May
30
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: Strawberry Fields

After bombarding you last week with bikinis and beach talk, I figured I should also lend a helping in hand in getting you bikini ready.  Upping the cardio and general physical activity will help, but changing your diet a bit will help you gain faster results.  Listen, I love pizza and pasta as much as the next girl, but even I had to come to terms with this.

I am by no means a “salad” girl (much to the chagrin of my lettuce producing dad), but after whipping up this delightful leafy mix this weekend, I was sold.  This spinach, strawberry, grilled chicken concoction can convert even the most carb addicted.  It’s light, delicious, and incredibly satisfying.  Perfect for summer afternoons on the patio.

 

Spinach, Strawberry, Grilled Chicken Salad:

  • Grilled chicken (I just used olive oil, Meyer’s lemon, and salt and pepper to season)
  • Baby spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sliced almonds and/or pine nuts

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, tarragon and sugar. Blend until smooth.

You look slimmer already.

xx,

WhyDid

Bowls: Jonathan Adler, Stemless wine glasses, Riedel

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May
16
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: Snack Time S.O.S.

There will come a day when you will be forced to throw a party.  You will not be prepared.  You will have no idea how you’re going to pull it off.  You will put on a happy face and do it anyway.  Thankfully, I have some tricks up my sheer sleeves that will help you out of this little conundrum.  There is no need to panic.  To be the hostess with the mostess, you only need a few things: wine, snacks, games, good music, good company.  I can’t help you with the “good company.”  You’re on your own for that.  However, I can provide aid in the snack department.

For many of us, we aren’t able (or willing for that matter) to spend all day slaving over cute little puff pastries for our guests.  That’s why having just a few easy crowd pleasing recipes can save the day.  These don’t include any exotic ingredients that you’ll have to scavenge the shelves in an overpriced hard to locate grocery store for.  They aren’t going to land you on the next season of Top Chef.  I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here.  I’m trying to save your ass in a bind.

Caprese:

You’ve probably ordered this a time or two at an Italian restaurant.  If not, you’re missing out.  I like to use this little magical basil paste.  You can draw pretty patterns with it and I prefer not eating an entire basil leaf.  Call me crazy.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Basil
  • Balsamic

Directions:

  1. Slice the tomato into about 1/4 thick slices.
  2. Slice mozzarella into similar 1/4 thick slices and place on top of tomato slices.
  3. Add either basil leaf or drizzle magical basil paste on top of mozzarella.
  4. Drizzle balsamic over basil.
  5. Serve and wow!

Deviled Eggs:

This one is a real crowd pleaser.  I don’t know why people are so amazed by deviled eggs, but they are.  My fiance thought I was a freaking genius when he saw me squeezing out the filling through a plastic bag, but he forgets that Martha Stewart follows The Golden Girls.

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • ¼ cup Light Mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Paprika

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in cold water, bring to a boil.  When at a rolling boil, remove from heat and let sit for 10 mins.
  2. Cool eggs with ice or cold water.
  3. Peel eggs (do this under cold water to ensure all of the shell fragments are gone)
  4. Cut eggs in half, putting the yolks into a separate mixing bowl.
  5. Mix yolk, mayonnaise, vinegar
  6. Using a ziplock bag, dispense “filling” into halved eggs.
  7. Top with paprika and place in refrigerator to cool until ready to serve.

 

Bacon Wrapped Dates

When in doubt, go with bacon. No one can turn down delicious bacon.  If your guests turn up their noses to this delightful dish, you may want to re-evaluate those friendships.

Ingredients:

  • 18 (1 by 1/4-inch) pieces cream cheese
  • 18 pitted dates
  • 18 salted and roasted whole almonds
  • 6 slices bacon cut crosswise into thirds
  • 18 wooden picks (also known as toothpicks)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Stuff 1 piece of cheese and 1 almond into each date, then wrap one piece of bacon around each date and secure bacon with a toothpick if desired.
  3. Arrange dates, bacon seam down and 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
  4. Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more.
  5. Drain on a paper towel or parchment.
  6. Serve immediately.

Now that you’re through in the kitchen, go put on something fancy, pour yourself a glass of wine and wait for your guests to arrive.

xx,

WhyDid

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May
02
2011
2


Why Did You Eat That: A Lot at Steak

What does the average straight 30 year old man love more than sports and beer?  Steak.  So, for my fiance’s thirtieth birthday dinner, I took my handsome no longer twenty beau to Alexander’s Steakhouse for a manly meal.  We had stopped in once for a glass of prosecco on a sunny Friday afternoon and decided we’d have to come back for dinner.

When I called in for the reservation, I’d gone ahead and let them know that it was, in fact, for a birthday celebration so they said they’d set up something nice.  They did not disappoint… but we will get to that later.  I encouraged my sweetie that he should order anything his little heart desired.  It was his birthday afterall (and we all know that anything goes on birthdays).  So, he went ahead and decided on a sampler of wagyu beef.

So what the hell is wagyu beef you’re wondering.  Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.  I’m not shy when it comes to red meat.  I enjoy a delicious steak as much as the next omnivore, but I would hardly call my self a connoisseur in the beef department.  Apparently, wagyu is a specific breed of cattle known for a marbling in the meat.  This “marbling” is, yes, fatty and supposed to give more of a “buttery” taste.  This specific type of meat is similar to Kobe beef and cattle is raised in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

While the wagyu certainly was tasty, I’m happy to stick with a tried and true filet.  The texture of the wagyu was a problem for me.  I found it a bit chewier, but I also don’t like shrimp or lobster… so make your own judgement calls here.  What really stole the show for me (other than the insane sides of mashed potatoes and asparagus) was the service.  They started us off with prosecco on the house, offered up the amuse bouche, wowed us with a raspberry lemon sorbet between the appetizer and entrees, and they sure did bring out boysenberry cotton candy, macaroons, cake, and more bubbly libations for dessert.

As we waited for a cab, they brought us champagne because according to them, “no one should not have some champagne when waiting for a cab.”  I second that.

I, unfortunately, have no miracle steak recipe for you.  However, I do have a recipe for sesame ginger asparagus from Good Housekeeping that will rock your world.  Behold:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound(s) thin asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Asian sesame oil

Directions:

  1. In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 cup water to boiling over high heat. Add asparagus; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp. Drain asparagus in colander, then immediately plunge into large bowl of ice water to stop cooking; drain thoroughly.
  2. Carefully wipe skillet dry with paper towels. Add canola oil; heat oil over high heat until hot. Add asparagus, ginger, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or just until asparagus is heated through. Remove skillet from heat; stir in sesame seeds and sesame oil.

If you’re looking to celebrate a special evening out with your sweetie or friends, I certainly would recommend Alexander’s.

xx,

WhyDid

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Apr
25
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

So, for Easter brunch, my dad came up and visited us.  We took him over to Dinah’s Restaurant for some eggs and outdoor seating.  Because you already know how I feel about brunch, I found it alarming that they had no idea what I was talking about when I requested a bellini.  They came back later and asked if I would instead like a mimosa.  Who am I to say, “no”?  Above is a photo of the mimosa that was brought to me.  I’m not complaining, because it’s three times the size of a normal mimosa and for seven dollars, you really can’t beat that.

However, all of this made it incredibly clear that I needed to make sure everyone knows how to properly prepare two of the best brunch beverages out there.  (A Bloody Mary would round out the list, but that’s far more complicated and deserves a post all to itself).  Below, please see the simple arithmetic of a boozy brunch:

Mimosa:

Bellini:

Now that’s an equation to which I have the solution.

xx,

WhyDid

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Mar
20
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: Follow the Yellow Brick Road

This past weekend we met some friends for dinner in Culver City.  We tried a place that none of us had been – to save the embarrassment it will remain nameless.  The company was great.  The food, not so much.

To try and make up for our hellacious dinner, we headed over a few blocks to the Culver Hotel to grab a drink.  I obviously had never heard of the place, but was pleased upon arrival.  It looked like an old building in Tribeca and the room where the hotel bar was located had soaring ceilings and all of the old world charm from when it opened back in 1924.  Not only is the room impressive, so is the history.  With more rumored scandal surrounding it than Lindsay Lohan, just being in the place makes you feel like a part of the legend.  Some of the stories include hidden passageways during prohibition to sneak in women and booze, housing the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, and late night high stake poker games.  Talk about old Hollywood.

I would definitely try and avoid showing up during the “live entertainment” however.  There was live singing halfway through our visit and not only did it clear the place out, it didn’t suit the vibe of the room or the crowd.  We couldn’t wait to finish our cocktails and hit the yellow brick road.

Can’t make it to the Culver?  Sip on this:

Marilyn Monroe:

  • 1oz apple brandy
  • 4oz champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1 dash grenadine syrup
  • cherry

off to see the Wizard!

xx,

WhyDid

 

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