Monday, May 3, 2010

I've been eating ...

Hey there! I've been on the road a bit so I haven't checked in for a couple of days. I left Detroit so full of midwestern goodness! Take a look ...
That's my favorite bowl of chili. I got it in my old neighborhood in Detroit at National Coney Island. I've talked about this chili on Cooking for Real when I shared my recipe for Interstate Chili and I think I've mentioned it here before. It is soooo good. If you can believe me, it melts in your mouth. No joke. I like mine topped with onions, cheese and a squirt of mustard. They even threw in an extra scoop of ground beef on top. That's just how they served it to me when I visited with my bff last week. She was nice enough to drive past my old place on the way to eat and I got out to snap a pic ...
I almost didn't recognize it when we drove by because the current owner cut down all the shrubs :-(. I used to get out there on a Saturday morning and trim them with my electric trimmer thingy. Such zen time, they were so pretty and green. Ever do that? Drive past your old place and get a lil misty? I don't get that much because I move so much, but to see my old place without the greenery made me a bit sad. Luckily I had 3 scoops of this in my belly ...
That's the sundae they sent out after my chili at National Coney Island. I didn't order it, but things have a way of finding themselves at my table these days and it's hard to refuse ... almost seems rude. So, woe is me, I had to power through some vanilla ice cream suffocated by gooey fudge syrup and pastry, it was soooo hard :-( ... can you hear the sarcasm, cuz it's there. :-) Thanks to the guys and gals over there, they fed me hot chili on many frigid Detroit days. It was nice to go back.

I also went to Michael Symon's Roast and didn't snap a pic at all. Wish I had, it was great, but I was there catching up with 4 friends from Detroit, so there wasn't room to say ... "hold on! lemme take a photo!". We were all just chatting and talking about the good ol days. Rest assured, the food was gooood! I actually enjoyed the drink menu as well and suggest a lemony fruity drink called "No Name" and if you like a dirty martini, he has something on the drink menu called a "Hot Dirty Bird" with Cholula and olive brine that I had and loved as well. I started with the beef tartare and ordered the bacon wrapped trout for an entree with the roasted cauliflower on the side.

I also had some soul food while I was in Detroit, but I couldn't tell you where it was from, my bff showed up two days in a row with it at my hotel room and when faced with hot fried catfish, you don't ask questions, but you do take pictures. :-)
It was soooooo crispy! And you can tell, even though it was fried, not a bit greasy. That's when you know the oil was at the right temp. Good stuff! I only ate one filet and ate greens and mac on the side.

Well, I Just wanted to let you know what I've been eating while on the road. I'm back in Brooklyn now and today I have another event with True Child. Remember, I just did a cook off with them last week in Chicago? Just as we wrapped the event coordinators asked if I would help out with the event here in NYC. I have the time and love goal of the organization, so I said why not! This time I'm judging the food instead of cooking and the event is tonight at the I.C.E. in Manhattan. Here are some pics from last week's Chicago cook off ...
My weapons of choice in the kitchen, the 10"-wide and a smile :-).
That's Dale (Top Chef), Myself and Natalie, Chef Chris Lateano, Casey (Top Chef) and Carlos. Dale and Casey were both runner's up on the same season of Top Chef and have done this event for the last couple of years. Natalie was the kid chef for the ladies. She takes part in another local charity, Common Threads, that Chef Art Smith runs. He is such a joy in person and it was so neat working with one of his students. Next to us is a local chef at helm of South Water Kitchen, Chris Lateano. He was introduced as the winner of Bacon Fest 2009, so I knew I had to give his place a try. The next morning, I checked out his place for brunch and enjoyed it before I hit the road to Detroit. The Chilaquiles were grrrrrreat! I usually like green sauce, but his was red and I didn't care a bit! Ok, next to Chris is Casey, runner up from Top Chef. She's opening a restaurant in Texas soon. Next to her is Carlos, another kid chef from Common Threads for the guys team. Here are us girls planning away with Natalie leading the way ...
We only had 5 minutes to plan, then we all dug into our secret ingredients ...
30 minutes later we were done and the judges had the guys edging us out by a tight margin. It never really felt like a competition, but tonight when I judge ... I'm leaning towards the ladies to avenge Natalie's loss! Just kidding! I'll be fair. If you are headed there tonight, stop and say hi! I don't bite!

OH WAIT! I forgot to share a quick touristy shot I took in Chicago ...self explanatory ...

She's soon ending her show and it takes years to get tickets, so I guess this is as close as it gets to being on the Oprah Winfrey Show, eh? Luckily my bff lives down the street and didn't think I was corny for wanting a picture. Oprah is responsible for her quitting the texting and driving craze, which I was happy to hear before our road trip to Detroit! Good stuff!!! Ok, hope you are having a great Monday so far!

16 comments:

t2ed said...

You are really making me miss a couple of dogs from Lafayette Coney Island and some BBQ shrimp from Fishbones.

Really craving midwest cuisine right now!

The Duo Dishes said...

You have an inspirational life. Everything you're doing and what you work towards in on the list of must do's! It's awesome that you do this blog and share your life and career with all of us. If only you could share that catfish!

love said...

Sunny,
I LOVE watching you on tv. Your so down to earth and your recipes are easy to follow! Plus your so adorable!! I was just wondering if you could give me some suggestions for my wedding menu. My fiance and I are interracial. Hes an All American boy who loves his Southern comfort food and I'm a Yankee girl with a rich heritage from the Philippines. Since you do a wide range of food from all over the place, just wondering how I could blend the 2-3 types of food in a tasteful way?

ps- i wish texting while driving could land some people in jail. i've seen way too many people do it!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Man, you always make me hungry when I pop over here! I am so totally trying my chili with a squirt of mustard next time too - mustard! Who knew!?

Jen said...

How fun! It looks like you had a blast on your trip! That chili looks delish!

And I'd be in heaven if people kept sliding ice cream sundaes my way! :)

Been keeping up on your shows!! Saw the Dr. Oz show too! You were great!

Lana said...

I love chili. I mean I REALLY love chili! *big sigh*

Made a batch this past weekend, not with beef with with pork shoulder. We call it Holy Pork Chili - why holy? Cuz we braised the Hell out of the pork! lol, until it was just fallin' apart and unable to stand up to harsh language. :-) Added roasted chiles, sauteed aromatics, beans, all the rest ... it was soooo yummy!

Drivin' by old places is such a hoot! Did that in L.A. some time ago. And like you, hardly recognized the place. But oh, so nostalgic, huh.

Sounds like you're doing well! Best, as always!

Jen said...

Sunny - I just discovered that here in Philly a CUPCAKE TRUCK exists!!!!!!! I will be checking it out on Friday!!!!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Sunny, I was just watching one of your '08 episodes of FN - the Real Comfort, Real Good Episode with the spicy mac & cheese (crouton topping) and the pan fried meatloaf w/pepper, and of course the shake shots. I know why everybody loves you so much - you are such a natural on camera! I realized that when I watch you it's like I'm sitting across the bar visiting with you while you cook - you don't seem at all scripted and you're so, well, like a gal pal! Hope that doesn't sound stalkish LOL!

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your recipes, even though I've been cooking for a pretty long time I always learn a lot from you and I really appreciate the work that goes into what you create. I can't wait for the cookbook (one day!) Thanks for all you do!!

Jazzy said...

Who knows Sunny? You might be on stage with Lady O one day. Note to Food Network and Harpo if you are reading this...You must have Sunny Anderson on Oprah. She is funny, down to earth and makes dishes that I am not afraid to try. She is an inspiration. See ya on Oprah Sunny! :-)

Neikya said...

Oprah should TOTALLY have you on her show, Sunny!! Not just in the audience! Luckily, my BFF got picked in the ticket raffle and we got to go in November 2009. It was AMAZING! And shortly after, she announced she was ending the show *tear*.

Sunny Anderson said...

t2ed, i rode right past fishbone and wondered why i didn't put it on my list, but then i passed plaka and felt the same way. 3 days wasn't enough. i did clique for bfast, ever been there? attached to a low budget hotel, but the food is bangin?? super cheap and friendly. you know i know u r a lafayette, but give natl coney a try, at least they can send it in the mail to you! it's yummy and i get nostalgic every time i defrost a brick and add water to make it. the smell is intoxicating!!

the duo dishes, thanks so much. i have to tell you i don't know everything, but i do know happiness and that's because i've known sadness. both are welcome in my life because it's par for the course, but i have to tell you, nothing makes me happier than sharing. wether it's recipes or thoughts or stories, it's cool because it's never one sided, someone can always share back. so thanks for sharing time with me :-). and btw, that catfish is lucky i'm on a "leave half my food on the plate" diet!! i would've tore both filets up!

love, CONGRATS! weddings are so much about the planning and then it's over before you know it. I say because of that, don't stress. It's hard to please everyone at an event where we are programmed to discuss the menu amongst ourselves. cool thing is you guys have native foods you can feature. i say play those elements well throughout the courses and you'll be fine. i just went to a wedding with like 8 desserts. the entrees were great, but all we could talk about was the bountiful amount of sweets. so maybe try that? plenty of native sweets from each country/region and play it safe with the entrees?

Sunny Anderson said...

mary at deep south dish, i have to admit, on a chili cheese dog, the dog is just gettin in the way for me. i'm much more interested in the toppings. so i usually top a bowl of chili the way i would a dog. if i were being particular, i'd beg for some chopped tomatoes too. now that's chili topping heaven! i think i may defrost a brick of chili next week and indulge after a lonnnnnng walk. :-)

jen, I totally did. it was my bff's bday and the chick road trip was pretty cool. we did all the cliche things like sing at the top of our lungs, talk about boys and the rest. we felt like gayle and oprah, pretty funny after taking the pic at harpo studios. and lemme know how that cupcake truck visit goes!

lana, ita about chili!!! your pork chili sounds good! i'd join ya for a chili bowl any day! how are you on the bean debate? with or without?

jazzy, girl, you sound like my bff ... she is an oprah fanatic and wants me to get on there so bad, just so she can get tickets lol! and the funny thing is, as neat as it would be for me to go, i'd get much more happiness out of seeing my bff go crazy because she's there too. i'm still mad i never made it to the price is right during the bob barker era :-(.

neikya, see ... now my bff, if she saw this ... she'd be so jealous lol. she has been trying to go for years and moved to chicago for work a year ago, so it makes it worse lol. then she lives down the street from the studio, so that makes it even crazier! too funny. so how was it???? so neat. she has had such a career. i don't even care about the personal life and everything else, the career is what is amazing. starting how she did and the steps it took to succeed, pretty neat to watch as a kid and see develop as an adult. let's me know and other know, success is possible. not in an oprah way, but in a real way ... we can all grab a lil piece of success in anything, if we try.

Neikya said...

She is definitely an inspiration! I'll be so sad that her show is over, but she deserves a break! Although, I'm sure she'll still be around a lot with OWN Network.

The show was great. We went to the show about Nine, the musical with Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Daniel Day Lewis, etc... The studio is SUPER small! It looks much bigger on TV. Oprah looked great and wore some killer shoes! She just walked out on stage, no fanfare or hoopla. She thanked us for buying new outfits and coming to the show. LOL Very nice. The show ran straight through like a well-oiled machine. I think my eyes were glazed over most of the show because I was in awe of the mighty O. It was a wonderful experience.

And I still think she should have you on because I think you're fab!! :-)

Lana said...

Holy Pork Chili. I'm gonna start a church. Wanna be our first member? lol

"how are you on the bean debate? with or without?" Pork chili w/ beans (cuz, I mean, who doesn't love pork n beans!) and beef chili without. Guess I'm a beef chili purist.
;-)

But heck. If someone needs to stretch their meal dollars by adding beans to their chili, I'm not one to complain. Lookin' for flavor and texture, and a fill-your-belly, feed-your-soul bowl o' chili! So whatever works, right?

Sunny Anderson said...

neikya, you are too sweet. thanks for such kind support. means bunches.

lana, sure, i'll be the charter member! i agree on your bean assessment. i have a 3 bean chili though that i love. so i guess there's always an exception. ita, whatever works! that's why food and cooking are so much fun. there are just so many options and i love variety!

lisa said...

Love, love, love you and your show!!! I tell everybody about you! Have made quiet a few of your dishes--your Interstate Chilli is a favorite!! Any cookbook plans? Stay happy and blessed!