Let's pretend we're on a white sandy beach.....the sun is shining.....the gentle sounds of the surf, along with the faint sounds of a Steele Drum Band are lulling us into a nice, warm, cozy, peaceful state of being.
We are not in _______________ ~ fill in the blank~ (Edmonton), we are somewhere in the Caribbean, on an island.............
On this island it is not 32F/0C outside, unh-unh-unhhhh......it is tropically warm, a cool, soothing seabreeze is in our hair.......it's not the forced hot air system, it the seabreeze......focus! (inhale).
It's 6:00 AM and I'm awake (barely) - proofing dough, brewing coffee, and setting up a make-shift deep fryer; barefoot, clad in my sleepshirt, and rocking some serious bedhead...aaannd a dried glob of Proactive Refinig Mask (invincible pimple) - square in the middle of my forehead. THAT'S how badly I want to have Sweet Bread for Easter! You feel me?
My Mom's family is Portuguese; we always had sweet bread for Easter breakfast, always. The malasadas? Well, those were just an added bonus.
This past weekend, "Maine Maple Sunday" was celebrated throughout the state of Maine. On this day most of the sugarhouses in Maine offer free samples, an inside glimpse of how maple syrup is made, and other maple related events and activities.
When S & I lived in southern Maine, Thurston and Peters Sugar House was one of our favorite maple syrup providers. Located in West Newfield, they have been carrying out their families traditional maple making ways since 2007. They offer a video on their website - about 10 minutes long - explaining the history of their land and the maple making process. For a direct link to the video Click HERE.
Up until the Spring of 2012, people with peanut and tree nut allergies were able to enjoy Cadbury Creme Eggs & Cadbury Mini Eggs. Then, like a veritable white-gloved, English gentleman's slap across the face ~(SLAP)~ these two candies were stamped with the "may contain traces of peanuts, and or tree nuts" warning. (said in super slow-mo: nnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooo!)
At first S was in denial...he waited ALL YEAR for Cadbury eggs; creme eggs, caramel eggs, orange-creme eggs, and mini eggs. I had to physically remove him from the cardboard Easter display while shopping - white knuckles...it wasn't pretty. It was a sad day.
As the end of Vegan Week began to approach, I kind of stressed out over this post. I had a few ideas kicking around in my head, but I wasn't sure what exactly my final ode to veganism would entail. That was until a saw these beauties at the store. (FIRST and SECOND vegan posts this week.)
I whipped up a quick batch of Oat Milk for this, but feel free to your milk of choice. Since I had all the leftover pulp, I decided to use this in my smoothie - rolled oats will work just fine, as well.
Vegan week continues! Here is my second post, for your dairy-free, meat-free lifestyle. Check out my last post for more veggie-loving, tree-hugging options ;o)
Quinoa was at the height of its popularity in 2012, with the exception of The Bachelorette and her bachelor-men, they didn't want to eat it. Go figure. Now cauliflower is taking center stage: Cauliflower, the new Quinoa...don't tell quinoa this however, she can be such a diva.
As Vegan Week continues, I thought of cauliflower. Upon several google searches, I decided to try Dan Barber's Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree. It looked interesting, the yin and yang of cauliflower, if you will: the steaks sauteed, browned, and slightly al dente - the puree, creamy and smooth - very mashed potato-like.
We're going VEGAN here this week on Soliloquy Of Food & Such! Yay.......yay? Yes. Whoo hoo, yay, vegan! All three posts this week will be meat-free and dairy-free; Morrisey would approve.
So, my gurl Shurl....um, actually, she's Shirley....and, technically, she's my brother's girl...I just like saying: my gurl Shurl...humor me, people. Anywho, Shirley had requested some vegan dishes; her and my brother have been pretty much vegetarian for the past 6 months, or so, and toying with the idea of going full-on vegan. Me? Sorry, I love cheese too much, but I can try it for a week...maybe.
If everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, then everybody is a Guido on St. Joseph's Day (March 19th)...and if you wear green for Luck Of the Irish, then wear red for Italy!
Come, on...let's all do our favorite Sopranos impression. I gotta go with Paulie Walnuts...this scene specifically: "Tony Soprano: [over the phone] It's a bad connection so I'm gonna talk fast! The guy you're looking for is an ex-commando! He killed sixteen Chechen rebels single-handed!
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: Get the BLEEP outta here.
Tony Soprano: Yeah. Nice, huh? He was with the Interior Ministry. Guy's like a Russian green beret. He can not come back and tell this story. You understand?
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: I hear you. [hangs up]
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: You're not gonna believe this. He killed sixteen Czechoslovakians. Guy was an interior decorator.
Christopher Moltisanti: His house looked like BLEEP." ~ IMDb Quotes from Paulie 'Walnuts" Gualtieri from "The Sopranos" (1999)
A few years ago, Red Robin had the most wonderful featured burger, it was only available only for a short time...(~queue the Italian Mafia music~) The "Wise Guy". It was like a meatball sandwich on crack! Marinara and fried cheese sticks(!) atop a big ole burger, garnished with pepperoni and banana pepper rings. oh. my. word. Needless to say, it was a nutritionist's nightmare...it was delicious.
We normally hit up the Red Robin once every couple of months. That month we went back twice! We even convinced the kitchen to keep making them after the promotion had ended, and they happily accommodated our requests. Eventually, they discontinued ordering the mozzarella sticks and banana peppers. no. more. Wise Guys. ( ~tear~ ) So this is an ode to my favorite discontinued Red Robin burger....
The Fugetaboutit Burger. Ironic because you will not forget about it, it will haunt you in your dreams. It will show up wearing a velour track suit, with its hair slicked back, with its pinkie rings all a bling, and with its gold medallion rope chain..."how YOU doin'?"
I miss the ocean like crazy...I miss the heavy scent of the sea early in the morning...I miss being pulled walking the dog on the sand - how he would ferociously charge and chase the tide (I know, he's a goon)...I miss watching the lobster boats come in with the day's catch - and I never thought I'd say this, I miss the seagulls. I also miss fresh-from-the-dock seafood. Alberta is know for its beef...seafood?...not so much. Plus, it's expeeennnnsive, averaging $2-3 dollars/100 grams, $9-13.50/ pound...yikes!
So, with that being said I decided on mussels for my seafood fix. They are: (1) sustainable, (2) cheap, (3) quick and easy to prepare. I saw these PEI cultured mussels on my latest grocery jaunt, the answer to my seashore cravings. I also grabbed a few baking potatoes (I had one sweet potato on-hand), some fresh Portuguese rolls, and the rest of the ingredients for my mussel-mania-meal.
Pretzel Milk. I know, it seems a little odd when you think about it. Roast up some pretzels, soak them in milk, strain, (eat a soggy pretzel just to see what it tastes like)....boom, ya' just made pretzel milk.
I'm pretty sure that Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, NY created this phenomenon, which can be found in their book, Momofuku Milk Bar. One of the blogs I follow did a post featuring a recipe from this book, instructing how to make pretzel milk into ice cream; I almost fainted when I read it. Pretzel Ice Cream Pie, encased in a sweet and salty pretzel crust, with homemade magic shell topping? Get the smelling salts, woman down!
If you're from Rhode Island, or the nearby area, then you're probably familiar with the readily available fresh, local pizza dough...Calvitos, Crugnales, DePetrillo's, DeFuscos (just to name a few). Each bakery has their own secret recipe portioned out in 1 pound bags; you take it home, let it rise on the counter for 30-45 minutes, and your good to go.
One might say I am dough obsessed...as I mentioned in my last post, my family owned a Deli in Cranston, RI throughout the late 70's and the 80's. Louie's Deli, formerly Vinny's Bakery....I know, right?...totally not mafia related, but straight up old school Italian. Crugnales Bakery was our dough supplier, they delivered 2-3 times a week. This is the dough that was used to make RI pizza strips, spinach pies and coneschones (deli meat and cheese filled calzone). I will be doing a separate post on all of these later (~teaser~).