Sunday, February 13, 2011

food coma

these past few weekends i've devoted my time to trying out new recipes. last weekend's favorite was roasted chicken with dijon sauce with parmesan couscous and garlicky al dente green beans. after learning that cake boss buddy valastro now has a cooking show, i immediately tried his wings recipe for the superbowl - and they were a hit*! this weekend i tried making beer bread**, which is by far the easiest, most idiot-proof baked good on the planet. since enjoying it with cajun spinach & crawfish dip during my jersey shore viewing party, i've had it plain (breaking off crumbs every time i walk into the kitchen) and toasted with apple butter (!!!) from the edible schoolyard. finally, in honor of my dear friend maggie's birthday this weekend, i embarked on an arduous journey to bake red velvet cupcakes from scratch (clearly i was still on a high from my successful bread-making experience). they were... alright. edible. good enough. considering the time, effort and expense that went into this (albeit pretty) mediocrity, i do believe i will be sticking to boxed mixes and cupcakes & co. for now.

update: i forgot to mention we also had homemade sliders on saturday night! i used ina garten's recipe since it was my first time making burgers of any kind, and thankfully ina knew that when burgers are mini, they better be flavorful. these were perfect! i, of course, doubled the fresh herb and dijon mustard content (we non-tasters tend to do that) and topped them with caramelized onions and cabot extra-sharp cheddar. YUM.
*my chicken wings edit: 2tbsp honey (instead of 1/4 c.), omit sherry, add 2tbsp Frank's Red Hot and 2tbsp spicy pepper jelly (also from edible schoolyard), 2tbsp rosemary (instead of 1tbsp), omit red chili. i also added whole sprigs of rosemary to the plastic bag the chicken marinaded in.

**beer bread edit: omit 2 bulbs of garlic, add 1tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp rosemary (instead of 1tbsp)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

end of road trip blues

my week's worth of reminiscing is sadly coming to an end. our second day in st. louis was... how do i adequately describe it... do you remember that feeling you had every sunday morning (or, in my case, afternoon and well into the evening) in college? well, suffice it to say that nora showed everyone a grand old time. the night before started with pitchers of beer, toasted ravioli and darts. to say it went downhill from there would be an understatement. we proceeded to dance party in nora's adorable apartment and make spectacles of ourselves in front of all of her seemingly way-more-mature-than-we-ever-were-at-their-age friends. this was followed by karaoke - in public - where we sang "kiss" by prince and also participated wholeheartedly in everyone else's strangers' karaoke selections. approximately 9 hours in our night and 7 hours after everyone should have gone to bed, we headed to the notorious underage bar on campus where it felt like an episode of teen mom. in my jeans, knee-high flats, knee-length puffy coat and cardigan, i looked at my fellow [frighteningly underdressed considering the subzero temps outside] bargoers with the same look of concern i normally give 18-year-old janelle while she's out clubbing and leaves jace at home...
teen mom 2 fans? anybody? no? okay, moving on...
finally the night ended with 3am pizza, appropriately bookending our day of health and nutrition. the next day was spent peeling everybody out of bed before check-out, taking last-minute photographs of st. louis to prove to my parents i actually did something on this trip other than eat and drink, and visiting famed bbq joint pappy's smokehouse before hitting the road. it was a whirlwind!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

dancers among us

roomie found these incredible photographs of the dancers among us. they are just unbelievable! my favorites are the ones of the dancer/tourists. see them all here.
also, congrats to my college friend beck (featured on choosing change here) for making the front page of the business section on the new york times (see the article here)!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

meet me in st. louis

only slightly behind schedule, marty and i hit the road toward st. louis after our day in memphis. following our arrival, we met up with marty's sisters nora and annie and annie's husband dan. our first stop was gus' pretzels for a quick snack. the options were as follows: hot dogs, brats or salsiccia baked into pretzels, and pretzels. following this nutritious brain food we took a tour of the anheuser-busch brewery. by "tour" i mean we attended beer school and got to see the famed budweiser clydesdales! unbeknownst to me, a-b actually owns a herd of 250 clydesdales. we got to see like 10 of them and it was awesome! they had the funniest names, including mark, laddie, general and bill. after seeing the clydesdales we moved on to the hospitality portion of the tour (forgoing the touring part of the tour altogether) and enjoyed some freshly brewed brews.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

walking in memphis

cheesy song lyrics aside (did i just get them stuck in your head? sorry! ...not.), we spent the majority of our short time in memphis walking around the downtown area. chilly weather or not, it was shocking to see how few people were out and about! memphis really feels like it's been deserted, so it was very surprising to learn it is the 19th largest city, by population, in the united states! the weather was beautiful and we had a lot of fried chicken to walk off, so we hit up some of the city's most important landmarks (the lorraine motel, sun studio, some hoarder's antique store on front street, etc) and ended up - shockingly, i know - on beale street for some blues.