Monday, May 15, 2017

Eating KC ..Graduation Weekend


Nicholas earned his Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia and we are so darned proud of him,  we drove to KC to spend a weekend celebrating. We found a great little AirB&B and camped there a few days with in walking distance of some key areas of Kansas City, the Plaza and Westport.

Friday was a late hooding ceremony where Nick was apparently the star of a promo video for KU. So cool. Afterwards we headed back for pizza and snacks and champagne.

Saturday we were up early to hit commencement then headed to Westport on foot to visit Prydes Kitchen supply then take in lunch at Harry`s. A few cocktails and a burger or two later we hoofed it back to our Loft for a rest before hitting the Plaza before dinner at Brio`s. A nice Olive Garden type Italian joint with a little better food but I missed the endless salad.

Mackenzie did the driving so we hit IKEA on Sunday after a quick stop at Donutology.
The donuts were custom made and a bottle of cold milk hit the spot. On to IKEA then out of town and back in Omaha by 3. I was exhausted. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Panzanella Salad

Fasting time again and I just am not ready to go back to the same ol stuff. I still have shrimps left in the freezer and the loaf of bread we bought for croutons gave me a plan. A quick trip to the store for a few missing ingredients and dinner was in hand. I peeled the shrimp after a quick defrost. Cubed the bread to prep for croutons. Bought some tomato, olives and artichokes. Everything else was on hand and ready to go.

Since Brenda likes her croutons fresh and crunchy, I prepped the salad in parts. First the wedged tomatoes, salted over a colander to drain some of the moisture away. I saved the juice for the dressing.

Then I made the croutons by frying them in oil and butter with seasonings till golden brown.  i set them aside and placed the shrimps sprinkling them with paprika and some of the crouton seasonings. Once cooked, I set them aside.

I added my tomatoes, chunks of cucumbers, red onions, olives, feta cheese to a large bowl. Shrimp went in next. I made a quick dressing of the tomato  juice, a lemon squeezed, a bit of tarragon vinegar, a scant teaspoon of dijon mustard and olive oil. I added a pinch of sugar and a few grinds of pepper but no salt yet.

I dressed the salad letting it sit at room temp till Brenda got home. Lots of great juice, I checked the seasoning for salt, added what was needed. I placed a handful of croutons in bowls, spooned the salad over and let them soak up all that great liquid. Great eats!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Eating Omaha....Local Beer, Patio and Kitchen


Friday night just got a whole lot better at this spot in Millard. We ventured out with old friends Randy and Ronda after Brenda got a surprise reprieve from her late Friday shift. I had Root Beer but the rest enjoyed a regular local brew and we had sandwiches, pretzels and onion rings from the menu. It all looked so good and what we had was great. Nice patio, nice space and great service. The root beer went down smoothly too!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Eating Omaha... Blackstone Meatball

Today we met Ellen and Mark at Mom's house and cleared out more stuff. We caught up on a lot of things, found more photos and threw out a bunch of stuff none of us wanted. As the day wore on we decided to make dinner plans in Midtown. The Blackstone district is the new Omaha "it" spot. Seen and be seen. So much fun people watching, gabbing and drinking craft cocktails at Night Owl after dinner. Met some work friends too.


So, Meatballs is a craft bar/eatery and serves only....meatballs. Mark and I had a flight of 5 while the girls had a bowl of 3 meatballs atop grilled veggies. A choice of 5 flavored meatballs and 5 sauces are offered on a variety of vehicles including veggies, pasta or grits and more. All the flavors were great, some better than others like the Rueben meatball special topped with Thousand Island. The Chicken meatball with Alfredo sauce was tasty as well. Least favorite was the Vegan and Pesto(mushroom, white bean) but still wasn't bad.

We had quick service, were invited to sit as long as we pleased and skipped dessert. A very busy place indeed. After paying the bill,  about $50 incl tip each,  we strolled across the street running into Rich and Julie et all, along the way.

We ducked into Night Owls for another cocktail, people watching and conversation before making the long ride home. Great evening out in a nice section of town with a lively crowd,  mostly younger, for a nice Friday night diversion.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Eating this Post Lenten Week

So far I have had lamb, Greek chicken, lamb and more lamb. Okay,  I am getting a little tired of lamb and after lunch today I have only one serving left to consume. It is really goo though and I will probably prepare it ( sous vide) this way from now on.  Greek chicken is brined breasts, sliced hot off the grill and bathed in lemon juice, oregano and olive oil. Very tasty.

So far this week, the only thing I have had off the ranch is a burger at Hardee's after a trip to Menards last night and yes, Hardee hamburgers are very good. Very good indeed.

We (I) have consumed a loaf of tsoureki as toast. I cannot get enough of this. Its like a pastry more than a bread and toasted it is divine food of the gods.  The mahlab adds a distinct pleasant flavor that you really cannot put your finger on but when I have a slice to my favorite Syrian physician, he nearly teared up as it reminded him of home. How is that for authentic?  One of my workmates thought the chunk of lamb I gave him was tenderloin, it's that tender.  I know I am a whackadoo when I have to share everything I bring with my work mates. They probably think I am crazy and acquiesce out of kindness.

As my tummy settles down I will be racking up some ribs later this weekend or Huli Huli Chicken. I just found a recipe that looks so tempting.

Huli Huli Chicken 

Huli means 'turn' in Hawaii and with the sugar in this marinade it is a good idea to keep turning the chicken to avoid burning it.

The recipe is enough for about three chickens, split in half.  You can use chicken pieces if that’s what you have. Marinate your chicken for at least a half-hour.
                               1/3 cup ketchup
                               1/3 cup soy sauce
                               1/4 cup brown sugar
                               1/4 cup honey
                               1/4 cup sherry
                               1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil
                               1-2-more pieces ginger root, crushed
                               3 cloves garlic, crushed
                               Worcestershire sauce to taste
                               Sriracha or Asian chili paste (or red pepper flakes) to taste
                               Squeeze a lemon in if you've got one
Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade while cooking over a grill. And don't forget to huli the chicken.

I stole this recipe from  

 http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/blogs/hawaii_today/2009/6/5/make_huli_huli_chicken

Let youo know Monday on how this comes out if I get a chance to make it. Looking for something to take to KC for Nick's graduation anyway....maybe it be this?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tsoureki by Xeno


I made this traditional Greek Easter bread this year again but this time the recipe from My Greek Dish was a proven winner. It turned really dark baking because of the sugar in the dough and came out of the oven weighing nearly nothing. Make sure you hit the 190-195 mark before removing. It proved to be light and very tasty, great for toasting but it toasted really fast so be careful but it tasted good even a little burnt. I used the real deal spices, mahlab and masticha. Trust me and hunt these down. Here in Omaha, a trip to the Mediterranean market (84th and Blondo) is in order as they will surely have them. 
 
I did not put anise seed or extract as some people find the taste off putting but the Greeks love it. Does not matter to me one way or the other. The texture of the bread is sublime, soft, stringy even crumb. I made these 2 huge loafs from one recipe, enough to share with really good friends. If we ever see Matt and Lori again, I will have to make this for them.

http://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/tsoureki-recipe-traditional-greek-easter-bread/

Rather than re write the recipe follow the link to the great article. Yum.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sous Vide Lamb Kebabs

I have been salivating over this for weeks as Lent has winded down and the devil distracted my thoughts with lust for food. Well, Pascha in the Greek church means lamb and who could blame him. This year I wanted the most succulent treat I could imagine and I got out the trusty Sous Vide oven and went to town on a boneless leg.  after 12 hours in the sous vide bath at 130 degrees, I drained the meat, added a few onions and hit the grill. Grilled on high for just long enough to crust the meat with a mahogany color, it was literally falling apart as I took it off the burners.


Very hot grill


So here is how it's done. You'll thank me.

1 leg of lamb cubed
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon paprika
Good glug  of olive oil
Seal the sous vide bag cook at 130 for about 12 hours

Remove meat and drain juices. Place in large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoons of oregano, salt and pepper to taste, a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few chunky onions. Heat grill to very hot (600) and drop meat and veggies into a grilling basket. Toss frequently, move away from flames until desired color is achieved. Using tongs, remove to a clean bowl. So tender and yummy.

Yes I know it's nine in the morning.

PS...the reviews are in. Mackenzie says not to lose the recipe or technique. I have to agree, best lamb ever.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

No posts since February.....


Around Mother's Day 2016, all my ladies...


I just noticed that I have not posted anything since February.  For whatever reason, deep in Great Lent, there are many things I do not do this time of year. One of them is cook anything special. We had some great meals but all are meatless and a little boring frankly. Not the season of the year where it is important. I did made a fantastic vegan (?) Seafood Gumbo for Pre-Sanctified one Wednesday but that recipe is already on the blog. .

Been dealing with some tummy issues lately so I have seriously cut back on the spiciness in our dishes, even black pepper. Coffee is dealing me fits, chocolate almost anything really.  I am sure this too shall pass but it really affects my appetite and by default my cooking.

My Mom passed away early in March. She had some chronic illnesses that did not seem to affect her travels too much but eventually caught up with her and she passed peacefully at home. Expected but unexpected we dealt with everything we could and now my sister and I are trying to put the house to rest and put it on the market, going through each room and sifting through years of accumulation of stuff and memories. So far a few Saturdays have proven fruitful but we have a ways to go.

Prepping for Holy week and Pascha this year but without the boys coming home, I have little desire to put on our usual meat festival. I will make some lamb but I am thinking its just us and Mackenzie this year.  We'll see what happens as a few on Mackenzie's friends are thinking of coming over and we are always happy to have them.  Hopefully I will be feeling a little better by then and resume the thing I do love and do the best.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscar Night Treat


We visited J Coco this weekend and had a great birthday meal with Ben. Fried stuffed olives were on the menu and we all loved them.  So much so that for Oscar Night we made some for appetizers.

Fried Stuffed Olives
Large pitted green olives
Boursin cheese (I made my own)
1 egg beaten
Plain bread crumbs
Flour

I stuffed the pitted olives with the Boursin style cheese. I made 3 stations, flour, egg then breadcrumbs. Coat with flour, dip in the egg and then roll in bread crumbs. Let them dry on a rack before cooking.  In a small sauce pan heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 375 then fry the olives in small batches till golden, about 45 seconds. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Delicious.

Home made Boursin

2 ounces cream cheese
1 T sour cream
3/4 t garlic powder and onion powder
3/4 t dried thyme leaves

Mash all together and load into a small piping bag to fill the olives.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shrimp and Grits y'all

Starting thinking about dishes for the Lenten season and ran across this Southern treat. Grits usually remind me of cream of wheat. In this case the savory factor over rides the breakfast blandness and the prep includes dairy so its off the list but I had a few shrimp in the freezer so...
The creamy, cheesy grits make a nice foil to the garlicky shrimp doused with fresh lemon.
This was heaven.

Shrimp and Grits

1 lb peeled raw shrimp
1 tbl olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 fresh lemon juiced
Parsley

For the grits
1 cup milk
3 tbls quick grits
1 c shredded white cheddar
Pinch of salt

Marinate the peeled shrimp in the oil and garlic. Prepare the grits by bringing the milk to a boil then slowly add in the grits, whisking all the time. When the grits thicken after a few minutes of cooking, remove from heat. Add the cheese and whisk till combined and cheese melts. Set aside and quickly saute the shrimps and garlic till the shrimp are pink. Remove from pan and add lemon juice to the pan and scrape up brown bits. Add shrimp back to pan and coat with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over grits. 


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