Welcome to I Love to Cook

Cooking is something I have always enjoyed. I learned to cook at the apron strings of my mother and grandmother. The experience of cooking brings me both pleasure and peace of mind.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Caribbean Rum Dinner

No photo's - we were too busy preparing and eating but hopefully the descriptions will be tempting.  A couple of years ago we went to the Caribbean with our friends, Susie and Bill, for their anniversary.  Tonight we had a dinner honoring our trip together.  The menu consisted of Coconut Shrimp; Asparagus Soup; a Spring Salad with gorgonzola cheese, toasted almonds, tangerines, and Girard's Peach Mimosa dressing; warm sour dough rolls; Basmati Rice with saffron; a Caribbean chicken stew; rum/cranberry compote; and banana flambe'.  I will try to describe each dish but I can provide details if anyone is interested in any of the dishes.  We started with a banana infused rum appertif followed by the Coconut Shrimp.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aviation Week Laureate Awards in Washinton DC - March 2011

My wife and I recently returned from Washington DC where we attended an awards ceremony.  We were only there for a couple of days but had some fantastic food and shopping.  We stayed at the Palomar Hotel in DuPont Circle.  The restuarant attached to the hotel is Urbana's.  A friend and I had a late evening snack of wine and appetizers.  I really enjoyed the "Merguez House Made Lamb Sauage with Chestnut & Salsa Verde".  They also had killer scallops.  Dawn & I grabbed a pizza at "Pizzeria Paradiso".  This place was packed but the food was great.  We also had lunch at "Old Ebbitt Grill" , an old Washingtom landmark since the 1800s.  I had  a half dozen oysters and crab cakes.  Lots of crab and the oysters were great.  At he awards dinner they served lambchop appetizers before we were seated.  What a great way to start a meal.  The dinner was good for a banquet but the lambchops were the standout  Then on our final lunch we went to "Bistro Francais".  Again a very pleasant meal in a quiet and authentically french setting.  All in all we had a wonderful trip and it seems like we ate and ate.  Oh BTW I forgot the chocolatier and the cupcake store.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pork Loin Stuffed with Peppers, Apple, and Mozzarella

I had to make a quick lunch while I was getting ready for work.  It turned out pretty good but I wish I could have sat down and had a proper lunch rather than having to box it up for work.  Oh well, at least my son and a co-worker got to taste the final product.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A visit to Villa Blanca & Teuscher's Swiss Chocolate, Beverly Hills, Ca

I haven't been able to cook much with so much going on at home and work.  We are re-decorating the kitchen.  Functionally it is great (my area), however my wife, Dawn, and I painted, installed crown molding, and had to get a new refrigerator (decorating is her area of expertise).  Anyway lot's of dining out.  We had to run into Beverly Hills for my wife to pick-up a formal for an upcoming black tie event.  Therefore, lunch at Villa Blanca and dessert at Teushers.  First let me point out that I did not know until after lunch that Villa Blanca is a 'hang out' for "The Housewives of Beverly Hills".  In fact I was reading that one of the actresses is the owner of the resturant.  If we had known that this was connected with the show we probably wouldn't have gone to lunchthere.  Anyway no star sighings just a quick review.

Villa Blanca -   9601 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210
The interior is all white and quite impressive.  We showed up around 2:00 p.m. with no reservation. The place was still bustling with a large lunch crowd.  We were seated right away at a table for two but it was a bit crowded and noisy until some of the patrons moved on.  The most impressive part of the entire experience was the wait staff.  From the moment we entered the resturant until we left there was nothing but friendly faces, helpful inquries, and pleasant dialog.  As Dawn noted everyone was very good looking.  I think my wife really wanted to order our waiter on a cracker.

Dawn and I had Chicken Milanese and Chicken Paillard, respectively.  They were both reasonably priced and the portions for lunch were very substantial.  The Chicken Milanese was served as thinly sliced free range chicken breast encrusted with panko and cornflakes served with lemon, roasted potatoes and vegetables.  The Chicken Paillard consisted of  a flattened free range chicken breast pan roasted served with lemon, roasted potatoes and arugula salad.  Both dishes were very good but no real WOW factor.  I would defintiely return.  The one item on the plate that kept calling my fork back for more were the roasted potatoes.  Little whole potaotes lightly roasted and salted were the equivalent of gourmet fries.  Although we did see a plate of fries go by that also looked delicious.  There were also luncheon pizzas that I may have to go back and try.

teuscher chocolates of Beverly Hills - 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
This is a little Swiss Chocolatier catty corner to Villa Blanca.  We opted for a few chocolates and coffee for dessert and it was a great choice (Thanks Dawn). The selection was fantastic and my wife and I walked, talked, and savored our chocolate selections as we enjoyed the sunny day

If you ever visit Beverly Hills these two locations are a definite stop for lunch and dessert.