Tag Archives: Food

Mikette Bistro and Bar

Both REB and I recently went to the new French bistro and bar on the north side of Ann Arbor called Mikette Bistro and Bar. It’s the third restaurant opened by owner-operator Adam Baru. He owns two other places both located next to each other in downtown Ann Arbor (on the same block as my office building actually!) called Mani Osteria (a wood fire pizza place) and Isalita (higher end Mexican street food). We have been to both Mani and Isalita, and I have to say, I think Mikette may get the higher vote from me!

This restaurant used to be the small cafe called Cafe Marie, which was known for its weekend brunch. I’m sad we never got to try it, but after more than 20 years, they closed their doors in 2015. Ann Arborites were curious as to what would go into that space, and were pleasantly surprised it would be this new French place!

Walking into Mikette, both REB and I felt like we were going to a brasserie or cafe like the ones we frequented in Paris. Given Adam apparently spent summers in France, it was pretty spot-on. The only big difference is that the places in Paris are tiny and tables are right next to each other since they try to pack as many people into it as possible. The “American” touch of having it be more of a place suited to fit Americans so you actually have room for your elbows, was nice. But the details! Ohhh the details!

The central area was lined with the giant red booth and then little bistro tables were set around around it. The bar was long and beautifully lit and actually crowded with folks seated there. They even had tall two-person booths along the window to the side. The ceiling is kept exposed for the most part, but there are giant French posters stuck up there so when you’re sitting you can look up and see a vintage fashion or entertainment French poster.

We could tell the menu had a southern France theme to it, since so many dishes features flavors of Procvence and there are even some Moroccan-influenced dishes. FullSizeRenderFrench food in general is actually a vegetarian’s worst nightmare. There isn’t a lot the French can offer people who don’t eat steak, chicken, or raw ham tartare (yes, we did see that while in Paris). We had a hard time during our honeymoon since we were getting sick of having eggs, goat cheese salads or bread for almost every meal – haha. However, we were surprised and happy with the options Mikette did have for us! REB figured out quickly that the left column of their small plates menu was all vegetarian-friendly and the right was all non-vegetarian. After perusing the menu for a few minutes, our server suggested we order several things since they would come out as they’re prepared. We decided to go with:

• Gougeres (goat cheese popovers)
• Pomme Frites (because obviously)
• Ratataouille
• Bread & Butter (because Zingermans)
• Omelette to split

I was so happy with our choices! The bread and butter we knew wouldn’t be a bread basket, but probably just a baguette with some salted creamed butter and it was just delicious! Honestly, I could have eaten more than they offered ;)

The popovers were a-ma-zing! The goat cheese and black pepper were bold flavors that didn’t clash! The dough was so soft and almost delicate that it felt like it melted when we’d bite into it.

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I don’t think I need to go into detail about the French fries. They were cooked to perfection, crispy and the aioli that came with it was delicious. The star of the night for us was the ratatouille. It was served almost like a bruschetta! The Provencal flavors were so prominent, the tomatoes and vegetables roasted to perfection and were still juicy and when topped on the goat cheese crostini – I can’t tell you the magic that was happening. It was so, so good and I secretly wished we had ordered two I didn’t have to share with anyone.

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Next up: the omelet. When it was originally served, one of the servers came by and said they noticed it looked to “herby” so they took it back in order for it to be prepared the proper way. I was actually shocked by this but so happy they did this for us! It was a pretty classic omelet, complete with French trifold, still soft and not overcooked and while we would have probably eaten the super heavy-on-the-herbs one, they get top marks for recognizing that and redoing it for us!

Our night ended with dessert: creme brulee for me and pot de chocolate for him as well as a kir royale to finish. I have to tell you: The French know how to do dessert and the folks at Mikette took that on pretty well. Both were so rich, decadent and I’m glad they were the serving size they were since it was so rich!

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Overall, we had a wonderful dining experience: the staff was well informed, recommended some great things for us, offered tips when ordering and were friendly and attentive. The food was superb and the atmosphere wasn’t stuffy like some French places can be. We will absolutely be back here and we’ve been raving about it all weekend to friends in the hopes they too will go and enjoy!

So, well done Adam. Not only do have two successful restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor, but you’ve managed to create a pretty authentic French brasserie experience for residents too!

What about a restaurant impresses you the most?

Superbowl Snacking

The big “Harbowl” is this Sunday!

Who do you have winning? I heard the 49ers are favored by 4 1/2. Hrm. Personally I don’t like either team. But it’s football and the last game of the 2012 season and I won’t see any football until August when it starts up again. If I had to choose, I would probably choose the Ravens, but that’s only because John Harbaugh doesn’t look like he wants to punch everyone like Jim does.

I don’t know if I can root for the Ravens though. I’m mostly upset at the hoopla of Ray Lewis. I can’t stand Ray Lewis. Yes, you’re retiring. We get it. Yes, you’re sad about it. We get it. But dude, you’re almost 40, you had a hell of a career and I wish people would stop making such a big damn deal about it. Athletes retire. Shocking.

Source

He at least seems like a pretty genuine guy unlike some other pro athletes who say they’re retiring (ahemFAV-RAHahem) and then can’t seem to let go. But if I have to see Lewis cry one more time, or see him do that ridiculous, useless “Squirrel dance” one more time, I think my head will explode.

So instead of praying my head won’t explode, I’ll eat yummy things instead.

Whether you’re a screamer at the TV at a bad call made (that’s me and REB) or you watch simply for the halftime show, food is a must while watching any sporting event, especially one of the biggest ones of the year.

So here are 9 super simple, crowd pleasing snacks or meals you can stuff your face with without feeling guilty because they’re all relatively healthy!

Happy watching!

What are your snacking must-haves while watching a sporting event?

Birthday Weekend Part Two

 

Well, I’m officially a year older and a year wiser! The big 2-9. Only one more year until the next big milestone in my life since turning 21!

Part two of celebrating birthdays happened this past weekend and it was such a fun time, so as promised, I will share it with you!

It all started on Friday after work. REB got some tickets from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) for the hockey game against Michigan. This past weekend was homecoming at Michigan, but it also had a homecoming event for the hockey game against RIT. So he got tickets for the two of us plus two of his coworkers. He and one of the coworkers came over and we were famished so we decided to get a bite before heading to the arena.

REB suggested tacos and it was a no brainer that we went to TMaz Tacqueria. My friend Amber introduced me to TMaz and I refuse to go any place else for tacos now. It’s seriously the best, authentic tacqueria in town and so ridiculously cheap!

I opted for two black bean and two potato tacos. They are so legit. I’m not even kidding. I can’t even begin to thank Amber enough for introducing me to this place! And for re-affirming REB to Mexican food. Like, legit Mexican food (he isn’t a fan usually, but he’s sold!)

After that, we headed to Yost Arena for the RIT/Michigan game!

RIT lost, but it was a valiant effort. They actually won on Friday night, so it ended up being a 1-1 series. I didn’t care who won, but was rooting for my hubs’ alma mater. The Michigan student section there was cracking me up! They have so many chants, it’s like a workout for the entire game.

The fun weekend continued on Saturday! REB’s uncles came down to see our house and also brought us brunch!

They made two vegetarian crustless quiches (one spinach and feta, and one just egg and feta) and also that delicious Bavarian cream cake with almonds. We drank some wine, chit-chatted and some how decided that REB and I would be hosting Thanksgiving in our home this year instead of theirs! I’m so thrilled to have family over in our new home, and entertain such a big event! I can’t wait :)

So Saturday night we had dinner reservations at this amazing wine place downtown called Vinology. They’re known for their immense collection of wine and small plates and unique take on food. I love this place. Two of my friends couldn’t come since they were sick (something is definitely going around!), but Amber, REB and I headed down there for a most delicious meal.

I realized  after the fact that I had forgotten to take any pictures of the actual meal. Trust me, though. It was delicious. I got the smaller portion of their sweet potato samosas and also got some pita tostadas. It was muy delicioso.

The weekend ended on Sunday with football (of course), watching the Tigers ALCS Game 2 (we’re 2-0 right now, woohoo!), watching Space Jump (so cool!) and doing a bit of shopping with Amber for sweaters.

All in all, I can’t complain one bit about my birthday weekend. It was fun, made me feel special and was unforgettable. Thank you, to all of you, for all the birthday wishes, too! <3

Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner?

May Foodie Pen Pals

 

Happy End-of-May friends.

End of May. Can you even believe it?! I know it seems like I always say this year is going by so fast…but this year is going by so fast! It’s already June and it’s just weird for me to think that we’re already halfway through the year.

Anyway! Today is a good day though, because it’s Foodie Pen Pal reveal day!! This is only the second month I’ve participated, but it was just as fun as April. Something tells me it will always be fun.

This month my package came to me from the very sweet reader Rachel all the way in Kentucky!

She was very thorough in asking questions of what I liked and didn’t like and was aware that I liked locally-grown or locally-made products! She didn’t disappoint!

She gave me two homemade treats:

One was this amazing Apple Pie Jam!

I didn’t even know such a jam could exist, but I am ridiculously happy it does and there is someone out there who can make it, and make it well! I don’t need to explain how it tastes: apple pie in a jar…then spread on toast, bagel thins, apples…whatever! The possibilities are endless!

She also made me a jar of peach salsa! I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but given it’s so hot out these days and chips and salsa are my all-time FAVORITE snack ever…I’m pretty sure eating this is in the cards.

In addition to those homemade treats, she also got me two products that are made in Kentucky only.

One of them was a can of Ale 8 One (“A Late One”) Gingerale.

I’ve actually had this soda before! When I was at my previous job that had me traveling all over the place, it took me to Kentucky three or four times (in various locations), and one of the editors at a paper I was at, told me to try Ale 8 One. So I did. And it’s GOOD! Not quite as fizzy or intense as Vernors here in Michigan, but it’s still delicious and refreshing. Since I’d already had this soda before, I let REB try it and he absolutely loved it!

The other Kentucky-made product she sent me was a bag of Grippos BBQ chips!

I’ve also had these before, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them any less. They are delicious and taste smokey and mesquite. SO good! Some of them got a little smooshed in travel, but that’s totally OK.

And last but not least, she read my mind and added to my stock pile of…:

TEA!

I can never have too much and this is another flavor I haven’t yet tried, so I’m pretty stoked to have received it.

Rachel also included the sweetest message to me and the poor girl was sick during the beginning stages of this, but she kept me updated on when she was mailing the package and when I should expect it. I am more than happy with the package!

Thank you Rachel for sending me such a thoughtful, fun Foodie Pen Pals package this month! :)

Oh! And the person I sent to was another reader named Seema out of Illionis. I sent her a whole box of goodies, which included: roasted banana chips, cinnamon almonds, cocoa almond butter, various individual nut butter packets and some individual servings of dark chocolate!

Here’s what she wrote to me:

Hi Aparna!

Thank you so much for your foodie pen pal package, I absolutely love it!! The banana chips were the first thing I opened and my mom has already claimed that they are hers lol…I managed to snag a few before she snagged the bag away though. The Cocoa almond butter is so much better than nutella! I haven’t put it on anything besides my fingers yet but I’m excited to slather it on a piece of toast. The cinnamon almonds are delicious and very addictive haha – I will definitely need to portion out that bag into some smaller containers so I don’t keep grabbing handfuls – any good almond recipes by any chance? I’m thinking of possibly baking them into something? The trader joe’s dark chocolate bars are planned to be my go to lunch box dessert item and the card you chose was really cute :) thank you so much for putting together such a thoughtful package, I really appreciate it!

take care :)

It’s getting messages like this that make it all worth it. I love getting to know new people, talking to new people and receiving fun, delicious packages from new friends!

Unfortunately, because of the move and all with the new house, I won’t be able to participate in Foodie Pen Pals for the month of June. But you can be sure I’ll be back in July for more fun!

As always, a big thanks to Lindsay for putting together the party! If you want to join in the fun, head over to her site and find out how! Or, below are some deets! If you did participate make sure you link up on her site!

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

The Lean Green Bean

New Homeowners

 

Hi Everyone!

You read the title right: REB and I are new homeowners!!

Not official until you have the key!

It’s the most exciting feeling ever! We closed on Thursday of last week and we took great advantage of the long weekend to move items into the new house and start painting!

But first, let’s do a quick round up for What I Ate Wednesday! Remember to head over to Jenn’s blog if you want to join the party!


Here are the highlights:

Clockwise we have: a vegetarian version of bagel and lox (no lox) – tomato, cream cheese, capers, red onion no toasted whole wheat bagel (YUM!); a yummy veggie pita packed full with sprouts, sunflower seeds and veggies;  Thai for lunch on closing day: tofu, veggies, spring roll; and celebrating the new house with mojitos and yummy Mexican food! Not a bad week of eats!

So onto the fun part: Updates and some pics of the new digs!
Our house is located within Ann Arbor city limits, close enough to a highway for REB to commute to Dearborn, and still on the same bus line I take to work downtown – WIN. It’s located in a cute neighborhood!

Pretty and ours for the next 30 years! lolz

We met some of our neighbors over the weekend and they’re all so nice and welcoming. Turns out one of them golfs with a few people I work with here, so that’s kind of cool :)

Since our apartment was remodeled (kitchen and bathrooms) not long ago, all our kitchen stuff was already packed in boxes. And since we weren’t going to be painting cabinets or anything, we decided to go ahead and move and unpack the kitchen first – glad we did!

Kitchen before - we put on a first coat of paint over the weekend!

A gas range! SQUEE!! All the appliances are relatively new, too! Double SQUEE! We want to re-do the counters and the cabinets down the road. In the mean time, we might just update the hardware on the cabinets to give it a new look for a lower cost. We did start painting the kitchen, too! I’ll post a pic once it’s all done. The nice thing is that we were finally able to unpack all the wedding stuff we got and throw out the old stuff. Now all the new stuff is packed away in the kitchen. And I also get one of these:

I’m a nerd and get a little cabinet for all my blogging dishes and stuff! I’m pretty thankful I have a hubby who understands my weirdness for taking food photos.

The one thing I love about our house is the backyard. The previous owners did a beautiful job with the landscaping and kept it pretty low maintenance. Luckily, my brother-in-law studied landscape architecture, so he’s going to come visit us and give us the 4-1-1 on everything that’s growing and how to take care of it. We also negotiated patio furniture into the contract, which is beautiful!

Ants helping the peonies open up in the backyard

One of the first days there, our friend came over and we enjoyed some bubbly on the deck!

Happy hubby :)

One thing I wasn’t prepared for, was the amount of time we’d spend in Lowes. I think we made about 5 or 6 trips there in two days over the weekend. We wanted to get a head start on the painting though!

Cart of fun!

I’ve never painted before. Well, I’ve painted in art class as a kid, but I’ve never painted as far as homes go. I didn’t realize the amount of work that goes into it! But it is sort of fun just because we get to make it entirely our own!

Taped off, tarps down!

And it seemed no matter what precautions I took, I couldn’t keep paint off me.

I think the color suits me, don’t you? ;)

Well, we have a long way to go before it’s all complete, but I just can’t wait to start decorating and making it a home! It’s a big step, and we’ve been looking for a long time, and we’re both just so thrilled and excited to finally have a house! Gryff will finally get a yard!

I’ll be sure to keep updates on here as we’re moving, unpacking, painting and decorating!

Any homeowners out there who have tips for us newbs?
Would love to hear from you! 

First Ever Foodie Penpals

 

Hi everyone!

You’re looking at a girl who jumped on the Foodie Penpals bandwagon…and I love it. I totally see myself participating in this every single month! I’d read about the treats other bloggers I follow would receive and wanted in on the fun. So I did it too. And boy, am I ever happy!

The lovely Emily (a reader) sent me a fantastic package.

How cute is this sticker?!

I couldn’t believe all the great stuff she got me! She had emailed me prior to find out what I liked and didn’t like. But she did say one thing: “hope you like coffee!” But of course! She knew I was a vegetarian after visiting my blog and knew I liked healthier treats, but wasn’t afraid to indulge in some sweet treats ;) I told her I liked things made local. Being from Ann Arbor, REB and I strive to buy local from the farmers market, local grocery stores, locally-branded items, etc. So anything I could have that was Portland- or Oregon-related, I was all for it!

She didn’t disappoint.

In this delightful package was a bountiful array of delicious treats!

  • Variety of Justin’s individual nut butters (maple almond butter, chocolate almond butter, honey peanut butter)
  • Variety of individual Tazo-brand tea bags
  • Portland COFFEE! – fresh beans to be exact (it’s the first thing I smelled even before opening the box!)

 

This hot sauce. Did I mention she also listened to me when I said “I love spicy things!”…? This habanero hot sauce is not only spicy and delicious but it’s also made in Oregon! Twofer!

Two bars (each 2 oz.) of Dagoba brand dark chocolate. The one there on top is lavender and blueberry: sweet and delicious. The one on the bottom is the one I REALLY like, though.

This bar was xocolatl flavored aka chocolate with hints of chilies! Again, she listened to me when I said loved indulging in sweet treats and this one was not only dark chocolate (my fav) but it had that great kick to it. I’ve been enjoying a tiny piece each day after I finish my lunch. Perfect (and healthy!) way to end a meal if you ask me!

I can’t even begin to thank Emily. She is not only one of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know (if only through email), but she listened, delivered and provided some excellent things for me to try! So thank you Emily! You are a true gem of gems! :)

And for those of you who are curious, I sent my FPP package to the lovely Alexis of Pumped Pumpkin. Go check out her blog to see the goods she got from yours truly ;) But really, read her blog. She’s a fitness enthusiast and has some fabulous, healthy recipes on her blog!

Want in on the fun? Head over to Lindsay’s blog The Lean Green Bean to sign up!
Here are the deets:

  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. 
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

 

What [Veggies] I Ate Wednesday – #4

It’s time for another installment of What I Ate Wednesday! I’m on week 4, which is kind of cool! It’s been nice tracking what I’ve been eating. If this is your first time stopping by and you’re confused about what What I Ate Wednesday means, head on over to Jen’s blog, Peas and Crayons, to learn what it’s all about! She’s having a theme for the month of February to remind us all to eat and love our veggies. Don’t let the picture of the macarons fool you, though. I did eat my veggies this past week, but I didn’t forget to indulge juuuust a little ;) Let’s get to it!


Wednesday night we made some Lemon Grilled Tofu with a Mediterranean Chopped Salad. I found the recipe online and then we modified it a touch for out tastes. It turned out fantastic! I will definitely be making this again – especially in the summer!

I had a few appointments to take care of on Thursday, so I worked a half day. I decided to have lunch at home before I took the bus downtown to the office. Usually when I’m home for lunch, I run across the street to Potbelly for a delicious Chickpea Veggie Salad or Mushroom Melt, but I just wasn’t in the mood for something even that heavy! I wanted to eat something light so I searched our kitchen and found some basil and tomatoes.


A very quick and light lunch! I became very fond of Kalamata olives within the past year and I’m glad I finally gave olives a chance! I used to think they tasted how feet might taste (…don’t ask…) but the saltiness of these particular olives is just delicious!

So that night, REB and I decided to use up the rest of our tofu block and made the General’s Tofu recipe that lives here on the blog.


The only difference this time around is that we made it a whole lot spicier and we also added some mushrooms for more protein. Instead of carbing up with brown rice, I just put all the tofu on a bed of steamed broccoli. Delicious! The fun continued with REB wanting to make a very sweet dessert.


We made the Vanilla Poached Pears that you probably saw on the blog last week. It was so ridiculously sweet, but in a good way, and the syrup lasted a few days! REB ended up buying more pears just to dip into the syrup – ha!

On Friday night, I had the real treat of learning how to make macarons from a French pastry chef here in town. She doesn’t own a storefront, but does sell her macarons and other yummy treats at the farmer’s market and also to a cafe here in town. She also offers amateur and professional classes for anyone interested. And I was interested! I had the best time! You can read more about the experience if you’re curious, but can we just take a second and look at how yummy these look?


We still have some leftover, which is good because I have been wanting one for every day since taking the class – whoops!

So on Saturday REB and I braved the unplowed roads and bitter cold and went downtown. We got some lunch at one of our favorite, new vegetarian restaurants Jazzy Veggie. It’s owned by an Indian family and they sneak in little Indian spices and influences in a lot of their dishes – I love it!
I love living in Ann Arbor because they have at least three all-vegetarian restaurants. It’s awesome but it’s also so hard to choose want I want to eat when there are so many choices! Usually it’s easy to pick something out at any restaurant like the veggie burger, salad, or something with beans (that hopefully aren’t made with lard – ew). But when you go to a place that is all vegetarian or even vegan, my indecisive are taken to the next level.

To warm up, we each got a cup of soup. REB got the black bean which was really spicy and hearty and I got the corn and lentil soup that was sweet but also spicy. It was a nice combination!


For the main course, I ordered their Spicy Southwest wrap which had grilled chick’n and REB got the Grilled Chick’n Caesar wrap. Since we both wanted to try each other’s lunch, we just split the wraps so we could try each kind! Both were so good. Both wraps came with fried plantains, which I ate since REB is allergic to bananas and all banana-type flavors.


I like to think of Saturday as my indulging day. More so than the other days of the week. You might ask why. Well, after this most delicious lunch, I went over to Whole Foods and bought a few little treats so that I could make my own Cafe Garamond at home. Cafe Garamond is what we had in Paris at almost every restaurant. It was just a little dessert plate with three mini desserts and some espresso.


Okay, so my version had four little desserts, but it you can’t deny it wasn’t delicious ;)
So if THAT wasn’t enough indulgence, we met some friends for sushi at my favorite sushi place in town. I bought a Groupon to eat there and my friend AE offered to take my portrait for my photo web site. The snow and cold, however, prevented that from happening, but it didn’t stop me from still treating her and her hubby to a thank you dinner. We’ll still take the picture, but I guess it will have to wait until the warm comes!


One of the problems I used to have with sushi after I gave up eating meat, was that I wasn’t as fond of it anymore. When the only options at most sushi places is a cucumber roll or asparagus roll, you aren’t getting as much protein. And this was also a time when I didn’t care of mushrooms all the time. This place has a great roll called the tofu tempura roll. I got that and the sweet potato roll. I also got one piece of egg. It was so good!! We definitely had a feast between the four of us!

So there’s another highlight of a weeks worth of yummy food! Just you wait until next week. We have more culinary adventures up our sleeves this week and weekend!

For all you vegetarians out there, do you eat sushi?
What’s your favorite kind?

What I Ate Wednesday – #3

WIAW button

 

So this past week was another good one of eats! Some cooking adventures, some restaurant adventures and of course, the last football game of the season. Actually the latter is the saddest thing. REB and I are crazy football fanatics and it’s safe to say we’re upset that there’s no more football until August. So sad :( BUT! There is a draft and that will be good to watch.

Moving on!

On Thursday I had a craving for a different kind of salty snack and ended up making roasted chickpeas.

I had made roasted chickpeas before, but this time I made them with rosemary and sea salt. They turned out great! I actually think I needed to let them bake for more than 45 minutes so they’d be extra crunchy, but oh well. Now I know!

So then on Saturday I went to my bestie’s house in Royal Oak for a girls night out. It has been forever since I’ve seen this girl (or so it seems) and she and I went out for a night of dancing and drinking at Boogie Fever, a club that only plays 70s, 80s and 90s music. It’s like it was made for us! So anyway before we went out, she made the most amazing light dinner for us.

She made the quickest and tastiest potato soup ever. It wasn’t completely blended or pureed so it still had some texture and the flavor was so good! The fun continued with us getting good and tipsy on beers (for her) and rum and cokes (for me). I meant to get rum and diets and yeah…after the pre-gaming at her house, I kind of forgot about that rule. A big, big thank you to her hubby for being our DD!

The next morning, we were ready for some much needed sustenance. We had our heart set on going to Cafe Muse for some brunch, but without a reservation in a restaurant that holds maybe 25 people, the wait was 1 hour and 15 minutes! We weren’t about to wait that long, so we just walked a few doors down and went to Lily’s Seafood and Brewery for their Sunday brunch. What turned us to this place…?

BLOODY MARY BAR!! And it was only $3/glass!! It was freaking amazing. It was just what our tired butts needed. It’s that whole needing a beer or whatever the day after a night of drinking to feel better. It’s weird, I know, but it works! Trust me. My bloody Mary was a masterpiece complete with celery, bleu-cheese stuffed olive, hot sauce and some horseradish! Om nom nom.

Then to start our meals off, we got an appetizer of waffle nuggets. Oh yes, you heard me right. Waffle nuggets. They were filled with fruit, dusted with powder sugar and came with warm maple syrup!

So onto Superbowl Sunday! It was pizza and dip day. We totally indulged and bought a cheese pizza from Whole Foods and then topped it ourselves before baking it. We topped it with vegan pepperoni, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese and baked it off in the oven. It was SO good! The pepperoni was actually really, really good on it. It tastes kind of weird on its own, but when it crisped up on the pizza it tasted pretty good. I recommend it!

Another thing we made was this cashew-mushroom pâté you probably saw on the blog over the weekend. We got the recipe from the Vegetarian Times. We had some veggies and these awesome thin crackers with it. It was a little more fancy than normal football food, but it was full of protein and had a great nutty flavor from the peanut butter and cashews in it!

We also made Sarah’s spicy black bean and corn dip!! It turned out great! We made it a bit spicier with some chili flakes. I should have done what she did and used hot salsa, but they were out at the store :( Other spice fiends with the same thought on Superbowl Sunday I suppose.


We actually had some leftover, which I used for dinner on Monday actually! So on Monday we made egg salad sandwiches. REB always buys the packaged hard boiled eggs so we took three of them (1 1/2 for each of us), 1 stalk of celery, half a small shallot (didn’t have any onion in the house – gasp!), two squirts of French’s yellow mustard and a splash of white wine vinegar. Then we sprinkled some salt, lots of black pepper and a pinch of paprika on them, scooped them onto a 90-calorie slimwich and it was ready! I also had a small handful of Baked Ruffles (I know, I know!) and more of the dip! I added a little more salsa to the dip for a more tomato-y flavor this time around.

Before I continue onto the dinner I had with my friend last night, I need to share with you my new obsession. I’ve had this tea for almost a month and only just now decided to take a picture with my phone to include in the WIAW’s! It’s Vanilla Comoro tea and it. is. AMAZING.

While I do have a cup of coffee when I get into work every morning, I don’t have more than that. Then I move onto tea if I absolutely need a hot drink without the calories. It’s naturally sweet, soothing and tastes so good! I bought it at a local market in town (a localized version of Whole Foods, called Plum Market) and it was kind of expensive, but it comes with 20 satchel tea bags in it and I just love the little tin.

Oh and also, go State. Kthx.

So last night, I had weekly dinner with my friend Kelly. You might remember me mentioning her when I talked about the dinner before the folk festival two weeks ago. Anyway, we were going to go to the cute little French bistro downtown, Cafe Felix, but they don’t really have any vegetarian items on their menu (but they do have some yummy martinis from what I remember!). So instead, we met up at Prickly Pear, the REALLY good Mexican place in town. I say “REALLY good” because it isn’t one of those Tex-Mex places that just nuke the entire plate under a heater or microwave and the vegetarian plate looks like a plate of beans, cheese and gross rice. Prickly pear uses fresh, unique ingredients and you can tell!

 

 

And I’m an idiot for not taking a picture right when the food arrived. It just smelled so good! I ended up getting the two enchilada plate which had one sweet potato and one black bean. I opted out of getting rice and just had a side of black beans. It was really good, but I only ate half and brought the rest home :) Lunch today! The enchiladas were so good though! Normally when REB and I go there we each get a half salad to start and then we split the portabella vegetarian fajita skillet. Good stuff. There is plenty for vegetarians there too, so we love it. I’m glad Kelly is a fan of this place too! It means we might be going there again in a weekly dinner to come!

Oh and just for good measure:


WRECKAGE!

OK, I’m done.
So there we go! A week of eats from our neck of the mitten state! I wonder what this week will hold…

What did you snack on during the big game?
P.S. Did you root for the Patriots or Giants?

What I Ate Wednesday – #2

Here’s the second installment of What I Ate Wednesday!

 

WIAW button

So the highlights were basically from Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Please excuse the pictures. I took them all with my phone. I just didn’t feel like lugging my camera to all the places we were at this past week. I’ll try to do better in the future. Oh! If you want to participate in What I Ate Wednesday, head on over to Peas and Crayons blog and join in! :)

For dinner on Thursday night, REB and I met up with a friend from high school who also lives in Ann Arbor. The last time we had dinner with this fella was about 2 years ago! So it was long overdue. He had made reservations at a Thai place downtown called Marnee Thai, and we’ve been there before so I was pretty excited. REB and I were good. We each got soup and then split an entree so we wouldn’t over eat!

The soup I chose was the Tom yum hed, a super spicy soup with mushrooms, lemongrass and cilantro. It was incredibly good. They weren’t lying about spice. I don’t think I needed to order it medium, because it was soooo spicy, but I couldn’t stop eating it!

Then for the main dish REB and I split the Tofu pad meng mamuang (tofu with cashew nuts). We got it with the brown rice. It was sweet and nutty (of course) and also spicy since we asked for it a little spicier. We hadn’t gotten this before, so I’m glad we tried something new! There are more things to be tried there ;)

When we got home, I was craving some kind of dessert. Then I remembered that we had bought some Skinny Cow popsicles.

Mint truffle and white chocolate popsicles to be exact. At only 100 calories a piece, these were the perfect chocolate craving I needed to end the evening! I highly recommend almost anything Skinny Cow makes. They’re all low cal and help give you the fix you need.

Let’s move onto Friday.
Most every day for lunch at work, I eat soup. I buy the little cartons of Pacific Natural Foods soups, which have two servings in each carton, and eat that for lunch. So a cup of soup (one serving) every day for lunch. It’s low carb, full of protein and it fills me up! I usually pair it with string cheese, fruit or a half serving of whole grain goldfish crackers. However this past Thursday the soup I had was abysmal. I got a different brand thinking “Well it’s Minestrone! It can’t be bad!” I was ridiculously wrong. It was watery, thin and looked like tomato water with a few carrot bits. I ended up throwing it out.


Working in downtown Ann Arbor has a lot of perks. One of those perks happens to be working across the street from Jerusalem Garden. Hands down they have the best falafel in town. I got the small falafel plate with two sides. That includes two falafel pieces and two sampler sides of your choice. I chose the fattoush and hummus. It also came with one piece of pita, halved. What did it cost me? $5.05 – tax included! You really can’t beat that. It was filling without feeling like too much. Total win.

That night I met my friend Kelly for dinner before she and I went to the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. We saw a number of bands, but the main headliner was Ryan Adams! It was a great show. We’re already making plans to see some of the bands we saw that night, who will be back in Ann Arbor in a few weeks.

Anyway, I met her at a restaurant we both hadn’t been to before: Red Hawk Bar and Grille. We both had a pretty hard week at work so we decided to get some cocktails. We also ordered an appetizer of Halloumi cheese, which came with spiced walnuts, bread and some kind of cranberry chutney.

It was…meh. The cheese looked like chicken and was grilled up and sliced like it, but it was most definitely cheese. It was a little on the rubbery side though and didn’t exactly spread on the bread that well. The cranberry chutney was NOT good. We were both pretty disappointed with that. But the bread, spiced walnuts and our drinks were deeelicious!

For dinner, my friend Kelly got their mac and cheese with crumbled sausage on top. It looked delicious, and I don’t even eat meat. I was happy that this place had a few vegetarian options so I opted to try something unique that I didn’t think I’d find any where else in the city.

I got their potato, feta and poblano taquitos. They were unique and really, really good. I was a little disappointed that they were fried. I should have guessed they would be but it wasn’t stated on their menu that they would be, so I guess I just thought they weren’t going to be fried. The rice was good but I didn’t eat the pinto beans since I’m not the biggest fan of those. The flavors of the taquitos weren’t bad though! There was a smokey taste to them from the peppers and spices they used and then salty from the feta.

The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. We met up with some of our friends (the friends whose son I just took photos of :)) for brunch on Sunday morning. We went up to a place near their home called Zoe’s House of Pancakes. This place is so good!! They have a lot of sweet and savory crepes, egg specialties and too many options for pancakes. REB got the red velvet pancakes, which were…OH..MY..GOD..oh so good!

I got the Baja Benedict, which was their spin on eggs Benedict. But they were vegetarian! It was a poached egg served on tomato, guacamole, lettuce and English muffin and hash browns. It’s weird. I really hate runny eggs. I always order my eggs scrambled or overhard, but I liked poached eggs. I’ll never order them over medium or over easy and do the whole sop-the-yolk-up-with-bread thing, but poached eggs? Fugettaboutit! I love it. I wish I knew how to make a poached egg, but the idea of having to swirl water and crack an egg scares me too much.

For lunch on Monday I went back to my soup routine as usual. I tried another new brand (I know, I know…) but it wasn’t bad! It was the FIG brand and I got the split pea and potato. The carton said it was lightly salted, but it wasn’t really. Luckily I keep Franks Red Hot in my desk so I was set with the salt and spice factor. What I really need to do is get another bottle of Sriracha and chili flakes in my desk too ;)

This time I paired it with the Frigo-brand light swirled cheese stick (cheddar and mozzarella) and then some yogurt! I need to get my Fage or Chobani because Yoplait really doesn’t compare in terms of flavor, fruit and protein. But you make do with what you got, right? Right. The great thing was my lunch was super low-cal and totally filled me up!

So anyway, there’s a week of eats from my neck of the woods!

So what about you?
Is there is a favorite way you take your eggs?

Are there favorite Thai dishes you absolutely can’t go without when you go out for Thai food?
What is your go-to lunch each day at work or home?

European Eats – Paris

Like you even have to ask if I’m going to write an entry about the food we ate on our trip. I’d be a fool if I didn’t take pictures of the delicious foods we ate and then talk about it with all you lovelies!

Now, please bear with me. This will be a longer post, but I assure you it will be worth it! Well, maybe it won’t to you, but it is to me – haha – and I hope you stick around to hear about our adventures of eating! :) We’ll start with Paris since that was our first stop. Then we’ll move onto Italy.

For those of you who don’t know where we went, we spent two glorious weeks in Europe: Paris, Venice and Rome to be exact. We had a hard time choosing where we would go. REB mentioned his interest in wanting to see Paris at least once in his life and even though I’ve been there before, I haven’t been there with him, so we picked Paris. I told him that I spent a night in Milan and fell in love with northern Italy (Lake Como, Milan, the Alps, etc.) so I would love to go back there, so we decided on Venice since I haven’t been there before. Then we picked Rome because…well, why not? Haha. So that was our trip!

So our first stop was Paris and we spent about 5 days there. That may not seem like a lot of time, but it actually worked out perfectly. We knew what we were going to do there ahead of time and we had enough time to do it all and also just sit around and relax.

We stayed in the 7th District on the Rue Cler and oh. my. god. I fell completely in love with that area. We were about a 15 minute walk to the Champs de Mar and the Eiffel Tower and we were staying on the cutest street filled with cafes, cheese and bread shops, markets every morning. It was just so lively! After we checked in and dropped our bags, we walked across the street to the Cafe Central. This cafe ended up being our local spot where we’d get Cafe Garamonds, cappuccinos, lunch, wine, etc. And it was ALWAYS open. Anyway, we were starving after our long flight – our flight that didn’t take note that we asked for vegetarian meals and we never got them :\ We just ate the snacks we bought (candy and chips basically) so we were starving. The one thing I needed right away? Breakfast, even though it was about 1 or 2 p.m. by the time we reached our hotel. Lucky for me, the French eat bread for breakfast and things like salads and eggs for lunch ;)

Omelet with tomatoes

It was cooked to perfection: fluffy, flavorful and filling!

Now something we both totally support about the French lifestyle is snacking throughout the day. And REB’s favorite snack was eating crepes of course! There were creperies every where and I was actually surprised to know the most common filling was Nutella. Either way, we had our fair share of crepes every day.

Hard to see, but the left three photos show the dude making the crepe. So good!

They were so delicious and the perfect snack to eat while walking around.  They were also ridiculously HOT. But I suppose that’s a good thing. The Nutella was just melted right in and got every where, but it was worth it. Simple, light and delicious. This was probably REB’s favorite snack while we walked around.

My favorite snack? Cafe Garamonds. It’s basically a plate with three little desserts (usually mini creme brulee, pudding, a mini cake, macaron or eclair) and then it also comes with a little cup of espresso. I absolutely loved it.

Cafe Garamond at Cafe Central <3

 

Cafe Garamond at a cafe on the Champs Elysees

Another sweet treat we grew to love were macarons! And there were shops for them all over! They’re becoming quite the trend here in America and I can totally understand why!

Our favorite flavors were: pistachio, lavender, espresso, lemon and sea salt caramel!

 

Michigan State macarons ;) Go green!! <3

 

REB’s coworker actually stayed on Rue Cler when he visited Paris before and told us about this great little chocolate shop near our hotel. It’s the Jeff De Bruges chocolate shop. Founded by Phillipe Jambon, this brand of chocolate is ridiculously tasty. So we made sure to get a little cellophane bag filled with different kinds of chocolates.

Totally worth it!

Speaking of famous, there was another famous brand we made sure to go see. I record Barefoot Contessa regularly on the DVR because I love Ina Garten’s recipes and I love hearing about her adventures in Paris. She actually owns a little apartment in the 7th district off Ave. Rennes. One of the things she’s talked about in several of her French-related episodes, is the Poilâne boulangerie. It’s a pretty well known bakery in Paris known for their breads with the signature “P” on their loaves.

We found it!

 

Just beautiful

 

Let's eat!

We learned quickly that eating bread and/or pastries and drinking espresso is the typical breakfast for many French. Or eating baguettes on the go from a street cart. This is a tradition I can get on board with ;)

And yes, we ate the whole thing. We are not ashamed.

 

Beignets filled with chocolate!

 

Chocolate eclair filled with chocolate

and of course….

A cappuccino to wash it all down! (my preference over espresso lol)

I wrote a post a few days ago about the goat cheese salad we had in Paris and we tried recreating it at home. Well, now you can see the pictures of this amazing salad from Cafe Bosquet. We went there twice. We found the cafe since it was near our hotel and the first time we went, REB got the goat cheese salad while I got the provencal veggie dish. But I ended up grabbing more bites off REB’s dish than eating mine. There’s a reason why. This goat cheese salad, or salad chevre chaud, was one of the best things we ate in that entire city. And the way this cafe prepared it was just delicious!

Ok first you need to see the dishes we got the first time we went. So I had the Vegeables Provecal and in the back there is that gorgeous goat cheese salad that REB ordered.

So our last day in Paris, we went back to Cafe Bosquet for lunch and I ordered the goat cheese salad.

Yuuuuum

 

Here's a better look at it. Doesn't it look super tasty?! It was too. I still have dreams about this salad. I also know now what we need to do the next time we make it so it can be like this!

So while I enjoyed this salad, REB ordered a croque monsieur. Now, this dish is traditionally made with ham and cheese. However, our awesome server picked up on the fact we were vegetarians and instead of just omitting the ham and leaving it as a cheese sandwich, they put tomato in it. So cool!

Note to self: Order this next time!

As vegetarians, it’s actually pretty hard to eat in France. In a country known for its beef, hams and duck con fit, it was really hard to find something to eat on the menu aside from eggs, goat cheese salads or pasta. So we took it upon ourselves to see if we could find any vegetarian restaurants in the city.

We were able to find one that was vegetarian and also had a handful of dishes that were vegan, so we decided to check it out. It’s called Le Grenier de Notre Dame located in the Latin Quarter. It was a tiny restaurant on a side street off the main avenue.

 

We definitely took advantage of the outdoor seating

REB ordered this delicious chocolate pistachio milkshake. It seemed like an odd combination, but it was actually pretty refreshing and tasty!

Their menu was interesting. It actually had a lot of Asian and Indian flavors tied into a lot of the dishes. So for an appetizer, we ordered the spicy goat cheese, which came with vegetables and raita. It was a pretty good dish since it was served warm and the yogurt was nice and cool!

For our entree, REB and I split the casoulet. I’ll be honest. It was just OK. It was filled with lots of beans, tomatoes and other vegetables, but it wasn’t very flavorful. It could have used some kind of spice, herb or even just salt! But, it was filled with protein, and it was filling, so I guess that was good.

So there you have it! Our adventures in Parisian eating! It wasn’t super unique food or anything, but we had our share of foods we don’t normally eat. I hope you all enjoyed and maybe if you ever go to Paris, you’ll use these tips and/or restaurant recommendations and check them out for yourself!

And if not, then pull up a chair and have a glass of wine with us.