Monday, April 30, 2012

food coma: vacation to home

We were on a cruise a couple of weeks ago. You know... unlimited food at all hours? Well, we did not too too bad with the eating, and we managed to make 95% of our cruise only using the stairs (we were on deck 11, the buffets and sundecks were 12+, and most of the food and bars and fun stuff were on decks 5/6). I also jogged three mornings (got up to 2 miles, and forgot how much I loved jogging!!), spent 3 hours kayaking, an hour in a pilates class, an hour doing guided yoga on the beach (my lord was that intense and sweaty and BEAUTIFUL) and an hour snorkeling. So I probably only gained 5 lbs instead of the 15 you usually hear about.

One really special evening on the ship, we got a private seating at the Chef's Table, with 7 others, enjoying 9 courses of dishes specially prepared by the executive chef and his staff, as well as a selection of fabulous wines. This meal is only offered once per cruise for an extra fee, and we were shocked it wasn't booked solid (up to 12 can attend). We met some really awesome people and it was one of our favorite parts of the trip. The lighting was dim and I loathe flash photos (aka these will be crappy photos), but here's a sampling of what we enjoyed...

Tomato, Basil, Curry & Lavender Lavosh
Insert Amuse Bouche 'Molecular Gastronome' Spherical Mango, Vodka & Jalapeno Ravioli
It was tasty, I just didn't get a photo!

Ahi Tuna Tartar, Orange Wasabi Glaze, Sesame Crisp

Asparagus Cream, Cauliflower Flan, Crispy Beetroot & Saffron Angel Hair

Short Crust Tartlet, Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato Chutney, Basil Oil, Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Insert Granite: Grapefruit and Moscato (frozen slushy thing in a champagne glass)

Pan Seared Sea Bass, Plantain Crusted, Mango-Papaya-Avocado Salsa, Lobster Veloute

Milk-Fed Veal Chop, Anna Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach, Truffle Veal Jus

Cheese: St Andre Triple Creme & Stilton, Honey Comb, Port Wine Infused Figs, Bagel Chips, Pickled Watermelon

Chocolate Log, Spiced Dark Fum Infused Banana, Cocoa Mousse

Dome: Yogurt Mousse, Lychee Raspberry Creme, Hazel Sablee, Lime Vanilla Reduction

Best. Meal. Ever.

Anyway, we got home Sunday morning and I immediately sent Able Bodied Boy out for a massive amount of veggies. I was tired of fish, tired of meat, and tired of not cooking my own food! Some of what I made (sans photos) in the last week...

Eggplant Curry (a nice infusion of spices in a coconut milk sauce, with fried eggplant cooked until not quite mushy) served with brown rice. Not the healthiest thing I made, but I was really craving indian food :)

Cauliflower Stew (a crock pot all day filled with: peppers, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, Worcestershire sauce, and 33rd & Galena spice blend; i was going for the veggie version of sausage and peppers... we added pepper and red pepper flakes and it turned out well!) served with egg noodles

Paneer Saag. OH MY GOD. Let me 'splain.
I made Paneer. Indian Cheese. Honest to goodness fresh cheese. In my home. And it was GOOOOOOD. There will be another post later about fresh cheeses and dairy products. This was my first attempt and damn... not that it was a perfect process, but the ends justified the means and I have learned some things already.
Then I made the Saag (spinach sauce) which is one of my favorites from indian take-out. Again, WOW. I had made this recipe before, but let some of the recipe comments online guide my second attempt. Pretty damn healthy and very damn tasty. That recipe I will share at some point (if you beg me enough... tempted to just keep it all to myself!)
Between the paneer and the saag, I made enough to freeze half for a future meal. Served with brown rice and store-bought naan bread.
I also started my first batch of cordial, with peaches my dad brought me last year and had helped me freeze. We'll see how that goes....

And oat cakes.

And mega burgers for lunch (Black Bean burgers, cheese, avocado, home-roasted red peppers, tomato... it's a Dagwood stack in the end...)

And Able-Bodied Boy made THE BEST SOUP EVER. And I'm the soup lady... his soup was better. We had a ton of Swiss Chard still growing in the garden, so he wanted to use it up. So he found this recipe and we actually cooked. Together. Without fighting. Or blood. We substituted homemade loin bacon for the pancetta and a couple ounces of chunked parmesan for the rind (and I left the skins on the potato). But otherwise we cooked it as ordered and holy crap was it the best soup ever. Did I mention that already?

He also made homemade bread.

And I made pancakes and eggs and bacon so he could have pancake sizzlies (thank you Alannariva, for inspiring me to tell him that and thusly shooting myself in the foot :-P).

Salads. We've also eaten some salads somewhere in there too. But looking at the list, I'm starting to wonder if that was pretty pointless with all the other food we've eaten....

What have you shoved in your pie-hole lately?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl


  1. Food has not exactly been my friend lately (except for those damn Sizzlies...), but we did have lamb with honey and dates and couscous on Sunday. It was divine.

  2. I'm pretty sure that I have to clean up a drool puddle or something after seeing the pics of what you ate at the Chef's Table. Able-bodied boy told me about it and I swooned then, seeing pics took it to a whole other level! And the minestrone soup was amazing - yum! I will definitely be trying my hand at it