Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy NYE 2011

Happy New Years Eve fellow foodies!!
I will be ringing in the new year at the Russell House Tavern with the always fabulous Bianca from Confessions of a Chocoholic!

The blog world is a flutter this week with Resolutions, goals and projects for 2011.  Since I am working on not using the word perfect   I don't really want to force myself into trying to live up to a list all year long.

That being said there are some things I want to do more of this year and I thought I would share it with you all.  If I complete them, then GRAND!  If not, well thats OK too... I am not perfect and don't think anyone is going to think less of me if I don't complete this list.

  • Bikram & Hot Yoga - I LOVE hot yoga but too often I let the work day or DVR win out over taking time for classes.  I feel so much more at peace when I sweat out a day of stress in a class and would love to make this time a priority in my schedule in 2011

  • Making a Budget - I am a sucker for the impulse buy.  Whether its a treat at the market or snagging a deal of the day off of Amazon I am in!  I would love to focus 2011 more on friendships, family and non-materialistic areas in my life to fulfill this craving for instant gratification. I am hoping a visual budget will help me work towards an attainable savings/spending routine. 

  • Theology - Not that a budget should make everyones' brains go right to thinking about "what it all means" but for this geek it does.  I have been lucky enough to be surrounded in my life by people with many diverse ideals who helped developed my belief in something greater out there.  Also, the more I travel the more I have questioned what I believe and how this plays a part in who I am day to day.  I would love to spend some QT in 2011 learning more about these various beliefs, theologies and teachings.  I am not sure what I want out of this particular item but I would at least like to be better informed on these teachings.  Plus, I can't imagine that more reading can possibly be a bad thing no matter how much or how little I get too!

  • Complete a Half Marathon - You may remember that I ran (but not so much trained for) the Devil's Race this past October.  I had such a blast on that run which was close to 7 miles.  At the end of that day I felt great and figured that if I could run almost a 1/3 of a marathon than I could most likely run a 1/2 marathon.  I don't really have any desire to run a full marathon (and lets be honest, I don't have the time to train for one).  I do however love running and the energy it gives me.  Like I said with Yoga, I love it but have let the little things in life come before my workout routines in 2010.  I want and need to make a conscious effort in 2011 to put myself first (mentally & physically).  Running was a great stress reliever in college and I think having this as a running goal in 2011 will be a big help as well!

  • Personal Travel- My final goal is hopefully an indirect benefit from keeping on track with a budget.  I am always traveling for work but I very rarely take personal time for myself.  I am lucky to have friends that live all over the world (benefit from going to a Maritime college) but I never get out to see them.  My hope is that all the $$ I save from not buying that new pair of shoes I can use to visit friends and explore new places around the globe on my time.

So that is my list... what do each of these items have in common you ask?  Well they are all about me!  I know, wicked selfish you say but I have a reason.  I have come to realize over 2010 that I will put my own life in shambles to help others.  Now why that isn't always a bad thing and I will still do what I can for family and close friends, I need to do what is good for me.  Nobody else will and I refuse to sit here typing 12 months from now and think back on all the things I could have done instead of all the things I did do.

I am so excited for this upcoming year, the many adventures I will experience and I hope you all enjoy reading about them!!

What adventures or goals are you looking forward to in 2011?

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yellow Dog for dinner

Relax, relax I did not go Andrew Zimmer on you all and eat dog for dinner!! On my final night here in FL our gang went to the Yellow Dog Cafe for an amazing meal on the River.  Since this gang was new to me being a blogger (and lets be honest, I am too ) I felt bad taking a photo of every moment of the meal (although I was DYING too!!)  I did manage to capture a few shots of this delicious and tasty dining experience.

For an appetizer the table shared a baked Brie with the most delicious cranberry-cherry sauce (I may have to try and recreate this!!)  (Baked Brie Wrapped in a puff pastry and served over a cranberry-cherry sauce with fresh fruit and our handmade crackers )

nom nomm nomm!!

Wild Cherry Bread Pudding!!!!! This was sooooo good (notice the yellow dog cookie)

Berry Peach Cobbler (this was gooey and crunchy all at the same time)

Chocolate Cake in the shape of a dog bone

Even Santa stops here after a long trip 'round the world!
 The Yellow dog was the perfect place to end a wonderful vacation with great family friends!  I cannot begin to thank this family enough for making me feel so welcomed this past week.  This morning we did our final walk on the beach and I am now packed up and ready to leave :(  Thankfully I have many pictures and memories to take with me.
Thank you Hall family!!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sea Cow!!!!!!

So as you all know I am in FL escaping the winter season for a brief moment in time.  The weather here is not your typical FL weather but there is one major upside for having 30 degree weather for this Sailing Foodie....

Sea Cow!!!!!
With the record low temps in FL the local manatee population has come into shallow rivers where the water is warmer.  This group of giant pre-historic beauties were sunbathing at a local park that had a small river causeway running through it.  The local officials had blocked off the water so you couldn't feed or pet them (and I am not going to lie, I did contemplate how much the fine would be and how long it would take local officials before they could physically remove me from hugging the giant cuddly creatures!!!)
Here is the scene of my happy day!!! 

Look at these guys snuggling n' sunbathing!

They came up for air every few moments (usually on the back of a friend)

Look at those tiny flippers!

That splashing is from one large guy who kept flipping on his back

I guess I wasn't the first to think about snuggling with these lovable sea cows!
I can't even begin to tell you all how unexpected and exciting this was for me!  I grew up wanting to be a Marine Biologist and have always had a love for these gentle and beautiful vegetarians of the sea!!

My hosts were pretty amused by a 30 something grown woman giggling like a 5 year old at the site of these creatures.

Well the weather has finally warmed up today and I was able to spend some time by the pool and take another 4 mile barefoot walk on the beach! What a good leg workout!!

This evening we are off for a final dinner on the water.  I will try and take some pictures but I don't want to interrupt the dinner with my crazy play by play photos (can you believe most people don't  take pictures of everything they eat!  ha!!)

Hope you are all having an amazing holiday week!

Any big plans for NYE?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Vacation Recap

I hope all of you back in New England are done shoveling and now enjoying some hot chocolate and catching up on DVR shows.

The weather here in FL is still chilly for this area but overall I am not complaining at all!  I could be at home trying to get through 16" of snow.

Ok, ok lets focus.  Christmas festivities!  Each year the Foodie family gathers on Xmas eve to celebrate the holiday, exchange gifts and EAT! This side of the foodie family is half Italian/half Swedish which basically translates into hours upon hours of good eating!  The aunts/uncles switch houses each year so that its not such a burden on one family every year.  This year my mama and daddy foodie hosted.  Since I had extra vacation time, I took the week off to help them decorate, cook and clean up.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food but when you are the one hosting it can be quite overwhelming.  Especially in an Italian household where you usually plan for about 4-5lbs of food per person ( I wish that was a joke!). Even with it being a pot-luck my mom still cooks for 75 people (sorry mom, we all know its true).  We started prep cooking a few days in advance.  The general menu was:

  • Chowder
  • Assorted Pizza
  • Salad
  • Macaroni n' Cheese bites
  • Pigs n' blanket
  • Cheese platters (7 types of cheese people!)
  • Antipasto platter
  • Fruit platter
  • Assorted Desserts - Brownie pops, Italian Cookies, Homemade Fudge, Chocolate Chip Cookies etc....
You get the idea..... Not to mention the family was also bringing:

  • Shrimp
  • Meatballs
  • Chicken Wings
  • BBQ Pulled Chicken
  • More desserts....
Here is a quick summary of pictures of my prep work and of the family gathering.  To me there is nothing more like home than a loud house full of family eating, drinking and catching up.  I am so thankful to have a family that loves to get together and celebrate the true meaning of the holiday season.  Enjoy!

Carmalizing Peppers n' Onions for the "Fenway" Pizza (Sausage, P/Os & Cheddar Cheese) 

Macaroni n' cheese bites in mini pastry cups

Mozzarella, Basil & grilled veggie roll up (tasted great but I think I filled it too much so it fell apart pretty quickly) I will try this again 

For the healthy choice: Whole Wheat Pizza w/ Pesto, roasted vegetables & feta cheese. This was DELICIOUS!

Serving table with just appetizers!  Let it be noted, Mama Foodie still didn't think we had enough food at this point.

Me with my extra special Prep Cook.. My nephew and future Sailing Foodie

Holiday drink station - Eggnog and hot chocolate machine with all the fixins

What every foodie needs to prep for 30+ hungry guests
The cousins bonding over wrestling and the anticipation of opening gifts!

More food!!!!

Let the grab gift exchange begin!

Overhead shot of the chaos
So that is a quick sampling of a Foodie Family Christmas.  It is my favorite family tradition that I hope my sister and I can continue throughout the years.

What was your highlight of the holiday?  Is there any gathering that you look forward to every year?

Off to see Last Comic Standing here in FL tonight... Look forward to my next post which includes me meeting MANATEES!!!  Who doesn't love Sea Cows?!?!?!1

Monday, December 27, 2010

Escaping Snowloco!

Hey there everyone!

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas weekend!  I am currently writing this from an amazing 6th floor beach front condo in sunny (but chilly) Florida!  I was lucky enough to get out of Boston yesterday at the crack of dawn before the Blizzard of 2010 set up shop.

Today I am off to explore Old Melbourne, FL. The historic section of Melbourne that is said to have many local food and gourmet shops.  Like a true New Englander I will be venturing out in my fleece and flip flops because I can and its not snowing!

I will be posting later today a recap of the Foodie family Christmas feast and some yummy Sweet Potato w/ coconut soup that my hosts made last night (it rocked my world!!!)

Happy Holidays everyone and hope you are at home keeping warm or out enjoying the winter wonderland back home!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

I have to say that this year as been much easier than years past to get into the holiday spirit.  With baking adventures and cocktail parties at the apartment I quickly caught the Holiday bug. Along with all that, I have so much to be thankful for! An upcoming year filled with adventures for my personal & professional life which I cannot wait to share with you all!!!

However, all of that is just a sampling of Christmas cheer in my life, that is, until I came home on Monday!  Mama Foodie LOVES all holidays (especially Halloween.) She not only shows it thru her cooking but also  in how she decorates!!!  My mom has seemed to do the impossible as an adult and capture the true innocence of the holidays from when we were small all the way into the present day.  From tracking Santa online with my niece & nephew to baking Christmas goodies.  She always finds the simple joys of why we wait all year for this season.

I thought since you can't all come here for Christmas I would share with you all some of my favorite decorations Mama Foodie puts up (with the grumbling help of Papa Foodie, but we know he secretly loves it!!!)  I cannot wait to celebrate with my family this weekend and hope you all get to celebrate with loved ones as well!!!
Frosty the Snowman

Perhaps every year of Hallmarks Musical plush toys

A close up shows that even the Peanuts' Gang get into the Holiday spirit

Perhaps my favorite.. Simon Pierce Ice Cubes (made from glass!)

A Polar Express fireplace (yes that is a 4ft King Kong Poster!!, she is a movie buff!)

Holiday Buffet table is set up and pictures are wrapped and covered with Xmas Past family photos

Photo collage close-up

Ok, so I wasn't always into the Holiday Season....

Even the wine bottles get into the holiday spirit

No caption is needed! You should know what this is!!!!

Not the Golden Ticket I usually think of (aka Willy Wonka) but tis the season!!

How do you hand out your cutlery at a holiday party?! What?! you don't have a tree?

A Dr. Seus Christmas Tree!!! (Perhaps my favorite thing EVER!!
What is your favorite part of the Holiday Season?  What traditions do you carry on or have created recently to share with loved ones in years to come?

Ok, this vacationing foodie is off to enjoy a Blue Moon Grand Cru and start wrapping gifts!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A little about me....

Soooo this sailing foodie is in the middle of the longest vacation since college! (yes that is almost 8 years!)  While there will be plenty of posts to come with Holiday Party prep and a vacation to FL I thought I would take this time while I am at my parents house to give you all an insight into the Sailing Foodie herself.  I decided I would answer one of the thousand of chain letters we all get.

Chain Letter Questionnaire

Single or Taken:  Think I am taken (more on that later)
Sex:  Female.
Sign: Virgo
Siblings: One sister, One bro-in law and a BFF that is sister status
Eye color: Hazel.
Height: 5'9".
Innie or Outie:  Innie.  Why would you even want to know that?
Where do you live: Massachusetts!
Righty or lefty: Righty.
Can you make a dollar in change right now:  From my car yes, but on me... i highly doubt it


Where is your favorite place to shop:  Trader Joes.
Color: Blue
Number: 9  
Animal: Myth--- Loch Ness.  Real--- Manatee
Sports: Futbol, Football, Baseball
Food Place: Too many options to narrow down to one....
Month: summer!
Movie: Goonies, Willy Wonka, Rebecca, Johnny Dangerously, Old School
Juice: Pineapple
Breakfast: is perfection heaven!  Eggs Benedict is perhaps my favorite dish of all time....
Favorite cartoon character: Toss up between Gummy Bears and the Snorks!


Given anyone a bath: No (and please let that always be my answer!!)
Smoked:  Sadly yes... College finals will make a girl do things she regrets....
Bungee Jumped:  No!  I have the grace of a newborn giraffe... I can't imagine tying myself to a cord and jumping off a bridge could end for this foodie!
Gone skinny dipping: No.
Eaten a dog: ummm.. odd question... hot dog yes, old yeller no!
Put your tongue on a frozen pole: God no!  I have seen A Christmas Story hundreds of times and know the consequences of a triple dog dare!
Loved someone so much it made you cry:  Yes.  But I'll never say who.  You have your secrets, I have mine.
Broken a bone: No, but have enough sprains/strains and black eyes for one lifetime!
Played truth or dare: haha, yes and only the TPC gang from MV will ever know how stupid we where!
Been in a physical fight:  Only if you count the fights my sister and I have been having for years!
Been in a police car: Thankfully no!
Come close to dying: Pretty sure yes, but to save my mother from not sleeping I will refrain from any details.
Been in a hot tub: Yes.  even though they freak me out!
Swam in the ocean:  Ummm yes.. I am the SAILING foodie people!
Fallen asleep in school: Lets try my ENTIRE freshman year at a Para-Military College!  I never slept!
Ran away:  Not really, but pretty sure Sister Foodie and I plotted our escapes several times a year!
Broken someone's heart:  I hope not!  
Cried when someone died:  Oh man yes... pretty sure I will still cry at the mention of several close family and friends who have passed.


Your good luck charm: Stone turtle from Freshman Cruise
Best song you ever heard:  probably something from Phil Collins or Richard Marx (yes I said it!!!)
What's your room like:  A cluttered organized mess!
What is beside you:  Right now?  Papa Foodie!
Last thing you ate: PIZZA!!!
Best thing that has happened to you this year?  Reconnecting with an old friend
Worst thing that has happened to you this year: Realizing that you have to be an adult whether you want too or not....
Do you believe in Karma:  Yes, yes I do.


Believe in love at first sight:  Yes.
Like picnics:  Never been to one.
Like school:  YUP, I was that dorky kid that never wanted to miss a school day....
Would you eat a live hamster for $1,000,000 dollars:  Do I get hot sauce?
If you were stuck on an island, what people would you want with you:  Ange & Heidi (although besides Heidi's ability to slay bugs not sure we would survive long....)
Who was the last person that called you:  Sister Foodie
What makes you laugh the most:  Public pain.... 


Do you like filling these out: I must if I am posting it to the world....
Do you wear contacts or glasses:BOTH, i have been with them since 3rd grade!
Do you like yourself:  For the majority yes, working on that day to day....
Do you get along with your family:  Thankfully yes!!!
Obsessive: YES
Compulsive: YES.
Anorexic: NO!  I love food more than most people!!! ( I wish that was me kidding.. sorry people but Pork is magical and you just can't compete!)

What are you listening to right now:  Family Guy
What did you do yesterday:  Packed and headed home to spend the week with the family
What car do you wish to have: Old school Postal workers Jeep!
Where do you want to get married: On a beach with no shoes
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be:  How much I judge myself
Good Singer:  Only in my car or the shower
What do you dream about:  Financial freedom for the Foodie family
Do you like scary or happy movies:  both (kind of a stupid question...)
Root Beer or Dr. Pepper:  ROOTBEER! (especially from Tatnuk Booksellers!)
Vanilla or chocolate:  Oreo
Silver or Gold:  Silver.
Diamond or pearl: do I have to choose?!
Sunset or Sunrise:  Sunset on a beach
Coffee or tea:  COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE!!!!!
Are you the oldest, middle, youngest or only child:  Youngest and love it!

Feel free to answer any of these and send them along... Would love to know what you all think....

Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baking Challange Accepted and ROCKED!

So remember when I shared my fear of baking (yes this is a safe place.... I share and you don't judge :).  Well with the support of my fantastic roommate and a picture of my two baking idols (Grama Foodie & Great Aunt Foodie) I pushed aside my fear, grabbed my Kitchen Aid Mixer and got to cooking!

After a week of perusing family cookbooks and the many many foodie sites I stalk  read daily. I finally decided to stick with what I grew up with:
  • Swedish Gossamer Spice Cookies
  • Reese's Peanut Butter n' Chocolate Bars
  • Italian Lemon Wedding Cookies
Saturday was our day to cook!  After a lovely breakfast sandwich of egg, spinach and goat cheese with lots and lots of hot java goodness the roommate and I set off to the market to stock up on baking goodies.  Our successful trip took us thru our local market and even to a chocolate shop, Phillips Candy House in Dorchester MA (lets just say that free chocolate samples & hot cocoa is just what this foodie needed to jump start a day of cooking!!)

Since we were both cooking we decided to see which recipes needed more lead time (resting dough etc...) and split the oven/mixer time as needed.
Pensively thinking about what to cook..

Much needed sandwich before we begin....

One more thing was needed to conjure up the courage to accurately measure, use motorized kitchen tools and try to not burn myself......
no not the fantastic apron (thank you Heidi!) Wine!!
A little wine always makes cooking in a tiny apartment that much more fun!  So while roomie was mixing away in the kitchen I turned our dining room into an extended kitchen and took off cooking.  Here is a highlight montage of my adventures in baking :)

Is there anything better than a waterfall of chocolate?  I say nay sir...

mmmmm  chocolate & PB!!!

Spice cookie dough

Intermission = dish time in the Sailing Foodie world

You didn't expect me to have a cookie cutter did you?

8 cups of flour turned into delicious lemony dough!

Yes, a pizza pan makes a perfect cookie sheet (remember NO judging!)

mmmm....reminds me of the Alice in Wonderland cakes "Eat Me"

Still smiling after 1hour of cookie frosting

Had to restrain my roommate and I from eating them all!

Sooooo... what did I learn from this two day culinary adventure?  Many things!
  • I can use a mixer w/out losing an appendage
  • Measuring ingredients has its benefits
  • Confectionery sugar icing may be the greatest thing I have ever made and I would like to pour it on EVERYTHING
  • Baking is very relaxing (and no that wasn't the wine...)
  • Our apt would bake a lot more if we had more counter space and a dish washer
All joking aside, I really enjoyed this challenge and will be happy to share the recipes for anyone that wants more details....

What culinary adventures have you experienced this holiday season?

Stay tuned to the next post on Holiday Traditions (wonderful twitter recommendation by my roomie!)