Can anyone else not stop watching No Reservations? Is anyone else insanely jealous that Tony gets to fly all over the globe and eat authentic food and experience the culture of so many cool places? Please, tell me how Ryan & I can figure out a way to do this. Dream job. Suriously.
Category Archives: Food
Lately, I’ve become obsessed with San Pellegrino, not really just San Pellegrino but any sparkling water. It is the most refreshing drink after work on these 90+ degree north carolina summer days. Especially with a squeeze of lemon juice. Summer is flying by already – I can’t believe it’s almost mid-June. We have a busy, busy schedule lined up – but all good things! So I can’t really complain. For all you Greensborites/Greensborians/whatever out there, Ryan and I have started a new blog for restaurant reviews in the ‘boro. It’s still a baby aka doesn’t have many posts yet. So bear with us. We can only eat out so many times a week. But we’ve always googled reviews on places in Greensboro, especially the many ethnic joints, and could never find anything – so we figured we would just have to tackle it ourselves
Anyways, here is the link if you’re interested!
Two weeks ago, my dear friend Ashima came to visit me. We met in the 8th grade in Mrs. Gastrell’s Science Class. We passed notes across the table and my mom would drop us off at [sketchy] Springfield mall on the weekends. We have always stayed in touch but really reconnected when I lived back in Springfield the year after I graduated college. She helped me plan my wedding and faithfully met me at the gym every night to
work out catch up on our day. She is the definition of a loyal friend and I am convinced everyone needs a friend like her.
She got here Friday after a delayed flight and we went to lunch at Printworks followed by a pedicure. Sometimes when you have a boy roommate, you need days like this. Days to talk about your skincare routine, your nail polish color, the latest chick flicks and the wedges you want for Summer. And that’s exactly what we did.
On Saturday, we headed to Durham for a Taste Carolina food tour. If you are local, you have got to go on one of these, they are a lot of fun & include a lot of yummy food. We had never really explored Durham much before, but it turned out to be a pretty cool city. [Hint Hint Meg & Pete]
One of the best parts of our trip to Durham, and not even included on the food tour, were these fries we randomly bought from a food truck [because obviously we needed more food after a 3 hour food tour]. Durham has a ton of these, another reason it’s an awesome city. They were sweet potato fries sprinkled with garam masala with a chili garlic mayo to dip them in. OMG. Ashima and I are still drooling over them and texting each other about them. I am going to convince Ryan to recreate them. I wish we had taken a picture – but I think we inhaled them between the 3 of us. We had a great weekend and because Ashima sent a complaint to United Airlines about her delayed flight and they sent her a $150 gift certificate,
hopefully I am sure she will be back again soon!
I am a bad baker. I don’t even like to bake – it’s Mackie’s domain and I’m fine with that. (Plus she’s really good at it, so why would I interfere?)
Except for cornbread. For some reason it strikes me as the manliest of all the breads. Maybe it’s the cast iron skillet, or maybe because the best cornbread recipes always start with something along the lines of “Fry bacon, reserving the drippings…” Maybe it’s knowing my grandpa and grandma like to eat cornbread crumbled up in a glass of cold buttermilk. Whatever the reason, I love cornbread.
It’s impossible to feel pretentious eating cornbread. Even if you doctor it up all fancy like the above photo with maple syrup, butter and blueberries (which is dangerously close to putting on airs) it’s still such a simple, rustic bread that you can get away with it.
I prefer yellow corn meal, although I respect a white-meal man too. Whatever the color though, it can’t be sweet.
2 cups cornmeal (I like The Old Mill at Guilford because it’s 5 minutes from where I grew up, but if you can’t find it go with House-Autry, another NC brand that’s been stone grinding corn for over 100 years)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
3 tbs butter (or bacon drippings!)
Preheat oven to 425. Place butter or drippings in 12″ cast iron skillet and put in oven as it’s heating.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, being sure to get them well distributed.
Combine wet ingredients in another bowl, and then mix with dry ingredients.
When oven is preheated, remove skillet from oven and pour melted butter or drippings into the batter and mix.
Pour batter into skillet and bake for 25 minutes.
In general, cornbread is best eaten with other awesome food like greens, pintos or with a glass of buttermilk. But maple syrup and blueberries was hard to beat at 9:30 at night.
Have you tried this stuff?! If you like indian food, this makes for an awesome, quick + easy, weeknight dinner. You just heat it up and put it over some basmati rice. It is delish & no preservatives or weird ingredients. It may not compare to real indian food (sorry Ashi!) but for those of us who want something a little less complicated, it works. They have lots of different varieties of entrees, but I like this punjab eggplant one a lot. I googled ”punjab” and wikipedia tells me that it is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab, Pakistan and Punjab, India. They sell other things too, like rice, though I don’t think I would buy pre-made rice in a bag, …its not that hard to make rice. If you’re busy & hungry – try it!
Fellas, let me help pave the way for you to have a successful Valentine’s Day. You might have seen the french toast I made for Mackie a few days ago. I’ll let you in on the secret – it’s really freaking easy. There’s one key element – bread. If you get the right bread, it’s game set match. From my experience if you start the day by serving this to your significant other in bed, it’s gonna be a good day.
Makes enough for 4 pieces
- 1 loaf of Brioche bread (if you can’t find brioche you can use a soft white sandwich bread or maybe challah – but brioche is the hands down best for this though. It’s worth calling a few bakeries if you have to. Come on, you’re already going to the trouble of making breakfast for her, don’t screw up the most important ingredient!)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk (don’t use skim – there’s no point in trying to make this holiday healthy)
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- White, milk, or dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips, you can use a broken up chocolate bar or chips)
- Strawberries or raspberries
- Butter for the pan
- Optional – if you feel like getting fancy you can add orange zest or a teaspoon of a nice liquor to the batter ie Grand Marnier or Framboise. I didn’t do it and it’s not necessary, but it’s your call. Don’t use cheap liquor. Don’t be the guy that uses Strawberry Burnette’s in the French Toast.
- Also optional, but a nice touch is some freshly made whipped cream. 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Use a mixer and whip it up.
Slice the bread into 1″ or 1 1/2″ thick slices. You need some room to get the chocolate chips inside. On the side of the bread slices, use your knife and make a slit where you can pack in a tablespoon or so of chocolate chips. Go slow and try not to tear the bread. Once you’ve got the slits made, add the chocolate.
Make a batter with the rest of the ingredients. Get a shallow baking dish and place your bread slices in it. Pour the batter over the bread, moving it around so it’s nice and covered.
While the bread is soaking, heat up a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, and the bread. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until it’s nice and golden brown. If you can’t fit all four slices in your pan, keep the finished slices in a warm oven or toaster oven.
Once it’s all done, top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, whip cream, or a little syrup. Then add a few sliced strawberries. Serve this to her with a mimosa (orange juice + champagne or prosecco) and thank me later.
I cook a lot. On good weeks I cook 5-6 nights per week. From Asian to Mexican, grilling to roasting, I’ve cooked all sorts of things. However, there’s one ingredient I’ve never cooked with.
For such a little fish, they sure are intimidating. But after seeing
Racheal Ray a chef on television use them, I felt emboldened. However, this new found swagger colided solidly with Mackie’s and my goal to be like this guy. Which is why you see tofu above in the background.
Tofu and anchovies – this is every 6 year old’s nightmare. What could make it more sinister?
Kale, naturally. Plus spaghetti squash, but it exploded in the microwave and didn’t make for a pretty picture.
So without further ado, I present to you Pesto Marinated Tofu with Spaghetti Squash and Kale (and an anchovy.)
Actually it was pretty good. I’d give it a 7 normally, but given it was vegetarian and I’m pretty sure gluten free, I’ll give it an 8.
So if anyone else feels like seeing what anchovies actually are like – give it a shot. Next up, homemade ceaser salads.
Pesto Marinated Tofu with Spaghetti Squash and Kale:
1 package extra firm tofu, sliced 1/2″ thick and pressed between paper towels to dry
1 spaghetti squash
2 cups of thinly shredded kale, rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
Pesto, homemade or store bought
Spread pesto on sliced tofu and set aside. Poke holes all over squash with sharp knife. Microwave on high for 8 minutes, then turn upside down and microwave for another 8 minutes. Let cool. Boil enough salted water to cover kale. Once boiling, add kale and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and then transfer to cold water to stop cooking. Once squash is cool, cut in half and tear apart with fork. Squash should look spaghetti. Heat up 3 tbl of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add garlic and anchovies and sautee for 3-4 minutes. Drain the kale, squeezing out extra moisture and add to frying pan. Sautee for 7 minutes on medium high, turning often. Add the squash and 2 heaping tbs of pesto and reduce heat to low. Add salt and pepper as necessary (mine needed a good bit of salt.) While kale is sauteeing, heat up 2 tbl of oilve oil in a different frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add a few slices of tofu being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with squash and kale. Serve with Parmesan and lemon (acidity of the lemon really made the dish pop.)
Does this make us hippies?
Six meals a day is all part of a balanced healthy diet, right? You need 4,000 calories/day while walking over San Francisco….right?
After a ride on the BART with a dude so crazy I can’t adequately capture his nuttiness (Picture a normal guy moaning “Clay pot fish numba wonnnnnn” to a Chinese lady beside him and you might get close) we arrived at Tartine Bakery. 2000+ Yelpers can’t be wrong. 2000+ Yelpers also probably warned us of the gigantic line we were about to face too, but that’s neither here nor there.
Sunday brunch, on Mother’s Day no less. By the time we ordered, it was all Mackie and I could do to not just point and go “Uhhhhhhhh” when the girl took our order.
A slice of swiss chard quiche, brioche bread pudding with strawberries, and a banana cream tart gone LIKE THAT.
After walking it off (aka walking a few blocks down the street and creeping on other peoples’ dogs at a dog park) it was deemed ice cream was in order. Enter Bi-Rite Creamery and Salted Caramel .
This is where it gets awesome bad. We literally walked from Bi-Rite TO ANOTHER ICE CREAM SHOP. This miiiight have been 45 minutes since Tartine Bakery.
Humphry Slocombe, home of infamous flavors such as Prosciutto (surprisingly awesome and not bacon-y like I would have guessed,) Olive Oil (ehh,) Secret Breakfast (bourbon + cornflakes – not quite Tony the Tiger) among others.
Needless to say, we were stuffed. Which makes the fact we crushed tacos from a taco truck all the more ridiculous.
Thankfully, the binge only lasted one day. Otherwise, we would have died.
OHHH WAIT – forgot one. Between ice creams, we ate this:
A maple glazed donut with bacon, naturally. It feels good to get all this off my chest. This is theraputic.