Things no one told me about the Second Trimester

Once the shock of actually being pregnant wore off, I looked forward to “the glow” and experiencing the beautiful miracle that is pregnancy. I will say that it is quite amazing what my body is doing to create a little one, but there are side effects that I never even fathomed. Sure, the idea of pregnancy is beautiful and special but no one warned me of the things that I have been experiencing so I am here today to share what no one told me.

I don’t know if my “advanced maternal age” plays a factor or not but there are some days where it just plain sucks. Sorry not sorry.
Sciatic Nerve Pain
Some decade ago, I had a slip and fall that resulted in chronic back issues and pain; pain that I was managing with treatment but pain I had no idea would worsen in intensity the moment I reached my second trimester. If you have never experienced Sciatic Nerve Pain – you are quite blessed. With the little one gaining weight at a steady pace, and the amount of weight being carried in my belly, my sciatic nerve was acting up badly. If I stood for longer than 20 minutes, i would experience intense burning on my right thigh along with sharp stabbing pains in random parts of my thigh. I live and work in NYC and the morning commute is 40 minutes – halfway through my ride I would be dying to walk in a circle or squat or something just to relieve the pain. Thankfully, I have been seeing a chiropractor has helped a great deal. The worst part that lingers is random sharp stabbing pains that take my breath away. But at least its not permanent!
Carpal Tunnel
You read that right. Carpal tunnel is a symptom of pregnancy. I have been an admin for 15 years; that’s a lot of typing and not to mention a product of the millennium where I text quite a bit. The carpal tunnel, pre-pregnancy has been annoying but never debilitating. After a  few stretches here and there, the pain would go away.
Around the 5th month of the pregnancy. my fingers began to feel numb and tingly. When I shared with my OB, she said it sounded like I may have carpal tunnel and she referred me to a specialist. The treatment, which at the time I refused, was a steroid shot in the hand. I have had needles in the hand before and its awful! So I declined but as the weeks went by, and as I struggle to type this at 6.5 months, I have lost all feeling in my middle and ring fingers on both hands; but the absolute worst of it is on my left hand- it will not bend while the pinky locks into place.
I sucked it up and made an appointment for the treatment. Its not guaranteed to work but I am willing to try anything to relieve the discomfort in my hands.
Irrational anxiety
Generally, I am an optimistic person. Even when things aren’t going well, I always believe that things are temporary and will always get better. The spike in hormones thanks to this baby growing in my belly, has made me scared of the most ridiculous things.
A few weeks ago, while sound asleep, my door bell rang at 11:30 PM. I shot up in bed and froze with fear. My husband was getting up to see who was at the door and I could not physically move. Then the doorbell rang again because we were taking so long to respond. My nerves were all over the place. My husband confirmed with was my brother who needed a spare key since he got locked out and even then, after confirming there was no mass murderer at the door, I was still paralyzed with anxiety.
In a completely unrelated event, I was overcome with anxiety over the short number of weeks in which the baby will be here. It happened on Mother’s Day of all days; I just felt so anxious about the impending arrival of my daughter. The weather was gloomy and there was nothing to do to get my mind off of worrying but as the days passed, I feel much better today than i did yesterday.
Extreme Fatigue and Shortness of Breath
The first trimester level of exhaustion was NO JOKE and I kept hearing that I would get my energy back in my 2nd Trimester. I’m here to tell you that with a mere 2 weeks left of my 2nd trimester, I am still exhausted. LOL. I force myself to stay active but the struggle is real.
Stairs are my worst enemy. I cannot do a flight of stairs without huffing an puffing. Putting on my socks has me panting like wild animal LOL. And pretty much anything i used to do easily pre-pregnancy.
I think the biggest thing of all that no one tells you about being pregnant is how much of a stranger you feel like to yourself. Your body doesn’t belong to you anymore and you can’t control things. This isnt to say I am unhappy at all about being pregnant; because I tried for a very long time to get here and I consider my baby a true blessing. But there are women out there who only have one child… I get it. Nine months is a long time but also a short time. Everything is temporary but if you have never been pregnant or have never had a rough pregnancy, cut a pregnant woman some slack. Everyone is different and everyone’s tolerance for pain and discomfort is different.

Pregnancy, Food Aversions, and Vegetarian Fried Rice

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The day I found out I was pregnant, I thoroughly enjoyed a massive lunch of fish tacos, several glasses of Rose, and a scoop of cookie dough. I usually am not a huge sweets person but after having a tapas style dinner of wine, cheese, and oysters (that tasted very metallic to me that day), I came home and plowed through not one, but two cookies from Levain bakery. Those not familiar with Levain, they are massive cookies that are the size of softballs and can pass for a muffin top on their depth alone.

Since confirming my pregnancy, I became suddenly aware of all the wonderful foods I love that are on the list of foods pregnant women cannot have; right there at the top of the list: Deli Meat. Between morning sickness and the very sensitive stomach (AKA the runs), there were few things I really wanted and a turkey sandwich was at the top of the list. Thanks to a very rare but very dangerous risk of listeria, cold cuts were on the top of the No-no list, right there next to raw fish, under-cooked meat and eggs. After speaking with my doctor (because toast DOES get boring quickly), she assured me that indulging in a comfort food from a place that I trusted no more than 1x per week was ok – she wanted to ensure that I was getting enough to eat.
Aside from really wanting to eat the things I wasn’t supposed to, I didn’t have too much of a hard time. Getting ready for work in the mornings were rough as the morning sickness would set in as I was finishing my breakfast and last all the way through the 30 minute train ride all the way through lunch. I would pack my lunch and plan my dinners. To be honest, on most days, I really had to psych myself up to eat certain things but once I took the first bite, I had no issues. I heard about some expectant mothers having meat aversion and I thanked my stars I didn’t have that.
But then I got sick for 6 straight weeks. I couldn’t even think of anything pregnancy related- just how miserable I felt being sick for so long. As we speak, I am sick again thanks to seasonal allergies but I am feeling TONS better than I did before. But the moment the sickness started to subside, the weeks of baby-related symptoms I didn’t have came with a vengeance to make up for lost time. I had a roasted chicken in the slow cooker one day and when I was on my way home, my husband sent me a text telling me dinner was almost ready. I could not for the life of me go anywhere near that chicken. I love chicken. But I refused to eat it and instead went to my favorite Italian sandwich shop and ordered an eggplant sandwich. Eggplant. EGGPLANT? I can’t even believe it as I type it but I devoured it and it stayed down. My meal planning was done. I could not anticipate the food aversions so there was no point in planning.
Thankfully, I have some great coworkers who humor my weird pregnancy-related cravings and go on adventures with me to find what I fancy. When the meat aversion rolled around, all i wanted was creamy hummus and a warm fluffy pita. I feel blessed to have great hummus places near both work and home – even had the owner of my favorite Lebanese place personally deliver my hummus. Even as I type this, I think I could very well destroy a bowl of hummus with a fluffy pita…I digress. It has been a few weeks of the meat aversion but I have embraced meat when I could tolerate it. I craved fried tofu the other day, so I gave in. The past 2 weeks, I have been craving salad – crispy romaine lettuce with creamy dressing and occasionally, a protein I can tolerate.
Over the weekend, I agreed to get Korean BBQ for lunch which went well until they put chicken on the grill – feeling like chicken is going to be on the “yuck” list for a good while. Just recently hubby picked up some chicken from Popeye’s which normally, would have been welcomed, but the smell of that chicken had me in the kitchen frying up tofu and making fried rice out of my leftover kimchi – a recipe I totally made up but will totally make again.
I hope to get back to eating normally but until then, I will be indulging in all the carbs: Bread, bagels, pizza, and rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Butter
1 long onion, diced
1/2 cup leftover banchan: (2 Tbsp of Kimchi, chopped, 2 Tbsp of bean sprouts, 2 tbsp kimchi cucumbers, chopped, and 2 tbsp seaweed)
2 cups leftover white rice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Directions
Heat butter in a large frying pan and add the diced scallions; saute until fragrant.
Add the chopped banchan and its juices except for the seaweed which will be added towards the end.
Saute the banchan and scallions on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Add in the leftover white rice and break up with a spoon, while folding the banchan into the rice. The rice should get coated with the spicy sauce. This should take another 3- 5 minutes.
Once the banchan has been incorporated into the rice, drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the rice and gently fold. Fold the rice until it has been heated through and allow to cook on low for 5 minutes.
I tossed in some fried tofu and topped with a fried egg.
Makes four 1 cup servings.

Big News!

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For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted kids but I never felt 100% ready to have kids. When my husband and I started dating, it was understood that we both wanted children but wouldn’t rush into it. So we dated, we got engaged, got married…and then everyone started to ask where the babies were. I was 31 when I married my husband so I can understand why people were curious but honestly, now that I have been on the receiving end of these questions, they were invasive and annoying; they only made me dig my heels in about waiting a little longer.

After we got married, my husband started a grad school program…in DC. It was a 9 month program that required him to be away from home. I promised that on my 32nd birthday, after he finished school, we would open the baby factory – but not share this information with anyone.
After a year of trying and more pressure from family and friends, we both felt very strongly about telling people to back off. The added stress wasn’t going to help. We started tracking by using an ovulation kit. We tracked for 2 months and I found that either i wasn’t tracking at the right time of day or my window of fertilization was REALLY REALLY small. So, I stopped tracking my ovulation all together but continued to track my periods.
Brent and I discussed adoption when we hit the 2 year mark. We put out a feeler with an agency in the city but they never got back to us so we just continued to enjoy ourselves. I was in grad school and was dealing with the stress of school so no surprise there, no baby.
We were rounding the base upon the 3 year mark of us trying to make a baby and I finally told my husband that after the new year I would go to a doctor and see whats up. When I thought about us becoming parents, I desperately longed for that moment that hits a woman by surprise when her period is late and she takes a test and boom there is the positive. I wasn’t against IVF or anything, but I just wanted to experience making a baby “the old fashioned way” without the added stress of tracking cycles, temperatures, etc. I stopped looking at my period app other than to check when my period was coming and continued to not worry about baby-making.
On my 35th birthday, we celebrated with a delicious dinner with friends and family – it was perfect. I also made it my business to make time for friends. I was going out at least 2x a week for happy hours with coworkers. I even had a job interview for a really amazing job (spoiler alert, I did not get it).
On December 12, I was on my way to my job interview when I had the most intense cramps and broke out in a strange rash all over my arms out of nowhere. My period was due on Dec 14 so I hoped that my period wouldn’t come down during my interview. I noticed during my interview I was struggling to speak as I was so out of breath – like I ran up a flight of stairs. It was so embarrassing. The following day, I destroyed a bottle of rose with a coworker and on Dec 14, had a delicious lunch of fish tacos and champagne at a nearby restaurant. I was feeling particularly emotional and tired but I enjoyed my champagne so much I invited my hubby out to have another bottle of rose with me after work. We sipped champagne, ate oysters, and cheese. I usually love oysters but these tasted really metallic… the cheese was also overwhelmingly funky- so much so that I gagged – that never happens either. When we got home, I playfully took a pregnancy test since my period had yet to appear. I heard that the line appears immediately when a woman is pregnant, so since I didn’t see a line, I put the test in the trash and then proceeded to stuff my face with cookies and chips… like I didn’t just have a nice meal during happy hour. I don’t know what possessed me to, but I decided to peek into the trash and look at the test again.
And there it was.
A positive. A faint one, but a positive none the less.
I didn’t know what to do so I brought it to my husband and asked him what he saw. He calmly looked at it and slowly nodded “looks like you’re pregnant, babe”.
Oh. My. God.
I started trembling. Like teeth clattering and shivering type of trembles followed by the runs and intense nausea. It was like all of a sudden I had all the symptoms. I was a nervous wreck. We live in a 1 bedroom. Where will we put a baby? Am I ready to be a mom?
I barely slept that night. Every single worry crept into my mind. I’m 35 – high risk. I’m overweight. I have a job but I was hunting for something more specialized. I barely slept and the next morning, I decided to take a new test just to make sure. Gave the test to my husband and sure enough, still pregnant. The nerves and panic had subsided and I began to feel excited.
It finally happened and it happened the way I had always hoped it would.
Best birthday present yet.

We told our parents as soon as the 4th and 5th pregnancy tests were positive. We waited until week 12 to share the news with social media:

Food Snob is gonna be a Mommy.

Wow.

Goodbye to my sweet girl

Hey Blogosphere!

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have last posted. If you can tell by the title of this post, it’s a sad one. But before I get into the gut-wrenching portion of this post, I wanted to share that I have been meaning to write a post for the last few weeks because I have FINALLY finished Grad School.

Grad school was a feat like nothing I have ever experienced before. I went into it thinking it was going to be a piece of cake and while I enjoyed it for the most part, I certainly had my fair share of tears, frustrations, and all-nighters. However, despite all of that, I am now the proud owner of a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Now that summer has unofficially ended and everyone’s kids are back to school, I wanted to share this post as I had to say goodbye to my fur baby.

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My Sweet Mickey Girl.

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I started this blog in 2009 and rescued Mickey around the same time. She was rescued by a local animal shelter in Queens on the day she was supposed to be euthanized . She was 3 years old, very afraid of people, and severely emaciated. There was something about her eyes, which were so expressive, they drew me to her when I walked into that shelter. Mickey,  the tri-color Beagle, walked up to me with her head and eyes low and tail between her legs. She chose me but was still very scared. My heart melted that instant.

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I took her home with me and while I technically rescued her, this little pup rescued me from depression. She gave me a reason to get up every day and a reason to walk. She was also a very good judge of character; as she screened all of my boyfriends over the years until she found the one I was going to marry.

Mickey 1

I’ll never forget the first time Brent came to visit us. Mickey peed on his bag. Mickey peed on all the things she loved. It was both frustrating and endearing. I will never know what her life was like before we met but whatever happened to her, peeing in her bed and on her toys is what she did. ::shrug::

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Anyone who met Mickey loved her instantly and Brent was no exception. Brent loved Mickey as much, if not more than I did; and soon enough, Mickey would prefer to cuddle with Brent instead of me, lol. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, though.

In the 6 years that me, Brent, and Mickey have been a family, I have relished watching them snuggle together, share food, and Mickey lovingly looking up at him as he took her for walks. Cherished memories.

Around Thanksgiving, Mickey got really sick. She struggled to keep anything down but eagerly ate whatever we tried to get her to eat. I cried, not ready to accept if whether or not this was the end. A trip to the vet put my worries at ease when we found out her GI was out of whack and after a week of meds, she was back to herself again but the vet had an inkling that something else was up…

Kidney disease. My girl had been on a kidney formula and was doing well as far as we knew but after Thanksgiving, the disease began to progress and she was placed on medication.

We really cherished every single day with her knowing full well that some day she would show us when she was ready to go.

Mickey

The decline in her health began two months ago. She became very picky about her food and reduced her food intake drastically. The vet assured us that this was common for a senior dog; Mickey was 12 so we didn’t worry too much and indulged her with the occasional treat here and there.

Her frame, which got nice and chunky over the years was slowly thinning out. Two weeks ago I picked her up and could feel her ribs. It worried me so I scheduled an appt with the vet but the appt got pushed back; the vet gave me some suggestions to get her to eat.

Over labor day weekend, she had gone two full days without eating her food but she did take treats, so I made some eggs and added them to her dry food. She eagerly ate it which gave me a brief relief until she threw it all up. That pretty much told me everything I needed to now;  my once-overweight girl who loved to eat was not doing so well. She slept for most of that Saturday and Sunday. But on Sunday, she stopped eating; even her favorite treats.

It completely broke me.

She had an accident later that day and had not one ounce of remorse or shame like she usually did. She was completely resigned. My husband could usually make her tail wag rapidly just by saying her name and as we both called her name and blew kisses she just stared blankly at us.

We cried so much and held her.

It was time.

Our vet was closed due to the holiday weekend so we took her to the local animal hospital. Through sobs and tears my husband and I listened as the emergency vet went over Mickey’s lab results; her kidneys were failing. The vet attempted to explore possible options to prolong Mickey’s life but knowing she wasn’t eating – which was literally her favorite thing- just didn’t feel like a fair deal. We heavily sobbed as we told the vet we didn’t want her to suffer any more; the vet agreed that our decision was the most humane.

They brought us to a room with dimmed lights and prepped Mickey with a catheter. She was wrapped in a soft plush blanket; wrapped like a baby. They handed her to us so we could say our goodbyes.

You are never ready to say goodbye to a pet that was really family.

I kissed her face.

I hugged her.

I told her she was a good girl and that I loved her so much.

She looked very tired. Her tail was not wagging. I looked to my husband and said “she’s ready to go” between sobs and he held me as I held Mickey. Both of us crying. The vet came in to administer the medication. We laid her down. I scratched her head and my husband held her little face in his hands. The first dose was medication to make her sleepy.

We were warned we may see her breathing become labored or she may defecate on herself but as soon as the medication was administered, she let out a huge yawn and went to sleep forever.

When they confirmed that she was gone we lost it; we just couldn’t imagine leaving the hospital without her. They let us stay with her as long as we wanted. We kissed her and cried it out before we said goodbye one last time.

That way by far the hardest thing I have ever endured. But my love for Mickey gave me the strength to make a decision that was best for her, even though it will be painful for us for a very long time. Watching my jovial dog grow weaker and weaker each day was gut wrenching but the day she stopped eating was the day she stopped enjoying her life. This photo was the last one taken of her the day before she passed away. Looking at the same dog every day, I could not see the age as it crept up on her but now that I have been looking at all the pics, I am reminded of how cruel time can be to senior dogs. I am comforted by the abundance of memories we made with her and the good life she had. From a timid and skinny little beagle to a plump and snuggly little love bug- we have truly been blessed to care for and be loved by Mickey.

Brent and I talk about her incessantly. It’s been a week since we said goodbye and the hardest thing so far, has been being home. Opening food and not hearing her nails running towards the sound or waking up and not hearing her tail bang against her crate, it just creates this physical ache and leaves us feeling empty.

I wanted to share this as both a cathartic tribute to her life and for those that knew and loved Mickey. She changed my life. No matter how often we were told to cherish her, we could never have been prepared enough to say goodbye.

I hope someday I can open up my heart again for another animal that needs a home but for now my husband and I are going to grieve and heal.

Wedding Anniversary

I just completed an intense 2 month semester on graduate level Statistics. Not only am I relieved to be done with it, I am happy to report I did really well!

I am behind with hundreds of photos to share and the slew of spam that flew into my comments section just recently lit a fire under my bum to get some content up here.

So, B and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary when winter coats were needed, though if I am being honest, for the Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend, it is certainly chilly on the east coast. It also feels like it has been raining for a straight year.

What is even sunshine???

I digress.

We made reservations at the venue where we got married for an intimate dinner. Since last year B had to go back to DC, I ordered us a tiny replica of our wedding cake:

The Salted Pretzel cake from Milk Bar is just as good as we remember it.

They were able to rush the delivery for me since I was a little late on ordering but it was a great addition to our anniversary celebration.

With Valentine’s Day just the day before, the restaurant was slow except for some couples coming in to do their wedding tastings. We pretty much had the joint to ourselves.

A bottle of champagne was a must and we soaked in the romantic ambiance at MyMoon while we waited for our meal to arrive.

They talked us into getting the cheeseboard… they neglected to tell us how large it was. We had a great time stuffing our faces. I have never met a cheese I didn’t like.

B had the lamb chops over fingerling potatoes. A sensible portion in comparison to the mammoth cheese plate we both devoured.

I had the seared duck breast with cherries and mashed sweet potatoes. The duck breast was perfectly cooked.

We were pretty stuffed but decided to split a cheesecake with mango gelee that came with a scoop of mango sorbet. It was nice and light… but we were stuffed!

We spent the rest of the week eating anniversary cake! Looking forward to celebrating many more!

Ichiran NYC

You may already know this about me, but I love gimmicks. Before you go nuts on me, hear me out. There’s this Ramen chain in Japan that specializes in personalized Ramen. It is also big on solo dining. They also happened to open a noodle factory slash restaurant 1 mile away from my apartment and Yelp had an elite week there just recently. 

If you love Ramen, you’re going to need to plan a visit to Ichiran. If you need to come to Brooklyn to do so, you should. 

The thing that’s super cool to me (and gimmicky to others) is the entire experience is meant to be experienced solo. 

From start to finish, when you walk into Ichiran, you’re asked if you want a table or to experience solo dining. 

I chose solo. You are given a sheet with options to select and customize your meal. You then find your dining cubby. 

There you’ll see directions on how to place an order. Here is where you can ask for your soup to have extra noodles, crushed garlic, hot sauce (and how hot), egg, extra soy, less oil… you name it. 

If you submit your menu and need more, you can reorder on your chopsticks. 

I ordered a matcha beer. Because why not? 

Very interesting. However, next time no beer. Gotta save precious stomach room.

The egg went really well with the soup but its not necessary. I’d go without it. 

The ramen is the main event. I ordered extra noodles and they came separately. 

The extra noodles option comes when yoi are halfway through with your ramen so you can enjoy fresh noodles. 

Just place the little tray on the call button and like magic, someone will bring you extra noodles. 

I tried the almond matcha pudding and it was really good but the extra serving pf noodles did me in. 

The one thing that I am not too crazy about is the price. With a beer, noodles, dessert and extra protein, the check for just myself was $49. Steep. However, considering the time it takes to produce a deliciouams bone broth, i understand that I’m paying for quality. 

I haven’t stopped thinking about this place, especially with all this snow in NYC. 

Definitely worth the splurge. 

His 30th

My husband turned 30!

During the hustle of work and the heavy weight school has been, taking a break from real life to spoil my main was incredibly fun. The experience was a very special one.

We started our day with a Broadway show. We had matinee tickets to see On Your Feet, the Gloria Estefan musical. I had heard good things about the show but it was phenomenal! I don’t even think one has to be a fan of her music to appreciate the story; though I’m sure it helps. As an 80’s baby, I loved Gloria Estefan. The actress who played Gloria looked and sounded just like her-quite amazing. 

After the show ended, we had a little over two hours to kill so we walked over to a nearby pub and had a few cocktails to kill time.

For his 3oth, I took Him to Daniel on the Upper East Side. I have never been but heard amazing things. My husband is my greatest supporter and I wanted to make sure he had a memorable night.

We started with a bottle of champagne. We opted for the 7 course tasting menu and since we had champagne decided against the pairing menu. 

Our first official course was Beets 3 ways. Honestly, every single thing we tasted at Daniel was delicious. I will point out what was exceptionally delicious but to avoid being redundant I will just describe the dish.

Our 2nd course was a duck terrine with a thickly shaved truffle. There was an abundance of bread. Every time a course came out, so did the earm bread basket. You know me and warm bread… 

Our 3rd course was a warm lobster salad over a coconut panna cotta of sorts. The lobster was such a wonderful texture! 

For our 4th course, we had escargot with a garlicky foam.  Had they not told me it was escargot,  I would never have known. Loved the presentation. 

For out 5th course, we had sweat breads with citrus elements. 

EditCourse 6 was a delicious sole. I love the plating and how all the elements went together. 

Our final course was the lamb. By far my favorite dish the night. By now, hubby and I are feeling a teensy bit tipsy and way full but the plates just kept coming. 

Now for dessert. 

I told the restaurant in advance it was my husband’s birthday so they surpised him with this beautiful number:

A gingerbread. Some melon. And the cover over the candle is a thin sheet of white chocolate!

Speaking of chocolate, I had the chocolate mousse for dessert.  And hubby had the sorbet.

They brought out a plate of pettite fours that were too cute for words!

Before we left, we were given these goft boxes filled with cannelles and personalized paper copies of the menu we had. 

The experience we had at Daniel is one I will always cherish. I married a wonderful man that is incredibly good to me- being able to celebrate him on his 30th birthday was such a joy.

❤ 

Sweet Chick

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Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a very happy and healthy holiday surrounded by loved ones. My sister in law came to visit all the way from London and it was fun to play tourists in NY. We went to Coney Island in the freezing cold to show her a NY beach and then grabbed lemonades the size of our torsos at Nathan’s and had hot dogs. We went to the old fashioned ice cream parlor, Eddie’s Ice Cream Shop in Forest Hills and NY Style Pubs. Lots of walking and lots of eating.

Brent got an Echo for Christmas so we took advantage of our Amazon Music to have a house party on New Years Eve. I cannot believe its 2017.

While this platform is not intended to be political, I just want to express that I am embracing Love and Compassion. If you are here, and you are reading, I appreciate you and I cherish you. Thank you for being part of my life after all of these years. I hope to continue to be here to share stories of deliciousness and most importantly- JOY.

I was promoted in October so work is even more hectic than it was before and if that weren’t enough, I decided Grad School was a good idea. So, starting January 30, I will officially be a Grad Student pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.

Now that we have caught up, I recently took a trip to a well-known and very hyped location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Sweet Chick.

My friend Danielle and I left work early on a Friday and hit up this restaurant known for their Chicken and Waffles. They don’t just do Chicken and Waffles though. They have a wide variety of waffles- from sweet to savory. Bacon and Cheddar Waffles. Buttermilk. Mushroom. Dried Cherry. etc. You can even choose the way you want your chicken. Buffalo, parmesan, etc.

I decided the best bet was trying the classic buttermilk waffle with fried chicken.

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Nice presentation. It even came with 3 flavored butters and syrup. But in all honesty, this was way overpriced. For 1 waffle and 2 small pieces of chicken, the plate set me back $17. Perhaps a chicken wing would have made me happier.

But also the chicken was just okay. It was good but not something I would wait in line for hours to eat.

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Danielle decided to have the shrimp and grits. I must say, THIS was actually delicious. When we dine, we usually discuss two dishes we would both like to try and then split our choices; the best of both worlds, really. The bowl of shrimp and grits was $17, as well.

We both agreed the Shrimp and Grits was far more superior and much more satisfying- even the half portion we both had.

So, would I return.

Yes. But if, and only if, there is no wait. Especially with all the other options on Bedford Street in Williamsburg with great food.

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease.

Midnights in Williamsburg

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Wow!
End of October already???
I mean, when I last posted I was gearing up for the busiest season at my office. I work in Tax so the days were long and days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and here we are.
With the change of the season I am experiencing Migraines. Lots and lots of migraines. If anyone has any remedies to bring relief, please reach out. Coffee, Excedrin, and Vicks Vapor Rub are my go-to methods but am open to trying something new.
SO, where were we?
Ah, that time my husband and I ended up at an adorable little bistro because the original place had lost our reservation. Right.
Sometime in the warmer months, hubby and I gussied up for dinner just because. We made reservations for a chef tasting that needed to be made in advance. When we arrived at the restaurant, they had no idea we were there for a tasting and sat us a at a table for 4 with another couple already there… can you say awkward???
One of my biggest pet peeves is dining with strangers. NYers are no strangers to crowded places but the act of dining should be somewhat intimate- it’s bad enough tables are 2 inches apart from each other but I need those two inches separating me from another set of diners.
I digress. They lost our reservation. We went to another restaurant. We contacted the people that lost our reservation and they invited us back to make up for the error.
It was probably one of the hottest days in the summer. Hubby and I dressed down so we could be comfortable. It was a 5 course tasting so comfort was definitely on the list of priorities. This time around, our visit was great! Not only was our reservation saved, but they remembered I preferred to dine semi-privately so we had a table in a corner booth all to ourselves. That alone was worth the entire “ordeal”.
We started with a chilled corn and crab soup. The portions for this tasting were… on the heavier side. We arrived hungry but, spoiler alert, we were STUFFED afterwards.

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The Chilled corn soup was velvety and sweet with hearty chunks of lump crab meat. They paired it with a crisp chilled white wine.
We also had a salad course that I forgot to click… but you don’t win friends with salad. Amiright?20160813_201149
Next up, we had a trout dish with veggies. Wasn’t a huge fan of the trout as this particular presentation was very bony and if you take big bites like me… you’ll surely choke. Lol. Ain’t I a classy one?

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The chef, feeling bad for what had happened to us the first time we got here, offered us an additional course to make up for the error. A buccatini dish that was probably the best thing we ate all night. It was incredible!

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At this point of the night, we were running out of precious stomach room…but we had to press on.
Lordt!
Help us.
Short Rib. With a butternut squash puree and sautéed bok boy.
Delicious, indeed.
20160813_211634The big finale was a delicious warm chocolate sauce poured over a chocolate shell that melted to reveal a scoop of ice cream. It was a shared dessert. It was difficult to get through.
Once we finished our meal, we graciously thanked our host and chef for the memorable meal. They had more than made up for the previous error and their service will bring us back for more of everything!

Restaurant Week: David Burke Kitchen

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Restaurant week is a seasonal event in NYC where select restaurants offer prefix lunches ($29) and dinners ($42) at a fixed price in the five boroughs. It started nearly 10 years ago and has gotten so popular that the “week” usually lasts about 6 weeks; giving one ample time to get as many deals as possible. 20160731_131220

I personally like experiencing a restaurant that I would normally not visit but I also find that the experience is very different on a regular dining day then during restaurant week. Never the less, my family and I always participate.

One such place where we particularly love Restaurant Week lunches is David Burke Kitchen in Soho. There is only one thing that I actually crave here and luckily, it’s offered during restaurant week so I am one happy lady.

It was very easy to obtain a reservation for 1PM on a rainy Sunday in SoHo. My husband, parents, and I arrived hungry and ready to feast. For $29, we were entitled to an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. Not too shabby. We almost all ordered the same exact thing which means no tasting anything new… but when you know what you like, there isn’t really a need for all that.

I had a cup of coffee which was nice and strong- perfect little jolt!

20160731_131904For starters, everyone minus Brent ordered the plain Greek yogurt with house made granola, nuts, berries, and honey. This is no ordinary bowl of yogurt. I cannot explain why this tastes as good as it does but I have a feeling it has to be the full fat yogurt. It was tart and creamy with a hint of sweetness from the honey and berries. We scraped our bowls clean.

20160731_133235As my entrée, I ordered the burger. A huge heavy burger to go on top of the bowl of high protein yogurt I just scarfed. The burger was delicious but I barely finished half. I packed the burger and fries to go (which were perfect later that evening for dinner!).

20160731_141117Dessert was a super-rich chocolate cake. I managed half and had to give up. Being full was a major factor but the richness on top of that was just too much. I left with a lot of leftovers.

But for $29, the prix-fixe is a great bargain.

While the Restaurant Week promotion is over until Winter, the bowl of greek Yogurt at David Burke Kitchen is worth a trek to SoHo when you’re craving it!