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, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to www.tamaralittrell.com Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Dec 19, 2012

Men and Mascara


Okay ladies, I’m going to give you a hot tip here. You know I’m not like some of those people who finds something really great but then doesn’t tell her girl friends about it because she wants to keep the secret all for herself. Like if I found out that eating copious amounts of Vosges Bacon Chocolate bars every day gave you a really flat stomach ~ I would tell you. I wouldn’t be the only one walking around with a flat stomach pretending like I got it from doing crunches.  No…I would tell you…eat Bacon Chocolate bars.  

If you are a guy you will probably want to quit reading right here. Unless of course you still haven’t figured out what to buy your lady for Christmas then you better just suck it up and read the rest of this. It’s important. It's about mascara. Yes, you heard me right…mascara. You’ll thank me later because she will think you are some kind of a sensitive genius who pays attention to makeup ads. Shhhh, your secret’s safe with me.

So buddy just trot yourself on down to Sephora and pick up a tube of this stuff.  You can print out this page if you want and then act like you don’t really know what you are looking for and then the Sephora ladies won’t be looking at you like you are some kind of drag queen because guys never go into Sephora. 
     Never. 
     Ever.  
     Unless they are drag queens. 

And I have a funny story about that. I was in Sephora in Las Vegas and approached the sales girl; a stunning blond with a boyish figure and flawless makeup. I asked her a question, not a dumb one mind you, but one like, “do you carry Clarins products?”  This by the way was before I started boycotting everything French, except for bread, manicures and fries, for their failure to support the US in the war with Iraq. (Did they forget about OUR support in a couple of little conflicts called WWI and WWII? Bastards! Pardon my French.)
    “Yes we do, let me show you,” she said in a sexy, raspy voice. That’s when I noticed her Adam’s apple. I tried to appear all cool and cosmopolitan like, hoping that she couldn’t tell that I was from Podunk. I'm sure my eyes were popping out of my head because I had never seen anyone so pretty wearing four inch heels and foundation with a five o’clock shadow.


 
But anyway, back to the mascara. I’m slapping on a little mascara this morning and Dr. Hook's Sexy Eyes starts playing on my iPod, don’t judge me, and I think damn, this mascara gives a gal pretty sexy eyes. I better share this stuff with my girls.





 Benefit brand (made in the USA) called They’re Real! is the shizzle.  I know, I know... I look a little crazy in this picture; that's what flashing a camera directly at your eyeball will do to you. Actually I think this look, complete with the eye roll falls somewhere between super model and crack whore, you decide, but keep in mind that my mascara is at least a few months old. It's getting dried out and this shot is after only one coat and no eye lash curler.  
     (Side note:  Some days I'm just bored and want to see if one shines a really bright light in ones eyes does it make one see stars and the back of their own eyeballs. Yes and only for a second or two. However it did give me the bright idea to write about the mascara.)  You're still judging me about Dr. Hook aren't you?    

Guys, if you’re still with me here, go to Sephora, or at least go online (Click right here) and buy this mascara along with nice bottle of your honey's favorite perfume and give it to her for Christmas. Important tip here:  DO NOT buy her the Wrinkle Cream, no matter how much the young, hot chick with no wrinkles pimps it to you at the checkout.  Adam's apple or not ~ quit while you are ahead. Trust me on this.

And ladies if your man is squeamish about buying mascara for fear of being found out that he's a tranny whore  just go buy it for yourself.  Oh, and if I find out that Bacon Chocolate bars = flat stomach I'll pass it on. (Pssssst, so far they don’t work but I'm still in the experimental stage.) Girlfriend, I am looking out for you!




It's not like I feel the need to pay homage to the French, but while we are on the subject, this little French Onion Salisbury Steak on Cheese Toast is pretty delicieux and easy to prepare. No snooty ingredients called for.  Go to the Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab at the top of this page to view it. Bon Appeit! 




*P.S.....Not my picture, I jacked it from the internet but mine looks EXACTLY like this only better.

Dec 17, 2012

SUP-ing ~ One Of Us Is a Natural, One Of Us Is Not


First Mate/Dinghy Captain, Haney Buffet (Jimmy's brother) remarked that I have the agility and the reflexes of a cat.  He went on to say that The Big Guy has the agility of an albatross. He could be right on both accounts.
     We got a new Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) and a few days ago was my first time of taking it out for a test drive.  I'm a natural! I was practically born to stand up and paddle.

I spent about forty-five minutes cruising around on it and never fell off it once. Not even when I ran into the side of the boat which I hit hard enough for it to knock me down but not off the board. I recovered like gymnast on the balance beam. I may have the balance necessary to walk a tight rope but I definitely need to work on my steering. A little bit later I ran into a mooring ball and still managed to keep it under control and not fall off.  Yeah, I pretty much schooled it. 


The Big Guy...not so much.  I asked him if he wanted to try it, told him it was easy. I even cheered him on by telling him I thought he had pretty good coughbullshitcough balance. He was reluctant at first but then remembered that Haney had showed his prowess on the board so he said, "Yeah sure. I'll try it."


He started off on his knees, which is kind of his comfort zone.
 

 Here he is ready to attempt to stand up. Easy, steady, hold it,.......and drink.

 

Confession: I love ya honey but I know you can't clap your hands and tap your foot at the same time so I knew this was not going to be pretty. But you are really good at a lot of other things, like swimming.


 What a trooper. He tried it again.


And again. He then determined that the only reason Haney and I could do it was because we were "little."
Yeah, that must be it.



 Here's First Mate/Dinghy Captain, Haney Buffet (Jimmy's brother) making it look easy.


And here I am getting ready to make a phone call and have a pizza delivered before I head back to the boat. Next time I'm taking the dogs for a spin with me. They can hardly wait!


Dec 8, 2012

How To Screw Up A Dirty Martini


We have been in Puerto Rico for a week getting the boat ready and have been eating out every night so we have had the opportunity to sample many of Fajardo’s restaurants. We found a new favorite (more about that later) and we also found the Mother of all Crappers. This is about that. 

This is us at Di Yukas ~ our new favorite place in Puerto Rico
After a long day of working and cleaning on the boat, our crew, which included our favorite son-in-law, Aaron; our first mate and dingy captain, Haney Buffet (Jimmy’s brother) and Haney’s girl, Kataleena, we all got cleaned up and made a plan to find this little local joint called Rosa’s Seafood.  As we walked up the pier towards our rental car we remembered that the Marina had a nice restaurant—The Port House, which is Spanish for Really Bad Service.

“Hey Lar,” I said, “if you are too tired to drive into Fajardo we could always just eat right here.”  Our crew thought it sounded like a good idea and since everyone was pretty well spent we thought something quick would be nice.

We have eaten there a few times in the past years and the food is pretty hit and miss. One dish may be wonderful and the next horrible, but we were tired and thought we'd give it another try. Haney Buffet (Jimmy’s brother) reminded us that the last time we ate there we had some pretty bad mussels, which were a weird color of red. 
     “Why are they red?” Haney asked the server. She said she would have to go ask the chef. She came back and with a straight face said, and I shit you not, “because they are girl mussels.” After our dumb looks dissipated we came down with the giggles.

Anyhow, we walk in and stand around for about five minutes while the waitress ignores up. I check our image in the mirror to make sure we haven't turned invisible. Except for one other solo diner, we are the only ones in the restaurant. 
     Finally she seats us. 
     Finally she brings us menus. 
     And finally she brings us bread and takes our drink order.   
     Three hours pass. She sets Kataleena and my dirty martinis in front of us ~ huge glasses full of sleep medicine ~ sans olives, so Kat asks for olives. She says they don’t have any. 
     “So how’d you make them dirty?” I ask.  
     “The chef gave me some caper juice,” she says.  Huh? Caper juice? Who does that? Just take my word for it…caper juice can not, never, ever be substituted for olive juice in a martini. Even if you are dead tired and just want to get a little buzz going on before you fall into bed. I tell her, sorry but I can’t drink it and change my order to wine. 
     Three more hours pass. We eat the bread and watch as she stands in the kitchen, her thumb up her butt.
     The Big Guys says, “screw this—lets get out of here!” Well it wasn’t exactly “screw this” but something very similar. 
     So I go into the kitchen and tell her that I need her to come take our order now or we are leaving. She says she will be right there but that she is busy because she has to do everything. 
     “Are you the chef too?” I ask, afraid the answer will be yes. 
     “No, he is,” she says, pointing to a young guy who looks old enough to start shaving any day now but not smart enough to pull his own head out of his rear end.
     I just nod my head and back away and we all get up and walk out the door.
     “I am never going back there!” I say as we get in the car.
I dig in my purse for my glasses as Big backs out and we start to drive away.
     “Wait! I left my glasses on the table,” I say. “Damn, now I have to go back in there!”
     My favorite son-in-law hands me my glasses. ☺ 
 


Nov 25, 2012

Elvis! Go Smoke a Cigarette!

I think I may have been called a "Crazy Dog Lady," like once or twice in my life. I know that I once denied that a tiny turd on the floor of my sister's house was Elvis' even though he was the only dog in the house at the time. My sister was reading me the riot act when my nephew came to my defense by saying, "it can't be Elvis' turd because he shits diamonds." I really love my nephew! Almost as much as I love Elvis.
     And you know Elvis loves me best, but did you know that the other love of his life is Humpy Bear? This is a little shout out ~ a tribute if you will ~ to Humpy Bear.  He's not quite a gonner yet, but it's safe to say that he is on his last leg because Elvis the Pelvis has just about loved him to death, if you catch my drift.



I don't recall if Humpy was Mrs. Claus or Santa Claus, but he started out life innocent enough as a cute, chubby teddy bear wearing a Santa outfit.
     The back story is this:  In 2005 The Big Guy and I and the kids went on a cruise over Christmas. This was before I had my "Crazy Dog Lady Card," so Elvis was not allowed to "officially" travel with me even though during that time he was often spotted wearing a Harley t-shirt and tooling around in my purse, which pretty much double stamped my ticket and put me on the fast track to the Looney Train.



So anyway I left him in the good company of my Uncle Gary and Aunt Ruth. The "other Chihuahua" in the house (my aunt's) was older and probably in the post menopausal stages of her life and didn't want anything to do with Elvis, unless it was to bite his head off and shit down his neck, so poor little Elvie sought out companionship with the Christmas teddy bear. My aunt and uncle finally gave up trying to save the teddy bear from the horn dog and just let my little man have his way with him or her.
     When we came back from our trip Elvis would not part with his new love so Mr. or Mrs. Claus came home with us. Soon after we renamed him "Humpy Bear," for obvious reasons.


For many years Humpy Bear was not allowed out of the house. Whenever we went anywhere I refused to take the filthy, nasty thing along even though Elvis will drag out the door. We can be gone for months and yet when we come home the first thing Elvis does is run through the house looking for Humpy. Most of the time he always remembers exactly where he left him so the minute we get in the house he makes a run for Humpy Bear.
     By the way, I would like to think that Humpy Bear is a "her" but we have always referred to it as "him".  If my little man is gay I'm perfectly fine with it, and if he wants to marry Humpy I'll call the caterer and order flowers. It's no secret that they have already been doing a lot of honeymooning. *wink-wink*.


Elvis loves to introduce Humpy Bear to whoever comes to our house by immediately dragging him into the middle of the room and giving him the business. Smooth move, I know.
     Humpy Bear is so dirty that Paisley is the only one who will touch him without rubber gloves on. (P.S. I don't wash him anymore for fear he will fall apart and then Elvis would probably have to go to some humping support group.) Paze loves nothing more than to terrorize Elvis by running through the house with Humpy dangling at the end of her arm while he chases her. A few days ago she gave Humpy a swirlie, yes in the toilet, and then ran, dragging the dripping, dirty thing across my floor. I'm not sure who I love more ~ Paisley or Elvis.



A couple of years ago Elvis got really sick and we almost lost him. He was in the hospital in an oxygen kennel and I took Humpy Bear to him and asked the Vet to put him in the kennel with him. El's little face lit up and he crawled right up on top of him (not in that kind of way) and curled up and went to sleep. It was so sad and you know I bawled like a baby. From that moment on there were no more Humpy Bear rules. Humpy can sleep in our bed, sit on the couch, ride in the car, play with matches or run with scissors....whatever Elvis and Humpy want, they can do. Whatever. Whenever. Wherever. When it comes to Elvis and Humpy Bear there are no rules.
     Yet....those are some of the times that I can be heard yelling, "Elvis! Go smoke a cigarette!" 




After me and Humpy Bear Elvis loves chicken so I'm sharing one of our favorite recipes; Chicken Pomodoro, which was the only chicken dish on the menu when I cheffed at the Virginian Steakhouse.  Elvis likes it for the chicken; me, for the vodka.  Click on the "Beef-Pork-Chicken tab at the top of this page to view it.
     Gotta run, gotta go pick some diamonds up off the floor. (I hear that train a-comin!) 






Below is a picture of Elvis wearing his "Elvis outfit" at the "Elvis Birthday Party." (That's another story.) Cape, cuffs, gold lame ~ can't you can tell he's digging it? I swear I heard him say, "Thank you momma, thank you very much."
 


(*not my Pomodoro picture above)

Nov 8, 2012

Shrimp Scampi in Crazy Water


I cook a lot of seafood. Mostly because I love it but also because I have a good seafood supplier. Yeah that ~ and it doesn’t suck that half of the year I live in the islands…so duh.

For my August cooking class I featured seafood even though I knew that someone in the group, I'm not naming names here, but Becky had already made the statement that she didn’t “really like fish.”  That is the wrong thing to say to me because I will forever more be on a mission to make a fish eater out of you.
     (Authors note: Daughter #2, aka “Hates Everything,” HATES onions and has for twenty-five years, although I don't think she have ever actually eaten one. She will pick through her food like she’s panning for gold, in search of a speck of onion. For years I’ve been slipping them in by calling them shallots or leeks, but the kid has a nose like a beagle and can sniff out an onion from across the room. Have I given up? No. After all it’s only been twenty-five years and I think I’m making progress and will make an onion-eater of her yet.) 
     Like I said, I was determined to make a fish-eater out of Becky. Or at least a fish-cooker, for starters. 

That's my girl Becky, searing the Ahi
We started the evening with Shrimp Scampi in Crazy Water. It’s been a favorite of my family for many years now (well except for Hates Everything) and it’s one of those dishes that goes from hors d’ oeuvre to entrĂ©e. Personally I like it best as a horse-do-over because I’m pretty fond of mopping up all that crazy water with a good crusty bread. To turn it into dinner all you have to do is serve it over linguine. 
   
 
Next we made Salmon in a Caper-Cream sauce and Becky, being the trooper that she is plugged her nose and took a bite...AND LIKED IT! Well sort of. I may be a little over zealous about that ~ but Cathy LOVED IT! Just look at her "O" face. 

"O" yes, she loved the tuna too!
Then it was on to Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Beurre Blanc and Pineapple Ginger Chutney (you can find that recipe under the “Seafood” tab at the top of this page), which is thee best dish we’ve eaten in the past year. By "we" I mean The Big Guy and I, and he will totally vouch for that. 

And here we are about to plate it.
I’ve never seen so many wined-up people who were face planted in their dinner plates that weren’t passed out. I know this because they were doing what all refined diners do and that’s lick the plate clean. (Even Becky. C'mon admit it Becky...you know you did!)

The next class was "Tomatoes" so something else yummy is to follow.  Go to the "Seafood" tab at the top of this page for the recipe for Shrimp Scampi in Crazy Water. You'll be glad you did! 


 

Nov 2, 2012

Don't Drink The Kool-aid


This blog has never been about politics...and I don't want it be...and this post is not about politics, it's about being an American.  If you don't love this country, leave...no one's got a gun to your head and you can quit reading right now, but if you do love it...read on. 

I am an American. And proud of it. If you know me you know that I am conservative, but first and foremost I care about the character of the person and if he or she will serve our cities, our states, and our country with honor and integrity. That being considered, I vote for the person not the party.  

It shouldn't matter if we are Democrats or Republicans; what should matter most is that we are Americans and we should be as accepting and supportive of one another as if we were all one big, dysfunctional family. A family with a few crazies, some weird uncles, an odd-ball cousin or two, and with some eccentric, old aunts thrown in. After all, those of us who were fortunate enough to have been born in this great county are really just lucky sperm. Like trust fund babies or the Kardashian kids.


Our president should be a man that we are proud of and that we respect. He needs to be a man that we can trust; a man who loves America as much as we do; someone who will lay down his life to protect this country, just as our troops do to protect our freedom.
     We must know that that person, our president, has no agenda other than to uphold our constitution. That God and country are more important than late night television interviews. That rather than solicit out-of-touch-with-reality-Hollywood, for campaign money, we want our commander in chief to be a person who will champion small businesses and individuals for making their own money.  

That's the way it should be and that's the touchy-feely side of me saying that. But here's the way it is and it's really chapping my ass.
     I am so aggrieved that our mainstream media has turned our politicians into desperate puppets who are willing to disgrace themselves and our country with their crusade of lies and cover-ups, all for the despicable hope of winning an election. The media, who has an obligation to protect our truth has itself become an enemy and a threat that divides us.
     What should be a bi-partisan commitment for unity has been turned into a game of "gotcha," with the mentality of a preschool bully. In short, our media has become as criminal and corrupt as our politicians!!!!

No, this isn't about politics, it's about our god given right to be heard above the propaganda that we are bombarded with by biased, lying people who will say anything to get their man elected.
     It's about the lack of accountability of our media and our government. Why is it always someone else's fault?  And why do those who have the power to throw one of our own under the bus not have the balls to at least own up to it? They are, after all untouchable. Own it. What could possibly happen?


It's about the integrity of the man we will elect to represent us, all of us, whether we are liberals or conservatives.
     We need to know that he will not be self-serving, but be in service to our citizens. Rich or poor, black or white, man or woman...IT DOESN'T MATTER! We are are all equals and we are AMERICANS!!!!  The person who holds our highest office must not bow down to the lunatics who want to kill us! As a citizen of this great country we need to know that he has the backbone to stand up to them and that he won't dishonor himself or us with deception and degradation.

As Americans we should proudly support our troops and salute our flag. That's not a political stand. It's a stand that we should take because we should not take our freedom for granted, nor should we want to grant freedom to those cowards who despise our democracy and who prove it over and over again with their terrorist connections.
     Radical anti-American extremists, WHO WANT US DEAD should never, NEVER be indulged, nor warrant one iota of our sympathy! They will strap bombs to the backs of their own babies to decimate innocent people and they will do it so they can give glory to a sick god.

As AMERICANS we must take a stand and vote for a leader who will stand up for AMERICA.

Name your poison, but don't drink the Kool-aid that's being passed around.

 GOD BLESS AMERICA!






Oct 24, 2012

Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 9

You know I'm not a big fan of chicken...especially whole chicken...especially two whole chickens.  However, I do like a challenge so I psyched myself up and thawed out the two Hutterite chickens that The Big Guy had so thoughtfully put in the freezer when he saw the Bon Appetit October cover.

Ewww, that's just sick and wrong!
All was going well until I took them out of the package and I saw that Hutterite chickens have the LONGEST necks of any chickens in the world.  Raw chicken triggers my gag reflex, like only cat shit can, and raw chicken with freakishly long necks sends me running for the toilet. I left them in the sink to gross me out until Big came home and cut that nasty thing off.


With the dirty work out of the way I made the rub and stuffed some thyme down their throats. Apparently Hutterite chickens also have unusually small butts and I couldn't go in from the rear so I put the thyme in the other end. I gotta admit, they did clean up pretty well and when I sent them to the refrigerator for the night they looked almost like something I would possibly be tempted to eat.

 

I followed the recipe to the letter and when I pulled them out of the oven at the designated time they were brown, really brown on top...and white, really white on the bottom and nowhere near done.  Even though BA didn't mention it, I flipped them over and gave them another 20-30 minutes so they could finish cooking. I also pulled the potatoes out of the pan and put them on a baking sheet of their own because they were not browned either.  

Our official taste testers, the Buttertons, were over and thankfully Karen had made the Butternut Squash Tart which was from the same issue. It was awesome! We noshed on that while we waited for the chickens to finish cooking.


The Lowdown on the Throwdown:

In a word....Yuck! There was not a lot of flavor in this dish. The chickens were moist, although basically bland. What flavor there was was on the skin, but that only amounted to a small fraction when you compare it to all the meat that came with it.  
     The good news: The tart was wonderful and I will make it again. That, and I have a stray cat who is going to be a very happy stray cat because he or she will be eating A LOT of leftover chicken for the next few days. If you want the recipe and I don't know why you would, you can find it here. 

                                                          


Enough with the birds Bon Appetit!                          


 

Oct 17, 2012

On the Couch with Celebrity Chefs


Ladies, do you ever have those days when you feel kind of like a big fat toad? You know, all puffy and bloaty and in need of a really good fart? Don't tell me you don't. On the days when I do, I don't really mind feeling like a fat, farting toad because it kind of validates my reasons for wanting to hang out on the couch all day in my leopard jammies, munch on pistachios and eat Valbreso Cheese straight out of the can, and watch the Food Channel.


Unbeknownst to me I must have went off of my diet of butter and cream and did three or four days of cream and butter because all of a sudden I had the "old bad belly," if ya know what I mean, which luckily landed me square on the couch in my jammies, eating pistachios and high-end cheese. It was just the twelve hours that I needed to catch up with all my celebrity chef friends.


Here's the scoop from a cranky bitch that hasn't had a good BM for a few days. EXCUSE ME PEOPLE!...BM is a "BOTTLE of MERLOT!" You sickos...I know what were you thinking!

As I said, here is the recap of my day watching celebrity chefs:
I pretty much love Rachel Ray. She's cute and perky, seems genuine and has good hair. I like that she can make the simplest four ingredients look tasty, even if three of them came out of a can. Plus I like the fact that she is type A.

I really like the buff guy with the accent who does Dinner Impossible, especially if he is wearing a black T-shirt. I like him a lot because he cracks the whip on those candy asses who think that you can't feed a thousand people in an hour, but mostly I like him because he is bossier than me.
See what I mean? He looks bossy, huh?

Then there is Guy Fieri, the guy with eyes glasses on the back of his head. I'm a big fan of Diners,Drive-Ins and Dives and I make notes in my iPad of some of the places that I want to try someday. But Guy, I gotta be honest here, I love your tats man, but I have a hard time really liking a dude who wears a thumb ring.  The fakey bleached hair I can deal with but I find myself wondering if you wear a toe ring too.  Wait, don't answer that....Question for MY Big Guy:  Honey, if you had a gun to your head you still wouldn't wear a thumb ring would you?  Please say hell no.

  I think he should be fired for wearing a thumb ring and being homophobic. (Read about it here.) I'd gladly replace him!

Paula, oh Paula. WHAT THE HELL IS SO FUNNY? I love ya like a sister and you are the only person I know who looks really stunning with grey hair and who, besides moi  cooks with so much butter and cream. But what the hell are you always giggling about???  Seriously? Are you smokin' the doobie? I watched you twice today and only laughed once and that was when the dogs jettisoned off of the couch and gave me a dirty look because my stomach, yeah my stomach, I swear it was my stomach,  was making weird noises. It had nothing to do with you Paula, but you were laughing your ass off too. whatev...keep making those brownies and rockin' the grey girl, it works for you.


Giada: she is so freakin' pretty and has the best smile, and her hair is perfect and her food is so pretty and she makes it all look so easy. I hate her.  Have ya all noticed that the producers can't seem to keep the camera on the food because they are too busy shooting her cleavage?  You see more boobies than basil on her show. I think she has good boobs too, but give me one hooter shot at the onset and then let's get to cookin' some damn Italian, can we?
Hey, that's exactly how I look when I make homemade tomato sauce. Well, except for that big smile.

About Mario Batalli: He's a genius and I've eaten at his restaurant in Vegas, the B&B Ristorante and it was ahhh-mazing and soooo exxx-pensive.  It was also the first time I ever ate a ramp. Before I turned all foodie a hundred years ago, I used to just call it a green onion. Anyway, his Chicken Parmesan recipe is still my go-to Chicken Parm recipe today. (It's posted here, under the "Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab.)
     The truth is I like to listen to Mario but I hate to watch him for the following reasons:
1.  He loves orange, I don't. It reminds me of an inmate and I'm pretty sure inmate chefs do not have recipes that I would raise minimum bail for.
2.  I'm not a fan of scraggly, balding guys with ponytails the size of one spaghetti noodle. Shave it dude ~ bald is beautiful!
3. I HATE Crocs!!! Ugliest shoes EV-VER. If you want me to haunt your ass just bury me in Crocs and I'll be rattling chains, slamming doors and breaking dishes from the afterlife. Especially orange Crocs!                              
                                                                      
I own these beauties. They are my idea of Crocs.
'Nuff said.


Bobby Flay:  *sigh* I love everything about the man! His recipes, his smile, his hair, his humbleness and it dosen’t hurt that the man can cook! His "Bold American Food" cookbook is still one of my all-time favorite cookbooks and I have been cooking out of it for years.
     If he ever knocked on my door and said he was here to do a Throwdown with me because he heard I make killer jambalaya or a mean mashed potato I would just lay down and die and let him win this one. ♥ you Bobby Flay!
Bobby Flayvor ~ Rawrrr

OK where did  the Neelys come from? And why do they have their own show? Cute couple, all playful and lovey-dovey but so are the Muppets and they don’t have a show, do they? (BTW, "lovey-dovey" is my all-time favorite word)

And The Pioneer Woman? She seems so sweet, like she could be your best friend, and she has a hot cowboy husband and cute kids. I hate to add a “but” here….buuuut, I swear to God her soothing voice and the lullaby music on that show could knock you out like only Propofol can; and I'm thinking long enough to endure a limb amputation by coyotes. Ree, please, PLEASE kick it up a notch for us type A’s!


Gordon Ramsey is a bully and if he hollered at me, "MADAM, WHAT THE #@$% WERE YOU THINKING? YOU CAN'T SERVE THAT, NOW PISS OFF,  I would either a) cry or b) chamber a round in my .38.  I'm going with b).

I can't forget Emeril...I used to fantasize that The Big Guy, The Know-It-All, and Hates Everything would pony up and send me to his show for my birthday.  I saw myself all cute and stylish, wearing killer boots and some gaudy jewelery, sitting at his little six top bar and being one of the chosen few to eat his red beans and rice, crayfish etouffee and po'boys, all while drumming my fingers to Doc Gibbs' cool jazz. Never happened. Never will. Never forgive them. BAM!


So I finally switched over to the Travel Channel and to that weirdo Andrew Zimmern. (not a typo...it's not Zimmerman) I don't care how much you pay me I will not eat armadillo, sea cucumbers, cow placenta, fruit bats, squirrel brains, or pygmy goat testicles. Dip them all in chocolate and cover them in 18K gold and diamond dust and then put them inside the glove box of a new Maybach with my name on the pink slip and I still ain't touchin' that shit. Andrew, you are one sick bastard and I have food standards so that Maybach better be leather and loaded.

That's pretty much how my day went and now I'm getting my butt off the couch and going to have a good bottle of Merlot, yeah a bottle of Merlot...wine, you know.....


Here is one my favorite Bobby Flay recipes:  Click here for Grilled Sea Scallops with Avocado-Corn Relish on Crisp Tortillas.  

 


Oct 12, 2012

Mushrooms: Not The Ones That Grow In The Yard

This blog is about food, right? And here I am ~ at least two or three cooking classes behind in posting about THE FOOD. I'll blame Bush.
      Anyway I do have some good grub to talk about and a really good recipe to share, so here's the scoop on the Mushroom Class.


The Beef Wellington. 
So.....I featured mushrooms (duh) and the menu read like something from a Michelin Five-Star Restaurant:
                         
                              Wild Mushroom and Fontina Tart
                              Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce
                              Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce
                              Bacon and Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Tell me I didn't just make you hungry.

I have this bad habit of planning my menu and then going in search of the  ingredients. Any sane person who pretends to be a chef would tell you that this is a bad idea. You gotta work with what you got....and Sugar, I barely got a baby bella here in Podunk which means that there is not a mushroom that isn't the white button variety within a hundred miles.

The Chefs, Karen and Becky serving up the Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, so I called up the guy who delivers our truck parts and who lives in a big city, one with a population greater than 15,000 and asked him if he knew what a "shiitake mushroom was." Turns out he did.
     "I need about a pound of them ~ by tomorrow," I told him. This guy is golden....he made six phone calls and hit up at least four grocery stores before he was able to score sixteen ounces of shiitakes.  I love Wayne! He delivered them in a plain brown paper bag, along with a couple of oil filters, some wheel seals, and marker lights. Then I got some damn good tuna from the guy at Sheridan Meat Market and the tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce recipe was now covered!

Kevin and Jeannie about to sample the tuna.

Now for the tart.  OK, so I did have a flame out when I couldn't find anything in Podunk that resembled "Wild Mushrooms," and I wasn't about to go with the dried variety. No matter what you do to them they just aren't the same as fresh. So I ordered these crazy varieties off the internet and paid about $100 for shipping some $50 worth of shooms, none of which were hallucinogenic by the way. I got Trumpets, Chanterelles, Hon-shemeji, Hen-of-the-woods, White Beech, and Velvet Pioppini; most of which I had never even heard of, much less cooked with. (P.S. while I was at it I ordered a veal demi glace for the sauce and some of their amazing sausages too. Check out their online store, D' Artagan, the have a lot of great food, from game to Foie Gras to cavier. They did NOT pay me to say that.) The funky mushrooms arrived the day before the class in perfect, fresh condition and I used every variety in the two tarts I made. We noshed on them while prepping the Wellingtons and the tuna.


Wild Mushroom and Fontina Tart
So no matter what you may have heard, I'm not stupid. I'm not about to pay $240 per ounce (that's $3600 per pound! and that's just crazy, people!) for real truffles to put in with my $2 worth of mashed potatoes, so I sucked it up and ordered two different kinds of truffle cheeses from igourmet, for a fraction of the price.  They have the best cheeses and they didn't pay me to say that either.  I didn't get a picture of the Bacon & Truffle Mashed Potatoes but they were a great side to the steak and Madeira Sauce.


Anywhoo, my budget was shot and since I don't charge squat for my cooking class I had bought the cheap white button mushrooms for the Beef Wellington. Luckily I still had about 27 pounds of the crazy variety left over so I dressed up the buttons with some of the cool shrooms. The Big Guy didn't get to eat with us because he went trucking so I could afford to spring for thee best tenderloins one could find within a 25 mile radius. Everyone then made their own Wellingtons, which was a first for most of the SdJ chefs.
     Our next class was Seafood, so later I'll put up my recipe for "Shrimp Scampi in Crazy Water." Stay tuned. And keep on truckin' honey, shrimp and Ahi tuna are exxx-pensive.


Click on the "Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab above to get my recipe for Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce.