Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween, Ziggy and Jervon

Well, if you are wondering why Ziggy looks a little different. I took him to be groomed yesterday. On a whim, I wondered what he would look like with his hair cut short. Well maybe that was a mistake as he took on a totally different look. I now wish for his hair to grow back. I still dressed him up in his Spiderman costume and all the Trick or Treaters loved him. Jervon was a pirate. How cute. He and Ziggy passed out candy all night. All Jervon could say was, poor Ziggy, Auntie Sylvie, please don't ever cut his hair so short. I learned my lesson though Ziggy doesn't seem to care. Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2005

WDB #7- Spiderman and Hating It

Ziggy has a Spiderman costume for Halloween. He absolutely hates it as you can see fron the look on his face. However, I know that as soon as the kids come by and shout "Trick or Treat" he will perk up and get happy.

Sweetnicks is hosting. Can't wait for the round-up.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

L.A. Food Blogs

Rachael at Fresh Approach has compiled a listing of L.A. Food Blogs. Stop by and see what's hot in the L.A. food blog scene.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Philly Cheesesteak- Pat's King of Steaks

I spent the past weekend in Philadelphia visiting my daughter T. She just happens to be a vegetarian who found fault with everything I wanted to eat as I am a very proud meateater. Regardless, I did slip out one day to get what I call the original Philly Cheesesteak. Now there is a lot of controversy over who has the best cheesesteak, but by far, I tend to always migrate to Pat's.
I simply order the cheesesteak "wit" whiz to indicate only onions, steak and cheesewhiz. No veggies for me which would include bell peppers or for an additional charge lettuce and tomatoes.
One of the things Philadelphia is known for is brotherly love. However, you won't find any love at Pat's. Order wrong and they will make you feel like 2 cents. I knew this previously or else I would have just walked away after the comment "Big Boy" behind the cash register made when I didn't know how to word what I wanted to order.
Yes, artery clogging goodness.
Right across the street from Pat's is Geno's Cheesesteak. Equally renowned and loved. I previously ate here but not this visit. I remember their cheesesteaks to be a bit more fatty (like whose counting calories when you order these things anyway) I thought maybe I would order one to eat later on the airlines but cold, soggy cheesesteak just didn't stimulate my appetite.
So I just drove by Geno's and headed to the airport to return my rental car and head back to L.A.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Decorated Sugar Cookies For Halloween 2005

Decorating sugar cookies is one of my passions. The only problem I have is in not having a reason to bake them. This year I started early. I also tried something a little different in addition to using royal icing in that I tried using rolled fondant as a base for the ghost, moon and autumn leaf. Cutting the fondant with the same cookie cutter as the baked cookie resulted in an even and smooth cookie. I then used royal icing to finish the decorations. Recipes for these cookies and the royal icing can be found at Food Got To Love It.
Happy Face
Crescent Moon
Spider Webs
Autumn Leaves
More Spider Webs

Saturday, October 15, 2005

WDB #5 Ziggy Planning His Escape

Sweetnicks is hosting another Weekend Dog Blogging event and we are at #5.

Ziggy knows when I am getting ready to leave him to go to work. I can't leave him to roam all over the house when I'm gone because he has this destructive side. It's as if he is trying to let me know how hurt he is for not taking him with me. Hugs, kisses and lots of attention don't help. So, I put up a gate to limit his access. Before I get the gates up, he typically perches himself on the stairs trying to plan his escape from lockup. Always after some pretty funny chase scenes, I win. Once I return home from work, he is there to greet me and lavish me with doggy love and attention.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Seafood Dinner for Two, Three or Four

Now I know many of you have gone to Costco and decided that the seafood kiosk can't be resisted. Well, G and I don't do this very often, but we just didn't have a taste for anything else. Of course for two people we bought too much food but that's better for next days leftovers.

Our purchases included a 4 pounds salmon minus head and tail, one pound jumbo shrimp, one pound large (giant) scallops and gobs of mussels (I didn't count, but the package had to have at least 6 dozen or more). To go with this we included fresh asparagus, romaine heart caesar salad with homemade croutons and freshly grated parmesan cheese, and to pull it all together, a paella type rice dish with stewed tomatoes and crusty La Brea bakery sourdough bread.

It was very easy to put this dinner together. The most demanding prep was the rice. I didn't want to overcook the shrimp and scallops so I just poached them in the cooking liquid for the rice and then removed them until serving time. The cooking liquid was chicken broth seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic, diced onion, paprika and one cayenne pepper. They were perfect. Midway through we realized we needed to invite some friends over to help us eat it. Luckily we had help eating this one.

I used Jasmine rice (12 ounces) which was added to the cooking liquid used to poach the shrimp and scallops. Just remember to not open the lid on the rice for at least 25 minutes to assure perfectly cooked rice. Rule of thumb (or finger), the cooking liquid should measure about an inch above the rice. I leaned this from a coworker (Deanna) years ago and I still use this meaure. I did not rinse the rice and from the photo you can see it was still fluffy.

The crusty bread came in handy to dip in the mussel juice, yum what a buttery, garlicky delight! I also used the sourdough bread for the croutons. Melted butter and olive oil with minced garlic, parsley and salt to saute the cubes of bread until golden brown and crisp.

Asparagus simply steamed with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.

We got to do this again sometime soon.
Shrimp and Scallops
Steamed Mussels in chicken broth with garlic and butter
Paella style rice with stewed tomatoes and paprika
Salmon stuffed with freh herbs (rosemary, oregano and thyme)
Romaine Heart Salad with Croutons and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Drying Cayenne Peppers From My Garden

Cayenne Peppers One of my most productive pepper plants this summer is the cayenne. In order to enjoy these all year round, I am drying them out. Simple proces to just lay them out so there is ample airflow and leave them alone. During the process, the green fresh chiles turn a vibrant wholesome red. Hot? yes they are, but compared to my habaneros, they are quite mild.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Weekend Dog Blogging #4

Another weekend highlighting our best friends. Sweetnicks is hosting another Weekend Dog Blogging Event.

Ziggy's favorite pastime is taking a little nap while I'm blogging.

While I'm on the net and not paying any attention to him, he quietly lays on the chair and sleeps away the boredom.

Ribs, Beans and Greens- Yum!

While cleaning out my freezer, I came across two slabs of baby back ribs left from one of our backyard BBQs. I decided that was dinner. I smoked them in my gas grill using indirect heat with hickory wood. After grilling over a low heat for a couple of hours, I used a hoisin sauce to glaze, overed them in aluminum foil with some chicken broth (1/4 cup) and allowed them to steam a bit in the grill.

The greens are my standard except this time I used a ham bone I also found in the back of the freezer.

For the red beans I used a quick soak method. That is I soaked 1 cup dry red beans in warm water for about 3 hours. I tossed the soaking water and added about 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup diced onion and a diced red serrano pepper with the beans to a sauce pot. This I slow cooked for about 3 hours until the beans were soft.

Dinner was served.

Monday, October 03, 2005

WDB #3 Roundup Posted

Check out all the cute doggies at Sweetnicks. Thanks also for hosting this event. Ziggy can't wait for the next weekend posts.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Weekend Dog blogging (WDB) "Peak-A -Boo"

Weekend Dog Blogging is hosted by Sweetnicks. Ziggy loves going outdoors as long as it is the front yard. Not sure why in that the backyard has less restrictions for him. Romping through the flower beds is his game of choice. Yes Ziggy, I see you.