February 2016: The Month in Tom and Holly

Life in Philly

I hate winter. There was some nice weather mixed in with the cold, though. We even went for a long walk to Brewerytown and back one day.

Brewerytown, Philadelphia
Brewerytown, Philadelphia

When it was too cold to go out, we took advantage of that by staying in and cooking tasty meals (below).

Dining In

I’ve done pretty well this month at making lunches to take to work. I haven’t remembered to take pictures of most of them, but Tom took a few (pictured below). Other keeper recipes not photographed included Leon salad, wild rice salad, freekalicious salad, and Moroccan carrot & quinoa salad.

Mujadarah with fragrant yellow rice

Mujaddara. Photo by Tom Ipri.

Warm whole grain salad with fennel, arugula, prosciutto, and pecorino

Warm grain salad with arugula, fennel, prosciutto, pecorino. Photo by Tom Ipri

Hummus with Moroccan Carrots

Hummus with Moroccan Carrots. Photo by Tom Ipri

For dinners, one of the best things we made this month was arroz con pollo. Not only was the chicken delicious, but we had leftover Spanish rice for a month. Yum!

Arroz con pollo

Another wonderful recipe was slow-cooker pulled pork cornbread chili. Perfect for winter!

Slow-cooker pulled pork chili with cornbread dumpllings

I finally figured out where to find Marsala wine at the state store, so toward the end of hte month I make chicken marsala.

chicken marsala

Our weekend brunches at home are always fun, but one of this month’s highlights was some huevos rancheros I threw together:

Huevos rancheros. Photo by Tom Ipri

Dining Out

We’re still really enjoying Buckminster’s, especially as a place to hit after work for a casual date night.

Parsnips & horseradish at Buckminster’s

On our epic trek to Brewerytown, we finally visited SpOt Burgers‘ brick and mortar location. After a long walk, we were hungry for some cheesesteaks! We had the classic ribeye cheesesteak as well as a buffalo chicken cheesesteak.

Cheesesteaks at SpOt Burgers

Afterwards, we washed down our cheesesteaks with some beer at Crime and Punishment Brewing Company. We really enjoyed all of our beers, but my favorite was “Disturbing the Beets”, a beer made from beets.

Disturbing the Beets at Crime and Punishment Brewing Company

Tom’s Birthday

It’s Tom’s birthday month! We started the celebration the Wednesday before his birthday by going to a BYO showing of Clerks at the Roxy. This used to be one of my favorite movies, and I thought it held up great.

Clerks BYO at the Roxy: drinking game

Thursday night, we went to Rex 1516, and chef Evan brought us some tasty green chile chicken wings as well as some red velvet cake for dessert. Tom’s been digging the Bijou cocktail the last couple times we’ve been there.

On Friday, we took the day off work, and started the day with breakfast at Cafe Lutecia. After doing some grocery shopping, we went to an afternoon movie at the Roxy and saw Hail Caesar! We spent some time at Jet Wine Bar, and then we headed to a lovely dinner at Victor Cafe. The performances at Victor Cafe were wonderful, as was the delicious food.

Breakfast at Cafe Lutecia. Photo by Tom Ipri
Wine and snacks at Jet WIne Bar
Spaghetti Rusticana at Victor Cafe
Cannoli at Victor Cafe

Saturday was my day to cook Tom whatever he wanted. We had decided to mimic a menu from a wine dinner earlier in the week at Bistrot La Minette that we were unable to attend, but instead of having it all at once, we split it across 3 meals. For brunch, we started with œufs en meurette. In the afternoon, we had a cheese plate. And for dinner, we had bœuf bourguignon. After dinner, we went to see the movie Metropolis at the Kimmel Center, accompanied by live organ.

Œufs en meurette
Tom’s birthday cheese plate
Bœuf bourguignon. Photo by Tom Ipri
Organ music at the Kimmel Center. Photo by Tom Ipri.

On Sunday (Tom’s actual birthday!) we had a quiet morning at home and then went up to Fox Chase to meet Tom’s family for dinner at Moonstruck.



I didn’t make any new bitters or any new recipes from Wild Fermentation, BUT… I started a lacto-fermented jar of radishes and onions based on a recipe from Ferment Your Vegetables. Once it gets warmer I do want to return to other fermented things like sourdough starter, but in the meantime, vegetable ferments seem perfect for winter and are a lot less persnickety.


I finished The Farthest Shore, book 3 of Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea cycle. It was OK but I didn’t really get into it. Of the three books I read in this series, I enjoyed the second book the most. I’m not usually one to complain about the quantity or quality of female characters, in fantasy or any other genre, but I was surprised given LeGuin’s reputation that the female characters were so weak (or absent). Ordinarily I might not keep going with this series, but the fourth book returns to a (female) character from the second book, and it was written 20 years after the earlier books; I’ve always heard good things about it, so I’ll at least read that one more.

I had always wanted to read some Octavia Butler and so this month I started and finished Parable of the Sower, which I had picked up at our local used bookstore. I really enjoyed Butler’s writing style and characters as well as the setting. Since there are only 2 books in the Earthseed series, I think I will certainly read the second book. I am now even more interested in Butler’s other works, particularly the the Xenogenesis series.

One night when I couldn’t sleep, I was looking at Amazon.com and noticed that the Kindle version of Ferment Your Vegetables was on sale for $2.99. I’m very interested in fermentation being my new hobby this year, and while I don’t usually like to buy cookbooks electronically, at that price, I figured why not. I actually read the entire book in one sitting and have noted at least 50 recipes I want to try. I love that they’re all so easy and involve little in the way of ingredients or equipment.

On SuperPlus Eats

Sorry, no posts this month!

Last Month’s Update:


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