If you listen to the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour then you might enjoy the last segment, called "What's Making Me Happy This Week." Well, here's what's making me happy this weekend.
On Friday we were low on dining ideas, so we ordered two pizzas from Bellini's. We've never been to a Bellini's or ordered before, but I've heard about the deals they do for takeout from some parents in my office. With pizza we figure we'll try almost anything once--very open-minded. We ordered the meatball and ricotta pizza and the Da Nico (spinach, prosciutto, & goat cheese), and yes, I was also wondering why some had names and some were merely the name of the key ingredients. The smaller size of each (12 inches) brought us to $31. This becomes important later.
We had plenty left over, which brings me to my favorite part about the pizza: eating a slice of Da Nico from the toaster oven with over easy eggs on top for brunch after a long run, with a side of sliced pear and Nutella of course. YUM.
Saturday night we wanted to go out, and once we got soup dumplings in our mind there was no doubt we were off to Latham and Ala Shanghai. When we were there last on Christmas Eve with family, some of our XLB were deflated and desoupified--the place was jamming, and we ate them anyway. Last night each one was soupy and super hot. But the star of the show was the eggplant in our eggplant and chicken dish. I'm not sure why the eggplant tasted like magic, but it did. I'm surprised we had any left over--when we were both admittedly full we continued to nab pieces of eggplant until it was getting ridiculous and we HAD to stop eating. Soup dumplings and two large entrees brought us to $25, AND we had leftovers and complimentary tea. Quality, value, and a truly delightful atmosphere are what keep me schlepping to Latham from south of the border.
Lastly, what's making me happy this weekend is a new-to-me hamantaschen dough recipe from Not Derby Pie that yielded 21 cookies, none of which flapped open. NONE. J says they are the best-looking hammies I've ever made. I liked that they were really fast to make--no refrigerating for hours or overnight, a quick 30 minutes did the trick (I recommend cleaning in between....or making another batch of hammies). I'm still making a batch of these from smitten kitchen (with the cream cheese) because I do really like the taste of that cookie, but I've had varying success with the shaping.
Lastly, but certainly not least, we watched most of Cool Runnings this weekend. It had been way too long since we saw that movie, and we couldn't tear ourselves away. Really brought us back to '93.