Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Disappointing Dinner

Sunday night I prepared for the week with a big crock pot full of chili and a bunch of hamburgers grilled and frozen for quick and easy use. We were set! Well, until the beef recall hit. After i checked packages and dates it was discovered that the beef we used was indeed on the e coli recall list. SHIT! Everything had to go because I just don't like kidney damage and death. I'm kind of funny that way. As it happens we were out and about tonight and decided to give a new restaurant. Danny's Whole Hog proved to be a disappointment.
Tonight we went out for dinner as a family to a locally owned, newly opened restaurant and left severely disappointed. I hate it when that happens. The Boy was happy with his burger but my beef dip and Hubby's corned beef left so much to be desired. I even pointed out the problems with the meal and was given what seemed to be rehearsed excuse about being newly opened, still working on the menu, and looking for comments blah, blah, blah...... No apologies or attempts to fix the problem here.
The beef dip was said to be a house made brisket. This brisket had no flavor, a stringy texture, and probably more chewy fatty pieces than anyone should serve. Ever. In all honesty, the garlic toasted bun was the best part of the sandwich.
The corned beef was touted as house made and seemed to not only be the same shitty cut as the brisket but seriously lacked flavor as well. The fries were really the only things that seemed to be a winner here, but that's no reason to go back now is it?
The service we received was good and the food arrived quickly but this happens in a mostly empty restaurant. While we chatted about our disappointing dinner experience we realized that there were warning signs even before we ordered. For instance, when I walk into a BBQ joint, I should be smacked in the face with the aromas associated with BBQ! That should have been our first hint that things were amiss! The lack of customers should have been our second hint. I think our true disappointment came from the fact that we have eaten the food from this company at catered events before and it was quite good. If you are going to work so hard to build a reputation on a BBQ business then don't rush into a hastily put together restaurant venture. Take the to make the space yours. The previous restaurant's decor is still prevalent and just doesn't speak BBQ. As it were, I have no desire to return.

FYI: we are toying with grinding our own ground beef and have learned our lesson about going to the big chain store for such a product. Stupid thing is, Hubby even suggesting grinding our own but were low on time (and energy)so weren't with the store shit. Stupid stupid stupid!!!!!!!

Sorry about this disappointing review but I felt you should know.

To cheer us up, here's a picture of the fabulous tomatoes we got from put CSA this week!
Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Garden Bounty: Holding onto Summer

After being teased with 2 months off during the summer, I am back into the swing of things (I know feel sorry for me now)...things being getting up at an unGodly hour, making lunches, and enforcing homework.....SIGH....summer can't last forever. As the last days of my summer break drew closer, I continued prepping for the zombie apocalypse winter. The Boy and I even made perogies for the freezer!

I started working on this post a while back but just haven't found the time.

The other day I made tomato sauce with the intent to jar it up and save it for later use. I wound up boiling the sauce down too much and it became quite thick. At first I thought what the hell? Then I tasted it and thought...Oh my!! I had inadvertently made tomato jam instead!! How divine!! I had actually been scouring resources looking for a tomato jam recipe but so many of them had so much sugar in them, which I didn't want. The
sauce recipe I followed was one I found on Pinterest from America's Test kitchen. It is simple, without too many ingredients and cooks down nicely. I have even made this twice, the second time cooking it down further on purpose and it turned out just as tasty!

Beautiful luscious jars of tomato jam!!

The original recipe calls to peel the tomatoes but I didn't do that. I washed the tomatoes, cored them and put them through the food processor. Other than that, I followed the recipe. (oh except for the fact that I didn't process that many tomatoes, I cut the recipe into fourths and did 1/4 of the amount...I just don't have the space for 4 pots of sauce and the water canner on my stove!)

Some of the tomatoes are from my garden and some I bought from the Farmers' market. Many of the farmers had bins labeled 'canning tomatoes'. These are just over ripe and extra juicy tomatoes and are cheaper than the others. Only $1/pound!!

We have used the jam to eat plain with bread, as a base for pizza bread, in sandwiches, as a dip for chicken, paired with ricotta or basil or both....the possibilities are endless.  So far the Boy's favourite sammy has been a waffle and grilled chicken breast with tomato jam...this of course is his own creation!

I fear not having anymore ripe tomatos on the plants but I'm sure cracking open a jar such as this mid winter will remind me of the summer bounty we were so fortunate to have this summer.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.