Thursday, December 31, 2009
I have two New Years resolutions:
1. Be as happy as I can be. I am over being and feeling beat down. This is a new year and I'm moving on.
2. Blog more. This should be the easier of the two but we'll see.
I have so many ideas and I find myself feeling that I need to focus more on one area of my foodie blog. Do I do restaurant reviews, do I do my budget friendly things, I also need to loose weight so do I focus on being a foodie on diet? These are the things that make me go hmmmm.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I use a basic red sauce. I buy the sauce from the store and then add to it. I start with Mexican Chocolate. It's delicious. It's like half semi-sweet, half unsweetened chocolate but with other "stuff" added. I don't know exactly what's in there but I know there are some cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. You should buy it and save it. Use it for hot chocolate. It's so good. I melt the chocolate in the bottom of a heavy pan (I use my Le Creuset pot) with a little butter.
Red Sauce: $2.49 (19 ounce can)
Chocolate: $1.00 (a box is about $5 and there are 6 chocolate rounds in a box)
Tortillas: $1.00 (I buy a bag of 30 and use half a bag)
Cheese: $2.99 (Ralphs usually has a special for $2.99/half pound you just sometimes have to walk all over the store between the deli and the dairy dept.)
Beans: $1.00 (I use Rosarita non-fat green chili and lime)
T0tal: $7.48 for 6 servings
Fat: 21g (I have to estimate that there are 2 (1oz) servings of cheese so 18 of the fat grams are from cheese)
Calories: 445 (220 in the cheese, 110 in the tortillas, 100 in the beans, 15 in the sauce)
Fiber: 11g (7 in beans, 3 in tortillas, 1 in the sauce)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Part of the junk going on is that I'm poorer than ever, but being a foodie, I can't give up good food and cooking. But, I can do it on a budget. So, tonight I made a pork brisket grillers. I saw them at costco. I've never had them but I thought I'd give it a try.
They come in a four pack that looks like this. My four pack was $13.45 (3.36/package) Although, since I had never had them before I had no idea what was going to be inside. I opened it, put on a little bit of rub. I make my own rub, but grillmates is fine. I cooked it up on the grill and this is what it looked like. I was shocked how much food was in there!!!
Each of these is about 6-7 inches at it's largest point. It's similar or a little bigger than a decent size boneless skinless chicken breast. It is plenty for my family (2 adults and a 4 year old) with left overs for 2 servings (so enough for 3-4 adults or 1 teenager).
I made it with rice-a-roni which is 4 for $5 at my grocery store so $1.25/box. I did use 2 boxes. My husband LOVES rice.
So even if there are only 3 servings in a package that is $1.54 serving!!!
Even better the nutritional value/serving (per the packages):
3.5 grams of fat (2 in the pork and 1.5 in the rice)
420 calories (110 in the pork and 310 in the rice)
There is a lot of sodium in the rice, but other than that, it's all pretty good! Now if I could only get the husband to eat veggies!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I also had gone strawberry picking with Stella 2 days before this so I folded in some fresh strawberry puree. Sooooo, good. My mom liked it too. Next time I need more strawberrys. The ice cream itself was delicious! My favorite thing in my kitchen is my lime green Kitchen Aid mixer!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
So after searching the internet and foodnetwork.com I found a recipe to make hubby happy from Paula Dean (aka, everything is made with straight butter and heavy cream). Low and behold, girlfriend didn't disappoint. She had a hash brown crust quiche instead of a traditional crust that got rave reviews. I substituted half and half for 2% milk. The cooking time on the hash browns was longer (I had to bake it for about 50 minutes instead of the 25 she said) but otherwise I followed the recipe. My suggestion is to do all the prep work the day before (grate cheese, cut onions, cut ham, bake hash browns) then assemble the morning of your brunch. The combining of ingredients is the easy part...it's all the prep that takes forever. I thought it was good, but my husband actually liked it! Yay.
I also wanted to do something with a traditional crust, but with less traditional breakfast ingredients. So I found this Emeril recipe. I don't trust the Emeril. I have made many recipes of his and I swear a cook time or an ingredient always seems to be missing. I bought pre-made Marie Calendar pie crust from the frozen foods isle. Again, prep work is everything. Caramelizing onions are like low riders, they need to cook low and slow. These onions are not even close to being done. It probably took about 30-40 minutes to do it right.
Next step is to sautee the mushrooms. You want to do this so that the mushrooms don't release all their juice inside the quiche. That would make the crust all mushy and disgusting.
I used the Gruyere cheese, it was soooooooooooo good. So savory. I will make this again!
The key to quiche is patience, and a little of this:
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I'm torn by Taste of Ladera. Keep in mind that I'm an expert on EVERYTHING! They had food vendors, some random vendors and some kiddie stuff to do but it was just horribly organized. Liberty park is HUGE! The food vendors and the regular vendors were mixed in with one another. So to decide what we wanted we had to walk around a ginormous park. I'm fat, lazy and hungry and they made me walk a lot. I finally decided on Beachfire which had the option for skirt steak or jerk chicken with rice and black beans. We walked around and let our daughter go on some bounce house thing. Walked around some more, and had a hot dog from Jerry's hot dogs on the way out. HOT DOGS ARE GOOOOOOOD there. I recommend everyone add celery salt to their dogs and check out Jerry's! The food was good, the organization was not.
Also, for those who put on A Taste of Ladera, I understand about your entrance fees. I understand about having to pay for food. I do, I completely get it. But A Taste is just that... a taste, not a whole meal. I think you should do tierd wrist bands and have an entrance fee plus 5 kids rides, plus 5 taste/drink tickets for $30, or entrance plus kids rides plus 10 tastes for $50, etc. The taste should be like a Costco sized taste, not a whole meal. I wanted to taste all of Ladera but my tummy can't hold a whole meal for all the restaurants represented (despite my size which I'm desperately trying to boogie box away)
Boogie box rocks! I try to work out twice a week. I really haven't changed how I eat (in fact it's probably gotten worse since First Class Pizza opened). I've lost 10 pounds and 4 inches in my bust, waist and hips in a month. So go boogie box people. It's fun and even uncoordinated people can do it! They have a free trial so go try before you committ!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I had a cold and all I wanted was their super decadent Sun Dried Tomato soup. It didn't disappoint. It is so good. It is creamy and delicious! They serve all their meals with a bread bowl and a sun dried tomato butter.
My husband had a sirloin burger which is served with shoestring french fries. My husband likes to call them frittes so that it sounds fancy. He's funny! His burger was great and the fries are something special!
We took dessert home. It was cinnamon apple beignets which were ok. They were good, but I probably won't get them again. They are not at all like the Cafe du Monde beignets...they are more like doughnut holes. The flavor was fine, the texture was a little off, in my opinion.
I have since been back for a take out lunch. I got the 1/2 and 1/2 lunch with the apple salad and cream of jalapeno soup. I loved the flavor of the soup but I thought it needed to be thicker. The salad was delicious like always with the fantastic dijon viniagrette!
You need to go...NOW!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Awesome right!!! No, that little thing at the top screws on. It is not permanently attached to the handle. I don't know why. If I ever meet the inventor...we are going to have words because LOOK what happened!
FRICK! How am I going to get that down from 18 feet! Seriously.
Please ignore the bad photoshop. I just wanted you to see how big the stairwell is. Also, clearly the light is on so I fixed it. But I was freaking out. If that light which was hanging on by about 1/4 turn had fallen, little tiny shards of light bulb glass would have gone EVERYWHERE! The light bulb was wobbly so it was quite cumbersome to screw the pole in without unscrewing the light bulb. But alas, after about 20 minutes of messing around, I now know that it only takes 1 Stacey to screw in a light bulb!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
First Class Pizza has no website. But call, visit! Eat, drink and be merry!
Also, Sun Dried Tomatoes opens Tuesday. Stay tuned for a review (with pics)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Here is the deal: The first four people to comment on this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be photography, I may sew or paint something. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely creative.
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re-post this on your own blog and offer the same deal to 4 of your own lucky blog readers. So, the first 4 people to leave a comment telling me they are in, win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
As far as the food, it started out looking promising. They sent out a 3 tiered anti pasta plate with salami and cheese, salad, jello for the kiddo's. My husband and I both got some sort of pasta. It was "fancy Hamburger Helper". My friend Mike got steak...that was not a wise move. All the food is just well presented Disney food. Disney is not known for their fine dining. I have been to PCH Grill for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. That was buffet style and really not bad. I went for the breakfast buffet and it was not a bad price. Ariel's Grotto is not as good as PCH Grill.
Pricing...there is NO pricing on any menus, drink menus, websites, etc. I knew it was going to be pricey so I wasn't really surprised at the bill. Adult prices are $31.99 and children's prices are $17.99. That does not include the 18% gratuity that Disney charges. Will I go again? I'm not sure. It just depends on what my own little princess wants :)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I'm going to Ariel's Grotto on Monday for the Princesses birthday. Maybe I'll review that. I wonder what the mouse will think?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Lets start with the service. We got lucky, we had Jennifer as our waitress. Normally, someone else waits on me and lets just say that she's a touch rude. You would think if I own a business nearby that sees 200ish families a week, you may want me to sing your praises. I will praise about the food, but not the service.
My husband got the Sea Smoke roll which was Filet mignon wrapped over rice and tempura shrimp with avocado and cucumber, topped with horseradish. The husband says it was pretty good, but he's had better. Next time he's going to stick to fish. I had a bite. I forgot I hate sea weed! Eww.
I got the adult bento size this time. I worked all day and was rather hungry. It had a salad with a nice sweet dressing, california rolls which were good for having seaweed. There was teriyaki chicken and beef. My daughter ate most of the chicken which is great and I've had it before. The beef was tender and delicious. The wasabi mashed potatoes are not overpowering and are light (for mashed potatoes). I also got the tempura shrimp and veggies. The tempura batter is light and tastes so good.
Pricing was good. I hear a lot of people saying that it's really expensive. My Bento was $18 and my husband's roll was $16. Its' a lot of food. They also have drink specials so I had a glass of Chardonnay for $4. After the day of work I had, the wine was well received! I feel the menu is appropriately priced. We'll be back...maybe I'll even try something new :)
Saturday, February 28, 2009
My first course was The Winery House Salad. This was delicious. The dijon vinaigrette was fantastic. It was tart, tangy and paired well with the sweetness of the tomatoes and grapes.
My husband's first course was the soup de jour. Friday it was a carrot/ginger puree soup. OMG, WOW! "this is the best use of carrots I've ever had" coming from the anti-veggie husband. So it really was impressive. The ginger wasn't overpowering, and IMO it was the single best dish I've had at Restaurant week.
I don't really like fish so I got the "Grand Cru" burger which is made with Kobe beef, I chose blue cheese, carmelized onions, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and bacon. The little frittes were seasoned perfectly, but I only had like 4. This burger is huge! I just stared at it for a minute and tried to figure out exactly how to tackle it. Once I figured out the logistics of actually eating it, I can honestly tell you it was the single best burger I've had in my life. I would have liked more blue cheese, but overall this burger was super!
My husband got the Chili-lime rubbed Mahi-Mahi. It was good. It was cooked through and as previously stated, I don't really like fish...like at all. But for posterity sake, I did take a bite and it was good. I don't think I can eat a whole portion, but I could have eaten a couple more bites. The chutney on top of the fish was excellent and really it's what made the dish!
My husband had the apple cranberry tarte tartin. It was good. It was a tarte. It was everything a tarte is supposed to be and was presented beautifully. It was not memorable. I wouldn't get it again.
I would get the Creme Brulee again. WOW! I have been in dessert heaven this week. The flavor was amazing, the texture was perfect, the little chunks of chocolate hiding on the bottom were amazing. This was the best creme brulee I've ever had. The only mildly disappointing thing was that the sugar crust wasn't crunchy, but I can get past it. This was served with a chocolate cookie that was ooie-gooie yummy goodness. It melted in my mouth.
The service was timely. Again, at lunch I'd hope for less time between courses so that the working people could take an hour and a half lunch instead of 2 hours (with drive time incorporated for my husband coming from the airport area). Obviously, this was a very minor detail, but the servers were good.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Ingredients for everything:
1 can cream of mushroom $1.49
1/2 cup red wine (free because I had a bottle open)
1/2 white onion $.50
Chuck Roast $3.79/lb...mine was $7.08
Seasonings (cost minimal)
This makes enough for 4 servings, so $2.89/serving.
To cook the pot roast, I cut my onions up in pretty big chunks and put them in the bottom of a crock pot. I sear the chuck roast and put it on top of the onions. Then I add the can of cream of mushroom soup right on top of the roast (I do not dilute it, I just leave it right there on top of the meat). I add the red wine and 2-3 cups of water. I add water until the liquid level is just above the roast. I cook mine in the crock pot, on high for at least 5 hours. The longer the better :)
Mashed potatoes are the easiest. I peal and cut the potatoes, but them in a pot and cover them generously with water. Once the water starts boiling I continue cooking them for about 12-15 minutes. I drain most of the water, add 1/3 cup of butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon of both pepper and garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add it all and mash it up!
Gravy is easy. Don't be scared by it. Take the juice from pot roast. I like gravy so I usually take about 2 cups and let it sit in a fat separator for a few minutes. Add it to a pan, the beef plus the wine and the cream of mushroom is enough and you don't need any other seasoning! I brought the gravy to a boil and slowly mixed in about 3 tablespoons of Wondra.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is the Caesar Salad. I should have gotten the Mediterranean Salad instead. Another table had that salad and it looked better. This on was fine, but just salad you know.
I ordered the sirloin. I like my meat well done. Everything was cooked fabulously! The flavor in the meat was fantastic! The asparagus was great, the mushrooms and jus were to die for good!!!
My husband got the peri peri rotisserie chicken and giant prawns with a mango salsa. I make a mango salsa (also for another post). My husbands suggestion was that I make mine chunkier like this. The chicken was so tender. The prawns were great and I LOVE that peri peri dipping sauce (the brown one). Unfortunately, Mozambique isn't selling it anymore. Hopefully, I'll get to the bottom of that someday!
My husband and I discovered Mozambique on our anniversary. It was referred by my husband's co-worker. Anyways, they gave us a complimentary bread pudding dessert on our anniversary. This is one of my least favorite desserts ever. My husband and I, who never turn down food, ate the whole thing. This is the dessert I chose for restaurant week. They make it with toasted macadamia nuts, bananas, white chocolate, and amarula sauce. I got one for my mom to go since she watched our daughter again for us tonight. She said it was sinful! If you go to Mozambique, I do recommend trying it.
I love chocolate. I could eat it for every meal if my body would tolerate that! My husband got this warm potted chocolate cake with coconut ice cream. It was like eating fudge. It was so good.
We have one more restaurant on Friday for restaurant week and I haven't been there before. I'm excited and I'm really excited that this one has wine pairings too.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Tonight's meatloaf night, just like my momma makes :)
This momma can't eat at The Montage every night!
1 lb ground beef (I get Morans from Albertsons 3lbs 7.99) $2.66
1/2 lb ground pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean 1lb $4.49) $2.25
1 cup dry bread crumbs $.50
1 1/4 cup milk $.27
1/2 white onion $.50
1.5 teaspoons salt (I'm not counting this for price)
1/4 teaspoon pepper, celery salt, garlic, dry mustard $.50
1 tablespoon of worcestershire or A1 Sauce $.50
Total Cost: $7.18
Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So after finding our way to the restaurant within the ginormous hotel, the hostess guided us to our table. Here was the View. There were 3 windows directly in front of our table. I took a picture out each window.
Our first course was BARBECUE-BRAISED LAUGHING BIRD SHRIMP with heirloom spinach and garden herbs, winter citrus vinaigrette. I got the wine pairing for an extra $15 which was well worth it! This course came with a chardonnay. I don't remember the wine producers...sorry.
I'm so not sharing with this guy!!!
The husband got MAPLE-GLAZED SONOMA CHICKEN SANDWICH with wild arugula and aged gouda, local tomato marmalade. The marmalade totally made this sandwich. The bread was perfect!
I got the ORGANIC UDON NOODLES rotisserie suckling pig and wild mushrooms, lemongrass cream. It was great! It was so filling. The lemongrass cream is not to heavy. The flavor was absorbed perfectly by the udon. The mushrooms were amazing. The pork was ok. The pork flavor was great, but it was a little dry. Don't get me wrong, the whole dish was fantastic and I'd order it again in a heartbeat! This course was paired with Albariño, a white spanish wine.
Dessert was a GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE. OMG. I'm not a German Chocolate Cake fan, but there were almost truffles in there. Usually, the coconut jam is too coconutty and overpowering. This was perfect. It was served with a burnt butter ice cream over candided pralines. I LOVE the ice cream.
I did mention I was full after the udon noodles, right?
The service was fantastic. One waiter went way above and beyond and almost gave me an ingredient list for the salad vinaigrette. My wine pairings were thoroughly discussed, and the wait staff was just all around phenomina!
Here is the view from the ocean side of the Montage.
View from the concrete trail behind the resort.
Here is the trail. It's gorgeous. The plantlife is beautiful. The path isn't to steep and I love that it's paved. There is public parking right at the Montage for $1.50/hour. It has a pay station, so leave your quarters at home.
My parents took our daughter to the Wild Animal Park while we were being foodies. She came home EVIL. I had this for dinner. I don't normally have 4 drinks in one day!
This year the menu was:
Passion Fruit Bellini's
(1-2 ounces of passion fruit juice, 3-4 ounces of champagne or sparkling wine)
Corn Chowder, pork tenderloin with apple chutney, and twice baked potato poppers.
1. I butterflied the tenderloin
2. Lined it with the apples only from the chutney (don't use the juice)
3. Roll it and secure it with toothpicks
4. used a bobby flay rub on the outside
5. Grill on each side over medium/low heat
6. turn meat every 15-20 minutes.
1 Tablespoon butter
1 small red onion finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Orange Juice (or any juice really...please, no Kool Aid)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the apples, the juice and vinegar, and cook until the apples are soft. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and let sit at room temperature for a half hour before serving.
Twice Baked Potato Poppers:
5 small red potatoes
2 stalks green onion
3 pieces of bacon, diced and cooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour creme
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
I don't know how to cook potatoes other than in the microwave. So stick a fork in them and put them in there and hit the baked potato button on the microwave. Once they are done, let them cool until they are cool enough for you to handle. Cut the potatoes in half. Scoop out the centers into a bowl. Add to the bowl, the onion, butter, sour creme, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the bacon. Stir mixture and add them to the hollow potatoes. Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Surf and turf made with bbq short ribs, Shitake mushrooms and grilled lobster tail.
1. Rub outside of meat with a wee bit of Olive Oil
2. Season with Season All and Steak Rub from Mozambique
3. Grill to taste. I like things well done!
1. squeeze about a tablespoon of fresh lemon onto the meat side of the lobster tail
2. season with a bit of salt, garlic and rosemary
3. Grill for about 8-10 minutes
4. Serve with a garlic butter dipping sauce
I did not make dessert. This is a triple chocolate mousse from Bristol Farms.
This was a dark chocolate mousse, also from Bristol Farms.