Sunday, January 31, 2010

Seattle Bites

We spent last week in Seattle to cheer on our Utah UTES (womens gymnastics team), and though I haven't had much time to cook, I've certainly had a lot of time to EAT. So, as Joey Roo suggested, when I don't have time to cook and post, why not just eat, photograph, and post!

Dennis made Paninis - (recipe later)

Followed by COCKTAILS!

We had a yummy meal at Chop Sticks, and had leftovers to take home for lunch the next day, accompanied by BLOODY MARYS, of course.

Or Pizza.

Fish and Chips at Steamers, on the wharf, with a side of clam strips....

Cocktails at the Elite:

Dinner at Kyle and Carl's - YUM....

Breakfast at Odd Fellows.....

...or Zeena's - We Report; You Decide !

Cook more; Eat more.... xoxoxo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Would Ethel Eat?

This is Ethel - she's our Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot, and has been a member of our family for over 20 years.
This week's blog is going to focus on her and her diet - both what it should be, and what it is.

January through April is a very busy travel time for us - we avidly follow the University of Utah Womens Gymnastics Team, and were in Salt Lake City to watch the Utes defeat the bulldogs of Georgia on Friday, then we fly to Seattle on Tuesday to play with Dennis and watch the Utes beat up on the Dawgs of University of Washington next Friday - so not a lot of cooking opportunities.

While we're on the road, I have to confess that we eat more than our fair share of Pizza, and this is where Ethel comes in....

This is the food that Ethel should eat:

a healthy blend of seeds, nuts and dried fruits.

BUT, this is what she LOVES ! PIZZA....

and we love it, too.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bagel with White Cheddar

The Christmas tree is back in it's box, the holiday parties are over (but the Awards Show parties are about to begin!), and you've got some yummy dry white cheddar cheese left over in your fridge. If you want a quick, delicious breakfast with some protein but don't want to get out the bacon cooker - try this.
Slice and toast your favorite bagel (I prefer the onion bagel). Lightly butter the toasted bagel, then slice some dry white cheddar on top of both halves. Put in your toaster oven on "broil" until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Voila, a delicious breakfast treat. Additional serving suggestions: yogurt, fruit juice, vitamins and coffee - and of course the morning edition of the LA Times.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tart Lemon Pie

We have friends visiting from Salt Lake City this weekend - here for the UTAH vs. UCLA womens' gymnastics meet (I'm sorry to say that the Utes were soundly defeated by the Bruins, but they will rebound - and UCLA looked great this early in the season). Anyway, I knew I wouldn't have much time to work on this blog, so I decided to make something really easy and fast and fun for us to enjoy - both here at home, eating, and here on the blog, for your reading enjoyment.

Kenny brought me a big bag of lemons picked fresh from his lemon tree - so I wanted to make Lemon Pie. I was searching for a recipe from my dear friend Bobbie in Phoenix, but he never got back to me, so I found this recipe on the internet at foodnetwork.... it's so simple and as you'll read later, turned out to be quite tasty - even though my presentation was somewhat flawed.

I picked this recipe because it was simple, and it didn't require separating the egg yolks from the egg whites, and didn't involve making merangue...and the pies were delicious.

The ingredients are basic - except for the right-off-the-tree picked lemons, unless you live in a citrus friendly climate.

2 pre-baked-ready-to-fill pie crusts
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Really - that's IT. AND you don't have to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and make meringue to go on top.

I started with Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust dough - so I set my oven to 450, unrolled the pie crusts, layed them out in two pie tins, then baked according to directions.
I ran into trouble - I did not press the dough hard enough against the sides of the pans, and when the heat hit the dough, it caused the sides to cave in - of course I didn't realize this until it was too late to do anything about it. Oh well - what's a budding chef to do other than press onward.

When the crusts are out of the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. That's the temperature for baking the pies.

While the crusts are cooling, prepare the pie filling. First - squeeze your lemon juice. The lemons I used came from 3 different lemon trees, so they were different sizes and types. I squoze 6 lemons to get my 1 cup of juice. In your favorite mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients (except the pie crusts - they would gum up your whisk and make the filling really lumpy, and besides, there wouldn't be anything to fill).

Pour the filling into the pie crusts, skimming off the foam (if you do let a little foam get by, it will just bubble up as an unsightly blemish on the face of your pie - but it will still taste delicious). Bake the pies for about 20 minutes, until the filling is set - how do you know? - it will jiggle a bit in the center. Let the pies cool completely - just let them sit on the counter.

When I make these again - and I will - I would double the filling to make the pie thicker (I would also press the pie crust tighter so it doesn't fall). Even though the pies as prepared were not the most beautiful of pies, they were oh so delicious, and really, isn't the taste what's ultimately important?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Potatoes Debbie

Today we had a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the lives of our dear friends Debbie, who passed away early November, and her mother Dorothy, who passed away last week. We couldn't think of a finer tribute than to gather at the house and throw some Fred Steaks on the grill. "Fred Steaks" are an amazing marinated sirloin steak sold by Schaub's Meat, Fish and Poultry Market in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Debbie's friend Katarina would bring down a cooler full on her visits from Palo Alto, and Debbie would invite everyone over for a Fred Steak feast. Fred Steak's primary characteristic is its very black color - I think it looks like a smoker's lung - but it's SO DELICIOUS, and that's not what is featured on today's post.

To accompany the Fred Steak I am fixing "Potatoes Debbie" - but with my own twist, since Debbie never did share her recipe with me. Fred Steak is best cooked on the outdoor grill, so this version of potatoes is prepared with the intent of firing up the grill. If you prefer, you could cook it in the oven.
My ingredient list is very simple - you'll need potatoes, onions, bell peppers (green, red, yellow -whatever color you choose), olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic seasoning - and heavy duty aluminum foil.

Slice the potatoes lengthwise in half, then slice each half in thin slices (how many times can YOU use "slice" in a sentence?") Repeat with six medium sized potatoes, then put in a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, then drizzle with olive oil.
Peel one large onion - cut in half, and then thinly slice the two halves... add to the mixing bowl.
Slice up your green/red/yellow bell pepper - add to the mixing bowl.

Now toss it all up really well, till it looks as pretty as in this photo.

Pull off a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil - pour out half of the potatoe/onion/pepper mix, then tightly wrap the top of the foil, rolling and squeezing it down, then rolling and squeezing the ends. The goal is to get a nice foil package that will not leak on the grill.

(Mine did leak, and I had to double re-wrap it - oh well - trial by error)

I forgot to take a photo of the finished Potatoes Debbie, but here's a photo of the finished Fred Steak.

DELICIOUS ! R. I. P. Deb and Dot. xoxo

OH, did I mention that it was 80 degrees today? Gotta love LA in January.

And by the way, I doubled the recipe, and between the 10 folks at our little gathering, there was not one bit of Potatoes Debbie uneaten, and we still had room for the yummy Rum Cake that Dennis so thoughtfully donated to our event.