Monday, August 8, 2011

Edible Adventures : At Home and Afield (Cumin)

Our weekend houseguest bailed at the last moment.  Despite the fact that we'd spent all that time cleaning to make pretty for outside eyes, we were gleeful that we now had both a clean house (well, not entirely.  give us a break) AND the first opportunity for a date night that we'd had in a long while. 

We did have some things to do Friday night, but we thought we'd dash out and get a bite.  D's local friends had gushed about the Hyde Park restaurant Cumin, so we were able to get a table for dinner.  We spent no less than a C-note and found the food to be visually fantastic.  That was the only thumbs up we can give though.  Oh, our waitress was nice.  D's burger was good but my fish was heartbreakingly bland.  My salivation turned to tears of frustration.  Seriously.  Salt?  Lemon?  Butter?  Chives?  Dill?  Have you heard of any of these things?  The guy in the kitchen clearly had not.  And for what we paid for D's burger we could have gotten one for each of us at Oakley Pub & Grill.  (psst, its also a better burger)  This place was the first fancy restaurant D has taken me in Cincinnati since we moved here, and what a let down.  The worst part is, experiences like this make it harder for me to convince D that we should leave the house to eat. 

We were more than disappointed.  We both began feeling ill before we finished eating.  Our first date night in a long while, and we spent in on the couch, miserable, popping tums like candy.  D was still feeling queasy on Saturday, but I felt much better.  Inspired by something truly awesome I saw on Design Sponge, I went to Fresh Market to stock up on some things I'd need, and incidentally I am never allowed to go back unsupervised. I went in for shrimp and lemon juice and I came out with Virgil's Root beer and candies, and having spent fifty bucks without even trying.  The produce is so lush and colorful.  And they carry Virgil's, which is my kryptonite.  Anyway, like I said, I was on a mission, and this is it: 

Tara Guerard's Shrimp Paste Sammiches from Design Sponge
These babies were so quick and easy in the food processor.  D thought "shrimp paste" sounded gross, but the taste made him a believer.  No question, I can't wait to make these again!

It's so nice to be cooking in the kitchen again, after so much crappy take-out through the stages of moving.  And precisely because we're new here we don't know where the good takeout is hiding yet.  So there was a lot of trial, and mostly error, if you ask me.  D has been out on the grill (gifted to us, thanks very much).  I tried my hand at hummus (Hummus III at Allrecipes.  Not quite great, but this batch isn't bad if you reserve the bean juice instead of throwing it out).   

And tonight?  I'm trying my hand at this bad beauty, right here:

 I originally was going to make this Dimply Plum Cake from Smitten Kitchen, but that was until I read that she'd amended her recipe to remove cardamom.  Remove cardamom?!  That's madness!

Anyway, that's what I'm doing tonight. 
And laundry. 
And clearing a box or two out of the basement. 


Anonymous said...

You decided not to make a Smitten Kitchen recipe? Wow. I am impressed with your fortitude. :D

O-Town HD said...

That stuff is brilliant, granted. But almost anything can be improved with a smidgeon of cardamom.