I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Marriage of Taste

One Saturday during our weekly poker night my father brought a chocolate cheese cake that had blueberry topping. I remember thinking what an interesting combination; I had never thought to put blueberries with chocolate before. Well let me tell you all it took was one bite and I knew that this was a marriage made in heaven. I could not get over how incredible those two flavors comingled on my palate. Ever since then I have been trying to come up with different ways to bring these two meant to be ingredients together.

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. sour cream
2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped nuts
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips (whatever you prefer)

Cream together first 3 ingredients. Add vanilla. Sift and mix the dry ingredients together. To creamed mixture, add alternately with sour cream. (Save a little of the flour to coat the blueberries before mixing, so they will not sink to the bottom).
Prepare topping from the 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup nuts. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the topping, all the chocolate chips and blueberries. Spoon in the remaining batter. Cover with the remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and cool.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roaf Beast

My mother always said that I came out of the womb talking. I guess that I was blessed with the gift for gab at a very early age. Going by the stories that my family tell, I guess that I was forming complete sentences by my first year. Of course, as well versed as I seemed to be I always had a few words that I just could not pronounce correctly. The three words that stand out the most are; Hoppydoo (hospital), Comptydoo (comfortable) and my favorite Roaf Beast (roast beef). I actually have to stop and think before actually saying roast beef to this day or it will inevitably come out roaf beast.....oh heck, what's the difference any way you slice it or in this case say it, it still tastes good.

Coffee Roast Beef

3 - 5 lb. roast
2 cloves of Garlic
1 small Onion or scallion
1 cups of vinegar
2 cups of strong coffee
2 cups of water

Cut slits in roast, insert slivers of garlic and onion in slits. Put beef in bowl and pour vinegar over it. Refrigerate 24 to 48 hours. Pour vinegar off and brown in small amount of oil. Pour coffee and water over. Cook in heavy iron pot slowly for 6 hours. Do not season until 20 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper only. Gravy may be thickened or left as is.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fragrant Fruit

Lychee fruits have to be one of my all time favorite treats so much so that during the holidays family and friends would always include cans of them as a special treat to accompany my other gifts. I always loved them ice cold so I would immediately put the cans in the refrigerator to chill. I would enjoy them straight from the can; the syrup was an added bonus for sipping. Back then I had never seen or tasted a fresh lychee. The first time for me was on a trip to San Francisco when I spotted some fresh ones in a little corner store in Chinatown. They were incredible, very juicy, sweet but not as sweet as the canned variety.
Unfortunately it was many years before I was ever able to experience fresh lychee's again, the grocery stores here in New York did not start carrying them until about a decade ago.
Lychee fruit is so fragrant so much so that it actually makes an excellent flavoring to be used in a variety of beverages.

Stuffed Lychee's

2 (20 oz.) cans whole seedless lychee, drained or fresh if you can get them.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 oz. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Chopped macadamia nuts (garnish)

Combine cream cheese and ginger, stuff mixture into the center of the lychee with a small spoon, butter knife or a pastry bag, chill and garnish with macadamia nuts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

All They're Cracked Up To Be....

Easter is still a couple of days away and as usual most of us will be coloring way too many hard boiled eggs much to the dismay of all those poor tired hens.
I do not know about you but when Easter has come and gone I do not find myself with an overload of excess candy, instead I feel like I am buried under a pile of colored hard boiled eggs. You hardly ever hear anyone talk about what to do with all those eggs. I can only sprinkle salt on so many and eat as is for so long. Sure there is always egg salad but even that can grow tiresome, so what to do with all those eggs? Well, here are a couple suggestions that might help crack this case!

Pickled Eggs and Onions

1 tsp. prepared mustard
3/4 c. water
1 tbsp. salt
1 med. onion, sliced in rings
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. pickling spice
12 hard boiled eggs, peeled

In small saucepan blend mustard with 1/4 cup vinegar. Add remaining 1 cup vinegar and remaining ingredients except eggs. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and onions are crisp and tender. Pour over eggs, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Hard Cooked Egg Casserole
1 1/2 doz. hard cooked eggs, sliced
1/2 lb. bacon
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 c. light cream
1 c. milk
1 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 1/2 to 2 c. buttered bread crumbs

Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Make cream sauce using butter, flour, cream and milk. Add the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and other herbs. Pour some of the sauce in a greased 3 quart baking dish. Add a layer of egg slices, then bacon and more cream sauce. Continue until ingredients are used up, ending with sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until bubbly and browned.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Really Jerky Review

I have always been a huge fan of beef jerky for as long as I can remember. There was a time that beef was the only meat jerky available for purchase. Things have changed greatly over the years now jerky is made out of every type of meat and fish imaginable and most recently it was brought to my attention and to my taste buds a jerky made of fruit. I have to say that I was quite surprised. I actually thought that pineapple jerky just meant that the meat had been marinated in pineapple juice before drying. Wasn't I surprised when I saw this pretty as a flower piece of natural pineapple that had been processed into jerky.
At first before trying it, I was thinking of the dried pineapple that you can get in most stores that I really do not care for. It tends to be too sweet and grainy and for the most part no longer tastes like pineapple instead it tastes like pure sugar.
That is not the case with this pineapple jerky, I do not know what the people at Jerky.com did but this stuff is delicious. It is literally a slice of fresh pineapple with the addition of a little honey that has been made into jerky. It still retains the flavor of eating fresh pineapple only with the chewiness of jerky. This is truly a delicious product as well as a very nutritional way to tame that sweet tooth, a definite must try.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Simply Better

The asparagus has been looking so perfect in the stores these days in both the green and the white. The stalks have been long and thin instead of thick and woody as they had been in the past. I do love asparagus as do most of my family and friends so when I see some so perfectly displayed it is a must purchase for our eating pleasure.
Even though asparagus holds its own in any fancy preparation, it really is at its best in its simplest form.

Fresh Asparagus

2 lb. asparagus
Salted water
1/4 c. butter, melted
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon or orange, optional (but a really delicious addition)!

Snap or cut off tough ends of asparagus. Wash. Leave whole or cut into bite-size diagonal pieces. Cook in salted water until tender. If you find tips cook too fast compared to ends when cooking whole, make a pillow of foil to hold tips up. Drain very well. Turn into shallow serving dish. Drizzle butter over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings of about 4-6 spears each.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


No, it does not stand for best friends forever. The BFF actually stands for Big Foot Farming. I did not believe it myself until some friends of mine filled me in on some little known goings on in the game meat production industry. I am sure you have all at one time or another heard about the legend of Big Foot also known as Sasquatch and several other names depending on what part of the world you are from. Well, I guess it turns out that those occasional big foot sightings in various parts of the world were not a fluke. Turns out that all those different sightings coincide with the exact locations of several Sasquatch farms or ranches, if ranch raised, the animals are allowed to roam at will over hundreds of acres, foraging off foliage. Farm-raised Sasquatch live in more confined outdoor areas and are fed grains such as wheat, alfalfa, or corn. What the animal eats can affect the taste of the meat. Sasquatch, venison, antelope, boar, pheasant, and other exotic species are now farm raised in the United States, and are under voluntary USDA inspection. For an increasing number of restaurants and home diners, exotic meats are becoming more commonplace.
Up until now I had never seen Sasquatch meat in any of the super markets that I shop at nor had I ever seen it offered on any restaurant menu. So needless to say I was beginning to think that this was just some silly rumor that just got out of hand until.....
I actually came across a company that is finally distributing Sasquatch Meat to the public in the form of Sasquatch Jerky. It must be a very luxurious cut of meat, I would love to try it but when I saw the price I knew this had to be an exceptional gourmet find. I guess I will have to put Sasquatch Jerky on my wish list of things to try right under Beluga Caviar........unless Donald Trump sees it in his heart to invite me over for dinner!

FYI - Bigfoot is far from being confined to North America. He is found in almost all parts of the world by many names. Here are just a few of the places he has been seen and his name given by the natives:
North America - Bigfoot, Sasquatch Europe - Kaptar, Biabin-guli, Grendel, Ferla Mohir, Brenin Ilwyd Africa - Ngoloko,Kikomba. Asia - Gin-sung, Yeti, Mirygdy ,Mecheny, Chinese Wildman, Nguoi Rung