Japanese Tuna Salad

Japanese Tuna Salad

Japanese Tuna Salad

After a rocky start to a 39th birthday week I decided to get out of dodge and see what I could find out in the wilds of North Carolina. 

Things I Learned This Weekend Traveling In The South: 

1. There are few problems a Reba McEntire impersonating drag queen, whiskey, and riding crop can't solve. 

2. The incorrect response to learning someone's cat is a hermaphrodite is, "your cats fucked up."

3. If for only a few minutes, the right meal can calm your tits. And the Japanese Tuna Salad at Lucette Grace in Raleigh, NC did just that. See photo above.  

Jujyfruits and Poppers

This weekend I found myself on some misadventures in Raleigh, NC with two good friends who live down that way. After entering a bar where I was branded with the over enthusiastic "BEST OF LUCK!" I hunkered down for a night of fun. 

Things I Learned This Weekend Traveling In The South: 

1. There is a gay bar with carpet, urinals that literally put you face to face with your future maybe baby daddy, and a gift shop specializing in underwear, leather goods and sells Jujyfruits nexts to the poppers. Giving you the opportunity to chow down while you bear down. 

2. In the span of 7 hours you can experience the roasted chicken at the James Beard Award winning Poole's Diner (here for information), and the fried chicken at Burger King. Both are excellent. 

3. A larger than life drag queen sporting a cheeseburger pill box hat and corresponding cheeseburger printed peplum blouse further validated my theory that no one ever looks bad in a peplum top.  

"Church", Cookie Sandwiches, and Camp Candy

 This is the point where I thought "better get a picture before it's all stored in my moobs".

Hey Y'all! My conversion to a Southern Belle is happening slowly. And since we last kibbutz'd I have spent many hours practicing my "y'all", "bless her heart" and general use of the term "church" for anything to do when not at the office. As in, "oh it's five on a Wednesday. I gotta head to church". I'm fairly certain that means they are going home to watch The Big Bang Theory because the next day I never hear updates as to what happened at "church".

When not at work I have continued to spend my time roaming the highways and byways of this still Winter Brown state. Though the lack of snow and cold has been wonderful, I would kill for some winter wonderland to come in for a day or two and cover up all the mud I'm looking at.

So to console myself from the tremendous loss of friends, family and Perkins I have taken to food and basketball. Please don't act shocked. We all know I love food and a few of you know that I love physical activity involving balls. So when I am not at work or court side I am looking for my next feeding.

And here is this weeks restaurant recommendations should you come visit me. Which nobody has yet. I keep a damn clean apartment folks. I'm not like those other dudes who don't clean a toilet seat.

Back to the food -

Lunch yesterday found me at a little hole in the wall across from a video rental store (I assume with good Christian based family movies). The First Carolina Delicatessen is a New York style deli that has been serving the Greensboro area for 20 years. Simple wood paneling and a giant wooden statue of a woman with sagging bresticles makes one feel right at home when inhaling two Kosher hot dogs with hotly debated Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda. For some short reading on the love it or hate it following this celery flavored soda has take a peek here.

Clearly surrounded by Southerns with a refined enough palate to appreciate Hebrew National Hotdogs I fell in love with this place. At a short 20 minutes away it is well worth the drive. 

Second on my sojourn of food yesterday brought me to Maxie B's Bakery and Dessert Cafe, also located in Greensboro. If you ignore the Shabby Chic/Surprise By Design look of the cafe and focus on the 20+ cakes they had to choose from you'll be just fine. With a line out the door on a Saturday dinner crowd you would think I could handle the pressure of choosing what to take home. Oh hell no. I was just inches away from the tween behind the counter kindly demanding my order when I crumbled and ordered a slice (the size of a baby's head) of Pink Lemonade Cake and a nice side of Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich. 

I'm presently writing this from my bunk at fat camp. I ate a salad for dinner last night. Chased it with some cake and a La Croix (cuz I'm healthy). Woke up to some Scooby Doo on Boomerang, more cake and coffee (cuz I'm sophisticated). Reorganized my pantry. Had another salad for lunch (see previous note on health consciousness) and proceeded to chase that petite melange with Chocolate Chip Cookies that bookend about two cups of frosting. 

So we can all just agree that I will become diabetic, republican and adept at shooting things while living here. And making frequent stops at First Carolina Deli and Maxie B's.

Gotta run. My camp counselor has found my stash of Mars Bars under my pillow. And for those of you who care my version of fat camp is Camp Candy.



Soups, Shelley Duvall and Sweaters from The Shining

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

Oooooo....gurl I have been laaaaaazzzzzy. I swear with the change in weather I need about a month to adjust. Having to weed out all the Pumpkin Spice food at the supermarket is taking up most of my daylight as it is. And let's not even get started on the new releases on Netflix. 

Who are we kidding? I am still hooked on Murder, She Wrote. 

A couple of topics this week. 

First let us quick recap the September New To Us Restaurant, The Monte Carlo.  

This Warehouse gem is older than God and worth a stop. Situated around the corner from a strip joint and adjacent to an overpriced men's clothing store what more could you ask for? 

The food was pretty damn good. I had the classic Plaza Burger. Basically it's a burger covered in sour cream. There is no arguing with that. Wash it down with a Moscow Mule and your Saturday lunch turns into a 1968 night at the supper club.  

I will say the best part of this whole meal was the actual restaurant building itself. When I walked in I was instantly taken to that amazing bar in The Stanley Hotel, featured in The Shining. One of the most glamourous movies of my lifetime. Shelley Duvall is drama queen all the way through this sad coming of age story. Anyway, the bar at the Monte Carlo is a wall of booze. Meals for days. Just go.  

Now let's talk soups. 

Recently I whor'd out some photos on the Instagramz (follow me here to fill that gap in your life)of soups I have made and a few requests for recipes have popped up. Now please keep in mind most of the time when I make a soup it's because something in  my fridge is about to turn and I will be damned if I am throwing away a squash that is 95% still fresh.  

Potato Soup Two Ways



Red Onion

Red Potato

Chicken Broth

Salt and Pepper

Heavy Cream

Way One:

Medium dice the carrots, red onion and red potato. Place on lined baking sheet along with a couple scallions. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until tender and looks good enough to risk burning your fingers to pick off the sheet.  

Using a slotted spoon place all roasted vegetables in a medium sized stock pot, add chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.  

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. And know that nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Way Two: 

Assuming the night before you roasted a chicken with way too many carrots and scallions take those left overs along with your freshly diced red onion and red potatoes into a pot with a few swirls of olive oil. Saute until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. Again nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Roasted Acorn Squash and Horseradish Soup (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 Acorn Squash (about 3 pounds)

3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock

1 T Grated Horseradish

3/4 t Salt

1/4 t Ground Black Pepper

Heavy Cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil.  Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 

Combine chicken stock, horseradish, salt, and pepper in a medium pot, and bring to simmer. Scoop squash flesh out of skins, and place in pot.  Bring to simmer and continue to cook for about 10 mins. 

Remove from heat and blend smooth using an immersion blender. Add heavy cream to taste (I usually use about 1/4 cup).  Garnish with chopped parsley if you care.  

Until next time ladies.  

Peter's Dinklage, Perestroika with Pelmeni and (summer) Pastimes

Peter Dinklage

Oy! I have been busy as of late. Work is out of control (top panties)! And my boyfriend, (first name) Net (last name) Flix has been demanding as all hell lately. I can barely get a good nights sleep without a poke in the back suggesting a double click before lights out. 

All that aside I have been bad at keeping my fans (my mother) up to date on my eating adventures in and around the great city of Minneapolis. Last month marked the 7th new (to me) restaurant and this month we tackled three under the guise of a LynLake bar crawl. 

Let's start with July - 

SAGL and I joined up with Sister, Sister's Husband, New Sister (Sister's Sister-in-Law), New Brother (Sister's Sister-in-Law's Husband), New Fake Brother (Sister's Sister-in-Law's Husband's Brother) and New Fake Brother's dinner friend (I'm not sure the status and didn't want to ask as I was mesmerized by 1. Her hair because I am that jealous bald queen and 2. Her ability to put up with New Fake Brother's restaurant needs and who also has hair I would make a deal with a Haitian doctor to get). Anyway we all went to Moscow On The Hill in East Minneapolis (aka St. Paul).

I've heard about this joint so many times that I finally made the trek over the river and through the woods to give it a chance (you think I am joking but you actually go over the river and through some woods). I've been leery of the Russian's ever since The Wall came down. Things felt safer during The Cold War. 

Many vodka based cocktails later we ordered based on The New Brother's suggestions. I will save you all from the turmoil and tell you to just go and order large amounts of the Siberian and Peasant Pelmeni. These dumplings were AMAZING (and I don't like to yell type unless it's serious). Get like one plate of each just for yourself and wear elastic waist pants. I honestly don't even recall what I had for dinner because over a month later I am still thinking of cramming my face with the dumplings.

On to August - 

Initially SAGL and I were going to attempt a rumored to be good lunch joint on the fringe of downtown Minneapolis. However, I got distracted last week when we both realized that along with Betsy Wetsy, we had a social calendar free weekend approaching. Naturally I suggested a bar/restaurant crawl.

You see a couple times a week I try to walk home from the office. I take a leisurely 4 mile hike down Lyndale Ave, one of Minneapolis's main drags. At one point you come across the LynLake neighborhood full of restaurants, a wig shop and a bondage store. I often wonder what the wig shop is like?

So last Friday, SAGL and I met up with Betsy Wetsy and proceeded to walk our way to as many happy hours as possible. We started at Heyday on 27th and Lyndale. This visually Pinterested restaurant was busy so we found our way to the bar. Simple craft cocktail menu with just as simple food menu pleased me. I don't like too many options when dining out. The Cheesecake Factory can keep its tome of a menu in the suburbs. With an extremely amiable bartender we tried two desserts (cheese and fruit platter was good along with the hazelnut and creme) and a couple cocktails. The highlight of the stop was our bartender's quick thinking of providing us with a dessert cocktail of Licor 43 and milk.I tend to leave my milk to Cocoa Pebbles but this was wonderful.


Next stop was Marche inside the new Lime Condo Complex From Hell at The Greenway and Lyndale. This new eyesore has a bar-ish type lounge on the street level that looked inviting. At least the bartenders scruff looked inviting. That and the probably clean bathroom. Let's just say this is a great place for shiny fit people with money who want to live in a building that is named after fruit. We are pretty sure we watched a Grindr hookup happen in the lobby. Just saying $9 for a glass of brut ain't worth the dreamy eyed bartender. Who P.S. has his fiance sitting at the other end watching your every move.

And Upward! 

We next frogger our way across the street to Lago Tacos. Warned by our Patagonia Pants'd bartender at Marche that the tacos are only so so we decided to take a chance. And dammit if he wasn't right. Mine tasted like a Sesame Chicken Lean Cuisine in a corn tortilla. Thank God I had a large margarita to wash it down with.

As my companions agreed that we could have done better, we moved on.

At this point we needed to take a break. So we stopped at a local leather craftsmen boutique just off of Lyndale. Betsy Wetsy found a wonderful accent chair at a reasonable price. The young man working was even so kind as to demonstrate all the place one could use it

Well shit. At this point we have lost concentration and needed a break. That meant stopping at our unknowingly last stop, Spill The Wine (RIP as of 2016)

Some of you (assuming you are not my mother who doesn't live in Minneapolis) will recall Spill The Wine from its days down in The MillDistrict. It has since downsized and rebirthed itself on the corner of Bryant and Lyndale. AND I LOVE IT THERE! Yes I yelled that. (SAGL just text me from upstairs asking who I had over. I assured him I was just recapping on the the blog.)

As you know from last year's wine resolution, I love wine. And Spill The Wine has plenty of that. Upon our entrance we met a very well mannered sprite of a woman who kindly put me in my place (on a throne) and seated us outside. She was so well mannered (read: smart enough to keep up) that we invited her to join us. You see she repeatedly reminded us that she was off the clock but insisted on seating us as a kind gesture. I'm not certain but she may have made a kind gesture as I turned my back. 

Well before you knew it iCarli sat herself at the table just like that brazen Irishman did on Downton Abbey. You know Ireland is a third world country right? Bastards couldn't pick a team during The War. 

So we made a new friend! iCarli fit right in like Peter Dinklage in a revival of Wizard of Oz.

The wine was tasty. The cobbler was okay. Watching the three of us hit on the waiter was worth it.

Next on Two Birds One Scone...watch as I roll my bloated self from my bed to my cube for four more days. And then scramble to bake something for the blog. No I really will bake something next week.

Any suggestions?