Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

No, YOU’RE Superior

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The whole first part of my recent vacation took part on Lake Michigan.

I would totally put a little star on this map with a note saying ‘I was here’ if I had any idea where I was, but I don’t. Definitely up top somewhere. I do know that where I was was glorious.

Thursday, though, we got a chance to hop up to Lake Superior.

(Again, where was I? No idea.)

I do know I was in a town called Marquette, the home of Northern Michigan University and a little restaurant called L’Attitude. One of the branches of Crockett’s family tree has bloomed (see what I did there?) in that area of the state. We took Crockett’s uncle and cousin to L’Attitude because his other cousin (son of the uncle, older brother of the first cousin) is a busboy there and was working, and that was the best way to see him because we were short on time.

I mean, yeah, the service (other than the bussing), was a little spotty. We were missing silverware and … stuff. (Ok, I don’t remember exactly, I just remember her being inattentive.)

But the thing pictured above (called Three Ways to Heaven, sadly) was freaking amazing. Restaurant made tabouleh, hummus, and tapenade with little flatbreads? Yes please.

We also had this cheese platter – holy crapadoodledo. Sadly, our waitress had no idea what the cheeses were, just that they’d come from Wisconsin farms. If I knew what that soft blue in the far upper right was, I would buy it by the barrel. (They sell cheese by the barrel, right?)

My Thai Salad was particularly un-photogenic and mediocre to boot, but those cheeses and the heavenly trio more than made up for it.

Plus the view wasn’t ugly.

Since we had a Reunion 2.0 deadline in mid-Michigan, we were short on time, but we had to stop by Lake Superior.

 

So very beautiful.

So very cold.

We drove east along the Superior coast before dropping back south, and we found ourselves at the entrance to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Who are we to deny serendipity?

Do you think you’re hallucinating? Do you think that I photoshopped the Caribbean with pine trees?

That’s what I thought, because I apparently picture all of the great lakes as dark bluish brown.

This is seriously Lake Superior.

This is called Miner’s Castle. At some point, between when Crockett’s dad used to climb up there when he was a teenager and when we arrived last week, half of it fell down.

I still think it’s purdy.

Almost as purdy as Crockett.

On the way back to the car, I saw these and, quite seriously, said “babe, blueberries!”

I realized as I was speaking that this is not what blueberries look like when they’re growing.

Crockett is still reminding me.

We did finally make it to our evening’s destination: Mackinaw City.

When you’re a tourist, what can you do other than eat ice cream?

This was mine – Toasted Almond Coconut. I need you to understand two things. First, I asked Crockett if he wanted any and he said no, he was not in the mood for ice cream, and then he ate half of this despite me only handing it to him so I could take a picture. Second, I asked for and paid for a single scoop cone. I think the fella behind the counter thought I was adorable. This was confirmed when he threw ice cream at Crockett a few minutes later. (Fine, that second part didn’t happen. Jeesh.)

Here’s the weird thing about Mackinaw City. Every business is a spin off of an original business. They’re famous for fudge and white fish, and they all share all or part of a name. The fudge I bought as gifts came with a certificate of authenticity, for reals.

Crockett’s dad beat us there, so he had time to scope out the local eateries. He recommended a place – you know, a place? Four stores down from that alley where the third fudge shop is? Right by the eighth place that sells mocassins? That place.

The fish was delicious. The side portions were overwhelming. The hush puppies you aren’t seeing under the fries practically disintegrated, and not in a good way. Maybe the best street restaurants are only good at one thing.

Maybe not, though. I mean, the honky tonk bar made a damn good vodka martini, preceded by this conversation:

Me: Vodka martini, please.
Bartender: Sure, honey. You want it dirty?
Me: That’d be great.
Her: How dirty?
Me: More dancing on the bar dirty than going home with a stranger dirty.
Her: Ah. Balls dirty, not sweaty balls dirty.

The whole rest of the night she referred to my drink as a sweaty balls martini.

I love honky tonk bars.

 

 

it’s not so bad

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

By it, I mean the student life.

Sure, I don’t have any money and I can never literally say I don’t have anything to do.

But some Friday mornings, I get to lounge around with Laura and her little girl, eating breakfast and discussing the state of discontent in America.

I made this casserole with Laura in mind. She loves things sweet, and sweet it absolutely was. In the below recipe I’ve reduced the sugar, because it was REALLY sweet. If you like a lot of sugar at breakfast, feel free to increase the sugar to 1 cup.

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Bread Pudding
Adapted from  a recipe developed by Breakfast on the Connecticut B&B

4 eggs
cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 slices firm white bread (cut into cubes)
2 medium apples, preferably a crisp variety (peeled, cored, cubed)
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 3 oz)
2 tablespoons raw sugar

If cooking immediately, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square pan. In large bowl whisk the eggs, and add the milk, sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until sugar is at least mostly dissolved. Add the bread, apples and cheese – toss until the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight or bake immediately.  Bake 3o-35 minutes if room temperature and 35-45 minutes if refrigerated, until golden and set all the way through.

I also served sliced bananas tossed with chopped Trader Joe’s Sesame Seed Honey Cashews (still kicking around from our Santa Fe trip, sadly a TJ’s has not popped up overnight in Louisville), and frozen grapes.

I’m kind of obsessed with frozen grapes.

Laura’s 16 month old liked them too. She’s a girl with excellent taste.

See?

A very spirited discussion.

She brought me flowers as a housewarming gift. Isn’t that lovely?  She even brought buds so I’d have flowers for longer.

Because I’m the luckiest girl evah, Laura was not my only girl date on Friday.

What? This and homework is what I do while Crockett is out of town.

My beautiful girlfriend Yvonne and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly at the Waterloo happy hour.

Sweet potato fries and gorgonzola dip.

What, you don’t see any gorgonzola dip?

Oh, right, that’s because we ate an entire dish full.

And beer.

I did mention there was beer, right?

Thursday lunch

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Today I had lunch with the lovely Laura from The Road Less Travelled. She made me a super tasty crustless quiche (she and her husband don’t do a lot of carbs at home), some crunchy berry-y fruit salad, lots o toasted nuts, and some apple pear Stilton on bread that she got just for me. Basically, she’s fab. Yum.