Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Movies and food

When I first moved to Oregon, I happened to move right next door to a place called the Mission Theater. The Mission was started in the late 1980s by the McMenamin brothers who, as visionaries and smart business folk, could see how combining decent food (in lieu of popcorn and junk) with movies could be a brilliant move. It turned out that it was. The smart piece I think is that they sell decent food and beer with older movies which means their overhead and royalties for showing the movies are probably markedly less. Here it is:

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was started about 10 years after the McMenamin version in Austin, Texas and has since been franchised. Erin took me to a location in San Antonio for my birthday - hence the post. Similar idea except with recently released movies - not as cheap as the Mission which would cost like 5$ as I remember. But still good food: we had fried pickles, a burger with roasted chiles and a decent salad and a pitcher of beer in front of the Bourne Legacy. If you don't mind a little bustling when your neighbor's food arrives, it's a lovely combination... the only downside is that you don't get to talk to the person you're with over dinner...

Without further ado, the menu for the week! (cutting the descriptions a bit brief as I am doing the cooking from here on out I think so the need for exhaustive details for replication is less):

Beef and Broccoli: I think the key to a good stir fry is what to add so that it's not overcooked and all the ingredients are well cooked - easier said than done. Garlic, ginger and broccoli first, then mushrooms for a short bit followed by flank steak and the hoisin and spicy sauce and topped before serving with the green onions and cilantro, over rice.

Crab, Papaya, Serrano: We're gonna try something new: basically make a ceviche type dish out of the crab with serrano, peppers, some lime, cilantro, onion and then scoop out a papaya and serve the crab mix in the papaya... should be a nice contrast

Kale and Cabbage Salad with Walnut: It almost sounds gross, especially as everything is going to be raw except the roasted walnuts. But I'm gonna make it work with a nice rice vinegar dresssing.

Orange habanero chicken with sweet potato and salad: marinade as it sounds, sweet potatoes in the oven without spice to contrast the chicken and salad to cool off.

That's all folks! I learned that okra is not an appropriate baby food this week... after I made a boatload of it mixed with ham. It's so sticky that he literally takes it out of his mouth and rubs it on his chest out of interest/disgust. It's kind of awesome and kind of sad and disappointing all at the same time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Menu ideas for a dinner party!

Thoughts on how to feed 9 guests (a total of 11 people!), which Alex just keeps shaking his head about. He thinks it won't be fun or we won't have good interactions with so many people. I think it will be a nice first change away from sitting in lecture and studying and taking tests, and not be too personal, since we don't know each other very well yet. So a good first start, and then we can have smaller groups later---

  • Roast chicken was denied (Alex doesn't love it like I do :)
  • Tacos were his suggestion, but in San Antonio, tacos aren't really a dinner party food. More like a big party food- 20 or more people.
  • Skewers? Too much work on the grill!
I love the idea of small plates- roasted cauliflower keeps sounding delicious to me- but am worried that it will take too much work. We are still resistant to potlucks, since they always have such a random mix of foods.

Several salad ideas:
  • http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brussels-Sprout-and-Apple-Salad-with-Blue-Cheese-and-Walnuts-102645
  • http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sauteed-Apple-Salad-with-Roquefort-Cheese-and-Walnuts-2627
  • http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Farmers-Market-Salad-with-Spiced-Goat-Cheese-Rounds-239065

We COULD do an Italian meal- that would be fun! Hmm. Use the Silver Spoon and do some nice cheese and fruit, a simple salad, some pasta... maybe even carbonara... Mmmmm.

New ideas for a summer Italian meal under the trees (with bugspray on) or on couches:
  • Salads: caprese with a twist?  and http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Raw-Artichoke-Salad-Celery-and-Parmesan-365182
  • Main: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/The-Silkiest-Carbonara-395077 or http://www.budgettravelonline.com/bt-srv/images/0610_Recipes.pdf from the Silver Spoon
  • Sides (if have meat instead of pasta): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Risi-e-Bisi-365188
  • Dessert: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Almond-Granita-365749

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adjusting to new schedules

It has been a busy couple of weeks, and Alex has been incredibly productive in the kitchen. Some highlights include:
Baked Dover Sole with spiced sweet potatoes and crispy brussels sprouts
Delicious pesto that we've eaten twice with different types of pasta- my favorite was the orechiette!
He has also planned lamb for this week, which I am looking forward to.

Atticus has also been eating well, with gourmet cauliflower and carrots with spices, and spinach/apple combinations. Mmm. Healthy AND delicious :)

We are going to have our first dinner party this weekend! Inviting some classmates and their significant others, hoping for a fun relaxing time with good conversation. I was thinking small plates might be nice- although maybe too much work? Nicer if it can be easy on all of us, particularly Alex. I think he feels like an indentured servant these days, so it would be good to have a fun relaxing time.