Daily Archives: January 13, 2014

One Weekend Three Amazing Meals

Yesterday was the second anniversary of this blog.  I have truly enjoyed this venture that has been a wonderful outlet for me to talk about the three things I love the most – food, wine and travel.  I hope that you have enjoyed this journey with me and that you will continue to do so for a long time to come. If you are new to this blog and have not read my original entry on how I discovered my three passions, I welcome you to do so:

As appropriate, to celebrate this blogaversary, I spent the weekend surrounded with foodie friends, delicious foods and fantastic wines.  If I could only find a way to make money and live like this all the time…… 

Friday Night

My food adventures this weekend began with a trip into New York City on Friday with a friend.  It has been a dreary week and I needed to get out of the house.  Our original plan was to try a new ramen restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, but we decided to save that for a group outing with other ramen lovers we know and opted to try Umami Burger instead.  Umami Burger originated in California and recently opened an outpost on Sixth Avenue between 9th St & 10thSt.  The New York Times recently featured them in the Dining & Wine section and I was intrigued.  

The restaurant is a decent size and bustling with energy.  We were given a 30 minute wait and decided to have a drink at the bar while we waited.  I ordered a Gin & Tonic and the bartender, who was super friendly, suggested a gin called Death’s Door which is distilled in Wisconsin.  He let me try some plain and it was really good.  Later research revealed that this gin is infused simply with juniper berries, coriander and fennel for its aromatics.  It was very delicious with almost floral notes on the nose.  When a few seats opened up at the bar, we opted to just order food there.  My friend ordered their original Umami Burger with shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup.  I chose the Hatch Burger with four types of roasted chiles and house cheese.  Wanting to experience both of these, we cut each in half and traded.  Both were perfectly cooked on a soft bun, and were absolutely juicy and delicious.  I can’t even say I preferred one over the other.  We got tempura onion rings on the side, which were also crispy and very good.
The Hatch Burger

Saturday Night

I spent most of my rainy Saturday doing some food shopping, running errands and cleaning the house.  But I also had fun making dessert for the dinner party I was invited to that evening while blasting music on my iPod.  My hosts served a delicious dinner of Brined Pork Chops, Roasted Apple Sauce, Polenta, Prunes steeped in tea & Cognac, and a Wedge Salad of Butter Lettuce, Avocadoes and Orange segments served with a warm shallot dressing.  I contributed Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups with whipped cream and raspberries for dessert.  Equally delicious wines accompanied this fantastic meal including a phenomenal Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA).  A big thank you to E & B for a wonderful and delicious evening……

The food we ate:

The wines we drank:

A very special Trockenbeerenauslese from Austria

Sunday Evening

This day was the highlight of my weekend and so much fun!!!!  I have a few friends who are as crazy as I and love to cook and drink wine with an equal, if not greater, passion.  Every so often we get together and plan some elaborate dinners or events.  If you’ve read my post on the pig roast in my backyard, these would be the same culprits.  We don’t just cook our own dishes and bring them along to the hosting kitchen, we actually cook together while enjoying some amazing wines in the process.  Yesterday’s event was to make pasta and sweet Italian sausage from scratch.  

We made Pappardelle with Sweet Italian Sausage & Broccolini and Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Coriander and Panko crumbs.  For appetizers (need to eat while we are cooking after all) we had Marinated Eggplant, Cheese (Jarlsberg and Paradisio), Cerignola Olives, homemade Cheese “Cookies” and a Baguette.  Homemade Apple Pie and an encore of my Chocolate Mousse rounded out dessert for the evening.  We started at 4pm and ended well past 10pm.  We played Spanish LPs on an old turntable and even listened to some Bollywood while having a blast cooking and sipping Champagne, Nebbiolo and Amarone through the evening.   My son even joined us later in the evening and ate his meal in record time.  I don’t think he came up for air from that bowl of pasta.  Thank you to I & M for hosting and to M for showing us the pasta making techniques.  I can’t wait for our next adventure………

Making pasta: 

Making sausage:

The food we ate:


The wines we drank:


In Summary:

Saturday Night!!

Sunday Night!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this special anniversary edition and that the photos have inspired you to go to your kitchen and cook something.  I have a Chipotle Pork Loin Roast in my slow cooker for dinner tonight….

May 2014 be filled with lots of food, wine and fun for us all!!!


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