Tip from B: Someone should really rethink this brand name:
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tip from B: Someone should really rethink this brand name:
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2 tspn tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 small onion, chopped (or half a medium)
1 small stalk celery, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In closing, I would like to go back and try a few main course items to get an overall feel for the food again. I am sad that the chopped salad is gone, I really used to look forward to having it.
As far as The National, it did not disappoint! I am, by self-definition "old" (btw- over 30 does = old ;) ) and therefore like to sit down while enjoying a few hours of music. Our group was very lucky to find a handful of seats together on the upper deck/balcony.
Otherwise, it was standing room only on the floor and packed from corner to corner. They have a bar upstairs and down that have easy access and pretty good service, considering the amount of folks they are serving. The upper deck has bathrooms located in the back hallway, so you don't have to go all the way back downstairs to hit the ladies/gents (*I mention this b/c it's such a luxury. If you've ever been to The Riv in Chicago, you know what I mean!)
To quote my husband, "The Richmond Canal tour is worth $5, but not 6.........." Sunday, after Hanna, was a beautiful, clear, no-humidity day. So in all, a lovely day to tour the canal. Of course we got there 1 minute past the time the first tour was heading out. So, we bought our tickets and opted to saunter up to Stool Pigeons for a Mimosa while we waited for the next tour to come around.
My father-in-law had his heart set on the boat tour of the Naval base in Norfolk. And as luck would have it, Hanna blew through on Saturday. So then, the following Monday when we went to Norfolk, it was gorgeous. The tour itself is $15 and 2 hours long. Basically, 1 hour of a tour out and 1 hour listening to a random selection of songs on your way back to port.
The tour boat itself (above) has an air conditioned cabin below and a canvas covered deck above. With a little shade and a breeze, our journey was quite pleasant. However, I couldn't care less about the tour. I'm like, "Oh! There's a big grey boat! Annnnnnnnnnnd another big great boat.......oh. and a big.grey.boat." *Yawn!* *Insert fork in my eye* And let's be honest, Norfolk is not the most pleasant of waterfronts to behold, no matter how useful it may be. ;)
I was astounded ,however, at the 90 million ton Disney cruise ship they had suspended in dry dock.
The high point of my day, as per usual, was lunch. We ended up at local watering hole, Hell's Kitchen. Hubs and I both agree that if we lived in Norfolk, this would be our local joint. One of their recent fun "events" was "80's Prom Nite." The menu, as expected, is hot, hot, hot! I ordered the buffalo flounder sandwich. It was lite, crispy and melted in my mouth. The side of "fries" are more like rounds or home fries. The rest of our table ordered the buffalo chicken cheesesteak and the crabcake sandwich. Fries all around.
Silence ensued upon delivery of our order. Except for an occasional head nod and reflexive, "Mmmmmmm........." The verdict is that we would all go back any day to eat ourselves silly.
On a side note, we walked down to Waterside. Basically b/c it was there and the inlaws had never seen it. After popping in, I'm wondering why we thought they NEEDED to see it, other than the fact it was right next to where our tour boat docked. What a pit. Seriously, why am I going to Joe's to order CHAIN seafood when I'm sitting right on a hotbed of local seafood restaurants that are Xinfinity more worth patronizing? It really ticked me off to see all the chains, but I should've known better than to go in there, so I deserve what I get I suppose :)
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that Very Good Taste from the UK thinks every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.
Here’s the deal:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (mine are in green b/c it's hard to see bold on a black background)
3) Red out any items that you would never consider eating.
Here is my list (with a few comments thrown in):
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea (at the Ritz in Chicago)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (do Jello shots count?)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects(I have to confess, my ant was covered in chocolate)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV(thank you trucker friend who brings back Canadian beer!)
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs’ legs (my uncles caught the frogs and made these for me as a child)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (like RCF&W-- I consider Charlie Trotter's to be sufficient)
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Monday, September 8, 2008
Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)*
from Brandon Eats
2 TB. olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 double-sized cubes (like Knorr) chicken bouillon
4 cups hot water
2 very large pinches saffron (lightly toasted in a small pan ahead of time)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 c. Bomba rice or Aborio rice
1 lb. real SPANISH chorizo, sliced into 1/2” rounds (NO SUBSTITUTIONS)
6-8 pieces of chicken, skinned, rinsed and patted dry
Sauté the garlic, red pepper, and onion over medium heat in large, wide cast-iron skillet until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken and sauté until golden brown. Dissolve bouillon in hot water; stir in tomato paste; add to pan. Sprinkle with saffron and stir. Add rice and chorizo; bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering with the pan covered.
Cook slowly until all of the liquid is gone (20 to 30 minutes: keep a close eye on it), and the rice is cooked.
* Mine cooked for about 45 minutes in this instance.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
My mother-in-law can rock out some salsa y'all! This was our dinner tonite after a day of touring the city of Richmond. And man, it hit the spot! Viva la Texas! ;) We hit up the Bodega Latina on Broad St. around the corner from my house and I have to share that their tomatos cost half of what Kroger charges and were twice as ripe! Their jalepenos had awesome kick that really made our salsa sing.
My MIL and I made a discovery together tonite. Both of us had added canned, diced tomatos to salsa in the past to "red" it up. I only had crushed plum tomatos in my pantry, so we added those, it turned out delicious, much to our delight! It sweetened up the salsa and gave it an amazing color and texture.
I topped everything off with a Carta Blanca. It's basically the Miller Lite of Mexican beers and my all time favorite summer beer.
1 large, very ripe tomato
4 smallish jalepenos, seeded & deveined
14 oz crushed, roma/plum tomatos
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
1/4 of a small onion
2 large cloves of garlic
Throw everything in the food processor and let 'er rip!
I've been "test driving" lasagna recipes for years, but none of them seemed to hit the "just right" button in my mouth. So, recently, I combined 2 great recipes to make what I think is a knock out 5 layer combination. I hope you try it and think so too!
I will also typically buy the short and deep tin lasagna pan from the grocery store for ease of clean up. So, take that into account as far as amount of ingredients, height of layers etc.
So, for the sauce, I was inspired by Ina's Turkey Lasagna. For the cheese mixture, I was inspired by Rachel's Special Occasion Lasagna. I ended up adding a ton more mozzarella and parmesan along the way, so here we go!
PS-- This recipe has now officially set the landspeed record in our house for fastest disappearing lasagna ever! We only had 2 pieces leftover after the first round and they were consumed asap the following day. I think this recipe might be a keeper! ;)
5 Layer Lasagna for Company
1 large lasagna pan
1 lb box lasagna noodles (will need 15 noodles total)
1 lb bag of part skim mozzarella
3/4 cup small curd low fat cottage cheese, drained
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (6 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 - 1 1/2 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (roma/plum)
3 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tspn kosher salt
3/4 tspn freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, only 1 or 2 minutes less than directed.
Mix up items for cheese mixture (using only a 1/4 c. parm) and set aside.
Heat oil in large pan or dutch oven, add onion and garlic. Cook/sweat for approx. 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add tomatos, tomato paste, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
To assemble Lasagna:
Layer a ladle of sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Lay three noodles, lengthwise across pan. Add two ladels of sauce on top of noodles. Add a ladle and a half of cheese mixture and then a handful+ of mozzarella. Repeat. Be sparing w/sauce and cheeses and you will want to have 5 layers when you are done. For the top and final layer, merely ladle the sauce that is left across the noodles and top with mozzarella cheese and remaining 3/4 c. of parmesan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until browned at the edges and bubbly. Enjoy!
1. He was a red-head
2. He was a lefty
3. He had the soul of an artist and a poet
4. He was the original American "foodie" (thanks for reminding me of the obvious joelen! lol!)
If you guessed this is really not a food related post, you'd almost be correct. :) I didn't eat anything at Monticello (unless you count the pack of Lance crackers I consumed while taking in the view), but I do have a few culinary references for you. I'll try and let the pics do most of the talking.
If you haven't been here, I highly encourage you to go anytime between April and October on a cool clear day. You'll feel like you're standing on the edge of the universe looking at a 360 degree view of the shenandoah valley.
During Jefferson's time, his house was considered the "curiousity of the neighborhood" as it did not embody the Georgian characteristics of the day. The kitchen was also not in a separate building, but underneath the house, with the cook's room being right next door:
There are benches all along "Mulberry Row" (a row of mulberry's on the top terrace above the garden level) that you can park on to enjoy the amazing view.
He also kept fruit orchards which are still tended.
Thomas Jefferson has been described as America's "first distinguished viticulturist," and "the greatest patron of wine and winegrowing that this country has yet had."
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The steak smelled like a strong cigar to my husband and it definitely had a "charred" odor that had me a little worried before we got to the table, but it was all for naught. The meat melted in my mouth and whatever wood they were using gave it amazing flavor. I would also like to mention that it was also seasoned perfectly which is my usual complaint about steak. That potatos with gravy disappeared effortlessly as it melted on the tongue. I have to admit I expected the blueberry tart to be cloyingly sweet, as most tarts with custard are. Not so in this case, the tart was perfectly balanced w/a light, crispy crust, tart berries and a winsomely vanilla custard.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Perfect for visiting family and friends so you can spend time socializing instead of slaving in the ktichen.
Active time: 30 min
1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then finely chop.
Cook onion in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.
Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture.
Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses). Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata.
Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard). Preheat oven to 350°F.
Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes.Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
B's Banana Bread
5 Tbsp butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 tspn vanilla
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn baking powder
1/2 c. sour cream
Optional: 1/3 c. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
* Beat butter in a large bowl @ medium speed until light and fluffy.
* Add both sugars and beat well into butter.
* Add eggs & vanilla, beat until blended. Add banana and beat on high for 30 seconds.
* Combine flour, baking soda, salt & baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
* Add 1/2 of flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour mixture.
* Fold in nuts at this time if using
* Pour into non-stick (or non-stick sprayed) angel food pan
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.