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Monday, February 29, 2016

Shadows on the Hudson - Poughkeepsie, NY

Yes, date night is alive and well.  One Saturday night, the Mr. and I decided to cross the mighty Hudson and try a restaurant we have not yet visited.  

Shadows on the Hudson is quite popular and reservations are recommended.  Early.  In fact, we tried to go for Valentine's Day and couldn't get in.  So, if you are thinking about it, just book it.  We made our reservation using the on-line link and I requested a table by a window (though I was told not all requests can be guaranteed).

Raspberry Cocktail as recommended by our server, Raymond

We double checked the regular and special menus, checked with each other and decided on a strategy.  We know we are going to share the food we order and want to ensure maximum coverage of items we both enjoy.

It was tough deciding if we wanted an appetizer or not, but then I suggested we try the Meatballs Siciliano.  Fresh mozzarella and marinara sauce were the only descriptors, but I had a good feeling.

Meatballs Siciliano

Stretchy, Gooey, Hot - the triad of fabulous mozzarella goodness

Yes, I enjoy food, but these meatballs had me from first sight.  They were simply picture perfect. Tasting the initial forkful of tender meat, sweet marinara, and lush cheese made all of my taste buds smile and sigh with contentment.  One of those, "If I only had this one food to eat for the rest of my life," moments.  Really.  I had to stop myself from eating a second meatball because I wanted to at least sample the rest of the food I ordered.  My only consolation was in knowing I would have a second opportunity to eat this amazing appetizer.

Warm bread for dipping in the marinara from the meatballs

The Mr., as some may have come to learn, prefers tradition at the table.  He enjoys a salad and bread as part of his meal.  I mentioned to our server, "The gentleman prefers a generous portion of dressing."  Raymond kindly brought both a dressed salad and a boat of additional bleu cheese. Nicely done.

Carrot Ginger Soup

I was pleasantly surprised by the large portion size of soup.  I had only expected something similar to a coffee cup rather than a full bowl.  I could feel my stomach fill with each smooth and silky spoonful.  Would I be able to even sample my entree?

6 ounce Filet Mignon

My medium-rare beef was perfectly prepared and served next to a heaping serving of smashed potatoes and and equally large portion of root vegetables.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

The Mr. is a huge fan of chicken and this plentiful entree included two cutlets over a perfectly prepared al dente linguini.  I have a strong negative reaction with the smell of parmesan, but the Mr. was quite happy and satisfied.  I was able to sample a bite of the poulty and do appreciate the nicely crisp crunch of the crust without drying the protein. Well done.

We spoke of life, our adult children, his job, and the folks around the dining room as well as at the bar.  Shadows is also known for having a lively late night crowd.  We observed various groupings of people and supposed what they may be celebrating, saw a number of couples like us who may be either on their 400th or 4th dates and enjoyed the atmosphere.  Though we passed on dessert, the offerings were appealing.  We left quite full and feeling Fed Well.

Shadows On The Hudson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Steak Tacos - Blue Apron Week 1

Gift giving can be tough.  Period.

Some people make it look effortless.  Receiving a thoughtful gift, one that you hadn't even known you wanted, really makes you rethink how you decide what to give others.

I received a subscription to Blue Apron as a Christmas gift from my boss and his wife (the card was signed from the whole family, but let's just imagine the children had little influence on this fabulous choice).

Yes, you will see posts about the ingredients, recipes, and results of the meals prepared from Blue Apron.  However, I also really just want to marinade in (see what I did there) the thought process that goes into selecting a memorable, and appropriate gift for someone. I will slow down, not panic, and take just a few minutes to really think about the recipient on the next occasion I am the gift giver rather than choosing something that is easy or trendy.

On an otherwise ordinary Thursday, I arrived home from work to find the first delivery box on the porch.  Here's what most of the prepared ingredients for steak tacos looked like:

sliced avocado, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, diced tomatillo and quartered lime

All of the ingredients arrived fresh, without bruising, blemishes or brown edges.  I was quite happy with their appearance.

Toasting Pepitas
(in my scratched non-stick pan)

A well seasoned steak

Tomatillos cooking down

A pan of steaming, seasoned goodness used to top the tacos

A view of a completed taco

So simple to prepare following the step-by-step instructions.  No measuring is necessary and here are my initial thoughts about why everyone should try this service at least once in their life:

1.  No thinking or worrying about what is for dinner.
2.  No wondering if you have all of the necessary ingredients.  You will need olive oil, salt & pepper.
3.  It is likely that you will either try a new food or new combination of ingredients with each box. I've eaten, but never prepared, tomatillos before and maybe I would not have been likely to slice radish on my steak taco if left to my own devices. And, honestly, I've never toasted a pepita (pumpkin seeds) in my life.

What was going on the night we enjoyed these steak tacos?  Well, it was Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, Lady Gaga had just completed her memorable performance of the National Anthem when we sat together in front of the television to watch the big game. We planned on being Fed Well, but how lucky we felt when indulging in our steak tacos.

I watched most of the first quarter before moving on to prepare the next meal from the first delivery box. You'll have to watch for the next Fed Well post to read all about it.