Category Archives: yum

job application

Dearest readers – are you familiar with Westword? If you don’t live in Denver, it’s a local weekly. A local weekly who just informed my culinary school that they are looking for a new restaurant reviewer/food blogger. I am completely sure that NO ONE else would possibly want that job, because doesn’t it sound just awful? Therefore, I’m going to take one for the team and apply. The worst that can happen is that I’ll be mocked on the front page. I need a sample, though, so here’s a restaurant review. I’m considering it my introductory review because obviously they’ll want to hire me and they can just publish this one, right off the bat.

Also – is this blog starting to take on an ‘Emma will try anything’ vibe? Oh well – how can you learn what you’re capable of if you don’t apply for jobs you’re not qualified for?

I’m a suburban girl right now, I freely and semi-proudly admit it. I grew up in the mountains west of Boulder, and have only lived outside Boulder county when I was forced to by my choice of college. I’m toying with the idea of moving to Denver – it would be nice to be closer to lots of food, bars, and derby practice – but right now Louisville is my home sweet home. Louisville, if you’re not familiar, is the best place to live in the whooole country, which I’m sure is only mildly related to my presence there.

If I were to move to Denver, though, there are things about Louisville I would miss. I would have a wealth of delicious options at my foottips (cause I would walk, get it?)… but I wouldn’t have The Empire.

The Empire recently celebrated it’s one year anniversary – something of a feat for restaurants on Louisville’s Main Street, where if you’re not the hour-long-wait-for-brunch Huckleberry breakfast joint or the perpetually empty Double Happy Chinese (how do they stay in business? No, really? I have theories and none of them have to do with chinese food) you’re in and out faster than the occasional nail salon that pops up. The Empire is the brainchild of Brendan McManus, who worked for the Big Red F group of restaurants and therefore is the only man the boy would ever consider leaving me for, and Jim Cohen, the man that makes food so delish even Julia Child was all “hey baby, how you doin?”. Ok, she probably didn’t say that, but she did name him one of the best chefs in the country and have him as a guest on the first episode of Dining with Julia.

Let me recount for you a few of the meals I’ve eaten there.

Date #1*: The first time I’d been. We sat in a table in the center of the front part of the long room. The restaurant is divided into four parts: the front has small tables along each wall, the middle is the bar and lounge – full of deep squishy black couches, and the rear is lined with booths and a room for parties. I was facing the always packed bar, watching Leah-the-tall-blond bartender work. The drinks are not crazy – Leah does not call herself a mixologist and the most complicated drink on the menu is the Pepino (gin, St. Germain and lemon juice). What the drink menu lacks in length, it makes up for in quality – the cherry bourbon is infused in house and the Manhattan will disappear before you realized what made it quite so delicious.

I didn’t order off the drink menu on this particular evening (I’m kind of a lightweight and tend to avoid liquor on dates (I can hear the boy laughing from four miles away)), but their list of wines by the glass is long enough that everyone except the serious oenophile will find something, and the bottles range from casual Australian whites to Silver Oak  Cab Sauv.

We started with the bacon wrapped almond stuffed dates. They’re simple food, done without a lot of embellishment, but they are as delicious as they sound. At $8 for four dates, they are not the most cost effective way to start your meal, but they are absolutely worth every penny. They can be a little sticky, but the sticks they’re served on double admirably as toothpicks.  Since we’d started the meal with bacon, we moved right into what is one of The Empire’s signature dishes – coal miner’s mac and cheese. It’s made with pancetta unless you request otherwise, and is absolutely delicious as long as you eat fast – as it cools down it gets a little heavy, because they don’t skimp on the cream and butter. For those of you who aren’t into heart attacks, no worries, the portion is small. It’s actually ideal for a kids meal as there is no kids menu available.

From there the menu can go one of many directions. You can continue to share, as I did on that first date, and go for the spicy grilled pizza. It comes in one flavor – pepperoni – and isn’t the thing to order if you were craving pizza when you came in. It’s rustic, crunchy, and not the most consistent thing on the menu, but if you’re nibbling your way through an evening it can be a strong contributor.

*The evening ended pleasantly but I liked The Empire considerably more than I liked the date. We did not go out again.

Date #2**: …

Ok, I have the date above to get through (liked the man less than the restaurant AGAIN) and my wonderfully fantastic first date with the boy, and I’m bored.  I read a review by the current reviewer and his was about 2000 words – I’m at like 900 if you count the intro. However, he probably spends more time writing them. Right? RIGHT?

I hope you weren’t bored. I may finish this later… or I may not. I’m sure I’d be more motivated if I were being paid for it.

1 Comment

Filed under it's all about me, work, yum

winner of the blind taste test

I am definitely too old to play Rock Band until 2 am.  Even though it is clearly the mostest awesomest game ever.

I am tired and lazy and am doing the one thing that makes me feel better, no matter how out of whack I am.

Baking cookies.

I’m making palmiers and some modified sacristans. If I were the fabulous photographer that I am in my head, I would take pictures and show you, but in real life I’m of the blurry-and-poorly-lit school of picture taking. I would love to be a good photographer, but I think it’s probably more useful to be a good baker, because as you see below, it’s a lot easier to steal pictures from the internet than it is to steal cookies from the internet.

If you were here, what you’d be seeing would look something like this:

Sacristans.

Palmiers.

On a completely unrelated note,  last night while we were at the funnest birthday dinner ever (happy birthday Matthew!) I told a story about when I went ice skating and I saw a girl cut open the inside of her leg with her skate and bleed all over the ice. I am excellent at appropriate dinner conversation.

1 Comment

Filed under I'm a cranky brat, nablopomo, yum

sniff, sniff II

Were you hoping I was feeling better? Me too! Weird.

I’m not.

Also, I’m cranky because I haven’t eaten anything today because thinking about eating makes me want to puke. But now I’m hungrier than I am nauseous and while I wait for someone to volunteer to bring me food (trust me, it will happen eventually. A boyfriend/mother/stalker/random coworker will offer)  I wanted to write about the whole vegan thing. I was mostly vegan for the first few days of last week – exceptions were made for the bread I had made that had nonfat dry milk in it and some grab-n-go peach breakfast pies that I just really loved and didn’t want to throw out or give away. Everything else in my home that was not vegan was piled into a paper bag and delivered to the lovely family of six that regularly fed omnivore Emma. Their haul included such gems as

  • A half eaten bag of Reese’s Pieces
  • A half eaten bag of beef jerky
  • A half eaten bag of marshmallows
  • Two half full cartons of eggs
  • Several cans of Campbells Chunky Soup that I have had for several years and clearly didn’t want to eat, even as an omnivore

I know. How ever was I so generous. Of course, I have delivered a fairly constant stream of cookies and brownies to that same house, so I’m going to call it a wash.

Anyway, after the bread and pie were gone, I became what you might call an actual vegan. For reals.

Im not extorting you to go vegan, lovely readers. I just think the pissed off face and protuberant udders are kinda cute.

I'm not extorting you to go vegan, lovely readers. I just think the pissed off face and protuberant udders are kinda cute.

I have to say it feels weirdly natural. There have been several restaurant dinners that have been a little tough, but not because I want the cheese – more because I’m trying to walk a line that isn’t completely ‘ok tell me every single ingredient of every single vegetarian dish’ but also isn’t like my old friend Sam-the-vegetarian  who had a strict don’t ask don’t tell policy.

I think, oddly, that it’s so far been simpler for me than vegetarianism ever was. Possibly I’m a very small subset of the personality type that enjoys being told what to do – you know, a masochist. (Yes, I have been watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl, why do you ask?) Even if that’s not the case, the answer to the question ‘what to eat’ has now been narrowed from ‘anything in the store/on the menu’ to a much smaller list of options, and that’s sort of freeing. The Grand Inquisitor would be so proud of me for admitting that.

Are you fed up with me being all ‘ooohhh veganism is easy’ yet? Cause there’s a caveat. As I may have mentioned, I am sick. Icky awful haven’t done more than shift from couch to bed to couch and whine and read Shapely Prose and Jezebel. Today, when I was taking one of my many naps, I dreamt of mozzarella sticks. Ooey – gooey – stretchy – cheesy – mozzarella sticks.  With marinara and that crispy outside deliciousness. I’m not talking about figurative dreaming. I literally dreamed I was eating them. I could taste them.

I’m eating vegan moo shu and  spring rolls because lo and behold a delivery person came through yay. And man alive, I would kill for a mozzarella stick. Even if the flu meant I didn’t technically get to keep said stick. Gross.

1 Comment

Filed under I'm a cranky brat, it's all about me, yum

just to have you as my very own personal venus

The tiniestsprinter seems to have luck with these brain dump posts he’s been doing lately. And as I may have mentioned once or twice before, I am nothing if not a follower. Here goes.
Just looking at this gives me vertigo.

Just looking at this gives me vertigo.

This, however, is awesome.

This, however, is awesome.

______________________________________________________________

I hate this fucking comic, and I read it almost every day. Im always somehow hoping that it will stop being the misogynistic unfunny mess that it has been for the last 52 years. No luck so far.

I hate this fucking comic, and I read it almost every day. I'm always somehow hoping that it will stop being the misogynistic unfunny mess that it has been for the last 52 years. No luck so far.

_______________________________________________________________

I  bought an ice cream machine yesterday. Well, ordered it on Amazon, so I’ll have it sometime in the next two weeks.  I’m already making plans for flavors. I wanted one of the compression ones (i.e. the freezer is in the machine, rather than you having to freeze the bowl ahead of time) but couldn’t justify the expense. Even after two beers, which is usually when ordering a $250 ice cream machine sounds like the PERFECT idea.  First flavors:

  • Vegan coconut lime
  • Caramel mint
  • Lavender
  • Nutella

__________________________________________________________________________

Mary Scrimgeour rocks. I saw her at the 29th Street Art Festival this last weekend and I luv her.

Mary Scrimgeour rocks. I saw her at the 29th Street Art Festival this last weekend and I luv her. I'm considering buying this but I'm running out of room for new art AND I bought three of her prints.

_______________________________________________________________

The DB comes back from Sweden tomorrow – whoohooo. Here’s what my buddy at work (the original ‘you should be worried cause Swedish chicks are way hotter than you’ contributor) had to say on the subject:

1:51 pm so did your db say he missed you or did he sound a like….swedish girls may be a lil bit more his style than Italian

Here’s what I had to say back:

1:52 pm LOL

1:52 pm you are such an ass

Cause he is.

_____________________________________________________________

The tiniestsprinter and I are starting a movie club. We’re totally ripping the idea off from final girl, but that’s what the internet is about, man. First review is due 5/31. If you’re a blogger who just happens to be reading this and you’d also like to review this movie, DO IT. Just send me or the tiniestsprinter a link to your blog when you’re done.

I got to pick the first movie, and Sam will get to pick the next. Drumroll pleez…. (I’ve started spelling pleez this way and it makes me want to shake myself and say ‘why?? why??’ but I haven’t stopped yet)….

Buffy the Vampire Slayer!! Sam and I have seen this movie like a billion times. Ok, maybe not a billion – lets say fewer times than Tremors and Ghostbusters but more times than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. However, in my infinite wisdom, I’m pretty sure we can come up with some hilarious shit to say about it.

Also, Luke Perry and David Arquette, both young and ummy. This part is more for me than for Sam.

Also, Luke Perry and David Arquette, both young and ummy. This part is more for me than for Sam.

_____________________________________________________________

muah.

Leave a comment

Filed under I make lists, movie club, things I think are pretty, yum

you’re taking me for granted because I please you

It is so easy to be discontent. It’s really very pathetic (says she).

Last night I was lazing around, thinking ‘booooooo I have to go back to work tomorrow’. I’ve been toying with the idea of finding a job more in my beloved field of pastry, even though I had excellent reasons for leaving the field in the first place.

Why did I leave?

  • Reporting for work at 6 am.
  • Working weekends, with non-consecutive days off.
  • Working two full time jobs to make less than I make now.
  • Working every Christmas, every Easter, every Thanksgiving – basically any time everyone else is celebrating.

You should know, I put all but #3 in there so as to seem non-mercenary. The weird days and hours didn’t actually bother me, because most weekends, Christmases, and Easters I find an excuse to bake anyway – this way at least I was getting paid for it. Plus, going to work at six means you get off at 2 or 3. Lovely.

#3 though – that was a deal breaker.  It’s so sad that money is so important – but I remember wondering if I would be able to buy a house before I turned 40. 40. One little career change later and here I am in my very own lil townhouse, with two well fed dogs and a car that was NEW when I bought it. NEW. That’s right.

Lately, however, I seem to have forgotten what that was like. It now seems charming that I used to have to budget Cloey’s food into my groceries. Didn’t seem charming at the time, mind you – seemed like a pain in the ass to have to live without my beloved marmalade for weeks so that my girl could have healthy food. It also seems romantic that I could rarely afford to go anywhere, and instead took bread and desserts from work and cooked dinners at home most nights. It wasn’t – the idea of someone serving me and cleaning up after me was so tempting that I occasionally literally had dreams about it.

Full circle. Last night I was laying around, thinking how lame it is that I have to go to work. Well, actually I was thinking ‘gee, I’m pretty damn happy’. And then I thought ‘I wish I was making pie tomorrow’. Then ‘stupid non-pie making job’. And then I thought ‘oh shit’.

BECAUSE – now I’m worried that I somehow jinxed myself and will fall victim to the recession. I don’t want to live without marmalade again, people. So to my job, and my friends, and my pups, and my boy, I say ‘muah’. I am grateful and content.

1 Comment

Filed under I make lists, it's all about me, yum

you're taking me for granted because I please you

It is so easy to be discontent. It’s really very pathetic (says she).

Last night I was lazing around, thinking ‘booooooo I have to go back to work tomorrow’. I’ve been toying with the idea of finding a job more in my beloved field of pastry, even though I had excellent reasons for leaving the field in the first place.

Why did I leave?

  • Reporting for work at 6 am.
  • Working weekends, with non-consecutive days off.
  • Working two full time jobs to make less than I make now.
  • Working every Christmas, every Easter, every Thanksgiving – basically any time everyone else is celebrating.

You should know, I put all but #3 in there so as to seem non-mercenary. The weird days and hours didn’t actually bother me, because most weekends, Christmases, and Easters I find an excuse to bake anyway – this way at least I was getting paid for it. Plus, going to work at six means you get off at 2 or 3. Lovely.

#3 though – that was a deal breaker.  It’s so sad that money is so important – but I remember wondering if I would be able to buy a house before I turned 40. 40. One little career change later and here I am in my very own lil townhouse, with two well fed dogs and a car that was NEW when I bought it. NEW. That’s right.

Lately, however, I seem to have forgotten what that was like. It now seems charming that I used to have to budget Cloey’s food into my groceries. Didn’t seem charming at the time, mind you – seemed like a pain in the ass to have to live without my beloved marmalade for weeks so that my girl could have healthy food. It also seems romantic that I could rarely afford to go anywhere, and instead took bread and desserts from work and cooked dinners at home most nights. It wasn’t – the idea of someone serving me and cleaning up after me was so tempting that I occasionally literally had dreams about it.

Full circle. Last night I was laying around, thinking how lame it is that I have to go to work. Well, actually I was thinking ‘gee, I’m pretty damn happy’. And then I thought ‘I wish I was making pie tomorrow’. Then ‘stupid non-pie making job’. And then I thought ‘oh shit’.

BECAUSE – now I’m worried that I somehow jinxed myself and will fall victim to the recession. I don’t want to live without marmalade again, people. So to my job, and my friends, and my pups, and my boy, I say ‘muah’. I am grateful and content.

1 Comment

Filed under I make lists, it's all about me, yum

I started my book

Fall Line.

There’s a recipe in there that’s pretty delicious, but hopefully it will be interesting all on it’s own.

1 Comment

Filed under I have a pop culture problem, things I think are pretty, yum