Tuesday, November 28, 2006 

Holiday Cookies!

Cooking Light has a few recommendations!

1. Two-Layer Caramel-Pecan Bars
2. Chewy Coconut Macaroons
3. Spicy Oatmeal Crisps
4. Raspberry Strippers
5. Gingerbread Little Cakes
6. Truffle-Iced Sugar Cookies
7. Chocolate-Mint Brownies
8. Lemon-Honey Drop Cookies
9. Espresso Meringue Cookies

Sunday, November 26, 2006 


Naked Juice goes all "Corporate" on me.
PepsiCo announced today its agreement to acquire Azusa, California-based Naked Juice Company, a leader in the fast-growing super premium juice category, from North Castle Partners, a private equity firm. Terms of the agreement, which is subject to government approval, were not disclosed. - PepsiCo
Guess I'm kissing my beloved Green Machine, buhbye.

Friday, November 24, 2006 

Happy Random Flickr Friday

Mt. Rainier
Originally uploaded by bermudafan8.


Sugar High Friday

The "Say Hello To" Version:

Crazy for Cheesecakes

Dessert First

Pie Day Friday

Save Your Fork...There's Pie!

Thursday, November 23, 2006 

Jones Soda

has an unusual way of celebrating Thanksgiving.

Turkey and Gravy Soda? Ahhh....No thanks. If they come up with Pumpkin Pie....maybe.


A Case of Bake and Switch

Washington area scandals hit the food industry at High Hill Country Store.

With the scent of fresh-baked apples hanging heavily in the air, customers can just imagine the scene in the kitchen: Mom, wearing a flour-covered, red-gingham apron, rolling out ingredients. Dough hitting the counter. Flour poofing into the air. Freshly diced apples being expertly laid in rows. One pie after homemade pie.

Except it's really like this: A bunch of factory-frozen pies are dropped off outside the back door, and then workers, including a brawny, bearded guy with tattoos, stick them in the oven.

So where do the pies actually come from?

"We get them from four or five different vendors," said David Heimburger, another owner. - WaPo

If you want great tasting pies...why not make them yourself? They really aren't as hard to prepare as you may think. And great crust? Why it's a snap if you follow Penny's advise!


Happy Thanksgiving

What are YOU thankful for this year?

I'm thankful for the "food porn" here...and at:

The San Francisco Chronicle....and the Thanksgiving special.
The Los Angeles Times.
Martha Stewart Living

The delicious history and memories of New Orleans that haven't been washed away.

and, Tyler Florence. He's the "Ultimate".....I'll put him on my menu anyday

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 

The #1 Search

that is leading people to my little bitesized blog....Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.

Well, folks. here's the recipe again.

I am addicted to FoodTV. I must have my FoodTV daily or I go a little nutty. (Well...I guess I am to begin with, but that's an entirely different story) I got a glimpse of Paula Deen the other day and she was doing some Southern BBQ stuff. And then she got to the desert part of the meal. I nearly died. Talk about a little nutty yet completely Southern, she used a recipe sent to her by her friend Bill Nicholson. He has come up with a way to use Krispy Kreme doughnuts that is quite unusual. Now, THIS is a desert fit for Elvis.

Bill Nicholson's Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce

2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 (4.5-ounce) cans fruit cocktail (undrained)
2 eggs, beaten
1 (9-ounce) box raisins
1 pinch salt
1 or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Butter Rum Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cube donuts into a large bowl. Pour other ingredients on top of donuts and let soak for a few minutes. Mix all ingredients together until donuts have soaked up the liquid as much as possible.

Bake for about 1 hour until center has jelled. Top with Butter Rum Sauce.

Butter Rum Sauce:
1 stick butter
1 pound box confectioners' sugar
Rum, to taste

Melt butter and slowly stir in confectioners' sugar. Add rum and heat until bubbly. Pour over each serving of Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding

Other recipes highlighted on Paula's show:

Chicken on the Grill
Daddy's Tangy Grilling Sauce
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic
Fried Biscuits
Easy Squeeze Honey Butter

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 

50 Ways to Eat Leftovers

Funny stuff from my very funny buddy, skippy the bush kangaroo....


Food & Family

I just really like this little magazine sent out by Kraft. Everyday, simple foods that don't take a day and a half to make. Sure to please a family, or even just yourself and friends. Some of the recipes are very inventive.

I'm sure that some on Top Chef would turn up their noses at it, but for using some basic everyday Kraft ingredients that most people have stored away in their food cabinets. And, yes, processed food isn't the best choice for everyday, but for some households it's the only way to go. (and, granted, i'm a Blue Box Mac'n Cheese fan, myself.)

Mom's Best Sweet Potato Casserole
3 lb. sweet potatoes (about 5 large)
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1-1/2 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows

PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Place sweet potatoes on microwaveable plate. Microwave on HIGH 8 min. Turn potatoes over; continue microwaving 9 to 10 min. or until very tender. Let stand 5 min. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop pulp into large bowl; discard skins.
ADD cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to potato pulp. Mash with potato masher to desired consistency. Spoon into 9-inch square glass baking dish.
MIX cereal and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in marshmallows. Sprinkle evenly over potato mixture.
BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until topping is golden brown and mixture is heated through.

Monday, November 20, 2006 

A Terrific Article in the Salt Lake Tribune

discusses the "State of the Food Union" of the United States. It does bring up some great points to discuss and mull over....and of course, act upon. Take a read.
Insipid vegetables persist because Americans keep buying them - demanding them for salads and sandwiches all year, not just in season. Gurian-Sherman thinks it's time for Americans to rethink their habits and values.

"What do we want out of our food, and what do we want out of our lives?" he asked.

A growing number of people are relying on different values to shape their meals, buying organic or locally grown produce whenever possible. They support local farmers and small, artisan producers of milk, cheese and bread, and share the bounty with family and friends.

This "Slow Food" movement began in Italy 20 years ago in response to the opening of a McDonald's in a historic section of Rome. Today, Slow Food has 80,000 members across the globe, including a group in Utah.

Better flavor is just one of the reasons that "eat local" is one of Slow Food's mantras.

Visit the Slow Food USA website. Think about joining.

The Sierra Club's blog, Compass, has an intriguing post up regarding Fast Food Nation and the author, Eric Scholosser. It's a good read....both the article and the book. The movie is said to be fantastic, too.

This food fest season, take your time at the table. Chew. Share. Enjoy. Taste life to it's fullest.

Sunday, November 19, 2006 

Better Grab That Butter....

It's DUNGY CRAB SEASON AGAIN! Oh....yummmmmy.

Dungeness crab lovers whipping up Louis dressing eagerly await the boats at Fisherman's Wharf for today's start of the season, a culinary event rivaling the arrival of Beaujolais nouveau or Chinook salmon. - SFGATE


Trade...Fair....not Free

Just saw an interesting film that I higly recommend to all foodies and coffee imbibers. Black Gold...Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. It really opens your eyes to the "behind the scenes" look at the life of Ethiopian coffee farmers and how their efforts are so minimally compensated for a commodity that is one of the worlds' most desired commodities. Really...how can you pay $2.90 for a cup of coffee in your local java joint and the farmer is paid under .25/pound for his product. Isn't it time we cut out the "middle man" and give the money to the farmer? See the movie. Next time you go into your favorite javajoint, ask your barista to sling you up some Fair Trade Coffee.

Watch the movie trailer.... HERE.
Learn more about my new hero, Tadesse Meskela...HERE.
Listen to NPR's take on the movie.... HERE.
Read more about Fair Trade issues in the news.... HERE.
One of my favorite Fair Trade Coffees from Caffe Appassionato....HERE.

Friday, November 17, 2006 

The New Kid on the Restaurant Block

Well...not really "new" as Fresco has been around for quite some time. But, it's newest spot is where the old Citronelle used to be located at the Santa Barbara Inn. I'm looking forward to hanging out in the new spot. It's interesting that both Jill and her husband, Mark Brouillard, used to work for Michel Richard at his Citronelle before they left to start their own venture, Fresco, and Richard packed up Citronelle and headed for D.C. Seems that the Brouillard's have proven that perhaps you CAN go cook at home again.

The newest, or in this case the "mew-ist" restaurant to hit the Santa Barbara Scene will be The Hungry Cat, of Hollywood fame stretching it's claws up to the downtown area. There is still butcher paper in the windows, but the opening is scheduled to be next month. It will be interesting to see what they will do with the place, it is a tad on the smallish side, but it is co-owned by Suzanne Goin of Lucques (and recently of Top Chef) so let's see if one can manage to squeeze in at any time for a little tasty treat.

Opentable.com...you listening? I'll be needing an easy way to schedule my noshings at these two places.

Thursday, November 16, 2006 

When in Austin....

Stop, oogle and shop at the Central Market....a top destination for foodies everywhere. Of course, they're so popular, they've spread out to other parts of Texas, but Austin has always held a special spot in our heart. Our talented and handsome friend, Jeff, is a transplanted New Mexican schooled up and living and lawyering Austin style.

You can always keep "a breast" (turkey or otherwise) of the goings on with their fun and fanciful email newsletter, "Central Market Foodie".

And, boy...what a foodie mecca it was...and is.

The original store opened in 1994 on North Lamar in Austin, Texas, two years after its current competitor Whole Foods went public. A cult-like following began immediately after the store opened. Many Texas foodies were attracted to the store's offerings and were willing to travel from other cities just to shop in the store. Beyond supplying hard-to-find products, Central Market's highly trained staff are knowledgeable about all things Epicurean.

It was not long before H.E. Butt Grocery Company expanded the chain to San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. The chain's second store opened in 1997 in a converted H-E-B on Broadway in the San Antonio area (in the Alamo Heights city limits). Two years later, a third store was opened on South Lamar in Austin. Fort Worth and Houston were introduced to the chain for the first time in 2001, with stores on West Freeway and Westheimer, respectively. Central Market's sixth and seventh stores opened in 2002 in Dallas and Plano on East Lovers Lane and Coit, respectively. Continuing its Dallas-area expansion, plans are underway for an eighth store to open at The Shops of Southlake on December 6, 2006.

According to a 2000 article in the Houston Business Journal [1]... "The two Central Market stores in Austin have become a tourist attraction of sorts, drawing in more than 1.5 million visitors a year, second only to the state Capitol in terms of Austin tourist attractions." - Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 

Looking for some new recipes

to unfurl this upcoming "Turkey Day?" Why not stop by and visit:

Leite's Culinaria for Pumpkin Cake

Edible Boston for the proper New England Turkey and more. (pdf)

The Gumbo Pages for Paul Prudhomme's Turducken

New Mexico Magazine for Turkey Tenderloins with Caramelized Onions

Vermont's Maple Grove Farm for Maple Glazed Yams

Yankee Magazine for a podcast on a Trouble free Thanksgiving.

SlowFood USA for an article on Heritage Turkeys...did you order up yours for the big day?

Monday, November 13, 2006 

get "the dish"

from The City's chefs! And...speaking of the City, a great chocolatey podcast....
Chocolate lovers will get an earful with this podcast with San Francisco baker and writer Fran Gage, who talks about her recipe for Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake.


A little word from Surfas

.....which doesn't sound like it will be in Culver City much longer.

It's a heartbreaking shame that Culver City isn't appreciative of the wonderful store
that Surfa's is. Doesn't take into consideration the history of the store; the family's blood,
sweat and tears intobuilding a GREAT store jammed to the rafters with personality and
any cooking item you might be in the need for.

Dear Concerned American:

Proposition 90 did not pass in California but Eminent Domain abuse was stopped in
10 other states on November 7th where wise voters understood the importance of
protecting land, home, farm, religious and business ownership.

Here is your last chance to stop the horrible, threatening abuse of Eminent Domain
by local City governments just for private gain and additional revenue for government
bureaucrats. H.R. 4128/S.3873 will be brought up for a vote in Congress sometime
between MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13 and NOVEMBER 22.

Click below to fill out a form to let your views be known. It will be sent automatically
to your Senator. Please act quickly as there is no way of knowing if the vote will be
called Monday.


If this is passed it will not effect the property Culver City has taken from
Surfas. This is too late for us. We only have the option to fight the taking of our
land through the court system. When more information is available, we will inform
you. Watch our website for further information about our situation.

We appreciate all of the well wishes.

Thank you for being an informed citizen,

Les Surfas
Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food
Chef's Paradise
Culver City, CA 90232
(310)559-4770 ext.212 fax(310)558-1455

Friday, November 10, 2006 

The Cookies Are Coming

Don't forget to sign up for Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies!

Thursday, November 09, 2006 


Yahoo! is cooking up more internet(s) fun....it is introducing Yahoo! Food with recipes, Hot Spots for dining, talks with chefs, videos, Q&A, Blogger Bites...and more.

Stop by and say...


Gingerbread Loaf Pan

From Nordic Ware. Too cute! Buy yours at Kitchen Krafts.
Why not bake your gingerbread in a loaf pan that visually says what you’re eating? Cute gingerbread boy and girl figures adorn the top of this loaf which is all tied-up with a ribbon – ready to give as a gift or serve at the holiday table.

They also have some great cookie baking supplies...it is that season, ya know!

Williams-Sonoma Crystallized-Ginger Gingerbread

Fresh ginger is valued as a traditional medicine for its stomach-settling properties. These effects make ginger a good counterbalance to a rich dinner, so it has long been a favorite ingredient in desserts. Here, the warm, spicy flavor of gingerbread is intensified by using two forms of ginger in one recipe: ground and crystallized.


4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat or whole
Demerara or other raw sugar for sprinkling


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-4-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy. Stir in the molasses and crystallized ginger. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour; mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the gingerbread is golden and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with demerara sugar. Makes 1 loaf; serves 10 to 12.

Notes: This tender, moist, dark gingerbread is good served warm with poached pears and their syrup or with yogurt (see related recipes at right). Or, try it with afternoon tea or coffee. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Adapted from New Healthy Kitchen Series, Desserts, by Annabel Langbein (Simon & Schuster, 2006).

Sunday, November 05, 2006 

Countdown to T-Day

I have always loved Thanksgiving. The brisk fall air with leaves falling from the trees and often some snowflakes to accompany. The sound of the "tap. tap. tap." of the maple syrup dripping. The smells. The house crowded with people. The various dishes, including the obligatory Mince Meat pie for my dad. And, then of course the memories of Tryptophan induced semi-comas in front of the TV watching the football games. We were always required to yell for the Big Blue M if they were playing. My parents were from Michigan, of course.

Sunset Magazine this month as an interesting take on Thanksgiving meals, customs and season....a somewhat warmer, "exotic" take. Hawaiian. But, of course, a multitude of cultures (Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, etc.) blend to make some very interesting and delicious dishes. (Sans the SPAM, thank goodness...) And, I'm kinda diggin' it!

In the islands, the continental American Thanksgiving coincides with a very Hawaiian season of sharing and gratitude called Makahiki. For ancient Hawaiians, this period — spanning the appearance and fading of the Pleiades star cluster during the ho'oilo, or cooler rainy season, from October to February — was devoted to peace, feasting, dancing, and games.

These days, Makahiki is a growing trend as people continue to rediscover native Hawaiian culture. A time for cultural and spiritual renewal, today's Makahiki echoes the past with school games, surf competitions, organized walks, and feasts. It's a reminder to native Hawaiians and all Pacific Islanders of their roots. "We give thanks to the place that provides for us," says Maile Meyer, who grew up on Oahu. "We acknowledge the land and the ocean that nourish our bodies and souls."

Macadamia Nut Tart
This buttery tart has just enough sweet filling to hold the nuts together, no more. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour, plus 1 hour to cool.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 tbsp. melted butter
1 large egg yolk, plus 1 large egg
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/3 cups unsalted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a food processor, whirl flour, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and pulse to combine. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. ice water, pulsing until mixture begins to come together in a ball.

2. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 9-in. round tart pan with 1-in. sides. Prick bottom of tart with a fork and chill in freezer 15 minutes. Bake crust until medium golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes, and remove from oven (leave oven on).

3. Meanwhile, in a standing electric mixer on high speed, beat whole egg, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt until pale and ribbony, 7 to 10 minutes. Beat in melted butter, corn syrup, and rum.

4. Pour sugar mixture into tart shell and sprinkle with macadamia nuts. Bake tart until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool tart on a wire rack at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla or ginger ice cream, if you like.

Kate Washington
Sunset, NOVEMBER 2006

Don't forget to stop by our fellow Foodies from The Islands and wish them "Mahalo!"

Friday, November 03, 2006 

Enjoy Your Seafood Now

because it just might not be around much longer.
The world's oceans are under an increasing assault from over-fishing, pollution and global warming that threatens to wipe out vital fisheries and to create a crisis in food supplies before the middle of this century, an international team of scientists warns. - sfgate
And for those of us who love the fish, swimming around....in sauce, I highly recommend carrying Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch Card that tells you which species you should not order or eat due to over fishing, etc.

But it sounds like the card soon might have to expand to larger than pocketsize.


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