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VALLOUGH
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Attack of the Foodies

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alright. Another blog a wee bit similar to yesterdays, but without the abrupt surprise ending of getting called into work midway through writing.

The succinct moral of the story is this: I love food and am seriously considering opening a restaurant or a catering business or (in my dreams of dreams) a cooking school that is connected to an organic farm (and guest house, and restaurant that the students cook for) where I would highlight my burgeoning philosophy that chefs, homecooks, and eaters in general should have a connection to the plants (and animals) we eat and that good food comes from people with their heart in it every step of the way. So a brief sidestep to say: go buy some fresh herbs plants and pop those puppies in the windowsill now. aaaaaaaaaand WE'RE OFF!

I eat a lot more when I'm in these foodie phases. I already know I'm going to kick up my cooking a bit to where it enters the realm of gourmet rather than just delicious. So in the coming weeks I'm going to learn how to make homemade pasta and gnocchi, how to braise pork belly, how to construct this insanely tasty salad that my neighbor brought over yesterday-- y0u get the picture. The food I love is fresh, full of veg, and, especially that it's summer, pretty light. I.Just. Need. To. Watch. My. DANG. Portions!

Yesterday Josh and I had our neighbors over for dinner. We live in a courtyard building and funnily enough they live in the apartment across from us on the third floor. I would see them coming and going from the building and knew that they come into the cafe a couple times per week. They stopped by the market the first week and I said, "Hey, are we neighbors?" and the rest is history. I found out they love food and we decided to cook dinner together some time and wouldn't you know it, we actually followed through! I can't believe I found some soul-traveling, insanely nice people here in my own building!

I ended up doing most of the cooking, since Jodi hurt herself playing tennis and was laid out on the couch the rest of the day. But they hobbled over determinedly and brought with them this salad, this AMAZING salad that was full of market fresh food-- ingredients that were at their prime last week and last week only. I had a nice size helping on my plate and then loaded up on the thai chicken wraps (round 2! see my blog from 6/7). Squashed next to that was spinach and snow peas covered with peanut sauce and then a scoop of rice somehow managed to fit on there as well. Jodi's plate? Well, duh, finish the salad first before splashing peanut sauce and chicken run-off all over it! (did I mention they are smart?) Then she had these eentsy little portions, completely separated on her plate. Wait (shake head comically and then come up with huge, googly eyes) those are NORMAL portions-- remember all you've learned in the last couple months, Val? (Larry, Mo, and/or Curly smack the back of my head sternly) We managed to make a very healthy, gourmet meal and I had to overload my plate and then douse it all in peanut sauce. c'est la vie.

But I will be a bit more Jodi about my portions because while this healthy thai meal was certainly sparkworthy, many of the tasty treats in my future won't be, especially in the amounts I'm (still!) used to eating. Having a fantastic salad to start will certainly help, but also will good old fashioned moderation (my nemesis. shakes fist in the air, though resignedly)

And Jodi managed to eat only half of this dessert I made and then took the rest to go. I, however, wolfed it down and added more whip cream to boot.



This little beauty, for want of a name, will be called tropical fruit shortcake. It's basically a shortbread scone with a bit of ginger to it, fresh strawberries and mango slices, and fresh, loosely dolloped whipped cream, all in a little puddle of lilikoi sauce (or passionfruit, as they say on the mainland). It was AWESOME and next time I will both a: use the smaller scone that I made specifically for the purpose of constructing my dessert with it and B: not use so much dang whipped cream (which also means c: beating the whipped cream longer so it is more 'peaky' (har har) than pillowy).



pretty, huh. I am pleased with myself even if I did gain a pound.

Today is one of the last of my hectic work days before summer officially starts and the kids from Northwestern escape back to the Hamptons or wherever. Bliss! Relaxing bliss! I am hoping to go for a super long run either before or after, since boy howdy has my exercise routine suffered. I haven't even written June goals yet and it's already the 10th! Yikes!
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  • RUNNINGOLLIE
    That dessert looks yummy! I also have to "control" my portions when I cook-found a really good blueberry crumb cake and could have eaten the whole thing! emoticon
    2295 days ago
  • SUGIRL06
    Nom Nommy!
    ~Ang
    2295 days ago
  • BAREFOOT-LISA
    Yum. That's all there is to say about that entire post and everything it entails. YUM.
    2300 days ago
  • AXISLADY
    We went to a place here in Jersey yesterday that only makes "fresh" salads. What a joy to eat there. You choose what you want in your salad. Since there were other people ahead of me, I realized they were putting absurdly big ladels of dressing on the salads, so I got mine on the side, and barely used any. My what an eating experience! Good luck on your dreams!
    2301 days ago
  • MORTICIAADDAMS
    The meal sounded delicious.
    2303 days ago
  • THATWEIRDGIRL
    Mmm, looks (and sounds) g0od. Hope you can work on your portions without stressing out!
    2304 days ago
  • TEAM-SARAH
    Wow you are AWESOME. seriously. You really are lighting that little fire in me to start getting into cooking. I also feel like I should be connected with the food I eat and I am sooo not. So there's a total sense of dissonance there. I should correct this.
    2304 days ago
  • CALLIKIA
    OMG - can we have virtual cooking school with you while you learn to do all those things? Seriously! You are my food idol! You cook the most beautiful dishes, so fresh and delish and healthy! I am in awe! (And maybe by showing US what the portions should be, you'll be retraining your brain again? ...just a thought. Teach me, foodie (foody?)!!)
    2304 days ago
  • WEEZBUG82
    OMG - I would so go to your culinary school and slave away in school's restaurant! :) Looks delish, but I feel you on the portion sizes. We have to get it through our heads that moderation is not the enemy!!! (at least I know I do)
    2304 days ago
  • JMEPAYNE
    i totally understand your pain! i am SO a foodie! and for the most part, the food i love is relatively healthy! i just eat too much of it!
    i've never been into fast food or fried foods... but i could probably put back an entire watermelon (or insert any huge quantity of fruit here) if i were allowed to. i love nuts and beans and such, but have trouble controlling portions.

    also... that desert. I WANT! NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM!
    2304 days ago
  • NODOOVERS
    oooohhh delicious! what was in the salad that made you love it so?
    2304 days ago
  • JILLSMYTH
    That looks SO TASTY! I would come visit your restaurant.
    2304 days ago
  • KARVY09
    That dessert looks divine. I need to make my own scones someday as they are my favorite (I wish you could get real clotted cream here!). I love your dream of opening your own cafe or organic restaurant.

    Please post when you braise pork bellies because I've always been curious and it's something I'd love to do!
    2304 days ago
  • GETTINGTHININ10
    Sounds great, to help control the portions don't forget to use smaller plates.

    Wish I had someone to cook for me.


    2304 days ago
  • RUNNINGNP2B
    Oh my, that dessert looks delicious! Am going to have to try your Thai wraps--you are definitely a foodie, thanks for sharing with the rest of us nonfoodies :D
    2304 days ago
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