Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dining With Dogs in Metro Phoenix AZ June 2016

"We"re on our way to Cucina Tagliani in Glendale AZ"

“We”re on our way to Cucina Tagliani in Glendale AZ”

Dining with Dogs is not full blown reviews on restaurants. It’s just a “Fluff” story on taking my dogs out to eat.

Many restaurants in the Metro Phoenix Area have patios but not all patios are dog friendly. It’s always a good idea to call a restaurant first before planning to dine there with your furry friend just in case they decided not to be dog friendly any longer.

There are some rules to dining with dogs. Dogs are not allowed to eat off restaurant plates or sit on the restaurant chairs. Dogs also need to stay close by your side.

You also need to be aware that most of the foods you eat are not safe for dogs and you should ask your veterinarian for a list of foods to avoid for your dog and you can also find several list on-line.

We went out to the nicest licensed dog friendly patio nearby at Cucina Tagliani in Glendale AZ. This American/Italian Family Friendly Restaurant has been in business for over twenty years.

My favorite plate to eat for lunch here is the Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad. The greens are fresh. The strawberries taste like they came fresh from a farm and the house made dressing is just right. The Chicken is moist and tasty just like it should be and I can share it with my dogs.



“I’m getting lots of Forking Chicken here!”


“Your not getting all the Forking Chicken OLD MAN!”

My husband had a spicy pasta dish made with pickled peperchini so the dogs didn’t try any of that because vinegar is dangerous to give to dogs.

For more information on Cucina Tagliani please visit

The next weekend it hit 115 degrees F. It was too hot to dine out with dogs so we took them through the Jack in a Box Drive threw and got them an Ultimate Cheese Burger no sauce.

"The pavement is too forking hot for my butt and my paws"

“The pavement is too forking hot for my butt and my paws”

I removed 1/2 the bun and feed them 1/2 the burger saving the rest for a treat.  The burger felt fresh and juicy but I can’t eat it because it’s a fast food burger. Dogs seemed to enjoy it.

We're on our way to PetSmart"

We’re on our way to PetSmart”

The next week it was expected to reach 120 degrees F. It was slightly lower but terribly hot even at breakfast time. We took the dogs out early before it reached 100 degrees to the dog friendly dog’s supermarket called PetSmart and went threw a Burger King Drive Threw for a treat for the dogs.

"Oooooh what are we getting?"

“Oooooh what are we getting?”


I gave them half a breakfast sandwich. It was a croissant stuffed with breakfast sausage, egg and American cheese. The 15 year old particularly really enjoyed it. I didn’t have any but my husband ate the other half.

The following weekend it was close to 120 degrees F in Phoenix AZ so the dogs went threw the Burger King Drive Threw again and we got them the same croissant sandwich.


For some reason this is one of the dog’s favorite fast food sandwiches.

I don’t recall so many hot days in a row last year….maybe I just don’t forking remember?

Don’t know how many more dining with dogs will be with the 15 year old but his last blood work and X-rays were amazing so I think and hope he’ll be around for a while. His low dose Chemotherapy pills might be slowing down new cancer growth.

It’s the monsoon season here that sometimes brings cooler weather to Phoenix now so there is a possibility we might get to have some Dining with dogs stories.

That was Dining with Dogs June 2016


We forking hope to see you next month!

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth



Home Made Sweet Butter is Forking Easy Recipe

The Start of Home Made Sweet Butter

The Start of Home Made Sweet Butter

Home Made Sweet Butter is very easy to prepare. It’s only whipped cream that you whip too far.

My directions are for using a stand mixer.

Ingredients for about 10 servings or a little over 7 oz of butter

1 pint of heavy cream (not whipping cream)


Pour cream into mixer bowl. Attach whip. Set speed to #8 or near high.

At around 5 minutes you will have whipped cream.


Around at 8 minutes it almost looks like cottage cheese.


At around 10 minutes it looks like yellow cottage with bigger curds. At this point the butter gets done really fast.


Now you drain the butter and keep the thin buttermilk that you can use for baking or adding to potatoes.



You now have a little over 7 oz. of butter and about 9oz of thin buttermilk.

Home made sweet butter is forking easy.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth

New Different and Weird Food Out There June 2016


There is always something “new” “weird” or “different” out there. I never know what I’ll come across when I enter a store.  I saw something that I thought was new and unusual, it was called Milk Magic. This looked like clear straws that contain flavored candy balls to change the flavor of milk. I think that’s weird but maybe if I was still a child maybe I would like it?


Vlasic is a well known American Pickle Company. This jar is called BOLD Sriracha Topper. It’s broken pickles a jar mixed with Sriracha? -Different and New!


Quinoa Chips that are Sriracha Flavored.


And if your not into Quinoa you can forking have Lentil Chips that are Sriracha Flavored!


If your not into Sriracha Flavored Chips they also make a strange combination of Hummus Tomato Basil….This combo sounds forked up to me……


Holy Moly how could we have survived without Maple Bacon laced Cashews.


Minion Pure Growth Sea Salt Pretzels are new.


Never heard of Caciotta Cheese. It’s from Italy with Italian Chili Peppers. Now that’s different and new to me.


Sriracha Ranch Dressing….This should not surprise anyone. Sriracha is the new everything here.


Move the fork over Sriracha. The Reign of Gochujang has just began.


Popped Rice Cluster snacks by Soy Vay……These sound tasty but it’s only a handful of food in the bag for $3.99…..oy vey!


Panera Bread Dressing. This surprises me. Panera Bread is a budget restaurant chain that makes fresh baked bread. Why don’t I see Panera Bread for sale instead of Panera salad dressing.


Not a bad snack but it’s for people too stupid to pack up their own food. A month’s worth of pretzels that size and mustard would cost around $5.00 if you pack it yourself or you can be stupid and spend around $22.00 for them to pack it. I hate when companies make this sort of thing. People spend more money than they need to and It makes so much more trash than this world needs.


Spicy Guacamole Potato chips are different…sort of


Mac N Cheezy filled Pasta that looks like sea rays. Now that is kind of weird and different but fun! They look like they might taste good in tomato soup?


Everybody else in the whole wide world is doing Key Lime Pie and Oreo’s finally put out their forking spin on it.


Chewy pumpkin mango might be a treat but here it is for DOGS! I think that is forking weird….

I know this dog.


Would never forking eat a mango.

Almost everyone likes chocolate.


How about Chocolate with forking EDAMAME in it? I would never think of putting edamame in my forking chocolate. That one is Forking Weird!


Orange, chocolate and Beet Cookies….?…..They sound sort of healthy…..don’t know if they can taste good.


Apple Banana sauce sounds fun but why the forking minions on the box?


Who the fork would dream up apple zucchini yogurt for a baby? Sounds like punishment to me. I would never want to eat apple zucchini yogurt or even feel like afflicting someone with it.

There is always something New, Weird or Different out there. I never know WTFork I’ll come across next.

 The Forking Truth!

The Forking Truth!

Casa De Falafel in Phoenix AZ – Falafels, Burritos and Quesadillas Oh My


Casa De Falafel is located in a Shell Gas Station Shopping Mart. You can fill your gas tank and your stomach at the same time here. This is a casual restaurant where you order at the counter and seat yourself at a comfortable booth. They serve up Falafels, Burritos and Quesadillas OH MY!


You pick from the Mediterranean Menu, The Mexican Menu or the Burger Menu.


I decided to go with a Falafel Plate off the Mediterranean Menu.


I receive EIGHT falafels, some hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, tahini sauce and I asked for mango pickle sauce because I don’t get to try that very often.

These Falafels are unlike any falafel I’ve had before. They are one of the crispiest and fluffiest.


They are almost bread-like in texture and are made from chickpeas and fava beans (also called broad beans).

Texture-wise the falafels are very good.

Flavor-wise they taste mostly of sesame seeds.

I can’t identify any coriander, cumin, garlic or fresh parsley that you usually taste when you eat a falafel.

These falafels could pass for Chinese Food. They’d be good with some sort of Chinese Sauce.




The sauces that came with them might have been house made but they all are bland and don’t taste like fresh made sauces. The hummus made me feel Hummuscidal. The tahini might go just as well on linguini. After tasting them I felt there is a possibility that the sauces came packaged from the supermarket.

My husband tries the Mexican Chicken Bowl with Hot Sauce.


The chicken is prepared well but this dish also suffers from an allergy of spices, herbs, flavors and HEAT! I tasted the hot sauce. to me it looks and taste just like fresh tomatoes and sweet green bell peppers mixed together with nothing else. This sauce isn’t hot. This food isn’t even hot with temperate. The cilantro rice doesn’t have enough cilantro in it to taste any cilantro.

This restaurant is newly opened so I don’t feel the need to rate it.

I hope your experience will differ from mine. Maybe they just ran out of herbs and spices and will use some next week.

Falafels, Burritos and Quesadillas Oh My!

At the Moment I haven’t found a Website or FaceBook page for Casa De Falafel so for more information you’d have to call them at 623-979-9234.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth

Eggplant Meatless Meatballs Recipe

Eggplant Meatless Meatballs

Eggplant Meatless Meatballs

These Eggplant Meatless Meatballs are absolutely delicious! My husband didn’t think he’d like them but admitted they are delicious.  I have to let you know that the baked eggplant balls come out a little softer than real meatballs so I recommend serving them as a side or over some sort of pasta. When you reheat them heat the eggplant balls and sauce separate.

This recipe make about 35 Eggplant Meatless Meatballs around 8 servings

2 1/2 eggplants – medium sized

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1 bagel – chopped well

1/2 sweet onion – chopped fine

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup parmigiano  reggiano – shredded

1 cup dry oatmeal (not instant)

1 XL egg – beaten

1 cup panko (bread crumbs, plain)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

non-stick spray


Set oven to 350 degrees F.

Get a baking sheet. Peel the eggplants. (I didn’t but would peel next time) Put the eggplants in halves longways and make diagonal cuts in both directions and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.


Cover with foil and leave in your oven about 90 minutes till soft.

Chill in your refrigerator over night. Remove the eggplants and throw away the liquid that came out. Blot the eggplants dry. Now put the eggplant meat in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for about 5 minutes. Leave the bowl alone and still covered for about one half hour and more liquid will come out. Drain the liquid and now you can stir the eggplant up with a fork to break it up into eggplant meat.

Now you can mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Set your oven to 350 degrees F

You need a baking sheet(s) and nonstick spray.

Make a just one sample Eggplant Meatless Meatball to test for spices and texture. Let the ball cool a little before you try it. I noticed the balls do stick a little to the pan but as they cool they loosen. The Eggplant Ball needs about 12 minutes in the oven.

Now use a small scooper and make your Eggplant Meatless Meatballs. Here they are raw. Mine needed 14 minutes in the oven.


Here they are out of the oven.


Here they are plated up.

Eggplant Meatless Meatballs

Eggplant Meatless Meatballs

You don’t really get that they are vegetarian. They just taste forking delicious!

Anybody would like them.

These are REALLY Delicious and that's The Forking Truth

These are REALLY Delicious and that’s The Forking Truth






Forking Difference Between Cobbler, Crumble and Crisp

Southern Inspired Blueberry Cobbler

Southern Inspired Blueberry Cobbler

All the dishes Cobbler, Crumble and Crisp are all similar but there are some differences.

Cobbler is a dish consisting of fruit or savory filling poured into a large baking dish covered with batter, biscuit or dumpling before being baked.

The Crumble might be known as a Brown Betty and is of British Origin. It can be sweet or savory. The Crumble is CRUMBLY and is a mixture of usually butter, flour and sugar. Savory crumbles are made with cheese. Just think about crumb tops.

A Crisp really is a crumble but is usually made with oats and some sort of nuts.

A lesser known dessert that is related is a Pandowdy that is a deep dish spiced apple dessert covered with a rich crust.

That is the Forking Difference between a Cobbler, a crumble and a Crisp.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth



Southern Inspired Malted Blueberry Cobbler Recipe


Southern Inspired Blueberry Cobbler

Southern Inspired Malted Blueberry Cobbler

On the Chew Food Variety TV Show the guest Martina McBride prepared her Mom’s Peach Cobbler Recipe. This recipe is based on Martina McBride’s Mom’s Peach Cobbler Recipe. I felt like trying this recipe because this recipe sounded very interesting. It sounds crazy to pour boiling water over your cobbler but that’s what she did so I thought I’d give it a try. On the Chew TV Show they said that this was a Southern Technique. I had a bunch of blueberries so I did this recipe with blueberries instead of peaches. I thought adding malt to the cobbler might be fun so I did that and upped the cinnamon a little. I also added an egg because batter without an egg sometimes is trouble. The topping is interesting. It’s almost like a layer of cake. This is a solid recipe and is great for a family gathering. I do note the blueberry filling does thicken up a bit on day two but seems perfect day one. Next time I am going to try tapioca flour instead of corn starch. I don’t think it will thicken as much. I do also note when I watched Martina McBride prepare this dessert she used much more sugar than this recipe suggest. According to the comments on the TV show most people think she used three cups instead of one cup but after doing this recipe I’d say she would have had to use more boiling water for this recipe to come out right. I used what ABCChew posted on line but from watching the TV Show I’d say you’d get a crispy sweet crust of sugar on top if you added as much sugar as what I saw Martina McBride add. For your first time doing this style of cobbler I’d suggest doing it this way without the extra cups of sugar.

Ingredients to make about 12 servings

18oz blueberries (and another 18oz. later)

1/2 lemon juiced and zest

1 cup sugar

2 oz butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

18oz blueberries

3 Tablespoons butter melted

1 cup flour

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup malted milk powder

1 XL egg – beaten

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

neutral non-stick spray (vegetable or canola)

2/3 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon corn starch


set oven to 375 degrees F

Spray a 1/2 pan with a neutral non-stick spray.

In your sauce pot add 18 oz of blueberries, lemon juice, zest, butter salt and corn starch mix well and turn up your heat to medium high and then reduce to a slow boil and when your mixture is thick then add the remaining blueberries and keep on heat until it bubbles. This mixture can go in your half pan now and set it on the side.

In a large bowl combine 1 1/4 cup sugar and egg and well well and set to the side. Now mix in the melted butter.

In a medium bowl combine 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, malted milk powder and mix well.

Slowly mix in some of dry ingredients from medium bowl and then slowly mix in milk in thirds till done.

Now pour batter over blueberries.

Put 2/3 cup water in a pot to boil.

combine 1 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon corn starch, and one teaspoon cinnamon. mix together and then sprinkle over batter.

Now pour the boiling water over what you just sprinkled on.

Set in a 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes.

Enjoy with ice cream or whipped cream. Vanilla ice cream is a nice match.

Southern Inspired Blueberry Cobbler

Southern Inspired Blueberry Cobbler

Perfect  for a family gathering. The dessert isn’t too sweet and is almost not sweet enough until you add the ice cream and then it’s perfect.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth




Cilantro – The Forking Truth is That Soap Taste Might be Poison


Some people love cilantro and to other people cilantro is inedible and taste like a mouth full of soap.

Truth- Some people are genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro.

Truth- Some people have a natural reason to dislike cilantro such as: sinus or oral  infection and         low zinc levels

Truth- Fluoride Sodium is used in pesticides and taste like soap to humans because it’s poisonous. The pesticide might have been sprayed on the cilantro and that is what some people might be tasting.


True Story this is how I forking found out.

I grow some mint in my yard. I love mint. I can eat mint everywhere and all the mint I purchase from the store agrees with me. I live in Arizona where it’s different from other parts of the country and heavy pesticides are used regularly all over and around your house to keep out very dangerous insects like scorpions, desert spiders and more pests. My mint that grows by my house gets sprayed with these strong pesticides and always taste like soap to me no matter how much I wash the mint. I don’t have an issue with mint. But I do taste something is wrong with the mint so it’s totally makes sense that some people also taste pesticides on the cilantro.

The Forking Truth is that Soap Taste with Cilantro Might be Poison.

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth


Dr. Catherine Willner




Birt’s Bistro in Surprise AZ is Full of Surprises


Birt’s Bistro in Surprise AZ is full of Surprises.

Birt’s Bistro is a book store and gift shop that serves food, wine and serves occasional musical entertainment.

Birt’s Bistro is also affiliated with Benvilla that is a charitable organization that provides funds, care and support for the elderly, the disabled, children and families.

The restaurant has a sort of surprising  library feel to it.

I keep looking around for the card catalog.

All the books are only $1.00@

All the books are only $1.00@

They also offer outdoor dining.


I noticed that Birt’s Bistro has a 4.5 star average on TripAdvisor and on their website they introduce their formally trained Chef with impressive experience so I thought I’d give this place a try.


I decided on the Baja Grilled Chicken Salad.


After tasting my salad I got a surprise and got the impression the formally trained chef is no longer a part of the Birt’s Bistro team.

The white meat chicken on my salad was tasty but not technically perfect. Some of the strips of chicken were past dry and were crispy like toasted bread. The corn seemed like fresh grown but was far from the flame and didn’t get fire roasted as promised. Tortilla strips were also promised but they were the zero calorie kind and were invisible on my plate. The Birt’s Bistro pico de gallo was  unripe cardboard-like cubes of plain tomato. The menu said my dressing should have been creamy cilantro dressing. I can assure you that my dressing was creamy, it tasted sort of like thinned down mayonnaise. I believe the fresh cilantro was some sort of new variety that is white colored and flavorless. The honey wheat roll was fresh from a plastic bag and It paired well with the salad.

My husband tried the Steak Quesadilla.


There was a generous amount of  steak that was undeveloped in flavor in the quesadilla. This was not a surprise.

Burt’s Bistro in Surprise AZ is full of Surprises.

I should note again this all benefits charity so it’s going to a good cause.

For more information on Birt’s Bistro in Surprise AZ please visit

1/2 a Fork....OK at best

1/2 a Fork….It taste like retirement home food with all the life sucked out to me

Your experience may differ. Birt’s Bistro in Surprise AZ is Full of Surprises.

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth



FORKING AWESOME Fresh Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Gnudi Recipe


Forking Awesome Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

Forking Awesome Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

Gnudi and Gnocchi are pasta that are very similar. They both are very light pasta dough. Gnudi translates to naked and you are suppose to think of Gnudi pasta as a ravioli without the dough. It’s filling that is barely held together and is made of ricotta cheese and sometimes a vegetable. It’s almost like eating just the filling from a ravioli.  The Gnudi should look like the inside of a ravioli. It takes two days to make them because the soft filling sits in semolina flour overnight and draws out moisture and leaves a slight skin around the Gnudi.

Below the recipe for Forking Awesome Spinach and Fresh Ricotta Cheese Gnudi.  I’ve included my directions for making fresh ricotta cheese and also the way I prepared the spinach for these Gnudi. This recipe takes two days to prepare. Also I do recommend reading the whole recipe before you give this a try.

A word of warning if you do the cheese and spinach my way the recipe will work out. Your cheese needs to be fairly firm and the spinach must be drained very well.

Ingredients to make about 80 Gnudi about 10 servings

1 bunch spinach (fresh cooked and drained)

1 XL egg – beaten

2 cup fresh ricotta cheese (It should be on the firm side, creamy but firm)

1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

big pinch white pepper -ground ( about 1/16 t.)

pinch fresh nutmeg grated

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1 cup flour

2 cup semolina flour – (this doesn’t go into gnudi batter…..the semolina is used to draw out moisture from the pasta)

extra virgin olive oil to sprinkle on Gnudi so they don’t stick.

finish to taste with fresh ground sea salt

finish with fresh ground black pepper to taste

garnish with hard Italian cheese if desired


Either blend the well drained spinach and chop fine or just blend it with the egg. Get a large mixing bowl add the spinach mixture, all cheeses, spices and flour. Stir till it’s mixed well. To insure the gnudi will come out right. Make a tester gnudi and add it to a pot of boiling water to make sure it will stick together. Also check the flavoring and determine if the spices are correct for you. If the gnudi fell apart that would be because either your cheese wasn’t drained enough and or your spinach wasn’t drained enough. If it’s only slightly off you can fix it by adding more flour 1/4 cup and testing again.

Get baking sheets and line them with a thin layer of semolina flour. Fill a pastry bag with gnudi dough and make like your filling raviolis.


No sprinkle the tops with more semolina flour.


Cover the Gnudi with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator over night.

The next day just slow boil them a portion at a time until they float. Eat and enjoy.

These came out really amazing. My husband said that this dish would definitely be on his last meal list along with my fresh ricotta gnocchi.

Forking Awesome Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

Forking Awesome Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

THIS IS FORKING GREAT and that's The Forking Truth

THIS IS FORKING GREAT and that’s The Forking Truth


Home Made Ricotta Cheese is easy to make and taste better than store purchased  ricotta cheese. There is no comparison. Below is the recipe for basic ricotta cheese. Once you make it you can play around with the richness and the texture. you might want to use more cream in it for certain things like desserts. This recipe makes around 2 1/2 pounds of Ricotta Cheese.

Ingredients for around 10 servings

1 gallon whole milk

1 pint heavy cream

teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1-11/2 lemons just use the fresh squeezed juice.


Put a large pot with the milk, cream and salt on medium heat. After a while you will need to lower the heat to low so the mixture doesn’t boil over.  You need to bring the mixture to a slow boil. This will take a long time but it’s worth it. Let it slow boil like this about five minutes.


Then you want to slowly add the fresh lemon juice until you get curds. Let it stay on the heat for up to five minutes.


It will look like this.


The easiest and fastest way to drain the cheese is to use a wire mesh basket.


The cheese was whey easier to make than you thought! For best results let this chill in your refrigerator over night. You will have up to 2 cups extra than what is needed for this recipe. You either enjoy fresh or you can freeze left over cheese for another time.

A word of caution.

Don’t use manufacture’s cream or boxed heavy cream that doesn’t need refrigeration because they are full of gum and your cheese won’t curdle but will thicken slightly. If you accidentally find that you used a poor quality cream with too much gum you can try to save it by using a colander lined with cheese clothe and let it drain for a day in your refrigerator.


Ingredients for spinach

1 large bunch spinach

1/4 sweet onion sliced very thin and rough chopped

either a quart of  vegetable stock or about 5 Tablespoons of vegetable stock paste to add to boiling water.

Now it’s time to prepare the fresh spinach. Whenever possible purchase full grown spinach instead of baby spinach because baby spinach is flavorless. You might want to trim off some of the large stems and then do several rinses on the spinach to make sure you got rid of all the dirt. There are many ways to prepare spinach. You can steam, sauté and boil spinach. I usually don’t boil most vegetables but I prefer spinach to be boiled because this is a low flavor vegetable and you can easily infuse flavor into spinach by boiling it briefly.


After the spinach is clean give it a rough chop.

Now add the spinach, onion and vegetable stock to your sauce pot and bring to boil about three minutes and then drain.


When the spinach is cool enough to handle you need to use your hands and squish the water out. Don’t get excited your not left with much spinach but your left with enough for this recipe.