After reading a few of my blog posts, you’re probably thinking “this lady eats out A LOT” …or wondering where all the recipes are. Well, I actually only eat out a couple times a week because I do love to cook. In fact, I’ve spent the last few years compiling, perfecting and photographing recipes which are now available in recipe book format for your iPad on the Apple iBookstore. Here’s the link: Choosy Dinner Recipes. Now get to cooking!
I’m interrupting my happy hour run in order to share choosy eater highlights from my Boulder, Colorado trip.
I recently traveled to Boulder, Colorado where my husband and I ran the Bolder Boulder (an annual 10k Memorial Day race), caught-up with family and friends, hiked and hit-up as many happy hours as humanly possible. That first day there was rough though. We caught a 6:45 a.m. flight after 4 hours of sleep and went immediately to a lunch where I unfortunately had an overly salty smoked salmon and caper pizza followed by an overly sugary flour-less chocolate cake with strawberries. The lake of sleep and bad lunch (from a restaurant that shall remain nameless only because I can’t remember the name) put me in such a foul mood that my husband had to coax me to Whole Foods for a juice and some grocery shopping. The fresh-squeezed apple/carrot/ginger/lemon juice did make me feel a bit better as did the grocery shopping. (I know I’m a food nerd). What really made me feel better was dinner at Amu later that evening. This place was authentic Japanese all the way down to the no shoes beyond the entryway rule. I savored a cold mixed vegetable amuse-bouche, assorted sashimi and yellowtail carpaccio; every bite perfectly presented and perfectly palatable. What impressed me the most, however, was the made-to-order miso soup, which was the best I’ve ever tasted and soothed my nerves from the day’s events.
I actually do love the food here as the ingredients are mostly local, organic and sustainable, and the $2 mahi mahi taco I ordered was both delicious and a good deal. The problem was the drink prices, service and atmosphere. Happy hour drink choices included obscure draft beer, pickle-backs (do I look like a dude?) and wells (gross). Missing was a wine deal of any kind, so I bit the bullet and ordered the glass of chardonnay I wanted and paid the price later, pun intended. While the server was a nice girl, she was s-l-o-w. My friend had to wait 40 minutes for her taco and I waited 20 minutes for my replacement glass of wine (the first came with some sort of floaty in it). Overall I think Quality Social just needs to decide if they want to be a generic downtown bar or the fantastic restaurant I think they have the potential to be.
Choosy comments and recommendations for Prep Kitchen Little Italy
I love a good happy hour! Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday… you name it and I’ll celebrate it, so over the course of the next few months I’m attending one happy hour a week with my girlfriends in order to compile a list of Choosy Eaters Certified happy hours for Downtown/East Village/Little Italy, San Diego. I’ll also give you the dirt on the happy hours that don’t make the list.
I came across Ritter Sport Minis a few years ago on a trip to Munich. Much to my surprise and delight, they’re available here in the US! I love eating 2 after a very savory and filling meal. They come in the following flavors:
I have 2 of each flavor waiting for me in the freezer at all times because any true foodie woman always has great chocolate (and red wine) on-hand.
I’m addicted to the Outrageous Oatmeal Raisin (with walnuts) Cookie made by Alternative Baking Company. It’s soft and chewy and has a satisfying texture variation with the oats/raisins/walnuts. The best part is it’s vegan and made with natural ingredients, so I don’t feel so bad eating the entire cookie… even knowing it’s actually two serving sizes. I found this glorious cookie in the impulse section of Whole Foods (the shelves by the registers) and cringed as I paid just over $2.00 for it, but it was so good I forgot about the price upon first taste. I started buying two or three every week, but had to cut back when my husband found out how much I was spending on cookies. Now I only buy them at the Nordstrom E-bar by my office when I’m still hungry after lunch. I highly recommend this splurge every once in a while! They have other yummy flavors as well.
I know it’s meant to be a coffee table book, but I just read Hungry Planet cover-to-cover. Both the photos and the writing are so interesting. As someone who is a self-proclaimed people/food-choice observer, this book is right up my alley. The book covers multiple countries throughout the world, both big and small and poor and wealthy. Each chapter begins with a photo capturing a family with a week’s worth of food. Honestly, I could go on and on discussing favorite photos and blurbs, so much so that I need to search for or form a book club that can discuss this literary gem. I will highlight one thing though: ironically it’s some of the poorer countries and families that have healthier eating habits, while the wealthier countries and families are eating unhealthy, processed foods (not to not to mention over-eating). This book has really re-motivated me to eat clean i.e. local/natural/organic/sustainable, no more pork, almost no beef, less dairy and even less grains. This book also makes me want to take a trip around the world. First stop? Japan, where I can indulge in fresh and artfully-prepared sushi!
I woke-up this past Saturday morning determined to do a cleanse to kick-start my Bolder Boulder 10K race training. Luckily it was LI Mercato day, so I made a stop at the GreenFix Smoothie stand and bought a quart of the GreenFix Original which I happily drank for both breakfast and lunch. At snack-time I took a little trip to Whole Foods and bought a fresh-squeezed carrot/apple juice, which was even better than the smoothie. Basically, I was coasting through the day on juice and water and wondering why people think cleanses are so tough… and then it all fell apart that evening.
I had plans to watch UFC 145 at Gaslamp Tavern with friends. These were plans I absolutely couldn’t cancel because my sister’s boyfriend is a fighter and was in the night’s line-up (go Brendan Schaub)! My plan was to politely order 1 beer and barely sip on it… 3 $3 Pacificos later I found myself stuffing a tortilla chip with spinach-artichoke dip into my mouth, which is something I wouldn’t even do on a regular basis. I spent the rest of the night at Henry’s Pub dancing to an odd mix of high school and college gangster rap and r&B before I made it home feeling pretty nauseous.
Undoubtedly, the cleanse was ruined so I made a Middle Eastern taco (what I like to call a Middle Eastern flat bread with hummus, cucumber and salt & pepper) and called it a night. I still would love to try a cleanse, but I really must wait until I can lock myself in my loft to do so!
This time I devoured the Seared Albacore Tuna, minus the salt and vinegar chips. The sandwich already comes with a side of house-made potato chips, and 2 types of chips is too much. I still like to watch my girlish figure…