Dining Diary #1: Kahuna and Bird on the Run

Happy Monday!

This weekend in between all of our “to dos” (hair appointment, open house, the first Pittsburgh blogger closet sale, spring cleaning, etc.), we were able to take time and try out two newer food places 😋.

While laying in bed last night, I knew that I wanted to share about how AMAZING both restaurants are today (I spent the whole weekend reminiscing). I knew I wanted to tell you about the location, the aesthetic, how they offer something different from other places around, and the FOOD. Duh.

It got me thinking that we needed to add another section to our blog that offers us a chance to share our favorite food places not only around Pittsburgh, but in areas we travel to as well.

So welcome to the first installment of our Dining Diary!!!

Without further ado, here are my two favorite new spots to eat!

KAHUNA

I ate at Kahuna on Saturday after my hair appointment. My bestie and I were on our way home from Washington (where the salon is located) and we were STARVING. Liv suggested we try out the new Poke place in East Liberty, and since I’m always down for something new I happily agreed.

We were not disappointed.

Kahuna is a Hawaiian poke and fresh juice restaurant located on South Highland Ave.

You walk in and the place is perfectly decorated with fun, colorful wall paper, colorful stools, and the most perfect Instagram worthy wall (hence our latest Insta post…).

When you walk up to the poke bar, you are greeted by one of the super friendly employees or the owners themselves. The menu is posted on the wall behind them and everything is easy to understand.

They offers a handful of signature poke bowls, fresh juices, beer, and cocktails. If none of the poke bowls sound like what you want, they also have an option where you can create your own.

Liv and I were newbies so we decided to go with two bowls off the menu. She got spicy tuna and I got firecracker shrimp.

You chose your rice or noodle and they make your meal right in front of you *if you are a fan of full service places, then this might not be the spot for you*.

At the register you have a fridge to your left that has an array of beverages. Juices, teas, beers, etc. I spotted one of my favorites (rhinegeist bubbles, a rosé cider 😍). So Liv and I both took one to go with our meal.

When it comes to seating you can either sit at one of their two top tables, you can sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen, or you can sit at the bar in front of the garage door window (it opens when it’s nice out and you can sit outside!).

We chose the window seats and enjoyed one of the better meals I’ve had in a long, long time.

Once we were done, we took advantage of the aesthetically pleasing wall and got on our way.

I personally give this place a 10 and if you love trying something new then do yourself a favor and check them out.

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BIRD ON THE RUN

While leaving Kahuna on Saturday, I saw the sign for Bird on the Run and was instantly intrigued. Kahuna was on the left of a trio strip of restaurants (which I found out are all run by the same people!) and B.O.T.R. was on the right (Muddy Waters, an oyster bar, is in the middle).

We were wayyy too full to stop in and check it out so we put it on the list for “next time”.

I didn’t think that next time would fall on the very next day, but after a quick look at their Instagram Sunday morning I couldn’t wait longer. It all looked so good.

Noelle and Sophia were down to go after our first Pittsburgh Blogger Closet Sale (more to come on that soon) so we did.

IT WAS BETTER THAN I IMAGINED!

Im a huge fan for spicy and their extra spicy tenders quickly took the 1st place spot in my heart (sorry Ethan).

The chicken was super juicy and the breading wasn’t too thick. The perfect piece of fried chicken 😍

Noelle also got spicy chicken tenders and Sophia opted to get the sandwich (pickles and mayo 😍).

I don’t want to be that obnoxious person that finds a place they love and eats there every other day, but let’s just say I am already planning on my next visit…

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DIY At Home Chinese Buffet

8D2784EB-5C00-4ED0-A119-93F37A54C673Anyone else massive fans of Chinese buffets? I know I know, they can be super unhealthy and a lot of people have a problem with food sitting out all day and dozens of people hovering over it. I however look past these small hang ups and enjoy all it has to offer. Where else can you get fried rice, pizza, sushi, and soft serve ice cream all in one place? I’ll wait.

I feel like our love for the Chinese buffet stems from our Gigi’s (grandma) love for it. When we were younger we would go to her house, help her with yard work, and be rewarded with $20 and a trip to the buffet.

We looked forward to these days the most, so it’s no wonder why we love a place so much.

This year for our Gigi’s birthday, we all decided instead of taking a trip to our favorite place we would recreate it at home.

Yes fresh fried sugar donuts and all (Hope has the recipe coming soon)!

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So here are a few tips on how you can create your own buffet at home!

  1. Get all of your buffet sauces ready! Soy sauce, duck sauce, yum yum sauce, etc. Almost all stores carry these sauces and have a large variety of them as well.
  2. Plan your menu and stock up on your favorites. We made sure to have plain white rice, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken (and meatballs!), garlic green beans, beef and broccoli, and FRESH SUGARY FRIED DONUTS (If you don’t know what I mean then you are SERIOUSLYYYY missing out).
  3. Don’t forget the silly things they have at the buffet like cheap pizza (we picked our up for a $1 a pizza 😂), plain chicken nuggets, jello, etc. It adds a quirkyness to it (and makes it feel even more like the restaurant).
  4. Make sure to take a stroll down the frozen food aisle and pick up a few Chinese inspired apps! Egg rolls, crab rangoon, etc. They are usually pretty cheap and a lot easier and less time consuming than trying to make your own!
  5. Last but not least don’t forget to pick up some chopsticks!

We had so much fun celebrating her birthday this way and I think we have found a new tradition!

What are your favorite birthday traditions? Have you ever created a Chinese buffet at home?

As always,

Meal Prep Monday: Fajita Chicken and Salmon Zucchini Boats

Hi guys! Welcome to our first meal prep Monday! We are starting each week here on out showing you what recipes we are prepping. Not just grilled chicken and broccoli, but different, flavorful recipes that make eating healthy super easy

My wedding is about 7 months away (cue massive anxiety) and the only way I truly stay on the healthy eating track is if I prep ahead of time. For Christmas I got a few cookbooks that are focused on easy, healthy recipes (Better Homes and Gardens low calorie cookbook is my current favorite). I’m using one of the recipes from this book and one that I made up as I went. So here are the recipes I’m using this week! Hope you all enjoy ♥️

FAJITA CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of chicken tenderloins
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of black beans

Directions:

  1. Put chicken, peppers, onions, and taco seasoning into the crockpot on high for 3 hours. Add a little bit of water to make sure the chicken does not stick to the sides while cooking.
  2. After 3 hours, turn the crockpot on low and shred the chicken. Cook for another two hours.
  3. After that two hours, add can of beans. Cool for another 30 minutes and you are done!

If you are on a super strict diet then just eat it like this. If your diet is a little more lenient then you can serve the chicken on tortillas (just like a fajita).

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Now for my favorite new recipe! I’m already a big seafood fan so when I found this recipe that has salmon as it’s main ingredient, I knew I had found a winner.

SALMON ZUCCHINI BOATS

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized zucchini
  • 3 pieces of salmon
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parm Cheese
  • Minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Half the zucchini and hollow then out.
  2. Cook and shred the salmon and season as you wish.
  3. Mix the garlic, parm cheese, salmon and a half cup of breadcrumbs together.
  4. Place the mixture into the zucchini and top with some cheese and a little bit of breadcrumbs.
  5. Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
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Picture from Pinterest 

As always,

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Arugula, feta, and black bean pasta salad

A week and a half into the new year and I hit a wall with a “healthier” diet. This weekend my fiancé celebrated his 26th birthday so cake, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and a few other delicious, fried things were consumed. I didn’t want a few off days to throw me off track (and so quick) so I scrolled Pinterest, Facebook, and my favorite food blogs to find some recipes that would help me out.

I found a few dozen that were immediately pinned and decided to take a few parts of a few and came up with this delish salad (can be served both hot or cold!).

Arugula, Feta, and Black Bean Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • one package of black bean pasta
  • 3 cups of arugula
  • one package of plain feta
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • habanero pepper flakes (or red pepper flakes)

Directions:

  1. Roast one cup of pine nuts
  2. Boil black bean pasta for 5-6 minutes
  3. Combine oil, vinegar, and seasonings with feta and refrigerate while cooking the pasta
  4. Place 3 handfuls of arugula into a bowl, drain the pasta and place on top. Cover for 5-10 minutes and stir.
  5. Add the feta to the arugula/pasta mix
  6. Add roasted nuts and mix
  7. Serve either warm or chill and serve cold

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Easy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash (Under 250 cal!)

New year, new diet….

Kinda.

This year ahead is full of some pretty major events for all four of us! Mo is getting MARRIED!!! Noelle graduates from college, Hope is working hard on progressing in her real estate career (and taking her MOH duties super serious), and Sophia will have finished up her Freshman year at Pitt.

Throughout the next few months we also are taking a few trips (New Orleans, Florida, and Nashville all before the summer!).

With these upcoming events, we all agreed that we wanted to get in better shape and live healthier lifestyles. We aren’t going to give up all of our favorites (pizza, burgers, brunch, etc.), but instead we are going to make better food choices more often. And we are going to actually work out instead of just talking about it.

So here goes our first recipe for a better/healthier brunch option! And the best part is that it is under 250 calories!

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Easy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

(From Better Homes and Gardens “Calorie Smart Meals”)

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 of a small red onion
  • 4 oz of turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Salt
  • 1 Tsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you prefer, we used about 2 tsp.)
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Peel and dice sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes or into thin slices. Once they are diced, place the potatoes into a large skillet and cover them with 1/2 cup of water and about a tsp. of salt. Cover and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes once tender and put to the side.
  3. Cook sausage in the same pot and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onions are caramelized and then add the sweet potatoes back into the skillet. Add a little more water to get the bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Add the three sauces to the hash and let cook for two minutes.
  5. Once hash is cooked together, create two holes in the middle of the mixture and place your two eggs in them. The recipe calls for you to cover the skillet for two minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. My fiance and I prefer a completely set egg so we leave it covered for about 5-6 minutes.

From start to finish, this recipe takes about 20 minutes. It serves two people and comes out to about 232 calories. A healthy way to start your day.

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Chop 1/2 of a red onion
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Boil sweet potatoes in a large skillet
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Set potatoes aside
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Once the onions and sausage are cooked, combine them with the cooked potatoes
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Place two holes in the middle of the hash
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Place two eggs in the holes and cook until set
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We cook our eggs for about 5-6 minutes until yolks are no longer runny
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And DONE!
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We top ours with sriracha

 

As always,

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Blogmas Days 4-6: Easy Holiday Party Treat!

Raise your hand if you look forward to the sweets and drinks at holiday parties the most. All of us are guilty of piling our plates with cookies, toffee, barks, and more at our family holiday parties. Add a few fun drinks and we are in a food coma for the rest of the night… And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So for this Blogmas post we are sharing with you our absolute favorite holiday treat!



Christmas Bark

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Anyone here ever have saltine toffee? Our Gigi has made it so many times over the years, but this is the first time we took a turn at making it and you know what…. IT WAS AMAZING!

Her recipe called for saltines, semi-sweet chocolate, butter, and light brown sugar. We kept the same idea, but switched a few things up. Here is what you need to recreate our Christmas Bark!

Ingredients|

  • 1 sleeve of saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • A bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 packed cup of DARK brown sugar
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite nuts

Directions|

Step 1| Line cookie sheet completely with foil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

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Step 2| Place two stick of butter and your brown sugar into a large sauce pan and stir. Once the sugar is dissolved, bring your mixture to a boil and let it boil for three minutes (do not stir it for this time). While your toffee is boiling, line your cookie sheet with saltine crackers. Leave the crackers whole!

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Step 3| After three minutes, pour your toffee over your saltine crackers and spread it to the edges.

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Step 4| Place your tray into the oven and bake for four minutes. When the time is up, be EXTREMELY careful taking your tray out of the oven.

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Step 5| As soon as you take your tray out of the oven, sprinkle your chocolate chips over the top and let sit for about two minutes. Do not melt your chocolate chips and try to spread it over the top that way. It will leave you with a mess. After the two minutes are up, take a small spatula and spread the chocolate over the toffee.

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Step 6| Once your chocolate is spread out, sprinkle your coarse salt over the top and finish it off with your chopped nuts!

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Step 7| Let your bark chill in the fridge for an hour and then cut it into squares!

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This bark is not only perfect for your holiday parties, but it also is perfect for gifting to your coworkers, your nail girl, your tan artist, and more!

As always,

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Our First Blogger Brunch!

Happy Sunday loves!

Last weekend all four of us finally had the opportunity to spend Sunday with each other. No homework, no work, no study groups, just a full day of sister bonding. Since the beginning of September, we all have been so busy with school, wedding planning, training for real estate (Hope is officially a licensed Realtor!!), and so much more that we haven’t spent more than a few hours together here or there.

We took full advantage of this day together and attended our first blogging event! Maranda (@marandaflamm on Insta!) extended the invite for us to join other amazing bloggers at Adda Coffeehouse in Shadyside for a morning of networking.

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The Space|

The event was in the back of Adda and Maranda made a pretty small space feel big! In the back there was a photo area complete with gold tassel streamer and big black balloons. There was also a rack full of clothes from The Trend (@thetrendpgh) in the back of the space.

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There were benches and a few tables set up in the space, which was perfect for networking with the other blogger babes that were there.

The Food|

In the front of the room there was a table chock full of goodies from Gluuteny Bakery (@gluutenybakery) and Threefifty Bakery (@threefiftypgh).

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What We Wore|

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Hope| Hope paired her orange floral mid-length dress with a cropped leather jacket and nude heels.

Sophia| Sophia wore her favorite pinstriped jumpsuit with a jean jacket and wedge heels.

Noelle| In true Noelle fashion, Noelle wore an all black outfit. A black mock neck dress with a coordinating black and white jacket. She finished the look with a pair of brown heels from Zara.

Moriah| Moriah wore a black and white polka dot, off the shoulder dress from Target. She finished the look with an emerald colored leather jacket from Forever 21 (only $22!!!).

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We can’t thank Maranda enough for her warm invite and being such a gracious host. We look forward to getting to brunch with this amazing group of girls more in the future.

As Always,

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