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Weekly Menus: Week of 10/6/2013, Travel Prep Edition

Gentle Readers, this week I must start with a mea culpa. I was traveling last week, and forgot what day it was until I was back, and thus missed the Wednesday publishing cycle. From the amount of mail I received on the topic (none), I can tell there was a public outcry. So I will publish said Smoothie article this week. Meanwhile, look what I got to eat last week:

Biscotti and Cookie Platter at Babbo in NYC. OMG good.

Biscotti and Cookie Platter at Babbo in NYC. OMG good.

Yes, it was that delicious. A tip for anyone who is in NYC and hasn’t been to Babbo. If you go when it opens, right at 5 pm, you can snag a seat at the bar and eat. Highly recommend the pasta tasting menu or just eating around the menu at your leisure. Don’t skip the Brussels sprouts and the biscotti.

The Beer Festival Tasting Glass. Durham, NC

The Beer Festival Tasting Glass. Durham, NC

But I digress. My real life is quite a bit less glamorous but equally delicious. This week I went to my first beer tasting. I learned that there are many horrific beers in the world that taste like fruits and lawn clippings. I also found quite a few local brews that were delightful, and an interesting Pecan number that I’ll need to investigate. Shockingly, my favorite part was the food, especially the pairings, such as provided by my friend Carrie from G2B Gastropub. The andouille sausage with a little mustard was ideal beer food.

The inimitable Chef Carrie from G2B Gastropub in Durham, NC!

The inimitable Chef Carrie from G2B Gastropub in Durham, NC!

Okay, enough, I actually do cook sometimes too. The tasting of all the pumpkin things continues. A full report is coming soon.

Pumpkin Cake Doughnut with Latte Glaze from Rise. Hellooooo nurse.

Pumpkin Cake Doughnut with Latte Glaze from Rise. Hellooooo nurse.

Fried Green Tomato with Pimento Cheese Biscuit from Rise in Durham, NC. Just because.

Fried Green Tomato with Pimento Cheese Biscuit from Rise in Durham, NC. Just because.

 

Here’s what’s happening on this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 10/6/2013

Weekly Menus: 10/6/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery list (a little lean as I use up what’s here and plan to shop more heavily next week before  I travel):

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/6/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/6/2013

Which all translates to:

Sunday: Steak and potatoes
I’m feeling red meat today, and the weather is a little autumnal. Perhaps the potatoes will be sweet or an acorn squash instead. If you’re not tossing winter squash in your cart regularly, you’re missing out!

Monday: Veggie Chili
This keeps getting delayed in lieu of other fast meals that don’t generate leftovers, but I’m making it this time, even if I have to freeze it for later!

Tuesday: Omelets
These were such a huge hit the other night, complete with quick sauteed spinach and portobello mushrooms that we’re doing it again. TPCs Jr are huge mushroom fan, and we’re committed to trying all of the types. That’s our schtick.

Wednesday: Pizza!
We’ve got a social to attend, and well, we all love pizza. Honestly, I could eat it 3 times a day. In fact, I’ve had to add it to my things not to leave unattended in the house list, as I will eat cold pizza until I founder. It’s a different food group that hot pizza, and I actually prefer it.

Thursday: Salmon and Couscous
We have to get more healthy fat in our diets. Plus I need to try to stay smarter than my offspring. I plan to tell them this and serve myself the largest portion. I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Friday: Mexican!
Probably burritos or quesadillas to accommodate the braced on, but we may be able to pull off nachos. Yum!

Saturday: Dine out!
So many possibilities, we often lament we only have 3 stomachs between us.

What do you do to prepare for a trip? Buy easy prep food, eat down the supplies? Share your tips in the comments area  below!

Send your make-ahead food ideas, chocolate covered peanuts, and pumpkin-themed whatnot to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up Wednesday, Smoothie Recipes and Tips (I Promise This Time)

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Rise Review: Biscuits and Doughnuts, Oh My

Gentle Reader, sometimes the only answer is to order one of each. Such is the case in two recent field research missions to the fairly new Rise in Durham. (Follow them @risedurham for specials etc.) First, mad props for the name. Well done. Second, great customer service. They actually care what you think.

The happy crossroads of sweet and savory: Rise

The happy crossroads of sweet and savory: Rise

But with a number of strong biscuit contenders and my love for Krispy Kreme, how does Rise fare? Thanks to my able assistants, The Practical Cooks Junior, for sacrificing and helping try a boatload of things. As you can see, I am here for you, always willing to try new things.

TPCs Jr, Labeled Vegetarians

TPCs Jr, Labeled Vegetarians

Biscuits:

1. Country Fried Steak Biscuit: Served with lettuce and Duke’s mayo (props for naming names), this was a good but not great entry. A note on the Facebook page later indicated that some of the portions were not cut well with an offer to make it right. Mine was one of them. Very impressive admission and customer service. I found the seasonings a little light as well, but it was very fresh.

Country Fried Steak Biscuit from Rise

Country Fried Steak Biscuit from Rise

2. Cauliflower, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Biscuit: The vegetarian surprise hit, this was tangy and interesting. The Jrs enjoyed it, as did I. Not a neat biscuit to eat.

Cauliflower Biscuit from Rise: Delicious!

Cauliflower Biscuit from Rise: Delicious!

3. Egg and Cheese Biscuit: This was the unanimous favorite. You could taste the biscuit more, and the scrambled egg and white cheddar were head and shoulders above the typical offering. We will go back for this one. (It was so good, I failed to shoot a picture, a rare and telling occurrence.)

4. Fried Chicken Biscuit: Good Fried, but again, not quite salty enough for my taste. Very high-quality chicken, just needed a little more oomph in comparison to others I’ve tried.

Fried Chicken Biscuit from Rise

Fried Chicken Biscuit from Rise

Doughnuts:

1. Glazed: A very good offering. Bigger than a Krispy Kreme, and slightly less fluffy, it has a homey quality that I could easily love. And the vanilla glaze tastes like vanilla. Nice job.

Vanilla Glazed Doughnut from Rise

Vanilla Glazed Doughnut from Rise

2. Sprinkled: This was a surprise hit for me. It was sprinkles with a strawberry glaze. First, it was pink-ish, which is delightful, and second, strawberry. I’m not a huge sprinkles fan, but this was a great one. A favorite of the Eldest as well.

3. Bacon Maple: Yes, I ate the whole thing. The bacon there is top-notch, and the maple glaze was obscene and delightful at the same time. I saw some glycemic stars in the sky after, but worth it.

Hello Bacon Maple Doughnut. I missed you too. (Rise)

Hello Bacon Maple Doughnut. I missed you too. (Rise)

4. Apple Fritter: This was another huge win in my book. They are BIG, and they are crunchy sweet with real fruit. You will never face a lesser apple pie with anything less than disdain after one of these. They kicked the Fair Fritter’s proverbial buns. This is not a one-person mission. Share, share alike. It took three of us more than one day to complete.

Ginormous Apple Fritter from Rise

Ginormous Apple Fritter from Rise

5. Crushed Oreo: This was the favorite pick of the Youngest. An excellent entry, I’m not a huge crushed Oreos fan, but the doughnut itself was quality, and with good topping adherence.

Random: The Hash Cake. Do not miss this. I will be adding one to the order as a standard upgrade. It’s shredded potatoes, onions, and cheese, and it is unicorn good.

The Humble Hash Cake is full of flavor and sprinkled with salt. (Rise)

The Humble Hash Cake is full of flavor and sprinkled with salt. (Rise)

Overall, I give Rise a big thumbs up. It can get busy, but the ticket system works fairly well, and it smells like doughnuts. Great alternative to sitting down to breakfast or brunch with the kids.

What’s your favorite doughnut flavor? And do you venture on the wild side for biscuits? Post a comment or Tweet my way.

Send your glazed, sprinkled, and actual questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up Friday, Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup Review (and Recipe).

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