Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brunch Bunch

Every week day, I park my car in the Strip District and walk a mile in to work, because I'm cheap and I don't want to pay for parking. I pass at least 8 bars and even more restaurants, none of which really peak my interest. except Kaya.

Today, I finally got to experience it

Soy Sausage Eggs Benedict with Red Pepper Hollandaise
My friend Kate and I love many of the same things. Classical music, Saved by the Bell, and all aspects of really good food. We spent the afternoon talking about food while eating food. Then we walked around the Strip in search of really good chocolate. Which we found at Mon Aimee. 

The word of the afternoon is "delectable".

Happy Sunday Everybody!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ton of Waffles Day

I am finally caught up with my DNY postings! This actually happened today!

When I have a Saturday off, I like to spend it experimenting with food. During the week, between my job and music rehearsals and everything, I rarely cook anything,relying on tups and takeout.  Cooking has become a therapeutic routine, and making up new recipes has become a way for me to be creative without any actual pressure. Usually to delicious results.
Inexplicably, I've been craving waffles. ALL. WEEK. So I declared this day "Ton of Waffles Day". I imagined heaps and heaps of delicious waffles overflowing from my kitchen.
Unfortunately, I'm not too great with improv sometimes.
I tried to make blueberry waffles. They were runny and gross. Banana Bread waffles were sticky and had no crust. Chocolate Waffles were a mess.
So flavored waffles are obviously not my forte. BUT:
Regular waffles, I'm great with. I'm also great with fried chicken. Hence, this delicious Saturday, I spent chowing on my very first attempt at Chicken and Waffles. I win.

And the coffee? Guatemala roasted by the good folks at the Gryphon. I had a cup while I was in Wayne last week and immediately said "I need to buy a pound of whatever I just drank. So after you go eat the best meal of your life at Teresa's stop at the Gryphon, which is right around the corner.
This was originally posted on January 25th

If there's one thing that Pittsburgh does very, very well, it's pierogies. Which is, for me, very convenient. I love potatoes. I love pastry. I love sauerkraut. I love cheese. and I love lasagna.

Pierogie Lasagna?

Dreams really do come true.

The geniuses at Tin Front Cafe in Homestead (right near the Waterfront!) created this dish that is absolute brilliance in its simplicity. I've decided to champion this gem of a restaurant, not only because of the lasagna concoction, but also because it's a cozy fun place right off the beaten path. MUCH better than most of the chain restaurants at the Waterfront; locally owned, the all vegetarian menu is inventive and diverse, the people who work there are the sweetest, the tea list is fabulous, etc etc etc.
Go to Homestead. Grab a movie. Do some Shopping. Check out the Tin Front Cafe. ASAP.

Some thing you do for money and some you do for Love, Love, Love

This was originally posted on January 23rd

Teresa's Cafe in Wayne, PA is unquestionably my favorite restaurant. Ever. In the world.
I've given it a lot of thought, and seriously, no other restaurant even comes close. Seriously, find an excuse to be near Philadelphia, eat at Teresa's, and thank me later.

Where else can you get Drunken Mussels, Pommes Frites with Remoulade, and Baked Rosemary Garlic Wings? and a Chimay to wash it all down with?

This amazing spread was the cherry on top of my weekend sundae, after spending two days with my wonderful family in the Poconos, then spending an afternoon with one of my favorite people in the whole world.


Introduction to Tupping

This was originally posted on January 17th

Up until a few months ago, I used to pack my freezer with Lean Cuisines. I'm not proud of it, but it's true. I started buying them because I would often waste food by making too much and not eating the leftovers. One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to make a huge pot of soup and eat it for lunch all week, but I usually tire of whatever it is by Wednesday and end up buying lunch anyway. Not a very effective plan.
Until Krystal, who is in her own words "so freaking influential", introduced me to tupping.
She would make a huge batch of a meal, divide it into tupperwares, and freeze them. All of a sudden, my lunch time possibilities became much more delicious.
So now, thankfully, my freezer is full of tups of meals that I have personally made, which I love. Every couple of weeks, the tup supply has be be replenished. So when both Krystal and I both had a Monday holiday off, we decided to make the most of it. Hence:


The most notable (and most colorful) result of which was:
Avocado Buttermilk Soup with Crab Salad

Creamy, decadent, ridiculously quick and easy to prepare. The recipes suggests serving it cold, but we heated it to great success. So, you have options.

Avocado Buttermilk Soup with Crab Salad
from Cooking Light


  • 3/4  cup  fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh tomatillos
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  ripe peeled avocados, pitted
  • 1  serrano pepper, seeded
  • 1  small garlic clove
  • 2  tablespoons  minced red bell pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated orange rind
  • 8  ounces  lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed


1. Place first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
2. Combine bell pepper and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine. Spoon about 3/4 cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1/3 cup crabmeat mixture.


This was originally posted January 11th, the night of the ridiculous snow.

I find that a lot of times, I enjoy making food as much as I enjoy eating it. Especially when I'm making food with someone else, which I've been making a point to do.
My dear friend Krystal and I had been eyeing this recipe for weeks, but had not found an occasion that seemed worthy. Until we realized that the 2nd annual Bruciversary was fast approaching.

Bruceiversary, you ask? Let me 'splain.

This is Bruce Bogtrotter

Adorable, yes?

Two years ago, Krystal decided that she absolutely MUST have a cat. So we went to animal friends, where she saw Bruce's beautiful face (at the time he was being called something atrocious like Ferrari or Fernando or some such nonsense). She asked to see the cat with the chubby cheeks and the animal friends staff said "No No No, you don't want THAT one" and proceeded to bombard her with a procession of wholly uninteresting felines. We were about to leave cat-less when a volunteered surrendered to our request to meet Bruce. She fell in love instantly.

So we wanted to celebrate two happy years of Bruce-dom. And what better way to celebrate than

Coconut Curry Soup

It's spicy and warm and full of vegetables. We followed it with a dessert of mango chunks to balance the heat.
 Here ya go:
Coconut-Curry Chicken soup
directly from Cooking Light

  • 4  cups  water
  • 3  cups  fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2  pound  snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
  • 1  (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles (wide rice stick noodles)
  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced shallots
  • 2  teaspoons  red curry paste
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground turmeric
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 6  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 1/2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  fish sauce
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4  small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 7  lime wedges


1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.
2. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

Brunch Bunch

This was originally posted on January 9th.

As far as I'm concerned, brunch is the perfect meal. My friends Katie and Janna agree with me. Apparently, so do the owners of E2 in Highland Park.

Risotto Cakes with Marinara Sauce

Perfectly portioned, perfectly seasoned, perfectly crunchy, and perfectly delicious.

Go to E2 as soon as you possibly can.

LOTR, or How to spend an entire Saturday on the couch

This was originally posted on January 8, 2011.

I can't deny it: I am a huge nerd.
So when my two dear friends Lora and Krystal agreed to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, in their entirety, back to back, I was ecstatic. I spent a whole week mulling over a Middle Earth themed dish to make. And then it hit me:

(still trying to figure out this Droid X camera)

While wrestling with the large assortment of vessels in the kitchen, I was having trouble finding what I needed: a dutch oven with a lid. So I minorly freaked out about how I needed a lid while my friends watched the Fellowship learn about the eye of Sauron.  The Eye of Sauron is, as everyone knows, Lidless. and Wreathed in Flame. Much like our coq au vin. It became the Coq au Vin of Sauron. I made roasted taters to serve on the side. Truly a feast of hobbit proportions.
The chicken is moist and the sauce is thick and flavorful. Simply amazing.

For your pleasure:
Simple Coq Au Vin
Adapted from

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped*
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil, divided*
1 (12-ounce) package white or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth*
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 large sprigs thyme


Arrange chicken on a large sheet of waxed paper. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken all over with flour and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and just crisp, 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Add chicken to drippings and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until edges begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, garlic and salt and cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Transfer vegetables and broth to Dutch Oven (lidless or otherwise). Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on 300 for about 5 hours. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Taters, Precious:
also from

2 pounds mixed fingerling potatoes, such as Russian Banana, French, Austrian Crescent and Ruby Crescent, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (1 clove)


For the potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Toss well to coat.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on two sheet trays. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue to roast the potatoes until they begin to turn golden brown, around 30 minutes more.

Remove both trays from the oven and stir a teaspoon of minced garlic into each sheet tray until the potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes until they are deep golden brown and the garlic is fragrant (but not burnt).

Side Note: our 12 hour marathon was an amazing success, accompanied by the mimosa, which may not be a traditional middle earth beverage, but I'm sure it would be if they knew about it.
Another day long marathon of movies and themed glutony is in the works, hopefully in the near future.

Welcome to the Blog!

Hi friends!

I'm not generally a fan of New Year's resolutions, but this year I've made a pretty awesome one: to make 2011 as delicious as possible. So far, it has been going very, very well.

After a most amazing pork and sauerkraut meal on New Year's Day (which, unfortunately, went unphotographed), I started paying more attention to what I was eating. I took pictures with my apparently great camera phone, which I'm still learning how to use properly, and I posted them on Facebook. It didn't take long for me to realize that the most delicious meals were the ones that I was sharing with people I love.

So here it is, my journey through delicious territory.