well it has been 4 months since we have posted here...I guess one could say "life got in the way". Summertime and we are enjoying the bounty of fruits and vegetables of Niagara County at the table. We will be ntertaining Saturday evening and will try Mario Batali's bean salad ( recipe in the September Food and Wine) using Tom Tower's green and wax beans along with homegrown basil.Another side will be "my mother's corn" as posted last year...corn from the eastern end of the county near Gasport. My fellow foodie will make the third side, cucumbers in sour cream.The main course comes all the way from Binghamton NY. Last month's high school reunion reacquainted me with Lupo's of Endicott and their famous spiedies...hunks of marinated lamb cooked on a skewer on the grill and removed from the skewer with a slice of fresh Italian bread !! Fresh berries in the triple berry pie for dessert courtesy of the Village bake Shoppe in Lewiston. All in all, a perfect summer outdoor dining menu.



Tsunami & KOI redux

Anoither trip to KOI tonight and earlier this week to Tsunami again. George Bensen was playing at the Niagara Falls Casino and J Okun had reviewed KOI last night, so they were booked solid. Still, the pork dumplings and lemon flower soup were terrific and the fried whole fried crispy fish was just as it should be, whole and crisply fried. Tried the prawns in lemon grass sauce and enjoyed this dish very much. Tsunami scored big again with fabulous dim sum, a superb duck dish, butter fish and those delicious salt and pepper shrimp! Pan Asian food indeed is available here in WNY.




My daughter Megan and her husband Brian celebrated her birthday recently at Fiamma, the new steak house at Hertel and Starin.pretty Her husband ranked it right up there, but not as good as Maloney and Porcelli(NYC), his favorite. She said, "The steakhouse name is kind of misleading as their seafood selections are pretty extensive and the steak section isn't that vast. Some things were heavenly - the caesar salad was excellent and the parmesan hashbrowns were eyes-roll-back-in-your-head good. Service was friendly but professional and the atmosphere is good though a little martini bar cheesy with some clientele to match. Overall I'd give it an 8 to 9 and would definitely go back."

There you go...since this location has been the home of at least 6 restaurants that I know of, we wish them luck and longevity !! Margy



Egg Soup and Black Pepper

My fellow Foodie's sister in law Maureen Toohey was kind enough to bring me a gift, black pepper from Trader Joe's in Cleveland. She had been telling me about this pepper for a long time and now I know why -- it's absolutely wonderful. Pepper? Just black pepper? Yes. I can't tell you why exactly but the taste is so outstanding (the bottle/grinder label says it comes from Malaysia) that once I tasted it, all I could think about was cooking dishes that used a lot of freshly ground pepper. I told Maureen about trying the pepper on my scrambled eggs and how it was so heavenly. She then asked me if I ever had "egg soup". I had no clue what she meant, but after she described it...soft boiled or poached eggs in a cup with bits of buttered toast and lots of salt, and black pepper, I tried it immediately. What pure comfort food--simple, basic, always have them in the house ingredients that made breakfast on the weekend very special. The first time I tried it with buttered toast bits, the second time with toasted English Muffin bits, and today--toasted "Everything" bagel bits. This was amazingly delicious, the combination of the soft, eggy liquid with lots of pepper and the seeds and flavoring of the bagel. Egg soup and black pepper, reading the paper, in my sweats--it doesn't get any better than that. Vicki




Food wishes...I wish I could order from Trader Joe's on line. Or, if not that I wish they would open a store in Buffalo. Then I could buy as much black pepper as I wanted.



Oscar Night

Tried a new recipe for the Sunday night festivities: Wolfgang Puck's beef brisket braised with wine, apricots and beef broth accompanied with carmelized pearl onions. Oooooh Eeeee, it was wonderful. I served it with buttered noodles and a salad. It made a really nice dinner and had an Eastern European taste..almost like a Hungarian ghoulash.
Lots of left overs and enough for fellow foodie Vicki.



A New Gadget

Recently stopped by the Panhandler on Elmwood which is kitty corner to the new Lexington Coop. It is a great little store which despite its size carries lots and lots of neat kitchen and cooking items...almost a miniature Sur la Table !!

Anyway, picked up a new item ie gadget: the foodloop. Made of HOTSPOT silicone which can withstand temps up to 675, the loops (there are 6 in a package) can be wrapped around a beef tenderloin to even it out,truss a bird or hold together fresh asparagus for steaming. The foodloop is designed to replace toothpicks and string in the kitchen. One end of the loop can attach to the rest of the loop at any point along the length. This item was featured on the HGTV show "I Want That". With the food loop's hot pink color there is no danger of eating it!!

Great little gift for the chef who has everything...inexpensive, comes with a storeage bag and is dishwasher safe...made in CHINA of course.

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