Monthly Archives: April 2010

Meatballs: A Love Story

This week has been a massive failure, culinarily speaking.  I think I ate out half the week, with the exception of last night, when Josh made Kraft Mac for us for dinner because I was too lightheaded to do anything but fall asleep after a very long day at work during which I ran around a lot and only actually ate one chocolate-banana smoothie and four homemade oreos.

These meatballs were the one gastronomical high point of my week, and that’s sad.  The meatballs aren’t sad; they’re fantastic.  What’s sad is that I have yet to follow them up with anything as delicious.  To make it up to you, and to my poor, poor belly, I think I will make some barbecue this weekend and post all the mouth-watering photos that I can.  That’s my gift to you.  Or it will be.  If I do it.

Anyway, I can’t really remember but I’m pretty sure I made these on Monday, before my week went completely to crap.  I really love meatballs.  I’m intrigued by them.  Not the “Why the hell would you do that?” kind of fascination that I have with meatloaf, oddly enough, but a simple curious adoration (I’ll do anything for meatballs but I won’t do that?).  In fact, if you recall, my previous iteration of this blog was  It’s one of my food goals to master the art of meatball making (along with icing, pulled pork, chocolate turtles, pancakes, biscuits and a few thousand other things—luckily, I think I’ve got the chocolate chip cookie down).  Well, this week I think I moved a tiny bit closer to my goal of meatball perfection.  Continue reading

Meat and Potatoes: the Green Edition

You know, I could wax on at length about this dinner and how it was all inspired by this recipe find of spinach artichoke hummus from Gimme Some Oven.  I could tell you how I needed an end-of-the-week pick-me-up, healthy yet tasty, and how the mention of pork chops at work (which happens a lot more than you’d think) made me think I could combine my love of pork with my love of spinach, artichokes and hummus and sure it would be weird but it would also be awesome.  I could tell you how easy this meal was to pull together, even though I had absolutely no idea what to do with the potatoes even as they were cooking; I just knew that I wanted them.  I could tell you how fantastic thick center-cut pork chops are and how they’re even better stuffed with wedges of Cordobes sheep’s milk cheese, or how good potatoes are with meat drippings poured over them, or how surprisingly well spinach-artichoke-hummus can be smothered over said porkchops, cheese and potatoes.

I could do all of those things.  But I will let the pictures speak for themselves: Continue reading

Monday Night Pantry Pasta Pretty Damn Quick

uh yes please

I picked out glasses yesterday afternoon.  Prescription sunglasses, to be precise.  I can’t really tell you what they look like though.  I’m not even really sure.  That’s the problem with having to try on glasses when you don’t wear contacts and are otherwise mostly blind.  But hey, in about 3-4 weeks when they come in, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised!  Or horrified.  We’ll see.  Ha.  We’ll see.  Get it?  Yeah.

So after that, I walked down to Kerrytown and waited for Josh to pick me up.  It’s after five at this point.  Then we have to go get the dog because yes, my dog goes to doggy daycare once a week so he can run around and socialize like the wild beast that he is.  Of course, to get him, we have to drive through all the construction down on Main Street by Stadium and then once we’ve got him, we have to stop at the bank.  And then drive through rush-hour traffic through town because there’s no way we’re hitting I-94 at this hour and by the time we get home, settled, mail on the table, shoes off the feet, bathroom break taken care of, dog fed, etc, etc, etc, we’re looking at almost 7pm and time to make dinner and I’m starving.  I also have a lot of freelance work to do—videos to edit, DVDs to burn, that sort of thing–and don’t want to be on my feet all night cooking.  And then there’s that nagging little voice that says, “Screw cooking; order a pizza from Aubree’s.  With breadsticks.  Don’t forget my breadsticks.” Continue reading

the Great Recipe Experiment: #7-Red Pepper Cannellini Dip

Imagine a scenario, if you will, in which you need to feed a few people.  Like, oh, I don’t know, 5000 people or so.  On a beach.  Near Bethsaida.  And like, these people are really hungry, right, because it’s late and this is way back a couple thousand years before the invention of segways and nobody wants to walk back to town on an empty stomach.  And it’s okay, because you’ve got the food to feed these people, you’ve got…five loaves of bread and two fish.  It’s like an embarrassment of…what?  You don’t think it’s enough?  Dude, it’ll be totally fine, just add one more thing to this meal and the people will be sated.  All you need is…

no, not love.  This is a recipe post, not a Beatles soundtrack.  All you need is this roasted red pepper and cannellini bean dip—and the people will rejoice. Continue reading

Friday Foodie Finds: the Ypsilanti edition

So normally on Fridays, I post links to interesting things I’ve found throughout the week.  This Friday, though, I decided to post a slightly different set of links.  Inspired by conversation in the comments section of an article by Nicole, of simmer down! fame, about a day spent hanging out and performing in Ann Arbor, I decided that this Friday I would post links to my Five Favorite Ypsi Establishments.  If you’re in the area, you need to check these places out.

  • Beezy’s Cafe: Uh, I don’t know what to start with.  The awesome laid back environment?  The fun and fabulous staff?  The ohmygodimightdiejustreadingthemenu special french toasts every Saturday?  (We’re talking about special—like pb&J french toast or peaches and vanilla french toast–like ohmigod).  The awesome soups that get exchanged out two or three times a day?  The best breakfast bagel sandwich anywhere?  The fact that I live within three blocks walking distance?  There is nothing to not like about this place.  (Downtown Ypsi)
  • Aubree’s Pizzeria and Tavern: I love this place.  They have just really delicious pizza.  Good other food too, nice relaxed bar atmosphere, great sidewalk seating in the summer but just…really fantastic pizza.  Mm.  Pizza. (Depot Town, other locations)
  • Cafe Luwak: When I was young, I used to go to Cafe Luwak with friends to get ice cream.  Now that I’m old, I go to Cafe Luwak with friends to get ice cream.  It’s a nice place to be.  But wait, there’s more!  They also have soups, sandwiches, weekend breakfast buffet, baked goods…and by the way, their chili offerings for this year’s Chili Cookoff were amazing.
  • Bill’s Hot Dog Stand: I won’t go on for too long about Bill’s because I have already waxed poetically about this place and how much I love it.  We’ll just go with the basics: friendly fast service.  Fantastic chili dogs.  Best root beer ever tasted.  No options and no competition.
  • Gabriel’s Hoagies: Ok, I’m just going to say right here and right now that if you live in Ypsi and have never been to Gabriel’s, get out now.  Just get out.  You don’t have to leave the city but you do have to get in your car, on your bike or on the nearest bus and get there right now.  Like don’t even finish reading this post.  Just go and get yourself one of the most delicious (possibly greasiest) concoctions ever known to man.  When I was a kid, Gabriel’s was a frequent stop…and not just for my 6’3″, 230 pound dad.  My nanny–a woman who weighed maybe 100 pounds wet and was all of 5’2″ tall–could and would scarf down one of these cheesesteak hoagies within minutes.  It is that fantastic.

So there you go.  The next time you’re in town, downtown, anywhere near town, stop in Ypsilanti and try out one of these places.  Happy Friday!

Eat At Bill's


kebab's your uncle

It’s a rare day in Michigan.  82 degrees, sunny, beautiful.  Not a raindrop, not a snowflake in sight.  Did you hear that? SunshineWarm weather. Keep a snapshot of this day in your mind; it may never happen again.

So I decided to celebrate in proper form.  With food on a stick.

The first thing was dinner.  Josh wanted grilled Polish sausages and potato salad, but that felt just a bit too midwestern for my taste, so while I made him that, I made something more Lauren-friendly for me.  The inspiration from this came from a Tyler Florence show once in which he made a salad with grilled chicken sausage and bread.  I figured it would be a good basis for an antipasto skewer.  I enjoy Mediterranean-inspired meals and this one is easily adaptable and super easy to make, especially because the chicken sausage was precooked.  I enjoy easy, tasty meals that allow me to be outside and lounge and eat with my hands. In fact, I find very few things as relaxing as eating a light, delicious meal with my fingers while sitting in the sunlight.  I don’t know what it is.  Things you eat with your fingers are just inherently more delicious than things you eat off a fork or a spoon or even the fabled spork.  Also, sunny days chasing the clouds away on my way to where the air is sweet make everything taste better.

By the way, you get bonus cookies if you got that reference. Continue reading

Friday Foodie Finds: the Brownie Edition

The weather in Michigan has once again turned against me.  Rain, 40 degrees, cloudy.  Spring is definitely here.  It’s enough to make a girl reach for a giant stack of chocolate.  It’s a good thing for me that I have entire shelf in my pantry devoted to chocolate.  Really, I do.  Milk chocolate, semisweet, dark chocolate.  Chips, cocoa powder, bars.  Chocolate sugar.  I really like chocolate.  Maybe too much….ha.  Just kidding.  You can never like chocolate too much.

So to soothe your soul until the warm weather comes back (which will hopefully be tomorrow), today’s Foodie Finds are brownie-centric:

  • Sea Salt Caramel Brownies from doughmesstic
  • Chocolate Caramel Tarte from Taste…not exactly a brownie…but close enough
  • Brownie pops...because everything is better on a stick
  • Chocolate Valentino from Sugarlaws is actually a flourless chocolate cake…but isn’t that just a really fudgy brownie?
  • a Chocolate Microwave Mug cake/brownie…which I want to try…but can’t…seeing as how I lack a microwave now.  So someone try it and tell me how it is.  I can taste it vicariously.
  • And just in case you feel a bit guilty for making these delicious, delectable treats…here’s a link on why home-made cakes are healthier (if not actually healthy…definitely not actually healthy) than boxed mixes!  Don’t you feel better?

Happy Friday!

Gianduja Brownies, click for recipe

How Green is My Pasta: Penne + Avocado = Pastocado?

I know.  I’ve been neglecting you.  I haven’t written a real post for over a week.  And it’s sad.  But the truth is that…well, there hasn’t been much to write about.  I haven’t cooked a whole lot and what I have cooked hasn’t been very impressive, and definitely not worth sharing.  Although I did make chocolate granola bars last night.  And I will probably blog about them later.  I thought posting them would be much ado about nothing but then I realized that I keep eating them and that’s a good sign.

I have been busy doing one thing, however: reading.  One article I found today on the NY Times that I really enjoyed was all about…well, people like me.  You know.  Those people.  The ones who take pictures of every meal they eat.  The ones who fuss over lighting and crostini placement.  The ones who tweet their tastings, like “Just ate fugu from amateur chef…think I’m dying…bye cruel world.”  The ones who blog about their gastronomic adventures, posting picture after picture as though anybody else cares….cough…

Hey!  Who wants to see pictures of my dinner? Continue reading

Friday Foodie Finds: the Who Thought of That? Edition

This week’s fun finds from the internet:

And my favorite, just for the hell of it:

  • cooking with Vincent Price. No, really.

Happy Friday!