Saturday, August 24, 2013

Some sweet cravings..

I have been craving bread pudding among other unhealthy desserts for months now. I remember getting it hot off the smorgasbord when I was a child or as we walked through the lunch line at our local delicatessen with my grandmother(MaMa). I have had some really great interpretation of this dessert and some you could patch a block wall with. 

So I decided I want that sweet sweet treat again. Small problem with that; we pretty much eat strictly organic. Sometimes we will step off the organic train and that is all the reminder we need as to why we got on in the first place. Plus the ingredients in bread pudding are some of the most GMO you could find. So what do I do? I make my own, a quick trip to the grocery store and I have the haul. Organic Valley half & half, unsalted organic cream butter, organic madagascar bourbon vanilla beans, organic golden raisins, Florida Crystals organic & vegan demerara sugar, free range organic eggs, organic cinnamon & nutmeg. Plus the main ingredient Rudis organic whole wheat bread with a touch of honey. 

Only thing that wasn't organic was the Jameson Irish whiskey for the sauce, didn't think to look for organic whiskey. Plus I had just enough Jameson left for the recipe and we don't toss anything away just because its not organic, we just use it up and never buy it again. We have been on the organic path for almost 2 years now and I can say from our soaps, lotions, toothpaste and other hygiene items we are about 70% organic but our food is 99%. 

Enough of the babbling there will be plenty more of that later on....On to the real reason your here; THE RECIPE!!

Organic Bread Pudding w/ Whiskey Sauce. 

8 or 9 cups of bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Left out to stale over night (or longer)

1/3 tbls butter

3 1/2 cups half & half

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cup Demerara sugar (sub brown sugar)

1/4 cup raisins

1 vanilla bean

3/4 tsp cinnamon 

3/4 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

Start with your bread; cube it up and let it stale over night in a bowl or oven. I left mine for 3 days in a bowl, I'm a dad to a toddler and well my plans never seem to go as planned. Hers on the other hand seem to be timed just right for that. 

Use some of the butter to grease a 9 by13 inch casserole dish. 

Take 1/2 cup of your half & half, remaining butter and put it in a small sauce pan. Next cut your vanilla bean in half then split it to remove the seeds. Place the seeds, leftover bean and raisins in the sauce pan with your half & half then heat on medium. As soon as steam starts to form pull from heat and cover and let steep for 15 minutes (if mixture simmers remove from heat immediately). 

While vanilla mixture is steeping mix eggs, sugar, salt & spices in a bowl. As the 15 minutes rounds out remove the vanilla bean pods from the pan.Take the remaining half & half adding a little at a time to the hot mixture to bring the temp down. Once the vanilla mixture is cool pour it in with the eggs and spices. 

When everything is mixed well pour over bread and let soak for 30 minutes mixing it at the 15 minute mark. Preheat over to 350. Pour bread mixture into greased casserole dish and place in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Bread pudding will be done when middle is firm.

Whiskey Sauce:
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch (maybe more)
3/8 cup irish whiskey
Pinch salt
1 tbls unsalted butter
In a saucepan turn to medium heat, add the half & half and sugar. Place the cornstarch and 1/8 cup of the whiskey in a small bowl and mix to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the cream mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 5 minutes until thick. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt, and stir in the butter and the remaining whiskey. Serve warm over bread pudding.

If you don't eat organic like my family feel free to use whatever products you'd like to make this. Take this recipe and make it your own. I'd love to see your creations in the comments below. 



Monday, September 24, 2012

Back from hiatus!

So it's been quite some time since I last blogged and to be honest I've missed it.

As most of you know the iPhone 5 came out last week. I was first in line at my local Verizon store. I also preordered one as well, it was delivered by noon on launch day. I made my preorder on the 14th at 3am. Then decided to let the Misses have that one and I would go and wait just so I could've the first in our area with the phone (bragging rights). So I arrive at the store around 4:20am and started the line.

It wasn't 20mins later I was joined by number 2 and every 15 to 20 mins after someone else pulled in the lot. Around 5:45 or so #2 opened his car door and started the chain reaction of everyone getting out of their cars. So I hopped out of my SUV and popped the hatch to get my pop up lawn chair( a lesson I learn the hard way, about a few a years ago when I waited for a ps3), then I headed for the door. I planted myself right under the "Line starts here sign".

The first few of us BS'd off and on till the doors opened. Mainly about the reason we were all there. The Verizon employees came bearing gifts or so we thought. When we heard the boxes of doughnuts and coffee weren't for us it kinda bummed me out. Oh we'll I was going to be first in the area with an iPhone 5.

So they come out at 7:30 and get all our account info and start the process Needless to say at 5 till 8 I had already texted 2 people and got a call from a friend who was waiting at another store. So I was already using my new phone 5 minutes before the apple release time.

It's been over a week now and I don't see myself using any other device besides apple. There is an app for everything, it's how I'm blogging now.

So enough ramblings for now. My next ramble will be about a restaurant or food in some way shape or form.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yummy what?

So while on another one of our day dates/
errand running the Misses and I were on our way back from the farmers market. With her being pregnant she has been craving Chinese food ever since she became unsatisfied from the local Chinese take out spot around the corner. So I proclaimed to settle that craving once and for all (little did I know I would start a somewhat of a snowball effect) but it is one of my pet peeves to let a craving just go. So I have been wanting to go to Yummy house ever since I was browsing urbanspoon for a spot to get lunch at, but all my co-workers said it was too far to drive for lunch. I don't mind driving somewhere and having to eat lunch at my desk as long as the food is worth it. Plus I read nothing but great reviews and heard that they usually had a line waiting for a place to sit. So it sounded like a for sure thing, but as much as I tried no one would trek out the for lunch with me. So who better to take than my better half, she never complains. We pull up to the older strip mall and wonder if this could really be the right place? We walked in regardless of what the outside looked like, when we came through the door the thought crossed my mind again. Really with the plastic table clothes, poster board hand written signs and a few other turn and run signs I still decided to try eat. I mean my favorite restaurant in Tampa is a bus. So our waiter came and asks for drinks and hands us a menu. As we look them over there are so many great options but only a few things that I could eat since starting this new way of life/cleaner eating. So the misses gets some egg rolls, orange chicken and I got the sizzling grouper pot.

 Let me go ahead and say that we went there again and we ordered; schezwan chicken, and 8 treasure sizzling pot.

If the return trip tells you anything the food was delicious, not overly fried, or packed with sodium like most Chinese places in Tampa. The grouper pot was amazing, the grouper was perfectly cooked and the sauce tasted great. The combination of fish, tofu, garlic and mushrooms came to a perfect medley of taste. She loved her orange chicken, said it was just a little to "orangie" for her to reorder it. Her egg rolls were more like spring rolls that we get at our favorite Thai spot, but were good none the less.

The schezwan chicken was the best I've ever had, and I order it as one of my main go to dishes for any Chinese place. Again the sauce they use for their food is perfect! Her 8 treasures pot had tons of seafood, tofu, pork, beef, mushrooms and again the sauce that is a true delight. Nothing would taste bad with this sauce on it, but the "treasures" inside were cooked to perfection. I tried a few, and this will be my next order. We plan to go back time and time again. As well as plan to check out their hillsborough ave location. So if you are in the mood to try some pretty close to authentic Chinese food check out Yummy house at;

2202 W Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33604

Yummy House on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Da Kine of Place You'll Love

Since I started the new job and the misses started at home training for her new gig, we really haven't had any us time besides the few moments we relax on the couch together before bed. So on the day where we were both off we took advantage of it, I decided to stay out of the house doing this that and the other for as long as possible. We were doing this and that, we were talking about looking for someplace new to eat, this is every time we want to eat out occurrence so nothing new there. I had planned to take her to Pinkberry the night before, but the time at the gym kind of ran over and by the time we were showered and ready to go they had closed. So while out I decided we would get Pinkberry for sure but that doesn't fill you up.

Mid way through our entire day date the misses and I started to get hungry so we started looking for a small (by small I mean non-chain) place to get some good food, We drove by Da Kine and I'm a fan of food trucks, since the idea of food from a truck is sub par, most food truck vendors go above and beyond when it comes to quality food. So I had the Misses urbanspoon it based on the reviews and the fact we were starving and without any other hopefuls in sight we stopped by (and thank god we did).

We get out of the car and you could smell the wonderful aroma of all things great. It's a small food trailer where everything is cooked out of, they have all types of options on the menu, dinner plates, mix and match, samplers, and more. A few different drinks that you can't normally find, so we walked up scanned the menu, placed our order and watch as they cook our food, then take and hand chop the chicken and fill the styrofoam containers completely full.

We got our drinks and I should have got 2, the coconut water with pineapple was the best I have ever had, and I can't find the brand they sell anywhere else in town. The service was great, very quick to get the order ready. Now the seating is small like only one picnic bench under a tent, but what do you expect from a food trailer? So we opted to get it to go and headed down to cypress point park, found a nice spot under a tree for some shade. Then proceeded to open up the containers, the smell again was amazing as we look at 3 types of chicken Sweet Shoyu, Sweet'n'Hot, and Teriyaki.

All three were good, the sweet shoyu had great flavor and was a perfect match with the Sweet'n'Hot, the only complaint was with the teriyaki was a bit salty, more than to be expected. Besides the over dose of sodium the food was great, the chicken was cooked perfectly, not overcooked. We ordered a side of veggies and macaroni salad.

 I have to say that Da Kine has the only macaroni salad I have ever tasted and liked. The veggies were just steamed bag veggies so you can't really mess up on them. I plan to go back if I'm in that neck of the woods again, the food was great but not worth the trek from my house to just get some grub. If you're in that part of town and looking for some good food for a decent price that will not only fill you but give you something to eat later go check out; Da-Kine Hawaiian Café located at 3316 S Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, FL 33629 or visit their website at
Da-Kine Hawaiian Cafe on Urbanspoon

We also hit up Pinkberry for some frozen yogurt and fresh fruit, then decided we needed to walk off all the food we ate from Da Kine and walked through Westshore mall for a few, over all the day date went well and I enjoy spending time with the Misses as she is the best company I could ask for.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Damn Commercials !!!

A few weeks back a red lobster commercial flashed across the tv screen and well the seafood lover I am it put me in the mood. If you have been following along you already know the misses is pregnant so that got her craving ball a rolling. It was replayed for what seemed to be like every 5th commercial for what seemed to be weeks, so I decided to have the Lady and our 2 sons pick their favorite item from the red lobster menu and I would reproduce it at home. I'm always up to a challenge, and I know I can make better food than some chain restaurant disrespect.

So the menu ended up being new england clam chowder, side salad, coconut shrimp, popcorn shrimp, peach bourbon bbq shrimp, bacon wrapped scallops, peppercorn sirloin and of course some cheddar bay biscuits......then there were the request for some off the menu items I also made broiled butter garlic lemon gator tail, boiled some crawdads & corn, and for dessert it was bananas foster!

The family helped cook this feast under my order and it flowed so well like a 5 star kitchen that has been working together for years. The food came out perfectly and before dessert everyone was stuffed like we just left a free buffet. So after we cleaned our plates and clean the table, we went to the gym and worked off the dinner. By the time we got back home everyone was ready for dessert so I taught the boys how to make bananas foster and they still remember weeks later so that's a plus, but I think the taste helps too! After all was said and done the food was better and cheaper than red lobsters plus since we bought stuff in bulk there were shrimp, scallops, crawdads, and all left for other dinners later in the month. So I only have a clam chowder recipe for you, better than my last few posts which included none. The clam chowder recipe was wrote by my 13 year old son as I called out the things I was throwing into the pan so there might be something missing, I made it again and added what he did miss but just a warning, but as we all know a recipe is just a guide I never follow one 100%, always adding and subbing out something for another. Its what cooking is all about EXPRESSION! On to the recipes;

Clam Chowder

1 c diced white onions
½ c diced celery
½ c diced carrots
4 slices diced bacon

Fry bacon, remove to plate to drain.
Use bacon fat to sweat mirpiox, drain grease.
Add 2 cans 6.5 oz clams with sauce (reduce by ¼ or half)

1 ½ c milk
1 ½ c cream
1 tb basil
2 ½ tb parsley
1 tb cilantro
½ tb old bay
30 grinds pepper
Add bacon
Add can diced potatoes
Heat on med for 10 mins
Mix ½ tb cornstarch with 1 tb cream, add then heat additional 10 min covered on med-low.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sushi For Lunch...?

Well as you may know the Misses is pregnant and she has been feeling nauseas since day one, now that the baby is really doing some growing she has been feeling abit under the weather for that past few days, but she still drug herself out of the house to go and support one of my awesome coworkers at his drag show, unfortunately we didn’t stay since it was at a smoked filled bar, we opted to go play putt with a couple friends. Then we headed home just after midnight.

The next morning she wasn’t feeling any better, so she forgot to pack me some breakfast and I figured I’d just go out and grab a quick lunch. (Yes she does pack my lunch and breakfast on top of a bunch of other amazing things she does for me before i go to work) what can i say she is AWESOME!!!
Well after trying to find something for breakfast and realizing that our café was closed on the work campus i had to resort to the wheel of death (vending machine) I settled for a ham and swiss on rye which wasn’t the worst thing I have eaten but was on my top 10 list now, might have even bumped .25 hot dogs from the 7-11.
Give it 24 hours and I will know where this so called ham and swiss sets on the list. (side note; blog idea top 10 worst food ever eaten open discussion style) well I ate it and it got me thru to afternoon break when I ate some of my normal things; grapes and a banana. Side note while eating my banana I really wish my 3rd story office window would open....I love throwing banana peels at or out of things but especially out of a moving car, I always imaging/wish a car behind me is going to hit it and spin out and lose all their coins and yoshi or donkey kong will come from behind and steal them away....

Back to the main blog; see how easy it is for me to ramble....
After asking everyone to go and get something to eat with me I figured I would just go eat alone, until I found the spot I wanted to eat at, and I knew the first coworker I asked would definitely cave in and forget about his lunch that he brought to go and get some sushi.
I have heard a few good things about Origami sushi from coworkers and read a few good reviews so I decided to head out that way on my lunch hour (3:30pm). After running a little late on something I was doing for a customer at work, I sprint out to the parking garage and head over to the sushi place. It’s located in a little strip mall with a few other stores. The parking lot was small but rather empty. We walk in and its was extremely nice, like something you would expect down on bay street of somewhere off westshore. As our hostess showed us our seat, I notice the huge sushi bar, now I love watching my sushi being prepared an even like to talk to the sushi chefs (itamae). It’s about the experience but this go round it was about eating and heading back to work ASAP since I was strapped for time. So we decide to grab a booth.

They have a great looking menu, I mean everything has a picture beside it which makes the menus huge they come out in a 3 ring binder. I got their lunch special 3 rolls for 11.95 that comes with ginger salad and your choice of soup. I went with miso, and it was great along with the salad. I can say this place has great food, and the sushi is fresh I ordered an eel avocado roll, a tuna cucumber roll, and a spicy salmon roll.

After enjoying the soup and salad the rolls arrive and they look amazing, they fill a quite large plate. So I dig in, the eel was fresh and taste amazing. The wasbi and ginger mixed with soy sauce complimented the rolls perfectly. The tuna was tasty and had the perfect texture, the spicy salmon wasn’t as spicy as I had hoped for but the crunch that they add to the roll made up for what was lacking. The person I went with enjoyed their rolls just as much as I did.

Since this blog has been written I have been back three times or more, getting different rolls each time, I have tried their eel cucumber and a wakame roll. Which I have to say if you have never tried wakame, next time you are at your favorite sushi spot ask for it. It’s a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavor and helps burn fatty tissue. The wife has had their spicy chicken roll, since she is pregnant and can’t have any raw fish she settles for cooked rolls. Every time I have been the service was amazing as well as the food.

I can say that I will be back time and time again to Origami Sushi, it will be on my favorite place to go for lunch while at work list pretty much at the top. So if you are looking for a place to hit during lunch, someplace for date night, or just a fan of good fresh sushi be sure to check out; Origami Sushi at:

6507 west waters ave │ tampa fl 33634

Origami Sushi on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

$5 Burger Mondays

So since I started a new job, a few of my coworkers wanted to go out a grab some lunch. We decided on Burger Monger, which I have been wanting to try ever since I heard they serve Kobe beef burgers. We make plans to go the Monday after payday, which was perfect because if you know me I love to save money, shop sales, use coupons and basically try to save as much money as possible. Plus Mondays at Burger Monger are $5 burgers.

If thats not a great logo.... I don't know what is.
So we are released to lunch and we all pile into a co workers new SUV and make way for some grub. As we pull up the lot was packed, but we walked into a very small line, that soon changed as people were waiting behind us and out the door (looks like we made it just in time). I walk up and place my order for the $5 burger and their smallest order of fries(1/2 pound) and I choose what I wanted on it from what seemed to be an endless list of options, I went with cherry wood smoked bacon, grilled sweet onions, grilled mushrooms, mild cheddar cheese, and a side of bbq. I get my number grab my drink and go take a seat with the coworkers. We start doing our normal lunch routine of belittling one another. Not to long after I got to the table the food was brought out and that stopped all the talking. The burger looked amazing as did the half pound of fries.

Talk about an amazing looking burger.
I took one bite and knew I would probably never find a burger to top this one. When I first saw Burger Monger I thought; Why open a burger place next to a McDonalds? Well because this burger would destroy ole Ronalds any day!!! They have been in that location for awhile now and I bet they have did a lil Hamburgling of McDonalds business. I mean this burger melted I'm my mouth like butter does on corn on the cob. The taste was amazing, from the bun to the toppings it all complemented this marvelous burger creation. The fries were great, they were hot and not greasy, not overly salty and I mean it was a half pound of spuds.....can't go wrong right? So if you want to have the best burger for under 20 bucks go check out Burger Monger at;

10412 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33618
Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
Phone #: 813-968-6860

Burger Monger on Urbanspoon