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The Misadventures of Mrs. B

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: 2010-12-19

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Scenes From A Merry Christmas

I hope that you all had a blessed and happy holiday, friends.

I hope that you all got to have something delicious for breakfast...

I hope you enjoyed it, regardless of its caloric content...

I hope you got to enjoy some cookies...

I hope you got some help in the kitchen...

I hope you got some exercise to burn off all that junk food from earlier...

And that you spent some time with loved ones...

As for us...

We celebrated my cousin's 30th birthday...

...before diving face-first into dessert.

My great-aunt was with us once again, for which we're all grateful.

Finally, we all gathered in the living room to exchange gifts.  It was messy and paper-filled, but we made it happen.

I can't explain this one.  It's

It was exhausting, it was messy, it was full of laughter.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Big City, Big Dinner

This past Saturday night, during our weekend of holiday fun, Rob and I treated ourselves to a meal at Fogo De Chao.  I don't know if any of you are familiar with the place (they have locations across the U.S.) or their style of service, but it's definitely an experience.

We had heard great things about this place in the past and were just looking for an opportunity to visit.

The lowdown: First you visit the absolutely incredible salad bar, which features some out-of-this-world choices.  They're basically trying to fill you up on salad so you don't eat too much meat.  Yeah, I had their number.  But it didn't stop me from filling my plate...

I mean, seriously.  If you were facing down a salad bar which featured gorgeous veggies, smoked salmon, proscuitto, and all sorts of yummy cheeses...

Would YOU be able to pass it up?

Especially if there was a giant wheel of parmaggiano reggiano just sitting there, waiting for you to dig out a piece or three?

I mean, seriously.  Look at that and tell me you wouldn't do the same darn thing. 

(Incidentally, I need one of those wheels of cheese for my kitchen.)

Moving on.  Once the salad course is finished (by the way, they do offer the option of just ordering the salad bar, which in my opinion would be totally worthwhile for a nice lunch), it's time to bring on the meat.  Each person at the table is given a disc - one side green, the other red.  You start off with the red side up.  As soon as you flip to green, though...

The bombardment begins.  I was trying to get a good picture of the process but those gauchos are so fast.  They come to your table with meat on a long skewer.  They explain what the meat is and ask if you would like some, then ask how you like your meat cooked.  You tell them and they slice some off for you.

This happens over and over again until you explode.  The end.

Okay, maybe it's not quite that dramatic, although I'm sure it could be if you didn't flip your disc to red prior to your expiration.  There's 15 different types and cuts of meat, from filet mignon to sausage to chicken drumsticks to bacon-wrapped chicken to sirloin...and on and on...

It was utter carnage.  And we did not even get halfway through the offerings - I know I saw a table of folks eating what appeared to be lambchops but we didn't get that far into the process before we gave up.

Oh, did I mention that they offered garlic mashed potatoes, polenta and fried plantains as well? It was heaven, I tell you.  Absolutely heaven.  And I'm not ashamed to say that I took full advantage of the sides, even though I know that they, like the salad, were meant to fill me up.  Hey, I'm not trying to eat a whole cow here.

As I said, we flipped our discs to red long before all of the choices were offered to us.  We were smart, and I was proud of us for that.  No need to go overboard.

Oh wait.  You say there's cheesecake?

Oh...I see...well, I'll have to try some...

Look how it glistens...

They actually offered at least a dozen choices for dessert, and each choice sounded more amazing than the last.  But you can't go wrong with cheesecake.  And we were not disappointed.

There's also a tremendous wine list, but since the wines were only served by the bottle and I'm the sole wine drinker, I passed.

In all, we were glad to have taken the chance on Fogo.  Would we return? Yes, but we agreed after the meal that it would probably be more fun to go with a group of people.  For the money we spent, we could have had a really fantastic meal at Morimoto, which I adore more than life itself, and we would have felt as though it was worth the cost.  At a place like Fogo there's almost a feeling of pressure to eat your money's worth - and frankly, I don't feel as though we came anywhere close.

Still, it was yummy.  And I got to carve chunks out of a giant wheel of cheese.  So it was a good night.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Macy's Christmas Light Show

On Saturday night, we went to see the Christmas Light Show at Macy's in Philadelphia.  It was just as whimsical and lovely as I remembered.

It was fun to see both kids and adults crowding around to watch the lights.

Rob made a point that back when this store was built (when it was Wanamaker's, the first department store in the country), things were just done differently.  It's such a beautiful building - marble floors, balconies on each level overlooking the Grand Court Atrium, even a huge organ which is the largest playable instrument in the world! It's a really special place.

And it was a really special night!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Health Food

After a lovely weekend in Philadelphia, the time eventually came to go home.  We had a lot of fun and I hope to be able to share some of our experiences with you here.  

However, one can only stand so much holiday fun, especially on the weekend before Christmas when approximately a million things need to be done. 

This afternoon, I'm finally baking my oatmeal raisin cookies.  I'm really warming up to good old oatmeal raisin - they may not be as sexy as , say, chocolate chip.  And they're not as "oooh, ahhh" as peanut butter cup cookies, either.

But they have something going for them that neither of the other two have.  Namely, the fact that oatmeal is totally awesome for you.  So these are, in fact, health food.  

You heard it here, folks.  Bake 'em up, eat 'em up.  Your body will be so busy thanking you for filling it with oatmeal (not to mention raisins and cinnamon, which are also completely good for you) that it won't even notice that it's processing butter and sugar as well.

Trust me.

Incidentally, this dough was frozen into individual cookie portions in advance, then just plopped on to the cookie sheet and baked.  

And they turned out just perfect! Crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  Sweet, rich and buttery.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup of rolled oats (not instant!)
1 cup raisins

Cream together butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and mix to incorporate.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add to butter mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add oats and raisins and stir to combine.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Makes 4 dozen.

OR, place dough on sheet as if to bake, but place in freezer instead. Once dough balls are frozen, store in an airtight container.  When ready to bake, place dough on sheet and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Delicious! I'm off to ingest some more health food now...

So, how is YOUR cookie baking going?

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