Monday, June 29, 2009

Ode to avocado

There are certain foods that just make me feel better. I think most people have food infatuations but more commonly they are for chocolate or other sweets; I suppose I could throw in some salty foods for those potato chip, french fry lovers. For me, the avocado is the all time mood boosting power food.
In college I would go to the grocery store when I could not take one more meal in the dinning hall. I would stroll up and down the aisle searching and craving for the perfect food that would satisfy my hunger. More often then not I would end up in the produce section hunting for the just ripe avocado. For those who regular get avocados from the store you know that typically they are bought still firm. You let them rest gently at room temperature for a few days as they ripen and then wham...PERFECTION. These college days were not so leisurely. I needed this soften texture the minute I picked up the fruit. Not the easiest task but I would patiently work my way through the entire stack, inevitably dropping a few as the pile shifted weight, to find just the right feel. I would go back to my dorm room with the precious treasure. Spoon in hand I could consume the entire avocado, savoring each bit as I mashed the green filling with my tongue. Gross I know, but also so delicious. Just thinking about how people consume kiwis - cutting the kiwi in half and then using a spoon to go around the skin and scoop out the inside. If you can do it with kiwi, why not with an avocado?
Avocados are the best accompaniment to so many dishes. It can be a healthy substitute for mayo on sandwiches (not that I ever need a substitute for mayo); it can be cube diced for salsa or salad, or also used for guacamole. I am resigned to acknowledge that after this blog most people will not go out and start eating plain avocados by spoon. But know that this creamy food can also be great mood lifter as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The other side of the equation

Jordan's contribution to the food world...

Chicken Finger Bacon Pizza: A pizza consisting of Thousand Island dressing as the sauce, topped with a family size bag of chicken fingers, a container of bacon bits all smothered in sliced mozzarella cheese.

Porky’s Revenge: A pork schnitzel with ground pork crackle fried in butter topped with melted Colby cheese and bacon bits.

Kentucky Nachos: Potato chips covered in barbecued pulled pork, blue cheese, coleslaw, cheddar cheese and sauteed onions and peppers.

Ham Of The Border: Ham and cheese between two bean and cheese quesadillas.

Bacon Cheese Muffin: Self Explanatory

The Whipper Burger: Pastrami burger with two quarter pound beef patties with cheese topped off with sausage.

Totchos: Tater Tots covered in ground beef, jalapeƱo peppers, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

I do often wonder how I survive.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beef burgers

Tonight for dinner we had burgers. The simple and very American go-to dinner was quite fulfilling. I must admit there was a very selfish ploy behind tonight's menu. It was quick and easy for Jordan to prepare. Plus, he loves red meat so I didn't have to deal with any eye-rolling after mentioning some quasi-vegetarian dish on tap for a meal. Ground beef is relatively inexpensive at the grocery store. The meat I bought for tonight was 80% lean. Now I must say that I almost ashamed to say that I bought such a thing. I will blame the economy and go with the less lean the meat, the cheaper the price stance. My habit is normally to buy the leanest cuts of meat possible. However, it seems to me that more flavor lies in the fattier meat. Why is it that some things can get away with being fatter? Or at least, why is it in our culture thinness is glorified and not the other way around?

For those who know me, I hardly use condiments. I simply don't like the taste of butter. Although in some things I can taste a difference of a lower fat option, for the most part the difference is so minuscule that I just don't care. Herein lies the question...if I love food and taste so much how could I possibly deny all the wonderful flavors fat equates in food? This should and will be left for another night. But I have decided from here on out, when it comes to burgers I will never cut out the fat again.

On a side note: Five Guys had a grand opening in the newest store this weekend in Poughkeepsie. Jordan is beyond ecstatic. This is even more amusing to me because the new location is in the building next to the other favorite burger restuarant Red Robin. I am sure we will be stoping in soon enough.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Culinary Institute of America

My current employment places me approximately 30 minutes away from the flagship campus in Hyde Park, NY. This makes it quite convenient to take full advantage of the 4 awesome restaurants on campus. A few months ago with visiting family members in tow, I took a first time visit to L'Escoffier, the most formal dining experience. Also giving my proclivity to all things French, I was in hog heaven. I highly recommend a visit to any of the restaurants at the CIA if you have an opportunity. The dinning experience is guaranteed to have great moments, awkward moments, and delicious food. L'Escoffier is quite the entertaining experience as well since many of the dishes include table side preparations. The students at the CIA are eager to serve and give as many recommendations and descriptions of all the dishes to share their knowledge. It is always nice to be in the company with others who can go on and on about food, cooking, and eating. The meals range in variety. Our table had a sampling of salmon, lamb, and beef. By far the favorite meal was the Chateaubriand. This was also sliced table side and finish was two different sauces and spring veggies. As my mom was part of this dinning party we could not leave without sampling the bananas foster on the menu. Those who know my mother are aware of her proclivity towards this desert. Many a times we have had this at home. The final product of our homemade attempts have also been more than edible and quite to par with most restaurants however the process of getting there has always been in question. For my mother, this experience was purely educational. Hopefully for my father's sake we will not replicate the flame height demonstrated at the restaurant.


A few weekends ago was a trip into NYC to see an old friend. To end a perfectly wonderful day, I decided to try one of the newer, less expensive Mario Batali restuarants. His pizzeria opened several years ago and has made quite the impression since. I had a simple but delicious salad. The greens literally tasted like dirt - in a good way of course. I don't think I have ever has any so fresh that didn't come from my own garden. The main course was the classic Margarita pizza. This was also very delicious. The menu has mostly pizzas with a few pasta dishes as well to choose from. Salads, a nice cheese selection, and a large antipasta variety fill out the rest of the meni. To end the dining experience at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria you must try the gelato. It is simply divine. I had a threesome combination of Salty caramel, coconut, and creme fraiche. Altough an unusal combination I had to pick my all time favorite flavors. OK, I have never actually had creme fraiche gelato before or for that matter ever heard of creme fraiche flavored gelato. Can you imagine not getting a sample though after seeing that unique flavor as an option? It was better than I could have expected. If you ever are in NYC and have a chance to stop by Otto you must try this desert. Overall the food was well worth the somewhat strained time with lack in service. It makes me wonder how Babbo really is? Maybe soon enough I will be able to post about that one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My life on food...

After two months of being a bit obsessed with all food related novels, I decided it might be wise to find a forum to vent a few of my foodie thoughts. My boyfriend’s eyes have begun to glaze over after about 5 minutes of conversation. However, I have noticed he does not complain as this might impact his good eating habits due to my proclivity to fine dinning and gourmet cooking. Thus as friends begin their own blogging adventures I too will be posting randomly about fun food events in my life.

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