(Welcome to my focus on food blog This is an attempt to pull all my cooking, restaurant, recipe and food adventures off of my main blog, Kathieys World, and put them in one easy to find location. I am going to start by going to the beginning of my home blog and transferring all the food related info to its new home. Wish me luck, I have no idea how to do this but here goes.....
Hope you enjoy:-)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Restaurant Review...Dinner at the Durham Hotel with Erica

Got a text from Erica, she wanted to go to the Durham Hotel in downtown Durham for dinner. 

Great, I thought, let's go!  Let me get my camera....

"A MID-CENTURY MODERN HOTEL IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN, THE DURHAM IS A VIBRANT DESTINATION, INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT OF ITS NAMESAKE CITY."
I had wine
 Erica had Ginger Ale...It was great.

We looked over the menu and placed our order.  We decided to share the Cured Meat and Cheese Board.
CURED MEAT $18
4-year Chapel Hill country ham, pickled wild shrimp, Sam’s beef tongue, 
chicken liver pâté, pickled okra, Tin’s mustard, red onion,smoked king mackerel, everything crackers 
As I was studying the menu I realized what we thought were green beans were actually okra. 
  Not sure which was beef tongue but I believe it may be the meat in the foreground. 
Loved the pickled shrimp.

CHEESE BOARD
$12/15 
QUATTRO PORTONI Blu di Bufala 
FORMAGGI CIRESA Taleggio
BOXCARR Cottonseed 
SAINT-HILAIRE Pont l’Évêque
VIEILLE Ossau Iraty 











Looking at the names of the cheeses above I can't tell you which ones we had.  I will break our board down into layman's terms, from left to right.  Blue cheese, a type of goat cheese combo, 
apples, brie and bread:-)


"The Roof at The Durham is a year-round gathering spot for guests and locals alike, offering one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city. Here you will find original, handcrafted cocktails, extensive wine and beer offerings and a seasonal raw bar and small kitchen menu."

We ate in the dining room on the lower level.  Erica has been to the rooftop and said the views are amazing.  We took the elevator up to take a look....



We had a very nice time at the Durham.  The food was unique and for me a new culinary experience.  
The staff was very friendly.  We felt well cared for and welcomed.
 I can't wait to try the rooftop lounge.  
Happy Travels and Adventures everyone.
KathieyV:-)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from Damn Delicious

I found a recipe on Pinterest that I could not wait to try.  Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from a site called Damn Delicious and it was:-)

I gathered my ingredients...


Below is her recipe.  In red are my comments...
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings

So cozy, so comforting and just so creamy. Best of all, this is made in 30 min from start to finish - so quick and easy! (She must be a very fast cook.  It took me far longer for the prep time..)
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
Instructions
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken thighs, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.


"Did you know that most of the table mushrooms we eat are all of the same variety? Its name is Agaricus bisporus, according to Wikipedia, and it includes portobello, cremini, and white button mushrooms.The Kitchn
The cremini mushroom, then, is just in between these two varieties. It's a moderately mature version of the white button mushroom, which is why it has a similar flavor. It's younger than the portobello, but still related, which is why these are sometimes sold as "baby bella" or "baby portobello" mushrooms."The Kitchn


It was a yummy soup.  I would give it a 9.5/10 on my cooking scale.  Rich and savory.  The thing that took the most time was the prep.  All the chopping and preliminary cooking to bring it all together, but it was worth it.
Happy cooking everyone!
KathieyV:-)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Restaurant Review...Primal Food and Spirits plus a Wine Dinner Adventure

I have heard good things about this restaurant for some time.  When Melissa if I had been there I said "not yet", so we decided to meet there one night after work.

"At Primal we take gluten sensitivities seriously, and representing the needs of the gluten-free community is very important to us. Simply put, it is part of our identity, and it is exactly what makes us different from everyone else. Our kitchen is 100% gluten-free, 
meaning there is no possibility of cross-contamination."
(quote from their site)
 I loved the variety of glasses.  I remember Melissa had a Moscato and I believe I had the Chardonnay.
The restaurant has a rustic warm feel.  Very nice.

GRILLED AND GLAZED SHRIMP GUAVA PINEAPPLE RELISH ARUGULA 
Yummy:-)
CHICKEN N’ DUMPLINGS BRAISED CHICKEN CREAM HERBED DUMPLINGS 
Melissa ordered this.  I had a taste.  I would call it comfort food.
I ordered...
GRILLED SALMONMISO-CITRUS GLAZE PINEAPPLE SALSA /BROCCOLI STICKY RICE 
My photo did not turn out, but it was good:-)
We shared the
BAKED APPLE GRANOLA CRUMBLE almond & honey granola / coconut ice cream 
I loved the ice cream.
 While we were there we noticed an upcoming event.  It was a wine dinner hosted at Primal.  I had never been to one and Melissa said she had not been either.  So what the heck, we decided to go.
Primal Fall Harvest Wine Dinner
The event was held in a room near the back of the restaurant.
Nicely decorated.
The people slowly arrived...

 The Menu
Several of the items were new to me. Such as Chestnut Soup and 
Cippolini onions.  The wines were not the typical ones that I am accustom to buying
which made me realize I have a lot to learn about wine.

This, for me,  this was the highlight of the evening the Chestnut soup.  If I saw this on the menu I would not have thought to order it but now I will.  Amazingly delicious!!!!
I find Quail difficult to eat.  This is the second time in my life I have had it and it is nearly all bones.  The flavor was nice, but I am just not a quail person.  I am sure there is fine art to eating this delicacy but as of yet I have not developed the needed skill set:-)
The beef short ribs were lovely.
I enjoyed the dessert.  Especially the tapioca pudding.   
Anything custard or pudding like is my weakness, along with other things:-)
Thanks for a wonderful evening Melissa.  We must do it again soon!
Adding to my wine vocabulary with the help of Wikipedia...
Old vine (Frenchvieilles vignesGermanalte Reben), a common description on wine labels, indicates that a wine is the product of grape vines that are notably old. There is a general belief that older vines, when properly handled, will give a better wine.
Beaujolais (French pronunciation:  [bo.ʒɔ.lɛ]) is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins

Interesting.  I must admit the French pronunciation did not help me at all.  
I will have to ask my daughter how to say it she took French.

Get out and try a new Restaurant.  If you are in south Durham I suggest you give Primal Food and Spirits a try.  You won't be disappointed.
Happy travels and adventures!
KathieyV:-)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Recipe Review, Bell Peppers and Broccoli from Readers Digest....."Fettuccine Primavera"

I enjoy Readers Digest because of the short stories and tidbits of information.  I was reading their food category and came across an article on Superfoods and your appearance.  This is what they said about Bell Peppers and Broccoli....

Bell Peppers and Broccoli
Vitamin C increases production of collagen, the skin's building block.  
In other words, fewer fine lines around your eyes and mouth.  
(Hmm, I wonder if it will take away the fine lines if I start eating it now?:-)

I decided I should find a recipe with both bell peppers and broccoli.  I consulted Google.  It did not take long to find one. Here is the recipe.....

Fettuccine Primavera from BUITONI

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
Recipe By:BUITONI(R)

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 ounces) package BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Fettuccine, cooked according to package directions, kept hot
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
   
  • 1 cup NESTLE(R) CARNATION(R) Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Heat water in medium saucepan to boiling. Add broccoli, carrots and bell pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 to 7 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour. Gradually add evaporated milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, cayenne and black pepper until cheese is melted. Toss with pasta. Add vegetables; stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Which wine should I choose?  I decided to go with the Chardonnay.

I enjoyed this recipe.  It was cheesy and yummy.  I wold give it  8/10 on my cooking scale.  It needed a bit more flavor.  I would also add more veggies.  I have leftover fresh broccoli and red bell peppers.  I think I will cook them up and serve them with my remaining Fettuccine Primavera.

The article did suggest that you eat 1 cup of fresh or 1/2 cup of cooked bell peppers and/or broccoli per day.  Not sure if I can do that but I can increase the amount that I do consume.  

As always good advice from Readers Digest.
Happy reading, cooking and eating everyone!
KathieyV:-)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Restaurant Review....Peak City Grill and Bar in Apex NC

One of my favorite restaurants is Peak City Grill and Bar in Apex NC.  I love the ambience and the food.  Several months ago Erica and I ventured to Apex and enjoyed a delicious lunch.  Below are my photos and some quotes from their website in italics. 

                           "It has a rich history, which began with its construction in 1905." 
                                            "Excellence & charm since 2004"

 I love the interior.  Warm and rustic....
"The building consists of 9500 square feet of which 5400 square feet is occupied by the restaurant." 
                   "The church pews which provide the seating for the large booths are 
                      from a 100-year-old church in Warrenton, North Carolina."

 I have been to Peak City Grill several times.  The food is always delightful. Erica had the fish tacos and I had a chicken salad with avocado.  We also shared a slice of Goat Cheese Cheesecake.  Yummy!
        "Our menu changes frequently, so we can provide fresh ingredients in our seasonal dishes."





 The bar is beautiful....

To quote one of the Chefs....
"Fantastic, chef crafted food in a magnificently restored turn of the century (19th) hardware store. Fabulous granite bar, great artwork, 16 ft. high original tin ceilings, and incredible food! 
Full-service bar to compliment all dining options."
This is one of my top restaurant choices.  I will definitely be back.
If you are visiting Apex NC, I suggest you take the time to visit Peak City Grill and Bar.  You won't be disappointed.
KathieyV:-)