A classic ragu bolognese with a homemade pasta is one of my top 10 favorite dishes to prepare as well as eat. It’s my gauge for the authenticity of an Italian restaurant and unfortunately I’ve had very few in the USA that come close to the real thing. A recent trip to enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn in Vermont inspired this twist on a classic bolognese. I used a cooking method similar to what one might see in a more classic version of the recipe, but a few substitutions made for a crowd favorite.
I read an article this morning by NYTimes writer Eric Asimov. In his article titled “Wine as the Supporting Player in an Ensemble Cast at Home,” Asimov makes the recommendation to drink more wine at home and learn to love it.
The title alone was enough to have me find something else to read…wine as the “supporting player in an ensemble cast”…who thinks this stuff up? But I clicked. And read. And found a few good tips for the wine novice such as get a simple corkscrew, decent stemware, to make friends with a good wine salesperson at your local shop (this is a great tip, actually). That said, overall the article is a bit vague as to how to actually keep, serve and enjoy the wine at home.
If you’ve never had a macaron, these aren’t the coconut drop macaroon (rhymes with racoon) cookies. French macarons are meringue sandwich cookies, are are usually filled with ganache or flavored buttercream. If you’re feeling particularly cultured, try the french pronunciation “mak-a-ruh” with your snootiest up-turned nose. Either way, you’ll love their delicate crunchy exterior, and chewy cookie center.
In honor of this favorite treat and Opening Day, I have a fun recipe for you. It’s a kettle corn chocolate chip cookie. I know you’re thinking this is crazy. Popcorn in a cookie??? Trust me, it’s genius. It’s crunchy where the sugar coating of the popcorn has burned in the oven just a little bit, and it’s chewy where the popcorn has started to go a little stale. Plus it’s a chocolate chip cookie!
When we were little and in Capital “B” Big trouble, the big gun was called in for disciplinary purposes. The Capital “B” Big gun was my Dad. He’d come in from a long (long) day out in the barn, and really, the last thing he had was the mental energy to deal with my brother and I bickering over back car seat territory or my (alleged) smart mouth. Poor SUE!, at her witt’s end, she’d send us to sit on the hope chest at the end of my parents bed, and wait for him to come in for dinner and deal with us.
I really can’t think of a single vegetable that isn’t more delicious when roasted. Ok, I didn’t think about that very hard, so I’m sure there’s at least one out there, but roasting is a great trick to have up your sleeve to feed your herbivorous side.
I am not a morning person. Like at all. Not even a little bit. Neither is Brody, for what it’s worth. He’d stay in bed all day long if I didn’t utter the word “breakfast”. But whisper that word from clear across the house and he’s out from under the covers and down a flight of steps in about two steps. All sorts of wide-eyed and (short) bushy tailed. Would I love to be able to be that perky the second my feet hit the bedroom floor…
We enjoyed our meal and are planning to go back soon. I also noticed during our visit to El Mercado that they have a great looking quick lunch menu. I was working nearby El Mercado tonight so I decided to have my wife meet me at El Mercado for dinner. The décor was great; the restaurant was bright, colorful with neat decorations.
We were a little disappointed in the music which was an 80’s mix rather than Hispanic or South American. However, we were fortunate to visit El Mercado on Sunday evening because the margaritas were on special for $3.50 and the dinning room was slow and quiet.
I highly recommend House Park BBQ. It is fast cheap and pretty good BBQ. We love a good Texas barbecue joint that is rich in tradition. House PARK BBQ is a total dive which is part of its appeal. It has been in the little shopping center on 12th and Lamar next door to Flora and Fauna and the Tavern for over 30 years. They are only open for lunch. During our visit we tried both the brisket and the sausage. Both were good, but the sausage in combination with their BBQ sauce is very special and we will be back for more. The lunch was also very affordable, which my wallet appreciates. Oh yeah, bring cash! House Park Bar-B-Que doesn’t accept anything else.
This was our first trip to Taco Xpress since the big relocation with the pharmacy many years ago. We were very impressed with all of the changes and additional decor. I can see how this place is so Austin eclectic. The restaurant was very well decorated and it has a great feel to it. It’s like your walk into a taco joint in Key West Florida. Everything seemed to slow down a bit and we felt really relaxed. There were a couple of disappointments on our trip but nothing that should stop anyone from visiting Taco Xpress and bringing their friends from out of town for the experience.