Monday, August 15, 2011

Day ??? Dallas Restaurant Week at Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House

So we sort of had a Kid's Cooking Challenge summer FAIL.  Big time.  We started, but sort of faded away with the business of life.  But today I, Mom, am back with a guest blog.
Let me just start with the fact that being a blogger who happens to be friends with Texas Holly of June Cleaver Nirvana and She is Dallas fame has perks.  Texas Holly has invited me to join her at a beef event put on by the Texas Beef Council.  Of course it was delicious (and I’m not even a huge beef eater) and I blogged about it.  
Then I got to go to a strawberry event sponsored by the California Strawberry Association.  I got to try--and have since made--Mahi Mahi Tacos with Strawberry/Mango salsa, and OMG, they are SO good.

Well, Friday night, husband and I got to experience Restaurant Week in Dallas--before the actual week began.  How cool is that?!  Thanks to Texas Holly and the very generous, very fabulous Texas Beef Council, along with Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, about 20 bloggers were invited to partake of one heck of an amazing meal.
First off, I’ve never had such good herbed butter.  Just saying.  I could probably just eat it plain.
Second, summer corn bisque.  Who knew it could rival lobster bisque.  And boy, oh boy, it sure does give the more traditional soup a run for its money.  Corn bisque was to die for.  Husband, who ordered a tomato carpaccio salad for a starter (which was fabulous) sorta wished he’d picked the corn bisque.  I let him taste it.  Barely.  Then I slurped up the rest.
Next up was a choice between a Kobe sirloin or a pecan wood smoked prime rib.  Now, as I said, I’m not a huge beef eater.  I ordered the sirloin and he ordered the prime rib.  All I can say is that both were delicious (especially the garlic mashed potatoes!), but I now know I really like prime rib cooked the way Chamberlain’s cooked it (except not quite so pink--I’m more of a well-done like the crisp outside kind of girl). 
The wines, one from Lodi, CA (our old stomping grounds) and the other from Sicily were pretty much the best wine I’ve ever had.  
Then came desert.  OMG.  First off, the choices.  Lavender Creme Brulee.  Warm Chocolate gooey cake with XXX.  I didn’t read a single word further.  That was my choice.  Was it worth the 1000 calories it probably had in it?
Uh, yeah.  And then some.  
Texas Holly and those Texas beef people put on one helluva dinner.  They gave us all a second opportunity to eat out during restaurant week.  Me?  I’m going to Whiskey Cake in Plano.  Cannot wait!  
So, see, there are definitely perks to blogging.  I can never be the kind of friend to Texas Holly that she’s been to me.  I don’t know any Texas beef or California strawberry people.  But it’s cool.  She’s cool.  We’re cool.  Our kids are friends, so she can’t ditch me for some other blogger.  Maybe I’ll bake her some cookies.  Or better yet, use the beefy cookbook I got from Chamberlain owner/chef, Richard Chamberlain, and whip up some delicious beefy dish.

Holly, are you there?  Cookies or beef?  Or both?  You name it, it’s yours.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer 2011, Day 3: Apple Brown Betty

Today we made Apple Brown Betty from Ellie Krieger's SO Easy cookbook.

I had actually never heard of an Apple Brown Betty, but it reminded me of an Apple Crisp, which I love, so I wanted to try it. It's exactly like an apple crisp, but a lot healthier. The ingredients are apples, apple cider (except we used apple juice), cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of butter, bread (GF or regular), vanilla, and brown sugar.

You basically just simmer the apples and the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and juice in sauce pan. You peel the apples first, then chop them.

Later, when it's simmered (10 minutes), you add a little butter.

Then you get a food processor and blend the bread, add cinnamon and a little brown sugar, then mix in 1 tablespoon of butter.

You put the apples into a pan and put the crumble and bake it.

This tastes exactly like an apple crisp, and I suggest if you like apple crisp, you make this dish.

The good thing is that it's healthy. You cut down on the butter, and you whole grain bread, if you can, you only add a little sugar, you use juice (or cider), and that's where it gets the sweetness. It reminds me of autumn, and me and my mom love that.

So it's really good. 2 Thumbs Up!

Summer 2011, Day 3: Mahi Mahi Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

Today we made Mahi-Mahi fish tacos. Maji-Maji tacos are from the California strawberry cookbook.

My mom really wanted to do this recipe, so I agreed. I thought we should do an Ellie Krieger recipe, so I also made Apple Brown Betty.

But back to the tacos. They are actually really good. There are 3 parts.

  • The Fish.
  • The Chipotle Avocado Sour Cream.
  • The Strawberry Salsa.

First, the fish. What you do is season the fish with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. And chili, if you want, which I didn't. Then you grill it on a grill pan. That's it.

For the sour cream. Basically, you just get sour cream, chop up some avocado (we used a whole one), and a teaspoon of chipotle chili in adobo sauce (comes in a can). You don't have to add the chipotle, if you don't want to. Mash it all together and there you have it.

The Strawberry salsa you just chop up red onion, strawberries, mango, papaya (we used frozen mango and papaya), and cilantro. It's a sweet salsa.

I give it 1 3/4 Thumbs Up, and my brother's friend also gave it 1 3/4 Thumbs. My mom LOVES it and gives it MORE than 2 Thumbs Up.

She says this is a definite repeat meal. I liked it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer 2011, Day 2: Strawberry Smoothie Love

To Whom May Read This Blog...

As you probably all know, I'm Sophie. The reason why we didn't do our Kid's Cooking Challenge over the school year is because we were really busy. But now it's summer so we're starting it up again.

I started by going to a Califoria Strawberry convention where I learned all about strawberries and how to use them and what's in them. They're pretty amazing because they actually carry a lot of vitamin C, antioxidents, and fiber. I know we're doing Ellie Krieger this summer for our cooking challenge, but I wanted to sort of make my own, using the California Strawberry Cookbook.

The smoothie was really easy and quick. Like usual, we didn't have all the ingredients, so I improvised. We didn't have strawberry juice, plain yogurt, basil leaves (we had them, but I didn't want to add that or the pepper spice). What I did instead was I put in some frozen mangos, strawberries, a cup and a half of ice, some milk, and some strawberry yogurt.

Then I pureed it in the blender. A dietician, who is a guy-etician since he's a guy and most dieticians are women, I guess, said a smoothie is a good lunch or breakfast...or even dinner.

It was a really easy recipe. You just put it all into a blender and puree. It was really tasty and it fills you. And it was very healthy. No ice cream. No presercatives. And I learned that if you freeze fruit, or buy frozen fruit, you don't actually lose much of the good stuff. There's still a lot of good stuf in the fruit, or vegetables, too.

I give this 2 thumbs up, and will make this again.

PS, my oldest brother, who's very particular about his smoothies, said this was a very good smoothie. He thought there were bananas in it, but I said no, they were mangos.

I suggest you feed this to your family.

This is the book by the Guy-etician, David Grotto.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer 2011, Day 1: Eggs in a Basket

Hello, everybody. Well, it seems it's that time of year again. We're starting the cooking challenge again. But this year, it's not only focused on Jamie Oliver. We're using Ellie Krieger's cookbooks, as well as some of our favorites from last year.

This year will also be different due to the fact that we're not going to be doing the challenge everyday. Maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Because last year, the cooking really dominated my summer.

Today, for the very first entry, I did Eggs in a Basket from Ellie's So Easy cookbook. My mom read about Ellie in a magazine, then she started watching Healthy Appetite, her show. Soooo...

It was somewhat easy. It's not technically easy if I actually have to wake up (I got up at 11:30 today after 11 hours of sleep... tragic), get up, and make food.

Anyway, for this recipe, I got a piece of my GF bread from the freezer. We made some from a a mix using the bread machine about 2 weeks ago. I have slices frozen. I cut a hole in it using a 3 inch cookie cutter. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter, or a spoon to spread softened butter onto both sides of the bread. After that, what you do is you put it in a pan and crack your egg into the hole. You also put the little 3 inch circle you cut out into the pan.

Then you cook it until the egg white hardens. Flip it and cook it for another minute or so, depending if you like it runny or rock solid.

In the recipe, you're supposed to put turkey and asparagus on top, but I said, "Chale! Let's just throw some sausage in there." Because sausage is the best food known to man. I don't know if Ellie Krieger would approve, since I didn't get my veggies, but, "Sabes que," it's my lunch so I can do whatever I want.

It was good. I will do it again.

Two things: put butter on the little cut out circle of bread, and serve with hash browns, which I did.

Two thumbs up.