Blog Archives for category Food & Cooking

Partisan Pig Feast + More!

A Tivo-peep/Michigan friend, Therese, was in town for a conference, so we threw together a last-minute dinner downtown at The Partisan (I was thrilled to go there because that’s a dinner we recently missed when Tom had to be in Chicago for work).

The menu changes daily (and I forgot to take a picture of it—I’m slacking in my old age) so I checked their website hoping for tonight’s selection…but it wasn’t meant to be. That said, most of the items were still listed. I’m fairly sure you will be able to tell which descriptions are from the actual menu I found. (I also didn’t take pictures of the dishes like I normally would—so all the food pictures below (minus one) are all from TCF peep friend Jonathon.) As is usual practice, we all ordered a bunch of stuff then shared everything.

Three of us ordered this (which means everyone got to try it all). Unfortunately, none of the courses were listed so I’m going by memory:

– Lamb Koobideh Kebab, Doner Spice, Sumac Onions, Coriander Yogurt, Mint

– Beef Fat Fries, Roasted Garlic, Rosemary, Ranch Aioli
– “Head shoulders knees and toes” taquitos (Pig Feast course #1)

– Seared Scallops, & Morcilla [blood] Sausage, Adobo Cream, Lardo, Agave (ordered off menu but it was also Pig Feast course #3 so we had double portions!)
– Dan Dan Noodles with Beef Cheek

– Prosciutto and asparagus (Pig Feast course #2)

– Pasta with pig face ragout (Pig Feast course #4)

– Pork tenderloin with fava beans, polenta, and arugula (Pig Feast course #5)

It was at this point that Tom said “Well, I think that’s it!” And then the waiter brought out two more dishes! :)

– Rotissi-fried Chicken, Honey Hot Sauce

– Chocolate Cake Donut Holes, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Crunch Pearls

And the only food pic I took myself—my share of the dessert plate:

Goodbye selfie:

A great day and night with great friends!

Nancy was helping me with a Jamberry manicure and Ken decided he wanted a few nails done as well.

Nancy and I tried to recruit two friends to the wonderful LipSense world today…and I introduced them to my infamous (?!) stairwell shooting location. 😊

Tammy and Amy helping me roll bread balls for garlic bread bites.

The whole group!

Uncle Eddy!

We need a bigger table!

The dessert table! Eddy helped me make a cheese flan (with a caramelized top) in the instant pot (far right) and it turned out great! And Amy brought three cakes from Juniors Cheesecakes!

This is why we need better outdoor space! This is where everyone always wants to congregate and we only have eight chairs with barely enough space to hold them!

The party mostly died out by about 11 and just a handful of us stayed talking to about midnight. It was a great night with great friends…

Going away party prep!

This was the weekend of our first (of potentially two) going away parties… And it was all for the TiVo peeps! (We debated having just one party but that would be soooo many people!)

Ones of the goals was to pare down our alcohol stash…


And freezer contents… This is like four racks of ribs (another two went in the instant pot).


A new TiVo peep!

A well-traveled TiVo friend that we’ve been wanting to meet forever finally crossed our path at a convenient time! (He’s the one we got our gnomes and awesome vases from!) We drove to his hotel in National Harbor and then went out for a delicious Peruvian dinner. 


Do not buy lemon cookies at the dollar store. 

These? Suck. They’re horrible and not one of us liked them. They went straight into the trash.

These are what I hoped they were like—just a cheaper version. I was wrong.


On what planet is this a legit pizza?

The local pizza hut didn’t have good yelp reviews but Owen had a free personal pan pizza coupon for competing his February reading so we ordered. Yeah. Look at this pathetic Meat Lovers pizza.

Where’s the meat? Hell, where’s the cheese?! 

Never again. If Owen gets another coupon it will be just his pizza. 

It was so damn good we went back again.

I mean, what is vacation for if not for splurging? :)


A dangerous dessert combo.

Leftover birthday cake frosting plus amazing cookies…

A cantaloupe as large as Owen’s head!

Mullet backbones? Why not.

We stopped to eat a late lunch on the way home from the airport.

Gramma ordered mullet and the waitress asked if she wanted the gizzards and/or backbones. We all looked at her like WHAT? EWWWW. WHAT? But then we said what the hell, we’ll try the backbones (no fish gizzards, thankyouverymuch). And turns out they weren’t as scary as we thought…they were tasty!

Finally! Duck Donuts!!

They were SOOOO yummy. We will be back.


Homemade marshmallows

A friend did these and I’ve always wanted to try them…so today was the day! Most recipes are about the same but Alton Brown’s was the one I was following. 

My first time ever using a candy thermometer. (And truth be told it wasn’t actually a candy thermometer…but a wifi grilling thermometer works just as well.)


My chocolate-dipping (presentation) skills could definitely use some work but they still tasted delicious. 


Katie’s Frozen Cookies

Santa brought Katie a Frozen Cookie Mix kit so we had to do those IMMEDIATELY. The tiny snowflake pieces were a pain in the butt and they look like a total FAIL but they were delicious.

Bucket list lunch: complete

We lived in Troy for three years and I wanted to eat at Zingerman’s Deli the whole time but we just never got there. Today, since we were literally right down the street, it happened.

Linda and I split a large reuben and it was still too much (we should have split the small).

Then we sampled this $26/lb cheese and it was VERY tasty. I was sad I couldn’t take any food home…

I wish I could come back here because there were A LOT more sandwiches I wanted to try…


We had one of our Saturday Night Dinners for our Thanksgiving this year. We thought we’d keep it simple—we’d do a turkey, mashed potatoes, instant stuffing, fresh bread, and mulled cider; one couple was bringing a sweet potato casserole; and one couple was bringing dessert. Easy, right? Well holy hell it was still a lot of work. Last minute stuff, really, and not hard, but still craziness. Especially at the last minute when I realized I had completely forgotten to start the gravy! (At least I already had the stock ready so it didn’t take long at all.)




My very first use of a selfie stick!


We’ve graduated away from oil!

We both love a good deep-fried turkey, but dealing with the huge amounts of oil is never fun. It was okay when we were doing a turkey once every other month or so (or once a month at times) back in Jacksonville, but nowadays…it was just too much. So Tom got a Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Oil-less Turkey Fryer. We had to do a test run before we hosted Thanksgiving, so the first one came out delicious…but the skin was NOT what I wanted at all (it was slightly crispy but very anemic looking). So we tried again, this time rubbing it with oil. And we got a much better result…




Proof I attacked the skin before dinner!


And then the prep to make stock for the gravy since I won’t have much drippings! (You actually get viable drippings from this fryer, but it was much easier to make the stock ahead of time.)


Blue Apron Barramundi

We enjoy Hello Fresh now and again so we thought we’d also try Blue Apron. Our first dish was Seared Barramundi with Collard Greens, Fregola Sarda & Shallot Agrodolce (recipe here) and it was really delicious. It looked pretty, too!


I think we need a bigger oven… 

Because Costco Take & Bake pizzas don’t fit. :)

And this is what happened when I tried to get the two halves into the oven. :(

So then I let this happen (she didn’t eat much because I think she thought she was going to get in trouble, even though I specifically called her over).


I managed to salvage the actual pizzas but from now on, I’m just cutting off a thin edge slice. 

The perks of Naturally Slim: dinner is pasta…and cheesecake.

Pasta with beef and shrimp…and Devils food cheesecake. 8O :heart: :p


Lunch with some Texas peeps at Ida Claire!

Ida Claire. Say it. Now say it with a southern accent. Listen. Bingo! I missed it the first few times, too. :)

This is Brad. He’s a Tivo peep I’ve known forever and met once almost 10 years ago. He’s lost 90# on Naturally Slim.

This is a delicious Bloody Mary. I learned I liked pickled okra. :)

This is Brad, me, and Smeek (Jeff). I’ve met him a few times before over the years but it’s always good to see him. He’s one of our resident foodies so he picked the place. I also got to try two of his fancy drinks. :)

And here’s a pic of me and Smeek from 2007 (that last guy is not Brad, unfortunately—it’s Peter):

Here’s Brad from that same weekend, just to complete the group flashback:

And my super delicious lunch. [Thinking about it now, days later, still makes my mouth water.]

Shrimp & Grits @ Ida Claire