Saturday, February 27, 2010

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red velvet cake layered with cheesecake and topped with white chocolate frosting. Sugary sweetness overload...but good. This was dessert at the Cheesecake Factory Saturday.

Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

What a treat! My friend, who owns two Chinese restaurants in the Boise area: Mandarin Palace and China Palace, made up some Chinese pork buns at home this week to share. Sweet pork, cabbage, oyster and soy sauces inside a yeast bun that is steamed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pepitas, Cranberries and Almonds

A home-assembled snack mix: pepitas, almonds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. A similar mix is for sale in stores for $$. The only tricky part is finding roasted pepitas (pumpkin/squash seeds). I found some sold in bulk at WinCo. I tossed everything together with a little sea salt.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Naked Asparagus

A treat in our organic box delivery this week: fresh asparagus. I steamed it up and put it in this glass just for fun for my daughter. Just about every time I serve asparagus, I tell her that when I was a kid, we used to pick our own along the ditch banks in the countryside. It will be one of those stories that 'mom' told over and over again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boise Cream Pie

Why should Boston get all the fun? We're calling it Boise cream pie, and it's becoming a birthday cake tradition. This was the pie for my day yesterday. That's my daughter eyeballing the maraschino cherry. I picked this up at Pastry Perfection - a locally-owned bakery on Glenwood that's a regular stop for us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Panko Shrimp

I've said before that panko crumbs are they are adding that crunchy touch to butterflied shrimp. I bought these ready-to-bake ones at Costco.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blueberry Ketchup

We finally made it to Boise Fry Co. on my French fry tour. This is their mobile fry unit - we ate inside the restaurant.
We had regular red lady friends and Russet homestyle fries. My daughter wants to go back and order yam fries. My husband ordered a bison burger "on the side."

And this is a gem: blueberry ketchup. Boise Fry Co. has many seasoned salts and dipping sauces available. I liked the red lady fries the best with plain salt!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broccoletti Pepperoni Pizza

I did saute up some broccoletti for lunch this week, but I had some more left so I tossed it on the pepperoni pizza my husband was making last night. I liked it. The broccoletti tasted sweet against the tangy pizza flavors.

Friday, February 19, 2010

French Fry Tour Day Two

Shudder. Ugh. I guess I had to get this out of the way because I have big plans for gourmet French fries this weekend. I'm on a French fry tour of the Boise area as a salute to Idaho. Suggestions for the best fries in town? Pass them along!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eat Boise Mission: French Fry Tour

I swear these used to taste better to me than they do now. McDonald's still does an O-K job, though. I'm on a mission to sample all the French fries I can over the next two weeks. It's a salute to our potato state.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Organic Box Challenge: Broccoletti

What a blast of color in my organic delivery yesterday. The broccoletti on the right is something new to me. I think I'll saute it - unless you have a better suggestion?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken Experiment #1

First attempt at Kung Pao chicken...and yes, there will be a second attempt. Here are the basics I followed: toss salted diced chicken breast in corn starch seasoned with garlic powder (I didn't have any fresh garlic!). Fry quickly in a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil. I won't do that again because there was too much splattering. I'll use peanut oil. Remove the chicken when browned and toss raw, unsalted peanuts in the same pan to toast. I added a chopped yellow bell pepper, too, and red pepper flakes. Add sauce. I used a jarred sauce I found at Winco - too gingery. Add chicken to sauce and stir right before serving. I did like it - but didn't love it...yet! I'll try another round soon, and if you have tips, let me know. Thanks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chicken Wrap Blah Inspires an Idea

A new item on the Chili's menu: Santa Fe Chicken Wrap. Very strange, because I could have sworn this was turkey...not chicken. Great idea here that could be better executed. The wrap was dry, more sauce needed, and more kick. The sweet corn would blend really well with more spice. I will probably attempt to make a home version because I like the theme.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Walker's shortbread cookies and peppermint tea for little princesses who wanted an impromptu tea party late yesterday afternoon.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Six-Layer Dip

I had some leftover beans from the crockpot experiment last week, so they became the base for this six-layer dip. Beans, diced tomatoes, homemade guacamole, sour cream, diced onions and shredded cheddar-jack cheese. A great way to stretch the limited supplies I had of each ingredient.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taste Test: Telluride Truffles

Look at this perfect pyramid of chocolate truffle. This is a Telluride Truffle from Colorado. My friend sent them to me for Valentine's Day. The above truffle is called "Black Diamond." Tequila in dark chocolate with a touch of salt. All I can say is....more please! These pillows of chocolate love are smooth and not overly sweet.
Here's the box they arrived in. Truffles are made with organic cream and fine liqueurs. Some of the flavors: Bunny Hill-banana and milk chocolate, Spiral-Grand Marnier and dark chocolate, Alpenglow-Cabernet Sauvignon and bittersweet chocolate, and First Tracks-milk chocolate infused with Chambord.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Steak-Onion-Pepper Sandwiches

Leftover steak = steak sandwiches the next day. Saute onions and bell peppers in a tiny bit of oil, then warm the sliced steak. Served up on buttered and toasted hamburger buns along with a piece of cheese.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baked Garnet Yam - Yum!

Garnet yams - don't pass these up. They bake up beautifully. Brush the washed yam with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt, if you want. Bake at 425 degrees for an hour. These yams yield a caramel flavor when baked.

Monday, February 8, 2010

French Toast with Homemade Bread

French toast made with slices of Dutch oven bread. That's the bread that requires no kneading and comes out looking like a product from an artisan bread shop. My friend tipped me that it makes good French toast. The bread has lots of natural pockets to soak up the eggs and milk, and then the butter and syrup.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Creme Cheese Swirls

A bundt cake creation from my friend Faith last night. I couldn't even get a picture before snackers attacked. Very good!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Beans are Ready for Chip-Dipping

The results from the bean dip experiment in the crockpot. I used a bag of kidney beans and let them simmer all day covered with water mixed with some chicken broth. Towards the end, I added red pepper flakes and garlic. It was still bland. Stirring in some sour cream helped. Adding some salt was good, too, and chopped cilantro and a little more red pepper. Not quite as good as the bean dip by friend Faith makes, but passable.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Favorite Pizza "Restaurant"

My favorite pizza in Boise - homemade. Pepperoni and a sweet yellow bell pepper. My husband made this pizza last night.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eat Boise Challenge: One Bag of Beans

This is what I'm cooking up tomorrow - a $1 bag of beans. I'm thinking this will be a bean dip, but am open to suggestions!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mango Cucumber Salad with Pepper

Chopped up mango and cucumber with fresh-squeezed orange juice and...fresh ground pepper. A different combination of flavors that was surprisingly good! The mango, cucumber and orange arrived in my organic box delivery Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sticky Ribs

A guilty pleasure: baby back ribs. This is the 2/3 rack serving at Goodwood. They're always so tender, there's no reason to get your fingers all sticky. The meat slides of the bone when you pull on it with a fork. I've tried ribs at several local places over the years, and these are my favorite so far.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Edible Teeter-Totters?

We call them "teeter totters," others call them tater tots. They may not even really qualify as food! I've known people who worked at factories where these were produced and they told me never to eat them. But...they taste so good. These were baked for a lunchtime treat.