Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pig Roast at the King Farm

This weekend was the pig roast at the King Farm, and most unfortunately, I missed it :( My mom took these photos as she knows I'm interested in learning how all this is done.

A 132 lb pig was roasted starting at 4:00 AM on Friday, and served on Saturday afternoon with a few kegs of beer, and a plethora of side dishes and desserts brought by guests who live and work in the area. Now to give you an idea of the number of people, my father thought there were no leftovers from the pig. At all. My mom squirelled away 4 portions as I asked her to so we could taste it when we visit in October. I'm planning to pop it out of the freezer to make a mexican pork stew.

At any rate, I am going to guess that means there were at least 75 people there - so at least 25 of the best local side dishes. My mom made her potato salad, which everyone always loves. My father said that he tried everything on the buffet and then went back for seconds because it was all so good. He can't do that too often these days as his diabetes doesn't allow for it, but he's back on the wagon today.

After visiting and playing yesterday, and not going to bed until after 1:00 AM, they both sounded a little tired today, but I have a feeling it's a happy tired.

I need to plan to make it out there for next year's party so I can watch the entire pig roast process! Sounds like FUN! And maybe I'll be able to get some of those prize winning side dish recipes too!

Suzee's Birthday Evening!

After work on Thursday, we had reservations for a recommended restaurant on Open Table at 7:30 - just enough time to stop sweating, freshen up on put on some special duds! We strolled down the street to Marcony. Now I've passed this unassuming entrance many times, but my goodness, I had no idea what magic happens beyond those front doors!
We were offered our option of tables, and we selected the back balcony for our meal. We were able to look at the entire dining room, and enjoy the gorgeous handmade chandelier. And amuse busche was brought out immediately - homemade cheese ravioli which had been toasted and dressed with a light marinara. Oh my - nice bites :)
We ordered cocktails to start, and I have to tell you, these are truely works of art. I selected the TRE VOLTE – It was described in the menu as a lovely blend of Ketel Citroen, falanghina bianco, limoncello and muddled basil. It was very lovely, and and such a wonderful melange of flavors. Rick selected the Elana Cocktail – a combination of Grey Goose Poire, a touch of elderflower and a topping of prosecco. It was lovely as well - I thought it might be overly pear like, but no, subtle hints of flavors - nothing hitting you over your head. The person who created these cocktails is a true mixologist in my opinion.

For appetizers, I selected the grilled shrimp and avocado special. The shrimp was fresh and perfectly cooked, and the avocado was a beautiful pale green, nary a blemish, and smooth and savory.
Rick selected the beet salad - it was very fresh, and he enjoyed the golden and red beets.
Now, there were a number of specials this evening - a list so long that I could not remember them. If I were to give any feedback at all to this lovely restaurant, it would be to leave a hard copy of the specials after they are verbally delivered.
At any rate I asked the server for help deciding between the branzino special and the chilean sea bass which is on the regular menu. The branzino it was, and the fish was perfectly cooked, and fabulously fresh. You all know how hard I look for fresh seafood, and how I'm not easily pleased in the city that doesn't sleep. I was very pleased this evening! The branzino was fresh fresh fresh and perfectly cooked :)
Rick ordered the black angus sirloin steak, medium rare. The steak was very flavorful, but definitely more on the medium side, which is great for Rick. It's just always good to know how the chef views medium rare vs medium or rare. The dish came with a light mushroom gravy that he did not care for at all. I thought it was tasty, but I do like my mushrooms.
With our meals, a trio of complementary tastes were brought - roasted new potatoes which were very hot, and then cool sauteed zucchini and a cool eggplant dip. Very tasty!
I wore this ring and bracelet set with my birthday dress - I bought these when we were at York Beach, Maine at the Daisy Trading Company. I've gotten so many complements, and the bracelet is a nice size so it's nice and loose :)
After Marcony, we decided to go out and party a little more - it was a celebration after all :) We ordered some wine at the Banc Cafe and chit chatted about love and life. When the wine was gone we were ready for dessert, and ordered this apple torte. It was not as good as mom makes, but it was nice to have a little something sweet to share.
And, on the way home, we saw the Empire State Building was lit up for a celebration. Looks like many people were having a good time in the city.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Suzee's Cheese Danish Wannabe

This easy breakfast really satisfies! Toast a slice of whole grain bread, and spread it with a couple tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese. Then place whole or sliced berries on top. How easy is that?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Ice Cream Alternative

I really don't like Mr Softee - his ice cream is slimy. And based on the reports and videos on MidTown Lunch, he is also mean. So when I was able to get real ice cream on the street, I was pretty happy!

I tried the Van Leeuwan truck - with devine flavors like cinnamon, ginger, chocolate and vanilla it was hard to choose! I went with pistachio - and wow was it delish! No scary green food coloring, just creamy pistachio goodness.

2 Thumbs up for Van Leeuwan - try it if you get a chance! It was at the corner of 23rd and 5th next to the mango ladies :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Corner Mangos

While out getting some iced coffee yesterday, I came upon these women selling sliced mangos on the corner in sandwich sized ziplocks. Now what was really interesting was the condiments for adding to your mangos - these included salt, lemon juice and hot sauce! If my hands hadn't already been full, I thing I would have had to try this! I love sweet and spicy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Breakfast

There is something magical about tomatoes vine ripened in summer. I never tire of ways to use up those gorgeous red gems, and this is my absolute favorite. It's a bonus that you can make it in less time than it takes to eat :)
Toast some bread - pick something lovely and mild. This is to add just a base to transport the other flavors. Don't use "diet" bread. It's only 1 slice. You can do it! Sourdough is my favorite.
Spread with olive oil mayo - no chintzing here - a good layer is important. Sprinkle with a light bit of sea salt.
Add a thick slice of fresh tomato.
Top with 2 eggs over easy, and serve with a knife and fork, and perhaps another sprinkling of salt.
Life is good!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rick Made It to the Brooklyn Bridge!

Rick has been meaning to make it to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's one of those modern marvels that continues to be classic and beautiful.
After the bridge we stopped down at Pier 17, sniffing around for a late lunch and something cold to drink. We stopped at Sequoia. Now, the seaport in Manhattan is not known for culinary delights, so my expectations were low. Unfortunately they were not low enough.
After some soup, we moved over to the Water Taxi Beach. I've written about the beach before, but they have actually added more sand, and this really was a huge improvement. We took off our sandals and stretched out with our toes in the sand. It was very quiet - just a couple of families with small children there. And no cover. We had a couple of 6 Points made by the Brooklyn Brewery - and I have to say, I think this is my favorite one from the Brooklyn Brewery! After enjoying the breeze on the water, and good conversation, we made our way back home.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jimmy Juice - Beloved Ferry Landing Fave!

Grab a delicious Jimmy Juice and enjoy the sun at The Old Ferry Landing in Portsmouth, NH or make it yourself at home!

3 oz Captain Morgan's Rum

3 oz Mount Gay Barbados Rum

5 oz pineapple juice

3 oz orange juice

1 oz cranberry juice

1 oz floater of Goslings Black Seal Rum

Lime garnish

Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz pint glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rick's Favorite Cole Slaw

Rick loves my cole slaw. I will make a huge bowl of it, and it is one of the things he will actually get out of the refrigerator for himself as a snack (versus me getting it out for dinner). I base this cole slaw on my mom's version, just substituting splenda for sugar. Because Rick is so fond of it, I did try making it with lots of different types of vinegars, sweetners and ingredients. This is his favorite, and I'm glad it is one of those things you can keep in the fridge for a few days - easily - although he does tend to make it disappear pretty quickly :)
Here is how to obtain the perfect final result.

For the salad part:
1 small green cabbage, or half a big one (I used half of a 6 lb cabbage - I know, who knew they grew that big?)
3 medium carrots (about a 1/2 lb)
1/2 a baseball sized vidalia onion
Peel the outter limp leaves from the cabbage and toss. Cut the cabbage in to 8ths (or 4th's if using a half cabbage - you know what I mean - something so the strips are bite sized), and slice it as thinly as you can across the grain, to make thin ribbons.
Peel and nip the top and tails of the carrots, and grate them on the large holes of a box grater.
Chop the onion fairly finely, but don't go crazy over it.
Toss everything in to an extra large bowl. I have a big stainless steel one for making big salads like this - I'll guess it's 24 quarts - I like to have some room to toss everything around.

3 glops of mayo - I use the helmann's olive oil mayo (which in addition to tasting good, is almost 1/2 the calories). Each glop is about 1/4 cup.
3 glugs of apple cider vinegar - about 3 T
3 packets of splenda (or 3 T of sugar, or 2 T of honey or 1.5 packets of sweet 'n low)
Mix well with a fork - if you see what looks like curdles, don't be afraid - just keep mixing and they will go away :)
Toss the salad with the dressing - I use 2 forks - it moves all that stuff around and distributes the ingredients.

Then bring the first bowl to Rick - he is always up for some good slaw!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Suzee's Leftover Casserole

Last week I made a casserole based on a recipe I got from a magazine - Cooking Light I believe. The original recipe was in a huge 9x13 pan, and contained low fat everything. I'm pretty sure it was less than 150/calories per slice. Feel free to go that route if you so desire - sub egg whites for some whole eggs. I figure those yolks have lots of good folate, and I am old enough to have seen eggs go from nutritional "perfect" food (seriously yes, they called them that in the 70's) to cholesterol craziness where everyone avoided them, to now, where if you want some eggs, great they are cheap and a great source of protien.

This is kind of like a crustless quiche, and the addition of the cottage cheese makes the end result so creamy, that it doesn't feel like left overs to me. Try it out :) Re-heats well too.

6 jumbo eggs
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1.5 cups of shredded cheese (pick your flavor)
1/4 - 1/2 finely minced herbs (again pick your flavor - optional)
4 cups left over or pre-cooked veggies and meats

Mix the eggs in a big bowl.
Once they are scrambled well, add both cheeses and herbs and spices if using.
Fold in the left overs

Pour into a 2 qt casserole dish sprayed with Pam or the like.

Bake at 350 for an hour. If the egg is not set after an hour, add 10 more minutes.

Serves 6 at around 250 cal/slice

My flavors were sauteed vidalia onion, canadian bacon and american cheese blend. I didn't have quite 4 cups of the filling (more like 2.5) but it still worked fine.

My next one might be onion, spinach, zucchini, feta, mint...

Or perhaps onion, garlic, mushroom, crab and dill havarti.....

I know Rick will be looking for the sausage, pepperoni, meatball, mozzerella topped with pizza sauce before long....that will be more than 250 calories each though :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Suzee's Afternoon Tea

Grey Goose L'orange with iced tea (yeah, diet.) Need to account for those darn vodka calories! This is a little bit of citrus tea heaven :) Serve with an orange slice or lemon wedge if you have it!
By the way - do you notice the size of my counter? Ah well - If there is not too much space, I tend to keep it clean :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

My all time Favorite - Petey's!!!

Petey's is my favorite place to stop at the beach. Between July 4th and Labor Day you are almost guaranteed to have the deck open where you can smell the salt air, and watch the ocean in a huge screened in porch. It could be that I've had many happy memories here - we used to live less than 3 miles away and had fun stopping by on the motorcycle. Or it could be that when Rick ate here, he noted that they had the best fried chicken sandwich anywhere. He'd order it with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Rick doesn't care for seafood. But as you know, reading my blog, I LOVE SEAFOOD! And this place would cater to everyone in a wonderfully relaxed way that always made me feeli like I was on vacation, even if I was only out for a weeknight nosh. That is truly a gift for a restaurant - in my humble opinion.
Note - soft shell twins were $17.99 at our first trip. With a huge scoop of cole slaw and choice of starch, it was quite a deal! Then, when we went with my family, soft shell twins were $15.99!!  Incredible!!
This last vacation, we stopped in to Petey's on the way to York Beach, and sat at the bar where Rick didn't have to watch me dismember a couple of bugs (aka lobsters). We had a great lunch.
After Water Country, we stopped here as well - just a hop skip to route 1A from there. And the cool thing is that we had just as much fun with my parents and my niece as we did on our own. Because everyone gets what they like here :) Life is good at Petey's!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rickshaw Dumplings - Yum Yum!!

After perusing the Home Depot and P.C Richards for ideas and thoughts about updating the kitchen and bath, we went next door to Rickshaw Dumplings. Rick loves dumplings. He loves to tell you about how every culture has a "dumpling like" comfort food. Some kind of deliciousness wrapped in a few carbs :) So this place has been on my list for a long time.

We decided we'd each get the sampler - one of each of the seven cool looking offerings complete with the appropriate dipping sauce :) This is the way to go as a first timer!!

As you can see, it is important to have the menu along side because you can't really tell what is inside these little love pillows! As I look at the To Go menu, it is in a different order than the one on the chalk board in the store. Still, I think we can tell which is which :) Rick's fave was the traditional Pork, and I would totally order either the Chicken and Thai Basil with spicy peanut dip or the Peking Duck with hoisin dip. Who am I kidding? I would order both. Yummmmmm!!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tastemakers! Kellogg's FiberPlus

We got a cool looking box in the mail when we got back from vacation, and I took out these 2 boxes of cereal from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program. Interesting - high fiber cereal with interesting and yummy sounding names! Frankly I have to tell you that Rick tore through both boxes in less than a week. I got a nibble of both, but I will tell you that he would not have eaten them if they were not tasty. The bonus was that the high fiber cereal did what you buy high fiber cereal for! My favorite was the cinnamon flavor - very nice :)