Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cowfish Preview Dinner at Eez Fusion

Last night I was given the opportunity to sample the cuisine at a restaurant that is not open yet in Charlotte.  The owner (Marcus Hall) of Eez Fusion in Birkdale Village, is opening a restaurant called Cowfish in South Park soon. 

Kelly, Me, Katie, and Lindsay met up for the preview.

Back in August, a bunch of us bloggers actually went to eat at The Counter a burger bar in Charlotte which is the location that is becoming Cowfish.  At the time I didn't get the concept of Cowfish, which is sushi and burgers, but if you think about all the dedicated burger or sushi places we have in Charlotte it's hard to stand out these days.  I think this is actually a unique concept and like that the owner thought outside the box.  Plus, I don't know about you, but between me and my hubby only one of us eats sushi, so it gives a non-sushi eater a lot more options than just classic Asian fare.  Bonus!

Eez is swanky and cool inside with Asian inpired decor and artwork, bamboo, and even a gong that we heard going off throughout the night (Katie totally got to hit the gong on our way out at the end of the night too!).

We were given a tour of the menu by our waiter.  Eez's menu is huge!  There were tons of options and pages to navigate.  We started with drinks and I was the only one to order a martini which was highly recommended by our waiter. 

I chose the Asian Orchid: Raspberry sake, a touch of raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice.


It was yummy, not too sweet like many "girlie" martini's can be ;)

The waiter explained that he would be bringing us some preselected appetizers and then we would have the chance to order what we wanted off the menu for dinner.  Sounded good to me!

First up was the deconstructed crab rangoon dip. 
Described as:  Classic crab rangoon filling served as a creamy dip topped with a parmesan panko crust, served with wonton crisps and sweet chili sauce

Holy delicious!  The dip tasted just like the inside of a crab rangoon.  YUM.

We also had Endamame:

And a trio consisting of seaweed salad, cucumber and onion salad, and tuna/mango/avocado:

Gorgeous presentation!

I had a little of everything and it was all yummy.

THEN, the waiter brought us round two of appetizers, which was more of a sushi course than the first.
There was a bowl containing sashimi.  This had white fish, tuna, and salmon.

Also a platter featuring shrimp and some kind of roll (I'm not sure what it was):

I'm not a huge sashimi person.  I like my sushi with rice and other ingredients wrapped in seaweed, but I did try the salmon sashimi and liked it.  I also tried a shrimp and one of the rolls on the second platter and both were really good.

I think we probably could have called it a night right there after the hefty amount of appetizers we were given, but we all somehow managed to order dinner.

I debated getting the Stir-Fry bar, which involves picking out rice/noodles, veggies, proteins, and sauces and taking them up to the chefs to cook for you.  I LOVE stir-fry bars!  My husband and I actually did this kind of thing on our first date circa 2001!

I couldn't pass up the pages of sushi on the menu though.  Eez has an entire page of sushi that is uniquely theirs.  It all looked delicious.  I actually opted to create my own sushi though, because back when I lived in Virginia, there was a place that had a salmon and asparagus roll that I LOVED and I can never find anything like it.  I wanted the chance to try and recreate it.  I ordered a roll consisting of fresh salmon, asparagus, cucumbers, and cream cheese (my other favorite is philly rolls).

I also had a side salad topped with carrots, beets, and cucumbers with ginger dressing.

My choices were great.  The ginger dressing on my salad was similar to what you'd taste on the ones you get a Japanese Steakhouse (pre- onion volcano), but more of a vinegrette version.  The sushi was also delicious and Kelly and I traded a piece so I also got to try hers too, which was a MISS MOFFITT’S ROLL - Spicy tuna, scallions and crispy tempura flakes rolled inside, topped with thin slices of fresh avocado, then drizzled with sweet eel sauce.  Very yummy!

I left one lone sushi roll on my plate because I was FULL, but then we were offered dessert and Katie's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

And then this happened.

This was the Peanut Blast: Chocolate cookie crunch cup with peanut butter nougat, moist chocolate cake and a scrumptious mousse full of peanut butter candy chunks.

Sooooooooooooooooooo good!
It was out of control.  I had a couple bites and then had to call it a night.  We all know that Stew was the recipient of the leftovers of that yummy dessert.

Thank you to Marcus, Eez Fusion, Cowfish, and Gwen for setting up this evening.  I had a blast and the food is delicious.  I'll be lined up at the front door when Cowfish opens ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood...

Good morning!

Clyde and I have been having a rare week day morning together.  I have an event to attend on the north side of Charlotte tonight and rather than work a full day, run alllllllllll the way home (I'm on the south side) to let him out, then go alllllllllllllll the way back up, I decided taking the morning off made the most sense.  That way I can go to work, go straight to my event, and then go home and Clyde will be fine for that amount of time. 

First up this morning was a Green Monster.

Pretty much made it the traditional way:
Skim Milk
Chia Seeds
Raw Oatmeal

But I also added about a teaspoon of Macadamia Nut Butter to mix things up ;)

Clyde and I watched The Today Show and got to see all the hosts in costume.  I don't know that Meredith really pulled off Lady Gaga...

Her attempt at singing scared me a lot.

Then I did my SECOND cross train work-out this week (go me!).  I ran 5.5 miles with Michelle last night, so I figured it would be good to get in some strength training today.  We actually talked a bunch about how much cross training can help with running while we were doing our run last night, so I was extra inspired to get it done today!

Thank you Jillian Michaels, and I didn't PHONE IT IN.  Also, I did think about all the things I wanted. (if you've done any of her videos, you know what I'm talking about...)

After my workout, I took Clyde for a walk and it is SO GORGEOUS out today!

It really feels like FALL!!

I love red leaves!!

Back at the ranch there was some of this...

I pretty much always sprinkle my coffee with cinnamon.  Cinnamon makes everything better.  Well maybe not pickles, but you know what I mean.

Alright, I guess I better get ready for work :(

Think I can remove this "puppy donut" from my lap??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running As Therapy

Sometimes I wish I could talk about work on my blog, but at the same time, it's nice to have this outlet that is totally unrelated. 
If you're new to my blog, I'll just say that I work in law enforcement and have been in the field for about ten years now.

Work has taken a toll on me this week. 
While much of the time, my job is administrative (I'm no longer a cop), I sometimes deal with other sides of the field.  This week was one of those times.

I love the field I work in for a lot of reasons. It is interesting and important work, and I am aware of that pretty much every day.  Obviously it's tremendously rewarding to know that you work for a cause.
Still, the fact is that we deal with some tough stuff in this field.

When I worked at my first police department, I vividly remember a conversation I had with a Captain.  He was giving me advice and said that I should not lose my spirit, because in this field it is something easy to do.  I grew up a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, and would venture to say that most of my friends, classmates, and family would not have predicted that I would enter this field for my career.  At the beginning of my career, I definitely still had a lot of the silly, happy, innocence I grew up with and I know my Captain was trying to tell me to keep that part of myself alive as I made my way through the ugly parts of this career. 

I will say that the field has no doubt taken it's toll on me.  I'd love to see my old Captain and tell him I haven't changed at all, but that would be untrue.  Unfortunately, in this field, you see a lot of the worst of human nature.  It can't help but change you and how you see people.  I am guarded and suspicious of people a lot of the time.  I believe that often, if people are given the opportunity, they will do bad things.  In some ways, it's made me stronger and safer to feel this way.  I've seen how people become victims by being too trusting, not thinking the worst could happen, and not being prepared for it.  I feel very street smart because I give a lot of thought about how to protect myself and keep myself safe.  Obviously, it's crappy to walk around thinking the worst of people though.  I can't say that I haven't let this attitude damper my spirit at times.

This week I heard and saw a lot that affected me.  I worked off hours (night) and part of what I'm feeling is due to my sleep being disrupted, but a lot of it is the disgusting picture of human nature I have seen recently.  I got home last night and just wanted to run to deal with the stuff swirling around in my head..  I didn't put my Garmin on or worry about training.  The miles didn't matter as much as the therapy the run would provide me.  I put on some somber music instead of my usual AC/DC, Lady Gaga, and upbeat stuff, and just let my feet hit the pavement.  At times I thought of work and at times I thought about everything else but work.  I let the endorphins lift me from the darkish place I was.  It helped...  I'm glad I have running for this reason, among all the others.  It's nice to have running there as an outlet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Running, Falling, and Veggie Lasagna

I got up bright and early on Sunday for a long run with friends!  I downed the standard breakfast of toast with PB and banana and a cup of coffee before heading out.
Kelly, Michelle, and I met at the trail.  I love company for these runs :)
Michelle wanted to do 20 miles, so she completed 8 before we got there.
I wanted to do 12 miles (I'm still hovering between a full and half marathon training plan since I still haven't decided whether I'm doing a full or not).
Kelly was doing 18 miles, so she met up with us for the first 12, then did 6 more miles on her own after.

I started out a little cold as the weather was hovering right around 50 degrees, but quickly warmed up once we got going.  I actually felt best around mile 5-6.  I carried a small Gatorade bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 Gatorade mixed, and some Pom Luna Moons in my pocket for fuel. 
I felt crappier around mile 8 or so, but trudged on with my buddies' encouragement.  

At mile 9, I came across a portion of pavement where a root was under grown and the pavement was sticking up and broken, and proceeded to wipe out like any good klutz would.
I kind of landed on my water bottle/hand/knees.
 Here is a very accurate illustration capturing the event:
Notice my orange/red Gatorade splashing from the bottom of the bottle.  My bottle sprang a leak and I was forced to gulp down what was left or run with the container leaking all over.
I was a little shaken up after the fall, but my knees held up surprisingly well.  I also had a small gash on the palm of my hand, but nothing major.  I'd give this fall about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.
No where near Olympic quality fall, but still respectable.  ;)
My biggest fear upon falling, aside from damaging my knees (like I need anymore issues with knees), was that I had torn holes in my new expensive Lulu pants.  Luckily, not only were they not torn, but I believe they protected my knees from being skinned.  Win!

Anyhoo, I completed all 12 miles as planned, and felt remarkably good after.

Here was the breakdown:
Mile 1: 10:06
Mile 2:  10:14
Mile 3: 10:15
Mile 4: 10:24
Mile 5: 10:22
Mile 6: 10:39
Mile 7: 10:35
Mile 8: 10:35
Mile 9: 10:35
Mile 10: 10:46
Mile 11: 10:45
Mile 12: 10:43

For more pictures/recap, check out Kelly's post.

Post run, I headed home and had a late brunchy meal with Greg.  I made us Cinnamon Raisin French Toast.
I took another lovely warm jetted tub swirl, which I'm convinced is doing great things for my tired legs after these long runs :)

Greg and I ran some important errands:  We picked out pumpkins and looked for some items to complete his Halloween costume.  You'll have to stay tuned to see what we dress as next weekend.

For dinner I made us Eggplant lasagna inspired by Lizzy at Food to Run
I followed her basic instructions on the eggplant "noodles" (loved this idea), dredging it in egg/milk and breadcrumbs (I added some ground flax to mine) and baking.

I also changed up the ingredients making it vegetarian by using layers of spinach, mushroom, sauteed onion and pepper. 

While it baked I opened this bottle of wine for us...

Finished product.

I served it with some garlic bread.

Mmmmmm, so good :)

Zada Jane's

I got called away on a work emergency before I could finish recapping the weekend, so I'm sorry if this post is way behind!

Saturday night Greg and I met Brad and Kelly out for dinner at Zada Jane's in Plaza Midwood.

I have been there once before for breakfast, but hadn't been for dinner yet, so I was excited to try it.

Right before leaving, Brad told me they were planning on bringing Rascal and sitting outside, so Greg and I decided to bring Clyde too.
People were taking multiple pictures, and I was looking at a different!

Newly weds still being newly weds... :)

It was a bit chilly, but I brought a jacket, so I was ok.  Clyde was happy to see his pal Rascal.

Greg and I actually order the same thing- a side salad with Balsamic and mushroom ravioli in sage butter sauce.

Carbs sounded like a good idea to me since my long run was planned for Sunday morning.
I actually wolfed this all down too, because I was kind of famished by the time dinner rolled around.

Back at home I warmed us up some mugs of apple cider with cinnamon as a toasty fall evening treat.
Then I was off to bed so I could get up early Sunday for my run!
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