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Showing posts from July, 2015

Malibu Spritzer

Nothing like a spritzer on a nice hot day. Since I don't like wine, I came up with this spritzer using Malibu.
Malibu Spritzer

1 oz Malibu Rum
3 oz blueberry, cranberry or other fruit juice
splash of seltzer

Combine and serve over ice.

I usually buy a real good fruit juice. I've made it with cran-raspberry, or cran-strawberry juice and it's quite good. It's a really refreshing drink and sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the sweetness of a Malibu and coke and this hits the spot. In the summer we like to have cocktails on the veranda (aka the backyard).

Fruit Flies Anyone?

Is there anything more annoying than fruit flies. OK there probably is but they are really annoying. Those little suckers are fast too - you can never swat them. It seems that there is a certain summer temperature that is reached and then they all seem to  start reproducing- well like rabbits. Well we discovered the perfect little fruit fly death trap that works like a charm.
All you need is a jar with a little bit of sweet vinegar - sherry or apple cider will do. Add a drop of dish detergent (to break the surface tension - see I'm getting all sciency on you). Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it with a toothpick.

You will soon notice a collection of bodies gathering in the bottom and a whole heck of a lot less flying around trying to eat your fruit. This will work for about a week or two. By then most of the fruit flies should be gone because either the temperature has changed or you've got a mass burial thing going on. Refresh the jar and you're good to go …

Austin Food Report

I went to Austin for a conference. I was very excited to go because of the food aspect (well OK I learned a bunch of stuff at the conference too). I had tried to scope out some places before I went but it was difficult to narrow the options. So I just decided to wing it.

We started out at Moonshine Grill. I had a pimento cheese burger on a nice brioche-style bun. It was excellent. The roasted Brussels Sprouts just fully rounded out the meal. There was no room for dessert.

I don't really drink wine - so what was I doing in a wine bar - for the cheese of course. Cru Wine Bar had wonderful choices of cheese platter - 4 in total. I had a difficult time choosing. I opted for the Sinful Experience. Mt Tam cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery (which I had read really good things about), Ribiola and a Delice de Jura. All soft, ooey, gooey cheeses. Very tasty. Served with grapes, honey, bread, and sliced apple and pear. A nice Belgium beer rounded it all out.

Next on the list was La Traviata (…

Strawberries & Creme Fraiche

YUM strawberries. The strawberries this year have been really great. So I was compelled to once again make creme fraiche as a go with. This is not even a recipe. It's just sliced strawberries, with a few spoonfuls of creme fraiche, and some raw sugar sprinkled on top.

Sorry if you think this is a cheap entry but I've been busy packing for Austin, which I'm totally psyched about going there because of the food. I guess I will have to squeeze in a little bit of the conference between meals.

Herbed Summer Squash Pasta

We accidentally bought summer squash plants instead of zucchini plants this year - not that I find that much of a difference in taste. It has started to come in now. I was poking around looking for a recipe for squash and pasta and found this over at Smitten Kitchen.

I tinkered with the recipe minimally.  I made a pound of pasta because if I'm boiling water for a 1/2 lb why not for a full 1lb and get a few more meals. I also used Gruyere cheese instead of the mozzarella because that's what I had. I used basil because I wanted some of that green to add to the color of the dish - yellow squash is a little blah looking. It came out very good but it is definitely a summer meal that you want to make on a cooler rather than hotter day. I liked that it was a one pot meal. While the pasta was boiling I was prepping the other ingredients. Then I used that pot to saute the squash although it was a bit slow going. Then all into the pot and right into the oven - yes at 400 it was a littl…

Another Great Thing About Peru

The other great thing about Peru, was that they had Duty Free in the airport with a full stock of Cadbury and Milka chocolates. So supplies are back up to semi-acceptable levels. I was also able to procure some very good Peruvian Chocolate.

Yes that is the refrigerator that I'm storing my Cadbury (and Peruvian Chocolate) in. I know "they" say you shouldn't store chocolate in the refrigerator but I've found that good quality chocolate generally holds up very well in the refrigerator. Besides it's been so hot; it would melt outside of the refrigerator.

I did have a slight issue with meltage in Peru. When we went to the Maras salt mines, they had a bunch of shops that sold salt. They also sold salted chocolate. It was delicious. We also went to the ChocoMuseo in Cusco. Had I known of its existence, I would have booked a class (even though it seemed many of the students were kids). It was a very small museum but very interesting. They also served this wonderful c…

What's New

Look who jumped into our car and followed us home...

Well OK maybe she didn't actually follow us home. Maybe she was coerced a little. But she was looking for a good home as her previous owner couldn't take care of her and she found us.

Maras Salt Pans

While we were in the Sacred Valley (between Cusco and Ollantaytambo), we went to the Maras Salt Pans. I had never been to a salt mine before and wasn't sure it was going to be that interesting but it actually was.  First we drove up this twisty turny road which often times didn't think the van was going to make. Then the salt pans came into view.
 The "salted" water comes from a natural spring which was not so impressive in size:

But the amount of pools was definitely impressive:
They dam up the water into pools and let the sun evaporate the water. Real high-tech stuff going on here. The top layer is used for eating (yum), the next layer for medicinal (meaning soaking in a hot tub of salted water), and the bottom layer is use for industrial purposes (yeah salt licks - I guess?). They work at night because during the day the brightness of the reflection off the salt causes blindness. Most of the town is asleep during the day for this reason.

So this side trip definit…

I Thought We Were in Peru...

Imagine our surprise when we found Moe's in Peru. For a second there we thought we were in Springfield. (Maybe we spent too much time at Moe's and that's why this post is so late).

I won't blather on about how wonderful Machu Picchu was or how wonderful the Amazon was (which they were), instead I'll blather on about how wonderful the food was. This is a food blog after all. All of the food was so fresh. There were many farms around and we assume most of the food was grown locally.

We stayed at El Albergue Hotel in Ollantaytambo (the Sacred Valley). They had an organic farm and used the produce for their meals. They had this fabulous mint tea (Andean mint of course) and also Chamomile. Just some fresh leaves thrown into boiling water. It was some of the best tea I've ever had.

We stayed at Machu Picchu at the Sanctuary Lodge (basically took a second mortgage on the house for this - but it was worth it. We got to see sunrise at Machu Picchu). The food was good b…