Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birthday Celebration with Beef

Monday was my birthday and I feel that birthday's should be treated like holidays so I almost always take my birthday off as a vacation day.

This year I was at the farm helping with calving, we had big plans to get some work done on the farm I bought, but the rain came in and didn't give us enough time to get that started. But by being at the farm, mom made a wonderful homemade dinner spread including roast (from the freezer, good Acklin Cattle Co meat!), mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, green beans, beer bread and chocolate buttermilk sheet cake! My brother and sister-in-law came up and we all ate until we couldn't eat anymore.

Yummy Cake! Instagram filter applied!

Then I got to celebrate a second time on Tuesday when my guy took me to dinner and we both ordered filets that were very good, I had blue cheese added to mine since it was my birthday and we shared a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup after the girls at the restaurant sang me happy birthday.

I'm a very lucky girl and even more lucky I got two birthday meals both with beef! Next time you celebrate a birthday or just an average Wednesday, I hope you consider beef to celebrate!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'll Admit I'm Obsessed

I am it is true, I'm obsessed with lemon cookies. I think it stems from childhood when my mom would buy those wonderful Archway Iced Lemon cookies, if you did not grow up with Archway Lemon cookies then you have not lived. They kind of smash together and you have to slowly peel them apart from each other.

Back in July of 2010 I first talked about the Lucious Lemon Cookies I made for a get together, still love those cookies but with my healthier eating I wanted the flavor without all the fat so I took the same great boxed cake mix (ANY cake mix will do, promise) and added egg substitute equal to 2 eggs and a half a cup of unsweetened applesauce, mix to combine then bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes. I swear that they are softer and chewier than the previous times I have made cake mix cookies. You could eat them just like that, they are that good, or if you wanted to do what I did take a can of the whipped cream frosting and lightly frost each cupcake. Perfect springtime afternoon snack washed down with a glass of milk. These would be super easy to make for a St. Patrick's Day party by throwing some shamrock or green sprinkles in the batter or dying the frosting green.
My lovely cookies, I ate the one in the middle it looked the yummiest to me I guess!

Light Cake Mix Cookies
1 box cake mix
egg substitute equal to 2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Combine all ingredients and drop spoonfulls on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Frost with your favorite frosting or leave naked, great either way.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mojitos Tapas - Louisville, KY

Tapas are great for a communal group of friends or in the case of my experience at Mojitos Tapas Restaurant with co-workers after a long day at a trade show. We actually loved it so much that we not only went once but twice so we got to sample a wide variety of food items. The place is pretty small and quaint, but don't let the exterior and location in a grocery store strip mall throw you off...great service, good drinks and awesome food.

Here is a list of the food we ate and their menu descriptions (remember this was over two meals, we aren't that big of pigs!) and some shots of the best part of the meal...dessert!

Pato Confitado (Duck confit) – Catalan flat bread style pizza with duck confit, goat cheese, fig marmalade and herb salad

Short Ribs – Braised short ribs, La Peral blue cheese, caramelized onions and herb salad

Guacamole – Avocadoes, tomatoes, cilantro, roasted peppers, red onions and lime juice. Served with plantain chips. A note here...I strongly dislike plantains or bananas but these chips were awesome with the guacamole!

Piquillo Peppers – Spanish roasted sweet red peppers stuffed with goat cheese. Topped with crushed Marcona almonds and smoked honey

Solomillo al Cabrales – Grilled beef tenderloin topped with Cabrales blue cheese, Spanish port reduction sauce served over roasted mashed potatoes

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) – Plump shrimp sautéed with garlic, olive oil and finished with lime juice. Served with garlic aioli, fresh salsa and bread

Calamares a la Romana (Fried Calamari) – Rings, tentacles, olives and roasted peppers dusted in a seasoned flour and fried until crispy. Served with garlic aioli and sweet chili sauce

Mejillones al Sofrito (Mussels)– Blue Mussels sautéed with olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onions, finished with wine and cilantro. Served with Blue Dog bread.

Datiles Rellenos (Stuffed Dates) – Roasted stuffed dates with Capriole goat cheese wrapped in apple wood bacon topped with smoked honey and piquillo sauce. These were good enough to be dessert!

Flan de queso de Cabra - Goat cheese flan with Cajeta ice cream and almond brittle

Pudin de banana - Banana bread pudding served over dark Spanish chocolate sauce topped with house made vanilla bean ice cream.
If you go there, please try the Bloody Mary, it was a favorite by all of our group!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lynn's Paradise Cafe - Louisville, KY

On my trips I get to go to a lot of nice restaurants, but when we were in Louisville, KY a coworker found a site called TV Food Maps that has a map of all the restaurants featured on various shows on the Food Network. We found a place called Lynn's Paradise Cafe and it has been featured on the Best Thing I've Ever Ate and Bobby Flay's Throwdown so we checked it out....WHAT A PLACE!

I had the Pan-Fried Pecan Chicken in Woodford Reserve Mustard Maple Cream Sauce—A boneless 8-ounce chicken breast pan-seared in crushed pecan flour and braised in Woodford Reserve mustard cream sauce sweetened with Woodford Reserve bourbon and a hint of pure maple syrup.

A coworker of mine had the Paradise Hot Brown which is what they are known for- Our home roasted turkey breast baked on sourdough bread, with Mornay sauce, bacon, tomato, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.

We were recommended to try the Bloody Mary which had a Fried Green Tomato Pureed on the top of it, I wouldn't suggest getting that, it wasn't a favorite of anyone at the table.

Here are some photos:
The exterior

The inside...yes that is a tree, yes there are random things throughout the entire place.

Out front they have a Toaster odd...but not as scary as I look after working a trade show for 9 hours solid!
There was also a great gift shop in the front with all sorts of novelty items and retro items. I got a couple great birthday gifts for a friend/co-worker a bendable bacon figure and crazy cat lady fun! I would recommend going for breakfast or if you go for dinner go early.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Brunch at the Farm

This past weekend we celebrated Grammy's birthday at the farm on Sunday for brunch. I might be a snob and opposite of many people due to the amount of traveling I do for work, but there is no way you can get as good of a meal at a restaurant as you can from your own kitchen especially if that kitchen includes my mom's. When we planned to have brunch we tried to consider what everyone in the family would like or try...our menu was as follows below.

Breakfast Casserole - mom makes her with sausage, hash browns and lots of cheese

Spiral Cut Ham kept warm in a crock pot


Fresh Fruit

Homemade Banana Bread

French Toast Muffins - I pulled this recipe of Pinterest (you can follow my Pinterest Account by clicking here. The recipe was very good though it came from a great blog called Baked Perfection but I had to make some of my own modifications to it by adding a teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the muffin batter and I used 2 eggs and a 1/4 cup of milk in the topping mixture because mine wasn't all moist. They were awesome and could be eaten with just butter or with butter and syrup both.

IHop Corn Cakes - I blogged about them on January 23rd

My first time making corn cakes and using a griddle, see the granola that is sprinkled in!