7/20/13: The Renaissance Festival And Their Food

7/20/13: The Renaissance Festival And Their Food

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Hello Diners

Last Saturday the dads, teri, mike, and me went to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. We usually go every year because of a few reasons: It is a fun way to spend time with friends, looking at the different items they have for sale and the culture. Another reason is that the food is absolutely delicious and varies from huge turkey legs to cinnamon-spiced nuts. Finally, seeing all the people in renaissance costumes, either hand-made or bought assembled, the colors and fabric styles are amazing!

We stopped at all the stores, unfortunately some of them don’t like pictures being taken (for fear of recreation without purchase), so I couldn’t take pictures of everything that I wanted to.

So yeah,, besides being an awesome time outside, I enjoyed all the different food styles they had to offer. The options were mostly renaissance themed (I would have gotten some, but the lines were horrible and then they needed time to make more of it so I couldn’t get any).

018While we were waiting for one of the many entertainment shows to begin, I decided to get something that grabbed my attention before: Fried Cheese Curds.

016These cheese curds, when fried, tasted like little grilled cheese sandwiches, they were so delicious and cute!!

Throughout the day, I was also munching on some cinnamon-spiced almonds. They roast the almonds and then coat them in a cinnamon and spice candy mix that hardens onto the almond and makes them sweet, extra crunchy, and delicious!

 

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Around lunchtime, we all got some gyros (only place that didn’t have a line that stretched around the building) and it was one of the best gyros i have had. They had some homemade Tahiti sauce along with tomatoes, red onion, lettuce, and some delicious lamb beef. It was tender, the pita bread was fluffy and warm, and the flavors mixed beautifully.

 

The other pictures that I took are of some of the amazing vendors and their wares.

 

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This is where you can find hand blown glass items. They have shows that show how they make it but the previous night’s storm made them cancel it. Their stuff is beautiful and original. You could even ask if they could make you some totally to your liking (be prepared to pay extra though) They make everything from vases to glasses for aromatic oils and stuff like that.

 

 

Here is where hand-forged metal statues and lawn ornaments are sold. The ornaments are absolutely breath-taking and some can even shoot water out (or fire if you have a gas line).

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This place sells hand-carved wooden animals, fictional and real, and paints them. We actually saw him carve out a bear there at his store. It was fascinating how he could see the bear inside the block of wood so that he could carve it out.

 

 

Today was a great day, with amazing food, incredible people, and priceless memories!

 

Dine/Hangout with me again!

Zachary :)

 

 

 

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Casa Too Mucha Review :)

Casa Too Mucha Review :)

Hello Diners!

Today, the dads and me decided to go to their favorite mexican restaurant called Casa Too Mucha. The place is this little adorable restaurant with some of the nicest, sociable people working there. To me, having a waiter that is professional, yet social is one of the keys to a successful establishment. You want someone that can take your customer’s order, but at the same time make a quick conversation to relax and make the customer feel more at ease. Our waitress demonstrated a beautiful mix of professional and social abilities. When you are seated, a complimentary bowl of ships and salsa is brought to your table, as a palette cleanser and opener. We ordered a side of onion rings and salads for our starters.018

 

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For dinner, my Dad ordered an Enchilada with chorizo (a spicy Mexican sausage0 and baked in a ,eium-hot tomato-based sauce. When I tasted the sacue, i got a gradual heat, but amazing flavor. you could tell that they toke their time making sure that the sauce was flavorful enough before adding the heat.

 

 

022My Step-Dad also ordered an Enchilada, but his was stuffed with pork and baked in a mild sour cream-based sauce. His sauce could be used in any situation. The spice mix and the creamy, sour cream mix beautifully to creat a lovely dip or baking ingredient to infuse those flavors without using too much fat and grease.

 

020For my dinner, i ordered a Chimichanga with, wait for it, wait for it, turkey breast inside. You could tell that these guys carefully roasted the turkey, and then fork-shredded it just by the flavor and the thickness of the meat inside the Chimichanga. The flavors matched beautifully and each one complemented and enhanced the other.

Dinner was absolutely amazing, and I would love to go back there!

Dine with me again!

-Zachary :)

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7/16/13

7/16/13

Hey Diners!

Sorry this post is a little late, but here it is now!!

So Monday, the dads and me toke out a turkey roast to defrost so that we can use it for Tuesday. When Tuesday night came, we took the roast out of the fridge and cut it open. We were kinda shocked when the whole thing fell apart into a few different pieces. 

Thats when all three of us basically had the same idea: Cut it into smaller bits and grill it, then slice it for sandwiches! So we cut it up, and seasoned it with celery salt and a garlic and pepper spice blend, and then my Dad grilled them.006

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We also had some sweet potato slices that we wanted to use for something, so we decided to make grill roasted sweet potatoes spiced with brown sugar and cloves. We wrapped them in aluminum foil so that they wouldn’t stick to the grill and so that they won’t absorb the flavor of the turkey that we were grilling as well.

 

 

 

 

When everything was done grilling/roasting, we assembled our sandwiches. Dad sliced the turkey so that our sandwiches would be more evenly proportioned and to hold our tomatoes and onion that we cut up as well. We had a lot of turkey left over, so I toke some extra and put it on my plate with some barbecue sauce and sriracha sauce on the side. The sweet potatoes absorbed the cloves’ warm and spicy flavors amazingly and the brown sugar caramelized on them so that it coated nicely without being too overbearing on the sweet potatoes.

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The meal was absolutely delicious and the time spent creating it makes it an even better memory! I love cooking and I love family, so cooking with family is all I need to keep me happy and content.

Thanks to all my subscribers, followers, and people who are sharing this around! I am truly thankful!!

Dine with me again!

-Zachary :)

 

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Thank You For the Helpful Suggestion

Thank You For the Helpful Suggestion

I want to just put a post thanking on of my subscribers for a helpful comment and suggestion about the page. Apparently, people on mobile devices that went on this site could not adjust the size of the post. I can say that, as of now, that is no longer an issue.

I want to thank my subscriber for that wonderful heads-up.

And, if anyone has any helpful tips, suggestions, or comments about this blog, please do not hesitate to comment on this post and tell me what you would suggest. I am making this blog for you guys, so I want you all to have the best reading experience there is.

Happy Dining :)

Zachary

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Today’s Day of Culinary Awesomeness!!!

Today’s Day of Culinary Awesomeness!!!

Hello Diners,

Today will go down as a day of culinary awesomeness because I had such a variety of culture today. For breakfast, the dads, our friend Alison, and me went to Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner and we had omelets, hash browns, and coffee (a amazing American dish). WE talked about our week and what are plans were for the day and relaxed and enjoyed the food. I had their Italian Breakfast omelet. This omelet had Italian sausage, pork sausage, mushrooms, and provolone cheese in it and was delicious (except for the giant chunks of mushroom, but I ate some of them anyway) and some hash browns with coffee and grapefruit juice to drink. When the dads and me got home, they started their little projects while I looked through some apps on my iPod for ideas for dinner. My dad’s project was touching up another chair from a 40+ year old set (the results look like something from an antique show, absolutely beautiful) and placing a solar light above my step-dad’s home-made country star ( he took a wooden palette and cut into a star, then painted and polyurethaned it; it’s really cute). My step-dad’s project was to start assembling the parts for his birdhouse/aesthetic miniature farm house for the front yard. It is coming along nicely.

Minar Menu

For lunch, I decided to re-heat some of that Chicken Primavera from dinner the other night and spice it up a little bit. I put a little grind of garlic mix (dried garlic, red and black peppercorns, salt, oregano) into it and mixed it together. The flavors mixed beautifully and added more profiles and levels to it . A great remake of an Italian dish. Still very light and flavorful, and just as delicious.20130710-222900.jpg

I was still looking for ideas for dinner tonight when my step-dad, Stephen, came inside and told me that we were going out to eat with his mother, Fredi, his dad, Charles Edward, and his sister, Lisa, and her husband, Kem, to an Indian restaurant. 020I was so excited because it would be first time eating authentic Indian food outside of school and I was so ready to see what we would all get. When we got there I  was amazed in the beauty of the interior. They had beautiful Indian-themed paintings and metal animal statuettes along the walls and the atmosphere felt very relaxing and calm. I could smell a hint of cardamom and cumin and those two scents are very relaxing to me, it also made me more excited to try the food and see how their spices and the boldness of their food was.

008For our appetizers, we ordered different things to share around the table: we had Vegetable Pakora (fried vegetables spiced with cumin and coriander), Vegetable Samosa (fried and spiced potato and pea turnovers), Bhel Puri (pulsed flour, peas, corn flakes, peanuts, masoor sal, chan dal, edible oil, spices, and salt all mixed in a sweet and spicy sauce),

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Chili pakora (fried green chilies that have been marinated in spiced yogurt), and Shrimp pakora (spiced yogurt marinated shrimp that is fried golden brown).

 

We all ordered different dishes for our main dish as well:

Charles ordered Chicken Mango(white meat chicken cooked with mango slices and mild spices), 013
Fredi ordered Eggplant Masala(eggplant that has been cooked and chopped and cooked with Indian spices and herbs, which include cardamom, cumin, cayenne, tamarind, and coriander), 018
Kem ordered Lamb Tikka Masala(pieces of lamb that have been marinated in Indian spices and grilled and placed in a creamy sauce consisting of herbs and spices) 019
Stephen ordered Vegetable Manchurian(fried vegetable dumplings complimented with a hearty tomato sauce with Indian spices) 014
Dad ordered Chicken Cheese Masala(pieces of chicken that has been cooked with cheese and Indian herbs and spices, and served in a gravy of those elements) 015
Lisa ordered Navrattan Korma (Seasonal vegetables that have been marinated in yogurt then cooked to perfection in cream and traditional spices and herbs) 016
and I ordered a Lamb Rogan Josh(pieces of lamb that have been cooked in onion gravy and served with a pinch of fresh coriander on top to balance spice and flavor). 011
We also had plain naan and garlic naan. Naan is an Indian bread that is cooked in a tandoori clay oven, they make the dough as normal, poke holes into it to ensure fluffiness but not over-fluffiness and then they stick it on the side of the clay oven. This oven can reach up to 500 degrees, so in only a matter of seconds the naan is done and then they personalize it with either garlic butter, cheese, herbs and spices, or just leave it plain. 021
 Traditional complimentary table appetizer 007
 A key part of this day, beside being able to spend time with family and friends over great food and atmosphere, is that I got to go back into the kitchen and physically see how the naan is made.The oven was a thing of beauty and the heat it radiated could outmatch a furnace any day. I loved every second of today and I only wish I could live like that everyday  immersing myself in several different cultures in a day, challenging my taste buds to pick subtle hints of different and exotic spices. 022

Eat.Live.Love.

Dine with me again!

-Zachary :)

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Dinner tonight!!

Dinner tonight!!

Hello Diners!!
To ought I decided to make dinner again for the dads. Tonight I made my version of chicken primavera. My version used chicken that was marinated in a like vinaigrette for a week, some elbow pasta, a cheese sauce consisting of cheddar, Parmesan, and aged provolone cheese, carrots, onion, and sugar snap peas. I sautéed the vegetables together and mixed it with the chicken and pasta. The mixture of the cheeses and the lime vinaigrette complemented each other well and made for a delicious dinner. The meal was light, full of different flavors, textures, and filling. Another win!!!

Dine with me again,
Zachary :)

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July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

Hello Diners!

Today I decided to make dinner for the dads and me (something I do not do enough of here, unfortunately), so I decided to make sweet potato chips (baked, not fried) and some veggie burgers. I coated the sweet potatoes in some oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar and baked them off (I got a little distracted and some of them got a little extra crispy). By that time, the dads were home and I got my dad to turn the grill on (I did not want to try my luck and end up burning the house down) and threw the veggie burgers on the grill for a little bit. We topped our burgers with some aged provolone, lettuce, me and my dad put sriracha on ours while my step-father put dijon mustard on his. For our sides we had some pasta salad and potato salad, so we could continue our cookout theme :). The meal was delicious and the quality time spent at the dinner table was priceless.

Dine with me again,

Zachary :)

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