Good Eats

Last week I had the pleasure of dining out with both friends and family over a few remarkably yummy meals.  I am reflecting on the good eats of last week because I have been relegated to leftovers from my parent’s visit this week.

The Melting Pot
A few times a year, usually when bestie E’s Frenchie is in town to watch her littles, the girls head out for a decadent meal of cheese, chocolate and wine.  And it never disappoints.  I think the only food I might like better than cheese IS chocolate, in fact.  The traditional swiss is our collective fave for the cheese, and I think last week we settled on a new dessert fave – dark chocolate amaretto.  I am now wiping a bit of drool from my chin.

Japanese Steakhouse
My family’s favorite night out is always the hibachi dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse.  I must admit that I don’t even know the name of this latest one we tried – but it is likely the only one in Austell, should you wish to look it up.  The meal was traditional, the Asahi beers were extra cold, the sauces were extraordinarily good and Chef Charlie was outstanding.  Of course, the littles loved the onion volcano turned train (that was a new one) and the adults loved the egg toss turned egg catching competition (for the men in the fam).   This is all fresh in my memory, as I just polished off the last of the fried rice for my supper tonight.

Birthday Brunch
New friend A had a little birthday brunch celebration her Mister’s big day on Saturday.  A not only has a fantastic kitchen (think silver sage cabinetry, carrera marble counters and a stove ensconced in the original arched brick wall) but she is a fantastic chef.  I have never eaten a morsel at her house that didn’t leave me swooning.  So, while everything from the bloody’s to the grits were quite outstanding, it was the savory cupcakes that stole the show for me.  Think cheddar drop biscuit like morsels topped with a goat cheese and chive icing, displayed on two tiered pedestals with stretch candles on top for the birthday boy.  A was a doll to share her recipe with us below and I must come up with an occasion to recreate!

Savory Cupcakes

Cheddar herb bread (the “cake” part of the cupcake) ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dried cilantro or parsley
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold)
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheddar

Goat cheese “frosting” ingredients:
1 container goat cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons milk
1 green onion / scallion

Cake preparation:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a mini muffin pan with liners.  Mix the first six ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl.
– With a pastry blender (or using your hands), cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 4 ounces cheddar cheese. In a bowl combine 3/4 cup milk and 1 egg, slightly beaten. Add to crumb mixture all at once. Stir quickly with a fork to moisten. Drop a tablespoon of the dough into the prepared mini muffin pan.
– Bake 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes (this is where you will really need to watch the baking time…since these are so tiny they bake fast and you don’t want them to dry out).

Frosting Preparation:
– Let the goat cheese crumbles come to room temperature.  In a bowl, mix the goat cheese, parsley and milk until smooth consistency, add more milk if too thick.  Put the goat cheese in a ziplock bag and snip the corner with a scissors.  Pipe the goat cheese onto the fully cooled cupcake and top with a slice of scallion.


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