Friday, August 21, 2009

Julie and Julia

I went to see the movie Julie and Julia last night with my two favorite foodies, my Dad and older sister. I just finished the book and was excited to see the movie. I’m a huge fan of the women in the movie, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Nora Ephron. The movie had some nice touches different from the book, but made for better visual storytelling. What I loved about both the book and movie was the love that the two women had that help fuel their passion in the kitchen.

Snack at the movies, popcorn and skittles of course. And yes I eat them together, thanks to my cousin.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Girls' Night Out-The Meal

To continue the girls' night review....we went to Lola after our very nice beverages, we went with one of favorite dishes, guacamole. They make table side, oh, nothing better than that. They don't use the molcajete to make the guacamole in, probably for health code reasons. But either way, the guacamole was delish! They even add their name in spice on the top of the bowl.

I had a Chile Rellenos stuffed with eggplant and goat cheese and grilled shrimp on the side and black beans. A new twist on an old favorite.

My cousin had the fried oysters, scallops, salmon and shrimp, topped with a trucker's egg (this is an over easy egg with the edges of the white browned).

For dessert we had the malted milk flan with carmel pop corn. Very good, I enjoyed the mix of the smooth flan with the rough edge of the popcorn. I will go back, to Lola if I get the time on another trip. Girls' night out, great food, better company, laughs all around.

Girls' Night Out

I am on vacation with my family in Denver. One thing that I love to do is hang out with the girls/women in my family. This started with many a visit to my grandmother Jane, who passed away two years ago. While that was a very sad occasion, girls' night out is always a ton fun. Laughing until you can't breath. My two aunts, Linda and Janet, are funnier than anyone I've ever met. This girls night out only had one of two amigos, but, we did have two of my other wonders girl relatives. We picked a restaurant that looked fun and was going to be even more fun with the company. We went to Lola, and it was wonderful. They have very fun (and serious) drinks. I started with a cucumber drink, with lemon and ginger, different but smooth.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tomato Soup-The Can

So my love of tomato soup is not just about what you can get a restaurant, I love the soup that you can eat at home. I tasted, many,many, many canned soups (Campbell's (made with water and milk), Amy's, Progresso, Foodtown, Trader Joe's, and 365 Everyday are just the ones I remember) but the clear winner that you want to have a on cold day with your grilled cheese is........Muir Glen.

Hearty Tomato Soup

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tomato Soup--Part II

In my quest for the best tomato soup, I made quarts and quarts of it, but my favorite is still Sarabeth's Creamy Tomato Soup. I try to go there at least once a trip to NYC, and have been known on occasion to go more than once. Your meal will be complete with a bowl of soup and a muffin.
Sarabeth's West

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tomato Soup

Okay, I have a thing for tomato soup. I will order it every time it is on the menu. In the past two weeks, I have had it four times. Here are some of the good, bad, ugly and lick the bowl (or use your bread). Reviews.

Not Your Average Joe's this was a lovely roasted tomato soup with fresh basil. This is the classic tomato soup.

The second tomato soup, is more of a gazpacho, completely pureed, with a dollop of guacamole, wrapped with cucumber slice, topped with a fresh baked cheese stick. This is from my parents' favorite brunch spot Cafe Orlin. This soup went to the top of my great soup lists. I will try this if the tomatoes are able to survive the summer.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Keen's Steakhouse

Birthday's are wonderful to celebrate with a wonderful night out. My brother-
in-law's birthday was feted at Keen's Steakhouse. This is an institution that has been in NYC for years, but not one that my family has been to (there are 140 years between the 5 of us in NYC). I started with the lobster salad with grapefruit dressing. I then, I went with the lunch cut NY Strip, ohh like buttah.

My sister and brother-in-law had the porterhouse for two. Quite a hunk a meat!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Peruvian Grilled/Roasted Chicken

My love of this chicken dish started 18 years ago when my college roommate, Liza found this gem on the upper east side in NYC El Pollo. My sister has found a national chain that makes this chicken, El Pollo Loco. But, the real secret is that this chicken is so easy and can be made a home. I made this for my parents and they loved it! I made it for a bbq birthday party and it was the hit of the party (as reported by the organizer). I keep one recipe in the freezer and I keep one jar of the marinade in the fridge. Here is the recipe:

Peruvian Grilled/Roasted Chicken
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), quartered (I use just thighs)
  • Accompaniment: lime wedges

Marinate chicken:
Blend soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a blender.

Put chicken in a large sealable bag and add marinade. Seal bag and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.

Grill chicken:
If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom and lid of grill. Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal (preferably hardwood). When coals are lit, dump them out along opposite sides of bottom rack, leaving a space free of coals (the size of the quartered chicken) in middle. When you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over coals for 3 to 4 seconds, coals will be medium-hot.

If using a gas grill, preheat all burners on high, then reduce heat to medium-high.

Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Oil grill rack, then grill chicken over area with no coals (or over a turned-off burner), skin side down first, covered, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes (add charcoal to maintain heat).

Cooks' note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, chicken (quartered) can be roasted in middle of a 500°F oven in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan with 1 cup water 30 minutes, then tented with foil and roasted until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes more.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grocery Lists

I love a good list. I've tried the list on the Palm Pilot, I need to try a few iPhone list apps, but what have always loved is the paper grocery list. I started making my list by aisle from my old Park Slope Food Coop days. This is a wonderful place that I used to shop at and then worked at when I lived in Park Slope. In the very old days, you had box that you hunted and gathered your purchases in, so only making one trip down the aisle was key. It has since expanded to the luxury of carts and aisles big enough for two or even three people across.

I make these lists for my clients, and here is my secret, keep your grocery recipts for a few weeks (the best part is that the store already sorts the lists for you in sections. You can then use word or one of the many free web applications (GroceryWiz,, or Freeprintablegrocerylist) The last one you can download the word document and edit it to fit you perfectly.

I have my list set up the four stores that I like to buy from Trader Joe's, Stop and Shop, Russos and Roche Brothers. I know a little nuts, but I try to shop where I am, so I end up with stuff from different stores. I keep one printed on the fridge, so I can mark off what I need before I go. I think I might try to laminiate one and use a grease pencil to save paper.