MORE ICE CREAM - Well, if you missed your free ice cream at Ben and Jerry's yesterday make your way to Baskin and Robins' tonight for some cheap ice cream. Tonight, from 5PM to 10PM Baskin and Robins' is having their 31 Cent Scoop Night. Participating stores will reduce the price of their small scoops of ice cream to 31 cents.
ICE CREAM AND FIREFIGHTERS - Baskin Robins' is having their special price on ice cream to honor and help out America's firefighters. A donation of $100,000 will be given to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. You can make a donation to your local firefighters tonight as you get your 31 cent scoop of ice cream. To learn more about the NFFF go here.
BIRTHDAY ICE CREAM - While you are at Baskin and Robins', why not join their Birthday Club. Sign up and get a free 2.5 ounce scoop on your birthday and get a discount on one of their cakes (which you would never take home and eat all by yourself now would you?) . To sign up go here.
FREE ICE CREAM! FREE ICE CREAM! - Lucky us, Ben and Jerry's turns 30 today and that means we all get free ice cream. To celebrate their birthday, Benjy is giving out free ice cream cones today. Just go in to any participating store (you can find them here) and get a scoop of your favorite flavor. I think after a hard day at work (or school, or napping, or watching hockey games) you deserve some ice cream, so go get your free cone today!
EUPHOI-ANAGRAMS - For their birthday, Benjy has an anagram game you can play to spell out ice cream flavors and tidbits from the companies history. In case you can't figure out what "Nerve Storm" is, they will even give you hints. To play the game go here.
NEW FLAVORS - I'm pretty set in my ways when it comes to ice cream. Pralines and Cream or a version thereof is usually what I order. But if you looking for a new favorite ice cream flavor, or just want to be adventurous, try one of these new flavors at Benjys....Cake Batter, Coconut Seven Layer Bar, Imagine Whirled Peace or One Cheesecake Brownie. Hmmm...that Cake Batter sounds good, maybe I'll give that a try!
UPDATE - Sorry, I forgot to add that there is scrap related info on Ben and Jerry's site. They have an electronic year by year scrapbook of their company. Click on a year and you can find out what new flavors came out that year, see photos of the t-shirts that were available then and read a bit about what was going on with the company at that time. For 30 years of memories, go here.
Once I got comfortable with deep frying (Nutella Ravioli, Orange Drop Doughnuts) I pretty much started looking for any recipe that required frying. I even pulled out the frozen lumpia my mother had given me from her last visit to a Filipino food store and fried some of them up periodically. When I picked up the Thai cookbook at the bookstore, the first page I turned to was for these Crispy Pork Dumplings. Sold.
I can tell you up front that I am not the best dumpling shaper. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't shape these dumplings to in any way shape or form resemble any known dumpling to man.
Though I am getting very comfortable with deep frying in my cast iron skillet, I still have a problem with figuring out just when things are done. It said to fry these dumplings for 45 seconds to 1 minute, but I think as with all the other things I've fried, my oil might be hotter so I probably should have cut the time down.
Next time I would make these a bit spicier. I couldn't find red chilies so maybe using them would have made this have more kick. Figuring out exactly how much filling to put in the dumplings kind of threw me at first. Though some had more filling than others, I did come out with exactly 20 dumplings. The finished photo in the book looked like round won ton wrappers had been used, but it mentioned in the recipe to put the won ton wrapper "like a diamond" which led me to believe I needed to use the square wrappers. Maybe using the round wrappers would have made better looking dumplings. No matter, these tasted really good and we could have cared less what they looked like. We never even sat down to eat them, we just kept finishing off the batches as they came out of the fryer.
I can see playing with the ingredients a bit might lead to different
flavors. If I can figure out how to make decent looking dumplings, I
would make these wonderful bites for a party. Or maybe not. If they don't look good they wouldn't be good enough to take to a party and then I could make them all for myself and I wouldn't have to share.
CRISPY PORK DUMPLINGS Kanom Jeeb Moo Grab
1 small fresh red chili 3 scallions, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped Generous 1 cup fresh ground pork 1 tsp salt 20 won ton skins Peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying
Seed and coarsely chop the chili, then put it into a food processor with the scallions, garlic, pork, and salt and process to a smooth paste.
Remove the won ton skins from the package, but keep them in a pile and covered with plastic wrap to prevent them drying out. Lay one skin on a counter in front of you in a diamond shape and brush the edges with water. Put a small amount of filling near one edge and fold the skin over the filling. Press the edges together to seal the pocket and shape into a semicircle. Repeat with the remaining skins and filling.
Heat the oil in a wok or a deep pan or deep-fat fryer to 350-375 degrees F or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Add the dumplings, in batches, and cook for 45 seconds-1 minute, or until crisp and golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then keep warm while you cook the remaining dumplings. Serve immediately once they are all cooked. Serves 4
Cooks Tip: Always check the temperature of the oil before deep-frying. if the oil is smoking, it is too hot. Remove fro the heat and let cool a little. Do not add too many dumplings at a time, otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop and this will make the dumplings soggy.
Note: I couldn't find any small red chilies so I used a serrano. The green onions were fresh but had been in a section of the fridge where they had frozen so they weren't in the best condition but they still seemed to work.
THAI - A Culinary Journey of Discovery - Judy Williams
This cookbook has a copyright of 2007. I bought this at Barnes and Noble for $6.98 (bargain section) in February. I have never cooked from this before.
This is one of those impulse buy books. I was looking at books in the bargain section (something that I always do) and just happened to pick this up and open it to a dish that I had to make. It was something fried. Trust me, you'll see.
There is a small introduction that lists kinds of equipment used in Thai cooking and some of the key ingredients used. This is a small hardback cookbook so there aren't a lot of recipes (maybe 37). I have no idea if the recipes are authentic or not, but at least there is a photo of each recipe so you have an idea as to how it is supposed to look. Each recipe title is in both English and Thai. Obviously there are some ingredients that might be hard to find for some but I think I could find most in various specialty markets in my area.
Recipes seem pretty straightforward and easy to follow. Maybe not the best for beginner cooks. Some of the recipes sounded really good and I hope to someday soon try the Roast Pork with Pineapple, the Chicken Curry with Fried Noodles, and Roasted Sticky Chicken Wings.
One thing I did find interesting. This book was published in the UK. On the page with the copyright info and the ISBN number, you know, the back side of the title page? There is s a little blurb, in really small text, sandwiched in between picture acknowledgments and who the home economist is called are some "Notes for the Reader". There they tell you that milk is assumed to be whole, pepper is freshly ground black and recipes using raw or very lightly cooked eggs should be avoided by infants, the elderly, and pregnant women. Oh and that's also where they talk about how you should handle the chilies. Seriously, if I hadn't been looking for the copyright info for this post I would have completely missed it. One would think something like that would be a little more prominent!
GROOMS CAKE - I seriously considered having a grooms cake for my wedding. There were two options I was considering. Either a full 3-D Battlestar Galactica Cylon head or the Star Trek emblem from the upcoming movie. Alas, since we went with a cake from Cakework (YUMMY) I didn't have the finances to pull off a grooms cake. But I know if I did, it would have been cool. Which is exactly what I think about the Death Star grooms cake pictured. Yeah, I know, death and weddings don't really go together...but I still think it's cool. To find out more go here. One of these days I'll find a good photo of my wedding cake and post it.
NO CHALUPA GIRLS! - It's always interesting to see what kind of things I post that get the most hits to my blog. Last week I did this post about the new Taco Bell Chalupas. I have gotten so many hits for "Taco Bell Women" and "Chalupa Babes" and "The women in the Taco Bell commercial" since then. And here I thought it was all about the bacon! (And yes, ask Mr. L, I have been bugging him about going and getting a chalupa ever since that post...maybe I need to make him watch the commercial!).
HOCKEY - Round 2. Game 1. Sharks vs Dallas. At The Tank. The playoff ticket to use tonight is the "E" ticket. All I can think of is I hope we aren't in for an "E" ticket ride cuz my little ole heart can't take any more hockey stress! GO SHARKS!
Wow. Just. Wow. It may take a few weeks to wrap my brain around last nights meal...and Esteban, the Maître d', who escorted us to the yummy homemade caramels on our way out (and suggested we take handfuls since we were the last diners to leave) is going to send us a menu of the items we ate so I can give you a taste by taste...but....wow. A culinary experience like no other. Wow.
A year ago April 21st, before family and treasured friends, Mr. L and I were married in San Francisco. A first marriage for us both, it was an absolutely beautiful, wonderful day. Neither one of us can believe the first year of our marriage has gone by so fast.
We thought about going away to some tropical island to celebrate our first anniversary, but since our honeymoon was in Tahiti, we figured spending some time on some tourist filled island just wouldn't be the same. Many other vacation places were considered...Vancouver, Costa Rica, even Paris. But since we have another, ahem, monumental event coming up in a few weeks and we want to save our vacation time for, say, maybe a trip to Tuscany, we decided to spend our anniversary closer to home. So we decided to go back to San Francisco where our wedded bliss started!
Though Mr. L was raised in SF, and I've lived near the city all my life, we rarely go there just to hang out. The day after our wedding last year we played tourist by riding cable cars and visiting some standard tourist attractions, something neither one of us had done in years. We figured for our anniversary, we'd retrace the steps of our first day as a married couple and also partake in some of the excellent restaurants the city had to offer.
Around here we don't celebrate events with just one day. Heck, Christmas has a whole season so why not wedding anniversary's? I'm so full from all the incredible meals we had this vacation, but I'm sure I'll be able to find room to fit in some additional food...as our anniversary week continues with a trip to Manresa in a few days.
I am blessed with a wonderful husband who has embraced this culinary adventure I've taken on since we got married. He patiently waits for me to take photos of his food (he's very good about not taking a bite until I have pulled out my camera and taken a photo or ten) and I heard him say quite frequently this past vacation "You are going to HAVE to blog this". I am so happy to have him on this journey with me.
Because of the nature of our wedding reception and not wanting to have our family and friends wait while we took professional photographs, Mr. L and I "met" before the actual ceremony took place. I was placed in a room by myself and then Mr. L was brought in. One of our friends snapped this photo of us through the door. This is moments after Mr. L was led into the room and was told he could open his eyes and see me for the first time that day. I cherish the photo and the memory...a moment when we were the only two people in the universe...when looking into his eyes, I was filled with such wonderful emotion, and knew that though I had waited many many (many) years for the right man to come along...I had finally found him.
EDIBLE ANIMALS - I completely missed National Animal Cracker Day yesterday (working a 12 hour day will make you forget a lot). Seems the "birth" of Animal Crackers happened on an April 18th. I haven't had animal crackers in years. I remember as a kid, when I'd get a box, I'd separate them into "whole" and "broken" animals. I would then eat all the broken animals. Then I would put all the whole animals together by type...lions in one pile, tigers in another. Then I would decide who my "favorite" animal was and eat that batch last.
KOALA'S - There have been 37 different animals in those little boxes. For the 100th anniversary in 2002 they added the shape of a Koala. Now I'm going to have to go buy a box to see if I can find a Koala cracker!
CRACKERS OR COOKIES - And I don't know about you, but I've always considered those little animals in the box as cookies. They may be made like crackers, but they taste like cookies.
CIRCUS ANIMALS - Of course those little box animals aren't to be confused with Circus Animal Cookies by Mothers (pictured). Those things can be VERY addicting. I took a bag up to my scrap weekend and they disappeared rather quickly. These were much harder to separate into eating categories. Half the time they just looked like "animal blobs" to me. I don't remember spending much time playing with these...I think I just spent more time eating them.
Of course, what I've never figured out, is why it was so appealing as a child to eat things in the shape of animals. I would have thought as a child, that eating a little lamb or koala would have totally freaked me out!