March 2015: The Month in Tom and Holly

Life in Philly:

March continued to be cold and snowy for the most part. We even (finally) got our first and only “snow day” of the year off from work, but it was only a half day (we still had to go in in the morning, with early dismissal at noon). Per our snow day tradition, we went to Jet Wine Bar to watch it snow from the inside.

Jet Wine Bar, March 5, 2015
March 6, 2015
March 7, 2015

Toward the middle of the month, things started to melt and warm up, but I wasn’t fooled. Sure enough, on the first day of Spring, it snowed again, and remained cold until nearly the last day of the month. Still no sign of daffodils or flowers, but hopefully we’ll start seeing them in the first few weeks of April.

First day of Spring, 2015: Rittenhouse Square

Dining In:

Tom made a delicious batch of homemade tomato soup. As usual, we found that it was even better the next day with egg on top.

Tomato soup with eggs and cheesy toast

We were invited to a “Pi Day” (March 14) party in which everyone had to bring a pie of some kind, so we made a mushroom & fontina quiche. Since the pie crusts came in a pack of two, later in the week Tom made another quiche with roasted red peppers and ricotta. Previously, we hadn’t made many quiches or pies due to being intimidated by pie crusts. But we found some tasty gluten-free pie crusts at the store that we really liked, so perhaps there are more pies in our future (we’re not gluten free by any means, but these pie crusts were the only ones that weren’t loaded with gross artificial ingredients)

Quiche with ricotta and red peppers

Toward the end of the month, I was inspired by a photo on Fitler Dining Room‘s Instagram to make cod with chorizo. This turned out to be a fantastic combination – I love the way the chrorizo oozes its oils all over the fish. We served it with fennel and lemon over farro, along with our first 2014 rosé of the season.

Cod with chorizo, lemon, fennel, farro. Green beans on the side.

Dining Out:

We took a day off after Tom’s birthday and went to Plenty for delicious sandwiches. I had the “Barcelona”: Serrano ham, chorizo cantimpalo, mahón cheese, tomato, arugula, roasted red pepper aioli, on a demi-baguette.

Barcelona sandwich at Plenty

A new Mexican place, Los Camarades, has opened in our neighborhood, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that. We’ve only been once so far, but we really liked it. One of the standout dishes was their vegetable tacos, with brussels sprouts and maitake mushrooms.

Tacos Vegetales at Los Camarades

During Wine Week, Jet Wine Bar did a tasting of Loire wines with Mexican food. We love both of those things, so we decided to check it out. The food was fantastic, and we liked all of the wine parings, especially poblano soup paired with Sancerre Blanc, and shrimp tacos paired with Sancerre Rouge.

Mexican Foods + Loire Wines at Jet Wine Bar

Bitters & DIY:

I started a new batch of lavender bitters, as well as a batch of pomelo bitters, both of which should be somewhat Spring-y. We’ll see what happens.

Books:

I only read two books this month. Well, three, I guess – I also finished one I had started last month. For my Malazan re-read, I started and finished Toll the Hounds, which is book 8 in Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It turned out to be my least favorite book in the series. Erikson tries out a different narrative style, with a kind of omniscient narrator, and that didn’t work for me at all. It was just over the top in so many ways. Nonetheless, there is an amazing conflagration at the end, so the journey is still worth it. I also finally finished re-reading Return of the Crimson Guard, which is from Ian Cameron Esslemont’s companion Malazan Empire series. I started it last month but didn’t finish because I was bored. I got more out of it on the re-read than I did the first time a few years ago, but I still didn’t like the writing style or any of the characters. I am kind of dreading reading the rest of Esslemont’s books, but I’ll probably do it anyway just to find out what happens.

For this month’s library book, I checked out Dreaming in Indian. This was an excellent compilation of poetry, stories, photography, comics, music, and other writings and visual art from young native people, primarily from Canada but some from the U.S. as well. I would have loved to have shared this book with native teens back when I worked at the Indian Center. It’s a great resource for teenagers and young adults everywhere, to get a slice of native life, but also to show the broad range of careers and possibilities that are out there when you’re young and still trying to figure out what to do with your future.

On SuperPlus Eats:

Boo! No posts on our food blog this month! We have some catching up to do.

On Tom’s Blogs:

Last Month’s Update: