Date Night at The Guild House

Thomas and I like to think of ourselves as a “let’s eat pizza in bed” type of couple, but this past Sunday, we put on our fancy hats and hit the Short North for a date night. Ohio received some beautiful weather this weekend, so we weren’t about to take that for granted. That being said, I was exhausted yesterday from exposing myself to so much sunlight. It’s like I was a vampire over the winter – I chose to wear a dress to blind everyone with my pale legs. Needless to say, I am ready for this warmth and sunshine to stay!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Bourbon and grapefruit juice… this may become my summer drink

I wasn’t sure where Tom and I were headed the other night; he made surprise reservations, though, so I knew it would be something good. Not to my surprise, it exceeded my expectations.

The Guild House is one of the many Cameron Mitchell restaurants popping up in the Columbus area. And to be perfectly honest, this one is the best. I’ve been to almost all of his restaurants and I can attest to their accommodating service and impeccable eats. We were greeted by the maitre d’ with warmth and enthusiasm. He checked on us periodically and made sure I had everything I needed in terms of my gluten allergy. Speaking of which, the gluten-free rolls were incredible – moist, flavorful, and fresh. I love the bread Cameron Mitchell uses in his restaurants. They never taste too grainy or spongy, like most do.

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset
Perfectly sculpted hair, Tom

It should be noted that the food here is exceptional, and I’m not just saying this because Thomas knows the executive chef, himself. Sure, we expected the food to be delicious, but this blew our minds. The scallops were as soft as butter, and melted in your mouth as such, bursting with flavor. I had to hold myself back from throwing the fork behind me, grabbing them all with my hands and shoving them into my mouth like a barbarian. But I’m a lady sometimes and people were watching. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t in the sanctity of my own home, dipping garlic bread in butter and binge-watching Bob’s Burgers.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Finally, something that isn’t bread, tomato sauce, and pepperoni.

Thomas ordered the chicken roulade, easily the star of the show. Our fabulous waiter informed us that this chicken takes about three days to make, and we understand why. Chicken can be very boring, but it can also be very flavorful, depending on how you marinade it, etc, etc… However, this was matchless. You cannot make this at home, guys. The best chicken I’ve ever had. Period. End of story. Need I say more?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The price is high for smaller portion sizes, but this is quality dining and to be expected. My suggestion would be to order side dishes in addition to your meal, however, you’ll obviously be paying more for this. In terms of parking, there’s a parking garage right across the street where you’ll pay around $5, but they do offer valet for $10. Otherwise, the Short North can be highly trafficked so be sure to arrive early enough to scour the area for a spot.

I think I’ve said enough to lure you into a date night at the renowned Guild House. John Paul Iacobucci’s Italian heritage and artistic approach to food is a genius addition to Cameron Mitchell’s unforgettable dining experience. Bravo. Beautiful interior design, outstanding service, incredible cuisine… This is the new Columbus staple, no doubt.

  • Food = 5/5 Stars
  • Price = $$$
  • Service = 5/5 Stars
  • Location = 5/5 Stars
  • Atmosphere = 5/5 Stars
  • Website
  • Menu

Caitlin

Advertisements

What’s for Dinner? My Version of a Kid’s Meal

I can’t take any credit for the star of my dinner this week. Catie and her boyfriend have been kicking butt with Whole30 lately and inspired me to make THESE:

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
Theeeeeeese.

They look like ordinary chicken fingers. They smell like ordinary chicken fingers. But they’re even better. They’re HEALTHY. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’ve heard it all before, but I mean it. My nutritionist even made these after I told her about them. That’s a huge win, everyone! Dietitian recommended (I probably can’t say that…).

In any case, I got the recipe from Generation Y Foodie after my two little love birds ate a similar dish a couple of weeks ago. They’re paleo almond chicken fingers, with a little bit of a kick from the added cayenne pepper and paprika. If you want to make them unhealthy, dip them in maple syrup. It sounds insane, and it is. The sugar really balances out the salty (read: A Balancing Act of the Sweet and Savory and you’ll see what I mean).

IMG_2249

Alright. Now what? The obvious side dish for chicken tenders would be french fries, right? Of course. Try breaking out the ol’ cast iron skillet and roasting up some red-skinned potatoes. Throw in some Brussels sprouts and onions, while you’re at it. This may not be deep-fried goodness, but it’s a healthy twist on a classic side dish.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Okay, so maybe my potato-to-Brussels sprout ratio is off…

I love a colorful dish like this – especially when it includes green (lookin’ at you, Brussels sprouts). You can use any skillet you want with this, but the cast iron gives the potatoes a nice sear. Caramelized onions can add a lot of flavor without you having to reach for too much salt. I’ve included the recipe below.

I know I’m being my mother right now and not including exact measurements for each ingredient, but it’s really up to you how much you want to make. There are no wrong answers here.

Ingredients:

  • Red-skinned potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Red onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut up the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and red onion. Make sure your potatoes and sprouts are cut into bite-sized pieces and your onion is diced into much smaller pieces.
  2. Heat a 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Meanwhile, put your potatoes and onions in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and mix. You want these to be pretty coated, but not too much. Just enough to lightly cover most of the mixture.
  3. Throw your potatoes and onions into the cast iron skillet. Using a wooden spoon, spread the mixture so that it’s evenly distributed across the skillet.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 15 minutes, add in your Brussels sprouts and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes and sprouts are soft.
  6. Take your skillet off the heat and let it cool. The potatoes usually soften even more during this time.
  7. Serve with almond chicken tenders…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

There you have it. A healthy twist on a kid’s meal. A happy meal, if you will…


Caitlin

Irish Stew: A Childhood Recipe

St. Patrick’s Day was a beloved, celebrated holiday in the McGillicuddy household when I was growing up. I can remember my parents drinking booze as my siblings and I would mock the Irish Stepdancers that came to our school that day.

YCwFEvfe13c223332393236393WfgVZzKU_1448665157
We later retracted our judgments after coming across this family Christmas photo.

Nevertheless, I have fond memories of St. Patrick’s Day, mostly due to the traditional Irish Stew that was served for dinner. Recently, my mother (an exceptional cook) passed on the recipe. And although I’m a few months off, I’ve decided to tackle mom’s Irish Stew because it’s getting cold outside and I need comfort food.

As my boyfriend and I walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store, gathering each ingredient necessary for a perfect Irish Stew, he turned to me and asked, “So it’s Shepherd’s Pie?” to which I responded, “Uh… uh… yes?”

But alas, I was wrong. There is a difference… I think (I’m still trying to wrap my head around it). I suppose the crucial difference between the two is one is a “pie” and one is a “stew” (duh). I guess one is soupier than the other. I also think Shepherd’s Pie is cooked in the oven with mashed potatoes on top.

I don’t know, here are the Wikipedia pages for each:

Regardless, my mom used to cook Holiday Potatoes to spoon on top of the stew after it was done cooking. Holiday Potatoes are basically cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and mashed potatoes all mixed together and thrown into the oven to get kinda crusty. Since I don’t feel like clogging my arteries today, I decided to use regular mashed potatoes to spoon on top.

You can either use a sauce pan or a Crock Pot to make the stew. I chose the Crock Pot route because there’s no flame involved and I could keep this simmering for hours without a worry in the world (keep in mind, the longer the flavors meld, the better). Just make sure to brown the stew meat in a skillet before combining everything together.

Another note to keep in mind is that you can choose to thicken the stew by slowly adding a cornstarch-water mixture (but that might cross into the realm of Shepherd’s Pie, and then you’d be a traitor).

 

Sloppy goodness

Overall, the recipe is very straightforward:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat (they usually have this in chunks for you)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can beef broth (13 3/4 oz.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (I know, I thought it was weird, too… but it exists)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6 medium carrots, cut in thirds

Directions:

  1. Brown beef in oil.
  2. In a saucepan or Crock Pot, add beef broth, water, parsley and salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 1 hour (or more).
  3. Add onions and carrots; simmer for 30 minutes more or until beef is tender (if using a Crock Pot, you can just do steps 2 and 3 at the same time). You can simmer for longer, if you’d like. The longer these ingredients cook together, the better.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare mashed potatoes (Tom and I use pre-made Yoder’s Mashed Potatoes. It sounds sketchy, but it’s awesome).
  5. Spoon mashed potatoes over stew and sprinkle with peas and Parmesan to taste.

‘Twas a glorious meal; one that can be served any time of the year. But you may find yourself eager to make this on St Patrick’s Day, Irish jigging around the house as God frowns upon you. At least your tummy will be full of delight.


Caitlin

Korean Beef Bulgogi

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I was a picky eater as a kid. My parents had to tell me everything was chicken so I would finish my dinner (those slyboots…). Luckily, as I grew older, my palette began to change for the better and by my junior year of college, I was gorging on anything Americans consider “ethnic.”

So now I’ve decided to challenge my skills in the kitchen with traditional Asian and Indian recipes.

In lieu of my recent interest in Korean cuisine, my boyfriend bought me a few cooking essentials, including a hot stone pot, or a dolsot. If you’re from Columbus, you’re fully aware of the latest Bibibop craze, but I urge all of you to venture out to Japanese Oriental for a real dolsot bibimbap. I’ll give you a brief description: think rice, vegetables, marinated beef (or, bulgogi), and a fried egg, all mixed together in a 350 degree pot, topped off with some spicy korean sauce. While I’m eager to attempt the almighty dolsot bibimbap, I have to master beef bulgogi first.

Beef bugogi is a fairly easy dish to master the first time you make it, but I learned a few tricks along the way. I used this awesome cookbook as my guide:

Behold! The Korean Bible of your (my) dreams...
Behold! The Korean Bible of your (my) dreams…

I didn’t follow the recipe verbatim, but I have to give credit where credit is due (buy it here). I’ve added a few personal touches of my own, along with some tips that were not listed in the book.

Serving Size: 6-8, Lactose-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds flank steak (ask your butcher to slice it into thin strips)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (Note: To make this recipe gluten-free, you must purchase specific gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • Jasmine rice

Directions:

  1. Mix soy sauce, sugar, and garlic together. Add the mixture to your thin strips of flank steak. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight (Note: I chose to leave out the sesame oil until it’s time to cook everything, since I read somewhere that it hinders the flavors from being absorbed into the meat properly)
  2. Once marinated, throw steak, sesame oil, and leftover marinade into your skillet on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, turning steak occasionally.
  3. Add onions and black pepper and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  4. Once everything is done, be sure to turn heat off and let the bulgogi sit for a few minutes to absorb some of the juices. I made the mistake of serving it almost immediately, which takes away from the flavor. Don’t worry about it getting cold; your hot jasmine rice should keep it warm in your serving bowl.

Caitlin

Cincinnati Chili

After spending four years at Miami University, I was exposed to a lot of food that was exclusively Cincinnati’s: Cadbury Eggs, goetta, Busken cookies, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and La Rosa’s pizza, just to name a few. One of my favorites has to be their chili, hands-down. Its sweet, cinnamon flavor has enticed me for years… and although every town in Ohio appears to have a Skyline on every corner, I decided to take a stab at the Holy Grail of chili, myself (and add a few of my own, healthier, personal touches along the way). Also, the snowpocalypse is approaching; brace yourselves with some hot chili.

Serving Size: 5-6, Lactose-free, Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of dark kidney beans
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (sweet onion)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 packet of Cincinnati Chili powder (Note: If you have any food allergies and decide to purchase a powder packet, be sure to check the ingredients first; many of these packets contain wheat)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Dash of cumin
  • Water (as needed)

Directions:

1. Thaw your ground turkey and drain your cans of beans. Then, add the beans, chili powder, and diced tomatoes into your crock pot.

2. Once your turkey has thawed, put it in a skillet with your diced onions on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s not pink anymore. Be sure to stir it around every so often.

3. Once you’ve browned the turkey and onions, add it to the crock pot.

4. Now that you have all of your ingredients in the crock pot, mix everything together. This is where you can add extra water or tomato paste. I added about ¼ cup to dilute the saltiness, and the tomato paste to make it thicker. You can also add any spices you’d like (if you like it spicy, add cayenne pepper)

5. Set the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. When you’re ready to serve, you may want to add a little hot sauce or sriracha for some extra flavor.

6. Lastly, it’s a tradition to dip tortilla strips in it… at least that’s what I make people do… I guess this is my own personal touch I was talking about.

Picture to come soon


Caitlin