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???

Back from New York….it’s quiet there…
September 17, 2008

All packed for New York...what did I forget?

All packed for New York...what did I forget?

Spent a long weekend in New York…sounds decadent but it was a definite budget trip. Here’s how I roll…when my son is who lives in the West Village is out of town, and he was, we go to NY and stay in his apartment. Free lodging…kind of….we are expected to leave gifts in return. And for the first time ever, I took Megabus! Their buses leave hourly for NY from the White Marsh Park and Ride…and if you book relatively far ahead(a few weeks) you can get away with maybe, a 20 buck round trip. Not too bad. Here’s what I learned about Megabus, for those of you who may consider a trip.

Waiting on line for Megabus..bring something to read.

Waiting on line for Megabus..bring something to read.

#1.

Get there early. If you have a 9:30 am bus arrive by 9. Why? Because something I didn’t know is that there may not always be room for you and it’s first come first served. I truly assumed when you booked, you had a seat. Not so, at least not on this bus….some folks booked on the 8:25 (and the bus was a half hour late), didn’t get on until the 9:25 came in. That was a little unsettling.

#2.They do have wifi, but there’s no plug-in. So you better have a good battery for your computer.

#3. They do have bathrooms, but it’s like a port-o-potty…just blue stuff in the bottom…no flush. That wasn’t too bad, but there’s also no sink to wash your hands, though they did have a limited supply of antiseptic wipes. Oh, and I had to ask the driver for toilet paper before we left as there was none. He did have a supply.

#4.Other than that, the ride was fine…we made good time…in NY by noonish. Dropped us off at Penn Station on 8th Avenue, and that was that. And compared to the stress of driving and the expense of Amtrak, it’s a hassle free bargain.

No, I didn’t see shows or sightsee or shop…just hung out in the village. Walked around, found a few really good and pretty inexpensive restaurants….you know, kind of like I live there. Only I don’t. Recommendations for eats?  

Gottino in West Village

Gottino in West Village

Gottino…new wine bar on Greenwich Ave….very chic, small plates, great cheese, glasses of wine-good! Perilla  on Jones Street for brunch…again minimalist, good food(fabulous grilled-or as they called it “griddled” cheese). And it’s Perilla soundingthe l’s ….it’s actually an herb…which I have never heard of!  And my favorite find, on Charles Ave just off Greenwich Ave…El Charro Espanol..small, intimate Spanish place with wonderful Sangria and Paella…and I’m pretty tough to please when it comes to that famous saffron, rice and seafood dish. Oh, and the place is a bargain. Jack’s Coffee in the morning…very earthy but oh so fashionable and javalicious.  On the weekdays, you might see a movie star there, but they disappear on the weekends. Lots of beautiful skinny girls in summer dresses and fall boots…that was all the rage this weekend. But man, those boots looked hot, and I mean sweaty hot, when the temps got close to 90!

But it was also a quiet sober weekend in the Big Apple…that’s where the economic debacle is hitting the hardest, at least for the moment. Lots of people worried about their jobs, their firms, how the whole mess may impact them. Of course, many people are feeling that same uncertainty right now. It’s not a good feeling. Not at all.