Saturday, July 17, 2010

4 WAYS TO INSPIRE YOURSELF THIS WEEKEND, AND CULINARY SMACKDOWN REMINDER

1. Try a new farmers market
That's what Cindie and I did last weekend, checking out the Anderson Farmers Market on a tip from a friend. Smallish, but interesting. Grass-fed beef! Olds meeting youngs! Maddux's, a long-standing favorite of ours! (Too bad they'd sold all their great corn and tomatoes by the time we got there.)

Plus a petting zoo.
Apologies to my chicken-lovin', chicken-raisin' friends, but none of my photos of the chickens there turned out worth a darn. Too many eager children crowded around to get a good photo.

2. Try a new restaurant
After our woefully late arrival at the Anderson farmers market, Cindie and I consoled ourselves with lunch at nearby Kar-ma in Anderson Towne Center. She'd eaten there before, but the restaurant and much of its Thai/Laotian cuisine were new to me. We started with Tum Yum Soup and asparagus-bacon wraps.

Then we split the Salt and Pepper Prawns.

3. Try a new taco
Switching culinary ethnicity gears here, I've become a major fan of Senor Roy's since the new Cincinnati food truck plan came to fruition and I can find this mobile delight just a couple of blocks from my office. Lines can be long for food this good (going on a rainy a day, lines are a little shorter). The first time I went, I had plenty of time to listen to the lingo before stepping up to place my order: "Three tacos. On corn [tortillas]. Meat trifecta [chicken, marinated flank steak, or pork al pastor]."  And then for the same price, which works out to about $2 per taco, you get to load on their outstanding add-ons and condiments: rice, beans, cotilja and chihuaha cheese, pico de gallo, corn salsa, fresh cilantro, and pickled onions are just a few of my favorites.
Apparently Senor Roy's is offering up a contest for customers to suggest their own favorite taco. But I'd be hard pressed to improve on what they've already got goin' on . . . . unless they might add a mole to the menu. Hmmm . . .

4. Try a new contest

Like my blogging friend Big Shamu did. Her post about her submission to Anthony Bourdain's 500-word essay contest also demonstrates her mad Photo Chopping skillz. 

And speaking of contests, I'll leave you with this musical reminder that the deadline for the next Culinary Smackdown is Saturday, July 24. Details here.

Happy cooking, and remember that summer goes by far too fast, so you'd best just slow down and enjoy it.

14 comments:

buffalodick said...

I'll be making, but not posting yet- my smackdown entry Monday!

Heff said...

I THINK I've talked Donna in to it !!

We should be working on our dish TONIGHT !

intuitive eggplant said...

B.D., excellent! I will look forward to seeing what you came up with.

Heff, happy cooking, and thank Donna for me for letting you talk her into it. After all, we've seen what happens when you're left to your own devices - bwahahahah.

Kenzie @ A Healthy Purpose said...

love these tips--i did some shopping and hit a new restaurant and it WAS inspiring!

Aunty Belle said...

Melanzane!!

Them asparagus bacon wraps git mah vote-- yum. An we's big taco fans round here too. Looks like you an' Cindie had a grand day--

but HELP!! I'se in deep woe--ain't got a photographer's bone in mah body, I reckon--how does you and Shamu git them incredible close ups of food? When I zoom in like that I gits a blurry shot--what settin' should I be usin'??
I'se hopeless.

Making Space said...

I want those tacos like you can't believe. Lordy!

Big Shamu said...

Thanks for the shout out but you started it. Good culinary suggestions. I love trying out new restaurants and I wish we had a Thai Laotian version. Can we trade? One of our many bbq joints for one of lobster bars?

Aunty, many cameras now a days have macro settings. I have lens that I had the good sense to buy years ago to shoot butterflies and insects. That and a good tripod is how I get my shots.

Trix said...

These are definitely great ways to get inspired!! Farmers markets are wonderful places to get the culinary creative juices flowing, I love them. Speaking of tacos - you should have joined the International Incident Tacos Party! It was fun and inspiring. Next month's party is scones, you should check it out.

intuitive eggplant said...

Kenzie, you're one busy woman! Good luck with your urban garden. I look forward to reading more about your projects and cooking adventures!

Aunty, so glad you're back, and thanks for takin' time to stop by my little ole' place. Shamy may have a great lens and a reliable tripod - although she also has a great artist's eye. I'm honored your consider me anywhere near her company. Mostly get by on persistence and dumb luck. I've taken more blurry photos than you could shake a stick at, but I'm always thrilled when one or two turn out well enough I can be proud of them.

Shamy, did you know people can also vote for your Bourdain essay on Facebook? Not quite sure how that works . . . As for that trade, I know there's much more than bbq in your neck of the woods. The great thing about the blogosphere is that we can kinda sorta share all of each other's stuff :)

Trix, thanks for stopping by! Your Korean tacos for that International Incident Tacos Party are most intriguing. You even made tortilla-making-from-scratch seem accessible. Except that part where you had to enlist Papa Trix - teehee! The man of the household around here is a 13-year-old cat who doesn't do much heavy lifting. But I'll bet he could flatten out those balls of tortilla dough if he just laid on them :)

Velva said...

I would have had so loved your day! Awesome.

btw, your comment included a question about family sized tea bags... A family sized tea bag is just a larger tea bag (usually Lipton or tetley brand) that you can buy that is typically used to make iced tea. You can easily locate them in the grocery store in the coffee/tea aisle. Hope this is helpful.

moi said...

I've already made my Smackdown dishes, so I'll be up! As for tacos, we have a "roach coach" out here that makes the best Mexican to-go I've ever had. Their lengua tacos with cilantro and lime are my absolute favorite tacos ever. I have to have them at least once a week.

intuitive eggplant said...

Velva, thanks for explaining about those tea bags. Your lemon and blueberry additions to iced tea make me want some now!

Moi, so glad you're in for the Smackdown! I don't know what "lengua" is, but if it's from your part of the world, I'm guessing it's something I'd love to try!

Big Shamu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Shamu said...

Eggy, yes I knew about the facebook option. And you can vote everyday, just click the little box at the bottom.

This comment has been brought to you by the Department of Shameless Self Promotion.