Sunday, February 27, 2011

We <3 Cooking and Food

So, before I really go anywhere with the actual topic of this post, I have to make the following common-knowledge statement.  Any time you go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, it is mandatory that you sit in the back massage chairs.  That is all.

Alright.  Lovetta and I really enjoy going on cooking and restaurant adventures.  Our latest restaurant adventure took us just down the street to a place right next to WinCo. Foods called Asian Panda.  Their home page honestly describes them best: "Comparable to PF Chang’s but with a sushi bar, better prices, and NO WAITING."  The place is so new that when we showed up, we were the only people there.  It was a real shame, honestly.  The food was really, really tasty!  Imagine PF Chang's quality, definitely enough portion for leftovers the next day, but only $10 a plate.  No more feeling like you overpaid for food.  The sushi was $5-10 a roll and I suppose not half bad.  We're not really sushi people, but we ate one and found it intriguing.  Sushi-loving people would probably like it :D If you like Chinese you should go check it out now while they're running their Grand Opening specials.  Buy 1 get 1 50% off!  Our total bill came to $15 before tip.

For cooking adventures, we went on a shopping trip desperately searching for a dough hook for our Kitchenaid mixer.  Most mixers will come with these, but ours was a special Black Friday version that didn't get one.  This adventure took us all over town (including a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond).  Ultimately, we ended up at Macy's where they told us that the only place you can order replacement dough hooks, wire whisks, etc. is directly through Kitchenaid.  Boo.  At least we got a soft pretzel out of the adventure.

The reason we wanted a dough hook so badly (for which we are now waiting on delivery) is because we wanted to try our hand at making some Focaccia bread.  As you saw, we went to California about 2 months ago and tried out a slew of fun restaurants with Lovetta's sister.  There was this one super-delicious Italian restaurant called Mama D's.  Holy moley that food was good, but what made it awesome was the little free bread appetizer they give you.  It was this amazing focaccia bread that they served with olive oil and some herb combination on the side.  We must have eaten like 3 or 4 servings of the bread alone it was so delicious.  Ever since that moment, we'd decided that we're going to learn how to make that bread.  Yesterday was that day.  We found a good recipe in our America's Test Kitchen cookbook.  We overbaked it just a tad (still getting used to our oven in the condo), but it was goooood.  Traditionally, we've had some spectacular failures regarding getting dough to rise, but actually were quite successful with this bread.  We'll try it again and next time take some pictures of it for y'all to see.