Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lunch from Roy's

Roy's Club Italian Restaurant. I've had some great dinners at this place. It's old style. Like the place I use to go to as a child, called the Empire Room, where Carol the waitress always brought Dad his bourbon and water, Mom her Vodka and Tonic and me a Shirley Temple, unless I was feeling feisty and wanted a Roy Rogers before taking our dinner orders. It's dark and red complete with oil paintings of Italian ruins and live music and the first thing on your table is the antipasta plate. Just like the Empire Room. But just to the right side of this lovely old restaurant is Roy's deli, where you can buy old style meat cuts. Coppa, headcheese, prosciutto, freshly sliced. They have an awesome little grocery store full of Italian imported goodies, but best of all they make sandwiches to die for. So, when I had to work my first full day in a while and I actually had a lunch hour I decided I'd to Roy's and get myself a sandwich. It was a hard decision between all the yummy things on their menu board, but I finally set my sights on and Italian Dip. I love French Dip's, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with an Italian one. I was right. It was wonderful. It was sliced Focaccia bread loaded with fresh roast beef with provolone melted on top served with a side of auj ju. I was in absolute dip heaven!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Big Food Hall of Fame

Back when I was in college my husband and friends enjoyed a big plate of food. Many a hungover Sunday was spent in Union Town Cafe watching them race to finish the Mule Skinner (A few brain cells have been lost since then, but I think that was 3 pancakes, 4 eggs and 4 sausages or slices of bacon) and a monster size butterhorn along with it. I could put away quite a bit of food back then, since I was pretty active, but never as much as them. When I started trying to keep up with them, eating things like Macho Nacho's from Casa De Que Pasa (enough for 5 people, but shared between 2) I quickly put on 20lbs. I realized I was not meant for that kind of eating. Now that I'm in my 40's and far less active, I can only eat a third of what I did back then, much less what they ate.

These days when I look around and see the increasing number of obese people in my community, many of them half my age, it blows me away. I wonder what they're doing different from what I did at their age. I thought I ate a lot, but I know I was also quite active. So what are these "kids" doing different? One significant difference I see is when I walk into a restaurant and order a meal, and I'm served enough food for 2, 3 or more people. These people are ordering this food and eating it all, while I'm taking half of it home or sharing it with my family. And, what is their activity level? Probably not half as much as what I did in college, and I thought I was lazy.

Now, what really blows me away, is all this talk in the news about how our country is becoming a nation of fat people, yet we celebrate eating contests like they're some kind of sport. I'm sorry people, eating yourself into oblivion is not a sport. It's amusing to watch, it is a contest, but it is not a sport, and it is not healthy. In the spirit of these crazy food binging contests there's a new show out called on Food TV called href="">Man Versus Food. I have to admit, I get caught up watching this show. I actually think Adam Richman is kind of cute, but my attraction to the show is essentialy the equivalent to watching a train wreck. It's tragic, but I can't take my eyes off of it.

Today (the thing that got my mind on this subject) I ran onto an article on the MSN City Guides Site called href=""> The Big Food Hall Of Fame. An article celebrating the top 10 restaurants who serve the biggest meals. All I could say after reading that, was we're one messed up country when it comes to food. We want the largest amount of food on our plates for the least cost, yet we complain about our waistlines. Rather then treat food as nutrition and sustenance, we treat it as a competition that must be gulped down in mass quantities so quickly it's never even tasted.

So, why is it the media and the medical world seem perplexed as to why we're a "growing nation"? Why are they shocked, why can't they see the plate served before them? The writing is written with a squeeze bottle in butter on your over sized charger plate. We're getting fat because we eat too damn much too fast and move too little.

My solution to the obesity problem? To teach everyone to stop, slow down, taste and digest their food. Stop when they're full, and most of all MOVE. Walk walk walk, and avoid joining any eating contests, or being showcased on FoodTV eating the biggest "whatever" as fast as you can at some diner out their in Fat America. Fifteen minutes of fame really isn't worth it.

Fear not the butter, but the lack of taste for the speed in which you eat.
Fear not the growing waist, as it won't happen to you if you move more often.

Happy new year and Bon Appetite ( and I do mean that - slow down and Bon Appetite!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Busy Weekend

So, this weekend, rather than take the time to post about our dining in Reno I spent the time getting our finances together and recovering from our Christmas splurge and to do the big bulk buying/ stocking up for the kitchen. With all the crazy Nostradamus shows on and the bad economy news it seems like I'm jumping on the "oh crap" band wagon, but I'm not, really. This is just what I do. I love to shop for groceries, I know, I'm weird. I love having a full freezer of meat, ice cream, pizza dough various homemade stocks and other staples. It makes me feel safe. It must come from having parents who grew up during the depression and lived through WWII. I consider myself lucky to have picked up their frugalness.

I also felt inspired by the Homesteading Housewife's post about batch cooking breakfast burrito's which I tried on a micro level and was super pleased with the results. So after I got home from my trip to Winco/Costco/Grocery Outlet I proceeded to make 20 some odd buckwheat applesauce (used my own homemade canned sauce) pancakes and set them up to freeze for breakfasts throughout the next couple of weeks. I also engaged my bread making machine in some pizza dough creation while I was cooking up pancakes. I now have two big balls of pizza dough in my freezer just waiting to be thawed, covered in sauce, cheese and leftovers from the fridge (so much cheaper then buying the tube of dough, the Boboli things which are nasty, doing take and bake from a place like Papa Murpy's or having it delivered, which isn't an option where I live. Gotta love being rural). Then I proceeded to separate and seal up all the different meat I bought with my trusty Foodsaver so that the meat was all in manageable levels for our family. I hope to do more breakfast burritos plus some dinner burrito's. Tomorrow the slow cooker will be pulled out and readied for a pork rib roast and I'm leaning towards some kind of Mexican recipe. Something we can eat with refried beans, rice and warm tortillas, and then I can take the leftovers and freeze in burrito's or set aside for tacos for lunch.

Man! I'm on food fire!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wo Wo! Back up a bit!

Well, I know I said I was going to post about our trip to Reno, but tonight I was playing with my new toy and trying to sync my phone to it and I forgot I had pictures of Christmas Eve dinner and a few pics from Christmas. I think I'll post those first, then share our trip to Reno with you.
So here you go:
First our candle lit dinner, then a plate of dinner. The plan was to have crab (it's crab season here right now) with boiled red potatoes and corn on the cob. Well, I ran out of time to get crab and ended up cooking lamb shanks instead. Oh darn! Not! The cake picture is a traditional Christmas Cake I made from my Mother In Law's recipe. It seemed like it was going to be like a nasty fruit cake, but it wasn't. It was actually quite good.

Then! There's Christmas! Nigella Lawson's gingered ham (recipe can be found here:
My potato, celery root and onion casserole and buttered green beans. Not a lot but YUM!
Our good friend from Eureka brought a delicious blueberry pie from Marie Calendars and some whipped cream to top it all off. An awesome Christmas at home!

And then there is me, after a several (many) glasses of wine, holiday cheer, and popping the Christmas crackers. Wearing my golden paper crown from my cracker and reveling in my Christmas happiness.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and much prosperity in the new year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Well, I've still been too busy to post about our trip to Reno, and I've been a bit under the weather lately and not up for any writing. But this morning I was reading MFK Fisher, How To Cook a Wolf, and I ran onto a paragraph that I just loved.

So here it is, a little food for thought.....

"Why is it worse, in the end, to see an animal's head cooked and prepared for our pleasure than a thigh or a tail or a rib? If we are going to live on other inhabitants of this world we must not blind ourselves with illogical prejudices, but savor to the fullest the beasts we have killed."

I have to agree fully!

More on "How To Cook A Wolf":

This is a great book written in 1942. Considering our recent economic and war situation, this 66 year old book has some timely advice.

How to Cook a WolfNew York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1942A series of essays on how to live and dine sanely and pleasurably during wartime and within tight budgets.

This is a great book, available at: Amazon at
And Powell's at:

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Back! but.......

Well, made it back from a very nice trip to Reno visiting family and friends. We're not gamblers or skiers so that wasn't our reason for going. Visiting family I have not seen in years was, as was visiting my old college roommate and her family. Very enjoyable and relaxing and taking our girls ice skating for the first time ever (my second time only in 12 years) was a blast! We made it home late last night after a long drive involving stopping to play in the snow on the way and make snowmen. (And a desperate search for a pizza parlor that wasn't a chain in Redding. Don't bother,they're pretty much all chains and what there is are all in the the mall area.) Much to my happy surprise my Christmas present that had not arrived by Christmas was here. It was well worth the wait. A Mac book pro from my husband! Woo Hoo! The unfortunate part of this, other than the very gift my husband gave me is causing him neglect, is that I've been so busy trying to get it set up, and play with it that I don't have any food articles to post on my blog ready yet. I have stuff to post, but I haven't had time to get it together since I've been so busy playing with my new toy. So, please forgive me as I play with my new toy and figure it out. Pretty soon I hope to be posting all kinds of interesting stuff.
Happy New Year to everyone!