I love Mexican food and Puerto Vallarta is one of my favorites on the peninsula. My husband and I took an out of town visitor to this old favorite and it lived up to its past trips. Our guest enjoyed the kitschy interior decorations and the great service. It was defiantly another fun experience at Puerto Vallarta.
I am always reading other’s blog’s and these are some of my recent finds.
She talks about Jewish food culture and other yummy foods. She is just finishing up a series on pie crusts.
I find some easy and yummy recipes here.
One damn cute backing blog. She has the best ideas and shares them.
I went to Phad Thai in Silverdale and had some yummy chicken Phad Tahi. I know cliché but very yummy. I love this little restaurant it has really come far from its little hole in the wall origins. Give it a try some time.
Cooking a good meal at home is as easy as cutting up a few things and popping them all in the oven. I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately how only 40 percent of the US population regularly cooks at home. I have always been involved with cooking at home and find it hard to understand families eating at restaurants every night. So here is an easy recipe I cooked up, using items I had on hand I made chicken and biscuits in the oven.
You will need a cup and half of chopped carrots, celery, and onion. You can make it an equal portion of each or if you enjoy one more than the other cut up more of that. I used slightly more carrots as they are one of my favorites.
Dump them all in with two chopped cloves into a 1/3 cup of melted butter in a cast Iron Dutch oven and let it all soften on medium low heat. This should take about ten minutes. While they veg is softening go ahead and make some biscuits.
I used a Bisquick mix, because I had it on hand. Sometimes I’ve used a can of biscuits or even make them totally from scratch. I prefer to make them from scratch if I have the time. Divide it into about nine balls and flatten them into round disks. Then set them aside so that the milk can absorb into the flour. Preheat the oven at 350.
Add half a cup of flour to the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Let it cook for a moment or two so that you cook the flour. The raw flour taste is not so yummy. It may look a little dry in the pan, but it is ok. Add four cups of low sodium chicken broth, Basil, and dry Bay leaf (just remember to fish it out later), add salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil for a least a minute.
While you are waiting for it to come to a boil chop up the chicken. I used four chicken breasts that I cooked for 25 minutes at 350 in the oven. Just a little spray oil, so that it wouldn’t stick, but nothing else. You can use cooked chicken from the grocery store, those lovely rotisserie chickens or they even have pre-cooked breasts.
Add the chicken to Dutch oven and some frozen peas. Wait for it to come back to a boil.
Place the biscuits on top as close as you can to each other. You want the top to be almost completely covered.
Pop on the lid and put it in the oven for ten minutes. After ten minutes pull of the lid and cook for anther twenty. The biscuits should be brown and the soup bubbly. Serve and enjoy!
Recently my husband and I went to Casper’s Pizza and Barbeque in Belfair in the log plaza. Having stopped in earlier for a takeout menu we had high hopes for this place. As I walked in and took a good look around I knew the place had changed for the better. There was freshly painted walls and tables, while the owners had chosen some very delightful paintings for the walls. Now the place has a casual bistro feel to it. Complete with a chef in whites behind the counter. It has completely changed the atmosphere from the old place, which I won’t bother naming. It is clean and smells wonderful when you walk in. So we went up to the counter, ordered, took our number, and went to sit down.
We watched as the restaurants mascot ambled out. I have to say “Bossley” the Bulldog, is adorable and very friendly, though he does have an eye out for any unlucky pizza that might come his way. So you may need to watch out for that… just kidding he is a very polite dog and only gives the puppy dog eyes for pizza.
We continued to wait. Finally I looked at my husband and asked how long we had been waiting. We had to look at his phone log, he was talking to a friend when we arrived, and it had been 45 minutes. At this point we were looking at each other in disbelief and contemplating walking out and getting a frozen pizza at the grocery store. We then noticed the staff talking about our pizza so we waited. Not much longer and the pizza arrived. We mentioned to our pizza deliverer that it had been over forty five minutes and she apologized and said she would see what could be done.
After sprinkling some parmesan cheese on our pizza we both dug in. We ordered the “3 Cheese” Pizza. The crust was very wonderful. It had a slight char and was both crunchy and chewy. Mmmmm…. The sauce was very subtle I think it could use just a few more herbs, but it was good. The cheese was bubbly and hot and had a nice golden hue. As we were finishing up the owner came over to talk to us.
She was an extraordinarily nice woman, who explained her situation, they had just opened and things where not going as planned. They opened in December and where doing ok. They expected things to slow down in January and February, but not the amount that it had. Because of this they had to reduce the hours of most of the staff. The two pizza chefs that they normally had weren’t working that night, just her husband who is a pizza chef, but a very slow one at that. While he came up with great recipes he is not great at handling the fast pizza rush. They had a large party come in and so they used up all the pre rolled dough. While trying to catch up several more hungry people showed up, us among them. So I urge you to get your pizza from there, but call in ahead so that it will be ready for you.
I enjoyed the pizza and hope that they get all of the kinks worked out and that they are around for a very long time.
I have been on a bit of a vacation since my last post. The holidays where just so busy I didn’t have a minute to write and then afterwards I just kept thinking oh I will do it next week. Well you know how that goes. So for the 1st of February I have big plans. First I will share a recent restaurant visit, second something from my kitchen, then my plans for Valentine’s Day.
My husband and I went to Aloha Kitchenin Silverdale on the 31st of January. This was our second visit. I have to say that our first trip left us unimpressed and we probably wouldn’t have returned except for the really good deal in the 2011 Kitsap Card. Our second visit was so much better they definitely worked all the kinks out.
We had Kalua Nachos for a starter. Very tasty! They had freshly fried flour tortillas for the chips, nice and crispy. I have never had pork on nachos before and they used their shredded Kalua pork and wow was it good. Also I was a little apprehensive of the Mango salsa because I am not fond of fruit salsas. This one was great; it has just an extra hint of sweetness to the spicy tomato goodness. The only slight issue I had was that some of the cheese wasn’t melted all the way. I think that they were rushing to get it out to us because we were waiting a little long. Not too long, but just on the cusp.
I had the Big Island Saimin. An Asian influenced soup. It had ramen noodles, pork, beef and even Spam. I have to say that I am not a huge supporter of the Spam but I understand how popular it is on the islands. Also in the soup, the Spam worked. The beef was super good, you could still taste the marinade even though it was in a soup. Very yummy! The noodles where described as being made fresh, they tasted very similar to the noodles you get in top ramen. They where good but not exactly what I expected. Overall I enjoyed this soup very much.
My husband had the Mochiko Chicken. I had to say it was very tasty. I stole several bits when he wasn’t looking. It was light and crispy. The rice that they make there while it is just plain rice, it is just exactly right and yummy. It came with macaroni salad which I can’t stand (the whole unfortunate picnic mayonnaise incident) my husband liked it very much. He said it wasn’t to dry or to wet and had a nice spice on top.
Overall, I really enjoyed this trip to the restaurant and will be making a return trip in the future. I think the only thing that they could change is the tables the look like rejects from a fast food joint when they redecorate. It kind of adds to the charm but they are too narrow and are really unattractive. I think they got them because they where a good deal. I hope when they make lots of money from their yummy food they replace them. I was also impressed on how clean the place was. There was a family with two or three kids who left just after we arrived and the kids had gotten rice all over the place. The staff took the time to make sure every grain was swept up. A lot of places just let it sit until later or just get the big stuff up. I think this is a very good addition to the peninsula and think lots of people should visit.
It was time to bake yesturday. So first I went to the pantry, found what I had on hand, and gathered it all up.
Throw it all in the bowl. I then read the directions on the canister. mmmmm… yummy raw egg.
Then off to the oven it goes. I LOVE my silcon pans!
Out it came all cooked and ready to share.
When the fall leaves start appearing and I see the cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store I know its time to start planning. Planning on what to do with the extra pumpkin puree after pie making. In my cupboard was this quick bread mix that I had been there for awhile. So I thought it would be great to mix it up. Sometimes you just have to use what’s in the house.
So last night my husband and I went out to for dinner. We planned on going to another restaurant, but we checked to see if they had a deal in the Kitsap Card, which the other restaurant did not. As I was flipping through the pages I saw the funny name of the Toad House Pizza Pub and had to read more about it. My husband grew up in New York and he is always searching for a good pizza. Since it advertised having a brick oven we thought we should give it a try. The Toad House Pizza Pub was great.
We had the Artichoke Dip as an appetizer. It announced itself at the table with a wonderful yummy aroma. Then we dug in with these lovely toast rounds and it had a nice subtle flavor. It was very cheesy and creamy. We gobbled up the entire thing and even at the end when we ran out of bread we used a fork to finish. They had enough bread, but you always run out at the end.
Shortly after our pizza, The Winning Combo, arrived. It was piping hot straight from the oven, and they placed it on one of those great pizza stands so we still had room on the table. The crust was very thin in the middle but it fattened up on the edge so you had a crispy and chewy handle. The sauce was a superb base for the pizza, it had a slight herb taste but very subtle. It was a nice complement. All of the toppings were fresh and of a very high quality. It was interesting that they put the tomatoes on top after the pizza was cooked. I had never seen that before. I am supper picky when it comes to tomatoes and I just loved it that way. The pepperoni, sausage, basil, onions was just as good. It came with olives but I made my husband eat them all. What can I say, I am a bad Greek, I HATE olives. Actually anything pickled or brined.
The Toad House advertises that it has over a hundred beers either in bottle or on tap. So I had to order something. If you have read my previous posts about beer pubs you are well aware of my lack of love for the beer. So what did I Order? Spire Apple Cider from Fish Brewing Co, in Olympia. It was alcoholic! It was very tasty, I would definitely recommend it.
The overall atmosphere of the Toad House was great. The staff was friendly and helpful. We could see the pizza oven from our table and it was fun to watch the pizzas come out of it. It was a slow night so I am sure it would be really fun when the place is in full swing. The music was nice as well. It was an eclectic mix and not your average back ground non-music. If I lived closer it would be a great place to just hang out with friends all evening. If you love wood fire brick oven pizzas served in a warm atmosphere I would definitely recommend finding this restaurant in its hard-to-spot corner next to Safeway in East Bremerton.