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CONNECTICUT: Tea…with Honey…WithOUT The Fuss!

No matter what the season, or reason, I am always drawn to tea.

((Raise your hand if this is you too, even though I can’t see you right now!))

Tea and water are just about the only non-alcoholic beverage I consume lately (with a new exception for seltzer).

And one Connecticut-based tea brand is shaking up the industry (if you ask me).

Continue reading “CONNECTICUT: Tea…with Honey…WithOUT The Fuss!”

DRINKS: Thai Iced Tea 

I’m at the local Thai restaurant months ago and see there’s an option for “Thai Iced Tea”. As I have cut soda out of my life and basically only drink tea and water now, I jumped at the chance to try this new concoction.

Continue reading “DRINKS: Thai Iced Tea “

WINE NEWS: 2015 Gallo Wine Trends 

Even though I can’t see you right now, raise your hand if you love a good ol’ glass of wine.

I certainly do, and you know what? So do MANY people. “Millennials” (technically I’m one but I’m not the biggest fan of the name) , to Baby Boomers.

And E. & J. Gallo Winery wants to show you just how much you, the consumer, likes vino.

Continue reading “WINE NEWS: 2015 Gallo Wine Trends “

#FunFriday — Fun Vodka’s to Look Out For (+ Links to RECIPES!)

So I’m as much about the drinks as I am about the food here at Kat Eats!

And today I’m talking about good ol’ vodka (it’s Friday!!).

The other weekend, I went to a liquor store with my mom, and in the back of the store was a huge tasting counter. They asked if I wanted to try a vodka I had honestly NEVER heard of until that day.

But then I thought to myself just now: there are so many types of vodka out there!

So, along with the vodka I tried at the store, here are some unique vodka’s to look out for at the liquor store, along with recipes they put out, that I think you should try!

Continue reading “#FunFriday — Fun Vodka’s to Look Out For (+ Links to RECIPES!)”

Five Fall Drinks…That Aren’t a PSL!

Fall is blowing its way in.

The leaves are already starting to gather on the ground, yet a warm breeze is still with us.

The PSL, aka Pumpkin Spice Latte has already rolled out at Starbucks.

Continue reading “Five Fall Drinks…That Aren’t a PSL!”

#grocerystoreobsessionsApril14

This is dedicated to two drinks you can find in the grocery store.

One with booze, one without.

Both magically delicious.

My latest grocery store obsessions:

1) V8 Protein Shakes

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As of late I’ve been on a mission to find a shake I can easily drink in the morning, in place of “breakfast.” Lets face it: breakfast, depending on what you make, takes time! When you just want to get up and go, a shake is an easy quick fix that fills you up before lunch. I wanted a shake I didn’t have to blend in the blender (which equals more time). Heading to the breakfast aisle at my local Kroger, I found a few options. The first few times I bought a favorite of mine as a kid, Carnation Instant Breakfast. I used to always have the powder you would mix in the milk (the vanilla kind), but now you can buy pre made bottles (which I would pick chocolate of course!). Out of that one, and the other one I saw (Special K), it had more protein, which was what I was hoping to find. I love Carnation Instant Breakfast and with 10 grams of protein in the ready to drink bottles, heck yes! But the one thing I saw that was NOT in the new V8 shakes compared to Carnation, was corn syrup. Another thing that brought V8’s new shakes to the forefront is more protein, 12 grams versus 10 in the other, along with having the equivalent to 1/4 cup of vegetables in the drink. While I will probably still buy Carnation drinks, I love the chocolate raspberry flavor of the V8 shake, it didn’t taste like V8 vegetable juice and it had more protein. Win! And with flavors similar to Carnation (vanilla, chocolate, chocolate raspberry), you will be sure to find a flavor you like.

2) Kahlua Vanilla White Russian pre mixed bottles

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I only discovered within the past few years how much I really love White Russians. And with Kahlua and vodka as two of the ingredients, can you blame me? Yum. Walking through Kroger‘s liquor section and came across pre mixed bottles of not only a White Russian with Kahlua, but VANILLA added to it. AMAZING. For a quick little nightcap, this is a perfect drink for you all, it’s not too big or small, fits in a small cocktail glass. And if you’re looking for other Kahlua creations that are premixed, they have a regular White Russian, a Mudslide, and Kahlua with milk.

Enjoy 🙂

COMMENT BELOW: Do you have a favorite breakfast shake that you drink in the morning? Please share! 

#grocerystoreobsessionsAugust8

“Jumping on the bandwagon” is the phrase that comes to mind tonight when it comes to my latest grocery store obsessions.

And these two items are innovative, fun and delicious.

1) Dole Kale Caesar Salad Kit

What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!
What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!

Browsing Kroger a few nights ago, I came across this gem, with the “New” on the packaging. Was so excited, and thought to myself two things:

1) Why didn’t they think of this before?!

2) They’re jumping on the kale bandwagon!!

I’ve always been a big fan of its lettuce Caesar kits as the dressing has awesome flavor and its SO easy to make. But now, with kale?! In. Love.

And here’s what’s jam packed inside this particular bag according to Dole:

“Another way to enjoy Caesar, a new way to love Kale: shaved Parmesan-Romano cheeses, roasted garlic croutons and DOLE’s All-Natural Caesar Dressing are tossed with bold baby kale, tender baby spinach and crunchy shredded broccoli. A delicious way to get vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium, it’s everything you love, and more.”

Chock full of vitamins, plus kale, according to webmd.com, helps fight off CANCER along with promoting eye health, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk for heart disease.

This salad took minutes, yes minutes, to prepare, and loved every bite. The dressing had a good amount of tang and spices, and along with the crunch of the garlic croutons and the crunchy baby kale, spinach and shredded broccoli, it was having a restaurant Caesar salad with even more health benefits and minus the prep work / fancy presentation. As kale has been such a huge craze, it’s exciting to see it being implemented into salad bags. Its already implemented into its chopped salad bags (another new favorite of mine from Dole), check those out here.

2) VitaminWater‘s line of sparkling water

VitaminWater's new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.
VitaminWater’s new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.

I said the same two things to myself after seeing these in the water aisle, next to a similar product that’s been out for some time now, Sparkling Ice.

I have found myself guilty of drinking A LOT of diet soda over the years. I love the taste, and at zero calories, it’s a great cold refreshing drink.

But I realize it’s not always the healthiest. And at times, I have turned to sparkling water’s, such as Sparkling Ice or back when I lived in CT/NY – Stop & Shop‘s sparkling waters.

Sparkling water versus seltzer to me is HUGE. The taste of seltzer is acquired. It can be bitter. Sparkling water, depending on the one you have, tastes like fruit flavored soda, minus that hard seltzer taste. Can I get a YUM!?

Which brings me to VitaminWater on the sparkling water bandwagon. It’s awesome.

I’ve had the strawberry kiwi flavor, and it tastes just like its still version, only carbonated. Zero calories. Delicious. Not overly sweet, just the right amount.

After doing a little research, its sparkling water has been around for a bit. However, the new packaging reminds me of Sparkling Ice, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to compete with them.

Regardless, so glad both parties in today’s post are on the bandwagon, and if you try either of these products, please let me know what you think!

DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsJune10

I eat out of convenience a lot of the time.

If it’s easy, quick, and delicious, I’m all in.

I’ve been keeping a slight (slight) distance from frozen foods. Not that I don’t like frozen foods, I do. But for a little bit now, I’ve been either eating meals from restaurants, or cooking myself.

But this week, I decided to head down the frozen meals aisle, and take a gander at what’s new. I was at my local Target store, and came across a line of foods that after making one of the meals just now, it’s become one of my grocery store obsessions.

The brand? Evol.

As soon as you pop on its website, you can tell the company is taking a completely different approach to the standard frozen dinners.

Its motto? Taste rules!

Its mission: “Inspire people to care about where food comes from and how it is produced by making real food that tastes delicious. Love what you eat.”

Amen to that, right?

The mission, motto, and packaging are very promising.

A selection of its Skillet Meals for 2. photo credit: groceryheadquarters.com

And based off of the grilled chicken Parmesan skillet meal for 2 (butttt I made mine for one), it delivers.

Several things I’m blown away about with this meal:

The meal in my skillet. From frozen to dinner in 10 minutes. evolfoods.com
The meal in my skillet. From frozen to dinner in 10 minutes.
evolfoods.com

1) From cooking the pasta in the skillet, the pasta did NOT turn soggy!

Sometimes this happens with frozen food, if you overcook, the pasta turns into mush. This was not the case today.

2) It had good flavor!

3) The meat looked and tasted good.

Sometimes with frozen meals I find the meat looks and tastes weird ! Do you ever find that? The chicken in this meal tasted really light, tender and fresh.

Evol has TONS of options for you to try, including another one I bought and am anxiously awaiting to try, truffle Parmesan mac and cheese, butternut squash and sage ravioli, a handful of fun breakfast sandwiches, and several gluten free items too.

If you’re looking for something cheap and very easy to make, try out Evol.

My second obsession comes from a recent trip to the salon.

I’m getting my hair colored one day, and my hairdresser offers its drink selection to me, one option being wine.

Every time I’ve gone there so far, I’ve always opted for a Diet Coke, or a coffee.  But that day, I decided to ask about it, and she told me there was a blackberry Merlot.

“Ooh!” I said excitedly.

And lo and behold, it was a wine brand I hadn’t really drank before until now: Arbor Mist.

WOW, friends.

photo credit: totalwine.com

If I had to choose between sweet or dry wine, I would choose dry, and that I have my parents to thank because they love a good Chardonnay, and so do I.

But the blackberry merlot is magic. It has a little sparkle to it, tasting not overly sweet, and has the nice blackberry tangy flavor.

This experience led me to me driving to the local drive thru liquor store and trying other flavors, which were also delicious (Mixed Berry Merlot and Strawberry White Zinfandel).

If you’ve never swung towards Arbor Mist until now, I say go for the gold and try it. You will NOT regret it, and at its good price,  get the magnum!

Have you had any of these two products? If so, please let me know how you liked them!

 

 

HAMILTON: WG Kitchen & Bar

Sometimes, you just have to let the restaurant find you.

This was the case for me, today.

On a mission to find another new brunch place to try, I first found myself in downtown Miamisburg. I was walking the streets, looking for this one place, but I ended up not finding it.

But everything happens for a reason.

Walking around, I came across a noticeable line for a little food stand right in the middle of downtown: Hamburger Wagon.

People in line for Hamburger Wagon
People in line for Hamburger Wagon
I thought this was adorable. #HamburgerWagon
I thought this was adorable. #HamburgerWagon

Each time I walked by, the line got bigger, and from what it looked like, these burgers took time to make.

But as much as I thought about trying Hamburger Wagon, my gut was telling me to hold off.

Across the parking lot my car was in, was the beautiful recreation trail I’ve come across many times now since being here: the Great Miami River Trail, which stretches VERY far.

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There was a bridge going across this big river, and a huge hill, and as curiosity struck me, I decided to drive up.

I ended up making my way to route 725. I ended up driving through several towns, including passing through Germantown (not the downtown, but passing through). I then eventually made my way into downtown Middletown, where I decided to get back on I-75 south.

I got off the exit where Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is a landmark, and started driving up route 129  (which is another highway), and came across this beautiful looking shopping plaza in Hamilton.

A restaurant’s name caught my eye, “WG Kitchen & Bar.”

I had this feeling about it, that I needed to check it out, but I at first passed it on the highway. I turned around and came back to it, and lo and behold, what do I see outside the restaurant? This sign.

IMG_0634BRUNCH!

Score.

The atmosphere:  When I walked in, I was greeted by someone in a chef’s outfit, who seated me. As I found out a few minutes later, that guy wasn’t actually supposed to seat me (and the host and I giggled), but it shows the friendliness of the place. Everyone I encountered there was accommodating.  As you walk in, you’ll find yourself surrounded by bottles and bottles of wine. The bar is huge, and as I found from its menu, you can do wine flights. The three words that came to my mind to describe the inside : classy, rustic, industrial. I loved the details of the restaurant’s interior, from the old school light bulbs hanging above you, to the open ceilings, to the exposed brick wall in one part of the restaurant. Paintings and funky murals line the walls, and there’s even a more enclosed room off to the side that I assume could be used for parties. A lot of natural light was flowing into the restaurant. The music was very light and soothing, from jazz music to Billy Joel’s “Summer, Highland Falls.” The tables and place settings were beautiful; wooden tables that had a very rustic feel. At times I felt like I was inside someone’s home, having a meal.

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What I ate/drank: Warm pita bread with sun dried tomato/basil cream cheese, 2 mimosas, chef’s omelet special of the day which came with roasted red potatoes & fresh fruit.

Price:
Mimosa’s – $7 each

Chef’s omelet – $10.99

With tax the total was $26.61, with tip it was brought to $31.61.

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My thoughts: Because the guy from the kitchen sat me, I didn’t actually get the physical brunch menu until I had asked the host about it. As I saw the brunch cocktails were $7, I jumped on the mimosa train. I’m glad I did. The mimosas were fresh (it tasted like fresh squeezed orange juice mixed with the champagne), it tasted like Orangina in a cup (which to me makes a good mimosa, as the taste is balanced). The waitress informed me of the chef’s brunch specials today, and I decided to try to the omelet. While I waited, she brought out the warm pita bread with the sundried tomato basil cream cheese.

Warm pita bread with sun dried tomato basil cream cheese.
Warm pita bread with sun dried tomato basil cream cheese.

It was a great way to start off the brunch experience, the little warm pita bread triangles with the savory yet sweet cream cheese made me think of having a bagel without actually having a bagel. A nice little appetizer.

Chef's omelette special with roasted red potatoes and fresh fruit. $10.99
Chef’s omelette special with roasted red potatoes and fresh fruit. $10.99

The omelet’s presentation was nice. I loved the cheese on top (I believe it was mozzarella on top?), as well as the cheese inside it. Inside the omelet was fresh spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, asparagus and feta cheese. The vegetables inside were cooked perfectly: not soggy yet not crunchy, as well as being flavorful. The omelet itself was cooked great as well, light and airy but not runny. I loved the combination of flavors inside the omelet. The flavors that stuck out were the feta and the caramelized onions. The roasted red potatoes were good, not super greasy, and had a nice balance of flavor from the red onions to the herbs mixed in. What excited me was the inclusion of fresh fruit on the plate. That was my palate cleanser between every few bites. As feta cheese is very strong, it was nice to clean my palate before going back to the potatoes, for instance. While I do think the prices are a little higher on the scale of pricey-ness, I thought it was a nice brunch.

Mimosa. $7
Mimosa. $7

Why you should go: I noticed families eating there when I had went this afternoon, but I definitely envision this restaurant as a romantic evening for a date, or a fun girls night out doing wine flights and eating good food. It was a classy but friendly place where you could go in and have a good meal, and a good cocktail. Besides having many choices of wine (where you can also buy bottles), you can go for dinner as well, with its choices of small plates and comfort food dinners such as meatloaf and chicken marsala. There were good choices on the menu regardless of age. The prices were a little high, but the quality of food was great. It had a great open atmosphere and I would definitely go to try the wine flights and more of the food.

Location/Hours:

W.G. Kitchen & Bar
Bridgewater Falls
Lifestyle Shopping Center

3371 Princeton Rd., Unit F105
Hamilton, OH 45011
513 – 887 – 9463

Monday-Thursday : 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Friday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

www.wgkitchen.com

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