And More and More Recipes!

And More and More Recipes!

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Open 24 Hours!

Here are more recipes! There are already a lot of recipes available on our Blog.
Some are in the Sidebar>>>> Others are in previous Blog Posts (use the Search Box^^^^^)
OR FOLLOW the links at the bottom of this page (see belowvvvvvv)

NOTE: This Blog Post is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION! We are posting it now because it’s the day before Thanksgiving, but we will continue to add recipes for a while.

Hor d’oeuvre?
Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Weenies! (“on a stick”)

 


Sticky Chicken
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Sticky Chicken Dry Rub Ingredients:
4tsp salt
2tsp paprika
1tsp cayenne
1tsp onion powder
1tsp thyme,
1tsp white pepper
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp black pepper
1-2 large onions cut into quarters.

Directions: Combine all ingredients except onions. Coat chicken, insert onions into chicken. They call it sticky. We use minced onion instead of onion powder.
Bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees. We recommend cooking it breast side down for 2 hours, then flip it over. Also, you should baste it in the juice every half hour or so and add carrots if desired after 2 hours. Use the juice for gravy if you like. (tsp=teaspoon)


Potato Latkes (Pancakes) – Happy Hannukah!

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Potato Latkes (pancakes) – Happy Hannukah!

How to make Potato Latkes (potato pancakes):
3 potatoes (peeled and grated), small onion (1/2 grated, 1/2 finely chopped). Add 2 eggs (beaten), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Mix ingredients well. Heat cooking oil to med high in large frying pan. Spoon 1 large tablespoon at a time into oil. Cook until crispy golden brown on each side. Drain and pat dry on paper towel and serve warm with applesauce (or grated apple) and sour cream.


Quick Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie
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chickenpotpie


Mrs. Frank Sinatra’s Spaghetti and Meat Balls

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Ingredients:
Meat Balls
1 lb chopped/ground meat (1/2 beef, 1/2 pork)
1 clove garlic (chopped fine)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Italian cheese
1 tsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all well, form into balls, brown in oil and put aside until sauce is done.

Sauce
1 large can Italian style tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
thyme
salt and black pepper

Directions:
Brown chopped up onion and garlic in oil used to brown the meat balls. Strain tomatoes, add paste to the juice. Add the oil in used to brown the onion and garlic, but remove all sautéed ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Cook the sauce (covered) for 1 hour, with meatballs added, over a slow fire. Boil spaghetti in water, salted to taste. Remove spaghetti, drain. Serve it on a platter over which you have poured the sauce and meat balls. Add layer of cheesed another layer of sauce. Serve piping hot.


Constance Hall’s Cogs Biscuits (from the Folger Shakespeare Library)

Around 1672, Constance Hall recorded a dish called “Cogs Biskett”, a recipe for savory biscuits seasoned with caraway seeds and saffron. And here it is slightly adapted for your 21st-century kitchen:

“To make Cogs Biskett
Take 3 pound of fine flower well dry’d a Ounce of Carraway seeds 6 spoonefull of suger Double Refin’d 6 spoonefull of Ale 6 Eggs the whites of Two and wett it with warm Milk 2 peny worth of safforn lett it Lye to Rise”

Ingredients:
5 cups of unrefined, white flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp.caraway seeds
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 tsp.salt (or to taste)
3 tbsp beer (use a beer with yeast in the bottle; look for the phrase ‘on lees’)
4 eggs
About 1 ½ cups of whole milk
Optional: Additional sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
Thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, saffron, and 1 teaspoon of salt. To the dry mixture, add beer, 3 eggs, and 1 egg white; save the yolk. Stir the mixture as you slowly and sparingly add the milk, adding just enough milk that you are able to work the flour into dough. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead, drawing in flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until the dough is smooth and bounces back when poked. Cover the dough with a dish towel and leave it to rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 390F. Grease one or more mini-muffin pans with butter. Pull or cut away portions of the dough, roll each into a ball that is 1 inch across, and place it in the tray. Beat the remaining egg yolk with a little water, and use a pastry brush to brush it onto the tops of the biscuits. Finally, sprinkle the biscuits with sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes and remove the biscuits from the oven when they are slightly browned on top. This recipe will make approximately 36 mini-muffin-size biscuits.

Alternatives:
The biscuits can also be prepared in any size on a cookie sheet (perhaps as 18 biscuits in a larger size) or as a single loaf in a loaf pan. This will affect how long it takes to cook them, however. Watch closely to avoid over- or undercooking them.
NOTE: If you cannot locate beer with yeast in the bottle, you can try a filtered beer, but you might want to add a bit of yeast. (see the section below)

Modernizing the recipe and cook’s notes:
Converting a period recipe to modern methods can be a challenge. In this case, the most accessible ingredient for a 17th-century household is actually the least accessible for us. The original text implies that the ale in Cogs Biscuits was used as a leavening agent, which means that the beer had to have active yeast in it. Most modern beers are pasteurized and filtered—processes that kill yeast—whereas early modern brews would have been quite alive and active. Our solution was to use a beer with yeast in the bottle (look for the phrase “on lees”); we used a beer by the Unibroue company of Québec, available from Trader Joe’s. The lack of availability of living, yeasty ale is a reminder of how much the brewing industry has changed since the 17th century.
As modern cooks, the original recipe gave us pause. There is no added fat (butter or oil) in the biscuits. No mention is made of salt, and the recipe calls for a large amount of flour with relatively little sugar.  It asks the cook to “wet”’ the mixture with milk (requiring quite a lot of milk), after adding only a dash of ale. The recipe also gives no instructions as to how to actually cook the biscuits—it assumes you’d already know how! It was not even clear if we were supposed to knead the dough. However, in the process of cooking the Cogs Biscuits, we found that the recipe worked just fine. The milk and eggs added enough moisture and fat to give a nice texture. We opted to knead the dough to help it rise, and we cooked the biscuits at 390F until they were lightly browned on top.
We also discovered that the basic Cogs Biscuits recipe easily lends itself to improvement and variation. We recommend being generous with the caraway and saffron. We tried the biscuits in a variety of sizes and chose tiny muffin-like poppers, baked in a mini-muffin pan, our version of a “cog.” But we also tried making a big loaf. Every size turned out well; the sliced loaf was lovely with some cheddar. You can also roll the dough into whatever shape you like.


Granny’s Crescent Rolls


Pan Pizza Dough

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Tonga Toast – Serves 4
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Sugar-Cinnamon Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar & 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Batter Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Tonga Toast Ingredients:
1 quart canola oil, for frying
1 loaf sourdough bread (uncut, 12 inches long)
2 large bananas, peeled

Instructions:

1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl (large enough to roll toast) with a fork until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
2. Whip eggs in medium bowl (large enough to dip toast) until well beaten. Add milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
3. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot or a deep fryer. (If using a large pot, use a candy thermometer to make certain the oil does not get any hotter or it will burn.)
4. Slice the bread into four three-inch-thick slices.
5. Cut each banana in half crosswise, then each piece lengthwise.
6. Place a bread slice flat on the counter and tear out just enough from the middle (do not tear all the way through) to stuff half a banana into; repeat with each bread slice.
7. Dip stuffed bread into batter, covering both sides, allowing excess batter to drip off bread and place carefully into hot oil.
8. Cook 4-5 minutes until golden brown. If needed, turn toast over after 2 minutes and cook for another 2 minutes on other side. Remove and drain excess oil.
9. Roll toast in cinnamon-sugar. Repeat for each piece of toast.


 

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Just pour off juice/syrup from a can of sliced pineapple. Replace with Jello made with half the water in the direction. Chill and let set!

 


Cannoli Cream Puffs

Ingredients
Pastry Puffs:
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (reduce to 1/4 tsp.if using salted butter)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Cannoli Cream Filling: 3 parts cheese, 1 part sugar
1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (Don’t use low-fat, use whole milk)
or 1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (use more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon oil (USE CAUTION!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips (milk chocolate or cocoa drops, not semi-sweet or bittersweet)

Mix all cream filling ingredients to a creamy consistency and fill cannoli shells/pastry puffs using a pastry/plastic bag or spoon.
Garnish with chopped pistachio, chocolate chips and confectioners sugar.


Long John Donuts

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Ingredients:
1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water (110° to 115°)
1 C. warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 C. all-purpose flour
Oil for deep-fat frying
Glaze:
1-1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt and egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Cut into 3-in. x 1-in. rectangles. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 400°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Combine glaze ingredients. Dip tops in glaze while warm.


Manny’s Churros (makes 18-20)
Manny G. Suarez RIP

Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tblsp butter (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Heat oil (1-1/2 to 2 inches) to 375 degrees in a 12-inch skillet or fry pan
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. Fit a pastry tube with a large star tip.* Fill with dough. Squeeze dough into hot oil in 6-8 inch lengths, cutting off ends with a knife. Fry until golden brown, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep war. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Tip: A cookie press with the star plate can be used in place of the pastry tube.

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Orange Cake and Orange Cookies

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Cornbread & Cornbread Muffins (with optional  BACON, cheese and jalapeño!)

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Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1-1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs (beaten)
3 Tbsp Butter (melted)
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1-1/4 Cup Milk
Optional: Add 1/4 Cup of Honey to the batter mix

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin pan and/or baking dish with more vegetable oil
Use a ~1/4 cup of batter for each muffin (fill each ~2/3 full)
Bake for ~18-20 mins or until they pass the toothpick test
Let cool and enjoy.

NOTE: This is basically the recipe on the Corn Meal box, so make adjustments for taste, time and temperature as necessary. We also like to add stuff before baking.
And the pictures show the product of a Doubled Recipe, so there will be fewer muffins.

Cornbread with BACON, cheese and jalapeño!
6 strips of Bacon (cooked and diced into very small pieces)
2/3 small block Colby Jack Cheese (diced into very small pieces)
1/2 small can of Diced Jalapeños (diced again into very small pieces)
Add Bacon, cheese and jalapeño to the batter mix and bake!
Adjust baking time as necessary, usually a little longer.

TIP: Bake in advance and freeze.
Let muffins cool completely and FREEZE them.
Then thaw them out and warm them before serving on the day of the party.


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Drop Scones

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake
(for a small spring-lock baking pan)

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake 2015

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
2 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup butter (melted)
4 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons White Sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:
Grease spring-lock cake pan all around with a stick of butter. Mix ingredients in large bowl and press on bottom and sides of spring-lock pan to form crust. (avoid loose crumbs if possible)

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
4 ¾ packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8oz. each)
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8 oz. or ½ of a large carton, use other half for topping)
½ small carton of Half-and-Half
4 Eggs
1 cup White Sugar
Punch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Juice from a small lemon
½ Can of Comstock Cherries (use other ½ for topping)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients except cherries (or mix by hand for thicker texture). Pour into crust. Spoon in cherries at various locations and depths. Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Note: butter in the crust will cook off, so make sure to use a drip pan, cookie sheet or tin foil to catch the melted butter.
Topping:
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8oz. or other ½ of large carton)
½ cup of sifted Powdered Sugar
½ Can of Comstock Cherries
Beat together and top cake (once it is cool). Decorate with remaining cherries around the top of cake. Heat oven to 450 degrees and put topped cake in for 3 minutes only. Chill and serve when ready.


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Strawberry Santas!
1 lb large strawberries
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar (or sugar substitute – to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top, (enough for a hat). Clean out the whole strawberry with a paring knife, if necessary (some of them are hollow already. Prep all of the strawberries and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill the strawberries with cheesecake mixture.
3. Once strawberries are filled, top with the ‘hats.’ Decorate according to photo.
4. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.


LADYFINGERS RECIPE
(from “The Joy of Cooking”)
*for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day*
Makes about 30 Small Cakes
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“Saint Stephen with a rose
In and out of the garden he goes
Country garland in the wind and the rain
Wherever he goes the people all complain”

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Have ingredients at about 75 degrees.

Sift: 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Sift before measuring: 1/3 cup cake flour and Resift 3 times!

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Beat until thick and lemon colored

2 egg whites
Whip until stiff, but not dry

Add and Fold the sifted sugar gradually into the whipped egg whites.
Beat the mixture until it thickens again.
Add and Fold in the egg yolk mixture and:
Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Add and Fold in the sifted cake flour.

Shape the dough into oblongs with a paper tube
Place the dough on ungreased paper on a baking sheet;
or pour into greased ladyfinger molds.

Bake about 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove the baking sheet from oven.
Immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) onto a wire rack.
Let cool for just a minute and remove them from the paper using a flat spatula or knife.
Cool completely on wire rack. (If they cool before removing them, they may stick and are hard to remove without breaking)

Ladyfingers are best fresh on the day they are made. To freeze, place in a plastic bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and store frozen for up to one month.

Ladyfingers are long, thin sponge cakes shaped like a large finger. Also known as Boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, Naples biscuits, Savoy biscuits and biscuits la cuiller. They can be served with desserts like ice creams, custards and coffees, and they are used as a component in other desserts. Ladyfingers can be either soft and cakey or dry and crispy, but they always have a sponge-like texture. Their texture makes them a perfect choice for soaking up flavors, which is why they are frequently used in other desserts. Ladyfingers are usually plain with a neutral taste, but can be flavored with any extract, a bit of citrus zest, cocoa or spice to give them a flavor that stands out.


Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Get Baked for Festivus! Sharing my recipe.
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/festivus-chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

Happy Holiday Month of December!

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Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

We heard good things about this place via friends on the interweb.
We were originally going to have an Italian dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletano (read our previous Blog Post), but when we got there, they were varnishing the tables and chairs and so were closed for the night. A quick decision was made and we headed over to the Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Boulevard near Woodman in Sherman Oaks for some BBQ.

NOTE: There have always been great BBQ places in San Fernando Valley. Growing up there were places like Monty’s Steak House, The Oak Room, Houlihan’s, Charley Brown’s, Victoria Station, and Love’s BBQ. Recently, a lot of old time BBQ joints have closed down: the El Paso BBQ in Tarzana, and My Brother’s BBQ in Woodland Hills are now gone, the SmokeHouse BBQ in Van Nuys didn’t last long, there was once a Mr. Cecil’s Barbecue in almost the same location as the Boneyard, but it closed well over a year ago. And just recently the Tony Roma’s chain BBQ restaurant in Encino closed after many years and the location will soon be a crappy Norm’s Restaurant.

The Boneyard Bistro has Valet Parking in front for $6.00 + tip, but we were able to find street parking at a meter and it was Sunday night so you don’t have to pay. Parking is a major problem on Ventura, and there is Starbuck’s on the corner to compound the problem. Just sayin’.

The place was busy, as shown in the photos, the bar was crowded and the dining room was already more than half full. It was a chilly evening so the patio was almost empty.

Choose your seating: The Bar (high-top table), the Dining Room or the Patio.

We chose the Dining Room and were seated immediately at a table for two. The Sunday night football game was on the television (Dallas Cowboys v. Philadelphia Eagles). The service was good. We ordered our drinks and food. They brought us the drinks and in very short order, they brought us the food. We waited a little bit for the bread and fried corn muffins, and then before we could butter our bread, they brought out the entrees.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Not sure how to describe the utilitarian design of the place, other than functional. From the street is has a “Chicago Diner” type facade with a glass enclosed patio and big block letters. High ceilings and hard surfaces with wood accents amplify the sound. There is a weird painting in the dining room that is the length of the full wall and it’s a skeleton in red heels holding a platter of fire. The skull and cleaver is their logo and brand.

We were seated by the kitchen doors and prep station, so there was a lot of activity passing us and all around the table, and the dining room is a little “close-quarters” even for the size, because of the number of tables and space between them. The noise level in the bar area was very loud and happily the dining room was not as noisy. Service throughout the meal was good, and all of our requests were handled quickly.

Go ahead and have a beer (or a cocktail from the bar):

We ordered the $9 flight of beers, served in four small glasses. It was a very good deal.

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The Special Stout Festival Beer Menu

ON THE MENU: BBQ baby back ribs, fries, baked beans, bread & fried corn muffins, a flight of beer, and a coke. Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert.

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It’s a good menu. There are a lot of things to try that look really good. They also have salads, but who has a salad at a BBQ place? We always judge a BBQ restaurant on their ribs, and we weren’t disappointed by theirs.

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It was an excellent BBQ dinner! We ordered off the Ala Carte Barbecue list. The dry rub on the baby back ribs was subtle, spicy and not too peppery. The pork was smoked for a long time, it was juicy and came right off the bone. The beef ribs were big and beautiful. They give you the option of “wet” or “dry” ribs, and their BBQ sauce is very tasty, both on the meat and “on the side”. Their homestyle baked beans have nice chunks of meat in the recipe and was an excellent side selection. They have shoestring fries, and the first order was not hot, so our waiter brought us another order just out of the fryer.

The portions are huge, so each entree is actually two meals, and good for sharing. We ended up taking a big bag of leftovers home, like most of their customers, for later.

They also have fabulous creative desserts (like banana puddin’ brûlée made with Nilla Wafers and chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache) but they were all a little too fancy (and too expensive = $11 per dessert), so we decided to pass.

We enjoyed the food, and will probably return soon when we have our next BBQ craving.

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

NOTE: And so DESSERT? After a brief conversation in the car, we decided to stop and get something sweet on the way home at the Paris Baguette. My dinner companion had a craving for chocolate cake. I wanted tiramisu when we were originally going for Italian food, so of course, a Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert:

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Tiramisu Creampuff from the Paris Baguette bakery in Encino!

Boneyard Bistro13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (east of Woodman)
818-906-7427 http://www.boneyardbistro.com Open 4:30pm-2am daily

All photos copyright JoshWillTravel 2018

Read the Previous Blog Posts about the Paramount Ranch>

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11:11 on 11-11-11

There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

Yes! There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

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The Black Bear Diner in Tarzana, California

We were tired, hungry and driving down Ventura Boulevard last week, when much to our surprise and amazement, there was a Black Bear Diner in Tarzana!

Located in the space previously occupied by CoCo’s, Season’s and Bob’s Big Boy in Tarzana Square on Ventura Blvd just east of Reseda Blvd, we have a Black Bear Diner!

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We are a big fan of the Black Bear Diner and enjoy eating at the restaurant in Medford, Oregon when we are visiting in Ashland. They are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and there’s also one in Midwest City, Oklahoma. They are currently adding new locations and will soon be opening in Katy, Texas (according to their website).

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We were so happy to see a Black Bear Dinner in the Valley and to have an easy decision on where to eat dinner. We pulled right into the parking lot and started taking pictures for this Blog Post. It was late and after the dinner rush and not very crowded at all. There were people at about 40% of the tables and they were mostly finishing up. The counter was empty and we chose to sit at a table at the back of the main dining room where it was quiet and there wasn’t any waiter traffic.

We were seated immediately by a young host/cashier and greeted promptly by our waitress (or female server if you’re particular about the job title). When we asked how long they had been open they told us almost three weeks. Our waitress had worked at the previous restaurant CoCo’s in the same location, which had closed long ago.

Everything was new and “fresh” with the familiar decor that is part of their brand and a constant throughout the chain. A large WELCOME sign and statues of Black Bears greet you out front and there’s a beautiful vintage-style jukebox available in the lobby for patrons to play classic American music of their choosing. They have a merchandise display and food products available for sale at the register too.

The board-of-fare is All-American “stick to your ribs” Food, and it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. We decided to keep it simple and test the American cheeseburger basket.

On The Menu: American Cheeseburger with Fries (in a basket)

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As you can see, the burger and cheese were presented on the basket, not on the paper, which may sound particular (and it is) but it’s important for some customers (like us). We ordered it with lettuce only, but there was no lettuce on the burger and we didn’t want to wait for a server to come, get the lettuce and then bring it back, before eating….

The cheeseburger was fine, but not great and a little bland. The fries were great and served very hot. We only had water to drink and ate the food quickly because we were really hungry. We finished and paid at the register and we were happy and no longer hungry. The service was fast and aside from the food presentation and missing lettuce everything was fine and we will return again.

NOTE: Our waitress left after putting the order in and bringing us barbecue sauce and mustard, and another server brought us our food, but the lettuce was ordered and missing from the meal.

We didn’t have dessert, but they do have a great dessert menu (with pics):

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Desserts Under Glass!

Black Bear Diner – 18355 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356 
“Down-home chain serving all-day American comfort food & desserts in a woodsy setting.”
OPEN 6AM-10PM everyday of the week
We also asked if they were going to have late-night hours, but they didn’t know yet…

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Take home some sauce and/or dessert!



GOOD EATIN’ in The SFV! Valley Restaurant Grindage!

GOOD EATIN’ in The SFV!
Valley Restaurant Grindage!

NOTE: Here’s another Draft that’s been sitting for a long time. It’s a FOOD BLOG POST!
Some good restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. LINKS at the bottom of the page.

FOODIES take note!
We’ve been eating really good in the neighborhood!

The beautiful San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California, that is….

It was International Week “ON THE MENU” for the last couple months:

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Dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) in Tarzana

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Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino

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and Dessert at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino on Saturday

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Sunday Dinner! All You Can Eat at AYCE GOGI Korean BBQ in Van Nuys

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NOTE: After Sunday’s AYCE dinner, Monday was a light “Meatless” dinner at home.

Taco Tuesday at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

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Taco Tuesday at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

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The Bar at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Wednesday night Sushi at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino

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Sushi at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino

Pastrami Sandwich “To Go” from Cricca’s Italian Deli in Woodland Hills
(on the way, going through Topanga Canyon to PCH and Malibu Beach)

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Lunch “To Go” from Cricca’s Italian Deli in Woodland Hills

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Pastrami Sandwich from Cricca’s Italian Deli on Malibu Beach

And check out these past blogs from February 2016 as well:

Drinks and Appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory‘s Bar at the Sherman Oaks Galleria

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Drinks & Appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory Bar in Sherman Oaks

Venti Mocha Frappuchino at Starbuck’s in the Sherman Oaks Galleria

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen

Saturday Night! Mexican food, Blues music and BBQ in Pasadena, California
La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant & Blues & BBQ at Big Mama’s Rib Shack

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Dinner at La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in Pasadena

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Dinner at Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena

NOTE: Yes, I know Pasadena is the San Gabriel Valley, not the San Fernando Valley, but both restaurants definitely deserve a mention here in this Foodie Blog.

Sushi at Okumura in Encino

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Sushi Time at Okumura!

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo (North Hollywood)

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Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

And a few other San Fernando Valley restaurants from 2015:

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood

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Dinner at the NoHo Diner

Thai Food Birthday Dinner Party at Sri Siam Cafe in North Hollywood

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Birthday Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

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Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

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Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

 

VEGAS BABY! VEGAS!
Birthday Dinner at Mario Batali’s Carnevino
at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas!

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Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

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Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

NOTE: Yes, I know Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas isn’t in the San Fernando Valley, but it was a really great meal and definitely deserves a mention in this Foodie Blog.

Dinner at Sushi 2u in Encino (OUT OF BUSINESS)
Read our Blog> Sushi Ganzo (OUT OF BUSINESS)

This was in the space that used to be Sushi Hirosuke for years.
The Space is now occupied by CRAVIN’S.

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Sushi 2 U in Encino

 

All photos copyright 2015 & 2016 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

Tuesday Night Dinner at Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana, https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/tuesday-night-dinner-at-fabrocinis-italian-kitchen-in-tarzana-ca/

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/fat-sals-is-open-in-encino/

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
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RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

 


 

 

 

More Fun Recipes!

More Fun Recipes (and Food Infographics)!

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Here are collected recipes from my hard drive.

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Gazpacho (makes 6 servings – about 1 1/4 cups each)

Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped unpared cucumber
1 avocado, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 quart tomato juice
2 tblsp olive oil
Sour Cream

Directions:
1. Place cucumber, avocado, onion, salt, oregano and vinegar in large pitcher or serving bowl. Pour tomato juice over vegetable mixture; stir gently. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
2. Stir olive oil into juice mixture just before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

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Chipotle’s Guacamole Recipe:

chipotle-guacamole-recipe


JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole

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JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small ripe avocados. Skined and deseeded. (Save the pit!)
finely chopped onion (white, yellow or red, a thin slice diced)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 chrushed/chopped garlic cloves)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (adjust amount to taste)
1/2 tsp cayenne power (adjust amount to taste)
dash of red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 dashes of lime juice (fresh or bottled, to taste)

Optional Ingredients:
small amount of finely chopped jalapeño pepper (fresh or canned, to taste)
small amount of finely chopped fresh cilantro or dried cilantro flakes (to taste)

NOTE: Adjust the amount of spices depending on the size/ripeness of the avocado, the amount of “HEAT” you like in your guacamole and the food you are serving it with.
Don’t hide the flavor of the avocado! And if you over-spice, just add more avocado.
We do not like a lot of cilantro! (and sometimes we don’t want any at all)
Use other spices to add “Heat” instead of cilantro if you agree.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small-medium size bowl.
Use the back side of a fork to crush and mix the avocado, onion and spices.
DO NOT OVER MIX! Guacamole should be slightly lumpy.
Chill in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, serve in small bowls or as a garnish.
(to prevent “browning” place the unwashed pit in the bowl with the guacamole)

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JoshWillTravel’s Easy Fresh Made Guacamole (ingredients)

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VINTAGE RECIPES:

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OTHER RECIPES:

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Manny’s Artichoke Recipe

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Manny’s Artichoke Recipe (from Manny’s Bistro in Westwood and the Renaissance Faire)

Manny’s Churros (makes 18-20)

Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tblsp butter (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Heat oil (1-1/2 to 2 inches) to 375 degrees in a 12-inch skillet or fry pan
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. Fit a pastry tube with a large star tip.* Fill with dough. Squeeze dough into hot oil in 6-8 inch lengths, cutting off ends with a knife. Fry until golden brown, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep war. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Tip: A cookie press with the star plate can be used in place of the pastry tube.


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Steak-On-A-Stake (makes 6 servings)
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Steak-On-A-Stake (makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of beef loin sirloin steak, boneless, 3/4″ thick
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
2 tblsp dry sherry
Pineapple chunks
Black olives

Directions:
1.  Cut meat into strips about 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long; place in shallow baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients except pineapple and olives; pour over meat. Cover; refrigerate  and marinade 1 to 2 hours, (turn meat over in marinade at the 1/2 way point).

2. Remove beef strips from marinade. Thread on a 9 or 10 inch bamboo (or metal) skewers, using about 5 pieces of meat for each. Grill 4 inches from medium-hot coals until meat is browned, 3 to 5 minutes on each side (or broil in oven 3-4 minutes on each side)

If desired, baste with separate marinade mix (do not use marinade used for raw beef). Garnish with pineapple chunks and black olives.

TIP: Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before prepping the meat to prevent them from burning.

NOTE: We used a London Broil, cut it into chunks and broiled the meat 3-4 mins on each side instead of grilling for these pics.


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“Sticky Chicken” Dry Rub and Directions for Baked Chicken
(add flour and egg wash for a Baked “Fried Chicken”):

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Citrus Cuban Garlic Chicken (just like Versailles Restaurant’s)

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Baked Buffalo Wings
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 mins, dip in butter & sauce, bake another 45 mins
(use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or your preferred brand):

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Orange Fruit Ice (makes about 3 pints before freezing)
or Strawberry, Lemon or any fruit flavor you wish!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water (CAUTION!)
3 cups orange juice (fresh squeezed is recommended)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated orange peel
Mint sprigs

Directions:
Dissolve sugar in water; cool. Stir in juices and grated peel. Pour mixture into freezer container or ice cream maker. Freeze until firm, stirring frequently. Serve in hollowed-out orange shell if desired.* Garnish with mint sprigs.
*Tip: The juice from the fresh oranges can be used as the juice in the recipe.
NOTE: For other fruits, use a blender/juicer/food processor and adjust the amount of sugar as necessary (less for berries, more for lemon).

Lemon Fruit Ice (makes about 3 pints before freezing)

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water (CAUTION)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
Mint sprigs

Directions:
As above, use hollowed-out lemon shells if desired.


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“Fiesta” Ice Pops (makes 4 popsicles)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon/lime juice
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup honey-ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to combine.
Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze.

Honey-Ginger Simple Syrup (makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup honey (or agave syrup)
6-inch knob of ginger, chopped

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine water and honey (or agave syrup) on medium heat until the honey dissolves.  Add chopped ginger and simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool slightly.  Strain and let cool completely to room temperature.
There will be usually be some syrup leftover. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Ingredients:
1 cup club soda
3 Tbsp honey-ginger syrup
Ice

Directions:
Combine ingredients. Squeeze a lime over the top and enjoy!


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Marge’s CHOCOLATE CHIP PIE
(my friend Mark Teich’s Mom, pics below by Mark)

1. mix 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour
2. add 1 stick butter (melted and cooled a bit), 2 slightly beaten eggs,
1 cup semi -sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp vanilla
3. pour into a unbaked pie shell
4. bake 1 hour at 325 (test with toothpick when done)
5. serve with whipped cream or cool whip (my fave)


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FOOD INFOGRAPHICS:

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Margaret’s Green Goddess Dressing:

Use equal parts of mayo and light sour cream, (about 1/3 cup each), add a few tablespoons of buttermilk, a TBLSP of lemon, 2 anchovies, 2 small garlic cloves, salt, pepper, about a TBLSP of parsley, it calls for a tsp of tarragon but Margaret prefers a tsp of dill. Mix it all in a food processor or blender, refrigerate and let chill for a couple of hrs to let flavors marry.


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Disney’s Secret Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Xo

Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Yk

FUN COOKING RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes/

FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

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Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

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Disney’s Secret Recipes!

Disney’s Secret Recipes!  (well, not so secret…)2c02fea15eee5969dcce2eb9e02eab16_love-disney-characters-cook-clipart_564-763

We had NO IDEA how many “Disney” recipes and cookbooks there actually were!

There are the “real” Disney theme park recipes. There are recipes from old restaurants associated with Disney. And there are “Disney Inspired” and Disney themed recipes.

We’ve collected a few favorite recipes, but in researching this Blog, we found so many more!

So, here are some fun Disney recipes now shared on our Blog. Bon appetit! Enjoy!

 

DISNEY RESTAURANT MENU RECIPES:

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BIG THUNDER RANCH MENU RECIPES:

NOTE: Big Thunder Ranch opened in 1986 and closed permanently on January 11, 2016 and will soon be the new 14-acre “Star Wars” Land.

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OTHER RECIPES
and More Items of Interest:

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Mickey Mouse Pancakes at the River Belle Cafe!

The Famous DOLE WHIP (copycat) Recipe:

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Vintage Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Cookbook Recipes:

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And here’s the Malasadas (Jelly Donut) Recipe from the Aulani Hotel in Hawaii:

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Disneyland’s Mint Julep

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And a Disney “Adult Beverage”
(See Our Fun Cocktail Recipes Page!)

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Shrunken Ned’s Jungle Juice Cocktail

Ned1 oz Vodka
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Lemon Heart or Bacardi 151 Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Orange juice
1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Add ingredients into a shaker with ice (except the Lemon Heart 151 rum). Shake vigorously. Pour into exotic or hurricane glass. Float the Lemon Heart 151 rum on top. Garnish with a lime wedge.

 

Kungalooza (1990s & 2010s)

Kungalooza Then & Now

Kungalooza Then & Now

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More Fun Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Y3

Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Yk

FUN COOKING RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes/

FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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POPCORN!

Popcorn 77

Vintage Disneyland! Vacationland Summer ’77 magazine



 

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016! “Tradition!”

Home for the Holiday!
Family Feast at Four O’Clock! 20 Guests for Dinner!

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Happy Thanksgiving! Still Crazy After All These Years!

Three days of preparation, many hours of cooking and finally it’s time to eat!

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THE FANTASTIC 2016 THANKSGIVING FEAST!

On The Menu: 2 big turkeys, 3 dressings (1 plain, 1 with fruit, 1 with fruit & nuts), cranberry sauce, gravy, home baked challah bread, asparagus, creamed spinach, creamed vegetables, sweet potato puree, garlic mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and then dessert… apple, pumpkin, pecan, lemon meringue and peanut butter pies, chocolate chip cookies and “blondies”, chocolate fudge and peanut butter rice krispies marshmallow crunch. And just a little liquor: red and white wine, single malt scotch and some Don Julio tequila.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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FABULOUS DESSERTS!

We’ve been trying to lose weight and have been successful in dropping 20 pounds since August (call it the “Puppy Diet”). Our Thanksgiving is one of the best meals of the year, so we allow for a little holiday indulgence. We only had one plate of food, didn’t drink alcohol, and had a coke with dinner and a couple cookies for dessert. And later, just a little leftover pumpkin and lemon meringue late night pie after midnight.

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Pumpkin, Pecan & Lemon Meringue Pies (Apple & Peanut Butter not shown)

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A Little Liquor: Red Wines, Single Malt Scotch & Tequila (Don’t Drink and Drive!)

NOTE: The Thanksgiving Food Party is annual tradition on the JoshWillTravel Blog!
SEARCH “Thanksgiving” in the box at the Top of the Page to find the other Blogs^^^^^

Thanksgiving dinner,
Our annual food orgy,
A friendly feast!

Thanksgiving (All-Day) NFL Football Tradition!

In addition to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC (both of which we are boycotting and you should be boycotting Macy’s and NBC too!) and the big National Dog Show, there were THREE NFL FOOTBALL games on television today!

detDetroit Lions 16 – Minnesota Vikings 13min

dalDallas Cowboys 31 – Washington Redskins 26was

pitPittsburgh Steelers 28 – Indianapolis Colts 7ind

denGO BRONCOS! Sunday Night’s NFL Game in Denver vs Kansas City!kan

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Flashback Friday! Last year I made Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for Thanksgiving. This year I didn’t. So everyone asked about cheesecake and was disappointed… and I got some good Jewish guilt for the holiday.

Here’s the link to the recipe if you’re interested> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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PEACE! LOVE! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE – STAY ALIVE!

The Arlo Guthrie “Alice’s Restaurant” Tradition:

This year is the 51st anniversary of the story of how Arlo Guthrie and his friends “took out the garbage” on Thanksgiving.

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Gia, a Greyhound won “Best in Show” at the National Dog Show, a Thanksgiving Tradition (photo by Bill McCay/NBC)

The 15th annual National Dog Show, presented by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. was held on November 19 & 20 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and pretaped for NBC.

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The Big Dog Barking at Me (and the two little girls wonder why…)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday Night Dinner: Leftovers! Open face turkey sandwich, dressing and gravy on challah bread, cranberry sauce, dill pickle and a coke (and then probably another nap)

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
(unsolicited and not “promoted”,  all unpaid for!)

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! Another Benchmark!

Many thanks to our loyal readers and all the “drop-in” visitors since February 2013!

There are almost 600 Previous Blog Posts (BLOGS) archived for your enjoyment!
Use the Search Box at the top of the page or just read though (there’s an “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the page) to find fun and interesting stuff.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! More to come!

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THANK YOU!

Sushi Ganzo and Donutella in Encino

 

Sushi Ganzo in Encino (new place just opened in the Plaza de Oro shopping center)

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Sushi Ganzo in Encino

Sushi2U closed and Sushi Ganzo opened in the same space without changing very much.

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Sushi Ganzo in Encino

They changed the name and the signage. They took out some of the televisions. And they changed the menu too.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The MENU:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

On The Menu: albacore sashimi, baked scallop California roll, spicy tuna cut roll, California roll, Rainbow roll, nigiri omakase platter, fried chicken appetizer and a Dr Pepper

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Fried Chicken Appetizer

The fried chicken appetizer was battered and deep fried to a hard shell and there was very little chicken to be found.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The sushi and rolls were good, they use real crab in the California rolls, but there was concern over the Omakase Nigiri platter (the chef’s choice of fish for the price ~$24) and about the freshness of some of the fish served.

The service was TERRIBLE. Our waiter was slammed and not properly trained for table service. We ended up asking the bus person and another waiter for everything we asked our waiter for twice… drinks, ginger & wasabi, a spoon, etc. Complete unsatisfactory! Nothing will kill a restaurant faster than bad food except for bad service!

As reported in the previous Blog about Sushi2U, there are too many sushi restaurants on Ventura, so you better bring it if you want to stay in business! The rent isn’t cheap and their large extensive menu means that they have to turn over the food inventory quickly to keep it fresh.

Sushi2U was good the first time we ate there, but on our second visit it was not. They didn’t stay in business a year! Sushi Ganzo better fix their problems or they’ll be gone too.

UPDATED February 21, 2017 – Sushi Ganzo is Sushi Gone.
Closed, out of business, no more, now in it’s place is Cravin’s: a combo Thai food/Poke bowl/Ice Cream concept that has been open almost 2 weeks as of this update.

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There’s a Menchie’s Yogurt next door to the restaurant and a Yogurtland across the street, and now there’s a new gelato place that just opened across the street, also in the Encino Town Center, and we decided to try Donutella for dessert.

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Gelato at Donutella in Encino

They have pastries, donuts, coffee, smoothies and boba drinks in addition to a nice selection of gelato flavors. The space is weird, because they have such large display cases there’s not much aisle space between the cases and the tables for guest seating inside. And since they don’t have outside seating in front it’s awkward and uncomfortable if you want sit down and eat on premises. We really don’t want to have people bumping us and having their butts in our faces while sitting down. We chose Salted Caramel and Hazelnut gelato and both were tasty flavors with good mouth feel. So, we enjoyed their product but the seating situation was a problem.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Gelato at Donutella in Encino

2 scoops of gelato for ~$5

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Salted Caramel and Hazelnut Gelato at Donutella in Encino

Sushi GanzoPlaza de Oro shopping center 17157-17253 Ventura Blvd in Encino

DonutellaEncino Town Center shopping center  17200 Ventura Blvd in Encino

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Encino Saturday Sunset 1

MOZZA! Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

MOZZA!  Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Tuesday evening and time for another Dinner Party!

At one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles, California, the USA and the World!

101 Freeway to Hollywood. Exit Highland and down to Melrose. Valet Parking $12…

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Nancy Silverton is a co-owner, with partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, of Osteria Mozza Italian restaurant and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. She also founded the La Brea Bakery and the recently closed Campanile Restaurant before opening Pizzeria Mozza.

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Osteria Mozza Co-Owner Nancy Silverton (CherryBombMag)

Early in her career, Nancy was named Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef”. She was also awarded “Pastry Chef of the Year”, “Who’s Who of Cooking” and “Outstanding Restaurant” for Campanile by the James Beard Foundation. Bon Appetit awarded Silverton Best of Food & Entertaining “Food Artisan”. She recently received the James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Chef” and is listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by Fortune and Food and Wine Magazine. She has authored eight cookbooks: Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007) and the Mozza Cookbook (2011).

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We’ve been to Osteria Mozza before and thoroughly enjoyed eating here previously, but we haven’t been back in a long time, and they have a new Executive Chef. The decision was made and once again we are happily just a passenger on a “foodie journey” to Hollywood.

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We arrived early. The restaurant was pretty much empty, but they have a policy to not seat a table until the entire party arrives, so we waited at the bar and ordered cocktails. Our bartender was very friendly and very patient, and since we were the only customers she had time to explain the single malt scotch selection and suggest a tequila-rum punch drink with cucumber and jalapeño for the guest of honor. We declined a pre-dinner cocktail knowing that there would be a lot of great food and a little wine coming soon.

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The Bar at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The restaurant is a beautiful space. Osteria Mozza is next door to Pizzeria Mozza, and in addition to the alcohol bar, there is a mozzarella bar in the large front dining room. There is a smaller adjacent dining room and a larger dining room (often used for private events and parties) with a wine bar and many stored Italian wine bottles in the back.

At our request, the manager made an exception to the rules, and we were seated at a table in the “private” room before our remaining dinner guests arrived, and we were the only table seated in the back room for the entire length of our dinner! We didn’t have to wait very long before our party was complete and the food service began.

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Mozzarella Bar & Front Dining Room at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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The Wine Bar in the “Private” Back Dining Room at Osteria Mozza

The Menu:

They have a very fancy and creative menu! Start with a nice selection from the Mozzarella Bar, then have an appetizer, followed by a first course (pasta), and then a second course (meat or fish) and finally dessert with coffee drinks and/or aperitifs. We chose to have only the appetizer and not the first course, instead eating bread and mozzarella before enjoying our entree choice and saving some room for their wonderful dessert.

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Wine, a Coke and the Menu at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

NOTE: The menu changes daily depending on what fresh ingredients are available!

The Meal (Wednesday May 17, 2016):

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Mozzarella Tasting (3 Kinds), Burrata & Grilled Asparagus with Garlic Bread

On The Menu: Mozzarella tasting (3 kinds: bufala, smoked and burricotta) with salted garlic bread, Burrata and grilled asparagus in melted butter with toasted almonds and bread crumbs, Mozzarella with stewed zucchini sampler, Grilled Octopus appetizer, Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Bistecca (charred & medium rare), Fried Potatoes with rosemary, Snap Peas & Romano Beans, bread & butter, a coke, Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red wine, espresso and Cannoli di Gelati (pistachio, caramel & espresso) for dessert. Yeah baby!

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Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Steak, Fried Potatoes, Snap Peas & Romano Beans

Other members of our party ordered tequila-rum punch, single malt scotch, the rabbit con salsiccia, grilled yellowtail, roasted beets, squid ink pasta, another pasta, the grilled whole orata fish, cappuccino, coffee, chocolate cake and the sautéed strawberries.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

NOTE: As usual, we try to take quality pictures of our food quickly and without interfering with the service or disturbing other diners. We managed to get a lot of good pics without being annoying, but didn’t get pics of all the dishes due to the size of the table.

We also ordered a fine bottle of wine, an Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red that was recommended by the sommelier. She “primed” our wine glasses by lightly washing the inside with a small splash of the wine before bringing them to our table. It was “fruity”, “mellow” and complemented both the grilled octopus and steak very well.

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Pour the Wine! Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DINNER!
EXCELLENT FOOD! TASTY WINE! SWEET DESSERT! GREAT SERVICE!

We really enjoyed the dining experience at Osteria Mozza. The only complaint we had about the food was that the octopus was a tad overcooked and a little too chewy (and it could have used more lemon). It was still good, but just a touch overdone. We shared the “market price” rib eye steak ($105.00) which was really delicious and cooked perfectly to order, but it’s also a lot of money for a plate of grilled meat for two. We realize how lucky we are and we are truly thankful for the privilege to enjoy such fine and expensive food!

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

BIG THANKS!!! Thank you to the Staff, Kitchen Crew, Managers, Hosts, Servers and Bussers who made this meal and party possible. Special thanks to our server Kelly, who did an excellent job and was extremely friendly and personable.

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Osteria Mozza Executive Chef Elizabeth Hong (Brian van der Brug/LA Times)

Elizabeth Hong’s family settled in Los Angeles and opened Park’s BBQ, a Korean barbecue restaurant in Koreatown in 2003. Hong enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and completed her cooking courses. Needing an externship to graduate, she applied to Osteria Mozza. Now Hong is 31 and has been at Mozza for as long as she has been cooking professionally: she first worked at the mozzarella bar, then moved to Pizzeria Mozza, where she became sous chef and then chef de cuisine. When longtime chef de cuisine Matt Molina left Osteria Mozza last year, Hong took over and she is now the Executive Chef.

From the Osteria Mozza website:
Hong’s first (paying) kitchen gig was alongside Nancy Silverton behind Osteria Mozza’s mozzarella bar. By quickly mastering each station in the kitchen, Hong worked her way to Chef de Cuisine at neighboring Pizzeria Mozza. As Executive Chef of the renowned and beloved Osteria Mozza, Chef Hong carefully adheres to Nancy’s words of wisdom: “Make it nice or make it twice.”

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Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez (Mozza website)

NOTE: Big Congratulations to Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez for recently winning a James Beard Award. The desserts were excellent! She has been thrice-nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” Award. Her work has been celebrated in the LA Times, LA Weekly, New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, GQ and Metropolitan Home.

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Brooks Cherries al Forno, Perugian Tart, Yogurt Gelato & Dried Cherry Brittle

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Cannoli di Gelati: Pistachio w/cherries, Caramel w/marshmallow & Espresso w/chocolate

NOTE: Seriously, save some room for dessert!

After dinner we picked up our leftovers at the host desk and made it to the valet just in time! Three large parties exited just after we did and there was a sudden rush on the valet stand after we got there. Also, $12 is pretty steep for valet parking at a restaurant even in Los Angeles! There is street parking nearby, but it’s difficult to find a space and there have been some unpleasant “incidents” in the immediate neighborhood after dark, so we recommend valet or street parking on Highland or Melrose.

Osteria Mozza6602 Melrose Ave (at Highland) Hollywood, California
323-997-0100 http://www.osteriamozza.com
Open Mon-Fri 5:30-11pm and Sat & Sun 5-11pm

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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We took a couple pics of the interior of Pizzeria Mozza through the window while we were waiting at the valet.

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