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Treat Yourself Tuesday: Food Blogging Style

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Lots of treating has been going on in CEVG land.  Lots of treating for me, that is.  I tend to try to save a lot of my money as opposed to being a big spender (except when it comes to food- no surprise there), but over the past week I definitely splurged in a big way.  And what do you know.  All of my treats are food and blogging related!  Priorities, right?

I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday today.  While I don’t often treat myself with “big” things (except that one time), when I do, I like to celebrate it as opposed to feeling guilty about it.

treat yourself tuesdayI took the “treat yourself” mentality very seriously last week.  I splurged and finally purchased my first DSLR camera.  I had been wanting one for awhile, had done a pretty good deal of research, and finally took the plunge.  No regrets yet, though my credit card bill is going to be awfully high this month…oops.

treat tuesday 42214Isn’t she a beauty?  I am kind of in love, which is slightly embarrassing since this is an object not a person 😉

I put my new camera to use to document all sorts of treating that happened this past weekend when I spent Saturday and Sunday with my boyfriend in Des Moines.

First stop:

costco des moinesCostco!  Gotta stock up on all of the goods, right?  I bought the usual: oatmeal, almond butter, and a giant bag of popcorn.  You can never have too much of any of those foods, and the prices are seriously unbelievable.

Our next stop was to a restaurant that I had been wanting to try for months now: Fong’s Pizza.  Both my boyfriend and I had heard great things about Fong’s from so many people and it has also been featured on The Travel Channel and The Cooking Channel.  We could not wait to see what all of the hype was about.

fong's pizzaFong’s has a ton of vegetarian options (and vegan options, too- though I decided to go all out and eat the cheese!) and is known for some of their non-vegetarian pizzas, specifically the Crab Rangoon.  We decided to order three of the small pizzas so that we could try several kinds.  The pizza above is the Primo Potato on their thin wheat crust.  While we both liked the concept and thought it was good, we agreed that it lacked a little bit of oomph.  It was as if it needed more of a sauce.  We added a lot of sour cream and sriracha to combat that problem.

fong's pizza crabHere is the famous Crab Rangoon pizza.  I did not eat this, but my boyfriend said it was very good- maybe not quite as good as what it is hyped up to be- but still very good.

fong's pizza honeyAnd for our third pizza we ordered the Honey and Garlic.  It took some convincing by me before he decided we should give it a try, but even he admits that it was the best of the three that we ordered.  You know I am a sucker for a sweet and savory combo, so I just knew this pizza would be good.  I was right.  It easily beat out the others and is honestly one of the best pizza combinations that I have tried.  I just might have to attempt to recreate something similar at home for all of you!

centro des moinesAfter some shopping in the afternoon and relaxing, we decided to visit another restaurant that I had heard great things about for our dinner meal.  We had reservations at Centro for 7:15 and sat down to dinner with hungry stomachs and thirsty mouths.  If you know either of us two personally, then you know we enjoy our beer.

(P.S. How cool does the beer look with the candle light behind it… totally not planned.  I am not that talented.)

centro des moines 3I ordered the Tofu Gnocchi and my boyfriend ordered the Kill-Bill Pork Tenderloin.  I actually pointed out this sandwich to him because I (the vegetarian) thought it looked and sounded good.  What can I say, I still miss breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches (it is a Midwestern thing) and I am a sucker for a good runny egg.  The Tofu Gnocchi sure looked pretty…

centro des moines 4…but this was my plate after I was finished.  I am not a picky eater and rarely ever will not eat something even if it doesn’t taste the greatest.  But this was honestly just not good.  The “gnocchi” did not taste like tofu (which is a good on their part), but the problem was that it did not taste like anything.  Tofu needs a good marinade and lots of seasoning to make it enjoyable and this dish was really lacking in that area.  I ate the veggies and really tried to eat the “gnocchi,” but I just could not do it.

centro des moines 2Luckily they had really delicious bread that I dipped in olive oil and grated parmesan cheese and that filled me right up.  The restaurant was also incredibly gracious about the situation.  I normally am not one to complain about something, but since I really was unable to enjoy my meal and it was rather pricey, I let them know that the dish was rather inedible to me.  As a result, they offered to make me something else and did not charge us for my dish.  I left satisfied with the service but would definitely not order that dish again.  I might go back to the restaurant at some point, but if I do I will be playing it safe and ordering their veggie burger.

el bait shop des moinesLike I mentioned above, my boyfriend is very into craft beer and I am definitely a beer drinker as opposed to cocktails and wine.  Since he is the beer “expert,” I like to go places with him and force ask him to help me pick out new-to-me beers that I will enjoy.  We went to el Bait shop and I tried four new beers and loved every single one.  I also learned that I am apparently really into sour beers and that Framboise pretty much tastes amazing when mixed into any other beer.  My favorite combination was Breckenridge Agave Wheat with Framboise.  The beer pictured above was a black and tan (of sorts) made with cider beer.  That is pretty much the only way that I can drink dark beer.  We had a fantastic night and both fell into bed at about 2 a.m. (super late for us!) nice and tipsy 😉

gateway market des moinesAfter a late night we slept in (gotta love a hotel with a 12 o’clock check-out time) and then went for lunch at one of my favorite spots: Gateway Market.  I ordered my usual, the vegan Tofu Bahn Mi.  I seriously could eat this sandwich every day.  I also introduced my boyfriend to Vegenaise and he agreed that it is amazing.  He orderd the Chicken Bacon Mac & Cheese and really enjoyed it.

treat tuesday 42214 3And because it was Easter, we split a must-have Easter treat: a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg.  The holiday Reese’s are by far the best Reese’s around.  The extra peanut butter cannot be beat.

fableticsAnother treat came in the mail last night.  I received my first shipment from Fabletics (referral link) and was super pleased with the results.  The concept is similar to Stich Fix, but with athletic clothing that you pick out on the website.  If you become a VIP member then you will receive a shipment once per month (you can skip shipments) with an outfit valued at $49.95.  And lucky for you, when you become a new member you will get your first outfit for only 24.95 with free shipping.  You really cannot beat a sports bra, shirt, and shorts for under $25.  They also have running shorts, tanks, yoga capris and pants, jackets, scarves, headbands, and more.  The three pieces that I bought are thick and the quality seems really good so I am definitely pleased with my purchase.

The treats are continuing today, as well.  I am treating myself by taking the afternoon off from work and getting a massage.  I have only ever had a professional massage one time and while they can be expensive, they are so worth it from time to time.  Plus, finding a deal on Groupon pretty much means that it was meant to be, right?

Have a great Tuesday, friends!  Make sure you treat yourself in some way today!

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{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Aimee @Healthy Petite April 22, 2014, 6:27 am
    Having a DSLR is the best! You will never regret purchasing one! I'm not a big fan of pizza I'll admit, but that gnocchi looks great (shame it didn't taste so great though). Love the new workout clothes! Aimee @Healthy Petite recently posted...To New BeginningsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:20 am
      I am already REALLY loving the DSLR...no regrets! :)
  • Heather @fitncookies April 22, 2014, 6:33 am
    I'm glad you spoke up about your food. I am not one to complain about food either, and just live without it. Knowing it was expensive, though, I probably would have said something, also. Sounds like they were really nice and accommodating about it! Love all the ways you treated yourself this weekend :) We all need those weekends! Heather @fitncookies recently posted...Health benefits of exerciseMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:21 am
      We SO do! It was great and refreshing! And yes...the price tag of the dish convinced me that I needed to complain even though I felt bad...
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine April 22, 2014, 6:36 am
    Ahh... So many treats! Love the new camera and the athletic clothes. I'm bummed Centro wasn't great for you - I loved it when I was there a few summers ago! Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted...A glorious Easter weekend!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:23 am
      I was so sad. I have heard GREAT things about it from many people. Next time I would definitely get the veggie burger instead. I'm sure that would be great.
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies April 22, 2014, 7:39 am
    I'm volunteering Josh to help if you have any camera questions! He's turned my total lack of skill, can barely get someones head in the frame into trusting me with taking the blog photos like 8% of the time. So. Progress ;-) Looks like you had a great weekend!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:24 am
      Haha! This cracks me up! And thank you...I will definitely keep that in mind! You all have fantastic photos on your blog :)
  • Becky@TheSavedRunner April 22, 2014, 8:56 am
    All of your treats sound wonderful! I love that camera, and I have been thinking about asking for a nice camera for Christmas this year. (I know it's a long way away to be thinking about that, but I like to plan :) ) I have heard of Fabletics before, and it interests me so much! I really want to try it out some time!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:25 am
      You should definitely try it! Where else can you get 3 pieces of athletic clothing for under 25? It's pretty cool! And you should DEF ask for a camera! I am LOVING mine so far.
  • Carly @ Snack Therapy April 22, 2014, 9:22 am
    I love going to restaurants I've seen on foodie TV shows. I'm dying to go on a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives road trip. One day... ;). Congrats on the new DSLR. I love mine like a child even though I don't really know how to use it. Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted...Easter WeekendMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:26 am
      It's okay...I don't really know how to use mine either ;) Hopefully I learn... And if you going on a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives road trip, then you definitely need to take me with you...or at least make sure you stop here in Omaha!
  • Leslie @ Life Begins at 30? April 22, 2014, 9:40 am
    I got my fabletics order last week. The capris and tank are super cute and super comfortable!! I was pleased for $25!!!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:30 am
      You really cannot beat the price, right? I love it :)
  • Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie April 22, 2014, 9:50 am
    Omg that honey and cheese pizza sounds amazing! I'm getting that the next time I go to Des Moines! I'm so bummed you didn't like your meal at Centro. I can't remember if I got the tofu gnocchi before but every meal I've had at Centro I've loved. Yay for treating yourself to that camera! Do you want to take a camera class together? I have no idea how to use my DSLR!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 10:28 am
      It was SO good! I cannot wait to eat there again and order it. It sounds so simple but is SO delicious. And yes, you tried the tofu gnocchi because I remember you told me about it ;) So apparently we have very different tastes when it comes to tofu or mine was not prepared well. If you do some research on camera classes then let me know...I can't do anything insanely expensive unfortunately :(
  • Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 22, 2014, 11:04 am
    Congrats on your DSLR!! All of the food looks delish.... too bad dinner wasn't all that great. Love those Reese's eggs!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:24 pm
      Thanks Kim!! Now I just need to learn how to use it ;)
  • Lucie@FitSwissChick April 22, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Love the new DLSR - I have the same :-) And I love it. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and lots of wonderful treats! Glad you spoke up on your food - I am always intimitated, but it's actually right to give a feedback so they know what to improve. Lucie@FitSwissChick recently posted...MIMM – Easter in Prague – 1st recapMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:26 pm
      I am SO glad to hear that everyone loves their DSLRs! It makes me feel even better about splurging :)
  • Jaclyn @ BumpSweat April 22, 2014, 12:20 pm
    You're really making this pregnant woman want a beer! ;) Enjoy your afternoon and massage! Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted...22-Week BumpdateMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:28 pm
      Haha!! My bad! ;) Next time I'll make sure I drink one for you!
  • Amy @ Long Drive Journey April 22, 2014, 2:00 pm
    Loving the new camera! I don't have a DSLR and know that it can be daunting, but I have seriously learned SO much about photography, even with my point and shoot, by Googling. I take the train into the city quite a bit, and for weeks I would spend my train rides just reading about aperture and shutter speed and then go home and try it. It's amazing how much just a few things can help! I've also heard amazing things about Pinch of Yum's food photography e-book. She is amazing at everything she does, so I highly recommend it based on the snippets I have seen! Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted...If You Don’t Who Will?My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:30 pm
      YES! I have heard great things about her e-book too! I will definitely be looking into that. And isn't it amazing how great and helpful Google can be? We can learn SO much from it. What did we ever do without it??
  • Leslee @ Her Happy Balance April 22, 2014, 2:16 pm
    I would just like to go ahead and invite myself to join you and the boyf next time you go out for a weekend of fun, mmkay? ;) I want ALL your food! honey garlic pizza looks so amazing! Did you use your new camera to take these photos? They came out nice and clear. A camera review would be great after you get used to it, I'm in the market to up my food photo game and would love to know how you like the camera. I am definitely a beer lover as well and wheat beers with framboise are so delicious! I also really enjoy IPAs. Sounds like a successful TYT!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:32 pm
      It was a fantastic weekend! And sure, you can come along! It sounds like you have good taste in food and beer so you would get along with us very well :) I did use my new camera for those photos...I was truly amazed by how much better my photos looked than the ones taken on my phone. Not that I should have been surprised ;)
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness April 22, 2014, 4:12 pm
    Love the new camera!! That honey pizza sounds really good. I love trying new pizzas although I typically always have mellow mushroom kosmic if I'm craving pizza! Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted...Enjoying the Natural BeautyMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 22, 2014, 6:34 pm
      I have heard awesome things about Mellow Mushroom. I REALLY want to try it!
  • Christina April 22, 2014, 5:08 pm
    Oo honey and garlic pizza, a combo I need to try now! Perfect way to treat yourself :) Christina recently posted...Rocking OutMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 23, 2014, 1:07 pm
      It was seriously SO good! You must try it! :)
  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen April 22, 2014, 8:07 pm
    Congrats on your new camera!!! So exciting :) Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted...Green Goddess Salad with Avocado Dill DressingMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 23, 2014, 1:11 pm
      Thank you!! It was a big purchase but I think it will be SO worth it!
  • Alexis @ Hummusapien April 22, 2014, 9:37 pm
    Treat yoself girrrrl!! Loving all of this greatness. And that camera?! Fabulous! I actually asked my family for one for graduation...fingers crossed!!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 23, 2014, 1:15 pm
      Do you not have a DSLR? Your pictures are amazing so I assumed you did!
  • Jessie April 22, 2014, 11:01 pm
    You really did treat yourself well this past week. I'm actually quite jealous by your camera and of course all your food choices. I agree with beer being better than a cocktail... well unless you throw in some coconut rum & pineapple. That drink is delicious :) Jessie recently posted...Back and Bicep Workout w/ DumbbellsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 23, 2014, 1:21 pm
      Yay for another beer lover! The combination of rum and pineapple definitely sounds good though too :)

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