I am obsessed with all things spinach and artichoke right now, it must be Spring getting to me. Tossed in a casserole with chicken, pasta, and cheese these veggies become instant comfort food (similar to my long time favorite Spring Shells casserole). This comes together quickly and only needs to bake for 10-15 minutes, just enough to brown the top (all the ingredients are already cooked).
Last week, I stumbled upon this really cool concept blog called Food 'n Flix that invites bloggers to watch a movie, make a dish inspired by the movie, then blog about it. This month, the movie is Big Night (hosted by Spabettie) starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub as two hilarious Italian brothers that own a restaurant together. In order to save the restaurant from bankruptcy, they risk everything they have on one extravagant dinner to impress a celebrity singer.
I loved the movie, it was cute and funny and well acted, and it made me SO HUNGRY. It inspired me to make a Tricolore Lasagna in the colors of the Italian flag (green, white, and red).
Who doesn't love macaroni and cheese? Seriously. Because I do. I even love the kind from the box, powdered cheese and all (I know it's wrong, don't hate me). Growing up, Hamburger Helper was a special treat that we would get really excited for - so when I found this recipe for a homemade version, I couldn't wait to try it.
You may have noticed from reading my restaurant reviews that I LOVE foie gras. I know that many people have a problem with it, and I want to assure you that I am fully aware of how it is made. Every time I have ever eaten foie - it has come from Hudson Valley Farms in NY state. This domestic producer is humane, I repeat HUMANE, and takes very good care of their animals. For information on how they care for and feed their ducks, and a scientific explanation of why it is not painful - please watch the following videos:
Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations
We had been meaning to try out Michael Mina's signature restaurant, Bourbon Steak, for quite a while, and when we finally did we were not disappointed - except by the steak.
We started out in the lounge, where we perused their massive and innovative cocktail list. I had the 1919, with aperol, grapefruit bitters, prosecco, and a sugar cube - a perfect aperitif. There were many more drinks on the list that I would love to try as well; we might have to come back for an evening at the bar.
We recently went on a trip to Houston, TX to attend an alumni event at my alma mater - Rice University. The trip happened to fall around the time of our 2nd Wedding Anniversary, so we wanted to have a nice dinner in Houston to celebrate. We chose the Mockingbird Bistro as our location and had a wonderful evening.
We were impressed as soon as we entered by the hostess's greeting: "Are we holding a table for you?" I thought that it was much more polite than the usual "Do you have a reservation?" The manager brought us complimentary Cava in honor of our Anniversary, and they also knew our favorite (and hard to find) cocktail, Pisco sour, so we were quite pleased from the beginning. Once we were seated, we had a chance to look at the decor and layout. The main room is pretty small and divided into a bar/lounge area and a dining area, but there is another large room (which doubles as wine storage), and stairs to a balcony room (both of which are available for private events). The style was very cool - hip, old Paris feel with a bit of a gothic edge - I was instantly in love with it. The cool vibe, old-fashioned cocktails, and stellar wine list (one of the best in the city) makes this a place that I would definitely hang out at - if only I had known about it when I lived there!
A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary! We went on a lovely trip to Texas over the weekend, but our actual anniversary fell on a Tuesday. We had plans to eat at some very nice restaurants on our trip, so we decided to stay in on our anniversary and have a nice home-cooked meal. I made steak with compound butter, spinach and Gruyere souffle, and vanilla bean panna cotta with mixed berries.
We didn't really do anything for Easter this year, and I didn't want to let it pass without a little bit of celebration - so I made some adorable little egg dishes in honor of the holiday.
Spring vegetables are delicate and fresh and I think that one of the best ways to utilize them is in a quiche. Fluffy eggs, creamy cheese, and flaky buttery crust - what's not to love? I used spinach and leeks this time, but zucchini and asparagus work great too!