meatless monday: mac and cheese pie

one of my favorite places to go right now and mainly for the yummy food and atmosphere, is the jig and reel in the old city.  its a scottish bar and apparently in scotland they like to put everything into pie crust…..genius!!!!!  i’m currently in love with their macaroni pie.  mac and cheese baked in pie crust like a chicken pot pie.  for meatleass monday i ate some of these delicious leftovers.  the pie normally comes with benton’s bacon on top, but i had already eaten all that so making this perfect for no meat monday.

mmmmmmmmm

 

 

dinner time with mom and dad

the parental units came to visit over the weekend.  inter-mixed in the tours of historic plantations, shopping, and going to movies, we ate some spectacular food.

 

Pasta Dinner made at home:   the first night dad and i wiped up a meal of pasta, salad, and bread.  secretly what i was most excited about was the frozen coconut cake for dessert.  these cakes i associated with mom, and home, and i became a tad bit determined we have one for dessert.

dad cooking away

 

mom & dad's first night in knox

 

sssoooo yummy

 

can't go wrong with one of these cakes

 

ye olde steakhouse:   When listing off options of where we could go get dinner for saturday night on the list was Ye Olde Steakhouse.  dad’s face let up when i said old steakhouse where they will basically cut your steak to whatever size you want.  with glowing eyes he asked “when was the last time you had steak?!”  at that i knew we had to go.  and i’ll admit it was damn good.  i don’t eat a lot of red meat, but do enjoy a really good steak and they did it perfectly.

ye olde steakhouse had dad at their cheese and crackers

 

salad and spoon bread to start the meal

 

rib eye with sweet potato

 

chicken and potatoes:  on sunday we spent the whole day in asheville exploring the biltmore mansion.  dinner for sunday night was yummy but also quick and easy.  a roasted chicken from the grocery store, some mashed potatoes, salad, and a bottle of wine from the biltmore winery.

 

craving the chicken

 

ready to eat

 

dad went for the fancy wine

 

me drinking the wine

 

 

 

 

the infamous litton’s pie

as part of our pie crawl in knoxville, the one place that kept coming up for a go to place for pie was litton’s.  litton’s is a knoxville institution that has been around since the 1940s, specializing in burgers and baked goods.  steph, john and i timed our pie adventure there poorly because their coconut pie, which has been featured in better homes and gardens, was all sold out for tailgating.

as a second batch of family was here the weekend, we hit up litton’s for lunch and this time they had pie.  dad and i split a slice of the famous coconut pie.  i would give it 3 stars out of 4.  crust was definitely prebought, size of slice was adequate, and unlike the last piece of coconut pie i recently ordered, wasn’t too sweet, nice combination of consistency and taste.  but definitely not mind-blowing pie.

i don’t know why pie is such a frustrating experience in knoxville.  i couldn’t even get a good pic of the piece of pie.  i’m starting to blame the south as a whole.  all they seem to want is banana pudding.  the midwest i’m beginning to conclude is the king of pie making in america.

Stephanie, Lynley and Jessica Make Homemade Potato Chips (and other activites)

Pre-Potato Chip Making- Front Yard Happy Hour!

Champange with bitters and a sugar cube, (bubbly, sweet and only slightly bitter, just like the Farris girls)

 Potato Chip Making

Slicing the unpeeled potatos paper thin...

Jessica eating raw potato slices!!

 

 

Raw potato chips (sweet potato too) soaking in salt water.

Giant sauce pot turned into homemade fry daddy. The chips need to float!

You fry a ladle full at a time. Which takes a while, so that leaves plenty of time to...

...bust a move.

Fry those chips until they are good and brown!

4 rounds of chips later...

Puffy two-sided chips make Stephanie very happy.

Veggie burgers and homemade chips! Huzzah!

John's all yellow plate (do not show the food pryamid this!)

Dinner and movie (who needs a table?)

Post- Potato Chip Making

Our out-of-season coveted French Silk Pie Concretes (kept safe in our deep freeze.)

Once Lynley was out of custard, she was ready to be shipped home to Tenessee!

Stephanie’s Life in Food: Almost everything that I ate in September

Crown room blueberry pancake

Veggie hummas sandwich and vanilla cupcake with SPRINKLES!

Giant glass of wine

John's Space Age Chocolate Twist donut

Steak 'n' Shake grilled cheese with pickle and tomato AND fries

Light night slice of cheese

Lemon cream pie

Pecan pancake with a sad looking egg and lonely biscuit

Chocolate peanut butter pie

I don't remember, but...

Smells like Elvis.

Veggie omelette with biscuit and grits

This is what a regrettable pecan pie looks like...beware.

AMAZING! Lynley's chocolate cherry pie with custard

Who's on the road again? Another Steak 'n' Shake grilled cheese and fries

Cheesy Pirate Booty...yeah, well...

Cheese pizza from Pizza Shoppe

All the snacks I ate in the car...

Sauteed vegetables with rice and salad

Berry-Banana Smoothie

Taco Night! Veggie tacos with mexi rice and corn

Crown room pancake (the best of September)

Lentil loaf with Amy's cheese shells, carrots and pan seared garlic brussel sprouts

Sheridan's French Silk Concrete-- oh my lord!

P&G Tea with dry cereal

Italian vegetable and bean soup with homemade bread

Loose Pizza- over-roasted tomatoes with garlic, fresh mozzarella, and multi-grain pizza dough

Leftover Indian food!

Farris Slush

Veggie dog with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, snap peas and deviled eggs

Malt Cup from the ice cream truck

Pasta with oven roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

Giant happy cup of British tea

2nd giant cup of British tea, still happy

Italian marinated grilled tofu and cheese sandwich

Grilled marinated tofu with chedder, deviled egg and blue/green fruits and veggies

Pizza from pizza bella

Veggie tacos!

Crown room pancake

Sci-fy Drive-in Night: Hilary's veggie burger, homemade french fries and John's chocolate peanut butter shake

Leftover grilled tofu sandwich with baked Cheetos

Egg salad sandwich on homemade bread with sugar snap peas and Crown room chocolate pudding

All that was left of a Cascone's dinner.

Cinnamon roll dippers

Dose Reales huevos rancheros

Homemade pizza with lentil loaf and breadsticks

Toast and tea!

Hillbilly Shepard's pie with biscuits and carrots

Mini pie tasting

Leftover pizza on an Edward plate

Jamie Oliver's Chow Mein Noodles and salad

Cheese grits and a biscuit

Grilled provolone cheese, Italian vegetable soup, apple slice and two fries

Salad with apples and cheese

Veggie tacos strike again!

hmmmmmm....

Autumn Solstice Sweet Potato pasta with garlic and maple sugar pecans

Soup at Carol's

Tart-ling apple, apple butter pie with Julie's ice cream

V's pasta with olives and tomato sauce

Half of a chocolate croissant and tea

Black beans, rice and corn tortilla's

Drumstick!

Harvest rice

Corn on the cob

Apple caramel pie

Beer (after digging up sweet potatoes)

Nutritious nuggets, Amy's shells' and white cheese, peas and carrots and milk

Jason's Deli Salad

Free swirl ''tiger tail" cone

Ramon noodles, veggie chik nuggets and honey

Golden Crown Room Pancake

Red bean and roasted califlower soft shell taco with rice

Homemade bread with peanut butter, raisins and strong tea

meatless monday: toasted ravioli

the south is known for its love of deep fried food.  fact…at the salad bar in the grocery store the side opposite salad ingredients is all a variety of fried foods and condiments to go with those foods.  shocking for me when i had a sudden craving for toasted ravioli and couldn’t find any fried pasta around.  i searched every pizza/italian restaurant menu i could find along with checking at the grocery store in the frozen section.  i became suspicious they don’t have toasted ravioli.  to confirm this i asked a born and raised knoxvillian about toasted ravioli, the response……what’s that?

meatless monday then became a challenge of making toasted ravioli.  first issue how to cook the frozen cheese ravs but not boil them so they could cook longer as they fried.  solution i rinsed them off in HOT i mean HOT water till they got thawed and got soft.  then came the basics for breading and frying, eggs and italian bread crumbs.

the assembly line

to tell when a ravioli is cooked, if you are boiling them, it  is when they float.  frying them is much the same thing i noticed, instead of floating they sort of puff out forming little toasted pillows. plus they are all golden brown.

fry away

these sort of cooking adventures can turn out wonderful or be huge messy disasters.  this one was the first. i heated up some paul newman’s tomato and basil for a dipping sauce sprinkled the whole shabang with parm and a little oregano/basil mix and enjoyed a midwestern treat.

sunday night dinner: october 16, 2011 — curry-jerk chicken

lets set the mood

i have a theory that if you add curry to anything it will make it better, so far i haven’t been proven wrong.  for sunday i made one of my favorite things a giant bowl of yumminess, curry-jerk chicken on rice.  it makes me happy.  potatoes, sweet potatoes, jerk chicken, peanut butter, and of course curry.  the only thing that made it a tad bit better was the giant glass of red wine i had with it.  nnnnooommmmmm

now that’s fall — broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl

wednesday was a seriously fallish day.  overcast, rainy, leaves falling which got me excited for soup season. in celebration of soups becoming a regular part of my cooking routine again and maybe being a little inspired by the kc ren fest, i put on my fall apron and began chopping up ingredients for the soup.

reds, oranges, and browns that's a fall apron

the best part i love about making soups is how they can cook all day.  by the time dinner time rolls around i can barely stand it and have to dig in. i decided to venture and try something i’ve never done at home before, the bread bowl.  i got french boule bread at the grocery store.  having eaten a ton of these over the years at panera i thought “no problem, just cut out the middle, maybe scoop out a little bread, and volá, soup bowl”  this is trickery than it seems.  first i cut the hole to small, which required a lot of scooping out of bread, so sad.  what i finally concluded from the bread bowl (having made a second now with leftovers) is you got to cut that hole about the same size as the loaf.  needless to say it was still yummy and to go with the theme of fall i treated myself to a new belgium seasonal brew the Hoptober ale. oh soups i have missed you so!