Posts tagged ‘gnocchi’

September 19, 2011

hello fall

I couldn’t be happier that fall is here…boots, leggings, blazers, butternut squash, and the latest Starbucks beverage – salted caramel mocha. I actually had 4 of those things this past weekend (no butternut squash).

It was a great fall weekend. The weather was perfect for fall clothing and relaxing. Saturday I did back to back spin classes and learned a few new exercises. I’ve been wanting to get in new leg exercises to get them a little leaner. I’ll be testing those out this week for sure!

Saturday night was back to back birthday celebrations, which ended up being tons of fun! Jared and I started the night at our favorite wine bar, 694. This has been our third Saturday at 694 for their Food Truck A Go-Go event. We love going there and just found out the owner is extending it through the fall. It’s a good place to get Saturday evening started.

Next up was dinner at Bin 36 for Jen’s birthday, followed by a stop at Sable. After Jen’s celebration we headed north to Scott and Gina’s place for Gina’s birthday party. I didn’t take a single pic, because the iphone 3g camera is terrible. I’m thinking about getting a real camera, because the phone is just kind of annoying for blogging. Jared thinks I just need to upgrade, we’ll see.

Sunday was rainy so I stayed in sweats and went to Starbucks for a few hours with Jared. He had to prepare for a class that he’s teaching tomorrow, so I relaxed and finished my book – Last Night At Chateau Marmont. I know, such a girlie book, but I just love that kind so much!

Today was a pretty good Monday. I ended up going to spin this morning and body strength after work. Dinner was tuna, bok choy, and kohlrabi. The bok choy was spicy and kohlrabi was sweet,perfect combination! Next up is a little couch time and relaxing. We’ve got a big week of fun ahead of us since tomorrow is Jared’s birthday!!

Question
Do you prefer to take pics with your phone or camera? What would you recommend to me for my blogging?

September 14, 2011

napa part 1

So how about if I talk a little bit about my actual trip to Napa and not just the plane/airport? I’ve been home for a week and have been dying to share my trip. I’m hoping some of you use my recommendations in the future. I absolutely loved Napa. I knew I would since we were going for food and wine, but it was so much more than that. Thursday was day 1 and it was all about relaxation. We went to Spa Solage at 10am to use their gym, but unfortunately they don’t allow people who don’t stay at the resort to use it. We were totally disappointed since the gym was half outdoors and the weather was gorgeous. Ok, so I wasn’t completely heart broken because it also meant we got to start using the spa facilities sooner. We spent the first hour floating around the co-ed soaking pool, which was like bath water. It was only the two of us for a while so very quiet and relaxing. Then we decided to relax in the cabanas until our Mudslide Experience. That was amazing. We started off with covering ourselves with mud in a private, heated lounge, second step was soaking in an over-sized tub, followed by nap time in a fancy chair. Normally I do facials or massages at spas, but this blew all of that out of the water. I think next time I would do the mudslide followed by a massage, doesn’t that sound perfect?!? After our treatment we went back in the co-ed pool, ordered a little lunch, and were on our way.

We stopped at Markham Vineyards for our first wine tasting of the weekend. On our way to the spa we past a ton of vineyards and recognized Markham, obviously because they sell Markham at Trader Joe’s. Those prices weren’t from Trader Joe’s though! We knew the tastings were expensive, but those pours were so tiny!! Oh well, it’s vacation!

Next stop was the J. Crew outlet. It was super close to our hotel so we decided to run in. I didn’t want to be at the outlets while in Napa so we had a strict rule of getting in and out quickly. You should have seen me. I didn’t mess around. There was tons and I had everything I wanted to try on within 20 minutes. I could have been out of there in 30, but Jared took about 10-15 minutes longer. I ended up with a couple skirts, sweaters, tops, and headband. It felt good since the J. Crew outlet really disappointed me in Maine.

We had plenty of time to make one more pit stop before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and that was for ice cream of course! We stopped by the Oxbow Public Market for Three Twins Ice Cream.

I had strawberry je ne sais quoi (strawberry with a splash of balsamic) with burnt caramel sauce on top. Oops and I almost forgot this is also when I had my first of many mini cupcake from Kara’s Cupcakes. We split a blackberry chocolate mini. This market was so amazing and nice, totally our scene. Of course there was the fresh produce section inside, but they also had a large farmer’s market every Tuesday and Saturday. We were able to check it out on Saturday for a few minutes before heading to brunch. The market also had an oyster bar, wine and cheese bar, mexican food, pizza, coffee shop, and much more. We ended up there at least once every day of our vacation. We were happy we discovered it on the first day since there were so many cupcake flavors was so much to try!

Next up was dinner at Bottega, Michael Chiarello’s restaurant. I was definitely excited for the food, but disappointed I allowed myself to go there altogether since I wasn’t his biggest fan on Top Chef Master’s. Let’s just say Chef Chiarello can act however he pleases cause his food is amazing.

We started our meal off with the Succotash forno roasted summer squash & sweet corn, cherry tomato, ricotta & chili stuffed squash blossom, arugula leaves, corn pudding.

Followed by the short rib meatballs and fresh figs.

And I can’t forget to mention that the bread was the best we both ever had.

After a couple apps and bread we knew we had to move on to the pasta dishes. There were so many we wanted to try. We ruled out the gnocchi options right away since Jared makes amazing gnocchi. We needed to start off with the most out there options.

First choice was the Potato dough raviolo filled with spinach and ricotta, black truffles, farm fresh egg yolk, sage browned butter. Ummm ok black truffle, egg, and pasta in one dish? Sold and boy we weren’t disappointed. Def one of the best pasta dishes of my life.

Next course was the Angry Tomato Strozzapretti summer heirloom tomato sauce, calabrian chili, crispy basil & orange essence. You could only describe this dish as angry. It was so different with the spice and orange essence at the end of each bite.

We were getting a little full now and we knew chocolate souffle was for dessert, but I just had to try one more pasta dish. The portions were small so I knew we could handle it. We went for the Calabrian Sausage and Lemon Ricotta Tortellini spicy broccoli rabe, tomato-pork jus, mosto oro olive oil. It was extremely good, but probably would have been better if we ate it before the other two rock star pasta dishes. Oh well.

Dessert time! It was an excellent souffle, but i have to admit it wasn’t the best I ever had. Overall, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and we will definitely be returning on our next Napa trip.

August 23, 2011

such a sous chef

This year Jared decided to get a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share delivered to our house. It’s a weekly box containing the best of what’s in season from a local farm. We’ve received a TON of potatoes in the last couple weeks, which don’t really mesh well with my healthy lifestyle. Instead of letting the potatoes go bad I had the brilliant idea of making gnocchi and freezing it all (I know what you’re thinking and I know I’m not the chef of the household). I only had this idea, because Jared makes an amazing gnocchi and we have previously froze the leftovers. The entire process took around 5 hours, luckily half of that was baking the potatoes and letting them cool. We used Jonathan Waxman’s recipe, but we will most likely explore his butternut squash creation for the final product. Here’s how we made it and I do mean we, I was quite the sous chef:

1. Bake the potatoes at 400 for 1 hour

2. Peel potatoes

3. Mash the potatoes

4. Create the dough

5. Roll out the dough

6. Cut the dough and you have gnocchi!

Unfortunately, my meal plans until Napa do not accommodate gnocchi, but we will have it sometime in September or October. A dinner party with a couple types of pasta and a large bottle of wine is in the works.

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