So my dear Moxie has had a rough week. It all started just over a week ago when we took her to the dog training area at Chatfield Reservoir. She LOVES it there: she can run around off leash into ponds and the river, truly a Dog Disneyland. Well we first arrived at the park I had to use the restroom (yucky port-o-potty) so Mox ran off to take her usual warm-up dip. Once she headed back and we started our walk around the park, I noticed the side of her head and neck were soaked with blood, no crying or whimpering just the usual yellow ball fixation (hey just like Piper). Well a dog bit a chunk (a bit less than half) of the poor creatures ear off and more importantly ruined her day at the park. We had to leave the park immediately and hold her down to keep her from covering the car with blood (FYI ear wounds bleed a lot). So she was put on antibiotics and her owners (Mac and I) proceeded to over-compensate with the treats because we were feeling sorry for her... enter diarrhea. arrgghhh. To further torture the poor creature, I forgot she had a vet appointment scheduled before the Mike Tyson Dog attacked her to get a Microchip and a Rabies Test. Well the rabies test was a breeze but, holy cow I had no idea that they had to skewer the poor dog in the back to insert a microchip. Moxie jumped a foot in the air; cried like a car just ran her over; the shot flew across the room; so they had to poke stab her a second time. Poor sweet Moxie.
I do generally love to entertain. It allows me to cook more often without the headache of too many leftovers. One thing I would like to start doing is in the new year and beyond is to start a collection of silver serving pieces and candlesticks and hone my collection of white serving ware. And finally my dream of having a beautiful butlers pantry that I saw this summer on Eddie Ross. Just look at this, and of course it is in my color du jour turquoise (ok maybe it is a bit more blue than turquoise... but it is analogous). Still Love, Love, Love it.... Need to start dropping the hints to The Fiance - New house + More Silver.
Not sure if I need to start any new collections in the new year. But, really I don't have any collections. Ok there is the Star Wars toy obsession of my youth but that collection is still with my parents. I do have a big collection of cooking utensils but I really don't consider that a collection. I have started a collection of white serving pieces but haven't really worked on adding to it in quite sometime. I usually buy some whenever I have a party coming up - Wait I do have a party coming up... might need to buy some pieces.
Some girlfriends and I get together every Thursday night for dinner and Project Runway. I love our Thursday nights... lots of wine and good food. This past Thursday I gave Walshie a break and told her I would cook so that she could have a week off. My original intention was to make red chili cheese enchiladas with lots of onion, since I have about a gallon of my coveted NM red chili in my freezer. But instead I made a recipe I have been holding onto for sometime... Banh-mi sandwiches created by Dorie Greenspan. Dorie originally published this recipe in Parade Magazine and also discussed it on her blog: here and here. She was also kind enough to help me out when I was trying to figure out - Which sweet red chili sauce to use? In addition to the sandwich I also prepared the components of a roll-your-own-spring-roll plate with a few different dipping sauces. The menu was a huge hit. The only shift from Dories’ recipe is that I pounded each chicken breast flat and then marinated the chicken in a mixture of: lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, honey and chili garlic sauce. I also cooked the chicken on my new Le Creuset grill pan that I got for Christmas and used homemade mayonnaise on the bread. This sandwich is totally irresistible and the flavors are those that I continually crave. I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to try the rest of the recipes from this article.
So a favorite past time of mine is brunch followed by a movie. Brunch in Denver is sometimes dicey as Denverites love them some breakfast so brunch locations are usually very busy and aren't convenient to our movie houses. We were going to a movie in Cherry Creek mall so eating in the area was important. I had read some reviews on Argyll sometime ago and had it on my list of places I needed to go. This restaurant, like so many others in Denver lately is touting itself as a gastro pub - a British pub that specializes in high-end food. I would personally describe it as casual comfort food and Argyll is delicious.
My companions and I, all eaters ordered different dishes: I ordered the house made corned beef; Swooze the heavily endorsed mac and cheese; and Walshie the pumpkin french toast. The corned beef was my least favorite, I thought it was a bit under seasoned and the toast they serve with it was small slices of baguette, not quite what I was wishing I cold sop up my egg and corny deliciousness with. The Mac and cheese was rich and divine, although I would not recommend ordering it as a main course as its uber-rich-cheesy goodness is a bit rich to consume as an entire meal. The pumpkin french toast was fantastic: homemade bread toasted and slathered with a pumpkin spread. They were a bit skimpy on said slathering, so I would also advise that you ask for some maple syrup (the waiter didn't offer any until almost the end of our meal).
Our drinks were great too. Walshie had a delicious concoction blended with champagne, gin and ginger syrup which made me long for summer (or at least some patio weather and this place could very likely be a great choice for patio drinking in the coming months); Swoose and I partook of the bottomless mimosa, which I mean really how can you go wrong, except for the fact they are offering a Mango Mimosa that doesn't actually have any real mango in it so it tastes a bit like Mango Kool-Aid Mimosa, but go for it if that is your thing. Seating was fast, I made a reservation for our brunch because we were on a movie schedule, but when I arrived most of the tables were empty. During my I-like-to-wander-and-look-at-other-peoples-food bathroom run, I spied some of the most delicious looking hand cut fries that made me want to come back for dinner... go to Argyll it is reasonably priced, not too crowded and delicious.
So to start the New Year off some my coworkers and I are participating in a weight loss challenge. We started on January 11th and will continue the deprivation for three months with a good bit of money at stake. I decided last week that I would contribute by providing them with an email each week containing some low calorie recipes.
When deciding on what recipes to present to my work friends all it dawned on me, "how can you provide fellow starving coworkers with an untested low calorie recipe?" Truth is I can't and most of the time when I read a recipe I generally think that it sounds disgusting sans that requisite stick of butter. So, to ease my conscience I decided to test these recipes and once tested provide them with a taste to help them decide if they wanted to recreate the treat at home. So... Thursdays are the days I have chosen to provide them with this snack. Last week I tinkered with a banana bread recipe from the Weight Watchers site and it was a big hit and this week... caramel corn.
The recipe is delicious. I did modify this - because once I started pouring the syrup over the corn I thought there was way too much... so I popped more corn. A 1/2 a cup of popcorn only popped to about 6 cups for me, don't know why - all the information I have read has said 1 cup is about 15 to 16 cups of popped corn. So I popped about 12 cups which seemed to provide the correct syrup to corny goodness ratio for me. To save calories I air popped the corn instead of popping it on the stove in oil. This recipe is messy, which is why there aren't any pictures accompanying this post, caramel syrup everywhere... not pretty but 'tis yummy.
(image from fitness - thankfully likes turquoise as much as I do!)
3/4 cups unpopped popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped - air popped or fat free microwave)
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pop popcorn. Lightly coat 3 large baking pans with cooking spray. Pour popcorn into pans and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey, remaining oil, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or silicone spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda until smooth. Evenly drizzle over popcorn; stir to coat. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
This recipe has about 180 calories per cup. A cup - is pretty hard to a) measure and b) limit yourself to.
Hmmm... I guess that I made a great call when creating my blog header. Pantone selected its color of the year. Oh how I love it. I have been contemplating painting my almost-finished-newly-remodeled bathroom this color. Guess I should get on it and finish that project.
So... I have to start somewhere. Alas, here it is the beginning of a blog. I have had this blog registered for about a month two months now and haven't done a thing with it. Well not exactly a thing, I have hemmed and hawed about a myriad of blog related topics: what would I write about; who will read this; how on earth do I create a pretty little "header" for my blog; will my punctuation be acceptable especially with my consistent over use of the suspension point; and how does one draft their first post - is it a mission statement? I have wanted to create a blog for sometime, I love blogs, but the question was would anyone like my blog? And does it really matter? Would having a blog help me focus my interests and not be so scattered? Would having a blog help me hone in - on taking better pictures, on completing all the endless projects I have going on at home; on a consistent writing project; or on documenting the food I make; and most importantly will the blog help me hire a maid? All these details are just exhausting...Sweet Jesus, I feel like I have given birth. So here it is... whether it will make me a better, more focused person we will never know.