Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Treats has Carla been Tasting? Part 1 Boston, Cincinnati and Los Angeles

So as you may have noticed I have been absent for a few weeks! Some of that time I was off working but there were a few personal trips stuck in there as well - in all I was only home for about 8 days in the whole month of November. The month started with my sister's bachelorette party and bridal shower back home in Massachusetts. Even though I don't live nearby I still wanted to be able to contribute to the sweet table and so when my flight got in late Friday night I got to work baking brown bottom pumpkin cheesecakes. These individual cheesecakes are just the right size....especially when you have over 50 other desserts to choose from! I also made a classic Red Velvet mini cupcake with cream cheese frosting which after a slight learning curve (I was borrowing pans from my mom and the first batch came out a little "toasted") came out moist and delicious.

Next, I visited Cinncinnati and couldn't pass up a chance to visit the original Montgomery Inn for their famous ribs. While I personally am more of a dry rub fan, I never say no to ribs! (sorry no picture!)

My next stop was a week in Los Angeles, California. I started my week there feeling a bit ill so I was less than adventurous and happily sat in my hotel room watching TV and ordering take out. But as things progressed I decided that I wasn't leaving the West Coast until I had tried one of these famous In'n'Out Burgers.While this burger joint looks like any other fast food place from the outside - the line extending out of the driveway was an indication that this wasn't the same old greasy hockey puck burger. What I got for about $5 was definitely an equal to many of the burgers I have eaten in bars and grill joints all over New York...however next time I will skip the fries and the shake as I didn't feel that they added much to the meal.

I also enjoyed a decadent night in Manhattan Beach with some business associates sampling some of the local fare. After enjoying a delicious beer at Manhattan Beach Brewing Co. We continued the night at Darren's and enjoyed a lovely dinner. We had to try their signature Sweet and Spicy Lobster Chowder which absolutely amazing though nothing like the New England classic! We also sampled a bottle of Ken Wright Pinot Noir which absolutely amazed me as it opened up and transformed over the course of dinner. For my main course, I was instantly drawn to the Short Ribs which was quickly passed around the table so that everyone could enjoy. I was also able to taste the Rock Shrimp Ravioli and loved the truffle goodness that was amply added to the sauce giving a beautiful rich, earthy edge.

Just halfway through the month and I have already enjoyed many great meals but nothing that I made at home! At least I was able to get some inspiration.....

(Please excuse some of the photos as my blackberry isn't always the most reliable but I had to document these wonderful meals regardless!)