Friday, April 23, 2010
Here's another guest post from Little Sis from her Vegas trip!
Willy and Jose’s Cantina
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas
5111 Boulder Highway
Las Vegas, NV 89122
Willy and Jose’s had 3 specials that night. We ordered
the Prime Rib and Crab Legs for $21, and the Willy & Jose’s – grilled filet
medallions – for $15.
They started us off with a plate of chips and dips. I
loved that they offered 3 different dips. Most Mexican restaurants I’ve been to
simply offer chips and salsa. Willy and Jose’s gave a spicy salsa at the top, a
mild salsa in the middle, and a bean dip at the bottom.
Both specials came with soup or salad.
The Salad was very simple. It seemed like they had opened
one of those pre-packaged salads you can buy at the grocery store, dumped it in
my plate, and topped it off with chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, and ranch
dressing. It had too much dressing.
The Tomato Soup was thick and just a little bit creamy,
but not too heavy.
The one-half pound of Snow Crab Legs was unexpectedly
spicy. It was good though, and to my relief, not too salty. The Baked Potato
was huge. Unfortunately it was too dry. The Vegetables were a great complement
to the prime rib.
The medallions were topped with bacon and cheese. They
were slightly burnt and thus hard to chew. The beans weren’t hot enough, but the
rice went well with the medallions.
The service wasn’t very good. They didn’t come by to
refill our drinks at all. They weren’t that busy that night either.
Friday, April 23, 2010
An example of great character creation… we were passing by the snack
I tripped and hit the kitchen counter. ” or “when I peeled my skin off, I slipped on it (think banana peel)”
aisle and for some reason this package caught my eye. Not that it
looked delicious or the image was compelling or unique, but that my
eyes spied the characters’ eyes. When a character holds a fist up and
the other character has a black eye my mind connects the dots to
something off the wall. Well I guess that was a direct path to my
suspicions, but if I didn’t notice the black eye maybe sunglasses would
have helped. Then the other “Banana” (they’re are supposed to be rice
crackers I think) could say “oh this?
I like rice crackers, but I don’t want a black eye. Will I get a
punch in the face when I eat these crackers? The image of the Kool-Aid
guy busting out of the wall comes to mind, but with Banana characters
jumping out of nowhere and just punching your eyes.
Enjoy these black-eyed crackers.
and this zoomed in.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Last week, the Food Librarian baked a Swedish Visiting Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. The cake had everything I was looking for to bake. Tea cake? Check! Almonds? Check! Easy to make? Check check!
This cake was unbelievably easy to make. It's the easiest made from scratch cake I've ever baked. And it comes out so simple and beautiful. I love the almond slices that decorate the top. The cake requires no mixer: just a spatula, a bowl and a whisk. It took me less than ten minutes to put this cake together and 25 minutes to bake. It was so simple that I actually went ahead and made two of them!
And the best part of all? It was delicious! If you like almonds and if you like tea cakes, you'll love this cake. It was a big hit. Everyone I shared with this wanted to take some home.
The recipe is supposed to be made in a cast iron skillet, but I don't have one, so I used a springform cake pan, which also made it a lot easier to remove from the pan. Also, the first time I sprinkled the cake with granulated sugar like the recipe said, but I didn't really like how it looked. So the second time, I used raw sugar instead. Finally, I left out the lemon zest. It saved me time and I don't really like the citrus taste in my desserts.
Swedish Visiting Cake (From Dorie Greenspan's book. Recipe found on The Dog Eat Crumbs)
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I left this out)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
Raw sugar for sprinkling
a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a
seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a
9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.
2. Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the
zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist
and aromatic. (I left out the zest)
3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts.
4. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.
5. Finally, fold in the melted butter. Scrape the
batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter
the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar. (The recipe says to sprinkle granulated sugar. I chose raw sugar)
6. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a
little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the
pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin
knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can
serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out
onto a serving plate