Author Archives: Laura A.

My Forking Thoughts on Hershey’s NY Cherry Cheesecake Bar

 

Hershey’s is one of the largest manufacturers of chocolate in North America. They’ve been manufacturing affordable chocolate since 1894. People of a certain age might remember the jingle from TV commercials that went……”Hershey’s the Great American Chocolate Bar”……..Until now I haven’t come across much in the way of unusual or weird flavored food in the Hershey’s Brand until now. Here is Flavor of New York Cherry Cheesecake bar embedded with crispy cookies. New York is famous for many foods but one of the New York Specialties is considered to be Cheesecake.

I open up the bar.

It doesn’t smell appetizing.

It smells like a combination of cough syrup laced with something I remember from my childhood……..my Mom’s cedar Closet with moth balls. (I don’t think people have cedar closets or use moth balls anymore)

It also doesn’t look appetizing.

Looks like a skin disease …….. maybe… chicken pox.

I bravely taste a pip.

It’s very sweet like canned frosting.

It doesn’t taste natural at all… It really doesn’t taste like any kind of food.

It taste like how it smells……Very Sweet…..main flavor is cough syrup…..laced with cedar closet moth balls.

feeling something gritty…..

Yuk…the lumps taste like crumbs of cough syrup.

My mouth feels very greasy now.

YUK! THIS IS FORKING AWFUL!

I don’t think any person in the whole wide world can enjoy this…….

Poor Milton Hershey would be turning in his grave if he could taste this bar with his name on it.

I have no understanding of how such an awful tasting product could have been manufactured.

NOT WORTH A FORK!

NOT WORTH A FORK!

My Forking Thoughts on the Hershey’s NY Cherry Cheesecake Bar.

Your taste and experience may or may not differ……(but I FORKING doubt it)

The Forking Truth

Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower Recipe

 

 

Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower

I was reading a recipe about Korean Style Pickles and I thought I could do my spin on Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower. It’s very easy to prepare. Simply wash and break down the cauliflower in bite size pieces and place in a gallon zip lock bag. Then mix together the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the cauliflower. Shake the bag to coat the cauliflower, Place in the refrigerator. A few times distribute the sauce around the cauliflower let it sit over night in the refrigerator. The next day dress with a little scallion and a small amount of Korean Shredded red pepper. Overnight a lot of liquid comes out of the cauliflower and it shrinks and gets tender crisp and sucks up the flavor from the sauce. If you are a fan of Korean Food you should be a fan of this cauliflower. I thought of the cauliflower as a light but flavorful vegetable dish but my husband would prefer the Korean Style Cauliflower paired with rice, eggs and Korean style beef.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

1 medium cauliflower – cleaned up and broken down into bite size pieces

1 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon gochujang

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

1 Tablespoon black vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch red pepper flakes

one scallion – to use next day – sliced thin

pinch Korean red pepper threads

Directions

Broken down cauliflower goes in a gallon ziplock plastic bag. Set a side.

In a small bowl combine everything remaining except for the scallions and Korean Red Pepper Threads.

Pour mixture in bowl into the bag of cauliflower and work the liquid all around.

Let it sit on the counter for a half hour to get the juices flowing.

Now place in the refrigerator. Turn the bag over every few hours during the day.

Leave in the refrigerator over night and the next day the cauliflower is ready to serve.

When ready to serve dress with some scallions and some Korean red pepper threads.

Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower

Serve with Korean Style Beef, rice and some soft eggs if you like!

Very flavorful and tasty!

Korean Style Pickled Cauliflower

The Forking Truth

Mediterranean 6 Course Dinner with Wine Pairing at Cafe Bink Carefree AZ

 

“off to Cafe Bink”

Cafe Bink is a casual but somewhat upscale restaurant in beautiful Carefree Arizona. Cafe Bink was opened by James Beard Nominated Chef Binkly who is now giving full attention to his fine dining restaurant Binkley’s in Phoenix. Talented Chef and Partner Chef Justin Olsen is currently running things at Cafe Bink. They have been offering many specials off all sorts. The specials that brought me in were the Tomato Dinner, The Chef’s All Things Summer Date Night Dinner and the Mediterranean Date Night Dinner with Wine pairings……so far……..

For Mediterranean Night they started us off with the crispiest fluffiest falafels I ever had anywhere.

The falafels had a flavorful moist interior too and came with creamy labne filled with extra virgin olive oil and sesame seeds. It was an unexpected delicious treat! 2014 Tedeschi Soave Classico was the pairing for this and the next plate.

Next plate was Seared Halloumi with almonds, almond butter, sweet and spicy pickled peppers, arugula and seasoned pita crisp.

Delicious all together. It was light and not too heavy so we had room for the next course.

 

Third Course was some really AMAZING CRIPY Eggplant! It was the crispiest ever and also seemed free of oil. It was so good! I wish I could get this plate again sometime. The eggplant inside was so tasty and meaty. Home made pomegranate molasses, dried pomegranate. feta and za’taar were flavors that all went together just right and it only got better with 2015 Domitia  Picoul de Pinet. This course was simply pure bliss.

Fourth Course was an Imtermezzo of Lemon Granite.

It was intensely lemon with another small hint of a note of flavor…………I guessed it correctly…Sambucca. It was not too sweet but great flavor that was refreshing.

Fifth Course was Local Chicken with onions, olives, raisins, herbs wine and cous cous.

The chicken was flavorful and very tender and was carefully SoueVide at 135 degrees F and then seared. The Chewy Cous Cous was tasty and I really liked the sweet pops of flavor from the golden raisins. Paired with 2014 McMurray Pinot Noir

Sixth Course – The Dessert – was surprisingly delicious ………It was Yogurt Mousse with local honey, pistachios, dates and phyllo paired with Cave Brut Spanish Sparkling.

I don’t know how but some sort of chef wizardry happened here. Somehow they made yogurt taste good. Magically it became Whipped goodness and when you hit the bottom you got citrusy dates and up top were the nutty pistachios with honey. The phyllo was turned to almost something like a toffee crisp. It was pretty darn impressive.

Another Amazing Dinner at Cafe Bink with friendly informative service and great wine parings too!

Cafe Bink is Certainly Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! It’s worth the drive across town to dine here.

On the way home from Cafe Bink

The Forking Truth

Newly Opened – The Covenant Restaurant Phoenix AZ

 

The Covenant recently opened in Phoenix. This is a bold, Gorgeous, Glamorous but casual restaurant. There are chandeliers, artsy mirrors, a great BIG beautiful wine tower that channels the look of Charlie Palmer’s Fine Dining Restaurant Aureole in Las Vegas NV. There is also open shelving of fine whiskeys and bourbons on display to wet your whistle. The restaurant has an open kitchen. Dinners can view the 900 degree wood oven.

The Covenant also offers a large bar.

 

The restaurant seems very large but once inside I counted a few booths and not so many high top deuce banquets for couples. The atmosphere is energetic, a bit loud. the air is slightly humid.

We started out by sharing a Melon and Feta Salad.

The Salad was very generous in size. They graciously split the salad in two large bowls for us. We received a variety of fresh cut melon, tangy feta, a little creamy avocado, peppery arugula and some Korean Red Pepper Threads. The salad was free of dressing and was nice and light but sort of dull. I did speak to the manager about the salad and he agreed with me and informed me that the kitchen is working on a delicious sounding dressing for this salad. So you might not have the experience I had if you order this salad ……….. (?)

For Dinner I wanted to order the Fish of the Day. It sounded so good En Papillote in citrus butter, teardrop peppers, potatoes, lemon preserves, haricot verts and fresh herbs. I was told they were all sold out of them before dinner……

So I went with my 2nd choice The Chicken Dinner.

The Chicken Dinner was a Stunner! Mouthwatering tender flavorful succulent chicken thigh to die for……and also a tender delicious breast. Bathed in flavorful, yummy chicken essence. Extra Fancy baby vegetables and smashed and crisped creamy fingerling potatoes. It was a really good chicken dinner.

My husband had what they called The Chef’s Cheddar Mac.

It’s a big bowl of macaroni and cheese with three shrimp and some andouille sausage. My husband said the andouille sausage was really delicious but there was very little of it in this dish and the shrimp were over cooked. But it was a little different with the tasty relish in the middle an when you mixed it up the macaroni wasn’t dry anymore.

The Covenant is a beautiful nice gorgeous restaurant but since it’s newly opened it might be slightly hit and miss as most any new restaurant usually is.

www.TheCovenantAZ.com

EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

7 lbs Eye Roast at 500 degrees 18 minutes cooking time Recipe

 

Eye Roast

Eye Roast is one of the easiest cuts of beef to prepare delicious, tender and moist. It also was on sale this past week at Safeway for $2.77 a lb for Angus Choice. I like the method that’s been around forever to cook the eye roast at 500 degrees. The beef must be in 3-4 pound pieces and then you oil and season the beef. After 15-20 minutes in the 500 degree F oven you shut it off and just leave the beef sit there for 2- 21/2 hours and wa la you got some easy tasty juicy tender beef. My trick is that I make a rack of vegetables under the beef and I use a great blend of delicious seasoning.  This isn’t the kind of recipe were you need to measure. Just wing it and it will come out great!

ingredients for about 20 servings

7 pound eye roast cut in half

1/3 cup (about) canola oil

1/4 cup kosher salt (about)

2 Tablespoons black pepper (about)

2 Tablespoons granulated garlic (about)

2 Tablespoons smoked paprika (about)

pinch ground cloves

1 large onion – cut in thick slices

12 large cloves garlic – smashed

2 celery ribs – cut in sticks

2 large carrots – cut in sticks

Directions

Set oven to 500 degrees F

Split the vegetables in two 1/2 pans

Cut a 7 lb eye roast in half and blot it dry and then rub with oil.

Put all the spices in a bowl and mix.

Sprinkle the spices all over the eye roasts and place each eye roast in a pan.

Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes. If you have a 4 lb piece you need about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes just shut the oven off and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. You need to leave in the oven till the meat is about 140 degrees F. Mine took 2 1/2 hours.

“OH MY!” “That smells FORKING GREAT!” “I FORKING need some!”

“He has no Forking manners.” “Yes, it does smell great but it needs to rest so I will rest too and then ME and the eye roast will be ready for each other!.”

Eye Roast

Let the meat rest about a half hour after you remove it from the oven.

Easy and maybe the best beef you ever roasted.

The Forking Truth

 

 

NEW Different WEIRD and Special Edition Foods out there August 2017

 

There is ALWAYS something new, different, weird or special edition out there in the world of food. I never know what I’ll see when I go to a store and here are just a few of the things I saw recently. Here are Lay’s BLT “limited” potato chips. They are suppose to taste like a bacon , lettuce and tomato sandwich. How does that sound to you?

Lay’s also has out “limited”Lime and Sea Salt Flavored Potato Chips. I like lime but potato chips???? Don’t know?????

Lay’s “limited” 40% less fat sweet chili and sour cream. They had me at 40% less fat and sweet chili…….but lost me at sour cream….and really lost me with sweet chili and sour cream together.

To my surprise Tostitos Corn Chips also offers “limited chips” Here are Sopapilla Cinnamon and Sugar Corn Chips. Who knew that these were out there?

Italian Herb Ritz Crackers. Now these could be a good appetizer. A little Cheese, a slice of tomato and a basil leaf. It will be a little crunchy pizza.

Pop Chips are potato based snacks that are slightly healthier being low fat and not fried. These are the Crazy Hot Flavor. I purchased this bag and it wasn’t crazy hot…….My bag was CRAZY TART, Forking SOUR and Acidic. I think I Forking got a defective bag.

Speaking of defective……If there is something out there that is defective somehow I seem to find it.

Landies Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites with peanut butter drizzle. These Pretzels look like they taste amazing……….but they don’t taste the way they look…..Oddly they taste like fruit…..sort of like artificial cherry…..maybe with a touch of mint in the drizzle….I ate the drizzle and the coating over the pretzel separately to figure it out. I contacted this company on the web with the lot number inquiring about these pretzel bites but nobody felt the need to contact me back….

Fork Them!

I was excited when I saw Krispy Kreme Glazed something that looked like chocolate bar….Thinking about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Chocolate…..BUT WTFork……THESE ARE COFFEE…..oh well not for me.

It seems Americans can’t go on without new flavors of Oreos. Here is Jelly Donut. This one sparked my interest but I didn’t purchase them……. just like I don’t purchase any Oreo for me since I don’t like that cheap store bought cookie taste. But I am interested….too bad I’ll never Forking find out how these cookies taste

.

Here is something New and Unique. Bake in your oven Pillsbury Smores Rolls with Marshmallow Cream…. I don’t know why but I think Klingons eat them…?

Macadamia Milk…who knew!

Coldstone Creamy is a popular American Chain of Ice cream Parlors. How the Fork can you bottle a milk shake without it being melted…..?

Tampico is a popular Mexican Hot Sauce. Who knew they make beverages too?

Sunny D is a popular breakfast drink or a sort of artificial substitute for orange juice. Now they make substitute orange and strawberry flavored gushing candies………..

Fruit flavored Gumies that look like bandages.

Key Lime Pie FILLED? Twizzlers candy. Sound fun and tasty.Might be good?

Sriracha Diced Tomatoes and Red Chilies…OH MY!

Whataburger is an American Fast Food Burger Place that I have never been too. They are selling their own Ketchup now at the grocery store.

Three kinds of Apricots who knew?

I thought this was mighty weird. Something called Cocktail Caviar. It’s Blueberry and Wildflower infused beads in vodka. I guess you use a little and garnish a fancy dessert with the “Caviar” maybe it’s fun to decorate a cannoli with this “caviar?” Or maybe you just want to eat it like a Forking Tub of ice cream?  I thought it was weird and it reminded me of something you might remember from ten years back.

Photo via Pinterest

Remember orbitz? I tried to drink this once because it looks really cool but I can’t stomach it. FORKING TRUTH! I couldn’t get one sip down. It just turned my stomach.

AS THE STOMACH TURNS…………….

The most different thing I came across at the Asian and International Market is a WTFork…

Sourleaf…Trust me you don’t want to try this one unless you have a hankering for something that is foul tasting, a mild narcotic, dulls pain and makes pink foam in your mouth and possibly turns your teeth to a color of blood red…….Sourleaf….it’s not for everyone.

Well that was the NEW, DIFFERENT, WEIRD and Special Edition for August 2017. I don’t know WTFork I’ll come across next month.

The Forking Truth

Got LOTS of Tomatoes & Eggplants make Alla Norma Recipe

 

Alla Norma

I sort of almost was gifted with a whole box of not so great tomatoes…you know the supermarket round cardboard tasting like kind…..and 8 small eggplants that were firm but were starting to rot near the tops so I either had to trash them or do a bit of work and make something delicious out of them.

To make the tomatoes delicious- they had to be cored and peeled.

Then I cut the tomatoes in thirds. The tomatoes were sprinkled lightly with sea salt and some extra virgin olive oil in half pans. The pans were put in a 225 degree F oven for 8 hours and reduced some.

While the tomatoes were doing their thing in the oven I used my other oven for the eggplants. I usually fry the eggplant for this dish but the eggplant always absorbs a lot of oil so I did the eggplant two ways on the oven to use less oil.

But first I sauté –

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 green bell peppers – chopped

1 large sweet onion – chopped

5 red jalapeños – almost fine chopped

7 large garlic cloves – fine chopped

1 Tablespoon course sea salt.

I sautéed them till soft.

Next

1 1/2 cup dry white wine – let it reduce – put to the side

6 of the eggplants I cut in cubes and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. They went in a 500 degree F oven. I checked on them about every 15 minutes and mixed them up so they could get caramelized all over.

The other 2 eggplants I cut in half long ways and made cross hatch marks on them and also sprinkled them with extra virgin olive oil. They went in the same oven with the other eggplants at 500 degrees F for an hour.

They get scooped out like a mango or avocado. They have a buttery texture and more char taste.

In a pot add  the sautéd vegetables.

Season with –

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon ground aleppo pepper

1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet pepper

1 Tablespoon ground Urfa Biber Chili pepper

Add the eggplants

At this point the eggplant is very delicious and you just might want to use the eggplant as a bread dip.

 

The tomatoes aren’t done yet so you will put away the eggplant mixture. Tomorrow you finish.

After 8 hours I put the tomatoes away for the next day.

Day two-

I put the tomatoes in a 8 quart pot and cook them down some more on medium low heat for a few hours. These tomatoes are still not the meatiest or have the best flavor so I add two small cans of tomato paste and let the pot go another maybe three hours. Added a small amount of sugar.

Next

I add the eggplant mixture and let it cook together for about an hour.

added a small palm full of dried oregano

and a small palm full of dried basil

At this point it FORKING DELICIOUS so I let it cool on the counter and then put in containers for most to go off to the freezer.

Alla Norma

I know most people wouldn’t season the eggplant with Aleppo, Urfa biber and paprika but those ingredients make eggplant shine. My husband normally hates eggplant but when he tasted the sauce he said “That REALLY IS DELICIOUS” If you use better tasting salts and better tasting peppers your food will turn out more delicious! For the next few days my husband kept saying that is really GOOD Norma Sauce.

Alla Norma topped with a little parmesan and home made fresh ricotta

This kind of sauce is usually served with pasta and Italian cheese but you can serve it however the Fork you want.

Forking Delicious!

The Forking Truth

 

 

My Visit to Thao Sandwiches in Phoenix AZ

 

Thao Sandwiches is a small “hole in the wall” Vietnamese Eatery in Central Phoenix. This is not a fancy place. It looks a bit worn. They serve up a long menu of Vietnamese Soup, Rice, Noodle dishes, Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwiches and more. I noticed they offer Penny Wort Beverages.

I went for a dish that is seldom offered on Vietnamese Menus. The Com Da Ga Roti (Red Rice Chicken) I was very curious about this dish. I found only two recipes for it on the internet. It sounds like it might be basically Spanish Rice (tomato based) but seasoned with Asian Flavors from the two recipes I read.

Here it is Red Rice Chicken.

I received a large portion of chewy orange rice that have lots of pieces of small carrot and some sweated onions. A small cup of Asian Smoky Spicy seasoning is on the side and a cup of Chicken Broth. The Chicken has a great crispy skin and tasty moist tender meat. The rice was very mild and had little flavor on it’s own so you use the smokey slightly spicy sauce to kick it up.

My husband got a Pork Bun Dish.

It was filled with noodles, herbs, sprouts, peanuts, scallions, fried pork rolls and pork slices and fish sauce for dipping.

That was my visit to Thao Sandwiches.

No website you just will have to visit them at 6025 N 27th Ave in Phoenix.

I do note that menus posted on popular review sites for this restaurant have changed.

EVERY Forking thing is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen in Scottsdale AZ is Worth a Fork

 

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen recently opened in Scottsdale in the Gainey Ranch Center. They serve up a sort of New American type of menu in a comfortable casual atmosphere.

We started with a Smoked Salmon Rillette.

The Rillette was adorned with pickled mustard seeds and onion, pesto, creme fraiche and toasted bread. The salmon was lightly smoked and wasn’t too fatty. The pickled mustard seeds and onion elevate the salmon to another level. I like the pesto….It’s a nice little break from the other flavors.

For Dinner I had the Halibut.

The fish was moist and flaky. I liked the flavors in the pea puree with the addition of fresh peas. The flavor was great and then I gots these sweet pops of texture from the peas. The assorted fingerling potatoes with creamy centers were yummy goodness. A bit of creme fraiche added some richness and completed the dish. A very nice dinner….

My husband had the Porchetta.

The Porchetta was served over soft creamy grits and was topped with peach/tomato basil relish, maple mustard and candied bacon. The bacon was very unique and was candied with sesame seeds and some cinnamon for a unique sensation. Sort of busy but a unique spin on the classic.

We left full and happy.

Can’t wait to try the lunch menu!

www.6DegreesAZ.com

Too soon to rate but everything was great so I just have to say it was …

Worth a Fork!

EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may…or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

 

 

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw Recipe

 

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

I was reading about salsa and learned of carrot salsa and other salsas so I came up with something different that’s a slaw. There isn’t any difference in salsa and slaw it’s just the way you cut the vegetables. This slaw is light and refreshing with a little sweet from the mango and jicama and a little heat too. Jicama is a fruity crisp vegetable. Some people describe it as a cross between an apple and a potato but I think it taste and crunch more like a cross between a pear and a water chestnut. I used my pickled jalapeño to zip up the slaw but if you don’t have good pickled jalapeños you can just use a fresh one instead. For best results and flavors let the salad rest in the refrigerator a few hours before serving. This slaw can be served cold or warmed up.

Ingredients for about 4 servings

1/2 a medium/small jicama (about 8 oz) -shredded

4 medium carrots – peeled and shredded – I used rainbow carrots

2 small yellow mangos – thin slices

8 grape tomatoes – cut in quarters

1/4 cup scallion – thin slices

1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

1 pickled jalapeno – my recipe is preferred – chopped fine

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon course sea salt

2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon canola oil

Jicama, Carrot and Mango Slaw

Directions

In a large bowl add the jicama, carrots, mango, jalapeño, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro and set to the side.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients that make up the dressing. Mix well and pour over slaw. Gently mix. leave it sit on the counter for a half hour to let the flavors develop. Set in the refrigerator and serve latter.

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

These are the colors of carrots I used and the Asian side slicer for the shreds.

This is how I made the mango slices.

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

It came out light refreshing and delicious! I bet it would be Forking Great in a fish or chicken taco!

The Forking Truth