Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Taste of Louisville - Cycler's Cafe

Many friends here at Southern have raved about this place down the street from the seminary - so I went today with a friend. It was good, fresh, priced between 3-9$ with a drink and side item - so fairly reasonable - and you don't have to tip, so that makes it even cheaper.
This is a great place if you bike, come, get your bike fixed, build relationships with other bikers (not the motorcyle type), eat healthy food, and not break the bank (especially with the economy the way it is). The inside has tons of bikes on racks, riding gear you can purchase, a few tables (inside and outside), a drive-thru, and a cafe in the back.
They have burritoes, sandwiches, stuff like that.
I had a "Duff Field" The reason I chose this was because there was a baseball complex near my house called Duff Field - where I played softball in elementary and we went weekly to be at my brother's practice and games. Great times! It was a wheat tortilla, oven roasted turkey, avocado, cheese, mayo, and lettuce. I ate the first half as is (not all of the wrap), then for the other half I took off the wrap and ate it "naked". It was good. The avocado and mayo make it moist.
Kathy got the chicken burrito - and ate it "naked" to after it had been heated - so the cheese was melted. Had everything - including summer squash.
She even got to ask the owner (Joe) about how to get a bike to Zambia. See, more ways to share the glory of God at a cafe here in the ville.

Brownie Peanut Butter Cream Trifle

Went over to a couple's house last night for dinner. Lauren is a phenom cook of any kind - but great at Italian food since that is her heritage. She made a roasted vegetable pasta primavera using farfalle pasta, adding halved grape tomatoes and Heath grilled some fantastic chicken. We had a salad with strawberries, nuts, and cheese with a balsamic dressing, and some rosemary bread. It was all yummy - and I have some for tomorrow's lunch! Thanks Lauren and Heath.

I got to bring the dessert - so I wanted to try something new. And since I haven't gone to Huber's yet - it wasn't something fall-y. So, I headed on over to http://www.myrecipes.com/ and found a recipe - and tweaked it to my liking.

This is very rich, creamy, chunky (due to what's in it) - get it out of my house!
5 oz pkg of vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 carton of Lite Cool Whip
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
9x13 pan fudge brownies (cooked according to directions) - I put peanut butter chocolate swirl chips in mine.
1/2 package of reeses cups - mini
Make cream (first 5 ingredients). Chunk up brownie mix and layer with cream and chopped reese's cups. Top with remaining cool whip and put edible goodness for decoration. This is really good!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Week - Sept 29

This week's menu is definitely not planned since I was out of town all weekend, but we'll see how it goes! You'll notice a lot of salads this week - but I have to make up for eating a ton this weekend in Raleigh!
Monday - dinner with the Lamberts (friends at Southern). She is cooking the meal and I am bringing the dessert. It will be posted tonight, but it is a brownie pb vanilla trifle. I taste-tested some of the filling this morning while making it - yummy.
Tuesday - leftover Taco Chicken on salad (from last week) and then lunch with Kathy at the Bike Shop near seminary.
Wednesday - Banquet Chicken Tenders over romaine with honey mustard dressing

Thursday - Grape and Feta Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and grilled chicken - I found this on one of my food blogs I had to catch up with from over the weekend. Sounds yummy. I'll add the grilled chicken for protein
Friday - PBJ for lunch and egg white omelet and veggies/fruit for dinner.
Saturday/Sunday is traveling, hiking, picnic with a friend, and Pappalenos in Berea!

Taste of RDU and Pumpkin Trifle

Thanks to my friend Laura who is a great photographer - this is what I made last week for our progressive dinner. Thanks Laura!
This weekend I was in the RDU area. I got to eat at some great places while traveling.
Sat am - the Manor House is the guest housing at SEBTS. They have a plethora of breakfast foods. The people I was traveling with ate there - but I ate with Nathan and Leah Finn and Georgia (and Baxter who wasn't born yet, but was born yesterday). I had a biscuit with pb and honey - yummy - thanks Leah!
Sat lunch was Las Margaritas! Amazing basement Mexican food place in dtown Wake Forest. Our food came about 7 minutes after we ordered it. I had the cream spinach enchilada - amazing goodness (and no spinach got stuck in my teeth). By the time I was done with that my cheese enchilada was cold - but I was so full I didn't need it anyway.
Dinner was at Southpoint at California Pizza Kitchen. We had the BBQ Chicken salad (wow, good salad!), the Jamaican Jerk Pizza and Mushroom Pizza. I think I liked the mushroom pizza slightly more - but both were good.
Breakfast was again at the Manor House - I had raisin bran crunch cereal and a banana. Loved the hospitality of Donna and Jeff Hagood! They were great and do a superb job running this place!
Lunch was Red Robin in Brier Creek. Best burgers hands down. I had a freckled lemonade with light minute maid, a bacon cheeseburger with Monterey jack, slightly pink, and bacon - yumm-y!, and their steak fries which I didn't eat all of.
Dinner was IHop in Knoxville at 9pm. I had their Heart-Nut and Oat Pancakes, and a bite or two of everything else on the plate. They were yummy but I was already full. Lorrie picked that place and it was a good choice!
Now - back to eating right and exercising! Just sick most of the weekend because I ate so much and was rarely hungry!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Progressive Dinner

I had a great night eating dinner at three different places.Laura made a great fall salad. Romaine, pears, craisins, nuts, a Berry dressing, and nuts. It was yummy and light - a great starter course. She has such a cool water pitcher and gave us little baggies of candy corn! Yum! She also made the homemade bread with honey butter that we took to the next course...
Bonnie made a great full dinner. She roasted a chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots, green beans with a great seasoning from Aldi's, dressing with cheddar, craisins, and celery (from Taste of Home, I'll hopefully get the recipe). It was all so yummy!
I made a pumpkin butterscotch gingerbread trifle - individual so we could all enjoy our own! It is under the holiday link to the right.
What a great night. Thanks ladies - and I'm looking forward to a winter one!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taco Chicken and Mojito Black Beans

I love my lunches with Brandi. We partner to make a quick, healthy, great meal between the two of us!
Today is was my turn to make the bulk of the dish. I made Taco Chicken and Mojito Black Beans.

Mojito Black Beans: 1 cup dry beans, rinsed overnight, boiled for an hour, 1/2 small onion, 1/2 cup Trader Joes Mojito Sauce (I have heard from a reliable Trader Joes source that they don't make it anymore). Yummy!

Taco Chicken (crockpot)
1 pkg (20oz) chicken tenderloins
1/2 pkg low-sodium Taco Bell seasoning packet
1/2 small onion
1/2 large green pepper
1 bottle Chichi's medium salsa.

Put the seasoning on both sides of the chicken, put the rest in the crockpot. Cover with the salsa. Cook on high for 3.5 hours. Shred. Enjoy!
We had them on tortillas. Brandi brought all of our taco toppings. It was yummy. No tip required, and we didn't have to drive anywhere. The makings of a great lunch! Can't wait to taste lunch next time!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Taste of Louisville- August Moon

Today, I finally tried a place some faculty members have been telling me about. August Moon is down the road from the seminary. I went with a friend for lunch to talk about college ministry at UofL. Great company, good food, and high priced.
Great atmosphere - very contemporary, a whole sitting area with cushions, a bar when you first walk in, not much seating inside, but there is more outside. It was pretty full when we went - definitely a popular place for the working lunch.
I got the Stir fry beef with peppers and onions - came with egg drop soup (which was almost as good as Chen's in NC). The beef was a different kind of beef then I am used to in Asian cuisine, but everything was still good. The brown sauce was great - not too salty. Becky got the beef and broccoli with onions. Her's was good as well - she raved about the broccoli.
To get our main meal it took a little time, but the soup/egg roll portion came out pretty quick.
The only thing that will stop me from going back is the price. Mine was 9$ for lunch (oh, a plate of rice between the two of us, which wasn't anything to write home about). Then add in tax and tip - I don't like paying close to 12$ for lunch. I'd rather pay half of that at Chen's in Franklinton or Charlie's in CH or Chai's in Durham. But, I've heard those places don't exist around here!
Oh, well.

Menu Week - Sept 22

I've been inspired by other food bloggers to plan my menu out here each week. Also, one of my friends, Laura and David (they are one because they are a couple), plan their menus for a month. Well, I can't go that far, but since I have nothing in my fridge (due to the power) and have to go grocery shopping - thought this would be a great week to start! :) I'll probably only do one meal a day - knowing that the other meal will be yogurt, or an egg white omelet or something not interesting like that! This will hopefully help me be more prepared and not spend or waste as much money! We'll see how it goes!
Monday - lunch with Becky - tonight is grocery shopping, so I'll probably either get sushi or something at Kroger or something quick at Wal-mart
Tuesday - Taco Slow-Cooker Chicken with Brandi. We are having our twice monthly lunch together - to chat and hang out. I've made this before but usually use a different recipe. We'll see which one I use and post it later on this week.
Wednesday - Progressive Dinner with Laura and David and Bonnie and Justin. L/D is making the salad, B/J have the main dish, and I have the dessert. I'm making pumpkin gingerbread butterscotch individual trifles and old-fashioned ginger cookies. The trifles are already blogged (in the holiday section) and I'll jot the cookies on here if they turn out well. I am still looking for a great ginger cookie
Thursday - Leftover taco chicken on a salad. Also, I'll be baking for a trip to NC on Friday. I think I'm doing chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal butterscotch cookies. Can't wait. I love to bake! :) Especially when the finished product doesn't stay in my house!
Friday - Sandwiches - we will be on our way to NC! What a great end to the week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

2 Years of Food

Happy Birthday Dear Food Blog!
I can't believe its been two years. For some reason it seems much longer than that. Some people ask me how I got started with food blogging. It was all for my girls. Some of the college girls I worked with at UNC would ask for recipes. So, I just said I'd start a blog. So - there you go.
It has been a fun thing for me to do the past two years - and I hope, if you are reading this, it has been a blessing to you as well.
I don't have a fun new recipe for you this week because I've had no power now since Sunday afternoon. TS Ike came through Sunday mid-day and knocked out power here in the ville. We got it back for about 30 minutes on Tuesday when our area in the city was being worked on, but then on my block a tree came down and blew and transformer. I still don't have it back on - but blessings are being heaped on me.
So, Lord willing I will have power on next week. If I do, expect these recipes: Taco Chicken, Pumpkin Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifles and Gingersnap Cookies, Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, some chocolate chip cookies, maybe some biscotti - who knows?!
Thanks for reading! Happy cooking! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quaker Oatmeal to Go

Well, for the past 4 days I have had no power in my apt (minus 30 minutes when we got power then lost it again). So, I've been eating (for free thank God) at the school's cafeteria.
This morning I woke up (still no power) but eager about the prospect of milk and one of those bowls of cereal or oatmeal from Founders. To my disappointment - there was no milk in either Founders or 5th and Broadway. The cafeteria has some but with their new policies effective August 1, you can't take the food out of the establishment - and I had to be at work.
So, I was getting hungry about an hour later - I headed down to 5th and Broadway to see what they had. I got one of the subject bars to see how they were. I got the brown sugar cinnamon (which I love the plain oatmeal bowl of this). It was hard and chewy - almost fake tasting with little real flavor. I just noticed on the package it says "Tastes great warm". I don't know how much 10 seconds in the microwave will help this sad little cookie. But, you know what - it was only 50 cents, had protein in it - so it will keep me going (that and a Sprite Zero) till lunch in the cafeteria later this morning!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to bake for birthdays! Tonight is no different. Today is one of my prof's birthdays: Dr. Wilder. He is the associate dean for our doctoral program and many other things as well. One down side - he is a UGA fan. Good thing - he knows great places to eat in ATL.
Well, I thought I would make him a carrot cake. I've had this carrot cake recipe for over 10 years now. I got it from a lady who worked(s) in the youth ministry at Anastasia Baptist Church named Jari Strom. Her son, Bryce, was in my SS class and her and her husband served every week in some fashion or another. They are such sweet people - always an encouragement.
I've only had one carrot cake better than this - and that is a hot one that J. Alexander's here in Louisville serves. But, I love this one! Dr. Wilder - happy birthday. I hope you and your family enjoy this cake (even though there isn't much healthy stuff in it - except the carrots and pineapple).

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh grated carrot (do it right before you put it in, you get a more moist cake)
2 cups (2 8 oz cans) crushed/drained pineapple
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix the wet (eggs one at a time), add the dry, fold in the extras. Heat oven to 350 and spray 9x13 pan with pam. Pour in and bake for 45 minutes or until done. Let cool.

2 sticks butter, room temp
1 block cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix and lather on cake. Top with remaining grated carrots and chopped pecans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whole Grain Blueberry Banana Pancakes

These were much better than the uncooked batter would lead me to believe. I enjoyed mine with a little bit of Log Cabin syrup - just because I don't have any real syrup yet from W-S this season!

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats - ground in a food processor or small chopper
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 T syrup
2 T melted butter
1 small mashed banana
1/2 cup blueberries
Mix dry, add in wet, ending with folding the blueberries. Mix together. Cook over medium heat on a flat griddle - about 1/3 cup per pancake. Flip (I've gotten better at this over the years). Eat hot! Watch out - when those blueberries (from Huber's) pop in your mouth they are quite warm. You can hardly taste the banana, but I think it works as a thickener and sweetener since there is no granulated sugar in this.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fresh Baked Pasta

Tonight was clean out the fridge night. And I am very proud of this dish. I love baked pastas - but I'm also trying to eat healthier - so this is a great mix.
1 box whole wheat rotini pasta
3 whole tomatoes (mine were a mix from Huber's and one from Tracy's Dad)
1/2 pint grape tomatoes (whole, I got mine from Garden Gate in the ville)
1 green pepper - chopped (mine were some fresh frozen ones from the Dixon farm - thanks T)
1/4 large white onion (thanks Tracy, I finally used it)
2 garlic cloves (I use the zester grater for mine)
Olive oil (not as good as Murphy's)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
1/3 bag spinach leaves
1 small container pesto
fresh grated parm cheese
Boil the pasta. Then saute all the rest till it is ready, dump in the pasta. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, top with grated cheese, cook for 5 more minutes. Enjoy! And I did all of it in one episode of Rachael Ray - so truly a 30 minute meal!
I loved the pesto flavor in there and the grape tomatoes. So yummy. Fresh grated parm is a must too! This is a great way to clean out your fridge and still eat healthy! I have plenty - anyone want some leftovers for lunch one day?
And the pics - they aren't the best - but you get the gist!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cookies

Found this cookie recipe out in blog world - had to make it. And I had a cookout to cook for and lunch with Brandi - so why not?
Loved the smell of these cooking and they are very moist! :) Sort of a cross between carrot cake and oatmeal raisin cookies - both which I love.
Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup freshly shredded carrots (do this right before because it helps make them moist)

Bake at 350 on lightly greased cookie sheets for 13-15 minutes. I got 18 cookies out of mine.

Taste of Buckhead - Cafe Intermezzo

Another shout out to Dr. Wilder for recommending this place. It took us a little while to get there, but the travel was well worth it!
Such a unique and upscale coffee shop: everything really. We went there for dessert after eating at Murphy's.
The cheesecake Nena and I split was the creamiest cheesecake I have ever eaten. The decor was great. Price's of the dessert was high, but the coffee drinks were normal. But, you pay for the atmosphere and it was definitely worth every penny! The girls got a chocolate cake with coconut cream cheese frosting which was pretty tasty too! :)

Taste of Virginia Highlands - Murphy's

Thank you Dr. Wilder! That's all I gotta say about the choice of this restaurant. If you know where the Jimmy Carter Library is in Atlanta, you will easily find this community. Such fun shops and great dining.
Murphy's is a fresh seasonal restaurant with local ingredients, knowledgeable waitstaff, great olive oil (the best I've had) and reasonable priced food.
We got our free valet parking and got right in with a 6pm reservation on a Saturday night. We chose to get small plates and one regular plate to share:
Flash-fried calamari - this was hands-down the best dish. Not heavily battered or greasy. The best thing was the apple cider vinegar, apple, basil, and pink peppercorn dipping sauce. Such a great pair!
Handmade Potato Gnocchi - the broth was amazing, had lima beans and broccoli rabe in it, parm cheese, and then the gnocchi - I would have just eaten it without the gnocchi.
Farm Fresh Salad - Georgia tomatoes, greens, onions, with a citrus vinaigrette. So so good!Georgia White Shrimp and Grits - this was probably the least fave of mine. There was just nothing spectacular about it. I've had better.
But, thoroughly enjoyed our evening there!

In honor of Publix!

Ok - yes, I'm writing a whole blog post in honor of a grocery store - but when you are from Lakeland, FL - you have the right!
Since I was in Georgia this weekend - I was back in the land of Publix. And the girls dealt graciously with me as we went there a lot.
Their subs are the best! The bread, Publix meet, and mayo, lettuce and pickles - and then whatever else you get. Nena and I went for Turkey on wheat with white american, banana peppers, lettuce, pickles, mayo and mustard. Yummy!
Then their cupcakes - I NEED THE RECIPE! I can't get my cupcakes that light and fluffy and moist and a distinct flavor. And their buttercream - so fluffy!
I enjoyed it!