Monday, September 28, 2009

Hot Dog Saturday

On Saturday, I made hot dogs for both lunch & dinner! Okay, so the ones at dinner were a soup ingredient. Nonetheless, it was a very hot diggety dog day. I'd planned to make hot dogs for dinner Friday night, but then J and I went out to 87 West Wine Bar for dinner. We shared 3 small plates and a small pot of chocolate fondue as we sat on the patio and watched kids play in the fountain. The chocolate fondue was tasty, but not very warm, so it was more like dipping our strawberries, pretzels, graham crackers and such in chocolate syrup. I think I'll skip it next time and just pick up dessert at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. The small plates, however, were all good. I do think they overcharge for the cheese plate, especially considering that they boast of homemade lavash and serve crackers we've bought at the grocery ourselves. They had 2 sorts of Tillamook, some anonymous brie and some anonymous gorgonzola, along with some dried cherry compote, and charged $15 for it. I am still not sure why I was willing to pay that price when I could get amazing artisan cheeses (an more variety) at The Winds for half the price. Probably just drunk on having a paycheck. The tempura asparagus with roasted red pepper dipping sauce was spectacularly good this time, just as last time, when we had the disappointing cheese fondue. The chevre & Granny Smith quesadilla was also outstanding, if more like dessert than an appetizer or dinner piece. I had a glass of gewurtztraminer while J enjoyed some Magic Hat beer.

Saturday, when J got home from work, I made some Hebrew National dogs, boiling them and steaming the buns in a covered colander atop the boiling water for the last few minutes of cooking. We topped them with ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped onion, diced tomato, celery salt & pepper. Our second dogs were lavished with chili from J's plant and sprinkled liberally with cheese before we downed them. Cheetos accompanied this fine entree. Pie avoided the hot dogs and stuck with the coffee cake I'd made in the morning until his mom took pity on him and fried up a cheeseburger. He is not terribly picky, but hot dogs go too far even for him. He adored the coffee cake, though!

Lazy Saturday Coffee Cake
1 c. + 2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted +1 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. ch. walnuts
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan. Mix 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. salt together. Beat in milk and egg, then 1/2 stick butter. Put in prepared pan. Mix 2 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. melted butter and nuts together. Sprinkle over batter in pan. Bake 20 minutes.
Saturday night, we hosted a favorite fall foods potluck for the Wild Mango Queens. J's contribution was chili and some nuts & cheeses for snacking. I made a pot of Nigella's split pea soup and an apple crisp, my grandmom's recipe. The split pea soup can be found here:
I could not find yellow split peas, but the green sort sufficed nicely. The apple crisp goes like this:
Grandmama Apple Crisp
7-8 large apples, peeled, cored, sliced (mix up the variety a bit, making sure they are really stellar cooking apples---I love Winesaps, but had to settle for Galas, Granny Smiths and a Pink Lady)
Juice of one lemon
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 c. butter, cut in bits
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples in a 2 qt. casserole. Dot with butter & sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix remaining ingredients together with a pastry blender (or very lightly with fingertips, taking care that it doesn't become oily). Sprinkle over the apples. Bake half an hour and serve piping hot from the oven. Mmm!

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