Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do Not "Set" Children In Window...Adults Do Not Lay In Window!

Tootling around the Cliff this past weekend, I was swayed by Ben and David to try a 'meat and taters' establishment that's one of O.C.'s longtime destinations. "What, you haven't had Charco Broiler's!? They've got a $10 prime rib!" I give you my meal and fixin's, oh, and their legendary mascot (sorry for the blurry shot of my bacon wrapped filet, loaded baked potato and TX toast...getting used to my new Crackberry - I see it also changes the format of the picks. Oh well.)

After this glorious meal, Avi mumbled something about a sno-cone and off we were to yet another infamous O.C. establishment, Aunt Stelle's Sno Cone! Oh, and she's got rules!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen - a review.

Sooo, Ben, David, myself, and Ben's childhood friend, Rhonda, tried out Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen this past Sunday night. The idea is about 'posh' down-home comfort food. The ambiance was great, dimly lit with comfortable seating, and candles lit throughout. I like that the decor consisted of canned goodies like jams, okra, and chutneys strewn about w/ the candles. Cute, smart...except I'm not paying $16 for canned jam, when I can can (haha) my own case of Ball jars for about that price!

At any rate, we started with martini's, mine the Pama, David had the Big Daddy, and both Ben and Rhonda had the Dirty Blue martini - which for both of them, was not dirty enough. Blue cheese olives were lovely, however, but everyone knows you can get those at Central Market, so, well, yeah.

Then on to salads, and I have to say that the cottage cheese/green goddess salad Ben and I had was AMAZING. Green Goddess dressing is definitely making a comeback, it was even featured in this month's Bon Appetit. For entrees, I ordered the fried chicken and mac and cheese, David had the meatloaf, Ben the catfish, and Rhonda the DP rotisserie chicken. Now, both David and Rhonda had no complaints, but Ben and I had dishes that were very salty. We figured out that it must equate to the fact that they're overseasoning their cornmeal and flour coatings. We were the only 2 who's dishes were fried and required they be dipped and coated. At first I thought, "Well, they are going for the whole southern thing, maybe it was on purpose?" But no, I know that no chef would over season on purpose, so for this trip we'll have to chalk it up as accident. Except, it's worth mentioning that the mac and cheese was a bit salty as well...I think it has to do with what I think was cured ham slices in the dish? I'll have to do some more sleuthing on that one.

I was a fan of the cute little bread basket, compromised of pumpkin bread, mini buttermilk biscuits, and what my grandmother always fondly referred to as "corn dodgers" - basically, sticks of cornbread (which oddly enough, I thought, needed salt!)

Overall, it was a nice experience, and one I would probably repeat again, but maybe during KRLD Restaurant Week here in Dallas, beginning August 17th! Go support your local restaurants people! :)

More Phoenix eats...

Mmmm, garlic simmering in butter and white wine just before I take it off the heat and it gets a splash of lemon juice with grated peel. This topped the asparagus we blanched to go along w/ the couscous David made w/ cinnamon, golden raisins, and feta cheese, and the stuffed sole from Omaha Steaks that Mark and David spoke so highly of. It was, indeed, fabulous - the whole meal! :)

Phoenix eats.

Matt's Big Breakfast in Phoenix, AZ, is a must visit. Written up in Bon Appetit as one of the best places for brunch, it did not disappoint. It's open from 6:30am-2:30pm, and breakfast/brunch is their specialty, although they offer some nice sandwiches as well.

When I visited Mark & David last week in PHX, I insisted we hit up this small diner - and SMALL it is! Matt's seats about 25 ppl, max! Even Bon Appetit encouraged arriving early, and warned of long waits. Luckily, with us going on an off Friday morning, and the heat being what it was, we only had to wait outside for about 15 mins.

Mark and I both had the Wisconsin cheddar omlet, mine with bacon, and Mark's with bacon and peppers. The home fries were perfect, both soft and flaky on the inside with crispy edges. David had the BLT served on half inch thick sourdough, and the pasta salad. We all had their honey lemonade, which was the perfect amount of sweetness, very refreshing.

Matt and Erenia are the owners, and Erenia herself waited on our table several times (everyone waits on you as they pass by, busy as it was. lol). On her last swing by I told her we were there b/c of the write-up in Bon Appetit, and once she found out Mark and David were locals and it took an "outsider" to get them to her restaurant, David got a good "momma smack" to the back of his neck! It was hilarious.
Mark's omlet at left, David eating his BLT at top. Yes, that's real Heinz ketchup in the glass bottle on the table...I LOVE to see that at brunch-y restaurants!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Grocery shopping savings - new personal record!

I have done it kids...I have outdone my personal coupon savings best (previously $19) w/ a trip to Albertson's this past weekend. Between coupons and store matches (double on $0.50 and triple on $0.39), I saved a whopping $23.55!

And these were ALL merchant coupons from the Sunday paper. My previous record included a $5 off Kroger coupon, so, that doesn't really rate in comparison.

I'm telling ya', y'all make fun, but my change jar is fillin' up over here!

Let there be LIGHT!

FINALLY got my lovely IKEA lighting fixtures up while my Dad was visiting this past weekend. I needed moral support to make sure I didn't electricute myself, and he handed me screws, wire caps, and screwdrivers when I needed them. :)

I bought these like a year ago the first week I was in my place, and I now want to hang 2 more up in a few closets...hmm, what are the odds IKEA still has the same ones??? Oh, to the webby! :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wall graphics

OMG, I've been shopping different vendors that offer cool/mod wall graphics that you easily apply.

I must have the spirals, mod pods, and sputnik from One Up Wall Graphics!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ANOTHER sign that Fall is coming...

School SUPPLIES on the shelves! :)

Stopped into Wal-Green's last night and there were school supplies everywhere! Hmmm, seems a bit early to me. But I do remem as a kid when I'd see the supplies go out on the shelves I'd want to run in the other direction screaming, "But it's still Suuuummmmerrrr!" lol
But it does offer me some hope, first pumpkins, now this. Even if the heat index is approaching 105 today...ehhhk.
Look at all that yellow towards the bottom shelf there...Crayola, baby! Remember you were the cool kid if you had the box of 64 w/ the SHARPENER in the back??? Aww, hell's yeah! And the kids who had the "Rose-Art" crayons you felt sorry for..."cheap brand". Gawd, we were judgy lil' shits, weren't we? lol

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Best Week Ever!

So, my friend Sandy made my week by sending me a Cookies By Design cookie bouquet today! (Order from the Plano, TX store - they make their cookies fresh every day!)

All I'm sayin' is I did NOT eat 2 of these cookies today...did not. :)

Dinner last night.

So, had some chicken sausages from Central Market, and someone brought in fresh green peppers to the office. So, that beget sausage with onions and peppers, reduced w/ a lil' brewski. AND I had some fresh potatoes a friend brought be from her garden, so I diced up and made a quick turkey bacon/sour cream/dijon potato salad.

YUM! :)


Andy's piece is up at The Modern right now...snapped this for my cell phone wall paper when I went w/ my friend Shawn to their Friday night jazz. :)

I see PUMPKINS in them thar hills!

Okay, so those pumpkins are decorative, and those hills are the aisles of Michael's...but fall decor is a' comin' out people! Which only means if you can just look past the triple-digit heat, we're on our way there!

June 25th WAS the 6 month mark y'all! (Sadly, also the day that MJ passed, but I always mark the 6 month countdown to Christmas! Just a lil' sadder this year.) :(

Cherry Pie!

Lil' Benjamin made this glorious FRESH cherry pie, text me pics to tease me, and then brought me 2 slices to work!

I love Ben. :)

Flank steak...thank you Central Market

Picked up a glorious piece of meat at Central Market that the butcher assured me would come out tender after a sear, and some cuts against the grain.

Oh, sweet, glorious flank were so YUMMY! I paired w/ a nice fresh salad inclusive of fresh grape tomatoes and cukes from my co-workers garden! Life's a garden - DIG IT! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FARMIN'...bitches! :)

As some of you may/may not know, I'm pretty much a Dallas Farmer's Mkt junkie - hey, support your local farmers! So, somewhere along the way, I came across a wonderful lil' farm by the name of Akin Farm Organics. So, I joined the newsletter that the wonderful Wendy Akin sends out, who owns the farm w/ her husband. (If you're interested, e-mail her at and ask to be on her e-mail list for all the latest on what's harvesting week-by-week at the farm, and recipes for what's comin' outta' the ground!) :)

I called my good friend David (Avi) on a whim on an early Sat. morn a few weeks back, and we went to check it out! You must get there early, Wendy likes you to get there early. Farm opens at 7:30am once it gets past 95 degrees. We weren't quite that early, but Wendy obliged, and took us on a wonderful tour of the boutique farm - on her golf cart, complete w/ a cat riding companion, "Prada".

Now don't mistake Wendy for just a simple farmer, as she's come into this way of life by way of retirement. She has many interesting stories of spending summers as a child in France, and her many visits there since, and all over for that matter! She is a self proclaimed "wine snob", and has a penchant for French cuisine. Julia Child and Patricia Wells are just a few of her global faves, and she's got quite a following with some of our local chefs as well, like Sharon Hage of York Street, whom she supplies with okra and artichokes.

Avi and I dug right in, picking our own cannellini beans, 3 varieties of squash, 3 varieties of cukes, and 4 varieties of onions. Following images: Squash and cukes growing on the farm, cannellini beans I blanched and then froze, our haul from the farm, onions - bucket for $8!, a cuke/tomato salad I made from the 3 varieties of cukes, and baskets of potatoes up at the shed.
Y'all, Avi and I got outta' there for $40, and we had a great morning w/ some great conversation, and we felt good helping out a local farmer. It was well worth the drive to Terrell, TX, and we will definitely return. We have to keep tabs on Wendy and what she's up to! :)