You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Halfway through vacation

Forgot to bring the camera to download some pics but we're having a great time. Sophie is enjoying her view of the beach and eyelevel views of the pelicans (which she barks at). Foods been good, weather has been outstanding. And best of all we still have one more week to go.
I'll try to post some pics next week.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vacation Time

We're heading to our favorite Florida location this Friday for two glorious weeks of vacation. I'll try to post while we're there but I don't know if I'll be able to put up any pictures.

For weeks, we mulled over where to go and in the end relaxation and a need to not be a 'tourist' won out. In the running were the Corn Islands in Nicaragua, a cruise through the Panama Canal, and Scotland.

Why did these places lose out to Florida? The Corn Islands sounded interesting but I'd feel the need to do stuff; all of the dates for cruises (on lines we liked) weren't going to fit in our schedule; and Scotland was going to kill us on the exchange rate. But the overall reason for Florida is that we get to bring Sophie with us. And as you can see in this picture, she makes a wonderful co-pilot.

She also would like you to visit Sweetnick's this Sunday for Weekend Dog Blogging and to be sure you vote for her in the Alexandria Times Pet of the Month Contest. It's turned out to be a heated race between her and one other dog.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pork - 2 Ways

I bought a pork roast and trimmed it out leaving me with a nice little white meat roast and a thin section of dark meat. I decided to marinate each in different marinades.

For the roast, the marinade included pomegranate syrup, 3 dried chipotle peppers, and a Meyer lemon. I didn't add the lemon until it was time to roast the meat but I'm sure it wouldn't have hurt to add it to the marinade from the beginning. This baked at 375 for about 35 minutes.

For the darker cut of meat I went with a little more of an Asian flare with Sesame oil, chunky peanut butter and soy sauce. Since this cut of meat was thin, I sautéed it in a skillet.

I also sautéed some Shanghai tips with some soy sauce and hot peppers to serve with the pork as well as a nice pot of rice. It was a nice filling meal. Both of the marinated meats were distinctly different in flavor but equally good. Jim and I thought the addition of some more hot spice would have been good. His choice: habanero, mine: red pepper flakes or Sriracha hot sauce.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Sophie needs your vote

We interrupt our regularly scheduled food posts for this special announcement:
The Alexandria Times, a local paper, hosts a "Pet of the Month" contest on it's website. I entered Sophie for April. There is some good competition but with all my faithful readers casting their vote for our girl, she's sure to win! It's as easy as clicking on the link below and selecting Sophie, then clicking on the 'cast my vote' button.
Pet of the Month Contest


Saturday, April 07, 2007

April Snow

Did someone forget to tell the weatherman that it's April? We woke up this morning with SNOW on the ground. Yes, snow! Before it melted, I grabbed the camera and went outside to take a few pictures of the spring flowers in both mine and my neighbors front gardens to share with you.
A pansy in my garden

Neighbor's daffy's and tulips

This is the crab apple out our back window.

Hope the Easter bunny doesn't freeze tonight!


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dinner and Reminiscing

Dinner the other night brought back memories of a restaurant that will always be a favorite of ours even though it's been gone for several years. The restaurant was Honolulu, a quirky, immediately welcoming place. For years we drove by it but weren't sure what it was. For one thing, there were no windows, just a brick exterior with a sign over the door that simply said, "Honolulu." We thought it might be a strip club since it had no windows or mention at all on the sign of it being a restaurant.

Then we read something in the paper about this cool tiki bar in our neighborhood called Honolulu .....omg! Who knew? Well, apparently a lot of people except us. But that didn't last long.

One evening shortly after reading the article, we went to check it out. Once inside it was dark, soothingly dark with strains of Don Ho music playing in the background. A tiki bar (with thatched roof) was just inside the front with owner David Chan at the helm. A former bartender at Trader Vic's, David knew a thing or two about cocktails.......very potent, very tasty cocktails. His wife, Anna, would always smile as she greeted you then found a comfy booth or table for you to sit and soak in the tiki atmosphere.

The drinks were unbelievable. One drink, the Flaming Volcano (not us in the picture) for 2 or more arrives at the table in a large bowl-like vessel with a volcano rising up from its center. Surrounding the volcano was a moat of alcoholic delight...rum, rum, and more rum with some fruit juice thrown in. The finishing touch was the 151 proof rum sitting in the top of the volcano that was lit when brought to the table. Oh, you were also given these straws that were about 2 feet long so you could sip from the moat without having to get too close to the flames. Other drinks we enjoyed (many, many times) were the Suffering Bastard (Jim's favorite), the Peach Punch (my favorite), the Scorpion, the Fog Cutter, and the Puka Punch.

The food was old-school Americanized Chinese and it was good. Eggrolls, crab rangoon, hot & sour soup and the Pu-Pu Platter (with flames) were favorite starters. Main dishes like Peking duck (amazingly good Peking duck), Shrimp with lobster sauce, and a myriad of others often graced our table. There was even a dish that was served table side that was set ablaze just before serving as well as a flaming dessert (you see a pattern here, don't you.)

But after 26 years, the restaurant closed. Upcoming construction for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge claimed the restaurant and several other businesses a few years ago. For months after the announcement of their closing date, crowds of people came to pay homage to this wonderful place. In the last few days, it wasn't unusual to stand in line for 2 hours to get in. And we were among the mourners. Our last trip was two days before they closed. We had a wonderful meal, a drink too many and soaked in the tiki-ness one last time. In all the visits, there was only one bad thing I could the summer months, after a few tiki drinks one would have quite a buzz which wasn't so bad since it was nice and dark and cozy inside. But if you walked outside before 9 pm, it was still light out! How wrong is it to be that buzzed and it still be light out?! It's wrong, so wrong. But it never stopped us from going back for more. They now have a website where you can see pictures of the inside.
So back to our dinner the other night. We made a chicken, rice cake and green bean stirfry finished with a stirfry sauce from none other than Honolulu! You see, when they closed, they decided to market some of their signature items such as Mai Tai mix, salad dressing and stir fry sauce. They even sell tiki glassware and gift baskets so if you need a tiki-fix, check them out. There are also some great pictures of the restaurant before it closed.

But again, I digress. Back to dinner, I thinly sliced the chicken, sauted it with garlic until it was done through, then turned off the heat while I waited for the green beans and rice cakes to cook (I cooked the fresh green beans with the rice cakes in boiling water for about 10 minutes). Once they were done, I drained them and added them to the chicken along with some fresh sliced green onion. Toss with some stir fry sauce, hot pepper flakes, sesame seeds and serve. It was a delicious way to remember a favorite place.

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