Vacation Adventures.

3 weeks ago we set off for our vacation.
Because we had planned a week in Kings Canyon National Park at a family camp we wanted to be a bit closer drive to there the week before.
I was intrigued by Cambria, a small town on the coast between San Luis Obispo and Carmel.
We rented a house for a week and I loved the ocean views and watching the birds.
Here in pictures are some of the places we ate.

Heavenly seared Ahi in Monterey at The Grotto Fish Market on the Pier.

Small hole in the wall place in Cayucos called Rudell’s Smokehouse came heavily recommended and their smoked fish was indeed amazing!

I had the smoked ahi taco and skipped the tortilla.

We had one dinner where the food was amazing but the service was so bad it overshadowed the meal.
The restaurant came highly recommended and the owners were of Dutch heritage.
The restaurant is called The Flying Dutchman in Morro Bay.
We had Mussels

And the Boy had their Cioppino.

Good food,but if you don’t mind getting *all* your food at the same time, don’t eat there.

And then last but not least our last meal on the road was in Los Banos at Hot City BBQ.
I had an amazing trip-tip salad.

BubbleWrapBoy polished off a pulled pork sandwich.

Food was good, home is much better!

Swedish Chef Sunday

Chef has some issues with his chicken.
Combines with another favorite Muppet skit, “Pigs in Space”

Portable lunch anyone?

It’s Monday and in this house that means there needs to be food for lunches for kids that is easy to take along.
A real good dish is deviled eggs because you can dress them up and it won’t get old.
Here are two of my favorites.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

This recipe is for 8 eggs (16 halves)

8 Hard Boiled eggs, peeled.
2 tablespoons mayonaise
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek Yogurt
2.5 ounces smoked salmon
6 sprigs chives.
salt and pepper to taste.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise and set the yolks aside. Refrigerate the white halves.
In a bowl or a small food processor combine yolks and the remaining ingredients until smooth.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This is so the flavors can set. You might need more salt or pepper, something that might not be clear at the mixing.
Add more salt or pepper if needed.
Fill egg halves with the mixture.
Sprinkle some parsley or chives over the plate.

Curried Salmon Deviled Eggs.

8 Hard Boiled eggs, peeled.
2 tablespoons mayonaise
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek Yogurt
4 ounces of canned salmon ( I used a “snack pack” for kids lunches)
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne powder
tiny dash of hot sauce, 1/8 teaspoon worth
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I learned the hard way that the taste right after mixing can be less spicy, it’s in the “maturing” of the mixture that can bring on a kick.
I tend to like spicy but the batch I made once for Resident’s Teen’s birthday was definitely not kid appropriate. Lesson learned. I cook some extra eggs just in case it is too spicy or too salty.

Fill egg halves
Sprinkle with a little paprika powder for looks.
Refrigerate until you are going to serve them, be sure to have one of each before you set it out. In my house they disappear in seconds.

An acquired taste for some, chicken liver.

Growing up we ate chicken liver and I still love it.
This recipe is a great appetizer, and with summer around the corner this is the perfect dish!
Will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Chicken liver mousse.

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped tart apple
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound chicken livers, cleaned
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream
In a large saute pan over low heat, melt the butter and cook onion, apple, and thyme, covered, until apples soften.
Remove lid and increase heat to medium add the livers and cook until firm and still pink inside.
Add Brandy and allow to burn off a little
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the pepper, salt, and puree in a food processor; then chill, covered.
Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks.
Fold into cooled, pureed liver mixture. Serve chilled.

Enjoy!

Aside

When a recipe fails.

I got my Food Network magazine the other day and it had a booklet “50 things to grill in foil”.
I love all things BBQ and reading through it I found Paella. It looked good, it looked simple. It was dinner I decided.
What happened next was sad sad sad.
Yes,that bad.

I assembled all the ingredients into the suggested disposable pan and set it on the grill.
It was supposed to take only 30 minutes and I checked it after 15 minutes.
It seemed to be cooking but the rice mix was both crunchy and becoming a gel.
Stirred, covered and poured myself a glass of wine.

10 minutes later the rice was still undercooked and it looked like paste.
It also was salty as all out.

This is where I poured myself another glass of wine and cooked a cup of rice on the stove.
I was hoping the regular rice would take the salt out (it did) and that it would make the dish less like glue and more like Paella (it did not).

After an hour all of it was cooked but it was not a success. The flavors saved it but there was no seconds for all of us and I had to throw it out.

Will I cook Paella on the BBQ again?
Maybe but not anytime soon.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Asparagus soup

My fridge is weird. It freezes things at random in the drawers.
I had bought Asparagus for dinner and forgot about the “super powers” my fridge had until it was time to use the vegetables.
Not one to waste food I decided to use the asparagus for the base of a soup.

For the soup base:
cut up asparagus
chicken breast cut in chunks

For the roux:
4tbs butter
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup light cream or heavy cream

In a slow cooker cover asparagus and chicken with enough water.
Cook for 4 hours.
Take out chicken and asparagus

Ion a separate pan on low heat melt butter
slowly add flour using a whisk, the mixture will look lumpy
cook the flour/butter on low heat for 4 minutes
whisk in chicken broth in little batches and mix until smooth

Add chicken and cut up asparagus
Salt and pepper to taste

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Pesto Chicken

Himself bought this rather big jar of Pesto at Cost-Co. Because it is without preservatives it needed to be frozen while half full.
It’s taking up part of a drawer in the freezer and it needs to be used.
I looked around on the interwebs and found the perfect recipe that will use up all of it.

Oven baked Pesto Chicken

1 chicken breast per person, cut in strips about 2 inches wide
1/2 cup pesto sauce, make your own or store bought
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 373/190
In an ovenproof dish spread half of the pesto on the bottom
layer with chicken
spread remaining pesto on chicken
cover with foil and let bake for 25 minutes
remove foil and cover chicken with cheese
allow cheese to melt
if you have a broiler use it to give the cheese a bit of browning.

Enjoy!

(from http://www.kalynskitchen.com/)

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