Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Favorite Christmas Day Tradition....

A favorite tradition that our family loves to do every Christmas is Chocolate Fondue. Unfortunately, we do not own an actual fondue no long forks. This one is on next Christmas present I suppose. Hint* Here is our favorite recipe.

Chocolate Caramel Fondue
3 chunks of unsweetened baking chocolate
1 can of condensed milk
1 jar of caramel sauce
marshmallows, dried apricots, strawberries, apples, bananas, oranges, pretzels, graham crackers, pound cake, sugar cookies... (Anything that goes well with chocolate!!)

Combine in a saucepan on low heat until the chocolate is melted. ENJOY!! No double dipping allowed!!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Naughty and Nice Drinks For Your Waistline

Calorie Culprits to Avoid:
This yuletide favorite is heavy with calories and fat -- containing eggs, sugar, brandy or rum.Six fluid ounces of eggnog without alcohol has 257 calories and 14 grams of fat (more than a Snickers bar). Add some distilled spirits and your holiday drink has more than 300 calories.

Hot Toddies
A glass of this drink will warm you up and loosen your spirit, but the calorie count will leave you cold.A hot toddy with 2 ounces of liquor (brandy) is about 200 calories, and that's without the whipped cream.Creamy liquors like Baileys, Kahlua, amaretto and schnapps are particularly dangerous, averaging about 100 calories an ounce.

A fruity martini is a fattening fright. Lemon drops, appletinis or cosmopolitans -- their sweet taste is bad news for the hips."Most martinis have 2 to 5 ounces of liquor, and the sugary syrups they're made with can add up to more than 800 calories in one drink,"

What could be more festive than a margarita -- frozen or on the rocks?A regular margarita bright with flavor -- and sugars -- has about 400 calories. Couple it with a heavy Mexican meal and you have a recipe for diet disaster.

Mixed Drinks
What's your potion of choice? The fancier the drink, the faster calories add up.Remember, one and a half ounces of 80-proof spirits is 65 calories. Add six ounces of calorie-laden soda or a variety of syrups and you're well over the calorie count for a "light" drink.

Lighter Choices: Champagne
Ringing in the new year with a traditional toast of this bubbly beverage won't wreak havoc on your waistline. At 100 calories a flute, you can drink to your weight-loss resolution without feeling guilty.

Wine Spritzer
Ease into the holiday spirit with this light beverage. Wine spritzers are half wine and half club soda. With three ounces of wine and three ounces of club soda, wine spritzers top out at about 60 calories and zero grams of fat. But oh so boring!

Red Wine
Recent studies show the benefits of drinking a glass of red wine for your health. Opt for red and you'll get a healthy dose of disease-fighting flavonols and age-defying reservatrol too.A glass of wine typically weighs in at 100 calories. I approve.

Light or regular, a bottle of beer is a much better option than most cocktails. The drink has a bad reputation associated with the "beer belly." But the calories in beer versus a martini might shock the most diligent dieter.Regular beer has 150 calories to the bottle, while light has about 100. But not my cup of tea.

Vodka (or Gin) with or without Soda
Sparkly mixers -- like gin and tonic or a vodka cooler -- can keep you light and merry at the same times. Most mixers with 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits and diet tonic or club soda have less than 100 calories and no fat. Top this refreshing drink with a wedge of lime or fruit and we are in business.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

How to Make the Perfect Cosmopolitan

1 oz vodka should be a top-shelf vodka. (very important)
1/2 oz Cointreau do not use triple sec, no matter what anyone else will tell you.
1/2 oz Rose's lime juice
1/2 oz cranberry juice

Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and remember just a drop of cranberry juice, we don't want this drink to be too sweet, shake vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.
To your Good Health

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sugar Cookies

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This is a family favorite...we always look forward to making these every year with the children. The cookies are soft and they melt in your mouth...

1 cup of butter or two sticks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 T vanilla
2 egg yolks
4 cups of flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in yolks, one at a time. Add sour cream, and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients...then mix all ingredients together. Put in the refridgerator to chill...I put some on cling wrap and flatten...and then put in the fridge. After it has chilled a couple of hours...roll out and cut out with cookie cutters. Bake 10-12 minutes. Mix together ingredients for the frosting. Frost the cookies when they have cooled.

8 oz room temperature cream cheese
1 stick of butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T vanilla
food coloring and sprinkles (optional)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Balthazar Restaurant Soho, New York

Balthazar Restaurant Bistro Located at 80 Spring St New York, NY 10012 (212) 941-0364
What makes New York one of the very best restaurant Cities in the World? Places like Balthazar. This is a place that makes you feel exactly like your in Paris. I’ve been to many, US States and Cities, places like Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, and of course New Orleans. But take it from me, NY has the edge on them all. And places like Balthazar are as unique as they come. You are going to feel like you've just stepped off the Rue Montmartre and into a nouveau monde. If you're in the mood for a quiet romantic dinner, I suggest going some where else. This is not that kind of place, in fact it’s just the opposite The very minute you walk in you are going to have to walk through a maze of tables and busboys and waiters and waiters stands etc. And when you finally get to your seat, after waiting about anywhere from a half an hour to a hour, you're practically in the lap of the couple sitting at the table next to you. But don’t get put off by that, it’s not really a bad thing, not here. By the end of dinner you're certain to know where they're from and what they're doing that evening. Trust me, this is one thing that usually puts me off as well, but here, it’s part of their charm.
The food and service are well worth the wait and the cramped in feeling at your tiny table. And once you look at that menu of delicious brasserie standards like frisee au lardoons, pan bagnat, steak frites, and a glistening raw bar built for royalty, this is my all time favorite. It’s a three teir platter of ice with all kinds of shell fish goodies, like shrimp, stone crabs, a variety of maybe 4 types of oysters, clams, mussels and some things that you won’t even recognize. And then there’s the selection of fresh baked bread from the Balthazar bakery next door. A basket of about 5-6 kinds from black bread to raison bread to scones and more. Be sure to pick up a bag of croissants, a couple of baguettes, and a dozen rolls on your way out for breakfast or lunch (or a midnight snack). Balthazar is fun, and loud, and in its own electric way, it's flawless.
A meal here with a great bottle of wine, and you are all set for a great evening.....
A Votre Sante, (to your health)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Chocolate Martini

Chocolate Martini
A Great Holiday Cocktail
4 ozs.Godiva Chocolate liqueur
3 ozs Kettle One Vodka
1 oz semisweet Chocolate, grated
Combine the chocolate liqueur and the vodka in a cocktail mixer full of ice.
Shake it up real vigorously and strain into two chilled martini glasses. One for you and one for your significant other.
Trim it with chocolate grated shavings, and serve.
Warning: Don't try to drink more than 2

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Here's a new Rub...

It's been awhile since a post has appeared here from Ms. A. -- life is busy and stressful. But that doesn't mean a gal doesn't have to eat. Even entertain...dinner guests pictured here...

On Sunday, we had dinner guests. To keep the meal economical, I made a roasted chicken. The meal was simple, but it turned out very well. I used a fall/winter type of approach to seasonings. It just seemed appropriate -- comfort food just seems right for an informal gathering this time of year!

I love serving sweet potatoes with a roasted chicken. I started with one of my favorite ways to make them -- an oily rub. Just mix brown sugar, kosher salt and extra virgin olive oil in a small dish. Take a basting brush and coat the sweet potatoes.

For the chicken, I used the same rub as I did for the potatoes -- but with an added dimension. I added minced garlic from a jar, and a healthy dose of "Soul Food Seasoning." That was a cheap condiment from the dollar store that I like to use for rubs, stews, etc. I also added in some honey. This was brushed liberally on the bird (doesn't she look nice?).

Once the bird was in the pan, I added equal parts of broth and apple cider -- so that there was about a cup of liquid. The bird cooked at 450 for about a half hour, then I turned the temp down to about 375. The potatoes went in at that time. For the spuds... be aware that the oil in the rub will cause some drippage. These buggers taste best when baked directly on the rack -- so to avoid messing the oven too much, place a sheet of foil on the rack beneath.

For veggies, we had left-over "yuppie carrots" -- that's what we call the pre-washed cut variety that cost a bit more. Into the mix, I added sliced red peppers and onion. This was seasoned with dill, garlic, olive oil, and the remains of a can of candied ginger. I started it off in the microwave, then finished it in the oven while I let the chicken set (prior to carving).

The meal was very very yummy. Even though we had plenty to serve four, there was enough meat left over to add to a crockpot of "stoup" (my hybrid of soup and stew) I had going. It was my "lunch for the week" project.

I know this is a simple meal, but I like to post about comfort foods and unusual ways of bringing flavors of the season into the things we make. I don't know if anyone else has ever roasted a chicken using apple cider -- but it works!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chola Indian Restaurant, New York City

Located at 232 E 58th St New York City, Chola has it all. Incredible food, hospitable, friendly service, clean, warm atmosphere and reasonable prices.
A must if you like indian food but you better beware, all the others will seem only so-so after this.
They have an excellent variety and quality of food. More creative menus than most other Indian restaurants, and a chef that really knows his business.
On my last visit, if I remember correctly I had the daal, that was very good as was the chicken Chutneywala and the extraordinary Lamb Vindaloo. Ah just mop up the Vindaloo sauce with a side of Onion Nan

and you just can't ask for more. If your forehead don't start to sweat, then something went wrong.
I'm telling you, I've been to all of them and there just ain't none better. By the looks of this wonderful place your going to think that it's expensive, but my friends, you will be suprised when you get the check. So give Chola a try, your in for an night of a culinary experience. There is a very good reason that this restaurant has been in business for so long. By the way, they claim that they are Martha Stewart's favorite Indian restaurant.
The food is so fresh, the nan (bread) so hot, the service is very good. I come here often to have lunch at their eat at the buffet, where they lose money on me: I can easily go back 3 times to the buffet table

Monday, December 3, 2007

There are not too many places anywhere that you could say "This Is The Best" especially if you are talking about restaurants. I've seen it refered to as The Temple to the Gods of Japanese food. If you put the two words New York and Japanese Restaurant together into a search engin, I would bet the result would be Masa. Located on the 4th floor in the Time Warner Building at 10 Columbus Circle, New York City, NY. This great restaurant is run by Owner and Chef Masayoshi Takayama who does magnificent things with Sushi. This is a place where there is no menu at all the Chef adjusts his meals to available seasonal ingredients. This elegantly designed Japanese restaurant with perhaps the best Japanese chef in America has only about 25 seats, so you can only imagine how hard it is to get a reservation.Now I’m going to ask you to hold your breath because I’m going to tell you about the prices. I have very little doubt that this place is most likely the most expensive restaurant in New York City. A dinner at Masa starts about $400 per person, yes i did say starts, drinks and any other beverages are additional , an automatic 22 percent service charge is added directly onto your check and then there is a 81/4 percent sales tax. So figure about $500 per person.Now Mesa is not by any means a Sushi restaurant not at all. He does so many wonderful things such as shredded, pickled seafood , his tuna belly tartare with a touch of caviar is to die for, the fish's pristine quality will drive you to crave another bite and another and another. . But Masa also has other ideas: Sea bass with sprouts, and vinegar and salt which sushi chefs call namino hana, or flower of the waves, a dish that leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue, which lingers for minutes. A little bowl of Foie Gras and eel called hamo comes in a delicate soy broth, a signature dish here at Masa. If you have ever tried and you like it as much as I do. This is a place where you are going to say, "no body does it better"Sabu-shabu is a very famous Japanese dish that you kind of cook yourself at your table. The waiter will bring you a hot pot of broth wih sides of beef, (in this case Kobe Beef) very thinly sliced with a few different kinds of japanese veggies. You put the beef and veggies into the steaming hot broth and cook it for only about 30 seconds and take them out and savor the flavor.If you like Sushi as I do, try his Akagai (red clam) sushi, Aoyagi (orange clam) sushi, Aji (horse mackerel) sushi, Grilled hotate (scallop) sushi, Grilled shiitake sushi, Saba (mackerel) sushi, Sayori (needlefish) sushi, Wild unagi (freshwater eel) sushi, Akami (lean tuna) sushi, Grilled o-toro sushi, Nori-wrapped uni sushi, Nori-wrapped baby hotategai, Hokkigai (surf clam) sushi, Ama ebi (sweet shrimp) sushi, Anago (sea eel) sushi, O-toro and chutoro (marbled tuna belly) name a few.. But if you are not a Sishi fan, go anyway, there are so many other things to experience. just tell your waiter what you like or disklike and you will be well taken care of. .If you've got money to spend and are interested in splurging at one of New York City's best and probably most expensive restaurants, look no further than Masa. But like I told you before, Reservations are not only required but almost impossible to get. A place like this is usually book up a month or two in advance. Call the restaurant, see if I'm kidding. Tell them that DD2 sent you. 212-823-9800

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Located at 75 9th AveNew York, NY
I could eat here every night . When you check in for reservations--a half dozen cute chic’s all dressed in black are behind a long counter. And one will escort you to their nice large bar area, where it’s going to cost you a small fortune for a few drinks...LOL.
The hardest part of a visit to Buddakan is deciding what to eat. The menu has so many good choices that we always seem to over-order by at least one dish. A group of four is perfect because you can taste a wider selection as most dishes are perfect to share. If you're dining as a couple you'll have to make some hard decisions. But you really can't go wrong in our experience. I have been lucky enough to have dined here 4-5 times and sampled probably 15 of their appetizers and entrees. I never had a disappointment. Admittedly, I like Chinese food a lot. E would say that even in Hong Kong Buddakan would be considered a top restaurant. On my most recent visit around Thanksgiving week our waiter advised us to try some kind of pumpkin dumpling special he said had been very popular was that great. The things that will keep me coming back is the food always seems to arrive hot, straight from the kitchen as Asian food should; the service is super, the atmosphere is beyond belief, and the restaurant really succeeds on the details: the jasmine tea is excellent, the rice is top quality (if you think all rice is the same, try a chopstick of plain white rice at Buddakan - it must be high grade Thai rice) I always seem to have one of the BEST meals ever. The edamame dumplings are to die for, as are the rock shrimp & the sliced beef .I highly recommended the Taro Puffs. Two entrees to share, sweet and crispy shrimp were great as well as the sizzling short rib. As were the chow fun noodles. I highly this wonderful restaurant and as i said before I recommend the edamame dumplings it will knock your socks off, and the sauce is heavenly. Their great food as well as their very courteous and attentive wait staff will make you want to return often.. Don’t forget your Credit card.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Maya Mexican Restaurant Both Delicious and Beautiful

Maya Restaurant located at 1191 1st Avenue, New York - (212) 585-1818
One bite and you will will understand how complex and wonderful Mexican food can really be. After quenching your initial thirst with one of the many excellent tequilas, served traditionally with a sangrííta (a thick fruity concoction) in a chunky Mexican glass, move on to spiced-to-your-taste guacamole or ceviche of mahi mahi. This great Chef who is also the Owner Richard Sandoval's
Fabulous food is 500 percent better than the run-of-the-mill stuff served in many other restaurants that claim to be Mexican. The chile relleno is a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp, scallops, calamari and Manchego cheese, posed on Black bean puree. The chile relleno is a dish that I must have every time I’m there. My suggestion is to try the grilled Pork Tenderloin served with roasted corn puree and pumpkinseed sauce; or his excellent grilled filet mignon with a Chocolate mole poblano cheese enchilada;( is that redundant? Isn’t all mole Chocolate?) I think it is..any way or if you like fish, try pan-roasted sea bass with cactus salad and grilled, cilantro-flecked shrimp. I hope I’m spelling these dishes correctly, if I’m not, who’s going to know the difference, right?
By the way, I first found out the expertise of this great Chef Richard Sandoval when i was in Acapulco, he has another fabulous restaurant there up on the very top of the mountain when you can dine or have a drink and look at the Bay all lit up at night. Talk about beautiful.
To get back to Restaurant Maya, the chef He combines his Mexican classics with the new trendy way of dining of today’s modern way of cooking.
Hands down this is the best Mexican restaurant in New York. Both the food as well as the drinks at the Bar which is too small are awesome
Just a word or two about the beauty of this fine place. As I said, this is not one of the run of the mill Mexican joints, this is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever seen. It personifies class both in looks and in service which is both very efficient and extremely friendly.

Peter Luger's A Name Famous World Wide

Peter Luger's Steak House, Brooklyn, New York . They have been voted the number ONE restaurant in New York for the past 15 years.
If Your talking about New York and also talking about Steak, you must be talking about Peter Luger's Steak House, Brooklyn, New York. And if you are talking about Peter Luger’s you just have to be talking about their Brooklyn location. They do have another location in Great neck, Long Island, but I’m going to tell you to forgetaboutit.
Any New Yorker will tell you that it just ain’t the same.
Located at the foot of the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge is a place that has been there since well before I was born, in fact, i just looked it up and it was started in 1887. So I was right, that was before I was born.
Some people say that it was originated by a meat God. Nothing to look at, it’s really nothing fancy, it kind of resembles a German beer-hall, with gruff and at times unceremonious waiters that sometimes look like they have been there since 1887 when this place first opened.
Luger’s is an Steak Lovers delight if you have ever seen one. they have been delivering mouthwatering porterhouse steaks prepared in a way that has not changed in more than 100 years. Your waiter will tell you to tart with a tomato and onion salad, doused with steak sauce and he is right. Or their Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Your Porterhouse steak will be excellent - perfectly cooked, extremely tender, and amazing tasty, I guess they have some super beef secret. Because nobody does it better. It might be better to go with a group of 3-4 people so that you can try multiple types of steaks. It would be a shame to just try one. And for you Lobster lovers, this is one of the best place to get those as well.
Be prepared for a long wait for your table even if you made your reservation 30 days ago, (and you must) but they have a great Bar with a great bartender and a fun Bar crowd ranging from from Wall Street Brokers to People on Dates or just folks going out for a great time. You’ll see just about all types there drinking loads of Vocka’s, Scotch, Beer and Martinis. And all with heavy Brooklyn accents I’m sure your going to be are completely full by the end of the meal but if you are not, try the Apple Strudel, Cheese Cake, or their Bavarian Crepe Cake
And by the way, come with lots of cash, this is one of the few places in the world where no credit cards are accepted except their own. Of which I happen to have. Oh, and if you are interested, a Steak dinner with all the trimmings will run you about $90.00 per person

New York's Latest Craze Is BBQ

Yes, New York's Latest Craze Is BBQ places. You see new ones opening up around here almost every week.
Ok, it doesn’t really sound like a New York type of restaurant. And it’s not, but who cares, we can’t always look for up-scale and class places when we crave good food in New York. I for one sometimes have a obsession for some good old down to earth, mouth watering, finger licking goodies. And when I do, one of the places to visit to satisfy my cravings is a Barbecue place. Yep at times I really get a strong wish for something that promises to bring pleasure to the table. Here's a stick to your Ribs place I think you will really enjoy. Georgia's Eastside BBQ, on the East Side of Manhattan is such a place. Located about a block from the famous Katz's Delicatessen that we will visit in the near future. At Georgia’s BBQ, . the barbecue is beer-steamed, then grilled. Ever try that? No, it’s not very traditional, but if you haven’t, it’s surly worth a try. Start off with a BBQ wings appetizer. These are meaty wings and a real plentiful plate full. Saucy, yes, but not drowning in sauce and boy do they have a great crust. The sauce is really cooked into these wings, almost caramelized. Yummy yummy.....Now you are ready to try the BBQ Chicken dinner a Chicken that is very moist and as were with the wings, not over-sauced; the chicken is coated with a sticky, delicious glaze. They serve baby backs here which happens to be MY favorite and they present them on a cutting board (a nice touch), no knife is needed. they fall right off the bone. As good Baby back ribs should, meaty and moist with a nice char from the grill and just the right amount of sauce.
I do miss the smoke flavor, but they are not done that way here. The meat just pulls off with the slightest of touch of your fork, and a subtle beer flavor comes through. As I told you they would be, these are bone-sucking, finger-licking good! Sides of baked beans, green beans, potato salad, cornbread and french fries are a perfect match to the succulent meat. The baked beans taste just like I remember them when I was a kid. . The potato salad is made with red bliss potatoes. The basket of cornbread is moist is buttery as they come and I can guarantee that your going to ask for more. By the way, this place has a l simple platter make up of almost all the items that they have.. It’s a good way to taste everything and not get to crazy. The waiters and the rest of the staff are great, and that always makes your meal more pleasing. If you're looking for barbecue in New York, give this place a try for really good comfort food that always puts a smile in my belly.
So my favorite BBQ restaurant recommentation in New York would be Georgia's...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do not be afraid of Coconuts

A lot of people love the taste of coconut but are scared to use them in food.The look of a coconut scares them.
So heres my easy,breezy solution!
Normally cocnuts sold in the US are half cracked so you dont have to struggle with opening them.My method is a hard whack with a hammer!!!I like to drink the water that comes out.

An easy way to get the pulp/flesh of the coconut out is to use a butter knife.Hold the opened coconut at an angle and cut a line close to the edge and then go under the pulp and push up(kinda like serving a slice of cake).
I put the pieces in the blender and powder it very finely.And then I freeze it.
We use coconut powder on almost everything.My most favorite is to cut beans into small 1" lengths and boil it till almost done and add coconut and salt.We usually eat that with rice and a gravy of some sort at home in India.
You could do that with almost any vegetable.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finding a good Chinese restaurant in New York

Finding a good Chinese restaurant in New York is like asking someone to find a blade of grass in Central Park. One does not have to go to New York’s Chinatown which does have loads of really great places, but that’s fine and it's a great choice for visitors to New York City. Chinatown is a popular tourist destination There are many, many restaurants in Chinatown that are affordable as well as delicious, and most Chinatown restaurants can accommodate you without a reservation. But don’t be shocked if you are in and out in a New York minute. But for some really good, and I mean really great Chinese food, go to some of the other areas. Like downtown Manhattan, Chelsea, Flushing Queens, and even Brooklyn.
For Chinatown dining, I’d say it’s not really the authentic stuff that I like, it’s fine don’t get me wrong, but it’s not for me. Not these days. Years ago sure, I used to go there very often, but Chinese food has come a long way since then.
If you're looking for spicy, Sichuan cuisine, the kind that I love, the kind that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and brings a sweat to your forehead, you gotta go to Grand Sichuan International and go to the one on 9th Avenue and 24th. Street. This is the real thing. But please, stick to the Sichuan dishes don’t order the old one. from column "A" thing like they do in Iowa. Try the ma po in spicy oil, or the fresh-killed Crabs, or the whole fish in Sichuan sauce, or maybe the crispy Fish and the smoked Tea-Duck, Dan Dan Noodles with Chile Sauce, Clams with Black Bean Sauce, Sichuan Spicy Soft Shell Crab,Hot & Sour Noodle with shredded Pork, I have tried many dishes, and most of them are extremely delicious. They have a hand written menu that is about 5 inches thick and every dish is beautifully described, almost like poetry.
.At this wonderful place you simply can't go wrong. It’s not a pretty to place but you will find it to be pleasant and sometimes it's tough just getting the waiters to notice you're there. But I challenge anyone to beat the quality of this Chinese food or the price

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New York's Best Steak Houses

First let me say that there is not one single Steak House in New York that you could call the best.
There are so many of them. I’m talking about the really great ones. But to get started, lets start with "The Strip House" Truly a excellent Steak House in the greatest city in the world
You won't find a better steak anywhere than the double-cut New York strip steak served in this famous and almost impossible to get into Steak House. Make your reservation at least 30 days in advance and you’ll have a chance to indulge in this meat lovers paradise. . Eat your way through their exquisitely seasoned, tenderest, most mouth-filling, flavorful beef imaginable
But unless you have plenty of time to spare dinner this can be a problem here. You are going to have to be ready to wait about one hour or more past your reservation time for a table. Is it worth the wait? Oh Yes! Wait up front, at the old fashioned looking bar where the drinks are sensational and where your going to find guys in jeans and in suits, and the ladies in everything from mini skirts to gowns. The clubby looking wood-paneled dining room has that old steak house look to it even though this place is fairly new.
This place is one of the "hottest tickets" in town What draws them in are two things, one, it’s such a hot place that everyone wants to see it and try it, but secondly and most importantly is the steaks, you can compare the steaks among the best the city has to offer, juicy filet mignon, porterhouse for 2 or 3 or 4, rib eyes, and sliced steak bordelaise. There are thick pork chops and meaty veal chops, and for those who don't like meat, check out their mammoth broiled lobsters. I’m talking about lobsters that start a 2 ½ pounds and go up to 6 pounds. Sides are the usual steakhouse choices, although the creamed. spinach 6-8 kinds of potatoes, here they are famous for their crisp goose-fat potatoes. mounds of onion rings and salads that are the best you’ve ever had, toped with every kind of cheese imaginable
The steaks are cooked to perfection, they have an enormous wine list that will complimented the food nicely The wine list is said to be among the most extensive in Manhattan, and there are plenty of affordable choices and the service is always spectacular I can’t say enough about the service here, these guys know their jobs. And most of them have been with the restaurant from day one.
Oh just one more thing, be prepared to spend from about $125.00 to $150.00 per person for a steak dinner with a glass or two of wine.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jacques-Imo's Restaurant, New Orleans

Every person has his or her own favorite restaurant. And when your in a town like this you have more of a problem deciding where to go because the choices are so many. The nice thing about New Orleans you almost can't go wrong.So many great places so little time.. It's tough or maybe I should say, it’s just about impossible to get a really bad meal in New Orleans. If I were you, I would think about WHY you want to go to a particular restaurant. If the primary reason is for good food, you'll be OK in most places. If you want to add the requirement for great service, reasonable prices, and a pretty ambience, then you begin to narrow the list. Obviously, you don't go to Jacques-Imo's for ambience, unless you want to see the hectic ambience of a crowded and noisy place where people are all having fun just eating.

If your staying in the French Quarter of New Orleans, then you will be taking a taxi to Jacques-Imo's, it’s located in what is known as the up-town section, really off location is off-the-beaten-track The taxi ride will run you anout $15.00 each way. But trust me,it's worth it If you ask me if you should bother? Well, does a bear crap in the woods?The down side (if any) of this great find is they don't accept reservations so you may have to wait for a bit, but they have a really lively bar area, where you can wait, and where everyone, strangers or not get into a conversation about food.
Jacque Imo's is what is wonderful about New Orleans restaurants, which is you come for the food but you stay for the people. The selection is terrific and atmosphere is casual, friendly and the drinks are delish. Everything here is great, but I would recommend getting adventurous....from the alligator cheesecake, to the chocolate bread pudding souffle. So if you are ever in New Orleans try a night a Jacque Imo's. You won't be disappointed

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tandoori Drums *************** smileysub

I love tandoori chicken.... their absolutely yum, succulent and can be eaten with anything.... breads, rice, naans.... I usually gobble up my roti and then slowly eat my chicken... hmmm... yum... anyway, here goes...

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup Tandoori paste (found in Indian markets)

2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp of turmeric

Blend well.

Rinse 12 medium chicken drumsticks in cold water.

Place it in the tandoori marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours... usually tastes better after its marinaded overnight.

Drain the chicken well and then cook on a medium hot grill for 5 mins.

Turn over and then grill for another 7-10 mins.

Serve with steamed rice or a side dish of your choice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cutlets,patties or croquettes******************frasypoo

This is something that I always make when I have guests over.Its easy makes a million cutlets and everyone (with the exception of my husband)love it!I always make them out of fish and it never has a fishy odor


I use any type of fish or chicken or beef.I have never combined differant types of meat though just each by themself

If you are vegetarian,use veggies only

4 Carrots

6 potatoes(you can use less or more,it forms the main base)

1 cup beans

1 lemon

Finely chopped green chillies

1 onion chopped finely

1 can bread crumbs

2 eggs

salt to taste

Oil to fry

Steam the meat,carrots,beans and potatoes till done.When cool mash with hands into a well blended mixture.

Fry onions in 1 tsp oil till pink and add to the mashed mixture.Squeeze lemon juice into it.If mixture feels a little runny add bread crumbs till firm.Add salt to taste and finely chopped chopped green chillies to mixture.

Heat a little oil in pan(enough to shallow fry)

Beat the eggs and pour in a bowl.Spread bread crumbs on a plate

Make potato mashed mixture into balls and flatten into little ovals/circles etc.Coat in egg and then bread crumbs and place in oil.Cook both sides till brown

Cooking at home **********~h~

When we cook, it's a family affair. All three of us are in the kitchen, preparing something. L (daughter) helps with prep work. J (husband) likes to make the salad and cook the meat. I usually take on the vegetable side and flat bread. So here’s what we had on Sunday. Flat bread with a potato side dish or as we would say in our native tongue (which is Kannada), chappathi (chupp-aa-thee) and aloogadde (aaa-looo-gadd-ey, which means potato) palya (which means side dish).

Last night we had chicken tenders stir fried with green peppers, onions, mushrooms and green chilli peppers, herb-roasted potato slices, spinach and dal (lentils), cucumber/tomato/onion salad, and chappathis. J was complaining that his chicken dish and salad weren’t prepped for a good photo shot. He said his dishes are more focused on the taste and not on presentation for others…I think he was still hoping I wasn’t going to put up this picture of his dishes for all to see! Too late….here it is!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bird in a Bag

This week's chicken was sort of a product testing opportunity. Rather than stuffing a bird with refrigerator leftovers, a new Purdue product was given a try.

Purdue now makes oven-roasters, preseasoned and sealed in a roasting bag. The product is basically idiot proof. Put the bag in a baking dish, at 450 degrees, and let it go for 90 minutes.

The pros: it is easy to bake, easy to clean up. The flavor is pretty good.
The cons: can't stuff it, the skin is not crispy, no giblets to give the cat, preservatives in the seasonings/rub.
The meal: Carrots (steamed in the microwave since there was no room for them in the oven, with cranberry juice, a dab of honey, squirt of lemon, dill, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper), baked yams (rubbed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and rubbed with kosher salt, placed in the oven with 40 minutes left on the bird).

Husband's approval rating: about 7.5 out of 10. Due to lack of crispiness, wife notes the inability to cook potatoes and veggies in same roasting pan. However, the yams rubbed with oil and salt were very very good!

Plenty of juices did result. The bird was a good size for four. The cat begged for a taste (but didn't get one until it was time to clean up).

This is a good way to make a bird when pressed for time. Having it preseasoned and in the bag probably cut off 20 minutes of prep time, with no guessing involved in so far as dinner's ETA.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

L.A. Restaurants: Leonor's Vegetarian Mexican Restaurant....... Incognito

The City of Angels... well, actually it's more like the city of fruits and nuts, but it is a great place to visit, nonetheless.

Like New York, Los Angeles has pretty much everything you could ever want from culture to eateries. Nice for a holiday, but I wouldn't want to live there. Been there, done that. I lived in L.A. for many years after I graduated from college in Theatre Arts, until I got smart and moved. I'd venture to say that most every waiter and bartender at the majority of restaurants there is probably an aspiring "something" in the entertainment industry, so it's more than likely possible you'll be served by someone who had one line on "Ghost Whisperer". But I digress.

As I was saying, L.A. has some wonderful places to eat, something for every taste and preference. I visit at least once a year, and one of my "must eat at" places is Leonor's Vegetarian Mexican Restaurant. Yes, it is exclusively vegetarian and serves all their dishes with soy cheese and mock meats. I love their chicken enchiladas, but pretty much everything is good. The portions are huge, so you can actually get 2 meals out of it. They have all sorts of a la carte items, but their dinners are the best bang for your buck. You can get the dinner, which includes beans and brown rice, or the full dinner which also includes soup and a drink.

The place is a bit of a dive, it's very small but it's clean as is the food. No greasy tacos here. It can verge on being a bit bland, but it's definitely healthy and filling, and I love it.

Can't wait to go back!

Leonor's Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant
12445 Moorpark St Ste C, Studio City, California (91604) (at Whitsett)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Indo Chine Noodles*********Posted by frasypoo

My grandfather came up with this recipe and it has been a family favorite ever since.I have continued that tradition when I came here and friends now ask me to cook my "Indian "noodles !!

There is a lot of Chinese influence in India and Chinese food is blended to suit Indian palates.Very spicy sometimes!

I eyeball ingredients so its an effort to guess the amounts so please bear with me

2 packs egg noodles-cooked



green peppers-julienne

mushrooms-about 10 cut into halves

1/2 cup ground beef-cooked

any meat cut into 2 inch strips

2 eggs-scrambled with salt and pepper

1 tsp pepper

Combine 1 tsp ketchup and soy sauce in a tea cup

Combine all the ingredients in a wok/pan.Add the pepper,add the ketchup/soy sauce mixture and stir together

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don Pepe's Vesuvio Restaurant. Queens, New York

There is a place in Queens, New York located in kind of an out of the way area around the Aqueduct raceway and Kennedy Airport vicinity called Don Pepe's Vesuvio Restaurant.
If you are from New York’s Boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens then there’s no doubt thst you know of this out of the way, busy as hell popular Italian restaurant.
No, it’s not located in Manhattan, but in Queens, a few blocks from the Aqueduct race track, but very much worth the trip If you want glitz forgetaboutit! If you want a truly memorable meal take some friends and go there take as many as you can as the portions are enormous. There hasn't been a single individual I have taken there through the years that doesn’t rave about it to this day.
This is a cash only establishment that don’t even offer a wine list but the waiter will ask you "white or red" and that’s it. house wines only. Like it or not, it’s not a place to go to if you want to impress your elite friends, but most definitely a place to impress your food loving friends. It is by far the best Italian food you will ever taste in Queens and in many other places as well, I’m sure. There is always a long wait to get in and no reservations are ever accepted. But believe me the wait is well worth it. Bring an enormous appetite. Specialities include baked clams, linguine with clam sauce, the Chicken Scarpariello, on the bone with sausage, onions, bell peppers and whole garlic cloves is a dish piled so high that sometimes you never see the bottom of the plate and it’s not to be missed. If you like Chicken with Sausage and roasted garlic, like I do, this is the place. Roasted Peppers, big cutlets of Sausage, roasted Chicken covered in olive oil and vinegar, served family style. And their house favorite, Veal Don Pepe, is a dish that you’ll order every time you go back. As is the Salad Don Pepe. Just don’t expect anything fancy like the Gramercy Tavern I wrote about in my previous blog, this restaurant is about as warm and inviting as a 7 Eleven, but the food makes up for any lapse in lousy decor. The food is nothing less than outstanding and the service is proffecional, but casual and fun.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Favorite New York Restaurants *************************posted by DD2

One of New York's most popular restaurants, is also one of my favorites, it's Gramercy Tavern located in the "Hot" Union Square, Park Avenue South district on East 20th Street
The Owner is one of New York’s finest restaurant owners Danny Meyer's, who owns several of the best restaurants in New York, were they serve inventive American cuisine from the kitchen of Chef Michael Anthony in a rustic yet elegant setting. Gramercy Tavern's superb staff will envelop you with warm hospitality and delight you with an extraordinary selection of wines. When you first walk in, you will be floored by the wood-burning stove and enough fresh flowers to stock a botanic garden.
Don't let the name fool you, by no means is this place a Tavern, in fact it's one of Manhattans most Up Scale restaurants. They provide wonderful expert service and they have a fantastic menu selection.
The only down side is that it takes about 30 days for you to get a resveration. However, the young hip New Yorkers often walk in without a reservation and sit in what they call the Tavern room, it's located in the bar and has a less expenseve menu with the most amazing, and creative food. I would say start with the smoked trout appetizer, and for a main course I recommend the beef short ribs Trust me!
Don’t be shocked at dessert time when you will be offered a [Complimentary] pre-dessert Usually a Creme Fraiche with Strawberries and almond paste
And then your regular dessert, my pick is usually the Austrian chocolate almond souffle with orange ragout, kumquats, chocolate chip ice cream and pear sorbet
And after you pay the check you’ll receive a plate of Chocolates and petit fours.
So save plenty of room.
See ya there soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Restaurant Spotters*******************posted by DD2

Hi Guys what you are doing sounds very interesting.
As you know I am a professional Private Detective. As a side line to this, and due to my affection to Food and drink, I had kind of developed a new angle to my job. Being I have to eat anyways and as a way to make it interesting and profitable as well.
First of all, one must have a license as well as insurance to be doing this sort of thing, so it’s not for everyone. Although it may sound so great, believe me, it’s work. What I do almost every night of the week, and by the way, that’s why I leave the board early every night.
Is called in my industry, “Restaurant Spotting” I actually work for the restaurant Owner.The goal of a Spotter is not only to critique the restaurant food and service. Just about anyone can tell you what you are doing wrong... in their opinion! Professionally-trained Spotters provide a restaurateur with a detailed description of a typical customer experience, every step of the way from their first impression when calling for a reservation or directions to the exit greeting and lighting in the parking lot.

A professional Spotter Service should focus on:
1. Employee cash handling
2. Quality of bar and service staff training
3. Design and content accuracy of the menu
4. Compatibility of the wine list and pricing
5. Attention to decor (music, lighting, table settings, etc.)
6. Food and beverage presentation
7. Price vs. value of food and beverage items
8. Server salesmanship
9. Overall cleanliness, and condition of the rest rooms.
10. The service and honesty of the bartender.
Does he pour larger drinks for his “good customers” for bigger tips. Does he give out free drinks for the same reason? Does he record every drink in the register or does he put some of the drink money in his tip jar?
11. Does the waiter really know what the chef is preparing that night, and how it is prepared? I would ask lots of questions to find out. Even if some of my question may sound dumb. It’s done that way on purpose, just to hear the response of the waiter. Also does the waiter have the patients to answer dumb questions?
12. My report will also include things like the following.
1. Is the parking lot and entrance clean and attractive
2. Where you greeted at the door.
3. Are the restrooms clean? And are they well supplied?
4. Did the bartender shake your hand and offer his name and inquire yours.
5. Did the bartender make your drink quickly, try to up sell (offer you brand named drinks where more money is made) and did he ring it up.
6. Did the server offer you the specials?
7. Food and drink quality
8. Did you see a manager and was he doing table visits.
9 What is the moral of the employees? I would ask them questions to find that out. Are they happy? Do they say bad things about their boss?
10 Did you receive secondary service. (i.e. ground pepper, fresh grated parm cheese, was the water glasses refilled, was more bread brought if the basket was emptied?)
When I am done, I then have to have my assistant type up the report, I submit my bill for my fee along with ALL expenses, the cost of the food, the drinks the tips the parting if any, and whatever else there may be.
So that’s what you may call, “having your cake and eating it” So, As you can see, I am very involved in the restaurant scene.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

Decatur, GA - Madras Saravana Bhavan **********~h~

We were in Atlanta yesterday and my husband was craving masala dosas. He had directions to the Madras Saravana Bhavan that recently opened under a new ownership at the same location. It serves authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine. The place was bustling with people. We were seated and the waiter came up with a handheld electronic device asking us for our order. My husband and I both wanted the Mysore Masala Dosa and I had a craving for the Vada Sambhar. The dosa is just like a crepe made from a batter of ground rice and lentils. The vada is a lentil doughnut, deep fried. I asked if they could place the Vada on the side and not immerse it in the Sambhar as they sometimes would do. He said I should order the Medu Vada instead because that seems like what I want and so that is what I ordered.

The food was average to good, considering my husband and I come from the South of India and have had this kind of food almost every day growing up. The Medhu Vadas were brought first. The vadas themselves were not as spicy but dipped in the sambhar or the white coconut chutney, they tasted wonderful. The amount of sambhar for two Medhu Vadas was disappointing. My daughter liked the vada. The masala dosas seemed a bit dry (a few dollops of butter or ghee would have helped) but the balance of crispness and softness in the dosa was excellent. The quantity of the stuffing of “palya” (pronounced puhl-ya, referring to any semi-dry vegetable side dish) made of mashed potatoes, onions, chillies and peas, which is placed inside the dosa, was pathetic. There should at least be enough to go with every bite of the dosa. My “palya” was over in three bites. I have to add that if I wanted more “palya” or sambhar, all I needed to do was to ask and I am sure they would have obliged, for an additional fee of course. But I think I was just feeling sorry for myself because I got less than what I would get in my hometown!!! I was impressed with the variety in chutneys that came with the dosa. The tomato/tamarind chutney was my favorite. The white coconut chutney was a bit bland for me. The green coconut/green chillies/cilantro chutney and the sambhar (pronounced saam-bharr) were good. The sambhar was a bit hot (chilli hot). After all the eating, I felt like washing my palate with some smooth lassi so I ordered the mango lassi. Tasting the saffron in the lassi made such big difference and it was so refreshing. I have had mango lassi before but don’t remember any saffron in it!

The wait staff are friendly and some need a lot more training because we got brought someone else’s order a few times. I felt sorry for the waiter guy and almost got up to help him! My husband and I were pointing in the direction of the table that had ordered a dish that was brought to our table by mistake (Yes, we watch what people order and eat!) All in all we enjoyed eating here. You can call them at 404-636-4400 or 404-636-4400 or visit their website, for the menu. They are located at 2179 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur GA 30033.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Atlanta Restaurants- L'Thai Restaurant *********** Posted by Incognito

I love to travel and I love good food! Especially exotic foods. But I have certain dietary restrictions, so finding a restaurant that will accommodate me isn't always easy.

I travel a lot, so the first thing I do is look for interesting places to eat. I wind up making a lot of phone calls and asking a lot of questions, but it always seems to pay off because I usually find some great eateries. There's always Subway, if push comes to shove, but after a while that gets boring. So it's worth the effort and the cell phone minutes.

Being primarily a vegetarian (who occasionally eats fish/seafood) and very health conscious, I usually look for veggie restaurants on So on a recent trip to Atlanta I discovered the fabulous L'Thai Restaurant, in Tucker, GA. A Thai restaurant serving organic food including meat and seafood, it serves incredible food! My friends and I had some fabulous Thai shrimp curry. It was the best Thai curry I have ever had. There were plentiful shrimp and veggies in a fabulous thick coconut curry sauce, and though my friends ordered white steamed rice, I ordered the brown rice. The service was great, and best of all they were very willing to accommodate my diet.

I know where I'm going the next time I visit Atlanta! Anyone want to join me?

Tucker is a small suburb east of Atlanta.

L'Thai Restaurant
4880 Lawrenceville Hwy Ste 14-16, Atlanta Georgia 30084
Tel: 770-491-9948

Friday, November 2, 2007

My easy,breezy,Indian chicken curry************************posted by Frasypoo

I love to cook and am always trying to find an easy way to do it.I miss home a lot and its then that I try duplicating recipes that my mom or grandmom used to make.

This is my grandmothers recipe and I have simplified it.I normally eyeball ingredients so I am trying to bring it down to where someone can understand it.

4 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 cans Ro-Tel

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 onion

Paprika or Indian kabab seasoning

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

In a blender,blend the onion and Ro-tel.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the ginger-garlic paste till slightly brown

Add the rotel/onion mixture and cook over a low flame till you see the oil on the sides and water has evaporated.Add chicken pieces to the mixture along with salt.Add 1 cup water and let cook till chicken is done.Then add the paprika or Indian kabab seasoning.I normally add a dash of cilantro because I like the taste of it.

Your almost instant Indian chicken curry is ready!

Serve hot over rice

PS:the picture is not mine,I stumbled upon it!!!

Alabama - Hartz Chicken*********************posted by frasypoo

People talk about Southern Fried chicken all the time.In my opinion there is southern fried chicken and then theres southern fried chicken.For that second half of the previous sentence you have to visit Hartz Chicken in Phenix city,Alabama.It is the best southern fried chicken I have tasted in my life.I thought that I may have been starving when I first ate there and hence had a biased opinion so I took my mother and mother-in-law there.My mom is Indian and my mother-in-law was born in Alabama and they both swore that i was right!!!
The chicken is done just right,very crispy and tender at the same time.The restaurant has a buffet which is very reasonably priced but once I tasted that chicken I did not look at anything else !!!

Publix premium icecreams***********************posted by frasypoo

If you are lucky enough to have a Publix grocery store where you live,you have got to try their premium ice creams.It is absolutely delicious.I am not a big fan of ice cream but I bend rules for the Publix brand.Right now my favorite flavor is Blueberry Pomegranate frozen yogurt.Its smooth,creamy and does not taste like yogurt at all.

I was trying to find some info on Publix icecreams on the internet and found out that Valhalla Norwegian Ice Cream has tied up with Publix to make their ice creams. So far they are doing a great job!!!

Atlanta Restaurants-Fat Matts Rib Shack*************************posted by frasypoo

Fat Matts Rib shack is a great place to get some bar-b-cue and to catch a local band.The restaurant is tiny and gets packed when there are bands playing but the food is good and very reasonable.Its my favorite place for ribs.I love the sauce..its a sweet sauce and I always make sure to splash on enough to drown the ribs !Their Brunswick stew is pretty good too.

Food**********************posted by frasypoo

Wikipedia describes food as and I quote
Food is any substance, usually composed primarily of carbohydrates, fats, water and/or protiens, that can be eaten or drunk by an animal for nutrition or pleasure. Items considered food may be sourced from plants, animals or other categories such as fungus or fermented products like alcohol. Although many human cultures sought food items through hunting and gathering, today most cultures use farming,ranching, and fishing, with hunting, foraging and other methods of a local nature included but playing a minor role.
Most traditions
have a recognizable cuisine, a specific set of cooking traditions, preferences, and practices, the study of which is known as gastronomy. Many cultures have diversified their foods by means of preparation, cooking methods and manufacturing. This also includes a complex food trade which helps the cultures to economically survive by-way-of food, not just by consumption.

So where would we be without food ????

To us its passion,its a life giving source and its an interest