When my sister and brother-in-law first moved to Athens, OH a few years ago for my sister’s new job, they were less than thrilled about the dining options in town. But while the food options were somewhat limited and the number of non-chain restaurants were even more limited, they managed to find some really great gems in town ranging from an awesome hotdog dive to a great Middle Eastern restaurant. My favorite though, is Avalanche Pizza.
Avalanche sells bread at the farmer’s market on Saturdays in the summer that makes me want to cry it’s so good. As great as their bread is, it’s no surprise that their real focus, pizza, is no disappointment. The first time I visited, my brother-in-law pulled out their menu and we all gathered around to pick out a couple of pizzas. They were excited about the pesto chicken pizza, which they had had and really liked, but frankly it sounded a little weird to me because it had cashews. They really wanted to get it though, and I wasn’t going to get in the way of my hosts getting what they wanted, so we ordered the pesto chicken pizza and they let me pick another one. I have no memory of what the other one – the one I picked – was. My skepticism of the pesto chicken pizza vanished the second I took a bite. After that, all other pizzas paled in comparison.
Last week I shared my favorite vegetarian game day food, the roasted vegetable enchiladas. It’s packed with smokey, roasted veggies and is utterly delicious. But if you’re looking for something a little on the guilty pleasure side, well, you’ve come to the right place.
I was vegetarian for a while, so I don’t think I had ever had buffalo chicken wings until after I had graduated from college. My first job was in the heart of Georgetown, and I was young and had so few responsibilities. My friends and I used to to trek over to McFaddins for beer after work and it was there that I had my first wing. Someone else had ordered them and I took one red, sticky wing with some skepticism, and then instantly fell in love. I began to crave their super spicy wings. I was crushed when our new hangout spot slowly gravitated back towards Georgetown, to Mr. Smith’s. Sure, it was more convenient and more laid back, but they just didn’t have the wings!
When we were little, my sister received this kid’s cookbook that we just loved. There are actually only three recipes I remember making from it, but we made them over and over again. There was the yummy, chunky apple sauce, these awesome cakes that you put in an ice cream cone and that looked like ice cream but weren’t (I pulled one out of my lunchbox at school one day to the utter amazement of my friends), and oven baked fried chicken. I loved that chicken. I’m not sure how much my sister and I actually helped, but the one thing I do remember doing is putting the cornflakes for the breading in a big ziplock and mashing it to pieces with a rolling pin. It was so much fun and I felt all grown up. And honestly, the bag and rolling pin is a useful trick I still use often (who wants to sit there chopping walnuts when you could just roll over them?).
Those of you have been following along know that I had knee surgery a little over a month ago and have been relying on Joseph for most of my meals. We also have a freezer full (well, only half full now) of amazing food my mother-in-law sent us home with right before my surgery. Joseph wins the best husband ever award in part because of how he waited on me hand and foot in the first couple weeks after my surgery and still does all the cooking and cleaning, in part because he drives me everywhere (including all my doctor’s and physical therapy appointments of which there are many) because I’m not allowed to drive for a few more weeks, but most especially because he made me this oven fried chicken last week.
I love condiments. I slather a ton of mustard on my burgers, I like lots of ketchup with my fries, but barbecue sauce has always been my favorite. When we were kids and my parents took us out for dinner, we almost always ordered chicken tenders. It worked out perfectly because they came with a little bowl of honey mustard sauce and a bowl of barbecue sauce and my sister, Jessica, and I would just do a trade so that I ended up with two barbecue sauces and she had two honey mustards.
Even as an adult Jessica stuck to her guns and every time I mentioned a place that did a great barbecue, she insisted that she really wasn’t into barbecue. She’s crazy. I mean, it can be done so many ways! And besides, how can you not love the sweet, smokey tang of good ol’ fashioned barbecue sauce? Continue reading