Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomato Sandwich

If there is one particular food that sparks memories of my childhood in the summer it is a tomato sandwich. My dad got started me on eating them. We'd take sunbeam white bread or sometimes Italian white sandwich bread, spread miracle whip on both sides, add slices of a perfectly ripe tomato from our garden, and some salt and pepper. The soft white bread, the juicy tomatoes, the miracle whip and tomato juice running down the sides of my hand, I can just imagine it now. For those of you that I've upset in the food world by using words such as sunbeam bread and miracle whip, I apologize but sometimes tradition calls for foods we don't normally eat.

Now onto the sandwich I actually created for today's post. It was made with wonderful ciabatta bread from Alice Bakery, organic basil mayo, fresh tomatoes from our garden, and fresh cracked salt and pepper. I used jarred organic mayo and chopped up my own fresh organic basil to make the basil mayo. It was wonderful and much higher class than my usual, but I have to admit that I still prefer my old standby.

As an adult I'd like to say that my pallet is more refined and that I dislike that childhood sandwich and I prefer my own grown up version, but I'm lying. Sure the tomatoes, bread, and mayo may be organic now but I still prefer white organic grocery store bread to artisanal bread, there's just something about it.

What's your favorite food memory from childhood and/or summertime?

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Unfortunately, I have a torn deltoid ligament and a bone injury so cooking is a bit of a challenge. I hope to be back on my feet in less than a month.Until then the posts are going to be simple recipes and restaurant reviews.

This week my friend and I went to Ooka, a Japanese restaurant in Montgomeryville.

We started out with Peeky Toe Crab Taco’s they are currently a special at Ooka and Peeky Toe crabs are only available a few months out of the year, so I highly suggest going to get them ASAP. They were tiny tacos that were super crunchy and filled with Peeky Toe crab and a corn salsa. They were better than we expected.  Delicious taco’s at a Japanese restaurant, who would have thought!  

 Peeky Toe Crab Tacos

For our next dishes my friend ordered the Tempura Udon, which is Udon noodles in a fish and seaweed flavored stock with spinach, scallion, shitake mushrooms. Served on the side are tempura shrimp and seasonal vegetables. The flavor was a bit strong for me but she loved the dish.



I had the Mushroom To-ban, exotic Japanese mushrooms served in a Hot-pot with yuzo-soy sauce. This had to be the most outstanding dish of the night. The waiter brought it out in a hot-pot and took the lid off. Then tons of steam and aroma released and begged you to dig in, but clearly you have to wait until it cools down because it was bubbling. Once it finally cools down and you have a bite, it is delectable. It was one of the most amazing mushroom dishes I have ever had and I almost missed it on the menu. It is entirely gluttonous and rich so I would share it with people or take some home. 

 Mushroom To-ban (you can see it bubbling)

For our main meals we each ordered sushi. My friend ordered the Ooka Shrimp Dragon Roll, which was gorgeous! It is tempura shrimp, eel, avocado, tobiko, and eel sauce. She loved it. 

 Ooka Shrimp Dragon Roll

I ordered the Mixed Vegetable Roll and the Asparagus and Pumpkin Tempura Roll. For those of you who know me, know that, I hate tempura in my sushi. Cold and fried is not in my vocab! As a vegetarian there are very limited options for rolls without tempura so every so often I order one. I am so happy I ordered the Asparagus and Pumpkin Tempura Roll because the fried flavor actually worked with this sushi! Yumm!

I like their Mixed Vegetable Roll too, it is my old standby when I go to Ooka, nothing that stands out too much about it, but it is a good vegetable roll. 

 Mixed Vegetable Roll and the Asparagus and Pumpkin Tempura Roll

Last but not least I have to at least mention the drinks. I had two mojito’s; peach and key lime. I’m not always impressed by Ooka’s drinks but I absolutely loved the peach mojito! Although, the key lime was a bit of a let down, so I won’t be getting that again.

 Peach Mojito

Key Lime Mojito

764 Bethlehem Pike
Montgomeryville PA 18936

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Italian Sausage and Peppers

So I tried once with Tofurky’s Italian sausage and I failed, miserably. A few people recommended Field Roast’s Italian Sausage. I held out for almost a year and I finally gave in a tried it. Unfortunately, it failed miserably in my book as well. This time I cooked the sausage on the stove because it was raining outside. After a few bites I took the sausage off, fed it to Rigley and just ate my sea salted roll from Alice Bakery and Confectionery with the sauteed onions and peppers. Next time I get a craving for sausage and peppers, I’m going to just stick with the onions and peppers on a roll because it does the trick and satisfies my cravings. I guess I am going to put the fake meat on hold again and leave it to the professionals.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spicy Curry Spaghetti with Chickpeas

My coworker and I were talking and one of them said they added curry powder to their sauce, so with that thought in my head I created this recipe…Italy meet India! Italians make pasta e ceci, which is just pasta in a red sauce with chickpeas. Chickpeas are also heavily used in Indian cooking and they are a good source of protein. That’s a win win situation to me! It’s also something that meat eaters and even vegans can enjoy.


1lb of spaghetti
2 tbs of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 hot pepper I used a Hungarian wax from my garden
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes diced
I would have diced a real onion but I didn’t have one but I had some dehydrated onion from whole foods so I used that.
1 can of drained rinsed chickpeas
Fresh Basil
Fresh Oregano
Dried Italian seasoning
About 2 tsp of curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your Spaghetti according to packaged directions. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add your garlic and your hot pepper. One they are soft add your tomatoes, dehydrated onion, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, curry powder, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes until the tomatoes breakdown and your sauce comes together.

 (side note: the beautiful purple basil is from my garden)