Sunday, August 14, 2011

I've Moved!

I made the switch over to wordpress - I explained why on my new site :)  Here is the link:


Let's Play A Game...

Today we're playing a game called "What Meredith Is Most Excited About in Her New Apartment."  For the first picture, I seriously contemplated taking a picture of Mike, but he's sleeping and I think it's a little too soon to really annoy him.  So these are the next best things :)

I love these giraffes... thank you mom and thank you Anthropologie for feeding my obsession with giraffes.
I know this is strange.. but this is one awesome oven mitt.
Mike's step dad made us this table.  How freakin' awesome is that!  Love. It.
This might be the most comfortable pillow ever.
And last but not least... having my own kitchen.  Mike doesn't usually enter the kitchen unless he's going to the fridge, so I'm considering it mine.  (Side note: he does make me breakfast sometimes.. and when he does, it is always delicious!)

I still have yet to go grocery shopping (and I've been here for 3 days), so I'm posting a recipe that I wish I could make right now.  This is the richest, most decadent dessert you will ever make.  It is so good.  It's pretty time consuming, but overall its a really easy dessert to make.  I got it from Here!

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Nine chocolate graham crackers, finely ground
Five tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar

1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 and 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   

To make crust, combine graham crackers, butter and sugar in small bowl.   Press mixture into a nine or ten inch tart pan, distributing evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until firm.    Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Add 9 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate to medium bowl.   Set aside.

Heat 1 and 1/4 cup heavy cream in small pot on stove over high heat just until boiling point is reached.   Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together two eggs, vanilla extract and salt. 

After 5 minutes, slowly stir to combine chocolate and cream until it comes together in a smooth filling.   After combining, stir in egg mixture. 

Pour filling into cooled crust.    Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.    Remove from oven and set aside.   The tart will continue to cook after removing to fully set the chocolate filling.   Cool tart for an hour.

Heat 1/4 cup of raspberry preserves in microwave for 30 seconds until spreadable.   Using pastry brush, spread thin layer of preserves on top of cooled tart filling. 

To make glaze, heat 2 tablespoons heavy cream on stove until boiling.   Pour over remaining chopped chocolate in small bowl and stir to combine.    Add corn syrup and water to form a glaze.   

Pour glaze over the top of raspberry layer and shake tart pan until it reaches all edges.   Set aside for approximately an hour until glaze has set. 
Last time I made this dessert, it was pre-blog, hence the cell phone picture.  I'm working on my photography... kind of.  But really - go check out the pictures on the site I got it from and you will start drooling. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The New Apartment... Continued

Today was a fun-filled day of more apartment shopping!  Mike's mom came to see the place and took us shopping for some curtains and whatnot (so nice)!  I haven't done much cooking because the only food shopping I've done was at the public market this morning (which is AWESOME).  But I have gone out to eat..a lot!  So here goes:

Last night I went to a restaurant called Cibon.  It was a cute little italian place.  It had a good atmosphere and awesome Margherita Pizza!  It was really thin crust so it was nice and crunchy.  (I didn't take the picture below - it just so happens they have a picture of their pizza online)!

Today for lunch we went to a diner called Jine's.  I had pumpkin pancakes (yes, for lunch) because they are my favorite food at this diner.  This place is always packed when I go and their menu is huge!  They have so many options for all meals and the food is great (and cheap).  

Tonight I'm going to a bar/restaurant called Good Luck.  I've only been once, but I loved loved loved the atmosphere!  It's a good place to go and get a glass of wine and relax.  They are famous for their burgers which are HUGE (I wish I could triple underline that).  So, of cousre, Mike is determined to eat a whole burger by himself.  It's going to be painful just to watch!  Last time I had the reuben (I don't like sauerkraut and I don't like swiss cheese, but I love reubens.  Makes no sense, right?).  I'm pretty sure they have pizza though and I am tempted to get pizza for the second night in a row.  You can go ahead and judge me.  I love that the kitchen is open so you can watch them cook!:

So tonight's dilemma:  I want to go out to the bars near my street, but I have to dog sit this dollface:
Love her :) I'm thinkin i'll go to the bars early and then head over and take care of her.. classic Grandma Meredith.  Don't worry, I'm not really a drinker so there won't be any drinking and driving.  I do realize that the title of my blog includes booze but that doesn't mean I'm a big drinker :)

My stomach is growling so much that I'm sitting alone on the couch laughing.  Good thing Mike is sleeping and can't make fun of me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

In The New Apartment

Forgive me for my lack of update yesterday... I'm really trying to be one of those bloggers who updates every day.  But.. life kind of got in the way!  I woke up at 5:30 yesterday morning to drive the 5 1/2 hours to the new apartment.  Well, this was after packing all of this into my car:
... and that's not even all of it!  Anyway... I got to my apartment at about noon and started unpacking the car(s).  It took pretty much all day because I got a little distracted by decorating :)  The apartment is really cute.. its only about 800 square feet, but I managed to fit everything!  The location of the apartment makes up for the small size..  It's a 2 minute walk to a bunch of restaurants and boutiques.  

I ended up getting the majority of my stuff cleared out of the living room so that when the guy who installed my internet came this morning he wouldn't trip.  The internet guy didn't come until 10, so when I woke up at 7:00 I didn't have much to do.  I ended up making homemade bread.  It's still rising right now, but here's the recipe!  I got it from my sister's boyfriend and have been obsessed with it ever since.

3 cups water (lukewarm)
1 tablespoon  and 1.5 tsp. of salt
1 tablespoon and 1.5 tsp. of yeast
Sit for 5 minutes after whisking

Add flour (high gluten flour) - 6.5 cups

Rise...poke/deflate...let rise again after rolled out (put oil and cornmeal under)

Bake at 475 till browned (around 20-25 minutes)

It's so good... I make egg sandwiches, french bread pizza, etc. with it.  Enjoy!  I'll have more updates later when I finish unpacking and actually go grocery shopping :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh Yeah... My Vacation!

So I was good at keeping up with the blog on my vacation.. for about a day.  oops.  So I guess I'll fill you lovelies in on the rest of my trip!  I'm not sharing my trip in any particular order.. because I don't remember. I'll just share the highlights.

How Much Mexican Food Can Meredith Eat?
So remember that taco place I talked about called Baja Cantina? The one where we ended up leaving because people are borderline insane? Yeah. Well we went back there for lunch the next day... and the next day... and the next day.  I had mexican 4 or 5..or 6 times for either lunch or dinner for the remainder of the week.  What did I learn from this experience? 

  1. I love mexican food and its tough for me to get sick of it.
  2. I LOVE hot sauce. Even more than I thought I did. I could drink it if that wasn't completely disgusting. 
  3. Fish tacos... are... amazing!  
I learned bullet point #3 at a different restaurant.  One night after a long day at the beach we headed to El Taco Loco for yet another night of Mexican.  I felt a little gross going into the restaurant covered in tanning oil and smelling like the ocean, but I got over that once I saw that they make guacamole right at your table. We ordered 2 bowls of it because it was amazing!  I could have devoured both bowls myself, but I showed a little self-control.  And we all know that's a little hard for me when it comes to food.

My last mexican experience was at a place called Tijuana Flats.  I almost didn't include this on the list because I didn't really eat here, but Mike got a quesadilla that I had a bite of.. So i guess that counts.  Also - fun fact about me, if you haven't figured it out already - I'm all about the condiments. Particularly hot sauce.  This place had a table full of at least 10 different types of hot sauce.  Of course, Mike and I are slightly crazy and like to try the hottest ones possible, so he got a little container of the one that had a picture of a man crying.  I dipped a tiny end of a tortilla chip into it and ate it and my tongue was immediately tingling.  Usually when hot sauce is that hot, I don't notice the flavor, but this stuff tasted good!  Oh and the other great thing about this place - $1 drafts! Yum.

What Did We Do When We Weren't Eating Mexican?
A couple nights during the week we went to a bar called Luna Sea.  From the front it just looked like another hole in the wall bar (which is definitely my kind of bar!), but when you go to the back of the bar, there's a staircase that leads to an outdoor deck and a sand volleyball court/a place to play corn hole.  If you're not familiar with corn hole.. this is it:

Basically you throw the bean bag and try to make it land on the board or in the hole.  One night we played indoors?  Not sure what made us think that was a good idea..

This post is getting a little lengthy so basically the rest is - we went out for seafood (shrimp, yum!), went to different bars, and last but not least...

This cute little thing...

Did this to my new shoes...

Good thing they were only $15... but Target is out of stock.  Guess I'll have to be patient and wait for them to be back in stock!

Also - I think I need to work on being a true blogger - I haven't quite managed the reach the level of taking pictures of my food in restaurants.  I'll get there someday..

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Laundry Basket O' Shoes

Some call it an addiction. Some call it normal. Whatever. You take your pick.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Taco Failure

Unfortunately, our plans for cheap tacos and beers didn't happen last night.  We got to the bar at around 6:30, starving (and therefore a little cranky) but excited for some tacos.  We walked in and the bar was full and all of the tables were taken.  One of the girls working told us that you just have to stand around and find your own table when one opens up.  So we did this for a while, but people were vicious!  Seriously, it was like a herd of wild animals all hunting the same prey.  It was bad.  So eventually we gave up and went to another restaurant called the 11th Street Taphouse Bar & Grill. 

 It wasn't as cheap, but they had great food there!  I decided it was time for a burger because I haven't had one in months.  I'm pretty boring when it comes to burgers - the most exciting thing I did with it was put pepperjack cheese on it.  But it was great.. and the onion rings I got with it were the best I've had in a while.  I got a beer called Julius Echter Hefe Weissbier.  It had a nice golden color and had a banana-y aroma.  It was unique... not one of my favorites but it was pretty good.  

Today we slept in (definitely needed after not sleeping the night before).  I woke up earlier than everyone else and hung out with the greatest dog in the world.

After that we had breakfast and headed to the beach!  I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who didn't burn (this never happens haha).  Before the beach we of course got Starbucks!  Tall Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte :)
I couldn't see when I was taking the picture - i had to crop my finger out haha oops.

More tomorrow! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

What A Long Drive!

Hello all!  I am finally in Virginia Beach!  We left at 10:45 last night and got in at around 8:30 this morning.  We made a few stops to stretch our legs and grab some breakfast at 5:30.  I don't do well sleeping in cars so I was expecting to be awake the whole time, but I ended up sleeping for an hour or two.   Once we got to Virginia, we went grocery shopping for the week, and then headed straight to the beach!  It has been a beautiful, sunny day so far.  We laid in the sun, went in the ocean, and then walked the boardwalk for a while.  

As for food so far - all I ate in the car was almonds and raisins.  When we stopped for breakfast I had yogurt with fruit... and some more almonds and raisins.  For lunch I went old school and had PB & J!  I am beyond excited for tonight.. $1 taco night and $2 beers! I will update later on that deliciousness :)