Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's a Little Fried Chicken Between Friends?

So out of the blue yesterday, I get a FB message from Chuck..   "Thinking about Chicken and Waffles tonite, you guys interested?"    Are we interested?  Is Fresno hot in the summertime? Of COURSE we're interested..  not only being huge fans of chicken (and waffles) but being huge fans of Chuck (who we hadn't seen for awhile, which is normal for Chuck), we immediately agreed.  Well, *I* agreed and told my man that Chuck wanted us for chicken and waffles that nite.  He looked temporarily perplexed, shrugged and said, "ok".

With the sad demise of Stuft Waffle (it's a sentimental thang...I'll show you the video someday)., There is only one place in town that I know of to get chicken and waffles on a regular basis, and that's Come And Get It, Chicken And Waffles.   As with many of my fave places,  the neighborhood can be..questionable for some people,  in the vicinity of Tulare and E-ish.  And the hours can be confusing..  Fridays and Saturdays only, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.   and Saturday lunches 10 am to 2 pm but only sometimes...  the point is.. it's all worth it.

The people who run it are welcoming,  our service was excellent..and really..the only decision you have to make is how many pieces of chicken and how many waffles you want.  They occasionally have special side dishes or desserts to show off, but their main business is in the title.

The waffle itself is fresh, hot, soft, and has a slight spice note I can't quite identify.  But to me, the chicken's the thing.  You will wait at least a half hour to get your chicken...  because they fry it to order, properly, in a skillet..and chicken this good takes time.   You will want to dive right in because the smell will drive you crazy..  be's hot..and it stays hot...temperature wise.   The spice mix in the coating is definitely plenty of salt n pepper... and a blend of beautiful secrets.   It's the first time I've ever found anything approximating my grandma and mother's fried chicken.   I can cook, but I could never come close to it..  and now I don't have to. 

So if you love good, authentic, delicious fried chicken...go...brave the neighborhood, brave the hours and go... your tummy will thank you.   Mine did.

Come and Get It! Chicken & Waffles on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To the person who has been commenting Anonymously lately...

You are clearly a troubled individual...   clearly a person with too much time on their hands...  clearly immature, mentally unstable, drugged, lonely... who knows...   But no matter what you say,  God hears you and feels for you as His child...  He will also deal with you accordingly...  To me, you're just another person in a sea of people....  Lots of people have nothing better to do then to try to bother others...  but you don't bother me..  all it makes me do is to feel sorry for you.  Because happy people don't say ugly things, fulfilled people don't try to hurt others,  and no matter what you say, you can't erase the fact that my life is good, that I have dozens of blessings, that I am happy, and you are not.   So whatever your issues are brother, they are not mine to deal with, I will just add you to my prayer list and go on with my life, and maybe someday you'll grow up, or get help, or achieve something with your life so that you won't need to waste it here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Enchilada Casserole on the cheap

This delicious casserole that serves 4, was made with the meat from 3 leftover chicken drumsticks, a 77 cent packet of shredded garlic jack, part of a 1 dollar 10 pack of flour tortillas, 33 cents worth of cilantro, a 10 cent lime, a dollar can of green enchilada sauce, 1 dollar tub of cream cheese, 25 cents worth of green onions, a quarter's worth of cherry tomatoes, and spices I had on hand.

You know how I am with recipes, so I will do my best to tell you what I did.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1 regular can green enchilada sauce
1 2 cup package shredded garlic jack
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup cilantro
meat from 3 drumsticks
1/2 bundle green onions (green part only)
small tub cream cheese
5 or 6 flour tortillas, regular size
Chili powder, salt, and cumin to taste
zest and juice of 1/2 small lime.
1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips

Place a quarter cup of sauce on bottom of 8 inch round cake pan.
Place 1 tortilla over sauce.
In food processor, mince chicken, set aside in medium bowl
In food processor, mince half of greens and tomatoes, add to chicken.
In food processor, mix other half of greens,lime zest and juice, and tomatoes with cream cheese, add to chicken bowl. Add spices and mix together well.
On first tortilla, spread a couple of heaping TBSP full of mixture, top with a bit of cheese. Repeat until you run out of chicken mixture, reserving 1/4 cup cheese. Top with final tortilla and rest of green sauce.
Top with crushed chips and bake for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Let set for about 15 minutes to become more firm.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Rant Thing....

I debated as to whether or not to post this on this blog or on my "Stuff Only I Care About"..otherwise known as "shit that I say".. Since this is obstensibly food related, I chose here...lucky readers...

I was watching Bizarre Foods America: Miami, tonite and was fine until they got to a restaurant that served extremely expensive items.. a "Kobe" hot dog, a "Wagyu Beef" steak (33 dollars per ounce), both things I learned from an article in Forbes don't even exist in this country. Also, Japanese spider crab for 200 dollars, and a large prime rib chop for 400. I don't know who to be angrier at, the restaurant for charging these prices or the consumers who gladly plunk their money down. I'm a firm believer in capitalism, but I have a real problem with restauranteurs who both perpetrate fraud with the whole "Kobe" thing, and who charge ridiculous prices. There was also an ice cream truck with pole dancers. I liked the various ethnic vibes in Miami (Cuban, South American, Jewish) but I disliked the whole Roman Orgy feel of the hedonistic excess and focus on image.

I've said it before, as much as I occasionally dig the pampering vibe when I need it, I"m a barefoot Okie girl at heart.. I like places 'of the people' and 'for the people'..real food for real folks, and if Miami has so much focus in the wrong direction, think I'll just avoid it, thanks.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Food Truck Friday @ Manchester!

This is just a quickie post since I'm supposed to be staying off the computer this weekend to destress!
Friday was our usual day at Manchester Farmer's Market to see what's new with the food trucks.   First the good stuff:
Summertime Pies has been expanding their menu lately and Friday was no exception...  can you say Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie or Pulled Pork Empanada with a Cilantro Lime Sauce? YUM!!!
The strawberry pie was baked in their 5 inch round tin, lovely flaky crust, a layer of sweetened soft cream cheese, big juicy glazed strawberries, and whipped cream applied til you say "when".  It's perfect for summer and my new fave pie from Summertime. 4 bucks and worth every penny.  The picture is testament to the fact that we dug in before we realized we needed a pic.

Then there was the pulled pork empanada, tender bbq pulled pork, ensconced in that flaky crust, drizzled with a new sauce that was redolent of cream, cilantro, and lime.  I know there are other things in that sauce but that's their secret.  Double Yum!

I apologize again for the pic, it was wrapped in foil and a bit stuck to the top which I promptly licked off unashamedly.

Now on to the Tako BBQ truck..  we've eaten our way through most of their menu, and last week's incredible Shrimp mango tacos, and Korean Philly was so good I thought that might be the pinnacle...wrong!  How about Spicy Spam with Grilled Pineapple tacos?  Oh YES!  These are my new fave from this vendor.  Sweet, heat, meat, what more could could you want?

At a mere 2 dollars apiece, how could you not indulge?

My only complaints for this day, was that we went looking for K's Pasta who had promised to trot out his newest creation, a breaded and fried chicken or beef torta with homemade potato chips.  But alas, when we went at 11:30, they weren't there!  I hope all is well with these good folks.

I also saw that more people are coming out to Manchester Farmer's Market and patronizing the trucks...and I'm happy to see it.  So keep making Friday, food truck day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Honor of "Restaurant Week" in Fresno

I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a reverse snob when it comes to restaurants, I think more people should be eating at small mom n pop type places as opposed to expensive northside trendy joints.   The restaurant bigwigs in this town don't need my money and they probably don't want it frankly.  My husband and I don't have the "right" clothes and we don't drive the "right" kind of car for places like that.  We don't look like the kind of people who normally eat on the northside, even when we have the money to do it.  Don't get me wrong, I like interesting food in a "nice" atmosphere and I have paid big money to get that.  But I also expect big service for my big money, and frankly it doesn't exist much on the northside.   I also expect a decent amount of food for my money, not some precious little miniatures artfully arranged in the middle of a too big plate.

I prefer small places in dicey parts of town, run by real people whose livelihoods depend on my dollars.  People who work hard for their money, people who don't open restaurants because they're bored, people who don't hire management companies and PR people to run things for them.  People who are genuinely glad you stopped in.   People who learned to cook from moms and grandpas, and other family members.  These places usually have food that is fairly ethnic or downhome and come in decent portions.    The "atmosphere" isn't always great, because these people work with what they have...and they might not have time for you right away because usually the owner is also the cook and the waitstaff...  but its REAL and REAL GOOD.  

I've found good food all over Fresno,  but I feel like the best food is that served with love and determination and sincerity.  Even when the owner or staff is grumpy because they're tired from working so hard, I prefer places like this to ones where I'm treated with fake love because the waiter thinks I'll tip better if he kisses my ass.

So this "Restaurant Week", go to some  "real" restaurants for a change ,and help stimulate the economy of some "real" folks.  Believe me, they will appreciate it more than you know.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


After an amazing pair of shrimp tacos from the Tako BBQ truck at Manchester yesterday, I realized that I haven't given proper dues to these guys.  After all, they must be good, since my whole family has pretty much eaten our way through their menu..  But one gets starry eyed over pies and pasta and potential trucks looming on the horizon, and forgets to say Thanks to one who's been here for a bit.  

So without further ado, this is why we love Tako BBQ.  

First off, how can you go wrong with anything asian inspired?  This is my fave ethnic cuisine period.  And I love tortillas... And when you put marinated meats and kimchee and rice and sauces into tortillas the way that Tako does, you have an inspired mix.   The tacos are mini bites of love,  just enough to get your taste buds going but not enough to make you stop there...    the burritos... packed full of everything you love, meat, sweet, and heat...   it's a lovely hefty package that should make other burritos blush in shame.
Then there are the odd bits...  Korean Philly? really? YES....  there's that MEAT again... so good, and so much of it...packed with cheese and sauteed onions into a sesame seed roll...   How about a Tako Dog?  Are you kidding me?  It takes at least 2 of us to finish this bad boy..   There is so much going on in there I can't even tell you...      oh and those sliders....  tasty bits of the meat of your choice on a soft hawaiian style roll..  can't get enough.

I still have my eye on the Kogi burger and the Kimchee quesadillas... but I promise I'll get to you next time, my pretties....  I even love plucking the Jarritos from the ice on a hot day.

But I saved the best for last...  the new shrimp tacos...    marinated shrimp, mangos, kimchee, and this ...sauce...this amazing sauce...  its sweet, its's korean/latin love!

So..please forgive me, friends at Tako BBQ truck...   I have been taking you for granted because you seem to be doing pretty well...  but never again...

And to my not hesitate, get on Twitter or Facebook, and find out when and where...and yourselves..the prices are reasonable, the service is friendly, and the food is amazing.
Tako BBQ on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This just in..... I'm Totally Cereal here you guys!

About darn time, that's all I have to say... This is THE place to eat that perennial fave, cold cereal.  It's in a cool downtown location, with assorted local artwork on the walls, good music on the intercom, and one of the nicest proprietors you will ever wanna meet.  Oh, and did I mention, it's inexpensive?  The 3 of us stuffed ourselves for 11 bux.  How many places around town can you say that about?  The hardest part is deciding what to have...there are SO many choices!
You choose your cereal(s), you choose your toppings, and your milk type from a long list.   I finally decided on the Corn Pops with blueberries, pecans, and horchata.  My beloved chose Frosted Mini Wheats, bananas and raisins with whole milk, and my daughter got the Reese's Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, and marshmallows with chocolate milk (I'm getting this next time).

So go, eat cereal, in any weird, quirky, yummy configuration you choose... and no one will judge you for your crazy cereal choices...  they're just happy you're there.  Wouldn't it be great if everything in life worked out like that?

Cereal Trip on Urbanspoon

Cereal Trip
907 Van Ness Ave (NW corner, 2nd door from the corner, green awning)

Birthday ramblings...

Thanks to some lovely family members, I spent my birthday cold, wet, and dirty...  yes, while the rest of you poor souls were sweltering in our lovely Fresno summer,  I was on the beach in Cayucos....where it was 67 degrees..tops..   it was cloudy, foggy, breezy, perfect.   The cold came from the weather, the wet came from splashing in the surf when it warmed up enough to do so and I got used to the cold water... and the dirt? Sand of course (I think Cayucos has the glueyest sand anywhere.. that stuff sticks to EVERYTHING).  Also, I found out that seagulls don't just care about your food... they will try to take off with whatever you've got in a packrats..
However....  No matter how much time I spend over there, its never really enough...  as much as I've become somewhat cozy with Fresno in the last few years...  the central coast is still my first love...  hope to retire there someday...  in my dreams, Fresno has a coastline.

But this IS allegedly a food, on to the food (sorry... too busy having fun to take pics...  you know me...)
I came closer than ever to finding pizza bliss at Ocean Front Pizza.  My daughter and I shared the "Surfer's Special" (thank goodness they don't limit that to surfers...), which was 2 slices with your choice of beverage.  I got cheese because that's how I judge pizza.. if you can't do something as simple as cheese, covering it in toppings (at least for me) isn't going to help.
The crust, was nearly a thin version of Valentino's (the highest praise available for any pizza in my world).  Crispy in some places, chewy in others...with real flavor.  The cheese was plentiful, mozzarella only (I despise mixed cheeses, especially cheddar on a pizza)., and mottled with brown specks from the oven.  My only disappointment, was the sauce....thin and flavorless...   so close and yet so far.  I do have to mention however, that the service was very friendly!

Ocean Front Pizza on Urbanspoon While I was waiting for the pizza to come out of the oven (got there as it was cooking), I popped over to Ruddell's Smokehouse  (see this is why I love Cayucos, everything you need is RIGHT there).  Not wanting to spend 6 dollars on a single smoked shrimp taco (not where I come from, amigos),  I opted for a package of smoked Ahi jerky for 4.50.  Do you love fish? Do you love smoked food? Then this is the place for you.  I cut through the vacuum sealed package and instantly attracted a cadre of interested seagulls...   it smelled of smoke, and the sea.   Extremely smoky, and delicious!  And as with the pizza place...  great service !
Ruddell's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon
Before a walk on the pier, I walked over to Cayucos Candy Counter and got a dark sea salt caramel, a "crispy peanut butter chewy delight" (or some such thing), and a small raspberry/white chocolate gelato..   the candy was puzzling... the caramel in both candies LOOKED right... but not only was the consistency weird (like silly putty), but there was almost no flavor to it...    the gelato on the other hand was delicious but very tiny for the 3.25 price.   The service at the actual candy counter was nonexistent (they need better training and more staff when its a little busy), but the service at the ice cream counter was very friendly.
On the way home we stopped at the revamped gas mart at the light south of Kettleman proper to get snacks..    Honey Sesame Sticks from Plano Jerky (out of Porterville), and 2 of the new Girl Scout Cookie themed crispy Nestle's Crunch bars (Thin Mint and Samosas ((caramel and coconut))...yummy! They nailed the flavors we love.

I also got some sweet freebies in my email this week...  free corn dog from Weinerschnitzel (why do they call it that, since weinerschnitzel is a pounded and breaded meat product), free cone from Baskin Robbins (that new chocolate and Oreo flavor? Da BOMB..since it seems to have chocolate covered Oreos in it.), and a free Grand Slam from Denny's..

So even though there were no fireworks, circuses, or giant ass kicking parties, it was a beautiful day all around..   Even though most of the first 50 were kinda hard.... (with the exception of the last few years with my beloved), I know the next 50 will be awesome..  because when you hit that milestone, you try harder to make sure that every day is deliberate and has something good in it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

With a Little Help From My Friends

I'm all for local business,  and if its a good business and the people are good people behind it, then I really want them to succeed.  This is the impetus behind me asking my readers and friends to PLEASE patronize Summertime Pies (who I've previously reviewed.)  They have a great product (who doesn't like pies????), they are hardworking, really nice folks who deserve to succeed here.  Right now they could use a boost up.  So please..  if you enjoy a good fruit pie (apple, cherry, blueberry, or peach....  baked or fried,  ala mode or with cinnamon sugar), or a great empanada (baked or fried....chicken or beef), then please get your pie loving butts over to Manchester Farmer's Market on Fridays and bring your friends.    Let's give these folks the success they deserve.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I promised you people wedding food pictures... and here it is nearly a year and I'm just getting around to it...  sorry! (Said in best Gilly voice).

Not as many as I'd like... but there you are...

Healthy Stuff..ewwwwwww....

Sorry, had to say that so as not to frighten the peoples....      But seriously...  will I ever give up eating at food trucks, meat markets, cafes, or specialty food joints?  Nope.    Am I getting older? YEP.  Am I less healthy than I want to be? YEP.   Do I feel better when I eat healthier?  Oh HELL YES.   Everything in moderation kids.   I try to save the calories for outside the house and special occasions. These days at home, I feel inclined to feel better through better nutrition.   And to that end, among the reviews and raves, I will be posting healthy recipes, good food tips, and even the odd exercise review.
So here's a bit of sweet stuff:

Banana Puddin' that's actually good for you.
3/4 cup Lite silken firm tofu
1 banana
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 pkts sweetener of your choice

Whir all that stuff in a food processor or blender, and I swear to you, it has the taste and consistency of real banana pudding.. with a very decadent mouth feel.  (Sounds dirty, don't it?)

Also here's a smoothie tip....and I also swear this to be true on my mac n cheese lovin heart:  You can add an alarming amount of spinach leaves to be pulverized in your fruit smoothie and you won't be able to tell that its there... it doesn't affect the taste.   It does, however add an insane amount of all the good vitamins and minerals .

I'm still looking for a simple, stiff jointed, rolls in all the right and wrong places, workout that I can stick with..  but for those of you who can and will:  Walking 30 minutes a day works insanely well... I just refuse to do it alone in a city such as this.   

So to sum up,  there will be healthy bits posted in between the naughty bits from now on... ;)

love ya!