Monthly Archives: February 2011

The return of picnic season

The weather has taken a turn towards spring here in the south! To celebrate, my Honey and I decided to take a trip to Tybee Beach for a picnic.  Now being a northern by birth, the idea of heading to the beach in February is completely foreign, but I’m willing to embrace it.

February in the South almost makes August worth it.

It turned out to be a beautiful day and more than worth the drive!  There is something refreshing and recharging about a day at the beach.  In fact, I found it so relaxing I took a small catnap after our picnic.

Under the boardwalk

Our beach picnic adventure was a little last minute, so our menu was as well, but in my opinion, food always tastes better outdoors.  It was all tasty and gone by the end of the day.  The noodle salad was super quick and easy to make.  You can really throw in any veggies you have around.  It turned out to be a great picnic option.

Sundown at low-tide

The menu:

Thai peanut noodle Salad

1 tbsp peanut oil

2 tbsp ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

1.5 tsp salt

1 lb noodles of your choice (I used simple asian style noodles that I had around)

8 green onions, sliced

1 red pepper, chopped

2 large carrots, juliened

1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

1/4 cup basil, cut in ribbons

Heat peanut oil and lightly saute garlic, green onion, red pepper, and carrots.  Remove from heat and add ginger, sesame oil, balsamic, sugar, and salt.  Mix together until sugar and salt dissolved.  Cook noodles as package indicates.  Mix with dressing and veggies.  Top with basil and peanuts.  Serve cold or at room temp.

Dessert:

Fresh strawberries and blueberries

Ah yes, I'll definitely be back.


A Food Moment: Papillote in Savannah, GA

Over New Year’s I was visiting Savannah with my honey and I had a bit of a food epiphany at a little French Cafe, Papillote.  An adorable little place that we actually first stumbled across when walking home one night, long after it closed.  Something about its ambience caught our eyes, and after a quick perusal of their delectable menu, it was obvious that it was a must visit.  There was really one specific item on the menu that intrigued me: the lavender-apricot french macaroon. By noontime the next day we were back and thrilled to find the cafe had come alive with customers and sharp staff adeptly tending to their duties.  When traveling, I often find its the unexpected places and things you stumble upon that make the best memories, and this moment definitely fit the description.

The macaroon lived up to everything I had hoped.  Its perfect little purple package of lavender cookie with apricot filling was delightful.  The balance of the light and aromatic cookie, with the fruity taste of the apricot filling was perfect. There was so much going on in that tiny little package no bigger than a half dollar and so much care had been paid to make sure the layers of flavor balanced.  And the care and thought was not unique to the baked goods.  Everything is made from scratch on site.  The owners are very much there, hands-on, and knowledgeable.  There is nothing as refreshing as great quality food, made with a high level of detail and care.

Not the lavender cookie of my dreams, but delightful nonetheless. http://www.papillote-savannah.com

I didn’t get to try everything on the menu that I wanted, but rest assured, it will be a must visit spot the next time I find myself in Savannah.


Rosemary Infusion

So the other day I found myself with a handful of left over fresh rosemary sprigs.  They smelled so lovely that I just had to find away to use them.  With limited ingredients on hand to whip up an innovative culinary masterpiece, I turned instead the liquor cabinet. Yep,  I hit the bottle. The vodka bottle in fact.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I’m not a heavy drinker, by I enjoy a good cocktail every now and then.  I decided to drop several sprigs of the rosemary into 200mL of vodka and wait. Patiently. For 4 days.  Each day I gently agitated the bottle and gave it the concoction a good sniff to monitor its development.  By 4 days it smelled wonderful and I was all to eager to try it, but what to do with it?  I needed a savory cocktail option that could build off the strong and fragrant rosemary spirits, but not let them over power it.

Patience is a virtue, and not my favorite one.

In the end I settled on a Rosemary Bloody Mary and it was excellent.  In fact, regular Bloody Mary’s just seem to be lacking now.  The Rosemary vodka gave a new depth to the drink without detracting from all that is classic about the Bloody Mary.  The best part may be the simplicity of it all.  The only thing required besides rosemary and vodka was patience.  I’ll be the first to admit that patience isn’t my strongest quality, but even I could handle this one.

Rosemary Vodka

Add several sprigs of fresh rosemary to 200mL of vodka.  Cap and let sit for 3-5 days.  Agitate daily and monitor infusion by scent.  Once it reaches desired strength, filter through a coffee filter to remove rosemary and sediment.

Cheers!