Bulgogi with Grass Fed Beef

By day 3 of our vegetarian diet, Rob was begging for some meat!  I was okay with that because everything is fine in moderation.  I was able to find some thinly sliced grass-fed beef so I decided to make bulgogi.  I served the meal with lots of romaine lettuce and kim chi so we could make our own Korean-style lettuce wraps.

 

Poached Eggs with Sauteed Spinach

I was super psyched to find eggs that were both organic and free range at Trader Joes the other day.  To celebrate this momentous occasion, I made poached eggs served over garlic sauteed spinach and rice.  Organic, free range eggs are more nutritious and have a deep yellow yolk.  The yolk tasted so good and creamy when broken and mixed with the rice. Diagnosis? Delicious.

Suburbanette Tip:  To poach the perfect egg, add a cap full of white vinegar to your boiling water.

Garlic-Ginger Veggie Stir Fry

Beautiful Food = Tasty Food (at least most of the time)

This recipe was very easy and very tasty!  All I did was stir fry a variety of veggies (in this case I used Chinese broccoli, carrots, yellow and red bell peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, and pea shoots) with some garlic and ginger in a large skillet.  I added some oyster sauce at the very end — but I think it tasted better without.  I loved how every bite was bursting of flavor and color.

PS: This was my first time eating pea shoots and they are delicious!  I even blended them in my kale smoothie the next day.  They have a slightly grassy flavor — tastes like spring!

Smoothie Operator

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer with one of the contestants of the “Next Food Network Star” with the Junior League of Washington’s Kids in the Kitchen event! My ovaries were working overtime with all of the images of cute kids in their aprons and chef hats getting psyched to learn about my favorite subject — food!

The booth next to me did a demonstration on kale smoothies and I was instantly intrigued. I love kale but in a smoothie — NO WAY! I had heard the benefits of “going green” in Kimberly Snyder’s blog (her patented glowing green smoothie is one of the “it” drinks for celebrities) but I did not think it would taste good. Well, I was wrong — one free sample and I was hooked. In fact, I went to Trader Joe’s that very day to stock up on ingredients.

I blended everything in my cheap-o Bella Cucina personal blender with fantastic results! Even Rob enjoyed it and he has an aversion to anything with nutrients in it. He was amazed that there was no dairy products in it because it was so creamy and smooth.  With that – – I present to you my recipe for my own ghetto green smoothie!

Kimberly Van’s Ghetto Green Smoothie
-Handful of Kale/Spinach (Spinach blends easier with crappy blenders and has a more neutral taste)
– 5-10 seedless grapes
– 1 ripe banana
– Enough purified water to fill 1/3 of blending container
– 10 frozen pineapple chunks

Blend until smooth. Pour into a pretty glass and enjoy!

Why is this good for you?
– No added sugar or fruit juice
– Chock full o’ vitamins
– Spinach or Kale is known for its skin firming properties
– Nutrition experts recommend that you drink this smoothie in the morning to help with any digestive problems


Eating Clean

I can’t believe I am writing this entry but I feel like God has given me a bunch of signs that I need to start eating clean and start taking care of my health.

– The #1  factor is the untimely death of my dog Lewy from advanced cardiovascular disease.  Lewy was only seven (59 in human years).  Even though he was considered a senior, he was a very early senior and an active one at that.  After speaking to Rob’s cousin who is a dog-owner and works at a natural pet-food store, I learned that DIET pays a huge part in cardiovascular health and that the dog food that is mass produced on shelves is not fit for an animal’s diet at all.
– Lewy died in February which also happens to be Heart Health Month, since cardiovascular disease is the number one killers of humans.
– Kristina and Andrew have decided to start eating a casual plant-based diet and have been growing their own fresh veggies/herbs out of an Aerogarden
– My friend Maricel has been talking the hell out of Kimberly Snyder, a nutritionist to the stars who advocates living a clean, whole food lifestyle.
– I have felt a weird tingly sensation down my lower leg every time I eat heavy meat-based meals
– When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma a few years back, one of the strains of chemotherapy they gave me was warned to have an effect on 95% of patients’ hearts
– My cancer had spread to my heart so that area was also radiated on
– Kristina suggested that I watch Forks Over Knives, a documentary that shows that diabetes, high cholestorol, blood pressure and heart disease can be warded off just by switching to a plant-based diet

OK, after reading this list, I realize that I should have started thinking about my cardiovascular health WAYYY before Lewy died.  I mean — cancer that has spread to your heart?  If that happened to one of my friends I would freak out.  However, as they say — you never pay attention to warning signs until something bad happens to someone you love.  I feel awful about not giving Lewy the proper nutrition he needed.  But maybe his death was a way to show me that I am not getting the proper nutrition I needed either.

So anyways — a new part of my blog is going to be dedicated on how I make the switch to being a healthier, vibrant person.   And if you are out with me and I decide to eat a burger– please don’t judge — I’m still the same old hedonistic Kimberly after all.  And I will also try not to preach about my new diet because I know freaking annoying those people are, and if I do start preaching, feel free to punch me in the face.

Also, Rob just woke up and is sitting next to me now and wants to write something:

Lewy – I just wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for Kimberly and her family. She always told me stories about how she picked you out from the farm (instead of your limpy brother) and how you were always there for her after chemotherapy. My favorite memory of you is when we picked you up from the kennel and you had the BIGGEST smile on your face – I had no idea dogs could smile like that but it made sense since you’re a Van. I honestly did not like dogs until I met you, and thank you for eventually accepting me to be with Kimberly (I could tell after you stopped biting my ankles and pants). May you rest in peace, as we will always love you and remember our time with you.

PS: Rob just teared up while writing this which means he really DID love Lewy (I always assumed he was lying for my sake).

Loose Thread

[1] Kat, Jessica, Sarah and I had brunch at the cutest European cafe Kafe Leopold
[2] Besides marrying Rob, the one wedding thing I am most excited about is crafting!  Kat, Jessica and I attended the Wedding Workshop at Paper Source and learned how to heat emboss envelopes, place cards, and treat boxes.
[3] Mountainside lunch
[4] A possible wedding venue in Smallville, USA
[5] Pho Sate with my little brothers, Rob and Rob’s best friend since age 4 – – Kevin and Kris downed their ENTIRE soup bowl plus two egg rolls!

Around the World with Rosetta Stone

Rob and I had so much fun at the DC Social Media Week event at Barcode sponsored by Rosetta Stone.  At the event, attendees participated in a live tweet off to vote on which countries they wanted to “visit”.  In a two hour span I was able to eat food, drink libations, and listen to music from Greece, Italy, Peru, and Japan!


Lamb Kebab and a Peach Dionysus from Greece…as my favorite Greek Jesse Katsopolis would say…Have Mercy!

Pisco Sour, Beef Empanada and Avocado Crostini from Peru..Ay yi yi! Muy deliciouso!

Bittersweet Prosecco + Pizza from Italy! Mamma Mia!

Tuna Tartare + Spicy Tuna Rolls from Japan (they had a sake cocktail but it literally tasted like death which is why there is no picture). Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto!

I love fun nights out with my fiance!

 

Valentine’s Day 2012

For Valentine’s Day, Rob and I had a heart shaped pizza at our favorite pizzeria — Famous Luigi’s.  The restaurant’s claim to fame is that they are the oldest restaurant in the city.  Famous Luigi’s looks like the back drop of a low-budget sketch comedy with its checkered tablecloths, moustached servers and drippy candles but I am totally in love with it.

Since it was a special day of love, the restaurant hired a violinist to serenade all of the diners table side.  I requested that our violinist play a Whitney Houston song but unfortunately he was unable to oblige.  Instead he played a horrendous rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”.  I’m sorry but as far as divas go Celine does not equal Whitney in my book but that is a discussion for another day.

Regarding gifts, Rob and I set a $20 limit this year.  We ended up getting each other the same gift.  Moleskin notebooks.  His is Star Wars themed and mine is Valentine’s day themed.  This coinky-dink only gives me further proof that I am going to marry the most awesome guy in the whole world!

I also got Rob this bacon and egg themed Valentine’s day card because he makes me bacon and eggs every weekend!

 

11th Annual Sugar and Champagne Recap

Hi Friends!

I recently got the chance to cover the 11th Annual Sugar and Champagne benefit event for DCSocialite.com.  See below for my recap:

A sold-out crowd of humans and their canine companions gathered at the Ronald Reagan Trade Center last Wednesday to attend the 11th annual Sugar and Champagne event benefitting the Washington Humane Society. Hosted by Chef Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox fame, the highly anticipated event featured an evening of fine wines, savory treats and gourmet desserts from some of the metropolitan area’s most talented chefs. Even four-legged guests had access to fresh fare at an exclusive and fabulously decorated “Doggie Bar”.

Highlights of the night included:

Best Display:  Jose Andrés once again proved he was king of this town with Oyamel‘s “Day of the Dead” display of Rome point oysters with a citrus broth and pasilla de oaxaca air.

Most Photogenic:  Meet Chilly, this poodle showed everybody the 70′s were back with his large afro puff and tie dye attire.

Best Use of Pork:  PS7 served a savory and sweet pork cinnamon roll with a side of iced cardamon coffee with spiced rum that would be perfect for either breakfast or dessert.

Best Classic Interpretation: Props to Founding Fathers for their mini peanut butter pie. A perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate with a salty crunchy finish thanks to its caramel corn topping.

Celebrity Sightings: Contestants from TLC’s Next Great Baker were on hand to dish out handmade treats. Contestant, DC native Pamela Anh and her daughters showed off cherry blossom themed cake pops.

Best Savory:  The Source‘s tuna tartare in a crispy sesame cone was spicy and addicting. I had to walk away from the table after the chef started recognizing me from coming back so many times.

Most Surprising Dessert: Flowers in champagne by Taberna del Alabardero. After sampling dozens of heavy, chocolate desserts this simple and fresh treat was a delight for my eyes and palette.

# of Dog Fights Avoided:  Three

For more event photos click here.

Suburbanette vs. Auntie Anne

I love Super Bowl food!  I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to small, bite sized, crowd-pleasing snacks.  This year we went to our friend Carlo’s house to celebrate this all-American holiday so we decided to go with something simple and easy portable — pretzel bites and queso.

I usually do most of the cooking in the house but Rob has been on a whole “I want to learn how to be a good husband” kick so he helped me whip the whole thing together.  I am not going to lie, I was very impressed with his kneading skills.  It takes a lot of muscle power to knead dough, so he definitely came in handy during that section.

We used this recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.  I didn’t read the directions right and we mixed all of the wet and dry ingredients together at first, but everything still tasted perfect.  This recipe was VERY easy and received an A++++ from us!

For queso, all we did was mix a can of Rotel with a block of Velveeta cheese in a small crock pot.  I received the recipe from one of my fellow Junior Leaguers.  She is from Texas and apparently they call it “liquid gold” over there.

 

 

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