Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) (and baseball!) things we enjoyed this past week:

We had a wonderful trip to Houston last weekend, for our annual baseball “extravaganza” with my parents (we call it that because the weekend involves a lot of baseball — as does this post — attending 2 games, staying at a baseball-themed hotel, etc.)  The Astros even won a game, amidst one of their worst seasons ever.  The weekend was a tad bittersweet, however, since the hotel, the Inn at the Ballpark, is going to be rebranded as a Westin.  So next year’s extravaganza will be a bit different, with changes occurring at the hotel throughout the off-season.  My people dislike change, but we love that hotel and the people who work there who treat us so well every time we visit (and who we hear will be staying — thank goodness!), so we look forward to checking out the new digs next year.  But the big clock in the lobby will be sorely missed.

No baseball game is complete without a hot dog.  Or three.  Ketchup, onion, tomato and cucumber on mine, and a duo of chili-cheese and mustard-sauerkraut dogs for Dan.

There is an amazing chef at the Inn at the Ballpark who often treats my parents and their friends to special creations when they’re in town for games.  We’re not sure if he created the “Coach’s Favorite” breakfast or which coach loves it, but it’s one of our all-time favorite breakfasts as well.  Toasted English muffin with cream cheese, topped with tomato slices and crispy bacon.  The breakfast version of a BLT — without the L.  We make it at home all the time.

Can you spot the baseball element in the above photo?  It was a gift from our friend Chris, Food and Beverage Director extraordinaire at the Inn, and is one of the coolest foodie novelty items ever.  We are now the proud owners of a pepper grinder shaped like a baseball bat, prominently displayed (and used!) next to our stove.  Thanks again, Chris!

Finally, on a non-baseball related note, we have a baby eggplant growing in our garden!  This is the first time we’ve ever tried to grow eggplant and weren’t sure what to expect.  It’s very little right now (about the size of a thumb) but hopefully it will continue to grow and we’ll be able to use it in a batch of Pasta alla Norma.  Cooking with home-grown veggies is the best.

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