The Perfect Pie

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I hope that yesterday’s announcement of Ben & Taylor’s engagement helped put you in a romantic mood — it certainly did for me! We did most of our Hallmark Holiday celebration over the weekend. In addition to taking me to the DC Wine Festival, Sean took me to Ray’s the Steaks (technically, to Retro Ray’s next door which is its new walk-in only brother restaurant) and it was AMAZING. Seriously. DC-ites, Northern Virginians, and Marylanders alike: you must go. You get complimentary mashed ‘taters and creamed spinach with your entree, so the value is awesome for a steak joint (where you normally have to pay for every side individually). Get the crab bisque and the filet with brandy mushroom sauce and thank me later.

Sidebar: I also got this gorgeous Valentine’s surprise yesterday afternoon!

IMG_4121.jpg

Aaaand we’re back! Sunday night we played it a little more low-key and made pizza! You already know how much I love putting my Christmas-given pizza stone to use, but you also know from past attempts how poor my dough-handling skills are.

IMG_4090

Well, I’m sad to report that nothing has changed there. Misshapen pizzas still unfortunately seem to be my thing, and this margarita pizza definitely got struck with my ugly ‘za skillz. Luckily, in contrast, Sean seems to have unearthed a hidden talent for pizza shaping. Check out the perfectly circular pie he whipped up!

IMG_4085

I was seriously jealous impressed. We determined that a factor may have been letting the dough sit OUT of the bag (we used the ready-made Trader Joe’s dough, like always) before shaping, instead of letting it sit in the plastic. We’ll have to do a strict comparison next time!

IMG_4083IMG_4092
IMG_4097IMG_4105

The second, perfect pie also had perfect toppings. It was like Hawaiian (my favorite) to the max: canadian bacon, bacon, mozzarella, feta (!), and pineapple. We may or may not have tucked cheese into that gorgeous crust, too. Heh. Not to worry! I exercised portion control only made it through a couple slices.

IMG_4109

We both decided that if we did it again, we would cut the pineapple down smaller so you could get more of it in each bite. Delicious, nonetheless, and it made for the best leftovers ever!

On the docket for today is a cookie exchange that I’ve organized for my office (you better believe my disaster cookies are making an appearance, so brace yourselves for another earthquake!) It’s my first cookie exchange, so hopefully it goes smoothly. Hopefully my roommates will be happy that I’ll be bringing home a smorgasbord of sweet treats too — I’m counting on them to help me eat them so I can stay on track…ish! 😉

What are your V-Day plans? Alternately/in addition, what’s your favorite pizza topping combination?

The Timing of Eating

Another day of successful eating (complete with almost complete calorie counting) was had yesterday, huzzah! I had voiced some slight concern that getting back into the groove with work would mess with my eating habits. See, when at work, I tend to push off eating even if I’m hungry because I’m busy or, occasionally, because I’m just too lazy to get up from my desk (I’m awesome, I know). This lends itself to my willpower faltering due to hunger and the odds of me getting that steak & cheese from the deli downstairs increasing exponentially. Because of this, I actively tried to pay attention to my hunger cues yesterday. This led to a mildly strange distribution of my eats throughout the day. Observe:

7:45 AM: Chicken sausage link (100 calories).

IMG_4741
In case you were wondering, there really is no good way to take a picture of a plain sausage link.

I know, I know, a random sausage for breakfast isn’t really breakfast. But I was busy putting together an actual lunch to bring, and I kinda let the b-fast thing slide. At least I ate something at all, right? I’m working on it, I’m working on it. At least all that protein kept me full!

10:30 AM: Salad with mixed greens, onion, grapes, grape tomatoes, craisins, blue cheese crumbles and balsamic dressing (~250 calories).

IMG_4735

I got a little peckish around 10:30, and because I hadn’t dropped my lunch off in the fridge yet (again, out of laziness) the salad was nice and ready for me already. My lunch was a two-parter, just like yesterday’s. No, literally just like yesterday’s: an exact repeat.

1:00 PM: Turkey chili (~300 calories).

IMG_4738

I started to feel a little bit hungry again around 1-ish, so I ate the rest of my lunch then. It tided me over until I got home from work, which is when my mind started to mess with the whole hunger-cues-listening game (yep, now all I can think of is the Hunger Games. #obsessed) a bit.

See, I was due at my parents’ house for our weekly family dinner wherein we would have a repeat of homemade pizza night because the ‘rents were really anxious to see my new pizza stone in action. And even homemade pizza makes calorie counting kind of hard, so I wanted to have a nice big buffer zone. But because of my brother‘s teaching schedule, we wouldn’t be eating until 7:45 PM. Soooo, my mind started messing with my body, and eventually I got so fed up with trying to decide whether to eat or not, that I just gave up and went to Starbucks.

4:45 PM: Grande skinny peppermint mocha (130 calories).

IMG_4744

Amazingly, it did the trick! It staved off hunger for a little while and for a mere 130 cals. Thank GOODNESS I didn’t succumb to the lure of the eggnog latte instead (let alone that thick slice of iced lemon poundcake… sigh…) because something big was about to go down.

7:30 PM: Coke Zero (0 calories).

IMG_4752

No, not the Coke Zero, though it was delicious (and, in combination with the coffee, probably contributed to my incredibly poor sleep last night, hahaha.)

IMG_4755 IMG_4758
IMG_4760 IMG_4763

7:45 PM: PIZZA AND WINGS, YO. (Calories unknown. Heh.)

IMG_4769

Yeeeeah. Good thing I did count all those itsy bitsy calories up until then, eh? Dinner was epic. I only had 3 squares of ‘za, but I had 3 chicken wings, plus all the noshing I did while I was prepping the pizza, haha. All in all, it probably wasn’t too bad since I only had ~780 up to that point, but we shall never know because again, and I can’t stress this enough, I am just too lazy. 😉

I guess the point of this post is to ask you guys: how do you handle the timing of eating? Do you follow the traditional breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule? Or eat every 2 hours? Or eat when you’re hungry? I feel like I definitely do best with small meals throughout the day, but I’m not sure even how I should be managing those. Sigh, it feels like I’m starting over. All the my holiday overindulging has made me forget how to eat normally, haha.

DC Blogger Meetup: Ella’s

Ahoy-hoy, friends! Today’s post is coming to you a bit later than usual this morning, but you’ll see why in a bit. Phew! Between sushi, crashing a culinary school class, and last night this week has been a whirlwind! But a superawesomefuntastic whirlwind, of course.

DSC05785.jpg

So last night, I met up with fellow bloggers Kacy, Katie, Allison, and Jess for dinner & drinks at Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza in Chinatown! (Photo purloined from Jess.)

IMG_0291.jpg

Ella’s has an amazing happy hour that goes from 4 – 7, and it was PACKED. Katie and Allison arrived there early, so they had staked out a couple seats at the bar. We ended up having to wait a while for a table, but somehow we survived…

IMG_0288.jpg

$3.50 glasses of sangria? Don’t mind if I do!

IMG_0290.jpg

Thankfully all that time waiting gave us plenty o’ time to peruse the menu, so we ordered pretty much as soon as we were seated. Can’t keep hungry bloggers from their food, after all!

IMG_0293.jpg

I got the strawberry & orange salad to start (with spinach, candied slivered nuts, and goat cheese), and the margharita pizza.

IMG_0298.jpg

Which I ate 2/3 of, and it was soooo good. There’s nothing quite like melty fresh mozzerella and fresh basil having a party in your mouth, no sirree. Of course, the absolute best part about going to dinner with other bloggers?

IMG_0303.jpgIMG_0304.jpg
IMG_0306.jpgIMG_0301.jpg

I’m never the only one taking pictures of my food! A big round of applause for the evening’s organizer too, btw: thanks Kacy!

IMG_0296.jpg

I know you want to thank me for posting this photo, so I’ll just preemptively say you’re welcome. 😉

It was a fantastic evening, even with the stifling humidity. Unfortunately, the night didn’t end quite as awesomely. Remember at the beginning of the post how I referenced mentioning why I’m posting a little late today? Well, that’s because I was up LATE last night… throwing up. Urk. I don’t know if it was the sangria, the salad, the pizza, or some combination of the three but something just didn’t sit well with me. I started feeling nauseous on the Metro ride home, but thankfully held it together until I walked in the door (thanks again for the ride, Kacy!) So it took me a little longer than usual to pull myself together this morning after the not-so-fun-ness that occurred post-dinner. Whatever, still worth it. The only true tragedy is that I had to throw out my leftover pizza this morning, since I really didn’t want to risk getting sick again. Sad.


Thanks for this pic, Kacy!

We’re going to try to implement a monthly outing like this, so other bloggers/blog readers in the area, mark your calendars! I believe we’re aiming for the next one to be at Graffiato, Top Chef (!!) contestant Mike Isabella’s new restaurant, in August. More details to come, but come one, come all!

Have you ever gotten food poisoning before? Have any thoughts on it, tips for avoidance, home remedies, recovery foods, anything like that?

Daily Eats – 7/20/11

Breakfast

IMG_0272.jpg

Leftover “yum-yum

Snack

IMG_0274.jpg

4 pieces of sushi and a scoop of chicken-pasta salad.

Lunch

IMG_0275.jpg

A few spoonfuls of egg drop soup

Lettuce Wraps
IMG_0279.jpg

Vegetarian lettuce wraps

IMG_0281.jpg

Half of the Norwegian salmon, asparagus, and brown rice — all from PF Changs. Thanks again for lunch, Lara!

Dinner

IMG_0288.jpg

Sangriiiia!

IMG_0293.jpg

Salad with strawberry, orange, candied nuts, and goat cheese

IMG_0298.jpg

2/3 of Ella’s margharita pizza — dinner was delicious and the blogger meet-up from tonight was so fun! Except for the part where I threw it all up once I got home. :'( Deets on it all tomorrow. Good night!