Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

The week started off super cold, again, and with snow. I had to reschedule my Monday appointment and SP worked from home. I know, I live in Pittsburgh, but this frigid stuff is so hard on my surgically repaired and probably-need-to-be-surgically-repaired joints.

Last weekend was cold, so cold, and the Benedum was so cold when people were arriving/departing. I'm at that age where sometimes I just don't care how ridiculous I look. What I wore for a high of 8 degrees with -15 wind chill: Thigh high socks. Jeans. Boots. Long sleeve shirt. Sweater.  Scarf around neck and bundled in front of chest. Puffy coat. Ear muffs. Hat. Hood up over my head. Another scarf wrapped around my nose & mouth. Gloves. Major dork.

And today it's near 60! Almost warm enough to hang out in the unheated sunroom.

What We're Eating:

  • Honey Roasted Pork with Greens, but using tenderloin not rib roast and without greens. Sides: Mustard Roasted Potatoes and steamed broccoli.
  • Lasagna and arugula salad. We froze the leftover lasagna from Christmas Eve so all we have to do is thaw and reheat. 
  • Dessert: Cookies/Candy from the holidays.

What We're Watching:

  • We finished season 1 & 2 of Glitch and now are looking forward to season 3.
  • A new season of Worst Cooks in America started. Often we wonder how the heck can the contestants be that clueless in the kitchen - ?!
  • Amazing Race. Didn't love the head-to-head challenge of the fries race. I felt terrible for Team Yale. At least they finally managed to win. Can't say we're sad to see, wait, no spoilers, so I'll say we are OK with the team that got eliminated.
  • We watched Dunkirk and it was really good.

What I'm Reading:
Nothing. I don't think I read anything. I'm not sure how that is, but, it is.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pork & Beans

It was almost exactly a year ago that we last dined at Pork & Beans. That time, we met our friends S & R after seeing a show at the Benedum. This time, it was just the two of us on a frigid evening after seeing Love Never Dies. After peeling off layers and accessories (I will not be sad to see this frigid weather go away), we ordered some beverages:
Reissdorf, Kolsch beer for him, Supersonic Cocktail (Jim Beam Bourbon, Rothman & Winter Cherry Liqueur, Orange, Lime) for me. Here's what we ordered:
Pork Rinds (sour cream & onion pork rinds w/ beer cheese). Usually, I don't eat too many of these. This time, I couldn't stop. The sour cream and onion flavor was excellent and the beer cheese dip was even better.
Pork Belly Potato Skins (jarlsberg spread, cheese curds, bacon-sour cream, scallions). Oh my gosh these are good. Cheesy. Bacony. Cool sour creamy. Probably one of my top favorites dishes at restaurants that we go to.
SP chose a special of the day, a Sausage Platter. There were 4 possible sausages and you got to choose which 3 you wanted. He chose Breakfast Sausage with maple, Lamb Sausage with pepper and paprika, Cod Sausage with potato. I tried small bites of the Breakfast (really good, nice maple flavor) and lamb (also quite good). These were yummy. A smoother texture than most sausage. I never thought I'd call sausage light, but they tasted lighter than most sausage.
I ordered Brisket Grilled Cheese (caramelized onion, cheese whiz, American cheese). So. Good. Almost better than my all-time favorite sandwich, the 3 Little Pigs at Meat & Potatoes. So much ooey, gooey cheese, tasty shredded brisket, sweet caramelized onions.

We enjoyed our second visit to Pork & Beans. The food was delicious. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable. Hopefully we'll be back at Pork & beans before another entire year passes.

  Pork & Beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

We just finished dinner. While we were enjoying my grandma's delicious Ham & Pork Balls, SP commented that I didn't write a Thursday Thoughts post today. I was so confused. I hadn't? Today is Thursday? Whoops!

So here it is.

What We're Eating:


What We're Watching:

  • Amazing Race is back! I missed that show. Usually we can in the first 5 minutes which teams will annoy us and we cheer for one of them to get eliminated first. Our cheering worked last night.
  • We started watching Glitch on Netflix. It's a TV show from Australia about 6 people who rose from the dead and crawled out of their graves, all now in perfect health. We're 4-5 episodes in and really enjoying the show.
  • We watched a couple movies: Detroit, which was good yet also pretty darn slow in places, The Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was as fun as the first one.

What I'm Reading:

  • My magazine pile is stable.
  • I read Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich. I always say this about the Stephanie Plum books, but it was the usual, entertaining but light and easily read in just a couple hours. I'm not a big fan of the Diesel character (he's in another series she writes and made an appearance in this book).
  • I read 2 cookbooks for panini grills. Guess what we got for a holiday gift?! Yup, a panini grill. I've been turning my English muffin lunch sandwich into an English muffin panini for lunch and it's yummy. I was looking for some other panini lunch ideas, and grill ideas, so we'll see what we end up trying. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Paris 66

One of the things we did over the holiday break was go to see Undressed, A History of Fashion in Underwear at The Frick. It runs through January 14 and if you haven't yet gone, I recommend it. It's amazing to see just how tiny those corsets made women's waists and just how much they affected your ribs, etc. After marveling at the underwear and being super grateful to not be expected to actually wear a corset designed to give me an itty bitty waist, it was time for a late lunch. We decided to go to Paris 66, a restaurant at which we have not dined in a long time. We did not have reservations and while there was not a line, it was pretty full in the main area. There were a few occupied tables in the heated deck area, too. Happily, we were seated at the last main area table, a wonderfully warm space (it was a frigid day and walking from the parking garage had really chilled me so the warmth was super welcome). Since it was the holidays/not a work day, we shared a small carafe of white wine. Here's what we enjoyed:
Soup du Jour, Mushroom Soup. I tried a few bites and liked it more than most mushroom soups. It was mushroomy, but not earthy mushroomy, if that makes any sense. Sometimes mushroom soup tastes too earthy/dirt like to me. But not this one. Yummy.
SP chose the Champs de Mars Savory Buckwheat Crepe (smoked salmon, dill creme fraiche, Swiss). He said it was delicious.
I chose Quiche Lorraine (bacon, Swiss). It was a big slice of quiche and filled me up. It was really good. The crust was thin and flaky and just so darn good.
We didn't need dessert. We were full enough. And certainly our house is a bit too well stocked with holiday cookies, candies, chips, and all sorts of other snacks. But, it was a French place, with French pastries, and there was no resisting the Pear & Almond Tart. So. Yummy. Warm, flaky crust, soft pears, smooth almond. We shared, but I'm pretty sure I could have eaten the entire order myself.

We enjoyed our lunch at Paris 66 a lot. It was relaxing, yummy, our server was lovely - it made us wonder why it has taken so long for us to return. We made a resolution to return sooner rather than much later.


Paris 66 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

I've spent the day trying to match receipts and credit card charges. Mostly this is difficult because of how Amazon groups orders, ships orders, taxes orders, and it looks to me like they are not using the correct % sales tax for where we live. Ugh!

Since last week's Thursday Thoughts it's been all about the Christmas holiday. We had our families here for Christmas Eve, so there was a lot of preparation for that on Friday & Saturday and then a lot of clean up over Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. We're taking things pretty slow! Christmas Day was at my parents' place. The day after we went to see the new Star Wars movie, finally, with about a billion other people who decided to see a movie. Yesterday we stayed inside, huddling under blankets to stay warm on these unusually chilly December days.

What We're Eating:

  • Leftover Christmas Eve food (lasagna, salad, veggie tray veggies & dip, cheese ball)
  • Leftover Christmas food (ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans)
  • Dessert: The remaining Christmas Cookies

What We're Watching:

  • We finished watching The Punisher on Netflix.
  • We started Alias Grace on Netflix - really enjoying it so far. Watched 4 episodes, 2 to go.

What I'm Reading:

  • The library pile is at 3 books.
  • The magazine pile is down 2, so I think 4 more to go.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gouda Cheese Logs

I wanted something a little different in the appetizer selection at the holidays this year, especially since I have so many appetizer recipes I have yet to try. So I decided this would be the Year of the Cheese Log (or ball, which is easier to shape). I've had this recipe for Gouda Cheese Logs forever. Like the Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Dip, it was ripped from one of my old cookbooks/recipe books, one of those small, paperback ones, like what you sometimes see (or used to see) in check out lines.
Cheese logs/balls seem kind of old school, but I always liked them. Not the nuts they were frequently coated with, but the creamy, cheesy, spreadable blob of cheese itself. So we made one, the same one, for Thanksgiving and for Christmas Eve. It's super easy: shred the block of gouda in the food processor (or by hand, or buy already shredded gouda, which I've never seen but MIL told me she bought it), combine with cream cheese (easier in food processor or with electric mixer but SP did the Christmas Eve one by hand), stir in chopped sun dried-tomatoes, enjoy. We did coat ours in some chopped pecans which I, of course, picked off.
I love this cheese ball. Mild gouda, creamy from the cream cheese, tangy from the sun-dried tomatoes, a little crunch from the pecans. It's also very good on sandwiches/panini or with celery/carrot sticks or just eaten by the spoonful. We'll be making this again.

Recipe:

Gouda Cheese Logs (or Ball)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Gouda (could also use Colby)
1/4 cup sliced drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives*
1/4 tsp garlic powder**
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley OR 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese & Gouda cheese until blended. Stir in chives, tomatoes, and garlic powder. Shape into 2 small logs or 1 large ball. Roll in parsley or in chopped pecans. You could also omit the chives in the cheese mixture and roll the logs/ball in the chives instead. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to let it sit out for at least an hour to soften before serving.

*We omitted because we didn't have fresh and dried chives aren't that great.
**We omitted because we don't have.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas & the 2017 Holiday Cookies

We celebrate Christmas, but whatever holiday you celebrate, we wish you a wonderful, cheer filled day!

The 2017 Holiday Cookies: