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The aftermath of Irene (it doesn't stop me from cooking!)

Sep 08, 2011 11:44PM ● By Anonymous

After I tried to go into the office, I headed downtown to assess the situation. Like I said, it seems like it's hit or miss regarding who has power. Everyone was looking for coffee, but few of our go-to places were open. Starbucks and 49 West both were serving, but the lines were very, very long. Hard Bean, City Dock, and the like were all dark. If you wanted breakfast, Sugar Buns was open, but Metropolitan was not.

Even though the sun was shining and the water level was normal, there were still signs of the storm passing through, such as Dock Street being boarded up, as shown above. Sandbags still remained, of course, and plenty of stores had their doors open with electric workers running in and out. And then there were smaller signs of the storm, such as this:

The moral of the story: Before you head out to a restaurant for a meal, call to see if they are open.

OR ... if you have power, make your meals at home. I was lucky -- we never lost power this weekend, so I was able to continue to cook. And cook I did! I love going out to eat (Just look at my bank account!), but whenever I'm at home, I just can't seem to keep myself out of the kitchen. Additionally, our friend, Brian, was staying with us for the weekend because he was evacuated from Ocean City, and having company just makes me want to cook even more.

On Saturday night, I had a great meal planned -- early in the day, I had put some boneless pork ribs in the crockpot along with a 1/2 cup of red wine, 2 small cans of tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and a blend of fresh and dried basil and oregano. This is one of my favorite meals! I let it cook all day and then served it over roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a new broccoli recipe.

Oh ... we also got a new digital SLR this weekend, so I can finally shoot some better food photos (the photos of Annapolis are still iPhone specialties, though).

It's always a great feeling when you're anticipating a meal, and it turns out just as deliciously as you thought it might. I was so happy with how it looked and tasted that I think this will go on my docket for when company comes.

But that new broccoli recipe ... it's keeper! Try it out, and you won't be sorry.

Extra Special Roasted Broccoli
Serves 3

1 pound broccoli
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the broccoli, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast until the tops of the broccoli are browned. Return the broccoli to a large bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, basil, and as much Parmesan cheese as you'd like. Serve immediately.

Here's hoping you all have power!

-- Kelsey