No if and’s or maybes..Please take me to Blue Daisy!!

Did you know….

The town of Santa Monica was launched by two entrepreneurs: Colonel Robert S. Baker, who made a fortune in mining equipment before taking up cattle and sheep ranching, and Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, owner of silver mines. They purchased land along the coast, hoping to develop a prosperous industrial port. An eloquent auctioneer initiated the sale of the first town lots for the new city on July 15, 1875 with evocative imagery:

… we will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder the Pacific Ocean draped with western sky of scarlet and gold; we will sell a bay filled with white winged ships; we will sell a southern horizon, rimmed with a choice of purple mountains carved in castles and turrets and domes; a frostless, bracing, warm yet languid air braided in and out with sunshine and odored with breath of flowers.

Although Baker and Jones built a wharf and railroad, their dream of a port city ultimately failed. Rather, the natural scenic and environmental assets extolled by the auctioneer set the new city in a new direction as a beach resort and an attractive place to live. (smconservancy.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Blue Daisy – Santa Monica, California

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes:

Baked egg meat sauce, Salmon Cake Scandia, Breakfast Combo, Coffee

 

Holiday weekends make great for loving memories with the family!

Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or even the grateful tribute day to our troops for Memorial Day.

What makes these weekends even better is when you combine a birthday celebration!

Let’s talk about my Labor Day/Birthday weekend extravaganza in Santa Monica,Ca at a new found love called Blue Daisy..

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Fierce Flavor that will Pierce your Tongue..over at 1621!

Did you know….

Fusion Cuisine is actually not new. It has been around for a couple of decades. Chefs started to merge cuisines around the ’70s. Culinary legends like Wolfgang Puck among others introduced this concept. He actually laid down the foundation for this technique. He is the brains behind the common culinary fusions and pairings. An example of which is the fusion of European cuisine with Asian cuisine, commonly referred to as Eurasian cuisine. This was easy for Chef Puck because of his knowledge of both cuisines. He was originally trained in Europe, but he is thoroughly familiar with the Asian dishes. Eurasian basically combines two cooking techniques and dishes, so you can end up with poached tofu, for example, which generally mixes European and Asian method of poaching.

Over the years, fusion cuisine restaurants emerged all over Europe. Many of these restaurants were established in urban areas. In fact, you would likely find these restaurants still offering the same mixed cuisines. Urban areas are actually prime spots for fusion cuisine restaurants since these are also the areas where cultural integration is more predominant. Thus, people are more acceptable of the combined culinary dishes (multiculturalcookingnetwork)

Today’s Restaurant

1621 Bistro – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Breakfast buffet, chicken and waffles, loco moco, burgers

Some say Hawaii is like Heaven on Earth..

Most people take frequent vacations there and love to talk about the great views, beaches and cultural food.

You heard of Hawaiian fusion? Well if you haven’t, I know the spot..

Let’s talk about it..

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On a soul food mission..over at South City Kitchen!!

Did you know….

Soul Food is a term used for an ethnic cuisine, food traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans of the Southern United States. Many of the various dishes and ingredients included in “soul food” are also regional meals and comprise a part of other Southern US cooking, as well. The style of cooking originated during American slavery. African slaves were given only the “leftover” and “undesirable” cuts of meat from their masters (while the white slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham, roasts, etc.).

We also had only vegetables grown for ourselves. After slavery, many, being poor, could afford only off-cuts of meat, along with offal. Farming, hunting and fishing provided fresh vegetables, fish and wild game, such as possum, rabbit, squirrel and sometimes waterfowl. Africans living in America at the time (and since) more than made do with the food choices we had to work with.(aaregistry.org)

Today’s Restaurant

South City Kitchen – Atlanta, GA

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Fried Green Tomatoes, Chicken & Waffles, Corn bread & Biscuits

Atlanta,GA is a beautiful area with southern hospitality, civil rights history and of course; great tasting food!

Great tasting food consisting of succulent fried chicken, greens, grits, rabbit, deer and much more…

As I’m here in Atlanta to attend a funeral for my dear Auntie..

We decided to make a move to one of the hot spots in Atlanta called South City Kitchen.

Let’s talk about it..

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You’re Gonna Need Time to Recoup after eating Butter and Zeus!

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Did you know….

The history of the beginnings of Chicken and Waffles is a perplexing one.  No one is really sure of its origins.  One of the original theories claims that Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle machine to the US from France in the 1790’s, thus beginning a waffle craze (even though the Pilgrims brought it to the New World back in the early 1600’s, we guess Tommy really sparked the interest).

Soon after, being embraced by the African American community, Chicken and Waffles began appearing in cookbooks (although, curiously, it did not appear in the first cookbook written around 1880 by a Black former slave called What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking by Abby Fisher).  The Pennsylvania Dutch (the first Germans to have settled in the US) have been pairing chicken with waffles probably before Thomas Jefferson was a twinkle in his mother’s uterus.

 Instead of frying their chicken pieces, the PA Dutch version uses shredded pieces of boiled or roasted chicken on top of waffles and top it with lots of creamy gravy instead of hot sauce and syrup.  You may think this either looks like sick on a waffle or, possibly, chicken pot pie over a waffle. The final and most common origin is that Chicken and Waffles began in the 1930’s during the Harlem Jazz hayday, specifically at a place no longer in existence called Wells Supper Club.

When the Jazz musicians walked into Wells after a long night of playing, they wanted a combo of dinner and breakfast (dickfast?  dinfast?) and the staff created the crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet combo we love today. (weareneverfull.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Butter and Zeus – Santa Clara, Ca

Average Cost

Under $10

Rating (1-10)

8.5

They can get a 10 if they add flavor to the waffle, like cinnamon or something. Or have a special type of butter, maybe a honey butter or something.

Recommended Dishes: 

Definitely Chicken and Waffles but there are so many to choose from!

Breakfast in one of my favorite meals of the day, especially on the weekend..

Breakfast can be eaten in the morning..

For brunch..

In the afternoon..

For dinner…

I’ll even eat it on the road…

Bacon..Sausage.. Pancakes…

and the new craze happening all over the United States.. 

Chicken and Waffles!!!

Let’s talk about it…

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Starting my day at Bill’s Cafe!

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Did you know….

The Austrian-born Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and was quite good at using psychology to get people to buy a product or an idea. He was the guy who was hired by the Aluminum Company of America to use the American Dental Association to convince people that water flouridation was safe and healthy to the public. His campaign for Dixie Cups scared people into thinking the glasses they were drinking out of were unsanitary, and could be replaced by disposable cups. Bernays was hired by President Coolidge to help run his re-election campaign in 1924, and encouraged Coolidge to invite the country’s leading vaudevillians to the White House for a meet-and-greet over pancakes. This was one of the first known political pancake breakfasts that are now so popular among presidents and council members alike.

In the 1920s, Bernays was approached by the Beech-Nut Packing Company – producers of everything from pork products to the nostalgic Beech-Nut bubble gum. Beech-Nut wanted to increase consumer demand for bacon. Bernays turned to his agency’s internal doctor and asked him whether a heavier breakfast might be more beneficial for the American public. Knowing which way his bread was buttered, the doctor confirmed Bernays suspicion and wrote to five thousand of his doctors friends asking them to confirm it as well. This ‘study’ of doctors encouraging the American public to eat a heavier breakfast – namely ‘Bacon and Eggs’ – was published in major newspapers and magazines of the time to great success. Beech-Nut’s profits rose sharply thanks to Bernays and his team of medical professionals.(americantable.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Bill’s Cafe – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Bacon and any breakfast dish you choose..Honey Oat Pancakes!

It’s breakfast time and I want something memorable today..

Something exciting!
Something delicious!
Something enticing!

There is no better breakfast location than Bill’s Cafe!

Let’s talk about it. ..

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There’ll be No Regrets with Salmon Croquettes!

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Did you know….

A croquette is a small patty made from meat, potatoes, or vegetables. These ingredients are mixed together, then coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried to create a golden, crunchy outer shell. While the croquette can serve as both a snack and a full meal, it’s most widely prized for its portability, which makes it a popular convenience food. The name croquette is likely derived from the French verb croquer, which means to crunch.

Many people mistakenly believe that this food originated in France, but it can actually be traced back all the way to the early Roman empire. The Romans used a pastry-like coating around meat or vegetables to create a dish known as rissoles. This recipe spread throughout Europe over time, and by the early 18th century, the French were the first to use breadcrumbs in place of the traditional pastry coating. The first written record of the croquette in the United States came in a late 19th century cookbook. Croquettes remain popular in various forms throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.(wisegeek.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Mom’s House – Tracy, Ca

Average Cost

Free! It’s mom’s house!

Rating (1-10)

10

Mom’s Recipe: 

Frances Dampier’s TasteBook Recipe

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Another day for peace and relaxation before we all wake up with a case of the Monday’s and get back into our work routine.

Every day can be a happy day when you wake up with a fabulous breakfast! Let’s talk about it….

Just like on Saturday’s, my family always starts our day off with food for the soul; and what better day to feed the soul but at home with the family right before getting ready to go to church to feed the spirit as well.

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I’m not too proud to beg for Pork Chops and eggs!

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Did you know….

The pig dates back 40 million years to fossils which indicate that wild pig-like animals roamed forests and swamps in Europe and Asia. By 4900 B.C. pigs were domesticated in China, and were being raised in Europe by 1500 B.C. On the insistence of Queen Isabella, Christopher Columbus took eight pigs on his voyage to Cuba in 1493. But it is Hernando de Soto who could be dubbed “the father of the American pork industry.” He landed with America’s first 13 pigs at Tampa Bay, Florida in 1539.

Native Americans reportedly became very fond of the taste of pork, resulting in some of the worst attacks on the de Soto expedition. By the time of de Soto’s death three years later, his pig herd had grown to 700 head, not including the ones his troops had consumed, those that ran away and became wild pigs (and the ancestors of today’s feral pigs or razorbacks), and those given to the Native Americans to keep the peace. The pork industry in America had begun.(porkbeinspired.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Mil’s Diner – 36 S Abbott Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035

Average Cost

Around $8- $13 per plate depending on the dish

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Pork Chops, Chicken & Waffles, Tri-tip steak and eggs, hash browns, cajun sausage, french toast, pancakes, soups

It’s Saturday and time to get out of bed nice and slow and eat something hardy to celebrate the NBA playoffs!

One of my favorite meals that just never gets old is Pork Chops and Eggs!

I’m sure you are doing jumping jacks right now hearing about this!!! Woohooo!!!

Something about pork in the morning with eggs, hashbrowns and orange juice just lights up my life!

It is not heavy like a steak and not as light as eggs but just perfect for a breakfast meal that leaves you in a state of heavenly bliss. You can even add applesauce or some kind of sweet sauce to it and it will really make your day.

At Mil’s Diner they do a great job with the seasoning and not overcooking the pork chop. It is tender and flavorful and having that luscious bite of the chop with the crunchy hash browns just makes this meal a breakfast of champions! Good job Mil’s!

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Oh this is grits……Dooooo Wop! Pleeeeease let me know…..If this ain’t love..

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Did you know….

Grits have their origins in American Indian corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer siftings being grit meal, and the coarser being grits.

Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-20th century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn for his fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for his fee.

Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are predominantly in the South, stretching from Texas to Virginia, which is also known as the “grits belt.” The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina.(cookcfb.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Trev’s Kitchen – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

Less than $10 for a box that will last a month or two

Rating (1-10)

10

Recipes: 

Ten Tasty Ways To Cook Grits

Every time I talk about grits it makes me think about Bubba in Forest Gump. There are so many ways to make it that you probably couldn’t cook it in every version in your entire life.

You got buttered grits, shrimp n grits, cheese n grits, fried grits, boiled grits, bacon grits, grits with sugar, grits n brown sugar, grits n honey, grits with eggs, grits with salt, grits n pepper.. I could go on and on and on..

Most people I talk with about grits are familiar with this delightful morning sensation or they have met her elegant relative Polenta but seems like a lot of people in the West Coast that I have run into are clueless about this southern masterpiece.

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Happy National Pancake Day!!

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Did you know….

Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day) is a day in February or March, preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes.(Wikipedia)

Today’s Restaurant

Gazebo Restaurant – Lahaina,HI

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pancakes!!

Happy National Pancake Day!!!

I get happy just saying pancake! My knees begin to shake when I think about pancakes! My hands begin to itch when I think of pancakes! Pancakes are universal, you can find pancakes in every country and bottom line pancakes make you smile.

Since it is National Pancake Day, I thought I would tell you about the best pancake I ever had and that was at a recent trip to Maui.

We researched a couple of restaurants and had already been to Mama’s Fish House, Roy’s and Cheeseburger in Paradise and found the Gazebo Restaurant. Let me say I highly recommended all 3 restaurants  I mentioned other than Gazebo so you should definitely go to those as well if you visit Maui.

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Breakfast of Champions….

Crunchy Golden Fried Chicken, honey, sweet golden waffles

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Did you know….

From the colonial period through the early 1800’s, African slaves were doing most of the cooking in Southern kitchens. At that time, chicken was considered a prestigious food within the African American community, and it was more expensive than some other meats. Enslaved cooks would make fricassee recipes from the popular cookbooks of the time period, or they’d take it upon themselves to fry the chicken in the way they knew best. When the Civil War began and men left their homes to become soldiers, fried chicken took on a new significance. The frying process made chicken less prone to spoilage, allowing women to send it to soldiers fighting in the battlefield.(pbs.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Mil’s Diner – 36 S Abbott Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035

Average Cost

Around $8- $13 per plate depending on the dish

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Chicken & Waffles, Tri-tip steak and eggs, hash browns, cajun sausage, french toast, pancakes, soups

Waking up on a Saturday morning is a joy in itself; especially in San Jose, California where the weather is getting similar to Hawaii weather on a year round basis. Is it this ozone layer stuff we keep hearing about or just luck or the expensive cost of living out here? 🙂

Whatever the reason, Virginia and I love waking up and enjoying the weather by either going out for breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast restaurants in the area; Bill’s Cafe (any location in Santa Clara County) or Mil’s Diner in Milpitas, Ca.

We usually love to binge at a restaurant weekend after weekend until we get tired of it and in between those weekends I will usually cook a magnificent breakfast myself for us.

This Saturday we chose to go to Mil’s Diner since it was nice out and since we have engulfed ourselves with Bills Cafe for months rather than cook at home. We needed to get on the road early to go to Vallejo, Ca to pick up Virginia’s mom to go to Davies Symphony Hall for a Chinese New Year Celebration in San Francisco so Mil’s was the best choice since it was on the way.

When we entered, we noticed familiar faces of the cooks and waiters since we used to go there for years and we noticed upgrades in designer colors, furniture and added items on the menu. We noticed that they added Ribeye steak and Fried Chicken and Waffles.  We both smiled with excitement and I was ready to dig my fangs into a sweet succulent piece of chicken with honey drizzled over it with hot sauce dripping and leaking on its sides.

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