Friday, March 28, 2008

Good Company

One of the joys of dining is getting together with people you like. On this particular night we were with two of our favorites - Cousins of Food.
We were cruising in our van trying to decide where to eat when we came upon the Liberace museum and Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens next door. CoF asked if we had ever eaten there. We hadn’t but would like to try it.

Carluccio’s was originally designed by Liberace and is quite eclectic. The hostess said there would be a short wait and asked if we would like to have a seat in the English lounge complete with carved bar imported from a English pub. Next to this room is the piano lounge with it’s autographed mirrored piano and mirrored walls. This would be a perfect spot for a celebration of less than fifty people. The main room is an indoor patio with gardens and fountains. It was filled with groups and families enjoying themselves. I almost felt that I was at an Italian wedding. There are two more rooms and each one is different.

Our food was tasty, the portions large and the service was good. Overall it was good value. I had lasagna, Mother of Food had Chicken Francese and Cousins of Food had Pasta dishes. Entrees come with fresh hot bread, a side of pasta and a choice of soup or salad. The menu is quite extensive with a variety of chicken, veal, seafood, different types of pasta and Sicilian pizza.

We ate we talked, we ate we laughed and when the meal was finished we talked and laughed some more. I like good food but I love good company.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Food as Comedy?

I love Comedy. I love Food. Here is a comedy sketch group that is named after food.

They once did a very funny sketch about Food called Extreme Food on a podcast called The Sound of Young America(and at the Chicago Sketch Festival)

I believe SNL picked up this sketch or one of the Meat writers to write for a similar sketch on the show.

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner was a miracle in itself this year. We had just about the best Lamb I have ever tried accompanied by a reduction sauce that was well worth what I gather was the trouble. The mushed minted peas made by Sister in Law of Food were a very nice alternative to the mint jellies often served with lamb. It also had the advantage of being a good baby food for the several who attended the meal. A Marscapone custard almost did me in at the end of the night. The meal was so good, I have asked Father in Law of Food if he would be interested in writing for the blog. We will be lucky if we get a few tips, tricks, or recipes from this venerable cook.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Egg Art!

Today at "Craft Club"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Has Corned Beef and Cabbage turned me Green? No, I'm not sick, just enthused. In preparation for St. Patrick's Day dinner, I bought two shirts, one green, one with a shamrock. I wore the green to dinner and wore the shamrock the next day. Is that too much? Maybe I am carried away with celebrations of family that included three of the cutest Leprechauns I've ever seen (OK two of them are my own children, so I'm biased). Maybe I am lost in memories of a particularly good trip overseas. Maybe I'm trying to get my Irish readership up... Erik are ye there???

We had a feast of traditional Irish Cooking for St. Patrick's Day, thanks to Mother In Law of Food. The dinner was a late arrangement, yet to her credit, it came together quite well. As is the recent household trend, the Corned Beef was cooked in the slow cooker. Potatoes and cabbage accompanied the meat. I don't usually go for cabbage of any sort, but the simple steaming of it made a nice sweet crunchy compliment to the tasty salty beef. An off the cuff celebration inspired by a hunk of meat, bought for the holiday, caused an evening that was really fun. It is a powerful joy when Family and Food combine.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eggs as Art

It is almost Easter and that means EGG ART is here! At work our "Craft Club" spent a fun lunch break decorating eggs with very modest supplies. The top left egg was made with drippy craft paints, the flower egg was sharpies, and the one on the lower right was crayon resistance with paint. Mine is the one on the lower left, drawn on with Sharpies. You won't recognize her yet, but if you check back on this blog next year, you may be able to identify the character. Here's a hint, she would look more like herself if we had white eggs. The great thing about this project is it's simplicity and freedom. You can do whatever you want with your egg, if it doesn't work out, it's fun to smash the shell. C'mon, how often do you get to smash an egg? Thanks to Craft Club President Eva for blowing out the eggs.

I can't wait for an Easter Egg Hunt!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Sneaky Chef

What a big Family of Food in a Small, Small World! It turns out there are several Cookbooks written by people somehow related to the Family of Food. The Sneaky Chef is one of them, written by, Missy Chase Lapine.

I ran across this book while looking for recipes for my kids. The book guides the chef on how to discretely put the nutrition back into food children will eat. As my kids get older, they are exposed to more kinds of food, and they are getting pickier. They are starting to ask for foods that are not so healthy. The kids are doing nothing wrong. Children choose foods that are the saltiest or sweetest based on eons of evolutionary development. Our job is to make sure these tasty foods are as good for them as they can be, especially if it turns out that bad foods are are all they will eat. The Sneaky Chef demonstrates techniques to make many familiar "Bad Foods" into Good Foods.

Providing healthy yet attractive food becomes even more important with older kids that are surrounded by junk foods every day. Which brings me to the next Recommendation... Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love.
This book may be marketed to wives cooking for their husbands but it looks like a book for the big kid in me! Check out The Sneaky Chef Cookbooks for kids of all ages.

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