Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chez Zee Valentine

Happy Saturday! I feel like I am walking on sunshine here on this beautiful Austin Saturday, and I could not be happier about the weather we are currently experiencing. Fingers crossed that we don't get any more of that bitter cold weather!

Anyway, I left off at school yesterday, so let's pick up where we left off. Well first, let's back track to the usual workout and breakfast part of my post. 


I can't tell you the relief I felt when I woke up naturally at around 5:40am, knowing that it was Friday and that my next two days would allow me to sleep in a little bit. That thought alone was enough to get me out of bed and over to the gym, where I completed this 5.4-mile treadmill workoutTo me, no other form of exercise beats a good run, and I certainly left yesterday feeling like I got in a good one.


I got to school a little bit earlier than usual yesterday, as my teacher was going to be gone, and there was a student organization meeting taking place in my teacher's classroom. I brought my breakfast with me, and I ate my usual scrambled egg whites and spinach, along with some sliced strawberries, a mini honeycrisp apple, and two cuties. I guess that run really built my up appetite!

And just before I left school, I got a little surprise: I had won something in the faculty prize drawing! I found that hysterical because one, I never win prize drawings (unless you count my grand prize carnival win in Pre-K - 4 tickets to Astroworld), and two, I'm not even really a part of the faculty, so I had to laugh when I saw that I won a book titled, "The Essential Kitchen Gardener," which is right up my alley, and will be very helpful should I ever try to grow my own garden.

The last block of the day went pretty smoothly, as we just finished up any remaining college presentations, and the students continued working on their benchmarks while I graded some late research papers and read a little bit more of East of Eden. I think I got the good end of that bargain! After school I ran a couple of errands, baked a couple of batches of my oatmeal-banana-almond butter muffins, and got ready for my Valentine's Day dinner date. I am going to go ahead and break the news to you now and say that while I absolutely took photos of our meal last night, I deleted the appetizer and both of our main dishes before they were safely on my computer. I honestly almost cried when I realized what I had done, and I had to take a step back from my computer and wait for my blogging motivation to return. True story.

Anyway, just because I lost the food pictures doesn't mean the night wasn't fabulous. I think Dylan and I both had a wonderful evening, and it started just about 8:00pm when Dylan came over with a beautiful bouquet of roses and some (dairy-free!) chocolate. What a star.

We had dinner reservations at 8:30pm, so we left my house right about 8:10, because although the restaurant was close to my house (though I didn't know where we were going), we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time time to get there, park, and get into the restaurant by 8:30. We timed it pretty perfectly, and we were seated immediately upon getting through the line at the hostess stand at Chez Zee.

The restaurant was decorated beautifully, and I just loved the overall atmosphere of the place. There was live music happening, and our table was sort of tucked away in a back room to where we could hear it, but so that we could also hear one another at the same time. The perfect combo!

We each started with a glass of Graham Beck Brut Rose champagne, and I have to say, I am a huge fan of champagne. It's a drink that often indicates celebration, and though I couldn't tell you what exactly it tastes like, I really do enjoy the taste. And this one was especially great - I almost finished the entire glass, and for me, that's pretty good!

Appetizer & Meal

I am still saddened over my lack of pictures of the food, because every single bite of food I had was incredible. I guess you'll just have to go there and experience for yourself how great it is. Anyway, we were originally going to go with the Chicken Beignets for our appetizer, but the Grilled Brown Sugar Beef Kabobs at the bottom of the appetizer list caught our eye at the last second, and while I am sure the Chicken Beignets would have been delicious, I am so glad we opted for the beef kabobs. They were perfectly seasoned and especially tender, and they certainly didn't last very long.

Immediately upon opening the menu, my eye fell upon the Pecan Crusted Salmon, served with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. I knew that was what I was going to order, so I didn't even bother looking at the rest of the menu. I tend to be really bad at making decisions, and I didn't want to be caught in a web of indecision. Dylan was originally going to order the New York Strip, but then decided on the Jalepeno Cornbread Stuffed Chicken, but was forced to reevaluate when we learned there was no more jalapeno cornbread. He ended up ordering the New Orleans Pecan Chicken, and we got a side of both steamed vegetables and sweet potato pudding.

Everything tasted incredible, and we both (as per usual) cleared our plates. I know you're surprised to hear that one. And though Chez Zee is famous for its dessert, nothing sounded especially appealing to us, so we decided to call it a night and head back to Dylan's house to exchange presents and just hang out for a while, but not before saying hi to Dylan's brother and his girlfriend, who happened to have dinner reservations at the exact same restaurant!

As I said earlier, I think Dylan and I would consider this first Valentine's Day to be a success, even though it is the world's cheesiest holiday!

Today has been spent doing a little bit of school work, a little bit of cooking (keep an eye out for a new-ish recipe coming soon!), and a lot of time outside. The weather has been perfect, so I took my workout to the great outdoors and went for a walk around Town Lake this morning, and followed that up with an early afternoon swim at Gregory. I certainly can't complain about working on my one-piece tan in the middle of February!

And on that note, I'm off to continue working on a little bit of school work watch the Olympics and call it an early night! These crazy school weeks do me in! I hope you have had an enjoyable Saturday!

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