This evening was our monthly Happy Mouth Supper club outing. To view the article, please go here.
Because it makes you feel good knowing that your eating habits are better than mine.
On Friday, January 13 (Friday the 13th!), the HAPPY MOUTH SUPPER CLUB met at Biagio’s Bistro in Clifton for our monthly outing, which was Kristy’s selection. Robin, Dave, Chuck, Kristy, Holly, Ron, John, Paul (John’s guest), Angel, Ted, Tracy, Wendy, and Drew crowded into a back corner of the restaurant to enjoy savory Italian cuisine, produced by Biagio himself.
Biagio’s has a great tomato soup which many of us enjoyed; along with hummus; artichoke dip (awesome); lasagna; and plenty of pasta dishes. Drew liked his Angel Hair with Clams and Shrimp entree very much. The portions are large — Wendy said that some friends of hers that dine there regularly will split a single entree three ways. Even Robin & Drew — two pretty hearty eaters — couldn’t finish their plates!
Of course, we did manage to save room for dessert. Drew had the cream puffs, piled on a plate like little cannonballs.
Another successful Happy Mouth!
This evening, our trip up the ‘culinary ladder‘ continued as Wendy & I were guests at the first-ever (hopefully first annual) College of Pharmacy Etiquette Dinner hosted at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
AÂ faculty member and I assistedÂ oneÂ of ourÂ studentsÂ inÂ organizing the event, and it was a real pleasure to see it come together so well. Nearly 50 students attended a lecture by Chef Jeff Sheldon of Cincinnati State about the finer points of business etiquette. After the lecture, we went to the Summit Room Restaurant at the college to put the skills into practice over a multiple course gourmet meal.
The food was well-prepared by Chef Treon’s Production Cooking class. We enjoyed a side-by-side red-and-green soup (red pepper and split pea), a composed salad (complete with hard-to-stab grape tomatos), a poached salmon with crawfish sauce, polenta, and broccoli in hollandaise. Dessert was a lovely poached pear with two sauces.
The evening was entertaining and informative. Hopefully this becomes an annual event!
This evening, I made aÂ simple roasted chicken andÂ vegetables. Wendy made aÂ green salad. The chicken skin was wonderfully crispy from the dry, high heat.
Here’s how I did it, using a 2.5-3 pound chicken (plenty for two people):
- Heat oven to 450.
- Rinse chicken inside and out with cold water.
- SprinkleÂ kosher salt and pepper inside the cavity of the chicken.Â
- Truss the chicken.
- Dry the outside of the chicken very well.
- Sprinkle the outside of the bird with black pepper and kosher salt. Be generous with the salt.
- Put it on a rack in the preheated oven, breast side up.
- RoastÂ until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh registers 160 degrees, 50-60 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oven.
- Stir aÂ tablespoon or twoÂ of chopped fresh thyme into the accumulatedÂ pan juices.
- Baste the crispy skin with theÂ pan juices.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and letÂ rest for 10-15 minutes.
Note: If the oven starts smoking like crazy, it’s probably because juices are coming out of the chicken and burning in the roasting pan. AÂ small amount of water (or chicken stock) in the bottom of the pan will stop this, but the chicken skin will not be as crispy.
While the chicken rests, throw some roughly chopped pieces of your favoriteÂ vegetables (onions, carrots, turnips, and some mushrooms are good choices) into the roasting pan, toss with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast in the oven. When the chicken is done resting, the veggies are done roasting.
EatÂ the chickenÂ with mustard, bread, and some butter. And for heaven’s sake, eat the skin. Delicious!
Tonight’s dinner was the second night of the ‘upswing inÂ dining scale‘ that we’re experiencing this week, which will peak on Saturday night. How’s that for a stay-tuned-style teaser?!
This evening, on a whim we called our friends Dave & Robin and the four of us decided (finally!) to go to dinner at Red Lobster, which Robin was apparantly craving. Dinner was decent… I had Shrimp Scampi and their Outer Banks Sampler (shrimp & scallops broiled with a deviled crab & seafood stuffing, topped with Monterey Jack cheese), a salad, and plenty of their cheesy biscuits.
From there, in response to my craving, the four of us went on a fruitless search for Jelly Bellys, which apparently are no longer sold in this city. We ended up discovering that A FUSION CAFE had closed (sad, but not unexpected).
Dinner at Red Lobster was good, but we could have gone to Steak -n- Shake, Izzy’s, IHOP, Chipotle, Old Spaghetti Factory, or … (inside joke on the selection method!).
What a humble meal this evening… It’s our GUILD WARS night, so Wendy stopped for grub from Wendy’s on her way home. Dinner was a cheeseburger, a bacon-and-cheddar baked potato (nevermind that I asked her to get me a broccoli and cheddar baked potato!) and a Frosty.
As far as fast-food joints are concerned, I am of the opinion that Wendy’s has the best burgers.