Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Philly in Vegas

We're visiting Mother of Food in Vegas for The Holidays. We are going to be driving a lot this holiday and we wanted to replace our weak battery before we headed to more remote parts, Since we are away from home and any socket wrenches, we decided to pay to have the battery professionally installed. We ended up at a Pep Boys. It was in an unfamiliar area and we were looking for a good sandwich place for lunch. After installing the new battery, the guys at Pep Boys pointed us in the direction of Geri's Olde Philidelphia.


What we found was a sparse no nonsense kind of place with pictures of Rocky on the wall and all kinds of authentic Philly treats. I split the chicken cheese steak pizza style with Mother of Food and Husband of Food got a steak and mushroom cheese steak. I was very happy with my pizza chicken steak sandwich, it was like chicken parm in the form of cheesesteak. We all shared sides of fries and onion rings, but after ordering, I noticed that we could have had corn nuggets, tater tots, or sweet potato fries. Mom cherrily ordered an egg cream in a wave of nostolgia.   The staff were all regular folks, happy to have egg cream drinking types in the joint.

Mom shared her egg cream with the uninitiated.

Later that night, we went out to try and see the Christmas lights at the Ethel M Chocolate factory, but the car didn't start. Turns out that the Guys at Pep Boys didn't tighten down the terminals. With a bit of work, Husband of food got the car started and had to take it back to Pep Boys to finish the job. They admitted to doing a sloppy job, not doing it right the first time. We would have been really mad, but they did recommend Geri's. So, my advice is do not go to Pep Boys for work on your car, but do take their recommendations on sandwich places.

3430 East Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, NV
(702) 456-0864

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank You


Today is the day before Thanksgiving.  In School, my children made Thanksgiving place mats with some things they are thankful for, and I am inspired. 

I am so grateful for my life right now.  Things are a little sketchy financially; freelance money is just not the same as full time money.  I can't buy a ton of presents for the Holidays, my clothes are shabby chic to put it nicely, and I haven't been able to afford to renew my membership at the gym, so with my love of food, I'm not exactly trimming down this holiday season.  I miss my dog.

The thing is, without regular hours I get to spend more time with the kids and that is a true treasure.  I can't afford many gifts, but maybe I could get a few, or make some.  I am thankful for friends who don't care what gifts they do or do not receive. I am thankful for I have clothes, luckily many from years of plenty, some do not.  I can't go to the gym, but I am able to cook delicious meals which I creatively put together in the fashion of Grandmother of Food when she had little, "If we had a dollar, we used a dollar."  I am thankful for her wisdom and her recipes.  I am thankful for my garden.  I am thankful for our water to drink.  I am thankful for those who are reading this post.  I am thankful for the years I had with my dog.  I am thankful for my Husband.  I am thankful for love, and toys, and candy.  I am thankful that my Daughter is thankful for her Sister and just like her Sister, my Daughter, I am thankful, very thankful, for my family.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Barn Cake!


Little friend of food, Naomi turned 4 this week!
I loved the Barn Cake that her Mom and Grandma made.
The Sheep cupcakes went early (young kids are attracted to marshmallows.)
I preferred the ducks.  The coconut feathers and moist cake made a cleveland bar type of flavor was fabulous to taste.

The bakers said they got the recipe and idea from Betty Crocker online, which I did find here.
My only suggestion if you want to try it, is to leave out some of the red food coloring in the barn frosting. Apparently, some red food color has iodine in it which causes a bitter taste, but gives the most vibrant and prettiest results.  There is a no taste food color available, but it may not be very bright red, kosher, or vegetarian.  Check with the ingredients for your needs.


Great job guys, beautiful cake!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Cure For Everything

Lately my Dog has been sick.

Not just a little sick, but the kind of sick that signifies the start of a spiral towards the end of a long life for a dog. 

Our Dog has trouble with her hips, stiffness in her legs, a lump in her neck, and she has less and less ability to eat.  Whether it is the lump in her neck, causing pain with swallowing, a tooth that has gone bad, or a sour stomach we have no definitive explanation of why she is not eating.  We do know that she is losing weight very fast.  Earlier this week my Husband had to start force feeding her and give her subcutaneous fluids to keep her strength up.  She will eat an odd bite of food here or there, but she looses her appetite very quickly.  She has refused even delicious steak, chicken, and eggs.  We believe it is causing her pain to eat.  We have been giving the dog medicine for pain, for upset stomach, for infection, but although it helps with some of her symptoms, it has been no cure for her starvation.  We have spent a small fortune, which we do not have, looking for the right medicine.

Tonight I may have found a cure. It was not expensive, it did not involve needles, and it was not prescribed by the veterinarian. What it was, was the obvious solution, I just was not listening to my inner Jewish Mother before. Tonight, I made chicken soup.  Even before I was done with the soup, the Dog came sniffing around the kitchen.  I ladled out a bowl of broth with generous hunks of chicken.  I cooled the bowl with an ice cube and when I was satisfied that it was cool enough, I placed it in front of my Dog,  She licked carefully at first and then chewed the meat with gusto.  She licked the bowl clean and looked at me for more.  When I asked "More?" she wagged her tail.  I got her another bowl, this time with even more chicken, and she finished that one, too. Then she took a nap. When later I went to put the cooled pot in the refrigerator, she awoke from her nap and begged for some more.  I ladled out another bowl.  She ate it all up.  Maybe tomorrow we won't have to give her fluids.  I know that tonight she will be spared the forced feeding.  If I have to make chicken soup a few times a week to get her healthy again, I will.  It seems that chicken soup is truly a cure for everything, or maybe everybody.

Click here for the recipe.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One More Reason to Love Hollywood

Finally hitting the new Chick-Fil-A in Hollywood. This location is still hopping even over a week past opening. The drive through double line goes around the block. Just what we need in Hollywood, more traffic at Sunset and Highland, right? We parked which turned out fine despite the crowds surrounding the order windows. This restaurant is outdoor seating only, similar to the popular burger chain In and Out. We waited for a very nice ex-Clevelander to finish his sandwich and give up his valuable table. He told me about a Cleveland Browns Bar on Sunset called Fubar. I will have to check that out sometime. Anyway, the chicken was hot, buttery, and delicious. The crowds were friendly and the kids asked for seconds.
The word in the crowd is that there is a Chick-Fil-A opening in Northridge soon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Little Lovin Bento






Just a little lovin' for my kindergarten kiddos, inspired by a trip to the local farmer's market.

This box includes:
A collection of small heirloom tomatoes,
fresh strawberries,
frozen green grapes
carrots carved into heart shapes
romaine lettuce
heart shaped PB&J

That's right, this box contains peanut butter!  New school, new rules.  The kids are happy about the change.
Everything in the boxes was eaten except for half of one of the pieces of romaine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Snail Bento, or Escargo-to


My kid started Kindergarten and already she has come to me with one of those I-knew-the-other-kids-were-going-to-be-a-bad-influence-on-you-questions, "Mom, can you get this thing that is in the grocery store near the salami and it has cheese and crackers and it is in a box..."
"Are you talking about a Lunchable?!"  "Yes!," she says,"Get me that!"
Sigh...

I made snails instead.
May my children forgive me.


These bento include one Turkey and Cheese Sandwich as a snail body
a Vanilla Wafer for a head, detailed with sparkly green icing
Carrot antennae, also detailed with icing
Lettuce as a meadow background
Grapes as the mossy floor
Carrots topped with Raspberries make the mushrooms on which the snail likes to snack



Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Bar of Cleveland


The other day, my husband and I went to Solly's Deli to celebrate a milestone.  It was the first day of Kindergarten for my sweet twins.  To celebrate I tried to order a "Cleveland Bar" for dessert, as mentioned in the post Day of Atonement, Night of Plenty, and to my chagrin (falls) they no longer carry them!  Cost cutting they say.  Cleveland Bars, or as we say in Cleveland, Coconut Bars, are why I go to Solly's.  I have to say that they are clearly going downhill.  Our Turkey Pastrami Reuben had only Turkey, not Pastrami-ed Turkey.  Our fries were not curly or skinny, but plain old Steak Fries.  I am pretty sure I was drinking Diet Pepsi, not Diet Coke.  Why should I go back?  And furthermore, where am I to find Coconut Bars!?
I needed a fix so I did what any self sufficient Cleavlander would do... I made them myself.
I found a guide at Rosa Raskin's Cooking Blog, Precious Cooking.  Here is a link to her fabulous post: Precious Cooking, Coconut Bars

Turns out, coconut bars are surprisingly simple.
You make a vanilla or yellow cake (box variety is fine), cut them into squares,
Roll the bars into slightly watered down Hershey's Syrup, and then roll them in coconut.

The hardest part is keeping the outer coconut from getting "dirty" from the chocolate sauce as they are rolled.

Here is the recipe:
For the Cake I used a modified Vanilla Cupcake recipe from the Hello, Cupcake! recipe book.

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Stick (8 TBSP) Unsalted Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
3 Large Eggs

Let eggs and butter sit out to warm up a bit before you begin.
Preheat Oven to 350°.
Spray Oil  (Pam) or Butter the bottom of two 8" Square baking dishes, then coat lightly with flour.
Whisk together Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the Milk, Oil, and Vanilla Extract in a large cup or small bowl.
In another medium sized bowl or in a mixer bowl, with an electric mixer set to medium, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just blended.
Split the batter among the cake pans and smooth down with a rubber cake spatula.
Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack.

To finish as Coconut Bars:
In small glass bowl or larger Pyrex measuring cup,
mix 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups of Hershey's Syrup with a few Tablespoons of Water.

On a plate, spread out shredded coconut.

With one hand (and a fork) dip the cake bars in the chocolate mix.
With the other hand, roll the coated cake bars in the coconut trying to keep the coconut clean.

Place on a plate or platter, rinse hands if needed and repeat until the bars are done.

I found it good to add clean coconut as I went and also noticed that the chocolate sauce got cake debris towards the end, so splitting the chocolate sauce batch might also be a good idea.

Make them now and enjoy your taste of Cleveland!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Cake Surprise


This is not a sad story, although, by the look of the picture above it should be.  I have a particularly good brioche recipe that I can make in my breadmaker.  It is light and slightly sweet with the texture of a fresh challah.  My kids love this rich white bread.  Unfortunately, I learned about one thing that can destroy a particularly good breadmaker brioche recipe; a pan or paddle that is not seated properly. When the paddle is not spinning properly, the ingredients do not mix well.  After digging through about two inches of flour at the bottom of the bread pan, I discovered what was left of my brioche. So, what do you get when you take half of the flour out of your brioche? 

Cake.  Surprise!  See, I told you it wasn't a sad story.  If there was a bit of lemon in the recipe, it would have been a perfect lemon cake, moist and buttery, very sweet.  I may try to make a cake in the breadmaker one day, but I have enough cake.  For now I want to try that brioche again.

Here is the Recipe for the bread.  You can try less flour for the cake if you want to recreate my accidental cake.


Breadmaker Brioche

3 1/4 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup of Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter - Melted and Cooled
1/2 Cup Water
1 TBSP Yeast

Add these ingredients to the breadmaker.  Mine works Dry ingredients first, but some machines use the wet ingredients first.  Make sure the paddle and pan are well seated in the breadmaker.  Set to Basic or White Bread and push start.  Hopefully you will get brioche, but if not, enjoy your cake.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dough for Playing!



When you have kids, there are certain things you can't wait to try.  This project was one I have been waiting to do for 3 years.  We tried an uncooked recipe a while back and now... at last, we made cooked Play Dough from scratch.  Both recipes are listed below.



This is the pre-dyed dough.


Add some food coloring to make many variations of color. This is a great project for teaching color mixing.

By the end, many balls of dough were coming out a mossy green.


We experimented mixing decorating sugar into some of the balls of dough.  This looked pretty at first, but after a few hours, the sugar broke down the dough and made a slimy concoction.


The project was fun to make and generated hours of fun after the completed dough was made.  This recipe made a dough that is still perfectly pliable and sculpt-able a week later.

From Creative Kids
Cooked Playdough (flour and salt)
3 cups flour
1.5 cups salt
6 tsp cream of tarter
3 tbsp oil
3 cups water
Dissolve salt in the water.
Pour all ingredients into a large pot.
Stir constantly over medium heat until a ball forms by pulling away from the sides.
Knead the dough mixture until the texture matches playdough (1-2 minutes).
Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months.

NOTE: This recipe is made from edible ingredients and not toxic in small amounts for children. However, a dog got sick after eating a batch of playdough. It is not intended as a food item. Please be sure to put it away after your children have finished playing.


The Uncooked Recipe:
From Master Cook
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Kids

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 c Flour
1 1/2 c Salt
3 tbsp Oil
1 c Water
1 tbsp Food coloring

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. May be seperated into 4 to make 4 different
colors.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Day Rainbow Star Lunch

It's the end of an era.  This is the final pre-school lunch for my wee ones, and yes of course I made two.
My twins are soon to go on to kindergarten where who knows what the lunch situation will be. I wanted them to have one last special bento box lunch made with love from Mommy before their next big adventure.
Here is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Seedless Grapes
1/2 Peach
1 Peeled Carrot
1/2 Banana
1 Celery Stalk
1 Turkey, Bacon, and Cheese Sandwich on Wheat, cut into quarters
2 Hand Cut Green Pepper Stars soaked in blue food coloring for extra blue hue

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat Wave Bento

There is a heat wave in most of the United States right now, so I made special Heat Wave bento boxes for my kids.  This lunch is supposed to evoke the hot winds of the southwest with the sun blaring in the sky.
This rocky desert landscape should fold nicely into two soft tacos.

I used these ingredients to make this sweltering bento:
The Hot Sky - Soft White Corn Tortillas
Winds of Heat - Cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese
The Desert Rock and Sand - Cold Rotisserie Chicken
A Wisp of Cloud in the Sky - White Rice
The Sun - Half of an Egg

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family of Food likes George RR Martin Cupcakes

George RR Martin has published his latest volume in the Song of Ice and Fire series.  Due in part to the popularity of the Game of Thrones series,it has hit #1 on the bestseller list!  I am waiting patiently while Husband of Food finishes his copy of A Dance with Dragons so I can read it (what is going on with Jon Snow these days, anyway?) and in the meanwhile maybe I will make my own version of this awesome set of ASoIaF Cupcakes found on this link  http://www.voyagerbooks.com/2011/07/20/a-dance-with-dragons-1/

Is there a similarity to the Settlers of Catan cupcakes we made in 2008?  Comic-con is this week, I sense a geeky cupcake fest in our future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shout Out to Another - BitterSweet

While searching for a good barley recipe, I came across a nice little blog called BitterSweet.  This vegan cooking and craft blog hits me just in the right spot - creativity + food = my kind of thing.  Author Hannah Kaminsky provides a wealth of vegan recipes and a fine collection of food related knit and crochet patterns.

I may have to make some toast purses for my wee ones, and maybe a Cupcake Hat for myself.

Hannah's Barley Salad recipe can be found here: http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/simplicity-in-salad-form/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quiche Me

One night I stunned my husband by putting together a delicious (if I may say so myself) Quiche out of the blue in less than a half hour.  I happened to have some left over pastry crust from a 2 crust recipe in which I used only one crust.  The rest was a cinch.  If you need a pastry crust recipe click the link below.

1 Pastry Crust (link)

1 Tomato, chopped
1 Cub Broccoli, chopped
2 Cups of Fresh Spinach, chopped
12 slices of cooked Turkey Bacon, crumbled or chopped
2 Eggs
3 Egg Whites
1 Cup Milk
1/3 Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup of Parmesan
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F
Lay the pastry crust into a pie pan.
Combine filling ingredients in a bowl.  I crack the eggs in first and beat them slightly before adding the other ingredients.  Pour mixture into pie shell.

Bake at  400° for 1 hour.

Don't be afraid to experiment with the ingredients... don't have broccoli, try spinach, don't have Greek yogurt, use plain yogurt or milk.  Are you ready for your quiche?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Raising Cane's for the Fourth!

If you are in the Las Vegas area, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers on Flamingo is doing something very special for the Fourth of July.  They are giving 100% of what they make today to support the troops, so go on in and order!  It's the patriotic thing to do.

The Family of Food had a great lunch of chicken fingers with Raising Cane's special sauce, crinkle fries, and texas toast.  They do catering too, so you can pick up a tailgate box for your Fourth of July picnics.

http://www.raisingcanes.com/

Raising Cane's 
Las Vegas, NV
1120 E. Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV, 89119

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cat peaking Out of the Bushes (Sounds better than "Cat Box")

Today's feline inspired bento "Cat peaking out of the Bushes" is composed of :
broccoli to create a background and to hold everything in place,
celery and dip,
Laughing Cow cheese wedges for the ears,
hummus in a nice round sealed pack,
crackers, both as the face of the cat and underneath the cheese and broccoli as a base,
tomato slices for the mouth,
shelled edemame for the nose and eyes,
and carrot slivers for the whiskers.
 It's just something joyful for my little kittens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet Corn Muffin Recipe

Looking through the pantry I saw this recipe on the corn meal box and I set out to make it, but my store of butter was low and I have been trying to lighten up my recipes, so I made a few substitutions and here is the result, sweet corn bread with a little less fat.

These muffins are more cake like than the regular recipe and as you can see from the picture, they are also more melted together, like monkey bread.

Here is the new recipe:
1 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Corn Meal
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Skim Milk
1/3 Cup Plain Lowfat Yogurt
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Preheat the oven to 350°
Spray muffin cups with spray oil
Mix Flour, Sugar, Corn Meal, Baking Powder, and Salt in a large bowl or mixer.
In another bowl, beat Eggs lightly, add Milk, Yogurt, and Oil.  Mix well.
Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir until just blended.
Pour into muffin Cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Big Girls Small Kitchen Book Signing

To continue with the previous post topic, our little part of the Family of Food went to the Big Girl Small Kitchen book signing at Vroman's Bookstore. 

Husband of Food and I picked up the twins from a long day of outdoor play and headed to Pasadena.



A culinary good omen... The Nom Nom truck was in the Vroman's parking lot on the way in.  We had never before tried Bahn Mi, a Vietnamese Sandwich, so we figured we would stop by.  The girls were excited to get food from a vehicle.  We ordered a Pork Bahn Mi and a Lemongrass Chicken Taco to share.  Both were quite good and we agreed that the best part was the sweet marinated carrot and daikon radish topping to the sandwich.  If I see the Nom Nom truck again, I'd like to explore the menu further. http://nomnomtruck.com/

I was excited to get to the reading, so I popped upstairs while the family finished off the Nom Nom.  To review; in case you haven't been following every FOF post, Big Girls Small Kitchen is a food blog for young people who are interested in cooking. Daughter of Food (me) is distantly related to one of the Big Girls.  The Big Girls, Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine, shared stories from the book such as how their Magazine club started a regular dinner party and spawned many recipies found in the book.  They answered questions about how they took their blog to book form (something Family of Food was interested in) and what kind of equipment they use - a good chef's knife was one piece they treasured, but no specific brand was recommended. Then the authors passed around homemade chocolate chip cookies and signed copies of their cookbook.

After the reading, I introduced myself to my cousin Phoebe and we chatted a bit about our family and their obsessions with food and cooking.  My kids who had been shopping the bookstore with their Dad came over and tried some of the cookies.


I am looking forward to making some of the recipes out of my new signed copy of the cookbook.  I almost made "resignation brownies" for this post, but then Mother in Law of Food brought brownie bites over. Ah well, another chance to cook a BGSK recipe will present itself soon.

It's good to have family and even better to have a Family of Food.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Big Girls Small Kitchen Visit LA!

Cousin #3 with a Cookbook?  Did we mention that our family loves food?
I don't know if this 3rd (?) cousin remembers me, but I am going to try and stop by Vroman's Bookstore next Wednesday to check out the Big Girls, Small Kitchen book signing to say hello to Phoebe and get some great cooking tips.
Here are the particulars if you are interested in going, too.

Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine present and sign In the Small Kitchen

06/01/2011 7:00 pm
Location: 

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena,
California
91101
United States
http://www.vromansbookstore.com/eisenpress-lapine



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

USA Bento


USA!  USA!  Are you in the mood for the 4th of July yet, how about Memorial Day? You could pack a few of these boxes on your weekend camping trip, or your all day beach outing.  I made it for lunch.
If you're worried about the twins, don't worry, I made two of these, I just didn't like the picture of the second flag sandwich that much.

So... We have watermelon, blueberries, with a flag shaped almond butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, on a bed of string cheese and tomato stripes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Butterflies

This week's bento was made with much input from one of my twins.  She asked for a butterfly with almond butter and jelly sandwiches cut into hearts for wings  and a string cheese for the body.  I added a carrot top for the head and antennae, a cherry cut in half for sub-wings, and a bed of spinach with a cucumber border to set the stage.  The wee one's idea was super.  Can you tell that I am proud of my little butterfly? 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Dog Haus


"The best of the würst."  I love a place like this: classic comfort food with a modern twist, funky atmosphere, friendly staff...  It's all good at "The Dog Haus" in Pasadena.  Specializing in hot dogs, sausages, and sliders, this restaurant is sure to please the nearby college crowd.

We ordered a Cowboy dog pictured at the top and an Italian Chicken "würst" with grilled onions and cheddar cheese with added BBQ sauce from the condiment bar.  Both were served on their signature Hawaiian roll buns.  My biggest complaint was that these buns make for a messy lunch.  One knife and fork later and my problems were over.


Thumbs up to this one.

Open 11am-10pm daily
t: 626 577 4287 | f: 626 577 4289
Find it on the Family of Food Map
105 N Hill St., Pasadena 91106

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Avocado Take Down!

LA is becoming a foodie town.  Food truck festivals, Chili Cook Offs, and now the Avocado Take Down!  I caught this while watching early morning local news.  Here is their pitch:

Oh boy. Los Angeles I hope you can handle this and I think you can…  20 local cooks, 20 monumental Avocado recipes - TRY EACH ONE AND VOTE THE WINNER TO FAME AND FORTUNE!!! We all know you make The Best Guacamole.  What else can be done with this, the sexiest fruit in all the land?  (FACT! Avocados are a PROVEN aphrodisiac! FACT!)


April 10 2PM at The Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 389-3856

TODAY!  10$ a person.  I am tempted to go; let me know if you do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yogurt Biscuits



If you are on the Weight Watchers Points Plus Plan, you may be hard up for very low point satisfying foods.
I have discovered one recipe that has been the perfect remedy for this problem, Yogurt Biscuits.
If you make them with Nonfat Yogurt they are one point a piece for 16 servings; with Lowfat Yogurt, split it into 18 servings and they will be 1 point a piece.  If you eat two, you might want to count it as 3 points total..
The great thing about these biscuits is that I can never overdo it, because my family gobbles these up before I can even come close to wrecking my point total.  If you are counting calories, this recipe is about 60 calories per biscuit.

One thing to keep in mind is that you need some forethought when making this recipe.  Do the first step before bed and wake up to an easy recipe for breakfast.

2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Plain Lowfat or Nonfat Yogurt
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
Spray Oil

Step 1:
If you have an electric mixer use it for this recipe, use the dough hook if you have one.
Take one cup of flour and mix it with the cup of plain yogurt until smooth.
Sprinkle the sugar on top of the mixture.
Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.

Let the mixture sit for 4 hours or overnight.

Step 2:
Preheat the oven to 425°
Add the rest of the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt to your mixture.  Mix until you have a dough.

Step 3: Spray a cookie sheet with Spray Oil.  Lay out a piece of wax paper or lightly flour a hard surface.  Turn out the dough onto the prepared surface and pat into a rectangle.  Cut into 16 - 18 rectangles.
Place rectangles on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.

Step 4:
Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 400° and bake for 10 minutes more.
Serve hot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Rainbows Over Green Forests and Green Lakes

Do not adjust your screens, today's bento lunches are green.
This St. Patrick's Day meal features:

Green Rainbow Sandwiches made with Green Bagels and Turkey Bologna
Clouds of Green made from Green Grapes
Green Broccoli Trees
And a Lake of Green Blue Cheese for Dipping



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Perfect Four Point Omelet

Spray Olive Oil
3 Egg Whites
1 Whole Egg
Water
1/2-1 Cup Fresh Spinach
1 OZ Fat Free Feta Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Spray a large pan with Olive Oil Spray.
Beat Egg and Egg Whites and some water (no more than 1/2 cup) with a fork.
Beat in Salt and Pepper to taste.
Pour the Egg Mixture in the pan. 
Allow egg to set for a minute.
Add Spinach Leaves and Feta. 
Cook until feta melts a bit.
Fold Egg over in half.
Continue cooking until done.

This recipe is 4 "Points Plus" Points.  The Trader Joe's Fat Free Feta is a big points bargain.  The egg whites and the water give this omelet bulk without adding the calories.  Pictured with Earthgrains Wheat Bread Thins which are 3 points.  Add some fruit and you have a big breakfast for 7 points.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heart Box


I could not let a Valentine's Day go by without making a special Heart Box for my babies.
This one features:
Turkey and cheese on wheat bread with heart cut outs and the crusts removed.
Heart shaped strawberries.
Flatbread and creamy wedge cheese slightly mushed into a heart shape.

You can see my other love inspired bento box lunches on this blog, at the following links.

A Little Extra Love
Love Bug Bento
Valentine Lunch, Bento of Love, Heart Shaped Box?






Monday, February 7, 2011

Weight Watcher Points Plus Calculator


Weight Watchers has posted an online points calculator for free. It seems to be in response to the trouble they've had in making enough calculators for members. Here is the link to the free online Points Plus Calculator.
Get it while you can.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Lunch at Subway

The new Weight Watchers Points Plus system is a bit tough to get into if you have been in a long term relationship to the old system. Until I get used to the new values, I am stuck pounding out calculations on the little six dollar point calculator that WW sells, for every little thing. There is a dearth of information online about restaurants unless you have the weight watchers dining out guide. I was stuck running out to Subway the other day without the calculations. I did fine with a 6 inch Turkey sandwich and Broccoli Cheese soup, but I would have done even better with Chicken Noodle.

Here are a couple of Points Plus Values for some Subway lunches, in case you are stuck for calculations, too.

Ham Mini Sub 5 Points
Roast Beef Mini Sub 5 Points
Turkey Breast Mini Sub 5 Points
Veggie Delite Mini Sub 4 Points

6 Inch Turkey Sub with Veggies, Red Wine and no cheese 7 Points

6 Inch Black Forest Ham, no cheese 8 Points
6 Inch Roast Beef, No Cheese 8 Points
6 Inch Subway Club 8 Points
6 Inch Sweet Onion Terriaki 10 Points

Foot Long Veggie Delite 12 points
Foot Long Turkey 14 Points
Foot Long Turkey and Ham 15 Points

6 Inch Tuna, No Cheese 14 Points (the fat really jumps up on this one)

Want to add some cheese?
Provolone, Pepper Jack, or American are 1 point for two triangles.
Cheddar, Monterey Blend, or Swiss are 2 Points for two triangles.

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup 2 Points
Tomato Garden Vegetable with Rotini 2 Points
Vegetable Beef Soup 3 Points
Broccoli Cheese Soup 5 points
Wild Rice with Chicken 6 Points

Here is a link to the Subway Nutrition site for more information.
http://www.subway.com/applications/nutritioninfo/index.aspx

Friday, January 21, 2011

Alphabet Block Shop

Not a food post. Just something cute for those you love. Check out the Alphabet Block Shop at Cafe Press.

Make Custom Gifts at CafePress


Monday, January 10, 2011

Dish it Out - Episode 1 "Squash In Time"



Friend of Food Chris Gregson directed the pilot episode of "Dish it Out" and guess what, it looks great!
Give it a watch and pick up a couple of great vegetarian eggplant and squash recipes from chef Tony Spatafora.
Look out Food Network, a new dish is cooking.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Good and The Bad

That last couple of years we have not been focusing on restaurant reviews as much as we did in the beginning.  Surprise, surprise, I have two for you today.  This is for the Los Angeles Folks as both are in the LA area. 

I'll get the first out of the way, since it was a disappointment. The new Cafe 50's on Ventura has all the potential for a family favorite.  Diner style food in a kitschy atmosphere, friendly attentive waitstaff, reasonable prices, what's not to like?  The food, mainly.  Cafe 50's has never blown me away, but when they were on Van Nuys, I could always count on a fair bit of American fare, but the meal I had last week was really bland.  I had the chili. I am not one for a super spicy chili, but this was ridiculous, it tasted like spices had never come near the pot.  The meals my compatriots had were no more impressive. 

I rarely give bad reviews, but in this case it is more of an intervention, I really like this place and want to see it thrive. Cafe 50's has been a long time Valley staple. The new location is so inviting and clean; it would be sad for its improved location to languish because of the quality of the food.  Step it up chefs, you have the potential for a classic.

Cafe 50's 
15045 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The next review is for something much more pleasing to the palate.  I had a terrific meal at The Curry House on Sawtelle in West LA.  It has been years since I've gone to a Japanese curry house, but ever since the chicken curry on top of spaghetti, I have been craving a another trip.  There is a rich complex flavor to everything tasted which also included the salad dressing and the Curry Pan, a fried dough wrapped  around curried meat and veggies.

If you have never tried Japanese curry, it is much more mild than an Indian curry, so if you like it hot, order it one or two steps above what you would normally get.  I highly recommend an excursion to one of the many locations of the Curry House.  The Sawtelle location of Curry House can be found on the Family of Food Map, at the link below.

Curry House
2130 Sawtelle Blvd # 200
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 479-8477

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