Monday, August 31, 2009
So, five of us girls headed to the chef's restaurant after closing to hang out in the kitchen and try his amazing desserts. I have never worked in a restaurant nor ever been in the kitchen of a restaurant, but this was definately cool. We stood around the counter where our amazing host prepared our treats. First up (sorry, I bit into it first before I remembered to take the picture) - the corn dog.
A cornmeal pastry, ketchup-hot dog sauce (yes, there were literally hot dogs used in making it) and mustard ice cream. It tasted like I was at the fair! I tasted all the parts separately and then again all together. I'm still amazed sometimes at what chef's can do with food. This was my all time favorite of the night.
Next up, funnel cake, maple syrup and spam ice cream. Yes, Spam! It tasted just like a creamy, cold version of the canned meat. Mixed with the sweetness of the maple syrup and crispyness of the funnel cake, we were all in heaven. No funnel cake piece went uneaten!
Last up, a homemade chocolate cordial cherry. I loved these as a kid. I used to hoarde them in my room after Valentine's day and not share with anyone else in the house. But I think the rest of the desserts had played their part on me and I was throwing in the towel. I only had one bite of this. The rich, thich chocolate coating put me over the edge and I was done - we all were for that matter. We only made it 5 courses into our tasting - 6 if you count all the mini pastries we consumed while cleaning everything up. It was definately a great end to the night. I went home full, still slightly tipsy, and slept until it was time for my surgery. (Well, mostly slept - in between all the bad dreams about Lasik.)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This weekend, running was last on my list. (Although it shouldn't have been.) My man and I went camping at Brazos Bend State Park and diving with the group down at Mammoth Park. I haven't been to a state park since I was a kid and I honestly forgot how beautiful and peaceful they are. Brazos Bend would have been a perfect place for a run - I actually saw runners and cyclists out there. I didn't even take my shoes! I wanted to kick myself. So here I am in a new week and again, I've only run on Tuesday. I did do five miles, but I really need to get myself back out there. I'm not sure where my motivation has gone or how to get it back. I set my alarm to get up this morning, but turned it off and went back to sleep. I think I ran in my dreams - does that count?
I'm down to less than 24 hours before I can't run for a while. Tomorrow morning I'm going in for Lasik surgery on my eyes. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Finally I'll be able to run without glasses or dried out contacts! Finally I'll be able to dive and see underwater (since the water burns my contacts and I can't wear them)! Finally I'll no longer fight with my eyes when they burn and scream if I try to wear contacts! I'm so looking forward to perfect vision! (Even though Married2Food says I look so cute in my glasses! Have you ever done yoga in glasses? Yeah, annoying and in the way.)
But when my recovery is over, I'll be ready. I should be stir-crazy by then, but just in case, I've lined up some movitation: new running shoes and a new sports bra. Not much beats having new shoes!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Housemade Charcuterie: salumi, pate, cherry mustard and tuscan bread. I've never had pate before, but this was amazing. Supposedly pate is very gamey, but this was not at all. There were a few other meats on the plate, all of which I tried, but nothing compared to the pate.
Crab Cake with spicy Voodoo sauce. Like my picture? I'm trying to be all artistic with the shot. It might not look like it, but this little cake has huge chunks of delisious crab inside. The sauce was a spicy version of a sweet and sour sauce and was really good with the crabcake.
Warm chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, caramel sea salt ice cream. I was the only one at the table to order the chocolate cake. Everyone else ordered the Strawberry rhubarb crisp, almond oat streusel, ginger Chantilly cream. I was really torn on which one to order, but the caramel ice cream was just too inviting to say no to. And it did not disappoint. The chocolate cake oozed with chocolate sauce and the ice cream was a perfect combination with it. The sea salt kept the ice cream from being overly sweet so that the dish wasn't too overpowering. The crisp was also amazing, but everyone agreed it was a tough choice between the two.
The kitchen sent us out sorbets to finish our meal. They were an excellent surprise and we graciously thanked them for everything. Each of us were served a different flavor, so we decided to play musical chairs with them. The one I started with was Champagne Green Apple. It was much like a granita ice cream, very ice-y, but like and flavorful. The rest of the sorbets were creamier and very fruity. The other flavors were: Raspberry, Coconut, Cherry Almond and Smoked Strawberry. We all had different opinions on which ones were the best, but we didn't have any problem finishing them all!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
That yellow cord and mouthpiece is my 2nd stage reg. If anything ever happens to Marcie and I can't breathe from her anymore or if my dive buddy runs out of air and needs to steal from me, the yellow one is there to help. Hopefully, we'll never need to use the yellow one, but one can never be too safe! The other black cord allows for airflow into my BCD (those vests we wear to hold onto our tanks). When we reach the surface and are waiting on the dive boat or need to swim, we can inflate our BCD so we don't sink back down again. The only thing I'm still missing is my console. The dive shop didn't have it in stock yesterday, but they are getting it ordered and it should be here by Friday in time for our dive trip down to Mammouth Lake in Lake Jackson. I'm so excited to try it all out and stoked to finally have a full set of dive gear! Oh, and after last night, I'm Nixtrox certified (and so is Marcie) so we'll be trying out new air with longer down times as well!
That monstrosity is JJ's masterpiece. From bottom to top: half a biscuit, cheese omelet, gravy, bacon, homemade sausage, other half of the biscuit with a maple coating. He even sprinkled a few yellow flowers on top to finish it off.
I have to say that all of the food was amazing, but we definately tried to eat way too much of it. Our waiter kept the drinks coming to help wash down everything. And just when we thought we'd had all we could take, JJ brought us dessert.
This dessert was a perfect end to brunch: Another one of his drop biscuits stuffed with stewed peaches, candied bacon, maple and a fried egg then garnished with bacon ice cream and maple fluff! I think I could have just had this for breakfast and been completely satisfied. I'd heard of bacon ice cream before, but been a lil afraid of it - for evidently no reason at all. It was yummy! It tasted of vanilla with a hit of sweetness and of course BACON.
Beaver's is fastly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Houston - and not just because I've made friends with the chef and the bartender, but because they really have some awesome food, drinks and patrons. We managed to turn brunch into a four hour event and make our way through at least half of the drink menu. I love Sundays (esp when meals like this get to be followed by an afternoon nap)!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Now I'm off to Beaver's to try out JJ's pork belly for the throwdown tomorrow. I'll try to remember my camera to make you drool!