Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


A couple of great eats in Richmond

We found a couple of new great places to eat in Richmond, Va. — Patrick Henry’s Pub and Grille on East Broad Street and Alamo BBQ on Jefferson Avenue.

We ate out on the patio at Patrick Henry’s on a brisk Tuesday evening. Lucky for Chris, Tuesday’s special is burgers. He got a medium rare patty with swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard. He paired it with Yuengling and great onion rings. That’s high praise coming from me. I’m not a big fan of onion rings because they’re usually greasy. That wasn’t a problem with these. I’d get them as a side if we ever eat there again.

I settled on a blackened salmon sandwich, though I thought it tasted more like the fish was coated in paprika and not a mixture of seasonings and didn’t appear “blackened.” It was delicious, nonetheless, and included roasted red peppers (one of my favorites!), red pepper aioli and spinach. I also ordered a side Cesar salad and chardonnay.

I would love to live somewhere on Grace Street so we could walk to Patrick Henry’s on a regular basis. The service and atmosphere were great and the food was even better.

The Alamo is a walk up and order joint. Besides pork and chicken barbecues, the restaurant also offers vegetarian options, such as a portobello barbecue sandwich or taco. I couldn’t pass up the pork, so I got a pulled pork sandwich and a side of rice and black beans. Chris got a chicken sandwich and sweet potatoes.

It was really cool outside and there was only outdoor seating. So we quickly ate and headed back to the car. The food was good, so I hated to eat and run instead of savoring it. During colder days, plan to order to go.

 

 


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My first attempt. Waiting for the moment of truth.

We’ve been back from a weeklong vacation for about a day and, of course, Chris didn’t fail to remind me that there’s no dessert in the house. I wanted to make something quick and easy, but I wasn’t sure what that should be. I’m not a big fan of cake, but Chris is so I thought I’d make him one.

I found a recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake in my “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook” (published 1989) and thought that might be a good way to use up some canned pineapple in the frig. Chris had never had Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but he was game to try it.

The recipe calls for buttermilk baking mix, but I don’t keep that on hand. So I subbed 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt for the baking mix. I wasn’t sure about the proportions or the substitution, but I thought I’d give it a try. To give the cake a buttermilk flavor, I added a squirt or two of lemon juice to 1/2 cups of milk.

As you can see in the picture above, the bottom of the cake didn’t turn out too bad. I baked it for 30 minutes instead of 35.

Here’s the cake flipped right side up:

Chris’ description: That’s the sorriest excuse for a cake ever.

I’m proud of it, but Chris didn’t know what to think. His description, “That’s the sorriest excuse for a cake ever. I hope it tastes better than it looks.” He wanted to know if it was supposed to look that way. And, in case you don’t know, it is. 🙂

He was also hoping it was a cake that requires icing. He likes eating icing and graham crackers. Many times I only making icing for him to eat as dessert. 🙂

Anyway. Though the cake was falling apart, it was tasty!


Findley Market, Cincinnati, Ohio

Chris took this photo of Findley Market on our recent trip to Cincy.

We recently made a quick jaunt to Cincy to visit family. We checked out Findley Market in Over the Rhine on our last day. Love it! If we were to ever move to Cincy, I’d want to live close enough to the market to make weekly visits.

You can buy all kinds of fresh meats, including sausages, ribs, fish and chicken, and other goodies. I loved all the different kinds of bakeries. If we weren’t leaving later that day I would have bought a loaf of bread and chocolate-covered baklava (something Chris really wanted) for dinner.

We did buy grub for lunch at one of the many delis. Chris’ aunt and I split a veggie moussaka, beans with leeks and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and the guys ate the biggest gyros I’d ever seen. I tasted a piece of Chris’ lamb. Delicious!

Besides the food and delis, I also saw jewelry and plants for sale.

If you’re ever in the area, make an effort to check out the market!


Sweet potato burgers

Looking for a healthier burger? I enjoy a bean burger now and again, but haven’t ever thought about using other vegetables.

The Chubby Vegetarian shared a recipe for Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger on his blog the other day. His combination of the sweet potato with chipotle peppers, cumin and garlic have my mouth watering. It sounds like an amazing flavor combo! My tasty black bean burgers may have to take a backseat from now on.

The Chubby Vegetarian also mentioned how with an equal amount of oats added to beans, sweet potatoes or squash, you can get a really good mixture that works well as burger patties. I’m now envisioning zucchini or yellow squash patties with tarragon or cilantro. We’ve still got tons of frozen squash stored in the freezer from last season. This might be a good way to use it up.

What spice combinations do you think would go well with zucchini or squash?

You can find The Chubby Vegetarian’s recipe here.


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Cake mix (from scratch)

Many of the cook books I have unfortunately include cake recipes that call for a cake mix. I don’t really like mixes because they always seem to get a funky taste after a couple days. They also don’t stay as fresh as from-scratch cakes.

Last night, as I was flipping through some recipes, I came across a chocolate cherry cake that I really wanted to try, but it called for a Swiss chocolate cake mix.

I was not going to give up! So I googled for “homemade cake mix.” I found a couple of good sites, including yellow and white cake mix over at Chickens in the Road.

For chocolate cake mix I found and tried Shirley’s recipe posted on her blog, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity. Here’s the results:


I made a chocolate butter cream frosting that has coffee in it. I think it’ll be a great complement to the chocolate-cherry cake.

Happy early birthday to me! (Just 12 days early.)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Summer Squash Saute

I took of some of the squashes I got from our garden the other night (see here) and decided to try out a new recipe.

This is called Summer Squash Saute. It’s from Frances Musser of Newmanstown, Pa., and is a recipe she submitted to “Taste of Home.” I found the recipe in a “Savings Pack,” which is attached to several other recipes Nannie used to create a recipe book for me.

Nannie used twist times to hold recipes from several sources together.
Tada! Instant cookbook.
Here’s the recipe.

Here’s the recipe with photos of the steps below:

Summer Squash Saute

1 bacon strip, diced
1 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. each of green, red and yellow bell peppers, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. Cook bacon until crisp over medium heat.
2. Add onions, peppers and garlic and cook until tender.
3. Add the squash, cover and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).

Plate and enjoy!

Here’s what I did:

Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp.
While the bacon cooks, cut up the veggies: onion, garlic, pepper and squash.
I only used green pepper.

Cook the onion, garlic and pepper until tender.

Add the squash, cover and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes.

Ready to eat!