Monthly Archive: June 2009

Cafe Blossom success, sleep fail

Talk about karma.  Sleeping in ‘til noon yesterday backfired hard core last night!  Neither Kyle nor I could fall asleep, and as we watched the hours on the clock tick by, we finally decided enough was enough…so we got back up at 2 am and watched some tv.  Sleep FAIL.

At 4 am I still wasn’t tired, but I forced myself back to bed…Kyle fell asleep (lucky ^%$) while I tossed and turned until 6 am.  Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to set my alarm, so instead of sleeping ‘til noon again, I instead got a measly 3 hours of sleep.  At least I will hopefully get back on a normal sleep schedule tonight, even though I feel like a jet-lagged zombie now.

IMG_2939 That’s the good stuff!

A few more buckets of these and I was only suffering moderate eyelid drooping.

IMG_2691  IMG_3071

Breakfast sugar was entirely necessary.  I think it’s safe to say I got in my daily cancer preventing antioxidants with the blueberry AND plum action :)

As I caught up on the blog pileup in my google reader, I started brainstorming for lunch.  I went back to some old faves:

IMG_3077 IMG_3078

LightLife “turkey” + Sabra roasted red pepper hummus = sammie of my dreams

IMG_3079 IMG_3074

I pimped out my english muffin sammich with a few ripped up pieces of fake “turkey” along with spinach and hummus.  Naturally, I had an apple on the side, and a NEW flavor of Kombucha.  I still like Trilogy the best, but this was good…it didn’t really taste citrus-y to me, but no harm, no foul, still fizzy yum.

IMG_3081

D to the E – LISH!!! 

IMG_3082

I was still hungry for some more crunch, so I made a rando little side salad consisting of raw corn OFF the cob, sliced carrots, and a GLOB ‘o roasted red pepper hummus.  I wasn’t expecting anything too great, since I threw it together in approx 2.5 seconds, but effing fantabulous is what it was!

IMG_3085

I know you can’t tell from the photo, but this ring was a FATTY!  And I mean Kim Kardashian thick.

Speaking of huge asses curvy ba-donk-a-donks…gym time!  Not surprisingly, I was a bit sore from yesterday’s workout, so instead of running outdoors, I decided to go a little easy on myself.  Plus, I wanted to watch tennis, so the elliptical won hands down.  It wasn’t a great workout, but it was something (I’m working on getting rid of my all-or-none mentality).  I stretched for days and peaced out. 

FYI, anyone who was worried for my dwindling Alvarado Street bread stash, fear not, on the way home I found some!!! [insert huge sigh of relief here]

Post workout, I showered at lightning speed, and scarfed down on ANOTHER chobz (strawberry this time) and a pair of dried pineapple rings.

IMG_3086 IMG_3088

I had to get some food in me, but I didn’t wanna ruin my appetite, since I was going to dinner at the BEST restaurant ever (aka Cafe Blossom).

My Mom’s cousin Patti (who previously guest posted) and her hubz (Larry) were in town for a food show, and so in addition to taking me and Kyle to dinner, they even smuggled us a few treats from the show.   

blossom 2

I couldn’t help it, I order seitan AGAIN.  But it’s just SO good!!!  Balsamic grilled seitan in the best sauce ever (roasted red pepper “cream”), with asparagus and baby Yukon gold potatoes.  Heavenly.

Kyle got my runner-up order, which was the Southern Seitan Sandwich.  The spiced seitan came on fluffy foccacia bread, with caramelized onions, avocado and chipotle aioli, as well as a heaping stack of cajun sweet potato fries.

blossom

Kyle was the lucky recipient of Larry’s leftover Fettucini Alfredo, so his lunch is already taken care of!

We walked back home, and I quickly threw my lunch together and hit the hay.  Work tomorrow  :/

Everything-in-the-fridge salad

After such a crazy day of traveling, I was looking forward to sleeping in to catch up on my zzzs.  I had NO idea that by not setting an alarm, I’d end up snoozing half the day away!  I woke up at 11:30!  I don’t think I’ve slept in that much since my post college month year of “figuring things out.”

Kyle and I stumbled out onto the couch still in a sleepy stupor…and made a huge pot of coffee to remedy that.

IMG_2913IMG_2695

Clearly I’m out of practice in the frothing department.  There was a bit of an overflow when I went to pour it…but no worries, it didn’t go to waste :)

I spent the morning afternoon quick-flipping between Wimbledon and the FIFA soccer final.  Somewhere in there I made brunch.  Sometime after lunch, the US gave up a 2-0 lead over Brazil and lost 2-3.  Tragic with a capital T!!   

IMG_3061 IMG_3063

Curry powder + tofu + spinach + tomato = “egg” scramble

IMG_3062

With a slice of Alvarado Street bread on the side…I am dangerously low on this bread (only 2 more slices!) and I can’t find it anywhere!?  Between today and yesterday, I’ve been to 4 stores and NADA!  Grocery store FAIL.

Anyways, I snacked on some raw cow’s hide dried mango/peaches for lunch dessert.

IMG_3064

Before my sugar high turned into a sugar crash (and depression from the US team’s loss set in), I headed to the gym.  FYI, I went exercise-less for the entire second week of vacation (no real reason, I was just enjoying doing nothing)…so I knew I was in for a rude awakening once I stepped foot in NYSC.

I know (in theory) it’s impossible to get out of shape in 7 days, but I felt like a freakin’ cripple on the elliptical.

As I walked in, I got a giddy tingly feeling all over.  It took every ounce of my being to stop myself from professing how much I missed the gym to the keychain tag scanner lady…

I think it goes without saying I had a great workout :)   8 miles later I headed home, with a few more grocery store stops on the way.

IMG_2550 IMG_3068

Post workout yummies: apple + Kombucha (I am addicted to this like a junky to V juice).  Oh, did I mention, I’m all caught up on the newest eps of True Blood.   Love me some Vampires.

After I showered and rubbed my body from head to toe with fake tanner, I started to get my dinnerface on.  This salad included everything under the sun:

IMG_3066

spinach

raw corn

broccoli slaw

cauliflower

shredded carrots

seaweed/sesame

cherry tomatoes

1 entire avocado

clover sprouts

 

 

 

 

I think from now on I’ll just call these everything-in-the-fridge salads, because they literally contain EVERY friggin thing I can find in the fridge, no filter whatsoever.

My EITF salad was entirely raw (yes, even the broccoli!) and it was exactly what I wanted.  I seriously craved greens with mega-crunch after my vacay…it’s like my body self-detoxes itself by demanding such foods.  I love eating and eating and eating, and looking into the bowl, and having a ton of salad to still chow down.  Isn’t that just the best feeling??   :D

Fresh fruit dessert(s).

IMG_3073IMG_3069

Apple count for the day = 2 (it didn’t take long for me to get back into the swing of things, huh?).  The plum was ah-maze!  The nectarine, on the other hand, didn’t slice so nice…so that’s why it looks like there was a fruit massacre.  But man-oh-man was it goooood.  It was BEYOND juicy and I slurped the plate clean after the chunks were gone.  Have I mentioned how much I love summer fruit.

Bed time!

Long flights & lei-overs

Aloha :( 

(that means goodbye, too, right?)

We left Maui today (tear) to head back to the real world (aka the main land).

There were more than a few blah things about these flights, but I’ll avoid going all Debbie Downer on you – and just list a couple… (1) I couldn’t bring produce with me…no fun and (2) I knew I was heading back to work, and leaving my stress free days on the beach behind.  The one positive was that I had Kyle with me for the lonnnnnng flights.

IMG00179

Java.  Check.  Not pictured: 8 oz bag of chocolate covered macadamia nuts eaten [in entirety] prior to boarding.  I’m actually pretty embarrassed to write this, but in the interest of full disclosure, I did it because, well, I wanted to get every last ounce of non-vegan eating out before heading back to NYC.  I’m embarrassed because this is not only an unhealthy mentality but I was already feeling like crap after abusing my body and eating foods I KNOW my body doesn’t like for the past 2 weeks…so this was just the icing on the (dairy filled) cake.  SO unlike me…and what a punishment I felt afterwards!  As if the flights weren’t miserable enough…

I was SO out of it.  All the time changes (mixed in with the random bits of shut eye)…I just wasn’t able to function…basically, this entire flight process was horrible.  I ate so much crapola, it makes me sad to just think about what’s in my body right now.  Airport FAIL.  Elise FAIL.

I did manage to down 2 green machine (or whatever they’re called…) odwalla drinks, while in Salt Lake City.  Never mind that it was technically 3 am for me at the time (or that I had an entire can of honey roasted peanuts with it).  Yes, you read that correctly, I ate half a pound of nuts a mere 4 hours after eating a bag of chocolate macadamia nuts.  I don’t think I was even conscious at this point.

Needless to say, I arrived in NYC feeling like I was run over by a truck plane.

There was next to nothing in the apartment, so a grocery trip was the first thing we did after dropping off our luggage.  I smelled like a post-marathon shoe, and probably looked worse, but I still made it to the local health foods store.  Come hell or high water, I was going to get fresh veggies!

IMG_2742

For dinner I made mon stour salad with the works: spinach, tomato, sprouts, shredded carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red bell pepps, and a delish seaweed/sesame mix. 

IMG_2762 IMG_2763

On top I drizzled some blended chickpeas.  I literally popped chickpeas (with all the can water) in the blender and pressed liquidify.  Not too shabby on top of the salad!

IMG_2764

I was ready for bed by 7 pm…but managed to hang on until 10.  I watched some tivo-ed Bravo crap, much to the dismay of Kyle, while snacking on an apple/banana dessert.

IMG_2737

It’s just sliced fruit with cinnamon…clearly, the creative juices were sucked dry from my ridiculously long day.  Must’ve been the nuts – they were quite salty. 

These pretzels are making me thirsty!!

Google reader says 303.  Peace out kids. 

Maui highlights

Picture 047

I know it looks fake, but, unlike the NJ housewives, this is ALL REAL.  Why would anyone leave such a place!?

Picture 012 IMG_3055

Me and my sis (she’s not strangling me, we are just channeling our inner family Von Trapp)…sadly, this is the most normal of the 25 million dozen photos my Mom managed to get out of us. 

Picture 021

My Dad sporting his “I’m the Boss” pin that he got for Father’s Day…and just in case you’re wondering, yes, that IS a fanny pack

No, we weren’t going on a hike…that’s just his general “around the apartment” wear.  Sweet!

IMG_3052

Dates + Hawaii’s finest dessert treat = Holy YUM!

I had probz 5 of those cans of choco-maca-nuts.  Awww…SH!!! homes.  The effing Dairy Devil reeked it’s revenge later, but it was worth it ;)

IMG_2989 Picture 105

Puuurty rainbow…and the pot of gold empty containers of booze at the end.

Picture 042

Whudda soopah cute couple we are! 

Picture 024

And that background! Gorgy gorg.

Hike to Haleakala…my second time above 10,000 feet.  I fueled up before hand with a HUGE bag of cereal/granola (eaten with a spoon so as not to miss a single itty bitty oat crumble). 

IMG_3057 Picture 054

The crater was massive, even with the clouds covering half of it.  I felt like I was on the moon.  It was tres cool, although, I did get a bit nauseated with all the winding roads.

Picture 065 

But looky here!!  You see, I can hang tough through just about anything if there’s a pretty prize waiting for me at the end :)  Don’t I look proud as can be, flashing my certificate of nothingness like it’s a WF gift card. 

Picture 071

After we reached the tippy top of Haleakala, we grabbed some lunch (at the only B&B within 20 miles), and then headed back to the waterfall jungle hike sitelook familiar?

Well, Kyle wasn’t with us on our last trip, and you simply can’t leave Maui with your Kombucha swamp water v-card in tact.

Picture 085

I hope the video works.  As you can see, he was a bit reluctant to get in.  My Dad freaked him out by telling him not to drink the water because there was likely Cryptosporidium in it.  Naturally, big, long words scare Kyle, and so as he was getting in, he asked me if I would take care of him if he got cystic fibrosis from the water…ummm…sure Kyle, if you manage to get a genetic disease from swamp water, I will never leave your side.  Cryptosporidiosis on the other hand is a far better diagnosis…even though diarrhea isn’t fun, I’m a nurse, and I’ll get you through it.

So if you can’t make it out, his response to “how does it taste” was “cystic fibrosy.”  He’s special. 

This is still my all time fave photo of the trip.

IMG_2996

That’s my Mom applying sunscreen to my sister.  Mature.  Real mature.

She told me not to post it, so please nobody call child services on her a$$.

She’s really a good mother, I swear ;)

And now, it’s back to the mainland (and reality) for me…tear!

Merry times @ Merriman’s

I know I mentioned this restaurant on a previous post, but it was SO great, I thought it deserved more than 3 lines.  This quote captures the essence of Merriman’s passion: 

"We showcase the food, not a complicated preparation, so our guests authentically taste the organically grown lettuce or vine ripe tomatoes from Waimea."

–Peter Merriman


The restaurant purchases produce from the local island farmers daily. These seasonal and fresh products are used both in their menu and in the chef’s nightly specials.

This harmony between the farmer, the season, and the chef create the dining experience at Merriman’s that brings people back to the island year after year.

How brilliant is Peter Merriman?!

Anyways, our dining experience was fabulous!  First of all, the views were amazing. 

Picture 037 IMG_3030

So we enjoyed a few cocktails while watching the sunset…

IMG_3032 IMG_3034

But then the wind and rain decided to join in on our little partay…so we headed inside for shelter dinner.

IMG_3037IMG_3038

Even inside, the view was still pretty spectacular…

IMG_3039

We started the meal with a bottle of Malbec (Ben Marco 2007) and some bread.  The sommelier was really nice, and helped my Dad choose something that would compliment the meal, even though our orders were all over the map(trust me, for a serious wino like my Dad, this was no small feat). 

He was very knowledgeable, and later in the meal brought out two different Cabernets for us to try, just for fun.  He didn’t tell us the vintage or varietal, so it was a blind tasting.  Kyle and my Dad liked one, and my Mom and I preferred the other…can you guess who had the more $$$ taste?  Well, the Cab that my Mom and I chose was way more expensive…so we women clearly have the more refined palettes :)

IMG_3040 IMG_3041

Anyways, the Malbec was delicious, and the fluffy, warm bread melted in my mouth. 

To start the meal, I ordered a salad of mixed organic greens, haricot verts, and crushed macadamia nuts, topped with a vinaigrette dressing.

IMG_3042

I scraped the plate clean, and I don’t even like nuts  :)  My parents shared a beet/citrus salad (no photo), and Kyle got the special (pictured below), which featured pan fried abalone, on a bed of organic arugula, with cherry tomatoes and several other greens.IMG_3043

Merriman’s has it’s own abalone farm, so Kyle enjoyed the succulent morsels sans guilt.

Then the entrees arrived…

IMG_3044

Kyle ordered the Mixed Plate, which allowed him to sample their best dishes.  From left to right: Mahi Mahi, grass fed island Filet Steak, and seared Ahi.

He couldn’t stop raving about it, so it must have been amazing.  My Dad got the same, and loved it as well.

My Mom got Merriman’s Original Wok Charred Ahi, which was the full entree of the far right of Kyle’s plate.

IMG_3046 

Even my Mom, with her itty bitty stomach, polished this off (ok, she may have passed a few bites off to Kyle and my Dad)…but still, that just shows you how savory and delish her meal was.

IMG_3047

I ordered a few different sides of veggies (the only ones that were dairy free actually), including the green beans, beets, and macadamia nut brown rice.

I basically inhaled the nutty brown rice…it was, in a word, YUM.  The beans were great, too.  You can seriously tell when products are fresh, and the difference is immeasurable.  The beets were good, too, but perhaps could have been (should have been?) complimented with another flavor? Anyways, my only complaint (and it’s hardly that) would be the lack of vegan options.

 

The thing I appreciated most about Merriman’s is their passion for creating food with organically grown produce and chemical-free products.  All produce is locally AND organically grown.  And aside from certain items on the wine list, everything is Hawaiian grown.

In fact, Peter Merriman was somewhat of a visionary for his ideas…the thought of growing produce other than sugar cane and pineapple, which clearly dominated the Hawaiian farming landscape, was unimaginable…and yet, that is exactly what he did. 

He (and 12 other prominent Hawaiian chefs) started encouraging farmers to produce an abundance of vegetables and fruits never grown before on the island.  Today, many other local growers, farmers and ranchers produce a variety of select items, from fresh organic mushrooms and greens, to award-winning goat cheese and range-raised, hormone free lamb and beef.  Today they work with several partners to serve the finest ingredients.

As the home of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Merriman’s honors the connection between the farmer, the cook, our community, our earth.

From their website:

“Hawaii Regional Cuisine has grown into an agricultural, economic and political movement; I often reflect upon how proud I am that Merriman’s restaurant supports local farmers and the local economy while offering fresh, authentic food at its peak flavor.

Every day, we must eat, and make choices about how to live and how to spend our money. The money we spend for food generates a large part of our economy. Choosing to patronize a restaurant founded on regionally grown products strengthens the local economy and community.”

How could you not appreciate a business with such a commitment to protecting and honoring the earth?

At Merriman’s our pledge is:

  • to continue to support the local farmers, especially farmers who are choosing sustainable agriculture methods that support the earth and nourish the earth so that it is fertile and rich for future generations;
  • to offer you the finest local interpretations of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Our menu changes daily, with you in mind;
  • to continue to promote Hawaii Regional Cuisine and raise awareness among residents and visitors alike, so we have a better understanding of good food, really good food, and how good food positively effects our families, our community and our economy.

“We hope you, too, are inspired to support local farmers and a healthy Hawaii through Hawaii Regional Cuisine.” –Peter Merriman

I could go on and on, but instead, I’ll leave you with some photos of our desserts…

IMG_3048

Molten Chocolate something or other with vanilla bean ice cream.

IMG_3051

Clearly, Kyle hated it.

I think this was a cheesecake?  It was my Mom’s order, but my Dad kinda hoarded the plate.

IMG_3050

I “shared” the seasonal fruit sorbets…(mango and passion fruit).

IMG_3049

And by “shared” I mean, tasted once, and decided nobody was getting another bite.  I know.  I’m so generous.