This year is especially tough for there are nine great movies nominated each worthy of the Best Movie Oscar this year and providing me with nine great themes for my evening menu. For the movie Her, I chose Pizza bites because of the carnival scene in which Theodore closed his eyes and ordered a slice of pizza. For this I chose thin stick breads sliced thin and toasted lightly with garlic, butter and cheese served with sides of assorted toppings pepperoni, ground Italian sausage, Italian salsa and pineapple and ham toppings. For Nebraska I chose"runza sandwiches" and beer because it is a pocket sandwich popular in Nebraska and beer was served throughout the movie. For Philomena there will be bite size fruit cakes to symbolize the fruit cake served with tea at the Roscrea convent and a dish of Colcannon which is an Irish dish. Captain Phillips make me feel adrift on the sea with lettuce boats of fruit salsa. For Gravity we are adrift in space and could probably use some round sesame crackers to represent the moon and some great cheese dip. The Wolf of Wall Street was filled with lavish parties and food, so I decided on Steak Bites with a Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce and Salmon Sushi Rolls served with the Champagne of choice. American Hustle brings more Italian inspired foods like Clams Casino and a side of baked Piccata Shrimp and Chicken Piccatta bites all served with Prosecco. My table is overflowing but I can't forget The Dallas Buyers Club which makes me want to serve a crock pot of Cowboy Beans. And last but not least because in 12 Years a Slave the character Northup tried to write a letter using blackberry juice, I decided on mini blackberry cheesecakes. And so goes my Oscar menu and now I am just waiting for the winner.
Hope you enjoy the Oscars!! Click on the links for the Recipes and have fun,
With the temperatures in the twenties, one must look for ways to keep warm and well nourished. So why not look to a nice bowl of chili, whose beginnings were like that of chowder. Recipes are all over the internet and everyone has a secret ingredient and that all depends on how hot you like it. I like my chili mild with just a little heat which can be added with a few pieces of chopped Jalapeño Pepper.
Here on the Cape we have a few great Mexican Restaurants sure to serve great chili if you are not inclined to make your own. In Hyannis there is always Sam Diego's which offers a great lunch special an all you can eat chili, soup and taco bar all for $7.65. You can get a great bowl of "Old School Chili" at Guapo in Brewster. Or if traveling in West Yarmouth stop by Acapulco for Tortilla soup with chicken or chili.
For me its a nice home cooked bowl of chili.
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
½ green bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 Can (4oz) green chiles, minced or chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef (80% lean)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, chopped
1 packet Goya Beef Bouillon
1 can (15.5 oz.) Kidney beans, not drained
Shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Finely chopped white onions (optional)
1. Heat oil in medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers, chiles and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season meat salt and pepper. Add meat to the pot, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cilantro and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
2. Add 1 cup water, chopped tomatoes (with liquid), and beef bouillon to pot. Bring tomato mixture to boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens and flavors come together, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in beans. Cook until heated through, about 15 minutes more.
3. Divide chili among serving bowls. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and onions, if desired
It serves about 4 and I hope you enjoy!!
Happy Chili Day!!!
Well today let's celebrate the best invention since chicken soup. Creamy goodness with potatoes and chucks of fresh clams sure to cure whatever ails you. Its humble beginnings date back to the early fishermen and their wives who simply needed to feed their family with some of the sea's best bounty. Recipes are often blended and secret ingredients added to enhance that bowl of ocean goodness. Contests and tasting for the best chowder are often unending and the next best recipe is often around the corner. Debates on whether to add tomatoes or a creamy milk base extend through different regions, but nothing tastes as good as a well crafted bowl of clam chowder.
Down here on our island surrounded by water, one can certainly find a chowder to their particular palate and it isn't always the chowder that won the contests through the years. For me its the creamy goodness with delicately sliced cube potatoes and flavorful pieces of clams and my favorite is from Seafood Sam's and Lobster Pot. I have to admit that I do like the Rhode Island Red Chowder of Rocky Point with steaming clam cakes but my favorite is the white creamy chowder of New England. So get out there and celebrate the day with a hot bowl of clam chowder and let me know where I can find a great chowder if you know of one.
If you want a recipe check out this link for an easy recipe and add whatever you like.
It is amazing that we haven't read about more bicycle accidents during the summer and it should be a credit to the drivers who do drive safely out there. Bicyclists have no idea how invisible they are to the drivers out there, until its too late and the headlights reflect on their blackened silhouettes out there. They wear dark clothing, no helmets and nothing reflective to alert a motorist to what lays just a head of them. In the above picture, there are three people on bikes off to the left side. I was stopped and took this picture quickly and just wanted to make the point that all can not be seen and its unsafe.
So bikers be aware and wear that helmet and reflective clothing, it can save your life.
With a history of 60 years of music that gently guided us through our crazy life and times , Frankie Valli entertained thousands under the Cape Cod Melody Tent on Saturday and Sunday at a robust 79 years old. " Who loves you pretty baby, who's going to help you through the night ? " Well thanks Frankie for helping us get through the last weekend of the summer and reigniting memories of our long lost youth.Of summers bonfires on the beach, moonlight drives in the convertible and enjoying a drive-in movie with that special someone. You brought us back to a time when our joints moved more freely and we believed anything was possible. His voice was as we had remembered but he added a younger group of muscular men, four in number, to maneuver us through the tunes. And I might say that the guys were good looking and were the "Four Seasons" that made the evening fun.
So Thanks Frankie for making us feel like 79 isn't so bad. We look forward to catching your long running play about music in the 60's, "Jersey Boys" and seeing the movie version soon to come that will be produced by Clint Eastwood.
Who Loves Ya....We Do!!
There's a good reason some people sit for hours in traffic over that seemingly long bridge to summer fun and its to enjoy the good weather and hit the beach. Today was a great day to enjoy the Annual Sand Castles contest at Maylfower Beach in Dennis and everyone was up early and ready to explore their artistic side. Sure there were castles, but we also seen Sponge Bob's House, Dragons, Lobsters, Crabs, a Horse Crab, Race Cars and Raceways. A cute little girl made a Bunny and mark an x in the sand so you could get a proper view of her Bunny. Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc also make a couple appearances. It was fun to watch the creativity and enjoy the warm summer sun. We even had the chance to see a nude sunbather and a pirate skull as well as some huge Feet with Sandals stepping on a Fish. Being on cape Cod really brings out the Artistic Flair in people and what better place then on the beach. Thanks to all who made the Sand Castle Contest a Success !!!
Check out the video for the great artwork.
Enjoy your Summer !!!
First introduced in New York this May this cross between a doughnut and croissant had people standing in long lines in the early morning hours and willing to pay $5 each at Dominique Ansel's Bakery. The trademark Cronuts have come in Rose Vanilla, Lemon Maple, and Blackberry flavors--and were so popular that they started a black market craze. But no need to fight the lines and take a trip to New York because here on Cape Cod we have Keilar's Bakery in Yarmouth. If you haven't stopped by this little hidden gem, then you are really missing something because they really know how to satisfy a sweet tooth and artfully. Their have a good selection of Cronuts flavors but my personal favorite is the Boston Creme or Peanut Butter, each with a good flavorful light filling and they are only $3 each.
2 cups vegetable oil
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 snack-size container (4 oz) vanilla pudding
2 tablespoons caramel sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Additional caramel sauce, if desired
1. In deep fryer or 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.
2. Separate crescent dough into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another. Fold in half widthwise to make tall stack. Repeat with remaining 2 rectangles.
3. To make 2 doughnuts, use 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut 1 round from each stack; use 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut small hole in center of each round. Reroll remaining dough to cut third doughnut.
4. Fry doughnuts in hot oil 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Cool 5 minute
5. Carefully split doughnuts in half. Place pudding in decorating bag fitted with tip, and pipe some of the pudding onto bottom half of each doughnut. Top each with some of the caramel sauce; sprinkle with salt. Cover each with top of doughnut.
6. In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and enough milk for spreading consistency. Spread on tops of doughnuts. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce.
It's an Irish Breakfast you want, then you might want to try The Wee Packet. It is said that the name derives from a nautical term which refers to the Packet Ships that used to deliver goods to Cape and the Islands. And for 64 years this little hideaway has been delivering good Old Cape Cod Cuisine with a bit of Irish Flair here and there. Locals and vacationers alike come to this iconic landmark on the corner or Lower County Road and Depot Street.
The "Wee Packet Fry" consists of two eggs any style with Irish sausages or Irish rashers, grilled tomato, home fries or baked beans and choice of Irish Soda Bread or Brown Bread. I decided on the Irish sausage with a slice of freshly baked Irish Soda Bread and the combination was pure heaven. The home fries are crispy and without a lot of seasoning which is great for those who are a little particular about spices. My friend decided on the Homemade Irish Corned Beef Hash served with two eggs any style, home fries or baked beans and Irish Soda Bread or Brown Bread. If you love corn beef hash then you should order it here as they prepare corn beef on a somewhat regular basis and the brown bread is fresh baked and full of flavor and a nice change.
This year that have added outside dining so you can breath in that nice salty air as you enjoy some very good food. The seafood is caught daily and serve up fresh and if you are tight on a budget you might just wanted to try the Poor Man’s Surf and Turf which includes a Wee Packet stuffed quahog and a hot dog. The Quahog is one of the best on Cape Cod with a savory flavor of bacon and clams. And my favorite is the Lobster BLT which is fresh lobster meat served with crunchy romaine, vine ripe tomato, crisp bacon and mayo on toasted Texas style bread. The menu offers a good variety of food. Click on the link above to check it out. Enjoy the Summer!!
It's a step back in time and that's what I love most about the Cape. There is not a lot of fast food chain restaurants but rather a chance to view the iconic "American Diner" serving up fresh food cooked to order. Forget the frozen food cooked in a microwave, you get to see your meal prepared on the hot grill while twirling on your stool or sitting in your booth. And the smell from that hot grill awakens your sleeping senses and what you thought would be a simple decision, now becomes a difficult one as you watch the food coming from off the grill.
It's just a hideaway stuck in the back of a shared parking lot off of route 28 in Harwich Port and one could easily pass by this hidden gem; but a quick glimpse of the menu and reasonable prices will lure you in for a great meal that is sure to get your day started.
On my visit I choose the "Crack Me Up" which consisted of fluffy scrambles eggs served on top of a golden slice of golden French toast with bacon for $4.75. The best part of the meal or should I say the part that made it even better was the steaming cup of coffee. Sometimes its hard to find good coffee with a great breakfast and when you don't find it, then you will appreciate it when you do. But hey, it had to be good because as I looked around the diner I seen a sign that boldly stated that they serve the best coffee and yes they were right. Their home fries are hash like and crispy and you can check out their menu on the link above for a full description of what they serve. They open from 630am until noon and the friendly staff are ready to serve you 7 days a week.
Every Friday during the summer, Fox does a Zip Trip visit to a town in Massachusetts to celebrate the town and its history and hero's as well as all that town has to offer. On July 5, Harwich won the honors this year and it was a beautiful beach day on Red River Beach. We learned that Shawn Fanning who was the co-founder of Napster was a graduate of Harwich High. And we remembered Tip O'Neil who spent many a summer here and could be found looking for "Meltaways" at Bonatt's. We were enticed by Depot Dogs and can be found in the parking lot of Buca's Tuscan Roadhouse combined they offer everything from casual curbside dining to elegant Italian food and can be found along route 28. Ruggie's showed us his breakfast fare and reminded us the challenge was still open for anyone who wanted to partake of the "Duke". It's a challenge to eat 2 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 in 30 minutes. Food is bountiful in Harwich and depending on your taste and budget it can be found around every corner in town.
Baseball is always a great summer past time here on Cape Cod and the Harwich Mariner's are having a great season. The team is proud to have had Carlos Penna and Kevin Millar as former teammates. You never know just when you might be seeing the next great baseball sensation.
Cyrus Cahoon a Harwich native was a cultivator of Cranberries and a visit to the local Farmers' Market will yield you some fresh home grown foods and perhaps a recipe or two on Thursdays from 3 to 6pm at the corner of route 39 and Sisson Road.
If you like plays the visit the Harwich Junior Theatre where you can see a play for a fraction of the cost and who knows you might be seeing a rising star.
Harwich has some great beaches and remember every beach is free after 5pm so if you aren't sure which beach you like try a picnic on the beach to find your favorite beaches. The Zip Trip was good and worth the trip.
Harwich has a lot to offer and I am still discovering its gems, if you find something you like then share and enjoy your summer!!!