Monday, September 27, 2010

adventures in eating

gourmet sunday: round #1
yesterday was essentially a foodie's dream come alive! one fantastic brunch out and a relaxing (and delicious) dinner in. i may not have checked much off of my to-do list, but i definitely enjoyed the day.

i'll call that a sunday success.

in honor of my little sister's birthday (she's 28!), josh and i ventured out to cary to la farm bakery, which has all of the elements of a traditional patisserie, plus a full-service café.

after a sweaty long(ish) run, i was ready to enjoy some french fare! josh ordered us a pain au chocolat to nibble on while we waited for our entrées.

his hairy arm in this photo, not mine!

and then THIS arrived:

the most impressive slice slab of salmon-asparagus quiche i've ever seen! served with a mini cinnamon-chip scone, fruit, and sautéed potatoes.

i absolutely love quiche, and i thought la farm did it quite well. i managed to get through half of it we sat and chatted for a while over coffee (don't worry, josh finished it off). i tried to engage my dining partners in a birthday exercise ("what do you want your life to look like in 10 years?") but they were more interested in discussing plans for the immediate future.

my sister was headed to a knitting group (she is a master craftswoman apart from her day job) and josh was fantasizing about a nap -- even after downing the cappuccino above.

i definitely recommend la farm bakery for a delicious and leisurely brunch! it's right by the airport, so if you're ever coming in from out of town, this would be a great way to begin your trip.

gourmet sunday: round #2
some might have called it a day after that meal. but we had plans for sunday dinner, and culinary minimalism just isn't our friends' style (or ours, for that matter). dr. s and his lovely girlfriend k lit up our kitchen with energy, enthusiasm, and . . . oil.

k kept asking what they could bring, and i said i was going asian and that some fruit would be more than enough. of course, they arrived with several grocery bags in tow, carrying everything from fresh avocados to eggs to egg roll wrappers to cooking oil (just in CASE my kitchen was missing this essential ingredient . . . which it wasn't :) ).

luckily, i had prepared some snacks to nibble on while the iron chefs added to my already evolving feast:

improvisational edamame-wasabi dip + veggies + sesame crackers

we got a little silly . . .

but k became very serious when faced with the task of making egg rolls.

it was like an iron chef episode . . .

in our kitchen!

i was very impressed with her deep-frying skills. perhaps even a little jealous!

handcrafted egg rolls stuffed with cabbage, carrot, and avocado

dr. s took a break from egg modeling long enough to whip up this soup:

this egg drop became the perfect egg roll dipping receptacle.

the main course i whipped up wasn't as exciting to me as my guest's contributions.

udon noodles with peanut sauce, vegetables and shrimp + garlic, ginger, and soy-roasted broccoli

however, it rounded out the meal nicely -- and yielded mucho leftovers for lunch!

we had a fabulous time talking and laughing, and (cue the hallelujah chorus) our kitchen has fully recovered from the event. another sunday dinner success -- every time we do this, i want to make it a regular event!

gourmet monday: your suggestions
thank you to everyone who weighed in on my dietary dilemmas in saturday's post!

a compilation of your thoughts:
eat something more substantial on arriving home, such as a small sandwich or fruit smoothie rather than snacking on one random item after another.

if josh is going to be on the later side, have half (or all) of dinner and then enjoy tea or a salad with him when he gets home.

eat more for lunch and make that the day's biggest meal (rather than dinner)

keep a list of quick, easy, and healthy meal/snack ideas on the fridge for inspiration

do some weekend baking projects (which i love to do anyway!) and make some healthy portable homemade snacks for long afternoons

eat more throughout the day rather than ending up with a big calorie/energy deficit at the end (anonymous, i totally agree that my current lunch option is NOT satisfying enough at all. you're right to call me out on it!)

take advantage of dinner leftovers for lunch (i do this when they are available) and consider making a big batch of something easy like chana masala to pack in multiple lunches throughout the week

thank you all again for the suggestions. i will definitely work on incorporating these ideas. my aims are to have more energy at the end of the day, to eat more mindfully, and to rely less heavily on processed foods. i think i can do it!

one piece of business
while i have decided to cut down on giveaways and freebie reviews, i did apply to a "submit your story" ad campaign on BlogHer, the ad company i use on this site. they accepted my offer, and i got compensated to write a post about overcoming an obstacle in honor of the disney movie coming out, secretariat.

i felt a bit hypocritical/conflicted doing this after i had discussed the commercialization of blogs on an earlier post, and i actually tried to get out of it, but it was too late! however, i must admit i did enjoy writing the post and it was slightly thrilling to feel like a freelance blogger -- even if it was just for a few minutes. the post can be found here, along with an opportunity to win $100 from blogher.



workout: 80 minutes (somewhere between 8-9 miles) in chapel hill. pace - my polar is out of batteries, so i'm unsure. oops!

study plan progress report: i think i'm headed for a few days of 'doubles'. but the weekend was worth it!


lee said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Those are good suggestions. I have the same problem when I get home.

Susannah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sarah, did you use an egg roll recipe or were they just improvised? I'd love to have the source if it was a recipe...all of it looked delicious!

teatimewithlin said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have never deep fried anything in my life (scalding & bubbling oil scares me) so I'm also very impressed at your friend's frying skills. Good luck on studying!

marathonmaiden said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

excellent suggestion! thanks for putting them all together :)

i absolutely love that you were cooking with your friends! i think that makes an evening so much more fun. not that i can really say anything because i don't really cook ahahha!

sarah (SHU) said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

susannah: dr. s and k made the egg rolls - and i think they improvised -- they bought egg roll wrappers, and added cabbage, avocado, carrot, and i think that was it! maybe the oil made it so tasty!? i'll have to ask :)

Susannah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

ha yes oil can have that effect I suppose! thanks!

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