whats for dinner

A month ago we decided to use one of our restaurant.com coupons at a restaurant.  So we checked around and tried to select a place that we had not been to before.  So while sitting in the car eating some Carvel (which we decided was more important at the moment than eating dinner) we picked a hotel restaurant from a selection of Indian, Mexican, Peruvian and Italian. Why a hotel?  Well, it was different, it might have a view and well it was a hotel in Rye Brook NY, how bad could it be.  The reviews were average as people said, you expect what you expect from a hotel restaurant.  I figured, what is the worst that could happen, we never go back!!

So we proceeded onto the Atrium at Doral Arrow Wood.  It was hidden away in Rye Brook NY.  It had nice grounds and I just thought about frolicking around on the grounds, spinning around in my dress, which on that day, was rather airy.  It was quiet and well we know that either, no one is staying there or it is just one of those places and people don’t want any noise.

So upon entering we were directed to the Atrium through a little bit of a convoluted way as we had a baby carriage.  We arrived there only to see that it was closed and the Pub at the hotel was entertaining the “crowd.”  We decided to check out the Pub.  Oh and did we.  We entered and a bubbly chick asked if we wanted to be seated but we said we would look at the menu first.  We did and it seemed like a regular fast food stuff.  Not to mention the uneven lighting and the large space in front, which can only be used for dancing or a pool table, but well I don’t know.  What would you used it for?  Then we quickly read the room and it was geriatric city.  As bad as that sounds it really was that with a few other people splattered in.  Yeah, so in the end we left and went back out as we came.  So no dinner yet.

We sat in the car, watched a few people come and go, changed our daughter’s diaper and then went back to the restaurant hunt.  We decided to try another restaurant in another town. So we took the back route as per the GPS  (GPS is funny sometimes) but we got to see the back of some of the towns and well, what a difference a road makes.  We took a long windy road and then eventually ended up winding under and around the highway–so weird as we watched it on the screen. We entered a place called COS COB, which we only drive though on the highway but never in.  It felt like Westport CT.  COS COB is in CT by the way.  The roads were small, the homes quaint and the turns, only for the sober please, is all I can say.  When we finally arrived it was a small place on the edge of the road and it had a small parking lot but valet parking.

We were taken in the back and well for me sometimes I wonder why all the way in the back.  But, for this maybe it was a larger space and not the bar room per se.  Plus there were tons of people in the back so my theory goes out the window.  We were served by teams of waiters and they were extremely helpful, even giving my husband a lesson on coffee. (shows how not up to date we were–no excuse for me as I am a culinary student).  Here is the deal on that–I do not like coffee so why be an expert. Well in this case at the expense at saving face, possibly it would have been best to not ask them about coffee since most people get educated from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and what ever fancy cafe they like.

The food was great and we finished it all.  Originally it looked like a lot.  However, we did it the Italian way and stretched our meal time so we just cleaned the plates.    The room was dimly lit but warm in a old Irish watering hole, class-ified, in a way, but in an Italian joint.  So I had the triple meat ziti–Ribs, Meatballs, and Sausage.  My husband had the Cavatelli and broccoli rab.  We did not even have room for dessert though at the beginning we thought we might have to get it to make our coupon minimum.  My husband ordered a beer so that took care of that.  The place was called Louie’s.  It is definitely a neighborhood joint and people routinely gather there.  I always said to my husband that we do not have a place.  Our Place–where we return to time after time and know the people and they remember us.  That was something I always wanted as well as as a nice community where my neighbors knew me and we all watched out for each other.  (oh well, too many wants)

Louie’s–I give it an 8.  It was good enough and satisfying enough.  Price, well, it is what it is.  We spent about 30 bucks total in the end–tax and tip, and the balance from the coupon. (1/2 off)

Visit some time but not too much.  I get the feeling the people like to have visitors sometimes.

Happy Eating.

Bread trials and tribulations

I was never a bread baker and to my knowledge my mom still is not either.  She was used to making one kind of bread and would occasionally strike out and make a regular white loaf.  Well in my time at home (maternity leave) I have been experimenting with different breads.  I am trying to find easy ones that can add some flavor.  (I must confess, I worked at a company that made fresh bread everyday so I was able to have a variety of breads often and would share the wealth with my mom and sister from time to time.)

So I started with a regular white bread.  I moved on to the what they call “health bread” also know as whole wheat bread.  I moved on to Anadama bread, which has cornmeal in it.  It is a denser cornbread, or rather dense bread with a hint of corn texture and color.  I liked it.  It was done in a cake pan rather than a loaf pan. My latest bread was a brioche.  So I think I did not “kill it.”  It has a slight brioche texture and the taste was brioche-ish.  When I first put it in the oven after 5 minutes I remembered the egg wash.  OMG, how do you forget that.  It is like taking the cake to the party and forgetting the frosting, Well maybe not that extreme but maybe the candles or to put the name and message on the cake. In that scenario you are using parchment paper cones to pen some melted chocolate that you found in local supermarket to quickly put the name, even, on the cake two minutes before the happy birthday song.  Life is exciting.

Cooking always amazes me, makes me laugh and makes me cry, but it never has a dull moment.  Case in point–already prepping all the ingredients including salt and forgetting that, so therefore adding a second round of salt.  Here is the kicker–not adding the sugar..

So I have to try the Brioche again.  I tried it in the distant past but it took a while and since then I was turned off by the Brioche process.  At that point, I would go to a bakery in search of it.

Oh and to come I will let you know about a new bread to me.  So the story goes–I have left over canned white beans (Filipino dessert ingredient), a lot and what will I do with them??  I could wait till we have HALO HALO again but  we have more than enough.  I thought maybe a cake or bread possibly.  I found a recipe for White Bean bread.  It is like a regular bread but has about a cup to 2 cups of beans. I found a few versions.  It is protein packed so that is always good.

Until then–bread power!!!

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Here is the Anadama bread recipe–Sharing is caring

adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard

Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Combine the remaining water, butter, molasses, and salt in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm. Stir into the yeast mixture. Add the cornmeal and mix well. Add the flour, one cup at a time, and beat vigorously; the dough will be sticky and hard to mix.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Begin kneading with well-floured hands, adding flour sparingly to achieve a smooth dough that is springy to the touch. The dough will still be a bit sticky. Shape into a ball, put in a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down. Shape into one loaf for a 10 inch pan or two loaves for two 8×4 inch pans. Cover and rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 and bake for 35 minutes more. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and top. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack in the pan for 1 hour, then remove from pan and cool completely.

If you want the bean bread recipe, let know.