempted going Vegan ( I️ haven’t given up on that just taking a PAUSE) I️ LOVE crab cakes. Actually I️ LOVE seafood period! So I️ wanted to share my quick and easy crab cake recipe! So here’s what you need :

  • 1 pound of Real crab meat (preferably lump or back fin)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Old bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Mayo
  • Oil

Prep time 10 mins, cooking time 15 mins

One of the very first steps you want to do is to check your crab meat for any shells. I simply dump the entire jar into a bowl and feel through to make sure all shells are discarded. Once that’s done I personally like to massage my old bay season into the meat.

Next add the remaining ingredients to the mixture: beaten egg, mayo, mustard and bread crumbs

Once your ingredients well mixed, you will form your mixture into a patty. Most of the time you can get 4 big crab cakes or shoot for 5 nicely portioned ones. Once this step isn completed, I let them sit in the refrigerator for at least a hour. This allows them to set and prep for easy cooking and avoid falling apart.

After your hour is up, it’s time to fry. Now I typically use minimal oil, I don’t even cover the entire frying pan as you can see in the picture below you only need enough oil to toast the crab cakes. The goal is to cook them without them being overly oily.

I recommend frying them for about 3-5 mins on each side or until they are golden brown. After frying each side I let them cool on a paper towel, this also allows for excess oil to drain.

Once they are done simply add your favorite side or make a delicious crab cake sandwich. Growing up in Baltimore eating crab cakes was as common as eating eggs for breakfast! I️ love them I can literally eat them every week. Well I hope you enjoy this easy recipe as we all know I HATE cooking but this is such a simple meal I don’t mind making these for family and friends. Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Meal prep made easy!

Monday I had the pleasure of receiving my very first meal subscription box.  My best friend Alex somehow was able to send me a code for a FREE box, so I signed up quickly to get things rolling because as most of you know  I HATE cooking!

Signing up was a breeze, I have a pork and red meat free home and soon I will be converting back to vegetarian life.  I selected my restrictions and picked out the most appealing meals.  We went with Fish tacos, Soy Chicken and Potato topped pot pie, everything was delicious!  Not only was it easy, but I have the recipes to use in the future.

Since I’m not a food blogger or professional photographer the food pictures below are from the Hello Fresh website.  The portions were the perfect size for myself and the kiddos, now if my husband was back in the states we would totally have to increase our plan to the family size.

Overall I think this product is beneficial for families or people on the go, it’s easy and extremely convenient.  If you’re interested in getting $40 off click here  and you’re looking at 3 meals for $19.94, that’s worth a try.  Let me know if you do sign up and how much you enjoy your meals.  Until next time…..

XO,

Meka