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Archive for February, 2010

Heaven in a Bowl

lI know I say this every week – but I mean it every week! Best. food. I’ve ever tasted :).

Class this week was all about grains. We learned:

  •  Cornbread
  • Risotto with vegetables
  • Rice
  • Cous Cous with beef stew and onion confit
  • Wheatberry Salad
  • Creamy Polenta

Please enjoy the best of the best below:

 

Oh my. By the way, if ever you’d like a recipe for something, please just let me know! Much of it is easier that you would think and the taste is sUperb.

After lesson we moved to the kitchen. We were down one from our usual trio, so we decided to recreate just one dish. MUSHROOM RISOTTO. Trust I’ll find a way to put mushrooms in something each week :).

Have you ever seen such gorgeously creamy risotto in all your life? There wasn’t any cream in it actually but the richness of homemade stock with the ultra slow cooking process and a generous addition of parmesan cheese aaand… just heaven.

So! Sorry to be somewhat quick, especially because all of this deserves so much more attention, but I have that flight and a big weekend of fun to attend. I will be back when I can be…Monday at the latest. I plan on soaking up every single second with my long-lost friends while I can :).

Much love!

Beth

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Feels Like Friday

I must admit, I did not cook last night. But dinner was really yummy!

Whole Foods goods are all over my blog this week. I just can’t deny their deliciousness. I found this seafood gumbo there the other day, fresh made. It sounded amazing but I hesitated a little…its over $6 for one container! A can of soup is not nearly that much :). Although when at Whole Foods I think the idea is quality over price and let me just say, this was worth every penny. Lots of veggies and seafood in a lovely thick, flavorful tomato broth…just excellent. I may never want canned soup again! I sprinkled a little parm and chili sauce on top and then had some FSTG sweet potato chips with a slice of cheese on the side.

Even though today is Thursday, it’s kinda like Friday for me since I’ll be taking tomorrow off. After work today it’s just going to be pure fun! Culinary school tonight (grains this week) then an early flight tomorrow morning to Cleveland to meet up with my old Canadian college roommates for the weekend.

I was so happy to learn that it’ll be Cleveland Restaurant Week while I’m home. What are the chances?? After thorough inspection of the menus, I booked a table for us at Johnny’s Downtown. I’ve never been there before but the menu looks like the most delicious of them all to me. So I’m hoping for good things!

I’ll see you tomorrow with a summary of my grains lesson (rumor has it we’ll be making Risotto with sautéed scallops and pea sauce, among other things!). Love Thursday :).

Beth

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Wishful Sprinking

Man oh man was I hungry by the time I made it home last night. Working-out early sure sets my metabolism in motion for the day. I did the quickest inspection of my fridge and cabinets before creating this lovely meal.

Salmon salad made of salmon, mayo, Dijon, s&p, minced garlic and 2 chopped carrots on a bed of spinach with pecans and bleu cheese. I also drizzled chili sauce and sesame dressing over top. To the side you will see a new and exciting discovery: Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps Fig and Olive Crackers. These are divinely good. The combination of sweet figs and black olives makes for one beautiful cracker! I don’t believe anything could have tasted more delicious last night :).

After dinner my roommates and I tried to watch the women’s figure skating. How tricky is it though that one skater goes on, then we have to watch 30 minutes of another sport, before we finally see another skater… I stayed up until 11 when my online food writing class discussion ended and then had to call it a night. I am just not a die hard olympic watcher I guess!

As of this morning I’m officially 3 for 3 on my early morning work-outs. I have culinary school tomorrow (and therefore work super early) and leave for Cleveland Friday so of the 3 days I could make it, I did. Mission accomplished! I just did regular old gym time today instead of a class – 30 minutes on the elliptical and about 20 minutes of abs and arms strength training. Done and done.

After, I made some breakfast.

It’s not that I don’t like green monsters, but I am certainly more of a warm breakfast girl in the winter. I don’t know why though, this sounded good to me this morning. Maybe some wishful spring thinking?? 🙂

The smoothie contained:

  • 1 cup of vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tbsp. of ground flax
  • a banana
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (which I promise, you cannot taste)
  • 8 pieces of frozen mango

And some TJ’s oat bran swirls which are seriously yummy. Breakfast without some form of carbohydrates does not sound like breakfast to me ;).

So! Hope you enjoyed all that spinach.

See you tomorrow :).

Beth

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Foodiot

You know what I am just loving lately? Yoga Bread which I recently discovered while shopping at Whole Foods. I am not the biggest fan of processed sandwich breads so any time I find a loaf that looks freshly baked I’m sold. This one features pumpkin seeds and cranberries making the loaf  extra delish.

Last night I toasted two pieces for dinner, then made a sandwich of veggie tempeh, Munster cheese and mustard. Alongside my sammie I roasted some brocoli using my new Italian olive oil and William Sonoma fig balsamic vinegar. Yum. I was starving after that spin class from hell so this meal sure hit the spot!

 

I was up early again this morning, this time for my newly beloved Body Pump. That class is fast becoming a fave! My hope is that this early rising will become a habit for me which would be especially helpful given that my evenings are currently filled with classes and school work. So far I’m two for two so at least it’s a start, right?? <– Not a morning person :).

Post work-out breakfast was round #2 for my Yoga Bread.

 

2 pieces toasted and topped with a warm mashed banana, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and cinnamon.  Seriously, glorious.

I have been waiting for the right day (ie a day with little news 🙂 ) to share this adorable little piece of jargon my friend Diana gave me. I feel most food bloggers can relate!

Foodiot, n. – Coined in the New York Observer: those obsessed by what they cook, who upload photos of their food before consuming it, or document each course of a meal on Twitter.

hehehe. Does this describe you too?

See you Wednesday!

Beth

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Surprise Visitors

My super fun weekend has come to a close and it’s back to reality for this girl.

But not for long apparently! You see, my Canadian college roomies have been planning to meet-up with me at my parent’s house in Cleveland sometime soon since it is sort of half way between where they live in Ontario and where I live in DC. Last week they emailed me, saying “see you the 26th-28th!”. I assumed they meant March but we all realized on Friday that no, they actually meant February! So I’ll be headed back to Ohio this weekend. Even though I blame them for this mix-up entirely and not myself at all (hehe) I am SO EXCITED to see them! I lived with these lovely ladies for 4 years and now it has been almost a year since we have seen each other. I miss them so much it makes my heart hurt.

So! In the meantime I decided to start the first week of my 25th year off right by getting up bright and early this morning and taking a spin class. Oh the things growing older will make you do… this class was NOT FUN!!!!!!! I was the only one there so I could not slack even just a little but my body was just not ready for that kind of intensity. It is funny how you can be so in shape at one kind of exercise and then get your butt kicked by another. I actually thought I might pass out by the time I got off the bike at the end :(. But you’ll be pleased to hear I pulled through – I think this might be good reason to keep at it!

It was also very good to sweat out this weekend’s birthday indulgences and now I am on the right track for a year of perfection. Yeah right. 🙂

After my work-out and a lovely hot shower I made the very best breakfast, Oats in a Jar!

I made these from my new oats – 1/3 a cup with soy milk, water, a banana and ground flax. Once cooked I poured them into my near empty peanut butter jar and voila – OIAJ –  pure yum.

I’ll leave you with a pic of the faces I shall soon be seeing :). 4 days to go!

Beth

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What an amazing bday I have had!

We began the evening with a cocktail hour at my house. The girls brought over multiple bottles of pink champagne for us to enjoy before dinner. They also brought me all sorts of lovely gifts – adorable tea towels, books on all sorts of food related topics, lemon curd from Cow Girl Creamery and of course a birthday tiara and nose and moustache glasses :).

After our drinks we headed over to Bistro Cacao for dinner. It was completely adorable!!

 

The 6 of us had quite the parade of food and wine. 3 appetizers, a main each and 3 desserts. Please enjoy this montage of photos that came out in a resolution I deem blogworthy 🙂 :

Bottles of French Malbec x2

Muscles ( we also ordered escargot and pate)

My main course – Duck

Apple Tarte

Trio of Creme Brulees – original, cocoa and raspberry

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Two of my friends’ steaks came out far too underdone and had to be sent back even though the meal did take a long time (almost an hour) to be served. But aside from that, everything was really excellent. My favorites of the night were the escargot and original creme brulee. I think I could have had those two and walked away quite happy! The missteps were a shame but it wouldn’t deter me from coming back. The restaurant is new and the service was very attentive so I do believe they are trying!

I’ll leave you with a few pics of the dinnertime fun:

 I am  so lucky to have such wonderful friends here in DC. I had an amazing birthday and couldn’t be more appreciative of everything they did for me. So thank you ladies!! You really are the best :).

See you tomorrow!

Beth

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HBD to me!

Hi Everyone! It’s official, I am twenty five!! Holy cow, someone get me a walker.

I have had so much fun since work ended last night, so I feel that I must update now before this post grows any longer!

Firstly, last night’s roommate birthday dinner.

To start, we drank some delicious TJ’s almond prosecco, poured by the lovely Nicole.

Following our pre-dinner drinks Beth #1 (she gets to be #1 since I moved in after:) ) made us baked dates stuffed with goat cheese, topped with smoked salmon and  drizzled with olive oil. With our appetizer, Beth also made us pisco sours made with liquor brought all the way from South America. It was a cultured booze fest you see.

Those dates were AMAZING. The combination of sweet dates, savory goat cheese and salty smoked salmon with the olive oil on top?? Gahhh. We ate almost every single one :). Also (hehe), my apologies for our recycling in the background. No one has come to get recycling since snowmagedon and it’s piling up. I hope the planet is very thankful we are hanging onto it and not just throwing it all away!

Speaking of olive oil, my dad just brought me back an awesome bottle from Europe which is made by an Italian family and sold only very locally. He knows the man whose family bottles it and so he carted a bottle home for me. Trust that it was well worth the journey! Not only did we have it on our dates, I also used it in our main dish of the evening.

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto.

Thanks to that gorgeous olive oil and some lovely Whole Foods ingredients, this dish was phenom.

We had some white wine that Nicole brought back from Australia with dinner and also with our Allison-made dessert.

Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate

 

I must give props to the presentation on this one :). It tasted just as beautiful! Giada De Laurentiis provided both of the evening’s recipes and I think she may be my new best friend.

And then to round off the evening we drank some DELICIOUS Van Gough dutch caramel martinis. And thennnn I passed out face first on my bed. hehe.

So the first leg of the celebration was a total success! Amazing food, amazing alcohol and have I mentioned how much I love my roomies?? The best.

This afternoon I met up with The Pancake Girl for the first time for brunch at the Blue Duck Tavern.

I have heard amazing things about this place and I must say, it did not disappoint. I had the sour dough pancake with dried cherries, maple syrup and clotted cream. Please admire:

 

This was of course not a traditional pancake – it was more dense and cake-like, sweet but not too much so as can sometimes be the way. Amazing :). As was the coffee I drank with it. All the food here is local and as the kitchen is an open plan we were able to see some of it being made. I have no doubt anything I could order would be just as good!

It was also so nice to meet Joelle. New friends are one of my favorite parts of living in DC :). She even brought me a little birthday present which was about the sweetest thing ever!

So, I’ll end things here as this is turning into the longest post of all time. Off to enjoy the rest of this birthday sunshine before cocktail hour and dinner tonight! See you with another recap tomorrow :).

Beth

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