Friday Favorites for 11/21/14

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to Friday Favorites. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? That means Christmas will be here before we know it- are you prepared?

I am going to go through my boxes of Christmas decorations at some point next week. This is the first time in many years that we will be spending the Holidays in Florida. Usually we head up to the snow covered corn fields of Indiana to spend Christmas with Chad’s parents- this year, because of my foot surgery, they are coming to us.

So anyway, let’s jump right into Friday Favorites, shall we?

First up, I ran my third half marathon last weekend which allowed me to splurge a little in the treat department-

Gramma's Pie Say Cheese

The Grammas Pie from Say Cheese Pizza and Wings in Bunnell, FL. I’ve been talking about this pizza a lot this week and the past few months- it’s just that good.

Whetstones Frozen Hot Chocolate

I also talk a lot about the frozen hot chocolate we get at Whetstone in St. Augustine. I promise you this is the last time I will show another picture of this deliciousness! OK- I am done with the frozen hot chocolate- until our next trip.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

While at Say Cheese, I was talking to the owner Steve and he gave me an amazing tip when making homemade tomato sauce. To sweeten up the sauce without adding sugar, add a whole carrot to the sauce and let it simmer for about 30 minutes then remove the carrot. The natural sugars in the carrot will seep into the sauce, sweetening it naturally and reducing the acidity as well.

Broccoli Spinach Kale Soup from Beauty and the Beets

I made this Broccoli Spinach and Kale soup earlier this week. I had one bowl and froze the rest of the batch for later. So healthy and delicious!


Chad and I are fighting over the box of these Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt granola bars. Think Caramel and Sea Salt- only with chocolate. Nothing more to say.

Lastly- here are my favorite posts from this past week-

My St. Augustine Half Marathon recap

St Augustine Half Marathon Finisher


my recap of my visit to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

Beauty and the Beets Culinary Institute of America

Thank you to Heather from Housewife Glamor for hosting the Friday Favorites link up!

Thanks for stopping by- tell me what you are loving in the comments below. Have a great weekend everyone!

A Visit to The Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY

The Culinary Institute of America is a private college for the culinary and pastry arts with three campuses across the United States and one location in Singapore. The main campus is located in Hyde Park, NY- about two hours north of New York City.

Palisade Mountains

On a recent trip up north, my Mother, Chad and myself took a drive to the CIA for lunch. The drive itself is gorgeous through the Palisade Mountains but the real treat was when we pulled into the small but majestic campus.

CIA Entrance Beauty and the Beets

We went on a Monday, a day when three of the four student-run restaurants are closed. We had even tried to make reservations for one of the restaurants for the following day but the tables are booked months in advance. Just something to keep in mind when you plan your visit.

Apple Pie Bakery Cafe

Lucky for us, the campus wasn’t too crowded with tourists the day we went and we only had a small wait for a table at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe- a casual restaurant offering soups, salads, sandwiches and first class pastries.

Apple Pie Bakery opera cakes

After you place your order at the counter, you grab a table and your food and beverages are brought out by one of the many student employees. As a matter of fact, all four of the restaurants on campus are run by the students from the back of the house culinary staff to the front of the house managers and wait staff. And they are incredibly friendly and genuinely happy to be there.

Goat cheese, Avocado and Watercress Sandwich CIA

My Mom enjoyed a Goat Cheese, Avocado and Watercress Sandwich. I stole a few bites and it was truly delectable. Something you may see again on the blog real soon!!

Glazed Salmon CIA

Chad had the Glazed Salmon Special with a pot of rice. Though the portion was small, the presentation was unique and the fish was cooked perfectly.

Spinach Fried Goat Cheese Beauty and the Beets

I ordered the Spinach and Fried Goat Cheese and Golden Beets Salad. First of all, anything with goat cheese is a big hit with me, the plump golden beets were an over the top bonus.

Truffle fries Beauty and the Beets

We also sprung for the Truffle Fries. Oh my.

Apple Pie Bakery Cafe Pumpkin Cheesecake

We split the Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert, tiny in dimensions but enormous in rich flavor.

Culinary Institute of America Beauty and the Beets

Roth Hall is the most iconic building on the small campus and home to the four restaurants, many classrooms and the administrative offices. The halls are lined with many of the awards and trophies the school has won including numerous gold medals from the famed Culinary Olympics.

CIA Classrooms

There are a few places you can peek into some of the classrooms. It was interesting to see many of the students hard at work. They all looked like Master Chefs to me!

Chef Whites Culinary Institute of America

Chef whites (the traditional Chef uniform) are worn everywhere so it was rather easy to pick out the students walking through the halls. The school offers many different programs from Associate to Bachelor degrees, from Pastry Arts to Culinary Science. There is also a comprehensive program for food enthusiasts such as myself from 2-day to 5-day boot camps (Christmas present idea my dear family!!) to Saturday morning cooking and baking classes, there is something for everyone.

Ginger Lodge Culinary Institute of America

My dream would be to spend five days soaking it all in while living in one of the “lodges”- mountain retreat style residence halls. With names like Ginger Lodge, Cayenne Lodge and Nutmeg Lodge- who wouldn’t want to spend a night or two (or five) there?

Hudson River Culinary Institute of America

Rustic Campus CIA Hyde Park Beauty and the Beets

The campus itself is very rustic along the banks of the Hudson River. Food and the Culinary Arts are celebrated around every corner.

Chocolate Quinoa CIA Beauty and the Beets

There is an on campus store as well offering both students and the general public a wide selection of professional culinary supplies and fun kitchen gadgets. We picked up a few things including this Dark Chocolate Quinoa candy bar.

Beauty and the Beets Culinary Institute of America

We had a wonderful time exploring the campus, probably poking our heads where we shouldn’t have, marveling in all things food, and enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. Again, if you are interested in dining in one of the fancier sit down restaurants, plan your trip well in advance and make reservations early.

Hyde Park Culinary Institute of America

Visit The Culinary Institute of America website here.

Also, anyone looking to invest in my culinary future (Mom? Chad?) or if you are looking to improve your own skills, visit the website for Food Enthusiasts here.

The Culinary Instititue of America