Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner Adventures!

This year, for the first time, my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner. I felt pretty relaxed about making it, as the only thing I've never made before is a stuffed turkey. I was more nervous about getting Nana's dressing to come out properly than the turkey itself. Here's a summary of our Thanksgiving cooking adventure!

I bought the turkey from Maple Lawn Turkey Farms. It is just a short drive from our house, and I was happy to support a local business! Being a former vegetarian, it is a little sad to see the happy turkeys wandering around before you go into the shed to pick up his sister, but I got over it.

I had to take a picture of our fridge, since it's the most full I've ever seen it! The turkey was brined the night before and left in the fridge, uncovered, to dry in order to promote a crisp skin while cooking.


The night before, I made the dressing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. My Nana's dressing is my favorite, so I used the family recipe from our family cookbook. There is alot of butter and bread in dressing. Here, the celery and onions cook in lots of butter on the stove.

Butter, celery, and onions!

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner was also an excuse to get myself a proper cutting/carving board. The proper supplies are important when cooking!

Supplies (and turkey)!

The stuffed, roasted turkey recipe from the book "America's Best New Recipes" by America's Test Kitchen guided me through the whole process, from brining to carving. Here, I spread some aromatics in the bottom of the roasting pan before placing the turkey on the V-Rack. (I also heated the stuffing to 130 degrees F before placing it in the bird!)


My husband took a picture of me trussing up my first bird a la Paul Child.

Bird Trussing!

It is tradition in my husband's family to also have fried oysters during the holiday. He took care of this task perfectly.

Fried oyster coating assembly line!

Coated Oysters!

The turkey came out of the oven and looked amazing! Thanks America's Test Kitchen!


The only aspect of cooking Thanksgiving dinner that I found challenging, was getting everything onto the table at the same time. It seems like you wait forever for the turkey to be finished, and then you have to cook the veggies and the mashed potatoes all at the same time! But, we did it, and everything arrived at the kitchen island hot and ready to eat!

Thanksgiving Spread!

For dessert, I made traditional pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream. It was the best tasting pumpkin pie ever. Another successful America's Test Kitchen recipe!

Pumpkin Pie and Freshly Whipped Cream!

Overall, this dinner was fantastic. I will put the turkey in about 1 hour earlier next year. Dinner wasn't ready until 3pm, and I would have liked to serve it at 2pm. I am glad to have this cooking experience under my apron! Until next year...

Stay Tuned...

It's cookie factory weekend at my house. Lots of cookie pics forthcoming.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

100 Best Things About Food in Baltimore

This list appeared in the Baltimore Sun this week. I abhor the word "foodie", so I changed the title. Crossed out are my accomplishments. (Despite growing up around people who go crabbing, I still have not eaten a softshell)

1. Have a jumbo lump crab cake from Faidley’s on a Saltine
2. Pick steamed hard shells at Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex.
3. Eat Bertha’s mussels.
4. Drink a Natty Boh.
5. Snack on a Berger’s cookie.
6. Put marshmallow on your snowball.
7. Split Maryland beaten biscuits and put some thin slices of ham in them.
8.Serve sauerkraut with your turkey.
9. Get a chicken box (fried wings, western fries, dinner roll) from a Baltimore City public market.
10. Maybe the chicken box should be from Tyrone’s?
11. Lake trout. And for those of us who watched “The Wire,” have a grape soda with it.
12. Breakfast at Blue Moon Cafe down in Fells Point.
13. Corned beef on rye at Attman’s.
14. Chiapparelli’s house salad.
15. Knock back a goblet of Resurrection Ale at Brewer’s Art.
16. Take a Sunday morning stroll through the JFX Farmer’s Market
17. Thrasher’s french fries from the boardwalk in Ocean City.
18. Have a Black Eyed Susan at the Preakness. (Note: I will never go to the Preakness unless some one gives me a ticket in an actual seat)
19. Chow down on a pit beef sandwich at Boog’s during an O’s game.
20. Shop for shoes and chocolate at Ma Petit Shoe in Hampden.
21. Have a soft crab sandwich on white bread.
22. Eat a box of Rheb’s buttercreams. Not at one sitting, of course … on the other hand, why not? (This should really be higher on that list!)
23. Order a Tio Pepe sangria (red). It contains fruit, so it counts as food!
24. Polish sausage from one of the two Ostrowski shops.
25. German sausage from Binkert’s
26. Fisher’s popcorn downy ocean, hon!
27. Sunday brunch on the terrace at Ambassador Dining Room, an atypical setting for an Indian restaurant.
28. Get peach cake from Woodlea Bakery.
29. Eat the pumpkin appetizer at the Helmand.
30. Eat a Wockenfuss caramel apple! Mmmmm. (Do not like)
31. Thin crust pizza! Iggies and Joe Squared.
32. Savory muffins at Red Canoe in Lauraville.
33. Try some of the special flavors from Taharka Bros. (formerly Sylvan Beach) ice cream and Pitango Gelato.
34. Make fun of the hipsters at Golden West and Rocket to Venus in Hampden.
35. Have a special occasion dinner at Charleston. Ask Chef Cindy Wolf to fix what she thinks is best that night.
36. Change your mind about vegan/vegetarian food at Liquid Earth.
37. Try the charcuterie at Clementine.
38. Macaroni and cheese with bittersweet chocolate from Jack’s Bistro.
39. Throw in a shrimp salad from Kibby’s and/or Mary Mervis.
40. Smith Island Cake, but only from Sugarbakers. (I think getting your wedding cake from Sugarbakers counts, right?)
41. Gorge yourself on the Monday night all-you-can-eat at Vaccaro’s.
42. Discuss a bottle of wine with Tony Foreman at Cinghiale.
43. Eat roasted vegetables at Donna’s … wearing black. (Added - I used to work there, so I should really double strike this one :)
44. Veal Chop at Da Mimmo.
45. Bookmaker salad at Sabatino’s.
46. Get a crab cake and a lemon/peppermint stick at the Flower Mart. Isn’t a fabulous crab cake, but even an average crab cake in Baltimore is better than anywhere else!
47. Order any sandwich at Trinacria. But no calling ahead to order like I do. You must wait in line for the full effect.
48. Order the popcorn and deviled eggs at Woodberry Kitchen. Before your appetizers, not in lieu of. (note, their popcorn is really not that good at all)
49. 49. Have lunch on the patio at Sanders Corner overlooking the Loch Raven Reservoir.
50. Head to Carroll County for the best cream of crab soup at Smokey’s BBQ on Liberty Road.
51. Stop at DiPasquale’s in Highlandtown for their Italian and meatball subs.
52. Fried chicken livers from the Lexington Market.
53. Bagel with lox and cream cheese or apricot spread from Greg’s.
54. Sit at the bar at Cinghiale and order anything. Talk to Rob about wine when Tony isn’t in town.
55. Tamales from the food truck on Broadway.
56. Coddies on a cracker from a rowhouse bar.
57. Wander aisles of exotic produce – lychees! jackfruit! Indian eggplant! – at H Mart or Lotte Plaza in Catonsville. Eat some yummy bi bim bap or udon soup at the food court and then pick up a beautiful fresh whole fish for dinner before you head home.
58. Go to a bull/oyster roast or crab/shrimp feast at any number of Baltimore venues as long as you go to at least one at a V.F.W. hall, American Legion, Steelworkers Hall, fire hall, state park, etc.
59. Prime rib at the Prime Rib.
60. Greenberg Potato Skins from Prime Rib.
61. How about the fried green pepper rings at Gunnings!
62. You have to get a Popular Mozzarella Pie from Matthew’s Pizza!
63. A baloney-wrapped hot dog from Attman’s.
64. Pit beef from anywhere without a door.
65. Late night dinner at the Bel-Loc Diner.
66. Eat a “Tour of Samos” at Samos in Greektown (Greek salad, tzatziki and pita, kalamari, spinach pie, chicken souvlaki, dolmades, lamb chops, garlic shrimp, gyro, roasted potatoes).
67. Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding at Ale Mary’s
68. Eat anything on the menu at Andy Nelson’s.
69. Gravy fries.
70. Chicken salad from Graul’s Market!
71. Old-fashioned Maryland stuffed ham.
72. OTTERBEIN’S COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!
73. Raw beef and onion sandwich with raw yellow onion and salt and pepper on fresh rye bread (or pumpernickel).
74. Buy a crepe at Sofi’s and enjoy it while watching a movie at the Charles.
75. Naron candy.
76. Polish dog with “the works” at Polock Johnny’s.
77. Italian cold cut sub at Pastore’s in Towson.
79. Order the chocolate-chili bread pudding at the Blue Agave.
80. Have a picnic at Fort McHenry.
81. Any sandwich from Eddie’s in Roland Park.
82. String bean rolls at Cafe Zen.
83. Garlic fries at Brewer’s Art.
84. Oysters and beer at Cross Street Market!
85. Coffee from Zeke’s.
86. Smoked platter from Neopol at Belvedere.
87. Go to the Wine Market on a Monday night and enjoy a neighborhood discount (extended to all diners).
88. Have an ice cream that contains vegetables at Dominion Ice Cream. [Ed.’s note: Now relocated to Hampden.]
89. Have Old Bay on things other than seafood. For instance, corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw.
90. Margarita in a hubcap from Nacho Mama’s.
91. Take the Clipper City brewery tour.
92. Have a Black Eyed Susan cupcake at Charm City Cupcakes. It’s one of my favorite things about Baltimore! (I will not ever go here because they stole their name from another bakery and stole all the photos on their website from other internet sources and did not give them credit)
93. Get fruit and veggies from an a-rab.
94. Sip ‘n Bite.
95. Sip a Bloody Mary with an Old Bay rimmer. I only see this done at Baltimore restaurants.
96. Enjoy a meal at Salt.
97. Eat the Berger cookie pie at Dangerously Delicious Pies in Federal Hill. A new tradition built on the old.
98. Mary Sue Easter Eggs.
99. Eat sushi in Towson.
100. Wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, and more at Eichenkranz in Highlandtown. The last traditional German food in the city.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fantastic Chocolate

I ventured to Frederick this weekend and discovered this fantastic candy store. It is not the cheapest candy ever, but they have interesting flavors and their chocolate is super tasty.

It's on Market Street in Frederick. Their main store is in Waynesboro, PA. You should stop there too! It's on the way to some really great fried chicken at the Parlor House.

Zoe's Chocolate website

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stay Tuned...

I am attempting my first Turkey this weekend! It will be an adventure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Apple Pie Success!

I don't know what it is about pie making, but I have not had very much success with it. I think I prefer the zen that is mixing cake batter. But, in the tradition of my Grandmas, I feel compelled to keep attempting pies. I used some of the remaining apples to make an apple pie on Sunday, following the instructions from my Cook's Illustrated Baking Cookbook. As usual, they did not let me down. I made my most successful apple pie ever!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the pie with the apples. Hopefully, I will get around to that later tonight.

I attribute my success to a tupperware pie guide that my MIL recently passed down to me. It really helped when rolling out the dough to keep it in a circular shape, and size it correctly.

Thanks, Cook's Illustrated and Tupperware pie guide!

Pie Before Oven (check out those pretty dots of butter)!

Pie After Oven (pretty, flaky crust)!

Bye Bye Apples

At the end of fall, it has become a tradition in our house to make applesauce to use up all the apples we didn't get around to eating after apple picking. My Dad gave us our very own Squeezo, so we didn't have to borrow his this year. I can't wait to use it for berry jam next spring/summer!

To make the applesauce, I added a cinnamon stick and a few tablespoons of lemon juice to a large stockpot of water. I brought the water to a simmer and added the halved apples. After about 10-15 minutes, I transferred them to the Squeezo and processed them. I don't like to add sugar to my applesauce until serving.

After the applesauce is cooled, transfer to labeled, quart-sized freezer bags and freeze.

If you like making applesauce, I highly recommend a Squeezo over a food mill. You don't have to core the apples, and they are processed in just a few seconds! There are tons available on ebay or you can travel to the Amish Market in Lancaster, PA.

Some of these will be applesauce, some will be pie!

Apples in Bowl!

Apples on stove!

Generic Squeezo!

Applesauce in Bowl!

All finished!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Biggest Stage Ever

I had the pleasure of seeing U2 and Muse at FedEx field and never posted about it. This stage was immense. I don't think I'll ever see anything like it ever again.

I think I was the only person in our section cheering for Muse. I was sad that Bill Bellamy only played the piano for one song. What is that about? Do they think they need to be all about guitar playing for an American audience? Disappointing.

U2 were wonderfully over the top and fantastic. I had never seen them before, even though they'd been on my list for some time (20 years).

Massive stage!

Halloween Cupcakes

This year, for Halloween, I decided to spend less time on my Utz Girl costume, and more time making festive cupcakes. I tried Martha Stewart's Yellow Buttermilk cupcake recipe and her vanilla buttercream icing for the first time. These recipes can be found in her Cupcake Cookbook, also known as my new favorite cookbook. I thought the cupcakes themselves were a little dry, and will probably use extra large eggs instead of large next time.

This was my first time working with fondant, and I loved it. I made little ghosts and mummies.

Here's the results!

Girls Night=Pizza Night

This weekend, some girlfriends and I got together to sit around a table, drink wine, and eat. We thought a pizza night would be a good idea. I made the dough and my friends brought the fantastic toppings. Here are two of the lovely pies which came out of the oven. I am also trying to make a better effort to post recipes to go with these photos. You can find them at the end of the post!

Our first pizza was a re-creation of the roasted butternut squash pizza I made in Phili over the summer. This time, we cubed the squash, and I think it made a better pizza.

Dough before topping!

Roasted Butternut Squash pizza with Gruyere, fried sage leaves, garlic and rosemary olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.

For the second pizza, my friend Meri had the genius idea of making a carmelized onion, pear pizza with both goat and gorgonzola cheeses. Perfection.

Pizza before pear!

Pizza after pear!

Here are the recipes we used for the dough and the butternut squash.

Wheat Pizza Crust (taken from the NYT article "Healthier Pizzas" published this summer)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing the pizza crusts
1 1/4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional if necessary for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1. Combine the yeast and water in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add the sugar, and stir together. Let sit two or three minutes, until the water is cloudy. Stir in the olive oil.
2. Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice. Then, with the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture. Process until the dough forms a ball on the blades. Remove from the processor (the dough will be a little tacky; flour or moisten your hands so it won’t stick), and knead on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, adding flour as necessary for a smooth dough.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, pinched at bottom and rounded at top. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will stretch when it is gently pulled.
4. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Put the balls on a lightly oiled tray or platter, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel, and leave them to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, the dough balls can be placed in a wide bowl, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days. Alternatively, you can wrap them loosely in lightly oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate them in a resealable plastic bag. When you are ready to roll out the pizzas, you will need to bring the balls to room temperature and punch them down again.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven. Roll or press out the dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle. Lightly oil pizza pans, and dust with semolina or cornmeal. Place the dough on the pizza pan. With your fingers, form a slightly thicker raised rim around edge of the circle. Brush everything but the rim with a little olive oil, then top the pizza with the toppings of your choice.
6. Place the pizza pan on the stone. Bake as directed.
Yield: Two 12- to 14-inch crusts.
Advance preparation: The pizza dough can be refrigerated after the first rise for up to three days (see step 4). The rolled out dough can be frozen. Transfer directly from the freezer to the oven.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza (from my lovely friend, Chinwe)

pizza dough
olive oil
a decent-sized butternut squash
4-5 cloves garlic, slices fresh rosemary (say, 2 tsp minced?)
about 1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
fresh sage leaves (20)
half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel squash and cube (about 1/2 inch cubes) Toss with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in one layer on a baking sheet until soft. Approximately 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice garlic and mince rosemary and put them into a little bowl with 1/3 cup olive oil and let that sit for a while.

Once squash is ready, increase oven heat to 450 or so. Roll out dough and brush it all over with the oil/garlic. Then put down squash, then sprinkle grated gruyere all over. Bake about 12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned.

While pizza bakes, fry the sage leaves in a skillet in a thin layer of oil until kinda crispy but not too brown or burned (keep an eye on them -- they can go fast!). Drain them on paper towels.

When pizza's done, brush the crust with a bit more of the oil/garlic stuff, then put the sage leaves on top. Squeeze the half lemon all over it (it will seem like a lot, but it works!)

I have to say that I was skeptical about squeezing 1/2 a lemon over the pizza, but it really does bring out all the flavors.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Candy Review - Candy Corn Dots

These are some really interesting Dots! I am usually wary of tasting anything candy corn flavored, due to a horrible tasting experience of the candy corn Hershey Kisses. I think these should be renamed "Fall Smoothie Dots". They don't so much taste like candy corn, but remind me more of a creamy egg custard snowball. I love the subtle flavor of these dots. Not as much as the blood orange ones, but almost. Definitely pick up a box if you're an egg custard fan like myself!

Candy Review - Ghost Dots

These are another iteration of the Dots made especially for the Halloween season. I somehow thought these were a special fruit flavor, but they are not. I guess I could have actually read the description on the package before I excitedly bought them at Walgreens. They are a nice color, but the flavors are just plain old Dots flavors. So, if you like Dots, and don't want to know what flavor you're eating, then these are for you.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Candy Review - Halloween Dots

These Halloween Bat Dots were pretty difficult to find. Luckily, my husband found them at our local gas station. They have a wonderful subtle flavor of blood orange. They taste almost exactly like the Sunkist Fruit Snacks from the 1980's. Why don't they bring those back to the grocery store shelves?

Even if you're not the biggest fan of Dots, I would recommend these sweet treats.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Summer Movies 2009

This summer, I finally managed to see most of the movies on my list. Here are the ones I saw and a quick review of each. If they're not in the theater anymore, I would recommend all of these on DVD.

District 9

Many of my friends didn't like this movie, but I thought it was interesting. I'm a sucker for alien movies, and this one had some good ideas. Granted, there were holes in the plot, but it's an action movie, after all.

Watch the trailer here.

Inglourious Basterds

I love that the title is spelled incorrectly and Tarantino won't tell anyone why. Another fine installment from one of my favorite directors. No one else can craft a conversation like him.

watch the trailer

(500) Days of Summer

This was my birthday movie this year, and it did not disappoint. I was pleasantly surprised by this film. A nice little story about relationships, music, art, and karaoke.


In The Loop

This was the smartest, funniest movie I've seen in years. Why aren't more people talking about it? So many great lines, I wish I would've had a notebook and pen with me in the theater. My favorite, "difficult difficult lemon difficult".


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Not Julia Child

The movie "Julie and Julia" inspired me to encourage my friend to flip the 6 egg omelet we were making for breakfast. Most of it ended up in the sink. The photo shows the remaining eggs.

Should have practiced with toast in the pan first!

Brunch with the Girls

I am trying to catch up on all of the food I've managed to photograph this summer. During the spring, my friend and I hosted a lovely brunch at my house. The following photo montage displays our efforts:

Grandma's Sticky Buns Before Oven

Grandma's Sticky Buns After Oven

Fruit Sculpture Courtesy of Friend's Awesome Dad

Quiche and Ina Garten's Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Eats and Treats in Phili

A few weekends ago, I ventured to Philadelphia to visit friends. We being the foodie types, the weekend revolved around the eating a preparing of food (as well as a trip to see Julie and Julia).

We started out our Saturday at Carmen's Country Kitchen, a funky little restaurant in South Phili, where we ate in the back of their pick up truck located in the street. What a fun experience! People were stopping to talk with us and there was a case of mistaken identity. The food was fantastic as well. Here's a photo recap:

Pancakes and waffles with caramelized corn, zucchini, and dates:

French Toast with fruit and strawberry fluff:

After brunch, we started working on dinner. After a quick trip to the Reading Terminal Market for ingredients (and Bassett's ice cream), we headed back to the house to start prepping for grilled pizza.

What emerged was this masterpiece...grilled pizza with roasted butternut squash, Gruyere cheese, and fried sage leaves. Beautiful.

We also made a roasted pepper and goat cheese pizza, but I forgot to photograph it.

After dinner, we went to a showing of Julie and Julia, a must see for anyone who loves food.

A great ending to a fantastic day in Philadelphia.

Carmen's Country Kitchen is located at:

1301 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147-5601
(215) 339-9613

Get there early as they only have about 3 tables inside. If you're lucky, you'll get to sit in the back of the pick-up truck.

Sweet Treats in Boston

Last weekend, the husband and I travelled to Boston to visit friends, eat food, and take in the sights. Last year, I went to Kickass Cupcakes, which were just ok. This year, we went to Sweet for some of the best cupcakes I've ever bought. These rival those at Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Magnolia Bakery in New York City. I tried the Pink Lemonade (pictured above), Boston Cream Pie, and Vanilla Buttercream. They were all fantastic. Perfect, moist cake, with a not too-sweet icing. And they are so pretty!

If you're in Boston, do buy yourself one (or five) of these awesome treats.

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 12

Victoria's Gastropub - Ellicott City, MD

Victoria's Gastropub offers up one of the best burgers I've eaten in quite some time. Everything was fantastically prepared and presented. Their duck fat fries are some of the best I've tasted. The inside of the restaurant is cozy, you can hardly tell it used to be a Bennigans.

The burger was well flavored and cooked well. The bun did tend to get a bit soggy after a few minutes, but that is the cost of a juicy burger.

If you're in Howard County, I would definitely recommend stopping by this neighborhood joint for a burger. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 11

Last week, I was feeling the need for a burger. It's been a while. I've been wanting to try Fatburger ever since it opened. I'd hoped it would satisfy my cravings for In-N-Out Burger until I could get back to California.

Sadly, this wish was not realized.

Maybe it was because I opted for their smallest burger, but what arrived at our table, I'd hardly call a burger. Instead, it was a minuscule five dollar pile of barely compressed together ground beef. The cheese was slightly burnt, and the bun completely overshadowed the amount of beef on the bun.

The beef also had no flavor.

Did I mention this burger was 5 dollars?

Saddest burger ever. I'd have taken a picture for you to see it, but it would just be too depressing.

I'll stick with Five Guys.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Frank's Muffaletta - New Orleans

Since the French Grocery was closed on Sunday, I had a muffaletta for lunch at their rival, Frank's restaurant. Why have I never had this sandwich before? Everything seemed to blend together into one terrific flavor. I don't know how they compare to the other place in NOLA, but this sandwich was first rate. And I am not the biggest sandwich fan.

GW Fins - New Orleans

It was a difficult decision figuring out where I wanted to have my only dinner in New Orleans, but this place came highly recommended on the web. I was not disappointed. Their oyster appetizer was phenomenal. The oysters were first wood smoked while the shells were heated separately to 500 degrees. They were then placed into the shells with some butter and cooked to perfection. These were so tasty, I could've eaten 30 of them.

I also had the butterfish entree with shrimp etoufee and lobster butter. The fish was perfectly prepared.

Their cocktails are also tasty. They have a signature cocktail made with champagne, and a bunch of fruit juices.

It's a fancy restaurant, but you don't have to dress up to go there. Service was friendly and nice. If you're going to visit the Big Easy, don't miss having dinner here.

Cafe On Main - Columbus, MS

This place had some of the best fried chicken I've ever eaten. It might have even been better than Jestine's Kitchen in Charleston, SC. I also had the squash dressing and smashed potatoes. I had never heard of squash dressing and it was wonderful. A little sweet, a little salty, and the perfect accompaniment to the fried chicken.

For dessert, I had the lemon ice box cake. The crumb crust reminded me of the German wedding cookies my family makes for the holidays. A great ice box cake that was not too sweet.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera this trip, so no pictures. But, if you have the chance to travel to Columbus, Mississippi, I would highly recommend stopping here for lunch.

Doe's Eat Place - Greenville, Mississippi

If you asked me where I would eat the best steak of my life, I would not have said Mississippi. But, it was here at Doe's Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi, that they make the best steaks I've ever eaten.

I was still full from the awesome fried chicken I ate for lunch, so I only bought the 12 ounce fillet. It came out from the kitchen perfectly prepared, with a great seared crust on top, and yummy juices flowing out onto the plate.

The beef tamales were also fantastic, and are made from a recipe from the original owner dating back to the 1940's.

If you're into dive restaurants, this is your place. It's located in an old grocery store on the wrong side of town (and I mean wrong side...a security guard makes sure your car doesn't get broken into while you're eating). It's not fancy, but who cares, when the food is this good.

Doe's Eat Place is located on Nelson Street in Greenville, Mississippi. There are other locations throughout the south, but this is the original, and I've been told, the best.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Yesterday, I went to The Snowball Stand in Howard County for my first snowball of the season. Snowballs, as far as I know, are a distinctly Maryland treat. I grew up in Baltimore, and there were snowballs stands everywhere. My friend in middle school even ran her own out of her grandfather's garage! On the Fourth of July, my Aunt would sit on the back porch and hand shave ice so everyone could have a snowball.

There are different styles of ice in a snowball now, but I think that a traditional one is just shaved, slightly chunky ice. Cover with your favorite sugary syrup flavor, and you have a snowball.

I have always been a fan of marshmallow topping for snowballs. In my opinion, the more, the better. Some snowball stands are really cheap with their marshmallow toppings. But, not the snowball stand!

Personally, I think Egg Custard is the best snowball flavor. It's difficult for me to order any other. But, before Egg Custard, I was also a fan of Cherry, Skylight, Spearmint, Ice Cream, and Vanilla.

If you're in Howard County feel like picking up a sugary, gooey snowball for yourself, The Snowball Stand is located at the corner of Route 99 and Woodstock Road.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Seattle Eats - Dahlia Lounge

Holy yumminess of food at Dahlia Lounge! This restaurant is owned by the famous Seattle chef who's name I do not know. But, he is famous out there and has a bunch of restaurants. I always miss eating at one, and this time wanted to make more of an effort. I was not disappointed. Even though the food was great, my pictures of the food were not, so please bear with me here...

Little ceviche taste from the kitchen to start...

Rockfish, Grapefruit, and Coriander ceviche app

This was so good I don't know where to start. Super awesome flavor, and something you wouldn't see anywhere else.

Fresh Salmon with Arugula (I think), Gnocchi, and some sort of awesome sauce with bacon

This entree is the reason I don't eat salmon unless I'm in the Northwest. Cooked to perfection with a fantastic accompaniment in the gnocchi and the sauce. Plus, just enough bacon to make the dish interesting, without overpowering the fish.

Not pictured are their great desserts. A caramel chocolate pudding with cardamom cream, and warm donuts shaken with cinammon sugar at your table, accompanied with rhubarb jam and marscapone cheese. Delicious!

This restaurant was recommended to me years ago by a local, and I can't believe it took me so long to eat here.

Seattle Eats - Le Panier

Every time I go to Seattle, which has been three so far, I have to go to Le Panier for coffee and French-style macaroons. Their baked goods are so amazing, it's difficult not to buy everything in the case. This time, I also had an almond croissant, but forgot to take a picture.

Here's the website for Le Panier. It's located right at the market (and who doesn't visit the market when in Seattle?)

As you can see from the picture, I went a little overboard with the macaroons this time, but I didn't know when I'd be able to eat them again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Just a few shots from the first O's game I attended this season.

Orioles 10 - White Sox 3

Rain Delay

T-Shirt Night!

I miss when there were lots of fans at the yard