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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food gift idea:little orange squares.

Oh the Cheez-it. 
 I love Cheez-its.
 I love them even more wrapped up in a neat little goody bag.
     Food gifts are the best and nobody rocks some food gifts like my mother-in-law. She was a teacher for a bunch of years and probably received a wide variety of holiday gifts. And some of them were probably food related,some good and maybe some not so good.Oh bless that child's heart... they meant well.
      Well one of the recipes in her food gift recipe file is already legendary in my house( she also makes amazing fudge,more on that later) and she even makes them for me every now and then. It doesn't even have to be a holiday,thank goodness.I don't know how I've lived this long without this fantastic,dry-ranch-dressing coated, cheezy-oh-so-cheezy little square of salted and perforated cheezy goodness.      
        That many adjectives they must be good.

    I will share this recipe with you only on TWO conditions: 1. Please make at least one batch of these for your friends this holiday season. You'll be coolest kid on the block,no lie. 2. Before you make at least one batch for your friends,make a "run-through" batch for yourself . Remember to pace yourself when taste-testing this goodie. Enjoy!

Cheese Nips 
(you can make up your own name if you want.)
makes 1 and 1/2 gallon ziploc bags
1 1lb box of cheezits or cheese nips.
**I couldn't find that size box so I used two like 13-ounce boxes.It made quite a bit,but the dressing amount will cover all of it and be enough.**
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 pkg dry Original Ranch Dressing Mix
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1. Pour cheese nips in a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Then pour the dressing mixture all over the cheese nips. Toss to evenly coat the crackers. Spread out in a single layer on baking sheets. Let marinate at least 2 hours up to 8 hours,stirring occasionally. Then store in gallon ziploc bags,tossing occasionally to coat even better.
*These are better with time,so make them at least the night before you package them or give them out.*

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Say this one five times real fast.

 So we are three days past Thanksgiving and I know some folks who already have their Christmas tree up,decorated and all lit up.I applaud you folks and hope one day to be as focused as you. For now this is the only lit tree I've see and it's a pretty nice view.
   I spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my husband's family outside of Tupelo,Mississippi . They have a lovely home with an even lovelier deck out back. I love this deck. I love this deck and the nature that surrounds it. It's gorgeous. The trees surround the deck and nature is alive.In the summer,you can watch the hummingbirds take flight and scrap over each feeder that hangs from the covered portion of the deck. They are fast I tell ya and no camera can catch those buggers.In the fall,the leaves are everywhere and the crisp cool breeze is just enough to remind you winter is just around the corner.It really feels like home.If you want to get specific,the deck chairs with a pile of magazines and a cup of coffee really feels like home.I mean really folks,perfect.
  We get down there when we can and spend the weekend enjoying all the blessings of life we can.I look forward to getting up early on my day off and taking root on that deck.I pack a bag full of magazines and cookbooks.I set my alarm to wake up around 7:00 am. Yep,I know crazy,but it's worth every second of sleep missed to have a little extra peace and quiet. In the morning,I get up,grab my reading material and my big ol' cup of coffee and head to the deck.I get a good two hours in with nature and some cookbooks . It's the best ever.
  This past weekend it was a bit chilly,like 35 degrees chilly. Now look I'm committed to this whole peace and quiet business(I even have my trusty quilt to warm me in that deck chair),but it was dang cold and I headed for the living room instead.I was way warmer and still got to wrap up with some good recipes and a hot cup of coffee. It's the life I tell ya.
   The colder nights are on their way and when it comes to dinner ideas a hearty soup is almost as good as that quilt on the deck.I have fallen for this rich bowl of dumpling goodness after a recent trip to Kentucky. My sister and her husband live up in Kentucky and it's just enough north to be a little bit colder at night and well let's face it,a little cooler in the day too. I'll tell you this,if you want something to warm you up after a long day of planting bulbs in your sister's garden,like actual shovel-digging, workin'-so-hard-you-actually-sweat gardening those chicken and dumplings will do the trick. The next soup on my list is one from Giada de Laurentiis's cookbook Everyday Pasta and it's got warmth stirred all up in it. It's called Ribollita .  Ribollitta(say that name five times real fast why don't ya) is a thick tuscan soup and usually has pieces of stale bread in it. Giada said her family used odds and ends of pasta in it and for me,that adds some character. Soup and pasta,and two for one,score!

adapted from Everyday Pasta
by Giada de Laurentiis
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion,finely chopped
1-2 carrots,peeled and diced
4 ounces pancetta,chopped
 (I used 4 pieces of bacon,it works just fine.)
2 garlic cloves,minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 TBL tomato paste
1(14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes,with juices
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach,
    thawed and squeezed dry
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans,drained and rinsed
2 tsp herbes de Provence
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
   ( I would recommend using 8 cups,the pasta will
     use up a lot of that liquid.)
1 bay leaf
3 inch piece of Parmesan rind
1 cup spaghetti,broken into 1-inch pieces
Grated Parmesan,for serving
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon in batches until crispy.(If you cook all the bacon at one time,it will wind up steeping in it's own juices and not get crispy.Oh I love crispy bacon.) Add the carrot,onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is browned on the edges and softened. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add the tomatoes and stir,scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the spinach,beans, herbes de Provence,broth,bay leaf, and the Parmesan rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil,then add the spaghetti,reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes,or until the pasta is al dente.
3. Discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaf, and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Friday, November 26, 2010

And on to June.

Red onions ad tomatoes. The ingredients are quite tasty on their own,but wrap them in a smoky paprika glaze and throw them on a grill,masterpiece! 
    We,my husband and I were both responsible for the June cover issue. See now,I like cooking with my husband and spending time with him in the kitchen. He's incredibly helpful and can make a mean breakfast burrito! He also can grill with the best of them and when I saw this cover recipe I knew this was right up his alley.
    The ingredients were also perfect for the both of us.I like shrimp a whole lot and he loves tomatoes and we both love sausage.I whisked together the glaze and took a quick taste... oh so good. The glaze has a depth that can't be beat,the richness of the paprika,kick of the crushed red pepper flakes and the smoothness of the olive oil,I could only imagine how it would taste with each bite.
   Well he got to grilling and I got the plates ready. You divide the glaze in two portions;one half for brushing over the skewers while they cook on the grill and the other half for dipping. Yes,yes,yes! I also made this delicious potato salad as a side,suggested by the fine folks at Bon Appetit,they are so with it over there. It was a great dinner and it tasted even better knowing how had we both worked on pulling it all together,that's the best recipe, really. Enjoy!
Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Skewers with Smoky Paprika Glaze
3/4 c olive oil
4 lg garlic cloves,pressed
2 TBL chopped fresh thyme
5 tsp smoked paprika
4 tsp Sherry wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
12 uncooked extra-large shrimp( 13-15 per pound)
12 1-inch-long pieces andouille or other fully-cooked
   smoked sausages
12 cherry tomatoes
12 2 layer sections of red onion wedges
nonstick vegetable oil spray
*special equipment* 
  6 long metal skewers
1. Whisk oil,garlic,thyme,smoked paprika,Sherry wine vinegar,salt,black pepper,and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl to blend for glaze. Transfer half of the glaze to a small bowl and reserve for serving.
2. Alternately thread shrimp,sausage pieces,cherry tomatoes, and sections of onion wedges on each of 6 long metal skewers. Arrange skewers on a large-rimmed baking sheet.*do ahead* Can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill skewers and bowls of glaze separately.
3. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray and prepare barbecue ( medium-high heat). Brush skewers on both sides with glaze from 1 bowl. Grill until shrimp are opaque in center,turning and brushing occasionally with more glaze,6-8 minutes.
4. Arrange skewers on a platter. Serve with remaining bowl of glaze.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mid-Week Moment #6

" I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life."
                                                                 -Barbara Bush

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You could've fooled me.

I have made lasagna before,lots of times.I'm no expert but the recipe I use all the time is a pretty fantastic stand-by and has pleased many a dinner guest.I plan my afternoon or night around it,whatever time of day I know it will take a while.I get out this big pot,get the water boiling and drop in the noodles.While the noodles are cooking,I brown my beef/sausage mixture for the rich tomato,meat sauce. If I'm moving with any kind of quickness that day,I have all my ingredients all prepped and just waiting to take the stage.Oh for some quickness.I tell you who had quickness and didn't bat an eye at on a busy weeknight,my dad.
   My dad could whip up a dinner for two hungry teenage girls on any given weeknight and still be funny all at the same time.My sister and I had our TV shows we caught up on while my dad pulled together a nourishing and filling dinner. We'd catch up with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Dwayne Wayne and Whitley on A Different World. He'd catch up with the folks at National Public Radio,steam some broccoli and stir together his famous carrot salad. The three of us would sit down to a home-cooked,made-with-love dinner.It was time to review the days events,upcoming happenings during the week ahead and it was simply time to see each other.
     I look back at those days and wonder how he did it.He worked hard at the family furniture business all day,still found the energy to make us dinner and throw out a few jokes in between bites.Parents all around the world make dinner for their families every night and do it all over again with love the next night.I know when I have a family and I got mouths to feed I will have this recipe in my back pocket,skillet lasagna.
   I got ready to make this recipe and as I have done so many times before I got out the big pot,filled it up with water,ready to boil some lasagna noodles. Well hang on just one minute here,I don't need this big ol' pot and I sho don't need this water. You could've fooled me.I reread the recipe again. It was just that, skillet lasagna,all of the cooking done in the skillet. Huh... clever.So I poured out the water,dried and put away the big ol' pot and really got to cookin'. You soften the onions and garlic,brown the meat,throw in the tomatoes,break apart the lasagna noodles throw them in on top of the whole thing,cover and cook for about 20 minutes. It's just that simple and I know my dad would love this one.I'll wait a few years from now and on a busy weeknight invite him over for dinner. We'll all sit around the table catch up on the days events and just see each other. It's just that simple.
Skillet Lasagna
adapted from the coolest over at America's Test Kitchen
Serves 4-6
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 TBL olive oil
1 medium onion,minced
3 medium garlic cloves,minced or presser through 
  a garlic press (about 1TBL total)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb meatloaf mixture (this can consist of beef,pork and veal.I used 
  1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground pork)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles,broken into 
  2-inch lengths
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 c plus 2 TBL grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper
1 c ricotta cheese
3 TBL chopped fresh basil (if not available,3 tsp dried basil)
1. Pour the tomatoes with the juices in a 1-quart (4cup) liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 1 quart.
2. Heat the oil in a large non-sitck skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the onion begins to brown,about  minutes.Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant,about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook,breaking apart the meat,until no longer pink about 4 minutes.
3. Scatter the pasta pieces over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juices and tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer,stirring occasionally,until the pasta is tender,about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta,cover and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and chopped basil.. Serve. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mad skills.

  These biscuits were ah-maz-zing.Perfect lazy-Saturday-morning-with-not-a-whole-lot-planned Saturday morning.They were fluffy on the inside and perfect shape on the outside.I can't get this lucky when it comes to making biscuits.Apparently making biscuits is a an art in my family and that gene was passed down to my amazing sister.
   We went this past weekend up to Kentucky to see my sister and brother-in-law and little did I know the girl would break out her mad biscuit-makin' skills,geez.The drive was great,smooth sailing until we got just about in to town and took a wrong turn. Wrong turns stink when you have to go to the bathroom. Oh but don't worry I didn't have to hold it too long,we made a u-turn and then made the right turn and arrived just fine,thank goodness.Our patient travels paid off the next morning when my sister whipped up these ah-maz-zing biscuits and I mean in a flash.
   I like to pick a cookbook from my cookbook collection (some might call it expansive,ha!) to take along on road trips.I chose a pretty fantastic cookbook/textbook of sorts from Marcella Hazan for this trip.I read a little on the way up but was looking forward to a lazy Saturday morning sitting at the table and pouring over the book for just a minute or two.
Mmmm....let's see reading a cookbook or fresh,hot homemade biscuits in just minutes? I open the book and begin to read the first chapter and I'll be darned if the biscuits aren't ready already ! Mad skills that girl has,look out.
I knew I had hit the jackpot with the biscuits and then my super cool brother-in-law starts going on about some pumpkin butter.Pumpkin butter you say? I was already sad that I couldn't safely can my own pumpkin butter and then this bombshell! An orchard down the road a bit from the quaint college town they live in makes and sells pumpkin butter.I mean really?!?!? JACKPOT! So yep besides spending the weekend with three of the most amazing people and one cuddly chocolate lab named Sam,I got fluffy biscuits and pumpkin butter.Again,JACKPOT! Make these biscuits real soon and while they are baking order some pumpkin butter for yourself . Enjoy.

Biscuits Supreme
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 
  New Cookbook,Bridal Edition
3 c all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4c unsalted butter( 1 stick,6TBL)
1/2c(1 stick)unsalted butter
  and 1/4c shortening
1 1/4c buttermilk
1 c milk
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.In a large bowl,stir together flour,baking powder,salt,sugar and cream of tartar. Using a pastry blender,cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. Using a fork,stir just until moistened.Do not over mix or overwork the dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and GENTLY pressing dough for about 4-6 strokes or just until the dough holds together. Pat or lightly roll dough until 3/4in thick.Cut the dough w/ a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mid-Week Moment #5

"Nature creates ability; luck provides it with opportunity."

  -Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Sunday, November 14, 2010

gettin' with the program.

I wanted to make plum jam. My Grandmother Sue,who can can with the best of them,she made plum jam forever ago.She also still at 91 makes these sweet pickles that are more candy than pickle.You can eat them like candy or eat them on a leftover pot roast sandwich with a little yellow mustard,mmm. It was my favorite when I was 5 and still my favorite to this day,hands down the best...oh right plum jam!
 Moving on,so my fantastic Grandmother Sue used to make plum jam and I fell in love with it.I could easily find lots of reasons to eat plum jam.

And I did,none to worry.

So I was super excited to find this orange plum jam recipe.I got the plums.I got to prepping the ingredients for the recipe and then I got with the program.I had enough plums to make two batches of orange plum jam and the lightbulb went off.I could make one batch with some vanilla sugar and one batch with lavender sugar.I had the jars filled with this amazing infused sugar in my pantry just waiting to make their debut.All the  cool kids use infused sugar. 

It's so easy to make:For the vanilla sugar:take one vanilla bean,cut it in a few pieces. Pour some sugar in a quart mason jar,split open the vanilla bean pieces and scrape out the little black specks of vanilla goodness. Layer the vanilla bean pieces between sugar and fill up the jar. Screw on the lid and set it your pantry to rest. The lavender sugar is even easier: You need like 1/8 cup of lavender flowers,not that many make a BIG statement.Layer them between sugar in a quart mason jar,screw on the lid and set it in your pantry to rest.Leave the jars in the pantry for about two weeks,shaking occasionally just to mix things up.To use the sugar just carefully sift out the vanilla bean or lavender flowers from the amount of sugar you need to use.Replace the sugar in the jar and continue to enjoy the flavors that come from those jars. Now onto orange plum jam folks,oh the flavors. The vanilla brought out every sweet note in the plums you could imagine. The lavender brightened up the plums and made the orange flavors shine,what a treat this jam will be. Enjoy!

Orange Plum Jam
adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
page 36
Makes about six 8-ounce jars
5 cups finely chopped plums
2 TBL grated orange zest
1 package (1.75 oz/49 - 57 g) 
   regular powdered fruit pectin
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
***(at this point I used 3 1/2 cups regular sugar
       and 2 cups infused sugar)***
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
1. Prepare your canner,jars and lids.
2.In a large,deep stainless steel saucepan,combine plums and orange zest. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat,stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full roiling boil,stirring constantly. Boil hard,stirring constantly for 1 minute. Immediately stir in orange-flavored liqueur if using. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace,if necessary by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center on lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met,then increase to fingertip-tight.
4. Place jars in canner,ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and let that roiling boil calm down.Wait 5 minutes,then remove jars,cool and store.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Never too much chocolate.

I put this picture of this naked chocolate cake up for TWO reasons: 1. I ain't braggin' but for someone whose not the best baker in the world I'm pretty dang excited I got this bundt cake out of the pan smoothly in one piece. Keywords here in one piece! Hooray! And 2. This cake is just fine the way it is,naked. It needs no icing,sprinkles or colored sugarbut a little powdered sugar can fancy it right up.I'm just sayin'.It is simple and just enough. Make this cake very soon,eat a piece after it cools and you'll never love another chocolate cake this much. Trust me. Enjoy!
Too Much Chocolate Cake and my neighbor 
 down the street Leigh,she's way great.
1 (18.25 ounce) box devil's food cake mix
1 5.9 ounce box of instant chocolate 
 pudding mix
1 cu sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with either nonstick cooking spray or some melted butter.(I find that if you brush the melted butter into the sides and creases within the pan this works just as well as cooking spray if not better.)
2.In a large bowl,whisk together the cake mix and pudding mix.In another medium bowl whisk together sour cream,vegetable oil,warm water, and eggs.Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.Mix well.Stir in the chocolate chips.
3.Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until top is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.Cool in the pan for 1 1/2 hours,invert onto a plate and then let it cool completely on a cooling rack or just invert onto a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve right away.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mid-Week moment #4.

"Joy is not in things;it is in us." -Richard Wagner

Sunday, November 7, 2010

like a scarf on a chilly fall day.

The weather outside has finally gotten around to being fall weather.It's chilly in the morning,quite nice during the day and then back to chilly at night.And with the onset of chilly weather,I will have to dress more warmly when I go out gallivanting around town.Ok,so I don't gallivant but you know to work and the grocery and what other various outings may come up in my schedule,I will have to wear a scarf (there I said it). I've never been a huge fan of scarves.I 've had short hair for a while now and for the first few years with a short hairdo of some sort,I never wore a scarf. and that could explain the sinus infections throughout the years too,but whose counting really... I fought the notion of neck warmth for a few years and then when I got a nice winter coat as a present the gift-giver insisted that I buy a few scarves to wear. I thought "Really you think so?!?!,well... ok if you say so." And I tell you what from that moment on the scarf collection grew and grew,if I only knew what I had been missing all those years.
  One thing I will not miss out on in the upcoming-chilly-weather months is Chicken and Buttermilk-Thyme Dumplings.I got a new cookbook a few weeks ago when the weather was still summerish and with great anticipation, I picked out a few recipes I wanted to make.The cookbook is The Big Book of Soups and Stews and it lives up to it's name I tell ya.It's not a huge book really,BUT ! it has some tasty-sounding recipes and I've got dinner on those chilly fall evenings covered!

Chicken and Buttermilk-Thyme Dumplings
Inspired by The Big Book of Soups and Stews
Adapted by my brain
4TBL evoo, divided
2 pieces of bacon, cut into small strips
4 chicken legs
4 chicken thighs
 -skin and extra pieces of fat removed
1 med onion, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
6 cups low fat low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried dill
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBL baking powder
1/4 tsp each: salt,black pepper,
garlic powder
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 cup buttermilk
1.In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the evoo over medium heat, cook bacon pieces in two batches.(if you cook it all at once it will wind steeping in it’s own juices and won’t be crispy).After bacon is cooked remove from the pot and pour off all but 1TBL of bacon fat. Brown the chicken pieces  in 2 batches untl the skin on the outside is nice and crispy, but the chicken is not cooked all the way through,2-3 minutes per side, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate to rest.
2.Heat 2TBL evoo in the same pot and add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper Cook for 3 -5 minutes until the veggies are soft and just beginning to brown. Add the chicken AND any collected juices back in the pot, sort of nestle them into the veggies.(it will be a tight fit, a layered effect if you will).
3.Add the chicken stock,water,bay leaf,thyme and dill. Cover almost all the way with your lid and let cook on medium-low for 30-45 minutes, checking every 10minutes or so. When you notice the chicken has pulled away from the bone, it’s ready. Take it out, pull the meat off the bones, shred it and put it back in the pot.
5.While the chicken cooks in the pot o’goodness, make the dumplings: Whisk together the flour, baking powder,salt,black pepper,garlic powder, and thyme. Then stir in the 1 cup of buttermilk until all ingredients are sticky and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add in more buttermilk 1TBL at a time.
6.After you’ve added the shredded chicken back into the pot, using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, coated with cooking spray, scoop out the dumplings and gently dump them on the top layer of the soup. Fill up the whole surface area of the soup with dumplings and cover the pot with the lid. Cook 10-12 minutes more and then test the dumplings to see if they’re done, they will be dry and bread-like in the center and all puffed up on the outside. Serve up in bowls and sprinkle  the crispy bacon pieces on top and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mid-Week moment #3.

"Oh hello Wednesday,have you seen Friday?"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Payday treat.

Three things I like a whole lot:a good read,a good lunch and payday.Every payday (or the next day closest to it) I take myself to lunch with a good book or the most current issue of Saveur magazine,it's my favorite.I go to Bogie's Deli in midtown and eat the same thing every single time,I'm like a broken record I tell ya. The sandwich I enjoy is the Smoked Turkey Reuben,the chips are the Jalapeno Heat and a cold,refreshing Dr. Pepper or maybe a regular Coke (no Diet coke with this meal,bring on the calories in the real sugar filled drinks).
  So here's what I had for lunch today,if you were wondering: 

I'm totally addicted to this sandwich and these chips.It makes my day and I really think you should go and give Bogie's a try.It's near Cooper and Madison directly in front of Studio on the Square movie theater.It's pretty fantastic and the folks that work there make my day cause they make that sandwich for me.Find the book you've been needing to finish or the magazine you just got in the mail and can't wait to read,see now's your chance. Enjoy!