Friday, August 22, 2014

Bicycle Built for Two

News | ,

Greenhaus offering new bike rental packages
bike for twoDaniel Duncan, proprietor of Greenhaus, the eclectic beer/wine/local products/terrarium store/performance space, is adding another layer to the popular Germantown business. Bike Ride for Two will offer packages that allow couples (romantic or platonic) to tour Louisville by bike at their own pace.
Customers can choose between renting two solo bikes or one tandem bike for 24 hours. They also have their choice of three packages: “The Daydreamer” (mixed six-pack or bottle of wine, Kenny’s cheese, crackers, water), “The Mark Twain” (same as “The Daydreamer” but with two tickets to the Belle of Louisville) and “Love on a Bike” (Champagne, Kenny’s cheese, cellar door chocolates, crackers, water).
In addition to a picnic basket packed with those goodies, the Bike Ride for Two packages include an illustrated map of hot spots in the city designed by MacKenzie Haley, a Bluetooth speaker made for a bike, a picnic blanket, helmets and a bike lock.
map rollout
Packages range from $100 – $300 with less expensive, partial-day rentals on the horizon. Greenhaus is located at 2227 S. Preston St.

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El Mariachi Restaurant

 Just when I was thinking Louisville should have another awesome Mexican  restaurant, I came across this article in the Courier-Journal by Nancy Miller, so I had to share it with you. NRH.

El Mariachi, adjacent to a Mexican butcher, grocery and bakery, is tucked away in a strip mall off La Grange Road. Finding the restaurant and trifecta of shops was a delightful discovery in a week that was otherwise short on delights.

If the restaurant's name suggests you'll be serenaded by strolling musicians, don't be disappointed at their absence. It's the food that sets a rhythm that is as rife with intensity as it is with sedate nuances that give you intervals to savor the difference. Chef Jacova de Jesus Cruz's menu is stirred up with bombshells of flavor but also stumbles along the way.

My son, Alex, and I decided to jump around the menu, not thinking in terms of appetizers or entrees or side dishes. That made the dinner experience fun but apparently challenged the kitchen. His sopes and tamales arrived at the table almost 15 minutes before my enchiladas and chili relleno. That would have been bad enough if I had been able to sip on a glass of wine while I waited on my food. Unfortunately, El Mariachi serves beer but not wine. Being hungry and wine-deprived, I was cranky.

After what seemed like eons, the server brought my enchiladas and chili relleno. And — whoof — she was gone. Although it had taken a long time to be served, it took only a second for me to realize that my meal was cold. I waited and I waited, but the server didn't return.

Finally, I got up from the table and approached her to tell her my food was cold. She immediately retrieved it and returned to the kitchen. Another 15 minutes passed. There was a direct correlation between the second round of waiting and my worsening mood. When at last my meal arrived, I wasn't in the most positive frame of mind.

Let me be clear about our server. She seemed genuinely concerned about the delay, which I am sure was not her fault. I believe she simply did not have the experience to handle the situation more smoothly.
Alex's sopes, one beef and one chicken, each $2.99, were good choices. The masa was just crunchy enough on the outside and soft but substantial enough on the inside not to allow the meat to become soggy. A chili relleno ($2.99) was testament that an egg-battered poblano pepper oozing with melted cheese can be one of life's little pleasures.

I rarely order tamales because the ratio of meat to masa so often favors the masa. El Mariachi's chicken tamale ($3.99) suffered from such a malady. The beef enchilada with red sauce ($6.99) was so saucy it was practically an enchilada in soup. The profusion of sauce dwarfed the enchilada, diminishing the flavor of both and making for an unattractive presentation.

The menu presented other interesting choices, not the least of which included three fajitas ($11.99 to $13.99), mole poblano ($9.49) and camarones Acapulco ($11.99), shrimp with jalapeno and bacon.
Only a few days later, the cloud of poor service experience had drifted and I was in El Mariachi's neighborhood. I returned, this time for a taco fix. It was the first of many that are sure to follow.
Kentucky's legendary Colonel had his blend of secret spices that made his buckets of chicken famous around the world. The magic in El Mariachi's tacos ($2.25 to $3.49) is likely an equally secret blend of chilies and spices, and it deserves its fair share of accolades.

If I had not been harried and on the run after a late lunch, I would have followed my carne asada tacos with a couple of others, perhaps the pastor (marinated pork) or lengua (beef tongue). Tongue may be an acquired taste (and texture), but don't rule it out until you have tried it. And it's always fun to order when dining with folks who furrow their brows at anything other than meat and potatoes.
Not only were the tacos delicious, but the service was great. As I was preparing to leave, the same server and I smiled at each other and exchanged a knowing look. There had been a bumpy first experience. It happens. I left happy and told her I would be back. It will be soon.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Camps for teens flourish in Lousiville

 Planning things to do for and with the kids this summer? Why not try something new, you know how easily bored they are, especially the teen-agers. Load the family in the car and take off for a 4-day theater experience they won’t soon forget.  The Conrad Caldwell House in Old Louisville is hosting a 4-day “Mystery At The Mansion Camp”  for teens this summer.  Make reservations at our inn for beautiful accommodations, including breakfast each day, and enjoy the experience with them.  So much fun for all!

  All-New Mystery for 2014! Heiress Danielle Harcourt has it all: Brains, beauty,and rich parents. But her good fortune comes with a price- namely, murder. During this unique camp you’ll rehearse and perform a classic “whodunit” mystery in an actual mansion. Come solve a murder.

 Mystery at the Mansion is only one of the exciting summer camps planned for this year by Drama By George, an organization, originated and run bt George Halitzka, a dedicated director, playwright, and teacher. His organization of teachers, actors, work with kids of all ages, specializing and utilizing the following to create the potential for character transformation through our relationships, workshops, and performances.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fabulous Gluten-Free Caesarburger

 Picture from:
Caesar Burger
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
You’ll never think of hamburgers the same again! Rosemary flavored steak thinly sliced, lettuce tossed with homemade Caesar dressing, all between a crunchy broiled garlic bun.
  • 1 lb steak roulade*
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
Caesar Dressing
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp GF Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp GF Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
Garlic Buns
  • 4 GF hamburger buns
  • 2 Tbsp butter, margarine, or olive oil
  • Garlic salt or powder
  • 4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. For the steak, cut roulade slices into strips about 3 inches long by 1 inch wide. Toss with remaining ingredients, then fry in a hot skillet until fully cooked. Be sure not to crowd the skillet, you many need to do it in a few batches. If you cook too many at one time, excess moisture from the meat will start to ‘boil’ the meat, rather than sear it.
  2. For the dressing, you can use a blender or mix it by hand. In a blender, add yolk, lemon juice and mustard. Turn machine on and mix, and with the machine still running, slowly pour the oil in a very thin stream through the top. Once all the oil has been added and emulsified, pour into a dish and add whisk in remaining ingredients (except lettuce). Toss dressing with lettuce and set aside. To make the dressing by hand follow the same steps as above instead using a large bowl and a whisk. It may take a bit longer to thicken up, but it will get there!
  3. Brush the split buns with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of garlic salt. Broil in oven until just starts to toast. If desired, add 1 Tbsp of cheese to one side of each bun, and continue broiling until cheese is melted, or toast is golden.
  4. Assemble burger with some steak slices, lettuce mixture, and enjoy!
Roulade are pre-cut thin cut strips of beef you can find in the meat department. If you can’t find it, you can always buy flank steak. Cook it, then slice it thinly across the grain.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Non gluten sweet potato biscuits

I'm always looking for ideas to please my guests who are on special diets. I found this non-gluten sweet potato biscuit recipe on-line.....I think at Pinterest. It looks great and I'm dying to try it on some of the guests I have booked for next week. Looks so good, even those who aren't on special diets will probably enjoy it.
 This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. If there’s anyone who understands that certain foods equal love, well, it’s Miss Paula Deen.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
*Makes 6 biscuits
3/4 Cup Cooked Mashed Sweet Potato
1/3 Cup Almond Milk (You will need about 3 Tbs. more when mixing the dough)
1 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup White Rice Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
6 Tablespoons Dairy Free Butter
Line a baking sheet with parchment and pre-heat the oven to 425 ° or 400° for convection.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and 1/3 cup milk. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the sweet potato mixture and fold gently to combine. If necessary add more milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until all the flour is moistened, but not too wet.
Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Turn dough out onto surface and knead lightly 2 or 3 times until the mixture comes together. Gently pat the dough out to a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut the dough into the shape you prefer. Gently re-pat the scraps out and cut more biscuits. Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet and bake 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter and honey.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

High Class Shepherd's Pie

 I am so excited, I found a wonderful rendition of a recipe I've been looking for for years. It's called Shepherds Pie and it's absolutely delicious.When I was a teen-ager, my aunt and uncle lived very near to us. She would make this pie then call and invite my sister and I down to help her and my uncle eat it. We loved it and looked forward to her making it. I think you'll enjoy it too. I found the recipe on Menu Musisings of a Modern American Mom/  by Julie May


For the meat layer -  
  • 1 – 1.5  pounds lean ground beef 
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock 
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose (AP) flour
  • 1 cup frozen peas
For the potato layer - 
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes 
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 - 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder
  • about 1 cup Vermont white cheddar 
  • fresh thyme leaves 
Watch the following video for instructions

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Cruising Down the River

One of the best things about Louisville is the Ohio River. And the wonderful old paddle boats that cruise up and down, taking visitors to various points of interest and providing them with food and fun.

The Belle of Louisville is celebrating its'100th Birthday this year, October 14th thru 19th, 2014: Celebrate America’s rich Southern heritage with a cruise on the mighty Ohio River during Louisville’s Centennial Festival of Riverboats. Nine historic riverboats will provide the backdrop as Louisville plays host to a six-day festival of food, bourbon, music and art at the internationally-acclaimed Waterfront Park. Enjoy live music, sample the finest spirits in the world and experience history, first-hand, as we celebrate The Belle’s Big Birthday Bash and enjoy all that life on the river has to offer. For more info and to purchase tickets,
click here

It's been a long, COLD January but the Spirit is ready to kick off her season with three Valentine cruises this February! On February 14th and 15th she will be hosting our classic Valentine Dinner cruises, complete with a dinner buffet, entertainment and cash bar. Also on February 15th we are excited to announce our Valentine Dance cruise, a brand new event for 2014! The Spirit is climate controlled so you'll be nice and warm as we make our way up river.

To make reservations or for more information you can click here, or call 502-574-2992 during regularly scheduled office hours. Don't forget to ask about our special packages that will be sure to enhance your experience while on board!

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