Archive | February, 2011

Split Pea Goodness

27 Feb

As most of you know I’m not much inclined to cook, but every once in a while I get a bee in my bonnet to want to cook a specific something, usually something I’m craving.(Although, I’m usually helping out my husband cook.) Tonight it was split pea soup.

First we started with olive oil, garlic and onions

Then we added the smoked ham hocks.

Let those caramelize at the bottom, which is a tricky skill I’m not good at. I have very little patience when I cook. Part of the reason I let the experts step in.

Then we added the veggie broth/water. And the three cups of peas.

Brought that all to a boil, stirring occasionally (oh yeah, and added some carrots, a wee bit late, as I forgot them!)

then waited….more patience requited from me.

Finally! Its done and it smells and tastes heavenly!

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Corner Table

25 Feb

I had lunch with the ever gorgeous @freshtartsteph today, and she recommended that I get my butt over to Corner table (@CTkitchenTable). For those of you who missed her birthday blog post at Corner Table. It looked AMAZING. I already knew that I definitely was going to make it over there, but it just so happened that tonight worked for me so I dashed right on over there. But not before tweeting Scott Pampuch that I was coming by.

I was immediately impressed with how I was treated when I walked in the door. Most upscale places on a friday night take one look at me and my two kids and make ‘the face”. You know the one, the “Are they going to sit still? We are gonna have to clean up after them…I give it ten minutes until they are screaming and spilling stuff” that look.

Instead, we were warmly welcomed and given our choice of seating. Scott recognized me right away and smiled and waved and once we were settled brought apples out for Bella and said hello. It was so nice to feel as though I was being welcomed in to someone’s home. That set the tone for our whole fantastic evening.

I was originally going to try the tasting menu but the specials sounded amazing. I ended up with the Chicken liver and bacon ragu over egg noodles, and it was fantastic. Noah had the smoked turkey mole with sweet potatoes garnished with cilantro and lime. That too was great!

Bella had the aptly named nosh plate, and loved it! I think it’s the best kind of plate like that in town. I’ve never seen anything so well done outside of my kitchen. It was exactly her kind of thing, with aged sausage, cheese, some pickled things, which of course she didn’t eat, but left for me and crustini. I would go there and just get that for lunch.

I was perfectly full, the portion size was just right, but I couldn’t help myself and I ordered dessert. WOW. The strawberry basil sorbet was heavenly.

I had the rosemary and olive oil cake, which I really enjoyed. ( I don’t love overly sweet things and this was just the right amount of sweet but also very flavorful.) Noah had the cheesecake, and Bella the trio of sorbet. (Sophie wasn’t left out, she tasted pretty much everything we had.)

I should also mention that you can get some stuff to take home from the mini-deli case too. I’ll be having some amazing bacon come tomorrow morning thanks to Corner Table! I can’t wait to go back, and try the tasting menu!

Food Coma

24 Feb

Ever have a day like this? You’ve been going and going all day, then you come home and have a big delicious dinner. Then suddenly the room starts to get a little fuzzy.

If only it was acceptable  for adults to do this! Makes me wonder how successful a restaurant that had cots in the back for a quick nap would be.

Silly foods

24 Feb

I’ve compiled a list of silly foods with friends. Please feel free to add comment ones you think I’ve missed.

I’ve broken them down in to two categories, naturally existing with no purpose or created by man and useless.

  1. Coconut – tis a silly food. Yes, nutritious, yes sweet, but also silly
  2. Watermelon – I mean, really.
  3. Kiwi – again, yes, I know nutritional value should rule all, but it’s rather silly.
  4. Pomegranate – I have no problem with the juice, but the fruit, so much effort for so little payoff.
  5. Zucchini – nothing nice to say.
  6. Tapioca – I’m not opposed, but universally I was overruled.
  7. Eggplant – don’t get me wrong, I love eggplant, but it is a bit silly.

Processed foods that have no purpose

  1. Marshmellow peeps- c’mon!
  2. Fat free brownies – seriously, why bother?
  3. Pancackes out of a spray can. Haven’t had the opportunity to try myself, fortunately.
  4. Black liccorice – I actually enjoy it, but like with tapioca, I was overruled.
  5. Frosting – yes, nothing but silly.
  6. Jello – self explanatory

Mini Chef in Training

23 Feb
Bella’s first caprese salad

I think that one of the many reasons I don’t often cook, or even attempt to sous-chef at home is that my seven-year old also LOVES to cook. She’s also very good at it. (I think I’ve cut myself more than she has, but that’s another issue entirely.)  She’s an expert dicer, garlic peeler and taste tester. She can tell you to the minute how long the pasta has before it’s perfectly al dente. (Such an Italian child!)

Bella waiting for her food at Oceanaire

My daughter was helping my husband cook while I entertained the baby (typical dinner routine for us). I looked over at the spread for this evening and was shown this beautiful caprese salad made entirely by my daughter. Not only did it look pretty, it tasted better than any caprese salad I’ve had in any restaurant in town. To be completely fair most places don’t use the good tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. And it shows. She also told me that she put special ingredients in, and like her father has patented trade secrets to her recipes. If this keeps up I’ll have my very own gourmet chef in-house. My dream come true!

Fun with Anna

20 Feb

Well I’ve decided that others may think I play favorites, and probably to an extent I do with the owners I know well. I genuinely adore Anna, from True Thai, so expect to see post about her occasionally. I have developed friendships with many of the restaurant owners I know in town, beyond just going to their place of business, and I truly believe that food is an excellent way to build a friendship. I can bond with anyone over love of food.

We were at True Thai the other night to celebrate getting rid of a lease vehicle that I swear was cursed. It was pretty quiet while we were there, so Anna offered to make some custom orders for us and asked us to try some things she’s thinking about putting on the menu. We also discovered that she and my seven-year old daughter wear the same size jacket, and that Bella is a size bigger in winter boots than Anna.

Anna in Bella's Jacket

Additionally, I think I may have neglected in my earlier post  about True Thai to mention the Thai style cashews, that was a grievous error for which I hope my readers will forgive. If you go there, order the cashew appetizer, but not how it is on the menu, ask for Thai style. You won’t be sorry.

Valentines Day Special

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day!

What can I say, I’m a sucker for heart-shaped food.

Pulled Pork from Victor

From my sweetie