Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Outings Always Involve Food

I think that's a law that is pretty much written in stone - at least in my family.

Whenever a family outing is scheduled, you can pretty much assume it involves one fabulous meal or another (sometimes multiple meals... unless that's just my law.. awkward).

Yesterday... I had two family events scheduled!! You can probably guess where this is going: big lunch and bigger dinner!  Kind of a perfect day if you ask me.

I headed to the gym for Body Sculpt - totally unaware that punching, kicking, and stepping around while holding 10 pound weights actually results in jello arms.  The 50+ crowd at our gym is kicking my ass in the weight training department.. I should probably be embarrassed.

Shower. Ran out the door. And headed to Arlington, Virginia to meet up with my very cute and very Asian grandparents for lunch! They're legitimately from Asia... I love it.

Oh, hello there snow.  Nice of you to grace us with your presence.

I'm telling you, this weather is all over the place.  First it's so warm, it feels like spring time.  Then it starts snowing -- for approximately 6 hours.  I don't think I've ever driven in snow... good time my first time involved a lot of traffic and some picture taking :)


Anyways, we headed to DIM SUM for lunch. Dim sum is basically the best invention... ever.  Leave it to the Asians to think of something this amazing.  You sit down and carts full of appetizer-like dishes (think a million different types of meats, veggies, buns, and dumplings) come around to your table and you just point to the ones you want!  They're small portions and they're meant to be shared, family style.

Har Gow: steamed shrimp dumplings - a favorite of Sister's.  She can put away like 4 orders.

Ngau Yuk: Steamed Beef Balls.  Weird that I've consumed more than one meal involving these mystery "beef balls"... I'm not going to complain.  I like meat.  Balls.

Char Siu Bao: Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns - THESE ARE MY FAVORITE.  EVER.  I actually order multiple plates just for myself.  And I take some to go.  I don't know what it is about the bbq pork combo with that perfectly steamed bun.... but it makes me a crazy woman.

"Slurpy Noodles" - Char Siu Chow Fun - basically barbecue pork and green onion inside of a steamed rice noodle.  I've been calling them slurpy noodles since birth.  You try scooping up one of those with chopsticks. Waiters always bring me a fork after watching me attempt it for 10 minutes...

Lo Mai Gai: Sticky Rice wrapped in a Lotus Leaf.  Also a favorite of mine!  It's like the Asian version of a tamale

Custard Buns -- ummm... buns filled with custard?!  It's like a donut!  I like to think of them as healthy donuts because I average about 4.5 of these in one sitting and it makes me feel better.

After dim sum, I made everyone stop and walk (in the snow) to the chinese bakery so I could load up on more buns... they were having a buy 5 get 1 free sale... so I couldn't pass it up!!

Guess who has 6 buns in her belly?

Anyways, after my dim sum coma (it's basically inevitable that you will take a nap after), I woke up and drove 2 hours - in the snow and traffic - to pick up Dad from work.  I was kind of late, but I brought leftovers and half-eaten buns for him :) so all was forgiven.


I had 20 minutes at home before I got picked up for DINNER WITH MOM AND ARNIE.  Yeah, if you're wondering what they're doing on the East coast (my mom lives in SD), they kind of followed me here... like stalkers, actually.  But it's okay cause I like 'em.

I was planning on having a "light dinner" - think Panera salad - but then, Arnie conveniently parked next to Passion Fish, this amazing seafood restaurant, so we had to go! I've actually read about it a few times, so I was excited to try it out.

We started off with basic Crostini with Spread. Unsure of what was in that spread concoction - Arnie was guessing something with a slight horseradish taste?  It was creamy, that's all I know.

Passion Fish has an amazing collection of fresh seafood dishes, some of which are Asian inspired.  We decided to go full on Asian and order 3 different sushi rolls for our appetizers: spicy tuna roll, kamikaze roll, spider roll.  One of these babies had tempura soft shelled crab.  Another had lump crab cake in it.  OH MY GOODNESS... best sushi I've ever had, hands down.

We couldn't decide on entrees - not that we needed any - so we narrowed it down to three choices and decided to split them all family style.  Each entree came with a side of your choice.

We went with Mussels in a Red Thai Curry sauce.  Amazing.  I personally like my mussels in a garlic and white wine sauce, but Mom seemed to really love these.

Lobster Clay Pot with Pineapple and a Red Thai Curry - this was my favorite (well, one of them..) the sweet pineapple and the curry sauce were a great combination of flavors.

Red Snapped with Salsa Verde - this was a fresh catch of the day.  We took home leftovers... as Arnie put it: "it's good, but it's just fish."

Our three sides included - Sweet Potato Fries

Mac and Jack - mac and cheese with crab cake (HELLO HEAVEN)

Sauteed Baby Spinach - this was so we would have something green on the table.  Tasty!

I would say my favorite dishes of the night were the sushi, the sweet potato fries, and the mac and cheese (don't worry, we didn't eat it all... there were take-home boxes) however, we haven't discussed dessert yet.

I was born with this natural ability to be able to digest large quantities of sugary substances, even when I'm on the brink of discomfort due to a high intake of rich and fatty foods.  What can I say, it's a gift.

I didn't even have SISTER to split these with me, but Mom and Arnie helped me (with a bite each).

Warm Donut Holes with a Coffee Bavarian Creme for dipping

Chocolate Mousse with a Burnt Orange and Caramel Sauce. 

Crumbly Apple Crisp with a Black Pepper Ice Cream

My top two desserts were the mousse and the warm donut holes.  The apple crisp was nothing spectacular... warm, melt in your mouth donuts on the other hand... I would go to war over.

Seriously.  I bet you every major war was fought over donut holes.

"war on terrorism" = war over deep fried bread dough smothered in sugar.  Betcha.

Anyways, I had a very indulgent day. I indulged in food and. most importantly, I indulged on some great memories that will last a lifetime :) Unfortunately, food makes you fat.  Memories just make you old and happy... poop.

Articles of interest?
FitSugar: Reasons Why Winter is Making You Fat
Cooking Light: Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Check in with you later! Just had an awesome run!

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