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Archive for April, 2009

Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake In The World.

April 30th, 2009 4 comments

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A friend sent me this 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe via e-mail.  It’s touted as “The Most Dangerous Cake Recipe in the World” because it’s only 5 Minutes away and the ingredients are usually on hand — I guess one shouldn’t eat too many of these.  With that typed, here’s the Dangerous RECIPE:

1 Mug

4 Tablespoons Flour

4 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cocoa

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons Milk

3 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

Combine the Flour, Sugar and Cocoa in a Mug – Add the Egg and mix thoroughly.  Pour in the Milk, Oil and Vanilla and mix well.  Place Mug in the Microwave and cook on maximum power (1000 watts) for 3 Minutes. Let Cake cool for a few minutes, then eat straight out of the Mug or empty onto a plate or into a bowl with Ice Cream.

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The Cake will rise over the top of the Mug while cooking, but don’t be alarmed — It’ll be OK and it looks kinda funny.  The Cake is a little dense and dry and tastes best with Ice Cream, Powdered Sugar, Whipped Cream and/or a big glass of MILK.  Overall, it’s a fun, fast and warm Dessert that fills the air of Chocolate Cake within minutes.

FUN Related Links:

http://www.dizzy-dee.com/recipe/chocolate-cake-in-5-minutes

http://alladither.typepad.com/halfassedkitchen/2008/10/five-minute-chocolate-cake-yes-really.html

Coach’s Mediterranean Grill & Bar in Huntington.

April 29th, 2009 1 comment

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Coach’s Mediterranean Grill & Bar in Huntington Beach always seems to provide good service and food.  This day we only had time for a quick bite, thus had the Hummus and Falafel with Pita Bread — The Falafel is served with Tahini, but we recommend it with Tzatziki.  The Hummus looked like a work of art within a wave.

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misc-009Coach’s Mediterranean Grill & Bar is on Main Street in “Surf City” and a short walk inland from the Pier.  It’s an airy indoor/outdoor restaurant with good Mediterranean food and people watching from the patio.  And just down the street a New Exhibit at The International Surfing Museum  just opened — It’s Part One: The Wooden Years, an Exhibit on Board Shapers.  My friend Bonnie, an Interior Designer put the entire Exhibit together.  On opening day I popped in right when she had time for a bite, so we walked to Coach’s with our Opening Party Mai Tai’s — Shhh.  All was fab!  If local or visiting, be sure to check out the Surf Museum.  Live Bands occasionally play in the parking lot too.  And P.S.  There are a lot of good restaurants on HB’s Main Street.

Related Links:

http://www.coachsmedgrill.com/

http://www.surfingmuseum.org/index1.html

http://www.ci.huntington-beach.ca.us/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falafel

http://www.bonniejoydesigns.com/

It’s Chicken War — KFC’s New Kentucky “Grilled” Chicken Wants Some of El Pollo Loco’s Business.

April 28th, 2009 5 comments

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Yesterday Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) offered a FREE New Grilled Chicken Drumstick to ALL (above).  And today El Pollo Loco (EPL) offered the public a FREE Drumstick (below) and Wing.  I was curious to try KFC’s new product so we went for the free Drumstick, and we already knew the taste of EPL’s Drumstick, but paid for this one for true comparison. 

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But let’s just get right down to it, there’s no comparison — El Pollo Loco’s genuinely Grilled Chicken is hard to beat.  It’s got a lot of great flavor and it’s cooked on the better grill.  Isn’t it obvious from the photos above?  KFC’s Drumstick wasn’t bad — It was just bland and nothing special whatsoever.  I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but I would for EPL’s Drumstick. 

This OFFICIAL comparison reminded me how good EPL’s Chicken actually is.  Can another well-known fast food chain just jump in and expect much with just okay?  I think not.  I like Kentucky’s “Fried” Chicken much better than this Drumstick — KFC should stick with its Original Recipe and Extra Crispy, and come up with something better for this CHICKEN WAR.  El Pollo Loco is the WINNER.

Related Links:

http://www.kfc.com/

http://www.elpolloloco.com/

http://fastfood.freedomblogging.com/2009/04/22/kfcs-new-kentucky-grilled-chicken-vs-el-pollo-loco/18537/

Friends of OC FOOD GIVEAWAY For Needy Orange County California Families.

April 28th, 2009 1 comment

Orange County based Philanthropists have launched a Friends of OC Food Giveaway aimed towards providing food to families in need.  They’ll be giving $125 (each) towards food to (10) families.  To qualify you must have an OC address, CA ID, be a parent of children under the age of 19, or a senior over the age of 62 — And you must have (unfortunately) experienced financial hardship related to the economy.

To apply for this generous assistance, send the following information to info@ocremodel.com:

• Name
• Children’s Names & Ages
• Address
• Phone Number
• E-Mail Address
• 500 Words WHY You’re in Need of Assistance

The deadline for entry is May 8th and the AWARDEES will be selected on May 15, 2009.  More information is linked below — Much luck and blessings to all those who apply.

Learn More HERE:
http://ocremodel.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/fred-and-rula-jarrah-announce-friends-of-oc-food-giveaway-for-orange-county-ca-families/

Tortilla, Ham, Veggie & Cream Cheese Roll Ups.

April 27th, 2009 1 comment

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These are one of my favorite Appetizers to have on hand.  And party guests love ’em too.  “Roll Ups” can be made with almost any Veggie or Deli Meat, using a Flour Tortilla and Cream Cheese.

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This time I made the Roll Ups with variations of sliced Ham, Fresh Asparagus, Orange Bell Pepper and Green Onions.  The trick is to spread a generous amount of Cheese Cheese evenly over the Tortilla and add all other ingredients aligned on the left, as shown above — Roll Tortilla parallel to the Ham and Veggies (l-r), then chill and cut when ready to serve/eat.

Related Link: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1588

Las Casuelas In Palm Springs For The Live Music.

April 25th, 2009 No comments

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This sunny day we stopped by Las Casuelas in Palm Springs for Lunch, which is when I learned that I prefer Dinner on the outdoor patio near the Live Band.  Las Casuelas is a great place for live music and dancing — And the food is most often good.  I’ve had the best of times there on wonderfully warm evenings with large groups of my favorite friends.

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And I’ve had a lot better Dinners at Las Casuelas than this lunch — Too many pieces of our Salad Lettuce had brown patches, and the Tacos were seemingly small, dripping with grease and didn’t have enough Cheese.  Hhhmmm — I hope it goes better next time.  Happily the Mango Margarita was refreshing and perfectly blended.

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It’s beautiful in Palm Springs right now (April) — The weather is perfect.  It was nice and warm day and evening, without being too hot.  It’s clear and the mountains still have snow on top.

Las Casuelas: http://www.lascasuelasquinta.com/

Happy Anniversary Nibbles of Tidbits.

April 24th, 2009 1 comment

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It’s time to celebrate Nibbles of Tidbits One Year Anniversary.  It’s today, April 24th.  Let’s toast Champagne and eat lots of FOOD to cheer.  I Need Text Company plans to put forth many years of high quality content and food photography on Nibbles of Tidbits.  Look for more restaurant reviews, cooking tips and ideas, product testing, experiments and reports about all things food related.

PRESS RELEASE:  http://www.prlog.org/10220332.pdf

The Veggie Grill Soup & Salad Combo For Lunch.

April 23rd, 2009 1 comment

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Have you heard of The Veggie Grill?  It’s a small chain that I heard was good — So a couple of us tried it today for lunch and liked it.  I’m not in love yet, but the food was fresh, the restaurant was clean and the service was extra friendly and helpful.

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veggie-grill-005We visited The Veggie Grill at The Irvine Spectrum.  It’s a semi fast food type of place, whereas you order and pay at the counter, then they deliver your food on real plates with silverware.  This first visit we both tried the same, a Baja Fiesta Salad and Bean Me Up Chili for the Soup & Salad Combo.  They also offer a few interesting Veggie Sandwiches and Burgers we’ll need to try next time.

The Veggie Grill: http://www.veggiegrill.com/

Auntie Anne’s New Pepperoni Pretzel Looks Fun.

April 22nd, 2009 1 comment

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We started at it like a WISH BONE — Then a few of us shared this Pretzel as an appetizer.  We liked the taste of the Pepperoni and sweet flavor of the Pretzel Dough, but neglected to order a side of Marinara Sauce, which we think to be necessary for full enjoyment of Auntie Anne’s New Pepperoni Pretzel.  There’s an extra charge for a DIP, but you’ve gotta have the Sauce with this one — That was the consensus here.  P.S.  Did you know that Sunday, April 26th is National Pretzel Day?

Auntie Anne’s INFO: http://www.auntieannes.com/

West Coasters Better Hurry To Ben & Jerry’s.

April 21st, 2009 No comments

There’s less than two hours left to receive a FREE SCOOP of Ice Cream from your local Ben & Jerry’s Store — But luckily ALL Coasters can get a $0.31 Scoop of Ice Cream from Baskin Robbins on April 29, 2009 to honor America’s Firefighters.  More information about both deals is linked below.

http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/feature/free-cone-day/

http://www.baskinrobbins.com/spotlight/31CentScoopNight.aspx

Nibbles of Tidbits is currently in love with Häagen Dazs FIVE (Passion Fruit) — Hopefully that’s the next SCOOP. 🙂

Häagen Dazs FIVE: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=3670

Sullivan’s Steakhouse Dinner In Palm Desert.

April 20th, 2009 1 comment

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We didn’t have Steak at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Palm Desert, so we’ll definitely need to go back for that.  Until then, we liked what we had this visit and the service was terrific too.  It’s a busy place and appears to be where everyone is in Palm Desert.  Good thing we made reservations, because it was packed.

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We enjoyed a 1/2 lb. of King Crab LegsAsparagus with Hollandaise SauceRoasted Chicken Vesuvio Style with Garlic Herb Potatoes, and Blue Cheese Meatloaf with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, Onions and Bordelaise Sauce.

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The Banana Bread Pudding was one of the BEST Desserts I’ve had.  It was warm inside and crispy around the outside.  I’ll get it every time and want to put a spoon into the photo.  Sullivan’s has almost 20 restaurants in many states across America (Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Delaware, etc.) — I’m glad there’s at least one in California.  It makes me want to go back to Palm Desert.

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I’ve learned that Sullivan’s Steakhouse will be opening several new restaurants in the future — That’s great news.

Rao’s Meatball Sandwich Slider, YUM-Bondanza.

April 19th, 2009 1 comment

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meatball-slider-0081One of the best things I’ve done is freeze some of the Rao’s Meatballs I made.  With the final small frozen batch I prepared these yummy Meatball Sliders.  I just re-heated the Meatballs in Marinara Sauce and voila — I added all to Toasted Buns with a slice of Mozzarella Cheese.  I so appreciated the convenience, taste and quality of this quick meal.  Rao’s Meatballs are the best.  Make a batch and be sure to freeze a few — If you love these Meatballs, you’ll be glad you did.  They are an abundance of yummy-ness.  Abbondanza.

Rao’s Meatball Recipe:
http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=3198

Happy Hour Week Tapas At Bayside Restaurant.

April 17th, 2009 1 comment

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For the locals, Orange County’s 1st Happy Hour Week is happening NOW until April 18, 2009.  After reading a few of the participant’s menus, we excitedly chose Bayside Restaurant.  The TAPAS they’re offering are fantastic.  It’s hard to decide what to get, because all 16 of them sound amazing.  I wish I had time to go back before the deal ends — Right now all Tapas are $5.95 (each).

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From top to bottom, we shared the Smoked Scottish Salmon, with a Warm Blini, Lemon Aioli, Capers, Dill and Onion — Grilled Lamb Chops with Potato Puree and Mustard Sauce.

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Bresaola (Air Dried Beef) Carpaccio with Arugula and Parmesan — And Medallion of Venison with D’Anjou (Pear) and Spiced Red Wine Sauce.  WOW, we highly recommend the Venison.  It’s so tender and flavorful.

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As you can see, it’s high quality food for less than $6 — Carl’s $6 Burger PA-LEEZ give me a break.  Can someone out there PLEEEZ serve this through a Drive-Thru?

More about OC Happy Hour Week:
http://www.happyhourweek.com/

Bayside Restaurant: http://www.bistango.com/bayside.shtml

The Best Office Bake Sale I’ve Ever Seen.

April 15th, 2009 No comments

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This Office Bake Sale raised $570  in a little over an hour — Not a bad wage.  All proceeds of the sale will be going to local charities.  Bake Sales are an excellent way to raise money.  It’s a WIN-WIN.  And they are extra yummy if you have good Bakers in your office.

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This post includes just a sampling of the Baked Goods — In addition to what is shown HERE, there were several Pies, White Chocolate Fudge, Biscotti, Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats, Homemade Shortbread Cookies, Pumpkin Bars, Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies and much more. 

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My small contribution was this Orange Bundt Cake with an Orange Glaze (below).  It’s a White Cake doctored up with Orange Juice, Orange Peel and Powdered Sugar.  It was designated to sell whole for $5 — I hope its purchaser liked it.  I liked what I bought.

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See More Bake Sale Tips HERE:
http://baking.about.com/cs/hintsandtips/a/bakesales.htm

United Way Of King County Hunger Challenge.

April 14th, 2009 2 comments

Could you eat on $7 a Day for a Week?  That’s Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, and there’s no accepting free food, no eating what you already have, and the meals should be somewhat healthy.  Many will be doing that April 20-24, 2009 during the United Way’s Hunger Action Week. 

What an interesting challenge — I would probably learn a lot.  If I didn’t already have longstanding lunch and dinner plans next week, I’d do it too.  It appears $7 is the maximum food stamp benefit for an individual.  I’ll make myself take the challenge another week or the economy may force it upon me.  Until then, I’ll be following the food blog reports, especially the posts by Savory Sweet Life.  

United Way Hunger Challenge: http://savorysweetlife.com/?p=205

Getting Started with a Grocery Diary: http://savorysweetlife.com/

Have You Seen ALL Our Chili Cheese Fries?

April 13th, 2009 4 comments

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Have you seen ALL the Chili Cheese Fries on Nibbles of Tidbits?  We’ve reviewed a lot more than the ones pictured here.  These are super good, but unfortunately not easily available to most, unless you live or work in Irvine.  They’re made by Peter’s Cafe, a small Cafe located on the ground floor of the Daimler Chrysler Building on Irvine Center Drive.  If you’re around the area, they’re worth trying — I think it’s the Oil they use that makes them so tasty.  If you’re not local, please see our Chili Cheese Fries link which includes photos and reviews of Chili Cheese Fries offered my many restaurant chains across the nation.

Chili Cheese Fries Comparison (Photos & Reviews):
http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1110

Peter’s Cafe:  (949) 753-0855

It’s A Glorious Day — Happy Easter! Let Us Eat.

April 12th, 2009 1 comment

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easter-015Our Holiday meals most often include this amazing Barbecued Chicken made by my Dad.  I’m grateful for this day and so much more.  God Bless us ALL.  The Chicken and its accompanying Sauce  RECIPE was previously posted on Nibbles of Tidbits and is linked below.  It’s all about the Sauce — So simple, yet so good.  The recipe has been in the family for more than 60 years.  Enjoy!

Related Link: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=57

Easter Cookie Decorating Ideas.

April 11th, 2009 1 comment

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Easter Cookies appear to be the most colorful of Holiday Cookies — It’s all the bright pastels, which may make them the most fun to decorate.  Here we decorated Bunnies, Ducks, Easter Eggs, Tulips, Sunflowers, Carrots, Butterflies and Sheep.

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As previously reported on Nibbles of Tidbits (See ‘Cookies’ Category), I get together with my BFF’s to decorate Sugar Cookies most holidays.  It’s a fun way to spend time together and we get to take home yummy cookies for our families.

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A special thanks goes to Loretta for baking all the Cookies and making all the Icings, whereas the rest of us just show up with FOOD, Wine & Coffee, plus the intangible — jokes, political debates, funny stories, concerns, questions, irritations, and gratitude for the time spent together.

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Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies matching the season are always a part of our Cookie Decorating gatherings.  This time the Oreos were dipped in White Chocolate and then swirled with a hot pink colored Chocolate — They’re so good each time.  Happy Easter!

See more Cookie Decorating Ideas here and here.

You Need To Find Kimera Restaurant • Lounge.

April 9th, 2009 No comments

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Kimera Restaurant  Lounge has little signage on the outside and its Complementary Valet Parking may be a little tricky to locate for some, but you’ll find it — And it’s truly worth finding.  The food is excellent.  We enjoyed all aspects of our meals, the Meats, Sauces and Sides.  All was top notch.

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This evening we had the Chef’s Special which included Shrimp in a Beurre Blanc Sauce and Steak — Unfortunately I don’t have the eloquent description of the Steak and Sauce as it was presented by the Server, but all was cooked perfectly.  And we had the Boneless Pork Rib Rack Chop with Cremini Mushrooms, Soft Polenta and White Truffle Essence.  It was fantastic too, especially the Mushroom Sauce. 

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Kimera is a pretty stylish place — The lounge appears to bring in a good crowd, but don’t forget the dining room.  It’s got a lot to offer too.  In fact, they’re currently offering a few incentives to enjoy the restaurant.  One is 50% Off Food on Monday Nights, a terrific value for high quality food.  I’m not sure how long that enticement will continue — Forever would be good.

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And for Dessert we tried the “Birthday Cake” a la Mode with Banana, Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce and Candied Walnuts, YUM.  And the Flour-less Chocolate Torte.  I learned that Kimera’s operators and staff truly want you to have a great experience.  You need to get over there and treat yourself — I’ll be going back soon.

Kimera Restaurant  Lounge: http://www.bistango.com/kimera.shtml#

Cooking Demonstration at Bloomingdales: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=2888

Baked Eggs In Ham Cups, Aren’t They Cool?!

April 8th, 2009 4 comments

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One of the magazines I currently subscribe to is Orange Coast and in this month’s issue is this amazing recipe.  It’s Baked Eggs in Ham Cups with Mushrooms and Shallots by Chef Jamie Gwen.  I fell in love with the photo, and the recipe is fairly easy so I had to make it. 

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The taste and homemade presentation happily lived up to my initial reaction to the magazine photo (below left).  This recipe is so delicious and impressive looking.  A yummy sautéed Mushroom mixture is layered over the Ham and under the Egg, as you can see before it’s baked (below middle). 

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The photo and recipe in Orange Coast Magazine (April 2009) are found within a Special Advertising Section by South Coast Plaza, 13-15. 

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These Baked Eggs in Ham Cups are definitely worth making, especially for company.  They’ll definitely be a part of my Brunch repertoire in the future — They’re too FAB!

Chef Jamie Gwen INFO: http://www.chefjamie.com/

Orange Coast Magazine: http://www.orangecoastmagazine.com/

Note:  Leave comment HERE if larger recipe print is needed.

Cherry Blossoms In Bloom & Cherry Pie Out Of A Washington, DC Oven.

April 7th, 2009 No comments

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cherry-pieOur DC Food Correspondent, Steven Woo sent these fabulous photos to Nibbles of Tidbits.  Since the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, he was inspired to make this Cherry Pie.  He considered using a prepared Pie Crust (Shell) from the grocery store, but said all were cracked — Thus he made his own Pie Crust using good ole Crisco.  And he opted for the Comstock Cherry Pie Filling, as it’s quite the endeavor to pit fresh Cherries for an entire Pie.  I completely understand, but still aspire to do it someday.  His Pie Crust looks rustically good and flaky.  And his co-workers said it was delicious.

Crisco INFO & Recipes: http://www.crisco.com/

Comstock Fruit Pie Filling & Pie Related Tips:
http://www.birdseyefoods.com/comstock/perfectPie.asp

Cherry Blossom Festival INFO:
http://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/cms/index.php?id=390

Why Not Make A Homemade Slider Smorgasbord?

April 6th, 2009 2 comments

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Instead of just one Burger, why not make homemade Sliders for fun and variety — Pictured (L-R) we made a Blue Cheese Burger with Tomatoes, Lettuce and Pickles, a Bacon Cheddar Burger, and a Jalapeno Jack Burger with Tomatoes and Arugula.

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We added a little Worcestershire Sauce, Salt and freshly ground Pepper to the small Burger Patties, buttered and toasted the mini Buns/Rolls and laid out all the fixins. 

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We fried these Burgers in a pan (after we brought home the Bacon) and topped with Cheese after turning — Then transferred all to Buns with their corresponding counterparts. 

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“Shelly’s Sliders” turned out pretty good.  It was fun eating a variety of Burgers and deciphering what tastes best.  We’ve got some great ideas for our next Slider Smorgasbord and would have made them here, but didn’t have Chipotles, Pineapples, or Chili on hand.

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If local and don’t feel like making your own Sliders, check out the restaurants and photos linked below.

3-Thirty-3 Sliders: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1939

Charlie Palmer’s Sliders: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1036

More INFO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburger

Are These Just Cupcakes Or Are They Muffins?

April 5th, 2009 No comments

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What’s the exact difference between a Cupcake and a Muffin?  I pondered that question one night, then made these from a Cake Mix.  I didn’t use Cupcake Foils, over-poured the mix, and topped each with a Cinnamon and Sugar Crumble.  Are they Muffins now?  Or does the Cake Mix need more Baking Powder and/or Flour or other?  I’m not sure  —  And I’ve since learned there’s a lot of thought on it (below).  Regardless, these were good whatever they were, and their preparation is yet another way to use a Cake Mix.

What’s the difference between a Muffin and a Cupcake?  ANSWERS:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/337338

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2007/05/cupcake-vs-muffin-update.html

http://curiousfoodie.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/muffins-cupcakes-why-they-are-different/

http://nosheteria.com/2005/03/its-muffin-no-its-cupcake.html