Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this week:

Home Happy Hour

Friday night is a good time for a homemade margarita.  We made ours with Herradura Silver tequila, a sweet/citrus liqueur called Licor 43, fresh lime juice, a touch of agave nectar for sweetness, a little lemonade (because we didn’t have enough limes) and a tiny splash of olive juice.  It was a refreshing way to welcome the weekend.

New Fave Noodles

We had yet another amazing meal at Malai Kitchen last Saturday.  Instead of my usual Stir Fried Glass Noodles (Pad Woo Sen), I branched out (for me) and tried the Sweet and Sour Crispy Noodles (Mee Krob), and now I have a new favorite noodle dish.  The thin noodles were the perfect texture and everything was flavored with just the right amount of savory and spice.  We even loved the tofu.

Been there, done that

While watching the Atlanta episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show “The Layover” the other night, we were delighted to see a quick mention of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market as a place to visit in A-town.  We visited the market several years ago and really enjoyed it.

Choppin' Brocco-leh

We have broccoli in our garden!  We planted the little guys back in the Fall and weren’t sure how they would do, since we’ve never grown broccoli before.  Just about the time we started to see the florets beginning to grow, I remembered that I don’t really like broccoli (I much prefer its tiny baby cousin, the broccolini.)  So I’m not sure what we will end up doing with our homegrown broccoli — maybe a beef and broccoli stir-fry, with a (lot of) tangy/spicy sauce (to mask the broccoli flavor)?  We’ll definitely use it — Dan never misses an opportunity to chop broccoli.

Mushroom Stroganoff

One of the benefits (curses?) about having a food blog is that we tend to obsess about focus on our diet — specifically, what’s for dinner each week — a lot more than we would otherwise.  Prior to starting this little blog, we still planned our weekly menus, but gravitated mostly toward easy favorites with convertible leftovers (we often had red meat twice per week, since beef is easily parlayed into two different meals.)  These days, we tend to focus more on filling our weeks with variety, including at least one seafood and/or vegetarian dinner per week if possible.  We still eat red meat (and likely always will) and appreciate getting two different and delicious dinners out of a single cut of beef, but we feel more healthy when we balance out the meaty side with fish and veggies.  While we have many seafood favorites to choose from each week (parchment fish, shrimp & orzo, fish tacos and Cajun shrimp, to name a few), it can be difficult to find vegetarian dishes that are both delicious and filling, and don’t make us feel like we’ve just finished our salad course and are longing waiting for the (meat) entree.  This hearty pasta dish is all the main course we could want, with earthy and “meaty” flavor from the mushrooms and a tangy, creamy sauce made with sour cream and goat cheese.  Although, full disclosure — the recipe includes beef stock and therefore, it’s not strictly vegetarian — the dish has less calories and fat than the more traditional beef stroganoff, without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Continue reading “Mushroom Stroganoff”

Friday Favorites

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


Lots of people have (sometimes very strong) opinions about their favorite hamburger.  We appreciate a good burger — especially since we don’t have them very often — but have yet to declare ultimate allegiance to any particular burger joint.  In terms of fast food places, both In-N-Out and Five Guys rank at the top of our favorites list, due in no small part to the fact that they each boast high quality, fresh ingredients, and because they both make a really good, quick burger.  Someday we’ll do a post debating Five Guys versus In-N-Out, but for now, the In-N-Out burger (always order it “animal style”) takes the lead simply because there is one about 3 minutes from our house and has a drive-thru, while the nearest Five Guys is about 7 minutes further away inside a mall.  And we are lazy.


We’ve written about our homemade beef tacos before, but they are good enough to garner mention as a favorite every time we make them.  We’ve discovered that when it’s just the two of us, the recipe yields enough leftover meat for what we affectionately call “Taco Mac” — a layered, casserole type dish made with taco meat, macaroni pasta, leftover taco shells, enchilada sauce and cheese.  It’s so delicious that we might actually prefer it over the original tacos!  We’re making Taco Mac tonight and my mouth is watering as I type this.


Favorite New TV Show Alert:  Anybody else watching Kevin Bacon’s new show, “The Following,” on Fox??  If not, and you like psychological thriller / suspense / drama television with top-notch acting, plenty of  jump-out-of-your-seat scenes throughout and one of the best evil-but-charming character villains since Hannibal Lecter, you should.  It’s so good that we get quite impatient waiting a week between episodes  (new shows air on Monday nights.)  But be warned:  it’s dark, and may not be one you want to watch right before bedtime.

Miso glad we tried it


I’m generally a follow-the-recipe kind of cook and rarely, if ever, come up with my own kitchen creations.  But, faced with a package of thin-cut pork chops that needed to be cooked and the inability to find the recipe I had originally picked for the pork when menu planning, last night I improvised.  I started with this recipe (simply because it called for thin-cut pork and other ingredients we already had on hand), made several changes along the way, and ended up creating a dish and sauce that we can’t wait to try again.  Nevermind that I accidentally overcooked the pork just shy of shoe leather, the sauce was amazing!  I followed the original recipe’s direction to coat the chops with miso and garlic, but used mirin instead of sherry (and next time will add a little ginger.)  After pan frying the miso-coated chops, I used more mirin to de-glaze the skillet, then added a little chicken broth, some chopped mushrooms and chili garlic sauce and simmered until it all thickened into a savory, slightly spicy Asian sauce.  It’s an adaptation to be sure (rather than a true original recipe — do those even exist?), but one that I personally consider to be a creative culinary triumph!