Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:
We’re always excited to try new Tex-Mex restaurants, and have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Boca Chica in an area of town where we often spend time on the weekends. Â Boca Chica specializes in “modern Mexican food” in the form of tapas (small appetizer plates of food), so it’s sort of a hybrid Mexican and Spanish style cuisine. Â But they also have guacamole, which is our go-to standard by which we measure whether a Tex-Mex (or Mexican/Spanish hybrid) restaurant is any good. Â We only tried the regular guacamole, although they have specialty versions as well. Â The verdict? Â We’ll definitely be back. Â The guacamole was super fresh, with just the right amount of tomato, cilantro and heat. Â Dan also enjoyed the ceviche sampler, but it was a bit fishy for my taste. Â In addition to tapas, they also have a nice variety of tacos, salads and tortas. Â And an extensive selection of tequilas, of course.
Say what you will about Daylight Savings time (and if you’re like us, you will say a few choice curse words when the alarm goes off that first Monday morning), but having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings is a wonderful thing. Â (At least until summer, when all we want is for the sun to go down so it will “cool off” to the high 80s already.)
We enjoy smoked salmon for breakfast a lot, usually served on a toasted English muffin with cream cheese and a little bit of chopped red onion. Â We have that particular breakfast often enough that it gets a little boring. Â I also tend to get bored with scrambled eggs. Â So why not combine the two, top with a few dollups of creme fraiche (basically fancy sour cream) and add a couple slices of toasted homemade bread for an out-of-the-box, opposite-of-boring breakfast? Â We did, and it was delicious.
We experimented with a new side dish this week — balsamic glazed onions over fresh spinach. Â We used Mario Batali’s recipe from his book “Simple Italian Food” for the onions, which were good, but the recipe needs a little tweaking. Â The onions didn’t get quite as soft as we would have liked, and the balsamic vinegar turned into more of a sticky paste (stuck to the cookie sheet) than a “glaze.” Â But we salvaged the onions, placed them on top of a bed of fresh spinach drizzled with olive oil and more balsamic, seasoned with salt & pepper, then squeezed a little lemon juice over all of it to brighten up the flavors. Â Once we get the technique down for the onions, this side dish will be a keeper.
Something else we’re experimenting with this week: Â trapping a feral cat so we can take it to the vet for a little procedure to help prevent future feral cats. Â Cue the Crazy Cat Lady jokes in 3, 2, 1… Â We have a couple of stray cats that hang around our backyard for some reason (perhaps to drink from our pool. Â But more likely because
we I feed them.) Â So we are attempting to do the right thing by working with a “trap, neuter, release” organization to help reduce the feral population, one kitty at a time. Â To do this, we have to lure the cat into the trap, keep it in the trap overnight and take it to the vet the next morning. Â Apparently our technique of “luring the cat into the trap” needs a little work, as our first attempt was hugely unsuccessful. Â Not even close. Â But we’ll keep trying. Â In the meantime, I should probably also begin working on my “kittens: free 2 good home” poster.