Part Two: Erie, Pennsylvania ~Sean's home-town~
(In my Mother-In-Law's backyard)
Erie sits right on lake Erie and used to be an old steel town. In the winter it gets dumped on with tons of lake-effect snow. Spring is so colorful and lively but still very brisk. Summer is warm and humid with scattered thunder and lightening storms. And then fall is filled with deep golden, red, and brown colors-Oh I love fall.
Actually, Erie is overcast and grey most of the time which can be hard to take if you grew up in sunny California like me. :)
Another interesting thing is that, Erie has more drinking-bars per square-mile than any other city in the U.S. Hahahaa!
So, Anyway, first thing we did in Erie was (no not go to the bars), we went to our favorite breakfast diner, Taki's. It's a little mom and pop place owned by a great and loving Greek family. They have the best breakfast for really good prices (dirt cheap) and are open crazy weird hours. When we lived in Erie, Sean and I would go to Taki's all the time. It's pretty much my favorite place of all time. :)
We stayed at Sean's parent's lovely house and I made dinner one night for our cute Carol and Clem.
It was very different cooking in some else's kitchen. It takes a bit longer to get organized and start cooking. I felt a little out of sorts because I didn't know where anything was and didn't have my spice cabinet and things I am used to right there to grab from. Carol's kitchen was very nice though and I felt somewhat at home. I felt bad because I kept asking her where things were. Hahaha.
My tip to you if planning to cook for someone in THEIR kitchen is to bring your essential spices that you will be cooking with and while shopping there for the food you need also pick up other spices and oils that you may need. For example, I bought olive oil because it's an essential tool that I use in all my cooking and wasn't sure if Carol would have it. I would also try to bring the kitchen tools that you may not be able to live without while preparing a meal. Like a zester or special knife you like to use. It's slightly awkward when you have to ask for these tools and the kitchen owner does not have them. You don't want them to feel bad that they don't have it-You know. Plus, bringing a few of your own tools and spices help you feel at ease that you can make a meal just like you do at home.
Another good tip is when planning the meal you are going to make, make sure the people eating it, like what you are making. For example I was going to make green beans with dinner but found that Carol does not like green beans, so I made Asparagus. :)
I also, sometimes, forget that some people aren't open or used to the foods I am used to like artichoke, goat cheese, nutritional yeast-things like that. :) So I have to keep these things in mind when cooking for others.
Look at this beautiful heirloom tomato I used in the salad.
Fresh Salad: Spring mix, sliced cucumbers, sliced heirloom tomato-seeded, honey roasted sliced almonds and Girard's champagne dressing.
Tilapia baked with lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, and Old Bay seafood seasoning. Served with Asparagus buttered, salted, peppered, and lemon juiced.
Carol said she isn't one for fish all the time but, that she found the tilapia I prepared to be quite tasty and appealing. Phew on that one. :0.
Sean and I love this fish, yes some people say it is low of on the totem pole, but it's got the best texture, it's not fishy, and it cooks in 10 minutes.
For Dessert I sliced up these amazing peaches, tossed them with some sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and served them along side vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled on some toasted almonds.( Sorry I didn't get a picture of the complete dish- I didn't want the ice cream to melt and to keep everyone waiting.
Well, that brings this post to end. :) See you later.