Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I'll start this review by declaring a teeny weeny bias. I really love all things French. The country itself, the food, the music (even torturing Dr. Dave for 3 weeks solid with the chorus of 'non je ne regrette rien' after watching La vie en rose), the people, the fashion, and the decor. You name it; this francofile loves it.
We've visited Metronome for dinner a couple of times and always enjoyed the entire dining experience and thought it was about time we went for the new Sunday Brunch offering. We arrived at midday to find the restaurant about a quarter full with a nice mix of clientele; young & old, a few kids thrown in. The tables are wonderful, true Parisian brasserie style (although much cleaner!), rich red banquettes & rustic wooden tables. Our server was very friendly (they don't take the french thing too far...) and quickly reeled off the specials. They accommodated Mia who was in a grilled cheese mood and brought out a wonderful warm wholegrain bread for Cecile. A word about the butter. AMAZING! Artisan produce at its best. I'd come for that alone in all seriousness.
To the food; I ordered the goats cheese & spinach omelette $10.75; a perfectly executed dish filled with creamy chevre, fresh spinach & a tomato confit alongside some 'roasted' potatoes. The potatoes could've been a little crisper but they were perfectly paired with the sweet caramelized onions. Dr. Dave went with the blueberry buttermilk pancakes $9.50 which he demolished. They were made with a light hand and served with 'proper' maple syrup and an orange & honey butter. These touches really count. Aunt Jen (Dr. Dave's sister) was with us and she sampled the Eggs Benedict $11.75 which she said were excellent. That's an easy dish to screw up and trust me, if they had, she's the person who would've noticed!
The kicker to this whole brunch deal is that a Mimosa or Bloody Mary is included in the price. You could pay $7 easily for the drink alone at another restaurant. Its shameful that is this restaurant wasn't packed to the rafters with a line out the door, I'm ready to go back on a weekly basis and if you are a lover of quality food enjoyed in a beautiful Parisian atmosphere then swing by Metronome! (geddit?)....
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Firstly, before you go and drop a few hundred panic buying extra packets, cans and nonsense, have a look as see what you already have and consider the nutritional needs of your family.
Chances are you'll have meat in the freezer (I always have ground sirloin), frozen vegetables, cans of beans & of course that Bogo pasta (I have a glut or Barilla wholegrain). Secondly, the day before the storm hits, get the pasta cooked, rinsed, dress with a little olive oil or other (safe) dressing (nothing mayonnaise based), Get your freezer stuff used; cook the ground beef, add a jar of marinara sauce, add the beans (Bush's maple are Dr. Dave's favorite), sweetcorn or whatever you have that'll rot with no power. This is a one pot dish that really packs a nutritional punch and so much better than munching cheerios from the box! Assemble a man sized dish of the stuff - put in the fridge and when the lights go out you'll have something you can easily warm on that one sad little camping stove you always knew would come in handy.
Naturally if you have a generator, let me know what time to stop by with my bottles of warm Korbel and my shower hat.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
- 2 x bags of spring mix salad
- a cup of crumbled blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola)
- 1/2 cup of smoked almonds chopped
- 1/2 a red onion thinly sliced
- 3 ripe pears (whatever's seasonal) cored & thinly sliced
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
The school runs are back on; schedules are overcrowded with after school programs and you have little or no time to cook before everyone's at the table looking to eat...
One thing that works for my whole family on busy days is the pasta bake. I've made numerous variations on a theme depending on the old BOGO collection or whats fresh or simply what we feel like eating.
The simple genius of this dish, apart from its versatility, is that you can combine every element of the meal in the one dish, prepare it ahead of time and in 15-20 minutes its ready to eat. By the time the crusty sneakers have been removed and you've unpacked the lunchbox - its done!
I'm a pretty organized cook. I buy chicken breasts in bulk and grill them, slice them and have them ready to go in the fridge. Its far easier to do it this way than cook from scratch every night - I also only have to clean up once! You can do the same with the pasta. Cook a boxful of penne or bowties, rinse in cold water and dress with a little olive oil and fridge it. This makes a really nutritious dinner just minutes away. I've got quite into the wholegrain pastas too - even if you do half & half its a great way to add fibre without a battle.
Here's what I do. Mix the pasta and sliced chicken with a store bought marinara sauce, add vegetables - your choice - my guys like green beans, sweetcorn, carrots and peas - give it a mix and pour into an oven proof dish. Top with grated cheese and bake until bubbling.
Here are some variations:
- ITALIAN & CREAMY - Whole grain pasta shapes with chicken, alfredo sauce & spinach, top with breadcrumbs & extra cheese.
- BBQ STYLE - Bowties with chicken; marinara sauce, splash of barbecue sauce & a can of sweetcorn, top with extra barbecue sauce and spicy cheese.
- ITALIAN & LIGHT - Penne with chicken, tomato & basil sauce, packet of frozen peas, top with skim milk mozzarella & basil.
- MEXICAN STYLE - Spirals with chicken, spicy tomato sauce, beans, top with mexican blend cheese and French's onions.
I like to let my daughter choose the ingredients, the pasta shapes, the vegetables and the cheese. A little control over what she's eating makes her so much more hungry for the finished product. With this dish I know she's getting a bit of everything good in each mouthful. Dr. Dave and the three toothed one don't complain either!