Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making pasta in South Carolina!

Hey everyone!

I promised I'd keep writing for you guys and although it's been almost a week since I last posted, you are still on my mind.  I almost wrote an entry on Saturday both before and then after I ran my longest run in 1/2 marathon training yet -- 6 miles.  I also almost wrote an entry after I attended one of my best friend's beautiful and fun baby shower on Sunday.  However, both of those entries were sidetracked by the busy week I've had that included flying down to Greenville, South Carolina this past Monday for work meetings.  This evening in SC included a team bonding event that took place at The Cook's Station in downtown Greenville.

I didn't know much about what this evening would include besides that we were cooking pasta.  I've cooked homemade pasta before and wasn't that much looking forward to the event because I was tired and could very easily have spent the night in my hotel room at 6:00 p.m.  However, the session turned out to be so much more fun and more interesting than I possibly thought it could be!  I remembered why I love cooking in the first place -- it is such a stress reliever for me!

Our cooking class included preparing three different dishes that all included homemade pasta.  The dishes were all a bit unique and included a couple elements that made me say, "Is that really going to work?"

But it all did!  The dishes were delicious and fun to prepare.  The wine was a flowing throughout the whole night.  And we were able to sit down and have a great three course meal.   The meal consisted of:

- Butternut squash tortelloni with a brown butter and sage sauce topped with crumbled biscoff cookies and parmesean cheese
- Pasta carbonara with pancetta and onion
- Deep fried chocolate pasta with a berry reduction sauce, homemade whipped cream, white chocolate and fresh strawberries

I helped in making the dessert.  Which was incredibly unique to me -- I'd never heard of a chocolate pasta before!  But it was fun to make and came out DELICIOUS.  Since I love to cook I got involved in the plating of the food and spent a lot of time in the kitchen observing and participating as much as possible.  The chef may have called me the "star student" and commented on both my chocolate pasta dough and shaved white chocolate as being "perfect."  Go me :)

My dessert making station :)
Melissa and Suzanne having fun!
A busy stove!
Getting ready to roll out the chocolate pasta

Melissa, myself, Lindsay, and Suzanne -- a team I love!

Butternut squash with biscoff cookies? I swear, it was so good!

Another pic because this was my favorite.

Pasta carbonara. Delicious but a bit salty.

Dessert... so yummy!
Cutting up the chocolate pasta.

My colleagues having a little fun :)
Excuse my double chin as I help plate dessert.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm Back!

Hey everybody out there in blog world.  Hopefully none of you have been holding your breathe waiting for my next post.  For those of you who HAVE been waiting since October 2nd... exhale.  And breathe in.  Because I'm back!

It's been a busy few months, but frankly, no busier than usual and I have no excuse for abandoning you for so long.  I've missed A LOT.  I missed a Halloween post dedicated to yummy candy.  I missed talking about family and thankfulness and big meals of turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.  I missed writing about holiday parties and cookies and eating so much on Christmas Eve and Christmas I thought I was going to burst.  I missed year in review posts and setting goals and even all the way through January to February, I missed writing about heart candies and Valentine's Day!

I'm so sorry you guys!  But let me get you caught up and fill you in on what I've been up to and what I've been eating over the past 4.5 months and then we'll go from there.  Since October 2nd, 2012 I have traveled to Toronto, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Newport, New York City, Boston, Syracuse and some of those places more than once.  I've eaten hibachi twice, tried new recipes in the crock pot, explored Moroccan food, visited Dylan's Candy Bar many, many times, had tapas in Boston twice, eaten cannolis from Mike's Pastry, visited friends old and new.  I learned to blow glass, began training for a half marathon, danced my feet off at a few different parties, attended two Syracuse basketball games, resigned my apartment lease, and tried ice skating for the first time.  Oh yeah, and I've gained and lost the same 5 lbs a few different times :)

So that's about that!

And where am I now?  Well, I am happy.  I am thankful and I am grateful and I am excited for what is to come.  I plan to spend more time here writing over and getting to know everyone once again and hope that you will rejoin me on my journey of balanced but healthy living, adventurous eating, and hopefully a recipe or two that I can share.

I'm in bed early tonight as I've got a 4-mile run in the AM according to my 1/2 marathon training plan.  Wish me luck and thanks for sticking around!  Missed you!