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Showing posts from April, 2011

Havana Cafe

After our first day of work in Phoenix, we went out to dinner at a Cuban/Spanish/Latino restaurant called Havana Cafe.  We tried a lot of different Latin inspired foods.  For our Tapas we enjoyed Sangria and 3 appetizers:  Maduras Fritos (fried, ripe, sweet plantain slices) with a mango sauce, Tortilla Espanola (traditional Spanish potato pie, served with a zesty tomato sherry sauce) and Sun Spots (sweet potato fries served with a spicy homemade banana-guava sauce).  They were all delicious, I especially liked the plantains.

For my main entree, I chose Salmon con Salsa Papaya, which was fresh salmon pan-broiled, finished with a creamy fresh tarragon sauce and garnished with sliced, fresh papaya.  The salmon was very tasty but the sauce was overly salty and the texture of the papaya did not seem to suit the dish.  My colleagues tried several other dishes, mainly fish or seafood. 

We skipped dessert but all had an after dinner drink.  I had Sol y Sombre (sun and shadow), a combination o…

'Semi Home Made' Cream Cheese and Butter Cookies

I am not much of a baker but today I had a craving for cookies; I decided  to make cream cheese and butter cookies.  This tasty treat is made with a box cake mix (hence the 'semi home-made'), cream cheese and butter.  Super simple yet decadant and delicious.  Try 'em, you won't be disappointed!

Have a great week Foodie fans,

Foodie Mama

Cream Cheese and Butter Cookies

1 box Butter Cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Golden)
1 stick sweet cream salted butter
1 - 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 egg

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Use electric mixer to blend thoroughly.Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 90 mins to 2 hours.Preheat oven to 350 degreesRoll batter into 1 1/2 inch balls, roll in powdered sugar and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.Cook for 10 minutes.  Let cool.Dust with additional powdered sugar.

Carmelita's Mexican Grille

After a long few days at work, and exceptionally grueling one yesterday, I did not feel like cooking.  And, since Rachel was at work and Will at baseball tryouts, Ron and I took a ride to Calumet to Carmelita's for dinner.  Carmelita's is really the only Mexican restaurant in the area.  It has been open for several years now and they have even opened a small restaurant in Houghton near MTU.  I like the atmosphere of the place, and last evening it was quite busy.  It is located in an old building that has been restored.  It has beautiful old tin ceilings that have been painted to match the decor.

Ron and I both played it safe and boring and had the combination plate.  I had a spinach enchilada, a seafood enchilada and a whitefish taco.  The taco was very good; the fish was flaky and fresh.  The enchiladas were so-so, a little too much cheese in the spinach one and I wasn't crazy about the flavor in the seafood one.  Ron had a tamale, a chicken enchilada and a pork enchilada…

Library Restaurant's Creamy Swiss Onion Au Gratin Soup

The Library restaurant has been an institution in Houghton since 1967.  It was opened originally by Jon Davis.  I have enjoyed going there since I was in junior high.  The atmosphere has always been very unique and has always remained trendy.  There were two fires over the years but the beautiful brick facade and outside structure is still in place, and the interior is roomy, bright and very pleasant.  I love their sushi Tuesday, which I will have to blog about at some point.

My favorite soup in the world is the Library's House soup; the creamy Swiss onion au gratin.  Even Ron and Will, onion haters, looove this creamy soup.  I'd like to try to recreate it at home, but for now, I'll just head over to the Library for a bowl.  Yummy.  It is a creamy soup, with soft onions, croutons and shredded swill cheese on top.

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva

The Veramonte winery is located in the Casablanca Valley of Central Chile, which I had the great fortune to visit in December.

Chilean wine is exceptional; I don't think enough people in the US appreciate the fantastic wines that Chile produces and exports.  Ron and I have tried many varieties since returning back from our trip there, but my favorite, hands down, is the Sauvignon Blanc Reserva.  It's flavor is very crisp, tart, and also very powerful. 

It tastes of lemon, peach and a hint of tropical fruit.  This wine is fermented in stainless steel, not oak, which I thought was quite interesting.  They claim that is what retains its flavors and aromas of the fruits.

It is lovely with salads, seafoods and sushi!  And for under $9.00 a bottle an exceptional buy. 

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva

BLT Salad

I said yesterday that I was planning on making several dishes from Food and Wine's 2010 Annual Cookbook, so for lunch today, I made my version of their BLT Bread Salad.  The differences were that I used tortilla strips instead of thick bread croutons, I used a simple mayonnaisse and basil dressing, where their's was more complex, made with silken tofu, canola oil and champagne vinegar.  The end result tasted just like a BLT.  Very refreshing and a nice light lunch. 

BLT Salad (serves 4):

4 slices cooked bacon, cut into 1/2 " strips
1 head butter lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 roma tomato, sliced
2 T Mayonnaise
1/2 t dried basil
1 T water
salt and pepper
1 oz tortilla strips

To make the dressing, mix together in a small bowl the mayonnaise, basil, and a dash of salt and pepper until smooth and pourable.

Place lettuce into large boal.  Add the dressing and toss to combine.

Equally divide the lettuce into four salad bowls.  Place the tomato, bacon and some tortil…

Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread

I found this recipe in the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook for 2010.  I could not resist trying it tonight just because it looked so fun to make, and I love the mixture of Gruyere cheese and onion.

This bread is similar to monkey bread in the way it pulls apart at the seams.  It really was a lot fun to make, and also easy.  I didn't get a photo of the most interesting part, the stacking of the pieces of dough and onion/cheese mixture into a huge tower; I didn't have any free hands! But I will try to describe it here.  The bread was super tasty; a very powerful flavor of onion and Gruyere.  It paired great with a bowl of tomato bisque and a glass of California Chardonnay.   I definitely recommend this recipe and will certainly make again.

I love Food and Wine magazine and just got the 2010 Annual Cookbook in the mail.  This week I plan to try several of the recipes:  Beef Stroganoff, Carrot Soup, BLT Salad, and a Tomato Tartlet.  I can't wait.  I also want to try to find a wa…

Girls Night out at the Miscowaubik Club

Last evening I took Annie and three of her friends as well as Rachel and two of her friends out to dinner at the Miscowaubik Club in Calumet.  Annie and her girls will be graduating from MTU soon and Rachel and her possee will be graduating from High School this Spring, so I thought I'd treat them to a special night out.

The Miscowaubik opened in the early 1900's as a private club for the copper mining leaders and other individuals from Claumet.  The Miscowaubik continues to maintain it's private status today, over one hundred years later.  Their food is always fantastic, probably the best you can get in the Keweenaw.  They feature Sunday brunch each week, a prime rib buffet on many Friday evenings and a lot of fun Club parties throughout the year.  It is a superb place to host parties for any occasion.  We go there quite often.  My good friend David, none other than the Anabolic Gourmet is the current club president.  Let Foodie Mama know if you are interested in being a …

Two Versions of the Egg Salad Sandwich

An egg salad sandwich with mayo and a little bit of mustard can be a delicious simple lunch.  I made two types today:  the kid friendly version for Will and a more grown up version for me, that is served slightly warm. 

Start with my perfect hard boiled egg.  You can make a sandwich with one egg but could use two if you prefer.

Kid Friendly Egg Salad Sandwich:
1 Hard cooked egg, sliced once horizontally and once vertically,with an egg slicer, not chopped
1 T Miracle Whip
1/2 t Yellow Mustard
dash salt
Two slices white bread or toast

Put all ingredients in a small bowl and stir gently to combine.  Put mixture on white bread or toast.  Yum.

Grown Up Egg Salad Sandwich:
1 Hard cooked egg, sliced once with an egg slicer
1 T Mayonnaise
1/2 t Dijon Mustard
dash salt
dash dried mustard
1/4 t Dill weed, dried
5-6 leaves Baby Spinach
1/2 oz Shredded Mozzarella
Two Slices Whole Grain Bread, toasted

Mix the Mayo, salt and dijon mustard in a small bowl to combine.  Add the eggs.  Gently coat th…