Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Wonderful Weekend

It's just after 9 PM on Sunday evening and its time to accept the fact the weekend is over, and I'm sad to see it go. I simply am dreading the 5:30 AM alarm on my phone that says (literally) "GO TO GYM - Wedding Dress!"

Friday after work Jim and I went to Kona Grill in the Domain for a really fantastic happy hour. They have sake bombs for only $6. We discovered two and a half hours later that they put a limit on how many sake bombs one person can be served. At 7 PM when we walked out we realized WHY they put a limit on how many one person can be served. They taste great, but man they can catch up with you. We followed happy hour with dinner at a local sports bar just down the street from our house, and made it home in time to see the Denver Bronco's kick off their first pre-season game. I didn't make it through the first quarter...those dang sake bombs.

Saturday morning was a blast! I met my brother downtown where he lives and I got to watch him experience a Farmers Market for the first time. I love farmers markets, it makes me feel so good to buy local, to know my fruits, meats and vegetables are the freshest available to me. I purchased a dozen eggs, which I came home and hard boiled...I'm going to post that technique on the blog sometime soon. Basic, yes, but it is possible to mess that up. Talk about photogenic eggs! lol. My brother Brad found cucumbers, zucchini, pears, and hamburger meat. He never gets really outwardly excited about anything - as opposed to me who recently admitted I have the urge to clap when my entree is delivered to me while dining out. I just love food...and the farmers market is a celebration of all things foodie. In addition to the dozen eggs I bought a jar of local honey, figs, onions, green and red tomatoes, basil and I also purchased some gourmet green olives stuffed with garlic! While chatting with the guy selling the olives, I discovered HE is the bartender at Ranch 616 who had part in creating the official drink of Austin 2009 - Fire In The Hole. It's fantastic you guys. I first heard about this official drink from my friend Jenna who works for Tito's Handmade Vodka. Jim and I had dinner at Ranch 616 soon after we heard about this drink, that turns out is really a shot.

Fire In The Hole

1 large jalapeño
1/2 oz Titos Vodka
1/2 oz Paula's Texas Orange
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. Cayenne chili pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 ice-cold beer back

Mix cayenne chili pepper and salt together on a plate. Cut top off jalapeno - core and seed. Dip jalapeno into cayenne chili pepper and salt mixture on a plate. In a shaker: mix vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and ice. Strain and pour into jalapeno. Serve with ice-cold beer back!(serves one)

At Ranch 616, the beer back is an ice cold coronita, the short coronas. Excellent! Also, if you order a group of Fire in the Hole's, I can't remember if it is five or so... then it is called Ring Of Fire. Jim and I decided then that we would have to bring my parents there next time they come into town for a visit. What a fun way to kick off the night.

After the shopping trip with Brad at the Farmers Market, I came home to make my soon-to-be Award Winning Salsa for the contest at Faraday's Kitchen Store. I wanted the salsa to sit in the fridge over night so the ingredients could fall in love and marry. I was VERY happy with the way my red salsa and my green salsa turned out. I was never fully hooked on the names I came up with for my salsa, but oh well. Here are the recipes:

"You Just Can't Get Enough"
4 small tomatoes, chopped
2 14.5 canned diced tomatoes, one is fire roasted, one is zesty mild green chile
3 medium green jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small sweet onions or one Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T ground cumin
¼ t salt
1 cup cilantro
½ t dried chipotle chile pepper

Coarsely chop tomatoes and onions and add to cuisinart blender, pulse 3-4 times. Seed and chop three jalapenos, add to cuisinart, pulse 2 times. Add vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt, chipotle chile pepper, pulse 2 times. Add one cup cilantro, pulse 2 times. Add one can of diced tomatoes, pulse 2 times. Add the other can of diced tomatoes, and simply stir together.

"Very Verde Salsa"
1 lb tomatillos, quartered
1 sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 t ground cumin
1 t salt
½ cup cilantro
½ lime, juiced
1/3 c chicken stock
Olive oil

Place quartered tomatillos and jalapeno halves on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown and blister. In a saucepan sauté diced onion and minced garlic in ½ tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add roasted tomatillos and garlic along with all the juices from the roasting pan. Take off heat. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add juice of half a lime, stir and serve.

Saturday night, Jim and I celebrated with a friend who just got a job in this tough economy. We met some new people and had a really great time at the house party. One of the hosts made us a german chocolate cake shot that was like dessert, but it started with a sugared lemon...reminded me of flavor tripping.

Sunday Sunday Sunday! I love Saturday and Sunday mornings. I like it when I wake up around 7:30 AM and make a cup of tea, and tip toe in my pajamas to the couch where I log onto my laptop and check e-mail, read food blogs, and update my own. I love the quietness of the morning and the alone time. Jim woke up late and joined me on the couch with a magazine. We sat there for a good hour while I worked on my laptop, eating cereal, and he on the other end with my feet in his lap as he read about fantasy football. THAT is what Sunday is for. We went to church at 11 and then drove to Lakeway where I dropped off my two salsa entries at Faraday's. Starved, we drove another two miles down the road and enjoyed a really lovely italian lunch at Rocco's in Lakeway. I had a small cup of their tomato soup and a crisp green salad with spicy pecans and green apples. With full bellies, we drove home and napped - my most favorite thing to do on Sunday after church.

I haven't heard from anyone at Faraday's so I'm guessing neither of my salsa entries placed in any category today. There were so many entries, I can't wait to read the winning recipe, and then duplicate it here on the blog.

My weekend ended with a movie that made me laugh and cry. I saw Julie and Julia tonight with my future mother in law. The movie was so good and enhanced only by the Moonstruck pizza that we split between the two of us. I'm eating a tums as I type this, and I'm not kidding. If you've seen the movie, then you get the reference. I don't see how you can watch a movie like that and not EAT while enjoying it. The Moonstruck pizza at Alamo Drafthouse is so good, and the entree I order almost always when I see movies there. It's a margarita pizza made with fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato slices (although tonight they were diced, not sliced) with fresh basil and a spicy tomato sauce. If you are a food blog writer, or even a food lover - you will connect with this movie. I thought it captured the ups and downs of pushing yourself in the kitchen, and as a fairly new cook I related to the disasters, the meltdowns, the successes and the best feeling in the world when your partner devours a meal you have prepared for him. Jim you are the butter to my bread. Oh, if you haven't seen this movie, what are you waiting for? I can't wait to see it again!

5:30 AM is getting closer and closer, I must say goodnight, close my laptop and get some rest. After the dinner I just had there is no way I can get out of my morning workout. G'Night.

1 comment:

  1. Mandy, you crack me up!!! I seriously thought I was the only one that likes to clap when I get my entree...I am NOT alone!! Thank god. I love food and I love to celebrate it. Thanks for letting us take a peek at your weekend. We love farmers markets too.


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