Sunday, October 25, 2009

Car Shopping and Parmesan Crusted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Aioli

So... you may remember I turned in my Saab convertible. The lease was up. I had my fling.

Like all flings, it was bound to end badly. One of us had to go. Since he was young and hot, I figured there was a better chance of him getting picked up on the lot than me.

So goodbye Saab. It was real. It was fun. It was real fun.

On to car shopping.

After looking at 14 million cars at approximately 1,271 car dealers I was ready to make a decision. My decision? I decided I hated car shopping.

Really. Hate. It.

It took hours of my life that I will never get back.

Now, don't get me wrong. Every sales person in every dealership was friendly. Knowledgeable. Polite. Well trained. IT IS THE PROCESS THAT KILLS ME.

Car dealers in my area no longer put new cars on the lot. They park them inside or in back or behind or below the actual dealership. This forces the wanna be car buyer to go INSIDE the dealership to see an actual car.

Once inside you have to give your name, date of birth, official ID, marriage license, and any identifying marks such as tattoos or birth marks to the receptionist. This is so the car dealership owners can track you down if you don't buy a car that day.

Then you wait for an associate, or selling specialist, or salesperson (to the uninitiated).

If you are deemed sane and somewhat harmless (it helps if you have buckets of cash with you).. you are then allowed into the inner sanctum to look at an actual automobile.

I've learned my lesson with cars. You may love them, you may hate them - but never, never get rid of the one you have... you'll end up having to go car shopping.

Parmesan Crusted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Aioli Dipping Sauce: (makes about 1 1/2 dozen)

1 can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry and cut in half
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying

Mix the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley together in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Dredge artichoke halves in beaten egg, then coat with bread crumb / cheese mixture. Place on a rack and allow to "dry" for about 30 minutes or refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan. When very hot, add artichoke hearts and fry for about 2 minutes. Turn and fry other side. Drain on paper towels.

Lemon Aioli:

1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, mayonnaise and garlic and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve:

Serve artichoke hearts warm with aioli on the side for dipping.


  1. Car shopping is annoying.

    I LOVE artichoke hearts!

  2. I feel your pain about the car shopping. Good luck and I hope you find the perfect one, soon!
    This recipe is "to die for"!!! Sounds fabulous!

  3. I would rather shoot myself in the foot than buy another car. I hate it too!

    Your recipe sounds a million times better than car shopping! :D

  4. Sounds too much like dating...gee, that would be scarey too!

    Your dish on the other hand does not scare me, in fact it may find its way to my mouth later this week. I always wondered how to make that make it seem easy!

    Does this mean you are feeling better?

  5. Yaya - you said a mouth full!

    Marguerite - the picture is of the car I bought - a Subaru Outback Sport - I really do love it and the salesman was great!

    Ungourmet - eating good food is always preferable to car shopping...

    Tamis - OMG - dating?? couldn't do it. The aioli is actually a little cheat - not home made mayo - but a really good sub. I am feeling better! Thanks for checking in... antibiotics = wonder drugs.

  6. ugg...i hate car shopping...just a minute i have to go check with our finance guy to see if i can make that work...seriously.

    on the other hand, coming home to your dish...just might help soothe the situation.

  7. That recipe looks great.

    I'm not a fan of the car shopping. Too stressful for me. I love other kind of shopping though.

  8. My dad sold cars for 39 years, and I worked on the car lot while in school.. suffice to say, I know a few tricks that make it go easier for the buyer..

  9. I have been married for almost 35 years...... my husband buys the vehicle I drive, I don't even choose the color. Fine with me, I don't care as long as it is safe and I don't have to fuel it.
    I don't, however, let him grocery shop unless I am in a dire situation. He will buy the huge economy size of whatever I request.

  10. Brian, how about the invisible "manager" they have to keep checking with?

    Unknown - I LOVE food shopping. :-)

    Buffalo - My neighbor sells cars. He told me all the tricks. I still hated it. It's not like buying shoes....

    Kathy - you have a wonderful husband.

  11. I am with you on car shopping. Recently we 'wanted" a new vehicle, but really did not need one. That put us in a good position or so we thought. After being tortured by about a bizillion dealers, we decided we liked what we had and bought a brand new one of the same vehicle in a color we had two models ago. I hate the car shopping game.

  12. Didn't it break your heart giving up your convertible??? I am so attached to mine.

  13. At least you don't have to wait 4 days to get your paperwork done, like it used to be done.

  14. I did not see the marathon story? send me the link to the post.

  15. Just be careful mixing up your car shopping with your grocery shopping. Lemons are bad.

  16. Car shopping always makes me feel dirty. I hate it. Except we bought our last car at Carmax. That was delightful. Now, speaking of delightful, I'm going to have to make these artichokes!

  17. You should take the artichoke hearts with you, that might improve the service you get.

  18. Lisa E - I realized that after 2 years the total number of days I actually put the top down was less than 20... here in the NE it's all highway driving.. way too dirty and dangerous for no lid.

    Otin - sent you an email. Maybe we'll see you there!

    Jeve - good one!!

    Debbie - I hear you!

    Captain - now why didn't I think of that?

  19. I feel exactly the same way! It is painful!! Everyone hates it. You would think they would realize this and change their tactics. I literally have not bought a car because it is so awful.

    Not awful is this recipe. I will be back for it!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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