31 March 2007

Breakfast in Ann Arbor

We are out of syrup and Kea wanted pancakes so we first headed to Northside Grill, a place originally recommended by our vegetarian neighbors. We've been unimpressed in the past--with omelettes and huevos rancheros, which were good, but nothing special. Since then, however, we've been told that the skillets and breakfast sandwiches are the thing to try. Northside was crazy crowded though. For real. There were like ten people standing just inside the door waiting for tables. Why does everyone in this town wake up so late? I don't care if they're all students and professors!

We considered Pilar's Cafe, a really great El Salvadorian restaurant--for breakfast and other meals. Unfortunately they don't have pancakes, and spicy hot chocolate and chorizo omelette were not enough to lure us there today.

We ended up at The Broken Egg, a diner on Main. It looked well patronized, but with no line. They had a huge menu, complete with a savory pancake (with spinach and ham just like ours!), Eggs Benedict (which I am afraid to try. I don't think I would like Hollandaise), all kinds of omelettes, some vegetarian options, a typical variety of pancakes, and some things I'd never heard of before like chicken hash, breakfast stew, and a cornmeal waffle. I went with the breakfast stew, which sounded--and was--what I think is usually called a skillet. You know, scrambled eggs with stuff inside. Mine was vegetarian and had a good mix--onions, red bell peppers, zucchini, spinach. The serving was huge and I got the veggies I wanted, but it was a pretty basic dish.

Kea's cornmeal waffle was more exciting. It sounded scary because it was described as being made of butter, milk, and cornmeal, but it was really good! Maybe it had more ingredients than what was listed...

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26 March 2007

New York Food Report

This is all I have energy for...

-new york has lots of cosi-like delis that are great for getting decently priced, decently healthy food at a conference.

-had scones from alice's tea cup. jenny and laurie picked up cuz they are great.

-had bagels from a dude who tried to kick laurie's guide dog out of the store. of course she was pretty mellow about it. and i was like, "that's illegal!"

-pastries and sandwiches from the french place. i don't know this is what j and l call it.

-Thai food including a super hot papaya salad. a little too hot but still made me happy.

-three course dessert at ChikaLicious. Fucking insane.

-there are a lot of Japanese restaurants by NYU

-hot dog and Frappuccino for lunch. This is not good. Do not do this.

-oh yeah got ripped off on the hot dog. i could tell the guy was thinking when i asked how much it was but i still thought two dollars was a pretty good deal. apparently it is supposed to be one.

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12 March 2007

Chicken Florentine

This is something Kea makes, a recipe from his mom.

monterey jack
cream of mushroom soup

1. If you want to do a square pan, use about four pieces of chicken. Season with salt and pepper (Kea also puts garlic but I don't know if this is necessary) and brown.

2. You can use frozen or fresh spinach. Put a layer of this on the bottom of the pan.

3. Layer the chicken next and pour cream of mushroom on top.

4. Slice mushrooms for the next layer.

5. Slice cheese and put on top.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is browned.

7. Eat with rice.

Time: 60-75 minutes

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10 March 2007

Amadeus and Cafe Zola

The food at Amadeus was good, some of it spectacular. We ordered two combo plates, one veggie combo, two extra salads, and two desserts for five of us. I'm not really sure what the logic was behind that becuase the husbands ended up still hungry, but I guess it is their own fault for staying at the sports bar across the street to finish watching the basketball game. I guess it was because the combo plates sounded really big. Anyway, I had too much to eat so they should've spoken up and I would've shared with them!

The kielbasa was very popular as was the apple torte. The cabbage roll was pretty good too. It tasted like the kind my mom used to make. Of course she is Chinese American so I have no idea if it's "authentic," but I liked it! The pierogis were underwhelming. I think that I expected fatter dumplings. I also like it when there's a mixed filling while these were only pork, mushroom, or cheese.

I think I'm also developing a taste for wine.

For breakfast at Cafe Zola, I had a ratatouille crepe and loved it. I'm not sure if I've ever had ratatouille before but somehow it was exactly what I expected--except for the purple crepe. Not sure why it was purple, but it was cool. The crepe also had sour cream on top and was the biggest crepe I have ever seen, like a half sheet of folder paper. Oh I did start craving cheese part way through so I might try a crepe with cheese next time.

Kea had the Black Forest waffle with a side of chorizo. I took some and both were yummy. Our friends had the strawberry banana waffle and the Turkish eggs. The fruits on the waffle and the veggies with the eggs looked really fresh. The eggs looked like they were done in an oven. I don't know, but I have decided that I like crepes even better than omelettes. Kea and I shared the Irish breakfast tea, which was good, but boring; I should have insisted on genmaicha. Our friends had coffee and said it was very strong.

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07 March 2007

Weekend Plans

A few friends from school are coming over this weekend. It's sad when Ann Arbor is the escape for food and shopping, but *shrug*

Anyway, we'll be headed to Amadeus European Restaurant on Friday night. I have always wanted to try pierogi; I think I am a dumpling kind of person. And I figure I should stop eating mediocre Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese food and just eat white people food cuz that is the kind of place where I am living. Like you don't go to a steak house and order sushi (although I did once--holy moly), you don't come to the midwest and eat... sushi. Unless you are really craving it that bad. Anyway, I like white people food. Mac and cheese, tuna casserole... mmm... So here is another kind of white people food. Check out this menu. Everything sounds so good. I think I may have to be a piggy and get the combo cuz I want to try everything!

Saturday morning we'll have brunch at Cafe Zola. They say that they're named after the writer. Ew. I don't know... somehow Francophilia seems the worst of all the philias. Oh, except Asiaphilia. Okay, and I have eaten at total Asiaphile restaurants. Cursed New York--it tricks me. Oh and of course Francophilia is not as bad as like pedophilia and necrophilia... but definitely, of the regional philias, one of the most obnoxious. Anyway, despite it's potentially snobby name, I am eyeing the crepes. And also the tea selection. Yum...

Will report later...

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05 March 2007

Fresh Spinach, Orzo and Chicken Soup

I don't know who gave me this cookbook--either my mom or mother-in-law. I think maybe I have one from each of them. It's totally hawking Costco products, you know like it'll say "1 pound Grimmway baby carrots," but whatever, I can ignore that kind of thing.

I love soup. It's my favorite thing to make. Except the kind that you have to puree. Cuz we didn't have a blender until like a month ago. And also it kind of grosses me out to put savory things in a blender. We just always used it for smoothies you know? But actually we have a stick blender so that seems okay.

But beyond my issues, I had to cook and then go to Pilates and then come back and be able to eat right away. Cuz Pilates gets out at 7:45 and I am starving by then.

So here's the recipe:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch cubes
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t ground coriander
pinch of ground cinnamon
32-oz chicken broth (I rounded up--way up--and used three cans)
2/3 cup orzo
1 T fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of a whole lemon)
2 c fresh baby spinach
1/3 c grated Parmesan (just realized we forgot to put this)

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until lightly browned; remove to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic, and saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add spices and stir for 1 minute.
4. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
5. Add chicken, bring soup back to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
6. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Divide spinach among 6 bowls and ladle hot soup over spinach. Garnish with Parmesan.

Kea and I both liked it although I felt it had too much chicken. So maybe more orzo next time. Kea thinks maybe more broth.

Time: 50 minutes. I don't think it's supposed to take this long. I'm slow. I was late to Pilates.

Source: Cooking in Style: The Costco Way. 2006.

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