Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A memorable start to summer!!!

So here it is the big Memorial Day week-end, PBE is having there first ever food challenge which appropriately is dubbed ‘grill of my dreams’. We have company coming Saturday nite to spend a couple a days. I have a menu all prepared.

I wake up SaturdayMorning feeling like poop……….think I am having a relapse of my strep throat, I go for some fresh OJ that I had made the nite before for Sunday brunch mimosa’s, when I notice that there is ice cream dripping out of the freezer side of my 6 month old side by side.
It’s a holiday weekend here folks no one is gonna come out to look at this or repair this on a holiday weekend. But I call Sears 800# and explain my problem, frig side is semi-warm, freezer side is semi-cool. I get thru to someone who was quite nice by the way, and said, “I hope you don’t feel as bad as your voice sounds”. Well yeah I did but why should I get in to it with the customer service dude. Sorry mam the first appointment I can give you is Tuesday between 8 – 5. Hey what the heck of course I’ll take it I have no choice right.

I am lucky to have a old frig that I kept in the garage for occasion of not enough room in your in kitchen frig due to holidays, company and such. So husband and I moved what we could out of the broken down in to the old one in the garage. And about this time I’m feeling really crappy. Consult with husband and ask if we can cancel the get together with friend’s cause I am just not up to it.So Sunday husband and I had fresh squeezed OJ and he enjoyed a mimosa while I enjoyed time in bed with my over the counter meds. Seems that allergies have been just wicked in our area and I was the lucky recipient of what I thought was a fuzzy golf ball stuck in the back of my throat.
I did feel well enough later in the day to BBQ some burgers. I had seen somewhere that twice ground brisket makes a good BBQ’d burger and where ever I saw that they were correct if you haven’t tried it do some time. I had made some macaroni and green pea salad on Saturday. Oh and I had made a special sherbert dish that was in the dead freezer…….oh well!!!

Guess I should explain the reason for the pic of my fridge is that sweetnicks is having one of her very clever challenge’s “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”!!! I don’t think this is what she had in mind, but here ya go, my fridge………..looks a lot cleaner than my purse that’s fer sure.

ETA ~ three things always in my fridge butter, la croix water, half & half never, ever okra!!!

BTW frig got fixed this a.m. and the repair guy said they just don’t make em the way they used to………………..stay tuna’d……………………..

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It was thrillin' to be grillin' but get back to work

With the three-day weekend only a tasty memory it's back to work for most of us. We did recieve some links for our first-ever food challenge, Grill of My Dreams, so watch this blog on June 1 for some smokey posts. If you haven't e-mailed your post get it to us so we can share your grill experiences.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Bird

Sunday we threw a birthday party for Lorna and this was the aftermath of the appetizers, fried onions, grilled sausages, and peel and eat shrimp with a remolade sauce. The onions were an attempt at the Texas Toothpicks we had in Indiana. Quite easy, I took a recipe from Napa Style and did a few modifications.

3 onions sliced into slivers
6 jalapeño peppers seeded and sliced into slivers
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup aborio rice flour
2 cups flour
ground pepper
Just soak the onions and peppers in the buttermilk then dredge with flour. Drop in small batches into hot oil and cook until lightly brown. Salt while hot and serve with a chipotle mayo for a dipping sauce.

Now sister Weed added some chilpotle flakes to the spice grinder while grinding the rice into flour. This sounded good, too. I believe this will be a bbq staple for me this summer.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

weekend dog blogging

well, i put it off long enough, but the dogs finally got their summer haircuts. here's max. he looks like a q-tip and he is not happy about it:


check out other cute dogs that belong to food bloggers at sweetnicks' weekend dog blogging!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Food Challenge # 1--reminder

Don't forget Peanut Butter Étouffee's first ever food challenge, The Grill of my dreams is this weekend. It's time to haul out those bbqs, dust off those grills, and cook up a storm this Memorial Day holiday then send us your "no-fail crowd pleasing bbq'd anything recipe"submissions.

What to submit?

Any recipe or blow-by-blow description of what happened on your grill over the three-day holiday.

How to submit?

Just click this e-mail link and send us your "permalink" or if you don't have a blog, send the text and we'll post it for you-- don't forget the photos. Our deadline will be June 1 for submissions then give us a few days to post links to all the appropriate sites.

Where to send?

E-mail your permalink to or use this link.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

You must try this......

fellow food blogger sweetnicks posted just the other day a recipe for Pear Gorgonzola Butter, those three words alone makes it worth the click.

Husband and I are both still under the weather he more than I, as I had a head start on the germ detail. So it just seemed that soup sounded good. Muir Woods roasted tomatoes, a jar of smokey roasted red pepper, put that in your whirly thing, food processor, along with some chicken broth for thinning down, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic, whirl and transfer to a pan for heating. I add some half and half cause I like the creaminess. At the end add some fresh cilantro.

Now here comes the butter recipe. I had made some in the afternoon in case of a snack attack and forgot about it....shame. Good thing cause this butter spread on toasted ciabatta bread went well with the soup and is a killer.......ya gotta try this.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Here's some smoking I like

Speaking of farmer's markets, yesterday I found something I've never seen, smoked garlic. There was a big pile of garlic heads looking like they rescued it from a burning kitchen and they might well have. I bought a head and now I wish I'd bought more. It is yummy with a subtle smoky flavor. I added it to pasta and asparagus in olive oil. Wow, was that great. I hope to find it again next week and this time I'll ask about it. The texture was the same as roasted garlic and the outside charred.

I am so sad............

Saturday is the last day for my farmer's market...........bummer.

In Florida it is just too hot to have anything growing now or thru the hurricane season.
So I will try to get to Whole Foods as much as I can.

Maybe we will be gone from here soon, and I won't have to worry bout not having a Farmers Market.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Serial from the heartland of Indiana

Mooncrazy: Doodles and I recently returned home from a trip to Indiana. Because we are such foodies we thought someone might enjoy hearing of our travels and eating adventures.

Because both contracted the "garfalitus" in Indiana we've not felt well enough to post but the miracle of modern chemistry has released me, at least, from the dreaded disease.

Doodles: So I must refer to my journal because I am, as I type, in a drug induced coma due to strep throat and a silly little sinus infection. And I am ashamed to admit we did not take one beauty shot of the food we did enjoy.........drats.

Anyway can I just say I have had my fill of Hall's Restaurants. Please don't think I am complaining about them we just ate there a lot while we were in Ft. Wayne. And they are allowed to smoke in their establishments, which nearly killed me, and I think Moon as well.

Mooncrazy: Don Hall's is a Ft Wayne, Indiana local dynasty with twelve restaurants. If you are in Ft Wayne you can't escape Hall's. The food is typical and because we had some family obligations, it served the purpose because every family member, save Doodles and myself, smoke and they allow smoking in every Halls. I'm from California and there are places here where you can't even smoke outside so smoking between courses, for the love of god, why? Second hand smoke

Doodles: awww Moon I agree!!! There are some restaurants here in Florida you can't even smoke outside in the patio dinning area. Thank you very much. And to allow employees to smoke at the entrance of their employers just boggles my mind. So sorry for the interruption, this is a food blog after all, continue sister moon.

Mooncrazy: The food in Indiana was somewhat disappointing but we did find an occasional stellar moment. One of our favorites was a place called Tumbleweeds, Seymour IN and although a chain, had a decent lunch menu. We shared a grilled chicken sandwich which was surprisingly spicy but the highlight was "Texas Toothpicks."

Doodles: I am on a mission to find the recipe for Texas Toothpicks..........I can taste them now, they are yummy. Once I get to feeling human again I am going to duplicate that food item. Stay tuna'd I'll post the results.

Mooncrazy: The recipe should be easy, just slivers of onions and jalapeños deep fried in a light tempura batter with a chipotle mayo for dipping. I'm thinking rice flour might be involved.

Doodles: Ya know moon, mentioning the fact that Indiana food tasting was somewhat disappointing is an understatement, should I hire an attorney now?

When we arrived in Indianapolis, we found a hotel suite type place on the northwest side of the city. We collected several of the obligatory tourist handouts from the lobby and took them back to our room to peruse. We decided a trip the next day to the White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis would be the perfect place to start because there is a plethora of things to do and see. One was the Eiteljorg Museum. Native American and Western Art on display for your viewing pleasure, and what a pleasure it was.

Mooncrazy: Great museum that included new art with old artifacts. Wonderful way to display the collection.

Doodles: But this is a food blog and of course we had to try the museum cafe for lunch. When Moon and I discovered they were serving posole, we beat feet. Moon, of all things for them to serve; it seemed like it was made just for us.

Mooncrazy: Yes, we are known far and wide for our love of posole. I was impressed that it was on the menu and when served it was actually pretty good. It did have a little too much meat and too little spice for me but it did give you the idea of New Mexico. What did you think of the dish, Doodles?

Doodles: I am in complete agreement moon, but remember who was making it and eating it as well. Most folks in that area keep spices low on the totem pole. It concerned me somewhat that we had to ask what the green stuff (cilantro) was in the cornbread. Not the flavor that would pass as cilantro.

Mooncrazy: I find that cilantro is a very fragile flavor. I used it like parsley on pasta tonight and it didn't have the effect I thought it would.

Ok, this post has gotten too long. We'll have to serialize it so, as Doodles says, Stay tuna'd!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

a little home-cooked korean food

as a resident of los angeles, i am lucky to have access to the cuisine of many cultures...and the most authentic instances of the same outside of their native countries, at that. i consider myself a fairly adventurous eater and am constantly bugging my friends to introduce me to new "ethnic" restaurants, especially ones where me and the hubby will be the only honkies in the place! one of my favorites is korean food and one of my favorite appetizers when we go to korean bbq is the pa jan, a scallion pancake.

here's my stab at a homemade version. basically, you put some green onions and oysters or shrimp in a pan, pour over the batter and fry on both sides. preparation is simple. cut up the green onions into 2 inch lengths and chop up some cooked shrimp or oysters. i used tofu because i like it and it's what i had in my fridge.

the ingredients

in the authentic recipe, the batter calls for rice flour, but i use regular flour, an egg, milk, salt and a bit of sesame oil. mix up the batter so it is thin. thinner than pancake batter, maybe crepe batter consistency.

the batter

put a little oil in your pan (i use canola with a dash of sesame for flavor and my non-stick omelette pan), then lay down your green onions in the pan (try to get them all going the same direction) and sprinkle the oysters or chopped shrimp. let the oil get hot again after you add the green onions & seafood, because you want a nice crispy pancake. pour in enough batter to almost cover the green onions.

fry it up

cook until pancake is set and brown on one side, then flip and brown the other side. slide out of the pan and sprinkle with a little salt while still hot. cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce made of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onions and chili flakes. here's the final product. these got a little burned (i was on the phone when i was cooking). the ideal color is nice and golden with a nice fried texture.

pa jan

i'm sure koreans everywhere are cringing at this photo and recipe, but this version is good enough to tide you over til the next time you're in l.a.'s k-town! as i said before, this is supposed to be an appetizer, but i have been known to sit down to dinner when the hubby is out of town with just a pa jan or two, some rice and some kimchi and a cold o.b. beer. [personal to mooncrazy, most cabbage kimchi has shrimp paste in it, so skip the kimchi.]

Remember the comfort food thread we had?????

Well since my sister and I have returned from our wonderful visit in Indiana, I thought I should bring my dear sweet husband a present since I had a present, a rotten cold and what the heck after 35 years, sharing is caring. Dang I brought him a cold, I'm sorry bunky, really I am.
But I marched that bad boy to the Dr. this a.m. and got him started on some antibiotics and his favorite beverage Gatorade (eeeewwww) other than beer of course. But when my sweetie gets back home I had made Who cares if it's good for you, it taste great This is an otameal dish sister moon made and posted awhile back.
Now here is the very odd part, any other time I made this dish my sweetie said "no thanks I'm not fond of that." He comes home and feeling kinda wonky smells the oatmeal dish and sheepishly says "could you scoop me up some of that?"
So what I'm saying folks is that my bunky has discovered a comfort food that now he is calling his own......isn't life amazing.
Try this recipe my friends it could be your new favorite comfort food even when you're not under the weather.

Monday, May 15, 2006

PBE's challenge #1 - Grill of my dreams

Sound the trumpets, unfurl the dish towels, Peanut Butter Étouffee is announcing their first ever food challenge.

We had so much fun with the Stale Bread Challenge we're tossing out a challenge of our own. Our sitemeter counter says we're gathering more readers so the challenge is open it to anyone wanting to add a post. That includes food bloggers or visitors without a blog. We'll take all comers who have an interest in food.

The May 29 Memorial Day holiday is the official opening of barbecue season. For our first memorable challenge give us your "no-fail crowd pleasing bbq'd anything recipe." Only rule: part of the cooking must be on a grill and prepare it sometime over that three-day holiday. Make a side dish, condiment, or a roast pig, just make sure you take a photo and e-mail your permalink or text of the recipe by June 1. We'll post a link to all appropriate sites.

Now this is smoke I don't mind smelling.

Update: Here are the participants from the first-ever challenge.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Buddy with a discriminating palate

This is our Buddy, not to be confused with Weed's Buddy cat, and he is a fine wire-haired terrorist. He has just received his spring grooming and looking quite handsome so I thought it warranted a photo. He pretty much controls darling husband and myself, tells us when to walk him, when to feed him, and when we've been up too late and it's time for his beauty sleep. Why the discriminating palate? We don't know but he smells everything he's offered. Odd habit for a dog, more cat-like.
As the “little bird” mentioned we were recently introduced to sweetnicks through a wonderful food blog called farmgirlfare.

farmgirl was also very generous to tell us about another food blog site if you are a cat owner – or should I say owned by a cat.

Clare is in Australia but don’t let that throw ya…..she has some wonderful items on her food blog as well as her weekendcatblogging every week. Check it out if you are owned by a cat.

Here is a pic of my Buddy lounging on his cat condo...........

Thursday, May 11, 2006

cute doggies abound

pbe was recently introduced to a very cool food blog call sweetnicks. i like it a lot. sweetnicks has a ton of great info and the author does a lot of "round-ups," where she posts a theme and other food bloggers cook up something based on that theme and post it on their site, send a link and then she does a re-cap (basically like the imbb event that we participated in a few weeks ago). anyway, i think the reason that i really love the sweetnicks site is that it is obvious the author is a dog lover and she has something called the weekly dog blogging round-up. so, here's a picture of my two doggies, max (l) and multy (r) for the round-up.

multy & max

do check out sweetnicks.

p.s. i know this should probably be done on a weekend, but this weekend is going to be a bit busy, so it's 2 days early!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

in honor of sue

my best friends' grandmother passed last night. she was the sweetest, kindest little old lady you'd ever care to meet. she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. everyone called her grandma and you just couldn't help but hug that wee woman every time you saw her. we'll miss her terribly, but she left a wonderful legacy of love with her children and grandchildren, so she will live on in all of our hearts forever.

grandma sue will always be remembered in my heart for her ginger snaps, which were a staple at the family's annual 4th of july party. and while there's nothing quite like the flavor and texture of a grandma sue ginger snap eaten with wet pool hands in the hot california sun, here's my favorite ginger snap recipe in honor of grandma sue:

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 c. a.p. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. sugar

cream sugar, butter, molasses and egg. stir in remaining ingredients except 1/4 c. sugar. refrigerate dough for about an hour. form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the remaining sugar. bake in a 350 degree oven for about 8 - 12 minutes (snaps will puff up and then flatten and set). cool about a minute on the cookie sheets, then remove to a rack.

that one's for you, grandma sue. we sure will miss you.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Yes, we have no meatballs

Since I like to be fair I sent the link to my Fantastically Mediocre post to Johnny Carinos. I was not expecting anything but I did get an e-mail reply with words like, apologize, discuss this with the general manager, and gift certificate. Gift certificate? Yes, I'd be happy to try your restaurant again. I'm not only fair but forgiving especially when the director of operations sends me 30 bucks to try this again.

I'd love to sing their praises but all I could manage after our dinner last week would be a sour one note. First, we went at 5:30 p.m. No we aren't that old, we had other things to do that evening. The service was just as lackluster, our salad plates stayed on the table until our entree came, which was wrong so I sat looking at my Chicken Scaloppini while they replaced the potatoes with pasta as Dan ordered. He was specific about that when he ordered. That guy sure does love his pasta.

The Scaloppini was good and it was served hot but I ordered the Garlic Potato Cheese soup and it was so thick it was more like a dip. When I asked the server if it's always this thick he said he thought it was a little thicker tonight. I wonder if he would have served the chicken if he "thought it smelled a bit off tonight." He asked if I wanted something else but since he had my entree in his hand I'd rather eat that while it was warm. Little did I know. Dan's Grilled Italian Sirloin was ok but had cooled while they got the potato issue solved.

While we were waiting for our check--where do these waiters go--I heard a waiter tell the table behind us they were out of meatballs. An Italian restaurant out of meatballs before 6:00 p.m., amazing, I give them a few more months before they are out of customers, too.