Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food Weekend...

Here's a recap of food from Greek Fest and the Rib Cookoff:  BTW, the trick to enjoying both of these events is to get there early, get a great parking space, beat the crowds, and the heat.

Greek Fest:  So many options but...not everything was ready when we got there (don't understand if the vendors KNOW the start time is 11 AM, wouldn't they time their stuff to be ready at 11 AM?)..   but we were able to start with a standard Gyro.. no onions..   the best one I've ever had is still from the Fresno Fair,  this one had way too much tzaziki and that combined with the drippy tomatoes made it one messy sandwich..  half the meat was tasty and somehow half was kinda dried out.. we had to wait 10 minutes for the oil in the fryer to heat up for the Greek Fries (again, why not start heating it earlier?) ..These were standard crinkle cut fries, tossed with garlic, feta, and oregano.. tastier when you got to the bottom and there were more toppings...otherwise pretty standard fries..  my daughter brought back some Haloumi (grilled Cyprus cheese on top of pita and cucumber), Spanokopita, and Tiropita (Spinach/Feta and Feta, both in a Greek quiche). LOVED the Tiropita! very rich..   We then went for lamb chops...SO SO SO good.. and very inexpensive.. at 2 dollars a piece.  At some point we also tried a cinnamon flavored ouzo, and totally great Greek lager .   There was also a Greek wine tasting...which was actually quite disappointing, except for the Greek Muscat which was remarkably light for a dessert wine.  We then moved onto pastries (to try and absorb some of the alcohol in my blood so we didn't recreate the Serbian Fest Slivovic church tour mishap.).  We tried four types, a pecan chocolate baklava, a powdered sugar butter cookie, a phyllo and custard pastry and a cake flavored with orange peel and coconut...all very good.

Then we went on to the Church tour which I highly recommend to anyone who appreciates architechture and art... it was breathtaking..(and I didn't trip...yay me!).  It was also very interesting learning about the history of this particular church and the history of the Greek Orthodox church in general. 
Before we left the Fest, we stopped by the food hall for some mousakka and lamb shank to go..  skip the lamb shank which didn't have much meat on it, and was alternately greasy and dry, and always have the mousakka.. the best in town as far as I'm concerned.

and hey, we got a to see the always entertaining and everypresent Kopi..  always a good time :)

Rib Cookoff:
Unlike the Greek Fest, all was ready to go when we got to the Rib Cookoff, we decided to go with rib samplers at as many places as we could, and split them..  The best of the bunch was with last year's winners Porky and Beans, crusty, sweet, sticky, and they gave us even more than we paid for..  got a lovely surprise from the Aussie team (besides the cute guys with sexy accents) in the form of shrimp grilled shrimp ever...anywhere... it was well seasoned, NOT rubbery or overcooked...just delicious... with or without their fantastic Raspberry Chipotle bbq sauce...  they can keep the "Aussome" cornbread though...too sweet and cakey.  The rest of the ribs were average, sauces above average.  We also tried to share a sandwich comprising of dry pulled pork, barely cooked maple bacon, drug store ham, and "pepper jack" cheese product.  On a disintigrating bun.  Gave that to my fiancee, between him and the dog they made short work of it.  Overall, I think I'm over ribs, I liked the alternate meat selections and the way everything was set up...lots of shaded seating...very important here..   the only thing I'd wish for was a dessert likes something sweet after all that protein (sorry..didn't mean for that to sound just DID).  

So yeah, we had a tasty weekend... even got a few donuts out of the deal ...thank you BINGO DONUTS (SW corner of Shaw and Blackstone).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Non food related stuff...

Just watched Say Anything, and it brought home to me one thing that annoys me a lot lately, seeing some of my friends make themselves ill and depressed trying to do everything they think they are "supposed" to do..  trying to be the "perfect" mom or the "perfect" wife..  or trying so hard not to sin.  They over work, they over think, they stress, they get depressed, they get injured, they get sick... all in the name of "supposed to"..   who decides what this even is...who makes the rules? Are these things they learned at home, from their parents, from church, from school?  Where do they get this stuff....these impossibly high standards they set for themselves...        and why are they trying so hard?  What's the prize for being "perfect"?  I know they're deathly afraid of judgement...from their children, their spouses, from God...   so what, if they aren't perfect then they'll be talked about, confronted, left, unloved, kept from Heaven?

I say BOLLOCKS to all this nonsense...  I've had so many people I've cared about die so young and its taught me one thing... life can be unpredictably short..  why waste so much of it worrying if we're doing the right thing and what will happen if we don't...  my friends and I are mostly reasonable, intelligent people... I think we can figure it out, live our lives in a decent fashion, AND relax and learn to be happy without killing ourselves or making ourselves miserable in the process.     and if you're a believer... God loves matter what... you're His child and just like any child, He may not always like what you do, but if you're committed to Him, He's committed to you... He's not gonna keep you from his eternal love just because you screw up as He knows you will..because He made us human, and imperfect, so give Him some credit..He gets it.   Chill, and Be as Happy as you Can.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dinner and other things...

First, a pilaf recipe..  I grew up here in the valley, therefore I loves me a good pilaf.. and there is plenty of it to be found as we have a rich Armenian and Middle Eastern community..  I also make a pretty good one myself.. (with the help of fideo, a Latino pasta, like broken spaghetti noodles..that cuts out the step of breaking up spaghetti, a tedious task).  So here ya go:

Rice Pilaf:
3/4 cup fideo
2 cups long grain white rice (not instant)
4 cups broth or water
2 bouillion cubes dissolved in a bit of hot water or broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 stick butter
a sprinkling of celery salt and garlic salt

melt butter in deep pan, add fideo and brown lightly over medium heat, stir in rice, liquid, bouillon, parsley and seasonings.  Bring to boil, turn down to medium low heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, remove from heat, fluff with fork, and leave lid off for 15 minutes to dry a bit.

I served this with:  Shrimp Scampi (after a fashion)
1 lb 61/70 cooked shrimp
1/2 stick butter
2 TBSP chopped parsley
zest and juice of half a lemon
sprinklings of salt, garlic, salt, and parmesan
a few shakes of green Tabasco and Sriracha

Warm all ingredients in microwave, approximately 2 to 3 minutes on high, serve over pilaf.

This was tonite's dinner, much needed after all the wedding planning, and the pregnancy scare (pre menopausal nonsense).

So I think we've figured out the living room floor... a large remnant that will cover most of the floor, it will work like a giant area rug and we don't have to go to all the trouble of padding and tacking it down and all that..  and it will be much less expensive and troublesome than any other remedy.
Also trying to find inexpensive foundation garments for the dress fitting coming up on Sunday with my fabulous designer, Lakisha Robinson, creator of Amy Echo Fashions. (link's in the doobly doo to the right) I need a red bra and something to make my lumpy bumps lie more flat...    tick tick tick... close to the 6 week mark... still worried about the backyard and getting it leveled in time....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program... More Faves

Basque Hotel: 1102 F St, Fresno.:  Best lamb I've had in Fresno ever.   This authentic bar/restaurant is a real piece of Fresno history, here since 1922.  You go through the bar to get to the dining room, you can get an individual table or sit at the communal table when its crowded.  The service is friendly and accommodating.  This is family style,  so you get enough side dishes for the table and its up to you to serve yourselves from those bowls.  And then there's the other thing about Basque food..  you get A LOT!  You choose an entree...and from there you get bread, soup, salad, potato salad with shrimp, sometimes really excellent fries, a stew of some type, and a little dish of ice cream at the end.  Prices are reasonable.. and everything is aggresively seasoned and cooked perfectly.  Don't forget to order a Picon Punch, a favorite drink of the Basques.

Mike's Pizzeria: 3228 N West Ave Fresno, CA:  It's not for the pizza that I recommend this Fresno favorite, but for everything else...I used to dislike calzones and minestrone...until I came to Mike's..  everything they make is homemade... and fantastic!  Last time I took a chance and ordered off the specials menu...chicken pot pie ravioli...sounds weird, tastes extraordinary!   I used to go to the one behind Outback on Shaw and Marks..  then we found this one..  and I'm hooked by the delightful service, and the ambiance, particularly the real Italian radio station piped in on the sound system.. it was heavenly!  I can also recommend the linguini with clam good, so clammy, so garlicky!   Best Italian food in town in my opinion.  (caveat: still can't recommend the pizza...the search continues!)
Mike's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

and this is exactly what I was talking about...on a larger scale....

I've enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's show and biting wit for years now...    but what I don't enjoy is his bashing of  TV cooks who aren't in his elitist foodie circle, and I don't enjoy the typical liberal "I'm better than you" attitude..  now for some reason, he's chosen to publicly attack Paula Deen..   now don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of hers, sometimes that laugh does get annoying and contrived...but she's basically not a bad person.... and she certainly didn't deserve the recent public drubbing she's gotten from King Bourdain...    who was basically trying to blame her because some Americans eat the wrong things and won't excercise..    Why doesn't he go after Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, who have contributed more than anyone to the obesity problem in this country by introducing the technology that has kept more Americans on their asses since the invention of the comfortable chair?   Who do you think you are, Bourdain, besides an ex junkie, who grew up in France, looking down your nose at the rest of America and acting like you're doing us a favor imparting your great wisdom to us via snarky and sometimes plain mean comments?  Go back to your mansion and play with your rich foodie pals Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert... or why don't you just go do something useful like feeding the homeless... like that evil skank, Paul Deen does on a regular basis?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Okay Peoples...the Time Has Come...

I've been learning quite a bit about the Fresno foodie scene in the last few days...  and while I'm not entirely surprised, I am disappointed to find the high levels of elitism, cronyism, emperor's new clothes syndrome, and thin skinned-ness.   These people can't take a hit.. and they sure as hell can't fight their own battles...choosing instead to gang up on anyone who dares to questions their beloved icons or ideas...  
So I'm changing the name of the blog once better reflect my new seek out fresh ideas and individuals who aren't afraid to buck the system ... people who aren't afraid to question and call BULLSHIT whenever necessary...   so if you're out there.. lemme know..   I know there's more free-thinkers out there... time for us to overthrow the chains of the Fresno Food Mafia and create our own place where free speech and free thought still exists, all the while enjoying good food whenever and wherever we find it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Food Places that Make Me Happy 1st part....

These are the first two places on my list of my fave places to eat in Fresno

Imperial Garden:  6640 N Blackstone Ave, #108, Fresno, CA 93710 .  The only place in town to get authentic dim sum service..(cart service)..  it's frantic, fast paced, sometimes brusque, and massively delicious:   If you don't know what it is...ask and they will try to explain it, if you want something..just point...there are a large number of varieties every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays 1030 am til 2 pm). And I'd suggest you get there early (at least by 10 to put your name on the list to get seated when they do open) because the place is always packed, mostly with Asian families, always a good sign.    My faves: chicken feet, spareribs, chicken salad, little football shaped things filled with rice and meat, pigs in the blanket, bbq turnovers, curry chicken turnovers, and custard tarts. Most items start out at 2.25 per small plate.  you order and the lady marks it off on the pad.  At the end your total is tallied up and you pay on the way out.

Imperial Garden on Urbanspoon

the best breakfast secret in Fresno:   Sandwich Works:  2599 E Ashlan Ave, Fresno, CA 93726:  My beloved was hungry on the way home from work....we had no idea what we were about to have...we heard they had breakfast....   the menu isn't huge..  or varied much...eggs..bacon..omelets...pancakes... but oh...what if you had the simplest ingredients, cooked to absolute perfection... the best eggs, the best bacon, the best pancakes (even if you think you don't like pancakes) that you've ever had in your life...even the english muffin, toasted on the grill was perfection...    it's simple, it's inexpensive (it's right near our house), and its run by some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. 

          Sandwich Works on Urbanspoon

Whoda Thunk?

A few years ago, I wanted nothing more than to leave Fresno forever.  I was raised in a couple of small towns (Reedley and Francis Oklahoma), and I hated it here... the crime, the heat, the pollution, the sheer numbers of people, I'm just not a city girl.  I need my space.  But something happened a few years ago that made me realize this city has more heart and soul than I knew.  It started at Rogue Fest, and fun performances...and while you're there, you have to eat...and hey.. there are some really good restaurants in the Tower.  Then there was 'the summer', where, thanks to some good friends, I really checked out the local music scene..and it was good!  And then there's my beloved man, who loves going to restaurants...particularly little dives in sometimes scary parts of town...and it was good!  So, through being brave and expanding my horizons...I've met some amazing people, eaten amazing food, and seen some amazing entertainment...right here in Fresno... and it made me realize something I never got before in my 20 years here... Fresno has value, Fresno can be cool, and fun, and nice and tasty, Fresno isn't so bad.. and I'm starting to feel a certain affection for my adopted town, and yeah, I actually get offended when out of towners (or even our own) diss it!  So if you don't live here... shut yer pie hole, and if you DO live here...maybe you just need to get out more...  ask me.. I can recommend LOTS of things to do that you might like, and you might discover, as I did, that Fresno is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The rest of the story...

so I survived the "workshop" from which I learned......nothing...  no biggie..but I swore while I was trying to stay awake that if the zombie apocalypse happened while I was there... the instructor would be zombie fodder...seriously..I would throw her mousy little self straight at the undead to distract them.  Found my way home from BFE west..   still wasn't hungry from all the noms this morning..   I'm still dreaming about Dusty Buns bacon... le sigh...

After snacking on the crunchy, delicious veggie chips with garlic from Pacific Grain and Foods (3 bux or 2 for 5), I started thinking about dinner....and I made:
Sweet, sour and spicy Chicken, with garlic buttered noodles, and a side of peas n carrots.
This is another "non recipe"..   

1 double chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces and browned in a tiny bit of veg oil and garlic salt.
a little sliced green pepper and green onions
a sauce made of: soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, ketchup, white sugar, brown sugar, sriracha, and white nectarine jam (no I don't know how much of each're lucky I'm telling you my secrets!)   mix all this goodness and throw in pan, simmer til sauce is thick.   Serve over (or under or next to) buttered noodles...(which were just last nite's leftover mini lasagna noodles with garlic salt and herb butter) .  All I did with the peas and carrots is nuke them with garlic salt, butter, and sugar.

That was some nommy stuff there baybee!
(Sorry for the lack of pics...that stuff went FAST)

btw..made a sandwich for a friend and apparently she liked it...alot.... giggle...      toasted cheese on whole wheat with grape tomatoes, baby spinach, horseradish, sharp cheddar and pepper jack...

Dusty Buns and other treats...

This morning, my eldest daughter and I took a trip to Kaiser, no, we're not ill, we're FULL....of yummy treats from the Farmer's Market they have there every Wednesday morning... in particular...Dusty Buns Bistro truck...  we got there around 9 AM and the place was starting to fill up with with market goers so we got there just in time (I'd heard horror stories of lines in front of DBB).  We looked around first, not many stalls, but what was there was quality...fresh produce, OJ, nuts, honey, olives, fresh chickens and eggs, flowers, dried fruits and veggies, and Mediterranean food, as well as the DBB truck.  We already knew what we wanted so we ordered and then looked around some more.  We had a very nice chat with the gentleman from Pacific Grain & Foods, who gave us many samples of dried strawberries, freeze dried veggies as well as an item I used to only find at the coast at a tiny cider store...a sweet crunchy glazed puffed corn delight.  We bought some mixed dried veggies, a bag of dried okra, and a bag of their "Golden Churro Corn Nuggets" (YUM!)  As soon as we got back to the food truck, our order was ready.. no more than 5 minutes.

Noelle ordered the "Le Grilled Cheese" which was applewood smoked bacon, aged white cheddar, and sliced tomato,  and a salad composed of mixed greens, red flame grapes, feta and a delicious sweetish vinaigrette.  I had the "Veg Out", consisting of lemon basil ricotta, assorted grape and pear tomatoes, and romaine (seemingly dressed in the same salad dressing on Noelle's salad).  I also got their soup of the day.. a hearty broth based veggie heavy soup with lots of zucchini, tomatoes, and onions..  and what was listed as manchego cheese, kind of melted in clumps  in the soup.
Everything was very fresh..and the flavors bright... the bacon in Noelle's sandwich was the thing that smacked me right in the was so memorable...that everything else kind of faded for a moment...  the buns, toasted and homemade.. really worked with the sandwiches...just enough give, and just enough crunch...    my sandwich was very tasty , and my only complaint was the use of whole grape tomatoes instead of slices, even halves would have worked better, because I had tomatoes falling out everywhere...they are not skimpy on their portions!  My soup was tasty, but greasy.... I don't know if its a meat based broth or if it was from an overabundance of olive oil. 
Dusty Buns Bistro Bus on UrbanspoonAll in all, I can definitely recommend Dusty Buns Bistro, they have good, fresh, yummy food at reasonable prices,  20 dollars for 2 sandwiches, soup, salad, and 2 waters..    Oh, and if you haven't yet..please vote for Dusty Buns on the Food Network website so they can get on the Great Food Truck Race next season!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Tuesday Minions!

wish I had more interesting food posts today...but I don't.. I've been trying to not eat too terribly today since my blood pressure has been through the roof... my usually lovely ankles have been swelling and I've been headachy...    so.. breakfast was apple turnover flavored yogurt with oats, nectarine,  flax seeds and almonds,  lunch was leftovers of "Fred",  and dinner was a bowl of chex (rice or corn..couldn't tell), with cinnamon and a half a banana.,   snack was bad..  strawberry swirl, chocolate syrup, and almonds...

So now that the food news is outta the way..  I've got the hallway 99 percent finished! it looks like a real hallway again, all I've gotta do is some minor cutting and pasting in the smaller odd shaped spaces...      in other news..we met with our wedding photographer.. a really lovely and talented lady whose website info I'm adding (in the sidebar doobly doo) cuz she's awesome!   

Tomorrow is the ridiculous, time wasting, completely pointless appointment with the EDD...   here's the deal...I work for the feds on a seasonal basis...  I pay into unemployment like everyone else...  we normally don't get hassled to be specific and methodical about listing our off season job searches because we are seasonal... we HAVE jobs... technically..during our off season...we are still an employee of the feds...  normally during the off season, we collect unemployment...that's why we pay into it...  but now..some moron at the EDD thinks that we should jump through the same hoops as people who don't have regular jobs...   any job I find in the off season, has to be temporary anyhow.. because I'm not giving up a job I've been at (and liked) for the last 13 years...a job that pays pretty damn well!   So I'll trot my pretty little ass across town to BFE (it's even listed as "West Fresno, CA),  play their stupid games with a shitty attitude and hope to never have them bother me again.   and now.. a picture of my hallway...


I'm not really a proper recipe writing down kinda gal...  so if I ever post a proper recipe with real measurements and'll know I got it from someone else....  so dinner...   let's call it....


about 1 lb of hamburger meat, browned together with a coupla cloves of minced garlic, 1 slice of turkey bacon, a little veg. oil, some kosher salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce,  green tabasco, and lots of sriracha...   then I added a small container of "light" alfredo sauce... a little bit of parm,  a little bit of pepperjack cheese, some velveeta,  a can of corn with the juice, a coupla handfuls of baby spinach (chiffonade), and some sliced grape tomatoes.  Add to most of a largish package of mini lasagna noodles (cooked of course) and finished off with a coupla spoonfuls of herb butter.     Also took 6 frozen biscuits, spread with more herb butter and cooked those in my first wedding gift (a toaster oven thanks to Norrell).   it was all very nommy....  .. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

since it IS supposed to be a foodie blog..... ladies and gentlemen, my review of Yosemite Ranch Steakhouse

I've seen mixed reviews of this place and frankly...I don't care...all I know was was damn was so good it made me say  "Cattlemen's  who?"   (and I LOVE Cattlemen's).   We went early (we're like those old people who eat early all the time), around 5 pm, and got seated nearly immediately.   Good thing since they started filling up pretty fast.   I'd like to get my only complaints outta the way immediately.  1. The "Baby Green Bistro" salad sucked...I should have chosen the Chicken Pot Pie soup instead...but I didn' I got a melange of "Baby greens with bleu cheese, tomatoes, sweetened walnuts, cranberries, and Spanish vinaigrette"   ... the walnuts weren't sweetened, and I dunno what a "Spanish vinaigrette" is supposed to be, but it sucked things better left unsucked.   The bleu cheese was yummy though..    2. I never got my water refilled even though the rest of the service was actually very not a deal breaker.  3. the crabcakes were REALLY small for the price.  that's it.. the rest of the meal was OMF'ing G so good!
My beloved had the 10 oz Ranch Steak with baked potato, "wok seared green beans"  and a side of Firecracker Shrimp.    I had the "pecan crusted" (they either forgot the pecans or they were pecan dust) pork chops, mashers, green beans, and a side of crabcakes.
Where do I begin.. I took one bite of the mashed potatoes and gravy, put my fork down and declared, that's it, it's over, I can die now"   I can only assume they got the creamy gravy from...oh... HEAVEN.   The pork chop was equally yummilicious... tasty, well seasoned, tender, perfectly cooked...  the green beans (a normally boring veggie) was pretty damn fine too..with bits of caramelized onions and bacon.   My honey was equally enamored of his entree and sides.    My crabcake side was delicious...but scant...  His firecracker shrimp...(identical to Tahoe Joe's "Railroad Camp" shrimp) were also yummy, especially dipped in their teriyaki style sauce.  
As if this orgy of NOMS weren't enough, we ordered a dessert to share...good was freaking huge ....and insanely good...   vanilla cherry ice cream (that tasted like pure maraschino cherries), oreo crumbs, brownie crust, and melted dark chocolate on the side...
Yeah its pricey, but its a special occasion kinda place ( like Cattlemen's USED to be for me)...  and they have a pretty decent happy hour where you can get a HUGE glass of my new fave ale, Firestone Double Barrell, for 5 bux.. 
So I recommend you to go there...its nice, its dark in a "date nite" kinda way...and its delicious.Yosemite Ranch on Urbanspoon

Arternoon (thank you sheep sketch from Monty Python)

yeah..more sleep...when I sleep after I eat, I dream....boy do I about a huge waterslide party...with people like Emeril, and Spencer (from I Carly (don't ask)) and me..channeling the kleptomaniac part of Abbie Hoffman....but I didn't WANNA steal..but I had I tried to steal non essential items...      to quote Robot Monster (fine film, you should see it).. "I must, but I cannot".
Anyhow... went to pick up honey (my fiancee' not bee spit), swung by his parents house for mail, swung by post office, came home starving.. made a sandwich..  whole wheat "lite" bread, peanut butter, flax seeds, oats, and a whole banana, and "light" cranberry juice on the rocks.  Me trying to be healthy.   
Tiled nearly half the hallway (see previous response to post and you'll no longer be impressed, (if you ever were)), got online, won a free appetizer by answering a question from Yosemite Ranch Steakhouse (review coming shortly),  to wit: "when is a black bear, not a black bear?"   My answer was "when its a white bear" because "black" bears can actually come in many colors (Thank you Huell Howser)  I also learned many things about black bears today thanks to the internet, such as black bears were the inspiration for Teddy Bears, Winnie the Pooh, and Smokey THE (ITS THE DAMMIT..... THE IS HIS MIDDLE NAME) Bear.


Had a difficult time getting to sleep...  kind of a problem when you have to be up at 5 am to drive fiancee' to work...   it's weird, because when we were leaving at 550, there was hardly any that we're leaving at 520, there's traffic...and this is on surface streets!  Does Fresno have a bunch of businesses that open at 6 am that I never knew about?  
On to breakfast (or as Norrell says "first breakfast)..  the last of the teriyaki chicken and rice with spinach,  cheezy mini Ritz Bitz, milk, and a square of chocolate crack. (gonna start bolding the food because....its kind of a food blog)
Plans for the day?  more sleep, more tiling, mailing off unemployment crap (yes its all crap just gimme my freaking money you government bastards), picking up love from work, and who else knows...I can plan all week but there's always this huge unknown quantity to my life...  as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say..."it's always something"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Still Evolving ...

I'm still trying to figure out what I want this to be.....I think I'd like it to be a journal of my food and my life outside of there will be recipes sometimes, restaurant reviews, foods I've eaten during the day,  and just what I've been up to.  And we'll see how that works out....

So today...   08/14/11....
up originally at 630 am... went back to sleep til nearly 10..later than I usually sleep... more strange dreams...  about my mother and color changing kitchen tiles..  and more flooding...this year there's been a lot of rural floods in my dreams... and being afraid of  certain big dogs...which I am.... and I keep seeing a Michael Cera clone...and it makes me happy...... breakfast was a mixture of the last two nites dinners...  baked beans with bacon spam,  and teriyaki chicken and rice.. and biscuits... and milk...    I normally don't like breakfast food for breakfast...   my original plan for today was to get started on tiling the hallway ... it was a lot more work than I anticipated... so I got about a fourth of it done..but it looks nice...and anyhow there's gonna be a runner rug over most of it..    late lunch was the last of the stuffed clams and tilapia...preceded by cheese and crackers...and finished with strawberry swirl ice cream/bananas/almonds/chocolate sauce...    also managed to get the dishes all done via dishwasher and handwashing...  pretty proud of what I got done today... load of laundry too...   got a phone call from someone I haven't seen since 1980...  a friend of my parents...  why do these people think its cute to relate inappropriate stories when they talk to me?  I don't wanna know certain things..  I KNOW how my parents were... I KNOW what kind of crazy messed up life we led...I don't need people reminding me of this under the guise of  "reminiscing"..         Picked up Noelle from work...she had Grizzly Stadium's version of garlic fries...  not very appealing...the garlic had a strange taste....  if you want great garlic fries...go to Rose's Landing the bar... on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay...      so dinner was what I call "fend nite".. which is..fix what you want,  I'm not cooking...    so I had a sandwich, on multi grain bread... bologna, sharp cheddar, spinach, sweet/hot peppers, light mayo, and honey mustard.    Light cranberry juice to drink...        
Gonna try and provide more pics to go with the food...   but this is a trial run we'll see what flies and what doesn't.... thanks for reading....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Should have done this first....

After writing 3 posts...  it struck me...   perhaps I should introduce myself.... so...hello :)    You can call me J. (as in "all hail.......")    I am very female (although I have some interesting male tendencies like a missing shopping gene,  and a strong desire to see a problem and fix it...immediately and in the most practical way possible),  I have strong opinions, strong desires, and a strong faith in God.  

I love beauty in nature... and in people... these things make me happy...   I also love my fiancee (there's a very pretty story there which I will tell later), my children, (even though of late they are driving me to distraction), my new outdoor rescue kitties (Midnight and Ashley), my darling diva doxie (Minnie), the central coast (Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos  (north county only please)), music, literature, trivia,  Doctor Who, and food...delightful, wonderful delicious, delectable FOOD.   So glad we need it to keep going...    I am also polyiferous.... a word I just made up this very minute... I love for entertainment... in people...    

So there's me, in a nutshell... and I hope you wanna know more...  ask questions if you like..... I love questions...

Chocolate Crack Recipe

The first of many recipes I'd like to share with you.   I can only imagine the name comes from the yummy combination of chocolate, toffee, and salt.  (Addendum... the name comes from the fact that you CAN"T STOP EATING IT....omg.. this is SO freaking good...really)

   4 ounces saltine crackers, 1 sleeve plus 3 or
   4 more to cover bottom of pan
    1 cup butter
    1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    12 ounces chocolate chips, semisweet
    3/4 cup chopped pecan pieces, I prefer to   
    chop to a finer texture in food processor (or almonds or no nuts at all)


Preheat oven to 375°.
Line a jelly roll pan with foil. Coat with nonstick spray. (or use silpat on pan instead)
Cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of saltine crackers.
Melt butter and sugar over med-low heat. Whisk until butter melted and mixture begins to boil.
Boil for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. All the sugar granules should be melted.
Carefully pour over the crackers. (use spatula to even out candy mixture)
 Bake for 5-6 minutes until bubbly. The crackers may bubble & lift off the bottom of the baking
sheet, don't worry!
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let rest for a couple minutes until chocolate
chips begin to get glossy and soft.
Spread the chocolate over the toffee, sprinkle with nuts, ( as desired) pressing the nuts into
the warm toffee.
Cool completely. *Best results when cooled in in the fridge.
Cut or break into pieces.

Number of servings depends on how hungry you are, whether you are alone, and whether anyone is PMS'ing. WILL want to store this in the freezer or fridge, otherwise it loses its crunchiness...

Wedding Food Issues

I swore up and down that I wasn't going to cater my own wedding the way I did my last... up til the wee hours the night before, chopping veggies and cooking...  no way!     Well, the expense of a "real" caterer and my lack of connections in that department is leading me to "sort of" cater this one...  I mean..I'm deciding what I wanna have and I'm "procuring" everything...but I'm NOT cooking... ok.. I may delegate the work ... and I may turn the oven on to warm something up... or arrange some things on a platter...  but I'm absolutely NOT cooking.   Seriously not cooking..     I would however like to recruit some volunteers to make sure that I have as little as possible to do on the actually wedding day.  That would be nice... hint hint...

The other issue has been what to have?  Frankly, if I was rich and could have my way, it would be all dim sum, tapas, and dessert...  and after a fashion its kind of like that... but we're (read I'M) having trouble deciding what I want... I mean..I know some things for absolute sure... the dessert table is easy..   just buying many yummy things (or letting people bring whatever they want), and having a small chocolate fountain besides.  We don't want or need a traditional wedding cake, we just mainly need a regular sized cake as a place to put our gorgeous little "precious moments" style Viking cake topper.  Which I think his mother may make for us... lemon cake, lemon filling, lemon frosting... hopefully dark teal and dark purple swirls on the outside.   And we're definitely having (this learning to say "WE" instead of "ME" is HARD) a fruit bowl filled with mandarins, cherries, grapes, berries, and pineapple, and a veggie tray with tomatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots, and cukes,  and a pickled/relish tray with olives and assorted pickled and roasted veggies,  as well as a cheese tray (anyone who really knows me, knows that THIS is required) with some nice cheeses,  and beyond this is where I get stumped.    Meat, absolutely...but what kinds...and appetizers... absolutely...but what kinds and how many?   These are the issues that have me getting bogged down.

So what should be the easiest of all the wedding issues for me just isn't...because in the end. I'm still me..and me LIVES for variety...the more kinds of something, the better... and there is just too much out there... too many varieties of food... and  to quote Veruka Salt (the character NOT the band) I want it all....  (those of you who know me very very very well... know how much that applies to other aspects of my life as well).



Some people have said for awhile now that I should publish a blog, about my life and my interests (particularly food), so here I am..  posting.

At this point in my life (and its been a wild one, more about that later),  I am busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, trying to plan my 3rd wedding  (His 4th btw...we're the Brady Bunch of marriage).  This has been a fun, rewarding, crazymaking, hair pulling out, trying to keep it all together thing...since (because it's ME) I can't just do a "normal" wedding and be done with it (Actually my first two were "normal",  and look how well THOSE turned out).     No, I, (inspired by AND my pagan (Asatru specifically)  fiancee') have to do everything differently.   Which means my dress will be blood red,  the ceremony will be non conventional (and interfaith) no attendants, many of my guests will be dressed in unusual clothes, and a belly dancing duet for the entertainment.   AND we only invited people we liked and really wanted to be there...    So it should be tons of fun, with great food of course (a separate post on the vagaries of making that happen forthcoming), and lots of music and dancing.   But all this fabulousness takes planning, and work...  I'm great at planning..  kinda get lost in the work department though.   So we'll see how it all goes.. in the meantime.. I'll be posting various things about how its all going, as well as restaurant reviews and recipes (cuz I AM a foodie, first and foremost).   So... let the games begin!