Weekend Advent Recap

Monday, December 6, 2010 - 
Over the weekend (including Friday,) hubs celebrated day 3, 4 and 5 of his advent calendar.  Here is a recap of his holiday cheer:

Day 3 - Holiday Fondue
Friday meant an evening at the delicious Melting Pot on the northside.  In the past, hubs and I would frequent often with our two dear friends, the M's, but haven't been in quite a while.  The last time we were there was for my birthday - it was time for some fondue!

This big night out had a French theme, and we took advantage of all the featured courses:
  • Cheese Fondue - consisting of Brie, Fontina, Gruyere and Raclette, the cheese was the best dish.  There was this amazing white-truffle cream that contained Nueske's bacon (go Wisco!) and fresh chives.  The cheese was creamy, but had a hint of the Brie's rind to it once in a while.  However, it was smooth and delicious.
  • Salad - I tried the featured Salade Nicoise and was disappointed with it.  It had many toppings, including a hard-boiled egg, Nicoise olives, tomatoes and beets - but I just wasn't a fan of all the flavors coming together with the vinaigrette. Hubs did comment that his California salad was improving with each visit, slowly getting back to it's original taste as it had been on the decline.
  • Main Course - Fondue Fusion, but this time, we didn't substitute the Goat Cheese & Ratatouille ravioli for something different.  Why?  Because goat cheese was involved!  Though they were the best ravioli we've received at MP, I would encourage you to still swap it out for something else.  The lobster was the usual, as was the Filet Mignon.  The peppercorn crusted NY strip was as expected, very peppery, and the Duck a l'Orange had a bold citrus taste.  The roasted garlic shrimp were sweeter and the Chicken Provencal was fantastic with the sweet & sour sauce, a sauce I normally do not enjoy. 
  • Chocolate Course - I was very pleased with the caramelized sugar of the White Chocolate Creme Brulee.  Once you broke through it, the unexpected sweet crunch worked very well with all the dessert dippers.  It really was quite good - a pleasant surprise as we do not normally order white chocolate.

In addition, MP is having a great promotion right now to benefit St. Jude's Children Hospital.  We ended up donating some money and received $20 coupons plus a free dessert fondue that evening.  I encourage you to give back while you enjoy some great food if possible!

Day 4, A Change of Plans
The theme was originally a "Museum Date," but because it was snowing, plans changed.  As I mentioned, hubs can veto a plan if he likes, and the Ahrens' tradition of a the first snowfall breakfast would definitely trump an Advent plan.  Whenever the first overnight snow happens, hubs LOVES to get into the car and drive first thing in the morning.  This year, we hit up Bub's for some snowy breakfast.  I'm a fan of Bub's breakfast, so no complaints here!

Breaking my number one rule of eating out (which is ordering the same thing,) we both ordered a seafood version of Eggs Benedict.  Looking heavy upon receipt (I thought it was white gravy!,) I was pleasantly surprised for a light crab sauce.  A few chunks of some delicious crab (hubs thought it tasted like a seafood sauce, not crab specific) gave great flavor to the dish.  The eggs were over soft rather than poached - I would have preferred the later but was still happy to see egg yolks pour over the toasted English muffin.  Great first snow breakfast! 

We spent the remainder of the day running a few errands and prepping for the Movember Gala - which I'll post photos from soon.

Day 5, Cookies
Baking cookies is a tradition!  And rather than waking hubs up early to bake, he ended up nibbling on the goods throughout the afternoon while watching football with the pup. 

This year, I ended up baking some Caramel Blondies and Red Velvet Cookies.  I had found the Red Velvet cookie recipe via twitter by following Taste of Home and I was really anxious to try them. Though good, the winner of the cookie battle were the Blondies.  The caramel taste was sweet with the buttery brownie - absolutely delicious both still warm or at room temp.  If you want that recipe, just let me know!  Nom.

How was your weekend?  Were you able to celebrate the holidays?