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Sunday, October 21, 2012


Courtesy of Nancy Larson Adkisson
Okay, let's face it folks the Holidays are here.  Whether you choose to believe it or not "it" has already begun as evidenced by the Halloween, Thanksgiving AND Christmas displays that are simultaneously up at all major retailers across America. 

So while stores are already displaying thier Holiday wares, we here in the random Jolls house have already begun the baking.  There have been several loaves of bread and just today we made some sugar cookies...And, plans are on tap for some Cinnamon Rolls later in the week. Ah yes the Holidays are indeed here and it is time to share the love.

It is really the foods of the Holiday season that brings it all together for me.  Holiday foods equal a happy tum tum; okay yes a fatter, lazier tum tum but a happy one damn it!  And, what is January 1st for anyway if not to set goals and start a diet?  I don't want to break tradition at this point...

So send me your recipes and pics and I will post them for all to enjoy this Holiday season.  First up is a fabulous looking Fall coffee cake courtesy of Nancy Larson Adkisson.  Thanks Nancy!

Okay, your mission peeps it to make it, to enjoy it and then to let me know if it is as delish as it looks m'kay?



1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sour cream
1 3/4 c.  to 2 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
Cream butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla; add 3 eggs beating well. Combine flour, baking powder and soda. Add to butter mixture alternating with sour cream. Combine pumpkin, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and spice. Spoon 1/2 of batter in 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of streusel over batter. Spread pumpkin mix over streusel. spread remaining batter over pumpkin. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serves 12.

I added a simple powdered sugar glaze to the hot cake at the end!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Papaya Thai Cuisine

Papaya Thai Cuisine
916 787-0505
OMG, soooooo goooooood, let's just get that out of the way right off the bat!  Papaya Thai Cuisine, the little restaurant that no one knows about...Yet!

So sis and I were out last weekend drumming up raffle prizes from local businesses for a pancake breakfast fundraiser.  While I was hitting up a local Mr. Pickles my sister went into a new biz called Papaya Thai Cuisine.  She gave them her spiel and I guess the owner told her they were struggling a bit but he offered her a $20.00 gift card towards lunch or dinner; which I found really generous! 
The owner's comments about struggling got my sister and I talking about how we really need to support local small business more and I told her I would love to try the place and spread the word...The bottom line is either you are good or you are bad right? 
Papaya Thai Cuisine is good, really good!  I walked into the place not expecting much (the exterior is a very generic cookie cutter strip mall) and got quite the surprise at the sweet and calming interior.  The colors are dark woods with hints of golds and greens.  White table cloths provide a beautiful atmosphere and give a feeling of elegance.  My overall impresssion was that Papaya Thai Cuisine is quietly intimate but not at all cramped.  There is a beautiful centerpiece bar along the back wall and lovely music that automatically makes you feel both relaxed and welcome.
I ordered the chicken Pad Thai (family size) and for $8.00 received a HUGE to go container of noodley yumminess!  The smell wafting from the container got me at about two steps from the door and I opened my lunch up and dived in like I was a homeless person.  Yes, I admit it I was standing on the sidewalk scooping noodles, and chicken, and peanuts, and onions into my mouth with my fingers (which I now find amusing because I was asked if I wanted a plastic utensil set...And, silly me thought I would be eating this at home and I said no) and I didn't care that I was scarfing food on the street... I DID NOT CARE people, because it was that good!
I have added some pics I found on the Papya Thai Cuisine website because ummm, well I kinda devoured my dish before I thought about taking a picture.  But, honestly it was as lovely as the pictures before I got my grub on.  And, well let's be honest here I got my grub on, and my grub all up in that Pad Thai dish...LOL, and I liked it!

Check out Papaya Thai my friends and let me know what you think.  I think this place is fabulous and a small local business worth your time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marie and I

Marie Osmond has nothing on me.  She lost a mere 50 lbs.  I've lost 80 and counting.  Since January 20, 2012 I have actually lost the weight of an average 3rd grader.  It was NOT hard!  Once I quit eating out with Pete at Red Lobster it was a piece of cake!  I went back to Nutrisystem.  I used it as my starting point and even though I am not yet done losing weight, I rely on the food less and less.  My main plan now is working out and consuming 1000 - 1200 calories per day.  Once you make that your habit, it becomes much easier.  I never thought I would be saying this, but I actually go out of my way to workout.  Almost every night something comes up that I could easily say is more important, but I finally am of the mindset that without that, I will never get to my goal.  Nutrisystem food is good!  I know our posts are usually funny (and quite witty if I do say so myself), but I thought I would take a moment out and give myself a pat on the back.  I'll post again when I am at my goal.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Roberta's Cocina Mexicana

Roberta's Cocina Mexicana
5635 Freeport Blvd. Ste 6
Sacramento, CA 95822
Roberta's is a simple Mom and Pop style place with  a friendly staff and really good authentic Mexican style food.  The place is clean and there is so much to choose from on the menu:Tacos, Burritos, Quecas, Birria, Carnitas, Menudo and so much more.  I opted for a brekkie classic of Chorizo and Eggs... And, below is a pic of what I got for something like $5.00 with chips and salsa and a drink...Ridiculously inexpensive and OMG sooooo good, so good!  My friend ordered the Menudo and received a trough of the stuff with all the fixins and I can tell ya it was some of the best I've had.
So here is the thing folks, if you enjoy, and I mean REALLY enjoy places like Del Taco, Taco Bell, Jimboys Tacos and El Pollo Loco you "may" not like Roberta's style of food.  Not that there is anything wrong with any of the places I listed...I enjoy ALL of them, but they are not authentic Mexican food.  They do not have that rich layered flavor of meats cooked slowly, or the exquisite burst of spices that comes from family recipes or regional areas...Roberta's food has that and more.
I highly recommend Roberta's and I hope you enjoy your visit...Let me know mmmkay?

Shrimp Tacos with Zesty Cream Sauce

This is a really great light recipe for Shrimp Tacos...My sister and I grubbed on these this week and all you heard in the house of gnosh was "mmmmm!, damn!, soooo good!, this doesn't suck! and more please!

The original recipe was in Americas Best Recipes Magazine, 101 Quick and Easy recipes; however, I made a few changes that were appropriate for me and sis...I suggest using 8oz of sour cream, the rest is wasted since you basically drizzle it over each taco.  And, I added more spices because sis and I enjoy really flavorful ingredients. 

Make this folks it's just good food!  And, let me know your thoughts.


  • 1 (16 ounce) container nonfat sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided

  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground (divided)

  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 lb shrimp, medium (unpeeled)

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 avocado, chopped

  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed (6-inch size)

  • Directions:

    Whisk together sour cream, 1 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoons salt and cinnamon. Add 3/4 cup water, stirring until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
    Peel shrimp, and devein. If desired, chop. Combine remaining 1 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoons salt in a shallow dish or a zip-lock plastic freezer bag; add orange juice and shrimp, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and chill 15 minutes.
    Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Saute garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink. Serve with sour cream mixture and avocado in warm tortillas. Prep time includes refrigeration time.


    Friday, April 13, 2012


    Yeah so okay  it's been like a year since I have bothered with this site and I thought maybe I should add some stuff.  Just so you all know I have totally gathered, saved and written lots of stuff, I just never bothered to actually add it to this blog.  Now, please understand that I am not stating that updates are going to be more frequent (mostly because I am lazy) what I am stating is that I will totally think about trying  harder to actually post to this blog.  You're welcome!


    I know, it looks amazing right?!  It so totally is, and I am totally made of awesome because this dish is the shiznit fo sho!

    Preparation time: 15 mintues
    Cooking time: 30 minutes
    Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 8 (per serving)
    Servings: 4

    4 Foster Farms Thin-Sliced Boneless Skinless Breast fillets
    4 slices  Kraft Singles (2% milk) Swiss Cheese
    4 slices Oscar Meyer Deli sliced Ham
    1/2 Cup Progresso Panko (Italian Style) Bread Crumbs
    1/2 Cup Sunnyside Real Egg Product                                                                                                   
    4 Tsp salted butter
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 

    Pound chicken to 1/4 inch (or less) pieces. Assemble ingredients to make a production line...Chicken, cheese , ham, toothpicks, egg wash, bread crumbs. 

    Place 1 slice of ham and one slice of cheese in center of chicken breast and jellyroll the chicken.  Secure ends with toothpicks.  Using one hand coat chicken with the egg wash.  Using your other(clean dry hand) sprinkle panko crumbs onto breast to lightly coat.  Do not roll directly in crumbs as you will likely use too much on the first few pieces leaving nothing for the rest of the chicken pieces. 

    Place assembled chicken onto baking sheet.  Lightly spray the chicken with cooking spray (I use an olive oil spray, but any type will do) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven.  Chicken should be white and juices should run clear.  You can always use a meat thermometer to test doneness. 

    Remove chicken from oven.  Use a microwave to melt 4 tsp of butter.  Drizzle 1 tsp over each piece of chicken and serve warm with salad, fruit or veggies for a lovely and satisfying skinni(er) meal. 

    And Nancy don't make any snarkey comments about my plates...I was totally channeling Beyonce Chicken.


    Friday, April 29, 2011

    The Royal Wedding and the Royal Dog (me)

    Not sure if anybody appreciates how important it is to be invited to be on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during a once in a lifetime ceremony, but in case you aren't sure, let me clarify. It was an honor to be included and I totally was not expecting it! Respecting their Royal Highnesses' I did not wear my crown (don't want to upstage the bride). But there I am, witnessing history. As I stated earlier, my job today was to be the critic of the food choices at the wedding, and that's what this post is about. So take another look at me with the
    royal couple before you soak in the real "meat" of this post. Aren't I darling? Kate looks good. But me....SO CUTE.
    Ok, so:
    On the menu for the wedding breakfast was:
    Cornish Crab Salad on Lemoni Blini
    Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
    Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
    Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
    Quail Eggs with Celery Salt
    Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horesradish
    Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws

    Ok....yuck. The duck thing was good. I like duck. I can get the yorkshire pudding stuff at home on any given Sunday since my Uncle Jim cookes it all the time. I'm not into Blini. I might be if I knew what it was. Watercress? What is THAT? Quail eggs....ummmm, no. I do admit the cheese straws weren't bad.
    Did you notice the picture of me and the royal couple on the balcony? Do you think I should have worn a more ornate collar? Perhaps a hat with a pretzel on top of it like Princess Beatrice? I think I looked pretty good. Although it's unfortunate in that shot I wasn't even looking at Kate and Wills. I was looking at one of the Queen's Corgi's who looked particularly handsome. If you must know, he and I snuck away half way through breakfast and went and had some of our own royal breakfast. And let me assure you, there was no Science Diet Light involved.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    What? Nobody is coming home to let me out?

    Did I just read that my mother is living it up on gourmet delivery service and I am home waiting for her? Eating DOG FOOD?

    Where is the justice? I plan to bark loudly when she gets home and wake up the whole house. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Take Out Taxi

    In California, we have Waiters-On-Wheels. Here in Illinois the food delivery service of choice is called "Take Out Taxi". At my office we have been pretty much living on Take Out Taxi ever since March 11, 2011 when the Tsunami hit Japan and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant became a disaster on par with Chernobyl. Lunch today was from California Pizza Kitchen and I got my usual (lettuce wraps). They are so good....

    Tonight is going to be a late night at the office and dinner is coming in 30 minutes. I chose a different place called Jimmy's Grill in downtown Naperville. So Take Out Taxi will pick up the to go order, and bring it to our office. All for a small delivery fee.

    This morning when I asked my boss what he wanted from CPK he enthusiastically said FISH TACOS! and then he decided to change his mind as he didn't want the office to smell all fishy all afternoon.

    Tonight, however, he is not as restrained. Jimmy's Grill also has Fish Taco's and he's going for it! I guess the longer the day wears on, the less we care if it smells fishy. If we have to stay here until all hours of the night, bring on the fish!

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    The Key Wester -- gone but not forgotten

    So the other day my niece called me as I was getting into my car to go home from the office. She herself was driving home from Downers Grove and she invited me to meet her for sushi on Route 59 at Nagoyo (see previous blog). I gladly accepted and detoured my route home to meet her at Nagoya. This brought me down Route 59 when I normally would have taken Eola. Much to my surprise, I noticed that the Key Wester (owned by Portillos but a sensation in it's own right) was being dismantled. At first I thought it was storm damage (looked like a tornado had struck part of the building). I googled it when I got home only to find out that a few months ago they suddenly shut their doors. After like 15 years (or more?) of a fabulous restaurant that has memories dear to my heart, they closed. It's the economy and the fact that people just don't splurge out like they used to. I have so many memories of the Key Wester. The first one that comes to mind is when my mother died. Tom and I flew to Illinois and the following night we went there with my brother and my niece (mentioned above).

    I think I was still in shock when this one was taken. But even before that, my friends and I used to go there to

    Naperville will not be the same. The Key Wester being demolished is just a symbol of how my old life has been demolished. I need to make new memories. I am glad I can make them with Shelley.