Tuesday, January 25, 2011
But fear not, gentle readers. This story ends on a happy note. Last Saturday night, after dinner at Salvation Cafe, I tried their chocolate cake with caramel sauce. I figured I was safe because I was sharing it and if my caramel aversion reared its ugly head, my friend would leap into the breach and finish the dessert. He's a giver like that.
It turns out that salted caramel is the nectar of the gods. Who knew that the addition of a little salt would take caramel from something I didn't really like to something I could eat a five-gallon bucket of, if one were available?
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
My beautiful, smart, talented, and super-creative niece Katie has been making bentos lately for her daughter Elizabeth (age 7). What is a bento? I didn't know either, but apparently it is a Japanese word meaning "lunch on the go." It's like takeout here in the US, except healthier and WAY cuter. Katie says it's a good way to get a variety of foods into a meal, and to control portions. Her daughter loves them.
Katie's description of the bento above:
*mandarin orange slices
*white sticky rice
*chinese fried chicken style 2... (dipped chicken chunks in General Tso's bottled sauce then dipped in flour and deep fried) I will shallow fry them next time!
Another cute bento by Katie:
*cheddar cheese flowers
*chinese fried chicken (dipped chicken chunks in flour, then General Tso's bottled sauce, then panko, then deep fried)
Boo was too hungry for me to make rice, I rushed this one!
Katie's inspiration has been Susan Yuen's blog Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook -- which is worth a look for the gorgeous pictures of Hawaiian scenery in addition to the seriously cute food. I guess her bentos are supposed to be for kids, but I want to learn how to make some for myself. Because cute is always better.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA
Until my friend Annie sent me the link to the Madonna Inn, I didn't think anything could be awesome enough to compare to the now-defunct Gobbler Inn & Supper Club. Gentle readers, I was so wrong. I deeply, deeply love this hotel. The Madonna Inn has 110 rooms, two restaurants, banquet facilities, a cocktail lounge, and shops, each decorated in a different theme. It appears that the owner's wife does a lot of the decorating.It also appears that her favorite color is pink. The inn has a lot of it. It seems as if, when decorating the Gold Rush Steak House, the owners looked at each other and said "if less is more, just think how much more more would be." No expense was spared. The "pink rose" carpet -- which features blooms that are bigger than your head even if you're related to me -- was custom designed. I think the pink banquettes might be a custom job, too.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Gentle readers, this has been bugging me ever since I came across The Primal Blueprint one afternoon at Barnes & Noble, so you are going to have to humor me while I rant.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
After checking my cookbooks and coming up empty, I searched online and found a recipe by Alton Brown which involves shredded fresh pumpkin. (Seriously, Alton? The stuff in the can isn't good enough for you? If I wanted that kind of needless complication, I'd check Martha Stewart's website.) I was not going there.
Then I found a recipe for Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread on Allrecipes.com. The muffins came out great, but I put too much batter in the loaf pan. Next time I'll either use enough muffin tins to make 24 muffins plus the loaf pan, or make 12 muffins plus a 13x9 baking dish. In case you want to try this at home, the muffins were done perfectly in 40 minutes.
Monday, January 3, 2011
A) Bring a lovely side dish
B) Bring Creamy Fruit Salad as a joke
C) All of the above
If you guessed C, you are correct. Thank goodness I also brought Spinach Borek from my Armenian Cookbook (which was great), because the fruit salad went over like the proverbial lead balloon. I got the same quizzical looks that I got last year when I said "I brought bundt cake!"