Monday, February 26, 2007

Last days in NC/First day in FL

Well, the move is over.
Friday my Dad came up and we moved everything down on Sunday.
Friday night was my first time to 518 West in D-town Raleigh. Italian Cafe - really great. The balsamic was very flavorful, bread could have been better (only downside). Out of recommendation from a certain worship pastor from the Summit my Dad and I split the chicken marsala - juicy, thicker chicken that was so easy to cut, moist flavorful mushrooms, tons of mashed potatoes - even the skinny asparagus was great! I gave Dad a lot of my chicken because there was so much food. Their salad had jicama on it - that was great too. We had a friendly waiter and since we got in there right when they opened - we didn't have to wait and it wasn't loud. We sat upstairs with a good view of the turkey baklava place where MG gets those treats for her hubby.
Saturday was scones from Fosters Market. Butterscotch, Blackberry and then Country muffins. Definitely the butterscotch was the best. I will so miss that place. Why can't we have one of those down here?
Saturday for lunch Rach, Dad and I went to Red Robin. Great burgers and onion rings. Rach and I each got one and then split it. Mine was juicier b/c it was cooked less and had mayo on it - her's wasn't as juice - but still ok.
Since we weren't really hungry for dinner we just got some cold stone after Jason and Leslie's wedding.
Sunday was hummus from George's Garage and a sandwich for my Dad.
Bob Evans for breakfast with my Dad. "Where everybody knows your name". Not great service but what do you expect. Oatmeal was really good and so were the grapes, but the pineapple wasn't really in season.
I went to Lakeland Square Mall today with my mom for lunch (I used to work there in high school and on breaks from college). We split a lunch from Asian Chao. Their orange chicken was good, but didn't have much of an orange flavor. Beef and brocoli was good and juicy. Lo Mein I could have done without but their plantains were great! My Dad doesn't like asian food that much so my Mom and I will have to go without him.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mark Tachman - 411

Yeah! MG and I did our cooking class. We had fun.
We spent the evening with Mark - the pastry chef from 411 in Chapel Hill. It is her hubby's fave restaurant and who can go wrong with chocolate.
We watched him make several things.
Chocolate Espresso Creme Brulee - not as hard as I thought they would be, but I sent mine home with MG to give to Chris because I don't like coffee. She even said it was strong in the coffee taste.
Fudge Chocolate Chip cookies - just a great chocolate cooke recipe - very spongy and chocolaty and good. We made them into ice cream sandwiches - homemade ice cream out of his creme anglaise recipe (oh my goodness, rich and good)
Crispy Chocolate Cakes - chocolate cake wrapped in phyllo dough and baked -also had chocolate chips in the middle. yummy! I liked the crispiness of it.
My fave was the ever so rich almost flourless chocolate cake. It was so dense and amazing. I'm glad we only got a small slice! :)
Yummy - I'm going to definitely try these!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cozy places and far away eats

My last Sunday in Durham has been great.
Started out the day with hot chocolate, eggs, bacon, and some of a massive White Chocolate Fresh baked scone at Fosters in Durham. Shared all that and good, chilled conversation with Claudia. it was so fun. I'll miss that place - great food. But, also just a relaxed place that gets to know its customers and they don't shove you out when you finished your last sip of coffee.
Then for lunch, I had Thai food at - new experience I'd heard about in Thai eating just about 2 miles away from me. I just always go to Chai's - but there is always room for new stuff. I had their coconut soup which actually was surprisingly fantastic. Very yummy. It had mushrooms, scallioons, chili powder and tofu squares in it. I ate the scallions and left the rest - but the soup was downed - every bit of it. I had the Pad Thai Shrimp. It was better than most Pad thai I've had (which i didn't even like in Thailand). but, I only ate half and since i don't have any more meals at home before I leave (save breakfast) - I gave the leftovers to Kristin. Thanks Siha for the recommendation on hearing chai's is not open on Sundays!
To end the day - dinner was Macaroni Grill with Erin for her b-day. We had the bread - which was great of course (that's secretly why we went). We had the shrimp, spinach, artichoke dip. It was kinda soupy to eat with the thin crispy croutons they gave us - so we asked for my bread - then it was good. We also split the Honey Balsamic Chicken. It was very yummy - and if you split it you don't stuff yourself of have leftovers. And since it was in honor of her 21st b-day - they brought out a huge piece of their chocolate cake and we ate half of it. It was so dense and yummy. It would feed 4 people - that's how big it was. But, we weren't complaining - we were eating. Erin will finish off the rest. Happy B-day roomie!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Restaurant Review Again - Cheesecake Factory

Went last night with a friend to the one at Southpoint.
Here's the scoop:
Charlie was kinda slow, especially in refilling the water for the first time and with our cheesecake.
It was too dimly lit. I guess that is good if you are out on a date - but if you aren't on a date - then you want to be able to see.
I was freezing (which isn't new) but it was cold outside too.
The salad (small salad, Market Salad) was delicious and still big. Needed some salt but the veggies were a good blend. Asparagus, beets, peppers, eggs, etc.
The bread wasn't warm - but it was still ok.
I went out of my comfort zone with the cheesecake and got something different. I got the Oreo Cheesecake. The slices are getting smaller (which is not a bad thing). It wasn't as good as my normal - dulce le leche. But, it was good. Oreos go well with anything!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Shrimp Caprese Pasta

I'm glad when you are just working on cleaning out your fridge and pantry and something comes together and is really yummy!

I called this what I did because it has basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese in it. I didn't put any spinach, but may next time.

Shrimp Caprese Pasta

1 box angel hair pasta
1 bag frozen ready to eat medium shrimp (thawed)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
4-5 fresh basil leaves, finely snipped
1/3 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, small diced.
Olive oil
S/p, garlic powder
1/2 stick butter

Cook angel hair pasta. In a saute pan, heat oil and butter. Add in seasonings and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Add in shrimp and basil toward the end. you don't want to overcook either - take off the heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes. Toss with pasta and add cubed mozzerella cheese. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl food

GO COLTS!! I had a few of my girls over to watch the first half of the game and help me eat some food.
We had hummus, pita chips, veggies; oatmeal raisin cookies, fruit salad, Phyllis' baked mac and cheese, my brother's chicken wings, corn chips, chili (recipe to follow), salsa, diet coke. It was good.

I took this recipe from Rachel Ray - but then altered it and made it my own. It was yummy and spicy!

Chicken Chorizo Chili

1 pkg chorizo sausage (1 lb)
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 whole chicken, cooked and chopped in small pieces
1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 bottle Amber Bock beer
1/2 rotel can of water
1 T garlic powder

Turn of pan of olive oil. Cook sausage for about 10 minutes. Put in onion and red pepper and cook about 5 more minutes. Add in everything else and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Serve with corn chips, sour cream, and cheese as toppings. Yummy!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Skinny Foods

Sorry - these are not foods that will make you thinner, just good foods you can eat that maybe are better for you.

1. NEW FIND: Weight Watchers Carrot Cake Cakes (4 bites - maybe) of a carrot cake slice with cream cheese frosting. Just enough of a sweet thing to satisfy you. 1 point (app. 60 cal)

2. Baked Cheetos - these are just as yummy as the original ones, but I could probably eat the whole bag with no problem, so I don't have them around too often.

3. Craisins - even the generic Target kind are great. These are good, but high in sugar. 1/3 of a cup is 130 calories, no fat, and 2 fiber.

4. Egg White Omelets - 3 egg whites (60 cal, no fat) with some 2% cheese in it - yummy and high in protein.

5. Granola - Whole Foods has a soy granola that is amazing!

6. Low Fat Ben & Jerry's Half Baked (chunks of brownies and chocolate chip cookie dough in a chocolate ice cream). Mom and I first had it in Boston when we went shopping. It was yummy then and a pint is always good to have in your freezer!