Monthly Archives: February 2017

Weird Different and Special Edition Foods out There February 2017

 

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There is ALWAYS something New, Weird, Different or Special Edition out there in the world of food. I never know what I’ll come across when I go to a store and here is what I recently came across. This month is filled with not all but mostly sweets and many different assorted chips. Here are Hostess Brand Hot Cocoa & Marshmallow Mini Donuts. I don’t know how they are but I can tell you that they don’t feel hot and I don’t see any Forking marshmallows in or on them.

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Chips Ahoy Brand Cookies in Cinnamon Donut and Hot Coca Flavors….WTFORK……The Cinnamon is a cinnamon cookie…not a doughnut…… and the hot cocoa one isn’t hot but at least it looks like it has marshmallows in it.

Hot Cocoa Cotton Candy….interesting!

New Pringles Loud Salsa Fiesta Corn Chips. Ummm why are they called loud? Does that mean spicy?

Conversation Reese’s cups…..?

Red Velvet KitKats…..?

New Cinnamon Frosted Flakes…That gotta be Great!

New Ruffles all Dressed Potato Chips. This is some sort of mystery Canadian Flavor. I don’t know what it is but I read the flavor is something like paprika spice blend, ketchup, vinegar and BBQ sauce.

Southwestern Queso(cheese)  flavored Lay’s Potato Chips

Beer ‘n Brats flavored Lay’s Potato Chips…..? Would you buy these?

Wise Brand Food Truck Inspired Potato Chips in Loaded Chili Cheese Dog and Beef Barbacoa Tacos Flavors….Kinda neat…and they tell the story about the food trucks these chips are inspired from.

Here are Limited edition Cranberry Muffins. They’d be good with cream cheese or as a turkey sandwich.

Unusual flavors of oatmeal. Here are Apple Cheddar Rosemary oatmeal, Vanilla Chai oatmeal and Lemon Ricotta Pancake oatmeal. I don’t know how these flavors will work out.

Spiced Sweet Potato Chips that are spiced with Red Pepper and Cumin…Ummm

I never came across Adirondack Red Potatoes before. These I had to try. They are all Red Potatoes. They are very flavorful and have an earthy potato taste. These potato chips have great potato flavor.

BBQ Black Bean Corn Chips

Sea salt caramel raisins. Not for me…………

Almond Joy Pieces. Milk Chocolate, almond, coconut candy buttons. Sound good I’ll try them sometime in the future.

Milky Way candy bars have been around forever and I never saw Marshmallow Caramel Mini ones before.

And now for something healthy…….

Cone Shaped Cabbage! I’ve never seen or heard of Cone Shaped Cabbage before. This cabbage is new, different and somewhat weird to me.

I found another something new, (to me) different, and possibly weird to some…..Here it is……

Glazed Seaweed Almonds! Did you ever think you’d see that!

That was the New, Weird, Different and Limited Edition Foods I came across for February 2017.

Who know WTFork I’ll come across next month.

The Forking Truth

 

I don’t mean to Boar you but I pigged out at the Salty Sow’s Brunch Buffet in Scottsdale AZ again

 

Maybe one of the best kept foodie secrets is the Salty Sow’s $19.95 Sunday Brunch Buffet in Scottsdale AZ. Oh Lardy they don’t serve slop. Today’s amazing selection included Rotisserie Turkey, Honey Rosemary Dipped Fried Chicken, Cheesy Grits, Green Chile Pork Verde with Poached Eggs, Hot Smoked Salmon with Mustard Dill Creme Fraiche..(to die for…really), Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad, Roasted Beets with Feta and Pecan Vinaigrette, Fried Green Tomatoes with Guacamole, Pastries and MORE!

This is how it looked as I entered.

Here’s a peek of some of the dining room.

Here I’m entering the buffet lines and I soon go for my first plate.

I go for Hot Smoked Salmon with Mustard Dill Cream Fraiche, Brussels Sprouts Caesar, Fried Green Tomatoes and Roasted Beets. WOW! What a great plate….Everything was great….but the Hot Smoked Salmon was FORKING TO DIE FOR…….It truly was a thing of bliss…..So silky…so good….so delicious……..I could stop now and eat nothing else.

I decide to partake in the $5.00 Bloody Mary Bar.

Oh yes I Forking did add that Atomic Horseradish to my drink…..

I used fresh to tomato juice, some V8, Worcestershire, tobasco, black pepper and a garlic stuffed olive…pretty Yum….

Then I returned for a second plate.

Rotisserie Turkey, Honey Rosemary Dipped Fried Chicken, Green Bean Casserole , some fresh Fruit. The Turkey was sliced and was a tad dry (because it sat under a heat lamp) but infused with delicious flavor, The fried Chicken was tasty….a little sweeter than last time…but juicy and tasty….the only thing I tried that wasn’t for me was the Green Bean Casserole. I’m not saying anything was bad about it but it’s not a dish I grew up with and haven’t developed a taste for this dish yet but was hoping too.

My husband enjoyed things I didn’t try….He LOVED the Green Chili Pork Verde! He said it has a place among the top Green Chili Pork Verdes in Metro Phoenix. He said the Egg Scramble with peppers, onions and pepper jack cheese was good and he really liked the Pork Belly Hash and took a second plate of it instead of dessert.

I felt like this….

But I had to get in some dessert.

A piece of a Sticky Cinnamon Bun with Pecans and a Bite of Brownie.

The Salty Sow’s Brunch Buffet is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

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

www.SaltySow.com

I  PIGGED Out at the Salty Sow Brunch Buffet…and I’ll Forking do it again!

The Forking Truth

Delicious Kabocha Squash Pie with a Coconut Crust Recipe

 

Delicious Kabocha Squash Pie with a Coconut Crust

Kabocha Squash is one of the healthiest, most delicious low calorie foods out there. It creamy and sort of sweet and it kind of taste like sweet potatoes mixed with chestnuts. I’ve been thinking about baking a pie out of Kabocha Squash for a long time now and finely came up with a recipe. I didn’t want it to come out just like pumpkin pie so I thought coconut would go really well so I made a tender coconut crust and instead of milk for the custard I used coconut milk and it’s seasoned it’s own way. This is a very unique and delicious pie that you won’t get to taste unless you make it.

Ingredients for about 8 servings

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

7 Tablespoons cold water

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

non stick spray

2/3 cup kobocha squash –  roasted. pierced squash all over with knife till “knife” tender.  Seeds, membrane, stem removed then meat scooped out  (my large kobocha went into a 400 degree F oven covered with maybe 1/4 in. water I checked at 45 minutes and every 15 minutes till knife tender) – mashed well or pureed

2 1/2 Tablespoons sweet butter – room temperature

1/2 cup and 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

3 XL eggs – slightly beaten

1/3 cup coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Vietnamese Cinnamon)

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch white ground pepper

pinch sea salt

Directions

Turn oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup flour, coconut flour, olive oil, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 Tablespoons sugar and mix well. Mixture should look like wet crumbly sand.

Spray pie plate with non stick spray. (I think my pie plate is 11 inches)

Dump crust mixture on to pie plate.

Pat mixture into pie crust shape.

Peirce crust all over with a FORK.

Set oven to 300 degrees F.

Place in over for about 10 -12 minutes. Till crust looks sort of cooked.

Set crust to the side. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect because it gets covered with filling.

In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients ONE AT A TIME in order till done.

Pour into pie shell.

Place in oven for about 35 minutes. (I note timing may differ due to different size pans and different ovens) The filling might puff up a bit but will fall and be flat.

Kabocha Squash Pie with Coconut Crust

Chill and serve at room temperature for best taste and texture.

It came out pretty darn great. I think this is what a Kabocha Squash Pie should taste like. The filling is custardy unique and delicious…. You can taste the Kabocha Squash laced with Coconut. The crust is tender and coconut flavored.

If you are a fan of Kabocha Squash and Coconut you will enjoy this pie. My husband doesn’t enjoy coconut ever and even he thinks this pie is delicious.

The Forking Truth

My Forking Thoughts on Vanilla Cupcake M&M’s

 

Vanilla Cupcake M&M’s recently came out and are sold exclusively at Target Stores with the Easter Candy.

They have the usual candy shell and the center is white chocolate. They are in nursery colors of yellow, pink, pale purple and turquoise. Size-wise the candies are on the bigger plump side for M&M’s.

I open the bag and take a whiff. It smells sort of like candy corn and sort of buttery and sort of like stale frosting. I know nobody can relate with old frosting but I once was a professional cake decorator and I still remember what old frosting smells like.

I eat my first Vanilla Cupcake M&M. I think it’s very similar in taste to an actual Vanilla Cupcake. It taste just like vanilla cake mix and frosting. I do like it at first. It’s sweet like frosting and taste like buttery cake. I also like that it isn’t waxy like some of the white M&M’s have been in the past.

I eat a few more and things start to change.

I get some sort of flavor build up or chemical after taste that isn’t right.

It’s not licorice but something like licorice and rum after taste. More faint licorice than rum. It doesn’t taste like Vanilla Cupcake after a several candies.

I don’t like them anymore.

For me………The rating is…….

1/2 a Fork….OK at best…good for up to 3 pieces then pass the bag over to someone else.

The Forking Truth is that your opinion may or may not differ…..

The Forking Truth

 

 

Chicken, Liver and Rice Meatballs Recipe for Dogs

 

“What are you making me….It smells Forking Delicious!”

For a special occasion or if your dog is very sick like my 15 3/4 year old is…You need to serve special foods that your dog enjoys to keep him eating. My dog LOVES Liver but liver is too rich to feed in meal amounts. I added rice and ground chicken to stretch out the taste of liver. I recommend only leave what your dog will eat in the refrigerator for up to two days and keep the rest of the balls frozen. Serving size will differ depending on size of dog. My dog weighs 60 pounds and he eats 6 balls a day (with other foods) without any issues. He loves this recipe. It’s one of his favorites.

Ingredients that makes about 48 balls

1 lb chicken livers (my package was slightly under)

4 Tablespoons either chicken fat or unsalted butter (2T for liver and 2T for rice)

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups dry white rice

1 lb ground chicken

3 XL eggs lightly beaten

a few cracks fresh ground sea salt

a few cracks fresh ground black pepper

about 8 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees F

Spread out the chicken livers on a baking sheet and split the two tablespoons of butter or chicken fat into about 8 pieces and place over livers.

Place in oven and cook 30 minutes. When you pull the livers out hit them with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.

While the livers are cooking you can prepare the rice.

Put 4 cups of chicken stock in a pot with 2 Tablespoons of either butter or chicken fat and bring to boil.

Add rice, then cover and reduce to simmer for twenty minutes. Take off heat and fluff rice.

By now the livers will be done. Get a potato masher and mash them like potatoes on the pan with juices and all.

Chicken livers will cool fast but wait till the rice is just warm and then combine the rice with the mashed livers. Then add beaten eggs and then mix in ground chicken.

The mixture will be soft so you need to use a meatball scoop.

Sprinkle olive oil on your sheet pans. I use a paper towel and make sure the whole surface has a light coating of oil.

Scoop out the balls.

Mine were done in 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

“Oh Fork that smells so good….I hate waiting for them to cook….I want them now!”

The dog is waiting by my feet for the Chicken, Liver and Rice Meatballs.

Chicken, Liver and Rice Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

People can eat these balls too but they only taste like chicken liver with a better texture.

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

Dining With Dogs February 2017

 

“We are on our way to Pita Kitchen in Glendale AZ”

Dining with Dogs is just a “Fluff” story about taking my dogs out to eat. We usually go to many of the same local places over and over but we do find a new place now and then. Many of the restaurants in the Metro Phoenix Area do have patios but not all patios are dog friendly or officially licensed to accept dogs. You should always call an establishment to find out if your furry friend is allowed to dine there. I have found that one once dog friendly patio suddenly went non-dog friendly. It’s also always a good idea to have a back up restaurant to go to because the patio might be booked for a party or sometimes another customer will make a stink if they see a dog come in and you might have to leave. There are some rules for dining with dogs. Dogs are not to sit on furniture and dogs are not to eat off plates. Most food that you eat is not safe for your dog and some are toxic. A few of the foods to avoid are most nuts, anything that is or made from a grape, onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, bread and more. The best snack for your dog is a small plain piece of meat with any sauce removed.

On this particular day went went to Pita Kitchen in Glendale AZ. This is a casual Greek/Mediterranean Grill.

#What am I going to get to Forking eat today?”

I got a Chicken Kabob Salad.

I received a very large and very generous Greek Style salad with TONS of nicely seasoned moist Chicken and warm pita bread.

“UMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmM!”

My husband had a two meat shawarma plate.

“I FORKING need some more chicken”

For more information please visit www.ThePitaKitchen.net

“We’re on our way to Leo’s Island BBQ in Peoria AZ”

“I never leave hungry from Leo’s Island BBQ”

Leo’s Island BBQ is a family owned casual restaurant in Peoria AZ. They specialize

in the Hawaiian Plate Lunch. That means your meal will consist of generous portions of meat, rice, macaroni salad and some steamed vegetables. They offer around 30 combinations and most are priced at around $8.00.

Today I shared the Lemon Pepper Chicken Plate.

The Chicken is tasty and even with three of us eating it we still had leftovers.

“Hey…I could have eaten more!”

My husband had a combination plate of Fried Fish, Fried Shrimp with BBQ Chicken.

While it’s not fancy food it is good value plates and not much different in price than fast food and is much better than fast food.

www.LeosIslandBBQ.biz

“We’re on our way to Cucina Tagliani”

Cucini Tagliani serves American Italian Foods and offers an Official Licensed Dog Friendly Patio.

The food isn’t trend setting but it’s tasty, made in house, fresh and reasonably priced.

“You better get me something I Forking want because I’m not getting any younger”

I got the Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad and had plenty of moist seasoned chicken to share with the dogs.

“You can Forking hit me again with some chicken.”

My husband got his usual Papa’s Platter that contains, Veal Parmesan, Sausage Lasagna and TWO Spinach Manicottis.

“That was a Forking Great Meal for me….I was hoping I’d get to eat at Tags Tonight”

www.CucinaTagliani.com

We are so lucky that the older dog  15 3/4 yrs. has made it this far. In September 2015 he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. At the time he was only expected to make it three  to six months more. He has been on oral low dose chemotherapy since but this sort of medicine can’t be taken at full dose strength for more than a year since it’s so hard on the organs. Currently the cancer has spread to the lungs. We don’t know how many days or weeks we have left. We have to be happy for what we had so far.

That was dining with Dogs for February 2017

The Forking Truth

 

Pho Hoang Duc Restaurant of Phoenix AZ is Worth a Fork

 

Pho Hoang Duc is a small family owned and operated Vietnamese Restaurant that specializes in Hanoi  and North Vietnamese Cuisine. This isn’t a fancy restaurant but it looks cheerful and the family that works there is very attentive and welcoming to all their guest.

We started with Goi Cuon Chay.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

The Vegetarian Spring Rolls contained a type of shattering crisp -what-seemed-like oil free Tofu I never had before. Herbs brightened up the rice noodle and vegetables and a tasty peanut based sauce came of the side.

For my meal I had the Bun Cha Ca La Vong. The National Dish of Hanoi.

Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill

I’ve had this dish before but only the more Americanized version. Here it differed some and the owner showed me the correct way to eat it.

You start by tearing the leaves and minty herbs and place them in the bowl. Add some noodles. Get some fish and dip it in the fish sauce and lastly sprinkle on some peanuts. Repeat till full or done.

It really was wonderful and was full of great flavors and textures. The fish was mild and meaty, very flavorful with exotic flavors and fried tasty with caramelization. Also enjoyed the lettuce and minty herbs against the careful touch of turmeric , dill and onions was really interesting and delicious.

My husband had the Bun Bo Hue Hoang Duc.

Hoang Duc Spicy Beef and Pork Noodle Soup

My husband gets this dish at every Vietnamese Restaurant we go to…The Hoang Duc Noodle soup is unique. We husband squealed, “spaghetti” but I believe these noodles are what is known as “soba.” Different Beef and Pork parts including some sort of pork roll float in the developed soup and interesting minty herbs, bean sprouts, cabbage and lemon is served on the side.

I noticed this restaurant also sells Banh Mi Sandwiches for only $2.95 each! (at the time of this review…so subject to change) So I had to bring one home for latter.

Vietnamese Chicken Baguette

This Banh Mi was WILDY Flavorful….

First of all the Baguette has this very appealing aroma of delicious bread. The exterior was more crusty than crisp but the interior is soft. This sandwich is dressed with a generous amount of mayonnaise and contains other sauces like a sort of sweet barbecue and a hot chili sauce. The chicken was fried and seems like it was marinated because it’s full of flavors but has an unusual moist but chewy texture. Something like the way wing meat can be. The sandwich is also stuffed with the usual pickled carrot and radish salad with cucumber and cilantro.

I thought it was pretty darn special to try an Authentic Version of Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill. I can’t help to wonder why many of the other Vietnamese Restaurants I’ve been to don’t offer this dish…?

At the time of my visit I don’t think anything on the menu was over $7.95 on the menu.

Prices are very low.

This restaurant packs a lot of bang for your buck and I’d say Pho Hoang Duc Restaurant in Phoenix AZ is Work a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

www.PhoenixVietnameseCuisine.com

The Forking Truth is that EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake Recipe Simplified

 

Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake Simplified

Beets were on sale this week for on .88cents a bunch and I haven’t baked desserts with beets before so I thought I’d find a great recipe for baking with beets. YES Nigel Slater’s Recipe is Iron Clad Fantastic. It might be that one recipe you want if you want that one really awesome tasting chocolate cake. The recipe is so good I didn’t even need to read the directions. It’s somewhat involved and many bowls need to be used.  I simplified the recipe by bringing down 5 bowls to only two bowls to prepare the cake. The only major change I did to the recipe was to leave out the 1/4 cup of hot espresso because that would never be in my kitchen and I don’t want the added deepness in flavor because it’s deep enough. The suggested topping for the cake is creme fraiche with poppy seeds. That sounds amazing……but I don’t feel like running to the store to spend $6.00 on a small tub of creme fraiche………so I just used 3 oz of 63% all natural cacao chips melted with 2 oz sweet butter and a splash of warm cream. The cake is super moist and very decadent with deep chocolate flavor. You might not notice the beets. The beets are only in the background and you see a the slight color difference. I was about to use a fresh ricotta cream – mascarpone  with the cake maybe tinted with some beet puree …but didn’t this time……maybe next time… Here’s the simplified recipe.

Ingredients for about 10 servings

8 oz beets – roasted with just water and then peeled and pureed (you need one cup of puree)

7 oz fine dark chocolate (the best my store sells is 63% all natural cacao) (optional to purchase a 10 oz bag of 63% chocolate chips and use 7oz for the cake and three oz for the topping)

8 oz unsweetened butter – cold temperature (optional extra 2 oz for topping)

1 cup flour – plus extra for dusting the springform pan

1 1/14 teaspoon baking powder

3 Tablespoons quality cocoa powder

5 XL eggs

1 cup sugar

optional creme fraiche and poppy seeds to serve

non stick spray

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees F

in a large bowl chop up the butter into cubes and either put the bowl over a pot of heated water or being very careful micro wave it covered with plastic wrap for 30 seconds at a time till it’s half melted. Then add the chips and either way slowly melt the chips into the butter. (this is the hardest part of the whole recipe).

Add the sugar mix.

Add the beet puree and mix.

Add the cocoa and mix.

dump the flour and baking powder on top.

set to the side

In another large bowl add the eggs and with a mixer beat the eggs till they are light and fluffy.

With a fork stir the chocolate and beet bowl till the mixture is almost mixed.

Carefully as possible stir in the eggs till the mixture is incorporated.

Spray the springform pan with non stick spray.

Add a few Tablespoons of flour and shake it around the pan till it’s dusted.

Fill with cake mixture and set in oven

TURN DOWN OVEN TO 325 DEGREES F.

In about 40 minutes the cake should be done

Leave in pan till the cake is slightly warm and run a soft knife around the cake to make sure it doesn’t stick. Slide the cake off onto a plate.

Decide on how you’d like to serve the cake.

It’s really deep with chocolate and extremely moist…you don’t really need anything but it looks naked.

A few options are….

just powdered sugar or sweetened cocoa

The suggested creme fraiche and poppy seeds

3oz deep chocolate chips melted with 2oz unsweetened butter and a splash of warm cream.

Sweetened fresh made ricotta – mascarpone  cheese….maybe tinted with beet puree…drizzled with chocolate or chocolate shavings…..

Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake Simplified

The cake is excellent…Everyone will love this cake!

The Forking Truth

 

Who the Fork Knew that FOOD Jewelry is a Thing!

 

Picture from www.yahoo.com

This past Valentine’s Day some lucky (?) gal received a free Domino’s Pizza Engagement Ring.

This might seem “Cheesy”

www.esty.com

to some but food jewelry is popular thing.

Here are some other Pizza Rings I found.

Dleesnow www.esty.com

I actually really like this one! It looks like it’s sitting on a pan. The one slice floating and drippy cheese makes it.

AndisaCharmShop www.esty.com

This one is kinda adorable too!

BluPantherDesign www.esty.com

Umm…This one looks yummy!

NerdyCactus www.esty.com

This is a Pizza Hut set I think.

I also found other Food Jewelry….besides pizza.

CreativeLatinos www.esty.com

Here’s a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese with a spoon!

ShopBiteSize www.esty.com

A very detailed bowl of Ramen that looks like it’s being eating in action by something invisible.

Dleesnow www.esty.com

Mama mia spaghetti and meatballs too!

NeatEats www.esty.com

A craved Thanksgiving Turkey platter ring.

Who the Fork knew that food jewelry was a thing?

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

Modern Nontraditional Reduced Fat Avocado Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

 

Modern Reduced Fat Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing is an old fashioned dressing that is traditionally made from mostly all high fat ingredients like, Mayonnaise, Creme Fraiche and Sour Cream blended with green herbs. I enjoy high fat foods like everyone else does but I prefer my salads to be somewhat healthy so I came up with this recipe. Traditional Green Goddess dressing does NOT contain avocado. I had some extra avocado so I thought I could make a rich tasting Green Goddess type of dressing and I did. You can use this dressing for salads, chicken salad, dip or drizzle it on vegetables, chicken or fish.

Ingredients for about 4 servings

8 oz ripe avocado

3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup scallions sliced (packed tight)

1/4 cup parsley (packed tight)

8 anchovy filets (I used Delallo Brand…I note some other reasonably priced brands sold in Phoenix will not work out as well)

3 Tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon dried tarragon…..(fresh would be better but I very rarely use tarragon..so I usually use dried)

1/4 teaspoon or to taste fresh ground black pepper…( I found after I made the dressing I needed slightly more than 1/4 teaspoon)

Fresh ground sea salt to taste….(not much)

Directions

Just blend all the ingredients.

Modern Reduced Fat Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

This dressing seems very rich and is delicious.

The Forking Truth