Foodie Friday: Cuban Night

We had a mighty delicious dinner last night.

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Oh yes.

I have many favorite meals that Jon makes, but his black beans and rice? I could happily eat those for the rest of my live and be perfectly content. They’re my form of comfort food.

And when I threw them out as an idea for last night’s meal, we realized it had been almost a year since he made them. Blasphemy!

On the menu:

Black beans

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Jasmine rice

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Pulled pork

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Tostones

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For those who are unfamiliar, tostones are fried plantains. Not as popular as their cousins, sweet plantains, but just as delicious. Oh and those little guys in the back there? Those are chicharones, aka fried pork skin. I’m not the biggest fan, but Jon loves it. They’re not bad…just a little too much for me.

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You can buy plantains at your local grocery store (a local latin market would be better though…they have fresher ones). Jon cuts them into about 1 1/2 inch pieces and shallow fries them in a pan until they’re browned. Then he places them in the plantain skin and flattens them. Then back to the oil they go to finish off. A little sprinkle of salt and they’re ready for eating!

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Not the greenest meal, but boy was it delicious!

Other cuisines I can’t ever get enough of: Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese.

What are your favorite cuisines?

 

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Foodie Friday: Cookies, Cookies Everywhere!

Let the madness stop.

I’m on sugar overload!

With the holidays come treats upon treats upon treats. All week at work cookies, candies, chocolates and donuts keep popping up on every empty counter top space. ‘Tis the season to indulge and I’ve had moderate bites here and there.

My favorite Christmas treat?

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Cookies!

I don’t think I’ve ever met a cookie I didn’t like…chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, frosted, sprinkled, bar form…they’re all yummy to me!

Before plates and plates of treats started popping up at work I DID have plans on making my own cookies to share. But since I think I might get some groans if I bring one more sweet treat into the office, I’m going to hold off. But here’s some gems that I can’t wait to make!

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Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

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Hazelnut Cookies

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Lemon Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Crinkled Ginger Molasses Cookies

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Rocky Road Cookies

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Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Those Red Velvet wonders there are first on my list to try…mmm, I love red velvet!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie? I love a good Mexican Wedding cookie!

P.S. I wonder how many times I can say cookie in this post ūüôā

 

Foodie Friday – Favorite Foods

I was on my own for dinner last night so after a sweat sesh¬†at Fit for Fashion I headed to Rollin’ Oats. They have the best prepared foods with a lot of variety. My eye was immediately drawn to the roasted brussels¬†sprouts they had. And I had a passing thought of how funny it is that foods we used to hate as kids are foods that we can’t get enough of when we’re adults. Oh how the tastebuds change.

I don’t consider myself a picky eater. I’ll try anything once. But once I find a favorite of something, it’s hard for me to let go. For this Foodie Friday, here’s a list of my favorite foods.

Favorite meat: Pork, preferably roasted.

Favorite seafood: Do crabcakes count? If not, then salmon.

Favorite dessert: Cheesecake.

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Favorite ice cream: Vanilla with a caramel swirl.

Favorite nut: Plain, unsalted almonds.

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Favorite chips: Cape Cod all the way.

Favorite sandwich: Italian. And if I didn’t care about my health I’d eat salami and mustard sandwiches every day.

Favorite breakfast:¬†Jon’s wheat germ saut√©ed apple pancakes. P.S. A weird think about me and pancakes is I can only eat homemade ones.

Favorite pizza: BBQ chicken. Although in Sicily I grew to love eggplant on pizza, but not a lot of places do that here.

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Favorite juice: Pomegranate.

Favorite fruit: Avocado and berries. And mango!

Favorite vegetable: Brussel sprouts. Asparagus is a close second.

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Favorite cheese: Smoked gouda.

Favorite alcoholic drink: Forever a wino.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Tea…I drink 2 cups a day.

Favorite pasta: I haven’t had it in forever, but I love penne a la vodka.

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Favorite cuisine: I could eat Mexican all day every day. Close second is Italian.

There’s not much that I don’t like, but there are a few things I’ll always say no to…

Beer.¬†I’ve tried both cheap and expensive and they all taste the same to me. I just can’t get around that hoppy¬†yeasty taste. Blech!

Coffee. I’ve just never liked the taste.

Sprouts. Jon doesn’t understand this one. I just don’t like them! They taste too much like earth.

Foods that I’m iffy about:

Cauliflower. I keep meaning to give them a shot…I just don’t like the way they look, which I know is weird.

Cottage cheese. I think I just need to find a good brand. Again, I don’t like the way it looks.

Bleu cheese and brie. I used to HATE these cheeses, but am coming around to both.

Mushrooms.¬†Love portabella, but raw button mushrooms I won’t touch.

Candy. I think I ate too much of it as a kid! I’m just not into it. Every once in a blue moon, if it’s presented to me, I’ll have a bite or two, but it’s nothing that blows me away.

What are some of your favorite and not so favorite foods?

***Please send good thoughts out to the people involved in the Colorado shooting this morning.***

Foodie Friday – Brownies

Welcome to the first Foodie Friday post! Each week I’ll be highlighting a different food, cuisine, concept, technique…anything foodie related!

Dessert has always been my favorite course so why not start off with something I’ve been craving lately: brownies.

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Whether you like them cakey or fudgy, brownies always seem to instill a nostalgic moment with us. We remember helping mom mix the batter and pulling the pan out of the hot oven. Or receiving one as a special treat in the school cafeteria. And whether they were made by Little Debbie, Duncan Hines or from scratch, we relished in the dense chocolatey goodness.

I must confess. Brownies had to grow on me. I was never a big fan of them growing up. But as I grew older and the more varieties I tried, the more I grew to love them.

And what’s not to love?

It’s one of the simpliest desserts to whip up when you have a hankering for chocolate. Mix together flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, bake in the oven¬†and voila, you have your basic brownie. Easy peasy.

So where did this gem come from exactly? It’s said that in 1893 Bertha Palmer, wife of the builder of¬†Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, requested that the Palmer pastry chef create a dessert for ladies attending¬†the Columbian Exposition World’s¬†Fair.

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She wanted it to be smaller than a piece of cake, but still have cake-like characteristics and easily eatten from lunch boxes. The chef came up with the first brownie, which had walnuts and an apricot glaze. Certainly not the typical brownie we’re used to. The first mention of the brownie was first published in the Sears Roebuck catalog in 1898, published in Chicago. Starting in the very early 1900s recipes for brownies started popping up that resembled more of the brownie that we’re used to today.

There are three types of brownies…fudge, chewy and cakelike.

Fudge brownies…

Use less flour

No baking powder

Brown sugar

Unsweetened chocolate

Chewy brownies…

Use an extra egg (or two)

Mix of unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and cocoa

Cakelike brownies…

Use less butter, more flour

Baking powder

Milk

This website has more detail on how to create your ideal brownie.

And for those who want to think more outside of the box, there are many variations on the brownie. Cheesecake brownies, red velvet brownies, peanut butter brownies, brownies with nuts, white chocolate instead of dark…the list goes on. My opinion? There’s nothing like an old-fashioned fudgey brownie with a cold glass of milk. Plain and simple.

Here’s a few recipes I have my eye on…

German Chocolate Brownies

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Nutella Brownies

Goat Cheese Swirl and Strawberries Brownie

Are you drooling yet? ‘Cause I am.

What’s your favorite kind of brownie?

Nights With The TV

Happy National Running Day!

The weather is pretty terrible here in FL today. Very grey and cloudy with lots of possibility for a downpour. Plus I have a haircut appointment after work today and then dinner with my mom. So no running for me today :/

I have been doing really well with my workouts at Fit for Fashion. I’m trying to do 2 classes a week, 2 days of running and 1 day of yoga. I seem to really slack on the weekends though, so on average I’ve been getting in 4 exercise days in, which isn’t bad! I’m already starting to notice a difference in my body after going back to F4F. My body fat percentage has gone down and I’ve noticed some problem areas looking a little less problematic. With all the classes and running, yoga is becoming a must. Yoga is also a lot harder when you do so much other exercising! I always feel like I’m tight and sometimes can’t do poses that I used to do. But afterwards I feel amazing and loosey goosey.

It’s been a quiet week so far. Monday night we caught up on the latest episode of MadMen. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD. I was so upset about Lane…as soon as Don fired him I totally saw it coming, but it was just so sad. He had his moments of being sleazy like the other men, but you could tell that deep down he wasn’t like that and that he was a good man. Stealing money was most definitely wrong and of course Don had to fire him, but you can understand what a difficult position he was in. It really came down to pride. But you know that Don would have helped him out if he had asked…don’t you think? It’s just so terrible when people feel so lost that they feel like death is the only way out.

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Do you watch MadMen? What did you think of the last episode?

Last night we watched the movie Goon, which starred Sean William Scott.

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I’d never heard of this movie, but Jon said it had good ratings. I’ve also never seen Sean William Scott in anything expect the not-so-deep American Pie movies. But wow, what a great movie! We were laughing out loud at a lot of parts (and it takes a lot to make us laugh). Essentially it’s about a not-so-smart guy who joins a hockey team and his sole purpose is to fight members on the opposite team. I must say I was SO impressed with Sean William Scott. He was so funny and played¬†his character perfectly. The acting all around was fantastic. Jay Baruchel¬†was hilarious¬†and Alison Pill was charming. I definitely recommend seeing this movie!

New Feature on A Full Plate

I want to start¬†doing a¬†Foodie Friday post each…well, Friday ūüôā I’ll pick¬†a different food and devote the post to everything about that food…its history, how it should taste, best ways to make it, some recipes, etc. These will be foods that I’m both familiar and unfamiliar with. I think this could be fun! Any requests?