Friday, March 30, 2012

a little friday afternoon check in for thee

oh hey there.
if you were at my apartment right now you could find me sandwiched down in between my couch and coffee table, laying on my stomach on the floor. . you see, i've kind of developed a "lay on the floor" obsession as of late.

so it's the last day of march. the month flew, no? my family came to visit last weekend. i took near no pictures... and the ones i did try to take were mostly of my brother's hand as he tried to get out of the frame. boo! what did we do in the five days they were here? we ate! we partied! we drove to salt lake and got a flat tire in the process and checked out the new city creek mall. everyone owned a pair of pastel jeans. i wouldn't mind someone buying me a pair. (teal please!) i carted my entire family to mountain west burrito and decided a party of about 20 is too many for that place BUT it was still so delicious and i can't recommend the roasted veggie tacos more. i did a lot of homework while everyone watched dumb tv shows that were strangely intriguing. (my strange obsession, anyone? i didn't even know infantism was a thing! google it.) it was a fun time!

as far as other things. hmmmmmmm
eat this cauliflower. seriously! then roast some sweet potatoes. i might be obsessed.
general conference is this weekend and i'm going. and i have tickets this time, so no standing out on a street corner begging for tix.
my birthday loot consisted of a new blender, a pizza stone, sweet kitchen measuring gadgets, and a cookie scoop. 20 going on 51! hi ya. 
two more weeks of school. i am so happy, as this semester is meh.
i need a vacation. today i want to go to canada. that place just really intrigues me. today my co-worker told me that she just bought tickets to the calgary stampede, which is evidently a big deal in the rodeo world. yeehaw!
weekend! let's get it. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

forage restaurant.

prepare yourself for a very comprehensive and long winded post about food.  it's what i do best, no?
a couple months ago my friend told me about this amazing restaurant in slc. it was owned by two chefs who prepare a different menu every night full of things they forage themselves, cook up with class, and serve in the most uncanny of ways. being intrigued, i decided then and there that no matter the cost, i was going for my 21st. food binge! it is just how i celebrate. luckily for me, i've got a pal who is also a foodie deep in her heart. she agreed to fork over the cash and experience with me. thank you, britni! i've forever indebted!

our reservation was for 7:30. when i called and made it, i told the guy i was a vegetarian, and asked if that would be a problem... he assured me that since i'd called so far in advance, quote, "the chefs would be able to personally prepare vegetarian courses for me". but he told me not worry- only two of the courses even had any meat in them. scoooooooore.

forage is located in a little blue remodeled house on a forgotten street in salt lake. we passed it almost twice before spotting a tiny sign on the door and a driveway.... where tons of nice cars were parked. we were super out of our element, i will tell you what. upon entering, the fancy of the place was intoxicating! we were seated by posh waiters who asked us if we wanted our water distilled or sparkling... to which i stammered and responded distilled, remembering my times in spain of always asking for "aqua sin gas, por favor!". that is as fancy as i get.
and then the courses came.
appetizer 1. malt crackers with new onion mousse. when it came out i thought the waiter was bringing us a center piece.. nope, those sticks were edible! and delicious, i might add.

appetizer 2. dulcinea. the waiter brought us two of these tater tot looking things (ha) on a silver platter and told us to each take one and then advised us to "eat it in one bite due to the liquid center". you got it, man! i could have eaten about five more of these. the flavor... oh the flavor! after trying to wrap my head about the deliciousness i was experiencing the waiter gave away the secrets. dulcinea is a croquette with 18 month aged sheep cheese in the center. man oh man. it was NOT this good in spain.
appetizer 3. soft scrambled egg with maple syrup and sherry cream. the egg was still in the shell! it was beautiful. and tasty. it was served with a mini spoon i wanted to take home.
appetizer 4. dried milk skin topped with herbs. i didn't ask, i just ate it... then the deliciousness wouldn't let me keep my mouth closed and i had to ask a million questions. turns out milk skin is the skin on boiled milk... or something. i don't know, but i loved it.
appetizer 5. house made bread with butter and sea salt. we buttered every bite and topped it all with sea salt. new favorite thing! also, the bread was kept warm but hot rocks in the bottom of the bowl. genius?
main 1. springs first shoots and leaves with chilled butter and house made cheese. again, awesome. eating weeds has never been so cool!
main 2. carrots in spruce sauce and yogurt.... to tell you the truth i can't remember the fancy name of this dish, but the flavor. i die. it was so concentrated and perfect... like the small portions were only natural. if they would have been any bigger it would have been overpowering, but it was just perfect. did i say perfect enough? perfect!
main 3. young radishes on cabbage with chilled lemon butter. again... these radishes were bonkers. i don't eat radishes, but i was doing my best to be nimble the whole time, even while eating the stems... which britni said probably weren't supposed to be eaten. so much for being fancy... i think while i ate this britni was eating halibut. she said it tasted like the sea.
main 4. baked potato soup with nasturtium and green pea tendrils. WHOA. incredible dish right here. there were pickled green pea tendrils in there i could have eaten for days. that soup was relished. britni ate elk... which she said was delicious and bloody.
dessert 1. and then the sweet stuff came! crushed rhubarb  and sorrel with herbs. so that white stuff is NOT bread or cake, like i thought it was. when it entered my mouth the flavor and texture was so unexpected... it was foam! the waiter said it was marjoram tea. yum yum
dessert 2. lavender ice cream with a ribbon of chocolate ganache with milk skin, milky foam, and dried milk. that ice cream and ganache were the game makers. do you see all those lavender flowers i ate? good stuff right there.
dessert 3. the night ended with a chocolate ganache and caramel... it came out with the bill to lessen the blow a little bit i think. i hardly remember the ganache because it was overpowered by me wondering how i had just spent 10 dollars on water, but ya know, it was pure and we sipped it with our pinkies in the air, so it's all good... and that caramel... oh that caramel. buttery and sweet and savored. the perfect way to end  a meal.
and that's it, folks! three hours later we were pleasantly satiated and feeling good. my forage experience was definitely a good one- not something i plan on doing again in the near future, but definitely memorable. i love the social aspect of the meal- the progressive eating and the anticipation of what was to come really heightened the experience. huge flavor in small portions left my palate always guessing. the combination of flavors and textures challenged my taste buds... does that make sense?  rather than scarfing down the meal, it was such a nice change to actually celebrate food as something that is as appealing to the eye as it is to the stomach. anyways,  if you're up for a cool experience with tiny spoons and quirky, earthy, rad dishes, i say head on over to see what forage is all about.

next stop, french laundry! (one day, one day :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

21st birthday: the greatest hits via pics

whew! it's over. 
21 is here... and can i say i milked birthday week for all it was worth? i see a lot of salads in the near future.
we started out with buntinis from nothing bundt cakes last friday
 they were just so gooooood
 special delivery all the way from diana all the way down in az!
 the closest i came to any beers...
 sunday called for lemon bundt cake.
 and THE DAY called for much feasting aka mormon food binge all day! malawi's
 this could easily be my optimal last meal
 post lunch trip to the fortune teller. zoltair is a smart guy
 fortunes! evidentially i've got lots of friends in the armed forces?
 best birthday lunch courtesy of these gals.
 we killed time at blickenstaff's and we found angelina's babies!
 and tried on all the hats. pharaoh suits me well?
 or old man. you choose!
 tuesday night britni and i went pinky's up at forage in slc. most of our food came from this greenhouse in the back! i'll post on that later.
 the "did i really just drop a months worth of grocery money on dinner?" face
 and i came to the realization that yes. yes i did.
 but it was awesome.
 and i found this on my bed! 
 risque, no? 
 i got the best cards from the best friends! 
and just like that the day was done. it was so good! my friends and my family are great. i'm excited for what 21 has to offer. let's do this!  

Monday, March 19, 2012

21 things recap

its crazy to think six months have passed since i made this lowly but lofty list... but can i say i loved doing it? it was so fun to make small goals to work towards, do a little more service, and better myself in the doing. i highly suggest it, folks. you'll be seeing another round soon. 

twenty-one things:

learn to make one loaf of bread by hand.
i attempted this one... it didn't raise. bread hates me.... but then again i didn't say make bread "successfully". yeast-1. alyssa-0. it'll happen though!

memorize two meaningful poems.
alright, didn't do it. but can i just give you my favorite poem?

it's in spanish... sorry, but i just love it so much.

read three substantial books.
the glass castle. room. the joy the baker cookbook (count it! and buy it. so good!)

bake and deliver food to four people i don't know.
the other night i made cookies and stealthily delivered them to my neighbors with a note thanking them for being cool. i think this qualifies as "food"?

try five new restaurants.
oh, i so did this! rice. terra mia. bombay house. pizzaria 712. and stay tuned for a separate post on number five. i'm stoked about this one!

leave six quarters on the sidewalk for people to find.
i wemt to the grocery store and randomly tossed quarters on the ground... and i am praying little kids found them and not vacuums and dust mops.

be completely vegan for seven days.
remember vegan week? it was a great time- but i missed yogurtland.

watercolor. make into thank you cards and send to eight nearest and dearest.
it happened at valentines day- i am no artist, but i do love to mix those colors!

make nine new friends.
i've made all kinds of friends via my ward. they're a good group.

overtip a waitress ten dollars.
at kelsey's birthday party at cpk around christmas we had a party of, oh, about thirty, and our waitress was stressed-the-freak-out. i overtipped her. i hope she bought somebody a really great christmas present with it. 

learn to make donuts. give away eleven. use that can of coconut cream somehow.
remember the donut fiasco hailey and i went through that one weekend and were successful? well, lots of those donuts were gifted... and i made delicious coconut rice with that coconut cream. heaven. 

learn to make jam. smother it on freshly baked bread. eat for twelve days.
i didn't make any jam... but i did make pumpkin butter and hummus... and then slathered the later all over some homemade tortillas. mmmm baby!

practice yoga nightly for thirteen consecutive days.
alright, this didn't happen but i DID go to some yoga classes and got many nights of good sleep... which is almost yoga :)

watch fourteen sunrises/sunsets.
fail... own it.

bike fifteen miles.
i did this! in the form of 6 am cycling classes. me and that spin bike are good friends.

travel to one new place. shoot sixteen videos of the experience.
okay, so no new videos happened.... yet. you see, i did, however, start making some big plans for some future travel. some of you already know what is going down, but if you don't. either way, stay tuned for some exciting news.

read the entire book of mormon en espaƱol seventeen minutes a day.
okay so i started this... then realized it was semi-impossible to do in six months. BUT in my living prophets class i've been reading 30 minutes a day from different discourses by living prophets... and modern revelation says that the prophets scripture is most vital work of scriptures soooo.... count it.

leave eighteen meaningful quotes, words on encouragement, praise on cars, sidewalks, doors, elevators.
diana was my accomplice during christmas break on this one. we went downtown and put quotes all over the streets, crosswalks, cars, and handed them to random strangers. golden moments! 

give somebody nineteen extra minutes on their parking meter.
there are hardly any parking meters in utah, i will tell you what. meh.

compliment twenty strangers.
i've been making an effort to compliment people more easily. my job makes it fairly easy, since i talk to tons of people every day. one of my favorite things is to compliment stressed out moms on their cool fingernail polish or rad diaper bags. they like it and afterwards they think we're friends.

make a list of twenty one good quotes to carry with me.

well folks, that is how the cookie crumbles. and after a somewhat crummy day consisting of finding a hole in a brand new shirt coupled with nearly failing a test and a parking ticket, its good to see all the things i actually accomplished! 
tomorrow it's the dawn of adulthood and legality. who wants to go buy a beer?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

pumped and ready to roll

the sun was shining today. shining and making me squint! i forgot how good the sun feels.
instead of walking to campus, which i loathe, by the way, i jumped on ol rico sauve for an inaugural bike ride. it was just as wonderful as i remember. me and that bike... we're good friends.

also, this happened to the stairs outside my apartment... and considering the fact that i will be 21 next tuesday, i hereby declare it birthday week.... which means nothing besides the fact that i give myself permission to eat more chocolate than usual.
and maybe i just want to take lots of pictures of my new shoes?  

poached eggs in tomato sauce.

daylight savings makes me feel like a new woman. seriously. when the sun is still out at 7 PM life can't be anything but great. it is totally worth the whole "losing an hour" thing. maybe the 70 degree temps today didn't hurt, either... 
oh, and this dinner? if you know what is good for you, you'll fire up the oven and make the easiest dinner of your life. the recipe is here... i served it over corn tortillas instead of bread. do what you want. it's your life. live it! 
also, this meal has got to be the cheapest thing of my life. eggs. marinara. onion. splurge on a red pepper, and you're on your way.

look how grown up i'm getting, eating eggs all runny and sophisticated like. happy tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

a weekend update.

the weekend began when the workday ended.
can i just say how glad i was that the work day was done? fridays are a godsend.
britni and i loaded up and beat the salt lake traffic! we talked and ate too many girl scout cookies. and cabury mini eggs. and trail mix. but i ate an apple, too, so all that is cancelled out. when we got hungry, i spotted a sign that said there was a subway off the exit, so we got off and travelled those 3.2 miles to get some food. hey, when you're in a small town, those 3.2 miles are totally worth it. you know what wasn't worth it, though? getting back on the freeway in the pitch blackness and realizing about an hour later that you're, indeed, on the wrong freeway. detours through pocatello are nice, though. moments when you want to do a serious face palm make you learn.

saturday morning my sister and i went on a run together. she's a good runner! she's got long legs! we both survived, thank goodness. later on, my mom and i went to see the lady who made this whole weekend trip possible- melissa cole. my first knocked up high school pal! her baby shower was awesome and i am jealous of all the sweet threads and toys that baby is getting. i am not jealous of her inability to breathe easily. props to you, melissa. everyone is growing up. my friends all have huge rocks on their fingers, are buying houses, and making babies. my own sentiments can be expressed like this:

all the baby shower fun was followed up by a much anticipated trip to see the artist. such a great movie, people! that is, if you like silent black and white films with dramatic music and a lot of dancing. (is there anyone still out there?) we enjoyed it! after the movie we went home and sat around for a good hour trying to decide where to eat dinner. we ended up at lucky 13. such a great decision.... i ate like i'd never seen food before. seriously, why does my appetite exponentially grow when i go home?

sunday was church and hugs and goodbyes. britni and i drove back to utah and made a pit stop at the shiny new brigham city temple. it's beautiful!
and that was the end to a very good weekend. boise, i love you! thanks to baby cole for making this trip possible.