Friday, February 25, 2011

cabbage fetish

Recently, I have been eating a lot of cabbage salad (red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, almonds) with special dressing and I can't seem to get enough! I like to top it with sliced hard-boiled eggs and then add a side of steak pieces (pre-cut, sliced and marinaded before pan searing) or spicy shrimp. Yum. It is currently my favorite meal to eat at home. Outside the home, sushi. K. and I had a celebratory yay-done-studying-for-exam dinner at Akida for sushi, after I got back on Wednesday. It was wholly satisfying and left me with a warm feeling inside, as well as a resurging fondness for nice sushi chefs, hole-in-the-wall eats, and chirashi.

That is all for now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

a happy valentine

i'm a happy valentine!

Along with valentine's day comes my sister Eunice's bday, and she turned 23 yesterday. Happy birthday to our chickabee.

Since it's a Monday, here's this week's music muse recommendation: Janelle Monae. She is truly groovy. Check her out here.

And with that, i'm out. Forgive me for being MIA this week.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dear diary: i'm pooped, and busy, but i am in a-writin' mood.

Yes, I too have noticed that the majority of my recent posts have been about food. Maybe its because writing about food is super straight forward: there was food, I ate it, it was good. It doesn't take all too much brain power or insight to comment on what I ate, or want to eat. It may also have something to do with the fact that the most exciting thing going on in my life right now is food-eating. So there you go.

That being said, I wanted to share a small happy moment that I experienced this morning in regards to food. The happy moment being that 1) it was sunny, 2) i spent $3.65 on breakfast, and 3) it was delicious. I have a complicated relationship with McDonald's (Dollar menu! one dollar! their meat is fake food! Fish fillet, yum. They're making America fat! Ooh fruit smoothie.), but it is what it is. Don't eat it too often, know what goes in the food, blah blah. And at least their selection of health-conscious menu items have been getting tastier. I was a big fan of their fruit smoothie last summer.

Anyways, so on my way to the library this morning I wanted to get some cheap coffee (confession: I've been spending too much money on coffee these days), so I drove toward the golden arches. While skimming their menu I noticed they had oatmeal! with fruit! So I ordered some with coffee. And behold: the oatmeal with fruit was DELICIOUS. Next time I'll probably get it without the brown sugar, but the apples and raisins were plentiful and the oatmeal was hot. And it was $3.65 for both the oatmeal and a big coffee. Small victories, my friends, small victories. I ate it in the car while listening to Scott Simon interview Ken Ehrlich on NPR about the Grammy Awards this Sunday. Excite! Then I went into the library, which at 9AM in the morning on a Saturday, is filled with old men reading magazines and newspapers, FYI.

On a non-food-related note, but happy-related one:
I am becoming more in love with the reality that I'm in love with my husband,
if that makes any sense.

It's amazing to keep realizing that it's true, I really AM going to keep liking him and respecting him more. And he really IS going to try to love me and know me more. What a strange and lovely pact. Yes, sometimes I get cranky and he gets cranky and then we are like little babies, but then he is good at getting me out of cranky moods and i'm good at getting him out of his cranky moods, so we really are lucky to have each other. I like that he tries to understand me. I love that he is honest. I like how he is always so kind to me, even when I am oozing out my most unattractive issues. I think he is so funny and handsome and I am fascinated with all of his characteristics, still, both the good and the peculiar. Also, I like how we both appreciate good food (see! I tied it in), and laughing.

The other day, I said to him out of nowhere,
"I'm so happy that I get to go home with you! And not some stranger."
And he said, "Yeah."
Then he swung his arm around me and gave me a squeeze.
He gets me.

For my break today, I went to go watch his boys team play in a tournament for a hot second. I will probably write more about what it's like being married to a coach, but regardless of anything else, thank goodness I also like watching volleyball. The boys have been doing well and here they are winning their match:

I went back to the library to stare at my books some more, and then picked him up to go home. It was a long day, and they won all their games! But more importantly, it was a good day of coaching.

And then because he is wonderful (and also because we were both too tired to cook dinner, and the next few days are busy), we decided to have our V-day dinner early by going out to Dora's Brazilian Grill. It's your local version of Texas de Brazil, but toned down and cheaper. Delicious sangria, check. Friendly folk, check. All you can eat melt in your mouth meat, check. Grilled pineapple for dessert, check.






We ended the night with hugs for Rusty.

And diary, that was my Saturday. Back to studying!

Friday, February 11, 2011

church hill eats: buffington and wine's

The Paul Bunyan

There is a new eats in Church Hill called, Buffington & Wine's Pies, Fries and Franks, on 29th and Broad Street. Their name is what it is because there is one Mr. Buffington (from Captain Buzzy's) and one Mr. Wine. Mr. Wine likes wine. He told us himself. He said the wine selection is going to be affordable and awesome. He was very nice.

The pizza was not as affordable. It was $17 for this pie, which was big, and good, but it was nothing to run around the block about. The sauce is really good (something about purple basil?), I liked the cheese, and the bread was light and clean-tasting (no, really), so we ate up. But I don't know, $17 for a pie seems steep to me, when my favorite kind of pizza is one that is a regular ol' cheese pizza in its most cheesy, greasy, and cheap glory. We also got their beer-battered onion rings, which were cold, but good and crispy.

Mr. Wine was friendly, there are other things on their menu, and there is the promise of good quality wine, so we'll most likely go back. Give me some crispy onion rings and a good beer or wine, and I'm a happy girl. Bottom line, we like that more restaurants are opening up in Church Hill and wish them the best! See menu HERE.

In other news, I'm pooped.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Music Muse Monday: Iron and Wine

Iron and Wine is a one man wonder, and the man's name is Sam Beam. He may be most recognized by his cover of Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" which was on the Garden State soundtrack, but his other stuff is also wonderful and serves as good studying/soothing music.

Fun tidbits about Sam Bean: Not only does he have the same birthday as me but he's from Richmond, Va! Well, kind of. He went to VCU to get a B.A. in art (painting). Also, he's coming to Richmond for a show in April, if you're interested.

Some goods:

You can listen to other songs for free here, and here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

little dates: carytown burger and fries

Recently, Ken and I have both been craving a burger, so we went on a little date tonight to get burgers at the best burger joint in town: Carytown Burgers and Fries!

They have tons of other stuff on their menu, but their burgers are infamous for their size and the variety of things they pile on them. We both got the Kojak burger (burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo + bacon + egg + cheese) and a side of tater tots smothered in malt vinegar and ketchup. It was delicious and our cravings were well satisfied.

Some of the pictures of the food have a werid orange-y quality, but you get the idea.

We ended the dinner with tart frozen yogurt from the new Sweet Frog that opened up in Carytown, and came home happily stuffed. It was a quick dinner, but it felt so nice to be out and about, on a week night, just me and the husband, getting our burger on. I like it that he is still my favorite person to go on a date with :)

I <3>

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

cabbage salad

Thank goodness cabbage is so good for you because I love this stuff. It's low in calorie and fat and has tons of nutritional value. It's got dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron and magnesium. Plus, its delicious. I like my cabbage in a slightly spicy Polish cabbage soup in the winter, or steamed and magicked by the folks over at Croaker's Spot with my soul food (sooo good!), but my favorite way to eat a cabbage is raw.

Another perk of the cabbage is that it is very affordable. I'm always looking for healthy, affordable, delicious (and time-efficient) additions to our meals, and cabbage probably hits all the marks. Yesterday I got a head of green cabbage, red cabbage, and a bunch of carrots to make a really easy salad. I chopped everything up, added some almonds, tossed it with my dressing, and voila! salad to last for days.

The dressing is a combination of things I've found online and Sharon's dressing. I'm not sure about the exact measurements because I mix and taste as I go, but its something like this: 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of yogurt, 1 Tbsp of orange juice, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of sugar. I change it up according to taste and use just enough dressing to coat the salad.

I love taking pictures of fresh vegetables.

As I was cutting the red cabbage, I was so intrigued by the awesome designs on the inside of the cabbage. Isn't it amazing!

Methinks this could turn into an art project!

So much cabbage! + dressing

I can munch on this stuff all day long. I love the different kinds of cabbage, and I can't get enough of the sweet vinegar kick. Sometimes I top it with some tomatoes or avocado. If you wanted to make it into an entree, you could add boiled egg, avocado, tomato, bacon, and cheese to make it into a really refreshing Cobb salad!

Last night for dinner, the salad accompanied sliced marinated steak pieces seared in a pan, baked potato, and egg. It was delicious. Next time, per Ken's request, I'm going to try the salad with a ginger dressing, using this recipe. Because a couple of heads of cabbage yields so much salad, I can experiment with different kinds of dressing. I will probably pair it with some pork tenderloins and corn bread, or maybe a shrimp risotto. I'll blog it if it happens!

Elie Saab

He's a Lebanese fashion designer and I am smitten with his interpretation of luxury and modernism. Check out his new Spring/Summer 2011 haute couture collection (source for pictures). I love it all - the organza, tulle, flowers, glitter, lightness and luxury - gorgeous!

Check out his other collections here.

half-way mark

I may be hitting some sort of study slump because I've been having a really hard time focusing and staying consistent. For the next few weeks, I'm going to try to make the library my second home and log in as many hours as I can. Yes, I'm starting to get a teensy bit anxious because it's crunch time, and that anxious part of my brain is trying to tell me that I need to maximize my study time and cut out things like exercising from my schedule. But luckily I am convinced that keeping myself active and healthy is an important part of performing well on the test, so I'm sticking to it. My body is loving the physical exercise its getting, and as a result, I'm more in a mood than ever to feed it good things. Ken and I are on the upwards kick of trying to get more healthy, and even though it takes a little bit more effort, its worth it, both for my body and my mind!

An afternoon made pleasant due to hearty homemade soup, Daim, sewing break, study session with friends, and personalized recipe books.

My favorite thing to snack on these days: Ellwood's granola and Greek Gods Yogurt!

Breakfast: yogurt, granola and bananas.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

alert: the best chocolate croissant in town

....can be found at Ellwood's Coffee and Cafe .

I'm a big fan of the chocolate croissant, but am particular about the right combination of buttery flakiness and rich chocolate. Ellwood's has got it pretty good.