Almost Monte Cristo


Several months ago, a huge jar of sauerkraut landed in my shopping basket as I dreamed of the delightful grilled sandwiches overflowing with thin slices of corned beef and sauerkraut that I have sampled from Jewish delicatessens from time to time.  The last time I had one was in a restaurant in Bisbee, but it was at least 15 years ago.  Let’s see . . . is that a Croque-Monsieur or a Monte Cristo?

Last week, I snagged a pound of corned beef from the deli and made my own thin slices.  I had just roasted a huge turkey breast, so there was some of that available, along with the perennial favorite – Emmentaler Swiss cheese.  You can see the sauerkraut in the bowl to the left waiting for a chance to cover my little morsels.  I ended up not using the jalapeño dressing, but did make good use of the Dijon.

So it really wasn’t a Monte Cristo – more closely related to the croque-monsieur.  So the next day, I repeated the above and made a thin batter according to a net recipe and did it right.  Can’t say that it was any tastier than what you see above.  I didn’t bother to take a picture of it because mostly it just looked like a fat pancake with no personality whatsoever.  In fact, I used the leftover batter to make a little pancake that we ate for a snack later on in the day.  It was sort of a cross between a crêpe and a pancake.  Good for a snack because it was handy, but I wouldn’t go to any trouble to actually produce it again.  What you see above, covered in the veggies (cukes, tomatoes, and red peppers) in the surrounding little bowls was much more pleasant to eat.

I think just grilling it like a glorified grilled cheese sandwich might combine the best of both worlds with a minimum of fuss and clean up.

Anyone know of a place where these are served?  And are they super delicious?

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Dragon Fruit, Guavas, and Pixie Tangerines


Who wouldn’t be fascinated with a food called Dragon Fruit?

I would love to try one of them, but the price is breathtakingly high, so I will content myself with watching YouTube offerings.

As for guavas . . . having grown up in South Florida, I can tell you that those things were a blight!  Everyone had a tree, and they were prolific in production of their fruits.  They seemed to be all over the sidewalks to trip me up when roller skating, and got really nasty as the sun beat down on them day after day.  They make great jam, though!  I didn’t appreciate it when I was a kid, but have a better appreciation for it now.  It is one of the sweetest spreads that there is, so I don’t keep it around, as we seem not to eat it after the initial foray.

As for Pixie Tangerines . . . I have no idea what makes them so special.  They look rather withered, but maybe that is not entirely indicative of what they are like inside.

Still curious about Dragon Fruit, I YouTubed up a bunch of videos, and the participants seemed quite entranced, munching down slices as they spoke.  Guess the temptation was too great!

Here is a short article that tells about the fruit itself.

And here are a couple of videos about cutting and eating them.


This lady’s enthusiasm is truly infectious:

If you ever taste any of these exotic fruits, please let me know how it was!  ;->

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Japanese Sandman


What?  She’s gone ’round the bend for sure this time.  !!! ;->

Every Sunday we have a really special brunch.  It usually looks very similar to what you see above, so I don’t often write about it, but today we enjoyed it so much more than usual that I want to talk about it some.

First . . . ??Japanese Sandman???  What does that have to do with anything?  Not a lot, actually, but it is the little things like this that bring us such great happiness.

We listen to Pandora when we have meals, and have a shuffle of music from our favorite eras – the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  We were listening away today, while enjoying the above repast, when Benny Goodman and His Orchestra started belting out “Japanese Sandman”.  Usually we hear it by Paul Whiteman, and were delighted to hear a new version.  This is one of DH’s favorite songs, and he was totally delighted to hear a new version of it.

We reflected on the happiness that we feel with our lives – the wonderful food, companionship, and contentment that we are blessed with – and wished this same happiness for all of our friends.


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Pan o’ Peppers


By now everyone probably understands that we really do love peppers . . . not hot peppers, but these lovelies.  It makes me happy just to look at this picture and remember how delicious these peppers were in the stir fry that they engendered.

I can see why so many countries use these colors in their flags.

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Quickie Pepper Burger


I guess we are back in the burger-for-lunch-nearly-every-day mode again.  The availability of red peppers seems to bring this out.  I must admit that we do not fight this feeling very hard.  I just get some nice, lean meat ground up for us at the grocery store and make all things hamburger-y – regulation burgers, stuffed peppers, tostadas, burritos, meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, chili, and whatever else I think of – for about a week.

The burger is shown here at the very bottom of the stack, covered with a slice of melted Cheddar, grilled onions and peppers, and fresh tomato slices.  We’re onto Romaine and red lettuce lately, so there is a bowl or a pile of it with every lunch.  Dinners turn out to be barely more than snacks these days, so I guess we are officially Old Folks now – you know – big lunch and a bowl of cereal for supper!  No, we don’t really eat cereal for supper, but are finding that less food is necessary after a big lunch, eaten late in the day.

But tonight, we are having grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes and collard greens.  We had our usual big Sunday brunch and naps, and now it is already past six o’clock, so the next meal will be supper, rather than lunch.

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Pasilla Burger


We love chili rellenos, but my few attempts to make them resulted in too much effort for too little reward, so we usually get them during the few eating out forays that we adventure out on.  BUT – pasilla peppers were on sale last week – big, gorgeous, shiny green ones.

I thought I would give it another go.  Did I do it?  Nooooooo !

Instead I used one of them to make a Deluxe Chili Cheese Burger – Italian/Mexican style.

I sautéed up a super great red pepper, the pasilla, some sweet onions, and crimini mushrooms to top off our bacon/Provolone cheeseburgers for lunch yesterday.  A couple of slices of fresh tomato = hog heaven.  Served on a toasted sourdough roll – so delicious.

BONUS:  There is enough of the veggie mélange remaining to make a round of pizza for supper tonight.

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Nopalitos and Tostadas

Toastadas and


An efriend in another (East Coast) state uses nopalitos interestingly, thus I was spurred to give them a try.  I’ve seen them on the grocery store shelves here in the desert for many years, and, indeed, a huge cactus with these paddles grows in my front yard, but we had never actually *tasted* such a food.  Well, yesterday was the day that it happened.  And like many things, I certainly wish I had taken the plunge earlier.

I am not a fan of hot peppers, so I had my doubts; but my fears were for naught.  They have the texture of a black olive, and are just the slightest bit tangy – not at all like I had imagined.  A clerk in the grocery store yesterday suggested using them with pork, which I will do, but here is our lunch from yesterday where I incorporated them.  Yes, there are only two on the plate, but we were sneaking up on them slowly.  After we found out how good they were, we piled them high on our tostadas.

The little pecan pie was a special treat, although to call it “pecan” might have been a stretch.  Fortunately, I buy chopped pecans in five-pound bags, so there were plenty to add to the cut pie.  I cut it in half, heated them for a few seconds in the microwave, and then stuck all the pecans I could into the thick, gel-like filling.  It was nice for a treat, but I wouldn’t want to be faced with an entire pie.  This little impulse purchase size was sufficient.

The nopalitos, however, were a great hit, and I shall be finding lots of foods to add them to, or just to use them as an interesting topping to many dishes.

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