Archive | bar RSS feed for this section

an adult tuesday

6 Nov

So, my last post was a little confusing, but completely on purpose. Wait, that doesn’t make a ton of sense in itself. But…oh, never mind. A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to be a volunteer for a new community kitchen that opened in town. They have an amazing collection of cookbooks, give free lessons 4 times a day, 5 days a week, and use all organic produce and ingredients.

Oh, and this guy:

image image source

Seriously.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 070

The Kitchen’s goal for this week is to have 1,000 (or 2% of) people in Huntington cooking, and so a cook-a-thon was thrown! From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., there was a cooking class held every 30 minutes, taught by Jamie, for free. They made a beef and scallion stir-fry with noodles, and it smelled amazing – going outside was torture!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 076

We had a great turn-out; the firefighters and the media came out, and by 3 p.m., we’d had 250 people cook. Considering 20-30 people were cooking at one time, that’s crazy!

So, did I meet him?

YES!

He’s super-sweet, and at one point, he even called out to me from the stage, and was all, “darling, are you okay? we having fun?”. Oh yeah, we totally bonded. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to get a picture with him, but he was running around like a madman, and I hated the thought of bugging him like the crazy foodie fangirl that I am. I did get the next best thing, though.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 075

Yup, totally posing with his shirt. Love the fact that I looked thrilled beyond belief. For a shirt. I’m such a weirdo!

After coming home and eating dinner, E dragged me away. Don’t I look terrified?

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 097

Just kidding! It was more like a treat…AVENUE Q!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 098

The show was amazing. The puppets were incredible (and I hate puppets!), the songs were amazing, and it was just darn plain funny. I would definitely recommend it, but not to young children, anyone uptight, or those who have no sense of humor.

Now for the food!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 063

9:15 a.m. Kashi GoLean and Honey Sunshine, with a teeny banana on its last legs, pecans and nonfat milk

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 067

12:25 p.m. Clif Mountain Mojo Trail Mix bar – sheer heaven!

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 073

12:50 p.m. ‘Bucks’ Grande Passion Tea with 1 Splenda

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 078

4:35 p.m. Worst lunch ever! Benny’s Hickory Chicken sandwich, no bacon and no Swiss and a garden salad with no cheese and ginger dressing on the side. Seriously disappointing – too much bbq sauce, stale bread, off salad dressing, and obviously cheese. Ugh. I ate all the veggies, 1 tsp of dressing, all the chicken (with half the sauce wiped off) and half the bun. Everything else got tossed, although I able to salvage the cheese for E’s next lunch, which was about 1/4 cup’s worth.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 082

Now some girls are all about little blue boxes, but for me, my heart melts for a certain medium red one.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 086

Oh yeah. The fastest way to my heart is chocolate-covered fruit, and to me, Edible Arrangements is king. The best part? Thanks to Facebook, it was free. Definitely had to sample to make sure it was up to par.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 088

5:20 p.m. Granny Smith covered with dark chocolate. I was a good wife, and split it with E.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 090

6:30 p.m. Cedarlane LF chicken burrito. I’ve never had a Cederlane product that I didn’t like, and this was no exception. A little spicy, a lot of chicken. Almost too much chicken, but can there ever be too much? This guy was small but filling, especially with Blue Smoke salsa and shredded mozz on top.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 092

7:00 p.m. And of course, fruit for dessert! Dark chocolate-covered pineapple, split with E.

Blog Nov 4-6, 2009 093

Now there may or may not have been a junior whopper, no mayo, consumed after the show, on the way home at around 11 p.m. Not ideal, but it happened. Just saying.

Who’s your foodie rock star?

Mine are definitely Jamie Oliver, Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, Giada deLaurentiis, and Paula Deen. Edited to add Martin Yan, Alton Brown and Michael Smith – how could I have forgotten? Thanks for reminding me, Susan!

big night out, take two

31 May

Last night we headed out on the town to go to opening weekend of a new restaurant: Rosendale’s Modern Bistro. Although Rosendale’s opened a couple of years ago, Chef Richard Rosendale switched things up this past year, putting the formal, white-gloved service restaurant upstairs, and making the downstairs into the Modern Bistro. Getting back to basics with custom dining, the bistro is a more social experience, with moderately-priced dishes that are simple yet complex, and perfect for sharing. In light of the economy, Rosendale’s Modern Bistro is music to a foodie’s ear.

We’d made reservations in advance, and I’m glad we did – they were bustling! As we waited for our table to be ready, we were greeted by Vince, who offered to make us something special from the bar. More than a bartender, Vince wowed us with what he prepared – we had to track him down and make him give up the ingredients. My drink, on the left, included Creme de Cassis, orange Vodka, Triple Sec, a splash of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lemon. E’s drink, on the right, has (from what I remember!) Rye, Elderflower Liqueur and fresh lemon juice. I’m usually a lightweight, but these were so good that I had 2, along with a couple of sips of Malbec later in the evening.


Palates open and bellies growling, we were happy to see our appetizers and get dinner started! I didn’t want anything heavy or cloying, so I chose the Ham and Melon Skewers, composed of watermelon topped with prosciutto, which sat atop a reduced sherry vinegar syrup. Salty, cool and sweet, this was a perfect way to start off.


I normally don’t mention E’s meals too much, but I’ll make an exception. E chose the White Truffle Popcorn as his starter, and after I tried a piece, I was hooked. Tossed in butter, sea salt and truffle oil, it was reminiscent of the escargots in garlic sauce that I grew up with. Then again, I have a really strange palate, so maybe it’s just me.

We also had some really fresh bread, which was just how we like it; soft on the inside with a crisp crust, and sliced somewhat thin.


It was served with butter that was sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, which enhanced the butter’s creaminess and flavor.


When it came to mains, Chef Rosendale had me at “braise”. I ordered the Olive Braised Lamb Shank, which was described as “traditional braise, rosemary, natural sauce”. The lamb was perfectly tender, and the flavor was deep and complex. The meat fell off the bone, and was somehow tender and luscious at the same time, making it the perfect comfort food.


Since the menu was sharing-friendly, E and I split several sides. I normally hate sharing, but this weekend has been really fun – why limit yourself to one dish when you can try two?

The definite star of the meal were the French Beans with smoked honey, toasted almonds and tangerines. Absolutely magical, the beans were perfectly tender and the honey was smoky-sweet, with a slight bacon undertone. The almonds and tangerines rounded out the dish fabulously, adding just the right amount of crunch and acidity. Complex yet simple, this was a must-try.


I love ketchup, to the point that I was shipped two giant bottles of Canadian ketchup to tide me over last year. The sweet potato fries were so good that I didn’t even want the ketchup, as good as it was.


I loved that the Steamed Asparagus was subtle. Flavored with Hawaiian sea salt and lemon oil, they had a slight crisp left to them, and tasted just like they should. Simple works, and I wish more chefs would understand that the way Chef Rosendale does.


We were lucky enough to have the chef take a moment away from his busy kitchen and come to our table. It was especially great for E – in high school, he was at the Greenbrier in the middle of a culinary competition, and needed to crack a coconut and be able to use the shell, meat and water for various dishes, but had no idea how. In a world of hurt, E spent dinner preparing himself to crack the coconut using (sterilized) machinist tools his shop teacher had brought along. Thankfully, the then-sous-chef came over to his table, bringing over a chef’s knife and coconuts, and taught him how to do the cracking.

You may recognize Chef Rosendale from numerous specials shown on Food Network, and was the youngest member of Culinary Team USA and the captain of the team in 2008. He’s also a certified ice carver, the youngest chef to be on active status for the Certified Master Chef exam, and an all-around nice guy.

We had a hard time choosing a dessert to share, but finally decided on the Lemon Curd, which also had ginger ice cream, toasted meringue and crushed berries. Refreshing, tart, crunchy, sweet and soft, it was a great ending to a wonderful evening.


We were also brought out a teeny bit of creamy tapioca to try. Olivia (our server) was right – this was just like Grandma’s, only better.


Check out the tiny spoons, especially compared to a sugar cube!

In all honesty, it has never taken me this long to write a review, let alone post it. Having worked in several restaurants and eaten in many others, I’m pretty critical. I kept waiting to find a flaw, but I couldn’t. Dinner at Rosendale’s Modern Bistro was, in all honesty, the best meal of the year, and one of the best of my life. The food was fantastic, and had a price point that allowed us to spoil ourselves, and try some of everything. The staff was amazing – after we were done, Olivia apologized for being so short-staffed. Apparently, there were only 3 servers that night handling a full restaurant, and we never even noticed. We must have had every single one of them at our table at one point or another, and not only were they friendly, attentive and fun to be around, but they genuinely seemed happy to be there, even with all the stresses of opening weekend. The blog actually came up in conversation, and Olivia even wrote down the URL and later invited me to a girls-only brunch the next time I was in town. So Olivia, if you’re reading, thanks for an amazing time, say hi to the rest of the crew for us, and give yourself a huge pat on the back for all of your hard work.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication for a restaurant to survive, never mind thrive. I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing Rosendale’s for many years to come.

back in the saddle

14 May

I cannot believe it’s Thursday already – The week’s just flown by!

I was really bummed out from not being able to be in the gym all week, but today I bit the bullet, sucked it up, went and had a blast. I did two classes – weighted workout and express fitness, and mixed up my pre-class cardio by doing a little stair climber and cross trainer and the good oltreadclimber. I don’t know how accurate the calories burned on Fitlinxx are because today, with everything combined, it came out to 1146, which just seems crazy! I’m thinking of possibly getting a Polar or something similar to monitor calories burned and heart rate, but I still haven’t decided yet. Also, I have a confession to make: I took yoga last week and didn’t hate it. There, I said it. Don’t get too excited, though, I was under duress! It’s definitely nice to know that yoga’s there when I need it to be, instead of forcing myself to do it every week. It totally takes the stress out of “de-stress”.

We picked up my mom at the airport last night, and are we glad to see her! She brought us each some really cool gifts (which she totally didn’t have to do!), including our very first kiddush cup, some really cool books, and my absolute favourite pumpernickel bagels and whole-wheat challah rolls! Nothing says home like fresh baked goods, so they’re definitely appreciated. I just have to make sure to freeze them ASAP before I eat them all, which would definitely be bad news bears.

My appetite seems to back, which is awesome, but now I have to be careful to not eat everything in sight! I weighed myself today and I’m down another 2 pounds, so the week off hasn’t hurt me, which I’m so very thankful for.

Latest eats!

Tuesday

Breakie!
Kashi GoLean, the last of the Strawberry Glucerna, fresh strawbs, walnuts and nonfat milk, 294 calories

Lunch!
canned salmon mixed with dijon, a little light mayo, sriracha, herbs and paprika on a light italian FlatOut wrap with a mango and string cheese, 357 calories

Dinner!
Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom with extra veggies and avocado instead of mayo

with half an oz of skinny chips!
calories? 423

The day’s total was 1075 calories, which is way way way too little, even if I was sitting around all day. Not healthy!


Wednesday

Breakie of Kashi GoLean, the last of the Cinnamon Life, walnuts, strawbs and nonfat milk for 348 calories. Cereal just doesn’t taste like cereal without walnutty goodness!

Lunch was super-boring; a Boca Chick’n patty on whole grain white bread with garlic and herb Laughing Cow for 335 calories

I got pretty hungry right before we left for the airport, so I grabbed one of E’s crunchy granola bars for 95 calories. Maple and brown sugar = delicious!

My mom’s flight kept getting delayed and we were hungry! I had about 5 oz. of this Bud Light Lime, although it wasn’t very good.

I also had a side salad – radishes, carrots, green peppers, tomato lettuce, and red onion, pepped up with a dash of parm, some black pepper, and about a tsp of Golden Italian dressing. I also had 3 slices of pepperoni, 2 slices of thin salami and about 1/4 cup of diced lean ham on top. This ‘snack’, with beer, came out to 293 calories.

Mom came bearing trail mix! I had a giant cashew out of the bag for 8 calories

We were all starving at this point, and headed back to Bluegrass for a late dinner. I had all of the salad and goat cheese with 2 Tbsp. worth of the homemade super-chunky amazing blue cheese dressing, 2 slices of the bacon, and half the sandwich with 1 Tbsp. of sun-dried tomato mayo. This sandwich was the bomb! It had lemon-thyme roasted chicken, field greens, tomato and onion on some amazing french bread – now I know why they call it the Perfect Chicken! I wasn’t going to eat the bacon, but once I took a bite and it was seriously the best bacon I’ve ever tasted. Local and nitrate-free, it was porky perfection! With a bite of my mom’s burger (meat only), dinner, part 2 came out to 579 calories.

The day’s total came out 1657 calories – a little higher than I’d like, but still within range. I’m just glad my appetite’s back!

weekend – sunday

12 May

Since it was Mother’s Day, we headed down to E’s hometown to visit the family. We wanted to surprise E’s mom with hanging baskets, so we tried to leave ASAP (well, after watering the patio garden and the lawn, that is). We didn’t really have time for breakfast, so I grabbed a Cliff bar on my way out It was good, but I’m so used to Larabars that this just didn’t do it for me. The texture was too stiff and crunchy, and it was just way too sweet. I ate what I could stomach, and gave the last quarter to E, who really liked it. On the way out of town, we stopped at Mickey D’s for some of the worst coffee I’ve ever had, and E picked up a meatless Egg McMuffin for his breakie. I had a bite, bringing my breakfast total to 257 calories.

Lunch was really good, and full of my favourites – grilled corn, bbq grilled chicken breasts, fluffy yeast rolls, Toodle’s Noodles, and boiled potatoes and green beans, with homemade pecan pie for dessert. I ate everything here, other than 1/3 of the corn, plus another piece of chicken and another serving of green beans and potatoes. With 2 bites of pecan pie, this came out to a whopping 731 calories! I definitely didn’t need the extra servings, and I probably only really wanted 1/2 the roll.


I was totally grazing, and had a snack of two bites’ worth of pecan pie, a tablespoon of crumbled feta, and a serving of roasted turkey deli meat, which came out all together to 189 calories.


We ended up being around when the church’s youth group came over for dinner. They ordered pizzas from one of our favourite places, and I just had to have some. I had about 1 1/2 slices’ worth of squares for 398 calories.

The day’s eats were not the best, but it wasn’t the worst, either. I think this is where the learning curve of wellness comes into play. Sure, I could’ve not had the second helpings at lunch, or pizza for dinner or pie at all, but I can’t help it. I have never been one of those people who could pass up food and just not think about it. I actually was treated for an ED when I was younger, and I will do practically anything to avoid a binge, even giving in to my ‘cravings’. At the end of the day, I’m calling this a draw. Totalling up to 1574 calories, the eats were mid-range caloriewise, high in protein, low in carbs and mid in the fats department. It could’ve been better, but it definitely could’ve been much, much worse. I want to lose weight, but I also want to eat like a normal person, without being so fixated on food all the freakin‘ time, and worrying about eating too much or too little. Hopefully, this way will get me there!