Thursday, April 2, 2015

Food and Wine Festival

I love my girlfriends. I love that I have different groups of girlfriends from different parts of my life.  I love that I have girlfriends of all ages, backgrounds, careers....some who are grandmothers, some who are single, some who are retired, some who are exactly in the thick of young motherhood like myself. Its all valuable, all fun, all chock full of wisdom, all rejuvenating!!!

Amie, Lisa, muah and Amy

My "crazy" group of girlfriends are also surprisingly my peers, who by the way are all stellar teachers who "play" as passionately as they teach and love their students. We are all inspired by our disciplines and between the 4 of us we teach it ALL from PK3 to seniors, literally we cover all the bases. We all teach one anothers chidren and that relationship is now sacred, to know that we have trusted them with our children, in our case our tuition money and most sacred importantly, our faith.

One of these crazy girls is Amie. I actually shared a room with her for 2 years of my teaching. She is a phenomenal high school science teacher with two boys, both high schoolers. Her birthday was earlier this month and her husband surprised her with a girls trip claiming that "she would have more fun with us than with him"...darn tootin! He bought us all tickets to the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, a swanky hotel room and a morning to get pampered with manicures and pedicures. We were all so excited that we were tempted to call in sick on Friday and get an early start (totally kidding, all teachers know that its easier to go into work then to write sub plans...yuck).

So off we went....we had no idea what to expect but we did know to come hungry!!

We were blown away by how many restaurants and vineyards were represented from the DFW area. We literally ate from 6-9, taking many breaks to critique the food, engage with chefs, other tasters, use the potty and try our best to get on the news ;).

View of downtown Ft. Worth from out hotel room.

I am not a huge wine drinker, just isn't my preference but I did find some fancy ginger beer, that to my surprise was non-alcoholic and a rum-sweet tea con-caution that was just sweet enough. I did try some white wine that reminded me of the way muscodines  taste and it was LOVELY!!!

UMMM HELLO, bread pudding and whiskey ice cream...YES PLEASE!! I may have licked the bowl, ok ok, both bowls.

Some of my favorite foods were BREAD PUDDING (a dessert that I would gladly run for an hour to have :)) from Omni Whiskey and Rye---it was a white chocolate bread pudding with whiskey ice cream, topped with mini M&Ms and candied pecans. I will admit that I had two samples.

Seafood Tamales, fresh out of steamed banana leaves!

Another favorite was lobster rolls with sweet butter bread, tostadas from a favorite local restaurant, Reata (Adam and I ate here for a recent anniversary), mustard cured Salmon from hibiscus and fried polenta topped with sweet pork from The Wild Mushroom. Everything we sampled was bite sized and therefore we were full by the end of the night but it was super spread out over the 3 hours. We tried other things like chicken pot pie (the biscuit on top was the only good part), weird duck liver (don't get me started on that taste), and some flavored gel that looked like it had a vienna sausage on thanks.

I felt like a judge on Top Chef and it was quite fun to say things "wow, that lamb meatball was way under seasoned" or "that meat was too tough and needed some sauce".

Fried calamari steak fries, polenta, pork, fried chick peas and jalapeno aeolia sauce

One of the themes of the night was peas, or at least it seemed like that to me. I love peas so that was awesome...I had them in homemade ricotta cheese, pureed over gnocchi, in a minty sauce, and in some salads. Another theme was pork which honestly I got sick of. Finally, tons of people offered cured, smoked or raw salmon and I could have eaten more and more fish if they would have let me :).

I forget the name of this little place, it was italian and started with a P...but this combo of dark chocolate gelato and espresso was the perfect end to my night!

We finished the night with some downtown wandering, Dark Chocolate Gelato covered with espresso....SUPER YUMMMMMMMMY, some dancing and some people watching, all while catching up on each other lives.

The next morning two of us utilized the awesome fitness center and I got to try out my new shoes...felt very good, a little big but my feet swell when I run longer distances so I am not too worried about it. Then we had starbucks for breakfast and went off to the spa for manis/pedis and some was glorious!!!!

A little over 6 miles in a little less than 55 minutes, I did a 3 minute cool down and then followed through with some weight lifting....working off some of that great rich food from the night before!
Oh and then later on that day my voice left me, my sore throat kicked in and I was officially sick with strep throat...wah wah.

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