Friday, September 30, 2011

Roasted Bacon Wrapped Bleu Cheese Stuffed FIGS

I was trying to find a creative and simple way to use the figs I had in my refrigerator. Here it is. Tried and true.

Slice the figs in half and push bleu cheese into the center of them. 
 Wrap each half in a half of a slice of bacon. You could use an entire slice. It'll just be a thicker bacon shell after it's done being roasted.
 Set your oven to 400 degrees and leave these babies in there about 15 minutes. Check on them at 8 minutes and turn them over so the bacon can get crispy all the way around.

At the end of 15 minutes you should have a wonderfully salty, sweet, crunchy treat perfect for hors d'oeuvres or snack. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chile Pies and Ice Cream

Chile Pies and Ice Cream was featured on The Cooking Channel's Unique Sweets. When it aired I didn't know what to think about this San Francisco establishment. What I do know is that I can't resist a unique dessert and I was compelled to try it.

Green Chile Apple Pie
Their signature pie is a green chile apple pie. Sounds strange but it's very very good.  It has a cheddar cheese crust and walnut struesel topping, topped with a scoop of organic vanilla ice cream. It's pretty darn genius. The filling is a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and the crust is the best crust I think I've ever had. It is super flaky and flavorful. I wish I could replicate it. This pie puts anything from Julian to shame. Sorry San Diego.

Apple Chai Spice Pie
I visited with my family and they were kind enough to let me photograph their food before diving in. They ordered the apple chai spice pie, the brownie shake, and cup of posole with corn bread and salad.  It was all fantastic. The apple chai spice pie was a home run. The chai spice was beautiful and would be perfect for the holidays.

Yummy Posole Lunch
Brownie Shake (my hubby loved it.)

What unique window treatments!
When you visit, be prepared for a great little restaurant decked out with the Virgin Mary (even in the bathroom) and lots of friendly servers to help you make your unique treat decision. Give it a try and you'll love it too. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Introducing the Sweet Baby D Cookie!

My husband was kidding around about naming cookies. He suggested the Sweet Baby D. That's one of our son's nicknames. Immediately we knew that it would have to have M&M's since those are his all time favorite bribe, I mean candy. He also loves pretzels so I threw those in there too.
To make this cookie, use your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. In addition to the dough, you'll need;
  • 1 part M&M's
  • 2 parts chocolate chips
  • 2 parts broken pretzels
After the dry and wet ingredients have been combined, add the above ingredients and bake per your recipe's instructions. 

Goody Goodie cream & sugar Cafe & Dessert Salon

I frequently take trips to the Bay Area to visit my family. This trip it was decided that we would stop at all the great places featured on The Cooking Channel and Food Network. Goodie Goody was featured on the Cooking Channel's show, Unique Sweets. Since I'm such a sucker for anything different, especially desserts, I had to stop in and try a few things.

I ordered the Old School Cookie, the Circus Cookie, the Olive Cocoa Nib Wafer, and a Blue Bottle latte. If given the chance to have Blue Bottle coffee, jump on it. It's my absolute fave!

The Olive Cocoa Nib Wafer was very different than any cookie I've ever had. It was perfectly crisp and super thing and chocolatey. Then you get a bite of olive and it's a tiny bit salty. Very different. I'm glad I tried it.

The Old School and Circus Cookies were great. The kettle corn was an unexpected ingredient in the Circus Cookie. It made it surprisingly light.

The service was great and the cafe was charming. I would definitely come back the next time we are in the neighborhood.
The Olive Cocoa Nib Wafer

The Old School Cookie: chock full of chocolate.

The Circus Cookie: Chocolate and Kettle Corn

Monday, September 19, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Layered Cake

I made this cake for my friend's birthday last week. It was a hit and I must say, very pretty for the small amount of work that went into it. 

Cake Ingredients
1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
6 ounces of cream cheese
4 eggs
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup of water
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Frosting Ingredients
8 ounces of Cool Whip
8 ounces of sour cream
1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
2 cups of strawberries or more if you like.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease three 8 or 9 inch pans.

Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature. If it's not, put it in the microwave at 20% power for 30 seconds and then check it to see if it's soft. If not, another 30 seconds. Mix the cream cheese, eggs, oil, and water together until smooth and combined. Add the flour and cake mix and combine slowly. Then mix all the ingredients at a medium speed for about a minute and a half but no more than two minutes. Pour about two cups of batter in each pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
After the cakes have cooled, start the frosting.

Combine softened Cool Whip, sour cream, and powdered sugar and beat on medium for about a minute and 30 seconds. Slice your strawberries so they look beautiful on the cake.

When assembling the cake, you may need to trim the rounded top part of the cakes. Add several heaping spoonfuls of frosting to all three layers. It may look thin but I promise that it will thicken up in the refrigerator. Then add sliced strawberries to all three layers. Make sure that the top layer looks the prettiest.

Cool it in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you are going to leave it longer, wrap it in plastic so it won't dry out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Empire House

My husband spotted the Empire House one night on his drive home, realized it was new, and immediately thought he should take me there for a date night. He was right! He made a reservation to sit on the outside patio. It was cute and romantic and comfortable. Our server was very friendly and helpful. We asked for recommendations and decided to try everything she suggested.

Everything was phenomenal, especially my grilled cheese sandwich. I'd have to say it's my favorite grilled cheese and I highly recommend it to you bleu cheese lovers out there. Our server recommended bleu cheese, harvarti, and pear. That being said, they offer several types of cheeses and you can choose whatever you want. They also offer different meats and veggies you could add. Please check out their menu.

I've listed everything we ordered. You'll see the last picture is an egg scramble. We loved Empire House so much, we came back for brunch.

Karaage - a Japanese style fried chicken, served with grated daikon radish & soy sauce

Hummus Plate - house made hummus topped with toasted sesame seeds and Layu. served with olives, warmed pita or baby carrots, and sliced cucumber

Off The Street Tacos - Steak, Chicken, and Ahi Tuna off the street tacos.

My Favorite Grilled Cheese - Pear, Havarti, and Bleu Cheese with tater tots
Buena Vista Social Scramble - a taste of Cuba. Cubed chicken, diced ham, and melted Swiss cheese with our lime aioli. an Earnest breakfast.