Forget recaps. Here are 10 ways I will rock my foodie life in 2014.

Is 2013 already over? 

There’s so much food I didn’t get to. So many recipes I didn’t try. So many things I didn’t write about.

As this blog post title indicates, I’m not going to spend my time recapping. I like to take the occasion of a New Year to look forward, not back. I like having things to look forward to — new goals, new adventures, new restaurants.

Here’s a collection of some of the things I’d like to accomplish in life and on this blog in 2014. Let’s not call this a list of “resolutions” — I’m allergic to that word because it sets me up for failure by March. How about this handy dandy headline:

10 Ways I Will Rock the Glasses off 2014

1. I will not be such a beast before I’ve had my first cup of coffee. 

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...
My life blood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To those mighty giants who can operate without a hot splash of caffeine, I salute you. I have an addiction, and I can be pretty mean if coffee doesn’t hit my lips before 9 a.m.

2. I will finally complete my $10 Challenge on Simply Thai

Short rib nachos.
Short rib nachos at Mussel & Burger Bar. Now if only I can get to Simply Thai…

Remember when I had the reader’s choice Challenge? I sampled one restaurant, Mussel & Burger Bar, that you guys selected. The other, Simply Thai, has been outside my grasp lately, because of a busy schedule and long waits. That ends in 2014, friends. I’m going to make this happen.

3. I will make an edible batch of biscuits. 

One of my unsuccessful batches of biscuits that was transformed into stuffing.
One of my unsuccessful batches of biscuits that was transformed into stuffing.

I consider myself a pretty good cook and a decent baker. I can’t, however, make biscuits if my life depended on it.

4. I will accept the fact that pizza, no matter how many vegetables I pile on top, does not count as a well-rounded meal.

The Chicken Peppadew pizza at Boombozz in Westport Village.
The Chicken Peppadew pizza at Boombozz in Westport Village.

This is going to be a tough one. I will, however, eat pizza at Loui Loui’s Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, Bonnie & Clyde’s Pizza Parlor and Angilo’s Pizza. These places need some more love and attention, and I’m the lady to give it.

5. I will become more efficient at using chopsticks.

I'm this close to eating these with my hands.
I’m this close to eating these with my hands.

Also, I will eat more sushi because IT IS DELICIOUS.

6. I will stop giving my dog, Roscoe, so many table scraps.

He's very food motivated, especially when it comes to Moby Dick.
He’s very food motivated, especially when it comes to Moby Dick.

I know, I know, this is bad news bears, and I don’t recommend it. But if you see these puppy eyes looking up at you, it’s hard to resist sliding Roscoe a bit of pork chop.

7. I will wait to eat long enough to post more pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

Ahh, the wonders of Instagram. Doesn't the app make this corn dog look delicious?
Ahh, the wonders of Instagram. Doesn’t the app make this corn dog look delicious?

This feels counterintuitive. I know that most people make fun of folks like me who take pictures of my meal and plaster them all over social media. But I’m a food blogger, darn it. I gotta show you what I’m eating. I just have to pause long enough to snap a pic. When a full plate is put before me, I lose my mind and dig in.

8. I will take pictures using my good camera, not the crappy one on my phone.

Taquitos and sweet potato fries at Mussel & Burger Bar.
Taquitos and sweet potato fries at Mussel & Burger Bar.

Let this picture speak 1,000 words.

9. I will eat correct portion sizes.

The meatloaf special at The Irish Rover.
The meatloaf special at The Irish Rover.

For example, not eating all of the plate above in one sitting.

10. I will keep my commitment to exploring good, inexpensive food in Louisville.

Cheers to a New Year.
Cheers to a New Year.

Happy New Year, y’all.

Cancel tonight’s plans and follow these 5 steps for a perfect sushi night

I had the ultimate sushi night yesterday — I saw a movie about sushi AND ate some sushi. Did I mention the movie and the food were discounted?

Read on to learn how you can do the same. 

  1. Find someone who loves sushi as much as you do. I picked The Mister.
  2. Eat a filling snack. The importance of this will be clear later. I went with an apple and two homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. The Mister ate beer cheese and pretzels.
  3. Go to Village 8 movie theater at 4014 Dutchmans Lane. Get two $4 tickets to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi*, a documentary about an 85-year-old Japanese man who runs perhaps the most revered sushi restaurant on the planet. 
  4. After about an hour and a half of watching men make delicious sushi, jump on the Watterson Expressway and head to Dragon King’s Daughter at 1126 Bardstown Road for the restaurant’s late-night happy hour.
  5. Gorge yourself on discounted delicious raw fish. We got three rolls for about $27.
*Note: Today is the last day that you can see Jiro Dreams of Sushi at Village 8. It’s a Louisville exclusive, so it’s not playing anywhere else in town. If you don’t make it to see this documentary, replace step 3 with a Village 8 movie of your choice.

Two-for-one sushi specials at Bendoya worth a trip downtown

image

See those two sushi rolls?
They only cost $7.36.

I got this deal at Bendoya, a restaurant and sushi bar at 215 S. Fifth Street.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can buy one sushi roll and get another one free.
Not only is this a steal, but the sushi is pretty tasty. And the staff now how to get a group of six seated, fed and out the door in 60 minutes during peak lunchtime hours.

The $10 Challenge: Dragon King’s Daughter

   

I went without sushi for the majority of my life.

I tasted the dish for the first time at age 20. A co-worker offered a piece from a sushi platter she bought at a grocery store. The roll was bland, chewy and unremarkable. I was puzzled as to why there was so much hype over raw fish and rice wrapped in seaweed.

My first impression sparked a disdain for the dish about which I told my then-roommate in 2006. We were both summer interns at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. She was from California and constantly hunted for sushi that was comparable to what she ate on the West Coast.I shared with her one evening that I didn’t like sushi.

“Well, that’s because you’re from Kentucky.”

Ouch.

My aversion to sushi had nothing to do with my state of origin – it was all about that lukewarm first experience. Fortunately, that straight-from-the-grocer’s-freezer sushi did not permanently scar my taste buds, or I would have missed out on Dragon King’s Daughter, a Bardstown Road sushi place that is quickly becoming my favorite Louisville restaurant. Continue reading “The $10 Challenge: Dragon King’s Daughter”