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Cooking/Food #4!

6 May

G’day mates!

I decided to live a little, and I submitted my awesome mango salad to the weekly Food52 (if you’re not a fan of this site you will be!) contest which happens to be MANGOES! We’ll see if anyone even looks at it, but it was kind of thrilling just to submit a recipe! I’ve also decided to submit recipes as often as possible! If you’d like, you can go see my first “published” work online by clicking HERE. Maybe I’ll get lucky and win a prize! My recipe has been viewed a little over 70 times already, so that’s kinda cool.

I didn’t have a wild eating week. On Tuesday, I had dinner with a friend and we had a great time catching up (more about that in my next dating entry). We went to Jukebox burgers for dinner and I ordered a burger with no bun. I don’t know why I get a funny look every time I do that. It is possible to eat a burger with a fork and a knife… And ordering the lettuce bun makes eating a burger really messy…

My burger consisted of a 1/2 lb patty, grilled salami, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce and heartburn. It was really tasty, but I paid for it when I got home and felt like I had a brick in my stomach for the rest of the day. We also ordered onion rings and sweet potato fries. They were ok, but to be honest neither really “did it” for me. I’m still a McDonald’s french fries kind of girl.

Speaking of McDonalds… Don’t let their new fruit smoothies fool you. They taste good, and the ads have pretty, fresh fruits in them, but each one packs a WHOPPING 42 grams of sugar – for the SMALL. That’s like drinking a can of Coca-Cola (12oz can) which has 39 grams of sugar… but I digress.

Other than that, food was pretty boring… The week was really crazy. I did however buy new dishes and bowls last weekend and so I was really happy to put my breakfast on them this morning. Fresh, warm Montreal bagels, because let’s be honest there’s no other bagel that even comes close. Mangoes and strawberries. Delicious cream cheese mixed with green onions.

Thanks to J for bringing me nourishment while I was suffering from a terrible migraine headache, and for the Tylenol for migraines with caffeine. I’m finally coming out of the fog and feeling human again. Ready to watch episode #4 of Girls!

Please comment – good or bad! I don’t want to feel like I am writing to myself. That’s what my diary is for.

Cooking/Food #3!

30 Apr

Sometimes, I pay for other people to make my food and drink and sometimes I make it on my own. Recently, I went for dinner with friends, and they suggested we go to Chez Levesque. Now, I had never been to this place before, but I’m always up for something new. And – to sweeten the pot, they have a $21 special if you dine after 9pm. There are a bunch of restaurants offering a less expensive late-night menu. The issue, is that most of these specials only start at 10. I was happy to be able to be seated at 9:30! And – part of the drink menu was $6.66 a drink. Who needs to go to the bar after and pay double?

While the service at this place was only average, one thing I really appreciated was the sample of my beef tartare before it came out to me. The chef wanted to make sure it was to my liking. Delicious!

Starter: Onion Soup, Main: Boeuf Tartare, Drink: Amaretto Sour, Dessert: A spoonful of my friends’ sorbet

There are a WHOLE bunch of restaurants around Montreal that offer less expensive dining after 9 or 10. The great thing is that when you are friends with people who observe the Sabbath and they won’t go out before the sun sets – you’re not at the restaurant before then anyway!

On my list to try this summer will be:

There’s also this other restaurant that I’d really like to try – I keep passing by it in my car and it just looks so interesting! I hope the food is good too! It’s called Chez Ma Grosse Truie Cherie.

Now sometimes, I cook for myself. I did that last night, and it was a huge success! Such a success that I ate the same thing all over again tonight as well. That’s the beauty and the pain of cooking for one.

Roasted salmon and asparagus and the BEST salad I’ve ever made (if I do say so myself).

I made an Asian marinated salmon, roasted asparagus and a lovely salad. The salad had red peppers, orange peppers, avocado, fresh basil, green onion and a lovely vinaigrette using all sorts of Asian inspired ingredients like sesame oil, Sriracha, etc. I will definitely be perfecting this over time in order to serve to others!

BTW – Sriracha makes EVERYTHING taste better.

That’s it in food town.

Please comment – good or bad! I don’t want to feel like I am writing to myself. That’s what my diary is for.

Cooking/Food! #2

4 Apr

I was a big, fat, cheating cheater in Vegas. There was absolutely NOTHING paleo about my vacation… The only exclusions I made to my meals were in order to make room to finish more.

Here’s a breakdown of my 5 days of deliciousness!

Day 1 – Friday

My second experience with In-N-Out Burger. These burgers are only $1.90! That’s insane! And they are just so fucking good. There’s no other way to describe it… I only ate one of these burgers. I was with two friends. My friend M was so hilarious. At first, he didn’t want to eat it, but he was so hungry he caved. And then he giggled. And then he talked about it for the next four days. I’m only upset that we didn’t get to go back and order our burgers “Animal Style.”

OMG these burgers are so delicious and worth every calorie.

For Friday night’s dinner we ate at Sushi Samba at the Venetian Hotel. While this wasn’t the best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at in my entire life, the meal itself was lovely. A bunch of us shared the food and that gave us the opportunity to try multiple dishes such as:

The Tuna Tataki - this dish deserves capital letters.

We talked about the tuna tataki for a couple of days afterwards. It was the BEST part of the meal. The tuna was seared to perfection, the sauce was amazing.

The wagyu beef - no capitals - I'm not into mushrooms so this was just OK.

Once we had polished off all the starters (there were more), we descended upon a plate of sushi! I ❤ Sushi. I have dreams about sushi. This sushi was quite delicious. Like I mentioned earlier, this wasn’t the BEST meal I’ve had in my entire life, but the company was great and we had a wonderful evening.

The plate of sushi.

Saturday was another BIG food day. After our morning adventure, we headed off to Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace. This was well worth the wait, and it was a beautiful day outside so we were able to sit outside on the patio.

Now I’ve never been a sweets kind of girl, but I decided to taste my friend’s peanut butter frrrrrozen hot chocolate and HOLY MOLY that could convert anyone! AMAZING and I don’t want to know how many grams of sugar. I only had two sips.

For brunch, I decided to order the breakfast burger – complete with fried egg, bacon and cheese and a very healthy dose of my new favorite hot sauce Cholula! I was very excited to find it and buy it at my local grocery store when I came home. Now, I ordered my breakfast burger without a bun – who needs the filler – and ordered a Mimosa instead! This was one super satisfying meal!

Breakfast burgering on a Saturday morning!

Now Saturday night’s dinner could get an entire entry of it’s own. This was BY FAR the most amazing meal of the trip and maybe the most amazing meal I’ve had in a very long time. My friend’s friend suggested we try out Lotus of Siam, a little Thai place off the strip that has an extensive German wine collection (they do, it’s 30 pages of the wine list). This restaurant is not on the strip, so it definitely requires a taxi, but if you travel in a group, it’s only a few dollars per person and worth every penny! Also – the food here is very inexpensive when you compare it to restaurants on the strip. Our meal (including alcohol) was under $40 a person and we ate like it was going out of style.

Here’s a sampling of our dinner:

Won Ton Soup!

Oh, the fried won tons

Thai Curry Beef

The most incredible Pad Thai in the UNIVERSE!

And finally – the item that made me loosen my belt:

The "holy mother of god" fried bananas.

We had other dishes too that night – a really yummy fried rice dish, chicken and vegetables, mangoes with sticky coconut rice – and ALL IN MY BELLY!

Other days involved eating conference food – hors d’oeuvres, boxed lunches, nothing to write home about. On our last day in Vegas I was so fooded out that I was excited to order a small piece of organic grilled salmon. Apparently this was a very good thing! My friends decided we should finish off our trip with one last awesome restaurant and when in Vegas, you must hit a buffet! Go big or go home, so off to the buffet at the Wynn! This hotel is so gorgeous, I didn’t even need to eat there. I could have just wandered around and around.

But back to the food…

Plate #1 of 4.

The Wynn buffet truly has something for everyone. There are at least 20 different stations: salads, cheeses, meats, carving stations, Indian, American, Asisan stations. And the KING CRAB legs. Watching people walk around with their plates piled high with crab legs was amazing! I don’t know where they are went, but mine got dipped in melted butter and went straight to my hips.

Better than dinner was the dessert stations. Build your own sundae, freshly-made crepes, marshmallows dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles, candied apples, mini cakes, cupcakes and more. Truly decadent!

And that, my friends, was 5 days of food. I’m back in the city and being punished for my gluttony with some sort of stomach bug/food hatred thing and I’ve been feeling pretty much like crap for the last two days. Paleo is calling. No more carbs, sugar or dairy… Not much of anything in the last two days anyway… And then – Passover. Now there’s a great week of food…

Please comment – good or bad! I don’t want to feel like I am writing to myself. That’s what my diary is for.

Cooking/Food #1

12 Mar

My last really really bad for me dinner - March 2012.

I. Love. Food. I’d ask who doesn’t, but I know a whole bunch of people who really couldn’t care less… Take my mom for example. She cooks and bakes like its nobody’s business, but she honestly couldn’t care less about eating. Now, I am not trying to say that my mother has an eating disorder, just that she has other priorities. As kids, when we would travel, the family motto was “I’d rather wear it than eat it.” We didn’t go to too many restaurants, but we always had a very healthy meal at a Marriott Residence Inn (and fab wardrobes!). I’m making up for it now by trying almost anything!

Last year, two of my friends encouraged me to read the book “The Paleo Solution” – by Robb Wolf. I read it. It changed my life. It’s a great read! Really gets into the science behind the way the body works, breaks down food, fat, sugars and the problems it has breaking down the food we were never “meant” to eat. It’s funny too.

While it takes a lot of will, devotion and even $$ to really do this to 100%, it is maintainable. I followed it – to about 85-90% for about 6 months and lost about 15lbs. I felt amazing! My skin looked great and I was sleeping better. I was also exercising regularly, which of course makes a difference. Then I got a job working for a QSR company that meant I would be eating/tasting a LOT of carb-filled/sugar-filled BAD FOR ME foods. I fell off the wagon for about 6 months and realized recently that it was time to get back on.

WARNING: If you decide that this is an adventure you’d like to go on – you will suffer from carb withdrawal. It won’t be pretty. Friday coincided with the day I became a complete and total raging bitch. My mother wanted to leave me in the shopping mall like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum. I deserved it. The good news is that it passes and when that happens the good times roll.

I cheat sometimes. I can’t conceivably think of a time where I could give up sushi forever and ever. And I do enjoy a glass of wine (or 3).

So while I will post photos (likely of my cheating sessions), I will also write about experimenting with Paleo recipes. There are some great cookbooks out there and the recipes are pretty low-maintenance. I will post, discuss my progress/frustration/delight. It will be great. And my learning to bake experiment – that will be for others. I was never a baked goods kind of girl. A bag of chips however is the way to my heart.

Please comment – good or bad! I don’t want to feel like I am writing to myself. That’s what my diary is for.