Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 29, 2016 Lunch – PPI Miso Pho Soup, Dinner – Sautéed Ribeye Steak with Squash, purslane, and Onion Pasta with Pesto

August 29, 2016 Lunch – PPI Miso Pho Soup,  Dinner – Sautéed Rib Steak with Squash, purslane, and Onion Pasta with Pesto

I ate granola with yogurt and tropical fruit salad and then rode to Rio Bravo and back.

At noon I heated some of yesterday's PPI soup after adding more shrimp and another fish ball.

Susan Palmer came by and brought us 1/2 of a loaf of Irish soda bread, 1/2 of a French loaf, two breakfast rolls and two chocolate croissants from her trip to San Francisco after lunch.  They look yummy.

Willy came by at 4:30 and said he would return for dinner after his class at 7:30, so I started cooking at 6:45.  I heated a pot of water and boiled ½ lb. of gemeli pasta.  I diced about ½ of a yellow crook neck squash friom Suzette’s garden at the Center for Ageless Living and ½ of a medium white onion and went to the driveway and picked a cup of purslane and then to the garden and picked a handful of basil tops.

Willy returned early at 7:00 right after I had started sautéing the diced squash and onion in a medium skillet with a couple of cloves of sliced garlic and had chopped ½ cup of basil leaves into slices and washed the purslane.

We started the grill but it did not have much flame so I sautéed the steak in a large cast iron skillet with a sliced white onion and a sliced clove of garlic.

When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added it to the sautéed squash and onion and tossed it with 2 to 3 T. of pesto.

   The pasta tossed with squash, onion, purslane and pesto

  The skillet with sliced onion and steak

When the steak was cooked to medium rare, I sliced it and poured glasses of PPI La Granja Spanish red wine (50%’Grenache and 50% Tempranillo Trader Joe’s $4.99) and we ate the delicious simple meal as we watched The Rachel Maddow Show.

The steak was a U.S. Choice hand cut 1 ¼ inch thick steak from Albertson's, so it was delicious without any sauce.

After dinner I ate some chocolate with a small glass of calvados.

I gave a Willy the 1/2 loaf of Irish soda bread and a chocolate croissant to take home when he left around 9:00.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 28, 2016 Lunch – Miso Pho Noodle Soup. Dinner – Mykanos

August 28, 2016 Lunch – Miso Pho Noodle Soup. Dinner – Mykanos

I ate a banana spread with peanut butter for breakfast and a cup of chai.

At noon I made miso pho soup with three kinds of noodles, rice, bean thread, and soba buckwheat.  The soba overlooked and turned into myths after about fifteen minutes.  I started with 1/3 onion sliced and about an oz. of wakame seaweed with 1 tsp. of instant dashi. I added three shrimp and two fish balls plus a handful of chard from the garden and stirred in a heaping T. of red miso and two sliced mushrooms.

Finally I added three oz. of medium firm tofu.

I picked up Willy around 7:00 and drove to Mykanos for dinner.  We were almost the only customers, so had our pick of tables.  We selected one by the western Windows that offered a vie of the sunset.

I ordered grilled octopus and Willy ordered an artichoke and we agreed to share a 1 lb. grilled fresh Corvina sea bass.  The octopus was served with a thick lemon sauce, but the star of tonight’s dinner was the artichoke steamed to perfection, partially opened and drizzled with a drawn butter and cheese sauce.  We loved it.  We were served warm rolls and spanakopita.  Then the fish entrée arrived.  It seemed to be more than 1 lb. and it was served on a pile of fresh corn kernels and sautéed red onion rings.  The fish had been sautéed to golden brown with crisp edges.  We ordered a bottle of 2013 Kouros Agiorgitiko red wine from Nemea.

Kouros Nemea Agiorgitiko 2013

We enjoyed our dinner, but loved the artichoke in its special sauce the best.

Bon Appetit 

August 27, 2016 Lunch – Gold Street Café, Dinner – Beef Pho Miso Noodle Soup

August 27, 2016 Lunch – Gold Street Café, Dinner – Beef Pho Miso Noodle Soup 

Sometimes a small thought motivates a menu.  This morning urgency motivated me to eat my favorite breakfast, a bowl of granola with yogurt and tropical fruit salad.  I had ridden ten miles to Montano and back and had only a few minutes to eat between showering and leaving for a 9:30 appointment.

I had called Willy and told him I would meet him for lunch after my appointment.  After my appointment I drove to Willy’s apartment.  We decided to go to the new Vietnamese Restaurant on Gold but it was closed.  We looked at the menu at Le Troquet, but followed Willy’s suggestion that we eat at Gold Street Café.  It was a lovely afternoon, so we sat at a sidewalk table beside the Café’s door.  Willy ordered the Soutwestern Eggs Benedict, which was bacon and poached eggs served on a green chile biscuit with roasted potatoes for $12.95.  I ordered the Cowboy Breakfast, which was scrambled eggs sort of Cooked like an omelet and folded on top of a couple of slices of warmed ham on a green chile biscuit served with roasted potatoes for $8.95. I guess if they had called my dish Scrambled Benedict they could have charged $12.95 for it instead of $8.95.

The food was pretty pedestrian, not a lot of effort put into presentation, no unlike the Central Grill.  But the aspect of lunch that exemplified the thought I mentioned earlier was that Gold Street was within one half block of Willy’s apartment.  A lunch we decided to go see the new Texas movie, “Hell and High Water” playing at the Century 14 Theater one and ½ blocks from Willy’s apartment.  When we finished lunch around 1:00 we walked to the newly opened Silver St. Market, which on the first floor of Willy’s apartment and bought tea, a scrub brush, some cinnamon sticks, unfiltered apple juice, a small container of milk, and Bracken spiced rum for dark and stormys.

We then took the groceries upstairs and took a nap for an hour.

At 2:45 we walked the 1 ½ blocks to the theater and saw “Hell and High Water”, which I liked very much.  Possibly because it was set in West Texas and featured lots of shots of those endless open vistas and Staked Plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, where I spent a lot of time in my youth along Hwy. 287 that meanders on the Texas side off the Red River from Archer City to Olney and on through Childress and the Texas Panhandle or Post in deep West Texas near Lubbock as we drove back and forth from Fort Worth and New Mexico and especially Santa Fe.  The shortest route from Fort Worth to Santa Fe or Albuquerque was north on 287 to connect to I-40 at Amarillo.  If you stayed on 287 you would go up through the Texas Panhandle and connect to I-25 in Colorado.  It is the most direct route from Dallas/Fort Worth to Colorado Springs and Denver and 287 goes almost all the way to Canada. The movie’s unspoken hero is the nearly empty open space and roads stretching in straight lines for miles across those empty spaces of West Texas.

The movie is a morality play about how financial institutions have played havoc with land poor ranchers’ lives in West Texas by taking their land and Texas style vigilante justice.  Jeff Bridges is good as an old crusty Texas Ranger.

After the movie we walked the one block from the back exit from the theater on Second street to Willy’s apartment and said goodbye.

I drove home and watched the news, mostly about the 6.2 earthquake that destroyed hilltop towns in Italy’s spine east of Rome.

I decided to clean part of the fridge and poured out an old container of milk and some crab broth we made from the last Dungeness crab several weeks ago.  The final part of this strategy was to use the beef stock in a sauce pan Suzette had made last week from the PPI steak we ate last Monday plus a mirepoix of carrots, celery from the garden and some onion. I went to the driveway and picked ½ cup of purslane and from the front bed two stalks of blooming oregano.  I then walked to the back garden and picked six or seven chives, some basil tops and six or seven leaves of chard.  I heated the broth and diced the meat left on the two rib steak bones and added a cube of Pho seasoning, a T. of red Miso, the leaves of one of the stalks of oregano, and some Vietnamese rice and wheat noodles.  Then I added the purslane and de-stemmed and diced chard and in about 20 minutes I had a wonderful pho beef soup to which I added finely diced chives and basil leaves to freshen and further flavor the soup.  The beef broth was exquisite and the soup was hardy with the added chunks of beef enriched with miso and pho seasoning.

I added a bit of hoisin to one of the for bowls of soup I ate, but it really was unnecessary.

I got in bed at 9:00 and read myself to sleep with Hampton Sides’  Blood and Thunder to prolong the New Mexico experiences of the day.

Bon Appetit

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016 Lunch – Greenhouse Bistro Dinner – Hamburger, stir fried baby bok choy, and sautéed onion

August 26, 2016 Lunch – Greenhouse Bistro   Dinner – Hamburger, stir fried baby bok choy, and sautéed onion

I drove to the Greenhouse Bistro for lunch with Steve after our hearing in Bankruptcy Court today.  I ordered  a new salad it was a composed salad combining a layer of thin slices of fresh cucumber cut into the shape of long pieces of linguini with a pile of smoked salmon on top, garnished with a loose mound of guacamole sprinkled with sesame seeds and surrounded by fresh tomato slices.  It was very lovely, unique and very delicious served with a hot and sweet Chinese mustard dressing.  

Steve ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich, which he liked.  It had several slices of ham and cheese between slices of bread that had been battered and fried like French toast.

At 4:30 I baked two potatoes and thawed out a hamburger steak.  At 6:00 I cut up a head of baby bok choy, a slice of onion, ginger and garlic and then went out to the driveway and gathered 1/3 cup of purselane.  I then sliced an onion and stir fried the baby bok choy and purselane in the wok and in a large sautéed three slices of onion and the hamburger steak.  The sautéed onion, hamburger, and baby bok choy was enough food for dinner so I put the baked potatoes into the fridge.  

I drank some PPI Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir from Trader Joe’s with dinner.

Later I ate some of Suzette’s birthday cake.

Bon Appetit 

August 25, 2016 Lunch – Asian Pear

August 25, 2016 Lunch – Asian Pear 

I rode to Rio Bravo and back with continuous strength this morning.  Then I ate a bowl of Tropical fruit Salad I made Sunday with pineapple, papaya, peaches, blueberries, mangoes, and lime juice with a handful of granola and three T. of Plain fat free yogurt.

I then met with Bill Turner and Steve Blanco.  We took a break for lunch at 2:00.  We walked to the Asian Pear Korean Restaurant at 508 Central SW.  The menu is rather limited, offering your choice of Korean BBQ’d chicken, beef, or pork with rice or Korean glass noodles in either a bowl or a larger quantity of meat on a plate for slightly more money.  I chose the chicken plate with noodles for $6.49 and Steve chose the beef plate with noodles.  What sets Asian Pear apart from other restaurants in my mind is its arm and caring hospitality.  The owner when time allows will take care to offer you additional food.  Today was the best day of extra service I have experienced.  After we were served our meal the staff began eating their lunch and the owner came by and asked if we wanted extra noodles.  She had never done this before.  We said yes and soon she brought two small bowls of Korean glass noodle, which we added to our diminished pile of noodles.  When she served the noodles she asked us if we wanted Kimchi.  We said, “Yes.” Soon she brought us each a small bowl of freshly made kimchi.  She then asked us if we wanted some vegetable pancake and we said yes. In another couple of minutes she brought two more small bowls with two pieces of crisp sautéed vegetable pancake garnished with a special sauce.

After she had served us all the extra goodies, she joined the other employees and ate her own bowl of food for lunch.

I had the feeling that we had been treated as honored guests in her home would be treated.  When we finished our expansive lunches we thanked her for our wonderful lunch and left her and her employees to finish their lunch.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that the best service at Asian Pear is after 2:00. But I think that the type of service we received today is always offered, because Asian Pear has a 4.7 star rating with over 80 5 star ratings.

This was the first day I was offered an additional bowl of noodles, so can not say whether that is now standard treatment or extra care based on an excess of noodles at the end of the lunch rush.

I give Asian Pear a Five star rating or whatever the highest rating available is for the care and service that made me feel special and cared for like I was an honored guest in one’s home.  There can be no better service.

The other restaurant in my area of town is Central Grill and Coffee Shop at 2058 Central SW, which I believe merits it high ratings (4.5 stars) in part due to its excellent service also. 

Bon Appetit k

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 23, 2016 Lunch – Couscous, Roasted Pork, and Tzatziki, Dinner – L’Olivier

August 23, 2016 Lunch – Couscous, Roasted Pork, and Tzatziki,  Dinner – L’Olivier 

I ate PPI Couscous, Roasted Pork, and Tzatziki for lunch. The Tzatziki seemed a little old.  I hope it does not reignite my diarrhea.

Then at 5:00 we drove to Santa Fe for Suzette’s Birthday Dinner at L’Olivier, which is probably the most authentically French restaurant in New Mexico.  We sat on the patio bathed in the glow of warm late afternoon sun.  

I had read the menu on line when I made my reservation and knew what I wanted, sautéed sweetbreads and lobster salad.  Suzette decided to order the Spring Prix Fixe Menu ($35.00) with an appetizer of 4 Escargot served with ham, yellow tomato halves, and squash in a light garlic sauce in a ramekin, then for her entrée a large piece of sautéed salmon served on a bed of wild rice and squash on a puddle of creamy saffron sauce, and finally a homemade lava cake gushing chocolate sauce when cut into served on a clear raspberry coulis with a scoop of raspberry sorbet sitting beside the lava cake.

My sweetbreads were divine, tender, creamy and served with sautéed finely diced potatoes in an a jus sauce.  I loved the sweetbreads.

Then I was served a small lobster salad with a side plate of house salad, organic greens and small yellow tomato halves dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The lobster salad contained finely diced fresh apples and was served on a pink puddle of homemade mayonnaise sauce and garnished with fresh chives.  The chunks of lobster claw meat were wonderfully fresh.  

We ordered a bottle of 2014 Daulny Sancerre ($42.00).

Fresh bread and butter were served with the meal.

Suzette said it was the best wild rice she had ever eaten.  Her saffron sauce was very impressive, orangish with a strikingly intense flavor of saffron.  I tried her dish and it was really delicious; medium cooked salmon that was golden brown on the outside and fully cooked but delicately moist on the inside.  The wild rice was so tender it tasted as if it had been cooked for hours in a vegetable stock.

It felt like we were back in France except when the low riders drove by with their loud music blaring.  The restaurant is located at the corner of Gallisteo and Alameda, which must be on Santa Fe’s low rider cruising route, because I saw one vehicle come by several times with its music blaring in a high decibel range.

We enjoyed our meal and drove home around 7:30. The restaurant was kind enough to grant me the early bird 15% discount on my two items because we arrived a bit before 6:00. The restaurant opens at 5:30.

  The restaurant's front door

   The snails

  The sweetbreads

  The wine

   The sautéed salmon on wild rice and saffron cream sauce

  The lobster salad

  The house salad

  The lava cake and raspberry sorbet on the puddle of raspberry coulis

I love going out to eat when I can order dishes I can not or will not cook at home.  Suzette’s salmon and wild rice was a new wonderful dish because of the wild rice and the light saffron cream sauce.  My sweetbreads were among the best I have ever eaten, for no other reason than because they were tender and lacked any hint of blood.

They rank right up at the top with those I ate at Scandia in L.A. in the 70’s that were served en croute with a creamy shallot, demiglace sauce.

We both  loved dinner and count it as a memorable meal, Suzette for the wild rice and me for the sweetbreads, which is about the best one can hope for.

Bon Appetit

August 22, 2016. Lunch – Pho Miso Noodle Soup, Dinner – Roasted Pork Tenderloin Tapa, with cottage fried potatoes, and steamed Broccoli

August 22, 2016. Lunch – Pho Miso Noodle Soup,  Dinner – Roasted Pork Tenderloin Tapa, with cottage fried potatoes, and steamed Broccoli

Today I rode ten miles for the first time in a month. It tired me a it so I lay down.  Then worked and at 11:00 made brunch. I should have eaten sooner as I had exhausted my energy level.  I made a pot of pho miso soup as usual with a pho flavor bouillon cube, two sliced fish balls, four heads off shrimp, one stalk of baby bok choy, a shallot, 1 T. of Red miso, 1 T. of wakame seaweed, using rice noodles and a bundle of Japanese Somen noodles, and garnished with two scallions.  The soup was so flavorful it did not need any additional flavoring.  I ate a whole pot of it and laid down until my energy returned.

At 3:00 I went to MVD to register the Mini and found out I needed an emissions certificate.  I then drove to Sprouts and bought a pork tenderloin, a head of cauliflower, milk, 4 gala apples, 3 ears of fresh white corn, yogurt, twice dipped peanuts, mushrooms and 1liter of Spanish olive oil.

When I returned home I chilled a bottle of 2013 Domaine Guy de Mousset Cotes du Rhone Rose (Total Wine and thawed a large pork tenderloin.  

I had invited Charlie and Susan Palmer for dinner and wanted to make our favorite roasted pork tenderloin tapa from Jose Andreas Tapas Cookbook for them.  I sliced 1 of the gala apples plus the small gala Apple from our tree and 1 large white onion. 

When Suzette came home at 6:00, she had a cocktail and then we began to cook.  She shucked the 3 ears of corn, I sliced the four PPI baked potatoes, and sectioned the pork tender into about seven segments.  I also went to the garden and picked six or seven sprigs each of oregano and chives.  Suzette then began toto cook.  She sautéed the onions a and apples in 2 T. of Spanish olive oil on the top of the stove until they softened.  The she added the pork an after its color changed, laid Six sprigs of oregano on the ingredients and placed the sauté pan into the oven at 300 degrees to roast from for 30 minutes.  I made ½ cup of chicken stock and fe chef the cognac.  Suzette heated a pot of water and boiled the corn for following be to six minutes until it was cooked. In a large Iron skillet, she sautéed the sliced potatoes in a mixture of olive oil and butter until the potatoes turned golden brown.

I removed the flowerets from two stalks of broccoli and Suzette steamed them.  

After the pork was cooked she removed the pork segments from the an and added 2 T. of cognac and after cooking that for a minute or two added the ½ cup,of chicken stock and reduced the sauce again.  The same center's was rather light but delicious.  I chopped the chives and garnished the fried potatoes with chives. Whenever the broccoli was cooked Suzette assembled the dishes.  Here are some photos.

I poured the rose’ wine and Suzette and I drank the entire bottle.

After dinner I served Charlie and myself a bowl of Chocolate ice cream with Hershey’s chocolate syrup.  Later we watched TV and ate chocolate and drank glasses of grappa, calvados, and cognac.

Bon Appetit

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 21, 2016. Brunch – A steak, potato, and tomato tortilla, fresh Tropical fruit salad and grilled artichoke. Dinner – Chicken with Cassarecce pasta tossed with fresh pesto

August 21, 2016. Brunch – A steak, potato, and tomato tortilla, fresh Tropical fruit salad and grilled artichoke.  Dinner –  Chicken with Cassarecce pasta tossed with fresh pesto

We watched Olympic coverage and news programs.  Then at 10:00 we began to cook.  Suzette’s plan was to make a baked tortilla with PPI steak and potatoes and slices of tomato.

She first set the ingredients in the eggs in a large cast iron skillet on top of the stove and then baked the tortilla in the oven until fully cooked and golden brown.  We squeezed fresh orange juice and opened a bottle of Wilson Creek Almond Champagne from Temecula, CA.

Suzette grilled the half cooked artichokes I had bought at Trader Joe’s last week and boiled for about 45 minutes.

While watching the Olympics, I also made a fruit salad with papaya, mangoes, pineapple, peaches and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

After lunch we drove to Bombay Spices on Central, where we bought long black pepper, chai tea, and green raisins.

Then walked through the flea market at the State Fair grounds.

We took naps until 4:30.  When we determined that Willy was going to join us for dinner, we decided to use the chicken I had cooked last week with  fresh pesto to make a pasta dish.

Willy arrived and we went to the garden and picked a basket full of basil and chard leaves and made a cup of chai with the new Tea India chai tea bags I bought at Bombay Spices.

While I diced onion and garlic, Suzette diced the chicken and made pesto with Willy, who sautéed a small pan of piñon nuts for the pesto.

She combined the roasted piñon nuts, grated Romano Pecorino cheese, the basil leaves, 4 or 5 small cloves of garlic and ¼ cup of olive oil in the Cuisinart to make fresh pesto.

Then she boiled dried Cassarecce pasta in a pot of water and when it was ready, drained it and tossed it with the chicken, some white wine, the chard and pesto. The resulting dish was a delicious simple single dish dinner.

We drank the last of the 2014 Amancay Winery Torrontes white from La Rioja, Argentina. 

I later ate a bowl of my new favorite foods, yogurt, blueberries, green bananas slices dabbed with peanut butter.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 20, 2016 Breakfast – PPI Miso Pho Chicken Noodle Soup, Lunch – PPI turkey, avocado, and cheese sandwich, Dinner – stir fried Baby Bok Choy with Sautéed Scallops

August 20, 2016 Breakfast – PPI Miso Pho Chicken Noodle Soup, Lunch – PPI turkey, avocado, and cheese sandwich,  Dinner – stir fried Baby Bok Choy with Sautéed Scallops

I rode four miles just to get back on the bike this morning.  When I got back home I ate PPI soup for breakfast and watched the Olympics and worked until after noon.

I decided to heat the half sandwich given to me by Shane that he ordered yesterday at Central Grill.  It was delicious, a creamy combination of baked turkey, guacamole, roasted green chili, a tomato slice and lettuce. I even enjoyed the four tater tots with a bit of catsup.

When you are recovering from dysentery and reacquainting yourself to a wider range of food, everything seems to be fresh and flavorful.

Suzette had brought home some PPI fresh scallops from the seafood dinner Thursday night.  These were bought from Seattle Seafood, so they were top quality and very fresh.  We discussed how to prepare them at some length and finally decided to sautéed them and serve them with stir fried baby bock Choy over steamed rice.  

I chopped up three small heads of baby Bok Choy, separating the green leaves from the white stalks.  I then chopped ½ onion,. three cloves of garlic and 1 T. of fresh ginger.  Finally I sliced three shiitake mushrooms. And 

Suzette found a handful of string beans that she snapped and added to the Bok Choy leaves.

Suzette then dried the scallops and dusted them with salt, black long pepper and a mushroom salt given to us by Penny and Armand Remby.

Suzette fetched the wok and I heated 1 ½ T. of peanut oil in it and placed the seasoned scallops in the hot oil to sauté.  Suzette seasoned the exposed other side of the scallops and finished sautéing them.  We removed the scallops to a bowl and I added 1 T. more peanut oil and a few dashes of sesame oil to the oil and scallop juices that had resulted from the scallop sautéing.

I then stir fried the onion, ginger, and garlic.  After a few minutes when they began to soften, I added the white stems of the Bok Choy and then the slices of mushroom.  I then added some Chinese Cooking wine, ¼ tsp. of salt, ½ tsp. of sugar and finally 1 T. of Oyster Sauce.  Then I stirred in the green leaves Bok Choy.  In a minute everything was cooked evenly.  We had heated PPI steamed rice in the microwave.

  The vegetables in the wok

We plated up our plates with a pile of rice, then the stir fried vegetables and finally the scallops.  There was still about ¼ cup of sauce left in the wok so we added the liquid that had drained from the sautéed scallops to the liquid in the wok and heated the wok to thicken the sauce and then poured it over the scallops.  

I opened and Suzette poured a new wine I found at Trader Joe’s, a 2014 Amancay Winery Reserve Torrontes from La Rioja, Argentina.  The wine was a good representative Torrontes, a little sweeter and less crisp than some of the elegant high grown Torrontes, but still deliciously drinkable.

We both agreed this was an excellent meal.  The combination of fresh ingredients created a powerful flavor in their simplicity that made each flavor shine.  Sort of a California/Chinese Cuisine dish.  This meal proves that when you combine fresh high quality ingredients in simple combinations, you can create a wonderful dish and dining experience, which is the premise for lots off great cuisines, especially found in Italian and Californian cuisines.
We watched an excellent Gold Medal final match between China and Serbia’s women’s volleyball teams during dinner and later ate a few bites of bittersweet chocolate with almonds (Trader Joe’s $4.99).  Suzette had a sip of cognac with her chocolate and I sipped a bit of Calvados with mine.  I also had one of the delicious chocolates that Ioana brought me the other day.

A wonderful way for me to return to normal gourmet food.

Bon Appetit  

August 19, 2016 Lunch – Central Grill Dinner – Grilled Rib Steak and yellow squash with a tomato salad

August 19, 2016 Lunch – Central Grill   Dinner – Grilled Rib Steak and yellow squash with a tomato salad

Today I made my slow return toward a normal diet.  I actually have enjoyed the more digestible food of late and feel better, having lost a bit of weight.

Today I spent five hours with the Kassams and Shane, their broker, on a transaction, during which time we went to lunch at Central Grill.  I ordered a tuna melt sandwich on gluten free bread.  I enjoyed the soft tuna with celery and little or no mayo on potato bread served with a slice of tomato and lettuce.   Rahim ordered an interesting meal of roast beef tacos,   Shane ordered a delicious roasted sliced turkey sandwich with a slice of cheese, green chile, guacamole, and a slice of tomato and a side of potato tots, which we all shared.

Shane was particularly impressed with Central Grill and agreed that it was highly rated due to the quality of its well prepared food, great service and reasonable prices.

After 4:00 I went to the bank and stopped at Lowe’s on the way home to buy some potatoes for dinner plus several cluster tomatoes and bottles of club soda.

We had decided to cook several of the steaks I bought at Albertson’s on Tuesday.  When Suzette came home she wanted to make a salad with fresh tomatoes from our garden and wanted to grill slices of yellow squash from the Center’s garden. I had baked six potatoes at 5:00 at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

Suzette gathered small yellow grape, medium yellow and dark purple cherry tomatoes from the garden, cleaned them, and sliced the larger ones into bite sized pieces and added small pieces of butter lettuce.. She then made a dressing with fig balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressed the tomato salad.

Then she sliced the squash and brushed it with fig balsamic and olive oil dressing and salted and peppered the squash slices and two steaks and grilled them.  We are using the black long pepper we bought in Marrakesh, now because it does not seem to trigger my gagging reaction to black pepper and has a slightly different more fragrant smell and flavor from black pepper.

Then when Suzette brought in the Grilled steak and squashes she grated Iberico cheese onto the squash slices.  Suzette filled plates with a baked potato, slices of grilled steak and squash, and the lettuce and tomato salad drizzled with the fig balsamic dressing for a lovely and pleasant dinner.  I am finally back to eating regular food most of the time and have finished taking the sulfa drugs prescribed by my doctor.

I opened a bottle of 2014 Chateau Haut-Sorillon Bordeaux Superieur Appellation d’origine Protegee (Trader Joe’s $8.99?) red wine.  I liked the wine a lot.  It was not a great wine but a good representative red  Bordeaux and excellent with the steak and tomatoes.  I have drunk this wine several times and it is a consistent wine that goes well with steak, so a good value.

 I must admit that I am still getting over my food poisoning episode and am not yet back to my full blown desire for great food and wine, which is probably a good thing.  

Here are several tasting comments on the wine:

Steve Sommerville
Rated It    Three stars 
Decent table wine at $9. Not as flimsy and "grapey" as some of the wines found at Trader Joe's. This is a medium bodied, dry Bordeaux that has a decent finish and is fairly smooth on the palate. Decent balance of earth, fruit and oak. Went well with tinga. A fair wine at this price range and is a good food wine because it stands up to most hearty tomato and/or beef based sauces, yet should not over power most lighter sauces either.

Anthony Caddell
Rated It    
This wine is a ruby colored, medium body Bordeaux blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is not very good. Unbalanced, acidic taste of laissez-faire fruit, disinterested tannins and an anemic alcohol level of 12.5%. Terrible, in English or en francaise.
 19   People approve this review

I sort of agree with both reviews.  A good wine for the money for the foods we ate. the but not a great wine.  Perfect for a simple steak dinner.  

In fact a wine attendant at Trader Joe’s once referred to Chateau Haut-sorillon as chateau Sirloin because so many folks drank it with grilled steaks.

I ran to the garden and picked five or six stalks of chives and finely diced about 1/3 of them to garnish the baked potatoes after we mashed butter and cream into them.

I enjoyed dinner but was hesitant to eat and drink heartily for fear of upsetting my system.

We had a bit more than one steak and several slices of squash left as PPIs.

The best part of the the meal was the salad with its tender, delicate leaves of lettuce and the lovely small fresh tomatoes that tasted truly wonderful with the fig balsamic dressing Suzette made.  

Bon Appetit

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 18, 2016. Shell lecture and seafood dinner at Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery

August 18, 2016. Shell lecture and seafood dinner at Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery

I made my usual miso pho noodle soup for lunch.

Suzette planned a lovely evening at the Greenhouse Bistro this evening, so I drove to The Center in Los Luna's at 5:00.

She invited Tom Eichhorst to give a presentation on seashells during a wonderful three course seafood dinner.  Tom is the editor of theConchologist Magazine and is  one of the national shell identifiers for the Conchologist Organization of America.  He lives in Rio Rancho and is the leader of the High Desert Shell Club, of which I am a member.  Tom and Donnie arrived a little before 6:00 and set up his cooler full of shells and his power point projector.  Tom went through a thorough discussion starting with the place mollusks take in nature.  It is the second largest class of species after insects.  Vertebrates (animals with a back bone) are the third largest group.

Then he got into the different families of shells, like bivalves, and then cephalopods, and finally gastropods, all the while telling funny stories about shell collecting and showing examples of the types of shells he was describing from his extensive collection of over 7,700 species and sub-species of shells with over 100,000 individual shells.

Early in the lecture the appetizer course was served, a plate with fresh raw oysters served three ways, on the half shell with a sweet Rose' wine mignonette sauce, one in a shot glass with a cucumber and tomato coulis, and a fried oyster battered with what seemed to be a tempura batter served with a cilantro, daikon, and cucumber relish and a dab oh shiracha aioli. The three oysters were stunningly presented.  For example, the fried oyster was on a half shell.  I abandoned my monkish diet of chicken noodle soup and chicken and rice soup to enjoy the meal fully.  This dish would satisfy the most intrepid foodie and was probably the best dish served anywhere near Albuquerque this evening.

After stopping to eat his appetizer, Tom continued his presentation, going through a discussion of the history of shell collecting, which has been characterized by shells thought to be rarities turning out not to be rarities as scuba gear has made many parts of the ocean not previously accessible accessible.  The opposite is also true, in areas where man’s footprint has been heavy and altered the habitat, many previously relatively common shells have become rarer.  For example, there are few large Cervus cowries  left in Biscayne Bay at Miami, Florida.

Soon the entrée was served a bowl of polenta mixed with fresh local Mexican Squash topped with three lovely fresh sautéed sea scallops from Seattle Fish, and fresh herbs from the Center’s garden the garnish of fresh pickled julienned slices of Apple was served separately, a slight oversight in plating the entree.  The apple relish was delicious fresh and lightly fermented.  Chef Kelly is also very good at fermenting.

I enjoyed the polenta and scallops, which could not have been fresher.

The lecture resumed after the entrees were finished until it finally ended with the serving of dessert, a large scoop of vanilla ice cream sauced floating in a puddle of warm caramel sauce garnished with Himalayan rock salt and a homemade anise and lemon flavored sugar cookie. Chef Kelly’s caramel sauce is one of my favorites, dark, buttery with a creamy consistency.

The cost of this evening’s meal was $25.00, a fantastic value.  I loved every minute of the evening hand especially the food.  Fresh oysters served creatively, a wonderful combination of fresh scallops, local squash, and polenta, what could be better.  Not just seafood, but the freshest seafood.  Suzette had ordered the oysters from Ta Lin and picked them up this morning. And to top it off, the Chef’s classic caramel sauce on ice cream.

Suzette and the kitchen staff at the Bistro exceeded all expectations again.

I split a Stella Artois Apple cider with Suzette. 

 Bon Appetit

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 16, 2016 Lunch – La Salita, Dinner – cassarecce pasta with sautéed yellow squash, onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and pesto

August 16, 2016 Lunch – La Salita,  Dinner – cassarecce pasta with sautéed yellow squash, onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and pesto 

At 11:00 I made a large loop, driving to La Salita for a plate of two Swiss cheese filled chile rellenos with double beans, extra onions, and green chile laid on a puddle of turkey hash.  I could not finish the meal. I also bought Suzette a $50.00 gift certificate.  I then drove to Costco for gas and bought a bottle of Dry Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc and an 18 oz. plastic container of organic blueberries.

Then I drove to Ta Lin where I bought Japanese rice vinegar, baby book choy, and tofu.

On my way home I stopped at Mike’s automotive too schedule a repair of the Prius.

I worked all afternoon until 6:00.

Suzette then suggested that we prepare a pasta primavera with pesto.

I chopped a small white onion, the remaining ½ of a red bell pepper, the remaining ½ of the yellow squash Suzette brought from Los Luna's.

Then Suzette took over and boiled Cassarecce pasta and sautéed the ingredients with butter and olive oil.  Then she combined the sautéed ingredients with the pasta and tossed that mixture with pesto we had made from fresh basil from our garden.

We drank the last of the Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes Du Rhone white and then opened the bottle of Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc I had bought at Costco and chilled when I arrived home at 1:30.

Ioana was so kind to bring us a box of chocolates when she came for her appointment today.  I was not feeling well and did not eat one but Suzette ate one and loved it.  

Later in the night the nasty dysentery I have suffered from for two weeks raised it ugly head.  Alas, I go to see my doctor tomorrow.  

Bon Appetit

August 15, 2016 Lunch - Miso Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup. Dinner – Fish and Beef Tacos at Sandia Casino

August 15, 2016 Lunch - Miso Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup. Dinner – Fish and Beef Tacos at Sandia Casino

I made my usual Miso, Vietnamese Pho Chicken Soup today with three kinds of noodles, wheat, 30 mm wide Vietnamese Rice noodles, and thin bean thread vermicelli noodles.

Suzette had gotten us tickets for the Melissa Etheridge concert at Sandia Casino, so we drove to the casino at 5:30.  We looked at the buffet and the fine dining menu an decided to order a snack at the grill by the pool on the large patio that has a lovely view of the Sandias and golf course.  Suzette ordered Red Snapper fish tacos and I ordered beef tacos.  Each basket contained a generous portion of three tacos.  The tacos were well made but we both found the beef tacos to be over salted to the point of being inedible. I ate one of Suzette’s fish tacos and one one my beef tacos.  Suzette ate two fish tacos and part of one of my fish tacos as we enjoyed the view.

We then walked to the amphitheater for the concert. At 7:00 Melissa Etheridge started playing and did not stop until 8:30.  I was beginning to feel uncomfortable, so we left before Pat Benetar played.

We watched the Olympics and I picked up Willy at the airport at 10:00 and took him to his apartment, which is only 14 blocks from our house.

Bon Appetit 

August 13, 2016 Lunch – Miso Vietnamese Pho Noodle soup. Dinner – Pink Grouper Baked in foil with yellow squash,tomato, pasilla chile, and onion

August 13, 2016  Lunch – Miso Vietnamese Pho Noodle soup. Dinner – Pink Grouper Baked in foil with yellow squash,tomato, pasilla chile, and onion

At 11:30 I went to the bank, then Birdland to check leaks and then Ta Lin.  At Ta Lin I bought German Egg noodles, thin rice noodles, a 1 pound piece of fresh Pink Grouper, 4 Washington State oysters, shiitake mushrooms, and 5 packages of Pho bouillon cubes.  

I then went home and made a Miso Pho Chicken noodle soup combining Diced chicken, seaweed, miso, a diced Mexican green onion, several chopped sweet yam leaves, tofu, and Vietnamese 30 mm wide rice noodles, vegetarian wheat noodles, and bean thread noodles with a dash of sesame oil and Chinese cooking wine.

I love this combination a lot because it combines my favorite Japanese soup with my favorite Vietnamese soup.

I had bought the fresh oysters because Suzette had talked about including oysters in the seafood dinner she is planning for Thursday evening along with scallops.  Finding good oysters at a reasonable price without having to buy a wooden crate of 100 oysters is a challenge, but one I think is met.  Talin’s fishmonger told me they receive fresh oysters daily and they sell for $1.79/lb.  The four oysters coat a total of $2.13, about $.50 each.

In the evening we discussed how to fix the grouper and oysters.  Suzette wanted to test a cilantro mignonette sauce, so I chopped ½ of a shallot and about 1 T. of fresh cilantro and she made a sauce by combining white vinegar and Aji Mirin.  We are out of Japanese rice vinegar.  Then I shucked the oysters so they were on the half shell and Suzette doused them with the cilantro mignonette sauce.  It was a delicious combination with Nessa  Albariño from Spain.

  The cilantro mignonette sauce 

  The oysters garnished with the cilantro mignonette sauce

We then assembled the grouper dish. I filleted the grouper from its bones and cut the long filet into two pieces..  Then I diced garlic, onion, pasilla chile, two white mushrooms and some yellow squash from Suzette’s garden in Los Luna's.  Suzette crisscrosses two sheets of aluminum foil and stacked the ingredients on the fish filets, garnished the mixture with pieces of butter and white wine and crimped the foil sheets to create an air tight package.  Suzette then cooked the packets in our new steaming oven for forty minutes to fully cook the ingredients.  She then heated the PPI couscous and added a couple of scoops of couscous to the fish after she opened the packets.

We ate dinner with a lovely bottle of Famille Perrin Reserve white Cotes du Rhone ($7.99 at Trader Joe’s).  I really recommend this wine as a good white a Cotes du Rhone for the money, just like I like the Famille Perrin Reserve red for the same price. 

Bon Appetit

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 14, 2016 Breakfast – French Toast. Lunch – PPI Miso Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup. Dinner – PPI Rack of Lamb, Chard and Tomato Couscous, and Tzatziki

August 14, 2016 Breakfast – French Toast. Lunch – PPI Miso Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup. Dinner – PPI Rack of Lamb, Chard and Tomato Couscous, and Tzatziki.

Today the only new dish I cooked was French toast.  I wanted to use the last of a loaf of supermarket French bread that Suzette bought, so I mixed two eggs, 1/3 cup of milk, a bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon in a shallow bowl. I then heated butter in a skillet, soaked slices of bread in the mixture and sautéed them in the mixture until they took on a light brown color.

We garnished the French bread with warm syrup, blueberries, and yogurt.

We cleaned and rearranged Willy’s room today, which allowed us to move the love seat to his room to convert it into another guest bedroom. 

Around 1:45 I was hungry and decided to heat the PPI bowl of 
PPI Miso Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup.  I enjoyed it today as much as yesterday.

Suzette ate chips with guacamole as a snack, so by 5:30 she was hungry.

We are going out to eat on Monday, so we decided to eat the PPIs from Thursday's dinner.  We heated the lamb chops and couscous in the microwave and served them with the PPI Tzatziki sauce.  This Tzatziki is my favorite to date, made with chopped Roma tomato, a bit of chopped white onion, three cloves of garlic, 1 ½ T. of olive oil, two cucumbers, 2/3 cup of Trader Joe’s French Village yogurt, and ¼ cup of chopped fresh oregano leaves.

Later I drank ½ glass of the Middle Eastern yogurt drink with a probiotic pill to try to resurrect normalcy in my gut.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August 12, 2016 Lunch. East Ocean. Dinner – High Desert Shell Club dinner with Clafoutis

August 12, 2016 Lunch. East Ocean. Dinner – High Desert Shell Club dinner with Clafoutis 

I picked up Peter Eller and we went to lunch at East Ocean.  We both ordered Scallops in Lobster Sauce, one of my favorite dishes.  

After lunch I confirmed that the shell club dinner was still happening.  Since Bruce moved to College Station, Texas, we get together only for a summer meeting and a Christmas dinner.  

I knew I was going to make clafoutis for the party, so Wednesday evening I had pitted the bag of cherries I bought at Lowe’s on Monday and added about 2 T. of cognac to them to brandy  them.

At 4:00 on Friday I started making the clafoutis.  I scalded 2 cups of half and half combined with 1 cup of whole miIk and then let it cool.  I put 7 T. of flour and 10 T. of confectioner’s powdered sugar in a large bowl, made a well in the center and added three whole eggs and combined the flour, sugar and eggs with a wooden spoon.  I then added the slightly cooled scalded milk and stirred with the wooden spoon until most of the lumps were dissolved.  I buttered a ceramic baking dish and coated the butter with granulated sugar.  Then I added the cherries and the residual Brandy to the other ingredients, stirred them one time to combine the ingredients and then poured the entire mixture into the ceramic baking dish and baked it in a convection oven with heat on both the top and bottom for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

   The PPI clafoutis

When the clafoutis was ready, we left for the party at Tom and Donnie’s house in Rio Rancho.  Four of the five remaining members were in attendance, Mike Sanchez and his wife, Bruce, Tom, Pat, and me and Suzette.

One of the odd things about shell collecting is some folks are passionate about it and will pay lots of money for shells when new shells are discovered, but over time as fishermen learn of their value, more shells will come onto the market and the prices will drop dramatically.  The opposite is also true, that as fishermen over fish for the shells and degrade habitats, some shells go extinct and become rarer and thus more expensive.

Tom and Donnie roasted potatoes, onions and Brussels Sprouts and grilled a marinated roast of beef and Pat brought a tray of fresh vegetables,  so we had a lovely dinner and talked about many things, mostly related to the world of biology, such as the recent dating of the age of some of the Greenland sharks as the oldest living vertebrates at over 400 years of age and how some North Atlantic and Arctic clams have been dated to be over 600 years old.  The consensus in the group was that animals grow much more slowly in cold water than in warm water and due to differences in nutrition from year to year they record their age in their shells for mollusk by rights of shell growth and in the Sharks by the whorls in their eyes.

Mike’s wife baked a lovely cherry cake from a recipe in the Huckleberry Bakery’s cookbook.  The Huckleberry Bakery and café is a famous bakery located in Santa Monica, California.  The cake was delicious.  Mike’s wife told us the bakery likes to mix ingredients with different textures and the cherry cake contained some corn meal to give it a slightly gritty texture.

After dinner we all viewed the small paratype shells of a Nerite that Tom named after Pat and Pat gave away her murex collection and the last of her fossil shells to the other members of the group tonight.  A paratype is one of the shells relied upon to identify a new species or sub-species of shell, but not the holotype.  The holotype is the specimen of the shell deemed most most representative of the shell.  The holotype is usually in a museum collection.  Since Tom identified the shell, I think he sent the holotype to the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum ion Sanibel Island in Florida, but he kept the paratypes in his collection of over 7500 different shells.  Bruce has over 6500 different shells in his collection.  Each has lots of duplicate shells, so their collections are massive.  Tom recently published the first of a two volume set of guides to the Nerite species.

Mike, who works at the New Mexico Museum of Science and History, told us about the progress the Museum is making in mounting a permanent display of a large shell collection is was given.

After Pat left we all picked specimens of her murex shells and cone shells we liked or needed and I picked a large fossil specimen of a whelk and some of the cones and murex eps. Pat lived near Sarasota, Florida for a few years and she used to go to the fossilized shell beds there and dig out shells, such as the large whelk.  Here is a picture of the shells we picked.

  Shell is about 11 inches long

At 9:00 after a very pleasant evening we went home.

Bon Appetit 

August 11, 2016. A Day of Yogurt. Lunch. San Pedro Middle East Restaurant. Dinner. Grilled Rack of Lamb, Tzatziki, and chard and tomato couscous

August 11, 2016. A Day of Yogurt. Lunch. San Pedro Middle East Restaurant. Dinner. Grilled Rack of Lamb, Tzatziki, and chard and tomato couscous

Today was a day filled with yogurt in many forms.  I started with yogurt and blueberries with a drizzle of honey.  

Then I met Rosemary and Terry Jassmann for lunch at San Pedro Middle East Restaurant located at 4001 San Pedro near the corner of Montgomery.  It served all the standard fare.  We nibbled on kibbeh served with two sauces, one a tomato and cucumber vinaigrette and the other a Tzatziki like cucumber sauce.  Kibbeh is bulgar wheat wrapped around a core of seasoned meat and fried, like a falafel.

We also tried hummus, labni, tabouli, and baba ghanoush served with warm pita bread baked daily on premises.  I bought a half gallon of a yogurt drink.  Since labni is yogurt with some of its moisture removed, we had yogurt three ways.  We ended lunch with pieces of baklava and Rosemay had a Turkish coffee.  After lunch we walked through and I shopped in the store.  I bought No. 4 bulgar, and cans of garbanzo and fava beans and Rosemary bought a container of labni.

After lunch I drove to Costco for gas and bought a 1.5 lb. rack of lamb for $9.95/lb. and canola oil.

I drove home around 4:00 and Suzette arrived around 4:30.  Willy was leaving for a wedding in San Francisco at 6:30.  I thought there was a possibility that he would have time to eat dinner, so we started cooking.  Suzette went to the garden and picked a basket of chard and six or seven ripe small tomatoes.  

I made a Tzatziki sauce for the lamb with a cup of yogurt, 1 ½ T. of olive oil, three cloves of garlic from our garden, two cucumbers (El Super 3 for $.99), a diced tomato, 2 oz. of onion, and ¼ cup of fresh oregano leaves.

Suzette cleaned, de-stemmed, and chopped about two cups of chard and the tomatoes.  I then heated three T. of butter in a sauce pan and then added 1 cup of couscous and 1 ½ cup of water and then the chopped chard and tomatoes.  I made a mistake that turned out to not be a mistake with the couscous.  Normally you reduce the heat when you put in the chard and you use 1 ¼ cup of water to 1 cup of couscous.  Today I did not reduce the heat, so the heat and extra water formed steam that steamed the chard and tomatoes along with the couscous.  I came to my senses and ran and turned off the heat when I smell a burning smell.  The couscous was a bit charred on the bottom but the vegetables were perfectly cooked.  One of the interesting things about couscous is that because it is steamed, there is a lot of moisture in the couscous, so when you let it cool, as we did after dinner, it will free itself from the sides of the pan.  I put the pan of PPI couscous into the fridge and removed the couscous to a plastic container the next day.


In fact I like the slightly charred brown edges.

Suzette grilled the rack of lamb dusted with Moroccan black pepper and sea salt to rare and covered it with aluminum foil of keep it warm and allow it to keep cooking a bit more.

Willy did not arrive until after 6:00, so instead of eating, we helped him pack for his trip and I took him to the airport at 6:30.

When I returned home, we had a lovely meal with a glass of PPI Dearly Beloved red wine that was opened but not drunk at my BD party on July 3.  It still had a deep fruity flavor that made it very drinkable.

Bon Appetit 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 10, 2016. Lunch. Mas Dinner. Sautéed Pork Riblets, Steamed Green Beans, and German Cucumber, onion, and tomato salad

August 10, 2016. Lunch. Mas   Dinner. Sautéed Pork Riblets, Steamed Green Beans, and German Cucumber, onion, and tomato salad

I heated a slice of Suzette”s Banana Nut Bread for breakfast.

At 11:30 I went to Mas Restaurant in the old Hilton at Second and Tijeras to meet Ioana, Aaron, and David Buckholtz for lunch.  I like the atmosphere of Mas, which in my opinion, has been remodeled into a more modern etched glass, open, and well lit dining room, not unlike what we did with our kitchen.  A bright modern open space in a traditional building that otherwise holds on to its traditional feel.

We caught up on our various connections and then ordered.  Because Mas is both a Spanish restaurant and a hotel restaurant, it's menu reflects both aspects.  The starters are all Spanish tapas. Then the rest of the menu is more traditional hotel fare, such as salads, wraps, burgers and a few entrees. 

Our waiter was exceedingly professional.  I have not had a better waiter in Albuquerque that I can remember.  Ioana and I decided to share two tapas, the piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese served on a puddle of Romesco sauce and an Albacore tuna ceviche served on a puddle of White garbanzo soup.  I was impressed with both tapas, but the ceviche was the stand out, a molded round of chunks of raw fish, cucumbers, pickled red onion, red bell pepper, and orange bell pepper.  The pickled red onions were partially nice, crisp and yet with a good picked flavor.
The use of the white gazpacho as a sauce for the ceviche lightened the dish and made it even more refreshing with that strong flavor of almonds, almond milk, and grape juice.

   The tuna ceviche

   The cream of butternut squash with saffron soup

The piquillo peppers were just okay. They had a slightly over baked flavor but the Romesco sauce was lovely because the flavor of freshly roasted almonds dominated.
I ordered the other soup of the day, Cream of Butternut Squash with saffron.  I was surprised how hearty and thick the soup was and how the saffron flavor made its presence known.  Perhaps it was soaked in warm water to release its flavor and the liquid used, because I did not see any flecks of saffron.  After a while the soup became monotonous, so I spiced it up with alternating bites of the slightly piquant  piquillo pepper.

Aaron and David played it safe, ordering burgers, although Aaron ordered the gazpacho as his side and I was able to taste the white gazpacho directly.  

I am ready to return to Mas to eat the Tuna Ceviche and white gazpacho, plus lots of its other tapa offerings.

After lunch I drove to El Super to buy produce.  I bought lines at $.50/lb., broccoli crowns for $.50/lb., green beans for $.99/lb., white onions 3 lb./$.99, a pasilla chile for $.50, and Manila mangoes for $.99 for three.

We had thawed a package of pork Riblets, so we decided to make them this evening.  Suzette decided to sauté them in olive oil with oregano.

I had to go to meditate at 6:30, so I chopped 1 1/3 cucumbers, two Roma tomatoes and ½ white onion and Suzette dressed that salad with a German, white vinegar and sugar dressing, while I de- stemmed and steamed about ½ lb. of green beans.  We soon had a lovely dinner.

   The cucumber, onion, and tomato salad

After meditation I ate a toasted slice of banana nut bread smeared with peanut butter and honey with a cup of hot citrus earl grey tea.

Bon Appetit 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 9, 2016 Lunch. PPI Pho Noodle Soup and Steamed Buns. Dinner. Grilled Rack of Lamb, New Potatoes, Onion and Eggplant

August 9, 2016 Lunch. PPI Pho Noodle Soup and Steamed Buns. Dinner. Grilled Rack of Lamb, New Potatoes, Onion and Eggplant 

We ran out of yogurt, so a delayed eating until 11:00 when he ate the PPI bowl of Pho soup I made yesterday with chicken.  I wanted some steamed buns and tried to set up the steaming oven to defrost and  cook theme, but could not I'd did not because it was easier to microwave then for 3:33 minutes at 8 power in the microwave.  One was soft enough to enjoy but the other one was tough and dried out.

At 5:00 I went to Trader Joe’s to buy wine, chocolate, and yogurt.  I saw fresh artichokes, so bought a box of four for $2.29.  I bought Iberico cheese for $9.99/lb., a block of bittersweet chocolate with almonds for $4.99, an 8.8 oz. box of chocolate truffles for $2.99, and then went to the wine department, where I bought Suzette a bottle of Scotch and fifteen bottles of wine, including, 2 Portuguese Tuella, 2 Spanish Rioja La Granja, 2 Famille Perrin Reserve white Cotes du Rhone, 1 Spanish La Granja Cava, 1 Quinson Beaujolais Villages, 1 Laurent Revercy Sancerre, 1 Amancay Torrontes, 2 La Granja Verdejo/viuras, 2 La Granja Tempranillo/granache blend Spanish Riojas, and 2 Carayon Rose’ from Languedoc for a total bill of $137.41.  

I felt like I had replenished our everyday wine larder.

As I drove home I realized that since we had thawed out a Ravi of lamb that we would probably grill it and I wanted eggplant and a potato with it, so I stopped at Lowe’s on my way homes during bought three lovely red new potatoes, an eggplant, and some cherries on sale for $1.49/lb..

Suzette was at home when I arrived.  I put the artichokes in a pot of water to  simmer for an hour and wE watched the news until 7:00.

Then we started cooking.  Suzette salted the rack.  I sliced the eggplant, a medium onion, and two of the potatoes and put them into the freezer bag Suzette had drizzled olive oil , salt , and pepper into.  She then shook the bag to coat the vegetable slices and put them on the grill with the rack.

Suzette fasted the vegetables with butter and in 20 to 30 minutes everything was ready.

We discussed which wine we wanted to drink and quickly decided to open one of Portuguese Tuellas.  Suzette fetched the mint jelly and I poured the wine and when the lamb and vegetables were cooked we were ready to eat our Paleo dinner.

  The grilled rack of lamb and eggplant slices

  Grilled lamb, onion, potato, and eggplant

After dinner Suzette found a recipe for banana nut bread and used the softened bananas to make banana nut bread with some chopped walnuts added..  

Later in the evening we had pieces of warm banana nut bread. Delicious.

Bon Appetit