Lazy Man’s Dinner!

We were both feeling lazy-city tonight, and it’s my TV night (holla at Project Runway!)

So Eric whipped up this <— bruschetta with a few ciabatta rolls sliced, brushed with olive oil. He threw on some yummy tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil from the waning herb garden, and some onions.**   We hung on the couch munched, drank some wine (Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc) and were generally adorable. Another favorite lazy night meal of mine is omelets. I adore the incredible, edible egg. What’s your favorite lazy day dinner?

Edit ** I forgot the best part! Shredded mozzarella and some peccarino romano melted on top.

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Rainy Tuesday: Great Movie Meals

Here I am, home sick on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and watching Julie and Julia. Literally one of my favorite movies, even before the whole food-blog ‘thing.’ It’s such a great story, and I just adore Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. Can’t beat ’em.
My favorite scene (in case you were wondering) is the scene where she makes bruschetta. I literally want to jump through the TV for some of those beautiful tomatoes.
So without much ado, my off-the-cuff list of great movie meals:
1. Julie and Julia– the bruschetta scene not withstanding, there are (obviously) a lot of great meals here. My second favorite is when Amy Adams eat her poached egg. “It tastes like cheese sauce. Yum.”
2. Lady and the Tramp– Lamest girl ever? Yes. Still a great scene though, with the iconic red checked table cloth. Plus I love pasta, so this is a win for me.
3. Spanglish– (Ok this might just be a list of my favorite movies) Adam Sandler + Paz Vega = so romantic. But Adam Sandler + that egg sandwich = well…let’s just say it looks pretty awesome.
4. Goodfellas– Prison meals with the mafia? Yes , please! This movie made my 13 year old self want to be a Mafia wife, if nothing else so I could eat that food. (Clearly, strong priorities.)
5. Eat, Pray, Love– I loved this scene before I saw it. I heard that Julia Roberts ate like, 5 bowls of pasta in the, well, eating pasta scene. Props for many other movie moments in this one, including the Italian thanksgiving.
But, what I really want to know- what scenes have I missed?

Restaurant Love 2: Rosinha’s Pawtucket RI

Ok, ok. I don’t live in Pawtucket. I don’t even spend a lot of time there. But my second restaurant post is ANOTHER Pawtucket find. Seriously, if you live in SE Mass or Rhode Island, you are missing out if you don’t check out some of the awesome eating in Pawtucket.


Portuguese food. Oh, wow. Lucky for me Eric is Portuguese (I’m Irish) so I get a lot of Portuguese fare from him and Grandma.

I won’t digress too much about Portuguese-American food today (although my mouth is watering thinking about some kale soup.)

Rosinha’s Restaurant is owned by Rosinha (imagine that.) She is a lovely Cape Verdean woman, and the restaurant serves both Portuguese and Cape Verdean food.

It’s in a large building called the Hope Artist Village which is an old mill. It’s in kind of a seedy area, so beware of that when you arrive. The building itself is pretty awesome.

Rosinha’s itself has atmosphere for days. High ceiling, beautifully appointed furniture, candle light, and a wood floor to die for. It is truly beautiful, and the perfect setting for an intimate dinner.

Most importantly: the food!

(Photo from Rosinha’s website)

I almost always order the paelha (same as paella, I believe) which runs you $22.95. This picture does not do it justice. I think it could literally feed 4 people (if I didn’t stab them with
my fork for trying to get near it.)

It’s the best paelha I’ve ever had, and that is saying something.

Another excellent, and less decadent choice, is Eric’s favorite: Bitoque, or steak and eggs. No, it isn’t breakfast. Portuguese-American restaurants will almost always offer this selection, and I’m told it’s pretty popular in good ol’ Portugal itself.
I didn’t get a picture of the bitoque, so here’s the idea:

It’s a slice of fried beef (flank steak??) served in a wine sauce, with an abundance of what I call (to Eric’s chagrin) vovo fries- grandma fries. They are a thick cut, not deep fried like a fast food restaurant but pan fried (I think) and they are the perfect accessory to sop up all that wine sauce.

In addition, there is a sunny side egg fried on top of the steak, which just adds to the yummy comfort factor of bitoque. AND it’s only $10.95!

OH but that’s not all. You also are served bread and marinated olives before your meal, which is just about enough of a meal on it’s own.

Rosinha’s has a solid wine selection. Usually we get Vinho Verde, but it really bothers me to pay $15 for a bottle I can buy at the store for $5. Just me? No? I’ll typically have a glass and switch to water.

The only downside to Rosinha is the service can be a bit slow. I’ve been three times recently. Once was just Eric and I, the second was with another couple, and the third was for my birthday (about 20 people.) If you don’t mind lingering over your meal, this is the perfect spot for a 2-6 person meal. The food is always delicious, freshly cooked, and authentic.

DIY Delish! And Frugal too! Creme Fraiche

Here is a great DIY that I have not tried yet, because I’m not sure what to have it with! (I’m not a berry gal and that’s the best recommend I’ve gotten)
It’s ripped out of my Good Housekeeping (Sept 2010)
Creme Fraiche
Cost: About $1
1 c heavy cream
2 tbsp low fat buttermilk (I like Kate’s Homemade Butter)
1. Stir together in large clean glass jar or bowl
2. Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap and let stand overnight, or until it’s the consistency of sour cream
3. Refrigerate 5 hours
Keep in the fridge, will keep for a week.
You’re saving yourself about $6.50 off the supermarket price!
What recipes/dishes do you use creme fraiche in?

Restaurant Love 1: Rasoi, Pawtucket RI.

Hey all,

I want to throw some love at a few local restaurants that we’ve tried and were worth shouting about. I think it’s important to support local business, and I also think these restaurants are worth the trip!
Disclaimer: I am NOT a reviewer, nor am I any kind of authority. I just want to share the good experiences I have had.
Ok, here goes:
Rasoi, 727 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI. (Yes, it’s the one in the Rite Aid parking lot.)
We ended up here for my good friend Julie’s birthday recently. Eric makes Indian food at home, but we rarely get to go out for it. Funnily enough, I thought I had been to this place before but it was a totally different location. A happy accident, as they say.
We arrive, slightly intimidated, but excited to try some new dishes.
First off, it’s pretty small. About the size of a large coffee shop. They’ve done a great job with separating the tables so you don’t feel as though you are in a small restaurant once you are seated.
We started with drinks- I split the sangria with Kevin (a friend) and Eric and Julie ordered beers.
Appetizers: We got the Cauliflower, which was marinated and then fried. It was delicious. We also tried the Samosas, which were made with potato and homemade cheese. These were OK. The cheese was good, but the rest was a little bland. I would have like to have this during my entree (you’ll see why!)
Entrees
I ordered the Chana Masala, and Eric got the Lamb Vindaloo. (Side note, whenever I hear the word Vindaloo, all I can think of is the song “Punjab Paddy” by Gaelic Storm. It’s a riot. You shoud download it. Now. πŸ™‚
Being the adventurous eater that I am, I mentioned to the waiter that I liked spicy food. Oh what an error in judgement that was. The Chana Masala was ALREADY spicy, and they pumped up the volume for mine. It was extraordinary, but I did feel as though I would start to have blisters if I continued to eat the entire thing.
However the waiter was so incredibly gracious, he offered to replace my meal. I refused because, after all, it wasn’t HIS fault that I so brazenly declared my love for spicy food in an INDIAN restaurant. And I did eat some of the leftovers with a lot of rice later that week.
So I recommend the Chana Masala, but not extra spicy. In my mind, for a first time Indian food eater, vegetarian is the way to go. Rasoi offers a very large list of vegetarian entrees, which I loved.
Eric’s Lamb Vindaloo was awesome. Seriously. I couldn’t recommend a dish more highly. It was tender, spicy, and sweet, and just lovely.
We finished off the meal with some homemade vanilla ice cream that had a touch of what I think was ginger. Perfect!
Rasoi is extremely accommodating, offering gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options.
They also have an all-you-can eat gluten free vegan buffet on Saturdays.
I can truly recommend this restaurant- it was a wonderful experience.

Adventures in Pasta Making

Eric and I both have a love for doing things from scratch. I’m not sure if this is something that will fade with age, or more responsibility, but for now, we both enjoy it. I think I read a little too much Little House on the Prairie as a kid.

So I wasn’t too surprised when Eric wanted to make his own pasta.

I was pleasantly surprised when he bought the $30 hand-crank rather than the $179 Kitchenaid attachment. (Much love Kitchenaid, but let’s be serious, here.)
His first pasta experiment was linguine. We’ve since upgraded to adding herbs and whole-wheat flour, but the first recipe was the basic Kitchenaid-approved one.
For those of you playing along, here’s what he does:
4 large eggs (certified humane if you’re cooking at my house! and if I have the $$ to shell out for them!)
1 tbsp water
3 1/2 c sifted flour (we use
all purpose but I’ve heard cake flour is more legit)
Mix for 30 seconds with the flat beater
Then attached the dough hook for 2 minutes
He pulls it out and hand kneads it for another minute or so, then wraps it in Stretch-Tite and lets it rest for 20 minutes, or until he’s ready for it.

Here he is preparing to conquer the pasta-maker. It was a bit rocky
at first but he picked it up pretty quickly.
Homemade meatballs and sauce made by my awesome husband!
My DIY effort at making the patio look cute. At least I found a use for those wine bottles!
What are your DIY decor ideas for dinner parties?
Do you like making things homemade?

Recipe: Tortilla Soup

I’m really bad at photographing dishes- hopefully I’ll be improving quickly!

Here is a great recipe for cool New England nights. I like tortilla soup because it has the spice of chili but it’s not as heavy.
A nice addition to this soup was the pan fried tortilla strips Eric threw together. Decadent and delicious, they tasted like butter. I think he used vegetable oil in a skillet.
Anyway. Eric loves to improvise recipes, but I found a pretty close replica one at http://www.allrecipes.com. We didn’t have any tomatoes, and we subbed in salsa. The result was great- I recommend this if you try it!

INGREDIENTS:
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken
broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile
peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and
drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves,
cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Β© 2010 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/28/201

Recipe- Oven Baked Eggplant Rounds

Here’s a recipe I really like. WW recommends this as an app, but I served it recently for 6 (I cooked it, with my sister-in-law Kayla’s help!) over homemade linguine that Eric made with some basil and parsley. It took about an hour to prep, but the kitchen was full of family getting the meal ready, and we all enjoyed it on the patio with some lovely cheap vinho verde (http://www.casalgarcia.com/.)

Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that is so drinkable, it’s a little dangerous on a hot day.

It’s called “Green Wine” because it is a young wine, made to be drunk within a year (not an issue in my house.)

If you want to learn more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinho_Verde

Anyway- onto the recipe!

Oven Baked Eggplant Rounds (modified from a WW recipe)
1 point each

1 large eggplant, peeled
Non stick cooking spray (olive oil)
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
2 tomatoes, same diameter as the eggplant, sliced
egg whites, beaten
1/8c bread crumbs

Spray baking sheet with non stick spray

Slice eggplant into 1 inch rounds
Coat with egg white “wash”
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Place on baking sheet, bake at 475 for 15 minutes

Take out, place tomato slices on top of eggplants, sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, spray with non-stick spray
Place back in oven for 3 minutes

Tonight’s menu

Not exactly sure where this whole “blogging” thing should begin. But since I’m also a weight watcher, I figured a little daily food journal would at least get us started.

Today

Breakfast: Fiber One bar (Oats and Chocolate= amazing) 2 points

Lunch: Campbells soup at hand and oyster crackers 3 points

Dinner: It’s Taco night! We have tacoes a lot, because they are easy, delicious, and WW friendly. My dinner will be 11 points.

Here’s my first food tip- Morningstar Farms http://www.morningstarfarms.com/ Meal Starter Soy Crumbles. They are awesome in tacos, and only 1 point for a CUP! That’s a lot of soy crumble.

I also rock FF sour cream and RF cheese, along with FF flour tortillas. Not exactly how mama made them, but I have to compromise at times.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to explore food in my life with this blog. I would prefer to eat all homemade, local, non-chemically enhanced food. But I also don’t want to weigh 1 million pounds. Plus I have to go to work, and making my food from scratch is less than feasible most days! So I make it work, in my own way. But I can’t help feeling a little…dirty about it.

Have a great Monday!

Delectable= Yummy

First things first. I really wanted to name this “Our Yummy Life” but it was taken. So instead, I googled/binged synonyms, and ended up with “delectable.”

At first I said, “pretentious, much?” I mean really. I eat a lot of foodie-approved fare, but I also eat my fair share of Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches.

But then I looked up the definition of delectable. Here it is:

1. Highly pleasing, delightful
2. Extremely pleasing to the sense of taste; same as luscious.

Huh.

Not a bad name for what I want this blog to be about: the experiences we (my husband and I) have with food, life, and where they intertwine.

I’m not a food critic, or even really a “foodie” in the way I think of it. We don’t eat in fancy restaurants (usually,) and we like traditional food that we can make ourselves, when possible. We both love nothing better than a few friends at our patio table, with some candles, wine, and some family style dishes full of yummy (delectable) food.

So by way of introduction, hi! My name is AM, and my husband is Eric. We both love food. We love to talk about food, learn about it, and sometimes, even eat it.

Hopefully we’ll have some interesting things (interesting to anyone but us, that is) to post here- Eric’s recipes (I’m the eater- he’s the cook,) great food finds, and whatever else we feel like.