Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Magazine Recipes

I’m one of those people who will browse through a magazine, find the recipe section, and tear out the recipe if I think there is a slight chance I might make it someday. So after I did this for awhile, I found a growing pile of torn out magazine pages, and in a rare moment of free time, I organized them in a binder, by category. They stayed there until recently, when my husband and I realized we were going out to eat practically every night while fresh food from the local farmer’s market was rotting away in the fridge and going straight to the compost pile. So, I pulled out my binder of magazine recipes and made a list of what to buy at the farmer’s market and grocery store, and ended up making a new recipe about every other night of the week. Being me, of course, I altered all of the recipes. And a few of the recipe titles. I will be posting these recipes to this blog, along with the link to the original recipe and my notes, and you may do what you want with this information. You’re welcome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How to Be Organized in the Kitchen?

Do you ever make a great recipe and say things like “wow, that turned out awesome, I should make it again!” and then you relax on the couch all night with a satisfied belly full of food and you never actually write down what you did or how you altered the recipe, and then you try to make it again later and you dig through your recipes and cookbooks and say “I must’ve written notes down somewhere!”? Yeah? Then, you and I have something in common! So, it has been suggested lately that I start a cooking journal.
I have mixed feelings on such a thing, and here are a few reasons why:

1. I have a camp journal. If you’ve ever camped with me, you know all about the camp journal.
2. I have a travel journal. For notes while traveling.
3. I have a dream journal. It’s really pretty interesting, to me anyway.
4. I have a miscellaneous journal full of many things, including random lists, like good band names and bumper sticker ideas.
5. I have a garden journal with notes on all the food planted in the yard, and ideas for the future.
6. I have numerous sketch journals, in various sizes, for fun.
7. I have a few cookbooks that I’ve written notes all over.
8. I have a binder full of magazine clippings of recipes (see the next blog).
9. I have a dang recipe box!
10. I have a journal of beer recipes.
11. I have a blog with recipes!

So, I’ve managed to come up with 11 reasons, but I’m still debating internally:

a. Wouldn’t another journal add to my clutter of numerous journals and recipe books? or….
b. Would a cooking journal keep me from searching through all those cookbooks, recipe books, and binders only to say: “I must’ve written notes down somewhere!”

The Brown Bottle (IC)

On Washington St., across from MC Ginsberg

On Fridays in the summer, MC Ginsberg sponsors live music from about 12-1 pm in front of their store. The only 2 places to eat outside and enjoy the music are Panchero's and the Brown Bottle. So, on a sunny Friday afternoon, my date and I decided to try the Brown Bottle outdoors.

The menu we were given must have been a lunch menu, because the entree's didn't seem like what one would expect from an "Italian" restaurant.

My date ordered the French onion soup and I got a veggie sandwich. After a really long wait, the waitress informed us that the cooks had dropped the last French onion soup, so he had to order something else from the menu. He got the tuna melt, which had way too much mayo, shredded carrots, and maybe velveeta inside. It was much better after adding a tomato slice to it.

Right before we got our food, the table next to us, who came in & ordered after us got served 2 bowls of French onion soup. Hmmm, do you have to know people in this town or what?

My Veggie sandwich was super greasy. I'm one of those people who always assumes that ordering the "veggie" something is going to be the healthy choice, but instead I got a gut full of grease, and I if I had a paper towel, I would have used it well.

My date got the fruit bowl- in which the watermelon was going bad. In Iowa. In August. The one time of the year that watermelon is fresh & local & cheap. But this seemed to be out of a big batch of pre-cut fruit. Wouldn’t it be great if they cut the fruit fresh?

So, in conclusion, the service was slow, there was no price break despite having to make a menu change. I don't think we'll go back, unless a really good band is playing on Washington St. and we aren't in the mood for Panchero's.

Environmentally: reusable dishes, cloth napkins (which don't soak up grease very well) and nearby bike parking.


227 E. 1st St., Iowa City

The address might be confusing, especially since several places online call it 1st Avenue, but it is basically on Gilbert St., next to Aero Rental. Only open Monday-Saturday, 11-2, it took us a few years before we actually made it to Guido’s for lunch. That was a mistake. Waiting, I mean. The place was fantastic. It had the feel of eating in a very fancy, eloquent restaurant with the prices of Panchero’s. Almost everything on the menu was $7 or less. I got a ½ salad (greek) and ½ sandwich (smoked turkey & smoked gouda panini) for $6.50. Both were great, but especially the salad. Hubby got the special, a meatball and potato dish, which he could barely finish, that cost $6-7. Their ice tea is excellent. They do not have a liquor license, but you can bring your own. They have a wine bar, mainly because they rent the place out for special occasions. I wonder how much that would cost. It would be a great place to have a private gathering. The colorful walls, clean and nicely decorated bathrooms, unique tablecloths and glittery look to the walls and ceiling make the whole place a piece of art. Did I mention the food is great, too? If you haven’t been frequenting Guido’s for lunch, you should probably change your ways.

Environmentally: disposable napkins, some meals served on wax paper in nice baskets. But you could do what I did and take the napkins & wax paper home to compost.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Blogs

After trying to put all the pieces together about our Easter meal, I finally just published the darn blog. But, the way this blogspot thing works, it publishes it to the first date you saved the draft, under April in this case. To make it easier, if you want to read about Easter, click here!
Meanwhile, I'm on a break from cakes- something about summer heat and hot ovens not pairing up very well. But I have been experimenting on a lot of new recipes, so they will be posted in the next week or two, one at a time. Enjoy!