Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

So, yeah, I've been a ghost lately and suddenly I appear on Halloween! Boo! I've been very busy packing for a move which culminates today! Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Check out this pumpkin!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Easy & Quick Calzones!

I made these ages ago and totally forgot to blog about them! I got the recipe from one of the many blogs I frequent, Sweet Savory Southern. I was in the mood to make something yummy and different and these calzones hit the spot! The original recipe was from Cooking Light and Sweet Savory Southern adapted it to her liking. Well, my calzones were an adaptation of an adaptation! LOL!

Here's Sweet Savory Southern adaptation of the recipe with my alterations in parenthesis. We loved them, it was so quick and tasty! This would be a "fun" meal to make with kids :) Hope you enjoy!

Ham, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones

3/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used skim ricotta)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz sliced ham (I used fat free ham)
6 sun-dried tomatoes (I used 1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained the oil)
salt and pepper
1 can refrigerated pizza dough
2 Tbsp olive oil
Cooking spray

Preheat oven as directed on pizza dough. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook for a minute and then add the spinach. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted down and remove from heat. In a bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, ham, sun-dried tomatoes, and cooked spinach and garlic. Divide the pizza dough in half and stretch each half into a circle. Spoon half of the mixture onto half of each circle and fold the other side over, pinching edges to seal. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place calzones on the sheet. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Bake as directed on the pizza dough. Serve with marinara for dipping.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"M" is for Mango. . . Mango Dos Leches that is!

My buddy Mo reminded me that I must blog about the Mango Dos Leches I made last month and before I forget, here it is :)

Living in Miami, we have an abundance of mango during the summer. My husband's grandparents and parents are always giving us a bag to take home after Sunday dinners. I like mango, but I'm not the type to peel the fruit and eat it while it drips all over the place and gets the kitchen counter messy. I do love mango shakes and mango used in other foods like salsa and relishes. I saw this recipe for the first time while watching the Food Network when I was on the treadmill working out. I know, I'm a masochist that likes looking at fabulous food being prepared while I'm trying to get buns of steel! Nonetheless, I saw Michael Chiarello prepare this Mango Dos Leches and knew I had to make it will all the fruit we had!

I like regular Tres Leches and although this one was good, it was not my favorite. But it was the favorite of everyone else! My husband's family loved it, my Parents loved it, and my friend Mo-the-mango-lover loved it too! We added more condensed milk on top of it when we served it because that's how we roll and we like it nice and sweet! I hope you enjoy!

Mango Dos Leche

Michael Chiarello, Easy Entertaining

* 6 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 can sweetened condensed milk
* 2 cups whole milk, scalded
* 12 ounces mango puree
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 mango, diced
* Dark rum
* Brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until tripled in volume. Fold in the flour. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined 9 by 11-inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Remove the parchment paper and return the cake to the pan. With a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Combine the condensed milk with the scalded milk, mango puree, almond and vanilla extracts, and pour over the cake. Allow the cake to soak in the liquid for 2 hours. Serve with diced mango marinated in dark rum and brown sugar.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Better late than never . . .

Exactly two months ago in my last post (I know, shame on me. . .I've been a busy little bee!), I wrote about Miami Spice. Miami Spice is now over :( Unfortunately, we were not able to hit all the fabulous restaurants that I had initially wanted to go to. I couldn't leave you hanging. . .wondering where we dined at on August 1st . . . cause I know you want to know! Ha-ha!
We ended up picking Joely, located in the Astor Hotel on Washington Avenue in South Beach. The food was absolutely delicious, our only qualm, was that the restaurant was basically empty! We sat at the adjacent bar and had some drinks while we waited for our friends Gina and Ernie to join us. I had the Basil Martini that the bartender recommended. I had never had one, so I thought, "what the heck"! It was "interesting" to say the least, I felt I needed a Caprese Salad to help me swallow it down! Here's a pic of it, the only semi-decent "food" pic of the evening.
Our friends arrived and the restaurant was basically still empty, only two tables were being served. My husband wanted to leave, there's something about an almost empty restaurant that can give you the hibbie-jibbies! Nonsense! It was the first day of Miami Spice and maybe the restaurant would fill up as the night proceeded. . . that didn't happen, but by the time we tasted our appetizer, we didn't care! The food was exquisite! The service was perfect, we felt like we had our own set of waiters just for us. . . well, we kinda did!

My Appetizer : Romain Salad, Salumi, Artisan Formaggi, Aged Balsamic, Olive Oil (the "Artisan Formaggi" was a little stinky! Go figure! Other than the toe-jam smell (lol) this was delicious!

My husband and our friends Gina and Ernie had: Crispy Kataifi Prawn, Chorizo, Sweet Potato, Cilantro

My husband, Ernie, and I enjoyed our entrees: Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Caramelized Pearl Onions, Red Beets, Sauce AuPoive

Gina had: Seared Tuna, Sicilian Peperonata, Tomato Broth

For Dessert I had: Fresh Fig Tart, Charred Goat Cheese, Organic Honey
(I thought it was delish, hubby though didn't care of it)

My Husband and Gina had: Chocolate Sundae, Summer Cherries, Vanilla Ice Cream

Ernie chose the BEST dessert by far: Chilled Lemongrass Soup, Pineapple, Coconut Ice Cream(Holy mother of desserts, this dessert was outrageous, luckily Ernie let us all try a little!)

I would definitely recommend Joley, hopefully it will have more patrons next time we dine there ;)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Miami Spice, Restaurant Month(s) Starts TODAY!

MIAMI SPICE!The foodie highlight of Miami's hottest summer months has arrived! Two months of gourmet cuisine at Miami's best, trendiest, and newest restaurants at VERY affordable prices! The menus are pre-fix, but let me tell you, I droll just reading them! Oh my lord, talk about "Good Eats" as Alton Brown from the Food Network would say! Lunch is a mere $23pp and dinner is only $36pp. It truly cannot get any better than that price wise. It's a culinary steal for your taste buds!

We'll be inaugurating Miami Spice tonight with some friends and our choices are The Forge,Joley,Food Gang. Three very different, yet excellent choices! Look out for a follow up post later this week to see which one we finally went to! If you're new to Miami Spice, just click on the participating restaurant that you would like to go to. A new window will open with that particular restaurant's details, many include the menus which I'm sure you too will drool over like I do! The other thing that they include, which you have to PAY ATTENTION to, are the days of the week, that the restaurant participates in Miami Spice, so MAKE SURE, they offer Miami Spice on the day you want to go.

ALSO, MAKE RESERVATIONS!!!!! MAKE RESERVATIONS! This is a huge promotion all across the city and since these are popular restaurants already, you should secure your seat or you may not get one for a couple of hours!

Get out there and enjoy some of the fabulous cuisine Miami and Miami Spice has to offer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cheeseburger Soup!

Sounds weird to some, maybe even gross, but this soup is the total opposite, it's delicious! I stumbled onto this recipe back in 2001, the only reason I actually know this is because I still have the same printout from way back when and the date is printed on the bottom! I can't believe I've been making this for 7 years already! It was a hit the first time I made it and it continues to score high points to this day. I recently made this by request, my nieces asked me to make it for them and I obliged with a little help from them! They helped me chop, stir, pour and eat! It kinda reminds me of a bake potato soup, just 10 times better! Give it a try if you're not on a diet . . .it's comfort food at it's best! The only thing missing is the pickle! :)

Cheeseburger Soup I -

* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 3/4 cup chopped onion
* 3/4 cup shredded carrots
* 3/4 cup chopped celery
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 teaspoon dried parsley
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 3 cups chicken broth
* 4 cups cubed potatoes
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 1/4 cup sour cream

1. In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables and beef , until beef is brown.

2. Stir in basil and parsley. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
3. Melt the remainder of butter and stir in flour. Add the milk, stirring until smooth.

4. Gradually add milk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Samoas never tasted so Goooooood!

In a feat of incredible willpower, I'd been saving a box of Girl Scout Samoas since February of this year! I'm pretty proud of myself and the fact I was able to keep them this long. Why keep them this long? Well, to answer my own question: To make my Limited Edition, Home Made Samoas & Dulce Leche Ice Cream! My mouth waters just saying it! I'll just blurt it out, it was freak'n FANTASTIC! More delicious than my sweet tooth or taste buds ever dreamed! My husband thought I was crazy, making ice cream after going to see a nutritionist a few days earlier. But I decided, that if I was going to take all the yummy goodness in the world out of my diet for the next couple of months, I was going to do it with a last hurrah! I found a couple of different vanilla ice cream recipes and came up with my own. This recipe is quite simple and easy to make, not to mention, a great activity for families and friends to work on and enjoy this summer. This recipe is scaled for a 1.5 liter ice cream maker.

Samoas Cookie & Dulce Leche Ice Cream

by: Angela Alen-Martinez 7/4/08

  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ a package Girl Scout Samoas Cookies (about 8 cookies), chopped to your liking

  • 1 cup dulce leche (caramel or fudge can be substituted)that has been mixed with a TBSP of milk and soften in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

    Stir half & half, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large container with a spout. Take your ice cream maker's mixing bowl out of the freezer (place it the night before to insure that it will be nice and cold), place on it's base, pour the liquid ice cream mix into the frozen bowl and turn on your mixer for about 20 minutes (Note that not all makers are the same, please check your brand's specific instructions). While the ice cream is mixing, chop the cookies and set the aside till the freezing process is almost over. When you've reached about 20 minutes, add the chopped up cookie pieces and continue mixing for about 2-3 additional minutes. Your ice cream should then be about a "soft serve" consistency. Pour a nice amount of the dulce leche mix you just soften, in the bottom of a freezer safe container, layer some ice cream on it, and repeat layering as you wish. You can even swirl a little of the dulce leche into the ice cream, it depends on your personal preference. Next, will the hard part of waiting . . . depending on your container and freezer it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to harden your ice cream. It may seem like hours, like pure torture, but it will be most definitely worth it!

    Enjoy every last bit of it! Lord knows WE DID!

  • Saturday, July 5, 2008

    I've been tagged!

    My buddy Jen from Too Shai Shai tagged me back in June and only now have I been able to follow through and post 13 random facts about me :)
    Make sure to check out the picture at the end! In no particular order, here they are! Enjoy!

    1)I recently got a retainer for my lower teeth, they seem to be shifting and I want to avoid having to get braces again since I already went through that for a year back when I was 14 years old!

    2)I'm a cheese-aholic! Luckily my cholesterol is in check from all the cardio, weightlifting and fish oil supplements I take!

    3)I finally used the ice cream maker we got for our wedding! I'm not going to
    reveal the flavor I made just yet, that will be in a post very soon! Stay tuned!

    4)For the last 6 months I've been substituting fresh spinach leaves for lettuce in all our salads. It's a lot tastier and healthier!

    5)My husband and I have climbed the 287 steep and narrow circular stair steps to get to the top of Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral Tower to see the amazing views of the city!

    6)As a child of the 1980's, I love all things 80's!

    7)I'm currently wearing Essie's WICKED nail polish! It rocks!

    8)I love anything with coconut . . . my sister does not!

    9)I still have my Garbage Pail Kids Trading Cards from when I was little!

    10)I was born at 5:13 in the morning! My sister sometimes like to call me at that exact time to wish me a "happy birthday". Needless to say, that usually does not put me in a happy birthday mood!

    11)I'm only double jointed on my right hand.

    12)I'm a goof ball and I'm proud of it! I think it will keep me young at heart forever!

    13)I've been married for 589 days to my love!

    I gotta admit, this was a little hard, I kept thinking of things to write, but then I kept changing my mind thinking that they were stupid random facts, LOL! That was the assignment after all! You see, I am GOOF BALL!

    Thanks for the TAG Jen!

    Talk about being a Goof Ball huh? This tiger was on our bed in out hotel room in Athens! LOL!

    Happy 4th of July Weekend!

    4th of July was technically yesterday, but it's a loooooong weekend, so we can celebrate America's Independence Day all weekend long!

    I'm not going to make any apologies for the turtle speed or lack there of that I've been posting lately. I'm just going to state the facts: We've been busy as heck! The Florida Wedding season usually slows down in the summer since it's so sticky hot here, but thankfully, we've been busy sweating our behinds off. Thus the lack of posts! Not to mention, that sometimes I'm in such a rush that I forget to take pictures of our yummy meals and by the time I realize it, it's too late. For those of you that come to read my blog and have patiently been waiting for more posts, hang tight cause they're "Coming Baby!" as Austin Powers would say! Many, many thanks to all of you for visiting and leaving comments, I truly appreciate it!

    Again, I hope you are all enjoying this fabuolous long weekend! The pictures in this post (taken with my pocket Canon, not the BIG professional one!) are from the two gatherings we attended yesterday.

    These day time photos were taken at our friends Litsy and Chris' BBQ at their newly remodeled home!

    Then the evening shots are the Fireworks display we saw off of Key Biscayne here in Miami. Our buddies Monica and Rodney invited us to see the fireworks with their families, it was a truly awesome fireworks display!

    We had a great time at both gatherings, spending time with pals that we don't usually get to hang out with on the weekends since we're always shooting weddings. Lucky for us, our friends understand our passion and work with us and our crazy schedules! Thank you guys!

    Happy Birthday America!

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    Pistachio Crusted Tilapia

    I'm just going to start without apologizing for my slow blogging this last month or so. We've been very busy, well, you know, what can I say?

    Tilapia is usually our weekday fish of choice. It's nice, mild, not too fishy and the flavor is perfect for us and our picky fish taste buds.

    I don't remember how I stumbled upon this recipe:Pistachio-Crusted Tilapia, but it's so easy and quick for week night meal, you'll definitely add it to your repertoire, well, that is, if you like fish and pistachios :)

    1 cup Shelled pistachios
    1 tsp Dried oregano
    1 tsp Dried thyme
    1/2 tsp Garlic powder
    3 tbsp Honey mustard
    4 Tilapia fillets

    In food processor, combine pistachios, oregano, thyme & garlic powder. Process until finely chopped & transfer to a shallow dish.

    Season both sides of tilapia with salt & pepper. Brush honey mustard over both sides of tilapia, then press into pistachio mixture. Bake on greased baking pan at 375 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes.

    ► When I make it I usually forget to season it with salt & pepper, since you have to coat it with honey mustard and it still tastes great! Oh, and I also leave out the oregano, thyme, and garlic powder and it still rocks our world!

    Dig in!

    Tuesday, May 27, 2008

    Memorial Day Jello-shots!

    I hope everyone had a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! Most importantly, I hope that all the service men and women overseas were safe and able to have some time off this holiday weekend. Come home soon!

    I must admit, I'm not a jello-shot virgin anymore! I made three batches this weekend, so I think I'm a veteran at making them already. They are very easy to make, the only hard part is waiting till they set! There are tons of websites with jello-shot recipes, but I used a basic 1 to 1 recipe. Meaning 1 cup boiling water to 1 cup alcohol of your choice along with a 3oz box of you favorite jello flavor. I made Orange Creamcicle Jello-shots with Vanilla Vodka and you guessed it, orange jello. Those were my favorite although they were a little strong for my taste. I think I'm more of a 1½ cup water to ½ cup alcohol girl! I would definitely suggest that if you don't like strong alcohol tasting drinks, I would reduce the amount of any alcohol in a jello-shot recipe by ½ a cup.
    Below are some links to inspire! The flavor combinations are endless, not to mention tasty! Enjoy and drink with moderation! Don't forget to have a designated driver if you indulge in too many of these!

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomato, & Pesto Stuffed Chicken

    I love sun-dried tomatoes and I love goat cheese! This recipe marries two of my all time faves along with a little pesto to give it some extra UMPH!

    The recipe could not be any easier, especially for a weeknight quick prep meal. I don't have exact measurements, but it's okay. . .you can get away without measuring in this recipe.

    • Chicken breast (thawed and pounded thin to your liking)
    • Goat Cheese (you can also make it ½goat cheese/½cream cheese)
    • Sun-dried tomatoes (mine are soaked in Olive oil, I squeezed out the excess oil)
    • Pesto
    • Non-stick cooking spray
    • Toothpicks

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, mix/chop the sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and goat cheese. Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, smear a good amount (of your liking) of the goat cheese mix onto your thinly pounded chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast, starting at the smallest side and secure with tooth picks. Place your chicken rolls in your baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, keep an eye on them for doneness. You could also make a simple béchamel sauce and add some sun-dried tomatoes to it, to accompany the chicken.

    I didn't make the béchamel sauce when I made it, since we try to be good during the week. I would make it for a dinner party though, to give it that extra creamy goodness!

    Now, I feel like making this tonight for dinner! :)

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Cooking again @ the Biltmore Hotel, Coconut & Crab Rice

    I've been busy, and it's been a little over a month, but I had to blog about our interactive cooking class last month. The chef this time around was Chef Jesse Souza from Baleen on Grove Isle. The menu was tropical and delicious.

    Champange Nicolas Feuillatte

    Arugula & Endive Salad, Poched Pears, St. Andre Triple Créme,
    Toasted Pistachios, Maple Vinagrette

    Cane Sugar Blacked Tuna,
    Crab & Coconut Rice, Green Papaya Salad,
    Avocado Wasabi Sauce

    Banana Chocolate Tart,
    Caramel Sauce
    (Made by the Biltmore's Executive Pastry Chef Oliver Rodriguez)

    Here's the Recipe for the rice, it was to die for! My husband and I made it for a family dinner we were having the next day! We made it without the crab, it was still as delicious and complimented our meal perfectly!

    Crab & Coconut Rice
    By: Chef Jesse Souza, Baleen, Grove Isle
    Serves 8

    6 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
    2-3 cups light chicken stock
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 cup Coco Lopez (found in some supermarkets or @ your local liquor store)
    1 cup lump crab meat
    ½ cup scallions

    Combine all of the ingredients and heat thoroughly. The liquid will cook up and the rice will almost resemble a "risotto". Cover and keep warm till ready to serve.

    ** This whips up pretty quick, since the rice is already cooked. I made mine earlier in the day and just combined everything about 20/30 minutes before we were going to eat and it was perfect!

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    SUPER EASY Chocolate Covered Strawberries

    These are so easy to make( I cannot stress that enough) and they look like a million bucks! I used to make chocolate covered strawberries the old fashion way, by melting the chocolate, adding a little oil to it to make sure it was the right consistency, then dipping the strawberries and waiting for them to set for what seemed like FOREVER! Not anymore though! Thanks to my friend Vanessa, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

    Vanessa's lifesaving tip? Dolci Frutta's microwaveable dipping chocolate! Whoever invented the stuff is a god! You melt the chocolate in it's own container in about a minute or two, then dip your previously cleaned and dried strawberries, and then set them on wax/parchment paper. By the time you go to set down the next strawberry, the one you dipped before it, is already hard! It's like "Magic Shell" for fruits, cookies, pretzels, or what ever your little heart desires to dip in there!
    You can find Dolic Frutta in the produce department of most supermarkets, usually in the strawberry section. Just remember the name DOLCI FRUTTA and don't be fooled by other brands. . . they don't harden immediately and that is one of its main allures! Not to mention, that it tastes great, major bonus points there too!

    So go dip some strawberries for your family and friends, or dip them just for you!

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! Arriba! Arriba!

    In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'm getting on the ball and posting my Margarita Cupcakes! I've been slacking the last couple of week, but no worries, I have a ton of recipes to blog about, so stay tuned!

    I adapted this recipe from 2 recipes I found online. Margarita recipe 1, from Wilton and Margarita recipe 2 from Confections of a Foodie Bride.

    I mixed the batter according to Margarita recipe 2 and made the frosting like Margarita recipe 1.

    I did tweak the frosting a bit, so here's my version, using some of the left over Margarita, Tequila, & Grand Marnier mix from the batter.

    Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
    1 tablespoon lime juice

    1 tablespoon of the left over Margarita, Tequila, & Grand Marnier mix from the batter.
    ½ teaspoon lime zest
    4-5 cups confectioners' sugar

    In large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
    Add 4 cups confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time; continue beating until light and fluffy.
    If icing is too thin add additional confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Yield: Makes about 3 cups icing.

    The Margarita Cupcakes were a hit and a sweet finale to our friends Monica and Rodney's fabulous "Cinco de Mayo Taco Night"! Until next year! Hijole!!!!!!!

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    It's Cookie time again!

    I went to Target a couple of weekends ago and happen to cruise down the snack aisle and saw that all of the Archer Farms Trail Mixes were on sale. Lovely, trail mix on sale I thought. . . but then my brain computed that information as, "oooh trail mix on sale, let's make cookies"! So, I bought a bag of Cranberry Nut Trail Mix and off I went home to make some yummy cookies with it!
    I used the same recipe I used when I made my Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies and just added the trail mix after I had chopped it a bit into the batter along with some extra white chocolate chips I had lying around in my pantry.
    Mmm! cookiesMmm!

    These cookies, were chocked full of cranberries, white chocolate chips, almonds, & pecans! Whoa-baby, they were hearty and delicious! As you can see from the picture above, I made an ice cream sandwich with them, so yummy! It wasn't too bad, the ice cream was low fat frozen yogurt! LOL! :) Needless to say, everyone who tried them absolutely loved them! It just goes to show how you can be creative and inspired at the snack aisle in Target of all places!

    Enjoy, I know I sure did!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Auberge Du Soleil - Napa Valley

    On a recommendation from our friend Michelle, we dined at Auberge Du Soleil, Restaurant one night while we were in Napa Valley. I only have 1 picture of the sign as we were driving out though. The ambiance was so nice, dim, and tranquil, I dared not pull out my camera. Not to mention, I was going to have to flash the heck out of everything and the mood was so right, that I didn't want to ruin it for us or any of the other diners. The dinner and service was truly an amazing experience! We had a 5 course menu, that I honestly cannot recall, but it was delicious! Everything we had was mouthwatering! The wine was superb! The dessert consisted of molten chocolate fondant balls covered in pastry! Oh-dear, were they good! So warm and they would melt in your mouth like butta! This was a meal and experience that definitely worth every penny!

    Interesting facts about Auberge Du Soleil, the Inn, it's a luxury inn on a private road, Christina Aguilera stayed there for her honeymoon & had her rehearsal dinner at the resort. Many celebrities are known to dine at the restaurant although we didn't bump into any when we visited.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Celadon Restaurant, Napa Valley

    It was an odd hour and we literally had Celadon all to ourselves! The waitress was very happy to see us! She said the winter is always hard on the restaurant business in Napa and hoped that our being there for a late lunch would start the trend for the spring tourist season. We sat on their covered outdoor terrace, close to the fire place, but not too close since my hubby would melt (unfortunate for him, I'm ALWAYS cold and there was a slight chill in the air!). Since it was almost dinner time, we ordered 3 small plates (appetizers) from the dinner menu. We were starving and they hit the stop perfectly with some nice Merlot!

    We ordered:

  • Macadamia nut crusted goat cheese with port poached figs, apples and crostini

  • Endive and pear salad with blue cheese, candied walnuts and honey mustard vinaigrette

  • Beef satay with cucumber, green papaya and pickled ginger salad, spicy peanut sauce (I forgot to take a pic of this one)

    Everything was fresh and came to our table super quick! I think being the only customer at a restaurant sometimes has it's privileges :) I also think we did start a trend, as we were leaving more tourist were waltzing in for early dinners. I will definitely go back to Celadon, the port poached figs were my favorite and I'm dying to have them again! Not to mention, that there was a ton of other things on the menu I want to try!