Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peanuts and Cookies

If I'm not trying new recipes, I am finding new restaurants. The best way to find hidden treasures in a big city like Atlanta? Ask fellow foodies. I recently heard of Abattoir while I was in Birmingham. I investigated the menu, made a reservation on Opentable and then counted down the seconds to my first bite.

We arrived 30 minutes early to get a drink at the bar. The bartender enchanted me with refreshing grapefruit caipirinha. Dinner followed cocktails, and we began with complementary boiled peanuts. Served in a brown paper bag, these tasted better than the kind you find on the side of old country roads. They had a spice, a saltiness that was out of this world. I loved having the juice drip down my face and my fingers while in the sophisticated atmosphere.

We ordered sweetbreads that came with pickled cabbage and marinated pear for a starter. Followed by crusty bread and creamy butter, I was already in heaven. For my main course, I ordered the Chicken Schnitzel with Bacon Jam and Collard Greens. I have not stopped thinking about the bacon jam. Salty and sweet it complemented the chicken perfectly.

I think my favorite part of the evening was when we got our check, it came with two perfect little cookies. The miniature cookies were the sweetest ending to an already excellent meal.

*Just got the iPhone this week. Still trying to master Instagram.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Slow Cookin'

It's been quite some time since I have posted to this site. With graduation only a few months away, I have been staying busy with school, the job search and of course cooking. But, now that I have settled into my spring semester routine, there are no more excuses. It's time to start posting yummy recipes once again.

For Valentine's Day, my sweet boyfriend gave me the ultimate gift: The All-Clad Slow Cooker. This counter-appliance means business. It can cook up to 20 hours, knows when to switch to warm mode and conveniently displays the remaining time on a sleek digital clock. Plus, it makes the most delicious meals as long as you plan ahead.

This week tested my slow cooker with Real Simple's Spaghetti Bolognese. It only took 12 minutes to throw together, and 8 hours later I was enjoying a delicious meat sauce infused with dynamic flavors, like thyme and oregano.

I have to say minimum effort contributed to the delight of the overall meal. It's unbelievably simple:

Step #1: Gather ingredients
Step #2: Combine in slow cooker
Step #3: Select time, press start
Step #4: Enjoy your day
Step #5: Sit down for a nice dinner

As I approach the working world, I know I will remember to take full advantage of my slow cooker because there's nothing like coming home to a warm homecooked meal.