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Month: August 2011

Ruth Reichel & Food Chat

Ruth Reichel & Food Chat

I just got back from jewelry shopping at my wonderful friend, Meghan’s house. She always throws the best parties and always, ALWAYS has the cutest baked good to go along with! Tonight, she her frosted cupcakes matched Stell & Dot’s signature silver and uh…blue, teal, I don’t know what that pretty color is officially called. On the way over I learned something interesting. You’ve probably heard about using Olive Oil for cooking instead of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Once you heat your pan, the EV in EVOO goes bye-bye.

Guess what? The same thing happens with expensive onions. Sweet onions, sometimes called Vidalia onions are $4 or $5 a pound, versus brown or storage onions which should be around $1 a pound.

The chemistry of the Vidalia breaks down in heat and all of that precious flavor evaporates! What you are left with is a bit of a flavorless onion. Go fig! So the rule is, if you plan to use EVOO cold (as a salad dressing or drizzled on other food) or onions uncooked (in a salad or diced up as a topping) then you will want to spend the extra dough. If your plan is to heat up a pan, go cheap!

Have you ever seen this book? It’s a great read about a really famous food critic who disguises herself before tasting some of New York’s top restaurants. I loved this book and now I am so excited to have discovered that it’s on the way to becoming a movie. Ruth Reichl was interviewed in 2009 for NPR and the interview was replayed tonight. Reichl discussed one of her most popular dishes, which is also her “go to” dinner, Spaghetti Carbonara.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves 3

Contrary to the recipe so often used in restaurants, real carbonara contains no cream. The real thing also uses guanciale, cured pork jowl, but to be honest, I like bacon better. I think of this as bacon and eggs with pasta instead of toast. It’s the perfect last minute dinner, and I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t like it.

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound thickly sliced good quality bacon (I prefer Nueske’s)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large eggs
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it is boiling, throwthe spaghetti in. Most dried spaghetti takes 9 to 10 minutes to cook,and you can make the sauce in that time.

Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, until fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not overcook; if they get too crisp they won’t meld with the pasta. Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat them with a fork. Add some grindings of pepper.

Remove the garlic from the bacon pan. If it looks like too much to you, discard some, but you’re going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the pasta. When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

go here to check out more: http://www.ruthreichl.com/spaghetti-carbonara.html

One last thing…Happy Birthday Dad!

My Night at Dosa

My Night at Dosa

  

Yum. That pretty much sums it up, folks. Oh, in detail? Ok, let me start from the top then.

A half-dozen of us East Bay gals headed to the big, bad city.  I lived in San Francisco while in college. For  years after that, I would drive through S.F. and tell my husband that the city just felt like home. How times have changed! Two kids and a few sunny, suburban years later I am back to being totally intimidated by the fog laden, concrete maze.

Wrapping my hair with my hands, (to prevent pre-dinner frizz) we hurried from our parking spot a couple blocks up the road to our location, Dosa! Our group organizer and her sister (who was with us too) have frequented Dosa and offered some great recommendations. Dosa is across the street from a new (to me at least) movie theater in what seems to be the Pac Heights-Japantown-Fillmore district. PacJaMore, anyone? No takers? Ok, on to the drinks.

The majority of Dosa’s drinks start with gin, which is not my favorite. I chose instead to start with a non-alcoholic Indian Monsoon, which is described as, “Muddled citrus, mint & ginger with pomegranate & mango juice, splash of soda.”

My description? Mmm. Nice and fresh with an interesting depth. I know I mentioned wanting to drink the Bollywood Hills, but once the waitress described the drink as a savory martini, I decided to pass.

The majority of us opted for the tasting menu, which offers three courses for $35. First up, Chennai Chicken. We were warned ahead a time that this first dish would be spicy and while it was, there was also a side of cool raita (cucumber yogurt.) The chicken is organic and boneless and marinated in Straus yogurt with coriander and cumin and then fried. My friend Lisa described these as Indian buffalo wings. The sides of yogurt, lemon and red onion really balanced the spice out.

Dosa offers a South Indian “home-style” cuisine, which is different from the heavier, clay pot type Indian food I am used to eating, which comes from the north. Their specialty is dosa, which is a savory crepe like food, constructed from rice and lentils. The combo of rice and lentil almost never gets me excited. I truly considered skipping this course, thankfully I didn’t! Rice and lentils always surprise me and I have to remember that half of the world’s meals are made from these two basic ingredients. Don’t quote me on that statistic, I just pulled that one out of my, uh…head.

The dosa I chose was Summer Vegetable, loaded with collard greens, bell peppers, ground lentils & chiles. Each dosa comes with three dipping sauces, if you will. Coconut & tomato chutneys along with sambar, a lentil dipping soup. Can’t escape the lentil in this course, can you? I was so pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite.

Better, right?

It was after my dosa I realized that I need a cocktail! I couldn’t blog about my dinner without a cocktail, right? See, Food it Forward is keeping me well nourished and hydrated. My pal had ordered her second Ginger Ante, so I thought I would follow suit.

Ginger Ante – Goslings Black Seal Rum, ginger jaggery nectar, fresh lime, ginger ale, over ice

What a mysterious drink! It tastes as deep and frosty as it looks. The rum is so smooth and barely noticable (aka: dangerous.) The smell of the giant rosemary garnish adds to the complex mix of flavors that the Ginger Ante offers up. We couldn’t quite put our finger on the sweetness that filled the middle of this drink. Jody (my co-ginger ante pal) mentioned she tasted apricot. Looking further into ginger jaggery nectar, I found …nothing. What is ginger jaggery nectar, anyone know? Another reviewer mentioned that this drink would be a perfect cocktail to serve at Thanksgiving and one more deemed it, dark and stormy. Perfect descriptions.

Third course is on its way. Who’s ready for a big pot pie?

Not really, this is Channa, which comes with… Bhatura.

Together they make…Channa Bhatura. Which is the most exotic way you can imagine to say, bread and lentils! This was the main entree for our hostess, Gheeta. My third course was Shrimp Masala. This loosely translates to hot, creamy masala flavored bowl of shrimp with coconut rice and cool yogurt. Please know that I’m lying again.

Coconut milk, red chiles, ginger, onions & spices.hile this part of the meal was as delicious as any other, it reminded me the most of the North Indian cuisine that I love. Once again folks, I sacrificed for you. I had dessert. While tempted to order something special to Dosa, like their Coconut Custard Cake or Rasmalai (a sweet vermecilli dish), I stuck with familiar chocolate. Bad move.

Gheeta ordered the cake as well and thought it was really dry. I didn’t love the deep flavor in this cake. The menu says the cake is over a 3 spiced creme anglaise. Let me translate that for you. Creamy, cinnamonISH dipping sauce for your standard frozen, microwavable cake dish. Not the best way to end a great meal.

Otherwise, Dosa was a fantastic experience. I was with such a sweet, fun group of moms. I was out of my bubble of a suburb. I tried new foods and I laughed, a lot! I’m still trying to wake up with my cup of coffee and decide how to repad my bank account. Did I mention that last night’s meal set me back $75? Um, yeah…I’ve got some ebaying to do.

Impromptu Vacation

Impromptu Vacation

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We were invited up to Angels Camp (gold country) for the night. It is so beautiful at this creek side home of cottages. There is plenty to do, but the boys are interested in doing is swimming and playing on the swings. Dinner is yet to come, so not much on the food front. More than anything I just wanted to say hello!

No News is Good Gnus

No News is Good Gnus

I would wake up at 5 am to see Gary Gnu and The Great Space Coaster back in the day. Anyhow, like I said, no real news here today. I spent the day actually hanging out with my kids. Leftovers for lunch, Whole Foods pizza for dinner and an evening kid’s concert. I am so ready for my night out tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Friday and I can feel it in me bones. I’m actually going to attempt to cook something with my kids. Wish me more than luck! I don’t know what I’ll try to whip up, but I’m sure it will be something messy and involving sugar. Oh, hey…it’s a buy one get one free drink week at Peet’s right now. Head over to www.Peets.com and sign up for their emails. You’ll get your coupon to print or you can just show the cashier your phone. I love Peet’s! They serve up caffeine with a side of coffee.

Do you remember how I mentioned Dosa a couple weeks back? It’s a swanky San Francisco spot with local, organic (when possible), Indian fare. I’m headed there tomorrow night with some fellow moms. Hoochie Coochie! Well, that doesn’t seem like the right saying, but I’m really trying to branch out from Boo-yeah. You know what else? Dosa is rumored to have some serious, yet delectable drinks!

In other food news, tomorrow night Dallas will try his first Slurpee! Crazy, eh? He’s four and he’s never tasted the sugar that paid for his mom to go to college. Luckily, he’s spending the night with Grandma and Grandpa. Brain freeze will not be on my list of worries tomorrow night!

Packing Lunches

Packing Lunches

Ah, lunch ladies.

Whether you have a little one to send off to preschool, a medium one to send off to middle school or maybe a jumbo one to send off to work, chances are they are gonna need lunch. This year, Dallas changes from two to three days a week of preschool and I am looking forward to a little more freedom time to do chores. Ahem.

I thought I was really on to something last year, when I heated up some frozen mini-burgers in the morning for Dallas’ lunch and sent him on his way. The second time I did this, he came home with food poisoning. The lady who parked next to me at Trader Joe’s was not happy when she got back to her car and there was mini-burger all over the pavement next to her.

Proof of bad lunch packing.

I plan to be more on the ball this year! Seriously, I do! If anyone can find the ball, let me know. I just never seem to be on it, always behind it. Insert joke here.

Ok, enough chatting, let’s round up some of the best lunch packin’ sites around. Yeehaw! 
This Lunch Rox is hands down, one of my favorite. With a healthy mindset, this mom creates some seriously entertaining lunches for her kids. Her themes range from geography to skateboarding!
Another Lunch hasn’t updated her website all summer, but I don’t hesitate to add it to our list. You can browse old blog posts and really learn some great tips. While some of the lunches on this site are not as healthy as those found on weelicious.com or thislunchrox.com, it is still a great springboard for ideas. Give it a look!
Wendolonia.com is a really cute site with some great tutorials, like this one for Raspberry Raisin Carrot Slaw. Be sure to check out her Bento Box Gallery!
You can always trust the Muffin Tin Mom to have some inspiring ingredients in her bakeware! Muffin tins are a great way to deliver snacks to a curious toddler in the morning or a starving twelve year old after school.
The Lunch Box blog may be of interest to those of you wanting to see change in the public school lunch system. Want to learn how to implement a salad bar at your child’s cafeteria, well here ya go!
What’s For Lunch Honey is pretty to look at. I’ll never have time to make anything on this gorgeous blog. It’s nice to dream about what my food may look like once my kids leave me alone for more than 30 seconds at a time.
In other news. What I mean to say is, in other REALLY good news, I’ve finished the laundry.
Remind you of anything?
The Heap lives down at Fraggle Rock.
Fathers and Father In-Laws

Fathers and Father In-Laws

*This post is missing photos and under construction**

See that? Margarita and bluefin tuna sushi. That’s where I was! Well, Lake Almanor to be exact. Guess what they have in Lake Almanor? Fishing, boating, beaches, parks, yummy coffee, a stocked grocery store and a superb candy shop. The candy shop is so good, they decided to make it a “shoppe.” Now, guess what they don’t have? A friggin’ wifi connection! At least not for Sprint customers. My husband has an iphone and it worked well once we were in the middle of the lake. Hmph.

Enough from Debbie Downer, let’s get back to the tuna.

I am not a big sushi eater. Tempura? California rolls? Yes, please! Sashimi? Sashimi? Bueller? Anyone? No. However, my father in-law caught this fish and brought it on our trip for us to enjoy. In Japan, bluefin is called, “The King of Sushi.” It melts in your mouth like buttah. Seriously, this is a soft, feathery light fish. It isn’t chewy or meaty, but more fruit like in texture. I would liken it to a salty peach.

Bluefin is highly coveted, it’s expensive (close to $30 a pound) and it is almost endangered. Long story short, you probably won’t be eating this stuff anytime soon. Then why do I bring it up? Glad you (didn’t) ask. First, let me introduce you to my father in-law, Auggie.

Here he is, teaching Dallas to drive a pontoon. He rented this boat and brought us all out on the lake for of . Not a bad grandpa, eh?

Anyway, Auggie is a fisherman. He’s a seasoned fisherman that has taught many people how to fish. The year Jy and I got married, he took us to Mexico. First to Buena Vista Resort and then to San Jose. I was so excited to go deep-sea fishing in Mexico. What an adventure! Boy, was I in for a surprise!

Me? I don’t get sea sick! (I don’t have any anti-frizz product either.)

We hopped on a boat and rocked over the waves until we were about sixty miles out from shore. Not sure what happened after that. I spent the rest of the boat ride below the deck, sweating and swaying in fish smell. Sea sick? More like sea death. **You would think I would have remembered this before booking our cruise to Alaska the following September. Alas, I forgot. Sea death and early pregnancy did not do that cruise any favors.**

Back to Auggie. He’s been fishing for over fifty years. (So says Jy.) He knows what he is doing. This past June, Auggie went fishing off of the coast of Baja, Mexico. He caught a ton of tuna and brought a bunch home. It’s not legal to sell this fish, since it is so highly coveted. Auggie returned home from his trip safely.

One week later, 44 American men chartered a boat to fish off the coast of Baja. 38 of them returned home. 37 of them still live. This was a boat full of men who are just like Auggie. For over twenty years, Auggie and his friends take fishing trips just like the group of men who chartered a boat named, Erik.

On Sunday, July 3rd, 2011, around 2:00 a.m. a fishing boat, the Erik, capsized 60-100 miles south of San Felipe and 2 miles off Mexico’s Baja coast. There were 43 passengers in total, 27 American tourists and 16 crew members, on board. To date, all except seven have been accounted for; some survivors were found along the coast as far down as Bahia de Los Angeles.  – Find Our Fathers

That could have been Auggie and his friends on the Erik. Easily. Don Lee is one of the missing men and he is the father to a friend from high school. Mandi Lee was class president for as many years as I can remember. She dedicated herself to her position year after year. Now, she dedicates herself to finding her father as well as the six other missing men.

Please, visit the Find Our Fathers website and find out what you can do to help bring Don Lee home. I couldn’t imagine not knowing where my dad is, what torture.

Don Lee and his fellow shipmates went out to sea for the love of fishing. True fishermen are like hunters. Though I don’t love the idea of hunting, I’d much rather eat meat from an animal that was carefully and respectfully caught. When Auggie and all the other Baja fishermen catch Marlin, they throw it back. They follow the rules and respect the sea. That’s why I was able to really savor the amazing tuna at Lake Almanor. We watched deer of all kind feed in the forest behind the house. We saw rabbits, quail and chipmunks. We drank margaritas and celebrated life as a blessed, happy family.

Glad to be home again, thank for coming back.

Dad Made Dinner

Dad Made Dinner

No, not my boy’s dad. My dad! Here he is with Dallas at Thanksgiving 2009.

He recreated a recipe found in the current issue of Clean Eating magazine. A couple of years back (maybe more), my dad went veggie! He has slowly incorporated some poultry and fish back into his diet. The recipe is called Beefy Zucchini Rolls, but my dad changed it into a Turkey Zucchini Lasagna.  Here is the original:

So, you can’t really read the scan, can you? That’s ok. The recipe isn’t actually that important, the concept is. Once my dad got to rolling the thin slices of zucchini, he realized that it was just too “dainty” (his word) of a dish and he wasn’t having it. Instead, he layered the ingredients, using zucchini in place of lasagna noodles. The cheese was what really held the dish together.

He even made the sweet potato fries that my husband thought were carrots!

To create pasta out of zuchinni, or any cooked squash really, you only need one tool. A veggie peeler!

Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into lengthwise ribbons. Peel off several from one side, then turn the zucchini and peel off more. Continue to turn and peel away ribbons until you get to the seeds at the core of the zucchini. Discard the core. You can also do this on a mandolin, adjusted to a very thin slice. – NY Times

How good does this look? (Hint: good.)

I should add that my parents took cooking lessons around the same time I got married. Some of our “go to” meals of childhood included:

  • broiled tuna, cheese & tomato on an english muffin
  • dry, oven cooked chicken with bbq sauce and white rice
  • cereal (still one of my favorites)
  • spaghetti (again, still a favorite)
  • pot pie

Let’s just say that back in the day, no one would have accused either of my parents of being the Next Food Network Star. Luckily for my youngest brother, who lives at home with my parents for two more months or so, their culinary skills have vastly improved. My mom can make a mean pineapple upside down cake and crisps out of whatever fruit is on hand. My dad can follow just about any recipe. Although, lately he was stumped by my new obsession over simple syrup, saying he had never heard of it before.

I’m sure I’ll have many childhood food memories to come on this blog. Why share them all at once? What did you eat growing up?

Baking with Coconut Flour

Baking with Coconut Flour

Wanna meet my husband? Here’s an old photo from 2001, when we began dating.

This is Jy. Like guy, but with a J.

He’s super handsome, right? We are closing in on our sixth year of marriage. Anyway, tonight Jy mentioned he had chocolate cake on the brain. (Welcome to my every thought, honey.) So, I made him one! He doesn’t know that tomorrow morning I am going to hit him up for a couple hours out with some girls to see the movie, The Help. So sneaky, so very sneaky.

I tried something new tonight and made a chocolate coconut cake. I used coconut flour, coconut oil and drizzled the sucka with cream cheese & powder sugar frosting. Not only was the cake a hit, it was a bit healthier than it would have been had I used white flour and vegetable oil. Let me ‘splain. Scratch that, let’s allow Maria Emmerich to explain:

Coconut Flour is very high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and a good source of protein. It gives baked goods a rich, springy texture (but needs a lot more liquid than other flours.)  – Marianutrition.com
 Coconut oil is unique in nature with medium chain fatty acids that are also found in human breast milk, with volumes of research showing that it leads to a faster metabolism and weight loss. Weight loss associated with coconut oil is related to the length of the fatty acid chains contained in coconut oil. Coconut oil contains what are called medium chain fatty acids, or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These medium chain fatty acids are different from the common longer chain fatty acids found in other plant-based oils. Most vegetable oils are composed of longer chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are typically stored in the body as fat, while MCTs are burned for energy. MCTs are directly sent to the liver, where they are quickly burned. As a result, MCTs are less likely to be stored as fat. Coconut oil is immediately converted to energy, so after eating coconut oil, energy levels soar as a result of the metabolism of MCTs.

Emmerich, Maria (2011). Secrets to Controlling your Weight, Cravings and Mood: Understand the biochemistry of neurotransmitters and how they determine our weight and mood

Let me show you what my cake batter looked like.

A little different, huh? The batter was really fluffy and at times harder to mix than I had expected. Here’s the recipe I used:

2 c. coconut flour
2 c. raw cane sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. whole milk
2 c. boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients. Bake in a 13 x 9-inch pan at 375°F for 35 minutes
I mixed together half a package of cream cheese (that’s all that we had), 1 cup powdered sugar and a couple tablespoons of milk. This provided a sweet frosting to drizzle over the top of the cake and help my dessert not look like the rocky mountains.
I think the cake tastes like Almond Joy with a richer chocolate flavor. Dallas called it, “The Best Ever,” but he says that about a lot of things lately. One of the best parts of coconut flour, is that it is gluten free. It doesn’t come from a grain! I think that is why this dessert didn’t leave me feeling weighed down, bloated or yucky. So, Jy got his wish granted tonight (kinda.) If only I knew how to brew beer at home, then I’d be the bestest wife fo’ shizzle.
Read more from Maria Emmerich at her blog http://mariahealth.blogspot.com/ She also has some great books that I really learned a lot from. It’s fascinating to learn about how hormones really affect weight loss and health. After reading Secrets to Controlling Your Weight, Cravings and Mood  I discovered that I don’t have the dopamine levels I want to. Hence, the don’t even talk to me until I’ve had coffee, attitude. She really explains in clear, easy to understand detail, why we need to eat real food!

A diet filled with a fat-free Yoplait yogurt for breakfast, a Slim Fast for lunch and a “Healthy Choice” frozen meal for dinner, starves our bodies at the cellular level. Poor nutrition can result in lower levels of brain chemicals, specifically serotonin. Vitamins B6, C and E (the stress vitamins) are particularly important to consume everyday!

I can’t praise her books enough. All of the proceeds from her book sales help with the adoption of her (and her husband’s) two boys from Etheopia.
 
UmiZoomi Ice Cream Pizza

UmiZoomi Ice Cream Pizza

After a week of promising, I finally made my child the Team UmiZoomi ice cream pizza he had been begging for.

I hope my kid doesn’t wake up and find me on NickJr.com looking for UmiZoomi pictures. He already thinks I play “his” iPhone games without him. (I do.)

I made some sugar cookies using this recipe and came to a mini epiphany. Sometimes making cookies (or other baked goods for that matter) from scratch is actually easier and faster than getting two kids in their carseats and going to the grocery store to buy them! No such luck with the ice cream though, we had to run to Safeway to grab a small pint of chocolate.

This, by the way is what the pizza is supposed to look like according to Nick Jr. –

Yuck

After building the little pizzas and making a melted mess on the counter, Dallas started begging for something else…to play outside. He eventually expressed his gratitude for the pizzas, but I learned a lesson today. My son needs to be begging for something at all times. Sometimes he needs to beg for dessert, sometimes to watch a cartoon, to play games on my phone, to help make dinner, to go swimming, to make a fort and so on and so on. I’m sure I NEVER did that, right mom?

Meat and Potaters

Meat and Potaters

I still had slow cooked meat on the brain today. However, when I reached for the crockpot I found the cord melted into the ceramic part of the crock. Another thing to add to the Bed, Bath & Beyond list. Luckily, it was unseasonably cool today and I was able to put my oven to work!

Although I have been avoiding Safeway like aerobics, I chose to buy a big hunk of meat there today for two reasons. Number one, Safeway is close to home. Number two, our family friend Tamra works for Safeway and suggested we continue to support union workers. Good enough for me!

Roasted foods are some of the easiest to make. Dump a bunch of diced/chopped/whole veggies in a deep pan. Toss in meat and potatoes,  (if you are like me, first you will have to clean off the eyes.) Spices? Sure! Pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, whatever you find in the drawer that doesn’t smell too different from the rest of your ingredients. Drizzle with some EVOO.

Rachael Ray will always be with you. Always.

You have three choices in roasting. The first is Thanksgiving style, high heat for the first twenty minutes and low heat for the rest. This method makes a nice crispy skin and a tender center. You’ll just need to remember to cover your meat with aluminum foil at some point in the cooking process.

Second, you can sear the meat in a large pan first. Heat the pan with olive oil and/or butter and brown all sides of the meat on medium-high heat. Yummy and beautiful results, but to me, this method just means another pan to wash.

Third, low and slow baby. Slow cooking, crockin’, dutch oven style. Turn the oven to 325 and cook for a couple hours, depending on the thickness of your meat. This is what I tried today. Our pot roast turned out, absolutely amazing. The best ever. I’m lying. It was good, pretty juicy, but also pretty ordinary. What I really wanted to do was cover the meat in soda. We don’t have regular soda lying around, but we were supposed to have some of that expensive root beer that is supposed to taste so much better, but really just costs more, in the fridge. Someone else got to it first.

What do you put on your roast to infuse flavor? We could have stood for more juice and I’m not sure I know a way around using a can of Pepsi. Thought I’d use the C word? No way.  Quick, exciting story. This is one of my brothers:

This brother hates my cooking.

Ron works for Pepsi and is constantly winning things, cool things, like money. His latest winning is a trip to New York! He has the chance to win even more money if he can strike someone out in a contest at Yankee Stadium. We aren’t allowed to drink C anymore! In case you are wondering, this is the super baker I mentioned before, Arriana. Isn’t she pretty?

While I am at it, let me show you a photo of my other brother, Matthew and his wonderful fiance’, Ashley:

Tourists.

And just for fun, an awesome photo of me and my brother, circa 1990. Oh, and this brother will eat almost anything, so he likes my cooking just fine.

Rockin’ the ‘fro with the bro.
Dutch Ovens

Dutch Ovens

Arkansas Dutch Oven Society

My youngest brother recently explained how a dutch oven works to my mom. This post is about the other dutch oven. The master of deliciousness, dutch oven. The – I can cook cinnamon rolls, cobblers, stew, chili, bacon, casseroles and pork in one pot- dutch oven. With this said, I’ll tell you that I have never actually eaten anything that has come out of a dutch oven. But, boy am I fascinated with them!

Before you ask, I’ve done the googling for  you. Crock pots are different.

Well for starter, dutch ovens are a little more versatile. They can be used on the cooktop or in the oven, at high heat or low, to saute, brown or braise, and they can even be used as a regular pot – yep, you can boil pasta in there. A slow cooker only works in its own container, and although you can usually take the ceramic insert out and put it in the oven (say to melt some cheese or brown a little under the broiler at the end), they don’t play well on the cooktop and don’t brown or saute well. The reason is in the name – slow cooker. They are really designed to heat up slow, so they tend to stew meats rather than brown then. –Lazy Dog Gourmet

That’s funny, the sandwich didn’t taste out of focus.

There is a new joint called Slow G’s that just opened up in my town. I would add a link, but they don’t have a website. They opened six days ago and it’s pretty clear that they are in the very first stages of running their business. Slow G’s serves two things, sandwiches and quinoa salad. The sandwiches are all $6.99 a piece and consist of fresh artisan bread and meat that has been cooked in a dutch oven. Brilliant! I had a chicken salad sandwich that was mixed with slow cooked apples and cinnamon. So yummy, so, so yummy.  I wish them the best of luck. Most new restaurants won’t make it. This one needs some help. A better sign, a better logo, more practice. But boy, is their food GOOD!

Gettin’ back to dutchin’…

The perfect camp stove

Before I commit to making somethig in a dutch oven, I guess I better buy one first! Do you have a recipe that a first timer could do well at? Please, share! To Bed, Bath and Beyond I go!