Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm not crazy about chain or italian restaurants but Maggiano's won me over

I got a giftcard for Christmas so Matt and I ventured out to the town center as a treat on a Monday. Even on a Monday @ 6:30 the wait for a table was one hour. The reason? This place is actually good quite good and super reasonable if you make the right choice. We were able to nab two seats at the bar and it was perfect because we had a bartender that made excellent wine, food and drink suggestions.

We went for the Classic Pasta selections because they offer a deal that can't be beat. It makes it almost more expensive to eat at home.

The Classic Pastas are $12.95 and you get one to eat and one is packaged to take home! That is less than $6.50 a serving.

See the selections here

The wine pictured below is the Ruffino Salute Amico, Red Blend Bottled exclusively for Maggiano's by the world-renowned Ruffino winery in Italy. It is delicious and is reasonably priced by the bottle.

I got the eggplant which was wonderful and I got the vodka sauce gnocchi to take for lunch the next day. I loved the eggplant, the gnocchi was ok but the eggplant was just so outstanding.
Matt got the Mom's Lasagna with meat sauce for both of his portions and he loved it. I tasted a bite and it was quite good.

Frozen Bellini Swirl

ABSOLUT RASPBERRI, Lunetta Prosecco, Peach Puree, Gabbiano Chianti
Signature Cocktails

This peach bellini was drizzled with chianti and blended perfectly together it came recommended from our fantastic bartender.

I'm no Italian food expert but I really enjoyed Maggiano's and especially loved that I could get a high end experience in a beautiful setting and pay fast food prices.

Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dieses Essen ist fantastisch - This meal is fantastic!

I tend to lean toward spanish and asian flavors but the recent lows in the 20's sent me looking for the Dutch and German food of my youth.

In what can only be described as a perfect storm Jodi Kasten www.eatjax.com made a fantastic sausage from turkey and other thanksgiving leftovers and I was lucky to get some to sample. I also received oxheart cabbage and green onions from Veggie Bin http://theveggiebin.weebly.com/ this week. My brother in law works for a beer distributor and was kind enough to throw this insane Sierra Nevada Pale Ale mustard in the mix.

I browned the sausages in a frying pan (too cold to grill) then I added a can of beer and let them simmer. I sauteed the green onions with dried penzy thyme in a dutch oven. At the same time I boiled the cabbage in a cup apple cider vinegar and a cup of water for 10 minutes. After draining I added the cabbage to to the onion and thyme mixture. I boiled some wholewheat shells and made a cheese sauce from equal parts of shredded cheddar and evaporated milk. The sausage was topped with the Sierra Nevada mustard. We ate this meal Monday & Tuesday for dinner and I credit it with warming our bones, nothing but scotch or whiskey could do a better job.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eating New Hampshire

We went to New Hampshire in early December to surprise my in-laws and see our niece for the first time. For the past five years, everytime we go clams, lobster, harpoon and fried turkey are enjoyed this year Chi Chi and Gingerbread houses were added to the list of must haves.

Cold enough to keep your Harpoon cold. We were 45 minutes from Harpoon's Vertmont location in May we took the tour they had great food and fantastic beer of course.

We are planning to go up in July for the New England BBQ Championships and also in October for Octoberfest. They have a great beer garden menu


No surprise the Vermonter Panini is delightful.

I love going where food is made I have been to Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt in NH, Ben and Jerry's in VT, Hershey in PA.

Frying Turkey

Chi Chi

This drink will be the stuff of legends soon! I'm planning on debuting it at our friends Sip and See Party once her baby is born.

You may make yours right now if you'd like. Be careful it tastes non alcoholic but your toes will be tingling after one.

1/5 100 proof vodka
1 can CoCo Lopez
Large Can Pineapple Juice
frozen lemonade (made to package directions)
frozen orange juice (made to package directions)

Blend all ingredients and freeze for at least two days. When ready to serve scoop into a glass and add 7up or sprite (I would use diet since the frozen mix is quite sweet) 50/50 ratio

After my Chi Chi the Turkey was done.

Lobsters are so insanely cheap our plane tickets practically pay for themselves. I wonder what TSA's policy is on lobster transport.

Wicked fresh steamers. Boil the clams and serve with a bowl or cup of broth and melted butter. dip your clam in the broth to wash any sandy bits and follow with butter. These clams are huge compared to any I've seen in the Southeast.

Decorated my first gingerbread house.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Foodie Beer Dinner

This orientation problem sure does make a case for my easy blogger driod updates, never had this happen with my regular camera. I've reloaded multiple times and am considered computer savvy but I'm over it so sorry about the pictures below.

Cari food lover, world traveler, food blogger cari_viCARIous who also now works as Business Manager for Intution Ale Works had the brilliant idea of getting food bloggers together for a potluck and beer tasting. When food lovers get together lookout! We ate food, we talked food and we enjoyed the People's Pale Ale and I-10 IPA (I forgot to have a glass of this, so I must put it on the to do list.) I was least impressed with my own creations of swiss chard with sunday bacon and curried pumpkin soup. My taste buds much prefered tasting everyone elses offerings.

These bravo potatoes were fiery. I believe they had red pepper, garlic, beer, peppers and potatoes.

Nancy's Pork and Chiles was incredible spicy but not overwhelming. I was lucky enough to be able to take some home and the next day paired it was a slice of the slightly sweet guiness bread. YUM and perfect for this frigid weather we are so not used to.

Organic swiss chard with unccured applegate sunday bacon. Next time I would make it right before serving and use let bacon. It ended up quite soggy but lucky bacon cures most ills.

Fredrick made this guiness bread and I for one will hunt him down for the recipe. He said there was a bottle of guiness in each loaf. It had a touch of sweetness but wasn't a dessert bread. This must make an appreance at our St. Pat's potluck!

The guiness beef stew was also Frederick's creation and it was delicious I have made mine in a very long time so I don 't know if my recipe is as good. It would probably be wise for me to compare the recipe before I make it again. I thought my liquid was more like gravy and his more like au jus.

Great tablescape at Cari's

Awesome cheese plate; hard cheese, stinky chesse, creamy cheese and goey sweet topped cheese!

Datil Pepper jelly from Bistro de Leon (I need to get a jar asap), guava paste, honey comb and marcona almonds

Jodi made the most wonderful stout chocolate cakes I eat it so fast it didn't get it's picture taken. I would also love to request the recipe these would make a great St. Pat's addition.
Those that had the stout cakes at Cari's had it served with ganache, pepita brittle and sorbet!

Follow these food lovers

Thursday, December 02, 2010

i love veggie bin

I got my delivery from veggie bin and I was excited to cook kohlrabi for the first time. I sliced mine thin with my mandoline and then juliened the pieces. I sauteed it down until soft and slightly carmelized added salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and two cloves of garlic . It was delish

Also in this batch were juicy satsuma oranges, radishes, broccoli, argula and some great kale that I plan on sharing with some fantastic foodies at the beer pairing dinner Tuesday.

I love getting weekly fresh local fruits and veggies delivered! You can too http://theveggiebin.weebly.com/

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