Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cooking Spaghetti!

This is a post from my blog: Tips 'n Good Stuff

I thought this also applied here so thought I would share:

This is so easy that I probably don't need to repeat it here.  However, for all you New-bee's I will anyway.  We will take this in steps:

No. 1  Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil; add a little olive oil.

Note pens in background...
I craft while I cook!
No. 2  Put the spaghetti* in slowly.  I actually break mine in thirds-it goes in the pot much faster.  Some traditionalists probably would shudder at this, but what can I say?  Hey, I even cut mine up with a knife and fork when I eat it...boy, I think they are trembling now.

The tricky part for me is to get the right amount of spaghetti per person.  There are just two of us and I invariably cook too much.  Chuck is better at judging the amount that me so I call for is assistance at this step.

No. 3 Boil for 3 minutes.  To keep the water from boiling over the pot, lay a wooden spoon across the pan.

No. 4 Remove from heat.  Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.  It should be "al dente" as the traditionalists above would say!

No. 5 Strain with a strainer, empty all but a 1/4 cup of the water from the pot and set the strainer on top.  Set back on the stove and serve the plates from there.

*I prefer Vermicelli or Angel Hair.  I really dislike "fat, gunky" spaghetti. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Out and About from California

We took their picture;
they took ours!

While on vacation in San Francisco we took a couple of days and went south to see San Simeon.  Our first stop was a the Niner Winery in Paso Robles.  We met a couple of school teachers who recommended we eat at Robin's on Burton Street in Cambria. They thought our trip would not be complete without trying it...and we did.  

Salmon Bisque
Our Favorite
The food is international in flavor and presentation seemed to be important to their chef.  However, we find that sometimes "presentation" is not everything.  In fact, it overpowers the food.  This was the case for us.  Chuck, had the special, Grilled Bluenose Bass on a bed of forbidden rice.  The rice was the problem-forbidden rice is a black rice and very rubbery in texture.  The Bass was a little dry.  He did have the Salmon Bisque, which was excellent.  In fact, we could have had it as an entrée.  

I had the Spinach/Artichoke Lasagna.  It was also excellent, but a little to rich for my pallet.  I could only eat half of it.  Since we were traveling, we did not have the option of a "take home" box.  

The service was good as was the atmosphere in a historic adobe house.  We ate early so we had time to look around the gift shops and art galleries.  After all, this is a tourist/artist-type town.  

We are glad we tried it and if you pallet runs to the eclectic then this is the place for you.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On the Border! Thumbs Up!

We got one seat immediately at the bar. Our new favorite thing---sitting at the bar with a glass of wine and a beer on tap.  It is a good vantage point to watch people.  Also, when it's slow, you can have a good visit with the bartender.  The acoustics aren't that great here, but not so bad that you can't visit while you sip.  

We are liking our new favorite thing so much, we are eating at the bar, too.  No. 1 you don't have to wait for a table during busy times and No. 2 the service is faster.

When Chuck got a seat, we ordered. We split a Border Sampler*  as our entrée.  It was delicious and more than enough for us.  We find that we can't eat as much as we did when we were younger. We get that uncomfortable "stuffed" feeling if we do.  We have learned the hard way to limit our quantities and split when we can.

 *Chicken Quesadillas, Steak Nachos and Chicken Flautas. Served with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and original queso