Friday, June 30, 2006

I'll Show You Mine If You show Me Your's #2

This month we have the second editon of "I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Your's". The theme this month is "Spices- cabinets, shelves, racks". This event is hosted by Sweetnicks. (Addendum- you have to go and check out Sweetnicks new blog layout.)

This is one view of my main spice cabinet. Yes a little bit of everything including my BBQ rub seasonings, varying bulk spices, extracts for baking, cocoa powder, sauces and even sesame seeds.

One of my friends sent me this Dean and Deluca spice assortment. The package is so pretty, I don't want to open it. The spices in this assortment include, fennel, anise, caraway, tumeric, thyme, sumac and a slew of others for me to experiment with.

Another view of my main spice cabinet.

I tend to buy seasonings in bulk to use when I compound my BBQ rub. These I wind up storing in a cabinet on my back porch merely due to the quantity. Turbinado sugar, maple sugar, ground mustard, sea salt, muscavado sugar and more behind these containers. Surfas is my souce for many of these.

Spice rack wich I just display on my counter. I do refill many of the frequently used containers from my bulk stock.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Budweiser BBQ Sauce- New to Market July 1st

I received a sample package of Budweiser's BBQ Sauces today. Last month I received an email promoting the sauces and alerting me to the availability by the July 4th Holidays. I responded to the email by asking for samples to try. My rationale was that I do quite a bit of backyard cooking plus this blog, so if you want someone to try it and post a review then I'm your cook.

I haven't tasted any of them yet, but from the picture you see there are four types- a Wing Sauce, a Basting Sauce, BBQ Sauce and a Beechwood BBQ Sauce. This weekend, I plan to do some BBQn' and give them a try.

FYI- beer is not listed as an ingredient in 3 of the 4. The Beechwood Sauce does list beer as the # 1 ingredient.

Check out the Budweiser web site for more information. Note the site says you can order on-line 7-7-06. The price tag is $12.00 for a package of 4 bottles.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

WDB#40 Sunbathing After A Little Swim

The weather report predicted a hot Saturday for Southern California. Though it was warm in my area of L.A., hot it did not achieve. However, Ziggy still took advantage of a nice afternoon in the back yard. After a little dip in the pool, he's chillin' poolside.

You wouldn't know it, but just prior to the above moment of calm, Zig couldn't get dry fast enough as he took advantage of every inch of that towel.

.....and then later that evening, Sylvie got treated to dinner at Joe's Restaurant in Venice, CA. This treat was to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. Joe's is a restaurant I have always wanted to dine at but it seems I never prepared early enough in advance to get a reservation. Open Table describes Joe's as featuring "casual dining with California-French cuisine in an intimate atmosphere".

For dinner, there are two "Prix Fixe" choices in additional you can also order "a la carte" or make entree substitutions in the seasonal prix fixe choice. One is a seasonal choice at $63 per person and the other is a tasting menu at $72 per person. The tasting menu varies daily and highlights the chef's choices. The seasonal menu varies monthly. This month, the seasonal choice is corn. The "Corn" menu featured the choices pictured below. All meals begin with a choice of bread with butter and an olive tapenade.

G and I both selected the "Corn" menu choice. I inquired from our waiter whether taking pictures of the food was allowable. Though perplexed as to why anyone would take pictures of food, he gave his approval. Dinner was very good. I did enjoy the atmosphere which I wouldn't describe as romantically intimate, but intimate in the sense that the dinning area is small and the tables though nicely placed do put you in close proximity to other diners creating an intimate dining experience.

During the latter part of our dinner, Joe did come by the table to introduce himself. I was very impressed with him taking the time to mingle and chat with the customers. The chef de cuisine is Josh Gil who Joe states he trusts to run the kitchen giving him time to meet and greet.

All of you know I don't attempt to write restaurant reviews nor am I the least bit a critic. I simply like what I like and recommend to others places that I have had an enjoyable experience. I recommend Joe's.

Excuse me for not writing down the exact menu names of each of the selections but the star attraction is noted. Aslo the ice cream is a specialty of the restaurant and the nights flavor for the heck of it I can't remember.

Butter and Olive Tapenade
Shrimp with Chips on a bed of greens
Duck (medium) Breast and a Leg
Chocolate Souffle and Ice Cream (featured flavor and it's not vanilla)

Joe's Restaurant
1023 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 9-291

Sunday, June 18, 2006

WDB #39 "Father's Day Treat"

Summer is nearly here and the heat is building up. Even though Los Angeles is notorius for what we term "June Gloom" (overcast, marine layer creating cool spring days), for some meteorological reason unbeknowst to me, the temps for the past week have been sizzling. No, it's not your Las Vegas 100 degree plus weather, nor your east coast or southern humidity factor added in to create a muggy, sweaty hot, but by our standards, still hot.

It's Father's Day and G has already experienced his treat which was an overnight day fishing trip out of San Diego where the best catch was Yellow Tail. Guess what's for dinner? Yes, it is nice to have freshly caught fish, sashimi ready. For anyone who has followed this blog, you know G's idea of sporting is depp sea fishing preferably somewhere in the Pacific Ocean off the waters of Baja. I love shellfish and am sorry to say any other type of fish is not on the top of my seafood list. However, he does love fish of most any kind and his greatest eating pleasure is my preparing what he has caught. There is always some for Ziggy also

Sunday morning and Ziggy is waiting on me to hurry up and get ready to take him on his morning walk. Sweetnicks is hosting Weekend Dog Blogging.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Graduation Season

After receiving a number of graduation annoucements from friends and family I was reminded that it tis or was the season- Graduation. Well anyway in Southern California many schools do not end the year until today or next week.

In response to a request for my graduation cookies, I forwarded the recipe for "No Fail Sugar Cookies" and an idea for photo cookies to a friend.

Photocoookies do take some planning so it is probably too late for now. I made these a couple of years ago for my daughter and for my neice. They were given to the graduation party guest as a thankyou or keepsake (depending on whether they ate them or not).

I offer my congratulations to this year's graduating class and hopes for success in all your future endeavors.

Special Congratulations to:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ok So I Cheated- Lazy Man's Smoked Chicken

This past weekend, I decided to smoke a chicken on a gas grill. Yea, I decided to put my BBQ Galore Gas Grill to the test. For you nay sayers, not too fast, you got to hear me out.

I placed some wood chips in aluminum foil, wrapped them up and then placed some large holes in the top of the foil. I lit the gas grill and let all the lava rocks heat up. I can't tell you what temp I was cooking at as I neglected to put the thermometer on the grate. I then turned off two of the three burners and left one on low to cook by indirect heat.

I placed the bundled aluminum foil package of hickory chips on top of the lit burner. In addition I made a couple of aluminum balls to plug up the side opening of the grill top where the rotisserie unit is usually positioned. This was done to keep more smoke inside the grill.

I placed a whole chicken with the breast side cut opened to cook it flattened over the unlit burners. For prep, I seasoned the chicken with some Zatarains Creole Seasoning that T brought me from New Orleans (never told her I could get it at Smart and Final here in Los Angeles- it's the thought that counts). By now the chips start to smoke. I also added some rosemary stems to smolder over the lit burner. The chicken cooked for a little less than 2 hours. I did replenish the foil chip package once during the process.

I sort of tore the skin off the beast side when I turned it over midway through cooking which distracted a little from the overall look. Taste wise, it was very good though admittedly not as good as smoked in the WSM. The skin however was not rubbery or tough as most often occurs when smoked in a smoker. The chicken was moist and descibed by G as a similar texture to beer canned chicken. The rosemary smoke didn't flavor the meat very much but the scent of rosemary was present.

Tah Dah- Sylvie's Lazy Man's Smoked Chicken.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Weekend Dog Bloggin #38

Just being Ziggy!
After an afternoon of working in the garden with me, Ziggy is on guard to make sure I don't go back inside the house without him.

This morninhg I promised you all that I would pay some attention to the garden. Well, I did. The garden center was short of good pickings but I did manage to get a couple of zucchini plants, yellow squash, a pepperonchini plant, sweet basil, habanero and an anaheim chile.

I'm no organic gardener so to I'm not adverse to using a little chemical help to keep the insects away. Nothing more disappointing than to plant some little plants and have them chewed away by some insects the next day.

Weekend Dog Blogging hosted by Sweetnicks.

Yellow Squash added amongst the Tomatoes
Zucchini plants with a little room to grow
Just a different angle on Zucchini amongst the tomatoes.
Herbal area with Sweet Basil and Habanero. My curly leaf parsley plant went crazy trying to seed. I cut it back significantly with hopes that my curly leaves will prosper again.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Garden Update

My garden must be feeling terribly lonely and neglected. The tomato plants just look weiry and underappreciated. I did provide some needed plant food, I watered it and I even pulled out the overgrown weedy vegetation last week. I harvested the first vine ripened tomatoes and used them in my salad yesterday.

Yet I feel I owe my garden somethiing more. I promise to spend more time nurturing it. I even plan on buying some accompanying vegetables to get this garden party growing.

On the brighter side, my front yard garden is flourishing no thanks to me. This was a project of love by my daughter T. She painstakingly pulled out everthing in this little corner and landscaped it with plants she fell in love with at our local garden center.

The timeline of this planting and growth is one week.

Thank you Sweet pea.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I was reading a thread at the BBQ Brethern on knives yesterday. As it turned out, I had just bought a slicing knife from Surfas so this got my attention. I got a 12 inch Forschner Granton Edge Fibrox Handle Slicing Knife mainly just to complete my collection.

"Forschner's (a division of Swiss Army Brands, Inc., marketer of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives) 12" Slicing Knife with granton edge, or "kullenschiff" edge, has hollowed out grooves on the sides of the blade. These grooves fill with the fat and juices of the product being sliced, which allows for thin, even cuts without tearing or shredding the meat. The handle is a patented, slip resistant, fibrox/nylon and NSF Certified."

My primary reason for wanting this knife was to slice brisket, turkey, baked chicken ribs or whatever else needs a clean cut.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging #37

Ziggy and my nephew Jervon are posing for this weeks episode of WDB. This week in Los Angeles has been gorgeous with warm sunny and clear days which are perfect for just chillin outside and taking leisurely walks. Ziggy loves Jervon and is thrilled beyond belief each time he comes over to visit.

This is the 37th week of dog blogging hosted by Sweetnicks. My daughter comments that I have more pictrues of Ziggy on this site than I have food. I beg to differ.

I'll Show You Mine If You'll Show Me Yours #1

Sweetnicks has opened the doors (refrigerator of course) to a new monthly event called "I'll Show you Mine If you'll Show Me Your's". Each month take a picture of the contents of your spice rack, closet, shelves, etc and write a little something about it. She'll post a roundup for all the world to read. This first roundup is posted with an array of differering doors open refrigerators. What's interesting to note are the similarities in contents of varying condiments and sauces. Is your refrigerator a view of what you are?

The next presentation of this event will be posted July 1st on Sweetnicks site with a due date of June 30th. This first event netted nearly 30 participants from all over the world.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grill of My Dreams

Peanut Butter Etouffee has posted links to participants in the first ever "Grill of My Dreams" event. This event highlights those tasty treats that were grilled this past Memorial Day Weekend. Pay her a visit.