Don’t you love that the acronym for my blog is “TOE”? I know I do.
Gina and I have embarked on many food adventures together since we met in college. You’ve actually already met Gina, too, most recently at this dinner. Over the weekend, Gina emailed to present me with the first official TOE-inspired meal along with a real, live tale of expansion from the frontlines, yay! Here’s what Gina had to say:
Your pancake breakfast inspired me! Chris made pancakes Sunday (not from scratch but from Aunt Jemima mix, so I’m sure not as healthy) and I added some strawberries from the frozen Dole ones I bought at Fairway AND I made peanut butter sauce! I did not have any yogurt so I mixed peanut butter and milk and heated it up a bit in the microwave to thicken it. Here it is!
Gina’s Tale of Expansion: Caruso’s Ristorante Italiano
These pictures (which did not come out very well because I did not set the camera properly and the lighting was bad, so most of them are blurry and dark) are from Caruso’s Ristorante Italiano in Warminster, PA. My grandparents are regulars at this restaurant, and we’ve had other family parties there before. It’s a pretty typical Italian place, and I believe the people who own it are Sicilian because all the pictures on the wall are from Sicily. Everything on the menu sounds so good and my grandfather told us to order whatever we wanted. There was no set menu. The restaurant is BYOB so we brought our own wine, although we are not big drinkers (we’re much bigger eaters!!!). We had 3 tables, a total of 22 people.
My grandfather had pre-ordered appetizers for the tables. I forgot to take pictures of those, but they were these HUGE plates of mussels, baked clams, calamari and (randomly) broccoli. Plus, he also ordered a couple orders of chicken fingers with fries and mozzerella sticks for the “kids.” Remember, these were just the appetizers! I was not at the kids’ table, but I had 2 mozzerella sticks, a TON of mussels, 2 baked clams, some calamari and some broccoli, which was quite good because the sauce was all garlic and tomatos. YUM!
I had ordered a cup of crab chowder because my grandfather was telling us how good it was, so that came next. The soup was good and thankfully it was a pretty small cup. Then, I also had a side salad before my entree came out because the meal came with a salad! Needless to say, I was already full before my entree even arrived.
The first picture is of my meal, Veal Oscar: veal with crabmeat and asparagus in a white wine sauce over pasta:
So yummy. I thankfully restrained myself from eating it all and took about half home. I think almost everyone had to take some of their food home because the entrees were VERY generous and we had already eaten all that food before the main courses.
The next picture is a very blurry shot of angel hair pasta with crabmeat and shrimp in a marinara sauce:
This is a special that’s not on the menu but that they prepare for my grandfather every time he goes to the restaurant. I told you he’s a regular! As you can tell, my family quite enjoys seafood!
Then I took pics of the desserts because they were pretty.
I was SO full after this meal! I should have taken a picture of my expanded stomach because it was certainly VERY expanded. I don’t know how I managed to eat that dessert — it was just such an overabundance of food! This is a typical family party for my Italian side of the family though. Even when we cook at someone’s house, there’s always way too much food and way too much dessert, in addition to way too many appetizers so that I’m already full by the time we eat dinner. Such is life in an Italian family!
Thanks for contributing, Gina! If anyone else out there has a tale of expansion to share, let me know in a comment and I’ll email you back!