Oranges and I am not talking about OJ.

Every year my parents get a nice Christmas present from a friend.  They have actually been getting the same gift for over 6 years.  And the truth is, we all look forward to them.  By them, I am referring to Cushman’s Honeybell Oranges.  These oranges have got to be the juiciest oranges I have ever had.  They are so juicy, that they even arrive with bibs.   Bad part is that the Honeybells are only available between January and February.

My parents got some this past week and I got to enjoy a few.  If you want to give them a try order a box or 2 from Cushman’s Honeybell Oranges.

Cushman's Honeybell Oranges

Inkan Corn Nuts

On my parents recent trip to Peru, they picked up the Peruvian version of Corn Nuts.  The corn is made from Peruvian Giant Corn.  They also have a few Roasted Plantains.  If you want to give them a try follow the below link.

Inka Crops

Herbs

The week before last I was hanging at my moms house and noticed that she had planted some Cuban Oregano and another type or oregano in a small flower pot.  I figured I could do the same so I head down to Lowe’s and the Farmers Market  with Stacy to pick up some stuff for my little garden.

I purchased 4 wooden barrel type planters and filled them with herbs.  The collection of herbs consist of the following.

  • 2 Rosemary
  • 4 Cilantro
  • 4 Greek Oregano
  • 2 Lemon Basil
  • 2 Sweet Basil
  • 2 Hot and Spicy Oregano
  • 1 Pineapple Mint
  • 1 Peppermint
  • 2 Cuban Oregano

I also planted some banana pepper, Jalapeno Pepper and some chili peppers in a different planter.  I also planted some garlic, Cipolline, and shallots.

I plan to build some large planters and plants some taters, cucumbers, tomatoes or anything else that comes to mind.

Below is a photo of 4 of the planters.  If you have suggestions on other herbs I should try to grow, please let me know.

 

 

 

Spices and everything nice…

For the past year, I haven been driving in the Carefour Mall on Poplar and Kirby. The other day, I fininally stopped by to take a look. The store I popped into was Penzeys Spices. They have every kind of spice and herb you could imagine for cooking and they are much fresher than the once at the local grocery store. I believe I spent close to $70.

My favorite so far is the Sandwich Sprinkle. Go pick up some herbs and spices.

Tea

Recently, I have started drinking tea in the hopes of shedding my dependency of Mountain Dew. Not that I am really dependent, it is just my version of coffee. True, some tea still has caffeine, it is just healthier than Mountain Dew. I have a few favorites already.

Now all I need to do is find myself a good coffee cup. So, if anyone sees any cool looking coffee mugs send them over. It would be especially nice to have one from Krakow.

Paella Time

Last night I got lucky and got to enjoy some great Seafood Paella. Of course, my mom did most of the prep work and I did the cooking outside on the Paella Pan. It turned out pretty good. It had Shrimp, Lobster, Scallops, Clams Mussels, and Octopus. I only ate the first 2.

Some photos can be found at Flickr.

The picture blur should prove that I need a new camera.

Cheese

If you are like me and enjoy some pasta, then here is something you will like. Kraft recently came out with a self grating Parmesan Cheese. Compared to the other Kraft Parmesan Cheeses this new version is even better. Below is the old version on the left and the new version on the right. Give it a try as you can truly taste the difference.

No Sashimi for you.

Like many people, I was very skeptical about eating Sushi for the first time. Now it is one of my favorite meals. Of course, I won’t eat any of the raw stuff. I am a cooked sushi fan. No Sashimi for me. I have been eating Sushi for way over 4 years and have a long list of favorites and am willing to give almost any sushi a try. Below are some of my favorites.

Artic Roll
Blues Club
California Roll
Crunchy Crab
Crunchy Shrimp
House Cucumber Roll
Lobster Roll
Philly Roll
Rock n Roll
Sekisui Roll
Mi Mi
Tornado (no spice)
Shrimp Nigiri
Cucumber Roll
Vegetable Roll

I would be willing on making my own Sushi to save some cash, but I still have not mastered the rice. I did take Sushi Classes at Viking with instructor Jimmy Ishii a few years ago with Tony Roy. Only part I did not like about the class is that the Sushi Rice was already prepared and you were not really shown how to make it. The only thing they gave you was a recipe.

Hopefully, I will master making sushi in the near future.

King Cake is Here.

My king cake from Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery arrived today. Looks a little different than last time I ordered a king cake. It seems DHL took the business away from Fed Ex. I look forward to jumping into that king cake and enjoying it.

In Flight Cookies

While traveling to Krakow, Poland I always got to taste a little snack on the plane. Until now I have not been able to remember the name. The name of the cookie is Punselie’s and they are normally served on the international Delta flights.

They are 2 crispy cookies with a caramel filing and in my option taste very good. They can be found at Punselie’s web page. Order some, because I know I will.

Dark Chocolate

I am not much of an M&M’s fan, but I think I just found something that will make it a little bit easier for me to enjoy them. I am not really a fan of Milk Chocolate as I prefer the Dark Chocolate. Not sure why, it just taste better to me.

M&M’s has launched Dark Chocolate M&M’s. I will be sure to grab a little bag of these suckers to snack on at work.

More good news

I have been lucky to find out today that there is a Pepsi Machine on my floor. And of course, we all know what that means. If there is Pepsi, then that means that there is Mountain Dew.

Although, I will be continuing my effort to cut back on Mountain Dew it is nice to know that the machine is close by in case I need a quick boost.

Time for King Cake

It is that time of year for King Cakes, not that you can’t have them all year round. I have ordered a medium King Cake that will hopefully arrive this coming week. The cake which purchased online at Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery.

I will be sure to let everyone know how good it taste. If you want to find out for yourself go to Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery and order one.
Keep in mind that the price includes the price of shipping.

Gofry

While in Zakopane, Poland I smelled something that was great. I could not figure out where it was coming from, but I let my nose lead the way. The smell was a Gofry, which in essence is a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and chocolate. You did have your choice of toppings, but I chose chocolate.

Antique Dew

While doing some holiday driving I stopped by an antique store just to see what kind of stuff they had in the store. Besides having lots of junk and more junk I was able to find a jewel. I found myself an antique Mountain Dew bottle and yes I purchased it for $12.95. Now all I need to do is add an antique Mountain Dew sign.

Big Burger

The Memphis Flyer recently came out with the Best of Memphis issue. It list the best food & drink, good & services, nightlife, art & entertainment and much more. I don’t normally pick up the Memphis Flyer , but this issue caught my eye. While reading it I saw that Bigfoot Lodge won the Readers Choice for Best Restaurant. They have this huge burger that probably has over 5000 calories and could feed 3 people. They will even give you the burger for free if you can eat it in 60 minutes or less.

Perfect Grilling Glove

Usually when grilling, cooking paella, or frying a turkey my hands undergo extreme heat. I have been able to find grilling gloves, but the are one size fits all and are very loose fitting. I have been looking for a pair of cooking glove that are snug and still protect my hands and arms from the extreme heat. I found a great pair at Mechanix Gloves.

If anyone is interested feel free to buy them for me. Size is Small.

Onion Soup

Tonight I made some Onion Soup. I snatched my recipe from Food TV. It turned out pretty good for my first try. Not as good as some of the onion soups I have had in Krakow, Poland but it was a good attempt.

La Caja China

A while ago I posted about a Rotisserie Grill, but the price was way to high. So doing a little more searching and watching a little more Food TV I was able to find a good inexpensive replacement. This is a pretty good alternative, plus it also has a rotisserie piece that can be added to it.

For more information go to La Caja China.

Swanky Salad

Just to show you how Swanky Pod Roza was the other night. Check out the below salad presentation. The actual bowl is part of a head of lettuce and the lemon vinaigrette was incredible.

Sunflower Seeds

I love eating sunflower seeds, but have not really been able to find any here in Krakow, Poland until I walked into theStary Kleparz last Saturday, August 26th. Sunflowers seed are actually sold on the flowers themselves and they are huge. One Flower is easily bigger than my head.

Below is a photo to show how big they are and how they are sold.


View from Hotel Stary – Restauracja

Prior to dinner, the training team and I headed to Hotel Stary – Restaurant to have some cocktails. We sat there for one round, but that was not the best part. The best part was actually the view from the roof top restaurant/bar where you had a perfect view of St. Marys Church. The ambiance and view is definitely worth making your way to this hotel.

Polish Sausage

Today, I tried some actually Polish Sausage. My pops has been bugging me to try it. He said,”If you are in Poland, you need to try the Polish Sausage.” I did and it did not taste any different than the Sausage in the states. Though it is not really different you should, if ever in Krakow, really try to experience one of the many outdoor grills set up for many of the festivals here in Krakow. The one that I ate at was called the Bayer Grill.

Mr. Gelato Closed

It is my bad fortune that I must notify those that have been traveling to Krakow, Poland with me that Mr. Gelato has closed. They in my opinion make the best Ice Cream I have had while here in Krakow. I must now set out to find a good replacement, which I think I might have found.

Arrived In Krakow, Poland

I have arrived in Krakow, Poland and was greeted for the first time from the Holiday Inn with handmae chocolates after my very long flight. Yes, the orange and green are chocolates. It pays to be a Priority Club Member.

Food for Thought: Krakow, Poland

Below is a listing of all the restaurants I have eaten at while in Krakow, Poland. I stole this list from Brian (a co-worker) who has set a goal of 100 restaurants while in Krakow and he is actually pretty close to his goal. Of course, he has been there longer than I have and has more opportunities to go to different restaurants. This is why I have set a goal for 50 restaurants and possibly 75 after that.

As a rule I am always willing to try something new, but always order French fries to be on the safe side. Krakow, Poland seems to have the best soups out there, so if you are ever there be sure to order a soup. You might even get your soup delivered in a nice bread bowl.

Some of the information might be the same as listed on Brian`s Page, but you might find some minor changes where I either disagreed or had some additional information

Total as of September 5th, 2006 = 41
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Moderate to Expensive $$$$-Expensive

Arlecchino Ristorante: Italian. VG food. $$
Bodega Marques Winiarnia: Spanish wine bar which serves mostly tapas. It is also a wine store. The tapas were good, but lacked traditional items. $$$$
Bayer Grill: Polish. Outdoor festival Grill with traditional foods. Very good. $
Bom Fogo in the Holiday Inn: International. Good food and if you do not want to leave the room the Chicken Sandwich is da bomb. $$$.
Brasserie: French and other. $$.
Cafe FM Panorama: Little cafe at the Kopiec Kosciuszki. Just had an Ice Cream here. $
Cafe Sukiennce: Deserts. Great little desert cafe located in the Cloth Hall. $
C.K. Dezerter: Polish. Great food. Very small restaurant. $$.
Chlopskie Jadlo: Peasant Polish. Very polish. Tried to even order a Coke and was told, This is a Polish restaurant. We do not serve Coke. $.
Cherubino Polish and Tuscan. Very good food. $$.
Da Pietro: Italian. Excellent Pizza. Less than stellar service. $$.
Del Papa Ristorante: Italian. Excellent food in a pretty interior. $$.
Europejska: Polish. Good and $$.
Fabryka Pizzy: Usual location for lunch. I usually get the Bomber which is like a Calzone with less sauce. I usually have to request extra. $
Foodology: Polish lunch place. They serve great fries and a mean Chicken de Voillaile with cheese. $.
Grill 15/16: International. Best Steak and grilled chicken in Krakow.$$$
Guliwer: Provencal. Excellent food in a pretty atmosphere. $$$.
Il Calzone: Italian. Good food but nothing ordinary. $$.
Ipanema: Brazilian. Not my best meal, but could have been due to my choice of menu item. $$.
Leonardo:Italian. Exc. food in a great cellar atmosphere. $$$
Lodziarnia: Desert. Located on Grodska is the perfect replacement for Mr. Gelato. $
Loza: Pasta and other dishes. Very good food. $$.
McDonald’s: American. Believe it or not it is better than any McDonald’s in the states. Everything is fresher and no heat lamps are used. $
Metropolitan: American. They have the best hot breakfast and burger in town. $$
Mr. Gelato: Ice Cream. Great place to grab a light dessert. Bad part is that they either closed or moved locations. $
Officyna: Emphasis on Italian but many other cuisines. Has live jazz music at 9 p.m. each night. Good and inexpensive with large portions. Behind Tri-Be-Ca. $$
Orient Ekspres: Cuisine from Paris to Instanbul. Very good food. $$$.
Paese: Corsican. Very nice interior and delicious food. $$$.
Pod Gwiazdami: Polish. the food was very good even thought he restaurant was very empty. $$
Pod Krzyzykiem: Polish. $$$$.
Pod Sloncem: Polish. Great cellar atmosphere and good food. $$.
Pod Roza: Polish-Italian. Great food. $$$$$.
Slodki Wentzl: Desert. Good alternative to Lodziarnia if you want to sit on the square. $
Someplace-Else at the Sheraton Hotel: American. Great Pepito Sandwich and Death by Chocolate. $$$$
Szara Restaurant: Various cuisines. Very upscale. Very good food. My favorite is the melon with prosciutto. $$$$
Szara Restaurant in Kazimierz: Various cuisines in a less formal setting than the original. Very good food. Outdoor eating. $$$$
Szlacheckie Jadlo: Polish. Home of the famous flaming sword main course. $$$.
The Olive in the Sheraton: International. Great Easter brunch. $$$$
Trattoria Soprano: Italian. Best lasagna Great interior design. Even better melon with prosciutto than Szara as of August 2006. $$$
TriBeCa Coffee: American bar food. Great in the winter for some hot chocolate. $
U Babci Maliny (Raspberry Grandma): Polish. The decor upstairs is Polish farmhouse and downstairs is Polish mansion. $

If you went to a restaurant with me and you do not see it listed, please let me know. If you have any suggestions also let me know as I would be willing to give it a shot.

Corn on the Cob Popcorn

I have been meaning to post this for a while now.

While in Krakow, Poland on my last trip I saw a funny little packet. It was a corn Cob vacuum sealed in plastic. After looking at it further, you pop the Cob in the microwave.

To read more about it or to buy some, go to bigredpopcorn.com

Melons

I had just arrived here in Krakow, Poland last night and had to get a bite to eat and stopped by Szara Restaurant. I walked in and ordered at the bar. I ordered my favorite, the Prosciutto with Melon which I had been craving. I also ordered the Chicken “Yakitori”. I had to wait a bit as the restaurant was booming. For my wait the bartender gave me a free mini shot of some liquor. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I did not drink, so I finished my meal and poured the liquor in the sauce that came with the chicken. For all he knows, I drank the stuff.

Rice Balls

I was watching Food TV and ran across a new show. The show I am talking about is Road Tasted and the shows host are the sons to Paula Dean, another Food TV cook. It seems that they travel all over the USA looking for different food items and then telling you were to get them. Before telling you were to get the food, they show you how to make it. One item that they showed this past week were Rice Balls that can be found at Brooklyn Pork Store.

Here is the direct link to the Rice balls.

Photo from the Food TV webpage.

Perfect Grill

I was watching Food TV and Bobby Flay was in Iraq for his show Food Nation. If you are familiar with the show you know that Bobby Flay travels around picking random people to compete against grilling style. While in Iraq he competed against one of the military cooks. The military cook was using this huge charcoal grill. I did some searching online and found it for sale. It is actually a Weber Grill and it is huge, it is similar to the ones used in the Weber Grill Restaurant where only charcoal grills are used to cook any meats. Of course the only thing bad about the grill is its $999 price tag. I guess I need to start saving up.