Foodie Friday

flag cakeThis weekend America celebrates its independence and there will be quite a bit of red, white and blue.

Go to the link below to see 26 patriotic recipes showcasing America’s colors.

Happy Birthday, America!

Red, white and blue recipes

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Foodie Friday

lobsterIt’s Friday!!! Friday is the start of the weekend! Yay!!!

One of my favorite dishes is lobster, which is why it’s the current Foodie Friday logo, so to speak.

I can’t afford to have it very often, but when I do, oh, I am in heaven.

Lobster with drawn butter is all I need. But those lobster rolls are fabulous!

With that said, I’m just going to post some pictures.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Foodie Friday

flagWoo-hoo! It’s Friday!

And, here in the United States, it’s a three-day weekend as we observe Memorial Day, when we remember those who gave their lives while serving in the country’s armed forces.

Many also call this weekend the official start of summer and there are many grills being used to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, vegetables, and one of my favorites – barbeque pork ribs!!!

Now, I currently live in Texas but I grew up in Florida, and have lived in South Carolina and North Carolina. This means that I have a had a variety of barbeque sauces! Let me tell you, the sauce defines a region’s ribs and people get mighty feisty about which region has the best sauce.

ribsFollowing is a list and description of sauces:

The U.S. has a wide variety of differing barbecue sauce tastes. Some are based in regional tradition.

  • East Carolina Sauce – Most American barbecue sauces can trace their roots to the two sauces common in North Carolina. The simplest and the earliest were supposedly popularized by African slaves who also advanced the development of American barbecue. They were made with vinegar, ground black pepper, and hot chili pepper flakes. It is used as a “mopping” sauce to baste the meat while it was cooking and as a dipping sauce when it is served. Thin and sharp, it penetrates the meat and cuts the fats in the mouth. There is little or no sugar in this sauce.
  • Lexington Dip (a.k.a. Western Carolina Dip or Piedmont Dip) – In Lexington and in the “Piedmont” hilly areas of western North Carolina, the sauce is often called a dip. It is a lot like the East Carolina Sauce (above) with tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup added. The vinegar softens the tomato.
  • Kansas City – Thick, reddish-brown, tomato or ketchup-based with sugars, vinegar, and spices. Evolved from the Lexington Dip (above), it is significantly different in that it is thick and sweet and does not penetrate the meat as much as sit on the surface. This is the most common and popular sauce in the US and all other tomato based sauces are variations on the theme using more or less of the main ingredients.
  • Memphis – Similar to the Kansas City style, typically having the same ingredients, but tending to have a larger percentage of vinegar and use molasses as a sweetener.
  • Florida – Similar to the Memphis style because it has a higher percentage of vinegar than Kansas City style. Florida style is characterized by the tropical fruit flavors such as orange, mango, guava, papaya, pineapple, and tamarind as well as peppers with some heat such as chipotle and habanero. Because of its fruity flavor it is commonly served with pork, chicken and seafood.
  • South Carolina Mustard Sauce – Part of South Carolina is known for its yellow barbecue sauces made primarily of yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar and spices. This sauce is most common in a belt from Columbia to Charleston, an area settled by many Germans. Vinegar-based sauces with black pepper are common in the coastal plains region as in North Carolina, and thin tomato- and vinegar-based sauces are common in the hilly regions as in North Carolina.
  • TX BBQTexas – In some of the older, more traditional restaurants the sauces are heavily seasoned with cumin, chili peppers, bell peppers, chili powder or ancho powder, lots of black pepper, fresh onion, only a touch of tomato, little or no sugar, and they often contain meat drippings and smoke flavor because meats are dipped into them. They are medium thick and often resemble a thin tomato soup. They penetrate the meat easily rather than sit on top.
  • Alabama White Sauce – North Alabama is known for its distinctive white sauce, a mayonnaise-based sauce, which is used predominantly on chicken and pork. It is composed of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper.

Now we have some fun! Which sauce style is your favorite?

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Sauce descriptions courtesy of Wikipedia.

Foodie Friday

lobsterIt’s Friday!! Time for the weekend and that means we get to talk about food!

Today’s food: pizza! I don’t know about you, but after a long week, I crave comfort food. Today, I thought about pizza. Specifically, pizza from Chicago. Even more specific: deep dish pizza.

I have an admission. I only recently learned that real Chicagoans don’t eat deep dish pizza. I am serious. I had no idea.

ddpizzaI asked one Chicogoan – Gini Dietrich (Spin Sucks blog) – why the city was so famous for its deep dish if locals only ate thin crust, and her response was, “Tourists!” To be clear, she wasn’t the only local giving this answer. Steve and Cindy Crescenzo (Crescenzo Communications) also confirmed this answer.  But, I know another family who loves deep dish, and they all are Chicago natives.

As this negative deep dish opinion is new to me, I wonder if this discovery comes as a shock to others as well.

For kicks and giggles, answer this question: deep dish or thin crust?

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Foodie Friday

lobsterFinally – we meet Friday again! While many of us are ready to start the weekend, I share a reminder that this Sunday is Mother’s Day in the U.S.!

I am a mother and I know that I will be wishing many other mothers a “Happy Mother’s Day” on Sunday.

Let me share a story. Every year I receive the same question: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”. Every year, I give the same response, “To be left alone to read my paper and drink a Bloody Mary on the back patio”. (We’ll see if it finally happens this year.)

(Don’t get me wrong. I love all the homemade gifts and cards that my daughter makes for me. I treasure and save every single one.)

Thus, the topic of this Foodie Friday post – the Bloody Mary! (I really, really like them in certain situations.)

BMI’m going to give you a version of what most of us know as the classic recipe. But first, a fun fact: did you know that gin was the original liquor before vodka entered the picture (so legend goes)? Ew.

A version of the classic recipe

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup ice cubes
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger vodka
3/4 cup spicy (or not) tomato-vegetable juice cocktail (e.g., V-8)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot pepper sauce (optional, in my opinion)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 stalk celery
2 stuffed green olives

Directions (optional re: salt on the glass rim)

  1. Salt the rim of a tall glass. To do so, pour salt onto a small plate, moisten the rim of the glass on a damp towel and press into the salt. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  2. In a cocktail mixer full of ice, combine the vodka, vegetable juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Garnish with a stalk of celery and olives stuck onto a toothpick.

Lazy poll results

I kind of, sort of, took a poll. By that I mean I just asked some friends and colleagues how they liked to make their drink. Below is a summary of their responses.

Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix was the choice for, well, the mix.

As for the vodka, people were split between three choices: Tito’s (made in Texas), Grey Goose, and Stoli. (Disclaimer: Each site requires you to enter your birthday before you can peruse it.)

So

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend, and I’d love to have you share your favorite Bloody Mary recipes, or favorite place to order one.

Cheers!

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Foodie Friday

cincodemayoIt’s Foodie Friday! Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

Today is May 1, which means that in four days, it will be a day of celebration for many – Cinco de Mayo!

Per the History Channel, “Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.”

margarita1In the U.S. – right or wrong – with this celebration comes the desire to drink margaritas – more than usual.

I subscribe to the magazine, Texas Monthly, and this month’s issue had a promotion in it that is titled, “Elevate Your Margarita”. They published 18 recipes which you can make at home and then vote for your favorite online. The name and recipe of each margarita is creative and different, but I think my personal favorite (the name) is “Hell Freezes Over”. (Might be a Southern thing.)

TXMthly_MayAs for the creation of the margarita itself, the magazine and its web page state, “Acapulco, 1948. A lovely villa with a pool overlooking the Pacific. Challenged by her friends (who included John Wayne and hotelier Nick Hilton) to come up with a new cocktail, Dallas socialite Margarita Sames concocted a refreshing quaff using limes, local tequila and Cointreau. Hilton began serving the cocktail, now called Margarita, at the Acapulco Hilton. The rest is history.”

Take a gander and let me know what your favorite is, or if you have a completely different version you like to enjoy.

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Sources: History.com and Texas Monthly.

Foodie Friday

lobsterIt’s Friday, which means we get to talk about food!!!

This week I have several goodies to share with you.

First up, food porn! Last week I had lunch with some new foodie friends at Atsumi Asian Kitchen & Sushi Bar. It was sooooo good. Atsumi is an Asian Fusion restaurant that blends traditional Chinese cuisine with a constantly changing sushi menu, centered around the freshest fish. Not only is the chef cooking Asian fusion, there is also a “secret menu” from which you can order traditional dishes that you would find in China. If you’ve been to China and have a favorite dish, just ask your server for it. 

A couple of attendees had sushi and the rolls on their plates looked fabulous! (Unfortunately I didn’t take note of what they ordered.)

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Next up, a recipe titled, “Texas Caviar”. Just in case you don’t know, there are no fish eggs in this recipe. The “roe” is black-eyed peas.

This is a yummy dip that can be made and eaten year-round. The recipe I’m sharing came from my mom, so that is to whom I attribute it. I have no idea where she got it.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 can white hominy, drained
  • 2 cans tomatoes with jalapenos, diced (I use Ro*tel)
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup salsa

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve with whatever corn or tortilla scoops you most enjoy.

Let me know what you think if you try it.

And finally, an interview with Alton Brown by Spoon University. (Disclaimer: I love him and Chef Gordon Ramsay. That is all.) “Alton Brown Dishes on Food Philosophy and Why Millennials Suck – An interview with Alton Brown while on his Edible Inevitable Tour”. (And when Mr. Brown shared this on FB, he made sure we knew that he did not say millennials suck.)

And remember, share your favorite thoughts, recipes, chefs, food television shows, etc., with me and I will happily feature them here!

Sushi photos courtesy of Albert Nurick

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