Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sage Ice Cream

This shall be short, but sweet. The purpose is share something sweet. Not something short. In awesomeness. I'm an English expert. I promise.

So it's one of those times of year when the people pour in. And with that comes my favorite (and only) sister. She made a delicious ice cream. Mmmm. The homemade ice cream really does beat the Ben and Jerry's. Much as I may like my Chocolate Therapy. On that note, try some Chocolate Therapy. It really is.. chocolate therapy. I know. I'm original.

The delicious sweets don't always have to have chocolate in them, however. I know. Part of me would raise my eyebrows too. But the flavors of the earth tend to be delicious. From chocolate to herbs.

Kept well in the freezer

Mmmm.. sage-y.
So in honor of my lovely sister..

The Sage Ice Cream she made adapted from a Basil Ice Cream recipe

Recipe Courtesy of "The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern" by Claudia Fleming with Melissa Clark

Yields about 1 Quart

2 cups (2 oz.) fresh sage (just steal it from your organic neighbor, of course)
1/4 cup Simple Syrup (If you need a recipe, it shall be on top. Buy sugar and water. Who knew?)
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
12 large egg yolks (maybe.. make and egg white omelette and chop it on top of your ice cream?)
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Simple Syrup: Mix some sugar (about 2 cups) and some water (about 1.5 cups) in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, stirring till sugar dissolves. Let the syrup simmer for 1 minute. After cool, you can keep in a sealed container in the fridge for any future icy endeavors. 

1) Fill  a small bowl with ice water and set to the side. Boil some water in a small saucepan and blanch the sage for 30 seconds. Remove the sage with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. Drain the leaves on a paper towel and blot to remove excess water. Puree lavender in a blender (or vitamixer) with the Simple Syrup.

2) In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. 
3) Remove the the saucepan from the heat and a little of the milk composite to the egg yolk mixture to warm it while whisking constantly (to keep the yolks from curdling). Now SWITCH: pour the egg yolk mixture back into the milk composite, whisking constantly as you pour.
5) Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wood spoon until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Let cool completely. Stir in the sage puree. Strain the custard, then stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Chill at least 4 hours, until cold.
6) Freeze in an ice cream maker. Especially the hand cranked kind. Those rock.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I posted about my breakfast on facebook, and thought I would continue the post on this, my food blog. I was just complaining the other day about how I've never understood people who eat "breakfast." To quote: "I'm all about the fruit and coffee. Eggs? Yuck. I'll take the coffee." Which reminded me of some of the forms of eggs I enjoy. I enjoy my eggs sunny side up: slightly raw and runny. Yumlicious. Scrambled eggs have always bored me to death. A lot of omelettes also don't quite do enough for me. Boiled eggs.. really now? I like just a little flavor in my food. I don't know. I'm weird like that. All these various Mexican versions of eggs seem like a waste of my time. Yes, I'm picky about my food. I do also kind of enjoy soft boiled eggs, and sometimes poached eggs added to dishes. The raw yolk is usually my favorite part.

This is the other version of eggs I enjoy. This recipe is really for an egg and cheese sandwich. Sounds delicious to me. That's another form of eggs I usually enjoy. Fried egg and cheese sandwiches. Me and cheese do get along. 

I always leave out the bread since I almost never eat bread and I try to be healthy or something..Thinner slices of cheese seem to do better with this, not large chunks. or grating works too. I tend to use cheddar. I think using sea salt always makes a big difference. Pepper doesn't do much for me, so I skipped that. I like the idea of adding something fancy, like truffle oil. As for the "where's the bacon?" comment I received, feel free to add some bacon! 

Yes, it's true. When you make food for yourself, it does tend to be better than paying others to make a generalized version of what they think people want. 

Here's what I added to my photo on facebook:

A simple egg & cheese omelette. I added some of the delicious yellow tomatoes I love. Now egg dishes like THIS I like. It's relatively simple, but the recipe I use is below which I originally saw in a link on my favorite recipe blogger, SMITTEN KITCHEN. Nice, relaxing start to my day.http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/02/best-egg-sandwich-youll-ever-have.html

My version of egg-and-cheese (most of it stolen and some of the original left out; the original link is available above):

1 to 2 teaspoons butter (fine, use oil if you want to, but "butter is better, better is butter)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 thin slice of cheese or a tiny pile of grated/crumbled cheese
Spoonful of sliced scallions, chives, crumbled bacon, or whatever else you want in your eggs ... Truffle oil!!
Put the bread in a toaster. Heat a 9-inch skillet, preferably nonstick, on medium.
1) Using a fork, beat one egg with ½ teaspoon water (or two eggs, with 1 teaspoon water; I always use 2 eggs) and a couple pinches of sea salt (and a few grinds of black pepper) until just blended.
2) Melt butter in your pan (or brush it with oil), toss around pan to coat. Pour in the eggs and roll them around so they cover the pan, as a thin crepe would.
Plop the cheese in the middle. Toss whatever fixings you wish on top of the cheese (though I never bother, this meal is all about immediacy for me).

A single egg will cook in 1 to 1½ minutes; two eggs in 2 minutes. You'll know its cooked when poking into it with a corner of your spatula won't cause any loose egg to slip through to the skillet.

3) Fold the part of the egg closest to you over the cheese, like the first part of a business letter fold. Repeat this on the three remaining "sides," forming a small square. Leave the folded egg-and-cheese in the center of the skillet to cook for another 30 seconds, then slide onto you plate/muffin/toast.

I pretty much left out all the parts about the muffin/toast/sandwich, because.. I felt like it.

Happy Sunday!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Burger Is Just a Burger: Keller's Drive-In on Northwest Highway

Keller's Drive-In - 3*s

I finally made it to Keller's for a burger and.. no beer. Since I was driving. We try to be responsible like that. Keller's has been on my list of places I really wanted to try. First of all, I thought the idea of a drive-in was AWESOME. Second of all, I read they had some deliciously greasy burgers. I don't know about you, but that sounded appealing to me. I happened to be in an area right next to Keller's the other day, so I said 'cool!' and got myself a cheeseburger and tater tots before I headed home. It was all very cheap. I'm not sure exactly, but I think the cheeseburger was $2.15 and the tater tots were $1.25. My pictures didn't turn out very well, because I wasn't that focused. The atmosphere is that of a drive-in. Basically. Was that loquacious enough for you? There were actually some couches outside and some people sitting on them. Other than that, there was some overhead covering to park your car under while you place your order.

Read on about the food..

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Carol's Cookies: YUM!

Yeah, my post titles are creative like that. I've got yum, delicious, and tasty in my repertoire. These cookies were all three of those. Originally $10 per box of frozen cookie dough, Central Market apparently wanted to get rid of these cookies by selling them off at $2 each. There were only 2 boxes left when I bought them last weekend. So I assume there are none left at this point. Either way, if the goal was to make me want to search out their website and contemplate buying more cookie dough, they succeeded. Here's a link to buy some cookie dough: http://products.peapod.com/249723.html

Eating the frozen cookie dough, I found myself unable to stop. That was also the case when we put the cookie dough into the oven. After it had cooked through and cooled and all that jazz. Something in this mix was truly addictive. I don't know if it was the butterscotch or the white chocolate I detected, but yum. I think it was the butterscotch. The box that ended up in my freezer was the toffee chocolate chip cookies. I'd like to try the traditional chocolate chip recipe next time. According to the box and her website, Carol spent 20 years perfecting this chocolate chip recipe. I could understand that. Pure addictive deliciousness.I actually may have liked the cookie dough better in it's frozen form. I can't decide. I say bake half and save the rest for munching.

I didn't think about taking pictures till these cookies were almost gone. Here are some pictures of the last bite.

Yes. That's spinach. That's right.
That's how I eat my cookies. Or the cookies
distracted me from the spinach. Who knows?

Go to Carol's website and check out her story. Who doesn't like a cookie story?
Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. I read something about Facebook discounts:

Friday, February 3, 2012

A SQUIDlicious night at Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana

Zio Cecio - 5*s

When I heard1 that one of the 2 brothers that started Arcodoro Pomodoro had branched out to form his own restaurant, I was psyched. They have apparently been open for around 10 to 11 weeks. Just like the aforementioned restaurant, the website for Zio Cecio makes references to a Sardinian form of Italian food. I love Arcodoro Pomodoro. It's one of those restaurants I have photos on my computer just begging to be added to a blog post so I can share my finds with the lovely people of the world. But I'm a slacker. This place, at least judging from what we ordered, might even be better than Arcodoro Pomodoro. Sadly though, The Cupcakery isn't next door.

Overall ... delicious! The fish all tasted so fresh. As a calamari aficionado, (we all have to have our obsessions, right?) I think this may be one of the best plates of it I've had. I'm the kind of girl who orders calamari every time I see it on the menu. I'm often the same way with queso. And the color yellow. Anyways. You could test the freshness of the fish through the breadcrumbs. Fish that was wonderfully salted and seasoned. My dining mate said it was very interesting as I inquired whether he tasted olive on the calamari. I couldn't figure out whether this taste was in the calamari or the cocktail sauce or in my mind. So I sought out a manager, a.k.a. a man in black (a suit). He informed me that the calamari is made from a variety of fish (which is apparently what Paranza means): shrimp, squid (the usual fish in calamari), and the like. It's also worth mentioning that I was quite enjoying the red sauce accompanying the calamari. Not that the calamari needed any sauce. 
I should say that even the less calamari-obsessed were won over by Francisco Farris's rendition of the Fritto Di Paranza.

I think I'm going to stick with the English for menu items. As much as I may pretend when ordering, I don't speak Italian. Though I do know fritto means fried! I mean, golly. Who doesn't crave some fried fish? Another appetizer that everyone was fond of was the Baby octopus with squid ink and homemade orzo pasta. Mmm. Ink. What's not to love? Like Scott Reitz before me, I also felt that the only thing wrong with this dish was that it needed more squid. More squid! More squid!! Oh oops, he was referring to that other squid dish. I may get things wrong. I may misquote. I might make up words. Forgive me. I'm just an unpaid blogger, after all.

The inky sauce was delicious. It even made me enjoy the pumpkin seed shaped pieces of pasta. I'm not a huge pasta gal. It bores me some. So sue me. My recommendation would be for the dish to focus more on the squid and less on the risotto-like pieces of pasta. Not that they tasted like risotto. Image wise they just reminded me of risotto. But objectively, these are very well made, delicious pieces of pasta. A Plus.
Not only did we get one squid-ish appetizer, but we got TWO. The second one had roasted tomatoes and was supposed to be spicy, but really wasn't. Thus, we stayed friends - as saucy a gal as I may be, I'm not a spice fan. Though I still like cinnamon and the like. I can't even think through the spice. I try to be objective, but my brain signals me the thumbs down. And I think 'why?' This was quite a nice dish. Though not as impressive as that ink. The squid was tasty, as were the tomatoes accompanying them.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Missing the WOW factor: Cupcakes from Trailercakes are ok

Trailercakes - 3*s

I was psyched about going to this rummage sale at The Gypsy Wagon that happened the weekend of Friday, August 19. Let's be honest. I was more excited about the cupcakes from Trailercakes that they would be selling during the sale. An article in the Dallas Observer's "Side Dish" blog made the Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcake sound ethereal. I admit it. I was planning to try it at the Food Truck Festival. But I thought back to these cupcakes and thought.. meh. I do have to say the trailer, or food truck, they had out at the Food Truck Fetsival was very cute. It was silver, had bubbles painted on it, and there was a bubble machine outside the truck. I give them credit for their packaging.

On that note, I have to say the best thing about these cupcakes was their packaging (and I give them credit for that). They were absolutely adorable. The Slap Your Mother Chocolate cupcake had a piece of chocolate stuck in the frosting, the Strawberry Fields cupcake had a mini poptart (I think?), and the Cookie Monster cupcake had an oreo. I also appreciated the small sizes. As much as I love food, I'd prefer that my body not announce that fact. I bought 3 for $4. Really a pretty good price. They also gave me new ones when I smashed mine on the floor. No charge. Awesome!
Ok I admit it. These pictures make me salivate a little.

Food Truck Festival... Fail.

An article in the Dallas Morning News  this morning by Katherine Unmuth motivated me to get off my ass and write something about the DFW Food Truck Festival I attended last night. Those writers do post their articles quickly..

I will agree (with Ms. Unmuth) that there is a food truck revolution happening in Dallas. It is also quite a recent one. The way it seems to work in Dallas is that people stalk the food trucks on twitter and drive out to their locations, which vary quite a bit, for lunch or dinner. Of course, the part of town will have an effect on the traffic. A visit to Gandolpho's, which I reviewed earlier here http://bananadallas.blogspot.com/2011/08/gandolfos-new-york-delicatessen-mobile.html#more, in the industrial part of town had hardly any customers in attendance. On the other hand, a visit to Nammi at Flora and McKinney had a good amount of people. In places like New York or Austin, they just seem to be floating around. People go to them when they see them rather than following their twitter feeds. Perhaps if our food truck community gets large enough, we will get to that point.

After glancing at an article by Scott Reitz about how crowded this festival would be, and how bad parking would be, I was planning to get there early. I think he posted it on the Dallas Observer, I found the post from twitter, but I don't see it any more. He suggested arriving at 5 PM, that most of the trucks should be setting up by then. However, my state of mind interfered. I had run off to this Chocolate Conference that morning with no coffee. I had the idea the chocolate would give me energy. But that so didn't work. I need more caffeine than that. By the time I got home, I was beyond stuffed and exhausted. I had a cup of espresso and was trying to wait till I had more energy. I also wanted to wait till I was a little less stuffed before we left. We got into the lot with the food trucks around 6:45 PM.

I know it was the first of it's kind, and I was later than I should have been, but the lines were ridiculous, the heat was ridiculous, and I just thought it was a miserable time. My friend Zeena wanted grilled cheese from Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, so that's where we started. We waited on line for a little while and filled out pieces of paper to select the kind of grilled cheese we desired. I chose San Francisco sourdough bread, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, bacon, roasted tomatoes, and pesto. However.. I actually never got to try this sandwich. I thought after we got to the cashier, we would get our food. But no. They informed us there would be a 30 minute wait for our orders. Ok fine. More than an hour later, we were still waiting. At this point, we decided to cancel our orders and get our money back. I, on the other hand, exchanged my order for a t-shirt since I thought it was adorable.
I do think their mascot is adorable!