I had the most wonderful mini-vacation yesterday and today! I went out to Santa Clarita to visit the only place that I ever go to taste wine: Roman Holiday.
None of our regulars were there. We picked a new table with some ridiculously comfy chairs and settled in for a few hours.
I got a new hat! And made an unfortunate duckface. For that, I blame the wine and sincerely apologize.
Allie looked gorgeous and un-duckface-y as usual.
Small tastes of red wine were consumed by myself. A glass and a half of prosecco was also consumed.
Besides these few pictures, my camera stayed tucked securely in his bag and my computer remained unopened. The only contact I had with the outside world was through my Twitter addiction, where I posted some pointless photos. It was wonderful to get a break and spend some quality time with my cousin, shoving our faces with Indian food, baking quiche, tasting wine and watching ridiculous shows from our middle school years.
In other news, I have a wonderful recipe to share with you!
Maple-Sugared Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Appetizer, Side Dish
Welcome the chilly days of autumn with a new twist on sweet potato fries. These Maple-Sugared Grilled Sweet Potato Fries are perfect for warming up and adding a sweet finale to those cold evenings.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt
|Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then slice into small wedges. |
|In a large bowl, mix the canola oil and cinnamon, add the potato wedges and stir to coat evenly. |
|Spread the potato wedges on a large grill pan that has been wrapped in foil. |
|Grill the potatoes wedges over medium heat for about 15 minutes, |
flipping every 3-4 minutes.
|After 15 minutes, sprinkle the brown sugar and drizzle the maple syrup over the potatoes and stir to coat. |
|Grill for 5-15 minutes more, stirring often so the fries don't burn. |
|Remove the fries from the grill and sprinkle the 2 tsp salt over the |
Tomorrey is International Stout Day! How are you celebrating?
Remember how I said that my pictures would be getting progressively better? I forgot to mention that first they have to get progressively worse… “It’s gotta get bad before it gets good.”
Without further ado, I give you the restaurant that made this ridiculously-high-temperature-wanted-to-pass-out-don’t-like-this-place-at-all town bearable.
The Dillinger: a restaurant in Boulder City, Nevada that had their grand opening on August 19th. After visiting the greasy diners and eating art fair food, I was thrilled to have stumbled across this while walking the town.
They have some good beers on tap, if you choose to ignore the PBR (which did win best large brewery at GABF this past weekend. Weird.).
They carry Dogfish Head! That alone would be grounds for me to LOVE THEM. I got Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA on tap and Ora grabbed a bottle of the 90 Minute. My boss is a hophead. Awesome.
The inside is spacious and open – something you don’t find anywhere else in town. The local diners cram as many tables into the room as they can which makes for an obstacle course if you’re trying to navigate in or out of the room. The Dillinger is airy and serene with soft lights accenting the marbled floors and tiled decor. Amy, our server, was ridiculously helpful and knowledgeable about everything on the menu, AND the drinks! Anytime we started to need anything, there she was! AMAZING service without being in-your-face. Amy, from the bottom of our stomachs, thank you for your help and conversation!
To start, we ordered the fire roasted artichoke. Not something I’d usually go for, but I’m so glad we did!
Tender leaves of artichoke, drizzled with lemon and dipped into this zesty, smoky tomato-chipotle dip. I could’ve eaten the dip on its own with a spoon! Actually, I did eat the dip with a spoon. I’m not ashamed.
I had to order the namesake – The Dillinger. If there’s an item on the menu that is named after the restaurant, GET IT. There’s a reason they name it after the place!
A hamburger, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and brisket encased between the fluffy buns that are as soft as pillows. The combination of smoky bacon and the sweetness of the barbecue sauce they drizzle over the brisket brought tears of love and joy to my eyes. Why don’t all burgers include bacon and brisket? My new obsession!
Other obsession – their sweet potato fries. I’ve had sweet potato fries before. No big whoop. THESE sweet potato fries, however, are tossed in a mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar, making every crevice of the crinkle cut fries explode with the delicate whisper of warm sugar and sweet potato pie. Exploding with delicate whispers. Try to find fries that can do that anywhere else.
The grande finale. This is the best bread pudding I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. Like sweet potato fries, I’ve eaten a LOT of bread puddings. This one makes any other bread pudding embarrassed to be called bread pudding. This is the manager’s mother’s recipe – peaches and raisins ensconced in layers of warm, silky, sweet custard-soaked bread, drizzled with more rich custard and topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.
I was so full after this meal that I had to waddle back to the hotel, cradling my leftover bread pudding with all the love and care I could, before devouring it for breakfast this morning. This meal and The Dillinger – what dreams are made of.
First things first: I AM NOW OFFICIALLY A CICERONE CERTIFIED BEER SERVER!
I took the test yesterday morning and passed with flying colors! WOOHOO!!!! In order to celebrate, I figured it was time to get something I’ve been drooling over for a long time.
I GOT A DigiSLR!!! A Nikon D3100 to be precise. After lots of research, I was deciding between the D3100 and the D5100. Since I won’t be focusing on video, I figured this one would be perfect. I’m in love!
After snapping dozens of photos around the house, I decided to take Nikita aka Nikki aka my new beloved camera, for a test drive.
Allie and I went to Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company in Calabasas.
The interior is bright, cheery and earthy. I love the rustic wood and gorgeous streaks of ruby paint racing across the walls.
I love the floor to ceiling windows! If you need natural light to test out your beautiful new camera, this is the perfect place for it!
They immediately brought out piping hot fresh bread with a funky purple dipping sauce. I forwent the sauce and just shoveled hunk after hunk of scorching sourdough into my mouth. Drool.
They brew their own beer on site. Awesome!
And the beer! From the top left: Golden Eagle – their blonde ale, Howlin’ Hef – self explanatory, Wolf Dog – A hoppy amber, Wild Angels – a sweet tripel, Midnite Howl – a mix of IPA and stout, and Oatmeal Stout – their guest brew on tap from Anderson Valley. Wolf Dog was my favorite – a nice, dry, beautifully hopped amber that finishes with a healthy bite of citrus hops.
SO good to have more options in local brews!
Allie and I split the Chicken and Brie sandwich – grilled chicken breast, gooey brie cheese, guacamole, sundried tomatoes and chipotle mayo on ciabatta bread. We subbed the sweet potato fries for the regular chipotle. DROOL AGAIN! Any place that has sweet potato fries is a win on my list.
Dessert was – COMPLIMENTARY! The waitress brought out this amazing sculpture of maple ice cream studded with vanilla beans, sandwiched between sweet waffles, drizzled with a maple cream and fresh berries. They served maple syrup on the side, but it was sweet enough without. This definitely cemented my adoration for Wolf Creek.
And to finish, I had to share (with Allie’s permission of course) – Allie (not a fan of bitter beers) tries her first sip of a black IPA.
I love my cousin. And my new camera that was able to capture, in succession, this amazing piece of history.