Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life is totes

I attended a spin class tonight and it felt good to push myself and work hard. It's been a while since I've done either. I spent the last week or so lying on white sand, or sitting outside at a cafe, or riding all manner of transportation to find a restarant - a remarkably good way to see a city, by the way - so except for perhaps two sunny jogs along a wooden boardwalk while dodging the well-dressed grayhairs and contented stray cats, I was wrapped up in some stage of intoxication or unconsciousness, and/or with a piece of silverware entering or exiting my yap. The restaurants were the goal and the prize: they prodded us into stepping out and touring an interesting city on our own, but if there is a bittersweet angle to this eater's paradise, it is that the food is outrageously plentiful, incredibly calorie dense and as sinfully tempting as it is delicious. We tried it all even though we needed help; as in, an extra stomach. Unfinished entrees had to be boxed up and carted home. Desserts were shared or passed up with painful restraint.

Once, after a Coconut Grove dinner with all the trimmings, we made stale excuses to the server to avoid ordering a piece of cheesecake, ultimately to dodge the embarrassment of having to doggiebag that, too - we were already taking an appetizer back to the hotel. Most of the time we ate until we couldn't. Two working stiffs on holiday with credit cards and noses for the unusual, were we left with any other option? No.

We each had our weaknesses. D went in for boozy coffees, spicy buffalo thingies, cashew-encrusted fish with rich mashed potato and succutash. (I might have coveted that meal just a little.) Me, I found the stone crab, the "lobster firecrackers," the creamed spinach (that's right) and the uncountable varieties of overly drinkable beers exotic and alluring and I had to, I just had to. I knew I would not be able to create, order, or even dream about these delicacies at home in my wintery city. The time was right. We took the opportunities and we have no regrets.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday salad

Red, green and white salad befits a holiday dinner with a dear friend.

:: Bocconcini and tomato slices separated by basil leaves ::

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rain and snowpeople

I ran through the rain and icy slush today with Gaz. It was weird to enjoy running in such crappy weather, and we knew we looked hard core and we're just not. We decided that running together helps to set things right because we look like two runners who need company to get out there in the rain. We kept a good pace and covered a lot of ground, geographically and conversationally.

Box of seasonal treats with a telltale oily shadow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lait du poule

A lot of chicken milk goes into a litre of lait du poule, says Pinotte.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Choko-vodka update

The chocolate vodka experiment is now over. My frozen laboratory (ie, the freezer) sports a bottle of cold, seriously robust booze. After three weeks of marinading, most of the chocolate has been dissolved and incorporated by the vodka, and there is just a bit of chocolatey drudge near the murky bottom.

This "witch's brew" is thick and milky, and not a substance to take lightly. Do not turn your back on it. Do not let popular images of milk chocolate blind you into assuming this is a silly, just-a-taste-before-operating-heavy-machinery kind of beverage. It will have its way with you if you do not take care. I recently sampled a portion and then text-bombed D in a most irritating fashion. The danger lies in the sweet flavour which overpowers the taste of the booze, a tip I should have remembered from my, ahem, experiments with vodka coolers in university. Blend this vodka beast into a tall glass of milk and say your prayers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Any other day

She woke up to a low rumble. The walls shook. She didn't recognize the sound right away, and then her mind turned to last night's storm. Snowplow? The rumbling got closer, then faded away like a bear into the forest. She lay doll-still under layers of blankets, listening to the neighbor's alarm clock followed by sounds of shuffling on the thin floor above. Behind the bedroom door the hungry meows of two cats pierced the silence. Her eyelids felt weighted. It couldn't be later than 6 AM. It was as dark as night in her room but she could see a thin, pale crack of light peeking out above the curtain. She stirred, shifting the blankets, feeling a shock of cold air against her warm neck. It's morning, she thought, and he's not here. Same as yesterday. Same as any other day.

// Crepes with chocolate, banana and strawberries //

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The gambler

Awesome run today. I ran alone for a while, and then out of nowhere I bumped into the Gaz who was running with her auburn-colored dog, and together we pounded back the miles. For about an hour we kept it light, here and there Gaz politely reminding the dog to slow down for the humans. He did. Time flew like the snowflakes. I ran 21k; all systems solid. I registered for Nashville when I got home. Screw indecision.

I read that Kenny Rogers is going to croon for the runners at some point during the race!

:: Ginger coconut rice with chick pea & broccoli curry ::

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter oven

I bury you
for the thrill
of digging you up

~ Apple & cranberry crisp w/
Cookie Dough Dynamo ice cream ~