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Posts Tagged ‘Goat Cheese’

To my dismay, I woke up this morning to a torrential down pour. My dad and I were going to go on a bike ride but had to cancel our plans due to the massive puddles that had accumulated. Instead, we decided to go to the local high school track and run. Before we left I had a pre-run banana.

When we returned, “Dad’s Breakfast Kitchen” was in full swing for another amazing Sunday brunch! This lovely omelet was made with 3 egg whites and 1/2 a run away yolk, stuffed with spinach and goat cheese, and topped with fresh tomato, basil and more goat cheese. On the side I had a piece of whole wheat toast with fresh strawberries, honey and cinnamon. Needless to say, I was in breakfast heaven.

While waiting for the rain to pass, I took another stab at baking Super Charge Me Cookies in my parent’s functional oven and they came out MUCH better than my little¬† disaster last time.

What an oven should look like.

Cookies that aren't burnt!

I used peanut butter and loaded them with dark chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, dried cherries and dried cranberries. I had one for a snack before heading out on a stroll with my parents. I think it gave me a fair boost of energy because I found myself dancing to non-existent music as we walked around the neighborhoods. It is a good thing that my parent’s love is unconditional because my dance moves are borderline embarrassing.

I had planned on returning to my apartment later in the afternoon but was running behind schedule so I stayed at home for dinner. Besides, birthday cake was involved and I am not one to turn down good company and dessert. For dinner “Cafe Mom” was open and we had leftover steak with horseradish sauce, oven roasted sweet potatoes, a mixed green and tomato salad and boiled carrots and broccoli.Today was my mom’s actual birthday so we celebrated with a small cake for dessert.I had a slice complete with MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP (!!!!I have been dreaming of mint chocolate chip and my parents bought some on their grocery store trip. I love them.) ice cream.This concludes another segment of “my wonderful weekend at home”. Gotta love family.

Another Week,

Nora

What is your favorite food?

**(I feel like this is the hardest question in the world to answer, but it is something people frequently ask me. I like so many things and have yet to find a food that I truly dislike, therefore; I had a very long internal debate about what was my all-time favorite food. My conclusion: Ice cream. Go figure.)


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My reason for coming home on the weekends= free beer.

JUST KIDDING! But coming home to a sinfully delicious and hoppy Middle Ages Wailing Wench beer adds incentive. My real reason for coming home a second weekend in a row is to celebrate my best friend’s birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!

My mom will be another year wiser this Sunday, but because my brother and I have work/school on Monday morning we will be celebrating by going out to dinner on Saturday evening. We are going to a French restaurant that she picked out and I am BEYOND excited! I’ve never been to a French restaurant and I cannot wait to engage in a new cultural experience (complete with a nice Bordeaux wine of course ūüôā ).

I drove directly home after work today and sipped on a much appreciated beer with my dad as my mom prepared dinner. For dinner we had grilled steak with oven roasted potato wedges and an iceberg wedge salad with goat cheese and tomatoes in a red wine vinaigrette. Dinner was also served with a touch more beer. IT’S SO GOOD, I SWEAR!

I’m not a huge steak person, however; from time to time I CRAVE it and nothing else will do. I haven’t had red meat in a while and lately my meals have been fairly vegetarian, so I was long over due. I topped my steak with a bit of A1 Steak Sauce and had an abundance of ketchup on the side for my potato wedges. Home cookin’ at its finest! Thanks mom!

After dinner I proceeded to clean the kitchen. Fun Fact: I’m a freak about cleaning the kitchen. It doesn’t even have to be my own. I have been known to¬† obsessively do the dishes at dinner parties.

When I finished, I desperately searched the freezer for my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream but there was none to be found.  I debated baking brownies but it was nearly 9pm. What is a girl with a sweet-tooth to do? IMPROVISE. I mixed ~1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt with 1 heaping tsp of Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder and then added a mound of chopped strawberries and cinnamon to the bowl. Not quite ice cream but still delicious!

I’ve been awake since 5 AM and I’m exhausted. I think a ritual Farmer’s Market Saturday trip is in store for tomorrow (weather permitting), so hopefully I’ll be meeting you at the market!

Happy Weekend!

Nora


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Well, it finally happened. I graduated.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day for graduation. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was mild. Our main ceremony lasted nearly three hours and I left thinking, “That’s it?”. Four years and it is over in the blink of an eye? My parents and brother joined me in the celebration and presented me with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses after the ceremony (THANK YOU!!). We went to brunch at a local cafe (a few minutes from my new apartment!) and I ordered a breakfast sandwich with two eggs, goat cheese, portabello mushrooms, tomato, basil and ham on sunflower bread. I have more pictures but unfortunately I left my camera uploader at my apartment, so I’ll have to post them on Tuesday.

After brunch, I attended my department ceremony to receive my diploma. It was a small ceremony and only lasted an hour. As soon as it was over I sprinted back to my dorm-apartment and went into a packing frenzy. I didn’t even stop to take my high heels off, I just wanted to GET OUT! I ate my last Jonagold apple and started throwing things here and there until everything was in the car. I have been ready to leave for so long and did not want to spend MORE time than was necessary. My parents joined me in the packing craze and we were out of there in about two hours. I think we were all surprised by the amount of¬† ‘things’, especially kitchen gadgets, that I have collected over the year. It barely fit into two cars!

The insanity continued as we hulled garbage bags full of random items in to my new apartment. It was such a long day and I was so thankful to have my parent’s help. When we finished, we were extremely exhausted and still had a 1.5 hour drive home. It was nearly 8:30pm when we finally got back and dinner was Chinese food. My dad and I shared some Middle Ages Wailing Wench beer as we settled down and we feasted on wonton soup, mixed seafood and vegetables, rice and fortune cookies with a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling. (pictures will be¬† posted later!)

I fell asleep approximately one hour later and woke up this morning feeling refreshed. I’m glad that I was able to come home for a few days to spend time with my parents and organize myself before starting the next phase of my life. I know that if I stayed in my apartment last night¬† I would have been anxious about getting settled and entered into another sleepless night and unpacking furry. I’m the type of person that likes to be completely organized before I can relax and focus.

I was really hungry when I woke up and after searching the contents of my parent’s cupboards and fridge, decided to create a gigantic yogurt mess with Greek yogurt, sliced almonds, Cheerios, banana, strawberries and cinnamon for breakfast.

I spent much of this morning generating a to do list, doing laundry, and configuring my computer. My generous parents bought me a new computer for graduation (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I am organizing files on my old one before the transfer. This has NOT been an easy task. Much like my room at school, my computer is packed full of random files and pictures in an extremely unorganized fashion.

After a few hours of stressful computer sorting I made a peanut butter, banana, strawberry and cinnamon sandwich on two slices of whole grain bread with a side of baby carrots. Shortly after, I snacked on vanilla yogurt, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and cinnamon. I’m basically eating whatever I can scrounge up in my parents fridge. I’m hoping dinner has some sort of vegetable because today has been a fruit, nut and dairy filled day (good thing that those are my favorites!).

I’m off to do more computer work. I’m heading¬† into the real world tomorrow to face my apartment mess and work. I’ll be sure to post but I can already tell that insanity is in store.

Crazy,

Nora

Are you an organized person? What are your tips and tricks?

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Graduation Dinner

Graduation Day is finally here. In a few short hours I will be dressed in a gaudy gown and tasseled cap, taking a final walk down the center of our academic quad to receive my diploma.  It has been a long four years but I feel ready to exit this institution and embrace the future with a brain full of knowledge and a strong sense of self. As I sit in my half-empty dorm room reflecting and writing (my final paper if you will), I can only think of how lucky I am. I have been afforded incredible opportunities by my loving and supportive parents, and do not take any of them for granted. THANK YOU MOM AND DAD, I LOVE YOU!

Yesterday afternoon, my parents and twin brother came to help me move from “dorm life to real life”. We spent much of the afternoon packing up my cluttered college apartment and transporting my belongings to my charming one-bedroom.¬† (I’ll use ‘charming’¬† as an operative word for rundown. Pictures soon!). We had a light lunch at a cafe near my little hole-in-the-wall and later went to one of my favorite restaurants to celebrate the end of my college career and the beginning of my professional life. I love this restaurant because their menu incorporates local and seasonal items. Their dishes are all fresh, clean and decadent!

To start, I had one of their signature martini’s made with limoncello, a small piece of house made baguette and a mixed green salad topped with goat cheese (I REALLY love goat cheese and immediately started eating. I was about half way through when this picture was taken!)

My main course was a daily special: pan-seared halibut with spring vegetables, fava beans and a tarragon, mint and Meyer lemon sauce. I enjoyed this with a lovely glass of white Burgundy, which provided a perfect balance to the sweetness in the dish.

PERFECTION!

Before moving to dessert, I want to take a moment to share my brother’s meal: the prime rib.

It was an enormous piece of meat and he thoroughly enjoyed it!

We split three desserts between the four of us: Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Sorbet, Strawberry Genoise with Vanilla Butter Cream and Rhubarb Sorbet, and their signature Creme Brulee served in a chocolate bowl.

I LOVE DESSERT! Everything was delicious, but their creme brulee is out of this world! It is not typically my dessert of choice but it is hard to say no when something served in a chocolate bowl. This restaurant has perfected their craft and the creme brulee remains my favorite. They served it with a side of blueberries and chocolate chip cookies. I wasn’t able to get a full picture of the chocolate almond cake before it was devoured, but you can see the small portion on my plate. It was a rich bite and the almond flavor was pleasantly potent. The genoise was similar to a white wedding cake and extremely dense. My favorite part about that dessert was the¬† Rhubarb sorbet that came on the side. It was tart, sweet and light which provided a nice contrast to the extravagant cake.

It was such a treat to see my family and share this incredible food with them. I can’t believe my time here has finally come to an end. The next time I write I will officially be a college graduate.

New Beginnings,

Nora

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I am officially starting to move in to my apartment this afternoon, which means I had to clean and organize the contents of my pantry and refrigerator yesterday. I woke up yesterday morning CRAVING cold cereal. It was a blessing in disguise because I was able to finish the last of my Kashi Heart to Heart and an aging banana.This bowl contains about 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1/2 cup Kashi Heart to Heart, 1 large banana, 1 cup vanilla soy milk and cinnamon. I haven’t had cold cereal for breakfast in a really long time and it hit the spot. I was hungry shortly after and had a big, crunchy Jonagold apple.

As I began the cleaning process, I had to face the reality of my snack bar collection. I have been trying to go through it for a while now but some how always manage to purchase more. Give and take a few bars that are hiding in my car, this is my collection at it’s finest:Lunch was a production that I like to call “contents of my fridge”. I made a big spinach salad with goat cheese, broccoli, sprouts, strawberries, button mushrooms, cucumber, 1/3 block of tempeh and balsamic vinaigrette. I had two carrots and an unpictured apple on the side.After lunch I decided I needed a bit more fuel before I started packing and heated up a Medjool date with crunchy almond butter. I seriously love this combination. Midway through eating I came to the realization that I needed another stuffed date but this time tried something new: a Medjool date with MaraNatha Chocolate Almond Spread. Needless to say, it was divine.

Last night was our Senior Ball. It was a really lovely evening at a hotel with about 600 members of the Class of 2010. It reminded me of highschool prom amplified by 100. Before leaving my roommate and I prepared a fancy swordfish dinner. I pan-seared the swordfish and we had leftover pesto pasta and a mixed green, cherry tomato, feta cheese and avocado salad dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I absolutely loved the combination of the three elements, and the salad was creamy and delicious!To honor our wine tour earlier in the week, we had a glass of Anthony Road 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling with our meal.

I’m off for a day of moving and graduation rehearsal! I can’t believe how quickly this week went by!

Nearing The End,

Nora

Do you tend to go out for a meal before a nice evening or do you prefer making something at home?

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After lunch today, I professed my love to my panini maker. Trust me, if you had this grilled vegetable, goat cheese and hummus wrap for lunch you wouldn’t think it was odd to talk to a kitchen appliance either. Last night I tossed baby eggplant, red bell pepper, portabella mushroom strips and asparagus in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon and cracked black pepper and grilled them on my panini machine. I had some leftover, so I decided to throw them in a wrap with goat cheese, hummus, and spinach. It was such a nice combination. I am a goat cheese fanatic and love when it is slightly warm and creamy. Grilling the tortilla makes it nice and crispy; a perfect vessel for the soft texture of my fillings. On the side I had cedar’s original hummus and a large carrot sliced for dipping. I also had an unpictured apple and more of Mr. Chocolate Almond Bunny for dessert.

Days are numbered.

After my attacking Mr. Chocolate Almond Bunny,¬† I received and email to pick up a package at the campus post office. What could it be? I have been expecting contacts (that were supposed to come a week ago…I’m not going to get into that) but it was something even better, MY BREVILLE JUICER!I really should re-name this post to “My Obsession With Kitchen Appliances”. I was so excited when I picked this up. I placed my order a few weeks ago after wanting to make juice for MONTHS. I work at the bakery tomorrow evening, so I’m going to pick up some organic produce afterward. When I spoke to Mario Lopez **(he wrote this about juicing for my blog)** he suggested using organic produce so you avoid the occurrence of chemicals in your juice.¬† I can’t even express how much I am looking forward to using this baby!

Fun Gadgets,

Nora

What is your favorite kitchen appliance/cookware?

What should my first juice combination be?

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In honor of the Ginger Snap Lara Bar I tried over the weekend, I added a new addition to my oats today: ground cloves. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the warm flavor, and knew it would be a nice addition in my morning oats. Cloves remind me of the winter holiday season where items like dried fruit, nuts and spices are staples in every meal and dessert. I wanted something hearty, creamy, dynamic and sweet to start my day so I decided to make Banana Fruit Cake Oats: 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, 1 sliced banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1 chopped Medjool date, 1 chopped apricot, 1/2 TBS dried cherries, 1/2 TBS dried cranberries, 1/2 TBS raisins and 1 TBS natural almond butter. I added the milk, water, spices and 1/2 of the banana (reserve other half for top) into a small sauce pan until it starts to boil. I reduced the heat and added the oat bran, oats and chia seeds for about 8 minutes and topped with the dried fruit, banana slices and almond butter. Oat bran is a new product for me. A few weeks ago I was adding about 2 TBS of instant oats (an attempt to get rid of them) to my rolled oats and noticed that they added a lot more volume and creaminess to my bowls. I wanted to find a product that would give this same feel, and the fine grind of oat bran did the trick! This was delicious and SO filling. I had¬† small apple mid-morning but this held me over for hours!

For lunch I was oddly craving hummus and carrots. I made a big spinach salad using: spinach, 1 large grated carrot, 2 inch piece of an English cucumber, 1/2 Roma tomato, 1 stalk of celery, 3 white button mushrooms sliced, clover sprouts, hummus, goat cheese and hot sauce. I really like the addition of hummus to big salads, and always put ~2 TBS right on top of the clover sprouts to spread it around. It is such a delicious combination. On the side I had a handful (plus a few pre-photo!) of Food Should Taste Good The Works! Chips. I’m not really a big chip person, but I do like blue tortilla chips and fancy chips from time to time. This company makes so many “different” chips including sweet potato and chocolate! I saw that The Works was a mixture of caraway and poppy seeds, minced garlic and onion and HAD to pick them up. I love the flavors of caraway and poppy and haven’t had them in a long time. These chips were a bit salty but paired nicely with the hummus and hot sauce. After lunch I needed something sweet to cleanse my palate and had 1 sliced kiwi, 2 sliced frozen strawberries and Chobani Greek Yogurt; light and refreshing.

I just found out that I won’t be able to attend the Passover dinner with my friend tonight. I’m a little bummed because I was looking forward to experience her religion and see the traditions, but I received an exciting little something-something in the mail today that might make an appearance around dinner time!

Creative Thoughts,

Nora

If you are an oatmeal person: what types of oats do you use and what are essential ingredients in the base of your oats?

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