Archive for the ‘eating’ Category

  • Personal chef

    Date: 2011.01.02 | Category: eating, recipe | Response: View Comments

    Yesterday Mike and Mark and I went skating at Steinberg park, an outdoor skating rink in Forest Park.  The rink was a little dicey since it was about 60 degrees yesterday and we had rain and tornadoes, but we still had a good time.

    Then we went and had lunch at Whole Foods and got some ingredients for dinner.  Mike is a chef so he came up with the menu: Togarashi encrusted beef tenderloin,  edamame puree, braised sesame collard greens and a roasted red pepper coulis.

    Um, what?  Ok, here’s what we did:

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    Chopped the collard greens

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    Stuck them in a pot with heated oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then turned the pot down from medium high to low and covered the pot.  At the end (about 30 minutes), sesame seeds were tossed in.

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    Shelled the edamame

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    Then processed with a little oil, salt and pepper

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    The blogger and the chef!

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    Roasted the pepper on an open flame

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    Removed the roasted skin, and took out the stem and seeds.  I got in trouble with the chef for washing off the char and learned an easier way – gently brush a chef’s knife backwards across the pepper.

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    Process and season with salt

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    Mike got beef tenderloin that apparently was rang up wrong – we got a 50% discount. 

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    We had to go to an specialty store to find this Japanese chili.  It was smelled really spicy – next time I use it I would definitely recommend covering the pan or roasting this in the oven – the particles filled the air and were making our noses run and making us cough!  I was worried at this point that this exotic hot stuff was going to kill us when we ate it but it wasn’t that hot, it’s just ground chili.  I think it’s such a fine grade that it gets in the air easily.

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    Plating

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    Yum

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    The meal was a success.  The beef was really tender and perfectly cooked.  I really liked the pepper and the edamame puree – I thought that was a clever way to add some color and vegetables to the plate.  Mike is going home today – no more personal chef for us.  Sad smile  Now I have a bunch of roasted red pepper – I think some roasted red pepper hummus is in my future. Thumbs up

    I don’t really know what we are doing today other than being kinda lazy.  We’ve been hanging out in front of the tv all morning.  I think we might brave the mall, although the mall has been scaring me lately – it’s always crazy crowded! 

    Hope you’re having a good year so far Winking smile

  • New Year’s Eve-Eve

    Date: 2010.12.31 | Category: eating | Response: View Comments

    Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve-Eve, Mark, my brother Mike, and I went to Harvest in Richmond Heights.

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    The restaurant is described as “casual elegant,” which for my purposes meant I felt slightly out of place because it seemed to fancy, but relieved that jeans were passable.  Embarrassed smile

    Mike is a chef in San Francisco and grilled our waitress on wine options.

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    We got the “Rubeo” which was a Syrah and Pinot noir blend.  It was fantastic and very smooth.  I do not like aggressive reds, and this was not at all.

    For our appetizer we shared skillet roasted mussels.

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    I loved them.  I felt very odd breaking out my point and shoot in the restaurant.  The picture quality was sacrificed a little bit.

    For my entrée, I got striped bass with a blood orange sauce, cauliflower puree and rapini.

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    I thought the fish was great.  I had never had rapini before and I thought it was a little bit on the bitter side.  It didn’t stop me from cleaning my plate though.

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    Mark got one of the other specials – pork rubbed with chipotle and coffee with a salsa verde, mashed potatoes, refried black beans, and there was some cactus thrown in there.  As soon as she finished describing the special, I knew what Mark was ordering.

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    Mike got boar with parmesan polenta and roasted tomatoes.  The boar was really tender.  I barely needed to chew it.

    Do you see what I see?

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    The boys were all over the bacon ice cream.

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    The bacon ice cream was part of a concoction they referred to as “the Elvis” – there was a combination of bananas, peanut butter sauce and brittle, and bacon (ice cream).  The boys claimed they could taste the bacon flavor in the ice cream but honestly, I couldn’t.

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    Mark is a sucker for bread pudding, so this is what he got.  The currants in the sauce were so yummy.

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    Mark also got another side of eggnog ice cream.  I am pleased to report that it did taste like eggnog.

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    I got a cappuccino.  It gave me a wicked case of hiccups.  Maybe it was the wine.

    Then we went to Friar Tucks and wandered around for a while.  We came home to a very excited dog and a Nebraska football game.  I started falling asleep at half-time, but I hear I didn’t miss anything really exciting.

    This morning I ran about 4 miles on the treadmill but my stomach wasn’t thrilled with that.  I think it was the wine.  Or maybe it was the cappuccino.

  • Weekend, hurry up

    Date: 2010.12.09 | Category: eating | Response: View Comments

    I’m kind of having one hell of a work week right now.  A deadline is looming and will be here soon – and that always makes things a little crazy.  It seems like there is that last minute stuff that always comes up.  Not only am I looking forward to the weekend, I’m looking forward to the end of that project!

    I went to Terrene last night with an old friend from law school.  Hi Tab!

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    Isn’t that the name of a blog?

    Terrene’s philosophy, according to its website, is:

    We take pride in creating unique seasonal fare from ingredients supplied by local and regional farmers. Making sustainable choices and following ecologically sound business practices is a philosophy that is infused into every aspect of our restaurant.

    (Source)

    Terrene has an interesting and varied menu.  One thing I liked was the amount of vegetarian/vegan options, and also fine cuisine.

    I really liked their cocktail menu the most. They don’t show it on their website, but they had a cocktail made from liquor with my family’s name – St. Germain.  I ended up with a warm pumpkin cocktail that was delicious.

    For an appetizer, we got pork belly, which I had never had before.

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    With a name like pork belly, I knew it wasn’t going to be healthy but I had no idea there was that much fat.  The fat that I tasted was a lot like bacon.

    For my entrée, I wanted the tempeh cakes.  I was pretty sure the waiter thought I was nuts for ordering pork belly for an appetizer but a vegetarian entrée.  They were out of tempeh cakes so I got the vegetarian meatloaf with spaghetti squash and brussels sprouts.

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    It was pretty good.  I definitely want to go back and try some different things there.

    Well, I’m off to relax.  What do you do to relax?

  • A belated Thanksgiving post

    Date: 2010.11.27 | Category: eating | Response: View Comments

    Thanksgiving pictures are just a couple of days late – but that is pretty typical when I’m out of town.  It’s hard to get plugged back in when there is so much going on.  My parents’ house is packed with me and Mark, my brother Ken and Andi, and a total of 4 cats and 2 dogs.  There have not been many dull moments.  I did get a few shots of the action.

    Here’s the place setting.

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    We used my parents’ wedding china which is 36 years old.  It’s still in great shape.  And now, I will introduce you to my family.

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    This is my sister in law Andi and my nephew Elliot.

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    My brother Tom (eating shrimp)

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    The bird.  Oh wait, that’s not a family member.

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    A blurry picture of Andi, my brother Ken, and my Dad rapidly grabbing a biscuit.

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    My mom, filling up her plate

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    The handsome devil I married

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    My sister in law Mel and the youngest family member, Daphne

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    Grammie (my mother’s mom) and Tom

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    Daphne – in between smiles.

    There is a tradition of names surreptitiously being written in pumpkin pies.  Somehow the dogs got the raw end of the deal this year –

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    After we ate, we skyped with my other brother Mike – here are the three together.

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    Somehow, I didn’t get any other pictures of food in there.  If you’re really dying to know what I ate, google image “Thanksgiving dinner” and I’m sure you can find something similar.

    In Nebraska, I’ve been playing with the dogs, playing with my niece and nephew, watching football, running with my dog, and eating a lot of food.  Tomorrow we hit the road to head back to Missouri.  I’m going to hit publish and get back to more hanging out!

  • The Real-ish Thing

    Date: 2010.11.16 | Category: eating, reflection | Response: View Comments

    Hello!  I know I’ve been MIA for a few days but it’s because I’ve been really busy.  I feel pretty stressed out actually.  I think it’s work, and life in general…  I’m to the point where little things like laundry is stressing me out.  (Granted, the house being dirty actually stresses me out, maybe that’s a little OCD.)  I’m just the kind of person that is wound a little more tightly than others.  But I think anyone that reads this probably already knows that.  Winking smile

    Anyway, on Saturday we had the Girls on the Run 5k.  One of the girls I was paired with had not been in Girls on the Run for the full program and she was struggling.  She started to complain before the first mile was finished.  After a few walk breaks, I bargained with her: 5 minutes of running and a couple of minutes of walking.  Towards the end of the 5k, that stopped working – so I said, “If you run to the end, I’ll buy you something nice.”  Well, that worked!  She ran through the finish. 

    Our celebration for the end of the season for Girls on the Run is tomorrow and I plan on giving her the gift then.  It will be nice to see the girls one last time and congratulate them on what they accomplished. 

    I have a confession to make.  I’ve been keeping a secret.

    Well, I haven’t really been keeping it on purpose, I just haven’t mentioned it because I have a lot of thoughts about it.

    The Real Thing”™

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    I haven’t drank any of that for 2.5 weeks.  I have also been avoiding all artificial sugars and sweeteners.  I’m still getting ample amounts of the real thing – real sugar, not Coke, so don’t worry. 

    Before 2.5 weeks ago, I drank anywhere between 1 can of Diet Coke to two or three 24 ounce diet sodas.  In addition, I added sweetener to my coffee (one or two packets), and often one or two packets to my breakfast, especially if I ate yogurt (plain yogurt is sour on its own).  Needless to say, some days it was a lot, and I never really liked doing it.  The habit started some time in law school, and I’ve kept it up since, more or less.

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    Source: NatalieDee.com

    I’ve done this before – given up artificial sweeteners and sugars – I did it for a couple of months.  I think vanity was motivating me more than anything, because after I noticed no advantageous effects scale-wise (in fact, kind of the opposite effect I was going for), I quit.  One study reported that artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain.  This is big news for people consuming artificial sweeteners as a way to reduce calories, and therefore control weight.

    As far as health risks go, I’m not convinced that artificial sweeteners are bad for you.  Neither is the FDA, and several other sources.  This wikipedia article has a pretty good synopsis of the controversy surrounding aspartame (the sweetener in Diet Coke), sources discrediting the studies that artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain,  sources discrediting other claims, not to mention a hoax that has indubitably played in the subconscious like any good hoax. 

    It was this evidence that always weighed in favor of continuing to consume artificial sweeteners.  It is easy to find alarmist articles or web sites calling aspartame or other artificial sweeteners “poison,” and much harder to find actual science backing that up – and the same can be said for the opposite side.  The campaign against aspartame has been hugely successful, however, it interests me that the alleged cancer connection to aspartame is more widely feared than soy’s alleged connection.  Frankly, I do not know why that is the case.  At the end of the day, I’m not sure who or what to believe.  But I refuse to be capricious.

    All that said, why now?  Like I said earlier, I felt that I was consuming too much artificial sweetener, too often, and I didn’t like it.  One thing I always noticed was that if I drank a diet soda on an empty stomach, it would start to growl very loudly even though I wasn’t hungry (I’ve never met anyone else who had this problem!).  It led me to snack just to quiet my stomach.  Since I quit drinking diet soda, I haven’t needed a morning snack.  I knew that part of my problem was I drank coffee in the morning and after a little while I wanted a diet soda to get rid of coffee (spiked with sweetener) breath, so I gave up coffee too.  The other thing motivating me is just a desire to feel better in general, and not feel so dependent on little packs of chemicals.

    What am I drinking now?  Tea and water. 

    You would think that giving up coffee and soda would be hard to do, but it actually wasn’t at all.  I still think about getting it now and then, and I don’t see anything wrong with having it once a while.  I’m just not ready to end my sweetener-free streak yet.  Well, I will give an update on how I’m doing in a few months!  Thanks for listening if you got this far! Smile

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My name is Michelle and I like to write about running, food, and fitness in general. Check out my About Michelle section for more!

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