Monday, November 22, 2010

Eating in Kyoto

Kyoto was the second stop on my Japanese adventure. It was so different from Tokyo. Where Tokyo is all about modern Japan, Kyoto felt like it was all about traditional Japan. What better place to try okonomiyaki?

We stayed at a great little hostel called the Capsule Hotel that had showers right in the room with blue lights inside them (romantic? sexy?). They also gave us a little guide that showed local restaurants that were near where we were staying, economical, and had various types of Japanese food. It was so helpful! The first night we went for okonomiyaki at Chabana. The one above is seafood and the one below is chicken and leek. It is like a savoury pancake - batter poured over "fillings" and cabbage, topped with Japanese mayo and a sweet sauce. They were really good, but very rich, so by the end you feel crazy full.

After, even though we were stuffed, we stopped at a "standing bar" and couldn't resist splitting tempura ice cream. To die for!

While in Kyoto we visited the Nishiki Market. It was crazy! Read the sign below the octopus lollipops. We saw a guy buy three! Also, check out the sack of fish row. It was the size of a small salmon.
In the middle of our big temple and shrine touring day we stopped for our favourite: Tonkatsu.

One evening we went to an amazing Yakitori place. Basically Yakitori is grilled skewers of chicken, but not just chicken breast, all sorts of chicken parts. We had chicken skin, chicken meatballs (middle right), chicken hearts (top right), a lot of chicken thigh and leek, and then we took a break from chicken and had some mushrooms wrapped in bacon (bottom left), and some littleneck clams in a wine and butter sauce (yup, as good as it sounds - bottom right). Oh I wish I could have more.
In the mornings we didn't have breakfast buffet like in Tokyo, so we stopped at a little bakery. The one on the bottom was almond paste in a pastry that was dense like a bagel, and the top one has eggs, bacon and cheese baked in. I liked that one the best.

In the morning we would also get ourselves vending machine drinks. I like the iced coffee, even though at home I don't really drink coffee, because it was heavily sweetened. My husband got hooked on Royal Milk Tea, which is basically half tea, half milk, sugared to within an inch of its life. It is served cold as well.

And what is a trip to a foreign country without a stop at McDonalds to try things we don't have at home. We got a Salt and Lemon chicken sandwich (left) and a German Sausage Chicken sandwich (right), neither of which we were very impressed with. We also got a Shake-a-Shake-a Chicken (a breaded filet with a package of seasoning in a shaking pouch). It came in pepper (good), cheese (a bit too Kraft dinner for me), and lemon (didn't try). My husband loved the white grape drink.

Unlike Tokyo, I feel like I have "done" Kyoto now, so I am not sure I will be back, but it was really nice and some of the cultural sites were amazing! It was also cute that we were approached by many groups of school children asking us to do a quick interview in English. How did they know? Haha.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Almost Pocky

I thought it would be a cute idea post-Japan to give home-made Pocky out as a Christmas treat, so this weekend I roped Court into helping me out. As she said, our efforts were "not quite Not Quite Nigella" (whose recipe & instructions I pinched). The dough was not the easiest to make without a stand mixer but I managed, and the results are remarkably close to the real thing. It also made for a fun afternoon of decorating, even if our artistic skills are approximately Grade 4 level (and I'm being generous here). For toppings, we had dark, milk, and white chocolate, and some green tea chocolate made by mixing matcha into white chocolate. Everything else was whatever I could find in the pantry: - dark chocolate shavings - yellow & pink decorating sugars - cashews - dried cranberries - ground almonds - candied ginger - kinako powder - sea salt - pepper - chili powder


Monday, November 15, 2010

Eating in Tokyo

I went to Japan! It was amazing (and much too short, but better short than not getting to go at all). For those of you that read and actually know us, it should be noted that Brooke also went to Japan, for much longer than me and has been back more than long enough to have posted first.... Anyway, here are some food pics from Tokyo. I loved Tokyo. The food was great and cheap, and the people watching was unreal (but the fashion didn't translate well for 30somthings in Canada). The above was from one of many 270 Yen places. It is 270 Yen for anything on the menu (just over $3). We had chicken skin and chicken thigh skewers, sushi, and fried shrimp (which turned out to be fried shrimp heads).

We ate a ton of Tonkatsu. This one was from a vending machine restaurant and only cost about 700 yen.
Speaking of vending machines, getting drinks anywhere at anytime was no problem. Here are some of our favourite alcoholic selections (the Chu-Hi was like a cooler but not sickly sweet like the ones here can be).
One day we went to a place called NamjaTown (which seemed to be some sort of kitty themed amusement place). It contained GyozaTown and Ice Cream City, both of which we gave a try.

When my brother was on tour in Japan, they visited Yamachan a lot for wings and then insisted we go too when we got there. It was a good recommendation. How to describe their wings? Sweet, salty and spicy all in one in perfect proportion.

A tempura restaurant on the restaurant floor of a mall.

Mmmm fried chicken (they keep a lot more fat on their meat than we do, and it is a good move taste wise) and BBQ beef in a Korean BBQ sauce. Korean BBQ sauce is everywhere and delicious!

and just for laughs, this was part of the breakfast buffet at our hotel (the B Ikebukuro). I am pretty sure it is just rice and milk, but calling it gruel is pretty funny.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rainbow Cake

My baby's favourite colour is rainbow (okay, my favourite colour for her is rainbow), so I went with that as a theme for her first birthday (how is she one already!?!?). I know, I know, it's not exactly new anymore, but I wanted to do something cute without spending hours piping little icing rosettes all over a cake. I just don't have time to spend 5 hours making a first birthday cake that she won't even remember. This rainbow cake is a great solution because it takes about 2 minutes more than any normal cake. I used a nice sugary, buttery cake recipe that has gone over well in the past. It freezes well, so I got to make it a couple of days in advance. All I did was put the batter into 5 cereal bowls and coloured each one with different food colours (yellow, orange, red, green, and blue). Then I drizzled each colour into the cake pan. Unlike marble cake, I don't swirl the colours because I want them to all be visible themselves. To finish, I iced the cake with a plain white buttercream icing. I just wanted it to look really plain on the outside so that it would be more of a surprise when it was cut. My daughter stuffed as much of a full piece as possible into her mouth and gobbled it up, so it went over well with the target audience.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Waffles - Homemade Eggos

I really like waffles. I figure an Eggo waffle on a regular basis is probably not the most healthy choice though, so the other day I decided to make my own buttermilk waffles - tons of them! - and freeze them like homemade Eggos. I guess it may have also had something to do with the fact that I accidentally bought a big thing of buttermilk instead of homo milk. Why are they almost the same!?!? Anyway, this is my favourite waffle recipe, and freezing them and then toasting them in the morning worked out really well. I got the recipe from the Epicurious website:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk

  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

  • 2 large eggs

  • Vegetable oil for waffle iron

  • Put oven rack in middle position and put a large metal cooling rack directly on it. Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.

    Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

    Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs in another bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined.

    Brush hot waffle iron lightly with vegetable oil and pour a slightly rounded 1/2 cup of batter into each waffle mold (see cooks' note, below). Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer as cooked to rack in oven to keep warm, keeping waffles in 1 layer to stay crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.


    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Salmon Salad

    I still exist! I'm going to go ahead and assume most of our readers have jumped ship under the assumption that we did. I'm still here, still cooking and baking, still eating, just have not been posting thanks to my little one's need for attention and her love of my laptop (I need to keep it hidden or risk losing keys). This is an oldie from the summer, but I wanted to pop something up during nap time so that I can try and get back into blogging. Nothing fancy, just took some leftover BBQ salmon (BBQ'd with butter, lemon and dill) and flaked it on top of spinach and mixed salad greens from my garden. I added some dried cranberries and goat cheese because I like adding those to most salads, and then topped with a quick balsamic dressing. Yay for posting! I hope to keep it up over the next little while again since I have realized a few recipes I use a lot need to be added.


    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Simple Pork Wrap

    Celebration! I have a new computer! My old one crapped out a while ago, and I am finally getting going with my new one, but it will take some time to transfer all my photos and files over. Really it's great though because I have so much spare time to do stuff like that - haha. I have now put that task on my husband's to do list. As seems to be the case all the time now, I have been keeping things simple on the cooking side. The other day I made a pork tenderloin crusted in rosemary, thyme, oregano, and whole grain mustard. I love making little roasts because they leave me with great leftovers for lunches. I made a little variation on an old favourite proscuitto sandwich of mine.

    Basically the elements end up being very similar. I used sliced pork instead of proscuitto, a pesto wrap instead of the ciabatta bun, stuck with the apple and sharp cheddar, and added in a mix of spinach and baby kale from my garden. Simple, healthy, and easy to eat with one hand (which is a major bonus for me these days since I can now do most things around my house one handed).


    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Restaurant Update

    It's not like I am eating out a lot lately, but I thought that it was about time to start updating The Restaurant List slowly but surely since I have not been keeping up with openings and closings. I started today with St. Albert because it is small, manageable, and we live here. There are some new places, some that I just hadn't listed before, and some places have new websites - yay! I'll be trying to update other sections over the next bit, but feel free to leave a note if your fave is not on the list.


    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Chicken, Fig and Mushroom Wilted Salad

    This salad is perhaps the opposite of healthy. It is, however, extremely delicious. Also incredibly easy - made up on the fly, as it was - providing you have some pretty obscure ingredients to hand. Luckily, I had stopped by the Italian Centre on the weekend and noticed fresh figs (which I had not previously tried) and my freezer has goodies like the pan scrapings from a roast goose. Fabulous, and under 10 minutes to make.

    Chicken, Fig & Mushroom Salad (serves 1):
    100g chicken thigh or breast, cubed
    large handful crimini mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 onion, sliced
    1 fresh fig, quartered
    very large handful spinach leaves
    1 tbsp goose fat
    1/4 cup goose pan scrapings
    salt & pepper

    The pan scrapings and goose fat meant I did not have to spend any time worrying about flavouring for the meat. To start off, I melted the goose fat in a fry pan and cooked the onion and mushrooms until softened. Those were set aside and the pan scrapings were added to the pan with the chicken until cooked through. The spinach was topped with the mushrooms and onion and those were topped with the chicken. Then I added the fig and some good bread to mop up the drippings, and had a lovely al fresco dinner.


    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Avocado Pear Salad

    A few weeks ago I was over at Court's for a family dinner and forced(!) onto salad duty. Without any pre-planning, we had to work with what she had on hand, and also work around preferences that include no balsamic vinegar and no strong cheese. Surprisingly, this was a hit with everyone. I say surprisingly because Court's husband claims to not like pears or avocado, and my dad claims to not like avocado and cheese.

    Avocado Pear Salad:
    1 head romaine lettuce
    1 avocado, chopped
    1 pear, chopped
    goat cheese

    Sweet Vinaigrette: (my new go-to)
    2 tbsp minced onion
    1 tbsp dijon mustard
    1 tsp honey
    salt & pepper
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 cup rice wine vinegar


    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Melting Pot - Bad Pictures, Good Times

    I think I have mentioned before that Brooke and I are in a dinner club. Last month, we hit up the Melting Pot fondue restaurant. I have to say that our little group of four had a fantastic time enjoying this very unique dining experience. A few notes to start, I would definitely recommend going as a group of four - a lot of the meals are priced per couple, and a group of four allows you to try two different cook styles, and I would also make sure you have some time to spend out - our dinner took close to three hours, and we felt like we were moving at a pretty good clip.

    Seeing as our dinner club is more about experience than budget consciousness, we decided to go with the Big Night Out feature menu. It is a four course meal starting with a cheese fondue, followed by a salad course, then an entree, and finally a dessert. Although each meal is set out in the menu, you are able to change out items from the a la carte menu, and we did so that we got to try more options.
    For the first course, we stuck with one of the suggested cheese dips: the Feng Shui, and substituted in one Fiesta. The reviews were mixed from the group. I really liked the Feng Shui, it was very much what one would expect from a traditional cheese fondue. Made with gruyere cheese, white wine, mirin and sake, it was subtle and delicious. I wasn't as taken with the Fiesta. It was cheddar with jalapenos and salsa, and reminded me a bit too much of "nacho" cheese. Our cheese dips were served nice and warm with sides of raw veggies, breads, tortilla chips and granny smith apples. I thought the best pairing was the apple with the Feng Shui. The tartness of the apple paired perfectly with the boozy cheese.

    The second course of salad wraps was mostly filler for us. Honestly, with picking all the other dishes, we paid very little attention to the salad course. Really though, how can salad compare with melty cheese or melty chocolate? We were careful not to fill up on the salad, which was not difficult as the salad wraps had some mint in them, and that didn't appeal to any of us.
    For our main, we went with the bourguignonne (oil), and the coq au vin (burgundy wine, broth, herbs, mushrooms, garlic). The bourguignonne also cam with a tempura and sesame batters. We had entree plates that were packed with selection. There was ahi tuna, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, lobster, veggie dumplings, mushrooms, potatoes, and broccoli. As if the food and cook styles didn't offer enough variety, there were sauces as well! The sauces are a bit of challenge to remember, so I may not have each of them 100%. There was a flavoured butter, two different cheesy sauces (one that made for great stuffed mushrooms), a plum sauce, a curry sauce, a teryaki sauce, and one other that I can't recall. Darn it! I knew my memory would fail me.

    The bourguignonne was generally the favourite, but it got very hot and therefore it was a bit difficult to cook the chicken and pork through without overdoing the exterior. The coq au vin was also very nice, but without the batters, it didn't rate quite as highly with our group.

    Eating this way was tons of fun. We all shared tips on what were the best combos, and the cooking gave us lots of time for visiting in between. The time just flew by.
    They saved the best for last. I would definitely go back again just for dessert, and without being as full when it arrived I would be tempted to eat any left overs like soup (I'm classy like that). We totally abandoned the Big Night Out for these choices, and had a very difficult time choosing. In the end we went with one Original (milk chocolate with a swirl of peanut butter), and one Flaming Turtle (milk chocolate, pecans, caramel, and yes, it was flambeed!). We got strawberries, bananas, pineapple, cheesecake, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies for dipping. Just seeing the dipping tray come out was exciting. It's hard to describe how good this all was. I was lusting over the cheesecake dipped in the chocolate and peanut butter fondue for days after. To be truthful, I am lusting after still at this very moment. Yum....

    In the end, the bill was a bit pricey (with drinks we were at $60 and higher per person), but to recreate this experience at home would also be pricey and very time intensive. All in all I would say it is worth it for an occasional fun night out. Make sure you go with people that don't mind sharing, and have similar tastes as you so that you can try more. I will be back at some point for sure.


    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Pulled Pork

    Does everyone get a slow cooker when they get married? I think slow cookers are like fondue pots that way. I seem to use mine in fits and spurts, but at the moment it is back in my regular dinner rotation. Why? Pulled pork! I love getting pulled pork sandwiches at pubs and restaurants. When we were down in Palm Springs this past winter it seemed to be the thing to have on every happy hour menu. There's a good reason for that, it's cheap and delicious!

    The hardest part about this is just remembering to take a pork shoulder out of the freezer, and putting the slow cooker on the counter so that when you wake up you remember to pop the roast into it. Pork shoulders are fantastically inexpensive and manage to produce a huge amount of meat. The best part is that left over meat makes excellent sandwiches/wraps/quesadillas etc.

    I generally do the pork roast in one of two ways. The first is to pop it in as is, turn it once or twice during the day if I have time, and just leave it cooking on low for 8-12 hours.

    If I feel a bit more ambitious, I throw the roast in a freezer bag overnight with a rub of about 1/4 cup sea salt, 3/4 cup brown sugar, a couple of tbsp of cumin and one tbsp of chilli powder. Other than tossing stuff in a bag, it is the same as above in terms of preparation.
    When the shoulder is all cooked, you just pull it out and use a couple of forks to "shred" it. It pretty much falls apart as soon as you touch it. I do get rid of a little of the outer fat if I see any big chunks, and I take off the skin. Some people might be a bit put off seeing the skin, but the skin and fat are where all the flavour and moisture come from. If you are a bit more adventurous, you can make crackling with the skin (we did this once, but over did it sadly). Cooked pork skin is tasty, but not exactly diet friendly. Also, if I don't do the rub, I will sometimes make a pan gravy from the drippings. If I use the rub, the drippings are a bit too salty to make a usable gravy.


    Monday, June 7, 2010

    JapaDog - Vancouver

    My child is a seven month old jet setter. Already having flown to Palm Springs twice, she got to accompany my husband and I to Vancouver a few weekends ago as well. Airplanes are old news to her. She was great walking around, and that gave us a chance to see a lot more of the city than we expected. With the goal of trying to eat some interesting food while staying child friendly, we followed Anthony Bourdain's lead and hit up the JapaDog stand by our hotel.

    Apparently many celebrities have done the same thing - haha!

    I went with the Terimayo dog (teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and seaweed flakes). It was good. I think some people would find it a bit sweet, but I thought it was quite a lot like a sweet BBQ sauce, which I enjoyed. The seaweed was a bit daunting. I wasn't sure I would be able to eat it without spilling everywhere, but it was good, and not as overpowering as I feared. My husband had the Oroshi dog, and it had tons of radish on it. He found that to be a bit intense, and was feeling it all day afterward.

    It is definitely worth a stop next time you are downtown Vancouver and looking for a quick bite. I intend to hit it up again next time we are there and try a different offering.


    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    Pecan Scones for a Chilly Spring Weekend

    A rainy weekend is perfect for doing not much at all. This morning my Corporate Challenge event was cancelled due to the poor weather, so I got to head home to make a tasty brunch for myself. I found a recipe a while ago on Chowhound (but failed to keep a link to the original post) and while I personally thought these were a bit too vanilla-y and sugary, they were a hit with everyone else who tried them. Who am I to judge?

    Pecan Scones (makes 8):
    2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
    1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
    1 egg
    1 tbsp vanilla
    1/2 cup cold whole cream
    1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
    1/2 cup dried fruit (I used PC Mixed Dried Berries)

    Preheat oven to 375F/190C. In a food processor, quickly blitz the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and butter. Mix together the egg, vanilla, and cream, then add slowly to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until just blended, then mix in the nuts and fruit. The mixture will be very dry, so just dump everything out and form into a circle about 1 inch high. Cut into eighths and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 17 minutes.


    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Cheese-y Chicken Quesadillas

    While it's been so hot lately, I've been doing anything I can to avoid turning on the oven. My house is already a sauna, and there's no need to make it worse. My limited barbecue skills only get me so far, so my latest easy dinner has been quesadillas. Pretty much anything goes, so I can use whatever I have on hand to fill them.

    Chicken Quesadillas (for 2):
    2 chicken thighs, chopped in 1cm cubes
    grapeseed oil
    salt & pepper
    rosemary, finely chopped
    garlic, minced
    1/4 small eggplant, chopped
    1/4 small zucchini, chopped
    2 button mushrooms, chopped
    1/4 red pepper, chopped
    2 multigrain tortillas
    cheddar cheese, shredded

    In a fry pan heat up a little oil and add the chicken, s&p, rosemary, and garlic and heat through. Remove to a bowl, then add the vegetables to the same pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the chicken and mix together. Wipe clean the pan and put back on medium heat, lay down the first tortilla, add the mix and about 2 tbsp shreded cheese (or more!) to one side of the tortilla then fold over. Heat until nicely browned on both sides and the cheese is melted. Repeat.


    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Asparagus Tart

    As a stay at home mom, I have been doing more than the usual amount of ladies lunches and brunches. With the spring influx of asparagus, I decided to make an asparagus tart. It was very easy since I never make my own pastry. It's the kind of thing you can make that will make your guest feel special, but that won't take you all day to make.

    Asparagus Tart:
    One box of puff pastry (rolled out)
    One bunch of Asparagus
    5-6 good sized mushrooms, sliced
    2 eggs, beaten
    A wedge of brie
    Chives, salt and pepper to taste

    Start by baking the asparagus and sliced mushrooms for 5 minutes at 425F in olive oil salt and pepper. This just makes sure they will be cooked through even if the asparagus is thick.

    Take the puff pastry and roll up the edges a bit. Poke some holes in it with a fork or knife so that it doesn't bubble up while cooking. Lay out the asparagus and mushrooms to cover. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg, and then pour the remaining egg over the tart. Cover with slices of the brie and chives and bake for 20-30 minutes (until pastry is brown). The second time I made this I added some slivers of onion, which added some nice flavour. Yum!


    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Mango & Papya Salad

    Summer weather calls for easy summer flavours. The other day I read an article indicating that North Americans get most of their "phytonutrients" from sources that are not as rich as they could be. One of the switches they recommended was to eat more papya instead of oranges, so last time I was at the store I went and bought me a papya. What to do with a papya though.... Well, mangos were on sale as well, and I regularly get avocado and feta, and that's all this salad takes! It tastes so tropical and fresh, and the saltiness of the feta keeps it from being too sweet. This is the way summer should taste, and this is the amount of time summer cooking should take. I plan to have this with fish next time I BBQ.


    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Vietnamese-style Pork Burgers

    I've been playing around with a recipe for Vietnamese meatballs for a few years now, and have only recently gotten close to the flavour I was looking for. For any of you trying this at home, do not think that you will ever get close without fish sauce... even if you hate fish sauce. Yes, it is one of the most rank smelling foods I've had to work with, but the umami it imparts cannot be beaten. I decided to use this to update a standard burger, and served it with sliced chinese cabbage for some crunch and thinned out Thai Peanut Sauce instead of ketchup.

    Vietnamese-style Pork Burgers (makes 6)
    500g lean ground pork
    1/2 onion, diced
    2 stalks lemongrass
    3 cloves garlic
    1/2 tbsp szechuan pepper
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1/4 cup breadcrumbs

    Blitz lemongrass and garlic in the food processor until nearly a puree, then toss in the diced onion to chop a bit more finely. Mix thoroughly with the pork, fish sauce, and breadcrumbs, adding the pepper and salt to taste. (To check the flavour, pinch off a small bit and cook in a fry pan. This may seem like a waste of time, but I find I never quite achieve the taste I'm looking for without doing this.)

    Grabbing small handfuls, shape into patties. I stack my leftovers between layers of parchment paper and wrap for freezing. The remaining can be pan cooked over medium-low heat or done on the barbecue. Serve with sliced chinese cabbage and peanut sauce on hamburger buns.


    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Prawn Sandwich

    Dear British Soccer Fans,
    I don't know why I am supposed to feel dissed when you call me a "prawn sandwich eater." I get that it basically means I am hoity toity, but really, who wouldn't want to sit in the nicer seats at the game, and more importantly, who wouldn't want to eat prawn sandwiches. Prawns are delicious. I think I will make myself a prawn sandwich right now.
    Sincerely CourtJ

    I seriously eat tons of prawn sandwiches. I always keep frozen uncooked prawns in the freezer because they take seconds to defrost, and so I can make myself a meal that feels fancy - because it has seafood in it - without having to do advance planning. For me a prawn sandwich is made up quite a lot like a tuna sandwich. I make up a "salad" with the prawns, some finely diced onion, peppers and mayo, and then layer the salad with other fixings to make an open faced sandwich that I warm up. Today's had goat cheese, finely sliced tomato and avocado. It's nice that something so easy to make can feel like such a treat!


    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Jackalope Ranch - Palm Springs

    I'm a bit late with this one, especially since Palm Springs snowbird season is coming to an end, but I was looking through my food pictures and the salmon made my mouth water, so here it is. I love going down to Palm Springs. My husband calls it the big easy because my parents take such good care of us when we stay down there with them (they also babysit so we get blissful time alone!). The thing about the Big Easy is that they sure love their happy hours. Stereotypical? Yes. True though, and oh so good.

    Jackalope Ranch is right by my parent's place, and it is owned by the same people as Babes (down at "the River" for those of you who frequent Palm Desert). Technically I think it is in Indio, but Palm Springs and all the other desert cities basically seem like one spread out place. We go to Jackalope's for happy hour at least once every time we are in town. The food costs between $4 and $8 and it goes from 3 pm to 6 pm. Perfect for an early dinner, and a lot of the "appetizers" offered are easily dinner sized seeing as many come with fries.

    The corn and shrimp chowder and the pulled pork sandwich are the favorites in our family, but everything we have had there has been good for the money. Here are some lovely pictures showing a few menu selections from various visits. On an overcast day like today I sure miss sitting on their gorgeous patio enjoying snacks and drinks.