Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Bagels

I love bagels. I'm a Long Island girl, so I have to love bagels. I love to have bagels plain with a little schmear of butter or cream cheese. But those pictured above are pure heaven.

Sunday Bagels
Everything bagel, or variety of your choice
Neufchatel cheese (half the fat of cream cheese)
Good smoked ham, sliced medium
Juicy, red, ripe tomato, sliced thick
Pepper and garlic salt

I prefer these bagels untoasted. Smear a little cheese (not too much) on each side of your cut bagel. Fold on a slice or two of ham on each half, then a whole juicy slice of tomato. Sprinkle judiciously with fresh cracked pepper and garlic salt. Try not to gobble it down before you get to the table.


Pre-pregnancy I was a caffeine addict. One Venti Caramel Mocha from Starbucks every day, followed up by multiple cans of Diet Pepsi. I tried hard to get a couple of glasses of water in me daily as well, but if I had two, I was doing great.

I was also a big-time meat eater. And I ate vegetables, but fruit didn't get down my gullet too often.

Now, I'm drinking 10 to 12 glasses of water daily, no caffeine unless it's a super emergency and then it's very small and usually not finished. I was drinking a lot of V-8 and orange juice early on, but now I'm pretty much doing just water. My skin's better, and I'm sure peeing a lot.

Juiceboy also is in a vegetarian phase. I'm eating very little meat, and not missing it at all like I did in the past. We're not vegan, and meat definitely does play a part of my diet--my sandwiches at lunch for work are often delicious ham & pepperoncini hoagies.

The result? I'm 19+ weeks pregnant (that's about halfway) and I've lost five pounds. Figures it takes a pregnancy to get me eating right!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fogo de Chao

The Bug and I were recently in Washington D.C. in an area known for business travellers, Smithsonians, and politicos. Good, mid-range restaurants is not something the area is known for. We had a great, enormous burger at Fuddruckers the first night. The second night was a horrendous meal at Capital City Brewery. Our third night we gave up and had room service (our hotel shut down its dinner restaurant nine months ago). And on the fourth night we went to Fogo de Chao.

It was recommended as a fun place to take a kid. It's a one-price, no-menu travelling buffet. First, one goes to the interesting salad buffet. Prosciutto, cured meats, hard parmesan, bright green asparagus, fresh mozzarella, butter lettuce...a wonderful salad bar.

Each diner is given a coaster that tells the MEAT WAITERS when to start bringing over the main course. These are men who rush all over the restaurant with skewers of meat and sharp knives. They approach your table at a full-tilt run and sputter out what kind of meat it is. Their impatience is unnerving. "Beef Ancho?" "Picanha?" "Filet Mignon?"

On the table for each person are tongs--use these to catch the meat as it's being sliced. The waiters didn't tell us this and it wasn't until a waiter chastised me that I realized that I was supposed to take the meat.

Meat is sliced at each person's side until the coaster is turned to the red "STOP" side. When you're ready for more, flip it to the green side.

Served with the meat are wonderful little puffs of cheese bread, tasty mashed potatoes, baked bananas (this *is* supposed to be Brazilian-style food), and fried polenta. Many of the beef selections are overly salty--or were to my pregnant palate.

Sadly, I never had a chance to try the bacon-wrapped chicken or linguica, two of my favorite types of meat. The Bug was having an off night and didn't enjoy anything until desert, when he selected a giant goblet of strawberry ice cream.

All-in-all, I'd try it again, with friends who enjoy meat. It runs $50 per person before tax, tip and drinks.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kitchen Fiascos #87 & 88

Juiceboy has gone veggie on me again, a full three months earlier in the year than normal. I'm okay with it though, as I can get meat at lunchtime and it's not a bad thing for me to be cooking healthier meals.

For dinner last night I was going to use up some of the 25 cups of brown rice I'd brought home from work (leftovers from an event). Since I've been having problems cooking rice, I was quite glad to take the white and brown stuff off their hands.

On the menu was absolute peasant food: cabbage soup and hot and soup broccoli. The soup was fine, though dull. I'll noodle out the recipe some more and when I perfect it, I'll post it.

For the broccoli, I was to get oil in the pan smoking hot, then brown a slice of ginger, which I did. Then I was to add cider vinegar, soy sauce, chicken broth, cayenne, etc. I started with the vinegar.


Uh, duh.

Never put vinegar into a pan of hot oil. First, mix all the ingrediants called for, and add them in a large quantity, and maybe, just maybe, let the oil COOL DOWN before adding it.

I'm just lucky I don't have a gas stove. I only had minor burn spatters on me, though the surrounding area of the stove sure got a good covering of grease.

After all was said and done, the broccoli was pretty bad, any way. Too much cayenne, which I don't like as a result of trying that ridiculous colon-cleansing recipe. Cayenne lemonade, indeed!

Tonight was much more successful: a variation on the Barefoot Contessa's Crunchy Noodle Salad and fried rice. I'll post these throughout the week.