Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Inspirational Music For Cooking/Eating:DC*B

Any of you who do not know me, do not know that I am an avid, maybe a little unhealthy, fan of the David Crowder* Band. (why does he do that *? If anyone knows...clue me in) At any rate, there is a new album by said band, Remedy, which was released yesterday on the 25th. If anyone wants to gift me this record on iTunes, I would be very appreciative. Otherwise, I'll wait until I can do it myself. No biggie. That was really just a joke.....mostly. Anyway, he also has one called Sunsets & Sushi that would be cool to listen as you either ate Sushi or made it.

So, everyone go get Remedy and enjoy the coolness that is the David Crowder* Band.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Not only does my wife cook (see previous post)...she gets the two monsters' to be excited about PB&J...and CARROTS!?!?!?!?!

The message board that she subscribes (Baby Center) has been talking about these things called "Bento Boxes" as the new craze. Now we don't have everything needed, but being the daring one she is, she did it anyway. Check out the PB&J pinwheels. Cool, huh? And the 4 y.o....."I ate my carrots!" he exclaimed. "HOLY CRAP!" I didn't know the boy could say "ate" and "carrot" in the same sentence. I'm guessing that Godzilla ate his too...unless he was too busy eating a subway in Japan or something.

I'm not the only cook in the house

My wife, God Love Her.....tries anything and does it well right away. She ticks me the best way possible. She challenges me to be better. It's unspoken.

I got home a little late the other day, but she didn't get home much earlier than I did and here's what she had ready when I walked in.

Beeaded Orange Roughy tacos...........YUMMY!

Home made pesto Farfalle w/Italian Sausage

Well, the farfalle and sausage was not home made, but the pesto was.

"How did you make it" you ask? Well, you need the following:

3-4 cloves of garlic (fresh is best)

at least 1 cup of fresh basil

1/4-1/3 cup of pine nuts

a bottle of EVOO. (not all of it, but you're going to need to eyeball it)

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

Peel the garlic by smashing it with the wide part of your chef's knife and toss them in the blender w/1/4 cup pre-poured EVOO and start the blender or food processor. Start tossing in the basil and pour (SLOWLY) EVOO. Once things begin to liquefy, drop in the pine nuts and Parmesan. Stop pouring....make sure you don't pour too much because then you'll need to add more basil and if you bought what I told you to buy, you won't have any more. I guess...just buy a little more than I told you to buy and then you can use it for garnish if you need it.

Now cook farfalle (bow ties, for people who haven't figured that out. or if you're like Monkey, you'll call them "butterflies") according to the package.

Grill the sausages until they're almost done and then slice them into 1/4" slices. Put the slices back in the skillet and brown a little more. Toss w/farfalle and mix in pesto until agreed upon taste.

Pesto is an interesting beast. A little can go a long way. Here's how it turned out.

Breakfast Sandwich....pastry style

You know you want some of this pastry so you can make one. Come on; admit it.

I was gifted a couple of these pastries from a friend and she suggested I put ham and Swiss in there (that would have been good, too. Instead I scrambled some eggs and put Muenster cheese; threw it into the toaster and voila! An egg 'n cheese breakfast pastry. And "my goodness" were they good.

Get you some!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the recipe MANAGER

I am doing some searching for ColdFusion Developers and found a guy on Virb that has a cool food blog. I'll have to link him up.

You can put the recipes you pick in a "shopping list" so you know what to buy at the grocery store. cool.

Mystery illness strikes after meteorite hits Peruvian village - Yahoo! News

Does anyone else find this freaky? I found this over at Raymond Camden's blog. A ColdFusion Jedi he is.

Mystery illness strikes after meteorite hits Peruvian village - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Catering Confidential, The Food

So, I realized that my last post was way boring, so I thought I might talk about the food.

Tomato Basil Tartelettes (Standard hors d'oeuvres)
Peppered RARE AHI TUNA w/Marinated Fennel on Small Crustini (now these are yum )
Mini Spanish Sausages (Passed w/Picks & Grain Mustard) (never had them, but I'm sure they were good)
1/2 Herbed Feta & 1/2 Tapenade on Same Toast Point (sounds too confusing on which side to eat first)
Dates Stuffed w/Gorgonzola & Wrapped in Prosciutto (now this is good, but you should try the figs replacing the dates)

7:45PM ~ Dinner ~ "Paris In The Fall" (we stayed on time with this...but maybe the last time the whole night)
1st Course: (Wine: Bandol) (didn't try it)
Seafood Mar mite w/Vanilla Broth (Oh MY! this was amazing. It was salmon, shrimp, scallops and mussles that were in a zip lock, poached in boiling water, then it had a boiling hot French Vanilla broth poured over it)
2nd Course:
Wine: Foley Syrah (didn't try it)
Traditional Cesar Salad (Cheese on the Side) & HOMEMADE Parmesan Croutons (didn't try it)
3rd Course:
Mixed Grill: Petite Fillet, Lamb Chop, Sausage & Chicken (now this was pretty damn awesome!)
Pascal's Gratin POTATO
Steamed Asparagus Spears
9:30PM****Cheese & Fruit STATION OPEN (Port & Dessert Wines - 4)
Dessert & Coffee Service
Croque en Bouche (all sorts of different fillings in the creme puffs)
Assortment of MINI Pastries (Petite Four Style)
10:15PM WEDDING CAKE by (CAKE STUDIO) (more like 11 p.m. and there was a "groom's cake" that looked like the groom's nasty old Georgetown hat.)
10:45PM Late NIGHT Nibblings (more like 12:15 p.m.)
French Onion Soup w/Crouton (didn't try it)

Outside of all the being late, the food was pretty dang good and chef did a bang up job.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Catering Confidential

WOW! This weekend wasn't even a weekend. A couple of months ago, I was asked to drive the van for a catering event (through the restaurant that does the weddings and parties at Sherman Gardens) at Saddlerock Ranch Winery off of Mulholland Drive in Malibu, CA. Now, I'm not sure if ya'll have ever read any of my other posts about the catering events that I have worked, but the restaurant itself is in Newport Beach, California. Let's look at the map. Riverside to Newport Beach (near John Wayne Airport) to Malibu. (see photo below.........not that close to home...about 40 miles)

Now.....let's move along from Newport to Malibu. (see below photo)

I am beginning to think I'm not so smart for agreeing to this driving the van thing until I get an emailing me the schedule. As you will see this was a HUGE event and it went late. This was where I was back to being smart. I, with the people in my van, get to leave at 10 p.m. and the rest of the crew was leaving at 1 a.m. ("I am so smart, S-M-R-T" -Homer Simpson)

In speaking with the events coordinator (aka "my boss"), I learn that someone called in sick at the last minute. Well, it wasn't really last minute. He called on Wednesday saying he thought he was coming down with the flu. At 1 a.m. the night before the party, he sent an email saying he wasn't going to be there. (when was the last time the flu took three days to put you down? it always just jumps up and hits me like a ton of bricks. I know the guy. He didn't want to work.) This is a bad omen.
New email from events coordinator. "can you come to the restaurant by 10 a.m. on Saturday to help me get one of the vans?" there are always perks included in this business and I knew that helping out on this one would be no different. On top of knowing the E.C. pretty well (worked with her for 6 years), I knew she would take care of me for helping out. That's not why I do it, of course; but it helps. HA$! That gives me a couple of hours to kill, but during my normal job (recruiter) I had arranged a couple of interviews on my down time. Then all hades broke loose.
The restaurant owner (and chef for the evening) needed something done, but none of his kitchen monkeys were doing anything. They were all just sitting around smoking cigarettes and avoiding working at all costs. He starts complaining to EC and she starts yelling back about it not being her job and I decide I'll help loading the 30 cases of wine 6 cases of champagne and 12 cases of beer on tot the refrigerated truck. Yes, you read those numbers correctly. This was a big ass party. Next, I found out that since things had not been going so great that the owner of the restaurant would be riding with me in my van. Oh boy! I get the guy who was just bossing everyone around because things weren't going right riding shotgun. Great! Dang...couldn't he go at 3 with the late crew? He was supposed to ride with EC in her nice Lexus SUV. (I really like it.) we are, waiting for the truck to be loaded and we get all 9 of us in the van and we make it to Malibu in about an hour and a half. Not bad timing. (ADD moment: on the ride up, I got the call that Godzilla did #2 on the potty...YAY for him....he told mommy he needed to go, too. Good job, zilla)
We get there and there are Bison, Zebras, Ostrich and all sorts of cool animals on the property. It was rather breath taking. I wish I had pictures of that, but I cannot seem to locate any. The driveway is long and winding with forks all over the place. I can see how one may get lost between Mulholland HWY and the house. This is all by 2:30-ish and the whole time I'm thinking about EC and having to break the whole thing down with just 5 people, but hey...I gotta get home because like a dope I also agreed to work on Sunday night too after swearing I would never do a 7-day week.
So we're there and things are just odd. I work at Sherman Gardens most of the time and don't have to deal with all the rules the grounds security put on us and such a sprawling estate.
We had 4 wine tasting tables, New World, Old World, California and French wines, two bars, a cigar table, cheese table and a dining room to set. The wine tasting tables were with the other Maitre'd and I had 5 people to set the 185 person dining room. No problem.....two of the guys work at Sherman Gardens during the week, so they should be on top of their game, right? Three of the guys, I work with regularly at weddings so I know they'll work hard for me. The ones that work at the Gardens....slackers! One of the guys that I work with regularly throws his back out picking up his second crate of plates. (remember we were already short one person) So, we had a girl folding napkins, and one of the SG waiters starts helping her. My mistake for letting him, but he wasn't much help once I pulled him off it, so I may have left him where he was. There were 3 wine glasses per setting, a bread plate w/butter knife, three salad forks, a teaspoon, a soup spoon, and 2 table knives (185 people) I ended up using my 3.5 guys to get this done in about an hour an a half.
Then the dang wedding coordinator (not someone I've ever seen) starts re-arranging the place settings after we get the room pretty much done. "oh, we need two more over here and one more over here and blah, blah, blah!" Here's what we did before the glasses had gone down.

See, it's already getting crowded on the tables w/out the damned glasses. Here's a dark shot of the can see most of what's going on the table.

Have you ever worked somewhere like a restaurant or somewhere you wouldn't expect to see someone you know? Well one of our good friends from church IN RIVERSIDE was in Malibu and their daughters were flower girls. How crazy was that? Next thing you know here's another one that had moved to Oregon. (they were both cousins of the bride)'s where I become stupid. Every time I see the EC she's telling me how worried she is about breakdown since we're now 2 guys down and because it's breakdown it is kind of like being 4 people down because people are going to be so dang tired by the end of the wedding. After beginning to worry about it myself and feeling bad that there won't be enough people...I (cannot believe that I) said "I will stay and help. Don't worry."

What? What did I just say? No, no....take it back, bring those words back to your mouth! HOLY CRAP WHAT DID I DO? It's too late, you said it......suck it up and be a man.

We didn't get out until 2 a.m. I got to bed in Riverside (see above maps.....) around 4:30 a.m. HOLY SMOKES, I have to get up and go to the gardens by 4 p.m. and work until 9 or 10 p.m. What was I thinking? I may be the dumbest human being.

Well, last nights gig was pretty easy. It was a 78th birthday party, and the most difficult thing was making sure no one crapped their pants. Kidding. It was actually these kids who thought the were going to drink on my shift. They tried...unsuccesfully...I might add. It was a team effort.....things went well and I came home with some nice parting gifts from the entire weekend.

Thanks to Monkey, I got to stay home today......that's a story for another day. Click here to see all the photos that EC took.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bruschetta, it's easy and yummy

The other day I was making some Pasta Carbonera and decided I needed more carbs to go with it. So, I decided to make some bruschetta w/sour dough toast. It came out nice and yummy. (not so good a couple of days later.....the cheese was a little funky)

Here's a good was good.........