Monthly Archives: January 2010

MIA sans Paper Planes

The Big Guy is moving to Boston.  I’ve avoided thinking about it, talking about it and writing about it for as long as possible, but I cannot avoid it any longer: He is leaving Sunday.  I’m very excited for his new opportunity and very selfishly sad for myself because I have to stay behind in Denver.  As I help him wrap up his life in Colorado over the next few days, I won’t be blogging. 

I’m devastated to be losing daily access to my best friend, but am ready to navigate this curve that has been thrown into our relationship.   It is going to be difficult, but I know we are going to make it work.  Sometimes you just have to have some faith, close your eyes and LEAP!

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Currently loving…

 

Favorite Song: Kick Drum Heart

Good Times, Bad Times

The Good: Kicking this week off right with some seriously self-indulgent girl time.  My friend Mack and I finally treated ourselves to Frasca in Boulder.  The owner, Bobby Stuckey (who is a Master Sommelier) and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson met while working at French Laundry.  Yes, that French Laundry.  Needless to say, my meal at Frasca was one of the best I’ve ever had. 

Frico Caldo…You say potato, I say delicious.

Mussels and Diver Scallop soup:  Best Mussels I’ve ever had- creamy, no grit, clean taste.  Mmmm!!

OMG MUSHROOM RAVIOLI:  There are no words.  Best dish I’ve ever had. 

Tuna Main:  We subbed this out as the prix fixe main was a mortadello, spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken breast and I’m saying no to all non-fishy meats these days.  I can’t be too critical when ordering away from the menu, but this was my least favorite dish of the night.  The fish had great texture and was cooked perfectly but it just wasn’t cry-in-your-chair amazing like the rest of the meal.

  And of course I dug in before thinking to snap a pic….

Choco-love:  Really not sure what this dish was actually called but it had chocolate and hazlenuts in it which is my favorite combo ever.

So all in all, it was such a lovely meal, with great company.  They even tossed some gratis schwag our way.  Hello beautiful new tee!

Now it’s time for The Bad: This was my last dinner for a long time with my partner-in-crime (and food) Mackenzie.  She is following her heart tummy and moving to the Bay Area to join the Slow Food movement.  She was a catalyst for change regarding the way I eat, and is one of the best friends I’ve ever had.  I’ll miss her dearly, but am so happy she is strong enough to recognize what she wants and go fearlessly after it. 

Buona fortuna amore!

I absolutely cannot wait for our October date at French Laundry! 

(And Ad Hoc, Bouchon & Quince please)

 

Ginger Park

I said I’d dedicate and entire post to our dinner in Boston at Ginger Park, and here it is…We went on Thursday which is the “Spice is Nice” night, offering 4 savory and spicy courses at a predetermined price.  That is what the big guy chose, while Iordered off the menu and had shrimp and mushroom dumpling followed by the spicyest dish of the night, pan noodles with tofu.  Check out the yummers:

Big Guy’s first course: Hot and Sour soup.  Didn’t try this as it had chicken in it, but BG said it was really tasty. 

My amuse: Shitake and Shrimp Dumplings.  Was hoping these would be the soft dumpling variety, stuffed full of mushrooms.  The insides were primarily shrimp, the shrooms were an afterthought.  Good, but definitely the least exciting part of the meal.

Big guy’s second app: Spicy Wok Fired Shrimp.  Loved the cream sauce in the lower right, it had a very slight avocadoey flavor. 

My main: Pan noodles with Snow Tofu.  This was the best dish of the night, and so super spicy.  Amazing!

BG’s main: Jerk chicken.  Looked so good and gave off a heavenly maple brown sugar smell.  Didn’t try it, obviously, but BG said it was really good, however much sweeter than it was spicy. 

 

Dessert: Lemongrass Creme Brulee. Light, Fresh, Delicious and gone in about 4 bites.

Added surprise: Ginger Park’s homemade hot chocolate to finish off the meal.  Pretty sure I made some creepy groaning noises while drinking this.  It was fan-freaking-tastic.

 

On a side note, I am really glad I’m not a smoker, and doubly glad I’m not a smoker in Boston.  Is that price normal??!

Tears in my Fried Rice

Yesterday was a thoroughly delicious day, as I tried out one of Miss SnackFace’s delicious snacky combos of Fage Greek Yogurt, Raspberry Preserves and Chocolate Chips.  In her words: gasm.  Definitely a new favorite.

I might be a little heavy handed with both the jam and the chocolate chips, but who cares?

Didn’t take a picture of what I had after this because it was a boring spinach salad.

Moving on to the plans for the evening…decided to try my hand at making some tofu and fried rice.  Began by cooking brown rice and setting it aside.   Put 1 tbsp Olive Oil into a pan and added garlic, mushrooms, onion, shredded carrots and shelled edamame.  Sautee it up till tender and fragrant, set aside.  No point in washing out the pan cause you want all of those yummy flavors to blend, so go ahead and add another tbsp oil and throw in three beaten eggs.  Stir around until cooked but still slightly soft.  Toss in with the veg mixture.  Lastly, add one last tbsp oil to the pan, and quickly pan fry your rice.  When it’s looking yummy, mix in your veggie/egg mixture, shake a bit of soy sauce on top and serve it up!

Cooked up some Tofu and doused it with the Siriacha/Hoisin/Soy Sauce mixture for some added PRO-TEIN!

Consumed this delicious meal while watching The Kite Runner.  Not that I expected it to be a comedy or anything but I literally cried for most of the movie and felt like I had been hit over the head when it was all finished.  Absolutely beautiful film, though. 

On the Nightstand…

 Now if I could only put down my damned iPhone.

Back to life, back to reality

Bahston was great, as I previously spelled out for you en fotographias.  Now it’s back to my normal working hungry girl life.  Tuesday began with some off-site business meetings, so after they were through I stopped by the big guys house to contribute to the “we must eat this 10 lb bag of Spinach from Costco before it expires” effort.  The fruits of my hasty labor were a dilla (falafel, hummus, feta, siracha) and a side salad with my new favorite dressing: Marie’s Blue Cheese Vinagrette.  Added some Red Peppers on the side for crunch.  Holla!

The rest of the day continued on as normal, with no gym stop.  Lazy pants!  I was too excited to get home and try out a recipe I found on (where else?) the New York Times Website.  We all know I go crazy for Spicy Black Bean Burgers from Morningstar, so when I saw this recipe for a savory White Bean Burger, I had to try it out.  It was fairly easy to assemble, but during the process I thought to myself that I might need to add a food processor or magic bullet type gadget to my kitchen arsenal.  I had to do my choppin’ in a blender…

Just so you all know, I don’t have any illusions of being a neat chef.  It’s just not in the cards for me.  Here’s what my kitch looked like en route to White Bean Burger Heaven:

Oh yeah, that’s a Slap Chop you see.  Got it for Christmas from mi madre and yesterday was its kitchen début.  It did well with the carrots but completely met its match with my small yellow onion.  Slap Chop became Slap Stop.  You followin’ me camera guy?  Kind of a bummer…


Moving on from that little  bump, I got everything assembled and into the pan:

(Note to self: Remove gooey spatula from shot before snapping photo)

And this is what the finished product looked like:

I made my own “special sauce” with chipolte hummus and a tiny bit of veganaise for creaminess. Add Avocados and go to town, my friends. 

These burgers crumbled like the Berlin Wall but man were they were tasty! 

What’s the best way to top off a good dinner you ask?  Rummikub, of course!

The big guy dominated.   He didn’t go to MIT, but he is wicked smaht. 

 

Bahston in Pictures

Wicked ahsome weekend kids. 

We started our trip with some chowdah and mussles at Legal Sea Foods

 We played iPhone Scrabble while drinking lotsa Boston lagers 

We used our feet as tour guides and ran all over the city

Stopping for some fun in Boston Common

Also stopping to admire some truly beautiful places

We walked under a Starry Starry Night on our way to Dinner

And then had a spectacularly spicy meal at Ginger Park

The next day we walked the Freedom Trail

And climbed the 291 steps to get to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument

Beautiful views from up there

We found ourselves in the North End and stopped for some pizza, but did not stop into the store on the Connah

We spent the three lovely and relaxing days following in Shirley, enjoying the company of the big guy’s brother and family. 

We went to Concord, the birthplace of the American Revolution

And ate a boatload of Sushi

We ended our trip with a blueberry beer in the Airport

And some important bidness calls on the plane

I’m Shipping up to Boston

No, I definitely haven’t been listening to Dropkick Murpheys all day…leaving at 8:45 tomorrow morning, catch y’all on the flip!

Leafage

Went to one of Boulder’s Vegetarian Restaurants, Leaf, last night.  The atmosphere was subdued and cozy, the drinks were strong and the food was beautiful.  Sadly, however, someone in the kitchen last night was really heavy-handed with the salt.   My mom’s friend, Suzanne, even thought for a second that our server mistakenly ground up salt instead of pepper on top of her pasta.  Now I love salt more than the average bear, but this was a bit much even for me.  But anyhow, on to the photos…

For starters: Samosas (it’s a fried pastry stuffed with yummy goodness, how can you not like?)

My meal: Bi Bim Bop (bean sprouts, spinach, teriyaki tofu, pickles, cabbage,  jasmine rice and a soft egg)

Mom’s Meal: Polenta Napoleon (it had Fontina cheese on top, what else matters?)

Suzanne’s Deliciousness: Raw Pasta with Zucchini and Squash “noodles”, pine nut “ricotta” and marinara sauce

I really liked Leaf, and my Dirty Martini was a big treat and muy delicioso, but I would have a hard time getting excited about going back if I thought the salt issue was not just a fluke but a regular issue in the kitchen.  I must have guzzled 8 cups of water during dinner and was still parched on the drive back to Denver.  What fixes a parched throat you ask?

$1.07 worth of heaven, y’all.  Now I have definitely read some scary shit about how McDonald’s processes their beef and what exactly goes in to their “Hamburgers” but I’ve never read anything scary about the delight that is the Vanilla cone.  Eat on, my friends!