July 6, 2007


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I love figs and this is the third time I'm writing about them. My favorite is the Italian honey, which I was told earlier today by a produce employee at Wegmans, are the calimyrna variety. I don't think they are one and the same, but they do look alike. However, they are are not yet available this week, they will be in stores in late July or early August. The ones pictured here are the California mission figs. They are also good by themselves when fully ripe or well-chilled and drizzled with honey. I candied a few pieces, it takes 3 days including drying time, and they are fantastic! I do believe this is the fruit Eve defied God for, they're worth it.;D

perfect with the best honey

candied figs

July 5, 2007

Authentic Texas Border Chili

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This chili recipe is from my cookbook CHILI MADNESS A Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel. She writes:
The creator of this gastronomic epic hails from Brownsville, Texas, and insists that you follow his recipe to the letter!
The cookbook has over 35 chili recipes and I have tried several, including the one from the Washington, D.C. restaurant Clyde's, but Authentic Texas Border Chili is my absolute favorite. It is super delicious specially for chili dogs. We also love it with saltines & grated cheese, steamed rice, or spaghetti.

Authentic Texas Border Chili
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and seeded
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 pounds beef shank, coarse chili grind
1 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings
24 pieces green onion, chopped
5 green bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
5 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound chorizo, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons ground hot chile
4 tablespoons ground mild chile
3 tablespoons prepared cumin seeds*
water or beer
  • Puree the first 4 ingredients and one of the garlic cloves in a blender. Scrape the mixture into a large heavy pot and add the beef.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions, bell peppers, serrano chiles, chorizo, and the garlic, and cook until onions are translucent and chorizo is browned. Stir the vegetables into the beef and tomato mixture. Add the salt, ground chile, cumin, and enough water or beer to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 6 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning.
*To prepare cumin seeds, place them in a 300°F oven for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove seeds from the oven and crush with a mallet.

July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

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layers of lady fingers, sweetened cream, blueberries and raspberries

July 2, 2007

Movies on DVD

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I watched about 25 movies on DVD the past three weeks but will review only the best and the worst.

One of the best movies I have seen so far this year. Beautiful story, excellent photography (by Filipino-American Matthew Libatique) and soundtrack. Hugh Jackman as Tom tries to find a cure for his dying wife's (Rachel Weisz) cancer, eventually understands and accepts death, helped by the unfinished book that she was writing. I watched it 3 times already and I wouldn't stop raving about it, that my daughter gave me the graphic novel it was based on (probably either to encourage me or to shut me up), both written by Darren Aronofosky (Pi & Requiem For A Dream). I also got the soundtrack CD which is as beautiful and haunting as the movie. Me, obssessed?, maybe...;D

I found this unopened DVD which was supposed to be my daughter's gag gift to one of her friends. She said it's one of the most awful movies she has seen and proceeded to recite (a la Keira Knightley): My name is Domino, domino, domino... Hahvy, hahvy, hahvy...I'm a bounchy huntchuh, huntchuh, huntchuh...then sneered. She forgot about it and told me to open it and see for myself how truly awful it is. She suggested that I take a shot of vodka or other hard liquor for every stupid/cheesy dialog or scene and I will surely get drunk at the end of the movie, but I'm not into drinking like most young adults so I ignored that. But I can say, the movie is awful. Keira Knightley is not a good actress and she keeps appearing in moan-inducing movies: Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Carribean, and in Pride and Prejudice was the worst Elizabeth ever!!
Also, I viewed for the 5th (or is it 6th?) time a favorite movie of mine: Le pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf), one of the most awesome movies that came from France. This movie, set in the 18th century French countryside where a legendary beast had been killing villagers, has everything, and I mean everything: action, romance, mystery, beautiful martial arts sequences, mysticism, cultish Christian nuts, crazy gypsies, heaving bosoms, incest, gore, whores, and the most beautiful people on screen: Mark Dacascos (TV's The Crow) and his nice butt, Monica Belucci with her awesome weapon and her real life husband, Vincent Cassel as the incestuous brother. The movie is like a live action anime. Here's a teaser:

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