Monday, October 14, 2013

Hello, Monday

We've been having a hard time staying still, recently. I blame a lot of it on the fact that I'm jobless and A. is working from home, so by the time the weekend rolls around, I'm ready and in need of an adventure. Since the end of August we've had something major to do about every other weekend. So we were really looking forward to this weekend with no plans, though we did keep pretty busy, looking back on it. Mostly it was delicious.

Friday we picked up banh mi at Le's Sandwiches - which I'd read a lot about on Yelp, but hadn't been able to convince A. to try until last week. Le's is located inside of a mostly deserted "mall" in N. Charlotte. The parking lot doesn't have potholes, it has craters. If I hadn't heard so many good things about the sandwiches, I would have told A. to turn around, but we were on a mission. Inside the mall wasn't much better, all of the stores in the area we walked through are closed, the fountain is empty, and it generally looks like a scene from The Walking Dead. But Le's was hoppin'! We ordered two #6s (grilled pork) on long baguettes, and within a few minutes were on our way. We waited to eat until we got home (better ambiance, and they only have two tables at Le's and both were occupied), and we were NOT disappointed. The pork was perfectly seasoned and grilled, the baguette was the perfect combination of chewy and soft inside with a flaky outside, the daikon and carrots lightly pickled and after removing about 95% of the cilantro and jalapeno, we were in business.

I've been trying to cook dinner on the weekends when we don't have anything else going on, it's so easy to drop $$$$ on weekend dinners out for no good reason. So, I cooked all three nights this weekend, but we still enjoyed lunches out.

Friday night we had pork chops, spaghetti squash, and homemade applesauce. Then we rented movies from Redbox and picked up a few chocolates from Davidson Chocolate Co. and had a relaxing night in.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit and then headed to lunch at Bad Daddy's in Dilworth. We sat outside even though it was getting pretty gray and a little chilly. I had a vanilla milkshake and delicious black bean burger with avocado, cheddar, and chipotle ranch sauce, yum!

Saturday afternoon we hit the grocery store and made delicious beef stir fry with wasabiyaki marinade (wasabi and teriyaki - I usually use Soy Vay brand, but Harris Teeter had a much cheaper version next to it on the shelf.) After dinner we started our next binge watch - the West Wing. I'm not sure how neither of us have ever watched it, my parents (and everyone else I know, it seems) were huge fans when it was on originally.

Sunday we slept in again, but then got a move on, ordering sandwiches from Common Market and then heading to Monroe, NC to use our Treehouse Vineyards Groupon. Treehouse Vineyards is a really interesting little place about 30-40 minutes south of our apartment. If I hadn't heard from several people that it is in a weird location, we might have given up hope finding it. You drive through Monroe and then through a large cemetery and neighborhood, and then suddenly, you're there! Looking out at their property, you'd never guess that a residential neighborhood is right behind you. We arrived for their first tasting/tour of the day, so it wasn't very crowded, only about 12 people total. Their wines are super sweet (something else that lots of people had told me in advance), but I found that some of them kind of grew on me. They have several muscadine wines with grapes they grow on the property, and then a few viniferous wines with juices they buy from NC vineyards in the mountain regions. My favorite was the Wine-O-Rita, a frozen cider and wine concoction they poured from a slushie machine at the end of the tasting. The Groupon also included a free bottle of wine and two wine glasses, so after the tasting, tour, and exploring the grounds a little bit, we picked our bottle, as well as some muscadine hot pepper jelly, and enjoyed our picnic lunch.
Who wouldn't love a wine slushie??
The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning and prepping some meals for the week - I'm on a big soup kick recently, averaging at least one big pot of soup a week. This week's soup was a beef/vegetable soup from my childhood. I had to get a little creative because I left a few items off my grocery list, but I'm looking forward to a big bowl of it for lunch on this somewhat dreary Monday.

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