CHEESE!

One of my FAVORITE things I did in Sweden was visit a cheese shop in Gamla Stan (Old Town) with The Swede.

The way to my heart is not through sweets but through CHEESE!

The Swede and I decided to have a nice cheese tray after dinner, complete with a selection of wine.

[Now, being on a diet, it makes me DROOL to think of cheese and wine!]

We stepped into a small store in Stockholm and I was overwhelmed with the smell of aging cheese.

Funky yet yummy.

Mmmmmmmm!

We selected a cheese, sampled it and approved of it.

Then another.

And another.

All in all, we selected 5 cheeses of varying degrees of softness, ripeness, and gooeyness.

All VERY delicious.

Then we went to the SPECIAL store to buy wine.

In case you didn’t know, only one chain of stores, which I think are run by the government, can sell liquor.

So we go inside and The Swede tells me he wants SWEET white wine.

Okay.

Each wine had a label that graphically represented how sweet that wine was.

And I ready the graphic BACKWARDS.

So instead of getting sweet white wine, we got regular white wine.

Ah well.

I think The Swede forgave me.

Cheese Tooth

My first week on the diet went well.

MY first WEEKEND on the diet?

Not so well.

There’s something about the lack of structure to my weekends which makes keeping to a diet REALLY challenging.

I went to an AMAZING party on Saturday.

The kind of party you dream about attending – fabulous people, great entertainment, and lots and lots of food and drink!

The party had a Burning Man theme – specifically focusing on the principles of gifting and interactivity.

Everyone participated in the party.

Tejas gave away temporary tattoos, to great success.

Marina let people design their own jewelry then she assembled their selection into a pair of earrings.

Here’s mine:

My gift was a bowl of my famous French cheese fondue – a blend of brie, goat and blue cheese.

Absolutely delicious!

I know because I SAMPLED IT.

Quite a bit of it, actually.

I wanted to eat the fried chicken and pot stickers, but I restrained myself.

And when they passed around birthday cake, I was able to decline with a polite, “I don’t have a SWEET tooth, I have a CHEESE tooth.”

So, not surprisingly, when I drove with Tejas to Pescadero the next day to check out a potential retreat center for our regional precompression, I had to stop by Duarte’s Tavern and get a grilled cheese sandwich and their swirled cream of green chili and artichoke soup.

I might (or might not) have washed it all down with a gin and tonic.

Despite these setbacks, I’m actually proud of how I handled my weekend. I certainly WANTED to cheat more but I held back.

And in the end, I figure that the important thing is to do things right MORE OFTEN than you do things wrong and you’re on the right track.

So, here’s to a better week for me!

Raclette!

My parents gave me a nice little check for my birthday.

I proceeded to buy a very fancy raclette grill from Amazon:

Tejas’ ex-girlfriend Yvonne once served me a raclette dinner and I WAS HOOKED!

So I got all the groceries I needed from Whole Foods, including about $40 of raclette cheese.

I bought about 10 different kinds of cured meats including pancetta, sopressata, and calabrese.

Yum!

I also bought a bunch of picked foods – everything from tasty little cornichons to spicy pickled green beans.

I even bought Bubbies sauerkraut, which was an unusual choice for raclette, but one which I thought my family would appreciate.

Since my dad is a vegetarian, there was no cooking raw meat on the grill.

We used it only to melt the cheese into a pile of gooey goodness.

We poured it over toasted bread, new potatoes, pickled food, grilled veggies, and cured meats.

We added sauces like lemon basil, honey mustard, and teriyaki.

And boy was it all yummy!

I even bought two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc for everyone to sip on.

The only disappointing part of the meal was that my youngest son missed it because he was at a friend’s house.

My eight year old nephew declared that it was THE BEST MEAL HE EVER HAD!

And, quite honestly, I had to agree with him.

But I literally fell asleep on my bed, in my street clothes, with the lights on thirty minutes after dinner.

Nothing like a full belly to rock oneself to sleep, eh?

Here’s a pic post-meal (I totally forgot to take one before we gorged ourselves).

A BIG THANK YOU TO YVONNE, who taught me everything I need to know about raclette and introduced me to it so I could introduce my family to it!

Mwah!

 

UPDATE:

We LOVED raclette so much, we had it a second night and I managed to snap a pic before we devoured it.  YUM!

If you were a man, you’d get lucky tonight

racletteThis past weekend, I went wine tasting in Paso Robles with Yvonne, Tejas’s new lady love.

We spent Friday night at her home in Salinas and she cooked a magical meal for me – raclette with preserved meats, pickles and potatoes.

First, we started out with a bottle of champagne that I brought.

Then we moved on to grapefruit/gin cocktails followed by a lovely bottle of sauvignon blanc.

So it’s a foregone conclusion that I was a little lit for the dinner.

Have you ever had raclette?

Imagine gooey cheese melted on a grill until all its cheesy goodness is ready to pour over a plate of potatoes, pickles, and charcuterie.

OH MY!

I took one look at Yvonne and said:

IF YOU WERE A MAN, YOU’D SO BE GETTING LUCKY TONIGHT.

And I meant it.

Yvonne laughed her head off.

There must be a direct correlation between our stomachs and our sex drive because mine went into overdrive.

The alcohol didn’t help.

No it did not.

So, now I know why La Fondue charges as much as it does to serve you a cheese fondue that you have to cook and serve yourself.

You’re pretty much guaranteed to get laid.

Make a note all of you folks out there struggling to get a piece.

An amazing dinner is AWESOME lubrication!

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