Archive for the ‘Food’ category

Early Fathers’ Day

June 11, 2017

Admiral RistyToday is not Fathers’ Day. That’s actually next Sunday. But we decided to jump the gun and go visit the Admiral Risty in Rancho Palos Verde and celebrate today. We figured that restaurants would be less busy (which it was) than next Sunday. Here’s the pointer to the YELP review.

The Admiral Risty has a view to die for of the Pacific Ocean. It was a bit gloomy today. Our table had an excellent view.

Price is a bit more than our usual diner fare on Sundays but it was worth it. I had eggs benedict on a dungeness crab cake. Very tasty. I was thinking about having a Bloody Mary, but decided to pass.

Mike and Theresa were on board with the plan. Even Mary liked the plan, though I’m not sure how much she understood what we were planning on doing.

We told Mary that if she wanted to go to the Admiral Risty for brunch, she would have to get up and go to church. We also promised visits to the grand kids that she loves to see. So finally, we got Mary loaded in the Jeep and off we went. We even found an HP parking place at church.

So our reservation was at 1 pm, which was a little bit late but worked out okay. Pastor Jacques’ sermon was on the Gospel of John, Chapter 12. The service ran on to Noon (start time was 10:30 am). Once Jacques gets started there’s no stopping once he has a full wind in his sails. But, we still had plenty of time to get to our brunch date.

Jacques can’t afford to run long at the 9 am service. Got to get every one out in time for the arriving 10:30 folks.

We had all of the singing (no dancing). Jacques did a baptism of a ten(ish) year old boy. After the baptism was done the kid started swimming laps in the baptism pool. What a hoot and caught on video, too.

All done and back home. Time for a nap.

TTFN

Joe

 

Date Night

April 24, 2016

Jungle BookSaturday was date night. We really needed to get out without Mom even if only for a couple of hours.

So, we went to see the movie “The Jungle Book“. I guess we are getting cheap in our old age. Jungle Book was available in iMax 3D, Regular 3D and old plain 2D. 2D was $7 a person for Seniors. iMax was $17. We did the old fashioned 2D. Characters were voiced by Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and many more fine actors and actresses.

The film is rated PG and rightly so. There are parts that are pretty violent and might be a bit scary for little kids. I wouldn’t take a kid to see it under the  age of 8 or 9.

We loved it. We went to a 4:45 showing and there were a lot of families with kids in the theater. I particularly liked Baloo voiced by Bill Murray where he starts singing the “Bare Necessities”. We also liked the scenes with King Louie.

Here’s the Bill Murray version from Youtube. I will be playing this tune at Lodge in a couple of weeks.

When you compare this version with earlier versions you can readily see how far the animation technology has come. This film was filmed completely in Los Angeles.

I would give the film 8.5 stars out of 10. We loved it.

And by the way, you can download the Kindle version of the Rudyard Kipling Book from Amazon for $.99. What a deal.

Now for dinner part of date night. We had hoped to try the Hopsaint Brewery restaurant in Torrance. Saturday night was not a good time. We couldn’t even find a parking space. We’ll try another time when it might be less busy.

We came up with a plan B. We decided to go to the “San Franciscan” in Torrance. I was itching to have a good steak. We don’t have a barbeque grill at our place (forbidden my HOA). It was busy too, but at least we found a parking space. Had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

I had a 9 oz Filet Mignon. Paula had something called a “Drunken Sam”. The menu descrbes it as

“Filet mignon, pan fried in burgundy wine and brandy. Served atop fried eggplant and topped with an Ortega chile and jack cheese”

I had a taste. It was very good. Paula cleaned her plate. This is not fancy and the decor is rather plain but food is excellent. This is our place to go to when we have a hunger for steak.

Fast Food in LA

April 11, 2016

A week ago we all went to a presentation put on by the SP/SB Historical Society on the Fast Food industry in LA. I am just getting around to writing this. So sue me. Anyhow, I had expected the presentation to be about Fast Food in general. What we got was a little bit about Fast Food businesses and a lot about In-n-Out Burger. Here’s the wikipedia entry for In-n-Out.In-N-Out_Burger_sign,_Los_Angeles

Mind you, I’m not complaining. In-n-Out is one of my favorite burger joints. There is one up on the corner and I visit it often.

When we talk about fast food, we are in general talking about franchise businesses that serve the meals in about 2-3 minutes. There usually is a limited menu, typically burgers and fries or fried chicken.

So here are a few factoids that I learned.

  • Carl’s Jr started out in life as a hot dog stand.
  • In-n-Out was started by Carl Snyder (1914-1976) and is still family owned. ie. not franchised.
  • One of In-n-Out’s logos is the crossed palm trees. Based on the crossed Palm trees in the movie “It’s a Mad Mad Mad World”. Adopted in 1972.
  • In-n-Out is the only Fast Food joint that uses fresh potatoes rather than frozen fries.
  • In-n-Out first opened in 1948.
  • McDonald’s first opened by Ray Kroc in San Bernardino in 1951.
  • KFC first opened in Corbin, Kentucky by Harlan Sanders during the Great Depression. The first franchised KFC opened in Salt Lake City, UT in 1952.

Easter

March 27, 2016

He is risen. He is risen indeed! Of course, that was the common phrase going around this morning at Ocean View. So here’s our tale of what we did for Easter. Easter for us is about family.

We usually go to the 10:30 AM church service at Ocean View. The 0900 service is just too early and I’ll certainly not have any of this “Sunrise Service” stuff. The choir is at the top of their form. Pastor Jacques even finished pretty much on time.

The kids are scrubbed clean and dressed up in their Sunday finest. Jonathan had on a white shirt and a tie. Miss Sarah had a pretty nice dress that was bought for her by Aunt Mary in Hingham. Of course, when I took the picture of Jonathan he had a muffin in his mouth.

Normally after church on Sunday’s we go out for brunch at one of several excellent diners in San Pedro. I know that one of the diners was closed today so that the wait-staff could attend church (Pacific Diner). It is my opinion, worker friendly businesses like this should be rewarded with our business.

Our friend Vicky (who works at Pacific diner) asked us what we will be doing for dinner on Tuesday. Our answer was the we need to get done with today before we think about Tuesday.

On Easter and Mother’s Day we have taken to doing brunch at home rather than go out to a fancy restaurant. Those Sundays are just too crowded for our taste. When we do it at home and the kids finish eating, they can be excused from the table and go play. Can’t do that at a restaurant.

So what to have for brunch? We usually do some form of brunch eggs and pancakes or waffles. The waffle part was easy. Get out the waffle iron and pancake mix. The only problem we have is keeping them hot while I cook the rest of them. Each waffle takes about 5 minutes. Fresh strawberries and real maple syrup, too. Believe it or not, but you can buy real maple syrup on the west coast.

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The brunch eggs is a mashup of various recipes I have used in the past. This time we had a package of Pillsbury crescent rolls in the refrigerator, so we used those. Spread a single layer in the bottom of an 9×13″ baking dish. Sometimes we use Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits. Failing that, use Pepperidge Farm white bread toasted.

Then saute 1/2 an onion and 1/2 a green pepper in a frying pan. Add some meat. We had some diced ham on hand (8oz. package).  It got added to the frying pan.

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In a small bowl, scramble 10 eggs with 3/4 c of milk. Add the egg mixture, to the frying pan. Then transfer the egg, pepper & onions to the 9×13 pan. Then sprinkle with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Cook in a 350F oven for about 1/2 an hour. Check with tooth pick in the center for doneness.

We also had plenty of candy. We had some peeps, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies.

Here’s a picture someone posted of the Boston Peeps. (Arthur Fiedler is probably rolling over in his grave.)

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Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

February 14, 2016

After the movie last night, we decided to have dinner. There are many good choices in the area around the AMC theater in Torrance. So we decided to try something different.

We decided to try the “Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot“.  So here’s how this works. At each table, there is a hot plate located in the center of the table. On the hot plate is placed a bowl of soup broth.

First thing that one orders (after you order your beer or wine) is the broth. There are three varieties. Normal, Spicy or a bowl with both the normal and spicy separated by a divider (see picture).

 


We decided to do the libra choice. I wanted the spicy and Paula wanted the bland. Then one chooses the meat, vegetable and/or fish. We decided for a lamb/beef combo and vegetable combo (kale and other green stuff).


So you either order stuff ala carte or pay one “All you can eat” price. We did the ala carte because we weren’t quite sure how filling every thing was going to be.

So here’s how this works. You take a portion of meat or veg and pick it up an drop into the soup. Let it simmer for a bit, then fish it out with either the soup ladle or your chop sticks. Then eat it.

They give you a soup bowl so you can eat or drink some of the soup. The food was tasty and service was good. Somehow, I think this would work better with four or more people. But we were satisfied.

Oh,  by the way, either bring a bib or don’t wear anything that isn’t washable. You will get soup on your shirt.

Joe’s Kick-Ass Sausage Lasagna

February 2, 2016

img_4131Today is Tuesday and that means family for dinner. I addition to the usual attendees, we will have our number 2 son Neil honoring us with his presence.

So we decided to have lasagna. The benefit of lasagna is that one can make it up ahead of time and then pop it into the oven 45 minutes before dinner.

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 24 oz. jars of spaghetti sauce. (I like some of the spicy variants but use what you like.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 15oz. Container of Ricotta cheese (I usually get the low-fat version)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 lb of sausage meat
  • 8 oz lasagna noodles (1/2 a package)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the box. (Usually about 8 minutes).  Remove from heat and drain into a sieve. Allow to cool for a while.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic. Saute in large frying pan.
  3. When onions are translucent add the sausage meat. Stir and break up the clumps. Cook until the sausage is fully cooked.
  4. In a small mixing bowl add the egg and beat. Then add the ricotta. The egg helps make the ricotta easier to spread.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the sauce. Add about half the sauce to the sausage mixture.
  6. Now we put it all together. In a 9″x 13″ baking dish. Spray with non-stick spray. Put a layer of sauce (the sauce without the meat) on the bottom of the dish.
  7. Add your first layer of noodles. Then a layer of the 1/2 the meat sauce mixture.
  8. Add about half of the ricotta. Spread it around. Then add a little more sauce.
  9. Add second layer of noodles. Add the rest of the meat mixture. Add the rest of the ricotta. Cover with sauce.
  10. Third layer of noodles. Add half the remaining sauce (the meatless sauce). Cover with Mozarella.
  11. Fourth layer of noodles. Rest of sauce and rest of Mozarella.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap. Put in refrigerator. Pour yourself a glass of Chianti. You’re done until it’s time to put it in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for about 45 minutes. Don’t forget to remove the plastic wrap. Serve with warm garlic bread and a nice Chianti.

The Revenant

January 23, 2016

RevenantTonight was date night. Paula and I went to see “The Revenant” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Handy. We saw it at the AMC on Crenshaw. We didn’t spring for the iMax version. Senior price was $10 something per ticket. That was a little pricey for our taste.

Okay, here’s the deal. Leo plays a mountain man who is out trapping for furs with a bunch of his buddies. I guess it is in Colorado or thereabouts. So the trappers get attacked by indians. Lots of bullets and arrows flying through the air.

Somehow our mountain man gets separated from the main group and gets himself attacked by one huge grizzly bear. And in the process, he gets himself mauled up pretty good. His pals leave him for dead. So any normal human being without antibiotics would have died from the wounds. No, not Leo, he survives. And now recovered somewhat he seeks revenge.

So he slowly makes his way back to the fort/outpost with the help of some friendly Indians along the way. He goes for a 2-3 minute swim in an ice cold rushing stream. By this time any normal person would have died from hypothermia.

Cinematography was excellent as well as the makeup. I read where Leo did five hours in the makeup artist’s chair to get ready for filming. Dialog was a bit difficult to understand. I kind of knew what was going down. Of course, the Indians’ dialogue was subtitled. So we knew what they were saying.

Good picture, but a bit on the long side. Picture ran 2.5 hours. Add in the 15 minutes of trailers and you get one (or two) sore butt. We were also annoyed by the young people that were sitting next to us. Person sitting next to Paula was texting through half the picture plus they were getting up crawling over us to head to the popcorn stand. Eventually the texter got up and left. Apparently, the movie was not her cup of tea. PITA

I’d give the movie 3.5 stars (out of 5). Theater ambiance was – 2 stars for allowing idiots to be texting.

Fanoos

Chicken Kabobs

We went to dinner at Fanoos Persian Restaurant in the same shopping center as the movie theater. Just a small cozy bistro. Not too pricey. I had a chicken/lamb kabob combo. Paula ordered an appetizer plate with all kinds of tasty stuff. Good service. Reasonable prices.

Got home at about 10:30. Mary soundly sleeping.

Good night all.

Joe