Get Out the AARP Cards…


The early bird gets the worm freshest salad bar fixins’!


Ben and I are apparently 70 years old, because tonight we sat down to dinner at precisely 5:00pm. Hy-vee all you can eat salad bar style!


I didn’t show you around last time, so let me give you a little tour. :) You’ve got zee very nice drink and condiment station.


An airy, bright seating area.


And the finest, vinyl covered seating. ;) Just kidding! Hy-vee’s dining area is actually quite nice and homey. And when you eat as early as we do, you get the whoooole place to yourself.


Once again, I tackled the $6.99 all you can eat salad bar. Tonight’s mission = no dessert!


For me, tonight, all you can eat = a giant salad and fruit plate.


And a ladle of Hy-vee’s killer soup – Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. I couldn’t resist! This was smoky, chewy and SO flavorful. Best gumbo (besides my Dad’s) I’ve had in years!


I just love finding good soups.


My salad was as delish as it was diverse. In the mix:

  • Mixed greens
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Turkey (as if I didn’t get enough last week)
  • Crab
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sunflower seeds

All dipped in Balsamic Vinaigrette, thank you very much!


You know I jam packed my plate with fruit & berries, too. Holla!


Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe. My Dad has sung a song about cantaloupe and honeydew melon for as long as I remember and I sing it to myself every single time I eat it. “I know we can’t elope, but ohhhh honey dooo…” I don’t know what it means, but it’s just one of those things… :)  


Now, it’s a fact that I am not a “fruit for dessert” kind of gal. I just don’t find an apple for dessert as satisfying as say, a piece of apple pie. However, per my revelation from this morning, tonight I made do with fruit as my dinner’s grand finale. You know what? It was enough. I was 100% satisfied after eating this dinner.


Ben even got in the salad action this time!





Tonight = getting ready for a very special start to a very special month! Make sure to tune in tomorrow morning!

‘Night all!


What time do you usually eat dinner?

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  1. Evan Thomas 11.30.2009

    I eat dinner always at 6:30. I wouldn’t do it earlier if someone paid me

  2. Lee 11.30.2009

    I’m assuming HyVee is a grocery store. If so, that’s a really nice salad bar that they have.

    I usually eat around 6:15. I never understand how some people wait until like 8 or 9.

  3. Lizzy 11.30.2009

    MMM all you can eat salad! best dinner ever!

  4. Hannah 11.30.2009

    Call me an old person too, but I usually eat dinner between 5 and 5:30. Ever since I was a little kid my family always had dinner then so it just seems natural to me! That salad and fruit looks delish by the way!

  5. Dawn 11.30.2009

    Berries are definitely my weakness and those look delish! I had shredded wheat n bran with big fat blueberries and light vanilla soy milk heated in the microwave for two minutes for breakfast. SOOOO good.

  6. Lauren 11.30.2009

    Haha whoa, you guys totally rocked the Early Bird Special tonight. ;) We usually eat by 6:30pm. It works so well for us so we just stick with it.

    I love salad bars. I have ever since I was a little girl. But I am a little concerned on this no dessert thing my dear?!? Say it ain’t so? No more dessert? How can you live!!! :) LoL just kidding, I totally understand when you start to feel a bit icky after many days of indulging.

    But I contest on the fruit thing for dessert. I have fruit almost every night as a sweet treat, but I pair it with a little Tru Whip and it makes a delightful dessert! ;) Not sure if the whipped cream cancels out the benefits of the fruit, but oh well, I just love it! ;)

  7. I use to eat dinner no later than 6:30pm… now that I have a baby… it’s anywhere between 5pm and 9pm… it’ll eventually settle into normal time… right?!? ;)

  8. Rose 11.30.2009

    I love early dinners sometimes :) I usually eat around 6:30.

  9. Lindsay 11.30.2009

    I usually try to eat dinner around 6 or 6:15pm… I dont think I can eat much earlier or else I will get HUNGRY before bed!!

  10. Stephanie 11.30.2009

    We normally eat dinner around 8 or 8:30ish… by the time I get home from work, exercise and the boy gets home it’s already 7:30 so that just works for us! Can’t say it didn’t take some getting used to at first though, but thankfully my body has finally learned that it needs to stay satisfied til 8pm and it does :)

  11. YUMMMMYYY looks so delicious and look at all that fresh fruit :) beautiful!

    I eat dinner around 7pm sometimes earlier sometimes later but during the week it usually runs around 7pm!

  12. Lindsey 11.30.2009

    Hey girl! You are seriously making me miss Iowa now– I have vivid hy-vee cafe memories only mine aren’t about yummy salads.. more like the time my family ate their Chinese food and my dad ate into those really hot red peppers hidden in dark brown sauce?! Hilarious :)

    I finally have a blog and will most likely be referencing your recipes (if I ever get around to making food these days..!)

  13. Anne K. 11.30.2009

    It may be early, but that dinner looks fab! I usually eat dinner around 6. It can definitely vary, from about 5:30-7.

  14. Stephen 12.01.2009

    5:00 is were it’s at! I try to have dinner ready to go as soon as I get home. My wife jokes that dinner better be ready when she walks through the door. It’s also easier to get a table when you eat out. Your hyvee berries look better than my hyvee. They only had blueberries on Sunday.

  15. Christine 12.01.2009

    We eat dinner at 3:30. I know, it’s early. The kids usually end up having a snack around 8:30. It works for us.

  16. MrsDocChuck 12.01.2009

    I am under strict orders to serve dinner precisely at 5:45 pm, to enable a good night’s sleep.

    Is there still a friendly smile in every aisle?

  17. katecooks 12.01.2009

    ok this is going to be reeeeeally random, but we always sing that song in my family too and we say “well if we can’t elope, we’ll get by on my salary” AKA if we canataloupe, we’ll get by on my celery. cantaloupe. celery? get it?! yours sounds like the same thing but cantaloupe and honey dew melon :)

    haha ok dont think i am crazy :)

  18. Bridget 12.01.2009

    Love me some Hy-Vee! We’re out in the middle of nowhere so our closest one is 40 miles away. Our family eats between 5:30 and 6pm. Still thinking about growing those brussel sprouts? If I can do it then anyone can!

  19. We must be old too then. We normally eat dinner between 5 and 6. If not my stomach grumbles and I feel sick.

  20. Katie 12.01.2009

    I LOVE how your Hy-Vee dining area looks exactly like the one that I go to here in South Dakota. I used to eat the Hy-Vee salad bar practically every day when I worked as a teller at the in-store bank branch and you are so right – the soups and fruit selection are awesome! I always had them weigh my food though, it was pretty darn cheap most of the time.

    We typically eat around 6-ish around these parts but it varies depending on how busy life can be.

  21. Lauren 12.04.2009

    My mom used to sing me the song about honeydew too: “Well baby if we can’t elope (cantaloupe), honey do (honeydew) marry me.” That might help explain the meaning in the version of the song your dad sings.

  22. Jane Gordon 05.24.2010

    I know that song – I have it on a record! It goes like this:
    (I’m not sure if it’s in this exact order)

    The Pushcart Song

    Tony who sells fruits & vegetables loves pretty Marie, as he pushes his cart along, he sings Marie this song:

    Beets, beets, how my heart beets for you
    Beets, beets, say your’s beets for me too
    Lettuce, oh lettuce be married today
    Honeydew, Honeydew say your mine to stay

    Pears, pears we’d make a lovely pear
    peaches, peaches, the peachiest anywhere
    If you carrot all, carrot all, how I will pine
    Oh orange you gonna be mine

    Plums, plums I’m plum set on you
    squash, squash don’t squash my hopes in two
    turnip, don’t turnip your nose or I’ll cry
    olive you olive till the day I die

    (can’t remember this line)
    figs, figs I figure that you’re my fate
    If you cantelope cantelope, peas marry me,
    We’ll get by on my celery

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