March 15, 2014

Girls' Beach Trip (Paleo Retreat)

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to make it home for Spring Break this year. But, I did have a free night on Marriott Rewards! So, I booked a night on the beach, and my mom and sister met me there for a girls' night. We're all three paleo, so that makes it fun to find paleo options together.

Before the beach, I spent a night with a friend at her family's beautiful home in GA. My GPS was not behaving very well on my way and took me down some questionable paths to get there, but it was beautiful! I was welcomed with an amazing paleo-friendly home-cooked meal of pork chops, asparagus, roasted butternut squash and salad with homemade blackberry dressing. I will probably never re-create the meal, but this is what I know...
  • Salad: spinach, sliced strawberries, sliced cucumber, sliced celery & toasted almonds
  • Salad dressing: olive oil, blackberry juice, lavender 
  • Boneless pork chops: Brown on both sides in olive oil and reduce heat. Add chicken broth and/or water and fresh rosemary. Simmer for about an hour and a half, regularly adding chicken broth and water (alternating) until finished. Add arrowroot (in place of corn starch) to thicken the gravy. Remember the inevitable Le Creu addiction? It's happening... She used a Le Creu pan for the pork chops, and I now feel that it is a necessity.
Back to the beach trip: For dinner, we went to the Fish Company. My sister and I ordered Blackened Mahi (butter on the side) with a Garden Salad (Balsamic Vinegar on the side; no cheese) and Steamed Veggies (no butter). Mom ordered Broiled Sea Scallops with the same sides as us. Both were great!

 I brought paleo brownies for dessert in the room after dinner. For some reason, my blender decided not to work for mixing the batter, so I hand-stirred it. I also realized (when it was too late) that I don't have a square brownie pan, so I used a 9-inch round "cinnamon roll" pan instead. That's why they look like pie slices... Fitting for Pi Day, right? I didn't use parchment paper because I didn't have any, but I did not have any problem getting them out of the pan. In fact, they cut very cleanly and stayed together really nicely. And, they taste awesome! Although, they're extremely cakey and pretty dry, so pour a glass of almond milk when you sit down to eat one. If you like dark chocolate, you'll like these!

Metro Diner
For breakfast, I really wanted to find a local place that's really good. Luck was on my side, and a diner that was on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" was about 2 blocks from our hotel. We all ordered omelets with a side of breakfast meat. My order: Canadian omelet (Canadian bacon, mushrooms, asparagus) without cheese, add spinach and turkey sausage on the side. My sister had the Canadian omelet with turkey sausage as well but didn't add spinach. My mom ordered the Southern omelet without cheese and Canadian bacon on the side.
Mom's Breakfast

My breakfast

For lunch we went to the place that we were supposed to go to for dinner the night before. I accidentally left my notes in the car that had the information on them and messed up the directions. It worked out though because it was the perfect end to a wonderful girls' night at the beach.
North Beach Fish Camp
Mom & I ordered and shared the Crab Cakes with Steamed Spinach and the Shrimp & Avocado Salad (dressing on the side). My sister had the Bacon Angus Burger (no cheese) without a bun, add avocado & Steamed Vegetables on the side. Everything was wonderful! Mom and I really enjoyed the steamed spinach and contemplated how to make it. I'm convinced it was simply wilted/steamed in a pan with water, white wine & garlic.

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