Month: August 2009

Crepes for Julia.

Saturday I was privileged to attend Jon’s cooking group, the Finer Things Club, where crepes were made.  I did not participate in the making of the crepes, mind you, I just ate them.  And they were awesome.  Although a warning if you are making crepes: they can smoke up an apartment rather quickly.

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After the French feast we caught a showing of Julie and Julia which was full of food porn and Meryl Streep and was therefore good.  Yes it is a chick flick but I know many men who enjoyed the movie thoroughly.  Because it is about food.  And to a smaller degree, sex.  Basically it is about senses and enjoying life and acknowledging that dieting is stupid and butter is awesome.

Margaret’s Cantina, The Station, Water Rings

Friday night Jon and I were lazy and didn’t want to cook.  We went to Margaret’s Cantina, a reliably good Mexican place in Timberlyne.  The place has fairly excellent, fresh Tex-Mex style food and some vegetarian-inspired choices such as a “Greek Quesadilla” and any number of dishes involving tofu and/or hummus.  I decided to try the (also vegetarian) huevos rancheros which were oddly disappointing.  Way, way, way too much cheese on the dish; the cheese overpowered the egg and turned what should be a light and flavorful dish into a heavy, gloopy mess.  I actually just made huevos rancheros for dinner and my version was way more interesting and flavorful than Margaret’s.  So go to Margaret’s, but don’t get the huevos rancheros.

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After dinner we headed to Carrboro to catch the opening of the new show at Wootini, one of my favorite galleries in the area.  Wootini caters to a decidedly nerd/sci-fi/horror set, and sells everything from fantastic, unique works of prints, painting, and sculpture, to vinyl figures, stickers, and ball-jointed dolls.  Some of the items are one-of-a-kind, some are mass-produced, but if you are looking for a gift at any price range and you want it to be a little unusual, definitely head to Wootini.  I remember stumbling upon Wootini when I was visiting Carr Mill for the first time when I moved here a few years ago, and I believe I jumped for glee and clapped my hands a little bit.  Mike, the owner, is a friendly guy, and my friend Liz works there as well, so go to Wootini.

Also, from whence does the name Wootini come?  If anyone has the answer, please let me know!

Many of my friends were at the opening, so afterwards a few of us headed to the nearby Station for some sitting and drinking and talking.  The Station is a favored bar of mine here, all train-like and antiqued and vaguely speakeasy-ish.  Also, every few Fridays there is an excellent DJ who spins classic soul music.  Good times.

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Also, I made a ring design with the condensation from my drink.  Never underestimate the creative drive.

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Oishii

I love Japanese food, partially because of the presentation.  I mean, who doesn’t love a bento box?

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This lovely little bento box is from Oishii, a restaurant in Timberlyne.  I met Tammi and Diane there for lunch the other day.  Decent sushi, nothing special, but certainly nothing at which to frown.  The bento box was a lovely deal and came with an appetizer of miso soup.  The box came with three tuna rolls, three california rolls, yellowfin, tuna, salmon, not sure, and shrimp sushi, a green salad with ginger dressing, and a yummy little dumpling.  Also, an orange slice for something sweet.

Not the best sushi I’ve ever had but definitely not the worst, not a bad option for lunch if you’re in the area.

Tarts making tarts.

You would think that being unemployed and on the job search with minimal things to do would be conducive to blogging, but it isn’t.  I don’t do much more than cook and watch episodes of True Blood/Firefly/Star Trek: The Next Generation and none of you really want to read about that.  Well, maybe you want to read about the cooking.

The other day (Wednesday?) Jon and I decided to use up that which was in our respective refrigerators.  So that involved making pasta (mine) with the various ingredients such as cheese (Jon’s), tomato sauce (Jon’s), spinach (mine), and onion (mine).  Also, tons of garlic.  The result was whole wheat pasta with tons of garlic and spinach and onions and tomato sauce all mixed together.  Surprisingly tasty, for a thrown-together ordeal.

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I also needed a way to kill the second puff pastry that was hanging out in my freezer.  Jon wanted peach tart, so a peach tart I was to make.  Luckily all I really needed was peaches, since peach tarts are hella easy y’all.

I sort of followed a recipe.  Well, not really.  I took bits of this recipe and this recipe and this recipe and then ended up disregarding them all and just sort of dumped three wedged peaches in a bowl with a ton of brown sugar and cinnamon sugar and vanilla extract and a little bit of flour.  And then I mixed all of these ingredients together until it smelled like happiness.  Then I sort of arrayed the peaches on the puff pastry and stuck it all in the oven.  And crossed my fingers.

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The peach tart was fine, of course, easy, excellent, mm peaches and sugar and pastry.  The issue was the mixing liquid I poured over the peaches.  The bottom of the mixing bowl was filled with a lovely layer of peach juice and sugar and I decided to dump it on top of the peach tart.  Unfortunately, during baking, the liquid fled the tart and made a charred pile around the puff pastry.  Not a total disaster, since I was baking on a piece of parchment paper, but still, a little messy.

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I’ve come to really love fruit desserts as of late.  Maybe a new trend?

Goat cheese, zucchini, and mushroom tart.

Monday I cooked a goat cheese, zucchini, and mushroom tart from this recipe.  Extremely easy.  Saute up some zucchini, make a mix of tons (seriously, I used tons) of mushrooms, though I substituted vermouth for the madeira because I had no madeira and didn’t feel like hunting for it.  Goat cheese.  Pre-made puff pastry sheet.  Bake away, done, delicious.  Seriously, a winner, and you could sort of feel okay about the richness of the dish because it was filled with veggies.  I also roasted a whole bulb of garlic and added it to the tart, because I love garlic, but, you know, that’s a personal thing.  Do what you will.

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