Thursday, October 25, 2012

La Llorona

  • 3 ounces Pisco Brandy
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • Dry ice (optional) (see note)
In a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice, combine brandy, juices, and sugar. Cover, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a few drops of bitters. Add some dry ice for a spooky effect.

El Chupacabra Martini

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 4 blood oranges or 1 cup orange juice
  • 4 ounces coconut rum
  • 2 ounces açaí juice
  • 1 ounce guava nectar
  • 1 ounce pineapple nectar
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 blood orange, sliced, for garnish
  • 1 star fruit, sliced (optional), for garnish
In a cocktail shaker combine all ingredients with ice. Shake until blended and then strain into 2 martini glasses.
Garnish each glass with a blood orange slice or a star fruit slice. Serve.

Blueberry-Drop Biscuit Cobbler

Makes: 6 to 8 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (includes baking and cooling time.)


  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 6 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter; using your fingertips, incorporate until only pea-size lumps remain. Gently mix in crème fraîche. Knead in bowl until a biscuit-like dough forms, 5–7 turns (overmixing will make dough tough).
Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons flour, berries, juice, and zest in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Pour into an 8x8x2" glass baking dish or divide among six 6-ounce ramekins. Tear biscuit topping into quarter-size crumbles; scatter over berries.
Bake cobbler until juices are thick and bubbling and topping is cooked through and deep golden brown, 20–25 minutes for ramekins or 45–50 minutes for baking dish. Let cool for at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust

For Crust
  • fourteen 2-inch gingersnaps (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter melted and cooled

For filling
  • 1 envelope (about 1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons brandy rum or water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • Accompaniment: whipped cream
  • Garnish: chopped toasted pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make Crust:
In a food processor grind gingersnaps, pecans, and sugar fine and add butter, blending until combined well. Press mixture onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate. Bake crust in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden around edge, and cool on rack.
Make filling:
In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over brandy, rum, or water and let stand.
In a heavy saucepan whisk together milk, brown sugar, yolks, pumpkin, spices, and salt and cook over moderately low heat, whisking, until mixture registers 160°F. on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and immediately add gelatin mixture, whisking until gelatin is completely dissolved.
Transfer filling to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and cool, stirring constantly, just until the consistency of raw egg white. Remove bowl from ice water.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream until it holds stiff peaks and whisk about one fourth into filling to lighten. Fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly and pour filling into crust. Chill pie until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24, covered with plastic wrap after 1 hour.
Top each serving with whipped cream and garnish with nuts.

7 picky eater solutions

The power struggle: over!

Little kids long to control their worlds, and doing that through food comes naturally. To break the push-pull cycle:

Let go of your end of the emotional rope. You can't force your child to do anything, especially eat, so just stop trying. Simply offer her nutritious, varied foods -- and eat them yourself. She can have hers, or not, but you're showing her how. Do you still remember having to eat your veggies or clean your plate before you could leave the table? Adam Strauss, M.D., a pediatrician in Westwood and Mansfield, MA, offers a word of caution. "When parents demand that their kids eat certain foods, they're attaching negative connotations to it. Pretty soon, the struggle is worse." Put the food on her plate, but if it stays there, don't push her, and don't stress over it.

Give straightforward praise, even if he takes only one bite of something new. For example: "It's great that you tried the chili!" Basing the praise on how you feel ("Mommy's so happy!") sends a questionable message: He controls your emotions with his fork. "I used to feel really attached to my kids' eating the dishes I'd taken the time to make. My emphasis on my split-pea soup especially made everyone miserable. Finally, one day I ignored the soup but put out some fun sides, and the kids ended up tasting the soup," recalls Heather Swain, mom of Graham, 2, and Clementine, 4, in Brooklyn.

 Don't get hung up on the time of day your child eats, or how much she eats at a sitting. It's okay if your kid doesn't eat three square meals every day as long as over the course of a week or two she eats things from each food group.

Offer choices that don't matter. You may face stubborn insistence that toast have a corner unbuttered to avoid messy hands, or that cereal be served only in a Go Diego Go! bowl, or that nothing touch. While this kind of behavior is draining, it's typical at this age, says Dr. Strauss. Give him an option -- the green plate or the blue? Offering your child a limited choice is often enough to end the power struggle. But make your rules clear: "At home, you can choose your cup, but when we're out, you have to use whatever they have."

Quirks: solved!

My kid won't eat meat
The texture turns off many preschoolers, and that's fine. "My two-and-a-half-year-old is basically a vegetarian, barring hot dogs and his latest discovery, ham," says Elizabeth Gonzalez, mom of Jason, 2, in Yorktown Heights, NY. "I offer lots of peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, and veggie burgers, and he's doing just fine. We always ask if he wants meat when I make it, but when he invariably says no, we say A-OK and try not to press it." Like Jason, your child can still get all the protein he needs from:
  • yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese
  • nachos with beans and cheese
  • hard-boiled eggs or any egg dish
  • his favorite crackers dipped in hummus or spread with peanut (or nut) butter
  • cheese or even meat-filled ravioli (the pasta exterior goes a long way for meat-haters)
  • mini-tuna melts (if he's game for fish, but stick to chunk light, only twice a week) 

  • Veggies? Yeah, right
    This is the most common picky-eater problem. To convince him it's easy being green, try:
  • thinly sliced veggies stir-fried with teriyaki sauce, maybe a little chicken, and rice. Go with carrot slices and baby corn to start. Water chestnuts have little taste, and can be a good stepping-stone to serious veggies
  • zucchini muffins and veggie lasagna. (Find the world's easiest, kid-friendliest recipes at 10 Tasty Veggie Kid Meals.)
  • lettuce wraps. Use a filling he'll eat (anything goes, from turkey to cream cheese) and a romaine leaf as a wrap. The novelty of the whole thing may just win him over.
  • dressing -- honey mustard, ranch, even ketchup or melted butter -- with veggies for dipping. Put the plate next to a sure thing (say, grilled cheese) to lure him to the table. We all tend to eat more when the food is right in front of us.
  • thinking outside the frozen-corn box. "Graham hated all vegetables -- or so we thought," says Heather Swain. "We tried peas, carrots, corn...then we put kale in front of him. Turns out, he likes the bitter 'adult' veggies like kale, chard, and broccoli rabe. By continually offering him choices, we finally hit on what appeals to his taste." 

  • Unless it's white, it's a no-go
    Preschoolers like lots of colors in their pictures, but not always on their plates. Consider:
  • fruit smoothies. Blend a banana with vanilla yogurt for a healthy sweet snack. You can freeze this for ice pops, too.
  • mac and cheese made with whole-wheat (or whole-wheat -- blend) macaroni. This may not fly, but you've got a better shot with a cheese sauce than a tomato sauce or butter.
  • oven-baked fries -- half regular and half sweet potato to ease your child into the idea of other spuds.
  • half white-/half whole-wheat -- bread toast and sandwiches in fun shapes. Use cookie cutters.
  • a rainbow meal. Take her to the market to pick out red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, and green foods. 
  • Bright spots and trouble spots, revealed!

    We tracked a gaggle of preschoolers called picky by their moms. We then asked Inger Hustrulid, R.D., a family nutritionist and president of the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, to look at the log of The Pickiest: Genie, 4. Guess what? Hustrulid found some good things. Check them out, along with her quick fixes for the not-so-good.

    Bright spots and trouble spots, revealed!

    Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice
    Yay! Genie eats breakfast. Kids who skip this meal may be more irritable.
    Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice
    Dinner: buttered pasta, half of a Shake 'N Bake chicken breast
    Snacks: Teddy Grahams, ice pop, pack of Care Bears fruit snacks

    Breakfast: Froot Loops, milk, orange juice

    Trade super-sweet cereal for one with less than 8 grams sugar and more than 4 grams fiber, like Clifford Crunch.
    Lunch: 1 slice pizza, cake, M&M's
    Dinner: 3 chicken fingers, a few french fries, 1/4 of brownie à la mode, milk

    Sweet treats are fine, but try to keep them to once a day.
    Snacks: pack of Care Bears fruit snacks, a slice of 2% mozzarella cheese

    Breakfast: Froot Loops, milk, orange juice
    Lunch: 4 Mickey Mouse cheese ravioli with butter and salt, pack of Transformers fruit snacks

    Try olive oil or tomato sauce on pasta for more healthy fats and lycopene.
    Dinner: 2 fried mozzarella sticks (breading picked off), 1/3 cup plain white rice, 1/4 cup Rice pudding, cranberry juice
    Snacks: pack of Transformers fruit snacks, apple

    Breakfast: chocolate- chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice
    Lunch: Velveeta Shells & Cheese
    Dinner: 3 chicken fingers with french fries, chocolate ice cream

    Sweet-potato fries make a vitamin C-packed substitute. You can buy them frozen.
    Snacks: pack of Transformers fruit snacks, lollipop, half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, banana

    Breakfast: chocolate- chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice
    Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice
    Dinner: 4 Mickey Mouse cheese ravioli with butter and salt
    Offering her "usual" with a child's-fist-size portion of veggies is ideal. Isn't happening? Just keep trying.
    Snacks: half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, apple

    Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice
    Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice
    Dinner: buttered pasta, corn

    Corn is fine, but try to swap in a new veggie now and then. Baby carrots are a safe bet.
    Snacks: half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, ice pop, pear, Tootsie Roll, Teddy Grahams, apple

    The string cheese is a great calcium-rich snack.

    Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice

    Switch to a 100% whole-grain waffle. Try your luck at topping with peanut butter for protein and sustained energy.
    Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice

    Genie actually has protein every day. Nuggets count!
    Dinner: 1 slice brisket with gravy, a few sips of matzo-ball soup, 1 Mallomar
    Snacks: banana, apple, Teddy Grahams, 2 fun-size Hershey bars, lollipop

    (Article from 

    Easy Hashbrown Casserole recipe

     Prep time: 5 min

    Cook time: 35 min

    Ready in 40 min

    Servings: 6



    • 2 bags frozen shredded hashbrowns
    • 2 cans cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 2 bags of shredded cheddar cheese (more or less to taste)
    • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, bacon or sausage


    1. Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
    2. Broil for 5-10 minutes to brown the top.
    3. Crumble bacon or sausage or chicken on top of the casserole and serve

    Top candies of the world.

    Baci, Italy

    Hershey's isn't the only one with kisses — Italy has its own version, Perugina's Baci. These chocolate bonbons are filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, topped with a whole hazelnut, and wrapped in a love note.

    Botan Rice Candy, Japan

    Even if you've never been to Japan, you may have come across Botan Rice Candy in Asian supermarkets. Botan, which means "peony," is a prominent brand in Japan and makes a sticky rice candy with a slightly citrusy flavor.

    Bounty, United Kingdom

    Mounds lovers will appreciate Bounty, a coconut-filled bar enrobed with milk chocolate.

    Cheong Woo, Korea

    Leave it to South Korea to come up with pumpkin candy — a mellow, slightly salty candy with a prominent squash-like flavor and the texture of Starburst. If you can track it down, it's perfect for this time of year.

    Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, Indonesia

    I'd never heard of Chimes Mango Ginger Chews before, but these individually-wrapped Indonesian ginger candies in the quaint tin turned out to be my favorite. They had a latent heat and spiciness to them, thanks to ginger that's grown on volcanic soil in East Java.

    Kinder Country, Germany

    I wasn't sure what to make of Kinder Country, which was described on the wrapper as "milk chocolate with rich milk filling." It was unlike anything I'd ever had in the States: a creamy, milky white center, made crunchy with puffed rice and then doused in milk chocolate.

    Lion, United Kingdom

    I was really happy to bite into a Lion Bar, another chocolate confection that hails from the UK. It was similar to a ToffeeCrisp, with caramel, crisp cereal, and a wafer enrobed in milk chocolate and reminded me of an even heartier 100 Grand. This lion was one of my top candy picks and definitely made me roar.

    Peko Milky Candy, Japan

    Peko-chan Milk Candy is commonplace among children in Japan. The individually-wrapped candies are firm yet chewy and have a distinctive sweet milk flavor.

    ToffeeCrisp, United Kingdom

    Nestlé makes a number of chocolate bars in Europe that aren't readily available in the United States. One of them is ToffeeCrisp, a staple in the United Kingdom. The long, slender milk chocolate bar is filled with crackling puffed rice and caramel. Its motto? "Somebody, somewhere, is eating a ToffeeCrisp."

    Yorkie, United Kingdom

    The Yorkie bar — originally titled so because it was made by Rowntrees of York — was created in the 1970s as a larger chocolate bar alternative to Cadbury's Dairy-Milk. To this day, the chocolate stays true to its original branding with the slogan, "It's not for girls!"

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Grown up grilled cheese sandwich

    Total time: 25 minutes
    Prep: 15 min
    Cook: 10 min

    Makes 4 to 6 servings.


    • 1 loaf Italian bread such as ciabatta
    • 1 pound Teleme or Brie cheese
    • 1 pound sliced smoked ham (applewood if available)
    • Butter
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 cup roasted red peppers


    Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Top the bottom bread slice with the Teleme cheese, then the smoked ham, distributing it evenly. Place top of bread on sandwich and brush with butter.
    Heat a sandwich grill until hot. Set sandwich, butter side down in grill. Butter top side of bread. Place a heavy pan on top of entire sandwich to evenly distribute weight and cook until nicely browned and the cheese is melted, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
    Transfer the sandwich to a work surface and remove the top slice of bread. Spread the underside of the bread with mustard, and add roasted peppers, if desired.
    Replace the top slice of bread, cut the sandwiches into slices, and serve immediately.

    Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup with Tequila Crema

    Side note: This one is a doozy time wise. So make sure that you plan ahead.

    Total time: 9 hours 5 minutes
    Prep 20 minutes
    Inactive: 8 hours
    Cook: 45 minutes

    Makes 4 to 6 servings


    For marinade:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 ounces silver tequila
    • 2 limes, juiced
    • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed

    For soup base:

    • 1 jalapeno, roasted and minced
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder, plus some for dust tortilla strips
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 8 cups chicken stock, make sure this is stock, not broth (recommended: Kitchen Essentials)
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (recommended: Muir Glen)
    • 1 lime, zested and juiced
    • 1 corn tortilla, cut into strips

    For serving:

    • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
    • 8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
    • Pinch chili powder
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons tequila
    • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted and flesh diced
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
    • Lime wedges, for garnish


    Put the vegetable oil, tequila, lime juice, chipotle pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Put the marinade in a plastic bag along with the chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
    Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno and grill until the skin is well charred. Remove the jalapeno to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat the skin. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem, skin, and seeds, then finely mince.

    Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion and saute until starting to caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook about 3 or 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the mixture. Deglaze the pan with some of the chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

    Add the remaining chicken stock, the crushed tomatoes and the lime juice. Add the tortilla strips and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    While soup base is simmering, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put on grill. Grill, turning until cooked through, about 14 to 18 minutes. Remove from the grill, to a large plate and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred. Keep warm.

    For serving:
    Heat the vegetable oil in a tall sided skillet to 350 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips and fry until they are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of chili powder.

    Combine the sour cream, 2 tablespoons tequila, and the remaining lime zest in a small bowl and season with salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

    To serve, put some of the shredded chicken in the bottom of each bowl and pour in the hot soup base. Top with diced avocado, fried tortilla strips, the tequila crema, and cilantro. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Almost famous bloomin onion

    Prep: 54 min
    Cook 6 min
    Total time: 1 hour


    For the dip

    2 tablespoons mayo
    2 tablespoons sour cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauc e
    1 tablespoon drained horseradish
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    pinch of cayenne pepper
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the onion
    1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia (about 1 pound)
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons paprika
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 large eggs
    1 cup whole milk
    1 gallon soy or corn oil
    Kosher Salt

    Combine all of the dip ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
    Slice the onion (see below). Whisk the flour, cayenne, paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. In a small deep bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and 1 cup water.
    Place the onion in a separate bowl, cut-side up, and pour all of the flour mixture on top. Cover the bowl with a plate, then shake back and forth to distribute the flour. Check to make sure the onion is fully coated, especially between the "petals." Lift the onion by the core, turn over and pat off the excess flour; reserve the bowl of flour.
    Using a slotted spoon, fully submerge the onion in the egg mixture (spoon on top, if necessary). Remove and let the excess egg drip off, then repeat the flouring process. Refrigerate the onion while you heat the oil.
    Heat the oil in a large deep pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 400 degrees. Pat off excess flour from the onion. Using a wire skimmer, carefully lower the onion into the oil, cut-side down. Adjust the heat so the oil temperature stays close to 350 degrees. Fry about 3 minutes, then turn the onion over and cook until golden, about 3 more minutes; drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve with the dip.

    How to slice a bloomin onion
    1. Cut off 1/2 inch from the pointy stem end of the onion, then peel.
    2. Place the onion cut-side down. Starting 1/2 inch from the root, make a downward cut all the way through to the board.
    3. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
    4. Continue slicing between each section until you have 16 evenly spaced cuts.
    5. Turn the onion over and use your fingers to gently separate the outer pieces.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Secret menu items at various places.

    Chicken salad” – past menu item that’s still available on request.

    ”Untoasted French Dip” - the old school original.
    ”Wet Fries” - fries with cheddar cheese sauce.

    "Cheese Trio" – vegetarian style with no meat.

    Burger King:
    “Sourdough Whopper” - Whopper on sourdough bun.
    "Mustard whopper," a whopper with mustard rather than mayo.
    “Veggie whopper” a whopper with the meat omitted.
    "Bull's-Eye BBQ Burger" –
    "Suicide" - Four meat patties, four slices of cheese, bacon and sauce on a sesame seed bun.
    “Ham and Cheese sandwich” - comes on long bun with lettuce and tomato.
    “Rodeo Burger” - cheeseburger with onion rings and bbq sauce)
    “Big King” - Their version of the Big Mac, no longer offered. Make your own by ordering a BK Stacker minus the bacon, then add lettuce, onion and pickles.
    “Frings” - half fries, half onion rings.

    ”Chili” – long gone menu item.

    “Nachos”- All of the fresh and higher quality ingredients (in comparison to other fast food restaurants) make nachos at chipotle a big improvement from your usual baseball stadium or taco bell nachos. Chipotle nachos don’t have the amount of cheese that you would picture a “normal” plate of nachos would have by any stretch of the imagination. What they lack in cheese they make up for in taste. Corn salsa and Pico de Gallo make a great fresh texture and flavor. Unless you’re willing to switch to a fork, stick with either chicken or steak to avoid a mess. The only thing bad about nachos at Chipotle is that the chips they use are the same chips that you get when you order chips as a side dish. They have an excessive amount of salt and a hefty amount of lime juice. The lime juice goes well with the other ingredients but the salt can be too heavy and conflict with the other flavors.“Quesadilla” - A great cheap way to enjoy the flavors of the grilled chicken and steak at Chipotle is in a quesadilla. Chipotle simply takes a burrito tortilla and fills it with cheese. This is only a dollar plus tax. If you’d like all the trimmings including meat it’s a buck or two more. If you choose to enhance your quesadilla with salsa, avoid the roasted corn salsa. The Pico de Gallo warms up deliciously with the melted cheese and the hot sauces give a great kick, but the sweet flavor of the corn clashes in the sea of cheese. Both chicken and steak are excellent for chipotles quesadilla because of their flavors and also their texture and steak. Barbacoa would not be the best choice for a quesadilla because of the spices involved as well as the texture.
    “Quesorito” - a quesadilla with burrito fillings, rolled like a burrito.
    Chipotle will make anything they have the ingredients for.

    Dairy Queen:
    Supposedly they will make you anything they have ingredients for. DQ has a big book of instructions on how to make old menu items.
    “Peanut Buster Parfait” - Long gone menu item from the past. A parfait cup with several alternating layers of vanilla soft-serve ice cream, peanuts, and hot fudge
    "Chocolate Chip Blizzard" - A Blizzard whirled with the quick-hardening dipping chocolate usually reserved for DQ’s ice-cream cones
    "Banana Split Blizzard" - a Blizzard composed of all the classic banana-split ingredients
    "Lavender Blue Sundae" - a blueberry sundae mixed with marshmallow

    Spanish-style burgers & fries” - has a fried egg on top, and though who knows why you'd want to, you can order a burger or fries this way.
    “Chili-Cheese Onion Rings” – why didn’t I think of that?
    “Hypocrite” - a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.

    Five Guys Burgers:
    “Cheesey fries” – They're already known for their fresh cut fries. Here it goes to the next level.
    “Fries well done” – crisper is better.
    “Veggie burger” – sans the patty.
    “Veggie hot dog” – sans the weiner.
    “Grilled cheese” – just like mom would make. Can also have veggies added too.

    In-N-Out Burger:
    ”Veggie Burger” (A) - A hamburger with extra tomatoes instead of meat.
    "Veggie Burger" (B) - All the veggie toppings on a bun, without the meat and cheese.
    ”Extra Toast” - This order toasts your bun a little bit more than usual making it extra crispy.
    ”Protein style” - Protein style removes the bun and wraps your burger in lettuce like a burrito.
    ”Grilled Cheese” - A bun, tomatoes and onions, if you want them, grilled with melted cheese.
    ”Flying Dutchman” - For the ultimate meat eater. No bun, no veggies, just two beef patties and two slices of cheese.
    ”Double meat burger” - a double double without the cheese.
    ”Animal style” - makes any burger come with extra pickles, extra sauce, grilled onions, and a mustard cooked patty.
    ”3 by Meat”- three beef patties and no cheese.
    ”2 by 4” - a double double with two extra slices of cheese. Not for the weak hearted.
    "A X B" - As many beef patties (A) with as many cheese slices (B) as you want. (I "Googled" this and there is a picture of a 100 x 100 on the internet.)
    ”Chopped Chilies” - This adds diced jalapenos to any burger.
    ”Mustard grilled patty” - ask for this and they will spread your patty with mustard before grilling it.
    ”No Salt” - you wouldn’t think that this would apply to a burger but it does. In-N-Out patties are heavily salted, ask for no salt and you will get a much healthier and fresher tasting patty.
    ”Fries animal style” - an order of French fries drenched in cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce (a thicker thousand island dressing).
    ”Fries Light” - French fries taken out of the fryer a little early. These are a little bit raw on the inside and less crispy.
    ”Fries Well-Done”- The opposite of fries light. This order leaves your fries on the fryer extra long, making them really crispy and oily.
    ”Cheese Fries”- Fries with melted cheese on top.
    “Neapolitan shake” - All the milkshake flavors swirled together, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
    ”Root Beer Float” - Half vanilla milkshake and half root beer soda.
    ”Choco-Vanilla Swirl” - A chocolate milkshake swirled in with a vanilla milkshake.
    ”Lemon-up” - Lemonade and seven up mixed together.
    Large and extra large shakes: if you ask for a large shake they’ll give you a shake in a medium sized soda cup and extra large in a large soda cup.
    ”Tea-Ade” - An Arnold Palmer. Half iced tea and half lemonade.

    Jack in the Box:
    “Secret sauce” – This is the orange tangy sauce that came on the cheeseburger all through the 1970’s. Available on your burger or in a ketchup size packet.

    Jamba Juice:
    Blue Gummi Bear
    Chocolate Gummi Bear
    Green Gummi Bear
    Pink Gummi Bear
    Red Gummi Bear
    White Gummi Bear
    Andres' Surprise
    Apple Pie
    Berry Depressing
    Chocolate covered Strawberries
    Dirty Org*sm
    Fruity Pebbles
    White Fruity Pebbles
    Pink Fruity Pebbles
    Hello Jesus
    Reese pieces
    San Diego
    Sourpatch Kid
    Starburst [aka Pink Star]
    Lemonade Lightnin'
    Strawberries Dreamin'
    Strawberries Lightnin'
    Strawberry Shortcake
    Sunny Delight
    Thank You Jesus
    Tootsie Roll
    Tropical Tango
    Melonade wave
    Now and Later
    Orange Dream Machine
    Pacific Passion
    Peanut Butter and Jelly
    P*nis Shooter
    Pineapple Dreamin'
    Rainbow Sherbert
    Raspberry Dreamin'

    "Chicken and Waffles" - a McGriddle sandwich with a chicken pattie in the middle
    “Biscuits and Gravy” – breakfast hours vintage menu item from the 80’s.
    “Grilled Cheese” - hamburger bun with nothing but melted cheese in the middle. A Sesame seed bun will cost extra.
    “The All-American” - A normal sized hamburger with nothing but pickles and ketchup.
    “The Big McChicken” - Big Mac with McChicken patties instead of the bun.
    “Mini Mac” aka “The Poor-Man’s Big Mac” - Order a double cheeseburger with Mac-sauce and lettuce. Ask for diced onions on the side and lettuce on your burger (both are free at McDonalds). For only a dollar all you miss out on is the Big Mac’s sesame seed bun.
    “McGangBang” - a double cheeseburger with a McChicken in the middle, some McD's will include the McChicken bun as well for 4 buns total)
    “Land, Sea, and Air Burger” - a hamburger plus Filet O'Fish and McChicken patties.
    “McKinley Mac - aka Big Mac with Quarter Pounder patties instead. (This one is from Alaska)
    “Mega Mac” - aka Double Big Mac - a Big Mac with four patties and extra cheese.
    “Monster Mac” - a Big Mac with eight patties and extra cheese.
    “Fries with Big Mac Sauce” - Just ask the cashier for a side of Mac-sauce. It is delicious for dipping fries. Also good as a dipping sauce for McNuggets.
    “Pie McFlurry” - McFlurry with blended with your choice of pie.
    “Apple Pie Fudge Sundae” - a warm apple pie with a fudge sundae on top
    “Mint-Chocolate Milkshake”aka “McLeprechaun” - (seasonal) chocolate and shamrock shakes layered in a cup.
    “Creamsicle Milkshake” - (seasonal) vanilla and orange milkshakes layered in cup.
    “Coke float” – Coca cola with an added soft serve top.
    “Root beer float” – Root Beer with added soft serve.
    “Neopolitan shake” – A layered combition of a vanilla, chocalte and strawberry shake.

    "Naked Chicken," - chicken with no breading.
    “Breaded chicken livers” - have fun.

    ”Cheeseburger” - meatball sandwich, no marinara, with ketchup, mustard, cheese, pickle.
    ”Fireball” - meatball sandwich with chili on top.
    ”Wrecking Ball” - combo of two sandwiches - the meatball and the wreck.

    Red Robin:
    ”Petite Burgers” - mini burgers.
    Anything you can create on their website using The Customizer, you can get in a restaurant. Want a Natural Burger with Battered Cod, bacon and avocado on Texas toast? They'll make it.

    ”Frito Pie” - order a Frito Chili Cheese Wrap, minus the wrap and the lettuce and tomato)
    ”Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich” - Grill cheese on Texas Toast with added ham.
    "Grilled Cheese with Bacon" - Grill cheese on Texas Toast with added bacon.
    “Purple O” aka “Purple Rush” aka “Purple Sprite” - Powerade, lemonade, sprite and cranberry juice. Genius.
    “Sonic Sunrise” – a mixture of orange juice and cherry limeade.
    ”Pickle O’s” – deep fried pickle slices.

    “Biscotti Frapuccino” - Buy biscotti and ask the barista to blend it up with any flavor of frapuccino. It blends into tiny cookie chunks that add a delicious little crunch to your frozen coffee.
    ”Short Drink” - The sizes the “mainstream menu” gives you are “Tall,” “Grande” and “Venti,” but if you say you want the “short” size to any Starbucks drink you can receive a less expensive and smaller sized drink. Although this size is in their cash register, they don’t put it on the menu as a marketing strategy to make customers buy larger and more expensive drinks.
    “Short cappuccino” - A “Short” cappuccino is a more Italian style cappuccino. Basically this cappuccino leaves out the gallons of milk Starbucks puts in for the more traditional amount of dairy that the drink originated with.
    “Red Eye” - A shot of espresso in regular drip coffee.
    ”Black Eye” - Two shots of espresso in regular drip coffee.
    “Green Eye” - Three shots of espresso in regular drip coffee. Not for anyone with a heart condition or road rage issues.
    ”Poor Man’s Latte” - Order an Iced Americano with no water and half ice, then you can add free half and half at the little milk and condiments table. This is the same drink as a Breve Latte but costs much less. Just watch out for the classy police. This is definitely not the most chic thing to be caught doing by your mother-in-law or boss.
    ”Poor Man’s Chai Latte” - Order a Chai Tea Misto with extra foam, two tea bags, and half cinnamon-half vanilla syrup. This is basically the same drink but almost half the price.
    ”Cafe au Lait” - If your French and looking for something nostalgic of your homeland order the Misto without foam for a classic French coffee drink.
    ”French pressed coffee” - You can choose any coffee they sell by the bag and have it served in a French press. For coffee snobs, this is one of the best ways to appreciate all of the flavors of the coffee you chose.
    ”Chocolate Cream Frapuccino” - Chocolate syrup and chocolate flavoring. Lots and Lots of chocolate! Do not underestimate the amount of chocolate in this frozen blended coffee. Only for the true chocolate lover die hard.
    "Cake Batter Frappuccino" - A vanilla Frappuccino made with both vanilla bean and almond flavoring
    "Crunch Berry Frappuccino" - A strawberry-and-cream Frappuccino with hazelnut flavoring; it tastes just like Crunch Berries cereal.
    "London Fog" - Earl Grey tea blended with vanilla flavoring
    "Zebra Mocha (aka Penguin Mocha)" - a combination white-chocolate/chocolate mocha
    "Red-Tux Mocha (aka Bleeding Penguin)" - a Zebra Mocha plus raspberry flavoring

    Basically Starbucks will make you absolutely anything you want no matter how insane it is.

    "Pizza sub" - former menu item that includes nine slices of pepperoni and copious amounts of cheese slathered in marinara sauce.
    "Mini sub" (snack size) - ask for a mini sub and they will make a four inch version of your favorite sandwich.
    Also, they can't sell "broken cookies," so they may give you some for free.

    Taco Bell:
    “Fresco alternatives” - order anything Fresco and they'll replace the cheese with pico de gallo (fiesta salsa) and omit the sour cream or other sauces for a healthier version
    “Spicy Green ______ “ - say "Spicy Green" before any menu name and you'll get the much sought after Taco Bell secret Green Chili sauce on your food. The rare green sauce is supposedly only found at some locations.
    “Lava _____ “ - like it hot? They will gladly add Lava sauce to any item.
    ”Cheesy Gordita Crunch” - no longer on the menu but they'll still make it.
    “Enchirito” - beef, beans, cheese, diced onions and red sauce make up their version of the enchilada.
    "Cheesarito" - A 1980's favorite. Basically a Meximelt minus the meat. Melted cheese and scallions rolled in a tortilla.
    You can also substitute Chicken for Beef in any item.
    Everything Taco Bell makes is comprised of a few basic ingredients, so they'll likely make anything they have the stuff for, which is probably pretty much anything they've ever served. Examples to attempt: Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.
    You can buy a cup of chicken or beef a la carte for under a dollar.

    TGI Friday's:
    "Five Easy Pieces" - policy that says they'll make anything you want with the ingredients they have in the kitchen.

    "Grand Slam" - 4 pattie classic aka “the meat cube.”
    “Quarter pound double stack with cheese" - think McDonald's double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion and it’s only $1.29.
    “Value Crispy Chicken Club” - Value menu Crispy Chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo.
    “Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe”- Adds lettuce, tomato, and onions to the pickles and ketchup on a regular Jr. Cheeseburger.

    “Whataburger with ____________” - Basically you If you request it…..They will make it. Period.
    “Whataburger Hulk” – consits of filling a cup of ice 1/8-to-1/4 full with Powerade and adding Vault soda until full.
    “Grilled cheese” - available on either a bun or texas Toast.
    “Veggie Burger” - can be ordered with a potato hash brown patty as the meat with all the other veggie fixins you love.
    “Chicken and waffles” – Available during breakfast hours only. Consists of ordering pancakes, which can be ordered as part of their breakfast platter or ala carte, and chicken strips, which are sold in a biscuit sandwich. Skip the biscuit and wrap a crispy fried chicken tender in a pancake, drown in syrup and you have an instant replacement for the classic chicken and waffles.

    "Secret" drinks at Starbucks.

    1. Captain Crunch Frapuccino
    Strawberries and Creme Frapuccino with a pump of caramel, two pumps of toffee, one pump of hazelnut and two scoops of chocolate chips.

    2. Biscotti Frapuccino
    Buy a biscotti and ask the barista to blend it up with any flavor of frapuccino. It blends into tiny cookie chunks that adds a delicious little crunch to your frozen coffee.

    3. Neopolitan Frappucino
    Ask for a Strawberries and Cream Frapuccino with vanilla bean powder and a pump of mocha

    4. Raspberry Cheesecake
    Order a White Chocolate Mocha (iced, hot or as a frap) and add a few pumps of raspberry.

    5. For a Chocolate Turtle  flavor
    Any drink that has mocha, caramel and toffee nut

    6. For a French Vanilla flavor
    Any drink that has half toffee nut and half vanilla

    7. Blended Strawberry Lemonade
    Strawberry lemonade frapuccino

    8. Oreo Frapuccino
    Ask for a double chocolate chip Frap with white mocha syrup instead of the regular mocha

    9. Tuxedo Mocha
    Order a regular mocha with half white chocolate and half regular chocolate.

    10. Nutella
    Order a Cafe Misto with a pump of chocolate, a pump of hazelnut with caramel drizzle. For the sweet toothed you can also ask for caramel drizzle inside the cup.

    11. Super Cream Frapuccino.
    Blend some whipped cream into the drink so that the drink will be more smooth than icy.

    12. Three C's
    Order a cinnamon Dolce latte with a pump of caramel and a pump of chocolate mocha syrup

    13. Chocolate Pumpkin
    Order a pumpkin spice latte with chocolate syrup for a drink that tastes like a pumpkin chocolate chip bread.


    How to make drinks at Starbucks

    Basic Drinks
    Coffee: plain black coffee brewed less than an hour ago.
    Iced Coffee: Plain Coffee, that was brewed double-strength so the ice wouldn't dilute it. Placed in fridge
    Tea: Green, black, herbal, blends, decaffeinated.
    Iced Tea: Plain tea that has been brewed at several points during the day and kept in the fridge. Normally black and passion, sweetened or unsweetened and with or without lemonade added
    Misto/Cafe au Lait: Consisting of half coffee, half steamed milk and a bit of foam. Can be made of decafe, nonfat etc.

    Espresso drinks

    Latte: Espresso, steamed milk, and foam, not sweetened in any way unless you ask for syrup or sugar in it
    Cappuccino: Like in a latte, only much more foam: normally half milk half foam, unless "wet" or "dry" is specified
    Caramel Macchiato: Vanilla latte with less vanilla and extra foam, with caramel sauce drizzle
    Americano: Espresso diluted with hot water until it's roughly the strength of regular coffee
    Mocha: Espresso and steamed milk mixed with chocolate and served with whipped cream on top.
    White Mocha: Espresso and steamed milk mixed with white chocolate syrup and served with whipped cream.
    Mocha Valencia: Mocha with Valencia (orange) syrup with an extra espresso shot added.
    Cinnamon Spice Mocha: A mocha with cinnamon syrup added, served with foam and cinnamon on top instead of whipped cream.
    Toffee Nut Latte: Latte flavored with the new Toffee Nut Syrup.
    Espresso: Single shot.
    Espresso Macchiato: Espresso dropped into a cup of milk foam, and only foam.
    Espresso Con Panna: Espresso in a big squirt of whipped cream ordered by the number of shots, rather than cup size

    Non Espresso
    Hot Chocolate: Chocolae and steamed milk, with a little vanilla added because the mocha syrup is not very sweet and served with whipped cream
    Steamed milk. Steamed milk usually with a dollop of foam on top.
    Vanilla Creme: Steamed milk with vanilla syrup and whipped cream
    Chai Latte: Sweetened Chai syrup (tea and spices) added to steamed milk.
    Steamed Cider: Apple juice/cider steamed to a nice hot temperature.
    Caramel Apple Cider: Steamed cider with cinnamon syrup, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

    Coffee-Based Blended drinks.
    Coffee Frappuccino: Pre-made coffee/sweetener base blended with ice, resulting in kind of a milkshake looking concoction.
    Mocha Frappuccino: Coffee Frappuccino with chocolate syrup mixed in,
    Caramel Frappuccino: coffee frappuccino with caramel syrup added, served with whipped cream and caramel sauce drizzled.
    Java Chip Frappuccino: mocha frappuccino with chocolate chips blended in.
    White Mocha Frappuccino: Coffee Frappuccino with white mocha syrup mixed in.
     Espresso Frappuccino: coffee frappuccino with a shot of espresso added.

    Creme-Based Blended
    Vanilla Creme Frappuccino: Nonfat milk and soy (to thicken it) blended with vanilla syrup and ice, with whipped cream on top.
    Chocolate Creme Frappuccino: Creme Frappuccino made with chocolate instead of vanilla.
    Green Tea Frappuccino: Creme Frappuccino made with green tea flakes.
    Chai Creme Frappuccino: Creme Frappuccino made with the same Chai syrup used to make the Chai latte, with whipped cream on top.

    Short: 8 oz
    Tall: 12 oz
    Grande: 16 oz
    Venti: 20 oz hot 24 oz cold.

    Decaf: decaffeinated espresso
    Half-Caf: Half regular, half decaf espresso

    Espresso Shots
    Single: one shot of espresso.
    Double: two shots
    Triple: three shots
    Quad: four shots
    Ristretto: normal shot of espresso takes about twenty seconds to pull: a ristretto shot is stopped at fifteen seconds, making a slightly smaller, less bold shot.

    Flavor Syrup
    Syrup: can be added to any drink including regular coffee, frappuccinos, iced tea and Chai

    Nonfat: All normal drinks can be made with nonfat milk instead of whole.
    Lowfat/"percent" 50-50 mixture of whole and nonfat.
    Breve: half and half instead of regular milk.
    Soy:will cost extra
    Organic: will cost extra
    Eggnog: Only available during the winter

    Foam: fluffy foamed milk on top.
    Wet/dry: cappuccinos are made with much more foam than lattes: Starbucks standards dictate half milk half foam. A dry cappuccino has more foam, a wet cappuccino has less.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Starbucks green tea frappuccino

    1/2 tsp. green tea powder
    1/8 cup hot water
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tbsp. sugar
    1 cup ice

    1. Dissolve the green tea powder in the water to make the tea beverage and then pour it into your blender
    2. Add the milk and the sugar.
    3. Blend the liquid ingredients with a few pulses
    4. Add the ice. Blend until the ice is chopped, giving it a milkshake consistency
    5. Pour into a serving glass and enjoy.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Copa Di Vino

    My guilty pleasure is watching Shark Tank and one of the people that was on the show twice was a man who created a cute little thing called Copa Di Vino. Meaning Cup of Wine. Saw him on the two episodes that he was on and I wondered if he had ever been picked up by any investor after getting denied twice on the show.

    So I was at Ralph's this week and discovered that they had them. They are adorable looking. I am not the typical wine drinker even though most people assume that since I am a female that I love the snot out of wine. For me personally I have to be in the mood for having wine and normally it is the sweet wines that I prefer the most. The ones that Ralph's has is the typical types of wine such as Pinot Grigio. Not the types of wines that I would go for but I am willing to try out new things.

    They are small in size but they are the perfect size for the average person. It is the same amount of wine that would be in a typical glass of wine.