Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sidewalk Cafe

Sometimes amazing meals sneak up on you. Not just the food, but the fun. A bite to eat with friends from work turns into an evening of laughter, and the food just matches the mood. Sidewalk Cafe-recently reopened and remodeled- offered an amazing menu with a ton of veggie-friendly choices. A special of Cauliflower Curry soup, several great salads, a quinoa veggie burger,truffle mac and cheese and veg nachos, a house-made mushroom ravioli, tuna melt and grilled tilapia entrees.. it was a treasure trove of good things.

The happy hour from 5-8 makes prices just right- and a really decent glass of chianti was only $4.

We started with 3 appetizers, shared by the table- nachos, mozzarella sticks, and truffle mac. The nachos were really yummy- with large, fresh cuts of avocado, a light crema cheese on top, and the right ratio of topping to chips. The mac was super delish, with a hint of truffle and crumbled barbecue chips on top for an added flavor and crispy texture.

My entree was great- the mushroom ravioli- with fresh asparagus spears and pecorino cheese. It bordered on being close to too salty, but it packed a ton of flavor and was truly flavorful.

Everyone else was really happy with their picks too- my meat eating friends sampled sandwiches of pulled pork and turkey burgers.

In a town where sometimes its tough to find a place just to have dinner- this was the perfect neighborhood stop!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Salad Provencale

Ever since our trip to France this past spring, I have been fixated on my new favorite salad- the salad provencale. (The C should have that little squiggly goat beard-shaped line underneath, but I'm not sophisticated enough to know how to create that). Anyhoo, It is delicious, and for me, the equivalent of a power lunch.

mixed greens
tuna in water
haricots verts (french green beans), steamed
potatoes, boiled and cooled
cannellini beans
egg, hardboiled
capers or olives
salt and pepper

I'm sure the french didn't make it this way, but here's my cheat:

1 capful of creamy caesar from Newman's mixed with a dollop of dijon mustard, a little of the water the tuna came in, and the juice from the tomatoes.... Add a tiny bit of olive oil as well.

Combine the vegetables and toss in a bowl. Lightly top with dressing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pancakes: A Dear John to Aunt Jemima


We both knew this day would come. Don't blame your difficult to pronounce preservatives and mystery ingredients. It's not your fault you aren't the natural woman I need you to be. We've had a long, long, wonderful thing here, spanning childhood memories and college nights. But it's time we go our separate ways. It's not you, it's me. I just need something more real, something I've made myself from scratch. I hope you can forgive me.


So good. Pre-make ziploc bags with the dry mix to save time in the morning!!
Serves 4!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tblsp vanilla


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. We double sifted to make the pancakes fluffier.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and butter into the egg.

Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.