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I just bought the cookbook "Jerusalem".

I have been having so much fun cooking recipes from this cookbook over the last four months. I has absolutely revived my interest in cooking. Here are my favorites among the recipes I've made:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Figs (be sure to include the optional goat cheese)

Baby Spinach Salad (I could eat this every day)

Roasted eggplant w/fried onion and chopped lemon (though it's a lot easier to serve and eat if you scoop the flesh out of the roasted eggplant before topping and serving)

Roasted butternut squash & red onion w/tahini and za'atar

Mejadra

Sahib

Butternut squash and tahini spread

Spicy carrot salad

Burnt eggplant w/garlic, lemon & pomegranate seeds

Falafel

None of these recipes are hard, but most of them involve several steps or components. Just give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the process. Happy cooking!

Jan 06, 2014
wolive in Home Cooking

LAX to Anaheim: Any good restaurants between those two points?

We are flying in to LAX and taking the 105 to Anaheim for a few days at Disneyland. Before we descend into Disney dining purgatory, we would like at least one decent meal. Since I don't know the LA area and cannot figure out which neighborhoods we will be passing by, it's hard to find anything by searching the boards here. We will be arriving around 7 pm on a Friday evening and renting a car. There are two vegetarians in our group of five and we do not want to spend a fortune (already doing that). Otherwise we are adventurous eaters who just like good food. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Dec 29, 2013
wolive in Los Angeles Area

Tucson, it's been a while since I've gone out for a nice, celebratory dinner. Any rec's for places you've been to recently?

We love Contigo (Latin American--great pisco sours and tapas), the Abbey and the Arizona Inn (either the bar or the main dining room).

Apr 12, 2013
wolive in Southwest

Tucson - Mexican restaurant?

Here are some of my favorites:

Little Cafe Poca Cosa (open Mon-Fri for breakfast and lunch only)
Tacqueria Pico de Gallo
El Guero Canelo (great Sonoran-style hot dogs)
Tucson Tamale Company (not a typical Mexican restaurant, but they have great tamales)
Tacqueria Juanitos
El Sur

Sep 22, 2009
wolive in Southwest

Another fan of Maynard's in Tucson

We went to Maynard's--downtown in the old train station, just across the street from the Hotel Congress--for the second time Friday night. It may be my favorite restaurant in Tucson now. They have a new chef--formerly at Jax Kitchen, and a new menu.

We started with the mussels in ale, Dijon mustard and spinach ($11). It was a generous portion, absolutely fresh and delicious. One of us had the wild mushroom pizza. The pizza crust here is chewy and tasty with the just the right amount of substance to complement the high-quality toppings. One had the fish of the day, which was three giant scallops cooked perfectly and seerved atop a bed of white beans and arugala. The wild salmon was a generous portion, again cooked perfectly, as was the half a Red Bird chicken (though my son thought it was a bit too salty). The beet salad and butter lettuce salad were both excellent, as were the french fries we ordered to accompany the mussels. Unless you get the special, everything is a la carte, but the prices are reasonable. The four of us had the mussels and fries, two salads, a pizza, three entrees, one side dish, one dessert, an espresso and a bottle of Argentinian Malbec and the bill before tip was about $130.

All in all, it was a great dining experience. The service was attentive and our waiter was knowledgeable. The owners have done a wonderful job of transforming the space. It is comfortable and sophisticated with a northern exposure looking out to the train tracks and the mountains. Outside is a huge, beautiful plaza dotted with trees and featuring an unobstructed view of the Catalina Mountains. We thought it was a bit too chilly to dine outside, but quite a few others were doing so. In a week or two when it warms up a little more, it will be one of the best outdoor dining venues in Tucson.

Mar 15, 2009
wolive in Southwest

What brand of almond extract do you recommend?

I also recommend Penzey's.

Feb 03, 2009
wolive in Home Cooking

Butternut Squash Ideas

I just made this delicious warm butternut squash and chickpea salad from Smitten Kitchen:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/war...

Feb 03, 2009
wolive in Home Cooking

Tucson cheap eats

I forgot the links:

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Beyond Bread
Tucson, AZ, Tucson, AZ

Jan 30, 2009
wolive in Southwest

Tucson cheap eats

And let's not forget:

Tacqueria Pico de Gallo--great tacos, fresh fruit drinks and fresh fruit cocktails (pico de gallo).

Beyond Bread--delicious sandwiches, soups and salads with their awesome bread.

Jan 30, 2009
wolive in Southwest

Is there anywhere decent to eat in Glendale?

Thank you all for the suggestions. It's great to know that there are several good choices in the area.

Dec 29, 2008
wolive in Phoenix

Is there anywhere decent to eat in Glendale?

Thanks Silverbear. All of your suggestions sound like decent possibilities. I hope one of them is open on New Year's Day.

Dec 29, 2008
wolive in Phoenix

Is there anywhere decent to eat in Glendale?

We will be attending the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship on New Year's Day at the University of Phoenix Stadium. I cannot seem to find any non-chain restaurants in the area of the stadium. I grew up in Scottsdale, but Glendale is like a foreign country to me. We are looking for something casual, but except for one easily pleased vegetarian who must be accommodated, we are open to anything. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Dec 28, 2008
wolive in Phoenix

Looking for great Mexican in Tucson

Little Poca Cosa is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday only, but is well worth a visit. The larger Cafe Poca Cosa is definitely not a hole in the wall, but more like a special occasion restaurant with reservations recommended. My two favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants in Tucson are Taqueria Pico de Gallo (2618 S. 6th Ave.) and El Torero (231 E. 26th St.). El Torero features great turkey burros.

I agree that El Mezon del Cobre is good, but would not bother going to El Charro. El Guero Canelo has a newer location on Oracle near Grant. If you've never had a Sonoran-style hotdog and are leery of food carts, this is the place to go.

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Taqueria Pico De Gallo
2618 S 6th Ave Unit A, Tucson, AZ 85713

Guero Canelo El Segundo Restaurant
2480 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705

Dec 07, 2008
wolive in Southwest

What's your "secret ingredient?"

A tablespoon or so of Penzey's Raspberry Enlightenment adds a depth of flavor to soups, stews and chile.

Sep 26, 2008
wolive in Home Cooking

Tucson to Yellowstone and back

We recently returned from a driving vacation from Tucson to Montana.Here are some brief reviews of the culinary highlights.

Santa Fe: We ate at Cafe Pasqual's. While the food was good and the service pleasant and relatively prompt, we were frankly underwhelmed. Based on the reviews I had read, I expected more of a wow factor. There were four of us, and we started with Napo's Pupusa, which was the best thing we had, and quite delicious. I had the grilled chipotle shrimp tacos with queso cotija, spanish rice, avocado and salsa fresca. The shrimp were overcooked and tough, served on two fried flour tortillas smeared with a couple of tablespoons of beans, sprinkled with eight or ten very small cubes of avocado and an equal number of tomato cubes (the salsa fresca?) and a little cheese. It was fine, but for $29, I expected something tastier and perhaps a bit more of the condiments. The other entrees (green curry tofu, ahi tuna) were also good, but far from great.

Casper, WY: Dinner was at Wonder Bar, a microbrewery in an old rehabbed building in downtown Casper. The beer, burgers and fries were quite good. In our rambles around town, it appeared to be one of the best options for decent dining.

Gardiner, MT/ Yellowstone National Park: We stayed in Gardiner at the north entrance to the park. We had two decent dinners at Pedalino's, an Italian restaurant in Gardiner. Gardiner is a tiny town, and there are not many possibilities. Given that, this is a good choice. In addition, we had a delicious lunch at Tumbleweeds, a sandwich shop in Gardiner. We had very good lunches at the Old Faithful Inn (in the dining room, and from the deli), Mammoth (the grill and the main dining room) and Yellowstone Lake Hotel. We visited the park last five years ago and thought the food had improved immensely since then.

Grand Teton National Park: We stayed at the Jackson Lake Lodge and had a great dinner in the Mural Room (the fancy, expensive option), and many good breakfasts and lunches in the Pioneer Grill at the Lodge. Great pizza overlooking the lake at Leek's Marina, up the road from the Lodge.

Jackson, WY: We had a delicious meal and great wine at Koshu, an asian-influenced wine bar. The dishes were inventive and beautifully presented, the service warm and efficient and the atmosphere cool and relaxing. I highly recommend it.

Evanston, WY: We stumbled across the Main Street Deli in this little town and had a great homemade lunch served by a delightful waitress. I had the meatloaf sandwich, and it was delicious.

Salina, UT: Mom's Restaurant has been serving food here since he 1920's. It's a diner, and its specialty is homemade scones, which are really large discs of yummy fried dough, served warm with honey butter. The chicken soup with noodles and dumplings (all made there) was also really good.

SLC: We had dinner at Sage's Cafe, a casual vegan restaurant located near downtown in an old house. This place is great, and the three meat eaters enjoyed it as much as the vegetarian in our group. We started with the carrot pate on toasted baguette slices, which was creamy, carroty and very tasty. The entrees were uniformly delicious, the wine selection small, but good, and the service warm and efficient. Highly recommended.

Jul 12, 2008
wolive in Southwest

Taqueria in Tucson. No quiero taco bell.

I live in Tucson and can't visualize any Mexican restaurants on Church St. between Speedway and Broadway. I second (or third) the recommendations of Taqueria Pico de Gallo, Taqueria Juanito and El Torero (awesome turkey burritos). You really should check out El Guero Canelo or BK for Sonoran style hot dogs (wrapped in bacon, grilled, served in a home made bun with beans, jalapenos and a drizzle of crema). Happy eating!

Apr 22, 2008
wolive in Southwest

Tucson - 1 night with kid

University Avenue just west of the U of A has more than a dozen restaurants--pizza, sandwiches, Thai, Middle-Eastern, hamburger and shakes, Chinese, Mexican--in a two block area. Surely you can find something there to please him/her.

Apr 06, 2008
wolive in Southwest

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

The New York Times Magazine had a fabulous 100-year old onion soup recipe a few months ago. I have made it twice for my family and everyone loved it. I has no broth at all, and is almost like a casserole, with buttered slices of toasted baguette, sauteed onions, tomato paste, Emmenthal cheese and water. Except for slicing all the onions (use a food processor), it is very easy. Here is the link: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

Feb 12, 2008
wolive in Home Cooking

mexican vanilla

Mexican vanilla is great for baking if it is pure vanilla. According the the web search I just did, Mexican vanilla often contains beans from the tonka tree, which contain coumarin, a substance banned by the FDA, which can cause liver damage. If you want pure, safe Mexican vanilla, you can purchase it from Penzey's Spices (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...)

Jan 12, 2008
wolive in General Topics

17 people want to eat out on New Year's Day!

My extended family will be together in Scottsdale for the first time in years during the holidays. We have decided that after lots of holiday cooking in my mother's smallish kitchen, it would be swell to go out to eat on New Year's Day. We were thinking of an Asian restaurant with a big round table, but aren't stuck on any type of restaurant.

Most of us do not live in Phoenix/Scottsdale and are having a hard time coming up with ideas. Any suggestions would be sooo appreciated. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2007
wolive in Southwest

Dom deLuise

I am not familiar with that cookbook, but I make a dish that sounds similar. This serves three or four. Cook about 1/2 lb. of spaghetti. While it is cooking assemble the other ingredients: 1/4 cup olive oil, 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed, generous tsp. each dried basil, dill and mint (you can use fresh or other combinations), 3-4 eggs, fresh grated parmesan. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the garlic, cooking for a minute or two. When the spaghetti is al dente, drain it and add to the oil. Throw in the herbs and cook until the spaghetti is well coated. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir them around until they are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lots of parmesan.

Dec 08, 2007
wolive in Home Cooking

How to keep lemon meringue pie from weeping?

Cooks Illustrated has a great recipe for No-Fail Lemon Meringue Pie. It is delicious and the meringue does not weep and cuts beautifully. Here is the link:
http://www.cooksillustrated.com/artic...
The trick is combining water and cornstarch, bringing it to a boil to cook the cornstarch and then adding this mixture to the egg whites a bit at a time as you beat them.

Aug 24, 2007
wolive in Home Cooking

Really, really good lowfat mac and cheese?

The Moosewood Lowfat Cookbook has a great recipe for macaroni and cheese. It uses lowfat cottage cheese, which you process in a food processor so it's creamy. You mix up the sauce with uncooked macaroni and bake it.

Apr 03, 2007
wolive in Home Cooking

Best place to get flour tortillas in Tucson?

Anita Street Market is my favorite place for flour tortillas. You can find Anita Street by getting yourself onto Speedway west of I-10, but traveling east. Just after you drive under the freeway (so that you are now on the east side of the freeway), you will see a street branching off to the right. Take it, it's Anita. Drive up two or three blocks to 849 N. Anita (on the right). They always bring the tortillas out warm, so buy an extra package, because you are going to want to start eating them right away.

Sep 29, 2006
wolive in Southwest

heresy or acceptable shortcut?

I almost never cook rice anymore. I use Trader Joe's frozen organic brown rice and jasmine rice. Three and a half minutes in the microwave, and it's ready to serve. I cannot tell the difference and the price is not bad, either.

Sep 08, 2006
wolive in Home Cooking

Hot Cocoa Hotties

I third Jacques Torres.

Sep 01, 2006
wolive in Features

Blue Potatoes

They make a beautiful cold salad with an equal amount of fresh lightly steamed green beans, some carrot shreds and roasted red pepper strips and a basil vinaigrette. Toss in some grated parmesan, too.

Aug 23, 2006
wolive in Home Cooking

Almondrado recipe [moved from Southwest board]

Almendrado was invented in a Tucson restaurant called La Cazuela in the 1920's, according to the book "Tucson's Mexican Restaurants" by Suzanne Myal. Here is a summary of the recipe:

1 pkg Knox gelatin
1/4 cup water
6 egg whites
pinch salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract

Pour gelatin over water and heat until it is dissolved. Cool. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add cooled gelatin mixture slowly, beating continually. Add salt and sugar slowly, then almond extract, beating until stiff peaks form. Tint 1/3 pink, 1/3 green and leave the rest white, to represent the colors of the Mexican flag. Layer in an oiled ring mold (or loaf pan) and chill for 6 hours. Unmold, slice and serve with custard suace:

6 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint half and half
bourbon
blanched and toasted slivered almonds

Beat egg yolks slightly. Add salt, sugar and half and half. Cook in a double boiler until custard coats spoon, stirring almost constantly. When cool, add some bourbon to overshadow eggy taste. Serve over each slice of the mold. Sprinkle with almonds.

Jul 15, 2006
wolive in Home Cooking