Monday, August 12, 2013

Organic Balsamic Pizza

Everyone knows that feeling when you have a certain food on your mind for so long that you just HAVE to have it. Well, in my case, I had been craving pizza. I didn't want to order a huge greasy pizza, nor did I want to buy a processed frozen one. So, to solve this issue, I decided to make my own healthier and more delicious pizza. I thought about what I would want on my "ideal" pizza, and came up with fresh basil, oregano, kale, and mushrooms, finished with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil. I owe a huge "thank you" to the healthy super market, EarthFare, in Boone, NC, for offering me a coupon to receive organic mozzarella, organic pizza sauce, and an organic pre-made dough crust for only $3! 
One pre-made dough
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella
Sliced mushrooms
A handful of fresh kale
Fresh basil
Fresh oregano
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

This is a very easy and delicious recipe. Make note that I made a mini pizza. The ingredient quantity will greatly vary from person to person, depending on how big, saucy, cheesy, or "vegetabled" you will want your pizza. 

Before I started, I heated a baking sheet at 425 degrees to get it nice and hot. This will help your pizza to cook in the middle. Now, all you have to do is cut up your veggies, roll out your dough and start assembling! once you have made your personal pizza, you simply place it on the hot baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 425 degrees, or until the outer crust is golden brown.

Once cooled, garnish with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Graduation Dinner

My graduation dinner was one of the most memorable evenings I have ever had! My entire family came  up to the mountains and we all went to Rowland's! I was with the people I love the most at one of the places I love the most. Below are just a few pictures from the night.
Our view before dinner. It had been raining, but luckily the clouds started breaking up when we got there.

This is the traditional place setting of Rowland's. You can also see my made-from-scratch margarita there ;) The second picture is of the "amuse." This is just something special the restaurant does for the guests.
This was my three course meal. I started with a restaurant favorite, the "Prawn." I then had Lamb for dinner and finished the night off with a chocolate torte (if I were still working there, I probably would have made that torte). The meal was outstanding and they even put a candle on my dessert to celebrate my graduation!  
Before I left, I went back into the kitchen to see everyone and they surprised me with a bottle of wine (which they all signed), and a free (second) dessert! Oh, how I miss being there!
Lastly, here I am with my lovely family! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Orleans

Traveling with my family is an entirely different experience. We hit the ground running! As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we hit the street. We walked down Bourbon Street all the way to Jackson Square. on the way back, we made our first stop at La Fitte's. Lafitte's is the oldest bar in America. It has no light, except that which is from windows and candles.
We then headed up to a classic Bourbon Street balcony to have a few drinks before dinner. This was our view!
That night, we ate at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant, Nola, which I unfortunately did not get any pictures of. I was too excited to eat my plate of BBQ Shrimp and Grits! Passing on dessert, we decided to go to New Orlean's classic landmark Cafe Du Monde to indulge on beignets!
The rest of our time there, we were able to taste all of the classic New Orleans style food, such as a tradition Fried Oyster Po' Boy from Johnny's Po' Boys,

fried fish, red beans and rice, creole jambalaya, okra, and coleslaw from Steamboat Natchez,

more jambalaya and shrimp gumbo from the famous Crescent City Brewhouse,
and lastly, a tender piece of red fish caught straight out of the Pontchartrain River, from none other than the restaurant, Red Fish!
Though my vacation ended, I hope to go back to New Orleans very soon! There was so much more to do than what we had time for! New Orleans is one of the leading destinations for any food lover!