September 26, 2012

I'm Baaaaack

Woo, it's been a long time.

In May I became preoccupied with bedrest and the constant monitoring and impending arrival of my little nut. And then the craziness that is getting to know and taking care of a newborn happened. And then eventually I thought I was ready to be back to the blog. But then, sleep issues (for little nut) happened and I no longer had naps to do my thing.

But, now, I think I can be back. Although naps are still elusive...

Have no fear, I have not been on any sort of food hiatus since we last spoke. There were plenty of things I should have / could have shared while I was taking a hiatus. Let me get you caught up (with a detour first)...

Her Name is Lola
This is the reason for the hiatus. Sweet Baby Lola. Despite what some think, she was not named after my favorite pizza haunt. But it's a lovely coincidence. And she has dined there. She came a little more than 2 weeks early. And she's perfect. She loves: smiling, loud chewing sounds, art cards, her stuffed chicken, her mom and dad, books, when her dad tells her she has stinky feet (she doesn't), and songs about birds. She doesn't like: taking naps, the sun, or her hat falling into her eyes. I'm already hard at work turning her into a foodie. She watches me make dinner every night as I narrate. She has a cool kid red high chair. And I've already started scoping out recipes for her (and researching alternates to rice cereal).

Food Love
I wasn't allowed to cook while on bedrest. And I wasn't allowed to go out to eat while on bedrest. So, what was a girl to eat for a month? All of the fabulous food my friends bestowed upon me. I was spoiled. Completely spoiled. I was sent a dozen (yes, 12) cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes from dear Alexa one sunny afternoon. I was brought numerous lunches from many different friends. I received a ton of freezer ready dinners and breakfasts (and even a pitcher of mock sangria) from my friends Pooja and Carrie. My brother brought me Pizzeria Lola. My friends EHG and Melissa also brought me Pizzeria Lola (and mini cheesecakes). My monthly dining buddies Lauren and Lizzie brought me Brasa, Salty Tart, and fancy sodas all in the same night. And my bestie Jenni made me a bunch of meals from Let's Dish. I know I'm forgetting lots of folks...but you get the point. I received a lot of food love.

Post-Delivery Food
Remember the madness I created over what I'd eat right after I delivered? I have had a lot of people ask me what I ended up having. It should come as no surprise to those who have already had babies, but I didn't really care that night. I was hungry. But I was too tired and in another stratosphere to care. But my brother came through and brought me a meatball sub from Broder's. And it was just what I needed.

New Restaurant Finds
I have managed to escape the house on numerous occasions to seek out delicious food. My favorite would probably have to be The Left Handed Cook at Midtown Global Market. They have a bop bowl that I love. The popcorn is off the hook and addicting. And the brussels sprouts with shards of parm and diced orange and other yummies are fantastic. I also tried neighbor Sonora Grill since last you heard from me and love that too. All of the tacos I've had have been solid but the rice and beans are my favorite. They cook the rice in coconut milk. Uh, hello good idea. I also am embarrassed to admit that I hadn't been to the France 44 Cheese Shop until recently. I stopped in one day on my way home from running errands with Lola after realizing it was 2pm and I hadn't had lunch. Their sandwiches are awesome.

New Food Finds
I have 2 here to report. First, Fentiman's Rose Lemonade, introduced to me by my friend Carrie. It's so perfectly rose-y, sweet, and fizzy. And comes in a beautiful bottle. Second, Ines Rosales Sweet Olive Oil Tortas (orange flavor). I have known about these tortas for a while, but I didn't know until recently that there was an orange flavor. Think subtly sweet thick crackers with little pops of orange flavor. They are dusted in sugar, have caramelized edges, and are perfect to serve with cocktails. Or to eat as a snack while on maternity leave.

A New Favorite Apple Orchard
So, Apple Jack's is usually our go-to orchard every Fall. It's got the typical orchard necessities: apples, pumpkins, apple doughnuts and brats, a river, haystacks. But a few weeks ago we decided to try out the orchard that supplied apples at the Fulton Market last summer: Sweetland Orchard out in Webster. We were so glad we took the drive out there. The orchard is beautiful and peaceful, and the owners couldn't be friendlier. We loved the short walk to the Honeycrisps, up a hill, until we ended up in a small clearing with a yellow picnic table in front of us and a couple of rows of apples to our left. And chickens roaming.

And The Most Amazing Cake EVER
Now, I'm a huge supporter of the Yates Family Chocolate Cake. You know this. And if you've asked, you know I won't share the recipe. But, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Smitten Kitchen...I hate to say it...but...maybe it's even more amazing? This cake. I can't articulate it's deliciousness. It's composed of 3 layers of moist chocolate cake. Those layers are surrounded by peanut butter cream cheese frosting. And then the whole thing gets a bath of peanut butter chocolate ganache. Smitten Kitchen says it's best served in skinny slices. But I disagree. I think it's best served in generous slices. It's out of this world. When I need to pull out the big guns, I will be making this cake.