An Afternoon at Asiago’s and Powells

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23April2014_1c_Asiagos-Powels_AsiagosWe originally planned to go and see the baby owls. But the property owner was not feeling good so we will go on Saturday. We had planned to go to Asiago’s for lunch before going birdwatching. We did. And then we needed dessert, so Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in east Boise was the place to go. Here are some photos from today. Left-Click any of them to see the photo enlarged. Enjoy the food photos and following us on a Foodie Sojourn! Cheers. Here is a link to Asiago’s Menu. Asiago’s is definitely a 5-Star restaurant (out f 5-Stars) for an Italian restaurant in Boise.

Robin at Asiago's

Robin at Asiago’s

(L) 2012 Vesevo Beveventano Falhnghina Campania, Italy Althnuma Pinot Grigio DOC Val d'Adige, Italy

(L) 2012 Vesevo Beveventano Falhnghina Campania, Italy
(R) Althnuma Pinot Grigio DOC Val d’Adige, Italy

Can’t really say that any one of these was better than the other. The Pinot Grigio went extremely well with the smoky salmon while the Beveventano went better with the salad and the mushrooms. They were both good selections.

Here

Funghi
fresh mushrooms sautéed in champagne and butter, finished with gremolata

Here

Caesar Salad
hearts of romaine, croutons, anchovies and asiago with the house caesar dressing

Yea! Finally a restaurant in Boise that knows how to make a Caesar Salad. It’s not a Caesar without the anchovy and garlic! Sorry, but that’s the way it goes.

Smoky Salmon with Fettuccini and Cream Sauce

Smoky Salmon with Fettuccini and Cream Sauce

CHICKEN ASIAGO  gremolata chicken breast over fresh fettuccine in Asiago-garlic cream, finished with tomato-pesto  sauce. served with the house or Caesar salad

Chicken Asiago
gremolata chicken breast over fresh fettuccine in Asiago-garlic cream, finished with tomato-pesto sauce.

Then we were off to Powells in east Boise for some Gilato. Here Robin is enjoying some.

Then we were off to Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in east Boise for some Gelato. Here Robin is enjoying some.

Gelato - Italian Ice Cream

GelatoItalian Ice Cream

Awesome Easter Lamb Dinner

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20April2014_1g_Captains-Shack-Easter_Lamb-Happy_Dinner-PlatedThis is probably one of the best lamb dinner we have had. I adapted it from a recipe found on Epicurious. Here is the link to our adapted recipe: Arugula, Spinach and Miner’s Lettuce Stuffed Lamb. The recipe is not for the faint of heart. But it is really fun to do. Give it a try. Take your time and enjoy the process. If you don’t have an already boned leg of lamb, here is a previous post on this blog about boning a leg of lamb. Well worth the short time to view the video. How To Bone a Leg of Lamb. Enjoy the lamb. Most, but not all, of the products on our menu were from Idaho – Support Idaho Farmers: Buy Local. And we really try to do this. Here is our list: Wine – Sawtooth Winery; Lamb – Felzien Family Lamb; Garlic – River View Farms; Salad Greens and Herbs – Purple Sage Farms; Bread – Acme Bake Shop and Vegetables - Volcanic Farms. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Cheers!

The boned leg of lamb with the stuffing in place. To bone the lamb, see the link above.

The boned leg of lamb with the stuffing in place. To bone the lamb, see the link above.

The rolled lamb is "getting happy".

The rolled and tied lamb is “getting happy”.

The cooked lamb is resting to redistribute the juices.

The cooked lamb is resting to redistribute the juices.

Green Salad with Miner's lettuce, slivered carrots and green onion Olave Coratina Olive Oil and Agrestum Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Green Salad
with
Miner’s lettuce, slivered carrots and green onion
Olave Coratina Olive Oil and Agrestum Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

2011 Sawtooth Winery Estate Grown Pinot Gris ($43.00) 2003 Ridge Vineyards Lytton East Zinfandel ($165.00 - 54 barrels produced)

Wines For Dinner
2011 Sawtooth Winery Estate Grown Pinot Gris ($43.00)
2003 Ridge Vineyards Lytton East Zinfandel ($165.00 – 54 barrels produced)

Arugula Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Arugula, Spinach and Miner’s Lettuce Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Arugula, Spinach and Miner's Lettuce Stuffed Leg of Lamb Oven Roasted Rosemary Yukon Gold Potatoes Roasted Vegetable Medley Acme Bake Shop Sourdough Bread

The Entree Menu
Arugula, Spinach and Miner’s Lettuce Stuffed Leg of Lamb
Oven Roasted Rosemary Yukon Gold Potatoes
Roasted Vegetable Medley
Acme Bake Shop Sourdough Bread

Here

The Entree Menu
Arugula, Spinach and Miner’s Lettuce Stuffed Leg of Lamb
Oven Roasted Rosemary Yukon Gold Potatoes
Roasted Vegetable Medley

Scrumptious Dinner At “Fresh Off the Hook”

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18Aprikl2014_1_Fresh-Off-the-Hook_Menu-CoverOnce agai, we went to Fresh Off the Hook in Boise and were treated to another awesome dinner. It is, without a doubt, the Best In Boise for seafood. Yes. A 5-Star seafood restaurant. Their Menu is full of surprises and delicious. I want to try one of everything. For instance, their fried foods are more like the tempura at Sushi Joy, it is light and not grease soaked. The fried foods taste like they are supposed to. Shrimp taste like shrimp. Cod tastes like cod. Not over powered with batter. It is good! In short, if you are in Boise, you must try to go to Fresh Off the Hook. Cheers and enjoy these photos.

Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) on the left and a Kendal Jackson Chardonnay on the right. Look at the color difference.

Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) on the left and a Kendall-Jackson (CA) Chardonnay on the right. Look at the color difference.

Robin is enjoying herself.

Robin is enjoying herself.

Green Beans Fried A great appetizer!

Green Beans Fries
A great appetizer!

Shrimp Tomato Bisque

Shrimp Tomato Bisque

Clam Chowder There's actually clams in here!

Clam Chowder
There’s actually clams in here!

Seafood Linguini

Seafood Fettuccini
Tiger shrimp, bay scallops, bay shrimp, zucchini, mushrooms, scallions and diced tomatoes sautéed in white wine and garlic butter smothered in our creamy Parmesan-garlic sauce tossed with fettuccine noodles. Topped with Parmesan, tomatoes and scallions, and served with warm sourdough bread 14.99

Captain Alex’s Seafood Platter A medley of cod, salmon, halibut, mahi mahi, Jumbo shrimp, calamari and clams battered and deep fried to perfection. Served with chef’s choice sautéed vegetables and wild rice 18.99

Captain Alex’s Seafood Platter
A medley of cod, salmon, halibut, mahi mahi, Jumbo shrimp, calamari and clams battered and deep fried to perfection. Served with chef’s choice sautéed vegetables and wild rice 18.99

Fishing boat

Fishing boat

Sailing rig. These are ship models that are placed around the restaurant.

Sailing rig. These are ship models that are placed around the restaurant.

How to Bone a Leg of Lamb

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Here is a great video on how to bone a leg of lamb. Enjoy! How to Bone a Leg of Lamb. Then, after you have the lamb prepped, here is a recipe for Arugula-Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Roasted Spring Vegetables

Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Arugula-Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Roasted Spring Vegetables – Just in time for Easter!

Guide to Cooking Lamb

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Here is an interesting guide to cooking lamb from the American Lamb Board. And just in time for your Easter Lamb Dinner. Enjoy! And just to let you know, here is what I am making for our Easter Dinner.

Roasted Leg of Felzien Farms Lamb
with
rosemary and garlic

Oven Roasted Idaho Fingerling Potatoes

Steamed Idaho Asparagus

Idaho Green Salad
with

Miner’s Lettuce

and, of course, a good wine!

Guide to Roasting Lamb from the American Lamb Board

Guide to Roasting Lamb
from the
American Lamb Board

Garden Surprise

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And a good surprise it is! Miner's Lettuce! I have no idea where the seed came from. We do have some planted about 30 feet away and it is up, but very small. This is great! If you have never eaten Miner's Lettuce, try some. It is sweet and succulent much like regular lettuce. Great in salads. Look at your local Farmers Market - They may have some. I know our does (Purple Sage Farms).

And a good surprise it is! Miner’s Lettuce! I have no idea where the seed came from. We do have some planted about 30 feet away and it is up, but very small. This is great! If you have never eaten Miner’s Lettuce, try some. It is sweet and succulent much like regular lettuce. Great in salads. Look at your local Farmers Market – They may have some. I know our does (Purple Sage Farms).

Description
Claytonia perfoliata is a trailing plant, growing to a maximum of 40 cm in length, but mature plants can be as small as 1 cm. The cotyledons are usually bright green (rarely purplish or brownish-green), succulent, long and narrow. The first true leaves form a rosette at the base of the plant, and are 0.5–4 cm long, with an often long petiole (exceptionally up to 20 cm long).
The small pink or white flowers have five petals 2–6 mm long; they appear from February to May or June, and are grouped 5–40 together above a pair of leaves that are united together around the stem to appear as one circular leaf. Mature plants have numerous erect to spreading stems that branch from the base.
It is common in the spring, and it prefers cool, damp conditions. It first appears in sunlit areas after the first heavy rains. Though, the best stands are found in shaded areas, especially in the uplands, into the early summer. As the days get hotter, the leaves turn a deep red color as they dry out.
There are four ill-defined geographical subspecies:
Claytonia perfoliata subsp. perfoliata: Pacific coastal United States and southwest Canada
Claytonia perfoliata subsp. intermontana: interior western United States
Claytonia perfoliata subsp. mexicana: coastal southern California and Arizona south through Mexico to Guatemala
Claytonia perfoliata subsp. utahensis: recognised as local subspecies in Utah.
Uses
The common name miner’s lettuce refers to its use by California Gold Rush miners who ate it to get their vitamin C to prevent scurvy. It can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Most commonly it is eaten raw in salads, but it is not quite as delicate as other lettuce. Sometimes it is boiled like spinach, which it resembles in taste. [Wikipedia]

Miner’s lettuce
Scientific name:
Claytonia perfoliata (Purslane Family: Portulacaceae)
Life stages of Miner’s lettuce
Miner’s lettuce, a native winter annual broadleaf plant, is part of a complex of species and subspecies with slightly varying characteristics. It is found throughout California (except for the lower desert areas) to about 6600 feet (2000 m). Miner’s lettuce inhabits natural plant communities, agricultural land, and urban areas, with a preference for cool, damp conditions. It dries up with the onset of hot spring weather. Although the leaves are sometimes cultivated or collected for salad greens, occasionally it accumulates soluble oxalates, which can be toxic when ingested.
Habitat
Chaparral, oak, woodlands, forests, and coastal sage scrub, agronomic and vegetable crop fields, orchards, vineyards, gardens, yards, and other disturbed sites.
Seedling
Cotyledons (seed leaves) are bright green, slightly succulent, linear and narrow, and broadest at the tip. The first true leaf and later leaves are narrowly to normally lance-shaped with bases that taper to the stalk. These leaves form a basal rosette. Miner’s lettuce seedlings are distinguished from redmaids, which lack definite stalks and have somewhat broader and fleshier leaves.
Young plant
The young plant is found as a basal rosette.
Mature plant
Mature plants have numerous erect to spreading, slender stems that branch from the base and reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length. Leaves are mostly basal, slightly succulent, hairless, and bright green. Leaf shape varies from football shaped to triangular-kidney shaped with rounded or pointy tips. The flower stalk appears to “grow through” a circular cuplike structure (bract) that looks like a leaf and surrounds the entire stem. Subspecies perfoliata has football to egg-diamond shaped leaves and subspecies mexicana has egg-diamond shaped to triangular-kidney-shaped leaves.
Flower
Flowers bloom from February through May. Five to forty white to pale pink flowers on slender down-curved stalks cluster above a circular to weakly squared, often cuplike, green structure (bract) that looks like a leaf and completely surrounds the stem.
Fruit
Tiny, egg-shaped, green, open pods, 1/17 to 1/6 of an inch (1.5–4 mm) are enclosed by green petal-like sepals and contain two to six seeds.
Seeds
Glossy, black seeds, about 1/26 to 1/8 of an inch (1 to 3 mm) in diameter, are oval to circular with a white appendage at the point of attachment. [UC Davis]

That is probably way more than you wanted to know. But interesting nonetheless. Try some Miner’s Lettuce. Cheers.

Easy Easter Egg Colors

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Awesome Easter Eggs this year. Thanks to Janie Burns, Meadowlark Farms, for the brown eggs. Recipe: 1 T White Vinegar, 20-24 drops of Food Color and 1/2 c Water at room temp. Mix and place eggs in the dye. They will dye up quickly. The ones pictured here are about 30 seconds. The colors are really intense and I like them. Enjoy!

14April2014_1_Captains-Shack_Natural-Easter-Egg-Colors

Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf

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The other evening when we were at a Ridge Winery tasting, they suggested to go with their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon to have a Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf. We did not have any of the cab, but we do have some 2003 Ridge Winery Lytton East Zinfandel and it is an awesome wine! We still have 5 bottles in our storage. We made the meatloaf and it too is awesome. Look at these photos I took of the dinner and the the Sunday morning breakfast consisting of a Shrimp and Fresh Asparagus Omelet. Yummers!

2003 Ridge Winery Lytton East Zinfandel. AP - $164.00!

2003 Ridge Winery Lytton East Zinfandel
AP – $164.00!
Yes, a very special wine.

Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf cooling.

Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf cooling.

Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf Baked Idaho Potato with Creme Fresh and Chives Fresh Green Salad with Tomatoes

Ridge Winery Lamb Meatloaf

Baked Idaho Potato
with
Crème Fraîche and Chives

Fresh Green Salad
with
Carrot Strings and Tomatoes

Fresh Idaho Asparagus
with
Idaho Wild Garlic

Vanilla Ice Cream with Apricot Purée

Vanilla Ice Cream
with
Apricot Purée

Shrimp and Fresh Asparagus Omelet Acme Bake Shop Toasted Sourdough

And then for breakfast Sunday morning, something simple and easy and non-complicated. A change of pace!

Shrimp and Fresh Asparagus Omelet
Acme Bake Shop Toasted Sourdough

And just as a note: The lamb is from the Felzien Family Farm where we get all of our fresh lamb. The eggs are from Meadowlark Farms, where we get all of our eggs. The asparagus and garlic are from the River View Gardens. The sourdough bread is from our favorite bakery Acme Bake Shop. The carrots were from Rice Family Farms. We really do try to keep our food supply local and we do Buy Idaho! Cheers.

A Great 2nd Week at the Boise Farmers Market

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Farmers-Market-ChickenThe word is … Last week, the Opening Week for the market – was a HUGE success! In the 4 hours that the market is open, there were over 6000 people who visited the market. Most of the vendors were sold out. And if you need a list of the venders, Look Here. You will be surprised as to the number of vendors and the products that are available. I have tried to show some of the vendors in the following photos that I took today. These are the ones that I normally frequent. There are food booths, and some wonderful coffee, too, that will provide some delicious treats. Pasta, waffles, doughnuts and cupcakes, wine and beer, pasta and other goodies, to name a few. Enjoy the photos and tour of the Farmers Market! It was a beautiful, sunny morning so I did not alter the photos. I left the shadows and sunshine in!

Janie Burns, Meadowlark Farms. Eggs, lamb, chicken and a pleasant smile!

Janie Burns, Meadowlark Farms. Eggs, lamb, chicken and a pleasant smile!

Acme Bake Shop. Awesome sourdough and old world style rye. They also have ciabatta, focaccia, potato bread and a large variety of other breads. Fresh baked everyday. Some of the best bread in Boise.

Acme Bake Shop. Awesome sourdough and old world style rye. They also have ciabatta, focaccia, potato bread and a large variety of other breads. Fresh baked everyday. Some of the best bread in Boise. Say Hi to Michael and Soraya for us.

Gaston's Bakery. Wonderful croissants - plain, almond, ham and cheese - and a variety of speciality breads. Say Hi to Mathiew for us.

Gaston’s Bakery. Wonderful croissants – plain, almond, ham and cheese – and a variety of speciality breads. Say Hi to Mathiew for us. Robin says the best almond croissants on the 3rd Rock from the Sun!

Idaho Honey. Great tasting honey and a wonderful Creamed Honey. They do sell online so check their link out in the sidebar!

Idaho Honey. Great tasting honey and a wonderful Creamed Honey. They do sell online so check their link out in the sidebar or Right Here!

Rollingstone Chevre. If you like goat cheese, Robin does and I like some of it, then you will need to stop by and talk to Karen Evans about her cheese.

Rollingstone Chevre. If you like goat cheese, Robin does and I like some of it, then you will need to stop by and talk to Karen Evans about her cheese.

River View Gardens. Great fresh garlic, asparagus, spinach, lettuce and onions. They have awesome garlic selections in the fall. Several varieties - I think they have about 9 varieties last year. They also provide information sheets about the differences in the garlics.

River View Gardens. Great fresh garlic, asparagus, spinach, lettuce and onions. They have awesome garlic selections in the fall. Several varieties – I think they have about 9 varieties last year. They also provide information sheets about the differences in the garlics.

Rice Family Farms. Carrots, parsnips, radishes, lettuces and a variety of fresh produce.

Rice Family Farms. Carrots, parsnips, radishes, lettuces and a variety of fresh produce.

Purple Sage Farms. Great almost year round produce. Lettuces, herbs, fermented products, cabbages in the fall and other wonderful products. They have an extensive greenhouse setup that you can tour if you call ahead.

Purple Sage Farms. Great almost year round produce. Lettuces, herbs, fermented products, cabbages in the fall and other wonderful products. They are also going to have some Fenugreek – an spice used in the cuisine of India. “Fresh fenugreek leaves are an ingredient in some Indian curries. Sprouted seeds and microgreens are used in salads. When harvested as microgreens, fenugreek is known as Samudra Methi in Maharashtra, especially in and around Mumbai, where it is often grown near the sea in the sandy tracts … When sold as a vegetable in India the young plants are harvested with their roots still attached and sold in small bundles in the markets and bazaars.” [Wikipedia] They have an extensive greenhouse setup that you can tour if you call ahead.

Volcanic Farms. Here we have some Chard. They also have other green vegetables.

Volcanic Farms. Here we have some Chard. They also have other green vegetables.

As an End-Note, the Big Valley Ranch is at the Farmers Market and they are supplying Highland cattle meat. The ranch is located in the Horseshoe Bend area. I will be sure to check them out next Saturday. I/we have never eaten Highland beef. “The meat tends to be leaner than most beef because Highlands get most of their insulation from their thick shaggy hair rather than subcutaneous fat. The coat makes them a good breed for cold northern climates and they are able to thrive in outdoor conditions that would defeat most other breeds of domestic beef cattle.” [Wikipedia] “It is beef that comes from Highland cattle that is superior in flavor, tenderness and cooking. Highland (sometimes called Scottish Highland) is a distinct breed of cattle that are generally smaller than Angus…” [The Reluctant Gourmet] Here are some Cooking Tips for preparing Highland beef. Interesting. Sounds a lot like the preparation for Buffalo.

Sweet Dessert

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Personally, I think anytime that you can get good ones – notice I said good ones – is the perfect time for apricots. And when we can not get our fruit fresh off the tree, pick them ourselves, or from our local Farmers Market, then we go to Hood-Crest (Muirhead Canning) and buy one of the 6-pack of great fruits. Last night, Robin asked if we had any of the fruit left. I checked. Apricots, plums and pears. She said that we should have the apricots. So here is what I made. Simple. Easy. Good! Enjoy!

Hood-Crest Apricots Pound Cake Vanilla Ice Cream

Hood-Crest Apricots
Pound Cake
Vanilla Ice Cream

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