Sorry, there haven't been many posts this week (ok, any at all) but what can I say it's been summer and I've been busy. I promise after we get through our big BBQ this weekend I'll shower you with lots of recipe posts and restaurant reviews...and a giveaway. Yep, you heard right - first Girl and A Fork giveaway ever, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday! How was your weekend, readers? Over here, the past two weekends Mr. S. and I have been experimenting with different pulled pork recipes. Last weekend we tried cooking it on the BBQ and topping it with a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce and this weekend we slow cooked it for over 8.5 hours in a roaster then mixed it with a homemade BBQ sauce. For the latter (which I'm blogging about), the kidlets were around so I served it up on a sweet french roll with some crispy tator tots and got thumbs up all around. I think this one's a keeper!

Homemade BBQ Sauce (recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

*Makes about 7 cups of barbecue sauce


2 cups ketchup

2 cups tomato sauce

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar

1/2 cups unsulphured molasses

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

4 teaspoons hickory flavored liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper


- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all the wet ingredients and then add the seasonings.

-Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it simmers (and then as it cools).

- Simmer for at least an hour.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)


3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (I've also used boneless pork loin - not tenderloin - but pork loin with good results)

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke

2 cups barbecue sauce


- Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry.

- Rub salt and pepper over the pork and place in a slow cooker.

- Add water and liquid smoke. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender.

- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid.

- Shred the pork using a couple of forks.

- Place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again.

- Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce.


Not too long ago I posted about how my friend Sarah and I attended a wine event out in the wilds of Winters and on the way home stocked up on lots of fresh juicy jam berries. The following day we spent damn well close to nine hours in her cute retro kitchen hulling strawberries, measuring sugar and stirring jam over the stove until our arms almost fell off. It was a long day but the pay off was over sixty jars of sweet, beautiful jam- strawberry, blackberry, strawberry-tangerine and strawberry-balsamic vinegar with black pepper. Don't they all sound delish? What's funny about this whole jam-a-palooza is that I'm not a big jam eater. It probably takes me about three to four months to eat one jar of jam and that's if I'm moving fast. So since then I've been giving most of them out as gifts or trading them with friends for fresh veggies. In fact, I wrote an email last week to a friend that I recently reconnected with (ahhh, the miracle of Facebook...) and the conversation went roughly like this:

Her: So what have you been up to this week?
Me: Oh, a friend just dropped off some fresh plums, homemade pasta and a bit of basil in exchange for a jar of jam. Later tonight I'm going to go pick up some homemade honey from a friend's house that has bees and then I'm going to a make your own BBQ'd pizza party.
Her: Umm, do you like live on a commune?
Me: No, Sacramento.

Maybe it seems über granola to some to be making things like jam or to can but I really enjoy it and I've been loving the looks on people's faces when I've given them a jar of fresh jam or some spicy dilly beans. Pure delight! Also, doing the hot water bath portion of the canning process (to make the jam shelf stable) turned out to be much easier than I thought!

The recipe we used was out of Sarah's copy of Complete Book of Home Preserving by Ball. What a great resource. I've picked up a copy since then and have been really impressed with the content and easy of use. Whether you're a beginning or advanced canner it's definitely worth having in your food library. The recipe we used is posted on Sarah's blog, Undercover Caterer, but I'm going to list it below as well. Happy jamming! :)

Simple & Quick Strawberry Jam (Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)


3-3/4 cups crushed hulled strawberries

4 Tbsp lemon juice (use bottled for consistency)

7 cups granulated sugar

1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin


- Prepare canner, jars & lids.

- In a large, deep, stainless steel pan, combine the berries, sugar and lemon and bring to a rolling boil, while stirring constantly so that it doesn’t burn. When the boil cannot be stirred down, add the pectin and boil hard, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from the heat and skim off the foam.

- Ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars and place the hot seals on top. Screw the band on fingertip-tight.

- Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are covered with water. Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. After 5 minutes remove jars and let cool.

Mr. S. lives in the 'burbs. Most of you know my feelings about the 'burbs. I'm a Grid girl. I like living in Midtown; a stone's throw from dive bars, indie coffee shops and various small eateries...the streets lined with a colorful array of Victorians, Craftsman Bungalows and hobbit-sized cottages (as well as the occasional bum peeing in the alleyway). The 'burbs...well most of them are full of...Vicodin-popping soccer moms in SUVs, identically painted beige McMansions with postage-sized yards and strip malls with box stores. I used to joke with my friends that I would break out in hives whenever I'd venture out to the 'burbs. But these days with Mr. S. having kidlets, we spend a lot of time at his casa in the 'burbs and I have to admit I'm starting to like it. To be honest though, the 'burbs that he resides in is not your typical Walmart-Roseville-cookie cutter suburb. It's in an older part of town, near the river, by a community park, and most of the residents on his street own their homes and have lived there for years. I love that he has a large backyard for the kidlets to run around in, that there's a huge tree that offers shade for the many BBQs that we've had back there and the grandma-type across the street waves at me on the mornings that I stay over. Most recently Mr. S. had a cement patio put in and I've taken to spending my morning sipping my coffee out there while tapping away on the laptop. Yesterday, we tried our hand at making BBQ'd pulled pork sandwiches and this Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw recipe that Mr. S.'s cousin Sarah told us about. It was wonderful! Eating our dinner out on the patio under the cool shade of the giant mulberry tree was pretty close to a perfect summer maybe the 'burbs aren't so bad after all....

Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw  (Recipe by Tyler Florence)


(Yields 4-6 servings)

1 head Savoy cabbage

4 scallions

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 limes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

- Shave the cabbage with a sharp knife or mandoline so you have thin ribbons.
- Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar in shape to the cabbage.
-Toss the cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.

- Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest of the limes in a medium bowl.

- Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

- Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
5734 Watt Ave, North Highlands, California - (916) 332-2883.

Maybe I watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights one too many times but there's something about Cuba that I just find so damn intriguing. It's one of those places that I've been dying to visit. Bourdain recently did a No Reservations filming there and I hungrily devoured the episode. Is it the history of revolutions, the sultry culture or the fact that mojitos originated from this small country that pulls me towards it so? I dunno, but it fascinates me nonetheless.

Now there isn't much in the way of Cuban food in Sacramento. Almost nil, to be honest. Most of my exposure to Cuban food came as a small child visiting my uncle and his first wife in Miami. I remember eating spicy shrimp dishes with rice and fried sweet plantains in restaurants. My memory of those times is foggiest at best but I remember liking the food. So last week when a friend suggested that we do some food exploring and check out a Cuban restaurant she had heard about, I was game. Well that is until she disclosed that it was in North Highlands. But sometimes you gotta take one for the team...(and just hope you don't get shanked by some meth head while in the pursuit of some good chow). Sol Cubano, turned out to be in a clean, well maintained strip mall (and we went during daylight hours). The establishment itself was cute- red and white checkered tablecloths set against a colorful mural of a map of Cuba. I was a bit early for my lunchdate so I ordered a teeny cup of café cubano while I perused the menu. For lunch, I couldn't decide what to order and asked the waitress what she would recommend. She suggested several dishes and I decided to go with the Vaca Frita. [Note: Each lunch and dinner dish comes with a choice of white rice and a cup of bean soup or cuban rice and a small salad. I went will the cuban rice and small salad.] I also ordered a side order of Platanos Maduros Fritos (fried sweet plantains). ¡Ay Dios Mio! Everything was so delicious! The Vaca Frita (beef that has been cooked twice- first slow cooked, then marinated in a lime/garlic/salt, shredded and fried with onions until crispy) was AMAZING and usually I hate black beans but I loved the black beans that were in the cuban rice at Sol Cubano.

Mean girlfriend that I am, I sent photos of my lunch to Mr. S who was stuck at the office eating a Winco sandwich. I didn't feel too bad as he had just recently gotten back from an all expense paid trip to Florida (without me!) where he got to eat all kinds of delicious food, including Cuban food. My iron heart did relent a little later on and I agreed to take him to my new found eatery the next night for dinner (actually I just wanted to go back there for another meal, but we'll just let him think I'm really generous and kindhearted, ok?). The place was quite busy in the evening both with patrons dining in and with takeout, luckily we were able to score a table. We decided to order a Papa Rellena to start out with. Neither of us knew what this was and nodded our head when our waiter asked, "Only one?" Sure why not. Turned out a Papa Rellena was a deep fried baseball made of mashed potato with a core stuffed with seasoned ground beef. It's actually quite good; although it's quite daunting when it's presented to you- you're not quite sure whether to eat it or to huck it knuckball style. For my main course this time around, I decided to try the Ropa Vieja since it was one of the three dishes the waitress had recommended during the previous visit. "Ropa Vieja" means "Old Clothes" in Spanish so I was curious what I'd get. Mr. S. went with the Lechon Asado, a Cuban-style slow roasted pork. He gave the double thumbs up on this so it must have been damn good. My Ropa Vieja turned out to be shredded braised beef with a tomato-based sauce. It was quite tasty but I think I was more in love with the Vaca Frita, but they may be because I'm not a huge tomato lover like most.

Anyhow, I can't say enough good stuff about this little Cuban joint. It's seriously worth the trek out to the outlands of North Highlands. The drive isn't too bad, just grab a sherpa and head on down Watt Avenue, past the old McClellan AFB. The portions at Sol Cubano are good sized and the prices are reasonable. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and do takeout as well. If I remember correctly they close up pretty early (830pm?), so go plan on an early meal.

Well Sacramentans, looks like the hot streak finally broke this week and the cool Delta breezes have found their way into the Central Valley. Whew! The reprieve in temperature couldn't come at a better time and what better way then to celebrate it then to spend it outdoors with friends?

Instead of the traditional BBQ, my friend Cate decided to think outside of the box and throw a mid-week Pizza BBQ party tonight. Ingenious! She provided the dough, pizza sauce and the grill and had the guests bring their favorite toppings or a side dish to share. The toppings bar ended up being quite the spread. There were fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden, black olives, crisp bacon, prosciutto, black garlic, artichoke hearts, pancetta, caramelized onions, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, pineapple, fresh and sauteed homemade mozzarella, Daiya cheese, goat cheese, brie...and much, much more! I ended up piling on all kinds of goodies on my pizza and then rounded out the end of the night with a big helping of Carren's delicious cherry crisp.

PS This little guy was a guest at the party and is looking for a home, if you're interested please leave a note in the comment section & I'll have the foster mom get back to you!

(Photo: Zach the Chihuahua by Ilsa)

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Some of my guy friends are amazing cooks, some have completed culinary school, some even cook professionally and well...some of my other guy friends microwave daily and are known on a first name basis at their neighborhood Chinese takeout joint. When I suggest that they tag along with me to the farmers' market, I can see the sweat start to bead up on their forehead and a look of panic start to wash over their face. They get that deer in the headlights look and start hightailing it for the nearest exit. So this recipe is for you, dude friends- it's simple, it's really quick and doesn't involve any fancy French words. You can whip it up in mere minutes and return to the safety of your man cave before anyone assaults you with words like locavore, food revolution or Richard Blais.

Ma Po Tofu


1/2 lb. ground pork

1 package Ma Po sauce

1 block silken firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 2cm cubes

3 scallions, chopped (whites & greens)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon chili oil or sriracha (optional)

1 tablespoon oil


- Heat a tbsp of cooking oil in a wok under medium high heat. Add ground pork, cook until it's browned.

- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add sauce, tofu and scallions. (Add chili oil or sriracha at this point, if you wish.) Stir-fry, blend well.

- Serve with steamed rice.

Awhile back Mr. S. and I made a little weekend getaway to Seattle. It was wonderful. I loved the people, the sights and the food...Sweet Baby Jesus, I loved the food! Paseo, Cascina Spinasse, Salumi...I can't wait until we can hit them up again. I have such fond memories of our meals there. Anyhow, during our visit I bought a few things at Pike Place Market, one of which being some Spicy Red Hot Thai Curry Orzo at the Pappardelle Pasta stand. Since it was a dry good, when I got home I shoved it into my overflowing cabinets at the cottage and promptly forgot about it until this weekend when it clonked me on the head when I was pulling stuff out of the cupboard. I decided to take it over to Mr. S.'s casa and cook it up as a side salad to our dinner. I've cooked orzo before but not this particular flavored orzo so I decided to play it safe and use the recipe that they have posted on their website. At the market they sell the pastas by weight and I had only purchased 1/2 a pound so I halved the recipe below. The dish turned out well but Mamma Mia! Man, it was spiiiiiiiiiiicy! If you like spicy you'll love it but I'm a bit of a wuss so I don't think I'll be buying that flavor again. I did like their pasta product though, so maybe I'll try a different orzo next time. They also make a variety of flat cut pasta, lasagna noodles and gluten-free pasta via their website: Pappardelle's Pasta that look interesting.

Spicy Shrimp Curry Thai Peanut Orzo Salad

1 lb. Pappardelle's Spicy Red Hot Thai Curry Orzo

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons warm water

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Asian (toasted) sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2-4 cloves garlic, minced, salt to taste

1 lb. Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined & cooked

2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded & sliced very thin diagonally (I left these out as Mr. S. is not too keen on the cukes)

3 small green onions, sliced very thin diagonally
- Cook orzo in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water, drain thoroughly and set aside in a large bowl.

- Whisk peanut butter and water in a small bowl until completely smooth. Then whisk in soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt. Toss with the pasta, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

- Just before serving, add in shrimp, toss again, transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish the top with the cucumber and green onion.

A wise man named Homer once described the pig as, "... a wonderful, magical animal," and how right he was. So maybe it wasn't Homer of the Greek epic poet variety who spoke these words of wisdom but rather Homer of the Simpson donut eating variety, but still no truer words have been spoken. Bacon truly is manna from heaven.

So anyhow, Friday evening I was feeling kind of sassy and I felt like whipping up some sort of dessert for me and the boys. Now my idea of a good dessert is something that leans more towards the savory side then the sweet, that's just how my tastebuds roll. I perused the internet a bit and then JACKPOT! I found something that would satisfy my craving--bacon brownies! The recipe was pretty straightforward. The cracking, whipping and baking commenced. Then I ushered Mr. S. and the kidlets out for a bike ride while the brownies cooled. Good thing too, those stinkers (all three of them) kept trying to nibble all the bacon bits off the top of the brownies whenever I turned my back. End result : This recipe cranked out some delicious bacon/cocoa-y cake like brownies...all four of us gave it the thumbs up.

Bacon Brownies (adapted from Lauren's Kitchen)


8-10 strips of bacon, cooked to your desired doneness, chopped

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, melted

1¼ cup Ghiradelli All Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

- Fry bacon in pan, then drain it on a paper towel to remove as much grease as possible. After it has cooled enough to touch, chop it into small bits.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Sift all of the dry ingedients: sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and cocoa - together into one large pile of incorporated dry ingredients.
- Next, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl, and begin to beat the eggs on medium speed until they’re a nice light yellow color and beginning to look a little fluffy. Not too much, though.
- Then turn your mixer to it’s lowest speed and slowly start incorporating the sifted pile of dry ingredients. After they’re all gone, toss in the vanilla extract, and then - and this is important - slowly add the melted butter. You should now have a nice gooey brownie batter.
- Stop mixing, and using a spatula, fold in bacon bits. Save some to sprinkle on top.
- Spray your 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray, then cut a piece of parchment paper to about 8″ by 16″ to fit inside the pan with the 2 ends extending out from the sides, in essence making a “sling” of sorts for the brownies. The cooking spray will make the parchment paper stick to the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle bacon bits on top of batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes or so until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean-ish.

- When the brownies are done baking, let them cool for a minute or two, just to set up a little, then, using your parchment sling, lift the brownies out and onto a cooling rack for another 7 minutes or so. You want to cut the brownies before they cool entirely so that they don’t crack. Try using a pizza cutter for easy cutting.

True it's hotter than balls out there right now but it's supposed to cool down after this weekend. So, which of these fun events will you be going to this summer?

July 9: 2nd Saturday Ice Cream Social, Ginger Elizabeth's

July 10: Chando's 1 Year Anniversary Event

July 14: 2nd Annual Sacramento Bastille Day Waiters' Race Region

July 15-16: Marysville Peach Festival

July 29-31: 33rd Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival

July 30-31: The Wine, Cheese & Bread Faire

July 31: Courtland Pear Festival

August 6: 26th Annual Festa Italiana[1].pdf

August 13: Tomato Festival

August 13: 65th Annual Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar

August 13: Sacramento Banana Festival

August 15-21 Midtown Sacramento's Cocktail Week

August 27: Pour For Prevention

September 2-4: Sacramento Greek Festival

September 10-11: Tracy Dry Bean Festival

September 15-18: Lodi Grape Festival

September 17: Fair Oaks Chicken Festival

September 17: 16th Annual California Brewer's Festival

October 1: Lambtown USA

5530 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 110, Granite Bay, CA, 95746. (916) 791-6200.

Bloggers aren't infallible. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment or just plain forget. Awhile ago, Mr. S. and I decided to get dressed up and venture out of the the Grid for a romantic dinner date in Granite Bay at the much touted Hawks Restaurant. I'd heard nothing but good things about the cuisine and was excited to try the chef's tasting menu. I was so excited about our date night that like a dolt I left my camera at home and then I got caught up chatting with Mr. S. that it completely alluded me to take photos with my phone during dinner. It wasn't until hours after dinner that I remembered and had that smack-your-forehead moment. Doh! Oh well, bad blogger! Anyhow, I hope you'll excuse the lack of photos for this post.

So when we booked our reservation I emailed the restaurant because our date night fell on Sacramento Wine & Dine Week and I wanted to make sure that Hawk's was still doing the Chef's Tasting Menu and not just the Wine and Dine menu. I received a super quick and friendly reply from chef, Mike Fagnoni, assuring me that the Chef's Tasting menu would indeed be available in addition to the limited prix fixe menu for the Wine & Dine Week. Perfect! Date night rolled around and we arrived at Quarry Pond, an upscale strip mall in the outskirts of Granite Bay that houses various restaurants, gourmet shops and boutiques. We checked in at the front desk and were told it'd be a few minutes. Ummm, ok....the restaurant was near empty but sure we'll wait. So we wait in the elegantly decorated lobby while the hostess scribbled some notes. After about ten minutes she looked up and said that she could seat us and led us back to a booth tucked back in the corner. The first thing that struck me when we entered the dining room was that the decor looked as if a Ballard Design and West Elm catalog had had a baby. It was robin's egg blue paired with dark wood and lots of wood carvings and draped cloth. Contemporary color meets old school interior decorating. Throughout the entire dinner I kept going back and forth whether I liked the decor or not. One minute I'd think it was elegant, then the next I would think it was overkill. I did love the light fixtures hanging in the women's restroom though and the outdoor patio looked quite beautiful.

Before I dive into describing the food I'm just going to tell you straight up it was amazing. The service, not so much. It was evident, our waitress approached our table thinking we were there for the Wine & Dine Week and was about was interested in serving us as she would be folding napkins. Her interest slightly peaked when she found out we were doing the Chef's Tasting Menu ($80 pp)and she did smile (once) when she came to drop off the check. But during the course of a seven course dinner we rarely saw her. Each course was brought out by a different expediter, which I didn't like. I felt like I was at a car lot being constantly being handed off. These young kids would bring out the course, set it down, rattle off a description by memory as fast as they could and be off in a flash. I did ask one of them a question about a dish before he made his getaway and I swear I got a deer in the headlights look before he scurried off to ask the kitchen.

Now we were never given a written copy of the menu at any time during our dinner and my memory's good but not good enough to remember every detail of seven courses so I did cheat and email the chef and ask for a copy of the night's tasting menu to help me out. Again, fast and friendly reply. (Wish he had been our server!)

Amuse bouche: Hibiscus Shooter: A gorgeous bright fuschia colored concoction served in a pert shot glass. The drink had a very mild-flavor, kind of like one of those mixed berry Juice Squeezes.

First course: Chilled Lobster Salad: Absolutely delicious! A nice big chunk of meaty lobster decorated with shockingly colorful splashes of California avocado, Manilla mango and lime vinagrette. It had a nice clean, fresh taste that woke up my tastebuds and made them want to flash some jazz hands!

Second course: Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower Soup with Spiced Rock Shrimp and Creme Fraiche: A nice followup to the salad. A bit heavier, spicier and had a nice creamy texture. The pungent curry smell made me feel like I was transported to the beaches of Morocco.

Third course: House Smoked Ricotta Ravioletti with Morel Mushrooms and Green Garlic: Mr. S. went bananas over this course, he loves morels. (He badgers me throughout the year asking when they'll be in season and when Taylor's Market will get them in stock.) The meaty taste of the morels paired well with the supple pillows of ravioletti.

Fourth course: Sonoma Duck Confit Served with Farro, Marcon Almonds and Bing Cherries: This was my favorite course. The duck confit was crisp, well-browned and oh-so-delicious! The combo of almonds and bing cherries almost gave it a dessert like quality. I definitely could have done seconds (or even thirds!) or this course.

Fifth course: Duo of Creekstone Beef: Grilled Filet Mignon and Braised Short Rib Paired with Pomme Purees and English Peas. Pretty straightforward meat dishes, but cooked perfectly. Both dishes were juicy and tender. I liked that the short rib wasn't overly fatty.

Sixth course: Lemon Grass Sorbet with Coconut Tapioca and Lime Mignonette: A refreshing palate cleanser after the heavy fifth course.

Seventh course: Dark Chocolate Cremeaux with Thai Basil Gelee and Pistachio Merangue: Neither of us really had the room for this last course and to be quite honest we took a bite and weren't really wowed by it. They could have just have stopped at the sixth course and we would have been happy.

Well prepared, beautifully presented food. We both enjoyed the meal itself immensely. But as someone who worked in the restaurant business for years I was pretty disappointed in the service. I'd love to go back because the food was terrific but I don't know if I could justify spending that kind of money or spending the time to drive out there for the type of service we received- a vacillation between harried and apathetic. Hawk's you dropped the ball on that one. Whether it was an off night or not I don't know; unfortunately, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Oh readers, I wish I could say I lived the glamorous life and every night was full of parties and chef's tasting menus; but in actuality there's often nights where I'm hot, tired and just want to wear my fat pants and veg out in front of some mindless TV with the AC blasting. Last night was one of those nights. Mr. S. and I had plans to hang out but nothing in particular scheduled; so we decided to stay in, throw a meal together and catch up on some True Blood. He had a few episodes from last season to watch before tuning into this season's opening episode. Usually we'd order some thai or sushi takeout on nights like these but I really needed to clean out my fridge so I offered to cook. I had all kinds of odds and ends (leftover from other recipes) accumulating in my icebox so I decided to throw together a frittata. If you've never made a frittata before you'll be amazed at how easy it is. I listed what I used in my frittata last night but frankly you can throw in whatever meat, herbs, vegetables and cheeses you have laying around in your fridge. There's no right or wrong ingredient list. Although I have to say, last night's frittata was one one damn fine frittata.

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Frittata


1 dozen eggs

1.5 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup maitake mushrooms, chopped

3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

3/4 cup leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 T fresh dill, chopped

1.5 T fresh lemon basil, chopped

1.5 T fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

1 handful cheddar, grated, for garnish

2 T feta, crumbled, for garnish

1-2 T olive oil


- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

- In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and saute each of your ingredients (except the cheeses).

- In a bowl, beat your eggs until smooth. Add crumbled. goat cheese. Then add sauteed ingredients. Mix well.

- Pour your egg mixture into your cast iron skillet.

- Place in oven, cook for 15-25 minutes. Frittata will be done when eggs appear set and golden.

* A few minutes before the frittata has completed cooking, sprinkle the cheddar and feta cheeses along the top and then pop it back in the oven.

There you go-easy, nutritious and gets all that crap hiding in the nether regions of your fridge cleared out. Tasty and economical, gotta love that! :)