Sunday, June 27, 2010

Culinary Quote: Me

I should probably tell you that I said this at my niece's dance recital last weekend, not at a restaurant. But come to think of it, as a restaurant idea it is even more awesome.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Culinary Quote: Chris

"I got the Chicken Felafel. It's like the felafel you ordered, but it has chicken in it. And stop stalking me!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sun Tea - With Recipe!

I think I must have read The Shoemaker's Elves a little too often as a kid, because I love the idea of magic happening while I sleep or I'm away from home. I've already posted about how great it is to wake up to Irish oatmeal that cooked itself while I slept. Now I'm enjoying Sun Tea that brews itself while I go to work.

You know how you get a bee in your bonnet and you have to get a book of Mary Oliver's poetry out of the library today, or you want to single-handedly bring back the bundt cake, or you want to move to the other side of the country and change your name? No? Well it happens to me. I hadn't heard or thought about Sun Tea since the 70s, and all of a sudden I had a hankering to make some. Of course, this being Rhode Island, I had to wait a week and a half for a sunny day. It was an ordeal. But after I made my blueberry tea, the waiting paid off. YUM!

To Make Sun Tea You Need:

A large jar or pitcher with a tight-fitting lid
Water (I don't know how much. How much do you want to make?)
Teabags - any kind (1 for every cup of water and an extra "for the pot" just like Mrs. Beeton recommends)

1. Put water and teabags in the jar or pitcher, cover tightly, and place outside in a spot that stays sunny all day.

2. At the end of the day, remove the teabags and sweeten if desired. I found that sugar dissolved easily in the tea while it was still room temperature. If you prefer honey, I recommend microwaving the honey (in a Pyrex measuring cup) until it liquefies and then stirring it into the tea.

3. Chill and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Restaurant Review: 5 Guys Burgers & Fries

It's a sad but true fact that the most exciting thing happening at my workplace this week is the opening of 5 Guys Burgers & Fries across the street. I decided to try the food out on opening day and post a review. These are the lengths I will go to for my readers.

It's a fast food joint, which was kind of a voyage of discovery for me because as anyone who knows me can attest, I am fast food impaired. I generally don't do fast food at all. My friend Monica had to teach me how to order and use the drink filler-upper at Taco Bell a few years ago. Her tutelage came in handy when I ordered and got beverages at 5 Guys.

I have to say, though, that for fast food it was really good. The burger was juicy and delicious, and the hand-cut fries - while being a little less crisp than I am accustomed to - had great flavor. There was a sign at the counter telling patrons that the potatoes for the day's fries were from the Circle C Farm in Homer, ID. Congratulations, folks in Homer. You grow a mighty fine potato.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Heart Cheez-Its Even More Now

This Cheez-It Commercial with Interrupting Cheese cracks me up every time I see it. I've been yelling "CHEESE!" at random intervals all week. Which is proof, in case you needed it, that my inner twelve-year-old pretty much runs the show.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simply Delicioso

Lest you think I don't care about the state of my arteries at all, I must state that I didn't know the Hamburger Taco at El Charro Cafe in Tucson, AZ was deep fried until after I ordered. The menu said it was a hamburger taco with queso, peas, and sliced radishes. That combination fell into the "so crazy it just might work" category for me; however, since then my source in Southern California has assured me that it's very common in authentic Mexican food. And now I know why: it's divine.

I spread some of Cafe's to-die-for guacamole on my taco, took a bite, and proceeded moan quietly (at least, I hope I was quiet). I even told the Army Dude to shoot me right then and there, so I could die a happy woman. Which, believe it or not, had very little to do with my tendency to be a drama queen. It really was that good.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Perfect French Omelet - With Recipe!

I don't know about you, but I've always been lousy at making omelets. No matter how hard I tried, I always ended up with eggs scrambled with whatever filling I put in the pan. It's not pretty.

But no more! One night when I was watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS, they showed how to make a perfect french omelet. The recipe is straight from Julia Child, so it comes as no surprise that it's more about technique than anything else. Also, it contains more butter than you might expect. Please enjoy this recipe in moderation.

If you log onto America's Test Kitchen's website and try to access the recipes, they ask for all kinds of personal information, such as your email address, shoe size, and the name of your first dog. But fear not, gentle reader - your intrepid blogger was in front of the TV with the DVR remote in one hand and a pen in the other. Follow these instructions and you will be impressing one and all with your culinary expertise. Don't be put off by the number of steps. Once you get the pan hot, everything moves really fast. Make sure you prep all your ingredients and have them ready before you put the eggs in the pan.


3 eggs
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp shredded cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives or scallions


1. Get out an 8-inch non-stick frying pan, add the 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil, and place over medium-low heat (or low; you want to slowly bring it to temperature over about 10 minutes). Find a lid that will cover the pan completely (it doesn't have to fit perfectly).

2. Cut half the butter in small pieces, place in a ramekin, and freeze for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you're like me and you keep extra butter in the freezer, cut 1/2 tablespoon off that, cut into small pieces and continue.

3. Chop chives or scallions and shred cheese. Place next to stove.

4. Beat eggs a minimum of 80 strokes. (Seriously. Julia means business.) Add salt and pepper to taste, and drop in the frozen butter.

4. When pan is ready, turn heat up to just below medium. Wipe most of the oil out of the pan with a paper towel, then place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of cold (but not frozen) butter in the pan.

5. When the butter stops foaming, pour in the eggs. Using chopsticks or the handle of a wooden spoon, scramble eggs until almost set, about 45 seconds. Pat eggs flat with a spatula.

6. Take the pan off the heat, but leave the burner on. Sprinkle the cheese and chives or scallions quickly over the eggs, slap a lid on the pan and let it sit 1 minute 30 seconds if you like your eggs runny or 2 minutes if you prefer them more cooked. Set a timer. Wash your cutting board, bowl, and utensils while you wait.

7. Return the pan, with the cover, to the heat for 45 seconds (again, set a timer).

8. Roll cooked omelet onto a plate with a folded paper towel on it to help you to get that classic jelly roll. Once you do it a few times you won't need the paper towel because you will be rolling the omelet like a pro. If I can do it, anyone can.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crispy Potato Goodness

Tater Tots are always the same: crispy on the outside, soft and tasty on the inside. In a world where any crazy thing can - and often does - happen, the Tater Tot will never let you down. I like that.