Archive for the ‘food and drink’ Category

This recipe is delicious, truly the best strawberry cupcakes I’ve ever tasted!

for the recipe go to –  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake-cupcakes


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ATTENTION ALL HEDONISTS (or those having to hang out with obnoxious relatives)!  It’s time to buy your wine for Thanksgiving!

Whatever mood or personality you wish to bring to the Thanksgiving table this year, there is bound to be a something on this list you’ll drink.



Recommendations for those with classic taste and style:

PINOT NOIR: For a more afforable Pinot Noir try these two selections from New Zealand 2006 Delta Vineyard $21 or 2007 Kim Crawford $17

CHARDONNAY : 2007 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay only $17

CHAMPAGNE: or Sparkling wine is much better value such as the Mionetto Prosecco Brut from Italy at $15

CABERNET:  2005 Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet $15, 2005 BV Napa Valley Cabernet $15



Recommendations for those who love big, bold wines:

RHONE: 2006 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone for $15

SYRAH or Shiraz : 2006 Qupe Central Coast $16  or 2007 Pillar Box from Australia $12 (it is blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot). 2005 Trapiche Broquel Bonarda $15

ZINFANDEL : 2006 Edmeadas Mendocino County $18, 2005 Trapiche Broquel Bonarda Argentina $15 (not zinfandel but has similiar flavors)

PINOT GRIS :  2007 Elk Cove Pinot Gris $18, 2007 A to Z Wineworks Oregon $12

VIOGNIER: 2007 Shannon Ridge Viognier California, 2007 Pine Ridge Chenin & Viognier California $15



Recommendations for the person who likes to bring fun, easily enjoyed by all wines:

SPANISH RIOJA  : Bodegas Conde de Valdemar Crianza $10, Campo Viejo Rioja $10

ARGENTINE MALBEC : 2006 Finca El Portillo Malbec $13, 2007 :a Posta Cocina Blend $15, 2006 Bodegas Caro Amancaya $18 (blend of Malbec and Cabernet)

CHILEAN CARMENERE and/or Cabernet : 2004 Carmen Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $14, 2005 Apaltagua Envero $15, 2005 Casa SIlva Reserva Carmenere $15

ROSE : 2007 Planeta Rose Sicily $17, 2006 Oops Carmenere Rose Chile $12, 2007 Domaine due Tariquet Rose de Pressee $12

SAUVIGNON BLANC: 2006 EQ Chile $17, 2007 Honig California $15, 2007 Kim Crawford new Zealand $16, 2007 Penanlolen Chile $12



Recommendation for those who lead the trend (this is what i’ll be bringing):

PINOT GRIGIO from ALTO ADIGE :  Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio 2006 $12,  Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2006 $15

RIESLING : 2007 Von Buhl Pflaz Riesling $17, 2007 Strub Soil to Soul $19, Dr. Heidemanns – Berweiler Mosel 2007 $11

WHITES from LOIRE : 2005
Joly, Nicolas Savennieres Les Clos Sacres $25 , 2005 Morgat, Eric Savennieres l’Enclos $25,
2006 Pierre-Luc Bouchaud, Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France $17

BARBERA : 2005 La Spinetta Barbera d’Asti Superiore, Italy  $35, 2005 Volpi, Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy $14

SPARKLING ROSE: Roederer Estate Brut Rose NV, California $26, Freixenet Brut de Noirs NV, Spain $10

And of course my signature Thanksgiving wines are Rosemount GSM (a Rhone blend from Australia) $30 and Randall Graham’s 2005 Le Cigare Volante California $35

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Now for the recipe category “What To Make with This Damn Government Cheese” the following suggestions are courtesy of http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/391263.

  • Cheese sauce, because making a smooth sauce out of real cheese is not easy (at least for me). Go old-school and over-cook some broccoli, pour cheese sauce over it, and call it healthy 😉

  • When I was a kid, an elderly family friend would share it with us–the block he got was more than he could eat. Whenever we got it, we had corn chowder and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

That cheese made great sandwiches. I loved getting it, it was a treat.

  • My mom’s variation of mac and cheese is very good, and we normally use Velveeta. Make a sauce of sautéed finely chopped celery, onion, carrot, and garlic, and a can of diced tomatoes. Season with S&P, thyme, basil and oregano and simmer it a half hour or so. Add a good amount of cheese to it to get a rose-like sauce, toss this with 1lb. cooked elbow macaroni noodles, and some more cheese within and on top. We’ve added ground beef, Italian sausage, cooked and sliced breakfast sausage… It’s always good. Bake about 15 minutes, if still warm, at 375.
  • It melts well, so it can actually make a good fondue. And I bet it’d work well in gougeres. If you really need to get rid of it, use it in quiche and omelettes. Grill over apple slices until the cheese browns slightly.

Finally, the recipe category “Fake Designer Foods”.

I suggest serving these recipes with boxed wine poured into a bottle featuring labels such as Chateau Lafitte or Mouton Rothschild.

Cowboy Caviar



· 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

· 1 (4 ounce) can ripe olives, chopped and drained

· 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

· 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 2 tablespoons lime juice

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

· 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1/8 teaspoon pepper

· 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

· 2 large eggs, hard cooked, peeled and chopped

· 1 green onion with top sliced

Mix all ingredients except cream cheese, eggs, and green onion. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Spread cream cheese on serving plate. Spoon bean mixture evenly over cream cheese. Arrange eggs on bean mixture in ring around the edge of the plate; sprinkle with green onion.

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Lobster” Spread


· 2 pks. cream cheese, softened

· 1 bottle cocktail sauce

· 1 cup or more chopped ‘lobster’

· Assorted crackers or toasted cocktail rye bread

spread the cream cheese evenly in a pretty serving dish. Pour a generous amount of cocktail sauce over the cream cheese, sprinkle with the lobster pieces, and chill. Serve with crackers.

Can also add chunks of crabmeat (real or fake) and shrimp for seafood spread.

Fake Wild Boar



  • 3 lb. boneless rolled pork roast
  • 1/4 to 1/3 c. gin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. salad oil or butter
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. red currant jelly

Heat oil in Dutch oven; salt and pepper meat and brown on all sides in oil. Add gin, wine and water; cover; simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove meat; keep warm. Skim as much fat as possible from drippings; add flour, a little at a time, shaking it through a small sifter or strainer, stirring it into the remaining fat until smooth. Add sour cream and jelly; heat, stirring to mix well. Heat until all the jelly has melted and sauce is smooth. Serve with the sliced roast. 6 to 8 servings.

Mock Steak



  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 c. cracker crumbs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pkg. Lipton dry onion and mushroom soup

Mix well and press flat in a cookie sheet the ground beef, cracker crumbs and milk. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Cut in squares, flour and brown. Put meat squares in a baking dish. In the same skillet in which you browned the meat (you may need to drain some of the grease) add the soup and dry soup mix. Spread over the meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

If you are still reading I am impressed! You have either lost your appetite or aren’t satisfied with the previous suggestions, probably both. Or possibly still interested? In that case, here are recipes you might actually create. Courtesy of Epicurious, the following recipes are from Jamie Oliver’s Under a Fiver (closer to ten bucks for us Americans) meal suggestions: http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?search=jamie+oliver+under+%A35.00+meals.

In all seriousness, the recipes I found are from real people who are broke and can’t afford better quality meals. I can laugh and fake gag noises about eating ramen with tuna and spam chunks but I don’t have to eat that. So the next time you have to slum a little or forgo some of the finer luxuries, read over that prison food chapter again and thank your lucky stars you aren’t looking forward to that at mealtime, because most likely, that meal is a highlight of the day.

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In honor of my friends who have recently been laid off, I decided to do two things to help them celebrate their new found freedom. First off, due to the unaffordable housing in the Bay Area, I (almost) finished completing a blueprint design for a Double Wide.  I would like to try and sell this design as a t-shirt and if luck permits, Jacob and I will be able to afford a Double Wide of our very own.  And if I sell lots of t-shirts, I plan to design a whole trailer park for all of you to move in to.  With the right marketing, we could get in with the hipster scene (sponsored by Pabst and Wilco) or maybe get Trump to throw in some dough and call it Trump Horizontal Towers or Trump Trailers.  But alas, there is a problem with this plan, when the big one does hit we’ll all be crushed like beer cans. So my second offering is a collection of easy, affordable recipes.  This is by no means an ordinary collection.  I searched the web as if scrapping the resin out of the pipe. Like every poor hippie in need of a high, I sucked in the dirty dregs of the information superhighway and this is what I ended up with…

Let’s begin with the Welfare recipe category.

Welfare recipes are good to make when entertaining guests. Serve with shots of rubbing alcohol and guests are guaranteed to suggest you should audition for Top Chef.

Welfare Burger (which can double as Welfare Meatloaf)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup warm tap water
  • 1/3 cup dry oatmeal or bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place the raw hamburger in a bowl. Add the water, oatmeal, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix and mash the stuff all together until everything is blended evenly. Shape the mixture into patties with your hands. Make four large patties or 6 smaller ones. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Place the patties onto the dry preheated skillet. Sear them on one side, cooking until they are a nice dark brown. Then flip them over with a pancake turner and turn down the heat to medium low. Cover the pan with a lid or a pizza pan. Allow the burgers to cook slowly for at least ten minutes. Turn them over again, recover and cook for five more minutes. They should be a lovely crusty brown on the outside and gray colored inside, all the way through to the center. Drain the burgers on paper towels or brown paper bags for a moment or two before serving. These can be served on buns with all the normal burger fixing. However, they are equally good plain, as individual meat loaves. Serves 4, Double this recipe to serve a hungry family of 6. Good with spinach, instant mashed potatoes and canned pineapple.

Welfare Cookies




1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray your baking pan with cooking spray OR line with aluminum foil.
3. Line cookie sheet with the crackers, breaking the end pieces to fit the pan.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the sugar; bring to a boil stirring constantly until the sugar is melted and turns a light caramel color.
5. Spread sugar mixture on crackers and place in oven for 10 minutes.
6. Remove pan from oven& sprinkle chocolate chips over all.
7. Spread with a knife when chips melt enough to do so.
8. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts.

Welfare Cake www.allrecipes.com

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, vinegar, water and vanilla.
  3. Mix well, and then pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

The next recipe category is “Prison Food”.

Prison Food recipes are pretty gross and should (probably) be eaten only at times of utter desperation.

Ramen at Folsom Prison http://www.mattfischer.com/ramen/


  • 2 packs of ramen noodles hot and spicy or other spicy variety
  • 1/3 bottle of jalapeno squeeze cheese
  • 1 summer sausage
  • 1 Slim Jim (the food product, not the breaking and entering tool)
  • 1 bag of instant chili (canned will work)
  • 1 small garbage bag (if you only have a regular house size one, cut the top half off)

Before you start crush the noodles while they are still in the package. Microwave a bowl of water for 2 minutes, then add both ramen noodle packets and let sit for now. (Put on a lid on the bowl if you have one.) Now, chop or dice the summer sausage and Slim Jim, and then make or heat the chili. The noodles should now be fully expanded (about 10 mins), drain ALL the water from the noodles. Dump the noodles into the garbage bag then add 1 flavor pack and 1/3 bottle of jalapeno cheese and knead the bag. Next add the meat then knead again till meat is evenly distributed. Now add the hot chili (the hotter the better). This would also be the time to add the other flavor pack if you want. I find one and a half packs to be enough but you could add more later if needed. Finally, knead the bag again and you’re ready to enjoy fine prison cuisine. I can eat it all myself but it could feed 2 normal people. I recommend eating it with a spork for the authentic prison experience.

Sweet and Spicy Coke Ramen



  • 1 pack Texas Beef Ramen (or regular beef, or Asian – but Texas Beef is best)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 can Coke (not diet)
  • 1 pack salted peanuts
  • 1 Beef stick (aka Slim Jim) –Optional–

Cook noodles. Use one of your work boots and the concrete floor of your cell to crush the peanuts inside the bag. Add about 2/3 of the peanuts and eat the rest while you’re “cooking”. Drain water from noodles, and then add seasoning packet and coke. Add peanuts and optional sliced beef stick or summer sausage. Add more coke to achieve the right amount of sauce and balanced flavor.

Frito Chili Pie


· 1 cup of Fritos Corn Chips

· 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

· 1 cup Chili

Place Fritos corn chips in a bowl or soup mug (do not crush; just push down and break them slightly to make room for other ingredients). Place shredded cheddar cheese on top of corn chips. Pour heated chili over the top (the heated chili will melt the cheese). Stir slightly to mix ingredients and serve!

CheeZ-Its Mackeral



· 2 cups of Cheez-its crackers

· 1 cup of flour

· 1 teaspoon of any seasoning you like

· 1/2 cup water

· 1 can Mackeral

· Small amount of cooking oil to fry

Crush Cheez-its in a bowl until they are crumbs. Mix flour and seasoning in a bowl with water until batter is somewhat pasty. Split each mackeral in half and clean both halves. Dip the Mackeral in batter and place it in the bowl with the crushed cheeseits to coat. Place on dry surface (plate, sheet pan, etc.). Heat oil in frying pan until oil is hot. Place the battered mac in the oil until it is golden brown and serve!

Spam Appetizers


· 1 can spam (per 3 people)

· Mayonnaise (or cream cheese)

· 1 large pickle, or relish

· Cubed cheese (or stick cheese)

· Cheese Cracker sandwiches (about 4 packs for 3 people)

Prep time – long enough to cut everything up, and separate the cheese crackers without breaking them. Separate cheese cracker sandwiches. (Option – scrape the cheese off the crackers into a bowl to add flavor). Cut up spam (with lid), then mash with a fork. Cut up pickle (with lid) in fine pieces. Cut up cheese (with lid) in slivers. Combine mashed spam, pickle, and mayonnaise (or cream cheese) in a bowl. Spoon onto crackers. Top with sliver of cheese. Serve.

Option – Use Tuna instead.

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