Taking Back My Twenties

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Friday Night Kirin Pairing

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 | 8 comments

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It was a beautiful spring weekend in Dallas! I did some cooking and cleaning, and we celebrated a friend’s birthday on Saturday. It was great to take it easy. And I drank Kirin! I was excited to have the opportunity to prepare an Asian-inspired dish to pair with the Japanese-style beer. I’d had Kirin before and always loved how the crisp taste balanced out spicy or bold Asian dishes, so I was happy to drink it again. Plus, I like the challenge of preparing a new-to-me recipe, since I tend to stick with my favorites. If you’re looking for new recipe ideas, celebrity chef Candice Kumai will be sharing new ideas and pairing tips on Kirin’s Facebook page. Kirin has partnered with chef Kumai to help bring its beer to the growing Asian food scene.

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If you aren’t familiar with the beer, it’s 100-percent malt with subtle flavor upfront and a smooth, clean finish. I’d actually never had the Kirin Light before – It’s very similar, but without as much full flavor upfront. I’m not a huge light beer person, but I’d definitely pick this over American light beers:) The brewery is one of Japan’s oldest, dating back to 1888!

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I decided on a Japanese chicken and noodle dish, and I bought some shrimp to add as well. Both of the above ingredients were new to me! To compliment the noodle dish, I found a recipe for shiitake slaw.

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I chopped all my veggies ahead of time, so Matt and I could enjoy beers on the porch when he got home from work. The weather was fantastic!

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Once all the ingredients were prepped, this meal came together quickly on the stove top.

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How cute is this little bowl that arrived along with the Kirin? It was the perfect size for my side of shiitake slaw, which was delicious. I love mushrooms now, which is funny, because I used to be so afraid of them!

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To be honest, I actually didn’t love the noodle dish. The black bean paste was a prominent flavor, and I wasn’t a fan. But the Kirin washed it down nicely and paired beautifully with the heat from the hot sesame oil:) And Matt really liked the Kirin Light (I drank the regular with dinner).

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As much as I enjoy eating out, I’ve started to really love when we stay in and cook on Friday evenings. Thanks to Kirin for sending beer to my door step!

Hope you guys had great weekends too!

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Rustic Beer Saturday & Sundown on Sunday

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 | 1 comment

Pizza and wine is becoming a Friday favorite! We opened a local bottle that we received from a friend. It was light and spicy.

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I threw together a pizza with leftovers from our pineapple crockpot chicken along with sheep’s manchego, spicy bbq sauce, and cilantro. Pizza is always good. And we watched Rent because I had never seen it! I was impressed Matt knew many of the songs:)

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Saturday we hit up bootcamp and made a hearty lunch in preparation for some beer drinkin. We were supposed to attend a crawfish boil, but because of the weather, the gathering turned into a visit to Community Brewing. We had been once before, and this time they had a new bar area and many more choices. I accidentally drank all three pints, and after hours of conversation, we decided to go in search of dinner. It was a lovely afternoon and I made new friends in addition to catching up with newish old ones.

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We wanted something low-key, so we walked to the Rustic for Texas homestyle cookin.

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They had a great beer list, but I decided on a pricky pear margarita in honor of our trip to AZ (but really because I was tired of beer!).

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We shared two apps and a burger. Above, the cactus fritters (soo good), and below, the smoked catfish and crackers.

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The burger was a bit dry, but I loved the bun and the green chilies that were served with it. The mashed sweet potatoes were amazing!

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We rarely get dessert in restaurants, and were def. not planning to order one on Saturday, but then I saw this go by….

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A giant peanut butter pie – who can resist?

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I usually get to the grocery store on Friday or Saturday, but didn’t make it this week, so we decided brunch was in order on Sunday. We went to Sundown on Granada, which is officially my new favorite brunch spot! It’s on the hippy side and has incredible vegetarian and vegan options. We had been once before, but only sat at the bar for apps. I started with the vegan green drink made with kale, bananas, berries, cucumbers, mint, agave, and it really hit the spot.

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We definitely only needed one brunch entree, but I had no idea they were gonna be so big! I had their version of a vegan benedict, which was swiss chard, sweet potato hash, chipotle-avocado sauce, and fire roasted salsa, over a housemade quinoa burger. I’ve been a bit disappointed in quinoa burgers lately, but this one was full of flavor (and giant).

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Matt’s benedict was ridiculously good too, and consisted of Shiner brisket and bbq hollandaise over whole wheat molasses toast. I was in a definite food coma after this brunch, but it was good for grocery shopping afterwards because I stuck to my list exactly. And good fuel for the week! I’m working three days and have yet another interview. Hope yall had a good Monday! Adios.

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Life This Week

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 | 4 comments

Oh hey. Happy spring. And happy 60th birthday to my mom! I’m very jealous that she’s celebrating with the rest of the fam!

It’s been a busy week here, and I loved it! I had a bunch of interviews Wednesday and started working at Equinox this week. Although I’ve been substitute teaching since the fall, it’s been less consistent lately and I just needed more steady income. It’s also nice to have more structure to my week, as it looks like I’ll be working mornings. I’ve been busy in the kitchen too! Matt has made it home for a majority of meals this week (which has been very rare as of late)!! It’s so wonderful having him as a dinner date, and I definitely put a bit more effort into dinner (and don’t eat at like 5pm) when I know he’s coming home. I made a pineapple crockpot chicken this evening:

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Speaking of food, I re-introduced a little dairy (anyone have any experience with this?) since it’s been a loong time now, and can’t conclude much. I’ve been taking a new probiotic (VSL3), which I used to take when I first saw my gastroenterologist back in Boston (he said it’s the best), and it’s been really helping! I also took another round of Prevacid, which seemed to change something in my stomach, at least temporarily. I seem ok with a little bit of hard cheese, but I’m not so sure about yogurt:(

Lastly, I watched Clueless tonight #imighthaveseenpaulruddinvegas. I definitely picked up on some things that I didn’t catch back in ’95. And the soundtrack brought back so many memories!

After last weekend’s crazy adventures, I’m pretty excited to take it easy on Friday, grab brunch with friends, and hopefully have a date night on Saturday.

See ya.

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Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Feb 28, 2014 | 11 comments

-I’ve been eating bowls all week – farro bowl with veggie burger, rice bowl with chickpeas and curry sauce, pasta bowl with chicken sausage and red sauce, and a quinoa bowl with Mexican toppings (sidenote: I took home some of the salsa from Blue Mesa Grill that was served at the party and it is the absolute best I’ve ever had!! I must get more!)

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-The daffodils are blooming in Dallas and temps are warming up. Was that winter? If so, easiest winter ever. Also, daylight savings is kinda soon!

-Do you guys have water drinking tips? I’m in a rut and need something new to motivate me. I’m trying to talk Matt into getting a soda stream.

-Sarah Jessica Parker is coming to Dallas! I’m sure it will be packed, but would be fun to go.

-TJ’s now has coconut cashews! They sure make a salad feel tropical.

-This computer is going to die any day now. If I stop posting, you’ll know why…

The weekend is here!!!!

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Pizza Friday & A Trinity Groves Outing

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 | 3 comments

Happy Monday! We’ve got freezing rain on the way here in Dallas:( I’m heading to the east coast tomorrow to visit my family, and I hope I can get out! For now, a recap of my weekend.

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Friday was cold and wet, so Matt and I opted to get cozy on the couch and not do a thing. We opened a bottle of Italian pinot grigio and watched Cloud Atlas, which was super weird. Loved Tom Hanks though!

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I made a glorious bbq chicken pizza with sheep’s manchego, Stubb’s spicy sauce, banana peppers, and cilantro. So satisfying.

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Low key Fridays make for the best Saturday mornings! I was up bright and early and enjoyed breakfast and tea before bootcamp. Matt and I ventured into the warmer temps with an afternoon walk, and I scored a pair of black dress pants for $14 at the Loft.

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We headed down to the new Trinity Groves development to check out Local Urban Craft Kitchen (LUCK) for a beer before dinner. The beers on the menu are exclusively from Texas and all $5 (prices for high abv craft beers seem to really be rising these days). I enjoyed a cherry chocolate double brown stout from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. It was heavenly.

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For dinner, we tried at Resto Gastro Bistro, a few doors down from LUCK. The space was dark and elegant with exposed brick and a wooden bar and tables. My camera died at this point, so I had to use my phone for the pictures:( We started with the above tempura rock Shrimp wraps with vermicelli noodles, black truffle aioli, and ponzu vinaigrette. I didn’t expect them to be fried, but they were pretty darn good that way!

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Matt and I shared two entrees! The pan-seared lemon sole with piquillo pepper hummus, and the oven roasted pork shank with lemon goat cheese polenta, crispy pig, and balsamic-pomegranate glaze. The sole was tasty, but a little plain, but the pork was incredible! I’m not a huge pork rind person and there were a boat load of onions to get rid of, but the actual meat with the glaze and lemon polenta were a killer combination!

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Unfortunately, our waiter was very short with us, and definately didn’t want to answer questions about the wine list or the food. I ended up with a lovely cabernet, and the waiter cleared it from the table when I still had some left – that’s the worst! So, overall, I’d highly recommend the food, but I’m not so sure about the service – will have to try it again some day.

Sunday involved a little bowling action with friends at Bowlounge. I wish I could say I’m getting better, but I’m not quite yet! Soon, though:)

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Have a happy week.

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Weekend of Friends

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 | 3 comments

Yo,
How’s it going out there?
I had a rejuvenating weekend here in Dallas. We had temperatures in the 70′s and I got that feeling that spring is coming! It made me want to clean the house and shop, but then I remembered it was January and I did neither of those things.
I had a girls date night with my friend Liz on Friday and we tried a new-to-me restaurant called La Duni. It’s a Latin cafe and the prices are so reasonable for the quality of the food. We had mojitos and malbec, and then I had this wonderful mahi entree with fried plantains and garlic rice
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We met Matt for beers afterwards and ending up staying up too late talking! It was my favorite kind of night.
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Matt and I did bootcamp at the gym on Saturday morning and then took a stroll to enjoy the weather and look in some stores. I made the mistake of wearing flip flops and got blisters because I haven’t worn them in months:( We stayed in and cooked for friends on Saturday night – they have a one-year-old, so it’s easier to cook at their house and I made apple pork chops, sweet potatoes, and brussels. It was nice to have a low key evening and it didn’t feel like staying in since we weren’t at home.
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Sunday was a funday of sorts because we celebrated our friends’ engagement with brunch at Sangria. We sat on the patio for two hours drinking bloody marys and catching up with the group. I ordered breakfast tacos with egg and chorizo – they were enjoyable enough, but not anything special. I had dish envy for Matt’s spicy hash.
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The weekend ended with bbq salmon and Golden Globe watching with friends who live in our building.
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It was lovely to spend so much time catching up with different friend groups this weekend! I neglected the apartment a bit, so I need to do some cleaning and get myself organized again. Hope yall had a good one.
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