Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pie Hard

2 Fridays ago, my good friend Libby came back to visit.

Libby lived in Raleigh, but now is getting her masters in science at App State, because she's smart like that.  She comes and visits her friends in Raleigh every so often, because she's nice like that. We all went out to Sono followed by dessert and champagne at Bittersweet.

Nick & Amanda came :-)

and Debs!

Bittwersweet is a new downtown bar that specializes in drinks and desserts.  It's pretty cool. 
We all shared the pumpkin pie, bacon apple streusel and a cookie platter.

And then took some group pics. I'm showing much more leg than everyone else.
No pictures of Aaron and Libby's bf but they were there too!

Good times.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cooking Lessons

I love to cook, but lately I've been having some mishaps in the kitchen.

But these mussels were a sandy, gritty fail.  They looked pretty though!

Kitchen Lessons I've Learned

-Purchase an oven liner to avoid a feast of dinners past from accumulating on the bottom of your oven.  Don't use aluminum foil or parchment paper. Also, put your oven liner on the bottom rack, not the floor of the oven.
-to avoid grit, only buy PEI Mussels.  Optional - soak your mussels in cool water with some cornmeal at the bottom before preparation.  Lastly, remove the beards from your mussels.
-Find a cookie sheet brand you like and can trust. Use this brand to bake all your cookies for consistency. I like Chicago Metallic and it's cheap.  Also, use your silpat.
-Let the cookies cool before removing them from the cookie sheet.  It doesn't matter if this is the only cookie sheet/silpat you own :-/
-Be ridiculously generous with butter and marshmallows when making rice krispies.  Like 1.5x the recommended amount :-)

And what I'm still learning...
I love steak and have successfully cooked a steak before.  However last Thursday I found myself setting off the fire alarm 4 times and coming to close to having a heart attack over fear the sprinkler system would be next.  The kitchen was just so smoky!  I've been reading about the smoke points of oil and trying to figure out how to avoid this problem in the future.  My phone is the galaxy s5 and it often stalks my google searches and suggests I check out things (usually the NC state score on game days).  After my mishap, it recommended I read  No Grill, No Vent, No Problem.  Great, so my phone knows I've been struggling in the kitchen too!

I've had a lot of good days in the kitchen so of course I was due for some bad days.  Practice makes perfect!

Chicken Sauteed in Brown Butter and Sage with Parmesan Spinach Orzo.  
This was a success. Well kinda. :-)  Always room for improvement!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

G2B Gastropub

Sunday 2 weekends ago I had to work 12 shift on consult-liaison psychiatry.  It was pretty exhausting, mainly from all the notes I had to write.  Aaron and our friend Sarah were so kind and patiently waited for me to get off at 9pm so we could all go out to dinner!  We met up at G2B Gastropub in Durham. 

It was delicious! 5 stars for sure!  In front of Sarah is a braised lamb chop.  

We also had fried artichokes and a scottish egg.

The Scottish egg opened- it is lightly boiled, wrapped in meats and fried.  A little odd to be at first but I paired it with french fries at the table and then it tasted like a delicious hash.

 Scallops and butternut squash

Sticky toffee pudding and chocolate cake

Everything at G2B was delicious, my favorite being the sticky toffee pudding which unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of.  They also are well known for their burgers, including a lamb burger.  I'm looking forward to heading back to try that with and the toffee pudding again!  If you are ever in Durham definitely try them out.