Monday, August 15, 2011

Moroccan Monday

Today was a productive day!  Go team go!

Because I went to bed at 10 last night, I woke up around 7 this morning.  Mom was already up and about so when I came out into the living room she promptly started making me tea and I started on the french toast.  I used my the new bread we bought yesterday on our shopping extravaganza and boy, did it make a difference.  The resulting bake was so much heartier and filling.


We topped our pieces of french toast bake with fresh, hand-picked peaches, chia, and I put some syrup on mine.  I have a thing about having moisture on my pancakes or french toast.  I can’t eat them without that silky texture so maple syrup and I are best buds.  Yum.

I had two cups of tea with breakfast this morning: gingerbread spice and Egyptian licorice.  Hint: if anyone you know isn’t a tea drinker or has bad thoughts about tea and how it tastes, give them the licorice tea because it will BLOW THEIR MIND.  It has converted numerous people in my life.  Just try it, trust me.

The morning rolled on and I got tired, not surprising seeing how traumatic the last few days have been, so I took a late morning nap and when I got up mom was still talking to insurance companies and hospitals and claims representatives.  I’m really glad she was here to take care of all that.

Before we embarked on our walk this afternoon to run a few errands, we made ourselves lunch.  Using the new bread we had turkey and provolone sandwiches (mine with dijonnaise and hers with Bavarian sweet mustard) paired with some leftover kale salad from our awesome Whole Foods trip.  On the side we also had some pretzels and one Turkish apricot a piece.


I had a huge mug of water with my lunch, like always, and had to go to the bathroom before we left.  Honestly, for as much water as I drink, I am always stunned I don’t have to use the restroom more than I actually do.  Good thing I did visit the ladies room before we departed because we walked over to my new medical school for our first errand and it took about 20-25 minutes.


Ladies and gentleman, I am official!!!  Boy does it feel great to finally have my med school ID.  It feels real.  I am so ready to wear this sucker!

After this first stop, we headed to the bank to deal with some financial aid disbursement direct deposit issues and we had the nicest banker ever, without a doubt.  We could have stayed there forever just talking and talking.  She made the experience really lovely and I was happy to have met her.

On the way home from the bank we stopped by Marsh (only three blocks from my apartment!) to grab some Old Bay seasoning and to check on the pharmacy’s pricing of a few prescriptions.  FYI, Marsh apparently price matches other competitors’.  Fantastic news!  I may be transferring some ‘scripts soon because I would take walking three blocks over driving 6 miles on the highway any day.  Plus, let’s face it, at this point I am carless so walking is the only thing I’ve got going for me.  In total we walked about 3.75ish miles today in the wonderful, not too hot weather. It was great to get out and move and, believe it or not, it made me way less stiff. Win all around.

When we arrived back at the apartment I was truly worn out. Walking and being upright in my neck brace for so long had tired me so I took it off and relaxed on the couch and we made a list of all the things to do tomorrow.  I also took the time to speak to an insurance claims adjuster who is claiming to be privately employed.  I think she’s working for the trucking company but in the end I told her all I knew which is that I don’t remember anything.

To top off the lovely day, mom and I decided to embark on a Taste of the Big City adventure by trying Saffron Café, which is right in my backyard.  You can even see it from my apartment!


I had read about this place on Yelp and was dying to try it.  When we came around the corner we were delighted by the artwork on the building.








We were seated inside and had the most stellar waiter you could ever ask for.  His name was David and boy did he know his stuff.  He walked us through the entire menu, what to get, what to avoid, what was hot and spicy, what was sweet or savory.  It was like having a personal guide and we loved it.

To start, we both ordered glasses of Vouvray wine.


These were no baby glasses.  They probably held an 8oz pour or more and were perfect to carry us through dinner.  I like Vouvray when I’m in a Chardonnay mood but I don’t want something as dry.  This was perfect.

For an appetizer we settled on the Harrira, a cilantro soup with tomatoes, saffron rice, and chickpeas.


The bowl was the perfect size to split and it had great flavor.  We were originally debating between this and an orange and avocado appetizer and in the end we think we made the right choice.  The soup was smaller and lighter than the other choice so it was better at not filling us up too much.

Our entrees were in the same genre on the menu.  I chose the Ginger Chicken Tanjine and mom had the Tilapia Tanjine.


What you need to understand about these dishes is that they are broth based and they come baked in terribly cool dishes.  Just look at these!


When we took of the tops, we were rewarded with this awesomeness:



I can’t say enough about this dish.  The chicken was so tender it fell apart.  The carrots were perfectly cooked, the peas popped, and the onions just melted.  Wow.  The broth was so flavorful I could have just died eating it.  I sopped up the broth with the bread at the table which was superbly crusty.  Mom sopped up hers with some saffron rice.


Love the color!  When we finished our meals, and boy did we take our sweet time loving every bite, we had to decide on dessert.  I had read that the mascarpone cheesecake was well worth the trip so we decided on the lemon version with a raspberry sauce.


Three words: Yes. Please. More.

Now, don’t go thinking this was some normal New York style cheesecake.  On no, it was much better.  Think of a cross between a pound cake and an angel food cake then layer that with whipped mascarpone which has been flavored with lemon.  Top that with a crumble of almonds, pecans, and walnuts and plate it on a bed of raspberry sauce.  Wow.  I could have eaten seven more slices.  Whole.

In all, we will definitely be going back to this great place for dinner, lunch, anything really.  It was completely and utterly worth the $90 some though that sort of a price tag would make this more of a “special treat” place than an “everyday” kind of place.  That’s alright with me as long as I get to go again at any point.  The service was stellar, the food amazing, and the atmosphere was unbeatable.  Loved it.  Plain and simple.

I don’t know what to do with myself after such a great dinner.  Mom is already in bed so I think I’ll wind down with some TV, hello MasterChef and Leverage on my DVR, and then get some sleep myself.  Tomorrow has its own list of errands and maybe I’ll undertake some kitchen tasks like making some sunflower butter and hummus and perhaps an Old Bay seasoned dish for dinner… G’night all!

Question: Have you ever had Moroccan food?  What was your favorite dish?


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