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Friday, April 14, 2017

Dinner and a Movie Night!

So to get away from all the packing and house hunting and stress, I decided it was a dinner and movie night. I had a gift certificate for the movie so I felt I could afford a dinner. My favorite Chinese Buffet is $9.95 for dinner and so I went there. Of course I had my water with me, since I drink nothing else these days.

China Buffett, on Fowler, never fails to have things that I really love to eat on their buffet and tonight I really wanted some coconut shrimp and they delivered. Along with many more yummy items that I chowed down on.

I had a nice selection of their sushi/sashimi to start with. Note, I had already eaten several items before remembering to grab my camera. LOL It's just that good.

Then I had the Coconut Shrimp with Fried Rice, some bok choy and a spring roll along with a little beef bbq and stuffed mushrooms.

I had to get a picture of my friend's Sweet and Sour Soup as it looked darned delicious too.

After this fabulous feast, we rolled ourselves out the door and off to see Beauty & the Beast! So glad we saw this at one of the Sing A Long showings. Not because we wanted to sing, though yeah, I did. But because we could follow along with the songs and know what was being sung.

If you have not seen the movie yet with Emma Watson (From Harry Potter) as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, then get going and see it. The singing is spectacular and the cinematography is breathtaking! The story is well crafted and you will adore Kevin Kline as Belle's father, Maurice. Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts is truly inspired. But the show stealer for me was Luke Evans as Gaston! He is so perfectly pompous and deliciously self absorbed. You know you are supposed to hate him, but even as you do, you just have to adore the acting. And if you don't get massive giggles from the portrayal of Lumier by Ewan McGregor and Cogsworth by Sir Ian McKellan well, you need to get your funny bone checked. They are perfect. Another show stopper for me was my favorite character actor, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza! He was brilliant as always!

Honestly, this is well worth the price of a ticket to see this movie on the big screen! But you can guarantee this will become a part of my permanent collection the day the movie hits Blu Ray!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Restaurant Review: Joe's New York Diner!

I was worn out after both having my moving sale and cleaning and packing more of my kitchen. So I decided to use part of my small money from the sale and go get dinner. I tried to go to KFC as it's really close, but they closed as I pulled up. Same with Portillo's on Fowler. Then it hit me, I have been dying to try Joe's! I was just blocks away so off I went back towards Florida Ave as Joe's is right on the corner of Florida and Fowler!

It was a fantastic choice! The manager/owner greeted me as I entered. I found out his name is Moe! I knew from his greeting that I would be really happy I stopped here. He had Dawn, a really sweet server, get me a menu and take my order.

First, this menu is HUGE! They are open 24/7 so they have it all. And I was hard put to decide. I considered trying a few appetizers, but then saw they had Eggplant Parmesan Heroes, but oh, they had a Chicken Parmesan also.  Then I glanced up and saw the moment of saying "Eureka" they had a Reuben! The answer was found. Then I asked what the soup was, and when Dawn said Matzo Ball Soup I almost squealed in joy! So a Reuben with Soup it was!

I got the food to go since I had Uno with me. And even with them making everything fresh daily, I got my meal in less than 10 minutes. I thanked Dawn and Moe and headed home with my food and had my reveal as a Live Video on Facebook!

food thoughts

So I saw this post on facebook and thought about how yummy it would taste, but also how high in cholesterol and carbohydrates it would be. Then I thought, Mashed Cauliflower to substitute for Mashed Potatoes would work. I use it when making my shepherd's pie and it's wonderful. So why not this? Then I thought, why not make actual homemade Pierogi's with the Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potatoes?

I think I have a new recipe rolling around my head. And I happen to have a gorgeous head of cauliflower in the fridge along with wonton wrappers which work really well for the pasta shell for making pierogi.

I think if I make them I would like to have some minced green onion in them to give them added flavor and for the pretty contrast in both the visual and flavor. I will post pictures and possibly a video of me making them later!

I am also wanting to make the vegetable rose tart that I also found on Facebook. I think these both would be wonderful recipes to make to take for a dinner party. Say for Easter or a dinner for 8 deal.

On this I would have to make my own ricotta which I haven't done since moving to Florida. This would be an ideal time to try since the air is very dry right now. Ricotta sets best when the humidity is low.

So that's my food thoughts for now!

Recipes and pictures to come soon when I do make my versions of these.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Jerk Hut on Fowler Ave in Tampa! 2 Thumbs UP!

Fantastic dinner tonight at  The Jerk Hut in Tampa on Fowler! My friend and business partner Jessie Reid Nelson called me today and said she wanted to take me to dinner. I was more than ready for a fun night after a long and not so successful day with my moving sale. So I was all in. Now anyone who knows me, knows I don't do hot spicy. Because of this I have passed this restaurant a few times and thought I could never eat there. Boy was I ever WRONG!!! The atmosphere is fun and a bit Island! The staff were all so friendly, especially the manager Joseph who really helped me to order something spectacular.

I tried the Goat Curry and really loved it. If you have never had goat, its really good, very tender, but when cut up, they cut it bones and all. So be prepared to pick bones out when eating. The bones just make the sauce all that much better though. This was just the goat meat and potatoes in a relatively mild curry sauce. I say relatively, because for me it was top of the scale of what I can eat without pain or an allergic reaction. For someone from the islands or other countries that go heavy on the hot peppers, it was childs play.  I had my dinner with the white rice since the other rice had beans in it. But I will admit, I really wished I could have that rice with beans. But since I still had to get home safely I passed on that possible allergic trigger. But they looked so good. I also had the cabbage which is so universal just steamed and has a nice buttery flavor.

Jessie had the rice and beans with her chicken and the cabbage also. And she ordered a side of Plantains for us to share. Oh those were wonderful too.

Her hubby had their amazing BBQ Jerk Chicken with a double serving of the rice & beans. He was the only one who needed a to go box. Half a Chicken was a huge amount. (no picture, he came late and we were already eating when his food came, so I forgot to snap a shot of the plate. But it was a huge serving,)

The food was so good that conversation even stopped as we plowed into our food.

Jessie had their Bread Pudding with a caramel sauce and it looked amazing. I may go sometime and order a serving to go. I love bread pudding, but since it is made with milk and eggs, it does have a 50/50 chance of not loving me back. It was dense and loaded with currants and I so wanted to try it. She inhaled it so fast I did not have time to react and get a picture.

So I highly recommend the Jerk Hut in Tampa, FL on Fowler Ave just East of the I-275 exit.

 I will definitely go again! Good food, good friends, fun atmosphere!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Savoury Bits n' Bites: Veggie, Cheese and Pasta Soup

Savoury Bits n' Bites: Veggie, Cheese and Pasta Soup: I bought kale and gorgeous bok choy the other day. So I was busy cleaning it today and decided I want to make some soup. So I reserved some ...

Veggie, Cheese and Pasta Soup

I bought kale and gorgeous bok choy the other day. So I was busy cleaning it today and decided I want to make some soup. So I reserved some of the bok choy after cleaning it and diced it up thin. Leaves & stem, I love bok choy because it is so delicious and unlike it's cousin cabbage, it's never bitter and doesn't make my stomach upset.

I cleaned peeled and added three heirloom carrots. One red one yellow and one purple. Plus I added some diced up beat, and one yellow potato. Yukon Gold, my favorite.

 I added 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken Better Than Bouillon! Which is such a good base for stock. It is a bit salty so I did not add more salt to the dish.

I did add Chives, Black Pepper, Curry and Turmeric for seasoning. No garlic, mostly because I was out and I like fresh over powdered.

I cooked this 15 minutes over medium heat with 3 cups of 9.5 water. When the vegetables were tender I added in the 6 oz package of Chevre, 1 cup of Goat Cheddar and 1/4 cup of shaved Pecorino Romano.

To this I added 1/2 a bag of Penne Pasta and stirred occasionally to prevent sticking.

Seriously this was a fantastic lunch! And so loaded with veggies! Though you can't tell since the penne swelled up so much.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Comfort Foods

After cleaning the fridge I had a Hodge podge of items left that I could throw together for dinner. I had fresh beets, half a beef smoked sausage, a bag of sauerkraut, a granny smith apple and frozen cranberries and frozen peas. So what the heck, I went sort of old school and came up with a dish that would have done my German Grandmother proud!

I washed the Apple and the Beets in 11.5 water to get rid of any pesticides. I also rinsed the Sauerkraut in 9.5 to reduce the sodium. I peeled and chopped up the beet and just sliced up the apple leaving the peel on. (Side note, I used to never eat beets, I was just not a fan. But lately I am more open and so glad I did. This really added a fun flavor to this dish.) I sautéed the apple, sausage and beets in 2 TBSP of Goat Butter.I seasoned with oregano, black pepper and garlic. I added the frozen cranberries and peas, the sauerkraut and once everything was hot I added 1 cup of 9.5 water and the No Yolks noodles, covered and let cook.

I loved how warm and tart this came out. Great flavor. Truly comfort food.