Thursday, August 28, 2008

A day of Good Eats

Yesterday was one of those exceptional culinary days. First, I got to celebrate my dear friend Pam's birthday at my very favorite restaurant in Santa Clarita, Abbey Lane. You can check it out here: http://www.abbeylanecafe.net/about.html (Sorry, I can't figure out how to hyperlink on my new computer yet) I had one of the best salads ever. On the bottom of this pretty large white bowl were mixed greens tossed with this amazing creamy balsamic dressing, then there was a generous layer of goat cheese chunks and toasted pistachio nuts, then on top of that were the most gorgeous perfectly grilled warm veggies - halved carrots, zucchini, and these huge portobello mushroom slices. The warm veggies made the goat cheese ooze...I asked for chicken to be added since I went to give platelets yesterday afternoon. The chicken was warm and tender. YUM! I know I'll have to deconstruct this salad and make it at home very soon. It seems pretty easy, and the dressing seemed to be just a basic balsamic vinaigrette with either a little cream or mayo mixed in. For my prayer group ladies who are reading this, we MUST order this salad next time (and, naughty me -I brought home a slice of the chocolate windmill cake.)

But that's not all. Rich and I went out to the Pasadena area to give platelets for Dan Gallagher in the afternoon. Dan is an old acquaintance of ours from church, who has recently been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. You can check out his wife Pam's blog here:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/thegallagherfamily

Anyways, in spite of taking iron supplements all week, and eating meat, my iron was not still high enough to give platelets. I have been giving blood semi-regularly at the City of Hope since Brady died, and I'm definitely one of those hit and miss patients. It's rare that both my blood pressure and iron levels are high enough to give. Ugh - it's so frustrating. My routine check-up blood work is always fine, but I guess you really have to be a certain level to donate. A friend told me about the effectiveness (and gentleness) of a liquid iron supplement she gets at Whole Foods, so I'm going to try it. There is nothing worse than being turned away, particularly when you were directing your product towards someone specific. I also found out that tea and coffee deplete your iron.

So I wandered around the all-too-familiar City of Hope (it's actually a beautiful place) until Rich finished giving platelets and by then it was dinnertime. Lucky us -Pasadena area has a ton of great eateries. Among some of my favorites are Barney's LTD, Green Street,, Marston's, Pie 'n Burger, The Hat, and Julienne. Pretty much all of those are Pasadena landmarks. Then I remembered that there was a Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles nearby and we have never been but always wanted to try. When I mentioned the idea, Rich heartily jumped on it so Roscoe's it was. Gotta love places like this, Roscoe's is definitely something you'd find on Guy's show, Triple D (for the culinarily challenged, that's the Food network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"). The idea of fried chicken and waffles together is a curious one, and if you're wondering how that all works together let me wholeheartedly assure you - IT WORKS. It works just fine baby. We ordered the #3 which was just 1/2 fried chicken and 2 large 4-sectioned round waffles (that's it - no sides at all come with it). It was plenty of food for the two of us. It was an interesting 1/2 chicken: 1 breast, 2 leg, 1 thigh and 2 wings (Guess those 4-winged, 4-legged birds must be fast!) The chicken is pretty much fried chicken perfection in every way. Juicy, crispy, not too greasy but greasy enough. And the waffles were in a word...heavenly. They put two scoops of real whipped butter on top and serve it up with some really good fake maple syrup. And, if you dip the fried chicken into that syrup, it really sends you over the top. One funny thing about Roscoe's - KFC had the gumption to build one of their outlets RIGHT next door! What in the world were they thinking?

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