Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dogs on the Rise; Let's Be Frank

Let's Be Frank Hot Dogs seem to be on the rise. These frankfurters have been featured in articles in LA Weekly, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Chow, and The New York Times. Maybe they are so much on the radar because they opened a cart recently in LA (Dec. 2007). Maybe they have a great PR firm... But does a hot dog cart deserve so much attention? Maybe, if this hot dog cart is really the precursor to a fast food empire. It may happen. Let's be Frank is growing fast.

I had my first Let's-Be-Frank yesterday at a Memorial Day BBQ and was very pleased. The dog was long and thin, flavorful, and the casing was crisp. I was doubly pleased when I found out that these dogs are healthier than your average dog. They are made with 100% grass fed beef, have no nitrates, no hormones, and are lower in calories than other comparable hot dogs (170 calories, 13 grams of fat per dog compared with 240 cals and 22 grams of fat for a Dodger Dog).

I am interested in trying the dogs directly from the cart. I will be taking a trip to Helms Bakery where the Los Angeles cart resides. Check out this great review from one of my favorite food blogs, the Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Blog.

You can find Let's Be Frank Dogs at these locations Marked on our Family of Food Map:

The original Let's Be Frank Locations:
Warming Hut at Crissy Field
Our Hours are:
Every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Weather Permitting.

AT&T Ballpark-San Francisco
AT&T serving 2 hours before first pitch to top of the
2nd ending, behind the Willy Mayes statue.

The address where you can find Let's Be Frank Dogs in LA:
Helms Bakery‎
8800 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Brother of Food, these dogs are available in New York at:
Willie’s Dawgs
351 5th Ave, Brooklyn 11215
Btwn 4th & 5th St

Thursday, May 22, 2008

7 Leias! A Big Girl Gets Inspired by Her Inner Child

Today I got 7 Princess Leia Action figures:

Classic Princess Leia Organa in white robes,
Princess Leia and Han Solo,
Classic Princess Leia and R2D2,
Princess Leia and Wicket the Ewok,
Princess Leia in Ewok celebration outfit (with Action Slide),
Leia in Boushh Disguise,
and Leia in her Jabba's Prisoner's Golden Bikini.

It has put a silly grin on my face all day. The little girl inside of me is overwhelmed with joy. It makes me want to have a 7 Leia Party. What would I serve? A Seven Leia Dip, of course, and maybe I would make these treats:

Naboo Nuggets from Little Foodies

This Star Wars Cake by Cement Truck

Something from Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook
like Boba Fett-uccine or Wookie Cookies

...or something from its sequel, The Star Wars Cookbook II -Darth Malt and More Galactic Recipes like a Darth Malt or Amidala Challah

Or how about these really cool cupcakes, I mean... The Dark Lord of the Dessert

...and Cinnamon Buns, so we can all display our own inner Princess Leia.

Lets get this party started!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Tiny Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Yams are an under appreciated food in America. This country is focused on meat and potatoes, but Sweet Potatoes and Yams can be a delicious alternative. Sweet Potatoes and Yams are different vegetables, but are similar for cooking purposes. Yams are a bit sweeter. Most American markets carry Sweet Potatoes, but if you look you can find Yams.

If you are going to make Candied Yams, or Sweet Potato Pie, you will not get the healthy benefits of these tubers. I have a simple recipe for tasty Sweet Potato or Yam chips which makes a tasty side dish while keeping up the nutrition.

Serves 2
Calories: 230 (for 6 oz potatoes)
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS® Value: 4 - includes 1 Vegetable Serving
1Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 14-18 min min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
2 Sweet Potatoes or Yams (or one of Each)
Olive Oil Spray (or Olive Oil and Brush)
2-3 cloves garlic
Course Salt

Preheat Broiler on Oven.
Slice your Sweet Potatoes into thin circles (use a food processor if you have one)
Mince the garlic till fine. How Fine?
My knife skills teacher said you would never want a bigger bit than you would want stuck on the front of a tooth.
Spray a cookie sheet and the slices with Olive Oil, or brush on Olive Oil to the slices and the pan.
Sprinkle with Garlic and Salt making sure both sides have seasoning.
Broil Each side until Brown (about 6-8 Minutes).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tiny Little Recipe: Strawberries and Cream for Breakfast

I made this for the toddlers one morning and realized it would be a great healthy alternative to some other sweet treats, like a strawberry shakes or strawberry ice cream. This recipe has a rich taste but is low in calories and high in nutrition.

Strawberries and Cream for Breakfast

Calories: 270 (more or less depending on brand of Applesauce)
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS® Value: 4 - includes 1 milk and 1 fruit portion
Servings: 1
Preparation Time: 1 min
Cooking Time: 1 min
Level of Difficulty: Super Easy

1 container Strawberry apple sauce
1 packet Nabisco Instant Cream Of Wheat
1/2 cup fat-free skim milk

Cook the Cream of Wheat in with milk instead of water. If you don't care about the extra calories use whole milk.
Mix in the strawberry applesauce.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why Glendale is One of the Awesomest Cities!!!

I owe this post and its colorful title to Friend of Food, Varoujan.

Varoujan is a food fan of Glendale, CA, and he has good resaon to be. Glendale is a large city neighboring Los Angeles. It happens to be the birthplace of many of our nation's favorite restaurants and host to some of the nation's best food companies.

Last week the LA times ran the obituary for Irvine Robbins founder of the Ice Cream behemoth Baskin-Robbins. Where did Mr. Robbins have his very fist Ice Cream shop? Glendale California, of course. The Baskin-Robbins, "31 Flavors" chain of ice cream parlors started in Adams Square in 1945. According to Wikipedia, store #1 is at this address 1130 South Adams, which I've added to our Family of Food Map.

Bob's Big Boy was started in 1936 by Bob Wien Glendale as Bob's Pantry, Home of the Big Boy Burger. The Bob's Big Boy chain of hamburger restaurants started on East Colorado. According to the historical photograph to the right (found on the Big Boy website, thank you Big Boy) it looks like the original was at 900 East Colorado. I have added that location to our Family of Food Map.

These historically interesting franchises are great, but is Glendale still relevant in the franchise industry? Sure it is, Glendale is also the birthplace of the wildly popular Panda Express . Its first restaurant at the Glendale Galleria opened in 1983 and they are still serving up batches of Orange Chicken in the upstairs Food Court (there is another Panda Express in the downstairs food court and one across the street in the food court near the theaters). If you have never been to the Galleria... I've added it to the Family of Food Map.

In addition Glendale is home to the national headquarters of the Nestlé Corporation. Nestlé makes chocolate, of course, but it also makes Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, Juicy Juice, Libby's Pumpkin, and even Purina Dog Food. Nestlé USA is at 800 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91203 and I have added that to the Map.

The National Headquarters of The International House of Pancakes or IHOP is also in Glendale. The very first International House of Pancakes started in nearby Toluca Lake in 1958. The company headquarters is at 450 N. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203, but if you're looking for a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity, you'll have to go to the nearest franchise at 605 N. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91206-2408 (check the Map.)

In the words of Varoujan, "Ah Glendale, what food concoction will you bring us next?"

Monday, May 12, 2008

A French Dip Into Our History

If you live in Los Angeles or have ever lived in Los Angeles, you may have heard rumor of a place downtown which claims to have invented the French Dip. If you live in Los Angeles and have heard of this place, but have never ventured out to find it, you are at a loss. This place exists and is called Phillipe the Original. In a town full of slick, small portioned, diet obsessed, celebrity chef'd, get the best table in the house to be seen at or better yet not seen at restaurants, Phillipe's is a breath of meat infused genuine old fashioned air.

An ancient counter is staffed by a just slightly less old collection of "Carvers" all wearing smart uniforms out of a thirties period movie complete with hats bobby pinned into their locks permanently curled with curlers set for decades at night, only this isn’t a movie and those uniforms just might be from the thirties, when these women might have first started working at Phillipe’s.

You order at the counter where the lines are numerous and sometimes still long. You can get a lemonade for seventy cents and coffee for ten. You can pick out of Five Different types of meat for your French Dip: roast beef, roast pork, leg of lamb, oven-roasted turkey, or ham. A full diner and breakfast menu is also available. For your first visit, unless you're a vegetarian, why get anything but the dip? Finish up your order with a side dish or a slice of pie and then pick a table. Much of the seating is shared, so get to know your fellow Angelenos. This place is a blast for people watching.

Make sure to try a bit of the Phillipe's Hot Mustard on your Sandwich. It will cure your cold if nothing else. Although they claim to prepare about 40 gallons of hot mustard two times a week, I have a theory that they just go around the corner to Chinatown to get Hot Chinese mustard and put it into deli jars. In any case, I liked it, and I'm not a huge mustard fan.

Before you leave, walk around a bit. Check out the memorabilia on the walls. There is an entire room dedicated to the Santa Fe Train Engine. This place is something authentically special in a town that manufactures special.

If you live in LA, and have never been to Phillipe the Original, it is not too late.

Phillipe the Original
1001 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213)628-3781

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another Addition, Random Recipes!

Hello extra special Family of Food reader,

There is a new resource for you on the Family of Food Page.
Over on the sidebar, you may notice something called "Random Recipes".

<------------------ It looks like this.

This is a Google Gadget that searches for Random Recipes and puts them in the box. If you see one you like, view the recipe and copy it to your computer at that time, because the next time you come back it may be gone.

Enjoy Random Recipes!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's on Our Shelf

Family of Food has been highlighting some pretty cool stuff lately, like cookbooks and videos. See this blog post, or this one, or this one. Maybe you want some of this stuff?

We've added Amazon Links of stuff we like to our Blog to help you find these things more easily. Some of our favorite cookbooks are not even in print anymore, but often Amazon will have a used copy from one of it's affiliates. The links are prominently placed on our sidebar. We will periodically change links or add something new we like.

Please use the links to find out more about these goodies and if you do end up buying them from Amazon, we will get a small commission which helps support the blog. Yay! If you don't, please enjoy clicking anyway and check your public library for some of these titles.

Thanks for all of your support!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean: Gazpacho Recipe

As promised... More from Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Read through this recipe and you will find the steps are quite simple. You may even have all of the ingredients on hand. The tough part for me was finding the sungold tomatoes. I almost made this recipe this weekend, but I had trouble finding the tomatoes. Any readers out there know where I could get sungolds?

Thanks again to Nicole, Cousin of Food, for this recipe.

Golden Gazpacho with Condiments

Condiments are fun! Add minced fennel, minced melon, crab meat, Aleppo chilies, or minced onion to this most delicious of gazpachos. Just be sure to chop all the vegetables or any garnish as small as possible to keep the elegance of the dish.
Makes 4 cups to serve 4.

2 pints sungold tomatoes (about 6 cups)
½ cup fresh, plain bread crumbs or ½ small pita bread, torn up into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon salt plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 cup bottled sparkling mineral water
1 cup hand-torn bread pieces (tear them with your fingers, to make little croutons)
1 hard boiled egg
1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and finely minced
6 chives, finely minced

1. Place the tomatoes, bread crumbs, vinegar, ½ cup of the olive oil, the turmeric, curry powder, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and sparkling water in a blender. Puree until smooth.
2. Strain through a fine sieve or china cap (a very fine cone-shaped sieve) into a medium stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, pushing it through with the back of a small ladle or pestle. Discard the pulp and seeds and check soup for seasoning. It should be a beautiful golden color. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
3. Chill 4 soup bowls.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. In a small bowl, toss the hand torn bits of bread in ¼ cup of olive oil and place on a small heavy baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 7 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Cool and set aside.
6. Grate the hard cooked egg with the finest side of a box grater so that you have little egg “jimmies.” Place them in a small bowl and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and chill.
7. Ladle the soup into 4 chilled soup bowls. Serve immediately with the egg, peppers, croutons and chives, all passed around separately so that everyone can add a new one per bite.

Recipe Preview: Put a Little Spice in Your Life

Nicole Chaison is a talented writer and she helped to write a lovely cookbook with Chef Ana Sortun. The recipes in this book are clear and engaging, the photography is elegant, and the art direction is graceful.

The Cookbook is called Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ana Sortun is an acclaimed chef and owner of one of the top restaurants in Boston, Oleana. She has won the Beard Foundation award for The Best Chef in the Northeast. Zagat lists Oleana as one of the top 10 restaurants in Boston.

Nicole happens to be a Cousin of Food. The Family of Food has been given a gift by Cousin of Food. We have been given a taste of this delicious spice. The following is the first of two delicious recipes she has shared with us, from Spice.

Make Your Own Curry Powder

Start with this curry recipe as a base and add other spices to create your own signature blend. If you like your curry spicier, add more chilies. To sweeten it, add some allspice or fennel seed. To add more earthiness, try a little cumin. You can use a coffee grinder to grind your spices.

Makes 1½ cups.

¼ cup coriander seeds, toasted, cooled, and ground
¼ cup + 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground fenugreek leaves (push the leaves through a medium-fine sieve over a small bowl to remove bits of stem and to powder the leaves)
¼ cup dried ground ginger
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, ground
2 tablespoons Aleppo chilies
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds (just the black seeds and not the pods), ground
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 3 months.

Check back for the next recipe. Posting this week.

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