Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One of My Many Addictions

As many of you may have seen from my wildly excited Facebook postings, I recently won an Ice Cream recipe contest.  I’ve only won one other competition in my life and that was for paper I wrote in college on the history of 19th century English Church bands (entitled “Wake Up and Hear the Music” I was so cleaver, even back then).  So with this excitement,  a few people had requested that I post a recipe I had alluded to in my Cinnamon Ice Cream post about making a Deconstructed S’more.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve made this in passing and people always look at me a little strange. It’s a mixture of “That sounds DELICIOUS” and “How the heck did you think of that?” So, I’ll tell you. 

This had nothing to do with camping, or nights by the fire roasting marshmallows; this was purely a practical decision.   I’m pretty good a most cooking and baking related things, however  I am actually a really terrible S’mores maker.  I never get the chocolate soft enough; I always break the damn cracker, ALWAYS. The only thing I can do right is toast the heck out of the marshmallow.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ours For The Taking

Three days into our stay here in PGH, The Husband and I went to the grocery store. First, I must say how amazed I am at some of the produce we get here. We purchased zucchini, squash and cucumbers that were the size (both length AND width) of The Husband's forearms for nothing--ninety-nine cents! Beautiful tomatoes and peppers for a song. They have a whole mushroom section, literally bins of Wild Mushrooms for the taking.  I forgot that Pennsylvania has the Mushroom capital of the country within it's boarders; lucky for us. And so, on our first trip to the store, we took.

We ended up purchasing a beautiful Hen of the Woods to do something with.  A week later, I found myself back in the grocery store, standing in front of this mushroom wall and thinking, I need more. So I grabbed a bunch of Oysters, some Chanterelles, another Hen of the Woods, some Trumpet Mushrooms and a few other wild varieties.

Friday, July 5, 2013

From The Horse's Mouth

There are some restaurants that people are shell-shocked that The Husband and I haven't been to.  Some places we get a loud "Are you SERIOUS?" Au Cheval is one of those places.

The Husband and I had tried two other times to have dinner at Au Cheval, both times we were told the wait would be over two hours. We knew the food was good, we knew we wanted to go, but we were too hungry to wait.

For our last week in Chicago, we were fortunate enough to have dinner with two friends who didn't mind a possible wait and were happy to join us in our Farewell Tour.  We went at 630 on a Sunday and were able to get a table for four without an issue. Thank goodness, although I was ready to wait this time around.

And we were fortunate enough to go with a couple who were more than willing to dive deep into the menu. And we went really really deep (don't laugh!).

We tried to order the 32oz Porterhouse with Foie Gras and Roasted Apples, our friend had been before and said it was amazing. Unfortunately, we were told they only have two or so of the Porterhouses a night and both had already been ordered. We've got something else to go back for next time, not that it would take us much to go back after this dinner).

Okay, We Get The Point!

After much fan fair, a fantastic going-away party, more than a few tears, a night to forever remember at The Aviary, and what can only be described as the worst move in history, The Husband and I have made it safely to Pittsburgh.

How was this the worst move you ask? Here are some bullet points:

  • Black mold in our storage unit covering nearly everything, we had to clean, repack and throw away a ton of stuff
  • Moving company called to confirm the truck the day before and only had a 14 foot, we reserved a 17 foot  (that we were worried would be tight). After being on the phone with the company for over an hour and being told they had nothing, we then started scrambling trying to find another truck (we found a 16 foot one for ONLY double the price)
  • Our movers came and got stuck between two floors in our freight elevator along with all of our boxes
  • The building management company never sent the elevator repairman (by the way, it's been a week and they've still not called me back. For all they know, our movers are still stuck)
  • Our movers then shimmied out of our elevator and we had to help move all of our boxes out from a 3 foot gap and up a flight of stairs
  • It torrentially down-poured for an hour as they were loading all of our stuff into the truck
  • They were worried they couldn't get everything into the truck, so I began triaging our things and planning times to make trips back to get our stuff (the movers were amazing and got everything in)
  • We weren't able to leave Chicago until 9pm, where we then hit traffic
  • We hit three rain storms during our 3 hour drive
  • I drove the moving truck and was sideswiped by a flatbed semi
So our last week in Chicago was a little rough, especially the final 18 hours. It was so bad and we were running so behind at the end that we considered spending Friday night in Chicago and leaving really really early Saturday, but The Husband felt like if we stayed any longer, some other bad thing was going to happen. Neither he, nor I, am superstitious, but I agreed. Chicago was telling us to get the heck out. Even so, there were also some amazing highlights; our dinner at Au Cheval and our night at Aviary will be two separate posts.

We've had a few people ask us where we were on our Farewell Tour. We did a good portion of it, but weren't able to hit everything. Especially since we had some issues along the way.

The bonus, I'm back for sure in September and The Husband and I are back in November, so we're going to do it up upon our triumphant return.

Encased Meat and Duck Fat Fries at Hot Doug's: CHECK!
Old Grand Pappy Vertical Flight at Aviary: CHECK!
Au Cheval: CHECK! 
A Hen Fruit and Frites at Watershed: (It's off the menu, but they made it for me anyway!) CHECK
Fat Rice: UMMM CHECK and we may need to go one more time.
Grace (another time, my friends)
Alinea (another time again....)
El Ideas (adding this to the "November" List)
3 Happiness Dim Sum
Big Star: CHECK
PQM sandwich: CHECK
Bari's Italian Hoagies:CHECK

BadHappy for Poutine and Shakes
Wasabi: CHECK
Pint at Revolution's Tap Room: CHECK
Doughnut Vault 
Bernard's Bar- Blood of Dillinger
Hoosier Mama's Pie
Big Jones
Falafal Sandwich from Sultan's Market: CHECK
Longman and Eagle