Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reeling in the Big Fish on Long Island

Girls Weekend 2011- Long Island

It is always a joy to get together with my BFs from high school for our annual girls weekend. I know we will always have a great time laughing, drinking and of course eating very well. This year four of us headed to Greenport, Long Island for a few days of pure relaxation.
Enjoying local lobster and corn at Claudio's
The scenery in this small coastal town is picture perfect. Their are sailboats docked on the Long Island Sound, and the small town is filled with independent restaurants from the Coronette Diner (a longtime community staple serving pancakes, eggs and other breakfast favorites) to the higher end Claudio's (the restaurant serves lobster and other local seafood with beautiful water views).
A truly successful fishing expedition!
I don't think I've ever been fishing before (I don't do particularly well on boats), but I had this romanticized view of the experience - being out on the open water in the sun, relaxing and seeing the beautiful scenery. After finally getting my sea legs I learned that fishing on our boat was not such a relaxing was hard work! We reeled in some heavy fish and among them had 8 trophy worthy stripped sea bass. It was an amazing experience which included a dip in the L.I. Sound and a delectable fish taco dinner at Kate's Dad's place complete with s'mores.
Enjoying sitting on the patio of Bedell drinking wine
The next day we dressed up and ventured to the Hamptons. There are a multitude of wineries along the way and it was tough to decide which ones were worth visiting. Bedell Winery had been recommended and was definitely worth the visit with a VIP wine tasting overlooking the vineyards. This Food Girl enjoyed herself a little too much with the hefty pours and was probably made the visit that much more memorable for the group. Nick and Tony's in South Hampton was rumored to be the place for celebrity sittings and it did not disappoint; after our delicious pasta meal our server let us know that Broadway legend Nathan Lane was sitting inside the restaurant in the window just behind our table.

It was a truly relaxing weekend...can't wait for next year!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Doughnut Day!!

Fried cake and baked chocolate cake doughnuts
For those who don't know, there was a time I'd toyed with the idea of opening up my own doughnut shop. I had dreams of some retro kitschy place that would cater to families and professionals during the day, and be open late on weekends for those rowdy folks looking to satiate their appetite after a long night of drinking. Now don't be too disappointed, this might still happen someday, but I haven't been moving forward with the idea with any sense of urgency.

I did recently invite some of my cooking ladies (friends who are equally as enticed with cooking/baking as I am) for a special doughnut day. Mind you my kitchen isn't huge, but we did have a great time making 4 different types of doughnuts and stinking up my place with the smell of hot oil (oh yea, that's why I don't frequently practicing my doughnutry skills!)

I need a vent if I'm going to be frying any more...the fumes were TOXIC!

If you're interested in attending Doughnut Day, let me know. Maybe I'll try to organize a second get together at a later date!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Making My Own Chipotle Fave

Robyn's Own Burrito Bowl
I was exhausted last night and craving Chipotle, but too tired to walk to get it (I'm back in marathon training mode and had completed my 15 mile run). Instead I decided, why not just make my own burrito bowl? I popped on over to Jewel to pick up some staples (yes, the grocery is closer than Chipotle) and made my very own uber tasty burrito bowl!

  • Brown rice - way healthier than white rice. I used Trader Joe's frozen brown rice which takes all of 3 minutes to microwave.
  • Black beans. Rinse 'em and they're ready to go.
  • Shredded lettuce. I took an entire heart of romaine and just did a chiffonade cut to make it look pretty.
  • Corn. I had the most amazing sweet corn from a Green City Market visit earlier this week. I just sliced the kernels off the cob and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil. I admit they were pretty tasty raw (I sampled a few kernels). You could also use Trader Joe's roasted corn kernels, which are also in the frozen food aisle.
  • Cherry tomatoes.
  • Shredded fat free cheddar (still tastes just as good as the full fat stuff).
  • Avocado - need the good fat!
  • Beef. I opted to purchase No Name frozen steaks and was amazed at the 3 frozen filets I purchased for $7.99. I took the one filet and cooked it at 500 degrees on the broiler for 10 minutes on each side and it was pretty darn good!
  • Salsa - I didn't add any, but I realized after I started eating my dinner that I had the fancy Frontera Grill salsa in my fridge.
Here is is mixed a bit more - doesn't it look like a Chipotle burrito bowl?!
This was probably one of the most satisfying dinners I'd made for myself in some time and I highly recommend trying it at home!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pierogi Love

Pierogi Fest's Parade - Look at those fabulous costumes!
My friend Katie and I have been talking about going to Pierogi Fest together for years. Katie is from nearby Whiting, Indiana and always extolled the humor and tastiness of the festival. This year it finally happened and I was a happy lass. The 17th annual fest was expected to draw over 200,000 visitors (a pretty decent sized crowd!) and the city of Whiting was primed to welcome them.

The 3-day festival kicked off Friday evening with a parade. One like I've never seen before! There were fantastic costumes (men, women and even dogs donned babushkas), floats, candy and music (bag pipers are always welcome in any parade right?!) It truly was an display of pride in the city and the pierogi itself. We had prime viewing of the parade as we stood in line waiting for our warm pierogi in a variety of flavors - sauerkraut, cheddar and onion, sweet cheese, meat, mushroom and even chorizo. I also purchased a huge tin mug for a bargain $10 that I could fill up with any number of homemade sodas for the entirety of the 3-day festival (sarsaparilla was my favorite). We ended our feasting by splitting, get this, fried Coke! Little droplets of coke were fried and layered with whipped cream and Coca Cola - very intriguing indeed.

With rides, the delicious Polish food (we also sampled potato pancakes and a few other traditional dishes), and live polka music what more could a girl ask for?