Food memories

Thanksgiving Fitness, Food and Family

My Thanksgiving started out ok — this year I slept in a bit and then went to the gym. Because I had a leisurely morning I missed the crowds at the gym, which was also nice! Usually it’s a freakin’ mad house but there weren’t many people there by the time I arrived. Last year I went to the Warrior Room for a killer workout, this year I took it kind of easy. I was feeling kind of yucky due to some dental work and being pregnant I wasn’t all about killing myself to get a mega calorie burn before a day of marathon eating. I was more into doing everything (including eating) in moderation.

I did my standard warm-up (PT stretches, pushups, jumping jacks) and then went into the weights part. This was my workout of the day:

Bent-over Row

Squats (just body weights)

2-Handed kettlebell swing

Leg Press Machine

Seated Cable Row

Lat Pulldown machine

Triceps pulldown

Pec-fly Machine

Then I did some “Ab” work. I use that term loosely because I wouldn’t really call it ab work these days. My usual ab routine is down to just a few things on a matt: planks, Bird Dogs, and the Glute Bridge. Then I did 3 miles on the elliptical and called it a day.

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I got home and cleaned up and then prepped the veggie tray for dinner and then we went over to Michael’s mom’s house for the holiday. His sister made her amazing deviled eggs (yum) and we munched for a few hours. Because of the dental work I had done I was eating mostly softer foods, so the eggs were nice.

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Michael’s brother got the entire thanksgiving meal from Zupan’s again (I think this is the 3rd year we’ve done this?) and it was fabulous! Everything comes pre-cooked and you just heat it up in the oven for 30 minutes or so and it’s done. It’s so tasty and easy.

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Michael usually carves up the bird and this year he tried it the Alton Brown way and it went surprisingly well!

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I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I love mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Those are like my favorite foods. 🙂 Thankfully most of the traditional foods of the holiday are on the softer side so I could actually EAT my favorite foods despite my tooth pain.

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The upside to being pregnant on Thanksgiving? I was already wearing stretchy pants! Yay maternity pants! The downside? I think there is less room in my body for food. LOL Oh well. I still enjoyed all my favorites!

There was some extended family with us this year, one of which is an almost 2 year old. Who is adorable and charming. And he discovered the black-olives-on-fingers tradition for the first time, which was so cute to watch. He spent the rest of the evening sticking his finger out wanting olives. It’s hard to believe that next year this time we’ll have a little munchkin discovering new things too!

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I barely had room for dessert but it was my favorite so you better believe I made room! Yay pumpkin pie! Food coma commenced pretty much immediately.

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It was a really chilled day, which was nice after some of the stressful stuff we’ve had going on lately. Never felt rushed or frantic and could just kind of relax and hang out. And we got lucky and scored some leftovers for a few days! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

Last Meal on Earth

I’ve often wondered what my last meal on earth would be. When posed with this question people usually want comfort food: pizza, burgers, lasagna, ice cream and pie. I always thought pizza and ice cream would be my choice. After my meal at Imperial, I vote for Doug’s Fried Chicken!

Doug Adams came up 3rd place in the most recent Top Chef season. He’s from Texas but moved to Portland and has been bouncing around at various impressive Portland restaurants before become Sous Chef at Imperial under Vitaly Paley. This season of Top Chef was pretty good and from the start I was hoping Gregory would win. He’s another Portland chef at Departure (a great place!).

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In the end it came down to Gregory, Mai and Doug. I was bummed when Melissa left. I felt like she was better than Mai, who ended up winning. I thought Melissa’s dishes looked the best and she had a nice personality–Mai not so much. I was SO BUMMER when Gregory didn’t win. Loved him.

Anyways, it was Michael’s dad’s last night in Portland before flying home to Texas and Michael got us reservations at Imperial. It was crazy–a Tuesday night and the place was packed! I guess the popularity of Top Chef has caused a boom in business. 🙂

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Michael has been raving about Imperial for ages now and this was the first time I’ve been. Now I’m kicking myself for not going before all the Top Chef groupies. 🙂 What a cool place! It’s in the Hotel Lucia and the decor is modern and chic, the whole vibe is really cool.

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I wasn’t sure what to order. Everything sounded so intriguing! Even the Crispy Fried Pigtail….! I had my eye on the sausage du jour until I found out it was Blood Sausage (no thanks). In the end all three of us ordered the Doug’s Fried Chicken. We shared an order of the fries (I ate more than I planned on but not so many that I regretted it).

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Michael’s dad said they were the best fries he’s ever had. I thought they were pretty darn close (nothing compares to duck fat fries). I got a glass of a Pinot Gris that was way too sour for my liking (it was like eating a lemon) and ended up getting a lovely glass of Cab Franc (which I rarely drink but LOVED so will have to look for it elsewhere).

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This was kind of my last meal. After a weekend of indulging when Michael’s dad was visiting, it was the last decadent meal before I was getting back on track!

Michael ordered a salad and I had a few bites. It was the “Winter Citrus Salad”. It was salad greens, pistachios, grilled onions, tomatoes, grapefruit slices and an Oregon black truffle vinaigrette with the black truffle shavings on top. Holy COW. BEST SALAD EVER. I’ve never had a salad this good. I had two bites and wished I’d ordered my own. It was incredible. Absolutely, hands-down, incredible. And it was just a salad!

The waiter brought out the housemade hot sauce that was in an old-fashioned eye-dropper bottle and honey. Apparently they have beehives on the roof and make their own honey! So Portland. It was amazing, though.

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The place was so packed and service was slow, but that was expected. I figured it was the new-found celebrity. The waiter was great though and checked in frequently. The fried chicken came out on cast iron skillets atop tree stump trays. 🙂 Again, totally Portland. But the presentation was incredible.

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Two large pieces of fried chicken with a watermelon salad on the side. Sounds simple but it was so fantastic. The watermelon was perfect, which was weird because it’s off season. The watermelon chunks had pickled onions, fennel and a tart vinaigrette on it. It went perfectly with the chicken.

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The watermelon was so juicy. How was the chicken? It was pretty darn good. Most importantly: Michael’s dad said it was the best meal he’d ever had and wants to come back to Imperial every time he visits. 🙂 I loved the chicken. The hot sauce could have been a little spicier for my tastes, but other than that everything was great. I loved drizzling honey on top of the fried chicken. I’d never thought of that before. So smart!

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Somehow we got talked into dessert. I have no idea how because we were all stuffed and certainly didn’t need anymore food. It was the last dessert and we snagged it. It had been popular that night! We got the “Texas Sheetcake”.

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It was warm, gooey chocolate cake topped with honey ice cream (which I thought was pecan at first) hazelnuts and toasted marshmallow. IT WAS AMAZING. OMG. Thankfully we split it because it was so rich but seriously, I could have eaten that whole thing on my own. Wow. No words. So good.

Sadly, we did not spot Doug in the kitchen. Maybe someday. Everything tasted amazing and the service was fantastic. It was a good night all around. Yes I overdid it. I knew I was as I was partaking. This was most definitely my last meal. 🙂 Now it’s back to eating like normal–but man oh man, what memorable food!