Tag Archives: mango

New Recipes for Spring 2020!

New Recipes for Spring 2020!



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There are lots of other recipes for you to find!
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or CLICK the links in the Sidebar>>>>>)

Island Barbecued Pork Ribs

2 slabs of Raw Pork Spare Ribs (4 lbs)
Dry Seasoning:
1 cup Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Celery Salt
2 Tablespoon Mesquite Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoon Honey
1 cup Pineapple Juice
2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Caramel
1/4 teaspoon Smoked Liquid

Barbecue Sauce Preparation:
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep refrigerated.
Mix all dry ingredients and lightly season the pork rib slabs on both sides.
Marinade for 12 hours. Remove seasoning from exterior of ribs before cooking.
Cook seasoned pork ribs at 325°F for 1 hour.
Cut ribs while hot into individual pieces (one bone each) and place in baking dish.
Heat barbecue sauce to a simmer and pour over all the pork ribs.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in a warm oven at 200° for 30-45 minutes.
Makes 4-6 servings

Island Pulled Pork

1 lb shredded pork

1 cup Tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoon Honey
1 cup Pineapple Juice
2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Caramel
1/4 teaspoon Smoked Liquid

Barbecue Sauce Preparation:
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep refrigerated.
Steam shredded pork untill fully cooked.
Mix in bowl with BBQ sauce, add water to thin the BBQ sauce so pork doesn’t dry out.
Cook covered at 350 for 30 minutes.
(We recommend serving on King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls or buns)



Mango BBQ Sauce

4 ounces Mango slices (in syrup)
16 ounces Ketchup
2 ounces Onion
1/8 ounce Cinnamon
¼ ounce Cumin
¼ ounce Garlic
8 ounces Water
2 ounces Sweet chili paste

Barbecue Sauce Preparation:
Sauté onion with cumin, garlic and cinnamon.
Add remaining ingredients and cook until boiling.
Puree well and serve hot.

Peanut Sauce

2 cloves garlic, peeled
2-inch piece ginger, peeled
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup each: soy sauce, sugar and water
1/8 cup diced Spanish onion
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Peanut Sauce Preparation:
Combine ingredients in pan. Bring to boil while stirring.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, pour in blender. Pulse until smooth.

Beef Teriyaki
A grilled 10 oz sirloin strip with sauce, served with veggies and mashed potatoes.

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 ounce sugar
1/4 cup Sake
1/4 cup Mirin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup cornstarch and water

Teriyaki Sauce Preparation:
Combine and bring all ingredients, except cornstarch to a boil in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, then stir in the cornstarch and water mixture. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Strain the sauce through a colander.


Mashed Potatoes

10 pounds Red potatoes with the skin on
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound sour cream
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender.
Mix all ingredients except potatoes in a mixture. Add the potatoes and mix well.

Scalloped Potatoes​

1 pound Russet potatoes (washed and sliced)​
1 cup heavy cream​
1/4 cup cheddar cheese​
2 tbsp parmesan cheese​
1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onions​
1 tsp kosher salt​
1/4 tsp black pepper​

Combine all ingredients in a greased baking pan.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let stand five minutes before serving.

Macadamia Honey Butter

2 sticks Salted Butter
2 tablespoons Honey
4-6 Macadamia Nuts

Preheat oven to 350°f.
Chop macadamia nuts in a food processor into small pieces.
Place chopped nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes until they are toasted. Removed nuts from cookie sheet and allow to cool.
Place butter & margarine in mixer and mix until whipped.
Add chopped macadamia nuts and honey and mix until fully incorporated.
Place in a container and serve soft.
Makes ½ lb.



Howdy Cornbread:

3/4 cup cornmeal
1-1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teapoon baking powder
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs

1. Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl
2. In a separate bowl, blend milk, eggs and oil with a mixer
3. Using that same mixer, slowly add the blended liquids to the dry ingredients prepared in step 1, mixing just enough to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients.
4. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.



Tonga Toast

2 or 4 slices sourdough bread, cut 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
1 banana
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
oil or shortening for frying
whipped butter and/or syrup

Cut a 1-inch pocket in one side of each bread slice.
Cut banana in half crosswise, then split each piece lengthwise.
Remove peel and stuff 2 pieces of fruit in each pocket of bread; set aside.
Mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Mix egg, milk and vanilla extract.

Heat about 4 inches of oil in a pan to 350 degrees F.
Dip stuffed bread in egg/milk mix and soak a few seconds to penetrate bread.
Fry bread on both sides in hot oil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Drain on paper towels or wire rack.
Use cinnamon sugar as desired. Serve with real maple syrup.


Honey Coriander Chicken Wings

1 lb chicken wings (trimmed and cut)

For the wing seasoning:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the coriander wing sauce:
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix wing seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
Put chicken and 2 tablespoons of wing seasoning in a large bowl.
Add oil and coat the chicken evenly. Mix well.
Spread seasoned chicken in a single layer on prepared cooking sheet.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Place wing sauce ingredients in a large pan, and simmer over medium-low heat.
Cook and stir until thickened. Transfer the cooked wings into the sauce and serve.

Polynesian Luau Chicken

1 whole chicken ( 2-3 lb)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper (ground)
3 tablespoons rosemary ( ground)
1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup chicken base
1 ½ tablespoons garlic salt
3 tablespoons fennel ( ground )

Clean and cut chicken into 8 pieces, ( 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs) .
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl,
Season chicken and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight if possible.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place chicken on wire rack in a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 250ºF and bake for another 30-40 minutes .
Chicken should be crispy and golden brown.


Lillian Disney’s Home Fried “Finger Lickin” Chicken

Buffalo Hot Wings!

Chicken wings (trimmed and cut)
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 stick of Butter
1 bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
dash(es) Tabasco
dash(es) Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat 2″- 3″ of vegetable oil to 400 degrees in heavy pot.
Whisk flour, eggs, 6 oz of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, a couple dashes of Tabasco and Worchestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper in a large bowl until it makes a batter.
Salt the chicken wings and add them to the bowl, Coat them thoroughly with batter.
Fry the chicken wings in hot oil for 5-7 minutes until cooked golden brown.
Remove the chicken wings from oil and drain on paper towels.
Melt butter in a saucepan on the stove, then add 6 oz of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, a dash of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and simmer quickly.
Place chicken wings in oven safe dish (PYREX or a metal pan) and cover them with sauce.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and coat with heated sauce again.
Garnish with celery & carrot sticks
Serve with Blue Cheese and Ranch dressing

Gratin de Macaroni


  • 1 Box or Bag of macaroni noodles
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Gruyère cheese (one block)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (for topping the dish)
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 3 cups Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Boil pasta as directed. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  3. Heat milk in saucepan until warm.
  4. Melt butter in separate saucepan.
  5. Make a roux: Add flour to melted butter. Stir out any lumps.
  6. Slowly whisk in milk. Add a little at a time and again, stir out any lumps.
  7. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Whisk and cook for about 10 minutes, or until roux has thickened.
  9. Add half of the Gruyère cheese to the roux and stir until melted.
  10. Add more nutmeg, salt and pepper if needed.
  11. Combine cooked macaroni with cheese sauce.
  12. Butter a large baking dish and add macaroni and cheese.
  13. Top dish with remaining Gruyère and parmesan cheese.
  14. Cover dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  15. Remove foil and continue baking until top layer of cheese is melted.


Chipotlé (restaurant) Guacamole 
Screen Shot 2021-03-10 at 21.52.26

Bread Pudding

5 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup sugar
8 cups french bread

1. In bowl mix eggs, milk , salt, sugar and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. Cut bread in medium pieces, place on cookie sheet pan put in 350 degree oven.
3. Bake bread until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Remove bread and place in egg and milk mixture.
4. Place mixture in a greased 10-inch cake pan and bake at 325 degree for 1 hour.
5. Let stand 5 minutes, serve hot with ice cream.

Banana Foster Sauce

4 oz sugar
4 oz brown sugar
4 oz corn syrup
4 oz unsalted butter
1cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1cup spiced rum
1cup banana slices

1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and half of heavy cream in a large pan. Bring to a boil and slowly add remaining heavy cream keeping mixture at a steady boil.
2. Add spiced rum and flambe.
3. Candy will brown slightly; cook 3 minutes until candy forms into a firm ball in cold water. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add sliced bananas. Serve warm.

Caramel Creme Brulee

16 ounces Heavy Cream
6 ounces Caramel
5 ounces Egg yolks

1. In a saucepot over the stove, heat the heavy cream and caramel and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the egg yolks to the heavy cream mix.
2. Wisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
3. Pour 7½ ounces in each ramekin and bake at 250°F for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
4. Chill for at least 2 hours.
5. Top with fresh bananas, sprinkle with sugar and torch.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is considered the “apple pie” of South Louisiana. Because of heavy French influence, crusty French bread is available. Just milk and eggs, combined with leftover bread and the addition of white chocolate sweetens up this Southern dessert.


  • 9 ounces Bakers white chocolate
  • 3 (10-inch) loaves French bread
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Slice French bread into 1/2 -inch thick round croutons and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and egg yolks.
Using a wire whisk, whip until well-blended and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine whipping cream, milk and sugar.
Bring mixture to a low simmer then add white chocolate.
Using a wire whisk, stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Remove pot from heat and, stirring quickly, add whipped eggs to the cream mixture.
Blend thoroughly to keep eggs from scrambling.
In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, place bread slices in 2 to 3 layers.
Pour 1/2 of the cream mixture over the bread, allowing it to soak up most of the mixture prior to adding the rest.
Using your fingertips, press the bread gently allowing the cream mixture to be absorbed evenly into the bread.
Pour remaining cream mixture over the bread and repeat process.
Cover dish with aluminum foil and allow to soak a minimum of 5 hours prior to baking.
Bake, covered, for approximately 1 hour then remove foil and bake 45 additional minutes or until top is golden brown.

This bread pudding is actually better if chilled in the refrigerator overnight, after baking, then cut into squares and heated in individual portions in the microwave.

You may wish to create a white chocolate sauce for topping the bread pudding by combining 8 ounces of melted white chocolate and 3 ounces of heavy whipping cream. This may be done in a double boiler or microwave.

PREP TIME: 2 Hours SERVES: 6-8







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Read our previous Blog Post “EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES!”>


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UPDATED Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

Dole Whip! (for a single serving)
1 big scoop of ice cream
4 oz of pineapple juice
2 cups of frozen pineapple

Add all ingredients to a blender until it’s a thick drink.
Add your swirl and then you’re done.


1 cup water
8 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
½ cup sugar

Combine water, butter, salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in 1 ½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring pot to rolling boil.
Reduce heat to low.
Add flour and stir vigorously until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-7 min.
Add eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Set aside.
Heat oil in medium skillet or 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat or until temperature reaches 350˚.
Spoon dough into piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1-inch strip of dough over saucepan, cut with knife, and drop into hot oil. Repeat until churro bites fill saucepan with room to fry.
Fry churro bites until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or mesh spider strainer.
Drain churro bites on paper towel.
Mix sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss in churro bites until coated. Place on serving plate and serve with favorite dipping sauce.

And don’t try these at home, PLEASE.

Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!

Fruit! Fruit! Fruit! (and it’s good for you too)
All these “Still Life” fruit photos taken by JoshWillTravel



Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group.
Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried and whole, cut-up or pureed.






 “How do ya like them apples?” (An expression of gloating when someone turns the tables on someone else, the phrase originated in World War I with the “Toffee Apple” trench mortar used by British troops, in the 1959 film Rio Bravo a guy tosses a hand grenade and says the line, and it is used again famously in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting)









“You Talkin’ To Me?” – Banana DeNiro


“Is that a banana in your pocket?
Or are you just happy to see me?” – Mae West
(usually said when it appears someone has a boner to embarrass and draw attention to them)


Baking Banana Bread pt 1 – Recipe, Instruction & Prep:
Baking Banana Bread pt 2 – “The Banana Bread is Baked”:

Mrs Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread recipe (live on Periscope, and now on YouTube)


Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread!

Here is Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread Recipe!
Right Click “Open In New Window” for the Recipe Blog>






“Who wants an orange whip?
Orange whip? Orange whip?
Three orange whips.” 
– John Candy in “The Blues Brothers”

“Everyone should wake up and have a fresh-squeezed orange every day. By having a fresh glass of orange juice with American oranges, you are supporting the local economy, you have all the vitamin C you need in a day, and you support the environment because you don’t use any plastic from bottles or bags.” – Jose Andres




“The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of this Tree, very much resemble
those of the Orange-tree.
The Fruit, when ripe, is something longer and larger than the largest
Orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its Taste, the Fruit of every
Tree in this or any of our neighbouring Islands.
It hath somewhat of the Taste of a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as
well as the best Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.”

—Description from Rev. Griffith Hughes’ 1750 Natural History of Barbados.


The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid from Barbados (an accidental cross between two species, sweet orange and pomelo, both were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century). The grapefruit’s name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes, but it was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 19th century. Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the Minneola tangelo (1931), and the oroblanco (1984). Varieties of Texas and Florida grapefruit include: Oro Blanco, Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, White Marsh, Flame, Star Ruby, Duncan, and Pummelo HB.


IMG_0829 2.JPG


“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin;
what else does a man need to be happy?”
– Albert Einstein



Tangerine, she is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine, when she dances by, senoritas stare and caballeros sigh
And I’ve seen toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine
Yes, she has them all on the run, but her heart belongs to just one
Her heart belongs to Tangerine
Tangerine, she is all they say
With mascara’d eye and chapeaux by Dache.
Tangerine, with her lips of flame
If the color keeps, Louis Philippe’s to blame.
And I’ve seen clothes on Tangerine
Where the label says “From Macy’s Mezzanine”.
Yes, she’s got the guys in a whirl, but she’s only fooling one girl
She’s only fooling Tangerine!
“Tangerine” by  Johnny Mercer & Victor Schertzinger (1941)


“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” – Moliere


Fruit Juices, Canned Goods & Apple Cider Vinegar






“You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”
– Will Rogers



“Life is just a bowl of cherries…”
Definition of “life is just a bowl of cherries” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus: something that you say that means that life is very pleasant. This phrase is often used humorously to mean the opposite.


“Life is just a bowl of cherries/Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
You work, you save, you worry so/But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go
So keep repeating it’s the berries/The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries/So live and laugh at it all”


Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco


Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake


Homemade Jelly Donuts


Watermelon is the name of a sweet edible fruit.
It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of flowering plants.
Originally from Africa, it is now grown worldwide.
There are more than 1000 varieties of watermelons.
Watermelon has a high water content, it is ~92% water.
Water melon has nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Vitamin C, B1, B5 and B6, and A; Potassium, Magnesium,
carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene), and citrulline (an amino acid).



98329551_177077100425073_3068049784125259776_n copy














“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,
On Blueberry Hill when I found you.” – Fats Domino


IMG_7560 1.JPG


The strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750s in Brittany, France, via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile in 1714.



Fresh Strawberry Donuts from The Donut Man!


Berry Panna Cotta & Berry Sorbet





Strawberry Margarita at El Torito







Mango Chutney



Fruit Compote for Thanksgiving




Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco



Angel food shortcake w/buttercream, fruit& almond slices




“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” ― Elbert Hubbard (a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune)


Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade


Fresh made raspberry lemonade









The Cranberries are an Irish rock band who formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989.
The band consists of vocalist Dolores O’Riordan and three other guys.


Life is Just a Bowl of Kumquats.




Fruit or Vegetable?


And what about Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Corn?
(“that keep us on growing once we have been born”)



“Mine’s bigger. My cucumber. It’s bigger. I think vegetables (fruits) can be very sensuous, don’t you?” – Eric “Otter” Stratton in “Animal House”

ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT 2017 JoshWillTravel (yes, we took them all)

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(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)


And what about the Pumpkin?



After the 4th of July…Midsummer’s Daydream and Dinner at CPK!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Family, Friends, Food, and Fireworks! Did you BBQ?

We had a small family barbecue dinner at home in the valley. Chose not to travel this holiday weekend and happy with that choice. I was invited to a big street party in Hawthorne on the other side of LAX that sounded fun, but it was a drive down the 405 freeway and it’s a Highway Patrol “maximum enforcement” weekend. Also, I don’t like to leave my dogs alone after dark on the 4th of July for obvious reasons.

On The Menu: Hamburger, chicken sausage on a bun, dill pickle, avocado, tortilla chips, sweet potato tortilla chips, sea salt & vinegar potato chips, watermelon and a coke. And then a giant fruit tart cake for dessert.

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There was also a selection of olives, macaroni salad, and potato salad.

4th of July dessert - giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July dessert – giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I wasn’t happy with the hamburger, so I got busy later after midnight and made a double cheeseburger with turkey bacon.

Today was the Monday after the weekend, a day to recover from the celebration, and then dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) again. Enjoyed a very nice dinner at the same restaurant last week, and had a coupon good on our next visit, so we went back again tonight.

On The Menu tonight: 1/2 of a Chinese chicken salad and a Hawaiian pizza with pepperoni, sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

Drink - Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

New Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Tried the frozen mango lemonade last week and it was cold fruity goodness! So I had it again, but decided to have different food items.

Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu last week: 1/2 of a BBQ chopped chicken salad and a BBQ chicken pizza (no cilantro and light onion), sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

CPK - Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK – New AND MUCH IMPROVED Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They recently replaced the dry white bread and butter with fresh baked sourdough bread and oil. It is such an improvement! Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, really changes the dining experience.

CPK - 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK - BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro & light onion (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPKCalifornia Pizza Kitchen (many locations in Southern California)

Currently working on Blogs for World Cup USA ’94 (here’s a teaser pic):

World Cup USA '94

World Cup USA ’94 Pins – USA, Brazil and Italy; Gold and Regular USA ’94 & Los Angeles ’94

and LAX – Los Angeles International Airport Fact and Info (here’s a pic I took):

LAX - Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

LAX – Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Stay Tuned! FOLLOW my Blog! Keep checking back for updates and new stuff!


Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino 

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Upstairs in one of the weirdest “strip malls” in the San Fernando valley, is the Taj Mahal Cuisine of India restaurant. Climb the stairs (or ride the elevator) to this fantastic dining establishment and enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

There’s usually street parking (metered 8am-8pm) available on Ventura Blvd. There are a few spaces in the small parking area in front, and many spaces in a very large underground garage below the mall…and it’s FREE. No valet parking surcharge!

The restaurant is a “mom and pop operation”: mom manages the restaurant and pop runs the deliveries and catering. The space has a sterile, modern design with big windows and lots of light during the day and it is always clean. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aromas of fragrant and exotic food cooking in the kitchen. They also have an outside patio dining area with a nice view of Ventura Boulevard and the Ralph’s parking lot across the street. (yes, it’s the valley)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Dine In, Take Out or Call for Delivery! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Amazing Indian Food!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Menu and a Mango Lassi smoothie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ON THE MENU: Crispy flatbread crackers served with spicy sauces, Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Basmati Rice, Peshwari Naan (warm flatbread with fruit and nuts), Raita (yogurt), Mango Chutney, and a Mango Lassi (smoothie).

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – crispy flatbread cracker w/spicy sauces (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

For starters, there’s a crispy flatbread cracker served with spicy sauces and pickled root veggies. We like to order their mango chutney, which is sweet, tangy and delicious.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Starter (“bread”) plate (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a wonderful selection of fresh baked naans and kulchas (seasoned breads) served warm out of the oven. I really like the garlic naan and onion kulcha, and they have a fantastic Peshwari naan with fruit and nuts baked in. Have it as an appetizer or with dinner.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Peshwari Naan, flatbread w/fruit & nuts (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have terrific appetizers. I like the Samosas.

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a great menu! There’s a good variety of chicken, lamb, fish and vegetarian dishes (no beef, of course). In addition to the tasty appetizers, they have wonderful soups and a unique dessert list.

Each flavorful entree is served with tasty basmati rice and raita (seasoned yogurt). My favorite dish is the chicken coconut curry, which can also be done with lamb. The Tandoori chicken is also a good choice, and is served sizzling on a skillet with grilled onions. Have it on the bone or served without bones as chicken tikka.

All of the food is constructed with a mix of spices that delivers a real taste of Indian home cooking. I’ve tried some of their other dishes on previous visits and without exception they have all been excellent. They use a wide range of ingredients and there’s something on the menu for every taste. The cooking is traditional Indian style, but the taste is extraordinary!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Bangin Bharta (Eggplant), Chicken Coconut Curry, and Chicken Tikka Tandoori Style (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Bangin Bharta is a spicy vegetarian dish made with eggplant and peas, and like all the main dishes you can request it “mild, medium, or hot”.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Raita, seasoned yogurt (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Raita and Basmati Rice  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love this restaurant and we come here often for dinner and sometimes have it delivered. They’ve also catered several large parties for us at our home. The food was excellent and it’s easy to serve buffet style (they’ll even provide the chafing dishes).

They also have the classic “all you can eat” lunch buffet and a champagne Sunday brunch at a great price! They advertise in local “coupon mailers” and offer discounts on the buffet and brunch as well as 2-for-1 entrees ($10 off) when you dine in with coupon. There’s also a nice selection of beer and wine available, again at very reasonable prices!

NOTE: the only thing that I’ve found to be annoying at Taj Mahal is the service. My advice is to request anything you need or want when there is someone at your table. If you ASK for ice, extra napkins, additional beverages, water refill, and the check, rather than waiting for service or someone to ask, you will have a much better experience!

There’s also one more thing I don’t like (this is my own personal opinion) and that’s that they’ll plate your food at the table for you, as part of the service. Some people enjoy being served this way, but I prefer to serve myself and determine my own portions and placement of food on the plate. So, I usually tell them “thanks, I’ll just serve myself.”

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Cooking in the Kitchen! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 Taj Mahal Cuisine of India17815 Ventura Blvd, Ste 201, Encino, California 91316 818-345-2244 http://www.tajmahaldining.com


Dinner at Taj Mahal - Mango Lassi, pickled veggies & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Lassi, pickled root veggies, spicy sauces & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

UPDATE December 17, 2016:
We enjoyed “take out” from Taj Mahal last night and it was great!
This is, in my opinion, the best Indian food in the San Fernando Valley!

On the Menu: chicken coconut curry, chicken tikka masala, banging bharta (eggplant puree with peas), basmati rice, raita (yogurt with cucumber and dill), mango chutney and Peshwari naan (flatbread with dried fruit & nuts).



UPDATED Friday April 7, 2017

We enjoyed another fantastic dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India tonight!

On The Menu: Chicken coconut curry, boneless tandoori chicken, banging bharta (eggplant dish), basmati rice, onion kulcha (flatbread), mango chutney, raita (yogurt), crispy cracker bread with spicy sauces and a mango lassi