Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Camera!

I came home earlier this week and this beauty was on my stoop:

So I started playing....

Pretty, yes?
Hopefully with some more reading & practicing I will start getting good at this!

Anyone have any great sites for learning? I'm thinking I need to buy this book asap.

Restaurant Review- La Poste

Jenn and I headed to La Poste on Wednesday night. It's in Clifton right off of Ludlow near Graeters... it used to be a Post Office (although I grew up in Clifton and it was never a post office so I guess it was a really long time ago)- but they do a cute little play on post office stuff with the menu and decor....

First the waitress brought us a little amuse bouche of a watermelon and cucumber salsa with salty fried pita pieces. It was a fun way to start the meal...very refreshing...
We started off by splitting a poached pear stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto....areeee you kidding me? It came over a bed of arugula. Honestly we couldn't taste too much of the actual pear but the texture of the soft pear was a nice little vessel for the goat cheese and prosciutto...oh and those are crispy fried parsnips on top. mmmmm

Next up we each had 1 piece of mushroom ravioli as a midcourse. We were excited at the opportunity to try a small portion so we could taste multiple things without being completely stuffed (or completely broke)- the small tasting of ravioli was really delicious. It was stuffed with tiny chopped up pieces of mushrooms and covered in a gorgonzola cream sauce, some fried mushroom pieces and a crispy fried sage leaf. Next time I go to this restaurant I will get this as my entree. No questions asked. If we weren't in a fancy restaurant we would have both licked our was so delicious. Jenn (who claims to dislike mushrooms) loved it just as much as I did...
Next up was our entrees.... I had the:
fried chicken breast: skyhaven ham, mornay sauce, wax beans and asparagus

It was good. The breading on the chicken was really good and right underneath the breading it was stuffed with ham ....kind of like a play on a chicken cordon bleu. The sauce was good..and was my favorite part. This was a solid dish but didn't compare to the ravioli..
Jenn got the:
Seared Salmon: warm quinoa, carmelized mirepoix, asparagus, piquillo-clam broth

The portion was huge and the fish was cooked to perfection...but I think it would have been better with a different sauce...I took a bite of the quinoa separately from the salmon and it tasted exactly like the salmon....I think it would have been good with some varying flavors or a different kind of sauce...but again, a perfectly cooked fish is always a good thing...

The waitress came back around to ask us what we wanted for dessert and we joked that we just wanted a bowl of the mushroom ravioli sauce for dessert (only we were only kind of joking)- the dessert menu changes often and sounded interesting, but we decided we would take a few laps around Ludlow to walk off our dinner and if we were in a dessert mood we would split a scoop at Graeters....but we ended up being way too full.

In conclusion this place was really delicious and very cute. The staff knows what they are talking about and the bathroom smells like a field full of Lilies...seriously it was the best smelling bathroom I've ever been in. It's also a lot fancier than I was expecting with them swapping out all of our silverware and plates for every 'course'. Try it out! Oh, and get the mushroom ravioli.

La Poste Eatery on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goat Cheese & Mushroom Quiche

Last night I decided to make a quiche...the nice thing about quiche is that you can really put whatever you have/like in it and its like a delicious little dinner pie of your favorite foods. I chose one with goat cheese, mushrooms and red onions... three of my favorite things and got cooking.

You could easily buy a pre-made pie crust but I made my own. It didn't turn out as pretty as I would have liked it to (and expect to do a much better job on my second go around) but it tasted great...sooo no big deal.
Anyway... I whipped up my thyme pie crust and got it in my pie tin.

I sauteed up some garlic, red onions and mushrooms

and whisked eggs and herbs together in this bowl...

I put the sauteed onions and mushrooms into my pie crust and topped it with pieces of herbed goat cheese

then poured in the egg mixture....

It went in looking like this:

and came out like this!:

So pretty!

Some bites tasted like a fluffy omelette while others tasted like a creamy goat cheese pie... mmmm goat cheese pie....
Can't wait to experiment with more ingredients!

Get the recipe here

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Restaurant Review- Shaan (again)

I had previously reviewed Shaan ...but at the time was using Rob's iphone 3's camera and the pictures were ugly. Also, since this review we have been back again and again and again and so I figured I would review again with some prettier pictures and more visits under my belt.

I love this place. I love that I can bring my own bottle of wine. I love the couple that works there and that they remember us AND what we order every time we walk in..

and I LOVE the food.

This time we had an appetizer.. I can not remember what this was, but I do know there were potatoes involved. It was crunchy on the outside and pillowy and potatoey on the inside....

and then there is the delicious trio of indian sauces.. which is just fun to eat....

Let me say that I do not eat Indian food nearly as much as I would like. My favorite dishes have lots of butter and cream and so unfortunately for me it can only be a sometimes when it is I always want the same thing. Spicy Creamy lamb Saag with fluffy white rice and a side of toasty garlic naan (this meal is more than enough for Rob and I to split).

Incredible. Often times I forget how delicious it is until I take the first bite...
If you have not been here do yourself a favor and try it.

Shaan Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 12, 2011

My first attempt at Royal Icing

Last weekend was my first attempt at decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. I see them all over the internet looking so beautiful and professional and fun....but very complicated and scary. Well, last weekend was my good friend Krista's birthday, so I decided to to make her some birthday cookies!

I needed a simple shape and to start off with just a few colors...I wanted my first attempt to be as low stress as possible so I chose a heart from my year of cookie cutters collection, headed to the store for all my supplies, armed myself with a royal icing recipe, tutorial and a delicious sugar cookie recipe...and started baking!

I forgot to start taking pictures until too far in but you get the idea. Made dough, rolled out dough, cut dough with cookie cutters, baked cookies..... etc etc.
Made the icing, colored the icing, put the icing in tupperware containers...
ok yes I am skipping waaay too many steps..but I needed concentration! It was my first time..

Then I piped the royal icing on the outside of all the hearts to set up some lines to keep the icing in...because after that you thin the icing out with some water to give it that pretty smooth look..and the piped icing edges keep the smooth pretty icing from sliding right off the cookie.

So after all the steps mentioned above, I had these:
cute, right??

Then it was time to start attempting decorating them.
It is amazing how much, even during the course of making this one batch of cookies, how much better and more confident I got at decorating these little guys as the process went on..

I think they turned out pretty cute for my first time, don't you? (can you pick out which one Rob made? :) )

Now that I have all the supplies I am very much looking forward to attempting these again!

Happy birthday KP :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Downtown Dash Fun

We had a great time at the Downtown Dash on Friday....




We watched the race...


People pedaled a bike to make their own smoothies....

Then headed over to neons for some dinner (check out the condiment table for this burger! A burger with cheese, chips and your choice of literally every condiment that has ever existed for $4... I'll take it)

and some giant jenga....(man are we good at this game!)

Neon's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Restaurant Review- Tom + Chee

yay, I finally got to Tom + Chee after months of wanting to go!
I was out with a new co-worker so didnt want to go too picture crazy, but it's a cute little place on court street with menus written on huge overheard chalkboards filled with every possible grilled cheese combination one could ever imagine. Like seriously. You imagine it, they have the sandwich. You can add things to your sandwich like bacon, pickles, potato chips, make it like your mom used to make you...or you can get it fancy with brie, bleu, etc etc. I want to go back again and again to try different sandwiches and make someone with similar tastes to mine split sandwiches with me so I can try even more. YUM

My co-worker mentioned he was getting the mushroom, onion and swiss on rye and that sounded so good I decided to do the same...oh and also I made it a combo and added some creamy tomato basil soup. (even though it was approximately 5 MILLION degrees outside) but how can you not get soup with a grilled cheese?!

Anyway...onto the food...
Here is the sandwich

This sandwich was SO GOOD. The thick toasty rye bread was a little salty (in a good way)..the cheese was melty, the red onions still had a little crunch and the mushrooms were cooked perfectly. The sandwich was a little greasy, but it's a grilled cheese for heavens sakes...they are grilled in butter....anyway, next time if I get the soup I think I would just get a half sandwich since this ended up being a lot of food. Can't WAIT to go back and try the others....oh yeah, the soup. It was thick and creamy and I thoroughly enjoyed it ...and a grilled cheese without tomato soup just seems....unnatural.

Tom+Chee on Urbanspoon