Ralph's Berry Tri-Fold

This is a rare and unusual treat…a picture of Ralph!

Ralph made this delicious Berry Tri-Fold as a treat during this year’s San Diego Co. Fair. He cleaned the berries, whipped the cream, and assembled this delicious concoction!

We loved it! Thank you Ralph, for letting me post your photo too!


Deep Fried Kool-Aid

Deep Fried Kool-Aid was the most popular new item at Chicken Charlie’s at this year’s San Diego County Fair. Charlie sold over 100,000 orders! This new item was not lost on me; of course I had to try them! I did decide to share an order, not indulge completely on my own.

The first bite of the Kool-Aid was a bit surprising; there was Kool-Aid powder sprinkled over the top! Boy, was that a shock! Assuming you are not five years old, when was the last time you tasted Kool-Aid powder? I just remember it being more enjoyable when I was five.

Once the powdered Kool-Aid dissolved on my tongue I was able to taste the Kool-Aid treats. Not bad. Sweet, tender dough. Although one was enough for me.

And how does Charlie do it? He mixes the Kool-Aid with water that gets added to the batter so the Kool-Aid treats take on the flavor and subtle color of cherry Kool-Aid!


Brie En Croute

I was inspired by this recipe seven years ago. By inspired, I mean running across it, printing it and putting it in my recipe binder.

I was inspired again last November when I found it in a magazine. I clipped it out and, again, put it in my recipe binder.

Then a few weeks ago HH and I went to a house warming and there it was…a Brie En Croute! My mouth watered the moment I lifted the lid on the chafing dish and saw it. I cut a piece, added a few crackers and purposely walked away. (“Walk away from the Brie En Croute!”) It was as delicious as I anticipated and I was inspired to make my own.

After a visit to Costco and scoring a 16 oz. wheel of brie for a little over $5, I was inspired again.

The next visit to the grocery store sent me on a search for puff pastry sheets and I ended up with a package of phyllo dough.

Then last night was the night. I decided at the last minute that Brie En Croute was going to be the featured item on the menu at the Diner that night. Just Brie En Croute, who would need more? Well, maybe some homegrown yellow pear tomatoes to round things out.

So I pulled out the recipe. HH asked how long. And my first stumbling block. Always remember to REALLY read the recipe a day or so before the intended service. The phyllo dough takes five hours to thaw, preferably in the frig.

Okay, no worries, plan B and off to the store HH and I went. I got cresent rolls since I knew there would be now thaw time. Back to the Diner we went. Wrapping the brie in the cresent roll wasn’t as pretty as the photos I’ve seen but it would still work. Hmm, and the recipe calls for an 8 oz. brie wheel and I have a 16 oz. brie wheel, well no problem, just a little more baking time and part of it covering the pastry so it doesn’t turn black.

After 30 long minutes the Brie En Croute was done. I took it out, it was beautiful with the shiny egg wash and soft to the touch – not the pastry but the insides. Good sign, so the brie was melted. I let it sit. Waiting, waiting, waiting…

After about 15 minutes (that’s all the waiting I had in me!) I cut into it. And the hot molting lava of brie came flowing out!! With my mouth watering and my stomach grumbling I sat down with my dinner. It was everything I had hoped for – delicious, creamy, warm, flaky pastry, worth the wait.

HH tried it too, he liked it. Next time he might indulge when I do (instead of waiting to see the outcome) so the brie is a bit softer and more spreadable.

Next time, though, I would cut the 16 oz. brie in half; I would buy the puff pastry sheets in the freezer section that I saw but didn’t think were right; I would add some caramelized onions and some herbs (rosemary or thyme, perhaps)between the brie and pastry.

If you are so inclined to try, here’s my recipe for a savory version.

Brie En Croute
1 package of cresent rolls dough
1 16 oz brie wheel, cut in half (save the other half for next time)
1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
¼ sliced onion, caramelized in olive oil
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375º.

Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray foil with non-stick cooking coating. Roll cresent dough out on foil, place ½ of brie wheel on dough. Top brie with rosemary and caramelized onions. Fold cresent dough over top of brie and coat generously with egg wash. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 15 minutes, pull out cookie sheet and cover pastry with additional piece of foil, cook another 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut and serve with crackers and slices homegrown tomatoes.



National Lollipop Day

What fun! Sing along, “Lollipop, lollipop, ooh lolli-lollipop!”


Summer Dinin'

Ohhh, what could be better…Outside on the patio, HH’s famous homemade tacos and a spectacular summer evening. Ahhh.


Summer at the Diner

The Diner seems to be open for business once again.

This weekend’s Summer Special – zucchini bread and lemonade. What a combo and so delicious!

One day of shredding and squeezing, and two days of baking. There will be plenty of zucchini bread for the summer and into the fall, thanks to Patty’s garden across the street.

HH even took some slathered in butter zucchini bread fishin’ this morning, a great way to fortify the day.

Zucchini Bread – Holly’s Diner Style
Mix together –
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (sea salt)
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together –
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest, if you have it

2 cups shredded zucchini (heaping)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Beat until blended. Add zucchini and walnuts. Pour into two loaf pans.  Bake at 325º for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes before removing from pans.

Lemonade – Holly’s Diner Style

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
10 cups water

Bring sugar and water to a boil; boil 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Put mixture in ten cup pitcher, add water to fill pitcher, chill.

When serving, fill cups with lemonade mixture half way and fill rest of way with chilled water, stir, serve.



National Gummy Worm Day

This just reminds me of all the Gummy Worm Contests I used to do. Ahhh, those were the days…


National Grand Marnier Day

Margaritas, here we come! The best margarita I EVER had was at Rockfish Restaurant in Phoenix. They would float a shot of Grand Marnier on the top, unbelievably delicious and HH and I loved them!

The closest Rockfish now is in Texas. I’ll just have to keep dreaming of this one…


National French Fries Day

This is right up there with Onion Ring Day last month - very dangerous indeed.


National Blueberry Muffin Day

I used to make these more often than I do these days - very yummy, but just too many calories to start the day with too often. I’ve switched to blueberry/banana smoothies.


National Fried Chicken Day

You know what my fried chicken looks like – chicken fried chicken. I’m leaving the actual fried chicken up to the experts – HH’s Mom and Sister! Just remember to make mine skinless and a breast.


National Grillin' and Ice Cream Month

What a better way to spend July then grillin’ and eating ice cream? Someone really got this month right!