Tag Archives: ramen

Soup!

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I’ve been a soup kick lately, if only because my husband is!

To be quite honest, I was just looking for a way to use up all my leftover ingredients from an Egg Roll Bowl recipe, I made out of the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook. I had a lot of bok choy and Napa cabbage to use! I found this Asian Chicken Soup recipe, but substituted my leftover pork from the Egg Roll Bowls. It was a winner in my book when it comes to using up leftover ingredients that I don’t want to waste!

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Asian Chicken Ground Pork Soup

And for the last of the cabbage I attempted to make this Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl.

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Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl

Okay, so that’s not a pretty picture. The egg didn’t come out soft-boiled like I’d expected; but I like hard-boiled eggs, so I didn’t mind! My chicken came out tough. But the broth was oh-so-flavorful!

Then more recently, after I broke one of my favorite beautiful bowls (WAH!) that you see in the photos above, I made this Swamp Soup.

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Swamp Soup

A more traditional Swamp Soup is made with andouille and collard greens; but Beth from Budget Bytes says she called it this because it just looks swampy with the spinach floating around in it. When Rob kept raving over this soup, it was a WIN for me. This means we’ve got a soup chock full of all the veggies we normally don’t get enough of and we can also control the sodium.

We used sharp cheddar instead of the Swiss and it was wonderful. This one is going into our recipe arsenal. I scaled the servings down to six instead of the suggested eight, but that may make too big of a bowl! I think I’d do the 8 servings next time and just freeze a bunch. It comes together really quickly, especially if you just chop all the veg the night before.

Since we’ve been making more soups lately, I liked Beth’s suggestion to freeze any leftover carrots or celery for future soups. I always end up with so many leftover carrots and celery stalks when I actually buy them for a specific dish. This sounds like such a simple and obvious solution; but to me, it’s genius.

Here are some other soups we are hoping to try in the coming weeks:

What is your favorite soup recipe? We’d love suggestions!

Cheers~
Carrie

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…to Blackbird Cafe

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So last week, I told you about the Girls’ Night that Rob crashed.  But after dinner at Pat’s Tap, the girls and I wanted to practice our usual tradition of finding somewhere else for dessert.

Only we were no longer hungry.

So instead, we decided to find a place for a nightcap or coffee. And… if we had an inkling for dessert a little later, that’s when we’d take a look at the menu. 😉

Our Smartphones were not yielding any intriguing results. So we finally just decided to drive around the neighborhood until we saw something.

That’s when we happened upon Blackbird Cafe.

It was quite busy when we walked in! But we found the last three seats at the bar and made them work. A guy at the end moved down just one more for us and we were Golden.

After about three hours of sitting there…

We knew that we needed to come back for dinner sometime.

The variety of beverages including the beer, wine and cocktails is unique and inviting. Evidently, there is much thought in putting together this menu. The six-tap beer selection is constantly rotating and could make any beer-lover drool. It’s no joke. The lists may not be extensive, but they focused and varied to just the right degree.

The girls each ordered a Maiden Rock Honey Crisp Cider that was good and slightly dry. I started with a Kir Royale, {bubbly + crème de cassis} one of my fave afternoon cocktails to order when I’m in Paris. Hophead Rob chose the Epic Hopulent IPA on tap. See?

You can please everyone!

We watched all the food orders come up. Rob eyed the ramen dishes. Jen was curious about the seafood tacos.

There were a few Asian touches to the menu, including sake. There were also sake buddies, which is something I’d never heard of before. They’re shots or sidepours of sake that are meant to pair with the beers on tap. Rob had one. I thought it worked well. But what do I really know about sake buddies?

Then Rob switched to the Southern Tier Barrel Aged Back Burner. This is described on the Southern Tier website as an “Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale Aged with Oak.” It was my first time tasting this beer and I loved it as well. Like, really loved it. What’s unique about enjoying this beer on tap at Blackbird? They received it about a year ago and then aged it themselves in their cellar!

Sitting along the bar, it was quite hard to hear each other. At one point, Jen and Kim were in a deep conversation; so we turned and stared at Kim creepily until we got her attention. The funny thing is, that when she finally noticed, she thought we were asking her to take a picture of us. So she did.

Creepy Photo {source: Our friend Kim!}

Creepy Photo {source: Our friend Kim!}

Check out that deer head between us. And notice the antlers on the walls. They are all over the restaurant. It makes me wonder why this place is called Blackbird!

But one of my favorite things in all of the restaurant could be found in the restroom. There is a doorbell next to the mirror with a sign that reads, “Press for Champagne.” Okay, so YOU just press it and let me know what you get.

The service we had at the bar was exceptional. Kim and Jen ended up splitting an ice cream parfait with bacon. They were quite happy. Rob got some late night fries for a snack.

But as driver that night, I found that one of the best things about this place was the espresso machine. I will be sober cab anytime as long as wherever we go has either superb coffee or an espresso machine.

Do you have a tradition when you go out with friends?

Cheers~
Carrie