Nothing Exciting

There is nothing new to share, because the most exciting thing that has happened in my kitchen this week is Cherry Jell-O! My Honey is busy with his big Halloween event at work, so there is no reason to dirty the kitchen just for my taste buds. Therefore, Cherry Jell-O.

Things will change a little next week, since I’m on the road. And I’m working on some other stories to share with you.

But for now, Cherry Jell-O will have to do.


Mandarin Orange Fudge

Last night I made a cake for my husband. Lemon, because it was what I had on hand not the chocolate he prefers – but he was happy to have cake! Anyway, before I frosted it I cut a small piece to try this Mandarin Orange Fudge my friend Joan sent me last Christmas. When I get unusual stuff like that I tend to save them (sometimes for too long) and treasure them, since I probably won’t have an opportunity to sample another like it. Anyway, back to the Mandarin Orange Fudge…

I heated up the fudge just a little and drizzled it over the cake. Oh My Gosh!! It was delicious! It was a bit citrusy, yet thick like a fudge, creamy on the warm cake, and I could taste the difference between the mandarin and lemon they complemented each other quite well! Okay, I have to confess - I put the fudge on ice cream the night before(this was my first sampling of the fudge), although it would tasted good, it got clumpy quickly on the cold ice cream so I knew I needed to try some warm cake soon. I think it would take really good on a warm pound cake – but I’m not cooking that and having it sit around with me all day any time soon! Perhaps on home-made sugar cookies during the holidays, mmmm. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

The Mandarin Orange Fudge is made by Caballero Confections in Lincoln, CA, it’s called Spoon Fudge – if anyone’s interested.

Try it, you’ll like it!


West Coast Barbeque

Last night we went to West Coast BBQ in La Mesa, one of our favorite! It is not the most glamorous – it’s in a strip mall. It’s not open very long each day – 4 PM – 8 PM daily. I honestly don’t know how they make it based on those hours; it has to be the catering jobs that help sustain them.

We got there just before 6 PM, and the inside was almost full. There are not a lot of tables, probably 15 inside. Last night we chose to sit outside (only three more out there), my Honey offered me the “ocean view.” It was really a view of the parking lot and Lake Murray Blvd, if you close your eyes it can sound like the ocean. It’s either that or a view of the side of the building and into the “for rent” business space next to West Coast BBQ. As I said, not glamorous. But clean friendly, inexpensive and GREAT BBQ!

I had my usual, pulled pork dinner with two sides. The pork is always tender and juicy; the sauce is sweet with a little bit of a kick. The BBQ baked beans are thick, sweet, and delicious. And I had the green salad; I got to have SOME veggies on my plate! Although there is not a lot to say about the salad, it was still very green, dark lettuce not just iceberg with not-my-beautiful-homegrown-tomatoes and a cucumber – everything was fresh.

My honey had his favorite, carnitas. So this carnitas, if you like carnitas, is pretty amazing. All-you-can-eat with tortillas, refried beans, a condiment plate of white onions, tomatoes and cilantro all fresh and delicious looking. All of this for $7.95!

The wait staff is always friendly, attentive, and accommodating – the first couple of times we went I wanted to taste some of the other sides to see if I would like to order them in the future (I’m picky about my coleslaw and red potato salad). They let me sample both, and I’ve ordered the coleslaw on the next visit.

Then to top it all off, they have cobbler – apple, cherry, or peach. I’ve only had the mouthwatering, sinfully delicious peach. Perhaps I should ask for a sample of the others just to see! Oh, and when the new yellow pages get delivered to the house, we look for the “free dessert” –for-everyone-in-your-party coupon – what a deal!

They also have a take-out window, which always seems to have people waiting.

West Coast BBQ pretty much fits all of our criteria for a restaurant – good food, cost effective, close, clean, family owned, and we can use a coupon every now and then! What more could you want!!


The Beginning

This all began after reading Julie and Julia. I just kept thinking about the food stories of my life, what was for dinner each night and the stories at the food festivals I go to. I started jointing down ideas, to make sure I had enough to get started, and I filled ten pages just like that! I guess I do have something to say!

So, anyway, back to Julie and Julia. I wondered if there was enough current information in Mastering the Art of French Cooking to warrant having it. I checked out a copy from the library and started to leaf through it. I learned enough before I ever got to the first recipe to confirm that I should have a copy in my library. So currently I am looking for a copy at yard sales on Saturday mornings, because the hunt is half the fun! The thought of rescuing someone’s MTAOFC and adding it to my collection seems like a better way to obtain a copy then to just buy a new “unseasoned” one.

I’m still looking.

In the meantime, I did write down the recipe for Julia’s potato and leek soup, which Julie exclaimed about. It was delicious! It will definitely be added to my fall/winter meal planning on a regular basis. And the way I get around serving a meatless dinner to my husband (he is getting much better about those after five years), is to serve the soup with crumbled bacon on the top. I tried with turkey bacon on my second attempt, and it would have worked - except he saw me cooking the bacon and it CLEARLY did not look the same as bacon bacon (you know what I mean)! We both enjoyed the hearty soup, and I’m looking forward to the weather cooling off enough to fix it again.