This past month, Matt got shingles. It was the first time in almost a decade together that I’ve ever seen him that unwell. For him, it was debilitating in the form of extreme headaches and discomfort, so he was in bed for a good week. During that time, it really made me miss and appreciate all the things he does at home and to take care of me.
With all that said, I was ecstatic (and relieved) when he was finally feeling better this week, so we went out to celebrate at Gusto 101. The restaurant only takes a limited number of reservations each day, but we managed to grab a couple of skylight bar seats on the rooftop patio.
Rooftop Patio (Source: Gusto 101)
It was perfect weather for patio dining (and for sangria and beer), and the food definitely hit the spot… so yummy!
What We Ate:
Arancini (green pea risotto and buffalo mozzarella with red pepper sauce)
Rigatoni Lucani (rigatoni with braised lamb, tomato, and green olives topped with pecorino and gremolata)
Diavola Pizza (pizza with spicy sundried tomato pesto, calabrese salami,
smoked provolone, and roasted peppers)
Gusto 101 hasn’t disappointed yet!
We’ve tried a few ways of poaching eggs, including using an egg poacher and the swirling method, but I personally like the plastic wrap method the best—it offers consistent results and pretty perfectly poached eggs (the homemade kind, anyway).
- Line a ramekin or small bowl with a small sheet of plastic wrap.
- Brush a few drops of oil (I used olive oil) onto the cling wrap and add any herbs or spices.
- Crack an egg onto the plastic wrap.
- Bundle the egg in a little package, tying the top with twine (I didn’t have any, so I improvised with our silicone food ties).
- Put the bundles into boiling water, and boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Pull the bundles out, unwrap the eggs, and serve!
- The oil prevents the egg from sticking to the plastic wrap; it should slide off easily when you unwrap the packages.
- When bundling the egg, try to minimize the amount of air inside because it’ll make part of the package stay afloat, which causes it to cook unevenly. This happened to me, so I used a spoon to submerge the package and to turn it over.
When it comes to smoothies, the options are endless! I was apprehensive about the watermelon-banana combo, but it turned out to be delish 🙂
- 1 cup of watermelon, cubed
- 2 frozen bananas
- Leaves from ~2 sprigs of mint
- 1 cup of coconut water
*These are the amounts I used for our 2 smoothies, but the beauty of smoothies is that you can adjust everything to your liking!
Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth!
This past Saturday, Matt and I headed to the Thompson Hotel to try a buytopia deal: $40 for a 2-hour sushi-making class at Wabora. The verdict? Meh. Don’t get me wrong—it was a fun date activity, the chefs were friendly, and we learned some basic sushi-making tips, but I personally don’t think it was worth the $40.
In any case, we still had a good time. Matt is definitely more creative than I am when it comes to (his are the two on the top in the photo below)! I was pretty preoccupied with not slicing all my fingers off with the sharp sushi knife, so thankfully, I came out with all 10 intact.
What We Made
- Chicken Teriyaki Roll: A grilled chicken, cucumber, carrot, and avocado roll topped with miso sauce and teriyaki sauce
- Crispy Crunch Roll: A crabmeat, cucumber, and avocado roll topped with spicy salmon, crispy shredded potato, spicy mayo, and sweet-spicy sauce
Would I go again or recommend it to others? Maybe not. But I’ll end with this: it reignited my appreciation for sushi chefs because I got to witness first hand that it’s not as easy as it looks. Sushi-making requires practice and skill, and for those who’ve watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it can be an art. It’s something I’ll have to remember the next time we go out and have amazing sushi!
Now that the weather has finally been getting better, I’ve finally started a little herb “garden” at home. My awesome coworker V gifted me some sweet Thai basil, and we’ve recently added regular basil to the mix. Mint is next on the list! Matt and I have been making the most of basil and mint lately, so I thought I’d share 4 easy recipes:
1. Mint-Watermelon Tequila Freezies: Inspired by this Buzzfeed list (I literally want to make everything on there), which cited this recipe from Hungry Girl por Vida. Mint? Gooood. Watermelon? Gooood. Tequila? Even better! This was SO easy to do and perfect for our weekend at the cottage.
2. Mint-Cucumber Gin & Tonic: I am very much a gin and tonic girl. While I usually just have it with a bit of lime, muddling some mint and cucumber makes for an awesome and super easy-to-make refreshing summer drink!
3. Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad): Matt made this salad with his homemade spinach burger patties and steamed sweet potatoes. We didn’t follow a recipe, but it’s pretty simple: layer sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, and basil, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (we didn’t, but you can add salt and pepper to taste). Perfect for summer!
4. Thai Basil Chicken: Of the 4 recipes I’ve posted here, this one was probably the most involved, but it definitely isn’t as hard to make as it might seem! We adapted this Foodie Crush recipe, and the dish turned out really well—we’ll definitely be making it again!
So there are my 4 easy recipes… How do you use herbs in your cooking?