Wednesday, June 1, 2011

birthday vittles!

I had a really amazing birthday and I owe it all to my friends.  Basically, it was truly filled with whimsy and wonder.  Oh, and really good vittles.  Trust.

Celebration #1 was a 10 course chef's tasting at Uchiko, my absolute favorite restaurant with Be and David aka sweetpea and honeybee. I can never, ever, EVER get enough of Uchiko or Uchi.  Apparently, Tyson Cole, the executive chef and mastermind just won a James Beard award.  He's kind of a big deal.  Not surprising as he is the bomb.  Truly, his creations are total masterpieces.  The flavors and textures and combinations are literally unlike anything I've experienced.  He pairs ingredients that one would never expect and it comes out phenomenal every time.  We were there for about 3 hours and it was beyond amazing.  I can't thank Be and David enough.  What a dinner!  See pics below.

Hamachi deliciousness

Scallops atop a corn puree with sea salt. Aka omfg I could die now, for real.

I don't even remember what this was but best believe it was some tasty vittles.
At this point, I started having a food coma.

A very whimsical beet salad.
I don't remember what was in this but it was the bomb.
Delicious sushi
more delicious sushi
oh and some more delicious sushi
this was the beet salad after they added some ridiculously good broth/puree of I don't even know what.
Delicious lamb vittles with peas and an edamame puree

This was the signature new Uchiko dessert which consisted of cherry glaze, cherry vanilla ice cream, almonds, and I can't remember what else.

Fried milk aka omfg.
I know I've said this before and I'll say it again.  I would have babies with this dessert.  I'm just keeping it real.

Last night, I was hard-core surprised by Cris and Amy aka Nugget and Weenis.  They planned this elaborate fedora-themed mustache-wearing dinner at The Highball.  I had absolutely no idea that it was going down AT ALL.  I thought I was going to a nice dinner, just the 3 of us.  Actually, I thought I was going to Uchi or Uchiko again, lol.  It was amazing and whimsical. 

Also, as some of you know, my running mantra is: I'm a unicorn. Fuck anyone who says I'm not.  When I am exhausted and delirious and wanting to die or kill people, I think about my mantra and it keeps me going.  So they got me a customized unicorn cake with my running mantra!  I mean, how awesome is that?!  Seriously!!  The cake was truly spectacular, magical  and majestic, as unicorns are.  Do I have the most awesome friends or what?  Yes, yes I do.

My whimsical cake!
After that we went to G & S Lounge and had some delightful cocktails and played some songs on the jukebox, took pictures in the photo booth, and played air hockey.  

I've gotta say, I feel an enormous amount of gratitude right now. 

Me eating a piece of my whimsical unicorn cake!

Some of my favorite people looking quite dapper.

birthday scallops, tra la la!

I mean, is this or is this not THE SHIT?!

What am amazing evening!  Big thanks to Cris/Nugget and Amy/Weenis for being so awesome.
Also, thank you so much to Be/Sweetpea for helping to coordinate this, David/Honeybee for an awesome 
dinner and taking me to Bridesmaids.  Big hugs to everyone that came rocking their dapper fedoras and mustaches.  And thank you to Sarah and Ginger for the cupcakes they made me and...everything else.
For those who I didn't get to celebrate with, you were missed, fo sho.
I had an awesome birthday.  I am very lucky to have friends that love me so much.
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  That is all. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Delicious vittles I have eaten as of late...

Here are some delicious vittles I've eaten this week.  Don't hate me cause ya ain't me.  Pics are from Uchi happy hour and Olivia.  PS I saw Matthew Mcconaughey and his hot baby mama at Uchi, and omg what a gorgeous couple.  I'm way too tired right now to elaborate on the cuisine, basically, so the pictures below will just have to suffice.  Let's just say that it was all damn good and leave it at that.

Also, I could really use a pep-talk since (1) I have 10 more weeks of my ridick marathon training and (2) This endeavor is, by far, one of the top 3 hardest things I've attempted to do in my life.  I'm not being dramatic either.  Yes it's physically exhausting but it's way more than that.  The mental part is what is difficult.  It's been quite an emotional process.

I've been thinking about a running mantra.  My friend Monica suggested I come up with one to get me through the difficult moments when I want to kill people or quit this endeavor.  I came across this quote recently and it resonated with me:

"Don't let anybody tell you what the fuck to do. I'm a unicorn. And fuck anyone who says I'm not!" - Tyler The Creator

So, I think my mantra is: I'm a unicorn. And fuck anyone who says I'm not!

From now on, when I'm running in 100 degree Texas heat and I want to pass the f out and say EFF THIS and go get a snowcone or a cocktail with my friends, I will remember that I am a unicorn and fuck anyone who says I'm not.  When I'm running in the darkness at 6:00 am and want to be sleeping, I will remember that I am a unicorn.  I've got this, suckas.  I'VE GOT THIS!  Unicorns are majestic and powerful creatures.  They can do anything.  They can poo glitter, doncha know?  UNICORNS ARE THE SHIT.

But I digress.

Ok, so on to the food pics, see below:

That is all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I have truly outdone myself. Fo real.

For several weeks I've wanted to cook scallops.  Several times I've heard that they are really easy to F up so I was nervous.  I found a pretty simple recipe on The Food Network website.  Also, I asked the guy behind the seafood counter at Sprouts Farmers Market to hook me up with his scallop wisdom.  The result:  It was the mf'ing bomb yo!

The scallops were seared in olive oil with salt and ground pepper for two minutes on each side until they were a light brown. I squeezed a whole lemon and decided to not use butter.

As a side, I made broccoli marinated in a sesame ginger vinaigrette.  I cut up some strawberries as another side.

Last week I went to dinner at my friend Ayda and Monica's house.  Monica cooked this amazing orzo salad that was outrageously good.  I decided to try to replicate it.  The result:  Also the mf'ing bomb yo!  I cooked up some orzo in olive oil and salt and mixed it with spinach, zuccini, squash, baby tomatoes, cucumber, more olive oil and salt and ground pepper.

Finally, for dessert: chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmmmmhmmm.  None of that fruit salad nonsense this week, oh no ma'am.


Eat your heart out fools.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lemon Shrimp Farfalle with Mixed Vegetables, no thanks to Obama

Tonight was my night to cook for my running peeps.  I knew what I wanted to cook and I was on a time-crunch.  Since I had to run 3 miles after work, I had to account for time to shower, walk the dog and pick up some ingredients at Whole Foods.  No problem, I figured, since dinner wasn't until 8.

Yeah, as f'ing if.

Obama was in town and he was literally 3 blocks from my office.  It took me FOREVER to get out of downtown and I had no time to get to Town Lake or Whole Foods.  I definitely had to deviate from my original plan.  Since I couldn't get to Whole Foods to get the special dressing and gluten free pasta I wanted, I had to make due with H.E.B.  Also, since I couldn't make it to Town Lake, I had to run on my treadmill.  Groty.  I hate running on treadmills.  The run ended up being awesome.  I ran 10 minute miles which is unheard of for me.  Wheeeee!

Now, the food.

I cooked up some farfalle in olive oil.  On a skillet, I cooked shrimp and mixed in edamame, asparagus, broccoli, red peppers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sesame ginger vinaigrette, and olive oil.  I mixed it all together.  Corn on the cob and for dessert, peach cobbler and strawberries instead of ice cream.

It turned out pretty good!  Not my favorite but it was aight.

See pics below.  That is all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

honey mustard marinated chicken, tra la la

Tonight was my turn again to cook for my friends.  I was going to try to make another seafood dish, perhaps even branch out and do crab cakes or scallops.  Instead, I went with chicken because a request was made to do anything but fish.

I bought some chicken breasts marinated in a honey-mustard/garlic marinade.  Also, I chopped up some yellow squash and some zuccini along with some broccoli, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and some ginger sesame marinade.  By the way, that ginger sesame marinade is the best $5 I've spent in a long ass time.  I highly recommend you try some of Annie's marinades/salad dressings because they are amazing organic pure deliciousness, for shizzle.  You can get them at Whole Foods.  Here is her website:

I heated up some basmati lime cilantro rice that I got at Whole Foods and voila!

Dessert was a pineapple, strawberry, cantaloupe, blackberry fruit medley.

I think it was a hit because they ate it all and got seconds too.  Yay.

Also, I really, really, REALLY want to experiment with poached eggs.  I've never made one before and I really want to replicate this amazing spinach salad/poached egg awesome-ness that I had at Paggi House a few weeks ago.  So, if anyone wants to come over and poach eggs with me, that would be mighty fine, ya dig?

That is all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Whole Foods, how I love thee

I went to Whole Foods for lunch today and spent $5 at the salad bar.  Best $5 I've spent on a lunch in quite some time, I must say.  I got some salmon pasta salad, fresh mozzerella, a zuccini medley, and assorted fruit. 

People bitch left and right about how eating healthy is so expensive and not convenient.  I beg to differ.  Seriously, $5 and I picked up my food from the salad bar in like 5 minutes.

And speaking of eating healthy, last night I saw a preview for Forks Over Knives.  What a compelling film trailer, for serious.  I want to see this movie so bad.  It looks so good!  Basically, the premise is that two out of every 3 Americans are overweight because we are eating primarily animal-based and processed foods.  Other cultures are eating plant-based foods and are living longer and better lives.  This is no surprise and certainly not rocket-science, yet somehow the trailer still comes across as very compelling.  I'll definitely be seeing this movie.

See pic of my lunch from today, mmmmm!  That is all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

marathon training dinner - take 2

Tonight was my turn to cook again for these weekly marathon training dinners.  I cooked honey crusted chipotle salmon, broccoli and zuccini and a fruit salad.  I marinated the vegetables in sesame ginger sauce, olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  It turned out really good.

As I'm getting into this cooking thing, I'm coming to a realization that *I really enjoy cooking* - like, a lot.  I'm enjoying it so much that I may look into taking cooking classes after this ridick marathon training is over.  It's a lot of fun to look for recipes and try to experiment with flavors.  Also, it's a nice feeling to take some ingredients and make something that is damn tasty.  At first, I was quite apprehensive as I'm not one who normally cooks.  My mind is shifting and now I'm discovering that I really, really love it.

Also, I really want to poach eggs and try to make a spinach salad similar to the one I had at Paggi House recently.  That shiz was outrageously good.

I'm also discovering that:
 (1) Gluten free does not = tastes like shit
 (2) No butter used in a dish does not = why bother even eating it/what's the point
 (3) Olive oil is a necessity
 (4) I can cook, wheeeeeee!