Tag Archives: pastry

More Recipes for Summer 2021

More Recipes for Summer 2021


NOTE: We may be repeating some of these recipes,
we know most are new, and we aren’t too sorry about duplicates,
because we know they are good ones to use.
Please check out our previous recipe Blog Posts, there are a few.
Use the pages in the sidebar, or search “recipes” in the SEARCH BOX.


1/2 head of Romaine lettuce (trimmed)
slice of tomato
slice of onion (sweet, white, or red)
garbanzo bean
salad dressing of choice

Vegetable Creation:

Rainbow Fruit Plate


Strawberries (or watermelon),
Mango (or orange),
Pineapple (or banana),
Kiwi or (honeydew melon
or green grapes),
Red Grapes,


Gazpacho (cold soup)



Toad-In-A-Hole (Stuffed Puffed Pastry)

Copycat recipe for P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Sliced flank steak and green onions in a sweet and savory sauce 
served with steamed rice and steamed broccoli. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes 3 – 4 servings

1 pound of flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil, for serving and sauteeing
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, not packed
vegetable oil, for frying

2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
cooked rice, for serving
steamed broccoli, for serving


  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick 1-inch long slices. Add the cornstarch to a wide, shallow bowl and coat the steak with the cornstarch. Set aside and allow the cornstarch to soak into them meat while you make the sauce.

  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-low heat in a wok or large cast-iron or stainless steel frying pan. Add the ginger and garlic, saute until fragrant about 2 minute, stirring often.

  3. Add the soy sauce and water then whisk in the brown sugar. Turn heat up to medium-high, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes (not longer – the mixture will thicken up when you add it to the steak) whisking often. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

  4. Add 1/2 to 3/4-inch oil to the same pan and heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. You can test it by adding a piece of steak – it should sizzle and start cooking immediately.

  5. Add the beef to the oil and cook for about two minutes turning the pieces over so they brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a paper towel lined plate.

  6. Let oil cool down – then drain off.

  7. Heat the same pan over medium heat and add the meat back in along with the sauce and green onions. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring to coat the meat all over with the sauce.

  8. Remove the meat and leave the excess sauce behind. Serve over rice with broccoli, if desired.

cut the sugar to 1/3 c. and increase the ginger to a tsp. I also don’t fry the meat in that much oil. I just use a couple TBSP, like a stir fry. Instead of adding the scallions with it, I cut a medium onion into eight wedges and fry that after the beef, then toss it all together in the sauce. The scallions go on top raw, as garnish.

Cheewits (from the original Renaissance Faire)
cheezewits recipe

Hotel Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 Slices of Bread (butter optional)
2 Slices of Cheese
Optional: add other ingredients like sandwich meat, onions, etc.
Tinfoil – make a cheese sandwich, wrap it in tinfoil
Heat the Hotel iron provided in your room to high heat.
Use the hot hotel iron to “grill” the sandwich.
Do not use uncooked meats! If using butter, use it lightly.
Do not use the ironing board or any flammable surface for “grilling”
CAUTION: Make sure you have ventilation, or are using the bathroom fan,
and avoid burning the sandwich. Do not trigger the SMOKE/FIRE ALARM! 
Be sure to unplug and let the iron cool completely before storing it away.
NOTE: The hot iron will toast the bread and melt the cheese,
but will not be hot enough to cook uncooked meats.
Use extreme caution when using an iron in a Hotel/Motel room!

Tomato Sauce
tomato sauce

Stacie’s Tart Rhubarb Apple Sauce  

2-4 apples (depending on the size of the apples)
Use your favorite type of apple (with sweeter apples, don’t add sugar)  
2-4 ripe pears
4 cups rhubarb
3-4 bananas
Container of strawberries (cleaned, cored, and sliced)
Tablespoon of vanilla extract
Teaspoon of cinnamon (powder)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and cloves
3-4 cups of water

Peel and cut apples and pears. 
Want a smooth sauce? Peel the apples and pears.
Cook about 20 minutes with spices
before adding in the rest of ingredients
Simmer until ready to blend
Blend (or mash by hand for a chunkier texture)
Serve warm, or chilled.


Beef Pies
Beef Pyesbeef pye pastry

Chicken Pyes with Mushroom Gravy
chicken pyesChicken pye pastry mushroom gravy

Hot Potato Pyes
potato pyes



Homemade Pita Bread

4 Tbsp active dry yeast
4 cups (1liter) warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
5 pounds (2.25 kg) flour
2 Tbsp sea salt
2/3 cup (150 ml) neutral tasting oil, such as safflower oil 

In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the warm water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to start activating. Yeast activation should take about 10 minutes; it will be bubbling and foamy.

Set 1 cup (125 g) of flour aside. Sift the remaining flour, and salt into the bowl. With a spatula, combine the ingredients. Once the ingredients come together as dough, it is time to knead. At this point, you can remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the kitchen counter if it’s easier for you, or directly in the bowl.

To knead the dough: Grab the side of the dough furthest away from you and fold it toward yourself. Fold the dough in half and use your body weight to push the dough into itself. If you find that the dough is sticking too much to the surface and preventing you from kneading properly, dust some flour on the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). Grab the other side and fold it in half. Again, with a lot of weight behind it, push the newly folded half into itself. Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is smooth, silky, elastic, and does not stick to the surface.

After the dough is thoroughly prepared, grease the large bowl with a fine layer of oil, turning the dough in the oil several times so that the dough is greased lightly on all sides. 

Cover the bowl with a large plastic garbage bag or kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 40 minutes. 

Knead the dough again for a few more minutes and then divide the dough into 30 balls. Use the remaining flour, for the surface area and hands to prevent sticking. Roll each piece into a 6-inch (15 centimeters) pancake. Cover with kitchen towel and let them rise again in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500°F with a cookie sheet on the oven’s bottom rack.
The hot cookie sheet will facilitate the pita baking process. 

Place approximately six pitas on the hot cookie sheet, separating each pita by 2 inches (5 centimeters). Bake on the bottom rack for 3-4 minutes, flip over and then bake for another 2 minutes. You want the pitas puffed and lightly colored, not browned. Continue this process in batches until all pitas are baked.

If the pita puffs up once out of the oven, gently pierce it with a fork. Wrap the pitas in a towel till they are cool, then store in plastic bags until ready for use. You can store in the freezer for up to 2 months to retain freshness.

Carrot Poppy Seed Bread
carrot poppy seed bread


Cinnamon Buns! (aka Cinnamon Smyles)
cinnamon buns

PIE? – My, oh my, how ’bout these pies?



Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie
(with Crunchy Pecan Topping)

Fudge and Panocha

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes ~24 cookies


1-1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Use an electric mixer.
Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs (one at a time) beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla
Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.

Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop.
Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Coconut Almond Spice Cake
coconut spice cake

Cocoa Brownies 


4 large eggs
7 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces light brown sugar
5 3/4 ounces natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
Trim a piece of parchment paper so that it fits just inside the baking dish
with overhang on two sides and place it inside the pan.
Beat eggs with stand mixer fitted w/paddle attachment at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt.
Drop the mixer speed to low and slowly introduce the sugar mixture.
Follow with the butter and vanilla. Continue mixing until you’ve got a nice, smooth goo.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the brownies for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven for 15 minutes.
Put them back in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brownie, reads 195 degrees F (about 30 minutes).
Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then lift the brownie out using the parchment paper as a sling.
Cut the brownies into 9 pieces using a pizza wheel and move to a rack to cool completely.

Haschich Fudge
from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book published in 1954

Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of cannabis sativa can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the cannabis may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as cannabis sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognized, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called cannabis indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream,
chocolate syrup, and whipped cream:
A slice of chocolate cake
A scoop of vanilla ice cream
Drizzle the chocolate syrup on the ice cream
Top with whipped cream (to taste)
Optional: (get creative!)
add sliced banana, chopped nuts, and a cherry 
or top with sliced strawberries, raspberries. or other fruit  
and/or substitute another flavor drizzle of your choice

John Pemberton’s 1886 Coca-Cola Recipe 

Recipe from a diary owned by Coca-Cola inventor, John Pemberton. 
Revealed just before his death in 1888. – Don’t try this at home.

Ingredients: (US measures)

  • 1 oz (28 g) caffeine citrate
  • 3 oz (85 g) citric acid
  • 1 US fl oz (30 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 US qt (946 ml) lime juice
  • 2.5 oz (71 g) “flavoring,” i.e., “Merchandise 7X”
  • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
  • 4 US fl oz (118.3 ml) fluid extract of coca leaves (decocainized flavor essence of the coca leaf).
  • 2.5 US gal (9.5 l; 2.1 imp gal) water
  • Caramel sufficient to give color
  • “Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool.”
  • Flavoring (Merchandise 7X):
  • 1 qrt alcohol
  • 80 oil orange
  • 40 oil cinnamon
  • 120 oil lemon
  • 20 oil coriander
  • 40 oil nutmeg
  • 40 oil neroli
  • “Let stand 24 hours.”


Thanksgiving Desserts 2017



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Updated September 6, 2021: Recipes from a 1956 Chinese Cookbook!
“The Art of Chinese Cooking”







Paris Baguette Bakery and Cafe

Paris Baguette Bakery and Cafe (in Encino)


The Paris Baguette for dessert! They have pastries and cakes and all kinds of good baked stuff! And they have food (sandwiches, and other eats), and coffee too.
But it’s all about the pastries.

Located in Encino in the Encino Town Center (aka Town & Country) Shopping Mall, there’s a big parking lot that’s usually pretty busy.  But once you enter, it’s a cafe, clean, no frills, with lots of light inside. It also smells pretty wonderful with all the baked goods.

Outside there’s an open patio, raised above the level of the sidewalk that fronts on Ventura boulevard. Not really good for conversation because of traffic, but a good place to sit and people watch and also view the busy activity at the Encino Commons.


Check out the amazing selection of wonderful looking treats!




Tiramisu Cream Puff!

On The Menu: Tiramisu Cream Puff! (got the last one)

Paris BaguetteEncino Town Center  Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA and various locations

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Encino Commons – looking west on Ventura Boulevard



And More and More Recipes!

And More and More Recipes!


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”)

Ahi Tuna Poke (Makes 4 Servings)

1lb. Sashimi Tuna (use sushi-grade fish, not just store-bought tuna)
2 Ea. Avocado, Cubed
1 Ea. Vine Ripened Tomato
¼ Cup Cucumber, diced
¼ Cup Sweet Onion
1 tsp. Inamona, heaping
6 Ea. Scallions
¾ Cup Light Soy Sauce
¼ Cup Water
1 tsp. Rayu
Truffle Oil To Taste

~ Cooked Rice
~ Tortilla Chips

Procedure: Dice Ahi Tuna into ¼ inch cubes and set aside. Dice the tomato and onion into a fine dice. Cut the scallions into thin rings. In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna, sweet onion, tomatoes, scallions, cucumbers and inamona. Mix lightly. Next, add the soy sauce, water, rayu, and truffle oil to the mixture, again tossing lightly.

Sticky Chicken

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!


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


Mrs. Frank Sinatra’s Spaghetti and Meat Balls


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.

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
salt and black pepper

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.

Swedish Meatballs

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

3 lbs of red potatoes and/or white potatoes
6 Cloves of finely diced Fresh Garlic (product of USA)
1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Parsley (chopped fine)

Cut potatoes into small quarters (or eighths if large) and place in a large bowl.
Add garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper and parsley and mix until potatoes are coated.
Place potatoes on (aluminum foil lined) baking sheet.
Bake in oven at 400 degrees for one hour and ten minutes.
Turn the potatoes several times to cook thoroughly.
Remove from oven and serve in large dish.

Meatloaf (with sauce)


1 lb. Ground Beef
1 slice of Bread (cut into very small pieces)
1 Egg
1 small Sweet Onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic (optional)
Dash of Red Pepper (optional)
4 tbsp Ketchup
1/2 cup Milk

Sauce for top:
1/2 cup Ketchup
4 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2-4 tbsp dark Brown Sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place in lightly oiled breadpan/meatloaf pan (just a dash of cooking oil)
Mix sauce ingredients in measuring cup and pour over top.
Cook at 350 degrees for 1 to 1-1/4 hour until done.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
Serve with more meatloaf sauce or your favorite condiment.


Meatloaf (ready to cook)

NOTE: Be sure to follow Safe Handling guidelines when cooking with any raw meat
and be sure to wash your hands before and after handling any raw meat or packaging.

UPDATED Saturday, April 8, 2017
Cooked Meatloaf for tomorrow (on Thursday)… because day old meatloaf is always better. We went out for Indian food at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India (Read the previous Blog!) last night (Friday). So, here’s the (warmed up 2 day old) Meatloaf for dinner on Saturday (tonight), accompanied by corn on the cob and steamed broccoli with an iced espresso. It was first cooked very rare, so it wouldn’t overcook when it was reheated.



The Alpine Village Inn’s famous CHICKEN SUPREME SOUP recipe
(from the Las Vegas Review Journal after the restaurant closed in March 1997)

2 quarts water
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons Accent (monosodium glutamate) 
1 pound ground chicken (cooked)
1 medium onion, ground
Yellow food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 to 3 carrots (ground)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup flour

Boil the soup ingredients for 30 minutes.
Cool: Remove the pot from the heat and allowed to cool slightly.
Blend: Ladle the mixture into a blender, about 2 to 3 cups at a time, and blend until almost smooth. Be careful during this process, hot soup in a blender can shoot everywhere even with a lid on. The blender process gives the soup a creamier texture.
Thicken: To prepare the roux, heat oil add flour slowly and stir with a wire whisk. It should be the consistency of mashed potatoes. Don’t burn the roux.
Pour the blended mixture back into a large pot and add the cooked roux and continue to cook until the soup thickened.
Note: when adding the roux, use small amounts and watch the consistency (try not to over thicken-you may not need it all), it should look like a thick gravy.

SEASONED COTTAGE CHEESE (Serve as a condiment or a dip)
2 pounds cottage cheese, small curd
1/2 teaspoon caraway
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Accent (monosodium glutamate)
1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Mix all ingredients together and chill for several hours or overnight.

Corn, Cheese & Chili Pie



1/2lb pork sausage, 1/2lb ground beef, 1/2 chopped onion, can of stewed tomatoes, half of a small can of tomato sauce, half of a small tomato – chopped, chili powder, red pepper, cumin, garlic, black pepper, and salt.

Brown the meat and onions, add to pot with tomatoes and sauce, add spices to taste, simmer for awhile and let sit for a bit before serving. Add beans, peppers, other spices, whatever you like. Serve with toppings: grated cheese, chopped onions, crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips, sour cream and/or creme fraisch, etc.

Amy Chen Lozano’s Thai Lettuce Cups

Directions: (non-traditional)
Sauté minced shallots, ground pork, ground chicken, minced shrimp.
Season with black pepper and fish sauce.
Turn off heat and toss with lime juice and mint.
Serve in fresh, crisp Romaine lettuce leaves (with chopped nuts if desired)*

*this line added by JoshWillTravel

Runzas! (Dough filled with ground beef and cabbage)

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”

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

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.

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


Tonga Toast – Serves 4

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


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.


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

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.

Chocolate Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

These were made without food coloring and almond extract (instead increase to tablespoon of vanilla extract). Also substituted plain white vinegar, mini chocolate chips, and reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup. They were delicious!

Long John Donuts


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
1-1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

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

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

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.


Orange Cake and Orange Cookies


$100 Mayonnaise Cake and Peanut Butter Frosting


Peanut Butter Frosting
6 Tablespoons softened Butter
2/3 cups Peanut Butter
1 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
¼ cup Milk
2/3 cups chopped peanuts (optional)
Cream together butter, sugar, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Add milk and stir well. Add nuts (optional). Spread over warm cake. Place frosted cake under broiler about 4 inches from heat source. Broil just a few seconds, or until it starts to bubble. Do Not Scorch!! Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Los Angeles City Schools Old Fashioned Crumb Cake

2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1. combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, nutmeg, and oil.
remove 1/2 cup of mixture from bowl.
add 1 tsp cinnamon and set aside for topping.
2. combine remaining 1 tsp cinnamon, baking soda, egg and buttermilk. blend well.
add to flour mixture. do not over mix.
3. spoon butter into greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
sprinkle with 1/2 cup reserved topping.
Bake at 375 degrees30-40 minutes.

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


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

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.


Drop Scones



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


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

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)

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.
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.


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

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.

(from “The Joy of Cooking”)
*for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day*
Makes about 30 Small Cakes

“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.


Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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:


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

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Filming location for “Boogie Nights”


Just another Donut store in the San Fernando Valley? Yes, and NO!
It was the location for the climatic scene in the film “Boogie Nights” where Don Cheadle’s character Buck Swope is caught in the middle of a robbery and shootout.


And they have really tasty Donuts and Pastries!

On The Menu: DONUTS! Chocolate custard filled, chocolate bar, raspberry jelly filled, a cinnamon roll and a Napoleon pastry “to go”.

Miss Donuts – 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, California (west of Lindley)

All photos copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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Don Cheadle in “Boogie Nights” (not my pic)

And time to eat the donuts…


Donuts from Miss Donuts in Reseda, California


Konstantin’s Piroshki Recipe!

Konstantin’s Piroshki Recipe (from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire)
From the article in “Sphere” magazine, “Come to the Faire” July 1975
Makes 10 Piroshkis
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt (1/2 tsp cinnamon – according to sources)
2 Cups all purpose flour
Beef Filling:
1 medium onion (fine chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
3/4 lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 hard boiled egg (fine chopped)
Dissolve yeast in warm water in medium bowl. Stir in milk, sugar salt and enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough on to lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn grease side up and cover with a towel. Let rise in warm place until it doubles ~ 45 minutes (Dough is ready if impression remains).
Make beef filling.
Punch down dough. Roll dough on floured board to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut into 10 5-inch circles.(It will be necessary to gather scraps and re-roll dough) Place 1/4 cup filling on each circle. Bring ends of dough together at center. Pinch edges together to seal so that Piroshki are plump in the center with tapered ends. Place Piroshki seam side down on greased baking sheets. Cover lightly with waxed paper and let rise for 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with a dollup of sour cream or hot mustard if desired.




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Piroshki Booth at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire

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…


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.


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).


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.


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.


The Bar at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood


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.


Mozzarella Bar & Front Dining Room at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood



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.


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


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

The Meal (Wednesday May 17, 2016):


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!


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.


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.


Pour the Wine! Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008


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!


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.


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.”


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.


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


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.



Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant & Dessert at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant
and Dessert at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino

Saturday night! Where should we go to eat at 7pm?

We had tried Take Out from Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant not long after they opened and it wasn’t good. Someone told someone that the food was good and that led to someone’s suggesting we try the restaurant again, this time on premises to find out.


Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino

Located at Ventura Blvd and White Oak Ave in Encino, in the San Fernando Valley, they are well reviewed by LA Weekly (because you automatically get a good review if you advertise). There is easy free parking and the restaurant is clean, bright and colorfully decorated.


Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino

There is a waiting area by the entrance, an outdoor patio on the parking lot and a service bar in the back with the mandatory Thai altar. They serve beer, wine & Coca Cola products.


Service Bar at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino


Thai Altar at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino

The menu is massive! There are well over a hundred different Thai dishes to choose from!


We decided to try a few different simple entrees that we usually order at other Thai restaurants so we could compare them.

On the Menu: Chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, pad Thai noodles with chicken, chicken panang curry, honey BBQ ribs, a larb salad with duck meat, steamed rice and a Thai iced tea (no cream)


chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad


larb salad with duck meat


chicken panang curry (with bell pepper)

NOTE: I ordered the chicken panang because all the other curries had bell pepper listed in the description of the dishes on the menu and it didn’t. I don’t like bell pepper!

When the dish came it had bell pepper in the curry. VERY DISAPPOINTED!


pad Thai noodles


Asian honey BBQ ribs

Well, guess what? The food wasn’t good. 

The pictures came out good, but the food wasn’t. The key to good Thai food is the seasonings, spices and sauces. Nothing  we tried was as good as the food at Thai’N’I, Krua Thai, Chan Dara or Sri Siam Cafe (see previous Blogs). Also, the service wasn’t very good. And it wasn’t cheap!

I really don’t want to go into detail about the food, so I’ll just say there are a lot of other Thai restaurants, or Indian restaurants, or Chinese restaurants that are better than this.


And then we went for Dessert at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery (there’s a discount after 8pm!) at Ventura Blvd and Hayvenhurst Ave, also in Encino.

The space is clean and bright. Inside, there are tables and chairs, a open baking prep area and the glass dessert cases filled with treats.


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino

They are open for Breakfast & Lunch, and then open late everyday!
Sun-Thur 6:30am-10pm and Fri-Sat 6:30am-11pm


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino

They have wonderful and expensive pastries, cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, pies, brownies, breads, and even Oreo or English trifle to choose from.


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino


Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino

We only got a couple discounted cookies and a double chocolate cupcake “to go” and they were all very good. So good,in fact, that there are no pictures.

Everything I’ve tried from Sweet Lady Jane Bakery is very good (but kind of expensive too).


All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(Recipe for a small spring-lock baking pan)

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

Grease the small 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 1/4″ thick crust. (avoid loose crumbs if possible)

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Cheesecake Filling:
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)

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.

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! Chillin’ in the fridge.

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.


All photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel

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Chocolate Eclairs & Cream Puffs recipe

Chocolate Eclairs and Cream Puffs

Here’s a great recipe that I found online:


Makes about 12 small eclairs or about 18 cream puffs

6 tbsp (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup water
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

4 large egg yolks
⅓ cup sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
One pinch kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1 ½ cup heavy cream, divided
½ tsp almond extract
2 tbsp (¼ stick) unsalted butter

NOTE: ice cream, custard or chocolate mousse can be substituted for cream filling

¾ cup heavy cream
½ tsp kosher salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1½ cups)
Toasted sliced almonds for topping

NOTE: Almonds are optional or top with any crushed nuts, sprinkles or other decorations

1. Prepare dough: bring the butter, sugar, salt, and water to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon to encourage the butter to melt. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the flour, stirring constantly, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring the dough occasionally. (You don’t want the eggs to scramble in the next step.)

2. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously between each addition with a wooden spoon. The dough will break apart and slide around in the pot before it comes back together. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe the dough into 3-inch lengths about 3 inches apart. (For cream puffs, drop the dough in 2-tablespoon scoops about 3 inches apart on the prepared sheets. )With damp fingertip, flatten any points. Preheat to 450°F and bake until deep golden brown and puffed, rotating the sheets halfway through, 22 to
 26 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

4. Prepare the cream: stir together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl.

5. In medium saucepan, bring the milk and 1 cup of the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add a little bit of the warm milk mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Repeat this process a few times until all of the milk mixture has been incorporated into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the pan.

6. Cook at medium-low heat, stirring constantly and making sure to get the edges, until the mixture begins to thicken, 2 to 4 minutes. (It’s helpful to have both a spatula and a whisk handy while making the custard. Switch between the two.) Let it come up to a very slow boil and cook for 1 minute more. Strain the custard through the sieve into a clean bowl, and stir in the butter and the almond extract. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream and refrigerate until cooled completely.

7. Prepare the glaze: bring the cream and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and salt. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute and then whisk to make a smooth sauce.

8. Whip remaining ½ cup cream to soft peaks. Whisk the cooled almond cream to loosen it, then fold in the whipped cream. Transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip. Slice the top third off of each éclair and fill with cream. Dip the top of the top half in the glaze and replace it. (For cream puffs, insert the tip of the pastry bag into the bottom of each puff and fill. Dip the filled puffs in the glaze.) Top with almonds to serve.