Saturday, August 17, 2019

Sneak Peek: Chuy's Green Chile Fest 2019 #greenchilefest #chuys #texmex #texaseats

It's time for Chuy's 31st annual Green Chile Fest...celebrating spicy in-season Hatch green chiles direct from New Mexico! If you love green chiles, this is definitely the food event for you! Now through September 1st, Chuy's is celebrating green chiles with a number of special limited edition menu items...and even a spicy signature cocktail. We visited one of the San Antonio Chuy's locations last weekend for a sneak preview of this special menu. Every menu item we sampled was spicy and delicious! Just wait until you see all of the fabulous menu items available for this year's Green Chile Fest.

When we walked up to the restaurant's front door, we immediately noticed the delicious smell of roasting green chiles in the air. That's because Chuy's roasts all of the green chiles used in its Green Chile Feast menu items on premises! We were warmely greeted and seated...then offered a signature New Mexico Martini to kick off our meal. While we waited for the bartender to whip up our martini, the manager took me to the chile roasting area so I could see the process used to pre the chiles for use in recipes. The roasting process is done by hand and takes approximately 7-8 minutes per batch. 

By the time I made it back inside from viewing the chile roasting process, our New Mexico Martini was heading from the bar to our table. This signature Green Chile Fest cocktail gets it spicy kick from the addition of El Jimador's jalapeno-infused tequila. The citrusy flavor is definitely reminiscent of a margarita -- with a spicy flavor that kicks in a second or two after your first sip! This cocktail is served with a garnish of lime and olives in a salt-rimmed martini glass. The logo shaker it comes served is poured tableside and includes enough for two martini glasses. This cocktail is perfect for pairing with crispy tortilla chips dipped in Chuy's addictive signature creamy Jalapeno Ranch dipping saue!

Our first green chile-infused food item from the kitchen was the inventive Pork Belly Tacos. These tacos feature roasted and braised green chile pork belly served inside blue corn tortillas. Each taco is topped with crunchy jicama, red cabbage slaw, and pineapple-green chile pico de gallo. What an explosion of flavors! Spicy, savory pork belly pairs perfectly with the sweetly spicy pineapple pico. The fruity note provideds a lightness that worked especially well with the rich pork belly. This colorful dish comes with two tacos, making it ideal for sharing as an appetizer to kick off your meal.
Up next were a duo of enchiladas that perfectly showcase the versatility of the green chile. Pablo's Enchiladas feature chicken, and the Fired Up Steak Enchiladas feature beef. The spicy green chile paired nicely with with both meats!
Pablo's Enchiladas feature flour tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken breast and cheese. They're topped with Pablo's Cream sauce, which features both green chiles and poblano peppers. Add a bit of pico de gallo and green chiles on top, and you have one amazing entrée! 


Monday, August 12, 2019

Back-to-School Treats: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites #peanutbutter #nobake #lunchbox #afternoonsnack #healtyeats

Hard to believe, but it's back-to-school time here in Texas. That means parents are busier than ever getting their kiddos ready for school in the morning, taking them to after-school activities in the afternoons, then dealing with dinner and homework in the evenings. Recipes that are simple, quick to make...or can be made ahead are lifesavers. Today, I'm sharing a simple, tasty no-bake snack that kids of all ages will love: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites. These bite-size granola treats come together in less than 30 minutes. Simply whip up a batch on Sunday afternoon, and you're ready to face the school (or work) week! They're perfect for an afternoon snack or addition to as a brown bag lunch. They also make a quick breakfast on those crazy mornings when you're rushing out the door to keep from being late! I especially like that I control what ingredients go into them. I used dried cranberries here, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you have on hand to customize them to your family's personal tastes.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sneak Preview: Culinaria San Antonio Summer 2019 Restaurant Weeks!! #culinaria #restaurantweeks2019 #sanantoniodining

Photograph provided by Culinaria
It's August...which means it's time for San Antonio's most highly anticipated culinary event of the Summer: Culinaria's Summer 2019 Restaurant Weeks! This tasty event is taking place August 10th thru August 24th. This delicious event literally offers something for every kind of food lover. Restaurants in the San Antonio area -- including Boerne and New Braunfels -- are offering diners special three-course lunch and dinner prix fixe menus. Prices range from $15 for lunch menus. $25 for brunch, and $35 or $45 for dinner. If you've never taken part in Culinaria Restaurant Weeks, it's a great way jump into the San Antonio area's vibrant culinary scene with both feet! This delicious two-week culinary event is a perfect way to try a new-to-you restaurant...or dine out at a personal favorite for a much lower price point. There's truly a bit of everything...from casual family-friendly restaurants to high-end gourmet dining. Add in delicious lunch and brunch options...and it's time to get out your stretchy pants and enjoy!

To check out all of the mouthwatering Restaurant Weeks menus available in each price point, simply visit Culinaria's webpage. From there, click the Restaurant Weeks link...then choose one of the following price points to view menus for all participating restaurants: 
Once you decide which restaurant(s) you want to visit during Restaurant Weeks, simply contact the restaurant(s) directly to make a reservation. Easy peasy!

Photo provided by periphery

This coming week, the Weekend Gourmet will enjoy the creative Restaurant Weeks menu at periphery, located in San Antonio's historic Monte Vista neighborhood. The restaurant's menu focuses on southern-inspired foods with an Italian spin. I can't wait!! Be sure to follow The Weekend Gourmet's Instagram feed (weekendgourmet) to see lots of pictures and video of our periphery dining experience! In the meantime? Check out periphery's amazing Restaurant Weeks menu!
While reservations are not required to dine out during Culinaria's Restaurant Weeks, they are strongly encouraged -- especially if you want to dine at the area's most popular restaurants. All reservations should be booked directly with the restaurant(s) you wish to dine at. 

Disclosure: Culinaria provided The Weekend Gourmet a pair of dining vouchers to periphery to facilitate coverage of its Summer Restaurant Week. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Easy Appetizers with Jack Daniels Meats...Featuring Outrageous BBQ Pulled Chicken Stuffed Corn Muffins #bbq #appetizers #gamedayeats

It's hard to believe it's August already! Kids across the country are gearing up for back to school, the promise of cooler temps is in sight (albeit WAY off in the distance here in Texas!), and prime sports season is on the horizon. Between college football Saturdays, Texans football on Sundays, and Astros playoff games all starting in a matter of weeks? It's time to start thinking about game day snacks! Like everyone, we have our favorite go-to snacks: chips and queso, guacamole, and pizza are perineal favorites. I also like to come with a few new options every year. This year, I teamed with my friends at Jack Daniels Meats to create a fun appetizer made with their ready-to-eat BBQ Pulled Chicken. The meat is fully cooked and ready to heat and use -- which saves me a ton of prep work in the kitchen!

My Outrageous BBQ Pulled Chicken Stuffed Corn Muffins are a hearty handheld treat that's an ideal game day appetizer! They're my spin on an Emeril Lagasse recipe. Cornbread mix is combined with creamed corn, green onions, cheese, and a bit of smoky chipotle hot sauce for added flavor and texture. The corn muffins are then baked with a generous amount of sweetly savory Jack Daniels BBQ Pulled Chicken inside! It's really fun to serve these muffins to friends and family and see the surprise on their faces when they realize they have a delicious BBQ chicken inside! My recipe makes six muffins, but it's easily doubled for larger crowds.  This sweet and savory appetizer will definitely be the hit of your next game day get together!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Wendy's Great Eight August 2019...Featuring the Best Healthy Frozen Treats...and One Great Splurge #wendygreateight #tryit #icecream #froyo

It's the middle of Summer...hot afternoons are the norm. This month, Wendy's Great Eight is focusing on my favorite healthy frozen treats that help us stay cool...and one fabulous splurge that's worth every calorie! From ice cream pints to froyo and other chilly goodies on a stick, I've got you covered!

Ben & Jerry's Moophoria Light Ice Cream. What if I told you that you could enjoy Ben & Jerry's fun ice cream flavors with a fraction of the fat and calories? It's true! Their Moophoria line has the fun flavors you expect from Ben & Jerry's...with just 140-160 per half-cup serving. This ice cream is a game changer, folks! I tried two of the line's seven flavors: new P.B. Marshmallow Swirl (peanut butter ice cream, marshmallow swirl, and peanut butter cookie chunks) and Caramel Cookie Fix (vanilla ice cream with salted caramel and shortbread cookie chunks). Both flavors were great, but the P.B. Marshmallow was reminiscent of the fluffernutter sandwiches I enjoyed as a kid! The key to enjoying Moophoria is to measure a 1/2-cup serving...although it's very tempting to eat it straight from the pint! To find Moophoria near you, check out Ben & Jerry's online store locator.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints:
  • P.B. Marshmallow & Caramel Cookie Fix: 7 SP per 1/2 cup
  • Other flavors range from 6-8 SP per 1/2 cup

(2) Chilly Cow Frozen Treats. Chilly Cow has a line of light ice cream that comes portion controlled -- via bars on a stick, mini cones, and single-serve half pints. Their delicious ice cream is made with protein-rich ultra-filtered milk. The end result is a creamy treat that you'll never guess is lower in fat and calories. Flavors include Sweet Cream Peanut Butter half pints, Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwiches, Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Mini Cones, and  Mint Chocolate Chip bars. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Brownie Batter bar -- chocolate light ice cream with a brownie batter swirl -- is perfect for those chocolate cravings! It has just 110 calories...and 6 grams fiber and protein...so I can indulge without guilt! To find Chilly Cow's products near you, check out their helpful online Store Locator

WW Freestyle SmartPoints:

  • Chocolate Brownie Batter & Mint Dark Chocolate Bars: 4 SP per bar
  • Other ChillyCow items have 6-8 SP per serving

(3) Yasso Greek Yogurt Pops. Yasso has a huge line of delicious Greek yogurt frozen pops that feature 30+ super fun flavors. Because they're made with Greek yogurt, each creamy bar has between 80 and 150 calories...and 5-7 grams of protein! Our favorite flavor is Fudge Brownie == featuring chocolate frozen yogurt, brownie bits, and a fudge swirl -- for just 100 calories! We also loved Strawberry, which features strawberry frozen yogurt and a strawberry swirl -- and just 80 calories! To find Yasso frozen yogurt bars -- and pints too!! -- vist the Where to Buy function on their website.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints: 
  • Fudge Brownie: 4 SP per pop
  • Strawberry: 3 SP per pop
  • Other flavors range from 3-8 SP

(4) Enlightened Ice Cream. Enlightened ice cream allows ice cream lovers -- raises hand -- to enjoy fun ice cream flavors in a much healthier way! Enlightened has few calories and less sugar than traditional ice cream...and more protein. Enlightened offers both bars and pints. Because they're individually wrapped and portion controlled, I gravitated toward the bars. There are 17 amazing flavors to choose from, but two flavors stood out for us: 70-calorie Frozen Hot Cocoa (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips and a marshmallow swirl)...and new 90-calorie Movie Night (popcorn ice cream with chocolate bits and a caramel swirl).  Can't have dairy? No problem! Enlightened also offers non-dairy pints and bars made with almond milk. To find Enlightened bars and pints near you, visit their Store Locator.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
  • Frozen Hot Cocoa & Movie Night Bars: 3 SP
  • Other Enlightened Bars are 2-3 SP
  • Enlightened Pints: average 4 SP per half cup

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Fulton Fish Market Summer Seafood...Featuring Seared Scallops with Avocado-Corn Salsa and Creamy Parmesan Grits #fulonfishmarket #scallops #summerseafood

Summer and seafood were simply made to go together! The combination of warm weather and sweet seafood is a natural. Growing up near the Gulf of Mexico means I've been a seafood lover my entire life! We most often eat shrimp or fish...but I've become a huge fan of scallops in recent years! I like to purchase my scallops from New York's City 's iconic Fulton Fish Market -- the quality can't be beat! Did you know that they have an online store and ship their fresh seafood nationwide? FultonFishMarket.com is the Authority on fresh fish and seafood. Order online from their selection of the highest quality, most delicious seafood selections.

I only cook scallops a few times a year, so I like to showcase them in a very special recipe. The last time I went home to visit my family, I made Seared Scallops with Avocado-Corn Salsa and Creamy Parmesan Grits. The dish is comprised of three delicious components that work perfectly together: spiced-rubbed seared scallops, lime-infused salsa featuring avocado and caramelized corn, and decadent grits with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. This dish has a lot of "wow factor," but it comes together in less than an hour.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Weekend Gourmet Hits the Road...Featuring 24 Hours in Shreveport, Louisiana #WGTravel #lousianasotherside #roadtrip #summeradventure

Last month, The Weekend Gourmet team headed out on a Summer road trip. Our destination? Shreveport, Louisiana! This city is located in the northeast part of the state, just over the Texas border. It was an easy drive from San Antonio, with an overnight stop in Waco along the way -- more on that part of our trip coming soon! The Shreveport-Bossier City area has plenty to see, do...and taste. During our 24 hours in the city, we packed in a lot of fun. The helpful staff at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau crafted a perfect blend of activities for us! We ate at two iconic local restaurants, spent some time at one of the city's casinos, explored the Shreveport Aquarium, and visited a statue commemorating one of rock and roll's biggest icons' connection to the city. We had a blast...I can't wait to share our itinerary with you! 

Our home base during our visit to Shreveport was the Hilton Garden Inn Shreveport Bossier City. Its location was a short drive from all of the restaurants and attractions we visited. When we arrived at the hotel, it was late afternoon. We were warmly greeted by the front desk staff and quickly checked in. The lobby was decorated in soothing, warm tones...and there were tons of places to sit and visit.
The hotel also offers plenty of guest amenities -- including free onsite parking, a fully appointed business center, putting green, workout facility, and the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market. Conveniently located in the lobby, this onsite market offers snacks, sodas, toiletries, etc. -- all of which can be purchased day or night. We forgot a toothbrush at our previous hotel, so it was very convenient to purchase a replacement before bed at the Market that night!
Our room at the Hilton Garden Inn was spacious and comfortable. It featured a comfortable King bed, a bedside sitting area perfect for reading; a bathroom with a shower; and an in-room hospitality center that had a microwave, fridge, and Keurig® coffee maker. Add in complimentary bottled water and Internet access...and you've got a perfect home-away-from-home!
After resting up a bit, we headed out to dinner at Herby K's -- an iconic seafood restaurant that's been open in Shreveport since 1936! The restaurant is small...and the décor eclectic...and the flavors that come from the kitchen are H-U-G-E!! We were seated at one of the dining room's booths and settled in to order. The menu features a wide range of delicious Louisiana-style seafood -- including fried catfish, rich gumbo, and their signature Shrimp Buster Sandwich. My fried catfish was technically an appetizer...but the basket included fries, making it an entrée in my book! The catfish was fried crispy outside, moist inside. Not a seafood fan? Herby K's also offers chicken and sausage gumbo and a selection of burgers too!
We're definitely gumbo connoisseurs, so we were very excited to try Herby K's signature recipe. The deeply flavorful seafood gumbo featured a richly dark roux, shrimp, and oysters. We added a bit of rice and grabbed two spoons to give it a taste...delicious to the last spoonful!

Of course, we had to try Herby K's famous Shrimp Buster. The po boy-like sandwich featured shrimp that had been pounded flat and fried...then served on French bread with a spicy Shrimp Buster Sauce in lieu of tartar sauce. It was differently delicious! After a full day of driving, delicious seafood in a casual environment like Herby K's was exactly what we needed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Planning Your Next Camping Adventure #WGTravel #camping #greatoutdoors

Today, I'm sharing a guest travel column from The Weekend Gourmet's new contributor. They're sharing some great tips for planning a perfect camping trip...so get ready to hit the great outdoors this Summer! This column may feature affiliate links.

There's nothing more exciting than planning a camping trip. Sure, you can go on a flight to some far-flung destinations anywhere in the world -- but it's just not the same as getting piling everyone into the car and heading into nature. Once you have the itch for camping, it never really goes away. Simply choose when you plan to travel, how many campsites you want to hit, and get your gear ready. It all sounds simple, but it's not as simple as you'd imagine if you're a first-timer and have zero ideas about proper equipment and how to get your camping gear ready. Once you get started, however, you're going to be on your way to one of the most exciting vacations you can ever take!

The chance to explore nature isn't one that comes around every day -- especially with the weather getting wackier and harder to deal with. When it comes to planning your next adventure, it takes planning to get it right. You have the entire world at your feet...and a multitude of campsites to choose from...which can give you insight into how the world works from a different perspective. So, with all of that in mind, let's take a look at how you can plan the best camping adventure ever!
Group of People Sitting on Ground While Cooking Egg

Choosing the Location

Did you know there are two types of camping grounds? You have private ones, which are owned by individuals and rented out to those who want to camp. There are also free camping grounds that are open for anyone to camp in. Both options have their advantages, but it can be hard to find a good camping location -- especially if this is your first time camping. There are plenty of websites you can use to read ratings for local campgrounds, and you can also read reviews from those who have gone to private campgrounds that may not be local. You should consider whether you are using an RV to drive to a camping ground, or whether you plan to use a regular car and pitch a tent. Some sites will expect you to have a tent, while others prefer an RV or caravan to be parked and lived in. 

Some campgrounds have all amenities you'll need -- such as showers and toilets necessary for campers who are on the road. Deciding where to camp also depends on which amenities you need. Do you want flushing toilets...or do you mind roughing it in the woods for a night or two? Either way, you need to choose whether you prefer to camp rustically or prefer modern comforts. You should decide this before you get on the road. There are also campgrounds that expect you to reserve a space before arriving -- so don't be surprised if you show up somewhere and are turned away. For this reason, it's so important for you to plan your camping trip ahead!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Healthy Mexican Food with Wholly Guacamole Chunky Avocado...Featuring Baked Kitchen Sink Chicken-Avocado Taquitos #eatwholly #healthyeats #bakednotfried #taquito

We absolutely love Mexican food at my house, so I've been tinkering around in my kitchen to find ways to cut excess fat and calories...while keeping all of the fun flavors that we love. Today, I'm sharing a fantastic recipe using Wholly Guacamole convenient ready-to-use Chunky Avocado. My flavorful Baked Kitchen Sink Chicken-Avocado Taquitos will definitely vanquish any Mexican food cravings you have...without expanding your waistline in the process. With a few simple ingredient swaps -- and baking the taquitos instead of frying -- they're a guilt-free indulgence. The Wholly Guacamole Chunky Avocado saves me time pitting and chopping avocados...and it's 100% delicious Haas avocados. No funny preservatives...just perfectly ripe avocado!

My Kitchen Sink Chicken-Avocado Taquitos feature a filling that includes shredded chicken breast, corn, tomato, jalapeno, black beans, green onions, cilantro, and reduced fat cheddar cheese. These ingredients are combined with creamy 0% plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Reduced carb flour tortillas are first spread with a bit of the Wholly Guacamole Chunky Avocado, then topped with a generous amount of the chicken filling. Finally, each tortilla is rolled up into a taquito and baked until crispy. I even created a healthy avocado crema dipping sauce to serve on the side. No one will ever know that these taquitos are so healthy, because they taste positively decadent!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Seattle Part I: Hotel 116 Bellevue, Chihuly Garden & Glass, and the Space Needle #WGTravel #seattle2019 #VisitSeattle

Earlier this year, The Weekend Gourmet travel team spent a long weekend exploring Seattle. The Pacific Northwest features miles of breathtaking scenery, a fabulous food scene, and easy access for an action-packed day trip to Canada! Our home base the first two nights of our trip was Hotel 116 in Bellevue, located a short 15-minute drive to most of Seattle's iconic attractions. This boutique hotel property is ideally located close to a major freeway, shopping, and dining. After walking through the front door, we immediately noticed the hotel's modern lobby décor and little touches -- including a station with refreshing fruit-infused spa water for guests. The friendly front desk staff welcomed us and checked us in quickly. Before we knew it, we were off to our rooms!
Hotel 116 offers its guests a pair of convenient cost-saving amenities: complimentary WiFi and free onsite self parking. No car? No worries! Hotel 116 also provides free shuttle service to locations within 5 miles of the hotel. Our room featured a comfy pillow top King bed, a sitting area that was perfect for reading, and an in-room mini fridge and coffee maker -- everything we needed for our home-away-from-home!
Our room also included a view of the courtyard below -- lots of tables to sit and chat! We settled in, unpacked, and relaxed for a bit after our early-morning flight from Texas. Our TV included HBO, so we watched a bit of TV too. After resting for a bit, it was time to explore Seattle! Our destination? Two of the city's most popular attractions: Chihuly Garden & Glass and the iconic Space Needle!

Visiting both of these attractions in one afternoon is a snap, because they're part of the centralized Seattle City Center area. The 74-acre City Center grounds feature 30+ cultural, educational, sports and entertainment, and community events year round. We started our afternoon with a visit to Chihuly Garden & Glass. Opened in 2012, this must-visit attraction features colorful glass sculptures created by Washington-based artist Dale Chihuly. The grounds include an eight-gallery indoor Installation Hall, a peaceful outdoor Garden, and a large light-filled Glasshouse. As we walked through the indoor galleries, we were blown away by the glass sculptures -- their size, intricate details, and vivid color were amazing! The intricate sculptures sit on the ground and hang from the ceiling above. The outdoor Garden exhibit features winding walking paths lined with trees, plants, and flowers...with Chihuly glass sculptures included in and around the foliage. I shot some video of one of the larger glass sculptures on display to give you some idea how truly impressive Chihuly's glass creations are:

The outdoor Garden is anchored by four large glass sculptures -- including the tall yellow plant-like sculpture pictured below. Seeing the colorful glass sculptures placed in and among the green grass, trees, and colorful flowers was somehow both modern...and classic. There was something new to see around every bend of the outdoor walking path!
The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden & Glass is definitely the expansive Glasshouse. This 40-foot tall glass and steel structure has 4,500 square feet of light-filled space. The Glasshouse is home to a 100-foot long floral glass sculpture that includes red, orange, yellow, and amber glass. Theis sculpture is comprised of smaller individual glass sculptures, and it's one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. 
I want to take a second here to share a key travel tip with you that will ensure you get the most out of your Seattle visit. The Seattle CityPASS® ticket booklet is the best way to see Seattle's top attractions for up to 49% off regular admission. CityPASS® lets you choose five Seattle attractions to visit from seven great options -- including Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Space Needle. You simply pay one price for each booklet, then redeem the included ticket as you visit each of your preferred attractions...easy!

Chihuly Garden & Glass is open Monday thru Thursday from 830AM to 830PM; weekend hours are 830AM to 930PM. Keep in mind that tickets are sold up to 1 hour before this closing time each day. The picture above shows you just how close the Space Needle is to Chihuly Garden & Glass. It was a five-minute walk at most between the two attractions. We made our way to the ticket booth to purchase tickets to check out the Space Needle's extensive multi-million dollar renovation. Note that admission is limited to a specific number of visitors per hour, and there can be a wait during peak hours. Luckily, we were able to immediately enter the main floor to take an elevator up 520 feet -- approximately 50 stories -- to the Space Needle's top observation deck!
The Space Needle's outdoor observation deck features eye-popping 360° views of the Seattle area via clear floor to ceiling windows. The views are especially beautiful on an afternoon with few clouds! The observation deck was quite breezy when we visited, making the temperature cooler than it was on the ground...so be sure to bring a light jacket just in case. During our visit, Michael captured a gorgeous panorama of the Seattle skyline. 
The circular observation deck also features new Skyrisers -- tilting glass walls that let visitors "lean in" and enjoy 24 different angled vantage points of the city below! There are also clear, angled benches located at each vantage point -- they're perfect for snapping photos and selfies! 

After visiting the observation deck, be sure to take the stairs down one level to check out The Loupe -- the world's first and only rotating glass floor. It's not for the faint of heart, but the views looking down are definitely eye opening.
Photo provided by The Space Needle Press Team
With our afternoon of exploring Seattle over, it was time for a little snack to tide us over until our dinner later that evening. Lucky for us, Hotel 116 has a convenient onsite restaurant! Eastside Bar & Grill offers a wide range of upscale casual food. My group shared two menu items: a healthy Shrimp Cobb Salad and crunchy Fish & Chips. The beautifully presented Shrimp Cobb Salad featured plump grilled shrimp, crumbled bacon, blue cheese crumbles, boiled egg, creamy avocado, and a variety of crispy-fresh salad vegetables. It was served with a tangy lime vinaigrette. This salad was light, refreshing, and delicious...with lots of layers of flavor and texture.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Wendy's Great Eight June 2019: Refreshing Beverages #greateight #tryit #summerttravel #stayhydrated

I've had a great time sharing some of my favorite sweet, savory, and salty road trip snacks with you the past couple of weeks...but something is missing! What's a snack without a refreshing beverage to go along with it? This month's Wendy's Great Eight column is featuring my favorite travel-ready beverages. These drinks are perfect for your Summer travel adventures! Whether you prefer a beverage with a protein punch, a jolt of caffeine, a bit of fizz, or a delicately flavored water? I've got you covered! There's literally something for everyone's favorite flavor profile this month. Ready? Let's dive right in!

(1) La Colombe Nitro Cold Brew Lemonade. What if I told you that you could combine the freshness of lemonade with the bold flavor and caffeine kick of cold brew coffee? Thanks to La Colombe Coffee, this is a Summer dream come true! Their new Nitro Cold Brew Lemonade is made with organic Colombian light roast coffee and lemonade made with Sicilian lemons. The end result is a beverage that's refreshing and lightly sweet...with an earthy backbone from the cold brew coffee. This beverage comes in handy slim cans, making it perfect to stow in the cooler for any Summer road trips. Each 9-ounce can has just 60 calories...and the same amount of caffeine as a typical cup of coffee. For citrus lovers, La Colombe also features a Grapefruit Cold Brew.

(2) ICONIC Protein Drinks. ICONIC's line of ready-to-drink protein drinks are great to have on hand for those mornings where you have to hit the road bright and early. With 20 grams of grass-fed protein, 3 grams of sugar, and 130 calories in each 11.5-ounce bottle? It's a perfect way to start the day healthy...and feel full for hours! ICONIC protein drinks come in five great flavors: Chocolate Truffle, Vanilla Bean, Café Latte, Ginger Turmeric, and Coconut Matcha. As an added bonus, the Café Latte contains Colombian coffee and 180mg of caffeine.

(3) Blossom Water® Natural Essence Water. There's so much to love about Blossom Water...it's one of my favorite Summer beverages! These waters combines pure spring water with the flavors of fruit and botanicals...and just a touch of organic cane sugar. The end result is a uniquely refreshing, lightly sweet beverage. My favorite flavor is Lemon Rose with a floral rose background aroma...the rose is not the least bit overpowering. Other flavors include Mango Hibiscus, Plum Jasmine, Pomegranate Geranium, and Grapefruit Lilac. These waters come in handy plastic bottles and are best enjoyed well chilled. Each 16.9-ounce bottle has just 20 calories.

(4) Drinfinity® Enhanced Water System. Drinkfinity® enhanced water system includes a 20-ounce BPA-free Vessel and a variety of flavor infustion Pods that meet specific health goals. The Vessel fit standard cup holders and includes a piercer that pops each single-serve beverage Pod. The Pods include healthy ingredients like green coffee extract, electrolytes, guarana, chia seeds, oats and fiber, and Vitamins C&E. Prefer to pick your Pods by flavor profile? That works too! Each flavor Pod contains 35-80 calories. This video shows how the Drinkfinity system works: