12.23.2008

My Christmas list

With only 2 days until the big day, I thought I would post a little list of wants just in case any of you out there are planning a last minute gift for me. 


1. Returning from last years list...Miss Sylvia.


2.  Panasonic Lumix DMC - LX3, this is the new version of my current camera the DMC - LX2 which has been hands down the best camera I have ever owned.


3. And finally for those big spenders out there...the Volkswagen Tiguan....in black....with 19" wheels...and a roof rack.




11.11.2008

finally!

I was fully planning on posting about my recent trip to New York. I have been a bit absent lately and thought that the blog deserved a post that was thoughtful and interesting. I did have great time in the city. I enjoyed some great food, had some good spro...well, one at least ( its amazing how hard it is to find a good espresso in that city), and enjoyed the sites. However, I am not feeling especially thoughtful or interesting this evening, so I have decided to post my first batch of photos extracted from the iphone. Actually, this post isn't at a complete loss, I took a couple of photos at the brasserie restaurant in NYC with my iphone, you will see them below. I hope you enjoy.


the brasserie, nyc

hoffman orthodontics...sneak peak of the open house.
and of course, the hux.

10.06.2008

Latte art

It has been a while since I have posted any photos of my latte art. I think it is slowly progressing, there is still a LOT of room for improvement but its not completely terrible.



9.09.2008

Here is a list that I found on another food blog I read, tabicakes. This list contains food that a lot of people have probably tried and some that I can't imagine a lot of people have ever even heard of. The group that put this together is the very good taste blog and they are calling this the top 100 foods every omnivore should try. So, here is what you do.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (in salsa, does that count)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (jello shots?)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

9.02.2008

photos

For lack of posts and also the lack of time to write anything interesting, I am posting two images. The first is a shot of my Friday morning coffee from Broadway. I like this photo because it not only shows all the magnificent coffee oils in the drip but also all the bubbles have little reflections of me in them. The second photo was a bumper sticker I saw at a little coffee shop in Fort Collins, CO this past weekend. I would have bought one for myself but they were all sold out.



8.04.2008

Ahi tuna and a scallop caprese salad

This past Saturday night, the wifey and I celebrated our second anniversary. We decided, since we are in the middle of remodeling our home (which will eventually include a big kitchen remodel...YES!!!!!) to save a little money and just have a fantastic night in with good food and good wine. So, I started thinking of the many dishes that could be made on such an evening and finally settled on something I had never prepared before. Plus, I decided that since I am so bad about updating the blog, to have Abbey photograph the whole process from opening the first bottle of wine to the first bite. I hope you enjoy.


First thing first, I started the night off by opening one of my favorite bottles...Benegas Syrah - 2005, an Argentinian syrah that melts my face right off. I took a swig and then lit the grill.
For the food. I started us off with some grilled lemon garlic shrimp as a bit of a teaser for what was to come. These are prepared with a simple lemon, olive oil, kosher salt, and minced garlic marinade. They don't really need to marinate for more than 30 minutes or so, and then they are ready to go on the grill.

While we enjoyed the shrimp I placed my piastra (a smooth cast iron or other metal or stone surface) on the grill to heat up. I prepared 6 deep sea diver scallops with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. I then scored the tops of the scallops about a quarter of an inch and set aside. I then prepared the caprese part of the salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes which I thieved from Jerad's tomato plant while he wasn't looking (haha) and a LOT of fresh chopped basil. I then placed the tomatoes and basil in a large mixing bowl and drizzled with some high quality olive oil.
Next, the ahi. I should at this point mention that both the scallops and ahi recipe has been altered a bit but originated in Mario Batali's book Italian Grill. Ok back on track. I made a rub for the ahi that consisted of chopped fresh rosemary, kosher salt, pepper, and sugar. I rubbed the ahi steak in olive oil and then generously patted the fish with the rub (see photos on flickr). It was at this time that the seafood was ready for some heat. The scallops went on first, they were placed on the hot piastra scored side down. These guys get cooked primarily on one side for about 6 minutes or so. After I placed the scallops on the piastra I put the ahi on the grill directly over the heat. The ahi wants to be cooked rare so it only took a couple minutes a side. I let it cook about 2.5 minutes a side and then pulled it off and set it inside to rest. By the time I was back at the grill the 6 minutes was up and the scallops got flipped and seared on the opposite side for another minute. I tossed the scallops in with the tomatoes and basil, drizzled some good olive oil on top, cracked some fresh black pepper and now its ready to be plated.

Back at the ahi, now that the fish has rested and the juices are perfect, I sliced it into about 1/4" slices and plated it. All this time I had some broccolini steaming with kosher salt, pepper, and a bit of butter. After all of this was plated I drizzled a tiny bit of my best olive oil on the ahi and sprinkled it with the smallest pinch of kosher salt.

Below you will find a few select photos from the process, I hope you enjoy. If you want to view all of the cooking photos please visit my flickr site by clicking here.











7.09.2008

the noshery in Ink.

This morning, my wife and I made it into ink magazine as a foodie couple for a bit they did on cheap dates. Anyone who is a reader of this blog knows of my love for Broadway coffee, so naturally I spoke of Abs and my Friday morning coffee dates. The photos are funny and they through a little plug in for the nosh. Check it out: Click here

6.27.2008

good wine....good food

I should have posted this a couple of days ago...but you know how it is.
This Friday last was a celebration of a good friends birthday. My wife and I and he and his wife all decided to just stay in, take it easy and enjoy some good food and wine. Jerad called me up and proceeded to let me in on a little news. He had decided, it being his birthday and all, to finally open one of his prized wines that he had carried back from our studies in Italy. When he told me that we would be drinking a 1997 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva Speciale I decided this was no ordinary dinner night. So we hopped in the car and went down the street to my grocer of choice Hen House. I knew exactly what I wanted and headed straight for the filet mignons. To my disappointment the only ones they had left looked a little meager and less than worthy to sit on a plate next to a glass of that glorious vino. I asked the butcher if they any more in the walk in cooler. Let me go check, he said. Next thing, he is walking out of the cooler with an entire tenderloin. He slowly started carving the fat away and carved the tenderloin into its respective pieces leaving the chateaubriand, from which he carved 3 beautiful filet mignon. I prepared the steaks the way I like them best, with fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and butter...nothing else. Prepared with grilled corn, fresh green beans with garlic, and a portabella for my wifey, these guys sat on the grill for 7 minutes a side (they were real thick) and came out perfectly pink. I must say the wine was perfect, balanced, and ready to drink. It turned out to be a fantastic night relaxing with friends, good wine, and good food. What else could you ask for?





6.18.2008

'English Coffee Culture'

An interesting blog entry from one of my favorite blogs to read. Enjoy.

Click Here.

6.12.2008

Top Chef?

Well, Richard was my vote up until last night. I still think he may have been the best chef on the show as far as creativity and potential goes, but man did he flop. I appreciate the way he conceptualizes his meals before he begins to prepare the individual dishes; however, this time he didn't pull it off. Under seasoned pork belly, bland scallops...at least all of these things can be fixed before they find there way onto a menu. At least he took chances. That is more than I can say for Lisa, who didn't deserve to be there in the first place. I felt like I could have picked up any one of her dishes at my local Vietnamese or Thai restaurant. I will not waste anymore time typing about her. Stephanie was the right person to walk away with the title I think. Richard is inventive and daring but Stephanie was consistently great. She took chances as well, the braised pistachios for instance. Who would have thought. Overall I am happy with the outcome, although I am still a little baffled at how Lisa made it as far as she did. Oh well, I am already looking forward to next season.

6.05.2008

Dinner & Top Chef

Two of my favorite things to do during the week are prepare dinner and watch Top Chef. Once a week (which was last night) I get to make dinner and watch Top Chef in the same evening, it was bliss. Last night I served a grilled pork tenderloin, served with grilled asparagus, and sweet potatoes prepared with sea salt and fresh rosemary. It turned out pretty decent (see photo below); however, I cannot say the same for Top Chef. All I want to know is why is Lisa still there??? She has been on the chopping block at least 217 times. There is no reason she should be in the final three. When it came down to her and Antonia I thought for sure this was the week, the week for that crazy, sailor mouthed, depressing kitchen downer of a chef to go home. Richard said it best when he described her as a gray cloud in the kitchen. I am especially bothered by the fact that Antonia was sent home for a poor plating decision and slightly undercooked pigeon peas while Lisa is allowed to stay when every aspect of her dish was executed poorly. I don't understand how she keeps dodging the axe. All I know is if she walks away with the Top Chef title...I will be forced to question the integrity of the judges.


5.20.2008

Occasionally a fusion occurs between good design and good food, when it does you are left experiencing something very special. If you find yourself in San Francisco any time soon, take some time to experience some of the little eateries on this list. I highly recommend blue bottle coffee. I have been getting the hayes valley espresso from these guys for the past couple months, and damn it is exquisite. Well, without further ado, the link:

http://buildllc.wordpress.com/

5.08.2008

chi-town

I have been doing a lot of ranting lately so I thought I would just post some photos from my recent trip to the windy city. I had a great time, drank some great spro and ate the best briciole I have ever had. I hope you enjoy.









4.24.2008

have I become obsessed?


broadway cafe's macchiato


broadway cafe's latte

I ask myself this question because I have found that lately I have been completely discounting any latte that does not have latte art. I know that sounds crazy and obsessed...hints the title of the post. But even now writing this, I feel that I may have stumbled upon some sort of visual criterion to judge a coffee drink, or perhaps the creator of said drink, before the first sip. For example, I have been making a real effort to try other coffee shops in the Kansas City area. I have been doing this for two reasons. One, I am always in search of good coffee and nice shops to spend some time. Two, to continue to prove to myself that my statements about the Broadway Cafe having the best coffee in town are valid (which they are).
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I found ourselves in a part of town we don't frequent to often. It is close to our house but in the opposite direction of our typical travel. I had heard from a couple of people that I needed to try this coffee house (omitting the name...for now) next time I was there. We stopped in after dinner and each had a macchiato. I love using the macchiato as a drink to judge a coffee shop by because there is little enough milk to really get a grasp on the 'spro being pulled, at the same time it allowes you to see how the barista will handle what little milk there is. This brings me to my theory. When you watch a barista at work and he/she is careless on how they load the basket (grind, dose, distribute, tamp) you can bet that the shot will reflect the carelessness. That same holds true for how the milk is treated. When you see the barista simply poor the milk in the pitcher and then set the wand in and let the milk sit there for 20 seconds with the steam running, you can assume the milk will not achieve that microfoamy goodness that makes milk based espresso drinks so dreamy. This was exactly the case for this drink. The espresso itself was not that bad but the little bit of milk froth that was added was big, bubbly, airy and just set on top. I could tell before my first sip that this was going to be a disappointment.
I had a similar experience this morning. A new coffee shop just opened up about a block from where I work and I have been meaning to stop in for a cup. This morning I found the time. I walked in and asked for a 12 oz. latte and was immediately turned off when they asked what kind of milk I want. I know I will not get a lot of people agreeing with me on this one but I hate it when they ask me that. In my mind, if I didn't specify, it is up to the barista. Which ever he/she likes to pour. Anyway, I watched this young man tentatively load the basket and then very flaccidly steam the milk. I was getting more and more apprehensive by the second. Then the pour...he used the spoon to hold back the froth while he poured the milk in the espresso and then spooned two big airy scoops of froth on top. I was devastated.
I am almost convinced that the lack of latte art is a tale tell sign of a poor latte. This art can only be achieved when great care has gone into the entire latte making process. Assuming the espresso itself was extracted well, when you see latte art you can bet that the drink will be deliciously creamy and everything you were hoping for. Plus, it seems to be a common denominator that baristas interested in making really good coffee are also those same baristas interested in making latte art. This is not a constant...but it seems to be a pretty accurate observation.

4.10.2008


If you are not familiar with the logo above, it is the logo of what some people are calling the best single serve coffee maker in the world. The Clover machine has generated a lot of attention over the past couple of months. The machine, from what I understand works generally like a french press. The difference is that the french press relies almost 100% on the person making the coffee to be precise and consistent while the clover takes care of that for you. It is a well worked, precise piece of coffee machinery. Still, the barista is required to grind and dose the coffee before turning it over to the clover, so it is not infallible.

That all being said, Starbucks (the corporate giant sucking every ounce of Romanticism out of coffee) has just purchased the same machine that a lot of independent coffee shops have recently purchased in an effort to distance themselves from the big bad mermaid. Starbucks also has said that they don't plan on continuing the sale of the machine to shops outside of the Starbucks corporation. So, now the independent shops that dropped the 11 grand ...ya that is right $11,000.00 dollars to separate themselves from Starbucks now have to pay Starbucks when service time on their machine comes around.

I understand that coffee in the United States probably wouldn't be where it is at right now if it where not for Starbucks. I also understand the Starbucks is a business and that buying Clover was probably the best move they could have made to keep making absurd amounts of money. The issue I have is that, in Starbucks' quest for more money and more efficiency, the quality of their product has suffered...big time. Try going into a Starbucks and just say "can I please have a macchiato". See what happens, the little 17 year old girl behind the push button espresso machine will ask you what size and if you want caramel on top. They have a lot of people fooled into believing that this is good coffee. This is not good coffee!! Not to mention the fact they are purposefully putting the shops that do make good coffee out of business in the meantime. Bringing me back around to my original point of the post. Because Starbucks has been suffering as of late, instead of fixing the root of problem...making bad coffee, they decided to go out and take away other peoples opportunity to increase their efficiency of making good coffee and increase profit.

They are the Wal-Mart of the coffee world.

4.01.2008

Friday night's dish:

Pizza with yellow squash, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, wilted spinach, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh mozz. on a whole grain wheat crust.

Pizza with italian sausage, fresh rosemary, wilted spinach, tomatoes, and fresh mozz. on a whole grain wheat crust.

Sunday night's dish:



Fish tacos with a fresh cilantro lime sauce served with mexican style rice and refried beans.

Tuesday morning's pour:

3.27.2008

food photos

Since I have not posted in what seems like years, I thought I would post some images of my latest dishes (and one shot of coffee (no pun intended)). I hope you enjoy.

My meatballs:


My attempt at my grandmothers corned beef and cabbage:


My latte art:

2.10.2008

my latte art

Latte art has been and will continue to be a sought after art form for me. I love the way a macchiato, latte, or cappuccino can be taken to the next level of coffee making by this precise art form. In my mind, latte art is an indication a high quality espresso drink. In order to achieve latte art you have to have not only a well pulled shot of espresso, but also perfectly steamed milk (micro foam) and the technique to pull it off. I have been struggling for the past year making espresso at every chance I get in an effort to advance my coffee making skills. My shots are seemingly increasing in quality as I get my dose, tamp and timing more consistent. My micro foam is pretty decent as I have begun to better understand the two step process of stretching the milk and then rolling the milk. However, my art making technique up until this past weekend has been consistently bad. I don't know what it was this weekend, but something seemed to click; maybe it is all the videos I have watched over the past year on youtube (thanks kingseven) that have finally pushed me beyond the suck. Don't let me mislead you though, my latte art is still pretty bad and needs tons of improvement, but it finally at least looks like something. Having said that, I thought I would post some images of a few of my first (fairly) successful latte art coffees. I am sure they will not mean nearly as much to you as they do to me.





1.30.2008

broadway cafe in the new york times



Click here for full story.

1.15.2008

Dolce Baking Company


If you had not heard, there is a new bakery in the village shops of Prairie Village. Laying rest between Village Flowers and Starbucks is a quaint, friendly little bakery that is so charming, one can't help but fall in love with it. It has a sophisticated, classic charm with a modern feel. I have had the opportunity to stop in a few times over the past weeks and try a couple of different house pastries and have been very happy with the flavors and textures. There are a couple of particular pastries that deem themselves worthy of mention here. One being an apple pastry of sorts, forgive me for not knowing its proper name. It is fantastic, somewhat like an miniature apple pie...only better. The pastry itself was moist yet fresh and the fruit, fantastic. Secondly, I have to mention the orange roll. Think of a cinnamon roll and then replace cinnamon with the juice and zest of an orange. I had never had an orange roll before and tasted it just out of curiosity. I enjoyed it so much that upon thinking of writing this blog, I had to stop in this morning and pick one up on the way to work. I was told it is an old family recipe of the head pastry Chef's. I have to say it is one worth saving. If you find yourself in this part of town, you would be doing yourself a disservice not to stop in and taste one the many goodies this pastry gem has to offer. Not to mention we should always support our local establishments, especially when they make it as easy as the Dolce Baking Company has.

My only criticism, the shop needs to branch away from the self serve drip coffee (don't get me wrong, its a high quality, organic fair trade drip) and invest in the proper espresso setup along with an experienced barista. If one could come in and order a pastry and a decent macchiato...they would have a one-two punch that many people, myself included would not be able to turn away from.


This brings me to my next post...the macchiato-yet another reason to dislike starbucks.

1.14.2008

2008

It's 2008 all ready!!...holy smokes where did the time go?
Alright, so after a bit of a hiatus from the blog world, the Noshery is back and has much to talk about. Here is a little of what you have to look forward in the first few posts of the 2008.

1. I will chime in on ever popular debate. Who has the best bbq in Kansas City??
2. The Macchiato...yet another reason to dislike Starbucks.
3. A new photo project for the Noshery. I am going to photograph my five favorite coffee shops in the city. A little cliche and perhaps kitsch, I know... but damn it I love coffee shops.
4. Lastly, Prairie Village has a new little bakery. I spent a recent morning sampling the pastries and various other goodies and have some things to say about the village's newest little space.