It was a weekend full of noodles and chocolate, though, blessedly, not together.
We got off to good start with vietnamese beef noodle soup at Paradise, which I learned about from a post that Kitchen Chick did a while back on pho kits. The broth wasn’t as aromatic as I’d remembered it, but it was still delicious, and sustained me for a big night out with friends for the Girl Talk show, dancing, and bourbon drinking.
Saturday breakfast was light fare: grapefruit, espresso, and biscotti (from Biscotti Brothers in my hometown, Greensburg PA!). I compensated for the light breakfast with a lunch fit for a coal miner. I made traditional Kimball family comfort fare: noodles with butter and cottage cheese, which I gussied up with torn strips of crispy peppered bacon. And french limonade to drink. (Ok, so maybe a coal miner from the continent.)
Michael and I made the last batch of chocolate crinkle cookies of the season, a birthday gift for his 8 year old niece. A huge fan of peanut butter and chocolate, he pleaded that we substitute the regular chocolate chips w/ peanut butter ones. I’m a purist, but not unwilling to compromise, so we split the dough in half and the jury is still out. Mainly because I like them my way, and he likes them his. We should have asked the niece.
A chocolate truffle experiment I had to place on hold last week (long story) resumed on Saturday afternoon, with mixed results. I went a little crazy, dizzy with V-day ambition, and added fennel pollen and lavendar dust–supposedly aphrodisiacal ingredients that Eve gave me a while ago which I could never figure out what to do with–as well as a bit of amaretto, which just sounded romantic. So, there’s a lot going on in those truffles. Plus, I rolled them in cocoa, and rather than just a mere dusting, I ended up with a rather thick coating of the bitter brown powder. But they aren’t a disaster. Just . . . interesting.
Saturday night was pizza and greek salad at Cottage Inn, for aforementioned niece’s bday. It took forever for them to seat us, and by the time we got our food, we had to shovel it in, leaving me with a pretty terrible case of indigestion for the rest of the night. The Pepto-Bismol (which logo is just so pleasing, don’t you think?) Michael bought me very late that night deserves mention as the most satisfying thing I consumed all weekend. (Please note that this says much more about how much discomfort I was in than about the calibre of food I ate).
Sunday saw another visit to a noodle shop, this one in Canton on the way to Ikea. It’s called Matsuchan (ooh, another pleasing logo!), and I was eager to return after visiting it with a friend this summer. It’s a traditional ramen and udon noodle shop–super yummy and comforting on a Februray afternoon. (July isn’t quite the month for soup.) A true foodie find, it’s tucked away in the armpit of a strip mall off of Ford Road, and Japanese is heard much more than English. The copy on their website shows that they are savvy about their market niche:
Matsuchan is a Japanese ramen noodle restaurant with traditional dishes that taste just like you’re in Japan! Matsuchan’s food is not ‘Americanized’ ramen noodles — not ‘instant’ ramen noodles but Matsuchan’s food is REAL Japanese ramen noodles just like you would eat in Japan today!
The shop boasts lots of newspapers and magazines and comic books in Japanese, as well as an impressive array of license plates from all over the country on the wall; be sure to check out the collection of Maneki Neko on the counter.
Finally, last night I was dying for a reprise of the fennel and orange salad from last weekend, so I tossed one of those together, though this time with a beautiful head of red leaf lettuce rather than arugula. There was a head of cauliflower staring at me guiltily from the vegetable drawer, which I roasted very simply with olive oil and kosher salt. The pieces that were a little smaller than the rest of the florets got super crispy and almost tasted like french fries. I cheated on the meat and bought an already-roasted chicken from Kroger instead of roasting it myself, because, well, it was 5 bucks and I was feeling lazy. But the next chicken I roast will be a la Alice Waters via Adam Roberts.