Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday Night Dinna...Veggie Time!

We had ourselves some portobello mushroom burgers with sauteed asparagus last night and strawberry shortcake for dessert...finally!

A little deviation from the plan, but like I said, pretty much expected.  I have made the portobello burgers before, but I changed it up a little bit to use ingredients I had in the house.  I used a black bean, garlic and thyme puree for some added protein, grilled up the portobellos after a little marinating in olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar.  Topped with havarti (of course), spinach and tossed on a toasted sesame seed bun.  Easy and pretty darn delicious.  Then, I was going to roast my asparagus, but I changed my mind last minute.  I decided to sauté them in chicken broth (not so veggie...sorry), salt, pepper and garlic (good things Hubs and I both ate this meal...apparently I have a thing for garlic!).  They were really thick asparagi (haha), so I wanted to make sure I cooked them through and not dry them out.  I think they turned out perfectly!  Two green things on my plate...not too bad.  Had to make some caloric room for the encore.

Mmmmm...I got a little crazy and thought making dough for strawberry shortcake was a good idea.  Admittedly, I am not a very good baker at this point, I try, but often things get a little hairy in the kitchen when flour is involved.  This was true of my shortcake, but I think it all miraculously worked out!

Fresh Florida strawberries, homemade shortcake with lemon butter spread and my first time making whipped cream.  I know that seems crazy, but I really do like some cool whip!!  The homemade stuff was pretty good and easy too :)  The shortcakes...not as easy!

And all the while, this is what we we have to deal with!!  How do you say no to this?!?  I just drop some veggies while I am cooking...he loves it!

Have a nice Tuesday :)

Monday, March 28, 2011


Erin's rating:  ★★★★★

About the Place
If you have not been to Yats yet, there are three locations in Indy and one in Greenwood, go find one immediately!  This place is so awesome, and we actually eat here quite a bit.  In our few months in Indianapolis, this has been one of our staples. We try to go to different restaurants a lot because there are so many amazing ones to choose from, but you've gotta have your easy, go-to places that you can count on.
Hubs and I were talking about Gainesville, FL the other day (where we moved from) and all of our favorite places that we really miss there and trying to think of what we have replaced them with here.  Yats was all we could come up with.  We love it because it is simple, cheap ($12 for two meals + $3 to split dessert) and dang tasty food.  It's the place you go when you want to order chinese (you know how you are feeling on those nights!), but you want something more awesome than that.  We have been to two different locations, the one in BR and the on on Mass Ave.  They are both really cool with crazy, over-the-top New Orleans decor (seriously crazy!!, but I love it).  Both are really laid back, but something about the one in BR is pretty cozy.  I can't wait until warm weather to be able to sit outside on the patio and people watch over College Ave.

The seating area

Random decor :)

The ordering area and menu on the chalkboard

About the Food
Let me start by saying, the food ain't pretty.  No gourmet photos here.   Drinks are in styrofoam cups and you eat with plasticware.  Don't hate, just eat it!

Get it?  It was awesome...we ate the junk out of it!
Because, after you taste it, you will cease to care what it looks like.  I LOVE the chili cheese etoufee with crawfish.  It's a little spicy and very creamy, served over rice.  We order extra bread because dipping bread and soaking up the creaminess is a must...and the bread is it's own version of yum.  Maybe fighting for being the best part of the meal, but I am always partial to bread...it's weird, I know.
Hubs and I both ordered this yesterday.  Now, this isn't Hubs' normal order, he mixes it up more, but we went at a weird time and just so you can learn this lesson from us, if you don't get there at a decent hour, some of the entrees will be GONE!!  They run out, they just do.  The menu changes from day to day and what is there on that day is all you get.  So, check out the menu online and get there early if you want something specific (not that you won't find something else awesome if it's out).  And big bummer, you'd just have to go back another time if you miss it :)
Another important note about the food, which we didn't realize the first couple times we went, is that you can order a whole order, a half and half order (if you want to try some new options) or a half order.  I suggest a half order, because it's still a wicked huge amount of food and you want to make sure you have enough room for the Peanut Butta Pie (yeah, that's their words, not mine, but I embrace saying Butta for sure!).

It was soooooooooo good.  This is the first time I ordered it because I am always so full, but I wanted to be able to tell everyone about it.  Man, was that a great idea if I do say so myself?!?  It was really perfect for me.  The pie wasn't fluffy, it was quite dense, I actually had a hard time eating it with my plasticware!  It wasn't grainy though, like some PB treats can be, it was nice and smooth and not too overwhelmingly sweet.  It was finished with a chocolate graham cracker crust and an airy whipped topping drizzled with chocolate sauce.  It was definitely peanut buttery, so if that's not your thing, I think you should still try it!!  It's that good.  Also, for a place whose food is not so pretty, what a nice presentation in it's little styrofoam to-go box!

Eat at Yats!  Order at the counter, wait for 3 minutes and chow down.  You won't be sorry.

Yats (Broad Ripple) on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kobe Beef Burgers and Strawberry-Kiwi Salad

Last night I made some Kobe beef burgers, which I do fairly often because they are one thing I make that Hubs really likes.  I have a few go to recipes that I make when I don't feel like being too creative or going to too much trouble for a during the week dinner, and burgers are one of them.  I started ordering fresh, organic produce from Green B.E.A.N. delivery a few months ago, and it's been great.  They have a really nice variety of fresh fruits and veggies AND they also deliver other things, like organic meats, eggs, milk and a slew of other organic and local goodies.  Well, they happen to have this Joseph DeCuis Kobe beef that is from right here in Roanoke, Indiana.  So, I thought I would give it  a try.  If you haven't had Kobe beef burgers, I think you too oughtta give them a whirl.  They are so good, they almost melt in your mouth.  I like to make my burgers with bread crumbs, an egg, worschestire sauce, salt, pepper, italian seasoning and garlic powder.  Hubs and I almost prefer them to getting burgers out (except that burgers out means I don't have to do dishes!!).  A delicious burger on a fresh sesame seed bun topped with cheddar or havarti or meunster (I loooovee cheese!) is one of our favorite meals these days.

Hubs enjoyed his burger with cheddar and nice mason jar full o' some craft beer I'm sure :)
I typically try to pair the burgers with something kind of healthy, it depends on what we have from our bi-weekly delivery from Green B.E.A.N.  Often it's sweet potato fries with cinnamon or green beans, but since strawberries are in season right now and spinach seems to be in great supply these days too, I decided to whip up a refreshing strawberry-kiwi salad.  Maybe the weather will start to cooperate and salads can slowly be worked back into the menu!  I find it hard to eat cold food when it's so cold outside and I do miss a nice, crisp salad, so it was a yummy treat.  Simple and clean, green romaine, spinach, strawberries, kiwi, walnuts and wild maine blueberry vinaigrette.   I finally get to use some of my new salad serving dishes we got for our wedding too!!  Double awesome :)

The other cool part about this dinner was that we watched the Gators win in the sweet sixteen last night!!  Go Gators.  On to play Butler now, should be interesting being Gators in Bulldog country.  Don't hate us for being scaly...and awesome :)  Should be a fun game.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Erin's Rating: ★★★★★

Oh my galoshes, Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station!  Yeah, it'll have you making random exclamations too, and for a few different reasons, I promise.  Some of which happen to be that it's ridiculously adorable little place that used to be the old Monon Railway Station.  It's beautifully and historically preserved with all the modern essentials.  It's a super convenient location right on the Monon Trail steps away from Broad Ripple Ave.  Good for when you get your workout on and you need to recharge with some ice cream when it's warm, or fair trade coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the winter when you're chilled to the bone.

And, on top of all that, the ice cream in phenomenal...served up on homemade cones!  I tickled my tastebuds with the Broad Ripple Blackberry, which, and I am not even exaggerating here, might be the tastiest ice cream I have consumed.  It's shockingly delicious.  I know that's a tall order, and you may be skeptical, but all I can say is you MUST go out and try it for yourself if you don't believe me.  Now, of course, they have your go-to regular flavors like strawberry, chocolate and cookies n' cream, but I know I'm going to have a hard time trying anything else until I eat my body weight in BR Blackberry.  But, that's just how I roll.  If I love it, I'm eating A LOT of it, A LOT.

BRICS is also in the Midtown Loves Local network, which we personally love to find and patronize.  Giving back to the community and eating yummy treats...all in a days work!  When you see this sign, think about it, it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta eat all this good food.  It might as well be us, right?

Brics on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekly Menu posted...and this morning's brekky

I have posted my weekly menu on the "what's cookin' in the homestead?" page, so check it out.  I will link my cookin' and eating out excursions as they happen this week, so stay tuned!

Here's a little sneak peak of my brekky this morning...

Scholar's Inn Bakehouse sourdough bread (Bloomington, IN), earth balance, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs.  Easy Peazy!!

Ingredients and a little extra sunlight :)  Yay, sun...and french toast.

French toast made with fresh sourdough bread and Indian River Florida oranges...deeeelish!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza - Historic Irvington

Erin's Rating: ★★★

Friday night is date night at our house.  It's a way to get out of the house and we usually try to go to a new restaurant.  We go all over the city, we follow the smell of food...and our GPS (Madge), because most of the time we have no idea where we are going!!  She gets us close enough for our noses to close in on the place.
Last night we ventured to Historic Irvington, which we haven't been to yet.  It was dark, which is always a tricky when trying to get the real feel of a place.  From what I could tell, it's a cute little area with a small block of storefronts and restaurants and, of course, a Starbucks.  There are more Starbucks in Indianapolis than anywhere else I have ever lived!!  Not a bad night out weather-wise, but not too many people around, it seemed a little quiet.

Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza was our destination on this full moon night after a referral from one of Hubs' co-workers.   I have to admit, I wasn't really in the mood for pizza and the chimp with the top hat kinda freaks me out.

Inside, we didn't have to wait for too long, which is always a bonus.  There was a wide variety of people and some pretty cool local art on the walls.  We particularly liked the boston terrier in a jailbird suit! Hubs and I are fans of local restaurants that display transitioning works of local artists, it just seems to fit and gives you something interesting to check out during dinner.  Good or bad, they are conversation pieces!
Obviously, we ordered pizza!!  The menu had some pretty cool pizza options, a little different from your everyday pizza joint.  You have to appreciate mixing things up, but for me you have to be careful with pizza.  I prefer a nice good cheese pizza with artichokes and ricotta...keep it simple.  However, when in Rome!  They had kind of a cool option, which was half and half of any of their crazy pizza topping choices.

Hubs Choice (Wowsers!  That's alotta toppings!!)
CREOLE: We start with a chessy etoufee sauce from Papa Roux's Restaurant, and Eastside original at 10th and Post Road.  We add green pepper, tomato and your choice of crawfish, shrimp or authentic smoked cajun sausage from Vaucresson fine foods in New Orleans, and finish it off with Papa's own cajun spice mix.  No cheese. 

My choice (Yum, ricotta):
CHEESE LOUISE: Cheddar, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, gouda, red onion and bacon.

So, my verdict on the pizza...it was just okay.  I wasn't a huge fan of the crust, and I think that the crust, much like the bread on a good sandwich, can make or break the pizza.  I would say overall, the crust kinda broke it for me, it was a bit tasteless.  Hubs thought it was okay, he did appreciate the creative toppings and it's certainly nice for a change not to have to eat my "boring" pizza if he didn't want to.  Points for the creative menu choices with a local flair and the local art, decent atmosphere, cute bar area, but definitely not my new favorite pizza joint.  For all you artichoke lovers (if there are others out there :)), they don't have artichokes as a topping on their menu...sad face.

Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patty's @ the Flatwater Restaurant on the canal

Erin's Rating: ★★★ 1/2

  The hubs and I decided the best way to go about St. Patty's was to wander around until we found just the right place.  The right place to us last night meant:  1.  Not too many drunk, college-agers, we prefer not to be the oldest people at the place.  It just makes me feel, well, old, and who wants that?!?  2.  Crowded for good people watching, but not elbow to elbow and cramping my ability to obtain food and drink in a  speedy fashion and 3.  I was in the mood for some outside air because the weather was absolutely amazing, so check to having a deck.  It's always good to set out your criteria depending on your mood, that way you don't end up with something you didn't bargain for from the start.
  We ended up at the Flatwater Restaurant in Broad Ripple on the canal.  We had spied this place a few days ago because of their super sweet deck (check!!).  There was a wide range of people and it wasn't super crowded (check and check).  We were able to get to the bar (which is open air, by the way) and grab ourselves a Sun King Wee Mac on tap.  Sun King is a local Indianapolis brewery since 2008 and their Wee Mac is a deliciously frothy, deeply colored but refreshing beverage.  Hubs and I think it's our favorite of the Sun King varieties.

  We were wicked starving when we got there, but knew it would be awhile before food arrived at our table because of the holiday.  So we drank our Wee Macs and we enjoyed our seat and our people watching...and our Gator game.  Go Gators!!  I digress, the whole atmosphere at this place is pretty awesome.  On any night that you can be outside, enjoying a delectable craft beer, I say "go for it!".

This is my attempt at creativish photography...please bear with me.  I promise to try to hone my photog skills ASAP!
  On to the foooooood!!  I was feeling a burger, but then, I am often feeling a burger, especially at a new place.  I require bleu cheese on my burger, because it's just delicious.  Hubs also got a burger (we are often on the same page in these circumstances).  He got the fries for us to share as well, they were extra and you know how you always get 10 bagillion fries with a burger, and what one person needs all that?  Well, we probably should've both gotten fries, because they were nice and perfectly crunchy and served with my personal favorite part of the whole meal, a garlicky dipping sauce.  The burgers were less impressive, unfortunately. They weren't horrible, but my bleu cheese was kind of funky somehow, just not a very good flavor.  I am not positive, but the burgers may have been from frozen patties??  If they weren't, I guess that's how I would describe how they tasted...kind of frozen pattyish, a little dry, nothing to write home about...but clearly, I will write a blog about it!!

  In summary,  I am not ready to give up on this place.  I think it has promise.  I wasn't stoked about the food, but the ambiance will keep me coming back at least a few times and give some other things on the menu a chance.  The bartender and wait staff were very attentive and cheery, which I certainly appreciate.  If the menu retry doesn't work out, it's always a good place for beer and mallard watching!!

Flatwater Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Food-Finding Credentials

    As you might be able to tell from the title of this blog....I am mildly, or seriously, obsessed with finding amazing food and promptly consuming it.  It's pretty much all about the food, atmosphere can matter and make a nice package, but great, real food is undeniable.  There is little else that thrills me on a daily basis than hunting down a hole-in-the-wall eatery and feeling like I have discovered some delectable treats that some poor souls could be missing out on.  This is why I feel that sharing the spoils of my discoveries (a.k.a.  food that makes one drool), is only fair.
   Now, don't get me wrong, I eat at places that are on the radar as well, but I will promise to provide my honest opinion about whether I am in on the hype, or not.  I also enjoy finding recipes and cooking up some foods in my own hole-in-the-wall eatery (i.e. my not so state of the art kitchen), because, come on, we can't eat out all the time...or can we?  No, no we can't, and we don't want to either, right!?!  I mean, with farmer's markets to local meats and treats (we are in the Midwest here, farms galore!), there can be some bangin' good homemade eats in the comfort of your own home!
    I recently moved to the Midwest, but my obsession with food is nothing new.  The upside here is that all of the restaurants in Indy are new to me...and I can't wait to dive right in...tastebuds first.   Come and join me, and go check out some of these places if you haven't already.  Take your friends, have some laughs, but best of all, laugh over good, fresh food...and support some local business in the process!!

   Oh yeah, I almost forgot!  Happy St. Patty's day.  Go enjoy some green beer, or just a delicious beer like a Bell's Two Hearted (local from Michigan!).  It's going to be 70 today and I can think of nothing better than a beer, green or otherwise on a patio overlooking the canal in Broad Ripple.
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