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Cheese Puffs

18 Mar

They look funky
and taste like they are made from Styrofoam
that’s been painted orange.

IMG_8011small

Cheese puff factoids from Wikipedia:

Cheese puffscheese curlscheese ballscheesy puffscorn curlscorn cheese are a puffed corn snack, coated with a mixture of cheese or cheese-flavored powders. Common brands include Cheetos (U.S.), Cheez Doodles(Northeastern U.S., Sweden), Chee-Wees (New Orleans, South Central U.S.), Chizitos (Perú), Boliquesos (Perú),Cheezies (Canada), Twisties (Australia), Kurkure (India and Pakistan), Utz (U.S.) Wotsits (U.K.),[1] Curl (Japan) andChee.Toz (Iran).

They are manufactured by extruding heated corn dough through a die that forms the particular shape. They may be ball-shaped, curly (“cheese curls”), straight, or irregularly shaped. Some are even shaped as animals or other objects. Some cheese puffs are puffy while others are crunchy.

Cheese puffs were invented in the United States of America in the 1930s; there are two competing accounts. According to one account, Edward Wilson and/or Clarence J. Schwebke of the Flakall Corporation of Beloit, Wisconsin (a producer of flaked, partially cooked animal feed) deep-fried and salted the puffed corn produced by their machines, and later added cheese.[2] He applied for a patent in 1939 and the product, named Korn Kurls, was commercialized in 1946 by the Adams Corporation, formed by one of the founders of Flakall and his sons.[3] Adams was later bought byBeatrice Foods.

FLB Entertainment Center and FLB Sports Bar & Casino

30 Jul

Folsom is fortunate to have a long time family owned and operated bowling alley that has been around for many years and over the past several, has evolved into a state of the art family entertainment bowling center.

Come check out the new FLB Entertainment Center, with comfy couches, and a remodeled bowling center & party room.  You can now reserve bowling lanes directly through their website!  www.FLB365.com

Located in the very same complex you will also find (for the adults) FLB Sports Bar & Casino which has a new 20 tower super cold draft system featuring many great local craft beers.  Did you know they have been voted Best Sports Bar 5 years in a row now.  (why haven’t you been there yet?)

Watch all your favorite sporting events & UFC fights on one of their 37 HD TV’s & their New GIANT 80″ LED HD TV for the best viewing experience in town!

FLB Casino has a very popular $1,000 guaranteed tournament every Saturday starting at 8:00pm only $15 to get in! (ask Floor person for details). They offer Texas Hold’em, Double Deck Black Jack & 3 Card Poker daily.

FLB Entertainment Center & FLB Sports Bar & Casino are located at:

511 E. Bidwell St.
Folsom, Ca 95630
T: 916.983.4411

www.FLB365.com

Most Interesting Tasting Beer

15 Dec

I happened to be sitting in the Whole Foods Beir Garden enjoying a Lockdown Brewing Company beer when I spied a strange looking pink beer bottle.  Upon closer look I found it to be a beer by Rogue Ales called Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.

 

I had to try it.  Bought it and later that night had a tasting and wow! The super incredible smokey maple bacon flavors were intense and very flavorful.  This was the most interesting and unique beer I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s what Rogue says about their beer:

Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.

To add, if you enjoy smoked foods, you must try this beer. It may be hard to find, but if it is stock at your local store, you won’t miss that pink bottle in the beer section.  This beer would taste good with a variety of foods, from entree’s to deserts.

Best Burgers in the U.S.

10 Aug

According to Fine & Wine magazine these are the best burger places in the USA.  I am not at all surprised to see the first place on the list…. California’s own In-N-Out! Congrats!

The burger, America’s quintessential comfort food, can now be enjoyed in an impossibly endless number of ways. There are round-the-clock burgers at 24-hour-roadside joints and ephemeral late-night burgers sold out in mere minutes; burgers grilled in hundred-year-old cast-iron broilers and burgers steamed in state-of-the-art ovens; burgers crafted from Kobe beef imported from Japan and burgers made with Black Angus beef from just down the road; burgers innocuously topped with melted American cheese and burgers piled high with crumbly, statement-making Roquefort cheese. It’s clearly a great time to love the burger. Here, we’ve singled out the 25 best burgers around the country.

By Ratha Tep, Lawrence Marcus

California: In-N-Out Burger

Best Burgers in the U.S.: In-N-Out Burger: Cheeseburger

In-N-Out’s Cheeseburger. Photo © Jess Lander

Signature Burger: Cheeseburger.

Even superstar chef Thomas Keller is a fan of the West Coast chain—and with good reason. The cooked-to-order burgers are made from Harris Ranch beef and served with hand-cut fries. For a messier, more indulgent experience, order your burger “Animal Style” for extra sauce and chopped grilled onions. in-n-out.com 

New York City: Minetta Tavern

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Minetta Tavern

Photo © Sylvia Paret.

Signature Burger: Black Label Burger (topped with with caramelized onions).

Minetta Tavern’s excellent burgers use a beef blend—dry-aged rib eye, skirt steak, brisket and short rib—from famed purveyor Pat La Frieda, and buns from Balthazar Bakery. minettatavernny.com 

Atlanta, GA: Holeman & Finch

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Holeman & Finch

Photo © Jeff Moore.

Star chef Linton Hopkins announces “burger time”—10 p.m.—with the ringing of two bull horns; that’s when two dozen grass-fed beef burgers are up for grabs and consistently sold out within minutes. The burgers are also available on the Sunday brunch menu. holeman-finch.com 

Arlington, VA: Ray’s Hell Burger

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Ray's Hell Burger

Photo © Robyn Lee.

Signature Burger: Basic Beef Burger (served in a brioche bun).

There’s no sign, yet dedicated fans—a certain president included—come here for the freshly ground burgers with and complimentary toppings like grilled onions and mushrooms sautéed in sherry and Cognac.

Boston, MA: Craigie on Main

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Craigie on Main

Photo courtesy of Craigie on Main.

Signature Burger: Beefburger.

Star chef Tony Maws adds bone marrow and dehydrated miso to his Bar Burger, and cooks it in a low heat CVap oven, followed by a quick char on the plancha. craigieonmain.com 

San Francisco, CA: Zuni Café

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Zuni Café

Photo © Bill Holmes.

Signature Burger: House-ground hamburger (served in a grilled rosemary focaccia).

Instead of traditional cucumber pickles, legendary chef-owner Judy Rodgers accents her burgers with thin-cut zucchini strips pickled in apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds and turmeric. zunicafe.com 

New Haven, CT: Louis’ Lunch

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Louis' Lunch

Photo © Michael Franzman.

Signature Burger: The Original Burger (prepared with a combination of chuck and sirloin beef).

Many restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the hamburger. Louis’ Lunch, in New Haven, Connecticut, since 1900, is a leading contender. The meaty hand-shaped patties are grilled on antique cast-iron broilers over an open flame. louislunch.com 

Memphis, TN: Dyer’s Burgers

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Dyer's Burgers

Signature Burger: Dyer’s Cheeseburger.

The legendary patties here are pounded thin before they’re cooked in a cast-iron skillet filled with grease for a deliciously crisp exterior.dyersonbeale.com 

Chicago, IL: Custom House Tavern

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Custom House Burger

Photo © Tuan Bui.

Signature Burger: Custom House Burger (short rib, sirloin and ground pork patty topped with aged cheddar cheese and shaved onion, served in a sourdough brioche bun).

The “Custom House Burger”—available only on the lunch and bar menu—comes with house-made steak saucecustomhouse.cc 

Miami, FL: Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Best Burgers in the U.S.: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Photo courtesy of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

Signature Burger: Black Angus Burger (served in a brioche bun).

An optional topping for star chef Michael Schwartz‘s Harris Ranch Black Angus beef burger: house-smoked bacon. michaelsgenuine.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filleting Salmon

7 Aug

While at Costco yesterday we were looking to buy some salmon.  They have farm fillets, wild fillets and to our surprise they had whole salmon for $4.99 a pound.  We decided to get the whole salmon and I would fillet it myself.

This is about the biggest fish I’ve purchased and I figured I would fillet it and smoke half and save the other half for grilling etc.

This was my first time filleting a salmon and I think I did ok.  Made two very nice fillets and managed to get all the ribs and pin bones out a-ok.  Even manged to scrape the bones and get a cup of meat for the cats to enjoy, they went nuts over the fresh salmon bits.

The whole salmon at Costco


Ready to begin filleting


The carnage aftermath


Two nice fillets

The Art of Culinary Presentation – Food as Art

6 Aug

The Art of Culinary Presentation – Food as Art

Over the years food presentation at restaurants has become a form of art that just keeps getting better and better as new chef’s emerge on the scene with their creativity.  No longer are the protein, and sides just thrown on a plate to be eaten, now they are placed artfully and carefully with great skill for an appealing presentation factor, and it works.

The first thing about a dish is it’s presentation, how does it look to you? Is it appealing?  Is it appetizing? Most importantly – is it something you want?  I’ve had some really great food that looked like garbage because of lack of presentation, and on the flip side I’ve had some mediocre food that was presented so well that it nearly made up for the lack of taste.

Foods, with all their different textures, tastes and colors are like different shades in the color spectrum that the chef/artist uses to meld together just right to create beautiful “paintings” of their culinary presentations.

This section is going to be used to show some off some local talent for dishes I think are worthy of telling others about. (in other words it looks and tastes good to me heh).

These tasty dishes are from Manderes in Folsom

Grilled Salmon with Pesto Risotto 


Seared Ahi with Parmesan Risotto


August Food Holidays to Celebrate!

2 Aug

August Food Holidays

It’s amazing how many wild, crazy and cool food holidays there are.  Did you know  there is a National Ice Cream Day? (BTW, it’s today!) Did you know there was a National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day? And with dozens of other national food holidays in the month of August, you can literally celebrate a different dish every day of the month. Go ahead . . . why not allow the gastronome-in-you to partake of as many August food holidays as you dare to.

National Mustard Day: The First Saturday
August 1: National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
August 2: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3: National Watermelon Day
August 3: Grab Some Nuts Day (pecans, walnuts, not the other kind)
August 4: National Lasagnas Day (Americanized to Lasagna)
August 5: National Waffle Day
August 5: National Oyster Day
August 6: National Root Beer Float Day
August 7: National Raspberries in Cream Day (Fresh or Raspberry Ice  Cream)
August 8: National Zucchini Day
August 8: National Frozen Custard Day
August 9: National Rice Pudding Day
August 10: National Banana Split Day
August 10: National “S’Mores Day”
August 11: National Raspberry Tart Day
August 12: Julienne Fries Day
August 13: National Filet Mignon Day
August 14: National “Creamsickle Day”
August 15: Lemon Meringue Pie Day
August 16: Bratwurst Day
August 16: National Rum Day
August 17: National Vanilla Custard Day
August 18: National Soft Ice Cream Day
August 19: Potato Day
August 19: Hot & Spicy Food Day
August 20: Lemonade Day
August 20: National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
August 21: National Pecan Torte Day
August 22: National Spumoni Day
August 22: Eat a Peach Day
August 23: National Sponge Cake Day
August 24: National Peach Pie Day
August 25: Whiskey Sour Day
August 26: National Cherry Popsicle Day
August 27: National Pots de Crème Day
August 27: Banana Lover’s Day
August 28: National Cherry Turnover Day
August 29: More Herbs, Less Salt Day
August 29: Chop Suey Day
August 29: Lemon Juice Day
August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
August 31: Eat Outside Day
August 31: National Trail Mix Day

How can you celebrate a food holiday? Food celebrations are as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. Learn about a food you didn’t know a lot about . . . Try a new recipe and make something special for a loved-one or co-worker . . . . Attend a related festival, farmers market, or restaurant.  The most important thing to do is – eat good and have fun!

World’s Best Pizza

27 Apr

What is it about pizza that makes us love it so much? Is it the savory cheeses, the pliable crust or the aromatic sauce? Perhaps it’s the customizable nature of the treat. Each pizza is different; across the country — the world, even — foodies get to compliment their pies with the toppings they most love. You can call it an Italian creation, an American staple or even a Brazilian standby, but one thing’s for sure: we all crave pizza. But where should you expect to taste the best slice?

#6: Rome, Italy

While other cities try to entice you with the whole pie, Rome’s claim to fame is offering pizza al taglio, or “by the cut.” This variety has a thin crust and is normally baked on rectangular trays in a wood-burning oven. Tasty toppers include prosciutto, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant and potato, but when in doubt, you can also order a traditional margherita with just tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. Vendors will allow you to determine just how big a slice you want (you’ll be charged based on its weight), after which they’ll cut your slice, fold it and wrap it in paper to go.

Where to Taste: Pizza al taglio is a convenient snack to have while sightseeing. You could order from Da Michele by the Trevi Fountain (opt for the kosher aliciotti e indivia with anchovies and endives), or at Da Remo by the Pantheon (try the zucca pizza with pumpkin).

#5: Chicago, USA

The foundation of any Chicagoan’s pizza is a thick, crunchy layer of crust that’s been stretched up the sides of a deep-dish steel pan. That dough is then layered, starting with mozzarella cheese, followed by any preferred toppings (such as pepperoni, mushrooms or sausage) before it’s coated in a layer of chunky tomato sauce. The first Chicago-style pie was served at Pizzeria Uno in 1943, and present-day diners can still frequent this Ohio Street and Wabash Avenue fountainhead to eat one of the city’s most identifiable dishes. Bonus: you don’t need to be in Chi-town to taste the magic; Pizzeria Uno is now a popular chain restaurant (known as Uno Chicago Grill) throughout the country.

Where to Taste: An employee at the original Pizzeria Uno, Rudy Malnati is the disputed creator of the traditional deep-dish pizza recipe. And according to many, his son Lou serves up one of the best incarnations of Chicago’s “casseroles” in the entire city. You can eat at his establishment, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, in the River North area.

#4: Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan

Sometimes called the “Japanese pancake” and at other times called the “Japanese omelette,” okonomiyaki’s flat shape and assorted ingredients have also earned it the nickname, “Japanese pizza.” Even the phrase okonomiyaki loosely translates to “cooked as you want it,” which sounds a little like what makes pizza so special in the first place. But what exactly is okonomiyaki? At its base is batter (made from flour, eggs, water, cabbage and cooking stock) paired with your desired combination of cheese, vegetables, fish and meat. In the city of Osaka, where the most popular version of the dish originated, all the ingredients are cooked together (by grilling on both sides) before the pizza is topped with a sweet brown sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and aonori (seaweed flakes). If you’re dining in Hiroshima, the cook will fix your okonomiyaki batter first before layering on the other fixings.

Where to Taste: Several Japanese eateries earn a shout-out for their “Japanese pizza.” Osaka’s Mangetsu restaurant serves an okonomiyaki original sauce that “tingles and tantalizes your taste buds to the point you can’t stop eating the food that’s covered in it,” according to a satiated Virtual Tourist. And foodies across the web recommend Hassho, a Japanese chain scattered through Hiroshima Prefecture, for the best sampling of that city’s style of the dish.

#3: São Paulo, Brazil

Many Paulistanos in this self-proclaimed “Pizza Capital of the World” have a ritual of eating pizza every Sunday. And it’s not hard to find a place to indulge, as Reuters reports that there are more than 6,000 parlors in this city. São Paulo’s obsession with pizza dates back to the early 20th century, when Italian immigrants moved to the Braz district and their culinary tastes began to infiltrate Brazilian culture. Now, city residents even celebrate “Pizza Day” on July 10. People in São Paulo barely use tomato sauce, but they practically smother their pies in mozzarella cheese; popular pizza varieties include Portuguesa (also sprinkled with ham, onion, hard-boiled eggs and black olives) and Casteloes (which adds spicy Calabrese sausage). Whatever you do, be sure to abstain from adding ketchup to your slice — though this is a popular topping in the rest of Brazil, no self-respecting Paulistano would dare besmirch their pizza with the condiment.

Where to Taste: Casual and hard-core foodies agree that the best place to try a little São Paulo pizza is Braz, one of the city’s most popular parlor chains. Pizza is served rodízio style, where you pay a fixed price for all-you-can-eat and servers mill the premises offering various types of pie.

#2: New York City, USA

One of the more recognizable pies of the United States, New York-style pizza is characterized by a puffy outer crust that gets thinner and crispier toward the middle. Tricks of the trade include hand-tossed dough and cooking the pizza on a stone rather than in a pan. And as any New Yorker will tell you, there’s another key element to the Big Apple’s slices — the city’s delectable tap water. Who is to say whether the water’s importance is myth or actual method (The editors of the foodie blog Serious Eats even conducted a considerably comprehensive but ultimately unsatisfactory study)? Eddie & Sam’s pizzeria in Tampa, Fla. seems to think so: The owners proudly boast to importing New York tap water for the making of their dough.

Where to Taste: The hands-down favorite for New York parlors is Lombardi’s Pizzeria, located in NoHo. Considered the first pizza parlor in the United States, Lombardi’s also gets a shout-out from travelers for using fresh ingredients. Just come ready to chow down — this pizzeria doesn’t sell by the slice.

#1: Naples, Italy

There’s a reason the city of Naples earns the first slot on our list. It’s because the Neapolitan pizza is the most enduring recipe the world over, and recipes originated in other cities are often just variations on Napoli’s theme. And considering there’s even an organization devoted to the upholding the authenticity of the dish — the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana — it’s evident that this city takes dough-making and cheese-melting seriously. The wheat flour dough of a true pizza napoletana is kneaded into a pancake shape that shouldn’t exceed 11 inches across, before it’s smothered in fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and San Marzano tomatoes. It’s then cooked in a wood-fired dome oven at approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than a minute and a half.

Where to Taste: Serious foodies disagree on where you’ll find Naples’ best pizzas, but there are a few favorites: Located on the city’s Via Sersale, Antica Pizzeria da Michele is one of the more popular spots — as evidenced by the long lines (and its cameo appearance in the movie Eat, Pray, Love). There’s also Pizzeria Brandi, oftentimes credited as the place that first served pizza margherita.

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