Zucchini Pancakes and Eggplant Pizza For Dinner

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Wow! This was really a great change and it was Good! Take a look.

Eggplant Pizza Zucchini Pancakes Sliced Garden Fresh Green Zebra Tomatoes

Eggplant Pizza
Zucchini Pancakes
Sliced Garden Fresh Green Zebra Tomatoes
Housemade Limoncello

Here is the recipe for the Zucchini Pancakes. Another tasty way to use up all of those zucchini you either have now or will shortly. They could make a great party appetizer/finger food treat if you eat them cold with a dipping sauce. Then there is the Eggplant Pizza. Here is a recipe that is close, Eggplant Pizza, but we altered it. Instead of using a tomato sauce, we used fresh sliced Roma tomatoes. And for the cheese we used Burrata and some Feta. I sauteed the eggplant on one side, turned it and placed the tomato slice(s) on the eggplant, then the cheese and fresh basil. When the eggplant was browned, I placed a lid on the pan and let the cheese melt. These were really yummy!

The zucchini, eggplant, onions and Roma tomatoes all came from the Boise Farmers Market. The basil and the green Zebra tomato came from our garden. Cheers!

From Cast Iron to French Cuisine

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Robin-And-Bob-By-Olin-Mills-BoiseThere was some very interesting information delivered today from some of my food groups. One such piece of info was on how to clean a cast iron skillet. Watch this short video on Cleaning Cast Iron. Other articles on cast iron include such things as identifying old cast iron pans, reconditioning cast iron and seasoning cast iron. Good information to keep in your library. I have been using the same three cast iron skillets for over 30 years. And I have a camp cast iron pot that I have had for every bit of that long. All are in good condition – like new! (And yes, that is Robin and I in 1984!)
The other great piece of information, and great reading, comes from the Huffington Post and can be found at 17 Food Reasons The French Are Better At Life. And from that article,

Between their rich buttery sauces and the artistry they’ve brought to pastry, it’s easy to understand why French food has long been the envy of the world. But it’s not just the food they make that’s so special, it’s the way they think about their cuisine. In our food-forward minds, this means that the French are winning at life. Here are the 17 reasons why — though we’re sure we could have come up with 100.

And another little interesting tid-bit of information from the same article, particularly if you like butter,

Butter is more important than water.
That’s the secret to fine French cuisine. Their sauces are based on butter. Their pastries are layered with butter. But, it’s all with good reason, because some of the finest butter in the world is made in France. Particularly, the butter made in the Normandy region, which is bright yellow thanks to their fine dairy cows. And, guys, the butter is almost always salted, the way butter is supposed to be.

So there you have it. Two really interesting pieces of information and ones that you may want to keep. Enjoy! And remember, l’heure du gouter, any hour is the “hour to taste” as this translation says. Cheers!

The “Buzz” Remodel and Italian Wine Night

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20June2014_1_Buzz-New-Beer-Growler-Station_CristiYes! Yea! Hallelujah! (Cristi looks like she is ready for the completion!) The remodel at The Buzz is complete and it looks awesome! New floors! New seating arrangement! New wine area! And a brand new Growler station! Bring your growler ….. Fill it up! Bring in your favorite stein or mug and Tommy will keep it for you on a display shelf for your use when you come in. Novel idea for this area.
But before we look at the new Buzz through the camera lens, lets look at the July Wine Club, Italian Wines. These wine dinners are a full 5 course dinner and 5 or 6 wines. All for $20 a plate! Look at what you get for that, not counting of course, the awesome friends and company. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Cheers!

The announcement!

The announcement!

Mushroom Parmesan Risotto Cakes ( I really enjoyed these, but a light sauce may have been a great addition.) 2010 Mandarossa Fiano 13.5% alc. good match with the cakes, but not my favorite for the evening. $12 [14]

Mushroom Parmesan Risotto Cakes
(I really enjoyed these, but a light sauce may have been a great addition.
2010 Mandrarossa Fiano

13.5% alc. good match with the cakes, but not my favorite for the evening. $12 [14]

Piedmont Autumn Soup (Super good!) 2011 Piemonte Barera 13.5% alc. general appeal was good. a strong Barbera. $15 [15]

Piedmont Autumn Soup
(Super good! A little dab of fresh pesto in the soup would be good.)
2011 Piemonte Barbera
13.5% alc. general appeal was good. a strong Barbera. $15 [15]

Abruzzo Salad 2011 Niro Pecorino 13% alc. good match with is delightful and refreshing salad. $19 [17]

Abruzzo Salad
2011 Niro
Pecorino
13% alc. good match with is delightful and refreshing salad. $19 [17]

Agnolotti Piemontesi Allo Stufato 2011 Badiola Toscana 13% alc. a wonderful paring with this entree. $18 [19]

Agnolotti Piemontesi Allo Stufato
2011 Badiola
Toscana
13% alc. a wonderful paring with this entree. a super Cab and Sangiovese blend $18 [19]

Pistachio Chocolate Cannoli 2012 Mandrarossa Nero D'avola 13.5% alc. super good Tuscan wine. loved it.  can't get a better score. $12 [20]

Pistachio Chocolate Cannoli
2012 Mandrarossa
Nero D’avola
13.5% alc. super good Tuscan wine. loved it. can’t get a better score. $12 [20]

Ed and Mary enjoying the new look at The Buzz.

Ed and Mary enjoying the new look at The Buzz.

Now look at the New Buzz! Great atmosphere. Love the new look.

The new sign on the building by the entrance. There is also a very bright red and green sign on State Street.

The new sign on the building by the entrance. There is also a very bright red and green sign on State Street.

The beer steins we have on "The Self".

The beer steins we have on “The Shelf”.

One of the beers on tap and ready for your growler or steim.

One of the beers on tap and ready for your growler or stein.

The new Growler Fill Station and location of the wines. Just inside the State Street door and to the right.

The new Growler Fill Station and location of the wines. Just inside the State Street door and to the right.

The new look just inside the State Street door. Wide open spaces! Great shiny floor. Bright and colorful. You did a great job, Cristi and Tommy. And I know Austin and Bailey helped.

The new look just inside the State Street door. Wide open spaces! Great shiny floor. Bright and colorful. You did a great job, Cristi and Tommy. And I know Austin and Bailey helped.

BBQ and Beer

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From one of my many reference blogs, in this case Serious Eats (the photo here is from Serious Eats), I received this very interesting article on BBQ Beer Pairing, among other things such as the right beer with burgers, it is suggested too try “… Black IPAs to try: Firestone Walker Wookey Jack, Deschutes Hop in the Dark
Smoked porters to try: 8 Wired The Big Smoke, Stone Smoked Porter (for a more subtly smoky experience)
Porters to try: Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Nøgne-Ø Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.”
With chicken, they suggest “… Amber/brown German lagers to try: Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen, Heater Allen Coastal Lager (if you’re on the West Coast)
Blonde bières de garde to try: Brasserie St. Sylvestre 3 Monts, Saint Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Blond
Helles lagers to try: Weihenstephan Original Premium, New Belgium Summer Helles, Ballast Point Longfin Lager.”

The list goes on and the suggestions, too. Beers to go with sausages, steaks, grilled seafood, grilled veggies and then a suggestion, “If You Had To Pick Just One”. It is a good article and a great reference. Good luck and Happy Grilling! Cheers! And here is your chance – Try to stick with your local beers. Many cities now, including Boise, have some really awesome micro breweries and Boise even has, I think, the nations first nano brewery.

A Night In Shangri-La

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01July2014_1_Shangri-La-Tea-Room_and_Cafe_Front-Door-SignThe Shangri-La Tea Room and Cafe, that is! Good music with the Fleet Street Klezmer Band and Dancing by the Cecilia Rinn Starbelly Dancers. And then, there is always the awesomely different food served up. Vegetarian at that. But delicious. Easily a 4-Star, if not higher, out of 5-Stars restaurant. Don’t wrinkle up your nose at the thought of a vegan dinner. This is really superior. We’ll be back! Enjoy these photos of the evening and Left-Click any of them to see enlarged. Cheers!

They do have other things besides tea. Yes, they have a fairly good selection of beer and wine.

They do have other things besides tea. Yes, they have a fairly good selection of beer and wine.

But with close to 100 different teas to select from, you should find one you like.

But with close to 100 different teas to select from, you should find one you like.

And some of the teas you can steep right at your table. This is a Tea Flower.

And some of the teas you can steep right at your table. This is a Tea Flower.

A wonderful Coconut Soup to star thing off with. And housemade, as is most of their food, salad, sandwich, soup and dessert selections.

A wonderful Coconut Soup to start things off. And housemade, as is most of their salad, sandwich, soup and dessert selections.

How about this Mock Tuna sandwich? This is absolutely delicious and one reason I keep going back.

How about this Mock Tuna sandwich? This is absolutely delicious and one reason I keep going back.

or this Mock Tuna and Crackers appetizer.

Or this Mock Tuna and Crackers appetizer.

or maybe you would like this Veggie Burger made with goat cheese, mango and peach salsa, spring greens, walnuts and portobello mushrooms. This is almost better than the Mock Tuna.

Or maybe you would like this Veggie Burger made with goat cheese, mango and peach salsa, spring greens, walnuts and portobello mushrooms. This is almost better than the Mock Tuna.

How about the Veggie Burger Salad?

How about the Veggie Burger Salad?

Then for4 dessert a delicious Blueberry Lemon Muffin Cookie.

Then for dessert a delicious Blueberry Lemon Muffin Cookie.

This Power Pudding is to die for!! It's like eating a chocolate mousse mixed with nice, creamy butter.

This Power Pudding is to die for!! It’s like eating a chocolate mousse mixed with nice, creamy butter.

After eating all of these goodies, one must have entertainment.

Body art on one of the dancers!

Body art on one of the dancers!

Fleetstreet Klezmer Band. Victoria Kostenko on tyhe violin. Schlomo Kostenko vocals and bass fiddle and Mathew Voorhees on the accordion.

Fleet Street Klezmer Band. Victoria Kostenko on the violin. Shlomo Kostenko vocals and bass fiddle and Mathew Voorhees on the accordion.

The Cecilia Rinn Starbelly Dancer performed.

The Cecilia Rinn Starbelly Dancers performed.

Some the the excellent dancers.

Some the excellent dancers.

01July2014_2c_Shangri-La-Tea-Room_and_Cafe_Entertainment_Cecilia-Rinn-Starbelly-Dancers_Black-Quad

Even the guys get to dance!!!

Even the guys get to dance!!!

01July2014_2c_Shangri-La-Tea-Room_and_Cafe_Entertainment_Cecilia-Rinn-Starbelly-Dancers_Single-Gold

“LusTea” Speciality Teas

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Cristine-Lusty-LusTea_CardDo you like tea? Speciality teas? Here is a great site to purchase some of those “out-of-the ordinary” teas. Look at LusTea for these teas. Owned and operated by Christine Lusty, married to Robin’s cousin, LusTea Cafe is located in Livermore, CA. Here is a brief description from the website. There is also a permanent link to LusTea in the sidebar. Look for their business card. Cheers! Christine’s updated EMail is Christine@LusTeaCo.com. The one here on the graphic is not correct.

LusTea prides itself on it’s simply elegant flavors, perfect for the refined palette that enjoys a distinct essence in their cup. Even those who profess they are not tea drinks have found a blend to invigorate their senses.
Excellent hot or iced down to sooth you on those sweltering afternoons, and with new teas being added regularly, LusTea is sure to have a something to seduce your senses.
We look forward to serving you soon!

New Look For the Buzz In Boise!

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TheBuzzApril_2Cristi and Tommy and all have been working very hard to “re-design” the interior of the Buzz in Boise. Personally, I like the new look! And they have installed a growler bar, which is fun and fantastic! We have two beer steins that I am going to take to the Buzz. Cristi said it would be OK to leave them there for use at the new growler bar. Maybe we can get a shelf to put them on.and use when we go to the Buzz. How many different types can we get? Let’s display our steins at the Buzz. Any takers? Enjoy this new look! Cheers!

Cristi is in the Growler Bar area. Check out those floors!

Cristi is in the Growler Bar area. This photo is along the North side, the State Street side. Check out those floors!

The center half-wall has been removed and it really opens the space up. This is looking as you enter the State Street door, the side door.

The center half-wall has been removed and it really opens the space up. This is looking as you enter the State Street door, the side door.

Tommy and Michelle show off the new Growler Bar.

Tommy and Michelle show off the new Growler Bar.

Salmon For Dinner; Ice Cream For Dessert

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Such a good combination. Such a good dinner!

Braised Salmon Patty On Spinach Bed with Herbed Hollandaise Fresh Garden Salad with Carrot and Cucumber Threads and Heirloom Tomatoes Lemon Olive Oil and Balsamic Dressing

Braised Salmon Patty On Spinach Bed
with
herbed hollandaise sauce

Fresh Garden Salad
with
carrot and cucumber threads
Heirloom Tomatoes
Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic Dressing

Mountain Huckleberry Ice Cream and Mango Sorbet with Fresh Raspberries

Mountain Huckleberry Ice Cream and Mango Sorbet
with
Fresh Raspberries

Goodbye Spring, Hello Summer!

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Hat-Ranch-Winery-LogoClear blue skies! Light, cooling breezes! 88 degree temperatures. Only thing missing is a tempting ocean breeze. We spent the day both at Hat Ranch Winery off of Plum Road in Marsing (their postal address is in Caldwell) and the Snake River AVA and then to a wonderful dinner at The Orchard House. Hat Ranch was releasing their Tempranillo, which is very good. The Orchard House has good meatloaf.
Hat Ranch Winery bought Vale Wine Co., as some of you might already know. Some of the Vale wines were there for us to try also. Their Chardonnay is really a good one and will pare well with foods that need a citru match. Not an oaky chardonnay. The appetizers that they had to accompany the wines, see the photo of the menu board below, were a perfect match. Enjoy these photos and if you are in the area, stop in at both Hat Ranch Winery and The Orchard House. You won’t be disappointed. Cheers!

Hat Ranch Winery, Tempranillo release party, menu board.

Hat Ranch Winery, Tempranillo release party, menu board.

A very good Redpepper Humus. Not overly spiced.

A very good Redpepper Hummus. Not overly spiced.

Good selections on the Antipasto Platter.

Good selections on the Antipasto Platter.

Some of the wines we tried. We also tried a Hat Ranch Merlot and Syrah.

Some of the wines we tried. The Tempranillo will pair with most foods, especially Italian or Spanish.

The Vale Wine Co., Chardonnay.

The Vale Wine Co., Chardonnay.

Orchard_House_Logo_2And then, we went to The Orchard House for dinner. Goodbye diet for today! We always enjoy the meals here. If I were to choose which meal I would constantly get here, it would definitely be the breakfast. It is just so satisfying. But today, we had a good Meatloaf dinner and an Idaho Trout dinner. This is one place that you can get a good meatloaf away from your own kitchen. The Orchard House is located at 14949 Sunnyslope Road, Caldwell (just outside of Marsing) in the Snake River AVA.

We had to check this bottle of wine out. It really is named for the Weiser Old Tyme Fiddlers Festival, which is just over for the year.

We had to check this bottle of wine out. It really is named for the Weiser Old Tyme Fiddlers Festival, which is just over for the year.

This is the back of the bottle. Good information. Left-Click this or any of these photos to see them enlarged.

This is the back of the bottle. Good information. Left-Click this or any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Robin had this good Idaho Trout dinner.

Robin had this good Idaho Trout dinner.

I had their Meatloaf Dinner. Just a good ol' down home dinner.

I had their Meatloaf Dinner. Just a good ol’ down home dinner. We did buy a bottle of Shane Weston’s 2009 Weston On The Lake Pinot Gris. Such a great day today. Super great tour of the area, of sorts, with Robin.

Pasta Salad For Dinner

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Last night we had this wonderful and light Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad that Robin found. We only drifted from the original recipe a very little. The type of pasta used, heirloom tomatoes and garlic. Look at the recipe. Try it. The recipe is also permanently listed in the recipe file above. Serve it with a good Tuscan wine.

Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad

Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad

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