New School Hamburger Gravy

When I was in grammar school at Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood, California, about once every two weeks we had Hamburger Gravy and Mashed Potatoes.  I really loved that dish, it was my favorite.  All the other stuff was pretty bland, and actually kind of nasty, especially the paper thin cheeseburgers.  For years and years, I have been trying to replicate the special taste of that gravy, and have been pretty much successful. Years ago, when I first met Chef John Farion, he treated some friends and I to dinner at another chef’s restaurant on Melrose .  I ordered the filet mignon with blue cheese sauce.  It was truly fantastic, and I have been pairing blue cheese with beef ever since.  I guess I’m not the only one, even Carl’s Jr. now has a steakhouse burger featuring blue cheese. I get my blue cheese at the Armenian stores, for … Continue reading

Italian Dinner – Fennel Pork Chops and Risotto with Mushrooms and Saffron

Recipes in this Post Italian Fennel Pork Chops Risotto with Mushrooms and Saffron Sundays are the day in our family where we really try to keep the Sabbath day. We go to Mass, and I try to not get on the computer. No working on Sunday, sometimes not even to get email. Spane really likes going to the 5:30 p.m. Mass, the Life Teen Mass, mainly because it is a more youthful Mass, with a band that plays guitar, drum and piano, with really good jazzy singers. I like going to the earlier Masses because I really like listening to Holy Family’s award winning choir. I like to sing, too. Usually, we go to 5:30 Mass, so I don’t have that much time to make a real “Sunday” dinner, but today we went to 11:00 Mass, so I did. I thought that this was a good opportunity to praise God … Continue reading

Chinese Five Spice Tandoori Chicken

Recipes in this Post Chinese Five Spice Tandoori Chicken Herbed Rice Last night I was watching an ancient Iron Chef, from the original series where everything was dubbed, May 7, 1999. It was a famous chef in Japan, Takeshi Ōkubo, who specialized in Chinese cuisine, up against the Chinese Iron Chef, Chen Kenichi. The Iron Chef did not win :-(, but it did give me some ideas for dinner tonight. It’s been hot and muggy in Los Angeles, and I really don’t want to get my house hotter than it is – the evaporative cooler (aka swamp cooler) is going full blast. Nesco to the rescue. I had some chicken thighs in the freezer, and yogurt, and I was getting a whole bunch of spices when I saw the curry jar and decided to use it. That’s when the Chinese aspect hit me, I also have a long forgotten jar … Continue reading

Books! Wonderful Books!

Recipes in this Post Hungarian Porkchops Dollar Bookstore in Burbank A few years ago, my friends took me to this wonderful bookstore where all the books were only $1.00 – A Dollar! I love to read, and I love having hard cover books sitting in my library where I can read them any time I want. There are a few books that I read a long time ago, that I knew I loved, and I love rereading them! I had the fortune of going to the Burbank Centennial celebration , and was able to pick up some out of print books to add to my collection. I had to be careful, because the car was several blocks from the bookstore, and books get heavy! Jeff Smith Jeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet Series. I used to love watching the Frugal Gourmet when it was on PBS. No matter what Jeff Smith did, … Continue reading

Spane’s Birthday – The Prep

Recipes in this post Birthday Grapefruit Cake Spinach Balls Ham Rolls Big Five Pepper Chili for the Nesco Sweet Corn Muffins Spane’s birthday is tomorrow, November 21, 2010.  He is going to be 7 years old!  So, like every birthday there is the preparation for the party.  This year will be the first one where he gave out invitations. Originally, we were going to have the party at Carr Park, but since it is supposed to rain, Amber volunteered to host the party at her house.  That meant sending out notices to everyone to let them know about the change of venue.  I hope everyone will make it.