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Thursday, November 11, 2010

La Cabana!

I just spent one of the most enjoyable evenings out that I have had since I've been back in Illinois! Steve, Mary and their two sons took me to La Cabana in Oswego where we have a nice Mexican dinner. We spent a lot of the evening talking about our doggies. For those of you who don't know, Mary is the adoptive mother of my fur baby Miss Millicent Mae. Millie is now 13 years old but you'd never know it! She doesn't have a grey hair on her 8 lb. body.

But naturally, I am digressing here. I wanted to write about the great food. I get the feeling that most things are pretty much made from scratch. It's not your typical fast food Mexican place. I had a combo platter of enchilada's that was just perfect! The right amount of food and it was cooked to perfection. Combine that with a Pepsi and you have a perfect meal in my book.

So here's my advice: If you're local to the Oswego, IL area (and I know hardly anybody is), find some good friends and go there for a nice dinner. It's not loud, it's not overrun with children running up and down the aisles, the waitress was friendly! I can't say a bad thing about it. The only draw back I can think of is that there was no leftovers (except some Pepsi) to take home to Betsy Lou. I guess it's Science Diet Light for her again tonight. Oh, and chicken flavored toothpaste.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The funnest (is that a word) thing about having a young niece (she's 22) is that you get to do really cool things with her and not be the MOM. You are the cool Aunt. So, today Paige and I went to the store and bought the ingredients to make two things. The first is scarecrow cupcakes that are so cute you could just eat them up (which is what you're supposed to do with them). The second was pumpkin cupcakes that are just plain good!

Check out our handy work. Sadly, only the not so perfect ones stayed here. The good ones went to the boyfriend's house because it's his sister-in-law's birthday. But WHATEVER! We had a blast making them. The picture above is some of the better ones that are now on their way to the party.
So fun!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

French onion soup broth....

Just a quick FYI before my mom comes back and takes the computer away. French onion soup broth (just a spoonful or two) is VERY good mixed in with Science Diet Light....ooops, here she comes.

My Brother and Rachel Ray

You gotta love a brother that a) knows how to cook, b) let's you live with him, and c) learns from Rachel Ray. So tonight, my fabulous brother Jim made French Onion Soup from scratch following Rachel's recipe. It was sooooooooooooooooo good. (It is not a 30 minute meal, and btw, the ingredients for this cost him $50).
My brother seems to think it's going to taste better tomorrow after all the flavors meld together. It was pretty darn good tonight! Betsy Lou waited patiently to see if she would get any, but she's on a diet, remember?
I don't know why I can't post this picture right-side up. I have fiddled with it long enough though. You get the idea!
Thanks Rachel and Jim!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Culver's French Fries

It was an amazing day today. First off, my mom took me with her ALL DAY LONG. We went to visit my sister Millie and her mom. I am not sure if Mommy forgot about my diet, but she actually fed me a Culver's french fry! I swear...she did. I have witnesses and everything. In this picture I look like I am missing teeth but I think it's just the angle mom took the photo from. I almost look like a vampire bat, but I was so excited to eat that french fry that I didn't care what I looked like! That was the major highlight of the day. Spending time with Millie was fun but I am always a little leary of Millie as she was Mommy's first love. She is the daschund that came before me and started my Mom's love of Daschund's. I have this sort of fear in the back of my mind that Mommy loves Millie more than me. I am the second born. However, I realize when we leave Millie and go back home that I am truly number 1 and I am the most important dog in the world. Millie will always be special, but she has her own Mom to love her and I have my Mom all to myself. A Mom who clearly loves me more than anything, proven by the fact that I did get a Culver's french fry today! Anyway, after we left Millie I had to compete with the other love of Mom's life -- my real life brother Michael. He's a little tougher to compete with for obvious reasons. BUT, I realize that Michael is a grown man who has his own life and I am dependent upon Mom for all my care, so it's me who gets all the attention. Make sense? It does to me. I didn't see her giving Mike any Culver's french fries today. Nope...that's something she did only for me. I am the MID. That Most Important Dog. And today was a great day. Millie, Mike and everything.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Purina Dog Chow can be delivered to your house!!!

Are you aware that if your Mom goes on the internet she can go to and actually order dog food and treats to be delivered right to your front door? You heard not only get the excitement of the doorbell ringing, but you get dog food delivered! And if you're a first time Peapod-er like we were you get FREE delivery. Around here, FREE is good. So, yesterday the door bell rang and I got to scare the heck out of the delivery guy. He tried to hide his fear of me by smiling and saying I was adorable, but I am pretty sure that underneath he was terrified. I have that effect on people. So, here's my advice to you dogs who's Mom's have not yet discovered grocery delivery.

Put on your best puppy eyes. You know what I mean. If you are good enough at it (like I am) you can put on a face with very little effort on your part. It's the look of "I am very sad that you are leaving the house to go shopping without fact, I am pretty sure that you don't even love me anymore, but I'll be OK. I'll just lay here and wait for you to come back..." Like this:

It is very effective. So, she gives in and goes on line to Peapod and orders PURINA DOG CHOW! I did not say Science Diet Light...I said DOG CHOW! It has cheesy bites and everything in it!!!!! I was thrilled!!! But then all hell broke lose. I found out if was for Bailey! Bailey is my cousin who is fit and thin because she is a show-off who runs around the yard and exercises. I am still stuck with Science Diet Light. At least that is what I am leading everyone to believe...
Shhhhhhh, I have a secret that NOBODY and I mean NOBODY knows about. I non-chalantly walk into the kitchen and look around for witnesses. If the coast is clear, I take one piece of Bailey's dog chow and then stash it under the living room chair for consumption later. I do this enough times and I have an entire meal that is NOT diet food. Not only do I get the pleasure of stealing something that belongs to Bailey, but I can eat REAL food! Well, almost. I am still working on a way to do this with hamburger and rice. That might be a bit trickier, but I will eventually devise a plan for that, as well. Just wait and see. For now, I am happy with my current plan. Tee hee hee....I am such a clever dog!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

What is the world coming to?

Last week I was the queen. I was ROYALTY. I would get hamburger and rice for dinner. I would get a treat just by using my big brown eyes and looking a little sad. Something has shifted here. I am thinking of maybe peeing on mom's computer so she cannot read articles on the internet anymore that state that my chances of this injury happening again will be reduced if I am "trim and fit". Well, let me tell you that "trim and fit" is not fun. No sir. I would stand on my head if I could get mom to give me some of the white bean chicken chili she made but she is having none of my antics. In fact, it just upsets her more that I might hurt myself again. Well, my thinking is this...if I DO hurt myself again, I can have hamburger and rice. I think it's sad that while Mommy ate the chili I got the usual. How appetizing is this? Sure, the bowl says GOOD DOG at the bottom. I'm not buying it. Good dogs should get steak bones, hamburger and rice, dog treats, etc.

I'm just not buying it.

Chicken and White Bean Chili for Human's Only

This is an awesome recipe. It took like 10 minutes to prepare and it's really good! The part that took the longest was finding all the stuff in the grocery story. I don't know why Illinois has their stores organized so poorly. And of course none of the can sizes ever match the size the recipe calls for. So you will need to wing it. Oh, and if you have an electric can opener that dates back to the Flinstone era, perhaps it's time to invest in a new one. It's also disappointing when you make this and are really proud of it and then everyone comes home and says "I'm not hungry" or "I was going to Quiznos". So you know what I say? More for me. To Betsy's dismay there is not any for her. We are taking her diet very seriously and you will most likely hear about it when she blogs later today. She is clearly not happy with me but I read an article last night and it's for the best that she gets in shape.

But back to my GREAT FOR FALL COOL NIGHTS AND FOOTBALL GAMES White Bean Chicken Chili. Top it off with a touch of sour cream and you have a meal. A seriously good meal that will beat Quiznos any night of the week. And it's so much better than Science Diet Lite.


Okay, the first step is to admit you have an addiction...You know who you are.

Most of us love pizza.  In fact we love it so much that we have it delivered, we buy really bad versions of it at baseball games, roller rink's and amusement parks. Of course the frozen pizza has become a staple in many of our homes.  And, when funds or energy levels are low we can at times get desperate and resort to making (and eating) what can only be described as a faux pizza-esque type food.  You know what I am talking about; the english muffin pizza, the bagel pizza, hell I bet you have even put red sauce and cheese on white bread and thrown it under the broiler! 

Well there is good news addicts, I have come up with a 15 minute make at home pizza that you will love!  And, if you are a generous person you may want to share it with family, or friends, but seriously you are under no obligation to do so.  I, of course, am not a generous person and if you touch my pizza I will burn you down.  The End.

I got the original idea from a pizza that California Pizza Kitchen put out a year or so ago; the Swiss, ham and caramelized onion pizza.  Alas, it was a limited edition and once it was gone I went into a depression that I can only assume was like post-partem.  Having no kids myself I have no idea what post-partem depression is like but I think its really bad and therefore you can understand my comparison and utter feeling of loss.

Heavy Sigh.

After a substantial grieving period I decided that being the fearless foodie I am I could make this pizza.  At first I bought pizza dough and rolled it out. I caramelized the onions, and I made a bordelaise type sauce which was on the original pizza.  And, I have to admit it was one screamin' yummy pizza.  However, the downside was it took an hour to prepare and 20 minutes to bake...Way, way, WAY too long for a pizza addict to have to wait to get her fix!

So, I played with ingredients and I fussed with dough's and I tried pre-made crusts, and I created sauces and eventually, I came up with what is in fact a damn good pizza that takes no time at all and is easy peasy to make.


1 Premade cornmeal pizza crust (I prefer the premade cornmeal crusts from the Nugget Market, however, I am also fond of the Mama Mary premade crusts which are not cornmeal.  Both are packed in two's and run about 5.00 a package.)

2 tablespoons of alfredo sauce

1 small block of good gruyere cheese (Swiss is a great option as well)

2-3 green onions

1 small heirloom or on the vine tomato

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of salt

(Optional) pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


Spread olive oil evenly over crust and sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes if desired.

Spread alfredo sauce evenly over crust and top with chopped or sliced ham, green onion and tomato.  Top pizza with shredded gruyere cheese and bake according to crust package instructions.

Let the pizza sit a minute or two before slicing and remember the cheese will be hot.  It is also a good idea to line the bottom of your oven as the cheese may bubble over and cause a mess.

VIOLA! - Behold the awesomeness!!!

Now, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is as follows: 

Be bold, go forth and create pizza!  I highly encourage you to experiment, and craft, your own masterpiece or, sample mine.  Then write back and share your story with Food A Go-Go!, we would love to hear what you think.   

Well that is mostly true, we would like to hear what you think...Okay, we really don't care what you think at all, but go ahead and tell us anyway. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hospital Food isn't bad....

First let me say that I have just gone through a major surgery and am in intensive care. Do you think that my co-writers on this blog could be keeping up their end of the bargain and writing reivews? No. The answer is no. They are writing nothing and I feel compelled to put something down on paper. Now, as you can see, I am still on an IV. And notice that my back is shaved and I have staples running the length of my spine. But I am still able to type out a few words here. I would like to mention that before I came to the hospital Mom gave me hamburger and rice just to make me eat. That was REALLY good. Since I have been in here I have had 1/4 can of soft dog food. That's not all bad. Mom usually makes me eat the lite food as I believe I have mentioned before. I did overhear Mommy telling the nurse today that when I get home I will be eating the lite food again, but I think I can pull some sympathy hamburger/rice food for at least a few days. Mom is kind of being soft on me since she's so happy I am going to be ok. I might need to limp and act all sickly for a while just to get a decent meal but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I think I am going home tomorrow so I'll be sure to keep you posted on the food situation. Keep your fingers crossed for some steak or something. Well, maybe that's wishful thinking. But anything other that Science Diet lite will be ok with me!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hospital Food

As my loyal fans know I had surgery today. Not just your run of the mill spaying, I had an actual neuro surgeon operate on my spine to fix the paralysis I was having in my back legs due to my excitement at the thought of going to the store with my mom, and then I accidentally jumped off the bed even though I know this is a no-no. Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow, when I am able to actually eat, I am going to do a blog about the hospital doggie food. They did tell my mom she could bring some of my favorite treats and I am pretty excited about that. I am getting treated very well in here. The nurses reported to mommy that I have my nose pressed against the cage door and that they assume I was looking for her. Don't tell my mom, but I was really looking for the nurse with my next pain shot. Stay tuned to tomorrow for the update on the hospital food. Thanks everyone for your well wishes on my surgery. I am going to be pampered and spoiled for a long time to come over this. I can get plenty of mileage I think.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Have you ever had a Pup-a-cino?

Woof woof woof! Listen my fellow puppies...ask your mom or dad to take you to Starbucks. All you have to do is look real sweet (and that's easy for me to do) and they will ask your mom if you can have a pup-a-cino. My mom said YES! It's a tiny little cup of whipped cream and let me tell you -- it's to die for. I have never been so happy in my life. I am not sure if I can go back to drinking plain old water anymore. I am an official Starbucks fan. Until now it's just been a place I go with mom and get scolded when I try to lick her cup. But no more. I have my own special thing and it's wonderful! I doubt my vet would like me eating it, but I don't care. And who's going to tell?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Presenting Food For Optimum Eye Appeal

My mother always told me that cooking a great meal was only half the battle. She was border-line obsessed with what she called "eye appeal" and adding color to dishes. She was all about garnishing and making it pretty as well as having it taste good.

Tonight my brother (the fantastic cook that he is) made this fabulous beef tenderloin and kahlrobi in olive oil, garlic and topped with parmesan cheese. It was as good as it looks in the picture. I photographed it with my iphone and forwarded it to Shelley before I even took a bite. I kept thinking that my mother would have liked a nice big green vegetable or some other colorful garnish in addition to the kohlrobi. But the taste of the food was too good for me to bother with it. Until....Shelley texted back with "yum, but uh....NICE DISHES". Ok...I admit that these dishes are old. They were in fact my mother's. I guess I am used to them as we have eaten off them for as long as I can remember. How long ago did Corelle come out with that little strawberry design? Somehow after Shelley pointed it out to me the food didn't taste quite as good. Forgive me mother, and please don't turn over in your grave. But through the wonder of photoshop, I have made the dish taste better. And I am sure Shelley will rest better tonight.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Zucchini's and Guns

When I was working, I looked so forward to the weekends. Now, not so much. Saturday especially means being alone in this big house with PETE. And PETE always has ants in his pants. I needed to do something today to be productive so I went to the store and bought everything necessary for zucchini bread. The only thing I did not buy was the actual zucchini as we usually have an abudance of them being that my niece's boyfriend is a farmer. I got home and started to prepare the recipe I got from and realized that there was no viable zucchini in the house. Just a few mushy ones. Ooops. I asked PETE if he would run to the store and pick up two large zucchinis. Here is the exact conversation as it transpired, I kid you not:

Me: Can you please run over and get two really large zucchinis?

PETE: What now?

Me: Zucchinis. They are in the vegetable department.

PETE: What are they?

Me: Let me write it down, just ask someone they will know what it is.

PETE: Do we need anything from the store?


PETE: What are they?

Me: They are vegetables! Just ask someone.

PETE: Do I have to go now?

Me: You don't have to go at all, I will go.

PETE: I am going to the store, do you want anything?

Me: Well, how about if you pick up some zucchinis.

PETE: Ok. Where do I find them?

This continued for quite a while. He finally went and retrieved the zucchini and I made the bread. While I am cooking he says "do we need anything from the store?" I said "why, are you going back?" He replies "what about dinner?" That falls under the category of whatever you choose to do leave me out of it. I just told him I was eating zucchini bread for dinner. He says "what is zucchini bread?".

It's nights like this that I am very glad I don't know where the key to the gun cabinet is.

Thankfully, my son came over and we ordered a pizza.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Change of Pace

Today has been, well, interesting. It began by me telling PETE at 8:30 that we would be leaving in 1 hour for his doctor visit (a visit we have discussed in depth every day for over a week). He says "where are we going?" and I told him again. He says "why are we going?" and I told him, AGAIN. Then, he tells me (without prompting) that we're leaving too early. So he remembers that the time for his appointment is 11AM. How can you remember the time but not know where you are going and why? Nevermind, I know, it's old age and his condition and I need to just shut up about that because that will so be me one day. In fact, to a degree, it's me already. But anyway, we got to his appointment early and he checks in at the desk and the lady gives him 6 pages of paperwork to fill out. PETE comes to sit near me in the waiting room (full of people, I might add) and says loud enough for almost everyone to hear "look at this shit...I have to fill out a book about myself...BITCH". I said (equally loud) PETE, don't be like that, these people are here to help you and they need this information. He tries to give me the same argument that he always gives me "well, they are the doctor's they should know this stuff". He thinks every doctor in the free world already knows his complete medical history.

Now, let me get to the good part of the story. When we finished his appointment and left we decided (for a change) to go to this quaint little restaurant in downtown Oswego. It's just called Family Restaurant, I think. When I walked in I immediatly recalled being their with my own mother and my son in 1994 after a day of house shopping for me. Memories!!! Nice memories!

The food was fantastic. I felt like we were in Mayberry, North Carolina and that Andy and Barney might walk in at any moment. Even though it was noon, I ordered french toast (needed to take a piece home). They had the best and crispiest hash browns EVER. They brought my milk out when I asked and kept coming over to refill our coffee. Wonderful, nice atmosphere with great food. So what if my dining partner was PETE and he was grumpy. If he mulled over the menu and ordered the same thing he always does I was oblivious because I've never been there with him. Of course I can never go there with him again now because it will irritate me.

The good experience was washed away when we got home and PETE opened up a medical bill from his last cerebral angiogram a few weeks ago. It was $42,000! (Medicare will be paying it but that didn't stop him from going on a rant about the corrupt bastards in Illinois and how he's going to write a letter to Obama). I have to admit the medical fees in this country are off the charts, but hearing about it over and over and over isn't making me feel any warmer and fuzzier about it.

He's going to a wedding tonight for his nephew. It'll be nice to have the house back!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

T-Bonz by Purina = Doggie Heaven

The dogs on this package are not very cute. Well, maybe the one on the right is, as she reminds me a little of my friend Sarah Taylor (sometimes known as Sarah Jessica Parker Taylor). Only my friend Sarah is cuter. They are smart dogs though (not fat and stupid) because I bet they got a deal on free T-Bonz for posing for this picture. My cousin Bailey and I cannot get enough of these little morsels. They are soft (which is something I demand). They are flavorful. They are heaven for dogs. The only treat I like better is the chicken drumette I reviewed yesterday. These are a close second. I will pose for their package anytime. After all, I might be in a book soon. The Cutest Pets in America. If my mom decides to fork over a preferred price of $59.99 for a copy of the book. Please write to her and tell her to do it. It's my first public exposure and it might lead to more deals such as posing for the T-Bonz package. Or better yet, the drumettes package! Can you even imagine? All the drumettes you can eat just for having your picture used? Oh, nevermind. I bet my mom would still limit me to one or two a day since I AM FAT. Sigh.

My Inner Rock Star is now satisfied

Last night I was on the old "no food or drink after midnight" as I was having a lumbar injection in my spine at the hospital this morning. Ooops, when I woke up at 2:45 because my co-blogger and bedmate Betsy Lou needed to go outside, I ate a piece of candy. But other than that, I had had nothing (minus a sip of my niece's starbucks on the way to the hospital because I had to swallow my medication. So, I was starving. By the time we left the hospital (25 miles from our house) I needed to eat SOMETHING. My appetite was even better since PETE was not there. I could feel nothing from the waist down on my right side so it was great to have the Illinois drive-thru option. Paige and I chose my brother's favorite place Augustino's Rock and Roll Deli.
I promise you this is the best sandwich EVER. It's a submarine sandwich place that's on the expensive side (3 roast beef subs were $19) but worth every single penny. The bread is fresh baked and the taste is like no other. It's a family owned business with only two locations here in the Chicago Suburbs. My advice is that if you don't live here, you might consider moving here just for Augustino's. Seriously.
I am still numb, but I can tell my appetite is satisfied. Oh, and Paige stopped and got me a Starbucks so I could have my caffeine fix.
Tomorrow you can look forward to another lunch with PETE as I assume after our next hospital visit he'll insist and this time I am not going to argue. It's just not worth the hassle. It'll be a two hour lunch and I just hope it's not Red Lobster.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Walgreen's Treats

This is not on my diet, but when I am especially good (which is almost always) my mom gives me this Waggin Train Chicken Drumettes treat that she gets at Walgreens (two for $5.00). That is a bargain by any dog standards. She gives one to me and one to Bailey. Bailey foolishly gobbles hers down really fast and then comes and sits and stares at me while I am still savoring each little bite. It is even more fun when Bailey is staring at me with her tongue hanging out and I can smirk at her (yes, dogs CAN smirk). I know it's mean, but that just makes this the best treat in the world. Stay tuned tomorrow when I review the T-Bonz bites that also come from Walgreens. Yum!!!!

History Repeats Itself

Today PETE accompanied me to the doctor and the minute we got in the car (at 11:45 AM) he began badgering me to go to Red Lobster after the doctor appointment. I told him "we'll see" like I used to with my son when he was 4. When I would say that to Mike he was smart enough to say "don't say we'll see, because when you say we'll see, it means no!". There is no such word as no in Pete's vocabulary. I sat in the doctors office receiving the slowest IV iron drip since the dawn of IV iron drips, and all I could focus on was PETE pondering that Red Lobster menu wondering if they had the Sailor's Platter. I mean seriously. I was surrounded by cancer patients receiving chemo therapy and I am consumed about how to get out of dinner with PETE because I didn't think I could stand a two hour Red Lobster stint.

He won. He went to Red Lobster. I tried to persuade him to try something new as we passed restaurant after restaurant. No, no, no. I told him to be adventurous and try something new! NO. He told me I was hard to get along with and I figured it was better than arguing with him.

For the details of the rest of the experience, please refer to the blog post a few days back entitled dining with PETE.


Matteo's Pizza & Bistro in Carmichael

So after our positive experience at Ten 22 the Bon and I decided to refer back to Sacramento Magazine's best restaurants edition to find another place to eat at.  We were flipping through the pages and reading comments when it was as if the "food force" grabbed us and directed us to page 103 and the following full page picture...

I gasped out loud as I read the Sac Mag description that ended with assertive blue-cheese butter.  Seriously, how can you not want this steak?! 

I looked at Bon and said "OMG, the force is strong with this one" and we immediately hopped into my Jeep and raced at warp speed toward Carmichael.

We pulled into the parking lot and I noticed right away that there was a nice patio with umbrella's for outdoor seating; which for me is always a bonus.  Bon and I headed inside and were greeted by two smiling hostesses and I immediately felt relaxed and comfortable.  I emphasized smiling because I feel many businesses (restaurants in particular) in an effort to seem sophisticated, and classy, forget the simplest rule of customer service - smile to welcome your guests, it lets them know you want them there. 

As I glanced around I noted muted and warm colors, soft lighting and the hum of people chatting.  There were plenty of tables, a full bar (with flat screens) an adjoining room with tables, booths, and the patio seating I noted earlier...Overall, just the right size for a neighborhood place.

As Bon and I were reviewing, and discussing, the menu I noticed a man in the corner of the room with his laptop computer and I thought ~ how nice that they have Internet access...A few minutes later the man came over to our table and introduced himself as Matt Woolston the owner of the restaurant.

We probably frightened Mr. Woolston with our just out of the trailer park enthusiasm but fortunately for us he was very patient and answered all of our questions and even explained to us about his vision of a casual neighborhood pizza type place for the family run Matteo's.  And, we even got to meet Mr. Woolston's son Jake who was working bussing tables.

To begin our meal we ordered what else? the calamari.  The Bon decided to have the sirloin (from the picture) and I opted for the California pizza.  I ordered my usual water and Bon ordered a Lemon Martini from the bar.

The Calamari arrived and let me tell you folks if Mr. Woolston weren't married I might have dropped to one knee and proposed...I have ranked this calamari as the second best I have ever had!  A HUGE plate of calamari was placed on the table and as I greedily snatched a forkful of yummy squidness I was totally unprepared for the flavor explosion that hit me. 

The calamari had been prepared perfectly and was seasoned with I dont know what goodness and was then combined with battered onion straws. OH MY HOLY GOD PEOPLE! I would love to wax poetic about the awesomeness of this dish, but honestly I wouldn't do it justice.  What I can tell you is that it was fan-freaking-tastic! 

The steak and pizza soon followed and my pizza was excellent.  There was grilled chicken, a light sauce, goat cheese, bacon and sun dried tomatoes with a perfectly cooked crust.  Sadly, I had eaten so much calamari I had to ask for a box to take my pizza home, but I can report that the pizza was even better cold the next morning for breakfast.

Bon's steak was gorgeous, seasoned to perfection, tender and covered in a burgundy demi-glace that was truly sublime.  I enjoyed the bite of steak that I sampled immensely, however, my (and Bon's) only complaint of the evening was that the sirloin was served well done and she had ordered it rare...A huge disappointment if you are a red meat eater.  The steak was served with fresh veggies of the season including grilled corn, string beans, potatoes, etc.

Mr. Woolston's vision of a casual pizza type place is certainly on the mark as far as the setting, however, his flavorful and creative dishes elevate Matteo's to something much, much more than a neighborhood cafe; and I will definitely be returning to try several more of their dishes.

Bottom line, Matteo's is a must try for anyone who enjoys really good food.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1/2 Price Burger Night at Sonic

Does anyone remember Simple Life when Paris and Nicole worked at Sonic? They were tasked with changing the sign outside of the Sonic on 1/2 Priced Burger Night and they changed it to say "1/2 price Anal, Salty, Weiner Bugers". Well, on my way home from the bank tonight I passed the Sonic and had to stop in because it was 1/2 priced burger night. I have to say that I have never eaten at Sonic before and it was really good! Betsy just kept looking at me and when I turned my back she snagged a tomato somehow. I guess that's on her diet. I keep thinking I should go into a nice long description of the burger, but how much can you say about a burger? It WAS 1/2 price and that makes it good in my book. I find it fascinating that they still have car hops there. How it works is you just pull into any space and when you're ready to order you push the red button and they deliver it to your car. No waiting in a drive thru line. It's pretty sad that in Illinois everything is drive thru (mostly because of the severe weather). You can literally do almost everything without ever having to leave your car.

We're home now. Here's Betsy's dinner.

Doggie Writer's Block

Well, I am stuck. So far today I have only had the Science Diet Light. I may look like I am getting ready to write in this picture but I am actually sniffing out Mom's keyboard for a crumb of anything that might have fallen in there. Nada. So, what I was afraid of happening is now starting to happen. What am I going to write about? I went with Mom today to run some errands and she stopped at Starbucks to use up that $10 that was accidentally put on her gold card yesterday. I leaned over the seat and tried to lick the cup and got scolded. There's no calories in coffee is there?

Here it is, 10 minutes later and EUREKA! Mom made some squash and I decided to see if I could lick something off the plate. I was busted. I guess it's Science Diet for me tonight. And not even Science Diet for regular dogs. It's for FAT DOGS.

Back to being bored and laying around.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ten 22 in Old Town Sacramento

The Bon and I ventured into Old Town Sacramento last weekend just because we had not been there in years and we wanted to see if it was still as fun to visit as we remembered.  It is! 

Old Town Sacramento is simply a fun day whether you are a local yocal or a visiting tourista.  There are a variety of eateries, sweet shops, galleries and clothiers sprinkled among the landmark buildings and there are some new additions in the form of cafe's, clubs and tattoo parlors and even a speakeasy to open soon.  And, of course there is the Railroad museum, the horse drawn carriages and the Sacramento River tours that provide endless amounts of sightseeing and entertainment. 

Among the new additions I mentioned earlier is Ten 22.  Okay, in all honesty I had no intention of eating at Ten 22 when I headed to Old Town.  However as The Bon and I strolled lazily along window shopping, I saw the sign and immediately recalled that Sacramento Magazine had included Ten 22 in its Best Restaurants edition.  Ten 22 had been voted one of the best new restaurants in Sacramento and as far as I am concernced the gauntlet was thrown...We were going in!

I immediately loved the decor and atmosphere; there was a warm and casual uptown cafe vibe with a clear view of the bar and the kitchen from all tables.  Since it was early evening The Bon and I decided to belly up to the bar and sample some appetizers and adult beverages.

Mike (our server) came right over with a warm welcoming smile and handed us a menu as well as giving the the low-down on the specials.  There is a variety of appetizers and salads to choose from but then we fell upon the Holy Grail of appetizers...Calamari.  Now, I must let you all know, here and now, that the Bon and I are...Hmmm, how do I put this delicately?  Basically, we are calamari whores.  Being said "CW's" we have made it our mission in life (much like Star Trek, or the Marines) to seek out all new calamari life forms and then devour them. 

We immediately ordered the calamari and then decided to also sample the wings.  For drinks I asked for water and Bon ordered a Pommegranate Lemon Drop.  I always enjoy watching a bartender mix a drink (and no not just because I am an alcoholic, although I am sure there is something to that) because it reminds me a bit of Tom Cruise in Cocktail and there is just something cool about it.  Mike (our server) poured Bon a beautiful, and fragrant drink, and Bon immediately gave two enthusiastic thumbs up; by her "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" response I inferred that the Pommegranate Lemon Drop was a refreshing and tasy adult beverage.  My water was well, water.

The appetizer's arrived and were beautifully prepared and served...The aromas of lemon and spice wafting off the plates made my mouth water  and I had to remind myself I was in public so as not to go feral on dem wings!

I really enjoyed the lemony zing of the calamari.  The dish included rings and tentacles (the way it should be) and was lightly battered (the way it should be) with the meat remaining tender (the way it should be) and the dipping sauce was a perfect tangy compliment.   

The wings were an Asian inspired love fest...Garlic, ginger, chili and gooey sweetness all lovingly wrapped around a chicken wing.  The heavens wept and the angels sang...Okay, really that was just me crying and singing but those wings deserved praise!

The Bon prefers a more traditional wing of the Buffalo variety and just couldn't muster the weeping and angels response that I had had.  Whatever with her.

Anyhoo, my first experience with Ten 22 was positive enough to make me want to head back soon to sample the dinner menu and I will certainly be back for dem angelic wings.


Barking My Complaints

My vet told my mother that I am fat. I weigh 13.5 pounds and I AM FAT. She did not say I am stupid, let's get that straight up front. In fact, she said I was a very clever dog and I happen to agree. But I AM FAT. It's not my fault, this stubborn belly fat. It happened after my metabolism slowed down when I was spayed.
As a result of BEING FAT my mother has me on a diet of light dog food. I only eat it late in the evening when I am sure there's nothing else I can snag from any other household member. Bailey, my cousin, gets to eat whatever she wants. Nevermind that she is a bundle of nervous energy always jetting around the back yard and working off her calories. I prefer to lay around and keep my mom company. Therefore, I AM FAT. I am officially speaking out to you people on the internet to see if anyone will tell my mother to please give me some better food to eat. After all, I am a blogger of food and there's not much to write about if all I eat is Science Diet Light for FAT DOGS. I have no voice in this matter. Please help.

Starbucks Therapy

So Saturday I was shopping (since I am on a limited budget) and of course I did an impulse purchase at Sprint. I walked into the store out of curiosity because I am not even a Sprint customer and after today I never will be. I bought a tiny little pink bluetooth headset thinking it will help me with my iphone 4 problem of dropped calls if you touch the phone a certain way. I don't need it in my car because there's built in bluetooth there so I thought for $37.42 I would try it at home and see if it solved my problem. However, I know from past experience that things stuck in my ear and I don't get along. Anyway, because of my past bluetooth problems I specifically asked JEFF the Sprint Dude what my options were should I decide to come to my senses and return this little gadget. He said, and I quote: If you bring it back by Monday with all the packaging there will be no re-stocking fee and there will not be a problem. Fast forward to today which is Monday (see reference above). I packed up all the things just like new and found my receipt and went to Sprint. Of course JEFF the Sprint Dude is off today and I had to explain to someone else why I was returning it. After numerous back and forth between some other guy who wasn't Jeff and the manager of the store (who's name is Phadi K - Sprint Store of Oswego, 1530 Douglas Road, Oswego, IL 60543 - area code 630-551-7100 in case you wanted to contact him) I was told that it was a non-refundable purchase. I realize it's only $37.42 but I was PISSED. I told them that this was why I was an AT&T customer and they just shrugged their shoulders. I picked up my little pink bluetooth device and I marched out of that store pronto, vowing to call Sprint Corporate (Shells, can I have their number?). I have a feeling they are still snickering at me.
At this point I had no intention of doing this, but my car accidentally turned into the Drive-Thru Starbucks. I had no choice but to order an iced Venti Caramel Macchiato. And a Venti cup of ice. I handed the guy my gold card and $10 in case there wasn't enough on the card. It was my only cash. He misunderstood me and put it all on the card, which of course means now I have to go back once or twice this week to use that money up because otherwise it will burn a whole in my Dooney and Bourke purse.
To add insult to injury, and to incorporate PETE into this post, I get home and he's standing there with a rag in his hand compalining that I went to Starbucks and didn't bring him anything (which if I had he wouldn't have wanted it anyway). And if all this isn't enough there was a notice on the front door that I missed my Fed Ex delivery of my medication. It has to be signed for. I guess PETE was too busy cleaning and fussing to answer the door. It's going to be a long night.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dining with Pete

I guess I am the slacker here. Shelley and Betsy have been posting and I am watching TV. That's a no-no if you're a blogger. I've never been a blogger, but I'm giving it a shot. Lots of things are changing so that might as well change, too!

I was thinking of sharing the dining experiences I sometimes have with my brother's ex-father-in-law, AKA Pete. I know what you're thinking....what the heck is she doing having dinner with her brother's ex-father-in-law. Well, it's a long story. I am living with my brother for the time being and for reasons I could never explain, Pete also stays here in the summers because Arizona is too hot. He insists on eating out every night. Problem is that he's getting on in years and can't remember from day to day where he is. He has a passion for giving the food servers a hard time and then complaining about the bill when it arrives. He doesn't seem to get the concept that when you take someone with you, the bill usually is twice as much. Lucky for him I have quit drinking and so he doesn't have to deal with my double martini orders. I'll save that for another time!

Now mind you, I do NOT go out with him most of the time. I only get caught in that trap if I was the elected one to take him to the doctor or some other equally exciting task. You can't go anywhere with him without him wanting to stop for food. You just can't. And there's no such thing as a drive thru or quick bite with him. He needs to go in, sit down, have a Jack on the rocks while he mulls over the same menu he's read almost every other night that week. Each time it's like he's never been there before. For example, before we go into Red Lobster, I can tell you he's going to order something called the Sailor's Platter. But he'll look at the menu and then look again and then call the waiter over and ask if they have the Sailor's Platter. Usually this is when the waiter looks at me like "weren't you just here yesterday and didn't he have that?" and I will just nod and smile. So the Sailor's Platter will finally be ordered, along with a beer. Then he will take 3 times longer than any other human being on earth to eat the food while he tells you that he was in the Navy and has been around the world twice. (Some days it's three times, but usually it's twice). Then it'll be time for dessert. He will take 15 minutes to decide he wants vanilla ice cream. Do you have vanilla ice cream? Ummm, yes. We have it and we had it last night and the night before when you were here, too. Ok, so then the bill will come and he will say "$60.00! What did we have that could add up to $60.00?" And he'll call the waiter over and go over every item on the bill and finally whip out the old wallet and pay, all the while bitching that he can't believe it was $60.00. It's highway robbery!

There is one thing you can count on with Pete though. He makes damn sure we're home by 6:30. Why? Why?????? Three words: Wheel of Fortune.

And so it begins...

Okay, I love food!  Hmmm, do-over...I love some food! 

Alright, I actually am not a full blown foodie...I really don't love all foods.  In fact most foods that are of the vegetable persuasian are a definate "no thank you" for me.  And, FYI I have already begun a draft entitled 101 Ways To Hide Your Vegetables...But that is another blog designed mostly for kids.  However, I digress.

So okay, I am no Anthony Bourdain and I am probably  most likely  definately not going to travel to South East Asia to eat duck sperm prepared in a hand made clay pot buried in a pigs belly and slow cooked in the ground. 

However, I am completely willing to trek several miles into dangeous suburbs and downtown areas; battling homeless populations, one way street traffic, totally over priced parking garages and uber snarky seating hostesses to bring you my thoughts and my impressions of the places I visit, the food I eat and the people I meet. 

In addition to sharing my restaurant reviews I plan on sharing some family traditions, funny food stories, kitchen nightmares, yummy recipes and helpful hints.  And, in an effort to go global with Food A Go-Go, Nancy will be sharing stories from Chicago and Besty Lou will be contributing for the animals who eat other animals population.

No, no don't even mention my effort or sacrifice; I am a total giver.  Errrm, well I am more of a taker really, but I am sometimes impressed with unselfish people and I occasionally aspire to be like them and this really seemed like the easiest way to do that...

I hope that you will enjoy my rants and raves.


Weiner Dog Review of Portillos

Hello world! As you might have noticed, I am a weiner dog. I feel that because of that I am more than qualified to give you reviews on Chicago Hot Dogs. My first review is now. Bear with me as it's not easy to type with these paws.

Having moved from California where they don't have anything close to being a decent hot dog, I am happy to report that things are different in Chicago. We are starting our review today with Portillos. If you've never been to Portillos you have no idea what you're missing. Be prepared to wait no matter what time of day you go.
Dick Portillo opened the original place in 1963 (before I was born). They will soon have 45 locations. I hear they even have some in California, but trust me, they won't taste the same. I believe you actually have to be IN Chicago to really appreciate a Chicago dog. Since I am a Chicago Dog, I believe you can trust me. Get a hot dog with everything and then my advice is to remove the peppers and just let the taste from them linger. A true chicago dog has peppers, mustard, pickle, onions, celery salt and tomatoes.
They do serve a really good Italian Beef but the main reason to go there is for the dogs. Dogs Rule!