Round Two

Our next Brennan’s meal found C and I at Café Adelaide on December 3.  We were joined by my dear friend, Kelly (aka Beer Kelly).  The restaurant is the newest of the Brennan’s restaurants in the city and is owned by the same branch of the family that owns the famous Commander’s Palace.  Adelaide is found in the lobby of the Lowe’s hotel in downtown New Orleans and I think it kind of loses something in that.  The dining room itself is very pretty and the servers were friendly and during the lunch hours they have twenty five cent martinis, so even if it’s not my favorite of the restaurants, it certainly didn’t suck!  (For the record, I only had one martini)

Kelly and I began our lunch with a couple of Cosmopolitans and then perused the menu.  For some reason that day, not much was striking my fancy, so I decided to begin with some Turtle Soup, a dish that the Brennan’s family always does right, and followed that with Adelaide’s Spinach Salad with crabmeat added to make it more of an entrée.  Both were delicious and in spite of my initial mediocre response to the menu offerings, I was very pleased with my choices.  I was having so much fun talking to Kelly that I totally forgot about taking a picture of the soup until it was too late, but you can see that I enjoyed it! 

Kelly got a salad as well and added steak to it.  They were very generous with the steak!

An added benefit of eating a little bit lighter for the appetizer and entrée made it possible for us to indulge in dessert!  I got the Creole Cream Cheesecake.  It is delicious and they make it all in house, even down to making their own Creole cream cheese.  I didn’t care as much for the dehydrated berries they used on it, a bit too hard for my liking, but the cheesecake itself was divine.  Kelly got the White Chocolate Biscuit Pudding and we traded off desserts about halfway through.  Hers was really good, too.  It’s not something that I would normally order, but I’m really glad she did because I enjoyed it immensely!  Again, I totally forgot to take pictures of the dessert because we dove into them way to quickly! 

 C was a very good boy at the restaurant and napped through the better part of the meal (a definite plus when dining with infants).  He proved to be a very good sidekick on my gastronomic journey.

 Two Bells down – eight to go!

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Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

As I’ve mentioned, one of the greatest parts about living in New Orleans is the food, and, one of the more fun events of the year is the holiday season at the Brennan’s Family of Restaurants.  During the month of December, the Brennan’s restaurants give out jingle bells with ribbons embossed with the restaurant name during lunchtime.  Each year, it’s kind of an informal contest among my friends to see how many of the bells we can amass.  There are ten Brennan’s restaurants in the city, nine of which participate with bells.  Anyhow, this year I decided to get all of them!

To begin my tour de gluttony, C and I dined on December 1 at Ralph’s on the Park.  The setting is beautiful with large windows overlooking the grand live oaks of City Park.  The restaurant is light and airy and seems to be favorite among the “ladies who lunch” in the city.  In fact, there were only two men there who weren’t actually working in the restaurant!

For my lunch I decided to heed the advice of my server and I selected  the oyster and artichoke soup as my starter.  It was a tad saltier than I would normally like, but still very good.  For my entrée I opted for the panko crusted panéed veal and added some lump crabmeat on top of it.  In hindsight, the crabmeat was an unnecessary addition since the veal was incredible and stood just fine on its own.  In fact, I would venture to say that it is one of the finest veal dishes I have ever had, and I’m a woman who enjoys my veal!


Surprisingly, by the end of the meal I was too full to even attempt to eat dessert, which is a very rare occurrence for me.  I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  But I will be revisiting the restaurant in the very near future (likely on a Sunday) and indulging myself with a piece of their chocolate mousse cheesecake!

One bell down, nine to go!

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Swedish Meatballs

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to travel with Hubby to Sweden for the wedding of our dear friends, Emma and James. I was seven months pregnant, but wasn’t going to miss the event for anything short of a medical emergency. During the trip, I discovered a great love of Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. Unfortunately, once we returned home, there was no ready supply of berries, I was unable to satisfy the cravings that were triggered by the trip.

A couple of days ago, I got a random package in the mail from my dear friend, the Naughty Monkey. It contained a jar of lingonberries and some yummy chocolates. Of course, upon receiving said package, I needed to make meatballs and immediately headed to the grocery store to procure the necessary ingredients.

I got the recipe for my meatballs from and here it is:
• 1 Pound ground beef
• ¾ cup bread crumbs, soaked in ½ cup milk
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small onion, grated and drained
• ½ tsp ground allspice
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• 4 Tbsp butter
• 1 ½ Tbsp flour
• 1 cup chicken broth
• ½ cup sour cream
• Lingonberry sauce
Combine the first 8 ingredients and form into 1 inch balls. Melt ¾ of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the meatballs for about 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and drain most of the fat. Stir in the flour and remaining butter. Add the chicken broth and stir until it is thickened, about two minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the sour cream. Add the meatballs and heat for another minute or so.

I served the meatballs with Country Crock home-style mashed potatoes, green peas and the lingonberry sauce. Definitely comfort food! The meatballs turned out great and I am definitely proud of myself for expanding my cooking horizons. An added side benefit of the meal was the flood of happy memories that flooded us as we ate them. We spent the evening talking about the fun we had on the trip, the beautiful sights we saw and the incredible food we ate! I cannot wait to bring my kids back there someday!

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Happy New Year!

I think that the New Year is the perfect time to kick off my new blog, which is a celebration of the three things I love most in life:   food, knitting and my family.  And as we begin the new year, it is of course time for reflection on the things in life that need improving, but primarily for me it is a reflection on the things in life that I am grateful and happy for.  Most importantly, I am thankful for my family.  I have an amazing and tolerant husband who cherishes me not only for my gifts, but for my quirks as well.  And trust me, as you get to know me, you will understand that I have several of them!  I also have two amazing children, a four-year-old daughter, Bean, and a three month old son, C (sorry, I haven’t come up with a better nickname for him yet).  My kids are truly my joy in life and I am astounded every day at how different they are, yet both equally wonderful.

Bean is my deep thinker.  She has piercing, deep brown eyes that can look directly into your soul.  She was never a big smiler, or giggler as a baby which led me to wonder early on if I was “messing her up” somehow, but I’ve since learned that this is just her personality.  She thinks about everything and analyzes it to pieces.  She is goal oriented and headstrong and I have no doubt she will change the world someday.   She is her father.  Fortunately, I’m just crazy about him so having him in miniature is not a bad thing! 

C is my happy-go-lucky little guy.  Quick with a smile and charm and a wide eyed stare that just makes you want to kiss him all over his face.  It is early, but I think already that he will be my laid-back kid.   He may need that to survive as his sister can be rather particular!  I am so looking forward to discovering who he is as he grows.  He is me so far, which thrills me to no end.  Finally my genes are showing up in one of my kids!  Bean is all her daddy in appearance, although I have certainly shaped her wit and attitude (for better or worse as the case may be).

I have two other great pleasures in my life that maybe you can discern from the title of my blog.  They are food and knitting.  I am blessed to live in one of the finest cities in the world for dining.  New Orleans is the perfect melting pot of cuisine and is its own gumbo of tastes and sensations.  I swore after I graduated from college that I would never continue living in Louisiana, but somehow the food and culture of the region sunk their teeth in to me and I was never able to “escape”.  I hope to share with my readers, if I have any, my dining experiences in the city and my adventures into becoming more of a well-rounded cook in my own home, including any good recipes that I may discover along the way.

Finally, I am a Knitter.  And yes, I feel comfortable enough with my skills to refer to myself as a knitter with a capital “K”!  I love yarn and have over the past few years amassed quite the collection of yarn.  I love everything about yarn and have developed quite the appreciation for high quality fiber.  I am rather compulsive about the acquisition of new yarns, but this year have decided that I will try and curb my influences as I embark on a bit of a “yarn diet” this year.  I may need some support, Internetz!

So, as is traditional, I am going to make some resolutions for the New Year.  I hope by making them public I will be pressured to keep them, but know that like many resolutions, mine may be forgotten before January is through.  I am only human, but I shall do my best!

Resolved:  I have too much yarn.  Therefore, this year I will make no new yarn purchases with the exception of four yarn clubs that I am already a member of.  The money is spent on those, there is no getting it back, so I will just look forward to my club deliveries with even more eagerness since, hopefully, they will be my only new infusion of yarn.  Oh, unless someone gives me a gift certificate or cash gift with the express purpose of it going to yarn….yeah, I can make exceptions for that!

Resolved:  I am currently thirty pounds heavier than I was on the day I got married.  This is understandable since I’ve had two kids, but my body is not happy where it is.  So, this year I am going to try and become healthier.  In order to do that, Hubby and I are going to begin what we have termed the “No-Rules Sunday” diet.  We try to be good all week with our food selection, no fast food, no sweets and no sodas, then on Sunday we can do whatever the hell we want.  It’s not so much about limiting intake, but more about making good food choices.  We did it for a while a couple of years ago and both lost a fair amount of weight.  Unfortunately, we fell off the tracks for a while, but we’re hopping back on, my friends!  In addition to making better choices as far as food, we’re also going to begin incorporating more physical activity into our day.  We have two little kids who need us to be active and play with them, so dammit, we need to get in shape!

So, welcome to my little corner of the world, I hope that you enjoy my blog.

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