Monthly Archives: February 2010

Mediterranean in the ‘burbs.

On Thursday, my class got cancelled so I decided to go to borders and check out some books. It was a treat to see Hannah there and she was able to take off early and have dinner with me. We were in that new Allen shopping / eating complex that is similar to the west village in Dallas and the shops of Legacy in Plano.

We decided to be adventurous with food and eat somewhere we had never been before, even though we had decided to eat somewhere else. Terra Mediterranean Grill was our choice. The restaurant was empty maybe 2-3 tables were being used when we went it. That could have been a clue. I’m not saying that the food was terrible. I just saying, it was not great. Unfortunately, there was no happy food dance at this table. I chose the lamb kabob. Where can you go wrong with a lamb kabob. To be honest, the lamb was lacking in seasoning, more than just salt and pepper. However, the rice with saffron was really tasty. I really don’t want to out this restaurant on the black list, maybe I just ordered the wrong thing. I can hope. Baklava was really tasty. It was sweet but not too sweet. Overall, it wasn’t bad. But I think that I would rather prefer to eat at Fadi’s. Sorry’s the truth.


Rice Expands

Expanding rice isn’t a new concept, but sometimes I just get so hungry that my judgement gets clouded. Today, I tried my first attempt to make chicken and rice soup (not the Filipino version: arroz caldo). I was trying out some new flavors and I wasn’t sure they went together. I knew that they worked with chicken individually but combined I wasn’t sure. So, I went to my all time favorite basic flavors: salt, pepper, onions, and garlic. I also added some celery, sage, tarragon and some paprika. It was really tasty, but I’m not sure I’m totally sold in the flavors. I guess that is what happens when you make recipes up as you open the pantry cabinet.

Now comes the rice. Yes, I know rice expands, it only takes one time for you to eat to much rice and feel the pain of the expansion in your stomach. I can probably guesstimate that I had about 6 cups of liquid in the pot, so I thought that 2 cups of rice would be sufficient and provide the perfect ratio or liquid to solid. Well, it was in the beginning. However when it was time to start cleaning up, there was more rice than anything else. So I guess I will have to be adding more chicken stock when its time to reheat. I usually have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer, but I believe I used it all. Hmm…oh well, store bought chicken stock it is. We’ll see how it all tastes tomorrow.

Brats and Beer

Who doesn’t like a Bratwurst? Every now and again…I just have a craving for one. But you can’t just eat a Bratwurst by itself or with some water, you MUST have beer! Shane and I share a love for Brats. So where else should we spend actual Valentine’s Day?!?! Well at the Gingerman of course. The Gingerman is a great pub. It has over a 100 different types of beer and the food is really tasty bar food. An added bonus, you can bring dogs out in the patio.

On a blustering Sunday afternoon, Shane and I decided to take the dog to the Gingerman and meet my sister and brother-in-law and their new puppy. We were the only crazy people outside, huddled under a heat lamp. I would like to state, that the heat lamp was virtually useless as the wind was blowing the emitted heat away from us. My sister’s puppy tried to play with my dog, but he wanted nothing to do with him.

However, the main event was the beer and the brats. Even though there was a little ordering situation…we were just hungry and decisions were made incorrectly. There was a perfect harmony between the brats and beer…so delicious! You could eat each component of this meal individually, but it best works when you make a perfect bite including all elements. The perfect bite is constructed by using a piece of Bratwurst as a foundation. Next, smearing a liberal layer of mustard. Finally, adding the onions and sauer kraut on the top. This meal may be small, but can quench a craving instantly.

You should visit the Gingerman

Fancy meal without the fuss.

This past weekend has been a delightful food journey. Valentines day is usually devoted to eating out. As I love cooking, I decided to cook Shane and I a fancy meal. It was really easy with some help from the grocery store. I planned to make Brown sugar glazed lamb chops over couscous with asparagus.

With the rub liberally placed on all sides of the lamb chops, which set for an hour; it’s time to grill. I don’t have a grill, so I pan fried them. However, my stove is a little wonky and the burner does not heat evenly, and therefore, it got a little smokey in the kitchen. Did I mention that I don’t have a vent in my kitchen and there was a ton of smoke. Shane had to open the back door and he said that he could see bellows of smoke flowing towards the door.

I”m all about making things form scratch but sometimes it is nice to get the help every once and a while. So I bought some couscous in a box. Instead of using water, I used chicken stock, which made it flavorful. A simple blanch of asparagus, then you are set. You have a fancy meal with the actual cooking time of less than 30 min.

Fanciness is all about presentation. You need to make food look pretty and appetizing.

Baking is not as easy as it looks…..

SInce it is a snow day, I’ve decided to be really productive today. One of the major reasons why is because I didn’t want to leave the house and didn’t want to be bothered about trying to get the car in and out of the driveway. But I digress.

I admit, I am not baker. Most of my baking comes out of a box. It has been years since I have tried to bake from scratch, without out the aid of my mom or sister. They are the true bakers in the family. For Christmas, Sandy got me some desert cookbook…aka baking cookbooks. I’ve been intrigued since Christmas but have been a little apprehensive to take the plunge.

Today was the day I started my baking adventure. I decided to make some heart shaped chocolate scone type baked good. I was at a total disadvantage already. It called for a heart shaped cookie cutter, but I didn’t have one. So my “engineer-like” brain, used my heart shaped muffin molds that I have. As a result, these bake goods look less like a heart and more like a blob of chocolate goodness.

While baking I learned a very important lesson. DO NOT put wax paper in the oven when you are baking…unless you want to live in putrid smelling house but at least you won’t smell the stinch if you burn your house down. Despite the shape, it’s really tasty. It’s not to sweet, so when it serving time, it will be served with whipped cream and jam.

Please excuse the whining

The Crazy McCrazersons were out in full force today. However, I have to say, I didn’t have to “feed the bite” so I guess it could have been worse. Basically, today was a yucky day; crazies + I’m trying to fight some sort of illness + gloomy cold, rainy weather = Not a super fun day.

All I wanted was to go home and have a scrumptious meal without the effort of actually making it. This where one of my major complaints about Dallas comes in. I wish that there were more places that delivered. NYC is a great city, but one of the greatest things about it, is that you could have a vast amount of food options. You can pull out the drawer full of menus and a world cuisine is at your fingertips.

Thank you for reading my ramblings…I just want some food delivered to my door rather than bad Chinese or pizza.

Cold weather comfort food

I really should write things down. I usually have my go to recipes but I can never remember how exactly to do it. So each time, it tastes a little different. Today I made some taco soup. I forgot to buy some taco I improvised. It was a little more creamer than I remembered. But it was tasty none the less.