Monday, August 28, 2006

Under the sea cake

Under the sea cake
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This was the cake of the week last week. We did two wedding cakes and a bunch of special occasion cakes, but this was my very favorite. It was for an engagement party. The bride and groom are being married seaside so we won't be doing the cake for the wedding.

Here's another look at it.

Engagement party

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Something to watch for at the grocers

AdAge Daily is all a buzz with the revolutionary choice Kroger's has taken this morning. Advertising is at an all time low as far as televsion is concerned. With the advent of TIVO, more and more of us are blitzing through the commercials and skipping the possibility of being wooed by the ads.

What's a product vendor to do? Well, get ready. They've figured out where the captive audience is. It's at the check-out line. You know that foot wide, black belt each of us places our items on prior to paying for them? Yes, that's where the ads are going to be. Rocket scientists I tell you! the average grocer has 10 check out lines. Each with a four foot belt that rotates for customers to place their groceries on. It can't miss. Watch for the commercials at your store soon.

First the grocery cart, now the check-out belt. I understand the commercial on the cart. That, to me, makes sense. While a person is strolling about, they're reminded of certain items they made need. There are also new smart carts, that have a chip in them and can tell where you are in the store and runs an ad appropriate to the department. (wow, I'm sure that's not expensive) However, is the ad at the end of your shopping experience really going to get you to go back and fight the clogged aisles again? I think not.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Food, food, and more food

Rib Eye
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Here are just a few shots of some of the things that were consumed on our trip. The pics do not include the various snacks along the way that included scharffenberger chocolate, trail mix, dried pineapple and cashews.

Prime Rib end cut

Golden Scone

New York Strip

Coconut Snapper without Mango

Shrimp Pasta

More Mango Salsa

Cajun catfish

Mushroom Crostini

I didn't take pictures of half of what was eaten, and the best meals were consumed with no pics at all. I am not paying attention enough to take photos at breakfast usually. I also didn't take photos of the bad stuff we ate.

The last place we stopped was the best. We shared a piece of cake with our two year old granddaughter. She was worth every mile of driving.

Happy Birthday Little Miss

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

HO-made pies

HO-made pies
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
We ate at this restaurant years ago when we took the girls to Zion National Park. The food was good, not great, but edible and the atmosphere pleasing for a small town eating establishment.

That's why we chose to eat there on this vacation. My mother always taught me if can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I don't have a lot to say, so it will simply be:

Please, please, please Mr. Ramsey, if you ever decide to redeem your reputation from the mess that TV calls Hell's Kitchen, bring your Kitchen NIghtmares show to the U.S. You can start in this restaurant.
The Thunderbird has all your favorite ingredients, that have driven this place to it's worst. Teenagers running the kitchen are not a plus if they have no one to lead them.

One of the saddest things in the world is going to the expense of starting or taking over a restaurant, and then not having the resources to run it well. Even the simplest of restaurants with a minimum of choices that I have eaten in and enjoyed have had the same "recipe" as a Four Seasons kitchen. Hard work, commitment, and fresh ingredients are basic ways to get moving in the right direction. Time to take the HO- out of Ho-made.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Millcreek Plaza

Millcreek Plaza
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
We went on a long drive. 3300 miles! That's a lot of eating out. One place stands out among the others. The Over the counter Cafe in Salt Lake City.

Over the Counter Cafe

I may be what some would refer to as a greasy spoon. Look at it, from the outside that just might be what one would think. However, this place is so well run it amazes me everytime I eat there.

The owner has been running it for years. Every time I am in Salt Lake, whether it be passing through or staying for an extended time period, I eat there. Why? Because they serve the best food, with the best service anywhere in the state.

The food is standard American fare. Bacon and eggs, french toast, "the best omlette in town". They are not over representing when they put that slogan on the wall. We arrived early in the morning, grabbed a table and waited with the locals for our turn to order.

The waitress, well, she could teach how to do it right. Our tab came to a bit under $15, and we left a $6 tip. She was young, but age didn't limit her abilities. She knew her job, and did it better than any other restaurant we ate in for the whole trip. We paid 14 times that bill at another place and the service was not even close to how well hers was. Keep in mind, the other place had two servers waiting on our party of six, and the service didn't compare to what this young woman, not more than 25, handled alone in a restaurant filled with patrons.

That's what good service is all about. It's not about the clothes you're wearing. It's not about the culinary school training or the 'protocol'. Of course that can help, but it doesn't make you good at what you do. Some people just have the grit it tazkes to get the job done. Maybe it's not grit, maybe it's passion. Maybe it's knowing you have to pay the bills and these customers are part of your team, and you're going to help them help you. Whatever it was that made the young woman do her job, she could teach all the starched white aprons a few things.

Then of course, what is a restaurant without good food. Each time we have had the opportunity to eat at Over the Counter Cafe, the food has been excellent. The eggs, whether cooked over easy, scrambled, or omletted, are cooked perfectly. Not a bit of brown to them. It's unnatural for an egg to be browned. Then they use the best bacon available, cooked to perfection. The French toast has a bit, and just a bit, of nutmeg to give it depth. It was very nice. Omelttes are superb. Not a trace of fake cheese, or american. The hashbrowns are fresh, not frozen. Excellent.

I noticed that while we were there, there was a group of young boys at a table. They couldn't have been more than13 - 14 years old. We had noticed when we walked up, there was a pile of skateboards at the entry door. Hmmm. So to give a good indication, these young men, got up early and went down to the diner for a good breakfast to start the day. Neighbors know this guys food is good and it's where the locals want to grab a good meal. They were very well behaved too.

Please, if you are ever in Salt Lake City, do yourself a favor and go for breakfast at the Over the Counter Cafe. It's at the corner of 23rd East and 33rd South. In the Millcreek Plaza. You'll thank me for certain.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Great News!

After a long bout away from the blogging world, I begin to read my favorites. Check sis's blog, nothing new. But then again, she's been out of town too! Check Lisa's place new stuff, great! Check Susan's and her kids joined me in Utah, didn't see them specifically, but they were in the crowds I saw. ;-)

Then went over to Kim's and saw all kinds of great inspirations! Now on to Meggiecat's and she had some great links for stuff I want to make for the granddaughter. Thanks, Kathy!

Dropped by Shuna's place and was again inspired to get back to food. And of course, who could forget Grommie? I'm stealing that cake idea!

Then I stumbled upon the best news yet, my favorite blogger, the first bookmark on my culiblog tab, Waiter Rant has good news.
He's landed a book deal! It is the best news!

I've been reading him and The Trickster since I first became interested in blogs. They are both excellent writers. Each has inspired me to keep working hard and learn all I can.

What drew me to the Waiter is his ability to see farther into the person he serves than most people are able. You see, he has a background in the seminary and in psych. Two of my favorite subjects, mix them with food and you have a trifecta! His wit and wisdom and glaring spot-on analysis of the game is undeniably book worthy. I wish him the best. Go buy a book when it comes out. Help a poor waiter earn his keep will ya?

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Idaho Potatoes are BIG!

Idaho Potatoes are BIG!
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
We were in Idaho and picked up some potatoes!

This was the best place of all. A drive in movie theater called The Spud!

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Friday, August 04, 2006


I am back! 3318 miles later and six states (sort of) on the history books! Lots to talk about in the morning. Need a bit of rest and sorting of photos and all. Thank you for your patience.

I am surprised at the lack of wireless connections throughout our vacation destinations. That's why no updates at all. Food along the way was interesting.

See ya in the morning!

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