It's Oscar time again and this year I am ready to celebrate the magic and craziness of Hollywood, and create a menu of appetizers and treats to honor the nominees As a child I remember what a special treat it was to attend the saturday matinee with my mom and later stop at our favorite chinese restaurant. Those memories will be with me for the rest of my days and on Oscar night mom and I would pick our favorites and watch to see who won the Oscars. Somehow the movies then were magestic and epic in presentation, unfolding before our eyes and taking us to places that we had never been. Gone With The Wind, Titanic, Forest Gump, Rain Man, The English Patient, 2001 A Space Odessey, Dances with Wolves, Driving Miss Daisy, Out of Africa, Sound of Music, Doctor Zhivago and so many more that have left lots of fond memories and lasting impressions upon this girl. My mom has since past away and the movies have changed greatly, yet I decided to give Hollywood and the movies another chance this year. So with my list of the 9 nominees in hand I began my journey to see each of the nominated movies and create an appetizer to reflect the storyline and perhaps pick the best picture.
Get Out was my first venture into a secuded estate in the woods where a young Afrian American goes to meet his girl friend's parent which turns into a weekend of hell as her mom hypotizes him with a click of a teaspoon against a teacup. For this movie I decided on a High Tea Cocktail made with black tea, cardamon, ginger, gin and a little sweet vermouth, and a simple stirring of your spoon and sip will leave you feel a little fuzzy. Call Me By Your Name took me to Italy in the summertime on a leisurely path of romance between a 17 year old and his father's research assisant Oliver. The Villa the family owns has peach and apricot trees and if you have seen the movie you will understand my choice of Peaches Stuffed With Amaretti Cookies for a sweet taste. Lady Bird had me watching a turbulent relationship between mother and daughter with the young girl learning to find her wings as she ventures far from Sacramento, California to New York to find her niche. For this movie my choice is an assortment of chicken wings from my favorite stop Dj's Wings ( Garlic Parmesan/Buffalo/BBg) because Lady Bird was looking for wings to fly. Phathom Thread took me into the London couture world with a designer living a lonely regimented life with his sister, until he finds love. But love and strict regimented routines don't always blend and it soon becomes I love you to almost death marriage. For this movie I decided on a basic stuffed mushroom to kill or not. Darkest Hour took me to Britan as I meet the newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill who decided whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. His wife Clemmie often called him "Pig" in the movie, which I assume was a nickname between them. So my choice of appetizer for this movie are Mini Pork Pies with a little British influence. The next movie Dunkirk felt like a sequel to Darkest Hour as I was transported to the beach of Dunkirk, France were the Germans were battling with the French and British soldiers and Churchill sent several sailing vesels and ships to evacuate his soldiers. I will served Shrimp Stuffed potatoes to represent the many boats filled with those soldiers. The Post took me into the newspaper world as the country's first female publisher and her editor joined a battle to uncover a cover up that spanned four U.S.Presidents. For this movie I picked a Mini Sandwich Buffet like the editor's wife made for her husband vigilant team of reporters working on hidden lies. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,Missouri showed me a peak of midwest life and fragilty of our one mindness. In this movie I felt a wide range of emotions in a short period of time. A mother who needed closure for her daughter's senseless murder, a sheriff with cancer and his second in command officer with a penchant for violence all collide in a world of misunderstanding. For this movie I will make Missouri Ribs with beer to feel the Missouri spirit.. And last but not least I was transported into a fantasy love story with The Shape of Water. Although no words were spoken by the mute cleaning lady, Elisa took me into her world of loneliness and survival. She found love where she didn't expect at the research laboratory where she worked. He wasn't human but he had feelings and she needed to help him. And to think it all started with an offer of an egg, so for this movie I will prepare an assortment of deviled eggs. Well now you have a peak at my menu for sunday night as I watch the Oscar's.
And the movies that most impressed me for Best Movie is a tie between 3 Bill Boards in Missouri and Shape of Water because they each enlightened me on human emotions, but Shape of Water should win. Best Actor should go to Gary Oldman who made me rethink history and Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. I am torn for the Best Actress with Sally Hawkins in Shape of Water, Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird and Frances McDormand in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I think Frances McDormand as the grieving mother should win for 3 Billboards. For the Best Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell as the moody Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Best Supporting Actress should be Allison Janney as Tonya Hardings mom in I, Tonya. Best Director should be Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water. Good Luck to all the nominees and happy eating to you all.
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Baby it's been cold outside and if you are like me, fighting a cold that has just wanted to hang on with the freezing winter weather. But to get better we need to nourish our body with good healthy foods and when you need that cozy homestyle cooking, you need to go to a dependable place like Wimpy's Seafood Cafe in Osterville Village. I have made several visits to Wimpy's and I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed with the service or delicious food. On this cold January afternoon my friends and myself were pleased and are sure to return to sample more from their awesome menu. Their chowder was not super thick and creamy but deliciously light and full of clam and potato goodness. The stuffed quahog had an italian flavor with a light breadcrumb stuffing with bits of quahog was equally delicious. I had the Baked Stuffed Shrimp which were cooked to perfection with a light simple seafood stuffing served with my choice of pickled beets and chunky whipped potatoes. One of my friends opted for the New England favorite Roasted Turkey with a savory herby stuffing, creamy butternut squash and chunky whipped potatoes. And my other friend tried the Baked Stuffed Sole Newberg with a seafood stuffing and topped with a creamy flavorful Newberg Sauce with rice and butternut squash. It was like going back home and the visit could not end without something sweet to complete the memory. And we were not disappointed with a good slice of the creamy goodness of their Grapenut Custard with a dollop of whipped cream. A visit to the store out front could keep you prepared for the days that you can't leave your home as they sell some of the menu's favorite selections for you to take home and heat up whenever you want. All in all, it's a great stop and I am sure you will find something to please you on the menu. Thanks Wimpy's!!!
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Breakfast is the building block to good health and and each morning as we begin a new day, we have a chance to make needed changes and reinvent ourself. And so why not celebrate and indulge in some new breakfast creations and open up our minds and bodies to new flavors. Here on Cape Cod, we have some of the best Breakfast Restaurants and Diners with very creative and inventive chefs all sure to please your taste buds. If you have read any of my blogs, you know that I have spend over a year of traveling around Cape Cod in search of the best breakfast spots, but there is no one special spots. So in writing this blog I wish to acknowledge some of those very special places. The best omelet in Chatham is by far at Chatham Filling Station and one of my favorites is The Low Country Omelet which has shrimp, andouille sausage, onion, peppers, tomato, and cheddar cheese. The eggs were so fluffy and delicate and with a freshly baked popover and creamy cheesey grits, I was in breakfast heaven, All of their omelets are delicious and you can create your own blend with some very delicious choices. The best french toast is easily found at The Homeport Restaurant in Orleans and my favorite is the Cinnamon Crossiant French Toast which is their buttery croissants, spit and dip in their French toast batter, dusted with cinnamon, sugar and grilled to perfection.It is truely an experience that you won't long forget and their other choices are equally as good. Best doughnuts and bakery good in Orleans is the Hole in One in Orleans and Eastham and they also serve some awesome choices for breakfast with a shout to Nanny's potato pancakes, which are flavorful and delicate. You can take a step back in time at The Red Cottage in South Dennis as you feel like you are back in the fifties and maybe even young again, experiencing some of the best breakfast combos named after the towns around Cape Cod or trying some other inventive choices that I guarentee will blow your mind. Ruggie's in Harwich offers some very special breakfast casseroles called The Melting Pots that will make you feel that you been to europe without even leaving Harwich with choices from Italy, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Switzland,and Ireland. And if you are really hungry then you can try the " Duke" which isi2 Waffles, 6 eggs "their way", 1/4 lb Cheddar cheese, 1/4 lb American cheese, hash browns, homemade sausage gravy, 2 buttermilk pancakes, 6 strips of bacon, 3 sausage patties and 2 pieces of boneless country style fried chicken. And they even offer you a challenge for this one.THE RULES: You have 30 minutes to finish everything on your plate and one 8oz beverage. You must remain seated the entire 30 minutes. If you succeed you will win a Ruggie's T-shirt, your meal is free, and your picture will forever be on our wall! On down the road is The Pancake Man in South Dennis which as their name states, offers some great pancake choices as well as "Skillets" which blends some good breakfast combos all served in a skillets and mexican choices as well as standard choices. If you are an eggs benedict fan then you must stop at Piccadilly Deli and Cafe in South Yarmouth should be your stop as they offer an awesome choice of "Benny's" as well as the usual breakfast fare. If you have seen the lines outside of Keltic Kitchen in West Yarmouth then you know this is an awesome choice for Irish as well as some very inventive and delicious breakfast choices that you have only dreamed about, like Boston Creme Pancakes. Got to get your Daily Paper in Hyannis which offer a wide variety of delicious breakfast choices with ever changing specials that will be making you glad you went out for breakfast and didn't stay home. Don't forget to try their awesome homemade honey wheat bread because, it is to die for. Hidden down a long driveway is Jack's Outback2 in Yarmouthport you will discover a welcoming white country home with food that will rekindle and leave many pleasant memories as the staff prepares some delicious breakfast choices as well as popovers and bakery delicasies, If you want to keep it simple then you will love Centerville Pie Co in Centerville because they will keep it simple and delicious but be forewarned that watching all those pies coming out of the bakery might have you thinking that you need a nice slice of pie after breakfast. Once you start that, it might become a new breakfast tradition because they have so many pie choices and you will rationalize that its only a slice. Remember as you read about all these delicious breakfast stops that they are healthy with fresh ingredients and better than a frozen fast meal. On down the road in Marston Mills you will find a cozy spot at The Mills where you will find a never ending choice of breakfast goodness. The chefs are amazing and always trying something new to tantilize our taste buds. Hidden on the back roads of Hyannis you might find Spoon and Seed an eclectic breakfast which takes you on a fun flavor discovery for new inventive breakfast choices like smoked pork loin, homemade chorizo and vermont cheddar cheese biscuits, just to mention a few. Across from the courthouse in Barnstable you will discover The Blue Plate Diner which will leave you plannning your next visit because there is always something else you got to try. I forgot to mention my favorite spot in Dennis which I feel decribes me before coffee, Grumpy's serves a ever changing breakfast special menu that will make it most difficult for you to pick and awesome oversize muffins. You can step back in time, diner style at Betsy Diner in Falmouth with great diner breakfast selections and even a jukebox tableside and Route 28 Diner in Yarmouth also will take you back in time to the fifites when life was simple and food delcious. On route 6a you find a hidden gem in The 6A Cafe and don't be fooled by their appearance because this is truely an awesome breakfast stop with inventive choices and one of my favorite is "The Gronk" which is a great breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, cheese, meatloaf, lettuce and tomato. In Sandwich you will find a very special spot at Cafe Chew where you will have much difficulty in deciding on what you want because the choices are so good when you order your selction at the counter you will be tempted with all their bakery choices and then sit down to enjoy a specially brewed cup of coffee and then your server will deliver your breakfast that leaves you believing in heaven. And last but not least is a small spot in West Dennis near the Post Office is special little place called The Good Friend's Cafe which serves up the usual breakfast fare but make some awesome homemade breads that are sure to please.But yet I forgot one more The Sea Street Cafe in Hyannis which offers creative breakfast choice and home fries to die for was the source for my beginning this breakfast trek with their very delicious Bananas Foster French Toast which is banana slices sautéed in brandy, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar finished with fresh whipped cream. My friend John Regar introduced me to this heavenly blend and my life was forever changed. Thanks John, you are remembered daily as I go about my food hunts and I wish we had more time together. So arm with some breakfast choices and places to try, I wish you good eating and happy times this year. Enjoy the flavors of life and make happy memories.
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ake our buttery croissants, spit them and dip them in our French toast batter, dust them with cinnamon, sugar and grilled to perfection. r buttery croissants, spit them and dip them in our French toast batter, dust them with cinnamon, sugar and grilled to perfection.
Getting close to winter and time to find a spot to warm up, watch a good football game and enjoy some delicious pub offerings. Once again here on Cape Cod we have lots of great choices for some very delicious inventive pub dishes. It's just a matter of venturing out there to find your favorite spot to hang your coat. The Twisted Tree is in Hyannis on 599 Main Street and offers some great specials like Chicken Wings that are fifty cents each with a minimum order of four and great choices like buffalo and bbq on sundays, oysters for a buck on fridays and two for one tacos on thursday. Now that alone should give you plenty of reasons to get out and try The Twisted Tree, but there is so much more. Their menu is awesome and filled with lots of choices for you to make your own very special snack platter and the smell of wood fire oven will make your senses come alive as they offer some very specially prepared inventive pizzas, like Sea Scallop with Applewood Bacon or Brussel Sprouts. They offer some great burgers and sandwiches with their same inventive twists as well as great starters which could certainly be combined to make an your own special meal. Their main theme seems to be mexican and tacos, so I decided to try the Beer Battered Fish Tacos which was filled with shredded cabbage, jack cheese, and topped with cilantro crema and salsa. The crema was so good that I could have drenched my cabbage in it. My friend opted for the Carne Asada Fillet Burrito which was a beef fillet, manchego cheese, grilled corn salsa, peppers and onions all topped with a red chile sauce. It was as delicious as it looked and could be rolled in a corn or flour tortila. They have great choices on their taco menu and I will definitely be back to try some others as well as other menu choices. Because of my obsessive search for a good quahog, I ordered one and it was very good. It seemed to have a mexican flair or maybe it was just the flavor of the meal. All in all its a great stop and I will return. Thanks Twisted Tree!!
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Tis the season to be Jolly....and here on Cape Cod as the decorating is beginning for this holiday season, there is no shortage of great restaurants filled with eager friendly waitstaff ready to made your dining experience a happy stop. Today we decided to try a tavern with an inventive take on tavern cuisine and one look at the menu will surely show you the chef's talents. It's a small menu but offers sandwiches that are extremely extraordinary and thin crusted wood oven fired pizza with ingredients that you wouldn't have thought to combine, like Porky Fig with applewood bacon, fig jam, carmelized onions, baby arugula and pomegranate molasses. They also have a Pear and Brie Pizza with french double cream brie and pomegrante molasses as well as some typical choice with a bit of a twists. Their entrees are equally unique and inventive but so delicious. Their beer menu is two pages long and will leave you wanting to sample more as each blend adds a special compliment to your meal. My friend tried the clam chowder and truely enjoyed its creamy rich goodness. She also enjoyed the Seafood Risotto which included sea scallops, shrimp, lobster,mussels and parmesan risotto. She enjoyed the creamy risotto goodness of her dish but was hard pressed to find any lobster. My other friend decided on the North End Pizza with hot italian sausage, pepperoni, ricotta and fresh mozzarella all cooked in awesome smelling wood oven. I opted for the Fish and Chip with cod,home made fries and a kale/cabbage slaw. The fish had the rich pub batter and was sliced to resemble fingers, which made it all the more easy to dip in their special prepared tarter sauce. Their kale and cabbage was equally as good and was an inventive and tasteful take on the old standard cole slaw. Its a great palce to stop if you are tired of the same old pub menu and the food is delicious. The only thing missing was dessert. Thanks Tap City Grille!!!
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On Cape Cod we have lots of restaurants all ready to introduce you to new flavors and cuisine, but finding a good Chinese Buffet is hard at best. We have lots of great Chinese Restaurants and I have my favorites in varies towns and some great take out venues, but because I love Chinese food so much I have a difficult time deciding on what to order. It's hard to decide on just one thing, so a good buffet is a way of sampling a little bit of my favorite Asian dishes and if you are on the fence about a new Chinese/ Asian Restaurant in Hyannis then you should try Bamboo at 574 Iyannough Road. When I heard that they offered a buffet from 1130am to 2:30pm on weekdays, I decided it was time to give them a try. I read reviews but choose to form my own opions and I was pleasantly pleased. There were lots of great choices that are often found at Chinese buffets like fried rice, lo mein,egg rolls, crab rangoons,scallion pancakes,chicken fingers, chicken wings, boneless spare ribs and veggie tempura all of which were delicious. They offered some great stir fried dishes with beef, chicken, pork and veggies each with their own special flavors and combinations. Their sushi presentation was equally as delicious and freshly made and they do have an awesome sushi bar for those who seek adventure in taste and know exactly the flavors they want in their sushi rolls. They offer salads, fresh fruits and soups and for under fifteen dollars, it was a satisifying experience and I found my own favorites tastes bits for which I shall return for in the future. Desert was bit size pieces of varies cakes, rum raisin ice cream and green tea ice cream which was a perfect ending to an awesome dining experience. The Sunday Buffet is served from 5-8pm and includes soup, appetizers, dim sum, sushi, entrees, fresh fruit and dessert. They are a modern day Chinese restaurant with fine Asian cuisine which includes Sushi, Chinese and Japanese food. If you are on the fence about trying a new Chinese Restaurant, don't be...give their buffet a try. Thanks Bamboo for an awesome dining experience!!
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When the weather gets cold its time to heat up with some great south of the border cuisine and since I haven't tried El Mariachi in West Yarmouth on rte 28, my friends and I decided to stop by. With an appetite ready to explore and the ambience of the mexican music filling the air, we were ready to dive into their menu. They are a family-owned restaurant that offers a genuine and unique Mexican cuisine experience and they have a long tradition in Massachusetts. Their mission is to offer you a pleasant environment from the moment you enter the door until you savor their dishes – and beyond. Their mission was completed for us as we each decided on something a little different. I decided on the Pork Carnitas which was a savory dish made with pork – which is slow cooked with fresh garlic until fork tender. Topped with red onion rings and served with rice, beans, guacamole and a side dish of mild red sauce. It was delivered upon a large serving platter and offered a flavorful variety of taste to enhance the perfecty tender pork with warm flour tortillas to allow me to roll my own special packages of delite. One of my friends choose the Camarones Diablo which was a tasty combination of spicy shrimp, mushrooms and fresh garlic, sautéed in butter with special sauce,rice and beans. There were moments of complete silence as my friend savored the flavors of her dish. And my other friend decided to go healthy with a Veggie Burrito which was a flour tortilla filled with rice, whole black beans and vegetables. Smothered with fresh green tomatillo sauce and served with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and fresco cheese. Now she is my resident burrito expert as she knows how to create an awesome burrito and she loved this and took what she couldn't eat home, only to leave room for dessert. I enjoyed the creamy goodness of my Flan with caramel and a coffee liqueur toppings. While one of my friends enjoyed her Chimi Cheesecake which was two rolls of creamy cheescakem in a flakey puff pastry and fried until golden and topped with caramel and strawberry sauce. And who could leave an awesome mexican restaurant without the taste of a Fried Ice Cream which was equally devoured and loved by my other friend. Thanks El Mariachi for an awesome dining experience...We will return!!!!
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Life is all about celebrating the good times and there is no other place on Cape Cod that knows how to provide just the right atmosphere than The Yarmouth House on route 28 in Yarmouth. Any occassion is one filled with love and great food when you plan a dining experience here. My ghoul friends and myself decided we celebrate Halloween with someone who enjoyed the holiday as we do and we made the right decision stopping by Yarmouth House. Their welcoming decor enhanced our dining experience as we passed Count Dracula, Zoombies, Witches and Freddy Krueger on our way to our table. Their menu offers a good variety of choices with a easy to please range of prices. We decided on the "Sunset Special" as it offers a chance to sample all that the chef has to offer with an awesome three course menu choice. The first course offers a wide variety of choices for even the discerning diner from apps, soups, shrimp cocktail or salads. I opted for the soup of the day Cheddar Broccoli and it was flavorful creamy and hot. My friends each decided on something different and had the creamy Clam Chowder and the Chilled Three Medium Shrimp Cocktail. It was the beginning to an awesome dinning experience.One of my friend tried the Seafood Stuffed Salmon Casserole topped with Lobster sauce and served with rice pilaf and choice of veggie. Its was as delicous as it looked and just the right portion. My other friend chose the Black Angus Shepard's Pie with tender chucks of braise beef, carrots, peas and gravy, topped with cheddar cheese mashed potatoes. I had the Mussels Marinara which was a full pound of perfectly prepared mussels with garlic, peppers and a delicious marinara sauce over spaghetti. It was truely one our best dining adventures and dessert was the perfect end as we each tried one the three choices. A chilled Creme de' Mint Ice Cream, an warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream and a silky smooth Mud Pie each made our meal an outstanding hit. They have been serving Cape Cod for many years and still live up to their reputation and will always be one of my favorite stops. Thanks Yarmouth House for an Awesome Experience!!
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Apples are the quintessential start of fall for me and their skin is said to be a predictor of what kind of winter we will have. A thick skin means a cold winter as nature prepares them for the weather to come. The smell of an apple brings about memories of Vermont trips for foliage and tastes of apple delicacies like cider doughnuts, apple pie and fresh pressed ciders. Here on Cape Cod we can get a touch of Vermont on Route 6a without the mountains but beaches instead. We have lots of great gift and specialities shops along the way and lots of great restaurants to satisfy a traveling soul. For fresh produce you can't beat the Crow's Farm in Sandwich and Cape Abilities in Dennis which are two of my favorite farmstands which are both on the scenic route 6a. But after a day of sight seeing and checking out all of your new found shops, you will surely get inspired and be wanting to cook. I found a great cookbook for apple cooking called Apples From Harvest to Table by Amy Pennington which includes lots of great easy healthy recipes. One of my favorites is a Sweet Potato, Thyme and Apple Hash with Egg Baskets which is delicious change on breakfast with an egg or two served up in the middle of a savory sweet potato and apple hash. There are other great recipes too like Hard Cider Braised Ribs with Apple Slaw and an Apple Almond Tart that is totally delicious as well as many more. Apples are an amazing taste adventure with great health benefits and a great flavor enhancer to all your great recipes new and old. So get out there and savor the flavors of fall and share if you would like a favorite spot, shop, recipe or restaurant that inpsired you this fall.
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Breakfast can be a difficult effort when cooking for a group of people and because of the complexity of getting everything ready at the same time and my loving a good sweet and savory choice, often makes me choose to let someone else prepare it for me. I love to see how inventive a cook will be in his or her preparation and presentation of my starting meal of the day. Along my travels to different restaurants I have had the pleasure of trying some new delicious tastes which have awaken my own creativity with my breakfast preparation. But often times people like the stablity of a simple home cooked breakfast without all the frills and simple good food. So today I decided to try the The Grand Cafe on route 28 in West Yarmouth which is in the Old Golden Boy Restaurant that has long since been closed. Their breakfast menu was simple and they do offer daily specials. I decided on the two eggs scrambled, sausage, homefries and pancakes. It was all delicious and their pancakes were light and fluffy. My companion decided on the Grand Cafe Omelet which had roasted red peppers, asparagus, broccoli, and tomatoes with swiss and cheddar cheese. It all was simply prepared and delicious. The waitress was awesome and the atmosphere clean and pleasant. So if you are looking for for some good home cooking you should try the Grand Cafe. Thank You for a great breakfast.