Saturday, April 28, 2012

Learning by Doing

Ever since I was a little kid, I tend to try new things, just for the adventure of doing them.  I often will embark on an adventure and research instructions midway.  This procedure has not served me well, but for some reason the fascination is lowered if I look up the facts first. 

Yes, if it's some major undertaking, like tiling my backsplash, I get instructions first.  Little trial-and-error things, like growing something new--I like to try it out myself to see if I can come up with an innovative way to do it without being influenced by others.  This is generally a silly and unproductive way to do things. :)

Not learning from past failures, I tried sprouting lentils this week.  I make no excuses for this.  Fed up with our still-snowy weather at the cusp of May, I crave green and growing things. 

So now I've got a fresh crop of lentil sprouts in my sprouting jar.  I'm trying to get them a little bigger so I'm eating less bean and more sprout, only because I'm concerned the raw lentils won't be edible.  Lentils have a lot more fiber than many other beans--eating them raw would seem to be a form of self abuse. :) 

So then I looked it up and found this blog post.  The guacamole blended with lentil sprout puree sounds good. 

My sprouts need to get a little greener.  I'm putting them on the windowsill today to see if they'll green up.  Then bring on the experimentation!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Restaurant Review: Spuds

This bar is on the water in North Myrtle Beach.  We went for lunch recently. 

It was spotless and quiet outside on this weekday.  Service was prompt, accommodating and polite.

I ordered for my entree an appetizer of black bean cakes.  I noticed they had grit cakes in one of their entrees so I asked if I could order one to accompany my bean cakes. 

Both were excellent--surprisingly so.  I didn't realize black beans could be so moist and creamy.  They seemed to be partially pureed, covered in a thick layer of bread crumbs and deep fried until crunchy on the outside.  The grit cake, for this Northerner, was a new experience.  Lightly crispy on the outside and lightly creamy on the inside. 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Mykonos

At Myrtle Beach recently, we were looking for something with a different cuisine than the standard Southern faire.  We saw an ad in our hotel room for this spot nearby.  It advertised a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert.  We texted the number and received the coupon on our phone a few moments later.

We chose the hummus which was homemade and superb.  They had a nice wine selection, served ice cold in generous portions.  I had the Greek salad for my entree which was excellent as well.

The exterior had a large waterfall and inside was a nice fireplace.  The decor was tastefully done and the service was wonderful.

My only disappointment was the ad said it was casual dining.   We happened to be hoping for something not casual anyway.  This restaurant is fine dining.  To me, when you have such a high end property, smartly dressed staff, low lighting, table linens and candlelight, it's fine dining.  Mr. Bean felt a little underdressed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Restaurant Review: King David's

This is one of my favorite restaurants in the world.

As you know, one of my pet peeves is a restaurant that claims to have vegetarian options, only to have just one frozen pasta primavera with horrible cream sauce that tastes like canned cream of mushroom soup.  The truth is, I have virtually stopped bothering accompanying my omnivore companions to such establishments.  Eating in restaurants is expensive.  I am not socially needy enough to tolerate a terrible, expensive meal just to be in the company of others.  Restaurants could easily have a meat-free unique item or two.  It's not hard.  You're chefs and restauranteurs--act like it.  You're losing 10% of your potential customer base if you don't--plus their companions, potentially.

So anyway, enough of that.

King David's has many delicious options to choose from, served hot, quickly and with a smile.  The prices are very reasonable as well.  My favorites include eggplant fries, sweet potato fries, eggplant pita, falafel platter, hummus, and portobello pita.  All very delicious--none seem frozen or premade.  I can't even choose a favorite among them.

My omnivore husband is quite happy with his meat-based options as well. 

They serve local beers.  I am not a big connoisseur of beer, but I do like the Syracuse Pale Ale.

The decor and music are modern and ethnic, giving you the feeling of escape to a place far away.  Let me reiterate the service--it is fast.  I am pretty shocked they can crank out a dinner for two in what seems to be 5-10 minutes.  The staff is friendly but not intrusive.  Everyone greets you as you walk by, welcoming you in or thanking you as you're leaving.

Clearly the owners and managers are highly skilled and know how to run a business. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Product Review: Morningstar Chikn Grillers

The spell is broken.

I've written before about my love for Morningstar Grillers, breakfast sausage and Buffalo wings.  I was starting to doubt I would ever meet a Morningstar I didn't like.  And then it happened--I tried Chikn Grillers

Out of respect for the brand, I won't go into too much graphic detail.  I didn't care for the flavor, appearance or texture.  I couldn't finish it.

The next day, I happily had a plain ol' Morningstar Griller.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Product Review: Breyer Golden Oreo Ice Cream

I admit I've bought golden Oreos, broken them up and mixed them with ice cream.  I like my ice cream very chunky--more chunks than ice cream actually.

I was wandering the grocery in search of something to soothe my sore throat and my heart jumped when I saw this product.  How could I go wrong?

I didn't read the package very well.  For some reason I had it in my head that it was vanilla ice cream with cookies.  It's not--it's golden Oreo flavored ice cream with cookies mixed in. 

Over the years of excessive ice cream consumption, I've determined I rarely like ice cream that isn't one of 3 flavors--chocolate, coffee or vanilla (ALL beans!).  I like my variety in the form of chunks or sauces.

Somehow Breyer's has managed to make this ice cream itself taste freakishly similar to the cookies.  Now if that's your thang, this ice cream is definitely for you.  I still prefer Breyer's vanilla with lots of cookies.