Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shrimp, Sushi, Sweets...

Vacations are a time to relax, rejuvenate and get ravenous! I just got back from a week vacation of visiting my family upstate. I don't think that erin's camera would have held enough memory to take pictures of everything I ate! It was such a relaxing experience and I tried to let myself indulge as much as possible. I will say that I went running every morning, while my mom rode her bike along side, to try and off set some of my unhealthier choices. Not only did it make the desert every night go down easy, but it was such a nice time to catch up with my mom each morning.

I come from a family of eaters, and cookers! My dad and mom are both amazing cooks, and actually enjoying doing it. Growing up we ate dinner as a family at least four to five nights a week. Although my mom did most of the day to day cooking my dad was always famous for certain dishes too! (his pancakes are legendary with our sleepover friends). One of the things I headed home for was to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday. Most people would pick their favorite restaurant to visit to celebrate but not my dad...he wanted to cook his own birthday dinner (I guess you see where i get my love of cooking). He made this amazing shrimp dish with red peppers, garlic, black beans, cilantro, lime juice all served over a wild rice. It was SOOO good!

For desert I took over. My sister jenny (another AMAZING cook) had made my dad an incredible chocolate torte on his actually birthday and I wasn't about to come close to that! Because we had been eating desert every night, and this was his third birthday celebration, I decided to cook up EatingWell's Died-and-Went-to-Heaven Chocolate Cake (that's honestly the name). I had made this cake before and it went over great the first time... turned out good the 2nd time too! This cake is super duper moist and the glaze for the top (really easy to make) is a great compliment. I HIGHLY recommend this if you have a chocolate craving AND are trying to keep it healthy!

Throughout the week we ate out alot and I got to try some really great dishes. We ate at a restaurant called Chez Piggy in Canada and my Dad ordered this potato crusted goat cheese salad...OMG :). I also had an amazing berries, baked brie, cashew and spinach salad at a local brewery that Erin loves to visit when we come up.

We ended the weekend with attempting to make our own sushi. Now erin and I introduced my parents to our love of sushi and they found a "sushi kit" while grocery shopping and wanted to try it with us! The kit shows you how to do a crab stick and cucumber roll and also a salmon avocado roll. But now that we attempted it once I know you could go back and make just about anything you wanted. My dad was in charge of the assembly of each roll and he did a great job. They got progressively tighter as the trial went on. Here we are with all four finished!

I could blog for hours about all the things we cooked at ate but these dishes really stood out to me and just like vacation I thought I wanted to relive them for as long as possible!