Friday Favorites | Things loved this week.

Here we are! It’s Friday & I’m resurrecting Friday Favorites, so you can see some of our favorite things from the past week, & maybe find some new favorites of your own.

Here we go!

photo 33 Friday Favorites | Things loved this week.

1.  David Chang’s Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup. This is a soup absolutely worth sweating over in the stifling summer heat. It takes a little work, simmering both vegetable & chicken broth for a few hours, but let it bubble away on a lazy Sunday afternoon & you will be rewarded with an intensely flavored broth & the best chicken noodle soup you’ve ever tasted. Truth.

2.  101 Cookbooks & Super Natural Every Day. I’m sure it’s been mentioned here before, but anytime we’re feeling the need for a healthy, wholesome meal, we turn to Heidi Swanson. Some of the ingredients may be a little unfamiliar at first, but absolutely trust her, she knows what she’s doing. Her recipes are filling & so full of flavor you won’t even realize you’re eating “health food.” In fact, two things we made this week, the California Barley Bowls & Black Pepper Tempeh, are her recipes.

photo 31 Friday Favorites | Things loved this week.

3.  Miso Buttered Popcorn with Togarashi. If you know anything about me, you know that I love popcorn. At least one night a week, I sit down on the couch with a giant bowl of it & a glass of wine & call it dinner. This Dijon Buttered Popcorn was my go-to for a long time (coincidentally a riff on one from Super Natural Ever Day) but this version caught my eye recently. Plus, we have a tub of miso hanging out in the fridge & a jar of togarashi that I just had to have. I used a mellow white miso & skipped the furikake, so it’s not quite the original recipe, but was an amazing umami/spicy combination.

Be sure to stick around & read the blog, too. Those girls are hilarious.

4.  New menu at Chow. Chow is right near our house & they have a good selection of rotating craft beers, so I’d be lying if I told you we didn’t go very often & hadn’t eaten everything on the menu…probably at least twice. We made it over there this week to find a new menu! A whole new “snacks” section, new pizzas & burgers, a chicken biscuit…this could be trouble.

photo 2 Friday Favorites | Things loved this week.

5.  Throwback Thursday. We’re taking #tbt & giving it the Lusher’s twist: pulling something we’ve been aging from the cellar to enjoy. Be sure to follow me & Tom on Instagram to see what we’re getting into each week.

Cheers & Happy Weekend!

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What we’re drinking | A peek into our recycling bin.

Here’s what we’ve been drinking lately.

DSC 9355 What were drinking | A peek into our recycling bin.

Pisgah Valdez // We love this organic North Carolina brewery for their delicious Pale Ale, but also love this unfiltered, slightly dry coffee stout.

Asheville Brewing Company Shiva IPA // We grab a few of these every time we head west. It’s a bittersweet blend of Columbus & Tradition hops & simple malts that will please IPA hopheads with both floral & grapefruit notes.

Against the Grain Brewery Citra Ass Down American IPA // The name kind of tells you what you need to know…it’s a crisp, hop-forward American style IPA with great citrus flavor from the prevalent Citra hop.

Kyle Hollingsworth/Keri Kelli/Stone collaboration Collective Distortion IPA // Yep, a collaboration with Stone, the keyboardist from The String Cheese Incident & guitarist from Alice Cooper. It’s gotten pretty rave reviews on Untappd, with a solid four stars (which Tom & I both rated it) for its fresh hop-forward flavor, characteristic of Stone’s IPAs, & coriander & elderberry notes.

Evil Twin/Bottle Revolution collaboration Mini Dingo Imperial Stout // We’re not sure the story on this Evil Twin/local bottle shop collaboration, so fill is in if you know. We enjoyed this smooth, sticky, chocolatey, spicy beer.

2013 Ameztoi Rubentis Getariako Txakolina // Don’t let the name scare you off (Txakolina is pronounced chocolina), this may just become your favorite summer wine. It’s bright & fruity with the minerality & effervescence that makes it perfectly drinkable on a hot summer day.

DSC 9357 What were drinking | A peek into our recycling bin.

Trophy Brewing Company Best Lei Pineapple Saison // We love a lot of the beers at Trophy & refill our growler every time we stop in. Most recently we brought home Best Lei, a well-made, fruity, sessionable Saison.


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green tomato, prosciutto & fresh cheese curd quiche

This may just be one of our favorite things we’ve made lately.

DSC 9373 green tomato, prosciutto & fresh cheese curd quiche

With tomatoes ripening on the vines, we’ve had plenty of opportunities for green tomatoes in our CSA box, but beyond frying them (so good!) we tend to draw a blank. Then, I thought back to a quiche I had last year at Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, a quiche with diced green tomatoes & fresh, local cheese curds, both available through our CSA & decided we should try to give it a shot.

DSC 9376 green tomato, prosciutto & fresh cheese curd quiche

For the crust, we looked to our trusty Food Bible, The Joy of Cooking, & chose the buttery, flaky Pat-in-the-Pan dough & a custard-like 1:3 cream to egg ratio as the base for this quiche. We added a little chopped prosciutto for a salty bite, but the real stars of the dish are the bright & tangy bites of green tomato & pockets of gooey, but still firm curds of cheddar cheese*.

serves 6

1 Pat-in-the-Pan Butter Crust (recipe below)
1/2 green tomato, diced
1 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 cup cheese curds
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Scatter the green tomato, prosciutto & cheese curds evenly in the bottom of the quiche crust. Whisk the heavy cream, eggs & salt & pepper together in a small bowl, then pour over the top of the tomato, prosciutto & cheese curds. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown & puffy & a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Resist temptation & let the quiche rest for 10 minutes before digging in.


makes one 9 inch crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour & salt. Add the butter & using the back of a fork, or a pastry cutter, mash the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse, shaggy crumbs. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the cream over the dough & continue to mix until the crumbs look damp & hold together when pinched, adding more cream if necessary.

Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie or tart pan. Firmly & evenly press the dough in the bottom & sides of the pan. Prick the bottom & sides thoroughly with a fork, place in the preheated oven & bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Check a few times while baking for bubbles, & if they appear, simply prick them with a fork.

While the crust bakes, whisk together egg yolk & pinch of salt. When the crust is finished baking, let it cool a few minutes, then brush with the egg mixture. It’s now ready for filling!

adapted very slightly from The Joy of Cooking 

*At this time of year, green tomatoes are readily available at most Farmers’ Markets. If you’re having a hard time finding cheese curds (although, Farmers’ Markets are a good place to look, too), you could probably get by with substituting chunks of Mozzarella.

Posted in breakfast, entrees, savory | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

arugula, avocado, apple salad with red onion, blue cheese, Marcona almonds & maple mustard vinaigrette

Even though new restaurants seem to be opening in Raleigh faster than ever these days, Poole’s Diner is still one of the most popular places in town. Chef & owner Ashley Christiansen doesn’t seem to be losing any steam herself…not with four restaurants+ one on the horizon, a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge & a newly earned James Beard Award under her belt.

DSC 9258 arugula, avocado, apple salad with red onion, blue cheese, Marcona almonds & maple mustard vinaigrette

A while back, we went to Poole’s for Tom’s birthday & that night I ordered an awesome avocado salad with red onions, Pink Lady apples, buttermilk blue cheese & Marcona almonds with a maple mustard vinaigrette. The combination was sweet & salty & tangy & rich all at the same time…a combination we’ve recreated at home over & over again, adding peppery arugula as the salad base, to both bulk it up to main dish status & cut a little of the avocado’s richness.

DSC 9263 arugula, avocado, apple salad with red onion, blue cheese, Marcona almonds & maple mustard vinaigrette

This isn’t so much a recipe for the salad as it is for the dressing–we’ve finally gotten it just right & have taken the time to actually measure the ingredients & write them down! The salad itself is a different story. Each time we make it, we add different amounts of arugula, avocado, apple, etc. depending on what we have & what we feel like, so I’ll just list the ingredients below in order of quantity–largest first.


avocado, sliced
apples, Pink Lady if available, cored & thinly sliced
red onion, cut in half & very thinly sliced
blue cheese, crumbled
Marcona almonds, chopped
maple mustard vinaigrette, recipe below

Using the arugula as a bed, top with remaining ingredients & drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

makes about 1/2 cup

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons dark maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, & vinegar until combined. Continue whisking & slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until everything is smooth & emulsified. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Posted in entrees, salads, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

With so many great restaurants in Charleston, it’s hard to narrow down which ones make the short list when you’re just in town for a weekend. Hell, it’d be hard if you had a week–it’s a great city to be hungry in.

The last time I was in town, with my mom & her BFF from high school, we had some great meals at Two Boroughs Larder, Butcher & Bee, & Fish, but my favorite food of the trip came from an unassuming place north of downtown: Tattooed Moose.

tatooed moose outside Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

It’s charmingly dive-y, with graffiti on the tables, mismatched coffee cups & a giant taxidermy moose hanging on the wall with the bar.

tattoed moose kevin bacon Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

Someone told me to go for the duck club, & apparently it’s been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

tattooed moose duck club 1 Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

I definitely ordered it…a triple decker sandwich packed with duck confit, applewood smoked bacon, hickory smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, & garlic aioli on sweet Hawaiian bread…& it was messy & delicious, although the bread a little too soft to handle all the good stuff between the slices, but what I can’t get out of my head?

Roasted Garlic & Bleu Cheese Fries.

tattoed moose fries Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

1. They’re fried in duck fat.

2. They’re smothered in a salty, funky bleu cheese sauce.

3. Turn the head of slow roasted garlic confit over & squeeze the soft, sweet, mellow cloves of garlic all over the top of the smothered fries.

tattooed moose beer Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

4. Wash it all down with a Holy City Pluff Mud Porter.

5. Dream of a return visit.

This trip to Charleston was about six months ago, but I can’t stop thinking about those fries, so I had to share. If you have travel stories too good to keep to yourself, join us for Instagram Travel Thursday, where bloggers worldwide share their amazing photos & adventures.

IGTT Tattooed Moose: Go for the duck club, stay for the fries.

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