Author Archives: Laura A.

Corned Beef & Brisket Pastrami Recipe – WITHOUT NITRATES

 

Corned Beef on Rye with Russian Dressing and East Coast Style Slaw

Brisket Pastrami “Cold” without nitrates

U.S.D.A. Choice Brisket was on sale for $1.99 a pound so I thought it would be great to do a Corned Beef and a Pastrami Style Brisket. I NOTE this recipe is NOT what you’d receive from a deli. Deli Corned Beef and Pastrami is made with Nitrates. The Nitrates do give a more familiar taste and they also turn the meat that attractive pink color. I’ve been reading up on preserving corned beef and pastrami and I’ve been convinced to change my recipes some because I’ve been taking a dangerous chance on the meats preserving with only using Morton Kosher Salt. I’ve just been lucky so far………..Well I figure my luck could run out so I tweaked my recipes slightly and I’m trying a different method of letting the meat brine only five days to cure and just simmering the meat till tender because that is safe. OMG>>>>>>This is much better and easier……….It’s better because the meat never gets too salty and I don’t have to spend a whole forking day trying to get the salt out……..and it’s moist and EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! In case you didn’t know Corned Beef and Pastrami start out the same. Then the difference is that I simmered the Corned Beef with the usual braising vegetables. I didn’t smoke my pastrami because I don’t have a smoker and my BBQ is very difficult to keep steady at a low temperature. I simmered the pastrami till tender and after it was chilled dried it off and applied a thin coating of molasses and then applied rub. A standard rub is just a 50/50 mix of ground coriander and black pepper but I happen to have my leftover rub from last time (I kept in the freezer) I’ll include that recipe for you but it makes more rub than you need and whatever is left over you need to keep frozen for next time if you like. I got 22  four oz. portions. You might get more because I cut off more fat than most people would. Leftovers freeze well.

Ingredients for at least 22 servings

1 whole brisket (about 14 pounds)

3 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cup pure honey

2 Tablespoons juniper berries

10 Tablespoons coriander seeds

2 Tablespoons allspice berries

8 bayleaves

2 cinnamon sticks – in halves

2 Tablespoons whole cloves

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

8 Tablespoons black peppercorns (tellicherry…they taste better and aren’t flat like regular ones)

1 Tablespoon ground ginger

21 garlic cloves – smashed and chopped some

4 hot dry peppers torn in half

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

2 chile pequin (this is really optional…..I don’t expect you to run out to buy these but I recommend you do because they are very good peppers that add layers)

20 oz Diamond Brand Kosher Crystal Salt – I read that Diamond Brand is far superior to Morton for curing…..(Morton Salt is a great salt but for this Diamond Crystal is better)  Diamond Crystal also differs salt wise and per ounce is less salty tasting so it does measure DIFFERENT they have a different salt density.

1/8 cup paprika – rub

1/8 cup smoked paprika – rub

6 Tablespoons whole coriander – rub

4 Tablespoons dark brown sugar – rub

6 Tablespoons black peppercorns (tellicherry) – rub

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds – rub

1 Tablespoon white peppercorns – rub

17 garlic cloves chopped fine – rub

1 Tablespoon Szechaun peppercorns – rub

2 teaspoons dark molasses – for RUB to stick on

1 carrot – rough chopped for corned beef

1 parsnip – rough chopped for corned beef

2 celery ribs – rough chopped for corned beef

12 garlic cloves – smashed and rough chopped for corned beef

Directions

Make the brine. Combine the sugar, honey, juniper berries, coriander, allspice, bayleaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, ginger, garlic (21), hot peppers, liquid smoke, chile pequin, and Diamond Kosher Salt with three quarts of water. Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let it simmer for a about an hour. After an hour this mixture needs to be cold before you use it. So let it cool on the counter till it gets almost cool and then let it finish in the refrigerator or you can add a glassful of ice cubes to it to get it to be cold.

Get the brisket out of the wrap and trim off all the hard fat. I tried off about 4 lbs of fat till it looked like this. (if you are smoking or using the bbq you’d want to leave more fat on) You also need to pierce the beef all over with a meat fork so the brine can cure the meat.

I cut the brisket in half because I knew I wanted one part as a corned beef and the other Pastrami style.

I then put both pieces in a cooking bag in a big roasting pan and set this is my back refrigerator for FIVE days.

Set the oven for 266 degrees F

On day five I rinsed off the briskets and the one that will be pastrami style I put in the roasting pan fattier side up and filled it as much as I could with water (about 3/4) and covered it tightly.

For the corned beef I added standard roasting vegetables. One carrot, One parsnip, 2 celery ribs, 1/2 onion and about 12 garlic cloves all chopped up. This pan also got filled about 3/4s with water and covered very tightly with foil.

In the 266 degree oven they went.

The smaller corned beef (it was 4.9 pounds before cooking) took 5 hours to be very tender.

The slightly bigger beef (to become pastrami style) was 6.12 oz before cooking and took about 7 1/2 hours at 266F degrees. YOUR TIMIMG WILL DIFFER because each brisket is unique.

We are not done yet……but all the hard stuff is done.

The pans have to cool …………liquid meat and all on the counter.

When they are cool then you can remove the meats and blot them off. The corned beef is done.

The pastrami style brisket you can coat lightly with molasses and then apply the rub (rub was already toasted and ground some) all over the beef.

Refrigerate.  I NOTE this isn’t deli meat and is NOT packed with preservatives. You can keep some in the refrigerator for a few days but leftovers should be portioned and frozen.

Suddenly I have furry friends in the kitchen.

COLD corned beef

warmed up…tender and juicy

Different part of COLD corned beef

Brisket Pastrami “Cold”

I don’t think the color is too bad…..The grain runs different ways so you need to watch how you slice. You want to cut against the grain.

“I dream of meats like this!”

“Hey, you Forking runt…you will be dreaming permanently if you don’t move out of the way for me!”

I served with toasted rye bread, my east coast style slaw and some unique Russian Dressing I just whipped up from Kewpie Mayo, dijon, Italian Bomba Calabrese and Prepared horseradish sauce and smoked paprika.

The beef was warmed up sliced on a small covered sheet pan at 200 degreeF oven for about 15  minutes. The meat turns really WET and juicy.

Corned Beef on Rye with Russian Dressing and East Coast Style Slaw

Much easier than the last few times and even better Whoo Hoo!  Deleting old recipes……for pastrami and corned beef……This is it!    …….Forking Good!

The Forking Truth

 

There’s a lot of Weird Food Bling out there!

 

There was a McDonald’s Valentine Contest where someone won this $12,500. Ring for hashtaging some sort of Love Note to McDonald’s. I have to admit that I get a kick out of that ring and I think it’s hilarious! Could you imagine walking around like this? (picture off www.yahoo.com)

I do think it would be cool if the winner’s last name is Burger. I hope someone named So and So Burger won! Someone with the last name of McDonalds would also be an obvious choice too!  Maybe someone named Patty McDonald……That would be so fitting. (picture off Yahoo.com)

You might be a little Cheesy if you go around wearing these Nacho Pins! I would have purchased this pin way back when I used to work for Chi-Chi’s Mexican Cantina. Everyone would have been jealous because I would have looked Whey Cooler than my co-workers!

Yes they are really pins! (picture from www.ebay.com get your bid in before it’s gone!)

I was looking for a purse…somehow I found this. (picture from www.ebay.com bid now!)

It’s kinda cute……A Watermelon Purse! (last one on www.ebay.com bid now!)

When has a necklace ever made you feel hungry? You can certainly be the Big Cheese amongst your friends when you sport a fine necklace like this……(LOL) This little number you can buy on www.etsy.com if it’s still there…hurry!

I thought these earrings were very unusual…….I don’t know why but I imagine an Asian Food aroma when I look at these earrings……I think I’d be hungry all day wearing these earrings. These little gems are from www.etsy.com

Momma Mia don’t worry about losing your noodle! …………..

www.delicaciesjewelry.com

The Pastabilities are endless at www.delicaciesjewelry.com in silver or gold!

www.delicaciesjewelry.com

There’s a lot of Weird Food Bling out there! I wonder who’s walking around with that $12,500. McDonald’s Ring…….

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

Dining Out With DOGS in Metro Phoenix February 2018

 

“Whoo Hooo we’re going out to EAT!”

Dining out with dogs is just a fluff story about taking my dogs out to eat. I enjoy filling a page with some food from some local restaurants and I have an excuse to add pictures of my dogs. Me and the dogs make only a minimal reviews on the food. We usually (but not always) go to the same local casual restaurants with patios. You need to know that many restaurants in Metro Phoenix do indeed have patios but not all patios are dog friendly. It’s always best to call a restaurant and ask if it’s ok to dine with your dog that day because a restaurant can suddenly turn non-dog friendly (happened to me) or the patio can be booked for a party. I need to mention it’s always best to avoid problems so I suggest to dine at an off time to avoid as many people as possible. Some people don’t like to dine with dogs, or have allergies and they might complain and it’s a possibility that you might be asked to leave. It’s also best to avoid other people dining with dogs because it’s possible the dogs might start barking with each other and you might be asked to leave for that reason. Now that we got that down there are some rules to Dining Out with Dogs. You need to know Dogs must be by your side at all times. Dogs are not to sit on furniture or to eat off restaurant plates. Most food and drink that you consume can be harmful or toxic to your dog. You should consult you veterinarian for a food friendly and a foods to avoid list. Usually the safest food to feed your dog is lean plain meat without sauce. Now you are ready to Dine out with Dogs!

For our first stop this month we went to Salad and Go! This is a small Drive Threw Restaurant local growing restaurant chain that specializes in serving Natural, Organic, Everything Made in House, Low Priced Gourmet Salads. (salads run about $5.75 and chicken runs around $1.50…at this time) They offer around ten different choices plus seasonal specials. They also offer healthy breakfasts, smoothies, wraps, soups and a children’s menu. This place is a drive threw. No dining room or restrooms but they have a nice patio and except dogs. Depending on who’s working there they hand out dog biscuits to the doggie customers.

I got a Southwest Caesar Salad with added Chicken today with House made Poblano Dressing.

“This is a surprisingly large salad with a good amount of chicken to share” “A few of the other ingredients are picco, chickpeas, kale and radishes”.

 

“We are Forking ready for more chicken!” “And Shrimp.”

My husband had the Santa Fe Salad with added Chicken and Shrimp. He saved a little shrimp for the dogs….

“We scored a good amount of healthy grub at Salad and Go!”

www.SaladandGo.com

“We were going to eat at Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale but there was Forking Loud live music on the PATIO so we left.” “Why the Fork would they do that on a dog friendly patio?”

“Now we are on our way to Cucina Tagliani in Glendale.”

Cucina Tagliani serves American Italian Favorites and they offer many heath conscious alternatives like baked spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash substitutions for pasta, grilled chicken parmesan, whole grain pastas and a long menu of side vegetables.

Today I got one of my favorite’s for lunch, the Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with House Made Dressing.

Dogs enjoy Goat Cheese and Chicken. Actually they’d eat the strawberries and Romaine too!

The Dogs are also very interested in the Chicken and Shrimp Rigatoni.

“We’re Back!”

“We enjoyed our meal at Cucina Tagliani.”

www.CucinaTagliani.com

“We’re on our way to Pita Kitchen in Glendale AZ” (he’s not biting the seat….he’s really yawning but I thought it was cute)

Pita Kitchen serves casual Greek Mediterranean Food. My favorite meal here is the Greek Salad with a Chicken Kabob.

“The salad is good because the white meat chicken is usually juicy and tasty.”

“I’m a BIG fan of the chicken too!”

My husband likes to get the two meat platter.

Gyro Meat and Beef Shawarma with Greek Salad and Rice.

“I’m ready for more chicken please!”

www.PitaKitchen.net

“We’re on our way to Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante in Glendale AZ”

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante serves Italian Food. They specialize in Neapolitan Style Pizzas, They also serve appetizers, salads, in-house pasta and Italian made pasta. They also serve lunch, seasonal specials, wine dinners and brunch.

The dogs were so cute while they were waiting for our meals to arrive.

“I’m so Forking Happy I’m here!”

He looks up at me between my legs and says, “Where’s the food?”

Today I went for the Vegetariano Panini. (zucchini, eggplant, roasted red pepper, tomato and provolone cheese on seasoned house made bread with a simple mixed green salad, shaved parmesan)

The dogs got to eat slices of parmesan and grilled zucchini.

My husband had the Bottega Pizza. (sausage, pepperoni & fresh basil)

She has her eye on the pizza.

“We are waiting for our next bite.”

www.BottegaRistorante.com

“We are on our way to Culver’s in Phoenix”

Culver’s is a national chain Fast Food Restaurant that started in Wisconsin and is in around half the United States. The signature dishes at a Culver’s are Butter Burgers, Frozen Custard and maybe the made fresh to order- Hand Battered Fish.  Culver’s advertise that they differ from the other Fast Food Restaurants out there because they claim the food they serve is restaurant quality…..I’ve never been to a Culver’s Before……but they have a limited special on Walleye….(a really GOOD fish that’s hard to come by) so I thought we’d try Culver’s today!

My husband got me the three piece Walleye platter.

It came with a bun, crinkle cut fries, cole slaw, lots of tarter sauce and THREE BIG BATTERED pieces of fish.

“The fish is fresh tasting mild and flaky in a shattering crisp crust”………”I like it a lot”

“I agree the fish is Very Good for the price point and even if there wasn’t a price point….it’s still very good……… I hate to say this but I’d even say it’s better than from a few full service restaurants I had walleye from.” ……….. “I’m not the biggest fan of the crinkle fries but the cole slaw is surprisingly good.” The  Butter Burger made with Wisconsin Cheese and the Bun is buttered and grilled with Wisconsin Butter.”…………gets an OK.

“My folks wouldn’t let me finish up the leftovers so I get to have Walleye again for lunch soon!” ‘Woo Hoo!”  “We will be dining at Culver’s again!”

www.Culvers.com

That was Dining Out With Dogs in Metro Phoenix for February 2018. We hope to see you next month!

The Forking Truth

In Memory of Louie 5-5-2001 – 3-3-2017

 

 

 

 

 

My Trip to Blue Clover Distillery Scottsdale AZ – Newly Opened

 

Blue Clover Distillery recently opened in DownTown Scottsdale AZ. This is Scottsdale’s first distillery.  I think I overheard that the Vodka is ready now but several other spirits are soon to come. The atmosphere is neat and clean and open. Interesting light fixtures grace the ceiling.  They offer regular tables and high top community tables inside.  They also offer bar seating indoors and out with a patio for dining…or sipping.

The menu is mostly casual and mostly laced with New Mexican Chile Peppers.

My husband tried the Spicy Shrimp Scampi and Bacon Grilled Cheese (pepper jack, havarti)  and Sweet Potato Tater Tots as his side.

The sandwich came with a nice crisp garlic-ee Deli pickle too! He said the sandwich was spicy and the shrimp were prepared well. He thought it was a tasty sandwich. We think it was spread with a Vodka Prickly Pear Jam that made the sandwich very unique. We both liked the Sweet Potato Tots…..They tasted like Sweet Potato but less mushy with a light skin that wasn’t oily.

I went with the Corn Bowl Salad with added Chicken. It comes in two sizes and I asked the waitress to show me with her hands the difference is size so I’d know what to order. She said the smaller one is just an appetizer size so I went with the large.

I have to be FORKING Honest like I always am………My first thought when I received the Corn Bowl was that this Corn Bowl Contains a very small amount of corn……(hardly Forking any)

Any Who-

Here’s a close up so you can see the salad better.

On the other hand my salad had Forking LOTS of chicken on it. I think it might satisfy a truck driver OR TWO!……(Extra to bring home for my dogs) The chicken has tasty grill marks on it but it was pre-cooked and was served refrigerator cold. Other ingredients in the salad were mixed greens, black beans, green chiles, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, local cotija cheese, spicy sunflower seeds (? seemed plain) in a BC. Mezcal Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. (not certain if the salad contained all those ingredients)…..The dressing was very good…….It was very flavorful….But the green chiles in this salad were too spicy for such a delicate salad. They were burning my mouth…..and I enjoy spicy foods…..If the salad had a little more corn, beans and cheese I think it would taste better and tone down the heat…..The chef did come to our table and asked how things were…I just said, “OK.”…….because my meal was OK…..At the time I felt grumpy from this platter and I didn’t have the balls to bitch about the cold pre-cooked chicken in a $18.00 salad, the spicy level, trace ingredients and the lack of corn in something called a corn bowl……… To me it’s just obvious that a $18.00 menu item should have chicken that’s hot and juicy and I should have a more noticeable amount of grilled corn on something called a Corn Bowl………Listen folks we have to chalk this one up to an opening hiccup that nearly all restaurants do. ……..Maybe..chances are that I ordered the one item they do least well. Maybe  it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have ordered a salad……….I mean Corn Bowl.

Remember Folks! The Spicy Shrimp Scampi Grilled Cheese with Sweet PotatoTater Tots was well received!

At the time of this review  Blue Clover Distillery is just Newly Opened and may or (may not) be still working things out.

That was my trip to Blue Clover Distillery – Newly Opened

www.BlueCloverDistillery.com

Every FORKING THING EVERYWHERE is subject to change and YOUR experience may or MAY NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

 

D&Y Chinese Restaurant Glendale AZ – Fresh Asian Fish on the West Side

 

D & Y Chinese Food is located in a older looking strip mall in Glendale AZ. This isn’t a fancy restaurant and would look nicer if they organize things better.

(incase you are wondering…..This restaurant was full of people when I left….We were the only non-Asians there)

This isn’t your average take out Chinese Restaurant but yes…..they offer that too!

According to this restaurant’s Facebook Page they serve Canton and Mandarin Food.

I came for the Chinese Menu and the Fresh Live Fish.

Here is the Chinese Menu (not the take out menu).

Did you catch Chef Special C3?      Jellyfish Head w/Sweet Peas…….Bet your Grandma never cooked that for you!

The fresh fish listed on the board in by the dining room were –

Lobster

Crab $15.99 Lb

Tilapia $8.99 Lb

Striped Bass $10.99 Lb

Red Grouper $15.99 Lb

When I asked about the live fish I was told they only had one Tilapia left so I ordered it and an iced tea. (It seems that they get sold out by Sunday)

My iced tea is very watery. It’s mostly water.

We wait about 45 minutes to receive our meals.

The placement of the spoon makes it looks like we are checking for breathing

Wow…..I never had a tilapia that was this fresh before. It’s prepared like a really good fish from a fine restaurant. It’s really perfect…..and really fresh…..It’s in a delicate soy-ginger kind of broth that’s slightly oily. The Fish is topped with a shredded vegetable that might be celery. When a fish is this perfect it melts in your mouth and this one does.

My husband ordered Beef with Black pepper.

Notice that this dish is dry sautéed. I tried one piece of beef and one piece of green pepper. The beef is a little chewy, not partially tender and not as flavorful as other beef with black pepper I tried from other places….

Well the Fish was really great! Today fish was the sweet spot here.

I will come back to try fish again and maybe a few other things on the Chinese Menu.

If you happen to be in the area you might want to step in to D & Y Chinese to try some fresh live (until you order it) Fish! (but make it there before Sunday)

www.DYChineseFood.com but you will only see the Take Out Chinese Food there.

REMEMBER EVERY FORKING THING is subject to change and your experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Potato String Crusted Spicy Mexi-Style Beef Stuffed Anaheim Peppers Recipe

 

Potato String Crusted Spicy Mexi- Style Beef Stuffed Anaheim Pepper

About two years ago I made vegetarian Potato String Crusted Chipotle Rice Jalapeños. They sort became famous…….. Here is a similar meal kind of variation of the appetizer I made before. I get inspired sometimes by what I have at home. We just ground up a big batch of beef because I don’t eat grocery store ground beef.  I portion the beef into burgers and make other things with the rest. I had a bunch of Anaheim Peppers (mild – medium heat pepper) and Potatoes so here is Potato String Crusted Spicy Mexi- Style Beef Stuffed Anaheim Peppers. I note the amount of peppers and potatoes you need for this recipe will differ because I doubt the peppers and potatoes are the same exact size. I got 17 stuffed peppers from this recipe and some were bigger than others. You might want to use a bigger ones for dinner and the smaller ones for lunch. I KNOW the pepper and filling will freeze well but I’m not sure about the potato strings.  I wouldn’t recommend doing this recipe unless you have some sort of machine where you can make potato strings or you will go crazy trying to make them. You also need to know that you will have LOTS of extra potato strings because many of the strings will be too short to wrap around the peppers so you have to put them in a bowl of cold water and do something else with them. I didn’t write down exactly what I did but I saved the extra strings (drained them), added a ziplock bag of shredded cheese (pepper jack, sharp & extra sharp cheddar) 1/4 diced onion and three leftover Anaheim peppers chopped up and one egg to hold it together. I pressed the mixture into a sheet pan sprayed with non stick spray and it went into a 400 degree F oven for a half hour. It got nice and very brown. I put it in the refrigerator and the next day I cut the potato mixture in 8ths and brown side down and again in a 400 degree f oven for a half hour. Salt and pepper the tops. They came out just like they were fried. My husband was really excited to eat them. He said they are like McDonald’s hash browns if McDonald’s was good……..Oh and by the way the Potato String Crusted Spicy Mexi-Style Stuffed Anaheim Peppers are pretty awesome. That’s a fact…They are full of flavors and the filling is moist but not mushy and perfect! You can even make them without the potato string to save you a lot of work…(I won’t tell).

Ingredients for up to 17 servings

2 lbs ground beef (mine was a blend of brisket, chuck and rib about equal portions)

4 large eggs – slightly beaten

3/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons course sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 sweet onion – chopped fine

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup masa flour -essential for that just right taste

1 cup cooked white rice

1 cup cooked corn kernels

2 chipotle peppers in adobo – chop fine and add some adobo sauce (like a teaspoon)

3/4 cup scallions – chopped

1 carrot – peeled and shredded

1 teaspoon ground annatto (also called achiote molido)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

17 Anaheim Chile Peppers (you might need less or more depending on size)- lightly roasted – about 1/2 roasted

5 large baking potatoes (you might need less or more depending on size)

Non Stick Spray – canola or vegetable – or you can use a neutral oil

fresh ground sea salt to taste for finish

fresh ground black pepper to taste for finish

Directions

If you didn’t already start roasting your peppers do that now. You want them only about half roasted because they will finish cooking latter when you bake them. I put them in a big zip lock bag after I roasted them. Put them to the side.

In a big mixing bowl combine the eggs, waster, salt, pepper, onion, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, panko, masa, rice, corn, chipotle peppers and sauce, scallions, carrot, ground annatto. Mix well. Now add beef and mix well. Add cilantro and mix again.

Set your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make a split in a pepper. Remove the cluster of seeds by the stem. Next with a teaspoon fill up the pepper the meat mixture. Repeat till you are out of meat.

Now make your potato strings. This sort of machine works better than any other I tried. Put a towel or something under the machine unless you want a big wet mess on your counter.

Wrap a small handful of strings around a pepper and put peppers on a baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray. Repeat till down leaving a little space between the peppers. Repeat till down.

Spray the tops of the potatoes lightly with either oil or non-stick spray and place the pans in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. After half an hour TURN UP THE OVEN TO 400 degrees F. Make sure you have the top rack filled and after 15 minutes the top rack should be brown. Remove when brown and add other pans to top rack for 15 minutes to brown. Top with fresh crushed sea salt and black pepper to taste.

It comes out like this and yes it’s Delicious!

If you do what I suggested with the leftover strings it will come out like this.

Delicious Cheesy Crispy Potato Squares

Potato String Crusted Spicy Mexi-Style Beef Stuffed Anaheim Pepper

A Forking Good very original recipe by me!

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WTFork! Happened to Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews?

 

I grew up around Philadelphia PA and a famous regional candy from there was Goldenberg’s  Peanut Chews. This candy bar was like no other. It was all natural and vegan. It was packed with lots of crunchy peanuts that were held together with some sort of sweetness (molasses) that had a texture similar to silicone glue and was very chewy and covered in a thin dark chocolatey  paint. The bar lasted a long time and it came cut in 5 or 6 smaller pieces to make eating it easier and shareable. It was different than other candy bars and also wasn’t too sweet. Actually for me as a child it almost wasn’t sweet enough…..Almost everyone that grew up in the regional area ate or knew of Peanut Chews because it was local. I think I remember it also cost less than the national brands because from the youth runs to the drug store for candy. Back then when I lived in the area I remember we saw the Peanut Chew Factory from the highway every time our family took a drive into the city. I also remember that I noticed the Penn Fruit Grocery Store that was next door to it at one time long long ago.

WOW-WEE! I came across a box of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews at Dollar Tree.  I don’t remember the last time I had a Peanut Chew. Maybe it was more than 15 years ago? I haven’t seen sold in the Phoenix Area and maybe didn’t eat them the last few years I lived in PA.

Awwwww isn’t this cute! The Philly Sky line with the Liberty Bell. Underneath the Liberty Bell is the Iconic P.S.F.S. Building (a famous long gone bank and the home of radio station 93.3 WMMR) The building next to the Liberty Bell is the William Penn.

Then I go to try a Peanut Chew. Wow…this is nothing like the Peanut Chew I knew. The chocolate is a lighter color, waxy and thicker. It’s not that mysterious dark chocolatey coating that seemed like it was painted on. The inside is not packed with peanuts like they used to be. This candy used to be filled with crunchy peanuts held together by something sweet with the texture of silicon glue. It’s now filled with something gooey that it didn’t have before. It’s mostly a gooey center with very little tiny pieces of peanuts that aren’t crunchy. You used to have to really chew these chews. Hence the name Peanut Chews. It’s something different now. It’s not the same.

This could not be done with a real Peanut Chew. Look at all the pull-ee stuff…..

I found out that the Just Born Company……. (Famous for a lot of Peeps – the chic shaped marshmallows and Mike and Ike Jelly Bean-Like Candies) purchased Goldenberg’s in 2003.

The new owner of the candy company can change the recipe but I feel that changing the recipe that much the product truly isn’t Goldenberg’s anymore and (I think) they should have re-named the candy as Just Born Chews. This candy is something different from the original. At the very least they could write “New and Improved” so people know it’s not the same recipe.  I as a consumer I saw the familiar looking package as bait and I went for it….but inside was indeed a switch to me!

I feel I was Bamboozled….I know..I KNOW ….I KNOW it’s just a candy bar……… I so didn’t expect this………It made me feel bummed……It’s just another thing that isn’t the same…..Like “N” sneakers…….They used to be comfortable……I tried one on a few weeks back at the “N” outlet store and it was all flat inside…….then my husband pointed out to me that I would have to purchase the arch separately in the medium priced selection…….That’s just crazy…..A shoe should come with it’s arch……..What’s next  purchasing a new car that doesn’t come with tires?……I can go on and on …….Yada yada yada……. Yes I know that’s an extreme example…………. Well anyway back to Goldenberg’s Candy…………..so I wrote to the Just Born Company and so my surprise I quickly received a reply.

To sum things up they were sorry for my experience. They say they’ve IMPROVED the consistency and TEXTURE of the center with NO intentional changes to the flavor. The coating that Goldenberg’s used became unavailable so they picked an alternative that their research had a preference for. They also generously decided to send me some complimentary candy to regain my confidence in their brand.

Oh MY! The Candy already arrived just a few days latter! (more Goldenberg’s….too!)

Well that was sweet of them!

They included this card.

And that’s my story about Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.

I note that you might feel differently and might prefer the newer formula…..I just write about my Forking opinion.

The Forking Truth

 

 

Bouchon Bakery Style Mini Coffee Cakes Recipe

 

Bouchon Bakery Style Mini Coffee Cake

I was all set out to bake a coffee cake…..I had a bunch of ideas about how I’d make it and then thought to myself isn’t there a Bouchon Bakery Recipe out there on the web for me to try????? The first site that I found the Bouchon Recipe was on www.Joanne-EatsWellWithOthers.com Joanne made the recipe as it was written. I changed it up slightly so I didn’t have to run out and purchase creme fraiche, vanilla paste or some sort of 4 1/4 inch pans.Instead I used French style yogurt, regular vanilla extract and those higher liners that fit in my cupcake pan. (regular cupcake liners won’t work they aren’t high enough). I pick up the high ones at World Market, Target and I sometimes find them at HomeGoods. (I usually use them for Bouchon’s (also a most amazing recipe!) I figured out the timing to be about 26 minutes in my oven…(yours may differ slightly) The little coffee cakes are incredible. They are just light textured and scrumptious. The almond topping is so tasty and the cocoa center adds some interest. You do need a scale that reads grams to do this recipe because you have to weigh everything out. You might also waste part of an egg because I know I did. I weighed everything in a sandwich bag before I dumped the contents into the bowl. I thought it was an easy recipe to prepare. The original recipe requires a stand mixer but I thought it was easy enough to do by hand with a fork. Not always but usually cakes and cookies come out better if you mix them by hand so they don’t get over mixed.  I changed the recipe  only slightly to make it more user friendly so you don’t have to run out to buy so many things you don’t have or need.

Ingredients for about 12 servings

203 g ap flour – batter

1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder – batter

3/8 teaspoon baking soda – batter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt – batter

75 g unsalted butter – room temperature – batter

210 g sugar – batter

75 g eggs – slightly beaten – batter

1 teaspoon vanila extract – batter

1 cup French Style yogurt – (I really like that Oui Brand in the little glass pot) – batter

60 g ap flour – topping

60 g almond flour – topping

60 g sugar – topping

1/8 teaspoon salt – topping

60 g cold unsalted butter – cut in 1/4inch peices

15 g light brown sugar – the middle of batter

15 g unsweetened cocoa powder – the middle of batter

powdered 10x sugar to finish

ground cinnamon to finish

non stick spray

Directions

For Topping Ingredients- In a medium sized bowl whisk together ap flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and coat the pieces of butter with flour mixture breaking the butter up. You are aiming for 1/8 inch size pieces. Place the topping mixer in the freezer while you are making the batter.

For the Batter Ingredients – Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar. When mixed well add the eggs and vanilla. Now add about a half of the flour mixture and mix well and then add the yogurt and mix well and now add the rest of the flour mixture and mix well. THE BATTER NEEDS TO BE REFRIGERATED FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES.

Set your oven to 325 degrees F.

Spray 12 high type cupcake liners with non stick spray. Set each cupcake liner in a cup cake tray.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar and cocoa.

When 20 minutes has pasted get out a pastry bag. Half the batter goes in the bag. You need to squirt out a circle of batter into each cupcake liner.

Now sprinkle the cocoa/brown sugar mixture over each half of batter.

Refill the pastry bag with the other half of the batter. Make another circle of batter over each.

Sprinkle the tops with the topping from the freezer.

In the oven they go on a middle rack till the tops feel down to the touch. In my oven they took 26 minutes….(yours might differ slightly).

 

The place smells so good!……

Have a half!

Finish them with powdered 10x sugar and cinnamon.

Bouchon Bakery Mini Coffee Cake

These Bouchon Bakery Mini Coffee Cakes are really great! A special Thanks to Bouchon Bakery for giving us this amazing recipe. It’s truly a gift! And another very special Thanks to Joanne @ www.JoanneEatsWellWithOthers.com because you did the recipe as suggested and showed us how the recipe should be.

The Forking Truth

 

 

My Trip to a Certain Restaurant When They were Having a Bad Day

 

 

A certain Healthy Style Restaurant recently opened somewhere in Metro Phoenix AZ. The owner already knows about my visit and what I was served and is very upset. She had a terrible day on the day of my visit and on top of that one of her two ovens went down. She wants to make things right with me and although that is a generous offer that I appreciate…… I don’t feel like returning. I will do her a favor and not mention the name of her restaurant because it’s my intention NOT to bring any negative attention to her establishment. This is a small local restaurant that’s open in a few locations in Arizona. This restaurant offers mostly Italian Style Foods and most with a healthy twist such as baked wings, vegan chicken, quinoa bowls, salads, gluten free pasta and a few varieties of pizza dough that include gluten free(but in a non-gluten free environment). They also serve organic, non-GMO, nitrate-free and so on ingredients.

The atmosphere is fun and attractive with modern and also retro with modern fixtures, school style chairs, retro benches and old fashioned style tile floor. Seating is available indoors and out. Tables are set with a fancy mixed salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper.

We were greeted by a cheerful server and made our order.

We started with Mama’s Meat-za Balls (Turkey).

They arrived cold so our server brought them back to the kitchen and then we received them again. This time they are hot like they should be. The meatballs are seasoned with LOTS of fresh oregano and possibly nothing else. The cooked tomatoes are seasoned pretty much the same way……..I think the meatballs and sauce would have been very good if they were seasoned with less oregano, a little salt and pepper and a few other herbs. (maybe they should have been?) The focaccia bread on the side is very unusual. I’m at a loss to describe it because I took a bite and decided it wasn’t for me. Today I forgot what it tasted like.

We also tried the Roasted Vegetables.

We received a fresh mix of zucchini, squash snap peas and grape tomatoes that were mostly raw and ever so slightly heated. I think they were seasoned only with oregano. Well I guess that’s healthy!

For our main we shared the small (15in.) Fig and Gorgonzola Pizza on original flour crust option.

The pizza was supposed  to be topped with thinly sliced dried figs, caramelized onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella cheese, gorgonzola cheese, arugula and balsamic vinegar.

I take a bite.

The crust is very non-traditional. It’s puffy, delicate, SWEET with a wet SWEET center.

I don’t know what it is…..It reminds me of a wet crust like from an apple pie. Not floury and soggy like from a baked apple pie more like the gooey part of a fried apple pie like where the filling sits up against the crust. This crust on this pizza is very sweet and not at all savory. The crust almost seemed fried but wasn’t crisp.

You can’t pick up the slice to eat and have to eat it with a knife and fork. The pizza was tasty in a dessert kind of way. Even with spicy arugula this pizza was still very sweet. I didn’t get the taste of gorgonzola here so I can’t say if it was there or not. I kept thinking when I ate this pizza that walnuts would have been a tasty addition here and I never crave walnuts.

Our server was attentive and efficient. She even offered to send us off with beverages for the ride.

That was my trip to a Certain Restaurant in Metro Phoenix …When They Were Having a Bad Day.

The FORKING Truth is that EVERYTHING is subject to change and YOUR experience MAY or MAY NOT Differ!

The Forking Truth

 

WTFork is a King Cake?………Happy Fat Tuesday!…… Mardi Gras

 

Someone from New Orleans sent us a King Cake for Mardi Gras. In the United States New Orleans is the most popular place to celebrate Mardi Gras. They have all kinds of zany festivities and parades like no where else.

The King Cake is a braided Danish Pastry with cinnamon. It is essential that it is colored with purple (for justice) green (for faith) and gold for power. The cake also contains ONE PLASTIC BABY. According to my husband, the person that gets the baby gets to be King for a Day!….. Well that’s pretty cool!

So we go to try a piece. Neither of us ever had King Cake before.

I’m afraid I’m going to choke on a plastic baby so I pull a small piece to taste it….I don’t feel a plastic baby…..guess I’m safe….Ummm it’s pretty good…taste like more than cinnamon…..something like nesselrode (preserved Italian Fruit).

I go to look at the colors in the cake…….I got the baby! I thought it would be baked inside but it was impaled on the bottom.

Happy Fat Tuesday! …….and that’s WTFork is a King Cake.

The Forking Truth