Party Time!

Today was our engagement party!! My mom and stepdad threw us one heck of a party at their house this afternoon (and well into the evening!) Thanks to all of you that were there, especially my college friend Meghan who drove over 4 hours just to come!! We’re exhausted, so here’s a gallery of some photos we took… please note: our names are spelled out in BAGELS!!

Hope you all had a great Sunday! “See” you tomorrow with more fantastic recipes… my dad’s in from Oregon and he’s coming over for dinner tomorrow!

Taco-Flavored Kisses

Can you name the T.V. show this title comes from??

So today was an incredibly big day… we bought my wedding dress!!! I tried on 12 dresses, and the one we got was the 2nd one I put on. I’m totally in love with it, it’s beyond perfect! I’d post pictures, but Adam reads this blog, so we don’t want him seeing it!

Dinner was something I’d been craving for a while: taco salads!! There’s really no recipe, but here’s a picture (of which I’m quite proud, by the way) and a list of what the salad included:

WAY better than Taco Bell!

WAY better than Taco Bell!

Taco Salad

  • mixed lettuces
  • fat-free refried beans
  • 2 chopped roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 chopped avocado
  • super-lean (93%) ground beef with taco seasoning
  • low-fat Mexican style cheese (cheddar, jack, and american, I think)
  • fat free sour cream
  • good salsa

I’m really pleased with how the salads came out! This one bowl was extremely satisfying, got in about 3 veggie servings, and kept me within my Weight Watchers Points® for the day. I may treat myself to a few Andes mints for dessert… or Adam and I might go out for a treat. I could go for some frozen yogurt!

We Got “Tank”ed!!

No no, Adam and I did not drink ourselves silly tonight! After a lovely acupuncuture session, given to us by my dad for Hanukah, Adam and I went for a fantastic sushi dinner at a relatively new restaurant in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. Tank Sushi was discovered by my mom over the summer and she highly recommended that we go there. She took me there about a month and a half ago, and I was absolutely blown away by the imaginative rolls and dishes they offered! I couldn’t wait to bring Adam there!

*A quick side note: Adam and I had “Sushi Friday” every week for about 3 years… we got engaged at our regular place in a sit-on-the-floor tea room, and we are quite the sushi snobs!*

Tank Sushi did not disappoint! We met one of Adam’s friends there, so there was a LOT of food!  Unfortunately, the lighting was very “ambient” so taking pictures was not happening…but trust me, I tried! In my favorite bulleted list format, we started with:

  • I started with a “Princess Peach Cosmopolitan”, ordered for the peachiness, and the Nintendo reference. YUM!
  • Mixed-green salad with a creamy (tofu based) ponzu dressing with cucumber matchsticks
  • tempura fried goat cheese atop mixed greens with a spicy chili-lime viniagrette.
  • Edamame-crusted scallops atop a corn/mushroom/tomato mixture

Our meal came, and we had a great variety of rolls. It looks like a ton of food, but since each of the rolls had minimal or no rice, and lots of vegetables, it wasn’t an enormous quantity at all. I’ll copy and paste the names and descriptions of our rolls from the Tank Sushi website, of course in bulleted form:

  • Samurai Roll: tuna, yellow tail, apple & spring mix lettuce with spicy mayo topped with masago (fish eggs)
  • Lava Maki: tempura battered spicy shrimp, cream cheese, avocado maki topped with marinated crab, tobiko, sweet soy, chives and cilantro
  • Smokey Bear: unagi, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber and sesame seeds topped with Smoked salmon, sweet soy & wasabi mayo
  • Tempura Spicy Tuna: Tuna, masago, cream cheese, tempura battered and fried

THEN came dessert. We got two things. One was called a “banana dragon”. It was simple and refreshing, just a banana wrapped in a crispy eggroll wrapper. The second one… oh man… This was quite possibly one of the most delicious and decadent desserts I’ve had in a very long time. Luckily, there were two pieces of it, and two of us, because if there had been more, we would’ve eaten however much there was. This dessert was, without further adieu, a

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH EGGROLL

Quite literally, it was a chunk of cookie dough, wrapped in an eggroll wrapper, fried, and then served with the freshest strawberry dipping sauce I’ve ever had! I could eat this for dessert EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

*sigh*

We are back home now, basking in the satisfaction that can only come from great sushi, and for those of you that are locals, here’s Tank Sushi’s information:

Tank Sushi

Tank Sushi

Tank Sushi

4514 N. Lincoln Avenue

Chicago, IL 60625

Tomorrow is a big day!!! I’m going wedding dress shopping with my mom, my sister, and my “aunt”!!!!!! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!

We’re getting married!

Yesterday was a HUGE day! Adam and I (along with my mom and stepdad) went to visit our wedding venue, do a food tasting, and put down our deposit! We’re officially getting married at 5 p.m. on November 28, 2009 at this absolutely beautiful place called Venuti’s Banquets! We did our tasting, which was a complete 5 course meal for LUNCH, so needless to say, my dinner was nearly non-existent. I did want to share the amazing food we got to eat though.

We started out with fresh bread. There’s nothing like hot ciabatta and tomato focaccia! Then the soup came out. Since it was a tasting, 2 of us got Pasta e Fagioli, and 2 of us got Minestrone. Both were delicious! The salads came, and even though they had the dressing on them, it was very well made with field greens, romaine, cherry tomatoes, and a light white balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Next was the pasta course. Since it’s an Italian-owned restaurant and banquet center, they pride themselves on their homemade pastas and sauces. We tried their homemade rigatoni with 2 different sauces: fresh tomato pomodoro and tomato vodka cream sauce. Both were delicious, but the vodka sauce was out of this world! We’ll definitely be going with that one for the wedding!

Then the meats/entrees started coming. Since I like bulleted lists, we got to try:

  • Chicken Francese, a thin breast of chicken, lightly breaded, and topped with a lemon and white wine sauce. It was very much like chicken picatta, but instead of capers, it had a topping of a chiffonade of basil.
  • Chicken marsala with mushrooms, a breast of chicken with a marsala wine sauce and sauteed mushrooms.
  • Herb-crusted filet mignon, grilled
  • Herb-crusted ribeye, grilled
  • Grilled salmon with a lemon dill sauce

All the plates came with garlic mashed red potatoes and steamed veggies. We didn’t get to try desserts yet, but the cake tasting is something for another day.

I ate more in that one sitting than I think I have in months. I was full until about 6, when my friend and I went for Yogen Früz, my new favorite thing. It’s a 100 calorie, no sugar added, active culture frozen yogurt that they blend frozen fruit into. Yesterday, I got cranberry and peach.

Dinner was non-existent! I had a few chips and dip at a party, but that was it.

I promise: cooking blogs start tonight!