Friday, November 28, 2008

The List

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!  Hope your day was filled with fun & good food.

Thanksgiving always signals the real start of winter (the season I dread).  It's a long, bleak road ahead until Spring.  What else is there to do but perhaps bake something wonderful & dream of places to go.  So today I am thinking of baking up a batch of doughnuts (I think technically this wouldn't be baking because you fry doughnuts).  I have never made doughnuts before but this is a perfect weekend to try them.  Other than our 16th wedding anniversary dinner tomorrow night, we've got no plans.  I found what appears to be a great recipe on Epicurious ("Maple-Glazed Sour Cream Doughnuts with Sugared-Walnut Streusel").  OMG.  Just saying the title makes me happy.  I think what got me started on this doughnut idea was doing my 45 minutes on the treadmill this morning.  Yes, I know what you're thinking:  how could exercising & doughnuts ever be combined in one sentence?  Well, on a shelf right next to the treadmill is the Waring Deep Fryer we bought at Costco two years ago & have yet to use.  Every time I'm down in the basement on the treadmill, I look at the deep fryer & say to myself "I really should do something with that."  So this weekend is it.  Tomorrow (Saturday) is "try the doughnuts" day.  I would have done it today except I had a manicure appointment (this is very important) and I don't have two of the necessary doughnut ingredients in the house.  However, I think I will only make half the recipe and finish them off with powdered sugar rather than the recommended glaze.  I will, of course, take progress photos for you each step of the way.  If they turn out good, I will send along the recipe in case you too have a doughnut calling.

Now, the other part of my dreading the winter thinking is dreaming of fabulous places to visit.  With the sorry state of the economy, I think major transatlantic trips might be out.  But how about long weekends to great cities in the US with incredible restaurant/ food scenes?  This works for me (which also works very nicely into the overall title of my blog - get it? The Cook's Tour???).  And hence, the title of this post, "The List."  I am going to compile a list of the cities & restaurants we hope to visit.  If money is really tight, we can even just do East coast food trips (Providence, Boston, Portland, DC, Savannah, Charleston).  So, here we go.

The List (in no particular order) with one or two restaurants from each city:
  • Providence (Il Forno)
  • Boston (Rialto)
  • Chicago (Spiaggia, Tru, Frontera Grill)
  • Charleston (Hominy  Grill, Charleston Grill)
  • Portland, ME (Fore Street, Hugo's, Duck Fat, Standard Baking Co.)
  • Portland, OR (great wine, who cares about the restaurants!)
  • Walland, TN (Blackberry Farm)
  • San Francisco (Tartine, Boulevard)
  • Berkley, CA (Chez Panisse)
  • Napa (Mustard's, Julia's at Copia, Ad Hoc)
  • Sonoma (The Girl & The Fig)
  • Big Sur, CA (Big Sur Bakery - photo above is a "Jammin' Jelly Doughnut" from the BigSur Bakery)
  • Atlanta (Watershed in Decatur)
This is just off the top of my head without any research (sad, isn't it).  Do you have cities/restaurants to add to my list?  Send 'em on!

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