Monday, February 15, 2010

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Excy and I made reservations for Valentine's at one of our favorite (and not just b/c some of his art hangs on the wall and I've taped two radio stories there) restaurant, The Starving Artist Cafe. Owners Paula and Jason Morell have made a delightful restaurant, with eclectic decor and all manner of local artwork hanging floor-to-ceiling on buff brick walls. The cafe tables are even painted by individual artists (also available for sale). Paula's an accomplished writer who teaches creative writing and is co-owner of a small publishing house (and mother of three kids under the age of six! Geez!). Jason's an award-winning chef who has cooked in cities all around the world before returning home. His menus are splendid mixes of the sublime -- melding taste, textures and color - true feasts for the eyes and stomach.

So we were really looking forward to our three-course dinner. I even carted myself off to a day spa earlier in the week for some 'detail work.' And I splurged on lingerie. (Excy's never said a word about the t-shirt I sleep in that says 'cat person,' or the flannels decorated with steaming cups of coffee -- but not having anything to say about my sleep-wear strikes me as maybe not such a good thing...spicing up the sleep gear seemed an appropriately adult thing to do)....But we were thwarted again. It rained and then snowed until late afternoon and then got icy. As we were debating our options we heard the fire engines screaming down the road---the twisty mountain roads always surprise drivers...so as much as we looked forward to our three-course dinner and cocktails, it was 60 minutes away, and then an hour home on icy streets. So we canceled.

We're not the only ones who were tripped up by the weather, of course, but we're the only ones I know who seem to lose out every time we plan on having some fun for a holiday, an occasion, even a f--ing meal. It's a good thing we're low-key, roll-with-the-punches types. Because I have learned the hard way too many times, I had back-up Plan B. I unthawed steaks and we had twice-baked potatoes and marinated mushrooms, and I made a chocolate chess pie. My mind is still lodged on the meal we missed, so I'm hoping we go out to make up for it soon. The cats, anyway, were glad we didn't go out and leave them without a lap.

Never-fail, Easy and Delicious Chocolate Chess Pie

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
2 T. flour
1 c. evaporated milk
5 1/3 t. butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 t. vanilla
1 9" pie shell, unbaked
1 c. pecan halves

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Heat milk and butter until melted, and add eggs and vanilla to milk mixture. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into pie shell and sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until it's not 'jiggly.' Allow to cool before cutting.

It's lovely to make some whipped cream for the topping.....unfortunately I didn't have any heavy cream in the fridge...

18 comments:

Purple Flowers said...

You did quite well for a substitute dinner! I know you wanted to go out, and you will some evening soon, I'm sure. However, road safety is more important. I'm sure the owners of the restaurant lost customers because of the weather.
The pie sounds great. I'm going to make it for my next party. Thanks for sharing!

e said...

Sorry your dinner plans were changed due to weather, but it sounds like you made the best of things...

Thanks for sharing the pie recipe.

Christiejolu said...

Your dinner sounded great any way! I do hope you get your night out though! Hopefully your weather will get better!

ReformingGeek said...

That pie sounds awesome!

Krimmyk said...

Wow you are good a fall back plan. I really should be better about having fun things like that around! I hope you don't mind if I steal the recipe!

That place sounds so cool! The lady makes me fell like a slacker to the utmost degree, but I would live in the place if I was close by the ambiance sounds so me.

Julie said...

I am sorry to hear about the weather throwing a wrench in your plans. The Starving Artist Cafe sounds like a wonderful place to dine. Way to have a plan B to fall back on!! You are one smart cookie:) I am writing down that Chocolate Chess Pie...sounds heavenly:) Thanks for sharing! I hope that you have a great week!!

Tricia McWhorter said...

Your dinner plans sounded like fun. Sorry you had to miss out. Since our move to the wine country from Lake Tahoe, it's been easier to make plans and keep them. Snow and icy roads forced us into Plan B's far too often. At least you had the new lingerie!

Anne said...

That sounds like a great restaurant...I hope you get to have your meal there real soon. It's always good to have a plan B to fall back on...and I'm sure the lingerie didn't go to waste ;)

Eva Gallant said...

So sorry your plans didn't work out!

tattytiara said...

Hey, I'm glad the sirens kept you off the road instead of cleaning you off the roads. You made the right choice!

zodiblog said...

Your back-up plan sounded delicious to me! I may try that recipe once I get back to the states. I can’t get 70% of the ingredients here. It was probably even more romantic….being snowed in!

Chris said...

Yum. At least you got to use the lingerie.

strokeofliving said...

Plan B sounded like a better date since it was a personal touch and it was at home. Good job! I'll have to file away your chess pie treat.

I'm currently stalking my fav food blogs to get out of my food rut. I'm having a ball. Excy is a blessed man to have you in his life. Actually your both blessed to have each other.

VKT said...

I can't wait to make your chocolate chess pie! My husband would have considered your last minute meal a real treat if this mac n cheeser had made it. I love your blog!

Here In Franklin said...

See...just when we were getting to be friends you have to go and ruin it by putting chocolate in your chess pie--heresey! :)
I use my great-grandmother's recipe--butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and, if memory serves, a dash of vinegar. Delish! And I'm sure your's was too.

wendy said...

Hey, I love that photo of you on post below.

sorry your V. D. dinner was thwarted. But no one likes to travel on icy roads.
We have had several of our plans spoiled here too due to rotten weather. So disappointing.
Glad you had a back up plan

give us an update on the new "bed-wear" (tee,hee)

tinypaperheart said...

that recipe sounds like heaven :)

Tam said...

Sounds pretty romantic anyway! I hope you get your dinner out soon!