Salmon for health and delicious eats!

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Husband and I have changed small things about our eating habits over the years, but the big one has been adding in a little fish where we were eating pretty much no fish. I’ve become a big fan of salmon in particular; while it is especially good with a delicious butter and garlic sauce, it’s also a really rich, fatty fish on its own. You can eat your salmon with a pile of greens and still feel like you had a rich and filling meal, usually without feeling stuffed.

We made a really tasty pistachio salmon during Whole30, but this one was a grilled salmon from a restaurant, and thinking about it today makes me want the weather to improve so that I can get outside and grill a fillet. One recipe I really want to try as well is this one; will write again when I actually get around to trying it! I love maple as a flavor, and I’m excited to explore it on main dishes rather than just pancakes: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/maple-glazed-salmon-0

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Family Time Adventures

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Because of a family funeral, I’ve been on the road for days now. One unexpected surprise, among many, was the visit to the Bob Evans Farm, which is in Ohio and is the original Bob Evans restaurant! We had a delicious meal after a long drive on a very overwhelming week, and I will remember for a long time how nice it was to sit down and be greeted and served here. The weather has been almost heartbreakingly pretty lately and I barely know what to do with February 70s, but I’m trying to take everything one moment at a time.

In Praise of a Dependable Chain

img_5102-1I spend a lot of this blog talking about how much I want to eat out less, spend more time cooking, know more about the origins of my food, etc. While all of those things are definitely true, let’s not be unclear: I love eating at restaurants!

I don’t need them to be fancy; I love eating at the counter at Waffle House and I love trying tiny, fancy tapas at a swanky Spanish restaurant with candles on the tables. I like the interaction, the fact that I have so many options but I don’t have to come up with exactly what I want; I just have to identify it among many great choices.

I love that while my food is cooked, I can talk to my friends or to Husband, and I love guzzling tall glasses of water that I tend to forget to drink when I’m making my own meals or eating on the go at work. I like the sitting-down, doing-nothing-else of it.

Husband and I went to a big sit-down chain restaurant last night, a Chili’s, and I was reminded again how nice it is to go to a restaurant. I’m not a big fan of the little computers they keep on the tables, but it does help them save on costs and keep things quick for the servers, which I can appreciate in the prices. I loved eating something totally different from my husband; I liked my food, but I also loved stealing some of his. We were too full for an included dessert, so there was cheesecake to take home.

What I’ve loved most about my favorite restaurants is that some part of our experience is colored by the chef or the server or the bartender who talks to us about the life of the restaurant; that doesn’t really happen at Chili’s, but it still occurs to me, just in the easy kindness of our server last night who was clear and got us our food very quickly. There are times when a reasonably priced, super tasty, and convenient meal is just what I want. When I’m healthy and well rested, I’m all for taking things the long way with home gardening, home cooking, and restaurants that prioritize the local and seasonal, but I sure to appreciate the systems that allow me to, on a whim, decide to take a break for a night.

Food Memory: Sweet Potatoes and Cincinnati Chili

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Even though many people don’t think it is a delicious food at all, the best comfort food for Husband is Cincinnati chili, a meat sauce with twinges of cinnamon and chocolate that is somewhat unremarkable but is quite elevated when layered on a bun with a huge quantity of sharp cheddar cheese on top. We made it even better by frying sweet potatoes in butter, pouring on the chili, and adding the cheese garnish, and it’s now become out go-to dish for friends with a Cincinnati connection or just for ourselves, eaten in a bowl while watching a movie. For such a savory dish, it also satisfies the little sweet tooth quite well.

Food Memory: Mousse and Cloth Napkins

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My friend M and I tend to be willing to splurge on really wonderful food every once in a while, even if it’s not necessarily the smartest way to spend money. For my birthday, one year, she and I shared an evening at a tapas restaurant, trying many different small foods and then eating this amazing chocolate mousse for dessert. Dinner out doesn’t have to be this fancy to make a wonderful memory, but the fact that she wouldn’t hear of me paying and the comfort of knowing I would buy such a lovely meal for her someday made it such a lovely memory. Occasional splurges, when the money is there, can be sweet indeed.

Food Memory: Quiet Time at Soup-remacy

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Conferences inspire a somewhat-unnatural efficiency in me – I want to see as much as possible, with the time spent in only the most useful ways. I’m the opposite of a smell-the-roses  gal when I’m also trying to learn for graduate school or work. One time, though, in Indianapolis, I happened to be headed back to the hotel for a lunch break, thinking I’d probably eat a protein bar and catch up on email, when I saw Soupremacy. It was a long narrow restaurant, and sure enough, it mostly sold soup. The lunch special was 3 small bowls of soup, you pick, with a hunk of bread big enough to dip in them all. I got a potato bacon soup, a tomato bisque, and a curried squash soup, all of which brought the warmth back into me. I know it’s technically possible to snarf soup down quickly, but the hot creamy soups at Soupremacy beckoned me to slow down, or risk spilling all over my business casual clothes. Soup is nice like that – I felt less lonely despite slowing and hearing my own thoughts as I looked out on the busy street.