Tag Archives: brunch

Norma’s, the ultimate brunch experience

There is nothing like a long leisurely weekend brunch. It’s simply the best.  On Friday Frank mentioned we had a brunch reservation for Sunday.  What?  Football season, you were fun, but thank you for finally being over; brunch is back!

This surprise brunch happened to be taking place at Norma’s!!! What’s Norma’s, you ask.  Only the place where brunch legends were made and “zillion dollar omelets” are consumed. I haven’t been to Norma’s in ten years, but I’ve never forgotten the glory!

Norma’s is in the Le Parker Merdien. You just enter the lobby and it’s right up the stairs waiting for you. Or in this case us. Since we had a reservation, we were seated right away and treated to deliciously tart berry smoothie shots.

I studied the menu, which was large and cheeky and filled with decadent options that made me happy I went to the gym that morning.  Not that there aren’t any healthy options, last time I had a melon bowl with yogurt and berries, but this I wanted to live it up a bit! I was still sore from Barry’s and figured I deserved it.

I went for the Normalita’s Huevos Rancheros.  They arrived, like everything else, oversized and with a little something extra. In this  case, an entire quesadilla extra!

Frank went with the “irrestible banana-macadamia nut flap jacks,” which had a delicious brown butter and lots of cinnamon.

We enjoyed our ourselves lingering over perfect cups of coffee until it was time to brave the cold once more! I might have waddled a bit on the way out the door, but let me tell you, it was worth it. Oh Norma I hope to see you again sooner than later!

Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a great weekend! While I am little late on the recap, better late than never.  My weekend was filled with rain, shine and lots of delicious food.  I didn’t put one thing in my mouth that I didn’t find perfection.  However, I may have gone overboard a time or two!  Oh well, this week will be balanced with a focus on fresh and green cuisine!

On Saturday, I had a delicious brunch at Max Brenner and dinner at Barbonia, which unfortunately, escaped the camera!

However, Sunday was captured in it’s entirety.

We started with Easter baskets…

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Then church followed by brunch at Five Points

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Five Points is always highly rated for its brunch.  I have been a few times, and I’ve also been to its sister restaurants Cookshop and 100 Acres.

After serious debate, I decided on the eggs cocotte

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The boy went with rancherosIMG_1086 IMG_1087

Yum.

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A mimosa may have also been involved.

After that we set off to shop for our big dinner.

On the menu:

  • Braised beef brisket
  • Garlic roasted fingerling potatoes
  • Shaved brussel sprouts salad
  • Mini brownie cup cakes a la mode

Frank was really craving meat after an entire day (good friday) without meat.  Since I typically pick the Sunday menu, I was happy to oblige.

For the brisket we followed this recipe, minus the bacon.

Note: ipads are very handy for cooking!

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The meal started by infusing the brisket with garlic slices, covering it in essence and browning it:IMG_1110

Then we softened the onionsIMG_1108

adding beer and brothIMG_1113

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Then we returned the beef to the pot and stuck it in the oven, and went to the gym for a quick workout.

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When we returned, chopping recommenced:

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After about 2.5 hours, we put the veggies in the pot along with the fingerling potatoes.

Then I got to work on the brussels sprout salad.

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After that was prepped, I whipped up a batch of mini no pudge cupcakes brownies.

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(Wasn’t thrilled about pictures in my sweaty gym clothes.)

While I was covered in batter, Frank was setting the mood:

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And setting out some appetizers of veggies and hummus.

Oh yeah, and opening our third bottle of pinot noir this weekend! (the first two were at dinner with friends.)  We saw this Erath pinot and scooped it up immediately.  We first tried it while out with Ashley and Bo and really loved it!  I think we had a better vintage the first time, since this 2009 was a little bit stronger than I remembered, but it opened up well.

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Then we handled the meat, reducing the sauce and whipping up the brussel sprout salad.  ( Be warned more meat shots, I plan to be strictly pescatarian for the next month!)IMG_1157

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Finally, four and half hours later, dinner was served!

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We were both to full for more than a bite of the brownie cupcakes a la mode.  But we both felt very satisfied with our efforts.

After dinner we watched The King’s Speech, which I highly recommend.

Good weekend, come to an end.

Oh, in case you are interested, the brussels sprout salad recipe.  I tried to recreate the recipe from our Vermont Ski Trip and I think I was pretty successful.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tub brussels, cut into thin slices
  • EVOO
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • S and P—to taste
  • 1 juiced lemon, zest reserved
  • 1 splash cream (or butter would do)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fresh shaved parmesan—can’t under do it!

I heated the EVOO in a pan until hot and then added the garlic for about 2-3 minutes.  Then I throw the shaved brussels into the pan until just softened and bright green.  4-5 minutes.  I tossed in the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

I transferred the hot ingredients to a large bowl and then immediately added a small splash of cream (You can add a modest or very generous splash depending on how creamy you want it. Butter can also be substituted.), lemon zest, and a large handful of grated parm.  Stir and serve!

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Brunching in Great Company and Weekly Workouts Wrap Up

First things first, it was seriously wonderful meeting so many awesome people at the brunch today, getting to know some of you better, and of course, seeing some of you who I know pretty well.pics-0032

Okay I am going to try and get this right, but please correct me if I am wrong.  And sorry I don’t have a great photo of everyone. From front left clockwise.

Ashley (lovely reader!), Sarah (Tales of Expansion), Dori (Dori’s Shiny Blog), Missy (Missy Maintains), Danielle (A Year of Healthy Eating-hidden-damnit), Ashley (Sweet and Natural), Gena (guest poster extraordinaire), Mark (Hangry Pants and Ambush TV in corner), Heather (Hangry Pants kind of hidden-damn), Shane (Rose of Bohemia), Emily (Eating Chalk), Amelia (Highways to Health),Vani (Fit for Free), Olga (Healthing It).  Amie (Healthy Apple) popped by for a few minutes too!pics-0021

In view: Sarah, Dori, Missy, Gena, Mark, Shane, Emily, Amelia.

Sarah just sent over her photos, so know I think I have one of everyone!

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Danielle (A Year of Healthy Eating), Ashley (Sweet and Natural), Me, Gena (guest poster extraordinaire), Mark (Hangry Pants and Ambush TV in corner), Heather (Hangry Pants kind of hidden-damn), Shane (Rose of Bohemia),

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Vani, Olga, Amie (Healthy Apple), Ashley, Sarah

While the company couldn’t have been better, I am still actively hating Counter Restaurant for being so miserable. I am really disappointed I didn’t go with my gut about Counter, and consequently subjected 15 people to a brunch that couldn’t even be called mediocre. I promise to make it up to you guys this summer!

Just so you guys know, after working in many restaurants I am always very patient and NEVER rude or demanding, but I think I just felt responsible today.  I mean, I confirmed that party a total of 4 times, so why would you only have 1 order of french toast available for the entire restaurant?  And being out of goat cheese?  You could buy more a block away, not rocket science! And then putting goat cheese on an order later…not to mention on order that was wrong for a third time?  No wonder the place was empty, and for those of you who don’t live in NYC, no restaurant that serves brunch is ever empty on a Sunday afternoon.  Okay, maybe I am being slightly dramatic. I know the event wasn’t all about food by any means, but when you live in a city that can offer orgasmic brunches, it’s disappointing when a restaurant can’t deliver.  Anyways, I will leave it at this: Counter seriously sucks–don’t ever go there, and I am really glad there was a detox yoga class in the building tonight…very necessary :)

On the bright side, the horrendous service gave us lots of time to chat! I got great advice on everything from heart rate monitors to workout places “the studio” to hair salons! Thanks for the tips ladies.

Oh and a huge thank you to Missy for bringing the Clif Zbars! and Sarah for the delicious vegan biscotti! And to whoever brought whitestrips, you rock.  It was very sweet of you all.

And Heather, the fact that you said I looked tall in my blog made my YEAR!  (Even if that means I look surprisingly short in person.)  I love you :)

And a huge thank you to Nature’s Path for donating Weil’s Organic Pure Nut and Fruit Bars!  They are so so good! I hope you guys enjoy them too!

So onto the workouts.

Monday: 40 minutes elliptical; 3 sets of 12 on quad, hamstring, adductor and abductor machine; 2 sets of 15 on the seated leg press in standard, legs together, plie position, on toes. 5 minutes abs.

Tuesday: 35 minutes elliptical, 35 minute interval run-I did it on the treadmill, but you can use any machine; 2 sets of 10-15 squat kickbacks.

Wednesday: 4.25 mile tempo run–RPE 7-8

Thursday: 2s and 4s treadmill run-about 4.25 miles, 20 minutes on elliptical, stretching

Friday: Core Fusion Body Sculpt DVD-still loving it

Saturday: 9 miles long run, very slow :/

Sunday: Levels 1, 2, and 3 of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred-resting 5 minutes between levels; 45 minutes Detox yoga.

Much better balance of cardio and strength this week.