Posts tagged ‘bbq’

September 11, 2011

Dinner at Staple and Fancy Mercantile

I did my first wingsuit jump yesterday as my 443rd jump! Skydivers reading this will all say “BEER!” and I will bring some to the BBQ on Tuesday. “First” and “beer” are synonymous in the skydiving world. I only had time to do one wingsuit jump, but it’s all I needed to know that I now have a new hobby. Or is it a sub-hobby? I felt a little like I did on my very first tandem jump – I had no idea what to expect and was super excited! There were so many things to think about, but I managed to not over-think and really enjoy FLYING. My childhood dreams of flight came true yesterday! It was rather calm and relaxing despite feeling like I had no idea what I was doing! My flight was only like 70 seconds long since I pulled high at 5.5k’, but still felt like FOREVER considering that my usual freefly jumps last like 45-50 seconds. So I’m definitely adding a wingsuit to my wishlist. I’ll post video in a few days!

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I also did a freefly jump before I had to rush home for my dad’s birthday dinner. I was sooo sad to leave before the BBQ started at the DZ! How many times have I mentioned that skydivers have the best BBQs? My friend actually built his own smoker!!! Then brought it to the DZ, put like 80lbs of meat in it to smoke for 15 hours, and made an event out of it. How awesome is that?!? He was also nice enough to pull some out for me early so that I could taste the brisket and pork before leaving. I would have loved to stay and eat more because I love smoked meat!

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There’s always drama at my family dinners, but at least the food is always good! We went to Staple and Fancy Mercantile, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Well, it was one of my favorite restaurants until I converted to paleo and started avoiding the place. I’ve never ordered from the menu here because I always choose this option: “if you would like to avoid the trouble of ordering altogether, please feel free to hand your menu back to your server and let the kitchen prepare you a family style supper served in four courses for $45 per person.” It is an Italian influenced restaurant, which definitely means pasta. I asked the server if they could do grain and legume free, and what I got was mostly gluten free, but this is definitely not the place to go for a paleo friendly meal unless you take the fun out and order off the menu (I spied a few things that looked promising).

First course – Tapas style appetizers

  • Marinated Sicilian olives
  • Rockfish, chives, and aioli on crostini (did not eat the crostini)
  • Beef, anchovy aioli, poached albacore
  • Sardines with fennel
  • Geoduck salad
  • Fried oysters (did not eat)
  • Tomato, arugula, mozarella (took a bite of the mozarella)

Most of these were paleo friendly!

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Second course – Pasta

That dreaded word – PASTA. In my pre-paleo days, I used to LOVE pasta, especially filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. I’ve found out since then that I don’t love pasta anymore. It’s way too filling in a bad way? So it had been a very long time since I had been faced with pasta on the table before me.

  • Pork belly ravioli in brown butter and sage sauce (I tried a few of them, taking the filling out of the pasta)
  • Gluten free rice shells with mussels in pesto sauce (Other tables got fettucini or something instead of the gluten free. I had a spoonful, I definitely don’t care for pasta anymore. The mussels were great and I don’t even like mussels!)

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Third course – Meat and Seafood

  • Grilled white fish of some sort (don’t remember), stuffed with lemon and oregano (I will be doing this at home!). I didn’t eat the white bean puree, just the stuff on top. Delicious!
  • Grilled pork loin (didn’t eat the corn, meat was perfect)

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Fourth course – Dessert
I think dessert is way more tempting than pasta. Especially really really really good desserts. Sugar, dairy, and flour filled desserts. I just can’t say no. But I definitely limited myself to a few small bites of each. I also noticed that my sugar cravings are almost gone – I was able to stop myself from eating most of it (good thing I had to share with 3 other people!) and it tasted VERY sweet. Almost too sweet.

  • Lemon cake with berries and sorbet
  • Ricotta cheesecake with figs – Hands down the best cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life. I usually hate cheesecake and this was amazing.)

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Sometimes you just can’t avoid non-paleo dinner situations and you just have to do the best you can. I don’t think I did too bad. Some dairy, some rice pasta, and a few bites of dessert. I also skipped the wine. I absolutely love wine pairings with multi-course meals. Makes the meal that much more enjoyable because the wine tends to really complement the food and open up the flavors. But I am striving to be 95% paleo and alcohol-free for 30 days. How many more days do I have? Just kidding!

I also ate 2 peaches and a Blueberry Muffin Larabar yesterday as snacks while at the DZ. I’m finally feeling less insatiably hungry. This morning I woke up without any sugar cravings and no desire to eat something right away!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since 9/11. Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was as I watched the second plane hit on the news. Remember how “United we stand, divided we fall” was the post-9/11 motto? What happened to that?? Because all I see are people divided by insignificant differences. It shouldn’t take a horrific national tragedy to bring people together, but that often seems to be the case. I hope I can do my part to change that.

June 1, 2011

I think I shall fast today

I’m sore today and I love it! I went bouldering for 3 hours at the newly opened Seattle Bouldering Project on Monday! I wish I lived closer because it’s AWESOME. First of all, the place is huge and feels very open. It’s well ventilated and doesn’t smell like feet, though it has only been open for 2 weeks so that’s subject to change. Then there’s the floor! The entire floor is a thick, bouncy mat. I couldn’t help but bounce around from wall to wall. It helped me feel more comfortable as I’m trying to overcome my fear of falling while bouldering. The SPJ also offers a gym and yoga, among other amenities. Go check it out!

Dungeness Crab and Asparagus ScrambleToulouse Petit, Seattle
Helloooo breakfast happy hour at Toulouse Petit where most things on their menu are $7.50! There are several paleo friendly choices on the menu. I decided to go with the crab and asparagus scramble with gruyere, chervil, chives, mornay. I asked for the gruyere on the side so that I could taste it. While the gruyere was good and mellowed out the zing of the herbs in the scramble, it wasn’t at all necessary! This scramble was DELICIOUS. Full of soft crab meat with crunchy asparagus, it had a wonderful texture packed with flavor. I substituted fruit for the breakfast potatoes.

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As you can see in the following pic, I was totally able to make myself a paleo bowl of food with carne asada, veggies, and salsa at the Mexican themed skydiver BBQ yesterday.

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The problem was that I didn’t stop there, even though I was full after a couple of bowls. I munched on a bean dip with sour cream and cheese with tortilla chips. I ate some Mexican wedding cakes (which I baked for everyone). I had a slice of chocolate cake for Jami’s birthday (happy birthday!!), and had a taco with a corn tortilla. I KNEW I would get sick afterwards and my paleo bowl of food tasted best out of everything else I ate, but I apparently couldn’t stop! So I’ve been dealing with a headache, stomachache, and fatigue since last night. I find that it helps for me to fast for a day (water only) and then eat 100% strict paleo for at least a few days to feel completely recovered from eating too much non-paleo food.

Don’t freak out that I fast every once in a while. Intermittent fasting (IF) can actually be very good for you and does not ruin your metabolism. It has restorative and healing effects. I only fast when I feel sick, but many people make it a regular practice. I may post more about IF at another time, but you should definitely google and learn more about it!

I received a wonderful compliment in a message from a reader yesterday: “You really should think about writing a book!” Totally made my day since I honestly don’t know if my blog is at all interesting for people to read. No plans to write a book anytime soon, but I will keep blogging! Thanks Theresa! 🙂

May 25, 2011

Super spicy jalapeños and lots of seafood

I made pico de gallo yesterday! I don’t really use a recipe, I just throw it together until it tastes good.

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • half red onion
  • 2 tsp-ish minced garlic
  • 1 fresh jalapeño
  • like 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (looove cilantro!)
  • fresh squeezed lime juice to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Usually this results in really good pico de gallo. Yesterday, however, the jalapeño was MUCH hotter than usual. I chopped it up really little and even the tiniest morsel packed a lot of heat! And it’s not like I can pick out tiny bits of jalapeño, so I just had super spicy pico yesterday.

Macadamia nut coated mahi mahi

I admit that I miss fish tacos. So I thought I’d make a deconstructed fish taco without the tortilla. The problem was that I was out of lettuce and was too lazy to make a sauce. But I had mahi mahi and pico! Since battered, deep fried fish is not very paleo, I decided to be clever and coat the mahi mahi in crushed macadamia nuts and almond meal instead. I probably should have coated it in egg first so that the nut mixture would stay on better and be more like a batter. I fried the fillet in bacon fat on both sides to lightly brown the nuts and then popped it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. I got a little impatient at the end so I put the oven on full broil and burnt a bit of the nuts… don’t do that.

With how spicy my pico was, I was really wishing my avocados were ripe. This probably would have been much better with a mango salsa. Or make it Hawaiian with some pineapple since I’m using macadamia nuts anyway. I loved the crunch and flavor that the macadamia nuts and almond meal gave the fish.

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So that was lunch. Then I baked some white chocolate cranberry macadamia nut cookies to take to the BBQ (I may have eaten some, yes I know they’re not paleo) while eating some steak. I eat BBQ before a BBQ. I was hungry! Then I hit the road and realize that I had a small puddle of chocolate in the middle of my car. I had left chocolate, loosely wrapped in its foil, in my car outside and it was actually warm all day. Oh and yes, 85-90% chocolate is included in my <5% non-paleo diet. Anyway, because I am a genius (no, really, I am) I picked it up while looking for a bag and it dripped through my fingers and all over everything. EVERYTHING! There was melted chocolate on my hands, the console, the stick thing, my sweatshirt, my hair, the window… The only thing I found to contain the mess were socks. I drove with socks on my hands, keeping my car warm so that the chocolate wouldn’t cool and harden – most miserable drive ever.

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But a skydiver BBQ made me feel better! It’s easy to stay mostly paleo at BBQs! Other than some cookies, the only other non-paleo food I ate was some cheese. Ok, I had a few sips of beer as well.

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…as well as these mussels and clams. I only tried the broth because I don’t like shellfish, except I do eat oysters…

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…and scallops! I actually love scallops! Charles and Gwyn brought bacon wrapped scallops to grill and share with us!

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So back to the topic of spicy jalapeños… I think Jesse was trying to burn us from the inside out. I don’t know why I ended up eating like eight of them. Some weren’t so bad and quite tasty! The others though… people were literally crying. My ears, throat, mouth, and stomach were in the 9th circle of hell. My fingers burnt just by touching them. But I did get an idea to make paleo stuffed jalapeños in the near future. I think my lesson yesterday was to definitely taste the jalapeños before adding them to anything. 20110525-085033.jpg

Luckily, he redeemed himself by bringing mangos and more importantly, with these great lamb skewers! Jesse, I’ll trade you my cookie recipe for the lamb recipe! 20110525-085043.jpg

My “little” Maya has been insanely cranky lately. She’s going through a heavy molt and has pin feathers everywhere. I’d be cranky too with pins poking through my skin everywhere. I think I’ve permanently lost hearing in both ears the past few days. This was like her one sweet, quiet moment yesterday, playing on my lap.20110525-085119.jpg

May 9, 2011

Skydivers have the best BBQs. True story.

Skydiver BBQs in a nutshell: lots of really, REALLY good food and fantastic company, i.e. family you actually like being around. Sure it might take 30+ minutes to say hello and another 30+ minutes to say good bye to everyone, but they also give some of the best hugs. Did I mention the food? More specifically, the meat??

Saturday was no exception at Chez JEB. J sure knows how to smoke meat!! Ribeye, legs of lamb, and bacon wrapped chicken breasts in the smoker:
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My plate of awesomeness:
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Another memorable skydiver fiesta featured a whole pig roasted on a spit all day. Possibly the best pork I’ve ever had in my life. This was a year ago and I still remember how much I enjoyed four full plates!

And let’s not forget the ASADOS in Chile! I was lucky to be able to spend a lot of time jumping and hanging out with the skydivers there while on a study abroad trip back in ’08. This was just lunch break at the dropzone. Think twice as much for dinner.

Looking forward to another BBQ tomorrow!

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