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I [heart] Davids · Meals & Food

Meals & Food

Food, meals, etc.

Date Night

Dave and I had a date night last Saturday. We booked the Chef’s Table at the Angus Barn. It was a really lovely evening.

We got all dressed up:

And then had a round of drinks in the Wild Turkey Lounge – Campari and Soda for me, you know!! Then they called us to our table. As we waited at the hostess station, we were surprised to be greeted by Chef Walter Royal! He presented us each with a glass of champagne and then escorted us down to the kitchen to our cozy table for two. How fun! You might recall that Chef Walter defeated Cat Cora in Stadium Kitchen, making him an Iron Chef! We sat down to our first course, a juicy lobster claw in a seaweed salad with sesame seeds – YUM! Our second course was a take on the Southern classic shrimp and grits. It was also fabulous. Here you can see Chef Walter in the background.

Third was a salad a field greens with fresh goat cheese and dried cranberries. Then we had a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palates, followed by our entrée of beef tenderloin, perfectly seared on the outside, served with a mushroom risotto and fresh steamed vegetables. Finally, for dessert we had an apple tart that was just super delish. Each course was accompanied by a wine tasting, provided by the sommelier himself with a little education and history. It was very nice to have a matching wine accompaniment with each dish.

From our seats, we could see much of one of the main dining room kitchens. We got to see the main steak and seafood line from where we sat. The wine cellar chef also came by and introduced himself, as he was our chef for the evening. Everyone who passed by us was very welcoming, greeted us and inquired if we needed anything. We also saw a number of patrons as they passed by us on their way to the wine cellar. And the owner, Van Eure, stopped by several times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. After dinner was complete, the sommelier gave us a tour of the wine cellar dining areas and the cellar itself. It was really a lovely evening and I would totally recommend the experience.

Two recent culinary successes!

I made traditional chicken fried steak using some of the cube steak we got from the butcher. I even made pan gravy, and it tasted exactly like my dad used to make. Rounded off with collard greens (canned) and mashed potatoes (made with canned potatoes) and we had a delicious, quick and easy meal!
Chicken Fried Steak

I made Martha Stewart’s classic Macaroni and Cheese 101. OMG it was divine! So so good. Mine even looks better than the picture in the recipe! And the leftovers went quick.
Mac and Cheese

I’ve been seriously considering a subscription to a local CSA farm.

“Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.” source

I’ve spoken with Edible Earthscapes and Double-T Farm. I know there are a few others out there, too. I’m wondering if anyone out there has any experience and would like to offer their feedback.

I like the idea of locally grown organic produce at a good price. I also like the challenge of cooking with the seasons. I’d feel like the Iron Chef – what’s the secret ingredient?!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been going to the North Hills Farmer’s Market in North Hills shopping center.

It’s really quite a nice experience with Henry. It’s much smaller than the State Farmer’s Market, with much less variety, but it more than makes up with its share of dog sightings. He is constantly entertained.

There is also usually a band (bluegrass, beach music, etc.) that is fun and entertaining for both kids and adults alike. The kids end up dancing and running around the little “grass” square and having a good ol’ time.

The stalls include more than just fruits and vegetables. You can get coffee at Starbuck’s, breakfast at Chick-fil-A, and lunch at Five Guys. There’s a guy selling Italian ice, a lovely lady selling Kettle Corn and candied nuts, and a number of bakery vendors. There are also vendors selling beef and pork and eggs. Most of the vegetable vendors seem to be “boutique” farmers, growing fewer and smaller crops, not on the same scale as the farmers at the State Farmer’s Market. Most of them offer CSA memberships, where you buy a share of the farm and then get weekly produce as a result. It’s something we’re considering but subscriptions don’t start again until January.

So we’ve been getting food on Saturdays for the week, and we’ve been eating more local food that way. Last night we had fresh pesto. Before that we had fresh green beans and fresh figs. Oh, and we’ve had the most wonderful local tomatoes – YUM!! And we went to the State Farmer’s Market this past Sunday and bought a dozen ears of corn for $5. Last night I blanched and froze about 8 cups of fresh corn for the winter.

To top it all off, we’re “cowpooling” with our neighbors. We bought a 1/2 cow from a local vet who raises a herd of cattle and we’re splitting it with our neighbors. We’ll be getting about 100 pounds of locally grown, grain- and pasture-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free, dry-aged (2 weeks), flash frozen beef for $2.33/pound. I can’t wait!!

Lately we’ve been trying to make sure that Henry eats what we’re having for dinner so we’re not in the habit of making two dinners every night.
Last week that meant chicken curry with peas and rice, spinach pie, tacos, and pizza. He’s doing really well so far. He even held his own taco.


Spinach Pie & Broccoli

Hello, Martha

Look how exciting! A recipe I sent into Everyday Food Magazine has generated some interest in the test kitchen.

email inquiry

My husband rocks

This past week, he made these fabulous meals:

Every meal was delish, and it was so awesome to have him pick up the cooking duties in the kitchen. And he’s really learning how to cook. I’m so proud of him, and love having him cook dinner these days!

Look what I made. I hope it turns out!

Note: I made the quick pickles, not the actual canning ones.


My honey has mad grill skillz!!! Check it out:
Ponderosa, baby!

Dave and Henry made me breakfast on Sunday. It was awesome. Dave’s skills in the kitchen are really improving.
Mother’s Day Breakfast

The best part of the meal was the bacon, cooked just the way I like it – brittle!
Brittle bacon

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