Food Journal

Welcome to my food journal! This is officially on the net as of Oct. 24th 2011! I will try to put new entries in my journal once a week if possible – some of them may take a little longer. My journal is where I will be writing about anything going on in my culinary world. This includes recipes from my home, restaurant and event reviews, some basic culinary information that I want to share with you, and whatever else may come to mind. The food journal will always have the last ten things I put on the site in it, just not categorized. Everything will be in it’s own category on the menu bar as well. This is the best place to look if you want to see my latest post, because it will always be at the top. You can use the search tool to look for a specific subject by typing key words into the search bar. You can also go to the index on the menu bar for a list of everything on the site. If there is something you would like to know about that I haven’t posted or if you have a question, please feel free to contact me and I will try to answer as soon as possible. I love to share my food and knowledge, and  I put this site up for us!

Here are my 5 most recent entries!
If you would like to see a list of all of my recipes, lessons and reviews, please go to the index on the menu bar.

Fried Pickles


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


Chili Mac





Key Lime Pie with Rum Infused Whipped Cream

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in featured-slider-post, Food Journal, Pie | 0 comments

Key Lime Pie with Rum Infused Whipped Cream

Key Lime Pie – For those who don’t know, I used to live in South Florida. I loved it there :D! They have amazing weather, the beach, a nice breeze all the time, generally happy friendly people and delicious Key Lime Pie. Aaaahhhhh, Key Lime Pie. Just the thought of it makes me long for a hammock between 2 palm trees and the sound of the ocean. One of the best things we used to do when I lived in Florida was to run off for a long weekend in Key West. And what do you eat when you’re in Key West? That’s right, conch chowder :D – but more importantly, you eat delicious Key Lime Pie! I’m pretty sure that it’s a rule of some sort :). So, anyway, the point is that I, being partially from Florida, am super duper picky about my Key Lime Pie and I can taste a cheater recipe from a mile away. Folding Key Lime flavored Jello with cool whip does not a good Key Lime Pie make. There are also some short cuts out there where you use the right ingredients, you just kind of skip over some of the steps. This results in  the right flavor but the wrong consistency – like I said, I’m super duper picky. So what are the ingredients that are absolutely required? Well not to state the obvious, but Key Lime juice, and also eggs and sweetened condensed milk. The reason sweetened condensed milk is necessary to make it authentic is kind of cool – ammmmmm if you’re a food nerd like me anyway. It has to have sweetened condensed milk because the Overseas Highway wasn’t built until 1930. Why is that important Alicia(?) (you may be wondering). Well, let me tell you why. Fresh milk wasn’t readily available in the Keys until that highway came around (unless you had a pet cow I guess). So, the local cooks relied more on sweetened condensed milk which has been around since 1856. Therefore, without sweetened condensed milk, it’s not the real thing. When was the first Key Lime Pie made? No one really knows, but it is believed that it was made sometime in the mid to late 1800′s either by a woman referred to as Aunt Sally (cool history lesson that you’ll have to Google for yourself), or by the local fisherman. I also learned that some historians believe that the fishermen made it and Aunt Sally perfected it. Either way, I’m glad they didn’t have fresh milk, because sweetened condensed is so very tasty! The other controversy with Key Lime Pie is over the topping. Was it originally meringue or was it whipped cream? Hmmmm, let’s think about it for a minute. If they didn’t have milk readily available, they probably didn’t have cream either. So, I’m thinking it was meringue. Also, it may interest you to know that if you look up Aunt Sally’s recipe, she used meringue (no wasting the whites from those separated eggs).That said, I use whipped cream because it’s yummier to me. I also add rum extract to my whipped cream (Rum and Limes are friends, just ask a mojito). Oh, and here’s one more Key Lime Pie fact for you, just in case you’re ever on Jeopardy or something. Key Lime Pie is the official pie of Florida, yeah, it’s true, since 2006. Guess what pie was it’s competition. Music- do do do do do do do do do do do doot do do do do do – OK, ready for the answer? Pecan Pie. I love them both but I have to say, that pecans make me think Georgia, not Florida so I think they got this one right :D! Wow, my goodness I had a lot to say about Key Lime Pie. You would think I was passionate about it or something LOL! Happy Cooking!

2 cups graham crackers, crushed (chocolate cookie crumbs are yummy here too)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

6 egg yolks
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Key Lime juice

Rum Infused Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon rum extract

Instructions for the Crust
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
2. Place graham cracker crumbs into a small mixing bowl. The easiest way to get the crumbs is to put the graham crackers into a gallon baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.
3. Add the cinnamon and stir it to combine.
4. Add the butter and stir with a spoon until it’s combined, then use your hands to mash the butter into the crumbs until they start to hold together.
5. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray.
6. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes and remove it from the oven.
7. Set your crust to the side to cool.

Key Lime Pie with Rum Infused Whipped Cream
Instructions for the Pie Filling
1. Place the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl.
2. Mix on high speed until they become a pale yellow color and are doubled in volume.
3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix on medium for one minute.
4. Add the Key Lime Juice.
5. Mix on medium for about another 30 seconds to one minute, you’re looking for a nice thick, creamy consistency.
6. Pour the filling onto your cooled crust (make sure the sides of the pan have a little cooking spray on them).
7. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until the center is set (mine took 19 minutes), do not over-cook or when you cool it, it will crack.
8. Allow your pie to cool at room temperature for an hour or so and then put it in the fridge over-night. If you don’t let it set at room temperature for the hour before you put it in the refrigerator, it may crack.

Instructions for the Rum Infused Whipped Cream (Make this the day after you bake the pie or the day you’re serving it).
1. Place cream in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Mix on high speed until foamy.
3. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 at a time mixing in between additions.
4. Continue mixing to soft peaks.
5. Add the rum extract.
6. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.

To Finish your Key Lime Pie
1. Run a knife around the edges of the pie to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere.
2. Remove the sides of the spring-form pan.
3. Decorate your pie – I used a piping bag with a large star tip.

Please Enjoy this how-to video!

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Potato Salad – The Good Kind :)

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Food Journal, Sides | 0 comments

Potato Salad – The Good Kind :)

Potato Salad – Yep, I said it, the good kind. That’s because I have not cared for most of the potato salad that I have ever tried. It seems like there is always some weird ingredient that doesn’t belong, or that the potatoes aren’t cooked all the way, or they’re cooked too much. I don’t know, sometimes there’s some over-powering something or other in it. I know that I probably sound like a big whiner baby, but I’ve always been a big girl about it and tried every potato salad that I’ve come across. I’m really glad too because one day – (think this sound like something glorious is happening) aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh –  that’s right, delicious, perfect potato salad. Guess who made it – my mother- in- law. Go figure, my Puerto Rican mother-in -law is awesome at making the whitest food on Earth. And the award for the whitest food on Earth goes to – da da da daaaa – potato salad – hmmmm,  I guess you could argue that it should have went to the Apple Pie. The apple pie is at it’s table at the awards dinner all angry, the other pies whispering – “Dude, you totally should have won”. Maybe not. Anyway, she always brings her yummy potato salad to Easter, which is held at my house. This year however, she ditched out :D and ran off to San Diego for the weekend and didn’t have time to make her wonderful potato salad in time. So, it was left up to me. I called and asked her for the recipe, but I guess most people don’t take their potato salad recipes on vacation and neither does she. What I got was “well, I put potatoes, and celery and onions and mayo, and hmm what else – oh, mustard and sometimes vinegar and eggs” . With that to go on, this is what I came up with. It’s really yummy :D! I hope you love it! Happy Cooking!


5 pounds red potatoes, cleaned and diced “big bite size”
1/4 cup or so iodized salt (for the potato water)
2 bay leaves
1 shallot, minced
3 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
6 eggs
3/4 cup mayo
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper


1. The first thing I start is the eggs. To make a perfect boiled egg every time, follow these instructions exactly. OK – put your eggs into a pot of cool water and let them set for about 10 minutes. You do this to help the temperature come up a little so they don’t crack as soon as you turn on the heat. Next, put them on the stove on high and bring them to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil look at the clock. Let them boil for 10 minutes – take them out of the water and put them into an ice bath. If you’re not quick at this then start at 9 and 1/2 minutes, it’s better to have them a tiny bit under done than the green yolk grossness that happens when boiled eggs are over cooked.
2. On to cooking the potatoes (which you have already cleaned and diced right(?)). The best way to do this is in a big pot, especially with this kind of potato because it is high in starch and has a tendency to boil over. What I do is when I’m chopping my potatoes, I put them into the pot filled with water. When I’m all done chopping, I drain them, this helps to get rid of some of the starch. Next I put the potatoes back in the pot (I use my 8 qt stock pot) and fill it with water . I then add a ton of salt – about 1/4 cup of iodized salt (see my article on salt) and the bay leaves. You should be starting with cool/cold water to help the potatoes cook evenly. Put them on the stove on high heat and bring them to a boil. Again, these boil over easily, it helps to skim the white fluffy stuff that you’ll see come to the top. Don’t bother putting oil into the water, this does nothing except waste your oil (don’t get upset, I used to do it too). A trick I learned that does help a little is to run a tiny bit of butter around the rim of your pot. If you use enough water and a big enough pot though, it shouldn’t boil over anyway. I don’t mean to dwell on this, I’m just trying to save you that “oh no the pot is boiling over adrenaline rush”. When your potatoes are “fork tender” – like, you can easily stab them with a fork, they’re done. Taste one to make sure  (yummy right?)  and then drain them and put them on a sheet pan to cool. I let mine set on the counter for about 15 minutes and then I move them to the fridge to get super cool.
3. While your potatoes are boiling, go ahead and chop your celery, and shallots and if your eggs are done and cooled, peel and chop them too. Chill everything.
4. When everything is nice and cold, it is time to put it together. So, put your potatoes, eggs, celery, and shallots into a bowl.
5. In a small separate bowl, combine the mayo, vinigar, mustard, and Kosher salt and pepper. You have to decide the amount of salt and pepper on your own based on how your potatoes tasted earlier. If they really needed salt, add more then is in the recipe, just don’t over salt. Remember, people can add salt at the table but, they can’t take it out :).
6. Add the sauce into the potato mixture and gently fold it, be gentle or the potatoes will lose their shape and you’ll have mashed potato salad.
7. Enjoy!

Please enjoy this “how-to” video!

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Carrot Cake – Only the Best You’ll Ever Have (and Grandma’s recipe)

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Desserts, featured-slider-post, Food Journal | 0 comments

Carrot Cake – Only the Best You’ll Ever Have (and Grandma’s recipe)

Carrot Cake - So, I’ve decided to make carrot cake for Easter. You know, Easter, bunnies, carrots, carrot cake – lol! This is another one of those great recipes that my Grandma passed down to me. I have added a few modifications, like I make mine whole wheat. Also, depending on my mood, I may add coconut, or Mandarin oranges or pineapple, or raisins, or different nuts. Like I said, it depends on my mood…… and what’s in the fridge or cabinet :D! This also happens to be one of Xavier’s (my husband’s) favorite cakes and my oldest daughter’s favorite as well.  So, I get to make it a few times a year – Yummy! But, Easter is my favorite occasion to make it for, I’m not sure why I get so silly and giddy about the whole bunny/carrot thing (what a nerd, I know, it’s cool though). So, anyway, this is a really fabulous recipe. One that I’ve loved since I can remember. Oh, here’s my funny (at least to me) carrot cake story. When I was a little girl I was super anti cream cheese (I’m not sure why, I think because I’d never actually tried it (that I knew of)). Well, my grandma of course makes the cream cheese icing with the carrot cake – a fact that I was unaware of. You understand this I’m sure because when you’re little you don’t question the frosting, you’re just happy to be eating the frosting. So, anyway,  my Mom took me out to a bagel shop one day. This was super exciting because it was new to me that bagel shops even existed. When we got to the front and it was our turn to put in our order, my Mom asked me what kind of cream cheese I’d like on my bagel. “Ewwww, no cream cheese, thank you!” To which my Mother responded. “That’s the best part.” I couldn’t believe she had made such a bold statement! “Well, I don’t like it” I answered back. “It’s what Grandma makes her carrot cake frosting with.” “Hhhhhh” I gasped, surely my beloved Grandma wouldn’t have tricked me like this. So, to prove my mother wrong, I agreed to try a tiny, teensy, weensy, taste of the cinnamon raisin flavored cream cheese. Upon tasting it, my eyes welled up with tears – my Grandma had been lying to me all this time. My poor mother was like “what’s wrong, are you OK?”. I managed to sob out that Grandma had lied to me about her frosting. I’m sure my Mom had to suppress a chuckle as she explained that Grandma didn’t lie, I just never asked. Kids are so cute sometimes – yes I was too. I hope you love this recipe (including the cream cheese frosting) as much as my family and I! Oh yeah, I’m putting Grandma’s version first and then my sort of healthier version. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients for Grandma’s version

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

dry ingredients
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups carrots, shredded
1/2 cup nuts (I use pecans)

1. Prepare two 8″ round cake pans by spraying with cooking spray and lining the bottoms with parchment (or wax) paper, make sure to line the bottom or your cake will stick.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
3. Combine dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
4. Put eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them.
5. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla into the eggs and stir with a rubber spatula.
6. Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture 1/2 at a time and make sure you stir it up really good in between additions (scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with your rubber spatula too).
7. Stir in the carrots and the nuts.
8. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
9. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes to and hour.
10. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean – DO NOT OVER BAKE! Mine usually takes about 40 minutes, Grandma says hers takes around 50 – however, she lives in Florida and I live in Arizona so I guess that makes a difference.

And now, my healthier version – I don’t change the frosting, it’s too delicious :D

5 eggs
1 cup canola oil Grandma's Carrot Cake
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup Splenda
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

dry ingredients
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups carrots
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup raisins
And as options you can also add any one of these – In fact, you can add all three of them if you want.
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped pretty small, drain it if it’s really juicy
1/2 cup Mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup coconut

1. Prepare 2 (8 inch) round cake pans by spraying with cooking spray and lining the bottoms with parchment (or wax) paper, make sure to line the bottom or your cake will stick.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
3. Combine dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
4. Put eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them.
5. Add the Splenda, sugar, oils and vanilla paste into the eggs and stir with a rubber spatula.
6. Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture 1/2 at a time and make sure you stir it up really good in between additions (scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with your rubber spatula too).
7. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and the raisins (and anything else you’re adding).
8. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
9. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to and hour.
10. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean – DO NOT OVER BAKE!

OK, now for the frosting! 

*see note for measurements if your doing the additional decorating
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
16 ounces powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)

1. Cream the butter and the cream cheese together, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
2. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
3. Add the powdered sugar 1/3 at a time and mix between additions until completely blended – also, scrape your bowl between additions.

*note – If you’re doing the additional decorating, you need more frosting, so follow these measurements.
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature
24 ounces powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)

Follow the same instructions as above. I’ll show you how to frost the cake and do a basket weave on the cake in my video :D!

Please enjoy this how to video!

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Cuban Sandwiches – Soooo Gooood!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Food Journal, Lunch | 0 comments

Cuban Sandwiches – Soooo Gooood!

Cuban Sandwiches – I remember the first time I ever had a Cuban Sandwich. It was with my husband, Xavier. He had been excited for days about having one of these sandwiches. It was the first Christmas we spent out here in AZ. You see, in his family, and I suspect in most Puerto Rican Families, they eat Pernil (a roasted pork dish) for Christmas Eve Dinner. At this point I had never had Pernil either, so I was pretty excited for my first traditional Puerto Rican Christmas meal. Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this. So anyway, we went to his parents and had the Pernil, which is amazing by the way. Well, after dinner was done and the festivities were all over and it was time to say good-bye, we were all called into the kitchen for our “take-home” plates. What I didn’t know is that Xavier’s mother makes enough Pernil for everyone to take a plate home – so that everyone can have Cuban Sandwiches the next day. Yay! So, the next day was Christmas. We got up and had our traditional Christmas which at the time involved panettone french toast and white wine! Then, when lunch time rolled around, it was time for the greatly anticipated Cuban Sandwiches. My husband went off into the kitchen to make them while I got to relax on the couch and do nothing – aaahhhhhh, so wonderful! About 15 minutes later, he returned to the living room carrying a tray. He sat down next to me and put the tray on my lap and then began to explain what he had made. The sandwich has pernil, baked ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard, and mayo all pressed together on french bread. He also handed me a glass of wine and a bouquet of flowers and gave me a fat kiss and wished me a Merry Christmas – again. He’s so romantic! :D My first taste of a Cuban Sandwich was incredible! Just so you know, Christmas is not the only time of year that we have Cuban Sandwiches, it just happened to be the first time I tried one. Also, it is traditional to do these sandwiches on “Cuban Bread”. French Bread is the next closest substitute in my opinion and it is what I use – mainly because I can buy it anywhere. I also read that mayo is not part of the original sandwich, but I like it, so I use it. Keep in mind that food is like art and it is up to the artist creating the meal to add or subtract to make their creation their own. With that in mind, feel free to prepare this to your own liking and more importantly – enjoy! Happy Cooking!

1 French Bread loaf (Cuban Bread if you have it)
spicy mustard (yellow or dijon if you prefer)
mayonnaise (optional)
Pernil (about one pound), sliced about 1/4 inch thick
baked ham (about one pound, we don’t use lunch meat for this), sliced
Swiss Cheese, 1/4 pound or so
dill pickles, sliced

1. Slice your french bread long ways down the middle.
2. Spread the top slice with mayo and then mustard.
3. Place cheese slices over the mayo and mustard spreads.
4. Slice your pickles and place them on the bottom slice of bread.
5. Slice the pernil and warm it up either in the microwave for about 30 seconds (covered), or in a saute pan. Don’t skip the warming part because then your sandwich won’t be nice and warm in the middle unless you overcook the outside.
6. Lay the warm pernil down on the pickle side.
7. Warm your ham for just a few seconds (it dries out easy so be careful) then put it over the pernil.
8. Close up your sandwich, slice it in half and put it in the press – I use a panini press but you can also use a flat sandwich press or a saute pan. If you use a saute pan, you’ll need to put something heavy on top to press it while it cooks (like a heavy sauce pot), also, we put our press on high to start and lower it to medium-high while the Cubans cook, it’s just going to depend on your press.
9. When the cheese is melty and the outside is crispy, your beautiful Cuban Sandwich is done. Take it off of the press and enjoy! Oh yeah, we serve ours with chips or tostones – preferably tostones!

Please enjoy this “how-to” video!

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Amazing Cornbread

Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Food Journal, Sides | 0 comments

Amazing Cornbread

Cornbread – Cornbread, to sweeten or not to sweeten, that is the question! To some people, I have found out, this is a very serious question. You see, I posted this recipe on my FB page (in the form of the YouTube video) last week and wow, what a response. I had no idea that cornbread was so serious! But now that I do know, I’d like to just say a few things. OK everyone, picture me smiling, ready – first, I like cornbread both sweetened and not sweetened. I think that you have to consider what you will be serving it with to decide which way to go. Second, it is always a good thing to try new foods. If you’ve always eaten your cornbread sweet, try it the other way and vice versa. We are not two years old turning our noses up at what’s been put down on our high chair tray. The only way to grow in your cooking and in your eating habits is to be willing to try everything. This is coming from someone who’s eaten everything form balut to rattlesnake to a tequila-lime flavored cricket (which tasted like crunchy air sprinkled with tequila-lime flavored powder, in case you’re wondering). Anyway, I really never thought I’d be writing these things on a cornbread article, but than like I said, I was surprised at the FB response. And third (and last), I like my cornbread sweetened better. There, I said it :D! But I’d also rather sit down to a pile of cookies then a bag of chips. So, with all of that said, here is my recipe for a sweetened cornbread. I served this with a delicious ham (which was salty), fried apples, green beans sauteed in shallots and white wine and a five cheese mac and cheese. The decision for a sweetened cornbread comes from the fact that the main dish – the ham, is salty, salty and sweet are friends. Happy Cooking!

1 stick of butter at room temperature – try to use a good butter, I like plugra, the Irish butter is good too
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup splenda (you can also use sugar)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (you can substitute fat free yogurt if you want)

dry mix
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 cup milk
3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
*For a short cut, you can substitute frozen corn kernels, just make sure they are thawed out and drain any extra water!

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
2. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
3.Cream your butter, brown sugar and splenda (or sugar) together in a large mixing bowl.
4. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
5. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
6. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
7. Add the sour cream and mix until well combined, scrape the bowl.
8. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, scrape the bowl.
9. Add 1/2 the milk and mix until combined.
10. Continue to alternate the dry ingredients with the milk until they’re all mixed in, make sure to scrape the bowl now and then between additions.
11. Stir in the corn kernels.
12. Pour the batter into two, eight inch cake pans that you have either sprayed with cooking spray or buttered and floured.
13. Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, rotate half-way through cooking time, they’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Please enjoy this how-to video!

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012

Aloha Festival

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in Food Journal, Restaurant Reviews | 0 comments

Aloha Festival

This past Saturday and Sunday we had an amazing treat - The Aloha Festival in Tempe Arizona! We got to the festival sometime in the afternoon. As we walked up, we could smell what I thought was sure to be some of the best slow cooked pork ever! People were passing us by, the women’s  hair adorned with the Tropical flowers from the island. One guy we passed even had his beard done up with the flowers :)! There was a huge crowd gathered as we got closer.  The sound of Hawaiian music filled the air and as soon as we walked in we were greeted with the beautiful sight of the Hula dancers doing their stage performances. They were dressed in colorful traditional clothes and swaying in perfect time with each other. The sight of them along with the relaxing music made me long for a hammock and a nap :D, but that’s not what we had come for.  We watched for a little while, but it wasn’t long before our stomachs, and our kids were telling us it was time to move on. So off we went to find the food.

There were two things that I was determined to have before the day was over. Slow roasted pork, and my first taste of Poi. Poi is made from taro root that is often fermented. According to my Penguins Guide to Food (a must have for every foodie), most non-Hawaiians don’t care for Poi. We’ll see, I’m a pretty big fan of pretty much anything food! We went up to the first booth. I being a newcomer, was not sure what to order so I asked the girl to give me something traditional. I was served Kal Bi (short ribs), teriyaki chicken, white rice, and macaroni salad – not quite what I was looking for. I wanted something a little more exotic if you know what I mean. It wasn’t a problem though, the kids destroyed every bite and I went back to order more. The next thing I ordered was Manapua. The sign said “shipped directly from Hawaii”-sounds interesting. This turned out to be a delicious sweet bun sort of dish that was stuffed with a saucy (think sweet BBQ) meat. The bun was super soft, like a marshmallow. It is helpful to know that you peel the bottom paper looking thing off of this. It is used only for the cooking. The girl sitting across from us at our picnic table was kind enough to share this info before any of us took a bite :)! The Manapua was reminiscent of the sweet buns that I ate so many years ago in Japan. Super yummy :D! And now for some Poi.
After checking several booths, I found that the only form of Poi available (at least that I saw) was Poi Mochi. Translated at the bottom of the sign as Hawaiian Donuts. Sounds good! So I got an order of the Poi Mochi and had my first official taste of Poi!

Sticky, sweet, delicious Poi :P – soooooo goooood. It kind of reminded me of like a funnel cake on the outside and like hot sticky sweet rice on the inside which is not what it is at all, I know. Still, that’s what it reminded me of, and I want you to get an idea of what it tasted like.

We started walking around again and found a booth where they were smoking chickens on a spit. They looked amazing and smelled even better. I looked up at the sign and Yay, I found the pig place. But where was the pig? I didn’t see it on the spit – that’s because it was done – Yay again! I put in my order – not anything off of the sign, but “I’d like enough to feed my husband, my 16 year old son, and myself please – only pork”. I was given a box filled with white rice on the bottom and beautifully cooked shredded pork on top. Lots and lots of shredded pork. It was tender and perfectly smoked, and well worth the drive to Tempe! Now all of us were so full of pork and other goodies that we were going to explode if we ate another bite. That is at least until we passed the Hawaiian Shaved Ice booth and my three year old announced that she wanted ice cream. The sign read “choose up to three flavors and Azuki beans upon request”. Azuki beans, what’s an Azuki bean? I’ll tell you what an Azuki bean is (because now I know :D) – it’s a super sweet bean that you eat with your shaved ice. I’d never had them before so I asked for a taste. The woman gave me a spoon full and…….yummy again. Seriously, I need to go to Hawaii – they have good stuff there! We ordered our shaved ice – no beans (it was for the little ones, I couldn’t possibly eat anymore). We walked around browsing the shops for a while so the little ones could enjoy their last treat of the day. And when they were done,  it was time to go home, so sad :(. At least we still had some of the left-over pork to take home :D! Mmmmmmm!

Tostones con Salsa de Mojo – Fried Plantains with a Garlic Oil – sort of

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in Appetizers, Food Journal, Sides | 0 comments

Tostones con Salsa de Mojo – Fried Plantains with a Garlic Oil – sort of

Tostones – Tostones or  fried plantains are to Puerto Rican food what french fries are to American food. Wait, wait, wait, I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m not saying that they are the same food, or that they taste the same, just that they are generally served with the same kinds of foods. They are also a tasty replacement for fries in a lot of cases. At home, we eat them with hamburgers, our Cuban sandwiches, pernil, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, fried eggs, and other stuff too (but do you really want to read a list right now), you get the idea. Here in the states, when I’m at home, I never really eat fast food, but when we go to Puerto Rico, I love to go through McDonald’s because they have tostones – are you listening McDonald’s? Can we get some tostones added to the menu here in AZ :D? Anyway, I think once you try these, you’ll be hooked because they are super delicious. Happy Cooking!

*There are no measurements for this recipe, just read the explanation for each one and you’ll know how much to use.
green plantains – Each plantain will make four or five tostones, to give you an idea of how many you need – my husband eats like four, my older girls and I eat around three each, the little ones have one or two, and my 16 year old eating machine eats like seven or eight or 15 :) or really until we tell him “chill out on the tostones and save some for everyone else”!
water – Use enough to cover the sliced plantains.
salt – It can be iodized or Kosher salt, but iodized is best to sprinkle on the tostones when they’re done.
garlic, minced – Again, the amount is up to you, I use one garlic clove per plantain.
oil – for frying, I use canola oil which is fairly healthy as far as oil goes, it’s made from canola seed (as if you didn’t know that already :D)
iodized salt – for salting at the end

1. Peel the plantains, this can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before, they do not peel the same as a banana, what you want to do is lay the plantain down on a cutting board, cut off the very top and the very end, then slice down the plantain lengthwise just through the peel, then use your fingers to kind of pull the peel away.
2. Slice the plantains on a diagonal about one inch thick, (you should get four or five slices) it is important to slice them on a diagonal because you will be mashing them later and it will make it easier.
3. Place the plantains into a large bowl and cover them with salt water – how salty should your water be? Well, you want it to taste like the ocean (see my salt article), then add the garlic cloves and stir them around a little, instead of making your salt water separately, you can also just add the water, salt and garlic right on top of the plantains and hope for the best (that’s what I do) – but if it’s your first time making this, I recommend making the water separate so that you have a good idea of how much salt to add next time.
4. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
5. Drain them and dry them well-SAVE THE WATER-I do this by taking them out with tongs and putting them on a sheet pan lined with a cloth napkin, I then use another cloth napkin to dry them, remember, you are going to be frying these and water and oil are not friends, the water will make your oil pop out at you – aaaahhhhhh, and it will also make the oil break down faster.
6. Fry in the canola oil, heated to 350°F, for about seven minutes, if you don’t have a thermometer, look for the plantains to get bubbles all around them when you add them to the oil, they should also make that Kssssshhhhhh frying sound when you put them in, if your oil starts to smoke at all, it is way to hot, turn off the heat and let it cool off, do not move the pan unless you absolutely have to, if you are deep frying, you don’t have to mess with them while they’re frying, if you are pan frying them (they should still be covered in oil), turn them over half way through the frying time (it’s easier to use tongs then a spoon for this).

7. Remove them from the oil and place them on either absorbent paper towels, or a cloth napkin, I like to use a cloth napkins because some paper towel brands stick to the plantains.
8. OK, this is the mashing step, you can do this a few different ways, you can either place the plantains into a tostonera and close it which is the easiest way and the way I do it, if you do not have a tostonera though, you can use a paper bag, just place the paper bag on a flat surface, lay the plantain on top, fold the bag over it and push down at an angle with the heel of your hand, you can also use a cloth napkin in the same way, I have also seen this done using two plates but I think that way seemed the most difficult. If you are not using a tostonera, make sure you are super careful because they are hot, don’t forget, they were just in hot, hot oil. You can let them cool down for a few minutes if you want, it won’t hurt anything.
9. Dip them in the salt/garlic water that you saved, dip quickly, not like you would do a cookie into milk but like a fast dip.
10. Dry them off really good again like we did in step five.
11. Return them to the cooking oil, this time you want your oil at 375°F.
12. Cook them until they are crisp and golden, remove them from the oil and sprinkle them lightly with iodized salt, iodized is better for fried foods, again, if you haven’t read my salt article, now’s as good a time as any.
13. Garnish with mojo (my favorite), or hot sauce or ketchup and enjoy!

Mojo Sauce – Mojo is the delicious sauce that you put on top of the tostones. There are lots of different versions, the most important things to have in there are the oil and the garlic. I think beyond that you can use your imagination. I have tried adding cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, and olives just give you a few ideas. Here is the way I make it most often. This makes enough for around 20 tostones, depending on how much you use.

Ingredients for Mojo
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
15 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano dry or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano

Instructions for Mojo
1. Place the vinegar into a small mixing bowl.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.
3. Add the garlic, salt and oregano and stir.
4. Garnish your tostones and enjoy!

*Just as a kind of little end note here, tostones make great bottoms to appetizers, I like to put “taco toppings” on them, but stack them nice and pretty. You can use them in place of crackers, or bread in your favorite tapa or canape recipes too.
**Also, you can make extra of these and freeze them, just do steps 1-10 and then freeze them individually. When you are ready to eat them you can put them into the hot oil (still frozen) and just continue with step 11.
Please Enjoy this How-To Video!

Do you want more info on the health benefits of Canola Oil?

Canola Oil Council

Pernil – Or In This Case, Roasted Pork Loin – Puerto Rican and Yummy!

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Dinner, Food Journal | 0 comments

Pernil – Or In This Case, Roasted Pork Loin – Puerto Rican and Yummy!

Pernil – Pernil is a delicious, traditional Puerto Rican dish. It is a roasted pork shoulder. I don’t actually use pork shoulder so I guess technically this is not a true pernil. However, I do prepare it the way my Puerto Rican mother-in-law prepares her pernil (with a few of my own adjustments of course). I just happen to use pork loin. So, I still call it pernil. This is also the dish that we take over to my in-laws house on Christmas Eve, as is the tradition and they accept it as “the pernil”, even though it’s not the shoulder. If you’re a stickler for the rules, please by all means, use a pork shoulder. It makes no difference to me. I like the loin better, it is a  more tender piece of meat and it’s easier to follow this recipe when there’s no bone in your way.  This recipe is pretty simple, but a little time consuming. It will also make your hands smell like garlic for like three days so you may want to wear gloves ;D. The hands you see in this post belong to my wonderful 16 year old son. He is becoming quite a little cook and loves having fun with me in the kitchen. We did this loin together (see step five :D) while we hung out and talked. Of course this pernil was delicious because it was cooked with love…… and also because this recipe rocks. If you are a garlic fan – Yay :D, you’re going to love this! Happy Cooking!

6-8 pounds pork loin (if this is too much for you, you can use a 3-4 lb loin and cut the rest of the recipe in half)
50 cloves of garlic, minced (yes, 50)
1/4 cup vinegar, I like red wine vinegar the most for this but apple cider is also good
3/4 cup olive oil
2-3 Tablespoon oregano, dried not fresh
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, fresh ground if possible


*see food processor instructions at the bottom if you have one

1. Place your minced garlic in a small bowl.
2. Add the vinegar and stir in.
3. Drizzle in the olive oil while stirring.
4. Add the oregano and stir, set mixture to the side.
5. Get out your pork loin and cut it in half cross ways so that you have 2 pieces that are 3-4 lbs each-put one back in the fridge (or have a friend work on that one) (you will use both, but you don’t want your pork loin getting warm while you’re working on it for safety reasons) – or, cut the rest of the recipe in half if you’re only using a 3-4 pound loin.

6. Start at one end of the loin and using a paring knife, poke a hole into the loin almost all the way through.
7. Put your finger into the hole to kind of open it up a little (you can also use the handle of a wooden spoon).
8. Fill the hole with the garlic mixture, I use a spoon and poke it in with my finger, I have also tried one of those injector things, they work OK too- just make sure you pack the garlic in pretty well.

9. Repeat the same thing all over the loin making holes about 1/2 – 3/4 inch apart in a checkerboard pattern.
10. Flip it over and do the same thing on the other side.
11. Wrap your loin tightly in plastic wrap and then put it into a plastic baggie, you can also put it into an airtight container if you’d prefer, then put it in the refrigerator- make sure you wrap it up super tight or your fridge is going to stink really bad and everything will smell and taste like garlic.
12. Get the other loin out of the fridge and start over at step six.
13. Rub any remaining marinade all over the loins.
14. Let your finished loins chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.
15. Pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
16. Place your loins un-covered and fat cap side up into a large roasting pan (I use the same one I do my turkey in).
17. When you put it into the oven, turn your oven down to 400°F (you pre-heated to 450°F because we want a nice hot oven and when you open the door, you lose a lot of heat – don’t worry about it being over 400°F at the beginning of cooking).
18. Cook it until it is done :D – you are looking for a beautiful, dark golden brown. The USDA recommends an internal cooking temperature of 145°F (as of when this article is written) see link below, you will have to use a thermometer to check it’s temperature. It will take about 20-25 minutes per pound (mine took an hour, it was 2 pieces each weighing 3  lbs or so).

*If you have a food processor you can follow these instructions instead.
- Place whole garlic into the food processor and pulse until chopped pretty small, but not quite minced yet, add the vinegar and pulse, add the olive oil and oregano and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine, set to the side and continue with step five.










So, this is what you’ve been working for. Notice the beautiful stripe of garlic on the inside when you slice the loin – sooooooo yummy :D! Also, the picture on the left was our dinner that night. On the left are Maduros (fried sweet plantains (recipe coming soon)), on the right is Mofongo (basically tostones mashed with mojo (recipe and explanation coming soon), in back is Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice and Pigeon Peas). In the front center is my beautiful slice of pernil (pork loin). The reason it is darker in color is because we dip it in the pan juices as we cut and serve it. This would also be good with Puerto Rican Rice and Beans and/or Tostones or about a hundred other things :D. It’s pretty versatile. The next day we use the left overs to make Cuban Sandwiches.

This is a link to the USDA’s website, it lists the recommended cooking times and internal temps. along with other facts about pork safety.

Please enjoy this “how-to” video!

Frittata with Mushroom, Spinach and Gruyere

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in Breakfast, Food Journal | 0 comments

Frittata with Mushroom, Spinach and Gruyere

Frittata with Mushroom, Spinach and Gruyere – The Italian word frittata comes from the word fritto and means “to fry” (there’s some grammar stuff in there about past participles and whatever, but this is a cooking lesson, not a lesson in Italian, you wouldn’t want to take one from me anyway ;D). In Italy. It was originally a general word that was used to describe cooking any kind of egg in a skillet. Outside of Italy, it was used interchangeably with omelette. It is only in the last fifty or so years that it has become the word for a specific egg dish that resembles an open faced omelette. I kind of think of it as if an omelette and a quiche had a baby, it would be a frittata. The biggest difference between an omelette and a frittata is that you add the ingredients into the egg mixture for a frittata and you fold them into an omelette. Normally, frittatas are made to share and cut into slices like a pizza, this recipe is for an individual frittata but the recipe can be doubled if you want to share it. Also, this has nothing to do with cooking but, does everyone remember the a-coon-a-ma-tata (no idea how to spell that right) song, I’ve now had a-coon-a-frittata in my head for 3 days :D! Happy Cooking!


for the mushrooms

3 Crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

dash pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

for the frittata

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 eggs

1 cup spinach, I just use a handful but if you measure, don’t pack it down, also, remove the stems

1/4 cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded


1. Wash your mushrooms-You can do this one of two ways. For just a few mushrooms, like in this recipe, wash them under cold running water. If you’re washing a lot, put them in a bowl, fill it with water and swirl it around. Then drain them. You’ve probably heard that they absorb water, maybe a little (I’ve never noticed), it won’t hurt (they may not brown as well though) and if you’re cooking them, it cooks out anyway.

2. Place mushrooms in a small (6 inch) non-stick saute pan with the olive oil on high heat.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Cook them to desired consistency, there should be little or no liquid left, leave them in the pan.

5. Whisk your eggs in a medium bowl, then add the cheese and spinach.

6. Put your pan (where your mushrooms are waiting) on low to medium – low heat (it depends on your stove, you don’t want to cook this fast though).

7. Spread your mushrooms out evenly and pour your egg mixture into the pan.

8. Allow the bottom to set, about 5 minutes or so, watch for the edges to start to cook.

9. Place it in the oven on broil (after the bottom sets up), if your pan isn’t oven safe, you can either flip the frittata, or cover it with a lid.

10. Allow it to cook until the egg is set – this happens quick, like sometimes in less then a minute so watch your frittata like a hawk and check it often – I keep the oven door a little bit open so I can just glance in every few seconds.

11. Remove the pan from the oven – be careful, your pan handle will be hot.  A smart thing to do, and something we do in professional kitchens is to leave your pot holder on top of the pot handle. This will help to remind you not to grab the hot handle. It also warns others in the kitchen that it is hot.

12. Carefully remove your frittata from the pan, I do this by going along the edges with a high heat rubber spatula and working my way towards the middle to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere (you don’t want it to tear when you take it out).

13. Enjoy your delicious frittata!

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Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Food Journal, Restaurant Reviews | 0 comments

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire – Once a year, chocolate purveyors (and lovers) from around the nation gather in downtown Glendale, AZ for this award-winning festival, which celebrates chocolate, romance and the arts. Also, it has lots of yummy treats :D! Here is a little glance at my own chocolate affaire.

We had to park kind of far and walk, but as we got closer, we were greeted by the sweet smell of chocolate filling the air! People were passing us by on the way back to their cars munching on chocolate treats that they probably intended on taking home (I can’t blame them, none of mine even saw a box). I was super excited and could not wait to get there and get my hands on some delicious treats. Chocolate covered bacon was first on my list and chocolate covered key lime pie, an old favorite of mine, was second. Of course once I was actually in the festival I got side tracked. The first booth that caught my interest was called “Wei of Chocolate“. They have dark chocolate that is dairy free, vegan, naturally low carb, gluten free, soy free,  and did I mention Organic and Fair Trade certified.  Also it is really, really good! I tried several of their flavors including chai – infused, chili – infused, and the pure dark. Their flavored chocolates were all absolutely beautiful with just enough flavors added to compliment, not cover the smooth chocolate. They use organic herbs, spices and flower essences when they make their chocolates and you can really taste the love that goes into them!

The other thing that caught my attention in their booth was the chocolate lip balms (with actual Scharfenberger Chocolate in them- yum). “Ganache for Lips” – mmmmmmm! After smelling all of the samples, I chose to purchase two – the chocolate mocha and the chocolate orange. I am always a little afraid the first time I try a new skin product because I have the most sensitive skin in the world, and these are my lips we’re talking about. I tried the lip balm and to my delight, first of all, no allergic reaction- YAY :D! Second, this is the smoothest, most wonderful lip balm ever and I seriously recommend it to everyone. Plus you get the added bonus of smelling chocolate for like an hour after you put it on. My little girl gives me lots of kisses when I wear it too – she says I have sweet lips. How cute is that :D. As a side note, when I got home and checked out their site, I discovered the lip balm was not there. It is not made by the Wei of Chocolate people (I’m glad they support it though)! Thank goodness the side of the tube has a web address – I would have been totally bummed if I couldn’t find it in the future.
So, back to my quest for the bacon and key lime pie dipped in chocolate. Again, I didn’t make it very far. A few booths down I found myself engulfed in the sweet smell of peanut butter fudge! The “Oh Fudge” booth (Mackinac Island Style Fudge). Suddenly, wonderful childhood memories of my mother sprang to my mind. She makes what is without a doubt the best peanut butter fudge in the world (OK, she’s my mommy and I may be a little bias).

But to say the least, these people had a lot to live up to in order to  compare in my mind. I stood and watched for a few minutes as the man in the back of the booth was cutting the freshly made fudge. Every few seconds he would wave off the bees that were all around their booth – also enamoured by the sweet smell. He must of noticed me there drooling because after a few minutes, he walked over with a bunch of pieces in his hand and held them out to me. “Do you want to try it?” he asked. YEAH I DO! I got super happy and took a piece, and then I remembered I was there with my husband and kids who I should probably share with. It’s the right thing to do, eating fudge in front of your kids and not sharing is not really very cool. As I turned around to give them a little piece off of mine he very generously gave them each a piece of their own. Say this part like a little kid taunting a sibling – YAY, I get my o-own, I get my o-own. :D! After trying it, I realized his little ploy (:D LOL). There is no way to taste this fudge and not want more! It was just like mom’s! So, I got in line and bought a full slice. When the women working the front handed it to me she said “careful, it’s still hot”. I did a little secret happy dance inside at the thought of a slice of still warm fudge. The bad news is, these guys only work festivals, so if you see them – get some! From there we walked around for a few minutes indulging in our delicious fudge. Every few minutes, a little grunting noise emanating from the stroller – my two year old wanting another bite of fudge in her mouth.

We wandered around looking at all the deliciousness dipped in chocolate. There was everything from chocolate-covered churros and chocolate-covered twinkies to fried ice cream with chocolate strawberries, chocolate-covered crepes and even chocolate covered potato chips. But I was on a mission. Chocolate covered bacon and key lime pie. We grabbed some drinks and continued our search. It seemed the lines were growing longer by the minute, one more stop and back to my quest. After all, who can pass up a good truffle. This time it was from the candy maker who was sponsoring the event Cerreta’s. I got the double chocolate truffle filled with -yes, chocolate. It was about half the size of my fist and really yummy! We shared that along with a chocolate dipped strawberry – it’s important to feed your kids fruit you know :D!

Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it – the sign for the chocolate key lime pie –  YAY. And then I noticed the  sign with the black sharpie writing - Out of Key Lime Pie. Sad, very sad.

And finally, aaahhhhhhhh (in your best opera voice) the chocolate bacon line! Also, quite possibly, the  longest line in the world. I guess everyone wants to try chocolate bacon. So, I waited, and waited, and waited and I’m sad to say that they announced that they were out of chocolate bacon. Booooooo, I was so sad :( . So I, along with most of the line, walked away disappointed. Oh well, I guess I have something new to make at home (don’t judge me, I want to try it – lol). So that was pretty much the end of the chocolate eating for the day. But, just in case you want to know….

Dr. Francisco Villarreal, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. was there to teach everyone about the medicinal properties of chocolate – not that we need an excuse to eat it :D! But….recent scientific studies have implied dark chocolate has health benefits such as a reduced risk of heart disease, increased brain function,  lowered blood pressure,   and lowered cholesterol  – cool. Also……

Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire has become the largest gathering of national romance novelists in the Southwest. Pretty cool! I don’t really get into romance novels myself or have the extra time to read them, but just having them there added to the whole romantic, chocolaty fun day! Oh, and they had romance cover model Jimmy Thomas there to meet and greet fans. He has been on over 2,000 book covers – which is super impressive. I mean seriously where does he find the time? Much to his fans disappointment, he was one of the few treats there that did not come dipped in chocolate – LOL :).

In the end, even though I failed at my mission of trying chocolate covered bacon, and there was no key lime pie, we had a great time! I plan on being there next year. I also plan on making my own chocolate bacon and key lime pie (I’ll let you know how they come out:D). Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to make a chocolate creation of your own! Happy Cooking :D!

OK everyone, here’s an update, it’s now 2013 (next year) and yes, I went again. How could I possibly resist a day of chocolate. This time, we headed straight for the Key Lime Pie booth. You see, this wonderful woman, Patti, who read my article last year was holding two pieces for me this year. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever. She e-mailed me and said she felt bad they had ran out and that she’d hold one. So, anyway, let me tell you, it did not dissapoint. The chocolate was so totally rich and dedadent and the Key Lime pie was actual Key Lime Pie – it’s easy to spot a cheater Key Lime Pie, they taste and look different. It was so good that when my husband took a bite, he asked me if she was from Florida. The little background there is that we used to live in South Florida together and would go to Key West to this place called Key Lime on a Stick where you could get frozen, chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie – and it was amazing. Imagine how excited we were to find that awesome taste again – not to mention the memories it brought back. And guess what else, Patti is a blogger. So, I checked out her site and ended up reading several of her pages before I left – she’s a really good writer. Here’s a link to her blog so you can all check it out too – Patti’s Blog.

Oh, guess what else happened. The fudge that we had last year that I went on and on about – you know the one – SOLD OUT when we got there. Sigh. On the good side, I found this other fudge booth called Mr. Fudge. They had placed second that day in the sweets contest. So, we got three different kinds of fudge – pumpkin, maple, and chocolate and of course on of the winning creations. I have to be honest here and say that I haven’t tried it yet. Mostly because that day I was already too stuffed with goodies. However, my son had some and said it was the best fudge he’d ever had – hey, what about my fudge! Just kidding! I do want to say too though that he wasn’t with us last year so he didn’t try the fudge from “Oh Fudge”. I am going to try it soon. I’m patiently waiting for this cold I have to go away so that I can actually taste again – it’s in my freezer. I will be sure to update as soon as I try it. And, I have pictures of the fudge, the winning creation, and the Key Lime Pie that I will put up on Monday.



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