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Archive for April, 2010

Shellfishies

Shellfish night at culinary school last night!

We made lots:

Butterflied shrimp with Cajun remoulade.

Mussels Provencal. Beautiful, right?

Grilled Squid.

Lobster Bisque. Did you know (cause I sure didn’t) that lobster bisque is generally made with all parts of the lobster (including the shell!) except the tail?? It’s a way for restaurants that serve lobster to use up the other components. This was made that way using a very powerful blender, which crushed the shell into teensy bits before straining through a sieve. It’s bright orange color comes from the egg sack and apparently this particular lobster had the biggest one our chef had ever seen. EW. But it tasted amazing :).

Maryland Crab Cakes. I should not live in DC without knowing how to make these!

Seared Scallops in basil cream. I love love love scallops and the ones we made last night were massive. Heaven!

Excellent class. I find the ones that are themed around a food I really like eating are that much more enjoyable :). And with that, our proteins are finished! Next up is pasta, bread, pastry and more pastry. Sounds carbolicious to me. I think I’m going to love all of what’s to come!

So, just a few more hours to the weekend! Here’s hoping this one is a lot more calm :). I’m meeting my bloggy friend and former culinary school classmate Rebecca at Bibiana which I have been dying to try! The chef is a L’Academie grad himself, so you know it has to be good!

See ya with the recap tomorrow.

Beth

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Go With What You Know

You’ll be pleased to hear my craving for a good chick flick was satisfied last night. After reading yesterday’s post, my roommate suggested we see if we could find a quality one to watch together and I’m happy to say our mission was a success! We rented It’s Complicated. It was clever and funny and warm and all the things you could want from a good, light movie! Plus for all the foodies, Meryl Streep’s character is a bakery owner, gardener and  accomplished cook…I pretty much WANT her life!!

Anyway. As you may recall, I had been taking a food writing course that ended a few weeks ago. One of the pieces I wrote was meant to be a food memoir. When I told my chef instructor at culinary school about it (also a food writer), he said if I wrote him 100 words on cooking something he would work with me on it. And so what did I choose!? OATMEAL! When limited to 100 words, I feel you’ve got to go with what you know :).

After a few revisions and rewrites it’s complete and so I thought I would share it with you all today, since I know many of you are fellow lovers of this perfect breakfast food.

No matter what each day brings, I can always be sure of my morning oatmeal. There is comfort in preparing a perfect little bowl in the early quiet of our kitchen. Over a warm stove, I slow cook a combination of milk and steel-cut oats. As they simmer together, I slice in thin pieces of soft banana and stir until the ingredients melt into one another, becoming oatmeal. A drop of my best vanilla, a dusting of cinnamon and our tiny kitchen fills with a sweetly spicy aroma. Finally, I place a spoonful of peanut butter on the oatmeal’s pillowy top which melts into a thick frosting. Enjoyed peacefully as the sun rises, it’s a ritual I look forward to with each new day.

So there you have it! Hope your mouth is watering. But in case you have trouble visualizing, here’s breakfast.

A ritual I look forward to with each new day :).

Beth

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Taste Tester

Hi Bloggies!

Happy Wednesday. Let’s start with last night.

After work I came home and made some supper, pasta tossed with sautéed garlic mushrooms, Trader Joe’s buffalo chicken meatballs and tomato sauce. Simple! But yummy. That was my first time trying TJ’s meatballs. I thought the flavor was very good but the texture a bit spongy. I have about a million left though so I guess I better learn to like eating sponge soon :).

Dessert was delish!

My roommate Allison visited Patisserie Poupon for brunch this weekend and brought me back a macaroon. A while ago I realized I had never had a macaroon before and decided I had to fix that! A blog I adore, Happy Lady Eats, reviews various macaroons on occasion and actually gave a very good review to Trader Joe’s. I gave them a whirl and they were indeed very yummy! I also tried one of the pastry students’ at culinary school last week and of course that was fresh and dreamy. This one from Parisserie was different from the others..more crumble than chew. Buuut I think it was the best yet!

Anyway, for the sake of my hips, I better retire my macaroon tasting career now :).

Then I watched half of what is perhaps the worst movie of all time. Anyone else seen The Ugly Truth? WOW it was bad…painful even. I was in the mood for a cute, funny chick flick but this did not deliver. I felt pretty insulted by its awfulness actually!

Anyone seen any good girlie movies lately? Clearly I need to rethink my selections.

Beth

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Dealing With It

Hello there!

Although I wasn’t planning on working-out yesterday due to poor sleep the night before, by the time work was over last night I was craving a good run! I think I very much needed to sweat out the weekend’s toxins. It was raining unfortunately…but sometimes it’s fun to run in the rain. No iPod due to the weather…so it was just me, myself and the drizzle. It felt great :).

This morning I was up early for Tuesday Body Pump class. It was an awesome, sweaty class as usual!

And then it was time for banana oats. They’ve been missing from my blog (and tummy) lately!

Actually oat bran, not oats. I’ve had a box of oat bran in my cabinet since about March of ’09 that I fiiiinally finished. I just don’t like oat bran as much as oats. It sits heavier in the stomach, no? So I’m glad it’s officially gone!

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup oat bran, water and vanilla soy milk
  • a banana
  • tbsp. chia seeds
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • tbsp. coconut
  • tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 serving of dark chocolate chips
  • pb spoon

Yummy. I’ve been missing the comfort of a good oatmeal bowl. 

So I’ve been thinking lately about coping mechanisms. We all seem to need some to get through the not-so-fun parts of life and of course some ways of dealing are much more healthy than others. For me, my two healthy coping mechanisms are exercise and writing (I have a journal). I love my blog but prefer to keep some parts of my life off it, which is when I write elsewhere. Last week was a particularly rough week for a couple of reasons. I did a lot of writing and working out in an attempt to feel better but in the end I may have (definitely did) drink too much at the weekend when out with my friends. So apparently that was my unhealthy way of dealing!

How about you? What are your healthy coping mechanisms? Not so healthy?

Have a lovely day readers!

Beth

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A New Week

Good Monday morning all!

Because I slept, well all day, yesterday I had the WORST time falling asleep last night. So although I prefer to start my Monday mornings at the gym it was not happening today! Hopefully I can get back on a good weekday sleep schedule tonight.

Instead, I slept til 8 and then made some delicious breakfast before work.

2 pieces of Trader Joe’s three seed bread, toasted with warm mashed banana, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and cinnamon. Never fails :).

Hopefully it will be bright and sunny after work this evening and I can get outside for a nice long walk.

What did you get up to this weekend?? Any exciting plans for the week ahead?

Beth

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Food, Wine and Friendies

Ahhhh! Where has this weekend gone!?

Since I’ve been a blogging failure, allow me to fill you in now :).

Friday night was fairly low-key…just ate a delicious salad for supper and watched Brothers with my roommates. INTENSE movie!

Saturday morning I went to Body Combat Class and then spent the day at Paradise Springs Winery  for an office/friends of the office outing.

Enjoy some pics!

It was such a fun day!! I adoooore the wine at that place. I’ve been once before and have dreamt about a glass of Cab Sauv ever since!

And then it started to go a bit downhill :). We had martinis and supper at Againn (delicious), beers at Brasserie Beck and more beers at a bar whose name I don’t recall…

Needless to say I did not feel too hot this morning!! We have agreed, no more nights like that for a while. Oh sigh!

I had to rally though, because my lovely roommate (other) Beth and I had brunch plans. Even though we live together sometimes it feels like we hardly see each other! So we had to make some time. Per Beth’s suggestion, we went to Ris …which was fabulous.

To start, house made biscuits and doughnuts.

I had the huevos rancheros for my main. Not something I would usually go for but this morning it was just what my hung over self needed!

Just beautiful.

And thennnnn we split dessert.

Shoot me, that was amazing. Coffee Almond Fudge Ripple Sundae with Toasted Marshmellows. YUM!!

It’s now 4 PM and I’m still in bed. What a bum. Oh well, sometimes life is just about having fun!! I’ll worry about my to-do list tomorrow :).

See ya then!

Beth

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Swim Fish

When I was young, my first pet was a fish. His name was Swim Fish. Is that not the weirdest name ever?? What a strange child I was. What was the name of your first pet? I hope it was not as weird as mine!  The reason I bring this up is because last night was fish night at culinary school!

It was an interesting one because I kept feeling like we weren’t getting our recipes right, but both of our final products turned out lovely in the end! Sometimes that’s how cooking goes… a whole bunch of hectic panic and then boom…it all looks/tastes beautiful :).

We learned:

  • Salmon w/ Beurre Rouge & Ginger Crisps
  • Blue Fish Chablisiene
  • Rockfish en Papillote
  • Trout Meuniere

Tastings from chef’s demo:

Then we moved into the kitchen to make our own fishies. First, my partner and I made the salmon:

LOVED. I’ve never had beurre rouge before and it was delightful. Also amazing, the ginger crisps. Just chopped ginger fried in canola oil…they give off the most amazing scent and taste fabulous on top of the fish.

Then, we turned this guy:

(AHH!)

Into this:

Lemony, capery, buttery goodness :).

I love seafood. Light and delicious and wonderful. Plus, these really were quite simple to prepare!

So that was class…

So much fun planned for the weekend…stay tuned! 🙂

Beth

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