New levels of grilling

Sunday night found me atop a roof in Wrigleyville, across the street and just outside the left field foul line. While not all the company was as I would have chosen,

the crowd was generally a fun one. The food wasn’t too bad either.

Shoulda taken this sooner

It was an unusually cold night in August, so I pulled a fleece out of the closet. I think the weather helped me to really be in the mood a thick hamburger of a dense roll with onions, tomatoes, pickles and BBQ sauce. You could tell that it had been grilled just before I arrived at Brixen Ivy, as the cheese was all oozy and it smelled like it was still on fire (of course, there were also these waves of smoke pouring off the grill two doors down every time the wind picked up, but that was probably part of the “ambiance” for which I was paying through the nose). Also, due to my popular diet program, it had been a REALLY LONG TIME since I had eaten a beef burger with a complete bun (I’m eating the turkey or veggie variety open face these days, with a fork) and full-fat cheese, and I loved it.

On the side, I chose crisp, fresh broccoli and cauliflower with salad dressing, and a small bag of cheese popcorn. And a diet Coke. All around, not a bad meal.

The sad part of the night came near the end. Dessert was promised at the 5th inning, and I went in search of something sweet about midway through the 6th. The plate was BARE. and the kind chef who served up my burger just hours before said “I told you it would be out in the 5th.” Thanks a heap. That was the most expensive brownie I’ve ever missed out on.

(For the record, the most expensive dessert ever was the champagne and strawberries served at Vanderbilt after Commencement in 2000. I don’t like strawberries. But I made the most of the champagne.)

burger + fries = fat + happy

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting my husband for lunch at fRedhots and Fries, a favorite burger shack in the neighborhood where I indulged in a fresh, juicy burger and a large order of fresh Belgian fries, coated in Fred’s special green onion and sage aioli. YUM. Tables were at a premium, and Fred did his best to negotiate table sharing and taking turns among hungry adults – no easy task. The best thing I heard while I savored my meal was some guy in line who said, “I’ll come back later so I can really enjoy my Italian beef experience.”
Anyway, after that heavy meal I was only mildly hungry for dinner. Thanks again to my friends at Everyday Food, I decided to roast a fresh pineapple with brown sugar, rum and a few spices. I opted to top it vanilla ice cream rather than the raspberry sorbet they recommended, and I was glad I did.
The actual roasting took more than an hour – more than I had anticipated – and the pineapple was still not as tender as I would have liked. Maybe my fruit was too underripe, or maybe my oven is running low (a constant thought I have when something I try to bake takes longer than the book says it should). But the results were spectacular. The juice alone was enough to make me fat and happy. And now I’m on a fruit cooking kick. I’ve got a recipe for pears roasted in red wine… or maybe just roasted grapes….
(Before I forget, the clean-up was easy, too. I used an old, regular old 9” square metal brownie pan nuthin’ fancy, and found nothing to scrape off the bottom of the pan on a Saturday night. It doesn’t get much better than that.)