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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Frozen treat: Oatmeal chocolate chip pecan ice cream sandwiches

The finished product...frozen goodness.
My mom and brother are
going to go bonkers over these.

Mmm pecans and chocolate chips...

What a great ice cream sandwich cookie looks like.

It is warming up in Phoenix, folks (like this is news to you). This time of year I have a yen for all things frozen and sweet, mainly ice cream bars like Dilly Bars (my favorite) and Eskimo Pies. They made Eskimo Pies one year with cherries in them covered with dark chocolate. Has anyone seen these lately? I need a box, bad...

In the meantime, I was thinking since it is warming up, and there was a line going out the door today almost at my favorite shaved ice joint Oasis Raspados, that it is time to start making some of these frozen treats in-house. I also like the idea that these yummies won't have all of the preservatives other frozen goodies in theory you can eat more of them (right?). I'm not going all the way and making my own ice cream (yet) but there is Breyers Vanilla in the freezer and it will do nicely.

I think that chocolate chips/oatmeal and pecans is a nice combination in a cookie - sweet and savory. Recently I saw a recipe that made me think I could add pecans in place of cranberries (thank you Ocean Spray for the recipe below).

Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chunk cookies

2/3 c butter
2/3 c brown sugar
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups craisins dried cranberries (you can use pecans for this)
2/3 white chocolate chunks/chips (I used semi sweet)

Combine butter and sugar, add eggs and combine. Add dry ingredients and combine. Stir in craisins and chocolate chips. These bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 3 dozen.

When your cookies have cooled, take one cookie and place a generous scoop of ice cream on top of it, then add another cookie. Wrap in tin foil and repeat until all of your cookies are gone. If there is an odd cookie, eat it right away.

If you want a decadent dessert (I am borrowing this from Ed Debevic's back in the day) pull out one of these ice cream sandwiches and serve it on a pretty plate covered with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Mmmm.

Make sure you have enough ice cream... more than one large container - I ran out. I was able to use 22 cookies = 11 ice cream sandwiches. Will have to buy more, or make a supreme sacrifice and eat them solo with a nice earl grey tea or latte. haha.

On a separate note, my aunt gave me a bag of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and I have no idea what to do with them except maybe crush them and put them on the sides of a chocolate frosted sponge cake. If you have a recipe that includes them, please shoot it my way. ¡Gracias!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Slice of Sicily

What's for dinner tonight (reprise of last night).

Slice of Sicily in Phoenix is one of those great mom & pop pizza places in my fact, it's my favorite. Last night Jack and I picked up a medium meat lovers pie that had Italian sausage, ground beef, Canadian bacon and pepperoni. This pizza is so flavorful, I'm glad we had leftovers (see picture) for my dinner tonight!

We also had a dozen hot wings which were very tasty. I told Jack that they make a Sicilian crust pizza too, you just have to order it 2 hours in advance.

Now, that's a homemade pie!
Get yours tonight at 37th St./Indian School.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

La Fonda in Tempe

La Fonda is one of those Mexican Food places I see a lot but never quite make it inside. Until this week.

Jack and I went for dinner a few nights ago and had red chile burros (mine with beans) and we both enjoyed frozen margs with salt. The quality/price of the food are on target. Fresh & tasty chips/salsa.

We'll be back, I suspect.

There is some beautiful stained glass just above some of the booths which gives the place an artsy feel and there are also "mini bull" piƱatas at the cash register that are super cute.

La Fonda has been around for +40 years and is very mom & pop, so when you are in Tempe around Scottsdale Road and the 101, get yourself down there for yummy Mexican eats.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Horchata recipe - via Hermosillo

Make some refreshing horchata today!

This recipe for Horchata comes from a dear friend in Hermosillo, via his Mom. The timing is appropriate, considering today is Mother's Day in Mexico.

¡A las Mamas!

Olivia's Horchata - 1 cup rice - 2-3 sticks cinnamon - 1 teaspoon vanilla - 1/2 cup condensed milk - 4 liters of water - 1-1/2 cups sugar Soak rice about 12 hours in a liter of water Blend it all together (minus the other 3 liters of water), very fine. Pass blend through fine sieve. Discard sieve sludge. Pour rest of water and sugar into blend.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A fellow super taster

Wine (the remnants of), a latte (same) and
anisette with coffee beans (for good luck).

It appears that the kitchen wench has met a fellow super taster.

According to Wikipedia, a super taster is "a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average. Women are more likely to be supertasters,[1] as are individuals of Asian and African descent.[1] Among individuals of European descent, it is estimated that about 25% of the population are supertasters.[citation needed] The cause of this heightened response is currently unknown, although it is thought to be, at least in part, due to an increased number of fungiform papillae.[2] The evolutionary advantage to supertasting is unclear. In some environments, heightened taste response, particularly to bitterness, would represent an important advantage in avoiding potentially toxic plant alkaloids. However, in other environments, increased response to bitterness may have limited the range of palatable foods. In a modern, energy-rich environment, supertasting may be cardioprotective, due to decreased liking and intake of fat. It may be a cause of picky eating, but picky eaters are not necessarily supertasters, and vice versa."

Whew! That's a lot to take in. Specifically in this case, the super taster is a fan of ginger, lemongrass, espresso and rum...and hopefully anisette, red wine and chamoy, as is the kitchen wench. Last night this fellow super taster made the kitchen wench larb neu (Thai chicken salad) and spicy chicken with Thai basil. These dishes were very delicious and I had a chance to see all of the cooking first hand. Then, the chef said, "now you will now how to make these dishes!" Well, I appreciate the confidence this supertaster has towards myself. He may be slightly biased.


Tonight I am dining on pizza from my mum (happy mother's day, Mom!) and a Hershey bar, courtesy of my bro, Mike. Also I'm having some shiraz (or syrah, depending on which definition is your persuasion for wine) and a latte, plus an anisette with coffee beans (in the spirit of good luck).

The kitchen wench is feeling a bit smitten at the moment and watching The Motorcycle Diaries with Gael Garcia Bernal, one of her favorite actors. Depending on how the evening goes, she may also watch, Y Tu Mama Tambien, with the same actor. After all, he is a bit taco de ojo (easy on the eyes).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Zucchini muffins and new kitchen gadgets

People, people, must make these.
Now! Right now! Your kitchen will
smell like the bakery at Oscar Taylor's.

Your muffin batter will look like this.
I filled the muffin tins almost all the way full.

A new grater and garlic press are the latest additions
to the kitchen wench's menagerie.

It has been a bit overdue for me to buy two things, a garlic press and a grater. Tonight the grater is coming in handy, because I am making the zucchini muffins from that I said I was going to make some days back.

It appears that one large zucchini can yield 3 cups of grated zucchini. How is this possible? The math says I have one leftover zucchini (since I picked up 2 tonight at Food City) to make more muffins. Danger!

I found the garlic press at Standard Restaurant Supply. They said it is the best one they have and was around $12. I used it once last weekend when I made spaghetti and it did a pretty good job, except it is not easy to clean. For myself, I don't really need to use it since I don't mind big chunks of garlic. However...others (potential diners with the kitchen wench) have recently told me they don't like to "bite" into garlic, so... off to Standard Restaurant Supply I went.

The grater came from Food City (tonight) for about $1.50. The bargain of the century. Since it is plastic, it will not rust, and the kitchen wench will most likely not injure herself using it. Last year when I was slicing lemons, I sliced a good amount into my right index finger. Being uninsured, I took a chance and cleaned it well, put a bandaid on it and in about a week it was good to go again. Kitchen accidents are not recommended for the uninsured, at least in this country.

That reminds me of a fun blog you must check out. Broke Ass Bitch (I am not making this up). You can read her blog at and it is hilarious. She talks about raising chickens and stretching out soup to last three days, made with one chicken. She also mentions what to keep in your pantry (and freezer) in terms of canned veg, grains and protein, so you have "go to" meals all the time. I think this is very practical.

So...tonight I'm making the muffins (finally). I added some jumbo raisin medley from Fresh & Easy to the recipe and a cup of pecans. My mechanic is getting the bulk of them tomorrow, since he is kindly replacing my compressor and there will be cold air again in my little beetle. Yea! The remainder of the muffins (along with a pair of checkered Vans) are going to Jason, whose birthday is tomorrow, and he deserves something yummy.

Happy Birthday Dood!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A proper lunch date at Thai Lahna

Green beans with chicken in a spicy sauce from Thai Lahna.

The kitchen wench had a proper date today (again) - gasp. It's going nicely, this hanging out with a like minded fun, friendly and apparently generous person.

Telling myself here not to get caught up or expecting the moon. Our emotions do that to us sometimes.

Today JP called and asked what was I doing (I was working) and did I want to join him for lunch. Did I?

He called two hours later to say he was heading my way and that we needed to find something tasty to eat. I suggested Thai, Indian (Native American) or Cambodian, all are fairly close to me. He opted for Thai, which I love and don't get enough of.

Around the corner from the kitchen wench is Thai Lahna. It is a simple mom and pop place, with a bursting (huge) menu. JP ordered for us (a nice touch I thought): chicken and green beans in a spicy sauce, pad thai with chicken and shrimp and todd munn (fish cakes). A thai tea for me and a thai coffee for him.

Lunch was tasty and leisurely. We are getting to know each other over food (and ballgames).

The kitchen wench could get used to this.

And I got to take home the green beans and rice. Yummy! It's spicy enough that if you have allergies like I do, they will clear you up, at least for an afternoon.

I have also tried their Tom Yum Gai (hot and sour soup with chicken) on a previous visit, this soup has mushrooms and lemongrass/lime/ginger and will pep up your spirits if you've had a rough day physically or emotionally.

Get your Thai "on" at Thai Lahna.