Monday, March 17, 2008

weekend recap + my sarasota foodie adventures.

well, the weekend didn't go quite the way i thought it would. friday turned out to be a horrible day for almost everyone i know, which is just...terrible. i won't dwell on the details, but let's just say the phrase "beware the ides of march" really, really came true this year. still, i'm optimistic that this coming week is going to be a good one. and i did do some fun things -- dinner out with my girlfriends on friday night (followed by sleep, sleep, sleep); a daiquiri at o'leary's with my friends k. and c., a trip to see my coworker h.'s new house in bradenton and bakefest '08 on saturday (followed, again, by much-needed sleep); and finally, the brunch at my coworker's house on sunday, which was lovely and full of laughter. the raspberry cream cheese breakfast buns (recipe to follow this post) were a hit, and there was a ton of other wonderful food there as well: ina garten's orange-and-fennel salad, homemade scones with clotted cream and jelly, petit fours, cheesecake, frittatas, spinach salad, fruit salad, bloody marys, mimosas and delicious coffee. not to mention the fact that my coworker's house is absolutely beautiful and was filled with fresh flowers and sunlight. definitely a good way to end an otherwise-trying weekend.

interestingly, i find that the weekends are when i do the most of my best eating. laugh at that if you will, but i really don't go out much during the week. sure, i'll pick up some lunch from whole foods every once and awhile (their avocado sushi rolls are great, by the way) or go out with a coworker every now and then, and my friend t. and i generally have our favorite thai food for dinner once every other week or so (ok, maybe it's once every week). but other than that, i mostly stay home and stick to tried-and-true favorites: salad, soup, pasta, sandwiches. i really like trying new recipes, but i certainly don't make something innovative every night. so i welcome the chance to go out with my friends on the weekends and try new restaurants (sarasota is, like, restaurant mecca) and new kinds of food. friday night at ceviche, for example, i had tapas -- vegetales a la parilla (an assortment of grilled and prepared very simply, with olive oil, salt and pepper -- perfection), patatas bravas (a potato dish) and coconut ice cream, which k., s. and i split. not things i would generally prepare on my own, but so fun to eat and share with my friends over mojitos.

today brings a new chapter in my foodie adventures in town: a work event at downtown's brand-new hyde park steakhouse. the space looks gorgeous -- a cream exterior with dark-brown accents -- and i'm excited to see the interior tonight. i'm also excited to sample at least some of the cuisine. as you know, i don't eat meat or fish, so that automatically cancels out most of any steakhouse's menu for me, but i do love side dishes. and the adjoining bar at hyde park looks like it might be a fun place to go on a weekend night, especially to people-watch. i'll be sure to report back.

all of this food-talk may seem a little random, but i think it's appropriate for our foodie mondays. what kind of food do you guys eat the most? are you like me and eat more adventurously when you're out? or do you take initiative yourself and prepare innovative food in your own kitchen?

ps: happy st. patrick's day!

[coming up: a yummy recipe and some beautiful kitchenware. image above: the i-pot tea set from target in stem green -- a pretty little something for st. patty's.]

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