Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thank you, Bec, for talking me into buying this hat. To Greg's confusion and slight disapproval, I wore it all weekend.
Our retired glasses.
A shot of the Mount Hope estate on our way out.
Friday, May 22, 2009
A day filled with Pennsylvania's finest food, wine and beer!
I'll write about our adventures here next week, but if the suspense is too much for you too handle, make your way over to the Fest on Saturday or Sunday and experience for yourself! I've never been to this event before so I don't know exactly what to expect. However, as long as my tummy is full, I will be happy!
Chorizo con papas
As I showed before, we had the tostones. For only $2, trying these is an absolute must!
The chef - who cooks everthing from scratch and then serves his creations to the patrons - makes three mayonnaises to eat with your arepas and tostones. There is a garlic & carrot spicy sauce, a mojito mayo (my fave) and a guansacaca (Venezuelaian style mayo) made with cilantro, avacado, onion, salt, pepper and lime.
Each table gets a sqeeze bottle of each kind. Before each bite if my arepa, I made sure to add a big squirt of mayo! Oh I'm sure the calories added up at this lunch!
Arepa City also offers empanadas with various fillings and entrees such as steak, rice & beans and plantain rellenos. For dessert they have homemade flan (various flavors), pineapple upside down cake and cheesecake.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is very laid back with beige walls and few decorations. With soft salsa music playing in the background, the dining area had a light and airy feeling - a nice Latin vibe! There is also outdoor seating available.
We were there during the lunch hour and it was very crowded and there was only one waitress. We waited for a very long time for our food, but it was worth it! Later that evening I was at a bar across the street with some friends and we were hungry for an arepa (two in one day, you ask?! Oh yeah!) but they closed at 9:30, even though they advertise they stay opened until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm assuming they were short staffed or ran out of food.
I'm looking forward to visiting Arepa's soon... I'm sure it will be a nice alternative to a 2am slice of pizza!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
** add more sugar or preserves to get the consistency you like**
He whipped this together and smeared it on top of the brownies. It was an easy and super sweet treat.
This topping would also be good on chocolate cupcakes!
Why he's wearing an adult-sized Power Rangers shirt, I do not know!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The recipe is from this book: Everyday Celebrations. It's a great compilation with complete menus for dinner parties.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped (I used a mini food processor)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce
In a medium saute pan, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer onions to a bowl and let cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, mayo and lemon juice. Add the onions and mix well. Season with salt and peper and hot sauce. Refrigerate until chilled but overnight is best to allow flavors to mix.
Cooking the onions. I actually let them cook for longer than 20 minutes - until they are slightly caramelized.
Ready to dig in!!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I forgot to add chocolate to this cake... oopsie! Still good though!
Grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
I don't recall ever cooking with fontina cheese, but I really do like it's sharp flavor and soft texture.
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup grated Parmesan (I used Asiago because it's what we had)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
16 1/2-inch cubes fontina cheese
8 canned artichoke hearts, drained & halved
1 6- to 8-oz. package mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 recipe Balsamic Glaze (below)
Basil leaves (optional - didn't use)
Soak wooden skewers in water, if using.
Combine egg, Parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add beef and proscuitto; mix well. Shape a small portion around a cheese cube. (Recipe says to make 16 meatballs - I got more)
Prepare Balsamic Glaze: In small saucepan combine 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes or until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Divide in half.
Heat and Pam the grill.
Drizzle half of the Balsamic Glaze over kabobs. Place on grill (medium heat). Grill 10-12 minutes until meat is done. To serve, drizzle with remaining glaze. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
Friday, May 8, 2009
The Social Ministry committee did an excellent job (as always!) of setting the table with lace table clothes, bud vases with yellow blooms, and at each place setting, a mini dish of pastel M&Ms and a homemade beaded bookmarker with a cross charm on the end. We had a fruit cup and salad as starters. Pastor Martz told us about the history of Mothers Day and then we had a little multiple choice quiz on certain quotes about mothers by famous authors. I got a 0 out of 10! If you can see close enough in the photo below, the circled answers are my guess - obviously incorrect so if you want to play, I narrowed down the choices for you!
My Grandma, Mom and Aunt B were there from my family. Sadly, with all of us mingling in different directions, we didn't get a photo of the 4 of us. In the photo below, you'll see my Momma in the blue shirt, and behind her in the black shirt, my Grandma. That is my Grandpa serving up the chicken!
We had a dinner of baked chicken breast, steamed cauliflower & brocolli and potatoes. A very simple meal, yes, but it was delicious and satisfying. A good, home-cooked meal that everyone enjoyed.
And for dessert, Angel Food Cake with Pineapple Lush (yes, that's pineapple lush and not egg salad! ha!). And some Lipton's Ginger Twist tea, which was very good (I need to get some new teas in my repertoire).
Pineapple Lush Recipe
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla-flavor instant pudding
1 cup thawed whipped topping - or whip up some heavy cream and add sugar to taste
angel food cake
Mix pineapple and dry pudding mix. Gently stir in whipped topping. Serve with angel food cake.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with one rack in upper third and another in lower third. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on med-hi, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat well to combine.
With mixer on low, add half the flour mixture followed by sour cream, then remaining flour mixture; mix just until smooth (Dough will be stiff; I had to finish mixing it with a wooden spoon).
Drop mounds of dough, each equal to about 3 tablespoons (I used a 1/4 cup of dough), 3 to 4 inches apart, onto two ungreased baking sheets (I still used an Exopat); sprinkle with sugar. Bake until edges of cookies are just firm and tops are barely beginning to brown - I did 20 minutes but I think it was too long. I would recommend starting at 17 or 18 and keep a close eye on them. Also, rotate the sheets half way through baking. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. I got 11 cookies from this recipe.
These were huge and so good! I think I will put colored sugar on them next time, just to make them more colorful. These are also great gift-giving cookies - stack a few, wrap them in cellophane and tie a ribbon and tag around them. Very cute!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Their bakery goods are fresh and delicious. I recently tried the Maine Blueberry Pie and it was scrumptuous! They sell their pies whole or by the slice. There are freshly brewed coffee in at least 6 flavors as well as hot teas. You fix your own coffee or tea; kind of gas station style, but it's ok and the coffee is good. They have a frequent drinkers club so when you buy 9 hot beverages you get the 10th free. They have a nice system because you don't need a card - you just give the cashier your name and they keep track in on their register system. Greg and I are having a race to see who got their 10th cup free but he tends to cheat... like when we went on Saturday and each got a coffee... he put both the coffees under his name even though I paid! It's ok though. I'll get him back...
When Greg and I went for breakfast on Saturday we each tried their Breakfast Ciabatta Sandwich - bacon or sausage, egg and cheese with a roasted red pepper pesto (well they call it a pesto but it's more like a red pepper mayo). The ciabatta was very good but the eggs were, I'm guessing, nuked in the microwave, and I'd prefer them cooked on a griddle. However, the sandwich wasn't bad because of the bacon, cheese and ciabatta!! We got the 'pesto' on the side to test it first.
We also shared an iced cinnamon roll, which was fresh a not overly large, like lots of cinnamon rolls tend to be. Greg asked for it to be warmed, which was a great call.
Billy D's also serves salads and sandwiches.
I think I'll stick to the coffee, ice cream and baked goods here (there are cute cupcakes I want to try!).
Here is a link to Billy D's Facebook page where you can find some pictures of the restaurant and their bakery items.
I'm going to start going more often in the morning so I can beat Greg to that 10th cup of joe!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Breading the tenders.