Sunday, March 22, 2009

It Must Be Heaven

We attended the Irish Festival for a brief stint this afternoon. Very crowded with long ambiguous food lines. At least the Guiness flowed. In the middle of the mayhem stood an ice cream oasis - It Must Be Heaven featuring Gelati Celesti ice cream. A cup of Chocolate Decadence and Coffee was a delight. The place also featured homemade desserts including Red Velvet Cake and Apple Pound Cake as well as soups and sandwiches. Beginning April 15 they will begin serving breakfast sandwiches. The Petite Filet Mignon and Fried Egg sandwich served with fried apples and grits sounds like the ultimate in comfort food.

It Must Be Heaven
2505 E. Broad St.
Closed on Mondays

It Must Be Heaven on Urbanspoon

And enjoy some Spring photos of Church Hill:

Spring Enjoyment

Yesterday the sun held forth in all its glory. We decided to walk up to Movieland to see Gran Torino (very good movie). Along the way we discovered signs of Spring...

We ate barbecue pork sandwiches at Buz and Ned's...

Then headed for the movies...

We walked back and continued to discover signs of Spring...

Later, at home, we tore into the Caromont Chevre and washed it down with a Loire Valley Rose made from Pinot Noir, Negrette, and Cabernet Franc. River City Cellars sold us the 375ml version. The bottle was way to cute to resist and the taste was fantastically fruity, yet dry...

For dinner we split the second NY Strip (you can read about the first one here). This time we grilled it and served it with a 2003 Heitz Cellar Zinfandel...

Yesterday was a good day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Caromont Farm Chevre

Sara, our favorite cheesemonger in the entire world, sampled out a simply divine goat cheese from Caromont Farm last night at River City Cellars. Creamy and mild. We simply could not leave without buying some to gobble up this weekend. Her suggestion is to mix it with a little grated lemon peel, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh chopped herbs.

Such loveliness from a Virginia producer. Once the word is out, this chevre will fly out of the door. Go get some now!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NY Strip Dinner

I thoroughly enjoy a NY Strip steak. Rubbed with salt and black pepper. Pan-fried in a combination of olive oil and butter. Always medium-rare leaning towards the rare. This is my steak of choice for home enjoyment.

So, The Fresh Market advertised whole or half NY Strips for $4.99 a pound. Usually, they have only offered whole ones at that price. Yesterday, I salivated at the half ones and bought some NC shrimp instead.

I let my hubby know about the NY Strip special over our shrimp and pasta dinner. I also mentioned that I had found an herb-roasted NY Strip roast recipe on The Fresh Market's website. We both agreed that the price was very good.

Tonight I ventured back to the store and picked up a 6 1/2 pound beauty. The butcher cut off two steaks 1 1/2 inches thick and left the rest for me to roast. $33 seemed very reasonable.
Tonight's most delicious menu consisted of:

Pan-fried NY Strip (one steak that we cut in half - more than enough meat for two)

Baked potatoes with home-grown chives

Roasted fennel (drool, drool, drool)

2001 Pavillion Rouge du Chateau Margaux (slightly tannic, plummy fruit goodness!)

Dinner was simple, but the ingredients were superb and extremely satisfying. It was nice that The Fresh Market offered half NY Strips. I would have never purchased a whole one - way too much meat and I would be hard-pressed to freeze good quality meat. I look forward to trying the roast!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blood Orange Pear Nectar Delight

We had some Italian Blood Orange juice left over from our first River City Supper Club. The Fresh Market had Looza Pear Nectar on sale last week. My remedy for the Monday rainy day blues?

Blood Orange Pear Nectar Delight

1 ounce blood orange juice
1 ounce pear nectar
1 ounce vodka (I had Pearl on hand)

Pour the liquid into a martini glass, stir, and enjoy. The key to this beverage is the equal parts of each ingredient.

My Monday evening is looking a whole heap better.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sacred Stone

In these uncertain economic times being a regular wine consumer can be a bit tough. Great wines, familiar wines call out to us. Alas, the price point may make us walk away with sad longing. I am ever grateful at the abundance of free wine tastings that our area offers so I can make the right choices when forking over dollars.

Last month I discovered Sacred Stone Master's Red Blend Cask #004. Pietra Santa Winery makes this little red gem using a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Dolcetto. How unusual and how tasty. The wine is hearty and fruity with a touch of acidity. And Kroger is carrying it for ~$9 a bottle.

This week my hubby and I have remained at home eating leftovers or throwing together meals from almost forgotten items in the pantry and refrigerator. This wine has been a highlight of the week.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Reminder - Silly Candy Day is March 12!

Last year I declared March 12 as Silly Candy Day. This year celebrate with your friends and co-workers. Get thee some silly candy, consume, and reminisce.

A Club is Born

Last night three couples began a food and wine journey entitled River City Supper Club. I for one am extremely excited. Our premise is to stick to three couples. The first month one couple hosts a themed meal, the second month the couple chooses a restaurant (non-chain) in which to dine, the third month the next couple hosts a themed meal, and so on.

My hubby and I hosted the inaugural meal. Our theme - Italian. Check out the menu:

March 7, 2009

Prosecco Cocktails
Prosecco + Blood Orange Juice + Limoncello

Amuse Bouche
Parsnip Ravioli + Balsamic Vinegar + Parmesan

First Course
Frisee + White Beans + Proscuitto
Prosecco Spago Nero

Second Course
Osso Buco + Celery Root and Potato Puree
2007 Molino Toscano Asso
2005 Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva

Coffee and Rum Cream + Chocolate Cookies
Illy Café

Al tavolo non s’incecchia mai.

I must admit that I thought everything was fabulous. Here is the recipe for the Prosecco Cocktail:

1 ounce blood orange juice

1/2 ounce limoncello

5 ounces Prosecco (or other white sparkling wine)

lemon slices for garnish

Pour blood orange juice in champagne flute, followed by limoncello. Top off with the sparkling wine. Add lemon slice to flute. Enjoy.

Our unofficial theme - At the table one never grows old. Hey, maybe I'm working on living forever (or pretty darn close!).

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snowy Photos

A brief time out from blogging about all things food and share a few photos from the snowfall. I hope you enjoy.

Celery Root and Potato Puree

Mezzanine was indeed a source of great inspiration. Last night amidst the snowstorm I prepared Celery Root and Potato Puree. Yummy, yummy! The celery root was not too pungent like a parsnip or a turnip and the potato added even more of a buffer. I used white potatoes instead of my favorite Yukon Gold. It seemed to be the appropriate choice in keeping with the whiteness of the celery root. I served it with a slow braised pork roast. The side dish produced four generous helpings. For the leftovers I plan to place the rest of the puree in a small baking dish, top with a bit of shredded Romano cheese and bake.

Celery Root and Potato Puree

1 large celery root, peeled and diced
2 large white potatoes, peeled and diced
3 T. half and half or cream
3 T. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Place diced celery root and potatoes in pot and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of salt to pot. Boil for 30 minutes. Drain celery root and potatoes and place in food processor. Add half and half, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Process for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Serve immediately.