Expanding a Honeybee’s Palate.

In preparation for my travels abroad to China this summer I am starting to explore the Asian cuisines Madison has to offer. My one and only food weakness is spicy foods which unfortunately could be a large part of my diet come mid-May. Starting in May I will travel to Beijing along with a group of students and a professor. From there we will travel to four other cities, learning the culture, meeting people and of course sampling all sorts of food.

My friends and I ventured to Vientiane Palace Restaurant II even though from the outside it could be mistaken for a large trailer home. This assumed quick stop on our way to the library turned into an hour and a half adventure. This was due to the large amount of protesters who have flocked to Madison’s Capitol because of Scott Walker’s new bill. This restaurant, located a block off State Street and close to the Capitol, was a hot spot for tired and hungry protesters to grab a bite of food. Because of this unusual rush I think the family running this eclectic Vietnamese restaurant were a bit overwhelmed, never the less I am willing to give it a second try.

On the other hand, I decided to experience Rising Son’s Deli, a narrow restaurant I have passed many times on my way to class. Since the wait was 15 minutes and it was empty, due to it being a sleepy Sunday night, I decided to sit along the counter which was filled with Thai music notes and began to fully enjoy my atmosphere. I ordered the Panang Curry which was indeed spicy but oh so tasty. This dish is a combination of vegetables like Bamboo Shoots and baby corn mixed with coconut milk and chicken smothered with a Peanut Sauce and rice. This family owned restaurant does a phenomenal job at creating their ethnic Laos and Thai foods and are more than welcoming to new and old customers.

The spices in curry also open up all the senses and have many benefits for the body. After a weekend of sniffles and sneezing I feel like I can finally breathe and I am happy to say that my tolerance to spicy foods is definitely increasing, at least a little bit. Unfortunately I did not have my camera in order to capture the presentation and scenery but that only means it will leave opportunities for a return visit.

Bon Appetit to Laos, Thai, and Vietnamese food.

A Snack fit for a Queen Bee.

All this studying I have been doing lately is unfortunately making me starving, so here is a quick and sweet treat that will pump up your brain and get you back to studying A.S.A.P.

I grabbed some graham crackers, slathered them with Almond Butter and drizzled some Ginger Honey over top. The Almond Butter has high amounts of protein in it, and unlike Peanut Butter, contains the good kinds of fat that your body and brain need! Also a little fun fact that isn’t so fun is Peanuts actual harbor small amounts of mold. If you are like me and tend to overdose on Peanut Butter it is smarter to stick with the Almond Butter which is also a lot tastier!

My favorite is Almond Butter brand is Justin’s Nut Butter, this company has four different almond butters and if you don’t want to stray from Peanut Butter they offer a few different flavors and even have a hazelnut butter. The best thing about this company is that they sell small individual packets you can keep in your backpack for those emergency snack breaks.

The Ginger Honey was given to me as a gift when I went to college. I have taken three years to almost finished the jar and decided to research where this unique product came from. Arcangeli’s Grocery is a small family owned market in Pescadero, California just outside San Francisco. They started ‘The Pescadero Bakery and Grocery’ in 1929 and to their knowledge are the oldest family-owned business on the Coast. Next time your on the West Coast stop in and say hello to Norm or his son Mike the third and fourth generations of this family heritage. You can also order any of their amazing breads or other great products to anywhere in the US.

Bon Appetit and go ace those midterms!

A Worker-bee’s Study Break.

With March closing in that means many birthdays, visitors and of course Spring Break 2011!! So I decided to take sometime to get well ahead in my school work but this really just lead to an early study break. My absolute favorite thing to snack on is homemade popcorn, not the microwave JUNK. However, I needed to get a little creative because I no longer have my ancient steel cooker and a stove haha, essentials!

Being in the Verhey family you rarely escape the Christmas holidays without receiving a container of popcorn kernels. I brought them to school allowing them to sit on my dresser until now. I gathered my olive oil, salt, stapler, paper lunch bag and headed to the microwave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to think I invented this amazingly easy way to have the freshest popcorn in minutes but I am sure others have figured this out way before my time. But for all of you who haven’t experienced popcorn like this, here you go!

(Popcorn kernels + olive oil) in the paper bag + one staple, to keep it closed, + 4 minutes in the microwave = GREAT popcorn. You have to kind of sit and listen for when the popping slows down because my attempt 1 almost set off the house’s fire alarms which happen to be attached to sprinklers, phew! When all finished popping add your butter and salt, to taste.

I ended the night cozying up  in front of the one and only, GLEE, bon Appetit and don’t work too hard fellow worker-bees!

554 North Midvale Boulevard

Now that the painful cold Wisco weather is calming down a few of us decided to hop in my ’92 Honda and cruise over to the mall. We did a little shopping here and there but of course I needed to drag everyone into Gigi’s Cupcakes. This adorable Alice-in-Wonderlandesque cupcake boutique is just what I was looking for. Their cupcakes, made fresh everyday, alternate the flavors daily plus they are almost too pretty to eat. Unlike other cupcakes shops, Gigi’s takes pride in the creative presentation done with their decadent frosting. I choose the ‘German Sweet Chocolate’ so I could satisfy my coconut and chocolate fix!

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to come home and cuddle up with a book and enjoy an early Valentine’s day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bon Appetit with Gigi.

GO PACK GO.

This post is about learning to cook while staying in on a Saturday night in my sorority house… quite a big feat! Tomorrow is the big SUPER BOWL game and our guy friends are having a small get together for the game. I obviously took this as an opportunity to make some Puppy Chow batches and baller Rice Crispy Treats. This is quite a task because one of the downfalls about being in a sorority is we can’t use the kitchen!! This left us with the Breakfast Room which had a table and a microwave… time to get creative.

The recipes are easy enough and after a quick stop at the grocery store to get supplies we were ready to go. Six of us orchestrated the room while two were melting marshmallows in the microwave with the one bowl available outside the kitchen. Two of us laid saran wrap on the tables covered in butter stirring Rice Crispies and Marshmallows together while the last two mixed the Puppy Chow in a classic brown paper bag. We even gathered an audience for a while and obviously had so much fun!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once everything was done we raided the house looking for some containers, platters, or basically anything to place our finished products on! We came up with a fish platter and two pitchers… seemed fitting 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bon Appetit and GO PACK GO!