Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Birthdaze: Pot Pie, Cheeseburger in Paradise and Cookbook Challenge #1-The Best of Postal Recipes

The weather was spectacular during my latest episode of the Great Birthdaze, that annual ego-feeding frenzy of feting the day we were delivered. The weather and the day off work combined to start off the day well. I even watched a bit of the Big Chill, one of my all-time favorite flicks. Every post-dinner party cleanup should be like that....dancing to Motown tunes while loading the dishwasher... loving closeups of Glenn Close's caboose..

We had a fine dinner at Pot Pie in Westport, a tiny little space with big-tasting food. The early highlight was our appetizer: a delicious spinach and brie tart. I regretted that my pic of it is was a beautiful dish. For our entrees, Keith had "The" Pan-Roasted Chicken" as it's listed on the chalkboard and I had the Grilled Pork Chop. His was delicious and was served with homemade mashed potatoes. Mine was hearty and good and came with amazing smoked Gouda polenta and interesting pickled vegetables. We hit Foo's Fabulous Custard in Brookside for sundaes and a s'mores concrete for dessert.

Today, we headed out to Legends, the Kansas land of Over-The-Top Chain Eateries. I try to devote the majority of my hungry attention to local, independent eats but sometimes the Great Chain beckons be it from convenience or your guest's or partner's preferences. We've had dinner with the Fentons at the Yard House here and brought Tanner and Sierra to T-Rex, the bigger-than-life restaurant featuring animatronic dinosaurs including the enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex that bears down on you upon entering and had Tanner crawling over my shoulder and down my back to get away. The newest offerings include the Orange County Choppers restaurant called Backfire BBQ. Considering Dad and son of the Choppers TV show no longer get along, you wonder how this got off the ground. We decided on the Jimmy Buffett-owned Cheeseburger in Paradise. The decor reminds me of my beloved Key West and my muy caliente Baja Burger topped with pepper jack cheese, salsa, onions and jalapenos with a side of gumbo was quite tasty.

Tonight, I kicked off the new year's Cookbook Challenge and decided the first cookbook would be one of my most dreaded ones...the old Postal Service cookbook. During a quick perusal, I noticed that the seventies recipes featured an abundance of Jello and canned soups. I decided to use the remainder of our KC Fresh Connect zucchini for zucchini bread. I'd made a relatively successful pumpkin bread last year and this cookbook had several zucchini bread recipes. I went with the one titled A To Zucchini Bread from Diane Miller of the North Dakota Post Office #550. We were intrigued by the sunflower seeds that were used in this one. They turned out delicious, with the sunflower seeds offering an interesting dynamic.

We capped off the weekend working our way through the sheer joy of the Glee first season DVD. Long live the Birthdaze.....

Here's the recipe for the Zucchini Bread:

A To Z Zucchini Bread


3 Eggs
1 c. veg oil
2 c. sugar
1 c. applesauce
1 c. grated zucchini
3 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3/4 c. sunflower kernels


Beat eggs; add oil and sugar. Beat until smooth. Sift flour with soda and salt; stir in mixture. Add applesauce, zucchini and vanilla; blend well. Stir in sunflower seed kernels. Pour into well-greased and floured pans. Use 2 medium pans; bake on hour at 350.


Kristy said...

Long live the Birthdaze indeed. In honor of your birthday and your arrival back to WV tomorrow I baked you not only the chocolate chip cookies you asked for but also a loaf of Z bread. Who knew??? LOL!! The pics of your loafs are way prettier than mine but honestly mine look more dense than yours. Mine called for 2 cups of the deelisheyous Z veg. plus I did walnuts and not sunflower seeds. I gave one loaf to another person. They have already called back to say it was good but then again they are like family and probably felt they HAD to say that LOL! We need to compare. Smuggle a loaf in your carryon and we can have a taste off. LOL! See you very very soon!

Lisa Mandina said...

I almost always go the Cheeseburger in Paradise when I'm out there, if not to the T-Rex cafe. :-)

Anonymous said...

My computer is finally fixed! Now I can type something nice to your many blogs. My exhile is over! Happy birthdaze. Give Kristy a big squeeze from me. Later.

Confounded Cook said...

Yayyyy!!! Kitten is back! Long may his evil reign....

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