Monday, November 30, 2009

Ok, we suck.

Holidays and vacation have left us no time to blog this month.

But don't forsake us, we have many blogs in the works.

Until then let me just say this. I know I told you that nothing with bacon could ever be bad...

But nobody messes with Diet Coke.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago one of our friends was talking to Shea proclaiming that Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies would be amazing- if they existed. Of that fact she was not sure, but she asked Shea if she thought I would be able to make them.

When Shea relayed the story to me it was as if a gauntlet had been thrown down! Now I had to make them. I had no choice.

My first thought was that someone, somewhere must have done this before.

A quick Google search pulled up more than a few recipes.

Almost all the recipes had one thing in common; they called for 1 cup pumpkin. This seemed odd to me because most cans of pumpkin are 15oz (1 and 1/2 cups). Why didn't any of the recipes call for the whole can?

I'm guessing that it's because there is too much moisture in pureed pumpkin. What most recipes seemed to do was take a normal Chocolate chip cookie recipe add a cup of pumpkin and bump up the flour content to account for the extra moisture.

The problem with this is that cookies don't do well with a lot of moisture, even with some extra flour. The way all the recipes that I found were written, you'd end up with more of a cake in the shape of a cookie rather than an actual cookie.

This is probably the reason for the popularity of the the pumpkin Chocolate chip muffin.

But I was determined. A cake disguised as a cookie simply wouldn't do.

So I took things into my own hands. Using the recipe I had found online as a base, I started working on my own recipe.

In order to make them more like cookies I needed to remove as much of the moisture as I could. I pulled an old trick that I learned from Cooks Illustrated a few years ago when making Pumpkin cheese cake.

I dumped a 15oz can of pumpkin onto 4 layers of paper towel and topped it with another 6 layers. This essentially pulls out most of the moisture from the puree leaving the flavorful pumpkin behind.

But I still needed to get more moisture out of the recipe. So I also removed one egg white, which, is mostly water.

I began building my cookies. Here is the recipe.

The Wet:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree dried between layers of paper towel, the dryer the better)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
The Dry
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
The Extras
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) chocolate chips, semisweet or milk chocolate whatever you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 cookie sheets with oil, or line them with parchment paper.

Melt butter and allow to cool slightly. Mix all other "wet" ingredients together adding butter last. Mix until combined.

Mix all "dry" ingredients together to ensure even distribution of ingredients.

Pour the "wet" into the "dry" and mix for a short moment, you should still see lots of pockets of flour.

Add the "Extras" and mix just until flour is no longer obvious. Its better to under mix a bit rather than to over mix.

Spoon cookies of desired size and bake until done depending on how big your cookies are. I like them big, i usually weigh my cookies to about 55 grams and bake them for about 14-15 min.

Follow this recipe and you'll get fairly forward pumpkin flavor, slight spice and a cookie like structure.

Good eats for sure.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Parlor

Things tend to happen when Richard and I are together.

On our last day off, we were hoping to get down to St. Francis- a fairly new restaurant in Phoenix that we've been hearing great things about.

We made it down there with only one problem- it's closed on Mondays. (hence why this blog isn't titled St. Francis).

Anyway, earlier that same day a friend of Richard's had sent him a text that he was eating at "The Parlor." Neither of us had any idea what that was. But driving back down Camelback from St. Francis, defeated and wondering where to eat I noticed a small red neon sign. It read "The Parlor."

Things like that happen. You hear about a place, you hear someone mention something about someone- and suddenly there you are, driving right past it... it's weird. But kind of cosmic. So how could we not go in.

Now I'll admit, even though it probably makes me look a little less intelligent than... well any other human- that I didn't realize it was a pizza "parlor. "

But what a great name.

It had a very modern look. Stone walls, custom wood doors, and this wall/window- which seemed like an homage to Frank Lloyd Wright.

And as it turned it out, the owner was also an architect. Actually the son of the family who originated Nello's- an Arizona pizza landmark.

After learning the ropes of the family business and pursuing his love of architecture, he decided to meld the two passions and open his own place.

And this was it. It was exactly what you'd expect from a neighborhood pizza place designed by an architect; good food, great beer, and a stellar atmosphere.

Nothing about it was amazing- it wasn't the best pizza I'd ever had or service that I'd write home about.

But it was fun. Fun to look at, fun to eat, and a fun place to hang out in.

If you're looking for a spot to grab a classy pitcher of beer on a casual night with friends or family- this is a great place to try.

Get the smokey. Prosciutto on anything is just plain delicious.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There's just nothing wrong with bacon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The best Kansas City BBQ

A few weeks ago I went to Kansas City for work. I was not very happy about this because it meant being separated from Shea for two weeks which, well…. sucks.

The one bright spot of the trip, however, was that I would get to try Kansas City BBQ.

With that idea in mind I asked around even before leaving. There were many suggestions, and I could already tell that narrowing it down was not going to be easy. So, I decided to ask the locals (those who had lived in KC). Between their recommendations and those got on-line and from out-of-towners; I narrowed it down to 4.

I now had Four BBQ joints that I had to try… but with my tight schedule it was a slightly harder task than I expected. See working 12 hour days 11 out of the 12 days I was in KC allowed only time for a late breakfast/early lunch before heading into work. But Heck, who says you can’t have ribs for breakfast. So I did.

12 days later and 7 pounds heavier I had had my fill of burnt ends, ribs, brisket, French Fries, Cheesy corn, Baked Beans and Strawberry Soda. I had had the best BBQ that Kansas City, and arguably the World, had to offer and now was ready to write about it.

Here is what I thought. (in order of my least favorite to my favorite)

Jack Stack
13441 Holmes Rd
Kansas City, Missouri

I should have realized that Jack Stack was not the best BBQ in Kansas City when every time I brought the place up in conversation people would tell me how amazing the cheesy corn was. *Pause with me for a second… Cheesy Corn! What?! Shouldn’t they be talking about the Ribs, or the Brisket or debating which is better the original or spicy sauce!! Please explain why cheesy corn could possibly be more memorable than the BBQ?* The problem was I did not make the connection before sitting down for lunch. If I had I would have probably skipped the place all together.

Upon entering I could tell that this was not going to be my favorite spot. The commercialized menus and the mail order catalogs just did not sit right in a BBQ joint.

After getting recommendations from the server I decided on a Rib/burnt ends combo with baked beans. Oh and of course the touted Cheesy Corn.

The ribs were good, and the Burnt ends, despite being on the dry side were very flavorful- but neither were better than any other BBQ place you might find in any other city across the country.

The beans on the other hand were out of this world. Perfectly cooked; sweet, smoky and salty with delicious chunks of brisket hidden beneath a bubbling surface. Yum.

As far as the Cheesy Corn goes? If you like soggy corn out of a can mixed with Velveeta and heavy cream then it might be worth going over to jack stack to try. If not, go somewhere else.

So a lesson learned. If a side item, and a bad one at that, is what people are talking about, don’t go there to eat.

1325 East Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.
Kansas City, Missouri

If you find yourself in Kansas City you should probably check out Gates, if not for the BBQ (it is really good) then for the experience.

I went about 10 min after they opened on a rainy afternoon. As I opened the door, before I could take my first step in I heard…

“Hi! may I Help you!!” I looked around, again “Hi may I help you.” Seeing that I was the only person the girl at the counter could have been possibly been talking to I yelled back “yeah, one sec” even though I was still at least 30 feet away. After weaving through the empty queue I stared up at the Fast Food type menu with its white plastic letters stuck between the parallel black lines. The girl behind the counter, clearly irritated that I looked lost, was not offering any assistance. I quickly decided on the combo plate, not really having any idea what was on it.

The girl started yelling what I could only assume was English, (her accent was so strong, it was hard to understand her yelling, which is odd becasue no one else in KC seemed to have strong accents except for those working at gates?) to the gruff looking man in the back and before I knew it I had a plate of beef ribs, pork, and brisket all laid out on a platter, with a side of French Fries just for good measure.

I sat at a table near the front and watched the mayhem ensue. Within minutes a line formed, wrapping through the queue, out the door and into the sprinkling rain.

“Hi, may I help you” was heard over and over as patrons rattled of their orders in some sort of code that I did not catch onto.

I sat and ate, paying more attention to the spectacle that was the service than to the food I was eating. The sliced pork and brisket were disappointing but tasty. The Ribs were moist and tender but the sauce seemed to take away from them rather than add to the experience.

All in all it was good but again I’m pretty sure I could find food to match if I looked hard enough in the Phoenix area.

Arthur Bryant’s
1727 Brooklyn Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri

Now this is BBQ. And barbecue worth flying cross country to taste. This is a place famous not for its cheesy side dishes nor its spectacle. This is a place where the food speaks for itself, even if it does it in a slightly different way than you might expect.

Bryant’s if off the beaten path for sure. Located about 10min from downtown in a semi-rundown industrial area. The building itself is probably the nicest within miles and that’s not saying a whole lot.

The small rectangular room’s walls are plastered with pictures of presidents, celebrities and more than a few blue ribbons from the multitude of BBQ competitions they had won.

But what captured my attention most as I approached the counter was the huge black and white brick smoker. Its doors were open and I could see hunks of meat sitting on metal racks basked in wafts of smoke.

There was a guy chopping meat on a cutting board with a cleaver, and another awaiting my order. I ordered ribs… The short end, and french fries.

Now- I’m happy to say that the French Fries were soggy, brown and horrible. Not because I like bad fries, but because clearly at this place the Barbecue is king.

The ribs came out almost completely dry (no sauce added), rubbed with spices, and smoky. They were fantastic; but what really did it for me was their unusual sauces.

Three to be exact. Sweet, Spicy and Original. The first two were good, but nothing that I hadn't tasted before. The original, however, was special.

The first bite of it took me by surprise. There was really no sweetness to it. It was so smokey and thick with paprika that I thought, initially, I was not going to like it. It was like when you pick up the wrong glass and take a sip of what you thought was going to be water but is actually something else. My palette was shocked and took a minute to respond... But, as the taste lingered in my mouth and I settled in on the flavor, I couldn’t help go go back for more.

It was delicious.

Oklahoma Joes
3002 W 47th
Kansas City, Kansas

Ok, now this is it.

If I ever find a better barbecue restaurant I'll be very surprised. No matter where you are in the United States, whether you're at work or at home. If you got in your car or on a plane and came here, no matter how far the trip (or the job that you might lose), it would be worth it.

It's that good.

To say that Oklahoma Joes is an unassuming, unpretentious, inconspicuous, restaurant would be understating it. To say that you could drive right by and not know its there would be exactly right. You might even be pumping gas in its parking lot and have no idea that inside the gas station your car was fueling up at was, possibly, the worlds best BBQ.

Yes, Oklahoma Joes is in a gas station. Its not very well marked but if you're lucky enough to be directed there, you will live a happier life because of it.

Inside in the back corner of the Gas station is a decent size dining room. Undoubtedly filled with CEO’s, lawyers, doctors, contraction works, college students and foodies alike. Diners sit at community tables, taking about their company mergers, the latest Chiefs game, or their STATS 220 class professor who just can't figure out how to match his clothes, as they tear off of the large rolls of paper towels provided as napkins.

The barbecue is amazing. I had the ½ slab and fries. It was… well… perfect. The ribs fell off the bone as you tore at them. The crusty, exterior gave way to the juiciest, most flavorful meat I have ever had. The light brushing of sauce gave the ribs just the right amount of tang, sweetness and spice.

After finishing, reaching for a paper towel seemed like a bad idea. I did not want any of that deliciousness on my fingers to go to waste… I know, I know- bad form, but seeing that just about everyone else was doing it I figured it was ok; I didn’t really care anyway. It was finger licking good!

All in all I can’t say that any one of the four were bad. They were all very good. Jack Stack and Gates were both worth going back to, and Author Bryant’s was a close second, its just that Oklahoma Joes, in my mind at least, hit on all cylinders. I could not find anything thing I did not like about it. It was the Kansas City BBQ I was looking for.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Joe's Farm Grill

I'd say this was one of Gilbert's best kept secrets; but the last few times we've been there it has been packed- so clearly the secret is out.

Amidst what seems to be the last working farm in Maricopa county sits a house that's been converted into a futurist art deco enviromentally friendly burger joint.

A mouthful, yes. Figuratively and literally.

This place is just oozing with cool ideas. From the indoor/outdoor order and pick up windows, the back patio condiment/soda fountain extravaganza, the living room that's been converted to a dining area complete with family photos still hanging above the fireplace, the picnic tables, the garden, the farmer's market, and the coffee shop... need I say more?

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner- and this time of year when it's gorgeous all day; take advantage of their outdoor seating.

I recommend the bacon bbq blue burger (with fries of course, regular or sweet potato). But they also serve vegetables right off the farm and a plethora of other side items to fit your earth friendly pallate.

They source out local products, grow whatever they can on their farm, and refuse to use pre-processed foods.

Their motto is "common food done uncommonly well." I think they definitely hit that ball out of the park.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Pear Parfait

So Richard and I were watching the food network this morning (shocking, I know) and Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello was on. Normally I kind of think he's kind of a schmuck, but today he was preparing this "winter pear" dessert that I must say- looked irresistible.

Cheap, easy, and totally festive; I couldn't not share it with everyone.

Ingredients (to serve 6)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 red Bartlett pears
  • 3 Comice or Bosc pears
  • 1/4 pound almond or vanilla flavored Italian biscotti
  • 1/2 pound mascarpone cheese

Combine sugar, vinegar, pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate. Let stand for 15 minutes.

In the meantime cut the pears (skin on) into thin wedges with the seeds and stem removed. A good trick is to halve the fruit then use a melon-baller to scoop out the seeds. Then just trim both ends.

Place pears in a mixing bowl and carefully mix. When the balsamic-sugar mixture is ready, pour over the fruit and mix gently to coat evenly. Gently crush the biscotti into 6 serving bowls. Divide the pears into each dish then top with a dollop of the mascarpone cheese.

A few tweaking notes, as always..
  • At 9pm in Mesa, AZ biscotti is not so easy to come by. Instead, we used French Vanilla Pirouette's. This was definitely a "tweak" and not a compromise. Those things are delicious!
  • We used 4 different kinds of pears. The difference in texture and flavor was great!
  • I served them in martini glasses using the pirouettes as straws. It was a fun way to present them and allowed you to see all the beautiful colors.
AND an alternate idea...

So, mascarpone by itself is a little too cheesy and gummy for me on a dessert. (Richard disagrees. In fact, he might be licking it out of the tub right now...) So, I like to make a little "mascarpone cream" instead.

Take half a tub of mascarpone (about 1/2 pound), 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract. Throw in the blender (or hand mix) for about a minute.

It should be the consistency of sour cream.

Prep time for the whole thing is less than 20 minutes! Enjoy!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Bought this magnet for Richard while I was in Indianapolis. I just can't get over how funny I think it is.

A must for any foodie's fridge. :-)


Thursday, September 24, 2009


Who knew it was such a big deal.

I didn't even know what it was (other than leafy and green) until a few weeks ago.

Similar to arugula, it's slightly bitter and peppery in taste. And, contrary to popular belief- it is not a type of lettuce. It's actually a member of the mustard family.

Come to find out, watercress is the most ancient green vegetable known to man and its use can be traced back to the Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Not only that, but it's like the healthiest thing you eat.

Recent chemical analysis revealed that it's numerous nutrional benefits are due to its generous content of vitamins A and C, and the minerals calcium and iron. Watercress also contains folic acid (needed to promote growth, produce red blood cells, and prevent anemia).

Studies have shown that eating watercress on a regualr basis even prevents cancer!

Honestly, the uses for watercress are immeasurable. It's been used as a migraine reliever, hang over cure, hair tonic, tea to ease aches and pains, and ingredient in numerous soups, stews, salads, and sandwiches.

It has more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk and three times as much Vitamin E as lettuce. And- it's low in calories.

I'm sorry- but why isn't watercress marketed a little bit better. Seriously, who does it's PR?

After googling it, I came across
(a whole site dedicated to fans of the veggie. Check it out it's loaded with facts and recipes!)

And hidden on the bottom of the page was the following:

Some call watercress the most underrated, underused green in the garden, and suggest that its regular consumption could effectively reduce, if not eliminate, many of the world’s problems with disease and hunger.

I don't know about you, but I feel robbed. Where has watercress been all my life?


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amaro Gayo

So Shea brought home a small bag of whole bean coffee the other day. Not an unusual occurrence at our house, and I was excited because I love to drink coffee but this was no ordinary coffee... and I was not as excited as I should have been...

The coffee in the bag was the world's best coffee. Literally.

It had been voted the best coffee in 2008... in the world.

A friend who works in a coffee shop had been telling her about it and had brought her a bag when they roasted it. It's an Ethiopian coffee grown on the only plantation run entirely by women. Its called Amaro Gayo. The coffee beans were harvested in 2008 and were shipped, un-roasted, all over the world. But coffee from a specific plantation harvested at a certain time on another continent; not exactly easy come by.

Once Shea told me all of this I was very excited. Extremely excited. Grown man jumping up and down and repeating "do you want some coffee now! do you want some coffee now!" over and over again, excited.

And if it hadn't been 1:30 in the morning I'm sure I would have ground and brewed it right then and there. But with sleep on the horizon, or maybe below the horizon at this point we decided it best to wait until the morning.

Shortly after getting up I was in the kitchen wishing I had better coffee brewing equipment... I wanted to do this coffee justice. I really wanted a burr grinder and a french press, but had to settle for the blade grinder and drip coffee maker we have. I did, however, reach for the bottled water. :-)

The smell of the coffee coming out of the grinder was profound. Complex, earthy and fruity, toasty and warm. Soon after the brewing began the smell of coffee filled the kitchen and my mouth began to salivate...

Now we like our coffee with heavy cream, (which may sound odd but if you take milk in your coffee then try it. A little goes a long way) but on this special occasion we started with the coffee black.

The first sip was amazing. I just wish I had a better coffee palate to enjoy it to its fullest. It was one of the best cups of coffee we have ever had. Smooth and complex, it seemed to hit my taste buds from every angle. It was not bitter in the least bit, nor acidic or flat. It had a fruity, full finish. It lacked... well nothing.

I have to admit I was not able to pull out all the exact flavors, but even with my amateur palate I could tell it was an unbelievable cup of coffee.

Here is the description of it that I found online:

Cupping Notes:
Gloriously balanced and thickly sweet. Straight up Sidamo berries. Nuances of orange marmalade, raspberries and cashew fruits. Touches of sweet citrus kiss your tongue and tickle your brain. Super thick and creamy. Loaded with sweet strawberries and cream.

(Now strawberries I'm not so sure about... either way, it was delicious.)

If you live in the valley, go to Village Coffee Roastery in north Scottsdale and pick some up! If not, check out the websites below where you can order beans from the 2009 harvest. Maybe not the world's best coffee... but still pretty tasty.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Barrio Cafe

The other night we went to a Phoenix landmark; Barrio Cafe. Richard and I first heard about it last year reading Phoenix magazine. It had been voted the best Mexican restaurant in the valley. As you can imagine living in a state bordering Mexico- that's no easy feat. Soon, we seemed to be hearing about it everywhere. The problem was- no one really knew where it was.

Part if what makes it such a local treasure is how inconspicuous it is. Even with Google map directions, we almost drove right past it.

The picture above is extremely deceiving as it's a tiny building on the side of a major street in the actual barrio (hence the name). There's no signage, no parking. Just this little, unassuming house turned into a restaurant that has been serving authentic Mexican food (with a twist) and all the tequila you can drink for decades.

Everything there was delicious and I loved the atmosphere. An old Hispanic man sat in the corner playing the guitar and singing in spanish. Waiters made guacamole table side- one of the restaurant's signature dishes, and the tiny bar in the front of the restaurant was jam packed with rows and rows of tequila bottles.

I had an "organic" margarita. I'm not really one for tequila and I'm not really sure what made it organic- but it was delicious. And so simple to make:
- patron silver
- fresh squeezed lime juice
- fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- pomegranate juice (I always suggest Pom)
- ice
- sugar rim (they offered sugar or salt so this one's a preference call)

And of course we tried the guacamole. It was very similar to what I make at home with one interesting twist; fruit. In season they use pomegranates. This time of year they had cranberries.

The key is not to over-mix it, use really fresh ingredients, and taste as you go.

Ingredients: (to feed 2-4 people)
4-6 avocados
1 white onion (they used red, but I prefer white)
1-2 green jalapenos (depending on how much kick you want)
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lime
3/4 cup of dried cranberries

1. Cut the lime into 6 wedges.
2. Cut the avocados in half and take out the pits. Cut each half into 6-8 pieces. Scoop all the avocados into a large bowl. (use the same bowl you're using for service)
3. Squeeze a lime wedge over the avocados. By doing this throughout the process you add flavor and keep the guacamole from turning brown.
4. Dice the onion, jalapenos (don't forget to seed them first!), tomatoes, and cilantro. Add them all in the bowl.
5. Squeeze on another lime wedge.
6. Important! Do not mix with a spoon! Take a knife and "cut" the guacamole to mix it without turning it to mush.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add in cranberries and repeat the "cutting" process. It should only take a minute to get them thoroughly mixed. Do not over-mix!
9. One more lime wedge on top, and a little more salt and pepper (if you like).

And now you have 3 lime wedges left over for your organic margaritas! Genius!

If you are in the area, try Barrio cafe. It really is worth the adventure into "the barrio."

But if you're reading this from far away- make some cranberry guacamole and a margarita at home and enjoy!


Sunday, September 13, 2009


If you have never been to Disneyland, you're missing out. No, not on the Magic Kingdom or AdventureLand, not on Mickey and Minnie or Donald and Daffy; not even on Space Mountain or the Monorail... you are missing out on the churros!

When Shea and I went to Disney this last spring she introduced me to churros, and about 30 minutes later; the churro and I met again. Soon we were looking for churro stands everywhere we went. And as the sun was setting over the enchanted castle we had churros for the 4th time that day. Needless to say, I thought they were delicious.

While eating them Shea and I pondered over how they were made and what gave them their rigged exterior... I can't say we thought about it for too long but our conclusion was that it was best left to the culinary professionals at Disney.

To my delighted suprise one slow evening at work my grill man, Tino, asked me if I wanted him to make churros. See, at work, when its slow we will sometimes prepare a family meal for the staff.

I am always excited to see what Tino will make because he has a wealth of food knowledge, much of which has been passed down to him from his Mexican desendents.

As he made them, I, of course, paid special attention. As I watched I realized that churros are essentially the same thing as a cream puff only instead of being baked, they are piped through a star tip into hot oil and then rolled in cinammon and sugar.

So with the method locked tightly in my mind- I went home to make some.

In a medium sauce pan I added:
1 cup of water
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

and turned the heat to hight. Once that boiled I added 1 cup of All purpose flour, took the pan off the heat and mixed it until it formed a ball. Then I added 4 eggs, one at a time- mixing each one completely before adding the next. When I was done, my shoulder and arm were tired but I had a beautiful glossy dough that could be pipped through a piping bag.

I dont have a piping bag (who does?) so I just used a plastic ziplock freezer bag, cut a small hole in one corner and inserted my star tip (a large one is better, i got it at a local arts and craft store for 1.49). It works pretty well. (just dont squeeze too hard or you might break the seam of the bag. Yeah, I did it... it was a little messy)

I filled my dutch oven with oil and heated it for frying. After some trial and error, I discovered that anywhere from 375-390 degrees worked great.

I piped 6 inch tubes into the hot oil (just cut them off with a knife or kitchen scissors at your desired length) and cooked them for 2 minutes on the first side and flipped them and cooked for 1-2 minutes on the second side, until they were golden brown.

Let them drain before rolling them in cinnamon and sugar, it will keep them from getting clumps and allow for even distrupution.

Overall, churros are easy to make it just takes a little time and a 1.49 star tip!

The only problem... its almost impossible to stop eating them.


Friday, September 11, 2009


Who doesn't love sangria?

I'm sure there must be someone out there who objects to this sweet, refreshing, summer treat; but I don't know them.

I had never made sangria before; actually- I had ever even thought about how to make sangria before. But once the idea struck me (thanks to the giant hand blown glass pitcher my sister brought me back from Mexico) I couldn't imagine it being that difficult.

I got on and looked up sangria recipes. Surprisingly, they only had two. Being that we were having seafood tacos, guacamole, and homemade churros for dinner; I went with the white- tweaking it along the way. (see tweaking notes below)

Here's how easy it is.


large juice oranges , 1 cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, 1 juiced
1 large lemon , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
cup sugar
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
1 (750-ml.) bottle fruity white wine (medium-bodied), chilled
ice cubes


  1. 1. Add orange and lemon slices and sugar to large pitcher; mash gently with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves and fruit releases some juice but is not completely crushed, about 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, Triple Sec, and wine; refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

  2. 2. Before serving, add ice cubes and stir briskly to redistribute settled fruit and pulp; serve immediately.

A few "tweaking" notes...

- we doubled the recipe, with the exception of the sugar (we didn't want it to be overly sweet).
- we used a pinot grigio and a bottle of dry brut champagne. (The bubbles add a really crisp, smooth flavor). And don't get crazy buying expensive wines. They actually recommend using cheap wines; they're often sweeter and the fruit and sugar mask a lot of the complexities anyway.
- ice cubes are not a necessity. :-)

So go forth, muddle, and enjoy!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. - Voltaire

Monday, August 17, 2009


So, for anyone who knows us, you know we love food.

Aside from working in the industry, we are constantly trying new restaurants, making new receipes (well Richard is anyway) and visiting brewerys, vineyards, coffee roasterys, etc.

After seeing Julie/Julia, Richard and I, also avid bloggers (well I am anyway) talked about how much fun it would be to write a food blog. Somewhere where we could post pics of all our escapades and drone on and on about olive oils and aged cheddars without anyone who might normally read our personal blogs rolling their eyes or falling asleep from boredom.

So here we are!

I have no idea where this blog might take us- but I can promise you this. From restaurants to recipes, it will be filled with good eats.

Enjoy. :-)