Monday, October 16, 2017


This is the greatest gadget ever invented in my book. I was a proud recipient of a Microplane several weeks ago. Into a kitchen drawer it went and hibernated.

This evening I made some Farfalle with pancetta and olives. I was lazy so I just used Rao's Arrabiata and Vodka sauce. The exciting part of the preparation was the finishing touch. I used my microplane to grate a block of Parmigiano cheese which came with my microplane. I felt like I was dining at an Italian restaurant. La Brea Sourdough bread accompanied my pasta with a nice glass of red wine.

Thank you Mertz for my microplane and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It made all the difference in the world of pasta!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sidecar Doughnuts

I now know that when we get an itch to go on a Sidecar doughnut run, the day to do it is on a Sunday morning. Sandi and I left her house at 8:10 a.m. this morning. The 405 freeway was wonderful; it took us an hour to drive to Santa Monica from Torrance and back with 5 minutes standing in line while we decided what doughnuts to buy.

I already knew that the Huckleberry was the best so I got several of those. I also got the Butter and Salt, Vanilla which I haven't tried and their special, Apple Pie which is really an apple cake topped with apple glaze finished with their house made cinnamon almond crumble. Just as I thought I ordered everything I wanted, I spotted the very dark chocolate doughnut so I got one of those too.

As soon as we got to Sandi's house we first had a piece of the Dark Chocolate with Valrhona pearls. We both thought it was terrible. When I looked at my previous blog, I made the same comment on the Chocolate Mint. The chocolate tasted gummy. It had an unpleasant taste and texture. I had half of the Butter and Salt which was good but when I tried the Vanilla, both Sandi and I thought it was better than the Butter and Salt. It was not cake-like. It was very light and delicious. 

The Apple Pie was wonderful. It was not sweet and if I hadn't sampled the other doughnuts, I would have had a second one. I was too full to have some of the Huckleberry which I froze for future consumption. These doughnuts are not cheap. Thirteen doughnuts cost a whopping $44.00. Quality cost money so I understand. What I don't understand is the boxes they give you when you buy multiple doughnuts. They are very flimsy and with the price they charge for these doughnuts, they should be able to furnish sturdier boxes. Maybe they can have a "bring your own box" and get a free doughnut which wouldn't be a bad idea and could be cost effective.

Sidecar Doughnuts is located at 631 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, California.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pomegranate on Cereal

After mass this morning I thought of swinging by Noah's Bagel on the way home but dismissed the idea and instead settled on the idea of having boring cereal. I wasn't sure if my cereal had gone stale and there was only one way to find out.

I had Tony the Tiger's Frosted Flakes and Cheerios.  I could not decide which one I should have so I mixed both with low fat milk. When I got the milk out of the refrigerator, I saw my jar of pomegranate seeds that Mertz gave me. I opened the jar and smelled it; no bad smell so I figured it was still good. I took a spoonful of it and mixed it in my cereal.

I was very surprised to discover how good it tasted. There were different textures which made the cereal enticing. The crisp flakes, the slightly crunchy cheerios and the pomegranate seeds that burst in my mouth with a bit of tartness cut down the sweetness of the frosted flakes. It was so good and went well with my coffee.

I know I'm the last person who would have thought that cereal could be exciting.
I guess there's hope for me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spinach Pie ala Sandi

Yesterday was a semi-healthy dinner with Sandi making a spinach pie for dinner. Before the main dish, we had ourselves  some  truffle burrata with a variety of crackers and warm chips. Since I had some persimmons from our tree, I cut some up and wrapped them in prosciutto di Parma.

Sandi served a bottle of  Saten La Montina from the region of Franciacorta which she purchased when we had our wine tasting a few months ago. Since we had a abundance of pomegranate seeds courtesy of our friend Mertz, we added that to our sparkling wine. Again, how healthy can we get; antioxidant seeds combined with champagne which is supposed to be good for memory.

A healthy salad was served (healthy since it was not a creamy dressing). It was very good considering it was healthy. The spinach pie was delicious with the many light and crispy layers of phyllo dough.

Dessert was not as healthy. She made a Banana Coconut Marshmallow Meringue Pie. She omitted the coconut since she knew I hate coconut. However, she did put in 2 tablespoons of coconut cream which wasn't bad. Come to think of it, this probably could be considered healthy because of the bananas which is a fruit, and the egg whites which health nuts always like.

The meal was so filling that I ended up going to bed by 9:30 p.m. It was a recipe for a good night's sleep.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bonello's New York Pizza

Tony Bonello, one of 5 children arrived in the United States on November 11, 1966 from Palermo, Italy. The current restaurant is on 24427 Narbonne Ave. in Lomita, California. The restaurant has the colors of Italy with green walls and pictures of the cast of Sopranos, Marlon Brando and most interesting black and white pictures of the Bonello's arrival via Pan American Airlines. Tony is the boy on the very left carrying a bag boarding the airplane. On the picture below the Pan Am sign, he is the one in front with the big bag. Notice how everyone was dressed for travel. Those were the golden days of travel; no sweatshirts, ripped jeans or t-shirts.

We ordered a medium Bonello's Specialty Pizza which had pepperoni, mushroom, olives, onion, bell pepper, Canadian bacon and sausage. You could order any of their pizzas thin crust which we did. Their pizzas are humongous. The medium had 12 large slices and four of us could not finish it. The pizza is a no nonsense, no frills pizza. It's just good old honest to goodness pizza.

I noticed while we were there several people coming in to pick up their order. It's a great deal for families. They also deliver but if you want hot pizza, I suggest you eat it there and next time you're in, say hello to Tony.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Maple Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sandi was in one of her baking mode and this is what she made. I don't like nuts but these nuts were sweetened with real Vermont maple syrup. The coffee cake was so moist and just yummy. A squirt or two of whipped cream took it to another level.

I'm so lucky that Sandi loves to cook and bake and I am proud to be her #1 guinea pig.

Orleans & York Deli

On the way back from Saugus and a movie in Santa Monica, Mertz, Sandi and I discussed where we could have a light dinner since we all had a big breakfast. We didn't get any popcorn at the movies and though Sandi announced she was not hungry, Mertz and I felt the same way though we thought we would be hungry fairly soon while stuck on the 405 freeway. A little bird suggested we stop by Orleans & York Deli in Inglewood.  We planned to just pick up some food and take it to Mertz's house.

We ordered the Gumbo Mambo Platter which had bell peppers, onion,shrimp, chicken, beef sirloin, beef sausage and rice. We also got the Shrimp Inspiration which comes with a loaf of their own French bread. This is not on their menu, you just have to remember it. There are 14 pieces of succulent shrimp in a spicy sauce that is perfect for dipping the bread. By the time we got to Mertz's house, we were a bit hungry. Everything was so delicious. Mertz served champagne with lots of pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate started out to be sour but later turned nice and sweet after they absorbed the champagne. When we could eat no more, we settled on her couch and watched a Netflix special "Our Souls at Night" starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda which we enjoyed.

What a day; driving, eating, watching a movie and eating again! What more can we want?