Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Addy’s Pirate Cupcakes

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Addy’s Pirate CupcakesYesterday was Adelaide’s third birthday. The theme of her party was “Pirates”. We had the party at Happy Joe’s on the NE side of Cedar Rapids. Nancy purchased some pirate party supplies from Oriental Trading Company. Included were 12 pirate themed candles. You can see them in the upper left of the picture. There were pirate flags, treasure chests, and skull and cross bone candles. I made 48 cupcakes, so on the other 36, I piped black tinted frosting to make the flag and white frosting to make the skull and cross bones. (Lower right of picture) The cake mix was from a box, but I made the frosting from the Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition – 2006: “Quick White Icing”. We only had about 8 cupcakes left over from yesterday. They were still good today. 🙂

Date Night: Riverside Casino

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Riverside Casino & Golf ResortYesterday was “date night”. Nancy surprised me yesterday afternoon. She called and asked if it was okay to change the plans. I left in the morning thinking that we were going to go to Biaggi’s for dinner. Instead, she made plans with another couple to go to Riverside Casino. The girls were going to have massages and then the foursome was going to eat at Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood, a restaurant in the resort, at 7:00pm. I said, sure, that was fine.

I had never been to Riverside yet, so I wanted to see what the casino was like.

I was impressed. I had only been to the other Iowa casinos when they first opened as riverboat casinos. And I was in a commercial for the Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino when it just had greyhound racing and slot machines. The Riverside casino had a “quality” look about it. Not something you expect in Riverside, Iowa.

I had a good time playing blackjack. This was my first time playing blackjack. (I don’t like playing slot machines.) I made $22.50. W00t!

Dinner was very good. We started with oyster’s Rockefeller. I had the Caesar salad, fillet mignon, medium rare, with lump crab béarnaise, asparagus with hollandaise, and a French Merlot. Nancy had the warm spinach salad, veal chop, medium, heartland corn, and white wine. For desert, Nancy had the white chocolate key lime tart and I had the raspberry créme brulee. We both had coffee with our desert. The food was excellent. This restaurant ranks up there as one of the best in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. And the price reflects the quality. 🙂

Overall, I liked the facilities a lot. It took me more than a year after its opening to visit. But I did sign up for the Resort Club, as I expect to be back.

Weekend Gourmet: Cheddar Cheese Soup

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

This past Sunday I made the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe from the “Joy of Cooking”.

This recipe was a relatively simple one. Basically, you start with a mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion). Add some flour to make a roux. Then add chick broth. (I used store-bought broth. I didn’t make my own chicken stock.) The soup, to this point, is simmered for 45 minutes while it thickens. Then you add some grated Cheddar, cream, and some dried mustard. That’s it.

I used a relatively expensive Cheddar cheese from Wisconsin. (Neighbor state to the northeast of Iowa.) You know it was expensive because it still had the red wax on it.

The resultant soup was delicious. All four of us liked it. (This is not very common that everyone in my family likes the same food. Usually someone [Sydney] won’t like it.)

Lemon-Anise Biscotti

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Lemon-Anise BiscottiI baked Lemon-Anise Biscotti for the first time on Thursday night. The recipe is from the cook book

Italian Classics by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

The recipe is very simple and doesn’t require too many pieces of equipment. It is basically made with flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and anise seed. The equipment required is an oven, a mixing bowl, whisk, and baking sheet with parchment paper. Biscotti are twice-baked Italian cookies. Once the batter is mixed, it is formed into a long loaf shape and baked. It is then sliced into individual pieces and baked again. This recipe doesn’t use butter, so the cookies should last a couple weeks if stored in an airtight container.

They are a relatively hard biscuit. They are perfect dunked in my favorite tea. The lemon and anise flavors are a unique taste that goes well with the English Breakfast tea that I prefer. The cookies have a nice amount of sweetness too. I would make this recipe again.