What I Ate Wednesday #100: The Birthday Food

I think birthday food is the perfect way to celebrate 100 WIAW posts, don’t you? I’m glad we agree.

Luckily for me, I had 2 full days of birthday meals—one on my actual birthday, last Thursday, and another on the following Saturday. And let me tell you, it was gooooood!

Thursday

Lunch+
Nathan came home from work to take me out for a sushi lunch. I got the sashimi bento box [no rice, extra salad] and it was wonderful.
Sashimi Bento Box Miso Soup

I had a feeling I’d want to save some room for our favorite ice cream around the corner. I had the lime meringue pie [with graham cracker crust pieces] and Nathan got the cardamom rose pistachio.
Ici Ice Cream

Dinner+
For dinner, we went Kanishka’s, an Indian Neo-Gastro Pub, where we started out with flights of red wine Belgian beer.
Kanishka Syrah Trempranillo Garnacha Wine Flight

Kanishka Belgian Beer Flight

The restaurant offered tapas-style dishes, so we split a few, including the Tandoori-tini,
Kanishka Tandoori-tini

Chef’s 6 ‘O’ Clock Cravings [street-style rolls],
Kanishka Chefs 6 O Clock Craving

Chicken Korma Poutine,
Kanishka Chicken Korma Poutine

and Nicoya Breeze Salad.
Kanishka Nicoya Breeze Salad

And if that wasn’t enough, we topped it off with another brew.
ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop

But it didn’t end there!

Saturday

Lunch+
We went over to Perdition Smokehouse, a new BBQ joint around the corner from us, and split a 2 meat plate with brisket, pulled pork, coleslaw, and Texas caviar. And beer, of course.
Perdition Smokehouse Brisket Pulled Pork Coleslaw Texas Caviar
The brisket was awesome. The pork was ridiculous.

And then we had to top it off with a slice of peach pie.
Perdition Smokehouse Peach Crumble Pie

Dinner
The big night out to NOPA! We started with a little amuse bouche—apples with honey yogurt and sea salt.
NOPA Amuse Bouche

Next up was the tasso spiced ham with pluots, almonds, and balsamic. We were both hoping for a more flavorful pluot, but the dish was pretty darn tasty.
NOPA Tasso Ham Pluots Smoked Almonds

I ordered the king salmon with creamy corn, trumpet mushrooms, green beans, and roasted cherry tomatoes. The salmon was so perfectly cooked, the mushrooms gave the dish a little extra meatiness, the corn had that little bit of decadence, and the green beans and tomatoes really helped to lighten it up so it didn’t feel too heavy. I loved it!
NOPA Salmon Corn Green Beans Trumpet Mushrooms Cherry Tomatoes

Finally, for dessert [because birthdays require 2 desserts in 1 day], we split the fig and peach tart with cognac cream, walnut crust, and melon sorbet. Totally different than anything I’d typically order, but it was light and flavorful. That said, I’d go for the crumble from Perdition 😉
NOPA Peach Fig Tart Cognac Cream Walnut Crust Melon Sorbet

I’d have to say, it was a pretty successful birthday in the food realm! Couldn’t have asked for anymore.

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite birthday meal and dessert?

A Family Recipe: Grandma Barr’s Tzimmes

So you’ve had your sedar [or two..] and now you have tons of leftover brisket. I see no problem with this.. I mean, brisket is rather delicious. But it’s always nice to mix it up and have a new dish from the food you already have. My grandma has the perfect recipe and I’m so happy to be able to share this with you.

Tzimmes is traditionally a Jewish stew made up of fruit, vegetables, and meat. Rather then making it a stew, my grandma spread everything onto a sheet pan and roasted it in the oven overnight; low and slow. My dad preferred to have to peel the pieces off of the baking sheet; that’s how you know it was nice and perfectly chewy 😉

First, I’ll share with you the original recipe, using flanken, followed by the adjustments to use your leftover brisket.

Grandma Barr’s Tzimmes

Barr & Table Passover Leftovers Family Recipe Grandma Barrs Tzimmes

A happy Passover plate

Ingredients
– Flanken [Short ribs]
– 4 white potatoes
– 4 sweet potatoes
– 1/2 cup flour
– 3/4 cup orange juice
– Dried prunes; cut into chunks [Optional]
– 1 tsp orange rind
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– Honey

Directions
Place flanken and carrots in pot, cover with water and boil. When cooked, remove flanken and refrigerate. Leave carrots in water covered all night. The next day cut up potatoes, drain carrots, trim meat and mix together. Add all ingredients and mix together. Spread onto a disposable baking sheet, cover, and cook in a low oven overnight until caramelized and chewy [the lower and slower, the better!]. Uncover to crisp.

If you prefer not to cook overnight, bake at 350°F, covered, until caramelized and chewy. Uncover to crisp.

Adjusted for leftover brisket
Using the brisket that has already been cooked, boil carrots alone and forget the overnight part. Mix everything together and spread onto a disposable baking sheet. Bake at 350°F, covered, until caramelized and chewy. Uncover to crisp.

I have to admit, this is definitely not the healthiest recipe on my blog, but this is just one of those traditional recipes that is worth it. Trust me.

Food for Thought

What is your favorite traditional recipe or meal that you this is just worth it?

The Best Part of Wedding Planning

Food!

Last week my mom and I went to meet with a potential caterer for the wedding, Innovative Gourmet, and were rather surprised to find out that we would not only be discussing food, we would also be tasting!

One of the first things I said to Nathan when we got engaged was “OOH!! Now we get to taste cake!” So needless to say, I was excited! Unfortunately I arrived sans camera, so my camera phone had to do.

First Course
Chilled soup / Turkey, bacon, cheddar panini on pumpernickel bread

Both delicious and such a great combo!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Chilled Soup Turkey Bacon Cheddar Panini

Second Course
Grilled and roasted veggies / Vegetable flatbread / Duck bites with crunchy pecans / Smoked brisket on french baguette

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with grilled and roasted veggies. I ate those up! The duck was fantastic with the sweet crunch from the pecans and I loved the smoke flavor in the brisket.

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Grilled Roasted Asparagus Red Pepper Zucchini Tomato Cauliflower Flatbread Duck Pecans Smoked Brisket Carrots

Third Course
Polenta bar with shredded chicken, roasted peppers, sauteed spinach, smoked gouda, and bleu cheese.

This is such a fun idea; rather than doing the typical pasta bar, you substitute creamy polenta and put out a bunch of toppings. A make-your-own so everyone gets what they want. And each piece was equally tasty.

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Polenta Shredded Chicken Roasted Bell Pepper Sauteed Spinach Smoked Gouda Bleu Blue Cheese

Fourth Course
Chop salad / Heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad over asparagus with frisee and balsamic reduction

I’m not a huge chop salad fan, but the heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad is right up my alley. I love the layered, deconstructed visual appeal of the dish, and the flavors were fantastic!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Chop Salad Heirloom Tomato Buffalo Mozzarella Asparagus Frisee Balsamic Reduction

Fifth Course
Brown butter rockfish over roasted corn, carrots, green beans, & red pepper / Pistachio crusted lamb over roasted vegetables and tzatziki

The rockfish was flaky and delicious, but the lamb stole the show. It was cooked perfectly; so tender and flavorful, and the pistachio crust gave it a beautiful crunch. We took a few leftovers home, but the lamb was not one of them.

Sorry Nathan. (Not really……)

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Brown Butter Rockfish Corn Carrots Red Pepper Green Beans Pistachio Crusted Lamb Tzatziki

Sixth Course
A beautiful assortment of petit fours

What can I say? I’m a sucker for sweets! Chocolate. Chocolate. And more chocolate. And a few other bites of desserts, but my favorites were all of the chocolates!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Desserts Petit Fours Chocolate Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate White Chocolate

This has definitely been the most fun I’ve had during the wedding planning thus far and it makes me so excited for more tastings!

As for the caterer choice? Decisions still to come…

Speak Up!

If you’re married or engaged, what was your favorite part of planning? And if you’re not married or engaged, what are you most looking forward to while planning?

Don’t forget! Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a case of CalNaturale Svelte! Don’t miss it.. entries accepted until 11:59pm EST! Four lucky winners will be chosen Friday morning!