A big thanks to Spencer Walker for taking dinner club duties off my hands this week!
Walker, L.A. native and the author of the blog CookToBang.com - Recipes to get you laid, is coming out with a Cook to Bang book in May 2010. As part of the book promotion, he is being filmed traveling around the nation invading people's homes, apartments, and dorms, and throwing together gourmet meals from whatever he can scrounge up. This week he was in Charlotte.
Since it was my week to host the weekly dinner club with my gal pals, it was the perfect opportunity to shirk off my cooking responsibilities and let this kind sir cook for me and my guests. Walker, with camera man/brother Andrew in tow, stopped by my house last night and created a feast.
First we went through all my food ...
Here are the contents of my fridge and pantry spewed all over the countertops:
The chef was quick in deciding what he was going to cook. He lumped ingredients together based on dish. (See the Golden Grahams with the marshmallows? That's dessert.)
Walker got busy as we drank martinis and relaxed. At one point we felt slightly guilty sitting around watching as he toiled in the kitchen, so we made sure he got a good pour of martini straight from the shaker down his throat. As the dishes came together, Walker brainstormed dirty names for his dishes.
What we ate last night:
- Cambodian Love Rolls (Rice paper rolls filled with stir-fried minced chicken flavored with fish sauce, hoisin and soy sauce, tossed with coconut and walnuts)
- White Trash Buffalo Chicken Dip (This one needs a better name. Ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, cheese, buffalo wing sauce, cream cheese, shredded chicken)
- Pork Your Pasta (Black truffle pasta served with a spicy tomato-based sauce with chopped up rosemary pork)
- Ram That Graham (Golden Grahams baked together with marshmallows and caramel, covered with white and semi-sweet chocolate, toffee bits, and whatever else we could find on my baking shelf)
Everything was delicious and we were all amazed at what he was able to come up with. My favorite line from the night: "Ok, ladies. Have a seat because I'm going to serve you." Music to my ears.
A man in the kitchen cooking up a four-course meal ... I could get used to this! Walker did say that in his experience, women do tend to respond favorably to a home-cooked meal by a man...
Check out more pics on the jump.
Van Gogh is Bipolar is a cafe ... yes, a place you eat food at ... in the Philippines. Aside from its unusual name, its appeal is that it offers food that is supposed to improve your mood.
The cafe only serves all-natural 'happy-hormone-producing' foods, set to lift customers' moods. Its menu is loaded with foods that are believed to help balance the brain's levels of serotonin and dopamine, which in turn helps alleviate mild to moderate depression.
Don't believe 'em? Here's a link to their menu, complete with descriptions of how the ingredients are supposed to relieve anxiety, release dopamine or beat depression.
Doesn't that look good? Eat yourself happy the next time you're visiting the Philippines!
"Hey Kim, what time is it?"
"Oh, it's half-past salmon."
I guess you couldn't really say that unless you had one of these ... a sushi clock.(FYI: The sushi isn't real; it's art, people!)
What a great way to add color to your kitchen ... and it's not a bad conversation starter, either. If it weren't for its price tag $312 US dollars I'd get one.
Of course, if the idea of raw fish makes you a little queasy, this might not be the timepiece you want to rely on.
To purchase one, visit Japan Trend Shop. (Side note: The battery is included but the manual is in Japanese. Oops).
Cook to Bang, a cooking blog illustrated with step-by-step photos of humorously named recipes that will keep you busy in the kitchen and in bed, is soon to be a book. To give you a flavor of what's to come in the book, just check out the names of some of the recent recipes on the blog: Coconut Cod-Piece, Raw and Raunchy Oysters, Don't be Coy, Bok Choy and Ants on My Log.
Tomorrow Spencer Walker, author of CooktoBang.com blog and book, will be coming to MY KITCHEN. The chef of "recipes to get you laid" will be stopping by to film a promotional cooking video for his new book.
His mission (and challenge): To concoct a feast from whatever he can scrounge up from my fridge and pantry.
Er, good luck with that. I've got half-blocks of cheese, lemon curd, Hoisin sauce, cranberry juice, pasta, yogurt, frozen chicken breasts, ramen, chocolates and cereal. Sounds to me like it's gonna be quite the challenge.
I'm inviting a few ladies over to taste test the feast tomorrow. Let's see if they end up in the bedroom for dessert...
Check back on Wednesday for pics!
Mellow Mushroom set up their mobile ovens in Uptown Charlotte today (Monday, Sept. 28) and treated everybody to a free slice. CL blogger, Mike McCray, talked with Mellow Mushroom's Josh Weinstein about the event.
Fish. Finding a source for fresh fish in Charlotte has been a problem since Ive lived here, and thats basically forever. (I arrived before the Panthers and before NationsBank morphed into Bank of America.) For me, having lived in cities on the water like San Francisco with a wharf and D.C. with a mini wharf and near Manhattan, which used to have Fulton Fish Market this was an adjustment.
The question of where to find fresh fish was raised again after my speaking engagement at Davidson College last week. A man asked where he could find a good fish market. I floundered, so to speak. He had moved to this area from northern Jersey where fish markets are common and variety exists beyond Alaskan wild salmon, yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, Pacific halibut, tilapia, rainbow trout ... and did I say salmon already?
I cheerfully offered what we do have in abundance here: shellfish. Wild-caught shrimp, heads-on shrimp; blue, king and snow crabs; scallops both bay and diver; mussels; crayfish; lobsters; and oysters. And prices for these items are reasonable.
But fin fish? Clearly Dean & Deluca at Philips Place has quality, but is expensive. While it is true that Ive bought Icelandic Artic Char locally (at the Teeter), I rarely see Striped Bass (pictured above), Alaskan Pollock, King or Spanish Mackerel, or Pacific Cod. Charlottes Asian fish markets like Inner Harbor and Overseas carry a variety of smaller fish, but Charlotte does not have a large fish market with variety and reasonable prices as you would find in northern New Jersey.
If you're starving for some pizza, head over to Revolution Pizza & Ale House for their new lunch buffet that starts today.
For $7.50, you'll get all-you-can-eat pizza and salad. And it's not just a plain ole cheese pizza they are serving up ... they will have pepperoni, sausage and cheese and also chef inspired pies like pulled pork, peppadew peppers and caramelized onions or fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken with pancetta and arugula.
The buffet runs Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 12 and 2 pm.
p.s. Kids 10 and under eat free.
Revolution Pizza & Ale House
3228 N. Davidson St.
If you love wine with your meals out but hate the prices, Fleming's is giving you the option to bring your own from home.
Fleming's will be hosting a "BYO" wine dinner on September 25 at 6:30 pm. The dinner will consist of 3 courses for $45, and no corkage fees.
The menu for the night will be:
Lump Crab Crostini with Tropical Pineapple and Prickly Pear Vinaigrette
Baby Arugula and Spinach Salad with Tea-Smoked Duck and Goat Cheese Foam
Broiled Filet Mignon Poached in Butter on Roasted Parsnips Topped with Mushroom Caponata and a Pomegranate Glaze
Sour Cream Pound Cake with Poached Pears and Blue Cheese Crumbles Drizzled with Rosemary-Infused Caramel Sauce
Call to make your reservation. 704-333-4266.
210 East Trade Street
Charlotte NC 28202
Moe's wants to give you "Moe" ... mo' free food that is. Today, Thursday Sept. 17, you can get a free Moe's Joey Jr. Burrito from any Charlotte Moe's restaurant between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm.
What's a Joey Jr. you ask? The Joey Jr. burrito includes the same ingredients in the Joey Bag of Donuts: a choice of meat, fish or tofu, black or pinto beans, rice, pico de gallo, lettuce and shredded cheese wrapped in a warm tortilla; however, the Joey Jr. is perfectly portioned between a full-size burrito and a kids item.
Also, the 5,000th guest will receive free Moes for A YEAR. Wowza. Wrap me in a tortilla and call me Joey.
Visit any of these Greater Charlotte area locations to get your burrito:
1500 East Blvd, Charlotte
9330 Center Lake Dr. #100, Charlotte
14825 John J. Delaney Dr., Charlotte
4724 Sharon Dr., Suite H, Charlotte
2215 Ayrsley Town Blvd., Suite D, Charlotte
1497 Concord Pkwy, Suite 108, Concord
16933 Kaufinger St, Ste 180-J, Huntersville
1910 Cinema Dr., Rock Hill, SC
8133 kensington Dr., Waxhaw
3908 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia
Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this.
A group of inmates from Florida's Hillsborough County Jail are making and marketing their own hot sauce. JailHouseFire hot sauce comes in three varietiesOriginal, Smoke and No Escapeall made from peppers grown right there onsite.
Currently available only online, all proceeds support inmate programs.
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