Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Earth - Air - Fire - BEER!

This week hubby and I had the pleasure of taking part in one of the fabulous Medford Beer Week events.  After looking thru the entire calendar of fun to be had and beer to be drank, this one looked right up our alley.  A Brewers Dinner at Elements featuring Mad River brewery; it would be five courses of fabulousness paired with tasty beers.  Ummm…yes please!

To preface the whole situation, Elements is my favorite restaurant in Medford.  They have a martini there called “air” that will blow your mind!  My liver would hate me if I had a free flowing supply of this!  Anyways, it is one of the only places I can go and feel like I am in a bigger city.  The people, the ambiance, the menu, lighting, décor…it’s perfect.  On top of the feeling you get when you are there…I have NEVER put I bite of their food in my mouth that I haven’t loved.  How many restaurants can you say that about? 

I knew that it was going to be a good night when the owner introduced the tables of people that were there.  Among them were a table from Smithfield’s (my favorite restaurant in Ashland) and a table from Oak Tree (the best place to cause and then cure a hangover in Ashland).  If these are two of the special guest tables for this event…how could this go wrong!?  We are clearly among royalty!

I don’t have a big disappointment or disaster to report here.  This is just an entry about straight fabulousness!  Among the menu there is one item that I cannot stop thinking about: black cod “chips” and salsa.  They took the fish a cut it super thin and then fried it up and tossed it with salt.  They literally looked like kettle chips! It was served with a blood orange salsa and avocado aioli….oh, and a Steelhead Extra Pale by Mad River.  I wish black cod chips came in a bag at the grocery store!  I would eat them like it was my job and I would get really fat off these tasty bits and I would be happy.  Below is a doesn't do it justice...but just so you can see what I'm talking about.

Other bites of wonderful included braised oxtail, liver pate, and a black cherry ice cream and Jamaica Red Ale float (see picture below)!  There was also more beer than this wine-o knew what to do with!  (When is Medford going to have a wine week?) Like I said before, not a single disappointment to report.  So while this entry may not be as amusing as the rest…the important thing to note is…if you are ever in Medford, go to Elements! Whether it is for dinner, a drink with an app, or one of their many fabulous events…this foodie has NEVER been disappointed and neither will you.

Elements Tapas Bar & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Heavenly Taste...Hellish Consequences

Side effects will appear within 48 hours of consumption and include stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, vomiting, expelling oil instead of normal bowel movements, as well as the dreaded anal leakage.  Gross right? Why would anyone ever choose to eat something that caused all these problems?  Perhaps because it tastes like a cloud of butter sent straight to your mouth from heaven!

I know friends have heard briefly about hubby and my experience with the fatty fabulous fish called escolar…but those of you who haven’t….your in for a treat! Haha

On April 13th my wonderful cook of a husband decided he would surprise me when I came home from work with a gourmet meal.  He was so excited because he went to the fish market down the street and found something we hadn’t tried.  He said it was called escolar AKA fatty tuna.  Well, this peaked my curiosity and I couldn’t wait to try it!

He crusted the fish in spices and sesame seeds and seared it just perfectly like you would a nice ahi steak.  He served it with some sautéed veggies and wine of course!  My first bite of this fish and I was hooked.  It was absolutely AMAZING!  It was like cutting through butter and the texture and flavor in your mouth was no less succulent.  I was sure I had found my new favorite food.  We ate until we were stuffed.

After dinner my overly curious husband decided to jump on the internet and research the fish that we just devoured.  What is it? Why had we never heard of it before?  Could be because the FDA just recently removed the ban in the US on this crazy fish!  It was banned by Japan in 1977.  The side effects I listed above are all possible consequences of eating this little taste of heaven.  Oh dear…we were not looking forward to the next 48 hours.

So is such a tasty treat worth the risk?  I eat Taco Bell even though I know it gives me a stomach ache.  I devour pork belly even though I know that the thousands of calories go straight to my hips.  I eat too much garlic in one sitting even though I know it will make me stink for a week.  I drink wine all night knowing I’ll wake up with red teeth and a headache in the morning.  So what is the difference between that and eating escolar?  No matter how tasty the treat, nothing is worth the possibility of having the dreaded ((say it in a whisper)) anal leakage.  So heed my warning friends and know the facts…if you see escolar on the menu….RUN!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our Foodie Challenge

The hubby and I have a tradition, if he works later than me but will be off in time for dinner then I will surprise him with dinner.  He gets to choose either a theme or a protein, or sometimes both.  Once he chose Moroccan and I made this weird stew with raisins and cinnamon, definitely not my favorite.  He asked for Cuban another time, I wanted to make Cubano sandwiches so bad, but I was (of course) on a diet at the time so made some funky shrimp and rice dish.  No matter what the request is, it is always a lot of fun.  He gets to anticipate what his strange request will manifest into, and I get to spend my day between customer calls searching for an appropriate recipe.

Well, last night hub was working on the ambulance, so he would be off an hour after me.  That means we get to play our fun foodie game! Yippee!  His choice: beef.  I eventually made him choose a theme too, because beef was far too broad.  So the final theme ended up: beef that is light and summery.  Anxiety set in the second he said beef.  I don’t know what it is about beef, but unless it’s ground, I’m not touching it.  I had never cooked a steak in my life.  I figured I would cop out, make some meatloaf, or meatballs, or something along those lines….but then I decided I would take the bull by the horns! (Is that inappropriate to say when talking about steak?)

I decided for the first time in my life I would conquer the steak.  A little background here: I was a vegetarian, vegan, non beef eater, etc in the past.  Beef was always my last go to protein.  When I met the hubby, he changed my ways.  He’s quite the carnivore and he cooks a mean steak.  I liked him so much, I didn’t tell him until many steaks later that I didn’t eat red meat, and by that point, I did eat it and I loved it…but I still wouldn’t cook it.  Until last night….

Three hundred and sixty two recipes into and I found the perfect recipe! I was going to made Vietnamese grilled steak with noodles.  I went to the steak aisle at the grocery store and bought the steak.  I got home and started to freak out.  I don’t know how to BBQ and I can’t cook it in a pan because that’s weird.  So, I did what I thought was best, I busted out the cast iron grill.  The noodle salad was a breeze to make: I chopped tons of mint and cilantro, mixed together the dressing, tossed in the noodles and voila! But then the grill was hot and I had to make the steak.  Why did I get myself into this? But I manned up and I did it.  I may have smoked out the entire house though.  My fireman came home probably thinking the house was on fire, there was so much smoke in the kitchen and dining room.  I had to open all the windows and doors!  Little did I know the cast iron isn’t supposed to be on high….oops!

In the end, it was amazing!  The steak had those pretty little grill marks.  It was a perfect medium rare and I even remembered to let it rest!  Dinner was amazing and hubby was totally surprised…and I don’t think it was just from the smoke filled house!  I always looked at cooking steak as a big scary man thing…but I’m not so scared anymore.  I regulated on that steak and I am fully prepared for my next foodie challenge!  Try our foodie challenge sometime with your spouse…makes you think outside the box…or the bun…or the meat…or your comfort zone! J  Let us know how it goes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Multiple Taste-gasms!

Have you ever ate something that tasted so good it felt like you were cheating on your spouse just by eating it?  Yeah, you know…that one bite of food that could possibly be called “better than sex”.  Well, the hubby and I went on a little adventure to Reno and then to Vegas this last weekend and all I can say is I had multiple taste-gasms!

I decided after one month on my diet and losing thirteen pounds, I was going to let loose.  I would drink what I want, eat what I want, and not give a damn! Well, I certainly did that and experienced some amazing eats!

There were three bites of fabulousness that stand out in my mind from the weekend, and I will tell you a little bit about each of them.

#1.  The Jason roll from the sushi bar at Atlantis in Reno.  OMG!  Grilled spicy scallops, tobiko, and green onions in a hand roll.  Creamy spicy sauce, with the crunch of the tobiko and onion…it was freaking out of this world.  I went twice and got the same thing both times.  So good!

The next two come from Botero at the Wynn in Las Vegas.  This place is spendy; the martini’s cost more than a whole bottle of Grey Goose, but it was all worth it. Yum-o!

#2. The Crudo Tasting, which I have attached a photo of below, was a bunch of little bites of heaven.  There were four types of sashimi all with different toppings.  There was tuna with avocado and soy, swordfish with spicy tomato, salmon with ginger and lime, and himachi with tangerine.  Every one was absolutely delightful.  My favorite was the tuna…but when it comes to sashimi…my favorite is always the tuna.

#3.  Truffle Mac and Cheese!!  This is the winner for the best taste-gasm of the weekend! I would weigh 300 pounds and be ok with it if I could eat this decadent side of sexiness every single day of my life.  Forget the chateaubriand or my grey goose martini.  All I wanted was more of this mac and cheese.  There is literally no way for me to describe this amazingness besides calling it the sexiest bite of food I have ever put in my mouth.  If you are in Vegas, get your ass to Botero and get this Mac and Cheese…I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t get to put this in their mouth at some point in their life.

So that is my line up of sexy taste-gasms from our weekend away.  Get in your car, get on the plane, go there, eat these things…you will NOT regret it. Yummmm!! I’m drooling just thinking about them…too bad I’m back to the real world and the unfabulous, unsexy, non drool worthy powdered meals I have come to love.
Botero (Encore) on Urbanspoon Atlantis Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Once a Cheater - Always a Cheater

I have never cheated on a boyfriend, but I have always and will always cheat on a diet. There comes a point between celery sticks and powdered shakes that a girl just has a need for something naughty.  What’s funny is, with me, it doesn’t have to be a big greasy cheeseburger.  It can be as simple as a glass of wine or a turkey sandwich.  As long as it’s something that isn’t allowed, I want it.  But that is how everything is right?  You always want what you can’t have!

So last night, I cheated on my diet.  What’s new right? But it was planned.  I have plotted and thought out my cheat night since I started this diet two weeks ago!  Oh my goodness, being bad suuuuure feels good!  We decided to go somewhere we’ve never been and it was amazing!

We tried this new place called Kelton’s.  For those of you in Medford, it is over by David’s Bridal.  I won’t lie, I had some major apprehension about eating at an upscale steak house in a strip mall.  But man oh man; you can not judge a restaurant by the strip mall!  The service was impeccable and the food was just as great.

My night of diet sins started with a cosmo and some baked clams.  So tasty!  For my main course I had a glass of the house Pinot Grigio….oh, and the halibut picatta.  Anything with an abundance of capers is something that I will always get excited about.  What was strange was, with a million naughty choices (steak, cheeseburgers, fettuccine alfredo), I ended up with a healthier option, but I still felt like a naughty girl.  We ordered a chocolate tiramisu to go, and I will confess I had at least five bites….and another glass of wine.  The tiramisu was out of this world.  I definitely recommend Kelton’s.  It was amazing!

With all positives though, there come the negatives.  The down fall of cheating: the guilt.  I woke up this morning with a headache from the wine and a knot in my stomach knowing I had gained all my weight back plus at least fifteen pounds.  That seemed like a totally legitimate and rational assumption.  Well, I stepped on the scale and hell-to-the-yeah! I hadn’t gained an ounce! Woohoo! 

I am revived and refreshed from my naughty night of sinning.  I’m more than ready for another week of angelically perfect dieting.  So the question of the day is….will I cheat again?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Reward: Salty Glue

What a beautiful sunny morning I woke up today.  The sun was shining so bright, and even though it was thirty degrees outside, the blue skies made me smile.  First thing on the agenda today: eat.  According to my new Medifast diet, I need to spend a lot of time doing that.  Well, it's not really eating, it's more like drinking, because almost everything is liquid.  And, sadly, none of that liquid gets to be a glass of wine or dirty martini.  Ugh.

I was avoiding eating my breakfast today because I knew I was out of my favorite powdered eggs, and the only acceptable option for breakfast today would be yet another shake, or the most repulsive "pancakes" that anyone has ever invented.  I weighed myself this morning though, and am down 7.5 pounds and it hasn't quite been two weeks, so this liquid hell I am in seems to be working! 

I went out for my morning cigarette and was ecstatic to find the UPS man had surprised me this morning with a gift! The non liquid morsels I had ordered for my diet last week!!  In my mind I knew this had to be the diet gods sending me a reward for losing 7.5 lbs!  So, this morning my ho-hum shake had been pushed up to lunch, because now I have OATMEAL!!! A girl who prides herself on a sophisticated palate and fabulous cooking skills is excited about her instant oatmeal this morning, how sad is that.  Well, I popped that bad boy in the microwave, and after two minutes on the edge of my seat, I opened that little black door to a big fat disappointment.

I'm not sure how that gloppy goo is to be considered oatmeal.  The packaging says to let it sit to acquire the desired texture, so I guess I'll let it sit.  Goo can turn into oatmeal right? turns to GLUE when it sits.  So as I sat down on the couch to watch another mind numbing episode of "the Bad Girls Club", I began to eat my glue.  I figure I will eat it, because even if it is glue it will taste like maple and brown sugar.  Ugh, and yet another let down on this sunny Saturday morning.  I think the cooks forgot the sugar and added salt to my $2 packets of glue.  Lovely. 

As I choke down my salty glue, day dreaming about my mid-morning snack of yet another shake....I keep reminding myself of Monday.  Monday night will be two weeks on this diet and the hubby is taking me to dinner! I am going to cheat cheat cheat!! I see a very big glass (or two) of a good Cabernet Sauvignon and possibly a steak in my future.  We shall see....until's time for my next shake.