Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bernie, where have you been all my life....

on a bus flipping burgers it would appear.
Bernie's Burger Bus is a great place for, what else, burgers!!!
I saw this yellow school bus parked in the the Inversion Coffee House parking lot on Montrose at lunch time and I stopped, because I was hungry and it's hard to say no to a burger. I was hoping that it was a good burger, considering that it is in a yellow school bus and let's face it, school burgers weren't so good where I came from, more grain than meat, and they weren't going for a veggie burger either. Bernie's did not disappoint. The meat was high quality, freshly ground accompanied by a Slow Dough Bun (the best in town) and condiments made from Bernie's recipes including the ketchup and mayo. Bernie is not the owner, he is the grandfather of the owner.
I love the fact that generations are honored. I have seen this in several of the food trucks that I have visited.

I opted for the Principal and hand cut fries. It comes with mayo, ketchup, shredded lettuce, onions and roasted garlic tomatoes. Make sure you specify how you want your burger cooked. They come a little rare and that's okay, if that is how you like your burger.
I love the fact that they hand the burger to you in a brown paper sack. School lunch, anyone?
Now for the reveal. Look at this burger. Yummmmmmmy!!!
The owner/chef is Justin Turner, Bernie's grandson.

Quote of the day: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today," Wimpy said to Popeye.

Here is Bernie's Web site. It will tell you where the bus stops.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cast Iron Salmon, so tender....

Who knew?
Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
Slather salmon filet with olive oil. I used olive oil infused with white truffle, but any good cold pressed olive oil with do.
Slice up some fresh ginger, scatter on top.
Hit it with a pinch of salt.
Put salmon, skin-side down in a cast iron skillet.Let it bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how rare or not you want your salmon.

Remove from oven, let sit for a minute or two and serve with veggies or whatever. I chose asparagus.

This is so easy. I haven't tried the cast iron with any other fish. It seems to work so well with the salmon. It keeps the fish moist and flavorful.

Quote of the day: Easy does it, sometimes, works.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding is ogasmic....

This is the Sticky Toffee Pudding that I made

The first time I had Sticky Toffee Pudding was at a wedding dinner in Arbroath, Scotland. I knew that it was a traditional dessert there and wanted to try it. I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what was in it. After researching several recipes I found out, that while some of the ingredient vary, there is one constant; dates.
This is the sticky Toffee Pudding served in Scotland

Below is a the recipe I settled on. It is one of Martha Stewart's.

Sticky Toffee Pudding


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside.
2.     In a small bowl, combine dates and 1/2 cup boiling water; set aside to soften, at least 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt to combine; set aside.
3.     With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add date mixture, flour mixture, and vanilla; mix just until moistened.
4.     Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare toffee sauce.
5.     Remove cake from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. To ensure it will come out easily later, carefully invert hot cake then return it, right side up, to pan. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over cake. Pour about 1 cup warm sauce over cake; let absorb at least 20 minutes.
Toffee Sauce


  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


1.     In a medium saucepan, combine butter, heavy cream, light-brown sugar, and salt. Heat over low, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Simmer mixture over medium heat until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, 8 to 12 minutes. If desired, reheat sauce over low before serving.

Let me tell you, this toffee sauce is wonderful. Use it liberally when pouring it over the cake after poking holes in it. 
I served the sticky toffee pudding with freshly whipped cream.

Traveling to Scotland was so much fun. Having this wonderful dessert was just the icing on the cake. 
The young couple's wedding was romantic, made splendid by a beautiful bride and a handsome groom, an 11th century chapel, bagpipes, kilts and sunset somewhere around midnight. Almost three years have past since the wedding, the stunning couple moved to Austraila and the really new news is  the addition of a son due in March. Can't wait. 

Just a quick note. Obviously Sticky Toffee Pudding stuck, because it is at the top of my taste bud memories. A testament to how delicious this dessert is.

Daily Quote: “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”........John Lennon

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cracker Jacks kind of look like Black Eyed Peas...


But I believe in having a few of my own traditions. Eating Cracker Jacks on New Year's Day seems like a fine one. And besides having a tasty treat,  there is a surprise in every box. The prize isn't anything like what I used to get as a kid, but it's still something to look forward to. Today, the prize was a Smart Mouth. MMMM? How did they know? And some jokes.

"Why do sharks only swim in salt water?"

Because pepper water makes them sneeze!!


"Why was the frog happy???"

Because he ate everything that bugged him!!!

Cracker Jacks go way back to the Chicago World's fair in 1893, when a mixture of molassas covered popcorn and peanuts were sold by the Rueckheim brothers, Fritz and Louis. Fritz  devised a way to keep the popcorn separated by adding a little oil and putting it all in a cement-mixer-like drum. Before he did that, the mixture was hard to handle and hard to sell.  The protective wax box was developed in 1899 by a guy named Eckstien and by 1902  Cracker Jacks was selling like hot cakes.

When I think of Cracker Jacks, I think of fun and happy times, so why not eat them for luck on New Year's Day. You never know what prize you may find inside.

Just think when you're singing during the seventh inning stretch, it's not "buy me some peanuts and black eyed peas", for gosh sakes.

I have nothing against black-eyed peas, I just like Cracker Jacks better.

Why Black Eyed Peas anyway. Here's what Wikipedia says about the whole thing.

In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year.
The "good luck" traditions of eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, are recorded in the Babylonian Talmud (compiled ~500 CE), Horayot 12A: "Abaye [d. 339 CE] said, now that you have established that good-luck symbols avail, you should make it a habit to see qara (bottle gourd), rubiya (black-eyed peas, Arabic lubiya), kartei (leeks), silka (either beets or spinach), and tamrei (dates) on your table on the New Year." However, the custom may have resulted from an early mistranslation of the Aramaic word rubiya (fenugreek).

Another suggested beginning of the tradition dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, typically stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock, and destroyed whatever they could not carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and field corn suitable only for animal fodder, and did not steal or destroy these humble foods.[4]
In the Southern United States,[5] the peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring (such as bacon, ham bones, fatback, or hog jowl), diced onion, and served with a hot chili sauce or a pepper-flavored vinegar.
The traditional meal also includes collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion.[6] Cornbread also often accompanies this meal.

Happy New Years!!!!!

Quote of the Day:
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.
Written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer