Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: chicken and dumplins, food, potato soup recipe, recipes, Snow cake, trader joes, winter food
This has been the best weekend ever. The last time I was outside of my house was Thursday at 3:45. It is now Sunday afternoon. So, so lovely.
We have worn almost the same clothes since arriving home from school. I have just about finished two books, watched hours of Say Yes to the Dress, played games, watched Christmas movies, and cooked.
It has all been lots of fun.
Our first snow-weekend meal was fondue. We were in Nashville for Thanksgiving, and we stopped by Trader Joe’s on our way out of town to mingle with the yuppies and grab some unique eats. I tried to hang like a yuppie, but all my clothes matched and I left my sunglasses in the car so I couldn’t wear them in the store. So embarrassing.
I got some kale, seaweed, and a bag of almonds as big as my head for my brother-in-law; I am sure it is a gift that will keep on giving. (Shout out there to Mark and Cousin Eddie!) I also got all sorts of weird cheeses, so peppermint pretzels that I didn’t share, and this tub of fondue which we ate with leftover Conecuh sausage and some crunchy bread. Delish!
After we ate, I made the usual joke about how we were now fondone. Mr. Picky just rolled his eyes at me.
For dessert, we had the necessary snow cake. It was the reason for the snow, I am sure. It just melts like snow in your mouth and lasts the whole snow weekend.
I also made a potato soup that was a recipe of a friend’s friend. To. Die. For. I didn’t have Velveeta, so I used four cups of shredded Cheddar instead, and it was still fabulous. We ate it twice, and then I threw the rest out so I could use my large pot for chili. That did not go over very well when Mr. Opinionated went looking for it. I thought I was going to be thrown out in the snow. Yikes.
I was spared when I promised to make it again someday. Whew.
The chili was okay, but it was beanless. Beanless chili is unheard of around here, but apparently I am expected to have beans even when the road looks like a mirror because it has so much ice on it.
Again, tough crowd.
Today I made Grandma’s chicken and dumplins. This is the food that should be made for anyone who has to get out in weather like this. I promise you that a bowl could put hair on your chest and keep you warm for a month. It made up for the beanless chili.
Next, I am going to try to make buckeyes. Depending on if we have school tomorrow or not, who knows what else is coming out of my kitchen.
One thing’s for sure, it better have beans in it if it is supposed to.
The potato soup recipe which I halved:
10 cups cubed and peeled potatoes
3 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of water
1 stick of butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 T chives
1 T parsley flakes
1 1/2 t both salt and pepper
1 package real bacon bits
1 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta, cubed
16 oz sour cream
In a large pot, combine all of the first eleven ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are tender-about fifteen minutes. Combine the flour and milk. Add flour and milk to the soup and bring to a boil. Stir often. Remove the pot from the heat, add the Velveeta, and allow to sit with the lid on for several minutes for the cheese to melt. Add the sour cream and stir to incorporate the cheese and sour cream.
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks | Tags: food, places to eat in prattville alabama, seafood, travel, uncle mick's
The ride home from vacation is never fun.
This year, the trip from Destin was a quiet one. We were tired, full of memories, and road-weary. The movies were going in the backseat, and sand was still in our shoes. We had had enough fun for a while. Still, I had to have just one more foodie stop on the way home.
I did a little searching on my phone for a lunch stop as the miles rolled by, and Uncle Mick’s in Prattville, Alabama was a name I kept seeing.
Maybe it was that Uncle Mick’s sounded like a good place, or maybe it was the fact that they didn’t care where lunch came from, or maybe it was that they didn’t want to hear me whine about missing it, I don’t know. But regardless, the fam went along with the idea of stopping there for one last culinary adventure before home.
We took an exit and drove and drove and drove. There was a lot of huffing at this part of the journey as Mr. Opinionated was not too happy to be driving past the chain restuarants by the interstate to try a place we’d never heard of. He survivied, and we made it to Uncle Mick’s just before a meltdown.
We walked in, and the place was very nice. The food is served cafeteria style, and so we just walked right up to the start of the line.
We weren’t sure what to eat, but Uncle Mick was there to serve us some samples of several dishes. He was the nicest man and very good to us as we tried out his food. He said, “You like shrimp? You like fish? What’ll you try?”
I had the tilapia with the Corn Maque Choux and tomato salad w/Feta cheese. Even though we had just eaten fish for a week, the tilapia was still good. The corn was awesome. I had never heard of maque choux before, and it was a dish to try. Yum.
After all his huffing, Mr. Opinionated had the crawfish etouffee, and he liked it fine. He may have loved it, but he wouldn’t have let me know that.
Mr. Picky enjoyed the garlic bread. Go figure.
For dessert before the rest of the long road ahead, we had the bread pudding. When we ordered it, they set it aside and warmed it up when we were ready for it. It would have been better had we not just had the best bread pudding on earth at Harbor Docks.
This ride home was another long one, but Uncle Mick’s is a place to put in the GPS for good. The food and atmosphere were a nice break from the interstate-even if it took us a little while and a lot of huffing to get there.
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: Findley's irish pub, food, irish food, places to eat in nashville, Restaurant reviews, The opryland hotel, travel
A weekend trip to Nashvegas was what the doctor ordered after the last few weeks we have had around here. After searching and searching, our best bet for a hotel during fall break was the mammoth Opryland Resort, a place I mostly avoid like the plague.
Yet, here we were.
We got our room when we and half of the South got checked in, and then we got a different room. The second one was the keeper. After traveling all day and then the long, long line at check-in, and then the room hopping, supper sounded like a great idea.
The way we used to travel, we would never, ever eat at the hotel where we were staying. Hotel restaurants always seemed too swanky and expensive. Lately though, we have changed our ways and have started eating at the hotel more often since it is so convenient even if it is more expensive.
Luckily for us, this worked out very well for us at the Opryland Hotel at Findley’s Irish Pub.
We were starving when we sat down. The whole hotel was swarming with conference people from Merry Maids and three weddings that night.
Regardless, while we were eating our Boo/Gravy Fries, we were enjoying ourselves. The restaurant very comfortable and busy. At a table next to us, though, an older couple was not having a nice time. The man ordered fish and chips. He sent the fish back for some weird reason. Then, he proceeded to send back the fries. They were burned, he said for all to hear. Our waiter, a nice non-Irish guy, explained that that was just the way the fries were made. The man still insisted on different fries. We were eating the same fries with gravy and cheese, and there was nothing wrong with them.
Really, Ridiculous Old Dude? You apparently need more gravy and cheese in your life.
The waiter brought out fresh fries special made for Mr. Complainy Pants that were still not good enough.
His wife, however, ate most of them. I am sure they went nicely with her salad, and I am also sure our waiter had to comp the couple for their pickiness even though he offered a substitute side for the still-not-good-enough second batch of fries.
Thou Shalt Not Be Rude to the Wait Staff should be a Commandment.
We had no complaints. Mr. Picky had the grilled cheese. He didn’t complain, and his name is picky.
Miss Helper had the pasta. Loved it!
Mr. Opinionated had the pub burger. He liked it, but at the price we paid for it, it was a little bit of a let down. It may have been full of fancy stuff, but it was still just a burger.
I had the Bangers and Mash. It was awesome.
This summer, I really, really watched what I ate and tried to be healthy. I lost several pounds, and realized that I could eat better.
This dish erased every bit of the work I did this summer. It was worth it.
The potatoes, the sausage. Good grief. The mustard sauce. The salad on top with the vinaigrette. Heaven.
Filed under: Food I Make, Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: food, recipes, sandwiches, short ribs, the bld, the sandwich king
It took me months to make this one. The short ribs in this BLD are not an every day thing around here, and they may not be an every day thing anywhere for all I know.
All I know is that I saw the episode where Jeff Mauro makes this sandwich, and I had to try it, but the short ribs were dang hard to find.
I tried this recipe once with pork ribs. It was good, but by the reviews I read about this sandwich, I knew it could be better.
One day at Sam’s while I was perusing the meat, I found them-beef short ribs. I wanted to shout, “Look! I found them! Beef short ribs!” I restrained myself, believe it or not.
It was exciting, though.
So I bought them up and brought them home. I followed Mauro’s recipe almost exactly, but I still had to add some beef broth during the cooking since I thought they looked a little dry. I never did get my gravy thick like his, I didn’t have any horseradish mayo, and I thought that the meat tasted a little too bayleafy.
Still, with an egg on top on a toasted bun, it was the best sandwich ever.
I can only hope that it doesn’t take me another series of months to taste this sandwich again. It was too, too good.
Thanks, Sandwich King.
Filed under: Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: burgers, food, mugshots grill and bar, peanut butter burgers, places to eat in tuscaloosa alabama, travel
When you live anywhere close to Memphis, it is a goal in life to eat at all of the Huey’s in and around town. It is like an unspoken dream to eat at them all, even though they are all pretty much the same. I have eaten at all but maybe two.
Now, a new dream of mine is to eat at all of the Mugshots. I live no where near them, but still. Dare to dream, I say.
The second Mugshots I got to cross off my bucket list of Mugshots was in Tuscaloosa, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
We are not fans.
However, the town is neat and the food at Mugshots was great.
We started off with Scooter’s Moo Cow Cheese Wedges and the queso dip. The fried cheese was very, very good. It is hard to beat a good fried cheese.
Mr. Opinionated had the Come Back burger and loved it.
I had my second peanut butter burger. It is the best burger around, and nobody ever wants to share a bite. Win-win, I say. The bread on this burger is perfect, and the peanut butter is devine. I love it. It would be no problem to make this at home, except for the buns.
It is my hope to continue my tour of Mugshots and finish my bucket list someday. I think I can-one peanut butter burger at a time.
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: boo fries, food, The Acme Oyster House, travel
So, you know how it goes. You go to a restaurant far from home. You see something unique on the menu. You order. Your taste buds are taken on a journey to Awesomeville. You mourn the fact that you may never taste this dish again.
It is a sad, sad cycle. What to do?
Try to make it at home, and if it fails, you never tell anyone.
If it succeeds, you can post it on your foodie blog for your foodie friends. Both of them.
That, you two, is what is happening here. While at Acme Oyster House, we ordered Boo Fries for no other reason than they sounded interesting. Yet, they were fabulous. Life changing? I don’t think that overstates things. Really, delish.
So, we are home now, and the chance of Boo Fries from Acme Oyster is a dim possibility. It just isn’t gonna happen anytime soon, but they were so simple that I thought that maybe I could recreate them. How hard could it be? Plus, the husband had already given me the go-ahead to make a roast (not his favorite thing to eat) to try out the fries. So, I tried them.
Success, my friends. Success.
Good gosh almighty, they were good. All I did was make a roast in a pretty simple fashion.
I used a small roast with an onion, celery, potatoes, and a package of Crock Pot savory pot roast seasoning. I left it in the crock pot all day, and then just before suppertime, I fried up some frozen French fries. To serve them up, I plated them with the fries, then the juice from the crock pot, and shredded Cheddar cheese on top.
This recipe, as simple as it is, is a keeper. Three out of four of us loved it, and it was pretty close to the Acme’s dish. It was a happy and proud moment for me and my stomach. May the cycle of vacation food be broken again someday. If I can do it again, I promise I’ll tell you both about it.
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks | Tags: food, merlins pizza, Picky eaters, pizza, Places to eat in destin florida, travel
After just a few days in Destin and apparently one too many seafood restaurants, Mr. Picky began his campaign for the food that he can not live without-pizza.
On the table in our condo, a little plastic two-sided holder gave the TV station list on one side and an ad for Merlin’s Pizza on the other. From the time he saw the ad, Mr. Picky had to try it, and after yet another meal of seafood, he was ready.
Since we were on vacation, and while on vacation, anything goes (almost), we ordered him a cheese pizza pie from Merlin’s one late, late night. The waiting was the most exciting part. At home, we live so far in the country that Domino’s doesn’t know that our neighborhood exists, but in Destin, the pizza will come to your door. That blew Mr. Picky’s mind. It was heavenly.
When it arrived, it was as if the pizza kid was Santa. Mr. Picky got to open the door and pay the dude. It was great.
Then, we opened the pizza box.
I thought Merlin’s pizza was great. It was a homemade pie with lots of fresh spices. Yum.
Mr. Picky, though, is a die-hard corporate pizza man. In his opinion, there is no reason to mess with perfectly good run-of-the-mill pizza, which he has eaten plenty of. He didn’t like it and was mad at the plastic TV station holder for the rest of the trip.
Next time, when vacation comes around and a late night pizza is in order, I think we’ll stick to the plain Jane pizza variety. Not because Merlin’s wasn’t good, but because my one kid who lives for pizza wants “regular” pizza-preferably, the kind where all he has to do is open the door and pay.