Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eat, Drink, & Be Merry

Yelp sure knows how to throw a great party.  Last Thursday I finished up my second to last semester of genetic counseling graduate school by rocking out my embryology exam.  After that, I knew it was time to celebrate so Jessica, one of my first years, and I headed to a local culinary school for a Yelp Elite night called Eat, Drink, & Be Merry.  I only brought along my phone so I documented everything via iPhone and Instagram. 

The evening started off with champagne and appetizers.  There were sweet potato latkes with a goat cheese and lemon mousse, butternut squash and water chestnut soup, and a duct prosciutto crostini with apple butter.


I was kind of sad the latkes weren’t warm but everything was awesome.  Plus, I’m a sucker for a glass of champagne so I refilled my glass as we moved out of the receptions area to start out tour. The idea of the night, which I LOVED, was that we would tour the entire culinary school and stop as various places for new tapas and alcohol.  Our next stop was a seafood and meat kitchen for white wine and a full plate.  We had another soup but this one was a cold potato soup with onions and leeks, a little endive leaf filled with some papaya salad, a crostini with sauerkraut and braised cabbage, and a crostini with fig jam, granny smith apple, and melted brie.  The last was my absolute favorite.  I honestly had four of them.  Haha.


Sushi made its way onto our shared plate but we forgot to document it.  It was your basic type of roll with, in my opinion, an excess of rice.  Not a huge fan but the students who were making the rolls were still learning.  I can cut them some slack!  We moved on to another room filled with a bunch of stove tops.  Here we had two kinds of margaritas: a rhubarb and a key lime.  I tried the rhubarb first and then had the key lime.  The latter was better but both were tasty.


That’s the rhubarb one with the lingering bits of my glass of white wine. The food in this room was a trio of seafood terrine with shrimp, lobster, and scallops; a lamb “lollipop”; and a fruit salad in a phyllo dough cup.


I wasn’t a fan of the lamb (perhaps I’m just not a lamb girl) so I gave that to Jessica, and conveniently, she wasn’t a fan of the terrine so she slid that onto my plate.  The fruit salad was a nice way to round out that course and cleanse the palate.  From here, with margaritas in tow, we headed up to the penthouse.


There we found our last tables of food and a wine and beer bar.  My first plate had all sorts of savory bites.  I tried the sesame dumplings, cucumber discs with salmon mousse, squash cups with chorizo meatball, shrimp ceviche with plantain discs, and a cornbread with mango salsa.  Best thing on the plate: dumpling for sure.


Second round consisted of a trip to a whole other table: shrimp with cocktail sauce, sweet and spicy shrimp (hotter than I was expecting), a meat filled samosa, a beef kabob, and a crostini with a some delightfully salty ground beef mixture and pesto.  The bread was fried on the last one and it was so ridiculously yummy.  I went back for seconds of that and the samosa.


I nursed a glass of great red wine while trying all the different foods.  Jessica, my partner in crime, actually recognized the wine just by the cork.  It was hilarious.  We both enjoyed the selection.


We ended up sitting with a great couple and had some fantastic conversation.  I think they definitely contributed to a wonderful time at the party.  All four of us got a bit excited about dessert, and rightfully so.  It had its own table!!


On this much to small plate I had a chocolate and coconut truffle, some carrot cake roll, a strawberry macaroon, some decadent chocolate ganache/fudge, and an incredible lemon meringue.  I went back for seconds on just about everything.  It was all too good to pass up.  And while we snacked on sweets, there were ornaments to decorate.  C’mon glitter pens!!  Fairly sure it took a million years for our co-designed masterpiece to dry.


We ended up staying so late that we closed the show down.  It was honestly such a great night.  Fairly sure we went back to my apartment and chatted for hours.  Fantastic way to wrap up the semester!!

Now, in other news, I’m doing an internship at a reproductive firm that does PGD.  I love it.  I’ve been happily busy during my days there doing things like observing consultations, following up on frozen embryo transfers, looking at results, learning how to log samples, and just learning from the counselors.  The one bad thing: the commute each way is about an hour and a half.  Boo that.  At least now I know that is a bit much for me.

Questions: What is your favorite tapas-type of food?
When was the last time you got crafty?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Secret Mustard

Today was an exercise in procrastination.  First I woke up and spent more than my fair share of time thumbing through Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook on my iPhone.  It was incredibly relaxing.  When I finally removed myself from my warm sheets, I headed to the gym for some 40-odd minutes on the elliptical.  Felt good to sweat and it worked up my appetite so much so that when I got home I whipped up some French toast.  It has been so long since I had some!


I smeared some almond butter on both slices and then sprinkled on flax seed and chia seeds.  The final touch was maple syrup.  Super brunch, I must say.  You would think it would have set me up for a good day of studying but I just took the opportunity to wash dishes and clean off my couches (the classic spot of magazine drop off and paper dumps).  I got terribly little done before making lunch three and a half hours later.  I did manage to study one whole embryo chapter in that time.  Oh yea, that’s what we call progress.  Haha.

Anyways, late lunch rolled around and I made myself another lemon pepper egg salad sandwich, this time with cheddar cheese.  Sides of sticks: both pretzels and carrot varieties.


I really do love egg salad.  I don’t know what it is but it seems to be a craving lately.  Might as well indulge.  Hello protein!  Not an hour after lunch I was trying to study another embryo chapter but my eyes were not cooperating.  I gave it after trying to fight it for all of ten minutes and laid down for a nap.  I set my alarm for 30 minutes but woke up refreshed in 25.  I continued to study fetal neuroanatomy while horizontal in my bed.  Given my recent shut eye, I actually was able to power through lots of “development of…” flowcharts.  I came up for air around 6:30 to make dinner.  Who’s up for fried rice?


I used some of my leftover brown rice from the other night and sautéed it with sesame oil, onion, canned (read: sad-looking) mixed veggies, and some fried egg.  I used the split pan method to cook the egg after cooking the onions down and adding the veg.


Final step was the seasoning.  Usually, soy sauce is enough but after a trip to a hibachi grill, I learned that the secret was mustard.  Who knew?  Not me but after having a bite, I knew it would go in every single fried rice recipe I made from now on.


If you’ve never tried it, seriously you should.  Use a spicy mustard not the regular yellow stuff.  The point is to give the whole dish a bit of a zing.  Works perfectly.

After dinner I studied a bit more, called and chatter with mom, did some more cleaning, and watched some shows on my DVR.  Think I might keep that plan going and then go to bed.  Before I head that way, I wanted to share a great song with you.  I know it’s not Tune Tuesday but let’s face it, with the way things have been going, I might not be able to post this on the right day.  So why wait?

Questions: Ever made homemade fried rice?
How was your lovely Saturday?

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