Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dog Track Pancake

On this day, instead of her normal requests of Micky Mouse pancakes or a pancake letter "E", she wanted a dog's footprint. She was perfectly happy with the rare 3-toed variety that I delivered her.

Friday, March 30, 2012

101 Desserts #76 Dutch Letters

I had never thought of Dutch Letters as a regional food until I started to looking for some recipes to make it myself. As it turns out, they aren't regional; they are an Iowan food that has been imported from Holland. From those of you that have never had one of these, I am truly sorry. These are one of my top five foods of all time. I would rather have a bad Dutch Letter over nearly any other pastry.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grilled Ham & Cheese

When Leigha first started to make this, I thought that it was like a Monte Cristo. That is, of course, until

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die #28 Chile Relleno

Chile Relleno translates to "Stuffed Chile" This dish came from the Mexican city of Puebla. The dish is made with a poblano pepper, (named after the city of the dish) stuffed with meat or cheese, covered with a batter and fried. The cheese variant is common during lent. I am not Catholic, but I did happen to try the dish during lent. When it came to the table, I

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Tavern South

The Tavern is one of those restaurants that I expect to see on shows like Restaurant: Impossible. It seems like it at one point, it was a successful restaurant. In fact, they are still operating three different locations. When I lived in Des Moines, I remember hearing about people talk about it with some fondness. As it was close to the zoo, where I was taking the kids, I figured that I would give it a try. When I walked in the door,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bacon Pecan Maple Danish

Every day at the Java House, they offer a two-for one deal for products that weren't purchased the day before. As I was walking by, I glanced at this. When I came back later, it caught my eye again so I walked over to see what it was. Two danishes for $2 is a pretty good deal in itself, but when I saw the flavor, I knew that I had to buy it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Panchero's Carnitas Burrito

As I've written before, I love Panchero's. For those of you that don't know, carnitas are made when you slow braise or slow roast a heavily marbled piece of pork such as the butt (shoulder). Once this is done, the meat should be tender and easily pulled apart. The the meat is placed in a shallow pan along with some of the rendered juices and roasted at a high heat. The beauty of Panchero's is that

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strawberry Raspberry Pie

The ER is the first place that I've ever worked where there are always people bringing in food to share. Whether it is for a potluck or donated baked goods that are too old to sell from the coffee shop or somebody has some extra food at home. As a given, if people leave foods out in specific areas,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homemade Marinara and Noodles

The hardest part about making homemade marinara is purely the time that it takes to make. I made this with Tomatoes from my in-law's garden. Start off by grilling the tomatoes. Once they've cooled, peel off the skins. Add into a

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


There is a place down the road from us, Hawkeye Food Distribution, where we buy some food in bulk occasionally. We don't go there often, but when we do, we usually buy things like 100 individually wrapped chips for $1 or a box of 250 tortillas for $1. Needless to say, we usually have these items on hand.

Cafeteria Brownie

Sometimes you crave food that isn't really that good. This explains why McDonald's makes tooooooooons of money. I work in an Emergency Room inside the state's largest hospital. There is always a cafeteria open, and the food is never really that good. This brownie was labeled as a

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drinks #48 Salted Lassi

Lassi is a popular drink from India. It is a yogurt-based drink that can be found all over the Indian Subcontinent. There are two variants to the drink. The sweet and the salted. Both are commonly sprinkled with a variety of spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and allspice. While the sweet mango lassi sounded more appealing, I chose to have a regular lassi for the sake of the list.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ras Malai (Indian Cheesecake)

Ras Malai generally consists of flattened balls of paneer laying in cream and flavored with cardamom. When I went to the India Cafe, this was labeled simply as "Indian Cheesecake". I had never had it before and didn't know how it was normally paired. After tasting it by itself I came to the conclusion that while it was sweet and creamy, it was too dry. So I

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Leigha made this one afternoon, swaying from the recipe as our ingredients allowed. She has always been especially fond of sea scallops, where I merely like them. It must be the years that she spend living in Florida. For this recipe, she cooked some garlic in olive oil and added tomatoes and snow peas. Then,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

India Cafe

When Leigha and I were first dating, we took turns paying when we went out to eat. One day, when it was Leigha's turn to pay, we came to the Indian Cafe and hated it. As we were walking out the door I said, "I'm glad that I didn't have to pay for THAT meal." While she may have forgiven me for speaking so thoughtlessly, she has never forgotten. It has been nearly a decade since then and our food tastes have changed a lot. On a day that we were able to go on a lunch date, we decided to give the India Cafe another chance.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Grilling Fail

This is the perfect example at what can happen if you walk away from your grill. Whether it is to answer your phone or to start a DIY project or both.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die #99 Turducken

30 Pounds of Poultry Goodness
A Turducken is a perfect example of the American mentality. It is large, extravagant and over the top. A Turducken is made by stuffing a TURkey with a DUCK and chickEN). This was actually the second time that I have made the meal. It is an incredibly time-consuming process that I go through once a year. After the successful first attempt at making the avian nightmare, I vowed that it would become a household tradition.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die #36 Dolma

Dolma is the generic name for stuffed vegetable dishes. By this definition, the Quinois Stuffed Peppers that was my first post ever on here would qualify as a Dolma. The most popular is the grape leaf dolmas, which is what I got. When I saw this, I thought that it was just a vegan egg roll.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Torchy's Tacos

Democrat, Trailer Park and Beef Fajita
Torchy's Tacos is an institute in Austin. They started out in a trailer and now have seven store fronts as well. They focus on a menu full of as much humor as good food. They are also renowned for testing out new tacos and listening to their customers. We tried out three different tacos.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Desserts: #74 Churros

Churros are a deep fried pastry that I imagine eating at a Mexican carnival. In fact, I associate is as a general Latino dessert. There are conflicting origin stories to this delectable and neither are from South America. One story claims that the churro was invented by Spanish shepards as an easy food to make over an open fire in the mountains. Another claim that the Portuguese brought the food to the west by adapting a similar one from the Chinese. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life and while I am familiar with fairs (Iowa has one of the nation's largest state fairs) and their food, churros haven't brought their dominance this far north. Regardless of where these pastries came from, they are

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bo James

Bo James is knows for their drink specials for Friday after class (FAC) in Iowa City. After having the terrible burger at Okoboji, I wasn't really in the mood for a burger, but I was up for having a lunch date with Leigha. As is commonly the case, we had a coupon. I ordered the Texas Burger. The two burgers were eerily similar in description, but where the Okoboji Burger went wrong, this burger was

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Okoboji Kentucky Bourbon Burger

If you look at this picture and think to yourself, "That looks really good", then the Okoboji Grill has duped you, too. On their menu, it says "This 100% fresh burger is glazed with our signature Bourbon sauce, topped with Swiss cheese and crispy fried onion strings and served on a toasted bun." Generally, when businesses claim something to be their "signature" anything, you would think that it was one of their best items. Well, let me tell you that Okoboji's signature Bourbon sauce ruined the entire burger. This sauce was

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pueblo Viejo

Photo Taken From Pueblo Viejo's Facebook Page
We got two different tacos from Pueblo Viejo. A steak and a chicharones.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pig Vicious

My friend, Ragan in front of Pig Vicious

Pig Vicious will never be enjoyed by those that are kosher. Because here, it is all about the pig. They have a relatively small menu, but they focus on keeping it tasting good and bacon-y. We got 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mati Greek Trailer

Mati Greek Food trailer specializes in, well, Greek food. We ordered the Kefthedas burger.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork is one of those foods that everybody has eaten, but few people have actually made themselves. I started off by cutting a 2.5 pound pork loin into strips.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die: #91 Spam

SPAM (SPiced hAM) was introduced to the world in 1937 and all social stigmata aside, it has been going strong since. This was the food item on my 101 foods list that I was looking forward to eating the least. It is a food that I associate with poverty. I grew up in a poor (monetary) household and we would have a can of this around occasionally, but I don't remember ever eating it. My cousins, who had even less money ALWAYS had a can of SPAM in their cupboards. When I think of SPAM, I think of opening a white cabinet with chipped paint and seeing cockroaches running across the face of the metal container. Not something people want to associate with any food.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Super Burrito and Lupita's Bakery

Often times on my days off, I do painting and side work for a friend of mine. All of the money that I make from this is blog money. I use it to pay for activities or now, food. The only reason that I went to this place was because it was down the street from where I was painting and I had a coupon. I am so glad that I didn't pass on it because of its name. It was so good that I went there two days in a row.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Foods To Eat Before You Die: #68 Oxtail Soup

The term Oxtail Soup is a misnomer, as it is neither a soup, nor does it have to be made with oxtail. It IS, however, made with the tail of any cow. While the thought of eating a tail will gross out many, the way I saw it, the tail segments were like little steaks. Living in an agricultural state, I am always surprise when people refuse to try foods that are being harvested or grown right around the corner from them. When I was getting married, I had a difficult time finding polenta. How crazy is it that you can't find ground up corn in Iowa? Oxtail soup is another such meal that is popular in many areas in the world, but the US is not really one of them. At the grocery store, there was a single (and empty) spot for it in the meat section. As it turns out, they had just gotten a shipment (of four packages) that day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bits and Druthers

Bits & Druthers food trailer offers up authentic British food from a trailer sporting a Union Jack Flag painted on the front of it. We ordered their signature dish,

Foods To Eat Before You Die: #39 Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a dish that claims several creators. All with the last name Benedict and all around the same time period (late 1800s to early 1900s). Today, this is a dish that is a staple for many "upscale" breakfast buffets. These are the versions that Leigha had always had and disliked before. I have always thought that this is an alright food but knew that the success hinged on the hollandaise sauce. That is why mine was only a partial success, because...
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