Alinea, Ambrosia and The Hot Brown

We are starting our journey through the “1000 foods to eat before you die” book and our first stop is going to be right in the American/Canadian region and the top two to begin with was the restaurant Alinea named one of the best molecular gastronomy restaurants located in Chicago. Chef Grant Achatz is the man behind this top restaurant which offers up food that looks both delicious and funky fun.

This is one of those places I would visit for a very special occasion and of course have the money saved up for the bill (smile). They do have a cookbook out and I hadn’t plan on getting it but I think I will just have to add it to my collection this coming pay period. Since I don’t know when or if I will ever get to Chicago to try this little place first hand, I did send an email to see if they would do a Triple D kind of special and overnight me a meal, so we shall see what they say.

Next up in this journey was a dish called Ambrosia which came about in the 1800’s and it was said to be what the Ancient Greek gods ate for immortality. The original recipe only called for navel oranges, coconut, and sugar. It was not like it has evolved into this crazy concoction of oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, whip cream or even mayonnaise, “ugh”. 

I finally found a recipe that was as close to the original that I found from one of my cookbooks I have on hand, “The Gone With the Wind cookbook” as well as the e-book “Dixie Cookery”. I did make a minor change on my part because I couldn’t find fresh coconut or sherry flavoring, so I used real sherry and canned coconut, which meant no need for sugar. 

For our Saturday date night meal we made the Hot Brown Sandwich, made famous in 1920 at the Brown Hotel by Chef Fred Schmidt, who was looking for something different to serve the guests for the dinner dance. This was a nice filling sandwich and pretty easy to make, so we both liked this one and we will be making this one again.

1000 Foods

One of the greatest gifts I received this year for my birthday was a book and not just any book, this book titled 1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This book is a food lovers dream bible, it covers pretty much every country’s food passion to create a straight-up culinary journey of the senses. The book is broken down into eighteen different regions and cultures. Under each ingredient, food or even restaurant there is a way to get it to you, through a website, a physical address, a phone number and in some cases theres even a cookbook listed oh and sometimes a recipe for you to try.

To say I was excited when I received this book was an understatement, I was over the moon excited especially as I started flipping through the pages and reading various paragraphs, this book will become my top reference book to use over and over again. I did realize that a few of the items I’ve already had, but I will now look for the best of the best from each category and try them again.

This book will become dogeared and marked up with highlights and notes and I will have to share it with you guys.


I will be starting this journey off right here in the United States and Canada, so make sure you stay tuned so you can see what I’m going to eat and what I’ll be learning about for the rest of this year.

My birthday is coming up next week and I always take my vacation during that time so I’ve never worked on my birthday, but this year I’m doing a bit of both. I flew down to Florida and stayed for four days and really wish that it was longer and I’m home for a couple of days then work two and off for the rest of my birthday.

So today as part of my vacation I remade some bread and made some basil salt with all the basil leaves I got off my plant and I watched Hamilton which was really very good, too bad I couldn’t do the actually live production but hey this was just as good.

My bread came out really good this time and it looks great.lrm_20200715_123017

You can find this recipe on my post I Made Bread! 

Continue reading “Vacation”

ABC Sandwich

While in Hannibal, we stopped at this old ice cream shop that was a used bookstore and I can’t pass up any bookstore because I collect cookbooks, especially older books and it’s always a special treat when I find any from the Better Home & Garden cookbook collection because they were a big part of my childhood and my mom getting a new one each month and us trying out some of the recipes for family night dinners.

We found three that I didn’t have in my collection and as we looked through each copy, Nick was interested in a picture of a sandwich called ABC which stood for Avocado, Bacon and Crab, so of course for my guy I will create that sandwich. Finding the ingredients was pretty easy, the only thing was tracking down a round loaf of Rye bread. When we found a loaf of round bread at the store it was for pumpernickel rye  and the store wouldn’t slice it into three’s for us, so we made do  and did it ourselves at home. Next time we are going to a real bakery or try some different bread (he wants to try it again). 20200627_154914_hdr

This sandwich was really easy to make,  and we really enjoyed putting the sandwich together and the flavors worked really well together.  Though I think a few changes are going to be in order like cutting the radish and celery into bigger pieces because the finely chopped version got lost in the other flavors going on, so you couldn’t taste them. Also will try some different crab, maybe go for fresh crab meat or a different canned brand. The one I used was a little too overpowering for my taste.

20200627_191319_hdrThe funny part about our poor sandwich was that it winded up looking like a monster because the tomatoes I got for the garnish like the photo was a little to big for the size of the bread loaf and when you stuck it on there it looked like giant eyes or something.

Then when I compared my photo to the books photo, you can see were they didn’t use the crab/avocado mixture for their photo and I can understand why because the avocado made it into a mint green mixture, so not a very pretty picture for a cookbook. Thankfully it tasted better than it looked right! 20200627_191450_hdr

We both agreed we will make this sandwich again with the mentioned changes, but we found at least three more of these classic recipes we are going to have to try out. If your bold enough to try this vintage recipe from the“Better Homes and Gardens So-Good Meals Cook Book”, please post a pic and let me know what you think.

ABC Sandwich

  • ⅓ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 8 slices Bacon, crisp and crumbled
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped radish
  • 1 7 ½ ounce Can crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and mashed
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 round Loaf of Rye bread or Pumpernickel (like we used)
  • Butter
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • 6 Cherry tomatoes
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice together

  2. Pour half the mixture into another bowel and stir in the bacon, celery and radish

  3. To the other half of the mixture stir in the crab meat, avocado and salt

  4. Cut the loaf of bread into 3 crosswise slices. Spread butter on the cut side and toast under the broiler until toasted

  5. On the bottom slice spread the bacon mixture and top wit some lettuce and the middle slice of bread

  6. On the middle slice spread the crab mixture and add lettuce

  7. Top with the last slice of bread and insert skewers through the tomatoes and into the bread from top to bottom

  8. Cut into wedges. Serves 6

Ice Cream Building & Steampunk Burgers

The day was perfect for a quick trip out of the city for a couple of days (unfortunately we had to cut our trip short due to family matters). Our first stop was a trip up to St. Joseph, MO to check out Kris and Kate’s Ice Cream Shop,

This was a cool looking building shaped like a giant ice cream cone, too bad they were closed but I did get a photo and we will be going back to get some ice cream.

Now it was time to head to the main portion of our trip and Mr. Nick let me drive his baby for about fifty miles or so and it felt good it’s been awhile since I was able to hit the road like that, so that was fun. Once we got into Hannibal we checked into the Best Western Hotel and then we headed out to do a little exploring. Our first stop down main street was to check out the Mark Twain Lighthouse — 140 steps, (whew a girl has got to lose some weight) img_20200619_060628_623

While in Hannibal we visited the wax museum, the Karlock’s Cars Museum which he loved because they had cool pinball machines (look how cute he looks)…

Finally we both decided it was time to get something to eat, now when we arrived we saw the Mark Twain Diner and knew that’s what we were having for dinner. We got the pork tenderloin and the burger called the steampunk and they were both really good but the burger is what stood out the most for us. It was well seasoned and it came with bacon jam and cream cheese with lettuce and it worked.

It was so good that I had to recreate that burger for us on our next date night.

Steampunk Burger

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 Whole medium Onion minced
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • 1 jar Bacon Jam
  • Herb Cream Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Brioche Bun
  1. Mix ground beef and pork till well blended

  2. Add minced onion along with the juice into the meat mixture

  3. Add all seasonings

  4. Make 4 patties from mixture and cook to your desired temp (I did medium well)

  5. Toast buns

  6. Layer lettuce on bottom bun

  7. Place hamburger patty on top of lettuce

  8. On top bun spread cream cheese and the bacon jam

    Put top on burger and enjoy

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