Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Bridges & Bourbon

This past weekend, we found ourselves walking to dinner at one restaurant but getting side-tracked by another and never making it to the original destination. The place that side-tracked us: Bridges & Bourbon, which opened last month in the space that was formerly Seviche. We went in with the intention of just having a cocktail, just to check out the place, just one cocktail. But then SP's glucose monitor beeped that he was going low, so we decided we should have a snack. That turned into a couple snacks, and well why not just eat enough to be dinner and have another cocktail?
It's a bar but not really a bar, not the kind of bar with $1 Miller Lite specials (Do people still drink that? I don't even know.) nor does it served $3 margarita or long island iced tea specials. I've seen Bridges & Bourbon described as modern cocktails, elevated cocktails, high-end cocktails, craft cocktails. I'm going to with real fancy cocktails. I'm not mocking, I'm being serious. Just look at their Instagram feed. Special glassware (though sadly, the glass bird shaped glasses have mostly broken, our server told us). Intriguing garnishes: flower petals, smoking wood chips, sprigs of baby's breath, mini clothespins. Ingredients I had to look up on my phone. Even an old-fashioned is not just any old-fashioned.
D'Angelo's Concerto (bourbon, brown sugar syrup, lemon, basil, Bridges & Bourbon Black Walnut Bitters). See? Elevated, modern, high-end, and delicious. Maybe my favorite of the four cocktails we tried.
Bloom (strawberry, rose de combier, lychee, vodka, sparkling wine). Look at the beautiful presentation. This was yummy but a bit too floral for my liking. That's not to say it's too floral. My personal threshold for floral flavors in my mouth is pretty low. We both liked the flavor of Bloom. Also, so pretty. And refreshing & summery.
Nimbus (sochu, kefir, mandarin, verjus blanc, lime, grapefruit, Pittsburgh Honey). So here's where we had a huge brain fart. Maybe it was the heat & humidity - we'd wandered around Picklesburgh before seeing Rock of Ages and then walked several blocks to Bridges & Bourbon and it was a pretty darn hot & humid day and we were feeling it. I was like, oh, sochu, or do they mean shuchu? Shochu? Sochu? Which is it? Is that what I drank in Japan that was so good and went down way too easy? Kefir? Hmm, like lime, right? But wait, it says lime, so are there 2 kinds of lime? Lots of citrus, yum.

Nope. We both know this and neither of us managed to remember, not even after the above discussion, that kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt. If we had, we wouldn't have ordered this because I don't like yogurt drinks. And later on when we remembered, we felt really, really stupid.

Also, it's kaffir lime.

So Nimbus was just OK but it sure is pretty to look at and it's got that super cute, tiny clothespin. It became tastier as the frozen orange blob melted into the milky part, flavoring it more.
Seger (Quantum Cucumber Gin, gewürztraminer, lemon, hibiscus, cardamom, ginger). Normally I do not like gin. but this drink was really good. My second favorite, SP's favorite. Most of the ingredients were served as ice cubes floating in the gin/wine (after you poured it on top the cubes). This means the flavor profile of the drink changed as you let it sit over time and the cubes slowly melted. Patience is a virtue with this one - I loved taking sips over time as first the cardamon and ginger cubes melted, then the cucumber, and finally just the purple hibiscus cube was left.
There's a small menu of "bar food." With Chef David Racicot (Lautrec, Notion, Täkō, Poulet Bleu) you know you're not getting bar food like fried cheese or Buffalo wings or jalapeno poppers. He offers elevated, modern, high-end bar fare with Snacks, Tapas, and Desserts. Real fancy bar food to go with the real fancy drinks. 
Shrimp Tempura (yuzu koshu mayo). Oh my gosh so good. So good we ordered another one. When I saw the shrimp sticks I figured he had pureed the shrimp and then breaded and fried them. Nope. It's shrimp.
Grilled Cheese (impossibly thin, gruyère & nutmeg). I had been thinking impossibly thin like maybe that super thin Pepperidge Farm bread but no, that's too pedestrian. Super thin as in 2 super thin crepes (?) or dosa (?) with cheese and nutmeg and oh my gosh so good. Crunchy. Like eating chips but so much better than chips. We ordered a second.
Monterey Bay Squid (imitating risotto, chicken bouillon, instant noodle seasoning). The squid was cut? pressed? riced? chopped? grated? into risotto. It was different. Tasted like squid, but a different texture, and wow was that chicken bouillon good.
Heirloom Tomatoes (super sweet currant tomatoes, frozen olive oil, parmesan & basil "raviolo").
These "raviolo" were so good. Tasted like parmesan and basil and pasta, but the texture was like a fresh mozzarella ball.
Lots of teeny, weeny tomatoes with basil and parmesan and frozen olive oil and a gel like substance and I was almost done with drink #2 here so all I really remember is allowing SP to think he got his equal share of "raviolo" (he didn't; I ate more than my fair share) but then again, I let him eat more of the tomatoes.
Did we need dessert? Probably not but we ordered it anyway. Frozen Yogurt (blueberries, hazelnut jam, exotic spices).
I liked cracking my spoon atop the frozen yogurt and watching it shatter. It was good. I enjoyed this frozen yogurt that was way better than regular frozen yogurt, a better texture, more fun to eat. The blueberries & jam under the frozen yogurt were tasty, too.
Our bill arrived in this box. Like opening a present. A present of how much you owe! I'm sure there are going to be Pittsburghers who complain and dislike this place because of the price and/or because there's not enough food on a plate to feed an entire football team. Our cocktails ranged from $10 to $14. Some on the menu are $16-$18. Our food ranged from $7 to $15. Add it all up and we spent a lot.

If it's not your cup of tea because of the cost or food portions, that's fine. Not everyone has the same tastes, not everyone is financially able or desires to pay that much for a cocktail or smaller quantities of food.

Bridges & Bourbon is more like an "experience" - it's not going out for a beer & sandwich with a pound of fries on the side. Did we appreciate the "different" ingredients and extra touches to our cocktails? Yes. That's the fun of it - trying different ingredients & the creative presentation. Did we like our real fancy cocktails? Yes. Did we enjoy the food "interpretations?" Big yes. Have we dined at other Chef Racicot places and enjoyed our meals? Yes. How was service? Our server was terrific. She was happy to answer our questions (like we wanted to know which cocktails were which based on the Instagram photos we'd seen!). Our food was nicely paced. I noticed in particular that both shrimp tempura arrived piping hot & crisp, as if they'd just been plucked from the fryer, not lukewarm & limp as if they'd been hanging out under a warming lamp.

The walls are a dark blue but the floors, tables, and chairs are light colors and the front windows let in a lot of natural light. The flatware is gold colored, which is different and feels a bit more luxurious. In spite of all the "real fancy," the staff are incredibly welcoming and down-to-earth. It doesn't feel like you have to be on your best formal behavior. It was relaxing. Nearly everyone was being a tad nosy, craning necks and gawking as drinks and dishes went past, looking at what everyone else ordered and wondering what it was. It's that kind of place. Also, it's really nice to be able to sit at a table and just have a drink and not feel as if you need to order food to justify being at a table. Or just order one snack with your drink and it's OK.

I noticed on our bill a carbon credit of 25 cents/person. I read that the restaurant is focusing on sustainability. Bridges & Bourbon has a Platinum designation from the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program and partnered with ZeroFoodprint to battle climate change. The 25 cents/person charge is used to offset their carbon footprint. I'm not sure how they measure it, but apparently they run on 98 percent renewable energy. Also, they use locally sourced products when possible and have extensive recycling and food waste composting programs.

We very much enjoyed Bridges & Bourbon. We'll be back.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Last night while SP dined at Soba, I enjoyed another one of the panini we're making this week. I never would have thought to put cantaloupe on a panini, but I saw it in one of the Giada cookbooks and thought it sounded interesting plus panini are quick & easy for dinner. We're using Tuscany bread from Market District, not focaccia. We layered bread-brie-prosciutto-arugula-cantaloupe-brie-bread and cooked the panini in our press for about 3 minutes. It's really good. SP is a better panini maker than I am. When I made one by myself, unsupervised, my brie cheese oozed out all over. Oops. It was still good, the crispy brie, but it made a mess of the panini press.

What We're Eating:

  • Leftover delivered pizza
  • Rigatoni with Lamb Ragu & Mint
  • Prosciutto-Brie-Melon-Arugula Panini
  • Dessert: Ice Cream (Guinness-Milk Chocolate or Lemon-Ginger)

What We're Watching:

  • We watched Homecoming (Amazon Prime). It was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect when we started it. Each of the episodes is 25-30 minutes long but each one flew by and before we knew it, we were on to the next. Looking forward to Season 2.
  • Big Little Lies (HBO) ended. I like that it ended in a way true to the book even if the courtroom Celeste-Mary Louise drama and Bonnie-her mom hospital drama weren't in the book (as I recall). Renata in her husband's game room/man cave? Oh heck yes, I totally would have done what she did and that jerk deserved even single swing of that bat even as I cringed at the destruction.
  • I watched Always Be My Maybe (Netflix) and enjoyed it, mostly because of Keanu Reeves and because of the mocking of food. The food as described in the restaurant double date scene, it was hilarious, those headphones to hear the animal you are about to eat!

What I'm Reading:

  • I finished The Rúin (Cormac Reilly, #1) and then read The Scholar (Cormac Reilly, #2) by Dervla McTiernan. I like the books, the characters, and am looking forward to Book #3.
  • I also read Throw Me to the Wolves by Patrick McGuinness. It was very good but something about it also frustrated me. I think the pacing of the crime investigation (or maybe just the entire book) was a bit too slow because of the long and sometimes rambling ruminations and descriptions. Just when I would get annoyed enough to think about quitting, I'd encounter beautifully written, thought provoking, elegant prose. It also didn't focus as much on the actual crime investigation, which is what I'm used to, so maybe that is what frustrated me. It's a murder investigation, but the focus is more on the one policeman's memories from his time at the school where the suspect taught and on his present day observations about media.
  • Yes, the magazine pile is still there.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Lemon-Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

It has been pretty darn hot & humid here. That means we've been enjoying a lot of homemade ice cream. We had two flavors in the freezer: Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, which we've made before and we really like, and a we-made-it-for-the-first time flavor: Lemon-Fresh Ginger Ice Cream. The recipe is from, of course, The Perfect Scoop from David Lebovitz.

This one is a bit more work than others. You need to blanch the ginger slices before steeping them in the milk & cream mixture. And you need to grind the zest from 2 lemons with the sugar in a  blender/food processor. But the final product is worth the extra effort. Plus, it smells so yummy when the ginger is steeping in the cream mixture.
We both really, really liked this ice cream. Last year when we tried the Lemon-Speculoos Ice Cream. I became a big fan of creamy lemon ice cream (not a sherbet, not a sorbet, just creamy & lemony). SP liked that one but didn't like the speculoos cookie bits as much as I did. That surprised me since two of SP's favorite flavors are ginger and lemon. This year I suggested we try this ice cream and he liked it much more than the Lemon-Speculoos. It's not a super gingery ice cream, it's not a bracing ginger flavor like when I drink a Dark & Stormy or Moscow Mule. But it does have a lovely ginger and lemon flavor.

I think this is one of our top ice cream flavors now. Definitely a make again ice cream.

Recipe here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Last weekend was our third summer CLO show: Peter Pan. I had seen it before, a very long time ago with Cathy Rigby, but I didn't remember it. When I was a kid, Peter Pan was one story I never knew. Then I saw the show. Then that TV show Once Upon A Time killed any like of the Peter Pan story for me. It was a horrible story line, dragged out way too long, and so darn annoying. That story line was the reason we quit watching the show. So I wasn't too excited about this show, especially since we'd seen Finding Neverland and Peter & the Starcatcher and both were just OK. This Peter Pan was better than I was expecting, with a few really good scenes, but that dog drove me nuts and was stupid. I kept wishing the crocodile would eat the dog, Nana.

Of course, my frustration with what I see as a lack of etiquette is starting to reach a boiling point at the shows. People checking cell phones during the shows, crinkling candy wrappers, chomping on gum, and at this show, children who are clearly too young to be at the theater for a show and who make noise the entire time. It was to the point that we had trouble hearing the show over the obnoxious around-3-years-old child right in front of us. She would not shut up, either babbling or doing that screaming/screeching thing children do. Thank goodness she fell asleep during the second act. We didn't officially complain, but I know someone(s) around us did because the usher spoke with the child's adults.
After we had dinner at Meat & Potatoes. We ordered our usual food but tried new drinks. Here's what we had:

  • My cocktail: Root to Berry (Haku vodka, ginger, lime, strawberry-hibiscus syrup, seltzer)
  • His cocktail: Rye or Die (Wild Turkey 101 rye, aperol, lemon, elderflower liqueur, demerara, angostura bitters)
  • To start, Fried Pickles (spicy ranch) and Fried Brussels (parmesan, lemon aioli)
  • Also to start, the Burrata special. Toasted bread smeared with burrata and topped with asparagus, avocado, strawberry salad with a lemon poppy seed dressing.
  • For my meal, Brisket Mac & Cheese (brisket, smoked gouda, thyme, french onion breadcrumbs)
  • For his meal, Salmon (black rice, kim chi, cucumber, Chinese sausage, Korean hot sauce, fried egg, ginger scallion relish) 
  • Dessert: Chocoate Pot de Creme

What We're Eating:
  • We used our grill rotisserie to make a whole chicken on the grill. That was for Monday when we visited with TX family. We also had grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, and crescent rolls. The crescent rolls were a treat. I don't think we've ever bought them, but the nephews like them and they were easy. There was some leftover chicken, enough for one more dinner.
  • Grilled burgers with toasted buns, avocado, tomato, smoked gouda, and some of the leftover homemade bourbon barbecue sauce.
  • Dessert: Store-bought cupcakes with TX family. Leftover ice cream during the week.
What We're Watching:
  • We finished The Crown and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to Season 3, though I'll miss the current actors.
  • We watched Russian Doll on Netflix, which I liked much, much more than I expected given that I cannot stand the movie Groundhog Day. Season 1 is a quick watch. It's 8 episodes and each episode is 20-30 minutes long.
  • Only one more episode of Big Little Lies. Will Celeste destroy Mary Louise on the stand? Somehow I think no one is a match for that woman! Will one of the 5 crack and confess what really happened? And gosh it's not as if I really like Renata but boy do I want to smack her husband around. What a jerk, first the money/bankruptcy and then the nanny.
  • I watched If Beale Street Could Talk and thought it was excellent. It made me cry, what happened to Fonny & Tish.
  • We watched Bohemian Rhapsody. It was fun to hear all the music but I wonder how accurately the movie portrays Mercury's life. Also, while Malek won the Oscar and did a great job as Mercury, the movie itself was not very good. After we finished the movie, we went down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos from 13 July 1985 and Live Aid performances. We both remember that day well because it was such a big deal, the dual concerts in London and Philadelphia.
What I'm Reading:
  • I started a book, The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan. I'm not very far into it.
  • The usual magazines.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Alta Via

I've been wanting to try the new Big Burrito Restaurant, Alta Via, ever since it opened. I got my wish last Friday when we went to dinner with my parents. It's much easier to find than I expected. We got off Route 28 at exit 8 and it was right in front of us. We had 5 pm reservations and were seated right away. There were some tempting cocktails, but in the end we all ordered wine:

  • SP enjoyed the house white wine (Chardonnay-Fruiliano, Palladio · Veneto). 
  • Mom had Pinot Grigio Montefresco, 2017 - Veneto. 
  • Dad & I tried a rosato - Sangiovese Fattoria di Bascia, 2017 - Tuscany. I really liked the wine.

Focaccia with olive oil, butter, rosemary salt. As we discovered, a little of the salt goes a long way. A couple people may have over done the salting! But the focaccia? So good.

We shared three appetizers and all were excellent:
Fried Calamari (crispy Meyer lemons, parsley aioli, gremolata).
Broccoli Salad (black currants, Honeycrisp apple, roasted garlic vinaigrette, Pecorino Romano, pine nuts). We got the dressing on the side because of my garlic sensitivity. I liked this salad much more than I expected. 
Heirloom Tomato Salad (basil, crispy bread, white balsamic vinaigrette, stracciatella).

The meals:
Mom chose a large portion of Mafaldine with mushroom Bolognese, fresh ricotta. She liked it. We got to have her leftovers. SP really like it. I thought it was OK, but that's because while I like mushrooms, they can sometimes make a dish too earthy for me, and this was a little too mushroomy for me.
SP ordered two small pasta portions. One was Radiatori with braised Elysian Fields lamb, mint, Calabrian chilis, Pecorino Toscano. It was excellent (of course I tried a bite or two of the lamb pasta!).
The other was a Pasta Special: Agnolotti with pureed carrot and cheese, pea shoots, arugula. I didn't try the agnolotti but he said they were really, really, really good.
My dad chose Laurel Hill Trout (hen of the woods mushrooms, grilled spring onion, Yukon gold potatoes, salsa verde). He ate every last bit of food on his plate and said several times that his trout was excellent.
For me, a small portion of Alla Chitarra (cacio e pepe). I had a little bit leftover that I took home.
And a small portion of Pappardelle (beef short rib sugo, stracciatella). Both were really tasty. I finished the pappardelle, which was probably my favorite. I've always really liked homemade pappardelle, especially when served with short rib sugo. And cheese.

After dinner, SP and I ordered cappuccino. The four of us shared three desserts:
Zabaglione (brown sugar focaccia crunch, mixed berries). This was a big hit with my dad and SP.
Hazelnut-Chocolate Torte (hazelnut-chocolate mousse, chocolate genoise, chocolate curls). This was my favorite. Not heavy and dense. Light and chocolaty and just so good. I couldn't stop eating it.
Olive Oil Cake (marmellata, whipped cream). This, too, was very good, though switching between bites of chocolate hazelnut and bites of citrus wasn't so great, which is why I ended up focused on the chocolate dessert and SP & my mom focused on the olive oil cake. Dad was all about the zabaglione.

We really like all the Big Burrito restaurants. Personally, I think I found my new favorite one (sorry Eleven) because I love good pasta and I thought the pasta dishes were excellent. The appetizers were very much to my liking, too - there's just something so good about terrific tomatoes with basil and cheese and I've always enjoyed a good fried calamari. The desserts were really tasty, too. Alta Via was a meal of many of my favorite things. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, checked with the chef on garlic for me. Our meal was nicely paced.

We'll be back! Even if it means taking Route 28!

Potato Salad

We haven't made Potato Salad in so long that we couldn't remember how to make it! Did we peel the potatoes before or after boiling? How many eggs? How much celery? How many potatoes? I wish we'd written down the entire recipe and not just the dressing we like. So here's my attempt to write it down for future reference.
The thing is, it's really a matter of personal preference. We just couldn't remember our personal preference! Some people like more celery for more crunch, some like a bit of relish, maybe even some briny capers. Some like mayo only for the dressing (my grandma and mom), some like a vinegar dressing (us), others like a combination, or one with yogurt or sour cream.
Here's our basic Potato Salad recipe:

Potato Salad

5 lbs red potatoes, peeled, cooked, cubed
4 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
small onion, finely chopped
a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
fresh chives
fresh thyme, or dill, or tarragon
salt & pepper

Dressing:

1/2 cup white wine vinegar plus 4 tbsp white wine (or 3/4 c white wine vinegar)
2 tbsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
salt & pepper
3/4 tbsp olive oil

Peel the potatoes then cook in a pot of salted, boiling water until fork tender. Drain and chop into pieces as small/large as you like. Place in a bowl and drizzle some of the dressing over the warm potatoes. Add the eggs, celery, onions, and herbs to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in more dressing until dressed to your liking. Mix well. The potatoes absorb the dressing, so we always keep the leftover dressing (if any) to spruce up leftovers; sometimes we make extra dressing. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

If the celery is skinny, we'll add an extra stalk. Sometimes we omit the onion.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Last Thursday was the start of a four day holiday weekend for us. On the actual holiday, we went to see the new Spiderman movie and then to dinner at Burgatory. The special milkshake was a Funnel Cake-Strawberry Shake, which we tried and liked. Our friend T enjoyed the Choco Taco shake. Friday was lots of chores and then we went to dinner with my parents at Alta Via. Yum! We really liked the new Big Burrito restaurant.

Sadly, on Saturday, we attended the funeral for my BIL's FIL. It was a bit of a haul for us, about a 45 minute drive to an area with which we are not familiar. After, we decided to take a detour on the way home and check out Oakmont Bakery. I had never been there. It's not close to us. According to Maps, the fastest route is a 45 minute drive from our home (assuming there's no traffic) on Route 28, one of the most evil (in our opinions) roads. The bakery is huge, kind of overwhelming, and we took our time gazing into the display cases. Then we sat down at a table and wrote a list of bakery treats to try. After we made our purchases, we looked outside and realized there was a thunderstorm raging so we decided to stay and share a sandwich, latte, chips, and cookie. Once the rain slowed a bit, we zipped out to the car and headed home, making sure to avoid any roads that we'd seen on the news as flooding in massive downpours.

Sunday was a day of laundry and cooking. And then our 4 day weekend was over. It went by far too fast!   
What We're Eating:

  • Ribs with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, Macaroni Salad, Green Beans, Corn on the Cob
  • Grilled Shrimp with Rice Salad
  • Dessert: Oakmont Bakery cookies, ice cream

What We're Watching:

  • We watched the 8 episodes of Stranger Things Season 3. I thought it was scarier than previous seasons. We enjoyed the season and I may have shed a few tears at the end.
  • We finished Season 1 of The Crown and are 4 episodes into Season 2.
  • Spiderman: Far From Home! It was a fun movie, and also a good first post-Avengers End Game movie.

What I'm Reading:

  • The new book by Paul Doiron, Almost Midnight. I love the Mike Bowditch books! I was so engrossed in the book that I forgot to eat lunch one day.
  • Progress: I am halfway through one of the seven Smithsonian Magazines.
  • New issues of Cook's Country, Cook's Illustrated, Food Network Magazine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ditka's

Recently there was a family celebration held at Ditka's in Robinson. I'd never before been to Ditka's. We think of it as a steakhouse, and that's not really our kind of place. Plus, I'm still mad that Atria's left and it turned into Ditka's! I miss Atria's.

SP & I had iced teas. He also started with a cup of the Sherry Crab Bisque, but while I tasted it (many times, just to be sure it was OK! It was really good!), I forgot to take a photo. Here are some photos of what we did eat:
Maryland Style Crab Cakes (jumbo lump crab, brown rice, cole slaw, tartar sauce)
Cedar Planked Ora King Salmon (honey-chipotle glaze, pineapple quinoa, broccolini).
Day Boat Scallops (king crab risotto, sweet corn cream).
Burgundy Mushrooms
Raspberry Cheesecake.

It was a good meal. I think everyone enjoyed their food. Several family members enjoyed steaks. The kids had fish and chicken fingers. Other desserts enjoyed were a Turtle Ice Cream Pie and a Triple Layer Chocolate Cake.

While the food was good and the service fine, it's not really a place we are likely to return on our own since for the price there are other restaurants with food/atmosphere more to our liking. But this was a nice place for this family dinner. There are several private areas for a large group meal, so that's quite nice. They take reservations, are in an easy to get to location, and are wheelchair accessible.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Chicken Agrodolce

We're always looking for new ways to cook chicken. This one is from Giada in Italy. She calls it Chicken Agrodolce. I call it Honey Balsamic Chicken. There's only one photo from when we made this chicken - whoops!

Basically, season chicken with salt and then brown it in olive oil in oven-proof skillet. Once browned, add honey, balsamic vinegar, and thyme to skillet. Swirl to mix and flip chicken around in sauce until coated. Place the skillet in a 375 degree oven and bake until chicken is done (160 degrees). Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest while you simmer the sauce for a bit and then add some butter to the sauce. Pour sauce over chicken.

Easy. Quick. Delicious.

We ate the chicken with Grilled Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce.

Recipe here. And here, with pork instead of chicken.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Today's thoughts are red, white, and blue - Happy July 4! I hope everyone has a terrific celebration. We are doing our usual, low-key 4th of July thing: meeting up with T, seeing a movie, going to dinner, coming home to watch some TV, and when the fireworks start, maybe heading out to the deck to watch through the trees!

Last weekend we met friends for lunch at Aladdin's. I wish we had an Aladdin's in Robinson. I had the Sfiha Plate. Sfiha is ground meat, onions, tomatoes, pine nuts, herbs in a pita. The plate comes with salad. I like the warm spiciness of this dish, with just a bit of heat.

What We're Eating:

  • Grilled Chicken, Grilled Zucchini, Potato Salad
  • Dessert: Whatever we find in the house

What We're Watching:

  • We finished Season 3 of Jessica Jones. I think I liked it best of the three seasons.
  • We started The Crown on Netflix. I can't believe we've waited so long to watch this show!
  • Stranger Things 3 starts today. We might have to take a break from The Crown.

What I'm Reading:
Magazines. On the bright side, my subscription to Smithsonian Magazine ended so the pile won't get any higher than the 7 issues sitting there now.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Baked Fried Green Tomatoes

I love, love, love fried green tomatoes. When we're in the south, I order them everywhere. Lunch and dinner. SP came home with green tomatoes and we knew we were finally going to try making them ourselves. Of course, life has a way of getting in the way and we were so busy that we weren't sure we had time for frying. Then I remembered this Baked Fried Green Tomatoes recipe from Gesine Bullock-Prado (Baked in Vermont on Food Network).
These didn't get quite as browned and crispy as I would have liked, but they were so much easier than baby-sitting a pan of frying oil. They weren't as browned/crispy as hers, but I suspect we didn't spray as much oil on the breaded tomatoes, or maybe we should have left them in the oven longer?
We didn't make her Cajun Spice Aioli. We whipped up a quick mayo-mustard-lemon-paprika sauce.
I'd make these again, especially if we're short on time, but next time I want to try actually frying the tomatoes.

Recipe here.