57 is starting out pretty darned well. An on-time departure on Wednesday 19h put us in Versailles KY after an incredibly lovely “horse farm detour”, for a taste of a restaurant I have been looking forward to for a couple of years. This might be my favorite day of my “birthday trip” to Nashville – I guess the anticipation of what was to come and our first meal out of the door being fantastic contributed. Wallace Station did NOT disappoint – GO THERE if you can! In fact, it’s really not far and worth a drive in the country as its own destination.
Located in an old general store in an old railroad town, Wallace Station served me one of the best sandwiches I have ever had – Hot Country Ham and Pimento Cheese, panini pressed. I’m pretty finicky about both my ham AND my pimento cheese, so high praise indeed. My side was Bean Soup with Cornbread. Of course I make the best cornbread in the world, but this was a close second. Gordon got a cold sandwich and I’ve gotta tell you I was so into mine that I have no idea what he got, but he loved it. Next time, if I can resist a re-order, I’ll get the Inside Out Hot Brown. Don’t expect fancy; and relax about the flies. Don’t miss their bakery case either – we were too full but had to order a lemon bar (about 5×5”) and a savory scone to go because why not? These were enjoyed in our fabulous “home” in Nashville’s Germantown a couple of days later, because when we met my brother and his wife lo and behold she had made me a fabulous birthday cake – Butter Pecan Coconut!! SOooooo moist! So, lunch at 11, cake at 4, and Skull’s Rainbow Room at 6:30 for some more fabu dinner (swordfish) and jazz. We’re too freakin’ old to be able to wait or the 11PM Burlesque Show; maybe next time I’ll force some caffeine…. And so the pounds begin. Tune in next week for day 2.
Did you know that game (venison, boar, etc) are healthier for you than other kinds of meat? They are much higher in good Omega 3’s and lower in bad Omega 6’s. In addition, you can eat them with a clear conscience (IF you’re an omnivore, that is!) knowing for sure they lived well and naturally. The next time you have an opportunity, open your mind (and mouth) and give them a try. – Lula
Ground Cayenne comes from the De Arbol Chile – which is found in abundance in New Mexico. I’m currently reading a book about chiles (yes, there are whole BOOKS written about chiles!), and it made me remember a time long ago when I traveled to New Mexico and experienced many things for the first time. I was so excited about the chile wreaths and decorations they make there that I purchased one and brought it back home to Cincinnati. I hung it in my catering kitchen. It was beautiful! A couple of months later, I noticed what appeared to be “fruit flies” but smaller, one at a time, floating around the house. A swat here, a swat there, no problem! But within days, they were getting in my eyes, and crawling up my nose, when I walked into the kitchen. I called mom. They know everything, right? Well, if they don’t, they care enough to find out. After 2 or 3 calls back and forth after she consulted with friends, and alot of questioning, it turns out the chile wreath had been the host of thousands of microscopic eggs, which hatched and became fleeting residents of Cincinnati Ohio. The remedy: freeze the wreath. It was winter by then so I just set it out on the back deck overnight and voila! Problem “debugged”. Wreath rinsed and back in place for all to enjoy! Moral of the story: rinse your chiles before eating – even if you’re not a caterer!! – Lula
We all love pancakes, right? My favorite are extra fluffy melt in your mouth on the inside and crispy (slightly overdone!) on the outside…Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering’s pancakes are called “Crepey Cakes” because they’re so light and dreamy like a crepe, but with more “heft” – we use whole grains in our batter.
It doesn’t matter whether you like whole grains, make your own, or they come from a box – a couple of tips to always insure your pancakes aren’t doughy and leaden: 1) Pour your liquids in first and mix them up. 2) whatever liquid your recipe calls for, add 1/4 more liquid (milk or water) – so, if you’re making pancakes for 4, and your recipe calls for 1 cup milk, ad 1 1/4 cups milk. 3) Scatter your dry ingredients over the liquid and using a fork or a whisk, not a spoon, lightly fold stuff toge ther til incorporated but some lumps remain. Pancake batter is in effect a “dough” and you don’t want to activate the gluten too much or they’ll become tough. 4) and probably most importantly, let your batter REST for 10-15 minutes before you dribble it into the pan. Don’t stir your batter to get it into the pan. We’re (me and all the people in my head) happy to answer any questions you may have about your batter – email them under “Ask/About Lula’ on the website www.lulasforlunch.com Have a satisfying breakfast! Or brunch, lunch, dinner…I LOVE pancakes for dinner!!
A quote from Eustace Conway: “One of the reasons people are unhappy is they don’t talk to themselves. Keep a conversation going with yourself throughout your life to see how you’re doing, to keep your focus, to remain your own friend.” This validates me! I talk to myself all the time, especially in the kitchen, and my husband used to think I might be crazy. He is more used to me now, and knows I’m crazy. I am a comfort to me, and I think I’m lucky to have that! I hope the comfort from Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering http://www.lulasforlunch.com shows up in your food. My best, Lula
In my house there’s very little danger of chips of any kind going stale…but just in case you have more willpower than I do, did you know…storing potato chips in the refrigerator keeps them fresher longer?!?!?!
There are 2 reasons for this:
- Refrigerators are a low moisture environment so there’s simply less moisture for the chips to absorb than pantry air.
- Potato chips are high in starch content and when starch molecules cool they crystalize to become firm.
If you like handy-dandy tips like these about once a week from Lula’s Catering you can subscribe here and we’ll just keep you brimming with food knowledge!!!
Did you know there are two Chorizo’s out there? There’s Spanish, and there’s Mexican. Most recipes won’t tell you which to use – you need to understand the origin of the dish to select accurately.
Spanish Chorizo looks like a pepperoni or summer sausage, because it is dry cured like they are. It is made with Sweet Paprika (there are two types of Paprika as well!!) and can be eaten sliced right from the “stick”. You would use this in Paella, for instance.
Mexican Chorizo, even though it can come in a casing, has the consistency of bulk sausage and contains more fat. It is seasoned more with chiles and vinegar. You need to cook Mexican Chorizo – either in the casing or squeezed out of the casing – just like you would ground beef or bulk sausage.
At Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering we use Mexican Chorizo in our South American Strata, and it’s DEElicious!! Or, ask for our Texi-Mexi Empanadas – served with our amazing Avocado-Cilantro Crème.
If you follow these two steps, you will almost double the volume of juice you get out of lemons, limes, oranges, grapepfruit and the like. First, pop them in the microwave. One fruit for 15 seconds. Each add’l fruit gets 5 more seconds. Then, place them on the counter or cutting board and putting the force of your “elbow grease” behind them, roll them around a bit. You’ll be amazed at the amount of juice you’ll get! Lula uses citrus in a myriad of recipes…Pork Loin with Peach Mango Salsa, and Salmon Piccata are two. Go to www.lulasforlunch.com and guess which menu items contain citrus…there are several on our Breakfasty/Brunchy menu alone!!! – Lula