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:-)