I met Marissa when I joined Hall Council my first year of college. My goal was to become an RA, and Hall Council would look good on my student resume when submitting my application. Marissa was the president of HC, and a senior, so I only really knew her for one year. We'd become Facebook friends and kind of stayed on the peripheral of each other's friend lists for years and probably didn't really think about each other at all during that time. Then, after another Facebook format change, she started popping up on my newsfeed with pictures of delicious looking pastries and links to her blog, Dessertation. I discovered that, upon graduating our artsy-fartsy alma mater, she dropped out of law school and became a pastry chef, taking classes at the Culinary Institute of America. This was around the same time I'd begun blogging about my kitchen adventures, my passion for cooking growing every day.
Basically, she became my personal hero, and I told her such.
|Pretending to be a chef while Marissa frosts a cake.|
Not pictured: my white shorts, making it look like I have no pants on...
In the past couple of years following, we became Internet Foodie Friends. And this past weekend she invited me down to her home in Beacon, NY, to show me the CIA and all of the wonderful foodie places around the Hudson Valley. I was super impressed with everything we ate and I am now fantasizing about running away to Culinary School (or at least returning to some college for Food Studies) and following in her footsteps.
|View from The Roundhouse|
I arrived at about 8:30 on Friday, and after a quick change we went over to The Roundhouse for cocktails and snacks. The Roundhouse was where Marissa worked when she first moved to Beacon, as a pastry chef. She currently stays on as a freelance wedding cake maker, and is still friendly with the staff. Brandon, the head chef, brought us an extra little treat (in addition to the olives and french fries with truffle aioli we ordered, which were delicious)--Sour Patch Kid Sorbet. It was amazing! I am going to try to re-create it myself sometime, because I was so in awe of how much it tasted like the favorite candy.
I can see where they could be offputting to people--raw meat and live shellfish don't sound so appetizing on their own. But the oysters were perfectly briny and the suggested condiments just brought out the lovely seafood flavor.
The rest of the table enjoyed their meals, and I found myself wishing I'd gotten the steak frites, as it had been my second choice. Howie let me have a bite and the marinade was just delicious. I would have asked for a side of that truffle aioli from the night before, had I gotten that dish.
Marissa got the ceasar salad and roasted brussels sprouts, and Matt got a falafel. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. The accompanying aioli on the brussels sprouts was really good. My drink of choice was another Doc's cider, but I found myself wishing I'd gotten a dark and stormy like the night before--they were very tasty and pretty boozy. Always a good combo! A sip of Matt's Pimm's with cucumber made me start mixing cucumber drinks in my head--my book will have a recipe for cucumber-infused gin and now I want to make a batch of cucumber lemonade... This weekend really got my mind on food and inspired me to try to recreate recipes at home!
Then we walked to Dogwood. At this point the amount of gluten/dairy in the mac and cheese was getting to me--as some of you may know, I have been trying to reduce these two things in a somewhat half-assed elimination diet, which I chose to ignore this weekend--and I was a little uncomfortable but welcomed the incredibly boozy margaritas they had. Note to self: drink enough booze, and you don't care that you have weird indigestion and are making secret farts all over the place... TMI?
Two spicy margaritas, and I was plenty tipsy for the remainder of the evening. I chose not to indulge in the snacks we got for the table, deviled eggs and "dog bones" aka hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry, but Marissa, Howie, and Matt all assured me they were delicious. They also sang the praises of smoked tabasco, which I now need to add to my arsenal of hot sauces if I can get my hands on some.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend full of great food and even better friends. I was happy to finally hang out with my foodie hero, and both she and Howie were incredibly wonderful hosts. I hope we can meet up again soon!
Saving up my pennies so that I can take a class at CIA's Bootcamp... but with everything else I need to pay for, not looking likely so far. Times like these I wish I could make Kickstarter work for me, heh...
...P.S: Hey guys, just a reminder that Google Reader is shutting down TODAY :( I'm sad, because I use Google sites for a lot of online doings (blogging, email, picture storage), and it's nice to have everything organized and in one place. However, Bloglovin easily imports your Google feed, and so far I'm loving the fun interface and easy-to-use features! Some people are saying good things about feedly, but I'll stick with Bloglovin for now. If you also are looking for a new reader, and want to follow me, click the button below!