Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taste of Louisville - Lotsa Pasta

Oh the joys of living in this area of the ville. Everything is so close. Down the street (near Shelbyville and Lexington) is a specialty grocery store (a local Whole Foods) that has a great deli/cafe for lunch. Brandi and I decided to go there today.
I had the tomato/artichoke soup (only ate about 1/4 of it) and we split a chicken prosciutto panini - which was huge. I added water and baked ruffles.
The soup was nice and hot - being that it is cold outside today - it was a perfect compliment to the weather. Big chunks of artichokes, many tomatoes (but more of a creamy tomato).
The panini was shaved roasted chicken, prosciutto (which I took off because I couldn't chew it), sun-dried tomato pesto, and provolone. Their focaccia bread is amazing - not too tough or hard, heated through to melt the cheese.
So 2 soups, 1 large sandwich, chips, and 2 brinks (a Stewarts for Brandi and a water for me) was 16$ and we didn't have to pay tip. I thought that was pretty good. Soup was only 3.50 for a big container of it. And its always good to go with a friend - thanks Brandi!
I would really like to go back - build relationships with some of the younger ladies who work there. I don't think they are open on Sunday nights so maybe they would be interested in coming to Crossing which is out their back door too! It is all about Loving Louisville. Be intentional - even when you just go out for lunch!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Week - October 27

Well - the next two weeks of menus will be really unusual for me, because I am housesitting for the next two weeks - so it will be lots of leftovers and cooking only for special occasions. But, gotta keep on track with this or I won't pick it up again (and its been a good way for me to budget my food money):
Monday - leftover Tyler soup, salad with leftover Outback steak (yum)
Tuesday - Lunch with Brandi somewhere (she hasn't told me yet). Dinner will be egg white omelet I think (as long as I have time to wash my little pan - I forgot to spray it the other day when I made an omelet - so it is soaking...)
Wednesday - yogurt and apple and granola bar for lunch. Community group dinner at night (I think I'm doing homemade apple sauce and pumpkin whoopie pies - if they turn out - if not, devil food cupcakes)
Thursday - leftover Tyler soup for lunch and salad with chicken tenders on it for dinner
Friday - granola yogurt parfait from Founders for lunch and who knows for dinner because I have to work an RA shift and then go walk the dog.
Saturday - homemade pizzas and whatever I bring at the Wilders for the largest tailgate party prior to the Gator/Dawg game.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tyler Florence Minestrone

I love the new cookbook Tyler's Ultimate! Mom got it a few weeks ago and brought it up to me. This is the first recipe I flipped to and new I had to make it. Not only do I love soup - but I love watching Tyler's show - so how perfect is that!

This took some time and dishes, but the results were yummy!

10 cups chicken broth (next time I'll use a little less)
5 cloves of garlic (cracked)
2 cups dry small rigatoni
2 carrots - chopped
2 celery stalks - chopped
1 small onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
olive oil
8 sage leaves
1 stalk rosemary leaves
1 pkg reduced fat pork sausage (this bring so much flavor, much better than turkey sausage would do)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes - drained
3.5 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook pasta - set aside (cook al dente). Heat stock and garlic cloves - simmering for 15 minutes, discard cloves. Heat oil and heat sage and rosemary for 3 minutes, discard herbs. Cook veggies down for about 4 minutes. Take out. Brown sausage. Add tomatoes and veggies and cook for 5 minutes. Add in beans, lemon juice, pepper, and pasta.

I like the brightness the lemon brings, the little bite to the carrots and pasta and the flavor of the sausage. Soups usually only get better with age! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blueberry Maple Pecan Muffins

My friend, Beth, is leaving us here at the seminary - so we had a going away breakfast for her. She's not really going anywhere - just not going to be working here any longer. I asked her yesterday what she wanted - blueberry muffins.
So, I wanted to do a little bit of a different blueberry muffin and found this one on Kevin's blog (http://closetcooking.blogspot.com). He usually has great recipes that are slightly off the norm. And I like that.
These have a great texture, chewy, and as a friend said "taste slightly like an oatmeal cookie". While the list may seem long - the only thing I didn't have on hand was the vanilla yogurt - I usually only keep flavored yogurt on hand.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 over ripe banana (mashed)
1/4 cup butter (melted) - salted
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats (ground in food processor)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Mix wet, then dry, then fold in berries.

1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Crumble on top of muffins.

Fill 12 greased muffins tins, cook on 375 for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple Pecan Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Yes - it is fall! And with fall comes baking with apples. I love it! Dad asked me to make something for the church dinner we were going to on Sunday, so I had everything on hand to make this cake - and I had a great food prep person here to help (Mom). I think I'll make this again for something I am going to on Thursday.
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups finely diced golden delicious apples, peeled
1 cup chopped pecans

First three, then eggs one at a time, then vanilla, then the dry, fold in apples and nuts. 325 for about 80 minutes in a flour and greased bundt pan. Let cool and sit for 2 days (preferred).
Brown Sugar Glaze
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat all but vanilla over low heat till smooth, then add vanilla. Pour over cake. Serve with cool whip and a touch of cinnamon, maybe a dried apple ring for garnish...Cut with serrated knife.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu: Week of October 20

Leftovers and easy stuff since this weekend is pretty full for me. I hopefully will have sometime next weekend to cook some.
Monday - Lunch is taco soup and goldfish. Dinner is a cooking class with my friend Brandi - so it will be easy Thanksgiving Dinner. Looking forward to that!
Tuesday - Lunch is more taco soup and goldfish (easy for lunch at the office). Dinner is going to be late since I have to work at the housing office. So I'm going to do chicken tenders on a salad with cold mandarin oranges. Yummy! Also, baking a apple-pecan cake for Thursday.
Wednesday - PBJ and grapes and an apple. Dinner will be between working out and small group - so roasted sweet potatoes and fresh green beens.
Thursday - Tuna salad on wheatberry with veggies and fruit. Dinner is at the Jones' house for a colloquium dinner.
Friday - Yogurt parfait for lunch and egg white omelet for dinner.
Saturday - Panera for breakfast I think. Or maybe I'll find another great breakfast place in the ville (Blue Dog anyone) and then cooking and watching football and preparing for a talk in November. Sounds liks a great day to me! :)

Taste of Cincinnati: Montgomery Inn Boatside

When someone tells you they catered their wedding rehearsal dinner from this restaurant almost 2 hours away - you must go. And its bbq - it can't be bad (unless its all vinegar).
Mom, Dad, and I were in Cinci this weekend for a preaching conference at a church in Sharonville. We had Saturday dinner free so we picked this spot. Down right on the Ohio in the Bob Hope room - we enjoyed a great meal.
This restaurant has it all - great service, cloth napkins, plastic bibs, valet parking, great views, sports memorabilia all over the place, and fantastic food.
We had:
Ribs - these were no fat, full of flavor, fall off the bone, yummy ribs. Mom and I had the combo platter (with chicken) and dad just had a plate of ribs. We got the shrimp thai spring rolls for an appetizer. They were good with two sauces but more like egg rolls then spring rolls - but good thai flavor. Then our sides were broccoli (which was pretty raw but good flavor), jalapeno corn cakes (the only thing I didn't like - no flavor and very dry), and saratoga chips (their homemade potato chips you have to dip in the Montgomery Inn sauce). The bread they brought to the table (slices of sourdough and rye) would have been better if it was warm. But, oh well. Then we had a piece of carrot cake. It is in my top three of desserts - if it is good. This one definitely was. Three layers, with the little carrot on top with orange icing. Raisins, moist, not too much cream cheese frosting. Right on! We all split it so it wasn't too rich!
I really did like this place. While it was a little expensive - (about 20$ a person) - Dad said it was worth it.
Thanks Chris for the recommendation. And if you go on a Saturday night - call about 30 minutes ahead. We got there at 5 with our call ahead, but when we left shortly after 6 there was a 90 minute wait!

Taste of Eclectic Louisville: Lynn's Paradise Cafe

I have heard so much about this place - and it is only 3 miles from the seminary - so my Mom was in town and we had to try it. It has a dish that beat out Bobby Flay on Throwdown - so we knew the food had to be good.
The decor is loud and eclectic. Very colorful. Anything from used tea bags overalls to giant tea cups. We got to play Cranium while we waited for our food. We called ahead and made reservations for 9a on a Saturday morning, but it wasn't necessary on this particular day. We got right in and got our food quickly. We were in an out of there in 40 minutes.
Mom and I love to split our meals at restaurants so we can taste more stuff. I totally forgot to take pictures of the food. We both had water. First dish was cinnamon raisin french toast with chocolate and vanilla bourbon cream and sugared nuts. Very rich and yummy. These are the ones that beat out Bobby Flay. There were 4 of them, we each had 2. Then we went for a more healthy choice: granola, berries, bananas with honey vanilla yogurt. Very good - and a ton of it. Both were excellent and very different.
Here are two pics of the decor.
If you are in the mood for eclectic and good food - Lynn's is your destination near the Highlands part of the ville.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Baked Oatmeal

Both my parents love oatmeal, so since they were here this morning, I whipped this up for our breakfast (after of course the return from Starbucks for my Dad's cup of coffee). It only has about 225-250 calories in it.

2 cups Quaker Oats
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 T chopped walnuts (or pecans)
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 small to medium chopped, peeled golden delicious apple
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 egg
2 T canola oil
1/2 cup homemade applesauce (see recipe further down)
1 T vanilla

Mix dry, combine wet - add together. Preheat oven to 375, spray 8x8 pan, bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with cold milk over the top. Yummy! And not too sweet!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roasted Acorn Squash with Fall Couscous

Tonight was a night of firsts for me. I had never had acorn squash and I had never made couscous - and I worked both into this dish. I got the squash from Huber's on Saturday and the couscous was a whole wheat organic from WF.
1 acorn squash, halved, scooped out
olive oil
s/p/rosemary (all to taste)
3/4 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth if you wanna go completely vegetarian)
1/2 cup couscous
2 T golden raisins
1 T walnuts
drizzle olive oil

Heat oven to 450 and roaste the acorn squash with seasonings and oil for about 30 minutes, or until desired doneness. When the squash is about done - boil broth and add couscous, turning pot over and covering for 5 minutes or until done. Add raisins, walnuts, and seasonings. Scoop some couscous into the open squash cavity to plate. Drizzle with olive oil.
To be honest, the couscous was better then the squash. I had just had an amazing experience with butternut squash, and I was a little disappointed it wasn't as tasty. It was good - maybe I'll try it a sweeter version next time (with honey and brown sugar).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Menu - Week of October 13

I actually have had time to plan my menu for the week before Monday. Amazing! So, some eating out, and some random stuff. I spent a lot of grocery money on my day at Hubers on fresh produce, so not a lot left over for regular grocery stuff...
Monday - Lean Pocket (meatball and mozzerrella), carrots, and grapes. Roasted acorn squash with quinoa for dinner.
Tuesday - Veggie Wrap from Founders with baked chips. Pumpkin Pancakes (making on Sunday) and applesauce.
Wednesday - Yogurt, apple and pb for lunch. My parents will be in town so we are going to Mitchell's Fish Market (at Summit) for dinner. Really, we are going to eat in honor of my brother's 33rd b-day - although he won't be with us to enjoy the food.
Thursday - Mom is making her Taco Soup, and some mini corn cakes, and some pumpkin spice cakes (shaped like pumpkins) with Brandi. Dinner is Grape Leaf with Mom
Friday - Yogurt parfait from Founders. Egg white omelette and veggies for dinner.
Saturday - Lynn's Paradise Cafe in the ville for breakfast. Then Cincinnati for the meals on Sat and Sun.
Looking forward to fall foods this week and eating out with my parents - and cooking some with my Mom while she is here.

Hold the Mott's Applesauce

I love applesauce. Do I like Mott's - yes. But, 2 years ago, when I made my first applesauce from fresh apples and a food mill - I seldom return to the glass jars of Motts.
Tonight - my first batch of 2008 Applesauce. I used a more ingredients recipe this time and really liked it. Also, I didn't use my food mill, but left it more chunky.

8 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (or thick slices)
1/2 cup (unpacked) brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 lemon peels (just take a veggie peeler to a lemon
juice of one large lemon
1 cup water
2 pinches salt

Boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes. Drain most of the water (a quick drain). Take out lemon peels and cinnamon stick. Mash with a potato masher.
I served mine hot with WW turtle ice cream on top - so yummy. Like an apple pie a la mode (without the fattening crust!)

Huber's Family Farm

About 30 minutes from Southern - there is a great little place (or big place) for fresh produce.
Today, Rayann, Lisa and I went to Huber's Family Farm to pick apples and other fall goodies, eat some good country cooking, and eat some pumpkin ice cream. We got there early and didn't have to wait for anything. The longest wait we had was standing in the apple orchard waiting for the tractor to come pick us up!
We picked many things. This is what I came home with: 1 bushel of Golden Delicious apples, 1/2 bushel of Staymen Winesap apples, 2 big handfuls of fresh picked green beans, 1 butternut squash, 2 acorn squash, 1 spaghetti squash, and 1 pumpkin (thanks Rayann).
For lunch we ate at the Family Restaurant. I had fried chicken, green beans, and half my sweet potato. Their chicken is amazing. Yes - it is fried. Everything in moderation! And one of their fried biscuits with homemade apple butter. Yum!
Before we ate lunch, we had dessert. I had three yummy bites of their homemade pumpkin ice cream. Almost as good as their homemade peach was this summer! Oh goodness - I'm glad I don't live close!
Anyway - go early, or reserve a place at the restaurant - you definitely don't want the buffet! Everything is better served warm.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Taste of Louisville: Asahi

There is a new sushi place down the road from the seminary. Two of my profs rave about it - so I figured I had to try it. And a friend of mine likes "unique cuisine" and loves sushi - so we tried it today. Now, it was raining, there was traffic (80 minutes for her) on 64, I had left my wallet somewhere else, so we were in a hurry - but we will go back to it for a real dining experience.
I got the Vegetable Hibachi - grilled hibachi style veggies (too oily for me, lots of onions, big flat carrots which are great for eating with chopsticks), steamed rice (fried was extra), and a house salad (just run of the mill salad - will eat tonight for dinner). And we split the Baja California Roll to share - rice, avocado, cuk, with shrimp on top with tempura flakes. Having the number one sushi chef in the area really makes a different. So much better then the sushi I get at Kroger and not that much more expensive.
When you walked in it didn't smell like fish - so that is always a good sign. Very fast service (we did get there after the lunch rush) - and your sushi is made while you wait. If you share a roll and get the veggies, it is 10$ - which isn't bad - and that will be dinner too, because I still have half a roll and 1/2 my veggies, rice, and salad for tonight.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Taste of Fall: Roasted Butternut Squash

First time for everything right? Well, immediately after these came out of the oven, I phoned my parentals and told them everybody needs to be forced to eat roasted butternut squash. It was so healthy and good for me - got a work out in preparing it - and yummy!

1 butternut squash
olive oil

Peel with vegie peeler. Cut in half, scoop out. Cut into chunks. Heat oven to 425 and put squash in shallow pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season well. Cook for 13 minutes and stir them. Cook for another 15 minutes - perfect!

Almond Cheesecake Bars

My friend Brandi likes cheesecake, so today for our lunch (yummy chili, thanks B) I made these for our dessert. I found them on a food blog, and tweaked slightly. They turned out very yummy and were all gone from the plate by the end of the day.
1 cup ap flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
6 T unsalted butter, softened
2 pinches salt
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
4 T amaretto, or almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 T whole natural almonds, chopped

Blend first four ingredient, coursely. Take out 3/4 cup to save for topping. Press into greased and foiled 8x8 pan. Mix cream cheese mixture till all smooth. Chop almonds and combine with the rest of the topping - sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into about 24 bars or so - however big you want them.

Menu Week - October 6

This week will be mostly boring and repitious - just because I'm housesitting most of the week and don't like to lug a bunch of stuff to where I'm housesitting.
Monday - Today is lunch with Brandi. She is making chili and I brought almond cheesecake bars (recipe and pictures will be up tonight). Dinner is chicken tenders and some roasted butternut squash (which will also be put up tonight.
Tuesday - PBJ, grapes, pretzels for lunch. Organic Butternut Squash soup (from WF) with green beans.
Wednesday - ASAHI with Hilary - it is a new sushi place down the street, so we are going to check it out. Check back Wednesday for a review. B-nut squash soup and tomato sandwich for dinner.
Thursday - Tuna Salad on Wheat with pickles and tomato (I'm eating lunch with Beth to go over Christmas goodies), pudding cup, carrots. Bnut Squash soup and a salad for dinner.
Friday - Yogurt parfait from Founders, fruit, pretzels. Egg white omelette for dinner.
Saturday is Huber's for lunch after we pick apples and pumpkins.
Sunday - maybe grab something out or make some pumpkin waffles.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Grape and Feta Salad

This salad is everything a salad should be: quick to prepare, healthy, every type of taste in it...
I found the idea for this salad on another food blog. And I was going to grill a chicken breast to put on it - but once my chicken thawed - I thought it had a funk smell to it (from when I was w/o power) so I threw it in the trash!
These are the ingredients - and then use how much ever you need for the size salad or amount of people you are wanting to feed:

bagged salad mix
feta cheese
raspberry vinegar
olive oil
(I did use Banquet Chicken breast tenders)

I loved the tartness from the vinaigrette, the saltiness from the feta and chicken, and the sweetness from the grapes. It was quick - less than 2 minutes. It was yummy to eat. All the different taste buds had a party tonight.

Question: now - what to do with all this leftover feta cheese? Suggestions?