Monday, March 27, 2006

Restaurant Mania!

Dine Well also seems like an excellent place to post restaurant reviews from around the country! One of the few perks of my job. I think it's been well established that I have a gift for finding a funky restaurant with local flavor and fabulous food in pretty much any city. What better way to share my gift??

The city: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The restaurant: Azia Restaurant and Caterpillar Lounge
The cuisine: Asian Fusion "with a Minnesota Flair" (I didn't even know Minnesota had a flair!)

I was very impressed because the executive chef (whose picture I had just seen on the website when I found the restaurant) was running around, checking on tables, chatting with patrons, even delivering food! I love that.

The drinks: blackberry vodka mojitos

The appetizer: A cheese plate of sage havarti, ash sheep's milk, and stilton with mango, crackers, and green apples.

The dinner: We couldn't resist going with all appetizers because everything sounded so amazing. We had chicken "wings" in a spicy sesame sauce, crisp avocado spring rolls, and tuna carpaccio with mango-mint sauce.

The dessert: I was fiending for the Limoncello Tart, but we ended up sharing these huge white and dark chocolate covered strawberries ("tuxedos") and an Irish Red and Gold- which is a large mug of coffee with Bailey's and Frangelico, topped with a mound of real whipped cream. *thud*

We then stepped next door into the Caterpillar Lounge (love the name!) and had a couple of glasses of wine and discussed the physical aspects of heaven.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

I just got the most beautiful salad from Hilton room service:

Mixed greens in a champagne-honey vinaigrette, with cherry tomatoes, pecans, pears, and 2 kinds of cheese (brie and bleu). Which leads to me one of my all time favorite food experiences: a juicy, ripe pear with a wedge of salty cheese and an ultra-crisp white wine.

Mmmmm, can't wait until summer!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mediterranean Salad

One of my all time favorite cuisines is Mediterranean, specifically that of Greece and coastal Italy. I love all the ingredients, how they mingle together, how fresh and summery everything tastes, and how healthy I feel after eating it. Lemon, garlic, dill, feta cheese, olives... practically every dish involves some combination of these flavors.

In a glass baking dish, bake a 6 oz fresh salmon filet in 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and fresh cracked pepper at 350 for 20 minutes, or to your desired level of doneness.

While the salmon is baking, toss the following ingredients in a large bowl:

2 C Romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 C kalamata olives, drained
1/2 C marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 C feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 C prepared sundried tomato pesto
20-30 shelled pistachios
juice from 1/2 lemon
generous amount of fresh cracked pepper

Once the salmon is done, cut it up, and mix everything well and serve. The oil from the artichokes and the pesto mixes with the lemon juice and negates the need for any additional dressing, and the saltiness of the olives and feta make adding salt unnecessary. Serves two.

This salad can also be made without the salmon and can be thrown together in minutes. Enjoy!

Food, Glorious Food

As you all know, I have an extremely unhealthy fondness for food. I love to cook, mix, bake, chop, and above all, eat. I love kitchen gadgets and I even love cleaning up the kitchen. I've decided to start a blog dedicated to my passion. One of my specialties is "making-do-with-what-you-have." I love to be creative in the kitchen, and love to invent healthy alternatives to my favorite dishes.

I will be posting some of my favorite food experiences, whether they be restaurants, friends' homes, or my own creations, and probably some nutrition lessons as well. :) I will also at time-to-time, have guest chefs, so get ready, Gina, my go-to for Italian cuisine, and my Arizona girls, who love gadgets so much they can barely make a bowl of cereal without breaking out their Kitchenaids!

Some of my passions include, in no particular order:

green beans
homemade soup
white wine

By no means is that a comprehensive list!

Remember, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, unless one has dined well."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Coming soon....

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, unless one has dined well." ~Virginia Woolf