Monday, June 16, 2008

Islamorada Fish Restaurant

This is my favorite restaurant. Picky and I ate here on a rare private date while we were in the Keys. Thanks, family, for baby sitting!

Picky got a mahi fish n' chips basket. I am not picky (note the name of the blog), but I generally do not enjoy mahi. I am always happy when he can order some fresh mahi when we are out, and this is as fresh as it gets. You watch the boats come in as you eat.

I got blackened Florida lobster tail with roasted garlic, over a Caesar salad. It was divine.

Notice both pictures have bites missing. Whoops! We were hungry and I didn't think of taking pictures until we both had some to eat.

Since we've been back

I made a great spread on the spot when my sister in law and her friend came over with their kids to swim in our pool. I love cooking informal food for a group like this. So much less pressure than dinner, to me.

I made some delicious mojo chicken wing drummettes and sliced mild Italian chicken sausage on my new panini grill pan. (Thanks MIL! It worked great. Works well for bacon, too! Now I just have to make paninis...) We also had shrimp skewers, mostly for S, who has been asking for them.

Dessert was also for S. Mango shortcakes, with homemade vanilla whipped cream. I followed the Cook's Ill Best Recipe recipe for strawberry shortcake. But, Z is allergic to strawberries (which he feels the need to tell me every time we eat) and S loves mangoes. I picked up four beautiful mangoes from Robert is Here farmer's market on the way back from the Keys, and they were taunting me. They turned out so good, even Picky, who normally doesn't like fruity desserts, scarfed his down.

I actually think this is a good photo. Am I crazy? Am I improving? Look back at the photos of the frittata and the boar...not bad, right? (Ignore the biscuits and gravy and the cheesecake...)

Father's Day dinner was good, but suspiciously similar to last year's. Ribs, peppers, shells and white sauce (instead of mac and cheese), chocolate brownies.

Where to begin?

Just because I haven't put up any posts on here in a little while, it doesn't mean that I haven't been cooking. Like a fiend. I went to Sugarloaf Key to stay with my in laws and cooked the entire time.

Most of the stuff came from Paula Deen's new all chocolate special edition cooking magazine. Why did I buy it?

Here are some of the highlights.

This is the flourless dark chocolate cake. I thought it looked so pretty puffed up out of the oven. It is supposed to fall, however.

I served it with a white chocolate sauce (recommended in by Paula) and with a dark chocolate sauce, in homage to the Two Chefs restaurant in Miami. That is how they serve their chocolate souffle. I thought it was much better without the sauce, it was so sweet. Next time I make it it will be sauceless, maybe with whipped cream or berries, and I may reduce the sugar a bit.

This is an awful photo of the malted chocolate cheesecake. It was excellent. The crust (which contained a box of whoppers, chocolate graham crackers, and butter, was way too hard. But, I used a 9" springform pan instead of a 10", and probably didn't reduce the amount of crust material enough. Or, whoppers could make hard candy like crusts no matter what, who knows. I will have to get a 10" springform pan and find out! Bummer! *adding to Christmas list*

I also made creme brulee, but that is so old hat I don't even take pictures anymore. I have perfected the art of not scorching the tops as much. Yum! The other stuff was normal breakfast and dinner stuff. I made tilapia with a recipe that Picky's mom supplied. It was very similar to my tilapia and greens recipe, but instead of the greens on top, it called for a crust with breadcrumbs, parmesan and potato chips. It was tasty. Picky's mom made johnnycakes, like her mom used to, in that kitchen, every time she made fish.

Picky took camera phone pictures of our fancy lunch out. I will post those later.

A new twist on an old muffin

You can teach an old muffin new tricks. My latest makeover for my chocolate chip banana muffins" happened at about 9 p.m. before the last day of school, when I realized that I didn't have any chocolate chips. Huh? I always have a plethora of chocolate chips. I had already started making the muffins, so it was too late to switch. I split the batch in two, and added cocoa powder to one half. I put it in two ziploc bags and cut the tips off to make bobo pastry bags, and squeezed them into the cups together.

Sorry for another horrible picture. I need to read an article on food photography.