Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Napkin Sketch...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a book that I believe is a must read for, government, name it - The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam. Anyway, it's taken me a while, but I created my own "napkin sketch" for this blog. I call it finding the "sweet spot" of 3 driving forces along with a dose of 80/20.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall ~ the intersection of Zucchini Season and Apples

Okay...just a short intermission from my Dallas trip and a dose of something relatively healthy! I found this recipe on one of my favs...101 Cookbooks. You do have to follow the recipe closely particulary as it relates to the goat cheese component.

Apple-Zucchini Crostini
5-7 slices whole grain bread, very thinly sliced
3 ounces goat cheese or chevre, crumbled
tiny splash of milk or cream
splash of extra virgin olive oil
two big pinches of salt
1/4 cup apple, cut into 1/4 inch dice (place in a bit of lemon water if not using immediately)
3/4 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezeda
bit of freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces (or use a cookie cutter), brush with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden, roughly 14 minutes, flipping once along the way. Remove and let cool.
In the meantime, whisk the goat cheese in a small bowl with just enough milk to make it fluffy, light, and easily dollop-able. Spoon into a piping bag, or alternately a small plastic bag with just a bit of the corner cut off) and set aside in a cool place.
To make the zucchini-apple component, heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the salt and the apples. Saute for about 15 seconds and then stir in the zucchini. Cook for another 15-20 seconds - things should really be sizzling. But keep in mind, you only want to heat and soften things up a touch, not turn everything to mush by overcooking. Quickly remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss and taste, add a bit more salt if needed. Transfer the zucchini mixture to a large plate to cool a bit.
To assemble take one piece of the toasted bread and spoon a small amount of the zucchini mixture on top of it. Squeeze a little bit of the goat cheese on top of that and a few flecks of black pepper. Repeat and arrange on your favorite serving platter.
Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized crostini.

Texas Chow Fest Part 3 ~ 12,000 calories later!

A trip to the State Fair of Texas truly warrants a note about Fletcher's Corny ~ not Corn~ Corny Dogs. I've not been totally impressed by a corn dog, but this one definitely sets the standard going forward. I actually went with the deluxe version with cheese and jalapenos...yum!

I actually cut myself off at the fair after the corny dog, as I knew Bob's Steakhouse was in order for the evening. Bob's is the quintessential Texas steakhouse...dry-aged steaks that can't be matched and it was all that and more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Texas Chow Fest Part 2

The "frosted glass"....

On Thursday evening, we had the opportunity to do a little shopping and then check out Houston's Restaurant. Very chic~craftsmanesque interior, and excellent service. Never have I ordered a Cosmo cocktail and had the waiter return about 20 min later to refresh my glass! I was truly impressed!!!

The food was very good as well, but the frosted glass...well how do you top that????

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Texas Chow Fest Part 1

So, I had the great honor to visit the great state of Texas this past week with my super fun neighbors who hail from Dallas. Knowing our foodie ways, they did not disappoint and the food, the company, the cocktails, the sunsets, and the people were superb.
Day One: Chicken Fried Steak and REALLY cold beer

Kelly's Eastside was our destination. The Lone Star beer was super cold, the salsa was amazing and the chicken fried steak with gravy will be hard to beat in my lifetime. Should I return to Texas, Kelly's will be a must. (Even had a great kid's menu. And, the downtown area was super cute...reminded me of downtown Tempe, AZ.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The REALLY FAST way to vacuum your car

My car can get really disgusting and I don't always have time to clean it out by the week, so...I have discovered a quick way to get those cookie crumbs, dirt, dog hair etc. out of my car.....THE LEAF BLOWER. Take your car out of the garage if you have one, open up the doors and blast away. This is an especially helpful way to get dog hair out of those hard to reach places as it loosens it up enough to blow it out. Call me crazy, but it works!!!

Don't have a whole lot in the pantry...pasta

Pasta Carbonara
1/2 inch of olive oil (for frying pan)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
8 thick slices of bacon
3 eggs
1 package of spaghetti
1 cups grated parmesan cheese
In a frying pan, combine 1/2 inch of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, one chopped onion and the bacon cut into small squares. Let simmer for about 20 minutes....careful not to let the oil get to hot and burn the bacon.
In a bowl, beat 3 eggs with lots of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and immediately add egg mixture to pasta so the eggs cook. Stir the egg mixture until it is well mixed. Pour in the mixture from the frying pan and stir. Finish with the parmesan cheese and serve...maybe a side of green beans.