52 - Fifty Two


The Dish

This may look like an ordinary casserole dish to you, but it is more than that to me. 

This is The Dish that I remember Mom finishing one of my favorite dishes when I was a kid – ham, mac and cheese.  As I remember, Mom used just your normal mac and  cheese, then added a ham steak cut into cubes.  She would combine them and bake them until there were bubbly good. 

This dish is permanently seasoned, missing the lid, has some spider cracking inside and a bit discolored. This ordinary dish was the one thing I needed to find when retrieving family mementos from Mom’s home recently.  With a house full of what had been a life, this was the most important thing to me.

Sadly, I now have Mom's casserole dish, but lovingly cherish The Dish.  Forever.


52 - Fifty One

Chicken Enchilada Casserole - Delicious!

How to:

Cook a few chicken breasts with seasoning, let cool a bit then pull apart with a fork.

Sauté 1/2 a chopped onion, a chopped green bell pepper and a 4 oz can of green peppers.  When sautéed, add some flour to start a rue, then add a 28 oz can of green enchilada sauce.  Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken.

In a oven proof pan, cover the bottom of the pan with the sauce mixture, layer corn tortillas, add some chicken and then some Monterey Jack cheese.  Repeat to fit in pan, about three (3) layers.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, serve hot.

HH liked it the second time around when the sauce mixture had more time to set, both versions tasted great.  Simple comfort food.


52 - Forty Nine

This is a potential new fair food - deep fried Chicago Dog. This dog is wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried.  The tortilla makes the deep fry light, crunchy and delicious.  You bit into the soft bun, crispy veggies and then the dog.  JP is trying to get his grandma to add it to the menu for 2016.  Stay tuned.....  You heard it here first!


52 - Forty Eight

Ahh, Gilroy Garlic Festival memories...
Mr. Garlic with a flame-up.

Thanks to Bill Strange for the photo.


52 - Forty Seven

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is just around the corner, here's what we can expect...
Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley.

Thanks to Bill Strange for the great photo.


52 - Forty Six

Home-grown tomatoes, homemade potato salad, grilled corn on the cob, HH's refurbished grill.

Cheeseburger in paradise, need I say more?


52 - Forty Five

We were all in!
Hot Dog on a Stick lessons for 2015 -

I tried the cream chees with chili sauce they all talk about, not my favorite

The aftermath



52 - Forty One

Check out this year's new Fair Food!
Bacon Affair - Deep Fried Starbucks was good

Chicken Charlie's - Deep Fried Slim Fast bars

Chicken Charlie's - Dill Pickle with PB, Deep Fried with Chocolate Sauce and Powdered Sugar

Del Mar Diner - Cheesie French Onion Grilled Cheese

Del Mar Diner - Chili Cheese Frito Crunch Grilled Cheese

Oliver's Kettle Korn - Kettle Korn w/Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt

Sriracha Dog

Sweet Corn Ice Cream's North American Debut


52 - Forty

Pound Cake #4 is from my grandmother’s tried and true cookbook, The American Woman’s Cook Book, 1942 edition.  This is simply an Old-Fashioned Poundcake with a pound of butter, a pound of cake flour, 10 eggs (separated), a pound of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla.

The other three pound cakes I’ve baked in the last few weeks have taught me that a pound of sugar (2 cups) is not enough, so I upped the anti to 3 cups as per Paula’s pound cake.  And the vanilla wasn’t enough, so I upped that to 1 tbsp + 1 tsp.

The rest was basic, cream the sugar and room temperature butter together, and add the vanilla.  Measure the flour (I added a ½+ tsp of baking soda and a ¼+ of salt to regular flour, since that’s what I had on hand), set aside.  Add the egg yolks one at a time.  Add the flour (mixture) in batches.  Set the entire mixture aside and whip the egg whites for about five (5) minutes.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter mixture, and place in a greased/flours pan (bundt pan instead of two loaf pans, in this case).  Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes.

Then I followed Daphne’s glaze recipe and added that. (See below.)

This one is still too dry. 

The winner is Paula's Pound cake (go figure, the pound cake from the South), with Daphne's glaze - remember to add 1/2 while the cake is still upside down and in the pan, and the rest once the cake is on the plate.


Daphne Oz’s glaze

·         GLAZE

·         12 water

·         2 tablespoons salted butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         powdered sugar, for dusting


  • For the glaze:.
  • Five minutes before cake is finished baking make the glaze.
  • Combine water, butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour half the syrup over the cake (bottom), invert onto a serving plate and pour remaining syrup over the top.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes and eat warm!



52 - Thirty Nine

Pound Cake #3 is by C & H Sugar and looked so promising – All-in-One Cake & Frosting.  HH loves frosting on a cake, so this was ideal.


All-in-One Cake and Frosting



·         6 oz. cream cheese, softened

·         1 cup butter or margarine, softened (2 sticks)

·         1 tablespoon vanilla extract

·         1 (2 lb.) pkg. C&H® Powdered Sugar

·         2/3 cup milk

·         4 large eggs, slightly beaten

·         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

·         1 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt baking pan, preferably non-stick.

Frosting: In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Add powdered or confectioners' sugar alternately with milk, beating 1-2 minutes or until blended. Remove 2 1/2 cups of frosting from bowl, placing into a plastic sealable bag, and set aside.

Cake: With mixer at slow speed, add eggs to remaining frosting in mixing bowl. Beat until blended. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to frosting mixture alternately with water and continue beating 1-2 minutes or until well blended.

Pour into pan and bake 65-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. While cake is still warm, use a knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool completely before removing from pan. Place cake on serving plate and top with remaining icing.

Here’s the final product at Holly’s Diner.  What a debacle!

It didn’t taste as bad as it looks with the organic yellow dye in the frosting, but sometimes, who can get past the looks?!


52 - Thirty Eight

After Daphne’s pound cake, I was on a pound cake quest.  The next on the list, a pound cake from the south.  The recipe is compliments of Paula Deen.


This pound cake turned out fluffy and moist and quite delicious!  HH likes it with chocolate syrup drizzled over the top.


Vanilla Pound Cake

Recipe Courtesy of Paul Deen



  • Nonstick baking spray with flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • Black Cherry Sauce, recipe follows
  • Black Cherry Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup black cherry juice
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen dark sweet cherries


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 12 to 15-cup fluted pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the scraped vanilla bean seeds, beating until combined. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gently fold into the butter mixture. Spoon into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top of the cake. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with Black Cherry Sauce, if desired.

Black Cherry Sauce:

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and lime zest. Stir in the black cherry juice, whisking until smooth. Add the cherries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute.. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen



52 - Thirty Seven

I picked up a new cookbook recently, Relish by Daphne Oz.  I was suddenly inspired to find a delicious, moist pound cake recipe.  Daphne’s recipe for Coconut Pecan Pound Cake is below.  This version (minus the coconut and pecans) tasted good, although not as moist as I anticipated.  It may have been the oven at The Diner, hence the pound cake quest begins!


Coconut Pecan Pound Cake

by Daphne Oz



Servings10, Yield 1 cake

·         4 eggs

·         2 cups sugar

·         1 cup unsalted butter

·         3 cups flour

·         12 teaspoon baking powder

·         12 salt

·         1 cup buttermilk

·         1 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened

·         1 cup pecans, chopped

·         GLAZE

·         12 water

·         2 tablespoons salted butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         powdered sugar, for dusting



1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.      In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar and butter; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.

3.      Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

4.      Add flour mixture to batter alternately with buttermilk, in 3 parts; mix gently until just moistened.

5.      Stir in coconut and pecans.

6.      Pour batter into a pound cake mold (loaf shaped pan).

7.      Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

8.      For the glaze:.

9.      Five minutes before cake is finished baking make the glaze.

10.  Combine water, butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.

11.  Slowly pour half the syrup over the cake (bottom), invert onto a serving plate and pour remaining syrup over the top.

12.  Dust with powdered sugar.

13.  Let stand for 10 minutes and eat warm!



52 - Thirty Six

HH and I went bike riding at the beach recently, and met some friends at World Famous.  Fish was the menu item of the day – fish tacos, fish sandwich, fish and chips.  The weather was beautiful, the food was great, the company was the best, the day perfect.


52 - Thirty Five

Hash House A Go Go, a San Diego favorite is popping up all over the place!  And with its famous twisted farmhouse menu, why not?!


HH and I ran into a Hash House in Las Vegas recently, here’s a look at what some of the folks in our party had.


Chicken Pot Pie (enough for 4!)

Fried Chicken Benedict



I had a Baby Burger (just one patty) with a salad, HH had a burger off of the stuffed burger menu and it was massive!  Less was definitely better in this case, yet it was all delicious!


52 - Thirty Four


HH does it again, this time oven baked short ribs.  Delicious man-food!
These were so delicious, I’m looking forward to the next round.

Hot out of the oven


52 - Thirty Three

HH has been tasked with Diner menu planning recently, so he went fishing and brought home dinner.


Trout and fried potatoes; the trout was pretty good, the potatoes were delicious.


52 - Thirty Two

One box of plastic wrap from Costco, originally purchased summer 2003; 18” x
3000’.  Originally purchased for a move, has lasted two moves (perfect for wrapping dressers and drawers) and 11 ½ years, Wow!!  It’s finally empty.

 Now the dilemma, do I purchase another?  I don’t think Costco even makes plastic wrap in this quantity any longer!