Friday, July 31, 2015

The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink PART 2)

Some more delicious foodie photos from my vacation in the US...
(If you missed Part 1, you can check it out HERE.)

Morning Date Smoothie

While I was home, I made a point to try out some new recipes, one of them being this Morning Date Smoothie with dates, frozen banana, almond milk, cinnamon & vanilla extract. It was delicious, and I will definitely be making this again come summer in Argentina.

A tradition in my family has always been to eat pizzas on Friday night, whether we order out or make pizza at home. More recently, my parents have gotten into cooking their homemade pizzas outside on the grill. The weather was pretty much perfect the entire time I was in New Jersey and it felt so good to be able to cook & eat outside.

I accompanied my grilled pizza with this prosecco. I dislike drinking white wine, but I love prosecco, cava and champagne!

While I was in the US, I had to do a little research...burger research, that is. Since my husband couldn't come on this trip with me (he's gotta hold down the burger bar), I checked out Five Guys and Shake Shack for him and reported back. I thought the burger at Five Guys was really good, and the burger at Shake Shack was a disappointment for me. Either way, my husband's burgers blow these out of the water, but I may just be biased. ;-)

One day while I was home, I had to bring a coat to the dry cleaners. It was around lunch time, I was hungry and fortunately there are a few restaurants next to the dry cleaners: a Chinese restaurant, a pizza place and a Greek restaurant. I can't believe I had never tried the Greek restaurant before since I love that kind of food! I even got my Mom to try falafel for the first time and she loved it! Out of everything I took away that day, the falafel and the eggplant were the stars of the show.

It was my Mom's birthday during my stay, so I asked her what kind of cake she wanted me to bake. We decided on a Hummingbird Cake, which has bananas, pineapple, & pecans inside the cake and toasted coconut covering the cream cheese frosting on the outside. It was SO good, and luckily for us, the cake lasted an entire week!

For my Mom's birthday, we went out for dinner at a restaurant called Mistral in Princeton, NJ. This is the dinner that I deemed "THE BEST DINNER I HAVE HAD IN A LONG TIME." I was seriously blown away by how delicious every single plate was!

Fanny Bay Oysters w/ rhubarb mignonette

Sweet Potato Pancake w/ Japanese BBQ, katsuobushi & scallion.

Buttermilk Fried Avocado Salad w/ green goddess, slow roasted tomato & cured eggs.

Cornmeal Bucatini w/ shrimp sausage, bacon, scallion & poached egg.

Burlesque w/ pueblo viejo tequila, pineapple, lime, ginger, amaretto & duo of bitters.

The next night we headed back to Princeton to go to one of my favorite restaurants: Blue Point Grill. Fresh seafood is hard to come by in Buenos Aires, so whenever I go to the United States I go on seafood overload and eat seafood whenever and wherever I can!

I love all seafood, but oysters are always such a special treat. In this selection we travelled down the West Coast and back up the East Coast! My favorites were the Kumamoto oysters from California. 

And as if I hadn't already indulged enough, I had to stop by the frozen yogurt joint, 16 Handles, in town. I made myself a trio yogurt cup with flavors Coconut Castaway, Birthday Cake and Graham Cracker. I topped it off with my favorites icing-dipped animal crackers, raspberry marmalade filled dark chocolate cups, and the classic ice cream topping staple: rainbow sprinkles.

Then I would make up for eating an extra large cup of frozen yogurt by making something fresh & healthy at home. This is a green bean side dish (sauteed with shallots & walnuts and topped with lemon juice & parsley) I made alongside some honey mustard baked chicken. :-D

Fennel-Roasted Chicken and Winter Squash with Endive-Apple Salad

While it seems like I really set up shop in the kitchen, I did allow others to use the kitchen every once in a while. ;-) My Mom made this amazing roast chicken & salad dish by Curtis Stone. I love anything that combines chicken and salad, and this recipe is the ultimate, upgraded version of your typical chicken and salad dish. 

This concludes my food journey through the month of July in the US! 
What yummy recipes have your tried/what good restaurants have you gone to lately?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink: PART 1)

Hellloooo! I'm back from the longest blogging hiatus I've taken in a while. As it turned out, it was much needed.

A few days ago I returned from an extended vacation in the US, spending time with my family and visiting friends. It was such a wonderfully relaxing vacation where I made sure to keep my computer time to a minimum, and I have to say, it felt really refreshing!

My husband surprised me with a smartphone shortly before going on vacation (I resisted for years, but him coming home one day with a new smartphone in hand made it easier for me to crack haha), so I made sure to take PLENTY of pictures while I was away and updated my Instagram quite frequently. For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram (it's never too late to join the party!), I thought I'd share those photos on here as well as some other photos I took while on vacation.

I'm going to break this "The Month in Review" post into three parts: The first two posts will be strictly about food & drink, since that is what I spent most of my vacation doing, and the third post will be a miscellaneous post.
Hope you enjoy!

My first "meal" upon arriving in the US:
Dunkin' Donuts @ Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

I arrived in the US just before the 4th of July, so I didn't waste any time in whipping up some festive treats...

The evolution of a beautiful batch of cookies:




We spent 4th of July weekend with family in New Hampshire and we made even more patriotic goodies!

I was VERY proud of my "firework" cupcake.

My aunt made these awesome tricolor cupcakes!

Also, in New Hampshire, I FINALLY accomplished my mission of eating a LOBSTER ROLL. 
(I've been dreaming about trying a lobster roll for years, but for some reason the stars never aligned... UNTIL NOW.)

ANOTHER FIRST for me in New Hampshire was MAKING & EATING S'MORES! 
Was I not living before I visited New Hampshire? Well, as they say in that state, "Live Free or Die"!

My first s'more...
and thinking about more!

After returning back to NJ, I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen. 
There was a "salad phase" that lasted about a week, and consisted of...

Fruit Salad

The Most Luscious Chicken Salad You Will Ever Eat

Macaroni Salad
(with a special unexpected ingredient that makes the world of a difference!)

During my stay, I also indulged in my long-time, favorite food pastime: EATING CUPCAKES.


PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKE from Crumbs Bake Shop...
 Because I miss having the option of eating PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE TOGETHER.

I think that's enough to make you drool for now. ;-)
Installment #2 of "The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink) to come this weekend!

What have you been up to during the month of July??