Sunday, June 28, 2009

Presto Pesto Pasta Salad

Say that five times fast!

I have been quite the social butterfly this weekend! I had book club Friday night, Bunco last night, and this evening we're going to a barbecue with some of Mr. Spice's friends. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly our weekends get filled up in the summer.

Anyway, it's been nasty hot here in GA so I thought I'd bring something that could be served cold. Pasta salad was my first thought and I looked around at some different recipes. And then I realized I was making this WAY more difficult than it needed to be. I have a tendency to do that.

As you know, I'm all about saving time and taking shortcuts when I can without sacrificing on taste. I think you'll agree that not only does this go together really quickly, but the flavors all go together as well. I didn't really measure anything here, so adjust quantities as you want.

Presto Pesto Pasta Salad

1 box pasta -- I used tri-colored rotini
pre-prepared pesto -- I used Classico pesto
Mozzarella cheese, cut into tiny cubes
sliced black olives, cut into halves
fresh tomatoes, diced
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Boil pasta in salted water. While pasta is cooking, cut up cheese, tomatoes, and olives.

Drain pasta and immediately rinse in cold water until pasta cools off. Put in large bowl.

Add pesto and coat pasta thoroughly. Add pesto as needed to taste. Then add cheese, olives, and tomatoes, and toss to combine. Sprinkle parsley if using. Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

You can play around with this however you want to. Add more veggies, add meat, whatever you want. I made this without meat since I wasn't sure if there were any vegetarians coming tonight, but next time I might add some grilled chicken or chopped salami. If you want to make your own pesto, go for it, but you know how lazy I am!

Mini Nutella Swirls

What's the best way to win over a group of people you've never met before? I think I discovered it yesterday when I experimented and made these.

A former coworker of mine has been trying to get me to come to Bunco night for the longest time, but I always seemed to have something going on whenever they met. Well, our schedules finally coincided and I got to go last night. In case you've never heard of Bunco, you can read about it here. Anything that doesn't require skill is my kind of game and if it involves food and friends, then all the better! Anyway, everyone was supposed to bring something to eat. I had been tossing around this idea for a week or so and figured I might as well try it out.

I should have known that trying to work with refrigerated crescent roll dough wasn't a good idea in a warm kitchen and I messed up my swirls the first time around. I finally got them to come out right and Mr. Spice happily ate up the mess-ups. Okay, I had some of the mess-ups too. And licked the Nutella-coated spreading knife when I was done. You really can't blame me though.

I was a little nervous about last night, just because I'm really shy around people I don't know. But everyone was really nice and once we started playing, it got a bit rowdy and after a drink or two I relaxed a little and really started enjoying it. We ate in between rounds and I am proud to say everyone ate up all the mini Nutella swirls! Oh and I ended up winning a little cash -- I had the lowest score in the second round and walked away with a little over $3. :)

Anyway, these are relatively easy to make and I guarantee if you take them to a party there won't be any leftovers!

Mini Nutella Swirls

2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough - I used reduced fat

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil. Line your working area with parchment paper.

Open crescent roll dough -- they come in sheets of 2 triangles loosely joined into a rectangle. Keep them like this, and pinch the dough and seal where the two triangles meet so that you now have a rectangle of dough. Seal as best as you can. Spread Nutella over one side. Start rolling up the dough from one end, keeping the ends as neat as possible. Pinch and close the seam at the end of the roll. Put this roll in the fridge to chill for a few minutes as you work on the next roll. I kept the unused dough in the fridge as well since our kitchen was really warm and the dough was starting to come apart.

Once you've made all the rolls and chilled them all, take them out and cut each roll into 5 or 6 pieces. Place the pieces on the baking sheets with one of the cut edges down -- so when you look down at the pieces you see one swirly cut edge on top.

Bake for 11 minutes or until dough is golden brown.

Try not to eat them all at once!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recipe Review: French Yogurt Cake

This cake is so French -- simple yet elegant. There, I said it.

I'd heard of French yogurt cake before and found a recipe for it in Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours that I had intended to try, but I ended up finding an even easier version on Recipezaar. Why I even bother buying cookbooks when I usually end up finding something online is a mystery that remains to be solved.

Anyway, even though we have been sweltering here in Georgia for the past week or so, I got bitten by the baking bug. Since the recipe looked easy enough and I had all the ingredients already, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. I was also hoping that if it turned out okay then I could make it for this Bunco thing I'm going to this weekend.

I think this recipe and I are going to become good friends. It's so versatile. All you have to do is change the flavor of yogurt you use and put in whatever additions you want and you have a new cake! What makes it even better is that if you use a 4 oz. yogurt container then you don't need a measuring cup for this cake! C'est très facile! (It's so easy!) There are quite a few versions out there, this is the one I ended up using.

French Yogurt Cake (Gâteau au yaourt)

4 oz. yogurt - I used blueberry pomegranate flavored YoPlus yogurt
1 cup sugar - can use less if you use a sweetened yogurt
1.5 cups flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil - I used 1/2 stick of butter
2 tsp baking powder
flavorings/add-ins of your choice - I used 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Take a 9-inch baking pan and spray with cooking spray or cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan like I did (I'm so fancy!).

Combine the yogurt and sugar in a bowl. Add the flour in 1/2 cup batches, combining after each batch. The batter will be stiff. Add the eggs, oil, and baking powder, and combine. Add any flavorings or add-ins you want. Carefully put batter in pan -- the batter is very thick so you may have to smooth it out towards the edges.

Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool and then slice.

Makes 8 servings.

I suck at cutting cake, but here is 1/2 of a slice:

I would say this cake tastes almost like a light pound cake. The next time I make this, if I use a sweetened, flavored yogurt I might cut back on the sugar a bit. I may even try subbing applesauce for the oil/butter to see if I can get this to not be so point-y. But I think this cake lends itself to tweaking quite well so have fun experimenting with it!

Something sweet, something savory, something sweet

That pretty much sums up the rest of my eats for today!

I had some errands to run this afternoon and was hungry when I got back. Cereal sounded quick and good. I had 3/4 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 1/2 cup Fiber One (to try to pretend to be healthy), and 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla soymilk. You can't tell from the picture, but the bowl is actually a prep bowl! I found a set of these at Ross for under $5 -- there were sizes ranging from 1/4 cup to 2 cups. Instead of using them as measuring cups, I'm going to use them as portion-control bowls. I used the 2 cup bowl and it seemed to work pretty well.

Yes, those are curly fries in the back! I find that if I totally cut out stuff like junk food and fast food that it comes back to bite me later on, so I'm just going to try to work them in. Arbys has been doing this Wednesday Freebies thing for a couple weeks around town and I thought we should give it a shot tonight. Today's deal was a free regular roast beef sandwich if you purchased a soft drink. I got one of the new diet blackberry iced teas to try out, a drink for Mr. Spice, our free sandwiches, and an order of curly fries to split. I'm weird and eat my roast beef sandwiches open-face -- I think I started doing that in high school when I was scary obsessed with dieting to make my food last longer. Anyway, I sliced some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes to go along with my food just so it wasn't all junk. Usually we each get our own fries, but I was satisfied with the 1/2 order, probably because I bulked up my sandwich with veggies.

What's that piece of cake doing there? For some reason, even though it's in the 90s here, I felt like baking. I remembered a French yogurt cake recipe I read about in one of my cookbooks, but wanted an easier version. A little searching and I found one! I'll post the recipe separately. I ran the recipe through the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers site and saw that each serving was 6 points! Oh la la! No problem, I just had 1/2 of a serving so that I didn't totally decimate my points for the day. Oh and the plate was another Ross find -- it's from a set of appetizer plates. You already saw one at breakfast. I'm a sucker for anything colorful, cute, and small and I saw that these were another good way at controlling portion sizes. All these mind tricks I play on myself!

So I've actually managed to document a whole day of what I eat! I still don't know how you guys do this every day, but it's fun! I may not do them all the time, but expect to see more of these.

Good night!

A Boca-licious Lunch!

Boy was I happy when I saw a bunch of Boca products on sale at Publix for 5 for $10! I stocked up on the "chicken" patties, crumbles, and a couple others, such as the Savory Mushroom Mozzarella patty. So good, so easy, and so healthy!

Anyway, the most productive thing I've managed to do all morning is to exercise. I have had Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred dvd forever and have only done the level 1 workout a few times. I'm determined to graduate to levels 2 and 3. For only a 20 minute workout, it's pretty intense! So not surprisingly, I worked up quite an appetite for lunch.

I cooked up a lot of pasta the other night, so I had plenty of leftovers to work with. I know the bowl doesn't look so nice and pretty, but I was starving! So I have 1.5 cups of vermicelli pasta, 1 big handful of spinach, 1 Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella patty, 1/2 cup Classico Spicy Tomato & Basil sauce, some crushed red pepper, and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

So that's it for now. I need to find something else productive to do this afternoon -- snacks and dinner are undecided yet, but we're doing a movie night at home so definitely something quick.

Have a good afternoon!

Cool as a Cucumber Breakfast

I can't help but be impressed by those of you who consistently post pictures of each meal almost every single day. I think that a photo food journal is more effective than just tracking one's food online or on paper because you now have an audience to keep you accountable. And I know that if it were me, that would motivate me to make more of an attempt to eat healthier foods knowing that others are going to see what I eat (and possibly judge, let's be honest!).

Hmmm, maybe that's not a bad idea?

Okay so maybe I'll give it a shot for a few meals and then let's see how it goes.

So let's start with breakfast today.

Today's breakfast is an actual attempt by me to have some fruits and veggies to start off the day, unlike the past couple weeks.

So, I have a Weight Watchers English Muffin, some light chive cream cheese, thin slices of cucumber, and the cutest little clementine ever. It really is adorable -- if I get back into bento-ing, these will most definitely be part of them.

Okay I also have a couple things to confess.

As some of you know, I'm an inveterate Weight Watchers re-starter. I lost 25 lb. on it 7 years ago, but due to life/laziness/whatever I've put it all back and a whole lot more since then and have really been struggling with the weight loss game. I have a wedding to go to in a few weeks and although I can still barely squeeze into my sari blouse and although I know I can't work miracles, I really would like to drop a few pounds before then. So I'm hoping if I try to post some meals here I'll keep myself accountable and not do something stupid like having pizza rolls and baked fries for dinner like I may have done last night. What? I said I had a couple things to confess!

See you at lunchtime!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm not ready for this heat!

Wow, it's been insane this past week. The heat and the humidity combined have forced me into hiding out inside the house with the AC and fans running.

It used to be the heat didn't affect my eating, but more and more I'm noticing that when it's oppressively hot, I want to eat light or not at all. I probably shouldn't admit this, but there was a night last week where we opted to have ice cream for dinner. The perks of being an adult! :)

Well I've realized that eating ice cream for dinner is NOT the solution, and though the thought of cooking over a hot stove or baking something in the oven is not appealing, we do have to eat. I've been resorting to meals that take the minimum amount of time to cook (so not a lot of Indian food lately) or that require no cooking at all.

So where does that leave us in terms of meal options the past few days?

Cereal and milk
Hummus, pita, veggies
Ice cream (ahem)
Tacos/taco salad -- I used Boca crumbles which don't take long to cook
Pasta -- I used angel hair, which doesn't take long to cook either

I want to come up with some more options that I can rely on. I should also mention we're working on a budget since there have been some changes to our household, job-wise.

Okay so here are some other ideas that work for me, may not work for Mr. Spice:

Sandwiches/veggie burgers
Couscous salad
Pasta salad

Notice how I haven't mentioned actual salads. I'm not always in the mood for salads, I prefer cooked veggies. But I may not have a choice with this weather.

Time to think of more options . . .

What are some of your hot weather meal ideas that require little to no cooking?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dinner is served!

It didn't quite turn out as I'd planned, but I certainly had no complaints once I started eating.

Okay, so what exactly am I eating?

Starting clockwise from top right:

Egg and potato curry

a big blob of spicy mango pickle (achar)

Okra with cumin and tomato

whole wheat paratha (flaky Indian bread)

Originally, I'd planned to make khichuri, which is a dish made from rice and lentils that can be made gloppy like oatmeal or dry like a pilaf. I make it the second way. After making the okra and egg & potato dishes, I was too hot and lazy to make khichuri.

Egg and potato curry is one of the easiest curries, in my opinion. However, I don't know what I did, but the gravy didn't come out how I wanted, both in texture and taste. I was just tossing in stuff and it didn't work out this time. I'll work on it and then post a proper recipe sometime.

Spicy mango pickle is a staple in our household.

The okra dish was something I made up as I went along and it turned out pretty good. I heated some oil, tossed in some cumin seeds and let them start popping, then threw in some chopped onion, then some frozen okra, then some salt and salsa (my secre sub for tomatoes).

The parathas were the frozen kind from the Indian grocery store. I've never made these from scratch, nor do I have the time and inclination, especially when someone's already done the work and all I have to do is cook them in a hot pan. I try not to eat these too much since they are pretty rich, but we do buy different brands and flavors and keep them on hand. I'm even ashamed to admit we've just had parathas and achar for dinner a few times. But don't judge too much, it tastes damn good.

Have you guessed by now I'm lazy and take help where I can get it? :D

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Short and Sweet Treat!

Don't those look so tempting?

I'm not much of a baker and when I do bake, it tends to be from a mix. It's pretty hard to mess those up, but I have managed to do it a few times!

Anyway, I felt like making cookies the other day and while I had the ingredients to make them from scratch, I was feeling lazy as usual. So I did a little searching and found an EASY recipe using a cake mix. I know the ones from scratch taste better, but these are great because they go together so quickly and can be customized for whatever flavors you feel like.

Mix and Match Cookies

1 box cake mix, any flavor - I used dark chocoloate
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
water, optional - I didn't use it this time around
whatever mix-ins you want - I used a bar of pomegranate-flavored dark chocolate that I chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.

In a big bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil. The dough will be very dense, add water if needed. Add your mix-ins.

Chill mix in fridge for a few minutes.

Using a spoon, scoop out dough and roll in your hands until you make a ball about the size of a walnut. Place dough balls on cookie sheets. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, then take out and let cool.

Most recipes I saw yielded about 24 cookies. I got 32, but my cookies were on the small side.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DC Food Gluttony Re-cap - Part 4 - The End

I had to save the best for last.

To be perfectly honest, Sunday brunch was the one meal I had been looking forward to all weekend. When you see the pictures you'll understand why.

When my sister sent me the link to a restaurant called Co Co. Sala and mentioned it was a chocolate lounge and boutique, I was immediately intrigued. Once I saw the Sunday brunch menu, I knew we HAD to go there. Hello, who wouldn't want to have S'mores french toast stuffed with dark chocolate, among other amazing looking eats? Our fate was sealed and brunch reservations were made for the Three Musketeers, our cousin, Aunt #1, and her friend.

Now this place would definitely be a great place to hang out at night, but I'm telling you, brunch is the way to go here. You have the option of ordering of a prix fixe menu or a la carte. The prix fixe menu gives you an amuse bouche, an entree, and then dessert, and since we were all feeling indulgent we all ordered the prix fixe menu.

The amuse bouche consisted of a warm chocolate fritter that tasted like a fresh chocolate doughnut hole, served with a warm caramel sauce with pecans. Sadly, the light was being funky and I didn't get a good pic of this. For my entree I got the French Toast S'mores, which was made with cinnamon brioche, stuffed with dark chocolate and marshmallows. On the side were warm bananas in some kind of sauce (I'm allergic, so I didn't sample) and some graham crackers with chocolate mousse. We all sampled each others entrees and I think everyone had a winner. Despite Mr. Spice's protestations, I had to capture my brunch:

By the time we had finished our entrees, we were all pretty stuffed. Oh I guess I should mention my sister and I ordered some chicken sausages on the side to balance out the sweetness of our french toast. Soo good. Oh and a few of us might have indulged and ordered a cocktail. I don't drink a lot, but this cocktail was worth it. It had pear vodka, lychee puree, rose water, and lime juice. We quickly figured out a way to make it non-alcoholic and vowed to recreate it for the dinner at Aunt #1's house that evening.

Right, so here we are stuffed after our entrees when the waitress comes by with the dessert selections. Believe it or not, I had about hit my chocolate limit for the day. Sacrilege, I know. We were presented with four options and could choose two: a peanut butter and banana parfait thingy, an espresso brownie, a ricotta tart, and a pistachio chocolate thingy. Here's what I chose:

My selections were the espresso brownie and pistachio chocolate thingy (my term not theirs). Both were good but I was so full already that I could only take a couple bites of each. Well, I had room to sample a couple bites of the ricotta tart too:

I really should have ordered the ricotta tart instead of the espresso brownie, it was light and citrusy and didn't taste as heavy as the other choices. Live and learn.

Once we managed to heave ourselves away from the table, we decided to walk around a bit to walk off some of the damage from brunch. Then we came back to our hotel and collapsed onto chairs, the bed, and the floor to recover.

We still had more eats on the way, since we were due in a few hours at Aunt #1's house for dinner, which she was having catered. We stopped on the way to pick up fresh berries, some ice cream, and the fixings for the virgin version of the cocktail drink we'd had at brunch. We found pear juice to sub for the pear vodka, lychee juice, limes, and some pomegranate lychee white tea I like that I thought would go well with everything.

Never mind that we were still stuffed from brunch, once my aunt started serving dinner, the spicy smells of Bengali food wafting from the kitchen was enough to entice us. I didn't take pictures because she had other guests over and I didn't feel like explaining what I was doing. The food was from a Bengali restaurant, but really it was so good it tasted like home-made food rather than restaurant food. I was particularly focused on the beef curry, which tasted almost exactly how we had it growing up, and the mixed vegetables. I'm very envious of my aunt, cousin, and sister, who all get to eat the leftovers.

As for the drinks, well let's say the alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions were equally popular. Once I figured out the ratio of lychee juice to pear juice, it was easy to put together. Expect to see the non-alcoholic version sometime in the future on this blog. It's such a perfect summertime fruity girly drink, exactly what I like.

And that, everyone, ends the story of my weekend of food gluttony. I'm sure everyone feels the need to go walk for an hour just after reading all that.

The End.


DC Food Gluttony Re-cap - Part 3

To make up for the lack of pictures in the past two recaps, there will be LOTS of pictures in this one.

Now in order not to bore everyone with details of the family stuff, I will skip over it. This in any way does not diminish the memories of seeing everyone that day, but since the majority of you have not met me or my family or are not members of my family, then it doesn't mean the same to you. Just trust me that there was lots of squealing, giggling, hugging and all that. And Mr. Spice has it all captured on video.

The plans for Saturday were to meet Aunt #1 and my cousin in Georgetown and walk around a while and then we were going to drive to Maryland to have dinner at Aunt # 2's house. Thankfully the weather had cheered up from Thursday and Friday's rain and it wasn't too hot, which was perfect for all the walking we did.

All of us were still quite full from the various breakfasts we had, but when I spotted a frozen yogurt place, nobody resisted. Well except for Mr. Spice and Aunt # 1's friend. For some reason I thought this place was the one Sweetie Pie talked about a few times, but it was a different store. Hers was Tangy Sweet and this place was IceBerry.

Anyway, since we'd had a huge breakfast and an even bigger dinner was on the way, I opted to get a small chocolate frozen yogurt topped with raspberries. If they'd had a kid-sized I would have ordered that, since the small was the size of a small vat. That still didn't stop me from finishing it off, but whatever.

Oh and I managed to sneak a pic of it while Mr. Spice wasn't looking. Tee hee.

Doesn't that look so refreshing?

So anyway, we walked around more, took pics, and then headed back so we could get ready for the drive to Maryland. Thank goodness I was following my aunt and her friend, because I think the directions I printed off Google maps would have taken us longer to get there.

Skipping over more family fun, let's get down to dinner. Aunt # 2 really outdid herself. I seriously think she spent the whole day cooking. I wish I could have taken more and better pictures, but we were all starving and my camera battery chose to die at that point. But here goes.

First we have a lovely salad, cut up by moi:

Now some chicken kababs:

Then some tuna kababs (this is what they look like when properly deep fried):

And then some beef curry (notice the lovely bowl, which was a present from me!):

Unfortunately, the main attraction, which was chicken biryani, didn't get photographed on me because of my stupid camera dying. Trust me, it was very good.

Oh and how could I forget dessert? I didn't even remember to take pictures of it! We stopped en route to dinner and picked up a cheesecake sampler, an ice cream pie, and my sister brought her chocolate chip cookies. Don't worry, I tried a little bit of everything! :)

And so endeth day three of gluttony. Day four is coming up!

DC Food Gluttony Re-cap - Part 2

So when we last left off, we'd kicked off our food gluttony weekend pretty well.

Friday was the only day we didn't have plans with all our family, so we Three Musketeers decided to spend the day at the Smithsonian. I hadn't been there in ages and neither had Mr. Spice, so we were really excited about it.

Our hotel was chosen for two main reasons, other than price: it was close to a Metro station and it was close to my sister's apartment. This made coordinating plans pretty easy.

But before we could start, we had to have a nice big breakfast to fuel our day. Oh what a perfect breakfast it was! We headed over to my sister's apartment where she had breakfast ready to go for us: blueberry pancakes, fresh macerated raspberries and blueberries, hash browns, sausage, and orange juice.

Trust me, this was as yummy as it looks.

This absolutely filling and delicious breakfast filled us up and lasted us for quite a few hours as we explored the natural history museum and Sackler gallery. Only afterward did we succumb to hunger and have some hot pretzels while hiding from the drizzle.

I'm very ashamed to say that dinner was wolfed down and escaped the camera. We took advantage of the Delivery Doctor service to have some great sandwiches delivered from Tarbouch, a Middle Eastern restaurant. I was of course waffling between five billion choices and in the end decided on the tried and true chicken shwarma sandwich which came with a very garlicky sauce. I took bites of my sister's chicken tabbouleh sandwich and Mr. Spice's sandwich which I can't remember the name of but contained beef and lamb sausage. Both were good, but I liked mine the best.

For dessert we got to snack on some fresh chocolate chip cookies that were being made for the next night's dinner at my aunt's house. So so good. The recipe has been sworn to secrecy, but I will be making these at some point.

Stay tuned for the Saturday and Sunday recaps!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

DC Food Gluttony Re-cap - Part 1

I was afraid they'd have to roll me onto the plane back to Atlanta, that's how much food I had this weekend.

It was all so worth it though. I got to reconnect with a cousin I hadn't seen in over 10 years and hang out with my sister, aunts, and other cousins. Food, family, and fun, that's the best way to sum up the weekend.

I tried to document as much of the food as I could but was foiled a few times by dying batteries, bad timing, and some forgetfulness.

Let's start with Thursday evening, when we got into DC . . .

After we got checked into our hotel room and had settled in, we were STARVING. Luckily, my sister was coming to meet us for dinner. We just needed to figure where. Last time I visited, she kept telling me about this place that served pupusas, which are a type of filled flatbread that seem to be native to El Salvador. We didn't get a chance to eat them then, but I remembered them and suggested trying them for dinner that night. As it turns out, we were pretty close to a string of restaurants and shops in Arlington and there was a place that served pupusas. Off we went.

We arrived at Mexicali Blues to find that there was a long wait, but we decided to tough it out and eventually got a table in the bar area. I had of course been drooling over the menu as we'd waited for our table, and I knew exactly what I was going to have. We had decided to order a couple pupusas to split as a quasi-appetizer and we got one filled with beans and cheese and one just with cheese. I ordered the enchiladas and got to choose three fillings -- I chose beef, potato, and spinach & mushroom.

I guess I should confess here that no pictures were taken of our food. Mr. Spice is not too keen on me taking pics of food in restaurants and I didn't feel like arguing with him.

Anyway, when the food came out, I noticed that the pupusas looked like stuffed pooris, which are a fried Indian bread. My favorite kind are dal pooris, which are pooris stuffed with spiced lentils. The pupusas were a dead ringer for them, which was a good sign for me. I wasn't as enthused with the bean and cheese ones, but the all cheese pupusa was pretty good. The cheese was gooey and salty and a perfect foil to the sturdiness of the pupusa.

The enchiladas were okay. Keep in mind we'd already polished off two baskets of chips and salsa while waiting for our food, so I was already a bit full by this point. The fillings just seemed too bland for me, but I did enjoy novelty of the potato and spinach/mushroom fillings.

After all this, my sister and I were still ready for some dessert. We headed further down the street and hit up Boccato Gelato & Espresso. I was starting to wish I'd saved even more room or even that I'd forgone dinner so that I could do full justice to the selections there. I immediately zoned in on a chocolate gelato, but decided to try some of the fruit-based ones instead. After sampling the blood orange, mandarin, and mango sencha flavors, I settled on mango sencha, which was a mix of mango and sencha tea. So good and refreshing after our salty and heavy dinner. The mango hit me first, and then I got the undertones of the tea. I tried a bit of my sister's pineapple basil gelato and enjoyed that as well. We tried to entice Mr. Spice with a gelato or an espresso but it didn't work. I looked at their latte menu and saw they had mandarin chocolate, which sounded so good, but I was beyond stuffed by this point. Next time.

Stay tuned for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday installments of this food gluttony recap!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Out for a few days

I know I don't have the most consistent posting history, but just giving you a heads up that we're leaving to go out of town for the weekend, so it's very very unlikely I will post.

Just where are we going off to? DC! We're off to visit some of my family. Poor Mr. Spice doesn't know quite what he's getting into, especially given that I will be having a reunion with a cousin I haven't seen in over 10 years.

I hope you guys have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you next week!