Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dining Week!

I have just found out that Downtown Dining Week will be starting soon here in Milwaukee. Many of the upper tier of restaurants are offering a 3 course dinner for $20.00, and lunch for $10.00!

If you get a chance to come to Milwaukee, this would be a very fun time to do so. Additionally, any of you that come to Milwaukee for dinner without notifying me so that I may join you will be disavowed.

I hope to see some of you soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lettuce Wraps

Please don't be scared off by what I am about to tell you.

Monday night I was bored and I wanted to make something I had never done before. I spent at least half an hour going through my cupboards/fridge in a sorry attempt to create something new. I began to digress and wash the bags of lettuce from my most recent trip to the grocery store. As I rinsed the butter lettuce leaves I had an idea - Asian Lettuce Wraps. But I had just used my ground pork in another dish , what would I do? Ah ha! Use the leftover half brick of tofu!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps turned out delicious. I diced the tofu very finely with a minced onion, and chopped button mushrooms, all of which I sauteed in a little toasted sesame oil with Chinese five spice. Then I added a broccoli slaw mix (I also used it as the garnish in the photo) which is shredded broccoli stems & carrot - so I ran my knife through it until it was fine and added about 1 cup of that as well. Then I simmered the mixture in low sodium soy sauce, sriracha (a chili paste available in all grocery stores), rice vinegar, honey (yes Samantha - you can leave it out), and some water. At the very end, I made a slurry of water and cornstarch and added that to thicken the sauce without adding fat. Not bad for a) never doing this before, and b) for not having a recipe.

I also happened to have a bag of edamames (soybeans) in the freezer, so I made those as well. They are so easy; just boil them for 5 minutes and you are done. When you eat edamames, they have salt on them and you dip them in soy sauce and get the beans out of the pod. I skipped the salt after the were cooked, and mixed some sriracha in the low sodium soy - delish!

Let me know if anyone wants the vague recipe I have in my head, or if you have a recipe for lettuce wraps I could look at. I am not as familiar with Asian ingredients/spices yet, so it is harder for me to cook on the fly. I appreciate any help.

Monday, May 14, 2007

That's what I call Saturday night

Late Saturday afternoon Todd had so much studying to do and no quiet place to do it, (Todd has a roommate, I only have one room, and Todd's parents have a house on Lake Michigan just north of Manitowoc that was empty.) So I drove up there, it is just under an hour from downtown, while he studied in the car. Just before we left, I grabbed an armload out of the fridge to make dinner while Todd was studying.

It turns out I made entirely too much food - a dijon crusted, roasted pork tenderloin, insalate caprese, cracked pepper parmesan bread, and garlic sauteed spinach. The bottle of wine is a given*. Then there is the view of the lake - here we are sitting on the front porch. It was such a peaceful dinner; we like to imagine how much this dinner would cost if we were in a restaurant. The figure we came up with made me want to go into the business, but then I remembered my little chop-a-roo of the tip of my finger while working in the kitchen of Johnny D's. (That was two years ago, and I am just now getting feeling back. FYI, do not ever cut off the top of your finger. It sucks.)

Did I mention the fresh strawberries maserated in sugar, heaped over angel food cake, and topped with whipped cream for dessert? Silly me.

Insalate Caprese

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, and stack them with the tomato on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Make a chiffonade of basil and sprinkle on the stacks of tomato and cheese. (To chiffonade, stack the leaves, roll them like a cigar, and cut into thin strips.) You can also drizzle with EVOO and balsamic dressing - your choice.

P.S. Like I said, I made way too much food, and we had a ton of this left. So, in the morning, Todd and I toasted two english muffins and warmed up the broiler. We halved the muffins, topped each half with the mozzarella and tomato, melted it under the broiler, and made breakfast sandwiches - YUM!

*Thanks, Dad.
** I will post the remaining recipes another time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"You're very neapolitan..." my sister said during her first visit to my apartment in downtown Milwaukee. We all had a good laugh over that one, because she very obviously meant cosmopolitan.

It just so happens that during my visit home this weekend, we all enjoyed a cosmopolitan out on the deck. I would love to post those photos as well, but Mom and Sam would quite possibly hunt me down, so this little picture of my Cosmo will have to do.


2 parts Vodka
1 part Cointreau
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
Cranberry juice

Add everything into a shaker and shake. If your Cosmo is too blonde when you pour it, just top off with a little more juice. Enjoy! (P.S. These are awesome and deadly)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I spent the weekend in Madison with my family and friends making all kinds of wonderful things to post on my blog, however all of the pictures are being held hostage in my camera on account of the fact that I am too brain dead to remember the cable for the computer. Argh. So please stay tuned, I have not abandoned you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What's with all of the eggs?

So, my adventure in cooking dinner last night was limited to the fastest thing I could make from my meager groceries because Todd had class. Well, it was an egg sandwich - I know everyone is very impressed, but it was better than MC, as it was known when I grew up (macaroni and cheese). If you want to try this culinary wonder - as I'm sure no one else has ever made a variation of this - I will share my wisdom.

I put an english muffin in the toaster and press the lever down. Oooo, ahhhh. Then I heat a small non-stick skillet over med-low heat and rub a stick of butter quickly over the bottom - basically, I've used a sliver of butter. Crack the egg in the pan and season with salt and pepper. With a spatula, quickly scramble up the egg and cook until just set. Add about 3 T. of black bean salsa, 1 T. shredded cheddar cheese and fold ingredients together until warmed through. Put on toasted muffin and top egg with a light sprinkle of cumin. Shovel in face and get back to whatever it is you were doing 5 minutes ago.

Does anyone else do this? What is your version?