Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cheat Meal? La Casa Pizzeria

To any Omahans reading this blog: if you haven't tried La Casa pizzeria, I highly recommend you do so.


I have a question mark after the "Cheat Meal" in the title, because it is unclear to me whether the pizza I devoured earlier this summer was actually cheating on the plan.  La Casa is a family owned, local restaurant that cooks their pizzas in house and claims they are from a family recipe.  I'm officially considering it cheating, because as usual with eating out, I have no idea what they put in.  And the ingredients certainly aren't organic.  But at least I know they make everything from scratch on site.

In any case, it's delicious pizza.  They use a mix of romano and mozzarella cheeses, and their crust is buttery crisp, their sauce tangy and light.

In an otherwise unrelated topic, the night we had La Casa, Omaha was hit by a freak hailstorm.  With HAIL STONES THE SIZE OF FRUIT!

Seriously?  That's crazy.

Long Overdue: Family Wine Tasting!

At the end of July (yes, long, LONG overdue) Matt's folks came to Omaha for the first (hopefully, of many) big Summers-Couch get-together.  Because we have so many parents between the two of us and all are lovely, we were never concerned about how everyone would get along.  Obviously everyone would have a great time together.

But we figured a little wine couldn't hurt.

So we created a tasting of potential wines for the wedding, picking a few that we liked and offering them up for review.

We tasted a range of wines: among others, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand I've liked for years, an inexpensive valpolicella we'd greatly enjoyed earlier in the week, a shiraz we drank together on one of our first dates years ago in South Dakota.  I set up a tasting sheet for everyone to note their ratings and comments, and we'll base some of our wine decisions off the results.

Particularly helpful comments included:

"Smells like wine.  Tastes like ... wine? But not super winey.  Kind of blah, but goodish."


"REALLY smells like wine."


"Smells like the swimming locker room... chlorine and sweat and feet."

To eat, we provided what I have to say was a pretty phenomenal cheese plate with D'Affinoise brie, a waxy manchego, a gouda, and an enormous wedge of Cypress Grove's incredible "Humboldt Fog" chevre.  And lots of prosciutto from an Iowan family farm, the owners of which are Couch family friends.

After the tasting, Dad and Denise grilled up quite a spread for us to feast on: roasted potatoes and grilled summer veggies, french bread dripping with butter and crisp from the oven, and gorgeous enormous marinated steak kebabs.

Mom contributed a garden Greek salad: lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, tossed with feta, olives, and oil and vinegar.  This is a pretty standard Summers contribution to any summer potluck...

The food was amazing, the wines were delicious, the comments on the wine tasting forms were delightful, and the company, of course, was the best imaginable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where is my milk from?

Link courtesy of Katie, via Jeff, via Matt:

My Organic Valley whole milk (yeah, yeah, I know ... but it has no added vitamins) was bottled at Smith Dairy in Richmond, Indiana.  So not as far away as it could have been ... but it's no Oberweiss, either...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whole Food BLTs

I know, I know, I've been terrible at posting this summer...  And I know you've heard this before, but I'm back in Chicago now, where (once this absurdly intense workshop is through) I'll be back to my own routine, cooking and photographing...

In the meantime, please enjoy some whole-food-style BLTs:

I know I did.

The tomatoes and lettuce were organic farm fresh, the bacon nitrate- and preservative- free (from the charming Iowan?  I can't remember), the bread from my friendly local Great Harvest, and the slathering of mayonnaise (most important part) Spectrum brand.

I never remember to make BLTs, but whenever it does happen once in a blue moon, it makes me wonder why I don't eat them ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE DAY because they are the GREATEST OF ALL SANDWICHES.