Tollhouse Cookie Pie

This pie has become a staple at the annual Wright Pie Party. It’s like a chocolate chip cookie in pie form. Who wouldn’t love this?!?

This is another pie my dad made during my last visit home. Super easy and so delicious!

Again with the mise en place. It brings a tear to my eye.

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I could just eat the filling. Yum!

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Add filling to pie shell.

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Bake for 55-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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Serve with ice cream.

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Tollhouse Cookie Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ C All Purpose Flour
  • ½ C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ C Packed Brown Sugar
  • ¾ C Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Chopped Nuts
Instructions
  1. ) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. ) Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
  3. ) Beat in butter.
  4. ) Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. ) Pour batter into pie shell.
  6. ) Bake 55 – 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean.
  7. ) Cool on wire rack.

 

 

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Pie

Now that we have pie crust taken care of, it’s time for the filling. First up, pumpkin butter pecan.

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I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ate a slice. However, pumpkin butter pecan pie is delicious! I love the crunchy texture on top and the depth of flavors in this pie.

I also love how easy this pie is!

Start with ingredients. The last time I was home in Arizona I asked my dad to make a couple pies for the blog. These are his recipes. This is a beautiful display of mise en place, am I right?

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Mix all filling ingredients in medium bowl.

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Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.

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Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling.

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Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.

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Bake at 350 for about an hour. I would start at 50 minutes and then check the pie. If crust is starting to get too dark, cover with foil and continue baking. Pie is done when knife comes out clean.

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Easy as…pie. This is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. I like it best served with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Butter Pecan
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Pie
 
Ingredients
  • Filling
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Topping
  • ½ box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350o.
  2. Prepare 9 inch unbaked pie shell.
  3. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and level off.
  5. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling, spreading to the edges of the crust.
  6. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.
  7. Sprinkle chopped nuts over cake mix and butter.
  8. Bake the pie at 350o for about 1 hour or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the crust or pecans start to get too brown, cover the pie with foil for the last 15 minutes.
  9. Serve hot or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream topping.

 

Why I Don’t Have Abs

Pie is a year round affair at the Wright household for as long as I can remember. Every Thanksgiving we have a Pie Party. My dad is the pie baker of the family and makes 15-20ish different pies and we have a big party! My job is the decorating. There was a time in my life for whatever reason I missed five pie parties in a row. It was a dark time in my life. Over the years pies have been added including (but not limited to) key lime, chocolate haupia, lilikoi, and candy land.

The secret to a great pie? The crust. There are a lot of pie dough recipes out there. But the secret to great pie crust is to not overwork the dough. Pie crust should be tender and flaky. If you overwork it, the crust will become tough and hard. Personally, I avoid making pie whenever I can. I find the crust frustrating and especially upsetting when it doesn’t turn out how I was expecting. But thankfully, between Nathan and my dad, I’m never stuck making the crust.

The following recipe is the one my dad most often uses.

Pie Crust
Serves: 2 Crusts
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco)
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ - ⅔ cup ice water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into the flour mixture until the particles are about the size of peas. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until all the flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the side of the bowl. You may need a little more water.
  2. Gather half the dough into a ball and shape into a flattened round on a lightly floured surface. Roll pastry out into a round circle with a rolling pin until approximately 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Lift occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Carefully fold the pastry into quarters and place into pie pan. Unfold and press firmly into bottom and sides. For a baked pie shell, prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake at 475o for about 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

This recipe is Nathan’s go to pie crust recipe.
Pie Crust
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup ice water
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
  2. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Whatever recipe you use, remember to work the dough as little as possible.

Nathan here. Let me be first to say how impressed I’ve always been with the visual perfection of Uncle Mark’s pie crusts. They are always a consistent thickness and the decorative edge is always just perfect. He makes it look easy as, well, as easy as pie. My crust recipe (and just a foreshadowing, I plan on thoroughly reading and experimenting with Julia Childs pie crust suggestions here in the future) produces a rougher more rustic looking pie crust (let’s be honest, it’s probably more me than the recipe) and many explicit interjections as I try to make the crust cooperate. When using a butter based crust I much prefer a good, thick pie crust because I love it.

 

 

Eat your heart out

One of my big frustrations as a culinary teacher are my students who are picky eaters. They won’t try something because it looks “disgusting” or they don’t “like” a certain food. I’m pretty sure those in the latter category have never even tried a lot of the foods we work with. Why I find this so frustrating is because I was the exact same way growing up. I was as picky as they come. If something looked weird or I didn’t like the color, I wouldn’t touch it. Peas were my nemesis, but that’s a story for a different time.

I will forever be grateful to the woman who introduced me to asparagus. I’m sure my mom tried, but to no avail. The first time I ate asparagus I was 27. I’m ashamed. I had just graduated from college and was doing an internship at two resorts in Midway, Utah. For the duration of my internship I lived with a couple I didn’t know beforehand. Janet loved to cook and was always making something delicious! One night she served asparagus. I didn’t want to have any. But as any polite guest would do, I took a little of everything on the table…which included the asparagus. I was not only surprised, but thrilled at how delicious it tasted! Who knew?!? From then on, it has been one of my favorite vegetables to eat.

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Asparagus is not only delicious, but extremely easy to cook. I’m loving this recipe right now. I don’t normally measure ingredients when I cook asparagus, but if that makes you uneasy, I have included them. But feel free to experiment.

Be careful to not overcook the asparagus. There are not many things worse than soggy, mushy vegetables. It is my opinion, that kids won’t eat their vegetables because they are overcooked and mushy. Don’t do it. I would start the baking time at ten minutes and go from there. A fork should easily pierce the asparagus when it’s finished cooking.

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Oven Baked Asparagus
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness.
  4. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

 

Brownies for Two

For the last two years my classroom has been under construction for several months in the middle of the school year. I want my students to still have a chance to cook, even if it is in the microwave. I always have them make mug brownies.

Personally, I haven’t been thrilled with the recipes I have found for mug brownies. But, my high schoolers don’t seem to mind. They’re not bad, just mediocre. America’s Test Kitchen just came out with a molten brownie recipe that you cook in the microwave. It was a Valentines Day miracle! I made them last night and they were delicious (and quite rich)! This is the perfect recipe because it’s quick and so so good!

At the store I was having a hard time finding bittersweet chocolate. Turns out bittersweet chocolate is made of 54% – 60% cocoa. So instead of a baking bar (which was impossible to find) I grabbed some chocolate from the candy aisle and went on my way.

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Brownies for Two
Author: 
Recipe type: Desserts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 1 OZ Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped, plus 1 oz broken into 4 equal pieces
  • ¼ C Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ C Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Microwave butter and chopped chocolate in large bowl, stirring often, until melted, about 1 minute. Whisk sugar, eggs, cocoa, vanilla, and salt into chocolate mixture until smooth. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Whisk flour mixture into chocolate mixture until combined. Divide batter evenly between 2 (11-ounce) coffee mugs.
  2. Place mugs on opposite sides of microwave turntable. Microwave at 50 percent power for 45 seconds. Stir batter and microwave at 50 percent power for 45 seconds (batter will rise to just below rim of mug). Press 2 chocolate pieces into center of each cake until chocolate is flush with top of cake. Microwave at 50 percent power for 35 seconds (cake should be slightly wet around edges of mug and somewhat drier toward center). Let cakes rest for 2 minutes. Serve.

 

Muffin Lovin at 425 degrees

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Nathan has been slightly obsessed with finding the perfect blueberry muffin recipe for quite some time now. He has tried countless recipes. I’m not sure he has settled on one particular recipe, but this recipe is in the top three for sure. Between me and you, it’s my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

We hope you like these as much as we do!

Gather all ingredients.

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For the topping.: Stir together sugar and lemon zest until combined and set aside. This topping was a revelation. It adds the perfect amount of lemon flavor and crunch to these muffins. It’s magical.

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Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing blueberries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Let cool.

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This recipe calls for fresh blueberries. We used frozen instead, which seemed to work just as well.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

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Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together until thick and fully combined. About 45 seconds.

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Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined .

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Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.

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Fold egg mixture and remaining 1 cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened.

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There will be be a few lumps and spots of dry flour. Do not over mix. About 12 strokes.

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Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.

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Top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture.
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Use a toothpick and swirl together.  I was fresh out of toothpicks, so we got creative.
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Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups.  The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly.  Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups.  Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.  
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Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through.  Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool five more minutes before serving. Let’s be honest, they usually don’t last five seconds on the cooling rack! 
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Blueberry Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is a great blueberry muffin recipe to keep on hand.
Ingredients
  • Topping:
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Muffins:
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
  • 1⅛ c. + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
  2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray). Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1⅛ cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
  4. Fill muffin cups ½ full with batter and top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture. Use a toothpick and swirl together. Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups. Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
  5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast

We are loving America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbooks right now.

Nathan and I were in charge of dinner Sunday night so we opened one of these great books and found this gem. Stuffed chicken is a simple recipe that looks fancy. We’re all about fancy. Enjoy!

Start with your ingredients.

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Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Stir the cream cheese, goat cheese, thyme, garlic, pesto, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper together until smooth.

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Trim any fat off chicken.

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Pound the chicken to an even 1/4 inch thickness. We put the chicken in a ziplock bag before pounding. If you don’t own a meat mallet, rolling pins work well.

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Before and after.

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Pat dry with paper towels.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Mound 1/4 cup of the cream cheese filling at the wider end of the chicken, form the cheese into a log, and then roll the chicken up. There will be leftover filling.

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Place the chicken rolls, seam side down in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. In the future for this recipe we would probably use a slightly bigger pan. As it was our stuffed chicken rolls probably ended up being a bit bigger than the smart folks at America’s Test Kitchen had intended them to be. No biggie really, but any assembled meat roll like this will cook better if it isn’t so massive.

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Mix any remaining filling with the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice.

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Brush this mixture over the tops of the chicken rolls.

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Toss breadcrumbs with butter and sprinkle over chicken. A few notes on the bread crumbs: The recipe calls for you to make your own bread crumbs (a very America’s Test Kitchen-y thing to do), but we were lazy due to dealing with family all weekend so we used (gasp!) store bought bread crumbs. Not a horrible choice, but coarser bread crumbs would have looked better. FYI.

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Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and the very center of the chicken rolls registers 165 degrees on a thermometer, about 30 minutes. I’m not sure this much of the filling was supposed to melt out, but were were having a little trouble regulating the oven temperature.

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Serve with lemon wedges.

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As it turned out these were very rich and delicious. Not to mention they looked very impressive. As I always say, you eat a dish with your eyes first.

A few notes from ATK

-Make sure the chicken rolls do not touch each other in the pan. By using the right size pan, you can avoid burnt breadcrumbs and unevenly cooked chicken.

-Avoid using dried thyme. Dried thyme will add a stale and dusty flavor [they say].

UPDATE: We made these again for Nathan’s birthday with homemade breadcrumbs. We couldn’t find coarse at the store so we made our own. It was amazing the difference that they made. There was a perfect crunch on the outside. This time we made two pans. The first pan was done after thirty minutes. The second pan needed a little more time. It seemed the longer the pan stayed in the oven the more the filling leaked out. These were great the first time around and truly amazing the second time.

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Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz goat cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme (ATK mentions to stay away from dried thyme or the filling will taste like dust)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 TBSP pesto
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cleaned and trimmed
  • ¾ c Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 c breadcrumbs
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • Lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Stir the cream cheese, goat cheese, thyme, garlic, 6 TBSP of pesto, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper together until smooth.
  3. Pound the chicken to an even ¼ inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper,.
  4. Mound ¼ of the cream cheese mixture at the wider end of the chicken, form the cheese into a log , and then roll the chicken up. There should be a little leftover filling.
  5. Arrange the chicken rolls, seam side down in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Mix remaining cream cheese mixture with the mayo, lemon juice, and mustard. Brush over the tops and sides of the chicken rolls.
  7. Mix melted butter with breadcrumbs and sprinkle over chicken.
  8. Bake until breadcrumbs are brown and the very middle of the chicken rolls measure an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with lemon wedges.

Fancy Grille

Boulder City, Nevada has always been a pretty well kept and nice little town but as of recently the main street scene has gone through a re-awakening, at least food wise. There are a good handful of hip-looking cafe/greasy spoon type places lining the main drag. So often in the genre of forced kitsch the restaurant is heavier on tchotchkes then it is on the food.

The Little City Grille, thankfully, is not one of those. I have patronized this place prior to this visit and their burgers were very good. The buns are substantial, but not overbearing. The cheese is real and the bacon perfectly cooked. The grill perhaps lacks a few decades of seasoning, but if they stay open that will be fixed eventually. This time we skipped the burger menu for some of their other offerings. I had their french dip and Megan had the crispy chicken wrap with the house dressing.

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A small but appropriate tangent; if you want a burger (and honestly who doesn’t), just order a burger. You will be thoroughly unsatisfied with anything you get instead of a burger. Long story short, nothing will satisfy a craving for a burger but a burger,…… period. Friends don’t let friends not order burgers. Back to the matter at hand.

I had their crinkle fries and Megan had their sweet potato fries. The crinkle fries were not spectacular. They were a little mushy which I don’t appreciate in a fried food. However, the sweet potato fries were fantastic and done to perfection. The had a nice crispy outside and soft, but not overcooked, inside. They go a little light on the salt for either option, but that is easily rectifiable at your table.

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One of the great things about this restaurant is they seem to pay attention to the ingredients they use. Sorry, buns aren’t just buns, tortillas aren’t just tortillas, and limp iceberg lettuce just won’t do. At the Little City Grille the tortilla on Megan’s wrap was not just one of Don Juillo’s cold and bagged tortillas from the grocery store shelf, it was good! My french dip had delicious meat and even the au jus didn’t taste like it was just the contents of some package dumped in hot water just prior to arriving at my table. If the meat was cold cuts put under a warming lamp they weren’t identifiable as such. Attention to details like these are what take the standard American menu from average to enjoyable. The Little City Grille is definitely a repeat stop for us.

Butter. Need I Say More?

And who really knows butter better than the French.

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In downtown Salt Lake City there is a small French bakery/ cafe called Les Madeleines. On the outset Les Madeleines has all the hallmarks of a French bakery located in the United States: it’s in a re-gentrified downtown neighborhood, it has hip and minimalist styling, their items come in expensive looking and clever boxes, and the menu prices make gas pump prices look reasonable.

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Unlike most of these types of establishments though the food is actually delicious. That being the case we rarely seem to get out of this place without having spent over $100. We’re hooked. If you’re going and want to have the quintessential Les Madeleines experience order yourself a Kouing Aman. Don’t worry about how you pronounce it. Unlike an actual cafe in France these attendants are all very nice and speak English like natives of the good ol’ US of A. You know what you’ve just ordered is good because unless you’ve per-ordered, although nice they may be, the attendants will only sell you up to four of these delectable pastries in one day.

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Do not order a Kouing Aman to-go and then leave the premisses because once you’ve discovered this buttery bit of heaven with your taste buds you’ll want at least one more so stay close by. With a crunchy and caramelized outside and rich and soft inside these pastries defy description. Les Madeleines offers a nice breakfast and lunch menu and honestly everything I’ve ordered has been wonderful. Meal portions are small but that just leaves more room for dessert. We are particularly fond of the carrot cake cookie sandwiches and also their bread pudding. Take your paycheck and enjoy!

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The Soup Kitchen: Not for the Homeless (exclusively)

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Some restaurants you go to wearing a tux. Some restaurants you go to with a dollar in change in your pocket to order off the dollar menu while wearing your best sweat pants. This, is neither of those types of restaurant. This establishment is one of those work-a-day, comfort food, “we would have cleaned the floor, but we were too busy making the delicious soup you’re enjoying” kind of place. I’ve been coming to The Soup Kitchen for several years and it’s always been consistently enjoyable. They offer a full menu of sandwiches and burgers (which I’ve never had), but the shining star is their soup…..and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ordering soup at most restaurants that a person will normally find themselves at will quickly reveal that the soup is more of an afterthought on the menu or a convenient way for the restaurant to dispose of leftover ingredients. If you love a good soup (and honestly who doesn’t) this is usually a disappointing realization. While the soups at the The Soup Kitchen don’t fall into the “exotic” or “out of this world” category, they are delicious and comfortable with all the ingredients you’d expect and all done to perfection. The flavors are enjoyable, the soup is the right temperature and you’d be hard-pressed to find a watery anything dumped in a warming pot from a can.

I enjoyed the always good tomato soup which has a creamy consistency and is rich and flavorful, not watery and salty like a canned tomato soup. In fact, if you’ve never had anything but canned tomato soup do yourself a favor, join the upper echelons of the human race and try some scratch made tomato soup. It may change your life. Megan had the cheese and broccoli soup which she found delicious with judiciously cooked vegetables that allowed for soup with texture and the right pairing of flavors which you don’t often get in a cheese and broccoli soup. Most often you’re left with something that resembles a bowl of nacho cheese sauce with green bits of decimated broccoli leftovers. Not so at The Soup Kitchen.

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The atmosphere at the restaurant is plain with highly trafficked surfaces and furnishings, minimal decoration, and some single speaker radio playing a local station coming from somewhere in the kitchen. Megan will take issue with me on this point, but I feel this speaks to the owner’s commitment to their top priority which is making good food. Instead of spending time creating a gimmicky brand which many small eateries do instead of spending any time worrying about how their food tastes.

The bread sticks they serve here also deserve a mention. They offer a variety of three types of bread sticks with your meal; garlic, plain, and cheese. I’ve personally never had warm bread sticks here. They are usually pretty cold and I’ve always assumed this was on purpose (in fact, I still don’t know that it’s not). I have always counted this as point of genius to the proprietors. When the soup is served, it is slightly too hot to ingest. I enjoy my bread sticks by dipping them in my soup. The cold bread sticks are warmed by the hot soup and the hot soup is slightly cooled by the cold bread sticks. By the time I’m done with my bread sticks the soup is usually the perfect temperature.

The Soup Kitchen is located in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.