Dinner at the Diner

Dinner at the Diner, lately, has been delicious but nothing with any major story to go along with it.

So, in order to get your taste buds tingling and your tummy rumbling, here’s a little of what has been served lately. HH has loved every bit!

Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish (stuffed and pan fried, but baked), sweet potatoes and green beans (from a bag, but NOT a can!)

Tasty Thai Chicken and Sesame Noodles

Home-made tacos (Ohhhh!)
Tonight's Green plate special (or Blue Bowl, which ever you prefer) Tamale Pie.


Dadday's Cookies

I think I told you about the recipe Anna shared with me last year, now one of my treasured recipes. It’s a cookie recipe that my dad wrote out after an oh-so-Daddy find.

Daddy and Anna were out yard saling close to home one morning, just blocks away from their house. There was a little girl out front selling homemade cookies and in typical Daddy style, he bought a few for a morning snack and help out the girl’s cookie fund.

Apparently, he liked the oatmeal and coconut infused cookies so much, he drove back over to the house and asked the family for a copy of the recipe. He wrote out the recipe in his distinctive handwriting – that of a sign guy. Anna said it was the only cookie that she remembers Daddy ever baking. She said she arrived home one day and Daddy had followed the recipe; the house smelled great and all 14 dozen cookies sitting on the counter!

When Anna shared the recipe with me, I was so excited, really wanted to make the cookies, but the “1 ½ cups flared coconut” held me back. Coconut is not one of my favorites, it’s a textural thing. But I decided for Christmas cookie baking last month, it was time to honor Daddy. My friends who I bake with agreed to help so we took the recipe for 14 dozen and divided it into thirds – 1/3 with no coconut, 1/3 the way the recipe was written, 1/3 adding chopped pecans.

I tried them all, they were delicious! Maybe it’s not coconut I don’t like, just fresh shredded coconut. (They are in the bottom left hand corner and in the middle of the cookie extravaganza from Christmas, above.)

Anna tried the cookies, she said the only difference was that I did them in a drop cookie form, and Daddy did them in a pressed cookie form – his came out crispier than mine, but all delicious.

If you are so inclined, here’s the recipe for Daddy’s Cookies with Daddy’s notes.

Daddy’s Cookies
2 cups butter – bar type (I think this means sticks of butter not a tub)
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups sugar
2 tps vanilla
4 eggs – Second Natural (Daddy was on a low cholestorel diet)
3 cups sifted flour
2 tps salt
2 tps baking soda
6 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 ½ cups flared coconut

Cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar until fluffy; stir in vanilla, then add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, add to creamed mixture, stir in rolled oats and coconut. Drop ty teaspoon about 2” apart. Bake 350º, 10-15 minutes. Walnuts (options, or pecans).

Makes 14 dozen.



Diner Drivin' - Part 7

To and from Vegas in the past few years, HH and I have noticed Peggy Sue’s in Yermo, CA. There are signs leading up to it, it is on the side of the road and looks like fun, but our timing for a meal is never quite right. So, last month when we drove through Yermo, we timed it to Vegas to we could partake in Peggy Sue’s on the way home.


“Flip Flop Boy” (aka HH) posed out front so you might know you are at the right place if you ever decide to stop.

Peggy Sue’s is very deceiving from the outside, it goes on and on and on - on the inside;

it is a feast for the eyes, almost too much to take in on one visit! With a pizza parlor, soda fountain, ice cream counter, dance floor and more.

Our table was adorned with this tricky display.

HH decided he needed his own menu picture.

And here is my lunch –

the Buddy Holly Bacon Cheeseburger with Hickory smoked bacon and American Cheese with a side of curly fries and salad or cole slaw (I didn’t even remember which healthy choice I made, at this point), better known as “a heart attack waiting to happen.” It was delicious, and it was still within “my birthday 30-days,” can’t call it “my birthday month” since it really wasn’t!

Anyway, it was fun, good diner food and fueled us for the rest of the trip back to Holly’s Diner.


Chicken Pot Pie Redo

After following a new Chicken Pot Pie recipe last month, I made some alterations and, viola! A Chicken Pot Pie that was perfectly scrump-dilly-icious!

Carrot and peas this time, plus red potatoes and a little bit of onions. Chicken left over from the rotisserie chicken a few nights before, and the most cost effective flaky biscuits at the market. Then a creamy, savory sauce to bring it all together. More shallow bowls for better biscuit baking – a home run, or is it touchdown this time of year?


Bowl Season Oops!

As you may know, we are in the middle of Bowl Season at the Diner. So Bowl Season also means leftovers for later. Sometimes that might be lunch the next day, or if there is enough, dinner for another night.

Well, I pulled out of the freezer a zip lock bag of Molé for dinner later in the week. I let the bag thaw, and on one hurried evening that I knew I would have, I got a warm, bubbling pot of Molé ready for HH when he arrived at the Diner that night.

It was time for dinner; I served the Molé into my favorite Fiesta Ware bowls, got some crackers (saltines for me and Club crackers for HH), called HH to the table and started to cool my Molé. Now, I usually wait until HH is seated before starting with my first bite of dinner, but for some reason I didn’t on this evening. I started crumbling up my crackers, got them doused in the Molé, took a spoonful and took my first bite…mmmm! Not as chocolately as I remember, but good. Another spoonful; HH is still getting something to drink…

All of a sudden I realize this is not Molé! This is a big bowl of Art’s Special Sauce sans pasta!

Oh dilemma…do I try to pass this off as Molé and hope HH doesn’t notice? Or do I fess-up since red sauce WITH pasta is not his favorite, and certainly not just a big bowl of red sauce!

I decided the better choice was to tell him, offer to cook up some pasta or let him do something else. As far as my bowl was concerned,I was committed; I had a big, healthy bowl of Art’s Special Sauce with crackers for dinner.

HH had

Tuna Melt - Man Food.


Diner Drivin' - Part 6

HH and I did some Diner Drivin’ last month, one of our favorite things to do on the road. We were in Las Vegas, so the Four Kegs was the next stop on our list. Guy Fieri talked about the Four Kegs in his first book Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It was one of his favorites while going to UNLV.

I looked up the directions before we hit the road so there would be no problem getting there. As we got off on the exit, HH (“oh ye of little faith” in this case) spotted the dilapidated former-restaurant in the strip mall to our right and thought we were in for another version of “Holly didn’t do her homework.” (See Diner Drivin Part 5)

The Four Kegs was just past the no-longer restaurant, with plenty of cars parked outside. Now, it is not the most glamorous place on the outside, definitely natural-light-challenged. We walked in and saw the bar (we stopped a minute so our eyes could adjust), there were a number of folks hanging at the bar at noon-ish on a Tuesday. The bartender assumed we may be looking for the restaurant and directed us to the left and around the corner.

Okay, again, not the most glamorous place, but the Stromboli was highly recommended and supposed to be worth a try. We slid into the well worn naugahyde booth with faux wood table top, the waitress stopped by with our menus. The waitress was seasoned and a definite fixture, but very kind and accommodating.

HH ordered the all-meat Stromboli; I ordered the turkey and Swiss Stromboli, with a little sauce on the side – red sauce, that is. We waited patiently as others started to arrive. We were entertained by the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives US map on the wall, with a cup of push pins for you to “mark the spot” you traveled from to visit. Southern California was pretty full, so we didn’t clutter it up any further.

Our Stromboli arrived –

golden and hot, perfectly wrapped tender dough on a plastic beige kitchen plate, with a Styrofoam bowl of red sauce on the side.

We cut into our Stromboli, took a bit and all the lack of color, light, freshness and (seemingly) personality that we saw at the Four Kegs came bursting through in that first bite. They were delicious! Sometimes you have to “see” with all your senses to get the true picture.

We were reminded don’t judge a book by the cover, taste the inside of the Stromboli – what you came for – before forming any final opinions. The Four Kegs was definitely worth the trip off the beaten path of the Strip.


Ice Cream

What’s your favorite? Perhaps something tried and true like vanilla (or vanilla bean or French vanilla?) Or maybe something a bit more original like Phish Food or my new favorite Ben & Jerry’s – Crème Brule? What about something icy and cool, but not so creamy like a raspberry sorbet (not to be confused with Raspberry Beret)?

My favorite is only available a certain time of year.

I first discovered my favorite at Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors a number of years ago, right around my birthday. At one time I was led to believe by my then-local store that it was available beginning November 15, each store got a pre-set amount and when it was gone, it was gone. The quantity misconception was cleared up this year. HH and I found out it is available through the end of the year, with supply re-enforcements arriving weekly.

What is the mystery flavor? The official ice cream flavor of Holly’s Diner? Drum roll please…………

Egg Nog!
(Belated) Happy Birthday to me!

Delicious and creaming. Sweet, delightful and dreamy. That is Egg Nog ice cream.

Set your calendar, watch for it next holiday season. If you like egg nog, the beverage, just wait until you get a spoonful of this sinfully sensational holiday treat!