Sunday, May 31, 2009

celebration brunch

So my baby sister graduates from high school tomorrow!!!!!!!! Wow I’m so old.

Here is an adorable, food related picture of Malindi:


This is the face one makes when one realizes that their sister, in attempt to make ice cream, made home-churned butter! And then attempted to feed it to them in a parfait glass. OOPS!

Today’s celebration was more culinarily successful! A nice brunch with the fam. We’re lucky enough to have most of our extended family in the area, so it was a nice, big, loud get together.

We went to Overwood, a restaurant in Old Town Alexandria (an adorable place to visit, if you ever end up in the Northern VA/DC area—lots of cute shops and restaurants). We’d never been there before, but researched it online and it sounded tasty. And it was!

I decided to share two things with my mom. We got this:


A beet and arugula salad with pine nuts, goat cheese, and a really light and delicious lemon-olive oil dressing.

We also got this, which was theoretically designed to serve one:


Yeah right! This thing was like 12 inches in diameter!

Continuing in the “fried eggs on top of things” theme I’ve established for the weekend, it was seriously yummy crispy flatbread pizza with herby cheese and more arugula. Such a creative menu item! The peppery arugula, creamy tangy herby cheese, and egg actually worked really well together, and the pizza crust was just how I like it- thin and chewy with crisped edges. I’m so glad we shared it, though!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

fit and I know it!

Hurray for you if you understand the title of this post. I’m referring to “fit” in the athletic sense, not in the “hot” British sense.

So yesterday I biked to the gym! Yay! It makes perfect sense! I am, according to, two relatively flat miles from my gym, so I now have the perfect warm up and cool down! On super hot days it might be a bit much but yesterday it was perfect!

To refuel, I had another lovely lunch on the decksie.

First I had a beautiful salad:

   lunch salad

I threw my leftover veggies (yukon gold taters and snow peas) from Mon Ami Gabi in the oven, along with some sliced up shroom. Atop mixed greens, with homemade bread on the side. Yum!

For protein, more veggie nuggets

lunch tots

With my preferred condiment of hot sauce.

All together, with fab homemade iced tea, yogurt, and sunshine!


For dinner I invited my friend over and I threw this together in legit ten minutes:

   dinner soba

And it was CRAZY GOOD! That’s soba noodles, snow peas (just baaarely cooked, I threw them in for the last minute with the noodles) and shrimp (not delicious and fresh like the H Mart stuff last week- thawed frozen from Costco, but it was still good). I made sauce with PB (2 T?), sesame oil (1 t?), soy sauce (2 T?), seasoned rice vinegar (1/4 c?), chili garlic paste (2 t?) and… think that’s it? I wanted to go mild cause I couldn’t remember if my friend Indu liked spicy food—it turns out she LOVES it, so I could’ve gone all out.

I had mine with copious amounts of Sriracha :D

For breakfast this morning, I was fueling up for a hike, so I wanted energy food! Enter pancakes, fruit salad, and a big cuppa coffee!


The fruit salad was pineapple, apple, and banana, sliced, along with extra juice that had accumulated in the pineapple tupperware. I had one of my pancakes with hot raspberry preserves, and the other, because I was craving something really savory for some reason, with a FRIED EGG ON TOP!


Flowing yolk= HEAVEN!


And then I was still hungry, so I had one more little one.


These were, incidentally, buckwheat pancakes made from a mix I got in NC. They are yum!

Then I went for a hikesy! We went to Sky Meadow, which is a bit west of here in the more boonies part of Virginia. Look, scenery!


Today it was sunny, breezy, in the mid-seventies… PERFECT!


We hiked probably 5 miles total?


The only thing I was bummed about was that it wasn’t time of the year that the WILD BLACKBERRIES are ripe.


This was the first time I used TRAIL mix for its stated purpose. I had forgotten how great it is for the kind of quick energy burst you want when you’re hiking!


I was grateful for the energy burst, because we ended up hiking for about two and a half hours.

Going over little climby stairs…


Going up WICKED STEEP hills (those little ants at the bottom are my dad and stepmom)

DSCF1201I was happy to refuel with some Subway!


That’s sweet onion chicken teriyaki on nine grain whole wheat bread with a wee slice of pepper jack, spinach, green peppers, hot peppers, and tomatoes. SO GOOD!


The dog was sulking because he wanted human food too. He hates dog food!

Now we’re off to our friends for dinner. I made this and the house smells aaaaaaaawesome.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

sacre bleu!

Mon dieu my dinner was good!

My lil sister is graduating from high school on Monday and I went laptop shopping with her and her godparents today. Lucky her! I tagged along on the trip, and then her godparents were nice enough to take us all to dinner. We went to Mon Ami Gabi, a seriously FABULOUS french place.

After some yummy crusty french bread (after getting SOAKED in a sudden, INTENSE downpour), I decided to order the stuffed shell crab special. I’ve been CRAVING one since the Washington Post did a ridiculously in-depth article on them last week.


So this gorgeous thing went ahead and appeared on my plate. That is TWO soft shell crabs, with a ridiculously delicious glaze, served atop yukon gold potatoes DRENCHED in butter (ridiculously delicious) and snow peas DRENCHED in butter (ridiculously delicious).

I ate one of the crabs, and only a wee bit of the veggies. Everything was SO RICH! And I am delighted to now have a BIG BOX OF LEFTOVERS!

I also, of course, had to steal a little bit of my sister’s plate.


Steak frites, what WHAT! Unpictured is the bearnaise (!) sauce that came on the side.

Well actually the fries, as you can see, were so thin that they were really more like potato chips. Delicious, but not so tempting that I couldn’t restrain myself.

Which is good, because man oh man, couldn’t restrain myself at dessert! To quote Sarah, there was serious expansion.

First we have chocolate mousse. Here’s an action shot- my sister’s godmother said this is one of her favorite desserts ever! It’s AMAZING.


Then bananas foster crepes. Yummy eggy crepe, sauce with brown sugar, butter, and a healthy dose of alcohol (brandy?), topped with vanilla ice cream.


And this thing… pain perdu… oh my GOD.

Picture the eggiest spongiest richest heavenliest french toast/bread pudding thing you’ve ever eaten.

Add warm fruity rich apricot sauce.

Add creamy thick decadent white chocolate sauce.


Seriously, I could not stop. COULD NOT STOP. It was to share, but other people were unenthused (not surprising given the vast quantities of dessert!) so I ate basically the entire thing. And it was HUGE!

I also ate TONS of the bananas/caramel and liquor sauce/ice cream, and a whoooole lotta mousse.

Man oh man it made me so happy. It was SO DELICIOUS! This is the thing- I do not feel regret for eating high calorie food because it was BEAUTIFUL, and DELICIOUS, and HIGH QUALITY. Had I eaten the same number of calories (or even less) of something like Doritos or Ding Dongs, I’d feel gross, because it’d be taking in a lot and not getting a lot.

But the satisfaction of real, authentic, delicious rich French food, enjoyed in the company of my loved ones, really savoring every bite… that is something that I could never regret! YUM!

taco thursday

Cause Taco Tuesday’s been done.

Wouldn’t this be something you’d love to order?!


Take two corn tortillas. Top with leftover chicken, shredded; 1/2 a slice of meunster, shredded; remaining homemade poblano sauce (what a successful experiment!)

Microwave until gooey:


Top with shredded cabbage for crunch. Raw cabbage is so photogenic!


INHALE the chickeny cheesy corny peppery goodness!


See the oozing poblano-y cheese towards the top of that picture? It made my mouth VERY HAPPY!


To accompany, the remainder of the cheese, and lovely tart Granny Smith.


Aren’t we loving the red plate and the green apple? That’s my mama’s grandma’s china, yep.



the art of leftovers

So yesterday, I realized that we were out of cereal/oatmeal bowls.

No big, I had my peanut butter and banana oats in this adorable thing.


I think it’s actually supposed to be a ridiculously gigantic mug. It was a gift. From World Market. <3


I also had more perfect pineapple.


I have so enjoyed all the pineapple I’ve been eating this summer. It’s so much fun to chop up!

Anyway, I knew the bowl situation had to be dealt with. There were billions of random bowls sitting around in the fridge with like… two bites of salad. Two tablespoons of sauce. A single potato (? Why does a potato need its own bowl?)

So we had Serious Leftovers.

Other people are like “Oooh, check me out, I’m so proletariat, I’m eating leftovers, I made a SANDWICH FOR LUNCH with the TURKEY I ATE LAST NIGHT.”

We make big spreads of RANDOM! On leftover night we don’t stress things like making sure things go together ethnically, or making sure there isn’t too much brown on the table (this is kind of ugly, I know).


Some highlights were the homemade hummus I made with a mixture of the leftover blackeyed peas from the chilaquiles and the chickpeas from the chicken soup. With lotsa parsley! (There was also a random bowl of parsley?)


Accompanied with a big plate ‘o carbs


Crackers, soft wheat bread for my sister who likes her bread inexplicably mushy, homemade crusty bread.



Ugly but tasty. I made this with the remains of the soy-apricot glaze I made for asparagus the other sweet. Sweet n sour. Not bad.

Hahaha, the last three shrimp from the tapas shrimp. Still AWESOME!


It would’ve been one each but my sister didn’t want any so I got one and a half. Sweet!

Finally, I was proudest of this creation.


Yet another reason I love tapas is that it is the reason that I, a mere mortal, have gotten to taste Jose Andres’ cooking. Jose Andres is… legit one of the greatest chefs in the world. He’s way famous. However, he has a number of tapas restaurants in the DC area, including the original, Jaleo, which I’ve been lucky enough to eat at a coupla times. Small plates like tapas can make fancy food prepared by amazing chefs affordable!

Anyway, he has this dish called “Papas Bravas”, which are potatoes in this crazy good spicy sauce with sour cream. So simple. SO GOOD! So I took the leftover poblano sauce from the chilaquiles, tossed it with some cooked tater, and added Greek yogurt on the side!

It was totally boss.

Finally, this morning’s breakfast was more yummy.


Plain yogurt with more yummy pineapple, and the return of cranberry pecan scones!


This batch was kind of crazy looking, but the flavor was even BETTER. Chopping up the cranberries so they were more evenly distributed did awesome things for the flava.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

bowls of comfort

The past several days have involved rainy weather and an iffy tummy.

The remedy?

DURR, homemade chicken soup. GREAT BIG BOWLS OF IT!


Topped with fresh ground black pepper, fresh parsley, and grated parmesan, in the Italian manner.


The evolution of the broth for this soup was awesome- we had, randomly sitting in the fridge and freezer, various homemade and store bought chicken and veggie stocks in, like, 1/4 cup implements. Threw those all in.

Then we threw in the veggie trimmings (carrot tops, asparagus stems, pepper tops, mushroom stems, fennel cores, etc.)


THEN we poached the chicken for the soup in the increasingly delicious liquid.


The stock was oh so tasty. We used like 1/3 for the soup and the rest we left cooking on the stove for another coupla hours and froze. We will thaw when we want more AWESOME!


As you can see, it was a little bit of a free for all with the ingredients. The poached chicken, adorable round pasta from Trader Joe’s, fresh carrots, frozen peas and corn, some garbanzos.  


Yay for big bowls of comfort!

Brekkers this morning was another big bowl- a yogurt mess. This was GOOD. I ate it REALLY QUICKLY.


This is plain nonfat yogurt, half a banana (hidden and buried), original Life cereal, slivered almonds, and a sprinkling of cranapple butter for sweetness and tang. I HIGHLY recommend this combo!

Finally, my adorable mother has now taken to photographing food too!

Here’s what she made for all of us on Sunday:


She’s good, right?!

Those are briks, from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Oriental Basics. Basically phyllo filled with a super tasty beefy garlicky herby mix.

One final note- thanks for all the nice, totally unexpected comments on my last post. I realized that when I said people were making “comments” it sounded like I was talking about internet bullying, which actually I wasn’t. I’ve found that the people who read my blog always have really awesome, supportive things to say.

My problem was (and I’m trying to just chill out about it and accept that it all stems from well intentioned people) that people around me- friends, family members, whatever- are used to seeing me weigh more than I do now.

And meaning to be complimentary, they tell me I’ve lost weight and look SO GOOD. Or meaning to be looking out for my health, they tell me I’m too thin.

To repeat: I want to eat good, healthy food. I want myself to be, as a reflection of that, good and healthy! That’s all I want!

On a good day, like today, that’s what this blog is all about. I’m happy to hear that other people are getting stuff out of that!

Monday, May 25, 2009

big 100

This is my hundredth post! I tend to like celebrating anniversaries and occasions and things like that, but honestly If I tried to make it epic, it probably wouldn’t work, so I’ll keep it nice and simple.

I actually may not post for a bit. I’m growing increasingly irritated with backhanded compliments like “Oh, you’ve lost so much weight! You look SO GOOD!” and equally intrusive people deciding that, though I was too fat before, now I’m too thin. So yeah, I’m feeling under enough scrutiny about body/food/etc. stuff as it is, and photographing what I eat seems less appealing than it did before.

My goal now, as my goal was when I weighed more than I do now, was to eat great tasting, healthy food, with a minimum of anxiety and stress associated with it.


I wanted to use up the last of my accidental ice-cream butter as well as the ludicrous amount of cinnamon sugar my sister made on one of the (rare) occasions that she baked. They were for one batch of Mexican chocolate cookies, and this was how much was left… AFTER I made two dozen Snickerdoodles. She’s so crazy!


I’ll leave you with some nice homey cookie shots.

DSCF1142  DSCF1144    DSCF1148

I basically made the first sugar cookie recipe that I found, in the Fannie Farmer cookbook (which is impressively comprehensive). The cookies were unexciting, but the highlight of reading the cookbook was my mom’s note:


HAHAHA! I would love to know the story behind that.