Hello blog world. This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I am taking a hiatus from my blog, but plan on continuing it in the future.
So Many Vegetables! August 19, 2010
There are currently so many fresh vegetables in my house from the garden and farmers’ market purchases. So I decided to use them! First I made a three bean salad with white beans, green beans, red kidney beans and red onion. The only thing that came from the grocery store were the red kidney beans. I added some raspberry vinegar, salt & pepper, and a little sugar. It looks, smells, and tastes delicious.
I also made some salsa. I’ve been waiting all summer for our tomatoes to turn red because I’ve been wanting to make salsa with the jalapenos we grew. I used both red and yellow tomatoes, a jalapeno, a red onion, some lime juice and cilantro. The only things store bought in the salsa are the lime juice and cilantro. I did have some cilantro growing but it died in our extreme heat earlier in the summer (and maybe a little lack of watering, whoops). The salsa tastes really fresh and is on the spicy side. I didn’t take the seeds out of the jalapeno since I like things spicy and it is definitely on the spicy side.
Ithaca Bakery, Lucas Vineyards, Crystal Lake Cafe August 17, 2010
I have been craving bagels lately. I have only had one legit bagel since starting Weight Watchers and that was only a week into it. Bagel Thins have been a life saver, but every once in a while I need to have the real thing. We decided the best place to get a bagel would be the Ithaca Bakery and boy were we right.
They had so many different bagels and cream cheeses to choose from. I ordered the San Diego Bagel and a Chai.
The San Diego Bagel is a bagel (I chose Honey Wheat) with cream cheese and raspberry jalapeno spread. It was really good. I would have liked a bit more jalapeno in it because the sweetness of the raspberry completely overpowered it. My Chai was also very good. I used to drink Chai a lot but haven’t in a long time, so it was something nice to have for a change.
After breakfast we packed up the car and headed up the west side of Cayuga Lake. We, again, didn’t really have a plan but we stopped at a state park on our way north. We sat on the beach for a while and watched a front move towards the east; clouds are really interesting to watch. From the state park, we went to the overlook of one of the many falls in the Ithaca area.
There’s a foot path along the creek at the bottom of the falls that I want to explore during a future trip.
From the falls we continued north and came to Lucas Vineyards. My mom just wanted to check out their gift shop but I insisted that we do a wine tasting. She was very glad that I insisted on it. We loved the wines at this vineyard. The tasting at this vineyard consisted of 5 set wines and 1-2 wines of your choice based on what you liked from the first 5. I really liked the tasting at this vineyard. The woman who was doing our tasting was able to tell us exactly what flavors our palettes were looking for. I really liked this, since I haven’t really known what varieties of wines are my favorite. I learned that I like lemon and lime flavors, which is definitely different from the rest of my family. The wines with lemon and lime tend to be on the dry side. I bought two bottles of wine at Lucas.
The wine of the left is called Blues. It is a white wine with flavors described as “bight, crisp and smooth with tangy citrus fruits.” This wine is definitely an off-dry. I liked it a lot. The bottle on the right was a favorite among all three of us. It is called Harbor Moon and it is a semi-dry white wine with flavors of “citrus and melon [that] mingle pleasantly.” This vineyard was a great find. I’m glad I convinced my mom to do a tasting.
When we left the vineyard it was definitely time to eat. We went back south so that we were heading towards home. We stopped at Americana Vineyards. We didn’t do a tasting here because we weren’t really stopping for the Vineyard, but we stopped for their Crystal Lake Cafe. I took one look at the menu and it was instantly a hard decision. Everything on the menu sounded so good; everything had fresh ingredients. It is definitely a vegetarian friendly restaurant, many meat-free dishes to choose from. I opted for a vegetable quesadilla.
There were so many fresh veggies in the quesadillas, in addition to goat cheese and some cheddar. When I read on the menu that there was goat cheese and cheddar in it, I was concerned that the cheddar would overpower the goat cheese flavor, but it didn’t at all. There was just enough cheddar to make the quesadilla stick together. The salsa on the side was made fresh and so good. It was very basic with tomatoes, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. On the side I had mixed greens with a house balsamic vinaigrette. It was all very good.
After we ate lunch, my mom and I decided to check out the gift shop at the vineyard, because I was still on a hunt for something to buy for James. I bought myself a t-shirt and I bought James something that I will edit this line later after I give it to him.
That was the end of our mini-trip to Ithaca. There was so much to see and I would definitely like to go back and see it all. My next blog post will be a non-food related post about my birthday celebrations a couple weeks ago! Stay tuned.
When we left the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, we still had 2 hours before we could check into the hotel so we started driving up the east side of Cayuga Lake. We didn’t really have anything in mind other than checking out the scenery, but we soon realized that you couldn’t see much of the lake from the east side, so we decided to stop at the first Winery that we came to. That happened to be King Ferry Winery maker of Treleaven Wines. We did a tasting, which consisted of 6 wines of your choice. This was my first experience wine tasting and I am far from being an expert. I had fun with it and chose two wines that I liked to buy.
The wine of the left is the Silver Lining Chardonnay. This Chardonnay is an “off-dry, non-oaked Chardonnay…with wonderful tropical fruit flavors.” On the right is my favorite wine of the tasting. It is a Pinot Noir described as being “moderate oak with smokey, earthy, sweet wood, cherries & figs. Velvety tannins & a smooth, pleasant lingering finish.” This wine was the most expensive one I tried, but I liked it so much that I couldn’t resist it.
After the winery, we went to the hotel and rested while we figured out what we were going to do for dinner. My mom and I walked down to the Ithaca Commons to scope out the different restaurants before dinner so we could pick something out that my grandma would eat. There were so many different restaurants I wanted to try, unfortunately many of them didn’t have things on their menus that my grandma would eat since she’s a horribly picky eater. We originally picked out a wine and tapas bar, but it was too full by the time we got back down there with my grandma, so we just went next door to the Mahogany Grill. I didn’t take any pictures of my dinner, but I ordered a Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak Sandwich. I ordered my tuna rare and it was so good. The tuna was extremely fresh and high quality; it just melted in my mouth. The sandwich was huge, so I just ate it open faced without the top of the bun. I had my choice of side and I opted for sweet potato fries. They were some of the best sweet potato fries I have had. They were very crispy on the outside and had a ton of flavor. I also had a Blue Moon beer, which was perfect for our patio meal.
Still ahead, I’ll post about breakfast at a local bakery, another winery trip and lunch at a winery cafe.
Ithaca Farmers’ Market August 16, 2010
I have been a horrible blogger. I have been so busy with the ending of my summer camp job that my blog (and my healthy eating habits) have taken a back seat. I’m back with a post about my weekend trip to Ithaca with my mom and grandma.
The First Place we stopped was the Ithaca Farmers’ Market. There were so many different vendors. The first thing we did was walk the whole pavilion to scope out what there was. After walking the pavilion we decided what we wanted to do for lunch. I decided on some Pad Thai.
This was my first time having Pad Thai and it was delicious. Sriracha Sauce was optional and I definitely opted for it. The Sriracha Sauce added a great balance to the rest of the meal. I really enjoyed my first experience with Pad Thai. My mom also picked up so rolls to try during lunch.
This was the white roll stuffed with artichoke. The roll was very good. It had a sweet taste to it and melted in my mouth. We also tried a wheat roll stuffed with spinach. That too was very good. I think I preferred the wheat spinach roll over the white artichoke roll simply because I generally prefer wheat bread.
We, of course, did some shopping while at the farmers’ market. I bought some honey (creamed honey and fall flower honey), an apron, and some white beans. I’m excited that I can get back into the kitchen and use my new items now that camp is over.
Tomorrow I will post about trip to a winery for my first tasting experience.
Tales from the Scale July 29, 2010
I think I may have finally broken through my plateau for good! Tonight I lost 2.6 pounds, which is the most I have lost in quite a few months. I needed the 2 pounds to hit my 35 pound mark so I wound up surpassing that mark. I have officially lost 35.6 pounds! I’m also more than halfway through my current “weight decade.” Hopefully I’ll be able to continue in this direction.
Hot & Sweet Ahi Tuna July 25, 2010
Tonight my grandma took my mom and I out to dinner to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We decided to go to Red’s in Coxsackie for something close. My mom got baked haddock and my grandma got Tortellini Carbonara. My grandma’s portion was huge! She has lunch for the next week. I decided on the Hot & Sweet Ahi Tuna which is described as Ahi Tuna “coated with cajun seasonings and served rare. Sliced and served over our creamy duchess potatoes with sweet pineapple salsa.” I made a great decision! There was also sliced avocados on the plate that weren’t in the description; a pleasant surprise! I didn’t have my camera at the restaurant so I snapped a quick picture of my leftovers when I got home. The crispy strips that kid of look like bacon are shaved and fried sweet potato slices. The tuna was cooked perfectly! It was rare but not cold in the middle. I can’t wait to have the left overs tomorrow!