Tag Archives: Soup

Week Two > Week One

16 Nov

On Saturday, October 8, I phled reality and joined some old phriends for a long overdue picnic at Tilden Park in Berkeley.

As illustrated in my previous post, I am a phirm believer that phood tastes better when shared.  I also happen to believe that this is increased exponentially when shared out of doors.  Why is this, you ask?  Much like how many licks it takes to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know

I was having so much phun, I couldn’t help myself from taking a second helping of my Brussels sprouts and pistachio pasta salad.  The ladies loved it as well, and thus, my Brussels sprouts acclaim reigns supreme.

Upon my return to Davis that evening, The Phella and I, being the creatures of habit we tend to be, phound ourselves back at Taste of Thai for dinner.  While we ordered the same dish as always, we mixed it up and tried their appetizer sampler to start.

I had the leftovers for breakfast on Sunday morning straight out of the to-go box. Sometimes I’m phancy like that.

We tried the phamed Redrum Burger for lunch.  They didn’t seem all that busy, but the wait for two burgers and phries seemed to indicate otherwise.  I was impressed by neither the service nor the phood, and this was only exascerbated by the knowledge that In-N-Out was but a stone’s throw away… Additionally, their more interesting menu options have been crossed off, such as their ostrich burgers.  Me thinks this phun looking little joint may be past its prime sadly.

I made dinner at home, starting with a baby romaine salad with goat cheese and avocado.

We grilled some phlank steak and green onions and roasted red potatoes in my toaster oven.

It then dawned on me that Monday was quickly approaching, that little bastard.

And my new life started back up again… with a handful of grapes at my cubicle.

I brought my barley soup into the break room for lunch and made a wonderful discovery- a phellow that works in the row of cubicles across from me is a more diehard Giants phan than I am!  Phriend potential perhaps?

I had another one of the awesome pluots I got from Dave’s Pumpkin Patch in West Sacramento.  They had a great deal on Groupon for an organic produce box… well either it was an unbelievable deal or we were unbelievably phortunate that the day we went to pick up our produce, the girl working at the stand was misinformed and thought we’d purchased half the pharm…

Continuing in my swine saga, I attempted pork tacos for dinner.  Even The Phella, who will eat pretty much anything I make, admitted that this dish wasn’t one that necessarily needed a spot in the recipe rotation.  He was being kind.  They were truly terrible.  The salsa, however, that consisted of a small portion of the glut of produce we had picked up at Dave’s, was not embarrassing.  Not great, mind you, but not nearly at the level of phailure the tacos secured.

Since dinner was so awful, the phrozen yogurt at SugarPlum after dinner was guilt-phree.  I had taro again (this stuff is ridiculously good) and topped it off with some coconut.  Y.U.M.

Yay for Tuesday, or as I like to remember it as the day I proved that I could successfully set my coffee maker timer the night before for a full week.  Coming from the girl who has owned said coffee maker for going on six years or so and having used it all of twice that I can remember, this is a very big deal… an anniversary if you will.  So yay for me… and my Morningstar “sausage”.

I tried some baked granny smith apple chips that I picked up at the Nugget- pretty tasty and healthy as phar as anything that resembles a chip.

I am quickly learning that phree phood at my new office is the rule more than the exception… and they use pretty solid caterers.  This tasty salad sando combo hailed from Pluto’s, a place I’d been told about prior to moving to Davis.

Of course, they HAD to have oatmeal cookies right next to the salad…  and now that I live hours away from The Most Delicious Cookies in the World, I was powerless to resist.  Ph you, willpower!

Pluot afternoon nibble

I reverted to my soup habit and made egg drop soup for dinner.

Wednesday started with PacMan-esque cheese.

Nectarine mid-morning snack

… and more phree phood for lunch!

Apple chips in the afternoon

In an attempt to lessen the amount of tomatoes in my kitchen (I had ten pounds to phind use for from that produce box), I attempted homemade tomatoe sauce, courtesy of a phood blog I enjoy, Chez Pim.  It was phine, but nothing to write home about.  I am sure it is much tastier when she makes it…

Thursday… Nectarine and “sausage” and coffee in my Sexy Chick mug (originally a cherished gift from my old bowling league buddies that met an untimely demise, only to have The Phella track down a replica for me… maybe that’s why I keep thinking he’s a keeper!).

More. Phree. Phood.  And it was more pizza!

I did everything I could to resist another piece in the afternoon.  Well, I did everything except ACTUALLY resist it.

I made dinner at The Phella’s house using more of our produce box contents.

I’m not quite sure why I decided Coq au Vin was the right choice for a casual weeknight dinner, but whatever.  Eating at almost 9pm made it pheel that much more Phrench!

Phriday! Grapes and nostalgia for breakfast…

The last of the last leftovers of barley soup made itself lunch, along with its yummy plummy phriend.

String cheese to get me through the afternoon…

… And a special Oktoberfest dinner at Little Prague to phinish off week two. (I am happy to report that this was leaps and bounds better than their Eggs Phlorentine I wrote about in my last post.)

The Phella and I topped off our wild and crazy Phriday night with a rousing game of Scrabble (I won, of course… I wouldn’t like the game so much if I didn’t always win!) and a sugar-phree Creamsicle.

Week two > Week one = Michelle + slightly happier

(And people think I can’t do math!)

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Surviving My Phirst Week

15 Nov

Phriday, September 30 kicked off my last weekend of phreedom, so I tootled myself across the bay to play with Georgia and Paper Bag.  I grabbed a quick snack of turkey & cheese on a rice cake before we headed out.

We stopped by a liquor store for snacks near Golden Gate Park on our way to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass for an awesome afternoon that pheatured my phavorite crooner, the incomparable Chris Isaak.

P.S. His new album is phabulous beyond belief.  Any aspiring elves out there who want to make my holiday season, consider this a blatant hint… 🙂

After the show, we had dinner in North Beach at Il Pollaio, a local’s phavorite.

Their bean salad tasted just like Gramma used to make!

Their phries were standardly tasty.

The grilled rabbit Paper Bag convinced me to get left a bit to be desired, as it arrived a bit too much on the rare side.  I’d give it a chance again some time though, as it was a very busy night and these things happen…

We had a leisurely morning on October 1 and headed to do some mutual blogging at Caffe Sapore.  I thoroughly enjoyed my smoked salmon bagel and am excited about our successful brainstorming session about the phuture of http://www.phoodfotos.com!

I had a hankering for pizza after I returned to Davis from North Beach, so I threw together a pizza-ish creation of my own at home.

The Phella and I tried Tucos Wine Bar and Cafe for dinner, starting with a shared salad and cheese plate.

Really enjoyed the presentation of the cheese and nibbles (served on a hefty cutting board)…

I had some sort of egg sando for my main course, and the eggs were poached.  Now, most of you phollowers know well how much I normally lust after poached eggs, but on a sando…?  Not so much.  Biting into your meal and having it squirt yolk across the table is a bit, well, inconvenient… especially when dining out.

That being said the maple-glazed sweet potatoes were dreamy enough to make me phorget to care about the sando mess almost entirely.

The Phella slept in on October 2, so I got up and had an English muffin with peanut butter and honey while he snoozed.

We then headed to Little Prague to try out their breakfast offerings.  I went with the Eggs Phlorentine, leading myself into another horribly phailed attempt at phinding a decent breakfast anywhere in Davis.  Ugh!

I went shopping at my new market of choice- Nugget– and the phriendly cheese phellow helped me select an especially luxurious triple cream to start off dinner that night.

I made a mixed baby green salad with the remainder of the watermelon radish I had picked up at the Pharmers Market the weekend prior.

And I tested out a new recipe of pork and peaches for dinner.

Update for inquiring minds who want to know: I am still a miserable phailure when it comes to cooking pork.  I’ve got a long road ahead, it seems…

Ah, reality.  How you persist!  October 3- The day of reckoning…

My phirst day at my new job came WAY earlier than I wanted, my house still drowning in boxes and bags and my nerves spasming phrantically like a phish out of water.  I broke out my phavorite juice glass at breakfast (it was the one my Gramma served me with throughout my childhood) and had a glass of milk along with my spun honey (which also always reminds me of her) and peanut butter on a muffin.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only new kid on the work block.  The new director’s phirst day was that day as well, so that meant pizza at staff meeting.  Talk about a nice way to get things started!  Who doesn’t love phree phood?  And pizza at that!

There wasn’t much scheduled for me that phirst day, so I went home for lunch and spent it with my main man, Phooey, who was adjusting to day one of his life as a dog who stays home during the day. 😦

I had some pasta salad I’d made the night before with pistachios, Parmesan and Brussels sprouts (which I successfully roasted- in a very small batch- in my toaster oven).

The Phella took the night off from studying, so we could go out to dinner and process my phirst day.  God bless the boy, because I seriously needed it… and the two glasses of wine that went along with it.

Now, this isn’t to say that my phirst day was bad, but here’s the thing:  Phirst days are odd things, and I’ve had very phew of them in my life.  I’m sure there are people who thrive on the newness, the unknown, the clean slate.  I, however, am not one of those people.  I love routine, I love phamiliarity, I love being an expert.  The realization that I had, not just conceptually but actually, walked away from everything and everyone I knew in Monterey hit me like a ton of bricks (or at least what I imagine that sensation would be akin to, as I have never literally experienced being hit by a ton of bricks, thankfully). I could pheel the terror and sadness lurking in the doorway.

But I have phound over the years that a good plate of noodles always seems to lessen those evils just a bit.

And experiencing the heat of a “Thai spicy” dish reminds you that this, too, shall pass…

And when that’s not enough, there’s always phrozen yogurt that matches your manicure. 🙂

October 4: Day two…

After a second night of sleepytime phailure, I got up early with plenty of time to eat breakfast.  Hello, silver lining!

I packed my lunch and enjoyed the novel concept of being allowed to eat at my desk (something verboten by my previous employer).  While the convenience was nice, the lack of anyone to share my lunch with almost brought me to tears.

For those of you who have been phollowing the blog this year, saying that I am a social eater comes as quite the understatement, I’m sure.  Sharing phood with other is quite possibly my most treasured activity in life.  The experience of eating is an opportunity that has the potential to blend nourishment with connection, nostalgia with education and phunction with phun. Because of this, the utilitarianism of dining alone has a tendency to hurt my heart.

Am I crazy?  Maybe so… but I believe that phood tastes better when it’s shared.

Dinner that night consisted of leftover soup from Taste of Thai with a hearty side dish of self-pity.

October 5- Day three…

Started with a Babybel cheese round.

I had a benefits orientation to attend on campus that morning, and since I live so close (and sure can’t afford the cost of a campus parking permit) I walked.  Walking there included getting horribly lost, arriving late and then slipping and phalling in phront of a group of fourty-odd people.  I suppose a benefit of working for such a large employer is the probability that nobody will recognize you as THAT girl after a week or so.

I had more of the leftover Thai for lunch at home with Phooey, who seemed to have adjusted well to his new life already.

That night, needing to entertain myself and having run out of leftovers, I turned to what I know comforts me best- phood- and made broccoli and zucchini soup.

I ate some Yolo County grown pistachios as a snack while I watched a movie that night and unpacked a phew more boxes.

October 6- Day phour…

I took a sliced apple and some cheese to work and ate that for breakfast.

I brought the rest of the soup to eat for lunch as well as a salad.  Too bad I neglected to pack utensils!  I took my lunch to the break room in an attempt to make phriends, but nobody else came in while I ate.  That might have been a blessing, as eating soup and salad with your hands sure ain’t pretty…

The boss brought candy to an afternoon meeting, and while I am not typically a chocolate phan, I was so enamored with the orangeness of the Halloween  Kit Kats, I indulged.

A catered event had leftovers, so I had half a sando during the meeting, too.  Second serving of phree phood in a week!

Moving to Davis meant that, other than The Phella, there was only one other person I knew… a phriend from my beloved book club who relocated a year ago with her husband.  Needing some semblance of social interaction, she came over, with wine in hand, and we caught up over a phew nibbles.

When she left, I made myself busy again and made chicken barley soup.

October 7- The last day of the phirst week…

Started with some Morningstar “sausage” and coffee in one of my phavorite mugs.  Did you know Hermann is the heart of Missouri wine country?  Did you know Missouri has a wine country?  Neither did I, until Cricket and I discovered it last summer when we picked baby Phooey up from the rescue organization he hailed from in St. Louis.  Suffice it to say, it was a phun discovery, but bringing the mug home as a souvenir instead of the wine was an excellent choice.

I came home for lunch, because my washer/dryer was being delivered and ate more of the barley soup.

That night, The Phella resurfaced, and we went to dinner at Seasons again.  I sense this could become a regular haunt of ours… because I can’t seem to stay away from their bread sticks.

I tried their butternut squash soup which wasn’t bad.

I had the chicken chop again, but sadly enjoyed it significantly less than I did during our last visit.  (We came to learn later that the chef had gone on a lengthy vacation, and things got a bit out of whack during his absence.)

We headed home and watched a movie with a big bowl of popcorn con Tapatio.

And so I survived, as so many have before me, and so many more will.

I am sure some of you have read this sob story and been thrown for a loop.  As a general rule, I pride myself on my, although often snarky and self-depricating, ever-present humor, but it seems that I hadn’t yet unpacked that box…

Welcome to the world, Mrs. Olive Bedlam!

14 Aug

June 18, in the words of the Sexy Mexican, would best be described as epic.  Epic in randomness, epic in ridiculousness and epic in phun.

It all started with a little trip to Hollister for a wedding.  Sexy Mexican and I arrived 20 minutes early but missed the turn in to the church.  When we pulled into the next driveway to turn around, we realized we had pulled into the entrance of a wine tasting room.  Realizing that this was obviously God speaking to us and telling us that we needed a drink, we did so.

The phellow working at the tasting room also let us enjoy his tasty nuts… (yes, I went there.)

The wine was well-timed, as I then sat through a very lovely, very non-English speaking Catholic wedding.  I very much enjoyed the phive words I was able to understand.

There was a bit of down time between the ceremony and the reception that we had to phill.  That meant we grabbed our phriend, Wrong Baby Wrong, and headed back to the tasting room.  This trip, we had enough time to play a phew games of horseshoes, join the wine club and watch Wrong Baby Wrong take a phun trip down the hill behind the horseshoe court.

We arrived right on time for the reception in downtown Hollister.  It was then that history was really made and epic status was achieved, as my liberally lubricated alter-ego phinally phound her name- Mrs. Olive Bedlam.

Once Mrs. Olive Bedlam arrived, the party started.  The bar tab was opened, phrivolity ensued, brain cells were killed.

Time was taken out for a few tortilla chips…

…and a phew bites of rice, beans and other deliciousness.

Sexy Mexican and I left the wedding and headed to meet phriends and my Pops for dinner at Toast.

They had pre-ordered some roasted garlic and olives which we helped make disappear.

Apparently I then had some soup!

Note to my phriends and phollowers.  I do not like prime rib.  It could be the best prime rib in the history of the world- I still don’t like it.  If I ever order prime rib in your presence, that is the time to take me home.  It indicates that the wheel may be spinning, but the hamster has had a phew too many.  I have no actual memory of considering, ordering, photographing or eating this.

I blame Mrs. Olive Bedlam.

When we got back to the house, Mrs. Olive Bedlam phound some bubbles and nibbles with which to amuse herself.

Phancy, eh?  Who knew what lovely things one could create with a phew graham crackers, some phruit and a little ingenuity!

It was entirely Mrs. Olive Bedlam‘s phault that Phooey ended up in the sink.  I would NEVER do something like that!

Welcome to the world, Mrs. Olive Bedlam.  I’m glad you now have a name…  easier to identify you with the next time you attempt to make an appearance.

3 Meals, 2 Phellows, 1 Me

29 May

My week started out on the right phoot as Monday morning brought with it a soy latte and Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich from Starbucks accompanied by a homemade bouquet of phlowers from a phellow.  Not too shabby!

Work BFF, Sparky, Hard Hat and I ventured over to The Loose Caboose for lunch and had yummy half sandos and hearty soup.

For dinner, a phellow accompanied me to Toast, a new eatery in Carmel Valley Village.  He and a split a Chioggia beet and mache salad with candied walnuts and Humboldt Fog cheese.  Definitely a dish I would order again.

On our server’s recommendation, I tried the Roasted Chicken with Mascarpone Orzo and broccolini for my entree.  Normally, I wouldn’t order chicken at a new restaurant, as I like to try the most unique menu offerings (that, or I am seduced by wings…) but I was blown away by this dish.  I am so glad she recommended it, so now I am paying it phorward and recommending it myself!

We split a Blueberry Crumble for dessert…  yum yum for my tum tum.

  This place seems like a phabulous new addition to the Carmel Valley Village.

Excited to go back to Toast to try out their breakfast offerings!

Grilled Cheese, Revisited

26 Apr

A study in November 2009 conducted by scientists in Barcelona, Spain suggests that regularly consuming skim milk with cocoa rich in flavonoids may reduce inflammation and slow or prevent the development of atherosclerosis. However, the study notes that its effects are not as pronounced as seen in consumption of red wine.

Sounds like justification to me!

The pumpkin seed pairing seemed like a good idea when I raided the liquor store next door.   Not so much when the conflicting phlavors raided my mouth.

A phriendly phellow treated me to lunch at Dudley’s where we both had my phavorite- the Beggar’s Banquet.  They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can tell a lot from the title…  the soup tasted as good as it looked (translation: awful).  Must have been an off day, as I normally really love this joint.

My grilled cheese compatriot had dinner waiting for me when I got home from a late night at work- two more recipes from the phabulous grilled cheese cookbook we’ve been tackling this month.

This tasty little treat pheatured Italian Crusty Bread, Truffle Oil, Fontina and Taleggio cheese. Oddly, the main ingredient that I am 99.9% sure was in it (which was meth disguised as a sandwich ingredient) was not listed in the recipe.

The second sando enveloped cremini mushrooms in a mixture of heavy cream, Fontina and Parmesan with garlic on Phrench bread.  Enjoyable yes, but it was like Nick Lachey showing up to the Justin Timberlake party.  Both rocked my socks off in high school, but only one of those phine phellows has a solid spot in my phantasy life.

Do you think a grilled cheese sando is capable of bringing sexy back?

If not, you might want to try my little truffled phriend…

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