Thigh Praise for Chicken and….Grilled Cheese Academy??
April 7, 2010

Ummmm, chicken thighs, my fave part of the chicken...

Ok, I was immediately mesmerized by Mark Bittman on the Today Show this morning….evidentally he loves chicken thighs, Matt Lauer admits it’s his favorite cut of chicken. And I love chicken thighs too….there, I’ve said it.  I’ve always kind of harbored an inferiority complex over my thigh love. I think it started when I read that the Junior League in Birmingham automatically knew  you weren’t member material if you put dark meat in your chicken salad. You simply had no taste, darling. Seriously, I read this and believed it and for all I know it’s  still true, but that didn’t change the fact that I  love chicken thighs best of all….they’re jucier, more flavorful and cheaper that the breast of chicken. Though forever scarred by the Junior League, I still only make chicken salad  with breast meat…some things from our past never leave us. The Today Show had some simple recipes to try with chicken thighs ….here’s a link if you want to watch.

The Bianca...dulce de leche, mascapone, and raspberries...

And I was reading in the Baltimore Sun this morning that a new restaurant has opened in Catonsville not too far from me, all about grilled cheese. Now, if there’s someone out there who doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwiches…seriously…I just feel sorry for you. Grilled Cheese and Co.  on Edmondson Avenue…here’s a link….is basically a sandwich place with lots of fresh ingredients…I haven’t been there yet, but the menu looks delish. And is it a conincidence that on the very day I read this , I also find a spectacular website for grilled cheese lovers like myself and for anyone who wants to kick their grilled cheese up a notch or three….called Grilled Cheese Academy….it’s a site sponsored by Wisconsin Cheese….but you could use cheese from anywhere really….and take a look on the link above  at some of their recipes. Unbelievable, like the Bianca pictured, with mascapone cheese, raspberry jam, and dulce de leche(that you can make yourself), on grilled cinnamon raisin bread. Please. Though in the interest of safety, it tells you to put the can of sweetened condensed milk in water and cook it for 90 minutes….important safety tip: the can should always be covered with water as it simmers, or it could explode. At best, this is messy. But I’ve done it myself several times, and while I am careful to make sure the can is underwater, I’ve never had one bust.  And the stuff inside is sooooo delectable. Added feature on the website: each recipe on Grilled Cheese Academy is described by The Office’s Jenna Fischer,  like this……..”The Brassierie…Wisconsin brie with braised short ribs and picked onions on grilled country French bread…it’s pretty much what heaven tastes like!” That’s what she said. And isn’t grilled cheese what Pam shared with Jim on their first date???

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A Day In New York
March 25, 2008

Miss me yesterday on the news? No? Whatever….I was in New York for the day after a busy, busy Sunday…

The day started early….up before 5 am(soooooo much earlier than my usual start to the day) to catch a 6:30 train to the Big Apple. Photographer Chuck Cochran  met there at the train station…me, as usual, with only moments to spare. I really don’t liketo stand around at the airport or the train station, so  I try to cut it as close as I can, but yesterday….well, let’s just say it was good the Acela was a couple of minutes late. Still, all’s well that ends well, right?

sarnoWe were on our way to talk to Dr. John Sarno of the Rusk Institute at NYU…he’s 84, but  an energetic 84…and has written four books and countless articles about the mind-body connection…how our brains can often be the source of much of the pain we feel in our backs, and elsewhere. Chronic back pain, migraines, all caused by something going on in our brains. He was fascinating….that story will be on in May….I think you’ll find it quite interesting.

One of his patients was there to speak with us (also a fascinating interview), and Stephanie directed us to a  place for a late lunch…called Artisanal Bistro at 2 Park Avenue, and we were starving it must be saidmenu…as we hadn’t had much breakfast. Obviously my eyes are glued on the menu. Now, if you’ve never straggled into  a nice restaurant with a photographer and all his gear in tow, then let me tell you how it is. Perhaps something like coming in with 3 toddlers, or maybe a couple of bikers…..the looks from the maitre’d and hostess…ummm…kind of sideways glances as if to say , “Do we really have to seat these people and what will we do with all  their stuff?” Thank goodness for coatrooms, though Mr. Camera, which isn’t small, goes everywhere we do. (Expensive you know…it wouldn’t do to come back and report to the boss….oh, by the way, we lost the camera in New York.)

But we finally get to a table, plunk down in our seats and heave a big sigh, make Mr. Camera comfy, and look over the menu….if you like cheese, you’ll be in heaven, after all it is a fromagerie…says so on the sign. Endless cheese flights(groupings of cheese tastings, not  cheese flying through the air, thank goodness)…and on another day I might have had one…but today it’s just lunch. As beet lovers,(seriously what are the odds that two people at lunch would both like beets?), we both choose the beet, endive, walnut and goat cheese salad, and it is divine. Really, really good. I mean, if you’re gonna go to New York, the least you can do is have a nice lunch, oui?

Then we cab it back to Penn Station, haul the gear on-board the train(OK, Chuck did the hauling but I did hold the doors),catch the Acela back to Baltie…and I went to sleep, even listening to Kanye West on my nano. That seems impossible I know, but there it is. Shows what early rising will do for you.