Healthy and Sane

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A housewarming party done right

January 31st, 2010 · 5 Comments · entertaining

I’ve been a lazy bum all day today. I actually woke up at 11:30 after nearly 11 hours of sleep! I’ve been absolutely exhausted all week and I guess starting drinking at 4pm yesterday just put me over the top. Totally worth it – everything at the party we attended was fabulous. Our friends Mike and Katie are excellent hosts!! :mrgreen:

As mentioned, their housewarming party started at 4pm, so the menu was centered around different crostini and a few other fun finger foods. Every single thing was incredible and all recipes came from Cooking Light so we were filling up on nutritious food. That’s definitely my kind of party food! :)

Pumpernickel toasts with sour cream, lox and chives

Believe it or not, I was actually dreaming about this exact combo a few nights ago. I had a few of these guys.

Fig and goat cheese crostini

The super sweet figs were nicely complemented by the tangy goat cheese. Delicious!

The hostess multi-tasking…

Beef tenderloin, herbed cheese, spinach and gorgonzola crostini

The beef was so tender – perfectly cooked! I really enjoyed the creaminess of the spread under the spinach but unfortunately it had chives which proved to be too oniony for me. I think this was the guys’ favorite appetizer though – a definite hit at the party.

And finally we get to my favorite crostini of the night: roasted red pepper and olive crostini

Katie went through the trouble of roasting her own peppers instead of buying the jarred variety. You could really taste the difference!!

I could eat this whole bowl of the topping in one seating. 😆

Spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips

Lots of cheese + crackers

The food never stopped coming… those little crostini plates were refilled throughout the night. The hosts had a few helpers so they were able to mingle with friends as well. Great idea! :)

How about a pose for the blog? :)

And then there was drinking! I had a few cups of white wine

Some red

And….. a raspberry jello shot! Yep, you read that right. Awesome!

These were strong! I stuck to just one… and a million bites of dessert!!!

Random party pics…

We met some really cool people and of course had fun drinking and chatting with existing friends. And I definitely ate my weight in apps + dessert! They say you should sit away from the table with the food if you want to limit mindless snacking, but I’m pretty sure I have an internal magnet in my system so I just couldn’t stay away. 😉 It was all SO good! Best party food I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously!! It was as if it was all tailored to my taste buds.

We left the party stuffed and happy and headed to our friends Kyle and Tiffany’s place where I learned that I’m useless at Trivial Pursuit (actually that wasn’t a surprise at all)… they need more food related questions, lol.

How is your weekend going? Did you cast a vote in my poll yet?

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A new friend from Brazil + my first poll

January 30th, 2010 · 15 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

Good morning! I am up bright and early on this lovely Saturday morning to start my day right – with an awesome bootcamp class! :) Adam and I are then going back to the tile store to look at the tile we picked one more time and then to a little afternoon party at Mike and Katie’s. A few of my co-workers are going to be there. Who knows, I may just share with them the fact that I have a blog! It’s only been 15 months since I started it. They’re my work friends, so I’m sure they’ll be cool with it even if they find out. 😀 I’ll keep you guys posted. 😉

So yesterday I met for lunch with one of my readers, Gabriela. She was vising Boston from Brazil!!! It was really cool to meet a reader from such a different culture. We still had lots in common – mainly our passion for food. :mrgreen:

So where did I suggest that we meet on a super cold winter afternoon in Boston? At b.good of course! It’s one of my favorite “fast-food” restaurants. It’s quick AND healthy… perfect for lunch! I took my new baby out for a walk outside for this special occasion. It was it’s first time out in the light. I think it really liked it! 😉 Btw, should I name my camera or is that too weird? lol… Suggestions are welcome. 😀

The light inside this b.good location on Newbury st. is “cozy,” which means my old camera always made the burgers look sad. Enter, my new camera. Don’t you just want to bite right into this juicy burger?

Cousin oliver – beef burger with lettuce, tomato + pickles. I asked the special sauce to be added but realized only at the end that they did not put it on. As a result the burger was dry… the sauce makes this one!

I also got some crisp veggies (broccoli, carrots, peppers) on the side. They had some kind of sauce (soy sauce)? I LOVED them! What’s up with me and veggies lately? I’m obsessed!!

Gabriela again…

Her mom joined in at the end too… I snapped a photo of them together. :)

We talked about school, work, running, French, food, blogging… we covered lots of topics in an hour! Gabriela told me I must try the Brazilian brigadeiros. Have you ever had those? After just researching what they are, I realized that I have had them. They are awesome – condensed milk + chocolate are a winning combo for sure. I must go back to that little Brazilian place in Allston where I’ve had them last and get myself a batch. 😀

Speaking of Brazilian goodies (kind of)… Gabriela brought me a little treat from Brazil:

Does it look familiar? Nature Valley granola but with Portuguese writing. Love it! 😎 Thanks, Gabriela for my little gift!! I had a great time meeting you today. Have a piece of Brazilian cookies for me when you get back home, will ya? 😉

So in case you didn’t notice, Gabriela is a young reader. I was so surprised to find out that a 14 year old found my blog to be of interest and relevance to her life. This made me realize that I have no clue about the demographic of my readers. So just for fun, I created this little poll. Can you vote? This is for no purpose other than to cure my curiosity. Yep, I’m just nosy!

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Shanghai Gate in Allston

January 29th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

I’m writing this post as I wait for Adam to get back from work so we can hit the gym together. This time he is actually the one motivating me to go. I’m not in the mood, but I know if I don’t go then he won’t and I can’t let my laziness impact the health of both of us. I’m sure I’ll get into it once I’m there. :)

For now, let’s get into this post! As promised, I wanted to share with you guys the dinner that Adam and I had last night. Since we started the construction of our kitchen two weeks ago, we’ve been eating out a lot more than usual. I do think I’ve done a pretty decent job of balancing that with some simple meals I can still make in our makeshift kitchen or right at work. With that said, last night I was craving some real Chinese food! So after checking out the tile store, we went to check out Shanghai Gate in Allston, known for some authentic Chinese food outside of Boston’s China town.

The decor was pretty simple, but also much cleaner than the “hole in the wall” I was expecting.

Hi, Adam! 😀

Upon being seated, we were immediately served some warm tea. Perfect on such a cold and snowy evening!

I wanted something very Asian. So often when we got out for Chinese food (which happens rarely, btw), I go for the “American” Chinese food (read: orange chicken, general gau’s chicken, or some other battered, fried, and lathered with sauce chicken). I weirdly like that stuff and since we go so rarely, that’s what I crave. Well not tonight! I wanted something light… maybe a noodle or a dumpling soup? Some flavorful veggies? Adam, quick do some research and figure out what people say is good here!

Here is what we ordered for the table based on online recommendations (thank you, iPhone! 😉 )

Sauteed rice cake – diced rice cake sauteed with chicken (sounded simple yet different)

Oh that kind of rice cake! I was first introduced to it on our very first night in Hong Kong. They called it “gluttonous rice cake” in HK but it actually looks and tastes like a big noodle, chopped up, not rice. The textures are often different – this one was hard, almost rubbery.

I found the “rice cakes” to be a little too tough but Adam LOVED them! I really enjoyed the sauce, the tiny chicken pieces, shrimp (which was a surprise because it wasn’t on the description but I was cool with it :) ) and especially the peppers.

Next up: paradise mountain chicken, stir-fried with chili peppers

+ some steamed rice

and string beans in garlic sauce

Let’s dig in!

My portion (I picked on more straight from the serving plates, especially the string beans!)

The paradise chicken was too fried for me (I know I said I like that fried stuff usually but I just wasn’t in the mood for it today) but the sauce was great! Later we found some Asian black beans, which are just awesome! Have you had Asian black beans before? They are not the typical (Latin) black beans – they are fermented soybeans. SO flavorful!!! I picked a bunch of them out and ate them straight up! 😉

The green beans really hit the spot for me! Like I said, I was looking for something lighter for dinner. These were hearty yet saucy – not the sticky goopy sauce, just a subtle flavor. I probably ate 1/2 of the platter and finished the rest as soon as we got home!

Oh and we finally got the appetizer. These little guys took a while to make, I guess.

Steamed pork buns

They had some broth inside them which you had to slurp after biting in. So fun!

Great dinner. I mostly liked the veggies and the sauces but Adam was in heaven and I know we will be back to Shanghai Gate! The service was really friendly and attentive too, despite the fact that our waitress clearly spoke limited English.

Can’t wait for my next Chinese meal. What’s your favorite Asian dish?
For other restaurant reviews, check out my Restaurant Reviews page.

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