Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Thrown Together Catch-up Post and a Restaurant Review

Porkchop and I are hanging out on the couch tonight, watching the Blues game. Well, Porkchop is watching and I'm doing other things in the vicinity of the TV (like writing this overdue catch-up post), allowing me to cheer and groan as appropriate.

Watching TV is totally different these days because of our new TV! I'm not very attached to things like TV, but I'm liking this new TV. At first, I was opposed to such a purchase, but when I learned the picture on our then-current TV would be even smaller due to the digital conversion box that we would need to purchase by February 17, I realized that it was time. Here's Porkchop with the new TV (see our old TV at the bottom...can you imagine the picture being even smaller???):

The day before Christmas Eve, I worked from home...a quite fortuitous decision I made only that morning. You see, I was at home in the afternoon to show a guy Porkchop's car. He came over with cash, and that was that! Anyway, this relates to the TV because the car sale paid for the TV.

The days leading up to Christmas were quite busy and filled with holiday activities, but I wasn't really feeling it this year. It all happened so quickly, and I had time only for a smidge of holiday baking. We made a single batch of orange-chocolate-pistachio biscotti this year. That's it!

No chocolate pretzels, no chocolate crinkle cookies, no shortbread. Sigh.

There was, however, kugel. I made this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Suzi's Hanukkah dinner, and it was delicious. Yum, dried cherries! And heavy. Including the baking dish, it weighed in around 10 pounds.

Porkchop worked a lot around the holidays, but she managed to crank out some tote bag presents for friends and family.

Here is Suzi's (it makes sense because she owns a gun (!!!) named Jack):

Here is my mom's (who always talks about the crazy squirrels in her yard):

And here's my sister's (who always wants to play board games):

Awesome tote bags, eh?

With the holidays over, I'm getting back into my regular routine. Today I did laundry and knitted on my FLS. I'm also contemplating what to do with the yarn our friend Patrick brought back from Argentina. Here's Patrick, the yarn, and me:

It's huge! And rather rustic. And nice. Ideas?

During his visit the week before Christmas, Patrick also gave us Spotted Cow beer, truffles from Gail Ambrosius, and a mate set. So nice! We also had terrific pizza while he was in town, so check out my review at the end of this post.

Speaking of visits, Katie of Katie and Beth visited us the day after Christmas. We had dinner at Pi and drinks at Bailey's Chocolate Bar, and I was surprised to see both places bumping. Obviously, I don't go out much on Friday nights, but I was glad to see local establishments doing well.

A total contrast was Banh Mi So #1 on New Year's Eve. It was just me, Porkchop, and a few other people. Of course, this might have been because the restaurant wasn't officially open. It was all rather confusing, but we ended up enjoying shrimp spring rolls and tofu curries. YUM! I love Banh Mi So #1!

Back to today...while Porkchop was at work, I baked bread! Yes, starting on my 2009 goals already! I made this recipe for roasted garlic bread, only I substituted rosemary for the parsley, which makes it tons better in my opinion. Oh, and I used butter instead of margarine because I think margarine is the devil.

I haven't baked bread in at least 10 years, and I've never had to shape it into a loaf.....but, I think it turned out awesome:

Next time, I will cook it a little bit longer because it could be crustier. But, all in all, it is delicious! And I'm excited about baking more bread!

The Good Pie
During Patrick's visit, we ate at The Good Pie, one of the newest pizza joints in St. Louis. This one's a keeper! GO THERE!!!

The pizzas are thin crust Naples-style and cooked in a wood-burning oven brought over from Italy. The ingredients are simple and fresh. I nearly cried when I had my first bite because this is the type of pizza I've been missing! The crust is thin and crisp, yet chewy inside, and the ingredients are high quality and tasty.

We tried four pizzas, and all were awesome. The margherita, the salsicca, the atina, and the mast'nicola. I loved all of them, but the mast'nicola was my favorite with the pancetta and pecorino.

The Good Pie also serves local beer, and I had a tasty porter from O'Fallon (I was a long time ago).

My only suggestion is that they improve the signage on the outside. The windows are tinted so dark, we nearly didn't even try the door, thinking they were closed! They should at least put up an Open/Closed sign of some variety.

Anway, I can't wait to go back!


EBuz said...

Spotted Cow -- yum. Can't get that out here in Mass.!

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