Thursday, June 24, 2010

Curried Tofu with Zuccini, Fresh Peas and Green Beans

Whenever I discover I like something that I either always thought I didn't like, or just didn't really eat.....I now want it all the time... it's like I'm making up for lost time of enjoying its deliciousness....

This is true for, but not limited to: olives, scallops, pickles, tofu, sushi, etc. All things I just started eating in the past 3 years or so and now can not get enough of them... another one of these things is coconut milk.. I always love Indian Curry but had it in my mind that I hated Thai curry because it's base is coconut milk... But then one day I decided to try it and realized how wrong I was. Coconut milk is delicious! So of course now it's time to experiment with it....

Here is a recipe combining what we got in our farm box this week + what we had in our pantry to make a yummy and overflowing bowl of healthy food....

Let's begin!

I started by sauteing up some lite firm tofu

and chopped up all my veggies (we used onion, zucchini, fresh peas & green beans)

I sauteed the onions for a long time (almost 10 minutes!) until they were slightly brown (not burned!) and sweet and delicious...

Then sprinkled about a tablespoon of curry powder on them and let that cook a little bit... ( I need to invest in some spicier curry powder!)

Then added a can of light coconut milk and let it come to a boil and then simmer away until it became a nice thick infused coconut curry sauce...

Then I added the sauce to the tofu and zucchini that had been added to the panto saute a little bit. I threw the peas and beans in boiling water for about a minute or two before adding them to the mix along with some cayenne pepper for heat, some soy sauce and a little salt and pepper...

and then served the whole thing over a little Bulgar to soak up all that sauce....

and then there you have it! Sprinkled it with a few slivered almonds for crunch...and dinner was served!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Views & Vines 2010

This post is a little late, but I really wanted to share this with everyone since I think it's such a neat event. This is the second year we have gone to this event, although I think it's been around a little longer, and has sold out both years that we have been attendance.
It's called the views and vines tour and it's a fundraiser for the Cincinnati Parks Boards. Basically you gather at a park (this year it was Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park)- have some food from a local restaurant and some wine from a local winery- hang out a little with your friends and then load onto 4 charter buses to get ready for a park tour of Cincinnati and some more tasting....oh, and did I mention we got a police escort by cops on motorcycles so we could all stay together.... it was hilarious as we were driving around to see people's faces when they saw us drive by... they must have thought we were celebrities or something. On the way we had a Cincinnati Parks expert tell us about the parks we were passing and the parks we were on our way too. He had old pictures of what they looked like before, which I always think are so cool. We actually had the same tour guide last year and I was thrilled to have him again.

Our first stop was Rapid Run over on the west side that was paired with some food from Andy's Meditteranean Grill and a cool white wine from Tino Vino. The setting was great for lots of fun pictures:
Next up was Owl's Nest Park with a (delicious) lasagna from Bella Luna and some Red Tino Vino wine...

After that we loaded back up into the charter buses and were on our way back for an afterparty complete with a Montgomery Inn buffet, more wine from Tino Vino, Christian Moerlein beers and a free pass to the butterfly show...

Again, this was a great event and I'm already looking forward to next year's!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Restaurant Review- Silver Spring House

Thursday night we headed North to the suburbs to celebrate Jenn's birthday. Someone else in our party had suggested The Silver Spring House which sounded great since I had never even heard of it before. A quick google search taught me it was a "chicken joint" and I prepared myself to feast on chicken that night.
The parking lot was Packed... with a capital P. I couldnt believe how many people were out eating chicken at 7pm on a Thursday....but even though there was a wait, our reservation for 6 was immediately seated (LOVE that..) The patio is ENORMOUS....the waiters walk around with headpieces in their ears to tell the hostesses when tables open up. The patio has windows that open up to let fresh air in in the summer and can be closed during the winter. There are also about 10 million fans blowing every which way to keep you comfortable while you drink a beer and eat some chicken.
Rob and I arrived first and hit up the self serve popcorn machine... total score!

The menu consists of multiple pages of chicken and about one of is a chicken joint after all...but don't you know.. TWO of the people at our table ordered a burger... ridiculous... I know.

I ordered a Roadhouse Burrito:
Spring House Chicken with cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes wrapped in a flour tortilla, topped with lettuce, sour cream, salsa and black olives. Served with blue corn tortilla chips and garnished with black bean salad.

Yum. The chicken was very flavorful and the salsa had a nice kick. I had been craving tacos recently and this seemed like a nice compromise... and a couple of the chips were a nice way to pick up some things that may have fallen out of burrito during the eating process...
Jenn ordered the Chef Salad and said the chicken was cooked perfectly..
(sorry for these awful pictures...there was a crazy glare going on in there and I couldnt seem to get any good shots)

The burger boys weren't as happy ... with Rob's "medium" burger coming out very much well done. (thats what you get for ordering beef at a chicken joint!)

Jason got the Spring House Sandwich with bbq and said the bbq sauce had a nice little kick and the chicken was great... and look at those saratoga chips! Yum.

All in all the atmosphere at this place was great. Cold Beer, good chicken, good company and celebrating the birthday of one of my very favorite ladies :)

Happy Birthday Martin!

Silver Spring House on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 11, 2010

Walking Party Re-Cap

Last weekend we had a day drinking party to celebrate my new ability to walk again. I wanted to have a party that would include lots of activities and really celebrate the ability to walk.... Here is the day in pictures...
It rained (hard) right when the party was about to start and I thought we were in for a disastrous day...but the rain cleared out and the sun came out...and the day drinking commenced.

People hung out and chatted
There were multiple tournaments going on (a cornhole tourney, bocce tourney, PIG tourney, etc)
I came sooo close to winning the cornhole tournament

But unfortunately the prize went to someone else.....

Dork immediately put the check in his money clip.

That's a lotta lettuce!

Then of course there was some late night drinking games..
This is some serious beer pong:

Followed by flipcup...

And then fun with sidewalk chalk
Truer words have never been written......

First summer party= success.
walking= not as much as a success....but for this post.. let's just focus on the positive :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Farm Box Fun- Garlic Scape Pesto

Lately in our Farm Box we've been getting garlic might be thinking to yourself, "what is a garlic scape?"

The garlic scape serves as the stem from which the seed head of the garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb begins to grow and mature, garlic stalks also begin to lengthen. During the growth period, the garlic scape begins to curve. Contained within the garlic scape is a great deal of flavor, although the stalk never does reach the level of the pungent garlic bulb itself. Initially, the garlic scape is relatively tender, making it ideal for use as an ingredient in several dishes.
Definition found here.

This is what they look like:

Apparantly they are delicious on all kinds of things such as chopped up on salads and in stir fries...but the one recipe I keep seeing over and over and over again is garlic scape pesto... and immediately upon hearing about it...I knew I had to try it....

So into the mixer went my parmesan cheese:

My almonds:

and a couple of chopped up garlic scapes along with olive oil, salt and pepper...and voila:

Garlic Scape Pesto!!

Then, I boiled some whole wheat pasta and sauteed up some chicken to make a little bowl of yum...

This pesto was awesome but even for possibly one of the biggest garlic lovers of all time...this might have been a little potent as just a pasta sauce..

I plan on 100% making this deliciousness again and putting it in an airtight container to store in my fridge to have on top of chicken or mix with a little mayo for a yummy sandwich spread...

Yummm. FarmBox friends out there with a bunch of scapes and a confused look on your face... make this!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Restaurant Review- Lavomatic

I was excited to finally try Lavomatic. My friend Krista is moving downtown and asked if I wanted to have dinner and look at some downtown apartments with her... I said yes please and we headed to the Gateway Quarter. She was running late so I checked out the little shop next door which was super cute and chatted with the girl that was working and loved on her little dog for a while until Krista showed up, and then we headed to the rooftop deck for dinner with a Groupon in hand!. I ordered a glass of $5 house white wine and enjoyed the atmosphere:

Our waitress told us about some appetizers that werent on the menu and we ordered one of those... It was this ooey mozzarella with pesto on top that you could smear on this bread. It was pretty good, but a little big for two people... unfortunately when we got the bill, it was $14..... it was a special and no other appetizer on the menu was over $8ish, so we kind of felt liek she should have mentioned it was almost double that.... but it was tasty with the wine.

Krista and I ordered two sandwiches and gave eachother favorite way to eat.
The first sandwich was: BBQ Chicken with Candied Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

I have to say the bread to chicken ratio for me was way off. I even took the top piece of bread off and still thought there was too much bread vs. was tasty but nothing miraculous. The bbq sauce was good, but the chicken was a little dry.
The other half sandwich I got was: Double Decker- smoked turkey, gruyere cheese, aioli.

It was good. The turkey tasted fresh and it was an all around good turkey sandwich...

Each salad came with a side of mixed greens, which were, for me, totally under dressed. Krista paid $2 extra to add fries to her sandwich and we got these delicious little guys which were yummy.

All and all Lavomatic was fine. It didnt blow me away like I was expecting it to.... but I would probably go back mostly because I really did enjoy the atmosphere a lot...

After looking at a couple of downtown condos with Krista we stopped for a beer at Neons on the outdoor patio, where I'm pretty sure some kind of gay pride night was being celebrated. The patio is big and fun...the beer was cold and there was a killer buffet set up near the pool table..... Can't wait to spend more time at this bar now that Krista will be living downtown!

Lavomatic on Urbanspoon