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The Village in North Austin (on Anderson Lane near Mo-Pac/Loop 1) has been slowly gaining interest and new businesses are moving in steadily filling in the few remaining gaps. The Goodnight is one of the newer kids on the block and is perfect for a date night with your sweetie, or meeting up with friends. A long plentiful bar centers the dinning area. Four billiard tables are flanked by two ping-pong tables in the rear. There are bowling lanes for the adventurous types! The staff are friendly and the food is diligently prepared, although it’s pub grub. Albeit, tasty pub food. The menu includes many fried items, salads, burgers and hot sandwiches, plus a few entrees of the beef/chicken/fish sort. For a light snack I recommend the Chef’s Board, featuring Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and local nibbles. Vegetarians have a few options but are all heavy on carbs. The Cheese Steak has moist meat on a soft roll.

What to order: For your date night I recommend the Farmer’s Market Pizza to share. It comes topped with roasted mushrooms, goat cheese and spicy arugula.

    Address: 2700 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757
    Phone number: 512-459-5000
    Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 11am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am
    Takes reservations: Yes
    WiFi: Yes
    Website: http://thegoodnightaustin.com
    Happy Hour: Monday through Friday – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm – $7 Pizzas, Megamugs of beer and select cocktails.
    Late Night Happy Hour: Friday and Saturday after midnight – $3 wells, $3 shots of Fireball Whiskey or Jameson Whiskey, $2 PBR or Lonestar cans.

But wait… THERE’S MORE!

Bowling
Monday through Saturday – $30 per lane per hour after 4:00 pm.
Friday and Saturday – $15 per lane per hour after midnight.
All other times, including all day Sunday are free to play.

Pool, Shuffleboard and Table Tennis
Thursday through Saturday – $4 per hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; $8 per hour from 7:00 pm to close.
All other times are free to play.

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Start Halloween with a toasted scary cat or spooky ghost to dip into runny yolks.

Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes from the middle of sliced bread (any kind you would eat with eggs).

Put butter in the pan over medium-low heat.  Once it melts put the cut bread in the pan.  Let the first side toast for about 30 seconds then carefully pour an egg in the “hole” in the toast.

Season with salt and pepper then gently flip the egg and toast together.  Season the second side and cook until the white is set but the yolk is soft or runny. (Note:  cook until the egg yolk is set if serving small children)

Alternatively, before adding the egg flip the toast while empty.  Add the egg then cover the pan with a lid.

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I often watch talks on TED and found a very interesting presentation related to food by Heribert Watzke.  Or rather, what our bodies do with food and how cooking has transformed us.

How is your cat feeling today?

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  I never heard of the Stylish Blogger Award before one of the ladies I follow received it from another blogger.  I really don’t see who benefits from all this hoopla, but I guess a bit of fun wouldn’t hurt.

  First, let me take a moment to thank the lovely Edmonton Tourist for the nomination of this award.  If I’ve managed to get you in the kitchen with one of my recipes, then I call this blog a success!

  Secondly, abiding by the rules of the Stylish Blogger Award Academy, I must present seven facts about myself.  Then proceed to make my nominations known to the world on this very page, thus spreading the utter amazement of receiving this award with my blog-kin.  Not all of these facts will related to the normal context of this blog, but in the spirit of being a good hostess to the Academy, I shall divert the conversation to my life.  Who is Midnite Chef anyways?  Well, this might give you a clue…

I will only accept this award if the person holding it is this guy:

I once rode a ski lift while dangling from the seat, backwards.  This was due to a bad takeoff and positioning with the chair.  Obviously, I survived.

I am a big StarTrek, X-Files, Bones and Fringe fan.

I have green eyes, the color of the sea.

My lucky number is 28.  This number has followed me all my life.  My first phone number ended with 28.  My junior high locker number (not chosen by me) was 28.  The last number of my high school locker lock (again, not chosen by me) was 28.  My Canadian license plate for my red Pontiac Grand Am: VHH-288!!! Wait, I’m not done yet… The first two numbers of my Texas address, you guessed it, 28.  Oh and the lot number my house sits on is lot 28.  And, my first born child was the 28th grandchild on my father’s side.  Last but not least, my birthday is on the 28th.  Creepy, eh?

I have been deep-sea fishing (thanks to Hubby), thus this is why I know my eyes are the color of the sea!    

              

There’s nothing better in the world than seeing my children absolutely devour the food I have created.

I would like to nominate three ladies for the Stylish Blogger Award:

Creative Cooking Gluten Free – You have opened the door to a different approach of cooking, while gluten may not be my enemy, it certainly is for several people.  Brava for sharing your story!

The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife – You are a funny gal, living off the beaten path and I love reading your quips about your life.

Lisa’s Foods on the Move – I started really following you when you declared you were making your own bread for a year.  You have sound advice for people wanting to leave less mess behind on the planet.  I hope that more of us will learn from you today to protect our future.

Here are the official rules to play along:

  • Present seven things about yourself
  • Name about a half dozen bloggers you think deserve the award
  • Contact those people
  • Create a link back to the person who gave you the honor

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Little Sister has now reached her first birthday and I’m astonished at how quickly this year flew by. The whole family packed up to go to the grandparent’s house, only 5 to 6 hours away, for a special celebration. Both Little Sister and Grandpa had birthdays this weekend, so we combined the two together. I made the appetizers and sweets, Grandma made brisket and rice, Tia made her beans.  Thank you very much to those who came out for some good laughs, invincible piñatas, and great company!

(red platter) Apple Cider Brined Carrots, (yellow platter) Skinny Pigs in a Blanket

Here’s what I contributed to the birthday bash.

Skinny Pigs in a Blanket

I’ve been reading Claire Robinson’s book (5 Ingredient Fix) and there’s some great pieces of advice in there, especially how you should use the best ingredients you can afford since there are so few components to a dish. This holds true for many recipes and I applied the philosophy to my Skinny Pigs in a Blanket by using super lean smoked sausage (which I found on sale last week) and pungent sharp cheddar. When you use sharp cheeses you need less of it to get the flavor to appear, this also means less fat. All three ingredients were toned down in fat levels, but flavor was not sacrificed. There were no leftovers whatsoever.

  • Lean Smoked Turkey Sausage
  • Extra Sharp New York Style Cheddar
  • Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls

Cut 3 inch sections of sausage, then quarter them lengthwise. Slice the cheese the same length, use as thin or thick a slice as you like. Wrap the sausage and cheese in a crescent roll, I had no fancy way of doing this, just cover as much as you can with the dough. Bake at 375 degrees for about 14 minutes or the tops are golden brown.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • water
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teasp cinnamon
  • 1/8 teasp allspice
  • 1/8 teasp cloves

Follow the directions on the box, except for the amount of water.  I used about 1/4 cup of water in my batter, the remaining amount will be added by the pumpkin.  You can roast and puree your own pumpkin (I’ve also used calabaza squash) for this recipe. 

pumpkin cupcakes

Pecan Raisin Tarts

Tart Shell:
  • 1 cups cake flour
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teasp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Filling:
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • pinch of sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, that’s 175 deg C for my Canadian folks.  Cut the cold butter into the flour and salt until it feels like wet sand and will hold its shape when pinched.  Grease a muffin tin (or use silicone to skip this step, and I would have used my silicone molds because these little tarts stuck to my pan!) with butter.  Take a heaping tablespoon of the pastry and push it around the walls of the mold, then add a little more to cover the bottom.  Repeat until all 12 molds are filled.  Bake for 10  to 12 minutes, the outside edge should begin to brown. 

Whilst the shells bake, prepare the filling.  Set the raisins and pecans aside and whisk everything else in a bowl.  When the tart shells come out, they will look poofy, don’t worry, distribute the pecans and raisins to each tart, you can push them down in the middle gently.  Pour the egg mixture into each tart shell, then quickly get them back into the oven for another 20 minutes.  The result is a flaky shell with a sticky nutty caramel interior.  Let the tarts cool in the pan, this will be the hardest part but trust me, if you try to take them out while they are still warm you will lose a few chunks.  Yep, I did it.  So now you know what not to do, or use those fancy silicone molds instead.

Apple Cider Brined Carrots

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 teasp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teasp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teasp whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 whole Serrano peppers, stems removed
  • baby carrots, rinsed well

Prepare a glass jar by sterilizing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, I used an empty pasta sauce jar (Classico uses thick glass which should not break if you reuse them * however, do so at your own risk).  Pack the onion slices pulled apart into individual rings into the bottom of the jar, then the peppers and carrots.  I will also suggest adding the spices to the jar, as the mustard seeds stuck to the pot where the brine was made.  Next, make the brine.  Pour the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a pot and bring it up to a boil while stirring to dissolve the salt.  Let it boil for a minute then carefully pour into the jar.  Cover the jar with a lid.  Tip: don’t put the glass jar on a cold countertop, the temperature difference may crack the glass when the hot brine is added.  Let the jar cool then refrigerate.  I made these carrots two days prior to the party so they would be good and pickled for my platter.

Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts and Sunflower Seeds

(adapted from Emeril’s Microwave Nutty-Caramel Corn)

  • 14 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1 jar roasted peanuts (no shells)
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds (no shells)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teasp vanilla
  • sea salt
  • 1 teasp baking soda
  • large paper sack

D – this is for you!

Combine the popcorn, nuts, and seeds in the paper sack.  In a microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, sugar, syrup, vanilla and pinch of sea salt.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Return to the microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir again.  If the brown sugar feels grainy under the (wooden) spoon, pop it back in for another minute.  Sprinkle the baking soda into the hot gooey mess and stir carefully, the soda will bubble and foam.  Pour the caramel into the paper sack, toss the popcorn around to coat.  Stuff the paper sack into the microwave for 1 minute on high.  Then shake it, preferably with oven mitts.  Spread the sticky popcorn on two wax paper lined baking sheets (or kitchen counter) and if you like salty-sweet nibbles add a dash more sea salt while the caramel is hot.  Let it cool then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if it will survive that long. 

Hummus and Chorizo Spread

I know what you’re thinking, chorizo is so greasy why on Earth would you use it?  Well, this is not your typical chorizo – this is homemade lean chorizo from the Grandparent’s kitchen.  I’ve requested a weekend to learn how to make this delightfully versatile sausage.  When I learn how to make it, I’ll let y’all know!  This spread was unexpectedly tasty and incredibly easy to prepare, your friends will think you spent all afternoon putting the dish together.  Here is our little secret… buy the hummus from your deli!  I even took two flavors, regular and roasted red pepper hummus, just to have a taste of each.  Grab some low-fat multi-grain pita chips and you’re set.  Well, except for the chorizo, stay tuned for that…  Now you have everything needed to put this spread to work.  Brown the chorizo (drain on paper towel if it’s not lean), spread the hummus on a plate (half regular and half red pepper – or pick the flavors you want), top with a sprinkle of chorizo.  Done.

Now go grab an iced tea and enjoy!

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