Friday, August 20, 2010

Texas Time......

Techincal glitches such as OUR COMPUTER COMPLETELY  DYING, and the new desktop NOT having a slot for a memory card oh, and the handy dandy cord that goes from camera to computer is handy-dandily in the storage unit, probably in a box so far down it's in Narnia - have kept me from posting pictures from my Texas business trip, and other foodie fun.  Was that a run-on sentence enough for you grammar police? Of which, I am a card-carrying member, but clearly do not play by the rules.  First, the pretty passable broccoli beef with the calamari appetizer...

The portion, as you can see was, ummmmm let's just say "healthy". I am well known for wanting to eat it all, but blessed with the stomach capacity of, say a walnut.  I have to say, though, that I did a respectable job, and yes, the broccoli was the first I've had in a long time that was not mushy or overcooked.....and that was delivered, no less! The restaurant is called "Asia", and I'd link you to it, but alas, no website. Look them up when you are in Austin...just don't order the szechuan chicken. K?  On to what I was REALLY looking foward to...when in Texas...

EAT BARBECUE! I had the rib and brisket sampler platter from The Green Mesquite and let me tell you, waiting has never been more richly rewarded.  The meats were full of smoky goodness (shout out to my friend Smoking Hobbit - get a load of these!), and the sauce was not overly sweet, and had a good zing to it.  I did not think I would actually despoil the brisket by making a sandwich with the bread, onion and pickle, but I decided to make a small sammy of it, and to be honest, what a combo!  I loved the crunch of that onion (and was grateful that I was alone in a hotel room due to imminent intestinal apocalypse). The beans were tender and flavor-ful, and the extra container of sauce - total brownie points - they know my secret all too well.  It was a good thing indeed that I was in a hotel room, as I needed a bath towel-sized napkin to remove all the saucy evidence from my joyous visage. I loved my trip, picked up some great knowledge from a wonderful lady (JD), and as you can see and read, had some culinary fun as well! Thank you, Austin...your people were kind, your foods were good, and I will come back some time.

When I returned to Alaska, we had one of those rare and precious things - a weekend day that was sunny. My boys up in de house loves them some Gazpacho, that wonderful cold soup from Spain. I have a favorite recipe from a cookbook I bought many moons ago, The Victory Garden Cookbook. Since I love gardening (growing organic vegetables), and cooking, this purchase was a gimme. Here is how I plate the soup for service..

I float the bowl in a larger, stainless steel bowl filled with ice cubes and water, to keep the crunchalicious and  freshy-freshington soup cold. My boyz loved it, and it did not last until the next night.

Well, what's supper without dessert, right?  So, in addition to a fine Syrah, I made these.....

Sweet happy ending...without paying through the nose for a certain rhyming-ly named chocolate-dipped berry company, as usual, I made my own.  Yes, I could have made some white chocolate or icing to drizzle decoratively over the strawberries, but let's face it...we just wanted the good part.

What "famous" dish do you copy successfully? Tell me how good it is!

Eat well my friends, and happy Friday!

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