Monday, June 25, 2012

Put It In The Book

I had the whole weekend off this past weekend, and I completely enjoyed it with my whole being. I'll share it with you via some Instagram pics.

Saturday morning my friend and I went to the South of the James Farmer's Market in Forest Hill Park to stock up on veggies/fruits for the week. She and I had never been to this particular one, but it proved to be a weekly trip for us. That morning I made my coffee at home a little strong and decided not to finish it. Besides, I knew Blanchard's would be at the market, but didn't know Crossroads would be. Upon arriving we went straight to the Crossroads truck, and I got an iced caramel latte that was delish! Then we headed over to Wild Heaven Farm's booth (they have goat's milk soap) and I picked up a large bar (only $4.50) of the scent, Mint In The Morning (I'm hoping it will clear up this summer cold I seem to have developed overnight).

Next, we attacked our veggie/fruit lists. I snagged a zucchini, yellow squash, large tomato, big ginormous cucumber, eggplant, two banana peppers, pint of blueberries, large bag of spinach, and half a bunch of kale for about $19. Not too shabby. My friend wasn't far behind in money spent, as she was buying for she and her daughter.

We finished up there and headed for the Body Worlds Exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia. I have missed this exhibit in Pittsburgh and in San Juan, Puerto Rico, so I was determined to go when I heard it was in Richmond. I almost think it was a blessing in disguise though because I know so much more now about the human body (thanks to pharmacy school), that I had far more appreciation for the exhibit and what they had on display.

My friend had an eyebrow appointment in Carytown after, so I tagged along. Then we grabbed lunch at New York Deli. I ordered a four cheese omelet (just wanted three of the four cheeses) with tomatoes and jalapeƱos, but sadly received just a three cheese omelet. She ordered an omelet also, and had no complaints. In normal fashion we decided it would be a shame to pass up Carytown Cupcakes, as we were just a few blocks from their new location. After brunch we walked to the new cupcake shop where I had one of their weekly flavors, a gluten-free Georgia Peach cupcake, and my friend had their Red Velvet. Too yummy!

I headed home for a nap, but my mom had other plans. She wanted me to tag along to the paint store with her. So I did. I killed two birds with one stone though because I went next door to our grocery to grab a few things to make two dishes I had planned to make on Sunday. By the time we left it was late afternoon and my mom was craving something sweet. I had already had my cupcake a few hours before remember? Well I caved because they had my favorite flavor of fro-yo, Taro. I usually go to Sweet Frog in Carytown because they have the Taro flavor and their texture of fro-yo is better, but my mom likes Sweet Spoons.

Sunday was going to be my sleep in, bake, cook day. Wrong. My mom woke me at 6:45am trying to find something to do in Richmond for the day with my Nannie. Well, we didn't find anything and I was left sitting up at 7:15am like a crazy person. So I jumped on my baking first. I decided to make this Chocolate Hazelnut Cherry Tart. If you don't have time to invest, this is not the dessert for you. It's very labor intensive in terms of making the tart's crust. After that, it's easy peasy lemon squeezy. You'll probably need one of these also (if you don't already have one).

After making and tasting the final product, I decided that I would go a different route when rolling out the crust for next time, and I would also add a few drops of cherry liqueur or a cherry oil to the ganache before spreading it in the tart shell. It just needed that extra kick of cherry flavor.

Lastly, I cooked. I cooked probably one of the best meals I've ever made. I made this chick's Spicy Thai Noodle dish that she adapted from one of her friend's recipes, but I changed the sauce quite a bit. Essentially, I boiled and drained my linguine noodles, cut up two carrots, one zucchini, one yellow squash, and a bunch of green onions and set aside.

Then I made the sauce. The best sauce ever. I'm convinced it would taste good on anything. Really. I used 1/2 cup Sesame Oil, 1/4 cup Sunflower Oil, and 1 1/2 tbsp of red pepper flakes in a pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes (careful not to burn the pepper flakes). This will infuse your oil, but probably not enough. Separate the oil from the pepper flakes and place in bowl. Add 6 tbsp of honey and 6 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce to the reserved oil. Add two cloves of garlic, minced and about an 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly and dump over noodles. Next add a tbsp of unsalted butter and a whole clove of garlic to a pan over medium heat. Let the garlic sit in the pan for a few, then take out so it doesn't become bitter. Add your veggies and cook (while tossing occasionally) for about 7 minutes. Dump over pasta and enjoy. (This picture doesn't do this dish justice. At all.) You will have quite a bit of oil in the bottom of your pasta dish, so I recommend not dumping it all in and using it for other things throughout the week such as a marinade, etc.

My mom has this book that she puts everything delicious she has made/adapted over the years. Well she came in from running errands and tried my dish. She was like, "Oh my goodness. That's addicting. You need to put that in the book."

I did just that.


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