Saturday, September 25, 2010

Neyla: Georgetown, Washington, DC

This was a beautiful dinner I shared with my youngest sister just days before she delivered her youngest son, Anderson. Beautiful night in Georgetown.
Definitely a memorable meal!
Watermelon & Haloumi Watermelon, Haloumi Cheese, Mint, Cilantro, Sherry Syrup 7
Neyla SaladBaby Greens, Mint, Radish, Tomato, Pistachio, Coriander Vinaigrette 7
Sambousik Beef, Labneh, Short Dough Pastry 2 each – 4 / 4 each - 7
Gambas a Pil Pil Shrimp, Garlic Chips, Tomato, Chilies, White Wine, Olives 9

Neyla on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sustainable Wine

OK, so I've tried a few "Organic" wines and they have all been fine. What kills me is that there are so many wines out there that cost less, taste better, you know what I'm saying. Anyway, I tried the Sustainable Red by Parducci. Not bad. I was paging through some old Wine Spectators and nibbling on some granna. The Sustainable Red...Perfect match.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ciccetti Kitchen & Bar

Adorable so far...

Cocktails are good and Proseco is served by the glass!

OK, I'm not a pickle person and these pickles are sooooo sour.

My husband loved them.

Pizza Margherita and an order of the Greek style fries and feta yogurt.

Good start.

Must have been our lucky day... We didn't order the Pizza Margherita, we ordered the pizza du jour. They delivered the wrong pizza, let us keep it, and then delivered the right pizza. YUMMY!

Peppers stuffed with salt cod. To be honest, I was really enjoying the beautiful patio and people watching that I don't remember if I liked the pepper dish or not. I want to say, "I liked it!"

Pork Belly, fig jam, and polenta cake...GET OUT! This was so good, I wished I had ordered this first. I was getting a little full, so I didn't gobble this whole thing up. Delicious!

OK, another, "I wish I had ordered this first!!!" Lamb Ravioli, yogurt, mint and brown butter...nuf said.

Cicchetti on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Morning Smoothie

I love a good smoothie in the morning. Today, I had some fresh raspberries...YUM!
8 oz. unsweetened almond vanilla milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1 T green powder

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Comfort Food: Three Cheese Macaroni & Cheese with TOPPINGS

So, a few months ago, my husband came back from a business trip and said, "You know, the other night we had a macaroni & cheese bar after our meeting". What? YUMMY! I did not grow up eating macaroni & cheese, not event the orange stuff that many Americans have been eating since they had teeth. To be honest, I don't think I made it often for my son, even when he said, "Everybody gets Kraft!!!"

Well, if someone would have made this creamy, salty, tart, PERFECT sauce for me when I was young, I would have been drawn to mac & cheese like an addict to CRACK! I'll be honest, I just googled "macaroni and cheese" and hoped for the best. This recipe is the best ever. Give this recipe a try. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of ingredients, it's worth it.

3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy Costa Vanikiotis at Eveready Diner, Hyde Park, NY
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

* 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta water
* 1 pound large elbow macaroni
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 cups milk
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound white Cheddar, shredded
* 4 ounces Romano, shredded
* 4 ounces Asiago, shredded
* 2 cups bread crumbs (suggested: panko (Japanese) available at most markets)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
For variations, add cooked lobster meat, truffle oil, bacon and/or garden fresh vegetables.
Add a few toppings and you've got a great meal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Serious Pie

My husband and I were heading to Chocolate box to pick up some things for a care package for our son who is away at college. OK, first things first...LUNCH. I want pizza!!!
Every now and then, I crave pizza. If the wait is not long (I don't make reservations) and I just happen to be in the neighborhood, my choice is Serious Pie. He's a wine guy and ordered a cold glass (or two) of villa giada monferrato chiaretto rose. I'm a beer girl and ordered the snoqualmie "pga" amber on tap...YUM.

Couldn't decide which starter, so we asked the server to suggest something...The Special. Mixed greens, citrus vinaigrette, goat cheese (I think), fennel and beans. Wow, a perfect blend.

To be honest, when I find something I like, I stick to it. I love the pizza with clams and pancetta...mmm! OK, this visit we ordered the (ha, ha) the Special Pizza of the Day: house salumi, sauteed greens, and some cheese that was a little too mild for the pizza, but still delicious.

OK, if you're looking for a quick and cheap pizza joint, Serious Pie ain't the place. However, if you have the time,

it's worth every penny!

Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Farmer's Market Finds: Japanese Cucumber Kimchee

I was so excited to find this...Japanese Cucumber Kimchee!!! Don't get me wrong, I love the stinky cabbage kimchee, but the cucumber kimchee is so good.

First of all, no rotten smell, so my husband will eat it. Crunchy, spicy, salty. Great condiment.

We had the kimchee with roast duck from KauKau, sauteed pea vines*, and jasmine rice.


*A quick mention. If you are able to find pea vines, buy them, bring them home saute some garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes, take out the garlic, add butter to the pan throw in the pea vines, flip, cover for a minute, salt, pepper...YUM!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Angel Food Cake - I Love You!!!

The perfect non-Chocolate Dessert...Angel Food Cake. YUMMY!!! I had this angel food cake with rhubarb at Blueacre in Seattle. Blueacre Seafood makes a fluffy and more dense version of angel food which I this is the best ever. Don't get me wrong, I really like the other types, really mushy and marshmallowy, but if you can find it, the dense style is awesome!
The End

Blueacre on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Agua Verde

OK, what do you do on a beautiful sunny weekend day in Seattle after going on a run and you're starving? Go to Agua Verde Cafe Paddle Club!! If you're lucky you won't stand in line too long. If you are uber-Lucky, you'll find a table. Cross your fingers and go for it. It's worth it. You need to place your order as you enter. Pay, grab your drinks and take your little plastic gourd, which tells the server where to deliver your food. Start with some chips and a trip to the salsa bar.

John ordered the Huevos Rancheros: Crispy fried corn tostadas topped with black beans, cheddar jack cheese, two eggs, Mexican salsa and fresh avocados with grilled red potatoes.
John & I met in San Diego and he use to eat huevos rancheros all the time. Is he critical? Yes, at first, then after the first bite. Memories of the "authentic" huevos rancheros came flooding in. I could tell by his face, he just tasted perfection!

Chilaquiles where have you been all my life? OK, I've had chilaquiles before, but these are YUM. I feel like the last few times I'd had chilaquiles, they were just made and didn't have time to blend all the flavors. Chilaquiles are kind of like a Mexican lasagna, layers of fried tortillas, choice of guajillo rojo or tomatillo verde sauce, sour cream , queso fresco, and fresh chopped onions with two eggs any style and refried beans. Is your mouth watering or what???!!

Agua Verde on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ruth's Chris Steak House

The Send-Off Dinner with Tyler & Jenny, before they leave for college. I have to say,
many memorable meals I have had have been at Ruth's Chris Steak House,

both in Bellevue and Seattle. This night was one of them. The Executive Chef,
Thomas Wichert was kind enough to stop by to say, "Hello!"
Quick story before I tell you about our awesome meal...

A few winters ago, we had a terrible snow storm and lost power in our house. The first night was tolerable, but we couldn't do it again. We checked into the Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle and ate at Ruth's Chris Steak House every night. I ALWAYS order the Cowboy Ribeye, but seeing that the Ruth's Chris was in the lobby of our hotel, and practically our home kitchen, I thought I'd order something new. So, with so many choices, I ordered the Mixed Grill. I think the mix grill changes often, but what came on my plate that night was so good; petit filet, stuffed chicken breast, and a housemade sausage. We ordered the usual sides, our favorites, garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Snow Storm or not...Great Memory.

So, we've spent most Father's Days, one Mother's Day and most Birthdays at Ruth's Chris as a family. My husband would often grab a quick dinner at the bar when I was working late. I love meeting my girlfriends at the bar for Happy Hour. Ruth's Chris Steak House...We Love You!!!

OK, back to the dinner... Of all the nights I have eaten at Ruth's Chris Steak House, I had never ordered the Porterhouse for two. First off, my husband loves the New York and I dream about the Cowboy Ribeye. Before we got to the restaurant, we decided on the Porterhouse and shook on it. Best deal I'd made in a long time. The Porterhouse is the best of both worlds. SERIOUSLY!!! No need for any additional sauces or toppings, this big juicy steak is PERFECT. I usually order my steak rare, but we ordered the Porterhouse Medium-Rare. I thought something this big and bone-in rare might come out raw. Great decision. This might be my new favorite steak.

We ordered a nice selection of sides; sauteed mushrooms, creamed spinach, asparagus with hollandaise, and julienne potato fries. YUM.

Happy Ending and a Sweet Goodbye. We all saved room for dessert and we really went for it!!!

Creme Brule, Bread Pudding, Chocolate Explosion Cake, and Apple Crumble...Oh My!
Another Memorable Meal at Ruth's Chris Steak House.
Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wake up!!! TGIF

Fridays are always tough. The gym before work...5:30 am. Working out is usually harder for me on Fridays too! Once I get to my desk I need a lot to keep me going. Yogurt, flax, berries, and a double cappuccino. I eventually wake up...


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