Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
A Tesco supermarket in Cardiff, South Wales has banned customers from shopping in their pajamas, thisissouthwales.co.uk reports. A spokeswoman explained that the move was in response to customer complaints pertaining to other shoppers' outfits.
The store has installed a sign labeled "Tesco Dress Code Policy," which reads: "To avoid causing offence or embarrassment to others, we ask that our customers are appropriately dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted)."
Jeans and sneakers are permitted.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Ever since I was a girl, in my family we have made cranberry sauce from the same recipe:
I believe that part of my job as a food blogger is to inspire people to get into the kitchen, therefore I like to post a lot of quick and easy recipies.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
A Lift to Any Can
This blue whale can opener (which also comes in black) is not only winsome, but is also a clever and effective tool. The best part is that there are no dangerous sharp edges left on the can or the lid.
Turn the “spout” of the whale clockwise and after a quarter-turn you can feel it locking on. Keep turning. When you are done the lid will be sliced at the rim, and a little grabber on the side will help remove it.
Whale LidLifter by Kuhn Rikon is $18 at Zabar’s and from factorydirect2you.com, (866) 233-6587.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I baked a piece of oregano chicken for lunch tomorrow - the same chicken I made earlier in the week but the picture didn't save to the card. Now you can see what the finished product looks like.
- chicken (I used a huge breast, bone in...but thighs work great also)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Do you ever have nostalgia for a place you've been before? I spent a lot of time in Spain (Vitoria) during my last year of high school and tonight I am craving palmeras de chocolate. I used to buy them on the weekends when I would go barhopping with my friends - they were sold on street corners of the casco viejo and also I would buy them on my way home from school in the afternoons, before la comida, much to my host mother Malen's chagrin.
Monday, January 25, 2010
This is a great pasta salad, simple, with fresh ingredients. It will make you feel healthy.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I start a new job tomorrow! Let's all hear it for full time employment!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Okay, folks...any fans of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups out there? This had to be posted. It's in the New York Times online this week. Sounds yummy!
Peanut Butter and Nutella Panini
1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
24 slices of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread
1 13-ounce jar Nutella.
Preheat a panini press or George Foreman grill. Spread about 2 teaspoons peanut butter on each of 12 slices of bread. Spread about 1 tablespoon Nutella on each of the other 12. Put the peanut butter and Nutella slices together and grill until marked and crispy. Use a silicone spatula to remove.
Makes 12 sandwiches. This recipe appeared in “The Mantry” by Oliver Schwaner-Albright.
On the Abuelita Box (hot Mexican chocolate) there is a recipe for a peanut butter smoothie made with Abuelita chocolate:
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablets Abuelita chocolate
1/4-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Heat milk and Abuelita chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Mix frequently until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; refrigerate for 1 hour.
Place chocolate mixture and peanut butter in blender; cover. Blend for 1 minute. Serve over ice. Serves 4.
Yesterday while my car window was being repaired at El Generalito (mechanic) on 16th Street, I stopped by Dulcería Pico Rico - a Mexican candy store at 2533 N 16th Street. It is a lot to take in: piñatas, confetti, all kinds of Mexican candies (I found some tamarind candy - see picture), party favors, decorations, etc. If you want to get your party groove on a la Mexicana, this is the place!
Didn't get a picture of my favorite piñata they had - Hello Kitty. Next time!
Friday, January 22, 2010
I was the recipient of a neat tote bag recently that is great for grocery shopping. Now I am helping to sell the bags in an effort to help the environment.
* These are handmade, reusable tote bags, fully lined. Each bag is unique. Bags are 18-22" wide and approximately 15" tall. Handles approx. 20-30" long. They are great for shopping.
* Many are made with fabric purchased from Goodwill.
* Bashas' and Food City gives shoppers a 5 cent discount if you bring in your own bag. Then when you get home, the bags are easier to carry from the car, and there are fewer plastic bags to send into the landfill.
* The bags are light weight and folded, are extremely compact.
* Boaters: Bags take up very little space on the boat - great for carrying stuff to the marina.
* Traveling to Europe? Ireland? New Zealand? In many countries, stores charge extra to customers who need bags.
* Traveling: Bags are easy to fold and slip into a suitcase. Souvenir shopping? Stash one or two folded bags in your purse. At the end of the day, you return with 1 or 2 sturdy, lightweight fabric totes rather than several bulky shopping bags.
* Mothers with young children - Want to or need to carry on an extra change of clothing? Spare diapers? Bottle? Small toys? Lightweight cloth totes keep the stuff together.
* Workers - Carry your lunch to work.
* Students - great for carrying books and folders.
* Some people like to carry sets of bags in their car, so when they stop for groceries after work, they have their bags in the car. A set is 3 or more totes folded and carried in a smaller tote.
* Pricing $25.00 per tote. Purchase 3 and receive a small tote to keep them together.
We can arrange for shipping at a $5.00 charge. If you would like to purchase, please let me know. I have more pictures if you would like to see other colors.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A woman has been charged with trashing a McDonald's restaurant in Missouri because she was unhappy with her cheeseburger.
Police said they received many tips after releasing video of the Dec. 27 incident.
In the video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online, a customer is seen throwing a sign and a water dispenser over a counter and pushing three cash registers to the floor.
On Tuesday, the Jackson County prosecutor's office charged 19-year-old Alesha McMullen of Kansas City with Class D felony property damage. It wasn't immediately known if McMullen has an attorney. A phone listing for her could not be found.
Police say McMullen told officers her order was prepared wrong and the restaurant refused to give her a refund.
EASTON, Pa. – An eastern Pennsylvania man was charged after he allegedly broke into a home, cut his hair and prepared fried chicken before being discovered.
The man was charged with breaking into the home in Easton, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia. According to court documents, the homeowner returned home Sunday to discover him watching TV and cooking chicken.
Authorities said the man threw a rock through a front door window to get inside and appeared to have rummaged through every room in the house. He also took a shower.
The man faces burglary, criminal trespass and other charges and was being held on $15,000 bail.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - An Alaska man who hit a Taco Bell manager in the face with a double-decker taco has been sentenced to one day in jail and one year probation.
Warren Strickland of Fairbanks must also pay a $100 fine after pleading guilty Tuesday to disorderly conduct.
The 31-year-old says he threw the taco because it contained spit after he went through the drive-thru twice because the restaurant messed up his order. He claims the manager accused him of lying to get free food.
Strickland is barred from Taco Bell during his year of probation.
- PB & J (TJ's brand) on whole wheat toast w/ grape jelly and a piece of fruit
- Arugula salad with poached chicken, almonds, dried cranberries, and dijon vinagrette
- Whole wheat pasta salad -penne is my favorite shape - with grape tomatoes, basil, olives, and dijon vinagrette
- Leftovers, which may include chicken fajitas, chicken pasties, spaghetti, tamales, etc.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
I have become even fonder of the Tortilla española (Spanish omelet) lately, since I've been trying to economize and make yummy things...
I needed a warm up today, it is cool and rainy...Abuelita hot chocolate sounded like just the ticket. (It is something my grandmother would have made for me, if she would have known about it). I used half a tablet (there are 6 to the box) and 1 ½ cups 1% milk. Just warm the milk and your tablet will dissolve. There are little bits that remain in the bottom, a bit grainy and cinnamon-like. This drink did not need extra sugar for me but if you need it, try a teaspoon and go from there. This will put a smile on your face.
They also have a liquid version but I have not tried it yet. Might be good for the workplace! (or on ice cream, for that matter. Hmmmm…)
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I'm a frugal gal these days...but I still like variety. How can one achieve variety in cuisine using leftovers, do you ask? Well, if you've made chicken fajitas yesterday, you can have chicken fajita pasties today, with minimal effort - no joke! I combined a stick of butter with 1 1/3 cups of flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and ice cold water to combine. Then I let the dough rest in the refrig for 30 mins before rolling. Roll the dough as thin as you can get it (dust with flour) without having it stick to your rolling pin or the surface, then fill with your leftover fajitas and crimp the edges and make slits so the filling can steam - you can also add chipotle en adobo but I forgot to do this. Look how yummy they turned out. And they smell amazing...
Speaking of rolling, I was reminiscing recently about my Mom's old rolling pin - it was wooden, thin and made by my late grandfather Elmer, who formed it from a dowel. He made one for my aunt and my grandmother as well. He was a clever man... always fixing things, such as our 8 track tapes, which inevitably needed repair after being handled so much by my brother and me. Speaking of rolling pins, I have been promised a new one via my boyfriend's sister in Hermosillo. The ones they use there are quite thin and he promises that it will look much different than a traditional one that I use at home. I am always excited about a new kitchen gadget.
The pies bake at a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. These are good with a salad but tonight I think we are having them solo.
I had lunch today with my friend Elaine, her mom Peggy and my Mom. Elaine and I go way back, even though we never attended the same school. We grew up in the same neighborhood and now that she lives in Lake Havasu, we see each other less, but we are still connected. She told me that she has started a running program - go Elaine! I think it's great when a person decides to start a new hobby or fitness regimen. It's important for us to have outlets. One of my outlets is food - as if you didn't know...so I'm posting a picture of my lunch today with Elaine at Miracle Mile (18th St./Highland). Chicken salad on pumpernickel with fries and an iced tea. Thank you Peggy for treating us to lunch!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
We had chicken fajitas tonight - Food City had chicken breasts on sale at $1.99 a pound - a great deal. I browned a chopped potato too, and threw that in, which is not a regular ingredient in fajitas, but sometimes I like a potato and bean burrito from Filiberto's... and I'm always thinking about Filiberto's. One of the Fili's we go to is on Indian School Rd. and 32nd St. They have a salsa bar with really good spicy carrots and their chicken torta (sandwich) is really tasty. My novio claims the guacamole is better at this location vs. others.
Btw, did you know Filiberto's opened a new location at Priest and Washington and they have a 99 cent menu on Tuesdays that includes many yummies such as 3 taquitos with cheese. And they have a full salsa bar with...chips! And they have Mexican Fanta and Coke. And, a sweet lady always serves us.
But, I digress...this version of Fajitas also has chicken, sliced purple onion, bell pepper and pickled jalapeño peppers and carrots, which was my novio's idea and it gave the fajitas a nice layer of spice. I first browned the chopped potato in a little olive oil and then let it steam a bit (under cover). Then I browned the chicken pieces and lastly the veg. Then I combined it all and served it in flour tortillas. We used Marisol's tortillas that we picked up last weekend - you can order these via me...just email me and let me know you want to order empanadas, tamales or tortillas (or all three!) and Marisol will take care of you. Buen provecho :)
I saw this last week on Andrew Zimmern's website, and then forgot about it. He's the guy who does the Bizarre Foods show on the Travel Channel. It's pretty funny and informative if you haven't seen it. I don't have cable anymore, so I have to live vicariously through the host's website. Here is a link:
His website is pretty cool, btw. There are interviews of other foodies like Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel.
We had Trader Joe's whole wheat fettuccine with marinara sauce last night. The pasta has a lot of heft to it - and a good mouth feel. I was thinking it would be also nice with butter/olive oil/garlic. TJs marinara sauce doesn't have any preservatives so it has a fresh tomatoey taste. You could add some chicken pieces to this and have a faux chicken cacciatore but we felt like a lighter meal...so there you go. We had an appetizer/dessert before hand, frozen yogurt - have any of you been to Yogurtland in Tempe? It is so cool...there are over a dozen yogurt flavors (some nonfat) and a bunch of toppings from fruit/cookie pieces/candy/granola. The best part is that for the two of us it was just over 4 bucks! They charge 30 cents an ounce. And it is self-serve, which makes it more fun. They have inside/outside seating and get pretty bz on the weekend. If you haven't been, you gotta check this place out.
Friday, January 15, 2010
My mom made blueberry muffins – and gifted us some - they are a thing of beauty. Lots of blueberries…and she gives credit where credit is due: the recipe is from the Fanny Farmer cookbook.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cup blueberries (put these in at last otherwise your dough will be purple!)
Sift dry ingredients together. Beat eggs w/ sugar, add milk, vanilla and melted butter goes in last. Add the dry into the liquid and combine. Fold in blueberries. Use paper liners in your muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12.
It seems like I need one of these at least three times a week. Maybe more. Yesterday I had frozen waffles instead - I don't know what made me think that would be a good substitute...but there it is. Today I made a big one (see picture) with pear since that's the fresh fruit I had around. I'm using a bit more chili powder these days and more chamoy. It makes it extra spicy and seems to warm me up. I'm not getting the ice as fine as I would like though. Have any of you had experience making snow cones? If you use an ice crusher/shaver that works well for you, please tell me about it. Something that's portable would be ideal since I spend time here and at my novio's so it could go back & forth. Or maybe I should just have 2...? The decisions a culinary person must make!
Had much better luck with steak salad, version 2 today. The pan was hotter, so I got a better sear on the steak and remembered to season at least on one side with salt. Also remembered to cook it for less time so it was truly the way I like it - medium rare. I put in a few extra craisins (dried/sweetened cranberries) and almonds for texture. The vinaigrette was right on target with the perfect balance of acid (vinegar) to olive oil. I always eyeball it so I don't have an exact recipe, it's a splash of oil, a splash of vinegar - sherry vinegar is nice if you have it, or champagne vinegar - and fresh cracked pepper & salt. You can see this version looks even yummier (is it possible, really?) than the one I made before. Make this for yourself, you will feel full and healthy. Happy munching.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
We had pizza tonight from Father John's (Papa John's), courtesy of my novio's neighbor, Joey. It was a nice treat since it had been awhile since we had pizza. I'm always partial to neighbors who procure a tasty pie (Joey brought two so he gets snaps)! And Joey brought over his friend's doggie, Dwight, who he is pet sitting. Dwight is of the part chihuhaua and part terrier persuasion, in case you were wondering...
Yesterday I was reminiscing about a steak salad I had at Z Tejas years ago that prompted me to create my own version (mostly to economize and for convenience too). So today I went to visit my friends at
In a medium size salad bowl (this is for one person) combine red lettuce torn into bite sized pieces and slice some purple onion - a few slices and put on top. Add some craisins - a half handful - these are dried, sweetened cranberries. Then a half handful of almonds, I swiped some out of my Trader Joe's trail mix. I make a simple vinagrette for this...some
Then I seared the steak on both sides - this was a bit thinner than the ones I usually use - if you have the $, get a rib eye...they have the marbled fat and make for a delicious steak salad. Anyways, it got a little more done than I usually like, which is medium rare. But, the finished product was delicious. I let the steak rest about 5 minutes covered before slicing it on a bias and then put it on top of the greens, then the dressing went over it. Sorry folks, the salad is a little out of focus, I think I was so excited to start eating it, I was shaking...enjoy!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I'm cheating a little on this one - using Dynasty bottled spicy hot Kung Pao sauce. My Mom is really good at coming up with sauces on her own, but I need a little help. I looked at the ingredients, and I'm going to make it myself when the bottle runs out. The main ingredients appear to be water, rice vinegar, sesame oil and jalapeño pepper. This sauce would also be good for potstickers - Trader Joe's makes a veggie version that steams well (pan frying works too) and I can see it working with this sauce as a dipper.
I decided to share this cake recipe again; it is that good. I made another one today and I'm posting pictures of the finished product and the process of "building" the cake. You put half the batter in the buttered pan (ideally you have a non-stick bundt pan) and put your nuts on top, then some cinnamon. Then cover it with the rest of the batter. It turns out so pretty. You can sprinkle powdered sugar over the top but I think it's fine au natural. I also included a picture of the bowl I made the cake in, you can see that with my new spatula (courtesy of Target) the bowl is super clean and I got all the batter out. Efficiency! But really, you have to make this cake.
I bought a new spatula today (see photo). I'm excited because I've needed one for a long time but I've been pinching pennies. I liked that it is green (cheerful). If you don't have a good one, go down to Target and get yours for $1.99. Well worth it! I'm going to be using it a lot since I bake at least a couple of times a week...like today. Another sour cream coffee cake, coming up. But first, there must be lunch. French fries, to be exact. I like potatoes with the skin on - my Mom taught me to wash the skins really well so that we could enjoy the whole potato when she would make bakers - the skin was always my favorite part. She would butter the outside of the potatoes and cook them in a 400 degree oven so the skin would get crispy but the inside of the potato would still be soft.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
In October of last year, I went with my mainsqueeze to Carlsbad, where my father lives (see photo of his girlfriend Saykham). The lovely Saykham took us to a food festival in San Diego at a meditation ranch of sorts, that had many persimmon and avocado trees. We tried all different types of foods from Thai to Chinese...some of the foods we ate are pictured in addition to some skillfully decorated melons. If you get a chance to go to a food festival and try something new, do so. Expand your palate and learn of other cultures. What a beautiful thing...