Girl's Derby de Mayo Week

I found myself feeling a little over-themed again this past weekend, so I decided the best way to deal with that was to throw a Girl's Night Out on top of the rest of it.


Emily and I started off at CRÚ: A Wine Bar (their weird capitalization and subtitle, not mine). We decided to have some fondue because...there was fondue on the menu, so obviously.

When you run out of things to dip, the waitress will try to sell you on more tomatoes and you'll be all "How about potatoes?" And she'll say "Might have to charge extra for more potatoes" and you'll think "I'm pretty sure tomatoes are more expensive than potatoes, but okay" and you'll get the potatoes and not even notice if you were charged extra, because: worth it. If she refuses to restock your potatoes, just ask for a soup spoon.

Then we went to Jasper's and had this blue-cheese-potato-chip pile of nonsense.

Note that at this point we have basically eaten queso and nachos, but fancy.

I also had shrimp and it wasn't even gross! So that's fun.

Girl's Night is full of possibilities.

Spent the rest of the night with chocolate, wine, and very outdated gossip magazines. GIRL THINGS ACHIEVED. Theme motivation restored.

Just in time, too, since the next day was Derby Day and this year was my first attempt at a Kentucky Hot Brown. I'm sure you'll be surprised to hear that white bread, bacon, turkey, and cheesy gravy are a pretty solid combination.

Responsibility Broccoli lurks.

A word of warning, however: before you dive into some leftovers for breakfast, you'll want to be pretty confident about the strength of your physical constitution. Wouldn't hurt to check the family tree in search of actual Kentucky heritage, I say.

Anyway, onward to Cinco de Mayo, an Americans-love-drinking-regional-alcohol-iday second only to St. Pat's, and way more fun to cook for. I started in the morning with Cookbook #45: The Essential Cuisines of Mexico (Diana Kennedy, 2000). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: Enchiladas de Fresnillo. Proof of this volume's gravitas: it lives on the fancy shelf. Recipe: Huevos en Rabo de Mestiza. Hey Erica, why did you make soup for breakfast: EGGS.

I also feel like my friend Alex would be interested to know that there was a very large amount of queso fresco involved.

Of course I loved this dish, as I have loved every egg poached in every tomato-based sauce since the beginning of time. The guacamole recipe was no slouch either.

Not that it's hard to make avocados taste good. How can you not like the only fruit comprised entirely of fat?

Verdict: I should stop being intimidated by this book and use it more often. Oh, well. See you in September, legit Mexican food!

Next up was Cookbook #46: Mr. Food Easy Tex Mex (Art Ginsburg, 1997). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Literally judging a book by its cover: tempting. Good thing I didn't, though, since this Mojo Chicken made everyone eating it say "This is good" in a surprised-enough manner as to be vaguely insulting to previous things I have made.

It really is, though.

Verdict: this seems most useful as an introduction to Tex Mex basics, but a few things like the Mojo Chicken sneak in to liven it up. An unexpected success. He still doesn't get to live on the fancy shelf, though. (I'm not judging by the cover, I'm just taking it into consideration.)

Finally, Cookbook #47: The Hispanic Cookbook (Nilda Luz Rexach, 2000). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Confirming that "Linguini with Tuna Fish" sounds less gross in Spanish: priceless. I know many of these recipes aren't Mexican, which is why I waited until Seis de Mayo to make Piñon Boricua.

"Plantains and meat." Seriously.

Verdict: this was fine, if pretty greasy. It was also one of the only appealing recipes I could find. I'm going to let you look up Sesos Empanados and Lengua Mechada and decide for yourself.

Ivy has been spending most of her time trying to figure out whether I'm more freaked out by climbing:

Or disappearing:

Who needs toys?